ILTC Cold Frontier Episode 19

Episode 19 “Days 18 Part Two, Day 19.”

Featured Survivors

Characters: Snow Plough, Fa Tsu, Bones, Mei (played the former player of Hayes)

Friendlies: Nemo and assorted heating and waste workers (9 in total), Alyona, Dr Mya Ross, Dr Stapes, Mei Tsu, Abigail, Fredrik, Berthold, Lucy, Anyu, Nick Ryan.

PRE-CREDITS SCENE

The episode opens with the same jungle planet seen in the last few episodes. The camera casts above the civilian raid on the landing pad. The sentry on the right is being a little over-enthusiastic as he guns down poorly armed civilians. Tweak is just quivering, unable to fire. Despite their almost total lack of equipment, with sheer numbers, the civvies are overpowering the marines. The camera cuts to the jungle where the marines have been completely broken and the military being surrounded and beaten to the floor. “We’re being overrun!” crackles across the comms.  The camera cuts to a treetop overlooking the settlement of huts and rope bridges, cutting to the perspective of a helmet’s HUD. The heart rate of the helmet wearer is hammering. In the top right corner of the HUD, it says ‘Bones.’ “You have the go!” blurts from his comms system. He leaps from the tree, looking straight down as the first person perspective follows his boots. “We’re under att-” the nearest civilian tries to yell before instantly gunned down by a silenced shot. More people come running to investigate the shout, crude weapons in hand. One person goes down. Then another person. And another. He climbs up a ladder. “Someone’s coming! Get the Mayor out of here!” Bones sees a man waving two people on as they run across another bridge. The man charges bones with a crowbar and is blasted off the bridge. Bones charges on, seeing the two other people. One turns and is shot. The other man, completely unarmed, stops running and raises up his hands. “Don’t kill me pl-” Bones shoots him in the chest.

OPENING CREDITS ROLL

“Day 18, Part Two.”

The roar of the Queen echoes in the darkness. Bones turns his helmet-light up to full magnitude. The Queen’s body quivers as his roars. It starts to turn round. He turns and runs. Hisses, shrieks and clattering sounds echo around him. He glances up and catches shapes moving on the ceiling. And then they start to drop all around him. He looks to his left and sees the Mayor, covered in blue liquid, stuck to the floor, with larvae chewing on his torso. His legs, however, are stuck to the wall, with their own nest of larvae. He carries on running, seeing the lumbering forms of workers closing him, and more of the smaller, leaping, dropping creatures coming for him. He comes to a halt before a vertical ice tunnel. He turns back. The Queen opens up her six, curved, serrated mandibles and lets rip another screech as it stomps forward. Shrapnel fragments are embedded in her mandibles and around her head. Bones stick up his middle finger and jumps, feet first, down the hole.

Amelia and Abigail bounce Alyona up and down as she continues to scream her lungs out. Fredik looks at the cracks in the floor underneath them, and mumbles in stupefaction and terror. Berthold is holding the barricaded door. Then he turns to Fredik. “Fredrik will y-” then the burly Iceworlder notices the cracks. “Damn you Fredrik, why didn’t yo- AMELIA, THE FLOOR!” Amelia looks down. “Ah, hell! Sis, move!” Abi scoops up Alyona, and she and her sister move towards the door. “We need to get the barricade down!” she yells at Berthold.

“But if we go out there, they could kill us!” Berthold tries to argue.

