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From Deathless to Dee-Ceased
[Image: IxpNIET.gif]
QUOTE: Death will forget you, nestling. If you must be clever, be clever. Be brave. Sleep with thy fists closed tight and shoot straight.

BRANCH: Deathless
SPECIES: Deathworlder
SEX: Rattles and screams reported to be feminine in nature.
OCCUPATION: Hive Soldier
MENTAL STATUS: Extremely Volatile
STATUS: Finally Dormant, or "Returned" as they call it.
HEIGHT: Big god damn skeleton-monster-thing.
WEIGHT: Heavy god damn skeleton-monster-thing.

CHARACTERIZATION: Early video records are virtually non-existent thanks to the power-outages from the explosion on Lunar Colony 37. We're going off the word of children here, people. The only survivors of nearly 200 residents. All bodies were gone from the colony as per usual with these attacks. Why this monster didn't kill these kids has the egg-heads in a daze. It goes completely against this species M.O. On top of that the Life-support systems and structural integrity was maintained in the section the survivors were staying in. The oldest swore up and down this beast ignored them for the most part during its "harvest" but that he also witnessed it interacting with the youngest child on several occasions.
[Update] It happened again on Mars Colony 03. This time all the kids were spared. Well, the ones that didn't attack it. Some security footage also survived. Quite gruesome but the researchers are having a field day on what little data they can extract from its interactions with the kids.
[Update 2] Another Mars colony hit, this time by two of them. "D", which we now know it as, actually killed its comrade when it began harvesting some 2nd graders. The security footage had surviving audio this time. Learned the damned things can speak. "She" as ladies are calling it, spooky soft voice and all, took what was left of its comrade and left the station. Only half the colonists were killed this time. Brass is thinking of setting up a trap so we can study one of the big ones intact.
[Update 3] It... didn't work. At all. She ate both of them before they could lure her to the point. Gotta' bribe the parents to keep quiet. Once the boy approached her... it's like she smelled the lies on them. Christ, she screamed at us with both of their voices at the same time. These things need to die. Research has established some communication with these Deathworlders. They seem to have evolved technologically at a rapid pace using tech they've stolen from us and we've had increased reports of the hive soldiers showing restraint when raiding colonies. Regardless, higher-ups are already looking into the nuclear option.

The drone putters across a flat, grey desert devoid of life. Its Geiger-counter clicks as it trudges on. Its sensors flash indicating movement near by and then sound. The drone begins recording audio and turns to putter its way towards what can only be described as many unified voices screaming in agony. It comes across a detached skeletal arm thrashing violently as it digs out the fractured remains of a skull. The janky little drone bobbles its way towards the head before extending a halo-shaped device that emits an electric green glow, zapping the skull and returning the desert to silence. Later it detects motion again. The last video recording showing humanoid skeletons in radiation suits bending down to pick it up.

Audio and visual feed flicker on to show two skeletal figures in research-gear standing in a room with various machinery.
Unknown 1: -make sure the records stay together, that's why we... ah, it's on.
Shrieking in background.
Unknown 2: Yeah, yeah.
Unknown 1: Don't be like that.
Unknown 2: I just- why are all the old soldiers..?
Unknown 1: Insane?
Unknown 2: Yeah.
Camera turns to show a shrieking malformed humanoid skeleton in a sealed room attempting to break the observation window before turning back.
Unknown 1: Spent too much time out there eating raw data the heads are guessing. Couldn't absorb it safely. Great for the Collective when they offloaded it but..
Unknown 2: Raw human data bad. Made them nuts. I get it. Think Returning them will fix 'em?
Unknown 1: That's the hypothesis. We won't know for a decade or two.
Sound of glass breaking.
Unknown 1: Oh, come on! We just got that replaced- hit the switch, we're done with this one!
Feed cut. Device was disconnected.

A skeleton wearing a medical gown covering its frame sits in a tiny room at a desk. Across it a figure wearing black robes adorned with a golden skull covering his face is doing paperwork.
Father Dread, still writing: Your mother unit will be here shortly, Dee.
Dee, seemingly not paying attention, detaches one of her boney fingers.
Father Dread, looking up: These new frames are very delicate. As you've been told there will be an adjustment phase. You'll be given a few implants to help. A lot has changed since you Returned.
Dee, re-attaching the finger and looking up: I am incomplete.
Father Dread: As I said, there will be an adjustment ph-
A door behind Dee opens and in walks a figure in a black robe adorned with a red skull mask.
Father Dread: Ah, finally. Dee, this will be your mother.
Dee, looking to the Father: Family units. Why?
Mother Bes: Much has changed. We adapt. Your surname will be Ceased.
Father Dread scribbles in a box on the form, then holds the paper up towards Mother Bes. She takes it and signs.
Mother Bes, looking to Dee: We've had you transferred from Soldiers of Mara to Healers of Mara.
Dee stares forward, unmoving. Mother Bes sets the paper down and aids Dee in standing.
Mother Bes: Come, there is much to do.
Recording device has been paused.

