An explanation of what a Chain Story is can be found here: Introducing Chain Stories - Interactive Fiction Writing by @zakludick
This post kicks off a Chain Story between @kd-neeley and @therneau, each of which will be taking turns to write a part of the story. There is minimal planning with regards to the handing off of the story which will make it interesting.
As each of the writers makes their contributions their names will light up when it is their turn. Each of the parts in this series will be called a "Log", following on there will be an abbreviation... more info forthcoming about that later!
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Log SLKT #1: Earth V2
The sweat was dripping from his brow as Lieutenant Frey called out to the rest of the party, “We need to move along people!”
He was quite scrawny, however the lieutenant had a demanding voice that was difficult to dismiss. It was crisp, firm and carried the appearance of being immovable.
Although he still appeared to be in control Lieutenant Frey could feel his entire body struggling against the extra gravitational force that was present, wearing him down step by step. His joints were aching, the soles of his feet were sore and he could feel the sweat constantly dripping from his armpits. He and the other soldiers had all strapped their AR’s onto their backpacks and opted to rather have quick access to their hand guns.
The party of 50 had to push along, “If we keep moving at a steady pace it will take us 4 hours before we reach Pinnacle One” he yelled.
“Well what the hell is Pinnacle One?" Doctor Adendorf asked out loud. “We only got told to survey yet another potential habitat-“ the doctor fell short of breath.
Lieutenant Frey stopped dead in his tracks, “Halt!” he shouted. The accompanying soldiers that loosely encircled the group immediately stopped, forcing the rest of the party to a standstill. The Lieutenant drew a deep breath before turning around to face Doctor Adendorff. His thick glasses were slightly fogged up as he leaned forward, hunched over with his hands propped up against his knees.
Lieutenant Frey approached the Doctor as he pulled the glasses from his face and wiped the sweat from his brow, still trying to catch his breath. “Doctor, with all due respect, we need to reach Pinnacle One before sunset.”
Doctor Adendorff scrounged at the Lieutenant while drawing a few deep breaths. He looked about the vast jungle enclosing them into a cocoon like form before responding in his thick German accent.
“Lieutenant Frey, you haven’t answered my question, however allow me to propose another.” He said.
“With this dense jungle, how is it that we can move so easily about? No, no, wait. Let me answer that for you.”He said.
The Doctor drew another deep breath whilst replacing his glasses, clearing up his vision, “It is because some animals have cleared pathways that we now use to move along. Some very large animals at that.” He stated.
He could see that he was getting under the Lieutenants skin, however it wasn’t quite his intention. He simply wanted some answers. He wanted to know what has happened to the groups that explored Earth V1. He never received any news about what happened to his friends and colleagues that never returned to the ship. None of them knew anything, therefore Doctor Adendorff was hopeful that the military personnel, whom they’re hardly ever exposed to, would provide him with some answers.
It’s been 8 years since they abandoned the exploration there and they’ve been orbiting this so called Earth V2 for just over a year now, gathering as much data as possible, yet having limited access about the planet depending on the departments within which they operated.
Lieutenant Frey stood squarely in front of him, “Doctor Adendorff, I can’t answer all your questions. What I can tell you though is that the reason we need to reach Pinnacle One before sunset is that it will be the safest point for us to be. As for the trails in the jungle-" Doctor Adendorff interrupted, “What happened to the three parties we sent down to Earth V1, or should I say Galladius 214?”
The rest of the party was all but staring at the two of them going at it. Lieutenant Frey was becoming quite irritable now. Every minute spent arguing not only wasted valuable time but valuable energy as well, “Like I stated Doctor, I’m not at liberty to provide you with certain information. However I can tell you this. I do not have knowledge of what happened to those parties that were sent to explore Galladius 214.” He said.
Lieutenant Frey was staring slightly down at the Doctor, looking him squarely in the eyes. He might be many things; however a liar was definitely not one of them, “If we waste any more time or energy standing here in the middle of this jungle, Doctor, then I’m afraid we might also vanish-” Distant yet loud cracking sounds in the jungle interrupted the Lieutenant. It seemed as if most of the party noticed the noise as they looked simultaneously in the same direction. The cracking sounds quickly closed in on their location.
Lieutenant Frey had already gestured towards the soldiers and most had their hand guns readied whilst some were preparing to pull their AR’s with their backpacks carefully placed in front of them.
The cracking sounds were those of thick branches snapping, growing ever closer and at a steady pace. These weren’t mere twigs snapping. Whatever was coming their way sounded large and powerful.
The soldiers had quietly moved the party towards the center of their defense line. It had formed part of the parties training prior to their departure. The drills had paid off and within seconds, the doctors and scientists were completely enclosed in a small circle, with the majority of the soldiers facing the approaching noise.
There were a few more loud cracks and that’s when they saw the thick branches of the brush crack open. What they saw surprised them all. Expecting to see something large break through, they were surprised to see a relatively small animal, merely waist height. With its front limbs visible it was unusually muscular. The animal had a relatively small, oval shaped head. Its tiny eyes were barely visible, while its thick neck bulged out into an extremely powerful and leathery looking torso. The animal grabbed at a branch in front of it and snapped the forearm sized branch with its 3 clawed paw with a twist of its leg. The pale green leaves atop the branch came within reach of its mouth as it ripped the smaller twig off and started chewing at the greenery.
It wasn’t but a moment later that the animal stopped chewing. It snapped its head to the right, trying to observe what was ahead of it with its left eye. Immediately some flaring cavities opened up on its back, appearing to sniff the air about.
The small animal stomped at the ground with its front and rear paws, shaking the brush about. Then it started vibrating so intensely, the members of the party could feel the vibrations on the ground.
Within seconds of what clearly seemed like warning signals the animal shot towards the right end of the party with an unbelievably explosive force. Before Lieutenant Frey could give the signal the soldiers opened fire on the animal. Within less than two seconds it had crossed about 20 paces and was right on top of the party. Suddenly the animal veered to the right, exposing its unusually slender body. The soldiers continued firing at the animal as dirt and dust shot through the air from the sudden change in direction, spraying the party with bits of sand and stone. It sped off down the path with great speed before disappearing from view.
“What the hell was that?” questioned a soldier.
“That is an animal that has adapted to the gravity here.” Doctor Adendorff replied.
Lieutenant Frey quickly checked if there were any injuries. Luckily everyone seemed unscathed but for a few bumps and scratches.
“Let’s move people before something else crosses our path!” He yelled, looking back towards Doctor Adendorff and the rest of the party.
Log SLKT #2: Earth V2 by @kd-neeley
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Thanks for reading, cheers!