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    Lost Story 06 - Darkness

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    Almael
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    Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:35 am

    DISCLAIMER:
    Any resemblance to real or actual person (living or
    dead) are pure coincidence. Any resemblance to real or actual
    character, characters, place, places, location, locations, locale,
    locales, business establishment, business establishments, organization,
    organizations, association, associations, group, groups, entity,
    entities, dominion, dominions, state, states, nation, nations,
    government, governments, belief, beliefs, circumstance, circumstances,
    condition, conditions, event, or events that exist, exists, existed,
    have existed, or will exist are pure coincidence. Any resemblance to
    reality is pure coincidence.

    This is a repost from Abh Nation and the continuation. AlexT also took part in writting the story since he got a main role in the story. His are marked as his diary.
    [...] or spoilers are cutted pieces of the original ideas.

    Characters:
    name, rank, job, other titles etc
    Alex Teneshlicawajoro - Hecto-Commander(Bomowas), Captain (Manowas) of the Tukaroil
    Six
    hundred years ago a female ancestor crashed landed on a primitive human
    world. During her 50 years in exile she fell in love with a local man.
    When she was rescued she took her children back with her to the stars.
    In honor of her husband she changed and added his name to hers resulting in the long name.
    Alex's
    mother, Pasha T., found the ancestral legend romantic, hence, had a
    child with a lander and gave him a lander name (in memory of the
    ancestor).

    Wadrosal "Vic" - Front Flyer(Lekle), Senior Navigator (Alm Ribiga), senior officer (Alm Lodair[tokyopop:Rodail]), XO (Luse)

    Leinosh - Wing Flyer(Fektodai), Line Wing Aviator, ...-chief engineer (Fektodai Skem)

    Olfanos - Wing Flyer(Fektodai), Second Aviator, communicator (Drokia)
    The
    chatty and lively girl is currently upset that the crew did not get a
    new command version of the Roil class since their Capt. got promoted.
    She complains about additional communication work without the fancy command equipments.

    Dalone - Wing Flyer(Fektodai), supply [officer] ([Fektodai] Sazoil), clerk (Wiigt), Accounting (Sash Skel)

    Lylai - medic (Liarel)=supply asistant, there is no doc aboard
    Raockoch - cook(Kuneil)=supply asistant

    Gibilal - Vice Hecto-Commander, Senior Communication (Alm Drokia)
    Had been sent as special courier from the capital to the front lines. Within her possession is a secret Imperial message.
    Since the raid she had been hiding it in secret place.
    She is currently obsessed with completing her mission and willing to risk everything.
    The knowledge of the relentless Star Forces gives her hope to endure her current situation.
    Also to keep her spirit high she is playing the role of the high and mighty Abh.
    She didn't dislike landers before but now she is more than ever convinced that for everyone's good the Empire must win.


    -------------------------------------
    Chapter 1

    [In a dark room somewhere the door opens.
    A man enters quickly and makes sure that the door was closed behind him.
    A group of men was sitting in the room. Some were smoking some aromatic fluids while other had tea.]

    #1: "How was your trip?"
    man: "It was uneventful."
    #2: "How did your mission go?"
    man: "It was not easy but it seems the Empire took the bait."
    #4: "Good. I can't wait to kick some Abh."
    #1: "You can leave now Ambassador."
    man: "Yes."
    [The ambassador leaves.]
    #1: "How are our preparations?"
    #2: "We have taps on all possible leaks. There won't be any problems."
    #3:
    "All possible announcements are finished and can be released as
    required. We are ready to take control of any government organisations.
    We have enough informations to blackmail all politicians if needed."
    #4: "Our troops are ready and in positions."
    #1: "Good. Then proceed with the operation."
    #4: "Understood. If you will excuse me."
    [#4 leaves.]
    #1: "#2 have you made arrangement for #4?"
    #2: "Yes. He won't return alive."
    #1:
    "Very well. The special envoy from the United Mankind will be arriving
    soon to access our situation. He must not discover our plans."
    #2:
    "I already took care of this. A detailed report has been prepaired for
    them stating that a malfunction IFF caused a mine to intercept his ship
    and blew it up."
    #1: "Then I' presume, you already leaked the information about the Abh going to attack us?"
    #2: "Yes. I also arranged a special unit to capture a possible Abh spy ship."
    #1:
    "Very good. With this the Abh will be forced to act prematurely. We
    will get support from our people for the war as well as the good will
    of the other three nations. If things go well we will be on top of
    everyone.
    If we fail to destroy the Abh fleet we can still blame the anti-Empire faction and #4."

    [Somewhere on a United Mankind ship. A man was sitting in his room reviewing something on his console. I was brooding.
    Days ago he was still in his comfy office and now lightyears away in nothingness.
    He
    was a relyable, hard working analyst in the security departement. To be
    sent suddenly as a special emvoy on a mission to the Hania Federation
    was a little shock.
    His mission seemed simple: to varyfy that the Hania Federation is going to war.
    But
    why not just wait and see, he thought. Maybe he had to witness the
    ships leaving for war. But then again why was he told to contact some
    people within.
    On the other side, the Hania Federation warned them
    of a possible invasion from the Empire. Some reconnaisance fleet had
    already been dispatched to veryfy this.
    Also fleets at the Hania
    border have been moved closer to the Abh border. This will strengthen
    the front lines. Until now, the Hania Federation was considered a
    traitors to the four nations treaty.
    There had been even a rumor
    that the higher ups planned to take the Hania Federation forcefully
    into the war. A change of its government or even the annexation of
    itself.
    This could be a very dangerous mission he thought. Maybe he
    is being schemed to be saccrified as the assassine. Why else would he
    be sent?]

    [Days later on some forsaken moon. A woman is being led by a group of men down a dark alley.]
    man1:
    "Here we are. This room has been reserved for you. We know you guys
    like natural stuff so it's all natural. All massive stone walls, no
    machinery or computers."
    man2: "And don't worry, you won't be alone. The inhabitants will keep you company."
    woman: "Company? I don't see any."
    man2: "Ha ha. See those holes? I'm sure the rats will take good care of you."
    woman: "Rats!" =(IMG:style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)
    [The woman is being shoved in and a heavy metal door falls shut.]

    [On some assault ship in the capital Lakfakalle.
    The fresh Hecto-Commander Alex T. inserted a data crystal sheet into the console in his room. The image of a man appears.]

    "Concratulations to your promotion.
    I'm sorry that you won't have much time to get familiar with your new responsibilities.
    But this is an order of highest priority and secrecy. You will brief your crew only in due time and not sooner. Understood?
    Now.
    Since yesterday, an important courier and the transporting ship have been missing.
    Intel
    believes that they have been caught by an enemy reconnaissance group
    which we had detected several days ago around the same area.
    We are not sure, though.
    Your order is not to let the information the courier was carrying to fall into enemy hands.
    Go, find the courier and his cargo, and either to bring them back or destroy them.
    Your
    mission is a delicate one. We do not want the enemy to be alarmed.
    Therefore, avoid combat as much as possible, not that you have a
    chance, though.
    The ships making up your squadron are being
    assembled at a rendevous point. It's up to you how to use them, but I
    recommend you only take one or two with you and leave the rest behind.
    A commando team will accompany you in case you need them. All other details are in the attached files.
    Good hunting!"

    [Hecto-Commander Alex T. sat still for a moment. Then stood up, held his fist in excitement, and let out a shout.]
    "Yes! Finally, an important mission."

    Edit: from the diaries of our fair main character Alex T.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    He
    kept reading the message several times as if he tried to find something
    he missed. The smile slowly faded from his face, turning into the grin.

    "So it's all or nothing again..." he whispers to himself as he settled back in his chair.
    "...only this time it's gonna finally get me killed", he smiled.
    He
    turned to the "window" screen In his chair to let his eyes sink in the
    beauty of space. Once again he felt as peace and silence are overtaking
    him. The stars and the blue nebula swept across the sad, cold
    eternity...
    "why me?" - he asked the silent blue void.
    But space had no answer, as it wasn't on the bottom of two empty bottles that stood on his desk.
    - "whoever said that "truth is in wine" was probably wrong... unless he fell from the bridge and drowned" - he thought.
    The
    answers was nowhere to be found so he surrendered to the future.
    Without taking any clothes off he fell onto his bed and in a few
    minutes Alexius T.... ... was sleeping. He didn't have any dreams,
    (except for that pretty abh girl from the party he didn't have a chance
    to talk to.. how was her name?)


    The next day, empire
    shipyard dock, a lone young officer is waiting for someone. She's young
    and beautiful, but stressed for some reason...

    "Welcome, hecto-commander (tries to pronounce a long full name of Alex T.)"
    "What's your name?"
    "..me sir? I'm .........(starts telling her long name)"
    "I'll call you... Vic, ok?"
    "(confused) As you wish sir! Are you well, Sir?"
    "Why?"
    "You look ill...your face..."
    "Ah...just too much hand to hand combat training."
    "your oponent must have been very good, Sir"
    "He's
    the best. I still can't beat him. And there was two of them
    actualy...But let's get back to you - did you serve on any other ship
    before?"
    "I just graduated with honor, sir, this is my first
    assignment. It's an honor to serve with such experienced commander as
    you, Sir..."
    "I see...What do you know about our mission, Vic?"
    "Sir...i was only told that this is an important covert op mission.."
    "Not afraid, are you, pretty girl? (grins)"
    "I have a faith in my captain, the crew, this ship, and Empire..."
    ""A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything"©️"
    "Sir??"
    "It
    was a quote. Very old one. Nevermind. I wanted to say that you need
    more experience, but for now - faith will do. I'm sure Admiral puts all
    his faith in us also, after all - he's the one who believe in miracles
    around here"
    "(confused)"
    "How's crew morale?"
    "...not very good Sir. They..."
    "Speak"
    "They...do not know you well yet, Sir. And noone was in battle before. And this mission..."
    "So in other words - they think their captain is an asshole and the missions is fubar?
    "Mm, yes Sir, but..."
    "Well...
    my thoughts exactly! Ok, Vic, show me which of these scrap metals is
    our ship. Then i'll have a first important assignment for you...."
    "I'm happy to serve, Sir!"


    [1 hour later, the bridge]
    "Your coffee Sir!"
    "Ah, excelent work, Vic! Now i see that i got excelent crew and excelent first officer!"
    bridge crew: "Thank you sir!"
    "Anytime i get to choose from crew that can fight or make coffee - i choose coffee. You know why, Vic?"
    "...no sir!"
    "Because with coffee - i can at least die happy!"
    (grave silence)
    "Sir, i'd like to..."
    "Why don't you make coffee for all of us, Vic?"
    "Sir.... can i have a word with you!?"
    "Why, sure Vic, but speak freely - we're all family here from now on!"
    "Sir, i insist that we speak privately...'
    "Vic...i don't need the first officer that can't say that his captain is being an asshole LOUD"
    (long silence)
    "You're being an asshole, captain!..."
    "Good.
    You pass. Anyone who thinks i'm being an asshole - tell me anytime. But
    make sure you have a good reason for it. Now take us out of this hole.
    And Vic..."
    "Yes sir?"
    "Here, take. Next time anybody ask you to make coffee - shoot him. Unless it's me"
    "...Yyes sir!"
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Almael
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:37 am

    Chapter 2

    A man stood at the windows of the observation deck aboard a battleship.
    Finally, one of the biggest fleet ever assembled was under his command.
    Officially, the fleet was assembled to practice defensive maneuvers in case the Empire would strike.
    Otherwise the Hania Federation wouldn't have approved such a gathering.
    All the independent worlds were too selfish. Now, he had the power to bring them all to submission.
    However,
    he had to lead the fleet against the Abh first. After that he will be
    revered as hero and it would be easy to take over the Federation.
    There was no need for the others in their small scheming group. With the military under his command he could do anything now.

    Not far from him a damage-control crewman was checking some machinery behind a panel.
    The
    past few days had been busy ever since he came aboard. The Captain
    wanted every part of the ship checked before departure, and his chief
    had been sending him all around.
    He cursed his current mission. He
    would have prefered a mission on some planet over this one anyday. No
    creative work, bad food, lots of hard work, not many women, no paid
    expanses, and worse of all no backup or support what so ever.
    To assassinate someone on the battlefield was equal to suicuide, he thought. He glanced over to his prey, and cursed once more.
    The
    job would have been done long ago were he not told to wait until the
    fight started. If he wanted to come back alive he needed to get off the
    ship during combat.
    Now that he thought about it he got upset about
    missing the chance to try to change his insurance policy. Anyway, he
    sighed, he better prepare his plans to get off this doomed ship.
    He turned back to his work while the calm universe seemed to have awaken.


    Somewhere in darkness. Yes, darkness it was. No lights, no warmth, nothing except the shaking of a body on the ground.
    The
    woman greeted her theeth. How long has it been, she thought, six hours
    or eight hours? She was very tired but could not go to sleep.
    The
    cold was uncomfortable, and the little noises from the walls kept her
    awake. These noises supposed belong to rats. She never saw a rat in her
    life.
    She had only heard of them in biologies classes. Filthy, big
    and hairy creatures, equipped with strong teeth which could bite
    through anything.
    Red eyes that could see in the dark, noses able to
    track down anything, claws that could scratch through wood, and legs
    that could jump them to your face.
    A cold shiver ran down her spine,
    thinking about the rats. The noises have been increasing lately. She
    could hear their claws hitting stone when they moved.
    Without her
    alpha her spatial-sensor organ could only sense them in front of her.
    She had herself cowered in a corner so she could watch the whole room.
    At
    least four of them were not far from her. They were waiting, she was
    sure about that. Waiting for her to fall asleep, and then to fall over
    her.
    Rats can eat anything. Who knows how long they have been here,
    she thought. She was certainly a welcomed food source for them, no
    doubt.
    It wasn't like she had no plan how to deal with them. But she felt disgusted/repulsed by it and had put it away for now.
    Spoiler:
    CENSORED
    Just when she thought things can't get worse the heavy metal door opens.
    Spoiler:
    Edit: [Reconstruction from the diaries of Captain Alex T.]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Tukaroil had just set off into plane-space. An atmosphere of adventure had wrapped up the young bridge crew.
    "We're on course, all systems go, all stations report normal operation." reported Vic, the XO.
    "Good. Maintain present course. In case of enemy contact - move to intercept immediately." ordered Captain Alex T.
    "Captain?"
    "If
    we run at the first sight - the enemy patrol craft will pursue us
    knowing that we're alone and probably on important courier mission. If
    we start battle manuver- they'll think that we're a scout ship for the
    larger force."
    "And if they're more than just one patrol ship?"
    "Then we won't be an easy prey for them...so we run like hell!"
    "This is encouraging to hear, Captain.."
    "So,
    you finaly got yourself a sense of humor, my dear Wadrosal? Keep it up
    and one day we may celebrate your prmotion to admiral"
    "Thank you, Sir...but it can only happen after you're promoted to Imperial Admiral yourself.."
    "Oh,
    don't be so pessimistic! Miracles do happen, for example our Admiral is
    a magician - he can see into the future and he knows we can handle
    anything so he even sent us some gift...by the way, what is it again?"
    "You mean our cargo, Sir? As you know - it's a proton bomb, Sir..."
    "Oh, now you see? That's the sense of humor! But what about the other 'special cargo'?"
    "You mean all that booze, Sir? And what are those sticks..."
    "Those are finest cigars... for smoking."
    "That's bad for health, Sir."
    "Yes,
    but Abh body is too perfect anyway - you need something to flaw it
    with.. Admiral is a man of style - he sent me what i'll need for this
    journey - a whiskey, a cigar and a woman."
    (Vic blush, crew laugh)
    "Captain, it's time we discuss the details of operation."
    "If you says so. Follow me then, we'll check the cargo on the way down.."
    (crew laugh again)

    Sometime
    into the mission, Captain Alex T. and first officer Wadrosal "Vic" are
    having a casual meeting in the officer's mess. They had been
    socialising for a hour.
    "Keeping crew morale high is priority for
    the Captain of the Empire! Do you realy want to convince us all that we
    gonna die, Sir? Are you out of your mind? Then excuse me - i'm not
    going to die anytime soon, no matter how bad it gets!" Vic began anew a
    different discussion.
    (the Captain stares at Wadrosal for a moment)
    "There
    are different ways to keep morale high, my dear senior officer.
    Desperate people are capable of desperate things. When you believe it
    can't get any worse yet, you can still laugh - this is just an attitude
    we need for this kind of situation. Unlike other captains - i don't
    want anyone to admire me or fight and die for me - i want them to do it
    because they want to live and succeed."
    "This is...unusual."
    "Here, try to relax."
    (fills the glass for her then lights a cigar)
    "It's not allowed during operation in progress..."
    "Well,
    we have these magical pills in case of enemy encounter and we're a long
    way from the capital. And if you think the Admiral didn't want us to
    drink - why would he allow me to have these? Too bad it's only 5
    bottles...If only i was a human, i mean "lander" - it could be a lot
    more efficient..."
    "Sir...Some people say that you ARE "lander", why's that?"
    "Because I am a lander."
    "What do you mean? You're Abh, geneticaly..."
    "My
    family have a legend of sorts. Six hundred years ago a female ancestor
    supposedly crash landed on a primitive human world - Shijoro. During
    her 50 years in exile she fell in love with a local man. When she was
    rescued she took her children back with her to the stars. In honor of
    her husband she changed and added his name to hers resulting in the
    long name, you struggle so much to pronounce. My mother, Pasha
    Teneshlicawajoro, found the ancestral legend romantic, hence, had a
    child with a lander and gave him a lander name - in memory of the
    ancestor. She also decided that it would be nice to let me grow on the
    a planet's surface. Funny, isn't it? Speaking of Abh sense of humor..."
    "Amazing."
    "Really? You're the first Abh who reacted this way. But you never ever set a foot on the surface yourself, did you?"
    "No, Sir. But I was hoping to try it once.."
    "You missed a lot... If we live after all this is over - i'll take you to Shijoro."
    "Is it a pretty place?"
    "No.
    It's a brutal world, filled with savages, monsters.. primitive
    technology... in other words - paradise. But you'll like it. You have a
    spark in your eye that says "i'm all in for adventure"."
    "You are
    different indeed, Captain. Maybe that's why you break rules so easily.
    It's like your "gene of submission" is not working."
    "Indeed, probably because I don't have one"
    "Impossible..."
    "My mother also wanted me to be a "free man", like my ancestor was. It was the best gift she gave me."
    "Free man? You think it takes our freedom away?"
    "More or less. Otherwise - why would we need it in the first place?"
    "Hm...even if it is so, but it's for the good of all..."
    "Bah.
    UMK do what they do for the good of all too. "All things are subject to
    interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a
    function of power and not truth." (quote) They believe that we are
    machines and we give them the reason for it... But enough of chatting,
    we'll meet UMK soon enough anyway, so we can ask them. Plug in the
    file, we ain't got any decent movies anyway, or I'd get us some
    popcorn."
    "I know that ancient Earth history is a hobbie of yours,
    it's even writen in your file, Sir, but i never imagined it to be
    so...extreme"
    "You'll be surprised more than once then."
    "In a
    positive way, I'd hope...ok, here it is - the detailed career of
    Vice-Hecto-commander Gibilal. Do you think it's important?"
    "I assume so."
    "Why?"
    "Before i answer, let me ask you - how long do you know the Admiral?"
    "Not
    for long. I applied for a position as Alm Lodair three months ago, but
    received approval only recently. It was signed by the Admiral. He
    desired to speak with me then and offered this mission. I couldn't
    refuse."
    "And what did he ask of you?"
    "What's your point? You suspect i'm here to spy on you or with some secret mission of my own, Captain?"
    "Of
    course not... I just want us to trust each other.. because this
    mission... The ship we're after- it carried valueable information,
    maybe too valueable, And if i'm right - this (points at face on the
    screen) girl have it."
    "I suspected as much. But is there any change in our plan?"
    "Well,
    officially - we're on a search and rescue - if we "can" save anyone -
    we do that, if we don't - we blow them all to hell. Abhs do not send
    other Abhs to kill Abhs. Admiral couldn't just say "go and kill
    everyone before they interogate them" - it's not how we, _Abhs_, do
    things..But he couldn't ask us to save everyone either - he just said
    "try"."
    "It doesn't make sense..."
    "For any Abh - the Empire is
    above all else, the mission is a top priority. But Admiral is a human
    too. As Abh and admiral - he doesn't have a real choice in this
    situation, so he left it to me. Any other captain would see the only
    possible solution - to blow it up and minimize risk."
    "So you think he doesn't want us to even attempt the rescue but he hope that we won't listen to him?"
    "Something like that."
    "This is crazy."
    "In
    reality - we'll have only one choice. We can blow the things to hell
    and escape, or we can go the hard route and attempt the rescue. Not
    both. So we need to decide now. Empire interest has nothing to do with
    it - our true mission is to prevent critical information from falling
    into enemy hands. In the most efficient way. To save this poor girl and
    her crew or not - is our choice. But if we decide to do so - not only
    our lives, but entire mission is at stake as well. And this is where
    YOUR gene of submission comes into play..."
    (Vic looking at the screen for a moment)"
    "We're
    not even sure if anyone is still alive... but if they are held
    prisoners... I'd say we do the best we can to save them...I wouldn't
    want to be left alone..."
    "I'm glad we reached mutual understanding. I'm sure it's not an easy thing for you to say."
    "Yeah... More, please. What is it anyway?"
    "Finest
    scotch. I'd say it has Scottish origin, but since it was destroyed
    along with Earth - it doesn't matter anymore, at least some folks still
    make it."
    "Maybe we shouldn't have detroyed the Earth..."
    (both laugh heartedly)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Tukaroil was aproaching a Sord from plane-space. All stations have been manned according to protocol.

    "Exiting plane-space in tens seconds ....eight ... seven ... six ..." the navigator counted down the time.
    The
    crew was tense, an accidents or running into enemies could happen any
    moment. Anyhow, the moment came before long and the ship was back into
    normal space.

    "We passed through."

    "Good, bring us to the meeting point. Has anyone else arrived yet?"

    "We seem to be the last one, Captain."

    "Well, at least we made an appropriate entrance as the leading ship."

    "But we are late." said the communications officer.

    "A leader should always come after his subordinate have gathered." Captain Alex lectured.

    "That's just a sorry excuse." she countered.

    Ignoring her he demanded, "Establish datalink, and open a channel to them."

    "Sure, sure, Captain." she replied in her sweet mocking way.

    "Here
    is Hecto-Commander Alex T. Our mission is urgent, therefore, I wish for
    a Captains meeting as soon as we arrive. Prepare your crews we will be
    underway soon. End transmission."

