Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Sigma
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Frontier World of Varad
Centarus System

The arid world of Varad. A world with a rather turbulent history, playing host to several coups and civil wars. The latest coup, however, would prove to a tipping point in Varad's history, and play a role in the ongoing frontier wars. Second Minister Ulysses Gray, with the support of a good portion of the military, had overthrown the rightful goverment of Varad, naming himself First Minister after brutally murdering his predecessor in cold blood. What followed is considered usual, anti-xeno purges from human supremacist elements of the Gray Regime, of which they highly encouraged, forcing out foreign corporations off-world. However, what stood out was that within a year, the Varadi military had modernized at a startling rate, of which they had quickly mobilized and launched an invasion of sister world of Duro.

Within months, the Durosian government had capitulated to the Varadi invaders. Such a drastic transformation had warranted deeper investigation by Federation Intelligence. Within a span of months, field agents embedded in Varadi territory had stumbled upon some worrying revelations. It was made apparent that the Gray Regime was and is still backed and supported by the CCN, not just in empty words, but in material support as well.

Once the CCN's involvement in the Varadi Crisis was leaked, that was all the justification the federation needed in launching their invasion of the Centarus System. The federation high command was confidant in the military's ability to crush the regime within a few months, and restore order in the system. A decade has passed since, the federation deeply embroiled in a bloody war against the Gray Regime, proving to be more resourceful than anticipated, an act of arrogance that has been paid for in a decade's worth of blood and tears.

-------------------------

City of Taloset
Duro


sound effects
Sergeant Justin Hask starred out into the city from the window of the blasted out remains of an apartment complex, laying against a more sturdier part of the wall, the sound of gunfire and explosions filling the air. He turned to face the rest of his squad, all tired and worn from all day of fighting in the streets, the battle taking its toll on all of them. Despite his own exhaustion, the sergeant mustered the strength and forced himself up with a loud groan. "Break time's over boys and girls." He said followed more loud groans from the rest of the squad.

"Quit your bitchin'" Hask ordered. "FOB isn't too far, just ba-" Before Hask could finish his sentence. A loud bang was heard as he felt a warm, stinging, painful sensation somewhere in his chest area. Hask looked down as he saw blood stain pouring out of a fresh bullet wound. "Fuck.." He cursed as he fell over. "Sergeant down!" One of the troopers, a northern Dathu shouted out.

"Take cover! Weapons free!" Another trooper shouted. The room erupted into a frenzy of screams of gunfire as a squad of varadi soldiers advanced from the street below, led by a cyberized monstrosity, a cheap knock-off CCN's warriors. "Get the sarge out of view!" Marcus Zaamil, Hask's second-in-command, ordered the squad's medic. "Sir!" she complied as she drag him into in the hallway.

"Garzo, blow that borg fucker out!" Zaamil ordered the Dathu.

"Ehehe, with pleasure." Garzo replied as he pulled out a portable rocket launcher. "Fire in the hole!" Garzo shouted as he came into view, pulling the trigger as the rocket came flying towards its target, the varadi soldiers scattering as the rocket made impact with their leader. "Surpassing fire!" Zaamil shouted as he broke down the wall with the butt of his rifle, the front of the rifle now through the hole, he pulled the trigger and unleashed a volley of lead, the others followed his lead, using their makeshift shield to mow down the enemy.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Els
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Al-Sharif
Birthplace of the Revolution
A nondescript basement somewhere in the city's slum district

Below the streets of Al-Sharif, away from the prying eyes of the Council’s agents, a plot was brewing. Huddled around a cheap, faux-wood table were four young men, all with a gleam in their eye, and a swelling sense of anticipation in their chests. They peered down at the old faded blueprint that was stretched out across the table, taking note of every mark that had been meticulously drawn upon it, each one describing the positioning of a guard, or camera, or some other source of danger. Without fail, they all shifted their gaze to the big red ‘X’ that had been marked along the building’s edge: it was here that their triumph would be found.

