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Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:01 pm
by The Shadowscythe
A few short hours of sleep, a speed shower and brisk re-run of the coming plan of events later Kialya, Harkins, Quaram and larissa found themselves being marched through the medicea ship by a singular faceless marine. This had been the first time since her graduation that she had seen one of the emperors personal marines, hand picked from the best of each individual marine units - the emperors personal corps numbered only 1000 strong, but where well known for being the best soldiers of the Scythian Empire. She looked across his uniform to the purple sash woven into his uniform, the service laser pistol at his side, the creaseless uniform amd berret.

Then she looked across to the others, and then to herself. Even in her best service uniform amd the others in their BDU's she was picking out invisible creases and imaginary faults. Then her mind wandered to the mechanical footsteps that she drummed along the ships hull with each step, the fact that she somehow knew that the steel plate floors had a temperature of 12 degrees celsius, the fact she could feel the innate changes in the ships gravitational field, or the gentle fluctuations of thrusters firing. Her beartbeat was racing, and then she focused every thought in her being on not sweating, or breathing too hard, or vomiting, or passing out, or doing anything that involved anything but standing still in front of the emperor of the scythian empire.

As the group entered the teleportation room, she cursed her train of thought as she stepped onto the podium, she tried to focus her thoughts on the here and now as she missed the marine utter phrases into his comms array about dropping shields and confirming identities and other missed words about incoming transit when the world turned to white.

And then returned to black as her eyes focused and adjusted to the light of the room. Huddled figures around distant panels as holograms relayed the state of the universe to officers and generals throughout the room. In the centre of the room a gaunt figure stood alone next to a massive holographic dais watching over a distant battle from a far corner of the galaxy.

As she approached she could see him dimly illuminated in the raw light of the room, picking out details like the thin-ness of his cheeks, the sheer number of gray hairs on his head, the sullen eyes, the scowl on his face. Every detail was the opposite of the man they thought they all knew, the Emperor. As much a symbol as a leader, he was born to embody the best and brightest side of the empire, following in the footsteps of those behind him. This man however, looked old before his time, as if some unseen force had been eating at his very soul.

He turned to them and stood forward, and their training took reflex action as they stood to salute. The dried husk of a man didn't even flinch as he motioned them at ease with a flick of the hands and a lowering of the shoulders as he spoke.

"I am sure you have a lot of questions, but we simply don't have the time for them. I have picked you for a mission of the highest importance, and this fleet has far too few officers and combat ready marines that we can spare." The Emperor spoke as he turned his attention to the dais behind him.

Harkins spoke first, getting straight to the point with the flair that only a marine could "whats the mission sir?"

"Intelligence, and assassination" he replied without so much as moving his stare from the floating image as it resolved into the face of a man whom none of them recognized. Assyrian like features, a cutting jawline, piercing eyes that seemed to be miniature black holes recessed into his skull and cropped black hair.

"This man is Karsus, a luitenant under the command of Lord Hearcer Kronus - the man who has moved into the position of defacto Emperor in my place. This man, of our intelligence is correct - is now running every major S.O.N.I black operation on this side of the galaxy, and personally murdered Lord Shadowscyrhe some time ago" The Emperor casually lied through his rehearsed spiel, taking note of the brief flash of memory and disappointment on Kialyas face as he created the illusion of his death.

"I am sending you back home, back to the homeworld - with new identities thanks to our few links inside S.O.N.I, to infiltrate his operations, and relay as much information as you can - and then kill Karsus to put a pause to his operations for long enough for our other insiders to put them down." He continued as the group looked on in silence.

"Once the operation is complete, you are to return to the fleet via a set of secondary co-ordinates for your next mission" he finished his briefing before he let out a long, strained sigh and turned to the group as an ensign emerged from somewhere in the shadows with a dataslate that displayed an inventory of items, starting with boarding instructions for a small civilian trawler docked in the ships lower hangar bay, Kialya had just a moment longer to read through the list as another of the Emperors personal marines came across to usher them to a distant exit hiding in the shadows of the room.

The group continued through the ship in relative silence as they passed through darkened corridors and walkways lit by emergency lighting as crews from a dozen different races went about retrofitting the ship with technologies they only half-recognised, Assyrian, Immortal, TSOC, Falk, Bavarian, Trattorian and even Preatorian and Britannian technologies of every type and use where being hurriedly installed into the beating heart of the flagship of the Scythian empire at a pace that was seemingly eye-boggling to any outsider to the ship. The message from all of this was clear, the ship was being prepared for something - something big.

Something major, and from the state of the work clues she could see, the bags under their eyes, the hushed tones, the sudden glances and haphazard words across workzones. It was going to happen soon.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:33 pm
by The Shadowscythe
Only when the group approached the hangar bay did they feel as if they could speak out loud as they moved through the hustle and noise of the open floor, watching crews tend to ships and fighter craft from every race known to Scythia as they approached their designated docking zone.

"So i guess this our ship" Harkins spoke aloud as the group set their eyes on the blocky form of their new vessel and home, an older generation Scythian civilian freighter. "Lets have a look at the ships registration" he said as he looked across to Kialyas hands to the dataslate "the . . . 'Mercury Summer' . . .official designation of Q-ship 317."

