Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by SolitaryCheese, February 2, 2014.
The progenitor has returned...
Wow. I have to say that this is one of my favorite episodes so far! I really liked how you brought in a progenitor and then showed the battle between the factions and the aliens from his perspective. I've always found perspective switches like that to be quite interesting. It would be neat if you the events leading up to this from a faction commander's perspective though, maybe in hindsight? (I'm just wondering what lead up to this and how they got allied. Which might be good material for the next episode.)
Anyway, that's just a suggestion. Great job and I hope your real life issue has cleared up!
It just keeps on getting better and better can't wait for the next episode
What do you folks think of the female name "Leticia", also known as "Letty"?
Random bump is random.
Leticia sounds good to me but I'm not a huge fan of Letty.
What's wrong with Letty, if I may ask?
Btw, Letty would be a sort of pet name, and the actual name would be Leticia.
Btw... Obvious hint is obvious; there will be a new female character named Leticia. I kind of fell in love with this name for some reason.
i had an idea for a short story it was about Fab that had something go wrong in its design which made it have the intelligence of a commander and reclaimed its arm and made a new one that had laser cannon on it. this was dream i had i would love to take it some were but i don't know were to go after that.
also letty is a good name for a commander
That sounds a little bit like this story: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/the-last-fabber-a-story-of-survival-chapter-2-is-here.65315/
It's just me and it probably depends on how you use it and stuff. I just don't think it sounds as great as Leticia.
Sounds like it and i just read that story it was really good so when dose the next tale of annihilation come out?
can't wait need it now.
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Against the Aggressors
Leticia gazed through the scope of her sniper rifle, and saw a tiny red creature behind the crosshairs, riding a huge beetle that had a cannon mounted over it. This insignificant imp was nothing more than a mere slave to a greater force, the alien army that infested the galaxy, the army that gave enough reason for four warring factions of machines to unite for a common goal.
The imp was not alone; he had three friends, each riding the beetles of their own, idling in the middle of the hot and dry desert for whoever knows what reason. Only two-thousand meters separated them from her, but she was not alone either; Eric was with her, and he gazed the same targets through his binoculars. He was her third and fourth eyes; he was her spotter who guided her to her targets. Together they went through many missions in service of the Coalition, though most of their efforts had gone unnoticed.
The two spied at the enemies from behind a large dune, hesitating, wondering whether there were any more of the enemies near, occasionally taking their eyes off the scope, gazing behind them to see if nothing stalked them. But there was nothing behind, no matter how many times they looked back – only the endless empire of sand.
They lied on burning hot sand, and even though the suits they wore protected them from the heat, it was not enough; she could already smell the horrible scent of her own sweat, and she could barely wait to return aboard the Valhalla and take a good shower.
It was up to her to decide the fate of those imps, she only had to pull the trigger, and the life of that fiend was over. They were waiting for anything to happen, but the enemy refused to do anything. Nothing at all, they didn't even try to entertain themselves, they just gazed around on the back of their mounts.
Letty ran out of patience, and looked up at Eric. “Eric?” she said.
The man looked at her, “Could it be a trap?” he said.
“They don't know we're here,” said Letty.
“What if they do?” said Eric.
She sighed in frustration, “Then what do you suggest?” she said. They had to act, as every second they had spent there, doing nothing, delayed the mission. Apart of that, the heat was becoming more overwhelming, as she could feel the thin fabric under her suit becoming more and more wet from sweat.
They traveled towards a location of an enemy base which was spotted by one of Valhalla's scout drones. Their mission was to sabotage whatever activity was going on over there. Simple mission, but they had to stop when they stumbled into this group, worrying they may notice them and warn the others.
“Eric, we must do this!” Leticia urged.
Eric looked into her eyes and made a slight nod.
Leticia looked through the scope and aimed; the target was the nearest red bugger. It had a really ugly face, full of deep wrinkles and some scars and pale pink eyes. A horrible sight, no wonder the thing was given the job to sit in the middle of a hot desert, perhaps the others just didn't want to see him, even though, the rest of the gang looked not much better either, but at least those were not so deformed.
