Federation Core ward station: ORD/FLEET/LOG-CIV Frontier Spirit. Aug 3 3748
“NEXT IN LINE PLEASE” The line moved forward as a man in a black and yellow jumpsuit over which he wore a faded green jacket covered with pouches and sporting a patch of a grey wolf on a white background and a red diagonal stripe stepped up to the terminal clerk.
“please state your name and or designation, present ID, and state your reason for visit.”
“Colonel retired Magnus Holland, Designation WH8859/2315-V73A, 33rd Special Warfare Division. I’m here to collect my retirement package. I have an appointment with Agent Carter.”
“I haven’t seen a WH series Designation in ages, I thought they cycled over to the WI’s nearly a hundred years ago, and you don’t even look like your 30.”
“check my file.” Magnus sighed. This was not the first time his 278 years 8 months and 6 days in emergency stasis would cause issues, nor would it be the last. He was half a foot taller than the current model of war wolves that made up the 33rd and about twice as heavy, refinements over the years had reduced the effects of the growth accelerants and made him stand out among what should have been his brothers, who stood out among the average mass of humanity even by the current worlds status.
Standing at 6’10 and about 400lbs of synthetic-natural muscle hybrid lattice and cybernetics, pale and soft skin the result of too much time in either power armor or submerged in the hyper-computational fluid of the command link tanks. Short blonde hair and naturally green eyes backlit by the ocular segment of the implants that kept him connected to all members of the 33rd and any drones or ships under his command. Magnus was the classic example of a War Wolf from his era of the Federations history.
“you’re that poor sod who got thawed out what? Two months back? Been drifting since the closing battles with the Primacy, right?”
“Yeah that’s me. Look I have an appointment with Agent Carter, can you tell her I’m here. We have a lot of back pay to sort out.”
“Oh sorry of course. MOLLY! Your 10:30 is here. Come get him so I can deal with the rest of this line.” From a side room attached to the waiting area stepped out a woman dressed in a formal black business suit. Magnus immediately connected to the Federation personnel database and cross referenced her while simultaneously running his own scan of her person, he found her concealed carry piece in her suit 2 nano seconds before he was able to locate her license and cross reference her military service record. It was impressive and explained why she was his point of contact for his retirement deal. there were some sensitive documents that would be passing into his possession, it wouldn’t do to have awkward questions asked about some of the details of his semi retirement.
“Col. Holland, please come in. take a seat, and please the name is just molly. Your retired no need to stand on formality with me.” Magnus eased himself into the chair on the across from her desk, testing that it would hold his weight. To his considerable surprise the chair didn’t even groan as he fully relaxed into it. “thank you for taking this on, I understand that it is a herculean task to sort out nearly 280 years of back pay, recovering dissolved financial assets, interest, bringing me back to life on paper, and helping settle a very abnormal retirement plan all at once.”
She smiled tightly. “I will admit to taking far too many late working days trying to sort it all out, but you got better than what you wanted, and the Federation got away with giving you less than they owe you by a fair amount. Everyone walks away happy. First; 500 million standard credits,250 million in corporate development incentives. A corporate charter licence with extra-territorial rights within Federation law, the charter contains Federation endorsement and all contract bids to the and from the Federation carry extra weight. Second; 8 system claim beacons and associated infrastructure. And we save the absolute pain in the ASS for last. One Daedalus class Industrial Operation Dreadnought with full fleet standard. All weapon systems and shielding online at full spec, and a full complement of drones.
Crab and spider tanks, engineering and construction vehicles, IFVs, tanks, artillery, mobile fortresses, and aispacecraft. A full army along side the ability and freedom to create more as you desire. And the very last thing. This.” She pulled a data pad with an external storage drive attached “Project: STARGAZER. I’ve had a look through this, I know you know I have clearance. Look I know what a loyal soldier looks like, I know what you 33rd types are like. Are you sure you want to piss of every other species in the Federation, over magic? Over psionics? That we wont even be able to use? It’ll be the machine. Do you think we can trust it? All the other species can use magic or what ever you want to call it, we did fine without it. We made the multi dimensional computer that’s in your head and all your drones, we made AI like the one in your ship. Do you really think we need to make this?”
“Of course, we need to make this! Do you think you would have been able to secure me an army if they didn’t want me to have it? And why do you think we made everything we have today? we had magic once. The Egyptians, the Mayans, the Norse, the Greeks, the Romans, our gods once did exist, we once could use magic. And we have been trying to get it back since before the fall of the roman empire. It just left us along all the gods, and they died and left us behind. More accurately we killed them, we cast the spell that burnt us of our connection, we destroyed our gods to protect us from something.
