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Liang Group

Corporation Slogan: "Choose Reliability, Choose Liang."
CEO Name & Age: Liang Jin, 53
Headquarters: Shanghai, Shanghai Clique
Major Industries: Transportation
Minor Industries: Heavy Manufacturing, Energy
Starting Trait: (Select one)
- Public Eye: Begins with +30 Public Opinion
Brief History & Description: Originally, the Liang Automotive Company was a large, highly-regarded Chinese state-owned corporation based in Shenzhen. After Chinese central authority slowly eroded away, the LAC was able to distance itself from the Chinese government. After merging with Sichou, a Energy and Manufacturing company located in the Shanghai Clique, the Liang Group, as it was now called, led by its CEO, Liang Jin, relocated its headquarters to Shanghai, continuing his plans of designing and selling cars for the masses.
In Diddly Do 24 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Erwin Schmidt stared out of the window of the secondary bridge of the KSS Nova, a mighty Khan-class dreadnought like the Genghis. He was the captain of the ship, however, all propulsion systems were offline. Somehow, these cylinders had turned off all of the fleet's propulsion systems. Captain Schmidt had already contacted several other ships, but they were all having the same problem as the Nova. He had also heard reports of disappearing officers from those ships, but due to the size of the Khan-class dreadnought it would be very hard to find if an officer had gone missing on his ship as well, since he knew that no one of the bridge crew was gone. The captain could still see the cylinders near the fleet, but because their propulsion was gone there was nothing they could do about it. Then, for some reason, Erwin felt the floor of the ship beneath him shake violently, almost knocking him off his feet. When he recovered from the sudden shaking, the captain saw that everything outside of the ship, including the stars and galaxies he could see with the naked eye, had changed.

"Status report!" He ordered.

A woman who was in charge of the scanning and communication systems on the secondary bridge replied. "Contact with main fleet lost. Twenty of the largest and most powerful Khaganate military ships, except the Genghis, have all been transported here by, what my scanners indicate, was a Quantum Delocalisation Event. Nine of the civilian ships have also been transported here. I can't pinpoint the main fleet's location, so it is likely that we've been transported too far to contact them. From my scanners, I can see that eleven of the GEF's dreadnoughts, including this one, and nine of the battleships are near us. Our propulsion systems are online as well. Whatever had shut them off is gone now."

"So we've got a lot of firepower. That's good. What about the civilian vessels?"

"I can see several purely civilian transport ships, mostly Ger-class. There's also a few industrial and agricultural vessels, so at least we won't starve to death while we're lost in space," The communications officer laughed a bit at her own joke, but seeing that the captain did not find it funny, she continued, "It would also appear that, since both the admiral and the vice-admiral aren't here, as well as the fact that the Nova is designated as the second command ship of the fleet, you are now in command of the fleet, or at least what's left of it here. Congratulations, sir."

"Run a scan, I want to know what's around us."

The scan took some time to be completed. Meanwhile, the captain could see that even the solar system they were in had changed. The small blue star of the planet with the cylinders had changed, and all of the structures he could see without scanners were gone.

"Scan complete. In this system, there's a formation of ten large, heavily armed spaceships, in orbit around a planet several Astronomical Units from here. Around the same planet another, smaller vessel is present. Both are made of an unusual alloy, but I am not sure if its stronger than the material this ship's hull is made out of. Another vessel is also orbiting around the same planet, but the normal scanners detect a slight interference, possibly due to some kind of sensor damping technology. Near that ship there's some sort of vessel generating temporal distortions. Near the outer planet of this system, there's a fleet of thirty-three ships shaped like centipedes. These ships are all a few miles long, and seem to be of entirely different origin than the ships that are more to the center of the system. There's also thirteen lifepods scattered around the system, one of which is dangerously close to the KSS Num. It seems that there's also a killer whale that just appeared above one of the planets."

"Thank you, Lieutenant. Can you contact the rest of our small fleet? I need to tell them something."

Before the communications officer could do so, however, the killer whale had already disappeared from the ship's sensors, and she could see a teleporter signal that was suspiciously similar to that of the KSS Aqua, a scientific vessel, on the terminal in front of her.

"Sir, I have received a audio message from one of the heavily armed ships on several general frequencies. I am playing the message now."

The captain listened to the message from First Gamma Palin, and told the communications officer to reply.

The flagship of the Quatis fleet would then receive the following reply:

"I am captain Erwin Schmidt of the KSS Nova, admiral of the Lanist Khaganate Second Fleet. We were transported here through unknown means, and as such, we are new to this region of space as well. Please state your intentions like we have done."
The captain of the KSS Num had also received the information that there was a lifepod floating dangerously close to his ship, and had given the order to retrieve it. The massive battleship slowly moved until the lifepod was floating near the entrance of the small hangar bay, where it was pulled in by a tractor beam. Several soldiers were already waiting for it, in case something dangerous emerged from the pod.
Khan Yuri Lanist sat in his chair in the back of the bridge, thinking what had to be done. The propulsion of the ships of the fleet was still not working, and several military officers had disappeared without a trace, presumably taken by the cylinders. The Khan knew that they were not leaving until they got their people back, since they couldn't just abandon them to a strange alien species. All of a sudden, the mighty Genghis, flagship of the Khaganate fleet, was shaking, but it only took a few seconds for it to stop. Immediately, the Khan and the bridge crew noticed that something was very wrong, as a man dressed in armour and holding a gun had mysteriously appeared in the bridge, waddling about for a few seconds, before noticing the officers and the Khan in the bridge. Immediately, several of the Kheshig, or Khan's Guard, that were always present to protect the Khan, his family, and important military and civilian personnel of the Khaganate, were on the man, a few pointing their weapons at him, yelling at him to drop the gun.

The Khan then stood up from his chair and said:

"Who are you, and what are you doing in my ship?"

The Khan, however, barely registered the man's reply, as in the front of the bridge one of the smaller screens was activated as it was relaying a message from the Director of the Omega Order.

"Yuri, this is the Director. We have translated a message that all of our ships had received in the form of random clicking noises. The message's translation is: Not harm. Must understand. Crew be return. Not pain. Fight you die. We believe this pertains to the officers that have vanished earlier. I recommend that we wait it out, to see if these xenos really return our crewmembers. Also, twenty-nine ships have been transported to an unknown location by what the Omega Order scientists believe is QDE, or Quantum Dislocation Event. It seems that, due to this event, flocks of ravens have appeared in many of the ships. We've already done some research on these ravens, and we found that they were neither anomalous or dangerous, so getting rid of them would be easy."

The screen then cut out, and Yuri asked the officer in charge of the sensors to confirm what the director said. It was true, as eleven dreadnoughts, nine battleships and 9 civilian ships had all vanished. Chaos had erupted in several Khaganate ships as flocks of ravens had appeared in many hallways and rooms of the Khaganate ships, but in most ships they were put down as swiftly as they had appeared by military personnel and automated turrets.

"Alright," Yuri said to the bridge crew, as well as the captains of the other vessels after a communications officer had opened a channel to the other ships, "As some of you might know, 29 of our ships have disappeared, and are too far away to communicate with. The Omega Order theorizes that it has something to do with the shaking you must have all experienced a bit earlier. The officers that have disappeared will return, we just don't know how long it will take, so we will wait for it. I want that all the ravens that have appeared throughout the fleet will be either put down or captured, preferably the latter."
James could see the hangar bay doors open as the dropship sped towards the KSS Yurt. The pilot started the cloaking device, more because of routine, since the cloaking was neither needed in that situation, and the Yurt would still be able to detect them anyway.
James, as the commander of Phalanx Alpha, was supposed to give a briefing on the mission, so he stood up, and began speaking. "TF PA, AE-1769, also known as "Fanny May", has been sighted in Canteen six-three of the KSS Yurt by a surveillance camera in the canteen. As you undoubtedly know, this entity's class is Delta. This means that, due to its incredible powers, the entity could be incredibly dangerous to the civilians of the Ger-class vessel, so proceed with extreme caution. Fortunately for us, the entity is relatively close to the entrance, as well as near a wall. Since it is no longer time to eat for the civilians at the moment, most of the civilians in the canteen have gone back to their cabins. We will approach through the entrance closest to the entity, and spread out immediately upon entering. We'll surround the entity, and if possible, recontain it. If it becomes hostile against any of the civilians we will eliminate it."

