ILTC Cold Frontier Episode 16

Episode 16: “Day 12 (Part 3)/Day 13.”

Featured characters: Snow Plough, Deputy Hayes, Dodd, Tweak, Nemo, Fa Tsu.

Prominent Friendies: Connor Bull, Carl Bull, Dr Ross, Dr Stapes, Amelia, Anatoli Demidov.

Pre-credits scene

Continuing from the last episode’s pre-credit’s scene, the Ice Miners are packing up their equipment as Mac booms at them to their gear in the trucks. One of the miners is either not listening or deliberately ignoring Mac as he continues to lase into the ice. “Come on, I said get a move on!” Mac yells at the miner, striding up to Dodd, just guard at the side of a lorry. Cracks starts to run through the ice under the miner’s feet, which no-one seems to have noticed. “Just gimme a sec, chief!” the miner calls back. The camera cuts inside the nearest lorry, as Carl Bull peers up behind the driver’s seat, watching events from outside. He hears Mac continue to bawl at the miner. Mac then turns away and starts yelling at the other miners. Carl sees cracks open up further in the ice. He moves back suddenly. The miner disappears under the ice. “Shiiiiiiiiit!” Carl push the door of the lorry open. Mac spins back to Carl: “What the hell are you…?” “Look out!” Carl screams as cracks run through the ice towards Mac. Mac turns. Dodd steps in the way, rifle out. A Blue Razor Ant smashes through the surface of the ice and leaps at Dodd, ramming its mandibles through her visor and right into her eyes. “Shit!” Mac calls as he grabs the creature, tears it from Dodd and tosses it back into the ice. He grabs Dodd’s now unconscious body and hauls it into the back of the lorry. Other people are screaming in the background. “Kid, you know how to drive a truck?” “I’m just a…” “DO YOU!!?” Carl gulps and nods. “Then get her out of here!” Mac runs for the big land train. Ahead of him, a miner runs as a White Ant comes out of the tunnel into the mountains, pierces his mandibles through the miner’s chest, turns and carries him off to the tunnel. The camera shows each legs striking the ice and cracking it like a series of picks. Other miners are being pulled through the ice. A van half collapses into the ice. Carl guns the engine and drives. “Shit, shit, shiiiiiiiiiit…” Mac throws himself into the front of the land train and slaps his seat-belt on. The ice bursts open in front of the vehicle. The back of the land train tilts backwards as it is slowly and partially put into the ice as Mac fails to get it moving. A Blue Ant hurls itself through the windscreen, punching a mandible into each shoulder. Screaming, Mac is torn out of the seat and vanishes under the glacier. There are two holes left punched into the leather seats, just as the marines found back in Episode 1. Carl meanwhile guns it for the lift out of the glacier, and Frost.

The opening credits roll…

Darkness. A gun-shot. A second gun-shot. Connor Bull staggers back, clutching a bullet wound in his shoulder as blood gushes from it. His eyes blink in disbelief. He looks over to Dodd who has her sniper rifle magged onto one shoulder and has her pistol in the other hand, barrel smoking, pointing at Connor. “It wasn’t me… I didn’t pull the trigger…” Dodd squints at him. She mags her pistol and then brings her rifle into both hands. He gestures over at Nemo. “It’s him! I told you! Carl told you! He’s the TK!” “Oh fuck off!” Nemo says. Dodd sweeps the rifle left and right towards Stapes, Nemo, Dr Ross and Mei all together, squinting her eyes, trying to determine culprit. In the background, Amelia has her shotgun out. Carl stands to the left of his father, watching everyone. Behind Carl, David lies unmoving on the floor, the only one who erected the barrier and got electrocuted and had armour on at the time. Dodd lowers a rifle a little, unable to determine who the culprit. Connor’s is still raised, however. He is furious. “Come on, own up!” The rifles fires. Nemo staggers back. “He shot me! He fucking shot me! He’s nuts” Connor blanches. “It wasn’t me! I didn’t fire the trigger! I’M TELLING YOU SOMEONE IS A TK!” Mya strides forward. “And you were sure it was Nemo. And clearly, it isn’t. Put the gun down.” Connor is clearly losing his mind. “Well, if it isn’t him, ITS’S ONE OF YOU!” “You can’t prove that. You’re losing it Connor jus-” “Maybe its you, Ross! WHY ELSE WOULD YOU BE TRYING TO STOP ME!?” He points his rifle at Ross. “Of course it isn’t me!” “YOU’RE FLYING!” His finger goes for the trigger.

