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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Short chapter, doesn't seem right making you wait a week for it:

Chapter 15. Zorr (3170) Galcorp ministry of intelligence station 1: Leesti.

Major Cree was livid. "Why wasn't I informed the second he arrived in the system!" His agitant cowered in front of the desk. "I, I it took us time to".

Cree cut him off "Fac it did! The mans face has been plastered all over the ten most wanted since the fall of the 8! This is why we're here! This is what we do! The Feds want him, the Imperials want him so badly they'd blockade the system, if they knew he was back."

The agitant regained some composure "he was using a stolen ship and impersonating the captain sir..." Cree could barely control his rage "Oh fac, Really? Of course he did! You idiot! You expected him to waltz up to the front door in a tutu and shout, hello I'm Orburn Zorr trans-galactic space criminal, would you mind popping down and arresting me please? How long has he been on the planet?"

The agitant paused, he knew the Mayor wouldn't like the answer. "th, three hours sir, after logging the ship he took it down himself". Cree switched to cold fury. "Your all faccing useless the waits made you all soft. Get a catch team to the corner of Agis and Wager in the southern slums outside the trader district. He's here for the girl and if he gets to her, I'll be in a cell and you'll all be out on civvy street. Come on! Move it you useless piece of fac!"

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 10:16 am 
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Chapter 16. Starchaser (2718) Secure Galcop Storage Facility: Location Classified.

Mirias stood in a cavernous hanger. He didn't know exactly where it was located. He assumed that this was one of the many places where Galcop put things they didn't want the general population to see. The trip had been long but not unpleasant, involving just under a weeks travel. Not that much had changed, The General Garrett, Shulth's "cell" had travelled with him. This was the military frigate that he was now, rather reluctantly starting to call home.

The routine was the same, The escorts formed up ready to perform the far away jump procedure, "Where are we going?" "That information is classified Doctor." They were still stinging from the execution, his clearances had been rescinded and all his requests went through Turner now. This didn't really annoy Shulth that much. The man couldn't stand the sight of him, his equipment requests could be conducted over narrow band and lab was populated by mechanical droid assistants. Anything to keep him away from the raw humans, the smell was unbearable.

They stank. His olfactory system had been crafted into an efficient biological DNA annualiser. He was used to the subtle aromas, caused by minor defects that occasionally appeared in a clone brooding vat. Not the raw clinging stench of wild genetics. So much imperfection, so much disease. Rancid natural genes barely and inefficiently doing their jobs, each copy less functional than the last. Slowly, inevitably, degrading back into the slurry that had formed them. It made him want to gag. He had been glad to get out of the cramped shuttle and the hanger he was standing alone in now, was a delight by comparison.

The guards they had passed to get here, looked like they hadn't slept properly in weeks. They flatly refused to unseal the hanger and had to be threatened with a court martial. They had an air of desperate panic about them. It was intriguing and very difficult to fake. The automatic doors had to be hand cranked and complained violently, opening in fits and starts. Shulth walked in but no one followed. He turned round quizzically and a small data-pad was thrust into his hands.

So there he stood, breathing in the stale but genetically clean air as a collection of eyes, some nervous some uncaring stared back at him from the far side of the partially open door. Mirias properly surveyed his surroundings; the hanger was indeed mostly empty, resting awkwardly towards the back of it was a pre-modular star-ship. An end of the period design, Mirias noticed several parts that Whatt and Pritney would adapt and evolve into their ground breaking modular python. This was a hand built obsolescence, a historical foot note by comparison.

So an old ship, 150 maybe 200 years at most? It didn't look it, it looked like it had been around for thousands. Even at this distance he could see there were no clean edges left, they were lost to the slow ablative effects of microscopic impacts. It took time to do this kind of damage to a ship. It looked oddly distressed or antiqued. A relatively new design that had been made to look aeons old.

Why would anyone want to make a hundred and fifty year old space craft look millennia old? It didn't make sense. Mirias turned to the pad for answers. As his hand moved over it; the Galcop logo spun gently on the now illuminated data pad then faded to reveal the face of General Turner.