STARGAZER will be our scout; STARGAZER will be our vanguard. We wont ever have magic back ourselves, but we need to know why we cast that spell. We need to know what’s coming. Not just for humanity but for the whole of the Federation. No other species has the machine, not at our level, but none of them have seen what we saw. The Th’nakmet texts are clear, what ever it was is still coming. The Federation can’t act on it, can’t make STARGAZER. not officially, I was supposed to be the human partner when STARGAZER had support, I disappeared and so did the project. Now, there is pushback against the very idea, so I picked it back up. Make a company that is perusing STARGAZER, that way the Federation can’t interfere.”
“okay than. Its yours.” She sighed handing over the data pad. “well let’s get you to your ship. Do you want me to have someone take your bag? We can have them load it in the command deck hangar.” “no thank you, that’s fine. The bag has a firearm in it, I would rather keep it close.” She looked up at him as he mentioned the weapon. “don’t look at me like that, I know you have one as well.” “yes. But I would think that you have a HMPR in there not an executioner. Honestly, I would rather you give that up, so we don’t risk a hull decomp if you end up using it.”
“one, Jesus lady do you like blowing people in half? And two, I don’t have any cartridges on me those, are back in a hardcase marked for loading on to the ship once its ownership is transferred. Anyway, the station uses a gaped hull, blaster penetrators are useless against that. I’m not braindead, I don’t want a decomp either.”
Magnus picked up said bag and followed Molly out through the waiting area and into the main station concourse. It was the first part of the station that wasn’t the sterile white walls and polished grey floor that made up most of the working and utility areas of every Federation ship and station. The concourse was busy with neon lights and fake brick walls and carpeted flooring, a jarring experience that probably should have had the designer fired and everything overhauled. The problem was the aliens liked it and they outnumbered humans everywhere except for the core human colonies out spin ward of the main body of Federation space. So, it stayed.
As they walked towards the docks Magnus made sure to take a good look at around. He hadn’t been to the civilian sector of anywhere since he had been thawed, even before then the 33rd spent most of their time on ships or on the front so it still hadn’t lost its charm. Ahead of them to the right were a group of Yuhulsh at what appeared to be a noodle stand, which was strange because as far as he remembered they were obligate carnivores. The Yuhulsh were a primarily aquatic species, somewhere between and eel and a shark with legs ending in webbed flipper like feet that came together in the water to act as a tail and fin. Arms that had suckers on the inside forearm and no eyes or nose. Relying entirely on electromagnetic detection and their naturally high psionic capabilities to navigate and communicate. They could speak, thankfully. Otherwise they never would have been able to be part of the Federation.
Other than the small cluster of Yuhulsh, Magnus was unable to see any non-humans on the station. “molly. is there a reason there are so few non-humans around? And more importantly how are Yuhulsh eating noodles?” she glanced over at the group “oh that place just imported a large batch of a plant native to their home world, its quite good for their teeth. Really, it’s a bowl of meat with some fancy noodles in it. As for why there are so few of them. How many aliens do you think want to be this close to Primacy space?
The war may be over but they all still remember how bad the war was for them, and the magical vortex that they protect the border with is extremely unpleasant for them even this far out.” He nodded at the explanation even though he had no idea what this vortex was he was part of the war, remembered watching entire battalions wiped out in seconds by the Primacies mind shredders and the barrier penetrating rounds that ignored mage shields. Regular armor worked fine, and humans couldn’t be attacked psionically, that was the only reason the war went in the Federations favor. Slaughter like that left marks that any psionically gifted species could sense.
They stepped through an airlock into the main docking area. Coloured in the standard white and grey halls with bright signs and kiosks with docking bay numbers and departure times. “this way. Docking bay 597. You can get a look at it from the loading area.” Molly gestured him towards a set of windows on the far side of the cargo area that they had entered between two umbilical’s that lead to his ship.
As he stepped up, he got his first look of the ship in person, he was familiar with the general design as his family had worked and lived on a mining vessel based on the same hull. The main body was a 10km octagon 2km to a face, with the front 500m split down the middle with a 1km gap containing the spinal PPC and two large cargo bays that lead to the furnaces, refineries, and processers. The prongs were on the upper and lower hull and contained the deployment system for the scaffolding that ran through the first 5km of the ship, the scaffolding was stacked inside the hull to allow for up to 15km of vacuum docking, mining, and construction facilities to be deployed either straight ahead or at angles up to 90 from the forward axis without restricting access to the cargo bays or the spinal cannon.
Along the hull were a dozen hangar bays each on the port and starboard faces, as well as the massive pile of cannons, light PPCs, MHPCs, coil guns, point defence systems, missile launchers, and torpedo bays. Above the engines at the rear was a hexagonal disk at 1km to a side connected to the main body by a pillar about 100m long, this was the command deck and was detachable from the main hull in case of critical damage. It housed the command and command support staff as well as carried a small hangar for the captain as well as an armory for the crew on the command deck.
