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Hactrooper is a rugged, fast paced high action science fiction war story set in the year 3011. The hero is Max Damage, a large, imposing futuristic soldier that wears body armour and is equipped with hightech weapons and gadgetry. He belongs to the Hactrooper divisions of the Federation and is stationed at a remote base on Earth, a planet which is currently a barren, poisonous wasteland due to the nuclear war of the forefathers. We follow his adventures as they turn from performing a mundane patrol with his squad to trying to thwart a full blown enemy invasion using hightech equipment and futuristic weapons. The Federations enemy and the only other major civilisation in the entire Solar system is the Genosapien Empire, a freakish race of huge genetically altered hybrid humans banished to Pluto. General Krukov, the other main character of the story is the hulkish leader of the Empires elite ground assault forces and is placed in charge of the invasion of Earth. He is the catalyst of an insidious secondary plot devised by the Empires Overlords to not only capture the Earth for colonisation, but to use it to destroy the Federation by striking at their homeplanet Mars, a newly terraformed oasis with a precious breathable atmosphere. Will Damage and his squad of burly Hacs be able to thwart the plans of the Empires mighty ground forces long enough for reinforcements to arrive?, or have the Hybrids planned their assault on outpost Earth and the Federation far too well.____________________________________________________________


//This novel will come to about 30 chapters by the time it is fully uploaded. The process requires me to scan in my old manuscript and upload it so I will continue to add to it regularly.
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Chapters:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Submitted:Apr 19, 2007    Reads: 174    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


Chapter 1

Planet Earth was a barren irradiated rock. The delicate ecosystems of

life which had developed over millions of years on its surface,

completely destroyed by the great nuclear holocaust that had occured centuries before. In current times, only

the Federation military inhabited Earth's steaming wastelands, for

mankind had long since fled to Mars and the rest of the solar system.

The planet's ozone layer was completely disintegrated, allowing ultra

violet rays to fry any life on the surface which dared to spawn. In

places, volcano's errupted angrily, bleeding rivers of hot magma which

burned glowing scars accross the landscape. Hail fell like bricks from

the dark swirling cloud cover, bludgeoning anything on the ground with

mercilles wrath. The furious barren seas lashed the swamped shorelines

relentlessly, agitated by the countless underwater earthquakes and

volcanic tremors. Hurricanes manifested without warning

and tore accross the land with vengefull force, bringing with them acid

rain that bubbled and steamed into the dead ground. In the skys, the

blanketing turbulant cloud masses flashed and crackled threateningly,

releasing enormous bolts of electricity that sometimes struck

concentrations of volatile elements trapped in the landform, creating

great billowing fireballs of toxic gas. To experience a ray of sunshine on

Earth was very rare, and breathing without proper equipment on the

planet was fatal. Moving about on the surface without protective attire

was extremely dangerous, as caustic pollutants harmfull to the flesh

were present in abundance.

Although the barren Earth was useless to the Federation, its periodical

orbital proximity to Mars and powerfull ancient defence system made its occupation a strategic necessity. For

this reason, the Federation established two

military bases on the planet, each packed with the mightiest of their

Hactrooper divisions. The southern base and the great northern base

formed the backbone of the Federation's limited prescence on the

planet. From these two military bases, many scientific research

establishments branched out accross the barren wastelands, searching

for a way to revive them on a planetary scale.

In addition to the Hactrooper prescence, Earth was also protected by

an ingenius self sustaining energy barrier which surrounded it. The

invisible barrier was present in the planet's lower ionosphere, and

denied any matter or force unauthorised passage beyond it. The

remarkable aspect of the energy barrier was that its generator was over

a thousand years old, the legacy of a great computer which had

designed it for unknown reasons during the dark years of the post

holocaust. Mars' own protective planetary shield was modelled off the

basis of this prototype mechanism, which still functioned to almost one

hundred percent potency.