After several minutes, the dropship had entered and landed in the Yurt's hangar bay, and the twelve members of the Phalanx Alpha task force rushed out, heading towards the nearest hallway. They all had a small version of the Yurt's layout on the display inside their helmets, and could see where their target was.

"PA-3, please check you..." James was suddenly cut off as the Ger-class vessel started shaking. The task force soldiers tried to find support so they would not fall over with their heavy and expensive gear, but the shaking stopped after a few seconds, and they could continue easily. They were already close to their goal, so a minute later all twelve soldiers entered the canteen at the entrance closest to Fanny. As was their plan, they spread out. Several civilians panicked, and ran away as soon as they saw the soldiers raising their weapons. The group of twelve approached Fanny, who yelled something to them. "Operation Command," James said into the recording system in his helmet, "We are approaching the target. AE-1769 is sitting where it sat earlier, at exactly the spot where the Vice-admiral said she would be."

James, however, got no response, and all he could hear on the other side was chaos, for an unknown reason.

"We will do no such thing," James replied to the entity, "AE-1769, we are here to recontain you. Please follow me, or we will have to use force."
"Pilot. Please set a course to the KSS Borealis instead of the KSS Steppe," General Nurzhan said to the pilot. He had been slightly devastated that after such a long time of travelling together with Katie, she had, without warning, disappeared. After he discovered that her room was empty, he had searched throughout the entire ship, but no trace of Anderson could be found. Due to Katie's disappearance, the general decided that it would be a good idea to go to the KSS Borealis, the stratocruiser that he was technically still in command of, rather than the KSS Steppe, the Ger-class vessel that Katie's parents were supposedly on. The ship continued on its way towards the Borealis undisturbed, until for some strange reason, the vessel started shaking. General Arman nearly fell as he walked towards the cockpit, but he barely managed to stay on his feet. As he looked through the cockpit canopy, he could see something strange. He saw the ship they were heading towards with KSS BOREALIS in bold letters on its dark grey hull, but several of the ships that he had seen flying around it earlier had disappeared.

The small ship approached the Borealis. When they were about 5 kilometers away from the stratocruiser, the pilots got a message telling them to state what they were doing near the ship, or they would be destroyed. The general opened a channel, and said: "This is General Arman Nurzhan. As you know, I am in command of this ship, so I would advice you to open the hangar bay and let us dock." The hangar bay door opened, and the small transport craft entered the hangar, flew through its forcefield, and landed at the designated landing pad, where there was already a welcoming committee waiting for them.

Arman Nurzhan exited the cockpit, walked towards the exit of the transport craft, and stared at the shock on the faces of the people who saw that it was really General Arman Nurzhan who exited the vehicle.
The hot water of the shower turned into steam as it hit the floor. It rose up, being sucked into a vent where it would be converted back into liquid water. I needed this, I haven't bathed in months, general Anderson thought. It was true. The civilization of the planet where Katie and Arman had crash-landed only had medieval technology, and no easy water heating, sewer systems, or showers were present, so its inhabitants had to make do with bathing in rivers and lakes. Katie, of course, had been a duchess of a small duchy that was part of the Wul Empire, so she had the luxury of having a bath with warm water every few months.

She thought back on the time that had passed ever since they had arrived on that medieval world. Somehow, the ship she was travelling on, the Tsol, had travelled back in time three years, and made everyone, including her and Arman, forget their memories of it ever happening. Now, however, she had her memories back. She remembered how she had to take charge of the group of former crewmembers, and after a grueling trek to the north, she, and her, by that point, small army, had conquered a bit of land directly to the south of the Wul Empire. Because of the fact that many of the human crew of the Tsol that did not accept her leadership were now rampaging across the continent, she had thought it wise to become a vassal of the Wul. Three years had passed since then, although it was only a few days for the Khaganate fleet. Now, she was finally back, and she longed to take command of an army once again.

Her dreams of taking control of a military force were shattered once she opened her eyes, and found herself not in the shower, but strapped to a metal slab while nude, and stared right into a very bright light. She found, however, that she could still talk, and yelled: "Arman, this isn't funny. Where am I?"

There was however, no response, until she heard someone say, from relatively close by: "General Anderson, is that you? We thought you were dead after your ship crashed."

"Well, obviously I am not dead. Where are we?"

"I have no idea."
In Diddly Do 29 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Captain Soun sat in the bridge. He noticed that the ships were no longer moving, assuming that the cylinders had stopped the fleet. He was dangerously close to ordering an attack, but the only thing that held him back were the near-sacred rules of hospitality once set by Genghis Khan himself. There would be no fighting that day. Not yet, anyway.
"Entity number: AE-1769.
Class: Delta
Containment procedures: Not yet determined. Currently uncontained.
Description: Female humanoid of 5'6". She calls herself 'Fanny May', appears to be in her late teens. Object is capable of instant teleportation, as well as telepathy and invisibility from surveillance equipment. Her motivations are currently unknown, but she has not taken any hostile actions against the Khaganate.
Addendum: AE-1769 was encountered almost immediately after the Khaganate had arrived in the current universe. Reason for this is unknown, but seeing the entity’s incredible abilities, it is likely that she knew the fleet was here the moment it arrived."
The Director of the Omega Order finished reading the file that they had gathered on Fanny, to inform the men present in the room of the power of the entity some of them had encountered.

"So this... thing," Yuri Lanist, Khagan of the Lanist Khaganate said "Is incredibly powerful, and, as a result, dangerous. She had already shown to be capable of interfering with our ship's technology with but a single thought when she turned on one of the monitors in the Primary Bridge. Has she actually shown any hostility yet?"

Jens Knaggs, the vice-admiral who had encountered Fanny earlier, responded: "No, Gur Khan, in fact, as you undoubtedly already know, she offered us an entire planet, one we could use to give the Khaganate a bridgehead in this universe. She has also offered helpful information and advice several times, like when she said to not react with hostility to the natives of the strange systems we are in."

The Khan frowned, and thought deeply for a while. Eventually, he came to a decision. "It appears that we are currently the guests of one of the most advanced alien species of this reality. As guests, we will not attack or do any other sort of hostile actions against our hosts. It seems that due to our current circumstances, we have to protect the universe and its inhabitants, rather than conquer it. As such, we will accept Fanny's proposal.

The Director's hologram dissapeared, and the fleet admiral, Khan and Vice-admiral went back to the bridge. They were there just in time to listen to the spasmodic clicking sounds that would be played from all of the audio systems on the primary bridge. After the transmission, Yuri looked to his right, where Jens was supposed to be standing.

No one was there anymore. The vice-admiral had disappeared.
It was only a short journey to the hangar where the ship that would finally take them to their destination would be. The two generals arrived a small hangar located near the quarantine room they had been in minutes earlier. The ship that had been requested by General Anderson was already waiting in the hangar. It was several hundred meters large, almost too large for its landing pad. It was an old luxury passenger ship that had been refitted to serve as a transport craft for the Khaganate fleet, back when the Great Expansion Fleet was being built. Many of the transport craft used in the Khaganate fleet had originally been procured from different companies who either willingly donated them to the Khaganate Navy or were obligated to provide these ships. The ship that the two generals would use was based on a design from Kolik-Keme, an aerospace company originally based in the Zeta Arabis system. The many luxury cabins had been exchanged for cargo bays, weaponry, shielding and simple cabins. There were a few luxury cabins on board. The ship's propulsion systems were slow due to its size, so it would take some time before they would arrive at the Ger-class vessel Katie's parents were on.

