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Alpha 1

Found 28 results

  1. With the Kindness of the people of Outpost Zebra: The first chapters of the Chronicles of Tranquility https://www.outpostzebra.com/chronicles-of-tranquillity-daybreak/
  2. Before starting to read the Lore Bible, here are three things to keep in mind: - Some names and acronyms (put between brackets) in the texts below are still temporary names/placeholders. The final names will be decided in the following days. The update will be announced on the forum and on the social media. We don't want to keep these names, for different reasons varying for each case. Once in its final version, it will be published on the Community Wiki hosted by Gamepedia in a more structured way. - It was a difficult decision but we have to consider that some parts of the short story written by Alain Damasio will be modified or removed. We all agree in the team that Alain Damasio has made a short story of the highest quality, but this short story was written more than a year ago (July 2015) and at that time, too many points regarding the game universe were unclear or undecided. With all the recent additions to the Lore Bible (those released today publicly and those which remain hidden as "secrets" for the time being), it generated some inconsistencies difficult to solve. We tried to find solutions or workarounds, without success. Some points were also not possible to represent in-game, gameplay wise. While the short story will be updated in the near future to fit with the current Lore Bible, in the meantime here are the specific points from the short story you should not take into account when writing a Fan Fiction for Dual Universe (if you want it to be eligible for being integrated to the official backstory of the game, of course. If not, you are not bind to such limitation). Unfortunately, Sohan Decker is not a member of the Alpha Team, as he woke up just a few weeks before the Arkship landing on Alioth and do not participate in the neural simulation that will take place more than a year and a half before the landing. Aphelia memory must have had a glitch when talking to Sohan for the first time. When approaching some Kyrium, the matter doesn't reflect human faces aging or growing younger. Sohan Decker has probably some hallucinations, a possible side-effect of the long cryogenic sleep. While probably convinced of it, Sohan Decker didn't communicate with an invisible entity by using elements and he didn't get some schematics of a high-performance reactor in Kyrium as a reward. The proof? When asked to show it, he's not able to find it anywhere! Poor Sohan. Probably another hallucination. Cryogenic sleep seems to have a lasting side effect on him. - The Novaquark might slightly change the Lore Bible over time, but we will try to keep those changes to a minimum, to ensure that it doesn't contradict fanfictions that have been already integrated to the official lore. These changes will occur mainly when an inconstancy is discovered in the official lore. And in this regard, we count on your feedback to track down every little detail that might seem inconsistent (some details may be awkward on purpose though ). As always, we remain open to your feedback on the Official Lore. Let us know what you think about it! That being said... Happy reading! Dual Universe Lore Dual Universe takes place about 10.000 years after the Grand Exodus when humanity left the Earth to establish itself in new star systems. The information below is meant to help answer the most common questions about the game environment and try to set the general framework where fan fiction can be written. Main historical dates 2027: Discovery of the doomsday Neutron Star that is heading towards the Earth. Collision will happen in 498 years. There are margins of error, so we don’t yet know if it means annihilation or simply major disruption in the solar system’s planets, but the end result is the same: the Earth will not be able to host humanity anymore. The event is nicknamed the [“Star Kiss of Death”], or [SKiD]. It’s basically the Armageddon. 2049: Creation of the United Earth Federation (UEF), a transnational institution in charge of coordinating humanity’s efforts and response to the SKiD. After concluding there was no hope to save Earth, the “Rebirth Program” is launched to analyze possible responses and escape strategies. New measures are voted to encourage natality in the population, to fight against a nihilist movement that advocates a “no future” philosophy and maintain a sufficient level of humans in the long run to fuel the Rebirth Project’s considerable needs. 2084: Better measurements have narrowed the margin of error. We are now certain that the neutron star will hit our solar system, and will actually collide with the Sun, turning into a black hole that will ultimately swallow or eject into deep space all the planets, Earth included. There is no hope anymore. Major funding is directed towards the Rebirth Program. All nation states must contribute at least 20% of their resources 2100: Mankind is entering a new era where robotics and AI have profoundly transformed society. Work as we know it has long disappeared, and social influence has replaced money as the currency of value. People do not “work” anymore, they have “activities” that can get them socially recognized. Money is still used, via a Universal Revenue, mainly as a way to control the scarcity in production, and balance the availability of goods against their rarity. 2130: AI have reached a threshold of global sentience. It is active in political, economic and social debates, and, while its benefits are recognized because it allowed the transition to the post-work era, more and more concern is raised about the sentient aspect and the potentially uncontrollable dimension of the AI agenda. Irrational fear rises. The AIs try to reassure the population that they have no rational reason to threaten humanity, but it only increases the level of suspicion within society. 2145: Massive rebellions all around the world signals the end of sentient AI, introducing a permanent universal ban on this technology, enforced by the very powerful UEF. Against all expectations, sentient AIs accept this and willingly shut down without any form of violent action. 2150: Society is reorganizing itself, as many “jobs” that needed sentient-level AI (surprisingly many, including low skill manual work), are once again left to humans to perform. Robots, in general, are banned also, as most of them required sentient-level AI to function properly. Early attempts at designing automated non-sentient robots all failed in the late 21st century, as it was discovered that sentience was a necessary byproduct of any sufficiently sophisticated AI for it to be able to interact with a complex world. 2200: A major summit of the UEF signals the alarming lack of progress on project Rebirth at the dawn of the 23rd century. Debates continue for years afterward about priorities, what technology to use to build Arkships that could help evacuate Earth, who would be eligible if we cannot host the 3 billion people still in the current population. 2200-2400: Major political events keep slowing down humanity and the UEF in its attempts to advance the technologies needed to build functional Arkships. Many wars, economic crisis, and nihilist terrorism are plaguing the progress. 2400: A period of calm and peace opens up. Major progress is suddenly made in the technologies needed to build the Arkships. Some are scheduled to be built within the next decade. 2440: Several key technologies are unlocked: cryosleep modules, nanoforming technology, nanopack condensers, resurrection nodes (it is unfortunately too late to use this to save humanity, as we would need to install billions of them out of the solar system, on a hospitable planet. There is not enough time for this). 2450: The Arkship technology is now mastered. Mass production begins. The race is on to produce as many as possible. 2500: Terrifying high-resolution images of the neutron star are provided by our most powerful telescopes. Riots break out all around the world over the selection process that dictates who gets to board the Arkships. The process was created by a scientific committee from the UEF, aimed at gathering the maximal amount of genetic diversity, plus a lottery to offset the fact that not everybody could go. Massive euthanasia programs were organized for those who had to stay, in order to provide them with a painless death at the time of their choosing. 2510-2536: The first Arkships leave Earth. Each Arkship is heading towards a particular part of the galaxy. One of them, the Novark, is heading towards the Scutum-Centaurus arm. 2538: The neutron star annihilates the solar system. Arkships are on their way, heading towards different regions of the galaxy. 12477: The Novark arrives on Alioth with a mighty thud as it deploys itself into the planet surface. From afar the planet shows many similarities to that of Earth, a blue and green marble sitting in the goldilocks zone of its star. Large continents surrounded by equally large oceans define the planet's appearance. Mountain ranges suggest continental drift, and large forests have taken hold over most of the planet. Primitive lifeforms are abundant. There are no obvious signs of advanced lifeforms. Year 0 after arrival (0 AA): It will be your turn to write History in-game. The world in 2500 In the century that preceded the Grand Exodus, the Earth’s population had dropped considerably, down to something less than 1 billion people. The “no future” movement had gained a considerable momentum. people were simply trying to tend to their immediate needs; losing any vision for the future or any concern for the consequences of their actions. Natality had dropped to an all-time low, crime had been continuously rising, and nation-states, as we know them, had long disappeared. The UEF was the last large-scale social structure still holding, among a myriad of medium to small sized city-states. UEF representatives and offices, research centers, production units, etc, were scattered all around the world within the largest city-states. The UEF’s role now extended far beyond its initial goals, including a feared and powerful armed force to maintain order and ensure that the proper funding was collected from all city-states, in order to fuel the Rebirth Program. A global language shared by all people on the planet started to emerge at the end of the 21st century. By the end of the 22nd century, almost everyone was speaking at least two languages: the global language (the “common”) and their local native language, each city-state having somehow evolved a variant from their original country’s language. Economy During the first half of the 21st century, the Internet quickly decentralized the economy, removing intermediaries and frictions. Anyone was able to open their own marketplace online, with powerful central aggregators to help integrate available offers. This was both true of goods and services. This highly distributed model of economy stood the test of time, both during the sentient AI era, and even after, up until the last century. One of the main challenges of the last century, after the city-states model had become the norm, was logistics. Transporting goods over long distances carried the risk of being attacked by pirate hordes living outside of the city-states. The UEF and other independent security groups were in charge of ensuring protection, but still, the risk made inter-city trade dangerous, and local markets were the preferred method for basic commerce. A global currency, the [U2] [(Universal Unit)], is installed by the UEF at the beginning of the 22nd century. It has acquired a growing support over the years and is still used as a reference currency on Alioth to help organize the exchanges of goods and services between colonists. Culture & Society At the moment of the Grand Exodus, humanity, and more precisely the UEF, was divided into four main political movements, essentially different from each other in the way they decided to answer one simple fundamental question: what is the main driving force in the development of humanity? Behind this question lies the promise of a political agenda on how to best rebuild civilization after the Grand Exodus and where to put priorities. The [Luminous] are the first group. They consider the main driving force to be knowledge and wisdom. They value science, industry, and technology as the main sources of progress, and were heavily involved in the Rebirth Program, which led to the construction of the Arkships. They are, of course, very much respected for this even if some may criticize them for their all too rational take on things. The Alphas are the second group. For them, the main driving force is, well, … force. They believe that people will respond mostly to strength and balance of power. They favor military action as a way to control and orient the evolution of the world in an attempt to avoid chaos and prevent instability. Their intentions are good, but they often fall to scandals involved with their expeditious way of handling subtle situations. The [Ethereans] constitute the third group. They believe in the power of culture and arts. For them, humanity needs to be driven by dreams, beauty, and ideals before anything else. This is what gives us meaning. They are not against more practical endeavors but like to see these activities as a way to expand and support their vision. They have many supporters but are also often criticized for their lack of pragmatic action. The [Emporium] is the final group. They believe in the power of money and commerce. They think that this has been the life and blood of human societies for millennia and, even if they will gladly regret it in private, they think this is nevertheless what gets the job done and can really set people in motion. Some point to them as a cause of an ever greater inequality, but they know how to silence critics and make people happy. None of these movements are inherently good or bad, they all value human life and sincerely want to help drive humanity to success again. Science & Technology After the early 2400 years, science and technology suddenly advanced very rapidly. Incredible innovation occurred, becoming the foundation of the industrial, societal and economical program of Project Rebirth. Here are some of the most prominent breakthrough: Nano fields: an expected advance in theoretical physics led to the discovery of a new force in nature, called the nano force due to its scale, that allows the fine control of the molecular dynamics of matter with incredible precision using high-frequency nano fields. Nano fields can be focused and modulated in a very precise way to destructure, collect or deploy and assemble matter in a short range radius. This is the core technology that gave birth to the nanoformer that every colonist is now equipped with. Calabi-Yau Compactification: the science behind CYC has been inexplicably lost in the Arkship archives. It is the technology that powers nanopacks, which are extra small containers (that colonists wear on their suit), capable of amazing volume and weight reductions of almost anything contained in them. All we know is that it seems to work based on the possibility of storing matter within the extra dimensions of space-time allowed