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The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha
Page 2 of 6

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 6. Babysitting Satan (2718) General Garrett: Cerinzala Seccom.

General Turner slammed his fist down on the desk of the conference room. "It's been 3 months! We have insurgencies from the Federation and the Empire spread over 5 of the 8 and you want me to just sit here and baby sit a madman?"

The grainy image on the vidfac drummed his fingers on the table. Even orbiting the Seccom of Cerinzala the signal was choppy to say the least; "James, I have read the reports. Unfortunately that's exactly why we need him. We're just too thinly spread, we have been since '64. We're regularly out gunned and out manoeuvred, I will not be the last man to sit in this chair, James." Turner sat back down.

"Yes, Mr President. But it's difficult to do my job when I'm out of the loop" Turner was referring to the purchase orders and system acquisition requests that sailed across his desk daily. All classified, all above his clearance grade and all for Gau. "I believe my skills could be better applied else were. Also sir, if I may talk candidly, his notoriety may inhibit your capacity to use him effectively."

The president sat back "What your mean is, putting a infamous genocidal maniac on the pay roll may dent my lead in the mid terms?"

Turner shrugged, "I assess strength and minimize liabilities, sir."

The president sat back up "Then you should know by now, we've already lost. We have no time to fix this, projections indicate that Galcop has less than thirty years before Federation and Imperial forces consolidate and take the 8 out from under us. Then what? Massive invasion fleets can amass in the galaxy below then simply "pop up" in the next one. I will not set the stage for a two fronted, eight layered pan galactic war, that will decimate the human race. We have to change the rules of the game."

Turner sank back in his chair, he knew he was right. It was simple maths. They had more. Much more. The colonies were numerous but small and spread. There was a massive manpower gap and even if every colonist started breeding like rabbits they couldn't hope to catch up in time. Clones could be the answer.

"But your right James, Galcop cannot be seen to be associating with the likes of Gau, so your going to have him executed for crimes against humanity."

Turner sat bolt upright. "pardon?" "We're going to kill him James, as publicly as possible." The president said.


Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 7. A Line In The Sand (3170), Deep space: Lave system.

The old man stood his ground. The gun levelled at him didn't move one iota. After 3 months on a ship, you'd think you know people; he was loosing his touch. The voice behind the gun was smooth and articulate. "Chasing scrap from a space battle, what? 15 years ago? Now suddenly we're going station side?"

"Almost 20, has it really been 20 years? Things blur as you get older. I assume your looking for a pay rise?" the old man retorted, he already knew the answer, but he needed a little more time to think.

The gun smirked "oh come on Zorr! A man like you paying this amount isn't out here sifting wreckage for strongboxes! You've found something. Something big, What is it?" The figure raised his left hand, it was clutching something burned, blasted, charred green in colour and to Zorr, precious "What is this?".

Zorr stretched, visibly in pain, determined to stifle his growing panic behind a veneer of dejection, he leaned back against the console of the star ship. "Skull shafted if I know what you've got there sonny, looks like another piece of ol ship scrank to me. Anyway why would the Imperium care how an old man spends the last of his gal-creds? Sure as fac won't be worth anything in a year or two, the way things are going."

The gun wavered slightly "Imperial?" Heeden had been quiet for a mechanic. That should have set off alarm bells straight away. Honest mechanics were never quiet. Then there was his accent, a little too clean for a man who spent most of his time around alignment rods and cooling coils.

"There's your gun, Heeden, sonic pistol, rare outside Imperial space and your voice skips dialect when your pushed. The others are dead, yes?" The figure with the gun shrugged. "The old collateral damage thing eh, no witnesses?" Zorr continued. This was a pity; Zek had been a good pilot and Torin was a sweet girl, always acting tough, soft as down under it all. They didn't deserve do die, no one he had caused the deaths of did. He wasted a moment with sorrow, he didn't have time for any more. Not with a sonic pointed at him. Maybe later after he'd hopefully spaced this piece of shit in front of him. Still, young man with a gun vs an old one with a vague plan. Not great odds.