“And if we stay in here, the bugs’ll come through thae floor! And besides… we don’t go out through thae door, then Fa Tsu’s comin’ through tha’ wall! Come on!” Berthold nods, and with feisty ex-landladies help, they quickly take down the barricade. Meanwhile, Fredrik is watching the floor. No more cracks have appeared. Nothing has burst through the floor. “They’re not coming… why are they not coming?” With that, the song “Trapped Under Ice” begins to play. The camera heads into the tunnel below, as Soldier ants race towards the sound of the Queen’s echoing roar. The camera whizzes through tunnel after, as legions of bugs head downward. Bones has a maddened grin on his face as he drops down a seemingly endless shaft. He tries to dig his gauntleted fingers into the walls of the shaft to slow himself, but he continues to plummet into darkness nonetheless. Ice becomes rock. And then the chute curves and he flies out of the end of it. He is spun round and one ankle cracks against a wall. He grunts in agony, maintaining consciousness, as with difficult, he pulls himself to his feet. He hears the Queen’s roar; more distant now, but still audible. More pressingly, he hears the echo of skittering legs, coming down towards him. He looks ahead. He has left the ice, and is surrounded by rock. Tunnels veer off into walls, ceiling and floor at various angles, but otherwise, he seems to be in an open cavern. Looking up to where the noises emanate one more time, he heads off into the darkness.

The maintenance cupboard door opens and Amelia strides through, closely followed by Abi and Alyona, Berthold and a quivering Fredrik. Fa Tsu, with Snow Plough stood at his side, smiles warmly at the sight of Aloyna, despite the fact that she is still screaming. He opens up the front of his Mech and Abi passes the child over. “Fa Tsu, help me find Mummy!” she wails as she clings onto her guardian. He just lets her cry, as he turns the Mech round. “Where d’we go now?” Amelia asks. “Back to the others”, Snow Plough says, this way. They go through the broken wall from Maintenance into the Heating and Waste workers accommodation, where Doctors Ross and Stapes are behind the barricade by the western airlock, with Tweak, unconscious, up against a wall. Ross points her pistol at Snow Plough and then says “Oh, its you.” Snow Plough and the others continue on through the door into central water heating. Snow Plough asks Ross and Stapes if they are joining them, but Ross makes it clear they are taking their chances where they are. Snow Plough instructs the others to grab mattresses (as all the bunk frames are being used for barricades) and they haul the mattresses into Central Water Heating, and close the door behind them. When asked about a barricade, Snow Plough declines. “They come through the floor, anyway.” As Fa Tsu walks in, Mei runs over to him, tears streaking down her face as all of the events of the last few weeks coming rushing upon her. She embraces her cousin, still with Alyona clinging onto him.

“Day 19.”

Bones HUD shows his heart-beat is racing. The camera moves behind him, to show that his limping gait remains ever-present. He stops and sits down against a wall. He grabs his ankle and twists. There is a snap. His face shows absolute agony, but he grimaces in place of a scream. Things fade to black. There is still the echo of scuttling and shrieks. He gets to his feet. And does his best to run.

None of the survivors above has slept, between the noises of the pipes, boilers and water purifiers all around them. Steam emits from pipes. The room is intensely hot. It is a factory area, not designed for habitation. Various people lie on mattresses, but those who are unconscious are not so due to sleep. Everyone’s faces are slick with sweat. Some are utterly pale and clammy. The sickness from a few days ago has spread among nearly everyone. There is constant coughing and the sounds of people throwing up in the background. There has been no drinkable water for days, and nothing but plants to chew on. The doors to Waste Purification were destroyed, and so a stench, though less of one, still hangs in the air, including from the excrement piled into the maintenance shafts. Most people are semi-conscious at best, and at least half of the number of remaining survivors are unconscious. There are twenty people crammed into a building where five people work at any one time, and most of the floor space is taken up by piping, three large ice grinding units and the two massive water boilers (one with five sizeable curving pipes that lead into the floor and another with four that do the same and three more leading along the floor to the ice grinders). The nine workers are sat in almost a pile of people right near the opening into Waste Management; most of them are unconscious and most of the waking ones are either throwing up or in a dazed fever. Anyu sits with Lucy, last of the Food Storage workers other than Tweak and Nemo (and Bones, but everyone thinks he is dead). Lucy is unconscious and Anyu is cradling her. “Come on, don’t die… why it is every time I reach out to someone, they die?” she whispers to no-one in particular. Nemo is sat in the north-east corner by the airlock, and Fa Tsu is sat near him, watching him like an eagle. Mei sits next to Fa Tsu, cradling Alyona. She sings softly and quietly to the child, in a beautiful voice, singling in Chinese. Alyona is unmoving in her arms, face pale, beaded with cold sweat. The four bar staff cluster along the eastern wall. Fredrik is still pale and shivering. Abigail is unconscious, lying against her big sister Amelia’s shoulder. Snow Plough, meanwhile, is in the centre of the chamber, in between the two boilers, with a halo of drones around him. He has fitted the ‘steam gun’ he created onto Blinky, the recon drone; the gun looks similar to an old school flame thrower in design, with large water canisters at the rear, an internal boiler system with a series of tubing at several places and the ‘barrel’ to release the steam.

