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Found 19 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. The following is the creative work of Firestorm a graphic artist and member of the Dark Star Imperium on Dual Universe. Starting off will just be chapter one, however as the weeks go by more chapters will be added. The possibly of minor edits is an option so if anyone has suggestions on anything I might miss let me know, so stay tuned. This is the story following a young man by the name of Ryker Telemachus Omi and his journey from civilian to full fledged citizen and member of the Imperium Marines. Please follow his story as this seasoned young officer is thrown in the midst of a new and strange enemy. DSI Discord: https://discord.gg/2vkazux <— reach me here Chapter 1: Beginnings https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p4bIiuEFxA6N0ph2cO6xmjv9qiO3E2VyqQ_aJw97TpE Chapter 2: Signal -TBA- Chapter 3: Discovery -TBA- Chapter 4: Conflict -TBA-
  3. " 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
  4. Hey all, This is something I've come up with over the last few days. It's a little different, and as you will soon realise the language is tailored towards the perspective of children (or at least, the perspective I want for these children). I just thought I would try out some different techniques. I'll keep this going over the next few weeks I think, until it comes to a good conclusion. Feedback, as always, is most welcome. Hope you enjoy, DT TheYoungOnes.pdf
  5. " 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. "
  6. 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.
  7. 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.”
  8. “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.
  9. 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.”
  10. 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.”
  11. 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.
  12. Dusk at Dawn "A new promise, a brand new hope. Another chance, another life. Beyond the skies, fly and elope. Your path is yours, prospects are rife. All will follow, and tug the rope. Vive la difference! Views, thoughts and strife. Friends will be made, build your own tope. Foes will strike, play the fife. The occasions, new life is borne, The pale terrors, a dusk at dawn." 2 Ronhel Chapter 4, verses 57- 59. The Kalnian Books. Despite my efforts to secure a safe landing for everyone, three Sections plunged from the atmosphere at breakneck speed. Two of those housed equipment and supplies—not much we couldn’t do without. The third one, however, held two hundred and fifty thousand people and there were no survivors. As I stood on the hill overlooking the blackened pile of bodies that didn’t make it, I felt ashamed. Just hours ago, we were rejoicing as the Cocoons warmed up their human cargo before waking them. In groups of fives and tens, they came out, shaking, scared, some were excited. As they realised they’d made it, they cried, shouted, laughed, danced or just stared in the distance out of utter amazement. The weather was windy and bright, the fields of green seemed to agree with our presence. Eidolon reported that a few Sections had missed the correct entry angle and burnt up in the atmosphere, others floated off to deep space, but three, he warned, had gone dark—possibly as a result of the battering Terra Ulterior had taken from space debris. More than half a million people waited for the last set while laughing and talking. That was until they fell from the sky and hit the ground with a terrifying sound. It was the sound of death. Here I stood, joy turned into sorrow as the wind conveyed the thick, repulsive stench of charred human corpses. Their remains were scattered over a radius of two miles. My eyes caught sight of a half-burnt piece of cloth, just beside a broken skull. I turned away. There was work to be done. We had to find a way to bury all these people, before diseases reared their heads on this planet as well. But, getting the people who had just anointed me as their saviour to do the task of undertakers was proving as difficult as raising the dead back to life. “I don’t envy your job.” Jonathan said behind me as I moved to help a few people with the grim task. Giving him a weak smile, I threw him the access card to the Section containing the heavy-duty vehicles. “But, I will envy yours in a moment.” As dusk set upon the planet, camps were being set up well away from the macabre scene. In a couple of days, the corpses would be well hidden and we could move on. In the meantime, I set about socialising and encouraging the survivors. Eidolon said the humans from the Ark ship had been on Alioth for three months. Gaining access to the Ark Ship’s records was proving a bit of a hurdle, even for Eidolon. He kept complaining about the schizophrenic and slightly mad AI of the Ark Ship: Aphelia, being too advanced for his liking. I could only listen to his complaints for so long before I set off to look for this famous