Archive for the Exploration: Cosmos Category

The Networked VIII

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 13, 2010 by GuNNhead

The dinner that night is still quite large, though not as grand as the first night a few short days ago. It is still quite the extravagant affair. The crew is beginning to distrust me, hate me, as I cannot eat the food that they partake of. There’s something about it that my suit rejects. The final morning before the battle, all the sensors, the weapon systems, and the ships are checked and double-checked, it is found that everything is in working order.

The trouble is right on time, and very existent, The Prophets of the Last Eclipse’s goals have only one blatant hindrance left: a nigh-impenetrable wall of an enemy armada. These are not beings who simply do not believe in the values of Prophets of the Last Eclipse, nor are they the planet’s defenses seeking to retain their artifact, in all probability, the inhabitants (if there are any) do not even know of it. No, the armada that stands strong, poised, ready to attack and destroy, they vehemently oppose the goal of the Prophets, they seek to bring destruction to the entire galaxy, in one, final eclipse of every sun, of every star; they seek to bring Nothingness to existence.

The soldiers ceremoniously prepare, and get into their individual fighter ships as they approach their destination. Once in range, the sirens start going off. The voice over the intercom appears.
“All soldiers are to begin deployment. Good Luck.”
Ybrant and I walk down the halls of docking ports where their fleet is taking off.
“This is only one battle in a long path. The artifact was discovered here, and we must seek to reclaim it. If we cannot obtain this artifact, those who seek to end all will see every last one of us destroyed. But we will overcome, have no fear, our souls are full, and all of our men have been training for this moment their entire lives, we will emerge triumphantly.” With that, Ybrant shows me to my ship, and as I get in, Ybrant goes to his own.

The battle is long and arduous, with both sides losing many members. Laser blasts fly all around, it’s a huge outer-space dogfight of immense proportions. On occasion, the clusters of ships tailing each other all around the same area, the stray blasts zoom off, hitting an unintended target, so one’s ships computers must be maintained in calculations of random spaceial velocity matrix calibrations, or one might risk friendly fire. This is how Ybrant’s ship was taken out of commission, stray enemy fire to the wing; he had to return to the mother ship.

There were twice as many enemy ships in the beginning. The numbers are now even. The head pilot of the other side’s forces is on my tail, firing blast after blast, missing by only a few meters each time. Getting closer with every shot, he is waiting for the chance to be locked on perfectly. Enemy and friendly ships are exploding around us, some getting damaged and returning to the ship, others, being completely reduced to shrapnel.
“You’re the best pilot I’ve ever encountered,” says the enemy ship following me, “My name is Starlition, I wanted you to know the name of the man who destroyed you!” He locks on to me, and fires, a sure fire shot of destruction straight to my ship. I send my ship straight downward, avoiding the blast, and eject myself into the cold depths of space. Starlition is stunned, and, using this moment, I flip backwards, turning to face him.

[Activate: Quantum Destroyer]
I place my hands together to charge the blast. I fire, destroying his thrusters and sending him off into space.
“I’ll get you for thiiis!” he shouts as his ship hurtles out of control into the blackness.

The Prophets think the battle is won, but a huge ship, presumably the main ship where the enemy armada came from, removes its cloaking field, it has a daunting, commanding presence, with its large, flat front, a small window at the top from command, and a narrowing back. It’s massive, at almost twice the size of the Orbiter. The Prophets need an attack plan. But a full retreat is ordered by the enemy forces. The remaining armada leaves the battle towards the huge ship.

Once back inside the Orbiter, there is much rejoicing, and preparations to descend to the planet, and begin to long search for the artifact. I want no part of it. In the celebrations, I tell Ybrant that I must leave. He understands. He does not understand my need for blood, for death, for violence: The requirement, the compulsion to remove the life from a living being. I search their databases for answers. I know of immediate revenge that will provide me with what I require: destroying Celrdrrun. I scour the Network’s databases, and trace him to the sun-planet Thértuu.

