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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:11 pm 
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(short chapter this week and a little late; past couple of weeks have been beset with health and family issues. A bigger chapter is on the way this Friday.)

Chapter 38. The First Overlay (2727) Outside the Octagon. Galcop central office. Lave.

Benjamin Illis, was concerned about the President of Galcop. It was two minutes to midnight and he was last seen stumbling into the Octagon with a historically priceless bottle of "Settlers". Ben needed a presidential order to release the reserves. The Imperials were on the brink of breaking out of Lsusle . Humans and Onrirans alike were fighting and dying side by side for Galcop and he was sitting in his office getting drunk.

Chief Associate Skleen approached the vice-president as he stood at the door. She was immaculately dressed in a self humidifying business suit. "<Rolph> Ben? We've received a message from the Federation. They're asking if we require any military assistance repelling the Imperial fleet?" He stared into her orb like eyes, the pores on her sky blue skin were raised, she was scared. Ben motioned at the door; "At the stroke of midnight I'm kicking it in and dragging that son of a spawner out". There was a muffled gun shot and a crash from inside the Octagon.

"oh fac!" As the clock struck, true to his word. Ben Illis kicked in the door to the Octagon.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:54 am 
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Chapter 39. Coda (3170) Main reception area: The eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.

Izmee, Zorr and Velva sat back on cushions of cross terminating air in reception area of the Eternal palace. Some capital buildings showed their ostentatiousness by their physical and architectural luxuriance. Some were filled with rare and expensive items. This one however, was a temple to space and light. This place was strange. Not just the Palace, or the people; the whole planet was very, very odd.

Things changed quickly here. Going from the trivial to normal, to the ridiculous, to the deadly and back again with break neck speed. After nearly being killed by the Goda, the Gira or worker class clones arrived. They were very good at apologising. They weren't sure why they should be apologising but they were told it was important and that they should do it most sincerely. So they did, a lot. They apologised for the Goda. For the state of the twice shy, which would be transported immediately to the capital and repaired. They apologised for all the visitors having to wear 'cancer-monger' veils so they didn't cause a scene in the capital city. They apologised when the vac-train was 2 seconds late into the station. They even apologised when Velva's blood accidentally killed three of them as they tried to bandage her shoulder wound.

It was quite clear that this visit was rare to say the least and despite everyone being terribly accommodating, no one really knew what to do. The world they found themselves travelling through was painfully ordered and uniform. Domiciles built on a perfect grid as were the farms and strangely enough, in their own way the people.

They were mirrors of reflections, some old some new but all terrifyingly the same. The six distinct types of Gira clone only varied by age. One minute you were talking to a young pretty type 4, then three elderly type 4's would be walking across the street behind her. You tried not to look but normal people are drawn to patterns and this level of symmetry hurt the mind.

You ended up searching for something, anything that made any one of them different. For your own sanity and in order to work out who the hell you were talking to from one minute to the next. Six subtle variations was not enough. Despite the painful uniformity, this apparent anarchy was on some deep psychological level, profoundly organised. But like a pack of 6 year olds looking at an ants nest whilst suffering comparatively compulsive De-ja vu, none of them not even Zorr, could see the wood for the trees.

"Good afternoon ladies and gentleman. If I may be allow me to introduce myself. My name is Coda Gau one of the eight of which six remain. It is so rare that we receive guests, we are quite unprepared for your arrival." Coda was tall, thin, and quite eastern in appearance. Dressed unassumingly in a neat collarless shirt and dark trousers.

The three of them stood up in unison. It seemed the correct thing to do, as all the other attendant clones had immediately bowed. "Orburn Zorr, I must apologise. When we received your message, we really didn't believe you would be foolish enough to actually come here. We assumed a feint of some sort, so we disregarded it. An over site on our part. I am quite sure that Udians trusted quartermaster, will reveal the method behind his apparent madness, in due course."

His piercing stare swept across the room. "This must be Izmee. I find myself at a loss. Usually I'm quite well informed regarding my few guests. Although, you are most assuredly a pure raw human aren't you?" He coughed slightly "You have my condolences." His serpentine vision settled on the wretched form of Velva. His veneer of superiority melted away and he looked to Zorr for answers "Is this the child?" Zorr nodded. "Philistines. I understand why your here. This is an insult. A desecration that reveals motive. I." He stopped himself, Coda's demeanour had changed unsettlingly from a man in complete control, to someone who had to put on a show. "Still you must be tired. Your rooms are prepared. I will see you in 8 hours for discussion, followed by light refreshment."