“You’re sure this is going to work?” The youngest man asked, his boyishly handsome face screwed up in a look of worry.

“I’ve told you a thousand times, Ravi! It’ll work, trust me.” The man that spoke was not much older than Ravi, though he was quite a bit taller. Thin, with long arms and a sharply pointed nose upon which rested a pair of reading spectacles, he gave off the impression of a decisive intellect.

The third man broke his silence now, “Have faith comrade.” He clapped his hand on the young revolutionary’s back. “Tomorrow we’ll give those pigs a good show.” He smiled, his bearded face lighting up with delight, which Ravi parroted.

“Thawra hatta al-nasr.” The fourth and oldest said, speaking a slogan of the old world, one that meant ‘Revolution until victory’. One by one the other members of the conspiracy repeated those words, their chests swelling with pride as they spoke the incantation, as if it were a blessing.

Twenty-one years ago, the Revolution began. Tomorrow, the Revolution would continue.




Al-Sharif
Birthplace of the Revolution
The heart of the city

"I'm telling you Yusef, you've got to come sometime!" The soldier proclaimed gleefully, "You ought to learn to have some fun!"

"Brothels are illegal, Nazim." Yusef replied.

"Captain Ebrahimi doesn't seem to mind." The third soldier laughed, "We see him there all the time!"

The three men walked side-by-side down a brightly lit, recently paved street. It was here, in the very center of the city, where the reconstruction had first began after Council troops liberated it from rebel forces some ten years ago. It had been placed under martial law the second the revolutionaries had been routed, and had stayed that way ever since.

"Officers don't play by the same rules as us, you two know that." Yusef said, always the practical one. "Captain Ebrahimi'll get a slap on the wrist if he gets caught, and we'll get three years of hard labor."

The others faces slackened, and then both burst out with laughter, "You've really got to lighten up! With an attitude like that you'll never get laid!" Laughed Nazim. They were returning from their nightly patrol, their guards down, their focus on the tall, fenced off garrison building where they had spent the past year together. The structure was a brutal thing, made up of sharp angles and bare concrete, it menaced all that passed by it, a constant reminder of who was in-charge.

They passed through the large, heavy iron gates and towards the building's entrance, slinging their rifles over their shoulders as they approached. The night air was warm and dry, few sounds but for the stomping of boots on gravel, and the soldiers' giggles. And then the sudden roar of an explosion.

It happened faster than any of them could react. The three men were flung to the ground, rubble and hot air flying towards them, thudding off their impact armor and ejecting the air from their lungs. There was a sharp, painful ringing in Yusef's ears, and a hard thudding in his chest. He felt a warm stream of blood course down his cheek as a gash began to flow openly. He looked to his companions, they were splayed out on the ground like ragdolls, neither were conscious, though Yusef thought, he hoped, he could see them breathing.

The young soldier's gaze drifted to the garrison building, what had become his home, and felt his breath catch in his throat. A quarter of the structure was gone, blown away in less than a second of violence. He could see broken, twisted pieces of metal, and strips of cloth strewn throughout the wreckage. There were bodies too; Yusef knew they were not breathing.

As his hearing began to return, the ringing of deafness was replaced by the blaring of sirens, and the haunting moans of dying men.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Dog
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Tsunami Defense Systems
0100 - 1 : 00 AM, Varadi Standard Time
オペレーションハッピーゴーラッキー


Headlines in Columbian media news tell of a deal broke last month with Tsunami Defense Systems, a known defense subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It appears that the Columbian military needs help and Tsunami is happy enough to follow suit. Afterall, that is what they are being paid for. Contracts like this are commonplace around Eden, some nations signing more deals with Tsunami then others. Whatever the case may be, Tsunami (and thus Kawasaki) is happy. The customer gets one of the finest fighting forces in Eden with cutting-edge-technology, and Kawasaki is happy that their defense subsidiary is making good profit from war. But that is enough advertisement for today. The situation on Varad is quite complex and detailed, but that is the worry of the federal Columbian military. The fifty-thousand Tsunami army is simply a major supporting actor. The concerns of Tsunami right now are cutting a path towards the Varadi capital, killing and capturing anything in their way. Of course, Tsunami has to follow regular military law set by their client as per for their contract. Bad PR is no good as one might put it.

