World of Grey: The Beginning

A Hellhounds Story Prequel

Getting Started

Its Your Choice Adventure

Welcome to the World of Grey: The Beginning.

World of Grey: The Beginning, WoG, is a simple SciFi text adventure based in the gritty World of Grey, created by R. Keith Athey. You choose your path thru the story like the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of the 1980s. The shortest and most successful path follows the most likely choices the protagonist "Sarge" would make. Your reward for navigating the adventure successfully is a prequel experience that is a lead-in to the eBook World of Grey. Also, you'll discover the full eBook that inspired this adventure at the end.

Take a moment and get to know the story characters and your team-mates. Tap the Meet the Crew button to see sketches of the main characters as imagined by comic artist Tone Rodriguez.

Or, just tap "Begin Adventure" to just jump in.

Once you've navigated the story, you will have the opportunity to start over with a clean slate and make other choices. If you are intersted, you can also go stratight to Smashwords where the complete eBook World of Grey resides and buy it for yourself.

Have fun!

Meet the Crew Begin Adventure

Meet The Crew



Sarge is the second in command of the ship and lead strike commander. He is gruff, terse, and kicks serious butt. But, he gets things done.



Doc is the Dawn's pilot and commander. She defers to Sarge in all ground operations but can hold her own in hand to hand combat. She is unrivaled in ship to ship space combat.



Angel is the heart and healer on the Green Dawn. She is greatly gifted in healing and peacekeeping, which on this ship in nearly impossible.



Hotshot is the heavy weapons specialist and serves Sarge as the heavy right hand of destruction. His heavy armor has a flame motif incase anyone missed his hot attitude.



Sparx is the engineering wizard and resident alien. His species is more like a giant furry alien spider. His color is dark gray to black and betrays his low caste. On his own homeworld he could never rise to the level he has on the Dawn. His skills and dexterity do very well in space.

The Artist: Tone Rodriguez

Tone Rodriguez Signature

Tone Rodriguez is a remarkable artist most famously known for his work on The Simpsons, Futurama, and my favorite, The Snake Plisken Chronicles. Tone spent an hour and a half working on these sketches and inked them as well.

Return to Getting Started

The Adventure Begins

Rescue The Hostages

Your Seminole-class Assault Scout, the Green Dawn, bursts back into our reality from translight near a small planet orbiting an yellow star at the edge of space. The overhead displays show your blade-shaped craft on course for Galimed IV, a newly terraformed world owned by Terratech.

The Kzzick, an insectoid race, took prisoners from all over the planet, concentrating on those in power. You’ve received a contract from Terratech to rescue Megacorp Exec Karen Hahn and as many employees as possible from the Bug’s mound.

The Grand Planetary Federation has taken matters into its own hands, sending the Third Federation Expeditionary Force to attack the Kzzick colony. It seems the Bugs also attacked several government compounds taking high-ranking government officials as well.

When you hit the atmo, the Dawn's void shields flare as your speed slows dramatically from orbital velocities to something the atmosphere would tolerate.


A: Land quickly and enter the warrens.

B: Descend slowly to scope out the area and land.

C: Linger in low orbit. Scan and observe.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Land hard, run hard

Smash and Grab

Doc’s cybernetic left hand clatters against the helm console as she powers the ship downward through an array of Kzzick anti-spacecraft fire. She’s good, one of the best pilots in the Void Hammers Mercenary Guild. At the last moment, the craft noses up. Sarge and his squad of Hellhounds launch their dropship speeding toward the Kzzick warren as Doc accelerates the Dawn away.

The Marauder drop ship lands quickly near the base of the Kzzick warrens. The skyscraper-sized earthen structures contain hundreds of different Kzzick variants. Luckily, most of the warrior Bugs are about to engage the Federation, leaving the Bug hive open to a rescue mission.


A: Cautiously take out the hostiles and put 2 sentries to guard the warren entrance.

B: Fight thru the few hostiles & enter main tunnel.

C: Upon seeing the hostiles, return to the ship for superior firepower.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Hostages = Payday

Haul it!