The wind was silent; perfect for sniping. The tiny screen that was projected to the looking glass of her scope displayed countless data, all gathered by the sensors of her rifle and calculated by the powerful computer built into the magnificent weapon. Information like the speed and direction of wind, current temperature were all shown before her eye which gazed into the scope, even a built in compass, though, most of those functions she did not require to be a great sharpshooter, at times they came in handy for her.
After some more seconds of hesitation, she finally pulled the trigger, and the imp was dead. There was absolutely no noise at all... the rifle was totally silent and made no sound, only the quite whistling voice of the bullet as it raced across the air, but even that was designed to make as little noise as possible. The entire rifle was a precise masterpiece of engineering.
In a few short moments, Letty already had the next target behind her crosshairs, and it was dead in the next moment, killed by a single motion of her trigger finger. By then, the remaining two noticed something was wrong, but it was too late for them; a quick adjustment of aim, and the third was down, fell face down into the sand, off his mount.
The last one gazed around and panicked, he fired the huge cannon, aiming to random directions, but it was no challenge for Leticia to take him down, using her magic finger, as she often jokingly called it.
Four dead imps and four calm beetles remained; those probably didn't realize anything of what just happened. They just gazed into the nothingness, carelessly as if everything was perfect. In fact, everything was perfect, but not for them... only for Leticia and Eric.
They headed back to where they had left their hoverbikes to continue their way to their destination. They jumped into saddle, and as they started the engine, they emerged into the air, about a meter above the sand. The quiet humming voice of the engine was almost like a lovely song to Leticia's ears; she loved these toys, she loved the feeling of adrenaline as it filled her veins while speeding around top speed across the endless plains.
She pulled down the goggles that rested on her forehead, above her helmet. so that wind would not hurt her eyes, then as she readied herself, she stepped on the gas pedal, and her ride accelerated instantaneously.
They arrived to the spot where the four beetles still stood in complete peace, ignoring the four dead imps lying in the blood soaked sand below their feet. Leticia thought the creatures were beautiful, and she decided to stop by them to see them from closer.
Eric stopped as well, “Letty?” he called after her. “What are you doing?”
She looked behind, smiling, “I'm just curious,” she replied, giggling with a wide smile on her face.
“We have no time for this,” he said.
“I know, but still!” she replied as she approached the creatures with playful steps.
“Damn you girl, you can be so reckless at times!” said Eric.
“I knooooow!” Letty replied giggling and cheerful, feeling like a little child.
The beetle seemed to ignore her as she stood beside it. She removed the glove from her right hand, then touched the carapace of the magnificent creature, behind its right eye. As she touched the black chitin, it felt so tender and smooth, as if it was polished, but she knew it wasn't; it was just the work of nature. “Beautiful,” she said.
She gazed into the creature's obsidian black eye; it was like a mirror with the reflection of her pale face looking back at her. She gazed into her own blue eyes and admired herself. She noticed a curl of her nut brown hair sticking out from below her helmet, then she guided it back under it, where it belonged, with her hand.
Eric walked up to her, soundless like an assassin, “Can we go now?” he urged. The voice of her companion made her heart almost jump out of its place as it struck her unexpected; she didn't pay attention to anything at all while she admired the creature, she was so immersed.
“I... I just,” she couldn't find the right words...
“Come on now, we must go!” said Eric with a commanding tone.
“Fine... fine...” she replied with an unsure tone in her voice.
“What's wrong?” Eric asked, but she didn't respond, she just walked towards her bike. “Leticia!” said Eric, once again with his demanding tone. She gazed back at him with a teardrop trickling down on her right cheek. “This is really not the time for this, Letty...” he said with disapproval. “Get yourself together!”
She bit her lower lip as she turned away without response, trying hard to detain the flow of emotions inside her mind... Despite trying to pretend otherwise, she was still a child. She never managed to fully grow up at the age of twenty-one. Eric reminded her so much of her father who died long, long ago. Eric was just as commanding as he, and this moment somehow reminded her of the time when she had begged to her father for a pet of her own, but her request was declined. Despite that, she still loved her father with all her heart, and every time Eric started acting like a boss to discipline her after her immature actions, she just couldn't hold it...