[Image: ujPETXw.gif]
QUOTE: If you wish to receive medical attention in the future you will cease your homicidal flailing immediately.

NAME: Dee - Ceased
SEX: Female
OCCUPATION: Nurse Practitioner
BRANCH: Medical Department
RESIDENCE: Omsk, Deathworld
RELIGION SECT: Healers of Mara

SPECIES: DeathWorlder
STATUS: Active
HEIGHT: Varies depending on host-skeleton
WEIGHT: 50lbs + gear

FEARS: Ocean, lack of control.
DISLIKES: Humanity, Unpaid Overtime
FAV. DRINK: Milk, Straight Vodka
FAV. ANIMAL: Clown Spider
FAV. PLACE TO RELAX: Medbay Morgue

A contractor hailing from Deathworld. War records indicate skeletons of this society are extremely hostile. This one is usually veiled in a creepy robe she claims are medical garb on her homeworld.

In case of death remains are to be sent to Deathworld. Attempts to revive are generally met with failure or "connection errors". Use of Strange Reagent sometimes results in success.

CAUTION. Contractor hails from DEATHWORLD and is considered HOSTILE. This species has active war declarations against most sentient races including humanity. "Ambassador Deceased" is not to be trusted. Report any suspicious behaviour.

See attached files relating to war against Deathworld.

Reminder: no peace treaty has been signed with Deathworld. We have several active sanctions against the planet for ongoing issues.

Contractor is married (Rick. R. Mortis, 36) with two children (Cal C. Am, 15, Luna Te Bone, 5).

Husband is a known smuggler to NanoTrasen. Records confirm he is a regular supplier of contraband to the Syndicate and several other terrorist agencies. Dee has been caught smuggling human bio-matter to Central several times now.

See attached audio and video logs for highlighted behavioral concerns.

The camera flicks on to show the inside of a izba-styled hut. Mumbling can be heard as the camera shakes and points in random directions showing a dirt floor, torn pattern blankets on the walls, and finally two opposing log couches by a window with a low table holding a Samovar and two tea cups. A thin skeletal figure, draped in dark colourful scarves and robes, sits at the couch nearest the window. She picks up a tea cup and sips. A second figure, soon shown to be a human male in a bio-suit walks in front of the camera and sits on the opposite couch.
Interviewer: It's setup now, we can began!
Dee: You're wearing one of the cheap suits.
Interviewer: Ah, yes. They are offered everywhere and budget cuts, you know? Anyways. Please state your name and current occupation for the camera.
Dee: Dee-Ceased, Nurse Practitioner at the Omsk Community Health Centre.
Interviewer: And your previous title and occupation? For the records you see.
Dee: D of the Deathless Collective. Soldier and Harvester.
Interviewer: Right, right. Good! I'm at the right house. Bit hard to navigate here, you know?
An electronic device next to the window clicks softly before going quiet.
Dee: You should have gotten the good suit. We told you, get the good ones only. Never the cheap.
Interviewer, pausing and clearing his throat: It's fine. My assistant said it was adequate for the weather.
Dee: It is not.
Interviewer, shifting uncomfortably: Right, uh, moving on. Why do you think NT is offering you and your people this employment opportunity?
Dee: Derelict war records to start. Second, NT is desperate for workers.
Interviewer pauses and writes: And why do you personally want to work for us?
The window device ticks hurriedly then reduces to a steady tick.
Dee: Our worlds currency is useless off planet. Credits are neutral and therefore valuable.
Interviewer, glancing at the window: I see, I see.. uhm, sorry, what is that sound? Some sort of wind chime?
Dee, very stern: Storm detector.
Interviewer, chuckling: Acid rain coming?
Dee: You're about to die. You should have followed our safety instructions.
Interviewer: Th-that isn't funny. If this is how your kind jokes-
Dee: When is your pick-up?
Interviewer: What, why-
The wall device clicks with a steady, violent threat as lightening dances in the clouds.
Dee, aggressively: When?
Interviewer: T-two days. I have some business at the embassy after this.
Dee, standing and gently setting the tea-cup on the table: I'll have your employers notified to pick-up your remains sooner. If they are unable, we will fix you our way.
Interviewer, standing abruptly. He creates distance between himself and Dee: You're crazy lady, everything is fine-
A storm shutter in the adjacent kitchen fails and the wind forces the window open, cracking the glass.
Interviewer: It's fine- it's just a small storm, you aren't supposed to have any blowouts in this area for weeks.
Dee, unmoving, fixated on the interviewer. The sky light darkens and blankets the room with a blue hue.
Interviewer, backing up from her stumbles and sinks to the floor, vomits blood onto the clear visor of the bio helmet: WhHhhAaatTtt...
Dee: You damaged your suit just now. It will be more painful.
Interviewer, curling on the dirt floor in pain: HhhEeeEelLLlppPPpp... ppPllLleEeeAaasSssEee...
Dee, distorted as the camera feed begins to malfunction from the radiation: It is too late, [INCOHERENT] has claimed you. We will [INCOHERENT] your soul [INCOHERENT]. The damage may be permanent.
Male voice from another room: HUN? DID THEY GET A [INCOHERENT]?
Dee: Yes.
Dee walks off camera. The recording device fails completely after a few minutes.

