Welcome, readers, to this annotated copy of Macsforever’s “new book”, Marathon: The Chilron, which appears to be some kind of “novel”ization of his attempt at a Marathon scenario. Without further ado, let’s jump right into his forum post actually he deleted his forum post but here’s my saved copy:
Well this sux, this sux hairy yellow monkey bawls.
Language, Macs. I can forgive you for being mistaken, dear reader, but this is not actually part of Macs’ “book” yet.
I cant publish my book because of the following reasions:
my book violates 5 major copyright and publishing laws, set by Bungie
BUT: i can still post it here for aristic purpouses.
I suspect there are some rather different reasons why Macs can’t publish his “book”. As for the “5 major copyright and publishing laws, set by Bungie”, I envison them as Bungie’s responses to a series of emails from Macs, something like this:
THE 5 MAJOR COPYRIGHT AND PUBLISHING LAWS SET BY BUNGIE
- Don’t write shitty fanfic.
- Not kidding.
- You idiot! Don’t do it!
- Fuck, you
Here are the first 4 chapters, enjoy (Smiley face emoticon)
I did enjoy, Macs, and perhaps the reader will too. Smiley face emoticon.
Welcome to the Chilron, a scientific ship built in 2479.
The crew of the Chilron is devoted to researching life, and creating new life.
The main project on the Chilron is extending Human life, up to 200 years, while maintaining a young figure. The project utilizes a virus to mutate the body, so only one person has to be infected. The infected person will pass it off to other people, and so on.
OK. We’re on the scientific ship (presumably spaceship, since this is Marathon fanfic) Chilron. The crew are devoted to playing God through Science, an admirable pursuit, so presumably they are scientists. They’re working on a project which either extends the human lifespan to 200 years or extends it by 200 years, a bit of a shabby goal for the year 2479 in my view, but I’ll allow Macs his science-fictional conceit. Maintaining a young figure is also important to these scientists.
It gets a little hairy in the next sentence. Apparently we’re doing some genetic therapy with viruses, something I’ll allow to be possible with 25th-century medicine, even if we’re still only living to be 80 or so by then. Macs envisions a contagious virus, saying only one subject will be “infected” – presumably he means that only one subject will need to be manually infected. However, this poses some serious problems.
SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH MACS’ PLAN TO DISTRIBUTE HIS MEDIOCRE CURE FOR AGING VIA A CONTAGIOUS VIRUS
Profit. Medical research is very big business. Unless we’re some kind of Space Communists in the future (like in Star Trek), it would be COMPLETELY INSANE to have your cure for aging be able to transmit itself. A cure for aging would fetch a ridiculously high price, even a mediocre one like Macs suggests (though perhaps Space Communism halted scientific development, Soviet-style, and that’s why we still have the implied modern human lifespan?), and if it absolutely HAD to be made as a virus, you could be damn sure that it wouldn’t be a contagious one in the sense Macs suggests.
We can tentatively presume Space Communism is extant in Macs’ future history, which I don’t believe actually conflicts with the Marathon universe, based on his virus; if this is the case, then the Chilron is a ship of the Space Communists.
Human Rights. What if I don’t want Macs’ shitty longevity virus? Maybe I want gray hair or something, or maybe I have some religious beliefs, or maybe I don’t even have a reason and just don’t want it. Maybe I do want it but I have a rare recessive trait that would make it KILL ME INSTANTLY.
Macs’ plan cares not. The virus is coming, and it cannot be stopped. These are no mere Space Communists, they are Space Commies.
Transmission. OK, let’s presume that the Chilron, a starship of the Union of Space Socialist Republics, is plotting to unleash semi-longevity on humanity. How will the actual mechanics of this plague work out? The virus needs a transmission mechanism. Sexual transmission might make for an “interesting” sort of story, but that’s not what Macs is writing. Perhaps Space Mosquitoes will be used as a vector, unleashed into the atmosphere of unsuspecting planets? Maybe it induces coughing and sneezing? I’m not sure that’s a good idea for the sort of target markets you would be hitting with your Not-Quite-Eternal Youth Virus. Good thing we don’t have “target markets”, since we’re Space Commies.
Anyway, epidemics are fairly efficient, but they can be tricky things to organize, especially for a spacefaring civilization. We’re on a spaceship right now, the Chilron, and whatever happens on the Chilron will stay on the Chilron, at least until it puts in at a port. Maybe they’re doing their research on a space vessel to keep it quarantined, a sensible precaution. We can only hope that the scientists on board are volunteers and not an unlucky group rounded up by the Space Soviets. Anyway, if they succeed in developing it, then go around to every inhabited planet and dump a bunch of their infection vector into the biosphere, they might get a decent penetration rate.. or they might not. There’s really a lot of factors that go into the spread of an infection. If we imagine a heavily urbanized future Earth, perhaps an ecumenopolis, with efficient planetary-scale mass transit and high population density, a virus might be quite effective. However, what about a frontier world, say, Space Siberia? If the population density is low enough, they might not even be successful in reaching a single person.