With that Coda turned and left. Izmee looked at Urburn, "Do you have any weapons what so ever on you right now?" He shook his head. "One trip eh?" The old man shrugged sheepishly. Izmee pursed her lips "oh brilliant."

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Last edited by ClymAngus on Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:04 am 
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Also the next few chapters are quite short and tend to go together so I might bundle them in sets of two. This may mean we get to the end of book one a little quicker. But I think you'll find each post more satisfying. Let me know if this is horribly objectionable. :)

Oh, and are we all having fun so far? I'm not fishing for compliments here (honestly) but if there are any glaring errors, it would be nice to know about them as it's possible to get way too close to a project like this.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:41 pm 
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Keep it coming, Clym! There are a few minor typos here and there - but that's for a proof reader, perhaps.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Chapter 40. Prelude to the Second Overlay (2727) Dark wheel control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.

"It's just a button." Lisa looked at him. "I wish you'd let me fire a probe, find out what happened." Mirias shook his head. "and what if we did? Some people you love will be gone, some will be utterly changed. It will give people here false hope and draw unwarranted attention. Never look at the chaos you have wrought, look to the goal instead. We are making broad brush strokes on a very large canvas, Professor. Now is not the time for fine detail that will be brushed away the second we target the next system." "But." "My genetics are precise, Professor Harrington, you are now your families only legacy and the sole custodian of their memory. Without your fathers work, none of this would be here, we would not be here. We would be helpless bystanders watching the ruin of Galcop. This is what he wanted. What you want.....To save Galcop. You are not alone, we are all here with you. I want you to take my hand so we can save the future. All of us. Together."

Lisa held his hand tightly as they fired the Dark Wheel at DISO and destroyed the reality they had made only days before.

-----

Chapter 41. The Second Overlay (2727) Speakers corner. Tionisla station.

Brother Benjamin Illis was giving, even by his own fine standards a barn storming midnight sermon in speakers corner. He prided himself on the inclusive nature of his congregation, Humans, Disonians and Onrirans were all drawn to his truth. He could feel the very hand of Factonia herself on his shoulder as he spoke. "These are dark times my flock, The Order has shown itself! Through the puppet like actions of the Imperium. They know our strength and our power. This is the battle as foretold! Shout Exithallya!" As one voice crowd responded: "Exithallya!". "our time has come my children, to stand up and be counted! Say Exithallya again!" "Exithallya!" Brother Illis mopped his brow. "We shall prevail! As it is written so it shall be done. Now please, my children, upon this most sacred midnight. We shall all bow our heads in prayer; Glorious Randomus Factonia! Who's divine chance made us whole. I beg you to watch over those who recognise your signs and wonders in all things. May we question order and give unto your divine light of chance." The adoration washed over Brother Illis like a wave. He would bring the future through the hands of the people. His sacred star was ascending. The votes would come soon enough. He had something more important, he had hearts, minds and the shining jewel that crowned them all. Faith.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:57 am 
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Chapter 42. Prelude to the Third Overlay (2727) Dark wheel control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.

"General?" "Yes Shulth." "It's time." Turners eyes narrowed, "I'm perfectly well aware of the time and what needs to be done. I would have thought that was made perfectly clear the first time we fired that thing." Shulth looked wistfully over at the communications bay. "Yes, unfortunate but sadly necessary. I'm glad I was right about you James. That you had a purpose drawn from some where deeper than your rank." Turner looked quite annoyed. "You can stop that right now. I've had my doubts from time to time, we all have, but don't you try and sweet talk me like you did the Professor. I still don't know why or how the hell you managed to pull that off." Shulth smiled, "Charged situations tend to cause people to re-prioritise." "I thought you didn't like the smell of humans?" Turner retorted, Shulth practically grinned at that one. "oh, she's not James. Not any more. Not a lot of you are. One by one you all realised that only pride was stopping you from letting me help. Oh, and your stalling." Turner looked Mirias squarely in the eye "Don't forget who's running this show Shulth." Turner Strode forward. "As you said, unfortunate but sadly necessary. What are we hitting this time? Oresqu? Fac it." James hand stamped down on the firing control and unmourned, another reality died.

Chapter 43. Quid pro quo (3170) Guest rooms: The eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.

"I doon feill rite. Eim sooory." Izmee had been holding Velva's head over the toilet for the last three quarters of an hour. If she wasn't so scared, she would have been really, really annoyed. OK, this entire planet freaked her the fac out but, boy! Could they ever make beds.

