Laughter in the dark - A megagame report on Event Horizon (Part 2)
I wandered. I am certain I was the only person in this middle section of the ship and had been for hours, but in truth I lost track of all time. Removing my gloves, I traced my hands along the cold metal of the walls as I walked, my fingertips tracing the graceful tearing marks left by the elegant claws of the creatures I seek. Occasionally I pause and use my torch to illuminate the artistic spatterings of blood and gore that dot the walls of the chambers I pass through as if I am in the finest art gallery in the galaxy.
Sometimes I sang to the ship, sometimes I whistled, sometimes I simply called out in welcome, but mainly I was quiet. Finding silent communion with the distant hum of the now re-started engines, the groan of metal, the occasional distant screams of the other rescue crews, and the clank of loose chains and pipes. The smell of metal and chemicals fill my nose, and I feel that I am constantly being observed by something unseen. Is this what heaven feels like? Probably. A quick flash of movement catches my eye to my left through a doorway, and after a crackle of static the unpowered ship tannoy system blares out my favourite piece of music of all time – Scot Joplin’s ‘The Entertainer’.
Eagerly I stride into the now empty chamber. Wait. It’s not QUITE empty. Something is in here with me. My body shakes in anticipation as I sense invisible tendrils of incredible, unfathomable power reach out to me across the cosmos, across time, and across this room. They reach me, wrap around and embrace me, I am lifted from my feet as dark matter and unnatural energy pours into me. The parasite behind my eye begins to twitch and shakes at an ever-increasing tempo until suddenly it bursts, removing what was left of my ruined eye with it. It doesn’t matter.
IT DOESN’T MATTER! I have been chosen by something MUCH more important and powerful! I feel as my soul is twisted away from my body and a tiny part of the vast, vast alien consciousness that inhabits this ship slides into its place. Suddenly I am overwhelmed with thousands of images and sensations. The entity is showing me its existence. Aeons flash by in an instant until we arrive at a star system: Alpha Centauri! I see twin suns, and numerous, luscious worlds teaming with life. I see advanced alien civilisations trading between these worlds. And suddenly I see the Event Horizon blink into existence its jump drive shining like a beacon. I feel a surge of happiness that is not my own as I witness the Horizon’s jump drive providing the spark the entity needed to advance its own malevolent plans, and it reaches out and extinguishes the twin suns, consuming them whole. I watch as these pathetic, lesser beings wither and die while the entity, MY entity, entwines itself with the Event Horizon’s engines and sets a new course: the return to Sol.
The entity’s will bears down upon my own and I allow it to flood my mind. I feel my organs begin to shift ever so slowly around my body. My metamorphosis has begun! I shall become a worthy vessel for this being! This GOD! This alien entity that has chosen me! ME ALONE! I feel the pressure on my mind increase. Nothing else matters! Aliens are real and I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen!
We have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! I have been chosen! We have been chosen! I have been chosen! We have been chosen! I have been chosen! We have been chosen! We have been chosen! We have been chosen! We have been chosen! We have been chosen! We have been chosen! have been chosen! have been chosen! have been chosen! been chosen! been chosen! been chosen! been chosen! been chosen! chosen! chosen! chosen! chosen! chosen…
We know what must be done. Our consciousness is tied to the jump drive of the ship in the engine room, this must be protected, and the ship must make it to the nearest star. By crashing the Event Horizon into the sun we would be able to fully renew our self and manifest in our final form, and from there we could go on to consume this galaxy. No time to waste then!
We make for the nearest med-bay and plunge a scalpel deep into our neck. As the compartment fills with our blood and we lie staring at the ceiling the shadows on the walls begin to move, flowing and re-forming and drifting towards our body. As they reach us and swarm on us we feel a biting cold and our torch begins to flicker, and then goes out…
…and we step directly out of a shadowy corner in the engine room at the rear of the ship. The hum and throb of the great machine fills our body, giving life to the ship and to our new soul. Above us, suspended from the ceiling is the jump drive, glowing a sickly greenish-yellow and illuminating the room. Here is the seat of our consciousness. Here in the room we shall remain. Here we shall author the end of humanity.
Looking down we see four human figures who had been conversing near the airlock which separates the engine room from the rest of the ship. Two Russians: a scientist and a psychologist, and two Americans: another scientist and a muscle-bound Security Officer. Now they are all staring at us as we slowly walk towards them. We called out a greeting to these new ‘friends’, and then got to work bending their feeble minds to our will.
