Ok everyone, It has been a long time but here is the next chapter after weeks of nothing. Hope you all Enjoy it of Man's Potential/ Ages of Change.
Chapter 8 - The Dark Past, The Bright Present and the Uncertain Future
'The Database'. Just as the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the Industrial revolution evoked a change in the ways of man, so too did the Database act as a new foundation for which humanity could create a stronger and more united society.
The Third World War was devastating to what man had accomplished in its lifetime. The biggest population centres were hit with only a few surviving due to interceptor systems and by the hand of fate preventing their destruction.
Without such centres of society and the danger of irradiated and toxic land now across the globe it seemed that all of humanities accomplishments and monuments would fade into dust for perhaps the next sentient species to debate and argue purpose over. But a saving grace appeared when several people from across the globe each discovered entrances to a number of complexes all over the globe. Some had been walking around the mountains looking for fresh and clean water to provide their new 'tribes' with while others had simply been curious and had chosen exploration over despair. Opening the doors was relatively easy as long as it was proven the other person was human, via voice recognition or hand print, but once inside the constant hum of machinery and electricity prevailed in the darkness. Upon entering the lights switched on each showing what appeared to be a large entrance lobby with enough room for several dozen people, causing many to head back and return with their families and groups they had met up with and explain their discovery. Some noticed then or later that at the very end of the room was a wheeled computer desk chair with a keyboard, mouse and several dozen flat screens set around it. Sitting in the seat caused the screens to activate. Coming up with a timer each displayed a different bird's eye view of various other countries, or as was the case now, lands with the words [WAITING FOR SIGNAL] in varying languages. Deciding that what they had found could be important some groups set up in the lobby area while others left scouts in case of any change on the screens. On one of the days, now known as 'Vox Day' day those who were there on watch duty noticed a persistent beeping coming from the screens and the words [PLEASE PRESS ENTER]. Pressing the button caused all of the screens to change to views of different people sitting in the different chairs and for the first time in what had seemed so long ago one kind of man met another. The button activating protocols so that each of the different explorers of the bunker's could see each other from the piggybacked signals of satellites that had gone quiet without the constant participation of people to put them to use.
Making some tentative greetings some asked if any of the groups they now faced had been the ones to set up the system they were now facing. When no one admitted to being the creators of the places they now found themselves in the question over why any one person or group would go to so much trouble for a simple teleconference suite when due to the way the World was now would make it impossible to do anything but talk. As the questions grew a new set of words flashed across the screen [ENTERING PHASE 1: INTRODUCTION]. Suddenly multiple screens opened up, those who knew anything about engineering understanding some of the basic technological concepts were cycling through until screen popped up with a smiling man in a white lab coat and the words [PLEASE SELECT LANGUAGE] appearing across the bottom. Upon doing that a video started out with subtitles for those who could not understand English in the language they had chosen.
"Greetings, hello and good morning, afternoon and night depending on where you are and what time it is right now wherever you are, if you are seeing this recording then it appears me and my fellow cataloguers did not make it through whatever disaster befell human civilisation. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Philip Oakfield; I'm sort of what you would call the PR person among our little group so I was selected to introduce you to our pride and joy: The Database. Many of you wonder what I am talking about well let me show you"
Suddenly a great big sound of groaning metal caused many to jump away from the chair. Off to the side though a door hidden in the walls had opened up, the smiling man once again began to speak.
"Apologies for the sound but we figured it would draw your attention. Now if you or someone with you can head in I will meet you downstairs. To those wishing to stay put please wait for the cameras to start up."
Some heading down others watched on their cameras before Oakfield changed appearances, seemingly a different recording. On their cameras people came to a room which hummed with many different towers of what people assumed to be computers from the blinking lights and sounds. Alongside them were hundreds of filing cabinets with the corridor stretching far off into the distance and branching off at various intervals. Heading down them a sound made itself heard from one of the cabinets before it opened up with a click, triggering the video of the man to begin playing again.
"Ah, I see some of you were curious enough to accept my invitation. If you will please check in there you will find the manual of prepared responses and further description by me, in multiple languages and dialects depending on your geographical location. You can ask the questions in there to receive answers. I'll see you then" before the screen featuring him disappeared into black again.
Checking inside came up with different questions. Most went to the first one; what was this place and what is the database? Though the third one underneath the second did say 'Where is the toilet?' prompting some laughter from those who read it,
The second brought up a map while the first brought up another screen displaying Oakfield.
"Well I hope you're ready for this because it is a complicated story. You see when the mass crises of the late 21st century happened so suddenly several distinguished individuals, myself included, began to worry about our survival and legacy. Sadly while most of the world's nations focused upon their zero-sum gain they once again seemed to be forgetting the bigger picture in favour of short term monetary advantages. Knowing this might lead to disaster I was contacted and did contact prominent and important people in many different fields across the world to help with what we believed would be the best chance of restoring humanity should it fall back into more savage ways; to this end the concept of a database, a collection of all human knowledge and innovation up to this point, was born. This, ladies and gentlemen, is our legacy.
Suddenly hundreds of lights activated across the various complex's people were in. Computers and screens hummed to life while various machines to allow the complex to be run started up to give fresh water and accommodations while the habitat areas were opened up for others to move into. Rooms filled with machines and devices starting from the basic forge of medieval times up to the latest in factory hardware. The various computers had dozens of workstations dedicated to letting people use them to access knowledge. Though certain information (such as biological, chemical or nuclear weapons) was impossible to get or view unless a member of a community could prove they could understand it at the level of professors or specialists in the field. All in all the various complexes were underground and near self sustaining homes for the different people who had found them. As time went on further interaction and communication was made with the different complexes.
Some thought they could use the discovery to their advantage and carve out new kingdoms or empires with each other and many even began conspiring with others to make them powerful and gain wealth, material and glory for recreating 'civilisation'. At least that was what was happening until a certain day when another screen switched suddenly on. The different alliances that were forming noted it originated in what was once the country of Spain. As the rival groups plotted the means by which to persuade this newcomer to their side the screen cleared from the fuzzy snow it displayed. On the screen was a little girl, no more than eleven and looking frightened and sickly with tattered clothing that looked like she had crawled through several miles of foliage. It seemed she had gotten a lethal dose of radiation as she already appeared to be losing blood and hair with her breathing coming out in ragged gasps. Looking at this girl the other groups watching found they could not look away from this sickly being; for just as greed and malice are human traits, so too is empathy and a desire to alleviate suffering. The girl talked to the screen for a few minutes and told them her name, René, and that she had been visiting her father before he was sent to bolster the front line from the northern areas of Spain just as the war went nuclear and everything that she had cared about had gone or died in front of her. With nothing else keeping her around she had been travelling for ages and had not found any other signs of human life and had begun to think she was the last one alive. Just a scared little girl on a screen who thought there was no one else. Just as she finished her story she began to cough violently and it seemed more blood was coming out of her as her face took on that of something from the nightmares of all of those watching the screens, their harsh rivalry and loathing of each other forgotten. As the girl started to gasp and cough even more violently she managed to breath out some last words to those watching.
