Drifters

Steve's Log 8

Dave: [to John on the phone] Where are you, heaven?
from John Dies at the End

Another world and I am getting real excited to discover the possibilities of The Professor’s remote. If it truly can take us anywhere then the possibilities are limitless. This new world started out as a pain in the ass, literally. We fell out of the sky, Rambo style, through the canopy of a forest. I hate falling probably more than anything. After a brief check, no one was seriously hurt but Pete’s foot was really bothering him. That knife wound still hadn’t healed and he was still wearing the boots with a hole in them. I felt bad for the guy but as any good friend will do, I made fun of him instead of comforting him.

We hiked a few miles and found a fortified town. After the gate guards tried to intimidate us, they let us in. We headed to Callahan’s. It was a nice place and Pete knew the bartender which was strange yet not unexpected. With dimension crossing, I assume we will run into many old friends, including dead ones. I look forward to the day I run into me. I still wonder if I will be the evil duplicate of the good one. The bar is owned by Mike Callahan, a nice but weird punning sort of fellow. The regulars are welcoming and willing to listen to any visitor’s problems, no matter how strange, and best of all, they don’t seem to think you insane when you mention you are from another world or that you just walked in from the wilderness. It is a pretty cool place to hang out.

I tried the Slider’s trick of running my ATM card through a machine and guess what? It worked. I was able to withdraw a few hundred bucks and that got us seats at the bar with drinks in our hands. I was feeling pretty damned good. Pete and his friend John, whom I will refer to The New Guy or TNG for a while. Two Johns is going to get confusing. Well TNG turned out to be the assistant of Professor Tempus and he had info about the Professor. It strikes me as odd that we have met THE DOCTOR, heard of THE MASTER, talked with THE THIEF, and are looking for THE PROFESSOR. It kind of feels like a 70’s episode of Dr Who. I wonder if any of the other guys have made these connections or is it just me.

We listened to TNG and decided to go and rescue the Professor from a gang of biker pirates called the Coyotes. We borrowed Mike’s van and hit the road. Unfortunately the van only seated 4 so we chose to take John, TNG, Pete, and myself. Twenty miles later we left the main road and turned onto a dirt road. We checked the maps and found an old airport was seven miles ahead and so I hatched a plan to drive four miles and leave the van with two guys while the other two would go ahead on foot and call the van if backup was needed. Did I mention the van had armor and a big ass machine gun?

Me and TNG headed out on foot. We made good time and found the edge of the forest not far from the runway. We saw a Nazi plane land and a Luftwaffe officer walking around. We also spied more than a dozen motorcycles. TNG noticed a bunker and we decided to move in close to it and see if we could take it out silently. TNG was not very experienced with guns but he was all that I had so I had to work with him and make it a success. He seemed ready to do the hard work if needed.

We saw some bikes head out on the road towards John and Pete and I radioed them a warning. Ten minutes later we heard gunfire and explosions. Me and TNG hid in the bushes and waited. Pete called and said John was dead. Something snapped in my brain. I handed the radio to TNG and stood up. Before I knew what was happening I had covered a dozen yards and thrown a Willie Pete into the bunker. I saw the Nazi draw a Luger and take aim at me as I blasted him with a burst. He fell screaming. I continued forward moving fast and shot a few more times at the Nazi, all misses. Some advice: never shoot while on the run. I stopped just as three goons came out of a building and I mowed them down. I heard more and pulled another grenade and let it fly. The smell of burning screaming people gave me a hard on and I charged in. My mistake. The minigun was just starting to spin and I had no where to go. MISFIRE!!! It didnt fire but sparked and smoked and I saw my chance. The guy on the gun ran while some chick and two dudes took aim at me. I could see the sweat running down the face of a big hairy biker but it was the hard blue eyes of the bitch that froze my blood. As they pulled their triggers I fired. The chick went down hard. The other two missed but one of the bullets was so cloce the I felt the shockwave of its path next to my face. I fired again and bullets ripped into the two goons. I heard a motorcycle pulling up outside and turned to kill the next fucker I saw. As I realized the biker was Pete I smiled and then bullets nailed the door frame next to me. I spun, fully expecting the next shot to kill me when TNG blasted the shooter with both barrels of his shotgun. The guy went over in a heap. TNG had just saved my life and I never even knew he had followed me in.

Afterwards things got easier and harder too. We spoke with the last guy and agreed to a truce. He offered up the Professor and a kid in exchange for his life. I gave my word that I wouldn’t shoot him. The next couple of hours a raging storm tore into the airstrip while the Professor pissed me off. I was ready to kill him but the kid being a witness was bothering me and TNG proved outside that he would not murder a man who had no weapon. I realized this when I heard a plane starting up outside. I ran out the door and shot into the engine area of the plane and watched the plane go down and explode. I am not sure if it was my shot into the plane, the storm, or the Nazi’s wounds that caused the crash but I felt good watching that thing go boom.

We eventually made it back to town and the kid, who turned out to be a celebrity gave us the best reward in the world. He told us how to get John back and offered to pay. We had John cloned and are waiting for him to rejoin us. I wonder if he will be the same guy. In the meanwhile the Kid had hooked us up with 5-star accomodations and Pete is even going to appear as an extra or something. I on the other hand am researching the autoduel circuit. I think I will take a stab at it and see if it is as fun as I expect it to be. Pete and the others seem to think that it is crazy but I look at this like running with the bulls. When the chance for adventure comes it is time to take a chance. Who knows, I might even be good at this. Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.

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Steve's Log 7

“What do we say to the Lord of Death?"
“Not today.”
George R.R. Martin

Well, I am still alive. Against all reason I am alive and relatively unhurt by the experience. We got word that we had arrived at the destination world and that my team along with the wrench monkeys were being sent in. A suicide mission at best. Land on the homeworld of the enemy and steal some technology. Commander Kodai used the stealth fighter that was attached to our ship to fly in ahead of us and tag all of the enemy emplacements and satellites. Then we came in hot. The Black Tiger Squadron flew support and they died nearly as fast as I expected to. Somehow we made it through and landed. That’s when the fun began.

I realized at some point that all of my prayers had been answered. I was getting my chance to die with a purpose. I was beating the radiation poisoning my veins. We hit the ground hard and fast. The fins were on us in seconds. They came at us by the hundreds and all we could do was run and shoot and keep on running. One by one our numbers were thinned until only half a dozen of us were left alive. John had taken over the mission at some point, I never saw how or questioned why. I just followed orders. I killed and I killed and somehow I survived.