    -----------------------
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    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2410
    Imperial Credits : 13112
    Registration date : 2009-03-18

    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:39 am

    In some United Mankind underground intelligence office, a colonel stood at attention before his superior.

    "Colonel Spinner! CENSORED What the hell were you thinking? CENSORED"
    "May I ask what you are refering to?"
    "Don't play dumb, CENSORED. How dare you sent one of our people without my permission!"
    "That was a sacrificial diversion, nothing of importance, Sir."
    The superior slammed down his fist on his desk.
    "Silence! I want you to turn in a complete report by tomorrow. And don't think this is over yet. CENSORED Dismiss!"
    The colonel saluted and left.

    The colonel exited, and marshed along the wide hallway of the underground city.

    Tsk. Foolish bureaucrat. It was their fault for the Aptic disaster. They should be grateful for our new strategy.

    The colonel enters a guarded door. Through a blacked out foyer and a heavy curtain he entered a theater like center.
    The room was only lit by screens and shades of blue light.
    Several people were seated in the audience portion of the room. A round cluster of stations were manned by a dozen operators.
    Several
    big screens displayed all relevant information for the audience. He sat
    down beside a man. It was Admiral Cersario, now the highest ranking
    Commander in the warzone.

    "Is everything alright, Colonel Spinner?"

    "Yes, Admiral."

    "Good. Would you mind to accompany me to my office?"

    "With pleasure."
    The Colonel was the intelligence adviser and liaison in the base. It wasn't uncommon for him to brief the various offices.

    Both men stood up and left into the hallway.
    "How are our preparations near the Greater Alkont Republic border, Colonel?"

    "All
    the planned units have been gathered in deep space. The needed
    provisions have already arrived. The supply system within the inter
    system oort clouds have been diverted.
    It will take at least half a
    year before anyone notices the change. To prevent enemy scouts from
    discovering our troops, all movements to and from have been ceased.
    The trap is in place and the bait is waiting."
    The colonel was excited and smiled at the thought of defeating the Abh Empire forces.

    "Very well."

    Both men entered now a small arm of the botanic garden which divided the city into sectors.

    "There is one more thing, Sir."

    "And that would be?"

    "We
    had been tipped off by the Hania Federation of some Abh spyship. We
    have been able to intercept it, but it was destroyed in the proces.
    However, we were able to size an escaping shuttle with an Abh woman aboard."

    "An Abh escaping alone?"

    "Yes, Sir."

    "Hmm, she is either important or she must have an important mission."

    "Probably,
    we will have some information soon. In any case, we cannot bring her to
    a more desirable facility without compromissing our advantages.
    She may be of use later, though."

    Both men became silent for a moment thinking of possibilities.

    "Colonel, did you know the Abh have their private living space build to be gardens?"

    "Well, I have read the reports, but it's difficult to imaging a space living civilisation to adore such things."

    "Haha.
    You are not alone. In fact, our citizen haven't even heard about such a
    thing. Although, it's against our principles, but this way our people
    will put up some fight."

    "Sir, you shouldn't say that. We have after all the best democracy around with the most human rights."

    "Of course, but don't you think that our bureaucracy has become lacking?"

    "Well, it could always be better."
    Twenty-five
    years ago his big brother was acussed of violating someone during some
    party. He confronted the perpetraitor, but the resulting violence,
    caused him to be exiled to some planet.
    The perpetraitor, however,
    got away with rehabilitation. He happened to be some bureaucrat's
    spawn, which he only found out much later.
    Soon after the incident
    his mother died of a broken heart and he became an orphan. He had held
    a grudge against the world, but now much wiser he blamed society
    instead of the people.

    Both man entered the office of the
    admiral. To Spinner's surprise the major from security was already
    there. He was sitting leisurely on the couch.
    For some reason Spinner felt uncomfortable.

    "Have a seat Colonel."
    The admiral offered him to the seat in front of his desk.
    "Would you like some tea or juice?" asked the admiral while puring himself tea at the small side table.

    "Tea is fine, Sir."

    The admiral put down their tea cup on his desk and took his seat.
    He took a sip and began to watch Spinner intensely.
    "As
    you know, we had problems with our military due to political influences
    and the way how most of our higher ranks have been filled."

    "Excuse me, Sir, but I'm not sure what you are refering to."

    "Well,
    Colonel. You see, most of our higher ups in the military come from the
    bureaucracy departments and headquarters. None of them have actual
    field experience to speak of.
    Additionally, most of the purchasing decisions are caught in the military-industrial complex."

    "I see, but isn't that true for all nations?"

    "Unfortunately,
    no. Most nation don't have such a deep political relationship between
    military and industry. Only the Hania Federation is worst, but mostly
    on the local level, though."

    Reluctantly, Spinner asked the
    obvious question. "Hmm, are you saying there is a way to solve these
    problems and improve our war efforts?"

    "Yes." The admiral had folded his hands in front of him and watched intendly.

    Spinner's
    stomage was turning. The only way to change a system overnight was a
    coupe d'etat. There was unlikely any other timely methode.
    He
    glanced over to the major. Now he knew why he felt uncomfortable
    before. The major's pitol holster was moved slightly off place, and
    lying on his tight instead of at the side.
    He hadn't been a field agent long enought to have noticed this at once. It was already too late for anything now.
    He turned back to the admiral. He knew the admiral a serious man who wouldn't play tricks for fun.
    Spinner tried to remember the admiral's file in hope of finding some useful information.

    Admiral
    Cersario was the son of a rich business man. Unfortunatley, business
    went bad and the family got a huge debt. Depressed the father commited
    suicide.
    The mother became an alcoholic and was deported into
    rehabilitation where she died of a heart attack. In hope to rescue the
    family, his older sister married a rich man.
    However, her marriage was an unfortunate one. Cersario ended up surviving by himself. He was talented and won scholarships.
    He
    entered military service as most man did in the United Mankind.
    Skirmishes and campaigns against pirates and smugglers finally made him
    a hero of the nation.
    But these only condamned him to field services rather than a headquarter post.
    This may have caused some grudge, Spinner thought. There is only one way to go now.

    "Well, Admiral. How do you intend to solve these problems?"

    -----
    Hashi
    was lying in his bed in a two man-room. He and his roomate always have
    different shift, hence, they mostly don't meet each other awake.
    Tonight
    he was alone, too, but he felt restless. It has been a week since he
    came aboard the admiral's flagship of the Hania Federation fleet, and
    he still felt uncomfortable.
    To pass the time and to get sleepy he
    began to review the situation. He had been sent to dispose of the
    admiral. The reason was not given, and it was better for him not to ask
    or think about it.
    People like him have always been dying for any
    possible reasons in the Federation. It wouldn't be surprising if he was
    also to be disposed off.
    But that was something he couldn't change now, and would have to worry about when he retreated.
    For
    now, his mission was his main focus. As a crewman it was impossible for
    him to come near the admiral except when the admiral comes to him.
    The
    admiral had ten private body guards who are guarding in shifts. Three
    are always around, and the fourth always when he had his shift.
    The
    admiral always goes jogging in the gymn early in the morning and in the
    evening. These were the only time and place he could meet him.
    Using
    a weapon would cause immediate alarm from the ship sensors. Food
    poisoning was impossible, as the admiral has his own private cook and
    steward.
    Poisonous gas would also set off alarms of the environment
    system. These problems weren't surprising, after all this was no
    fiction.
    Actually, the admirals security has been 'standard' for millenias.
    Everything, he needed but couldn't get aboard he had brought with him.
    All
    neatly stored in his little private case. And all seemingly harmless.
    All that needed was to force by opportunities when he needed them.
    He didn't chose to be in the damage control departement for nothing.
    The
    part of the admiral's route to and from the gym where he could meet him
    was just a fifty meters long. Anywhere else was off-limits or off the
    route.
    Closing off a section with the admiral inside would caused
    internal alarms, and close off any possible was of escape from the ship.
    If
    Hashi wanted to accomplish the mission he would have to be subtle and
    careful. He would have to face and bypass the body guards without them
    knowing.

    ------------------
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:40 am

    Gibilal was suddenly awoken by someone
    shaking her and a strong biting smell was at her nose. Shocked she got
    up, and opened her eyes only to be forced down by restrains and
    temporary blinded by a bright light.
    She was naked and lying on some operation bed. Some human females in white dresses stood by at her sides.
    She
    felt numb all over her body and great pain from and in her intestin.
    She remembered darkly having taken two enemas, one stomage evacuation,
    and one force feeding.
    She must have passed out sometime during the process, she thought. If looks could kill now was the time.

    "Did you really think this kind of torture would do any good? Come again."

    "We, from the United Mankind, don't torture." said one of the women. "You have just received a simple medical examination.
    Although, you don't have human rights, we will treat you humanly. That's more than you machines deserve."

    "We are not machines!"

    The woman came closer, and slapped her. Then she touched and squeezed Gibilal's perfect body.
    "Just because you have everything a human can wish for don't think the universe is yours."
    She turned, and winked the other women by.
    "There
    are still a lot of examinations to be made before you can be certified
    fit for interrogation." she said with a glimmer in her eyes.

    A big robot arm sunk down which was equipped with instruments and probs at its head.
    Gibilal
    tried to get free from her restrains but she was powerless. A sudden
    shot, given to her neck, robbed her of her last strenght.
    Numb she could only observe her ordeal.

    Hania Federation Admiral of the sky Batanan was waiting anxious in his
    office. His fleet was now in position and would be soon discovered by
    the Empire.
    The door bell sounded, and the outside door guard
    announced the visitor. Batanan noded his permission to the bodyguard
    sitting by the door.
    A young lieutenant entered. He was wearing a
    black uniform, and a small red cylindrical hat with a brown
    black-stripped falcon feather.
    He stopped before the admiral and saluted.
    "Lieutenant Ulan, I have heard good things about your performances. I checked them myself and I'm very pleased." Batanan began.
    "Thank you for caring for such a lowly subordinate, Your Excellency."
    "I have decided to assign you a special operation in the upcoming campaign."
    "Thank you for your kindness, Your Excellency."
    "It is a secret operation of utmost importance for our nation. Nobody shall know about it except the men under your command."
    "I understand Your Excellency."
    "Good. For this operation I will field promote you to the rank of a Colonel, congratulations."
    "Th..Thank you very much, Your Excellency."
    "Good.
    As you know we are lacking advanced bio-technology of our own.
    Therefore, your job will be to secure the Empire's technology regarding
    genetics, cloning and reproduction.
    Also you will secure as many
    healthy Abhs as possible for research. We don't intend to take
    prisoners in our campaign, so you will have to move fast to secure your
    objectives. Understood?"
    "Yes, Your Excellency."
    "I have arranged a special group of transporters and warships for your operation. The details are all in this pad. Dismissed."
    "Thank you, Your Excellency."
    The fresh colonel took the pad, saluted and left.
    Batanan
    leaned back satisfied. The man was a good choice he commended himself.
    Ulan was a man by the book, it was really diffult to find him.
    Actually,
    Batanan was surprised to have found him at all. Most men in the Hania
    Federation were too cunning and selfish to entrust them anything.
    If
    his plans worked out, he would have secured a great business of his
    own. That is, if he could keep this a secret from everyone until
    everything had been shipped to a secret place.
    The other nations had
    advanced bio-technology, but had banned slavery. Since slavery was not
    banned in the Hania Federation, the other nations had refused to share
    their bio-technology.
    With this plan he would have secured a
    monopoly in bio-technology in the Federation, Batanan smilled. And if
    he could produce Abh slaves, there would be no limit to his ambitions.
    Selling
    sex slaves alone would bring in a fortune, not to mention a military to
    conquer the galaxy. Batanan wasn't worried about Ulan. By the time Ulan
    gets suspicious it would have been over already.
    Batanan was very pleased.

    ---------------
    Colonel
    Spinner had just left Admiral Cersario's office. Finally out and free,
    he let go of the forced control of his body. He mentally thanked his
    basic agent training.
    A bit shaky he took a seat on one of the many banks within the botanic garden.
    At
    least it wasn't as bad as it seemed, he thought. He was a bit surprised
    at the Admiral's plan. It was completely different from what he
    expected, but still scary in a way.
    He looked up and bathed his face
    in the warm light of the artificial sun. To think something like this
    was available nearly six kilometers underground, marveled him each time
    he was reminded.
    A half-open fusion reactor as a light source just a
    kilometer above. Well, it wasn't really open. A transparent metalic
    glass protected the environment from the fire of the stars.
    It
    absorbed all the weak radiations and some of the strong gamma rays.
    Although, the general fusion reaction doesn't produced them, they still
    are produced by the more than half dozen other fusion reaction.
    Even
    if the amount was little, the proximity and amount of time, the
    artificial sun was active, it still could be dangerous over the years.
    Spinner
    sighed and got up. He shouldn't slack off now, lots of things needed to
    be done. Besides, he couldn't let other people see an intelligence
    officer slacking off. It would damage their image or rather lower
    people's fear over them.


    Within an hour after Tukaroil's
    arrival, the ship joined the squadron, six ships total, which had
    established a ring connection around a Kutel class supply transport.
    While the ship's crew took in new supplies, the Captain's briefing so
    far went well.
    "I have a question, Commander Tenshli....."

    "You may call me Alex. It's more convenient than my long name. Besides, we are colleagues, no need to be shy now. Go ahead."

    "Of
    course. Does headquarters expect us to find anything? I mean now-a-day
    nobody is capturing ships. And all are lost once they lose their
    spatial generator in plane-space."

    "Good question. The answers
    is ... I don't know because it's a secret." Alex T. looked around a bit
    no one had moved. "Anything else?"
    Everyone was silent, but at attention. Alex felt uneasy, he should have asked himself when he got the chance.
    And there I thought I would polish up my image by being a serious squadron commander for once, he thought.
    "Anyhow, the latest intel found this last remains of a space-time particle wave, which could only been caused by an explosion.
    They
    think it might be from the ship we are looking for. For now, let's
    supposed they got our people and destroyed the ship to cover it up.
    According to the map, there are two sords within range in enemy territory. We are going to split up and investigate them."
    Now having regained his composure he went on.
    "The Tonroil, the Colaroil, and the Soraroil will form the group investigating the nearest sord. All others come with me.
    Any questions?"
    Alex looked around again.
    "Good.
    Then let's drink on the fortunes of war and success for our mission.
    This bottle here has been sent for this occasion with compliments from
    the Admiral."
    For a moment everyone looked around each other surprised.
    "That's right. Empty your glasses, that's an order. To the fortunes of war and successful of the mission. Cheers."
    At once everyone emptied their drink.
    "Good. Dismissed and good hunting."

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 3

    In
    a conference room on a planet deep in the Greater Alkon Republic. The
    minister of denfense and military leaders were discussing the situation.
    "Gentlemen,
    our President got another call from the United Mankind, and he is very
    upset about it. I hope your report today will be good news." began the
    minister.

    "I'm afraid we will need a little more time, Sir." answered the chief of staffs.

    "Are you saying we are not ready yet after all this time?" asked the minister of defense.

    "No, Sir. Just some units are behind schedule. We are ready for the most part."

    "Fine. Begin the report, please."

    "Yes,
    Sir. In accordance with the latest general plan agreed on by the
    Alliance, we have been relieving Unite Mankind troops in the Mairal
    triangle.
    As planned skirmishes with the Empire have stretch their forces and lured them into the triangle.
    Our troops and installation at the border are prepared and fortified. The Empire won't be able to break through easily.
    If we and the hidden United Mankind troops strike as soon as the Empire had gathered enough troops we will crush them.
    After that the Empire won't be able to stop us from recapturing Alliance territory for years."

    "Good. What about the Hania Federation and the People's Sovereign Stellar Union?"

    "Well,
    the Hania Federation is still playing neutral, but not for long. The
    United Mankind has already prepared measures to bring the Federation
    back into the Alliance.
    Our intelligence people are cooperating with them, too."

    "Has there been any sign the Federation had noticed our moves?"

    "Yes,
    they have. We knew we couldn't hide this for long from their famous
    intelligence gathering abilities. But that's fine those were set up as
    decoys anyway to satisfy their suspicions.
    Our main efforts are more
    subtle and widespread. They wouldn't be able to discern it from general
    public opinion. In any case our merchants have been smuggling support
    materials for the worse case.
    Everything is about set. It won't take
    long and the Federation will be back. In any case, the Federation
    forces will be a great help to crush the Empire."

    "Good. Go on with the People's Sovereign Stellar Union, please."

    "Well,
    the People's Sovereign Stellar Union is a bit troubling. They were
    supposed to tie up some of the Empire forces, but the recent Empire
    operation on their end had severely weaken them.
    Their war efforts
    had been lacking to begin with so we don't expect much right now. In
    their last message they had promised some efforts, though."

    "Will the United Mankind make a move to help them?"

    "We
    don't know. It's possible but it would weaken the Unite Mankind at
    other fronts. However, if the Alliance can supply them with military
    goods, the People's Sovereign Stellar Union could very well make a
    comeback."

    "Supply huh? We really are becoming rather a background player than an active actor."

    "Well,
    the front is still a bit away and we do have a healthy industry. I
    would prefer it this way, Sir. Less casualties for us and we would
    still have most of our troops after the war is over."

    "That's
    all fine and good, Admiral. But we need to take an active role to claim
    Empire territory for ourself. Or we will be left behind.
    Besides it's easier for us to subjugate imperial territories than the Empire. We cannot let this opportunity slip by."

    "Yes, Sir."

    "Alright, is there anything else?"

    "Yes, Sir. We need to mobilize our reservists now in order to keep our strength high and have a means of reinforcement."

    "I
    see. I will bring that suggestion before our boss, but it might be a
    political and economic problem. Well, then I will see you tomorrow."
    Everyone in the room stood up and the defense minister left the room.

    -----
    In some hotel room on the capital planet of the Hania Federation. A man was lying restless in his bed.
    He
    had been traveling and making businesses on several planets within the
    last year. And still he couldn't get used to a new place and time as
    quickly as he wished.
    As a business man he wasn't quite successful,
    and therefore, had to make all this travels. He went to many meetings
    and drunk many nights with business men.
    He hated their praises 'Mr.
    Oman this and that' and their uncertain promises. He didn't like this
    at all, after all for most of them he had to pay the bill.
    Besides,
    it wasn't his real work to begin with. But then again his real business
    was no better either. Meetings after meetings, drinks after drinks, and
    all he could secure are promises.
    The Hania Federation was indeed
    full of business people. But also full with people who take ties and
    loyalty serious as long as the money was right.
    He had a hard time
    to train himself and get accustomed to their culture. Some of it was
    repulsive to his United Mankind upbringing.
    He was proud he was able to disguise himself as a mixed-blood.
    He
    stretched himself out and went to the toilet. Drank another glass of
    water and went to bed again. He needed to sleep or it will be an awful
    long day tomorrow.
    He was tempted to use a sleeping pill, but no he
    couldn't afford such luxury. He started thinking about good times,
    about Ilari, their time together, and her....
    No, he shouldn't think about that, too depressing, too sad, ... can't get to sleep like this.
    *Spoilers Warning* Click to show this spoiler.


    She was a good woman with common sense.
    Not
    like the general illusionary, pretentious, selfish or eccentric women
    he had met, well maybe a little bit eccentric. Despite that she was
    oddly a beauty.
    In a way she was his counterpart. More lively and
    open, at least it appeared to him. At times she was nagging and
    annoying like his mother.
    They had fights, but in the end they were happy together...

    -------------
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2410
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:42 am

    Gibilal had been returned to her dark and
    cold cell. She had only her underwear on, and a simple mantel they gave
    her. Her uniform was obviously investigated and destroyed.
    She was
    unsure but it must have been more than two days since she was examined.
    She was even less sure about the time the examination took.
    The
    energy drinks and medicine she was given have kept her awake, and she
    felt very sleepy now. It wouldn't be much longer until the Empire would
    conquer this area.
    Sounds of foot steps echoed into ther cell and made her awake again.
    She
    hasn't seen or heard anyone from her ship's crew yet. I'm probably the
    only one here, she thought. She moved into a darker corner and readied
    herself.
    If there was an opportunity she would take it. At least
    three men seemed to have come. Too many. The door opened and several
    flashlights searched the cell for her.
    The men reached for her and
    handcuffed her before dragging her out. Outside the men took quite a
    long look at her. Gibilal starred them down while looking around a bit.
    The
    hall was short and the sectional door was still open. Before she could
    consider what to do, one of the man grabbed her. Gibilal reflexively
    hit his hand off her, and kicked him where it hurts.
    She turned to
    run, but was too slow to avoid being touched by a shock-stick. Gibilal,
    partially paralyzed, fell on her knees, but she was too fired up to
    give up yet.
    "You damned Abh!" cried the man she had kicked, and pointed his pistol at her head.
    "That's
    enough!" shouted a man by the door at the end of the hall. He was older
    and obviously a superior, but he wore a suit. "Bring her to the room!"
    The three men reluctantly eased up, and shoved her along with their shock-sticks more than ready.
    Gibilal
    was slowing as much as possible while trying to map the base in her
    mind. She gave her best, but already felt lost. She wondered if a man
    would have been better at this.
    She shook the thought off when she
    realized she was losing confidence. Before long she was brought into a
    hot and isolated room.
    There was only a table and two chairs in the
    room. The middle-aged man sat down on one of the chairs while the
    guards took off her handcuffs.
    The middle-aged man took some
    equipment out and unpacked them on the table. One was obviously some
    kind of recording device. Another was a portable computer.
    "Please, sit down. Straighten up and hands down under your tights" the man said while nodding the guards to leave them alone.
    Gibilal complied and sat down on the rather simple chair. Gibilal felt hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable on the chair.
    "My
    name is Mr. Smith. I'm your assigned guardian. I'm your best friend
    here. If you don't do anything stupid like before, and do what you are
    told, then you may have a peaceful life here."
    "I have heard your citizens are enlighten but I didn't know they needed guardians." Gibilal said casually.
    "Guardians are needed to keep demons at bay." he smirked.
    Both were starring at each other for a moment.
    "Now let's begin. Tell me your name, rank, and service number."
    ------------------------

    --------------------
    [Reconstruction from the diaries of Captain Alex T.]
    "Dear
    sister, it's been a long 10 days since we left the base and arrived to
    our first objective. Here our mission truly starts and i will no longer
    be able to write to you. It's not like you will receive these little
    notes of mine soon anyway. I just wanted you to know that i am well so
    far, not sure if it's going to be so smooth from now on so keep your
    fingers crossed for me. But i think about the opportunities this
    mission offer, who knows - maybe i'll have my ship in less than 5 years
    if we are succesful. Though other captains of our squadron do not share
    our commander's "enthusiasm" - i noticed Captain felt uneasy during the
    briefing. That is if he is capable of such feelings anyway. It appears
    that everything they say about him is true, yet after i got to know him
    better - i'm not so sure it's that bad. He's eccentric maybe, but
    efficient in his own ways. I realy hope he know what he's doing, but if
    only you could see him - you'd think he could easily go to hell and
    back if someone sent him there. I just hope we won't end up in real
    hell, though i know it's foolish to think of such things. But Tukaroil
    is a fine ship, i'm loving it and not as upset about not getting
    command version anymore.
    Anyway, take care of the snakes, send my greetings to our Father...."

