The Day I Became the Weapon

This is a fanfiction I originally wrote to try and convey the feeling of playing Crysis 2, and the events transpired in this short story are the accounts of a short session of gameplay, merely described in a more compelling way. There are no spoilers on the story, if you haven’t played the game and still intend to. Which I recommend, since it’s great fun.

Where there was once a large patio, now there’s only a pit filled with rubble. A few more steps and I see that the “pit” is, in fact, the whole patio, which should be at the same level of the columns to my left and right. Less than a second passes, and I hear the already familiar voice, artificial, impersonal, and definitely synthetic: Threat detected. Tactical options available. With a brief thought and a slight move in one of my fingers, I fade from sight. The robotic voice confirms my action – Cloak Engaged -, and I look to my hands, practically translucent if not for this sort of honeycomb-like pattern. I’m not completely used to the notion of “becoming invisible”. Reminds me of the words of some famous guy, about technology, when advanced enough, being like magic. With a touch, I activate the tactical mode on my visor, accessing the controls tucked away on my temple. Scanning through the area, I soon identify three hostiles. Ceph, Dr. Hargreave calls them. Some marines call them squids. I don’t care much about naming them. I don’t care much about talking at all. But they certainly deserve the names, as they do resemble octopi.

Soon the system highlights two possible options: a spot with supply crates –by the readings, it’s ammo and grenades – and a spot where I can flank them – a train that used to run at the front of the patio, now suspended 30 meters above ground. At first, I consider clambering up the structure and use the DSG-1 sniper rifle that wounded marine gave me. Shouldn’t be hard with the help of the nanosuit. But just before I set out, 3 more red triangles show up on my HUD. A stroke of luck that compels me to take it a little slower.

The voice echoes in my brain, like some electronic ghost that haunts my own mind – Energy level critical. A glance on the corner of my HUD shows me less than 25%. In the ten, maybe fifteen seconds that I have left of cloaking, I could slide quickly and hide behind the support beams of the train, to recharge. But I choose instead to go back behind the columns and uncloak. Heh, uncloak. Maybe I finally am getting used to the idea. Thanks to some the suits near-miraculous self-improvement capabilities (it seems to have something to do with catalysts in the alien technology), the energy levels can restore themselves quite quickly. Sometimes, I wonder if this suit isn’t alive in some way. It already feels like it is my own skin, and it responds to my thoughts instantly. Energy restored, I leave my musings to some other day – right now, I just keep learning it’s features on-the-fly – and start my descent. I cross what’s left of the neatly mowed grass, hiding behind a half-sunken wall. The whole patio is drastically uneven, with plenty of cover to move through. This is good, allows me to proceed cautiously. I wait for one of the patrols to go by, look back to make sure there wasn’t anyone following him, and… I turn to face the wretched thing an inch away. The cloaking is not very effect up close, so he realizes there’s something in front of him. Before he has a chance to react, I uncloak, flex my muscles – the suit’s reaction is amazing, amplifying my strength with no need of a formal command – and grab his head, driving my blade to the hilt and into – what would be – his jaw, silencing him in the blink of an eye. I lay the lifeless carcass on the ground, without a sound.

It was a close call, so I better double my caution. I go back to the train, clambering up slowly, where I can get a better view. The 5 remaining hostiles are still marked on my HUD, and there are no others in sight. I keep watch for a few instants, trying to identify patterns – 3 of them are stopped near the back, close to the edge of the patio. Two of them are patrolling, but they seem to keep to a specific area, and don’t seem to notice the lack of one in their numbers.

I slide down a slope on the side of the train, sneaking and cloaked, and reach the first one. I wait for him to reach the end of his route – a flowerbed that rises half meter off the ground – and when he turns around I drag him back. A stab to the chest and torsion of its “neck” do the job quietly and efficiently. The other one turns around and, not seeing his companions, quickly approaches my position. A quick glance over the HUD tells me the other three are further down, so I decide to bring this one down in the same fashion.

