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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, '12, 10:44 pm
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It's been a long time since EOTA left here after becoming too big to be contained and things have only gotten better since. We've gained some new players, got our own wiki page and the campaign continues to run apace.
So for those who remember Flynn, you'll maybe remember how he began as a former soldier turned escaped military convict? Well this piece of backstory, that I wrote a good while ago now, was written to cover events immediately following his escape.



1290 AW

Location - Somewhere in the Dezo wastes

Several days had passed since the Bio-Monster attack, but the images were still as clear to him as if it had just happened the day before. Haunting, terrifying. It was the stuff that nightmares were made of.

The cold air of the prison was made all the worse by the chill of fear, tempered with years of combat experience. Everywhere signs of the slaughter that had ensued could be seen. Weapon burns, claw marks, and other collateral damage. The most terrifying aspect was that not a single trace of human life could be seen or heard anywhere. The entire population had been butchered, devoured, slaughtered to the man, bar one. All that remained of the human population was dead. Most of them were torn limb from limb by the Bio-Monsters as they fed on them, faces twisted, wide-eyed and filled with horror. Frozen in their last terrible moment of painful existence. Over all of this hung an air of deafening silence, broken only by the occasional sound of the wind blowing fiercely outside, sometimes sneaking inside through a broken window or a break in the structure. The only other sounds besides this were strange noises of unseen, Bio-Monsters scurrying about in unseen egresses looking for their next meal.

Alone.
Trapped.
Surrounded by untold numbers of Bio-Monsters eager to feed.
Forced to fight or die.

The stuff nightmares were made of.

Flynn awoke almost as if he was shocked, reflexively thrusting the barrel of his weapon skyward. All was quiet, save for the wind as it blew noisily over the entrance to his burrow. He sat in silence and listened for a few long moments, trying to discern any other sounds coming from outside.

He heard none.

Breathing a sigh of relief, he lowered his weapon and allowed his head to fall back against the wall of the burrow as he stared at the sky up above. He had dug the burrow out the previous day, just before night had fallen. He only had his hands to dig with, but the soft snow had made his work quick, fuelled by desperation to get into shelter lest he freeze to death outside in the cold of the Dezo night. The hole was almost 5 feet deep and allowed him enough space to sit, but not enough to lie down and rest, forcing him to sleep sitting up against the wall. Not that it mattered; comfort was now but a distant memory to him. As it was, he was constantly on edge, listening for anything approaching his hideaway, human or not. The cold bit into him wherever it touched, but he paid it no heed. It had been like this for what seemed a lifetime... and a long one at that.

Idly running his finger on the trigger of the energy shotgun now resting in his lap, somehow still working flawlessly, he tried to recount how long it had been since his flight from the prison.

“Seven...no, nine days. Nine days since the monsters showed up.”

It had taken him the better part of three days just to escape from the mess that the prison had become. Many doors and other passages had been made impassable to him, forcing him to take numerous detours. This was before considering any Bio-Monsters that might be encountered along the way, which there often were. Some areas had lost power, leaving them dark and ideal places for Bio-Monsters to hide during the daytime.

It had been six days since he had escaped, half hoping to see the military search party waiting outside, even if it meant a trip to another prison.
But nothing had been waiting for him except the vast, empty Dezo wastes as he'd hauled himself through a breach in the wall and back into the outside world. He had wasted no time getting away from the place, fearful of being spotted by more monsters. Though he'd put up a desperate fight only hours before, it had taken a miracle to allow him to finally escape and he had no desire to fight again unless he had to.

“Can't go putting my hopes on something like that happening again.”

It had now been six days since he had left that place with only his shotgun, his newly learned Resta technique and the battered and scarred combat armour he had been forced to abandon the day before to save himself the burden of its weight, no matter how minor it really was. He'd had no time or chance to find food while escaping and so had been forced to starve, relying on his body's reserves to sustain him as he struggled on through the snow, unsure if he was even going the right way, hoping, praying. However the harsh weather and constant trudging through snow had cost him a lot of energy.