Lieutenant General Yutani Ryuichi, current commander of the whole Tsunami force on Varad, has grand plans for his time on the planet. He wants efficiency and he wants solid results. Luckily for him, he is commanding some of the best trained and hardened fucks in the whole of Eden. Tsunami corporate troops are no funny matter. State-of-the-art cyberware, fine-turned software, fancy ass guns, fancy ass tanks, and more are afforded to these fuckers. They may be small in force, but they make up for it in their heavy appliance of superior firepower and bleeding-edge-technology. Tsunami ground forces can level out a whole damn city in just a few seconds, if they want to. Of course, that likely is a crime war and quite the exaggeration, but you get the jiz. Manpower is precious, but shells and bullets are cheap.

Now let's take a look in at what the hell is actually happening on the ground. Lieutenant General Yutani Ryuichi is in a position to cut a path into the Varadi heartland and thus the Varadi capital. The main focus on the Tsunami army will be getting to that bloody capital. He has guarantee from the Columbian folk, that the wider front will be secured and safe for Yutani to commit to his plan. Two divisions will form the main thrusting force towards the Varadi capital while the three other divisions will be the rear guard to hold against any funny flanking business. The standard ground protocols are as follows. Any Varadi ground elements seen will be bombed back to the stone age. Bombers, gunships, long-range-short-range artillery, and anything else that can be lobbed miles away will be used. Send in the troops, tanks, and mechs in shortly after and clean up anything that was not bombed to death.

Tsunami has a reputation to hold up. They are the premier, cream of the crop, for Kawasaki. No other defense mega-corporation is this well-known or effective in its dealings in Eden. Intel from Columbian intelligence and from Tsunami’s own intel-department shows that Varadi resistance will be more then heavy - extreme - and Tsunami will be also outnumbered. That is to be expected. Tsunami can not muster up the same pool of manpower as like a nation. The road towards the Varadi capital will be a fun one to say the least. Bunkers, traps, large troop formations, insurgents, and likewise. The CCN has been supplying these fucks for some time now, and who knows what they have up their magical hand of cards. Better not underestimate your enemies. Yutani Ryuichi's next big paycheck depends on his success on Varad and he wants to buy a new luxury ship for his wife's birthday. The Operation name? Happy Go Lucky. Tsunami rather not keep their date waiting and their sexy date can not wait a second longer.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Crusader Lord A professional, anxiety-riddled, part-time worker

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The Forveliam League





Late Morning, Planetary High Court Building, Renali VI, Forveliam League


The air in the room was tense as the three male Renali stood there tall, tense enough so that it could be virtually cut with a vibroblade right here and now. Yet none seemed to waver as their gazes sat steeled upon each other, none seemed to stand down or submit to the pressures exerted by the others. The first one's body had been replaced extensively with cybernetics and gene-modded flesh and organs, to the point he looked externally more like a machine in the image of a Renali than like a Renali soldier and longtime veteran. His gaze was more cold yet serene, heated yet cool, cybernetic eyes and body language projecting a sort of disciplined but still noticeably agitated mood. The second was a more modern-dressed individual, donning the blue and silver-trimmed modern-style garb of a planetary senator, his gaze keen and steeled like none other. Even with one eye having been replaced with cybernetics only a few years ago, he seemed to hold a certain grace and professionalism that different from a soldier's own type of discipline. The third was dressed in a green and copper-trimmed older garb, a type of old robe reminiscent of the old tribal style or a 'toga' as humans seemingly called it. Even so this higher governor held himself with a certain sense of pride, old and rugged and as stubborn and yet full of strength as the life-forms of the planet itself.

Ultimately it would be when another standing in the corner would cough, however, that the three males' attention would be diverted.

