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 Post subject: Stories by Acolytes- My story
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:16 pm 
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alright, I'm posting it now. I hope I can fit it all into one post without it getting butchered, or I'll have to spend tonight revising it so it can fit.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:18 pm 
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MINERVA: Departure

A few notes: This is my first work I intend to show to people.
I want to thank Adam for making MINERVA, the best mod for Half-Life 2 I've ever seen.
I'm not going to pretend I know anything, really, about Minerva.
I know just as much as anybody else. (Adam being the obvious exception)
When I wrote this story, I posted the forum asking where to put my story.
I was expecting the answer I got. However, while I waited for said answer,
I began perusing the forums to see what else was there. What I saw pretty much told me that
my entire story had to be rewritten! I'm sure that I've still got plenty of mistakes
in the story, but in my semi-OCD need to have everything as authentic as possible,
(so I can lie to myself and say that it really could have happened) I have gone over every line of
the original story, adding, subtracting, and changing lines to make it seem as if
it could have been written by Mr. Foster himself. It takes place pre-MINERVA, post-Someplace else,
but it was a bit easier to keep with SE's mysterious air than to throw in a bunch of mythology
references. I was gonna do them both, like in MINERVA, but I just couldn't do it right.
(it would have been much better though...)

Being my first posted bit of writing, it'll probably look amateur.
Right now, I'm hoping for a rating of "doesn't suck".

The below are quotes from various sources, which I kept thinking about while writing this.
You may not find them as relevant to my writing as I did. I changed some wording in the last two,
because it sounded better to me (I have to I've mostly). I'm pretty sure that it's OK to use these
as long as I'm not making money off them. oh well, I'll mention the sources anyways.

Without further ado, the first mutterings of MINERVA: Departure

"Who is to judge what is right and what is wrong? Great
and powerful foes surround us; unknown miscreants gnaw
at us from within. We are threatened with total annihilation.
In days such as these we can afford no luxury of morality."

"Behind the bright lights hide a multitude of horrors as
would disgust and repel the most stout-hearted of men. So
it is with determination and unflinching duty that we must
face those vile and terrible things - For if not us, then who?"

"For now I find this power gained is more unto a curse.
My spirit burns with every spell and each irreverant verse.
Despite this strength and knowledge earned, I've paid a heavy toll,
Never should've traded power for my own immortal soul."

"What fires burn within my heart and force me to contend
With the perils that await me at this tragic journey's end?

I've walked the roads that lead to Hell, I've challenged all but Fate.
I've fought and bled and carried on just to reach this final gate.
And now the task before me looms, this dire deed undone;
I shall make my stand against this foe until the battle's won.

What fear or wound could ever still this last defiant cry,
As I stand against the Shadow 'neath the endless burning sky?"

***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.20:28:07

So this is what all the commotion is about...

I must say it's a bit of a suprise to see you again, least of all here!
I had a feeling we might meet again, if you recall, but I didn't
expect to see you so soon. I'd suggest you find a spot to hide, while
I get these soldiers off your back. A small favor for an old friend.
Or a curse, depending on your outlook...


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.20:32:02

Don't stray too far! We're hiding, not running away! Besides, there's the
armored (and armed, I might add) wall surrounding the compound. We wouldn't
want anything bad to happen to you, now would we?


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.20:35:15

Alright. Working with this combine technology is a bit
strange, but I've managed to drop you from their sensors.
It was a fast job, so it'll be easy for them to find you,
but they're off your back for the moment. Unfortunately for you,
you're headed right back into that facility. There's a small
back entrance around the area. It's nowhere near undefended,
but hey, that's your problem. Good luck!


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.20:48:27

Nicely done! Not that I expected anything less from you...
Funny. Last time we met, you were quite the obedient soldier.
How do you go from soldier to double-traitor? I could even
go as far as to say triple-traitor, but that hardly matters.
At least you came to your senses before you got a full
induction into the overwatch, so you're still useful.

Useful enough, anyway.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:02:37

It seems you still have an itchy trigger finger. I see your
particular brand of diplomacy didn't work too well with
the welcoming committee.

