Origins Unknown

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Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:58 am

Year 6027
Deep Space: Acaxia System
Planet: Gauff Tiar



Approaching destination in T-Minus fifty seconds.
Initializing countdown.
Rapid Stabilizing Quad Fusion reactors.
Setting course to optimal entry point.
Refining flight path... guide path locked on screen.
Disengaging auto-pilot... switched to manual.
Extending Canard Wings.
Engaging Deflector Plates.
Charging Heat Dispersion particles... charged to fifty percent.
Calibrating reverse fusion propulsion... output set to minimal.
Approaching planet's G-Pull in T-Minus twenty seconds.
Starting cooling systems.
Emergency systems on standby.
All systems green.
A-Break Mode engaged... Craft ready for entry.


"All personnel this is your Captain speaking, we are approaching Gauff Tiar's G-Pull in 15 Seconds, please take your seats and relax, this will be a smooth one."

The large craft was engulfed in flames upon entering Gauff Tiar's atmosphere. Under control by one of the best pilots in space, the craft steered smoothly through the planet's rough atmosphere during entry. The Kamikaze, loosely translated by some as Wind God, was a one of a kind cruiser class ship built in secret by a freelance shipyard from the Cryx System. It was a gift by the Cryxians to Victor Wolfe, the Captain, for the help they received from the man five years ago.

Equipped with a one of a kind Quad Fusion Core Engine, the Kamikaze boasts unchallenged speed that can exceed even that of a frigate or fighter class ship currently in service. Designed mostly as a multi-role ship, it is highly adaptable to the tides of the situation. Complete with advanced stealth systems, the Kamikaze can hide itself at will in a blink of an eye.

While speed is one of its greatest strengths, the Kamikaze was also built using the rarest and strongest metals currently available. Tempered to perfection by the Cryxians, the Kamikaze is also a highly durable craft on its own. The body plates, capable of reflecting low grade beams alone is also fortified by a strong Reflector Shield capable of taking a few direct hits from a large Ion Fusion Cannon mostly found in Noah Class Destroyers. It is also equipped with a strong reverse polarity magnetic field that deflects shell type bullets from most anti-ship armaments.

But the Cryxians knew better. They built the Kamikaze like it was their last legacy as the legendary ship-maker race. When the need arises, the Kamikaze can turn into a fearsome opponent in a space fight. Armed with eight Compact Multi-directional Tri-Ion Fusion Cannons, it can deal twice as much pain as the ship can withstand. Added on to the ship's extreme fire-power was a highly advanced tracking and targeting system complete with Predictive Capability codenamed Oracle. A dead-eye's dream come true for a ship.

Though it is a fearsome ship, inside is a completely different scenario. While the ship can be run to its full potential with only a little more than a handful of people, it's size can easily accommodate a full crew of ninety people. Complete with roomy cabins, the entertainment facilities are the ship's highlights. Though few have been on-board the Kamikaze, those who have seen the inside easily peg the ship among the top against luxury cruisers. With advanced life and medical support systems in place, living inside the Kamikaze is truly an experience not easily forgotten.

Another highlight of the ship is the spacious storage bay where the Shrinker is located. Built by the Cryxians to optimize storage by shrinking cargo down by a considerable three times its original size, the Kamikaze can also go on prolonged space voyage with enough of the right cargo.

The Kamikaze is truly a masterpiece in its own league. With the blueprints destroyed right after the ship was completed, the Cryxians have ensured that only one Kamikaze will fly through space, with Victor Wolfe in command.


Gauff Tiar: Surface, Inside Kamikaze

Victor, along with four others, geared up inside the armory. There lingered an awkward silence between the men while preparing for the mission ahead of them. After putting on the final piece of his field armor suit, the captain glanced over his shoulder to his men. In the back of his head, he knew that these men were here in this backwater planet because of him and not the mission. Despite their sentiments, Chris, his younger brother was able to convince them to come because of the monetary value the mission had... two million credits.

It was a simple procure mission where they had to find a certain item that a client requested for. Details of the item were only made known to Victor and Chris in a need-to-know basis. Everything else was left in the dark including the client's name and a great many as Victor thought.
With a deep breath and a commanding tone, the captain turned to his men and gave his first order for their mission. "Lock and load people, were moving out!" Strapping on his trusty twin barrel fusion assault rifle over his shoulder, Victor exited the armory and proceeded to the launch bay with his men. They boarded one of the hover APCs in the bay and proceeded to Gauff Tiar's desolate lands.

Inside the APC, the awkward silence between the men still lingered. Victor knew full well that this could lead to many factors that would complicate the mission. Looking at his men who stared back at him as if waiting for him to say something, Victor sighed and shook his head sideways. "Look, I know you have your opinions about this mission," he said and crossed his arms on the hilt of his weapon. "It's a simple procure mission where we need to find some historical record or something-- the pay is good and this planet is lifeless; this is a done deal. We'll be back home in time for your favorite show."

One of the men couldn't contain his thoughts any longer. He looked at Victor with worry reflecting from his body language. "It's not that boss. You know what this planet is right? This is former Earth Gov colony and is closely guarded by the Empire! Not only that, we don't know shit about the client! Something tells me we're being played..." Victor shrugged his shoulders and lifted his rifle placing it on his lap. "That's what these are for. I understand where we are and I am well aware of this planet's history. The Empire thinks nobody is stupid enough to go up against them and as expected, their security in this desolate system is lax-- makes our job easier if you ask me. I'm more concerned about getting our pay once we wrap this up."

"I dunno cap'n, the lack of information just makes us feel uneasy so to speak." said another of his men looking out the window. Victor turned his head toward the man by the window and let out a sigh. It was time for the real mission briefing. Using hand signals, he gave the men orders to go dark from comms when the APC entered a canyon. "Alright, listen up guys, the client gave me information on the item we're supposed to procure. This information was intended to be kept from you guys from the start but I'm not gonna do that . I just didn't want to let it out inside the ship given that the client had their little representative keeping eyes on us."

Victor pulled out a portable map cube from his pocket and pushed a button on it. The small device floated to the center of the APC and brought up a holographic grid of their destination. The image before the men portrayed a large and deep crater. "That's..." the men said in unison. Victor cut them off before they could continue. "Right, this is The Archive boys, the very same one the Empire blasted to oblivion one thousand years ago. What we need is, according to the client, located in the deepest section they called Root. It's a Record Hex containing information that the client wants. We're taking the shortest route possible through the metallic canyon that leads to a cargo shaft that will take us to the bottom. From there, we get what we need and get out. Any questions?"

The men shook their heads and cocked their weapons ready. The APC was fast approaching the cargo shaft on the other end of the canyon. Victor signaled his men to turn comms back on. As soon as their comms units received signal, a broken transmission came in from the Kamikaze. "Ca...ain? D... ou... re... me? Cap... in? Ar... u... a...rig...?" Victor looked back to his men and nodded. "Kamikaze, this is Captain Victor, looks like our APC kicked up some metacrystal dust that jammed comms for a while. We're approaching destination, ETA four minutes." When the APC broke through the canyon, the comms line cleared. "Roger that Captain, good to hear from you guys again. We'll keep an eye out for Empire surveillance drones, Kamikaze initializing Chameleon System. We got six hours before the next patrol drone shift. Better work fast Captain Victor, Kamikaze out."

The APC finally reached the Cargo Shaft and stopped by the side of the personnel lift. The men disembarked from the back with their helmets on and began surveying the area. Everywhere they looked they were greeted by the same view of a barren wasteland. Victor took a good look around the place making sure nothing was out of the ordinary. Satisfied that no biometric readings were being picked up by his helmet, he turned to his men and gave the go signal. "You heard the man boys, we got six hours to find that Record Hex and get this mission over with. Two million credits on the line guys, we won't need to work for a few months with that much. Let's move!"

After boarding the personnel lift, the five of them descended down into the dark pit where Earth Gov's Archives formerly stood. It was along ride down and for some reason, halfway down the shaft, Victor's heart started pounding heavily beneath his chest. His instincts were telling him to prepare for the worst and the psyche implants he had reacted to it. One of his men noticed the increase in his stress level and pointed it out after hearing his rugged breathing through comms. "Cap, your psyche reading is rapidly increasing. You alright?" Victor heard the voice loud and clear, almost deafening through the comms piece. It was one of the effects of the psyche implants kicking in, he was already in a heightened senses state. Victor shrugged it off and gripped his rifle tighter. Whatever is making him feel uneasy could be further down below.

"I know I said this is a lifeless planet but it never hurts to be vigilant against the Empire, who knows what they got down there? Weapons hot boys and stay on alert three! Spearhead formation when we're out of this lift."

