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current version of my d antology contribution

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The Command Control Station (E1M4: Command Control)

The elevator came to a halt. It had reached surface level.
I moved my left hand onto the door handle in front of me and pulled it down. The shiny, light gray door slid open with a pleasant humming noise and I quickly brought my gun up in case something was waiting for me on the other side.
The small room was empty. Ahead of me was one of the big, bulky metal doors, the white light shone brightly on the tan hexagonal tiled floor and the dull green walls on either side of me looked quite normal.
"Hey! That wall ain't normal, is it?" I thought as I suddenly noticed a wall section, which was a bit grayer in color than the other sections. Curiously, I pressed my hand against the wall. It slid open with that horrible, whining sound, which I had gotten quite used to, revealing a closet with a box of shotgun shells and a medkit - a hidden emergency storage.
I picked up the shotgun clips and loose shells stored in the box and put them in my ammo bags attached to my belt before I proceeded to open the big door.
Behind it was a larger hall with walls several feet tall and a ceiling made of a translucent material so that the sky of Phobos was visible. To the far right was a small, bending hallway and next to it, about ten feet above the floor was an opening in the wall. At the center of the wall was an entryway to a relatively big room, which I couldn't see properly from where I stood. Peeking around the doorframe, I saw yet another opening a couple feet above the floor and next to it at the far left side of the wall ahead of me was another small hallway, bending like the one on the right. I noticed a barrel in each of the second floor openings in the wall.

I had just stepped inside, when several growls coming from the left told me that a couple uglies had been waiting for anyone to show up through the entrance.
I quickly backed into the small room I came from as a hail of bullets followed by a few fireballs whizzed past me. A howl told me that one of the former humans had accidentally hit one of these brown fireball-throwing freaks. I could hear how the enraged thing began to slash away at the unfortunate humanoid soldier. I put down my shotgun and pulled my assault chain gun off my back, getting ready to spray death.

An ugly, brown head with fiery eyes peeked into the room. The next instant its head exploded, its blood and brains spattering on the floor. Two former humans appeared a few feet from the door but they quickly went down with a single, short burst. As the ruined, perforated corpses of the two zombiefied humans fell to the ground, two of the brown s.o.b's ran into my view. One of them hurled a fireball in my direction, but a quick dodge saved me and I filled both of them with lead in a long burst before they could react further.
I peeked into the hall and noticed that a couple of uglies had appeared in the second floor openings. A couple of shots hammered into the floor around the place where I would have been standing a moment before, if I hadn't stepped back. I slipped the chain gun into the bag on my back, picked up the shotgun again and quickly returned fire with the shotgun, aiming at the barrel in the right opening. My shot was well placed and the barrel exploded in a satisfying blooming cloud of death, turning the baddies inside out.
I repeated the tactic with the barrel in the other opening, but it was harder to hit and took me three shots before the barrel turned the creatures into putrid chunks of dead flesh.
"Heh, first room cleared!" I thought to myself with satisfaction.

I was wrong about that statement as I heard the ragged breathing sound, which I had already heard a lot already. I noticed movement in the room next to the hall and swung my shotgun around.
A humanoid shape in the shadows was running towards me. I fired the shotgun taking the thing down - one of these filthy humanoid soldiers. Another shot rang out, but it wasn't me who was firing. Several shotgun pellets hammered into the wall next to me, but a few of them scratched my armor. I spun around and caught a brief glimpse of an undead soldier with a shotgun, before it ran behind cover in the hallway where it had apparently come from.
I knelt down with my shotgun ready. I had come to learn that the once human soldiers remembered the combat skills that they had been taught while human, but they had lost all rational thinking in whatever process which had turned them into mindless killers. This meant that they were rather stupid. I needed only wait a short while.
The thing ran out of the hallway again, aiming its shotgun in my direction, but I was quicker than it was and sent it crashing into the wall with a well-placed shot.

Having finally cleared the opposition in the immediate are, I took my time to survey the hallway and noticed several of my buddies lying dead and mutilated on the floor. Several bullet marks and scorched areas on some of the walls could be seen as well and I concluded that one of the heavier battles had been fought here.
My buddies had fought bravely, as could be seen by the ruined remains of monsters which littered the floor - I had only killed the ones who had stayed behind.