    - You have snakes as your house pets? You start to impress me even more, Vic.
    - It's not very nice to listen to someone composing a private message...
    -
    Well, you could've used keyboard or do it in your own room instead of
    Bridge, siting in the captain's char... it's not my fault you know..
    So, you have a sister? Is she cute?
    - She's deca-commander, serving under admiral Spoor...
    - Wow, a lucky one! Spoor is such a hot...
    Vic stares at Alex with her famous "are you crazy" look on her face for a moment..
    - What? You don't like Admiral Spoor?
    - Yeah, i've seen that little poster of yours in your room, i guess this ship doesn't need more than 2 Spoor fans anyway
    -
    Come on, she's awesome. Even if she's eccentric - it doesn't mean she's
    a bad admiral. We, Abhs, do not put crazy people in charge of fleets,
    you know...
    - Oh, it's "we Abhs" now? But no - it looks like we do put crazy people in charge of things..
    - Another example of fine Abh sense of humor! I'm glad you feel better. Want some coffee?
    - What makes you think i was upset?
    -
    You always write messages when you feel down. And you do it on the
    bridge simply because you like to be here. You want your own ship?
    - Every Abh wants one... Isn't it why you join the star forces..Isn't it what you wanted, captain?
    - Sure. But i guess motivation was a bit different... I wanted to achieve a new level of freedom i guess.
    - You speak just like landers...I will never be able to understand it..hold on, incoming mesage from Soraroil...
    - Bring it on screen -
    Alex
    hides his glass to where it won't be seen by the camera and exchange
    seats with Vic. A face of an "older" Abh captain appeared on the
    screen. He's a typical abh with the cold, emotionless stare - even too
    emotionless (as Alex noticed at the meeting).
    - What can i do for you, captain Relau?
    In
    spite of his non-formal greeting the captain of Soraroil followed
    standard procedure and even managed to pronounce the full name of the
    hecto-commander. "Not good...old school" Alex thought.
    - commander,
    i wanted to let you know that i've been sent here by the Information
    bureau to make sure our mission is successful should you fail due to
    circumstances beyond your control.
    - Is that so? It is nice that you decided to inform me of this little detail before we parted ways..
    -
    We have the same "cargo" as you have to make sure the job is done
    should anything...jeopardize the success of your mission. Since my
    mission is as secret as yours i could've kept it a secret, but i hope
    there will be more trust between us from now on.... My orders come from
    the Information bureau who act on behalf of the Empress' word. You do
    value the word of the Empress, don't you?
    - From the empress mouth
    to my ass! (Alex make fun of formal answer here) I shall assist you in
    any way i can captain.. what do you want?
    - I.. think separating our "fleet" was a mistake..
    -
    I see. But i'm still the officer in charge here and since you got your
    orders before you informed me of this little mission of yours - you'll
    have to follow them before we speak about anything else.
    The face on the screen was silent for a moment and then smiled slightly
    - Very well, but if we find no trace of our objective - we shall follow you to your destination..
    - It IS nice that we reached mutual understanding. Captain.
    - Farewell and good hunting, Hecto-commander - captain saluted and disappeared from the screen.

    - Huh, i expected as much
    -
    Don't tell me... you suspected something like this and sent half of our
    squadron to investigate the second location? Because of it? You don't
    plan to wait for them at all? And you don't think they can find
    anything...
    - You're a smart one, for a "blonde", Vic! But no, it's
    not like this. Time is of the essence, whatever they find - it won't
    involve battle. And we're the ones who decided to attempt the rescue,
    remember?
    - But we'll have less ships now, what if we encounter an enemy force - a single patrol ship can wipe us out now!
    -
    We won't be needing to fight a patrol craft in space, Vic. We'll loose
    anyway should we even try, even with a full squadron. But we're the
    only ones who got those fine commando guys plus a big bomb - it is all
    we need to finish this job. One way or another...
    - Oh well..
    - Come on, trust me. I'm sure your sister would agree...
    -
    My sister thinks you're a crazy, irresponsible fool, commander. And
    after this mission - i'll need years to restore my reputation too!
    - Why's that? We haven't done anything wrong...yet..
    - Oh shut up! - Vic shouts angry but then breaks into a smile satisfied with the expression of Alex's face .
    -
    Oh my...i turned you into a shrew... Ok - If you return with the
    victory - it will be all that matters. I call you Vic for a reason,
    it's an old terran version of your name - Victoria.. You should bring
    us luck.
    - Yes, i know, i wasn't skipping classes at academy like you did, captain
    - Damn, now you're smarter than me...Oh well - ignore me, i'm just a crazy guy in charge here..

    - Sir, Ma'am
    A tall man enters the bridge, he wear standard abh uniform with stripes of Wing Flyer
    - Leinosh?
    - What's wrong, chief engineer?
    - Sir..there's a small problem that might require your attention
    - I hope it's a really small one, i'd hate something realy bad to happen to my ship
    For a moment both chief engineer and captain stare at Vic, who tries to hide behind her coffee cup
    - I mean...your ship, Sir..
    -
    Right...so, is our reactor gonna blow, do we leak antimatter or half of
    our hull gonna collapse? Oh, don't tell me...coffee machine is broken!
    Now chief engineer and senior officer stare at their captain.
    - Oh, then our problem is realy small sir...We only leak antimatter fuel. It should be eating the Bridge...about now.
    - What??
    - That was, as you call it, "a joke", captain.
    - Good one! Unfortunately people do not get promoted for having a good sense of humor in Star Forces yet...you know why?
    - Sir?
    - Because there would be three Imperial Admirals and all the rest would would never go above pilot trainee..
    - Oh, you mean three of us .. and rest of the Abhs have no sense of humor... haha, it can't be that bad, can it?
    Both Alex and Vic nod sarcasticaly.
    -
    But there's a hope for you, my friend, don't worry. Before this mission
    ends - you'll be able to make a dead man laugh. In our case it's
    especialy useful. But let's get back to business. What's the problem?
    -
    Here's the situation: Since our ship is new - the engines wasn't
    _perfectly_ calibrated and tuned so far since, as you know, it's only
    done after 2 months of ship's service, because...
    - Yes, i know. So we consume more antimatter than we should?
    -
    Precisely, sir. Only a few percent more, it should be no problem -
    based on my calculations we have enough fuel to reach our destination
    and return, but if...just IF we need to manoeuvre in atmosphere for
    some time - we'll be short on fuel for emergency or combat situation.
    I'd recommend additional refueling, if possible.
    - Hm. Thank you, Fektodai. You did a good job.
    - My pleasure, ma'am, sir..- Leinosh saluted and left.
    - Vic, search the database for any kind of refueling base on our course.
    - Any kind?
    - Yes, any. But make sure it won't delay us by much..
    At this time Alex didn't know that it was the first of three major mistakes he made on his journey...

    --------------------
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:44 am

    It was about sunrise now, a vehicle stopped at the edge of a spacious
    park. The man sitting at the driver's seat leaned back and just watched
    in the direction of the sunrise.
    General Chief of Operations
    Wilcroft felt at peace now. This was not the case more than an hour
    ago. At the time, headquarters informed him of the lost of contact to
    the Kemal system.
    He had feared this moment ... no ... he feared
    more of what he had to do now. The People's Sovereign Stellar Union was
    actually a group of independent systems whose citizens have been
    leaving peacefully.
    Their industry was sufficient and military
    matters were of no concern for the common man. There was no loyalty
    required either. The military was, actually, a bunch of each system's
    own military.
    He and the people caring responsibilities had hoped
    they would have enough time to gear up the nation for the war. But the
    administration had always been kept weak.
    In the end all these years
    have not been enough. The industry was only slowly changing to wartime
    production. The main military production sites were limited to certain
    systems, and have practically always been the same ones.
    The
    Empire's attack so soon at the border was shocking. Still, everyone
    hoped their commune military and the United Mankind could stop the
    Empire before it got serious.
    That was evidently an unfulfilled wish
    when the Kemal system came under attack, and the nation was cut off
    from the United Mankind. Their greatest stronghold was as good as lost
    now. Wilcroft had been looking over and over at the only plan that
    could help now.
    Although innumerable genius minds had been working
    out this plan, he had hoped to come up with something. Anything but
    this, he thought. He was stupid, naive, ridiculous ... no ... he was a
    man afraid to face the future generations.
    Afraid to admit failure,
    afraid to leave behind a world worse than ever. He got restless and
    drove for the last half hour around.
    The sun rose and her warm ray
    filled the cabin. It was a beautiful sunrise. Actually, he admitted, it
    was just as any other day, but since he rarely got to see it, it was
    special for him.
    He looked over to the papers lying on the passenger
    seat. Just some papers which could change everything. He sighed and
    decided to drive home, grab a quick breakfast.
    Then come by his office to take the latest reports, and be on his way to the General Chief of Staff.

    The
    matter had been discussed for weeks within headquarters, now it was
    only a matter of protocol. The General Chief of Staff ordered him to
    come along the daily meeting with the President and the others to
    represent the plan.
    Drafting plans and contingencies were his staff's job, it was his job to present them for selection and approval.

    Two
    hours later Wilcroft walked into a meeting room within the Stellar
    Union Council. As usual the participant exchanged warm greetings, but
    he didn't feel comfortable. He made quick of the ritual, went to his
    seat, and filled his glass with water.
    He emptied it in one gulp. Now he felt refreshed, and remembered that he forgot to drink since breakfast.
    As
    usual the Secretary General started his report first. Nothing important
    happened last night within the Union, so his report was short. It was
    his boss' turn now.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I have to report that we have lost any contact to the Kemal system." reported the General Chief of Staff.

    "Is that a final statement or is there a technical problem?" asked the Secretary General.

    "There
    is no doubt about the situation, Sir. In any case, this was inevitable.
    Therefore, I would like to request the implementation of plan Bitter
    Medicine."
    With that he nodded Wilcroft to distribute a copy of the plan, and activate the holographic projection.
    "This
    is a projection of how the Empire might be moving after the fall of the
    Kemal system. As you can see, the Empire will probably cut us off from
    the Hania Federation.
    We would be completely isolated and easily conquered. More so than any of the other nations."

    "But wouldn't the Empire waste efforts to conquer us then? We are practically harmless then." asked the Secretary General.

    "Yes,
    it would indeed slow the Empire in dealing with the other nations.
    There is the possibility the Empire will leave us be, and take on the
    more dangerous nations.
    But, we shouldn't count on that. To be safe we must be able to stop the Empire from advancing any further."

    "If we put up a fight now won't the Empire tend to go ahead and conquer us right away?" asked the Minister of Trade.

    "That
    is possible, but either way the chances are about the same. The Empire
    could be less willing to waste their effort now on a weak but more
    aggressive midget."

    "I see. Even a weak prey which can inflict a possibly serious wound would even make a tiger think twice."

    "Exactly.
    We can't be strong but if we can make the Empire believe we are not
    worth it, we can still stop or at least delay the Empire."

    "So what is this plan about?" asked the President.

    "Total war."
    Everyone's mind stopped in their track for a moment.

    "Would you please go on." asked the President after she had recovered.

    "Certainly,
    but my Chief of Operations is more qualified in presenting the plan,
    Ma'am. Mr. Wilcroft?" the General Chief of Staff indicated Wilcroft.

    "Yes, Sir." replied Wilcroft and went to the front of the back wall facing everyone.
    "This
    is the most effective plan we have. It consists of several measures I
    am going to talk about. The first thing that needs to be done is to
    declare martial law."

    "I guess this can't be helped. But I hope
    we are not going too far with it. We can't impose too much on the
    citizens." asserted the President.

    "By all respect, Ma'am. We are in deep trouble and cannot go on like nothing happened. Or things will never change."

    "You are right. Go on, please."

    "There
    won't be a need to impose something like a curfew. There will be
    enought time to do that at the discretion of the system lords."

    "That's a relief. At least business won't be too much bothered."

    "Martial law is just the precursor to the plan, Ma'am."

    "Can't be better can it?" joked the Minister of Health.

    "That's
    a subjective opinion, Sir. The next step is to organize our resources
    and industry nationwide for military production. We will need to create
    a governmental department for this, Mr. President."

    "Hmm ... I
    will need approval from the council and the budget committee. Secretary
    General, would you please organize this, thank you." said the President
    and indicated Wilcroft to go on.

    "Next, we need to put forth the Valkyrie law." Wilcroft went on.
    Cold silence took hold of the room as everyone took in the meaning of his words.

    "You can't be serious?" asked the Secretary General frantic and stood up.

    "I
    am. You may not realize it, but the Empire could come and go like the
    wind. The Valkyrie law is essential to create any notable resistance."

    "Arming
    every able man and woman, including foreigners. This won't sit well
    with our members. To think that we could force to create a military
    state will scare everyone.
    Do you realize this could give the Empire an excuse to wipe out every member planet?" asked the Secretary General gravely.

    "Yes,
    Sir. However, despite our propaganda the Empire has become lenient and
    doesn't practice planetary destructions anymore. But if the Empire
    does, it would raise the determination and union of our members."

    The
    Secretary General sat down speechless at the evil nature of all this.
    No one dared to venture any further into an ethic discussion.

    "If
    it will give you a piece of mind. We only distribute the weapons, show
    the people how to use them, and tell them what to do in case it becomes
    necessary.
    This will only take a week or two. That's the end of it."

    "Still,
    this will cause unrest in the population. We could very well face
    revolts and seditions." asserted the Security Advisor.

    "That
    won't happen if we tell them the Empire is about to invade us. There is
    no need to lie as this is pretty much the truth." countered Wilcroft.

    "I hope you are right, Mr. Wilcroft." mediated the President.

    "This is just the beginning, Ma'am."

    "I thought as much." commented the Security Advisor.

    "We
    will have to create a mine fields around all Sords at and close to the
    border. We are not going to use plane-space mines. We can't produce
    enough of those.
    Instead we will use normal mines, which are
    smaller, simpler, but quite powerful. This way we can produce thousands
    of mines for each plane-space mine.
    We will simply clog the Sords
    with a thick cloud of mines. The Empire can try to shoot them down as
    much as they want. There still will be enough left to damage and
    destory ships."

    "Finally, a conventional idea." commented the Secretary General.

    "Yes, but this would not make the Empire stop. To reinforce our troops we will need to mobilize mercenaries."

    "Mercenaries? Are there enough of such people?" asked the Minister of Health.

    "Well,
    there are, but only here and in the Hania Federation. They are usually
    hired by corporations or private people for escorts. Sometimes, they
    are hired to hunt down pirates.
    However, mercenary groups fall under
    the same laws as security companies. They are forbidden to own more
    than 5 ships. We will have to give them some ships now or integrate
    them into new military units."

    "I think this is tolerable." said the President.

    "Yes. Next, we will have to implement genetic modifications to our soldiers."

    "Wait. This goes a bit too far. We can't just force genetic modification on every soldier." intervened the Minister of Health.

    "Yes.
    We will do that on volunteer basis only, and put those together in
    their own units. We will also create special units with extremely
    modified soldiers."

    "Still, this could cause a lot of problems
    within the council. Secretary General, would you please have your staff
    come up with some persuasions." demanded the President, then gave
    Wilcroft a sign to go on.

    "...Lastly, I need you to approve the production and use of weapons for biological and chemical warfare." said Wilcroft slowly.

    "What?" the President stood up shocked with a pale face.

    "These weapons have been banned!" said the Secretary General enraged.

    "This is a perilous time."

    "I'm
    not going to approve this. Never. The council won't either. Don't bring
    this up again. Do you understand me?" asked the President intently.

    Wilcroft
    stood his ground. It was his job to consider all possibilities, he
    believed in it, and couldn't just give in to his own agenda.
    "Yes, Ma'am. Crystal clear, Ma'am." answered Wilcroft obediently.

    The President kept watching for some sign.
    "Very
    well. Revise the plan, and bring me a complete and detailed layout of
    the plan as soon as possible. I will take a look and make my decision.
    You are dismissed Mr. Wilcroft."

    "I will have it ready by noon... Madam President." Wilcroft saluted and left.

    ----------------------
    Hashi
    was having his meal in the crew mess. He had a delicious chicken broth.
    It was actually his second dish. It was not a meal which was served
    today.
    Today, he was served potatoes with some meat. It was not good
    and he was not full. Although, this was the flagship the meals aboard
    were not that much better than on regular ships.
    Luckily, the big
    battleship had a little store which sold special meals. It sold only a
    certain number of meals a day, so it was always busy and always sold
    out if you are late.
    He enjoyed his meal very much.
    "Hey, have you heard about yesterday's incident?" asked someone from his department.

    "No. Was there something?" Hashi asked innocently.

    "Yes. There was this new guy in the weaponry department who tried to take a shortcut, and ended up in detention."

    "Really? How come?" asked Hashi.

    "He obviously got lost, and stumbled into one of the officer's only passageway, and went on into the restricted command areas.

    There he turned a corner and ran into one of the old man's body guards. He nearly got his head cut off by this body guard."

    "Yeah. I heard he was wielding a machete." inserted another mate.

    "No way."

    "Way man. These body guards are just short of being mass murderers."

    "Yeah. I wouldn't dare look them in the eye. Who knows what these guys will do."

    "Good thing, they are mostly in the restricted areas. I wouldn't know what to do if I come across them."

    "Yeah.
    No one dares to use the gym in the morning now because of them. Even
    the security guys don't want to be together with them."

    The
    security personnel was lax and careless as far as Hashi could tell.
    They obviously felt secured on board the big flagship except for the
    body guards.
    Hashi listen for another five minutes before finishing his meal and left.
    Hashi
    had used his work to bug the computer network, and had been hacking
    into the security system to forge access to the shuttle boats.
    He
    just carefully placed his access permissions nothing else. He didn't
    leave any traces. It was unlike anyone would notice anything.
    Yesterday,
    he saw a security entry in the computer network about a visitor to the
    Admiral. It was just a member of the Shasheenad, but this one was odd.
    He
    had been field promoted from Lieutenant to Colonel. Nothing special
    about that. In the Hania Federation men rose and fell from one moment
    to another.
    This man was not just promoted and given some command, but he was made independent from High Command.
    Hashi couldn't find anymore information, and decided to note this man for later investigations.

    -------------------
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    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2410
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:45 am

    Colonel
    Spinner was sitting in his closet, and was bend over his laptop. He had
    been transfering movement and assigment data from the network in his
    office to his laptop.
    Now, he was checking on the people of
    interest, and the relationship tree build by the computer AI. It was a
    vast amount of data and work which took nearly two days to be done.
    Admiral
    Cersario's plan was simple. "Let the Empire take care of the people
    harming the nation." And he seemed not to have been alone.
    According,
    to the data commanders and politicians had already been done with
    during Operation Hercules. Most were sent to the Fleet taking Sfagnoff
    in the Vorlash system.
    One of the most populated planets. A tempting
    target for those career and power driven people. Their handling was a
    disaster which ended in making an enemy out of the population.
    Further, news of which were disapproved by others in the Empire. Empire recruitment rose as a result.
    On
    the other side, new younger and more talented people have filled the
    vacancies in the United Mankind. Not many though, but these people were
    able to raise the living standard in their areas.
    It was quite
    impressive, and probably fueled the Admiral's and his associate's
    ambition for more. At closer look, these successes were made possible
    by increased military spending and resource mining.
    Of course, the
    original plan could not be done again without risks. The new plan was
    to maneuver target people into a bad spot in order to replace them.
    Certain
    arrangements and forgery were needed. And those need to be covered and
    backed by the intelligence community. This was his job. The war will
    serve well as a cover-up and to rid evidence.
    Spinner was not
    certain, but maybe the cleansing of the United Mankind was more
    important to Admiral Cersario's group than winning the war.
    Could this have been the plan from the beginning or could the Empire have been scheming this, Spinner thought.
    This
    was unthinkable, ridiculous. Spinner shook off the sudden coldness he
    felt now. Whatever, it was already history. All he could do now is to
    ensure the United Mankind stays healthy.
    If Admiral Cersario's plan
    did not caused harm there was still a chance of victory. The operation
    to trap and crush a major part of the Empire fleets was vital, more
    than ever.
    Spinner sighed. So much pressure, he thought. Spinner
    fell silent. There was no real backup plan for the operation. The Hania
    Federation was supposed to take part, but its neutrality was worrisome.
    He had been working and organized ways to bring the Hania Federation back, but the result was still to be seen.
    If only there was a way to influence the Empire actions in this matter, he thought not for the first time.
    Spinner
    checked his mail box. There was a new report about the recently
    captured Abh woman. She was probably valuable, but not for long....
    Maybe,
    he thought, maybe she can be used to seed disinformation. Spinner was
    fired up by the thought. He had to ensure she won't be harmed. He
    quickly wrote a message.
    Now, he needed to think ... find a desirable solution....

