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OOC: Some fan fiction for a game that is still in development.


They were at the door again.


Oshi Komitaru closed his eyes and tried to imagine himself somewhere, anywhere, else than the tiny observation blister of the Ishimaru. He failed, as he did all the other times he had tried, his imagination doing nothing to quiet the beasts outside the door. The beasts who, not less than two days ago, been his crewmates and friends.


Below him in the viewport, the cracked and broken leviathan of a dead planet seemed to smirk at him with a grin made from fractured continents and a rapidly cooling core. It seemed to be saying "I'm a dead planet for a reason, you know". Even from this angle, Oshi could see the giant mag-lines that were bored into the crust, waiting for the signal from the ship to pull another chunk of the planet into orbit for ore processing.


Waiting for a signal that would never come.


It had just been another routine job with the usual fat paycheck: Make the rounds out on the Fringe, harvest what they could and bring it all back to company headquarters. A year, give or take, of sitting around on his ass with the brief periods of working said ass off breaking down the smaller components the ship's exterior processor couldn't target, followed by nine months of sleeping off the last hangover in a feezer tube on the road home.


But that had all changed now. Not long after the first ore fragments had been pulled in things had started to go wrong. He'd been in the second shift galley when he got word that several of the Americans were being rushed to medical. Typical, he had thought, the Americans did always try to shy away from the hard work. Too much soft living had made most of them nothing more than fat pen pushers, but there were always the jokers who thought pulling a tour on an ore ship would get them set for life. That's why management always made them do the dog work of breaking down the hardest ore first, and doing it without the self-cooling powersuits and the air filters Oshi and his shift used.


He paid little attention to the exhausted workers when he and the rest of his shift had passed them on the way to the work bay, ignoring the obvious sickly palor their skin had taken and the grimaces of pain that had been etched across their features. Instead he had gone straight intothe suit bay, and from there straight to work. It was after his shift that Oshi started to notice that anything was wrong.


The Americans that had gone to the sick bays were missing, one was dead, and the rest of the shift crew were horribly ill and growing increasingly aggressive. He had just reached the second shift quarters when the lights went out. Then the screaming began. The clanging of metal on metal as venting and floor grats were ripped off, the guttural snarling and the horrible mewing of the...things that suddenly appeared everywhere.


When the backup lights came on and doused the ship in dim red light, Oshi thought he had been looking at some strange painting as one of the things descended on Keij Inafune. The thing was torn and ripped in a million places, gaping wounds that seemed to house hundreds of flesh colored teeth. It was all muscle and sinew and had a great whipping tail with what seemed like a fur covered cudgel with spikes. It spewed something on Keij and the man had screamed and cried and made a gurgling sound and the stuff flooded down his throat. He'd started shaking and jerking violently, and when the beast had turned it's nightmare face towards Oshi ran.


He'd torn through darkness and death, his heart in his ears and his stomach in his throat all the way to the observation blister, slamming the door shut right as the beast had reached for him. Oshi had wasted no time in pulling the solder from his service belt and welding the lock shut. The scrabbling at the door hadn't ended for hours, and when it did, it was replaced by the sound of something trying to climb into the ductwork. He'd quickly welded the vent in place then, and moved the few loose items in the blister over it.


And had been here ever since.


The horrible blurred images of his flight seemed to lock into place afterwards. hulking pus beings that shrieked and died when struck, their inflated stomachs burtsing open in a flood of bug like creatures, arms that had become sickles, and the dead eyes that had stared at him from that 'fur covered tail'. He vomited and passed out, his dreams being no less pleasant, and had vomited again when he had woke up. With whatever, whoever was at the other side of the door there to greet him.


Oshi hadn't slept since, and the sudden silence three hours later was so sudden it almost shocked him from the little ball he'd curled up into. He had cautiously stood up, and while part of him wanted to melt away the welding and look outside, the rational part of his brain had yelled NO.


So in the hour that followed, Oshi had done what he could to find out what was going on by using the tiny fixed cameras on the exterior of the ship and the one security camera for the hallway. None of them had worked, since the power hadn't come back on, and Oshi suspected he didn't want to know what was out there anyways. The images tried to come back, but he'd blocked them out by thinking of home.


Home. Oshi thought about it with a small smile on his face, about the rich moist scent of summer rain, the cool nights of fall, the huge grin on his little sister when she had graduated high school and the stern comforting presence of his father. He thought about Kei and the house he had bought for both of them, and about how he'd never see her beautiful face again.


He knew he was dead. The pounding on the door was getting louder and heavier with each crash. He could see it starting to dent inwards near the ceiling, and cursed softly in his native tongue. He fingered the welder on his belt.


"Goodbye, Father, sister, I will miss you both."


He pulled the tiny device from it's holster and stared from it, to the door, and to the planet hanging in the space below him.


"Goodbye, Kei. I'm so sorry."


And with a quick jerk, he placed the welder to his forehead and pressed the trigger.


With a flash of light and searing heat, Oshi Komitaru knew no more.

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