Zorr smiled slightly "Very cold though, living cheek to joule with people for months. Eat with them, work with them, laugh with them and flirting with at least one of them, if not all.... Then one day, Bang! Space them all and it's just another day. I assume they didn't suffer too much?"

"I am professional. Now what is this? Quickly please. Or I'll take your left foot off." came the curt reply. Zorr looked at Heeden with tired eyes. The barrel moved fluidly down to his foot.

"yes, yes I suppose you are professional, but possibly a little too cock sure of yourself?" His hand slid over the grav plate controls. With an accompanying hum he felt the claw like attachment of his old fashioned automag-boots. Instinctively he pulled himself down to a foetal position. Heeden, the gun and barrel, floated free from the ground, ruining his chance of an aimed shot. Disorientated and confused by the sudden lack of gravity he foolishly fired. The sonic tore through the air that Zorr had been occupying only moments before. It shredded the damage control console. Not ship critical but Zorr had to shield himself from the spinning glass shards and sparks.

The effects on the firer were however some what more catastrophic. Heeden was thrown violently backwards, tumbling towards, then connecting sickeningly with, one of the bulkheads. His skull shattered like an eggshell sending blood, skull shards and brains twisting lazily around the cockpit. There he bobbed, his head undulating unnaturally from the residue of the impact, vaguely held together by his scalp skin alone.

Zorr braced himself against the remains of the damaged console and brushed the gravity control. Making a strange cacophony, the floating body before him fell like a dead weight, accompanied by assorted head parts and fragments of broken glass. The small charred metallic green shard tumbled from Heedens lifeless left hand. Zorr stooped to reclaim it.

Purposefully he drew a tiny cut along the side of his index finger. A single drop of blood splashed onto the shard and was absorbed. Slowly, the remnant began to pulse and glow. "Hello old girl, did you miss me?" as if responding to his voice the lump of burned and broken space debris cycled slowly. "Awake, setting: Manus, slow draw. Subsist." he whispered to it. Silver spider web like tendrils pushed out from the blackened and jagged lump, crawling across his left palm. They sparkled like hyper roads at night, pulsing with traffic in an endless chain of movement. It had begun....


Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 8. Retribution. (2718) Galcop Military Court: Classified Location.

Gau had chosen his method of execution. A radio logical burst. It was the same one he had used to systematically wipe out the captured colonial population of Teorge, a fitting, symmetrical and almost poetic end. At the levels the chamber could produce one, death would be almost instantaneous. A petition of clemency had been received from the remaining five Gau of Teorge. It had been ignored. A legal challenge had been brought against the "intended murder" of a member of a planetary system, who's crimes were not recognized by the life forms of that planet.

The judicial magistrates had pointed out that just because all the life forms that would have recognized, their own murders as crimes, were already dead. Did not in anyway invalidate the severity of the act or acts of which Pinyin Gau was accused. So that was ignored too. Galcop wanted Pinyin Gau, the grave-master of Teorge, the murderer of countless millions, dead and Galcop tends to get what they want.

It was more like a theatre than a place of death. The auditorium was packed with representatives from at least forty maybe fifty different colonial worlds. The seats were lush and the decor decadent, walls festooned with red cloth lined with silver brocade. The delegations from the Federation and Empire were of course, absent. Some Far colony protocols had yet to be repealed, but there was little interest in rescinding the ones surrounding public executions, its days were numbered. Even now it was a rare event and one that Galcop wanted to distance itself from. The empty tables served their purpose, grounding the event firmly in the past. Galcop sanctioned death was conducted much more quietly these days and inversely, a death that could not be conducted quietly, often served a multitude of purposes by being loud.

Sat at one end, on a raised platform was a box; constructed from rad-sist Plexiglas screen and made to exact specifications as the one he favoured. Inside rested a solid plastic chair, on it sitting patiently, emotionless and silently was Pinyin Gau. General Turner had declined the "honour" of carrying out the sentence. The thought had made him feel physically ill. This wasn't justice or vengeance, it was a show, an inept pantomime.