“Dad no!” A shot fires. Ross is thrown onto the front of the jeep. “CARRRRRRL!” Carl Bull lies in front of his father. Shot through the neck. Dead. Ross watches in horror. “You’re fucking nuts!” There is another blast… one of a shotgun. Connor drops to his knees. Shotgun shell fragments are stuck in his back. He scoops up his dead son. “CARRRRRL!” Amelia steps forward, shotgun barrel smoking. “AW’ RIGHT, THAT’S IT, NAE MORE! THERE AIN’T NO TELEKINETIC! THIS IS INSANE! -WE’RE- KEEPING THE GUNS FROM NAE ON!” she says looking at Dodd, removing Connor’s guns from him, magging them to Dodd’s armour. Connor looks over to Dodd, telling her how he didn’t mean to do what he did, telling her the Psychic is real, that she needs to help. But Dodd responds with her usual stoic silence. “HE SAVED YOUR LIFE, DAMN IT” Connor screams. But no-one helps. Ross runs over to Stapes and helps him with Nemo. Connor sobs over his son’s dead body, whilst blood streams from his own wounds.

Snow Plough looks down at the Razor Ants now aflame, still alive. Then he looks to Yeti’s dead body. He drops the flame thrower, runs over to Yeti and shakes him “Come on, man!” But Yeti is clearly dead. Hayes just blinks in shock at the situation. Fa Tsu steps over the grate, looking down at the Ants climbing towards him and cuts loose with the laser, tearing the first two apart with mad glee, knocking the others down to the bottom, creating a flaming pile of living and dead razor ants. Tweak, having got all the workers safely into Waste Purification, runs over to help. Snow Plough is screaming incoherently, holding onto Yeti. Hayes is turned towards Fa Tsu, keeping his pistol ready, trying to concentrate on the threat. Snow Plough lunges at Hayes, continuing to scream. Hayes turns. He fires. Snow Plough falls back. Hayes looks at his gun in incomprehension. “Oh god… oh no…”

“You SHOT me!” Snow Plough screams. The shot has torn through his visor, and he has a bullet embedded in his forehead. “Ah’m… ah’m…” Hayes cannot give a logical response. Jeeves then flies over “MASTER ENDANGERED. DEFENDING!” The support drone wrestles the gun out of Hayes hands, sending it tumbling to the floor. Crusher rotates its barrels, pointing them at Hayes, but Snow Plough remotely deactivates it. “Good work, Jeeves!” Tweak is caught between utter horror and disbelief. “I can’t believe… you call yourselves marine corps! You’re a mess… a disgrace… I just can’t believe… we need to concentrate on the enemy, not fighting each other!” Jeeves is not lunging at Hayes with his cybernetic arm, trying to grab him. Tweak quickly disables the arm by removing some wires. Jeeves continues trying to attack Hayes however, bumping into Hayes, causing no harm. Tweak then passes Hayes his gun and then points his automatic shotgun down at the bugs. The living Ants tears they way through the corpses, but do little else other than flail wildly, as they are still aflame. Fa Tsu continues to grin manically, magging the flame thrower to one arm and then torching the chute. He then welds the grate shut with his cutting laser. Further sounds of bugs fighting can be heard, but they come no closer. Fa Tsu then calms, surveying the scene. “Hey Ross, we need your help in here!”

“My help? MY HELP! You’re supposed to be the MARINES and you left us here with gun wielding MAD PEOPLE! Nemo’s been shot! Dodd just murdered a bunch of people and now has all the guns! The Deputy just killed his own DAMN SON and you want MY help?” Ross screams down the comms. “Okay, okay Ross, callllm dowwwwwn!” Fa Tsu says. “CALM… calm… FUCK OFF FA TSU!” she cuts off the comms. Fa Tsu looks over to the injured Snow Plough. “Looks like you’re on your own…” Snow Plough picks himself up and deliriously states he just needs to lie down, and goes to grab one of the technician’s bunks. Ross continues to rant and scream at pretty much everyone. She starts twitching, unable to coherently express her rage. “I can’t… just…” She vanishes out into the vehicle airlock. Nemo follows after her. Fa Tsu broadcasts “guuuuuuuuuuuuys, I have an idea!” to those who will listen over the comms. His idea is to breach some of the waste pipes into the heating pipes, to fill the bug tunnels with “steaming shit!” but Tweak is the only one really listening, and immediately questions the logic of his idea due to the planet’s freezing temperatures. Snow Plough collapses into bed, and at the news of hearing of Carl’s death at the hands of his own father, Hayes is in a near catatonic state. With no-one else willing to support him with his plan (after he goes into great enthusiastic length trying to sell it to people), Fa Tsu decides to get out of the Mech and rest, staying in the accommodation for heating and waste management workers, rather than going back outside.