Ark Ship and the humans that came in it. There’s something about exploring at night that makes you feel unnecessarily alert. We hadn’t come across any animals, although we could hear them (which in its own right was strange), there were no humans around, but the people we came with for scores of miles around, and we had nothing to fear from supernatural incursions. Yet as I and my newly selected team of former diplomats and veterans crammed ourselves in three aircrafts, we were silent, almost paranoiac as the silent crafts glided through the darkness of night and under a spectacular scenery of stars and constellations. The bays were mostly silent except for the occasional remark or short-lived humorous attempt to lighten our hearts. As we got closer to the majestic structure that stood out from the landscape, we began to see the first signs of human settlement. Small towns, villages and distinct enclaves lit up by lights and crafts. The skies were mostly clear, except for a few daring crafts that flew close to us and darted away all of a sudden. It happened the first time, then the second and the third. “They are warning us.” I told Meera—a good friend of mine and the best pilot I’d ever seen. “I know, Hisashi. I can feel the tension in the air.” I raised an eyebrow at her and returned to bay. Whatever it was, we had best be ready. “Gentlemen, strap up and strap in. Prepare for evasive manoeu—“ And it came. Our Nightelf blared a lock-on alarm before the droning alarm of incoming missiles. The craft swerved to the left and upside down, throwing whoever wasn’t secured at the padded ceiling and to the hard sides. “Vortex Three! ECM is your call! Vortex Two S&D is up your alley! Meera, stick with the aggro.” I shouted, even as my head slammed against a soldier’s shoulder. The pilots of the other Nightelves acknowledged the commands and set to work. Meera, on the other hand, kept us flying at the walls and ceiling. “It’s the madmen.” Eidolon hinted through my sub-dermal communication device. “So soon?” I asked, scrambling for a harness as the craft levelled for a second. I barely made it and strapped myself in before Meera banked the craft hard. “They are humans; they hardly need anytime to cause chaos.” Jenz said and began firing at the missile batteries. While we made it safely out of the danger zone, Eidolon battled to keep Aphelia from gaining unauthorised access to our crafts. “Is this her doing?” Meera asked, sweating and out of breath. “Ask her when you see her.” Eidolon replied and highlighted a craft through the screen. I sat in the co-pilots seat and pointed at the building it was heading for. “Head there instead. Vortex Two, offset half a mile south and land. Vortex Three, remain airborne.” Our Nightelf hovered a few metres over the ground while our security dropped down. Naturally, I dropped down first and proceeded to the stranger that led us here. Another one came from the building, waving her hands frantically. “Get them out! Get those jets away!” Meera uttered a curse and flew to the skies. Eight of the security detail swept the premises, while four came with me. Two missiles streaked over the horizon, following Meera. Once inside the house, the strangers introduced themselves. “Petrovsky. Lieutenant in the resistance.” The pilot said in a gruff voice, shaking my hand with a steel grip. “Hisashi Susumu.” I replied, trying to release his grip from my hand. “You are not one of us. Where did you come from?” Aditi, the woman asked. I gave her the summary of who we were and where we came from, making sure to leave out important details. In return, they let me know that the “madmen” had seized control of the area surrounding the Ark Ship. The Resistance, had tried to hail us, but the Nightelves communicated on a different frequency than the common one. We promised to return to help them fight back against the oppressors, giving them a highly inaccurate estimate of how many we were. Scarcely had we gone halfway through details and logistic support that Eidolon sounded a warning. “There are almost a two hundred hostile troops in bound to your position. The Vortices can’t help right now: we don’t know the extent of the enemy’s anti-cloaking capabilities.” I grunted, deep in thought and he snapped at me. “Grunt one more time, and I will aid them in killing you.” Absent-mindedly, I turned to the security detail. “We’ll have to fight our way out of here.” Petrovsky held my shoulder in a big hand. “We have thirty Resistance soldiers here. We will get you out. I will call for reinforcement.” With that, he jogged out of the door. Aditi pushed somethings into my hands. “Take this.” I looked at the strange devices. Something in my head told me they weren’t unfamiliar. “It’s a kadpak and a nanoformer. I don’t think you have any in your ships.” I stared at her, liking the Resistance more until an explosion jerked my attention. “Stay together, guys. Let’s give them hell. For blood!” They raised their weapons and screamed into the night. “For blood!”