"Please help me. I don't want to be alone"
After this she collapsed on the hard concrete floor of the bunker she was in, and never got up.
Even if some could not understand the words they could understand the meaning and evoked a new thought to enter the minds of those who saw it. They also didn't want to be alone and the first foundations of what would someday be known as 'René's treaty' was created between all of the different groups who agreed that with the trauma of almost total annihilation humanity needed to come together at such desperate times rather than divide itself.
The decision was made to form an institution to prevent the mistakes of the past becoming that of the future. The idea of creating not that of a united nation, nor a single culture or society but of a United Species given the common thread of an original home from which all societies, nations and states after it stemmed from. The Earth Alliance, humanity's unified government, was born.
The complexes were united are several were converted to act as the new symbols of humanity's unity. Each was tasked with helping humanity in some way through the advent of what many believed made humans the dominant species on the planet; invention, innovation technology.
Datacore 1 was given the duty of developing new defences and mostly weapons. Humanity had accepted that those without teeth tended to die first but it was also seen that having new weapons being made outside of the purview of governments just gave more chance for them to fall into destructive hands. While weapons companies could sell them and add new features it was illegal to sell any weapon without official approval from Datacore 1. While war had become almost non-existent due to the Earth Alliance it was seen that new weapons led to new devices which didn't have to be used for harmful purposes. When the Centauri had showed up and showed humanity the number of other empires in their part of the neighbourhood many were relieved as it was clearly discovered that if humanity hadn't continued their research into weapons and defences and instead have stopped creating them then they would have most likely fallen under the influence or have been outright invaded by one of the neighbouring empires.
Motto: "We know of restraint, it just doesn't apply to us"
Datacore 2 was established with the intention of healing rather than harming. Its purpose was to develop new medical techniques and treatments under a mandate to gain humanity an escape from the different diseases that had afflicted it. For this a health care system of Search and Destroy was created so that rather than let a disease run out of control it was quarantined and eliminated with ruthless efficiency. With the whole world now opened up from the Earth Alliance coverage of the planet new medicines derived from once little or unknown plants could be created and analysed for the first time. Private practise was allowed to encourage healthy competition and to reduce strain on the public services but certain criteria had to be met. One of them was that a doctor of any discipline could not go into private practice until their fortieth birthday and had to have spent a minimum of seven years in the public sector of health and medicine to allow sufficient numbers to always be present and prevent doctors either being quacks or simply flocking to the wealth. Though many did stay in the public sector due to the security of always being needed and a relatively steady pay check, through red tape was reduced by ridding the service of a need to fill a 'quota' of patients served of certain conditions to be replaced by a simple 'cure or treated' service alongside a directive to have a surplus of anything and everything so none were left without at least basic health. So with this Datacore 2 was to develop new ways to treat illness and damage to the human body. Their secondary duty was to also work on maintaining the health of the planet in general, though this was called secondary it's funding or support was not smaller than its primary duty; indeed several departments focused on dolphin development and scientific analyses were far larger than many of the more human focused divisions with entire campuses in the Datacore territory being devoted to environmental health studying and improvement.
Motto: "Your health is our concern and our lives"
Datacore 3 was the main headquarters of many of the more theoretical and less defined sciences of the Earth Alliances sciences. Whatever new theories and information on the universe and its laws in charge usually came from this place. Before a proposed technology was even constructed or tested what set its parameters and checked its viability usually began here. It was said that it had become the new Alexandria for its detailed and mass documentation made by those who worked there or sent there by the citizens of the Earth Alliance. Entire wings of advanced supercomputers and rumoured football pitched sized rooms for the different chalk board, with cherry pickers to reach up to gain access to the ones that ran to the roof. Maintenance of this facility came about by having a system in place that whenever the concept was pinned down for any new theory or technological and scientific breakthrough was the people who had discovered it be moved to a different empty wing with all of their data to continue while the old wing was brought up to the latest specifications to keep it all up to date, of course there were permits for keeping things the same but this was usually only given to those who had 'lifetime' commitments to their work and had proof that their work was valid and disrupting it by moving them would only be damaging in the long run. Very few projects of the EA began without first starting here, giving it the nickname 'the birthplace of research' or its more informal nickname of the 'Chaos house' for the Greek idea of the origins of the world and for the myth of the parties tacking place there being the most wild and uncontrollable, many who worked there said such a thing was baseless falsity but many an Earth Alliance Senator had gone in hoping to cut flack to save money and had come out with half a dozen scandals connected to him or her.
Motto: "Noli turbare circulos meos" (Latin translation of Archimedes supposed last words: "Do not disturb my circles")
Datacore 4 was where many things came together, technology and science from all disciplines had at least one representative at this Datacore. Anything deemed of less immediate importance of another Datacore's jurisdiction was done here while anything that a Datacore did not exist for was done here, including the entertainment and more basic technologies that were a part of everyday life began or could be found here. Set over a large land, equivalent to the state it once held a base too Arizona, the Datacore devoted huge resources to keeping the most advanced communications and computer technology so as to encourage inter-scientific study and innovation. When most technology or projects were in the final stages of its completion it was usually put into the jurisdiction of Datacore 4 to allow the many disciplines that made it up to analyse and study it, hopefully finding flaws and weaknesses not noticed and improving whatever was being studied in strange and usually useful ways, such as the Carnivorous GM plants from Datacore 2 coming in handy for base security for undercover ground locations in the vents, many falling prey to the Audrey's. Whatever advances the Earth Alliance made could be traced back or found through this department, giving it the title of the 'Heart of the Datacore's'.
Motto: "Jack of All Trades, Master of Any of them"
Datacore 5 was the main vehicular and 'craft' research and creation base. From spaceships to station's, fighters to even the modern day Magnet Ball Propulsion Devices (MBPD) that were in all ground vehicles whatever had an engine usually began, or at one time could be found, here. Actually set on the Coast and in giant caverns many of things that happened here were either used on the giant tracks of flat and other types of land, or underground for the secret and testing areas for different environments almost anything could be tested for any type of environment. In the caverns were massive antigravity generators and a small space elevator which led to the massive 'Redwood' class station above it where many of the more space based projects were carried out to protect secrecy and allow access to any ships that suffered mysterious malfunctions could be studied by those best prepared for the job and either correct it or find the flaw and fix it. This was usually the most public of the Datacore's due to the Elevator and the Station's noticeable presence but anyone who asked usually got the very basic answer of "Really Devoted Mechanics".
Motto: "If it isn't broken we'll build more. If it is we'll take it apart and make it better before building more."
