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Ensu
06-15-2013, 04:14 PM
I decided to do some writing. Since it's about Defiance I guess I'll drop it in here. If you're looking for arguments about infectors, the latest synergy tips or are howling for Trion's blood, this is probably not the thread you're looking for.



http://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv75/locusani/ensuface5.png


Payday, a Defiance short story

Ensu hawked up and spat a gob of dusty saliva. It tumbled and muddied the dirt by his battered old boots. The dirt paled as he watched. To say the day was hot just wouldn't come close.

He crouched down, shifting his sniper rifle on its sling when it dug him in the ribs, and mixed the wet dirt with two fingers. Gouged from the ground, it sat in his hands like Pow dung, but he spread it over his copper shoulders without hesitation. A warm tingle replaced the uncomfortable prickle of sunburnt skin.

The Top Notch wind turbines stood still and silent, but shimmered where their hot blades cooked the air.

Above, a flock of clouds no larger in size, to his eyes, than the clod of dirt were content to sit in place waiting for a the breath of Irzu to guide them. It was an enviable situation. The breath commanding him was the perfumed reek of Varus Soleptor.

"Raiders gonna raid," he said, beneath his breath. "But Hunters gonna collect."

He heard his name shouted From the Duni roller and looked over. It gleamed white, and he had to squint to see the animated shape of his short-term associate hard at work on an afternoon prostitute in the passenger seat.

"Oh man, oh haigi! Ensu! Shtako, Ensu, you gotta try this one! She knows the swirl!"

Ensu grinned. "Then marry her already!"

There was a pause. "She said no!"

Ensu laughed and gloried in the bright beauty of the day, he hopped and jumped, and whooped. Beneath his tough skin and the sheen of sweat muscles slithered and shuddered.

"Then it's killing time!"

He barely gave Naki a chance to pay before hauling the haigi out by the armpits across the driver's seat. He gave her a fond kiss on her proud Irathi forehead, and shoved her around.

"Call me," Naki was sat out the window, calling over the roller's roof. "We should do this again some time!"

Ensu leaned over and gave Naki a jab in the kidney, who slid down to his seat. The engine growled at a punch of the ignition. Ensu leant out the window and heard the squeak of his exhaust flaps flexing. At least they were moving, he thought. He didn't want to burn off another set.

With a shock, Ensu realised he was grinning. He turned to look at Naki, that big Irath merc.

"Hey Naki," he said.

"Yeah?"

"Hey Naki," he said, again.

"Wha? Oh shtak-"

The flesh of their faces rippled as the afterburner roared into life. Ensu's eyes wept just to keep wet. Naki punched him in the shoulder once, twice, then gripped the seat beneath him. He'd seen the ridge. The suspension sank, rose, and then they were weightless, and Naki was punching Ensu one handed, but he was just laughing, laughing till they landed and he bit the side of his tongue straight through.

He sucked on the blood, his copper face crinkled with a fierce smile. He slid the Duni around a pair of upthrust rocks like busted molars. They were headed down winding dirt roads for a raider camp in the middle of a field.

Middle of a gorram field. Alright! Ensu punched the air. He was sick of hauling 99ers out of their holes. No corridors more than a short sprint long and little enough cover, except for Blacklung corpses. But now? He got to pop some hicks in a field and really put his rifle to work.

The Duni's thick tires kicked up a duststorm, rich and glittering gold in the noon sun. The cloud bulged with vented exhaust, and billowed out like bed sheets hung on a line. Pop, pop, went skitterling shells as Ensu drove straight through a clutch. A Warrior surfaced immediately behind them, but was hidden by dust and distance just as quick.

Ensu saw the crest of the raised Sausalito fields up ahead, over which the shoulders of short stepped ziggurats brooded. Tripping the gears over into neutral, he let the Duni roll to a stop, lifted his head out the window and looked about. No enraged Monarchs, no rampaging Hulkers. After he'd dragged the gearstick into reverse, he parked his Duni in the shade of a pale hybrid tree with stilts for roots that looked to take most of its makeup from the Port Jackson Fig.