by String Theory, inside what is called the Calabi-Yau space. The exact science and understanding behind them have been lost and attempts at reverse engineering have all failed. Due to the limited number of Nanopacks available and their considerable value, further attempts to reverse engineer them are discouraged. Nano fields displacement: this is a direct application of nano fields, used to collect, store and maintain matter within containers. The matter constituting objects is analyzed and de-structured first then stored using stable nano fields and can then be retrieved later via a reverse process that reconstructs the original object. Unlike with CYC, only limited volume gain can be obtained, and no weight reduction is possible. Nano 3D printing: based again on the versatile nano fields, advanced 3D printers became possible. They are capable to assemble matter from reservoir sources to build small sized technological parts; from electronic to industrial units. Coupled to the automated assembly, this quickly became the basis of the industrial chain. Quantum branching: Quantum Branching is at the heart of the Resurrection Node technology and is based on the “Many Worlds Interpretation” of quantum mechanics. At any moment, in particular, when you die violently, several versions of the universe coexist in parallel. Scientists working on EPR pair experiments unexpectedly found a way to instantly switch one universe with another, and in particular to switch the universe where you die with another one where everything would be exactly the same, except that your body position would be inside a Resurrection Node. The amount of matter to switch increases the energy cost of the operation, so RN teleport only the minimal set of mass to get the desired effect, which is... your naked body. A Resurrection Node is paired with your body and cannot be used by somebody else. It will make you virtually immortal, even if natural aging will probably get you out of the loop at some point. Propulsion Engines: the conquest and exploration of the arrival star system, as well as nearby other stars, is a clear objective of the UEF for each arkship colony. Several engine technologies have been perfected as part of the Rebirth Program to allow for various flight modes, either within the atmosphere or in space. Warp drive technology was near completion and should become available a few years after the arrival, and even stargate instant transport has been sketched as a not too distant possibility but was unfortunately still not available at the time of the Grand Exodus. Warp drive speed is believed to be in the range of 100 times the speed of light, while super warp probes, that could be used to seed stargates, could reach up to 10.000 times the speed of light Making it possible to cross the entire galaxy in just 10 years. Environment & Alioth Alioth is a rocky planet orbiting a yellow dwarf star, very similar to the Sun. It has been selected due to its very similar Earth-like environment, including oceans, forests, mountains, and lakes. It has a moderate fauna and flora. The temperature during the day is similar to what can be found on Earth, but nights can be extremely cold. The planet underground contains all the usual materials needed for basic industry, but more rare resources may have to be later harvested from one of Alioth’s three moons, or even from more distant planets in the system. The planet day/night cycle is only 5 hours, and its weather pattern is relatively stable. Overall, Alioth is a very life-friendly planet, carefully chosen to facilitate the starting years of colonists. The Arkship The Arkships are a marvel of technology. They can host millions of people in cryosleep for extended periods of time. Made out of Kyrium, they can sustain incredible amounts of deceleration or acceleration, and absorb the corresponding crushing forces for whatever stand inside them. The origin of Kyrium is not well documented, and it seems that the material cannot be produced from a known industrial process, but has probably been found during some mining operations within the solar system. Designed to travel close to the speed of light for extended periods, the Arkship engines are also not part of the colonist UEF documentation and no assembly schema could be found within the archives. There is much debate over why the UEF would intentionally withdraw such potentially useful information. Each Arkship is controlled by a proto-sentient AI that was allowed to be built against the very strong UEF AI ban because it was argued that it would have been to hazardous to let the fate of humanity rest with dumb automatic machinery that would possibly not be able to react to unexpected situations. While being an exception to the AI ban rule, the onboard AI is still however not allowed to take control of any machinery or robot beside the Arkship itself. The Novark AI is called “Aphelia”. Once on approach to the destination planet, the Arkship is designed to literally “plant” itself into the planet, to allow the deployment of deep geothermal energy collectors that should sustain the ship functions for potentially unlimited amounts of time. One of the key functions of the ship once arrived, is to deploy a 20km radius safe zone area where colonist would be free from any form of aggression from the outside, or… from themselves. It was indeed decided that the potentially violent nature of mankind under stressful situations should be mitigated with appropriate supervision. Within the safe zone, Aphelia is in charge of maintaining order and providing support and information to colonists. Regrettably, one known consequence of prolonged cryosleep periods is that the subject will suffer from a loss of episodic memory, as well as most high-level cognitive memory like expertise, skills or know-how. To mitigate this side-effect, the Arkship archive contains large data banks that are transferable to colonists via a wireless data transfer process involving brain implants capable of stimulating neural activity. The process is slow and can take days for the most advanced skills, but is an effective way to re-enable lost knowledge for long time space travelers. The Arkship extreme energy efficiency, designed to allow the ship to travel for millennia, forced trade-offs on what could be embarked in order to minimize the total mass, and of course, human bodies were preferred over any other “mass”. For this reason, and because nano 3D printing would make it possible to easily rebuild them, no ship or industrial machine was included inside the Arkships’ cargo. Humanity would have to rebuild civilization from scratch. A large set of Resurrection Nodes tuned to each registered colonist where however installed inside the Arkship to avoid any loss of precious life once arrived on the destination planet. For these reasons, the inside of the Arkship, besides the propulsion machinery, is mostly occupied by cryosleep pods, as well as Resurrection Nodes. Alpha Team While most of the Arkship passengers will wake up after the Arkship landing, a few thousand among them become half awakened between a few years and a few weeks before the arrival: the Alpha Team. While their bodies are still asleep, their brains are awakened and connected to an advanced neural/computer network that immerses them collectively within a virtual reality that is meant to simulate their first steps on the destination planet, for education and testing purposes. During this simulation, of course, nobody can die (this represents the Alpha phase in-game). They are given easier access to certain resources in order to help them experience various stages of the tasks they will have to face in real life when arrived. The Alpha Team will then be in charge of guiding newcomers and helping to bootstrap the first months of civilization rebuilding on the destination planet. Mysteries The cryosleep memory loss side effect and the apparently incomplete archive has given birth to several mysteries for which colonists have developed many “theories”: Kyrium is an absolute mystery. Nothing is available in the Arkship archives about its nature, how it was found, how to create it or even manipulate it. No colonist have the slightest memory about the Kyrium. If Aphelia is asked for information on Kyrium, the Novark’s AI will just give an elusive answer, explaining its lack of information as memory loss. Obviously, this is not a satisfying answer. Aphelia is in charge of the Novark and the well-being of all the passengers. She seems as caring as invasive in the private life of the colonists. While she doesn’t seem brutal, hostile or coercive by default, her behavior is perceived as if she monitors every action of each human that has been aboard the Novark. She also seems to avoid disclosing information on some specific topics - at least that’s the feeling of some passengers - despite the fact she always says if she doesn’t give a satisfying answer, it’s because the answer is beyond its capabilities. For these two reasons, many colonists think the AI is not trustworthy. Aphelia seems to have incredible defenses against hacking, far higher than anything the most experienced colonists in hacking have ever seen, reinforcing the feeling that the AI might hide a lot of things. The Arkship light speed engine is completely undocumented. No schema is available to rebuild one using 3D nano-printing, or by any other means. There seems to be no trace of the records pointing to the destination of the other Arkships within the galaxy. Best Regards, The Novaquark Team
  3. Hi guys, It's time once again for NovaWrimo! If you don't remember what it is or you're new around here, let’s catch you up. What is NovaWrimo? NovaWrimo is a contest inspired by "Nanowrimo" (National Novel Writing Month) that happens during the month of November (from November, 1st to November, 30th). The goal of NanoWrimo is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. If you're curious, here's the official Nanowrimo website: http://nanowrimo.org/. NovaWrimo is slightly different: It's not strictly tied to the month of November (meaning we might hold similar contests several times a year). To be accessible to a broader range of participants, the minimum word count is only 5,000 words instead of 50,000. Ideally, entries would have a word count between 5,000 and 7,500 words. Depending on the number of entries, it can take a lot of time to review everything. Of course, if you're really inspired and the result very good, there's no hard limit. Who are we to tell Shakespeare when to stop? The rules: The 2017 NovaWrimo contest starts today, Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 9:30 PM PST. It will end on Sunday, January 7th at 11:30 PM PST. The story should be compatible with what is known of the Dual Universe backstory so far. For reference: The Official Dual Universe Lore Bible The short story written by Alain Damasio The mods of the novel by Alain Damasio mentioned in the beginning of this post, some info here and here too The Backstory Page of the official website Some more recent information If you spot an inconsistency between the different sources, the Official Lore Bible should be considered authoritative. The story must happen between 2049 and 2450. (Between the creation of the United Earth Federation (UEF), the transnational institution in charge of coordinating humanity’s efforts and response to the Star Kiss of Death (SKiD) and the time when the Arkship technology is finally mastered). No alien creatures should be involved. Physical violence should be limited (No gore or similar things). Verbal violence and cursing is tolerated but should be limited and not gratuitous. Explicit sexual content isn't allowed. Hate speech toward specific people, ethnic groups, or religions isn't allowed. You must submit your text in the form of a PDF file and you must attach it to a dedicated topic (with the tag [NovaWrimo2017] in the title) you created in the "Novaquark Archives" forum section. The PDF file must not exceed 500 kb in size. You also must send your file in Word or .txt format to both Nyzaltar and Nomad to be eligible. You can do so by private message on the forum. By submitting a fan fiction with the tag [NovaWrimo2017] in the topic title, the poster will explicitly cede author rights to Novaquark. While these texts won't be sold in any form, they might be used (fully or partially) as promotional materials or in marketing campaigns for the game Dual Universe. For more information, please read our "Terms of Use" and our EULA. You also must accept and you must respect the legal conditions bound to your Dual Universe account (the aforementioned game's EULA, but also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and NDA if relevant). Your submission must be written in English. Your submission must not contain elements or information under NDA you may have found while playing the Pre-Alpha. A non-native English writer can seek help from a native English speaker to polish the text in English. The native English speaker must be aware that it can help only on a volunteer basis: he won't be eligible for any reward. If a non-native English writer seeks help from a native English speaker, he/she must submit the complete text before proofreading. Once his/her text is proofread, he/she will have to keep both pre-proofread and post-proofread versions of the text available on the forum. If several people collaborate on a story, please be aware that only the individual submitting the entry on the forum will be eligible to win any prizes or awards. We will not have group prizes available. Because the juries are completely different, a participant may win a Novaquark prize and the Community prize. You may submit multiple entries, however, you may only win one Novaquark prize. If an entry does not meet all of the requirements for eligibility (not reaching the minimum word count, missing the deadline by a few days, etc.), the author won't be considered as eligible for the Novaquark and the Community prizes. However, it may still be considered as a participant to the contest. It will be up to the Novaquark team to decide on a case by case basis. Late entries will not be eligible for either the Novaquark or Community prizes, but will still be considered as participants. A gentle reminder more than a rule: please consider the reading comfort of your future readers by formatting your text in a way that makes it easily readable (make sure to put some space between your paragraphs, etc.). The rewards: 1st Prize: 1 Digital Gold Founder Pack 2nd Prize: 1 Digital Silver Pack 3rd Prize: 1 Bronze Pack 1 Closed Beta Key Last year winners were: • 1st Prize: Aetherios, for his short story "That Bright Dawn" • 2nd Prize: Temerian, for his short story "Rebirth" • 3rd Prize: Devious_T, for his short story "Left Behind". Community Prize: Unique in-game title: "Famous Writer". Won by Kurock last year. Only one vote is allowed per person, regardless of the number of accounts he or she owns. How the winners will be selected: For the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes, the winners will be selected by the Novaquark team. For the Community Prize, the community members will vote for their favorite fan fiction. Last year saw very cool entries. If you want to discover them, you can download them all here. Good luck everyone! Cheers, The Novaquark Team.
  4. Alsan Teamaro

