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Who am I? I’m a super geek who grew up in the 80’s with the old D&D cartoon, He-Man and the Thundercats. I’ve taken that geekiness into my adulthood along with a love and passion for writing. I want to delight you with my weird and wonderful tales of heroic derring-do and my eclectic yet memorable cast of characters.

Let me into your role play world — we will do wonderful things together.

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The scream pierced the clearing. Merrill glanced back towards the source of the sound.

”Callie,” he called out.

The figure stepped forwards into the light. The girls skin was tanned, and her brown curly locks fell to her shoulders. She wore a bright shawl of different colours, of purples, reds, yellows and oranges. Dark brown breeches and black boots completed the travellers unusual garb.

The flash of a knife reflected off the moon....

Merrill caught her wrist as she plunged the knife down. Holding her gaze, Merrill held her hand above his chest, the edge of the blade threatening to come down.

”You have hunted me.....all this time. Why?”

Dulcimae shook her head.

”Because of what you are. What you will become.....brother.”

He could see it in her eyes.

”You’re not committed to this course. Your heart isn’t in it. You, of all people should know better than to believe in prophecy Dulcimae.”

The knife fell from nerveless fingers, striking the ground. Looking to her, Merrill shook his head.

”I don’t have time for this Dulcimae.”

He raced back the way he came...

***


Flames erupted around Callie. The creature, whatever it was, went up in fire. The next thing that Callie felt was pain as it sank its fangs into her leg. Slithering back down, it wriggled and raced back into the shadows at the edge of the clearing as it burst into flame.

”Callie, hang on!”

Merrill’s cry came from the distance. Bursting into the clearing, he was shocked to see it in flame, and in the center of the fiery inferno was Callie.....

Trying to get to her, Merrill weaved around the flames......

He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards him. As he did so, the flames caught the back of his breeches, setting him on fire.....

As his finger hovered over the ignition, Morgan looked back to her. His eyebrow raised slightly at her comment.

”Science Officer Briarwood...” he began as he pressed the button.

Behind them the jets came to life with a loud roar as the Falcon started to inch forwards slowly.

”You’re about to be the first of the human race to set foot on a planet in the Epsilon System.”

The officer waved them forwards. Twisting the flight stick, Morgan maneuvered the ship to the left. In the distance, the hangar bay doors began to open.

”Your siblings and your parents, for all their achievements haven’t done what you’re about to do. Congratulations Miss Briarwood,” he turned his head to her with a small smile. ”...you’re about to join the list of people that have accomplished something.”

Grinning, Morgan pressed the throttle forward softly, moving the pod forwards. Beyond, the open expanse of space beckoned. A veritable carpet of black punctuated by white glittering stars. The officer outside nodded his head and moved out of the way. On the metal walkway, standing at its head, Major Carver looked over. He held his hand up, signalling to the two of them.

Three days. Don’t be late

Heading towards the end of the hangar, the pod gradually increased pace. The exit came closer, leading to the cavernous, never ending abyss of space beyond.....

Then it was free, and the Falcon was heading out into the great unknown. On either side the blackness of the universe could be seen. There were other aircraft, both heading towards and away from the Galacticus on their own individual missions.

A waystation was hovering near the Galacticus, flashing red and green lights to mark the position of the ship. Several patrol ships circled the perimeter, keeping an eye out for any threats.

Turning his head back to Beatrice, Morgan grinned again.

”Are you ready to make your mark on the universe officer?”

He pressed the button to engage warp speed.


Name: Karnak
Age: 24
Race: Human (Erenlander)
Heroic Path: Painless
Profession: Wildlander

Appearance:

Standing at over six feet tall, Karnak is an imposing figure. A hulking form, intimidating in his bearing, and carrying with him his deadly blade, it is the features that strike most fear into his enemies.

His eyes, deep and blue are cold as ice, promising death to his enemies, an inevitable end that they cannot escape from. His mouth, a thin, hard line carries with it no humour, no kindness, nothing but cold, hard death.