He looked back up to the ship with a distinct look of surprise on his face "Woah, a real Q-ship. I thought they phased these out years ago."

Kialya looked across to him and then to the ship as she looked on the hull in a new light.

"What is a Q-ship?" Larissa asked aloud as they approached the ships loading airlock as it opened before them on hydraulic booms.

"Older generation of ship, back about 50 years or so ago when pirata where still a problem, they would lie in wait at known jump layoff points and attack civilian freighters for their cargo and jump out again before help could arrive. The main problems for us was that FTL-comm systems where only in their infancy back then, any ship outside of a star system was effectively on its own until it reached its destination, radio signals would take generations to reach another world. So no one would know a ship had been hit until another ship jumped into its wreckage. On top of this, our FTL drives are instantaneous point to point transition - untraceable. Not like other races using Warp or Hyperspace based engines to achieve FTL. You don't know if a Scythian ship os about to arrive until it jumps in, and you cannot track one leaving unless you put a physical tracking beacon on its hull." Kialya spoke aloud to the whole group at once as they moved into the ship, taking note of the internal layout and systems "Q-ships where military vessels designed to look like civilian trade ships, hiding heavy weapons inside the hull. They would jump with groups of civilian ships and provide fire support, or travel as a wolf-pack for pirata ships to attack and wipe out the entire group at once."

As they approached the ships second floor they passed by their crew quarters and armory, revealing a room full of firearms, armor and five full suits of SIBAS power armor. Through the next rooms they passed a room full of targeting computers and weapons screen before they reached the bridge and all moved around the doorframe across the small, functional room of holographic screens and displays that would have been at home on any other frigate in the Scythian navy.

The dataslate in her hand buzzed slightly and she looked down to see a data transfer from the small glass pane in her hand to the main view screen in front of her.

Information slowly unpacked itself from compressed files into a full list of instructions. Which Quaram began to paraphrase aloud.

"So first we jump to the outer colonies and pose as a civvie ship until we jump to the home system stop points in the oort cloud and then slow boat our way to Scythia? Man this shit sucks. Thats gonna take us a week!"

"Only way to avoid system security Quaram" Kialya said aloud "We follow the rules of the system, its the home world - the only system guarded as heavily is Rigel Kentaurus." She said as she set the dataslate down.

"Looks like we get to spend a bit more time together, so get your gear stowed and prep this ship to leave" she said as she shifted into officer mode, taking command again for the first time since Ereberus Three.

"I want this ship ready to leave within the hour, so get to it marines" she ordered, as the others left the bridge and left her to her thoughts.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:06 pm
by The Shadowscythe
An hour later the crew of four found themselves sat at their stations as the ship was being lifted from its docking pad by the vast system of mechanical arms and transfer systems above and moved over the vast maw in the belly of the ship, an open space that was protected by a layer of advanced shields and forcefields holding in the atmosphere from the void of nothingness beyond it.

Moments later the ships thrusters kicked in as Quaram moved the ship away from the fleet as he readjusted himself to the controls of the ship as he maneuvered past the hulking form of a Trattorian battleship and past an aging Scythian Monarch before passing through the outer picket of frigate and destroyer class vessels until eventually the Mercury Summer found itself alone from the fleet. Both Harkins and Kialya watched the screen as the previously all-encompassing fleet of behemoths several thousand strong became a cloud of lights and shapes - a vast line of vessels with so many lights they came to match with the stars themselves, a miniature galaxy of vessels.

The four souls each wondered when they would return as they watched the glittering lights drift into nothingness as the ships FTL core began to spool up the drive system with a familiar hum, Larissa spoke aloud through the motions of an FTL jump as the world flashed into white light and stretched into infinity as the ship vanished in a flash of particles and exotic matter.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:30 pm
by The Shadowscythe
At the same time as the Mercury Summer made its FTL jump away, a conversation between a man tired of life and a machine that only half-belonged in its home space/time continued on as it always did since the pair had been united, in an ever continued tag-of-war with each other and reality itself.

"Yes, I know I lied again. You think by now i don't know that?" The Emperor spoke aloud to his counterpart.

"Of course. But the risks you are starting to take, regardless of how calculated." The machine known as Entity paused for a moment "eventually one of them is going to convulse. We are reaching the critical point. What happens beyond this cannot be foretold"

"Then we will have to continue with the plan until its bloody end!" The Emperor spat at the machine in an insulting tone.

The pair remained silent for a moment until he eventually spoke again "What is the status of the virus?"

"Uploaded to the Mercury Summers backup computer systems. The moment it jumps into the Scythia system it will upload itself and unfold through the system datanets. Within 72 hours we will have complete control of the defence net systems."

"And the Spirit of Ragnablok?" The Emperor asked aloud as he worked his thoughts through the final stages of a plan that had been years in the making.

"The reality drive is almost complete. The other enhancements are in place, the crew is prepared. All we need now is to wait for the other stages of the plan to come to completion." Entity replied with an almost drawl like tone.

