Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™
Man what I wouldn’t give for a pack of cards or something. This is so boring I feel like the wait more torturous than the actual maze. It’s all ‘rush, rush rush’ from everyone but then they just seem to be enjoying themselves sitting around and doing nothing. I will never understand how humans can just do… nothing.
Viktor, who is unable to share his companion’s appreciation of sheer boredom, sits in the safe room restlessly; cleaning his weapons and counting down each individual second until the next stage. This place is so alien from the lush forests of Arlington; he missed ‘outside’ and just wanted to get back to freedom. He decides that no matter what he is going to get out of here, and he will be helping these ‘allies’ of his escape too. They remind him of Sarah…
I will get you out of here too Sarah. I can’t imagine what you are going through but we will escape here together. We will get our freedom and get you fixed. I swear that I will or I will die trying. Just say strong.
The timer finally counts down and it is time for everyone to leave the safe room. No one really knows where to go but Viktor just wants to go anywhere. Once a path is chosen they set off and find more idiots and psychopaths; Viktor steels himself and prepares to take more lives in the name of his crusade. Yet more lives taken by his and his friend’s hands. That was the first time he ever thought of them as proper friends; friendships built upon the need for survival and the bodies of those who opposed them. To Viktor it was just like back home in the militia, if you weren’t strong enough to survive the Brodkill and the other terrors that lurked out there you wouldn’t stand a chance. Brodkill, psychopaths, robots, they are all the same to Viktor; just threats to be neutralized.
Viktor’s Alignment has dropped from Scrupulous to Unprincipled
The mech threw a spanner into the works. Viktor thought he could outsmart it, he tested its infrared sight and then thought he could remain unseen due to his armour. He never expected the missile barrage. Unable to dodge out of the way, him and most of his friends were blown to pieces by the attack. His armour saved him but the unarmoured Juggernaut known as ‘Rob’ wasn’t so lucky.
Fuck no, you aren’t dying on me man. Already had two of us die, you are not going to be the third.
Viktor knew that Rob was capable of seemingly godlike healing and he hoped that he would make it through this injury if he could just stop the bleeding. He pulled out the can of coagulant foam that he saved Larz with and set to work on stopping the bleeding. The odds were stacked against him and his friends enough as it is; he can’t allow one of them t just die like that. Viktor was just glad that it was only Rob’s foot and that he wasn’t torn to pieces like that beautiful woman who he never even knew the name of. That was something he regretted, he wished he could remember her name but at the time he wasn’t particularly interested.
Viktor had no idea how to advance on the robot. Rob had healed long ago but had not awoken yet. Viktor began to think that they might not be able to succeed after all. There had to be a way but the last time they tried they were decimated. Sure the robot appears to have powered down but there was no way to be sure or to be sure as to what else is there. He was worried about not being armoured, but even more so he was worried for the young cat-girl who also was now unarmoured as well. She didn’t seem like a fighter and certainly wasn’t as fast as Viktor; no one was as fast as Viktor. Viktor’s spirits were lifted when Rob finally awoke; although h seemed different. Who could really blame him though, he almost died to that missile barrage.
As if Viktor’s suspicions that everyone here but his friends were psychopaths wasn’t already proven… they met Lesley and her companions. A fierce but short battle erupted and Lesley seemed to have the same nimbleness that Viktor had even though she was human. She dodged out of the way of Larz’s machinegun fire until Viktor caught her in the stomach with an arrow. After that is was just more bad luck for Lesley as Larz unleashed another torrent of deadly metal; this time tearing her unarmoured body to shreds. In a way it was comforting to Viktor to know that even the best of the enemy can’t shrug off that type of punishment.
Viktor could feel the next safe zone was close; it was as if it was just beyond the next door. And Viktor was right, he could see the metal safety door at the end of a corridor… right behind the guy surfing a forklift…
You have got to be fucking kidding me. Oh and look, he has the red key… yay. Well let’s get this shit over with.
This time they had a plan though for dealing with this psychotic mid-boss, but alas everything fell apart as Viktor realised he was outmatched in prowess against this guy. Lesley was fast but this guy? He wasn’t natural. Visions of Viktor’s horrific and bloody battles with the Brodkill in hand to hand to combat burned into his mind; just as how the ghastly scares from those fights had burned their way into his flesh. Viktor steeled himself for the worst and got prepared to go blow-for-blow with his equal. As if fate had intervened to stay his hand from this fight, his enemy fell to a demise of his own creation as he fell beneath the tires of the very same machine he was surfing on only a minute before.