Imagine thousands of fingers of air gently kneading every inch of you as you slept. She had been having some very pleasant dreams then Velva had staggered in, looking very ill. Izmee had been dismissive at first. Then she saw Vela's shoulder. Deep red vein lines ran angrily from the wound she had received. Ripping radially out from under the dressing like a strange crimson, blossoming root. It looked horrific, it looked terminal. Beads of sweat clunk to her forehead as she dry wretched again. There was nothing left to come up. Izmee couldn't leave her but she desperately needed someone, anyone to come and help.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:48 pm 
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Chapter 44. The Third Overlay (2727) Roof of the Ririden Insurance corporation. DISO.

There is one business that you really didn't want to be in, during a war. Insurance. A lot of things that are insured, are about to get blown the fac up and lot of things that could be insured, won't be, just in case they get blown the fac up. In real terms this meant lots of money going out and not a lot coming in. Not a good way to run a business and incidentally why Benjamin Illis, account manager 1st class, third grade was staring out into space plucking up the courage to kill himself.

He had made some bad choices about six months ago. The cold war had been rumbling on but as long as nothing actually happened, there was a lot of money to be made in short term, high premium contracts. The trick was to have them expire before the war started. Thanks to him, Ririden was now dangerously exposed to a lot of potentially expensive policies. He'd spent the past two days desperately trying to off load them, but the market was in free fall. The uncertainty inherent in war will do that. One thing he knew for sure was, it was only be a matter of time before the accountants put two and two together and paid his cubicle a visit.

Life insurance doesn't pay out if you kill yourself so it had to look like something else, like murder for instance. So he'd bought a knife off a drunken piece of street garbage, making sure he wore gloves to preserve their DNA and prints. Ben knew no one would work the weekend so, he kissed his expensive wife and kids goodbye and left to do some 'overtime' at the office. He left a company back door unlocked and rigged the cameras leading up the emergency stairs. He'd left some packets of zipp powder on the roof and slashed some defensive wounds in his arms, you know, to set the scene. So there he stood, staring out at the city trying not to drip on the parapet. It was now or never.

Stepping into the night, Benjamin Illis rolled the dice, one last time.

Chapter 45. Prelude to the Fourth Overlay (2727) Dark wheel control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.

Alison, head of communications sobbed gently as the fire control pulsed purposefully in front of her. It was quite clear that General Turner was quickly loosing his patience. Professor Harrington put her hand on his shoulder. "Don't, James." She said softly "I'll handle this." Lisa stepped forward and took Alisons shaking hands. "Alison? I'm sorry. I'm sorry about Tim, I'm sorry you're here. I'm sorry any of this had to happen. But...." Alison pulled her hands free, stood and faced General Turner. "Permission to speak candidly. Sir." "Permission granted." Alison took a step forward. "The officer wonders, sir. That if the political system, that made the general is being destroyed by our actions. Is the general still a general, sir? If, this weapon makes you less of a general every single time it's fired. Then this officer would be happy do so. Permission to fire the Dark Wheel sir." Turner's expression locked like a rusted engine. "Permission granted". "Yes sir!" Alison said brightly, turning smartly and gently tapping the fire controller.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:56 pm 
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Chapter 46. Importance (3170) Guest rooms: The eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.
After banging on the door with her foot for 5 minutes and shouting at the top of her lungs. Help finally arrived. The first one in the room was Gira type 2. News must travel fast as she was very weary of Velva and any bodily fluids she might be emitting. After mumbling something about getting help, she disappeared, 2 minutes later Coda himself tore into the room like a demon. "what is wrong with the child?" he demanded. Izmee, desperate for help could only barely string together a reply; "Her shoulder, I think it's infected." Velva sat hunched over the toilet, she was now throwing up blood.

Coda looked to the other 4 frightened Gira that had entered behind him. "Don't touch anything, every drop of liquid coming out of her is going to be as lethal as mine." The clones nodded in unison. "The makeshift veiling DNA I smelt earlier is being rejected. We have to suppress the symptoms. I need a cell division inhibitor, anti-inflammatories, strong anti-rejections and something to stop her retching. All mutually compatible with minimum side effects. I could put that together in 30 seconds. You have 2 minutes; Go now."