What did you expect, assaulting a base? Out of the frying pan
and into the fire? Hardly. The frying pan's just getting warmed


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:07:12

That could have been handled a bit better. It seems you've
changed a bit since we less met. Smarter or more cowardly? Either
way, not too useful... I can't have you running away from the
objective every time the odds go over thirty to one! Luckily,
you ran into their transport system, giving us a good chance
to have a look around. The next stop has some odd readings coming
from it, so you'll have to tough it and get off there. I want to
know just what they're up to here... Observation only. Not too
hard for you anymore, it seems.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:12:56

Be sure to get a good look at everything. The next transit stop
is packed with soldiers, and I'm sure that once they see you
aren't on the tram, they'll be on their way here, so I'd suggest
locating an exit as well...


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:25:19

Well those guards sure didn't see THAT coming...
Still, you aren't the same enthusiastic alien-killer I once knew.
What could have hapened in the time to change you so?
Deaths of friends, family? None of that could possibly matter
anymore. Suck it up! Stop being such a coward!
You were once capable of so much more... Give me that thoughtless
killer back.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:40:36

It seems you have stumbled upon a clue as to this installation's

Other than being the overwatch's version of boot camp, that is.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:46:23

Deeper and deeper, the peices are beginning to fall into place.
It seems that this particular facility is dedicated to manipulating
the genetics of Synths, in a twisted mockery of a weapons development
facility. There's all kinds of strange parts here. Unfortunately
for you, some of these parts look familiar. You should hope that
I'm wrong, but I fear that I'm right, and this is a model I know well.
The prototype was so destructive even the combine had second thoughts
about using it... It didn't stop them in the end, though. If they
can't find some reason to use a weapon, they invent one.
But we need to find out more. I'm sure that there's a control center
somewhere up ahead.

Get there.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.21:59:06

Well done! It seems that there's hope for you yet. Look for a button
on the console that connects it to the larger network. This base only
has one helicopter hangar, but having access to the launch priority
system here could be beneficial in the future.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.22:01:03

There we go. I've planted my little bug, but now I want to know just what's
going on here. Hmm... They sure didn't go to much lengths to protect the
classified data here, which worries me. That's one of the signs of an
imminent release. In other words, we want this place sky-high as soon as
possible. Do you think you could handle that? I just need you to activate
a few consoles for me. It shouldn't be too hard... It'll all tie into
the main console, so I can take care of this facility when the time is right.

What are you waiting for? Get to work!


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.22:18:44

Nice work! You'll be back to your old self in no time. Your suit's
biosensors are indicating high levels of endorphins and the like.
Is that a love of slaughter or are you just happy to see me? I guess
we'll find out soon enough, because the next console is swarming with
soldiers. I think they're beginning to realize what you're trying to do.

Get it done.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.22:27:05

Hmm... You don't seem to enjoy combat. At least you're blindly following
orders again. It wouldnt have mattered if things weren't a bit... Time
critical. We're ahead of schedule a bit now, so no harm done. Schedule
for what? Well... First one thing, then another. You'll soon find out what
the second timer is for. The first? That one's already up, so don't worry.
One thing I want to know, though. Why are you so happy? Your chemical levels
suggest a hatred of combat, but you're positively giddy when the killing's

And don't say elation of survival, both you and I know that's a goddamn lie.

Second console linked.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.22:32:57

While we're on our merry way, I'll tell you a bit about what's about to go down.
They've caught on, and so you're going to have quite a time getting to that console.
Lots of soldiers and the like. If you manage to get at that computer, you need to
be careful with it. As I ready the other two consoles, the misuse, however accidental,
of that third console will cause a premature detonation. Oh and don't worry about
the helicopter, it's in the most armored room of the entire complex. It wasn't your
ride out, anyway...

***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.22:53:10

That was handled nicely! All the consoles are connected, so it's time to leave this
place. Well, not quite yet. There's one area of this facility that I need to see
before you go. Don't worry, it's on your way out.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-14.23:15:15

There it is. This is the "weapon" that they were working on. I was hoping that
they didn't actually have a live specimen... Oh well. It's going to be destroyed
along with this facility. Of course, your would-be mentors are opening the storage
block, and closing everything else. Look, there's no easy way to say this, especially
since... Well, nevermind. Such is the fate of my cannon fodder...
I'd been expecting this. This is your way out. Your last task is to crack that armored
shell so the detonation of this facility can take that abomination out. I didn't
really have an escape route planned. Retrace your steps? That path is most definitely
locked down. Hey, I know how you feel. I can read your body like a book, remember?
You're not making this any easier for me. Look, I'm really sorry about this. But hey,
you'd be dead anyway, right?