Danger was always a part of their job, but this was the first time Victor ever felt himself in danger when he and Chris first started their bounty shop. What could have been the reason why the Empire still had their eyes on this planet after so long? What could be waiting for Victor and his men when they reach the bottom? These questions played inside the man's head and no matter how hard he tried to piece the puzzle, the answer he knew is most likely down below.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:57 pm

Planet: Saere
Location: Coralix, East Side, Victor and Christian's Home


Christian was a young man with startling blue eyes and hair the color of chestnuts, wavy and somewhat long. At the moment, he was quietly gazing into the garden at the back of the home he shared with his brother, Victor. Victor...who at this moment was risking his life on the desolate planet of Gauff Tiar to acquire a Record Hex that supposedly had vital information. Information vital to whom and for whom? The details were still quite sketchy, and Chris was having quite a time trying to piece them together. Someone with enough money to pay two million credits...the Record Hex must have something of great value stored away in its memory banks. This was part of the reason Chris had remained behind, though he had desperately wanted to be included on the mission. He had felt the need to uncover more about their client, and had spent countless hours at the base of their operations, downloading files and perusing through millions of information banks. Their contractor had really covered their tracks, however, and not a single clue had appeared during the search. Therefore the youth was taking a brief respite, rejuvenated by the natural beauty of the plants flourishing in the light of the midday sun. They were rather exotic, spotted vines, flowers akin to morning glories, dazzling reds and blues dashed with yellows and streaked with purple. They were more magnificent than anything a Bio-Synthesizer could produce, and much hardier as well. Leave a bio-synthesized plant in the sun for a few days, and it would fade and and dry up. But real plants...true biological life forms, they needed the sun to thrive and grow. Without the sun, they would shrivel and fade to nothing...

After contemplating the quiet beauty for a few more moments, Chris reentered the building. It was humble as far as homes went, and it was better that way. It wouldn't do to attract unwanted attention. The living quarters were equipped with the standard technologies: entertainment systems, living utilties, and even the latest Kitchenserv, though Christian much rather preferred to cook from scratch. Everything was becoming automated, however, even simple tasks that had once been routine were done my machines. With the push of a button, a dirty room was instantly spotless, and with a flick of a switch, a hearty meal could be prepared in minutes. The youth made his way to the long range communications access panel and reached up to open it before he let his hand fall to his side. No...he shouldn't disturb his brother, as worried as he was at the moment. Besides, if he contacted Victor now, it might compromise their position. He was only to use the device in case of an extreme emergency. Sighing, Christian made his way to the Kitchenserv and selected an option for a quick, hearty meal of roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. For some reason, he just didn't feel like cooking. Worry nagged at his heart like a parasite...Why couldn't he shake the premonition that something dreadful was about to occur?

"Your food is ready, young master. Is there anything else you require?" the Kitchenserv's automated voice cut into his thoughts.

Before Christian could reply, a soft warning bell reverberated throughout the house, letting the young man know that someone was approaching. Fighting back a sense of foreboding, the boy went to the door and opened it. Outside stood a man clothed in outlandish garb, robes the likes of which would only see on the desert planets of Klesh and Norn. his face was partially hooded, though Christian could see wisps of a grey beard and guarded emerald eyes. Certainly Christian hard dealt with their type at the business center he shared with his brother, but no one like this had showed up on the doorstep of their own home before.

"You are Christian Wolfe?" asked the man without a preamble.

"Who...wants to know?" asked Christian, trying to stay calm given the fact that an absolute stranger knew his name.

With the full and extensive databases available to even the poorest of people, it wasn't any wonder this person had been able to identify him. But who would take the time to look for someone like himself?

"Let me see your hand," replied the stranger in a short, clipped voice.

Christian immediately grasped his right hand as if he had been burned. The dream...the woman...the strange symbol...but...this man couldn't possibly know about that.

"I'm afraid you have the wrong person. I will bid you good day..." began Christian, ready to activate the internal security system at a moment's notice.

Without warning, the stranger's arm darted from his robe to grasp Christian's right arm. On Christian's palm was emblazoned a strange symbol, two circles entwined with designs that looked like the stems of roses. As the stranger's hand touched the symbol, it began to glow with a strange light. An eerie, almost maniacal expression appeared on the wizened old man's features.

"At last, we have found you. Come with me, boy. It is not safe to speak here. Walls have ears you know," he chuckled.

Christian pulled away and took a few steps back, hands slamming into the button that would place an electric shock into the doorway, enough to knock a grown man out.

"You leave me alone," he said in a shaking voice, "I'm not going anywhere with you."

"Come now...you have nothing to be afraid of. Besides, do you think a little bit of electricity is going to bother me?" chuckled the hooded one.

He calmly stepped through the doorway, even as electric energy crackled around him. The energy soon dissipated and was grounded harmlessly through the floor.

"No useless security system is going to stop me," sneered the old man, "Now come, Christian. Put that foolish weapon down."

Indeed, the youth was holding up a small yet potentially deadly Blastech weapon. It had enough energy to send a bolt through the heart of another man. Not normally violent, Christian only held the weapon because Victor had insisted. And for once, Christian was grateful for his brother's advice.

"Go ahead, shoot. It won't do you any good," cackled the crazed man.

Christian closed his eyes and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. He pulled again, still nothing.

"That weapon is useless. I told you. I've cast a spell to render it harmless. Technology is no match for the powers of magic."

"Magic..." said Christian slowly, "But...magic's not real! Even if it was, it has long since died out."

"Boy...you know that is not true. Do you not remember last night? She came to us too. She told us you were to be reborn, and now you will lead us against the Empire, against the foolish technology that plagues our universe...."

"Leave me alone...just leave me alone!" sobbed Chris, unable to contain his fear at everything that was going on.

The older man suddenly lunged forward, grabbing the youth's arm and dragging him towards the door.

"No need to resist, child. You are fulfilling your destiny. We will destroy all who oppose us!"

"No...no!" cried Chris, eyes flashing as the surprisingly strong older man pulled him through the doorway.

An anger...a rage...a power he had never felt before, raged deep inside of Christian's body. It was the secret strength bestowed upon him in the dream, the ability to acquire what was long thought to be dead and gone. But he couldn't let it out...couldn't release it, or it would do irreparable harm.

"Let me go," pleaded the youth one more time, "I won't be able to stop it."

"Ah, now you see. Fear not, child, you are not yet ready to combat power such as mine. Let it out, unleash your fury. You will not escape me no matter how hard you try."

Christ bit back a sob, calming his fears. This old man was trying to kidnap him for some terrible purpose. She had warned him that there would be those like this, those seeking to use him. But it wasn't real! Last night's dream...but without warning...it happened. At first, Chris' skin was hot to the touch, and the old man grinned in expectation. The grin vanished, however, as Christian's body immediately burst into flame.

"Impossible!" shouted the old man, but those were the last words he ever spoke.

Fire poured from Christian's body like a torrent, consuming Christian's would be captor and bursting high into the air like some kind of beacon or secret signal. When the flames disappeared, the boy stood there, unharmed and untouched, eyes trembling with exhaustion and terror. What had he done? Only moments later, the sound of sirens could be heard. Christian listened to the pitch and tenor of the hover-craft, and immediately knew that these would be no ordinary ground forces. No...the Empire had sent Elite units to determine the cause of an instantaneous fireball. Christian frantically looked around for cover. Though Saere was a backwater planet, the Empire's presence was still strong here. And if they had discovered what he had done...

Victor...I wish you were here...

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:11 am

Gauff Tiar: The Archives
Location: Cargo Shaft, Base Entrance


The Archive's construct had somewhat changed from wrecked to less wrecked and then to ancient but intact. How deep does this installation go? Victor could only swallow in anticipation. They had been on the lift for a good while now and he had been on edge for about the same duration. His knuckles were already turning white beneath his armor gloves for all he knew because of how tight he was gripping his weapon. From the look of things, half of the installation got blown to bits and the other half stayed intact.

"My God... who would've thought this part of the Archive is still intact?"

All of Victor's men were taking an eager look around the lift windows as they rode it deeper down into the installation, they were after all, treading on historical ground. To Victor though, the question asked was somewhat incorrectly phrased. It was more like why did the Empire make it look like they obliterated the Archives if the other half is still intact? Surely the tech they had a thousand years ago could easily pinpoint the depth of the structure. What could they be hiding? "It doesn't add up. The Empire surely knew that this place here is still intact, and if my hunch is right, what we're after might be tied to the reason this half is still standing. I just pray I'm wrong..."

Victor's eyes shifted to the lights he noticed on the ground when the lift came to a stop. It was just simple guide lights going to the entrance but why were they on? Why is this facility still powered? Pointing his rifle at the guide lights, his men quickly moved into position and aimed their weapons forward, treading carefully behind their point man Victor in a spearhead formation as ordered. Biometric readings in their visors were showing a flat line and the noise sensors were silent. "This place is a ghost town..." one of his men commented after which Victor immediately gave a hand signal to cut chatter. Instructing his men to switch to secure comms, Victor began to move forward in a brisk pace, vigilant in clearing corners and keeping his keen eyes in front.

Upon reaching the large metallic doorway into the facility, Victor immediately walked to the door panel and held out a Code Breaker, handy little black market gadgets that can easily decrypt most locks and on occasion, even top grade encryption. "That's exactly the reason I find this off, we're not alone here." he mumbled after hearing a beep from the code breaker indicating success. "For an important facility, they sure have crappy security." said one of his men who stood ready as the large doors started sliding to the side. The noise sensors in their visors started fluctuating, attuned to the sliding of the door. Biometrics were still reading null which caused Victor to let out a sigh of relief.