Earth's energy barrier machine was comprised of a massive electrode

tower and subterrain generator complex, built in the northern

hemisphere. It fed off the eternal trapped geothermic energy in the core

of the planet, which constantly provided more then enough operating

power. The Federation's great northern base was built around the

mammoth technological creation, found abandoned and inactive

centuries earlier by their United Nations ancestors. The shield projector

even by current standards was powerfull, strong enough to

repell any conceivable bombardment. It was unfortunate that there was nothing left on the planet to protect.

The Federation troops on

the surface were more of a safety net, in case something went wrong.

The grey Federation air carrier roared low over the barren wasteland, its two wing mounted turbofan engines

dragging swirling vortexs of acid rain behind it. The craft's delta wings flexed and shook as the dark clouds

above it flashed angrily and rumbled with deafening thunder. Beneath the craft, the waterlogged landscape

was a hostile sculpture of black cavitated volcanic rock, forming long rolling

troughs and deep eccentric hollows. Grey boulders and mud covered

centuries ago by crawling molten lava, extruded in places through the

crumbling igneous blanket.

The bleak scenery whisked by the carrier as it closed on the dropsight. Knowing the dropsight was not

far off, the seven Hactroopers in its cargohold sat stiffly, like wound up toys ready to be released into action.

Their enormous sizes

made them look terrifying in their iscosamite combat armour. Each

armour suit's ash coloured segments mimicked the contours of the

bulging muscles beneath them, creating an impressive yet daunting

effect. The low brimmed helmets provided excellent panoramic vision

through their thin sight bands, set above the bulky grilled snouts.

Accross the forehead and left chest plate on each of the Troopers was

stamped their name in white letters. Beneath the plated outer suits of combat armour, the Troopers wore a

second insulative suit. This inner atmosphere suit was woven from a

tough damage resistant fabric and held a bubble of pressurised air

around the wearer. It was completely independant of the outer armour

suit and could be worn without it. The suit controlled the wearers

environment and breathing supply, allowing movement through areas

devoid of any sustainable atmosphere, including space. Its back

mounted regulator unit housed mini oxygen tanks, purifiers and kinetic

oscillators, which utilised the physical movements of the wearer to

maintain a power source.

The atmosphere suit's design was ingenious in that it automatically

replenished its oxygen tanks whenever possible and/or necessary. If an environment containing oxygen was

available, the regulator's air

processor would filter the oxygen out and pump it into the storage

tanks for later use. A small gauge in the helmet's internal display

updated the wearer on remaining oxygen supply and the charge rate of

the onboard tanks. The charge rate read positive if the suit could filter

and store more oxygen then the Trooper required to breath, thus

expanding its supply. Alternatively, it read negative if the wearer used

more then it could filter, effectively reducing the oxygen supply.

Negative charge rates occured in excessively dirty atmospheres, under

water or places with no oxygen present. Otherwise, the high volume

purification filters usually kept the supply rate in the positive yield.

An intricate capillary system was also embedded in the atmosphere

suit, laced with high tech reciprocator pumps and valves. The capillary

network absorbed the sweat and waste of the wearer, processing it into redigestable fresh water and

vitamins. Its produce supplemented the main onboard cartridge of concentrated sustanance, allowing the

Trooper to remain unaided in the field for weeks if necessary.

Unwanted waste in the form of dried powdery feacies, was expelled

through small expulsion valves on the heels of the combat boots during

walking.

The concept of eating ones own feacies, processed or not was quite

disturbing to most. Luckily, the method of consumption was not as

crude as oral ingestion. A complex medical-anyliser system in the suit

regulator monitored the bodies vital statistics through inbuilt suit

sensors. Depending on the readings gained, nutrients and water were

administered in specified volumes to the subject intravenously. The

auto locating, extending and retracting intravenous needle was

positioned in the suits left forearm assembly. A second auto locating

needle mechanism was positioned in the wearers groin area, to access

the main femoral artery. However, unlike the left forearms intravenous

needle mechanism, it was used solely for medicinal purposes. It

provided a means for the Hactrooper to auto inject the powerfull

onboard drugs also carried, when suit removal or proper treatment was not possible. Yet another important

aspect of the atmosphere suits design was its thick porous inner padding layer. The padding helped circulate

the suits internal atmosphere, absorb sweat and prevent the heavy outer armour suit from chafing the skin.