"My dear brothers, this is a matter that we need to settle, though simply standing here to intimidate each other will do naught but gather dust and darker things. To this end I suggest we meet another day, and allow these things to gestate within our minds until the time is right to speak once again."

The speaker was a very much fully-organic Renali adorned in flowing red robes with golden trim, whose clothes were even inlaid with myriad ancient symbols that signified his rank. He piped up with a sagely and noticeably aged tone of voice, the kind of tone of one who had seen much and done many things in his days. His reptilian eyes, gleaming with the wisdom of ages past, seemed to glance over the three men analytically before they softened once more in turn.

"...The Great Elder is right, oh World Speaker and High Governor. This debate can be finished another day, another time. For now, however, I implore you to heed my words. Our people are suffering as potential genetic issues accumulate, and the cases of Recombinant Affliction Disorder have begun to sharply rise to affect almost a fifth of us in the last several years alone.

While a danger is there, we cannot ignore the need for help is here and that we must act before the issue grows any larger than it has."
The first of the three spoke, his mechanical-looking carapace glinting ever so slightly in the light as he spoke in a voice filled with well-meaning organic words and yet inhumanly-well-tuned mechanical tones.

"While I agree in that one respect, that we must speak later, I'm afraid I cannot sit idly by either with what you have said High General.

We cannot entertain nor pretend your ideas do not put our people in danger. Not here, and especially not elsewhere. To contact the CCN, to talk with that dangerous rabble for any attempted benefits or learnings or otherwise, would only turn out to spite your men and all of us in the end.

Only death would come, and more so it would put the League into a situation with the Federation and others that would have extensive ramifications-"
The second returned in kind, his controlled tone of voice and splendid control over his vocal projection so very fit for a politician, though as he seemed to go on he would soon find himself cut off.

"World Speaker, those risks are indeed true to an extent we are all aware of...and yet we cannot ignore what must be done. Time is of the essence, and the needed tools might be at our disposal with simple negotiations. We can avoid a disaster without causing another.

Our soldiers and their family bloodlines compose many populations of the Renali. They already have branched so far, gone to such lengths for so long, that most of them cannot conceive with those outside of their enclaves and groups. Only the younger families seem to be able to, and they in due time will fall away in that manner as well. Even if those whom wisdom is sought from are deemed evil and follow a dark path, goodly purpose can be used to guide this wisdom to the benefit of many.

Would you deny them the chance to ascend the ancient ways that we have respected for so long, even to ensure the issues among their own can be righted and set on a productive course? Would you deny them the chance to get guidance needed to save their own, no matter the cost that simply standing about would bring as well?
the third spoke, his voice holding as firm and tall as a mountain and yet as gentle and soft as the breeze.

The three stood silent again for but a moment, the questions of the third lingering in the empty air of the grand meeting chamber. Only four of them were there, three of whom had been the debators with each other, and yet the lack of an assembly to fill the vast space of the room otherwise created an almost eerie and haunting sensation...something that seemed to leave all suddenly more uncomfortable as it rose up once more in a sudden wave.

"I shall keep contact with you all, and organize the next time we will meet after returning to His Highness' side. Until then, I would simply note that we must evacuate the room before the midday meeting begins."

------------


As he left the Planetary High Court Building, the High General seemed to sigh as he approached the docked vehicle that had been waiting to pick him up. A military spacecraft, an old troop space-surface transport once used for planetary landings at that. It had been upgraded greatly with new technology, painted well, and transformed in the end into a VIP-moving shuttle for military officials of the League and other important personnel. Even now the old frontal boarding hatch was opening and lowering, the hiss of decompression and detachment cutting into the air as it opened up and formed a ramp for him to walk up into the ship. Twelve armed veteran Renali emerged, six on either side, their mixed mechanical-organic forms standing at attention with radi-beam rifles in hand as the High General approached and began to walk up.

"At ease, my warriors."