She was fifteen when her father died, and since she hated her mother more than anything else in the universe, she decided to join the army to fight against the self replicating commanders who rebelled against the Coalition. During a short period of time, she proved herself to be an excellent sharpshooter, and soon she was recruited to be a member of Valhalla's crew where she had met Eric who was assigned to be her spotter in combat.
They served two years together, and more often than not, he reminded her of her beloved father, yet she didn't mind, as she knew she was too immature and needed someone to keep her at bay when necessary. But it came at the cost of the returning memories of her father, which always saddened her, sometimes even made her cry.
(continued in next post due to character limit)
When the Valhalla's engines suffered heavy damage and the crew was forced to hibernate, they were assigned to pods that were next to each-other. Upon awakening only to find the ship was seized by a commander, she'd lost her mind and panicked, but Eric was there for her to help her restore the willpower she had lost. Then together they helped with the clearance of the ship.
As they approached the target location, they first saw the enormous cannon, pointing towards the sky. That was the only reason the Valhalla couldn't just rip the entire place to shreds from space. During the time of the mission, the Valhalla was floating in orbit above the other side of the desert planet.
They arrived to the edge of a high cliff, from where they had perfect vision of the entire encampment. Leticia gazed into the scope of her rifle to see the camp from closer. Though the tiny number at the edge of her vision displayed a distance of over eight-thousand meters, she could see everything as if she walked among the strange shaped buildings that were built of some strange material that made them look like they were alive. In fact, the buildings were alive; they were made of organic matter, capable of recovering from wounds on their own, like most living creatures, unlike the lifeless creations of humanity, made of stone and metal and wood.
Between the buildings she spotted one of them... the fearful creatures that threatened the galaxy, the dreadful giant insect with a thousand legs that towered above the insignificant imps, the slaves that dared not to look upon their slavers in fear of being punished.
The thing was a clear target, despite the eight kilometers in distance; there was no wind, a slight lift of the rifle to create the optimal trajectory for the bullet, and the thing would have been dead.
But no... it was not a good idea, she realized. The thing was twice the size of any commander, a tiny bullet would not even scratch its armor. They had to sneak into the camp and plant the explosives near the base of the gigantic cannon.
They left the bikes near the edge of the camp and carefully crept amidst the structures – all of which served unclear purposes.
There was a narrow path between two tall buildings; between those they pushed forward uninterrupted, striding silently forward. As she was about to reach the end of the corridor, Eric grabbed her arm from behind and pulled her back. “Wait!” he said. Leticia glanced at him to find out what he might have seen, and he pointed towards a tall tower across the small square, surrounded by several dark buildings. Atop the watchtower stood one of the reds, vigilantly scanning the surrounding area. A huge problem it was, and the question arose within her mind: How to take it down without warning everyone else?
She looked back at Eric, waiting for advises, but none came. Once again, it was up to her to make the decision; one thing she was not very good at. One thing was clear; if the creature spotted them, they were both dead for sure.
Her heart had gone into a swift gallop the moment she heard voices from behind; the voice of imps talking in a language that sounded gibberish to her, yet the words almost scared her to death.
They had to act quickly; Eric pushed her behind some object that appeared to be some sort of container. Letty used a tiny mirror to peek at the approaching enemies. At first she did not see them, they were beneath the corner, but then they arrived and turned into the narrow path. They were stuck behind the container. “They're coming this way,” she whispered.
“Damn,” Eric replied quitely. She expected something more constructive, but she thought that will do it.
The imps talked loudly and walked side by side. Leticia took her rifle and aimed at the wall in front of them, anticipating their arrival, waiting for the moment to pull the trigger.
She cleared her mind as she heard the voices come closer and closer with every moment. She controlled her breath and felt as her heartbeat slowed down significantly. She eventually managed to ignore everything, everything else around her, and only focused on the wall right in front of her and the voices. Every second passed as if they were minutes...
As she saw the shadows on the wall, she knew it was only a few more steps for the imps before they died. They appeared from behind the crate that hid them up until then... she pulled the trigger. A moment later both lied in the sand, peaceful and silent, killed by the same bullet.
