ILTC Cold Frontier Episode 18

Episode 18 “Days 18, Part One.”

Featured Survivors

(Group 1: Central Water Heating Building)

Characters: Snow Plough, Deputy Hayes, Tweak, Fa Tsu

Friendlies: Nemo and assorted heating and waste workers (9 in total).

(Group 2: Maintenance Building)

Characters: Dodd, David/Bones

Friendlies: (Group 2.1) Anatoli, Alyona, Dr Mya Ross, Dr Stapes, Mei Tsu.  (Group 2.2) Amelia, Abigail, Fredrik, Berthold. (The Loners) Mayor Winkleman, Lucy and Anyu.

PRE-CREDITS SCENE (continuing from the last episode’s pre-credits scene)

The camera focusses on the landing pad with makeshift perimeter wall and towers, as marines off-load crates from a dropship into a warehouse. Other marines are taking other crates and loading them into trucks. The camera pans around behind the landing pad, where a dirt-track roads leads up to some white stone houses up on a rise above the jungle, where a truck is already travelling. The camera then focusses on Tweak, stood in the sentry tower on the left. He can hear the “We want food!” chant coming from the jungle treeline. The guard in the opposite tower radios Tweak; it is clear that the guard has total distaste for the locals and looks eager for a fight, whilst Tweak most certainly doesn’t want to shoot anybody, which he tells the other guard, who responds “And yet you joined the Corps… good work, genius” and then cuts off the comm chatter. Tweak then hears the projected voice of the LT in the jungle trying to calm the crowd (and failing). The people in the crowd continue to demand food, whilst the LT explains that the food has intended recipients, and they will have to wait their turn. The locals make it clear that the food leftovers won’t be enough to feed them. Someone in the crowd yells “Fuck the Corps!” and others reciprocate, creating a new chant…

Tweak looks in a degree of shock as a swarm of people burst through the trees. “We’ve been overrun!” comes repeated through the comms. A different voice comes through the comms. “What’s going out there?” Tweak stutters, explaining that there are dozens of people approaching. He is then ordered to open fire. Tweak tries to explain they’re barely armed and not dangerous, and he is right, as bricks and sticks seem to be the most dangerous weapons among them. “You have been ordered to open fire, marine!” is the response he gets. The other sentry is opening fire with no encouragement needed. “Better get firing Tweak, before you get a brick to the face!” mocks the other sentry. A brick bounces off of Tweak’s visor. “Told you!” He fires. Tweaks looks on in shock as a teenage boy collapses to the floor with a hole in his chest.

ROLL OPENING CREDITS

The episode opens with Anatoli Demidov and his daughter, Alyona. She is stood by a row of buckets, arms folded, lips formed in an angry pout. “No, I WON’T GO!” she screams at her father. He calmly, at first, explains how there is no toilet, and she needs to go in the bucket like everybody else. She continues to refuse to poop where everybody else has. Anatoli then raises his voice which only causes her to scream more and more. Anatoli gets on the info-link, furiously requesting someone from next door bring one of the many engineers or maintenance workers they are hoarding to fix the toilet problem. Alyona to scream “I don’t want to go! I DON’T WANT TO GO!” In the background.

Hayes asks who Fa Tsu was talking to on the comms and Fa Tsu explains the situation. He points out that going outside is asking for death and makes it clear ‘making a hole’ to go next door is their only option, but no-one else seems particularly keen. This doesn’t seem to stop Fa Tsu’s determination, however. Hayes goes off to the workers to get them to confirm Fa Tsu’s idea is madness to try and stop him making a hole through the wall. Nemo stands over Tweak, sat on his bed, as Nemo gives him an injection. “There you go. Anti-sickness meds, should help you out a little.” Tweak is pale, clammy and sweating. “Have fun” Nemo strides off, with a slight smirk on his face.

Bones approaches Anatoli and his daughter. He grins and says “I can shut up her if you like.” With tempers already high, Anatoli throws a punch at Bones. Bones steps back, catching Anatoli’s wrist.

“Hey, hey, I was just joking!”

“Joking. Joking!!? You threaten to hurt my daughter and you call that JOKING!?” Anatoli screams.

“All right. Okay. I’m sorry”, David responds, releasing the Russian’s arm.

Dodd is sat at the opposite end of the maintenance bay, polishing her pistol. Without looking up from her work she says. “You better shut her up, or I’ll do it for you.”

