Skag. Alf. Tim. Nell. Four modern-day commandos are suddenly caught in a short-lived time loop and immediately find themselves temporally displaced and discarded individually to unique locations in history....
The story of Skag.
Discarded to the downtown streets of a war-torn city, Skag finds himself surrounded by Chinese-style architecture. Not the modern skyscrapers, more like the traditional homes and businesses. Though a lot of it is in need of repairs. Fallen bodies all over the place. Something is wafting through the air and it doesn't taste good at all. It's making Skag want to hack-up and eyes are runny and stinging. Skag must grab his gas mask. He reaches for it.
"WAIT! Its not there?! Where is it?" Skag wonders....
Skag looks around. He spots a gas mask, but it's certainly not his. Its got the hose attached to the mouth apparatus, and someone else is wearing it, and it's staring right at Skag! The tan uniformed figure, crouching, is holding a machine gun. A bit unusual, the clip is on top of the gun. There's a long pause....... then "CRAAAAACK!" The sound wave smashes Skag's eardrums. The masked figure slams its head onto the ground at the same moment. Skag turns around. An unforgettable sight; another figure, a short range away with rifle tucked into shoulder and pointing in Skag's general direction. Skag sees the bayonet at the tip of the barrel, then sees the bolt-action mechanism. The helmed face behind it is definitely Asian. The confused smirk on his face instinctively tells Skag that he needs to go! Now! You don't ever mess with the dirty end of a rifle." Skag reminds himself.
"CRAAAAACK!" Another shot goes off.... BEHIND HIM! Skag's burning eyes jump out, and adrenaline now pumping. The ricochet just missed his right leg. Skag shuffles with a 180 while reaching for his holster. Grabs his 1911 sidearm, spots a second rifle-bearing figure, and Skag pulls the damn trigger. The gas in the air is hurting his eyes, not a perfect shot. The .45 inch piece of lead burrows into the figure’s shoulder and exits with a spray of blood from the other side. The tan uniformed figure drops to his knees and swears out in some foreign tongue while hideously staring at Skag.
"Cover! Gun!" Skag thinks as his mind and feet begin to rush.
"Rubble pile to the southeast...... there it is! My baby!" Skag smiles to himself as he dashes like running back on juice to the pile of wood and bricks."
Lucky for Skag, the other Asian trooper is more concerned with matters elsewhere. A whistle is blown, further to the north. Skag looks that way, positions himself behind the dropped pile of bricks, and “pumps” his gun. It gives off that unmistakable ratchet sound. Four figures, again in tan uniforms and gripped with bladed rifles are approaching.
Skag spots his gas mask, to his east. Its too close to the other mysterious Asian trooper, the one that doesn't seem interested in him. Skag doesn’t trust him. But Skag needs that gas mask.
Stupidly, Skag loses himself in the moment pondering whether to stay in cover or run for the mask or even shoot that fellow. Skag will certainly die in a minute or two without clean air. His condition is worsening. The opponent Skag shot earlier has hastily walked towards him, bloody uniform and all, points the bayonet at Skag and “CRAAAAACK!!”
Skag’s ears ring again. “The son-of-a-bitch was too close for comfort. This one hurt, bad!” Skag's mind races.
A vicious puncture into the edge of his chest. The improved outer tactical vest (IOTV) got chewed up. It simply failed to stop the round.
“Where the XXX-GAAAAAAG-XXXX are my plates?!” Skag yells, then spits out a fluidic substance “I don’t remember taking them out.”
The barrel of both guns, the shotgun meets face to face with the Arisaka. “BOOOOOOOOOOOM!” The frontal bone shatters into the lobe, the orbs and nasal bones obliterate, brain matter squeezes and liquefies, the parietal and occipital bones explode outward. A helmet bangs onto a slab of stone and rolls around for a second while a mandible drops to the ground, moments later, followed by a body that crashes upon it wearing a rising sun patch.
In his line of sight, Skag spots the other “friendly” exchanging rounds with another or two from the north.