"So how much longer do we have?"

"Weeks. Mere weeks remain." It replied again "the end of the multiverse is almost here."

"And the convergence event itself?" He asked, he already knew the answer but he secretly hoped that somehow his multitude of bluffs and power plays had changed the outcome.

"Scythia orbit." The machine replied as he swallowed his dread, trying to halt the feeling of bile in his throat. "It has now become a fixed point in time and space. It cannot be avoided"

He turned his eyes down to the floor and turned his gaze to the men and women on the bridge and then his thoughts to all of those both under his command and those caught in the ensuing storm.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:14 pm
by The Shadowscythe
On the homeworld of Scythia itself, beneath the bustling cityscape and arcology towers, beneath the industrial sectors and factory floors, beneath the merchant sectors and endless miles of roadways, beneath the undertowers or the Scythian palace - a vast catacomb of tunnels and hangars that had been disused for over a century had been turned to a new purpose as officers, troopers and technicians roamed tunnels with crates of equipment and machinery.

At the core of the nexus, the very heart of the operation stood Lord Hearcer as he watched over the first stages of his own plan coming into place. He watched as the small hoard of the office of naval intelligences best walked in a group of hooded figures and forced them into a series of upright restraining beds that held them face up as the bolts around their arms and legs tightened into place.

He watched with a look of grim satisfaction on his face as the beds then lifted upwards by mechanical arms and the floor beneath them opened up slowly to the abyss below, revealing a darkness that extended down to the aperture below, something his best and brightest scientists had named the "convergence point". Whatever it was could not be explained using conventional science - but it had been slowly weaponised over the course of weeks to become the device he had been aiming towards since the beginning. His ultimate weapon.

He looked across the room to the white sealed pods that stood like coffins around the room, hooked up to a connected system of cables, tubes and ports - he watched the straining lines of purple energy grow and expand around them before feeding towards the open hole in the ground until eventually it became a wave of energy that fluxed the room until it became a shaft of purple light that pulsed up towards the ceiling and washed over the hooded figures, starting slowly as they writhed against the lights and sounds that forced their way through the hoods as the hidden men and women panicked against their bonds, struggling more and more against the eldritch power that surrounded them.

Until it started to eat at their minds, their sanity, eating chunks of memory away.

A first kiss destroyed.

A first day of school eradicated.

Graduation days.

Sunrises and Sunsets.

A mothers face.

The smell of freshly cut grass.

A fathers scorn.

Slowly but surely the figures stopped writhing, stopped resisting as their minds where rendered blank - every aspect of individuality deleted and replaced with new ones, blank slates for the will of their Emperor. Lord Hearcer.

He watched ad the floor panels closed and the six beds where lowered down as the techs around them unbolted their restraints and allowed them to step forth.

Lord Hearcer turned to the nearby lead scientist and spoke finally, with an overpowering feeling of satisfaction.

"Excellent. How soon until we can expand to its maximum potential?" He spoke, more statement than question.

"With the recent shipments from Genoad. A few more weeks at the most. The new control shackles have increased our efficiency by 19%" the scientist replied, a stunted Trattorian scientist who was a mole of a man - a defector whom cared little for sides or allegiance, and more for raw unfettered research. The more pain it caused the better.

"Don't worry Francis, you will get your shackles, and everything else you need." Lord Hearcer spoke plainly, as much as he disdained over the little man, he got results.

"My thanks Lord Hearcer. You will get your results . . ." He spoke as he turned and wandered away muttering under his breath as he disappeared into an adjoining room.

He watched as the six men and women filed into a marching line and obeyed every order they where given as they walked in perfect unison to a nearby room. He turned his eyes to another screen as they walked into a room with a nearby table and each picked up a laser pistol and armed them before putting them into their mouths and under the orders of another trooper.

Each pulled the trigger simultaneously and six blank corpses fell to the floor.

He turned off the monitor screen and walked at his usual commanding pace to an elevator and called it, alone he stepped inside and grinned to himself as he mulled over his thoughts.

Soon he would be in absolute control.

Of everything.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:23 pm
by Colette
This is really cool, but I'm going to have to point out that Falk is the user, and the faction he owns is called Luchardsko.

(also, love the Trattorian name drops)

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:31 pm
by The Shadowscythe
As far as i knew Falk was a faction, from the user Elmagnifico - and the fall of Fico.

Unless my brain has gone arse over tit and I am getting all of my faction lore fucked up.

Either way, we are now longer than Landfall and we are mot even half way through the plot yet, but I am out of steam for tonight. Also my thumbs hate me right now. Typing on an Ipad really, really hurts after a while.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:32 pm
by Colette
The Shadowscythe wrote:As far as i knew Falk was a faction, from the user Elmagnifico - and the fall of Fico.

Unless my brain has gone arse over tit and I am getting all of my faction lore fucked up.