Gau looked up, "am I dead yet?" "Not even close," Turner replied "We have at least half an hour of charges to read out, then there is the sentencing. Final words..." Gau stretched "yawn! Galcop can even make a cold blooded murder dull. Are there any snacks? I get rather peckish at times like this." Turner snorted, "I would have thought even you might have gotten the odd cold chill seeing yourself here." Gau shrugged, "Maybe, but then you've made such a wonderful job of reconstructing my cleansing chamber, all I'm getting here is a huge wave of nostalgia." "give it an hour or so and we'll see how nostalgic you really are. Doctor."

The charges had taken over their allotted time. Although it was illegal for any clone from Teorge to travel in space. Individual clemency had been granted in return for witness statements. Exclusively from the worker or Gira class, most sported strange body modifications, outlandish clothing and weird hair styles. Seen together however it was impossible to not notice how alike they were. Their stories were harrowing. Entire generations wiped out in order to better propagate a minor genetic improvement. Any defect detected in a brood vat and that entire living clutch would be euthanized. The gasping, grasping, partially formed foetuses shovelled by the hundreds into plasma incinerators. One old clone (mostly mechanical now) recanted being there when the original colonists were wiped out. The regular disease booster injection was engineered to sterilize the children. This produced an aging population crisis that forced the clone issue. Once a critical mass had been reached the take over was relatively easy, but far from bloodless. It was a vision of hell and there, at its center, like the devil himself, was the Gau. Time was fast running out for Pinyin by now but there he sat, listening intently, showing no emotion. Silent when he was condemned to death, silent when his final statement to a galaxy that hated him was solemnly read out.

'You would not accept my apology, so I will not apologize. I will not show sorrow for it would be called false. I have asked for no mercy and expect none. I have but one wish that you may or may not choose to indulge: I wish to be laid to rest with my father Manoah in the tomb atop Mt Tzor'a. I go to my death unrepentant for that which had to be done. So written by the 16th Judge of the span 28230.'

His life could be measured in seconds now. He gazed at the audience and closed his eyes as a thick armoured cylinder rouse slowly from the floor in front of him. "Aren't you going to watch this?" Turner whispered to him, the final count down echoing in the air. "I don't need to see this, I know how it ends."

At that split second, a thought raced through Turners mind, it seared through his nerves and forced him to speak. "What did you mean bury me with my father? Your a clone Gau, you don't have a fath.."

Pinyin raised a single finger to silence him. "ah, illumination dawns!" The count reached zero and everything, went white.

Author:  ClymAngus [ Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 9. Payday (3170) Physical Gratification District 7, Spaceport 2, Trade Quarter: Leesti.

Joh-joh was annoyed. Lavinian silk was getting more and more expensive. He also suspected the quality was slowly getting worse. Blood, whatever colour could be rinsed straight out of the old ones without leaving a mark. This new stuff, stained after a while. This made him look unprofessional, more of a common thug than the astute business man he knew himself to be.

He wrapped the offending item in a zip bag so it wouldn't bleed into his suit pocket. He checked his nails and cuffs. Not ideal, but the streets are a dirty place and to make the credits some times, you have to pick up a shovel and dig. He didn't really mind that much, the exercise kept him sharp and maintained his status. Speaking of business; "Hello Joh-joh".

The gaunt figure walked slowly towards him. Joh-joh could tell he was military. The civilian cloths couldn't restrain a body that had, had a quick efficient step and a chest out posture hammered into it. Pay day came in many forms to Joh-joh and this was one of the more interesting ones.

"Mr Cree" He smiled back. Mr Cree was a short, thin man with small glasses. The kind of person that he could snap in two with very little thought or effort. The resources he could bring to bare however, were substantial. So he let him talk.

"I have been hearing disturbing reports, Joh-joh. Unexpected losses have been occurring. Disappearing rem-loks from scrap and repair facilities is one thing, but scooping and stripping the drugs out of Autoremotes? Really?"

Joh-joh shrugged, "Filthy Remmers eh? Do much for fix. You have evidence, yes?" Mr Cree raised an eyebrow and sighed.

