Archive for November, 2016

Rings of Fate S1xE10 – Destiny – DEHuman I (pt.5)

image

Sipping on his water Richard sat under a tree. An apple tree if he wasn’t mistaken. There were no fruit yet for him to be sure. Reflecting on what he had learned from Marie he watched a Bee hover from one blossom in the field to the next.

The bees aboard the sisterships were a rare desert breed that was unaffected by the parasites that caused trouble for bee hives all over earth.

Parasites? Richard searched his memory. Other than parasitic infestations something else was attributed to colony collapses. Cellphone signals! From his pocket he quickly took his glasses. Scanning through the archives of what used to be the Internet he confirmed his memory.

He took a deep breath of the fresh air in the garden. There had been simulated rainfall the night before. The ground was still damp, and cool. Droplets of water hung on blades of grass, and other plants, glistening in the simulated daylight like little strewn out diamonds. “Access reports from Horizon, search for alien signals.” Directing his glasses he had remembered that the implants were reverse engineered from Harpy technology.

Irritated he sat up straight. “Classified? Authorisation Richard Phlock, Destiny 210882 gamma phi.” Still he saw only an “access denied” message.

“Clarification, is all material on harpy activity classified? If so, on who’s order?”

》Security chief commander François Lapierre《 was the next up message after his suspicions were confirmed that all Harpy related material was classified.

Whistling in astonishment Richard took off his glasses. That was unexpected.

Paranoia began to creep up on him. As he got up he looked around. Only a few other people were roaming the garden. Mostly couples taking a walk on the designated paths. A few gardeners. Did they expect to be working in these conditions as gardeners when they left university? Mundane thoughts calmed his spirit.

I must find the Admiral, confront her with what I found. Reluctantly Richard left the open space with the chance to see people all around him, potential surprises waiting behind a corner in form of link members.

Walking down to the tube access, he was still fascinated by the tall hallway, the green walkway with only stepping stones leading to the much more sterile parts of the ship. Although the green strips in the larger hallways were anything but sterile, compared to the lush gardens they seemed restricted and trimmed.

“Good day.” Torn from his soothing mundane thinking Richard felt his pulse increase immediately. An elderly man with a greying mustache had stepped out of the tube, greeting him. “G’day.” He replied hastily, not without noticing the name tag of the man. Doctor Jim Edwards. Now, where had I read that name before?

The doors to the cab closed, in the hallway was doctor Edwards, looking back at Richard. “Holy crap!” Richard inhaled, it was the doctor that had cleared Irina and Darius Konrads.

Immediately following his sudden realisation suspicion and paranoia crept back into his mind set.

“Are you all right, lad?” An elderly man with a full grey beard looked at him from one of the seats. “I’m hoping so, sir.” Was Richard’s reply to the man in the uniform of an engineer, of a higher rank than Richard.

“Maybe you should take a seat, you look quite distressed and pale?”

“Getting off in a moment. But thanks.” He shook his head declining the seat. Moaning out the aches his joints gave him, the man got up. “Chief engineer Bill Wallis.”

“Lieutenant Richard Phlock.” Feeling as if his paranoia was taking over Richard stared at the door before him, while the cab rushed silently through the vacuum tube. Was chief engineer Wallis part of the link? “I’m heading to see the Admiral. Took me ages to get the appointment.”

“Well,” I should perhaps postpone my plans to see the Admiral, “she has a busy schedule.”

“Sometimes she ought to free her schedule. There are some weird readings in our power grids on Gamma, parts of Alpha and our subs.”

Squinting his eyes Richard’s eyebrows pushed together. “Authorisation Richard Phlock, Destiny 210882 gamma phi, stop cab, reroute traffic.”

Still with squinted eyes he looked at the engineer. Who in turn looked at him with an inquisitive expression, he quickly looked down to Richard’s hand on the gun. “Is this were you’re going to kill me, lad? Unless you want to chip me.”

“I’m not one of those Digitally Enhanced Humans. Are you?” Richard felt a great deal safer with the gun under his palm. “No. I’m close to shitting meself.”

Richard removed his hand from the hilt of his gun. Both men began laughing in a relieved and yet nervous manner. They walked to opposite ends of the cab and sat down. “I suspect that the energy abnormalities are from the linkers. Plus I have one of these idiots in engineering, tries to recruit more people.”