They were about halfway when the ship stopped. General Anderson went to the cockpit, presumably to complain, but she had found General Nurzhan already there, staring out of the canopy. "I talked to the pilots," he said to her, "They say they don't know why the propulsion systems were suddenly damped. It'll take some time to fix. Be patient, and go do something else for a while." Katie calmed down, announced she would wait in her room and clean herself up, and left the cockpit. A few minutes pass, and Arman continued staring out of the window with his arms crossed. Only now did he notice the three giant cylinders that were present near the fleet. His thoughts were disturbed by sudden clicking sounds coming out of the speaker in the cockpit. He did not know what they meant, but he got a bad feeling, and he rushed to the room where he knew Katie would be. He knocked on the door, called her name, but there was no response. He opened the door, but inside he found nothing.
The Director of the Omega Order said alone in his office aboard the stratocruiser KSS Atlas. He had just finished a meeting with some of the most powerful men in the Khaganate, and he did not leave it happier than he went in. The situation was dire. One of the most powerful entities that they had encountered so far was still uncontained, and the massive stratocruiser was dead in the water as something, presumably the cylinders, had cut the ship's propulsion. All of the other ships in the fleet reported that they had the same problem.

Suddenly, he got a message from one of his subordinates: "Sir, AE-1769 has been found. The entity is currently in one of the canteens aboard the KSS Yurt, one of the Ger-class civilian vessels."

"Send Phalanx Alpha to try to recontain her."

It was at that moment that all of the audio systems in his office room made the same noise: The high-pitched clicking sounds that the rest of the fleet were currently receiving. The Director, being a clever man, recognized that these sounds could be a language of some kind, and gave the order to translate it.

A few minutes later, the majority of the Omega Order's science division was working hard to translate the clicking sounds, as an order that came from the Director was hard to ignore.
Jens smiled at Fanny as she reassured him that he would not have to worry about Susann, his wife. She's right, because Susann is not on this ship anyway, the vice-admiral thought, but how does she know Susann's name? Did she somehow get access to the fleet records while she was away? I'll have to ask the surveillance department about it later. He was about to reply to Fanny's comment about the Khaganate when the enviroment around his changed once again. Without warning, both Jens and Fanny had been transported to an unknown world through unknown means, but presumably by Fanny herself. The vice-admiral looked around to become slightly more familiar with his new surroundings. He could see the sand and dunes of a desert stretching as far as the eye can see, but right in front of him he saw a large crashed spaceship. The vice-admiral saw some sort of humanoid creature standing on top of the wreckage. He could see that the android was dressed in combat gear, and remembered that he didn't have any weapons with him. Fanny started talking and the vice-admiral listened carefully. He knew that he brought her to this strange world for more than just to show it, and he was certain that whatever she was about to say would change the Khaganate's fate forever.

Jens' surroundings changed once again as Fanny brought them back to one of the many canteens of the KSS Yurt. Fanny had told him to drink the beer. The vice-admiral didn't really like beer, especially not beer that came from an unknown source and wasn't even on the menu in Khaganate canteens, but he also knew that he was in no position to refuse. Does she want that the Khaganate takes that planet like she insists that I drink the beer? At least we'll get a reward from it. He eyed the food hungrily. He hadn't eaten since the moment that the Khaganate made their disastrous misjump. Like Fanny had said earlier, it was not the food he was used to, but the synthetic food in front of him was no different from real, cooked food. He picked up a grilled cheese sandwich, and ate it. He drank some of the beer. With hindsight, he wasn't that hungry after all, and he had to make sure to not drink too much beer in case Fanny would try to poison him for whatever reason. "Alright then. I will be going now, Miss May, I have a lot of work to do, as you will undoubtedly know, so farewell, and do not worry, I am sure that my Khan will accept your gracious gift." With that the vice-admiral stood up and walked towards the Yurt's hangar bay. Like all of the Khaganate ships in the fleet, each Ger-class vessel had its own hangar bay filled with spaceships for intra-fleet transport. Jens would have to take one of the rail-elevators, elevators that could move both vertically and horizontally. Five minutes later, he was at the hangar bay. During the short journey he had already contacted the Genghis and a ship was waiting for him in the hangar.

The transport shuttle took off, went through the hangar shielding and flew towards the Genghis. Ten minutes later, Vice-admiral Jens Knaggs was back on the bridge.
Captain Soun anxiously sat in the captain's chair. Both the cylinders and the sphere had not taken any further actions. The Khaganate fleet ships had all set a course away from the cylindrical objects, and were slowly flying away from them. From the scannings terminal there came a voice saying: "Subspace and gravitic scans succesfull captain, we can see where their previously invisble structures are."

"Navigator, what's the wormhole drive status?" The captain asked.

"It's currently charging. All components are operational. Spacetime folder is already folding spacetime slightly to allow the mass compressor to work properly. I can see some slight disruption in spacetime, presumably caused by the gravity of the hundreds of thousands of objects in the system, but it should not be any problem." The navigator replied.

"Stop the process. We cannot take any risks with this, especially after what we've been through. We will instead wait for the Khan."

The navigator pressed a few buttons on the terminal in front of them and safely shut down the wormhole-generation process. It was at that exact moment when one of the doors to the rest of the ship opened, and Vice-admiral Jens Knaggs entered. The bridge crew stood up and saluted. "Captain," the vice-admiral said, "what's the situation?"

"We are in an unknown system. Three cylindrical and one spherical objects are surrounding the fleet. We already tried to generate a wormhole, but I thought it was a better idea to wait for the admiral."

"Then we will wait."
The Kurultai hall was completely silent. All of the seats, except two, of the large table were filled up. The table itself was made out of wood coming from a genetically modified version of the Tilia Mongolica tree, and was so old that it was made during the time the Khaganate made its first steps into space. On one end of the rectangular hall there was the giant metal door that served as entrance to the massive room, while on the other side of the hall there was a screen that covered almost the entire wall. Normally this screen was used for presentations, showing off maps and military information and the like, but on that day the only thing shown on the screen were the portraits of two generals, who were deemed MIA after the Khaganate mis-jumped. Between the screen and the Kurultai table there stood Yuri Lanist, Khan of the Lanist Khaganate. Several cameras were pointed at him, reminding the Khan of the fact that this was going to be broadcasted live to the entire fleet. Normally, something like this would be publicly broadcasted to the entire Khaganate, but the fact that the fleet was now in a different universe made that difficult.

The Khan moved closer to the lectern with microphones on it and placed his hands on both sides of the rostrum, leaning on it. Whatever he was going to say now could possibly shake the Khaganate to its core. He stood up straight, moved slightly away from the microphone to clear his throat, and then began speaking.

"Citizens of the Khaganate, this is your Khan speaking. As you undoubtedly know by now, whether you've heard it from your ship's captain, or from one of the scientists aboard your designated vessel, or from military high command itself, we have arrived in a different universe. This, due to the size of our fleet, has happened several times now, as you probably also know. These transitions however, do not come without a cost, and I want to dedicate this day to all of the people we've lost during our mis-jump. In particular, The Khaganate has lost two of its most brilliant generals, General Katie Anderson, and General Arman Nurzhan."

The Khan paused for a bit, and then continued.

"After graduating from the Khaganate Military Academy on Mars, General Katie Anderson experienced a meteoric rise through the ranks of the Khaganate Army, reaching the rank of General in only seven years, while it had taken others much more time to do so. She was always a lot more cheerful and talkative than some of her colleagues, and was always optimistic, even when the odds where stacked against her. She was a truly great general, and the Khaganate will miss her dearly."

"General Arman Nurzhan had always been a staunch, unyielding man. I don't think I've ever seen him smile to be honest. Like General Anderson, he was a brilliant general. Arman specialized in fortifications and defence, which is somewhat strange considering the fact that the Khaganate Army is mostly based on mobile warfare, like the Mongol Empire was in ancient times, but whatever we were fighting, it always worked out in the end as nothing could get through the frontline trenches and forts he built."

"Me, and the Khaganate as well, will miss them extremely, since they were vital to the Khaganate army. But regardless, we must look towards our future. A new age has begun for the Khaganate Great Expansion Fleet, and we must use every opportunity to survive. Thank you for listening."