But most warriors aren’t all the warriors. A troop of Kzzick drone warriors attack, firing energy weapons. This is a battle you know how to fight. Hotshot, the heavy weapons expert, launches a wave of missiles from his shoulder launchers. Sarge, a veteran of many campaigns against the bugs, directs five of the squad’s Hellhounds to fire bursts of hyper kinetic rounds into the advancing force while Angel scans for human life signs.


A: Stop to examine the Alien writing on the wall.

B: Take a break and quench your thirst on this miserable dry planet.

C: Run thru fighting any aliens but keep moving at all costs.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Think Fast

Decision Time

You come to a nexus of tunnels. Angle reads signs of Kzzick advances from all directions but one. In that case, the Kzzick seem to be retreating. The Nexus is a choke point for the area. Most of the local tunnels converge at this spot.


A: Everyone, run to the left!

B: Split into two teams of equal fire power and Go! One to the left, one right.

C: Split and two goes right, two go back to clear a path to the ship.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

So many bugs...

Angle and Hotshot head upwards in search of the hostages as Kzzick from several genomes attack six Hellhounds remaining at the nexus. Green Kzzick blood splatters onto the earthen walls as the deadly efficiency of Sarge’s squad stops waves Bugs.

But the Bugs have waves to give. It becomes like fighting the tide as one Hellhound after another falls. At last it is only Sarge left, standing in a gruesome tangle of dead and dying insectoid bodies, the Bugs' green blood and internals formed a muddy soup mixed with the red of his fallen squad members. Sarge begins setting det charges at the nexus, ready to collapse the tunnel.

One level above, Angel and Hotshot engage a group of worker drones guarding a group of humans. Present are Corp Exec Karen Hahn, Governor Asad Apunamarian, and twelve Terratech employees.


A: Tell the hostages that alien bugs are smart and to be respected!

B: Ask hostages "what happened?"

C: Give command to grab hostages and start back immediately!

Choice A Choice B Choice C

I hate bugs!

A soft rumbling sound catches Sarge’s attention, but before he can move, the ground beneath him gives way. He falls, clawing at the loose dirt until his armored fingers find at ledge of immobile rock. Soil and rocks fall past, seeking company in the long fall to the darkness below.


A: To find out what happens next...

B: Let yourself fall and fire on the way down hoping to take 'em with you.

C: Set self-destruct to 10 seconds and heroically scream "see you bugs in hell!"

Choice A Choice B Choice C


Playing it safe?

Doc brings the Dawn in slowly, causing as little atmospheric disturbance as possible and keeping the ship’s energy level to a minimum. Maybe she can get the Dawn in under the Kzzick sensor grid.

It doesn’t work. The Kzzick anti-spacecraft batteries open fire.


A: Fight the swarm of flying things!

B: Drop quickly and exit the ship to the warren entry asap.

C: Realize the mission is at "no-go" status and re-enter orbit.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Why are we here?

Space is Dangerous

Doc stays in orbit while Angel continues her scans. Sparx keeps the ship’s energy level to a minimum. Maybe the Dawn will stay undetected by the Kzzick sensor grid.

It doesn’t work. The Kzzick anti-spacecraft batteries open fire.


A: Pull a crazy pilot stunt and evade, evade, evade!

B: Don suits and fight the bugs outside the ship to clear them off. Flame 'em.

C: Realize the mission is a "no-go" and re-enter orbit.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Bugs Everywhere

Must find the hostages...

Sarge and Angel return to the Marauder drop ship to bring it’s weapons to bear against the Kzzick.

Screams come in from the Hellhounds as they are overrun by a chitinous hoard.


A: Run back and help the ship crew defend the ship and use it's superior fire power.

B: Regroup and charge faster to the warren to recover hostages.

C: Get to orbit and get the heck out of there.

Choice A Choice B Choice C


These aren't the Hostages!

The Hellhounds burst into a large chamber with many Bugs from almost every genome. There are multitudes of worker drones, juvenile beetles, huge diggers, fliers, and squads of drone troopers.