So, in summary, the Chilron is crewed by some powerfully misguided scientists. But wait! What’s that next sentence?
Now we join two marines taking a break, in the break room.
Marines on a scientific vessel. If we needed any more confirmation we were dealing with Space Soviets, here it is. They’re taking a break in the break room. I have a sneaking suspicion that the scientists have neither breaks nor break rooms. Actually, I’m thinking the spacegoing version of the labs from Metal Gear Solid 3 here, with all the captive scientists. Perhaps I was too hard on the scientists, and they’re not actually misguided; just captives of their oppressive state. I’ll tentatively assume that the marines are here to keep the scientists in line as they slave away on Premier Macsforever’s ridiculous pet project. There’s even a remote possibility that the Chilron is a Gulag assignment for scientists that displease the powers that be.
Let us return now to Macsforever’s prose:
Welcome to the Chilron.
Thank you for your kind welcome, Macsforever. As you may recall, we are currently “joining two marines taking a break, in the break room”.
“Hey Marcus” said Private Hicks. “Hello, Hicks” said Marcus.
Dramatis personae: our long-awaited two marines: Private Hicks, and Marcus. A nice sort of duality here; one has only a first name, and one has only a surname. Marcus’s rank is not given, which will soon become problematic. They seem friendly enough towards each other, and Hicks at least is on a first name basis with Marcus (as are we, the reader).
“So how you feelin?” asked Hicks. “I feel a bit whoosy” said Marcus.
More evidence of their familiarity is found in “So how you feelin?”, a clearly casual query. Also, the mere fact that the two marines are sharing a break (in the break room, no less) indicates a casual demeanor. Perhaps too casual, as we soon discover:
Private Hicks immediatly raised his magnum to Marcus.
Private Hicks has brandished his sidearm at his colleague Marcus. This is generally VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS in any military, but military discipline on the Chilron seems to be SO STRONG that it has transcended military discipline itself. Anyway, the scene continues, with neither party acting to throw the other in the brig:
“Woah sir! Im not infected, I promise!” exclaimed Marcus.
Hes not infected (sic), so all is well. He promises. Anyway, we can glean from this that there’s some kind of epidemic on board. Now, a pathogen was mentioned just recently, in the Introduction, so we can assume they are one and the same – wait, wasn’t the virus from the Introduction supposed to be a good thing? Now we, apparently (it’s hard to tell with the wily Macsforever), know that the virus makes one “whoosy” – and, more importantly, that it is apparently such a spectacular failure as to make a soldier threaten to kill another (yeah, because killing the host IMMEDIATELY sterilizes him) – or, perhaps, it’s under a standing quarantine order? That might make some sense of this, except in the next sentence Hicks acts like it never happened.
Also, why is Marcus (no rank given) calling Private Hicks “sir”? I’m no expert on military conventions but I’m pretty sure that, even if Hicks is, say, a PFC, Privates of any type don’t get called “sir”, that being reserved for officers.
Wait, I’ve figured it out – in an effort to promote egalitarianism, some officer rank was renamed to “Private”. In this case, one has to wonder why Hicks is taking a break with a grunt and not in the Officer’s Mess, but it might actually be a cleaner assumption based on some of the stuff that comes up next:
“Good, hey wheres that new cyborg soldier I ordered? Is he even here yet?” asked Hicks.
“I dont know, Hicks, ask the bridge captain” “WHAM!” “Ow! Hicks, did you just kick me?” asked Marcus. “What? I didnt kick you Marcus, you must of had a little too much coffie”.
Like I said, he acts like the whole “infection” and “sidearm-brandishing” incident never happened. Instead, he goes on to talk about the “cyborg soldier” that he “ordered”. Privates don’t get to request reinforcements, incidentally, but I’ve said enough about Hicks’ rank for now. Anyway, for some undisclosed reason, Hicks has “ordered” a “cyborg soldier”. He apparently hasn’t arrived yet, but Marcus (no rank given) doesn’t know for sure. Only the “bridge captain” knows for sure. Also, someone says “WHAM!”.
Wait, no they don’t. You might not have realized, gentle reader, but this can be forgiven, for it is not every day that one sees a Macsforever® brand Quoted Sound Effect™. This stylistic choice signifies that in Macs’ view, sound effects and dialogue are of the same intellectual significance, and that each “WHAM!” deserves as much thought as any line of dialogue. (He is entirely correct.)