Datacore 6 was where the larger and more time consuming projects began and were developed from. Hosting itself to the aptly named 'Department D' (Doomsday) it was here where the minds of the Earth Alliance looked and sought to be a part of the big picture, as well as other things of a large nature. While Datacore 5 worked on vehicles it was here where many of the 'Special Projects' such as the Pioneer Stations and the 'Europa Project' began and reported back to. Investigation and the development of Terraforming tools and methods was also one of its functions, having the job of not just destroying but creating worlds for humanity. While on the face of it appeared to be a place simply to show off great monuments to human ingenuity many things happened behind closed doors, the whispered about 'Narn Project' was one of the most closely guarded secrets but it had been said that members of the Khari from all circles had visited at time and come out full of good cheer and good things to speak of concerning humanity; over the years these smiles had been said to be growing. The nickname of this place was the 'Legacy Leaver' for it concerned itself with creating them so that even should disaster befall humanity it would be remembered, whether for good or ill.
Motto: "The 'Seven Wonders' were a start, we are the architects of their successors."
Datacore Seven had the honour of being the only new Datacore compared to the others which were expanded from the original Database Bunkers and Location's. Placed on the Moon it was here where man employed some of the more 'practical' lessons learnt from the other Datacore's and maintained a large quarantine and danger zone for some of the more 'temperamental' projects. It was here where many had dreams of nightmares about going or being assigned to. The most cutting edge technologies and projects were made and constructed here and it was the location of the 'Infinite Periodical Table Initiative' (IPTI) called home base, so many elemental discoveries had been made that many a scientist had taken to uttering the phrase 'we might as well make it more of a guide then an example' on the subject of the table. It also played defender and security for the most dangerous knowledge in all of the Earth Alliance, projects and information found to be too dangerous to know except for a select group of people whose job it was to find counters and create scenario's to better prepare humanity should the worst come to worst. It was often said that those who worked there were the only ones who could earn the nickname of being a 'mad scientist' and all others were posers.
Motto: "Eureka's our catchphrase. But the phrase 'Uh-oh' is part of our daily life."
As each of these locations strive to give humanity the greater chance of survival and understanding the universe. It is these places where he or she can be found to work to their greatest capacity and unlock the potential hidden inside every being. Lo' oh mighty ones despair should they ever be pushed or backed into a corner, lest they find out what mighty works are done in the brightest day and the darkest of night.
Asteroid M-80T (475L4873E), Asteroid Belt 3, Sector 45, Tirrith Star System, Hyperspace.
The year is 2230; Let the truth of Humanity's strength ring out across the stars.
The date is the 18th August. The time is 12:20 hours GMT
"Does anyone know what to expect when we get there?" Asked Captain Edward Yates, 3rd in command of battle fleet 'allied forces' L17 and 'head honcho' for this mission.
"We've got a basic view from our stealth probes; twenty capital class ships, full fighter escorts. Looks like they're fuelling up at this planetoid near the forth gas planet. Seems to be relatively well defended since it appears they've mined everywhere except a single 'safe zone' to jump into" replied Commander Soskevich, his long time friend, confidant and arch-enemy when it came to poker night.
"So no surround and squash?" Yates replied in a voice that sounded like a kicked puppy. It was well known to those who were close to him that he was a fan of that particular strategy. Simply put ships would surround a target and then use whatever weapons were available to pound the enemy into submission. A simple, yet highly effective tactic when facing a static enemy.
"Not unless you're in the mood to tell the fighter pilots and your fellow captains why now would be a good time to set their affairs and final wishes in order" replied Soskevich in an amused tone.
"Seeing as how causing a mutiny is not on my agenda today? No" Yates sarcastically replied back. Sighing he leaned forward to stare at the tactical screen as if it held the answer to the problem it displayed. After about 5 minutes he leaned back again with a smile on his face that while it didn't look like it had caught the canary seemed well on its way to getting there.
Soskevich, not being one to wait, broke "what are you suddenly so pleased about?"
Retaining the grin Cp. Yates replied "Well I was just thinking of a little divide and conquer. If we can distract the ships then we should be able to blast through the mine field without being shot by them and being caught in a massive mine death a la Dilgar."
"Might I ask how we accomplish that? Considering how many there are of us here they may believe in using defence rather than attack." Soskevich said. Considering that they outweighed and outnumbered their enemy it was a valid question.
"Well I was just thinking that we need only present an interesting and easy target to draw them away" Yates said.
"And what would be enough to draw their ships away and still survive being shot at and probably destroyed before escaping?"
"I was thinking a variation of follow the leader" Yates said while using the display to show a path he had typed out.
Soskevich looked at the display, then at his captain, then at the display again before speaking "You do realise that takes us into the atmosphere of the Gas planet sir?"
"Oh I do. It will be right where we want them"
"How do you propose we make them follow us?" Soskevich wearily replied.
"Simply put, we have them chase us and then try to outrun us" Yates grinned.
"Why would they suddenly be trying to outrun us sir?" Soskevich said as he contemplated an early retirement and immediate resignation possibilities.
"Because of the giant shockwave of fire heading towards them" Yates replied all matter-of-factly.
Soskevich didn't want an answer really but he did have a duty to fulfil "What Shockwave of fire?"
"The one we create by dropping some FAE-M-Type's (M-Type. For Moros, a Greek God of impending Doom. AKA Zim's for short and when used in coded transmissions) from our stores. We lead them into the atmosphere and just as they begin to turn away from being destroyed, we detonate them."
"And how do we also escape then sir?" Asked a nervous junior officer.
"We activate those jump engines we got installed and jump to some emergency co-ordinates we get from a probe and so we leave them behind to their fate"
Silence reigned for a few seconds before someone from the engineering department spoke up.
"Sir, I have heard many stories about you. I will admit that the ones about you being insane were actually some of the least I believed but there you go proving me wrong. The chances of surviving a Gas planet atmosphere jump to initiate a GDD are astronomical." Said the now pale Junior Officer.
"I would like to hear another option because that's going to be the only way to minimise our casualties I can see" Yates sternly replied.
"What about using some of our drones to fly through the minefield and prematurely detonate it?" Suggested the Chief Weapons Officer Cole Stevens, a tall and lanky black man whose roots were aborigine rather than African that many who met him assumed (which led to many 'abject' lessons being made on any who made the mistake when they asked him questions on some African cultural fact for a quiz or question).
"I considered that but our tech boys want this asteroid station intact and if the Dilgar forces get an indication of where we are before we can get close enough they will try and delay us with their ships while they evacuate and destroy the place to prevent us from getting anything in it or call in reinforcements, both of which are bad. With this plan we can make them underestimate us and weaken their defending forces so we can get in hard and fast with the Occam's to siege it and prevent them from escaping while we invade it using our troops to overtake it, from what we can tell this place plays host to many important scientists in the astronomic and logistic sectors. If we can capture them and get what they know to the League they will have a much better chance of preparing for any attacks" Yates said.
