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The Rules as layed out by the illustrious Mr. Pants:

1. If you’re interested in writing the next section, please come to the forum named, “The Thread: Change of Plans,” and leave a note. This is to avoid having two or more writers working on the same section. You could say something like, “I’m gonna do the part after Beckett Grey.”

2. Keep you sections to around 500 words. I’d like many people to be able to participate, and this should enable it.

3. End your section with the characters on the verge of an “event.” This will make it easier for the next writer to pick up where you left off.

4. Follow the characteristics that have been established for characters. If in one section “Johnny” has blonde hair, then he should still have blonde hair in your part too.

5. Do not post comments in the comments box. That space is for the continuation of the story. If you wish to leave comments, please do so at the forum.

6. Above all else, have fun, be creative, and get involved!


The Thread: Change of Plans

Colonel Ryan Pool eased into the Archon Battle Suit. The armor was unlike anything he had experienced before coming to work at this project. The Archon suit, was like slipping into a second body, for which you were the skeletal structure and the neural network. Layers upon layers of synthetic psuedo musculature wrapped around your body like a sybiotic invertibrate, made whole by your presence. The inaudible hum of the BioPlasma power cells tickled his subconcious through the multitude of neural pickups arrayed through out the suit. A momentary wave of disorrientation washed over him as the suit and his body linked, giving a momentary dual awareness of the armor and himself, within a few seconds the merging was complete and the disorrientation faded. A tech standing in front of him locked the Armors facesheild into place with an audible 'click', pressure systems within the suit engaging to create a tight seal. Holo-images flickered to life in the visor giving Ryan readouts on the suits status, his vitals and readouts of external conditions.
"This is too sweet." Ryan spoke to himself.
"Sir?" The tech turn, thinking he was being addressed.
"Nothing Sims, Just talking to myself."

Ryan flex his arms, enjoying the thrill of awesome power that accompannied the gesture. With this suit on he could lift approximately 20 times his own weight without any strain. He didn't mind the fact that he was supposed to be off duty today. Some geek up in Ops need some power output data, so today was an unsheduled test.

'power levels nominal' The suit whispered into his mind.
He hadn't got used to the fact that the suit considered him as only an additional piece of hardware, completing the whole.

'pre-load combat charge' he thought sending a mental command to the suits processors. Energy rippled through the suit as Archon made the require adjustments. The suits Bio Synthetic Skin acted as the focusing device for the primary weapon, an energy disharge, which could be fired in any direction. The hands of the suit had been reenforced to handle greater levels of energy, so they acted as the primary focusing port for the suit.

"Colonel Pool, Proceed to Test point 5", the tactical channel was not as elegant as the mental rapport he enjoyed with the suit, and seemed to ruin the harmony he was feeling with Archon.

"Roger, Proceeding to Test point 5." he replied.

Technician Sims moved over to the external bay door controls, his fingers rapidly tapping in the access key. The doors cracked in the center sliding outward to reveal a cold grey morning.

"See you in a little while Sims." Ryan commented as he set the suit into motion, jogging in smooth even strides. The suit picked up speed rapidly and he was moving along at about 60mph within a few seconds. The jogger in Ryan loved the feedback he was recieving from the suit as he cruised towards the test site. Ryan allowed the suits sensory systems to wash over him. Filling his mind with the enhanced perceptions of the suit. This was what it was all about.

"Archon, abort current test, we have a situation. return to station immediately." The harsh noise broke ryans reverie, and he eased Archon to a halt in a manner of six strides.

The tactical net went wild with cries and the sounds of gunfire.
"they're in the main bay!
"What is That!"
"Ohmygod......"

Ryan turned back towards the Project Santuary. For a moment the world seemed calm again, the tac net hissing in it's silence. Then the light followed by the shock wave sent Ryan tumbling backwards like a leaf. Eventually he was able to get a firm grasp on the ground, locking himself in place. the visuals in his visor went wild as the world around him seemed to be shaken to its core. Within minutes it all stopped. Ryan paused for the span of a few heartbeats before braving a look up. Santuary was gone.

------
«kross»
too...much...pressure...