After gathering what ammo I could salvage from my fallen comrades as well as from my enemies, I peeked down the hallway where the last enemy had come from and noticed another hall with a raised catwalk. Lots of computer consoles was placed up there, so I knew that this was the Main Control Area. So far I had noticed that the creatures had a tendency to gather around central locations of the base buildings, so it was prudent to assume that there were a number of bad guys in there.
Considering what would be the safest course of action, I decided to look for an alternate entrance, as I smelled a deathtrap here. I returned to the first hall and decided to check out the other hallway on the far left side.

Much to my surprise, the room which the hallway led into, had several barrels with signs on them, indicating that these barrels contained hazardous material. The room was filled with baddies too which wasn't surprising. I quickly took down some of the monsters in there by blowing up one of the barrels, which created a chain reaction of explosions, wiping out the immediate area in the room, splattering organs, bones and fleshy limbs on the walls and on the floor. Several guttural sounds told me that there were more of them in there.


The former human went down with a painful growl, its body blown apart by my shotgun. It seemed to be the last enemy in this room.

Having ensured myself that the opposition was positively eliminated, I snuck into the hallway, where the former human had been firing at me. It ended in a bending staircase, which took me to a waste processing room, where a large cylinder with several doors was situated. Apparently a grinding machine of some sort. The machine was currently off-line. I saw several other hallways leading to this particular room as well.
I found that this station looked more like some sort of waste processing plant than a control station. The machine had me wondering what it was doing here. But then it occurred to me that this station was not only the Command Center of the Phobos moon, but the key station, which regulated everything on the Phobos base from waste processing, to operating the atmosphere generators. The waste processing was apparently shut down for now.

I noticed a sign reading: "Fuel regulator"
I went past the thing, not wanting to check out its interior as I heard unpleasant sounds inside, which sounded not unlike animal sounds, and went down a narrow hallway on my right. It led out to one of the openings, which I had seen in the receiving hall. I collected the ammunition from the now pretty ruined guns, which the now pretty dead former humans had been toting, before I blew up the fuel barrel next to them. It was a miracle that the explosion hadn't ignited the ammunition.

Returning to the fuel regulator I went over to the opposite side of where I came from and snuck into a hallway, which ran parallel to the hallway I had just checked out. Ahead of me, adjourning the hallway was a bending staircase leading down to the first floor and possibly the Main Control Area.
I killed another former human grunt. My shot alerted several others to my whereabouts. A deep growling sound came from the level below and I realized that I was dealing with yet another of those pink gorilla-like "bull" horrors. pulling out the chain gun again I backed a few feet away and prepared myself.
"I'll lead 'em a pretty dance with this baby!" I thought doggedly, quickly checking the Heads Down Display in my helmet, seeing that I had 215 bullets left.
The first monster appeared on the staircase. It was another former human, which was quickly cut in half by the spray of death I sent in its direction, but the next instant, one of the pink horrors sprinted up the stairs and came into my sights.
Backing further away and repeatedly sending short bursts into its ugly face I soon took it down without too much trouble. Three former humans rushed up the stairs just as my last burst sent the burly monster crashing to the ground, and began firing at me.
I caught a few pellets in the side of my armor and unfortunately one of the pellets penetrated the combat vest, giving me a wound in my side. I let out a suppressed grunt of pain as I felt the pellet hammer into my flesh and I angrily took all three grunts down in one single, long burst, ripping their bodies apart in a bloody mess.


I took a few steps down the stairs and froze in my tracks. Another pink freak was heading my way. It roared and charged at me. My chain gun replied with a swarm of bullets, while I backpedaled, constantly sending short bursts at the creature. It roared with pain each time the bullets cut wounds into its strong skin, spilling some of its blood onto the floor, but it kept advancing on me. The thing finally went down with a guttural grunting sound after I had filled a couple of bursts' worth of bullets into its ugly hide, whereafter I cautiously proceeded downstairs, whipping out my shotgun. The staircase led into that same room I had seen a fraction of, when I suspected a potential ambush – the Main Control Area.

The room was still not empty. A few zombiefied troops were waiting for me on the catwalk with the consoles and they opened fire as soon as I entered, forcing me to briefly retreat backwards up the stairs.


The firefight had ended. The bastards were dead and I looked around, noticing a lift, which would take me to the catwalk level.
I hoped that some of the monitors on the catwalk were working, so that I might gain an overview of the base's status. I stepped onto the lift after bringing it down to my own level.