    In
    another house at another corner of the underground city base, Admiral
    Cersario was having a drink with the head of sector security General
    Vaslovski.
    "By the way, how is Colonel Spinner doing?" asked the Admiral.
    "The
    spy guy? He seems to be into it, at least he started to investigate us
    and our deeds. Of course we led him get what he was looking for. He
    shouldn't be a problem. I have already arranged for an insurance
    tonight."
    "You sent him a woman?" the Admiral smiled mischievous.
    "By God, no. How could you accuse me of such vulgar tricks?"
    "Of course not. I was just guessing." Cersario laughed.
    "Yeah, yeah. Besides, it's a waste to use good women for such a man."
    "Hah, you just want them for yourself."
    "So
    what? I'm healthy. Anyway, tonight a team will abduct him after he went
    to sleep. Of course we will help with some sleeping gas. I took liberty
    to ask your surgeon to implant a nerve bomb into him. It shouldn't be
    noticeable."
    "Hmm, isn't that too dangerous? Wouldn't he die suddenly if he were to be hit at that place or so?"
    "It's fine. We won't need him forever anyway. Once we take control of intelligence, we will have plenty people to replace him."
    "You
    sure are confident. Just make sure his part is done before that. We
    must have control over intelligence or everything is for naught."
    "Of course."
    Admiral
    Cersario felt a bit worried. They needed to cover their tracks in the
    upcoming plots which they will use to blame their biggest opponents. At
    the same time, they will gain control over most of the government
    bureaucracy and military.
    If they are caught it will end. The change
    had to be quick to avoid any negative influence on the war effort.
    Winning the war was essential to survival. If for some reason they
    weren't as successful as planned they would have use their backup plan.
    "By the way, General, how is security and preparations going in Area 91?" asked the Admiral seriously.
    "....Security is perfect as always. My men are in place and ready, Sir. They are only waiting for the word and opportunity."
    "Good."
    Area
    91 was a military supply base, but also had a secret weapons base close
    by. Unbeknown to the public, fearsome inventions were locked away there
    including banned weapons. It was not under their control yet.
    They
    had to take control somehow in order to use the backup plan. If they
    can't take control of the central government then they will have to
    wipe out the whole planet. Blame it on the Abh, their sympathizers,
    declare martial law and arrest all opponents, and create a temporary
    government.
    No questions or investigations would be in the way,
    though, some forged reports would be needed for later. If also the war
    gets unexpectedly worse, they will have to try suicide runs to destroy
    populated Abh planets. In this case, they could blame the government
    for breach of ethics and replace it.
    Once this all starts there was no turning back nor would there be any salvation if failed.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After
    many hours of questioning, her interrogator finally left, but Gibilal
    was still held in the room with a young lieutenant as guard. It was
    obviously a typical interrogation marathon to her. Although, she wanted
    to steel herself for it, she was already tired.
    She felt her body
    itching all over the place, but at least she didn't felt her bones
    tiring from sitting up straigth. She thanked her ancestor for her genes
    and her Abh bone structure which was designed to endure such stresses.
    She
    reached for the glass of water which was brought for her and emptied it
    quickly. That was when she noticed being starred at.
    "Hey, stop starring. If you are looking for paradise, you are in the wrong place on the wrong side."
    The young man was a bit dumb founded but caught himself quickly when he realized she was an Abh not a human woman.
    "Right, you are a temptation from hell. I won't succumb to your vile body."
    "Vile?
    This body is from heaven, boy." Gibilal responded furious. She was
    proud of her perfect body, and womanhood, and had been taking baths
    every day.
    Gibilal proofed it by showing her half-naked body. "There
    is nothing wrong with this perfectly measured body." She grabbed her
    breasts and made some pose.
    "Sit down and spare me, you succubus. I won't waver from my faith."
    "Faith? What faith?"
    "Faith, that we bring down your evil Empire and free all humans from your evil rule."
    "So you don't believe in god or some higher order?"
    "Of course I do. This is all God's plan. It's time for us to proof ourself worthy, and right the world."
    "You call war and killing people a right thing to do?"
    "War is necessary to rid the world of evil, of course, the people being killed are destined so by God. So it's alright."
    "So
    you believe your god is good, right? Then why are there people
    suffering everywhere, and why would this god allow murder and war?"
    "Simple,
    these are God's tests for us to proof our faith. Evil is there to proof
    there is good. You Abh are the living embodiment of evil and the
    ultimate test."
    "We Abh are not created by god or whatever but are
    man's creation. We are the result of many years of scientific research.
    There was no possibly higher intervention."
    "Of course it is possible. There is no limit to God's might. You are just blinded by sin."
    "Aren't
    you the one who is being kept in a cage? From the moment you are born,
    you have been preached about the existence of God. Your parents tell
    you that you must love God for he is responsible for everything.
    God
    is the creator of the universe. God is good and you must give him your
    thanks. You have never heard anything else, you had no reason to
    believe otherwise. You are in a cage constructed by humans."
    "Religion
    may have been passed down by humans, but this does not undo that it was
    all God's doing. We have been created by God. Just look around you, all
    this fantastic technology was created by man.
    In the same way, doesn't it mean that the great universe was planned and created by God?"
    "No.
    Out of innumerable possibilities this universe happens to have the
    right mix. Because if this, everything comes naturally into place.
    There is nothing strange or miraculous. Were it not so, the universe or
    we wouldn't exist in the first place. There is not necessary a god."
    "But it's not impossible is it?"
    "Yes, but this does not proof such an existence."
    "See. As long as you can't disproof it. It's true."
    "No. It's neither so it's nothing."
    "It can't be nothing. God gave us the brains to think and act on our own."
    "This doesn't mean you can go around and do what you want."
    "We
    are created by God, and we are exacting God's will. God gave us this
    right. No man has the authority to take it away. We will end your rule."
    "Rights
    given by god? All creatures are born into this world in more or less
    the same way. Any creature has the same chances only limited by its
    natural differences. We are all part of the world, that's why it's a
    natural right.
    Not because someone gave us this right."
    "God gave
    us freedom of choices. We have the obligation to free and to enlighten
    our human brothers and sisters. Our constitution is proof of our faith."
    "Admittedly,
    constitutions and law grant rights, but in truth they are to prevent
    someone from taking away our rights. Using power someone can suppress
    others.
    Rights are nothing but justification for actions. It's a word to give it importance and legitimation. It's man-made.
    Freedom
    is restricted by choices and choices are restricted by your willingness
    to take actions. Both are fleeting, and are restricted by yourself if
    no one imposes on you."
    "No one is restricting me, not myself
    either. I'm doing this willingly because it's right. I'm a righteous
    man. I never broken any commandment."
    "Commandments, values, social
    rules, taboos, and principles are all naturally created to keep society
    and yourself healthy. Those are the restriction you bend yourself to.
    It doesn't mean you have to. Society might punish you. It's all
    man-made."
    "You are such a sinner. You are so deep in hell you can't see God's greatness."
    "All I see are foolish humans who create a hell on their own."
    "And you think you Abhs are better?"
    "Well,....yes. We are, actually."
    "So?"
    "We have no war among ourself and our own people don't have to suffer."
    "No war? Are you forgetting your civil war?"
    "Nope. The Jimuryua Civil War was instigated by humans not Abh and it wasn't that extensive either."
    "Anyway, your people are imposing yourself on the humans in your territory, that's why you don't have to suffer."
    "Our
    Empire imposes only interstellar travel restrictions, and therefore,
    restricts war. You are the one who brings war, that's why our Empire
    exists in the first place to prevent it."
    "Just pretty words, but you are the one who destroyed planets."
    "We were young and unknowingly of our actions. But we have grown and are better now unlike you humans."
    "How can you not know when doing such things? I don't believe you are better in any way."
    "Same goes for you. How can you not see you are doing wrong when people are opposing you?"
    "It's
    a test of faith. Technology, glories of created worlds, and people like
    you have wained people's faith. You suppressed the cries of the people,
    and the losts. We will answer them, we will bring hope and salvation.
    The
    war will reveal your true face. People will see your evil. But before
    we can help there must be sacrifices, fear and terror. People will see
    the reason for salvation and the love of God."
    "Love of god by sacrificing billions of lives?"
    "It's worthy for the salvation of all. Besides, the dead will reach God sooner, and his love will free them."
    "Your faith is based only on the existence of a god and nothing else matters." Gibilal shook her head.
    "That's right."
    "Then why are you living? What is the reason for you being alive? If only god matters then why do you exist?"
    "We are proof of God's glory."
    "So god is an eccentric who creates you in order for him to be praised by you? In order for him to be glorified and worshiped?"
    "No. With our creation he shares his greatness with us."
    "And that includes suffering and death? A god who is immortal and impregnable to suffering?"
    "Those are to show us our limits and his power over life and death."
    "Isn't it rather you believe in death than life? Isn't death the reason for salvation and end of suffering?"
    "No. Death is the counter to life. Because it exist we can appreciate life."
    "And it's fine for you to take away life?"
    "No, but if it's for God, it's alright. His doing is not for us to decide."
    "So god can play out whatever he wants to?"
    "Yes. It's all his plans. There is a reason beyond our understanding for everything."
    The door suddenly opened and someone looked inside.
    "Lieutenant, please bring her for a checkup to the infirmary."
    --------------------------------------------------
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:50 am

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From Alex's diary:
    Spoiler:

    ---------------------------
    CONTRACT TO SECURE AND DELIVER LIVING ABH SPECIMENTS FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH TO FABLEGENE INSANI INC.

    Client: Fablegene Insani Inc., Marghzabad Military Base, Hania Federation.
    Contractor: Madboar Services Group, Ltd (see contact information in appendix A)
    Objective: Secure and Deliver Abh speciments
    Support: None
    Compensation: 10%
    Salvage Rights: No Rights
    Command Rights: Independent Action
    Details:
    Securing and delivery of at least 10 Abh male and female specimens in good condition.
    Bonus:
    Securing and delivery of Abh cloning technology.
    Payment: 7000000 Hania Federation Credits
    50% upfront
    50% on delivery
    10% Bonus
    Options: future extended services
    -------------------------------
    The cigarette smoke was unbearable. To escape it alone was worth dying.
    But death didn’t taste as sweet as she thought it should – she was
    hoping to die in space, fighting, not in a small metal room of
    technical compartment surrounded by an awful smell..
    All of her
    fingers were broken and produced constant pain that was getting
    stronger should she even try to move them. She could no longer
    determine the condition of her body – the pain was everywhere - it
    whispered to her ear every time should she start getting used to it
    –“I’m still here”… But the voice she heard didn’t belong to pain, it
    belonged to it’s incarnation – an older man with terribly smelling
    breath and an ancient gun he pointed at her head.
    - You hear me? I
    ask you for the last time, doll - who among you is the captain and who
    got the pass to the main computer. I will shoot you in the head if you
    won't give me the answer i need. Unfortunately, you have no fingers
    left to break, but I know that even a machine like you can suffer. Is
    it worth it? Is your program or whatever you have is it so strong that
    it’s worth all this pain? Just tell me… and it will all go away.
    She
    remained silent again. She was about to break a few times already, but
    the words of her torturer was giving meaning to all this pain over and
    over again – it was the last thing she could do for her people…though
    trying to waste time seemed pointless – they were so many light years
    away from any imperial base. No one was coming to save them. But hope
    was the only thing she could hold onto to buy as much time as she
    could. Previously, she could get some strength from hate she felt
    toward these rude and cruel people, but it no longer worked - she was
    too weak to hate anyone and somehow hope worked better now. She
    couldn’t help but constantly imagined a large fleet coming out from
    plane-space to save them…large shiny ship hulls, like the majestic
    scene she once saw at Lakfakale when she was just a child...
    Her
    torturer – a tall man of about 37 years old worn simple grey uniform
    with all previous decorations removed from it.. yet she could recognize
    one of the United Mankind uniforms she once saw at the academy, but it
    was obvious to her that these men didn’t belong to United Mankind or
    Hania Fediration …they didn’t belong to anyone but themselves…
    Another man checked her pulse, then raised her eyelid to check her pupils with a flashlights.
    - She passed out.
    - You sure? Thank god…
    - Sir?
    - Let her rest. Let’s go and talk to the next one.
    - You need some rest too, commander.
    - We’re low on time. We must continue…
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    ____________
    - Approaching destination. Exiting planar space in…20 minutes.- said navigator.
    - Inform the captain.
    Wadrosal
    was in command and steering the ship. It was a pleasant sensation. Her
    right hand rested in the ship control device and her tiara was plugged
    into special ports in the back of the chair – it allowed her to “see” a
    lot of things her eyes could not. She could “feel” the sensors, “see”
    space around the ship or even “feel” its condition, even though it
    wasn’t part of the command console functionality – it was something
    that every Abh captain developed on his own and was yet to be explained
    by the Empire scientists…
    She was a young Abh woman, 21 years old –
    the age at which typical Abh star forces officer want to become captain
    and command his own ship so she enjoyed every minute of it. Though her
    euphoria was soon interrupted by the face that appeared on the screen.
    A relatively young Abh with a constant bold smile on his face could be
    no-one else but her captain – Alex Teneshlicawajoro (and yeah, he had a
    hard to pronounce name, that’s why everyone called him Alex T.) She was
    surprised to see him wearing a combat space suit over his usual
    hector-commander uniform, but he definitely looked quite natural in it,
    as if he never took it off.
    - It’s nice to see you, Vic. Are you comfortable there? – Alex pointed his finger at her.
    - Yes, very comfortable, thank you – you can take your time, i can handle Tukaroil myself. – she said arrogantly.
    - If you wanted me to field-promote you – you should’ve learned to be nice to your captain…
    - Would you? – she asked curiously
    - No. But you weren’t nice either.
    - Bah! Do you intend to stay in an assault shuttle during our exit to normal space?
    - Yes. We should be ready to board that refueling ship right away.
    - Only a month passed since they didn’t make contact through the beacon. It can happen with deep space operation vessel.
    - Being ready won’t hurt
    - But do you really want to lead an assault group yourself?
    - Yes, as you know - i’m quite experienced in this kind of thing.
    - Very well… take care.
    - Ah, so you’re worried about me? It’s so nice, maybe…
    - Just get out of my main screen! Vic out!
    The
    Captain disappeared from the screen just when he was about to mock
    Wadrosal, but during the last week she improved her tactics and was
    about to win their little mocking contest.
    The crew obviously heard
    everything, and now, there was merry atmosphere on the bridge. She had
    to give a few razor sharp stare to Olfanos and Dalone to restore order.
    And only then she relaxed and allowed herself a satisfied smile.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    _________
    -
    The deep space refueling, rearming and repair vessel – DSRRRV or just
    “triple-R”. There’s only a few of these now since modern engines are
    far more capable than those designed during the time when these ships
    were popular, but since we belong to glorious and rational Empire of
    Abhs – we never throw the old junk to the scrap yard – much to the joy
    of our enemies. This ship is capable of staying hidden, usually in an
    asteroid field, for a long time and provide necessary refueling and
    rearming, as well as minor repairs to ships operating far from any
    large port. Such a ship is big and most of it is used for antimatter
    fuel tanks – Alex started the briefing.
    - This is ancient relic,
    Commander. Won’t it fall apart if we set our foot on board? – asked
    Alos, the squad leader – a cheerful and good-humored Abh.
    - Not sure…but we’ll find out soon enough…so watch your step!
    - Do you think it could be captured?
    -
    It’s possible…though these ships have nothing to offer in terms of
    technology – they are only armed with standard mines and we threw
    enough of these at the UMK so that they learned every inch of it. But
    who knows – maybe the UMK was short on food? Or fuel for that matter..
    - Yeah, that’s right! – unlike “fleet” Abhs – commandos definitely appreciated the humor.
    Alex
    got to know these guys for some time now and he was very pleased. These
    highly trained soldiers were a rare sight in Empire – Abhs who choose
    not to pilot ships but to participate in all kinds of boarding and
    security operations, though since such operations was rare these days –
    few had actual combat experience. They wore special combat thiaras that
    looked slightly different than standard models. Actually, he was very
    familiar with it since he never took off the same model…
    - Actually,
    this is an opportunity for training so I’d say we take it. When we
    arrive at our objective – it might get tough so some practice is just
    what we need. Just do not burst in throwing grenades to every corner
    before you confirm hostile presence.
    - Sure commander, as you know –
    explosives are the last resort. You can count that my men will perform
    to the highest standard, I’m sure you know everything from our
    files…But commander, do you really want to go with us? I know you had
    good training, but we cannot risk…
    - It’s not just a whim of mine– when we arrive at our main objective I’ll have to go with you.
    - I see. Then welcome aboard then, Sir! – Alos saluted
    - It’s nice to work with soldiers of your caliber guys – Alex saluted in return. – prepare yourselves, e.t.a. 30 minutes
    ________________________________________________________________________________


    Major
    Lemann and lieutenant Yelkin headed to the second cell when they
    encountered Corporal Yannik in the corridor with 2 other men. It seems
    that they finished everyday check of improvised holding cells on the
    ship. Though previously it didn’t have any - now it looked like a true
    prison colony since the Major insisted that every Abh should be put in
    a separate cell to speed up the process of interrogation.
    - Major,
    all Abhs are alive and in custody. Ship is fully operational, all we
    need is a pass code for the main computer to detach from the asteroid
    and set course for Tortage… were you successful at obtaining the code,
    Sir?
    - You will be informed when necessary, soldier, you have your
    orders! – lieutenant Elkin yelled at the corporal. Even though both
    knew that their ranks were a thing of the past – it was necessary to
    maintain a system of seniority or a chain of command, even among
    mercenaries.
    - It’s ok, Lieutenant. – said Major Lemann. – Not yet,
    corporal, unfortunately the Abhs are hard to break, but we have plenty
    of time so unless you know how to do it better – resume your duties.
    - Sir! Why don’t we use more…effective methods?
    -
    Because we are still soldiers…and humans. And we need our cargo intact.
    And besides – tortures won’t work on Abhs too well. They are not afraid
    to die and can endure pain for they are fanatically loyal to the
    Empire. We will proceed carefully and eventually achieve success. Carry
    on, corporal
    - Yes Sir!
    The corporal headed down the corridor taking both mercs with him
    - It’s getting tense, sir.. They started to question your methods.
    -
    I know. At least he knows that we will get less money if our cargo is
    damaged. That should hold him for a while. But keep an eye on corporal
    in case he decide to do something stupid…
    - Of course, sir.
    - Now…inform all men to expect a gun shot…
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:53 am

    The door opened and two men came in. She heard the shot of primitive powder
    powered gun a moment ago from a nearby cell …could it be Sileth?
    Abhs
    do not have many friends, some even consider it to be a weakness since
    it can affect one’s judgment in combat situation but captain Lorieth
    appeared to be different. She served with Sileth since they were
    assigned to this refueling base and became friends quickly. After all
    serving on one of the deep space the refueling bases can be very boring
    and uneventful. And now Sil and everyone suffered the tortures because
    of her… They were waiting for the order to depart for home base any day
    when these ugly mercenaries tricked them and boarded the ship. If only
    she was more suspicious… She didn’t know if they already figured out
    that she is the captain or not, but she knew that every member of her
    crew suffered every day to keep it secret. She knew the master code…but
    wished to forget it with all her heart.
    - Hello, little girl, did you sleep well?
    - You bastards!
    Major and Lieutenant looked at each with affected surprise.
    - So you can talk after all and not only in Baronh!
    - What did you do? Did you kill one of us?!
    - And what if we did? After all it’s your fault – you refuse to give us the codes so your men suffer.
    - I told you, I don’t have them, I’m not the captain!
    - I think you’re lying
    - Go to hell – she turned her head so that she doesn’t see them, but in truth she did it so that they can’t see her face
    -
    You worry too much about your crew because you feel responsible – your
    crew members are much more restrained – they place their hopes in you
    and feel like they suffer with purpose. And you are different. Though
    it took me some time to figure out – in the end you Abhs are poor liars.
    She could only give him a stare full of hate.
    - You can all go to Abh Hell! You will not get anything from me
    -
    Then we’ll take you with us…to every cell and shoot every Abh while you
    watch. And before they die – we will tell them that it happened because
    you confessed that you are the captain and now we no longer need the
    rest, how about it? Lieutenant – let’s take her with us…
    - You will kill us all anyway, what’s the point? Screw you!

    -
    Prepare to exit the planar space… all crew to battle stations. After
    exiting - run a full scan and perform standard evasive maneuver.
    –Wadrosal commanded.
    - Exiting in 3,2,1…exit… All crew on battle
    stations, all systems report green… running full scan of the
    surrounding space. – crew reported
    - So? – she was impatient and nervous just a bit.
    -
    Getting the results…dense asteroid field, diameter range from small to
    3 kilometers. No ships in effective scan radius. Sending encoded
    message for the beacon…message sent….
    - So?
    - No response from the beacon.
    -
    what the….- she quickly realized that she’s copying the captain, and
    thank the empress, didn’t pronounce the last word, the meaning of which
    she yet had to learn, but knowing the captain – it couldn’t be anything
    appropriate for an Abh.
    - Bad… Comm the commander…
    Alex’s face appeared on the screen – he definitely didn’t look happy like if he already knew what’s going on.
    - Captain, beacon doesn’t reply
    - Or there’s no beacon…
    - Destroyed?
    - Probably.
    -
    I guess we have no choice but to start searching for our “triple R”
    –“Vic” suggested though she didn’t like idea of maneuvering in such a
    dense asteroid field without refueling ship guidance…
    - It won’t be easy even for the Roil class. We’ll guide you in
    -
    Agreed. It should be optimal solution… we will follow you as fast as we
    can, find us the path, captain.. – she nodded - Prepare to launch the
    assault shuttle!
    As they waited for shuttle launch bay to open she
    realized that for the first time in her life she had a foreboding of
    something bad that lies ahead.
    - Captain, be careful out there. Stick close to asteroids – your shuttle can’t handle much if there still an enemy.
    - Thanks, Vic, we will…
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________
    The
    shuttle launched into the void and headed for the asteroid field. Alos
    piloted it with ease and grace natural to all Abhs. Behind the asteroid
    field, which was thousands miles large, was the only planet they could
    see from here - a large gas giant. Like an evil yellow eye it stared at
    them, indifferent to the numerous scars on his surface left by the
    comets…
    Only after they entered the asteroid field could they
    realize how big the asteroids are – many were a lot bigger than their
    tiny shuttle– a big dark masses of rock floating in space, slowly
    rotating for ages.
    - Fantastic view…- said Alos
    - Yes…and dangerous if you loose focus. – Alex said slowly, enjoying the scenery.
    - Right you are, commander.
    Alos focused on piloting the shuttle as the number of smaller asteroids in proximity increased with every mile they passed
    -
    Look for relatively static rocks that may indicate a safe passage to
    the triple-R – after all ships are supposed to reach it somehow, and
    check the last coordinates again. I realy hope they are not too deep
    inside the field...
    __________________________________________________