“here you are, she’s a beauty huh? They were going to mothball the whole line about 80 years back. In the end they ended up overhauling the combat systems and slapping a new paint job on, I personally am a massive fan of the white and orange. High visibility for the working crew and intimidating as all hell to see this big bastard hanging out in the middle of an operation. Unfortunately, the name comes with the ship. Id say it’s a little on the nose. Here’s the registration and ownership documentation.” She passed over a small stack of data sticks with little holo-displays. As she did her personal comm pinged, waiting for Magnus to take the data sticks before checking it.
Reaching for the sticks he asked “what’s wrong with the name? Enigmatic Endeavour is a great name.” he smiled as he looked back at the ship, the name was a little auspicious, but he liked it. “good thing you like the name. I just got new orders, apparently, I’m being moved to a front for a Federation op under the name of Astral Mind industries. My commanding officer is one Colonel Magnus Holland. I’m going to be running recruitment, and I have a list of potential candidates already laid out for me. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you?” Magnus smiled wider as he walked to the umbilical. Ru’yealm. Northern Valley forest. North west of the city of the towers
Te’tval was not having a good day, the rains had come early, and it was looking like the seers had made their first error in all their know history. They had told her sister Mez’tval that she would be the one to inspect a coming omen when It landed, they had told her sister that the omen would arrive before then end of the season of Last Peace. Normally the seers would detect an omen in the sky weeks before it arrived giving the unified people time to assemble a group of mages and seers to determine what signs it brought with it from the sky. With the rains coming down the snow would melt in less than a week, the melting of the snow would signal the end of Last Peace and the first of the sieges from the Low People would begin not days later. Her sister was having a far worse day than her though.
Te’tval had taken her sister hunting with her, to bring her back to the forest. They were wild born, Te’tval was born of the L’kovl, the stalker in the branches. Her skin faded to fur below the elbow and the knee, bone plates sprouted from her forehead, shoulders, abdomen and back. Protecting her vital organs, no armor was needed for her, nor camouflage as her hair and fur were the same vibrant red as the leaves of the forest. Her hunting partner was another wildling, born of the cold bloods. Red and brown scales concealed her as she crawled on the underside of the branches of the Ch’omhk tree they rested in.
her sister was born of the very species of tree they hid in now. Skin brown like the bark and with the same red hair as the leaves, with branches growing from her scalp and winding through her hair. Veins the same green as the sap of the Ch’omhk tree. Like a tree must not be separated from its roots Te’tval thought that getting her sister out of the city and into the forest once more might calm her nerves, center her; instead.
“sister calm your self, or we will spook our prey, or worse attract L’kovl. You are not ready for that hunt; you are a mage. Draw upon your learnings and focus on the woods around us we are close to the patrols of the Messengers, if they find us, they will kill us. Tomorrow we rise before the rings fill the sky. Sleep!” she did not raise her voice nor whisper but spoke softly and slowly. Though the Messengers were far enough away for them to be safe from the threat they posed it was sill a danger real enough, nor were the L’kovl found in this valley in the mountains. No, the real threat came from her sister.
The mage was in something near a panic over the lack of signs indicating the coming omen; she was constantly pulling on her magic, draining her reserve. Unable to see that she was doing so and risking her life. Their brother would meet them as left tomorrow. As a precaution, a rune blade was always welcome when danger was near. Especially when that danger could use magic.
Mez’tval spoke softly back. “sister. I know that you are worried as much as I am. If the omen comes and the seers never see a sign that means the magic is weakening, and if the omen never arrives that means the seers are wrong. The last time the seers were wrong. the Messengers of the Spirits came. They razed the city of the waterfalls in a single night, brought death to every one of the people. fire and light poured from their many mouths. Their metal skin unbroken by even our strongest, unaffected by magic. Constructs. With no magic! They should not be possible. And yet, that was the price of the seer’s failure. The whole city brought to the spirit world. Even the low people, their numbering in the thousands for even the smallest of their raids could not break the gate of the city of the Sun. not in its 300 years.”
Te’tval knew her sister was right. But the hunt waited for no person and night was falling. Sleep beckoned her but hers was the first watch. They left early in the morning, the gods willing they would eat well until the season of claws. As the first of the moons rose casting a blue light over the world, turning the forest a deep violet near the blue and purple tones that made up the plant life over the rest of Ru’yealm her sister finally fell into the sweet embrace of her mage dreams. In the distance she could hear the steady thudding and hissing of the massive Messengers and their six legs. She reflected on her sisters worries.