For a moment she'd thought everything was all right. But then, the wall started to move in front of her. Suddenly the building had legs and started to make growling noises. “Holy cow!” she screamed.
They both jumped up to run back from where they came from, but the path was blocked by one of the creature's legs.
The thing that they'd thought to be a building slowly arose, revealing the sand on which it was lying on the entire time. She glanced at Eric to see if he had the same crazy idea and he glanced back. She wasn't sure why, but she was convinced he had the same plan as she.
In a friction of a second they were both running forward, below the massive body that just growled and puffed and huffed. Who the hell would have thought it was alive? She'd asked the question to herself in her mind.
After they reached the other end and she saw the entire place was in chaos; every imp panicking while the slavers cautiously poked the air towards what appeared to be the creature's head, which was many times the size of those phase shifters.
She and Eric didn't stop, not even for a moment; they stormed forward towards another one of these “buildings”, seeking shelter under its shadow. Once there, they hastily crept around the building along the walls to the other side.
Only about two-hundred meters separated them from their goal, when they saw a group of five reds... and they saw them, too.
(continued in next post due to character limit)
They started screaming and shooting with their weapons that fired some energy bolts towards them. Leticia leaped into the sand to make herself less of a target, while Eric found shelter behind some rock.
She aimed and fired right away; the first two shots missed as the group of enemy scattered and moved sideways. She carefully adjusted her aim, fired once more, and the bulled crushed the first imp's skull, making its head explode, spraying its blood in every direction.
The next moment she saw one of the bolts racing right towards her; she rolled sideways to avoid the hit. Partly blinded by the sand, she unleashed a volley of four silent shots with poor aim, hitting one of the targets by pure luck.
She glanced sideway for a moment, and saw Eric, armed with a silenced handgun. He tried to counter the incoming fire, but he was pinned behind the stone, being focused on by two of the remaining three enemies.
The next moment she was forced to change position by a volley of enemy shots; she jumped up and ran as fast as she could, and quickly found herself behind a pile of containers, sitting with her back to the crate.
Before her was the entrance to a building, open. Inside she saw an imp, his skin deep red, his eyes reflecting the sunlight, giving it a demonic appearance, his face full of hatred and anger, in his hand a sharp looking object. The imp charged and leaped to strike her from above... the next moment he found himself pierced by the bayonet of Leticia's rifle.
Her breaths were short and quick, her heart pounding wildly. The sharp item the imp carried a moment ago landed right beside her hip, stabbed deep into the sand. She gently pushed the corpse off the blade at the end of her weapon, then took a moment to calm down. That was close... too close.
As she gazed across the camp she saw almost no sight of the little red things, only those that relentlessly tried to kill them.
As soon as she felt ready and relatively calm, she rose up above the crate; she aimed and pulled the trigger. The next moment there was one less enemy in sight. The remaining two did not even realize their friend was dead, the shot was so silent, and the fool made no death noise, so they still focused their attacks against Eric. Two easy targets, two shots, two kills.
The path was clear. She signaled to her companion with her hand, and they proceeded to rush to the foundation of the mighty cannon.
Once there, they hid behind some formation that seemed to support the massive device. Eric planted the single pack of explosives on that thing, and initiated the countdown. That was also the signal for the Valhalla, and that was the signal for them to get out of the place as fast as possible.
She looked at him, smiling and said “We won!”
“Not yet,” he replied. “We're still here.”
The path was clear, it was time to go. Halfway across the place, all she could think of was the shower she thought she deserved so much after such a mission.
Most of the imps were still in panic and everything was in chaos. They ran towards the edge of the encampment when she heard the noise of shots from her left. She glanced there and saw two of the imps foolishly trying to kill them...
They had no chance of ever hitting them, they were too far. The next moment one of the slavers appeared right in front of her and she ran into it, slamming against one of its thousand legs.
They called them phase shifters for a reason after all, as they were capable of shifting into another phase of existence for a limited time, though, without a source of energy, they could only do it for about five seconds, then they had to wait. That one clearly had some sort of battery, as it was nowhere near five seconds earlier.