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The Networked VII

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 11, 2010 by GuNNhead

Over the next few days, I’m trained in some basic forms of combat. Through their enhanced training, I learn some of the finer points of my suit. I go through their training with relative ease. I demonstrate my great power. The weapons training did not go over well. The guns all seem to have the same basic functionality, even when their shape may be quite unique and distinctive. These weapons were very odd in shape though. The fronts were round and hollow, with a needle in the center where the energy blast comes from. There are rings around the needle that light up to charge the weapon; it has setting from stun to explode to disintegrate. Though, the maximum setting has a mass capacitor, so it can only disintegrate so much of something. As in, if you shot a building, it would only disintegrate the wall, and not the whole building. The back of the weapon was also round, and enveloped the hand, like a shield. The trigger was on the inside, and had a very organic feel to hold, it is typical to hold it sideways, but it can also be held ‘upright,’ though it is much less effective in that position, and feels awkward. Weapons that are not part of the suit feel unnatural, disconcerting. Most of the soldier’s interest came to my own suit’s power, and so I did not get their weapons training, finding my own inherent weapons more effective. I bested their best in nearly every aspect. It took armies of them to stop me in training simulators. Not killing them is what takes most of my strength.

“Now,” Ybrant said one morning, “we must talk of your ship, this is crucial, as, as had been said before, we will be approaching some trouble before we’ll be able to reach our next destination, in accordance with the prophecy.”
The flight room was large, with many replicas of their ships attached to the floor for training purposes. I can sense it. My craft. It’s been repairing itself faster than ever since I’ve regained my suit. I think I’ve gone to it at night. I begin to lead him toward it in my haste. As we walk, he long-windedly explains their flight training.
“Now, when in flight, everyone has to wear their helmet, because it has sensors in it that are required to control the ship. It’s mostly neurological, and responds to their thoughts. Though, there are also manual controls, as well as a highly advanced autopilot. We’ve found that no autopilot can compare against a skilled, natural pilot who knows how to best and intuitively utilize it, and do what inherently feels right for them, so, that is why we must train in these simulators to the extent that we do.”
“Okay,” I say, as we make it to the GS-336. In a flash of outlining light, my helmet appears, “let’s do this,” I continue in the altered voice of my helmet. I enter my craft, and it powers on. I head to the controls, and run a full diagnostic. These past few days have helped, it’s fully repaired.

Attached to the training simulator, the ship lifts, and shakes about, getting ready. The System charges, powers up, the lights inside go on, and a grid view appears, monitoring my surroundings. The simulation starts, and my ship warns me of enemy ships approaching. My virtual ship begins to move at an incredible rate, the ships following. They open fire, the laser blasts zoom by me, I stop, and they zoom by me, I start moving again, catching up to them, and return fire, destroying one. The other flips around, getting behind me. Something in my subconscious is telling me of the non-reality of it. It is hungering for real death. I deploy a surge bomb backwards, destroying the second ship. Ship after ship come out, and each are easily dispatched. This ship was not built for destruction at all, but the suit. It’s bonded. Soon, the simulation stops. I step out, and am greeted by a small group of the soldiers.
“We’re quite pleased that you did so well and completed it in record time, but had to stop this early, your ship was beginning to resist the simulation, hovering, shaking. We truly did find the one who was foretold of would be found, the one who’d tip the scales, and help us achieve our goal. We’re telling you now, now that you’ve completed your training: we’re depending on you, and we beg of you not to abandon us, sentencing us all to our demise.” Ybrant realizes he went off on a rant and stops before he carries on further. The mood has gone down; the soldiers are now contemplating their fate, what lies before them, a battle to attain another piece of the prophecy.
“I have only death. I do not mean to insult you, and I thank you for what you have afforded me, but I cannot stay. I will stay for the battle, so that I may kill. That is the reason I am here.”

The Networked VI

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 8, 2010 by GuNNhead

The next day, however, it is time to train for their next mission. I am awoken early, and immediately brought to the training sector of the ship. It is large with many different rooms for various training activities. I can tell just from how the men are that some have been trained to specialize in certain activities, as well as being competent in everything else, while others were trained in more general ways, to be a jack-of-all trades, who would be better than average in most everything.