The clones raced out of the room. Izmee was a mixture of confusion and panic. Coda's hand moved fluidly onto Velva's neck and pressed three precise points. She immediately stopped vomiting. Izmee looked at him "What did you do?" Coda replied without looked back "Pressure points my wild human. Still, I can't sit here all night." "What's wrong with her?" Izmee urged. Coda turned his head to face her. "You really don't know what's going on here do you? This broken thing, that may or may not die in my arms is genetic perfection. Not a isolated cloned perfection but a wild adaptive symphony of cells, hormones and micro-tech. The results of three generations of adaptive testing. She is the holy grail of biological watch making. Persistent perfection despite conventional interbreeding." He looked away for a second frustrated by her lack of understanding. "It is very important that she lives until I can adequately ascertain the fundamental structure of her being.... your not getting any of this are you?" Izmee raised an eyebrow "She's important." Coda conceded "Yes, she IS important".

Chapter 47. The Forth Overlay (2727) Tiblic district cemetery. DISO.

Darkness and silence. This is how it was and how it is. Because there was nothing left that could be used to remember. That had all ceased to exist roughly 4 minutes after the accident when, starved of oxygen, 8 year old Benjamin Illis's, by then badly damaged brain had finally, completely died.

If there were; it would have recalled the day at school, the kiss in the playground from Susan Butler, the gold star for maths and the hug from his mother when school ended. Then it would have remembered running to Susan, after seeing her on the other side of the road outside school. Hearing the screams from the other parents that made him stop. The squeal of grav-plates and the sight of the vehicle, that filled his vision and smashed him sickeningly but not quite instantly enough, out of existence.

But it didn't, because there was nothing left that could hold even one single shred of thought, let alone memory. It was gone. He was gone. He simply didn't exist. Not any more, and not for quite some time. There was only darkness and silence.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:46 pm 
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Ah the darkness and silence chapter. One of my better chapters. In a dark kind of way.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Chapter 48. Prelude to the Fifth Overlay (2727) Dark wheel control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.

Tech Second class: Mirran Moled Jr, really didn't know why she was up on the command deck in the first place. Some blah, blah, blah, about; we're all in this together. We must all push the button. Fac reality, reality sucked. Reality had never been particularly nice to her. She was an orphan conscript; learn a skill tec, be very good and very grateful to everyone all the time or die in the gutter with your attitude and pride intact. Not much of a choice but there you go.

In her official capacity as the most outranked thing on the ship. That no one ever needed to listen to, (as nearly everyone pointed out on a regular basis) she pushed buttons every day. She did a hell of a lot more than that, not that this was ever picked up on or praised. So what's one more facking button? She sat unmoved as people she didn't know and/or care about told her how important it was that she pushed this rimming button and felt something all hand wringy about it. Yeah, like anyone was this touchy feely in the Galcop orphanage. Well one or two were, but not in a good way. You survived.

When it came to her turn, she just pressed it like it meant nothing. None of this emotional bull, boom! Done! Bye, bye, reality! Most people in that room looked at her like she was boot scrape. Fine, they see the do, but not the why. Not the lab-rat though. You know, tall, thin, pretty, east, bit sinister. Not him. He silent cheered her. Forearms up and everything! That took total balls with the general there. Not that anyone saw, he was at the back. She like him, he got it.

Didn't matter. She had better things to do. It's a button. Get your priorities straight; stopping a war. That's important. The lab-rat got it, he knew what was going on. Anyway. Given the ball-turd of her life so far, how bad could pushing one fissing button possibly be?

Chapter 49. The Fifth Overlay (~) No-where.

Benjamin Illis, didn't exist and never had. The fine tapestry of chance that had lead to his creation had been unraveled to such a point as to make his existence, utterly impossible. His mother had never met his father, her scholarship having been given to a more deserving zoothrope (equal opportunities were very important to the education board. They couldn't be seen to be favoring humans). As a result the egg, that would have made him, passed out of her and died whilst she was still earning the money for university; serving chilled beverages in the local 5D cinema.

His father having had a feline nanny, fixated more on that race rather than the horribly smooth, fur-less and demanding human women during puberty. So the sperm that would have made him, found itself swimming in the unreceptive uterus of a very pink, pretty, ditsy, plush, perky and highly over sexed female Disoian girlfriend.

This was merely the beginning however. His parents lives too were being terminally eroded by the effects of the Dark Wheel, as would the lives of a good number of generations before them.