Once the last remaining combatant was neutralised a sense of numbness fell over Viktor; they had won, or at least so he thought. Viktor fell to his knees beside the carnage and looked at the door in horror. The one enemy he couldn’t beat resurfaced to crush his spirit as he saw the timer; 44 hours remaining until their 12 hour ‘rest’.
I swear these walls close in on me every time I blink, the clock is still at 41 hours and I worry that it will never reach zero. Thinking isn’t my strong suit but something here isn’t right, well besides the obvious. Everyone being insane and murderous, with some being as fast as me even though they are only humans… this feeling I have is just like the feeling I had when I fought that fat man in the red suit. Psychotic with combat prowess far beyond what it looks like he should have; his robot companions… This entire set up is just like the attack on Arlington.
Viktor mused on what he just realised. Could this entire freak show of a death trap be the fat man’s doing? No, one of his goons like that woman they fought before; nothing more than a pawn for the puppeteer’s sick games.
Viktor had a duty as a Defender of Arlington to find out the mastermind of this place and stop his attacks on Arlington, if he was even the one who has planned all this. Either way Viktor is sure that he can save Sarah and the other prisoners if he can just get to the control room where this is all run from.
After Viktor came to this realisation; it made the 40+ hour wait remaining all that much more excruciating to deal with and Viktor tried to spend as much of the time as he could just sleeping or training. He knew that to get through this next stage he would have to be in peak condition; he can’t just sit around doing nothing like everyone else. Where he comes from if you get lazy, you get dead. After what seemed like 3 weeks the timer reached zero and everyone could progress.
Disqualified? What the fuck is with this? I told Gobi we needed to choose a princess, I trusted that Gobi knew what he was doing but it seems he is in the dark just as much as I am. Well then we need to go back…
Breaking Viktor out of his thoughts was the sound of hissing gas as the room began to fill with green fumes. Assuming the worst case scenario (which in here, when isn’t it?) he didn’t want to get a lung full of nerve gas so he slammed on his gas mask and seeing that the young humanoid girl Aya was without a mask quickly threw her his spare re-breather. Beautiful women are hard enough to come by in this world without just letting one of them die for no reason.
After what seemed like an eternity of doing nothing but bickering and needless issues (and one massive void into the seemingly endless Cosmos) they finally chose to go back to the first level and choose a princess. After a not-so-fun purple haze of a piggyback ride on Gobi’s coral armour through a mass of bloody ooze, they went back and even though Viktor wanted to choose Sarah, Gobi feared that choosing her might put her in danger.
I hope you are right Gobi, last time I trusted your judgement on this one decision it didn’t go so well. But we are brothers-in-arms and I will not hate you if you are wrong… I just hope you are right. We both have friends riding on your judgement.
Yet another groggy swim through the bloody ooze and Viktor began to kind of enjoy the numb hazy feeling it gave him, he seemed to drift through time without a care in the world. He just kind of wished he had some of this stuff for the 44 hour wait. Once they were back through they found out that the key card they had they could exchange for additional supplies. Although Viktor loved the idea of extra water it was decided that Aya should get some new armour.
Now Viktor was expecting that everyone would want to wait here until their time was up, but it seemed like Rob was ready to go and wanted to stride onwards towards the next room of horrors and Viktor was more than happy to follow alongside his friend if it meant that they wouldn’t have to wait. It was at this point that Aya awoke once more; but it was as if she hadn’t remembered anything about Viktor, Rob or Gobi. This kind of hurt Viktor because he thought that they had a connection. Nothing romantic or anything stupid like that; because for one there was no time for such useless emotions like that here in this gauntlet of death and insanity.
Even if there was time for stupid things like affection and love; I had enough trouble with that Evelynn woman back in Arlington, by the Gods it was hard to deal with women like that. Come to think of it, that might be why I get along so well with Sarah…
Viktor thoughts trailed back to his friend who was being held captive and tortured in this hellish place and he steeled himself to confront whatever would greet him in the next stage.
As if the strange happenstances would never end; Viktor and his allies was confronted with Larz again who was clad in his unusual armour, as well as a new guy who Viktor instantly recognised as being the same as Lesley. Fortunately it seemed like this guy while being insane, wasn’t looking to try and murder any of them and to Viktor he actually seemed like a lot of fun to be around.
Lasers and spikes and psychos oh my! Seriously, whoever designed this needs some more creativity. The barrels are an interesting touch though…
Gobi’s armour had healed up and everyone was ready for the second push up the hill. During this time Viktor and Aya bonded over the strange and physics-defying traps that were ever present in this hell they found themselves in. The group continued along with remarkable ease; stopping to help their new Crazy friend they met who was perplexingly named ‘Spray-and-wipe’. Viktor decided not to judge; after all he seemed like an agreeable type of guy and didn’t try to beat him or his friends down.