Just as I removed my boots from the lift after it had brought me to the catwalk's level, I heard a terrible crumbling sound just behind me.
I spun around and came face to face with a group of uglies. The wall had collapsed, revealing a small room with monsters in it. In the front was another pink monster and behind it was a mixed group of former human soldiers and those brown fire-throwing things.

I reacted immediately and leapt aside, just as a humanoid soldier raised its rifle and fired in my direction. I hadn't reacted too late, as the pink "bull" thing came between the zombiefied soldier and me, with the following result that the soldier hit the "bull" in its back. I picked off the guy on my far right side, before it could raise its rifle at me, while the "pinkie" turned its rage upon the unfortunate former human, ripping out chunks of flesh from its torso.
The pink horror had just killed off the former human soldier, when one of the brown creatures accidentally hit it with a fireball, giving me time to take out yet another former human.
A fireball hit me in the chest and its heat scorched me as well as my armor vest. Enraged, I emptied another shell into the imp-like thing, sending it into the corner of the room.
The spent shotgun clip was automatically ejected. It fell to the floor with a hollow, metallic, clanking sound.

The pink thing grunted and charged at me at that very moment.

I hadn't enough time to reload, so I swung the butt of my shotgun at it, hitting it hard in the side of its mouth, knocking one of its misshaped teeth out of its ugly jaw and breaking the butt of the gun, but the monster just gave an unhappy grunt as if it had merely been attacked by a mosquito.
It rammed into me, sending me crashing into the wall. The air was knocked out of my lungs, yet I managed to force myself to keep moving, and with a wince of pain I leapt aside as the thing charged me again with its jaw wide open. It rammed right into a computer with terrifying force, emitting yellow sparks from the machine.
I quickly drew my pistol and pumped a full clip into the creature, killing it before it could turn around to attack me again.
I reloaded the pistol, slipped it back into the holster at my left hip and looked around for another shotgun I could use instead of the broken one. After reloading my new shotgun, which had belonged to one of the reanimated soldiers, I took a closer look at the computer screens.

A red warning light caught my attention. Peering closely at the monitor next to the flashing light I saw flashing red letters read: "Warning: Gravity processor is off-line. +6 minutes until critical level is reached"

I stared at the screen in disbelief. The gravity processor was not currently working, which meant that the Earth-like atmosphere on Phobos was slowly diminishing, turning the moon into a place, where I definitely couldn't survive without a spacesuit – and I had no spacesuit.
"Aww shit! I gotta reactivate that thing before it gets hard to breathe!" I was no technician, but I knew that such a Gravity processor could continue to supply the surrounding area with a decent atmosphere for several hours after it was shut down.

A mechanical voice suddenly boomed over a couple of loudspeakers: "Attention all personnel! +5 minutes until Phobos atmosphere turns critical. Ensure that all personnel are wearing spacesuits or have been evacuated!"

This processor had evidently been shut down for quite some time now and time was running out.
My eyes frantically ran over the consoles until I found a switch marked "Gravity processor". I threw the switch without hesitation. An error message appeared on the nearby monitor.
"Gravity processor is out of fuel! Activate fueling conveyance" I looked for a switch to activate the fueling conveyance, but found nothing.
"Shit, shit, SHIT!"
And then the loudspeakers came to life again: "+4 minutes until critical atmosphere conditions are reached"

I felt that the situation was hopeless. I was going to die because I didn't have a spacesuit. "How ironic!" I thought bitterly. In my despair I suddenly noticed something on the screen next to the Gravity processor switch.
In the shocked state that I had been in when I received the error message, I had failed to notice a rotating computer image of the interior of the Command Control Station. I noticed a cylinder flashing red. The screen had printed the text "Fuel Regulator off-line".
"The Fuel Regulator!" I thought, feeling a spark of hope. This must be the machine, which activated the fueling conveyance process. I had no other choice than to try. Clutching my shotgun firmly with both hands, I leapt down from the catwalk.


The loudspeaker informed me that I had only 3 minutes left.

I looked at the doors on the cylinder, but saw no door handle, so they were either opened from an external switch or they opened automatically on approach. I moved closer to them. All four doors opened with a whine and a group of those brown "imps" growled at me in unison. I was ready for them and pumped shell after shell into the room killing the monsters.