A blond human sits in a stuffy office with no windows. Across from him sits a thin figure cloaked in black. Attached to the robes facial plate is a red jaw-less skull.
Dee: Has your mental state stabilized?
The interviewers expression hardens. He continues typing on his computer, ignoring her completely. They sit in silence until the door opens and a second human wearing red armour and sunglasses steps in closing the door behind him.
Interviewer: You're late.
Officer: Crime doesn't run on a schedule. Pipe down bean counter.
Interviewers face scrunches up in disdain while the officer shoots him a toothy grin. He hands the officer paperwork, which he signs and then passes to Dee who also signs it.
Officer: So uh, Dee or whatever. I'll be orientating you and helping you acclimatize to working with humans here at central. Making sure you don't eat the crew and such. You'll job shadow some doctors later on. Till then you're with me and I'mma teach you to play nice, keep your, uh, skull clean and again not eat people. Don't eat people, ok?
Dee: My contract does not involve harvesting.
Interviewer shifts nervously.
Officer: Yeah, uh, we'll work on your conversation skills. Going to make you watch a lot of lame movies. No fun ones, brass axed all my suggestions.
Dee stares forward, unmoving, at the officer.
Officer, sighing and leaning back: Man this is going to be a pain in the ass. I know I peed in the HoS's coffee, but still. Spook'em duty, god damn.
Officer, sitting up straight sharply: Hey, you ever used your rib cage to smuggle stuff?

You feel a light bony tap on your shoulder and turn to hear the Nurse tell you the shuttle has docked at Central. She guides you down the corridors at Central to where merchants normally park and turns to enter one of the shuttle bays without checking to see if you've kept pace. Once inside an awareness of how tiny and over-packed with salvage this ship is hits you. The shuttle is a 4 seater but one of the back seats is stacked to the roof with scrap and above it damaged wires dangle from the ceiling. You notice a yellow one periodically sparks as you take the only empty seat next to it and strap yourself in. As the shuttle doors seal a slow scent of decaying flesh creeps into your nostrils but you find yourself unable to locate the source. Low rattles can be heard from the Nurse and the pilot who has not acknowledged your presence. The pilot, who is adorned in a soviet-space walk suit begins pre-flight checks and the Nurse momentarily swivels around to check if you are wearing your seat-belt before returning her attention to the front window.

The trip takes roughly an hour and requires multiple worm-hole jumps. Any attempts at conversation with the two skeletal figures is met with vague and brief responses from the Nurse. Eventually the two skeletal figures begin rattling off to each other more hurriedly and your attention shifts to the shuttles window which shows a space-station in a state of poor-repair orbiting a planet with 3 moons. One of which is distinctly broken in half revealing dying embers in its core. Your trajectory shifts and the shuttle docks at the space station where the Nurse ushers you off into tight, poorly lit rusted corridors. You can hear the shuttle bus already un-docking as the Nurse steps forward staring pointily at a figure who is also wearing a soviet-styled space suit. You can roughly see the outline of a skull inside its helm with an eerie but dim blue glow emanating from the centre.

After a few moments the Nurse turns back to you and states "you will need to take a pod down to the surface, the storm is interfering with our teleporters again". She pauses for a moment and slowly tilts her head to the side before eventually stating "It is mostly safe."