Anatoli stomps over. “What is it… with you people… threatening to HURT MY DAUGHTER!!? First he threatens to hit her, and YOU threaten to SHOOT her!?”

“Shut up her up. We need to be quiet. Or I will.  Same for you.”

“You’re like a pathetic little brat, sat in your lonely little corner. You don’t know what to do unless you have something ease your itchy little trigger finger!”

Dodd stares up at him. Bones, seeing what is about to happen, moves up behind Anatoli. “I’ll shoot you. Be quiet.”

“If you shoot me, I’ll make sure you die too.”

“Be quiet.”

“You wouldn’t-”

Dodd fires. Bones leaps forward, but is too late. Anatoli collapses against the front of the jeep, looking at the bullet-hole in his chest in disbelief. Then his face turns back to anger. He staggers to his feet.

“I said I’d kill you f-” Dodd fires again. Anatoli collapses. Very dead. Alyona’s screams are far louder now. Dodd goes back to cleaning her guns. Dr Ross, sat in the back of jeep stands up. “Oh my god, are you fucking MAD, Dodd!?” Dodd just looks at her and says ‘sssssh!’ as if nothing untoward has happened. Bones backs away, going over to the vehicle airlock, turning towards it.

Ross radios Bones, talking hushed. “What the hell are you doing, she just murdered somebody else! And you just WALK AWAY!”

Bones says “Don’t worry. Got something in mind.”

“You better have. Since you wanted to prove yourself to Demidov… well, he’s gone, but maybe you can still prove yourself.”

Tweak, having heard the shots, and now able to hear the screams, radios Dr Ross. “Ross, what the hell is going on over there?”

“Dodd just shot dead Demidov, in front of his kid.”

“WHAT?”

“You heard me. Alyona was screaming the place down, Dodd threatened to shoot the kid, so Demidov confronted her… now he’s dead.”

“Ah hell!” Tweak looks at Hayes, Snow Plough and Fa Tsu. “We need to get over there. Now.”

Fa Tsu looks to Snow Plough. “We’re making a hole.” Snow Plough nods.

Amelia, shotgun out, but lowered, approaches Dodd. “What the hell are ye doin’? Ye got most of the guns… I didn’t give them tae yer fae THIS! Ye’re supposed to be one of the sane ones!”

“She needs to be quiet. Or they’ll come” says Dodd, staring at the screaming kid.

“How is firing yer gun, and SHOOTING HER DA, gonna make ANYTHIN’ quiet!?”

“Just… just shut her up”, Dodd insists.

“Ye’re mad. Alla ye” says Amelia, scooping up the screaming child, trying to calm her. She goes to the equipment cupboard, where Berthold, Abi and Fredik are, and shuts the door. Quietly, she tries to sing to the screaming child to keep her quiet.

Mayor stalks into the maintenance bay. He is shaking. He is swinging a kitchen knife back and forward. He looks over at Demidov’s body, and then to Dodd. Crazed fury is sprawled across his face. “You! WHY DO YOU KEEP SHOOTING PEOPLE!? Didn’t you listen to ANYTHING I said!?”

Dodd says “Shhhhhhh! You need to be quiet.”

“Quiet!? QUIET! YOU’RE THE ONE SHOOTIN’ EVERYBODY!” He points his knife in Dodd’s face. She doesn’t seem intimidated. “Weren’t you listening TO WHAT I SAID  A FEW DAYS AGO!? You want to start killin’ people, then you can go OUTSIDE, and die out there!”

She shrugs, looking all to coy. “I’m an Iceworlder. I won’t die out there.”

“Is that what you think? Well how about you go OUT THERE and we’ll see what THEY think about that!” Winkleman storms off, whilst Dodd continues to look unbearably smug. Winkleman climbs into a bed, looking at Lucy and Anyu, who both look at him, mortified. “Just get back into bed girls. And be quiet. Then they won’t come to get you…” Lucy and Anyu look to each other and start to finally come to their senses and get out of bed whilst the mad Mayor hugs the handle of the knife.