Still cloaked, I keep advancing carefully. Luckily, the aliens themselves have spread what look like large pods, maybe for supplies. I use those, and the bushes still standing, to make my way behind them. I make my way around, but when I’m just about to leap for the first kill, on one of them farther back, I hear a dropship incoming. Bastards drop two pods behind me, leaving me between two groups. The two hostiles that emerge from the pods stay in position – it’s like they know where I’m standing.

I slowly make my way back to the bushes, and take a look around – I can make a route that goes right behind them, but a few small water puddles are on the way. I go slowly, and take the first one in a quick move. As I lay him down and move, his partner listens to me and turns around. On a fraction of a second, I can reach him and get him as well. With more luck than anything else, the other three seem to have advance a bit, and did not hear anything. I get up, uncloak, and run towards one of them in the back. I bury my knife in his back, and as soon as he falls, I pull my pistol – two shots in the back, one to each target. The glowing orange mass exposed in the back of the armor bursts with a muffled, wet-sounding thwack. Eight hostiles down, no alerts going. Definitely more effective than playing human tank with a .50cal like I did in front of the library. Even if it takes a little longer.

Back on route, I see a way up: part of the road still roughly connects the patio, now on a lower level, to the street above. I seem to have taken care of all patrols in this area, as the nanosuit detects no more lifeforms. I make my way above, to find a container with some supplies. I leave the sniper rifle and decide to take the SCAR assault rifle – This one has a silencer and holographic sight, handier in close quarters. The waypoint on the HUD, marking the entrance to the subway, is right ahead. As I leave the supply container, I hear the distinctive thumping of four pods – Guess they already noticed the lack of patrols. I cloak and take a peek; two of them are in plain sight. It’s a straight way to the subway entrance, part of a street littered with cars. Good, I can use those as cover. I make my way to the first one easily, as he was near some steps on the walkway. I get up and take him out quietly… to no result. One of the others spots me, and makes that annoying unearthly sound they do when angry. The nanosuit responds as quick as an instinct, and as he raises his weapon, I hear the voice again – Maximum armor –, peppered with the sounds of light projectiles against armor plating. His shots have no effect at all, and I lose no time being thankful. I train the sights of my newest acquisition on his chest, and a short burst rips his helmet off, and exposes his bright, slimy head to a final round. Behind him the remaining two show up, and I feel the shivering of an unpleasant surprise on my spine – one of them is big. Too big. I let out a barrage of bullets on full auto, but it doesn’t even scratch his plating. Aside from being 3 meters tall, this asshole has the same armor I have. I just don’t think I can wait for him to run out of juice, so I dive behind a crashed car. And it is instantly showered in a barrage of hot flying death pellets from another planet. At least it seems he uses the same ammo as his smaller colleagues, since the car does a good enough job of stopping them. But his gun fires three times as fast, and he’s approaching. Amidst the loud drumming and the adrenaline surge, I remember a large crate that I didn’t even consider carrying with me – a crate containing a rocket launcher. Too heavy to keep toting around, but useful now.

I cloak, and wait for him to come around the car. I shoot in the other direction, getting a couple of precious seconds, but he sees me running – again, I can’t rely too much on “being invisible” when they are aware of my presence. But, even though he still sees me, it’s time enough that I can get back to the container. At least, this thing is slow. With the rocket launcher in hand, I wait for him to show up from behind the container – the armor reinforces itself again, and I send the missile straight into his chest plate. A lot of smoke, and not a scratch on him – but at least it threw him off balance, giving me a couple more seconds. Without much more option, I dash in his direction, hoping his armor has the same weaknesses as his smaller, non-impervious mates. Assisted by the nanosuit, I vault over his head, making the most out of my excess and his lack of agility. And yet again to my luck, he does have the same weakness: a large, pulsing mass of orange goo is exposed in the back. I don’t think twice, and empty the entire clip of my assault rifle, dismantling his exposed flesh in tiny, ugly, and disgusting bits. I have the devil’s very own luck on my side, today.

