• Published 29th Jul 2012
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Life Giver - Nightwatcher

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Chapter 1 : The Drop

/ 2/10/8252 CE

/Corporal John Maxwell

/Playback begin

/Aboard the UEG Corvette "Icarus"

/Terra, Sol
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I was currently looking out of one of the many 'windows' of the Corvette "Icarus". The 'window' was actually a holographic display that showed the space outside using the ships cameras. The "Icarus" was a small but lavish ship, at a length of just over five hundred meters. I watched as we climbed through the upper atmosphere of the home world, we had just picked up someone by the name of Dr. James Keyes, the man was to my knowledge one of the greatest minds of the last thousand years. To pull him away from his work here, whatever we're doing must be important. But as far as I know my job is provide protection to the assembled personnel. I could hear someone approaching as a voice made itself known.

"Have you ever been to Terra, Corporal?" I heard James say, a hint of animosity in his voice.

"No, this is my first time here" I said back.

"What do you think?" He asked.

"It's .... amazing." I said, 'The hell is this guys problem' I thought to myself. "What about you? I mean you lived here for years."

He looked almost surprised that I asked, "It's humbling"

I raised an eyebrow, "Humbling?"

He looked towards the ground below arms spread wide, "Whatever other life may be, all the humans in the all the universe came from here. Look at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings. I wonder how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way. We could have easily blown ourselves up, just like the race on Fallmore V. We could have killed ourselves with pollution. There were so many ways all of this could have came tumbling down on us, and yet, here we are."

I looked out as well, "Big things have small beginnings." I said with a small chuckle.

He gave me a odd look, "True. I have to go see the Chairman, We'll be working together for a while Corporal. So-" He held out a hand.

I gripped his hand and shook it , "See you around Doctor."

I looked towards Sol's worm station, the twirling maw of the portal about to consume the ship.

'Time to get some sleep' I thought to myself as I headed towards my small room.

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/ 2/10/8252 CE

/Doctor James Keyes

/Playback begin

/Aboard the UEG Corvette "Icarus"

/In transit to [REDACTED]

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I walked towards the ships conference room the doors sliding into the walls as I neared, at the other end of the large room was the Chairman and his two....guards. He appeared to be caught up in his HI so I took a seat and waited for him to acknowledge that I had entered the room.

He turned around after a couple of minutes and spoke up, "Ah Doctor, It's good you're here."

I gave a nod, "Chairman Prescott. What do you need so bad that you tore me away from my work?" Crossing by arms to make sure he knew I was not pleased.

He gave a smile, "Now now Doctor, no need to get testy. I think you'll enjoy this much more than your prior.... projects."

I narrowed my eyes at the Chaiman, "Just what am I going to be doing Chairman? I distain being in the dark."

He made no sign of caring, "Well Doctor you'll have to put up with it for a little longer, but I'll give you a candle so you can see a little better." He said with a flick of his hand in my direction.

A small window appeared on my HI called, "Project Prometheus?" I asked him.

He gave a small smile, "Are you familiar with the tale of Prometheus Doctor?"

"I have no time for dead gods Chairman, my work is much too important." I said back.

"Well you had better read up Doctor, but for the sake of this conversation I'll give you the short version. Prometheus was a titan, he gave the gift of fire to man; stealing it from the gods. For this he was chained to a rock and a bird ate his liver day after day. All because he have us fire, gave us life."

"I fail to see the point Chairman." I said.

"Look at what we can do Doctor. We can create planets, We can create stars, fire in its most primal form." He made his way to the door. "We are the gods now Doctor, gods without a flock." He gave a passing look over his shoulder. "I aim to change that."

The door closed behind him. Leaving me to my thoughts.

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/ 2/11/8252 CE

/Corporal John Maxwell

/Playback begin

/Aboard the UEG Corvette "Icarus"

/[REDACTED],[REDACTED]

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"This is the Captain, wormhole transit complete." The voice of of the Captain said over SHIP-COM as I came out of my room.

We have been in transit for almost twenty-four hours, meaning that we must have traveled a incredible distance. I headed towards the ships conference room to receive my orders for today.

As I need the doors Dr. James appeared at my side.

"John." He said with a nod.

"James." I nodded back, "You get any sleep?"

He shook his head, "No, the 'Chairman' had me working on something."

"Care to tell me what it is?" I asked.

"Sorry John, can't say. But I think you'll find out soon enough."

The way he said 'Chairman' gave me the feeling that the two of them did not get along, "You got a problem with the Chairman?"

He stopped for a second before continuing on,"I have the utmost respect for the man, he is doing his best to hold the UEG together. Without him the UEG would have broken long ago. I just find it insufferable that he pulls me away from my work on Terra and then has the audacity to not even tell me what's going on."

"I thought you said he gave you a job last night?" I said.

We stopped at the door to the conference room, "I'm in the dark as much as you are John." With that we walked through the door.

The conference room was not any different from the last time, except for the fact that the table had a hologram of a garden world hovering a foot off of it.