His stance, proud and tall, tell all who come upon him that here is an implacable, unyielding foe that will haunt them to the grave or die trying.

Personality:

There is little that remains of the man that Karnak once was. Knowing that ultimately he was responsible for his own downfall and, ultimately, his own death from the Shadow that follows him relentlessly, he has sunk into a shell of bitterness and self-hatred. His soul is tainted and blackened from the experiences that have destroyed all of the man he once was.

Yet, unbeknownst to him, some unknown entity favours him and calls him their own. Perhaps he doesn't realise that the strength of his own personality, his own indomitable willpower to survive in the face of almost overwhelming odds that would have crushed another is enough to retain some small favour in the eyes of this mysterious agent.

Perhaps someone, somewhere, realises that Karnak is not totally lost yet, that there is still a chance, however small that he may yet become the champion he was born to be. Karnak now is a sardonic, black-humoured individual lost behind the boundaries of his own self-pity. He tries to keep himself to himself and rarely speaks. When he does there is very little humour and warmth in his voice. He was never trained to love or to have respect for his fellow people, only for himself and his own abilities, and his recent experiences have driven out whatever humanity he once had.

And yet, deep beneath it all is a man who, if befriended, will give his all for his fellow and defend them with the ferocity that only he can muster. He is reckless, dangerously so, charging forwards with little regard for his own life, as it is all he has left, and yet, perversely, he spends his entire existence on the run from the Shadow, that posses the ability to end his life at any time it so chooses. He has his own set of morals, twisted that they are.....and loyalty is one of those morals. Karnak is a paradox, a paradox of a man and one deeply conflicted. If he could seek some sort of redemption....something to free himself from the self-imposed curse that has claimed his life then he would do it without a moment's hesitation.

Karnak doesn't trust easily, and certainly doesn't trust anyone with his dark secret. Since he desires isolation, the closer he gets to someone, the more harshly he treats them, trying to drive them away so they don't suffer the same ignominious fate that he himself is. Yet, deep down, all he desires more than anything else is for someone to break through the barriers he has set in front of himself, someone to save him from himself.

Background:

How do I reconcile with my fate? I was once an agent of darkness, Izrador's chosen one, it was my life's duty to seek out and strike down the enemies of my lord. It was my duty to bring to them the divine justice of my lord. Yet this is no longer the case. I have been driven to the depths of the world, to whatever dark corners will shield me from sight. For I am the hunted, not the hunter, cursed to wander the world for eternity lest the agents of shadow that pursue me strip the flesh from my bones and devour my soul. A sad fall for one such as myself, one who once stood high in the divine graces of my liege.

Karnak was once exulted as an agent of Izrador, one of the Legates. He who once stood in his lords favour, as one of the Night King's Lieutenants. How badly things went wrong. How far the mighty have fallen. Karnak was a protege. Marked for greatness at an early age, he was taken as a babe by acolytes of Sunulael, the Priest of Shadow. He could see that this one was special, unlike the rest. His divinations prophesied that he would one day become a mighty warrior, perhaps the greatest that Aryth had seen.

And so Karnak was stolen to the dark citadel of Theros Obsidia, and there he was trained from the day he was strong enough to hold a weapon in his hand. And train he did, each day working long and hard, practising in the art of war, learning the tenets of Izrador, being drilled each and every day in his beliefs. And Izrador watched, and was pleased with what he saw.

When he was ready, Karnak was given his divine mission. He was to seek down and destroy the enemies of Izrador. Karnak revelled in this task, for he had been tempered in war and death, so had little place for love, friendship or humanity. He existed for one thing and one thing only - the death of his enemies. Karnak was unmatched in his ability, and all who stood before him fell beneath the strength of his blade, and the power of his prayers. With the favour of Sunulael watching over him, it seemed that nothing could halt his mission.

As with most things though, the equilibrium would shift eventually. There was one thing that would prove to be Karnak's downfall. His own pride. As he slew one foe after the next, Karnak grew overconfident and cocky. He was tasked with tracking down and slaying an elven channeler by the name of Lucan Stelios. Karnak tracked the Channeler down successfully and, overcoming the defenses in the spellcaster's home, struck a mortal blow to him. As Lucan lay dying, Karnak stood over the fallen body of his foe, mocking him in the name of Izrador.