  13. The Aether Backstory Part 2 "You Will Remember Us" "Row upon row, heap upon heap. This is our fate, left to perish. Stride after stride, leap after leap. All our glory, naught but a wish. Cry after cry, "Weep", I hear. "Weep." Terror fills us, as we vanish. You were our hope, our wish, our light. You let us die, by war, by blight. Know this traitor, alone you'll die. Screaming, shouting, alone. Goodbye." Graffiti writing on Terra Ulterior. Author: Unknown I couldn’t believe this was happening. Of all things to go wrong, why propulsion and why now? Gritting my teeth, I looked at the screen. The new planet’s gravity field was just over seven hundred and sixty thousand miles away and the ship was moving at 324,857 metres per second. I did some calculations in my head and sighed. I had just over an hour and fifty-four minutes to avert a catastrophe. “Eidolon.” I called, my voice shaking a bit. He materialised in front of me. “Are the retro-thrusters in good condition?” He shook his head. “Sixty five percent of the retro-thrusters can squeeze out a performance of thirty-three percent capacity. Thirty percent are working in good condition while the remaining five are all but destroyed.” My mouth twitched. Well, if around a third of the thrusters could work, my plan might be feasible. “Where are the majority of the thrusters located?” “At the rear—facing the rear.” I gritted my teeth again. For all the peace that the Aether was meant to offer, I felt none of it. This was going to be one bloody day in the history of Oethe—and probably it’s last. As I glanced at the grim looking AI, an idea blossomed in my head. “Can you to maintain the ship’s current course, while reversing its direction?” “You want me to spin the ship on its vertical axis?” Stupid computer. “Yes, of course. I can. It’ll take me no less than thirty minutes to perform that little trick.” I nodded. “Get to work.” While Eidolon began to slowly position the ship aright, I jogged down the barely lighted corridors, checking for information on the ship that would provide an overlay of the ship’s structure. Somehow, I had forgotten what the ship even looked like, although I was pretty sure I knew at one point. IO.EARS kept on trying to reboot and dynamically repair Section 53, even though it had failed to do so over two million times. My search ended up being nothing but a dangerous waste of time. Eidolon stated that the information was securely locked—another way of saying that I didn’t have the required access level. After thirty-three minutes, the axis manoeuvre was eighty-three percent complete. The most disturbing thing was this: I was completely powerless to do anything, but wait as I left a crucial part of the survival plan to be handled by a computer. Was this the punishment we had to face for leaving our fellow humans behind? I scowled at the idea, disgusted that anyone would even blame us for leaving. Our selection had been determined by the masses, billions of people cast their opinions for who should and who shouldn’t leave. In essence, we didn’t pick ourselves, the people on earth did. While fidgeting with the unease of imminent death, I wiped my wet hands on my shirt. Eidolon had just a few more minutes to complete this manoeuvre, or there was no way I was going to be able to make this work. “You will survive.” I remembered Nora telling me. She was the kind of person that’s a mother and a friend to a younger in-law. “You will survive. You’ll go out there and you’ll make sure that nothing goes wrong. You have no choice. You’ll remember us and survive.” “I will survive…” I muttered to myself, lost in thought. “Grand Architect, the manoeuvre is complete.” Eidolon said, pretending to be out of breath. I acknowledged him with a small grunt, and he growled. Ignoring him, I set to work. “How much fuel do we have left in the retro-thrusters?” I asked, keeping my eyes glued to the screen as the control interface rose from the floor. “Fifty-three percent is left.” My mouth twitched again. “Good.” Carefully and slowly, I pushed the rear-facing retro thrusters to half capacity, using the side retro-thrusters to stabilise the ship and maintain the course. Eidolon aided me by showing the simulated course and the jargon of calculations only a mad man would need at this time. Reduction in speed was minimal at first, but the structure began to slow…by 0.184 percent. “This is crazy…” I muttered to myself. The AI chuckled. “Can’t you even pretend to be bothered?!” I demanded in frustration. He shook his head. “No, my dear friend. I can’t. But, I could override IO.EARS and attempt to force the engines to start—ignoring any errors that could wipe us all out, of course.” I gaped at him, somewhat excited, more infuriated. “Couldn’t you have told me sooner?” He