I raced down the corridor. I was getting close. The enemy suddenly heard Vincent Price’s voice over the communications channel as “Number of the Beast” began to play over it and drown out their voices with volume. I could only see a railing at the end of the corridor at that time, but there were stairs to the side. I ignored them and leapt off the railing to the marine below. I landed with my knees against his helmet. It threw him off balance and his armor smacked against the floor as we landed. I rolled off easily and jabbed my make-do hook into his throat. Tracheotomy? No no no, tracheotoyou!
The doors between the core and I were heavy enough to withstand almost anything I could throw at them. They were also controlled by a sophisticated computerized locking mechanism. I opened the door with my tongue. Hardest part was angling it out through the hole in my helmet. I think I pulled my tongue. What awaited me within was six well-armed marines. Most people don’t write about the engineers. Why bother with engineers when you can play the armored badasses with giant shoulderpads? Unfortunately, this means they were unaffected by the parody paradox altering other things throughout the ship to said badasses.
I dropped the improvised explosives off by the doorway as I hobbled along, seemingly preceded by a well-armored man with glowing slits on his helmet for seeing and a black Scotsman with one eye and a grenade launcher. I just feel that no trip to a spaceship’s engineering deck was complete unless a Scotsman was involved. Let me know if you’ve heard this one before. A space engineer, black Scottish Cyclops, and a power armored pirate ninja walk into a reactor room. They both took fire as I jumped up on top of a computer bank and then executed a maneuver on the distracted marines that was best known as a “splash”.
Not ready, three went down under me. The closest standing marine turned his weapon on me and fired, but I directed it right into a downed marine’s chest. Blood and ass went everywhere as I jammed my hook up in the gap between armor plates necessary at the groin. It sounded like he was choking, so I let go of his gun and grabbed under helmet. He raised the gun up, but I was too close. His second shot at me gibbed another of his buddies.
He looked surprised for a moment when I got the locks on the helmet undone and yanked it off. Then he looked stunned and bloody as I smashed him in the head with it, over and over and over again. The two that had stayed standing weren’t able to fire with my current playmate in the way, so they flanked me. I dragged my neutered enemy towards one of them, blocking his potential shot, and flung the helmet forcefully at the other. It wasn’t much, but it caused him to flinch as it struck his arms. The shot went wild. I pulled my hook out and jumped up, kicking back at the neutered marine.
It sent him back towards the other marine as I went forward, rolled, then jumped up higher in a flip. He moved to the side, ruining my setup, so I landed on my foot and peg and cartwheeled, taking him down. With him under me, I set my peg in his indented eye and put all my weight on it. It cracked the eyepiece and broke through, stabbing into something with give. I then had to throw myself to the side as a chainsaw kunai was swung at my head. The last of the fallen marines was after me, with the other having dropped his gun in favor of a chainsaw trident.
The marine with the kunai stabbed at me this time, so I caught it in my remaining hand. Right through the palm. Hurt like a mother. I stabbed my hook into the side of his helmet, barely working into the material at full swing, but it allowed me to shift around so that his body was between me and the other marine. Then I tore my hand off the chainsaw, directing what nanomachines were left to try and save it. My Nasty Surprise popped out, though, and I repaid this marine by lunging forward and jamming it into his throat, and then upward into the skull. The blades ripped through flesh and splatter blood out onto both of us.
Once again, the remaining marine tried to flank me. I threw his friend up and onto his trident, pinning the blades against the floor. Meanwhile, I charged forward. When I got close enough, I turned and felt my body hit his. With that, my legs wrapped around his hips as best as they were able. My momentum took me down, but I pushed off the ground and rose back into the air. As I reached the level of his head, I released my hold with my legs and grabbed his helmet. When I came back down, it was on my bottom, snapping his head down and against my shoulder. It didn’t do much to him other than disorient him and pop his helmet off in my hands. Before he could recover, I smashed him in the face with it again and again and again, a grin on my face beneath my own helm.
Someone else walked in. They looked like the marines, but without all the spikes and Freudian overcompensation. Their helmets had shiny visors over the face, and this particular group was a different color each : gunmetal, dark green, bright yellow, and red. The red one had a gun with all kinds of feathery looking things sticking out the top of it. They took one look at me with my missing and replacement body parts, covered in blood, an eyeball skewered on my pegleg, surrounded by 6 dead or wounded marines including one under me whose skull looked a lot flatter than when I started. And ran the other direction.
I yelled after them, “Wait, come back guys! I was just playing a game! Zombie piñata!”
Enough soaking the floors with brain matter. It was time to plant the explosives. The reactor itself was sealed from the outside, but it had a sliding compartment to input materials and a pair of waldos, which I nearly lost by the way. How awkward is that, standing around wondering where’s the waldos? I armed my little armor bombs and set them up next to and under the reactor.
Despite my aches, pains, and bleeding, it was time to run for the lifts before the bombs went off and hope some sort of transport was still sitting in the bay.
Next song on my playlist: “Run for the Hills”.