They were quiet as they checked their gear and hopped out of the Duni. They spoke in nods and hand gestures. Ensu wore a Vot Meteor Bolter across his back, barrel down, and a VBI Wolfhound at his hip. Naki toted an old EMC Battle Rifle with a stock bent like a Hulker had trodden on it, and a FRC Northstar Flare. Ensu wrinkled his nose. The Flare made such a stink of flesh.

They crossed the potholed road and vaulted the traffic barrier to reach the raised fields, Naki ahead, Ensu back and to the left. They hit the slope and slowed, booted feet digging an inch into soft soil. At the lip they stopped, surveyed, and crouch-ran to a burnt out roller with a view of the Raider camp.

"Going to cross down by that shack," said Naki, jabbing two fingers at a wood shack with peeling blue paint and a sheet of corrugated iron torn half out of its setting for a roof. "You draw them, I'll hit the flank."

Ensu shrugged. It'd work as well as any plan. "Sure," he said. He pulled the Bolter from his back down by its barrel and it followed it's strap up to his chest. He checked the action, then sighted down the scope. He saw a whole lot of angry Indojisnen asking why he was aiming at a burst tire. He thumbed the scope to range-only, and jerked his head towards the closest ziggurat.

Naki's turn to shrug. Without another word they zagged through the young crop, bodies hunched low, but fast. Naki was at the shack just before Ensu caught the lip of the first level and hauled himself up. On the third level, Ensu kept his shoulder to the wall and moved forward for a vantage.

With Naki waiting for the first shot, all that was left was to take it. He subvocalised the word "cloak" and his skin shimmered translucent, then faded entirely. With his eye to the scope he tracked the movement of three on watch around the camp, four more Raiders sat around the fire, with a fifth asleep on dirty bedding. Two shelters concealing, according to Varus' intelligence (do not trust) fourteen more, in the form of a truck and a shed encrusted with animal skulls. That made twenty-two. Probably.

He breathed out. Depressed the trigger. A head vaporized, nanites ate away the flesh that remained before it even touched the ground. Slide back the bolt, slide forward, depress the trigger. The faceplate of a gas mask lost an eyepiece, and then melted away. The hiss of a spent casing burning into vegetation. Slide back the bolt, slide forward, depress the trigger. A neon hockeymask snaps back, he has time to scream. Not long, but enough. Then the nanites finish him.

Doors slam open, on the truck and the shed and the Raiders pour out, and are hurled like children spun too fast on a roundabout, hurled up and away by the vicious Northstar Flare. Naki covers both entrances, a round to one, then the other, caging Raiders inside a burning, buckling shack. The Raider's truck fares better. They start to hop out another door, on the far side.

There's a tanker among them. Ensu swears in English. He adjusts his aim. The tanker's settled into his firing crouch, ready to unload a barrage on Naki's position. Depress the trigger. He hears the shrill squeal of the energy pack. Slide back the bolt, slide forward, depress the trigger. The tanker jerks, looks up at the ziggurat, frantic. He starts to turn.

And like that, Naki's behind him, unloading a clip into the energy pack. Too close, thinks Ensu, too close. But that seems Naki's preference. The tanker, his energy pack smoking, suit over-heating, drops to his knees. Faceplate pulled up, his fat Sensoth face gaping for air.

Slide back the bolt, slide forward, depress the trigger. There was no face to accompany the spasmodic jerks as nanites feasted within the tanker's suit, and just as it was reduced to pathetic twitches, the energy pack ignited.

A red white roar and the ziggurat rolled underneath him, the vegetation bowed backwards. At the campfire the Raiders were off their feet dead or groaning. He couldn't see Naki. Too close, far too close.

Preparing to leap down, he stands, and skitters back as a spray of SMG fire stitches across the ziggurat wall. Unable to make out the source, he puts his faith in his shield. He runs, jumps, and three bullets catch him in the side, spinning him. Ensu lands poorly, but isn't bleeding.

His Ego's setting off warning sirens inside his skull but Ensu ignores it and rolls towards the gunfire. He comes up with his Meteor Bolter cocked at his shoulder, eye to the scope. There's a grinning skull painted on a hockeymask swaying behind a Nomad SMG. And just like that, there's only the Nomad SMG swaying, then falling with a clatter on a half-buried, rusty sheet of corrugate.