shrugged in a carefree manner. “You didn’t ask.” I dismissed him with one sweaty palm and wiped my face with the other. Ten minutes left and Section 53 finally came online, although at less than five percent capacity. With all retro-thrusters working overtime, we had dropped our velocity to 240,000 metres per second. Once we entered, the planet’s gravitational field, things could change drastically. For one, our gained progress could be nullified in mere minutes. An alarm blared, sending me out of my skin and I heard the structure make a terrible groan. “Eidolon! What did you do?!” “We have lost control of all the thrusters at the front of the ship. They are accelerating. I warned there could be errors, Grand Architect.” I was about to scream out my life on the emotionless AI, until I had another crazy idea. “Switch off the Section 53.” “What?” I shot him a sharp glance and turned off all the retro-thrusters. An hour later, we were moving at blistering speed of 417,087 metres per second and three-quarter of a million miles away from the planet’s surface. “Restart Section 53—at full capacity.” I said, lost in stupor. “You’re a mad man.” “Maybe so. But, I am the Grand Architect and you have no choice but to obey.” He nodded and brought the main propulsion online. The ship groaned in a terrifying manner, the stress sure to cause some loss in the structure’s integrity. “How many detachable Sections are there on the ship?” He acted like he was thinking and replied at his leisure. “Fifty-nine.” “The majority of the people are housed in Section 32, yes?” “No. The majority are housed in Section 39. Two hundred and ninety thousands of them.” I snapped my neck in his direction. “You were unaware that your batch was the smallest and by no means the only one. Oethe wanted it that way—and to answer your next question, there are over a million people on this ship; all of them housed in detachable individual structures that came together to form Terra Ulterior while all of you were in cryo chambers.” I felt like I’d been slammed with a planet. A timely alarm warned me that I was about to be. We were less than two hundred thousand miles away from the looming planet’s surface and our speed was still dangerously fast. “Looks like this is it, Grand Architect. It’s been quite a ride.” I shook my head and stood up from the Prime Seat. “Prepare for immediate detachment of all sections. When I give the word, you force one last blast of all the engines to drop our speed one final time. When I tell you to split the ship up, you do so on my word. Understand?” Eidolon gave a wry smile. “Yes, of course.” With that, I ran off to my Cocoon and activated it. “One hundred and twenty-thousand miles away from contact.” The AI said over the almighty blaring of alarms that engulfed the ship. I waited for a few minutes and Eidolon updated me again. “Seventy thousand miles, Grand Architect.” After a few seconds, I gave the word. “Now!” The ship groaned and jerked. Somewhere in the ship, a lot of things ripped open. “We’ve dropped speed to 298,800 metres per second and dropping.” I waited for hours, it seemed, while Eidolon kept telling me our distance to the planet. At a distance of two thousand miles, I gave him the command to detach. Our current speed was still 75,908 metres per second, but as individual pieces, we had a greater chance of reduction in speed. Once we entered the planet’s atmosphere, the friction would drop our speed even further and each Section’s retro thrusters and parachutes would provide a safe fall. “I have detected signs of human life on Alioth, Grand Architect.” Eidolon said as I felt my section jerk. “That’s a nice name, Alioth…” I thought back of Nora and Kyle. “I will remember you, and I will survive. I promise.” Darkness covered everything and silence enveloped my being. An eternity passed and finally we touched down on Alioth’s surface. Shaking, ecstatic and tired, I stepped out onto the lush surface. My space suit said the pressure was stable and friendly and from the looks of the landscape, there were miles upon miles of inhabitable land. A small spherical pod flew up to me and sighed. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Eidolon asked. I nodded. “Not the planet. Up there in the sky.” I looked up at the fiery debris burning up in Alioth’s atmosphere. Terra Ulterior had performed its first and last mission well. Oethe had nothing to fear: it would rise again. “The Aether is a dangerous place, don’t you think, Grand Architect? A single mistake and space would’ve been our grave.” I shrugged and turned back to catch the sight of the remaining Sections gracefully falling down in the clear skies and bright sun. “Whatever, it might have been, to the people that were on earth, it’s their hope and our home.”