“Praying to what, exactly?”

He pulled the familiar crystal from his pocket and looked at it. Just days ago it had been glowing with a strange light, right when he had been moments from his death. Memories of his long-lost friend Claire had come back to him along with his promise to her. It was at this moment he had even been able to use the Resta technique. He had never trained in technique usage before, yet somehow he had learned this one in a matter of moments. Was it the desperation of his situation that had forced it? A survival instinct of some sort?

“It was more than memories. I felt her. It was like she was right there with me.”

Hearing his stomach grumbling loudly, he felt the painful cramp of starvation returning to him again. Now wasn't the time for reminiscing. Placing the crystal back in his pocket, he painfully pulled himself to his feet, feeling the fatigue and hunger setting in while insanity and sleep deprivation clawed at the boundaries of his mind.

Using more effort than he would have liked, he hauled himself out of the burrow and back into the wilderness once again, crawling on his hands and knees as he left the burrow's edge. The wind, though now reduced to a constant breeze, still hit him hard. It almost seemed to mock his attempts to survive. He was a few moments staring at the ground, his body wanting to rest some more while his mind told him to get up and move, though even there he could feel the lingering desire to stop.

“Why me?”

He gripped his shotgun tightly, his breathing shallow and gasping. He let out a frustrated groan, feeling almost as if he was fighting with himself as well as the world around him.

“Come on. Get up. Have to...go.” He pushed himself to one knee. “Got a...mission...to do. Find her. Promised her...I would.” With one last push and grunt, he rose to his feet. “Ok. Go this way...One step at a time.”

He headed off into the unknown once again.


Several hours later and another day was now drawing to a close. Nightfall was only a few hours away. Flynn had been paying little attention to what was ahead of him, content to watch his feet as he slogged through the snow, unaware of the storm headed his way. It was a strong gust of wind that finally got his attention, and he snapped his eyes to the view in front of him, seeing nothing but a mass of snow heading towards him.

He didn't curse or swear. He didn't even care anymore. After the past nine days, another storm was barely worth registering as a problem.

Another hour passed.

The storm had hit him head on. A strong wind slowed his already unsteady pace to a crawl. A mixture of snowflakes and ice assailed him without mercy, gathering in any small space on his clothing as if to weigh him down little by little to eventually drag him to the ground. He could see nothing ahead of him, often forced to keep his gaze low to avoid getting any snow in his eyes. Not that it mattered. All he could see around him was an endless white void of wind driven snow that promised no end to his torment. His entire body cried out for an end to the struggle, his legs threatening to cramp under the cold and stress. Flynn could feel delirium taking hold of his mind, a smile half forming on his face, laughter of someone staring at his own end trying to escape, held back by what small shred of sanity he had left.

“Claire. Where in Algo are you?”

Feeling the return of the same unusual sensation he felt in prison, he reached into his pocket and drew the crystal out again. Through tired, fuzzy eyes he could see it was glowing just like it had the first time.

“What the...?”

As if in response to his question, he heard something.

“Help is coming.”

A voice, crystal clear even through the howling wind. The surprise of it took him unexpectedly and in his haste to look for the source of the voice, he tripped over his feet and crashed to the snowy ground, the shotgun falling free of his grip while he continued to clutch the crystal tightly, afraid to let it go.

The cold ground almost seemed to welcome him and he would have allowed it to take him had the voice not returned to again.

“RUN!”

For a moment he felt a cold sensation in his mind, as if the wind had found a way inside his head. But unlike the Dezo winds, it served only to soothe him rather than bite into him and for a moment he was overcome by the feeling of her presence once more.

He got to his feet and made to run as the voice commanded but stopped when he caught sight of a monstrous silhouette in front of him, approaching fast. He recognised it as one of the many creatures he had fought in the prison, a large wolf-like creature easily 5 feet tall. It had caught his scent and was now bearing down on him, kicking up clouds of snow, snarling fiercely all while it's eyes burned with an almost unnatural hatred for the living.