"I'm guessing it is also to impress the Navy to allow us to participate in the new-tech war games on soon?" Soskevich dryly responded.
"Damn Straight" Yates grinned.
"Oh well, at least we'll get to test out our new PARKER's" Soskevich sighed.
"I knew you'd see it my way" Was the reply with a dark chuckle added on for good measure.
The optimum word on the minds of the crew of the 'Leviathan'? We're Doomed!
The reactors official name was the Particle Accelerator Reflex Kinetic Energy Reactor (P.A.R.K.E.R.) Constructed to look like a sphere it was constructed out of hundreds of small cylinders that were made out of a powerfully magnetic material, Macguyverism Type 32 (Macguyverism as a whole had at least 42 different types that each fulfilled a seemingly 'impossible' task), and were connected with small balls of Macguyverism Type 17, which was an extremely strong but sensitive material that had been found when a massager with a degree in Atomic-chemistry had been working on a new way to increase the effectiveness of massage chairs. Connecting the two and delivering a small amount of particle (Protons and neutrons) energy into the construct caused the Type 32 MGS to bend it until it worked on an infinite loop within. As the particle's passed through the Type 17 MGS the electron's in its structure vibrated with energy, put the shape and energy form infinitely looping meant very little or none (the science house was still out on that) was lost. This energy was then passed from the construct into the ship and Voila, a new power generator.
Of course it wasn't perfect as the size to make the structure effective to deliver enough protons and neutrons into it to keep it going without being absorbed or bonding with anything gave it the size of a small suburban bungalow so it's use as a infantry weapon or fighter ship power source was out of the question but for ships it was a dream come true. Normally after so much research into quantum singularity's that had been done the next step would be how to turn it into a power source. This idea was dashed of course when the first proper establishment of a stable Stargate wormhole caused a communication's disconnection by subspace that no one at one end noticed and the other going into fits. The resultant reaction by Earthforce to send in armed forces for fear of a foothold led to an interesting new joke being created. "If a SWAT team bursts into the middle of a party and aims weapons at you, should they be allowed to join?" because the very same thing happened that led to many raised eyebrows and heads banging on desks.
So the need went out for a new kind of power generator and the newly christened Stargate Command, SGC, went back to using radio's and tachyons. With the PARKER a new affectionate name was given because of how it looked; the 'Magnetix's' on one side and 'Magneto's' on the other. It s success was noticeable as the use of a quantum singularity generator was at the best of times dangerous and temperamental since the destruction of where its output energy went could cause an overload as well as a possible self destruction from disruption to its container. A Magnetix generator on the other hand did not need serious containment since it only worked when stable and held together under its own being. Should its output be disrupted it could be easily vented off or diverted as it was a simple knock on effect rather than its main function. As such even with the destruction of the entire ship as long as the sphere remained stable the residual energy could keep it going for decades. A dangerous thing to fall into enemy hands but very useful as it meant the hardest part to make wasn't the hardest part to keep or regain.
The pioneer's were meant to be getting the installed soon but the sphere had to be tested under constant hyperspace conditions as the increased influence by gravity in the dimension could cause a disruption to its stability.
Meanwhile at Fendamir 2 (former territory of the Drazi Freehold and now under Dilgar occupation), Fendamir Star System, Real Space. A different aspect of man's military might stands ready to attack.
"Alright Meatbags listen up. We just got orders from the Star heads and we've got an orbital drop in the next ten minutes so suit up and prepare for the ride of your lives. No more simulations people this I promise you is the real thing. So say you prayers and please make good on all wagers before our decent into hell begins. You Got THAT!" Sergeant Fordman shouted to the assembled troops as they played poker or were surrounding the arcade machine at the back where a crowd had gathered to watch the two champions of MEch System VII played against each other.
"We hear you Sir!" came the shouted reply as the troops suddenly became less interested in what everyone around them was doing and started to suit up in their gel suits and uniforms to prepare for the drop.
"Good. I'll see you at the Pod hangar. Remember ladies and gentlemen once we touch dirt we'll be moving immediately and will be working for a long time to get these furries to back off. So if you need the bathroom I suggest you use it now and be quick. This Squads got Sector five as a landing zone so head to drop hangar seven for your orders on what to do. Good luck out there and always remember the first rule of the orbital drop pod handbook.
"Do your best to at least squash your enemy on your entry sir?" Asked a smart ass Lieutenant.
"And always remember that officers are worth more than a squad of privates. Alright then move out" Fordman shouted before moving on to his next squads living zone.
"Well that was interesting wasn't it 'Sparky'" Asked a teammate to his fellow ODAST.
"You've got that right" Replied Nathan 'Sparky' Mulhouse. A man of great standing Mulhouse was seen as a prime example of what an Orbital Drop Armoured Suit Trooper should live up to. He wasn't some plucky youth from the wrong side of the street and he hadn't been granted a small amount of luck with a dislike of authority and a charming streak. What he did have was an eye which could spot a lit match from 300 metres in the Desert sun and that was without his Mechcore issued bionic eye to replace the one he had lost due to an unfortunate pressure change while in training. With that his range practically tripled and allowed night vision, zoom and a HUD display on it to come into the equation. Everyone always assumed his name came from his eye which he had managed to actually create a small amount of visible electricity to appear on it when he activated the right cosmetic change to give people and evil eye of god but in all truth (and after severe amounts of alcohol) It was actually due to a guilty pleasure of watching old Database recordings of the Pokémon TV show. Something he had yet to live down.
"Think there will be any problems down there?"
Nathan smiled "As long as we think the guy next to us if a fool and we are well connected with our inner child then I think fate may just give us a break"
Eliciting a laugh from some of the more active Star Trek watchers.
"What about the little ship known as Enterprise" Someone said.
"Sure. If your want to think like a Star head vomiter"
Another laugh covered the crowd before they all went back to the little rituals one does before being put into the frying pan of a pod and being pushed into the fire of atmospheric entry.
Minutes Later 'Sparky' Was strapped into his Armoured Suit and preparing for an orbital drop into enemy territory. Deciding now was a good time for music as the drop pod's computer would be doing the work to get him to the ground he waited for the time to be right before activating a Database Music File (DBF) to pass the time, as the music started the rumble of the ship as it went into combat to get his and his brothers and sisters bodies to the battlefield also intensified as the first words were spoken over the strings of the music.
'Faith and Duty, Courage and Honour, all who love life Fear the Reaper'
As his drop pod was released the music began to intensify before settling down again, as his listened he felt his pod begin to deploy, preparing to enter the atmosphere it used its small engines to move closer to its drop position, as the shockwaves of ships dying hit his pod the music intensified for a short time.
