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Melded Horizons [A Firefall Fanfic]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Jade Isentry, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Jade Isentry

    Jade Isentry Unshakable

    Joined:
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    Abbreviations:
    • FCC: Firefall Cannon Character
    • TOC: Tiranthian Original Character (The Firefall version thereof. Tiranthia=my original universe)
    • OC: Original Character
    • SIN: Shared Intelligence Network (Firefall Earth's internet, usually accessed with a brain implant)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Character Introduction 1
    - Jade Isentry: The Indomitable Guardian

    Where: Accord Military Facilities, Kerney Transit Hub, Brazil.
    When: Four months after the Arclight crash, and the arrival of the Melding.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Captain Hudson Fuller looked at the woman sitting in front of him. She was strongly built, broad shouldered, and so tall that she would have barely needed to look up to meet his eyes, even though he was the one standing. But she wasn't looking at anything. She stared ahead blankly, completely unresponsive. Even snapping his fingers in front of her face did nothing, not even a flinch.
    [​IMG]

    He turned back to the much more petite woman standing next to him. "And she doesn't respond to anything?"
    [​IMG]

    "I wouldn't say that," Ailesse clarified, "She does what she's told--mostly, but she won't talk, not even to acknowledge she heard you. She's a complete deadpan. It makes psych evals and finding out her past before the meldapocalypse impossible."

    Fuller considered what to do. He had read the reports on the person before them, but, to his aggravation, she was even more puzzling in person, not less.

    "You say she mostly obeys orders?"

    "Hmm, yeah," Ailesse confirmed in her pretty bell-like voice, "So far she's complied with all the military aptitude tests we've put her through--you know, since we found her in a battleframe. She made most of the Accord's best soldiers look like rookies. Unfortunately, she won't even respond by doing what she's told if we try to send her out with a patrol. She'll do anything else though."

    Hudson tapped his foot and scowled, looking at the ceiling in thought. Accord personnel were stretched thin, making anyone with skills and training of this level better than their weight in pure crystite, but if she remained unusable like this... dang-it. He hated to just kick someone out with nothing but the clothes on their back. Then an idea of an idea occurred to him. Just a vague hunch of a possibility. What the heck, it was worth a try.

    "Hey you, Jade," he said, addressing the mountain of a girl by the name on the dog tags she had worn when she had been found all but dead at the edge of the melding, "will you follow me please?"

    No response. Of course not.

    "You are going out with one of our patrols to check the proximity sensors... and you're getting paid for your trouble."

    He turned and started walking toward the armory... and Jade Isentry got up and followed.

    Ailesse gasped. The captain grinned and kept walking. It looked like he had just acquired a valuable asset, and he had a good idea of what to do with her. She wanted to be a mercenary? Fine. The Accord certainly had a program for that. Now to find a battleframe big enough for her...

    "Get to your command module, Operator," he ordered Ailesse, "I want you handling this patrol. I expect a full report on our new friend here afterwards."

    "Yes Sir." Ailesse snapped to attention before taking off toward the command and coordination wing.

    And thus, after losing everything but her name, Jade was accepted by the ARES program, and became ARES Two-Five.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Character Introduction 2
    - Fusion: The Tactical Dragon
    - Xinec: The Firestorm

    Where: Command Observatory, Orbital Shipyard, Arclight Project.
    When: Launch of the Arclight’s Maiden Voyage.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fusion and Xinec Starsong stood grinning in front of the big panoramic window of the command satellite's observation deck. Xinec was bouncing like a jackrabbit in the magnetic boots holding her to the floor. So many VIP’s and project leaders had paid big money or been granted a place here for premium seats to see the inaugural launch of what was perhaps humanity’s greatest achievement in history.

    After distinguishing itself in development of implant controlled weapons and vehicles during the crystite wars, the company owned by Fusion and Xinec’s father had been contracted to do a great deal of the massive starship’s onboard command and control systems. Fusion had taken after his father’s work, and he had had a major hand in the research and development.

    Master Starsong had had other things to attend to that he considered more important than this grand space ceremony, but he had insisted that his children be there to represent the family and company.

