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About Mantafin

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  1. Mantafin

    Death of a Doomer

  2. Mantafin

    part 5: a blood-smeared passageway

    well, that's it. i'd really appreciate comments from anyone that has followed this story. i feel it was the weakest in the first part, due to reasons already discussed. i'd go back and re-write it but i'm just lazy. if i had to write it again, i'd probably split it into two more parts, the first describing an experience of purcell's grandfather, and the second describing an experience of purcell's father. i think it would be easier to work in backstory while describing something immediately interesting. as for the rest of it, i'm sure you all realize by now that Johnson had obviously become a zombie. as for the location, purcell was actually on phobos, not mars. if the story had continued he would've eventually ended up in some very familiar situations. there was a pistol waiting for him in his foot locker in the storage bay, in addition to a green spacesuit... aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyways edit: oh yeah and the reason he was discharged a month after everyone else on the transport wasn't actually a BMP fuckup, it had something to do with an intelligence officer that purcell would have met later on, a guy who knew about the experiments that were going on on phobos. that would've made an interesting and long-ass story.
  3. part 1: his namesake was a fallen reclaimer part 2: a different light burns the spirit part 3: gathering a situation part 4: where steel meets bone Maybe he could plead temporary insanity. He just popped out of his pod, what, one and a half hours ago? In addition, he was all hopped up on whatever these drugs were that he needed for his pod recovery. Oh yeah, the drugs. He needed to find more drugs before anything else, because he had no idea what would happen if he didn't inject himself. He leaned over and pushed himself off the bloated corpse of former BMP Johnson. They must have kept these drugs available in the BMP office in case of an emergency. Purcell glanced at the cupboards and shelves present in the small and blood-stained room in which he stood. The shelves didn't look like they had anything he needed, because they mostly displayed items that didn't need very careful handling such as bandages and splints. Purcell walked over and opened a lower cupboard, to the left of the sink in which he'd been pouring water for Johnson a couple of minutes earlier. He looked over at Johnson to remind himself of what he had just done. This was a nightmare. Purcell crouched and leaned his head inwards to get a glance at the items in the cupboard. Tongue depressers. Cotton swabs. Ah, syringes. He pulled out two of the sterile, shrink-wrapped syringes from their box. He had the apparatus, now he needed the purpose. He closed the lower cupboard and stood up to open one of the upper cupboards standing above the sink. The open door revealed several containers in formation, locked to the wall and surrounded by padding due to the unpredictability of space travel. Ah, they were in alphabetical order, the drug he needed would be in about the third cupboard. He closed the first and opened the third. Bingo, they were both there. He uncapped the first syringe and stabbed the bottle, taking a large pull. He pulled it out. Now for the second one, same procedure. Uncap, stab, pull, cap. Food. Why in God's name was he still thinking about food. He was lucky to have found the drugs. He would have been screwed if the ship had been cleaned out like it could have been. He looked back at Johnson's bloody mess laying on the floor. "What am I going to do with you, good buddy?" Purcell had a thought. He knew it was a long shot, so he had to fight down his excitement. The doors to the crew quarters at the fore section of the ship were locked with a biometric scanning system that only recognized ship personnel. BMP Johnson was ship personnel. It could work. Purcell