Skag gets to his feet and bolts towards the gas mask he so desperately needs. It’s more like a slow jog, that gut shot has taken its toll, but Skag makes it, reaches down and grabs the mask. He spots a rifleman at the corner of his eye dashing towards him. Skag drops the mask on his face with his left hand. Head pounding, eyes on fire, lungs drowning, his right hand with the shotgun and arm stretched out towards the rifleman.....
A terrible shot, even with the shotgun at close range, Skag utterly missed. But Skag wasn’t at a hundred percent.
Skag takes the impact, the wind knocked out of him, loses his footing, stumbles backwards, crashes hard into a supine position. Vision goes dark..... Gunfire continues to echo through the city....
The “friendly” Asian trooper makes the decision to retreat.
“There are too many of them penetrating the perimeter” He mentally notes.
He runs away down the street, along the store fronts, opposite of the aggressors. He hurriedly removes a gas mask from a fallen opponent. As he saves himself from the poisoned air, he takes a quick peek back at the mysterious soldier wearing the very unusual uniform. This Asian wonders if his “ally” (Skag) died before he felt the rifleman’s bayonet slash open his throat and stab his chest cavity. To add insult to injury, Skag's corpse was spat upon.
Turning around, he spots another set of aggressors pacing with an approaching tank from the far end of the street. Those rifleman shooting at civilians unable to hide.
“Shanghai is lost” He says to himself, surrounded.
Highway to Hell ?
Stairway to Heaven ?
Slow boat to China.....
The story of Alf.
Tall, grassy plains ringed by steep mountains far in the background. A light scattering of trees. Laying on the ground, on a bed of crushed grass to be exact, Alf recovers and sits up. Looks, but realizes he cant see anything 10 feet beyond the weeds.
“F###!” Doesn’t anybody mow their lawns”.
Alf jumped to his feet. His head barely clearing the height of the freakishly tall grasses. Straight ahead in his field of vision, he spots three well-rounded rounded boulders.
“I’ll just hop onto one of those rocks and get a better view of this place.” Alf thoughtfully suggested to himself. After Alf’s first couple first steps, two of the boulders moved farther away at a good pace. Not roll, but as if someone were dragging them.
Alf took a harder stare and noticed the cracked, scaly and knobby-like surfaces.
“Whoooow” Alf said as he took a step back.
“Must be giant turtles.” He claimed.
“F###. Shells as tall as me. I didn’t know they would get that F’n big.” Alf pondered.
“Someone must’ve dropped me off on one of those F’n wildlife expedition things.” Alf considered.
Alf looked at his GPS-equipped watch, “2:11 in the afternoon..... Ok, I get that. But where the F! am I you stupid thing?” Alf questioned and continued tapping on the device.
The GPS indicator was having difficulty providing a coordinate and no data was listed.
“This is bullshit! I know I have complete coverage anywhere in the world, and there‘s absolutely no interference out here” Alf demanded.
Alf immediately stopped what he was doing, turned around in the direction of the growl and tried to spot the beast. Meanwhile, his right hand reached for his holstered .45 pistol. Alf did wonder why his rifle was not slung across his back.
Alf had problems spotting the beast. The grass everywhere was waving back and forth. A continuous, strong breeze wouldn’t let up. Alf proceeded to maneuver towards the southeast. His instincts told him to move that way.
A face peered out from behind a thin wall of grasses. Sinister yellow cat's eyes made contact with Alf’s bulging pair. Maw spread wide open. Two curved incisors, each as long as Alf’s foot, arched around the front of the mouth, ringed by many smaller fangs. The hefty, furry critter, one step larger than a tiger, leaped forward, and hooked front paws attempted to nail into Alf. Expecting the jump, but slightly mistimed the dodge, Alf side-stepped and avoided the worst of the attack. The feline’s left paw slide across Alf’s tactical vest and carved out parallel gashes. A portion of it digging into his flesh. Alf sort of rolled with the big kitty, turning as the beast landed on three paws. The left claws still caught on his vest. The feline’s head turned sideways and stared at Alf and wickedly growled, its back exposed to him. Alf’s right hand, by this time, had come around and buried the nose of the handgun into the furry critter. But the big cat was exceptionally quick. As Alf’s finger pulled the trigger, the gun was already sliding off the flank of the kitty. The blast produced a glazing shot around the hindquarters. Blood and GSR smeared the ground. The left paw unhooked at that same moment and Alf bolted away. The kitty flopped and rolled once through the grass. It took a few moments to recoup, then hopped back on its feet and followed the same trail Alf blazed.
