Foreword: ladies and gentlemen! Here continues the tale that began in Event Horizon Book 1: Autumn's Frontier, a reading of which is highly recommended in order to understand the universe within which this story takes place. But I will briefly recap where we left things off last time. It's the year 2154, and a joint colonization mission to the Epsilon Eridani Star System between the United Nations and The Company™ (Earth's largest and most powerful mega-corporation) has discovered four planets (designated EE-L0, L3, L4, and L5) that are inhabited by different fantasy races! In Book1, we followed the adventures of The Company™'s new colony of Autumn's Frontier on "Planet EE-L4" (Westeros). Here in Books 2 & 3 (published simultaneously), we follow the events on "Planet EE-L5" (Middle Earth) and "Planet EE-L0" (the World of Warhammer Fantasy, not 40k) that are occurring over the same period of time. Prepare thyself, fair reader, for the adventure about to unfold...
Acknowledgements: I would like to take a moment to briefly thank all those who have taken their time to read and support this story, whether through inspiration, inputting creative ideas and suggestions, proofreading, or simply leaving a review in the reviews section. In particular, I would like to thank the following users at AlternateHistory dot com, the original home of this story: Corsair_Caruso, for his consultation on Tolkienology, as well as ZIM19, RosoMC, Teslacoil, Silver, TheScottishMongol, Ridli_Scott, Rostov, Darksnider05, Monty Burns, terranova210486, berat2beti, iddt3, Panica, ignuus66, Amras89, meichiri, antoine, Trevayne, ComradeH, Wolf1965, and many, many others.
Disclaimer1: this is a noncommercial fan work meant as a light-hearted parody and transformative work of the original source material, and thus falling within the parameters of current United States Fair Use Doctrine. Any new characters or places are original creations.
Disclaimer2: I repeat: this is a work of *parody*, and thus, sarcastic tongue-in-cheek humor, gratuitous pop culture references, unabashed embrace of some TVTropes and complete deconstruction of others, and perhaps the occasional breaking of the Fourth Wall are all to be had in this story. There will be drama and serious moments too, but the general trend of this universe arcs towards the light-hearted. You have been warned!
Disclaimer3: this series is *different* from canon. Some elements are taken from the books, some from the movies, and some is completely made up. And yes, that means that some aspects of the universe's backstory and mythology *may* be different from canon. I would be highly appreciative if all readers please don't hate me for any deviations I make, but rather try to view my reinterpretation of the setting constructively. Thanks everyone, and I look forward to reading your reviews!
United Nations Space Vessel U.N.S.V. Belo Horizonte ISXCT-138
Epsilon Eridani System
10.5 lightyears from Earth
October 01, 2154 C.E.
"Attention all personnel!" came the monotone voice of the ship's resident A.I. Skippy, thundering throughout the decks and cavernous halls of the Belo Horizonte.
"Attention all personnel!" it boomed again, in English, just in case the first one hadn't been enough to shake up the crew from their slumber. "We are beginning our final stage of deceleration to Epsilon Eridani Target Vector 886374. ETA: 33 hours and 17 minutes. You have been in suspended animation for exactly 187 days, 15 hours, and 12 minutes. Some of you may be experiencing dizziness, lethargy, disorientation, headaches, cramping, loss of motor skills, nausea, loss of control of lower abdominal bodily functions, and so on. Do not panic – these symptoms are normal for extended periods of hyper-sleep, and are only temporary. Medical staff and proper facilities will be provided to you shortly. If symptoms persist 24 hours from now, please report to the infirmary level immediately. Otherwise, all personnel report to your stations in t-minus 30 minutes. Welcome to Epsilon Eridani."
"Blyad'!" swore Kapitan Dmetrya "Demya" Romanovna Raskalnikova, Riflewoman Of The Third Cohort, as she clambered out of her cryopod ... and threw up right onto the floor. Her head was spinning, and every muscle in her body ached – though she really couldn't have expected anything less, given that she and the other passengers in this room, as well as the rest of the ship, had all just been thawed out from spending the last six months in cryo.
"Still not used to long haul travel, eh comrade?" laughed the man in the pod next to her on her right, Ryadovoy Arslan Ganzorig, Tech and Communications Specialist.
"Very funny, Aslan," glared Demya. She turned to face the other cryopod to her left. "Sir!" she managed to salute as her superior emerged from within.
"At ease," replied Leytenant Piotr "Rosso" Rasolski, "relax. I think we're all a little flustered after the big sleep. Besides, officially, we're supposed to be civilians." He looked up and shouted. "Ike! You there? What's the situation?"
A small holographic orb immediately appeared by his side. "Good morning, Lieutenant Rasolski!" it spoke in a cheerful tone and American accent (yeah, the squad sure had a habit of pulling together folks from all over the place, including an American A.I. Don't ask). Ike continued: "I am pleased to report that all six of our party's organic members are fully functional and suffering no long-term adverse effects of the cryogenic process. Furthermore, our presence aboard this ship has not yet been discovered by the United Nations authorities."