"Good afternoon Dr Shulth, it has been brought to my attention that you may not be seeing your part in the big picture. That the tasks we're setting you have little use. I hope that you will not take offence if we are a little secretive regarding the grand plan to save Galcop. I hope this little demonstration will prove to you that your skills are to be married to others in order to accomplish a greater and long lasting good." His face faded and a historical listing appeared on the screen.

G.T.S. Star Chaser. Lankton Spaceways MC-18a Commissioned 2538. lost in witchspace 2541. Salvaged 2542. Crew compliment 8. Tomas Bevin (Captain), Jill Blake (Second Officer), Brendan Thall (Chief Engineer), Ellenar Bell (Navigator), lucinda Vey (Quartermaster), Jethro Secour (Electrical Engineer 1st Class), Millie Clay (Security/Gunnery), Dexter Swiss (Trade Cadet 2nd class). Faces and service careers flashed in front of him. The ship was part of a convoy group heading out from Lave to Diso. Unfortunately one of the StarChasers engines had flared out, just as they had synced for the far away jump. All the ships in the trade group were lost as a result. But the StarChaser, was eventually recovered. It was found, floating in the outer systems of Diso 20 months later. The crew (that could be found) were long dead. Carbon dating, dated the hulk at just over 134,000 years old. The ships data recorders had recorded detailed information regarding the spacial anomaly and the desperate attempts by the crew to work out where they were, how they could first get back, then just find anywhere with a longer survival time than the flying coffin they were currently occupying.

It had not ended well, the ship had a good oxygen and water recycle system, but food soon became an issue. The logs charted the slow degeneration of the crew from well ordered team, through petty squabbles into factions, power plays, fights, murder and eventually cannibalism. In the end the remaining 3 crew members seeing no way out of their current situation and none of them wanting to be the last one left, chewing hopelessly on the bones of the other two; turned off the oxy-cyc and just went to sleep. It was a tragic tale. But then space didn't care for 8 people slowly dying in a metal box. Lost in space and time. The next part interested Mirias more.

The anomalies had started soon after the ship had been recovered and the data it contained was being assessed. Technicians began falling ill due to stress, it appeared to be a strange variation of post trauma. Inducing hallucinations, panic attacks, depression the list went on. All the tox screens came back negative but the casualties kept on coming. Then things got really weird. Eye witness statements had consistency, the ship apparently, was haunted by the people who had died there. Everyone who went to debunk the mass hysteria surrounding the Star Chaser came out a fanatical convert instead. Rumours began circulating about a cult that wanted to take the ship and use it as a tool for communicating with the dead. Panicked by the growing controversy, Galcop buried it in an old research facility and merrily sectioned the more rowdy detractors. It was like the ship was a nasty little knot in space-time, driving anyone mad who looked at it too closely......

<Bonk>

Mirias felt a sudden sharp pain in his forehead. He had been strolling absent mindedly whist reading and he hadn't realized where he was, bumping straight into the side of the ship. It loomed over him now like a dark malevolence. At a distance it was a forlorn sight, up close however it was terrifying. It arched and curved unnaturally like a sinister work of art. Every millimetre of hull plate was pitted or scarred in some way, like a strange almost painfully detailed miniature moonscape. The viewing panels were sandblasted opaque and any equipment vaguely delicate on the exterior of the craft was either smash sculpted by time or missing entirely. Power and data cables spilled from one of its buckled and torn open airlocks. Intestine like, they snaking around the prone ship, tethering it to numerous flashing ports on the hangar walls and floor. Looking for all the world like a temple to a lesser god of madness.

Mirias stared at it rubbing his forehead. The hull was twisting razor sharp mass, that would have easily cut lesser men. Despite his physical superiority, for the first time in one hundred years he felt a shudder of dread run down his spine.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 3:10 pm 
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Chapter 17. Reunion (3170) Leesti, physical gratification district 7, spaceport 2, trader quarter.

Izmee's injuries were healing nicely. She couldn't run top flight clients but Velva and Rera were dealing with the real bottom feeders so on the whole, things could have been worse.