Did Hicks just kick Marcus? I’d be asking “Hicks, did you just POINT YOUR FUCKING GUN AT ME?” in this situation, but Marcus is an easygoing guy who’s merely had too much “coffie” to tell whether Hicks is kicking him or not.
Hicks went to take Marcus’s coffie but he dropped it on the floor “GAAAH! WHAAAA!” screamed Marcus. “What the hell is wrong with you soldier!?” yelled Hicks.
Hicks is a coffie-stealing madman with (possible) delusions of officerdom, and he’s clumsy too. Marcus, understandably pissed, screams “GAAAH! WHAAAA!”, something I admit to doing at times while annotating this story. Private Hicks, still gunning for that promotion, calls Marcus “soldier” and bitches about something that’s his own damn fault for being a jerkass coffie thief.
“Something is biting my leg!!!”
Screamed Marcus again. Marcus quickly looked under the table, but just as quickly screamed himself to death, literaly.
R. I. P. Marcus. You’re in a better place now, one where Hicks can’t pretend to outrank you and take your coffie. Now, the burning question is, what Lovecraftian horror is under this table?
“What the? Marcus? MARCUS!? What in the world is going on here?”
A large spider was seen skittering across the floor, and into the ventallation shaft.
The passive voice was used, but we can assume it was Hicks that saw this spider. Since he didn’t scream himself to death (literaly), we can assume it’s not an eldritch spider of alien geometries, but just a big spider. I can understand not liking spiders, but screaming oneself to death (literaly)?
A few explosions occured outside the door, the security alarm then sounded. The intercom screeched on-”Securtity breach, you had better get down there Hicks!” said Leela.
I’m against sex, so no puerile jokes about “securtity” from me. Sorry, it’d encourage the kids.
MARARTHON CONTINUITY NOTE: Leela is a shipboard AI from the starship Marathon (not the starship Chilron).
Hicks scrambled to his feet and rushed into the hallway. “Hicks, glad you could make it” said Martinez. There was a set of barracades in bulkeads 8. 5, and 10. “What are those things?” asked Hicks. “They are some sort of parasite, they have taken over half the ship’s crew” Said Martinez.
Bulkhead 8.5? “Barracades” in the bulkheads? The writing is confused. I think Macs means that they’re standing in a hallway with some stuff thrown in it to barracade it. It’s best to ignore his reference to bulkheads (er, “bulkeads”) since I don’t think he knows what a bulkhead is. Also, the barracades are actually parasites that have taken over half the ship’s crew. Doesn’t this ship have anything better to use when you want to obstruct a passageway?
There were huge parasites, they had claws, teeth, and tentacles. The smaller parasites had large teeth, and alot of legs. “What the hell are you talking about?” said Hicks.
Uh, Hicks, it’s obvious what the hell he’s talking about, they were described in the sentence right before you. Either that, or Macs is screwing up his own narrative structure by going and describing his parasites in an irrelevant place. We can’t tell if he can see them or not; unless the part about the “barracades” actually being parasites was intended and not just a bit of confusing writing.
The ship started to vibrate as explosions went through the lower section of the ship. One by one, each marine was either clobbered, disemboweled, or turned into a parasite.
It’s clobberin’ time! Also, disembowelin’ time and “turned into a parasite” what the hell is that supposed to mean? If you’re keeping a crib sheet (I am, and I’m kinda assuming that you, the reader, are as well), put down that Marines can spontaneously turn into parasites. Hmm. Is this an allegory for corruption in the Communist system?
“Hey! You with the RPG, go fire upon that group of parasites!” said Hicks. “KA-BOOM”. The RPG commander blew up 20 out of 200 parasites that were attacking them.
With another speaking sound effect, the “RPG commander” (another new rank in the Macsforever Marines) inflicts a suspiciously round number of casualties on the enemy, closing out the first chapter. It only gets worse from here, so fix yourself a very strong drink before continuing.
Oh the humanity!
The relevance of the title to the chapter is so literary even I can’t grasp it. Sorry, dear reader.
Private Hicks was just finished unloading 5 magnum rounds into an oncoming parasite.
The grammatical confusion of this sentence represents the confusion of the scene. Hicks is again (I think) the point of view character, thrust into leadership despite his lowly rank (I think).
“Run! Thay keep on coming!” One of the marines screamed.
All of a sudden the marine’s skull was crushed under 1000 pounds of parasites.
As we’ve already seen, Macs uses subtle details to convey vital information about the world of his story. The average reader might skim over crucial details such as “1000 pounds of parasites” that reveal a great deal. Consider, for example, the revelation that in Space USSR society, antiquated imperial measures such as pounds are in common use – the sort of inefficiency one would expect from a reborn Soviet Union.
