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[20K] Legacy of the Future

07/04/2013 in 20K

[20K] Legacy of the Future
2 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (96% score)

++ EARTHWATCH TOP SECRET ++

Author: Albert Lamm
Location: ++ Location denied ++
Transmission Time: 023987/M21
Received: Saturn, Relay point 5

Sir,

I reluctantly bring another unsettling report from an Earth expedition. The DMS Barclay, a decommissioned Canyon-class cruiser currently owned by the Pan-Pacific Treaty organisation and renamed the Horizon, has sent a report back to Earth regarding an abandoned planet which seems to have been an outpost of the Chinasian Alliance.

The report was intercepted by one of our intelligence operatives working for Solar Command. The Treaty seems to be aware of our existence but we do not currently know if they’ve made the connection between Detachment 44 and Earthwatch – they simply refer to us within the following report as “secret intelligence”. It is a matter of concern that our organisation’s existence is known and we clearly have some work to do, given that our ranks might have been compromised by Pan-Pacific.

Clarification follows:

1. The Pan-Pacific Treaty is formed from a coalition of businesses and nation-states who have expressed resistance to assimilation by the Empire. The Treaty views itself as a collective working towards a greater whole, a whole which benefits only the members of the Treaty. The Treaty was only formally declared six weeks ago, although many of its members have been working together for about two years. So far, the Treaty has been conducting their own research and exploration using a small fleet of ships they have recently purchased – a fleet which contains at least two decommissioned vessels of the Terran Navy.

2. We do not currently know the extent of the Treaty’s manpower, military strength or influence.

3. The Treaty is specifically searching for Chinasian technology and possibly Chinasian cultural artefacts. The Chinasian Bloc controlled and influenced the Pacific region of Earth following the Merican-Chindoasian Collision. The Chinasians rebuilt the civilisations destroyed by the tectonic disaster. As Earth became overcrowded once again and food was impossible to grow in sufficient quantities using the technology of the time, the Chinasian Bloc eventually began to colonise the stars. We know this period by its phlegmatic title, “The Emigration”.

4. It is suspected that Chinasian technology is generally inferior to ours. However, they probably possessed more advanced warp technology, which would be a tremendous asset were it to be located and reverse-engineered by ourselves. It is strongly recommended that we acquire this technology before Pan-Pacific. (Perhaps we could use this as an objective for the Fearless programme?)

3. While the Euro-Federation and Dominion of Ursh gradually developed technology and a combined culture, which finally evolved into today’s Terran Empire, it is thought that the Chinasians were several hundred years ahead of the Euro-Federation. It has long been believed that many more worlds than the known 100 were colonised and fortified by the Chinasians. These worlds elected to remain out of contact with Earth and colonies owned by Earth. Trader vessels were turned away from Chinasian space at gunpoint. Nobody knows if the Chinasians simply decided to chart their own course among the stars, or if they fell under the influence of aliens.

4. Given the state of Terran warp technology until recently, and the extraordinary violence within the hyper-realm which has only recently started to abate, it has been impossible for the Terran Empire to send vessels to make contact with the Chinasians until now. Unfortunately, the Pan-Pacific Treaty seems to have beaten us to it, and their findings are very disturbing.

The report follows.

Yours

Albert Lamm

Detachment 44

Head of Extrasolar R&D, Titan

= COMMENCE PLAYBACK

860986/M21

“This is Emma Brentwood, skipper of the Pan-Pacific vessel Horizon. We’ve discovered a world which once belonged to humans. Surveyors report no vessels or satellites in orbit and no power sources on the planet’s surface. Star charts dating from the seventh millennium, the most recent we’ve got of this region, indicate there may once have been a Chinasian outpost here. We’ve included co-ordinates. The Terran Empire dubbed this region the Pacific Segment, although we still know it as the Taurus Stars. It’s lucky our hyper-jump was blown off-course by a reality storm, otherwise we might never have come here.