Lucan wasn't finished though. With his dying breath, the channeler cursed his slayer. The curse, given power by the hand of fate and the wish of the dying, manifested itself and severed Karnak's link with Izrador. Suddenly, his connection with his dark god severed, Karnak, bereft of his powers and abilities as a Legate, felt weak for the first time in his life. Worse, the dying channeler's curse not only severed his link with Izrador, it destroyed the dark god's hold and power over him.

To his eternal horror, the realisation of what he had done and the carnage and death he had been directly responsible for hit him hard. He was now bereft of his god, and his soul was stained with the deaths of countless hundreds of innocents. Izrador would not accept him back, and worse, knowing the secrets he did, he would be damned, and hunted by the dark god's agents. They would not tolerate his existence. Without having a choice, he renounced his divine charge, his life now become one of mere survival. Karnak now travels the world, trying to hide from the Shadow that trails him always, realising that he cannot ever escape. He knows deep down that he is doomed, that through casting aside his charge he will inevitably die.

He has renounced his past, and his time as an agent of Izrador, seeing now, even though it was too late, the error of his ways. Determined that even though he would inevitably die, he would die seeking redemption from his dark past, looking to embrace the ways of the resistance against Izrador.
Far, far to the north, in the frozen bowels at the spine of the world, a white tower rose up into the night sky. Outside, the sky shone with different colours. Purple, pink, blue, orange set against the glittering canopy that lay over the world of Aryth. There was very little that was pretty left, but this, the aurora borealis, was one of the few things of genuine beauty in this shattered world.

Inside this pale, marble tower of purest white, on the very top floor, a figure sat. Hunched over a wooden oak table, the figure pored over an ancient tome. Behind him, a fire crackled in the background, its light casting a flickering dark silhouette through the window. If the figure was affected or moved by the beautiful tapestry painted over the night sky behind him, he did not show it. Because for Aldherin, Sorceror of Shadow and one of the four Night Kings, there was little room left in his heart for beauty or warmth. All those things he had left behind him long, long ago. Back when the Shadow took him.

Flicker.

The pale face of an elven maiden looked back at him as he lay on the grass. Overhead in the sky, the sun shone brightly. There was a cool breeze blowing through the clearing. Sighing lazily, Aldherin looked to the sky as he snaked an arm around the maiden's shoulder, drawing her into him and holding her close.

"Would it be that this day could last forever, my love," he sighed again as he closed his eyes, feeling her head lay snugly into his breast.

Alas it could not, and as much as he wished it would, he knew all too well that reality would soon come crashing into his daydream. Already, rumours spoke of dark things stirring in the north, within the Spine of the World. Elven spies had spoken of strange activity amidst the frozen wasteland. The orcs were gathering and forming what seemed to be a unified force. Such a thing was unheard of. Traditionally the tribes of the northern lands spent so much bickering and fighting amongst each other that they were of no threat to anyone else. Yet now they moved en masse. Had something, some unknown force unified them under one banner? It was hard to believe, yet a troubling force nonetheless.

A small yawn next to him banished his fears, even if only temporarily. Looking down with a small smile to the elven lass curled up near him, Aldherin put his concerns to one side. How could he not when his childhood sweetheart lay next to him?

"Are you tired? You'd better take this time to rest up. Its your coronation soon, and you won't have any time left at all to enjoy these moments."

Almond-shaped, blue eyes opened as the girl balled her fist and punched him playfully. "You're such a dour-faced bore Aldherin. Do you have to put a downer on everything?"

Chuckling, Aldherin laid his head on the ground. "Somebody's got to be the serious one of the two of us Aradil."

Flicker.