With a flick he swings the Bolter back on its strap, and pulls the Wolfhound from his hip. With the Raiders about the campire stirring, he puts two in each skull as it rises, and the odd shoulder when a skull hadn't fully presented itself. Tap tap. Tap tap.

Almost to Naki, he found his path blocked by a Blitzer with its gun in his face. He kept walking, knocking the spindly human aside with the butt of his pistol. He unloaded his clip into the worm's belly as he walked past. It screamed, and wriggled.

Ensu crouched beside Naki, slapped him on the face a couple times. When there was no response, he groped at the merc's dirt-grimed neck for a pulse and found it. "Irzu's breath," he muttered. "Too close, too close."

Thumbing the release on the side of his Wolfhound, Ensu replaced the clip and drew back the slide. He holstered it, and wound his hands into Naki's ammo webbing. With his feet set, he heaved Naki upright, then shrugged him over his shoulder. With the addition of Naki, his Meteor Bolter dug awkwardly into his back and he reached back, tugging till it was more comfortable.

The deep growl of Raider trucks rose from the far fields. "Well, I'm not being paid for those," said Ensu, with no little amusement. He grit his teeth and managed a stumbling run, stamping the crops flat beneath him. There was little hope that stealth would help them now, Raiders would have the whole field picked clean in minutes.

As the trucks rumbled close, he crouched lower, and lower, hoping the low stalks would provide at least a moment more cover. The ache in his back rose to a high scream as he ran, micro-tears fissuring the slabs of muscle. At the lip of the raised fields he half-stumbled, half-fell the slope to the edge of the road. The traffic barrier that had seemed such a small obstacle on the way to the field was now a trial.

He crabbed clumsily over it, Naki almost slipping. Ensu caught him, bending forward till his head almost brushed the ruptured tarmac, adjusting his forward leg and shrugging the merc back up across his shoulders. Pants of exertion dried his throat as he straightened and hoofed it across the road to the shade of the hybrid Fig.

Without ceremony he wrenched the passenger door open and slung Naki in, kicking the merc's feet up over the doorframe. He slammed the door shut and ran round the front, just avoiding the withering hail of SMG fire that kicked up the grassy earth at his feet.

"Jek all your mothers!" shouted Ensu at the ridge, drawing the Wolfhound and pulling the driver's door open in the same movement. Tap, tap tap. He shot through the driver's window and saw a figure jerk, and tumble down the slope.

Not waiting to count ears, Ensu jumped into the Duni and punched the ignition. He kicked the roller out into the road, jerked it about face, and hit the boost. He held it down till it ran dry and he couldn't hear the shots careening off his bodywork any longer.

And that was when Naki woke up.

Ensu saw him blinking and confused, holding his hand just in front of his eyes. With a half-choked scream, Ensu slammed on the handbrake and spun the Duni to a standstill.

"You wake up now? You stupid jekking son of a Sensoth!"

Naki smiled blearily. "Did we win?"

"Of course we won," said Ensu.

"Payday!" cheered Naki, and passed out again.

Considering this probably wasn't a good sign, Ensu turned the Duni back towards the windmilled hill of Top Notch and the good Doctor Eren Niden. Varus could wait another hour for his war stories. Ensu noted the time on his Ego hud. Yeah, he'd be grumpy, but he could wait.

Dist0rt3d Hum0r
06-15-2013, 04:17 PM
Snip

I'll read this later tonight before I got to bed because I've always enjoyed fanfics, but you do realize that you're going to be marked as a fanboy for this? right? :p

Ensu
06-15-2013, 04:21 PM
I'll read this later tonight before I got to bed because I've always enjoyed fanfics, but you do realize that you're going to be marked as a fanboy for this? right? :p

People have been calling me a Defiance fanboy since the Beta. :p

Dist0rt3d Hum0r
06-15-2013, 04:23 PM
People have been calling me a Defiance fanboy since the Beta. :p

*clanks drink*

HERE HERE then to the Defiance "fanboys"! :)

EDIT: Not even by Urban Dictionary's most popular definition would we be considered "fanboys". xD

KjcKiesh
06-15-2013, 05:22 PM
Literally Cool Story Bro =D