Comments

The following comments are for "The Thread: Change of Plans"
by kross

Part Two
The cold, emotionless displays confirmed the destruction of Project Sanctuary. Ryan, wide-eyed and downright frozen, heard not the mechanical noises all around him, just the heavy, labored breathing of his own that could only be a sign of hyperventilation.
"Focus," he thought to himself, "Just figure out what the f*** happened--"
"Alert," the suit said inside of Ryan's head, "Contact approaching. Distance, ten kilometers. Alert. Contact--"
"Mute warnings," he thought. The suit responded in kind, leaving Ryan to his own faculties. He hadn't the time to conduct any makeshift investigation after all. One thing was clear, though; the bastards who lit up the station were coming after him.
"Weapons status."
Much to Ryan's horror, the mind/machine interface greeted him with empty static.
Ryan cried again, "Weapons status!"
"Sorry, man!" a voice in his head responded. Sims?
"Sims!?" he exclaimed out loud.
"I've yet to program the algorithm for the command you're requesting," Sims said, in what became painfully clear was a recorded message, "Just drop something in my inbox to remind me and, you know, I'll get back to you!"
"S**t!" Ryan said, throwing his fist about. He probably should've expected it when the suit reacted to his movements and pierced the morning air with several tons of metal that made up its mechanical arm. Through all the distress, a sudden glimmer of hope dawned on him. Standing his ground, he may get out with his skin intact after all.
"We have you outnumbered and outgunned," an incoming transmission said, "Surrender the Battle Suit to us, and we may let you leave here alive."
Ryan scanned through the images fed to his visor. Several armored vehicles on the ground and hovering gunners in the air backed the threat. The combined power of the forces facing him down would be more than enough to torch the base twice. The bastards.
The next move was his, and if there was any chance for survival, he needed them to play into his hands. So he ran. As far as the suit’s legs - powered by his own - could take him. The speed of the Archon was incredible. Not too much faster than those units pursuing him, but it kept him just out of firing range long enough to get the forward energy gun charged and ready.
In his mind he went through all the briefings he sat through, learning all about the experimental suit. One thing that he found extraordinary was that, thanks to the new technologies equipped on the suit, he could turn and stop on a dime.
As soon as the primary weapon went hot, Ryan turned his body clockwise and extended his arms out. The adrenaline pumped into his veins and sweat dripped down his brow, as a dust cloud partially concealing the enemy approached close. With all the power and complexity of the machine that enveloped Ryan, he needed only to issue a single mental command.
“Fire.”
The buildup of energy was brief, but no less dramatic than Ryan had anticipated. The machine’s hands lit up like tiny suns and unleashed their fierce power on the pilot’s pursuers. Within moments it was over. No great battle, no tit-for-tat exchange of force. What shocked Ryan, more than the scope of the destruction he had caused with one shot, was the idea that those who had attacked the base had grossly underestimated what they were after in the first place. It didn’t take him too long to realize the victory was his.
“Attention,” the suit said. Now what? “Rapid shutdown code received. Now powering down.”
After a string of shocks and surprises, Ryan hadn’t a breather to realize that a single deactivation code did to him what a whole squad of armored units couldn’t. Everything around him began to shutdown, but the comm system remained active as another transmission was received.
“Colonel Ryan Pool,” a loud-spoken man shouted directly into his head, “This is Commander McIntyre of the Internal Affairs Division. We are placing you under arrest.”

( Posted by: TachyonOne [Member] On: February 16, 2002 )

Part 3
The name “McIntyre” sent a cold shiver down Ryan’s spine. He immediately turned and tried to run, but with the suit deactivated, it amounted to nothing more than a sluggish walk, which allowed the commander’s men quickly overtake him.

Ryan would never know from which direction they had approached. With the suit powered down, his vision was nearly none existent. He saw only blackened shapes that grabbed and lifted him. They carried him toward a large void and tossed him in. Ryan could only guess at what he was placed into. It was either a moving van or the cargo portion of a plane. As he heard engines spring to life and the vehicle begin to move, he said, “Christ, this is one hell of a way to spend my day off.”


Commander McIntyre sauntered around his office content now that the Archon suit was in his possession. He sucked hard on his contraband cigarette and exhaled in the general direction of one of his staff. The woman, who was typing diligently, coughed on the thick stale smoke, but otherwise, did not respond to the offense.

McIntyre knew she was cursing him under her breath. He could see her scowl reflecting off the monitor. But she knew better than to say a word, many a person had disappeared for just such an infraction. Some of them were far more important politically than she would ever be. Instead, McIntyre watched her wave the air in front of her face and then she continued typing.

McIntyre laughed at her fear. He loved to make people cower, which is exactly why he had to have the suit. How many fingers had he broken to get its location? How many lives had he destroyed to get its password?
None of it mattered now. He was soon to be a god, and the world, like his staff, would shirk whenever he approached.



Sitting in the blackened hull of the vessel, Ryan began to sweat. McIntyre was an animal who would eat his own young, and the thought of being his prisoner scared the living hell out of him. He had heard stories of McIntyre’s torture sessions. The man wasn’t above squashing someone’s balls in a vise before or after he received the information he desired.

Then, a light blinked on Archon’s viser and a voice whispered in his ear, “Colonel. Colonel Ryan Pool, can you hear me? If so, clench your right fist now. Do not, I repeat, do not speak.”

Ryan blinked against the sweat that ran into his eyes, and clenched his right fist tightly.

“Good. No. Excellent. It’s time we get you out of there sir.”

( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: February 17, 2002 )

The thread: Change of Plans - Part four

    The soldiers who guarded Ryan were quite relaxed and inattentive in the sense that they knew he was about as threatening as a large paper weight with his suit powered down. However, as blinking digital read outs and power indicators started flashing in an impressive light display, their attention was guaranteed.