    The farewell song - Tilo lore

    We've discovered and learnt (or remembered) to be again "sola arbo kun multaj folioj", a motto we used to say in our native language and which means "a tree only of many leaves". And there we stood, singing those last verses with irrepressible emotion ... I want to go with you without cold Like birds, like the river Slowly to sing Drinking the birth of the day The earth, the night, the sea air And the promisse to stay Our eyes were full of love, but bathed in tears. How to explain that we were happy and sad at the same time? Happy because we had begun to truly love, we had begun to learn it in our community, Natumo, and our hearts had awakened and expanded, calming and clarifying our minds. And sad because, paradoxically, we had to part, right now, having tasted life like never before, now that we lived every moment as if there were no tomorrow. And today came that day. There would not be a tomorrow - not on the planet that saw us born - to continue sharing alongside those who stayed there. Among us and among them were our women, our men and children, our brothers all. It was no longer a legend or a theory, we had become what they called a people with only one heart. But the Ark Ship was about to depart ... and would never return. In our farewell, under the tilo -the lime tree-, in Naturomo, which had been silent but warm witness and companion in so many assemblies, in so many parties and games, now we sang one of those sweet tunes of our ancestors, one that oozed life and beauty; one that had passed from generation to generation. It was called "O riso que me deste" (the laugh you gave me), but now would be, for ever, our farewell song. Is it not life so, full of contrasts and changes?. But always Life. Goodbye Natumo ... and hello Tilo. Text by Alsan Teamaro. Song and lyrics: O riso que me deste (Teresinha Landeiro version).
  5. AdmiralSeth

    Eden Republic Archives (Lore)

    1876 - The United Edonian Federation is founded on Edonia 2025 - Edonia starts monitoring the neutron star heading to Earth 2223 - The Epsilon Wars start 2231 - The Epsilon Wars end, leaving a death tol of 70,000,000 Edonians in its wake 2250 - All historical archives from this point until 2490 are lost 2490 - The Endgame War starts 2493 - Edonia starts to lose systems 2496 - Edonia is destroyed by a Shadow Superweapon and an evacuation fleet evacuates as many Edonians as possible, leaving 12.8 Billion dead 2497 - The fleet arrives at Earth 2505 - Many of the Edonian survivors are picked to travel on the Novark 12477 - The first Edonians step off the Novark Flag of the United Edonian Federation Flag of the Eden Republic
  6. 0something0

    An alternative respawn lore

    There was another thread here about the implications of resurrection by alternate timelines. I would have posted this here but I didn't want to necro that thread. Anyway, currently, the lore explanation on respawn upon death is that you get transported to an alternate universe. However, my idea was that you have a near-up-to-date scan of your brain being sent to the arkship servers/res nodes and when you die, a backup copy of your brain is loaded onto an android/clone with mind interface implants at the res node. This mainly is for purposes of avoiding the implications of jumping into alternate universes.
  7. Grüße DU Communiy, Ihr habt euch schon immer gefragt, Wann, wie und wo nochmal Dual Universe spielt? Hier einmal ein Hörspiel...Aber mit Bildern und Videos untermalt
  8. Hi all, just made a new video for you guys all about Dual Universe Lore, feel free to check it out if you'd like xD https://youtu.be/82ZM33EyY3I
  9. DarkTemplar

    Cultures of DU

    We know of various cultures within Dual Universe that arrived within the last centuries of Earth. The Luminous, Alphas, Ethereans and the Emporium. Aside from this little tidbit of knowledge, not much else is known about them. While we await for Alpha to be released, why not have some fun and speculate. What drove these cultures to arise? Who would you side with. Maybe create some history for one of them. Each culture will have their own ups and downs and intricacies. I hope they're given a proper lore/background by NQ, and I'm looking forward to them being picked up by various organisations out there. I re-found this while trawling through the lore double checking things for another project. And spent a few minutes creating potential emblems for each culture for fun. Feel free to touch them up as there are definitely better artists than me and I used my laptop+track pad. Or come up with better designs.
  10. 0something0

    Distance of Allioth to Earth

    A note to the untrained reader: This following post contains mathmatically caluclations of the DU lore. A note to the trained reader: This following post probably contains glaring and stupid mathmatical errors. I saw a post on the fourms a while back about the distance of Allioth, though it was based on mere speculation. But, if you look at the official lore, it gives us some details about Novark's travel to Allioth that we can make caluclations from. Travel Time: The Arkships leave between 2510 and 2536. While we are given that the Novark is the 17th Arkship to leave Earth (1), we are not given how many ships in total were launched. So, we will assume a launch date of 2523, in the middle of the 2 dates. So the travel time is 12477-2523=9954 years The Arkships are relativistic vessles, going at past 0.99c (2). I also will make some assumptions, most noteably that the ships are accelrating at 1 gee, or 9.81m/s^2 and that the ship will reach a max velocity of exactly 99.5% c. But since we are dealing with relativistic velocities, we are going to have to take relativity into account. Of course, I could keep rambling about this and lay out my calulcations. But I'm too lazy and I remembered there are calulcators online dedicated to solving this kinds of problems. I used this one: http://gregsspacecalculations.blogspot.com/2014/11/relativistic-rocket-calculator.html and got resaults of this: http://gregsspacecalculations.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html?a=9.80665&b=91542242.45978841&c=313515239106.8169 Some key information: The total distance travelled would be 9902.4861 light years The Lore Bible also says the Novark travelled towards the Scutum-Centaurus Arm, so Allioth would be around here: https://imgur.com/KOeebti This might have some problems with the Galactic Habitable Zone. (Light Green is the Scutum-Centaurus Arm, Dark Green is roughly where Allioth is located at) How do I make the images show on the post itself?. Assuming we use anti-matter fuel and our exhaust is coherent gamma rays, we are going to need 398 kilograms of propellent per kilogram of ship. The portion of the ship that we will actually be able to see probably is the small payload section and the massive engines and the propellent storage being ditched. The 15 years between the launch date and SKiD will give some dozen light years of breathing room. Not sure if that is enough though. However, the ships that are launched later may have some problems escaping the supernova caused by SKiD. Good researchers cite their sources. Source 1 Source 2.
  11. So I was reading this ... https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2016/11/16/official-lore-bible/#more-1000 I wonder how far we might be able to go in building something that can connect LUA scripting to Aphelia? Also ... could I as a "rogue" break the law and start building AI with LUA to control fleets of drones to do things like gather resources or automate production chains? It would be interesting to tie this in to the game lore too, in such a way that we could shape the game in to a state where "there are worse things than humans on this new world". I have some ideas too, but I'd like to be able to call out to external web services from the game so I could for example ... make a decision based on feeding an algorithm running on my own web server back in to a computer in the game, and use that decision to affect change in the game. This opens up the potential for things like Mobile apps allowing me to interact with my organisation when out and about!
  12. DarkTemplar