"Good," replied Rosso. He turned to face the others. "You hear that? I hope I don't have to remind you all that The Company™ is paying us good money to keep a low profile. If anyone asks, officially, we're just a 'civilian geological survey team', nothing more. If they ask how we know how to handle guns, that's simple; we've each got a false ID stating we're all ex-members of the Union Of Russian Republics Armed Forces."
"Capital idea, Lieutenant Rasolski," chimed Ike, "now, before we proceed any further, I must warn you all that there has been a significant alteration of the mission parameters that has arisen in the last few weeks that it would perhaps be in your best interests to be appraised of sooner rather than later."
"Oh?" said Rosso.
Ike continued: "Whilst we were en route here and you all were in cryogenic hibernation, myself and one of The Company™'s Victory-class A.I.'s were charged with the constant monitoring of TransLight Communications from their forward probes already within the system. It appears that at least three of the four Earth-like worlds within the Epsilon Eridani System are already inhabited by sapient life-forms."
"Well!" piped up Ryadovoy Tran Kien Vuong "Victor", Rifleman, as he emerged from his own cryopod across the room. "Great, it'll be just like Alpha Centauri all over again. Seems that The Company™ was right to bring us along with the Marines after all, and not just being paranoid."
"So what is it this time, Ike?" asked the big hulking Ryadovoy Pavel Bukakhin, Heavy Weapons Specialist, "more blue-skinned furries for us to shoot up?" He giggled at the thought of it.
"Yes Pavel, you durak, we all know what your idea of 'shootink up the natives' is," muttered Demya under his breath.
"A bold assertion, Private Bukakhin," replied Ike, "though I must correct you on one point: it appears that the indigenous population of the Epsilon Eridani System are not in fact 'blue-skinned furries' as you have suggested, but are actually some form of Homo sapiens – humans, like yourselves."
Demya was quite certain it was the effects of the cryosleep that was making her hear things. "Uh ... excuse me?" she murmured.
But the looks on her fellow comrades' faces confirmed that she wasn't the only one confused or surprised by the news. Rosso scowled. "Hey, Aslan!" he called out, "you're the tech here, I think Ike's glitching again."
"Lieutenant Rasolski, I must insist that I am completely 100% functional," protested Ike, "the Company™'s Heimdallr-03 deep space probe shot this video footage that confirms that the inhabitants of Planets EE-L0, L4, and L5 are, at least externally, biologically indistinguishable from your own species. And while we have yet to validate the presence of any exo-Humans on Planet EE-L3, it stands to reason that whatever forces were responsible for the seeding of Homo sapiens and other Terran zoological and botanical life-forms on L0, L4, and L5 would have likewise have done the same for L3 as well."
For a few minutes, the team gathered around said nothing but stared on in disbelief at the holovideo footage that Ike pulled up and displayed. What the hell? thought Demya to herself, and a quick glance around her confirmed that the rest of her team was seeing the same thing too...
"Yebat' menya!" exclaimed Pavel, "that changes everythink!"
"Not everything," said Rosso, firmly, "who knows? Maybe there's a God after all. Maybe. But the mission stays the same regardless." With that, he reached down into the locker beside his cryopod... and pulled out his trusted Kalashnikov-9A rifle that he kept by his side at all times. He cocked it.
Demya knew of course that good ol' Rosso didn't actually mean to discharge an AK inside a spaceship; the cocking was meant more for dramatic purpose and to get everyone's attention...
"Alright little gurls, let's get moving!" commanded the Lieutenant, "it's time to show the Epsilon Eridani System... that the Arcturus Legion has arrived!"
"URA!" cheered the rest of the squad.
Footnotes: the other website features additional background information on The Company™ and the world of 2154 (not posted here on this website due to ... various reasons). However, I will occasionally include some of the relevant background materials in the footnotes to some chapters. The Arcturus Legion (Арктур Легион) is Earth's largest mercenary company, and a subsidiary of the Arcturus Corporation (Арктур корпорация), which is more or less the Russian version of The Company™. In this case, six Arcturus Legionaries and one A.I. have been secretly hired by The Company™ to act as additional security for this mission in addition to the UN Colonial Marines already included. I can imagine that a gang of ruthless Russian mercenaries (and some Polish, Vietnamese, and Kazakh mercs as well) are in for quite a few adventures here in Epsilon Eridani...
EDIT: thank you to my Vietnamese readers out there for correcting the spelling and grammar of Pvt. Vuong's name.
Also, to you readers out there who requested it, here's a quick list of the rough translation of Russian used in this chapter. Warning! Strong language...
1. Blyad'! = Fuck!
2. Yebat' menya! = Fuck me!
3. Durak = idiot
4. Kapitan = Captain
5. Leytenant = Lieutenant
6. Ryadovoy = Private
7. Ura! = Hurrah! (A cheer often stereotypically used in World War Two movies and video games featuring the Soviets. Now, remember that the Arcturus Legion are a private mercenary group, and they recruit members from throughout Earth and the Colonies... but they do have a distinctly "Russian Army IN SPACE!" feel to them...)