It was dark inside, barely any light on and there was no indication of ongoing activity. But Victor was not about to take any chances, peering from the side of the opened doorway, he switched to Night Pulse mode for better visibility, the men with him did the same. His view was now clear and should any movement be caught in his line of sight that does not belong to friendlies, a pulse tracker would immediately encircle the source and beat making movement hard to miss. Using only hand signals, Victor advanced inside the facility. It looked like they were in some kind of lobby and although dusty, most of the gadgets and furniture were still very much intact, like they have been seldom used. "I don't like this boss, I can feel a chill down my spine." commented one of his men.

Victor paused and looked back over his shoulder. "Shut it and focus. I don't want any of you breaking down on me now." he snarled and continued forward, his men right behind him. With the help of his code breaker, Victor and his men moved briskly from the lobby into another room maybe fifty times the size of the previous one. In the center was some kind of large device that looked like it held something before. Surrounding them were computers and other machines that looked like they were once used to test something. Victor closed in on the orifice in the center, the stand-looking devices there were suppressors-- psyche suppressors to be exact, only used to hold something highly aggressive by forcing a docile state of mind and surrounding it with ultra-high voltage barriers.

"What the hell could they be using these for? According to the records, Gauff Tiar's local fauna are not hostile." Victor said while examining one of the psyche suppressors. "Beats me boss, Earth Gov practically did what they want back in those days. Who knows? They may be experimenting on advanced bio-warfare like in the First Contact incident." Victor couldn't care less. This was ancient history and the only way they would actually know what those devices were for is if they find records detailing its usage. Shifting his attention back to the mission, Victor scanned the area for an elevator. According to their client, the elevator shaft will take them below to the Dome section and they would have to find a way to power on the central lift to get down to the Root section. Spotting the elevator in the far right corner, Victor moved towards it. "Let's move people!"

Prying open the closed elevator doors, the men were surprised at how deep the facility still goes. "It's never made to be easy huh?" one of his men commented while prepping his rappel line. Pressing a button on their belts, a particle-anchor shot through the metal walls of the shaft and after tugging it a few times to make sure it's secured, the men rappelled down the shaft one by one. It was uneventful down the shaft and soon, the men were in the right floor. They pried the elevator doors open once more and was surprised at what they saw. Their biometric sensors began to move despite the desolate planet. It was because the Dome section contained probably the only life left in Gauff Tiar. Flora grew inside the grounds of the Dome that was lit by an artificial sun; it was probably made using reverse engineered dark matter. The men couldn't contain the excitement. "Astounding... I never pegged Earth Gov to be nature lovers. All they cared about was advancement and more technological advancement... this is a sight to behold!"

Even Victor was surprised at their discovery. They were probably the only five men to ever see this in the present time. He decided to share the discovery with the rest of his crew and turned on his helmet's camera. Opening a secure line back to his ship, Victor radioed in. "Kamikaze are you getting this?"

"Crystal clear Captain, we're all surprised as well. Those plants may actually be of some value considering they are the last of Gauff Tiar's Flora. Maybe you should bring some back for Chris."

It was a good idea, his younger brother would be thrilled with the rare gift knowing he's one of those few true nature lovers. "Roger that Kamikaze, I'm bagging some for lil bro." Not really a flowers kind of guy, Victor had a hard time deciding what to pick. Blue reminded him of his brother's eyes so he picked some of those and as well as the white ones. He stored it inside a crystal container and put it inside his portable shrinker box and went on his way to the center of the dome. His men joked about his soft spot for his brother and how he was strict when they were the ones sidetracking in a mission. He just coughed up perks of a captain as a reply and the men exchanged short laughs.

"Now, how do we power up this lift to take us down?" Victor thought while one of his hands coursed around the chin part of his helmet. One of his men who specialized in electronics fiddled around with the lift console and circuit box. "Nope, the battery pack we brought won't give this lift enough juice." he said. The bad news put the team in a bind but Victor noticed that his electronics expert was looking back and forth at the artificial sun then back to the circuit box. Victor grasped the idea the man had but stopped on second thought after realizing that the artificial sun was too dangerous to harness. "Okay, I see what you're trying to do since that sun is the only source of energy here right now but how do you propose we harness it?" Victor could see the smirk underneath the man's helmet. Victor hated it when that man does that to him, it makes him look stupid but he was glad he decided to come join them here.

A few moments later, the man removed his belt and pried open the back panel. He pulled out a few cords from the lift's circuit box and connected them to the energy panels of the belt mechanism. "Boss, I don't know how much energy that sun holds but if I tweak the belt regulator to maximum, that should be able to serve as a converter and regulator of energy. I just need to shoot the rappel line close enough to graze that sun and we should be able to draw its energy down here." It was a reckless option but also the only one they have at the moment. "You know full well that sun might be made of reverse engineered dark matter right? You should also know that if it is disturbed it could cause a meltdown or even implosion right?" Victor double-checked. "Yeeeeahhh we'll probably get sucked into it or burn to a crisp if I mess up but who cares right? Two million on the line?" the man responded. Victor sighed and after a few minutes of thought, gave him the go signal.

After swallowing three stabilizer pills for his aim, the heart-pounding and nerve-wracking moment proceeded. The man was successful in getting the rappel line to lightly graze the artificial sun and soon, they heard the lift come to life. Everybody let out a sigh of relief and looked at each other silently acknowledging they just lived another day. Victor couldn't stop shaking his head sideways while boarding the lift that will take the down. Much work still needs to be done and they were already running short on time. When the lift started to take them to the Root section, Victor felt the same feeling he got from the cargo shaft again.

"Boss... we don't like it when your psyche readings increase. You still worried?"

"Yeah..." he responded almost quietly. "We better be prepared. The client said that only select individuals can pass through the Root entrance.

Just as they were getting closer to the Root section, their biometric sensors started flickering again. The flora wouldn't affect the sensors much but the reading they got this time was starting to tip their sensors to full scan. Victor quickly looked at his men and they nodded in response. All of them have the same readings, there was life down below.

"Shit! Could be Empire scum! Be ready for a fight men! They're probably waiting for us down below."

Victor couldn't put a finger on the readings. It doesn't usually take long for the sensors to tag the life signature with the correct species or race but this time, it was taking exceptionally long before they can get details on the read. "No... I don't think the Empire has something our sensors don't boys. We could be dealing with an unknown here. We're almost down, switch to covert mode!"

Utilizing a unique built in stealth device, their armor suits began to fade into the background. Victor's team had just turned invisible and when the lift stopped, everybody rolled out for cover. It was quiet, but the readings are still there. Whatever it is, the life signature is just behind the door to the Root.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:42 pm

Saere
Location: Coralix, East Side


The whine of engines could be heard in the distance, increasing in pitch and tenor as they neared the boy's location. He had only a few minutes. Even more deafening than the distant roar was the beat of his heart, sounding in his ears like cymbals. He had actually...killed another man. He hadn't meant to! It was an accident! How was he supposed to control a power like this? Why hadn't the woman told him anymore about it? Why on earth had he been chosen out of all people? But mulling over these questions wasn't going to put him out of danger. He turned to run, to look for a place to hide, but then stopped. The Empire's drones would be equipped with state-of-the art bio sensors. Short of him using a jamming device, there was nowhere in his small home that he would hide. His eyes turned towards the tall, pristine towers of Coralix...The city would afford him protection. There were so many life forms jumbled together in one place that it would be next to impossible to track him. He turned towards his

Unfortunately, it was too late...The whine of repulsor lifts became a deafening roar and the sleek, shiny, pristine crafts of the Imperials came into view. Chris could only stand in stunned silence as they landed, the hatch from the ship opening. Guards clad in black armor dismounted from the vehicle, immediately training laser-sight weapons on the youth. The boy had just enough presence of mind to raise his hands to show that he held no weapons. The last vehicle slowly landed on the ground with a resounding thud, and the guards made a gesture of respect. From the cockpit leaped a man apparently in his mid-thirties, clothed in pristine white. Christian didn't even need to see the insignia of a two-edged sword laced onto his uniform, indicating that this person was an Inquisitor. A shudder of fear he could not repress ran through his body. Inquisitors were only deployed in situations where the Empire suspected that their victim would be highly resistant to probes, as well as armed and dangerous. But Chris was still only a boy. What could they possibly want with him? Even with the fireball, they wouldn't have known of his powers. It would have been a strange phenomenon, yes, but there were technologies able to produce the same effect his powers had. Christian was beginning to believe that almost everyone knew about the powers he wielded except for himself.

The Inquisitor smiled at his sardonically, eyebrows lifted as he motioned for the scanning team to begin, "Good day, young man. We are looking for a criminal who has violated Section XXX sub-Section V of the Empire's code of Order. Producing unwanted and potentially dangerous fireballs in a residential district."

"I...I...I was just passing by. I saw the fireball, but wasn't close enough to its source," stammered Christian, though he immediately realized he had been caught in a bald-faced lie.

"Really now? According to these results..." said the Inquisitor, pulling up scrolling data on one of the scanning devices handed to him, "The point of origin of the fireball is right where you were standing. Furthermore, another body had been extremely close to you at the time of the explosion. In fact, there is nothing left of him but ashes. It seems like we have not only a disturbance, but a murder as well. Fortunately for you, we were also after the man and I'm sure you saw the reward for his capture, dead or alive. Though...there isn't much left of him."

The Inquisitor raised his eyebrows as the data collection team collected the man's few remains in sterilized containers.