Joh-joh had been occupied with his drug deals and space thefts for the past week. It was routine, Joh-joh and 2 smugglers go inside to talk business. Several hours late just Joh-joh walks out, with the shipment, the money and sometimes even the keycard to the ship they came in on. All the time, wiping his hands with one of those faccing lavinian death hankies of his.

Anyone on the payroll who went in and cleaned up after him got the rest of the week off. It's amazing what you could bring yourself to do, if you just couldn't face the alternative. Once she had even seen a fight over who got to mop, blend and flush the poor ex-drug mule of the week.

The night was drawing to a close, most of the workers slept through the morning anyway. So she was surprised to see a client hanging around Joh-joh's corner. He was an older man, swathed in a long captains flight coat. He didn't look well, pale to the point of anaemia. His left arm was inert, hanging in a black sling across his stomach. He looked over at her and Velva, and smiled. Not a leering 'I'm thinking of what I'm going to do to you' smile but looked genuinely happy to see them.

Zorr felt a tremor run through his left arm. One of these two, was the one they needed. Which of course, meant that a number of people, some innocent, some decidedly otherwise. Would be dead within minutes.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Chapter 18. Abandon Hope (2718) Secure Galcop Storage Facility: Location Classified.

Mirias stood before the airlock. A small set of hastily placed steps sat awkwardly between him and the interior. He was conflicted, most of him reasoned that this was some kind of elaborate trick, but a small part wasn't so sure. It left him hesitant to take that first step. He had a disliking for traps at the best of times.

Then the face appeared, silhouetted in the light of the interior. "Oh hello! Are you here for the tour?" The face was feminine. Shulth found it difficult to pin down her age. His eyes adjusted and he could make more of her out. She was a technician of some kind, the clothing gave that away, covered in pockets, and practical. There was something familiar about this girl. He couldn't place her. This was worrying. His memory had been built to be as perfect as possible. An echo, a distorted reflection of someone he had met? Or seen, maybe in a picture? His mind raced through his personal history. Opening doors and then disregarding the contents, there was nothing but a subtle air of unplaceable infuriating familiarity.

His silent stare caused her to tilt. "Well! Don't just stand there looking like you just walked in on someone long meating your mother! Come on! This place is fun!"

The face and upper torso disappeared. Strangely assured, Mirias put his foot on the rung and his hand on the rail. It was cold but that didn't worry him. If this glib little human thing was flitting around this ship how horrible could it possibly be?

The interior was cramped, it reminded Shulth of the tombs of the first settlers. Death, had give way to decay, then it too had been usurped by the dust of ages that remained. Clearly despite the crews best efforts to remove all the oxygen, enough atmosphere had survived for nature to do its work. He surveyed his guide, but description remained elusive, she was average height, average build, average everything really, and face that could easily get lost in a crowd.

"If you keep looking at me like that I'm going to call someone and have you physically removed from the ship, it's creepy."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable". Mirias wasn't sure what to do, normally he could very quickly catalogue life forms and order them neatly into tiers of how far beneath him they were. This was like talking to an unknown to another Gau.

"I know, I'm just messing with you. Your a high clone. You don't do sex. Do ya? If your staring it's not because you want to jump me it's because you can't work something out. Maybe it's this place? This ship does strange things to people."

"so I've read, I"

"IIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!" The tec moved like lightning, pushing Shulth against the far bulk head and throwing herself against the other side. A young man haloed in light with blood running from a vicious head wound tore past them, hot on his heels was a burly man with a fire axe clasped in his bloodied fists. He slowed, as he approached, making a swipe for Shulth. Mirias had already calculated his weight, strength and the composition of the axe handle sweeping towards him. It would be no match for his carbon nano-tube enhanced bone structure or his cross latticed dermis. He would break the axe at it's mid point and sweep the head back into this offensive little man's jugular. He would be dead before he hit the ground.

The axe passed effortlessly through his raised left arm and Shulth was left looking dumbly at the axe head as it connected with his face.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 5:06 am 
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Well, that was surprising! You've got me sucked in now :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:32 am 
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Cliff hangers eh? Gotta love em.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:52 am 
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Chapter 19. Thunder (3170) Physical Gratification District 7, Spaceport 2, Trade Quarter: Leesti.