The Renali almost sighed after the well-rehearsed words rolled out, though as he reached the top the old soldier noticed a very familiar face. Her face was half-replaced, the left side composed of fitted cybernetics and a bio-mechanical fleshy bits, whilst the right side of her face shone as Renali as the day she'd been born. Even so, her remaining natural eye was itself a peculiar swirling mix of distinct orange and very light purple colors, a sure secondary sign of the genetic modifications she'd inherited from many ancestors in the past combined.

"Colonel Vrighid...heh, you remind me of your father even now. That look in your eyes of raw determination, that aura of pride you carry in your family name, all of it speaks of his younger days when I was a Major."

The younger female soldier half-smirked as she looked back at the High General, rolling her eyes as if she was a youngling regarding her own doting parent. Even so her body posture itself remained rigid, defined, and frankly speaking disciplined in every way to a 'T'.

"Please, High General Vorhm, he'd have laughed himself to death on his very deathbed just hearing you say that of all things. But all the same...thank you."

A hint of sorrow seemed to carry In Vrighid's half-mechanical, and for a moment Vorhm regarded her carefully before giving a sagely nod and walking forward. Naturally Vrighid rapidly moved to keep at-pace with him, even as the soldiers finished returning into the hold and the hatch began to rise and seal up once more. The metal floor clanked under their feet as well, even as the painted lighter greys and hard red borders of the ship's internal halls would start to pass by them once leaving the vast hold itself. Yet the High General's silence seemed to echo more than any other noise, even as the engines could be heard cutting on for the undocking process from the one of many ship-docking poles that stood up around the Planetary High Court Building.

"...They did not listen, did they?"

Vrighid's voice rang in Vorhm's ears, a sense of audible restraint holding back the hint of frustrations he knew lied underneath. In a heartbeat, the older and far more modified Renali stopped to lightly turn his head to his subordinate.

"Not ignored, not both of them at any rate. The High Governor has sympathies for our plight, our people's plight, and yet that stubborn fool of a World Speaker rebuffs us. While I can understand his view, and the issues at hand, at the same time we cannot ignore the issue altogether.

We need the information and technology to ensure our military bloodlines are freed of the unintentional defects and unintended combinations of old genetic modifications combining with new ones or certain naturally-mutated genetics of some civilians. While medicine has been produced for many to at least hold back the symptoms, the problem continues to grow and the fact of the matter is that it is projected to rapidly do so over time. Even so, we all are well-aware of the risks involved and the other myriad potential issues that might arise from what we must still do. It is our only choice to ensure the matter is taken care of in a timely manner before it spirals out of control, and even with many of the League's best and brightest involved it will take too much time for them to organize their work and develop a sure solution before it is too late. Only they know what our people are like, as they are very much similar to us."


"So we will execute the plan as intended?"

"Yes. Have the ship's crew turn on the private deep-space comms link to the CCN as soon as we get far enough away from the planet. Then link it through one of the old channels for an unused one that has been abandoned, something no one here will be actively searching for these days. Then meet me in the conference room, where I will be waiting for the negotiations top start once we manage to hail them.

We sent them a package, encrypted of course to ensure the find the channel, which hopefully arrived through our mutual associates."


The Colonel stood firm, face now stoic as she gave a salute before very promptly and quickly beginning to make her way to the cockpit down another side hall. Meanwhile, Vorhm simply stared up at the ceiling above him and let out a long sigh.

This would be a long day for the Renali indeed, but one that was necessary for the common good of their military families to step above the standard members of their race and become something 'new'. Something that could stand on its own and continue to work alongside the League and fight alongside and for their original people despite becoming a different variant species. To this end, progress had to be made quickly to ensure the growing burden of these genetic issues didn't spread even farther and faster than they already were. And if he could help it, and he hoped he could, he wouldn't sit by and watch as so many suffered...