The Alien Welcome

At some point I got hit. As I looked at the explosive darts in my chest I could only think about the things I had failed to do. The next thing I knew I was falling and sliding down a ramp with John on top of me. The darts exploded but my armor ate the blast. It knocked the wind out of me, and both me and John laid on the ground gasping for air. When we recovered we got to our feet and saw burning dinks all around us. I missed how it happened but that crazy Korean wrench monkey gave his life killing a whole squad. We moved forward and saw Pete going toe to toe with a Ripper. It was using a big ass knife and Pete had a steel pipe. They circled and struck and circled and struck and Pete seemed to be winning. Then the Ripper dropped to his knees and we knew it was all over. As Pete raised the pipe for the killing blow, the Ripper lunged forward and put the knife right through Pete’s foot. Pete screamed a sound that was frightening. He then bashed the Ripper’s head. We moved forward and I bandaged Pete’s foot and stopped the bleeding.

We were close to our destination and planted bombs. We busted ass through a bunch more dinks and stole one of their ships. I flew the thing and took us into space. I have never piloted anything in my life but it all seemed quite natural to me. I guess all of those hours on flight simulators has paid off. We made it back to the ship but lost nearly everyone on the mission. We had the cure. I was feeling better already.

The journey home was somber and yet full of excitement. We had won. We had blown the HQ of the enemy to bits, got our cure, and we had won. So why do I feel like crap? Why am I so damned depressed? It was a week later when we made Earth orbit. I was banging Samantha and feeling a bit better when we heard the red alert. I started to suit up and before I was done we heard the Captain issuing the orders to abandon ship. I didn’t know why but assumed it was bad. I grabbed my personal belongings and told Sam to do the same. We ran for the hangars. The wrench monkeys were herding people into ships and we got herded with the rest.

As we descended to the planet I kept my eyes out the windows. I saw the glorious Yamato as it plunged into the giant space fortress and explode. The blast was blinding and when I got my vision back I could see hundreds of alien ships falling towards the planet on fire.

We landed in Jersey and after some debate headed to PA. The Nips left us and headed home. We scavenged some gear and found a place to rest; I even got some new game books. Finally we determined the truth was that we were not on the Earth we knew and loved. We were on another world. An alternate dimension. So the choice was to stay and seek out a new life or use the device and travel to who knows where. Well you know what I did? I chose the adventure. Death may be my god but adventure is my religion. I hope the next world brings us some fun if not another war.

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John's Log 5
Yamato 2

Do not let circumstances control you. You change your circumstances.
Jackie Chan

Well, it’s been confirmed… we’ve gone through the rabbit hole and wound up in a parallel reality of some kind, an alternate dimenion. I really don’t know what to think or say about it, ‘cause it’s just too big a concept for me to wrap my mind around. I’ve always imagined this kind of adventure, and now that it’s here I’m kinda just scared shitless.

But that’s the end of the tale so far; let me back up a few months and bring you up to speed. After the spider attack we got all the food we’d gathered on board the Yamato and got back underway. We suffered a few attacks and had minor losses, not one of whom was a member of the Black Tigers I’m proud and happy to report. The whole crew performed admirably, even as we were all growing weaker from the radiation.

Because I’d been teaching the hangar squad some besic marksmanship, we got attached to the Kamikaze squad for their mission to the dink homeworld. That meant we had to double our working time in order to get enough training in, but our spirits were lifted due to the fact that a possible cure for the sickness was nearly in our grasp! We got as much training in as we could over the next week and then it was time to go to work.

The first step was investigating a captured dink fighter; thing kinda looked like a silver flying saucer, like the Great Kazoo’s from the Flintstones. Thankfully, no wish-granting little green man in this thing, just a silver-suited dink that knocked me across the hangar while we trying to figure out a way to get inside – it was dead before I could even stand back up. That ship got us some good intel, and the ship was soon underway to Iskandar, the dink planet that could hold the key to everyone’s salvation.

Soon enough we were planetside: Me, Pete, Corey and the rest of the Black Tiger hangar crew; Steve and his Kamikaze squad; Commander Oto and 3 other pilots from the Black Tigers; Doc. Sado; and finally Colonel Nanbu. There were others but I never knew their names – they were shot down during our approach to the planet’s surface.

We moved quickly through the alien landscape; the Colonel had some sort of pad he was using to lead us to our destination. Then we were suddenly under attack by fins. This was the first time we’d seen a dink in some time, and to be honest I coulda used a little more time before running into one only this one had friends – lotsa friends. We were running for our lives almost immediately; forget about fighting ’em, there were just too many. The Colonel kept us on track up until the point he took a shot in the back. I tried to carry him but I was just too weak from the radiation. He handed me the pad and told me to go – and I did.

The effin’ dinks were on our tails up to the point we entered a huge underground cavern. They’d followed us into the caves, sure enough, but stopped dead when they realized where we’d led them. It sorta felt like that scene in A Princess from Mars, when the Apache had chased John Carter into the cave and fell back. Only the last time I’d gone into a cave – much smaller than the one we were in – I’d been jumped by a spider the size of a deuce-and-a-half. Plus, my luck’s never been the sort where I’d be transported to a distant planet only to fall in love with an exotic princess – at least I thought that way at that point.

Thankfully, no spiders. We found a giant crystalline obelisk about the size and shape of the Washington Monument, covered in heiroglyphics of some kind. It was ‘singing’, something that sounded like classical music, and which Yuki identified as ‘Swan Lake’. We experimented a little and tried the whole ‘Close Encounters’ thing by singing back to the crystal. Then it occured to me to try just matching the key of the music – Mori did, and the crystal reacted.

To make a long story a little shorter, Mori was transformed by the encounter; now, she was the cure we’d been looking for, the hope for all humankind. Her survival was undeniably important, but the bad news was that the dinks were ready to launch a full-scale invasion of Earth… unless we managed to destroy their HQ before it launched. I was all for it; after all, the cure would only be good if the dink menace could be stopped – plus, the only good dink is a dead one, and I was gonna get the chance to kill some more on my way out.

Everyone but Mori and the Doc volunteered to hit the HQ; everyone that had survived to the caves that is – we’d lost most of us during the run. The remainder consisted of Steve and Mora from the Kamikazes, and Harry, Yuki, Akira, Corey, Pete, and myself from the hangar. Not too bad for a buncha wrench turners. After managing to find a second exit out of the caves and sneaking past the horde of fins waiting for us, Steve flew us to the dink HQ in one of the transports we’d come down in. He was confident in his ability to get us there, but was less so in his ability to land – I didn’t care so long as he could set us down soft enough for us to walk away from.