He was old but not unattractive, a trader too, Izmee liked traders they made her feel safe. "Your out a bit late darlin' just touched down have you? Fancy a bit of fun?" The stranger kept on smiling. "Ah if I were only twenty years younger I might take you up on that offer young lady. Unfortunately I'm here for business. I was wondering where your minder is? A gentleman by the name of Joh-joh. I have an offer to make him." Izmee's face fell, he seemed like a nice old man. She worried that he had been set up to be one of Joh-johs' paydays. She was thinking about what to say when Velva piped up. "endshin, beig endshin!"

The old man looked across quizzically. "What are you hearing? I can't......." His voice trailed off, Ezmee heard it too now. It was a low frequency drone, the kind that you heard and felt in equal measure. Whatever owned it meant business, those were heavy lifting engines for getting you too and from the station above.

From a distance it looked like four comets were gently turning towards them. The drone quickly turned into a roar as the military transport approached and slammed down in the plaza opposite. Esme turned back to the old man. "Friends of yours?" but she was talking to the air.

The belly of the beast opened revealing eight troopers in heavy riot armour lead by Major Cree then his agitant. "Secure the area and round up those flesh jockeys!" he barked. From one of the darker corners of the tenement, that Izmee called home came a sharp horse reply "I wouldn't do that if I were you Richard."

Cree's demeanour softened, he directed troops with hand signals as he distracted the target with conversation. As there was merely an area to address, he addressed the world in general; "Hello Orburn, been well?"

"so so, Imperial assassins, Federation diplomats they all want the same thing, they just phrase it differently. You?" Cree watched as his highly trained force fanned out. Encircling the enemy position. "I have my job and I have to say, it's going very very well. The gene infection has been effectively erased. But there are one or two loose ends to tie up."

"Bit of a come down isn't it? One minute flash freezing planets worth of zoothropes. The next dabbing up the dribs and drabs? I assume I'm one of those 'loose ends' Richard." The troopers were almost within striking distance. "Orburn, Galcop doesn't 'freeze' anything. Some planets, tragically, have eccentric orbits which cause adverse environmental conditions. As there are no human colonies on the surface, they don't qualify for Galcop aid. Don't you get tired of all this? What do you possibly hope to achieve? Times have changed. Remember Tibecia-beta 44?"

"Difficult to forget Richard. You practically blew that rock out from under me." "I do like to be thorough. Orburn, I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want a nice calm chat." He gestured the troops in. They had already isolated the terrorist, infra had given away his location. The only reason he was still alive was because Cree wanted him that way. They stormed the position with clinical speed and skill. Within seconds 8 infra target sight beams were focused on.... a heated sand bag.

"Got ya Richard." The bladestorm anti-personnel device, hidden in the sandbag dutifully exploded.

The bladestorm was designed with 3 specific tasks in mind. Kill personnel, blind/incapacitate anything that was still alive and finally obscure the area to hamper rescue and advance. It was devastatingly effective at all three. Firstly, in exploding it propelled spinning, razor sharp, carbon reinforced ceramic projectiles in all directions. Mixed in with the explosive was a pressurised caustic gas that when released irritated and burned the mucus membranes of most creatures. This gas (being roughly the same density) hung in the air making the area difficult to pass without breathing apperatus. Not a particularly powerful weapon, but good enough to lightly dice the 8 men sent to capture Orburn Zorr.

"So what's your hand gesture for 'Man down' Richard? I'd love to see it."

Cree cursed he'd just lost more men cornering Zorr than he'd lost in ten years of chasing him. Another 2 transports roared over head. "Did you really think you could just pop up on Leesti without us knowing? What are you looking for Orburn? Getting lonely up in space are you? Thought you'd shunt a furrow one last time before your heart gives out?" Cree turned to his agitant cowering beside him. "Get on the com in the ship and get one of the birds to blow this crap away."

Something moved to Cree's right. It was Velva and Izmee. They had crept along the side of the street and were looking to put as much distance between themselves and the mayhem as possible. He levelled his side arm at the pair of them and beckoned them over.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:15 pm 
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Chapter 20. Introductions. (2718) Starchaser: Location Classified.