Amelia tries to wake Abigail, but she isn’t responding. Amelia checks Abi’s pulse at the side of her neck. “She ain’t breathin’, someone help me!” Nemo comes over, but cannot revive her. Amelia holds back her tears and sits next to her sister, holding her dead body in a constant embrace. Nemo returns to his corner.

Bones continues moving. An hour has passed. There are no more sounds of pursuit. Its just him. From his HUD readings, the external temperature is far higher than it was, extremely in fact, on a tropical level. He raises his visor, gags at the close, humid air, and lowers it again. Time passes on another hour. As he continues to explore, there are tunnels everywhere at various angles, some straight down, some straight up, some on the horizontal, tunnels straight and curved. He draws his grapple gun, his only weapon other than some grenades and a garotte wire. He fires the grapple gun up a vertical shaft. The grapple easily sets into the soft stone. He fires it to its full length, but there is no ledge: he rappels up 100ft, but the tunnel continues on. He has his head-light on full intensity, giving him 50ft visibility, and he is unable to see where the tunnel ends. He drops back down to the bottom of the shaft, eyes his various routes, sighs, and continues on.

Fredrik approaches Fa Tsu, still sat next to his cousin, with Alyona. “Hey Fa Tsu, I was wondering if you could, you know… if you knew where uh… Chang kept any of his stuff…”

Fa Tsu does not seem happy about that question. “I know he had some… and…” Fredik stops when he sees Fa Tsu’s withering glare.

Fa Tsu clears his throat, keeping his voice low, but intimidating. “Fredrik; who is here?” Fredrik is very flustered.

“What? The kid? She’s asleep, and I just said ‘stuff’ I didn’t say…”

Berthold stomps over and grabs Fredrik. “What the hell are you doing, kid?”

“Well… uh… since you weren’t tell me… where the stash is…”

“What are you even talking about?” the large chef roars.

“You know! Stop lying… I know you and Chang were…”

“Fredrik” says Fa Tsu, icily. “Go away.” Fredrik complies… looking even more terrified than before.

Snow Plough looks around at the spreading sickness and decides to go and get medical help. He exits Central Water Heating and goes into the accommodation area. He passes from extreme heat to incredibly cold, due to the hole in the wall leading to the compromised Maintenance building with several holes in the floor. Stapes and Ross are both heavily wrapped up in clothing as they sit behind their barricade. Tweak is unconscious, with his armour removed, and yet still sweating profusely, despite the intense cold.

“Hello Ross! How are you?” Snow Plough’s hello is as nervously over-enthusiastic as standard.

“Oh just fine, Snow Plough, as you can see.” Ross doesn’t seem exactly pleased to him.

“Well, at least its cooler in here!” Snow Plough is still trying to be pleasant, but it is clearly forced.

“Well yes, thanks to all the holes in the floors and the wall.” Her tone is dripping with icy sarcasm, as usual. “What do you want, Snow Plough?”

“Well, um, would you mind coming and… doing some doctoring?”

“I’ve TOLD YOU I’m a god-damned biologist.”

“Yes, I know but… uh… we need your help. People are getting sick.”

“People are getting sick because some genius decided to blow up the walls and floors and, when people were already getting ill from lack of sanitation, that genius then decided to put everyone in the same room which definitely isn’t designed for human habitation. The illness is already spreading, and there isn’t much I can do on my own. So fuck off, Snow Plough.”

“Don’t be a coward, Ross!” Snow Ploughs yells.