He didn’t. I’ll cut him a litte break, and own up to the fact that we were under fire from a dink Banshee the second half of the trip. Hell, the only reason we landed at all is the dink pilot that shot us up didn’t follow through with his attack – he must’ve thought we were finished. We survived the crash, but we all got banged up pretty good. This was starting to look more and more like it was gonna be a one-way trip.

We didn’t hesitate though; too much to do and not a whole lot of time to do it in. The Iskandar – the crystalline structure we’d found – had imparted the information we needed and the the knowledge that the planet was going to blow up. That leant us some much-needed urgency, and that coupled with the fact we’d been healed of the radiation sickness gave us the energy we needed to move quietly and quickly through dink central. Don’t really know why I call it that though; we didn’t see too many of ‘em. I guess they could’ve all been standing around that cave waiting for us to reappear, but I don’t really care. The few we met we killed, though it cost us Harry. We set the bombs Mora was hauling and got the hell out of frogtown.

God, it must’ve looked awesome when the base blew… I wish I’d been able to watch, but the dink transport we stole to get away wasn’t equipped with rear windows. For the best though, ‘cause just as we broke atmo and entered space the whole friggin’ planet followed! It woulda made a great scene in a sci-fi movie, but the turbulence was real and so were the building-size chinks of planet flinging past us. I don’t know how we got outta there alive, but we did. We made it back to the Yamato, got a hero’s welcome, and a short time to relax. Then it was back to work. There were still plenty of dinks out there, even if they had just lost their C3, and we still had a long way to go to get back to Earth.

It was a shorter trip back – this time we knew where we were headed. The dinks were waiting for us, so when we hit the system we went to immediate alert. There were no explosions though, no rocking of the ship. The Tigers scrambled – including Mori even though she was too valuable to risk in a dogfight. The Captain tried to order her to stand down, but I wasn’t about to step in her way – her leadership had led the Squadron to countless victories, and her cockpit was the place she needed to be. I knew it would be the last time I’d see her.

A short while later the Captain ordered all hands to abandon ship. We still hadn’t been hit, so the order was confusing but on the Yamato, Captain Gloval’s word was never questioned. The hangar became Grand Central for a while, and we were busy loading and directing transports for the crew as they arrived to be taken off. Eventually there was one transport left, and we were waiting for the Captain and the bridge crew to arrive. Jess showed with them, but the Captain was nowhere to be seen. His intention was to ram the Yamato down the dink’s throats and put an end to the alien threat in Earth orbit. My final view of the Yamato was as it slammed into the massive alien flagship. The ensuing explosion wiped out most of the dink fleet in orbit, and put on quite a light show we watched from the surface of our Home. I will never forget that man, and the manner in which he carried out his last act of duty and heroism.

We were in New Jersey as it turned out, and got dropped of in Pennsylvania so we could try to hook back up with the 3rd. It wasn’t long before we determined that this wasn’t the Earth we’d left, that somehow the device that we’d found in Professor Tempus’s lab had sent us to another Earth in a another reality. At least that’s the only way I can describe it. We had a decision to make – stay there and live on, rebuilding that planet and fighting the occassional dink; or try using the device to get back home. Jess was the only one of us with a vested interest in the decision – her father was still out there somewhere.

So Steve hit the button, and I jumped.

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Pete's Log 1

I used to write. All the time in fact. That all changed the day they arrived. They took everything away from me. My life, my family, everything. Now we’re forced to live a meager existence. When we’re not fighting them, we’re fighting each other. It’s all been rather pointless and not much to write about. So I haven’t been moved to words to page.

That was until recent events. A lot has lead up to this point but I will save that for another time. For now time is short and I may not live much longer. I want to get some things down just in case you have to pick up where I left off. I have found purpose and now see a path to winning this thing. there are many pieces to put in play and many hurdles to jump before my could hope to work but I now have one, a very real one.

We are no longer in America. On a rescue mission to save Jessica Tempus’ father we found some crazy technology in his cabin that transported us to China. This was some sort of wormhole but I have no idea how it worked. All I know is that it resembled the one from Sliders. As soon as we finish the mission we’re on, I want to get a look at that thing Steve used to activate it.

We arrived in a dessert and traveled for days. Starving and dehydrated, we found ourselves under attack by a giant robot. Fortunately we were picked up by Chinese military and taken back to basecamp. Long story short, we are now suffering from a mortal case of radiation poisoning and have volunteered to go on a mission to get some sort of cure that is supposed to save us. This has required us to join a mission into space aboard the Yammato. Yes, that one. This is completely out of place and I’m not sure we’re actually in the same dimension. That wormhole may not have just been a geographical transit device. It might have been an interdimensional transit device as well. But there’s no way to tell for now, so I’m just going to have to assume it as an unknown.

We are currently on an impossibly bizarre trek to who knows where. However, we are on a mission to save our lives and all though affected by the massive radiation sickness we’ve been infected with so at least it’s a worthwhile cause.

I will close this out with a quite note about the past day. We sent a team down to a planet we’re orbiting to gather much needed food and water. On the mission, I was asked to assist in the repair of a piece of equipment. The rest of the team went off to investigate a strange noise and were quite shaken when they returned. Something about a large spider, which makes me feel fortunate to have missed it.

I will try to write more but it’s hard to write for long stretches due to the illness. My eyes hurt, I’m terribly fatigued, and I have to get up periodically to throw up.

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John's Log 4
Yamato 1

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
Irving Berlin

I’m an ass. I’ve been so caught up in the news that I’m dying that I haven’t been paying attention to everyone else around me, and how they’re dealing with the same news. Every single soul on board the Yamato was given the same news I was – death by radiation. Yet I seem to be the only one going around acting like an asshole. That’s going to stop.

Let’s see… it’s been a few months since I wrote last; that’s not entirely my fault though. After falling through the hole in the sky and windong up in a desert (which turned out to be Japan), we were captured by the JDF and given the news I outlined above. They’re fighting the dinks here too, only I don’t think they’re the same dinks we’ve been dealing with. See, the aliens here are plying war in giant mecha, and the Japanese are fighting back using the same technology. Steve can talk all he wants about how we got sent to the other side of the war… ain’t NO way thats the Japs had this kinda tech before the invasion!

Anyway, after almost dying as we crossed the desert, we eventually got picked up by the JDF. They mistook us for US Special Forces (thank Christ they didn’ tknow different). We spent a few days inrecovery from our trek across the wasteland, and then a few months in what was essentially Navy boot camp… only this Navy don’t float. No, this Navy flies through space in a converted WW2 battleship called the Yamato, under the leadership of Captain Henry Gloval. Is there really any wonder why my head is splittin’ open at all?! And Steve still insists that we’ve been teleported to the other side of the world. What the hell is he smoking? And how did he even get it here?

