Stellar Dawn is an MMO videogame by Jagex Games Studio.

This was my entry for Jagex's Stellar Dawn short story competition, held over July/August 2010.

The basic competition rules were that the story had to be based on one or more of the six pieces of concept art that were available for Stellar Dawn at the time. There was also a 500 word limit.

Other than the concept art, there wasn't much else known about the game's universe during the competition, so authors had to generate their own places, characters and events.


Nemesis II

By T.A. White

Inspired by Stellar Dawn's City and Ground Assault concept art (available from Stellar Dawn's official website).


FRONTIER COMMISSION BLACK BOX 514. ISSUE COMMAND:

log, final, captain etay

ACCEPTED. LOADING...

FOUND. ISSUE FORMAT:

voicew

INVALID.

voice

ACCEPTED. LOADING...

FOUND. COMMENCING...

"Indigo City is my home. I was born there. I played in its dark depths, and was schooled in its dizzy heights. I met my soul mate in the New Sierra Madre, on a lazy afternoon beneath our sun. Yes, the mountains do fall within the city's jurisdiction, despite what you might have read.

"I trained at Wildore, the FC's foremost military academy, in the heart of Indigo. There I was inaugurated as captain of the Compile. Perhaps you attended the ceremony in the extravagant Staves Ballroom? I remember the neon champagne, and crystal chandeliers adorned with jewels from many a beast's belly.

"But more important than any of this, Indigo is the hub of our interstellar empire. When Sol's economy collapsed, leaving Earth and her colonies in ruin, we reached out, discovered my system, my planet. We burrowed, harvested, and seized our new fortune. It was the only way. We built Indigo, the icing atop the saviour of the human race. And my life began.

"I do what I do for Indigo, and so for all of us."

153 SECONDS OF NEGLIGIBLE WAVE AMPLITUDE. FORWARDING...

"No one should find this log. My superiors said the flight recorder wouldn't survive a brown dwarf. A small part of me hopes that one day, someone will find it, and know the truth. If you are that person, and my wife is still alive, please tell her that I love her.

"In ten years command will no doubt reach this conclusion, but here it is, anyway: Nemesis II exists. Our system is binary. The star is wreaking havoc in the Oort cloud. We got lucky with Sol, but not this time.

"So, yeah. Significant probability of comet-induced mass extinctions. We've maybe got a few thousand years yet, though Anders had been known to make mistakes. I wonder what Indigo will look like come then?

"If you're listening to this, well done, you're now the hottest shit in the universe. You should probably dump the recorder's databank and retrieve everything we had on Nemesis. Or throw it away and hide, and pray the FC don't come looking for you.

"They could change their mind, I suppose, in a few centuries. Decide humanity can live without this system after all. It would save many lives, though looking on from the afterlife, I'd be sad to see my city abandoned.

"Then again, it would take an exodus unlike anything ever attempted. And where would they go? Not to Sol, that's for sure.

"Well, there you have it. My crew is dead, as ordered. My sincerest apologies to their families. All that remains is to pilot Compile into Nemesis.

"Goodbye, Neristo. Goodbye Indigo. Keep shining. Etay out."

END OF LOG.

Stellar Dawn © 2010 Jagex Ltd. Nemesis II © 2010 T.A. White.