Alf’s instincts lead him true. His trusty, scoped M14 lay on the ground right in front of this feet. Reaching down to grab the rifle, he could hear the vicious kitty shuffling through the grass towards him. Alf “locked and loaded”, raised his gun to eye level, and was pounced upon by the cat! Alf was immediately knocked backwards on his @$$. Unexpectedly, the cat, after grabbing the upper portions of Alf’s vest, was unable to bite into his head or neck. The momentum and locked paws forced the cat to somersault in midair and crashed through the grass. Releasing its grip, the cat once again got back on its feet, growled at Alf and “CRAAAAAAACK!” The kitty stared into the muzzle flash and swallowed the 7.62 mm round at point blank.
After taking a short breather, Alf couldn’t believe his stupid luck.
“brrrrooooooOOOOWWWWooooooOOOOWWWWWLLLL!” Another territorial growl, though this one was further in the background.
“Are you F’N kidding me!?” Alf asked himself.
Staring to the northwest he spotted a massive and very furry, bipedal creature standing next to a tree. It was gazing into the grassy area just ahead of it. Likely where the other kitty was. Alf couldn’t believe the size of this thing and noticed its long curved claws.
“F! ME! An elephant-sized sloth.....”
Alf moved in the opposite direction wanting no business with it. Moving south, he spotted a shiny glint of metal flickering between the many blades of grass. This peaked his curiosity and he advanced to it. Two of the giant turtles were on his left, and a third one to his right. Alf could feel the ground vibrating a bit as a giant turtle rushed towards his position. Surprised by the speed of the lumbering creature, Alf failed to ready and aim his M14 in time. He also took a few moments to look at the beast..... It was not a turtle.
“Arma-F###ING-dillo!” Those were the last words of Alf as the armored behemoth approached him, immediately turned around, swung its massive spike-clubbed tail at Alf’s lower extremities. The devastating blow knocked Alf off his feet and sent him tumbling and thrashing through the weeds. Busted bones, profuse bleeding. Alf kept groaning in pain, could barely crawl, and finally became quiet when he bled out in the grasslands of Patagonia some 2.1 million years ago.
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat.... Alf did.
Ignorance killed Alf.
Curiosity was framed.
The story of Tim.
Tim suddenly found felt he was in midair and fell about dozen feet and crashed face first into the soft dirt and mud. His arms and legs taking most of the impact. Tim had the wind knocked out of him for a few moments. He immediately wiped off most of the mud with one slap across his face. In the moments before regaining his vision, he heard a continuous wave of high-pitched whistling followed by earth-shattering explosions from various distances. Harsh cracks of random gunfire echoed across the landscape. The stench of thick smoke and decay drifted with the air. Tim was on his knees as he was finally able to witness his surroundings. He gained an absolutely dreadful feeling as he peered through the smoggy air and felt goose bumps rip across his body. Scattered rings and rows of barbed wire stretched everywhere across the lightly hilly terrain, carved up by craters and man-made ravines. Countless numbers of murdered men, those in uniform, helmed faces with eyes wide open staring off into oblivion. A morbid display; many of them in jumbled piles fallen on top of each other. Rifles and body parts tossed aside.
Someone roared in German and Tim woke up from his trance. A heavy machine gun buzzed off followed by the continuous popping sound of lighter machine guns. Not very far away, Tim ran off in the opposite direction. He reached for his M14. Tim's eyes bugged out. It wasn't there! Instinctively, he then reached for his holstered .45.