put the syringes in his pocket and walked over to grab Johnson's corpse by the shoulders. This was going to be a task and a half, dragging his body all the way to the entry of the crew quarters. He had to get this monster past the surgical table blocking the entrance to the pod bay. He strained and struggled, and finally lifted the beast onto the table. He edged his way around the side of the table until he was standing in the entry to the pod bay. He tugged on Johnson's body until it crashed onto the floor, the boots creating a metallic ring to the sound. Purcell glanced over his shoulder to take in the length of the pod bay. Oh boy, this biometric thingie had better work. Purcell almost giggled when he saw the blood that was being dragged across the floor. He was losing his mind. He shouldn't be having thoughts like that. He kept pulling. Half-way there. Sweat was starting to form all over Purcell's body. He was going to need that sandwich after this. He kept pulling. Three quarters. Almost there. Purcell wished that Johnson would have used an exercise machine once in his life. Fat bastard. Finally. Purcell sat down with Johnson's bloody head in his lap. He started giggling. This had better work. After a couple moments of rest, Purcell set about to lift up Johnson's body to the biometric scanner. The reason Purcell was even attempting this scan was that it used a momentary pulse to scan the body, and it was a well-known flaw that it couldn't determine the difference between a still, dead heart or a live, beating heart. Purcell hit the button with his elbow. Bing. Green. The door unlocked, and Purcell was in. Thank God. He dropped Johnson's corpse like a sack of potatoes, and opened the door to the crew quarters. He rushed inside with a feeling of glee flowing through every blood vessel in his entire body. Maybe it was the drugs, but he was in Heaven, Mount Olympus, and Valhalla combined. He yanked open the door to the 'fridge' and tore open a box of rations. Sandwich! Purcell bit into the sandwich straight through the packaging. He felt like a demon, like he was possessed. Finally, the food which had become his purpose had been granted to him. He ate like the sloppiest, fattest, engineered pig back home. Then, he was full. He looked around at the five empty ration boxes scattered on the floor around him, and felt good. He was ready. He knew where he was, he had his recovery drugs in his pocket, and he had feasted like a pig in shit. With most of his problems solved, he turned to the issue of Johnson's unfortunate passing. He was a UN marine and he knew what they did to people who turned on their own. He also knew how he would be hunted if he tried to escape. He knew the game, so he decided to play it. The cockpit of the transport was wide open for anyone inside the crew quarters, so he decided to step inside, and sit at the pilots controls. Sitting in the captains chair reminded him of learning to fly back in Nevada. These interplanet transports were geared like average planes to ease the training process for pilots coming straight out of the air force, so Purcell knew he wouldn't have a hard time piloting one. His eyes focused out the window of the cockpit, and he noticed things looked very different than Mars. The sky looked like the night sky back on Earth, and the terrain didn't have all the distinctive red rock of Mars. He decided to check this ship's computer to see where they had actually landed. Just then, he saw a shadow pass over his controls. He turned around to see Johnson rushing towards him. Without a single thought, he tried to jump out of his seat and hit his head on the cramped roof of the cockpit. He turned to try and free himself from the tiny, enclosed space but it was too late. Johnson hit him in the back of the head with a force that the wickedest of children would never know. The pain was unbearable, and Purcell's eyelids fell heavily. His last conscious thought was the realization that Johnson had sunk his teeth into Purcell's shoulder. --- THE END
  4. Mantafin