“Our science teams are really keen to make planetfall, but we’re still one day out from the planet and we’re experiencing problems with the starboard launch bay. The Navy made sure whoever bought this vessel would need to go to them for help with maintenance and repairs, but we don’t need them; we’re managing with help from former members of the Martian Science Council. We’ve got two Triton-class landers waiting to go. Let’s hope our repair teams get the bay doors working by the time we reach orbit. The port launch bay was converted to a weapons training facility, so we can’t use that. I need to get to what we laughingly call the astrometrics bay as our planetary surveyor system is reporting problems.”

861986/M21

“Our space-field surveyors have detected several satellites in a decaying orbit around the planet. There are fourteen of them, all dormant and in decaying orbits. It looks like a graveyard for technology out there. Unusual readings from our surveyors indicate the Chinasians built these satellites from stealth materials. We’re not sure why they would do this, unless they were under some kind of threat from beyond their solar system, but it’s an exciting development – it could explain why discoveries of Chinasian worlds and technology are rare.

“We decided to call the world Xiangsu in honour of the father of Chinasian philosophy – the rationale being that this world represents a new beginning for the members of Pan-Pacific, a future free of oppression and threat of assimilation by the Terran Empire.

“We’re launch the Tritons in thirty minutes. The atmosphere on board the Horizon is incredible – I wish I was going down there myself.”

ADDITIONAL

“There’s been a terrible accident in the launch bay. One of the doors malfunctioned. Three members of our Martian team were sucked out into space and one of the landing craft was dragged across the bay, causing damage which has rendered it non-spaceworthy. The landing team aboard survived by a miracle – the vessel’s rudimentary AI managed to sustain atmosphere within the lander while the passengers were able to seal fractures in its hull. There’s already talk of this expedition being cursed, which is, frankly, repulsive and offensive to the memory of those who just died. I might have to go on this expedition after all to keep my teams focused.”

863986/M21

“We held a memorial for the Mars staff yesterday, the poor sods. I was practically born in space but it’s still my worst way of dying. I tell myself whenever I think of it that I must remember the basics: breathe out fully and immediately to prevent oxygen from rupturing the lungs and getting into my circulation. Adopt a foetal position, protect your head from solar radiation, don’t panic when the pain and disorientation hit, wait for a retrieval team to target you with a tractor beam or an atmosphere bubble. Ninety seconds before irretrievable injury, so better pray they find you quickly, and your locator implant will automatically trigger when it knows your body is exposed to vacuum. Remember the human body is designed to survive and the medics can repair damage from vacuum exposure. That’s what they teach people who are going into space, but the reality isn’t always so simple.

“The people from Mars didn’t stand a chance. We’re running a skeleton crew as it is and we couldn’t get the sole remaining tractor beam on-line in the time available. It doesn’t bear thinking about what they went through. Did they wonder why we weren’t there to rescue them? Adannaya was distraught – the doctor had to sedate her, so she won’t be going on the mission. I’m taking her place.

“At the wake, I delivered a speech to try to raise morale, but I was drunk on that expensive wine they import from Tau Ceti – the stuff that costs more than a land-car per bottle. I probably ended up making people feel more awkward than reassured. I’m the skipper of a D-registered junker exploring the unknown darkness of space, not a soothsayer from the Ministry of Happiness.

“We’re going to try to deploy the undamaged lander tomorrow. I’ve had to reassign personnel due to the limited carrying capacity of our Triton. I’ve got a repair team working on the damaged lander, but as you can imagine, they weren’t pleased about having to go into that bay again.”

864986/M21

“Right, here we go. The landing team is waiting for me in the Triton. I’m just finishing up here – the Horizon is still having issues with its planetary surveyors. It keeps detecting a power source on the planet, but it disappears when we try to lock on to it. It’s like when you sometimes see things in the corner of your eye, but when you focus on them they disappear. I can’t think of a natural explanation for this, though. Ravi Singh, our surveyor chief, says it’s as if there is some kind of stealth field in operation. Trouble is, we’ve also made visual sweeps of the planet using Horizon’s long-range scopes and there is nothing moving down there, just fields, valleys – and a city that’s slowly being reclaimed by the planet. It just shows how strong mother nature really is; the building materials used in those days should last for thousands of years without real maintenance.

