Monday, January 2, 2017

Numbers' New Year's Newsletter: It'll Take a 2017 to Hold Us Back

[Other years' letters: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 ]

My armoured fingers gingerly grasp the top circumference of the metal can.  I inspect the label in the red emergency lighting.

Concentrated protein paste, I read aloud to no one in particular.  I fuckin' love concentrated protein paste.

My right hand retrieves the compact utility/welding torch from one of the numerous utility/tactical pouches on my suit's tactical utility belt.  With the torch naturally set to its lowest power level, I carefully begin heating the can as best as I can.  My helmet's transparent orange visor automatically adjusts to the light of the torch.

It's warm enough, now, so I stab the lid open with a bayonet, pop my visor open just wide enough, and empty the can in record time.  A new personal best, at least.  Breaking that record is one of the few non-shit things that happened this year.

If you've been reading my previous Numbers' New Year's Newsletters (handy links at the top of this article, I might add), you already know how I made a fortune selling matches to schoolchildren, and then used that money to build power armour and mechs.  You also know how I saved the Earth on multiple occasions, and was lost through time, space, and across dimensions.  If you don't already know, well, now you do.

My crew and I were in our mechs on the Planet of Ice, ready to raze the lair of the so-called Queen of Space, before she could conquer the stars.  I had to leave my team topside while I ventured down into the depths of Madame President's base and laid siege to everything within.

But when I got topside, it was too late.

My mech team was locked in a battle with a low-flying capital ship.  Some kind of "human resources" vessel (ie: slavers) had destroyed my colleagues' Idris- and Constellation-class spacecraft.  They were in the process of salvaging as much as they could to sell as scrap.  This included my team's destroyed ships, ruined mechs, and my team members themselves.  Those who still lived, anyway.  I managed to board the Prisoner Towing Vessel through masterful use of jumpjetting, grappling hooking, and wingsuiting, and spent months exploring the ship and trying to regroup with the scattered members of my crew.

The ship was some kind of prisoner-taking vessel, a salvaging ship, and a fitness club.  The horrible vehicle was called the Brostromo, but mad gains were the last thing on my mind.  I had to save my team and get the hell off this ship.

I had hoped that the mission to the Planet of Ice would've been the last of my starfaring adventures.  With my matches-selling business destroyed, I'd planned to move my operations to the West Coast.  Change of coast, change of heart.  I'd spend my days growing the dankest kush in town, moving bricks of cocaine, and casually selling a number of high-value items of dubious legality with my loyal trusted teammates.  Alas, these plans were permanently scrapped.

Among the spaceships salvaged by the Brostromo was some kind of rusty-ass derelict shaped like a giant letter U.  As luck would have it, it was infested with some kind of parasitic life form, which naturally broke quarantine and soon took over.  The life form, known only as Specimen Number 2016, laid waste to the ship.  I watched as Brostromo crew members and friends alike were picked off, one by one, by the nightmare creatures.

It did not take long.  2016 killed everyone.  It didn't matter that we had nukes, we had knives, sharp sticks...  Some people even tried, in vain, to use harsh language.  2016 did not care.  It only consumed.  It even cut the power.  As I write this, we're drifting through space, with emergency lighting barely illuminating the catwalks and corridors.  I've been trying to get to the shuttles; they're my only hope.  But 2016 just won't let me.  Lurking around every corner, just waiting to kill again.

This can of concentrated protein paste is the last I will eat aboard this dead boat.  I have a plan, now.  I will attempt to destroy the ship's engines will a well-placed grenade or rocket, and fleeing the ship using a jumppack or wingsuit of some kind.  I can't risk leaving in a full-on vehicle -- can't risk 2016 stowing away in it.

The killing ends now.  2016 had its run.  Now it's time for it to meet the Ultimate Badass.  Using the  State-of-the-Badass-Art technology I've managed to salvage from the salvagers, I should be able to fashion a crude suit of power armour that should give me just enough loading power to do what I must do, before watching the ship explode gloriously in the distance.

2016 made me scream, but no one heard me.  This time, it's war.

- Numbers, Last Survivor of the Salvage Ship, Spacefaring Fitness Club, & Prisoner Towing Vessel Brostromo
January 2017

[Other years' letters: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 ]

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