After learning the Japanese way of doing things, and learning the local lingo, we more or less got press-ganged into joining the Expeditionary Force being sent to attack the alien home planet. Yeah, records’ll show we volunteered, but that’s only ‘cause we’ve been told the only possible cure to the radiation sickness is to be found on the dink homeworld. You ask me, dying slow and safe or dying quick and dangerous is no real choice at all.

Most of us wound up in the hangar crew (lord knows why, since I don’t know shit about fightercraft). Steve wound up in the ‘suicide squad’, a group of gung-ho soldiers who plan to go out taking it to the enemy. Suits his current outlook if you ask me. The first time his squad and mine got sent on a missionm he started talking shit about he and his being elite and me and mine being wrench monkeys; I put him down hard, but didn’t last much longer myself in the donnybrook. Hangar squad won though, so I felt a little vindication – still, that’s just another example of my asshole’edness.

The Yamato made a bunch of jumps, and we’d been in a bunch of scrapes with this place’s dinks. A whole lotta people died, but unfortunately a person gets used to that – at least on the outside. Inside you get all torn up, only there’s no real place to let it loose, so you internalize it as best you can and carry on. Anyway, on this one skirmish with the enemy, the food stores and galley on the ship got wasted. I was feeling stir crazy so I volunteered the hangar squad to go planet-side to look for food. We got paired with Steve’s squad, and the primary result I went over above.

We did some hunting, with me as big chief dickhead, pushing the squad around. I swear I’m gonna make it up to them somehow – they’re a good bunch, and deserve better. So we bagged some local wildlife and got to butchering. We made a real mess of it, but we ate well that night. The meat was ohmygod good, but it didn’t taste like beef (or chicken); this stuff tasted like blueberries. Kinda tasty, and kinda unnerving at the same time. Still, it was the first fresh food any of us had had in a long time.

After we’d all eaten is when we heard it – a scream coming from a nearby cave. We knew it was going to be a trap; after all, the only humans around were the ones sitting around our fire. Still, there’s something about a female scream that touches on the soul of a male – something not easily ignored. It was decided that myself, Steve, and Corey would check it out.

The cave system was pretty clean – mostly sandstone, with very few water deposits. I’ve always been interested in spelunking, but this was definately not the time to indulge. Hell, even if I’d wanted to, the caves were pretty boring really; no real elevation changes and only one point where the ceiling got low enough to make us crouch. After that point, we found it.

Lying in the middle of this cave was an old tape casette player – obviously on a loop, and the origin of the scream we’d been hearing. I’d even stated to the guys that something had felt weird about the scream – it hadn’t altered in pitch or volue since we’d first heard it, and it was repeated at a fairly constant interval (no one had bothered timing it). As I leaned over to shut it off, Corey gave a yell that saved my life. I didn’t stop to think (a year fighting aliens will do that for you); I just dove for cover, expecting to be shot or something. What I wasn’t expecting was the truck-sized spider that landed beside me.

I confess: I pissed myself. I don’t have a huge fear of spiders, but monsters are an entirely different matter. Man, this thing was like that spider in The Incredible Shrinking Man, only I hadn’t done any shrinking! I don’t know, maybe the warm fluid running down my leg got me acting; first I tried to jump on the back of the thing (I figured it couldn’t attack me there), but it was too big. Then next thing I know I’m hosing it down with my MP5, and watching my bullets bounce off the thing’s shell. Then I heard the click of my weapon running dry, then everyone else’s gun hitting empty. Somehow, somewhere along the way the thing had died – I couldn’t really tell you when, but I can tell you that I did suddenly rediscover how to breathe.

So now I sit here writing this all down. The docs all give me 6 months at best to live – IF these dinks don’t get me first. But I have a new perspective on life and what it means to live. First thing tomorrow I start to make amends with my squad. After that, I start dealing with my new circumstances; after all, what’s the worst that could happen? Death? I’ve been dealing with that for over a year now – the ’verse is gonna have to come up with something new to knock me back into the hole I just climbed out of.

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Steve's Log 6

“I just gave up one day. Around the time the news about toxic shock came out. I thought, Fuck me, man, I give up. Come and get me.”
Anne Lamott

Death. I often contemplate dieing and death. This war has changed me. It has made me harder, angrier, and more resigned to the fact that I and everyone I love will die. It isn’t a matter of how but when. Realizing this fact of life has made me lose my fear of Death. I don’t worry about it like I use to. These days I pray for it. I pray that when it comes, that is will be a good death. That it will have meaning and serve some purpose. I pray that I will die winning this war. All of those years I sat at home praying for war and now I got one and I am not lucky enough to be fighting the damned spics or an honorable enemy like the Russians. No I am stuck fighting god damned aliens. Being born of the forth of July did not prepare me for living through Independence Day.

Now my death is near and it sucks. “Lethal dose of radiation poisoning” is what the doc told me. Not just me, but Corey, John, Sam, Pete, and Jessica. We all have maybe a year with the drugs they gave us but cancer is killing is quick. Death. It gets us all and this is not a good death. This is the death that cowards deserve, not people like us. I am pissed. I asked the doc about the how it will go and she told me that the drugs they had given us slow the effects and reduce the overall pain. We get a dose every day. Miss one dose and you will likely die within 48 hours. I have noticed over the past few months that I am weaker, more tired, and wake up every morning with an infernal cough that lasts for half an hour or so. The cough is sometimes bloody. My nose bleeds seem almost daily. Diarrhea is constant and my stomach never stops hurting.

I suppose I should record the how this all came to be. We were in the secret lab of Dr. Tempus, Jessica’s father. I had found a remote control that opened a portal to another place. John fell in and I followed to rescue him. One by one everyone joined us. A suicidal bunch we are. We found ourselves in a dessert. Not like the Sahara but dried cracked mud for as far as we could see with occasional tree trunks that had been burned with intense heat. The temperature was comfortable if not chilly. We could see a mountain to the North and started heading for it. It was alot further away that we ever could have realized. Three days we walked and our food ran out. Our water ran out. We were dieing slowly. Exhaustion was eating away at us and we were not talking.

I think it was Jessica that saw it first. A fireball in the sky. It got bigger and bigger and then just as it seemed it was going to hit us, it struck the ground a few hundred yards away. We were knocked off of our feet and then rubble and debris fell upon us battering our aching bodies. We got up and found a crater, 40 yards across. John went in and yelled that it was a meteor, or maybe a bio-organic pod. Pete and John started cracking jokes about Superman. We all smiled. Then the rock started releasing gas. We retreated as the gas crept along the ground. Pete took a wind reading and we moved up wind from the crater. What happened next was insane. A giant robot stood up and Jet fighters showed up and started fighting it. We ran. When we got captured by the Japanese Army, we didn’t even fight back. We were out of our element and couldn’t understand anything except that they had lots of guns and they were all pointed at us.

