Chose your own adventure: Ranger’s Battle

Soldier sat tied to a chair in the depths of the underworld’s ultra death fortress. A stupid name, he thought to himself. It was enough to call it a death fortress, but adding on the ultra was completely unnecessary.

A demon’s claws scraped against his chest sending an unpleasant sharp feeling through his nerves, but he was tough as nails… literally.

“Ow,” he says sarcastically.

Part of his genetic code was a molybdenum titanium alloy that make his skin almost impenetrable. The demons didn’t seem to have been clued in on this, so they were looking for ways to torture him into revealing where Tech had planted the bugs that were disrupting their fissures.

She was in another room, but he could feel that they were starting to get to her. She wasn’t built as tough as he was and soon enough they’d be broadcasting her torture as a way to get to him. And it would get to him.

Soldier wrung his wrists on his bonds. His sun-beaten skin was starting to redden around where the restraints held him in place. They weren’t stupid enough to have left him with any of his tools, but his communication implant was still working and someone was trying to make first contact.

***

You pull the binoculars up to your eyes and take a look at the compound. Having spent a few hours traversing the fissure with the help of Ranger and Bruiser, the catharsis of making it to their destination was proving to be a bitch.

The compound was protected by arch demons half the size of Zozhar and the old demon could be stomping away somewhere down here waiting for his next chance to try for the surface.

The two demons protect the doors to the compound. “Arch demons,” says Bruiser. “Quite literally.”

Ranger returned from scouting and reported in.

“Ok,” she said pulling up her map. “We have an entry point on the far end of the compound, but we’re dealing with some sturdy security and surveillance. There’s a good chance they’ll find us before we can secure Soldier. It looks like Tech is down here somewhere too, but we’re going to prioritize saving Soldier first.”

“He’ll be good to have in a fight,” says Bruiser who was checking his fuel reserves for his jetpack and modifying. “Up for doing some more flying?”

This time you hop onto Bruiser’s back and into a little seat he’s crafted for you on his jetpack. Ranger looks just a little offended you decided to go with him, but you don’t think your ribs will be able to take another pounding.

“We’ll meet on the other side of the building in five minutes,” Ranger says pulling on a visor from the back of her head. She disrobe from her uniform and for a brief second Bruiser’s face turned a little red. She disappears behind her cloak and pokes you in the back.

“Stay safe out there,” she says, her footsteps pounding into the distance.

Bruiser whistles and lights up his jetpack. “Hold tight.”

Five stomach-churning seconds later, you land at the entry point to find three demons piled up in a heap. Ranger has left markings to show you where to go and she’s probably watching from somewhere high up to get the drop on anyone who approaches.

As you enter into the compound, Bruiser lights up his axe and takes the lead. Following Soldier’s locater signal, you head down a few sets of stairs and some blood-encrusted hallways. At the end of a long hallway stands a thick metal door. Looking through the slot in the door, Bruiser says he can see Soldier in there, but after whispering to him and tapping on his com he’s not responding.

The door mysteriously swings open.

Bruiser looks at you. “Must be Ranger taking over the internal security systems,” he says.

You enter into the room and approach Solider, his body still and lifeless.

The door slams shut and gas starts to flood the room. Bruiser charges at it slamming his axe into the it, but the metal in the door seems to be able to repel the kinetic energy. On the other side of the door, you can hear Ranger yelling something about a trap.

The gas is making your head feel hazy. Tunnel vision, numbness, silence, death. You fall to the ground.

The End.

— Page 10 —

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