“I’m heading to the Triton bay now. I’ll continue to report on my private vox-log.”

ADDITIONAL

“Our descent to the planet was bumpier than expected. We’ve amassed a collection of bruises and bitten tongues, but nobody is seriously hurt. We had cover from the two Saracens we managed to restore to working order, and the fighters peeled off as we made planetfall. Now we’re alone down here – the Saracens are old and their engine-batteries won’t allow them to fly top cover in an atmosphere for long.

“The air is really fresh, way more so than the Nova colony or Earth. It makes you feel good to be alive. We haven’t detected any kind of toxins or pollution. There are birds singing, we’ve seen small mammals running through the grass. It’s helped to purge some of the negative feelings caused by the landing bay accident.

“We touched down in a meadow where white and purple flowers grow. There are two xeno-botanists with us, McClintoc and Fayed, and they’re going mad about this place. It already looks suitable for re-colonisation. The clouds are leaden but it’s reasonably warm. Looks like we arrived in the middle of spring.

“We’re making our way across the meadow and over a few hills. Gravity is slightly heavier than Earth normal, perhaps 1.1G. We didn’t want to risk tripping any automated defences by using the city’s landing site, which is a small spaceport towards the city’s eastern perimeter.

“We can see the city ahead of us. The buildings look mottled and there are climbing plants growing on them. Large avians are flocking around the taller buildings. The city seems deserted – there are no signs of human residents. Just animals, wandering through the structures left behind by our Chinasian forbears. I wonder why they left this place?”

ADDITIONAL

“We’ve reached the city. Our good mood has evaporated and there’s a lonely, oppressive feel coming from the buildings. The Triton can only carry twenty people, but our equipment took up the space of four, so we’ve got sixteen pairs of boots on the ground and it doesn’t feel like enough. I keep getting the urge to call the Horizon so I know it’s still there. Quince, our field medic, says it’s like the city is broadcasting its isolation, like it soaked up the death-energies of its former inhabitants and misses them keenly. Sounds like a load of old crap to me, but Quince always tended towards the emotional side. I had to ask him to stop as I could tell it was affecting some of the others. There is no evidence anyone died here, they seem to have just left.”

ADDITIONAL

“We’re entering the first building. It’s seventeen storeys tall. Looks like it used to be some kind of admin building. The lobby is fouled with animal mess and broken foliage that’s blown in through broken windows. There may have been a corporate logo above the reception desk but it’s faded with time. The lifts are not powered and would be really dangerous, so we’re trying the stairs – damn it, Letty’s just put her foot through a step.”

(Recording garbled for 31 seconds)

“Right, she’s okay, Quince is staying with her. We could do with some of that environment armour the Empire Guard wear. The rest of us are carrying on.”

ADDTIONAL

“I split us into four teams. My team travelled to the top floor – I’m glad I made exercise mandatory on the Horizon‘s gym. Space travel tends to breed a weakness into you and lifelong spacers seem to struggle when planetside, so that’s why every ship, no matter how small, has at least one gym of some description. Thank God for that.

“The view from up here is exceptional. We can see beyond the city limits to a natural ravine. The grass and leaves on this world are green like back on Nova, but there’s kind of a bluish sheen to them when they catch the sun, which is struggling to get out from behind all those clouds. It’s definitely going to rain. Judging from the size of the city and the height of some of its structures, I’d estimate between thirty to fifty thousand people lived and worked here. I’m just hoping they didn’t die here.

“Obviously, any paperwork has long since degraded. We managed to power up one of the work consoles that we found. Most are ruined, and we haven’t been able to find any workable data-slates either. The console was password-locked but we broke it inside a minute. The text is written in an archaic version of Chinasian without the English corruption that came after the Merican-Chindoasian event; looks like the colonists were even more hard-line than we are.

“We’ve interpreted most of it as invoices for supplies and equipment. There are foodstuffs listed, as well as a few old-school weapons and aircraft. I don’t see any indication that they needed anything urgently, it all looks like common-sense stuff to me. So there is no indications that the colony was at war, or under any kind of attack, or if it was then it ended quickly.