    They
    slowed down to the point when they could probably walk faster if only
    there was a ground to walk – the small asteroids scattered around them
    began to pose a serious threat to their small ship. Even though Calikes
    were quite durable, the collision with objects of such a mass of even
    the smallest rocks could be fatal so they had to get back and continue
    exploring the other direction.
    - I got something, Sir – there…
    -Hmm…no small asteroids in that area. Coincidence or someone removed
    them on purpose… Either way, it may be our “entrance”. Let’s go and
    take a look
    They spent another 20 minutes maneuvering through
    another field of smaller asteroids until they the reached area where
    only a few big rocks floated in space.
    - Go in. Judging from the
    distance between the closest rocks, a small to medium ship could easily
    pass here so it could be the entrance.
    The shuttle moved forward and
    during the 10 minutes flight, they only encountered a larger asteroids
    on their way until they reached a relatively empty area with only one
    immense rock in the middle.
    - I bet this is it. 20 credits – Alex said
    - It’s too obvious, Sir – you should have placed your bet sooner
    - I wasn’t sure if I’ll be able to collect my prize before.
    -You’re a strange gambler, Sir – you’d take your chances to win the bet
    but you’re not wiling to risk not getting your prize in case we all die?
    - Yep. Victory is one thing, but you need to live to enjoy it.
    - Hehe…too right. I heard you gamble? A rare hobby for an Abh. How it’s like?
    -“It’s like a hunger that knocks on your door - you felt a taste of it
    but still you want more.” But you’re just as gambler as me otherwise
    you wouldn’t be here. It may seem that Abhs don’t gamble much but in
    reality it’s what we do all our life. We talk about duty, peace and
    greater good for everyone but in the end – we are the ones who seek the
    adventure that only war can bring, even though our ultimate goal is to
    end it. It is how we deal with the curse of all long-living beings…
    - The curse?
    - Boredom.
    -Ah…you sound almost like Admiral Spoor. But i think you’re right - when
    I joined the commandos I wanted to be able to do something more
    personally, not as part of the ship. But maybe I was seeking the
    excitement of risk and danger in the end… Though, of course the main
    motivation is “greater good” of course, the other part cannot be denied
    as well…
    - There’s a hope for you yet, my friend! So let’s go - maybe we’re just one step away from our adventure.
    The
    calicke started to orbit the asteroid until on the light side of the
    rock, they suddenly saw a ship’s hull, which shined in the sun – with
    the large rounded shape of it’s upper hull it reminded of pre-historic
    dirigible. Seeing a ship of such proportions “landed” inside the large
    crater of a big asteroid was a rare sight, even for Abhs so they
    watched silently for a moment until a bright flash appeared somewhere
    on the surface of the rock and started to grow quickly in size…
    - Incoming! – Alex reacted first.
    Alos'
    hand twitched in the shuttle’s control glove so that for a moment it
    seemed like he will tear it from the chair. The sudden acceleration and
    maneuver hit everyone like a hammer blow.
    The ship was only a moment
    away from getting hit by a clot of plasma which was followed by another
    one shortly. Alos maneuvered ship to the best of his abilities trying
    to evade every shot.
    - It's no good, we should retreat asap, Sir! – he screamed
    - No! Head for the ship- get as close as possible, to where the turrets can’t track us! I'll open the comm.!
    - Aye Sir!
    - DSRRR “Luibes”, this is a Calike from the “Tukaroil” of the Imperial Navy, cease your fire immediately! I repeat…
    - It’s no use Sir, the turrets must be on auto or they would never open fire on us without asking first.
    - Damn it… DSRRR “Luibes” – cease your fire or we’ll be forced to…ah, damn it!
    - Almost there... We’re lucky that they don’t have any beam lasers!
    The
    shuttle maneuvered like crazy dodging plasma charges that bombarded the
    surrounding space – the turrets obviously did a good job at predicting
    their trajectory and only the outstanding piloting skills of Alos saved
    them for now. But when they were about to get close to the ship’s hull
    – outside of reach of the turrets, they were hit. Sparks began to dance
    inside the cockpit, the smell of melting metal and plastic filled the
    air, which soon started to escape the shuttle.
    Already, all
    commandos had their helmets on except for Alex and Alos. Alex tried to
    reach for them and managed to put one on Alos when a terrible blow
    shook the shuttle, knocking him unconscious.
    He was awaken by
    the pain under his left eye. He found himself lying on the metal floor
    while someone’s face looked down upon him, saying something. When he
    regained his ability to see and hear clearly he recognized Alos
    - Commander, are you with us?
    - I…yes. What happened?
    -You lost consciousness when we hit on the hull. We are all lucky to be
    alive – the hit was pretty bad. You got a little wound under your eye,
    thankfully the eye itself is safe…
    - It’s just a scratch. What’s the situation?
    -We abandoned the shuttle and used the override key to open the
    maintenance hatch – it worked, but now we cannot get any further – the
    ship appears to be under emergency lockdown. Also – we can’t contact
    Tukaroil from here – the RRR must have began jamming as soon as it
    detected us. At least Tukaroil can find it on its own now.
    Alex sat
    up and looked around – two commandos were busy disassembling the
    control panel of the internal hatch, the others were examining the
    square airlock that had only two hatches on opposite sides of the room,
    a strong-box with tech spacesuits and many boxes for tools and
    equipmentsets into the walls. The rest of the surface was covered with
    numerous latticed panels through which endless cables and couplings
    could be seen. The ship seemed old indeed – in both technology and
    condition, like some ancient illustration of pre-Empire spaceships at
    the academy…
    - This is old junk…it’s a miracle the hatch worked at
    all and we didn’t die outside. –Alos wiped out the sweat from his
    forehead as he sat down on the metal floor to rest a little. He looked
    upset.
    - It’s not your fault. – Alex tried to sound confident.
    - Maybe, Sir, but the turrets shoot everything on sight during lockdown – I should have considered such a possibility as well.
    Alos
    helped Alex to get on his feet. Not wasting another minute, the
    commander started to examine the compartment, thinking of what to do
    next. The first idea was to blow the internal hatch to hell but the
    explosion would be too strong for them to survive as well. They could
    detonate the charge from the outside but the airlock could be damaged
    and that could cause a pressure loss, and the entire section would be
    cut off by the computer. That could only mean more closed doors on the
    way so using explosives was not an option. And since both hatches of
    the airlock were considered to be “external” – they both were almost
    impossible to cut with a laser. He tried to think about other options
    when one of the commandos interrupted his thoughts.
    - We found the cable, Sir!
    Alex
    looked to where commando pointed – beyond one of the panel they had
    removed appeared to be a yellow fiber optic cable inside a protective
    casing which was being carefully removed now.
    - Can you tell what it is? Is it the main net of the ship or just some local autonomous system?
    -Judging from it’s diameter – it should be linked with the main
    computer. We will connect to it and monitor it’s traffic – if it’s not
    encoded then we can try to get access to the system or at least command
    the door to open.
    - Do it.
    The computer specialist started his
    work placing a special device on top of the cable, which cut it without
    interrupting its data flow. Then a small thin crystal was inserted
    between the 2 ends of the cable, allowing it to intercept all the data
    without causing any interference.
    - analyzing… the data is encrypted. But at least we know it is connected to the main system.
    - Can you decipher it?
    -Given time – yes. It can take a few hours to get any results though.
    But there's no guaranty that we can do anything - this is an Abh ship...
    - Do it.
    - Yes sir!
    -Why don’t we try to contact the crew, Sir? It all could be just a
    malfunction of the computer. They probably heard all the noise we made
    anyway…
    - We have to assume a worst scenario– we were fired upon and
    we see that the ship is under lockdown which means someone activated it
    on purpose. If memory doesn’t desert me – it could only happen if a
    ship was infiltrated by hostiles. If it is so – I don’t want to give
    away our position – we are sitting ducks here.
    Alex thought for a
    moment: sitting here and waiting for the door to open was not the best
    idea indeed – the enemy already knew of their presence and could react
    sooner. But the only other option was to go back into space trying to
    find another entrance.
    - What other entrance options do we have at the moment?
    -Well…- Alos reached for a small laser cutter, set it on low power and
    began to “draw” a rough layout of the ship on the metal floor with it -
    We are here - at the port side of the ship – there should be a shuttle
    bay in its tail as well as a bigger hangar for cargo shuttles. I’d go
    for the larger one because there’s a lot of technical tunnels we could
    use – we studied those when we examined the schematics of the ship. At
    least cutters can work there.
    - Ok then, everyone listen up! – Alex
    grabbed his helmet and rifle - I want four men to come with me to
    search for another entrance. Alos – you remain here with the rest and
    wait until this door is cracked up. We will contact you if we’ll find
    the way in, until then – guard the door, assume that the enemy may
    enter this airlock any minute.
    - Yes Sir. Good luck.
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:56 am

    Getting to the cargo bay was not as easy as Alex thought – despite the nicely
    round shape of the RRR’s upper hull, which mainly served as antimatter
    fuel tank, it’s lower part was covered in all kinds of metal obstacles
    – the proof a of ship’s old design. Modern Abh ships are a lot
    “cleaner” these days.
    A brief look at their Calike that crashed
    right into the hull of tripleR told Alex that the shuttle is not going
    anywhere from now on. But he stopped for a minute to salute it. The
    commandos did the same. Every spaceship, no matter how small was a
    sacred symbol to the Abhs.
    Their combat suits had small maneuvering
    engines in the back that allowed them to be quite agile in space, yet
    they preferred to stay closer to the hull should the enemy decide to go
    and look for them, but it delayed them greatly. As they traveled across
    the hull Alex decided to look around a bit. The RRR was sitting in the
    middle of a large crater on a huge asteroid. It was anchored to it by
    the metal slings. There was additional machinery on the surface as well
    as a dozen of plasma turrets – those didn’t have a range and speed of
    the beam weapons, but RRR relied on them because they were a lot more
    energy efficient and range wasn’t too important inside of an asteroid
    field. It saved their lives in fact.
    Finaly they reached the rear
    part of the ship and approached a large metal hatch of the cargo
    hangar. One of the commandos opened up the control panel's lid and
    inserted the override key. It worked.
    These keys were intended to
    allow crews from other ships to open external bays of the ship.
    Unfortunately it could not help once inside. When a ship entered
    lockdown it stopped responding to any internal or external commands and
    codes presuming that security was already compromised. It was a safety
    measure to insure that a ship cannot be stolen or used by the enemy.
    Only the captain knew the master code that could restore normal
    operation of a ship's computer systems.
    - It’s done Sir, hatch is opening.
    The
    two halves of the big hatch drifted apart opening to a large chamber
    with two docking platforms and all kinds of loading robotic
    manipulators. They didn’t wait for the hatch to open completely and
    moved inside. Once they entered the hangar a hatch behind them began to
    close so they hurried to set their magnetic boots on one of the
    platforms before artificial gravity kicked in.
    As the hangar was
    closed once again – the air began to rush inside and artificial gravity
    restored the sense of weight in their bodies.
    - Alos, we’re inside, examining the hangar
    -Roger that, Sir. It’s good to hear. – the voice was already hard to
    distinguish among the noise that jamming created, but at least comm
    still worked.
    - So, gentlemen – let’s get to work.
    _________________________________________________

    -A brave one… - the Major said it with sincere admiration. The “girl”
    before him looked about 20-22 years old - a typical pretty blue haired
    Abh she was slightly different from the others. The childish stare of
    her big eyes was full of righteous anger. It was so funny too look at
    that he couldn’t hold a smile and thus made a mistake.
    - Oh my,
    looks like I’m too old for it… - Lorieth witnessed as firm the stature
    of the Major was gone in the blink of an eye, and the tall scary
    soldier became a weak, tired old man who dropped to the chair like he
    just did something very exhausting. He closed his eyes and just sat
    there in silence.
    Lorieht kept holding her mask of anger and disgust
    on her face for a minute or two until it was slowly replaced by the
    sincere wonder.
    - Are you alive? – she asked, since nothing better
    came to her mind. – the man lifted up his eyes and looked at her as if
    he forgot where he was.
    - Sorry…it’s just that strain of the past
    few days drained me. – Astonished by the sudden change in her
    torturer’s voice she couldn’t help but looked at him with curiosity,
    not knowing how to react. She suspected it was probably some trick as
    well, but it didn’t make any sense to her. Being Abh to the end she
    decided to use it to her advantage and try to learn more about the
    enemy.
    - What is your name? – the question caught Major by surprise
    like a stray bullet. He realized that he was no longer able to regain
    the right mood for the job. Looks like he was old indeed.
    - I’m
    Major Russell Lemann, commander of Red Viper mercenary platoon… and you
    are captain of this ship - Lorieth. Then your rank would be….
    -(rank)….Yes, I am Loriteh – she sighted since it seemed pointless to
    object it any further since the Major’s words sounded overly confident
    and sincere. But then she though about her crew and Sileth and anger
    returned
    - You killed my people! If you think I will just tell you
    the code – you are greatly mistaken. You can torture me as much as you
    wish – it will do you no good.
    - None
    - What?
    - We killed none
    of your men. Relax. We just scared you. Although I cannot guarantee
    that it will remain this way if we won’t reach some sort of…agreement.
    It
    was a great relief to hear that none of her people had been harmed. For
    some reason she believed the Major, she couldn’t explain why. Maybe
    because she wanted to, but there was something else – something strange
    about this man made her believe him. The feeling as if he was fighting
    his own demons more than he was concerned about getting the code from
    her…
    - Agreement? What kind of deal can there be between us?
    - What if I let you go if you give me the codes?
    - You won’t be able to provide sufficient warranties – you’ll just kill us after you get what you want.
    -What if you’ll get your guarantees? Here is what i propose – I’ll give
    you and one of your crew the pelia so that you can get away from this
    ship. As soon as you’re far enough – you’ll transmit the code to me and
    we will let the rest of your crewmen go. I know it’s not like a
    complete guarantee, but what’s the point in letting 2 Abhs go in a
    spaceship and then kill the rest? I am not some monster – I’m a
    mercenary and what I need is money, you are of no use to me – lying to
    her while looking to her eyes was not easy, but at least he could save
    this child and her friend she cared so much about…
    - I need to think about it.
    -Think, but let me be sincere with you – I’m doing it not because
    there’s no other way. If you think you can endure any torture…then you
    really should not be playing war so far away from home. There are ways
    you cannot imagine…and better left not knowing. I want to save you and
    your crew from a much worse fate because I feel sympathetic to your
    kind.
    - You humans…I mean you landers… – she felt shame for a moment
    because saying such thing was considered a bad manner among Abhs –
    “…are hard to predict because you have no honor! You kill for fun, you
    torture for pleasure and your greed knows no limit. How can I trust you.
    -All people are different. You may have monsters of your own among you
    as well. You just do not notice them because they’re on your side and
    it’s not their hour yet…But there are many reasonable beings among us
    "landers".
    - Reasonable beings do not start wars.
    - Oh my…this is
    old. Your kind provoked it. Imagine that you are humanity – you sit in
    this cell and I am Empire of Abh and I came to tell you that we could
    be friends as long as you live inside this cell and never go outside.
    Would you ever submit to it?
    - You had much more than a cell – whole planets and portion of your space.
    -
    Do you realy believe that it would last forever? Empire need to grow.
    You always wanted to control the whole space. Your dream is to end wars
    by controlling planar space technology but peace can never be truly
    achieved at cost of someone’s freedom.
    - Is freedom more important than lives?
    - It’s up to people to decide. Though I’d say yes.
    -
    You are strange self-destructive idealistic people. You are ready to
    sacrifice lives and peace just to get your “freedom”. Freedom for what
    – pain, death and suffering?
    - You simply can’t realize that
    universe is not spinning around your rules and values, do you? –
    someone may have different ones. And tell me - is it the search for
    happiness and joy that brought you here? Why did you join the star
    forces in the first place, to help the people of the entire universe?
    No – it’s lust for battle. The excitement and risk of it, to put your
    skills to the test, to play the game where life is at stake….sounds
    familiar? Don’t bother – I can see it in your eyes – a little spark…
    For
    the first time Lorieth didn’t know what to say. This man was right –
    she used to talk about duty and the goals of the Empire, but she
    remembered how disappointed she was when they assigned her to this old
    vessel instead of some front line battleship. And at that time she
    didn’t think about making the universe a happy place…
    - I was just
    like you. Many many years ago… and now, when I’m old and, hopefully,
    wiser – I want to do something good instead and allow you to save
    yourself and your friend. Do you believe me now?
    - How do you know I won’t just run away?
    -
    You still think old Russel is a fool? – he jokingly pat her cheek - I
    know what kind of people you are - you won’t be able to live with it.
    - Alright….then we have a deal….
    The Major smiled and in that moment they heard a loud noise as if the ship’s hull was being torn to pieces.
    - What’s happening? – Lorieth became suspicious again
    The door opened and lieutenant Elkin’s face appeared, he looked disturbed.
    - Major, we have a problem, please come with me…

    Moments later, they were marching through the endless metal corridors of the ship.
    - Is there only one? You sure of it?
    -Yes, when they entered firing range the ship began active jamming but
    the radar system was activated as well. Now at least we know whom we
    have been tracking passively all this time…
    - I’m not sure. A
    Calicke can’t get here on it’s own, there must be at least one ship in
    the vicinity, but it’s probably lagging behind because we disabled the
    navigation beacons. We should prepare for the worst… at least if the
    defense system shot down their own shuttle – it should fire at larger
    ships as well.
    - Yes, that is indeed a good news…
    They entered
    the bridge. Four men were already there – Sergeant Melou and corporal
    Jannik with two of his men who always followed him. Major never liked
    the corporal, he wasn’t a soldier – just some corporate security dirty
    hand who ended up among mercenaries probably because no company would
    hire him again…Even though there were criminals among his men –this
    tall man with a cunning face never earned any of the Major’s trust.
    - What are you doing here, Corporal – don’t you have something better to do?
    - We came to receive new orders, Major, while you were busy playing with your pretty girl over there….
    It
    was obviously too much for Elkin who used to be a honorable captain who
    had to abandon his career in the UMK fleet under mysterious
    circumstances but still had strong a habit of subordination…Only the
    Major knew about what happened but never told anyone. They were alike –
    both veterans of many battles unlike the rest of the crew, most of
    which came from the Hania federation whose people have never been
    renown for loyalty. And so the lieutenant bellowed at the corporal…
    - Watch your tongue when you address the Major, corporal!
    -I didn’t mean to show any …disrespect, Sir…I just think that we played
    enough with these Abhs for a few damn weeks and now look what happened!
    -It’s under control, corporal – the Major tried to sound confident and
    firm – it’s just one Calicke and looks like it was shot down by the
    turrets
    - We both know, Major, that a Calicke cannot be flying here
    alone, there’s a ship out there – a war ship! It’s going to destroy us
    with all these stupid Abhs on board because they don’t care about their
    own people once they have fallen to the enemy! They won’t be
    n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-i-n-g with use like with some terrorists, they’ll just
    blow us up!
    - Are you finished? If yes then listen to what I have to
    say… Once Calicke got to us – RRR discovered it as well and began
    active jamming to prevent any communications. Then it was destroyed so
    there’s no way that war ship can know what exactly happened here.
    Though they’ll know something happened for sure and will try to get
    here, but it can take weeks without navigational beacons and RRR's
    guidance. And we can deal with any other Calickes they throw at us. And
    even if they will eventually get to us – they won’t destroy us so
    easily – we got some firepower of our own and what’s most important –
    think of what is above us - …this amount of antimatter fuel will turn
    this entire asteroid field into hell along with any ships, once
    detonated, so we got more than one card on our sleeve.
    - Maybe…But we better make those Abhs suffer to get the code from them. Let me just talk to them for a minute…
    -Your revenge won’t bring back any of your comrades, Jannik – they are
    gone, it was war and you were a soldier. Now you are a merc and we must
    deliver those Abhs intact to get paid. And besides – I just worked out
    something when this incident interrupted me…
    - A deal? With the Abh?
    - Yes. We will let their captain go and she will transmit the code to us in exchange for the rest of the crew.
    - But it’s a lie – we won’t let them go! They’ll just leave without giving us the code.
    -As long as Abhs don’t know about our true motives – it will work, since
    they have no reason to believe that we need them. And you obviously
    don’t know the Abh well enough – an Abh captain will never abandon his
    crew in such a situation.
    - You should know them better, Sir, I realy hope your plan works…
    - Meanwhile – take your men, get your ass outside and check for any survivors.
    - Aye sir…

    The Major waited until the Corporal and two of his men left and then spoke to the sergeant – a black skinned Hanian ex-marine.
    - What’s your progress so far?
    -
    Next to none, sir – Abh computers, even older ones are built very well.
    I managed to get radar and communications back online when the
    appearance of the calicke triggered it but that’s it.
    - Communications you say? Can we do a wide broadcast?
    - I think we can. Though it will have a very limited range due to the jamming, but the ship’s communications array is powerful.
    - Very well, make sure we can do it…
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 10:57 am

    Jannik
    was pissed off. He didn’t believe in the Major’s plan – he was sure
    that Abhs are just trying to trick them, and since they heard the noise
    of the collision – they will try to waste their hope for the rescue.
    No, it won’t work…he must go and beat that code out of that schoolgirl…
    But first things first – he and his men hurried across the ship to the
    rear section of the ship and entered the hangars section. Then they
    reached for the door that led to the main cargo hangar.
    - Bridge, this is Jannik – open up the hangar door, hurry
    - Roger that, corporal, working on it now – the Sergeant’s voice could be barely heard – the jamming was very strong.
    - It took 5 minutes for the Sergeant to trigger bay door to open, but no one could predict of what happened next.
    No
    one paid attention to the fact that little green light on the control
    panel was already lit, indicating that there was air in the hangar.
    Because of this – the door opened a lot quicker then they expected, and
    when it opened –what they saw were four or three men in black armor.
    Two had laser rifles in their hands and the imperial crest stood in all
    it’s beauty upon their chests.
    What happened next was like a bad
    dream – slow and inevitable. One of the Abh commandos opened fire. The
    air filled with the smell of burning meat as one of Jannik’s men
    twitched and started to fall. Another merc almost risen his rifle when
    one of the Abhs struck him with a knife beneath the chin and sent him
    flying at Jannik, knocking the corporal off his feet. The fourth
    mercenary managed to shoot one of the commandos before Abh could use
    the knife again, dipping it into the eye of the last of Jannik’s men.
    He was incredibly fast.
    As he laid on the floor the corporal
    realized that he was scared. The Abhs he had seen so far were nothing
    like these, especially the one without helmet and a little cut on his
    face – the one that used knives. That Abh briefly looked at his fallen
    comrade and then turned his eyes to Jannik laying under the bleeding
    corpse. The corporal realized that these are his final moments unless
    he does something and so he reached for laser pistol in the dead man’s
    holster and opened fire at the Abhs, making them roll to the sides
    seeking cover.
    He didn’t waste another second – he threw the gun
    away, set off a grenade on the corpse’s west, quickly rolled to the
    side and jumped for the door they came from – thankfully it was still
    open. He heard one of the Abhs shouting something, probably about the
    grenade, but when he stood up to press the closing button -
    a sharp pain struck his shoulder. The door closed right before the explosion.