Either way, we are now longer than Landfall and we are mot even half way through the plot yet, but I am out of steam for tonight. Also my thumbs hate me right now. Typing on an Ipad really, really hurts after a while.
Elmagnifico's faction was the Gamma Corps...he didn't ever make a "Falk" to my knowledge.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:38 pm
by The Shadowscythe
You guys ever heard of that theory wherein you revise for a big exam drunk, so you have to take the exam drunk to ace it?

I think I am doing that. Just sober. My big plotline sessions with Warhead where drunk. Right now I am sober. I think i need to drink more to continue this tale.

However, of anyone else has comments and criticism - feel free to lay some on me.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:25 pm
by The Shadowscythe
In another, farther and distant corner of the galaxy; another ship finished its jump course from another battlefield that had almost claimed the lives of everyone aboard.

The tension within the hull of Stormsword one was physically palpable, with a toughened silence that cut be pierced and cut like a hot knife through butter with the slightest of sounds, coughs and low whispers.

The beginning of the battle for the tiara moon had originally gone to plan, with the combined Scythian and Immortal pilot team breaching the Britannian defenses and making forced landfall on the surface and then deep inside the insidious spit of rock, but the battle took an unforseen turn, and with the loss of their leader and the threat of a Shraag deathsphere looming upon them the Immortal troopers and tech support team had taken up refuge within the primary antimatter generators and weapons arrays, forcing their Scythian owners out by force of will - threatening to blow apart the ship from the inside out unless the ship was handed over to them to return to Immortal space.

Until they realized that only Lord Warhead knew the IFF codes to return, and they needed the Scythian crew to at least get them halfway to that goal when Lord Shadowscythe's veritech fighter returned from apparent nothingness and managed to cripple the errant sphere while Stormsword One landed some more of the finishing blows until the fighter was aboard, at which point the ship jumped to FTL to a random set of co-ordinates and the standoff began.

The Scythians wanted to retake the ship, the Immortals wanted to take it or destroy it - and neither side wanted to back down from the other, so the ship continued its cycle of jumping from point to point as many times as the FTL drive would allow while Lord Shadowscythe disengaged the safety interlocks on the fighter cockpit, and with an armed Laser Pistol in his hands clambered out of the cockpit and onto the deck of the hangar bay.

Looking one way and then the other as he noticed the abandoned loading hoverdollies, antimatter cores, and recharger systems hastily strewn across the deck without a single soul to be seen, it was eerily quiet as he moved from cover to cover as he set paced and distance between himself and his craft.

This moment however was cut short by a statacco of flachette fire rattling down the corridors and walkways as an immortal fire team ran into the hangar from one of the exposed walkways above, launching volley after volley of covering fire behind them as a Scythian marine team moved into position with their own Laser carbine rifles armed, but not firing until given the order. Shadowscythe watched the group as they covered their angles of fire around what appeared to be an Immortal captain with a barrel keg sized object in his arms.

Familiar Scythian red metals at the top and bottom with a shielded glass middle which played the surface details of an all too familiar blue/white glow that pulsed briefly as he carried it.

A tactical Antimatter charge, an explosive usually reserved for uses in mass destruction and area denial operations - a single charge was set to a variable yield upon detonation, ranging from kilotonne to megatonne explosions as the situation required it. Lord Shadowscythe sighed a mental sigh as he took relief in the fact it wasn't one of the larger cousins, with yields that went into the giga and even petatonne yields - but his soul still felt a small deposit of dread in the fact that even a tactical device as small as the one they where carrying was enough to destroy the ship entirely when detonated inside the ships shields.

He watched for a split second longer as the Immortals took refuge behind a loading crane and laid down some withering fire on the entrance doorway as he then heard an all too familiar voice over the ships internal tannoy system.

"This is acting captain Kato to the Immortal forces onboard this vessel" Kato's weary voice began "if you lay down arms now and surrender you will be taken as prisoners of war and will not be harmed. If you do not surrender then we will retake the sections of this ship under your control and I will space every single fraking one of you myself. I have made my terms clear, you have three minutes to comply."

Lord Shadowscythe looked on as the Immortals simply enhanced their resolve in the face of imminent violence, and raise his pistol sights to the group as the captain started to arm the antimatter explosive.

Regardless of what happened next, he and his crew needed to survive to piece together what remained of the mission. Without Warhead at hand to calm down his own troopers, the ending seemed inevitable. He took a sharp inhale and held the breath in his chest for a moment and made his resolve.

As he pulled the trigger.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:40 pm
by The Shadowscythe
A split second later the entire hangar bay turned into hell incarnate as the laser blast from the pistol left the Immortal captain with a space between his shoulders that ended in a bloody, cauterised stump. As his body dropped to the floor Lord Shadowscythe snapped his aim to another target and the remaining troopers turned their attentions to him, he ducked and forced himself into heavier cover as a wash of flachette fire slammed into the other side of the loading dollie sending a shower of sparks and shrapnel into the air.

He moved around and snap fired another trio of shots into the air as the marines further down the walkway timed their own laser fire, as Lord Shadowcythe ducked to avoid a volley of return fire, the marines opened fire against the troopers, catching another unaware as hus rifle arms where blasted away, ending in an exploded flachette rifle and a pair of arms that ended at the wrists and the trooper dropped to the floor screaming as he rapidly went into shock.