The Messengers were a force to be reckoned. As far as the people knew there were only three of the constructs, and only two were needed to level the city of the waterfalls. Made entirely of white and red metal. their legs as tall as three people with large protective plates protruding to cover their center. A metal rod twice as thick around as the city blacksmith, it seemed the most fragile part of them but was near impossible to damage even if something was able to pass the legs. Its head was as tall as a man and raised as tall as five men from the ground. Wide and flat. It had no arms or shoulders. It had five eyes. One in the center of its head two on the bottom and two on top, they were made of glass and filled with darkness and projecting a beam of green light each. Their weapons were many and dangerous. Strange mouths with no teeth that spat great beams of white light on the top their heads two each, four triangular bars hung underneath their heads and two above that spun and spat bursts of red light that could light an man aflame, mouths on the front of the head that sent beams of blinding light that reduced buildings to timbers and stone chips and left a trail of smoke in their path. Others that the people had never seen in use were also present.
Many thought her insane or suicidal to hunt in the territory the Messengers guarded, but she knew this forest was special. Ever since she was a child she had a dream of a stranger in strange green armor standing in this very forest as it burned, commanding an army of Messengers painted green destroying the Messengers, building a city in the ocean and the mountains that touched the sky, and a great triangle that could change the stars. She saw herself and her siblings along side the stranger helping him as he helped the people, as the people’s world grew beyond Ru’yealm. She was as worried as her sister. Yes, but because she knew that this omen was a person and that the seers knew this too. And the seers said that nothing would be the same, they said to take the time to gaze at the stars, for forever they would change.
Unnamed Star System. Federation-Primacy Buffer zone. Aug 7th 3748 The Enigmatic Endeavour was every ounce the high spec dreadnought Magnus had hoped for, in the four days since he left the Frontier Spirit he had uploaded a new personality for the ships operating AI, calibrated all of the systems to his preference, toured the whole thing through the surveillance system, and laid his claim on the first 7 systems that had been chosen for STARGAZER and this was his last stop. The system laid right on a massive lay line that moved the magical currents through the entirety of the local cluster and on top of another that ran through the galaxy itself. This meant that the system would be absolutely supercharged with magical energies which was imperative for STARGAZER. Top candidate for the project was the 4th planet in the system.
It was about 60% water oxygen content at 24% the rest being a standard habitable planet air mix of nitrogen, and noble gasses. The Magnetosphere was stronger than earths and the planet was slightly smaller. Gravity on surface estimated at 9.1 M/S2. Downside, the planet was most likely to be inhabited already. That had been planed for from the beginning, if a corporation discovers a new species in a system with extraterritorial rights to said corporation, they could engage in an uplift program.
The idea for STARGAZER was to use the uplift program and the nature and complexity of Federation law concerning such programs to trade for the space to build the necessary ground facilities for and of STARGAZER itself. Floating in the link tank was not what Magnus would call the height of entertainment but that was fine, his mind was everywhere in the ship, the reactor his heart, the engines his legs, the manufacturing bays his hands. He had grabbed a few small asteroids between shock jumps and had reduced them to basic elements in some of the cargo bays on the interior of the ship and in the upper forward bay.
So far, the only things to have given him trouble were the fighters in the starboard flight deck and his own power armor set. The fighters had needed a software update the got corrupted and he had to rebuild. His power armor had a force multiplier in the left leg that refused to hit peak out put and would not fire at the same time as his right. That meant that he couldn’t even walk in the damn thing let alone run at highway speeds or make a 100m jump.
Magnus pulled the Enigmatic Endeavour in to a high orbit to begin scanning the planet for optimal placement of his head office and facilities, as well as a good place to put the STARMIND core. Raw resources would need to be located as well. As he stabilized his orbit, he had to divert some of his attention to the stunning rings and the colour of the planet. there were two ring belts with a single moon parked between them and another about 1000km off the outside ring all on different orbital planes.
The oceans were a glassy green and the land was covered in blue and purple indicative of abundant plant life running on a retinal photosynthesis process. He had been siting in orbit for about 3 hours when he noticed a bright red forest on his scanners that was unusual, the forest was passing into the planets shadow as it approached his relative position and would pass directly beneath him. As he ran the calculations and brought the sensors in for their next sweep, he detected an incredibly high intensity energy spike. One consistent with a singularity reactor the same type that powered the Endeavour, he also found several transmissions with identifiers for Federation Harbinger Mk3 spider tanks.
WARNING! WARNING! HIGH INTENSITY ENERGY BUILD UP IDENTIFIED
WARNING! BUILD UP CONSISTENT WITH SURFACE TO ORBIT DEFENSE SYSTEMS
WARNING! ANTI-CAPITAL CHARGE DETECTED
WARNING! HULL BREACH IN SECTORS 5,6,7,8 ALL DECKS
WARNING! ENGINES FAILING. SHIP DESCENDING. FIRING DESCENT THRUSTERS. COLLISION IMMINENT.
hey HFY Ive had this idea around for a while and want to share it with you all. please give any constructive criticism, comments or questions you have. I am a long time lurker of this sub and want to give back to you all.