I ran inside and searched the dark room after finishing off the last monster. I found a console on the floor next to something sticky lying on the floor. Kneeling down next to the console I saw two buttons, one glowing, red button, which had been depressed, and one green button.

I pressed the green button, hoping for the best. A rumbling, churning sound told me that the process had started. The question was if it would activate the gravity processor in time.

I was wondering what the sticky mass that I had briefly touched before was, when I found out that it was the remnants of a corpse.
I found a blue security level keycard, which lay next to the eaten remains the corpse, which I thankfully couldn't see clearly in the dark.
Whoever the corpse had been, he or she had at least some security clearance, although it was the lowest level.
That keycard would might help me if I survived long enough.
Slipping the keycard into one of my pockets, I got up and leapt out of the now rotating machine.
A message over the loudspeaker make me let out a heavy sigh of relief. "Gravity processor activated. Base area atmosphere nearing Earth atmosphere levels"
I was saved - or at least for the time being.

I thought out loud for a moment. Someone must've shut down the gravity processor, hoping that it would wipe out the threat.

"Better get moving" I told myself and collected myself - I had only just recovered from the shock of being this close to certain death.

The door had blue sensors on the doorframe and required blue security level.

I had just cleaned a larger room of baddies, which looked like a kind of assembley hall.

I pulled out my newly acquired keycard and was happy to see that I had indeed found the right type. I slid it into a slot next to the doorframe and a merrily beebing sound told me that I had been granted access.

Inside was basically a maze of gloomy hallways. I could hear inhuman sounds from within and smell the presence of monsters as well, yet I couldn't tell how many there was and where they were.

I stepped inside with my shotgun brought up in firing position, pushing the butt of the gun firmly into my armor-plated shoulder. A loud hiss warned me that I had been spotted. An "imp" rushed straight at me from one of the side hallways with its claw brought up, ready to heave fire down my throat. I blew its head off, before it came any closer, but I could hear that several other creatures were approaching fast. They rushed at me from all sides, but I blew them away, while backing away out of the door.
Without warning, one of those pink monsters rounded the corner and rammed into me. The shotgun flew out of my hand as I fell onto my back. "Not again!" I thought, feeling its hot, stinking breath.
I managed to pull out my chain gun and I quickly whacked it in its ugly mug with the gun. Its head snapped sideways as the six-barreled gun hit it with a metallic clanking sound. I quickly emptied several rounds into its side and the creature fell down next to me with a heavy thud.
I leapt to my feet again, just as another brown fire-thrower came at me. I pointed my chain gun at it and pulled the trigger.


The chain gun was empty. "Dang!"

I hurled myself aside and a ball of hot fire slammed into the wall behind me. I threw my emptied chain gun into the creature's face, knocking it backwards. The thing was close. Too close for comfort.
I grabbed my shotgun from the floor and as the creature came back at me, I thrust the cold steel of the shotgun's shiny, coal black barrel into its mouth and pulled the trigger. The back of the creature's head disappeared in a cloud of blood and brains.

I stepped inside and began to systematically check out all the hallways. A ruined piece of cardboard lay on the grayish tan floor. Turning the cardboard piece around, I saw that it was a target in a military target practice field. This maze was apparently a marine training area.
I continued down the hallways with my shotgun at the ready and senses all alert.

I heard a click and saw something pop up out of the corner of my eye. I swung my gun around and almost pulled the trigger, when I realized that it was just yet another cardboard target. "Damn!"
I heard a sound behind me and felt that something was moving out of the corner of my vision. I spun around and came face to face with one of those brown things. It hissed angrily and leapt right at me with raised claws. I hammered the butt of the shotgun into its face, stopping it just before it reached me. I leapt back and emptied a shell into its belly spraying its guts all over the wall behind it.


I stepped into a waste managing area. I was glad to have gotten out of the training area. I peeked around the corner and found a dead marine lying on his back. The whole right side of his face was torn out, revealing the blood-spattered skull beneath his skin. I found a few clips, a keycard granting yellow level security and a medkit on him. I tended to my own wounds, giving myself some painkilling drugs, which furthermore had the pleasant ability to regenerate my skin. I went up to a door next to the consoles showing the waste processing status. The door had yellow security sensors on it and I saw a button next to it. I sign read: "cargo platform".

Curiously, I pressed the button and heard a grinding noise on the other side of the door. The cargo platform was now raised. I opened the door and looked into a loading area. A catwalk at the center of the room led to a door with an exit sign above it.