Shulth tried to stand back up. His forearm and head were completely intact but numb. Steadying himself against the bulkhead he forced his neck muscles to respond and his eyes to focus. Happy with the effect he'd had on Shulth, the burly man had caught the younger one by the airlock. He was obscuring his labours but from the sweeping axe arch's, the sound of steel on meat, the enthusiastic cast off and the blooded gurgling, his quarry was seconds from death.

The Tec was already up. "Oi! Jethro! Pick on someone your own size" The axe strikes stopped abruptly. "You couldn't re-calibrate a thrust firing sequence if your life depended on it." the figure turned, distracted from his work. "Oh yeah, I'm sorry. It DID didn't it? And you still fac'ed it up! Cheese ball!" A guttural roar came from the spectral Jethro and he charged the tec, axe raised. Mirias was confused, what the hell was she doing? At the last possible moment the tec stepped to the side and the glowing figure slammed face first into one of the corridor stanchions evaporating in a blinding burst of light. Shulth turned back to the airlock, slowly fading was the crumpled, wretched form of the young man, sliced to ribbons and twitching feebly. Then, he too dissolved in a burst of brilliant but fleeting spectra.

"What the hell were they?" The Tec held out a hand and Mirias took it. She shrugged "Echo's, reflections, quantum anomalies, ghosts. Take your pick. The one who tried to take your face off was the electrical engineer Jethro Secour. The one getting chopped into merry meat chips was Dexter Swiss, ships scut." Mirias looked round still confused "but he saw us". The Tec dusted him down "I know he did! Cool isn't it? There we are Dr Shulth good as new. You should have seen your face when you thought you were going to get that axe in the eye socket! I was half expecting you to pop one out!" Mirias raised an eyebrow, "and who do I have the pleasure of addressing?" There was a muffled sound of an argument from the direction the two 'ghosts' had come from. "Oh fac their resetting! Look I don't mean to be rude but unless you like reruns I suggest we move."

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:40 pm 
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Chapter 21. Parley (3170) Physical Gratification District 7, Spaceport 2, Trade Quarter: Leesti.

"It's over Orburn. I've got the girl, not sure which ones her but when you cake on the make up and fac em till their half blind they all kind of look the same. Doesn't matter. They're important to you so they're important to me. Thing is I've got you. So technically I don't need them anymore. I'm also eight men down on the deal so your going to have to give me a compelling reason not to kill them, here and now." Orburn cursed, Cree was right. He shouldn't have spent so much time rigging the street. He should have identified the target and gone. No, that wouldn't have worked; oh hello girls! I think one of you might be the grand daughter of Udian Shulth, a revenge driven boarder line psychopathic, half robot genetic terrorist and mass murderer of planet shaking proportions. Do ya fancy a quick trip around the universe whilst being chased by every faction in existance?

"I'm putting a gun to one of their heads now Orburn. I'm going to give you till the count of 5 then I'll blow their brains out. Maybe the right one first, maybe not. I wouldn't really wait to find out as, I don't really care." The muzzle nuzzled Izmee's ear like a lover. It was cold. Tears rolled down her cheeks, she wanted her dad. "One". Think Orburn, think. Your running out of time. As soon as those two transports touch down your screwed. "Two". assets, assets; sonic, cutting charges, the old lady here, he doesn't know where I am. um. "three" negatives, Cree, a fac ton of angry soldiers circling overhead with infra, lasers, armour, grenades, the works. "four" fac I'm screwed aren't I? Orburn Zorr stepped out of the shadows.

"CREEE! WHAT YOU BEEN DOING TO MA STREET!" It was Joh-joh. Everyone reacted. The ladies cowered, Cree looked round missing Orburns appearance, the two troop transporters went wild; lighting Joh-joh up like a becon with their search lights and Orburn coldly and calmly took aim and fired the imperial sonic pistol he had take from Heeden, directly at Cree.