The Khan then exited the room through a door near the screen. The cameras cut out, and all of the Kurultai members began leaving the room. Both the fleet admiral and the Khan started going towards the bridge, meeting up in one of the rail-elevators on their way to the Genghis' bridge. "Good speech," the admiral said, "but I can't shake the feeling that we'd need those generals in the future."

"Me too, my friend, me too."

As both men entered the bridge, the bridge crew saluted once again, like they had done previously when the vice-admiral entered. Jens Knaggs was observing the main viewscreen, and turned around upon hearing two people enter the room. "Admiral, and my Khan, we need to talk about something," the vice-admiral said upon seeing who they were.
The two generals had been waiting for quite some time, and with each minute that passed General Anderson was getting more impatient. Eventually, she stood up, walked towards one of the corners of the room, and directly spoke to the camera. "Alright, this has gone on long enough. I demand to see someone and an explanation right now."

"Katie, are you going insane already? It has been only 15 minutes and you're already talking to the walls."

"Shut up Arman, you're becoming your old self again. You know that I don't want to stay here any longer and I know you don't really want to either."

This ended their conversation abruptly. Surprisingly, Katie's wish was granted but not quite the way she wanted and expected, as another fifteen minutes later two people dressed in lab coats, with protective gear on their faces to keep any presumed micro-organisms out. Each of them had suitcases with them, filled with several different tools. "Greetings. We are here to perform a medical examination. After we are done there will come some other people who want to ask you some questions. After that you can go." Both medical personnel quickly went to work. They took blood, skin and hair samples from both Arman and Katie, and even scanned both of them with a strange device. Then, as quickly as they had come, the two doctors had left, presumably to examine the samples they took in a laboratory.

"So, General Nurzhan, how did you end up here?"

"Same as you, Katie, I was told to go to this room to be quarantined, don't you remember?"

"Not like that, dumb-ass. I meant how did you end up being a general. How were you raised, what was your home planet like? You're not very good at this are you? Fine then, I will start first."

Katie continued: "I was born on the ringworld known as New-Dadu, one of the ringworlds in the Four-Ringworlds-system. My father was actually the governor of that ringworld, as his father had been before him. My mother was a relatively unknown xenobiologist. Because I was the daughter of governor, nothing was beyond my reach due to my father's power and wealth, but as I grew older it all started to become boring. I wanted to see the universe, and other civilizations, so I joined the military academy of the Khaganate Army. After becoming an officer I eventually earned the rank of general. So that is how I became who I am today. Now it's your turn."

General Nurzhan opened his mouth to say something, but before Arman could speak, however, the doors opened once again, and a man and a woman, both dressed in protective clothing like the last two visitors, entered the room. "Hello, we are here to ask you some questions about where you exactly were. First of all, what are your names?"

"I am General Katie Anderson," Katie replied, "and that there is General Arman Nurzham. We were both trapped on a planet because of the mis-jump. The ship we were on crashed."

"How long were you stuck on that planet? We observed that time moves faster on the planet you were on. It was obviously a world in the same system where we arrived, seeing that you are here now."

"Three years. After that time, I managed to reunite with Arman, although we initially did not know who we were. Memory loss, I suppose."

"Alright, you can go now. We have determined that you are really you from the medical examination, and our results indicate that you do not carry any pathogens unknown to us. However, do expect someone to pay you a visit later for more questioning."

The two people left, leaving the door open. Katie stoop up immediately and nearly sprinted to the door, while Arman followed in her wake.

"Katie, where are you going?"

"I am going to visit my parents."
Even at night, the streets of New York City were lively and vibrant. Cars sped by as Jord walked on the pavement next to the road. He had exchanged his power armour for his normal clothing when he was in Slingshot's garage at the alley hours earlier, and had been slowly making his way away from that place as soon as he had realized that the SHIELD agent was probably not too happy about the fact that Jord had killed two police officers earlier. In my defense, Jord thought as he reflected on his reasons to leave, I thought they where HYDRA agents, what else was I supposed to do? The mercenary continued walking. He had stored his weapons and armour in the suitcase that he was always carrying with him, concealing them from view. They might have seen him wearing his helmet, but the police hadn't seen his face just yet. Suddenly, he heard a voice saying: "Bio-interface online." Jord looked around to see who said it, but there was not a single person in sight. Then, the same kind of screen that he always saw on the inside of his helmet popped up, and this time it showed a map, with a pinpointed location. He chose to walk towards it.

Ten minutes later, he stood before a hotel. He had stopped in a small abandoned alley earlier, and was now dressed in his suit of power armour, with the Bulwark shield on his left arm. Maybe this is the hotel that that weird guy dressed in a cloak and black leather pants was talking about. Jord knocked on the door.
Soun looked at the main viewscreen. It seemed that the cylindrical object had stopped moving. That was good, he thought, at least they would not ram the Genghis. He could see on some of the smaller screens monitoring the rest of the fleet that were spread around the bridge that the other two cylinders had stopped as well. "Keep weapons, shields and thrusters ready in case any of these objects show hostility." Captain Soun ordered the crew in the bridge. They waited for some time. The captain had sent out a message on the frequencies that they had seen to be most used by other alien empires, and the bridge crew was eagerly awaiting a response. Very shortly after, their patience was rewarded. On the terminal of one of the communication's officers, the one that had originally been responsible for sending the message to the cylinders in the first place, a light lit up, indicating a message. The crew listened intently as the response was being broadcasted by the bridge's speakers.

"Unknown vessel. We are the Lanist Khaganate, and we come in peace."

The captain sat perplexed for a few seconds as he heard the exact same message that he sent to the cylinders. While he was thinking about what had just happened, the results of the initial scanning of the rest of the system started to come in, and the science officer responsible for scanning the system stood up. "Sir, the results of the scan you ordered have come in. There appear to be thousands more objects than we could initially see. We don't know if they are cloaked, but we were able to detect them using our EM-based scanning technology." The man paused a bit as results continued to come in on his screen. It took a few seconds due to the vast astronomical distances that the radio, light and other types of electromagnetic waves had to travel, but at last, the data was processed, showing that all of the objects in the system had vanished. "Um.. captain, all of the objects in the system have vanished," the science officer said. "Also, somehow the EM-scan that we sent out was unable to get the absorption spectrum that would indicate the material these cylinders are made out of. I'm not sure why, but the cylinders are either interfering with our sensors, or black bodies, physical bodies that perfectly absorb all types of radiation."

"Try to find the objects with our subspace and gravitic scanners. Use the tachyon sensors if you have to." The captain ordered. The crew stared at the viewscreens for a few minutes, unsure what these cylindrical objects would do. Then, there was a flash of light, but the time it was there was so short that some of the bridge crew didn't even register it. The mighty vessel was shaken, but there was no discernible source for the force. "What do we do, captain?" the Helmsman asked. "We stay, and we will try to find our way around these cylinders without resorting to violence. What is the status of our shields?"

"Shields fully operational, sir."

"Good. The previous orders of attempting to dodge the ships and departing if the cylinders show hostility are still in effect. We do not know who or what these are, and it seems that they have better technology than us."

Fifteen minutes passed as captain Soun was thinking how they could solve this situation. Then, the screeching began. Bridge crewmen covered their ears as a high-pitched screech was played by the speakers for a whole seven seconds for an unknown reason. Then, the people in the bridge were perplexed as the front cylinder released a giant stone ball.

"Alright, this screeching never happened before, so I will assume it's because of those ships. We are getting out of here right now. Navigator, please plot a course away from those cylinders, and start the wormhole drive charging sequence."
The vice-admiral of the fleet, Jens Knaggs, had been waiting patiently for the shuttle that would bring him back to the fleet's flagship, the KSS Genghis. He looked at his HPC (handheld personal computer), and he could see that he had been standing there for about 10 minutes. Strange, Jens thought, normally the inter-ship traffic would've started by now, but I can't even see anything flying between the other fleet ships. He looked at the HPC again, which was showing a diagram of the fleet and its surroundings. That was when he saw the cylinder. As he looked at the image of the fleet, he could see a giant cylinder tens of miles away from where he was at that moment, but right in front of the flagship. He also saw two other cylinders. They weren't moving, and the rest of the fleet had also stopped. A few more minutes passed while the vice-admiral waited for his transport. The bay doors at the side of the hangar bay he was on began to open slowly, so apparently a ship was on its way. For a very brief moment of time, he could see violet light, and for some strange reason the hangar's floor beneath him began to quake. He fearfully looked at the different spaceships and fighters in the hangar bay, but they had all been properly secured so he had nothing to fear.

