Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Academic Honesty

"This is insane!" Diego shouted "These things have radiation cannons that will turn your bones to dust before the brain dies enough to stop the pain."
   He paused for a moment to savor the rapt attention of the other patrons in ramshackle bar. To draw the tension out further, he took another sip of beer. Not the best home brew, but it was the second free one he had earned with is stories, and certainly head and shoulders above the mass market piss he used to drink. Diego proudly thought he had learned an important survival skill.
   "But Hobbes wouldn't listen to that. He just told me - honest truth just like this 'We would be doing our listeners a disservice if we didn't cover all sides of the issue, and that means talking to the opposition.' Gotta love that attitude. He is dedicated. He was a surgeon before the invasion you know, broadcasting and ham radios were just a hobby. When we came across an old tower and a still working transmitter - he was like a kid in a candy store.
   We live in a deserted subway station, get maybe a half dozen visitors every few months, and ninety-nine point nine percent of the people who pick up the transmission aren't going to give a rats ass about our academic credentials, but he was set on this. Of this meant that I was set on this, since you just can't leave the good doctor alone with a loaded weapon. Can suture the smallest artery, but can't hit the broadside of a barn with a shotgun. (not really true, but Hobbes wasn't here to complain)
   Of course, its not particularly easy to find to the aliens if they aren't around. You can't just walk up to one of their laser towers you know. Thing chirps a warning when you get within a few hundred meters, and if you keep going - ZAP! Crispy Critter. So you just have to walk back and forth near the towers, or perhaps in a nearby town and hope that the alien equivalent of an anthropologist is sifting though some old garbage to learn about humans.
   We got lucky - for some very odd definition of the term lucky anyway - and found a patrol pretty quick. More they found us, really. You would think that something fourteen feet tall couldn't sneak up on ya, but these things apparently have some pretty damn good sensors and they can track you like a hound. A Saluki sight hound anyway - I don't think they can smell us.
   Now the usual description of of the alien encounter suits is not unlike the depiction of Baphomet made famous by Eliphas Lévi..." Deigo noticed the blank stares " know, a goat headed humanoid demon." The patrons of the bar began nodding in agreement. "But ugly doesn't really begin to describe them, they're painted up in this zig-zag high-gloss scheme, which seems like a bad camouflage, but in the light its very hard to look right at it without getting a bit blinded, and even in shadow, your eyes are pulled every which way - its like a jar of migraine.
   So now there are three of these things - they like to travel in trios mind you - and the three of them are pointing guns longer than I am tall in our direction, Missiles are perched on the one's shoulder and pointing right at us, another's got a circular saw with a blade the size of truck tire. Yes really - they do a lot of utility work with those suits, they're more of the alien equivalent of a forklift all points considered. A bad ass forklift that can take on takes mind you."
   Diego finished the last of his beer.
   "So then what happened asked a patron," trying to hurry along the dramatic pause.
   "They opened fire and killed us both." More blank stares, not one of the better crowds. "OK, OK, didn't think you'd by that. No you see, the doc lays down his weapon, puts his hands up, tells me to do the same, and then walks right towards the closest encounter suit. Now we've been told that these things have tried to communicate before, that the aliens have even cobbled together vocorders and translation software to make it simpler. But I doubt that these particular machines had ever met a human or tried to talk to one. It might not have been first contact, but it was definitely 'Dr. Livingston I presume'
   'My name is Thomas Hobbes, I mean you no harm - yes, yes he really said that, they're the ones with anti-tank lasers and he's apologizing for being the forward one -'I would like a chance to speak with you, to learn why you are here, so that I can broadcast this knowledge and teach others about you."
   Maybe a full minuet passes, possibly more, they're just standing there, unmoving guns still trained on us.Then one steps foward, nods a bit, and the stattaco speaker kicks in.
   "We have been listening to your transmissions for some time now. It is an honor to finaly meet you Thomas Hobbes."
   Like magic, another lager appeared in front of Diego, free of charge.

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