Ybrant comes from a training room in the common armor, as opposed to his ceremonial robes from the night before.
“Ah, good to see you’re doing well! We have much to do today, but at least because of that display last night, we no longer have to spare a suit of armor for you, eh?” Ybrant takes me to the first of the rooms on the right. Inside the entirely white room, there’s only a small platform.
“This is where new recruits get their suit, see this young man here. It really is an amazing process. One simply steps onto that platform so it can take your measurements and you then have a suit.” The young man steps on the platform, arms come out of the wall, and scan him with a bright light. Once the lights finish scanning, the arms retract, and out of a hole in the wall comes a small ball the same color as the men’s suits. He holds it in his hands and rolls it in his palms like he was making dough into a ball. The suit slowly starts enveloping his hands, and goes up his arms, over his clothes, enveloping and assimilating them all, even his backpack: creating a small self-made one of itself. Soon he’s completely covered in the suit. He even has a helmet, which I’ve seen on none of the others. The helmet is the same color as the rest of the suit, and matches perfectly. It has one large black lens at the eyes, and is relatively nondescript. Cut him open. Explode his innards. Disintegrate everyone.
“What he has to do now is concentrate, envision himself without the helmet, and it’ll go away until he concentrates on having it again.” The young man does so, and it happens.
“An amazing process. I hope you know how to remove your suit, talking to that helmet is rather disconcerting.”
I do not know if this suit is my flesh. I concentrate, and steam shoots out from my helmet, and cracks open. I remove it with my hands, and hold it. Maybe I have more control of this than I thought.
“Astonishing! Let’s begin training, but, uh, you might need that helmet!”

The Networked V

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 6, 2010 by GuNNhead

With the announcement, everyone stands as the plates are taken away, and the tables are completely cleared. All of the tables and chairs secede into the floor, and come out again in sparser locations, filled with all sorts of alcohols and such celebrational accoutrements. It slowly becomes far more social; the people mingle, and become talkative. They’re all rather friendly, and most have beards. I start to become more comfortable in the crowd, I might have felt outcast here without that cheesecake. Ybrant comes down to see me.
“I’m glad to see you ate well, I don’t know what might have transpired if you’d have disrespected us by not finishing your plate!”
“Well, I guess I’m just good like that!”
“Indeed you are, and are you getting on well in this atmosphere?”
“I’m doing quite fine, thank you, and you?”
“Hah-ha! I’m fine, lad! You seem nervous! Here, a mug of ale will do you well” he says exuberantly, handing him a fresh mug of mead taken from a large wooden keg.
“Thank you once more,” I say, taking a large swig. The drink is strong in taste, but fills me spiritually much like the cheesecake.
“There you go, my man, you’re well on your way to enjoying the night! Enjoy it well, for tomorrow we must train you, as the day after next, we will be encountering some resistance on our journey!” He takes me into the neighboring room, for a more private conversation.
“Although I am farfamed across the known universe for my adventures and exploration, I cannot read minds, and so I must ask you now though, when I’m to be assured of your honesty, what exactly were you doing on that planet?”
“Getting my spine torn out like a damn fool.”
“Pardon?”
“Revenge. Celrdrrun destroyed my planet; I had it in my mind to destroy him. But now, I’m after a being named Kænus. He’s the one responsible.”
“Kænus? I know of him, a rich snob. He may be a bit eccentric, but there’s no way he’d destroy a planet.”
I’m about to inquire more, but my innards start to spin. I hit the ground, doubled over in pain as I begin to vomit uncontrollably, blood and soul. Something with the food. A bolt of energy hits me, courses through my spine. I see a flash, an outline of light covering my body. The flash of light outlines my suit of armor. A surge of gravity brings all in the place to their knees. Everything is vibrating in my eyes. The omega surge suit. I’m once again armored. Electricity bristles around me. I stand. Ybrant looks at me without fear, without awe. He just looks at me. He places his hand on his long, white beard.
“A sign.”

That night they celebrated in ways of old. It greatly reminded me of the celebrations of the Vikings and Norse gods, where alcohol flowed like water, and the normally reserved let loose, with challenges all in good fun, and much shouting and rowdy activity.

The Networked IV

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 4, 2010 by GuNNhead

The fully automated devices then go to work. They pick up everyone’s plate, cleaning the tables as they go. Pausing for a second, the 13 men speak once more.
“We’re sure you all have enjoyed the feast so far, and are thoroughly full, and it is at this time, we take a refrain before dessert…” The main lights dim and the secondary lights come on, setting the mood for a tale to be told. “In ancient times…”

They tell their story with a brilliant vidclip. They are a faction of the Network of Communicating Planets, but are now searching for some relics to find “The Guide,” some mythological figure said to be all-knowing, he who guides our lives. I drift in an out, my mind focusing on death. The video says something about this being the second stage of time, the middle to the end. My time on that planet was like an out of body experience, like I wasn’t fully myself. But it’s coming back now. Maybe the omega surge suit is functional again. Maybe there’s some way I can activate it, like when it first appeared. Hopefully I’ll not have to drain all the blood from my body again to do it. Tear them limb from limb.