"Your fingerprints on an oxy bottle last seen spinning round the planet. You know what? Frak it! I really don't care if a couple of pieces of trade trash have to suck Rems a little longer because of you. What does worry me is that your rampant profiteering leaves you totally unable to be even slightly discreet." Mr Cree smiled. "Your acting like a thug, Jo, not the entrepreneur I took you for."

Joh-joh bristled, he had killed people for less and Cree knew it. A credit chip sailed through the air, Joh-joh caught it effortlessly, turning it over and over on his hand he regarded it thoughtfully.

"If I so much trouble, why the game? Why not kill boys and girls and be done with it? I loose credits sure, but why this? I don't understand."

"of course you don't Joh-joh, but what do you care? I deal with the police. I get you complaint and/or hexed workers for your little 'business'. I even pay their rent." He motioned to the cred-chip that joh-joh was philosophically revolving. "And all you have to do is let your world wear them out quietly. I even take care of the bodies when they're gone. Speaking of gone. I noticed some disciplining on the close circuit Joh, please tell me you didn't loose your temper again." Cree replied cynically.

Joh-joh shrugged, "few bumps, few bruises, nothing more."

Cree nodded "Good, I can't protect you if your name appears on their murder sheet Joh. Oxy bottles I can do. Dead whores, which I've asked you very nicely to look after, until there is nothing left to watch...... I just.... Just for the love of fac try not to kill them? Natural causes, fine, disease, good, accident or psycho client, so so. Murdered by their pimp? Not so much. These new ones especially. Let the world do it. Don't make yourself a problem."

Joh-joh shot Cree a look "I don't know, big secret. Very hush hush. I kill slow to save bother and questions of you killing quick. Maybe I need more." Cree stepped forward with a surprising amount of menace for a thing so small.

"Don't test me Joh-joh and please don't start thinking. I could bring your little empire crashing down around you. Right now. Your getting credits for nothing. All you've got to do is do what you do best; taking advantage of vulnerable people." Joh-joh rolled his eyes and looked skyward. "Maybe"

Mr Cree stood unflinching. "If you kill any of my nicely hexed or coerced flesh bait, I will know. If you start digging looking for leverage against me, I will know. Use them up. Now are you going to be doing anything else illegal this month that might cause me heartburn?"

Joh-joh smiled. "few smugglers go missing, bit of mega-weed, maybe 3 autoremotes? I have customers." Cree shook his head "Two, old, irradiated ones, I'll give you the co-ordinates. Why give them silk when rags will do. Deal?"

Joh-joh smiled accommodatingly. Definitely one of his more entertaining pay days.

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

There will be a minor delay in the next chapter, I have some re-reading of finis to do in order to circumvent any annoying compatibility issues. Probably Saturday, maybe Sunday if I've really screwed up. I humbly apologize in advance.

Author:  ClymAngus [ Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 10. Illumination. (2718) Galcop Military Court: Location Classified.

Pinyin Gau was as good as dead in nanoseconds. The shielding dropped away from the source and impaled Gau's seated form billions of times instantly with extremely energetic particles of radiation. They tore through him at the cellular level, obliterating genes and shredding cell walls. Normally, victims exposed to lethal levels of radiation can take days or weeks to die, this dosage; in the millions on any scale that's meaningful, would do it's work much more quickly.

It also had another interesting side effect, Pinyin Gau, already unconscious, started to cook. He blackened and swelled. His now non-functional organs basted gently in the slowly simmering heat. The neurons of his brain first disrupted, now stewed in the dissolved fat that, only seconds before shielded them from misfiring. Within mere moments this inhuman, this monster, this demonic existence was extinguished. But the assembled audience saw little of this, grand macabre spectacle, they had their own problems.

The second the radiation source had been exposed, the rad-sist Plexiglas box keeping them safe had exploded. Propelling razor sharp shredded Plexiglas out into the assembled dignitaries like cannon fired steak knives. As they were all seated and the stage raised, the shards connected with the audience at face and neck level. It was carnage.