"BOOOOOOMMMM....BOOOOM.....BOOOOOMM!" A volley of shotguns then went off. Tim wondered how in the Hell could he still be alive and running with so much firing going on. TIM SPOTTED HIS RIFLE! Just ahead to his left. "KILL THEM KROUTS!" Someone commanded in an English tongue. Curious, Tim turned his head and looked back as he dived on top of his M14. "Cowboy hats?!" Tim's conscience questioned. "BANG-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!" Dirt and rock splashed across Tim's back. A shell exploded nearby and muffled Tim's hearing for several moments. As he pushed himself off the ground and kneeled into a crouching position and "toyed" with his rifle, a figure in a gray uniform wearing a backpack rushed towards him and sprayed Tim with clunky looking submachine gun with a side-mounted drum barrel. "ABSTERBEN AMERIKAN!" The trooper demanded.
Most of the rounds were near misses and flew past Tim, however a handful of rounds darted across his chest. A stupid mental error and loss of battlefield awareness, Tim knew he was had and waited for the blackout. "Auf Wiedersehen" Tim heard as kneeled there.
The figure looked away and started to jog towards the other troopers in brown uniforms wearing the cowboy hats, then immediately stopped in his tracks when Tim found himself yelling "ACHTUNG!"
The figure turned around and had the look of surprise on his face. Shocked for a moment, the trooper gathered his thoughts and pulled the trigger again. Nothing. The Trooper's jaw dropped as he fumbled to discard the drum and nervously reached for another one.
Tim's combat-trained subconscious took over. The M14 raised up. The hands leveled the gun. "AMERICAN" Tim spoke. The barrel starred at the trooper. The right eye peered into the scope. "UNSTERBLICHE" Tim spoke again. The crosshairs highlighted the jugular. The right index finger tapped the trigger. The shoulder took the butt of the gun. The neck ripped open. The heart pumped the dark red out. The legs went limp. The body dropped straight down...... Eyes wide open...
Today's Lunch Special: American 'dog with sour krout and German sausage.
The story of Nell.
A small group of horses covered in chain and metal plates slogged through a quagmire of wet grasses and thick soupy mud. The iron-plated riders violently urged their mounts to keep moving, and faster at that. The horses struggled, were exhausted, a pair of them kneeled and then folded over their front legs, and finally toppled sideways into the heavy muck. The ironclad humans took the spill with them. Knights in shining armor? Not today. The knights stood back up and began the march forward. Actually, it wasn't a march, more like a fruitless effort of trying to climb through a wall of mud. The ridiculous weight of the plated armor made it near impossible to walk away. A hailstorm of arrows rained down for several seconds. Most of them simply dipped into the mud and were forever lost. Many of them clashed against the curved and fluted plates then bounced and tumbled away. A handful of them, however, found their marks and stuck hard, digging deep into the soft fleshy tissues underneath the steel-like shells. One of the armored foes collapsed and was immediately swallowed up by the mud. If the arrows didn't finish him, then suffocation will. A few of the horses, unfortunately, took random shots to their head and immediately died.
An intense explosion of searing bright light overtook the battlefield, the origin just inside the forest's edge. Vicious cuts of lightning momentarily froze in every direction across the landscape. Several deafening waves of thunder clapped. The sound stopped. The light was gone. In the spot of origin was residual waves of heat and small flickering tongues of fire.
Opponents on the battlefield stopped and stared. Pointless squabbles and thoughts of conflict over who had rights to the thrones were suddenly forgotten. "What happened?", "Who is this person?", "Is this the second coming of Christ?" were some of the thoughts running through the minds spread across the battlefield.
A knight and a pikeman who just a few seconds ago were battling to the death against each other suddenly accepted an alliance with each other to search the point of origin.
"Stop you two." A lady's voice warned. It was quite close by, but the knight and pikeman could not spot her. An archer with a 6--foot longbow approached the two of them......
"There, the face in the hedge." He pointed with his arrow.
The knight and the pikeman took a surprised step back when they realized a human form stepped forward from out of the thick brush directly in front of their view. As she was motionless, Nell's camouflaged uniform had blended in perfectly with the natural foliage.
Both sides were quiet for a minute as Nell let the three people examine her very unusual appearance and equipped "tools".
