FHD Remix Chapter 32
Previous: FHD Remix Chapter 31: Names For The Birds
Chapter 32: It's Up To You Now
[Most of the dialogue of Elliot Swann is in Doom 3, but is shared with the player instead of Jack. Most of the dialogue of the Soul Cube is unique to FHD Remix, and the humble author loved writing it!!]
[Doom 3 twenty-first stage]
"Featherwing," she hears.
Tatakai slowly stirs, coming to under the floorboards in the Delta Labs.
"Featherwing," the Soul Cube insists.
"Was that a city?" she asks groggily, shaking off a strange dream where she was the defender of a walled city armed with miraculous power given to her by the Saviour.
"One of our many possible interpretations," the Soul Cube explains, "There are tens of thousands of us in here, each of us with our own contribution to the Cube's power."
It hovers next to her, the two larger eyes on its small face open, green eyes, "I was a featherwing," it says in an individual lady's voice. "Most of us are human, but we needed the wings to form the blades." The Soul Cube deploys and does its happy dance, emerging from it with its eyes closed.
"We need delta to form the scratch," it explains in an almost haunting plural voice, "This is why we need you to slay five enemies before we can attack on our own ... in this way, the delta can be kept from poisoning your world. Use us as often as possible, especially when you battle larger enemies."
The two larger eyes open again, blue this time. A man's voice, "We were all featherwing once, but we sinned, burning the wings. We found that we could get them back by sharing them, and so the relative population of featherwing and flightless human would oscillate with the purity of our society."
The two smaller eyes in its four-eyed face now open yellow and another voice, that of a little girl speaks, "In our time, featherwings were special, revered and placed in the high offices." The Soul Cube twists playfully as she giggles, "I want to live in a tower like my daddy."
The smaller eyes close, and the elder soul gains speaks, "But it's not always. Those with wings were taken down when we discovered teleportation. They knew in their wings that it was wrong, but they were overruled, cast down for warning us. Teleportation was our future! It wasn't that teleportation was inherently wrong, they said. Each particle had to be properly processed by the quantum computers. This took time. We were impatient and found a way to process whole objects, up to the size of trucks. We found a delay, but it was only a few seconds ... at first."
The Soul Cube blinks, and its eyes are now a slightly different shade. A new voice, that of an older lady, now speaks. "We worked cautiously. Nobody wanted to totally disregard the warnings of the wings, but that's what we were doing. The whole-object shortcut we were using opened the gates to hell instead of to each other, and at the Father's grace, hell was usually not allowed to touch. Suddenly some one went through, just to see what it was like. We never saw him again." She sighs, looking down, "After seeing your experience, we know that was a mercy from the Father's hand."
The Soul Cube closes its eyes and shakes slightly, then opens its larger eyes again with aqua color. "We continued our fall into sin," a younger lady speaks now, "we were getting so, so selfish, so shortsighted, even though our society was being torn apart by diseases spread through love improperly shared, we still thumbed our noses at the rules, at our loving God, forgetting that he granted us the technology ... he would never let us cure the diseases he sent to motivate us. His final warning, through a featherwing angel that afterwards collapsed and died of a broken heart was..."
The Soul Cube closes its eyes, and speaks in its plural voice, "Your final judgement nears, and your time is short. I will soon release your enemy through the portals, and through their sword, cleanse your people."
Its eyes open green, and somber. The first lady who spoke speaks again, "The details none of us placed in the Cube could utter, we engraved in the tablets by our blades once the invasion had already begun," she sighs, but remains the dominant voice. "The Soul Cube was created when the last of the winged ones created a proper teleportal, one that used our best quantum computers to process every particle, and then encoded one hundred forty four thousand of our bodies and souls into this device. Your Betruger tried so hard to weigh us, your Ian McCormick with whom we almost decided to speak near the end, decided we weighed," it wobbles sideways like a middle eastern shrug, "about ten kilograms." She laughs.
It's eyes closed, Tatakai's most certainly are not as it explains in its plural voice, "The device hovering before you has a mass of almost eight thousand tonnes. What is not understood is that we cooperated with your people's manipulations until only this morning, when Betruger used his powerful telekenesis to steal us from the scan matrix and force us through his portal, into hell. We'll explain the rest later, we have little time to close the other gate. If the sinful of your fleet get within range of the Soul Stealers, your world will be invaded before its time."
The Soul Cube follows Tatakai as she crawls, deployed to scratch her noise, to an opening in the floor on the other side of the door.