Flynn steadied himself on his feet, his fatigue now driven to the back of his mind as he summoned what little strength remained to him. As the creature closed the distance between them it pounced at him in an attempt to seize him by the throat and crush it with its powerful jaws. However, Flynn had grown practised killing these creatures during his escape and was prepared for it.
At the last possible moment he tumbled out the path of the attacking wolf creature, seeing it dive past him and fall back into the snow, surprised as it regained its feet and glared back at him, snarling menacingly at him, enraged its prey even dared to defy it.

For all its ferocity and cunning, however, the odds were against it when facing an armed man. This gave Flynn all the time he needed as he leveled his weapon at the creature and fired, tearing a hole into its flank and dropping it to the ground. He watched as it gave one last mournful howl that rang out over the wind as it writhed and eventually died.

These creatures were often mistaken for their native cousins due to the physical resemblances being so similar, with the exception of stature. In most cases it was simply believed the larger ones were older, though this was untrue. These creatures were the results of illegal genetic experimentation. Though it was short lived and had been halted, many of the creatures had escaped into the wild unaccounted for and had continued to thrive since.
However, where there was one of these creatures there were usually more to be found. A loud growling could be heard from close behind him.

Flynn whirled to face the new attacker mid-leap, throwing his arms up defensively to deflect it's attack. His parry saved his neck but the wolf simply grabbed him by the arm and clamped it's jaws shut, digging razor sharp teeth into flesh and sending them both to the ground. Though the pain was great, his need was greater and Flynn lashed out with his foot, kicking the creature violently in an effort to dislodge it.

“Get...off...my...ARM!”

Though his kicking didn't do anything to get it off him, it gave him enough time to bring his weapon to bear and fire, grazing it with an energy blast and forcing it to let go as it made a temporary retreat.

For a moment, the two glared at each other across the white void, the wolf creature nursing it's wound between enraged glances at Flynn, who kept his weapon trained on it as blood continued to spill from his wounded arm onto the snow beneath him, staining it crimson. In his already weakened state, the last thing he needed was another wound.

He heard a chorus of howls, snarling, and other feral noises coming from around him, and knew then that more of the creatures had found him, watching as their silhouettes appeared in the windblown snow around him.

A few long moments passed as the creatures assessed their new prey. Some stood in place while others circled around, sizing him up, looking for an opening. They outnumbered him, but they knew from their wounded companion that he was capable of fighting back.

A few of the creatures started to growl and snarl. Others howled loudly. Flynn tensed, expecting them to launch an attack any moment. He hissed in pain from the wound on his arm, wishing for just a few moments to try and heal it as it continued to ooze blood onto the snow. He gripped his weapon tightly.

“Twelve years of service and here I am about to be killed by a pack of wild Bio-Monsters. Great...”

Suddenly the wolf-creatures began to retreat. One by one they headed back into the storm and out of sight. Flynn looked around him, surprised they had decided to leave him alone but realising they were probably simply waiting for him to succumb to the cold. In his current condition, he knew it wouldn't be much longer before that happened.

He took a few moments to focus his mind and summon enough photonic energy into a Resta technique. It was enough to stop the bleeding and seal the wound, but he would need to administer another dose to be sure. Fortunately, his scuffle had done little to erase his tracks completely and he decided to continue the same way.

The wind seemed to die down all around him as the sky began breaking through above him made him realise the storm must be coming to an end. His peace, however, was short lived. The ground beneath his feet trembled for a fleeting moment. He looked around but saw nothing. Feeling an overwhelming sense of urgency tugging at his mind, he stepped up his pace only to be stopped as another tremor came, this time more intense. The voice said nothing, but he knew that if it really was Claire, she probably had as much idea about what was going on as he did. Suddenly, he began to realise there were probably other reasons the wolves left him alone.

An even larger predator.

The ground shook again and then once more after that. Another sounded a few moments later. Flynn ran, doing his best not to stumble and fall as he did. Another tremor, this time almost right under his own feet. The fear he had felt during his escape came back to him full force in light of this unseen enemy.