By his very nature, the knight took command and spoke first. He wasn't exactly sure what to say and was just not prepared to speak with a woman who simply appeared in the middle of battle.
"Who are you?..." He asked in a bit of a shaky tone.
Nell could tell she had the upper hand, and being the bitch she was, decided to play-up the situation.
"Off your high horse, sire. I will not be treated as a peasant. Show me the respect of your chivalrous upbringing that you give to your royalty." Nell demanded in a firm tongue.
As expected, the knight dismounted. "My lady...." he continued "Your accent is most unusual."
"Well, of course. I'm American." She boldly stated.
"I have never heard of such a person before." The knight replied.
"I most certainly hope you haven't, besides your accent is weird too." Nell said with outstretched arms. Her rifle in her left hand pointing away from her.
The pikeman, being a curious fellow, touched the tip of the barrel and starred long and hard at it.
Nell saw the motion and stopped herself from busting out and laughing and instead gave a funny smirk towards the fellow. The pikeman smiled back, stilled amazed at this exotic tool.
"So close to death and he don't even know it." She said softly to herself.
"Sire.. Where are we?" Nell asked.
The knight's head cocked sideways a bit by the question. "We are obviously in the woods of Tramecourt."
"Tramecourt. Of course." Nell repeated confidently, yet had no idea where the Hell that was.
"And your from?...." she asked the pikeman.
"The Kingdom of Great Britain." Came the quick response as he took a step back away from her gun.
"And what about you?" She asked the archer.
"Me. What about me? You want to know where I'm from?" The archer replied in with sneer as he flipped his dagger between his fingers.
"Your quite the dick." Nell commented as she slid the bolt back on her rifle.
"Sassanid Empire." The blond-haired, fair-skinned archer replied with the English accent.
"WHAT?!.. You're an assassin?" Nell questioned.
The archer laughed.
"Sire? What's the date today?" Nell asked. "I don't keep good track of this stuff." She interjected.
"The twenty-fifth of October" Nell grumbled a bit as she didn't the exact answer she was looking for.
"What the fuck is so damn funny you English prick?" Nell look towards the archer.
"Fourteen-fifteen?" The pikeman softly spoke. Nell starred at the pikeman and smiled.
"My Lady?" The knight asked, but played along knowing full well that this woman was obviously not of this part of the world.
"Whose your king and queen? Who leads your people?" The knight asked....
"President Ohhbaaa....." Nell stopped herself, and a big grin circled her face.
"Prezay Dent Oh Baw?" The knight replied.
"No, no, no, no. My mistake, Sire. That's one of my battlefield leaders." Nell reassured.
"Common mistake." The knight agreed.
"Our king, of course, is the Great Elvis Presley. And the queen, who can forget the queen? All hail Lady Gaga!"
The knight questioned the curiosity of that name, "Now I've learned that the ancient Egyptians have had a young boy as King, but in your land, it sounds like your ruled by a..... baby."
Nell erupted in laughter. A few seconds later, the knight chuckled along. Nell abruptly stopped, "No, seriously, that's not fucking funny".. "CRAAAAAAAAACK!! Around 300 lb of flesh and plate dropped to the forest floor. An armored horse galloped away.
"All that armor. And nothing to stop a bullet? Now that's funny." To Nell, it was like shooting someone sitting inside of a car.
Nell turned around and met a dagger point thrust against her chest. The blade and the wrist holding it folded sideways across her chest refusing to penetrate the ceramic plate. The sudden collision forced her to drop the rifle. "You too?!" The archer pulled back and lunged forward again, this time towards her face. Nell side-stepped, blocked and grabbed the left arm of the archer attempting to stab her. The momentum forced the archer around Nell, as she yanked him to the side and jabbed her right elbow into his jaw and felt the bone snap. With her footwork, Nell then tripped the archer to the ground. She immediately stepped upon the hand holding the blade, then she reached for her holstered 9 mm. At the same time the archer's other hand slammed an arrow into Nell's left shin. Her boot ate most of the force, but part of the metallic head dug into her muscle. Nell screamed then popped off several rounds into the archer's mail-covered chest at point blank. Copious amounts of blood and GSR stained the corpse.