"Ah, Corporal, Doctor." He nodded at us both."I'm glad you two arrived in time."

"Chairman, Sir" I said with a salute.

"Prescott." The Doctor said.

"I cut to the chase gentlemen, this" He gestured to the planet," is why we are here."

The Doctor looked none too pleased, "A garden world? You pulled me away for a simple garden world?"

"Not just a garden world Doctor, as you can see there is life here doctor. That much is easy to see, the reason you are here is this." The planet changed to show a small cone shaped metal object, with what looked like what used to be a large dish on the side.

"A probe?" I asked.

"Yes, but it is not ours," The Doctor looked closer."is it Chairman?"

"We found it crashed on one of the moons of the systems outermost gas giant. The small glyphs you can see on it are not of any Human language system, and it was emitting this radio signal." What sounded like a series of chirps and hisses came over the speakers. "This is what we believe to be a spoken version of the language that is inscribed in the probe. Our best estimates puts the impact sight at around a hundred years, as for the probe, we don't know."

"Do we know where it came from?" The Doctor asked.

"No, not yet anyway. But the most obvious place to start it here. Corporal, I want you to go down there and look for any signs of civilization." The Chairman said.

"Why him?Why not send a scientist? " The Doctor said.

"Two reasons doctor, One: I need YOU here analyzing the probe. Two: Whatever , if anything, is down there may not be friendly; and I would rather not lose someone of your importance. No offense Corporal."

"None taken sir."

The image of the garden world appeared again, this time a dot appeared on the world located in the middle of what appeared to be a mountain range. "You'll be landing here, hot drop. You'll recon the surrounding areas and make sure it safe for the scientists to land, understand?"

I gave a salute, "Sir yes sir."

"Good, get to the "Atlas" and get suited up." The Chairman waved me out.

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/Corporal John Maxwell

/Aboard the UEG Frigate "Atlas"

/[REDACTED],[REDACTED]

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I walked into the ship's armory. I spied my armor laying on a table.

I turned to the requisitions officer, "Hey can you give me a hand?"

She looked at me with a smile and nodded.

I commanded my N-F to forge my undersuit, I felt the forge heat up and the small panels on the forge lines along my arms, legs, and spine opened up. Bands of overlapping metal plates spread themselves over my body until I was covered head to toe in the under armor. Then the connection points from my Battle suit formed themselves.

I turned around as she lifted the 'backpack' portion of my armor on. The was a slight jab of pain as the system interfaced with my N-F. I watched as the synthetic muscle weaved its way down my arms and legs like dozens of snakes finally stopping at my wrists. Then she lifted the best plate onto me and locked it into place. Then I extended my arms so the armors other components could extend themselves, namely the arm and leg portions.

Now that I was armored up I grabbed my two weapons I was going to take. A standard AR-548 assault rifle, and a MOR-94 sidearm. With that I headed to my drop pod.

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Drop room of the UEG Atlas

I climbed into one of the many drop pods spaced around the room, putting my weapons in their respective racks.

I took my place in my pod and the hatch closed. A small window appeared on my HI showing a ten second countdown.

Ten

Nine

Eight

Seven

Six

Five

Four

Three

Two

One

I felt a moment of nausea before the pods inertial dampeners kicked in. The pod began to fall faster and faster as my fall to the earth below began. I looked up to see the ship pull away and speed off.

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'20,000 feet' The pods AI said.

I was watching the ground steadily getting closer and closer.

"15,000 feet, deploying air-brakes.'

"Ugh" I let out an audible grunt as the pod decelerated.

"5,000 feet Deploying chute "

My pod decelerated even more. Then I heard a sickening snap, the cord attaching the chute had snapped.

"GODDAMN SON OF A BITCH" I screamed as the pod began to accelerate back to terminal velocity.

"500 feet" I looked down just into to see the ground coming at me at mach two. There was a bone crushing impact, but instead of being turned into a pile of rubble on the side of a mountain something interesting happened.

The pod punched right through the ground, there was another bone crushing impact as something else attempted in vain to stop the still supersonic drop pod, and then a splash.

I stayed conscious just long enough to see water begin to trickle into the pod.

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CODEX

Worm Stations- Every system controlled by the UEG has a Worm Station. Because most ships lack the necessary power gathering tools to create wormholes on their own worm stations are needed to make a 'highway' of sorts through the UEG. Without them a trip to another start could take tens of thousands of years.

Armor-The UEG readily makes use of powered exoskeletons for combat purposes. They provide increased strength for the wearer and increased damage resistance.

STANDARD ARMOR

AR-548- The AR-548 is the standard assault rifle of the UEG armed forces. It fires a 15x45mm armor-piercing rail slug, in a Full-Automatic, Semi-Automatic, or Three-round burst. It Has a capacity of 900 rounds.

MOR-94- The MOR-94 is the standard sidearm of all UEG armed forces. It fires a .75 caliber slug.

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