“Hah! That’s rich, coming from the man who gets his drones to do all his dirty work. Oh that reminds me… how -is- your ammo count?” She leans over, and sees the computer display says ‘200’. Full ammo. “Still not a shot. Thought so.”

“Fine! Fine, I’ll just have to sort it MYSELF!” and he storms off back where he came.

Stapes puts a hand on Ross’s shoulder. “Look, you can’t leave those people to die in there.”

“Leave them to… look, I’m not a medical doctor, and you know it!”

“You’re a BIOLOGIST! They’re sick. People with BIOLOGIES. Its exactly your field, certainly when compared to me. I’m the one whose not a doctor. And you’re the one who can’t get sick. So don’t let me have to go in there instead.”

“Fine!” Ross is not remotely happy, but does as encouraged. Snow Plough turns, and looks genuinely shocked to see Ross enter. She doesn’t say a word to him, and immediately goes to help Anyu with Lucy.

Fa Tsu gets one of the conscious heating workers to show him how to deactivate the heated pipes to cool the building down, and asks how ice and snow are converted into water. He then checks his motion tracker. There are no blips on it other than those in the building. All seems to be clear. He grabs a piece of sheet metal and bends it into shape. He then opens the airlock and heads inside. He opens the outer door. The sun is out, the day is crisp and clear. And quiet. Without leaving the airlock, he scoops snow with the metal, and starts bringing it inside in shifts. Under instruction, he pours the snow into the machines that usually convert ice into purified drinking water and gets the process under way. Mei continues to sit with Alyona, singing away, seeming bolstered by it. Snow Plough feeling accomplished, approaches Nemo, and asks if he can help out tending to the sick. “You did such a good job with my head, old chap, I wondered if you could do the same for these good people.” Nemo says “I’ll see what I can do”, and sets off checking over the ill. Fa Tsu, during his snow shifts, notices the conversation and continues to eyeball Nemo. This prompts him to contact Snow Plough on a private comms channel. He tells Snow Plough straight out that Nemo has ‘mind-shit.’ Snow Plough seems unconcerned, pointing out that that isn’t ‘that bad’, too which Fa Tsu responds “It is when you use your powers to give someone a stroke.” Snow Plough laughs off the notion of Nemo being a Psychic, pointing out how he has been such a nice chap and is helping people out even as they speak.

“Yeahhhhh, that’s just what he wants you to think. Oh look at me, I’m helping you, I wouldn’t possibly kill anybody. Look Hayes, warned me about him.” Fa Tsu continues to try to get Snow Plough onside.

“Oh PAH! Hayes! The same Hayes who SHOT ME IN THE HEAD, may I remind you!” Snow Plough tersely points out.

“Hayes might have been an idiot, but he was right on something. Look, he sent me this message secretly, so there must have been a reason.”

“Have you got any evidence? HARD evidence.”

“Well no…”

“Well, unless you have evidence he is a Psychic, there is nothing I can do.”

“We both keep an eye on him, that’s all I am asking”, Fa Tsu responds.

“Finnnne” Snow Plough sighs. “I’ll have Jeeves keep an eye on him.” Snow Plough privately messages Jeeves to watch Nemo. Not being remotely programmed or designed for stealth, Jeeves is hardly subtle about it. The drone floats over to Nemo. “Hello Nemo, do you need a HAND?” Jeeves flexes his cybernetic hand, as he does. Nemo chuckles and declines the offer. “Tools?” Jeeves extracts the engineering tools. Nemo informs the drone that those aren’t medical tools. The drone hovers upwards, and continues to watch Nemo as he makes his rounds, giving people anti-sickness meds. There doesn’t seem anything sinister about it at all.