Irritated at this unpleasant turn of events, I barely wait for my energy levels to be restored, to move through the cars like a speeding bullet. In the blink of an eye – literally – I’m in front of the last squid. He sees me and opens fire, which I promptly ignore. I do feel a sting on my leg, but I keep steady and grab him by the neck, sending him hurtling back into one of the pods. Assisted by the nanosuit, when he hits the pod headfirst, his helmet sinks in, taking care of my last obstacle before going into the sewers. Another sting in the leg gets me out of the frenzy, and I look at the wound – just to note that the suit is already taking care of it, both the wound and itself. I wait for a moment before proceeding, and check the HUD again. The waypoint for the entrance is just a few meters ahead, it’s a broken sewer pipe.

Leaving a dozen lifeless carcasses behind me, I climb into the pipe. My leg has stopped stinging, but it feels cold. It’s almost as if the suit had stapled it with some metal – I’ll stop to think about that later. Right now, I need to get into that subway, and find Dr. Hargreave’s team.

Life, the universe, and everything else, or: random ranting in a saturday night.

So I was reading some stuff about astronomy:

-Apparently, in our galaxy there is an estimated number of at least 10 billion planets in the habitable zone of solar systems.
-If there’s a one-in-a-million chance of life in another planet, that means there’s ten thousand planets with some sort of life.
-Earth has 7 billion people, and counting.
-If that’s a high number, let’s say the average population is half that: 3.5 billion. Heck, let’s make 3 billion to round it up.
-Of those 10 thousand planets, if half of them are inhabited in that average, there would be 15 trillion people in the universe. Because regardless of race, planet, or chemical base for life.

And yet, with 15 TRILLION inhabitants in our universe (in a very, very low estimation) you mean to tell me that if something bad or good happens to you, it’s because of some big divinity that is constantly looking especially for you, and that you must put yourself in their hands for good stuff to happen.

No. I’m not against religion, or faith for that matter, in whatever you choose to believe in, be it God, Allah, Odin, or the Great Spaghetti Monster. I’m against inaction. I’m against putting the blame for life being shit into something else. I’m against praying every night for whatever you wish, and then doing nothing about it, expecting it to fall into your lap. And I’m against not believing in YOURSELF, regardless of believing in anything else.

I’m against thinking that humans are not inherently capable of taking care of their own lives.

 

I was going to post this on Facebook, but it started getting a little longer than expected. It’s just a rant, and a little quick brain exercising.

The Psycho Plastic Surgeon of City Centre

This story was created during an English Class, as an exercise in the usage of expressions. As usual whenever we need to create something, I use it as creative exercise as well. In this exercise, we received a bunch of keywords that needed to be used. These words will be highlighted in bold font. And the story will sound… peculiar. Not to say stupid.

 

Once upon a time, there was a delivery man who suffered of ill mental health. He was kinda slow, but no one worried too much about him. One day, this man received the task of delivering a huge parcel. He found out that the parcel was, in fact, plastic surgery equipment. As he was on the verge of a mental breakdown, (bad) memories were triggered, turning him instantly into an unscrupulous artist of deception and deformation. He simply set up an office on an old building, and invited people in for plastic surgery. Most refused point blank, but there were always a gullible few who ended up being taken for a ride with his doctorly manners. The scene of the crime was not limited to this old building, however, and sprawled over the area known as Dublin City Centre. But this madness did not come out of nowhere, it had an origin. It had a “why”.

Long before the Desfigurements of Dublin, as the story would eventually be known, there was a slick young man, who was planning to become the world (or, at least, Ireland’s) best plastic surgeon. But, after only one year in college, he was categorically denied a continuation of his studies for his erratic behaviour (and his “cosmetic improvements of farm animals” as he called it). In other words, he was a nutcase. Devastated, the slick young man had a trip over to County Wicklow, where he would remain for a long time, living a reclusive life until his later years. Some say time heals, but after years, nothing changed. To cut a long story short, he could never live up to the dream he had been clutching for so many years. Although he still felt young at heart, the years caught up to him, he ended up moving back to Dublin to live his last years with any job he got.