After getting tied up and taken back to their base, we went through decontamination. Then we got shots and pills. Then a doc told us we were dead men walking. I felt like rolling over and shooting myself in the face. I got to experience a transmat that took me to the other side of the world and now I was going to die of radiation poisoning. How fucked up is that. Radiation as a killer is worse than nearly anything I can imagine. We were assured we would live for a while. Several months of living in slums we learned the culture and language. Japanese really isn’t that hard. We were treated well because they thought we were US Army Special Forces sent to help them fight the dinks. I didn’t correct them. Finally we heard the news of a radiation cure. The Japanese government had found a cure but it would require astronauts to go get it. They wanted 2,000 volunteers. We all signed up.

A little historical note is important here. The Nips got hit by the Dinks differently and worse than we did. The dinks have been dropping radioactive meteors and nuclear bombs all over Japan. This caused all of Japans nuclear reactors to meltdown and turned the entire island into a radioactive dessert. In one year they went from thriving to barely surviving. Somehow their navy was able to fight back. The dinks didn’t invade here like they did us. They just bombed and sent in giant robots. It seems to me that the aliens hitting this part of the world are a different breed than the few we encountered in America. Based on my understanding of things, the entire population of Japan has received lethal doses of radiation and is dying. The Navy had something called scramjets that they have been using to battle the dinks in the upper atmosphere but it seems they have lost nearly every engagement. Still they continue to fight.

Several months of training and we learned the jobs we would do. My training consisted of a small amount of technical stuff, learning the layout of a ship and how to deal with things like decompression, and lots and lots and lots of close quarters tactics classes. We worked for weeks in the class and then in the corridors of an old ship, running through anti-boarding actions. I learned SWAT-like tactics for clearing a room, hostage rescue, and all out assault. I really likes the MED-7. That is the Military Explosive Device # 7. A grenade that is kind of a blend of the Dink’s Plasma grenade and a flashbang. It explodes four seconds after it is armed and gives off a deafening sound and 200,000 lumens of bright light. In addition to this, it lights everything within 2 meters of the blast on fire. The only thing I don’t like about it is that once armed it sticks to the first thing it hits. I got to use a whole bunch of these bad boys in training and can’t wait to hit a ripper in the chest with one.

Following training I was put into the Elite Tactical Unit or “Kamikaze Squad” as everyone called them. John, Corey, and Pete went to the hangers as technicians. Jessica got a spot on the bridge and Sam was sent to the kitchens. The ship was like a WWII battleship. It was big and cramped and had two hangers housing 16 fighters each. When it came time to launch we learned the name of the ship. Cosmoship Yamato. I nearly shit myself. Then we got out uniforms and I saw the traditional uniform of the anime of the same name. I guess the Japanese do have a sense of humor.

We launched and after dozens of battles we are half way to our destination. only 844 of the original crew are still alive. Half have died of the radiation sickness. The rest due to dink attacks. It is strange fighting dinks in space. My job is with guns so I never fight, we train and wait for our chance. Finally it came. A planetside mission.

The ship’s food stored had been hit by a missile and we were low on food. The planet we were orbiting had animals. We were going hunting. Fourteen volunteers. Six from the suicide squad and eight others which happened to be Pete and Corey’s squad. On the way down to the planet we were cramped into a Armored landing craft. It was good seeing my friends but John started posturing and acting like I was the enemy. I was about to ask him what the fucking deal was when he cold cocked me and dropped me into darkness. When I awoke, the entire compartment was covered in unconscious and barely moving people. Some slanty eyed Korean piece of shit from John’s squad was the only one standing. I learned later that our two squads had a hell of a fist fight. I have no idea how or why it started, only that my good friend hit me for no fucking reason. I confronted him about it and he blabbered some nonsense. I think he was still reeling from the fight. I was pissed and punched him. He pulled a gun on me. Then the Sarge stepped in and broke it all up. Good thing to. I was ready to shoot him too. This is what dieing does to people. Everyone of us in that ship was dieing. We were all dead men walking and we knew it. It makes you lose your sense of focus. It makes to into an idiot.

I was very excited. We were on another planet. How fucking cool is that? We were astronauts and we had traveled to another planet. I have always wanted to see another planet and I was getting my chance. It was just like a sci-fi book. I forgot about the fight and started enjoying myself. This was fucking cool and I was having the time of my life.

The hunt went well and we killed a bunch of herd animals. The meat tasted strange but it was food. John’s squad heard screaming and went to investigate. I took Kotimo and followed. We found a cave and heard what appeared to a women screaming. We went in. Just me, John and Corey. Inside we found a spider the size of a god damned truck. It went for John. Corey shouted a warning and John dodged. Then we opened fire. It leapt at me and Corey and we stood like rocks firing on full auto. At some point our guns ran out of ammo and we discovered it was dead. I think I pissed myself.

We didn’t die today so maybe tomorrow will be our chance. In the meanwhile I need to plan the next game of Dungeons and Dragons. I got a good group of guys interested in playing and when they can make, John, Pete, and Corey will sometimes join us. I am preparing to run Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and am going to make it with a real twist. Instead of Strahd the evil vampire, it will be Strahd that is asking for help dealing with witches. Then if the players succeed, Strahd won’t become the vampire but if they fail, he will and they will have to come back to destroy him. I need to sleep, this day has been long and my jaw is killing me. Fucking John needs to snap out of his craziness. It’s almost like he is drunk. I am getting to bed.

The Giant spider whose body was about the size of a Deuce and a half

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John's Log 3
Home-Line Invasion 3

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.
Douglas Adams

Well, Steve’s goin’ around all puffed up again. The dinks hit us a few days ago, and to hear him – and a lot of the other guys – talk about it, you’d think we were the Spartans holding off Xerxes’ army at Thermopylae. In truth, just over 100 dinks attacked, but they had armor and artillery against our 60 or so. Still, Powers did a great job at leading us and kept our casualties to a bare minimum – I still can’t believe how it went down. The dinks suffered more losses than we did, but not to the tune of some of the stories that were going around. At best we killed maybe 15-20 of them before they backed off – or were pulled back for some reason. Don’t really know, and don’t really care. All that matters is the fact that the Old Man and the Gunney kept us alive. ‘Course the 3rd’s gotta move, now that the dinks definitely know where they are.