"Congratulations. Now, will you take your reward, boy?" asked the Inquisitor, smiling brightly though the smile was far from genuine.

"N-no..." said Chris faintly, "I want for nothing. I need nothing. If you'll excuse me, I..."

"I'm sorry, but the reward is not something you can refuse," replied the Inquisitor, "I apologize if you believed you had a choice in the matter. The reward is that you are now a part of the Imperial Army, immediately with the rank of High Prefect."

Chris blinked in surprise and confusion. High Prefects were only those with noble blood and they were far removed from the common folk. As far as he knew, High Prefect was not a title bestowed on anyone. It was hereditary.

"You may wonder why such a position is offered to you? What you have done here was done not by mere machinery. No, there is something inside of you, something fascinating that could be used for the greater glory of the Empire. We can help you understand that power and offer you guidance. What do you say? I will not ask again," said the Inquisitor with a hint of steel in his voice.

What was he to do? If he accepted, he would be part of a system that he detested. But if he didn't, he would die. And yet...

"I'm sorry, I do not accept the offer," Chris shook his head, not daring to move with the lasers pointed at his fragile body, "I am not of age to make such a decision on my own."

The Inquisitor's eyes narrowed to slits as he stepped forward, drawing a strange looking device as he did so.

"I see that a little persuasion is in order. Well...it is what I have been trained for," said the Inquisitor with a cruel smile.

Christian's eyes widened with recognition as he stared at the device. Known as a Torch-Whip Z Edition, it was supposed to be used for welding material. Those trained in the art of interrogation, however, would use it on the body, with excruciatingly painful results. For the Inquisitor to employ such techniques...

"Last chance, boy," whispered the Inquisitor, his voice directly beside Chris' ear.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Gauff Tiar: The Archives
Location: The Root



The Root, the deepest part of the Archives, the place where Victor and his team would find the Record Hex their client wants, the very same place the unknown life signature is coming from. The entrance to the Root from the lift was at the end of a long cylindrical hallway barely lit by guide lights, within the hallway were metallic crates that lay scattered along its length. It would seem they were just dumped there in a rush. Victor and his team were crouched behind the crates while stealthily moving forward. The men were on edge because the life readings on their visors were still fluctuating like crazy. Something inside the Root was alive, they were sure of it, but it was the lack of knowledge about whatever it is that eats them inside.

Treading carefully along the hallway behind crate after crate, Victor and his team reached the doors without incident. Still, they could not shake the feeling that bullets or beams will start raining down on them once they open the doors. With a deep breath, Victor looked at all of his men giving them a light nod to let them know they're going in no matter what. The men responded with nods of their own and Victor began to place his code breaker on the door panel. It took a good while for the code breaker to actually decode the door and when it did, Victor and his men immediately switched to offensive position.

With two of his men holding High Intensity Light grenades, Victor and the others stand ready at each side of the sliding doorway. When the opening was enough to fit the grenades, the two tossed them in and switched to their weapons. Guns trained at the doorway, Victor and the rest of his men waited for the light emission to subside before entering the room. After breaching the door, the men were only able to find a gigantic empty hall.

With their laser sights wandering the hall, the men could only look at each other and shrug their shoulders. "So much for this life signal... there's hardly anything alive in here. No pulse movement either. Shit! What is going on? Our gear going haywire?" One of his men lowered his weapon and called for Victor's attention. He was pointing at a single panel that can be found in the center of the hall. It was a panel console sticking out from the metallic flooring. Victor immediately walked toward the panel and examined it. "I want you guys to secure this hall while I see what we can find."

With the order given, Victor concentrated on trying to figure out what the panel does. It contained a nine by nine grid of buttons each with symbols hardly meaning anything to Victor. He had never seen such symbols before and he was pretty sure he could not remember anything like this from his time with the Empire. It all looked alien to him, at least not just any alien race they knew about. "Alright, let's see..." he mumbled and pressed one of the buttons. It responded with a faded blink but there were no changes or response from the hall. "One button alone doesn't work meaning... it has to be a combination." Trying a second time by pressing a sequence of buttons, Victor waited for any response from the hall, but there was none. Victor knew better about using the code breaker on unknown devices but they have no choice. They were stuck until they can figure out what the panel is for. With one last argument in his mind, Victor finally gave in. "Alright, time for the code breaker..."

Victor placed the device on top of the console and waited for it to respond. After several beeps, he could hear the code breaker trying out combinations at a rapid succession. It was taking a good while and Victor was already pacing sideways before the console. "Boss, nothing yet?" asked one of his men who was keeping an eye out on the door. "Nada. Code breaker is still trying to decrypt. Dunno how long it will take."

Thirty minutes passed...

The code breaker is still trying out combinations and Victor is getting weary of waiting. They only have about less than three hours to find what they need and get out. "Come on, come on, come on!" Even though he knew that there was hardly anything he can do to speed up the process, Victor kept pacing while silently praying the code breaker actually does its job. Another fifteen minutes passed and Victor was just about ready to crack the panel open and try to override it when the code breaker flashed green and beeped twice. "Bingo! Now we're getting somewhere!"

The hall began to shake lightly and the sudden movement within caused his men to jump back on edge. "What's going on boss?!" another of his men asked. Victor could only shrug in response but continued to observe the hall. Moments later, thin crystal screens began to slide out from the walls, the floor slowly paved way for computers and other hardware started sliding in place. The hall was transforming itself into what looked like a laboratory. When the shaking subsided, the empty hall was now filled with tons of crystal screens from the walls, hardware and computer consoles all around, and in the center stood a cylindrical tank that contained a formless mass floating around what looked like preservation fluid. Soon after the devices were in place, Victor and his men heard the sound of power filling the hardware inside the hall.

The computers started booting up and the crystal screens on the walls began to display numbers, symbols, words that hardly make any sense. The men were astounded at what stood before them now. Victor also became sure of where the life signature reading was coming from. Inside the hall was a complex system that seemed to be keeping the thing in the tank alive, whatever it is. "Woah! I was thinking about somewhere in the lines of picking up the record hex from a shelf and leave boss but this?! How is this related to our mission?" Victor had no answer. His thoughts were too jumbled to make sense of what was in front of them but he had one thing in mind, the record hex they were looking for surely had something to do with data about this thing inside the tank.

"Look around for record hex containers, we're looking for the one labeled HELIOS."

After looking around and nearly turning the whole hall upside down, it took the men a good long while to stumble upon where the record hexes we're being stored. One of Victor's men was able to find a secret room by accident inside the hall. He walked right into the wall that was cleverly hidden by using imagery that mimicked the wall structure. It felt hard upon first touch but with applied pressure, one can go right in. Victor searched the record hex containers in the secret room for a while and came out with one fairly small cylindrical tube that looked like it contained some DNA structure. It had the label HELIOS on the cap.

"Boys... we got this one bagged! Two million credi--"

Before Victor could finish his sentence, a hologram of a woman appeared before them. The mouth of the woman in the hologram was moving like she was saying something but they couldn't hear any sound. Moments later, the right arm of the woman in the hologram slowly raised and pointed at Victor who held the record hex in hand. Then the unexpected happened. The face of the woman suddenly became fierce and after mumbling in silence, the computers and crystal screens on the walls began flashing red with the word INTRUDER printed on them. Quickly stashing the record hex in his portable shrinker, Victor grabbed hold of his weapon and signaled his men to move out.

Just as they were about to exit the hall, loud thuds that sounded mechanical echoed within it. When the men looked back, they saw multiple lumps of metal that began to move forming a humanoid. They were about seven feet tall and had bulky build with ominous looking heat blades in one hand and pulse pistols on the other. Their bright blue sensors that served as eyes gleamed ferociously at Victor and his team. "Automatons!" One of his men shouted. Victor already knew that they were in for a fight. He knew things would not be so easy as he was hoping so without hesitation, he ordered his men to open fire. By his estimate, the automatons numbered around fifteen units. Soon, an exchange of salvos began to light up the hall as fusion bullets from Victor and his team shot past the automaton's pulse pistol rounds.

"Everybody clear out! Move! Move! Move!"

Victor and two of his men scrambled for cover while firing to give the other two a window to run towards the doorway. Their bullets were hitting the automatons and the impact was enough to knock them off balance or slow them down, but not nearly strong enough to punch through the automaton armor and destroy them. When two of his men got to the doorway, they turned around and started firing at the automatons. With his other men by the door doing cover fire, Victor and the rest of his men slid out of their cover and ran towards the others waiting at the doorway. However, just as Victor was about to regroup with his team, an automaton suddenly dropped in front of him nearly squashing Victor had he not jumped back. With a mighty swing of its right hand that held a heat blade, Victor was barely able to react in time to activate the ion shield from his suit's left arm part.

The clash resounded throughout the hall and even though Victor was able to block the automaton's attack, the sheer strength behind its swing alone was more than enough to toss Victor back. He flew a good distance and crashed right through the tank in the middle of the hall. "Toss some MCGs to slow em down boys! I'll get the Captain!" With the order given, the other men began throwing Meta-Crystal grenades at the automatons. Three explosions rumbled the hall and with the automatons temporarily jammed, one man ran back into the fray towards Victor. Dazed yet still alive, Victor saw the formless content of the tank slip inside his armor. He was about to panic when one of his men suddenly grabbed his arm and yanked him back to his feet and away from his thoughts. "You're good Captain! Let's go! This isn't enough to take you out!" said the man who picked Victor up.