Nell grabbed her rifle and looked for the pikeman. She saw someone running out of the forest with a very long and sharp pole in one hand yelling "WITCH!", "WITCH!" and pointing with the other hand in her general direction. A few combatants looked at him and even took him seriously, but any thought of a further witch hunt immediately vanished when that pikeman was nailed by four arrows simultaneously that stuck into his abdominal cavity.
Nell looked beyond the forest edge into the clearing and saw many hundreds of warriors, a combination of knights, archers, spearman and cavaliers, if not, thousands. She had only a handful of clips. Nell decided it was time to hide and play the waiting game, and sniping those that get too close. Unbeknownst to her, rogue English Yeoman perched in the trees above were eyeing her as well.....
Russian roulette isn't the same without a gun.
Archery isn't the same without an English bow.....
Tim's Time To Ponder.
"BANG-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!" Another artillery shell impacted the earth. This one closer than the last one. Tim wasn't sure if he brought his hands up in time to cover his face from the dirt and shrapnel. It didn't matter the shockwave flattened Tim against the surface. He was blinded and deaf. Well, at least for several seconds. But, consciously, it felt like forever, as if time had slowed down. The skull numbing blast distorted his mental capacity and thoughts. From another perspective, such as someone from behind the handle of a heavy machine gun, eyed Tim and watched him crawl around the dirt as if looking for something one moment, then peering off into the sky and smiling the next. The machine gunner in the gray uniform fired a quick burst of ammo in Tim's direction. Dirt and dust coughed up from the ground. One of the slugs lobbed into Tim's thigh. The Gunner then steered his machine gun to the right and shot up one of the charging figures in a brown uniform with the funny hat. The body tumbled down. Meanwhile, Tim yelled then wallowed in pain. He crawled away and dragged himself several feet. The gunner steered his weapon back to the left and fired off at Tim again, but Tim had dropped himself into a shell hole and out of sight.
Tim performed a quick and sloppy patch job upon his thigh. He kept hearing the combatants exchanging gunfire, and the artillery barrage was non stop, one following the other every few seconds. Tim readied his M14 and peeked above the edge of the hole. One figure was approaching, not wearing gray, but this one wearing brown instead. The figure was holding a large caliber rifle or was that a shotgun?
"CRAAAAAAABOOOOOOOOOMMM!" Both opponents fired at the same time. Lead splashed against Tim's helm, upper shoulders and arms. Tim scowled in pain as he watched the figure take his round, and fell backwards, dead. He noticed the American flag patch on the soldier's uniform.
A shell screamed through the air. The earth erupted between three other similar troops further behind the one that had just fallen. Their bodies were ripped apart and strewn across the battlefield. One of the hats sailed through the air and landed near Tim. Tim ducked back down into the hole and was horrified to see that he was missing a few fingers from both hands. He eyes also spotted patches of lacerated and scarred tissues all over his arms. His own blood drenched his uniform. Tim had trouble using his hands. Every instance where he tried to grab something would cause more pain to erupt. The taste of salty blood flourished in his mouth and throat. He spat up, looked beyond the gray, hazy sky and growled.......
Is there a review in here somewhere?
CRAAAAAAACK! BOOOOOOOOOOM! CRAAAAAAACK! BOOOOOOMMMM....BOOOOM.....BOOOOOMM! ACHTUNG! BANG-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!! CRAAAAAAABOOOOOOOOOMMM!
I think that about says it all.
I'm wasting your time!
Uhhhh... Did you say Alf? That show was cool.
Lost in thought.
Very creative narrative of the gameplay! You've quite the imagination.
Thanks. I may do another as the forward for the variant.
I've owned the game since it came out but bought it at a most inopportune time when high school ended and college began and friends with their separate ways, never to be seen again until the 10 year, 20 year, 30 year, etc. reunion. It looks like the 'review', though very colorful, seems to always end in the same way. Excellent writing skills.
Yea. I should have placed it under 'General' at the time.