Transmigration 9: Brave New Worlds

Pan-fandom, SciFi, and Screwed-Up


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first_of_steel wrote in trans_9
That Mindy girl's alien burgers had turned out pretty good last night, and Roger will remember them in future, but right now his mind was on something else she told him about. She'd mentioned the Sensoriums could simulate just about any environment he could think of, and since he'd found a map to their location on his omnicomm this morning, he figured he'd put that to the test. He'd seen virtual reality training pods before, although as an MP he never really rated using one, so he wasn't sure what to expect.

... the desert north of the Lost Hills bunker where they'd been taking the younger Initiates for training, apparently. An absolutely perfect replica thereof, even down to the scorpions the size of Corvegas.

Huh.

Well, no sense wasting a perfectly good blighted hellscape. They'd pulled him here to fight a war, hadn't they? Might as well start practicing for it.

He pulls his helmet over his head, flips the neck latches shut, and reaches over his shoulder for the supersledge he carries. He'll break out the laserguns later. Right now, for all that he's taken his situation pretty well so far, he really, really wants to hit something.

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Zouichi stepped into the Sensoriums, and was greeted by... a desert? He didn't particularly recognize the location, but he did spot another man in the distance. One of the newcomers, perhaps, in which case he should at least stop by and say hello.

He brushed a few grains of sand off of one armored shoulder, then made his way toward Roger.

He was not expecting the scorpion.

The scorpions were a nasty shock when Roger first encountered them, too, but he's had years to get used to the blasted things being around. They're not the most dangerous things in the desert. Bad mojo, sure, but not the most dangerous things in the desert, which is why they're training targets for Initiates.

He's midway through a massive sledge-strike when he spots the new arrival. He'll greet him later- after he's smashed the hammer into the radscorpion's forward end and shattered its carapace properly. Momentum is a harsh mistress.

Zouichi didn't wait for the scorpion to use its tail on him -- he grabbed at one of its forward pincers and snapped it off, as one might pull a brittle twig off a tree branch. Two gravity shells from his sidearm made quick work of its armored shell; he stood there watching Roger as his former assailant hit the sand, politely waiting for the other man to finish.

Okay, that? That, Roger didn't expect. He's seen musculature that could probably pop a radscorpion's forward claw off, but it was on people who were either already dead or howling for someone to give them a mercy kill, and they were nine feet tall and green anyway. When the scorpion gives up the ghost Roger shakes off the business end of his hammer and turns to the new arrival.

"I have no idea how the hell you did that, but damn. Impressive work."

Zouichi smiled a little, but shook his head, walking across the sand toward Roger to examine the dead arachnid. "I'm afraid I can't take the credit. All Synthetic Humans of my generation possess increased strength."

He motioned to the dead creature. "Seems a little bigger than your average desert dweller. Are these common where you came from?"

"Synthetic- huh."

The guy looks normal enough, at least compared to the contents of Mariposa. Must be an android or something, with a term like that hanging over him. Well, he seemed safe enough for now.

"Unfortunately, yeah, they are. They weren't this big twenty years ago." He shakes his head, glancing up at the remarkably well-faked sun. "All the fallout from the Great War must've mutated them. They're too normal-looking to be the result of somebody's experiments."

Being greeted by a desert when stepping into the sensoriums was a good thing for Kais. It was just like home. His hooves were perfectly shaped to keep him from sinking in the sand and his tan armor was made to blend into desert environments.

His helmet indicated an energy source nearby so he headed over in that direction, where Roger was. He would at least greet who was here already.

The armor Roger's wearing isn't nearly as advanced, and doesn't have much in the way of sensory data coming through beyond what can be seen and picked up via radio. Kais is likely to get extremely close before Roger notices him coming- especially since Roger's target is snapping its claws furiously and striking in his direction with its tail-stinger, and you don't want to let even a fake giant radscorpion hit you.

That does seem a little dangerous. More than a little dangerous. He pulls his pulse carbine off his back and runs forward in an awkward, loping gait.

Kais refuses to fire just yet as a miss could easily fry Roger. Thankfully, his helmet has a radio too and he speaks up over all frequencies.

"Do you need help??"

"Whoa!"

The sound had come as a complete surprise; Roger was striking back at the scorpion with a supersledge probably almost as long as he himself was tall. He hadn't expected to hear anything other than crunch. Fortunately, his swing was already underway, and being startled didn't throw off his aim too much.

"Just practicing!" he calls back over the suit radio. As he steps back for another swing he adds, "There's probably another one of these things coming- they hunt in pairs back home. Fair warning!"

A second one? He looked around, camera scanning for any movement. Something barely slipped out of his sight and Kais raised his carbine up at an angle and fired a plasma grenade from the grenade launcher attached to the carbine.

The grenade went off behind a large rock though Kais was unsure as to whether he hit the creature of not.

"...what are these things?"

"Radscorpions," says Roger, and brings the hammer down on his own target so hard the chitin of its tail shatters. From there it's pretty much all over- in multiple senses of the word. When what's left of the thing stops moving he says, "Mutated from smaller ones. They didn't used to get much bigger than my foot."