With that fabulous re-assurance in place you follow closely behind the Nurse in the hedge-maze like structure. Old and un-used directional signs on the walls written in Cyrillic make it obvious where the Deathworlders have gotten some of their technology from. The quiet moans and creaks of the station as the two of you make your way somewhere hint at just how old this orbital station is and the roughly repaired sections show it has seen a lot of damage in its life-span. As the two of you travel you catch glimpses of crew-members in the same gear watching you silently, the cold icy glow always present. Any attempts at acknowledging them is met with no response but continued movement tracking gazes.

The Nurse eventually ceases movement in front of a door, fiddling with an old opening mechanism that takes a few tries before it works. Once it's open you see an elongated room with several doors close to each other. The Nurse checks over paper-files in front of each door until deciding on the third one in. She taps in a code on an old keypad and manually pulls the door open revealing to you an orbital evacuation pod that compared to the rest of the ship is in surprisingly good repair. She gestures you to enter the pod and after you do she goes over some basic information after tightening your fastened seatbelt to the extent of discomfort. Leaning back and out of the pod the Nurse turns her attention to a screen and enters some inputs causing the pods systems to spring to life which once again, are in Cyrillic. Putting her skeletal hand on the door of the pod she holds her gaze on you momentarily before informing you that "under no circumstances are you to attempt to open the pod. We will see you at the welcoming space-port."

With some utterings on your part the Nurse closes and seals the pod door. Your only sight-line is now a small rectangular window giving a view of the Nurse who makes a few final inputs into the computer. She turns her head to glance at you and you suddenly feel a violent pull as the pods thrusters activate and spark you out of the safety of the derelict soviet station. The sensation is not pleasant and the pods violent shakes and groans do not give you a feeling of guaranteed safety as the automated systems guide the one-lifeform vessel towards the planet. As Deathworlds gravity claims your vessel and reels you in the pressure on your body distracts you momentarily from the images now coming into view in your rectangle sight-line.

The storm.

An understanding of why teleportation is offline assaults you immediately as does the sting of the Nurses comments of un-guaranteed safety. As the pod gets closer it no longer feels like you are going to a planet, but into some electric volcanic nightmare. Flashes and gleams of red, yellow, and orange followed up by sparks of blue are before you now. And despite not being inside the storm yet you can feel the otherworldly threat of this planet. You are not meant to be here and the planet knows this.

As turbulence hits your shuttle the cries of metal struggling to remain welded reverberate within the pod. An icon indicating radiation pops up on the tiny computer screen. Two more radioactive symbols soon follow it and the lights within the pod fail leaving only the glow of the storm and red radiation symbols as forms of illumination in your sky coffin. As you begin to feel dizzy something within the pods seat stabs at your back, injecting you. This continues periodically as you ride blazing through the skies screaming hellfire. The window dims automatically to contain the eye-damaging lights and your capsule rides on as your ship is struck multiple times by lightening. It seems never-ending and tangs of regret and fear rapidly accumulate until the rectangle grants you visions of ground. The grinding sounds of metal return, no longer silenced by the storms screams and for once structural failing has a comfort to it.

Looking through the window you catch glimpses of this region of Deathworld. To the far east is land comprised of barren rock formations with the occasional glimpse of molten red. To the far west in great contrast is a sea of green, assumed by you to be a forest but looking twisted and wrong somehow which gets clarified by a sudden pulsating spike of green electricity that leaps from its mossy hoards.

As the pods navigation system adjusts the window begins to reveal a city. Is it a city? The architecture is a strange mesh of multiple styles. Some peasant-medieval others human research station structured and more strange metal and rock spikes littered almost randomly through the community sometimes covered in what can only be described as moving fungi. A sudden jolt reminds you of the importance of seatbelts as the ships navigation system flashes something in Cyrillic. The pod seems to glide more smoothly now as it slowly fixates on what you assume to be the space-port. After another "wear your seatbelts kids" jolt during landing you exhale a breathe you didn't know you had been holding. A slight tick on the terminal draws your attention to a singular radiation symbol that is seen in irregular intervals. Figures now pass by your window. The brief glimpses and garb gives you the impression these are not airport workers but soldiers. After some grinding noises and loud rattles your pod elevates and is carried by another form of machinery and parked in a hanger after a decontamination process.

