Saturday, 17 September 2011

Starfall: Story Summaries - Votes 60-71

Although your 'Scatter Missiles' have served you well, the 'EMP Blast' weapon has to be the superior option – you disconnect your current secondary weapon, attaching the new component in its place.

The chilling sound of laughter buzzes over the comm. Something isn't right.

Before you have time to react, the 'EMP Blast' weapon overloads with a crackling burst of electrical power – the shock ripples over your AuGArma, its systems crashing as the machine jerks and flails uncontrollably.

Caleen's vengeful trap leaves your Arma disabled. Ray informs you that all the systems and parts are fairly undamaged – apart from one core element, the main power coupling. You'll need to find a new one if you want any chance of finishing the contest. Packing your key items into a survival rucksack, you leave your Arma and head towards the outskirts of Dust City, Ray bobbing along beside you.

As you approach the settlement, you see a law enforcement patrol vehicle trundling along near the buildings. Deciding not to involve them at this point, you continue on your way. Walking along the main street into the town, you can feel the cold stares of the inhabitants looking you up and down – a change of clothes might help you appear less conspicuous.

You enter a nearby garment store, the interior dark and dank, with racks of musty military and outdoor gear hanging in narrow rows. You grab some clothes and take them to the store owner's desk. The squat little man asks what you have to trade in exchange for the clothes. Pondering what to offer, you decide to see if he'll do a straight-swap – your Battle Contest jumpsuit for the gear. The man agrees to the deal, stating he'll probably be able to make quite a profit on your uniform. As you leave, he offers you advice on which repair shop to visit, telling you to pick the smaller of the two garages. You thank him for the suggestion, heading out the door.

Walking along the street, you appear to be attracting less attention in your new gear. You come to a T-junction at the end of the road. On the left, you can see the local law enforcement office, and on the right, the repair garages. You opt to head straight for the garages. There is a larger garage on one side of the street, and a smaller one opposite. Heeding the advice of the garment store owner, you pick the smaller garage.

Inside, you find a fat grubby man, who becomes extremely excited when he finds out that you're a Battle Contest pilot. He pledges to give you any parts you need, but at a small cost – you must help him play a prank on the garage owner across the street. You agree to help him – you need the parts and don't have any cash.

You head over to the larger garage and find the owner, a massive beefy man who doesn't look like he has a sense of humour. Nevertheless, you continue with the prank, delivering a taunting message to him. Enraged by the taunt, the man heads over the road, with Ray and yourself trailing behind. As the man enters the garage, the fat mechanic smashes him over the head with a metal pole – things are getting out of hand...

The fat mechanic starts to drag his rival towards a staircase at the rear of the workshop. You've had enough – you state that you're not helping any further, and would like the parts you were promised. The chubby man looks hurt – he explains that he was only going to leave the unconscious man on the roof, leaving him to get sunburnt. He sullenly gives you the power coupling, and continues with his prank. You leave the shop.

As you step out onto the street, you see that more people are now walking along the pathways – they look at you with questioning stares, recognising you as an outsider. Risking the attention of the townspeople, you continue along the main street, back the way you came.

You see a young law-man standing on the side of the road – he calls to you, asking if he can have a word. You decide to hear him out, rather than running away. The officer reveals that he knows your identity, but he seems to be a nice guy. He asks for an autograph for his son, and offers to escort you out of the town. Sounds like a good offer...

Walking alongside the young officer, you head towards the outskirts of Dust City. A group of sinister men confront you – they instruct the law-man that they want to take you off his hands. The officer stands his ground, the men drawing knives.

In a flash of inspiration, you take the Grak egg from you bag and throw it at the men. It falls harmlessly onto the floor, the men laughing at your seemingly foolish action. The law-man draws his sidearm, his face contorted with fear – he must know that the egg is extremely dangerous. Suddenly, the egg hatches, the infant Grak surging out, savaging the leader of the group. The men run, but the small ravenous creature is too fast, ripping into the slowest man. The young law-man steadies his weapon: should you make a run for it, or trust the aim and power of his pistol?

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