Nemo and Ross come back into the maintenance building. Anatoli Demidov approaches the jeep, geared up in his environment suit, with his chainsaw and mining laser and other equipment, carrying his daughter, in a child-sized environment suit. “You’re all insane” he says, looking to Amelia, Connr and Dodd in particular. “I’d rather brave going out there than keeping my daughter here. There are others at the hydroelectric plant. I’ll take my chances at the plant.” He climbs into the jeep with his daughter. Nemo looks knowingly at Ross, then to the jeep. Demidov curses, as the engines fails to start. Nemo grins. “Looks like you are stuck with us.” Demidov grumbles, choosing to stay inside the jeep, nonetheless.

Time passes on. “Times Like These” (by the Foo Fighters) plays in the background (deliberately in an ironic sense) as Connor clings onto his dead hero of a son, bleeding to death himself, Ross stands over David, who is lying in bed, breathing, with some electric burns tracing his skin following where the segments of his armour presses down on the skin, the Mayor seems to have gone near-catatonic, sat on a mattress and Demidov and Stapes carry out the dead of Carl Bull, lying him next to Connor, who has also died from his wounds. Hayes sits, shaking and Fa Tsu strips off his clothes, and climbs into bed with the injured Snow Plough to give him warmth, wrapping his arms around him, whilst Snow Plough sleeps.

Events cut ahead to Day 13.

Nemo decides to head next door, after the others radio again for medical aid, and Ross lets them know how much she cares about their supposed guardians who have once again left people to die, (as far as she is concerned). He steps into the airlock. As the door raises, he checks outside. The snow is cascading down still, giving about 20ft of visibility. It seems quiet. He runs across the snow. As he runs, Blue Razor Ant Soldiers burst out of the snow behind him, one after the other. But he gets to the next airlock, slams the button and runs inside. There is a constant clanging on the airlock behind him. Tweak, Hayes, Fa Tsu and Snow Plough (all borrowing bunks from workers already presumably keeping machines maintained) awaken. “They’re coming”, says Snow Plough. Nemo manages to remove the bullet from Snow Plough’s head and spray the wound with flesh sealant. Snow Plough sets Jeeves to work on using the metal bunk frames to create a barricade by the wall next to and in front of the western airlock, which Hayes assists with. Snow Plough rigs the airlock door to turn it into a death-trap. Fa Tsu tells Dodd that more ants are on their way. When asked where they are coming from by Hayes, Fa Tsu shows him the motion tracker readings, saying “Everywhere!” Which seems accurate to the readings, as a mass of red blips covers the entire radius, indicating they are either in the air, underground or both, around the human-occupied buildings. Hayes blanches when he sees the truth and works more frantically to erect a barricade. Fa Tsu listens out to try and work out where they are coming from; hearing no sounds against the eastern airlock, he decides to stand guard there. Tweak takes the team of waste and heating technicians and they weld shut and barricade the door in between central water heating and waste purification, keeping everyone on the water heating side.

In the maintenance building, Amelia keeps her gun trained on the eastern airlock, whilst the bar’s chef Berthold, something of a bear of a man, helps Ross carry bunk frames to make a barricade in front of that airlock. Demidov sits up in the rail-gun seat of Maisy, but doesn’t touch the rail-gun. He takes out his laser, pointing it to the western vehicle airlock. Stapes meanwhile is working on the airlock’s wiring to create a similar trap to Snow Plough. Dodd grabs some maintenance equipment and starts welding the bed frames already ready half-fused to the floor over the bug tunnel. Then, they wait.

A Workers tears its way through the outer airlock door of Central Water Heating. Snow Plough, Hayes and Nemo clamber over the barricade. The inner door opens as the bug comes forward. It slams down, tearing off the mandibles. Snow Plough picks up a mandible. “Got one!” He waits for more to come, but nothing does. They hear the sound of the Ant corpse being dragged off. “Well, good show. Tea, anyone?”

Roll end credits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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