    part 4: where steel meets bone

    i'm going to take a break for a few days. as for the hunger thing, i promise he'll find some food in the next part, right after he has non-consensual intercourse with a cacodemon.
  5. "Oh God." He stood in the entry of the room that served as the preparation area for soon to be hibernating passengers. It looked wider than the hibernation bay because it lacked the pods lining the bulkhead, but it retained the hospital-like cleanliness, even down to the table in the middle of the room which served the functions of a checkup table and a surgical table depending on the situation. Then there was the blood. It was dry but it still looked menacing, dashed across the pristine white walls, and even the ceiling of the room. There was a lot of it. Thomas had seen a little bit of combat as a fresh officer, but this much bloodshed felt unhuman. He hesitatingly crossed the threshold into the room, and sidestepped around the medical table, being excruciatingly careful not to touch the walls, depite the fact he was still covered in oil from his trip. Ugh, the room smelt like rotten food. Why hadn't anyone cleaned this up? He remembered he was still as hungry as a wolf. Maybe there'd be some rations that weren't rotten in this-- "Oh Jesus." There was a body on the floor, leaning against the side of the table that faced the rest of the room. It was a man, and a rather portly fellow at that. His skin was gray and there was a pool of dried blood underneath him. "Oh God." Purcell tucked his clothes and medication underneath his right arm, which he was still using to hold his pair of boots. He crouched beside the bloody corpse and placed his forefingers against the cold, gray flesh of the man's neck to check for a pulse. He wasn't surprised to not feel anything. This guy had probably been dead a while. He held up the identification card attached to the man's belt. "BMP Johnson, 104345, USS Fyodor. Jesus, Johnson, no wonder you couldn't help me through my discharge." As sickening as it sounds, Purcell was relieved to learn what had happened to Johnson. He regretted his anger towards this sad, crumpled corpse, but he still wondered why he had been left behind. With all of the other pods emptied, he must have missed the boat somehow. Why hadn't anyone else found Johnson? How had his blood been sprayed across the ceiling? Whoever did this must've been one sick bastard. Purcell knew he would report this as soon as he hit the terminal entrance. He stood up, and noticed the shower in the corner of the room and it occured to him that he wasn't going anywhere until he changed out of his damn oil suit. He looked at his fresh clothes and saw that he had covered them in even more oil when he threw them underneath his arm. An oil suit's purpose was to keep the skin in contact with fresh oil at all times during hibernation. It was actually a very large and complex membrane, which had been fascinating technology all those years ago when it had been introduced. He kept it on as he stepped into the shower. He set the water temperature and started the shower. He was glad there was still water, because sometimes there were an unlucky few who would have to cross the landing pad to the terminal wearing oil suits underneath their space suits, which was an unpleasant and squishy experience. He knew he was deliberately trying to avoid thinking about the corpse sitting mere feet away from him, but he didn't care. He just wanted to get into the terminal and have someone explain why he had been left behind. Of course, that could wait until after he had eaten. He looked down and his oil suit looked pretty clean. He started to pull it off, inside out. After every foot of skin he revealed, he would scrub down his exposed skin and the inside of the oil suit. This was standard operating procedure. Eventually, him and the oil suit were both clean as a whistle so he stopped the shower and stepped out. Now came the fun part. He laid his clothes out on the fairly clean counter and looked at all the oil he had left on them. Then, he took his oil suit and pressed the inner lining against the soiled areas. He smiled as the suit sucked the oil right off his clothes. Every time he did this, he remembered his friend Ivan, who had taught it to him. Ivan was probably still posted in Egypt.. Once he had his fatigues clean, he washed the part of the oil suit he had used in the sink. Then he stuck his head under the faucet and drank deeply. He quickly threw on his fatigues, and laced up his boots. Thank God he was almost ready to get out of here. He could eat a fucking horse. His muscles were tensing up and burning from the lack of nutrients. He left his oil suit on the counter and picked up his box of shots. He was preparing to leave when he couldn't resist another look back at poor Johnson. "Johnson, you prick, you could've left me a fucking sandwich in this lunch box you left me." Johnson moaned. "Oh Christ, oh Jesus, are you OK?!" Purcell bolted over and crouched in front of Johnson. "What the hell happened to you?!" Purcell asked. Johnson stared at Purcell opaquely, and coughed. "Hold still! I'm going to get you some water!" Purcell stood up and went to the sink, taking one of the cups that were secured above it. He was filling it with water when he glanced back at Johnson and saw the fat man rushing towards him. Johnson hit Purcell with both his arms, but Purcell barely registered the pain. Purcell lost it. His vision went red and he grabbed Johnson by his flabby neck. Johnson gurgled and kept swinging as Purcell raised the steel box above his head. Purcell was still strangling Johnson when he brought the box down across the bridge of Johnson's nose. Johnson didn't seem to notice. He brought the steel box down twice more as Johnson lost his balance and fell over backwards. Purcell had a death grip around Johnson's neck and followed the large man to the floor. Purcell probably couldn't be considered human at this point. He couldn't even register whether it was him or Johnson that was screaming. He was swinging the steel box with every mil of military muscle-juice screaming in his bloodstream. Then it was over. Purcell's senses returned to him and he dropped the box. He was straddling Johnson's oversized chest and looking down at a mangled and broken skull. Purcell leaned to his side and vomited. Water and bile mixed with Johnson's fresh blood. Now that his brain had returned, Purcell knew he was in heavy, heavy shit. This couldn't be explained away as self-defense. He picked up his box of meds and looked at it. He wiped away the various pieces of Johnson's head and opened it. The syringes had been shattered, and the inside of the box was moist. The fluids had probably drained out of the box. "Oh shit." --- to be continued
  6. Mantafin