    Having received instructions not to damage the Archon Battle Suit, they were reluctant to fire on Ryan in fear of Commander McIntyre's reprisals, legendary because of their vicious nature. One of the soldiers radioed McIntyre for instructions as they both leveled their Blast rifles at their captive.



    "Commander, the Archon Battle Suit seems to be powering up! I repeat, the..."



    "I heard you the first time soldier!" Interrupted McIntyre. "Shoot at the face mask! It's the only weak point in the suit and it can be replaced. Do it quickly before the suit is fully activated!" The Commander wondered what had happened to his well laid plans. Someone would pay for this, and he would be the one to collect.



     He glared at his personal secretary who unbelievably enough, seemed to be smiling at his predicament. "Miss Jones? I hope you will take the opportunity to share your amusing thoughts with me when I get back. I'm sure I can make arrangements to spend a bit of quality time with you. Right now I want you to flap those pretty little lips of yours and call the hanger. Have them prep my Command Fighter and arrange for two escorts to follow me. We're going to intercept the cargo plane delivering our valuable little package. You had better be here when I get back."



    The smile melted off the secretary's face like a wilting leaf wanting for a fresh spring rain. She complied with the Commanders order as she wonder about her future, or even if she had one...



    Ryan could once again feel the familiar disorientation as the suits electronics and his nerve system melded into one cohesive unit. He had his back turned towards the guards and with the Archon Battle Suit nearing full power, he turned to face his adversaries.



    Even after receiving instructions to not damage the Battle Suit, the soldiers panicked in the tight quarters they shared with Ryan. They started hammering him with continued blasts from their rifles, driving his body back against the outside wall of the vehicle.



    Ryan couldn't fire his weapons until the suit was fully powered, but he could utilize the other various functions. He felt his best bet was escape, so while the soldiers pounded his nearly indestructible armor with their rifles, he battered the wall of the vehicle with his fists. The lightly armored shell of the vehicle was unable to withstand his assault, and he quickly punched a hole big enough to escape from. He jumped out.



    Ryan hadn't realize until then that he was being transported in a cargo plane. Tumbling out into the turbulent back wash of the plane, he plummeted out of control...



    Commander McIntyre and his escorts arrived in the area just in time to see the cargo plane with a gaping hole in it's side start coming apart in a flaming ball of useless wreckage...

( Posted by: The Hal [Member] On: February 17, 2002 )

The Thread - Part 5
As the cargo plane plummeted towards the ground, he wondered what had gone wrong. Commander McIntyre new the suit had the ability to withstand the crash, but it was going to be a hell of a time separating it from the mangled transport plane.

The plane hit the ground with such ferocity that Commander McIntyre winced as the flames lept towards his Command Fighter.

"Control?"

"Go ahead Commander."

"Prep a crash recovery team and have them at my location in fifteen minutes, is that clear?"

"Yes sir."

*******

Ryan fell from the plane at an alarming rate. Before he even had time to consider the suits options he felt himself hit. The ground gave way and he began to sink into it. It was then he realized he was in water.

The suit sank like a rock for another ten seconds and then hit the bottom with a thump.

The suit, reading his thoughts and simultaneously realizing it was in water made the necessary adjustments. Ryan was able to stand and as his visor adjusted to the surroundings he was soon able to see.

Looking around he was in the midst of a vast canyon. Obviously he had fallen into Orion lake, 36 miles north east of where project sanctuary had been. The display in his visor confirmed this fact as he heard the voice again.

"Colonel Ryan?"

"Colonel Ryan, are you okay?"

"Yeah, considering I just fell out of a plane, I guess I'm okay."

"Good, I will lead you to my location. It won't take long for McIntyre to come looking for you."

"Wait a minute, who are you?"

"My name is John Pierce"

"And how do you have access to the suits communication system?"

"I'll explain it when you get here."

"I don't think so, you better explain it now, Forgive me if I'm a little short on trust right now John."

"My brother and I had contracts to help develop some of the suits systems. When Commander McIntyre planned this whole thing he tracked us down and used my brother to get information on the suit."

"Well, if you know what kind of guy McIntyre is, then why get involved now, why help me?"

"The suit was part of our dream, my brother and I. At first we did it because of the potential for money, but it became a labor of love. We put our heart and soul into the project. Once the prototype was approved and the project went public, we would be famous and could name our price on future projects."

"So you don't want the suit to fall into the wrong hands, souring the future publicity?"

"Two weeks ago that would have been my only concern."

"And now?"

"And now it's only revenge I seek."

"For wrecking your future?"

"For killing my brother!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize. McIntyre?"

"Yes, and I intend to return the favor."

"Well then I guess we'll make a good team, the son of a bitch just blew up everyone I knew back at project sanctuary. I have a bone to pick with him as well. Just one question?"

"What's that"

"It looks like I'm about 160 feet below the surface, how the hell do I get out of this lake?"...

( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: February 18, 2002 )





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