  14. Sand, All up in my Junk, Part 1 Stier didn’t remember landing, nor did he remember walking all this way. He could see his own footprints however, and not in view of the Arkship he wasn’t quite sure how far he’d gone. His head was pounding, his legs felt like limp and sore, and the grit of the place had gotten to him. He was in a desert. The sun was furiously bright but beginning to dip to the edge of the horizon threatening to begin to set. He was doubled over at the edge of a sand dune as pale as an eggshell staring back at the tracks left by his ascent. It was unclear if he had walked or crawled to his current position, but he was certain that he would be unable to summit the next mound to the west. The bottom of the valley shows cracked earth of a rainy season past. Stier had a moment of panic, but realized that his suit not only shielded him from the heat and the cold, but recycled his liquid waste with almost no loss. Water would not be a problem, nor food as his Nano-former had plenty of protein solution stored in it, and more than enough energy to disperse it. He stared down at his scratched display and despite the comforting evidence of his ensured survival, the panic did not fully subside. Instead it retreated just enough that it didn’t fill his mind just as the sun’s orange glow had begun to peel back against the night. The day subsided too quickly and his fear left far too slowly. It was about time for some shelter. Stier swiped through the menu on his Nano-former again for survival polymer but was dismayed to find just the protein solution. He rolled his eyes and took a few sphere-fulls of sand from the dune. The structure of the dune shifted and gave, and he began to tumble violently head over heels down the dune until stopping at the rocky bottom of the valley followed by a sand-flow up to his shoulders. Shielding technology was advanced enough to prevent a starship from crashing full-speed into a skyscraper, but somehow he managed to bruise his rear on the rocks through his personal shields. He stood, and groaned while nursing his new lump on his backside. Stier didn’t think he had any blueprints for structures made out of sandstone, and he hadn’t had time to learn how to turn sand into glass with the Nano-former. He had just landed after all, and the simulator was pretty different from where he had managed to walk to. His lack of memory worried him as he constructed a dome with a simple entrance not unlike an igloo, but out of the sand he had collected from the dune. It was surprisingly tough for being made of sand, the grains were compressed into a solid form, but he did manage to chip the entrance a bit with his helmet when he tried to crawl in. Stier tried to get comfortable in his new shelter, however his groin was badly chafed. The sand had worked its way into his suit, and based on the sting he realized that the area had become enflamed. His first thought was to go ahead and remove the sand with his Nano-former, but seeing the reduction sphere overlap with his crotch, it occurred to him that he might lose more than the sand if he went through with it. Staying put for a while seemed like the safer choice, so he took a break and went AFK (Away From Konsciousness). Day snuck up on him, and he returned to find chunks of his shelter was missing. He remembered the simulations, someone had tested out a plasma rifle on his hut! Stier crawled back out of his shelter on hands and knees and found two other spacers, each with weapons pointed right at him. He could see the combat warning blinking on his display. Their suits were a newer model, probably Omegas that got on the ship after the initial launch. One of them had a Lv.1 PET with him, poor thing’s legs were moored in the sand. “Nice Hut” mumbled one of the Omegas practically breathing into his mic. He was sporting the basic concussive pistol, probably spent hours trying to get magnesium for bullets. “Drop your DAC’s Alpha” cracked the prepubescent voice behind a laser rifle. This one was also an omega, but might have traded his PET for a decent weapon that uses his Nano-former’s battery instead of solid rounds. “Can’t drop DAC’s noob, they are digital” replied Stier, “contract or trade transactions only, just like spacebux”. “I said drop ‘em!” cracked the child again, this time firing twice and missing. It was unsure if these were warning shots, or if his weapon skill was just that bad. “They don’t drop on death either, DNA coded like spacebux too” said Stier, “only the Nano-former discharges on death and it’s pretty lossey”. The mumbler shot this time, one bullet hit Stier’s shield membrane above the right shoulder staggering him. The second one caught him on the left side of his helmet, crushing the shield and making its way into his skull. Stier came-to in the Arkship’s infirmary missing a few cubic feet of sand.