    Alex
    was disappointed – he was unable to stop the escaping hostile, they
    wanted to take alive, in time and what’s worse – one of his men was
    lying dead now. Although, the grenade wasn’t too dangerous to their
    combat suites – it produced an awfully loud explosion that almost
    teared his ear drums. It took some time for his hearing to restore so
    that he could hear his men.
    - He’s dead, sir…
    Alex didn’t know
    what to say. It was probably his fault – he should not have let his
    guard down. They tried to open the door and it seemed useless when it
    suddenly opened from the outside…He never lost people before like this.
    - Damn it
    - The last guy ran to the door and it’s closed now. We’re stuck again, but at least we made it this far.
    - We lost a good man.
    -
    He served the Empire, he did his part, sir. But you did well. It’s was
    incredible to see you fighting like that…now I see why you needed all
    these knives.
    - Yeah, though I should have shot that guy in the leg instead.
    Alex
    sat on the floor and tried to put his thoughts in order. Once his ears
    stopped hurting he looked around and sat closer to one of the dead
    hostiles to examine him. He quickly checked his pockets, examined his
    laser rifle, assault west and other equipment. The enemies didn’t have
    any armor – just military clothes with numerous pockets. They didn’t
    have any badges or symbols on them as well – just grey uniform.
    - These aren’t UMK or Hania? – asked one of the commandos
    - Pirates or mercenaries, probably.
    Suddenly
    Alex noticed a small communication device on the corpse’s wrist. He
    took it off and started to examine it. It was quite advanced – latest
    military model, just like the laser rifle.
    - These are probably quite successful or someone supplied them well.
    Suddenly, the communicator made a noise and a male voice asked:
    - Team Alpha, come in – what is going on out there? I cannot contact the Corporal
    - I’m afraid team Alpha cannot answer your call – said Alex.
    ________________________________________________

    Jannik
    groaned as he moved through endless corridors of the ship. The pain in
    his shoulder was annoying and he could not grab a small and slippery
    metal blade well to pull it out. As if it couldn’t get any worse - his
    wrist communicator was damaged. He sat on the metal floor and leaned to
    the wall. He needed his medicine… With shaking hands he pulled a small
    box and taken one of the pills from it, ate it. He sat in silence for a
    moment, trying to catch his breath and then took two more pills
    swallowing them as well. He felt better and could easily pull the knife
    out of his shoulder now. And now he had to go and do what he should
    have done from the start…

    The communicator in Alex’s hand became
    silent for a moment but then through the constant noise of interference
    he heard the voice from the other side:
    - Who are you?
    - I’m a good guy, and you’re the bad guy – we came to punish you and get back what belongs to us– it’s simple really.
    -
    You don’t sound like Abh…anyway – I’m Major Lemann. I understand you
    have taken care of some of my men and that makes you a worthy opponent
    at least. A welcome event for such a boring place.
    - One has
    escaped, unfortunately, but we’re working on it. So, Major…you captured
    this RRR, but couldn’t fly it nor you could leave it because automated
    defenses would shoot you down if you try, funny, isn’t it?
    - Yes, unfortunately our lack of speed and knowledge failed us, obviously. We actually tried, lost a few good men…
    - Pity…
    - So…how can I address you? Are you in charge of whatever force you have here?
    - I’m hecto-commander.
    -
    Really? Your rank is a bit too high for operation of this level I
    think…but you’re not search and rescue - you just didn’t expect this
    ship to be captured or you wouldn’t be here now, are you?
    - You got it right, but we intend to change things…and fast.
    -
    I see… But it seems like we’re in stalemate situation here – you won’t
    let us go with this ship…and we can’t do anything while you’re onboard.
    But you’re outnumbered and bringing in more people would be difficult
    at best. So all we can do is to slaughter each other here – the winner
    takes it all?
    - It seem so, but don’t forget the ship we came from. If we aren’t victorious– it will blow this RRR to pieces.
    -
    We both know this ship has enough antimatter to blow entire sector to
    parallel universe. We have hostages as well, but I know that Abhs are
    not very sentimental…though maybe not all of you? I sense something
    different about you commander. What is your name?
    - Call me Alex
    - So you’re “naturally born” Abh…was a human once? That’s a relief…
    - Why?
    - I’d hate to die by the hand of a robot.
    - You can count on me then, Major.
    - Good. Do you like poetry?
    - Well…I do read it here and there from time to time, but I’ve been more focused on old music, but I guess it’s the same.
    - Excellent. I felt the soul of a poet in you.
    -
    Poet? You know – one girl I know would probably laugh at it…speaking of
    which she’s probably quite pissed by now – we’re getting late for
    dinner…
    - You are a warrior. And any warrior is a poet in his own way. Without poetry – the warrior is just a killer.
    - Not sure that all Abhs would agree with you…
    -
    Your people have music of the stars in them, always, they just don’t
    really need anything else. Can’t you feel it, commander? Perhaps you
    don’t know your own people well enough?
    - That's an interesting question
    - I see. So that’s why you’re an outcast.
    -
    I wouldn’t go so far….But tell me Major- is having hostages a part of
    your poetry too? Release them so that we can talk as warriors…
    - No,
    commander…it’s part of a job. Unfortunate part. But for now I just
    wanted to know whom I’m dealing with…it may be of use later…
    - What for?
    - Let me tell you a riddle…
    - I guess I got some time to kill…
    --------------------------------------------
    Lorieth heard a faint noise coming from outside. Someone tried to be quiet. The
    sound stopped for a moment and then she heard as if her door was being
    opened. The man who previously interrupted their conversation with the
    Major entered.
    - Greetings, Miss Lorieth. I'm Lieutenant Elkin and
    I’ve been sent by the Major to complete the agreement you two have
    reached. I am to assist and escort you and one of your crew members to
    the Calike so that you can complete your part of the deal.
    - Why hasn’t Major come?
    - He is busy at the moment – certain new circumstances.
    - What kind of circumstances? If you are being attacked by our strike team then there’s no need for us to make any deals….
    -
    Even though it would probably be a fortunate turn of events for you –
    it’s not the cause. Right now this agreement is between you and
    Major…You see - not all of the people we have here are as…tolerant. Do
    you understand?
    - You mean…we’re in danger?
    - Yes. Some of them
    do not appreciate the Major’s….softness and are ready to start hurting
    you in a bad way to get the code we need. And believe me – our men are
    quite resourceful so we need to act fast.
    Somehow Lorieth realized
    that this trustworthy looking man is telling the truth. He definitely
    had the scent of a honorable ex-army officer about him. She suddenly
    realized that the Major and this man (obviously his second in command)
    are the only more or less honest people around and she just hasn’t seen
    and hopefully won’t see the worst ones. The threat was very real…and at
    bottom of her heart, despite all her Abh nature she felt scared.
    - Ok…well, what do I do then? Will you remove my handcuffs now?
    - Yes. But please – realize that even if you use this opportunity to escape you will only change the situation for the worst.
    - I understand. I won’t escape until you stick to our agreement. I give you word of the captain.
    As
    Elkin was removing cuffs from her thin hands he realized that he likes
    this girl for her courage. His life would probably be quite different
    if he was surrounded by such people in his past. It’s a shame that he
    wasn’t…
    - You trust people like us so easily, miss. I know you’re
    not lying, I have too much of experience to tell the difference. I just
    hope you don’t hate us too much and realize it’s just a business – we
    had no intention of harming you, at least not as mere executors of the
    plan…
    Lorieth became suspicious by his last words. As if there was
    more to the plan than capturing this old refueling ship for it’s
    technology. Though it was old, surely it was superior to many UMK or
    Hania ships and could provide the enemy with many advantages once
    reverse-engineered. But there was something else she couldn’t see
    yet…but there was no time to think about it.
    - Here you go, now
    follow me please. I’ll have to point the gun at you to make the men
    less suspicious so please try to look like a prisoner.
    - It’s easier than you think.
    - Very well, let’s get moving…and may I ask you – how will you get away from the ship if it shoots everything on sight?
    - I’ll upload the code into the Calike once we have exited the hangar. It will be transmitted as encoded IFF signal…
    - I see
    Elkin
    approached another door and opened it and inside on a chair she saw
    Sileth! Lorieth was so happy to see her that despite her weakness she
    rushed inside and hugged Sileth. Elkin smiled.
    - How did you know? – asked Lorieth
    - Major studied your rooms you see…miss Sileth was your guest often.
    Lorieth
    blushed a little but it was no time for sentiments, she grabbed Sileth
    who seemed weak and unable to speak and followed Elkin… Lieutenant
    exited the room and suddenly stood like he saw a ghost.
    - Your little deal ends here, old man.
    That voice made Lorieth shudder.
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:00 am

    Alex
    was glad that his team made some progress– they managed to bypass one
    of the doors and used a service tunnel to get to the room that looked
    like general supplies and it was easier to go further from now on. They
    were about to crack the next door which should have led them into the
    main corridor. The commander started to worry about not meeting any
    resistance just when his wrist communicator came back to life with the
    voice of Alos
    - Commander, we managed to open the door, what are our orders?
    - We are doing some progress too. Proceed into the ship, maintain full combat alert. Right now we have a hostage situation.
    - Roger that, Sir
    Alex
    wasn’t very happy about having only 2 men with him so he hoped that
    Alos can deal with the larger part of the enemy force. So far he had
    only seen men in light armor. Although they did carry decent laser
    rifles – commandos definitely had an advantage. He exchanged his laser
    rifle for another laser gun and dual wielded them right now.
    But what he really was worried about was the hostages.
    It
    wasn’t long before another door opened and they encountered the first
    enemies who were patrolling in full alert so they didn’t become an easy
    prey for his small team and started to shoot through the door right
    after it opened. The commandos shot back, but it was just meaningless
    exchange of blind shots. Alex signaled both commandos to retreat a
    little so that their attackers would try to pursue them and when they
    actually did – he threw himself through the door shooting as he flew
    through it. He killed one man instantly and wounded the second one in
    the leg. For a moment he was glad that they managed to get someone
    alive, but it didn’t last for long since the wounded man quickly pulled
    out a handgun and tried to shoot the commander who was but a moment
    faster.
    - Mercs…they just don’t know when to give up.
    - Why are they fighting so desperately, Sir? – asked one of the commandos
    - They used to think that there is no mercy for them.
    -
    Pity, they’re pretty good soldiers it seems – I like them more than
    some UMK we encountered before. At least they don’t shout stupid things
    at us.
    - You’re right – they are simply in no position to hate
    anyone I guess. They are just professionals that earn their money this
    way and who knows – maybe this is better than killing people for false
    ideals if any.
    - At least we fight for the right ideals, sir
    - You know – war doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left…
    Thankfully,
    the ship was big and the mercs didn’t report the encounter – a
    fortunate mistake. Alex examined the corpses and found nothing useful
    except cigarettes and lighter. He decided to keep it and move on when
    his trophy communicator started to talk once again.
    - Commander…you still there?
    - Yes, Major. We have been taking care of some more of your men but my ears are all yours now.
    -
    Good. Listen commander, I want to make a deal with you – give us half
    an hour to prepare for evac and we’ll return all the hostages to you in
    exchange for free passage.
    - Hmm. Well, if you’ll just pack your
    things and leave it would be good enough I suppose. But you killed some
    of the abhs here and I cannot just let you leave with that.
    - The crew of this ship is perfectly safe – I’ll provide witnesses.
    - Ok, I think 30 minutes won’t hurt anyone. We’ll wait.

    Alos
    was happy. They finally got out of that damn booth and already have
    taken care of four enemy soldiers. But right now when they alarmed the
    enemy – a lot more hostiles came. It looked like the mercenaries had at
    least a few squads aboard the ship. They barricaded one of the
    corridors and continued to exchange fire with the commandos when the
    Alos' wrist communicator started to talk.
    - Alos – we reached some
    agreement with the enemy commander. I’m not entirely sure about it, but
    he asked for 30 minutes. I don’t see what he can do with that time so
    let him have it.
    - But the enemy is still shooting at us…what do we do?
    - Tell them to get some smoke
    - Roger that, Sir… Hey guys, it’s time to have a smoke!
    - So…did it work?
    -
    Hmm…yeah, it is. I’m not sure if they are smoking or just confused
    though... but we don’t have any smoke except smoke grenades, what do we
    do?
    - Chew a gum or something…

    Lorieth watched as Leutenant
    Elkin slowly fell to the ground and then she saw a blade sticking out
    of his chest. The man who did it looked at her now with an evil smile
    on his face…
    - So, little girl – you ARE the captain and now you’ll give us your little secret…
    - Not in your life, freak!
    - Wrong answer

    Alex
    was about to complain about the quality of the cigarettes he had taken
    from the merc when he heard a distorted voice of the Major coming from
    communicator once again.
    - Commander…we got a situation
    - Go ahead…
    - Some of my men are…not under my control anymore. I’m afraid our agreement is no longer valid…
    - What happened?
    -
    Listen… I’ll open all the doors on your way, you’ll have to go to the
    technical deck where all the ship’s crew are being held. Hurry!
    - Are you helping us now?
    -
    There’s no time, move it soldier! If I wanted to lead you into the trap
    I’d pick a better plan. You’ll have to trust me on this one.
    - Major, what is this all about?
    - It’s about poetry…
    - I see…am I to expect resistance?
    - A few people and a man on the edge.

    The
    bridge was dark. The Major stood against the screen which showed a
    dramatic space scenery from outside. He tried to feel the music of the
    stars but he couldn’t. He tried to remember his life, all of the
    countless battles and campaigns, but it didn’t feel important right
    now. Then he thought about that funny Abh girl instead and his heart
    lightened slightly just before he was surrounded by his own men.
    - I heard of your little deal, Major…I will relieve you of your command.
    - I tried to buy us time and get the code...
    -
    No – you weren’t planning to fulfill the contract and deliver the Abhs
    at all, you just wanted to steal this ship and run with it to your
    retirement, you sentimental old bastard. Am I right?
    - I simply don’t want to sent innocent people to their horrible deaths. It’s not what I’ve been fighting for all those years.
    - Those people are machines – a ***** robots!
    - They are more of a human than you are. Where is Elkin?
    - Dead, as he should be.
    - Shame… he was a good soldier, not like you drug junkie dog
    Jannik shot at the Major and the old soldier fell to the floor wounded.
    - And you are an old sentimental fool who wants to get his men killed just to save a little girl.
    - Maybe it’s worth it…
    -
    I don’t care about your sentimental shit– I’m a mercenary and
    mercenaries are getting paid! There’s money to be had… Even if I’ll
    have to slice some of those Abh freaks to pieces.
    - What have you done to the Captain?
    - My men are taking care of her now…
    - Better hope those men are good…
    - Don’t worry, this time we’re using a lot more effective methods.

    Alex
    ran through the corridors and rooms with all the speed he was capable
    of. Both of his men kept the mercs busy at the upper deck, trying to
    pull as much attention to themselves as possible to keep them from
    going down to engineering deck. In one of the corridors he encountered
    a mercenary who started to shoot at him right away, but there was no
    time to seek cover – he just covered his face with an armored arm to
    protect the face from the shots. Thankfully it stood against laser fire
    and Alex hit mercenary like a train, but after they both fell – a
    horrible scene appeared before his eyes – an almost naked Abh was lying
    nearby face down in a pool of blood. Her body was unnaturally twisted.
    A rush of unstoppable anger flowed to the hector-commander’s mind and
    two of his combat knives started to sing a song of pain for the fallen
    mercenary.
    The rest of the path was like in a red shroud. Dead
    bodies were everywhere…he ran but it felt like his legs were made of
    lead now – could it be that he was too late? He heard screams right
    before he turned round the corner and saw a young Abh woman crying over
    the mutilated body of another Abh. Both were only dressed in
    night-shirts. One of the mercenaries pointed his gun at the crying
    woman and the other one was cleaning his knife. They noticed Alex and
    the man with the gun tried to shoot, but his right arm flew off the
    moment he was about to pull the trigger, his left arm soon followed.
    The man started to scream desperately while the second one tried to
    reach out for his rifle, but hector-commander was already there,
    unleashing the fury of his knives.
    - Stop it! Stop it all! – Abh
    woman screamed. She was crying and howling like she was hurt badly,
    though. Alex couldn’t see any wound on her except numerous bruises. He
    finished off the “armless” mercenary with a shot to stop his groaning.
    Then he tried to touch the crying Abh but she just pushed off and
    punched his hand, not even looking at him.
    - Get your hands off me, you monster!
    Although
    he was surprised by her response - years of training just kept him
    going and he automatically checked for life signs of the other Abh,
    even though it was obvious that she’s dead. He tried to look around
    then and figured out if there’s more Abhs to be freed anywhere, but it
    seems like the mercenaries only did their dirty job in this part of
    “prison” which was simply a re-arranged part of the engineering deck
    where various parts and equipment was stored.
    - Are there more enemies around? Any more hostages?
    - No…they all…were here…were….now they’re dead…Sileth…
    - Rest of the cells seem to be unopened, they only got about 1\\\\\\\\4 of your crew…
    - That’s my crew you are talking about you idiot!
    Alex
    looked closer at the woman and realized that she must be the captain
    …mercs probably dragged her around, killing her crew members before her
    eyes…it would explain her condition. He didn’t know how to help her but
    suddenly she started to talk on her own.
    - I’m
    Lorieth…deca-commander …captain of this ship… this crew…and this
    is…this was Sileth – my second in command…The man who did this headed
    to the bridge… What took you so long? They asked me again and again…and
    killed every time. I told them…told many times…but I couldn’t explain
    what it is…why couldn’t i? Sileth wouldn’t be dead if I did…I should
    have…
    - No, you did nothing wrong, you endured…it’s all the fault of that man who did this…
    -------------------------------------
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:01 am

    - She then looked him in the eyes with a strange, hazy burning stare and said:
    - Kill him, kill them all, please!
    For a moment Alex though about why he is so calm in situation like this when this pure Abh girl is shocked and crying and he thought to himself that maybe he never knew Abhs too well indeed. Or perhaps he didn’t know himself well enough …
    He didn’t answer and just stood up, quickly checked all of his gear and left, leaving Lorieth to her grief.
    It wasn’t long before he discovered the ladder the mercs used to get to upper decks and bridge quickly.

    Jannik realized that this is the end. The damned Major opened all doors on the ship and the men were loosing the battle in the corridors, even though it didn’t seem like the Abhs had a lot of people aboard – their armors could virtually ignore most of the laser shots so they slowly pushed the mercenaries to the bridge. There was only one option left.
    - Sergeant , and you two – you come with me, we are going back to tech deck. If the men have beaten that code from the girl we may still be able to escape using Abhs as living shield.
    - Yes sir…but our men are still fighting…
    - They’ll buy us time – think about your own ass now. Go on ahead, I’ll prepare a surprise for them…
    Jannik activated the remote that was connected to many bombs they had installed along the antimatter tank, checked the signal and hurried after his men just to discover a terrifying scenery. The tall Abh who previously had wounded him with a knife stood in the corridor. His left hand held a large double-edged knife that pierced the chest of the sergeant, he held a laser pistol in his right hand, and the two other mercs were already lying on the floor. The Abh looked even scarier that before – his face and black armor was stained in blood, but what was even more frightening are his eyes – cold and empty, like glass.
    I don’t believe it…you again…damn robots, can’t you all just die! I have the remote detonator here –I’ll blow us all to hell, I swear it, if…
    He didn’t finish the sentence because the hand he was holding the remote with just separated from his body. Jannik followed it with his eyes and then with last a roar of pain and anger he pulled out the gun with his other hand, but the double edged handmade combat knife from a distant world already reached the neck of mercenary corporal, restoring silence.

    The bridge looked like nothing had changed since it’s captain commanded this ship looking at these three large multi-screens. A chair in the center, many smaller chairs around it, clean lines and streamlined design…
    He saw the body – it was probably the Major Lemann himself. Alex checked for vital signs but Major was gone, he just made his hands dirty with blood, but it didn’t matter since he was already covered with it from top to toe. He lighted a cigarette and just sat next to the body until someone else came to the bridge…
    A shaking barefooted figure of captain Lorieth entered. She still only wore the night-shirt. Alex looked at her and realized that despite all the dirt, blood and bruises she looks beautiful and there was something else in her…innocence, like an angel. Maybe it’s what affected Major so much… She slowly walked to the captain’s chair and pronounced:
    - Computer, this is captain… override emergency lockdown. Password….'Frymec aghutuch dobade'.
    The computer immediatly replied:
    “Voice identification: confirmed, captain’s authorization: confirmed, password accepted – lockdown lifted.”
    Alex looked amused at her. Indeed Abhs don't believe in gods, but it was ironic to refer to a god of war.
    Emergency lights turned off as normal lights lit, the computer screens came back to life, quiet buzzing noises filled the air – the ship was returning from its disturbed sleep.
    Lorieth joined Alex near the Major’s body and they silently sat there until Alos found them.

    Wadrosal walked the endless corridors of RRR and couldn’t hold the disgust she felt – this old ship was a shame for the Imperial Navy. It was a miracle that it only attracted mere mercenaries and didn’t encourage the enemy to conquer the whole Abh Empire. Her shoes produced sharp metallic noises as she quickly walked until she came to the main mess hall where most of the commandos were providing first aid to the recently freed Abhs. She quickly found Alos among them.
    - Squad leader, where is our hecto-commander?
    She couldn’t help but noticed the strange atmosphere of the place – everyone was silent, including the commandos. No one paid attention to her.
    Alos replied slowly, as if he wasn’t sure what to say
    - He’s in the Major’s room…I mean – room that the enemy commander used.
    - I see…would you please escort me?
    - Yes, M’am
    - I heard your report…but how is he now?
    - Still strange… but he’ll be back to normal I guess.

    She found Alex reading some kind of paper diary in one of the smaller rooms. The Hecto-commander looked like he was meditating. He didn’t move even when he heard her coming, but suddenly began to cite instead:
    - “I studied silence to learn the music
    I joined sinful to regain innocence”
    - Nice…Alos told me everything…it must have been hard.
    - Not for me… It seems like I was the only one who didn’t have anything to lose aboard this ship, except for delusions.
    Only now she noticed that he still wore his combat armor stained with withered blood.
    - Do you believe in monsters, Vic?
    - Monsters do not exist, it’s a nonsense.
    - The evil that men do is giving birth to them. They live among us, inside us - we just can’t see them until their hour comes…
    - That’s why we, Abhs, are getting rid of the monsters of the universe…
    - “He who fights monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster himself.”*1 What most of the abhs do not understand is that as long as there is a human part – there’s a monster accompanying it. You cannot kill the monster without killing the human as well. You can only fight it for all eternity.
    - There’s a difference. We aren’t as cruel, we only kill when its absolutely necessary…
    - But is it a choice really? Or is it part of gene surgery, a robot program?
    - There’s no other way. Human nature is flawed, sooner or later it would consume us.
    - Today I met a man who proved that it is not always so.
    - But you also met many men that proven the opposite.
    - But thanks to that one man we all still breathe and most of the crew are safe.
    - Then it is an exception.
    - …which only proves the rule.
    - You don’t know of his true motives.
    - I think he sacrificed himself out of his own will, to save something he thought beautiful, a redemption for sins of the past perhaps…it doesn’t really matter – the choice was made. Willingly.
    She became disturbed – since he didn’t discuss philosophy much she started to fear for the commander’s mental health.
    - Alos said that you found the proof that mercenaries was planning to sell the crew to Hania for some…experiments. That means you saved a lot of people from terrible fate today, you did well…
    - Like I said – it wasn’t exactly me. And don’t worry - your presence alone makes me feel better. It’s a shame I couldn’t save that girl, though. It was such a unique true love…
    - You mean…the captain and his second in command? For abh captain that’s just…
    - …beautiful, my dear Vic…let’s just leave it at that.
    - Huh…if you say so.
    - Let me read you a little riddle-story I heard just today - you’ll like it.
    “The young man was at the end of his training, soon he would go on to be a teacher. Like all good pupils, he needed to challenge his teacher and to develop his own way of thinking. He caught a bird, placed it in one hand and went to see his teacher.
    'Teacher, is this bird alive or dead?'
    His plan was the following: if his teacher said 'dead', he would open his hand and the bird would fly away. If the answer was 'alive', he would crush the bird between his fingers; that way the teacher would be wrong whichever answer he gave.
    'Teacher, is the bird alive or dead?' he asked again.