Two seconds later, Jens was gone. It took some time for him to process what had just happened. One moment he was waiting for his transport in one of the Atlas' hangar bays, the next he was seated at a dining table somewhere else. He looked around a bit. The vice-admiral could see he had appeared in a civilian vessel, most likely the canteen of a Ger-class, if he looked at the lay-out of the space he was in. Then he noticed a serial number on the wall that the table was next to. As vice-admiral, he knew the serial numbers of nearly every ship in the fleet, so he was able to determine that he was currently on the KSS Yurt, a Ger-class civilian vessel. He continued studying his enviroment, and that was when he noticed Fanny May. My wife is going to kill me if she sees this, Jens thought. He mostly ignored Fanny's words as he was trying to determine exactly where he was and why he was there.

"Um, yeah, sure." He replied. "The Lanist Khaganates goal was to expand, and that's the mission of this fleet: Expansion through both peaceful methods and conquest. We never imagined we would end up in a completely different universe. And I would smile for both the businessman and the street bum, for they are both human, and should all be treated equally.
James, as well as the rest of the group standing around the pod, was too busy staring at general Katie as she took off her helmet to notice the other individual slowly descending from the capsule's ladder. Katie looked at them slightly amused because of the shocked expressions of the faces of the small crowd, and when they recovered from their confusion they saw that the other person had also taken off their helmet. Their shock became even greater when they saw General Arman Nurzham. "Not quite the Welcome Home party I had imagined, but a nice effort nonetheless. Now, since we've just arrived here, please take us to the Khan. I am sure he'll be very happy to see us," General Anderson said. James immediately snapped out of his shock. He raised his rifle and aimed it at General Anderson's head. How could they be so sure that these people that he was looking at were even real? They could be aliens that were imitating General Nurzham and Anderson. Furthermore, they had just come from an unknown planet where they had been stranded for a long time, so they could be carrying all kinds of nasty alien diseases with them. They had to go to quarantine. "General Anderson, it's been quite some time since we've last met. Now please be so kind to follow the quarantine team standing over there." James replied as he pointed to the men and women dressed in white Hazmat suits protecting them from the possible microbial agents that the two new arrivals could have brought with them.

"What?!" General Anderson said, raising her voice. "I am a general and your superior. I demand to be taken to the Khan right away."

"I am sorry, general, but it's protocol." James replied. "There is nothing we can do about it."

General Anderson seemed to be even more irritated and prepared to reply when the other general intervened, saying: "Katie, we should just comply with what they are saying. We can explain what happened to us and talk to the Khan later." General Anderson calmed down slightly. "All right, Arman," she said, "but only because you're asking me to. Take us to the quarantine facility." Both generals put their helmets back on because they were told by the quarantine team while they were walking to the ship's quarantine facilities. One of the people in white suits opened a door and the two generals walked inside. Katie looked around, and she could see a nearly completely empty white room made out of sterile materials. There was a bench near the door and both of them walked towards it and sat on it. And then they waited.
In the Primary bridge of the KSS Genghis, the flagship of the Lanist Khaganate's Great Expansion Fleet, dozens of eyes were nervously watching the main viewscreen. It displayed the information coming from several sensor arrays that were located in the Genghis' massive bow. The bridge crew could see a tunnel made of what seemed to be pure light, slowly moving along. The colors were constantly in flux, changing to all different colors of the rainbow. The atmosphere in the room was tense. If the wormhole were to suddenly show any problems, they'd have to cut it and get out immediately. Already, the fleet had lost tons of equipment, thousands of people and several ships to wormhole accidents. The most recent example was the loss of the KSS Tsol and the KSS Mos, which had been lost in the wormhole accident that had brought the Khaganate to the Diddly Do Sector in the first place, after which the two ships crash-landed on a small habitable world. The Khaganate's fleet could not take such a risk again. The fleet still had hundreds of ships to call upon, but the loss of good captains, commanders and other important people was a problem.

The captain of the Genghis, a man whose name was Soth Soun, sat in his chair. He was eagerly observing the situation. Strangely, the wormhole seemed incredibly stable, more stable than the wormhole of many other jumps they had made before. "Navigator," Soth said, "What is the current status of the wormhole?".

"Wormhole is unusually stable, sir," The navigator said while looking at a screen filled with several different graphs and charts. "Exotic matter levels inside the wormhole tunnel are incredibly high. Risk of causality failure is minimal. Temporal distortions are minimal. 5-dimensional spacetime structure is normal. Wormhole collapse risk is minimal. Reactor and drive systems are operating at full capacity. All systems are nominal. The absolute distance would be 500 lightyears if we were not using FTL. We will exit the wormhole in a minute."

"Thank you navigator," Captain Soun replied. The captain opened the ship's intercom system. "Attention all personnel. We are exiting the wormhole in a minute. Please move to your designated area in case anything goes wrong." Meanwhile, several communications officers were busy relaying the same message to the rest of the ships of the fleet. The vice-admiral of the GEF, Jens Knaggs, was still on the Atlas because ship-to-ship travel was prohibited during wormhole jump due to the dangers it had. Both the admiral and the Khan were in a Kurultai meeting again, as they had been before. Captain Soun hadn't heard what it was about, but there were rumors that it was about a state funeral for two important generals and Kurultai members who were reported as missing in action after two ships had been found to be crashlanded on the planet that the fleet first arrived at. Soth did not have the time to worry about this though, as he currently was in command of the entire fleet since his superiors were currently busy doing other things. He, as well as the bridge crew, would have to watch a recording of it later.

The Genghis, and then the rest of the fleet, slowly moved out of the wormhole. As soon as the entire fleet had departed the wormhole tunnel it closed instantly, and dissapeared from view. The captain looked at the viewscreen, and he could see many structures, seemingly from an artificial origin. "Give me a status report," captain Soun demanded.

"We have arrived in a solar system with a small blue star. From my scanners I have gathered there's eleven planets in the system, of which three are habitable. That's odd... the star would be classified as a blue dwarf by Terran stellar classification and theoretical models of star evolution, but blue dwarfs are evolved forms of red dwarfs so the universe is not old enough for blue dwarfs to have actually formed yet, unless this universe is way older than we thought."

"Isn't it just a B-type star?" The captain asked. He knew the stellar classes. Everyone in the bridge did, or at least they were supposed to.

"Negative, sir." The science officer replied. "B-type stars are always heavier than our sun, while the star of this system has the mass and size of an M-type, but it's actually blue rather than red. There also seem to be hundreds of artificial structures in this system, but they give off no energy signatures, so we were not able to see them when we were making the jump."

"Try to find out more about them using the electromagnetic-wave based scanners. They reflect light, so we should still be able to gather information about them. Get an absorption spectrum as well, we need to know what those things are made out of. Check for signs of hostility as well."

After less than a minute, the warning and accompanying alarm that signified that something was approaching went off in the bridge. The captain peered at the viewscreen, trying to discern what was happening, when he saw it. A giant stone cylinder was approaching the Genghis. Some of the other ships in the fleet reported two of the same objects approaching from the left and right.

"Get thrusters and shields ready." The captain ordered. "If the object gets too close we will have to attempt to dodge it. Tell the other ships in the fleet to attack if these cylinders are hostile. We have four hundred ships, and there's 3 cylinders." Dodging the massive cylinder that was approaching them would be no simple task, captain Soun new. The Genghis itself was 8 miles long and 3 miles wide, and several of the other ships in the Khaganate fleet were nearly as large as the flagship. He ordered the bridge crew to be silent and to attempt to send a message on the most general frequencies. "Unknown vessel. We are the Lanist Khaganate, and we come in peace."
Fanny had completely and suddenly dissapeared from the room she was in. "Command, this is PA-1. The subject is gone. She dissapeared in the blink of an eye." James said upon seeing how Fanny had instantly vanished. "She said something about me being tested telepathically as well."