Just do me this one last favor, please?



systems compromised:
Biometrics interface
Power armor shell
Proximity sensor
Weapons interface
Impact compass
Source indicator
Unknown system disabled
Unknown system disabled


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.08:27:13

Why the hell are you alive? WHY? You should be dead! You're as torn up as your suit!
And when that blast didn't kill you, the deck plating You're skewered by should have!
How you manage to survive is beyond me. The supression gun that the combine love to
mount on all their creations must have caused an early detonation. You didn't crack
the armor, so it's not dead. In fact, it's getting back up as we speak! I wish there
was something I could do for you, I really do, but even a Goddess has her limitations.

You're beyond my help now.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.08:36:58

I honestly don't know how you managed that. How are you alive?

This facility is pretty much done for. Just the hangar areas left, as per planned.
I'm sure that you've figured out this facility was a USAF base before it was repurposed.
Oddly enough, some of that old facility remains. I guess the combine didn't see any
problem leaving your war machines intact, so long as their operators were dead.I've
secured you an exit. It's obviously not a land route, as any overwatch in the area are
on their way to kill you. Head back to the helicopter.

Please don't die on me now, you're far too useful.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.08:52:10

This is good. The helicopter's still intact. Damaged, but intact. A blessing in
disgiuse. Also, that's something I'd rather save for later. There's a ladder around
the console. You'll see what's going on shortly.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.08:57:03

No, you aren't seeing things. Is it your dream come true? I can't tell anymore, your
suit's almost gone. I gather you have some sort of basic knowledge as to how this
crude metal box works. Better than nothing, right? I'm fresh out of winged
chariots, sandals, and steeds, so ancient military craft are my special of the day.
There's a side order of jet fuel in a reservoir under the deck plates. It appears
there's plenty left. Get it fuelled and get going. See you in the air!


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.09:43:41

Got the hang of things?

I've managed channel the power of a storm over the ocean to open the way for you. Ligntning is
such a good power source... There's a nice surprise waiting on the other side of that
portal. Don't worry, I have no intention of letting you die now... See you in a bit!


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.10:26:13

Your trip is going to have to wait. There's a gunship on its way to level the facility.
I still want that helicopter, so you're going to have to slow down as much as you can
and take it out. Shouldn't be much of a problem for you. You have more than enough fuel...
I can't keep that portal open forever though.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.10:40:53

Good job.

Your portal awaits. See you on the other side.


***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2005-06-15.10:48:25

This indirect communication isn't really nessecary anymore... Can't see? Those artificial
eyes can't even begin to convey to you what this place is like. Don't worry- I've taken
the canopy off and given you a ladder... You can take your helmet off. The air is breathable

I think you'll like what you see.


Most of my (disorganized) credits are above. The bits of literature are as follows:
Quotes 1 and 2 are from the 4th edition WH40K rulebook. Quotes 3 and 4 are from
the Diablo II manual. I'm such a nerd...

I hope you enjoyed my mercifully short tale, though I still think I could have done a better job.
Criticism is welcome, just try not to bruise my fragile ego. Mostly, though, I'm interested in
what you understood and what confused you. My writing has no purpose if you didn't understand it.

I tried to make Minerva sound as close as I could to the way Adam writes her, but I'm afraid
that in this I've failed. If you feel the same way, let me know. I can't fix the story without
knowing if it was broken in the first place!

Alright, enough blabbering. I'm done now. DiDo, 10/05/2007, 4:08 PM (my time)
EDIT: Hey, what do you know? It fit.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:05 pm 
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That was a good story, and now I want to see what it would be like as an actual map. You conveyed Minerva very well, although there are some moments where she slips a little bit out of character, like exactly how much she likes the protagonist. She did seem to like him enough to worry a bit about keeping him alive, but it just seemed that in your story, she genuinely liked him as a friend, as such. It was still a very convincing potrayal of Minerva though, with some good anologies and the like.

I really liked the idea of the protagonist going back to the Combine, and changing so he is more peaceful.

I would love to see flying an aircraft in game though. :)

Help my minicity to grow. Visit daily!

http://idiotown.myminicity.com - population
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/ind - industry
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/tra - transport


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:24 am 
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My first problems appear! Oh no! She wasn't supposed to like him as a friend, she was ready to throw him away. This is the pre Metastasis Minerva who doesn't have any problems letting people die at a whim.
She does, however, like him enough after a while to want to keep him alive... Oh well. We'll see how it comes off in the revisions.