The distant memory was one of the very few ones that Aldherin still held onto. As he sat, looking at ancient texts, he made a small gesture with his hand. The air in front of him flickered, gradually taking shape as it formed into the image of that pale, elven lass from so many years ago. Looking at it, Aldherin sighed as he whispered, "Everything that I have done, everything that has happened it is all because of you Aradil. You may deny me, but you cannot deny to yourself the truth that you desperately keep hidden inside of you."

Flicker.

The armies poured out from all sides. Meeting them, the elven forces stood firm. Standing away from then, Aldherin tried to block out the screaming and the clash of sword upon sword. His people were dying. Back in the great forest of Erethor, Queen Aradil was trying desperately to weave her magics, to cast the spell that he knew would save the dying remnants of the elves. This was not a battle they could win. And yet, as the armies of orcs boiled forth, ceaseless and neverending in their numbers, Aldherin knew that everything that he was doing, everything that his army was doing was nothing more than a delaying tactic. They could not win this fight. As he marched forth that day, Aldherin knew he was going forth to die.

And die he would, with pride, keeping his love safe.

There was a reason he was standing here, at this point, even as the rest of his people died in the ground below, the grass stained with their blood. Aldherin knew this would be the focal point of the conflict. This was where *he* would show.

Guttural snarling told the elf that he was not alone. Lips curled up in a slight smile as two orcs approached, clutching their vardatches tightly in their gnarled fists. Raising his arms to either side, Aldherin beckoned the orcs to approach. And approach they did, both of them springing into action, charging forwards as they attacked. But Aldherin was ready.

Spinning to one side, he dodged the first's clumsy attack as the second tried to close in from the other side. Swinging its vardatch, Aldherin brought his hand up, catching it on the wrist and keeping the deadly weapon from connecting with his neck. Balling his fist, he smashed it into the creature's throat, channeling the fire through his hands as he did so. The orc screamed, a sound that was cut off into a gurgle as the flames raced forth, immolating it and turning it into ash on the spot. Turning, he saw just in time as the first orc hurled a javelin at him. Waving his hand, a thin curtain of flame appeared, turning the javelin to ash as it pierced the flames, burning it before it even reached him.

Then, suddenly running forwards towards it, he spread his fingers. The orc, not prepared for the sudden ferocity of the onwards assault, did not react in time. Taken by surprise, it stood there as Aldherin dove forwards, driving his fingers through its eyes. Snarling, Aldherin summoned forth crackling electricity as he snarled, "Die, grak'lokk scum!" The electricity came through his fingers, channeling itself straight into the creature's gaping sockets. It screamed for all of a second before its head exploded in a shower of gore and brains.

Aldherin was alone, for a second, breathing heavily with the bodies of his slain opponents around him.

Then, the sound of clapping echoed throughout the clearing. Facing the sound, Aldherin looked to see a tall, imposing, hulking figure wearing armour made of the blackest ebony. The figure's head was obscured by a black helm with two slits for eyes.

"Jahzir."

Aldherin spat the word out. "What price did you pay, old friend? What price to betray everything you once held dear and turn your back on your own countrymen to make your lot with Izrador?"

Holding a large double-bladed sword on his hand, Jahzir pointed it at Aldherin as he responded. "For once, old friend, I wanted to be on the winning side. There is no sense in supporting a doomed cause, as you will soon find out."

Behind him, the gangly forms of more orcs appeared, flanking the Night King. Aldherin laughed grimly at the sight. This was not a fight he could win. Yet, it wasn't about winning. It was about buying Aradil enough time to complete her spell. And this....this, he could do.

Aldherin spat on the ground. "One more time then, friend. For old times sake."

With a scream, Aldherin charged in to engage his foe one last time, moving forwards to his own death.

Flicker.

But I did not die that day. *He* made sure I did not die.


Aldherin closed the book with a sigh. Reminiscing about the past made little difference. What was done was done now, and in the centuries since his taking, Aldherin's name and legacy had been stained with countless dark deeds. Whereas once he was the saviour of his people, now he was the slayer. Elf, human, dwarf, gnome and halfling alike had fallen under the power of his arcane might. Power that none, not even Aradil herself, could stand against.