"We can see that too." Operation Command replied. "We did give her permission to leave. We'll send a recovery team to make sure she doesn't cause too much trouble. You are to report to your team's designated briefing room for a debriefing. We suspect that the subject is a Type-1, seeing how she was so easily able to become invisible to our sensors and telepathically contact you. We've already changed the classification to Delta. It would probably be wise to heed any warnings she may give us, like the one about how we should not invade the medieval world."

"Understood, Operation Command, we will go to the briefing room." James switched the communication device to the task force's frequency. "Phalanx Alpha, we are to report to the briefing room immediately."

James and the rest of Phalanx Alpha went to the briefing room, while the vice-admiral that had been sitting in the containment cell with Fanny moments earlier left to go to the hangar. The fleet was still in the wormhole so space travel was forbidden, but he had nothing better to do anyway.

James and his team entered the designated briefing room. We didn't have to put away our equipment, James thought, maybe we have another mission coming up They sat down in the 12 chairs that had been set up for them. James and their commander started to talk about what exactly the team experienced, with a focus on the strange telepathic messages James had received from Fanny and the fact that they had already encountered a new anomalous entity in the new universe they were in. Afterwards, they had been given the task to go to the hangar bay again, to make sure that the pod that was there wouldn't do anything.
The small pod stood on the hangar bay's floor. James could see that it was a haphazard construction of different parts of escape pods, thrusters, power cores and more various machines the Khaganate used for spaceflight. A small group had gathered around the capsule. There was James' team, but there were also repairmen with their nanite-based repair tools, firemen, doctors, a quarantine team, and several other groups that had been assembled by Operation Command. Phalanx Alpha, James' task force, had their rifles pointed at the door of the small pod. They had no idea what was inside of the pod.

The door started moving. The sound of metal scraping could be heard as the hatch's primitive magnetic lock, the one that was supposed to make sure that the hatch door was closed during spaceflight, was opened. Two people dressed in old spacesuits climbed down from the ladder that had been welded on the capsule much earlier. The spacesuits were Khaganate spacesuits and the people standing around the pod were slightly shocked. What made them even more shocked was when one of them took of her helmet, showing off her long red hair.

"No fucking way..." James whispered to himself as he was staring at the face of General Katie Anderson.

Fanny's words sent James into a slight panic. She had said something to him without even opening her mouth! That had to be clear signs that she was anomalous. And she said something about him being her 'beloved?' He did not really understand what that was about, but he didn't care, as he was facing bigger problems. He contacted the rest of his team, carefully making sure his speaker was not turned on. He knew it probably didn't matter. Judging from her words, the entity had somehow sensed his reaction to the small incident earlier, so it was safe to assume that she could hear what he was going to say as well. "Team, I just heard a voice that did not come from the vice-admiral, any of you, or the other humanoid entities currently in containment in this area. It was the same voice as Fanny May. Have any of you also heard such a voice?"

Most team members just said "Negative, PA-1." While others gave a simple 'No' as answer. James continued talking "Operation Command, this is PA-1. I just received a telepathic message from the entity currently in the containment cell I am stationed in. Message was “I know that feeling, my beloved.” Please add 'telepathic abilities' to description."

"PA-1, this is Operation Command," he heard back "we are editing the file at the moment. Class changed from human to Humanoid Anomalous Entity. Classification moved from Alpha to Beta. Threat level remains unchanged at the moment, due to further lack of evidence of additional anomalous abilities."

"PA-1, Subject just dissapeared from the view of our surveillance equipment. Thermal and other sensors are not picking up anything either. Please confirm subject is still there." James heard after Fanny had said something and then leaned back in her seat.

"I can confirm that subject is still here. At the moment, she is talking about something. From its display I can see that the external microphone on my helmet is still registering sound. Are the room's surveillance microphones able to hear anything?"

"Positive, PA-1. Please be notified that we are considering changing subject classification to Gamma due to revealing new abilities. You are allowed to let her out of containment unless she shows hostile behaviour."

"Understood. We will be on the lookout for more anomalous activity." James readied his weapon again in case the subject decided to become hostile.

Jens, meanwhile, had been listening intently at what Fanny was saying. The vice-admiral had been ignorant of all the commotion around Fanny, as he was currently sitting in a room with her talking, rather than watching her through a monitor. After hearing about her talking how there was going to be a problem with the wormhole drives, he knew that he was going to relay this information somehow, if his commander didn't already know it by now. "Alright," Jens said "Thank you for the information. If you have anymore questions, please ask them, otherwise you are free to move around the ship, but please make sure you stay out of trouble. And do not worry, we will try everything in our power to make sure the inhabitants of the planet below do not advance earlier than they should."

In the hangar, several repairmen had been standing around the Jezebel, unsure what to do. They could not repair it because they had received explicit orders not to do so, but they couldn't just leave it standing around either, because it could very well be dangerous. Then, it simply dissapeared. Several of the engineers simply shrugged and walked away, but one of them managed to call whoever was in charge of the operation, informing them that the small ship belonging to Fanny had dissapeared. Whoever he was calling with noted it down. It seemed that the ship had anomalous properties as well.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The Khan and some of the scientists were debating what to do about these ships, when one of the monitors in the primary bridge suddenly turned on. All heads turned towards the screen as a disembodied voice was talking about how a spatial anomaly was messing up subspace. The admiral quietly gave an order to turn on the subspace scanners, and the disembodied voice was proven correct. Then, a person actually appeared where the chair they were watching was, and they saw her turn towards them. She said something about protecting the people of the planet below them from knowledge. The Khan thought about it a bit for a moment, thinking what to do. "Alright, we are leaving. Admiral, give the order to start the wormhole jump. We should listen to warnings of people who can randomly hack our screens."

The fleet lined up for the wormhole jump, and the wormhole generators were charging, getting ready to make a jump.
Katie Anderson turned around, looking at the man standing near her. She recognized him immediately, as the memories she had built up over the past three years suddenly gave way to ones that were older. Suddenly, she remembered her childhood, military career and her rivalry with the white-haired general, Arman Nurzhan. She also remembered how they ended up on this planet after the Lanist Khaganate's Great Expansion Fleet had tried to jump too far with a fleet that is too big.
"Arman, is that really you?" She spoke softly, as if she was somehow afraid to invoke the general's wrath. She remembered the source of their friction being the fact that they were in the same position, as well as, according to her, that Arman was always an asshole to everything and everyone.

"Yes. It is I, Arman Nurzhan." The stranger said as he removed the hood that was covering his head, revealing his white hair and beard. "And you, Katie Anderson, are a traitor." He got rid of his cloak completely, and it moved a few meters away from him as it glided on the wind. He drew his two-handed sword, placing his other hand on the hilt as well, getting ready to strike. "Now, Katie Anderson, former general of the Lanist Khaganate, former member of the Kurultai. Are you ready to face the Khan's justice and pay for your crimes?"

"Oh shut up you idiot!" She responded "We both know that that's not true. While you were out on the eastern border and I was sitting at home, general Teo screwed us all over by using the landship he was now in command of to punch a hole through the southern border front, allowing the Ubrax army to pour in. But if you are not even going to let me explain it, I guess we will have to do it the hard way." Katie then drew her own sword, a short one-handed one made out of titanium alloyed with steel, and got into a fighting stance.

Unlike his usual, more guarded approach, Arman charged forward, readying his sword, and swinging it fiercely in Katie's direction from the right. Her hair moved wildly in the wind as she dodged his strike. She jumped to his unguarded left, attempting to stab him at weak point with her short sword, but he parried the blow. Katie had no intent of actually killing or harming him. She only wanted to disarm the general, so she could actually prove that she hadn't actually done anything wrong. She would not be able to fight at such a rate much longer though, she knew. Ironically, to win from the general, she had to think like Arman. While dodging Arman's furious strikes, Katie looked at and analyzed her surroundings. They were standing on the thin crater rim, which was 2-3 meters at its widest point, which as she could see was tens of meters away. Arman had driven her away from the wide part so she could not maneuver that easily. They were instead standing on a very narrow part which was 1 meter wide at most, and was mostly made out of small rocks and gravel due to erosion. She knew exactly what she had to do. As Arman charged at her again, ready to put an end to it, she saw a particularly round stone, and kicked it at him. It rolled over the small path, arriving exactly where Katie wanted it, namely right beneath Arman's feet. The general stumbled over the rolling stone, and Katie ran towards him, kicking his right leg, making him losing his balance further. Arman fell, and Katie put the tip of her blade on his throat.