They were able to regroup with the others and to ensure that the automatons could not recover quickly, Victor tossed another MCG at them and ran outside. The men sped through the hallway as fast as their legs could carry them but Victor stopped midway through. Before them were another set of automatons making their way towards them. Using the crates for cover, Victor and the rest of his team began looking for options. While opening fire to slow the automatons down.

"This is not good, we're boxed in!"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:30 pm

Christian shivered as the cold words touched his ears, sending a shiver down his spine. Inquisitors were not known for gentle persuasion, especially if they desperately wanted something. The youth didn't need to see the hunger for...something in the man's eyes...most likely the desire for whatever power Chris possessed, even if he didn't completely understand it yet. Perhaps that was what the Empire was counting on: ignorance of what he could do until they had him completely under their power. But what was he to do? He was unused to the tortuous methods the Inquistors employed and he wasn't sure how long he could last until he broke down completely. If only Victor were here...he would know what to do...But he couldn't give the Empire what they wanted. He knew they were completely corrupt, an evil organization bent on suppressing free spirits wherever they were to be found. He would rather die than stand with them.

"I won't join you..." he whispered through clenched teeth, trying to mask the fear in his voice, "I am a free, law-abiding citizen. I shouldn't be forced to make this choice."

In response, a sharp bolt of pain bit into his arm, searing through flesh, muscle, even biting into his bone. The pain worsened and sharpened to a dull pulse as the Torch-Whip was removed, but the damage had already been done. Chris didn't need to look to see the damage caused by the terrible device as he bit back a sob, sinking to his knees.

"S-stop...l-leave me alone..." he whimpered, unsuccessfully trying to keep pleading from his voice.

"So you accept our offer now?" asked the Inquistor with a cruel smile on his lips, "You see the futility of resisting? The Empire is generous in its offer to you and know that if you do not accept, I have the authority to execute you immediately."

"My brother would never allow you..." cried Christian, before regaining his composure.

"Oh...You mean Victor Wolfe, do you not? That young man showed much promise until he left our ranks. Unfortunately, our intelligence suggests he will be dead within a matter of moments. So it stands that you will be taken into custody by the State anyway, without a proper guardian."

"No...no...my brother's not dead! You're lying! Besides! I'm nineteen years old, more than old enough to live on my own even if what you were saying was true," retorted Christian.

"You are not a full-fledged adult until you are twenty-one years of age, child. Now...do you accept our generous proposal? I will offer one more time before things get really ugly, and the offer becomes less than satisfactory to you."

Christian bit his lip, trying to ignore the pain in his right arm, though the smell of his own burning flesh nauseated him.

"I won't join you, especially if you've harmed my brother! Do your worst!" he cried, looking up into the Inquisitor's eyes with a confidence he truly didn't possess at the moment.

Don't allow him to hurt you so, child. You have far greater powers than you imagine. Close your eyes and will that the energy be drained from the infernal machines. Remember, this is one of the most useful powers you can utilize at the moment.

Christian blinked in surprise at the sound of the voice from the night before, though he didn't have much time to contemplate as pain surged through his other arm. He sobbed, closing his eyes, imagining all power draining from the Torch-Whip, and suddenly, the searing pain was gone. He looked up to find the Inquisitor staring at the Torch-Whip with a rather dumbfounded expression before throwing it on the ground and crushing it underneath his heel. The guards all stiffened, and immediately a large number of glowing red laser sights were trained on Christian's unprotected body.

"At ease, men, at ease. This was to be expected," said the Inquisitor, waving off the soldiers, "Yes...we knew your powers would be very unique, child. But it doesn't change anything. I have more than one way to make you reconsider your options."

He gestured, a floating orb hovered by his side. Immediately, various needles and terrifying appendages emerged from the orb's smooth black exterior.

"A probe droid, Z-X45 edition, one of the most ruthless. It is said to be built without pain inhibitors. I've never had to employ its services before, but you are a special case child. I will only ask you one more time. This is your last chance."

Christian's eyes widened in true terror. He had been able to deactivate a simple machine with his magic, but this...probe droid was much more complicated....He wasn't sure he would be able to power it down before it did irreparable harm...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:30 am

"Kamikaze do you read me?!" Victor yelled into his comms piece while ducking behind a crate to avoid a zipping blast from the automaton's pulse pistols. The comms immediately cackled to life. "This is Kamikaze, we've already sent out backup to get you Captain! ETA twenty minutes. Hang tight!" Hearing the message loud and clear, Victor shook his head sideways to his men, "We'll have to hold them off until backup arrives. Nobody dies!"

"Hold out?! Against Empire automatons?! Captain, we can probably do that for about five minutes before we're toast! How long till they get here?!" Victor looked down and paused for a moment. "Twenty minutes tops." He answered and looked away. The man Victor was talking to pounded the crate that gave Victor cover with his fist. "We would be killed four times over by then!" Irritated, Victor grabbed the man by the armor's chest piece and yanked him closer. "Fall in line and start shooting soldier! I don't want to die just like you! Switch to impact rounds and make every shot count!"

A grumble escaped his man's comms piece but he began to switch his weapon's ammo. All of them were in the same boat and bickering over the situation would only serve to get them killed faster. Everyone knew that they had to do what they can to hold out for another extra fifteen minutes. To make situations even worse, the automatons from the hall were already back up to their senses and are closing in on them. Bullets were now hailing down on them from both ends of the tunnel.

"Six O'clock Captain!"

"Boss We're in trouble!"

"Captain Victor!?"

His heart pounded inside him with immense pressure. Lives were depending on him and yet here they were, cornered and on the brink of getting killed, all for the sake of the stupid record hex their client wants. "Our lives isn't worth two million credits..." he mumbled. Looking at his equipment, he took out all the MCGs and HIL grenades he had with him, two MCGs and three HILs in total. "We're breaking through. We'll blind the ones behind and concentrate fire on the ones blocking our exit. Set your HIL timers one second late from the first grenade. We have a total of thirteen grenades, these should get us a roughly thirty second window to break through. We need a chain explosion, I know its risky but if we stay here, we're dead. Toss MCGs to the front and the HILs to the back! We could jam their vision temporarily and using that window, knock the ones up front down with impact rounds while we break through."

What choice did they have? None. Doing the same thing as Victor, the rest of his men gathered their own MCG's and HILs then took a deep breath. "Now!" Victor roared and began throwing MCGs to the front. His men did the same and after the explosion, they began tossing all the HIL grenades to the back. When the first light engulfed the back, Victor gave the signal to charge forward. Guns trained up front, the five of them began to open fire while running forward as fast as they can. "Aim for the legs! These impact rounds should topple them over!"

At first they were doing fine. Able to knock a couple jammed automatons down, Victor stepped on the chest part of one and jumped as he continued moving forward. The rest of his men followed his lead and soon enough, they were able to break through the first few units. Though they were knocked down, the automatons were flailing their heat blades around making Victor and his team's endeavor only harder. "We're down to fifteen seconds before those behind start firing again! Move it!" Victor roared, adrenalin fueling his movements and determination fortifying his resolve to live. He couldn't stand the thought of him dying there and leaving his brother on his own, not when he was the only family the kid's got.

"I'm not going to die here!"

With lungs burning and leg muscles aching, Victor and his men were able to clear the hallway safely. Just as the last of his men rolled out of the hallway, photon bullets began to shoot out across the entire length of the hallway. They made it just in the nick of time. But there was no rest for the weary. The effects of their MCGs would wear out soon and they need to get on the lift where they would be sitting ducks for the automatons. "Haul ass and get to the lift! Go! Go! Go!" Picking themselves up after Victor's command, the men ran the remaining distance before them to the lift. When everyone was able to board, Victor and the rest pinned the automatons down the entrance to the hallway with their weapon fire while the lift slowly moved up to the Dome section. When they were clear, they took the chance to catch their breaths.

"You're crazy boss! Didn't think we could pull that one off!"

Gasping for air, Victor shook his head sideways. "I didn't think we could do it either! It was a gamble, and we won the pot this time. But don't relax yet, the Empire put this much effort into an ambush and we're still not out of the heat." Right after his statement, a radio transmission crackled through their comms.

"Wolf pack this is Fenrir, do you copy?"

"Go for Wolf pack Fenrir, what's your status?"

"Captain, we're going to be delayed, we're pinned down by Empire forces in the room with the psyche suppressor. Sit tight while we break through!"

"Negative Fenrir, hold position. Keep them occupied, we're coming to you for backup. ETA ten minutes."

"Roger that Captain, sitting tight. Fenrir out."

Looking at his exhausted men, Victor reloaded his weapon and switched back to fusion ammo. "Ironic isn't it? We were supposed to be rescued but you heard the man boys, lock and load! We're going to give them hell!"

There were several Empire soldier teams lying in wait for Victor and his team at the Dome but with the skills of his men and his leadership, they were able to take out the Empire forces in a blaze of gunfire. Conveniently, the empire forces activated the elevators that proved to be of advantage to Victor so they took it for a quick ride up to the psyche suppressor room. Preoccupied with the Fenrir team, the Empire forces were taken out from behind with a pincer attack by Victor and was able to regroup with Fenrir.