I stepped into the room, but leapt back as a hail of shotgun pellets hammered into the wall inches away from me. I quickly returned fire, disposing of the troublemakers. I peeked around the doorframe. The coast seemed clear and I went inside. I could see that stairs led up to the catwalk at the far end of the loading area. I smiled as I walked up to the exit sign at the end of the catwalk...
This story has been written independently from my long Doom story and has little in common with it.
I would be very happy to receive some feedback and especially some corrections as it's possible that the story contains misunderstandings.
wildman: you can expect to get this story mailed to you within the next couple days. Hope your page'll get back up soon.

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I enjoyed it as well, though there are areas that could use a bit of a polish:

1)I've noticed that, in your stories during character dialogue, the characters tend to use big, overly descriptive words, as if they were reading a book out loud. This isn't a good way to present conversations. What I usually do when making dialogue is plan the dialogue out in my head, and when I get to the actual quotes I ask myself if I myself would say those things if it were a real-life situation. For example, here's the quote in my head:
"The demon totally consumed that corpse, sucking on the guts and drinking the blood!"
Would you say that in real life? I know I wouldn't. So I change the quote to something I WOULD say in real life, like:
"Shit, did you see that thing eat the corpse?!"

2)There are some spelling farts that need to be taken care of. Remember, you need to use the right form of the word you are using.

3)This is, quite possibly, the nitpickiest criticism I've stated ever, but make sure that you are using the right form of Ammo for guns you are using. I noticed that you stated that the character found shotgun "clips." Shotguns use shells/slugs. This might sound like a bit of superficial correction, but it definitely helps the story, especially if a gun nut (like me) is reading.

4)The last bit of criticism I have for you is about the story as a whole. You write too methodically, saying, "I did this, then I did that, then I did this....." And so on and so forth. In order to draw the reader into the story, you have to pause the action a bit in order to provide descriptions for things. You must assume that your readers know NOTHING about the story. But if, in fact, they DO know something about the story, the extra description can only help to draw them further into the story. Remember, the reader's total immersion and rapt attention is the prime objective, no matter what you are writing.

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3)This is, quite possibly, the nitpickiest criticism I've stated ever, but make sure that you are using the right form of Ammo for guns you are using. I noticed that you stated that the character found shotgun "clips." Shotguns use shells/slugs. This might sound like a bit of superficial correction, but it definitely helps the story, especially if a gun nut (like me) is reading.

I know that modern shotguns don't use clips, but what about future shotguns? Remember, this story takes place in the future, and I would be surprised if shotguns weren't clip/ammo-box fed by then. And while I am no gun specialist, I'm still very interested in weapons - and I do speculate about how weapons would appear in the future.

4)The last bit of criticism I have for you is about the story as a whole. You write too methodically, saying, "I did this, then I did that, then I did this....." And so on and so forth. In order to draw the reader into the story, you have to pause the action a bit in order to provide descriptions for things. You must assume that your readers know NOTHING about the story. But if, in fact, they DO know something about the story, the extra description can only help to draw them further into the story. Remember, the reader's total immersion and rapt attention is the prime objective, no matter what you are writing.

I kinda figured that as well, and believe me: I usually spend a lot more time and concentration on avoiding writing this methodically, but this time I more or less forced that story. I'm still considering how to adress this issue and I hope to improve the story. Maybe I'll cut away some of the more redundant combat situations.

After all, I'm pleased with your feedback. I posted my story in its current state with the intention of getting advice and suggestion - and I got it, thanks :-)

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Glad to be of service! :)

And about that whole shotgun ammo thing--yeah, I didn't really consider that, and I wasn't wholly accurate in saying that shotguns only use shells. There are automatic shotguns, such as the Saiga, the Pancor Jackhammer and the Neostead 2000 that use clips and other forms of loading devices. Point taken.

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Sorry to bother you, but I have a hard time finding my own spelling mistakes. Word's spell checker is just about as useless as they come, and does just about as much to confuse me as it does to guide me.

I would be happy if someone could point out WHERE I made errors.

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Yesterday I did find a few spelling errors, but they were the wrong forms of words (such as loose or lose), and not spelling errors that word would pick up. I seem to have forgotten where they were, though, and I'm too damn lazy to go through the story again :).

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Well, I've corrected 'lose' to 'loose', so that one's covered.

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