“The other teams are reporting similar finds. We’re cataloguing whatever we come across, but there’s little of use here. The colony’s technology level lags way behind our own.”

ADDITIONAL

“One of my teams found a load of bones on a lower floor. It caused quite some excitement and a bit of panic until Quince turned up and determined that the bones weren’t human. However, they are humanoid, and their resemblance to human bones is remarkable. They can’t be eldar because their bones are longer, thinner and more fragile than ours, whereas these seem quite thick and sturdy. The humans who grew up in this higher-gravity world must have adapted biologically, but Quince feels these bones are more simian. Simians evolved on Earth, so what are they doing out here? Did the Chinasians import them? If so, why? I can’t believe I’m even asking that question.”

(Note: there seem to be two or three entries missing at this point, due to encryption errors at the point of origin. The missing data is irretrievable.)

ADDITIONAL

“We’ve come to what looks like a hospital. I split us into two groups. My group will investigate the hospital, while the second group is heading to the spaceport nearby. It’s not much of a port, just a few large landing pads, but if there is any technology to recover, it’ll be there.

“The hospital is decaying inside. The damage to this structure is a lot worse than the office building or any of the hab-units we just passed. There are still no human bodies, but there are more simian bones in here. Wait, what’s this? It looks like bullet holes.”

ADDITIONAL

“There was some kind of a fight in here. We missed the party by a few centuries at least. We can’t determine exact dates because our technology is starting to malfunction. Maybe it’s the effects of the stealth technology we detected from the Horizon.

“We’ve encountered a few predators in the hospital corridors, feral canine creatures rooting through the rubble, but they ran off when they saw how many of us there were. The Chinasians didn’t leave much evidence of what happened here and their computer technology is junk, so we can rule out discoveries of cultural significance. Ow! Bloody thing – sorry, I just tripped over a fallen pallet.”

ADDITIONAL

“I’ve broken us up into smaller groups. Quince and his team are looking for medicines, medical tech, anything we can learn from that might have survived this long. My team are purely searching for human bodies. We can’t find any although there is more evidence of battle damage. Even the morgue is empty, although it’s dark and scary as hell inside.

“The hospital corridors echo as the wind comes down them. It’s quite disconcerting. Some of the walls have collapsed and it allows daylight in, but the day is heavily overcast and the wind is getting stronger. It’s starting to rain.”

ADDITIONAL

“Quince found evidence of unusual medical experiments and he’s collected as much data as the Chinasians’ failing technology allowed. It looks like they were working on genetic experiements to genhance human soldiers. Their people were shorter but stronger than those of Earth-normal colonies due to the planet’s heavy gravity, and they wanted to enhance their speed and reaction time.

“This is where things get strange. The Chinasians were making some headway with their genetic research but it doesn’t seem to have been a priority at first. Then, according to records Quince’s assistant was able to access, the colony received a visit from two strange humans.

“These strangers were both male and they spoke in a language that was almost impossible to understand until the Chinasians adapted their translator technology. The men were apprently of fearsome aspect, much taller and broader than the colonists and capable of amazing feats of strength. They claimed their bodies had been genhanced to fight some incredible war and they were willing to share their secrets with the colonists. The documentation is pretty garbled due to bad memory sectors and we couldn’t retrieve any vid-logs or medical scans of the strangers, which is bloody typical.

“These genhanced humans, who are named Azakiel and Destrius in the documents, claimed that their former master had altered their dna using some kind of enhanced re-sequencing technology. From the looks of it, the Chinasian doctors couldn’t make heads or tails of genetic samples the men gave them. They estimated that the knowledge required to alter dna in this way was not just years, but centuries ahead of their technology – one reference even said millennia. What kind of technology needs millennia to reverse-engineer? I can only think the colonists’ technology deficit was greater than expected, or their medics simply weren’t that skilled.

“What they did discover was something that would have been worth trillions to Pan-Pacific – supposedly anyone enhanced with the re-sequenced dna would have special physical properties, including resistance to radiation, prodigious healing capacity and – get this – their cells would repair themselves so effectively that they would be functionally immortal!