We told them the truth. We told them that a vast alien malevolence had taken control of the Event Horizon. We told them it had already destroyed the civilisations of Alpha Centauri. And we told them it planned to do the same to the Earth. Then we asked for their help in crashing the Event Horizon into the sun.
While this did work as intended, and they did assume that crashing the ship into the sun would destroy us rather than renew us, it strangely did NOT spur them to help us get it done. Clearly these humans were very different from the humanitarians of the African Union’s Mawu. A new tactic and a new motivation was clearly needed: Greed.
We reached out to each of them in turn. The Russian psychologist was the easiest to turn to our side. Even before we began to weave our subtle persuasion he seemed broken and distraught, clinging to the warmth of the engine like it was a womb, holding his head as a parasite grew and twisted within. We take away this pain, such a trivial thing to do, and we place him back upon his feet. We can see in his eyes he has accepted his fate, he knows that his time on this ship has changed him beyond all recognition, and Earth can no longer be his home. He is ours now, because he has nowhere else to go.
The two scientists were a little harder to convince. The first to speak is the one from the USSF Yukon, she is wild-eyed and dirty, her space suit marked with all manner of foul grime and viscera, and she clutches a huge flame thrower to her as if it was her own child. A talisman against the dark. She has seen things on this ship which defy all logic, and she is willing to believe the impossible. All she wants, all she has EVER wanted is to visit an alien world, to visit Alpha Centauri, and in exchange for her service she asks to be teleported onto the surface of that far-off world. We smiled at her and nodded our lie, we agreed that if she helped get the Horizon to the sun this wish would be granted. Humans really are such gullible creatures.
As she hefted her flamethrower and stepped into the corridor to keep watch the Russian scientist, having heard this, asked for the same boon; and the pact was sealed. Three minions are not an army, but they can certainly be of use to us. And what did it cost us? Some empty promises? Well worth it!
The final human, the US Security Officer, was watching this impassively and when we spoke he asked to hear more about death, and about what might come after. Instantly we knew to be cautious with this one, he did not seem to have been as affected by the Horizon as the other three. Indeed, he seemed to be unaffected by almost anything except his own past. Too dangerous. Too unpredictable. We left him unsatisfied but confident that he would be unlikely to jeopardise our plans.
We returned to where the Russian psychologist was finishing his work plotting a course directly towards the sun, and as we placed our hand upon the engine, the ship lurched as a MASSIVE boost of speed supercharged our velocity towards this destination, and victory.
Over the next few hours a complication emerged. It appeared that a number of crew members from the rescue mission had managed to activate the Event Horizon’s bridge navigation systems and were altering the ship’s course to head towards Earth. This was useless to us! Too many humans together would be enough to overpower us! We needed to get to the star.
Each time they shifted course to Earth we shifted it back to the sun, and the ship began to fishtail ever more aggressively, beginning to shudder from the rapid manoeuvres. There was little choice, we would be forced to dispatch our three cultists to the front of the ship to slaughter the infestation in the bridge and regain full control over the vessel. At that moment however, unexpected salvation struck in the form of a nuclear blast.
The ship rocked as the explosion detonated near the bow and we were thrown to the floor with everyone else. Reaching out our mind we could feel that the entire front third of the ship had fully detached and was pinwheeling off into the void slowly breaking apart as it went. Wonderful!
With the bridge destroyed full control of the ship was restored to us and we did not even have to lift a finger! We were back on course toward the sun. But even as we went to celebrate crew from the USSF Yukon ran out of the darkness and began pleading with their scientist, who was still clutching her flamethrower. They begged her to return with them and as she turned to meet our gaze it was as if a veil lifted and she could see us more clearly. Her eyes narrowed, and she dashed away through the corridors with her shipmates. Leaving behind her fantasy of Alpha Centauri, and perhaps a small part of her soul, forever.
We shattered a nearby table in anger, that flamethrower could have been useful! Just as we were about to console ourselves by eating our remaining minions however, we received some further unexpected and unwelcome visitors. Three bloodied and desperate looking crew from New Russia’s Solaris science vessel burst through the airlock, stepping directly towards the engines before they saw us, pulling up short in surprise. In their hands was a nuclear bomb.
We did not wish to reveal our full form to these intruders, so we attempted to persuade them to leave peacefully. Their objective was to crash the Horizon into the sun, foolishly believing doing so would destroy whatever evil force had poisoned the ship, but to do this they intended to destroy the engine and jump drive so that the ship’s trajectory could no longer be altered.