Burying his face in his hands Richard had to admit to himself that he too was close soiling his pants. “And nobody took him into custody?”

Bill shook his head. “No one wanted to hear about it.”

“Fitting,” yearning for a sip of that scotch that Lucy had given him Richard took a few deep breaths, “it seems that many of my colleagues in security have given in to the link.” The two men exchanged a long intense gaze. In their expressions and loooks the two pieced together at least part of the puzzle. “Infiltrate security to have no opposition,” Bill said what Richard didn’t dare to think, “take over enginering to have full control over the ship.” Richard replied with the unthinkable for Bill.

Devastated the two kept staring at each other. “Unlock cab, Authorisation Richard Phlock, Destiny 210882 gamma phi, continue to previously set destination.” A few moments later the doors opened with a hiss and the two left the tube network.

In silence they marched to the Admiral. Outside the Admiral’s office Richard recognised that François was also going to the see her.

“Sir, what brings you here?” Richard saluted. “Attending a meeting with the chief engineer, on a possibly dangerous topic. Or so I was told, not that it is any of your business lieutenant.”

Noticing an inquiring look from Bill, Richard shrugged his shoulders. “The lad will be attending too, I request his presence.”

An expression of bewilderment appeared on François’ face, but he had to accept it. Together the three entered the room, finding the Admiral sitting behind her desk, her hair tied to a strict knot on the back of her head. “I thought we’d be less people?”

“I request his presence, Ma’am.” Bill stated dryly, from the corners of his eyes he spied to François for any reaction, but caught none.

Urging her guests to sit the Admiral herself got up. “You requested this meeting on grounds of ship wide security?” Coming right to the point she skipped pleasantries that others might have expected of her, but Richard knew she wasn’t one to beat around the bushes. “Aye, I noticed energy consumption irregularities in the power grids for rings Gamma, parts of Alpha and our subs.” The Admiral raised her eyebrow and looked to François with an odd expression on her face. “I have reported this to security, as well as a complaint about one of my people, but I neve got anything in return.”

The expression on Admiral Kanjeet’s face grew darker. “What complaint?”

“He’s a linker, or Digitally Enhanced Human.”

“We have him under surveillance.” Was the prompt reply from François. What Richard suspected was a lie.

“However,” Richard took out his tablet, “chief engineer Wallis and I need access to the files on the Harpy technology the Links were derived from.” At first the Admiral seemed confused but then looked at the tablet. “I never gave authorisation to classify this information?” She looked at François. “We decided it was necessary.”

“Who is we?” Pryia raised her voice, something Richard had never witnessed with her.

“We. You should join us.” The chief of security produced an injection device, shocked the Admiral jumped back. Calmly Richard grabbed the device. “You know that involuntary implantation is useless.” Calmly François smiled. “Of course we do. We told you. This was an offer. Naught more.” The expression of his superior officer went blank. Knwing that expression from Lucy, Richard immediately knew that he had linked out. “He is gone.”

As he spoke the Admiral had regained her composure. “Stanley? Security detail in my office, now.” She lean over the tablet punching in her own security code, while listening to Stanley Johnson, her first officer. Additional codes later, the files concerning the Harpy technology and everything related was not classified anymore, at least to anyone within the command structure.

“Gentlemen, this is serious. I want you to present me with options on how to deal with this.” With a tired expression she sat down behind her desk again. “We have to take this organisation down. They may be a technological, evolutionary step for mankind, but they have undermined our authority. If this was an obscure cult we’d be calling them terrorists. Only in this case there is no leader to pin down in order to shut down the whole thing. We need to take down all of them.” Her stern expression added non verbally that it didn’t matter in which manner that happened.

Richard and Bill exchanged a short glance, rose and saluted. Security personnel poured through the door. “Not her.” Richard grabbed one of the guards by her arm. Pryia was surprised, but not shocked.

Quickly the guard broke free of his grasp. “We can not be subdued!” A moment later she collapsed with a blank expression. In few words did Richard explain to the Admiral what had happened in the cell block.

 

Feeling  tired and weighed down Bill sat in one of the dining halls on the subgamma ring, he had studied the reports and analysis of the harpy implants. And what the crew of the Horizon had done to omit the signal.