Not again.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Helios
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Helios

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_________________________________________________________
Nine-Oh_One Control Room _________________________________________________________

The smooth smoke of menthol and cannabis danced in tandem toward the ceiling. In a large, musty control room sat an unassuming man. He took another long draw on his spliff. His hand hung loosely about the tool as though years of practice had made it a spare limb. Tom Dop was in charge of this place, the maintenance of it at least. An abandoned chamber of seats and lights, and buttons and switches. It was an amphitheater with no performance to be had. The once plush chairs of the senate were in disrepair. Try as he might, Tom could not keep 120 year old furniture from its inevitable decay. And no amount of griping would change the funds for something so useless; in fact, no amount of griping would change anything around here, and so Tom did little of it. He simply sat in a vacant seat, one that still functioned without total collapse, and enjoyed his 15 minute break from cleaning the rotting carcass of this once great palace.

He scrolled aimlessly on his datapad. The vibrant lights of the life outdoors seeped into his eyes. The highlight real of every one he had ever made the acquaintance of greeted him, and yet these manicured images paled in comparison to the vibrance of Kawasaki adverts, catastrophes in foreign slums, genocide in Taloset. Short videos displayed images of horror with closed captioning at its base to explain. He appreciated the large font. It was kind of the world to keep him so well in the loop. Kind of the Architects to make a system of intergalactic jump gates. Though ironic that the only thing these jump gates brought to this simple man’s life was a couple wasted minutes scrolling on his already thinning lunch break.

Tom peeked at the clock above, three minutes left. Damn. His joints ached knowing they would soon be called back into action. One last scroll, one last post to sooth and gelatinize his brain. It was the image of a little girl from her hospital bed. She stared longingly out of the window on the bustling streets of New Memphis. Tom immediately noticed the area was a nice district, the kind only good rich families could afford--perhaps that is what made the post so much more moving. She was dying from cancer. Already much of her body had been replaced with cybernetics. Her hair was thin and her frame all together pitiable. “Please help us pay for our daughter Ella’s treatment.” The post mentioned, a crowdfunding link glowing in the periphery. Comments, emojis, and video replies hung loosely about the cyber canvas to display the population's concern for this child and the family’s predicament. Greatest of all the attention --in Tom’s opinion-- was that the image had been re-shared by the intergalactic influencer Liona Le Master. This perhaps doubled his care for the subject.



Tom gruffed silently to himself. “Someone should do something about this. Young people die too much. And the world pays. Family pays dollar, world pays watching.”

A faint pink light in the center of the room glowed as the clock struck 2am. Lunch break was over.

---------------


The next day Tom opened his phone. A quick break. One last rush of dynorphins before the next shift. His eyes locked on the barrage of trending data. Data so important that even Liona Le Master had confirmed it.

Literally speechless. @Nine-Oh_One has covered the cost of all pediatric healthcare in New Memphis from this day on. So blessed to live in such a dynamic and moving time. So humbled to bring awareness of this issue to the galaxy. I once visited this hospital once and did all I could to help. So glad the voices of New Memphis could be heard.

- @RealLiona

Tom too was speechless. However a centimeter of scrolling revealed others who were not.

@Nine-Oh_One is a fucking socialist pig. WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS???!

- @TylerVanderjack14


Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Andreyich
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Andreyich AS THOUGH A THOUSAND MOUTHS CRY OUT IN PAIN

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Fate as a Plaything



Music



"Oh look how curious! The apes do try so hard with their little weapons. The hirelings, oh the hirelings, look how they waddle!"

"Those 'hirelings' have done well enough against the frontier folk, they are going for their capital. Do not be arrogant Admiral. Do you not remember New Babylon?"

"But Kessler dearest, was it not you who failed to defend that world those centuries ago?"

"Yes and I have learned from my errors."

"Mmmm. We'll see. They are going for the Capital, no?"

"Yes. They believe upon entering the city they will prompt a capitulation."

"Oh the poor fools I almost feel pity."

"They aren't people Admiral. Not really. Dust before the cosmic wind."

"Your promotion is far too recent Kessler so you are still all in on the Reislaufer nonsense so I'll tell you: it was a figure of speech."

"I could tell as much, but I had to say it nevertheless."

"Oh back to business you young fool."

"I am-"

"Yes but I am twice that once again as you know so please do not interrupt me. The Doctor, he has been dispatched?"