When combined, the two suits were a well refined life support mechanism, developed for universal combat in

any treacherous environment.

The striking female red headed pilot pulled the aircarrier back into a

decellerating squat as she engaged the noisy vertical thrust turbines.

Powerfull streams of thrashed wet atmosphere sprayed downward

from the four thrust ducts as the plump carrier slowed to a lazy hover.

"Attention Charlie two, drop point has been achieved. " She stated

through the shortwave comlink, notifying the Troopers in her cargo

hold that it was time for them to alight. She pressed a button on her

complex flight console which opened the two long rectangular hatches

on each side of the carriers fuselage, beneath the triangular wings.

Wind swept rain in through the upward scrolling hatches as the

Hactroopers prepared to disembark. One of them which was

approximately two metres tall, suddenly rose to his feet. The name

stamped on his helmet and chestplate was 'Bruiser', and the markings

on his shoulders indicated that he was a Major. "You heard her,

set your weapons to full auto half intensity and que for dispersal, now!." He bellowed as his squad of Troopers

hustled to assume their

positions. The Major fixed a dubious eye on the suit of armour that was stamped with the name Damage. At

two point one and a half metres tall with a burly physique to match, Max Damage was enormous. The forging

pits of the heavy gravity

planet Jupiter had swollen almost every muscle in his entire body. The

years of hammer wielding as a Striker had conditioned him into a

powerfull man. Yet despite all this, he was not the biggest in the squad. "Damage, that experimental helmet of

yours functioning?. " Max Damage dipped his helmet, indicating a nod. Just before the mission had commenced,

Max had been chosen by the technological advancement team to test an experimental device which they had

fitted to his helmet. The technicians had developed an inhelmet computer entity, hooked into all the

Hactrooper's existing suit hardware with the ability to control it. The tiny computer was programmed as a field

advisory unit, stocked with a vast database and powerfull tactical logic circuits. Its operational parameters

included advising on miscellanious problems and monitoring mission progress. It could brief the

Hactrooper on practically anything, simply by drawing from its

extensive database of detailed information. The possibilities of the helmet device if testing proved successfull

were enormous, with Hactrooper fitments only the beginning.

Grappling the rocking carriers roofmounted rungs for support, Max trudged over to the carrier's windy access

hatch, falling in behind his squad mates. It was time to drop down to the surface below. In addition to their

environmental/armour suits, each of the seven

Hactroopers also carried an assortment of standard field equipment.

These items included a landing backpack, which was simply a compact unidirectional thruster pack mounted

high on their backs. It was designed for rocketing up and down excessive drops or descending from airborn

transports, so rope or parachutes were not necessary. Although it was strictly a unidirectional vertical thruster

pack, minor directional ability could be achieved by utilising body contortions to alter weight distribution.

The Hactroopers' helmets possesed inbuilt multiband frequency

communicators. Although a range of frequencies were available, only

two channels were mostly used during operations. The first known as

shortwave was a special low intensity band which mimicked actual

range audibility between the Troopers. If one Trooper was far away

from another, he would have to yell to be heard as the communicators

distance calculator would restrict the volume, by considering frequency

strengh. Shortwave was used to prevent detection by the enemy as its

output gain was extremely weak, only receivable within a few metres

radius. It also prevented massive garbled conversations when a large

troop gathered in a base or similar area, where hundreds could occupy

the same generic communication band simultaneously. Alternatively,

the opposite longwave band made no volume modifications or output

restrictions. It was a conventional maximum range two way open

communicator. Using this frequency mode, the troops could

communicate over vast distances, when conducting searches or

unusual manouvres. A range of other bands were also available, but these were restricted, and only utilised in

specialised situations.