“The genetic samples are also missing so we can’t really prove or disprove anything at this point. The level of medical expertise supposedly shown in the samples was described by the leading Chinasian geneticist as, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘Some kind of super-science beyond our keenest minds’.

“They were evidently able to make some changes to their dna and they were planning to introduce them to the general population if they proved stable during trials. We haven’t found anything conclusive, but the doctors seemed happy with the results once they began to trial them on volunteers from the military.

“We’re looking again at some of the simian bones.”

ADDITIONAL

“I’d like to conduct this research from the comforting surrounds of the Horizon, but unfortunately we need to overcome our reluctance to stay down here – we can’t keep running back to the ship just because the worlds we investigate are creepy.

“We’ve managed to find a few working pieces of Chinasian tech and when we combine it with what we’ve brought, Quince feels he can make some progress in his study of the simians. I’ve also got science teams evaluating what little useful hardware we’ve found. There are some interesting artefacts including a few old handguns which look like EM-900s – if I know my weapons, the manufacturing process for this technology was lost by Earth about a thousand years ago and never recovered. Unfortunately for us, today’s weapons are effective and cheap, so we’ll struggle to find a market for complicated and expensive EM guns. Not much money to be made so far, I’m afraid.

“The rain is coming down, it’s not too heavy, but the whole planet seems to have gone dark. I’ve been in touch with the Horizon – I admit this was more to reassure myself than anything else. Our friends from Mars have effected full repairs to the second Triton and they say we won’t be having any more trouble with the launch bay. I wish we had more landing craft and more than a handful of second-hand Saracens. I think we’ll probably return to Earth after this is over, see if we can get ourselves some better equipment. Will they give us anything when we return with nothing more than a handful of mysteries? I’d say no, but we have found them a habitable planet, so…”

ADDENDUM

“Some of my team report hearing noises echoing along the corridor – the sounds of metal spars hitting the ground, or tables and metal pallets being overturned. When they investigate, there’s nothing there. Nobody has been able to locate the source of the sounds. I also thought I heard something about five minutes ago, but I was looking over Quince’s shoulder and he was talking into a vox-recorder at the time, so I couldn’t make the sound out.

(Garbled for 4 minutes and 1 second)

“Our team from the spaceport just reported in. They’ve found a handful of wrecked shuttles – as in, deliberately sabotaged. They’re rusting hulks anyway, no way we’d be able to use them even if they hadn’t been smashed up inside, but it looks like someone didn’t want anyone to leave the colony. We still don’t know what happened to the Chinasian Bloc’s expansion from Earth and we don’t know how the two genhanced strangers are involved. We can make guesses, but it’s speculation at this point.

“Our agent on Saturn indicates that the Terran Empire’s secret Intelligence agency are referring to this as “the dawn of the Malusic Eon”, and we know Solar Command have privately accepted this strange designation. What happened to this Chinasian colony during the transition from the Phanaerozoic Eon to the Malusic? And will anyone ever be able to say that three times fast?”

ADDITIONAL

“I’ve given the order to pack our stuff up and get out of here. I’ve also sent that order to our team at the spaceport. We can always come back later with military force.

“Quince has confirmed that the simian bones actually belong to mutated humans. It looked like they were the victims of uncontrolled genetic mutation caused by experiments we don’t understand. This might explain why we haven’t encountered any human skeletons yet – we just didn’t recognise them.

“Maybe their experiments seemed to be successful at first and they introduced them to the general population. Once the majority of colonists had been genhanced, problems started to become apparent. Quince theorises that the genhancements somehow caused mutations, probably due to errors by the Chinasian researchers.

“The enhanced humans became extremely violent and aggressive. They grew in size and muscle mass and their behaviour changed until they weren’t able to function in normal society. A large number of bones we’ve found were broken or shattered and many of them seem to have been gnawed. Not unusual, since this could have been done by scavengers, but Quince feels the bite-marks indicate wider and elongated human teeth.