The voice from the intercom chimes in once the vidclip is finished:
“Now is when dessert is to be served, so we ask you, knowing that it is unnecessary, as upon viewing the dessert you shall ask yourself, to make room for Gold Leaf Spirit Cheesecake!” The robotic arms come down, and give each person a large slice of cheesecake. It’s a layered, each layer the same, but separated by Gold leaf. On top there’s a red icing, it’s cold, and still has the smoky cold air around it.
“Each layer is representative of one of our four Guiding principles:”
The entire room recites them:
“To believe in the weight of life and death.”
“To believe in the power and wisdom of The Guide.”
“To discover all planets and their connections in His grand schema.”
“To preserve peace and prosperity.”
“Betwixt, the gold layers separate them like the vast cosmos; demonstrating prosperity, hope, mystery, and knowledge. These are the rules we must strive to live our lives by every day.” There is a solemn silence. “Now, eat well, my fellow Prophets of the Last Eclipse.”

My mind thinks of the end of time. I see people slowly eating the cheesecake, though they are stuffed. It’s almost as if they are required to eat it, but not quite, more like dedicated to consuming it all, just like they were to finishing everything off of their plates. I see visions of ripping through flesh and bone, but I focus on the cheesecake. I dig into the slice happily, it’s the most delicious thing I can remember eating, and I immediately forget about what transpired inside the inner machinations of my mind. It takes me to a new world, where my taste buds are soaring. This cheesecake truly is a spiritual, Godly delight. I can feel my soul being nourished as I eat more. Bite after bite, I believe more and more that this is right. With religious fervor, I finish eating; with my stomach and spirit full, I rest back in my chair, and pat my stomach. When everyone else is done, another announcement is made.
“Now that we are whole, this celebration can truly commence!”

The Networked III

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on January 1, 2010 by GuNNhead

The hall is huge, and is lavishly decorated. The walls appear old, and wooden, with large red and purple gold trimmed banners hanging vertically downwards. There are large crystal chandeliers coming from the ceiling, lighting the room brilliantly and elegantly. The many large, long tables are close to full; there’s one main table at the front of the room, opposite the door. It has 12 men sitting there, all dressed like Ybrant. The rest of the tables have men dressed only in the armor. The room has tables on the edges full of food, all hearty meals; there is turkey, ham, piles of mashed potatoes and corn, baked potatoes, hamburgers, hotdogs. Almost anything one could want, it was there. We both walk down the central space in the middle of the room. There is a free seat with an empty plate at the corner of the table.
“Just sit here,” said Ybrant, “you’ll be able to get food shortly, and once again, do not be shy, you’ll see others pile food on their plate, it will all go smoothly, and no one will judge or anything of the sort. If you’re here with us, you’re one of us.”
Dismantle everyone in this room.

I sit, and Ybrant goes up to the main table, and sits with the 12 others. Shortly they all stand in unison to make an announcement. Solemn yet joyous, they spoke.
“Soldiers, we have done well on this planet, and are well on our way to fulfilling the Prophecy. Not only have we discovered a hide-out of the planet-killer Celrdrrun, we have attained the artifact that was foretold to be on this world, and it is safely with the others we have collected. This leaves only a small many artifacts left, before we must combine them, and perform the ancient ritual… Yes, we have lost some soldiers on this world, and while we may feel sorrow for our lost friends for a time, we know that death is a gift that is afforded honorably to so few.”
Death. I breathe it in.
“I know that they would be glad, and proud they have not died in vain, like anyone of us would be. For we all know that to die for our cause is truly a great honor! This artifact we obtained brings us one step closer to the universe’s great prosperity, discovering The Guide. The next shall of course, be most difficult, as the enemy also knows of its whereabouts, a trial for the believers, but we are returning peace to the galaxy, and, I do not know a more noble cause than that. Now, usually I end here, but today is special and worthy of extra celebration! Today, we have found someone on one of our planets. This man single handedly killed one of those creatures with only a simple wooden bow and arrow! He is a harbinger of the time, and he is our guest of honor, we hope he will choose to stay with us. With that said, and our goal in our hearts… Let us feast!”
Feast upon evisceration.