"Aradil." The sound was like the harsh scratching of metal claws digging into wood. "You loved me once, long, long ago, as I once did you."

With a wave of his hand, he banished the image, and Aradil faded into nothingness. "Time changes all things, does it not, my love." Laughing, Aldherin walked slowly to the window to look out into the frozen world beyond. "The next time we meet, love, one of us will die. And your power, great as it is, cannot match mine, fuelled as it is by my dark god."

Clenching his fist, Aldherin watched idly as it glimmered with a glowing, white light. A light that burned brightly for a few seconds before fading into nothingness. "It is sad that it has come to this, but there is no way back for either of us now. We can only watch powerless as the path that is laid before us, and the story plays out to its conclusion."

His dark eyes glittered as he stared at the night sky.

"There is so little you know, love. So little that you and my precious god realise. The knowledge that I possess will change the world forevermore."

His voice trailed off, echoing in the wind as he whispered. "I have learned how to pierce the Veil separating our world from the realms beyond. And I need one more thing, one thing only to complete the ritual."

Another image formed in front of his eyes. That of a small, brass cylinder. Aldherin reached towards it, but his hands passed through the ghostly illusion.

"So small, so insignificant looking, yet the power you possess will bring a god to its knees."

The image faded as Aldherin looked away. "Soon, soon I will possess the key, and all the world's mysteries will lay open at my feet."

Smiling, Aldherin walked away from the window to contemplate, not on what once was, but of what could have been.
@Birb the game is freeform but based on a d20 setting. The Heroic Path is a series of abilities that you will get at certain story junctures. For example, from your choice Charismatic, you will start the game with the ability to convince one person to do something they normally wouldn’t do once a day. At a certain point in the game you will get access to the next ability, but I will tell you when that is.

@ZAVAZggg You can play a character who used to serve the dark god and renounced his worship, but you cannot play a character currently serving the dark god.
The War of the Shadow





​In the ageless time before the dawn of history, there was a war in heaven. In desperation, the lords of light severed the black spirit of the dark god Izrador, casting him out of the celestial kingdom above the world of Aryth.

The gods succeeded in vanquishing their brother, but Izrador corrupted their magic and turned their victory against them. As the fallen gods spirit was severed from his physical form, so too was the celestial kingdom severed from all contact with the material realm. The lords of light discovered that they could no longer commune with their mortal children. This cataclysm shook the foundations of the world and came to be known as the Sundering.

The dark god fell to the earth, his foul essence staining the land with its evil shadow. Weakened and bodiless, Izrador retreated to the ice and cold of the far north. There he slumbered, slowly recovering his strength and dreaming of vengeance across aeons of time. Empires were built and crumbled to dust, races were born and died, and the Shadow in the North grew deeper and darker.

Three times the dark god rose, and threatened the nations of Aryth with iron and fire. The first time he was defeated by a proud host of elves, dwarves and Dornish men lead by Aradil the Witch Queen.

The second time, races of good held the Shadow off long enough for aid to come from an unlooked for ally.

By the time of the third rising, the free peoples of Eredane were battered, bitter and distracted by their own infighting as well by the insidious corruption sown by the dark god’s spies over the years. Four of the land’s greatest heroes fell prey to his dark promises and betrayed their people, leading his hordes from the north, claiming their title – the Night Kings.

This time, the dark god won.

Shadows fall and hope has fled
Steel your heart, the dawn will come
The night is long and the path is dark
Look to the sky for one day soon
The dawn will come

The Shepherd’s lost and his home is far
Keep to the stars, the dawn will come
The night is long and the path is dark
Look to the sky for one day soon
The dawn will come

Bare your blade and raise it high
Stand your ground, the dawn will come
The night is long and the path is dark
Look to the sky for one day soon
The dawn will come


It is now the Age of Shadow.

Accompanied by the creatures of the Dark Lord, the Astiraxes, the light of hope in the world has faded and is almost extinguished. The last beacon of goodness in the world lies in the great forest of Erethor, where the Witch Queen Aradil holds the armies of Shadow at bay behind a magical shield that they cannot penetrate. Yet the great Elven Queen is only mortal.