So just like that, in the blink of an eye, really, as the Dark Wheel kept on firing. The strange quirk of fate know as Benjamin Illis, the once President of Galcop and arguably the man most responsible for the greatest loss of sentient life in history; like an incalculable number of others. Some human, some not, practically all the originals and countless multitudes who merely existed for one maybe two realities. The important, the trivial and a myriad of shades in between; was effortlessly undone.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:21 am 
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Chapter 50. Family (3170) Control Room: The eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.

Coda sat down in the main palace control room. He liked it in here. He enjoyed spending time with his kin. It grounded him and kept him from suffering from the detrimental emotional aspects of being in total control of his sector of the planet. 7 screens were arrayed before him. Two were a respectful black the others had silhouettes on them and a red bar beneath.

Coda smiled as his hands rattled over the keys. The others used voice control but he liked the touch of the keys; the physicality of the keyboard. It was late, the genetic patchwork quilt that called itself Velva was asleep but the journey there had been messy, involved and exhausting.

He wasn't used to dealing with the filth of raw humanity or their works and like a prince in a pigsty, he had found the experience difficult to deal with. That was Pinyin's job. The bloodiest of them, the Gau clone that oversaw the original killing. Coda was a thinker, organizer and builder. Pinyin was the destruction required before building could begin. Pinyin could cope much better with the grime of raw humans, Coda had difficulty holding down his last meal in front of them. Not that he'd ever show it.

The bars at the bottom of two of the monitors with silhouettes, changed from red to green. "Do you have any idea what the time is Coda?" The female voice was sharp and scathing. "The planet is round, I know the velocity and angle of rotation. So yes. Yes I do." Coda retorted. The other green screen flashed into life "Xena, we know why Coda is calling. I'm asking you both politely, not to play games. If we are awakened, there is a reason. Of this I have no doubt. Brother?"

Coda sat back. "The Shulth has been poisoned by Goda DNA. It's causing a reaction."

Xena sat up in her screen. "Really?"

Coda looked lightly annoyed. "In my opinion and I'm sending you my notes now. When captured after a slap dash interrogation, they inventively overlaid her DNA with a barely functional cancerous agent; designed to cripple her and mask her more unique physical attributes. The Goda DNA upset that balance. If you could call it that and started a cascade rejection. She's starting to produce hyper antibodies that are stripping away the masking DNA, very very efficiently."

The male voice spoke up. "If you are talking to us then you have the situation under control, I assume this is not the main point of your call?"

Coda nodded slightly in appreciation. "Implacable logic as always brother. I am concerned that if they would butcher her to this extent just to lay a trap for Zorr then....."

"Then, they wouldn't think twice about butchering a world to take him and keep the secret." Xena retorted.

The male silhouette stood up. "I'm coming Coda." The king clone slumped happily back in his chair. "Thank you, Pinyin."

---------------------------

Chapter 51. The Shard (2728) Conference room 1. Control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.

The General slumped back in his chair "Moomorek, the bovine cow goddess and uncontested empress of the universe? Please tell me your facking with me." He leaned forward placing his head in his hands. Mirias was failing to stifle his amusement and Professor Harrington stood, lips pursed and arms crossed, she wasn't used to being interrupted when giving a serious lecture.

The first basic seeding of the eight 'galaxies' had been completed. Fortunately the web of witchspace between star systems had not changed, merely their contents. The universe now teemed with new life. Most of it apparently cow like in nature.

The wheel had quickly exhausted the accessible worlds it could fire at from the pocket of witchspace it had currently resided in. So the General Garret, stopped its spin, locked onto the structure and dragged it to a new location where it could resume it's work.

Then there was the problem of travel between galaxies. For that you needed technicians. Well over half the General Garretts compliment of crew were techs of some sort. They needed them, all of them; to keep this rolling reality murder show on the road. A lot of equipment needed to be replaced every time you jumped to another galaxy and they had a currently plentiful but realistically finite supply.

The Garett had been very well stocked. Even with the exterior cargo pods covering most of the hull, pretty much all the free areas inside were filled to the ceiling with supplies, spares, hydroponic bays, 3d printing replication booths and other mission critical paraphernalia. Enough to keep this operation running for a dozen years or more.

Turner knew, he saw the inventories. They had hardly dented their reserves. Hangers full of pristine galaxy drives, millions of tons of fuel, replication and refining facilities that would make your average isolationist cult with an unlimited budget green with envy, but that wasn't the point.

