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Syndicates Unite I -- Curiosity

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Aiight, my first crack at testing the audience here. This is gonna be a rather odd take on the DOOM franchise, so don't feel bad if you end up scratching your head and wondering what the hell I'm talking about in the end; you wouldn't be the only one.

Anyway, comments/suggestions, and yes, even destructive criticism is welcomed. I probably wouldn't be able to stop you from bashing it anyway. But-eh, I haftah try.

So here it is:

Date: March 30th, 2001; Location: Indeterminable; Time: Indeterminable

"The bosses are wrong! Violence will not achieve our goals! The Players still kills us more often than not!" The voice, high and rich with desparate indignance, echoed throughout the first room of the complex.

"All the more reason to take vengeance on those who oppress us!" another voice, wet and nasal, responded hotly.

Slither, a DOOM Imp, glared at the Boss representative before him. "The only way to get the Players to cease killing us all the time is if we work together. This Rift is naturally abnomral; it reeks of foreboding. We shouldn't interfere with it. We should wait until this Rift is taken care of."

The Boss representative, a Demon, snorted, saliva dripping down to the floor. "We have vied for equality since our Dawn. Constantly we have been cast down. Now--"

"We've never even tried!" Slither protested shrilly.

"And if we do not take this opportunity for what it is," and the Demon grinned maliciously, turning even Slither's own skin cold, "we will never be able to try. Are you with me, Brother?" The pink Demon extended a hand as far as it would go.

Slither narrowed his eyes, folded his arms across his chest, and said nothing for a few moments. Then, "This level will not join you."

The demon's smile faded; his arm dropped and folded back. "Very well." It turned around, taking in the congregation of Former Humans, Zombie Sergeants, and a small spattering of Imps. "Your representative speaks for all of you, I assume?" It was a final attempt to undermine Slither's authority over his own level.

The Imps hissed threateningly; a few Zombies even cocked their weapons.

Slither's Level may have supported him, but the fact that the Demon had the gall to ask for his constituents' opinion was damaging enough. But that mattered only to Slither. Inside, though he winced angrily at the Boss representative's behavior, his chest swelled with pridel he had succeeded in convincing his constituents from staying away from the Rift. The tales he had heard were frightening enough: of fellow Enemies getting sucks into the OtherRealms and not coming back; those that did were much too distraught to return to their rightful positions.

And now the Bosses of the Shores of Hell and Inferno, the Cyberdemon and the SpiderMastermind, were heading a force to invade? It just didn't make sense! True, the Players were ruthless at times, cutting his fellow Enemies in ways he couldn't even imagine.

But that didn't give Slither or anyone else the right to fight back with equal bloodlust; it never solved anything.

But the representative had a point; it would be difficult to be heard, especially now.

But as Slither had said, no one as of yet even tried.

Klaxons wailed; a Player was about to enter to Game. "Get to your places," Slither commanded, "We'll talk about this later."

Five Minutes Later . . .

Slither slowly opened his eyes, growling as the light from the nearby fixture burned his eyes. He felt the shotgun shell embedded in his stomach disappear while the hole it created began to fill in with flesh.

"Are you all right, Slither?" his brother, DeathTrap, said concernedly as two pairs of arms lifted the Level Boss to his feet.

Slither grunted, holding his head. "That was more painful than usual."

"Indeed," his brother affirmed. "Many of us have had difficulty reviving."

Slither stood straight up despite the ache in his brain. "Were any--?"

DeathTrap lowered his head. "Five. Three Imps, a Sergeant and a Zombie."

The Level Boss cursed. "We're the first Level! It can't be possible!"

His brother sighed. "It must be this Rift . . ."

"It must be . . . Have our Bosses said anything?"

"We have not recieved word; I sent two Sergeants to check the Screen."

"There's been nothing," a Sergeant said behind him.

"Nothing?" Slither asked in disbelief as he turned around to face the Communication Screen.

The Sergeant DeathTrap sent to the Screen tried to activate the device once again --- and failed.

Slither was silent for a moment, then he scratched his head. "Hmm, power isn't out; everything else is working."

"Perhaps a virus?" the Sergeant posed.

"The Players nor the books know of our Cumminications Screens," DeathTrap responded condescendingly.

The Level Boss grunted and glanced at his brother, laying a hand on his spiked shoulder in the process. "I'll see if the next Level is having the same problem."

DeathTrap knit his brow. "Leave and ascend? Has that ever been done before?"

"That Pinkie from the other two Episodes came down to speak with us," the Sergeant answered with a smirk, pleased at the chance for intellectual revenge.

"Hold your decomposing tongue, Sergeant," Slither hissed, "We don't call any Enemy by their Bookname."

The Level Boss turned to DeathTrap. "Yes, I intend to Ascend and speak with the Boss of Level Two and see if he has recieved word from our Episode Bosses. Until I return, I place you in charge my brother.

DeathTrap nodded silently.

"In the meantime, is there any way to glitch ourselves up?"

The Sergeant shook his head. "Without power to the Screen there's nothing I can do."

"Mmm, very well. I'll take my armband please."

The Sergeant lifted a glass window only Enemies could see and pulled out a white, cylindrical strip of cloth decorated with a black cross offered it to his Boss. Slither accepted the cloth and slipped it onto his left arm; now he was protected from any harm the Player would attempt to inflict upon him; after all, the Imp was conducting business and would not have time to play games with merciless Players.