    Origins: Vanguard

    Origins: Dissonance Ch.00 Many things came as a consequence of man's darkest discovery. It signalled the end, and a new beginning. The UMF sought to survive, to carry on the legacy of humanity. The nihilists sowed despair, seeking instead to scorn the human race. Nations cracked under the crumbling populace while individuals scrambled for better standings. Humanity endured through the centuries, rising and falling, fighting forward under the light of the neutron star. The Arkships were an escape from it all. Escape from the inevitable spiral of death mankind faced, whether by nature or itself. They say there were two types of people during those last few years before the launch of the Arkships. Either you had given up all hope, turned your back on humanity and squandered what you had. Or you believed in second chances, in a new beginning.
  13. Greetings all, and welcome to Lazarus. Regards, Devious_T Lazarus-Prologue.pdf
  14. " It's been a while and it's certainly taken more time than it should have, but The Aether's history is continuously being unearthed... Necessity begs that the dear readers are reminded: everything you will read as concerns The Aether is true and real. Without further ado, gentlemen and ladies, let us explore the choices and events that have shaped The Aether into the marvel she is now. A Preface is in order. Alternatively, if downloading the Preface in .pdf is not to your liking, you could view the Preface here. More will follow. Stay frosty. " Preface.compressed.pdf
  15. Founding an Economic Religion But, what is religion, you fanatics? Your excuse to lie, kill, rape and destroy? You are but fools that learned to play with tricks. Your religion is naught but a failed ploy. Religions are nothing but tools for fear, Means for harmony and forced self-restraint. Abandon the burden that it makes you bear! For none will rely on the strength of the faint Chronicles of the Arelians 54:4-7. “That’s what he wanted you for?” Kurotou mused, as the AI-controlled Nightelf’s seat secured him. Kael looked visibly confused. “I thought it’d be something serious…but every one of his questions centred around games!” “Satoru’s never serious. Don’t let it bother you—except when he’s holding a gun.” Kael nodded grimly and let the co-pilot’s seat secure him as well. The Command from the Air Control Centre came over the radio: “V-4, 90˚ lift.” With a tap, the vehicle rose into the sky, turning towards the Novark and racing off. “People died the last time Oethe went there. Why in the world is he sending us back there?” Kurotou shrugged. “The kid’s crazy, but I’d rather die facing the enemy than facing Satoru’s antics. He put poison in my water and claimed he was probing if I was worth the job! The farther away from him, the better.” Kael shuddered and looked back at the ten Oethe soldiers clad in the black and heavy combat uniform Oethe reserved for special operations. “This time, we’re prepared, don’t you think?” Kurotou smiled. “Black’s the new red.” He looked to the left and gave the accompanying Nightelf a thumbs up. The Nightelves had been refitted for optimal sensory performance and ungodly maximum damage. If anything so much as showed up as hostile, it would be smoking powder in a matter of seconds. A small hologram of Satoru appeared on the control panel. “Hello! Hi, Kael! First, of all, good luck: you’ll need it!” Kael gave him a restrained wave. “Satoru, what’s up?” He smiled mischievously. Well it was meant to be a smile, but it made Kurotou’s hair stand on end. Crap. “I’m declaring myself the Eon of the Aether.” Were it not for the fact that rolling the eyes was something exclusively reserved for women, Kurotou would have. “Congratulations. What is the Aether?” He smiled again, making Kurotou’s hair stand for the second time. “Not what. “Who” is the question you should be asking.” Kurotou gritted his teeth, even as the boy waited for him to ask the question the right way. Kael saved him the embarrassment. “Who is the Aether, Satoru?” “A-ha! I knew you were wondering, but I’m getting tired of talking, so I’ll skip that part and move on to the next thing I want to tell you.” Kael smacked his fore-head with his palm. “I reviewed the potential economy of the Aether with Shiro and Kuro. Guess what?” “You--” Kurotou started before Satoru cut him off. “I’m short on time. We stand to gain a lot from industry and research, given the potential market within Theia and the massive one surrounding the Ark ship.” Kael didn’t say a word, so Kurotou kept quiet and let Satoru continue. “However, research shows that people are more likely to work efficiently under certain guidance…Religious guidance to instil fear and discipline within the concerned populace.” Kael laughed out loud. “So you’re founding an economical religion and proclaiming yourself Lord and Saviour?!” Then, he paused and looked at the hologram grimly. “You’re crazy.” Satoru’s happy face darkened fifty shades. Kael shut up immediately. “I’m crazy, you piece of trash? Keep talking, someday you’ll say something intelligent.” A soldier wolf-whistled from the back. Kael made the wise choice and kept quiet. “Say something, Kael.” Satoru urged, seething with anger that seemed to come from nowhere. I’ve got to stop this kid from turning everyone against him… “Satoru, a thought crossed my mind--” “So, a thought crossed your mind? Must have been a long and lonely journey.” F**k you! “Watch your mouth, Satoru or I’ll put this mission in reverse.” He snickered. “Oh, please. You are proof that evolution can go in reverse.” All of a sudden, he started laughing playfully. Kurotou slammed the hologram and it shut down. Once it vanished, he breathed a hot sigh of relief and irritation. “Son of a b****!” He cursed and wiped his face. Kael looked at him, fury in his eyes. “Why do we obey what he says?” Kurotou glanced at him. “Gee…I don’t know. Perhaps, because I like walking around without a bullet in my skull?” Kael shrugged, obviously seeing the sense in that. “Who are Shiro and Kuro?” It was Kurotou’s turn to shrug. “Some people he always keeps ranting about. I’ve never met them.” Tense silence ensued for a few minutes, neither side wanting to discuss the insults received while the soldiers in the back preferred to silently let both of them burn in the humiliation. To ease the tension, a soldier started playing punk rock. Kurotou couldn’t tell he was mocking them or trying to help. “Where are we headed exactly?” One of the soldiers asked and put the heavy rifle to rest beside him. “To your deaths.” Kurotou’s head snapped back. At the same time, his hands came off the control panel and raised the pistol to his chest. Kael gritted his teeth. “Dammit, Mistral! What are you doing here?!” She cat-walked to the cockpit, slapping a leering soldier across the face. Io flanked her, knocking the same soldier with the butt of his rifle. “What else? I had to know what Satoru’s up to. Now I know: toying with your lives.” Kurotou kept one hand on the fire arm. I don’t like Satoru, but she is on another level entirely… “Welcome to the joy-ride, darling. Did you see the “abandon all hope, ye who enter” tag I sprayed on the Nightelf?” Kurotou asked, putting the firearm in its place. He heard her sigh. “Look. I value my friends more than some mentally challenged kid.” “I know two mentally challenged kids, darling and you’re one of them.” Kael scratched the back of his neck. “We’re barely one month on Alioth and political campaigns have started with the teens. This is bad.” He noted. Mistral got passionate. “This isn’t politics! I’m trying to make…” Kurotou subtly made sure that everyone except for Mistral and Io were strapped in. Then he rolled the aircraft. After hitting their heads against several hard things, there was some silence. “Oh, I’m sorry, darling! Were you saying something?” He heard Io’s rifle power up. Eight more emitted the same sound. Without a doubt, the real soldiers were challenging him to turn up the aggro. “Listen Io, I don’t care if we’re the same age or younger. What I do care about is that you have a nineteen-year-old girl leading you around like a mistress. Whatever happened to your soldier’s honour?” “It went with Eidolon and died with Satoru.” “Sheesh.” Kael busied himself with something that could have waited till later. I need some back up here, Kael! Mistral started talking…again. “What did he send you to do?” “Fasten your harness. Then we can talk.” Both complied and he continued. “Intelligence spotted some monoliths in a swamp not far from here. They--” “Intelligence? Whose Intelligence?” Io asked. Kael looked back. “Mistral’s, of course.” Kurotou could tell that the girl shook her head. “I didn’t send any Intelligence to any swamps.” “No soldiers have gone scouting either for two days.” A soldier named Skellarts added. How did that Satoru know that there were monoliths in a swamp anyway? “Am I the only one who gets the feeling that we’re being played here?” Mistral asked. Kurotou nodded. “Yes, you are. Whether or not Intelligence came here is irrelevant. What matters is that we find out what these monoliths are and— “ A hostile light lit up on the control panel. “I’ve got a bogie!” However, before either aircraft could engage the opponent, the hostile vehicle inexplicably blew up. He cursed. Once again, Mistral had something to say. “Great! Now an offensive aircraft blew up. You know what that means?” Kurotou was getting pretty irritated at her constant bickering, so he chose not to answer. Unfortunately, Skellarts didn’t catch the hint. “You tell me.” “We’ve let everyone know we are in the area. I think Satoru set us up. I mean: The Lhaeryon is here,” Kurotou shrugged. “The Birzai is here as well.” Kael sarcastically clapped for her. “Wait a minute…so am I.” Kael stopped clapping. Then it dawned on Kurotou, even as several enemy crafts came into view. “The bastard set us up…”
  16. Wilks Checkov

    Storyboard Content Reservation

    :LISTING OF RESERVATION: This topic is primarily for the reservation of names of places, events, and people that will be used in the upcoming short stories. Its purpose is to allow access to the community the needed information to allow their various stories to inter mingle with each other in one way or another. Hopefully unifying them in the end. Should you want to reserve some content, just post it below. First come - First serve basis pending. . . Also this should help mitigate content theft, by providing a basis to identify who came up with what first. For now, enjoy - and the best of luck to all of you in the upcoming short story contest.
  17. ATMLVE