    - And what did he said? - Vic asked curiously.

    - "'My dear student, that depends on you,' was the teacher's reply.” *2

    ______
    *1 Friedrich Nietzsche; translated: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.
    *2 from Paulo Coelho personal blog.
    Note: this is an exsample for a moral dilemma originally presented in (2 Samuel 20) or as divine command in (Genesis 22) or refer to jewish laws regarding authority
    ______

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


    Chapter 4

    The cabinet meeting with the President of the Greater Alkon Republic was exhaustive today because of insecurities of a war coming closer to home.
    "Now then, can someone please tell me what's wrong with the market?" he turned around for his seat.

    "Well, Sir. Many are expecting our supply line to the United Mankind will be severed, hence, it would be foolish to invest as much into production as before." began the prime minister.

    "Nonsense. We need production to keep up for our own defense in that case." asserted the President.

    "The market has it's own mind, Sir." said the minister of commerce and trade.

    "Fine. What options do we have?" asked the President impatiently.

    "Our government will have to take over some of the orders which we will have to put on the UMK's tab."

    "Can we afford such spendings now?"

    "No. We will have to sell bonds and take loans. Also we need to increase governmental resource mining to lower cost. This means we need to increase our fleet as well as robotic miners.
    We could offer private miners the machinery in exchange for cheaper prices and increased jobs or efficiency."

    "Grrr. Alright, get to it. Try to find ways to make better deals for us with the suppliers. Blackmail them if you must. There should be some laws they broke here and there."

    "Yes Sir."

    "So how will this affect our military?"

    "Sir, this is good time to call in our reservists and employ them temporary for the extra work." said the minister of defense.

    "Ah, right. You had been asking for those before. Hmm. Fine, their absence might increase jobs, although, I doubt our increased spending justifies it." said the President thoughtful.

    "I have the analysis here, if you would take a look, please."

    "Hmm. What's with this movement spending numbers?"

    "As you can see there are two numbers. The first one indicates the regular transport cost. The second one is the cost for hookups."

    "Hookups?"

    "Yes Sir. Hookups are usually something veteran commanders do." the minister grinned meaningful. "In this case, it means we piggyback them onto other ships than regular transports."

    "And that would lower cost?"

    "Yes Sir. Compared to goods, the transport of people is insignificant. Since goods need to be transported anyway, some creative minds have come up with this."

    "Alright. What about the ships we need?"

    "About that, we will have to cheat."
    Everyone gave him a blank but curious look.
    "Ahem. One part is simple and only for actual combat. We will use dummies and decoys to divert enemy fire. The more the better. The important part is we will use ... what are essential containers as ships."

    "Please, elaborate."

    "Well, you see. Ships for plane-space are big and expensive. But we actually need them to cross plane-space only as well as fight our way through a Sord.
    We cheat in that we only need just enough ships for fighting in plane-space. All others can be hooked up. We essentially use interstellar ships to tug along noninterstellar ships.
    Using containers will further lower costs. Of course we will have them armed for support. Also our military engineers are looking into ways to turn them quickly into fighting ships at low costs.
    Once reaching a system these can be use as system defense for which we would have needed to leave expensive ships behind in any case. This just makes it cheaper.
    We don't have the extensive fleet support to build factories at site like the United Mankind or the Abh Empire, so this will further increase our abilities at significantly lower cost."

    "I see. Well, I guess I can approve this. Prepare the papers, I will sign them today."

    "Yes Sir."

    "Any more crises to take care off?" asked the President while hopping for the opposite.

    "Well, Sir." began the security minister. "We have increased discontent on the systems information network. People are getting tired of the war as well as are worried about what's coming.
    In light of the calling of reserves we have to expect these to increase."

    "Right, ... so what are your suggestions?"

    "We can ask the press to withhold or delay reports about deployments. We can also resurrect more restrictive wartime information laws. We can restrict the information network to intersystem.
    We can justify it by claiming the danger of leaked information during transport. Or we could impose heavy censorship. Or both ways which might be better.
    Further, we could randomly restrict access to certain sites at random times. It won't stop spreading of unrest but it will prevent some opportunities."

    "Do them all. Alright. Is that all?"

    "There is one matter of interest you might want to consider, Sir."
    [...]
    ---------------------------
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:02 am

    Osman was sitting half asleep and leisurely in his seat at the back of the van. Of course it wasn't his real name, but nobody here was bothered.
    It was supposed to be a business tour, but of course this too was a cover up. The van had been traveling across country for two hours now and it was already dark.
    The van stopped at some farm and the driver told them they were here. Osman stretched his tired bones and exited the van.
    The farm wasn't much nothing out of the ordinary he judged. A man came out to greet them. He did likewise and asked for the toilet. It has been hours and he needed to take a leak.
    Of course, he would take a look around while at it. It was truly a lone farm with some livestock. A guard dog was chained at the house.
    The garage had been emptied for their meeting. The machineries are now in front. After a small stride, Osman entered the garage. It appeared he was the last to join in.
    Several grim looking men with guns at the door starred at him. Osman shrugged and moved on. He wasn't eager for neither a pissing contest nor feeling challenged by these amateurs.
    He actually found it satisfying to piss off these show-off hunks. There were tables and chairs abound with drinks and food. He grabbed some food and drink and joined his 'comrades' from the van.
    After several minutes of chatting, the meeting began. The meeting was only a formality and to take care of any misunderstanding.
    The plan had already been decided by the Three Nations Alliance, only the Hania Federation party was held in the dark. For many reasons the Hania allies had been pushed for readiness.
    Of course, they had been acting struggled in exchange for negotiations and promises. The Alliance had long lost their trust in the Hania Federation but its military power was needed.
    The Alliance only bends down for this reason but sooner or later retributions will be called upon. Osman didn't like them either. They were too cunning and treacherous for his taste.
    Oddly enough, he thought, these people had come to create an encyclopedia of the proverbs they usually refer to explain or justify actions. He wasn't naive to believe them.
    The meeting leaders eventually decided on a timeframe for the coup. It was for the Hania allies anyway. They will be forced into action sooner by the Alliance to outmaneuver the Hania intelligence.
    "Good. If there are no more questions about the time then let's move on to the plan details. Honored Elder, would you please present it?" asked the leading representative of the Alliance the Hania representative, a retired general.
    "With pleasure. Gentlement, at this time we have ensured support from about 40% percent of public servants as well as the military throughout the Federation. There are still a lot of undecided people.
    Once we start they will probably support us. This is the map of this planet." he pointed at the holographic projection. "As you can see the military installations are far from population centers.
    If we can bring the cities under control within 2-4 hours we will win. In case we couldn't get hold of a base, we would be able to delay the troops in urban fights to gather our own troops for a counter.
    All said, this shouldn't be a problem. The problem is here." he pointed at a base.
    "This base not only controls the space-elevator next to the capital city it also is under control of the 'Black Rider' guards. These guards are under direct control of the government and are as loyal as there can be.
    Further the guards are controlling the space-elevator spaceport base as well as the mobile base in orbit. If we don't take them out the coup will end very quickly."
    Chatter broke out among the audience. The guards were hired professionals who were no different from the worse mercenaries.
    Recruits for the guards had to sign up for at least twenty years and practically gave up any human rights. They were legendary or even heroic to the public, but to the people who get to know them, they were an army from hell.
    "Gentlemen, please, be at ease. We, from the Alliance, will take care of this obstacle." Alliance representative jumped in. "We have ships ready to take them out. However, you have to have troops ready to take space-elevator base."
    Osman smiled bitterly as it was a lie. There would be no ships. Even if the Alliance was able to send ships it wouldn't be enough. The mobile base alone had tens of thousands of mines. A full-fledged battlefleet would be needed to destroy it.
    After another two hours of detailed discussions, the meeting ended. The Alliance representative came over to him and told him he had his equipment ready and gave him last instructions.
    The representative and most agents were to leave soon as part of a deception. Osman was to be the sole Alliance player in the field. I guess as much, Osman thought. If things failed, the Alliance could claim innocence.
    He and some unlucky guys will have to stay in hell. Osman went to the hovercar waiting for him with his equipment. Some young man, obviously the other lucky devil, was waiting for him.
    "Hello, nice to meet you, Sir. I'm your cousin, Amin." the young man grinned from one ear to the other. He obviously enjoyed his role.
    "How nice, to see you again. It must have been ages, hasn't it?" Osman replied friendly.
    "Yes. By the way, here is a letter from my parents for you." he handed a pad to Osman.
    It was the latest report on the targets. As Osman began to read the hovercar took off softly into the night.
    The report wasn't much different from what he already knew, except it had a recent timetable and procedure for the guards.
    The planet had four space-elevators which are paired in opposing pairs and form a crossed shape. Two were build from scratch and two from asteroids. This allowed them to keep the planet in balance, otherwise the planet would change its course slightly over time.
    In which case it would break up or end up as a runaway planet. The planet was one of the first buyers of the Sumei plane-space technology. It naturally became a center of trade and soon became one of the founding members of the Hania Federation.
    The 'Black Rider' base was the only one build on land, although it's partly a harbor on one side. The sea side was closed by a net and brightly lit. It would be like stepping on a stage to try to get in. Although, the Hania Federation didn't have robotic combat fish
    technology, Osman was not eager to go confirm it. Nothing was scarrier than facing a combat fish in open waters. Laser weapons were limited under water, and explosives were more dangerous to the user than the opponent.
    The landward side was much bigger, offered more opportunities, and was closed off by fences and walls. The public could access the elevator through a hermetically closed building and arm system.
    The base had a non-fly zone reaching 20 kilometers away up to the closes city. Neither aircar and aircraft nor space shuttles were allowed. Only intersystem ships or interstellar ships are allowed. There was no way to break out or leave the designated route.
    He would have to break into the base by another route. The two base's outer electric fences were guarded by search lights within the innermost concrete wall. The area between the fences was seeded with antivehicle mines and antipersonnel pebble mines.
    The concrete wall was shaped to prevent climbing and was guarded by towers. The wall also reached deep into the ground, preventing any tunnel tactics so infamous in ancient fortress sieges. If only it was this easy Osman would break-in in no time, he sighed.
    Hidden in the ground between the inner fence and the wall were hundreds of automatic defense systems each with a complete suit of sensors. Two lines of track were use by robotic dogs equipped with weapons and sensors.
    The Hania Federation robotic dogs had sniffing sensors. Since their invention from ancient times these sensors had been a course rather than a blessing. They could sniff a human several kilometers away which was nice but it was practically.
    The sensor could neither determine the position nor differentiate friend from foe. Except for ice, grass, and sand deserts they were useless in any other battlefield environment. But for guard dogs these sensors were an asset and a nightmare for anyone else.
    Inside the base, drones and guards were patrolling around at random. There aren't many patrols inside but it would be difficult to detect them early enough with passive sensors.
    Osman looked closely at the map and the SAR sensor detail. The underground was indeed granite, perfect for the elevator and worst for any tunneling. Many important installations were half underground. It would be difficult to capture the base it in any case.
    Osman took his time to look at all the pictures until he had all details he needed memorized. Osman leaned back tired and fell asleep.

    Spoiler:

    Osman dreamed of his last mission together with Ilari. War was about to resume and High Command was willing to put resources into gaining critical information. Because of her beauty she was turned on the surface into an Abh and had her hair dyed.
    Her computer skills were vital for the mission. Osman had to pose as an Abh lander soldier. The mission was simply to gain access to information stored in an Abh communications base. The lightly guarded base was close to the Hania Federation border.
    The Abh were expected to be careless. It took them days just to smuggle themselves into Empire territory. They used a pirate ship to enter a backward Empire system. On entering they had to abandon it to sneak past Imperial sentries.
    After a day of drifting in their stealth fake asteroid, they were able to reach the planet and made an orbital dive. As it was impossible to create a fake Abh wrist computer in order to pass security checks they had to used fake papers and travel as immigrants.
    Once they were onboard the station they changed into military personnel. They were successful in infiltrating the base and all seemed to run smoothly as planned.
    But then the Abh computer AI proofed to be difficult. Once the alarm went off all hell broke out. The frail Abh turned out to be very agile and athletic. They were lucky most Abh weren't armed. It all came down to unarmed fights, but they
    never had been running and fighting so much in any mission or exercise before. Osman wasn't well build but he made it up with martial technique skills, and he was very confident in his technique. However, the Abh were fast and moved swiftly pushing them into defense.
    Osman had to use all the grenades to get away. Osman had really wondered if the spatial-sensor organ helped the Abh to see openings more clearly and faster. Eventually, they managed to hijack a small anchored Abh trader ship.
    With her skills Ilari was the only one who could fly it, so he took care of anyone else onboard. They fled to the Federation, that was when things got worse...
    [...]

    --------
    It was the tenth time Gibilal was interrogated in the past four days. Her guards didn't let her take any rest, and she began to feel the pain of her tired body. She already experienced mental lapses of her sleep deprived mind.
    She tried hard not to let her guard down. Now a guard was always present to keep her awake whenever she seemed to doze off.
    However, this time the session seemed to end earlier after someone came and whispered something into the interrogator's ears.
    Aftwards, he left and she was brought back into her cell for the first time in days. Gibilal simply fell asleep without wasting any other thoughts.
    Mr. Smith walked hastily and upset into the conference room. "What is going on? Why do I have to stop the interrogation when I have come this far?"
    "Please, calm down. A communications ship brought new directives regarding the Abh." the base commander tried to soothe. "We are ordered to pass certain information to her and let her go."
    "Let her go? What is headquarters thinking?"
    "Obviously, headquarters wants those information be passed on to the Empire. In any case, the information has to be passed by accident, and we will have to let her escape."
    "I don't like this."
    "I'm sorry, you won't have any more fun with her, but these are the orders." deterred the commander. "You will arrange for her to get the information we have to pass over. Understood?"
    "Yes."
    "Good. Now then, how is your research going, doctor?"
    "Ah yes. Well, we have done all the common tests. We also decoded most of her DNA, and are still working on identifying all the genes."
    "I see. Please, make haste. We would like to depart her with a gift. Do you have any ideas for a gift?"
    "A gift?" thought the doctor out loud while being eyed by the staff. "We could implant her with a bio bomb. If we are finished with her DNA we could set nanobots to destroy Abh specific DNA."
    "We shouldn't commit genocide, Doc. That would be bad for our image. Some kind of a severe disease would be preferred."
    "Well, we could target their spatial-sensor organ and destroy it. It won't be humane, though. In a way it would be like being burned alive and slowly."
    "That's fine. They are not humans. Please make the necessary preparations, Doc."
    "Yes Sir. I will need at least three days, though."
    "OK. Now, any ideas how we will let her escape?"
    "Sir, I have a suggestion." spoke up the army captain.
    "Please, go on."
    "Yes. My men are eager to test themselves against an Abh. So, I was thinking of letting them have some matches with her. We could use it as opportunity to slip a key by chance."
    "And how would that go without being suspicious or obvious?"
    "When we transfer her from or to her cell we could arrange it so she could see who got the key. Then we will let that person have a match with her. The rest will be up to her."
    "I see. Good, make the arrangements, Captain. And make sure your men won't kill her."
    "I hope some broken bones will be alright?"
    "Only some but not too much. We need her to be able to escape."
    "Yes Sir."
    "Good. That is all. Dismissed."
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:03 am

    Hours later, Gibilal was escorted back to the interrogation room.
    Mr. Smith was already there waiting in his seat. Gibilal hesitated a
    moment when she looked at the table.
    Instead of the usual equipment
    there was a tea set and some cookies. Smith made a gesture for her to
    take her seat. She put up a show of confidence while taking her seat.
    "So,
    are you trying to poison me? Or perhabs you are serving me a last meal?
    Or are you under a weird impression that this is the right time to make
    a pass on me?" asked Gibilal.
    "None of these. Besides, the third point would be useless since you Abh don't need love for reproduction."
    "Even so we Abh are more passionate than you. We spend all our time to raise our children."
    "Yeah, and bring them with you to the battlefield. What kind of parentship is that?"
    "That was in the past. We had no other choice then."
    "Whatever. Here take a bite."
    Annoyed,
    she took the offer. It had been a long time since she had some sweet,
    and ate one cookie more willingly than not. Of course she tried to look
    angered for appearance's sake,
    Although, the flavor was strong she didn't mind. It was still better than the food they force down her throat.
    "Then what is it about?"
    "We are now at peace with the Empire. You are going to be released soon."
    Stunned, Gibilal let a cookie, she just grabbed, fall back on the plate.
    "Hahaha." Gibilal laughed to the point of tears. "Is that a joke? The Empire would never backs off once on the path of war."
    "Then
    would you believe me, if I tell you we don't need to interrogate you
    anymore, because someone else gave us the information we seek."
    "No. Not possible."
    "You seem very confident."
    "Of course, no Abh would talk to you."
    "What if it was a lander serving you."
    "Even if, he would have to cross the battlefield to do so." said Gibilal matter of fact.
    Smith grinned mysteriously.
    "In any case, we don't need to interrogate you anymore."
    "Then leave me alone."
    "I
    can't do that. I would be out of my job if things are that easy. I
    thought we would spend some time chatting while waiting for the war to
    end."
    "Nice try. But I don't believe you would waste your time with some prisoner you don't need anymore."
    "Even if we don't need you anymore I still could learn something new."
    "I still wouldn't talk."
    "It wouldn't matter either. I can learn from you to do a better job." Smith said with a menacing grin.
    Gibilal
    starred back angered. Smith was going to study her no matter what she
    did. She decided to fake random habits to throw him off in the future.
    "Fine, do what you want." Gibilal said casually, and grabbed another cookie.
    "Thank you. Here have some tea or maybe you don't know how to drink tea."
    Annoyed she countered. "As a matter of fact, we are refined people. I probably know more about etiquette than you."
    Smith slammed on the table. "Refined? If you were, we wouldn't be at war. You were the ones who started the war."
    "You fabricated that. We have the ship's log to proof it."
    "You fabricated that." Smith threw back.
    "A ship log crystal is specially made, it cannot be manipulated."
    "Who would believe that?"
    "Everyone else."
    Smith
    suddenly laughted "Hahaha." Then he leaned closer to her. "Your people
    are about to lose. We have a huge fleets in the Hania Federation and
    in the People's Sovereign Stellar Union ready to strike. If you cooperate I can arrange for your safety after the war."
    "Thank you, but no thanks."
    "Don't
    be stupid. Once the war is over, it will be hell for you. You will end
    up forgotten in some god forsaken hole and who knows what people will
    do to you.
    We aren't the bad people here, but things can be rough. I can change that. Think it over."
    Gibilal
    starred back. "You have your trials so have I. The true nature of
    people will show in bad times and when they believe to be anonymous.
    I'm not going to runaway for my own sake. I can take care of myself if need be."
    "Fine. You Abh are really stubborn once you get into a fight."
    "We just don't do it half ways."
    Smith smirked before nodding to the guard to take her away.

    ----------
    Hashi
    went satisfied to bed. As always he was very tired. His regular and
    'extra' work has been keeping him occupied most of these days.
    The
    preparations he needed are done. Best of all, there was no time limit
    to them. He could execute any day, and that's where the limitation was.
    He
    had to start in the morning, and it would take at least two days to
    finish. That aside he would be unable to confirm his success, although,
    it was a deadly plan.
    Sudden uneasiness and insecurity befell him.
    He mustn't fail, and most importantly he had to survive this. There was
    his pride, and people he had scores to settle.
    Hashi turned in his
    bed while reevaluating his plan. Early in the morning, there will be a
    technical problem near the gym. He, who happens to be the first on the
    shift, will take care of it.
    Timing was important in order not to
    raise suspicion or to draw attention from the bodyguards. Without them
    knowing he would introduce an inert poison.
    Actually, it will be a
    combination of two different inert poisons. Both combined in time will
    result in a very deadly nerve poison. Of course he too will be
    poisoned, but he had time and ways to counter.
    Once poisoned, there
    would be a time limit to introduce the second part in order for it to
    take effect. Too late and the first part would have been expelled from
    the body.
    He couldn't wait longer than a day, and he couldn't try to
    do it again within a day. He will have to do it again the day after. It
    was risky and may raise suspicion by then.
    ----------
    The small group of Imperial assault ships streaked out of the Sord.
    "Do you see anything?" asked Alex T.
    "...No. No signs of anything."
    "How disappointing."
    "Shouldn't you be happy, we avoided a shameful death upon arrival?" inquired Vic.
    "No, that's for losers. We are not going to lose."
    "How assuring..."
    "Of course, we are the cavalery. Senior navigator, lets search the system before we leave."
    "Aye."
    The ships moved into a spiral pattern.
    "Sir, there is a stream of gas moving away. I think, it's exhaust from a ship."
    "Where is it?"
    "1500 sedagh away, 137 degrees on the left. It's about 2 or 3 days old."
    "Follow it!"
    "You mean trace it back on the ship's original course."
    "Of course."
    "The path seems to cross the small planet 'Nonodu IV'."
    "Good. Set course to this planet. All ships follow me."
    An hour later the ships entered orbit around Nonodu IV.
    "Do you see anything?"
    "Nothing yet. We need half an hour to finish planetary observation."
    "It would be faster if we smoke them out." Alex sighted.
    "Captain, there is no need for random destruction."
    "It was just a thought. Just a thought."
    After another hour, the bridge crew went over the analysis of the dozen different sensor readings.
    "So, we still don't have any solid leads?"
    "No. Except for this 0.001 percent difference in predicted local gravity."
    Alex looked at Vic who threw back a suspicious look.
    "You know Vic, my ancestor used to stomp the ground to drive away ghosts and sometimes prey and predators."
    "How superstitious..." Vic took on an exceedingly shocking pose.
    "Did you know the creator of the Abh had a game in which they too stomp the ground to clear ghosts?"
    "How should I know. For all I know, you could have made it up just now."
    "Would these eyes tell you lies?"
    "I don't know, they are too fickle."
    "Ah...is that so?"
    "Captain, what are your orders?" asked the communications officer. It was obvious, the staff wanted to move on.
    "We are going to hunt ghosts. Prepare the Calickes with some bombs. I want them to make considerable 'noise'."
    "I don't think this would make any difference. They are not dumb."
    "That's alright. All we need is to listen to the quackwaves within the ground. If there is a hidden base we will see it."
    "I see. I think I have to revise my view of you a little."
    "I hope for the better."
    "You don't want to know."
    "Hahaha. Alright, let's do it."