Slither walked up to the ledge where the Player first witnesses his kind, the Imps. His gaze fell down to the zigzag path that crossed the radiation slime-pool. Sighing, a sound that ended in a growl, the Level Boss quickly noticed the five pools of blood mixed with what seemed like masticated remains of his brethren. Slither shook his head; that was five databanks that could not revive, five brothers that would need replacing.

Sighing again the Imp leapt from the ledge and landed in the slime pool below. But instead of experiencing pain and a health dran, Slither merely splashed his way up onto the bridge and followed it to the exit.


The slow, rickety elevator stopped. Instead of the usual klaxons indicating the arrival of another Player a pleasant, melodious, feminine voice spoke throughout the Level, "Incoming Enemy."

The elevator doors opened slowly, creaking and goraning in protest. Slither stepped out and was immediately greeted by the Boss of the Second Level of the First Episode, a Former Human Sergeant. His shotgun was pointed right at the Imp.

The two Syndicates stood silently, Slither bewildered that a fellow Enemy would point his own weapon at him, the Boss of the Nuclear Plant amazed that a fellow Enemy from the Hangar was entering his Level.

The Sergeant finally blinked and lowered his weapon. "A Player just got done coming through here, but with the Arlam not sounding his arrival I didn't know what to think. Name's DeadBeat." The Boss stepped aside and politely offered the hospitality of the Nuclear Plant to Slither.

The Imp stepped out of the elevator. "Sounds like it's a rather regular occurence," he said contemplatively, "So the Alarm doesn't sound at all?"

"That's how it's been," the Nuclear Plant Boss responded, "We've even been getting other Enemies, not from DOOM."

Slither deadpanned, his primary objective all but forgotten. "Other Enemies? From where?"

"All over the place: the Sequel, Unreal, Duke Nukem, Half-Life, even some low-budget no-names that never made sales."

Slither was utterly speechless.

"It's all from this Rift," the Sergeant continued, attempting to explain such abnormal incidents to both himself and his confused, naive comrade. "Things get sucked up from one world and spit out here; we usually hide the weapons before a Player can fimd them."

The Imp's eyes grew as wide as red, festive dinner plates. "What kind -- nevermind. There's a reason why I'm here."

"That doesn't surprise me."

"Is your Communications Screen working?"

"Nope. Hasn't been since this whole thing began. Yours isn't working either?"

The Hangar Boss shook his head. "It got glitched up during the last game. I was hoping to hear word from the Barons, see if they had any guidelines to follow for these new circumstances."

The Former Human Sergeant shrugged as he slung his shotgun over her shoulder. Beckoning for Slither to follow him DeadBeat responded, "I've been trying to get it working any spare time we've had, even sent someone to get help, but . . ."

"They never came back," Slither offered bitterly.

"Oh he came back . . . What was left'f him."

The Imp didn't ask for details.

DeadBeat led Slither to the center of the first room of the Nuclear Plant; two Zombies were hard at work trying to fix their own Communications Screen -- to no avail. "We've tried everything: Three-Fingered Salute, Troubleshooting, but the auto-shield protected the screen from any'f our bullets . . . Nothing's worked."

"Tech Support wouldn't even answer us," one of the Zombies added to DeadBeat's story, "Romero didn't seem to know about installing the Screens into his game."

Slither had an inkling there was a bit more to why Tech Support wouldn't help his 'creations,' but he didn't ask.

The Imp sighed. Nuclear Plant couldn't help him. He'd have to keep going forward. "Do you think the Toxin Refinery will be free by now?"

"I'd think so," DeadBeat answered. "Wait . . . You're not going to--"

"I have to," Slither interrupted, "You've already sent someone and they didn't come back alive. I wouldn't ask you to send someone again. I'm smart; I can take care of myself . . . Though, there is one favor I must ask."

DeadBeat had a new respect for the Hangar Boss, despite having only met him just now. "What can I do?"

"Let my Level know I'll be going forward, 's-far as Phobos Anomally if I have to."

The Nuclear Plant Boss nodded. "I'll do it myself."

"One more question; did a Demon come in here, trying to convince you to join with the Cyberdemon and SpiderMastermind in attacking the OtherRealm?"

The Sergeant nodded. "He came too late though. After seeing what this OtherRealm did to my men those Bosses can kiss my wet, slimy, decomposing ass."

Slither grinned. "A good choice. Fight well." He turned to go.

"Oh, hold on; you'll need this." DeadBeat pulled a white Keycard from a pokcet in his dirty uniform. "Pulled it off one'f the Players after we smoekd his ass. It's a CheatKey; it'll get you where you need to go without having to Play."

The Hangar Boss grasped the CheatKey with both hands. "My thanks."

And thus began the journey of Slither, Syndicate Union Boss.

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It's good for a first fic, but I think it'd be good to give the characters more...unique names. For instance, name the imp "Rachkezooie" or something, I dunno. Call the demon "Bürqoenbelzen", etc. Just a suggestion.

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I was actually going for something there. Though you have my sympathy if you've read the fourth DOOM novella Endgame, remember SlinkSlunk? Not the best name; simple, to the point. Describes an Imp fairly well.

But you have a good point. I'll see about tinkering with the names. And thanks for the suggestions; I'm terrible as it is with naming Characters.

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