    part 3: gathering a situation

    thanks for the praise, i hope others are enjoying reading this story as much as i'm enjoying writing it this is an experiment for me, as i haven't done any creative writing in a long, long time
  7. He was sobbing quietly as his mind entered a state of disbelief. How long had it been since he had cried? For some reason he thought of a girl he used to know. His crying stopped and he laid silently on the ground, exhausted and disspirited. He let himself rest, because he decided there was no use fighting the after effects of his twenty two month nap. His mind would have to return to him naturally, and what he was experiencing was pretty normal considering how looped a lot of other people had described their own pod discharges. He completely lost track of time as he lay, absorbed in his own internal world. It was like waking from a coma. The tile floor was cold but the oil in his suit was keeping him insulated. He felt numb, but in his mind the dark fog was dissipating, and he was beginning to feel better. Half an hour must have passed before he opened his eyes again. To his delight, his vision was returning. He looked around the Hibernation Bay with his eyes wide open. What he saw was still pretty fuzzy, but he was able to absorb the hospital-like atmosphere of the place. There were about 70 pods running up and down the sides of the main aisle, ending in doors fore and aft. At the fore was the crew quarters, and behind that was the cockpit. Aft, behind the other door, was the hibernation prep and discharge room, followed by a small cargo bay which had an airlock to the outside. It was a fairly small ship considering the number of passengers, and the roof was about a foot taller than Thomas. He was looking around, and it occured to him that it felt like it was yesterday when they were all standing in this room in their oil suits, receiving the standard speech about operating procedure regarding the hibernation pods. They all had lockers beside their pods to hold personal belongings, because many people felt more comfortable having some of their things beside them while they slept, instead of in the cargo hold. That might've been for superstitious reasons, he realized. He crawled over to his locker, smearing oil across the floor as he went, and opened it up. His dog tags were hanging from the hook on the inside of the door. He hated them but he was overjoyed to be holding something familiar. He threw the chain over his neck, and noticed there was a small box sitting in the locker that he didn't recognize. He pulled out the box with suspicion, and looked it over. It felt like it was probably made out of steel. The bottom had some sort of number pressed into it, but no identifiable markings. He opened up the box and discovered a note and three syringes. The note read: Lt. Thomas Purcell, This is your post-discharge treatment: Blue: immediate Yellow: 2 hours post Red: 4 hours post BMP Johnson Purcell crumpled the paper into his fist. He remembered Johnson from the pre-flight orientations, he seemed like a lush. He was probably in a seedy miner bar right now, drunk off his ass. He was going to face hell for being absent during Purcell's discharge. He took the blue syringe out of the box and tried to calm down. As he pushed the incompetant bumple from his mind, he uncapped the needle and spiked his upper left arm. He felt instantly the military grade pharmaceuticals as they entered his bloodstream and began to rework his body fibers, repairing the twenty two months of disuse. He was going to need some proteins in his stomach to help the rebuilding process, and the drugs caused an intense hunger to appear. All of his thoughts faded in the presence of this insane hunger. If he didn't get his hands on some food, he was going to kill somebody. He grabbed his clothes, boots, and watch from his locker and carried them along with his treatments as he walked towards the fore section of the ship. There had to be some food in the crew quarter. The door wouldn't open. The lock used a biometric identification system which didn't recognize him as a member of the crew, and denied him access. He'd have to go out the other way. At this point, he felt like a lion left in a cage without food. He tried to run towards the other door, and fell to his knees in a reminder of how weak his body remained. He hoisted himself up with his belongings and walked as fast as his tortured body would allow him. He walked the entire length of the hibernation bay with thirty five pods on either side of him, and unlatched the door to the BMP's office. As he pulled the door open, the first thing he saw was the blood. --- to be continued
  8. Mantafin