"We've overstayed our welcome boys, it's time we ditched this place."

One of the guys from Fenrir approached Victor and handed him an oval device the size of a fist. "I thought this might come in handy Captain." Victor smirked and took the device. "Sure will." he responded and handed it over to one of his men. Plant this Dark Matter Bomb in this room and let's call it quits. Let's bury them alive down there."

With the bomb set in place, Victor, his team and the rest headed towards the cargo lift. They engaged hostiles every now and then leaving a path of carnage as they go. When they reached topside, a transmission from Kamikaze crackled in Victor's comms.

"Captain, we were forced out of hiding to maintain air superiority. The Empire sent in frigates and fighters along with ground forces to the Archives, large ground forces are passing through the metallic valley as we speak, get to your APC and head north, we'll fly over and beam you guys up."

"Roger that Kamikaze! We'll run for it but make it quick! Our APCs won't stand a chance against their ground vehicles."

Fenrir team and Victor's APCs were able to elude the ground forces for a while but they were catching up fast. Just as the first shot was fired at Victor and the others, an explosion engulfed the chaser unit of the Empire ground forces and the Kamikaze loomed over to beam up the two APCs.

Adjusting Quad Fusion Core Engine output to seventy percent...
Retracting Canard Wings...
Optimizing Aerodynamics...
Setting Optimal Course for S-Break...
Countdown initialized...
S-Break in T-Minus one hundred twenty seconds...
Activating Anti-Solar Flare module...
Thrusters Full Power...
Initializing Full Burn...
3...
2..
1.
S-Break mode engaged.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:11 pm

Christian closed his eyes to fight back the tears threatening to stream down his face. Never had he faced such terror before. His mind was a whirling dervish of questions, fears, and pure despair. Why had the woman chosen him to bear such a burden? How was he supposed to effectively use the powers he had been given? So far, he'd only been able to activate them in brief spurts and flashes of insight. And why had he been entrusted with them when he now was on the brink of death? Shouldn't they have been given to someone stronger or wiser? Was his brother really in danger? Was he going to die here and now under the cruel torture of a machine without any feelings or remorse? Should he even consider joining the Empire? No...no...not after all they had done to him. Not after witnessing firsthand their oppression of other races and human beings. He knew he would rather die than be a part of that.

"Time's up," the Inquisitor's harsh, grating voice cut into his thoughts, "You have decided not to cooperate. Ah well. It is a pity for you, but makes this all the more fun for me."

Strong arms secured his hands behind his back and stun cuffs were placed upon his wrists. Stun cuffs not only restrained the victim, but drained them of energy leaving them helpless as weak. Christian struggled to get to his feet, to back away from the warped and twisted creature, seeming to vibrate with palpable menace. The orb hovered in front of his weakened body for a moment before the pointed appendages began to strike, quickly, mercilessly, efficiently. Chris sobbed in pain as it felt as if his body were on fire, burning with multiple stab wounds. Though none of the wounds were mortal, the victim was left in intense agony. Without warning, the strikes stopped and a single, metal rod protruded from the core of the droid. It lightly touched Christian's chest, pausing for a moment before bolts of electricity were conducted through the rod and into the boy's already broken body. Sobs became cries of pain coupled with pleas for mercy. After was seemed like ages but in reality was less than a few moments, the electric shock stopped and the orb floated back to its master. A cruel smile was on the Inquitor's lips and twisted his already stern and foreboding features.

"Are you ready to cooperate child? If you do, I promise your life won't be completely miserable," whispered the Inquisitor cruelly.

"I...I..." Christian stammered.

Don't be afraid. You have the power. You can do anything you wish. You can stop the oppressors, the destroyers of all that is beautiful and good. Close your eyes. Forget fear and pain. Forget everything else. Focus on your breathing, focus on the earth, the plants in your garden, everything natural and beautiful that is covered by the false lies and technologies of this time and place. Do this, and you will have nothing to fear.

"Seems like you're not quite ready to cooperate," shrugged the Inquisitor, "Ah well, no skin off of my nose. Droid."

He snapped his fingers and the instrument of torture floated forward once again. Left with no other recourse, Christian closed his eyes and put all his trust in the disembodied voice. He thought of the flowers in his garden, the brief spurts of sunshine that could rarely be seen through a nearly everpresent fog, the ocean that he had visited only once in his lifetime, spending time with his brother, Victor...Victor would be strong in this situation. He wouldn't allow himself to be pushed around like this! Without realizing what he was doing, Chris opened his eyes, which were now pure white, the irises completely gone. He held out his hand, and the probe droid fizzled and crackled before dropping completely to the ground. Immediately, weapons were trained on him.

"Hmm...perhaps it would be best to just get rid of this little nuisance before he can do major damage. Such a pity," sighed the Inquisitor, seemingly unfazed at the turn of events, "Fire at will."

The Imperial soldiers nodded, but when they pressed the discharge buttons to fire the Blast-tech weapons, nothing happened. They tried again with no result. Without warning, the buzz of the repulsor lifts faded as the Empire's vehicles crashed to the ground, completely bereft of power. For once, the Inquistor's eyes widened.

"Forget the guns! Kill him now! I don't care how it's done!" shouted the Inquistor.

As the Empire's forces cautiously approached the boy, his eyes still a frothy white color, he turned his piercing gaze towards them. A strong wind whipped, swirling faster and faster until a mini-tornado had formed with Christian at its center. The soldiers were thrown like rag dolls, pitched miles away. The Inquistor tried to activate his anti-turbulence attachment, but found that none of his synthetic enhancements were available.

"You will curse the day you crossed me!" shouted the Inquisitor over the roaring winds before he too was sent on a straight course through the air.

Christian dropped to the ground, exhausted, the stun cuffs falling to the ground with a click. His eyes returned to their usual sky blue color as he surveyed the wreckage around him. He looked at his hands, trembling with exhaustion or terror, he wasn't sure.

"What is this...terrible power?" he whispered, "What...have I done?"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:45 am

Ionious System, Saere
Location: Orbital Gate, Outskirts


A blinding light surrounded the large metallic gate that orbited the edge of Ionious System, another system discovered by Earth Gov centuries ago. It was three thousand light years away from the Solar System, yet the Empire still held an astronomical amount of influence over the six planets that harbored citizens both human and non-human alike. The Kamikaze emerged through the gate and cruised slowly before coming to a full stop. Inside the bridge room, the crew held their breaths. The Empire's Gate Keeper armada blocked their path into Ionious System.

"Corwin, are you sure you have our merchant IFF up?"

"Yes Captain, we will be recognized by the Empire Guards when they run a scan from their database."

"Good. We pretty much had to tear up their combat drones back in Acaxia System. They should have full reports of someone blowing up the rest of the Archives by now. We don't want any more fighting in our home system alright? I'll do the talking. Hail the lead battle cruiser Corwin."

"Roger that. This is the merchant ship Kamikaze under the command of Victor Wolfe, requesting to speak with Admiral Jainus of the Emeri."

There was a moment of silence but shortly, the transmission from the battle cruiser popped on screen. The image shown a man mostly in his late fifties all dressed in an elegant high officer uniform. He had an eye patch that covered his right eye and he had a unique pipe between his lips. He puffed white smoke before beginning to speak.

"Victor Wolfe... former Empire Subjugation Forces, ranked lieutenant, also known as Bloody Wolf, the best there is. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Admiral Jainus of the Gate Keepers, your reputation precedes you, I have heard great things when I was still with the Empire. However, I no longer hold ties. I have resigned my post to a more capable person as I no longer see the Empire in need of my services. I am happy now as you see, a humble merchant wishing to get back home."

"I never would have pegged the feared Bloody Wolf to be a well-mannered person! However, I fear I am not in a position to allow any ship easy passage through the gate. We have received reports of cretins who dared to defy the Empire by doing a little spelunking in one of our facilities. If you wish passage, might I trouble you to send over your ship's flight log?"

Victor's crew looked each other in the eye and nodded. They gave Victor the okay after making quick adjustments to alter the Kamikaze's flight log in mere seconds.

"Very well. I suppose those cretins should know their place. I will have my ship's flight log sent over to you shortly Admiral."

"I appreciate your Cooperation Victor."

Moments filled with tension lingered like forever. There was nobody on screen from Emeri's transmission for a good few minutes until Admiral Jainus made himself visible again. He puffed again from his pipe and blew off white smoke before speaking.

"Everything seems to be in order. As expected of a merchant, you know the trade lines well Victor. I don't see anything out of the ordinary from your flight log. Perhaps it is too clean for a ship as formidable as yours."

There was suspicion in the Admiral's tone and the look he had questioned Victor's motive down to his soul.

"My ship, flashy as it seems cannot do anything but defend itself from renegades and outrun space pirates. We are still growing and unfortunately for us, we simply do not have enough to hire escort ships with every trade run we do. Hence the reason for the safest routes in our flight log. My crew's life plays an important role over my ship's cargo."

"Hmm... I see... You certainly have not adapted to the merchant ways if you still value your crew's life over your cargo. Truly you belong in the battlefield. Well then, I do not wish to delay tired men from a long voyage any more than I already have. You may pass."