Fa Tsu and Snow Plough are working on the south wall, and Tweak joins them, as between the cutting laser, engineering tools and Tweak’s vibro-tools, they are quickly able to cut a hole. Due to his objections from before, Hayes seems entirely unsure and is hanging back, whilst Jeeves comes to help bust open the wall, and Crusher takes up the rear. Snow Plough looks back to Hayes. “Come on Hayes, time for some police work!” Hayes is suddenly buoyed by Snow Plough’s enthusiasm, and prepares him, stood just behind and to the right of Fa Tsu. They bring down the wall. With three of them working on it, the hole is about thirty across. Dodd looks up; a tiny piece of wall with the rail-gun hole running through it is all that stands between her and the hole her former comrades just made as dust billows around her, and the four men step through, with the drones flying above them. Hayes is immediately on the other side of the partially damaged wall, and even with the dust, able to see Dodd as she only five foot from him. Pistol in hand, she looks up. Hayes points his machine pistol. There is a single shot. Fa Tsu looks down as Hayes spins. His visor has been punched through. There is a gaping, bleeding hole where Hayes’s left eye once was. “Ah’m, sorry… sir” he says and collapses. Fa Tsu’s throws up inside his Mech. Bones spins and fires at Dodd, who despite the dust cloud, and Bones’s silenced rifle, fires off into the dust nonetheless. The shot harmlessly pings off of Bones’s battle armour as he fires as well, causing Dodd to drop her pistol at her feet. Tweak hears the shot, but with the size and bulk of the Mech and the dust cloud, has no idea what just happened. He sees a the door of the wall with the small rail-gun hole in it, leading into the maintenance bay, and rushes it. He boots open the door, turns to his right, sights Dodd, and fires the automatic shotgun. Dodd’s empathic instincts continue to aid her and she rolls just as Tweak fires, rolling behind the jeep for cover. Snow Plough steps forward, assault rifle pointed at Dodd. He orders the drones forward on “crowd control mode”, as Crusher loudly intones for Dodd to drop her weapons, whilst whirring the minigun barrels, and Jeeves flexes Ramirez’s former cybernetic arm, popping the blade out, retracting and repeats the process.

Dodd puts her hands up in the air. “Look I didn’t want this. I didn’t mean to.” She looks to the drones, then to Snow Plough. “You need to tell them to be quiet. They’ll come.”

Snow Plough mutes the drones. “Now I want to start dropping your weapons and sliding them across the floor towards me”, he instructs.

Dodd looks at her pistol. “I did.”

“The OTHER weapons.” Before Dodd can respond, Fa Tsu comes charging past. and barges the floating drones aside. Dodd quickly draws her dart rifle and fires… but it’s jammed. Fa Tsu wraps a metallic gauntlet around Dodd’s head, palm resting against the face. He then squeezes. He smashes the back of her head into the nearest wall, lifts her in the air and tosses her against the vehicle airlock shutter. She drops down to the floor, face heavily bruised, nose crushed, still alive, but with a ruined face. Bones drops onto the floor, looking under the jeep… he has a direct shot to Dodd.

“I can make the shot! Sergeant, do I make the shot?”

“Uh… uh…” Snow Plough has no idea what to do or say.

“DO I MAKE THE SHOT!!?” Bones screams down the comms.

Tweak takes the initiative. “She’s surrendered! Do not take the shot, Bones, I repeat do not make the sh-”

Bones fires “RAAAAARGH! That’s for Demidov!” BANG. Dodd looks in distant shock at the bullet hole in her chest. “This is for Hayes!” BANG. He fires again. The second shot kills her.

Tweak barks commands. “Bones, stop, she’s down, I repeat, BONES-”

He fires again. “This is from me!” He shoots Dodd’s corpse. Then he clambers across the back of the jeep.

Tweak continues to yell. “BONES! SHE’S ALREADY DEAD!”

Bones doesn’t listen. He lifts up Dodd’s corpse. “And this….” he slams her already ruined face into the floor “IS FOR ALYONA!” As Dodd’s face strikes the floor, it collapses and Dodd’s body disappears. A pair of mandibles lock around David’s right ankle. “Shi-” his face hits the edge of the tunnel, cutting off his speech, as he is dragged under the broken floor. The jeep starts to tip backwards towards the tunnel. Ross clambers out of the jeep, pulling Stapes with her. “They’re all going to get us killed! We need to get out of here!” She runs with Stapes, as they go for the hole the others created, leading them towards the accommodation next door. Mei scrambles out of the jeep, but falls right next to it. The Mayor comes running out of the bunk room, through the door into the maintenance bay, right next to Tweak. “What’s goin’ on? They’re comin’ aren’t they!” He continues to wave his knife around. And then the floor breaks under him. “THERE YOU ARE!” The worker bites his leg off, and grapples on the stump. “You took my wife! YOU TOOK HER!” he screams as if not noticing that he just lost a leg. He is dragged under the floor, futilely stabbing the creature as he goes. “GIVE ME BACK MY WIFE! WHERE IS SH-” And his screams are cut off. Tweak points his automatic shotgun down the hole, firing repeatedly until all sound from inside the hole stops. Fa Tsu runs to the other hole, releasing a massive gout of fire with the flame thrower. He then climbs over the jeep to get to Mei. “Mei!” Mei looks truly relieved and hugs the leg of the Mech. “I thought you weren’t coming.” “I’m going to get you out of this, Mei.”