Then it got much, much worse; Many people put their hands up to protect themselves from the blast, to be greeted by the leering x-ray silhouette of their own skeletal fingers staring back at them. For many this was the last thing they saw. The radiation searing away the colour from their irises and roasting the cells on the surface of their retinas. They looked for all the world like white bead eyed dolls, streaming tears of blood. As the blast subsided and the screaming began, one by one they started to loose bodily function and control. The cameras burned out almost instantly, sparing the viewing audience the sickening sight of writhing irradiated bodies, wallowing in their own blood and filth.

Whilst there, still seated above it all. Like a braised king of pandemonium on his melted thrown, surrounded by screaming souls, resided the remains of Gau, smoking gently. A risus sardonicus grin, radiation etched into his skeletally stretched and char leathered face. The lucky ones died instantly. Within 3 weeks, there were none left who had witnessed Pinyins death first hand.

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 11. Quiet as a Mouse (3170) Physical Gratification District 7, Spaceport 2, Trade Quarter: Leesti.

"Will someone please shut her up!" Velva had been moaning gently since she was carried back to the room the girls shared. Eight of them were crammed into a space that would have barely fit four. "She's bleeding on the sheets again Izmee!" Rera was not very happy. After Izmee came round, she and Rera had carried Velva home. The auto doc did it's best but as per usual it facced out half way through repairing her. Izmee had been busy using the 6 month out of date "newcell" to fix her face. Fortunately, Joh-joh had been distracted before he did any major damage. Izmee was pretty sure she could cover it. A bit of regrowth and a touch of makeup. All she had to do was make sure Joh-joh didn't look twice at her for a week or two. She could do that.

"Come on V. The autodocs on charge. We've got to try and be quiet. Joh's going to be back any time soon and if he hears you, well you know."

"I shrided to helpfp yooo"

"I know you did V and thank you, but you can't take these beatings. Joh's gonna kill you and throw you down a recyc shoot. Anyway we're almost out of fresh needles and painkillers for the autodoc." Izmee stroked Velvas head gently. Her hair came away in strands but this seemed to calm her down a little. She looked over at the autodoc in the corner. It would take another three hours to recharge. Three hours of keeping Velva from moaning in pain. It was that or Rera would just lost it and stuff rags in her mouth again.

Izmee was numb. She just wanted to sleep.

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

It's a birthday episode! (and one of my personal favourites)

Chapter 12. Gun Tip Truth (2718) General Garrett: Cerinzala Seccom.

The standard issue military sidearm was pressed purposefully against his forehead. "What did you do??"

"They wanted a show. Looks to me as if they got their moneys worth."

"WHAT DID YOU DO!" Spat the reply. If that barrel was pushed any harder, the man holding it wouldn't need to fire; he'd be able to hand deliver the bullet directly to the recipients brain.

"What makes you think I had anything to do with this? I'm over here. They're or they were, past tense, definitely. Over there. I'm good but I'm not magic."

"One more time, WHAT-DID-YOU-DO?!" The voice was half pleading, half raw with rage. Flailing angrily at the world from a pit of ignorance. It was endearing, sweet but potentially lethal.

So Pinyin Gau, the real Pinyin Gau. Opened his eyes and looked at General Turner. "I don't know what your so upset about, I've just lost a perfectly good clone. Ok, so he bent towards the light on a sunny day, but you know, he would have been a talking point at dinner parties. I could have used him to scare people, play practical jokes or as a hat stand or... something."

The gun cocked fluidly in response.

"General Turner, I want you to calm down and listen to me. What your feeling now is called cognitive dissonance. A third of your brain wants to shoot me and avenge the few hundred envoys and dignitaries you know are dead or dying. Another third really wants to know how and why this was done and the last bit realizes that without me, you might just as well put that gun to your own cornea and pull the trigger."

The gun did not move but the pressure eased a little. "Speak!"

"I did this for insurance. Deaths on a distant world are easily ignored. Fifty or so colony worlds bringing back body bags, is a personal slap in the face. They won't forget me now and they won't forget that I am dead. I had better stay dead and nothing can emerge to the contrary. Ever."