    part 1: his namesake was a fallen reclaimer

    thanks wildman, i wasn't expecting to get feedback from the great rick clark :) i hope you find i've tried to run with everyone's suggestions in the second part.
  9. Thomas was struggling against his own mind, trying to gain clarity. His inner world was confused and slow. His repeated attempts to construct some sort of logic were failing. He needed to see where he was, but all he could see was that damned light. He rubbed his hands together to try and warm himself. Something was obstructing them. They felt sticky. Sticky? He used his left hand to press up and down his right index finger. He was wearing something on his hands, and each press against his finger would cause a depression until he pressed a spot beside it. He squinted as hard as he could to try and see the hands he was holding right in front of his face, but he only saw them as dark, fuzzy blobs. It's the oil, he thought to himself. He knew the name of the goop covering his entire body, but he still didn't feel any closer to understanding his situation. He could also feel the snug body suit he was wearing. He knew it pressed the oil against his skin, and suddenly he thought he knew what had happened. His new thought shocked his system, and he fell backwards onto his ass. If he was right, there would be something behind him that would prove it. He waved his arms around blindly, trying to grab ahold of the container he was looking for. He found the lower rim, and placed his hand inside. He felt a rush as his suit sucked cold oil onto his hand. He was crouching in front of a hibernation pod. The suit he was wearing was called an oil suit, and it was made using specialized machines combined with biological components. These suits were familiar to anyone taking flights to Mars, as spending 1.8 years in a Hohmann transfer ellipse on a tiny sun bus was not considered to be a very enjoyable time. The boredom of the trip was one of the reasons why the bus maintenance personnal (or "bumples") were paid so much. They had to stay awake during the entire flight to keep an eye out in the hibernation bay. In addition to the routine maintenance they performed, they were in charge of pod entry procedures, initiating the pod release sequences, and re-acclimating discharged passengers. Wait a second, if he was just discharged from his pod, where the hell was his bumple? Who was going to re-acclimate him? He felt a nervous boil of acid hit his stomach, and he vomited. Things must be seriously wrong if there wasn't a bumple on duty. He knew this and wished he didn't, because the foggy confusion that had been an annoyance was quickly becoming full-blown panic. He tried yelling for help. "Hello?!", his voice arose, weak and soft. "I need, help! Bumples!" At that moment, he realized what a pathetic mess he must look like. An atrophied body from 22 months of space travel, covered in oil and spread across a cold tile floor, wailing for help. He started to cry. --- to be continued i hope this was less dry, i got caught up in describing backstory in the last segment. this segment about 2/3rds the length but hopefully more potent.
  10. Mantafin

    part 1: his namesake was a fallen reclaimer

    oh, ok. i thought you were talking about whether the audience would find it intriguing and exciting.
  11. Mantafin