This ‘agreeable’ guy seemed to make life a hassle for Viktor as for a practical joke he thought it would be hilarious to throw a smoke grenade into an enclosed room. In a more light-hearted place it might have been amusing or even funny, but people were not really in the mood to joke like that, especially Aya who had copped an absolute beating on the drill field.
The group encountered obsticles along the way but Rob seemed to be able to defy the rules here without penalty and made quick work of them. Everything was going well until all of a sudden Viktor and Gobi made a leap through a small passageway on an elevator… and weren’t quite fast enough.
Viktor saw the end coming as his unreinforced body was about to be torn in half by the elevator as it raised up, but Gobi was much larger than he was and his armour stopped the shaft before it eviscerated him. Viktor took this chance to slip down in the gap that Gobi had left open, but he couldn’t let his friend be slowly crushed to death. In a blind rush Viktor wedged his shield in the gap and told Gobi to retract his armour. Gobi did and the shield absorbed the load; keeping the elevator in place long enough for Gobi to escape the hole.
As Viktor stared at his damaged shield he left a piece of his old self come back to him; the same spirit that was with him when he held the line with Peter against the Fat Man in Arlington so that Sarah could escape. He liked this feeling; it reminded him of whom he truly is.
More traps were to follow and although there was a rather nasty fire trap that marked people with the same energy signature that the powder and the star water had; was it some kind of radiation? Are these fires nuclear emission? It made sense as he saw Larz’s armour be decimated by the heat coming off the fires.
Thankfully for the most part people were able to make it through safely after that; aided by the help of Rob’s magic. It was at that point where Aya was unlucky enough to be caught at the last moment by a green fire barrel from another one of these mechanised enemies. Quickly the group dealt with the enemy as Aya ran in a blind panic into the next room… where they encountered a baby in a power armour suit.
You have got to be kidding me…
Without any real provocation (except for Aya running around on fire and screaming for help), the baby swore and took up arms against Aya and the rest of the group. Viktor; still horrified by an intelligent but obviously augmented human infant fighting them, could do nothing more than support the group as he quickly gunned down the laser turrets on the wall. Gobi, who taunted the infant with a pacifier drew him into the fire and him, Rob and Viktor began to fight him. As Viktor began slashing into the cabling at the back of the mechanised suit, that Viktor realised the significance of what he was attempting…
I am really trying to kill an infant? I know that it isn’t a normal human child but still… I cannot. Gobi and Rob are fighting it and they seem to be winning; I have seen them do things I hadn’t even really believed possible. Gobi blew the head off a borg in 2 blasts. From what I have seen, they don’t take prisoners so I cannot be a part of this fight. That is one step I will not take. If Gobi and Rob should lose then I shall bear the consequences of my inaction and join them in the afterlife, but this is something I cannot do.
And with that Viktor silently disengaged from the fight and walked back to Aya and the others and laid down, his head swimming with the dark thoughts of what might come.
Why the fuck did it have to be an infant? I will make you pay for this Puppeteer, I swear it…
And Viktor’s eyes closed and he slipped into the darkness of his dreams.
Fucking hell Rob, I was hoping to give you the benefit of the doubt that this wouldn’t come to blows, but you and Gobi seem to be intent on starting shit. Well at least you are honest about wanting the fight, rather than just trying to provoke him into attacking first.
Viktor knew how this would end. The juggernauts of Gobi and Rob would valiantly stand in the face of all dangers and tank them like bosses. Well more power to them, Viktor wasn’t having none of that for himself. He had apparently died here once already. Sweeping the thoughts of his supposed fiery demise from the depths of his mind, he readied his last smoke arrow and prepared to launch it through the doorway into the room. Rob and Gobi can’t see in the dark but in a cluster fight it would hinder them less than it would hinder the others. Confusion is the friend of the outnumbered after all.
He took his shot; the arrow flew straight and true and as the room began to fill with blackened smoke, he saw what could only be described as the most ‘flamboyant’ wrestler Viktor had ever seen pouncing onto Rob and pinning him to the ground. The fight was fast and bloody, exactly how Viktor knew it would end; except for one event he never saw coming.