A sonic pistol is an assassins weapon. It operates pretty much silently which is one of the many reasons why it was banned within the Galactic collective. It doesn't fire conventional bullets, it fires focused percussive force. As such it needs a medium in order to operate. So, although useless in a vacuum, within the confines of an atmosphere it can be quite devastating if properly focused. It wasn't, but the effects were acceptable. The compressed atmospheric torus wave slammed into Cree's shoulder picking him up and throwing him backwards. Izmee and Velva looked on dumbfounded as he sailed through the air like a rag doll in a hurricane.

The force snapped his collar bone, dislocated his shoulder and broke his upper arm in 2 places. The edge of the shock wave hitting his face detached his right retina, perforated one of his ear drums and shredded several delicate mucus membranes in his nose, causing it to bleed profusely. As he had been inhaling at the time in order to say the word 'five' with a certain amount of smug satisfaction, truth be told. He had also suffered a collapsed lung. He did even more damage to himself when he landed on the cold hard concrete two seconds later.

Not that Orburn wasted any time admiring the canvas he had created however. He didn't have any to spare. He did have at best, just over a minute before someone realised something was wrong. He reached Izmee and Velva in a heart beat. "Ladies I'm leaving and considering the current situation you are both most welcome to join me." After having a gun to her ear, being one number away from oblivion and the prophetic thought of the inevitable and probably fatal beating from Joh-joh. Izmee practically jumped at him. She didn't care. This was a hell that ended in death. He seemed nice, but he was old, he could be over powered if anything went wrong. All in all there were opportunities in leaving. Velva on the other hand wasn't so easily swayed. "ish shay! Immm scareed!" Orburn looked slightly frantic "Look I can fly that troop transport by myself but two other people? Makes it a lot easier."

Izmee's jaw locked, all she knew was at that moment, two against one were better odds. So she made up her mind; Velva was coming. "V? You know when you protected me from Joh-joh?" Velva looked into her eyes and nodded. "well, I kind of need you to protect me now. You see I don't know this guy and he seems real nice, but you know Joh-joh seemed REAL nice when I first met him and we know how that turned out." The troop transports were starting to get restless. It was slowly becoming clear, that Joh-joh was not the person of interest they had been briefed to expect. "V, we've got to stick together and if we stay, we're dead. Stop being a wuss and take my hand, we're out of here." A steel crystallised in Velva's eyes and she grabbed Izmee's hand.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Chapter 22. Into The Labyrinth. (2718) Starchaser: Location classified.

"That's a nice name" Shulth was following the technician through the bowels of the ship. It had been badly illuminated by the strip lighting. "You think so? My grandfather liked it too and he was a right piece of work. I like Em, call me Em, everyone else does. Some people say you should be as formal as possible around people capable of planetary genocide."

Mirias tripped slightly on a cable. "and you don't?" "Watch your footing. But naaaa, that ship has already flown mate, call it what you like. It's not going to change the outcome. Might as well play it for laughs." Coming up on the crew quarters Em turned and smiled. "so then Dr, have you had enough of this dark little horror show of ours? Or could you do stomach a bit more gruesome?" Mirias smirked "I can take as much as you can" "spoken like a Shulth" Em replied smoothly and then, the screaming began.

As if in accompaniment, a bloodied hand clawed at the rim of the crew quarters door. Torn and stained clothing hung from the wrist as the fingers grasped feverishly for something, anything more substantial to cling onto. The lungs that helped power the hand were drawing in ragged breaths, the owners eyes swung desperately looking for any escape from the sharp blooded fate that tore at the collective whole. There was none. What had once been human quickly lost consciousness becoming mere meat for the hungry. The desperate hand was torn away, leaving skin, blood and nail. Mirias peeped through the opening.

The scene inside reminded him of his loyal Goda, as they had tried to protect him. This was disturbingly different however, the Goda just did, they took no pleasure in the act. Just as he took no pleasure in doing what needed to be done to purify Teorge. There was pleasure in this room and pain in equal measure. The joy of the slaughterer and the terror of the trapped animals. This, this event was sharp and messy and involved, visceral, uncomfortably close and low. It was orgied butchery. An abattoir. A carvery of men.