A conundrum. How to convince these fools to abandon the second part of their plan? Above all our survival was paramount and we knew that destroying the jump drive would be the end of us. As the argument became heated the US Security Officer who had been lurking in the background pulled his emergency rescue cord and vanished through the airlock, and this was the final straw for the Russians who started again moving towards the engines with their bomb, their expressions set and intent to complete their mission no matter what. With no choice left we revealed a portion of our being and moved to intercept and subdue them.
The shadows in the room began to lengthen then twist and writhe. A high keening scream filled the air along with the stench of rot and blood. From our shoulders two dripping, malformed arms emerged at the end of each glittered a single talon-like claw. Our jaw dislocated like a snake’s, and dozens of barbed teeth began to push through the upper and lower parts of our mouth filling out this maw. Our remaining two servants looked on dispassionately, but the Russians were brought to the edge of utter panic by the sight of our beauty and majesty.
We lashed out, quick as a spider, first at the one clutching their primitive bomb, slashing at her torso and arms then impaling her on a talon, and flinging her against the ceiling of the engine room. As she crashed back on the deck she lost her grip on the nuclear weapon she carried and it tumbled away into the shadows, never to be seen again. We advanced on the remaining two Russians one of whom was staring at his fallen comrade and in terror toggled his emergency cable, sending him careering through the airlock and away. The second held his ground, brandishing aloft a length of piping as an improvised weapon. Opening our maw we let forth a shriek and a spray of scalding, acidic blood enveloped him, melting into his suit and flesh and boiling him alive.
But the threat was not yet over, as even as we turned to let out a scream of triumph a final figure strode into the engine room. It appeared that the Americans and the remaining BlackWater crewmembers were launching a full-blown assault against the engine room, and this was their vanguard. The confidence in his face faded however as a second massive nuclear detonation was felt throughout the ship, much closer this time. We closed our eyes and watched as the middle sanction of the Horizon buckled and partially shattered, great lumps of hull tearing off and spinning away into the void. The sudden vacuum of space took the assault team by complete surprise, and they were sucked out of the now open front of the vessel, screaming their last breath into the unforgiving void.
We smiled, and began our final transformation out of this limited human body. With our loyal followers and this solitary marine as audience our pale skin began to rip and tear, revealing beneath a swelling, roiling mass of putrid flesh and muscle beneath. Growing ever larger as the pink skin dropped away, what was once a normal human was replaced by a monstrosity of grey-red flesh and sinew, standing nine metres tall on eight barbed and taloned legs and with numerous mottled arms extending at unexpected points across our whole irregular form, each with long, wicked claws on the end. What was left of our human face we retained intact, and we leered down at this final, hopeless challenger, so foolishly confident in his ability to prevent our ascendancy.
The metamorphosis is complete, our fleshy, magnificent form is finally revealed and as our mighty claws extend over him we hiss in delight. The marine’s eyes are wide with terror, but he steadies himself and charges us screaming his defiance. We laugh at his foolish courage.
This final entry is an epilogue of sorts. We have control of the Event Horizon now, the only humans left aboard are those loyal to us, but the ship has been badly damaged by the human efforts to destroy us. Power is fluctuating and we will soon be unable to direct the engines, and this could be our undoing. The US Security Officer who fled the engine room has taken control of the BlackWater One, our old ship, and has super-charged its afterburners setting a collision course with the engine compartment of the Horizon. He will likely detonate the ship’s reactors at the moment of impact sacrificing himself, but in so doing destroy the jump drive system and the seat of our consciousness. With the engines failing there is nothing we can do to prevent this.
But we shall not be destroyed. We have used this time to weave part of our consciousness within the words of this diary, and as you have read it the seeds of our will have been planted in your fragile mind. The tickling itch you feel? That is us entering your body. The slight headache in your temples? That is us taking root in your mind. Every person you now touch or speak to, every person you know and love will slowly become infected with our consciousness, and from you all we shall rise again, renewed and whole. Your species is weak and broken, and your end is nigh.
I think you’ll agree, that was a pretty epic tale! Were you one of Seumas’ minions in the engine room or part of the US boarding team who got spaced in the nuclear blast? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook group now. We’d love to hear other perspectives from the game!
Has Seumas’ megagame report inspired you to play a megagame? Check out our global calendar to find a game local to you now.