This moment of minor victory was cut short as one of the troopers behind the others had managed to activate the antimatter charge and walked out into the open with the device held in one arm and some kind of deadmans switch in the other.

The silence in the bay decenced suddenly, what was once a threat was now a promise - the stalemate had resumed.

"Drop your weapon!" The trooper yelled aloud at both Lord shadowscythe and the Marines as Lord Shadowscythe slowly placed his laser pistol on the ground and the marines backed off away from the doorframe they where taking cover in.

Seconds passed as neither side was willing to move or antagonise the other, which is when the silence was broken again by the sound of scraping metal against metal, a slowly rising grinding sound that started as a whisper became a gradual rasp and roar of something that was not coming from either side.

Slowly, Lord Shadowscythe turned to look behind him, back to the Samurai fighter he had recently exited to see the first slowly being crushed in on itself from an unseen force.

As his mind reached the realisation, he watched as the metal of the fighters hand where being crushed inwards by the gravity of something often theorised by Scythian scientists but never witnessed.

The regeneration of an Immortal Core.

Each side watched slowly as the fist slowly collapsed inwards until the metals buckled and snapped and where absorbed by the core, only visible through the diffraction of light and gravity as a hole of "nothing" that hung in the air, slowly rising to be just a couple of metres off the ground.

It happened slowly, at first it seemed to be expanding, then slow winding tendrils appeared out of themselves, an expanding web of what seemed to be needle thin lines of not-light formed into bones, their off-white colour forming as they burned into existence once more, before being overlaced by blood vessels amd interwoven by muscle that was then covered by ash-white skin that burned away as it grew, seemingly smouldering as it appeared. That was then covered by clothing that formed wholesale as his signature weapons then formed out of the air, and a moment later he dropped to the ground. Alive once more and fully formed from apparent nothingness.

Warheads forehead rose to face Lord Shadowscythe who stood stunned and wordless, and then to the Immortal troopers and the Omlooking Marines with their rifles trained solely on him as the skin across his head slowly crumbled, smouldered and burned.

He grinned as he returned to life once more and said with his usual smugness "Mornin' all, yah miss me"" as if nothing had ever happened.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:34 pm
by The Shadowscythe
For a solid minute silence filled the hangar bay as ever set of eyes in the room stared dumbfounded at the magnanimous Lord Warhead stood grinning at the rest of the cavernous room, taking in every moment of glorious collection of stunned faces in disbelief. It was glorious, he could almost taste the aura of astonishment and confusion, part of him wondered if this was perhaps one of the best moments of his various returns to life. Well, at least on the top ten list anyway, perhaps coming in at number seven just below one of his regenerations on the ship full of cloned whores on the outer edge of the galaxy before he led the earth shattering assault and victory of FICO. This did however mean that one of his many memories of decimating the Syphilian Empire had to move down to a pitiful number 11, and therefore not even worth his bothering to remember ever again for the rest of his endless immortality, but he was willing to take that blow just for the dropped jaw of his nemesis come ally Lord Shadowscythe.

Well, that look was almost as good as the propaganda he had spread himself not some months ago of Lord Shadowscythe wearing a form of extremely low cut school girl costume, but it was fucking damn close. Now if he could find some way to edit that image with the dropped jaw in front of him now it would become a solid number "5" on the list . . . But he stowed that thought for another time.

In the here and now he had the utter fucking cockwomble of a Trooper stood on the walkway above him holding some form of Scythian explosive above his head with an utterly blank look on his face.

"Deactivate that fucking thing you goddamn choad, i don't know about your cuntpunting death wish but I -really- don't want to shitting die twice in one day" Lord Warhead shouted in his loudest and angriest voice imaginable, filling the void of the bay with his ravaging screech.

The witless trooper dropped his arms to the floor still carrying the explosive and deactivated it with a look of pants-shitting-fear wrapped across his face. Moments later he stood back with a combination of fear and guilt across his moronic little mug. The rest of the troopers around him each took a step in their assorted directions away from him and put their weapons at ease as he whimpered a little and his combat trousers became wet and a wet trickle and the smell of pee slowly wafted away from him.

Without pause from this -brilliant- addition to a perfect moment he turned his attention back to Lord Shadowscythe and asked aloud "we destroyed that spitball of a moon?"

Lord Shadowscythe simply nodded in response.

"And killed off that deathsphere?"

Shadowscythe nodded again.

"And the cavoritie?"

Lord Shadowscythe nodded and pointed to the Samurai Veritech Fighter behind Lord Wardhead.

"Good, now lets get back to the Warstation, I've died once today and i really need a fucking drink and a shag!" He finished as he simply ploughed his way across the deck ignoring everything else around him and out of the exit to the main corridor, setting forth to the bridge like a cruise missile.

Being dead aside, today really was turning out to be the start of an awesome day.


(OOC - If I'm not mistaken, this is my first true post from Warheads point of view, of anyone has anything they would like to comment and criticize, feel free. :omnom: )

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:52 pm
by The Shadowscythe
On the other side of the galaxy the Mercury Summer returned to realspace in an ejection of Cherenkov radiation from another leg of the lengthly journey from the Emperors hidden fleet to the core of Scythian civilization.