Snow Plough climbs up onto the front of the jeep rather pathetically. “They’re coming under the floor get to safety!” He then calms, sat on the front of the jeep away from the floor where they can come through. And the child, in the cupboard, has stopped screaming. Berthold is barricading the door with Abi whilst Amelia keeps Alyona relatively quiet. Fredik is just sat on the floor, shivering uselessly. Tweak keeps his eye on his bug-hole, whilst the jeep in the background continues to tilt backwards. “On second thoughts”, says Snow Plough “Maybe the high ground isn’t the best idea.” He drops off the rising front of the jeep, collapsing onto the floor, as the jeep groans ominously, and the hole under the rear left wheel grows in size.. Jeeves floats down to Plough. “Need a… hand, sir?” it messages to him through his helmet, flexing the fingers. “Quiet, Jeeves!” Snow Plough yells, despite no actual noise being made, and takes the hand anyway, getting to his feet. Fa Tsu clambers onto the back of the jeep and removes the railgun. Ross urges Lucy and Anyu to run to her and Stapes, which they do, as they get into the heating worker’s accommodation, and then argue about what to do next, as escape options seem quite limited. The jeep goes almost entirely vertical as the tunnel continues to expand. Snow Plough runs to the jeep, and cuts open the fuel lines, as fuel starts to pour down the tunnel. “Come on, Jeeves!” He turns to run. Tweak has his back turned however, and has no idea the jeep is about to explode…

Mei climbs onto Fa Tsu’s shoulder after he mags the rail-gun to his back. They watch the jeep disappear down the tunnel. “Time to go” says Fa Tsu, charging past Tweak and Snow Plough, as they get through into the next building, where Ross and the others are debating what to do next. Fa Tsu puts Mei down. “Everybody, keep running!”

“Where?” says Ross. “Nemo isn’t here, which means he’s that way, and near him, we won’t be any safer. But here is hardly…”

Lucy looks at her quizzically. “What does this have to do with Nemo?”

“He’s the Psychic, he’s as likely to kill us as the bugs!”

Lucy is unconvinced. “I thought nobody was the Psychic!”

“Connor wasn’t mad he was right!”

“How do you know that?”Anyu asks.

“He TOLD me!”

“But why would he…?”

Fa Tsu yells “Ross! It’s being handled! Now stop talking, and move!”

“I can’t stop talking, its what I do what I’m nervous…”

Stapes quips “And the rest of the time!”

“MOVE!” Fa Tsu yells. Mei, Lucy and Anyu run on into Central Water Heating. All the other workers have fled into cover in Waste Purification… except for Nemo, who hides in a corner in Central Water Heating. He watches the heating pipes, grinning, eyes occasionally wandering to the bullet in his hand. Ross insists they aren’t going in Nemo’s direction, though Stapes doesn’t seem convinced of her suggestion to use the barricade by the rigged western airlock.

“What if they come in through the airlock behind us?” Stapes complains.

“That’s the white ones… I don’t think we have to worry about those ones any more. And the blue ones come through the floor, so where is good to hide? At least there we have a barricade to hide behind, somewhere solid in front, and behind”, Ross explains. Stapes gives in, and they run for the barricade. And then the entire building shakes, as the explosion detonates underground.  And there is silence. Tweak looks down his hole and listens. There are no more bugs coming… for now…

Bones opens his eyes. Everything is pitch black. He is being dragged along. The sound of ant legs sound like a series of slow methodical picks against the ice. Ice? It is cold. Very cold. Other sounds, some as slow, some faster, echo around him. Bugs skitter past and over him. The odd leg knocks into him. He remains limp as he is dragged along. He carefully and slowly takes a frag grenade and puts it in his mouth, holding onto it. After a few minutes of being dragged, the sound of the ant dragging him sound… below? He is flung downwards as the creature dragging him climbs down a vertical shaft. He slams into its carapace. He feels its spikes press into his armour, but the armour holds. The grenade does not fall, and he manages not to disturb the detonator. He goes purposefully limp, as the creature climbs down the tunnel.