    part 1: his namesake was a fallen reclaimer

    what does the audience say?
  12. Mantafin

    part 1: his namesake was a fallen reclaimer

    you're both right, it's too dry.. i guess i'm used to writing essays, i'll try to get on with the interesting stuff as soon as possible.
  13. Thomas was squinting. He couldn't see anything but the cold white light that felt like fire to his sensitive eyes. He hadn't used them in eight months, but he didn't know that. At this point he was simply trying to get his bearings. Where was he? The Union Aerospace Corporation was the megacorp responsible for almost all of the industrial infrastructure on Mars. In fact, their colonization of the planet had become more successful than even the most ardent futurists would have imagined. They had developed several pieces of technology which allowed them to access unheard-of stores of energy from the natural resources available on the planet. These technologies originally caused a revolution in industrial processes back on Earth, and UAC capitalized handsomely. The Solar System's population was both excited and uneasy about the rapid colonial development that was being reported from Mars. There had been an incident on Earth's moon during the infancy of Gunthal processes for world-building. The UN development wing had been reporting success after success until they lost control of most of the Gunthal construction systems. It took them nearly a decade to stop the malfunctioning machines, and by that time around eighty percent of the Moon's surface had been covered with colony buildings that were uninhabitable due to the completely random placement and insane short-circuits of Gunthals beyond human control. Thomas' grandfather had been part of the UN reclamation force sent to restabilize the Moon's surface by halting the mindless propagation of the Gunthal construction systems. They had their job cut out for them. It wasn't particularly hard to destroy Gunthal components, but the rate of production and construction that made them so appealing for the colonies made them nearly impossible to contain or control after the catastrophic failure of the UN dev wing. Thomas was raised hearing stories of the reclamation. The first few years brought horrifying tales that described stunned crowds of marine squads. With no pertinent training or orders for dealing with the new consumption-hungry plague, they largely improvised crude techniques to stop the process that was quickly rendering large areas of the Moon uninhabitable. Thomas was named after his grandfather's brother. The man was also part of the reclaimers, but went missing during one of the very early operations experimenting with the usage of nuclear weapons against the Gunthal. In fact, most of the team running those experiments wound up dead or missing, and the promises of reclaimer scientists that the weapons would cause only minor destruction to the Moon's structure were not materializing. The experiments were quickly abandoned. The tide of the Gunthal war finally turned when a pair of companies named Johnson Aerospace and Bolton Aerospace developed fragile techniques for destroying the reproductive processes present in the Gunthal machines. The reclamation forces were finally able to stop using destructive force to annihilate Gunthal installations, and begin to neuter the Gunthal, so that they'd expend their own energy and die without propagating further. It was a slow process to stop the Gunthal from spreading, but it worked -- especially as the neuter devices became more effective. The aerospace companies which developed the Gunthal stopping technology were recognized by the UN as indispensible allies, and the UN development wing was scrapped. In it's place, Johnson and Bolton were merged along with a few other minor aerospace companies, and the result was named Union Aerospace Corporation. This new and gigantic company was the darling of the post-war period, especially because they were promising new technologies that would make the Gunthal process look impotent (as if their neuter devices weren't enough). In addition the new processes would have fail-safes that would make uncontrolled spawning impossible. Their cutting-edge technologies, massive resources, and a UN mandate made UAC the most powerful corporation to ever exist. Politicians who questioned the reasoning behind giving a private corporation so much power were quickly furnished with luxurious mansions in Moon sectors that were being slowly recreated out of the ashes of Gunthal insanity. They were also quickly reminded that the UN still had oversight on UAC policy, no matter how many writers, poets, or bleeding-heart liberals claimed this was a formality. The truth was that the UAC had become a behemoth compared to the UN, and possessed a huge security unit that dwarfed the UN's multi-national military. UAC had developed an opaque command structure which assured the UN would only get involved in UAC politics during periods of extreme controversy. Despite this, the formal command structure was preserved, and UN delegations were always welcomed with much respect and fanfare to UAC events. The grandfather who fought the Gunthal war hung up his "dust hoppers", as the reclaimers' boots were nicknamed, and returned to Earth for a career as the owner of a construction business depending heavily on the new UAC techs that were being developed. He eventually had a family, giving birth to Thomas' father. Thomas' father received a fine education from the profits of his own father's innovative business. He eschewed the military which had provided so much for his father, and studied literature until he ended up a high school English teacher. Despite his academic leanings, Thomas' father would never lose a deep respect for the military that he saw so much of through his own father's friends. University bored Thomas. When he finally graduated with a degree in political studies, he had no idea what to do with it. However, his family still had some very close friends in the upper echelons of the military establishment, and they all seemed to want him to go through UN officer training. He decided to follow in his Grandfather's footsteps and sign up for the marines. What a mistake. None of these thoughts were passing through his head. His limited faculties were aware of the blinding light, and the fact that he felt enormously cold. He felt cold tiles pressing against his hands and knees. Where the fuck was he? --- to be continued