On the Maelstrom's Edge

Bad Teeth

The alarm klaxon blared from above, warning of some imminent danger.  The ground is shaking and the water covering the surface is rippling with the vibrations.

I yell over to Pan, “Which one of these is worth taking?” she quickly points to one of the computers as she dives to avoid falling debris.  I grab the case, holster my gun and head for the staircase, which looks like it is about to become scrap metal at the bottom of a pit.  The staircase sways back and forth as we clamber up trying not to lose balance… This damn leg of mine just won’t cooperate.

The staircase gives way just as I reach the next landing and I jump for the edge sticking the landing… I turn back and throw my hand out for the girl as she loses her footing and begins to tumble over the edge.  Catching her hand, preventing her from falling to her death, I reach over with my other hand and  pull her up by the back of her jacket and drag her to safety.

Rock and metal debris continue to rain down onto us as we make it out of the missile silo and up into the bunker.  Finally we see daylight at the end of the tunnel as we burst out of the bunker back into the stinking hot jungle.  Gulping for air, I hit the ground and lay there for a few moments catching my breath and checking to make sure I haven’t lost any parts along the way.

As we take a breather, we get an emergency message from the ship that there are hostiles trying to steal her.  Quickly we make our way back to the landing zone, where we are greeted by a medium sized group of militia types.  We spread out and move forward slowly hoping to take them by surprise, but they had more soldiers hidden in the jungle and instantly the bullets start flying.

I split from the group hoping to flank the enemy position, but run into a couple of shotguns blazing away.  Catching one in the chest, I duck behind some trees to check the damage and find that my armor took the brunt of the shot.  I get a few shots off at the shotguns, but an assault rifle off beyond the ship begins laying down fire on my position forcing me back, but not before I drop one of the shotguns.  As I make my way further into the bush, the assault rifle catches me between armor plates and throws me to the ground.  The wound is excruciating, but my body has learned to compensate for pain.  I stumble back to my feet and take another shot at the shotgun which happens to be the more threatening opponent at this point.  Catching him in the face, he is thrown backwards over the rock, I make a slow advance while Pan and 
Lloyd engage with their leader and the two assault rifles.

The leader goes down and the militia begins to falter, making quick work of the remaining soldiers we secure the area.  Lloyd attends to the wounds using his psionic powers to mend the tears in our flesh.  We gather the weapons and ammunition and quickly get on the ship, the radios of the soldiers are beginning to warn  us of more troops arriving at our location… I don’t think we could handle another group.

Scanning the computer on the flight, we discover information that points us in the direction of Mercury.  Supposedly some Monk in a monetary was the one attacking us, why… We have no clue, but I seriously want to know!  We dock up with a transport ship and make our way to Mercury.

Pan uses her hacking skills to locate the broadcast signal that has been attacking us, it originates from a wireless balloon that floats above the monastery.  Tracing that signal, we a led to a warren of apartments and businesses outside the spaceport.

The signal, Pan explains, is originating from a source inside the warren of homes and businesses, but it’s not too exact, somewhere on the fourth floor I think I hear her say.  A we look at the daunting task of finding a way into the mismatched building, Lloyd sees the monk duck into a street dentist.  Lloyd and I follow into the dentist to see what is going on, while Pan stands outside and guards.

The receptionist at the counter, an aged Chinese woman, shrieks at us in her native tongue… I can’t figure what she’s saying so I point at my teeth and say loudly, “I need dental work.” she smiles and nods her head and hands me a stack of about 100 pieces of paper for me to fill out… Lloyd uses this opportunity to slip into the back and look for our Monk friend.  I continue to draw the womans attention by almost yelling my questions… I figure if I keep pointing at my teeth, looking ignorant of the fact that yelling won’t make her understand me better and pointing at the paperwork she’ll never notice that Lloyd has gone into the back…

This continues for about 5 minutes or so, I can see the look of frustration on the poor woman’s face… Lloyd exits the back room and shakes his head… I look at the woman and say, rather loudly… “no problem anymore, must have work it’s way out… Thank you anyways!”. We exit the dentist with the old Chinese lady staring at us with indignation.

Lloyd tells us it was someone else and that he got a closer look and from a distance they were twins… Or something like that.  We head over to the building that we originally came here for and immediately are accosted by a thug in a cheap suit…

With a cigarette barely hanging onto his thin lips, he glares at us with a hungry look… “What you want?” he asks in his broken English.  I let nice guy in the bunch talk it out as I size this schmuck up… After a few moments of haggling, it looks like we’re about to get through this doorjamb, when Pan notices his backup making his way across the street…  Lloyd continues to haggle with the guy as we notice his attention flit over to his buddy, his hand tightens on the grip of his smg.  Quickly I draw my knife and step into the guy, his eyes flash a brief look of surprise as I continue forward and drop his body into the alley, drawing my knife out of his chest and wipe off the blood on his jacket.  From my right, I hear the cough of a silenced pistol as both Pan and Lloyd enter the alleyway with me… Crap, so much for keeping a low profile!

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jkurlan

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