"You have my gratitude Admiral Jainus. I pray you good hunting and hope the cretins you speak of be brought to the Empire's Justice soon. Victor Wolfe, ending transmission."

The armada slowly moved sideways to give the Kamikaze room to pass through. It was a nerve-wracking experience for everyone on-board the Kamikaze but they were thankful that their Captain, the silver haired man with emerald eyes, Victor Wolfe was in command of the ship. Not only has he pulled them through countless skirmishes with their lives, he had also saved them from situations like these by being a smooth talker. Victor's crew can't contain the laughter as their ship pulled away from Admiral Jainus' fleet.

Several minutes later, the Kamikaze was nearing Saere's atmosphere, Victor's and the rest of his crew's homeworld. It was not nearly as beautiful as the rest of the planets in this system but it gets the job done. Saere was the main trade planet of this system. Races of different kinds come and go by the numbers day in and day out. It was the perfect place for them, Victor and his brother Chris, to start their bounty hunter shop. Aside from work, resources to keep operating could be easily found in this planet, for a steep price of course. But it was of no consequence, it was simply all in a day's work.

Victor popped open his portable shrinker box and separated the goods from the gifts. He was in the briefing room of his ship with their client representative ready to hand over the record hex.

"Here... for two million credits as we agreed upon." Victor said while handing over the record hex labeled HELIOS to an individual cloaked in the blackest robe. The client representative grabbed the record hex and mulled over it a few times before nodding to Victor.

"You have done well. Two million credits have already been transferred to your account Mr. Wolfe. In behalf of my organization, you have our deepest gratitude..." the individual trailed off. He exposed one arm that was covered in reptile skin from the covers of his robe and drew a symbol in the air. Moments later, a void appeared in Victor's briefing room. Before passing through the void, the robed man looked at Victor with his visor covered face and spoke.

"As a parting gift, I will share intel that my organization just recently found out. Your brother Christian Wolfe is in the hands of the Empire. He is with the Inquisitors as we speak. You'd best hurry Victor, for your brother's sake." the man finished calmly and walked through the void leaving Victor alarmed.

The Captain of the Kamikaze immediately rushed out of the briefing room and ran as fast as he could to the bridge. When the bridge doors slid opened, he walked right in and looked for his pilot.

"Corwin! Set course for Saere asap! The Empire has Chris!"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:30 pm

Christian forced his weary, aching body to an upright position. With slow, dragging steps he made his way back into the home he shared with his brother. He knew he had very little time. He had made a formidable enemy in an Inquisitor, and even if their technology had been permanently disabled, they would find an uplink station soon enough. Reinforcements would be on their way and not even a tornado would be enough to halt their progress. They could kill him in numerous ways...perhaps they'd even risk bombarding the entire planet. He was fairly certain that his fledgling powers wouldn't deflect a turbolaser blast from a capital ship. The youth's only hope was that his brother would return soon. On the Kamikaze they'd be safe, at least for a little while. He'd be given some time to think, and to discuss a plan of action with Victor...

But...could he even be sure it was safe to be around Victor and his men? He didn't fear for his own safety, of course, but what if Chris' own powers were unpredictable enough to cause a spontaneous fireburst or waterspout within the walls of the Kamikaze? He would never forgive himself if he hurt his brother. The boy closed his eyes, trying to think back to what he had read about the Ancient Arte of Magic. Once it had been the dominant force in the worlds, capable even of space travel. Before ships, there had been cosmic wards and interstellar wormholes created by the powers of magic. Mages were feared and respected, until others, those without the spark, developed technology of their own. Faced with this new weaponry, mages were slowly but surely extinguished, even those with no ill intent. Technology had risen along with the Empire, and no one had ever looked back.

"What if these powers had been sealed or destroyed for a reason? What if they cause more harm than good?" whispered Chris, looking at his trembling hands.

His eyes widened as a shimmering, ethereal form appeared in front of him. It had the form of a woman dressed in a shimmering, loose-fitting gown. Flowing hair spilled down her back like a waterfall, and her eyes, the only feature with a distinguishable color, were a light blue, startlingly similar to Chris'.

Christian Wolfe. I spoke with you last night. I told you this was the beginning. You have nothing to fear. Magic was once obliterated by the evil forces of what you call technology. But now...now magic has evolved in its own way, for its own survival, and it can do things you cannot comprehend, not yet. Why...those things you call...spaceships? One touch of magic and they will become inert, consigned to space dust. Superweapons? Harmless with the aura of magic surrounding them. Magic has evolved from the manipulation of the elements to the suppression of the technology that once committed atrocious acts of genocide. You are the first of Mages since those days. Your soul yearns for the true life of the galaxy, the green and growing things, the planets, the stars. There are others, but none touched with my grace as strongly as you. You are, in essence, a vessel of magical energy and it is your destiny to destroy the evil that plagues this world. You fear the force known as the Empire, but you should not. Should they come with the entire intergalactic fleet, it will not be enough to stop you. Trust your heart, your feelings. Ignore pain and terror, and you will be invincible. Should you falter...the Empire will continue its reign of evil for ages to come, for if you fail, I will cease to exist.

The woman's ghostly image faded, leaving Christian rubbing his eyes. If only this were all a hallucination, but he had seen the fire explode from his body, the complete and utter malfunction of the Empire's vehicles, and the whirlwind that had obliterated an entire Inquisitor's task force. He blinked to clear his mind and forced his aching body to the long range transmitter. This was most certainly an emergency, and his brother would forgive him for contacting him. He could only hope that Victor had already fulfilled his mission, or better yet, was already in the system. Christian flicked the switch, and his holographic image appeared on the bridge of the Kamikaze.

"Victor," he spoke, "I...I need your help. The Empire is after me. I...defied an Inquisitor and I know they won't rest until I am dead. I only hope you get this message in time..."

Chris flicked the switch off, and sunk to the floor, breathing heavily. Now, all that was left to do was to wait. It was a race against time...would his brother reach him before a more vicious and heavily armed detachment of the Empire was sent against him?
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:36 am


The first order of business was to dock the Kamikaze in one of Saere's merchant docks. Aside from having a huge merchant ship dock, it was also always full of ships coming in and out. This move of Victor will at least buy them enough time to pick up Chris and backtrack to the Kamikaze without the risk of engaging the Empire's planetary squadrons. Knowing how the Empire operates, Victor was positive that they will keep ops like these under wraps. Chris would probably be safe from public eyes just enough for Victor to extract his little brother from Saere and get him to safety.

"Captain, what could the Empire want with your brother?"

Victor was lost in thought with his pilot's question. It was not something he did back then, he was sure of it. Victor left the Empire with dignity even though the real reason behind it was because he did not like how they did things. The Empire Subjugation Forces or ESF was never a peace keeping force. They were more of the Empire's Sword, taking out rebels, deserters, or anyone else who stands in the Empire's way. Keeping the peace was just a forefront for their crimes and dirty deeds.

"I don't have the slightest idea Corwin, given it is the Empire we're dealing with, for all I know... it's something I should definitely worry about."

Having said what's on his mind, Victor left the bridge room and went straight to the armory where some of his men were waiting. They were all geared up, full assault to boot. The Captain sighed and went inside to gear up as well.

"Look guys... we're not playing games anymore. This is not going to be like our regular missions, Chris is involved and I'm going up against the Empire. It would be best for all of you to not get involved in this matter."

"Boss... remember when you said we're a family? That's what we think of you and Chris ever since you guys gave us another chance with this life. We're not going to sit idly by while we watch you fight it out with the Empire to save your lil bro. We want a piece of that too!"

Victor paused for a moment and smiled gratefully. "I guess I can't change your minds then... alright! Saddle up boys! We're going to give 'em hell!"

Victor put on his full assault gear. It was his old ESF suit modified with a few enhancements and rid of the Empire's colors of red and white. His battle suit, now black and blue, was modeled after a wolf and his helmet was shaped like a wolf's head. The boots and gloves were all customized to resemble wolf claws but it was not just for simple looks, it was designed especially for close-quarters combat. It also comes with sturdy and flexible full body shielding system, enhanced mobility boosters and full life support system with advanced cloaking. Victor's battle suit was a true masterpiece, complete with a black cape.

"Boss... it's not everyday you wear that suit. Does this mean you're really going out for blood?"

Victor looked back. He pushed a button on the left side of his helmet and a dark visor immediately slid in place to cover his face. "I have to show the Empire that I'm not going to play their game. I would kill them all if they harmed my brother. Let's go!"

His brother's message played back in his mind as his team disembarked from the Kamikaze. There was only one way he could have sent that message and he knew exactly where to look first. As much as he would have liked to reply to Chris' message, it's going to put him and his brother at an even greater risk if the Empire manages to intercept the transmission.

It was a good thing that the bazaar had so much people from different races and cultures. Wearing a battle suit in this place was something common to the public eye. Despite having multiple Empire scout patrols and reconnaissance units walk and fly over them, they would not stand out, so long as they keep their weapons hidden. The real problem was coming into the residential district where their house was. It was far more heavily guarded by the Empire and a group of men wearing battle suits spelled trouble. The NOS rule (Neutralize On Sight) for criminals was something the Empire enjoys to exercise.