'Only in Death does Duty End, even in Death I still Serve, If I must die I shall welcome Death, Knowledge is Power hide it well, ready to unleash Eleven Barrels of Hell.'
As the music and voices continued he could feel his ship beginning to enter the atmosphere of the planet he set up his transmitter to broadcast on a public Subspace signal, due to his role of being something to draw attention to the rule communication's silence was not applied to this particular part of the mission. As the music intensified so did the vibrations as he heard the pod begin its function of getting him down safe and not crisp fried, seeing the readings he learnt he was about to hit the main top layer of the denser part that kept the air on the planet inside of it.
'No Retreat No Surrender, Information is Power, WITNESS YOUR DOOOOOOOOOOM, Glory to the first man to die, we strike with wrath of the righteous"
As the music continued to get louder the first indications of atmospheric entry became apparent, he heard the pod around him begin spinning to remove the friction and get him down faster and safer (somehow doing both didn't make sense but it worked).
The Drop pod of the Earth Alliance was derived from the Warhammer 40k Space marine Drop pods as well as analyses of the whirlybirds of the plant world allowed a new means of delivering payloads to the ground safer. When the pod was dropped motors would start up a circular maglev system which caused the first outer shell on the pod to spin in a clockwise direction so that when the pod headed through an atmosphere the spinning force generated allowed the heat and pressure the friction generated to be thrown off. A second layer spun counter to those and through gaps on the first layer created an opposing force to not only keep the pod on target so it didn't spin out in an uncontrollable direction but also allowed the pod to develop drill of sorts in the sir. Removing the force in front of the pod and allowing it to remain relatively safe as well as fast and manoeuvrable. Even the magnetic field made by the maglev moving system allowed a small amount of fire on the pods to be thrown off, protecting it from any enemy's attempts to stop the pod before it reached the ground. When the pod reached the right height the layers would open up to reveal the actual unmoving pod (the layers worked from a solid base at the top of the pod to prevent the sickness of constantly spinning the drop may create) and blossomed out with parachutes and thrusters to either slow the descent or control the path of the pod in its final moments to hit its landing zone. Due to it being modular of course allowed the pods to be relatively expendable if need be.
As the Vibrations finally finished their intense shaking he heard the music lull from the last line.
'For the Imperium of Man, Only now are we Worthy, Witness My Power!'
As the music began up building again he did a check on his suit and made sure to double check it for anything amiss. He was headed into a warzone and it would do him little good to be caught flat footed. The music was not distracting, having worked under far louder conditions in machine shops turning this suit to his preferences and anatomy to allow comfort and usability to come together he noted his spectral imager was not properly aligned. While not significant for open ground combat if he had to endure city fitting it would to little good not to note something interesting like say a hidden weapon emplacement. Realigning it and doing one last check he heard a warning from the pod inform him that he was taking enemy fire, luckily few races ever considered the idea of deploying troops on a one-way freefall trip to the ground so it was doubtful they were prepared for them that well, any fighters would hopefully have their attention focused on the battle up above and any Anti-Fighter Cover or defences would hopefully not be ready for a few tonnes of 'Kreet' (A steel like metal, only 15 times stronger) heading straight down and not into any major instillation where he would doubtless come under heavy fire rather than the no-man's land below. As the fire intensified so too did the music, he'd read something about that years ago called synchronicity, on that thought the ground came up faster and faster.
'Lo, for the time is done my faith shines, I am ready to die for him, tremble before my wrath, take them now'
As the music gathered pace he checked his external screens as he and his fellow AS troopers begin their landing procedures, having their tops split off into four segments and old style thrusters and rockets with some pulses of ion engines create lift to slow them down.
'Strike true and strike with precision, for the Emperor, fall now for your end is at hand'
Feeling his pod shake he took manual control to steer himself down, seeing some of his Soldiers in arms aim at the clusters of troops on the ground he selected a less populated structure of a small outpost he had been told to destroy to prevent reinforcements from causing trouble, a Motor Pool. As he made the final few hundred feet he saw the ground fast approaching before finally hitting the ground heavily, right on top of a Dilgar equivalent of a tank. Throwing dirt, metal and fire all up and around him he listened to the final lines of the music.
'Despair for I am the end of days'
Looking up he thought of playing that line as he attacked but sowing confusion would be better than fear right now, thinking back on his interesting ride he looked up to what his sensors showed him, fearful looking and injured Dilgar deploying around the crater he'd made, checking his sensors of what was going on around him he couldn't help but agree with the music's last words.
'A New Stage Awaits'
Time to go to work.
Dor'Enzal was bored to tears. When the word had come out that the weakling League and their human pets had arrived in space in force he was expecting and attack any minute but he had been at his post for two hours and, while his training prevented him from showing it, he was starting to get bored. Setting himself up for another boring time he suddenly noticed the lights in the sky. Putting the binoculars to his eyes he saw the lights appeared to be flaming pieces of metal. 'Things must be desperate', Dor'Enzal thought while he suddenly pointed out the lights and screamed "Mass Drivers!"
Suddenly everything was moving quickly around him as he and his fellow troops went to work calling in the lights and hoping the AA fire was good enough to at least hit the ones about to hit them. When they didn't get anything but static on the communicator, things became desperate as the lowliest soldiers started firing blindly in the air to prevent the metals trajectory from centring on them. No such luck as the lights suddenly seemed to spread out in a pattern. Such wild and futile fire would usually be frowned upon and punished for wasting ammunition and losing discipline but the steady number of rising distress calls from orbit coupled with the silence of those meant to deal with aerial attacks could cause any soldier with the highest training to panic.
"What are they? Missiles?" Asked a worried soldier as he frantically reloaded his now empty weapon.
"I don't think so. They were moving too slow for missiles fired from orbit and to suddenly split now doesn't make sense since they're still falling from high orbit" The Squadmaster said, squinting at the lights as they descended more and more.
Any more comments were cut off as one of the metal lights suddenly seemed to aim for them. Dor'Enzal had only seconds before it hit so he and a few of the wiser ones ran or dived for cover.
A great crashing sound surrounded him as he heard several bodies' and parts fly past him and splatter around a few good metres from the epicentre. Getting up slowly he heard his Squad master order him and the other survivors forward to see what it was. Knowing that if it was a missile even if he ran Dor'Enzal moved with his land pack to the smoking crater. As he neared it a great sound of gas being released and a big thump sent a giant rectangular sized piece of metal crashing out of the crater and landed almost on top of one of his fellow soldiers who decided then and there to faint. Coming closer he heard a small thump come from it before a new problem entered into the already messed up situation he was in. A metal hand as large as a tank shell suddenly appeared on top of the crater. Aiming at it carefully he saw a small pad on top of a small raised part at the centre of the hand open up and what appeared to be a small spherical pod to rise up. Looking a bit close he noted it appeared to be a lens that seemed to scan all around the area before retracting back into its former location.