"Yes."

"Excellent. I don't like the wretch being in the homeworlds, such arrogance on him."

"It is not unfounded."

"I do not care."

"Regardless, let us review the agenda.”


>>>Duros

They had done quick work, he had to admit. Before the Doctor were just a pile of stone with random shavings and scraps of metal about his feet. Yet if the Columbians had arrived but a few months after they did then this would have been a complete facility for upgrading the citizens of Duros. The poor fools. They had traded long and happy lives for the democracy of money that would - should he fail - transition into an occupation by oligarchs seeking to nickel and dime them. Well, if they were to refuse such a glorious fate then perhaps the most horrid one that would befall them would be the only thing they deserve.

He turned around to face the pack of seven Varadi soldiers he had managed to find. They truly were a mess. An efforted attempt to imitate the perfection of Neohumanity, but not quite arriving there. They did not have the stations to facilitate the full set of surgeries upon their biology that transition to a true biological Homo Novus required, and the cybernetic augments that the CCN had unloaded upon them were - at least by their own standards - outdated by a century. Even then they had to be considerably under-clocked such that their brains wouldn’t veritably burst under stress of controlling such machinery. But that was far from all. They were all in far from… ideal condition. Underfed, missing parts of their bodies, or in one case having both of his optical implants shattered if still present. To say they weren’t much would be an understatement but he had to start somewhere did he not?

“Why the hell are we here?”

“...Hmmmm?”

The Doctor looked up from his musings, eyes locking onto the soldier who had spoken.

“What are we doing here? Its just fucking rubble people could drive by any moment!”

In a heartbeat the Doctor ran over to him lifting the man up by the neck. “Vital reconnaissance. It would appear the enemy has not found the true import of these stations.” the Neohuman said, turning the man in his grasp this way and that. “Pardon an old man’s memory, did I ask for your input?” he queried, before dropping the man knowing the answer would be ‘no’.

The truth is there wasn’t much purpose to being here at all, the story of reconnaissance and some hidden purpose to the facilities being a farce. But he couldn’t let these men question his actions, his authority had to be cemented.

“Come on. It’ll be night time soon.” he said, walking on to the little camp that the group had formed. “We have much work to do.”



He had to admit they had worked together well. Every day to enter and leave their hideout they had moved aside stones before once more piling them such that few would bother trying to enter the cave with just enough cracks to make oxygen enter the place while they slept without giving off light. Within the hideout the situation was not much better. Eleven graves were within four of which were of the comrades of the living seven, one of which was of a traitor, and the rest was of people who had wandered too close. The traitor was a… disconcerting exhibit. But The Doctor was well old enough to know that centuries past there were some such cases amongst his kin when they were not yet far enough along the path of ascension and thus it wasn’t surprising that these half-breeds he couldn’t yet find a better name for had such amongst their ranks.

Chimeras? Yes that would be a better descriptor for the Varadi. Not quite the outdated ape of Homo Sapiens but not quite the perfection of Homo Novus. They were a resourceful lot, that was for sure. The group had hauled much to the little cave from parts of a garage to a surgeon's automated gear. Primitive but all potentially useful. These seven of course were not the only Varadi left on Duros but they would form their own autonomous cell, one of many to be made to sow fear and terror into the masses of the Coalition forces whilst putting doubt in their government amongst Durosian civilians.

Morning came in a glimpse, the Varadi having spent the night sleeping whilst the Doctor was working on… something, the Varadi couldn’t tell. He had all his beakers arranged right by the running generator they had hauled in. Their augments let the men breathe through the smoke but that didn’t mean they had to like smelling it. On the other hand the previous day let them know better than to argue with the man.

One of the Varadi soldiers started to push out rocks blocking the cave entrance, poking his head out to see a child standing outside. The man cursed, realizing that the smoke of the bloody generator had announced their position to a rather wide area. “Come here!” he called to his comrades to see. “There’s a fucking boy here!” he cried to the Doctor, confused at the apparent calmness of the man after his shouting.