The ships lights re-activate and a stern but automated Russian voice repeats something three times within the pod. Armed and armoured figures are swarming your pod once more. Banging, sawing, hammering and cutting can be heard and felt. The soldier directly in front of you outside the pod seems to be shouting in their rattling language. You don't understand but you do understand he is irritated. When the seal to the pod is opened the soldier pries open the door manually and lets it fall to the ground, its hinges melted. The scent of hospital level sterilization swarms you and you lock eyes with the soldier as he is too close and large for you to see anything else. The soldier leans into the cramped vessel, his malformed skull closer to your face then you like. His hand suddenly grasps your jaw and he turns your head back and forth twice inspecting you, those blue swirls within his skull flickering with threat. Satisfied he releases his hold, cuts your seatbelt off with a knife and points to a door across the room. An old radio plays a sombre Russian song which is barely heard over the rattles, random machinery, and stomping of military boots.

You reach forward to grab the outer-rim of the pod with the intent to hoist yourself out of the pod only to have your wrist quickly grabbed by the soldier. "No. Hot," is all he offers you as he harshly jerks you out of the pod only letting go when you are a short distance away from it. Glancing back your brain sputters and pauses seeing the state it is in. Is that the same pod you entered? You have to remind yourself it is. A pat and light push on your shoulder from the soldier who is again pointing at a door brings you back to things. "Security checkpoint. Now."

You are soon peer-pressured into exiting the hanger by half a dozen soldier skeletons as they stop the work they were doing and stare at you in unison. Entering the room and finding the door locked behind you several private security booths are seen, two of which appear to be manned. Picking the nearest one you enter and are greeted with a stare from a skeleton wearing human lawyer-type attire with his desk sprawled in paperwork. All of which is in, you guessed it, Russian. The skeleton motions you to sit, which you do and flips around a piece of paper. You try to explain that you can't read that language but the skeleton responds in increasingly irritated rattles and eventually forcefully grabs your hand, cuts it with his bony thumb and slams your palm down onto the paperwork leaving a bloody print. He then points to the door and rattles loudly. You guess right that he wants you to leave and you do.

After a time of brief uncertain wandering as all the directions are in Cyrillic you eventually find a door that opens. A few skeletons are seen in a lobby, some working, some smoking and playing cards, and one wearing an embroidered kerchief and peasant styled dress with notable holes and tatters near the bottom revealing bones. The other skeletal figures, seemingly unionized in motion follow her gaze to land on you. You are beginning to notice a pattern in this society.

The dress wearing skeleton softly stands and makes her way towards you. "The pod trip has a good view of the city, yes?" she asks, her voice distinctly belonging to the Nurse but now having a strange haunting vibration like the others as her eternal fire dances within her skeletal frame. "Now let us get you a suit so you can survive outside the spaceport, ok?" she motions you to walk with her. "The Collective pays for the first use. Unless you are a diplomat, we cover those always after.. many incidents!" she rattles.

Turning a corner with the Nurse a few steps ahead you feel a tug on your sleeve and turn around to see a skeleton dressed differently from the soldiers and general employees here. He shoves a flyer in your face and begins rattling off a spiel of "great savings" and "unnecessary precautions for outsiders put in place to inflate the oligarchs coffers". He is cut off mid-speech by the Nurse, who is suddenly at your side, sharply grabbing his wrist. She leans towards him and you notice the internal ice fire of her flickers, swirls and grows in intensity. The eyes of a skeleton janitor who had been looking at you now rests on the one who had been attempting to sell you something. A quick glance around the room confirms that you are no longer the centre of attention. The Nurse lets out a soft, dark rattle of frozen air as the salesmen leans away from her, his flames dimming sharply. His vision breaks from the Nurse and shoots to you. "Next time!" he rattles enthusiastically before pulling from the nurses grip and speed-walking out of sight.

The Nurse remains unmoved for a time. Her jaw still half open and the hint of red flailing inside her eternal flame until she gains her composure and resumes guiding you towards a bio-suit store within the port.

After an uncomfortable period of being fit-tested to a suit you waddle awkwardly after the Nurse as she makes her way to the buildings entryway. Glancing back at you several times you find yourself missing the emotional tells of flesh as you are sure she is enjoying your waddle walking. "It will get easier," she assures you as you both step into an airlock system to gain access to the outside. After some fizzling and smoke the front doors open and the Nurse walks outside, you in tow.

Looking out through your visor you take in the scenery. The street is riddled with sink-holes, one building is collapsed but someone is still running a store out of it and there is some mushroom-lizard-thing dragging itself across the adjacent sidewalk. It stops, explodes into fumes and melts into moss on the concrete. Passer-by's step around and over it. Local wildlife or plantlife? Both? Oh and the sky is still a volcanic hell-fest. The Nurse looks up skyward and sighs softly, acidic rain drops spitting their way downward onto her. "Storm will pass soon," she utters before looking to you. "Welcome to my peoples homeworld. We will take the bus to our destination. But perhaps some tea first?"

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