for DOOM 2
A remake of the OTHER worst FPS ever made.
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They called it Futura City…
…the first fully-functional human city on the moon, bought and paid for by the Global Insurance Corporation. Advertised to tourists as a galactic Las Vegas, the true face of Futura City was that of a wild west trading station in outer space waiting for the rest of civilization to catch up so it could serve a practical purpose. If you could afford to visit, you’d probably enjoy several nights of drunken moonwalks, gambling, and the finest prostitutes money could buy.
The people who lived there day to day were indentured servants to the GIC, working off their insurance debts and other crimes against capitalism. People like Werner Müller: German, late twenties, Libra. Caught red-handed committing industrial espionage at GIC Headquarters, and given the choice between prison time or slaving in the cubicle labyrinths of Futura City.
Werner wondered who they sold his condo to after he was shipped off-planet. Probably some tweeker who would sell all Werner’s shit for space dust.
Within his first hour as a visitor Werner was registered, quarantined, scanned for space cooties, and forced into a snug new jumpsuit. Security shoved him up the hall to the office of the city governor, who looked like a gorilla with a crew cut and smiled like the Grim Reaper.
Werner knew he was in trouble when he glanced out the office window and saw his ship taking off without him. Abandoned by the human race on a dead rock.
“Governor Philo,” said the gorilla.
Werner shrugged. “No, Werner. Werner Müller.”
The gorilla replied by jamming a cattle prod into Werner’s testicles on full charge. When Werner stopped vomiting and his eyesight returned, the governor was hovering over him with a red-faced scowl. “I’m Governor Philo, smartass!”
“Oh,” coughed Werner.
“You’re here for the worst offense a citizen of Futura City can receive: betraying your brand. When you’re hired by a corporation like the GIC, you sign an unwritten contract of trust. You violated that contract by selling secrets to the enemy.”
As Werner found the strength to stand again, Philo looked over his file, occasionally glancing at his victim like a hangnail he was thinking about biting off. “Says here you served in the Marine Corps to pay for computer college: went from buck private, all the way up to captain, then all the way back down to buck private.”
“Didn’t like the service,” said Werner. “Too many bureaucrats.”
Philo grinned. “Well, Mr. Müller, you’re gonna love it here.”
Werner was put to work right away as a networking engineer in Cubicle Maze Seven, counting the starships in the window. They came and went every hour. If it weren’t for that, boredom would have driven him as batshit as the governor already. Futura City was a constant rat race: he wore out his shirts keeping his back to the wall every workday, to stop his smiling coworkers from stabbing him in the back to reduce their sentences.
Even his heavy metal playlist did little to calm the rage boiling in his gut. If given the chance, he would erase the entire GIC database, empty the bank accounts, and reduce Futura City to another crater on the moon’s surface.
The arrival of an elite GIC freighter caused a notable stir. The captain was a woman, her curves evident through her spacesuit even at a distance. She argued with two hangar grunts for ten minutes; then a spaceman with commander’s stripes moonwalked out to her and argued for another fifteen. Eventually a guard came and escorted Werner to an exquisite rec room where Governor Philo was having coffee with the captain, her hair red and flowing like wine.
“You’re the new network geek, yeah?” she said, offering her hand to Werner. She was Australian. “Adolf or somethin’?”
He didn’t take the hand. “Who’s asking?”
“Captain Dobkin. My ship’s computer network is cactus maximus. Governor says you’re ace with that sorta thing. Says you were shipped out here ‘cuz you stole some classified files from GIC HQ, yeah?”
“Wasn’t my idea,” he said. “The shipping OR the stealing. If I hadn’t done it, I woulda been evicted.”
She smiled. “Ironic. Wanna come spend a day on my ship?”
“Out of the goddamned question,” said Philo.
She ignored him. “All the resident nerds are too green, and we have a schedule to keep.”
“What do I get?” said Werner.
Dobkin smiled coyly as she stood up. “We got a synthetic navigator named Stella. She’s a beauty. I can letcha borrow ‘er for an hour. That do?”
Werner shrugged. “I prefer redheads.”
The redheaded captain snorted. “Get ‘im a geek deck,” she said to Philo.
Werner waited until he was suited up and moonwalking out to the ship before asking her how she could have so much clout with the governor. “What do you ship, the CEO’s caviar?”
Specifically Dobkin worked for Philo’s masters at the GIC Property Claims Office, where deep-pocketed people and corporations sent their goods to be examined by GIC experts before having their insurance claim processed. She explained in so many anecdotes that all she knew about the current cargo was that it contained recently-acquired government property. Something from a very hush-hush physics lab. Something so delicate the creator wanted his ass completely covered in case of “inter-dimensional disaster”, and the GIC wanted it far away from planet earth when the pencil pushers examined it.
“The HADES collider?” said Werner.
She glanced at him with a start. “Yeah. How’d YOU hear about it?”
“I stole the GIC claims file on it. That’s why I’m here.”
Her eyebrows bounced as if he’d just shared a racy secret with her. “Surprised you aren’t dead,” she said, eyes suddenly coquettish.
“The guy that made it is a nutcase. Haven’t we seen enough sci-fi movies to know that bending space and time is a stupid idea? And now they’re leaving it in the hands of a bunch of squabbling cubicle rats?”
She laughed. “Maybe you could use it for a free trip back home.”
“Not a bad idea. Assuming the idiot analysts don’t drop it in the lab.”
Just as Werner said this, the windows of the GIC tower at the center of Futura City suddenly lit up with an otherworldly strobe. There was a sound of a sonic boom, and shortly after a shockwave knocked Werner and Dobkin onto their asses. The ship groaned as it rolled and tumbled off of the landing platform, crashing to pieces in the ravine below.
“Well that fuckin’ tears it!” said Dobkin.
Werner would have added his own curses, but his words were lost in his throat as he watched the GIC tower bend and morph into a skyscraper from an alien cityscape. The surrounding city blocks followed, and Futura City was suddenly filled with the sounds of screams, snarls, gunfire, and strange industrial music.
Werner was tired of being right. Now Futura City was slowly merging with a city from an unknown planet before his eyes, and somewhere in the center of it all was his salvation: if the collider could reach other dimensions, maybe it could take him to one that even the GIC couldn’t reach.
“What the hell do we do now?” said Dobkin.
Casually Werner turned to Dobkin and said, “You got a shotgun I can borrow for a few hours?”