Pressure increased again. "You son of a bitch, you've made us complicit."

"I've re-balanced the game, yes. By the way, I'm amazed it worked but your presidents fate, your fate is now my fate. I have files in place that will make the right people aware, should I really disappear. You will not find them all. So killing me now isn't an option. I'm afraid.

"HOW did you do this?!"

It was clear that Turner was still not thinking rationally yet. Pinyin's life was still balanced firmly on a knife edge. "ok, you staged this fake death of mine so I could help you quietly win a war. You wanted this death to be authentic, I can see how that would be satisfying and meaningful, but did you ever stop to question where your 'authenticity' came from? From a survivor. Do you really think for one second I allow anyone of importance to survive? I let you have the blueprints to a crude radiation broadcast device disguised as an execution chamber. In your lust for vengeance, justice or historical president, you blindly built it. You could have avoided this easily by throwing the idea of poetic justice aside. You chose not too. You embraced bad information for the sake of mere emotional satisfaction."

Realization dawned and the gun dropped away. Gau touched the round pressure mark it had made in his forehead. Now that, had been close.

General Turner stood there stunned. Gau was right. In trying to be overly theatrical and pander to the civilian ideals of a proper, just death. They had left themselves open. Through this mental haze he spoke "You haven't answered my question" he managed.

"no" came the blunt reply "I have not. But you do deserve an explanation. The dimensions and construction materials of the box equal several of the more harmful wave lengths being pumped into it. They do not dissipate, they create an increasingly damaging standing wave, which resonates with the structure. The energy involved must go some where, so it destroys the shell. You wanted me 'dead' so I could be easily erased after your war was won. That is unacceptable. General. So I fought back."

"Do you have any idea, of what you've just done? Gau?"

"I have forged a union made in blood, that will assure the survival of Galcop for eons. Avert the decimation of humanity and caused the people who tore me from my home world pain in equal measure. There were and will be casualties, there always are."

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri May 01, 2015 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Is it Friday already? I suppose you'll be wanting another chapter eh? Ok then.

Chapter 13. Parasite (3170) Deep Space Asteroid Field: Lave System.

Zorr wasn't particularly good at hacking, fortunately he didn't need to be; his new hand did most of the work for him. Interfacing directly into the ships computer system. It first probed then broke into the woefully inadequate galcop mainframe, seeking tirelessly through covert files, reports, memos and directives. Looking for one word; 'Shulth'.

Galcop was a dying bloated bureaucracy. Used to handling the trading affairs of eight separate star groups, it was now massively over sized for the fraction of the work it had to do. That's a lot of people making a lot of paperwork, desperate to justify their salaries. The military too needed supplying. That supply had to come from some where. Galcop was the unprotected underbelly Zorr needed to get at the military and the information he needed.

His left hand ached constantly. The remnant that now infested this limb had disassembled itself, covering his hand and half his forearm in a chitinous like armored gauntlet. It was dark in colour and pulsed menacingly with a green bio-luminescence. It had co-opted blood supplies, nerve pathways, anything it needed to survive. His appetite had grown considerably, after all he was eating for two now. Still, he was not a young man and hosting the creature was slowly taking its toll.

Zorr could feel that they were fundamentally incompatible. His immune system was going nuts trying to kill her. Not that it stood a hope in hell of doing so however, it just made him dog sick as it tried. He was quite sure that if she wanted to, the remnant could rip through the rest of him like a hail of bullets. Fortunately she was an obedient beast, she always had been.

She had saved his life on numerous occasions and had been damn near completely annihilated carrying out the final wishes of her previous master. However many chunks she took out of him or however sick she made him feel, it was good to have her back in his life again and anyway, he owed her more than he could ever repay. He just hoped she found what they were both looking for before she accidentally killed him.