Preparing to fire at the hand which no doubt now knew their positions he saw the hand grip the dirt and an arm behind it appear from the crater. The same colour as the ground surrounding him he now saw three panels open up and three small cylinders that connected back into the holes they came out of. As if given the gift of precognition by a god Dor'Enzal tried to warn his fellow troops but it was too late as the three nozzles on the cylinder opened up in a terrible red fury and he heard screams of pain or thumps as bodies fell from the arms onslaught. Getting hit in the leg as he tried to dive away he threw as many grenades from his present position on the floor to destroy whatever it was that killing him and his pack mates.
Terrible gouts of flame and dirt came from the crater as they detonated and Dor'Enzal hoped dearly that he had managed to kill or at least injure whatever it was that had killed so many so quickly. No such luck as heard an even greater sound from the crater before and he saw a shadow and silhouette of something enormous come from the crater behind the dust the grenades had created. Out of that smoke and the falling debris came a nightmarish giant behemoth of metal that creaked and groaned as it stepped toward him. Raising its right arm the last thing he saw in life was the colour red from a hole on its arm.
Shin almost felt sorry for the Dilgar he had just blasted. He knew his suit was intimidating and he had made sure to record the troop's face before he blasted him but to die so easily without any chance of putting up a fight felt most unequal and slightly wrong to him. But as his training Sergeant always said 'the only fairness in war was when you and your fellow soldiers were still alive'. He decided to stop being distracted by his contemplation as he had a job to do. One of the main bases of operation was somewhere around this area and it was his and his fellow Heavy OD Troops duty to find it and shut it down; or in the case of his commanding officer blast it to tiny dust mite sized chunks. He wondered what he'd done in a previous life to be put with the very aggressive Major Pickaxe. Something to do with one of his past lives he was sure.
For a moment Shin marvelled at the new Armoured Suit that he was now in. While he had worked with its predecessors before he had always seen then as a bit slow or unwieldy in regards to an actual battlefield situation. Either the hydraulics or the metal joints reacted too fast and his aim was thrown off or they were tweaked to be less sensitive and acted too slow that he felt a bit like a he was underwater during his use of them. But these new ones used some thing's called magnetic plates in the joints which when switched on would have one plate face another with the magnetic force either attracting or repelling the opposing plates in the right locations in order to allow frictionless movement. This was done actually by having hundreds of small rectangular pillars underneath the plates that actually were the things magnetised as it allowed the plates to move against each other in a multitude of different directions by having certain areas of the pillars be charged one way while another set acted the opposite way. Limits to the movement of the limb in use were made in the form of non magnetic material so people didn't break their limbs by swinging their arm to far and the frictionless system allowed momentum to carry said limbs past their bendable limits. While at first it was a little jarring to get used to the sudden stop when reacting quickly to something but once the proper material was put in to soften the blow from then it was easy to train oneself to use it properly. As it was his suit was built like an onion with layers upon layers of his suit being devoted to a specific purpose and allow for certain ones to disconnect from the main body if it was needed to either get rid of a damaged part or lose weight to make a quick getaway.
Looking around he saw some of his squad mates begin to move out towards the location of the base, similar fields of destruction surrounded them and Shin once again thought about the bad luck the Dilgar were going to be having in the coming war. If he was to compare this to a setting then he and his fellow ODAST were the equivalent of trolls with the standard heavy infantry trooper being only eight feet averaging compared to his twelve feet they were more like Orcs or space marines in their size. Shin mentally shuddered at what might happen when the Dilgar came face to face with Earthforce's 'Giants'. He spent a moment wondering if they would be deployed on this battlefield and if he might be seeing them soon.
But, then again, his was not to reason why, his was to make the Dilgar die.
On that note.
Explosions suddenly tore all around him making it seem like someone had let off a Volcano under him. Hearing something over his comm. equipment he regained his wits to listen in.
"Repeat. Chavez is down. They're firing their artillery at our position and our suits aren't built to handle such heavy fire, at least not this powerful 'cause it looks like they're using their top end stuff, I feel so important. Get moving before we all find ourselves on the first lift to hell"
Hearing a note of assent across the line he made his own before looking to Chavez's position. Seeing nothing but a crater he made a prayer for a peaceful and good reincarnation in the next life. Until then he better get moving.
Switching to high movement mode he switched power from weapons to give him greater movement. Bounding along he could see his target. A hidden bunker that the Drazi had told EarthInt about and now would most likely be in the hands of the Dilgar occupying the planet. His team's job was to retake it and act as a rallying point for the incoming attack.
The house of the Warmaster of Dilgar Intelligence, Southern Hemisphere, Omelos, Early Hours.
Gek'hal knew something was wrong when he woke up without the lights switching on automatically. Over the years he had trained his body and eyes to react to sudden changes in the light. Missions of intelligence for the Empire sometimes required escaping and the chances of being allowed to get used to light for the first time after being deprived in captivity by ones captors or pursuers meant he had to train his eyes to adjust that much faster. Hence his security by making it so that when he woke up he could assess whether any enemies had infiltrated his house and cause enough disorientation from the sudden light to give himself the advantage.
With no lights he decided to get up very slowly, giving whoever had deactivated or overcome his defences the illusion that he was not fully awake and allow him to assess them without putting himself in danger.
These thoughts however became nothing but wishful thinking when he opened his eyes to find his bed surrounded from all sides. His door had two beings while even his window and the carpet where his escape tunnel was had the strange soldiers standing near them, cutting off all of his escape routes.
Faking a tired action he brushed some of his mane away to scratch his ear; one that seemed to suddenly lack the emergency transponder to inform the planetary security forces, as well as his own intelligence defence force that he was in danger and needed backup. Looking a bit more carefully he saw one of the soldiers raise its arm and allowed him to spot the small bean like object that was in its hand before it was returned to the beings side.
Suddenly realising how much danger he was in he took a closer look at the strange apparel and bodies arrayed around his bedroom. They all appeared tall and imposing, not wearing much other than black and what appeared to be green cloaks that shimmered as they were looked at. The armour appeared to be formed around the beings not unlike cloth and was pieced together rather than one solid piece.