There is respectful applause and cheers, the 13 men stand, and walk down from their table, passing by me.
“Follow right behind us, bring your plate, you may eat when you sit down.” Ybrant says as he passes me. We all walk up to the tables surrounding the room. The food on them looks delicious, the ham is glazed and glistening, the pork chops are still sizzling. Even the cheeseburgers look like the most luxurious I’d ever seen them. I fill my plate with an incredible amount of food. The rest of the soldiers behind me fill up their plates just as much if not more. Once the people reach the end of the tables, they return to their seats. Sitting back down on the lush, red chair, I look at my plate, stacked with food. Each selection of food looks as tantalizing as the last; I am so hungry that I do not know where to start. Annihilation. I simply begin at the top of the pile, eating the moist turkey that is incredibly full of flavor. My next bite is of a steak; it practically melts in my mouth filling it with its well-seasoned succulence. The entire meal continues in this manner, with each bite being as, or more delicious than the last. Soon, the entire hall has finished their meals. Finish their lives.

The Networked II

Posted in Exploration: Cosmos, Fiction, Gravity Surge, Sci-Fi on December 30, 2009 by GuNNhead

The ship continues into space, and inside the Orbiter, everyone is able to resume their natural lives, without being harnessed to a chair for safety. The intercom comes on again.
“We have safely reached outer space, and are on time and on course, it is at this time we will ask everyone to come to the mess hall, where we will be several meals. As always, the surprise dessert will be announced after. Eat well, for this is a time for a feast of celebration.”

At this announcement, everyone gets up, and heads to the mess hall. After a few moments Ybrant enters the room dressed in his armor, but with a very fancy silken blue coat with white fur trim on it, and looks for me, finding me easily. He walks a few steps closer, to make sure he has my attention. When I look at him, he gestures with his hand for me to follow him. I do.

“How are you holding up?”
“I’m doing fine; this ship has a smooth take off.”
“Indeed, it is a very fine ship and has served us well for many years! What do you think of it so far?”
“I enjoy it; it’s very ergonomic, very clean looking.”
“Yes, yes, though, these white common halls tend to get bland and all look the same after so long, though they are very nice indeed. Don’t worry, though, the dining hall is a much better atmosphere than these sterile halls.”
“I’m just glad to be off that accursed planet. Also, I don’t mean to overask of things, but my ship was left cloaked in orbit perhaps only a short while ago. I cannot contact it, as my transmitter is still badly damaged. I’m not even sure that I can ever contact it again. I need to find it, so that I may leave immediately.”
“Think nothing of it, we already found it! However, it’s extremely badly damaged, but you are more than welcome to stay until it is repaired. We have reason to believe that it was a known criminal, Celrdrrun. He’s a planet destroyer, used to work for the Network, before he went renegade, disagreeing with our procedure. Your ship fell out of orbit and crashed a day ago. We now believe that is when Celrdrrun left the planet, but it was not imperative to give chase. Either way, we recovered your ship; the GS-336 is in one of the lower hangars.”
Celrdrrun. He will pay dearly. “How’d you know the craft was mine?”
He points. “The logo on your jacket matches. A quaint little abode-craft, very nice. Interesting and mysterious modifications, however, as my crew attempted to repair what is left of it, they were left unable; it repairs itself better than any other, and appears to be locked by means unknown to us.”
“Yeah, that’s her all right.”
“Although I am farfamed across the known universe for my adventures and exploration, the greatest of the explorers, ever, I have never seen a craft with its inner workings; do you care to shed some light on the technology?”
“I wish I could, but it is as mysterious to me as it is you. I developed this sort of armor, but it ripped from my body, and my spine torn out. It bonded with my craft, altering it, but I’ve lost the connections with it and the armor since. I’ve never been apart since I first became with it. The clothes that I wear are also as mysterious as they are stylish.”
“Perhaps they will come in time, I am confident! So, no worries, and let us concentrate on more important matters, the dining hall! Especially tonight, as tonight is a grand feast! A celebration!”
“What are you celebrating, if it’s not rude to ask?”
“Ha-ha! No, it’s not rude at all, and you’re more than welcome to celebrate with us,” he says, “we,” he emphasizes, amicably grasping me on the shoulder, “are celebrating, that is what matters now! There will be a speech to explain it all, so do not worry about the details, and merely enjoy the feast, I know you’re hungry if you were going to eat that ‘fruit’ ha-ha!” He concludes, the doors in front of him opening to reveal the grand dining hall. I wonder, was I truly hungry? I’ve not eaten since I acquired the suit weeks ago. It sustains me. Death sustains me, I can feel the urge. Without the suit, though, do my former inclinations take hold? Is eating a necessity any longer, or merely a pleasure to partake in without requirement? The destruction of another, that is my only necessity.