Tweak approaches Ross and Stapes. “Hey Ross, I think we all really fucked up here.”

“We? Whose we? Those marines were the ones who were supposed to protect us… fine job they did. You seem to be the only same one, and you shouldn’t even be doing the job.”

“Well, uh… thanks I guess. What’d do we do now?”

“No idea.” And then Tweak collapses. “Oh great”, says Ross. “At least he’s one we like.” Stapes and Ross grab Tweak’s unconscious body, and haul him over the barricade.

Bones is being carried across a mostly horizontal surface. As he remains limp, he is no longer being dragged along the floor. There are more sounds around him now, the echoes greater in volume, indicating a larger chamber, with a LOT more ants in it. He is dumped down against a wall and then the worker scuttles away. Bones deliberately slumps down against the floor, as he realises the wall behind him isn’t ice or earth, but feels likely, stone, perhaps? As he lies head against the floor, he turns the light onto dim illumination, mostly at the floor. The floor is not ice, earth or stone either… it looks like frozen tarmac. The wall.. the wall is frozen brickwork. And makes out the silhouette of a wrecked, frozen vehicle. He turns his head and sees a human body frozen in ice. He tries to make out more details about the sounds around him, listening carefully to the various creatures skittering around him. Among the sounds, he hears a much heavier picking sound against the tarmac. The sound approaches him. He turns his head, again keeping the light mostly pointed at the floor, to mostly avoid attention. He sees blue legs, about as thick as the width of two relatively slim humans go parallel to him, and stop. A green liquid sprays over Bones’s legs. He spits the grenade into a hand, raising it above the slime as it coats his torso. The massive creature then continues on ahead of him.He turns his head again, watching the twenty foot long creature walk ahead of him. He rolls the grenade towards where its head must be. And then he sees the egg sac at the rear, as it pulsates, releasing larvae into the slime coating him. As the grenade rolls on, it starts beeping. The humongous creature stops. The grenades continues to roll. Bones tears free. He punches a larvae as it snaps him, and runs. The grenade stops rolling. It beeps again. The Queen’s head looks down at it.

Fa Tsu walks over to the equipment cupboard. Snow Plough seems content, despite all the death and madness, after checking that his drones are fine and wanders over to Fa Tsu to see what he is doing. It is pretty quiet in the cupboard. Inside, Berhold has wedged a broom from the door handle, and then he and Abi have moved shelving in front of the door. Fredrik looks up to Berthold. He is still clammy and shivering immensely. “Berthold… I need a fix man… ”

“Shut up, already!” Berthold hisses at him. Abi and Amelia are softly singing to Alyona, who is quietly sobbing, clinging onto Amelia. And then Fa Tsu knocks on the wall. “FA TSU!” she calls to him, immediately.

“Oh nice one, Fa Tsu! We had ‘er quiet!”Amelia yells through the wall.

“I was just checking if she was okay!” Fa Tsu call backs.

“She WAS, and now ye gone and set ‘er off again! Go away!”

“No, I’m not leaving without her!” Fa calls back.

“Fa Tsu, Daddy’s dead. I WANT MOMMY!” Alyona screams.

“GO!” Amelia calls, and Alyona screams even louder. Fa Tsu tries to calm her, and Alyona just gets more hysterical, asking him to get her Mommy.

Berthold gets angry. “Fa Tsu, get the hell away from the door! You aren’t coming in!”

“Oh really? Because the big Mech I’m in says otherwise!”

Amelia gets cross herself. “Fa Tsu! If ye go bustin’ through tha door, ye’re only gonna make muir noise, and her muir scared!”

Fa Tsu tries to calm himself, and makes more attempts to calm Alyona, but nothing he says works. She screams louder and louder. Amelia and Abigail hold her together, bouncing her up and down trying to calm her. She continues to scream. Fredik watches on in terror, as cracks starts to form under the two women and the six year old. “Oh, god,  I need my juice… I need my juice!” The camera zooms in, showing his arms, where there track marks. The cracks grow in size and number. “I need my juice!”

End of episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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