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Nightmare Fuel / Schlock Mercenary

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  • As if Schlock wasn't disturbing enough.
    • The one from 2001 involving the crew fighting a bunch of Alien style creatures would have been scary enough, but having it from the alien children's point of view somehow made it even scarier and more depressing. The way Schlock finishes them all off is mild in comparison.
  • Schlocktoberfest 2005 — Kevyn's assessment of what happened to PFC Adam Monk after being eaten alive by a megalodon; suddenly those healing upgrades don't seem like such a good idea after all....
  • Illustrated in-universe in this strip.
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    • Even Schlock himself admits it.
    • Some more in-universe use during the Tough's stint in Haven Hive. Anyone that's watched Schlock get to work when unarmed tends to be terrified into submission, to the point one hostage demanded to be treated as a bullet shield instead.
  • Schlock's habit of eating his enemies is usually played for laughs. Except when it is not. This strip could fit in a horror story with zero edits.
  • Schlock and Ennesby find out where abductees on a station have gone.
  • Weaponized Blood Nannites are cruel, probably qualify as a WMD, and certainly cause nightmares.
  • Laz-R-Us/Redhack. You are now an immortal being... and a deep-black intelligence agency now has a backdoor into your brain. They have absolutely no qualms wiping your mind clean and installing a copy of a sadistic sociopath in your head for whatever purpose they need. Worse, if the gestalt of your mind is fresh enough, there's a good chance the violent monster that replaced you can successfully pretend to be you... and if that fails, they can just transform into an armored monstrosity and kill everything you have ever known and loved to keep their cover.
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  • We finally get our first look at a Pa'anuri.
  • The Pa'anuri themselves are enough to inspire dread on both a personal and existential level, being essentially what a Lovecraftian horror would be if vindicated by hard science.
    • Imagine an invisible monster that seeks out and... messily disassembles any of the power sources your civilization is dependent upon, without any care for the organic beings who were standing nearby or relying on them at the time.
    • Then comes the dawning realization that the monster hounding your platoon is the size of an entire planet.
    • And it gets worse! They aren't just feral beasts acting on instinct; they are fully sapient beings with a complex civilization... and they are all utterly malevolent towards organic life. All the death and destruction they caused earlier was no accident, and they are constantly scheming on how to inflict more. Because they are fundamentally convinced baryonic life and theirs simply cannot exist in the same universe due to the teraport existing, and thus it's us or them. As such, they are perfectly willing to write off our entire galaxy as collateral damage.
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    • They also own Andromeda. Not just a part of it, or even most of it, but the entire damn galaxy, which they constantly scour for advanced life to destroy. Imagine living in a galaxy where you can doom your entire civilization by inventing something more complex than a radio, with no forewarning whatsoever.
    • Later, it turns out that they're not just sapient, but hyper intelligent enough to outpace the entire Milky Way in an arms race we never knew existed until it was too late.
    • And after that their armada arrives. Yes, the planetoid sized Abominations have warships. And yes, they are to scale.
    • Their battleships are bad enough before you learn how they were made; they are gutted and repurposed worldships taken from the millions or so exo-galactic civilizations orbiting their galaxy. Each vessel entails an act of genocide, and it is implied that they stole, slaughtered, and stripped such worlds on an industrial scale. The staggering loss of life and culture aside, it also means they could have hundreds of millions of warships to bury us with, and can easily make more if the first batch is lost.
    • And the ultimate tidbit of existential dread? The Pa'anuri are the answer to Fermi's Paradox.note  Essentially, every sufficiently advanced civilization has either a) hid, b) fled, or c) died because of the Pa'anuri... and now they're coming for us.
  • Hearing this out of your now-crazed shipmind.
  • Peri snaps her fingers and Elf casually rips a prisoner's arms off. Admittedly, he had it coming but it is still brutal.
  • When your combat medic admits to having trouble distinguishing left limbs from right limbs.
  • The very concept of the long-gun, which makes it possible to destroy a target at any location without prior warning and with no possible defence.
  • It's played for laughs and they kind-of had it coming, but Schlock is going around this ship ambushing crewmembers and eating them. From the point of view of Uuplechan, they're basically in an Alien style horror movie.
  • "What do you guys eat?. (aka- the 'Mundivore' makes his move.)
    "Because answering questions seemed harmless...."
    • Schlock in general is starting to enjoy being the most nightmarish scourge the Pa'anuri could ever have imagined. And while not that much of a nightmare for us, it's still easy to see why they think they're looking at Armageddon.
    Trapped Pa'anuri: This new enemy has all the fast-burning ferocity of baryonic life, and it has all our own power over the shift and shape of space. It is not a monster. Monster is not enough of a word.


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