The helmet's sight bands were the apex of enginuity. The sight glass

was cast from a thick and very tough resonite which had a layer of

transparent micro liquid crystals spread accross its inner facade. The

liquid crystal film acted as a tiny monitor, constantly displaying subject

attributes like 'oxygen reserve' around the sights inner border. The

monitor could also display direct input provided by the helmet's

miniature widelenze camera, built into the lower centre of the sight at the bridge of the wearers nose. The

camera's powerfull lenzes could be easily reconfigured to magnify images from either great distances or very

close up. If darkness or smoke restricted normal vision, the monitor acting in conjunction with the camera could

automatically enhance it with phantom outlining. The most interesting application the liquid crystal sight was

renouned for was its reality recreation mode. An interface jack which was attatched to an extendable wire

spool was positioned on the left side of the helmet, under the armoured brim. With it, one could interface an

audio visual data feed source easily. Once hard wired into the input;

schematics, pictures, video communications or visual data of any kind

could be scrolled up in front of the Hactroopers eyes. The hardware

could also recreate reality, by employing the helmet's sight monitor and

audios in conjunction with an artificial reality orchestration computer.

Virtual reality was the best method of briefing troops before a mission,

allowing them to appear at an objective to examine it for themselves. It

also served as a valuable recreation tool, used to reduce stress on

lengthy remote postings. An inbuilt data base in each of the helmets recorded all visual and audio input, to be

stored for later analysis. The

accumulated information was periodically fed into the Federation's

main data base for operations, to be reviewed at the discretion of

command.

The noisy air carrier stabilized approximately twenty metres off the

ground, its vertical thrust turbines lashing acid rain against the mud

and rocks below. Inside, the Hactroopers formed two lines of three

along its opened hatches, waiting silently for the Major's order to jump.

They each stared out at the drenched flashing wasteland as the carrier

bucked erratically, upset by the current turbulant thunder storm and howling winds. Sulphuric acid rain blew

harmlessly over their well adapted armour suits and equipment, forming glistening beads that released faint

swirling vapours.

"Move out, move out, move out!. " Barked Major Bruiser as he strode

down the centre of the two parrallel lines. As he passed each opposing

pair of Troopers, he slapped them hard on the back humps prompting them to jump. With a bounding step,

each pair leapt out of the carrier whilst pressing their landing backpack buttons. As they began to freefall, two

fist sized thrusters locked out into position just beyond their shoulders on telescopic rails. They errupted

immediately, belching sheets of intense blue flame downward to effectively impede descent to a safe speed.

The ageing weapons that all but one of the Troopers carried were bulky Spitfire assault rifles, first comissioned

over fifteen years ago. Their short round stocky barrells protruded from a bloated firing mechanism that was

handled by two large grips. The shapely grip at

the rear of the weapon cradled the trigger provision whilst the other,

approximately two thirds down its lengh, provided the energy magazine

an insertion point. The second rectangular Blaster barrel and its pump

action energizing collar was not fitted to the squads weapons. Usually

the detatchable electro-explosive mechanisms were mounted beneath

the main barrel, but had been removed due to the mission's restriction of no explosives. The unfoldable

shoulder stocks built into

the weapons were rarely used and remained folded back over in the

stowed position. Accross the tops of the rifles, a sleek targeting scope

with an adjustable eyepiece was mounted. A sturdy segmented power

cord hung from the centre grips magazine provision, twisting round to

join with a back mounted energy bank. The disc shaped bank which

curled in on itself like a snail's shell, was mounted on the troopers lower back beneath the landing backpack

hump. Using cyclotronic double vortex magneto-void principles, it was capable of storing vast amounts of

weapon discharge for lenghy missions. The energy banks were standard issue for Hactroopers participating in

squad operations.

Max Damage leapt out of the carrier once the Major struck him on the back. He held his weapon upward with

his right arm and with his left, pressed the landingbacks pressure sensitive firing button beneath his

beltbuckle. His backpacks landing thrusters shot out of their recess's just beyond either of his shoulders and

blew powerfull flames downward, impeding his freefall. As he descended, he used his diminishing elevation to

quickly examine the hike ahead. The inhospitable terrain formed

by ancient volcanic deposits was irregular and treacherous. Jagged

extrusions rose like monoliths out of piles of crumbling slag and muddy

black sand. Deep chasms and long eccentric hollows riddled the

dimpled flats of rock, catching the corrosive drizzle in steaming pools of acid. The wet landscape glistened,

reflecting the bright blue

flashes of lightning above. Further northward where the squad was headed, larger more predominant boulders

of a different composition crowded the higher ground. At the base of the many rock formations grew patchy

matts of bluey green toxic moss.