After Jettisoning the three crew into the Lave sun and filling his querium tanks whilst there. Zorr had set down in the biggest of a handy, but mineral poor patch of asteroids. Orbiting a healthy distance from the planet, station, sun and the space way, he could happily sit watching the traders, pirates and military come and go without fear of being accosted. He's hacking exploits were piggy backing off the beacon signals used by the Witch-space monitoring satellites to station keep and check in. It was an old trick, but one that made him difficult to trace. He still needed to keep his eyes open however; Heeden's imperial handlers would be starting to get jittery by now. He had found his tracers and booby traps quite easily. Designed to cripple the ship, so an imperial cruiser could come sweeping along, scoop him up and be gone before the Galcop military such as it was could even get out of bed.

Not very subtle, then the Imperials never were subtle. The devices, like their maker were simple but effective affairs. Cutter arcs on trip wires. Easy to spot if you knew what you were looking for. It seemed they wanted him alive, damaged or maimed seemed fine, but alive if possible. Zorr was in no hurry to find out why.

His left hand twitched. On the subsist setting the Manus would take the bare minimum it needed to survive. That said she was badly damaged from the querium explosion and nearly 20 years alone in freezing, irradiated space. She had a lot of repair and diagnostic work to do. That took energy and nutrients leaving little power or time for optional extras. Normally the Manus would have communicated with Zorr directly via his nervous system, but they didn't had time to program the connection. As it was, he had to move her over to the keyboard so she could communicate.

The fingers moved deftly.

<question> Hello Orburn, How do you feel?

Zorr was used to how she talked. "I feel fine. I could do with an iron slam patch or two. Your leaching minerals out of me like water through limestone, but so far so good. You?

<answer> I miss things. Diagnostic tests progressing, I remember. DNA memory 60% checked. I miss the maker. Schismatics check pending. I miss brothers and sisters.

Zorr knew her, she was trying to express emotion. Balancing physical well being with recorded personal loss. It pained him to watch her struggle. "I do too, old girl. We've been kicked pretty hard you and I. You've been blown to smithereens and left floating out in space and I've been hunted like an animal for the past 15 years. No getting away from it. Lesser people would have just curled up and gone to sleep. Let this nightmare of a world wash over and drown them."

<question> You still wish to fight them?

"With every fiber of my being. I owe that to Udian at least. Now I know you may not want to hear this but I had to leave. He was getting out of control and I knew exactly where that road lead. You stuck with him until the bitter end and bitter it was. Leaving or staying, didn't seem to make a wooden credit of difference to how things turned out; The military controls pretty much everything, a lot of friends are missing or dead, galcop's imploding and the factions are sucking up worlds as they leave. Feds, Imperials it doesn't matter. Galcops bleeding out and everyone can see it. It's only a matter of time."

<question> Statistically the odds are against our success. We are high value targets. I would find being suspended/killed or dismantled for technological gain to be fundamentally displeasing.

Zorr laughed. "Yeah, you and me both. Don't worry, no one's getting dismantled any time soon. Not if I have anything to say about it. I do have an idea. But for that idea to turn into a plan I need you and I need a Shulth. The last Shulth in chart one. Not sure why I call it chart one anymore, it's the only one we have left. Chart one, seems kind of pointless. I just hope there is enough of her left to be useful. Any luck old girl?

The hand tapped slowly, almost dramatically across the keyboard.

<answer> I have discovered many things. The Fimbulwinter; their dark at the end of the world, their forgotten circle. The lost nexus. I have played in their fields of secrets, adding their memories to my own. In the darkest corner of the farthest meadow I found her. She is bait and you are the prey. It's an old trap. Minimum funding.

Zorr looked at the report the remnant had speed typed on the screen and sighed. "It's Cree. Fac it! Only link left and there he sits. Good thing we've got the twice shy, We're going to need her. Oh well, as a reptilian once said to your father old girl, 'Take it as a compliment. A trap just means they care.' Lets go get her."

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri May 01, 2015 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

So is everyone happy with the way this is progressing? Still engaging? I don't think I've done anything too mental.
I do like the "dying of the light" ideas that are being explored here. The change between oolite and dangerous. Kind of explored by Drew.
Then I thought what the hell, lets logically solve everything! Throw ourselves into the distant past (the other place people don't tend to explore story wise)

Mine the forgotten past to guide a path through an uncertain future. Still I can understand if the disjointed two/three stories at a time (separated by hundreds of years) writing style might be a bit of an annoying pill to swallow.