You may have noticed I said ‘they’. That’s ‘cause we – me, Steve, Pete, Corey, Sam, and Jess – kinda went off lookin’ for Jess’s father. We had the Old Man’s belssing to go, which suited me just fine since I don’t know if I could have deserted, despite all the things I’d been saying beforehand. Still, it felt kinda weird leaving the 3rd behind right after getting hit like that, but Steve seemed pretty certain that Jess’s father could be a big help to us all.

The trip west went smoothly enough. One odd thing happened though – while cutting through a small town we heard someone rootin’ around in a store. After checking it out, it turned out to be some woman named Christina, who happened to be on her way to NYC to loot some museums. Pete and Steve both took a shine to her instantly (she was a good-looking woman), but they also seemed to be distrustful of her – which of course meant I couldn’t relax since I didn’t know if either or both of them would do something crazy at any moment. She did share some beef and wine with us, and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. When she wasn’t around in the morning everyone else seemed kinda spooked, but I figured she’d just snuck out at some point in the early hours of the morning.

Eventually we arrived at the Prof.‘s cabin. Nice place but kinda small, though more than enough for a single person. We looked around but it was obvious the Prof. wasn’t home. Jess mentioned he had a bunker somewhere on the property, and we were getting set to search for the entrance when we heard the vehicle approaching from outside. Pete took a look and then took another one. We were being approached by Nazis with a half-track… we’re talking full-on WWII uniformed Nazis. ‘Course Steve wants to set up an ambush right away and Pete’s backing his play; I actually had to talk them into slipping out the back and avoiding the fight. I mean, we had nothing to gain by jumping them then and there, and everything to lose. At least they saw the reason in the argument, especially when Sam and Jess backed my arguments. So we slipped out the back and into the forest, where we set up a small camp. Then Steve, Pete and myself slipped back to observe.

The Nazis… look, don’t think we weren’t confused by their presence. We figured they were some supremacists living in the hills and were out doing a bit of scavenging of their own. The weird shit happened later, but I’ll get to that.

The Nazis entered the cabin, leaving two two-man patrols outside wandering the perimeter. They turned on the lights in the place – something we didn’t even think about doing since there’d been no power anywhere for a year now – and that got Pete all curious. He and Steve moved up on the cabin while I hung back. Pete actually made it up to the cabin wall and looked in a window, and then he just started high-tailing it back to the trees. Next thing, all hell breaks loose as Steve throws a grenade and starts the show! Christ! So we’re in another massive furball, only this time against other humans (well, kinda). Nobody could see anything since it was dark (even with a full moon), and when it was over we were standing and the enemy wasn’t. I’d had to torch the half-track with a plasma grenade I’d picked up, but it was either that or let the gunner in it mow the guys down. Steve’d been hit a few times in the armor and had taken a coupla shallow knife wounds. Wanna take bets if that’ll slow him down in the next potential situation we run into?

Then we started discovering the weird. The germans had schmeissers, a luger… all the crap you see in the movies. Only these were all sporting the H&K logo. The half-track had a fuel-injection engine, plus a DVD player. If these were prepper supremacists, they were some of the best outfitted ones I hope never to encounter again!

When the rest of the team showed up we got back to finding the Prof.‘s bolthole. It took a little doing, but Pete’s and Steve’s savvy soon got it narrowed down to being under the cabin. It was Steve’s uncanny luck that eventually found it – he’d gotten frustrated during the search and kicked a wall, which then ‘clicked’ and opened a small cubby-hole with the hatch. It took Corey’s strength to pop the thing open, and then we went inside. It was dark at first, but motion sensors or something soon had lights turning on. It wasn’t a huge place, but woulda been luxury for the six of us to rest up in. The professor wasn’t there either, but we started looking for clues to where he might have gotten to. We were in his lab looking around when the trap caught me. I was watching Jess trying to figure out some of her dad’s calculations when the floor just opened up from beneath me.

I fell longer than Id have thought possible, all the time feeling like I was twisting and turning. Then it got bright and then I slammed into the ground – though not as though I’d just fallen the thousands of feet it felt like I had, but more like falling from about ten feet. I rolled over and then I saw it – overhead was some sort of vortex, evidently what I’d just fallen out of. I got up and looked around, saw I was in some kinda desert, and then looked back up at the hole in the sky. It was 10-12 feet above me – too high for me to jump. So I looked around and found a place to sit down; after all, the team’d be trying to get me outta this spot, right? At least that’s what I thought.

About ten minutes went by and then a body came crashing outta the thing. Steve had apparently followed me down the rabbit hole. It wasn’t too long before the whole team was crashing down around us, followed by the vortex closing up. So, here we are, in some sort of desert with minimal water and food supplies.

Looks like it’s gonna be another long day.

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Steve Log 5

“What if you could find brand new worlds right here on Earth? Where anything is possible. Same planet, different dimension. I’ve found the gateway.”
Quinn Michael Mallory

Well now we are in over our heads and it is my doing. Let me go back a few days and start from the beginning. We had been back to camp for about a week and me and John were fighting over the coffee. I had managed to find four pounds of the stuff and was rationing it. John got into the stash and started making superbrew. He ran through two pounds in a week. I was fucking insane with anger. If he wasn’t such a good friend I think I might have shot him over it.

During the week I managed to talk to Washington and Gunny and eventually the Old’ Man about my rescue plans. Before I could solidify plans I had to perform guard duty. No big deal, just boring as hell. That is until I heard the artillery in the distance. Within moments the entire camp was exploding with action. The Dinks hit us hard, bringing on three or four of them for every shooter in the camp. Our defenses held strong. We took the brunt of the attack and gave it back to ’em. I saw Washington moving in on a gun emplacement and saw he was going to get killed. I popped up fast and charged, blowing through a magazine and giving him the cover he needed to close with the gun. Then he yanked out a m92 and dropped three dinks with three shots as I moved forward and dropped a grenade into the lap of the gunner. We hit the ground and the gun went up in smoke and flame. I looked out over the carnage and saw Sam was in a tight spot so I went to her aid. Together we dropped two Rippers and then turned onto a pack of Fins. The battle was terrifying and glorious. Pray for war Mutha-Fucker!!! Pray for Fucking War!!!

Following the battle we took in our losses. Three. I don’t know how we did so well but it was like the Old Man had some kind of precognition. We were prepared and the Dinks felt our lead and died by the dozens while we lost three. HUA!!!