"Yield, and allow me to explain myself." She said to him, calmly. Arman responded by angrily yelling at her, telling her to kill him. "Finish me!" He said. "Do it!. You defeated me when I called you a traitor. Now finish it off!" Katie was slightly shocked by his suicidal stupidity, but chose not to kill him." "Stop it!" she yelled back. "I will tell you why you're wrong. Besides, if I kill you, who else can I constantly compete with?"

"After I accidentally got the only landship of the planet we were on, Leviathan Alpha, stuck and nearly destroyed, I stepped down as general for a time to atone for my mistake. You know this, because I am sure you were present at the Kurultai where the Khan decided to share it with you all. That means you must also know that the man who replaced me was general Teo Escamilla. Meanwhile, I sat at home for a time, trying to figure out the weakest point in the fortresses lining the southern border. Then, I was nearly killed by an assassin that someone had sent to kill me. I then worked together with the Omega Order for a few months to find out who tried to have me killed that night. It turns out it was none other than general Teo. We went to the Kurultai to accuse him of treason, but by then it was already too late. Leviathan Alpha had been repaired, and the general had used it to destroy a part of the southern front, allowing the Ubrax troops to pour in while you were stuck in the east trying to fortify our border against the alien threat that had nearly destroyed the landship several months earlier. So now you know that general Teo was the traitor, and not me. Why else would the Khan allow me to be on the Tsol in the first place?"

Katie removed her sword and put it back in its sheath. For a moment, it seemed as if general Nurzhan was going to get his own weapon back and attack her, but he stood up, and simply said "I am sorry for doubting you, Katie." "Good," she responded "You need me anyway if we're going to try to get off this rock."

The first day that they had arrived at the wreckage, they simply rested. It had been a long journey for Katie and Arman, so they needed all the energy they could muster for the next few days. The following days, they explored the wreckage. Some of the transport elevators were still operational, and they used it to great effect to explore the rest of the wreck. Katie had found the escape pods, while Arman found the cargo hold, filled with useful materials, tools and other equipment they could use to build something. That night, after they had both eaten some of the rations that they had found in one of the ship's kitchens, Katie took Arman to the Tsol's bridge. The ship's reactor was still operational, protected from the forces of the crash by thick walls and blast doors, and miraculously they got the ship's computer systems online. Arman hooked up one of the laptops from the former crew that he found laying around, and they soon were able to access the entire ship's databanks and information logs.

"Alright Katie, here's the plan. It seems that the Khaganate fleet is currently in orbit around this planet. I am not sure why, but I cannot contact them, so there must be something going on. What we need to do is build a ship that can launch us to space and intercept the fleet."

"I have already checked the few hangar bays this ship has, but all ships either fled or got destroyed. It seems that building something out of the escape pods is our only choice. A few pods put together, maybe made more aerodynamic or with some added thrusters, should do the trick."

"Alright then, let's get to work."

And so, the great work began. They worked day and night, gathering supplies, calculating orbits and trajectories, and putting the machine together. They hunted for food, and, in absence of better entertainment, they talked to eachother like normal people instead of their usual bickering. Working together to escape the planet had made them friends, from rivals. In the end, they put together a sturdy vessel capable of reaching the Khaganate's main fleet. Powered by a small fusion generator, and propelled by plasma thrusters, it had room for 2 people. It could even seperate into 2 escape pods with communication, food and water. It had taken weeks to build, but it was surely worth it.

It was the day of the launch. Arman had calculated the trajectory they'd have to take and found out that that particular day was the best one. Both of them had eaten a meal that was reserved for the generals that they were, a lot better than the basic rations the soldiers and civilians got. "Katie, I saw something that may or may not be extremely important. When I was in one of the science labs, I looked at a monitor, and it was clearly displaying some sort of gravitational anomaly around the planet. I think that this ship is somehow causing it. We will have to destroy it, otherwise we cannot get away. When we are ready to launch, I am going to overload the reactor, destroying the ship and the surrounding area"

"But Arman," Katie responded, "That is too dangerous. You could die."

"I know what I am doing and I am fully aware of the risks. If it is needed, I will sacrifice myself so you can get away. If I die, I want you to tell the Khan exactly how I died. Now, let's get ready to go shall we?"

They put on the space-suits that they had reserved for launch day. They were older versions of the more advanced suits of power armour the Khaganate was using now, light enough to cost minimal fuel for the small spacecraft that they had built. The Khaganate fleet neared the location where the ship's trajectory and the fleet's orbit would meet. Katie entered the spacecraft and began doing the pre-flight checks. Arman ran to the ship's bridge, starting the reactor overload sequence. The ship's countdown started. Katie realized Arman was not aboard yet, but there was nothing she could do.
Arman climbed up the ladder incredibly quickly, opened and closed the door, and quickly sat in his seat.
"Liftoff," the computer said, and the thrusters ignited. Katie and Arman were pressed into their seats because of the massive g-forces from the spacecraft as it started flying through the atmosphere. When they reached the stratosphere, the massive spacecraft beneath them exploded, just as Arman had planned. The explosion would be seen from several miles away, but when some of the creatures of the planet below came to investigate, they would find nothing that they could use.
Meanwhile, in space, the Khaganate's Great Expansion Fleet was lined up for a wormhole jump to the system with the habitable planet where they would settle. The wormhole drive began generating a wormhole. In a minute, the wormhole opened. Subspace scanners and advanced navigation systems had plotted a route that would be mostly free of the mess that the spatial anomaly had made in subspace. The fleet slowly started going in.

In the Atlas, the captain was notified of a massive explosion on the planet beneath them, and the subsequent dissapearance of the gravitational anomaly that had covered it. Then, the scanners of the stratocruiser picked up a small signal coming from a tiny spacecraft that was currently flying through the upper atmosphere. It was cut off because the Atlas had entered a wormhole. The captain knew what they had to do. Without saying a word to the rest of the fleet, he gave the order.
Finally, the small spacecraft reached outer space. Arman started to look out the window, wondering where the fleet was, he heard Katie softly sobbing in the background. The fleet was gone. He checked the small screen they had in the cockpit. It was completely, utterly gone. He realized they must've jumped away while they were launching and had been unable to contact the fleet. The two would die completely alone, cut off from the rest of the Khaganate fleet. It took some time before it hit him, but he did not break under the realization what would happen. He held Katie, trying to calm her down. There was no point to it, really, it would not change their inevitable fate. They looked at eachother. Tears streamed down Katie's face while Arman's face remained stern and unchanged.

Then, in front of the small cockpit, space itself opened. A brilliant display of colours distracted both of them as they looked out the window. The Atlas had arrived. With only the unique wormhole generator that it had at its disposal, it opened another wormhole as it flew towards the small pod. The hangar bay on its side opened as one of the enormous cannons on its hull turned towards the icy northern part of the planet. The captain had planned to heed Fanny's warning. The cannon fired one shot. It curved towards the planet, influenced by its gravity. It tore through the atmosphere, looking like a shooting star to the denizens of the world and landed exactly where it was planned: the other Khaganate shipwreck. The explosion was massive, and the shipwreck was completely vaporized, and only a crater remained. The recoil of the gun steered the ship in the right direction, and the small two-man pod went through the hangar bay's force field and landed on its floor.

The Atlas entered the wormhole it had made and rejoined the rest of the fleet.
The Khaganate fleet continued their orbit around the medieval planet, lazily passing over it as its ships tried to scan the planet and its surroundings for a slight grain of information. They had already learned that somehow, the two Khaganate ships that had been missing had somehow ended up on the planet below, earlier than the main Khaganate fleet.