    Hours later, planted bombs exploded, and sent strong quakes through the various regions on the planet.
    Growle-like sounding quakes shook the UMK underground base. It was an unexpected experience for the personnel. The thought of being buried alive created panic among the inexperience personnel.
    "What's going on?" asked the base commander while staggering into the control center.
    "It's a series of several explosions close to the surface. Cause unknown, but it must be the Abh."
    "Where are they?"
    A map showed up on the table. "The three closest explosions are still some distances from here. As you can see, there is a pattern in the setup. I think they tried to smoke us out."
    "As if that would work. We should be able to hole up for at least half a year." accessed the commander. "I want the base be checked for damage now. I want an analysis and estimates from the engineers as soon as possible.
    I want a full account of our supplies. Also from today forth we will ration the food. How is our prisoner?"
    "The prison sector is undamaged. Her cell seems to be fine."
    "This may be a chance to let her escape. Give me the Doc."
    "Yes Sir."
    The Doc appeared on screen.
    "Doc, how are your preparations for our prisoner?"
    "I'm nearly ready for the procedure. I need an hour to produce enough nanobots."
    "I see. Make haste, Doc."
    "Yes, I'm on it."

    "Captain, there appears to be an underground complex near the gravity anomaly."
    "Surprise, surprise. Show it on screen and give me details."
    A computer graphic depicting the processed sensor reading showed up.
    "The complex is at least 2 kilometers deep. It seems to have a tunnel leading to the surface. The tunnel seems to be big enough for a ship to enter."
    "Ho. Is there a port underground?"
    "I cannot tell. Sensor data from the interior is obscured. It's just to complex."
    Alex T. looked over to Vic who already starred at him.
    "Don't tell me..." she began.
    "Vic, how about a little ride through a tunnel?"
    "Sir! That's irresponsible. We should investigate more."
    "Common Vic, it's not like we are going down a gun barrel."
    "How do you know it's not a gun barrel?"
    "It's too big. And I have a hunch."
    "..A..hunch?" she replied overwhelmed by his reasoning. Then she started to shake.
    "Despite your objection you seem to be excited." said Alex observing her.
    "I am NOT EXCITED!" After sighing she went on, "I'm willing to follow your whims but not to death."
    "And there, I thought we would go to hell together." Alex T. sighed. "Alright. Vic, you have the bridge. I'm going down."
    ---------
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:05 am

    Chapter 5

    Nightlife was about to start, and but he still had an hour left before the end of his shift. He drew another round around the village before leaving for another village.
    Regular police usually use hovercars but patrols of the outskirts of the city county which included the countryside required aircars.
    Just when the police aircar hovered along the road leading out, a call came to direct him to a drunkard who was disturbing people.
    Wonderful, this will take a while, he thought. As he arrived, the drunken man seemed to have realized the situation and started running.
    Of course the man could not outrun an aircar. The infrared display showed him clearly running into the bushes where he tripped and fell over.
    The aircar came to a stop. It was quite dark out here. The officer made a report before leaving the aircar. Despite using his flashlight he tripped, and the world went dark.
    Osman stood up from his hidden position, and walked over to the aircar. He took out one of his two specially modified pocket computer communicators.
    These were much more capable than the standard military issue types. He easily hacked and manipulated the police aircar incident recorder.
    Then he turned the remote modus on, and slaved it to his computer. While he did these his 'drunken cousin' Amin stood up, and placed the policeman into his seat.
    Osman went back to his hidden equipment and made a last check. Everything was packed and fastens tightly to an odd frame. It was a makeshift construction
    consisting of locally produced parts. The nose was a simple cone shaped carbon fiberglass cap usually used for sports aircraft engines.
    The rest was regular carbon nanotube bars, monocoque plates, batex matts etc. In short it was a makeshift bombshell designed for flying. Osman checked the cable which was to be
    connected to the aircar. It was the most important and expansive part. At both ends the cable could be remotely detached. This was vital for his life and the mission.
    Osman made a last check of his flight plan in his computer. From now on until the last phase of the flight the computer would do everything.
    He diddn't liked it this way but there was no room for human intervention. Lastly he checked the makeshift controls on the bomb.
    Then Amin helped him to lay and fasten to the bomb. Afterward, Amin connected the cable to the aircar, and made a fake report for the policeman.
    Osman waited for Amin to finish. If all went well, Osman would be finished by morning for the coup to start. After that, he would enjoy a flight home.
    Amin gave his signal, and Osman pressed the start button. The aircar rose slowly up into the air. Osman was now hanging 100 meters below.
    The aircar went into its regular cruising altitude of two kilometers, and headed on a circular path around the city. On closing on the direction of the space-elevator base,
    the aircar suddenly bucked up, and accelerated to maximum velocity of 500 km/h. The aircar rose on a parabolic course of roughly 100 m wide before it yanked a loop, and fell to the ground and exploded.
    Later this incident would be attributed to a heart attack of the policeman.
    This strange maneuver accelerated and threw Osman close to transsonic speeds. Although he had prepared himself, the sudden 4 g centripetal force and the 7 g acceleration felt bone breaking.
    For two seconds he felt his blood rushing to his feet, and his conscience slipping away. Thanks to his stealthy anti-g-suit and the short duration, he was able to stay conscious.
    At the point of throw, the computer released the cable at his bomb first before releasing it from the aircar.
    If it were in reverse the sudden release of tension would have yanked the cable back to him and cut him in half. Now, Osman was flying balistic at over 900 km/h.
    He watched the dark landscape below and the time counter in his helmet. He would be balistic until the peak at about 3.5 km altitude then the computer would unfolded the thin wings.
    The thin but sturdy wing fabric was necessary to keep the weight low and stealthy to sensors. He would be gliding the last 16.8 kilometers at high velocity. Total flight time would be close to 2 minutes.
    The high velocity was necessary to reach the space-elevator tower with his heavy load. Because of the high velocity, Osman wanted to fly as high as possible to reduce the air pressure created hitting the ground as much as possible.
    If he flew too low air pressure sensors would detect him not to mention possible visual detection. Osman hopped artillery defense or detection was capped for his chosen flight parameters since there are virtually no weapons with the same nature in use.
    Osman watched his course and gave some vocal commands for the steering. Small motors at the end of the bomb would adjust little wings for course correction.
    It wasn't much or precise but better than nothing. Any movement of his body was impossible. Even if he did, the rushing air would likely break any limb in doing so.
    He knew how he would arrive but not how it would end. Osman was coming in hot. To break he had to steer up on the last bit. Every second counted.
    As soon as the airspeed was low enough, he had to take aim and shoot two harpoons into the tower wall. The wall was actually a honeycomb mesh or fence of nanocarbon foam which protected the inside from birds or debris blown by winds.
    The wall reached as high as 100 kilometers before being replaced by a complete foam wall which protects against micro meteorites. Interconnected strings held the wall tense and in place.
    Then Osman would separate himself, and open his armwings. Hopefully, the impact of his body, and the bombshell onto the wall would be light enough for his and the elevator's sake.
    Osman fell faster than he liked. His cable yanked hard, and he was 'pressed' into his suit, which took out his breath, caused lots of pain to his body and bones.
    He was flunk around and hit the wall in an ungraceful way, but managed to grab on. Heavily breathing he starred down with his nightvision trying to see any signs of alarm.
    He was quite high, over a kilometer he estimated. He watched for minutes, then looked up. The automatic inspection and repair ring had been seen days ago, now it appears to be out of sight.
    It won't be back for days, he thought. Osman started climbing toward his equipment, then secured himself. The bombshell appeared to be fine. He inspected the batteries for his antimatter containments.
    Well, it was just to keep his worries down. If there was something wrong he wouldn't have needed to check to begin with. He looked around once more for orientation.
    He was about at the right place. He unfastened, prepared and placed the impulse launcher onto the wall. It was short and would be hard to spot or detect from the ground.
    He checked the two rounds, the battery, and timer. Both rounds were able to seek and fly to their target which was the base's power plant. The first round was a triple plasma penetrator to smash up the protection.
    The second round was an antimatter bomb to finish it. Satisfied, he took the rest of the equipment and repositioned himself. The space-elevator tower had three elevator 'lines';
    one for the civilians, one for the military and one for returns. The lines serve linear trains as well as power lines between the stations above and the base.
    Glassfiber communications cable also connected the base with the stations above. Originally, Osman wanted to sabotage them all, but the higher-ups wanted the space-elevator as unharmed as possible.
    Osman looked for the communications cable tube and service box. It was on the inside. He took carefully his molecular knife out, and cut an opening into the wall.
    He carefully cut the box open, placed a little timed charge into it, and clued everything back into place. Then he started his way down the tower.
    It has been just 20 minutes since the mission started, Osman was well on time. He rappelled down as fast as he could risk, kicking off the wall now and then.
    Midway the nanocarbon fiber reach its end, and he had to change to a new hook while letting the other auto-retract its end.
    He took it slow and stopped to watch for the last 200 meters. He came down silently onto the roof of the military facility, watched around for any alarm before unhooking and let his end retract.
    Then he disassembled the bombshell, and dissolved it with a special fluid. Everything else was now in his backpack. He had about 20 minutes left to get on the train.
    He must not miss it or he may not complete the mission on time. He worked his way into the facility. The military linear transport train was automatically loaded.
    The cargo containers were watched, and were scanned by a stationary molecular scanner by several soldiers. To his dismay Osman couldn't see any way to sneak past the guards onto the train.
    Osman decided to hid in the tower and jump onto it when it passed by. He didn't had to wait long, sneaking into position took all the time that was left.
    The moment the train came by, he jumped, shot an attaching head, and swung onto the train. Although, he jumped early on the velocity and acceleration of the train pounded hard on his landing.
    He had only 5 seconds to open the service door to the service room in the back before the airspeed was too high.
    He carefully inserted the thin blade of his molecular knife into the gap of the door and cut through the door lock. The mass of air rushing at him was becoming a nuisance for his movements.
    It took him some effort to get in, tow in his equipment, and close the door. There was no light in the room. He had to use his quad color flash light to check the tightness of the door.
    Then he laid down onto the back wall and waited. In two hours he would be inside the military station, and there was just enough air in the room for the journey.
    Osman checked and set his timer, then fell asleep for the time being. Seventy minutes later the train passed by the civilian station at an altitude of 22 thousand kilometers.
    It was an old station build at time when artificial gravity generation was still a dream. It offered half terran gravity for its inhabitants which was preferred to the less than quarter gravity at
    the geostationary base station.
    Osman woke up and prepared for his exit. He didn't expect any inspection, but to be safe he would have to exit before the train was placed in the store and maintenance area.
    It was midnight when the train came to a stop. It would take at least half an hour for the train to unload. Osman felt nervous and impatient while waiting.
    Eventually, unloading was finished and the train was moved. Placing himself outside the train's hull Osman looked for a 'nice place' to jump off.
    Hidden, he looked around, took pictures for intel, then put on 'Black Rider' clothes. After a last check, he walked out confidently as if this was his place.
    Outside in a lone corridor he checked his position and the map. The base was practically empty this late in the night. He went into a toilet and closed the door.
    He quickly opened the air-duck, placed one of his cargoes inside, turned its remote and timer on, and closed the air-duck. He changed his uniform insignias into a communications lieutenant.
    He checked his work then left his backpack behind and made sure the toilet cabin showed being used. Osman slandered casually towards the two security officers guarding the command section.
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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

    Post by Almael on 5/17/2009, 11:05 am

    He greeted them nicely, chatted a bit, cursed his late nightshift, and went on. He passed by several rooms, and looked casually while observing and counting the people he could see.
    Shortly before entering the command center, he made a last check around, plugged his ears and went it. As soon as the door closed, he activated a little palm sized device with his left hand
    while resting his right hand on his needle pistol in his pocket. The officer of the watch looked over to him from his seat, Osman went over and saluted.
    "I am Lieutenant Osman, Sir. I'm bringing you a secret message from ground base commander." Osman took slowly a manipulated memory sheet out of his pocket and passed over.
    Meanwhile the ultrasound disorientated the people in the room. Realizing something was wrong, the officer of the watch tried to activate an alarm.
    A heartbeat later a flechette from the needle pistol yanked the man from his feet. Osman preferred his silenced needle gun over most weapons. It was very accurate, silent, and could penetrate armor.
    The United Mankind military uses laser guns as standard weapons. Despite popular believes laser weapons do not just leave a hole. The sudden concentrated energy beam usually evaporates the target surface explosively,
    leaving a nasty wound behind. Also such sudden evaporation cause noise not different from explosions and would set off any security sensors.
    Before the officer's death could bring anyone to take initiatives, Osman quickly threw and kicked the command crew from their seats. At the edge of his peripheral vision he registered some movement.
    He reflexively put up his arm, which got hit instantly by a knife. Osman shot back, and was surprised someone was able to aim that well despite being disoriented.
    Luckily, he wore protectives under the uniform. The knife was stuck in the arm protection.
    Within a minute everyone was unconscisous or dead. Osman turned his device off, locked the doors from inside, and made sure nobody could move.
    Using his little computer, he hacked into the environmental system and turned off the laser-gas-control sensors. He went on to turn the general alarm to silent, and placed a filter into the communication stream.
    Osman checked his time. It was already an hour since he came to the station. There was four to five hours left for the mission. At this hour no civilian ship would leave the civil station below.
    Only some travelers would stay overnight. Casualties should be low even if the space elevator gets destroyed. Osman didn't care much about such things in this job but it was convenient politically.
    He locked and slaved the main computer to his computer. Not all systems were under his control, but that was alright, he could do them manually if needed. He took out a little box and opened it.
    Several red, blue and green pills were inside. He broke open a blue pill, inhaled its content, and placed another two into his nose. He took a helmet from an emergency holder and put it on.
    Then he activated his cargo in the air-duck. The container immediately released a very deadly nerve gas into the environmental system.
    There wasn't much in the container, but it was one of those that could kill with just a handful of molecules. Osman felt pity for these people, although, he knew they didn't quite deserve it.
    The guards had been doing atrocious acts in the past. For this reason the United Mankind High Command had decided on their elimination. Of course nobody told the Hania allies about this.
    The Alliance also hoped their elimination would ease access to the Hania government, no matter how things turned out.
    Osman watched the security cameras, and waited fifteen minutes before leaving the command center with the gun at the ready. At each control room he stopped, and peeked inside, counted the bodies before going on.
    He was satisfied nobody seemed to have slipped away. The two security officers were now lying in weird ways on the floor. Their muscles were strained as if trying to get a hold of the escaping life.
    Osman made a quick search for anything important, but found nothing of note. He took their weapons and left. After collecting his backpack, he made his way to the security office.
    The security office was locked, of course. A quick examination of the shifting door convinced him that it needed a transponder key. There was no time to look for it. It was also too thick to cut it.
    Further destroying it in such closed space was no good either. Osman decided to cut the observation window with the molecular knife. He didn't really like to use the knife. The thin blade could break any moment,
    and its shard could cut anything upon contact. This meant a shard falling on him would cut and stick in his flesh. Osman wasn't eager to cut away his flesh to get rid of it.
    The safest way to get rid of the shards is to dissolve them with a special fluid. For the same reason the knife was useless for combat. But then, a thick knife could not be used for cutting massive matter.
    Once inside, he forced open the general key box. He took some pictures of the labels in the box before taking all the keys. Then he destroyed all the weapons there was, and hurried to the top of the base station.
    The ground base supplied around the clock the station which in turn supplied the mobile base. A moveable mass launcher was on top of the base station, which would shoot containers toward the mobile base.
    The containers arrive in a similar launcher on the mobile base, which was used to decelerate them. The kinetic energy lost in the breaking was supplied to the energy grid of the mobile base.
    Osman turned around a corner, and hit hard against someone. He fell headlong to the side, but turned instinctively, and hit his back hard against the wall while his hand ankle hit the ground.
    A sharp pain loosen his grip on his gun, and it flunk soundly away. He looked up. A man in a spacesuit was leaning against the other wall. The man was holding a plasma torch in his direction, but hesitated.
    The man was probably uncertain because of his uniform, Osman thought. "Who is your department chief?" asked the man suddenly. Without another thought Osman jumped for his gun and shot.
    The shot didn't show much effect against the man's charge, who kicked and slashed around. Osman quickly evaded by rolling to the side and onto his feet before jumping back and further away.
    Eventually, Osman nailed the man's feet to the floor and exacted the final blows. Osman breathed hard, his emergency air supply was nearly empty. He quickly took the man's air supply and switched his out.
    Shortly thereafter, Osman stood in the launcher control room watching the chain of containers hanging like pearls on an invisible string while moving toward the far mobile station.
    He checked the automatic launch sequence. It was five minutes for every launch, enough for him to place his packages. The flight would take about half an hour.
    This meant there would be two to three hours left for the work on the mobile base, he contemplated, while running to the launch bay.
    The mobile base was designed and built by the guards. Its blueprint was probably the most secret information within the Hania Federation. UMK Intelligence had only vague educated guesses to its interior makeup,
    which was by no means enough. As field operative Osman had decided not to take the risk for such low means of success. He entered the cargo bay cautiously, and quickly verified he was the only one there.
    He took out a bulky box from his backpack, set the timer, and removed the bottom. For a moment, he looked at the crème de la crème of United Mankind infiltration technology: cockroaches.
    Not just some cockroaches, but AI controlled robots, hardened for any environment, including space. These creatures can sabotage machines on their own by employing their electro cutter or molecular razor.
    Networking allowed them to pool their effort together. Their range-limited communication capability allowed them to infiltrate known computer network system. For this mission, they are transporting vicious nanobots.
    Osman activated the magnetic holders and placed the box on the next best container. The box was designed to keep the cockroaches save from EM emissions during launch.
    During flight the box would open and disperse its shell. At the same time the cockroaches will activated and ready themselves for entering. Once onboard, they would make way into the mobile bases inner structure.
    Within the bulkheads and walls they would seek out the mobile base's main power plant. After releasing the nanobots onto the antimatter tanks, they would try to sabotage the power plant.
    Chances of success were low as there weren't many infiltrators at hand. As backup Osman was staying on the base station and ready its weapons.
    He looked around for a container with unimportant cargo, and decided on a spare parts container. He cut his way into the container, and placed his last present inside: a small nuke, enough to destroy a third of the base if it exploded inside.
    Osman returned to the control room, to see if the launch was going well. Then he returned to the command center, where he went to work on the weapon systems.
    Eventually, he went down to the actual weapon's control room and forced them manually under his control. At the time, he began to release the base's air into the vacuum.
    If anyone was still alive, it wouldn't be for much longer, he thought. After half an hour he restored the base atmosphere from its emergency tanks.
    It was time to finish the mission. Osman coordinated and aimed the weapons while keeping an eye on the various situational monitors. Still no signs of trouble within the mobile base, he judged.
    He aimed all laser canons on the planetary defense turrets within the ground base. The remaining plasma weapons were set on the mobile base just in case.
    He looked at the time again...only ten more minutes.

    It was very early in the morning. Amin yawned. He was tired and felt cold. In just over an hour, the early risers will be waking up. He felt a little jealous of a warm and comfy bed.
    Amin was lying on a hill observing the space-elevator ground base with his visual scanner. Everything seemed normal. The Hania allies had brought an artillery unit into position, about 40 kilometers away.
    Amin had been sending them target coordinates. After firing it would take a minute before the first shell arrived. First the base defenses will be showered with bomblets. Hopefully, all the automatic turrets and robo dogs will be destroyed.
    There were not enough cannons to destroy the planetary defense turrets nor would their success rate be high enough.
    If Osman failed to destroy the planetary defense turrets, they would probably destroy the artillery unit within a minute. The artillery unit needed three minutes to get away so they were one minute short.
    Next the rest of the base would be showered with bomblets. It won't kill all the base personnel, but hopefully enough for the thousand men strong rebel group, who had been gathered.
    They couldn't gather more for this mission. And even if they could, their movement would have been noticed, and it might have alarmed the guards. The rebels have been coming in small groups
    at different times and from different places. They are now hiding behind the hill and within the forest. Once things started to explode everyone would storm the base.
    It would take them some time to reach it. In the mean time, Amin would stay and give new target orders for the artillery. Amin was glad he wouldn't be joining the onslaught.
    He silently thanked his boss. His boss had refused the Hania allies 'offer' to let Amin take part by saying the battlefield was not for agents to be.
    Amin checked the time again. Only seconds left, he got excited. Adrenaline was released in his body, and he started to feel warm, even sweats appeared.
    Somewhere far away, dozens of flashes lighten the surroundings and the clouds, followed by thunderous clashes. Amin observed the base closely.
    Then he saw a flash directly above the power plant building and a bright streak slamming through the roof. A heartbeat later, a crushing explosion literally blasted it to bits, followed by a blast from the released reaction mass of the reactor.
    Lights within the base suddenly went out, while bright light columns illuminated the base from the sky. Explosions and smoke rose from where they hit.
    And then, thousands of cracker like explosions light up all around the perimeter of the base. Amin felt like a boy watching a new year's firework spectacle, but just better.
    Moments later, trucks and motorbikes started rushing the base. As planned, the base became a sea of cracker fire for several minutes.
    Above the sky, Amin noticed a redish flash illuminating the clouds.

    Osman leaned back against his seat and watched the scenery. The mobile base had been ripped by many explosions into little pieces. A cloud of antimatter expanded, consumed gas and debris in a burning glimmer.
    The antimatter would contaminate the orbit for years. The air Osman was venting before would protect the base station for a while, but it would eventually be consumed or escaped. He wasn't worried, his mission was accomplished,
    and he would soon be on his way home. He turned the communications station on, and sent a message to a waiting trader ship somewhere out there: "Number five lives."
    Then he switched the display onto the planet and watched the firefight down below. Right now, he was truly the most powerful man around the planet. The most armed base was under his control.
    With a push of a button he could destroy whole cities over half the hemisphere. There was no one who could stop him. A grin hushed over his face.
    Actually, High Command wouldn't mind to send troops to secure peace if the planet lost its military in a battle with the guards. He felt tempted to turn things to ashes.
    ------------------------

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    Re: Lost Story 06 - Darkness

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      Current date/time is 10/17/2017, 12:58 pm