As if responding to his fear the ground in front of him erupted in a massive explosion of white powder, large slabs of frozen snow flying in all directions. A terrifying, insectile screech filled the air and Flynn could see the form of a massive Locusta Bio-Monster tearing its way out of the ground before him.

“Holy crap…what the…!?”

Such creatures were normally native to Mota and Palm. That is, before they were almost completely wiped out. Unlike its cousins, this one stood at least 12-15 feet above him, though it was hard to tell from all the movement. Its rock hard carapace was jet black and left very little opening for an attack. He doubted his weapon would be able to hurt it before it tore him apart with its scythe-like talons and needle-like teeth, the talons themselves being almost as long as he was tall. He could only guess this was another of the rogue experiments that had escaped.

It hauled itself clear of the burrow and eyed its prey, screeching loudly and raising its talons to attack. Flynn was quick enough to dodge a talon as it thrust one into the ground where he had been standing an instant before. His escape caused him to lose his balance and fall back into the snow. Fortunately for him, this saved him from the other scything talon as it cut through the air above him.

He desperately climbed to his feet and fired his weapon, doing his best to aim for the face. His shot seemed to do little but anger the monster and it reared up before driving both talons into the ground and shrieked at him again, the rage almost palpable.

With running away now out of the question, Flynn stood his ground and continued to battle with the creature. Though he did little to injure the monstrosity, each shot landed allowed him enough time to prepare for the next attack. He cursed himself again for having not learned any attack techniques. They could have done what his weapon couldn’t. But without any, he was forced to fight on, unwilling to simply give up and allow himself to be slaughtered after all he had endured, hoping for the slightest opening that would allow him to gain the upper hand.

Both hunter and prey stopped their struggle, the creature no doubt growing frustrated with his continuing struggle. It distanced itself from him slightly as Flynn dropped to one knee, his breathing laboured and heavy. For all the cold, he felt beads of sweat running down his forehead and allowed himself a moment of grim satisfaction for being able to cheat death for as long as he had been.

He looked at the creature ahead of him. For a moment, he thought he could see traces of uncertainty on its insectile face, maybe even a flicker of respect. For a moment Flynn allowed himself to hope it might just give up a pointless struggle and look for prey elsewhere, but he knew it was simply reassessing the situation. It was all it knew.

“Come on you oversized bug! I'm right here!”

It roared loudly as it raised its talons and lunged at him once more, forcing him to scramble out of the way or be trampled underfoot. Flynn returned the fury with another blast from his weapon, ineffective as before.

It was then that the voice rang out in his head again.

“Get clear!”

Unsure exactly what to expect, but knowing obedience had served him so far, he took a few quick steps and threw himself into the snowy ground as an explosion erupted from the creature’s back. It screeched loudly, this time in pain as it whirled to face the new attacker. Flynn was vaguely aware of voices as he watched on.

“It’s still alive! Fire another!”

Another explosion struck the creature, this time causing a large part of it to be torn off by the blast and land in the snow not far from where he lay as a sickly ichor, that could only be the monster's blood, oozed forth and into the snow. The Locusta gave an ear piercing shriek as it writhed and thrashed about, trying for a moment to burrow back into the ground but eventually stopping as its body gave out and died.

Relief washing over him and no longer caring if it was a military search party or someone else entirely, Flynn rolled over onto his back and stared at the sky, his vision growing blurred as exhaustion and weariness returned in full force, his body demanding respite.
He saw what appeared to be two black shapes looming over him, looking at him, speaking perhaps. But what they said was lost on him as he slipped into unconsciousness.

For once in what had been a very long time, he dreamed of nothing but the endless black void of a dreamless sleep. All but for one moment when he thought he saw someone moving around in the dark, a young woman. It was as if she was watching him. As if sensing his eyes on her, she smiled at him before disappearing into the dark. He wasn't sure why, but there was a sense of familiarity surrounding her and for the brief moment she smiled all he knew was peace.
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