The other one started to edge out from behind its rock, oozing something grayish-green from its left side.

"Got that one pretty good. Do you want to finish it off, or should I?"

"I will take care of it."

He walked around the rock, giving it some room. Raising the carbine again, he pumped the creature full of plasma fire with the rapid firing weapon.

"That should do it."

Erhart steps into the sensorium-generated desert with his normal mix of barely-contained frustration, and deep interest. He actually removes his helm, a somewhere rare act, and whispers, "Terra..."

He blinks a few times, data-streams from his armor registering the local background radiation.

"Interesting...."

Roger would wave, or call out a greeting, or something of that sort, but he's got himself a radscorpion to deal with. And a hammer to lay the smackdown on it with. Repeatedly- the larger the radscorpion, the tougher the thing's carapace tends to be. At least the big ones are slow, because God knows their poison just gets worse the larger they are, contrary to the way things used to be...

Well, there are some things you can't change, like the nature of scorpions, and some you can, like whether a particular arachnid is alive or dead. Which Roger is doing a very credible job of changing right now, thanks to that sledge. He'll look up and wave to Erhart just as soon as the thing is a pile of shattered chitin and arthropod innards, though.

"Well fought. I see you learned the uses of the Sensorium swiftly. That is good."

He puts his helmet on as he crosses to Roger, and says, "This reminds me of the wastes of the planet Armageddon. It was a harsh place."


"Couldn't find a target range," Roger admits. "I was thinking of home, and it appeared. Figured I might as well make use of it instead of getting out of practice."

There's a hint of amusement to his voice as he adds, "This area's about half an hour's march from the Brotherhood's home bunker. We take our initiates here for training."

"Sounds rather like the fortress-keeps we establish for recruitment throughout the Imperium. Tell me a bit about how you train your initiates, if you would."

His interest is fairly clear, as expressed by body language, anyway.

Roger nodded. "They start young," he said. "We train all of our children pretty much the same before they're old enough to make decisions- make sure they've got a good solid foundation both in terms of education and in terms of combative fundamentals. Once we can see what they're going to excel at, the academic ones get Scribe training. The others get pegged for combat Initiates, assuming they make it through the physical regimen. Some of them don't. Can't be helped."

He shrugged; it was a fact of life. Basic was like that. Always had been, always would be.

"We start them with endurance and strength trials, real simple stuff. If they can't hack it they get sent to a knight-sergeant or a junior paladin for physical conditioning, which is normally around twenty-one days of nothing but running, weight training, and whatever other physical tasks the knight-sergeant thinks is the most difficult work available. They don't get to join the other Initiates again until they can clear a three mile run in the sand in light combat armor in less than twenty-eight minutes, no stopping. Then it's back to the ten-mile marches under medium armor, and the weapon training. They've got to demonstrate basic target proficiency with at least one single-handed and rifle-grip bullet weapon each, at least one single-handed and rifle-grip energy weapon each, and appropriately efficient use of grenades. Melee training is with sledges or Rippers, close quarters combat is against the most vicious son of a bitch we've got on staff. Heavy weapons like the miningun and Gatling laser are optional. Once we've got them to the point where they can put five shots rapid in a space smaller than my thumbnail at two hundred, three hundred, and five hundred meters each, that's about where we start taking them out of the bunker and into the desert to deal with live, moving targets. Testing for promotion to knight or paladin doesn't come until they've demonstrated themselves repeatedly in combat against the creatures in the desert, or against a sufficiently armed and dangerous group of local raiders."

...those were some big scorpions.

Kang eyed them warily, putting his hand on the hilt of his sword, and looked for the imagineer of this particular landscape. He'd started carrying a better weapon than his dagger with him at all times after SHODAN, not wanting to be caught off-guard again; he'd been lucky he'd already been close to his home. Most of his injuries had already healed; the edges of the hole in his wing membrane hadn't quite gotten there yet, though.

Ah, there. They looked new, and he debated leaving, not wanting to interrupt someone clearly venting their frustrations.

Roger's been through the bigger ones already, and now he's whaling on a scorpion that's probably about the size of a high school freshman. The kinetic enhancement devices built into the supersledge's business end are great for that kind of thing. A powerful enough swing turns the hammer's momentum into pure nightmare for what's left of the arachnid; the scorpion's parts go flying, and Roger is left standing over the splattered mess, panting a little.

He eventually realizes he's got company, and raises one hand in slightly embarrassed greeting.

Waving back, Kang smiled wryly, "Trust me, I understand. I take it you're one of the new people?" He wasn't fazed at all by bits of dead scorpion everywhere.

Edited at 2012-01-06 06:26 am (UTC)

"Just made it out of the slime pods the other day," Roger answers, nodding. "Interesting place you've got here, sir."

He's pretty sure he saw this fellow in the Omnicom under 'important people you should really know about', so it's best to be polite.

"The sir isn't really necessary," Kang shrugged, walking closer and kicking at a piece of smashed carapace lightly. "Just call me Kang. And you would be?"

"Force of habit," says Roger. "My name's Roger Maxson. I was a military man back home- it leaves a mark."

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