At the chamber’s center sits a noble surrounded by courtiers carrying advanced weaponry.


A: You start firing and lobbing grenades.

B: Quietly back up and go to the right side tunnel.

C: Take time to read the alien writing on the wall.

Choice A Choice B Choice C


Free the Hostages

Federation Governor Asad Apunamarian and Megacorp Exec Karen Hahn begin explaining how the Kzzick have been sucking the memories from the captured humans. The two Old Worlders get into a large verbal agument about who’s to blame for their capture.

Suddenly the floor gives way and a huge Digger Kzzick emerges firing a form of plasma weapon. Juvenile Kzzick, called Beetles, swarm out of the hole in your direction.


A: Run and fight thru the bugs to return to the ship!

B: Make a stand and fight to the death!

C: Run to the left tunnel to see if there's a shortcut out.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Bad to Worse

Bug Central

The Hellhounds burst into a large chamber with many Bugs from almost every genome. There are multitudes of worker drones, juvenile beetles, huge diggers, fliers, and squads of drone troopers.

At the chamber’s center sits a noble surrounded by courtiers carrying advanced weaponry. He sees you, crossing both sets of arms. A translator Bug converts the buzzes and clicks of their language into Fedlac standard.

“Squishies, you have invaded the Kzzick Soverignty defiling it with your unholy presence. You will be torn apart and fed to our larvae. Drone Troopers, attack!”


A: Realize your mistake and haul it back to the main tunnel!

B: You start firing and lobbing grenades.

C: Say to yourself "Not today!" and set your self-destruct to 5 seconds.

Choice A Choice B Choice C

No Place Left...

The end is nigh!

The ship is hit over and over again by anti-spacecraft fire. Sparx does his best to reroute power but the might of the Kzzick weaponry is more than the ship can resist.


A: Fight bravely, land quickly, keep on firing! Take refuge in the bug warrens.

B: Land.

Choice A Choice B

Tunnels Suck

The Very Ground...

Behind you the tunnel collapses as a huge digger bug emerges from the earth. The drone troopers begin advancing from all directions. Soon, you are overrun, torn to pieces, and eaten.


A: Set self-destruct to 3 seconds and send a departing gesture to your ungrateful bug hosts!

B: Fight to the very end!!!

Choice A Choice B

Abort, abort, abort...

No Escape

As you try to escape a mission gone bad a destroyer-class pirate ship appears. A felinoid appears on screen. “Terratech thought you might try to slip away without completing the mission. I was sent with one order, destroy you if you try to escape. Open fire!”

The Dawn, battered by anti-spacecraft fire, is in no condition for this battle but it has no choice. The Kurr captain gives no quarter. While the Dawn avails itself well, it eventually ...


A: Sparx finds a way to juice all the weapons to 1000% power. Fire to the end!

B: Surrender. Oh wait. This pirate doesn't take prisoners. Launch escape pod. Hit the planet hard but alive!

C: Set self-destruct and charge the pirate!

Choice A Choice B Choice C

Explosions & Fade to Black...

Explosions mercifly end everything and all fades to black.

-The End-

Start Again What Inspired this Story

Screams and Fade to Black...

The gristly end comes...

-The End-


A: Begin again and make different choices?

B: Learn about the eBook that inspired this adventure.

Choice A Choice B

The Back Page

Postlogue & Prologue...

This adventure is a prequel to the full eBook "World of Grey, A Hellhounds Story. The full book picks up at the exact scene this prequel ends. If you like this story, feel free to enter the World of Grey and discover what happens to Sarge, Doc, Angel, Hot Shot as they scratch out their lives in the cold dark reaches of space.

To learn more about author R.K. Athey, please visit his writing blog and discover his processes and inspirations for his books.

I've seen his sequel to World of Grey and hints of it exist at his Blog

The World of Grey setting was inspired by fellow gamer, writer, and map-maker, Matt Jackson and his $1 pocket game: Edge of Space

I hope you've enjoyed this little adventure

Meet the Crew Begin Again!