Pathogen X9-V

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Pathogen X9-V

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

Captain Ivo Strecker of the Seagrove Conveyor stared at the scanners as the klaxons blared out around him. He cursed inwardly – he’d been greedy, he knew; greedy and stupid, travelling alone without Rift Trade League protection.

Now the trouble he’d hoped fervently to avoid was on them. He rubbed his eyes, trying to make sense of what the vid-stream and readouts were telling him. “Phipps, what the hell is that thing?”

Scanning Officer Phipps adjusted several controls on the glass touch-panel in front of him. Still the image on the screen remained blurred. “No idea, sir. Instruments are registering a Relthoza cruiser-class but…not. It keeps…changing, altering…as if the configuration is shifting somehow.”

Pathogen X9-V Infected Escort

Pathogen X9-V Infected Escort

Strecker glared at the fuzzed image. Through the enhanced feed he could make out the angular, vertical lines typical of a Relthoza craft. But it was distorted, almost twisted. Strecker saw strange lumps and bulges emerging from its fabric.

“Sir!” The urgency in Phipps’ voice snapped Strecker’s thoughts back to the present. “It’s altered course! Now on intercepting vector…they’re prepping to attack!”

Strecker grabbed his PA mike. “All crew to battle stations! Raise shields and shift power to weapons!”
“Target firing!” Phipps yelled. He’d barely said the words when Conveyor shuddered under multiple impacts. Strecker struggled to keep his feet, magna-soled boots engaging with the metal floor. The display screen lit us as the Conveyor’s laser batteries spat lethal incandescent beams in response.

“Damage report!” Strecker yelled into the mike. In response, the comm-net came alive with noise, but none of it was coherent. Terrible sounds assaulted the captain’s ears – screams, howls, the grinding of metal under some incredible stress.

Phipps was struggling with the controls. “Can’t get anything. The AI’s locked up….arrgh!”

The comms-officer recoiled from his desk. Or rather he tried to. Strecker watched in horror as the man’s arms were suddenly engulfed in glass, intercut with veins of metal and plastic. The control panel seemed to writhe and shudder, hungrily drawing in the living flesh.

Pathogen X9-V Infected Battleship

Pathogen X9-V Infected Battleship

Phipps screamed again, the sound distorted as his features were distorted, sinking into the liquefying mess that had been his control panel. Tendrils of metal and glass pushed into his skin, sending trails of bright blood across his coveralls.

Strecker looked about frantically. All around him, other bridge officers were undergoing the same horrifying process.

A glance at the still-functioning but rapidly distorting vid-screen showed the enemy craft now terrifying close. They were prepping to board. With sick horror, Strecker saw that the distortions on its hull were identical to the mounting horror about him, but gigantic in scale. The stricken Conveyor shuddered as salvo after salvo crashed into her.

A sharp pain in his ankle drew Strecker’s gaze to the deck. Fresh terror shot through him. His boots were sinking into the deck. Tendrils of plastic and metal, terrifyingly alive somehow, were creeping over the edges, creeping up his legs…

With a yell, Strecker yanked himself clear of the dissolving mess. The deck rippled horribly beneath him, and his legs were both bleeding, but he was free.

Phipps was simply gone, engulfed by his own station. The whole structure of the bridge itself seemed to be shifting, melting. The deck beneath Strecker’s feet lurched as it seemed to lose all integrity.

Strecker ran for his life, bolting for the bridge door. He wrenched aside the spongy metal, jerking his gloved hands away before they could sink in. Screams echoes through the corridors as the light-panels flickered on and off.

Strecker tore down the companionway he prayed would still lead to one of the dorsal life-preserver clusters. He had no idea if anyone else was alive, no idea if this was even a ship any more, let alone his ship…the pods…he had to get to the pods…this was no way to go..worse than death…

Strecker ran on, for the pods, for his life. He chanced a glance backwards and wished he hadn’t. The corridor itself writhed and folded up; metal, composites and glass twisting and pulsing like a living thing, a great throat intent on swallowing the him whole…

The Pathogen X9-V are one of the factions that will be appearing in the upcoming Marauders of the Rift Campaign Guide.