You good people will be the judge as to how successful I've been. :D

Author:  Cody [ Fri May 01, 2015 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

I haven't read it all yet - been skimming a few chapters, as I was going to wait and read it all in a lump. It is rather good though!

Author:  Diziet Sma [ Sat May 02, 2015 12:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

So is everyone happy with the way this is progressing? Still engaging?
Hell yeah! I love the style, and I'm hanging on every new episode.

Author:  Disembodied [ Mon May 04, 2015 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Yes, keep it coming!

Author:  ClymAngus [ Fri May 08, 2015 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

Chapter 14. Aftermath. (2718) Presidential offices: Lave.

The president's tone was grave; "I have entire systems ready to secede from the collective, more legal claims than people to manage them, and I have a lot of people. That bastards deep fried face is grinning at me from every channel the vidfac has, the rest of the Gau are muttering 'We told you so' and I have good chunk of the collective that doesn't want to leave, screaming at me to sterilize Teorge. So tell me James, how could this situation possibly get any worse?"

"Samson sir." Turner said.

The President looked confused. "We're being played Mr President. Very, very well. He let us have the blueprints for the 'cleansing chamber', by a roundabout route of course. In his clones final words, he practically hurled clues at us. Manoah was the father of Samson. Samson is a character in 'The Bible' a very old Fed religious text. The final line gave us scripture and verse. I won't go into details but, had the Feds been there, they would have been running for the door the second it was mentioned."

The president sat there dumb founded letting it all sink in.

"We can't control him but at least now he feels safe, in effect he could destroy us as easily as we could destroy him. As a result we have a certain modicum of trust."

The president looked weary; "I know you tried to warn me but..."

Turner didn't let him finish. "I deal with the here and now sir, that is why you picked me for this mission. Gau's aims favour ours, Admittedly he killed those people to warn us, warn us not to fac with him. But if the Fed or Imperials take over the eight. He'll loose his planet. We can use that, draw out that fear and push him, gently..."

"so my enemies enemy is my friend eh?"

Turner sat back in is chair "More ally yourself with a stronger force. Sir. The legal actions will blow over, the colonies will have their state funerals and people will be reminded why we should not hang onto nostalgic far colony traditions like public executions. By the way he has picked a name. We can't really go round calling him Pinyin Gau any more. That would be a slight security risk."

The president was past caring. "So how will I be addressing this right royal son of a bitch from now on?"

"Mirias Shulth, sir. Overly theatrical. But he seemed to have his heart set on it. Got to build that trust some how. He believes the work should take 5 years at most. I assume you haven't informed him about 'The Wheel'?

The president suddenly had renewed interest in the conversation. "God no. That freak, that tec? He's run rings around us already,"

Turner was curt "sir, he's already realized that his work alone will not save Galcop. The simple fact that we did not ask for an army of clones raised his suspicions. The zoothropic embryos we have requested require hundreds of thousands if not millions of years of environmental cooking before sentience evolves. The fact that we have him making a man-menagarie for no apparent logistical purpose will slowly infuriate him."

Sitting in his Earth oak chair the President of Galcop exhaled and slumped slightly. He felt like a broken gate latch. When Gau first arrived, he assumed he was in control. Now the gate swung wide open and the monster was running wild. He could not contain the creature Galcop so desperately needed.

He was a man of quick answers, quips and sound bites but for this, He had none. This was unknown territory, where the price of failure was too horrible to contemplate. "What would you suggest we tell him James?"

"We need to give him something to think about, but not take advantage of. We must always assume he's three steps ahead and plan accordingly. Maybe a partial truth, maybe a good scare. We need something that even he can't process, put him on the back foot, make him tow the line. An unknown, I think we should let him see the StarChaser."

Author:  Cmdr Wyvern [ Sat May 09, 2015 1:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha

I've been reading with some interest. Good stuff so far, even if bouncing all over the timeline is a bit offbalancing.

Keep it coming! :mrgreen:

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