Hissing the doors to the hallway slid open. “Good evening, chief.” Richard entered, although feeling the weight of the situation too, a certain proud glow surrounded him. Taking notice of it Bill squinted his eyes. “Good evening, lieutenant commander! Congratulations on the promotion! Chief of security now?”

“Acting chief, but yes.” He sat down next to Bill. “Any idea how to end this?”

Bill put the tablet on the desk. He disliked the glasses, like most people who had grown up without them, learned their craft without them, really only got introduced to them aboard the Destiny or her sisterships.

“A dampening signal, all over the ship. That’d be the best solution to keep it shut down. But there are difficulties to it. The currently linked could gather and hardwire themselves to find a counter technology.” Frowning he leaned back covering his face with his palms for a moment.

“What if we disrupt them in a way that would allow us to go around and pick them up, in essence shut them down, before we place each and everyone in a contained area where we can maintain the dampening signal?”

For a moment or two Bill stared at Richard. Having someone outside the field of engineering look at a problem sometimes provided fresh insight. “Actually, good idea.” Again he grabbed the tablet, worked on it while Richard wentn to get some food. As the acting chief of security sat down Bill punched a button and looked around. “Either there are no linkers here, or it doesn’t work.” He muttered. Balancig a bite of algae mush on his fork Richard smirked drily. “Come with me.”

 

“It is tested, and proved to work.” Richard presented a video clip of Marie becoming unresponsive as Bill turned on his program in the cell block. “We already tested it on the security personnel, only five more Digitally Enhanced were to be found, I’ve sent out the rest to investigate the leeches on our power grids.” Another image appeared on the viewscreen. “That’s a node.” Bill explained. We’ve reprogrammed it to emitt a shortrange signal that would put a linker into a comatose state, and on wide range the same signal as the program I created.”

The room was filled with dead silence, all three governors were present, with their vice governors, their assistants and the Admiral with the first officer Stanley Johnson. “Ain’t this a bit radical?”

“Aren’t they a bit radical? Undermining the security and safety of this ship?” Replied the Admiral without glancing over her shoulder. “Turn it on.”

A few gasps rose in the room, a moment later the governor of the gamma ring collapsed. Two more people around him, and an assistant from alpha ring’s vice governor.

“Ship wide disruption of the link has been activated, the unconscious Digitally Enhanced are being collected and will be detained until we can,” pausing Pryia rose before the gathered, turned on her heel, “unlink them. After all Digitally Enhanced have been rounded up, the nodes will be destroyed.”

 

Darius sat over his breakfast, Irina waddled in, her back hurt, after all the baby was due in only two weeks time. “Good Morning, Mister Bond.”

“Good morning, Moneypenny. The link has been severed, the nodes are a danger now.”

“Indeed, but soon, that won’t matter anymore.” She caresed her belly, kissing Darius on the cheek.

 

 

Advertisements

09. Dec 2016

Poop Emoji Slippers.
You’re welcome.
(4.99 at the dollar store)

War Journal – 2-3-4 Bane-War-Aftermath (ep10)