Oh and I would've liked to see that turned into a map too... I doodled the plans in my notebook at school but lack any mapping experience.
Anyway, let the revisions begin!

EDIT: Revisions begun, and I began to remember... Minerva had a certain... "influence" over the environment around her, but things that weren't remote-operated were a bit beyond her. I'm removing her newfound onipotence, whether she wants me to or not. Also, I'm having a bit of trouble. I threw in some references about winged chariots and the like... It sounded good at the time, but the point I was trying to make with that was that She wouldn't be carrying our protagonist to safety, he had to fly off himself. Need to figure out how to not make that sound stupid.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:20 am 
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Sounded good to me. I must say, this is a fairly inventive brand of storytelling, inasmuch as the events are relayed entirely through snide comments from our favorite dea ex machina (or possibly dea in machina), and you did a rather good job of it. Better than you probably could have just from reading Metastasis's titles.txt, heh (I'm thinking specifically of the moment when the portal opens in Depth Charge). And while future events may reveal that this story is impossible, well, that's a risk all fanfiction authors take (and, knowing fanfiction authors, not even established impossibility is much of a stumbling block).

Still, I should caution you of the dangers of ... creating too many parallels to the source material, except moreso. (Translation from Minervish: It seemed a bit too much like you were ripping off Metastasis, especially the bit where he blew himself up at Minerva's directions and lived through it, especially considering how much more obviously injured he was -- leaving the realm of the improbably and firmly entering the incredulous.) I also disagree with the idea that she has no compunctions about letting people get themselves killed pre-Metastasis: witness her swearing at you for killing things in Someplace Else.

On the other hand, that's just my interpretation, and Adam's free to come by and respond to my post with "Uh, not really." Or with words to the effect of "Either 'not really' or 'you got it', I'm not telling, nyah nyah." Or not at all.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:48 am 
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Synths! Oooh, SYNTHS! I so miss them from the few short glimpses at the end of HL2 and the many pieces of concept art in Raising the Bar. Good on you for remembering them :P

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:12 pm 
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Ooh, more feedback!
@Yar Kramer: I can see where you're coming from with the creating story parallels and such. I'll say it now, I have a nasty tendency to misremember things or not remember them at all... In the case of how she has no compunctions about letting people die for her own ends, I guess we disagree on that point. Admittedly, using someplace else would probably be a bad example, but the way she acted during most of metastasis says that, when she's in danger, she doesn't seem to care as much about the lives of others... Again, though, I understand here. I should probably clarify the situation a bit by posting some pics of the subject material sometime... Oh and he didn't blow himself up. That wasn't the clearest either, but the synth had a belly mounted supression
gun, which missed you but smashed through the wall behind you, igniting the unstable materials to be used as a bomb later. It is a bit far fetched that he survived, but the petal plating pinning him to the wall shielded him from most of the debris and such. When I transfer my notebook doodles into postable pics, you'll see what I mean, because I'll admit that it sounds rediculous. This is one instance where I wrote with my ideas too much in my mind, not enough in the writing. But the issue of hm living through this, especially being able to fly a jet afterwords gets somewhat explained in the revisions, that was pure oversight on my part. I read through it after posting and wondered myself how he could stand all that blood loss-especially with all those G-forces... Then I realized I forgot to put that bit in. Silly me =D
@Kastanok: I had to have SOMETHING at the end of the tunnel...
Oh and thanks for the compliments, comments, whatever!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:03 pm 
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Colonial spellings. How cute!

Some girls prefer a little more ... glamour in what we write.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:26 pm 
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Well now I expected to get criticized on a lot of things. My spelling? That wasn't one of them... =p


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:45 pm
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Location: Utah, USA
DiDo wrote:
Well now I expected to get criticized on a lot of things. My spelling? That wasn't one of them... =p

Don't forget that the aforementioned spelling criticism comment came from Minerva, not from Cargo Cult. So you can expect sarcasm and the like in her comments. After all, its Minerva!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:28 pm 
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lol Americans.

You know, this kind of thing is going to make me wonder how Minerva might react to, and come up with unusual phraseology for, a lot of things.


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