"Big nasty clone despot like you, scared by a strange little ship like this? It just doesn't seem right." This annoyed him. An emotion he had not entertained in decades. "why do you insist on mocking me, and why aren't you scared? You know who I am and what I'm capable of? Why are you here? The doors to the hanger were practically rusted shut, how ARE you here?"

"Ah" said Em "that is a question," as ghostly arterial spray spat between them from the open door way. "But a better one might be what would have happened if I had not been here? Mirias." He thought for a second. "fear, confusion" Em smiled "which disrupts the rational mind. They wish to keep you under control by showing you something beyond the remit of your understanding. You can't question that which you cannot quantify." All the crassness had gone from her voice and manner, she was acting more like a Gau with every passing second.

His eyes narrowed "this is a trick." Em looked him in the eye. Her irises were coloured brown with contact lenses but every occasion a flash of silver in a purple haze whipped past the edges. "if it is a trick Pinyin Gau master of Teorge. Then why can't you smell me?"

Shulth was taken back. Being this close to a mere human should repulse him but she was quite right. He could smell nothing. Nothing at all. Em smirked "It's amazing what you miss when your distracted hu? Right, now I have your full attention, we have to get to the bridge. We don't have a lot of time and you don't want to miss the grand finale."

Before he could press her on the matter, she was off.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:04 am 
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Chapter 23. Yes Man (3170) Galcop military transport, physical gratification district 7: Leesti.

Rece Mintell's military career had thus far, been less than he had hoped for. Admittedly he was not the fastest, strongest or most intelligent cadet to ever graduate Galcop Military academy. He was however very, very good at flattering and agreeing with people.

More forceful personalities tended to rub people up the wrong way, challenge them and their way of thinking. It was so much easier to promote people who laughed at all your jokes, applauded your every action and said 'yes sir' all the time. Then he met Major Cree; a single minded, nothing is ever good enough, I'm just shouting because I get off on seeing you scared, ass hole of a man. You tell him bad news he shouts, you tell him good news he shouts because the news isn't good enough. For the first time in his career Rece found someone he couldn't work his magic on. Cree was completely immune.

There was one other thing Rece knew. He wasn't cut out for the rough and tumble of field work. All hell had broken loose out there and in the patchy light, cut through by the razor glare of the other two transports search lights, he did not have the first clue what was going on. Good thing he was back on the first transport, good thing he was safe. A lot of things where happening all at once and Rece couldn't cope. One minute he was directing one of the birds down to blow away the caustic smoke that had hung in the street like a fog. The next, Cree was gone and the transports where crowding some guy in a sharp suit and debating over the com if they should kill him or not. Where the hell was the major?

As if to answer him. He heard the sound of a smooth efficient military step and the cockpit door being opened. Thank fac for that. The major was here; order, abrasive though it was, had returned. "Major Cree, I...."

When Rece woke up, he was lying on the street watching the transport take to the air in front of him. He saw two figures standing silhouetted in the light of the cargo bay. They diminished as the door closed sealing them in. Then warm air washed over him as the afterburners fired and the bird took to the night sky.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:14 am 
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Chapter 24. Bridge (2718) Starchaser: Location classified.

Three of them sat in the middle of the room heads bowed, two females and one man. They're clothing hung from their emaciated and injured forms. As Shulth watched they slowly fell apart, decades of entropy occurring in just a few moments. Firstly they hunched, then blooms of bacteria ran over their bodies, clothing and skin dried and fell away as all three slowly slumped forward, their failing frames giving up the fight to support them. The were little more than bones now, the enthusiasms of earlier rotting now long past, then fragments, then dust. A shimmer of light washed over the remains and it all began again. "unfortunate." he murmured.

"Yes, Brendan, Jill and Millie. Pushed beyond madness by what they had done, with no hope of rescue, they chose to die. I'm frequently, almost religiously challenged by its' poignancy" Shulth didn't flinch, "in what way?"

Em sighed "Of all the moments, over all the aeons that this ship has witnessed. Time, quantum mechanics, or whatever, chooses to replay these specific points. How does a mindless force know what poignant and meaningful is? It should be random, a replaying of dust settling in a corridor or of nothing at all. There's much more silence than action in this place. But no, it shows us this instead. I can see why people wanted to make this place a shrine. It makes you think."