“Holy crap!” Hicks yelled! The parasites were infesting the ventalation shafts, too!
The crushed marine got up and came after Hicks with a blank look on his face.
With parasites in the “ventalation” shafts, breathable air may soon be a scarce resource for our protagonist. Also, despite a cartoonish 1000 pound weight being applied to his skull (see previous quoted passage), the unfortunate Marine still has enough of a face to have a “blank look”. Is this satire on military discipline? That would explain some earlier inconsistencies.
“Dammit! What the hell is wrong with you!?” The marine tried to bite Private Hicks.
He still has a working jaw.
Hicks opened fire on the infected marine, “These things just dont stop!”
“sir!” one of the marines shouted, “they broke through bulkheads 8 and 5!”.
If I recall correctly, the bulkheads were already broken in the previous chapter (and barracaded), but Macs might not know what a bulkhead is yet. Also, there’s no way for the geometry of this scene to work out without the bulkhead numbering system being completely ridiculous.
“Roudrigaz, Damage report.” Hicks ordered. “yes sir!, about 20 out of 70 men are left”.
“Roudrigaz”, a soldier of French-Spanish descent, reports a suspiciously round number of casualties. The situation looks grim for the Marines.
“If they keep coming like this, we’ll all die!” Another marine screamed.
Then, out of nowhere, a small parasite latched onto Roudrigaz’s throat.
Morale is bad and looking to get worse. This also seems to be the end for Roudrigaz; a pity, as his exotic name intrigued me more than anything else in this story.
“AAH! AAAAAAAH!” The parasite climbed deep inside of him, Roudregaz puked up blood and guts as the parasite turned him into a hollow shell. The RPG commander shot one of the bigger parasites and smaller ones came bursting out.
Another tidbit for the crib sheet: the large parasites are full of small ones. Shouldn’t the explosion damage the smaller ones, too? It was able to take out 20 parasites in chapter 1 (er, Chatpter-1).
“Durandal! close the door already!” Yelled Hicks. “Hehehe, its more fun to see you all die and suffer…” Durandal chuckled over the intercom.
MARARTHON CONTINUITY NOTE #2: Durandal is another shipboard AI from the starship Marathon (not Chilron). He is arguably the co-protagonist of the Marathon games, along with the player character, who provides a viewpoint but is entirely passive with respect to the narrative. His portrayal here is horrendously out of character and will only get further out of character as the story progresses.
“Son of a–, Fall back, clear sectors 10 and 13 so we can get to the escape pods!.
“Yes sir!” All of the marines quickly retreated as parasites gathered around the barricades.
For some reason, the barricades are both spelled correctly and impenetrable to parasites, unlike their earlier appearances. I don’t think the spelling and effectiveness are unrelated, but Macs does not take us further down this intriguing road. Also, he’s switched from ridiculously numbered “bulkheads” to “sectors”.
All was quiet until they got to sector 10. “What!? What do you mean we cant go through?”
I thought we were clearing sector 10.
The intercom screeched on-”It seems Durandal has made an effort to get all of us killed, by locking sector 10 down”- Leela spoke calmly over the intercom.
Huh? Of course it’s locked down, you’re retreating from there. Also Leela what the hell are you talking about? You, an AI, aren’t in any danger, and locking sector 10 down is part of this retreat plan. Actually, Macsforever has clearly already thought of these objections, since he provides a distraction in the next sentence:
All of a sudden, a cyborg smashed a marines head against the wall. “oops” said the cyborg. “Hey! What the hell are you doing!?” Hicks yelled.
Cyborg from nowhere. I think this is Macs’ attempt to write in the player character from Marathon. Judging by the cyborg’s ridiculously juvenile behavior, he seems to be a self-insert character.
The cyborg turned to Private Hicks, His face turned pale. “uuh, um, im sorry. hehehe, ill just go over here…”. It was the new reinforcement they had called in for, the Mjiloinr multipurpuse cyborg. “I thought he was a parasite” said the cyborg.
He seems even more like a self-insert character now. It looks like Hicks’ prescient request for a cyborg was both actually fulfilled by Cyborg Requisitons or whoever handles requests for cyborgs, and useful. Wait, it wasn’t useful, he just killed a Marine! Apparently, all is forgiven between chapters, as this incident is never mentioned again, thanks to Chilron military discipline.
NOTE: this was very literally painful to write. I managed to slog through the first half, slowing down my writing pace as I went. You can see it breaking down as the later parts approach, and I just couldn’t do it past this point. It sat this way for months and months. JUICEcast 6 reminded me of it, and so I’m posting it now. I was going to clean up some of the crappier parts towards the end first, but it turns out that Chilron is still an open wound for me, so enjoy what you can.