Review: Heat Signature

I’m Playton Meridian, and I’m here to steal the Plaza Object. What’s the Plaza Object? Don’t know, don’t care – the pay’s enough to stay alive for another month. I’m…… oh fuck, he saw me. Did he? – no, yep, he definitely saw me.

Well, now the whole ship’s after me, and- fuck, fuck, fuck fuck FUCK I wasted too much time trying to go around the long way. I have TEN SECONDS to get off this ship.

FUCK.

I’m not near any windows I can shoot out. The captain’s on the other side of the ship. Guess I’ll just have to run for the airlock and hope I make it.

I’m Crater Pang, and I’m here to rescue my friend, Playton Meridian. He got himself captured awhile back raiding a Glitcher ship, and I’ve been trying to save him ever since.

I’ve had to gather intel and funds to give to Sader Fiasco so she can help me find Meridian. Ship after ship I’ve gutted, doing the same things Playton did; I lost count of the number of airlocks I’ve been blown out of long ago. But it’s finally paid off.

I approach the Glitcher frigate, matching the speed of my craft to theirs. I latch into their airlock undetected.

I am Hamal Orchard, and I am a liberator of galaxies. This is not due to my diplomatic skills, but my uncanny ability to not die. They keep sending me out on missions, and I keep not dying – it is utterly extraordinary. In fact, I have not died enough that my efforts secured the liberation of one of a selection of space stations! Which shall I choose? The one that boosts the local economy, or the one that sells restockable grenade launchers? I choose the launchers. What can I say? I was never a diplomat.

I’m Afemo Quigley, and right now I’m hunkered down behind an enemy turret. I’m trapped in this room but good. There are only two entrances, and I’m about to get hit bad from both of them. Over a dozen guards – split into two teams – are headed here to shoot me to death, unless I get lucky. I’m out of chances – this is it.

Here’s what the men coming through the door to my right don’t know – I’ve hacked this turret. The second that metal bulkhead opens up, they’re gonna get blasted by the most powerful, accurate weaponry in the universe. I turn to the door on my left.

My shortblade is quick, and lethal. My enemies are clustered in tight formation. This is good. I wait by the door, my weapon held close.

*shvvvv shvvvv*

The doors open.

As the mounted cannon fires behind me (BOOM BOOM BOOM) I manage to kill four men before another is able to fire a shot at me. He dies too.

This is the bloodiest carnage I’ve ever seen – I don’t know what to say. I collect myself, and move deeper into the ship.

I still haven’t left this stupid airlock. I’ll be honest – things are less than ideal. The room next to me is too open – too exposed – and filled with five armed men. One them has the key I need to get to Playton. The real problem, though, is that each guard is equipped with a shield. Fortunately, I’ve got a crashbeam with one shot in the tank, so I could – theoretically – disable his shield, kill him, and take the key.

I just need to be fast.

That’s where my self-charging sidewinder comes in. I line up my shot, and pull the trigger.

*FWUMPF*

I teleport right smack-dab in the middle of their huddle. They react with a start, and time slows down. My crashbeam disables they key-guard’s shield, and I blow him away at point-blank range with my shotgun. I scoop up his key just as the four remaining guards sound the alarm, and open fire.

Don’t worry – I’ve planned for this.

I activate my temporary shield and book it at a dead sprint for the exit hallway. Three seconds – that’s how long I have until my shield runs out. I hope to God I can make it. The room is complete chaos – bullets ricochet off my shield, and the only thing louder than each gunshot is my screaming. I turn the corner and my shield gives out a split-second later. I keep running – the whole ship knows I’m here now, and that means I’ve got less than 30 seconds to save Playton.

Hi! I’m Caley Fluker! My capricious appetite for violence knows no bounds! MMMMMMM. Once, I accidentally shot out a window and blew four fighting meat men out into space! In the thrill of the moment, I jumped out as well! Space is fun!

My name is Proxy Vine, and I once was a pacifist. I first set out with a wrench and couple of stealth shields. But I’ve changed; I’ve changed and I hate it. I don’t like this person I’ve become. It started by accident. If only…. If only that one guard hadn’t seen me. I panicked.

I panicked.

I had a split second to react, and I made a bad call. His name was Ceylon, and he was the first. It came easier after that – after I’d crossed that line. I hate how simple it felt. No longer was I an enigmatic stealth extraordinaire; now I’m one of the most violent men in the galaxy.

I hate it.

That’s why I’m on this Foundry frigate. That’s why everyone onboard is dead. I can’t change my nature, but I can change this galaxy for the better. The ship hurtles towards the Foundry stronghold, devoid of life. No one can be allowed to stop what is about to happen. I look out the portside window, and drop my weapons – the stronghold approaches.

I sit in the captain’s chair to watch the countdown clock. 3. 2. 1.

Proxy Vine liberates the Foundry stronghold, but does not make it onto the wall of living legends. She is forgotten in the endless Four-Faction war.

23 seconds.

Playton’s in the next room – I can see him on my map. This time, there are just three guards for me to deal with. One steps out into the hallway – right onto the glitch trap I’ve set. It teleports him to the outside of the ship, and he asphyxiates in the cold expanse of space.

I turn to Playton’s room. He lies unconscious on the floor. Normally, I’d run in guns blazing, but one of the men guarding him is wearing an explosive vest – he dies, Playton dies. I didn’t come this far to get my best friend killed.

18 seconds.

There has to be a way. I bring up my inventory, and realize there’s a stray swapper on the ship I can use. It appears neatly in my hands, thanks to my trusty item teleporter. Now we’re talking

16 seconds.

*FWUMPF*

Playton and I are now swapped. I wallop the explosive guard with my wrench, and then throw it at the other guard, knocking him out as well. I don’t even bother picking it up; I have to move.

12 seconds.

I scoop up Playton, and keep running. I’m not heading for my ship – I don’t have time for that. I’m looking for a window, and – as luck would have it – there’s one at the end of this hallway.

6 seconds.

I let go of Playton’s body.

*BLAM*

Before he can even hit the floor, I pump a shotgun round straight through the glass window. The two of us are sucked out into space, hurtling at what feels like a million miles an hour. I remote control my pod to safely catch both of us – Playton first, of course.

I’ve done it.

Crater Pang retires after rescuing her friend, Playton Meridian. Her story is now on the wall of living legends – recorded forever in the history of Heat Signature.

It is one of many.

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