“Oh, I am very well aware. Bring him here.”

The men looked to each other with some confusion, but one eventually went forth after the child breaking into a run to catch his quarry when it started to flee. The boy was brought in by the confused men and carried over to the Doctor, the head of the man turning in entirety to survey the boy before the rest of his body followed. In either hand he had surgical implements that the group had never seen before, and though his face wasn’t visible it was clear he had a very intent expression about him. “Put him on the table.” he said, stepping aside for the Varadi to carry out the order before turning himself. They boy started to get up but a needle pierced the skin on his head and in the very same instant he fell back.

“What are you doing?” one of the men demanded as he drew a pistol. “Oh put that away you wouldn’t get a chance to use it even if you had need or opportunity. I am not going to harm the child.”

“Answer the question!”

“I am implanting memories.”

“...What?”

The Doctor sighed. “The child will remember things that didn’t happen. He will remember a story of drunken Columbian troops on shore leave trying to do rather awful things to him before your noble Varadi brothers in arms rescued him.”

“Look at his age you think he knows what any of what’s been happening is?”

“No, he doesn’t. But that’s why I am not putting ideas in his head as you may believe. He won’t know Varadi or Columbian. He’ll simply remember the uniforms and your dashing metal augments.”

All seven men recoiled as a drill went into the skull of the kid. Before any could exclaim the Doctor continued speaking. “By the time I am don this little opening will have healed to nothing more than a bruise. Calm yourself or I might find I no longer have need of you. Now then, in that crate there’s some men. Shoot them, we’ll need the corpses later. Now, if you please.”

Confused, the group did just that having found some sleeping men in Columbian uniforms. Their hatred lead them to not ask any question about a task they did with such joy, but once done they again turned to The Doctor. “What are we to do?” one asked.

“You are to grab the bodies and come with me.”

Behind his visor the Doctor was smiling. “We are to create the past, thereby changing the present and so giving us the reigns of the future my friend.” He couldn’t see this dreg as a friend but the many ideas in his head had left the Doctor in far too good of a mood for him not to say such.



The child was walking in the distance with its hands outstretched as if trying to grab some flies flying about the boy’s waist. The Varadi looked down at the men about their feat, one of them uneasy. “Rigor mortis, I read about that way back. When they find these guys they’re going to check when they died.”

“Taken care of.”

“Ho-”

“Taken care of.”

The Doctor thrust into the hands of the largest one of the group who had the shattered eye lenses a small package, before walking off. “When you get back to the cave open it. You will have instructions on how to use what is within. Take care.” They would never see him again, not in person.



“Next.”

“Oh, uh, got all my papers ready Sir.”

“Hmmm. Says you already served to get the Varadi out of here. Why’d you take the break?”

“Well the wife got pregnant. Twins sir, twins!”

“I see. Congratulations. You won’t be reenlisted as Corporal but we can bring you back as Lance Corporal.”

“Great! When will I get started?”

“You’ll have to go through the bootcamp for a week and you’ll get deployed right after. Welcome back to this man’s army.”



“Last call, everyone get on!”

The ranks of men were waving goodbye as the ramp to the shuttle that would ferry the unit over to Varad was closing. Lance-Corporal Kurtis Greene was one of them, turning to the voice of one Private Singh who had asked which one was his. “Redhead over there.” Kurtis motioned. In fact the Doctor knew that this woman didn’t know him one bit, but nobody would bother to check and this would only help endear him to the unit. As the ramp had fully closed most of the men went off to the little barracks that they had for the short rest they would have before being dropped into the hellhole of Varad. The Doctor lingered a moment, his face shifting into the one that he was born with centuries ago for just a few moments such that he could yet again smile before it shifted into the form known as Kurtis Greene. Putting on his army cap he ran after the rest of the troop, calling “Yo wait for me!” to the men that would inevitably die by his hand.

This was of course the price of progress, the price of perfection; if these men knew the true value of the work the Doctor was doing they surely would not have minded their deaths?

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