“May I ask just one question, other than to send me home somehow?” still left speechless over the ignorance they were left in Cylus just nodded. “You had a spying eye out in the world all the while. You must’ve known of the orb, later revealed as the fiery eye of the crystal serpent, the location of a glass root, or roots, in the world and the honey from the sandtree nectar. Why then didn’t you take action?” shamed to silence Cylus glanced over to Myranda. “We can’t see all little serpent, we see actions, people, stirrs in the currents of destiny. But to distinguish the orb from the eye, or the roots from lighting tracks when they lie idle in the sand, is beyond our,” she mused a moment, “eye in the world, as you put it.” Disliking the tone Myranda chose to speak with her Fathala had to restrain herself not to reply in kind. “How unfortunate. Especially since it would have improved the chances of banning the Sphinxes, having the powers of Dorei at our side.””Please!” Cylus voice boomed across the clearing, twigs trembling from his thunderous voice. “We can’t start fighting amongst ourselves now.” he knew Myranda would dislike him including Fathala and Lilly on their side. To a small degree it was intent that had guided his tongue. “These tidings you brought to us are important, and we are grateful that you brought them to our attention.” he continued in a much calmer and gentler tone. “Where might one find the bane?” “Stillwater sea.”Pines swayed in a strong wind, gusts foretelling of an approaching thunderstorm, blackened skies spelling the same prophecy. Two weeks had passed since Fathala and Lilly had departed from the thorn hills with Cylus and Myranda. Others in the robes of the shadow binders had joined them, as well as a few people in boiled leather, like Garlon. From time to time a group of people attached themselves to them, all in cloth, simple folk like farmers, herds and hunters. Avoiding any villages they encountered, these groups came and went, coming from these settlements, going to them. If we are to returm to the sweetwater sea to find the bane, we should travel there here, then switch over. Making the journey in times of war, across oceans and lands, is a bit dangerous. Fathala dared not voice her doubts to Cylus, he and his had the power or at least the knowledge to return her home. “Where are we going?” Fathala had asked Cylus upon their departure.”Orchara shipyard.” Taking ships across dry saltflats isn’t going to do us any good.Beyond the swaying pines a town of stone hugged the shore of a natural harbor. Giant ramps to equally giant structures told of the shipyard. Galleys, and other tall and mighty ships were lying around the dry harbor bed, a few masts stood upright in the basins of their construction. “Well, I hope your ships can fly, there canyons out there in the saltflats you couldn’t otherwise cross.” it was Lilly voicing the concerns Fathala harbored as well. Apparently deaf to her words Cylus went on towards the shipyard undeterred. It had been days since Myranda stopped paying the strangers any mind, so turning to her for answers was going to be even less fruitful. As in the pines, the wind roared through the alleys and chimneys of the town, which did not sway with it though. Peopke greeted them, there were differences in the tone of their skin, Fathala was curious how those different shades came to be, but didn’t ask. “That building over there!” Cylus pointed to.one of the buildings in the harbor, just above what would.be the waterline if there had been an ocean. For a moment Cylus, and Myranda as well, seemed disoriented, due to finding themselves in a world that is a mirror image of the one they knew. “What will we find there?” almost afraid of the answer Fathala couldn’t help but ask anyway. To her astonishment it was Myranda who replied.

Gifts for Enemies (Christmascalendar 2015)

Holy Crap!

I had completely forgotten to make a complete list of last years Christmas Calendar!

01. Dec 2015
02. Dec 2015
03. Dec 2015
04. Dec 2015
05. Dec 2015
06. Dec 2015
07. Dec 2015
08. Dec 201509. Dec 2015
10. Dec 2015
11. Dec 2015
12. Dec 2015
13. Dec 2015
14. Dec 2015
15. Dec 2015
16. Dec 2015
17. Dec 2015
18. Dec 2015
19. Dec 2015
20. Dec 2015
21. Dec 2015
22. Dec 2015
23. Dec 2015
24. Dec 2015

31. Dec 2015

Enjoy, and don’t forget, NO Storyposts in December 2016, only Christmascalendar!

Hope you enjoyed the first season of RoF (Rings of Fate). Expect more. 🙂

Take care,
A.

Rings of Fate S1xE10 – Destiny – DEHuman I (pt.4)

image

Admiral Kanjeet silently read through the report. In front of her were the injector and other evidence from the club, as well as pictures on the display integrated in her table. Richard and François stood at ease on the other side of the table.

Raising an eyebrow she put the tablet down, folding her hands. “This ship’s military security continues to be a troublesome branch.” With a gesture of her hand she told the two to sit down. “However, this is excellent work gentlemen. Proper procedures could’ve delayed the search of the place, and the governors agree that in regard to the overall security, which this falls into, this is our jurisdiction.”

She leaned back. “Your next step must be getting information from the arrested suspects.” Formulated more a statement than a question, Richard glanced to his superior who confirmed the Admiral’s words.

“Reopen the club, install our own security equipment, I want twenty four hours of surveillance by at least two people. Computers can be manipulated, one person corrupted or tricked. But it gets more difficult with more people involved.” She turned the display in the table off, stood up. As did Richard and François.

“Gentlemen.” She greeted the two, escorting them out of the room.

 

Sent to talk to Marie, Richard waited for the tube cab. He reflected upon what had happened to Darius and Irina.