Mirias looked up "what is it you wanted to show me?"

Em walked respectfully around the death scene, across to the navigation system. "Here it is, all the information on how it was done. We always suspected that Witchspace might have a chronological effect, but this ship proved it. More than that it documented a method that could be replicated. Expanded upon, maybe even utilized."

Mirias looked at her sceptically "what? Time travel?"

Em turned around "Linear, paradoxical time travel, yes. You don't need to be accurate, just put a payload on target within say a million years accuracy?"

Mirias looked at her incredulously "Well that would depend on what you wanted to do, but this ship was a fluke, you could go through hundreds of probes, thousands getting the results to hang a method from."

"Couple of hundred thousand to be precise. They had half a planet making them back in the day. That's Galcop for you. Then there is a delivery system to think about, tailoring each genetic payload to be best suited to the planetary conditions. Limit genetic drift. Etc etc etc."

"Clones would be easier. I could cook up a few billion with my eyes closed. No need to bother with this esoteric stuff."

"You think their going to trust you with clones after seeing the colonists usurped on Teorge? Their dumb Mirias but they do tend to occasionally learn from history."

"Still, it seems like a pointlessly complex plan for a simple manpower problem."

Em smiled "Complex? It's like fixing a watch with a sledgehammer. A brute force solution at best. They don't have the accuracy for a surgical time strike, so they can't use their default solution of 'blow everything up'. Anyway get it wrong and it's paradox city."

"But why have me create zoothropes? I could have just as easily made monkeys with a perpetuity for turning into humans?"

"Unethical and too risky. Humans could side with the Federation or the Imperium. Anthros have to side with Galcop because it's the only side that isn't rampantly xenophobic. Also humans are weak; Animals? Well, they can be made to just get on with it."

"So basic animal structures, with a humanoid evolutionary payload. Fire hundreds of them at Goldilocks planets, one maybe two million years in the past and watch the universe light up with intelligent life?"

"Ridiculous isn't it? Lizard-men for a desert planet, Frogmen for a swamp."

Shulth smiled, "Dumb enough to work and if it didn't you just keep on shooting till it does. It would certainly make incursions into the 8 much more difficult. The effects would be historically accumulative as well."

"oh look! The boys in uniform get their retroactive time war after all and an army who's casualties they couldn't give a stit about." Em put her hand to her ear miming a comms device. "Sorry Mrs Cat three of your last litter just got incinerated in a naval action. Just popped out another twelve? Congratulations, can I put you down for six?" She rolled her eyes, then began to notice the room was slowly brightening. "oh dear, running out of time."

Shulths some what frayed thoughts started to crystallized; "Your a time traveler too aren't you? Not like these death echos but from some where else.

Em was genuinely taken back. "I, look there isn't much time Pinyin." the room was growing brighter "I picked this place because it's one of the few times your not being monitored. Too much interference. I live in a possible future. I don't like it, WE don't like it and they don't like us."

Mirias was surprisingly matter of fact "Tell me what I need to know."

Em looked panicked "oh fac! They're coming! Ok right. They want to put in fail safes. Kill the zoothropes after they've helped stop the insurgency and built the infrastructure that human colonists can then take it over. Your building slaves for them Mirias. Expendable empire builders. You may not care, but you have the right to know. Remember the Dark Wheel and remember me."

A burst of light span through Mirias. He was used to the feeling by now but it didn't alter it's adverse effects. The spectre within grabbed Em, she fought as the light of this another form enveloped her. There were words but Shulth could not clear the ringing in his ears to hear them. Then within a blink of an eye they were both gone.

Half numb, hounded by the the lost souls trapped within the walls and mindful of the need to make a show of it. Mirias ran screaming from the ship.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:52 am 
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Excellent!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:45 am 
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Excellent!
Agreed..

Another nice bonus to my leave of absence.. several new Chronicles tales to read.. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:09 am 
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Excellent!
Oh you just wait. The best kind of repairs are invisible ones. We have only just begun to knock the dinks out of established history..... We're fixing everything! :D

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