The Khagan of the Khaganate, Yuri Lanist, as well as the admiral of the fleet, a rather short man with brown hair named Jay Haward, were sitting in the Genghis' primary bridge. The primary bridge, contrary to the secondary one, was located more into the vessel, having several viewscreens instead of windows to make it safer for the crew inside. It was also located near the conference room where the Kurultai meetings were held, a specialized meeting room equipped with screens and holographic projectors. Both men had just returned from the meeting, exhausted from the many discussions that were held there. Yuri had just given the order to leave if nothing was heard from the wrecks on the planetary surface.

Then, a group of scientists and some science officers came into the bridge at a frantic pace. The leading scientist bowed before Yuri before speaking. "We have discovered some new information that will most likely be very important to you." Yuri nodded, signaling that the scientist should continue. "We have discovered that the lost two Khaganate ships have somehow ended up at opposite ends of the planet. One is in the larger southern continent you can see on the viewscreen right now, while the other is near the arctic wastes of the world. We have also found out that the strange gravitational anomaly that caused many of the dropships that had been sent in to investigate and were completely ripped apart was caused by the wormhole generators of these two ships. I will spare you the scientific details, but the mass compressor required for puncturing a hole through spacetime has gone haywire, causing the anomaly that we have observed earlier. Interestingly enough, this also causes a temporal anomaly, where time is actually accelerated relative to us. If a few hours pass here, several days will have passed."
As Fanny May rose from her seat, the tension in the room increased to the point where one could cut it with a knife. James and his colleague standing a few meters next to him at the opposite side of the doorway kept a firm grip on their heavy assault rifles. People or humanoids brought to these containment areas weren't really supposed to move, and James' keen eye had seen how she was able to stand against the almost unreasonably high acceleration of the elevator. He could see something was up with her, he had faced far too many anomalous beings and dangers to not quickly notice when something was off. And he knew that Operation Command, who were constantly watching the situation through cameras in the containment cell, elevator, and his team's helmets. By now, PA-3 to PA-12 must've been lining up at the door, ready to bust in if it is needed, James thought. He readied his weapon, covertly switching the safety off. To his surprise though, nothing special happened, and Fanny returned to her seat after giving the vice-admiral a kiss on his nose and forehead. Apparently, there was no danger after all, and James slowly let out his breath, making sure no one could see his disbelief. His face was hidden behind a gas mask anyway, so neither the vice-admiral nor PA-2 had noticed it.

Vice-admiral Jens Knaggs responded to Fanny: "Thank you for warning us of the danger of repairing your ship. You will probably be happy to know that sharing your knowledge saved some lives."

Right at that moment, in the hangar bay, several repairmen immediately backed away from the small ship that had been placed there earlier as soon as they had gotten the order to do so. They had been told to repair it earlier, but upon hearing Fanny's information someone in Operation Command immediately turned on the hangar's intercom speakers, telling the men and women not to do so.

"Secondly," Jens continued, "You are indeed correct that our arrival here has not been... as we had hoped, but thank you for your kind reception." The vice-admiral did not really listen to what she said after that. He was not a superstitious man who believed in bad omens, so he would not believe the way the Khaganate arrived here, however chaotic, was a sign of bad things to come.

He had seen how she considered giving him advice, and found it mildly suspicious, so he decided to ask about it. "Now, I would like to ask you a question, if I may. I do not wish to overstep my bounds, considering you probably know a lot more about this universe than we do, but what is the advice you mentioned that you wanted to give me earlier? We know nothing about this universe, so any information would help us greatly. Do not worry though, we are not the barbarians that some see us as, so we will not try to force this information out of you in any way."
The fire crackled as one of the duchess' servants threw another chopped wooden log on the campfire. Several lackeys, soldiers, and even some mercenaries were sitting around the fire. The stranger thought back on how he ended up in this position.

When he saw the woman, and especially, heard her name, immediately another one of those strange feelings of recognition, the same one that he had felt when he saw the many lights in the night sky that night in the tavern, overtook him. This time however, it was a lot stronger, and didn't go away so quickly, as if something deep inside him tried to either warn or alert him of something, but he did not know what. He followed her, while she rode on her horse, back towards the campsite, where several wagons had been placed as a defensive makeshift barrier. He listened to how she and her captain of the guard had heard great stories about how a traveller with white hair was travelling through several realms. The stranger knew this was obviously an attempt to flatter him to get him to actually accept their proposal. Then the duchess explained how she was travelling towards the south, and needed capable soldiers to protect her. He only became interested when they started talking about the reward "So," the stranger replied, "I help you, and in return I will get a lot of money? Sounds like a deal."

The duchess had talked to him alone a bit later, telling her about a strange dream she had, after which she felt the compulsion to travel towards the southern part of the continent. The stranger had replied by saying that he also had the same dream, but he did not know what or who caused something like that to happen.

And so, the stranger had joined the group of travellers. He was making his own journey towards the southern part of the world anyway, and if he got money for travelling with a group and doing what he usually did that was nothing less than a win-win situation to him.

The man had been staring into the fire for a while, when he was soon disturbed by a lot of noise, seemingly caused by Katie furiously storming out of her tent, followed by a small crowd of servants, advisors, and other important people. Contrary to her earlier appearance, the duchess was now clad in clothes that were more fit for travelling. They were all bickering about something the stranger could not hear because they were still too far away, but he did know that they were coming closer, and they were coming fast. Soon, they were near him, and duchess Anderson spoke to him.

"Stranger, I will be continuing on this journey with you from this point on, and with you alone."

He heard the captain of the guard reply that she should not associate with a wanderer like him, and that he could be very dangerous, but Katie countered by saying that the stranger had the same dream as she did, and that there had to be something that had to be investigated. Soon, the staff were grudgingly forced to accept her decision, as she was still their duchess, and the stranger and Katie set off to adventure.

It was the first day of their journey together. They had already been able to cover a lot of distance between their original starting point and their end goal. The duchess had been able to hunt for some food with a bow and arrows she had brought along, and they had been cooking the food and eating it. Katie turned to the stranger, and said to him "I wonder what you look like under that hood.", so the stranger removed it, revealing his white hair, grey eyes, beard that had slowly been growing and most prominently the massive wound that ran across his face. She asked him if he was alright, or in pain, but he didn't reply. The wound had not fully healed yet although scar tissue had started to form, but it still hurt slightly. The stranger did not really like to admit such things and soon went to sleep, ignoring her question.

It had been a week, and the warmer and drier climate of the area they were in signified that they were approaching their goal. They had only had one horse for the entire journey, because the duchess' servants and soldiers needed them or some of them were simply too weak to carry them, so they took Katie's brown mare. The stranger was riding it, while Katie sat behind him, holding him as she fell asleep. For some unknown reason, the stranger realized he had been smiling as the small incident happened, but why he did not know. Soon, the wanderer and the duchess had slowly started to trust eachother a lot more, and after a relatively long time travelling together one could say they had started to become friends.

The area had started to get more hilly as they came closer to their destination. Both Katie and the stranger felt that they were getting close, and chose to walk the last part rather than ride a horse. They both felt that whatever lay behind those last few hills would change everything, and they wanted to savor those last moments together. The trek towards their final goal was brutal, and both sometimes nearly fell off a hill or cliff, only to be saved by the other. At one point, Katie nearly died when some wild animals ambushed their camp, but was saved by the stranger as he drove his sword through the bear's head.

It was the final hill. It took several hours to even scale it, so bad was the path upwards. However, with the stranger's unyielding will and the duchess' clever tactics, they prevailed and they both looked out over the area. They could see a massive crater, with a radius of at least several miles, and in it was the strangest metal construction either of them had seen. Unbeknownst to them, they looked upon the broken and twisted form of the wreckage of the KRS Tsol, a Khaganate spaceship that had crash-landed three years earlier after the same disastrous wormhole jump as the rest of the GEF. They gazed upon the strange vessel, wondering what it was.

And they remembered everything.

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