After they had been officially found fit for duty by a doctor in the infirmary, who had also postulated that the implants would sooner or later be broken down by the body, they returned to their duties. Since that they had reassigned to technical division, got married. Reportedly Irina had filed for having a child, and promptly had gotten pregnant after receiving clearance.

Hissing the doors slid open. For a moment Richard felt a shock.

Irina Konrads sat in one of the seats. With a smile she greeted him as she got up and left the cab.

Deeply immersed in thought Richard stood the entire ride, left after a few minutes, headed to the detention center.

In one cell sat Lucy. Just as he was told through his superior, she sat on her bunk, two plates of food sat untouched in front of her. “Hello Lucy.” Deciding to try the younger woman first Richard stopped under the watchful eyes of the guards. After finding out about the widespread popularity of the implants Admiral Kanjeet had posted security details everywhere. Always at least two people, in addition to the computerised surveillance, also overlooked by at least two people. “You should eat, it makes for a better now than starving yourself.” No reaction from her. Shaking her head a guard told him that they had tried reasoning the prisoner into eating. They would continue to do so, until she had to be force fed to keep her from dying.

 

“Good afternoon Marie.” Richard stood in front of the cell in which his other prisoner was held. “I am delighted to see that at least you are eating.”

“Such rare delicacies shouldn’t go to waste.” She replied with sarcasm in her voice.

“Your sister seems to think otherwise.” Pulling up a chair Richard sat down, trying to look at ease he assumed a rather relaxed pose. “She has linked out.” Marie replied, sitting down on the floor in front of the bars. “In this rather isolated environment she sought the comfort of the others. That is why she joined in the first place, you know.”

Hiding his surprise of her intricate knowledge of the link Richard raised one eyebrow, letting her do the talking. “When the news was broadcast that the planet we called home, together with billions of people, was finally destroyed, she was close to losing her mind, so she joined in search for closure.”

With a twisted smirk on her lips Marie looked in the direction of her sister’s cell. “I can feel her. Writhing in fear and despair, drawing solace from the link, from the level of companionship not possible otherwise.”

Shifting uncomfortably in his seat Richard squinted his eyes. “You not only knew, but were part of it?”

“Still am. Most of it was my doing.” Marie nodded to the surveillance cameras with the side of her head, Richard recognised the faint red dot signalling activity was missing. “Your guards are fed false feeds.” A powerful but tiny hand grabbed Richard’s shoulder. It was the security guard from before, her colleague sat at his desk, head resting on the surface.

“He’s only unconscious. But you need to hear us out.” Richard played with the thought of reaching for his sidearm, but remembered he had to surender it before being admitted to the cell block.

“You might perceive us as a threat, but we only are the next logical step in our evolution as a species. Maybe we are at a fork in the evolutionary branch, since we have no desire to kill you.” Still Richard toyed with ideas of violence against his colleague. “No, you desire to assimilate us.” Somehow he expected to be injected with a microchip at any moment.

“The thought has occured to us. But sadly it would be only a temporary solution.” With an elongated sigh Marie got up and stepped closer to the bars. “But, you see, even we don’t understand the true power of the brain. Yet. If you are unwilling to be participating in our link, your brain would reject the implant soon after it has settled in. If your mind rejects it, your brain forms neurological pathways around the implant.” For now. One day you’ll find a way around that. “So you are telling me this, why exactly?”

The smirk on Marie’s face intensified. “Drop the charges. Never has anyone been subjected to the link against his or her will,” she stopped with a musing expression, “well, one has, it is from him that we know of the brain’s power to reject the implant.”

She sat back down right where she had sat before, the guard let go of her grip on Richard’s shoulder. Returning to her post she sprayed something at the unconscious man at the desk. A moment later the light on the surveillance cameras came back on. Should I show that some glitch had occurred? “Well,” he began, but stopped mid thought. Afraid that the crew in the surveillance operating room might be part of the whole scam he got up. “If you won’t tell me where that booze came from, I’m sure your customers will, inadvertently.” By her surprised expression he gathered that the collective mind of the link had not anticipated his move either, but hoped for it.

Without further words to anyone Richard made his way out, collected his gun, inspected it for any signs of tampering, but found none.