It was decreasing. As commander of a military campaign with no chance of resupply; Turner found this to be deeply troubling. The bizarreness and humor of the current state of the universe was not lost on him. That said his perspective rested on the far horizon where, ten to fifteen years from now, starved of equipment they might have to "make do" with a less than ideal universe. These were the days of wine and plenty, as a soldier he knew they could not last.

"General? If I might be allowed to continue?" Harrington was disappointed too, she had been expecting better results from the first sweep. Not this farce, this caricature universe that they had been presented with. Still the probe had proven to be informative. She had personally scraped a her thumb under one of it's housing plates drawing blood. As the probe left witchspace there was no explosion, no turmult as her realities cells met this new one. It was admittedly only a proof of concept, but a successful and satisfying one. Then the data started to come back and the recriminations began.

"We are still translating the guttural universal language". "You mean the Mooing?" Mirias chimed in grinning like a Cheshire cat. Lisa glared at him and tried to keep going. "But we have been able to ascertain some simple facts. There is a predominant bovine species in the universe. There would appear to be few other races left that have not been eugenically cleansed."

Turner sat up. "Galcop?"

"Gone"

"The Imperium?"

"Nope"

"For the love of fac, the Federation?"

"Put up a hell of a struggle but seems to have been completely annihilated a long time ago."

Turners eyes were wide. "How the hell do we even begin to fix this fac?"

Lisa looked at Mirias, this had been a talking point for both of them for many months now, a lot of it after sex but not exclusively. Shulth slowly got to his feet. "Your right, it could be argued that we've been a bit enthusiastic... Regarding the seeding of certain worlds."

James pointed out of one of the windows. "Enthusiastic? You do realize what's at stake here don't you Shulth?"

Mirias tilted his head, all earlier humor gone. "The gravity of the situation is not lost on me but this was to be expected. Getting it right first try was always going to be an idealistic dream."

James sat back, palms up and shrugged his shoulders. "So what now?"

"It's all still in there you know." interjected Lisa. "Galcop, The Federation and the Empire. It all existed in this reality just like our own. It's just been removed before now, by specific events. Events we now, have to identify and undo. What's the best way of putting it? This is kind of like sculpting stone. The statue is in there, we've just got to chip away the bits we don't need."

Shulth brought up a display with all the systems that had been seeded with bovine DNA. "Ok, so the plan is fairly simple; we'll listen, get some more history, find out which planetary pasture these disobedient malforms came from and chisel them off before they get started."

His hands raced over the display highlighting worlds. "Also, I would suggest we chisel off say, 40 to 70 percent of the other bovine races in the eight on our way through, depending on what we find out history wise? Then reseed with a more docile variant. Making just one change each time we sweep through the 8 galaxies would be a ridiculous waste of resources."

James thought for a second. "Am I correct in thinking that neither of you actually know what the hell your doing?" "More or less" Lisa replied matter-of-factly. "but with each probe, we get more information about the events of the universes we are sculpting. We can compare their histories. Look for patterns, similarities, how they differ. The more information we have, the better we will get at predicting outcomes. We'll methodically cut our way through to some form of acceptable reality."

Shulth smiled "Pare back the stone to reveal the figure beneath"

"One more question" Turner replied. "How exactly, are we going to 'chisel away' queen cow and her bovine minions out there?" Shulth reached into his pocket, took out a small cylindrical vial and placed it gently on the table. "With this."

It contained what appeared to be a small innocuous red crystal. Small angular tendrils fanned out, split and receded in a never ending fractal pattern moving like slow lightning. It appeared to be looking for something. It was quite unnerving to watch.

James looked at it transfixed "What the hell is that?" "That my dear general is our chisel, but I like to call it The Shard."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:35 pm 
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Do you remember the shard? Back on the wiki?

http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Caduceus

It was a minor thing. I would not thought any less of you, if you'd only thought; just words, on the net, nothing more.

But no, the arc of the wiki was a statement of truth. It was a seed.

And as you stand here. Seeing the fallow field grow. It is good, to finally let you see the crop I planted so many years ago.

This story has been growing for a very long time......

Do you have the stomach, for the reaping? It is coming.......

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Chapter 52. The Trap (3170) Within the eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.

"I trust everyone slept well?" It was a rhetorical question as Coda already knew the answer, but it seemed polite to ask it anyway. Graciously he surveyed the state of his guests. Izme looked exhausted, but despite the fact she was natural human filth; she was looking in much better shape than the propped up Velva. Tubes criss-crossed her arms delivering intravenous drugs from pressure drips slung across her like a bandoleer. She was ashen, a colour that made the deep red micro sores pockmarking her skin stand out all the more.