The heat outside Bones’s suit continues to increase as he heads on. He decides in a change of direction, now his pursuers are entirely gone (presumably dissuaded by the heat). He decides to take one of the ceiling tunnels that arcs round, rather than a straight chute. He manages to easily climb the wall, as the stone is relatively soft and proceeds to crawl through the tunnel. After some time, he finds some tracks. But these are not bug tracks, or at least, not matching the form of any of the bugs he has seen, though the tracks still seem to indicate six legs, so possibly indicates a different species. There appear to be four fore-limbs, each with four digits, and two long rear-limbs, with a three digit arrangement. He looks over the tracks with interest. He tries to place his hands over the forelimb prints. The shape seems similar to hand prints, with one less digit, but the digits seem much longer and wider apart than his, and the spacing indicates either longer limbs or broader soldiers than him, as well as a greater length or height. He starts musing to himself out loud. “Its a different species” he says in awe. He looks back behind him, and then ahead. The tracks are going in the direction he was going, where the heat increases. “They must be enemies… perhaps. If I can just convince them we’re on the same side. Maybe if I get back to the Queen’s chamber… kill one of them, bringing them back. They’ll see we’re on the same side.” He decides to go back the way he came.

Snow Plough, still not convinced that Nemo is remotely untrustworthy, approaches the man once he has finished giving someone medical attention. Nemo happily gives him some meds to help with his slight nausea and fever. Snow Plough decides to try and drum up some conversation to try and gauge any specifics about him.

“So, Nemo, where were you before you came to Frost?” Snow Plough asks.

“Oh, here and there.”

“Ohhhh, here and there. Where were you last?”

“Travelled around a lot. Didn’t stay in the same place for long.” As Nemo explains, Snow Plough’s eyebrows raise, but Nemo continues. “You know, a lot of ship-work. Loading and unloading deliveries to different planets.” Nemo then zips off to help the sick, leaving Snow Plough feeling a little suspicion. He then notices the other medic, Ross. There isn’t a person in the room who doesn’t at least look a little sick… except for Ross. But then she has been outside of the room with Stapes, who also seemed fine. He decides to get to the bottom of this, and heads out to talk to Stapes.

“Hello Snapes.”

“Its Stapes. There is a T in it.”

“Of course Snapes… oh damn, why do I keep saying that!”

“For goodness sake, just call me Eric” says the Doctor, looking already like he has had enough of Snow Plough.

“Tea, Snapes?” Plough asks cheerfully.

“We have no tea, Snow Plough” Stapes say, in a tone that implies that Snow Plough should really know that.

“Ah. Well, never mind. So, Sn- Stapes, what -is- a man with your particular skill-set doing on a planet like this? With your skills with cybernetics, it seems a little… unusual.”

“Not really. Max had a cybernetic hand, McClusky, a cybernetic arm. They need maintenance.”

“Well yes, but it seems like… aren’t their better places a man with your skills could go?”

Stapes sniggers. “Better? Fentington, this is a colony for ICE MINING. That means a lot of lost body parts to need replacing. What better place could there be for me?”

“Yes, I suppose but, surely there are nicer, better paid places.” Snow Plough insists on pressing the issue.

“What? Between picking a boiling hot jungle planet, or a Deathworld or another ice-ball you mean?” Stapes, as sarcastic as his fellow doctor, continues in form.

“What about the Corps! Surely you’d be better placed in a science division. Perhaps when we get off-world, you should join me in the Corps.”

“Hah? Me? The Corps. I’m afraid not. I can find my own employment.”

Snow Plough looks entirely frustrated. “Look, Stapes, I know something is going on between you and Ross, so just tell me what is going on!”

“Oh, you want secrets. Well, there’s plenty of those around here, I’m sure everyone has them. Well, except you. Your… unusual… feelings towards your machines are more than obvious”, Stapes mocks. Snow Plough twitches awkwardly at that. “But secrets yes, I know a few. OH, of course, did you know your very own former Sergeant was a Corps Command Operative, that’s a fun one!” Snow Plough blanches. “Of course, that could mean many things. Maybe he was sent to make sure one of you got bumped off. Since one of you died before he did, and you’re the last one left, I’d say he did pretty well at that. Of course there’s many other things they might send one of their inquisitors, or interrogators or what have you to deal with.”

“Are you saying he was sent to kill me!?”