Soon she too will fail, and the barrier will fade. When that happens, the armies of Shadow will invade, and the Elven Kingdom will die. The final light of the world will be extinguished, and darkness will cloak the land. The will of Izrador will reign unchecked.

The humans have been subjugated and made prisoners in their own cities, ruled over by brutal orcish overseers. The few remaining dwarves have been driven back into their mountain holdfasts, sealing themselves from the world. Most have been fed to the meat grinders within the dark citadel of Theros Obsidia. The nomadic halfling tribes have been all but extinguished and the lucky ones sent to work in orcish slave camps. The gnomes aid the war effort in secret, under the guise of aiding the Shadow and sailing their dark ships. Yet it is a futile effort and doomed to fail.

Magic, weapons and literacy are illegal in this shadow-wrought world. It is this tormented land that you become unwitting and unwilling heroes, and it is here that you will be hunted down mercilessly.

Yet, amidst the final days of the world, and the ever deepening shadow, a glimmer of hope is found. An ancient artifact falls into your hands, one that the Shadow desperately wants and one that maybe, just maybe, contains within it a secret both great and terrible - one that in the right hands could end the reign of Izrador once and for all.

The last War of the Shadow approaches.

Will you stand, or will you die?

***


In the world of Midnight, evil rules and the last, brave heroes strive against unbeatable odds. The lands of men have been crushed under the iron heels of the Night Kings and their minions and the lands of the fey are besieged on all sides by the dark hordes of the Shadow in the North.

Those who would resist the dominion of the dark god must often do so from the shadows, fighting a secret war that most people believe was lost a hundred years ago.

My intention is to hold an application process for this game. This will be a very dark, brutal but rewarding campaign for those who are accepted. This is a game very much for role-players and mature storytellers who are looking for a deep and rewarding role-playing experience. Your characters may die, and I will not flinch from killing characters off if the wrong choices and decisions are made, such is the nature of this dark world. If that is the case, then you will of course be allowed to create another character to continue.

And one last piece of advice - this is a world where evil has already won. There are no happy endings here — you will die, the only question is when, and whether your death is on your own terms of Izrador’s. I would strongly recommend that in combat situations you don’t engage the enemy head on, as their forces and numbers will always be superior to yours. The general rule of thumb for Midnight is that if you are forced to fight, you are doing something wrong as you run the risk of bringing the Shadow’s hordes on your head.

Please submit your applications in the following format:



About the Game:



Background Information about the World







Merrill winded at her protestations. Looking away from her, to the darkness of the wilderness that beckoned, he swallowed. I wish I could tell you why, even as I wish that I could stay, he thought to himself.

But he could not. Such was the nature of the “gift” he had been given. And Merrill cursed that gift. He cursed it with every single thing that he had. Every single fibre of his being......wishing that there was another way.

Swallowing again, he kept looking away from her as he replied.

”I wish I could explain Callie, but just trust me when I say that it is for the best.....”

I want to stay. Now he brought his eyes to meet hers. I have been alone now for so long that to find company, even if only fleeting.....it has been more of a balm to my soul than you could ever know. But he did not speak the words. He saw Callie, lying there, dead before him, bloodstained knife in his hands as he gazed down at her, his heart shattered.

If there is anything.....anything at all I can do to stop this from coming to pass I will. This time I must cheat fate. I MUST cheat fate.

The smile on his face was resigned, his eyes haunted.

”It is the only way Callie. You will find your destiny and you will learn to control it. This.....this is outwith my ability to do. I’m sorry.”

Turning, he disappeared into the brush before she had chance to answer him.....

***


That I had the power to just dissipate here in the blackness, to be no more, to not think or feel, I would. I would take it again and again and again as I allowed the blackness of oblivion to swallow me.

