Colonial Rangers: Redux

Kari Erto's Diary

10:000:20:00

I either killed my sister or let her get captured… And I'm not sure what's worse. Now the CDF knows I'm the Silver Fox… Maybe I gave it away when two rangers and my sister had to help me morph so that I didn't become a sporeling… Maybe they already knew, I don't know. All I know is that I can't return to my house, see my friends… Anything. If I turn myself in, I'm in jail forever thanks to the tech I carry on my wrist that allows me to help those in need. Today, I saw two things I'd never seen come from the forest before. This… Impossibly strong bear and some… Wolf who was doing things that… I didn't think were possible, changing people without a physical infection, just waving his hand. I managed to help the Rangers subdue them both, but that still had its toll. I've got whiskers now, despite my shots being up to date. Which is troubling to say the very least. That means whenever I fight against the forest, I change more. Some hero I turned out to be…

Somehow she knew… She knew all of this would happen. I hope she knows how sorry I am if she's still alive… She has to be. That's all I have left to keep me going. I have to find out if she's OK. And get her back home. But the only way I can do that is by making sure the CDF can't track me anymore… I need to obfuscate this thing's draw somehow, or else find a new energy source.

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Duty Log
Ben Almeida, Purple Ranger

10:000:08:47

So here we are—the most highly-trained soldiers Elysium Colony has, with the most advanced gear available—and our highly-trained asses are standing around like props in an advertorial show.

Okay, I can see the point: Civilian morale is important, so we get a colony-wide party for the anniversary. And it'd suck, bigtime, if the Enemy did attack while there's a dense concentration of civvies, so us Rangers are on duty. So it's not a total waste of time and resources. I get it.

But I don't have to like it.

10:000:12:03

So okay, Connor gave his speech. There was a lot of live applause, so I guess it helped? And us Pals—some of the regular Rangers call us that because we're color-coded, and that makes us a Palette, right? We armored up, on command.

And that was when the godsdamned Enemy deployed their godsdamned spore pods. Four of them. Simultaneously.

I advanced through the crowd as fast as the traffic let me, towards the closest pod. Of course the pods were spraying spores everywhere, so I left a trail of unconscious not-yet-Sporelings behind me. I reached (and took out) the first pod pretty fast, and I'm pretty sure Blue neutralized a second at about the same time. Two down, two more to go.

Too many godsdamned Sporelings! KOing them is the endgame, but it's not the immediate objective—not while a godsdamned pod is making three new Sporelings for every one you take down, it's not. So I jumped for the pod. I figured that way, I'd make better time than if I pushed through the crowd. First jump I overshot, second jump I got the calibration right and I hit the godsdamned thing dead center.

Look, it was a calculated risk. I got the same genetics all the other Pals have, that makes us super-resistant to SRS. And on top of that, I'm wearing the powered armor, okay? Protecting against bio and chemical weapons is one of the reasons that armor exists! So I figured I'd probably be okay—no spore effects—and even if the pod did zap me, I'd take less effect than a civvie would. Anyway, the big brains'd probably get some useful data from the suit's telemetry. And the sooner we fried all the godsdamned pods, the fewer colonists would turn Sporeling. So damn right, I figured it was worth a shot! And, hey, I did take less effect from the spores than a civvie would.

Instead of going full Sporeling on the spot, I grew claws and got itchy.

10:000:12:??

Sporelings get brainwashed along with the body-shift. Me, too. But just like the body-shift came on slow, so did the brainwashing. My mind got more and more fuzzy, and I really don't have a lot of clear memories of what I did while I was under the influence.

I've seen video. Don't like to think that that birdman in what's left of a purple uniform was me, but… Apparently, I got more and more violent, and eventually I somehow took command of a flock of other birdified Sporelings, and I led the flock straight to CDF HQ.

Hell if I know what I was thinking.

I'm told I absorbed 20-odd stun shots before I went down. Woke up in one of the high-security rooms in the infirmary.

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Aftermath
The Thoughts of the Blue Ranger

10:000:06:47

I don't know where to begin with my latest log.  We have survived our first encounter with the natives of the world, but at what cost?   The city was overrun for a short time just after the ceremony, and so much happened in the chaos, I can barely recall it.   The others are all right, on the mend, we did our jobs as rangers in defending our home.   The question remains, how did these things get into the city?

 

I have my suspicions, though I will keep them to myself.  I did my job as the Blue Ranger, and I was one of the few who went through the whole ordeal unchanged.  Some of the others were transformed and shifted back.  I thought our armors were supposed to protect us.  Then again, I thought that shamans and such creatures as we fought weren't able to get into the city.  As it is, with all the anger and frustration in the slums, I can see many ways they could.   That the high city ignores the lower concerns me.   Those people deserve help.  Just because they are transformed, it doesnt make them any less human, at least, until that last stage.  Even then, I think there must be a way to turn them back.

 

I have to hope for my sister's sake.   

 

Then there is the matter of the silver ranger.  Our brief encounters have encouraged me.  She fights for the people of the low city, and she wants to protect them where we havent.  All the same, I don't know how she got her armor.  She's not as immune as the rest of us, but she fights a hell of a lot better than most of the core put together.   I know I am not much of a fighter, Im a thinker.  My father said I could be a diplomat.  Then again, he himself turned into one of the outsiders, along with mom.  

I miss them, even now.   I wish I hadn't had to do what I did….but…for Keiko's sake I did.  Now I am sticking my neck out for someone I don't even know.   They have a warrent out for the Silver Ranger.  I think i can bring her in, peacefully.  She's a valuable asset, a great fighter, and we need all the help we can get.  I know that the others will suspect her, and I am the one who is risking a great deal among us to do it.   I want to bring a light to the plight of the slums though.  Everyone here knows someone who was changed….its just the high city seems to forget or ignore that fact.  Well, its time they remembered, its time they saw that the changed can fight as we do, and can seek to find the solutions to our problems.

 

I only hope I am right…

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Lia's Report

10:000:06:30

came into contact with a shaman, was taken alive is currently at lab for further study
I got hit with something that caused a change
I think we won this battle but not the war

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