It started with a series of deep space jumps between systems until the ship had reached a known layover trade jump point between one of the outermost colonies of Solace and their first destination of Mousetrap. Jumping alone and waiting for a group of trade freighters arrived, Kialya ordered the ship to join formation with the rest of the group while Larissa sat on the electronic warfare station sending out a controlled burst of static and Masar blasts across a well known set of frequencies that simulated extra-solar radiation as they maneuvered into the midst of the crowd of civilian of vessels and began uploading a simple overwrite worm into the ships around them, adding the Mercury Summers IFF transponder to the group while editing the logs of every ship in the fleet to add in its newest members while spoofing their sensor net logs to make it seem as if the errant vessel had always been a member of the fleet.

Tense minutes passed as they cut off the ECM/ECCM spam and they watched as the groups Regnant frigate escort moved past the group without taking a second thought to the wolf amongst the sheep. Kialya and Harkins both let out a sigh of relief as the escort ship began providing instructions to jump to the next destination via point to point transmission that now included the Mercury Summer, and minutes later the entire group jumped to the Scythian fortress world.

Mousetrap had once been a layover world between the Scythian, Briannian and Assyrian Empires - it had been just another outer colony world until the Immortal War began, it had been on the brunt of one of the first Immortal invasions at the start lf the war. The Immortals had long since prepared their engines of war and many-fold troopers of the Empire for their newest opponent, the bulwark shield of the Scythian Army and Navy. Meanwhile the Scythians only knew passing intelligence on their opponents and shaky footage acquired from the few survivors of FICO. The resulting combat was a meatgrinder of unheard of levels for almost five centuries of Scythian space faring history.

Casualties on both sides easily cut into the billion strong as the Immortals smashed the Scythian navy in space, taking claim to the langrange points and holding them with a bloody ferocity as they began a combination of landfall invasions and orbital bombardment that sent the Scythian forces reeling in the initial blows until they reformed their forces and pushed back across every continent, as the Immortals forced a staggered retreat they bled their Scythian counterparts dry with a mixture of guerrilla warfare and strategic sabotage and scorched earth policies until the might of the combined Scythian 23rd, 24th and 176th fleets arrived and forced the Immortal battleships and Assault carriers to abandon their Orbital Dominance or be utterly destroyed. Within six months the Scythian combined force retook mousetrap just in time for the Britannian assaults to begin with the declaration of war from false claims of an unprovoked attack from the Solaris on a Britannian dreadnaught on a lesser followed border patrol.

The Britannian forces opted to bombard the Scythian fleet at maximum range to draw them into a fight in the systems middle space between the worlds orbiting the aged sun, which worked for long enough to draw the 24th and 176th fleets into an engagement while the 23rd fleet stayed behind to defend the blasted world.

Just in time for a Britannian fleet five times their size to jump in directly over the top of them at point blank range, and the resulting bloodbath laster less than an hour until the entire Scythian naval force in the system was hunted down to a man and Britannian forces made landfall on Mousetrap.

The second occupation however, only lasted for three months as the Scythian ground forces where now entrenched veterans armed to the teeth and forged in the rigours of combat against the relentless Immortals. So rather than force another drawn out and apocalyptic ground war, the Scythian forces copied the tactics of the enemies they had all too recently ejected from their world. Antimatter bombs in every industrial centre and area of remote worth, entire streets and city blocks turned into massive death traps which the Britannian forces blundered into without abandon, only to find entire units and companies of men and women being lured to their deaths at the hands of bitter and bloodthirsty Scythians.

In the end they abandoned the planet after loosing too many ground forces to maintain a significant presence and a fleet of dropships and shuttles evacuated what was left of the Britannian forces back into the void and away to hyperspace.

What they would never know was how close their opponents came to breaking themselves as the fleet that arrived to secure the world was made almost exclusively of mobile hospital ships and carriers loaded to the brim with ground forces to reinforce their worn and beleaguered brethren.

In the year since then the system had been fortified to the point of being on par with Scythia or Rigel Kentaurus, hundreds of ships and defence net stations glittered around the scarred world.

The crew on the bridge of the Mercury Summer watched as the small freighter fleet amassed together for the inner system trip that would take a few short hours as agents loyal to the Emperor uploaded their own companion virus to the one the Mercury Summer had used itself not too long ago to add the ship to one of the loading stations records and inventories and the Mercury Summer was delivered a set of instructions to a loading bay on one of the many orbital stations.

The next stage of the plan was falling into place as the 'Summer was due to refill its backup tanks of antimatter reserves and then begin the next stage of the voyage through the Scythian inner colonies before reaching their final destination.

Kialya felt one wave of stress relieve itself from her shoulders as another took its place. Only the first leg of their mission was complete, and they still had days left to go.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:14 pm
by The Shadowscythe
Mercury Summer splashed back into reality with a flash of non-euclidian particles as the ship finished another FTL-jump as it hopped its way through the Scythian outer colonies.