 

War Journal – 2-3-4 Bane-War-Aftermath (ep9)

Cylus said, more as an introduction than a genuine question. “We have, although he had given us not his name.” courteous bowing Fathala smiled. “We Doreians are not exactly open to strangers.” Garlon also bowed, but before Cylus and Myranda, rather than the strangers. Without further word he left. “Help yourselves to some food, we are not exactly known for hospitality, if we are known at all.” Cylus sat down near the fire and took one of the birds. As bid by their host the two women sat down near the fire and reached for the food. “I’m sure you.have questions.” Cylus looked at Fathala, gnawing on a leg. Grabbing another one of the roasting birds Myranda sighed loudly. “All our pople are capable of magic, yet we’re not as zealous as the creatures the Coatl have left in the south.” Bats and Owls. I’ve heard the stories. These people know about them as well? “Good thing we all are capable, otherwise our land and all its denizens would still lie idly for the Coatl to destroy.” Cylus added, not turning his gaze from Fathala. “We know of them. We know you’re a sweetwater Naga. We know about most of the tidings in the world. Yet we avoided the world learning about us.” startled Fathala dropped the food in her hand, jumped back a few meters. “Don’t you ever do that again!” she didn’t want anyone entering her mind again. That was Eric’s privilege, and his alone. “Forgive my intrusion.” Cylus indicated a bow, much to Myranda’s dislike. “Until a few years past we kept a close eye on the world, yet, when the signs of return grew, we diverted our attention elsewhere.” he picked up Fathala’s food with his magic, the dirt it had on it fell to the ground as if washed off, while all the spices and fat remained. Slowly it floated towards the Naga, who folded her wings with care to not brush them against the thorns again. In her startled shock she had cut herself in various places. “Effortlessly we worked to finalize our preparations, and then we left.” he spoke looking at Lilly, but was clearly addressing Fathala.”I would much rather want to know where to put you.” Fathala thankfully took the still floating bird. Knowing what she meant to ask Myranda rolled her eyes, while Cylus smiled. “Our ancestry is Doreyah, Albin and Demonic.” confusion on Fathala’s face made his smile broader. “The Doreyah were the ancestors of the people who dwell on the pole, and everywhere else on the world. Humans came from them, as well as Batpeople, Owlpeople, the anchors and some of the Albin blood.”So they had a name for themselves after all.Calmed by answers and food Fathala sat down again. “You are also of demonic origin?” it was Lilly who raised the question that Fathala almost had forgotten. “During the last invasion a group of demons were stranded here, they had lost their powers, some were even dying from the lack of sorcery in the world. The Doreyah and Albin helped them survive, and after the Coatl were successfully banned again these demons vowed not to turn on them. Over time their descendants and the descendants of the Doreyah and Albin mingled and became us.” he left out the hardships that rose from these unions, the wars, the purity laws that once had been raised, but were abolished again after purity became questionable fir either factions. Mere twenty years earlier a group of purity obsessed Dorei had been subdued. Their aims of creating a pure bred Dorei demon were as questionable as they were foolish. “Now, why do you wish to return?” Myranda asked, the annoyance in her voice was apparent, she loathed the outlanders, like most Dorei. “I want to rejoin the fight. The Sphinxes need to be stopped, turned back, or better yet, killed off.” with her teeth, Fathala tore off a piece of flesh from the bird in her hands. “They’re going to follow you here eventually, once they’re done with the rest of the world. Let me be an additional instrument of their downfall, and you can be left in peace.” she mused staring off in the thorny distance. “Useful enough for your likes yet?” Cylus and Myranda exchanged a look. “Why would they follow us here?” whenever Myranda spoke, arrogance swung with her voice. Careful not to enrage the shadowbinder Fathala and Lilly explained he reasons why they thought the Sphinxes would follow the land of Dorei. Satisfied to see his colleague lacking of an answer to the reasoning of the two strangers, Cylus asked how Fathala would want to destroy the threat of the Coatl. “The bane.” she replied, shutting both Myranda and Cylus up for good. “It has been recreated, it was ready, but agents of the Sphinxes stole it. I know where it is.” Or likely is.Seeing the both still lack for words Fathala felt a slight hint of pride. Their inward bound attention these last years has left them ignorant of the tidings of this conflict.

Friday 18 Nov

Mists hanging low over the mountain,
raining down like uncountable tears,
of a summer long gone,
lamenting its own passing.