Zorr on the other hand looked perturbed. Coda could see his mind racing and the answers it was arriving at were not pretty ones. The situation was slowly slipping out of his control and he knew it, but trapped on a world where difference was met with annihilation, there was little he could do. He had played most of his cards getting here and they both knew it.

"Urburn, you look unsettled?" Zorr looked up. "I'm just anxious to get on with business so we can get out of here. No offence."

"None taken. I completely understand. Our world is an acquired taste. We can talk over breakfast. The primary meeting hall has been prepared. It is right over here. Would you like any help with the Shulth?" Coda gestured to Ismee who was helping Velva remain upright. She shook her head. "Fine, fine I'm sure we'll all feel better after a small bite to eat."

The second they entered the hall Zorr knew something was wrong. The walls were flanked by Goda clones, five on each side. Two of which guarded the doors as they closed behind them. At the far end of the long table sat four figures in evo suits. The markings had been disguised but from the cut, they practically screamed Galcop.

Zorr's arm spasmed, grabbed Izme's right arm from behind forcefully. Pain ran up Izme's arm as he did so, making her almost drop Velva. "OWW facking hell! What the hell are you doing you mad old bastard?!?"

The Evo-suited figure at the head of the table leaned forward. Pulling back the sun visor, the suit revealed the smiling face of Hugo Brass. "Mr Orburn Zorr, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. Please take a seat, I hear the food is excellent." The trap at last, had been sprung.

--------------------------
Chapter 53. The Greater Good (2728) Main laboratory. General Garrett. Witchspace.

The last thing the rat remembered clearly was touching the strange spiky red thing in the corner of his see-through box. It had been placed in his territory and instinct dictated that he properly investigated this new intruder.

It didn't smell like food, a female or a rival. It did nothing the rat found threatening or defensive. So naturally, the rat although cautious, continued to advance. This would prove to be its undoing.

The red thing was The Shard. A legion of bio-mechanical organisms that had three main instincts; eat, replicate and build the crystal on which they relied to tell them to stay alive. For cycles since their creation they had run along carefully laid and precise lines on the surface of their life perpetuating home.

They constantly build, destroyed and rebuilt great spanning half bridges into the void. Hoping to snag something, anything to eat. The odd particle of compatible biological dust that fell on them was ruthlessly devoured, other than that it was a sparse existence. Then it came. The bonanza, the horn of plenty, the meal... The SSSCCCCRRREEEEEE! The food needed to advance the crystal.

The footfalls of the advancing beast shook their home but they felt no fear, for it had registered as food. To be snagged, dragged and remade into more pleasing forms. Air blasted over the nanites and some took to the wind drawn in by the creature. They didn't have much time and many died. A few tore away enough damp lung matter to construct just enough crystal to keep themselves alive. They found themselves in a world of food and frenetically began replicating and building on the few microscopic crystals they had started.

Outside, a wall of long spines as far as the nanites could see slammed into the crystal. Fur at this scale looked like a strange branch less horizontal forest. The nanites didn't care. The dead cells on the hair were sweet and they weren't crystal; so they needed to be so. That and more nanites. Crystal bridges lanced out into the forest latching onto, snaked round and through the dense trunks of fur.

At break neck speed they tore their way down to the forest floor where, to the nantites delight, they found the flesh. Building along the leading edges of the crystal bridges the nanites were able to prise the dead skin cells of the flesh apart. Thorn like, it scythed it's way through the upper dermal layers. Firing out radial crystal roots anchoring itself securely. Then, quiet suddenly at the tip of the thorn, as it pressed downwards; the flesh changed from dead to alive.

SSSCCCCRRREEEEEE!

The creature bucked and shook. Countless nanites were lost on the surface as it scratched at the injuries it was sustaining. Some had the good fortune to latch on under its nails, where they started colonies of their own. The ones under the skin however were completely safe. However much the SSSCCCCRRREEEEEE! Screamed or scratched, ran or bit at them, it could not stop itself from being harvested. It would become Shard, whether it wanted to or not.

Shulth looked up some what satisfied and noticed how pail James had become. "23 minutes from from first infection till total conversion. Unacceptable, it has to be longer, maybe a week maybe two. I must also increase the gestation and infection period. But you can see the basic principle." James looked at the vaguely rat shaped crystalline lump in the box. "I trust you have all your samples of that thing secured doctor?"

