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The Underworld : Rivers of Hades (Part VIII)

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The marines scrabbled for cover amid a hail of shattered masonry, clambering their way back into the smaller chamber and flattening themselves against the wall either side of the doorway.
"What the fuck is that?" Hendry roared over the deafening blasts.
"Spidermind," McMillan replied, hastily loading shells into the SPAS and chambering the first round. "I think they were used to co-ordinate the original invasion."
Kalliope unstrapped her sniper rifle, then thought better and slung it once more. "Those things can control the other creatures?"
"I'm guessing." the Colonel shouted. "Never really got a chance to find out."
"Never mind that," called Wilson, feeling naked without even a sidearm. "How are we supposed to get out of here?"
McMillan smiled grimly. "I saw a supply crate at the top of that stairwell. The 'High Voltage' tag's left me hoping." He looked from face to worried face. "Anyone want to volunteer?"
He'd barely finished the sentence when Kalliope stood up, unbuckling her bandoleers and tightening her bootlaces. "I'll get up there. Just distract the beast."
Hendry and McMillan exchanged looks while Wilson fidgeted nervously.
"We've got your back", the Colonel reassured. "Just get back in one piece."
The female private gave a cursory nod before visibly prepared herself for the gauntlet.
"Keep your head down," Hendry interjected. "We'll do the rest."
The Corporal spent a few moments loading up the combat shotgun. With a final guage check he asked, "Ready?"
McMillan nodded. "Ready. Kalliope, I believe you're on."
The metallic clanging grew ever closer outside of the entrance chamber, clattering back and forth as the Spiderdemon searched for its prey. Kalliope started for the doorway, stopped - closed her eyes in a silent prayer - and then surged forward.
Multiple cylindrical barrels swivelled loudly to track the blurred shape of Private Kalliope. An instant later, Hendry and McMillan opened up on the hell beast, shells impacting upon wirey steel legs and exposed braintissue alike. The Spidermind swivelled back round on its weapon platform, finding and targeting the offending humans and firing again; both marines dodged back into the safety of the chamber once more as the armour piercing shells tore apart the walls around them.

Kalliope's attention wasn't on the safety of her comrades; her mind was focused upon the mass of steps up ahead and the lumbering, spider-esque being below that was even now beginning to track her once more. Reflexively, she picked up speed, almost tripping over her own feet as she passed onto a precarious step.
The chaingun spoke again. Multiple rounds began to bore into the wall several steps behind her, stinging her with chipped stone. Time seemed to slow to a crawl, every step lasting an eternity. Blinking away sweat from her eyes, she looked up ahead and saw the supply crate mere feet away...

McMillan and Hendry waited a moment for the SpiderDemon to begin its turn back towards Kalliope, then opened up again. A few shells left scratches on the metal limbs; others simply puckered the tough, leathery skin that enveloped the swelling brain. Behind them, Wilson sat helplessly, his head in his hands as he felt hope slipping away.
And in that next second, the beast opened up on Kalliope.
The first few rounds blew apart the stone walls as she passed. The next shattered the ground a split second behind each step she took.
The final bullet splashed crimson all around her as it smashed through her shoulder. She gasped in pain, stumbling and crashing head-first to the ground.
"Jesus fucking Christ, it's gonna kill her!" Hendry screamed. "We've gotta do something!"
McMillan glanced about the massive chamber, tracing the rocky walls to the ropy spiderweb... then hit on something.
"Hendry, see those ropes?"
The Corporal followed his superior's gaze to the dangling intestines.
"You mean the guts?"
"Yeah, them. Grab some"
"Just do it marine, and follow my lead". McMillan was already sprinting forward, jumping up at a hanging portion of gut and yanking it down towards the floor. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Hendry doing the same a moment later. No time for sightseeing, he thought morosely. The SpiderDemon was rotating back round to bear down on them, its chaingun glinting forbodingly in the scant luminescence. The Colonel dived forward with his prize. Hitting the gound less than a foot from the beasts' leg, he proceeded to wrap the intestine around its cybernetic limbs, Hendry doing the same. Back on his feet, he passed the makeshift rope to the next leg, reapeating as often as he could. Above him, the Spiderdemon pranced around awkwardly, trying to move away from the humans for a clear shot. A few more feet and it would be ready...

Kalliope woke suddenly to the sound of whirring motors and the strangest screeching noise. The ground felt so cold; even her barracks bunk was more comfortable than this.
In a split second, reality affirmed itself as a burst of pain surged from her right shoulder. Tentatively she touched it, drawing her hand back to find it smeared with blood. Resisting her body's urgent cries to rest, she pushed herself up onto her haunches and looked over the edge of the stairwell.
Hendry and McMillan charged away from the Spiderdemon, diving back to the entry chamber. Enraged, the beast pursued, moving immense metallic limbs as lumbered forwards. Beneath it, the intestine-rope buckled and strained... but held. With an almighty crash, the weapon platform toppled to the ground.
Kalliope's gaze snapped up as she remembered her objective. Slowly, so as not to attract attention, she made her way over towards the supply crate, tearing off the lid without a second thought - and gasped.
The ID tag identified a pair of plasma stream cannons - all fair and good. What she wasn't counting on was the phased plasma discharge cannon, subtly entitled the 'BFG 9000'. Taking a firm grip of the cross-handle, she heaved it up - feeling another surge of agony from her protesting shoulder - and checked the energy cell guage. A full eighty cells registered.
The demonic brain thrashed about atop its crippled vehicle, synaptic impulses sending its chaingun into a wild seizure. Slowly, the spasms eased as the barrels moved closer and closer upon McMillan's trajectory. If there were a time to act, it was now. Kalliope traced the weight-bearing handle of the BFG to a prominent trigger, easing her palm over the reassuring shape.
"Earth belongs to us, you fucker"
Kalliope slammed her palm shut.
The blast was virtually blinding; she feared her glimpse of McMillan diving back towards the doorway would be her last. Shuddering under her grasp, the silvery weapon discharged a massive ball of concentrated energy that spiralled ponderously towards the parylised demon. All existence seemed to end as the volley hit its target, spreading green tendrils of lightning across the immense chamber, frying anything and everything in contact; a built in shield barely saved Kalliope herself from the blast. The superintensity of the heat began to melt the monstrous brain sack, spreading to the steel legs and dissolving them in turn.
Loss of blood and blindness suddenly overcame Kalliope, and she resigned herself to the peace that the Gods had once so sincerely offered...

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One word: Brilliant!

Oooh and lots of new descriptive words I'm not familiar with that I should keep in mind for my own writing, wonderful!

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I've fixed a couple of errors / inconsistencies; it should read a little easier now.

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Wow, professional grade stuff. You've clearly revised it and 'weighed' it properly, as it's a really nicely balanced passage. Nice one Spike.

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Little Faith said:

Spike is probably the best Doomworld fanfic writer at the moment.

You can't really call any single author the best because frankly, they all are very talented. Spike, fucking awesome story. Two thumbs and all toes up!

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