When creating the SpecOps armour for their standard Worlder and Vulture forces the EA had to answer the question 'what do I need to make the most effective means of hiding my troops while still allowing them the maximum amount of efficiency in completing their mission?'. The answer came through inspecting the database and finding several good designs to base the new SpecOps armour off of. The first to be chosen was design of the Kull armour the troops of Anubis wore in Stargate SG-1 with the helmets being favoured for their intimidating appeal as well as the idea of energy absorbing armour. This was made by creating an armour which was layered internally with particles of 'Teslanium' whereby its natural state was always in a state of flux which would cause it to always 'shed' protons and neutrons while keeping a stable electron base, giving 'Teslanium' the moniker of the 'impossible jigsaw' particle due to its constant missing pieces. This of course allowed it to take on new protons and neutrons allowing it to act as a sort of shield to absorb energy fire; sadly while the idea would have been useful for ships Teslanium weakened when forced to endure high speeds and strong enough G-forces caused it to break down and in large enough quantities it tended to weaken the atomic structure of whatever material was nearest making it dangerous to use as a building material. The reason why it was not used for the average Worlder or infantryman was due to its more dangerous habit of exploding when overloaded with so much energy that it couldn't get rid of it fast enough; so while a soldier on a battlefield was expected to be attacked with a lot of fire, increasing the chances of the Teslanium becoming overloaded and leading to a fatality, the SpecOps and Vulture forces had less chance due to them being expected not to fight a major enemy force and so have to endure less weapons fire.
The next idea for the armour came when looking into the fictional race known as the Elder from the Warhammer 40k game; specifically their 'Rangers' and the chameleon cloaks used to blend into the background as well as the armour they wore allowed flexibility while also providing full sealed protection. The wrist mounted weapons were also developed to be modular, allowing a range of different devices, from grappling hooks to scanners and darts to trackers making the wrist areas very versatile and could cater to a number of different mission profiles and user needs. The boots and gloves were magnetic but they also had hundreds of static hooks inspired by the arachnid and reptile families of Earth allowing even non-magnetic material to be fixed onto; it was safe to say that should anyone intend to attack EarthIntel HQ or the Roost in order to attack someone or something they should be prepared for sudden shouts of "Death From Above!" before losing consciousness. The boots also incorporated a flexible heel spring for the more speed demanding missions allowing greater jumping distance and height as well as increased speed; incorporated from one of the 'additions' made to their armour made by the Worlder company known simply as 'Jack's Jumpers' who had a special recruitment requirement concerning the ability to both long-jump and high-jump at a near Olympic level before being accepted into the company. Due to their habit of doing both to the extreme they were usually deployed in mountainous regions to put their talents to the best use, it was even said they had secret award's among them over who could jump the grand canyon (known as the Dukes of Hazzard award) and jumping the caldera of a volcano (known as the Be Nimble award) but no internal investigation had turned up anything save for a few reported instances of nausea from 'investigation' of the company's equipment.
The armour itself was many different pieces fitted together so instead of the 'crusader' and 'knight' full plate armour for an average soldier it was more of a 'Samurai' type armour which allowed greater flexibility and coverage, covering up any emissions from the suit to better stealth the wearer. The chameleon cloaks were a relatively new development which used a high powered camera and the latest in photographic technology that would 'sample' the colours of its surroundings and cause the filaments in the cloak to mimic them or take on a predetermined 'look' to blend in. While this wasn't a full cloak as it couldn't completely blend in with surroundings of varying colours and shapes it did allow the user to slip by unnoticed or escape detection if used properly; 'Shadows are my ally, nature my companion' was the motto of the chameleon cloak.
In the end the final product gave of something of a pseudo-insectoid appearance. A high coned head from the elder combined with its mandible mask form the Kull as well as the chitin and organic looking armour, making it seem like it was actually the wearer's actual skin in the form of an exoskeleton.
Which led to Gek'hal's first assumption of the being's around his bed being Gaim.
Gek'hal knew that the Gaim had some of the best ground troops due to being able to simply grow them tailor made for a specific purpose, something he had heard Jha'dur was working on with her retroviruses to create superior troops. Gek'hal took it as a blessing that she wasn't making much progress due to an apparent set of genes which were present in all Dilgar that seemed to prevent forced changes, destroying the organism that had its genes changed through unnatural means. Jha'dur believed them to be intentional rather than a simple evolutionary quirk and had devoted many resources with the intent of finding the key to bypass or control the genes but the war was causing her to focus more on destruction than creation. Gek'hal just worried over what would happen should she be successful and start creating 'superior' Dilgar which could lead to civil strife and perhaps even a war of simple survival. On the subject of survival he was impressed that these soldiers had been able to beat all of his houses and planetary defences without setting off an alarm.
Unfortunately this would most likely be the only time he would be allowed to contemplate the effectiveness of these beings if they were here to do what he thought they would be doing. When he saw one raise its hands he was prepared to face death, shutting his eyes and making his peace before the inevitable pain and silence; his only regret being unable to finish his plan of ensuring his species survival.
What he didn't expect was to hear a hissing noise, causing him to curiously open his eyes and see the apparent head, now understood to be a helmet, of one of the beings in front of him being taken off. What came as the bigger surprise was the pink skinned face that was staring back at him.
At first he thought it was some imperial agent of the Centauri, sent to kill or capture him, though the removal of the helmet, thus creating a weakness, might be a sign of harmless intent which might mean that they were only here to deliver a message; most likely along the lines of 'stay out of our of our business/territory' or 'we won't get involved provided you offer the Republic/My Patron a boon'. Since he was the head of intelligence he would have the best chance of delivering these messages or knowing where the bodies were buried should leverage be needed, not something he was going to give willingly mind.
'Well maybe Jha'dur' Gek'hal thought. It would be a good day when that maniac was put in the nut house rather than being provided a powerful position to go nuts with.
On that thought however his further scrutiny of the individual in front of him reduced the chances of these being Centauri low. For one Centauri agents usually preserved something of their hair crest, it was usually the lowliest or disliked Centauri males that had short ones but in this case the hair of this being was cut short not enough to be seen a s a female Centauri, but in a military fashion with only the smallest amount of fuzz being present upon its scalp, or his scalp since the features implied a male rather than a female.
The second clue was way he and his fellow soldiers held themselves. There were two ways beings acted when faced with a potentially dangerous situation, one was that of a predator and the other was that of prey. From personal experience dealing with, as well as reports on Republic Imperial agents they almost always acted in the predator category, save when in a desperate situation; always focusing on their objectives and acting like they were on a hunt. These being's however acted in a very prey like manner, constantly checking their surroundings, and while to the untrained eye were unmoving, held the nervous energy of being ready to take action, offensive or defensive, at a moment's notice.
The final clue to his unintended 'guests' identity and proof of them not being Centauri came when he realised that not one of them had said anything since he had awoken. All Centauri, when given the chance, tended to speak on and on unless someone stopped them, an action which sometimes required more force than should be necessary, and it seemed that being in love with one's own voice was hardwired into their genes. This led him to the inescapable conclusion that they weren't Centauri and since there was only one others species that possessed mostly hairless pink flesh other than them he concluded that these beings were in fact human's.
Deciding to try and find out what these beings were here for Gek'hal decided he had to be the one to open communications, being the diplomatic being he was he started in the best manner possible.