I then got to work on assembling the team for our rescue mission. Borman, Bryant, Scott, Cole, Tempus, and myself. Not a bad team at all. We were planning on leaving early and Washington decided to throw a wrench into the plan. He put me and Pete on night watch. During the night Masters came to talk to me. He kept talking about how I had potential. How I could have been somebody, how I had betrayed him by demanding to go on this mission. We exchanged some heated words and I felt he was threatening me so I kicked him in the nads. It felt good to hit him. I never trusted that fraker but now I wanted to kill him. I could feel the blood boiling in my veins. He told me that I was going to be famous. More famous than anyone who ever lived and he did it in a way that made me feel a bit of apprehension, maybe even fear. I decided right then and there, that if I ever saw him apart from the 3rd, I would kill him. I have never planned to murder someone but now I feel I must. This war has changed me. As we came off of watch we departed camp and headed southwest.

Our first day was slow and hard and we decided to crash in a barn. The next two days went fast until we ran into a straggler. A woman named Christina who was some kind of art thief. She fed us and shared some kind of code that she said I should memorize as I would need it one day. She was heading off to NY to rob the Met. In the night she vanished.

The very next day we made it to the cabin outside of Gettysburg where Dr Tempus lived. While searching the deserted cabin we heard noise. A bunch of Nazi’s in a halftrack were coming up the road. Fraking Nazi’s!!! I was feeling like my mind was going to explode. It just didn’t make sense. We argued about what to do but then decided to head up the hill into the woods behind the house. We found a secure spot to hide and me, John, and Pete went back to see what the Nazi’s were up to. We saw the lights in the house come on and the Nazi’s all went inside. As the sun set, Pete and me decided to get a closer look. I low crawled into a spot about 20 yards from the cabin and proved cover for Pete. He snuck right up to the window and looked in. I could tell something was wrong. I stood and ran for the woods. I yanked a grenade off of my vest and threw it through the window. The explosion shook the ground and then the Nazi’s went into action. I hugged the ground and looked for a shot. Two potato mashers came flying out of the cabin and landed next to Pete who didn’t seem to notice. I yelled at him and then rolled away as bullets ripped into the spot where I just was. I heard the blasts and felt the heat. Dirt fell from the sky all over me. Another machine gun burst came closer this time. I pulled a Willie-Pete off of my Tac vests and stood. I pulled the pin and threw it through the window. Bullets pounded around me and I felt a thud into my chest. I charged. No pain, the vest absorbed it. As I hit the edge of the house another bullet thudded into my armor. I fired a round and peeled the face off of one of the Nazi’s. The some giant of a man grabbed me and stuck a knife into my gut. The armor absorbed most of it but the tip made it through and I felt a hot wet sickness in my gut. I jerked back and shot him. Bullets started pounded the wall next to me and I saw the Half Track machine gun was firing in my direction. I dodged around the corner of the house and ran inside. A nazi SS officer shit me as I came in. Again. my armor saved me. I raised the rifle and put the bullet through his fraking monical. I am not sure what else happened. No one else was hit and someone took out the halftrack. We had won.

Sam tended my wound and the guys joked about how I was a bullet cushion. We got to checking out the gear and they were armed with guns made by H&K but these were Schmeissers, a Luger, and even a Kar98. And they appeared more modern than their WWII counterparts. It made no sense. Even the potato mashers didn’t appear right. Pete got on about trying to figure out the electricity. No generator and the meter was dead but the place had power. After a steady search we found a hidden door to the bunker.

The decent was easy and we found Dr. Tempus’s secret lab but no doc. After a search of the lab I found a key fob for a vehicle which I pocketed and an odd remote control. I hit the buttons on the fob and got nothing. Then I tried the big button on the remote control. John fell through the floor. I don’t mean a trap door. The floor turned black and John fell into the black hole. I pocketed the controller and we freaked out. I found a long pointer and inserted it into the blackness. Nothing. Then we made a search for rope but couldn’t find any. Corey found a 20’ length of chain so we used it. Corey held onto the chain and I climbed into the black hole. It was hard. When the pulling began to yank at my feet I lost my grip and fell into the darkness. A long sickening fall that filled me with fear and dread.

I landed in the sand. The sun was out. It was hot. Where the Frak am I?

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John's Log 2
Home-Line Invasion 2

It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage.
Henry Ward Beecher

Looking down into that crater was a bit depressing. The ship looming overhead didn’t help matters, but I didn’t have to look up if I didn’t want to… not that that would get rid of the shadow we were sitting in, but you get the picture. Myers figured there’d be nearly 3000 dinks in the ship against the six of us planning on infiltrating, so that works out to what, 500 to 1 against. Can’t be sure but they might be better odds than we’ve had since this whole thing began.

We waited for it to get dark(er), when my job was to sneak down and do some blade work. I don’t like doing that, it’s a bit up close and personal for me, but if we were even gonna have a chance this beginning bit would have to be quiet. Well I managed to get close enough to kill two sleeping fins, but I had to rush a nearby skinny that was still alert. Obviously I managed it, since I’m writing this log now. Then I climbed up into the dink machinegun and signalled Steve that I was in place. Even though I was waiting for it I never heard the shot. Later I was told he’d shot two dinks before one of ‘em finally noticed. When they did all hell broke loose, so I opened up with the gun I was sitting at. Wasn’t long before the shooting was over… 14 dead dinks but we’d lost Conners. Not a trade in our favor, you ask me.

Next we boarded the ship, using the dink ‘boarding ramp’. At the bottom of the crater the aliens had set up a big disc, about 20m in diameter. You step on it and a few moments later you get lifted up to the ship overhead. Luckily for us there was no welcoming committee; I suppose they’ve gotten a bit overconfident since they’ve been kicking our asses for a year now. We’d arrived in some sort of cargo room, at least based on the number of dink crates around the room. There were lot of big doors around the perimeter, and with no way of determining the way to go, Steve just picked one. Oh, at this point I should say that there were only four of us: Steve had had Corey stick behind to cover our escape route and to protect the stuff we didn’t bring in with us to save on weight. That brought the odds up to 750 to 1, slightly worse but still better than most times (at least I believe).

What followed was a series of passages and rooms that we snuck through when we could, and fought in when we couldn’t. At some point we lost Myers when a fin shot him from behind. My fault really, I should’ve been taking rear guard while Steve took forward; we’re the only two that have had any military training and should have acted as such. I shoulda known he wouldn’t be paying attention to our six.

Eventually we arrived at the prison block; big cathedral-like room with 4 big cells lining each of two walls. The odd thing was the room wasn’t locked down, and there were no guards. Sure the cells were behind some sort of forcefield but it still didn’t feel right that there were no guards. And my fears were soon proved, as a shot from a dink pistol caught Steve in the back. I couldn’t see the attacker, but Steve seemed to as he spun and shot at something. I tried to cover him but didn’t have a target… until Steve hit something. It was just a haze in the air at first, and then a dink energy sword popped into place in mid-air – the fucker was invisible! GREAT, the dinks are like predators – well, at least these new guys are. Steve’s taken to calling them rippers, and I can’t blame him since the one we were facing now cut him up. Somehow Steve got a lucky shot in and took it down, but not before it had managed to gut him but good.