“We did more research into Azakiel and Destrius. They sound like mad apostles or something. They claimed to be from the future and they said the Chinasians would need to be ready for a coming apocalypse. This apocalypse has several names – it was referred to by Destrius as Old Night and the Strife, while Azakiel talked more pragmatically about a Great Schizm. They claim to have been sent back in time by a rift created between the hyper-realm and realspace when their homeworld got nuked.

“They must have produced some kind of evidence because the Chinasians believed them wholesale. The surviving records indicate they were venerated for their prodigious ability as warriors. We don’t know what happened to them – it seems that as the mutation began to develop dangerous side effects, the Chinasians may have attacked and killed them, probably believing the situation to be their fault.

“It’s looking likely that those colonists unaffected by the mutation destroyed their only means of escape from the colony. They must have been trying to prevent the mutants from escaping to inflict damage on other worlds. It’s so like our ancestors to sacrifice themselves for other people.

“Meanwhile, our team at the spaceport have also been hearing weird noises, including metallic howls, similar to what we’ve been hearing. I’m packed, so I’ll stop recording.”

ADDITIONAL

“It’s night-time. We’re scattered across the city. At least three or four of us are dead.

“I can’t see or hear anything through the rain and the things don’t show up on hand-scanners. We can’t contact the Horizon, so the Triton is our only hope.

“They attacked us just before our groups met up outside a police station. I counted at least two of them attacking our team, while reports from the others indicate the presence of at least three, probably four more.

“They un-scramble like eldar starships right before they attack and they’re almost invisible before they do. They’re bigger than us and completely hairless. Their flesh is whitish-pink as if they’re undergoing transformation from clean Chinasian yellow to freakish albino. They don’t have faces, their bodies are just knotted masses of muscle with sharp-edged bone jutting out. They’re fast, so fast, and don’t feel much pain. We didn’t kill any of them but I managed to fight one off by emptying the magazine from my sub in its direction.

“They wear what looks like black combat webbing over their torso – they must have some kind of cloaking devices built into them. The noise they make… I’m hoping they’re doing it to frighten us. No living thing should sound like that… like they’re in agony or distress, and that attacking us provides some kind of release from their pain.”

ADDITIONAL

“I’m with Tobin and De Salle. Quince is dead. They held him up and sliced his belly until everything fell out. It was sickening. They put their faces close to his and mocked his screams. They ripped his manhood off and showed it to him. Quince was a good man, he saved my life when that alneran stuck its combat blade in my chest, but there was nothing I could do. Four of the things kept scrambling and un-scrambling at they stalked around, jeering and crying out.

“I think they got Dancer and Nogumi as well – oh God, the things they did to Dancer. She screamed for five minutes before they bashed her face in. Nogumi went back to put a bullet in her brain and end her suffering, but she was caught and they pulled her throat out and did some surgery on her.”

ADDITIONAL

“It’s been quiet for half an hour or so. Our chrons aren’t working. I can’t feel the cold any more. The rain is letting up.

“Our surveyors still get confused, so I think some of the creatures must be nearby. Their cloaking devices interfere with our stuff. I get sick when I think about the Horizon detecting a dense area of blankness – there must be loads of these things still alive out there. Functional immortality, I think I said.

“I’m praying that the Horizon sends another team to check on us but I’m also praying they don’t – nobody else should have to die like this. God, please help us. Let us get to the Triton.”

ADDITIONAL

“There was an explosion outside the city. The Triton has an old plasma gun fitted to a self-defence turret. Its AI wouldn’t fire on one of us, so I think the creatures found it and attacked it. There’s no way to know if the Triton survived. There’s been no further activity. De Salle just puked – he saw what the monsters did to Dancer and I think he’s losing it. He’s going to get us all killed.”

ADDITIONAL

“Oh God, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Please, if De Salle’s family hear this, I had to do it. He was going to give our position away. I made it quick, I know where to put a knife. I put my hand over his mouth so he couldn’t cry out, but it was quick.”