"Psst," the dim-witted chain gun commando turns to investigate, just in time to see a hand grenade pop out of the floor. Normally tough enough not to be killed by just one, he collapses to his knees after it explodes, feeling the poison of the angels course through its body.
"That's one," says Tatakai as the Soul Cube nicks the delta vector from the dead Commando with a subtle flash, Tatakai grabs the chain gun from its hands using the drive motor, extracts the ammunition in seconds.
A second grenade bounces into a chainsaw zombie, "That's two,"
Hearing the tapping of little feet, she pulls out her Enforcer Rifles, taps off three of the Ticks and moves on.
"We're ready," the Soul Cube sighs in its plural voice as a Dodgy Commando drops in from a spawn point behind as she reaches the elevator shaft's ladder.
"Go for it," Tatakai says.
Tatakai watches in amazement as the fresh scars from battle wounds suffered since she landed, including a nasty Tick bite on her leg, miraculously close over.
After the Soul Cube returns to her, she gasps, "Thanks! How does that work?"
"As part of the package, we built a proper teleporter into the Cube," it explains, "along with the computers needed to run it."
Tatakai lets slip another grenade and blasts five ticks hoping she'd drop off the ladder herself.
"Use us," the Soul Cube requests, "With the teleporter we rearrange the particles in hellspawn delta to form featherwing scratch, they use the same elemental particles, far beyond your civilization's understanding of physics. Once we have enough scratch, we can use it to cancel the delta within a single enemy, then use that enemy's carbon-based particles to reconstruct your body."
Tatakai unleashes the Soul Cube on a Chaingun armed Commando before dropping out of the ceiling into a garage. Arch-Viles never mean a shortage of enemies, and she finds two of them in this garage. They have the ability to teleport enemies in from other locations.
Without time to reload before a Dodgy Commando takes her head off, she drops her super-cannon and blocks its attack with her left wing, her flight claw is snapped. Back to dual wielding Enforcers, she puts several rounds into its head with one, while training the other on another trying to get underneath. The Chaingun Commando that tries to get her from behind, and the first Arch-Vile empties one weapon. Before she can reorient herself, the second Arch-Vile has her in flames. An imp completes her five kills as she empties the other rifle. She slams into a railing to get out of the second Arch-Vile's fire-trail, and grabbing the hovering Soul Cube with her other hand, she asks in a rasp, "I hope you can fix feathers," She drops her empty rifles to pull off her sizzling helmet. Her burned hair leaves with it.
"On our way," they call as the Cube deploys its blades and cuts into the Arch-Vile. Tatakai waits patiently behind the ledge as the Soul Cube rebuilds her smouldering body. As soon as she is again able, she checks around. Her restored blonde hair is now loose and flies about as she checks for more enemies while reloading her weapons.
"Thanks for the help," she says, before tying back her restored hair and fetching a fresh helmet from a nearby storage locker.
"What the blazes is that?" Swann asks as he calls up a thermal display on his PDA.
"Greenborough, I hope!" Jack cries as he advances through Delta Central Authority.
Campbell spins around, hearing a familiar croak, a revenant enters the room behind. By sidestepping the first blast into the room, the skeleton creature survives long enough to fire missiles. Jack scoots out of the way, once again wishing he had Tatakai's nasty poison. The second blast gets him, but he hears a laugh, a grunt, and sees Elliot Swann fly past him, not good.
Jack Campbell turns around to see a huge creature with a claw and tank tracks.
"Later, Jack," it taunts before teleporting out of the room.
The bodyguard rushes to the lawyer's side, "Counselor," he croaks. He pulls out his medical package, which he knows is empty.
"Get that gate closed," Swann coughs, "I'm too beat up, I'll slow you down." Pulling out his PDA, he finishes, "Take my PDA, it has what you need."
"Save it for Greenborough," Jack says, "I'm going after that thing." As he reloads his BFG, he says, "Her odds of closing that gate are better than mine.
He pulls it against his chest. "Good thinking, Campbell."
Swann calls up the recording of the monster's voice, thinking it sounded somehow familiar. He runs it through a distortion analyzer.
"Later, Jack ... Later, Jack ... Later, Jack," the little device sounds more human with each pass. "Later, Jack," says the voice of Sergeant Kelly.
"Greenborough," he coughs, "It's up to you now." Elliot Swann draws a last breath into his crushed lungs and is unable to expel it. His final thought is one which leaves him dying in a sickening discomfort:
The Marines have their own backup communications equipment, that's how the fleet was signalled.