Steve was out of the fight at this point, but he wasn’t dead yet. I did what I could but first aid has never been my strong point, and Jessica knew even less than I did. One of the cells was holding Christine, one of the scouts from Pete’s group. She did know a little about medicine and managed to stabilize Steve, but had to shoot him up with so many pain killers that he was talking about alien nazis before we even left the cell block. (The dinks were holding her gear in the big room there, but none of her weapons; she took Steve’s pistol to use durin gour escape.)

The next few hours became a whole lot of sneaking. We had no doubt the dinks knew we were there, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of them on board. The girls carried Steve between them while I took point – we were moving so slowly that Steve woulda been going crazy if he hadn’t already been delirious. The next big room was another cell block, this one with Pete. This time I was watching for the invisible dink, though, and took it down with an over-charged blast from the pistol I’d picked up, followed by quite a few normal blasts to make sure. Then we got Pete out and started to make our exit; Pete informed us about Mitchel’s death at the hands of the rippers.

Getting out went a lot smoother than getting in – all we had to do was follow the trail of bodies back to the cargo bay. Getting down to ground level took a little doing, but we eventually figured out how to reverse the beam so that we’d be lowered safely. Then we hooked up with Corey and made as much haste as possible getting out of that area. We had to duck a few patrols, but eventually made it back to Father Bob’s neighborhood. They helped us out – at great risk to themselves – and a local doctor managed to get Steve fully stabilized and healed up. That took a little over a week, though, during which I did some looking around and managed to police up a car with some gas for our return to the 3rd.

After that the trip was mostly uneventful, even if we were little cramped in the car. Two days later we were back at base camp and getting debriefed. We’d saved three of the four we been sent to look for, lost two of the four that went out looking for them, and also picked up a new face to add to the survivors. Some grisly mathematician might score that as a ‘+2 points’ to our side, but I figure each loss is one less soul fighting for survival of the race.

Now Steve’s talking about moving on the help Jessica find her father. That’d mean leaving the militia; I don’t like the idea of leaving them with two or more fewer shooters, but he seems to think that Prof. Tempus might be able to help turn the tide in our favor. Apparently some words from Masters seems to enforce this idea – I can’t say as I didn’t hear them. I can say this, though: Jessica backed us up when she didn’t have to, even went into that dink ship with no more reason than saving human lives. I think that kinda bravery deserves some recompense, so I think I’m gonna go take my shot at convincing the Old Man to change his mind.

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Steve's Log 4

“This is some rescue. You came in here, didn’t you have a plan for getting out?”
Princess Leia

The entrance to hell probably seemed more promising than we were looking at. We saw a crater in front of us. About 50 yards into the crater was an alien device that was quite large. Around it was three emplaced guns and more than a dozen dinks. As we observed we also noticed three banshees on patrol that would come and go from time to time. The dinks seemed to be guarding the device, which as we observed, would lift dinks up into the air like an elevator with no box. It seemed the dinks used this as their way, into and off of the ship overhead.

The ship was big, maybe a 1000 feet long, maybe bigger. We figured it must hold at least 3000 dinks inside. A scary proposition for half a dozen people. We worked out a plan of attack. John would try to sneak in close and take out one of the emplaced guns while I would set up to snipe the other positions. He then would turn the gun onto the remainder of the dinks. Finally, once we had them reeling, I would order a charge to clean up the rest.

Things started out good. John got in and took out three or four with his knife. He climbed into the copula and signaled the attack. I took down the second turret and started dropping dinks. Maybe three or four seconds into this, the dinks exploded into action. A group charged me while I saw a skinny with a long gun taking a bead on John. I dropped the skinny and John turned the turret my way and blasted the group on the charge. Somehow I missed on sneaking up on us and he nailed Connors with a needler. Connors went down and exploded moments later. I turned over and shot the fin who made the kill as Myers unloaded into his corpse.

I turned back to cover John as he was diving for cover. A skinny was using a sniping rifle of some sort to take pock shots at him. I shouted and the skinny looked at me. As he turned to shoot I waited. When his gun was just about focused on me I peeled off his head. Stupid fucking skinny should have ducked.

We regrouped and assessed the situation. Connors was dead. I told Corey to hide the body and then to move to a way point about 200 yards from the crater. I told him to take our heavy gear and wait for us until we returned. He grumbled but did as he was told. Then Myers, John, and Jessica joined me for the sickening flight up into the alien ship. As I looked out over the world and felt my stomach turn, I could help but think that this was the last thing I would ever do. I was nearly right.

The size of the ship was immense but resistance was light. We took out squad after squad but never really faced any forces in mass. The new aliens, the big ones, lets call them Rippers, seemed scary. They used Lightsaber and they never seemed to show fear. We killed a couple of them and were feeling good about our success. It was then that a fin snuck in and popped Myers in the back with a plasma bolt. That little fucker ambushed us good. His next shot hit my M21 and blew it in half. John and Jessica opened up but this one was smart and took cover. I threw a plasma grenade but it landed short and nearly fried the team. As everyone took cover I could hear the dink powering up for a power shot. I yanked out my .357 and took aim. As he popped out I shot and took off half of his head. His shot hit the Ripper’s body I was hiding behind and burned me a bit.

What seemed like hours later we found the prison block. While searching it I got shot in the back. I remember falling forward and turning to see a disembodied Lightsaber swinging at me. I dove for cover, drew, and fired. I hit something, a force field maybe. I shot again and dodged another blow. This time I fell to the floor and this time the Lightsaber hit me.

I don’t remember much after that. I had visions of World War One and Captain Kirk and Spock fighting Nazis. I awoke a week later. We had saved Pete and the Girl and were now holed up in an old house. Father Bob provided us with a doctor who got me and the prisoners fixed up. After three or four more days we said our thanks and hit the road. I was still pretty fucked up but we needed to go.

Back at camp we were received as heroes. Seeing Sam brightened my day and getting some real rest with her at my side is doing me worlds of good. Now we need to decide. Stay with the militia, or go off with Jessica and save her father. The smart thing to do is stay with the group but I keep thinking about that strange encounter with The Doctor and his words of warning. I think we have to go for the rescue. Sam is pissed with me for even thinking about going on another mission. I think I will drag her along and keep her safe.

The Dink defense committee

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