  15. So after thinking a bit about ways to convey and tell stories in DU, i though about Wreckage and Ruins you might find that arent result of player interaction (combat). First Wreckages: The Idea is very simple, the game would spawn wreckage in a system/orbit of a object, that could be discovered by explorers and salvaged for recources, components and technology. So how would the game create wreckage? First option: The game takes predefiend already damaged models and places them randomly across the system. (allows for alien AND manmade objects) Second Option: The game takes normal player made models from the ingame market that are actualy aviable to be bought by anyone and damages them randomly before randomly placing them across a already discovered system to explain why the system hasnt been scanned already. Third Option: Player made AND predefined Wreckage Second Ruins: For Ruins we have basiclly the same options, if structures work like ships for the market. BUT structures open more gameplay options because they could trigger safe areas around them, be an automated market, a tomb that goes through the whole planet that you have discover and explore or just a simple trap.
  16. For years the chaos of the system burned all the progress of the last 10 years. We had been at peace but the greed of the theifs and pirates plunged our system in this age of terror. I was among a group who manage to create a small safe commuinity away from the former cites of Ceta 5. Though that was just an ilussion, safegaurded by the warriors there, keeping the raiders away from the community. This endelss war was ruthless and the gangs brutal, and yet I remmber the day it ended. It was quick, the explosion tore a hole in the wall and the raider gang begang pouring in. The warrior rose quick for their wapons, only to be cut down by the rapid fire. Those that manged to find cover fired back and a long out firefight ensued. I was protecting a familiy of five, two females, 2 mals, one infant. I tried to stay quiet but the cries of the infant drew two bloodsucers, they drw their knifes. Must have been thinking it was easy pickings. I hid and when they had seen the children, I shot one in the back and stabbed the other one. The maniac put upp a fight, made me drop my weapon. And all of the sudden a blast came from the raiers back, a kid had pulled the trigger. Outside the badits were fourming around the surviign warriors, they were wining. Suddenly a man in the back ran fowrad at full speed, he was on fire. In the back were grey shaped things, it looked like an old rusbucked but it was shiny, new, not an atomaton from the first world. A voice came from the sky "We are the Empire, surrender or " before he could finish the bandits fired upon the shiny armors. They in respons lowerd their weaposn and spreyed fire agains the asembeld hord, their screams were musci in my eyes. "well that" the voice continues, the village did surrender to the Empire and tokk us away, some I see sometimes while most I never heard again. I became part of the liberation force to take back the old cites and in my new role I leared something. This Empire is kinda cool and I would love to spend the rest of this burning mans life fighting for them, because Im not planing to die anytime soon.
  17. The early founder of the Empire looked to the sky to see a future for humanity. he grew tired of the constant politics and the time it took to achieve every task. To the founder, It's a miracle that the United nations even managed to make the decision to evacuate. The founder of the Empire had a very strong hatred for the way decisions were handled in the world and the inefficiency of the construction of the Ark ships. ​ The founder was the current CEO in a very large technological company that specialized in the Development of Weapons and space tech. The idea of a new life in the distant realm was a gift to the newly formed Imperial movement. The imperial movement begun slowly but also stayed low of the eyes of the government. The imperial movement had a large part is supplying the parts for the Ark Ships and had made deals with the production line. To be Continued.
  18. Monday, August 8th, 2016 "I did not have sexual relations with that woman because she was easy, but because I was hard!"