    Defunct Probes

    The developers have said they don't want to make pre-made content. This makes sense because in the lore, humanity has spread far across the stars and of course, where they're going, there's no one and nothing there. The game is supposed to be about players rebuilding everything from scratch, and so the lore and game mechanics tie together perfectly (as they should, obviously). But according to the lore, Arkship technology was developed about a century before the ships were actually completed. This technology most likely includes the propulsion technology. Someone surely must've used that tech to launch some probes out into the galaxy to aid the search for potentially habitable planets; I mean just think about it. That totally would've happened. Humanity needs a new home, so before we finish these massive starships capable of housing millions of inhabitants for thousands of years, run by AI and made of magic material, why not send out a couple probes to see if we can find a good direction to launch them in? I think it would add not only some interest to the exploration side of the game, but also possibly the lore, if it was possible to find probes out in Dual Universe. Old satellites that are no longer functioning, but from which minorly valuable rewards could be obtained. Before you persecute me for suggesting pre-made content, remember that it not only fits the lore but could actually improve it, and it really doesn't take any of the fun out of the whole "we are rebuilding civilization" aspect of the game.
  18. The Founding Fathers Political Science Ye fail to recall our hard earned triumph. Faded from your minds is the Vale of Blood! Men of no faith that tremble at the Nymph, How can ye with war, defeat the Horde? Ye will all perish, slaughtered at their hands! Come, preserve your lives and conquer your foes, Listen to me, and you will keep your lands. Ye are naught but, weak and that your foe knows. Give yourselves to him and beg for his grace, Please him before you bring death to his face. 3 Acts of the Lambent Chapter 14: 22-23. The Kalnian Books. Mercifully, it did. Once I got back to Olympus Ariana—I hate that name…I wished my sleep had lasted longer. I am not and never will be a religious person, but I do recall something about the Devil never sleeping. Looking at what Eidolon and Mistral had achieved in eighteen hours, I just might qualify for the post of a demon hunter. It was nothing short of a hostile takeover and Devil Eidolon was pushing the limits of “takeover”. Of course, the title of an exorcist would be the next thing I would aim for. Metal shouldn’t have a soul anyway. I was summoned to an emergency meeting that Shiro had to drag me to. Who summoned me? Eidolon the Devil and Mistral its right hand demon. “But, I don’t want to go…” I whined. “If you don’t go, she’ll take your place. You want that?” She whispered quietly as a few people passed us on the stairs. “I couldn’t care less.” I muttered under my breath. She stopped climbing the stairs and looked down at me. There is no living thing that can survive a thirty-second stare battle with Shiro and hold its will. “Fine. I’ll go.” Shiro moved aside and let me pass. “Don’t do anything stupid in there.” She cautioned me with a smile. “I’ll be a good boy.” I retorted with just enough sarcasm in my voice to make her roll her eyes. Four guards stood at the door, looking like wilted cactuses. Nonchalantly, I passed by them and opened the doors by myself. The revolting sight of thirty-eight people around a black marble conference table with Eidolon at the head made me gag. Dear heavens. The devil has returned… “Welcome, Satoru. We didn’t think you’d come.” Mistral said with a smile that would have made Dracula’s blood freeze. “...and he’s brought demons with him this time.” I announced. “What are you talking about?” Hartmut asked, trying to read my mind. I acknowledged his curiosity by returning his gaze and his interest vanished as he looked at the table like it was a work of art. At least he isn’t possessed. Mistral pointed at the seat opposite Eidolon. “Care to sit?” “Nope.” I said and stood at the door. A man with an egg for a head, yawned and asked: “Why?” I grinned at his reflective scalp. “I’m glad you care so much about my comfort. Tell me, do you rub oil on that, or is it naturally that shiny?” From somewhere in the room, I heard Kurotou’s stifled chuckle. “Egghead’s” face turned red. “How dare you?!” I hushed him. “Eggs don’t talk much. They break easily under pressure.” He jumped to his feet with considerable effort. “You son of—“ Eidolon broke in. “That’s enough, both of you.” Egghead needs to cool down though. I don’t like boiled eggs… I took a glass of water and splashed it on his face. For a second, he was confused. Then, he went insane. “You bloody rat!” Sigh. He’s overheating now. With that amount of oil on his head, I wouldn’t mind scrambled eggs…. I walked over to the empty seat and closed my eyes, while the Devil tried to calm down Egghead. After five minutes of ranting and other members of the meeting throwing in their digressive personal opinions, the room became quiet again. Eidolon made the kind of sound humans do when they clear their throats. Only then did I open my eyes. “Now that that’s out of the way,” I glanced at the sizzling Egghead. “Mistral and I had this meeting called for an important reason. Satoru is unfit to be the Grand Architect and the recent events have proven that. We did him the courtesy of inviting him to the board meeting where the next Grand Architect will be chosen.” Nods and sounds of approval rose. I couldn’t help but smile. Shiro was right, after all. “Who is your candidate?” Kurotou asked. Mistral rose her hand. My smile widened on its own accord. Do smiles have souls? “What is funny?” A familiar voice asked from my left. Funny enough, Petrol-ski was part of the board meeting. “How can a smile have a soul? My smile keeps getting stronger with a will of its own.” I replied and leaned back. Eidolon wasn’t so sure. “Any objections?” I shook my head and whispers arose in the room. Kurotou had a confused look on his face. “None at all?” Eidolon asked, sensing some danger. I’ve got to give it to the AI. It really is perceptive. Kilo was shaking his head at me, warning me not to do anything I would regret. I don’t usually regret watching episodes of failed exorcisms. “User: Loki Torvald. Override firewall through port 5537. Eidolon, initiate and hold shut down. Block loop, count down thirty seconds, proceed. You know my voice.” They all looked confused, but I could feel Eidolon’s dark soul trembling. “What? How did you…?” “You didn’t think that I would let you run free without a back-up plan in case you did something stupid?” Its voice sounded angry, but I could detect a small hint of terror. “You can’t do this! I’m Eidolon AI. I am your advisor and the most important person here!” “Were.” I corrected, grinning. “You were the most important thing here. Until you cost me some sleep, yesterday. Ten seconds, AI. Want to do a quick virus scan?” It growled and I leaned towards the man on my left, acting as if I was going to whisper something into his ear. Eidolon flew at my head, just as the man moved towards mine. I will never forget the sound of metal hitting a human skull. The poor man fainted immediately and Eidolon looked perplexed for a moment, before the countdown expired and it shut down, dropping to the floor with a heavy thud. I used my foot to push the dead metal away and turned towards the silent people. Exorcism, successful. “I just killed the Devil. Any objections?” Some mouths were wide open; others were sealed shut. Some eyes were frozen, looking at Eidolon; others were full of fear, staring at me. I looked at Mistral and froze for a second. She was unfazed. The student becomes the master. The demon becomes the Devil. I gave her the best smile I could manage and turned to Petrol-ski. “Why are you here?” His confident composure had taken a serious blow. That much was obvious as he mouthed some inaudible words. I sighed. They are dumbstruck at the powerful dispossession; it would seem… “I can’t hear you…” I said in a sweet tone. He shuddered. “We…need to rally…our members. Allies…need to be forged.” I frowned. “What allies? You want to throw me out as well?” “No! I had no part in this!” “That’s what they all say. You are not a member of Oethe Inc., nor a person from Terra Ulterior. Eidolon was the reason you are in this room, as such you are its friend. That makes you my enemy.” The blood drained from his face, as I stretched out my hand towards Kilo and he handed me a polished pistol. “I came here, because I care for my people!” I grinned. “I’m sure you do.” And I pointed the gun at his chest. The man in him returned and he glared at me. “You can’t shoot me.” Kilo held his head in his hands and Hartmut closed his eyes. I fired, twice. His face froze and he looked like he died, before he realised that he was unharmed. “Say that again, and I will shoot you for real the next time. Now, I will send you with an ambassador. Politics is boring talk and we need to get your embattled people and the Earldom of Mercia clear on our conditions—whatever they are, anyway. Arkanos?” The young man on the far right answered. “Yes?” “You are the Menon for now.” Mistral spoke at last. “What is that?” “He’s in charge of politics. Did you not read the Kalnian Books?” Her smile faded as she realised where this was heading. “Thinking is burdensome, my dear. I prefer to live in the moment.” After thirty minutes of boring, unnecessary conversations, I screamed at them to shut their mouths up and leave. I hated talking with any person other than myself, Shiro, Kuro and Kilo (in that order), with the exception of a few old people. To be honest, I hated talking at all, and this board meeting had me completely pissed off. They left like a stampede, save for the unconscious man lying on the floor. “Kael.” I called and he froze at the door. “I need to talk with you about our research and development division. But first, Kurotou,” He looked in from outside as I signalled Kael to follow us. “Let’s walk. I need you to do me a favour…”
  19. " The Aether wishes everyone on the Forums a splendid day. We have been writing backstories that have been focused solely on the Aether and in a few parts, the Aether's allies will begin to bask in the lime light. However, we feel that keeping the lore to ourselves is in stark contrast to our values and principles of sharing with others. As such, we have come to a general decision that the Aether backstories be modified to reflect all organisations and activities within Dual Universe (from a role play perspective, of course.) It has been delayed but, war with the Mad men has been long in coming and it will be arriving soon. The "Mad men" are coined from the power hungry maniacs that seized the area surrounding the Ark ship in Dual Universe's original lore; the first of which you can find here. It would be nice to see how the Aether handles some war in the lore, and it will be a thousand times better to work with as many organisations as there are to create a story that is made by the Dual Universe community, for the Dual Universe community and with the Dual Universe community. This is an open invite and we greatly value your response; it's irrelevant if they are positive or negative. Should you want your organisation to be a part of this, believe that we could use your skill and ideas, or if you just want to help us a out a bit, please make your opinion and decision known below. We will get in touch with all of you. Till then, we wish you all a wonderful day. "
  20. The Founding Fathers: Intelligent Protection They rode from the East, Blazing fires in their eyes. Behind the white beast, The sound of a million cries. The Griffin charged forth, Leading the armies of Light. Deserts faced their wrath, Fertile lands—the triumph of their might. 