About Max in the air were his fellow squad members, also descending. Once each of the Hacs landed on the

surface beneath the carrier, they immediately consolidated the drop point by forming a large defensive circle of

defence. Max watched his spiked boots get closer to the ground untill he knew that the landing backpack was

no longer necessary then bent his knees to prepare himself for the ensuing drop and released the backpack

button. He clutched his weapon tightly with both hands as his thrusters silenced and rapidly sprang back into

their protective recess's. He fell an approximate body lengh to Earth, landing with a splash on a soft sooty

puddle choked with mossy scum. He crouched and brought up his weapon, eyeing the sector ahead of him

suspiciously. Through the corner of his eye, he spotted Bruce Skallen land heavily and overbalance, stumbling

to the left whilst swearing loudly through the helmet comlinks. His spitefull curses were audible even over the

roaring turbines above as he corrected himself and stood solidly between two fissures of rock.

Bruce Skallen was one of the largest Hactroopers that had ever

existed. Many times he had been accused of being a hybrid, but

extensive genetic tests and the existance of his facial hair proved that

he was not. He stood a full two point two metres tall and weighed

approximately two hundred and thirty kilograms unladen. His body was

an enormous rounded hulk of armour and weapon. Beneath the

crammed helmet was a bald head with cold blue eyes. A flowing red

beard framed the mans mouth which contained a set of broken and

misshapen teeth. The Trooper was a simple minded war hungry lunatic who held great loyalty for those he

respected. He was the only Trooper in the squad without a Spitfire assault rifle, instead carrying a

man mounted anti aircraft cannon. He swung the weapon's huge barrel

left to right on its swivel arm, securing the sector ahead of him. The cannon was one of the largest weapons

ever built for footsoldier use. Essentially, the weapon was relatively simple in design. Unlike the Spitfire energy

projectile rifle, it utilised shell projectiles which was technology literally thousands of years old. The ammo it

fired was an impressive two hundred millimetre long shell projectile, otherwise known as an M1100 bullet.

The massive weapon was suspended by the Hacs right side on a flexible pressure sensitive servo arm that

held its weight. The servo arm in turn was attached to the weapon's backpack

ammunition supply, which effectively transferred all weight to the

shoulders. The thick black ventilated barrel stretched one point two

metres in front of the trooper and a third of that behind him. The rear of the weapon ended in a bulky firing

mechanism, capable of accommodating the abnormally large ammunition. A large handle extended upward near

the rear of the weapon and mushroomed out, providing the user with a reversed control grip. The inverse

handle contained the weapons main trigger, ammo counter display and a control mechanism to set the weapon

to semi or fully automatic discharge. A second handle extruded from the weapons left side in front of the

operator, providing an

excellent grip to control the long barrel. A hefty ammunition rail twisted

round from the rear of the weapon to the backpack ammo supply,

clipped against the servo arm.

The weapon was designed during a time when rocket pack

warefare dominated landbattle. The deadly backpack swoop

troops as they were known, had became extinct by the invention of the mammoth piece. It had simply

overmatched their armour and

weaponry, which was limited by load weight. Coupled with an interface scope on its barrel and the Hactrooper

helmet sight, it was highly accurate at extreme range. It was a formidable weapon, but in reality was large,

unforgivingly heavy and cumbersome.

Nobody short of a Hactrooper could fire or even carry it for long periods of time.