It was a woman; the one thing Viktor could never deal with. Brodkill? No problem. Chainsaw wielding psychopaths? Easily dealt with. Axe-throwing fat combat cyborg in red pjs? Nothing he couldn’t deal with. Women? Yeah… not so much. This woman however was not armed, she wasn’t dangerous; she was scared, half naked and running straight at him. Forgetting that the crab was sealed off from outside the room, Viktor thought he needed to stop her before she was torn apart by the mechanical hazard.
He chases after the woman with his superhuman speed and pulls her to the ground just in time to realise his mistake. Crab’s gone and he is now almost lying on top of a voluptuous half-naked woman who probably fears for her life right now. The fighting died down as Viktor tried to calm his new ‘captive’ and observe the carnage through the clearing smoke. So much death and gore, however that didn’t surprise Viktor; combat is always bloody and messy; there is no real way to get around it.
After a quick patch-up job of the other surviving woman from the fight (whom Viktor shot and thought he killed through the smoke) talked resumed and once more Viktor saw the tempers between Rob and Gobi flare up again as they argued over how to deal with the fact that during the fighting that Tyrintino and his two main henchmen escaped back into the Yellow room. Viktor understands that tensions are high, but you would imagine that a politician and a demon-hunter might be able to keep their cool a little more often.
Regardless of that, after a while people settled down and talking began to occur. Viktor wasn’t paying particular attention though; his thoughts at the time were occupied with the weird feeling he had after he tackled Natasha and her words to him afterwards. There was something about it that didn’t sit right, but he wasn’t sure what it was. It was stupid for Viktor to be this careless and he only realised his mistake as he saw the doors to the Yellow room were open and that they were being fired upon.
Viktor froze in fear; not for himself, but for the curvaceous woman he only just met. She realised how un-armoured and defenceless she was. Thankfully once again, Gobi and Rob step in and take the laser assault like champions; giving Viktor enough time to grab Natasha and drag her to behind the relative cover that there was below the steps leading back down into the corridor. Once he got her to safety, Viktor threw her the armored flight suit he had spare and told her to put it on if she could (he worried her full-figure might not fit into the smaller-sized suit) as he covered the area while the doors closed in front of him.
After what seemed like forever, Viktor decided it was time to try and get these doors open again. After hitting the door to try and get people to reopen it and by good fortune alone, a severely wounded but victorious Rob was waiting for him when the door opened. Viktor was treated to the sight of a broken and defeated Tyrintino who seemed to have finally realised that he was just a man amongst gods of Gobi and Rob. Viktor trusted Rob and Gobi, but this sight once again reinforced just how disposable and insignificant he is compared to them.
There was a lot of talking that followed; once more tensions began to flair, especially when Rob decided to eat the food in the yellow room. Viktor understood his reason for doing it, but he doesn’t need to and right now food is a little bit of a concern for the group. Thankfully it was decided that bygones should be bygones and the group moved on. Eventually it was decided that the group will rest up and soon will head out into the white chamber and try to confront the psychic monster of a man that resides there.
Viktor decided to take first shift in the resting period, and while Rob and Gobi protested against Natasha accompanying Viktor in his watch, Viktor enforced it because he couldn’t stand the thought of her being so sad. He realised that this might not have been the smartest move, but what could he really do? He couldn’t upset such a cute woman as her; even at the best of times he has trouble dealing with women. It was during that time that something happened that he was entirely not prepared for. Natasha started to come onto Viktor, it was obvious what she wanted and her unabashed approach threw Viktor completely off-guard. Sufficed to say, he was far from able to withstand her charms. Viktor knew Natasha wasn’t the most beautiful woman he had ever saw, however she was still quite attractive and Viktor knew that he was far from a handsome man. So all-in-all he could certainly do worse, especially in a place like this.
It doesn’t matter if she is trying to use me. She needs protection and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that she has it, I understand that. I told myself I would protect her anyway, even before all… ‘this’ happened. I guess I should just think of this as a reward.
It was only after he was awoken by Gobi; still in bed with Natasha that he realised how compromising this must look.
Well you know what? If they want to judge me, then fucking go for it. Pretty boys like them must often have women falling over them. Hell even Tag-along is a massive pretty boy compared to me.
Time passed and the only thing of note in Viktor’s eyes that happened was that the women began to start complaining about headaches and stomach pains. Viktor realised it must have been dehydration and hunger. This meant that Viktor had to teach them about eating and drinking. It would have been a lot easier to just allow the fluid to sustain them like it always did, but that would mean they lose all their recent memories and Viktor had grown quite attached to them; especially Natasha.
In time Rob and Gobi had healed and said they were good to move on. Viktor steeled himself and prepared himself for whatever the maze might have in store for them.