"What kind of sick freaks watches a man when he's sleeping?"
For a person who was both tired and fearing for his life he thought that was quite articulate.
A chuckle arose from some of the beings around him before being silenced by a hand from the one without his helmet.
"I realise that we came in a bit unannounced but me and my superiors felt that such announcements would not be in our best interests our beneficial to me and my people's health. Apologies for bursting in like this but I'm short on time and doing this by vid-link wouldn't create too much trust, something I am going to need Warmaster. Plus you are a spy at heart and they love surprises don't they?" The supposed leader inquired with a cocked brow.
"Only when we're the ones doing and not the ones receiving" Gek'hal calmly shot back.
"Yes well I'm afraid we can't really give you that honour I'm afraid. The fact is Warmaster I have been given orders to open communications with you and only you, for the matter of high-level security we have taken steps to make sure our conversation remains private"
"And what would the Earth Alliance want of me? If you know anything about me you will realise I would sooner commit self-death than allow any secrets I hold to an enemy. You come here unannounced and surround me with weapons so I suppose I have no choice but to listen to what you have to say and what your purpose here and with me is" Gek'hal sardonically said.
"What I am Warmaster just might be...Your salvation. For the purposes of trust I am to be your liaison, my name is Jack, Colonel Jack McNeill of the Earth Alliance Special Operations division" The now named Colonel replied. Leaving out that was his public identity and his actual title was Vulture 'Scavenger' Colonel Jack McNeill.
"Colonel? I hear that is a high position in your people's military. So tell me why I should listen to you and trust you?"
"As I said, I am here to give your people the chance at salvation"
ation from what? In case you haven't noticed my people are taking territory everyday against the paltry efforts of the League to defend themselves, even with your help" Was the snide reply.
"Salvation from this" McNeill replied before taking out an actual paper folder (an unused material due to the spread of electronic equivalents) and handing it to the Warmaster.
Looking into the folder while keeping an eye on his surroundings he noticed it had been translated into Dilgar characters and language. Studying it he found it to be a scientific report on a star. What really drew his attention however was the thermal and atomic graph and photo of the star with the words 'Death/Nova Event Imminent. DANGER' plastered all over it, and that's when he realised that this was a report on his homes star, the humans had discovered the secret only known to the highest members of the Dilgar Military and Civilian leaders.
Shaking as he put the report down he glanced to the Earthers before gathering his voice and thoughts.
"So you have found our greatest threat, why are you showing me this?"
"To show you that we mean business Warmaster. Our analysts tell us this Nova event will happen very soon, practically in a muscle movement of galactic time, we are talking single digit years, and it will completely incinerate and obliterate this planet and the system will be devastated. I don't know about you but my people have questions for why you're are making war rather than doing all that you can to protect your species existence. While taking territory in war may give you a place to go, unless you start mass evacuations soon you are going to have nothing to send to that acquired territory. We could give this to the League and make it worse for you; they would intensify their efforts and may even spread word of this problem to the public. After all, it's always easier to fight someone when you know they have only a short time left before they have nowhere to fall back to." McNeill replied in a serious tone.
"Why me?" Gek'hal could only reply.
"We weren't sure at first, we thought about going to your leadership as a whole but we believed that such a thing would only delay the inevitable and cause more internal strife than you need right now. That changed when we discovered and interrogated several of your agents that had infiltrated our space, rest assured should this relationship work out they will be returned with little to no long lasting damage, but during the interrogations we discovered many things. Such as your own plans to actually do something to save your people, such pragmatism is recognised and rewarded where I come from so here we are."
"How was it you were able to reach me in the first place?" Gek'hal inquired.
"In a way it was simple really. You see we have a saying where I come from. Amateurs study strategy, dabblers study tactics and professionals study logistics. In the business we are a part of Warmaster it changes to being amateurs kill, dabblers blackmail and the professionals bribe, turn and trick. Rather than kill and replace leaders with our supported ones, or use leverage over someone's head we merely bribed someone through third-party contacts to do what we want. Greed and a no-consequences attitude or a lack of threats can make a lot things easier for people like us let me tell you. Using this philosophy we merely bribed those whose job it is to set the monitoring schedules for your systems sensors. Oh and don't think you can find out who they are and replace them should you reject my offer, if we fail once we just try the next guy in his position. Everyone has a price and we'll always look far wide a deeply before trying again. Anymore questions?"
"Yes, why would you be so willing to help me and my people? To assist my people even though we are causing such destruction" Gek'hal morosely said
The Colonel known as McNeill sighed before reaching into one of the pockets hidden on his belt and drew out a data crystal; throwing it to Gek'hal who looked at curiously.
"What is this?"
"Most would assume this is where I would give you a story or explanation of our basic legal tenets and belief's, perhaps to show off our 'superior' philosophies or ability for compassion. That, on the other hand, I think explains things much better." McNeill explained.
"What is on it?
"It is a story that concerns how desperate man could be if it was pushed, how viewing and obsessing over an enemy and portraying them as monolithic is detrimental, it tells of the sacred nature of the individual and the perverse nature of the mob."
"I don't understand" Gek'hal said, honestly confused but wanting an explanation for this person and his people's motives.
"The story is both wrong in a respect and all too right in another. It talks of how a species is genetically coded to only focus on its survival first before anything else. But to me, and others, the moment a species can kill itself it proves we have moved beyond our basic animal nature. Become more than the simple injured member of his pack or group who falls behind to ending our own lives by our own will for the sheer nature of life itself. I'm paid to do the dirty work Warmaster, but I'm quite sure that if any of our people became as desperate as the people you read about in that text, I would be first in line to shoot them. A quote best describes my feelings on such desperate men and that is 'For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?' Responsibility is passed on, it is not to be thrown on the shoulders of those unprepared for them when we tire of the burden, your compatriots and contemporaries lousy idea of the Dilgar Empire reviving itself on the burnt and dead world's they leave behind being the case in point. All beings have potential Warmaster; we'll do our best to live up to ours of doing that which is best for not just us but others as well. You should think about doing the same. Now me and my men must be going, here is a contact device, don't worry it can't be monitored or detected but don't open it cause it will self-destruct, but we'll be in touch and come back in a week for your answer in regards to saving your people without needing this senseless and desperate war." McNeill said before he signalled to his fellow soldiers and placing his helmet back onto his head and moving off while fading into the background of the room and leaving through the door in a coordinated fashion.
Gek'hal contemplated the beings word's, wondering whether he should be a traitor to his people in order to save them or reject the offer for help and continue on with a dangerous game that had just become even more tenuous if what the human had shown him fell into League and the public eye. Hoping to find perspective from the human he loaded the data crystal into his own private terminal, a text file opening as it loaded; and on the front of that text from something of fame came the very first words. Ender's Game.