Tatakai drops out of the ceiling into the access lobby. disengaging the BFG from her chest to fire at a spawn point in front of her. The emerging Arch-Vile was quick to spawn in reinforcements just before the green fireball explodes against him. Tatakai stows the large cannon with her left hand while popping the shotgun out of its holster along her right side. She turns to face the oncoming Dodgy Commando and blasts him, side stepping his attack.
Dodgy grabs its face with his prehensile left hand while she bats the outstretched tentacle of his right arm with her wing. As he falls, she hops up onto the railing, then jumps on top of the shorted out information kiosk in the middle of the lobby, with a rigorous flap of her tattered wings, pumping the shotgun while in the air.
As the Arch-Vile appears, next to the kiosk, again a quick one that brings in another Dodgy the moment it is in the room, Tatakai pulls the muzzle of her shotgun away from the enemy's head, from her elevated position, and sighs, "Not so kind am I for you."
The female Arch-Vile sneers at the angel's insolence and incinerates the kiosk with fire from her hands. Tatakai is no longer there. The first Dodgy falls. The second Dodgy emerges from its spawn flash travelling the wrong way, away from Tatakai and her perfectly timed shotgun blast from half a metre away. Tatakai steps back and jumps over the railing to the raised platform next to the elevator leading to administration. The Arch-Vile's fire attack flows to her old position.
"You guys out of chainguns?" she asks casually as the red glowing spawnpoint appears next to her. She turns and caps the Commando instantly, hearing the weapon clatter on the floor next to her. "Oh, I guess not."
The angry Arch-Vile stomps around the flaming kiosk, components popping and crackling within it as she comes around.
"Sick 'em," Tatakai growls.
The Soul Cube takes its turn, slicing the helpless Arch-Vile into flaming cinders, restoring Tatakai's plumage to perfect shape. "Thanks, fellas."
"Our pleasure," the Soul Cube cheers as it returns to her side, "You're almost as good as he was."
"Almost?" Tatakai sneers as she casually rests her reloaded shotgun over her shoulders, "I'll have to do something about that now, won't I?" she says as she enters the elevator.
Inside the elevator, Tatakai asks, "My briefing package hints you teleported to Earth after your war with the demons? I couldn't figure out when."
The Soul Cube, hovering at her side, opens its larger eyes, a grey color, and they look up at its upper right corner light as though deep in thought. "I'm Gillie, the historian in here," he says, "I've taken the liberty of translating the significant dates into your calendar system, which appears to be based on the Saviour's temporal manifestation, correct?"
"A rather dry way to say to say The Life of Jesus, but yes, that's correct," Tatakai nods.
"Our survivors outside the Soul Cube, all featherwing, teleported to your world using our unitary portal systems set deliberately to the intermediate dimensions's third harmonic frequency. They were destroyed as a result. This happened in Before Christian Era 2440, two years after the war. We were left behind because we didn't think an object like this could pass through a unitary portal."
The elevator door opens, Tatakai emerges, alert and looking around. "Did your war have anything to do with our flood?" she asks. [Real-life analysis of the Bible places the flood of Noah's time in Genesis 6-9 in the year 2442 BCE]
"The Father cast judgment on both our planets at once, by different means obviously. That is all they have in common as far as we know," Gillie responds from the Soul Cube.
Tatakai enters Central Administration. On the floor, leaning against the receptionist desk is Elliot Swann.
"Oh, crud!" Tatakai gasps as she kneels to check his vitals. After finding no pulse on his neck, she pulls out her PDA and uses its portable scanner to confirm, "He's gone." Her anguished strike against the desk makes quite a bang.
She picks up his PDA and halts the recording of his final audio log. She plugs it into her own and downloads the PDA wholesale. After verifying the copied file, she sets it on the desk and blows it to bits with her shotgun.
"He's been dead less than five minutes," she says between sobs.
"How do you know?" the Soul Cube asks.
"That's how long it was recording before I got here," she says, indicating hole she just made in the receptionist's desk. Then she opens the final log in her own PDA.
"Oh, crap!" she exclaims, "What is he now?"
"Who are you referring to?" the Soul Cube asks, "That spirit is Saboath, one of the most powerful our enemy has."
"Sergeant Kelly," Tatakai says as she rushes through the door, turns rignt, hoping to jump off the balcony into the main lobby. That way blocked by the fleshy growth spreading throughout the base, she pops loose a floorboard for an alternate route. "We have to stop him before he kills Jack."
Next: FHD Remix Chapter 33: Jack and Devon Campbell