ADDITIONAL

“We’re moving out. I just tried my visor – the night vision is working again and I’ve got eight confirmed bio-readings from my team. The rain is still coming, it hasn’t stopped. Soren slipped and ripped his leg on some debris, but he’s limping along. I hope those things don’t smell his blood.”

ADDITIONAL

“We’re outside the city limits! We’re slipping and crawling in the grass. Lightning just flared, freezing us all in place, and when the thunder cracked I heard roaring from the city. We’re getting up and running for it now. Damn it, the gravity -”

ADDITIONAL

“Oh thank God! The Triton is all right. There’s a smoking mess in front of it, it’d be funny if – Dane! Get the drokking door open, now!”

ADDITIONAL

“We’re on board. Dane sprayed the Triton’s interior with automatic fire in case one of those things got on board, but we’re clear. We’re raising the ramp – oh God! Triton, target that thing, it’s heading in at one o’clock! Shoot! Shoot!

ADDITIONAL

“We’re heading back to the Horizon. The Triton managed to blast another of those creatures but four of them got on the roof. We managed to take off despite their weight. Oh God, they were hammering on the roof, the trimantium hull was starting to buckle. They survived in space for about five minutes – whatever they are, they’re tough, but they’ve gone quiet now. We still can’t communicate with the Horizon, so the monsters’ stealth technology is still working. We tried to charge the plasma cannon to send a distress round far off their starboard bow, it’s the only way we can indicate distress, hoping they’d send some fighters out to check us over and not reply with a torpedo – the Horizon‘s tubes are loaded with XTs.”

ADDITIONAL

“We’re on board the Horizon. The creatures are dead. There’s some kind of wax-like substance all over their skin, plastering them to the Triton’s hull. As soon as we clear the bay, I’m opening it to space and letting the Triton get sucked into the void. We’re not bringing any of those things back with us, even if they are dead.”

VOX-LOG ENDS

Addendum by Albert Lamm:

Garbled distress calls were sent by the Horizon on general frequencies after that final recording was made. It seems that at least one of their gatecrashers surved the trip.

The Horizon was subsequently destroyed, apparently by Saim-Hann eldar – the weapon signatures fit distortion beams used by eldar starships and the Saim Hann are known to be hostile and aggressive to other species. The Pan-Pacific Treaty have sent envoys to Saim-Hann Craftworlds in the Corona and Dentus systems, hoping to be referred up the chain to whoever is in charge of the eldar military.

Eldar intelligence is extrordinarily adept, so it is unlikely any of our operatives will escape detection by the Saim-Hann even though they’ve fooled the Pan-Pacific leadership, but they will try. I’ll report back to you when something comes up.

[20K] Legacy of the Future
2 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (96% score)

2 responses to [20K] Legacy of the Future

  1. Great stuff! All of your 20k stories involve great mystery. It would actually be kind of cool to read this story from the perspective of the chinasians living through the arrival of the strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I love it the way it is, but I don’t feel like I read the complete story. We read some broken logs of conjecture based on scant evidence found in ruins, and some further facts and conjecture surrounding those logs. It is very mysterious, but I feel like I am missing the meat of the story.

    NoPoet, may I recommend you read some (actually, read it all. It’s good stuff!!) of The Black Company series by Glen Cook. The series starts from the perspective of the Company Annalist and, if I remember correctly, shifts perspective from Annal entries and current events. I seem to remember that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Company

  2. NoPoet said on 15/04/2013

    Thanks for the feedback Brother Finnigan. It is most welcome.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I never thought of a Chinasian version – that would be awesome. It would also occur as a story rather than as a chronical. I am bearing in mind your comment on my work in progress “[20K] The Man Without a Past” story here. I tend to get carried away with the Lovecraftian style story. Ironically all of the Fearless, Earthwatch and Solstice stories are 3rd person past tense, none of them are currently planned to be chronicles or narratives at present. I’m trying to get people into the 20K universe before I unleash On Eagles’ Wings.

    I’ve got a 20K short called Flight of the Fireblade finished, but I am waiting to see how it performs in the Heresy-Online competition I entered it for, so it will be on Imp Lit in May.

    You might have mentioned The Black Company before so I will check those out.

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