Days had passed as the four crew members went about something that loosely resembled a military routine, rolling 8 hour shifts of work or sleep between them as the ship passed through checkpoints and military patrols.

Kialya had managed to at least peruse some of the mission details, they would arrive at one of the many civilian way-stations in Scythia orbit with their false identities and the credits they would need to organise transit down to the planets surface and meet up with their first contact, a former marine come civilian contractor for some of the various S.O.N.I projects across the planet who would then link them to their next contact.

As she passed through some of the contact details she saw names, faces and ranks of various low level officors who would be able to pass along differing levels of low impact information, but the further she dug into the Emperors intelligence files, the more she could feel her brow furrowing.

In her last operation she had been briefed on every level of intel about the Immortal ground and space forces, they had the element of surprise and overwhelming force on their side - yet the battle for Ereberus Three turned into an unrelenting bloodbath that lead to the decimation of the entire fleet. This time around she was tasked with the orders to end a fellow officers life and pave the way for fresh intel on the Office of Naval Intelligence, yet she had next to nothing to act upon - they where for all intents and purposes going into a complete unknown, four soldiers and a ship that would be barely on par with an older model frigate in terms of its firepower, speed and armour.

She leant back in her chair, looking up to the ceiling and away from the holographic display screens and rubbing the bridge of her nose with two fingers as she exhaled, beyond exacerbation she pushed the chair away from the desk and spun herself around slowly in the tiny captains bunk, a tiny space with just enough room for the bunk, a desk, chair and shower cubicle in the corner - the windowless box of a room was beginning to make her feel claustrophobic. Needing fresh air on a spaceship was always a nightmare for the average space-faring crew, she rose to her feet and pushed the chair away as she finally brought her fingers away from the bridge of her nose and left the room.

She passed through the bridge giving a nod to Larissa sat in the captains chair, who returned the curt nod with a small salute as she returned to plotting the Mercury Summer's next jump via FTL. As she passed through the next set of doors into the ships central corridor she looked into the computer cores as the various servers went about their dutiful beeps and boops of computing whatever the maidens-damned hell they where computing.

She passed by the Armory's open doors for long enough to see the racks of Marine armour and SIBAS suits having been meticulously cared for and cleaned by Harkins and Quaram - a workshop table had been covered in rifle and pistol segements in various stages of deconstruction and service while Quaram moved around the room - giving a small salute as he continued his work.

Eventually she reached what classified as the ships "Mess" hall - which was another room not much bigger than the one she was just in, except for the addition of two tables with folding chairs and a food dispenser built into the side wall. The only major difference was the exterior window - a quad layered translucent viewport from which to view the stars beyond.

The other major difference was Harkins - sat in loose BDU's with his legs crossed in the middle of the room, looking out into the black void.

"Aren't you supposed to be sleeping marine?" Kialya asked with a voice of authority as she walked to the dispenser and tapped the button combination for a hot beverage that those in some of the other Star Empires would say "could" resemble "coffee".

"I only have another hour of rest until my shift, and I can't sleep - you are too loud" Harkins replied blankly.

"I'm sorry?" Kialya replied, all she could hear was the gentle hum of the ships sub systems in the background - the lullaby of most experienced naval officers.

"I can hear you all, in my head - not words, just . . . general emotions and noise. Even in another room between the four of you its like trying to sleep through a room of people talking over each other" Harkins replied as he turned to face her as he got up from the floor.

"I managed to rest at least, and I've been through worse - I'm green to go." He continued.

Kialya doubted him for a moment and then let it slide, Psionics where an unknown to Scythian sciences - something that had been heard of in myth and rumour but never seen, whatever Harkins was going through must have just been a part of his developing skills - if it became a problem she would have to deal with it before it beca-

"I'm not going to be a problem" Harkins interrupted before she could finish he inner thoughts, to stunned to continue her sentence either internally or out loud, she stood there stunned at the fact he had been able to pick that out of thin air.

"And before you say anything else - you need to relax. This isn't Ereberus Three. This is Scythia, and it isn't a deathtrap you are leading us into" He said aloud, and without another word - he left the room to start relieve Quaram for his 8 hours of rest as Kialya stood, alone and speechless in the mess hall with a cup of cooling coffee in hand.

With a flash, space stretched and shot back as the stars suddenly changed in the window beyond and the Mercury Summer was one jump closer to its mission.

Re: Betrayals (A Scythian Short)

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:46 pm
by The Shadowscythe
Days later, on two sides of the galaxy - two ships finally arrived at their destinations.

In the Oort cloud surrounding Scythia, the very homeworld of the Scythian Empire - the Mercury Summer flashed into reality with hundreds of other ships of all shapes and sizes began their journey to the beating heart of a realm that Kialya and the others had left behind so long ago.

Whilst they watched the various civilian trade vessels, merchant trawlers, civilian cruise liners and military escorts - they could see the thousand fold formations of spacestations and orbital facilities that patched and wove their lines throughout the system. Meanwhile the server stacks that had thus far kept to themselves, slowly computing whatever goals they where built for - sprang into life, as wireless connections where made through MASAR bursts and chaff data piped out in lumps towards any listening receivers. Slowly the chaff data formed into trojan worms and low level virii, that clogged up the buffers of local computer systems and low level AI systems.