“Oh no, there are many other reasons he could have been here… which means, if anybody comes for us, I wouldn’t expect a welcome reception”, Stapes continues on in some delight, having the upper hand. “No, if you’re worried about people trying to kill you, I’d worry about Nemo. Oh, did you know he’s Psychic?”

After this, Snow Plough starts to demand evidence from Stapes, but he cannot give it, though he says he trusts the information given, though he won’t reveal who gave it. “Want to know more secrets?” Stapes continues on. “I don’t know for sure, for due to his behaviour and symptoms, I think Takala (Fredik) is suffering from drug withdrawal…” with that, Snow Plough can bear no more, and leaves more frustrated than before.  Just as Snow Plough is opening the door back to the other, Stapes calls to him. “Oh Snow Plough, little tip! Maybe going around demanding to know people’s secrets is not the best idea. I mean, everyone has them. I mean you love for exhaust ports is more obvious, but some people don’t like you poking around. And with so many people dead, you need all the friends you can get. And that isn’t a threat!” He holds his hands up. “I couldn’t hurt you. But other people can… bear that in mind.” Snow Ploughs the door. Stapes grins.

Bones returns to the curving tunnel and the single trail of tracks. He follows the tunnel to the end of its arc, and comes across an intersection of multiple (mostly horizontal routes). There are more of the tracks, going down each of the tunnels, both across the floor and walls. However, there are far too many tracks for anybody but a skilled tracker to see a pattern. So Bones decides to go for a tunnel on the right.

Mei Tsu sees various people getting medical help and decides to get some herself. Nemo complies, giving her and injection. Mei then lifts up Alyona for the same treatment. Nemo raises an eyebrow, seeing the child is still unmoving. He presses a hand against her neck. Mei eyes widen in shock at the action. He retracts his hand and looks at Mei and shakes his head. “I am sorry.” Mei starts to cry, but she manages to keep under control. She goes to Fa Tsu, and struggles to tell him that Alyona has died from the fever spread amongst the survivors. He blinks in shock. Saying no words, he opens up his armour, takes Alyona into his arms and sits against the wall, holding onto her.

Bones is utterly lost. The temperature seems to be cooling, however, so he continues in the same direction for some time. More time passes and he becomes angry. It is still absolutely silent, and he has no idea where he is. He rubs fingers down a wall, seeing that it easily crumbles. “These tunnels are freshly dug…” he notes out loud and then grins. He plunges a gauntlet into the wall and tears out a chunk. “I’ll bring them to me..” He grabs a piece of rock at the ceiling. “I’m here!” he yells out as his voice echoes. There is silence no more. Now he hears movement… impossible to tell from where, but something is tearing some of the nearby tunnels towards him. Bones continues to grin like a maniac.

After some time sat in silence, Fa Tsu stands up, seals his Mech suit and carries Alyona towards the airlock. Amelia sees this, and scoops up her sister’s body, and follows after him. Mei is right behind her cousin and Berthold strides after Amelia, yanking Fredrik by the arm, which prompts to follow.

Fa Tsu lays Alyona’s body down in the snow. Amelia does the same with Abigail. The sun is setting in the background. It is still quiet outside, and the motion tracker is still except for the movement in the building. Fa Tsu and Mei both sing a soft, sonorous song of mourning in Chinese. And then Fa Tsu points his flame thrower at the bodies, setting them alight.

“What are you-” Amelia lunges towards Fa Tsu, but is stopped by a firm hand on her shoulder.

“Think of it like cremation”, Berthold says, holding onto his boss.

“-for chrissakes Fa Tsu, a little warning, next time”, Amelia says.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t leave them out here to freeze”, Fa Tsu explains.

“They would just get e-eaten by the -b-bugs anyway”, Fredrik says.

Fa Tsu turns and gives Fredrik the coldest stare. “Fredik. Please. Shut up.”

Fredrik looks down at the snow in fear. Berthold slaps him round the back of the head. “Have some respect, you idiot!” Fredrik whimpers his apology.

Fa Tsu looks back to Amelia. “Unfortunately, they won’t be the last of the deaths. We need to deal with Nemo.”