  19. So I want sure if this was the best place, maybe it should be moved to the General Discussion thread, or possibly game mechanics. I decided to post a short story of a scenario I envision happening in game. I don't fully know all the mechanics that will be available but my story highlights some mechanics that I hope are available. It also sheds some light into how we operate and things we tend to implement when possible in games. Sorry that my writing sucks, I usually just focus on the story. It’s a barren world, covered in vast deserts and lakes. In a large lake on the North continent the water begins to stir. Slowly a rectangular chain wall begins to break the surface. It is a half a kilometer long and 200m wide. As the wall breaks the surface the water inside begins to rapidly drain away. As it does a large metal door is exposed and begins to slide away exposing a massive chamber. Slowly a Daedalus class BC, the Asteria, begins to rise from the chamber. It is over 400m long and covered in turrets, a bit unfinished but it was combat ready. As it emerges it slowly begins to ascend, thrusting lightly as to not damage anything below. As it clears the hangar the doors closing behind it and the walls recede allowing the water to rush back over. Once it is several hundred feet above and the water is covering the doors again I increase the thrusters to full. Angling upwards I quickly gain altitude and enter orbit. Once in orbit I set the nav point and activate FTL. It is just a short jump to a nearby asteroid belt in system. Once in FTL I activate the defensive AI and head to the hangar. The Asteria is a bit more than needed for a mining trip, but I like to take it out for whatever reason I can, besides it makes for a good guard while mining. The right hangar contains a smaller miner. Equipped with multiple laser miners and plenty of storage for the ore I mine. Once the Asteria drops out of FTL I look at the nav feed to see it is all clear, not many people are in the region so I never expect anyone. Occasionally our sensor drones pick up an explorer that comes through, and so far the neighbors that are nearby have not located our base. I send a command to open the bay door and start up Little Bite’s engines. Slowly I emerge from the hangar and begin thrusting to the Trillium asteroid 1km starboard. Slowing down on approach, I line up near a cavity in the surface. I had been here already and cleared away most of the rock around the Trillium core. I activated the miners and watch the surface of the asteroid as the matter dissolves away funneled into nanocells for storage. The power is a bit insufficient so I have to pulse the lasers, allowing the power cells to recharge. One of these days I will quit being lazy and fix that, but for now I watch as the Trillium begins to fill up my storage with a few traces of rare elements. I wonder how many more trips will be needed to finish our capital ship. Suddenly an alert pops up, one of our sensor arrays in orbit around the planet picked up something. A small vessel entering an FTL jump. It must have been a stealth ship observing the planet, shit. I quickly cut the lasers and thrust away from the asteroid. I align and burn towards the Asteria, coming in for a hard landing. As soon as I am in the hangar I send a command to close the hangar doors and begin charging the FTL as I dock Little Bite. Sprinting down the corridor I arrive at the bridge, there’s still a minute left to charge the FTL drive. I sit down and pull up the sensor logs as I wait, aligning the Asteria towards the planet. No sign of the stealth ship entering orbit, it must have traveled in and been there a while. Just as I am about to jump the sensors pick up 3 FTL signatures dropping in orbit around the planet. All quick moving destroyer class ships. I adjust my coordinates to their location and enter FTL. Just under a minute until I exit warp, all I can do is wait, all guns active. As I drop out of warp I am just 10km from the nearest destroyer. One of them is clearly a planetary bombardment design and is lining up to fire below, centered over our base. The stealth ship must have been there to determine our location. The planetary bombardment destroyer was already unloading its kinetic kill projectiles down onto the planet and the other two were firing missiles down as well. As soon as my targeting sensors had a lock I unleashed everything onto the PB destroyer, catching it by surprise and ripping through its rear shields, and penetrating deep into the hull. A lucky shot destabilized a reactor, causing an explosion that ripped the back end of the ship off crippling it. As the kinetic kill projectiles entered the atmosphere turrets on the surface were already coming to life. Pedestals were rising above the surface of the water with SAM and Flak turrets. The Kinetic kill weapons were hard to track and shoot down, but a few were broken up before impacting. The remainder were stopped mostly by the water, with no energy left by the time they hit the hangar door below. With over 2 dozen flak turrets almost all of the missiles from the first wave were taken out. But it was clear they knew the base location and were here to destroy it. On the Asteria I launched the 2 dozen fighters I had onboard and routed shield power forward. The remaining 2 destroyers quickly began turning their fire onto me. I began launching missile volleys but my laser capacitors were