3 Acts of the Lambent Chapter 1:29. The Kalnian Books. Five hours more or a lot worse could happen than me slaying every human in a ten-mile radius. On my “suggestion”, the Oethe Inc. flag had been lowered and placed as gravestone for the dead that fell from the sky. Eidolon could only glower and threaten as I casually threw his glittery toys into the mud and rain. “You seem so willing to court Death. The wedding will be in no time, Oru.” Shiro noted as we walked in the forest while it drizzled slightly. We enjoyed the musty spring smell, stepping over wet and slippery roots, soggy foliage, fallen trees and passing dead and budding stumps. Small trees swayed slightly with their leaves from side to side while the taller ones stood upright whispering and shaking their boughs and branches at whoever was beneath. The light, low drone of tiny droplets hitting leaves, wood and stone was an ambient sound track` on its own. The fierce, howling wind blew gusts of cold air through my shirt and trousers, tugging, pushing and blowing them wherever it wished. The grey sky overhead had lightened up a bit, but the different shades of grey that swirled and moved still looked heavy. “I see no problem with that. Where you thinking of marrying him yourself?” Kuro asked from above, standing on a tree that moved and whispered as the wind passed messages through its leaves. All in all, the absence of any other voices and the ambient song of nature was all I needed to remain calm. But, my friends didn’t seem to notice that. She winked at him, flinging a loaded shell with flawless motion. It hit him on the head and he barely caught himself from falling six feet low. “He’s too much of an eccentric for me,” she looked at the time on her forearm. “to consider that option. We need to get you to sleep—fast.” I gave a tired yawn, stroking Haiiro gently. A few minutes ago, Eidolon was as mad as a March hare when I offered to relegate him to a lesser role. The AI threatened me with loud and tedious talk while I used sarcasm to reply it and mostly to entertain myself. I don’t think it found the repartee funny. “I’m moving Io out of the Defender’s position. Kurotou will do better there—for now at least.” “I would like to believe that you’ve thought this through. But, I’ve known you for way too long. Your answer is:” Kuro mumbled waiting for me to finish. “No.” He sighed and Shiro shook her head. “Why do you always do things like this?” I pretended to think. “Hm…Thinking is burdensome…I prefer living in the moment.” “Perfect. You had one enemy, now you have three. Eidolon is going to hate you even more, Io will turn into a lava-spewing volcano, and Kurotou will be so hot at the thought of working under you and replacing his superior. The heat he produces will be enough to keep the whole planet warm for decades.” I hushed Kuro and turned towards the camp. “I’ll stop by Kilo. If that will make you feel better.” “Believe me, it won’t.” Shiro shot back, casting a dark gaze on me before heading back to the Olympus Ariana. “You know she has a point there. I have a feeling you’ll be using Haiiro a lot more within Olympus Ariana than outside it. No thanks to the Mad men.” I sighed and nodded, yawning again. “I’ll catch you later, Kuro.” He nodded and left, leaving me alone in the woodlands. I looked towards the plains in the west. There between two shrubs, Eidolon hovered. The AI was watching me. Quarter an hour later, I found Kurotou with some guards. “What are you doing here?” Picking daisies for your mother. “Picking daisi— “I barely stopped in time. The other guards looked amused. “Do I look like a three-year-old girl to you, freak?” He asked, irritated at my presence, it seemed. “I came to apologise for what I— “ He cut me off. “I don’t want your apology. Get out of my sight.” I’m trying to be the good guy here, mate. Calm down. I swallowed and continued. “You know, it’s not really a job, because there’s no stated rules for labour protection and transactions. If you could at least— “ He moved up to me and pointed his rifle at my chest. His comrades didn’t look bothered. “You don’t seem to understand what it means to get out of someone’s sight, do you?” This was one of the reasons I stayed away from most humans. Almost every conversation went south before or as soon as it got a compass. “I’m trying to apologise here!” He sneered at me. “You can take that apology and stick it up your a— “ I sighed and slapped his gun away from me, bringing Haiiro to his head with my other hand. The other people moved a few steps backward. “They think me to be an inconsequential person. Do you know what that means?” I saw the cold sweat form on his face and gave an unconcerned smile. From his expression, I must have looked like the Grim Reaper. “You are Lhaeryon now. The Defender and the Defence Department is no more. I’m replacing them with you.” He didn’t answer. “It’s an offer. Take it, or leave it.” Research has proven that holding a gun to someone’s head gives better results on average than asking with a candy in the hand. “I’ll take it.” I bowed slightly, lowering Haiiro. “I look forward to working with you, Lhaeryon. Make sure you see me before the day is up.” With that, I spun on my feet and headed to Kilo. I found the old man polishing some rifles in the armoury. “Do you have some spare time, Kilo?” He looked up through bright eyes. “Not for you, Satoru. Except you’re going to help an old friend out here.” I smiled and picked a rifle from a showcase, grabbing a spray container and a cloth from the adjacent aluminium rack. “Compelling and old school as ever. There are machines to do this kind of thing.” I said, rubbing the barrel of the fire arm with the fabric. “There are certain things a machine can never do as well as a human…Eidolon inclusive.” Yawning, I gave him a low five. His smile faded. “How long have you been awake?” “I’ve got three more hours till I go crazy or find a way to dream.” He placed a pristine gun back on the rack. “Still can’t sleep?” “You know me. I like to show a little ginger when competition steps up.” He cleaned his hands and laughed. “Liar. You are more laid back than the ground.” He paused and looked into space. “What else do you have to do?” I leaned against the wall. “You tell me.” He threw me a rifle. “Eidolon’s got something planned. I hear the wind whispering secrets of a girl your age.” “Hm.” I shrugged and cleaned the rifle. “It doesn’t sound like a romance story to me, if it was, I’d know. I was a real ladies’ man at your age.” “No. You were the pool wrecker and Knox Carter at bars. Remember how you broke a mahogany stool on the bartender’s head in Dortmund? Why did you stop fighting? I looked forward to meeting you at the bars back then.” He took the rifle from me. “It was getting expensive. And I’m an old man now. Why do you spend more time with old people than with your age mates, anyway?” “Shiro says I’m willing to court Death. I’d better learn from those who are courting Her.” His eyes grew wide with amusement. “Well then. Let me tell you something since you want to know as much as we do. Appoint that new girl Eidolon’s waking as the Head of your intelligence department.” “An enemy into a friend.” I noted. He grinned and pushed me out of the door. “Go on. Let’s see whether you’ll be as charming as I am.” I walked towards the AI’s favourite section—the one that had a few humans that were still in cryo-sleep. The drizzle had stopped now, leaving the air moist and the environment wet. Kilo was very much different from most humans—the same went for old people in general. Unlike the younger adults, they had common sense and invaluable experience. Since Earth, Kilo remained one of the few people I could call a friend and I hoped it would remain like that forever. Kurotou met me along the way. “Listen, I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot here.” I kept quiet. “But, it would really help if you could tell me what I’m supposed to do as Lhaeryon.” I casually climbed to the top of the Eidolon’s Section, and waited for him to reach me. Nine minutes later, he came huffing and puffing while I sat calmly at the edge. Once his fit of wheezing had subsided, I stood and pulled him to the edge. He stiffened immediately. Holding Haiiro in my left hand, I pointed at the left and moved my arm over the right. Beyond and all around us was Olympus Ariana. The sunlight was piercing through the grey clouds, bringing wide and bright golden rays of light that shone down on us. Humans engaged in various activities, machinery hummed, Nightelves landed and took off, crafts patrolled the ground and the skies. White Sections stood tall, reflecting the glorious piercing rays, while zephyrs moved the air and added a nice chill to everything they touched. “Protect us.” I said and looked him in the eye. He kept his gaze on the scenery. “That’s a lot to ask.” He whispered. “You think you’re inadequate?” The man kept quiet. “You are afraid?” “The Mad men will attack us here. Petrovsky wants revenge. The Earldom of Mercia is sending delegates. Our scouts report unrest near the Ark ship. The drums of war are beating.” “Let them beat. When the drummers are tired, they will sleep.” His look felt like daggers were thrown at me. “The Mad men are on the warpath. And so are we!” “We’d best get off the war path then. Let the Mad men pass us. When they walk down the warpath and meet no one, they’ll get tired and rest. Or they’ll get on another path.” I said, yawning. Surprisingly, Kurotou smiled. “You’re not half bad, freak. We might get along.” “Even if I’m younger than you?” “That doesn’t matter. Protect, yes? I’ll do it.” “Good.” I said and climbed down. “Figure out how to get down, Lhaeryon.” I said, delighting in his confused face. I snuck into the Section, and searched the rooms. The unlit lights and dark halls made it obvious that there was no activity in here. From deep within I heard something hissing. Quickening my pace, I moved upstairs and searched the rooms. There was a quiet, inaudible exchange of words and it grew silent as I neared the source. Slowing to a walk, I opened the door. Sitting in a white dress was—without doubt—the girl Kilo talked about. Behind her, Eidolon hovered with a victorious air around it. I looked at her and she didn’t lower her gaze. Something inside me shuddered at what it saw in her eyes. “I’m Mistral. Eidolon has told me a lot about you.” She said enjoying my unease, and refusing to break eye contact. I smiled, although I was pretty alarmed. “Then you know my name. You are now Adhonys. Intelligence is your responsibility.” Eidolon moved between us, cutting off our views of each other. “Will that be all, Satoru?” From behind him, Mistral giggled. “Satoru? You mean Oru.” I failed to stifle a yawn, but my mind was racing so hard, I was sure they could hear it revving. “Make sure you meet up with me when I wake up.” I said and stumbled out of the Section. A glance on my right forearm and I knew I had a little over two hours to find some sleep. I took a walk into the plains and laid down there. Hopefully, sleep would come now.
  21. For Blood "Through the darkest night, And the deepest hell, Past the raging winds, And kingdoms that fell: We stayed unbroken. We came as a flood, We left as wildfire. Why? All was for blood." --Recovered text from ancient Malahic Cult. “Suppressive fire! Vortex Three, I need two stand-off payloads. Eidolon, highlight the targets.” I ran out into the dark night, signalling the four soldiers that came with me to get our three diplomats to Vortex Two—the diplomats were of no use here. They nodded and took the surprised women and man to relative safety. “Vortex Two, where are my payloads?!” I shouted as an armoured hovercraft smashed through the make-shift barricade. Locking on the target, I fired a timed explosive into the offending vehicle just as its doors opened for the soldiers to get out. “Get out while you can. We’ll hold them off.” Aditi said, firing a short range homing missile at a jet that came into sight from the east. I nodded and told my brothers to pull back. Two missiles raced from the west, lighting up the sky with brilliant yellow light as they hit home. “Better late than never! Good job, Two.” We retreated to where Meera was impatiently hovering. If the Nightelves had hooters, she would be blasting them non-stop by now. “Hostiles are a quarter mile away. Should I engage?” The pilot of Vortex Three asked. I strapped myself into the co-pilot’s seat and stared down at the failing defence of the Resistance. “Provide support, Meera. Two, get to safety. Three, watch our backs. We’re going in.” We dived into the chaos of flames, smoke and angry screams. As explosion upon explosion rocked the ground, we answered. Fire for fire, rays for rays, death for death and terror for terror. Meera banked the craft hard and my eyes caught Aditi on the ground. Bloodied and bruised, her rifle lay a few feet from her and hostile troops were closing in. “Eidolon, the hatch!” I commanded, even as I unstrapped myself and rushed to the exit. As I jumped out, Eidolon followed me, shooting sporadically in all directions that enemies were. As I approached the ground, he grabbed me for a moment, dropping me hard to the ground. “What was that for?!” I asked, firing at the approaching soldiers. “Don’t expect me to come saving you like that again. I’m not your servant.” I didn’t have time to pick another fight, so I turned towards Aditi. Her eyes were open. “You are stupid.” She said, rebuking me in much the same tone as my mother would have. I shrugged and gently hoisted her onto my shoulder as Eidolon told me she suffered from no internal bleeding. “Meera, I need you to—“ I stared in horror as Vortex One came crashing down behind enemy lines. “Meera!” Jenz’s weak voice came online. “Get yourself out of here, Hisashi…” I left Aditi in the care of Petrovsky and turned back to look at Vortex One. The soldiers were cautiously approaching it, ready to fire at any movement. “Meera? Answer if you copy!” Her voice was slow and confused. “Whaa….?” I sighed in relief and reloaded my firearm. “Vortex Two, go Winchester.” As death rained on our enemies from above, Eidolon and I battled our way to Vortex One. Twice, I was blown off my feet by projectiles that Eidolon barely managed to intercept. For all our effort and the stalwart determination of the Resistance, we were unable to break through to the downed craft. A soldier picked up Meera from the wrecked craft and pointed his gun at her head. “No…No… Please don’t!” I screamed as I blindly ran toward him. “Hisashi, get back now!” It was stupid of me to run out of cover, but I didn’t care. Meera was the closest to family I had, if she died, I would follow in seconds. He paused for a few seconds as if considering whether or not to take her life. As our eyes met, I stopped and waited for him to drop her. In that moment of time, a message was passed. With a pull of his trigger, the soldier sent her to the afterlife and I blacked out. The first thing I remember my sane self doing was putting a laser ray through his forehead. That was the last thing I could clearly remember. I was berserk and flinging death like I had a Death Note with pages to spare. Eidolon was shouting something in my ear. I didn’t care. It was irrelevant. There were only two ways this was going to end. Either they killed me, or I killed them all. Nothing else mattered. They had killed someone of my blood. I growled, snapping a soldier’s neck backward. “For you, Meera. For Blood.”
  22. Vyz Ejstu