The Hactrooper squad having all landed successfully, stood

ready in the drizzling rain awaiting Major Bruiser's arrival. Automatic

sight squeegee units prevented the wet from obscuring their vision,

extending and retracting from their overhanging forehead castings

quickly. "This landform don't look natural!. " Croaked Frank Bricker

over the noise of the aircarrier above. The shortest member of the squad was most distinguishable by his

grinding voice and tattoos which

covered the majority of his bare skin. Even his shaved head was

marked extensively. His comment was

absorbed by the others silently as the Major stepped out of the

aircarrier and descended into the eye of the defensive circle. He landed skillfully and then looked up at the

aircarrier above. He reached up under his helmet's mandible accessing the recessed controls there. He altered

his

helmet's frequency band to longwave with the push of a button and

yelled up at the carrier, although he didn't have to yell. "Charlie two to

carrier, deployment complete, commencing mission. "

"Affirmative Charlie two, returning to base, carrier out. " Crackled back

over Bruiser's comlink shortly afterward. At that the aircarrier slowly

moved off untill clear of the squads position and then fired up its main

forward thrust turbines, accelerating off with a screaming howl.

Max watched the carrier climb as the Major switched back to

shortwave. He could just make out the carrier's side hatches closing as the shrinking vessel disappeared into the dark flashing clouds. With its departure, the true weather conditions could be properly distinguished. There was a strong wind whipping the squad with corrosive rain. Rumbling thunder drummed the air again and again as lightning flashed and pulsated accross the cloudy dark sky.

"Bloody rain, again;. " Scowled Dan Svenson, the punk. Svenson was

generally an obnocious, irritating fool. His most predominant feature

was the one that earned him his nick name, a streak of bristly red hair

running down the lengh of his pale blad head.

"Acid rain. " Corrected Joan Jackson, the squads only female member.

Her supplementary duty was as the squads field medic. Joan Jackson

was a tough short haired female who rarely spoke. She was not an attractive woman in the eyes of most, her solid build and her plain face was rounded and hard.

As Max waited for the order to start northward, he gesticulated over

the mission details the squad had been briefed on. A small surface research outstation not far from this site

had reported attacks on its expeditions by large insectoid creatures, which they had named Gladiator beetles.

The

strange life forms were apparently wildly mutated, possibly the product

of toxic adaptation or genetic tampering. During the dark years,

humans were not the only subjects the millitary genetic scientists of the old order had attempted to artificially

evolve. It was the squad's objective to traverse

approximately ten kilometres of terrain during which time they where to

locate and terminate as many Gladiator beetles as possible. Of

course, sending a Hactrooper foot squad to erradicate an infestation of mutant beetles was neither the most

efficient nor affective way of

completing the task. A combat drone or even a single controlled missile strike could do it quickly, efficiently and

with much less risk. These types of field missions were used as training, to help Troopers perfect deploying and

combat technique under real situations.

Major Bruiser looked round at his troops and then the northward haul.

"Right you pack of losers, lateral formation twenty pace spread. Call

contact first and then open fire, move out. " He barked, driving

enthusiasm into his squad. The troops panned out into a line with

twenty pace spreads between them and moved off. Garry Strainer, the

last of the seven Hactroopers was on the left wing of the deployment.

He was a tall orange haired thinman, renowned for the fact that his

body was devoid of any tattoos whatsoever. This was impressive,

considering what division of the Federation military he had chosen to

serve under. To his right twenty paces away was his opposite, the

human tattoo Frank Bricker. Beside Bricker was the giant Bruce

Skallen who in turn was beside the Major. To the Major's right was

Joan Jackson the female medic followed by Dan Svenson the punk.

Max Damage was positioned on the right wing as usual. He always

preferred a lot of room in formation.

As the troops marched forward, they leapt accross creased wet rock

faces and stamped through deep muddy puddles. Max carried his

Spitfire loosely, ready to cut anything down ahead of him that moved.

He also used it as a balance weight as he stepped from rock to rock,

picking the high ground so he would not have to trudge through the

deposits of sticky black mud. Major Bruiser, the bald headed

commander, did not push his troops too hard but kept up a respectable pace. There was a fair hike

ahead and he did not want to wear them out prematurely with a strong start.





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