Leticia found herself below the lower body, amongst the thousand jointed legs. She desperately tried to run into the open, towards the creature's tail before it stepped on her.
It towered above her like a building, but even then, its size was nowhere near to that other creature's which she had angered.
But what was it doing there? As she glimpsed behind, she realized the gigantic creature they tried to repel was heading towards the exact same direction. Whoa, is it chasing me? She wondered.
It was a few more steps to reach to the other end of the phase shifter, but then she heard the explosion from behind; the bomb at the base of the cannon had blown up, and as she glanced back she saw it leaning towards the huge creature, which released a massive roar as it collapsed on it.
The massive cloud of sand beaten up by the impact reached them shortly, and the phase shifter suddenly started to move backwards. The next moment Letty was flying, kicked away by the rearmost leg.
She landed face down in the sand. She leaned up quickly and gazed around, seeking for Eric. Instead of him, she saw some debris flying towards her, about to hit her head. The next moment she had seen nothing, only the darkness...
… The next moment she saw a blinding glaze above her as she lied between some soft sheets. She could barely open her eyes, the light was so blinding. “Can we turn that off, please?” she said to no one in particular with a weak voice.
“You're awake!” a familiar voice welcomed her. “Damn it, girl... you scared us!”
It was Eric, she recognized the voice. “Turn that stupid lamp off already!” she demanded.
“Oh, come on... just lean up!” he said.
“That's actually a good idea,” she agreed.
As she leaned forward, she felt pain in her head, as if her brain was about to explode. She let go a painful moan. The light was no longer burning her eyes out, and she saw Eric, sitting in some ugly plastic chair. “Wassup?” she said to him.
“That... that's not what I expected to hear, but that'll do it.” he replied.
“So, what happened?” she asked, still barely awake with a tired tone in her voice.
“Nothing much... you just got hit by a heavy cogwheel. Fortunately your helmet protected your pretty face. But you fainted.” he said.
“Ouch!” she said. “How did I get here?” she wondered.
“I thought that was obvious...” said Eric.
“No, it's not!” Letty insisted, gazing at him with a dead serious face.
“... I carried you here.” he said.
“Oh!” Letty just realized how much of a stupid question it was.
Eric nodded. “Oh! Indeed.”
Leticia smiled and said “Thank you!”
Eric smiled back. “Oh, by the way... Admiral Foster personally came here to make sure you're fine!”
“Oh, come on... Foster doesn't even know I exist. That cogwheel didn't hit me hard enough to make me believe that!” she responded.
Eric laughed. “Yeah, that's right... he didn't visit you. But the Colonel did.” he said.
“Did he?” she said, wondering whether he tried to fool her again.
“Yes, he was the one who wanted to make sure you're okay,” he said.
That was a more believable story. After all, Colonel Ryles was one of the few officers who cared for the common soldiers, even if only for a little.
After a few short silent moments, Leticia said “I'm tired,”
“You can sleep as much as you want, princess!” he said.
“Don't call me that!” she said.
Eric remained silent; he had a mocking smile on his face.
Leticia gazed around, searching for the switch to turn the light off, then as she looked back at Eric, she pointed upwards, towards the lamp, “How to turn that thing off?” she asked.
He stood up from the chair, and with his hand he reached to the only place where she'd never look for a switch, which was right above the lamp. The blinding light was gone, while the other light sources in the room still illuminated the place.
“Sleep well, Letty!” said Eric as he proceeded to leave.
“I will,” she replied.
As she closed her eyes, she was thinking about the one important question she'd forgotten to ask. Who bathed me and put me in this dress?
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That's defiantly an interesting chapter and I like how you're fleshing out the humans. I have to say though, that race back to the speeders really broke my immersion. Everything was pretty believable and stuff up to that point but that race just doesn't seem right to me. Even as a rookie mistake. Other than that it was a great chapter! I thought the name Letty actually ended up working out well and this is an interesting new character.
Meatbag chapter detected.
That's a good point about it, and now that I re-read the part I agree. I changed it to something that I think fits into context a bit more, yet still something that would befit Letty's childish personality.
How do you find it now?
Separate names with a comma.