Merrill was lost in his thought as he pushed through the undergrowth. In his right hand he had already gathered provisions from the wilderness. Mushrooms, leaves that he knew to be edible. It wasn’t going to be a kings feast by any stretch of the imagination, but it would be enough to tide them over. One thing that Merrill had learned to do, and learned to do well, was hunt and forage. It was the one thing that had kept him alive in all of the lonely years he had spent by himself. When you only had yourself to account for, and nowhere to turn to, one quickly learned to become self-sufficient.

It was easy enough to do, to find enough provisions for the both of them. And at this precise moment, Merrill was hunched over a small brook that was in the heart of the forest. In the water was a skein that he was filling up. They would survive the night, if nothing else.

It was something, at the very least.

When the voice echoed from behind him, feminine yet venomous, Merrill immediately knew his mistake. He had become complacent in their flight from the demon that he had blinded himself to the other dangers out there.

”It has been too long Merrill,” the voice spoke as a dark form detached from the shadows behind him.

Closing his eyes in disgust and horror, Merrill turned slowly to see the figure of the one he knew stood before him. He said one word, and one word only.

”Dulcimae.”

The face of his killer stared back at him.

***


Merrill was not the only one who had paid a heavy price for his insttention. So caught up in the events that had unfolded, Callie had not noticed the slight movement from behind one of the oak trees. A dark, long form slithered out from the undergrowth.

Sliding it’s way towards her, the shadowy form came closer to her from behind.

Closer, ever closer.......

Reaching the back of her foot, it slid under the folds of her clothing and began to climb up her leg, a sudden wet and slimy sensation against her skin......
”Tomfoolery,” Morgan chuckled at that.

The woman was ice. Pure ice. Looking at her, he would have been hard pressed in that single instant to see if there was any difference between woman and machine. Everything was spoken with a cold detachment, like a block of ice. Or a machine. Maybe she was one of them? One of those lifelike synths that were created to give one the impression of being human, when they were not.

But no, he recognised the names that she spoke. Giving s low wolfwhistle, he jumped back to his feet.

”Impressive, Science Officer Beatrice Briarwood. You are descended from greatness. You must be so proud of yourself. No wonder command thinks highly of you. I consider myself honoured to be in your presence.”

Heading over to the metallic door that was at the far side of the room, Morgan presses the round button. It opened, sliding upwards, revealing a small circular chamber beyond.

”We should get this show on the road, your greatness.”

Going into the round cockpit, there were two seats positioned next to each other. In front of one of the seats was a large console. On the console was a monitor that showed an image of a large green grid. Periodically on the grid, green and red lights blinked on and off in a strange, almost disconcerting pattern.

Next to the other seat was a second console. This one had what seemed to be a series of levers and large buttons. It was this seat that Morgan sat himself down. Reaching up to his top right, he pulled down the seatbelt, strapping himself into the chair as he placed his right hand on one of the levers.

Outside the window in front of the cockpit was a view of the ships hangar. On the ground level people scurried back and forth, going about their business, either going in or out of the other aircraft in the bay, or otherwise seeing to the repairs of said aircraft. One figure stood in front of the Falcon. He had a red anda green flag in his hands as he held his hand up, gesturing to Morgan to bring the ship forwards slowly.

”Buckle yourself in partner,” he said, looking back to Beatrice as he reached up to the large red button just over his head.

”Its going to be a bumpy ride, so don’t get too comfortable,” he chuckled as he placed his finger on the ignition.
Morgan certainly was not prepared for the appearance of the ice, as it piled onto the bed right next to where he was. He rolled off the bed and back to his feet, shivering as he did so.

So it’s like that, is it? She was “one of those types. Never mind, they all thaw eventually.

Raising an eyebrow at the sudden appearance of the supplies, he held his hand on his hips as he shook his head.

”Lets hope that we don’t get delayed then Officer,” he said with the smallest of smiles.

When she spoke, she spoke with what Morgan liked to call “robotic precision”. She was professional, mechanical......devoid of passion or humour. Studying her features, taking in the whole of her, Morgan found himself noting that, while she was certainly extremely pretty, it was the sort of beauty that seemed to be sculpted or manufactured rather than being human. She was, in her manner and demeanour, almost like a robot. He was, for a moment, almost tempted to ask whether or not she was a synth, but finally decided better of it, pushing the thought back again.