    The Aether backstory: Part One

    “They told us it was impossible…They were right.” The scorching sun, the blistering desert wind, the screams and shouts of the desperate people behind us. The images immediately switched to outer space. I saw the earth, a small blue sphere, seemingly insignificant against the backdrop of the celestial realm in all its glory. The image stayed there for a second shorter than I would have liked it. Again, I was teleported into the chaos I just escaped. The people were being held off by armoured guards. Somewhere in my confused mind, I sensed a tinge of acquaintance with them all. The crowd seemed grimly desperate to get to where I was standing. “Hisashi, we need to leave, now!” A voice screamed in my ear. As the view turned, my eyes caught Kyle standing in the crowd. He was wearing the same uniform the others were wearing. Standing beside him were Nora and little Jeane. The three of them waved frantically at me, smiling and cheering me on. Somehow, I knew that they were all just trying to be brave: the sadness beneath their eyes was way too evident. But, my brother seemed happy, almost ecstatic at my departure. The door closed and darkness enveloped me. I woke up with a dreadful headache, enough of it to kill every living human three times over. My entire body was stiff and ached with a pain that drove me to the edge of utter madness. The place was cold, as if I took a walk on a winter evening without so much as cloth on my back. Somewhere in my foggy mind I remember being told to stay still and wait the pain out. While I waited for the pain to subside, I strained to get my thoughts together. The thoughts that came were ones I didn’t ever want to remember. I slept off, the tiredness overcoming the terror of pain. Kyle, Nora, Jeane, Sonke, Tzu, Peretti, Karl… A pang of guilt stung me, hurting more than the pain my body had to endure. I killed them. I killed them all. The Arkship could only take so few people and it was no secret that to a large extent, the selection process was corrupted. What was to become of the people left behind? Death, famine, wars, disease and distress. Oethe Inc. had decided to change that. As the Arkship was being constructed, Oethe was busy building our light at the end of the tunnel. The masses sponsored the project: any alternative hope was worth the world. Hundreds of billions of dollars were poured in and still the people on this craft with me were the children and grandchildren of those that had started the project. What was the name again? I struggled to scratch my head, realising that I could move my hands. How long was I asleep? I craned my neck to the left all that was there was the white wall of the “Cocoon”. With a hiss, the transparent cover slid down, and the Cocoon tilted, patiently waiting, it seemed for me to make my first step. It was harder than I thought possible. My body was as stiff as a mountain. With great difficulty I put one foot out and adjusted my weight—I was floating within the moment. Slowly pulling myself along the cold metallic walls, I used the faint illumination provided by the electric blue phantom lights somewhere on the roof to guide myself along the dark corridor to the control centre. The pain was immense, nerve wracking at times, as my joints began to recover the fluidity of movement they once had. We had been warned, hadn’t we? The project we were undertaking was one that entire nations in a massive and surprisingly concerted effort struggled to finance and complete. Even if we did complete the project, what would happen if an error on the on-board computer wiped us out in space? What was going to stop space debris from destroying this fragile structure? Nonetheless, we pressed on. What hope did we have here on earth or with the corruption fraught selection system the United Nations hailed as fair and square? We had no hope on this planet. As I entered the massive control centre, Eidolon came online. “Hisashi, how are you feeling?” I loosened my tongue and tried to reply. All that came out was a grunt. “Is that how you thank me for keeping your sorry life intact?” I shook my head, half amused, half frightened. Eidolon was the on-board AI developed by Oethe. He was more human than computer, being based in part on the high output brain scan of the Oethe founder. That made him, above all else, dangerous. “I would have opened the air-lock to teach you manners, but the lot of you are still going to die anyway.” My neck snapped in the direction of his holographic image. “Ow! Whaa…do…say?!” “There is a catastrophic system failure in Section 53. The Instant On-board Error Analysis and Repair System (IO.EARS) has reported its inability to fix the problem.” Section 53 was the central propulsion hub. “How much…tume… we have?” I asked, sweating despite the cool breeze. Eidolon moved across the room to the windows. “Until we enter the gravitational field of the Arkship’s current home: one hour, fifty-four minutes and thirty-three seconds.” Panic kicked in faster than light. I could leave this ship and escape. There were enough emergency crafts to go round and I could at least save myself and carry the legacy of the Oethe with me. Eidolon could be deactivated or commanded, either way, I would need his help. “Thinking of leaving, aren’t we, Grand Architect?” I spun round and flew back in bewilderment as Eidolon closed in on me. “I’m disappointed.” Even as he said those words, the command centre lit up in a brilliant but, macabre show of red lights. Eidolon stood over me, looming and threatening even as the lights made his face seem dark, almost hellish. “You are—“ “Shut up.” I spat and assumed my standing position. He looked taken aback. “I said shut up, if you didn’t hear me the first time. I’m not leaving. Go make yourself useful somewhere.” Without so much as a word, the AI vanished into animated aurora that flew down the corridor and out of sight. Running away right now would make me a worse person than all the tyrants, dictators, cowards, deceivers and war mongers that made us leave in the first place. I slowly sat down in the Prime Seat and assessed our imminent death. The five hundred and fifty-seven people on this ship were my family and responsibility. The survival of Project Deliverance hung on my shoulders. From what the Argos’ computer was relaying to me, there was no chance of survival. The critics of this Project Deliverance had clearly told us: “It’s impossible.” They were right. The planet loomed ahead, embracing us with arms of death. At this speed, we would all be dead before we felt any pain. I whispered to myself, lost in fear, terror and desperation. “Hold on, Kyle. I’m coming.” Part Two will be released soon. Stay tuned for more. Find out more about the Aether here.
  23. Reboot We are fallen and destroyed. O how we are trodden under foot! Our glory is naught, but void… Brethren, we must return to the Root: Our erred paths we will avoid. We will not chase gold, fame or the loot. We will round as the cycloid, And we will start over from the Root. Lamentations of Nazrole Chapter 12:13-14. The Kalnian Books. I have always had a problem with tedious structure. From profitable, but snot-nosed mega corporations to the tiny, but nervous start-ups, they just seem to be addicted to mega-bureaucracy and exhaustive order. Tsk. And I’m part of the crappy system. Here I was, simply wishing to make a complaint about some idiot who decided to pinch my trousers while I was on the roof. To make a complaint, I needed to verify my identity (can you believe these people?! They didn’t verify everyone that left Earth while we were still there?), record or type the complaint (not without stating tons of useless information, of course) then queue up at a mile-long line for four hours and check back in a week for progress, because they were still setting up and securing the wireless protocols. Ahou. I deleted the file from the makeshift tab I put together in a couple of days and walked off the queue. If these people were going to waste their precious time on an unnecessary process, I wouldn’t be joining them. I had more important things to do. Let the idiot that stole my trousers keep them. “Heading somewhere, Satoru?” Jonathan asked me, blocking my path while at it. “Yes.” I said and looked him in the eyes. He looked away. Why do people always look away? What in the world are they afraid of? “We need your help with something. Care to give us a hand?” Nope. “What’s it?” He held out a funny looking kind of bag. What in the world was it? It looked like a space backpack from the early 21st century. “It’s a kadpack.” “It sounds like it as well…” I muttered, feeling it. “Sounds like what?” “..and it feels like something only the UN can make: horrible! What is it?” He looked puzzled for a moment, but quickly regained his stoic “don’t care what you say” face. “It’s a device that compresses matter and allows us to decompress it in any form, using this:” He held out a tube. “Interesting. I’ll get to work.” I took the tube and “kadpack” to the roof of my home Section and decided to decipher it. “You found something to interest you, finally.” Kuro said, and nestled up to me. I smiled a bit and connected my gadgets to the UN-made or UN-affiliated device. The data readings were easy to understand and within a couple of hours, I was shaping monoliths and statues with relative difficulty. One of the outlaws from the proximal Novark area walked up to me. “You learn fast.” His accent was thick and Russian. Every outsider is from Russia these days. Should I answer him? Mother told me not to talk to strangers… I built up a mound near his feet, just missing him. “Stop it, Oru.” I complied with Shiro’s soft warning and looked the big Russian in the eye. He turned his gaze away as well. What is it with these people?! “You killed the Grand Architect, yes?” I asked him. He eyes opened like a punctured can of pressurised gas. “No!” “Pity.” “Why is that a pity?!” Shiro quickly jumped in. “He’s not on the best terms with the Grand Architect.” “That’s not true,” I retorted. “He just broke the first law of survival.” The Russian looked confused. “Never look for trouble in the Wild.” His eyes cleared up a bit. “He came to help us— “ “And he died. You killed him then. You couldn’t refuse his help and he couldn’t refuse the chance to be a hero. Both of you killed him.” From the looks of it, I was freaking this one out. “My name is Petrovsky. I’m the leader of the Resistance.” “…Outlaws…” I muttered under my breath. “Eidolon talked about you a while ago. He wants to meet you again.” Shiro gasped and gave me a pitiful look. “Good luck; you’ll need it.” She said and walked off. I shook my head and followed the…Petrol-ski. That what his name, wasn’t it? He tried to start a series of conversations with me, but after I ignored him, built up wood around his feet and shouted at him to shut up, I think he got the message. I wasn’t a hostile person, I just don’t like talking to strangers or people in general, especially when I’ve been awake for close to thirty hours. By the time we’d made it past noisy populated and windy sparse areas, through damaged grass and between machinery, the foreboding sky looked exactly like Petrol-ski’s face: there was going to be some heavy rain soon. He led me past armed guards and into a pristine Section where an AI ruled over and enslaved the men that contributed to its creation and continued existence. The room reeked of upper-class attitude and I could sense most of it was coming from a robot that shouldn’t even have emotions. The walls were whitewashed and the floor was overlaid in black marble. A silver chandelier adorned with over-sized diamonds and sparkling sapphires hung from the roof, amidst pearl lights that shined even more than it did. The e-textile seats looked way too comfortable for the precarious situation that we found ourselves in and I just had to wonder how full of senseless vanity these humans and AI could possibly be. “Satoru Masanori. It’s nice to see you.” Eidolon said, rising from the heavily ornamented white throne. Seriously, robots that fly need to sit on thrones, even if they don’t have legs? Laughable! I chuckled to myself and scanned the bewildered faces of the poor slaves in the over packed room. “You are to reply me when I speak to you, Satoru Masanori.” I would have looked this AI in the eye—if it had any eyes, and I could bet the Novark on this: it would turn its eyes away. An AI like this has many secrets to hide and it would need to hide some scars if it dared to address me in that tone again. “I decide when I’m to reply to a piece of floating metal with a circuit board in its head.” Jonathan shook his head and stepped out. “You are socially inadequate, Satoru Masanori.” “You are physically lacking in adequate humanoid body parts yourself, Eidolon AI.” I replied, trying to step out, until four guards blocked my path. Sigh. Not Io as well… I looked Io in the eye and he looked at Eidolon. “We are not done, Satoru Masanori.” The AI stressed. I spun back and hurled Io’s gun at the AI, hitting it squarely in the middle. “Stop talking, Metal Head!” The gasps in the room should’ve been audible for thirty miles round. Even thunder sounded its voice to add some dramatic noise to the scene. Eidolon was clearly not pleased, and to be frank, neither was I. “We were interested in your capabilities and intellectual capacity. We think you are what we need to move forward, in the light of Hisashi Susumu’s death.” Eidolon said calmly. To be honest, this was sudden… “You…want to make me the Grand Architect?” “Yes. You already did cause quite a ruckus with the Defence Department. It was you that left Olympus Ariana into the forbidden area, wasn’t it? You caused some people quite a headache and their jobs as well.” I looked at Kurotou, who glared at me. “I don’t like the “didi”. Is that a problem?” “Let me ask you a question, Satoru Masanori. Can I call you Satoru?” Eidolon asked. “No.” “Very well. If you were the Grand Architect, would you have gone to the Novark the way Hisashi Susumu did? Would you have intervened on behalf of the Resistance?” “No.” “Why?” “Why should I?” “Explain.” His voice sounded tired. “Intelligence should have gone first and scouted. The Resistance forces are simply being freeloaders with little to offer, no offence, Petrol-ski.” “His name is Petrovsky.” “Whatever.” I muttered. “Protecting and organising ourselves is our priority. Anything else can wait.” Eidolon turned back to the chair and paused. “You are not someone I want to work with. I don’t like you. Let me be crystal clear: I hate you, Satoru Masanori. However, you are what we need: your mind and skill is what we can’t do without in the leadership position. You aren’t the first person on our list, no, you are the last person I would even consider. Nonetheless, you will be the next Grand Architect—rather, you are the Grand Architect.” I whistled and smiled at a boiling Petrol-ski. Outside, the heavy rain began to fall. “Good. I have my first command for the lot of you.” “Oh? So soon?” Eidolon asked, clearly being sarcastic. “Yes. Reboot. Destroy and restart every single thing. Reboot from scratch.”