    Fusion stood grinning, caught up as usual in his sister’s visible enthusiasm. The Arclight was an awe inspiring sight. A super ship as big any city on the planet below. It had reached its launch point, a safe distance from the construction platforms, and the voice of its commander, Admiral Nostromo, was being broadcast to the world as he gave the command to begin countdown to arcfold burn.

    The countdown started, and everyone’s excitement grew as it progressed. Huge holographic numbers on either side of the observatory window showed the countdown, while the voice of the command crew came over the broadcast.



    “This is Accord Command. We are prepped for spacefold. Initiate on Admiral’s mark.”

    “Initiating spacefold on Admiral Nostromo’s mark.
    3,
    2,
    1,
    Mark.”
    *ZAP!*

    There was a blinding burst of light from the Arclight’s location. The light vanished, revealing… not the empty horizon and space they had expected. Instead, the entire view of space was obscured by an angry roiling cloud, big enough to shade an entire hemisphere of the earth, with lightning arcs jumping here and there within it. It was darn spectacular.

    Everyone cheered and began shaking hands and celebrating. But quiet fell a couple minutes later as the voice of accord command came over the speakers again.

    “Arclight, this is Accord Control. Do you copy? Arclight…”

    That was funny. The arclight should be light years away, prepping for its second jump. Why would they still be trying to contact it?

    “Are you there? Arclight… Arclight, do you copy?”

    To the dismay of all present, the Arclight responded, appearing out of the cloud in a rush of energy.

    “This is Nostromo. The jump failed! We’re still in Earth orbit but losing altitude rapidly.”

    The public broadcast was cut off.

    Behind the Arclight, another cloud came out of the first one, clinging to the ship like a living thing and trailing behind it. The minutes passed as they watched the giant ship begin bleeding visible waves of energy that seemed to push the cloud off of it, but then the active nature of the cloud became apparent. Unable to hold the doomed ship, it began moving on its own toward the satellites of the orbital shipyard.

    A finger of the thick darkly glowing miasma shot out, smashing into one satellite, enveloping it, and pushing it toward the earth.

    “Oh no!” someone shouted, “Get to the shuttles!” The room quickly began devolving into panic as people fought for the exit.

    Xinec turned to do the same, but Fusion grabbed her shoulder.

    “Wait,” he said firmly, “let’s see how this plays out. Let the others rush out of here. That cloud isn’t moving fast enough to get to this platform for a bit yet, and we’ll have room to move after everyone else is gone.”

    Xinec scowled. Things were happening, and she wanted to move! She knew better than to run ahead when her older brother actually bothered to grab her though. It meant that she was about to run into some really deep crap if she did.

    Fusion began pointing thoughtfully at spots in the air in front of himself, and Xinec linked into his SIN implant feed with her own to see what he was looking at. A neural command link interface was floating in front of him, and he was using his project lead credentials to tap into Accord Control’s monitoring and command feeds for more info about what was happening.

    Over the course of the next hour or so, the situation began to take shape. The glowing cloud plunged toward the earth, slamming into it somewhere near Alaska. It spread quickly outward from there, transmitted cries for help coming in from city after city as the cloud overtook them, only for those cries to be quickly cut short.

    “Alright,” Fusion finally said, pointing, “seen what I need to. Time t’go.”

    Xinec followed his finger to see a finger of the glowing cloud rushing toward the observatory.

    “Finally!” she exclaimed and rushed for the docking bay with her brother hot on her heels. Fusion had been right about waiting for the panic jam to be finished. They had a clear shot to their company transport. Fusion started its engines and opened its docking port remotely as they went.

    “Detaching!” he blurted, flipping the switch as they landed in the pilot and copilot seats, before even strapping in.

    Not a moment too soon either. There was a shuddering lurch as the cloud collided with the station, yanking it away from their craft. Fusion had already linked his SIN implant into the shuttle, making it like a second body. Full fledged and complex mind-machine interfaces like this were a very experimental technology that Heliosys had been pioneering. It was a trick that only a few of the company’s top brass and test personnel had implants for, and nearly all equipment designed for it was still in little more than prototype phase, including the shuttle they were escaping in.