completely drained from the opening attack. Even without it my missiles are overpowering the shields slowly. As the fighters reached the ships they began circling it in tight orbits, not doing much damage with the shields up, but distracting the automated turrets and reducing fire on the Asteria. My shields were at 85% but slowly dropping as their missiles start leaking through my flak cannons. As my laser cannon reaches full charge I fire it just as a volley from my rail gun hits, collapsing the destroyers shields, but it remained largely intact. However the next volley began to destroy chunks out of the hull. It was quickly gutted by missiles and left crippled. About then, large explosions begin erupting on the surface below. Starting from the center and stretching out in a line nearly 3km long they begin spreading outwards to nearly a kilometer wide. The false bottom of the lake is being blown to pieces, allowing all the water above to rush in below as it does. The emergency evacuation protocol has been initiated, meaning help is on its way. As the dust and fog begin to settle there is a massive swarm of small drones released. Just small battle space drones, they allow sensor feeds of the area and also act as an overload for enemy sensors. Shortly after another loud eruption as the Radials booster engines fire, slowly lifting it clear of the opening. Upon discovery of the stealth ship, Drakyn Ral quickly began activating its systems and moving what he could from the base into the Radeal. Its hull not more than half finished, very little systems were in place and functional. It had minimal power, thrusters, shields, and FTL with very few turret placements mounted already. I wasn’t even sure if Kloydeb had gotten around to uploading the AI to them so they would function at all. And none of us were sure that it could even break orbit. It had a booster system attached as an emergency launch system, but it functioning was all theoretical. Before the Radeal could reach orbit 10 smaller 50m long frigates exited FTL in the battle space above it. They quickly targeted the remaining destroyer, and with their DPS added to mine, its shields vanished. It was quickly engulfed in missile explosions, shredding the hull. The drones were part of the emergency protocol, and when active they activated their FTL and jumped in from deep space above the solar system. The hangar below was gutted and scorched as the engines fired, but we never intended to use it again anyway. As it reached orbit the booster system was released and fell back to the ground. The ships frame stretched 2.5km long and 500m wide, at the widest constructed points thus far. With only the basic frame in place for most of it, it looked almost like a rectangular box with some buildings stacked on top towards the rear. The front end was one giant hangar, large enough to swallow the Asteria. The side hangars were only beginning to be built, with small juts sticking out from the main hull. As the Radeal broke orbit it released more battle space drones followed by another 4 dozen fighters that quickly began to disperse in the battle space. Hartomo and Kloydeb each emerge from the Radeals hangar in Raptor class cruisers. But it didn’t stick around, with its FTL charged it initiated a quick jump out of the battle space where it would charge its drives for its travel to the beta base. We stick around and ensure that the Radeal enters FTL before charging our own. The Raptors quickly charge theirs and follow as escorts, but with my capacitor banks tapped from the battle it takes even longer than usual for me to charge my drive. Just as I am about to jump into FTL, my sensors light up red. With all the battle space drones feeding sensor data I quickly get locks and accurate tracking data on over a dozen ships. There are 2 capital class ships, a carrier and dreadnaught, both more than twice my mass. 2 BS, 4 BC and an assortment of cruiser and frigate class ships. The battle space lights up with explosions as their AI begins targeting and taking out the fighters and drones in the battle space. Immediately 3 of the AI frigates vanish in explosions. Not intending to stick around, I rapidly hit the FTL as it charges to completion. Just then a massive shell strikes my nearly depleted shield, punching through and ripping a massive chunk out of my right hangar bay. What is left of Little Bite floats free into space. Thanks to redundant and dispersed systems most of my ship is functional, including the FTL drive. Before any interdiction nets could be activated I slip into FTL, clearing the battle space. Within a few minutes I exit FTL near the Radeal. It got away with minimal damage, mostly from the debris falling from above when the lakebed was blown. One of the shield emitters wasn’t fully functioning and let some debris through, impacting the hull. The Asteria’s damage was a bit more extensive, but no major systems were hit. Most of the hangar will have to be rebuilt, but there weren’t many components and systems that were destroyed. We waited around until everyone recharged their FTL drive for the first of several long jumps to the beta base. For the rest of the crew who weren’t able to respond quickly enough, they will get there a bit quicker, as out in the void here there aren’t many RNs that they can spawn at. With Alpha base destroyed, Beta base will likely be the closest.
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