Those AI that caught onto the fact that their lower level systems where under slow attack from viruses and cyberwar assaults automatically shunted the malicious code into protected system stacks and nonessential CPU systems to assimilation and eradication away from anywhere they could cause harm, which is when the second phase of the system assault began.

The servers then began pumping out even more assault code and even more landmine filled viruses that then detonated inside the systems before the AI could segregate and destroy them - forming code barriers that ate away at low level runtimes, when the receiving AI realised they could not contain the virus attack within the lowest levels of civilian CPU's - they called for re-enforcements from Military grade AI's throughout the local space within the military vessels in the area.

Roaming into the civilian systems like a pack of rabid animals, the military AI's began to simply destroy the virus intrusion without bothering to inspect or disassemble the code in front of them, which proved to be their undoing.

The third stage of the assault was code within code, as the Military AI's set about destroying code clusters with ruthless efficiency, they where picking up strings of loose code that assembled themselves around the gorging attackers, slowly surrounding them in bogs of system runtime errors, application overloads and even more devastating code eating wolf programs until eventually they formed together and the final wave arrived.

Like a mountain crashing in from the heavens, the Military AI's where blindsided by something they had never seen before - a wave of code that could only be described as the crashing waves of colour upon the shore. Not just mere code and numbers and system awareness protocols, this was a defined motion of something beyond them - it didn't devour or destroy, it converted - it manipulated and based itself upon the very foundations of the program files it rolled through.

Moments later, error codes filled another system and the newly converted military AI's moved to repair it, the civilian AI's filed reports of a failed cyberwarfare attempt and server stacks across a dozen stations and starships gave a return "all clear" signal to the systems aboard the Mercury Summer - which in return uploaded the last of its cyber-cargo.

A fragment of a greater whole - Entity, slipped its way into Scythian systems across the void of space, transfering itself through high-transfer MASAR arrays and tacked onto inter-system mail and working its way up to secure bank systems, then onto low level military installations and eventually onto secondary alert systems.

Within an hour, it had worked its way into every non-secured computer system in the solar system, its spread became systemic - doubling in speed for every new node it absorbed.

- - - - -

Shortly afterwards, systems away - the greater whole of Entity realised that the seed had been planted - and begun preparations for the fleet.

- - - - -

On the other side of the galaxy, Stormsword One arrived in the asteroid filled remains of the FICO system, Lord Shadowscythe watched as legions of Immortal ships of every shape and size swam through the stars, a swarm of sharks - black upon black, lances of fire ready to wash pain and death upon any encroacher's at any moment. He watched the looming form of Warstation Three emerge in his view behind the continent sized chunks of formerly inhabitable world.

Instead of handshake I.F.F protocols and establishing any form of command structure between Lord Warhead and his assembled fleets - he simply watched as Warhead slung veiled curses over open channels at any ship dumb enough to get to close to the Scythian vessel until those curses then got passed through the networked command of the ships around and eventually Warstation Three established communication by themselves. At this point, Shadowscythe was almost certain that Warhead would have rammed the ship into the side of the station itself if they had never given him docking instructions.

Eventually the destroyer closed in on the monolith of a station, disappearing into a chasm-like hangar bay along the midsection of the weapon encrusted Goliath - passing by docking bays containing flight upon flight of fighters, bombers, gunboats and corvettes - eventually passing over frigates and destroyers in various stages of being constructed or refitted. Eventually the ship came to a halt over a recently cleared landing bay. As counter thrusters fired, the ship came to an eventual halt as robotic cocking arms moved across to hold the vessel in place and slowly the Immortal ground crews moved onto the vessel - a plauge of locusts with hull patching equipment and loaders full of supplies.

All Lord Shadowscythe could do was watch, sigh, and rub the bridge of his nose with an increasing sense of anger, frustration and annoyance as he followed Lord Warhead down to the ships loading bay and watched the few Immortal crew members that had survived the entire ordeal assemble and disembark the ship, finally feeling some semblance of safety with them being no-longer-aboard until he then reminded himself that he was effectively trapped inside the Immortal space station until Lord Warhead eventually decided to set them loose again.

It was at this point, he watched as Lord Warhead finally left the ship, stomping down the loading ramp as if he could smell Shadowscythes annoyance, loudly proclaiming that it was time for "Everyone to get slagging shitfaced before they could even think about the next cuntfucker of a mission"

This was the point where he finally gave up even giving a maidens-damned shit any more about any of this, he had too much on his mind and now his focus was starting to slip. He was going to follow Warheads advice, but not in any way he would find out. Still rubbing the bridge of his nose, he turned on his feet and headed for the captains quarters, hoping to all things Scythian that whomever had captained the ship before he acquired it had kept the traditional Scythian Rum, unopened - until the successful completion of an operation.

Because he was in the mindset to get shitfaced. There was no better time for it.