Walking the room, taking in its surroundings, Morgan went over to the closet, glancing over the supplies and clothing before nodding his head in an appreciative manner.

”So, Officer, since we’re going to be partnering and travelling for a while together why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?” Morgan began, flashing her a small smile as he sat down again on the edge of the bed, ignoring the bags of ice as he gazed at her.

”Where are you from Beatrice? Friends, family.....you know the sorts of questions.”

The corners of his lips turned up in the slightest of smiles as he added, ”Any significant others I should be wary of?”
Major Carver looked at her and nodded.

”Soil samples at the very least. If you can bring me back samples of the local flora and fauna too that would be even better Officer. Do you have any comments of questions Ensign?”

Feeling her eyes bore daggers into him, Morgan smiled slightly. Glancing sideways at her, he gave her a surreptitious wink as he answered, ”None here Major. I will see to it that it is done.”

Nodding his head, Major Carver glared also at Morgan before his glance softened slightly when looking over towards Beatrice.

”Very well. You are to report back with your findings in three days. Dismissed.”

As he turned to leave, walking down the metal walkway, Major Carver’s voice trailed after him.

”Ensign Kayler.” Stopping, Morgan looked back to the Major.

”Once, you were the best. You aced every single course. Every single exam, you were always the best of them all. Its why you’re still here. Its the only reason you’re still here. Don’t let the past destroy everything you once were Ensign. You won’t get another chance than what you have now.”

And with those words, Morgan’s expression went hard. His eyes stared at Major Carver as the seconds drifted by.....seconds that drifted into a minute. Finally, he nodded his head.

”I’ll bear that in mind Major,” he said coldly, all hint of laughter and jokes gone now.

Before more could be said, Morgan went down the metal ramp leading to the floor of the hangar.

”Today we will be going out in the EX-128,” he said without looking back to Beatrice, his tone now professional and business-like.

Arriving at the small pod, he gestured to it. A round, circular space ship, it wasn’t big enough to fit any more than two people inside of it. There was a ramp leading up into the interior of the ship. It was this ramp that Morgan stood in front of.

”The EX-128 is a prototype. It was not built for comfort. It was not built for combat. Its been designed small deliberately,” he ran his hand across the shiny grey metal surface. ”It can travel at greater speeds than the Galacticus, than any ship you’ve likely been on before Officer,” he said looking back to her with a small smirk.

”When we take off, I’d recommend that you belt up and sit back for the ride,” still smirking, he walked up the ramp inside.

Inside the ship, a long corridor leading in from the outside came to a single door separating. Pressing a small circular depression outside the door, an arched hatch opened up with a low hiss. Beyond there were two chambers. The one they stood in was an elongated circular chamber. There were two beds on one side of the chamber, and what looked to be a kitchen area on the other side. The beds were covered with simple, and clinical, white sheets, and the kitchen, for what it was, had one counter on it with what appeared to be a fridge and cooker next to it. They were both metallic. The whole room had a metallic look to it. Grey metal shone everywhere, bright in its pristine cleanliness. The only exception to this were the white covered on the bed.

”There are two rooms in the ship. Like I said, it wasn’t built for comfort,” Morgan said as he walked into the first room.

”A combined sleeping and dining quarters. Beyond the door there is the cockpit. That is where I will be flying and you’ll be navigating.”

As his eyes flickered back to her, he nodded his head. ”You do know how to navigate don’t you Officer?”

Without waiting for an answer, Morgan walked next to and flopped on one of the beds. Turning on his side and looking over to her, his smile turned slightly suggestive as he gazed at her with his dark eyes.

”You know, even though we have two beds, it is possible to fit more than one person on a bed....” he patted the space next to him on the white covers.

A space that suggested that there was, indeed, room for another.

”It gets really cold out there,” he said, still looking at her with intent. ”Real cold.”
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