Turns out that, unbeknownst even to him, his life was about to have an unexpected turn of events. Strictly speaking, after a few more years working as a delivery man, he went batshit insane.

That is to say, boys and girls, that you should not fall for any crazy talk about a cheap makeover in the city streets. So there.

Why I’m so passionate about gaming. (repost)

This is a translation of an older post.

I’ve saved the galaxy (about 3 or 4 times). I’ve been an outlaw in the border of Mexico, and worked for the mob in Vice City. Faced monsters of rock and fur, became a spirit who jumped bodies, and been a Bounty Hunter. I save my cousin who was kidnapped by the Russians, and later was a Russian surviving in the post-nuclear-war subway. I’ve saved the same princess 79 times (42 times that Zelda chick, and around 67 times that annoying Peach, with her stupid habit of always being in another castle). I’ve been a giant robot pilot, a spaceship captain, I’ve face ogres and trolls and hunted vampires. I’ve commanded Marines against a race of aliens with psychic powers, to later ally myself with the to face the Swarm.

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Avengers, Assemble!

This is a translation of a text published in the newspaper on May 6th 2012.

Like I said on Facebook previously, even before watching the movie, here goes a spoiler for you: THIS MOVIE IS DAMN GOOD. Instead of giving out major details, I should just keep finding different ways to say the movie is cool, fun, good, excellent, outstanding, swell, super-duper-awesomenator, effin’ wonderful, sublime, excelso (that’s latin for you, kids), distinguished, prominent, splendind, superb. I’d like to congratulate Joss Whedon, this outstanding character, for delivering me the movie I wanted to watch. Millimetrically accurate on what I wanted to watch.

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A Brutally fun Legend (repost)

This is a translated repost from an older review.

I can start out by saying that this game is much cooler (and weirder) than I ever imagined. At first, I thought this was the unholy offspring of an improbable union between Kratos and some chick from Guitar Hero (or two chicks, for those of you who remember a certain minigame from the first God of War). In other words, a really crazy mix. But I ended up finding out that instead of that, Tim Schafer decided putting one teacup God of War, one teacup Guitar Hero, and three teaspoons Starcraft in the game. And it actually turned out nicely. Crazy as hell, but nicely.

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O dia em que me tornei a Arma.

Onde deveria haver um pátio, agora só há um rombo enorme. Mais alguns passos e vejo que o “buraco”, na verdade, é o pátio que deveria estar no mesmo nível das colunas à esquerda e direita. Ouço a já familiar voz artificial, sintética e impessoal, me avisando da situação: “Ameaça detectada. Opções táticas disponíveis”. Com um breve pensamento e um leve movimento em um dos dedos, desapareço da visão. Recebo a confirmação na mesma voz robótica: “Camuflagem ativada”. Olho para minhas mãos, agora praticamente transparentes, ainda não acostumado completamente a “ficar invisível”. Parece verdade o que dizem sobre “toda tecnologia avançada o suficiente parece magia”. Com um toque, ativo o modo tático do visor, acessando os controles que ficam ocultos ao lado da lente. Começo a observar a área, e logo identifico três alienígenas. “Alienígenas”. Estranho chamar assim seres que, de acordo com o Dr. Hargreave, vêem do fundo do oceano. Mas certamente não parecem humanos, se parecem mais com polvos. Justifica o apelido dado a eles pelos marines. Também identifico logo duas opções táticas ressaltadas pelo sistema de reconhecimento do nanotraje: uma pilha de suprimentos, com munições e granadas, e um local onde é possível flanquear os inimigos, em um trem agora suspenso a cerca de 30 metros de altura. A princípio, penso em subir até o trem, o que deve ser fácil com o nanotraje, e usar o rifle DSG-1 que peguei há pouco junto de um marine ferido, mas logo identifico outros 3 inimigos. Resolvo usar a cabeça, e ir com mais calma.

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