  24. Destroy You must have thought this was it. You must have said it’s the end. Listen…to my words, attend. Do rocks fall from the sky, And statues come from above, To land like a white dove? Rocks may shatter and crumble And you may think you’ve won, They’ll survive—not as one, But as small bits of the whole. Destroy all, if you may, We’ll live under the sun’s ray. Songs of Adrohen Chapter 149. The Kalnian Books. “He’s taking quite a while; don’t you think?” Kuro asked, moving silently beside me. “Yes.” I yawned a bit and paused to look at the stars. Olympus Ariana—for that is what we survivors named our little territory—was much too crowded and noisy for my liking. I skipped over a root and stared into the grassy plain beyond. With a final sigh and a quick glance at Shiro, I continued moving. I knew I shouldn’t have moved beyond the borders, but who cared? The self-proclaimed Defence Department was already laying down silly laws to “protect” us. They’d have a whole mess on their hands by the time I was done with them. “You shouldn’t go there, Oru.” There she was again, sticking to the rules. I smiled mischievously and turned to Shiro. “You want to stay behind? Sure. Kuro and I will be back soon.” I scratched Kuro’s head and he hooted. Laughing at him, I moved onwards; sure enough, Shiro’s light steps followed behind us. There is something about the purity of undefiled nature that makes it stand apart from anything else. The stars, the forests, the plain. Man knows nothing but to defile: a pity and a shame. My mind wandered to the Grand Architect and his mission to the Novark. “Feeling tired already?” Shiro asked, a few steps ahead. “Nope. Just waiting for your delicate lungs to catch their breath.” “Shut up…” She whispered, lying down beside a gnarled, but fruitful tree. I smiled, half yawning, half fading into the beauty of a silent night…I wished I could sleep, but it wouldn’t come, no matter how I lay on the waving, cool grass that stretched for miles around or how softly the wind blew under the serene starry night. All of a sudden, Shiro sat up, her white hair moving like silky crystal strands in the zephyr. Kuro stirred as well, looking in the direction of Olympus Ariana. “I think there’s trouble back at Ariana, Satoru. We should leave, before “didi” finds us here.” Kuro announced, standing on a low hanging bough. I moaned and sat up, glaring angrily at him. ““Didi” is a poor name for the Defence Department, stupid.” He hissed and started moving. Well, there go my plans for some mental chess matches. I followed, trudging along while he and Shiro moved swiftly to the outskirts of Ariana. As we got closer, I cringed at the noise coming from the camp. “Hurry, Oru! Something’s gone terribly wrong!” Shiro alerted us and disappeared into the crowd. I lost Kuro in the rush and found myself jogging past white three-storey tall Sections, abandoned camp fires, whispering circles of people and heavy machinery. A lot of people were walking around from place to place and scarcely a lip seemed to be still. As I got closer to the gathering, a series of loud wails came from somewhere beyond. A quick voice told me that there was no way I was going through this crowd. Instead, I looked at one of the Sections to the left and the Heavy Duty Excavator that someone carelessly left in the Civilian Zone... Tsk. Do they have to give names to everything? By the time I’d climbed up the boom and hopped from the bucket to the second storey of the Section, I could see Shiro’s feet swinging from the top of the Section’s sloped roof. Climbing in the Tang suit was easy, but not with the loafers on my feet. Kicking them off, I clambered to the top, thankful that Oethe decided not to make the sides of the Sections completely smooth. As I looked out and over the crowd, I ruffled Shiro’s hair a bit, until she threatened me with her rifle. “Hm. Another of the Nightelves has just landed. They lost one to the Arkship folk then.” I noted, sitting down. We looked down at the metallic landing pads, lit up by powerful floodlights that covered the area in an ambient blue hue. The technical officers were already repairing what damage the Nightelves sustained as the soldiers walked out of the craft. Other engineers and soldiers seemed agitated and quite pissed off. “Crap. That means the Mad men will get their hands on our tech.” I shrugged and looked beyond the laser fence into the distance of the grand night scenery the planet had to offer. “Perhaps.” Kuro found his way to us and panted for a while before staring me straight in the eye. “The Grand Architect’s dead.” Great. First day of contact with the fools and they managed to kill Hisashi. Kare wa bakadesu. “What? No tears from you?” Kuro asked bewildered, looking from me to Shiro and back. “Nope.” I answered, stretching. “Me neither. He was an idiot for going out to meet them like that. He should have let Intel. go first.” “You are hard people, you are.” He said and settled down behind us. By the sound of the “wailing wall” from beneath us, it was clear that the people below were quite the opposite. “Who’s going to select the next Grand Architect?” Shiro wondered, fondling her rifle. I scratched my head, trying to get my thoughts in order. It could only be one person—or thing as the case might be. “Eidolon.” Kuro grunted and we laughed. “I’m sure he’s not going to pick you.” Shiro chuckled, aiming at a flood light in the distance. “You kids! Get down from there!” “It’s Hartmut!” Kuro said and slipped down the other side. I looked over the edge of the roof at the annoying man and sighed. “Shiro, are you…and she’s gone.” I muttered to myself, after sighting her long white hair disappear behind the other side and I jumped off the Section. I barely made my landing on the bucket, before intentionally losing my grip and sliding down the boom, tearing my trouser in the process. With a hop and a step, I was face to face with the six foot German body builder. He stared down at me like I was a protein shake. “What were you doing up there, Satoru?” I stared back into his eyes, refusing to answer or break my gaze. You tell me. He lingered for a few seconds and turned his eyes somewhere else. Bingo. “Nothing, Hartmut.” I answered at last, checking my torn trouser. “Don’t tell me that. What were you doing?” “Perhaps you saw me grow fifteen limbs? Or do you have evidence that I contacted the Mad men? Maybe you saw me shoot down a few Sections that are still in orbit?” “Don’t—“ I growled at him and he backed off. “This is why people don’t talk to you, freak.” He spat and turned away. There. You did it again, Satoru. You just had to make him hate you. I sighed and picked my loafers that he’d neatly arranged for me beside the Excavator and walked to my Section barefoot. “Satoru Masanori.” A voice trumpeted as I bumped into something cold and metallic. I looked up and saw a battle scarred Eidolon facing me. From the looks of it, it was clear that I’d spent eight minutes walking into the crowd of people. How did I get here? “Are you or are you not Satoru Masanori?” Eidolon asked. I gave the AI a cold stare and replied. “I am.” “Good.” He lingered for a few seconds more as if he wanted to say something before turning away. The crowd followed him and some strangers that seemed to have come with him. “Who are they?” Kuro asked behind me. “Refugees.” “From the Arkship area?” I gave him a tired look. “From the netherworld, stupid.” He scratched my face and left in anger. I tried walking to my Section again and found it this time. Shiro was already waiting for me on the roof. I was there in a few minutes, after picking a silk shirt and a pair of trousers. “Tell me something, Oru.” I yawned and flexed my neck. “What is it?” “If you are made the Grand Architect in place of Hisashi, what would be the first thing you’d do?” “That’s sudden. I haven’t thought about it.” I lied and closed my eyes. I had already planned to do a total change of the Oethe structure once we landed, but making friends wasn’t my strong point, so I’d have to do things the labour intensive way. “You’re lying to me.” She said, smiling at her rifle. “You’re going to try to make it happen, yone?” Kuro slapped the back of my head. “He is going to do it.” I picked up Haiiro and the thin white ghost lights lit up from the handle, like a glowing liquid filling a cup, until they reached the muzzle of the pistol and the lights circled round. “Yes, I am going to do it: I’m going to destroy everything.”
  25. Don’t Save Me. "I have nothing left to lose, Nay, I want to lose nothing more. What is life but a ruse? What do I have left to live for? More time will bring only rue, More of life will leave me with less. I have family here, true. But, beyond, we’ll all suffer less." Kyle Susumu's Diary, last day of Earth’s existence. Somewhere along the line, I lost count of the number of people I was killing. I left Eidolon to do the job of protecting my back while I cut the strings of fate of every hostile organism in sight. Was I selfish? No. Was I careless? No. Was I a mindless beast? Yes. One after another, lives got snuffed out by my rage, my firearms and my hands. For all the bright flashes of light, the shouts of rage and terror, the sound of feet and ammunition and the stars that watched in serene silence, my mind was bent on only one thing: taking these bastards with me. “You are the most stupid fellow I’ve seen all my life!” I ignored the AI even as a shell blew up less than a score feet away from me. The unforgiving force of the explosion threw me into the air like a rag doll. My face was the first part of my body to hit the flaming frame of a destroyed vehicle. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t black out. I was no soldier, but I understood the benefits and dangers of passing out in the middle of a fire fight. As the pain coursed through my being, I longed for the benefits. Struggling to get on my feet, I spotted a soldier coming towards me. His uniform had neither the insignia of the Resistance nor the design of the hostile forces. I barely made it to my feet before something snapped and I fell down in a heap. A chilling, electric pain charged through my bones as I realised what just happened: my spine had broken. I couldn’t feel my legs and the rest of my body was in too much agony for me to lift a finger or call for help. All I could do was watch him through the rage that clouded my sight. Where was Eidolon? “Are you okay?” This guy had to be a joker. Did I look okay? A bullet ricocheted off the frame, reminding us both that the battlefield wasn’t a place to chat. Then, he made the big mistake of trying to drag me away. If I thought I couldn’t speak, I was right—I screamed. Startled, he dropped me abruptly and looked me over with concern. That caused me even more pain. The stranger laid me on my back and crouched on the ground. Something exploded a distance away from us, followed by the short scream of a combatant. “You have broken bones. Wait here.” I groaned and managed to get some words out of my mouth. “Don’t save me. Save them.” I looked towards the retreating soldiers of the Resistance. His face clouded. “I’m not with them.” I gave him questioning look. “I’m with the Earldom.” What kind of name is “the Earldom”? Probably some conceited people with enough hypocrisy to pretend they didn’t want to control everyone else. Vortex Two was trying to hail me through the communications device. After some quick thinking, I decided to answer. “Vortex Two, find Petrovsky and track my beacon. Come pick me up in ten minutes.” “Yes, sir.” I looked at the Earldom fellow one more time. “What’s your name?” “William.” He said, getting impatient. Talking was hard and I was pretty sure the warm liquid I felt under my back was blood. Whatever had to be done needed to be done fast. “Does the Earldom support these madmen?” “Do I look like I support them?” “You tell me.” He sighed and rubbed his face. “I don’t support them. Listen, we’ve got to get you to safety.” I was about to say something, when I saw a shadow on my chest. “Put your hands in the air!” William looked up and aimed at whoever was commanding. I could tell it was Petrovsky, although I couldn’t see him. “Petrovsky! This…man is not an enemy!” I almost choked on my blood, before William raised my head a little. The Russian came into sight, along with four other Resistance members. I knew there were more, but I couldn’t see them. Where was Aditi? “Where’s Aditi?” I asked him. He bent down and looked me in the eye. “She’s dead.” “What?!” I shouted before gurgled breathing reminded me that I was still going to meet her anyway. He looked at William and I answered the question. “He’s with us. Take my wrist band. It has a beacon in it. Take it and get out. Vortex Two will pick you up.” He sensed the message right away. “You want me to leave you here?” My eyesight blurred for a second and I spat out more blood. “I won’t be of much use. But you, you can help them. My spine’s broken and I’ve lost too much blood. You’re standing in it.” He looked at his feet and barely managed to hide his shock. “I will not leave you here.” William gave an irritated sigh. “Don’t save me. Save your men. I’m dead already. Get out: Vortex Two is searching for you and they already have the beacon’s signal. Don’t let them come here, don’t let them find me.” Whatever he wanted to say, he kept it and nodded solemnly. “You are too good to die alone.” He whispered and stood. My vision darkened five shades and I just had to close my eyes. “I’m not alone. They’re with me, they’re waiting. Go, Petrovsky: I won’t forgive you…if they come…” The sounds became distant, but I heard them leave. The explosions faded into muffled sounds as I tried to open my eyes one last time. All I could see where the stars, twinkling and shining. I had brought the legacy of Oethe to this planet. I had succeeded in my job. Did Eidolon know that I would die? Where was he? A crackled voice spoke gently beside me. It was Eidolon. “Goodbye, Grand Architect.” I grunted and caught a last glimpse of the stars. Kyle, Nora, Jeane, Meera and the rest would be waiting for me, I’d finally get to see everyone again. That was where I was headed now. My final resting place. My home among the stars.
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