Beneath Their Feet

Bughunters (Amazing Engine) –  RPG session.

Run by Jason (jymmijamz)

Players;

Me – Charlie Chiung

Chris (alcoholandaphorism) – Rhobyn O’Leary

Will – Richard Strawbridge

CHAPTER THREE

Charlie Chiung, Rhobyn O’Leary, and Richard Strawbridge stand on the outskirts of what is known locally as ‘The Forest’.  A very large and thick shrubbery, there are no trees in this ‘forest’, only larger than known bushes all clumped together.  They have managed to follow the Earwig back to this location, and have found that it’s tracks head on in to this shrubbery.  So in they go, and once again Charlie takes the point followed by Strawbridge, and Rhobyn once again bringing up the rear and making sure he has both his colleagues covered by his rifle.  The going is slow through this ‘forest’ as the ceiling is slower than a normal forest with trees.  However they do manage to keep on the trail on this elusive bug, and track it eventually to a clearing.

Cautiously they approach the clearing, keeping to the shadows of the shrubs and bushes.  Peering out in to the clearing they see that there are no signs of any colonist or any other bugs for that matter.  But they do spot a slight mound in the centre, with a cave like entrance leading straight in to the ground.  Double checking before going out, they call Rhobyn over and inform him of the situation.  Charlie and Strawbridge head out first, while Rhobyn holds back and covers them.  The two bug hunters make it across the clearing to the cave entrance without any problems, so they set up defensive positions while Rhobyn hurries across to join them.  There is a cool air escaping the mouth of this cave, and every now and again they can hear very faint voices, maybe, like on the winds.  All three check the area and the entrance to the cave before deciding to head on in.  Rhobyn recommends setting up a small grenade trap a little ways from the cave entrance, just in case they are followed, or in need of a quick exit.  Once done they head on in.

The incline within the cave is not too steep, but it does go straight down.  After a while the pathway begins to curve ever so slightly, and soon they find their source of light disappearing.  They are now within this cave without any light source and unable to see ahead of them let alone behind them.  Charlie volunteers to lead they way, as the norm, using his light source, and only his light source.  While the others carefully follow him and his spot of light.  After what seems like a long time in this situation, they become aware of an illuminance given off from a fungi/moss growing on the walls down there, and they can soon turn their own light source off and use this glow instead.

Before long the three bug hunters come to where this only pathway splits giving them a choice of directions.  As they stand there carefully trying to decide on the best direction, they faintly hear voice once again coming from down one of the passageways.  So with that they have an easier choice and head in the direction of the voices.  Soon after this they come to yet another fork in the pathway, and this time are able to still hears voices and keep following that direction.  As they go slowly and quietly as they can towards the voices, they soon spot two colonists come out from a passageway and head towards them.  Fortunately they have not been spotted yet, so both Charlie and Rhobyn make a quick move to attack and silence them before the alarm can be sounded.  Charlie manages to jump and land on his target, and getting his hand to cover the guys mouth, but was unable to knock him to the floor.  While Rhobyn attack didn’t quite go to plan.  His guy manages to avoid the lunge and move out of the way and keep his footing.  A tussle ensues between Rhobyn and his target and Charlie with his.  Charlie does manage to knock his down soon after and pin him to the ground, and then knock him out.  But Rhobyn is not having much luck at the moment, as his guy manages to start screaming and yelling before he can knock him to the floor, and shattering the guys kneecap.  The guy still manages to keep crawling and shouting, and all the while Rhobyn keeps attempting to shut him up and subdue him.  This he does manage to do eventually, after what seems like a very long time, and the assistance of Strawbridge.  Charlie on the other hand manages to gag and tie up him guy, using the guys belts and clothing.  And then Charlie goes to the end of the passageway to keep an eye out on anyone who may have been alerted.

After a long pause of being on guard in case of anyone rushing to the alerted sounds of the guy, the three bug hunters take their prisoners and take them off to one of the side passageways and dump them there.  They then head back to where they had got up to and carry on with more caution.  The passageway leads them around and towards a bright light at the end of the passage.  Carefully going forwards they head towards the light and the voices, stopping at the edge and peering in.  Looking in to the light they see that the passageway has led them to a very large open cavern, with many colonists milling about on the edges to manual labour of one kind or another.  And within the centre they see what appears to be a small replica of the mound and cave entrance on the surface that the came down.  Charlie becomes aware that he believes that they have journeyed more or less under ground, back to beneath the relay station that they had to repair.  As the tells the others of his suspicion, they all notice on the central mound stands an Earwig.

This is when all hell breaks loose, as all three of them fire grenades in to the centre from the launchers on their rifles.  Frag grenades exploding here and there.  Colonists getting thrown to the walls, and some dying in a bloody mess.  But none of the grenades hitting the Earwig or it’s mound.  The rifles begin to scream as the colonists are instructed to attack by the Earwig in the centre.  Quickly both Charlie and Rhobyn fire an incendiary grenade each at the mound.  Both hit the target and set the mound and the Earwig ablaze.  The fire roars up and washes the mound in a crimson curtain of death, as they hear the Earwig scream and pop to existence.  The colonists keep on approaching as the fire rages on.  The bug hunters are having to keep firing at the possessed settlers, and killing all that get close.

Soon it is all over, and there are many, many dead people lying about.  The fire has now burnt itself out, and they can see that it had manage to kill more Earwigs within the mound, dying from being cooked by the heat.  No flame had licked at their carapace.  Any of the wounded still alive, the three bug hunters gathered them together and torched them, finding this the only way to kill the host bug within their skulls.

Charlie, Rhobyn, and Strawbridge make it back to the replay without any further problems and instruct their commanding officer of the outcome.  And with the relay now fixed and secure they march back to base.  The journey back goes a lot smoother than when they headed out.  Once back they debrief and inform of the threat of the bugs that look a lot like Earwig, that burrow in to people’s skulls and possess their hosts.

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