“Nemo!? Wha’… why!!?”

“He’s a Psychic. He’s been killing people!”

“Oh, nae this again! I thought there were nae psychic. Connor was accusin’ Nemo o’ bein’ controlled by a psychic, and then Nemo was tha’ one who gort shot. Doesn’t make it very likely he’s a Psychic now does it!”

“Or maybe it does! He’s a genius! He shot himself! Its the perfect cover!”

Amelia shakes her head in dismay. “Look. We’ve lost enough people already, had enough people killin’ e’other. I’m nort gonna be helpin’ you kill someone else, psychic or no’.”

“Fine” says Fa Tsu. “Just as long as when I deal with him, you don’t stand in my way.”

“I ain’t tha’ stupid.”

Fredrik steps forward. “So, Fa Tsu, d-d you know where Chang keeps his st-”

“Enough with this already!” Berthold roars at Fredrik.

“Seriously, I cannae believe ye’re a druggie”, Amelia adds in disgust. Fa Tsu strides off, leaving the other two to deal with Fredrik.

“I AM not a druggie!”

“Then why d’ye keep askin’ about ’em?”

“BECAUSE I was c-c-clean when I came to this p-planet, but with all this stress… wi-withdrawal n-need to calm down… anyway, I w-wouldn’t be asking… its Berthold’s fault, he and Chang were smuggling t-them onto the-the pla-”

“YOU’RE A LIAR!” Berthold roars.

“Fredrik. Shut it. Or I’ll shoot ye”, Amelia says matter-of-factedly.

“YOU CAN’T! You were saying about not hurting other people.”

“Didn’t say I’d kill ye…” That shuts up Fredrik, and they all head inside.

Bones stand in an intersection of five tunnels. It sounds like something is coming towards him from each tunnel. He holds out his grapple gun with one hand, and starts to loosen his armour plating with his other. “Commme onnn…”

The camera flits through Central Water Heating, as Dr Ross and Nemo continues going about the crowd of survivors. Many people are incredibly ill, but it looks like no more deaths today.

Snow Plough and Fa Tsu discuss what to do next. Fa Tsu, realising that the rescue ship should be in-system, decides that it would be a good idea to send a distress call, and the hydro-electric plant should have a functioning PLANet (Planetary Access Network) communicator-mast to broadcast with. Snow Plough contacts Nick Ryan at the Hydro-electric Plant via comms.

“Hi Ryan!”

“Fa Tsu.”

“How are things going over there?”

“Fine. Nobody’s dead. You?”

“Well… we’ve had a few problems over here.”

“Maisy still functioning?” Ryan says, referring to the jeep.

“No, well… there was an incident. So… no.”

“Well enjoy the 2 mile walk up here. Isn’t far, without the bugs. Its been quiet. They gone?”

“Noooo. No. No.”

“Then have fun. Its pretty safe up here. Looks like coming here wasn’t so bad after all.”

“Good. Good. Well, you have fun!” Plough cuts out of the comms conversation.

Fa Tsu, who’d been listening in says “You know you’re an asshole, Ryan?”

“Yup.”

“Could you do me a favour… we need you to send the message to the approaching ship. Ready?”

“Yup.”

“Attention Corps vessel, this is Emperor Fa Tsu of the Frost colony… we uh… we really need your help down here. People are dying, we’ve got sickness… and there are indigenous life-forms killing people, so if… so if you could get here really quick… that’d be great!”

“Got it. I’ll transmit when I get inside. Ryan out.”

The camera pans above Bones. He lies on the floor. His armour is in detached segments, lying around him. He holds onto the grapple gun. The line and grapple are embedded in his armour’s detached chest plate. There is a smoking hole in his stomach. His dead eyes stare at the ceiling.

ROLL END CREDITS!

NOTE: there was a private scene which took several minutes where Bones’ fate was decided by his actions. For plot reasons, this was kept secret from the players, and thus, has been recapped much in the way the players encountered the events. What the hell lurks down towards the core of the planet? Well, that is an answer for another time in the future… maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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