    It served them well now though. Fusion was able to re-orient the ship in moments and send them streaking toward the surface with a blast from the plasma jets.

    “Faster! It’s catching up!” Xinec squealed, looking decidedly not scared, but rather grinning excitedly.

    “Not unless you want to smash on reentry,” Fusion exclaimed.

    “Yeah! Do it, do it! Do we get to have a crash landing?”

    “Next time maybe.”

    Disturbing explosive noises came from the back of the craft as the cloud caught the tail end of it, and the holographic consoles burst to life with all sorts of nasty looking alerts. Taking a cue from what they had seen when the cloud lost its grip on the Arclight, Fusion ramped up the crystite reactor to full power and vented it. Sure enough, that got them free, but Fusion had to pull it back again to keep from melting the core, and to re-raise the reentry shield. The cloud closed in again as soon as he did, and he had to keep repeating the process, risking a meltdown or a reentry at the wrong moment every time.

    Strap in for pete’s sake!” Fusion shouted, “You are definitely going to get your crash.”

    “Make it a good one!”

    “That’s pretty much guaranteed. Oh, by the way,” Fusion grinned back, riding off his sister’s energy again, “it’s more fun if you put your hands up like this!”

    “Gerronimooooooo!” they both yelled as the ship dove into the atmosphere with a lurch.
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Some hours later, a flaming wreck of a small surface-orbital transport lay half buried in the ground near Fortaleza, Brazil, with a long trench and stream of wreckage plowed and strewn behind it.

    Some locals were gathering around it, discussing what they should do. They would have sent for the authorities in the city, but it had been wiped out shortly before when the Arclight smashed down. Compared to that devastation, and the chaos it was causing as wreckage rained down on the surrounding countryside, this little event didn’t even seem significant.

    Suddenly, a segmented tentacle of plasma-charged blades shot out through an accsess port on the side of the wreck, ripping and sawing through the door’s otherwise fused connection points. The rope of blade sections retracted, and a second later, there was a *SLAM!* and the metal door flew up and out to reveal a grinning redhead in a heavily modified firecat battleframe, who had given the door a taste of her boot. The razor tendril was one of three tails, attached to base of the frame’s spine. They all moved organically behind her as she stepped out.
    [​IMG]

    Behind her, another redhead--this one male--stepped out, also wearing a very unique looking exosuit. His had a single tail, but with only one nasty looking unit on the end, instead of being made of blade segments all the way. It had some weird legs and claw-like feet that encased his actual feet just above where the ankles of the frame were, making him significantly taller.

    The forearms of both frames also looked bigger than they should have been, obviously containing some mysterious gadgetry.

    “Well, that was fun,” the woman exclaimed. “So why again did you crash us here instead of back at the space elevator?”

    “That’s where all the panicking idiots probably went. Too much of a chance that that area is getting swallowed whole by this doom cloud thing. By waiting up there, I was able to notice that it was avoiding areas of the globe with big crystite deposits. Venting the crystite reactors is also what kept it off of ships butts in space. I alerted Accord ground control to that fact before we left. Anyway, the biggest collection and concentration of pure crystite ever found or put together by man is on board the Arclight. Command was projecting it would crash here, so here we be.”

    “Mmhmm,” Xinec drawled, “out of all that, I head ‘That’s where idiots went, blah blah blah strategic brother stuff, here we be’.”

    “Doom cloud probably won’t eat us here. Safer,” Fusion shortened.

    “Oh, ok.”

    “Hey you,” Xinec turned to one of the bystanders, “which way to Fortaleza?”

    He pointed.

    “Thanks.”

    The two of them strode away, leaving the small flabbergasted crowd staring after them. A second later, the shuttle’s core went critical, melting what was left of the poor thing into slag.

    The horizon to the north disappeared as the death fog began to encroach over it, melding it with the alien clouds still blotting out most of the sky. Hard times were ahead. In one disastrous mistake, humanity had lost its world.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018