Shulth looked at him quizzically. "and why precisely would I need to do that James? It's a tailored nanite specifically programmed to see only certain biological matter as food." Shulth opened the box and picked up the crystal; a dusting of loose fur, nail and tooth fell from it as he did so. "To put it bluntly, if your not seeded genetics. Your not candy. As you can see, it would appear that I'm not on the menu."

Shulth casually dropped the crystal back in the box "This is how we'll clean our 'failures' off a planet whilst leaving any natural biology intact. They have been keyed to specific parts of our seeded creatures mitochondrial DNA. One or two matches will not do it, but tick enough boxes? And bang! Your buffet. Lethal, but not built to last; Without the crystal they die. After a certain amount of time without food the crystal biodegrades and they die anyway." Shulth pushed the box towards James "Care to try?"

James looked at him suspiciously. Then, without taking his eyes off Mirias, reached in and picked up the crystal. It was cool to the touch. Shulth smiled "Thank you James, thank you for trusting me." James placed to crystal back in the box and rubbed his fingers thoughtfully.

"Trust has nothing to do with it Mirias, to kill me now would be pointless. There is a job to do, when the job is done however. Some choices may need to be made. We should all keep that in mind and act accordingly. For the greater good of course. For now, I believe you have some robots to reprogramme."

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:51 pm 
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Happy New Year.

Chapter 54. The End (3170) Within the eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.

Things happened quickly. Distracted by Zorr, Ismee had loosened her grip on Velva. Coda seeing his moment took full advantage. Moving like lightning he pulled the semiconcous woman up, round and away from Ismee's grasp. Retreaving a small but nasty looking energy pistol with his left hand, Coda jammed it into her ribs. He turned, so everyone in the room was aware of what was happening.

Zorr released his grip as feeling and sensation returned to his hand. Despite Izmee, still swearing and clutching at the back of her arm. He stared intently at Coda who, shook his head in response. "She would be dead before you got half way here, Orburn and we both know it." The Goda, sencing a threat to a Gau clone, readied themselves to unleash bloodied mayhem on anything not from Teorge, that lived within the room.

The four figures in enviro-suits started to fidget uneasily. People were considering the possibility of thinking, Coda couldn't allow that to occur. "THE GODA WILL HOLD!" Coda commanded. "In front of the Federal and Imperial representatives, the head of the Galcop Special Directive will repeat the terms of the deal that he, the Fedoration and the Imperium agreed upon. Starting with they're assurances to the people of Teorge."

Hugo Brass stood up, his voice though slightly muffled carried through the suits tinny, tannoy system. "Galcop, the Empire and the Fedoration pledge to leave total control and autonomy of the planet Teorge to the Gau. The station will be dismanteled and the space embargo on the inhabitants lifted. Proper, fair and equal trading with the Gau of Teorge will be restored, under the total control of the Gau in perpetuity." Coda nodded.

"Now Admiral Brass, for this historic thawing of relations what is it we agreed to give you in return?"

Brass looked directly at Zorr. "The live extridition of the terrorist Urburn Zorr and his property for crimes against the collective for us to to deal with as we see fit."

Coda's eyes widened, "anything else?" Brass looked back at Coda "The return of the two wanted criminals Miss V. Teyra and Miss I. Ryder." Izmee looked up "what?". Coda looked around. "They tried you in obstentia Izmee, you were both complicit in the murder of the military personel on Leesti during your escape. They convicted you and sentenced both you to death." He turned back addressing Brass.

"Do the representatives of the Fedoration and the Imperium agree to all these terms?" The 2 figures flanking Brass paused then, retracting their visors nodded from within their space suits. Nether of them looked particularly happy.

"So you will take them and they will be executed?" Brass locked his icy gaize on Coda. "That is correct." "Well considering your really here for Zorr and that thing on his wrist, why waste any more time and money? Goda, restrain the man and evisirate the girl."

As Zorr was smashed into uncocousness and Izmee dragged out of the room screaming, Coda span the injured Velva out from under his arm. Levelled the e-pistol at her face, then proceeded to decorated the wall with the now ruined and burning contents of her head.


This concludes book 1, Apocrypha. The story will continue in Book 2, The chronicles of Shulth: Exodus

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Ok so that's the first book so I'm going to spend a little time "making this nice" I.E. a touch of cover art, forward, etc then I'll get a pdf together see if I can get a net publishing thing done (any advice would be appreciated)

I'm hoping to get far enough ahead on book 2 to start serialising that about August time 2016 (we'll see how it goes). :D

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