Once Victor and his team made it out of the bazaar, they took the side alleys that interconnected the residential district blocks to move undetected. They occasionally had to turn on cloaking for more heavy patrols and search groups that pass by. Halfway into the residential district, they came into a roadblock by the Empire. The residents of this block, where his house was, were evacuated to the shelters. It seemed like a ghost town but that's just how the Empire operates. They don't want the public eye to see their wrong deeds and only claim credit and recognition after coming up with a lie to give to the people. He hated it but this is just how they were.

"It's probably a six block radius set for lockdown. The Empire already knows where my brother is but they're probably waiting for an Inquisitor to give the order. Those bastards sure like to play with their prey but in this case, it's going to work to our advantage. I will draw their attention and break through, but once I do that, it's going to be an all out war. Last chance to back out boys."

No response from any of the four men he had following him. Victor could only feel grateful. There was no longer any need for words, it was time to take action. Victor came out of their hiding place in the alley and made himself visible to the road block guards. Weapons were immediately trained on him and he was able to count six laser sights with most likely a seventh one in hiding. He walked slowly towards the roadblock, no weapons in hand.

"A battle suit here?! You want to die!?"

His strides were filled with confidence, his fists clenched in anger, his mind set to kill. The Bloody Wolf was awakened by the Empire's aggression and they will surely pay.

"Hold it! It's... It's Victor Wolfe! Fire! Fire! Fire!"

When the first shot was fired, Victor evaded the bullet and charged in rapidly while dodging the following hail of bullets thanks to the mobility boosters in his suit. He closed the distance to the roadblock in just a few seconds and jumped over the barricade preparing for a deadly strike against one of the guards. Victor landed on one of the guards and using the claws in his right glove, immediately gripped the guard's throat. He felt the claws pierce and sink into flesh but he was not going to stop there. With a powerful yank of his right arm, he had ended the functionality of one synthetic life form. With raging eyes behind his visor, the man immediately moved on to the next target and in a matter of a few minutes, was able to decommission the synthetic guards they assigned to the roadblock.

He then approached one of the heads that was still functioning- if only for a few more seconds and picked it up. He knew it had on-board cameras that relay video to their base of operations so he looked into it and retracted his helmet's visor. With his emerald hues and angry expression, he delivered a personal message to the Empire.

"You asked for this..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Christian sat with his arms around his knees, listening to the wailing sirens that called for an evacuation of the entire block of residential districts. The people would leave and obey the commands of the Empire. They always did. But for him to leave would mean certain death. Even the Empire most likely knew that he wouldn't be foolish enough to reveal himself. Yet they also knew that if they evacuated the district, Christian would most likely be the only one left. He would be an easy target. His heart sank as he tried to dispel the feelings of despair. The next step for the Empire would be to set up road blocks as well as an interplanetary blockade. There would be no escape from the system. But...why hadn't they started searching yet? So far, he had not heard the tramp of the boots of the synthetic soldiers that carried out the commands of the Empire. Would they even need to search every home? Surely they knew where he lived. And surely they had biometric sensors which would have pinpointed him as the only life form in the residential district. He shivered, only now realizing what they were doing. They were trying to frighten him. In their pride, they were showing him that he was cornered and that there was no escape. They were giving him some time alone to magnify his fears until they arrested him, consigned him to terrible torture in revenge for defying an Inquisitor, and then they would kill him...

Shouts and the spatter of laser rifles suddenly broke into the relative calm and tranquility. This was it then for the Empire was coming for him. Christian closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable, but after a few moments, the laser fire stopped and the shouting died down. Hope surged in his heart, for there was only one way the Empire's forces would have been silenced. His brother was here! Everything would be alright once Victor found him. The best thing to do would be to stay here now, until he could see his brother's familiar face. It seemed like ages since he had last seen Victor, with everything that had happened since he had left for the mission...

Chris...you're in danger. Get up, close your eyes, hold up your hands, and imagine absorbing energy into your body.

Christian blinked in surprise. The woman's voice was speaking to him again, warning him of danger. His brother was here! There couldn't possibly be danger...unless...His eyes widened as he realized what she meant. The Empire was going to bombard his home with a turbolaser blast! They couldn't risk him escaping, not after what he had done to the Inquisitor. They would never forgive him, and even if it meant they couldn't torture him, force him to rue the day he ever crossed him, they would ensure he would die a terrible death. Well...it would be better to follow the woman's advice than to sit there and wait for death. Almost mechanically, he stood up, closing his eyes and holding up his hands. He flinched when he heard the distinct sound of a hole being opened in the planetary shield. The Empire wouldn't risk bombarding the entire planet or turning off the entire shield, but one turbolaser strike most likely wouldn't be noticed by the populace. An arc of red energy lanced through the hole in the shield, and with a precision only the sophisticated tracking system of the Empire could produce, the energy beam struck Christian and Victor's home full force. No one could have survived the blast, but...Christian found himself opening his eyes to see the home reduced to rubble, yet he was still standing, his hands pulsing with a faint crimson energy.

Now...go to sleep, Christian. You will be safe until your brother comes for you, because they will think they have killed you. How utterly foolish they are...Focus on your breathing, your heart rate, your body heat...slow them, extinguish them, and you will find inner peace...

Go to sleep? What did she mean? Still, what the woman had told him had kept him alive this far. Settling himself amid the rubble, Christian closed his eyes, focusing on his breathing, his heart beat, his body heat...Warmth slowly drained from his body, his breathing became barely susceptible, and even his heart rate slowed and faded. The biometric sensors the Empire employed would not be able to sense him any longer, and to anyone else he would indeed look to be dead...But a mere touch would wake him from the trance-like state. Once again, he found himself waiting...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:21 am

Mixed emotions took root in his heart when Victor saw the surroundings turn ember red. He immediately looked toward the sky only to find that blazing red beam of death race down towards one spot and one spot only, his home. He knew there was nothing he, a mere human, could do to stop the beam and yet his body reacted like it always did in dire situations. In a mad dash he went, racing against that red beam of destruction shooting down towards his home. He was not fast enough to beat the laser and even if he was, it would be too late to save anyone including himself. But running towards where his brother was felt like he was doing something... at least.

When the beam impacted, the blast back force was strong enough to blow him off his feet and toss him a good distance back to the way he came. The booming noise of destruction followed and a rain of debris showered the roads. The shock was astonishingly great, but what came as a greater shock to Victor was the fact that he had lost a brother to the Empire. His mind pieced together the facts rapidly and it crashed down on him so hard that he could not find his voice to scream or make any sound.

Silence ensued when the beam dissipated into thin air, leaving only death and destruction. The whole block where he and Chris lived in got remodeled into rubble. With a heavy heart, Victor managed to push himself up, he still couldn't believe the fact that Chris was in there and he was most likely, obliterated to nothingness by that beam. Taking one slow groggy step after another, Victor slowly made his way through the destruction in the direction of where his home last stood.

When he got there, he couldn't believe his eyes. A portion of his house still stood, unscathed despite the attack by the Empire. Surrounding that portion of his house was a fairly deep crater made from the laser's impact. Renewed hope immediately engulfed the man. If that portion of the house survived the attack, Chris could have possibly survived too. Chris had always been the brainy one between them and surely, if it was his brother, he might have found a way to neutralize much of the damage and survive.

Victor immediately made his way to his wrecked home. He tossed the rubble that blocked his way aside with an eager hype and determination to find his brother. Eyes widened and his breath stopped for a good few seconds upon seeing Chris, sleeping soundly beneath one of the thin walls. Victor could not even begin to imagine how the hell did his brother survived but that did not matter. It was a time to rejoice and ask questions later.

But the reunion of brothers was short-lived. Empire fighters flew overhead as if they have a target to engage. Soon, after the jamming caused by the laser cleared, a voice cackled through Victor's comms unit. It was the Kamikaze's pilot, stress and agitation present in his tone.

"Commander! The empire attacked us in the docks, we had no choice but to leave to avoid massive casualties from innocent bystanders. We have been declared traitors to the Empire and now there's a manhunt going on for you! We have to get out of here ASAP!"

"Roger that Kamikaze, I've found Chris, he's safe. There's no reason for us to stay here any longer. Could you pick us up from this location? I'm sending you the coordinates. Heavy Empire activity in the area and I don't think we have much time to escape with Chris asleep like this."

"Roger that Commander, we're on our way as we speak, ETA three minutes. We will beam you up while keeping air superiority, permission to use ion cannons to neutralize Empire fighters?"

"Permission granted, kill 'em all! Victor out."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:57 pm

Chris had found himself in a dream world, just out of reach of the grip of reality. It was quiet there, a place of immense solitude. It was a place of refuge in the midst of the chaos occurring around him. He silently hoped that the order to evacuate had been followed. He already had the deaths of the old man and Imperial troops on conscience. If he added innocents to that mix, he would never be able to forgive himself, even if it was the Empire's fault. Why did the Empire wish to kill him so badly? How had they known the powers he possessed before he even understood the full extent of them? Had the old man tipped them off? Who was the old man anyway, and why had he tried to take Chris away? There were too many questions that he could not answer, even in the solitude of his trance-like state. He only hoped that Victor would come for him, even after the charged blast. Even if Victor believed him to be dead, he still would have looked for any traces of his body. There wasn't anything to worry about. His brother would be here, and they would escape. But...what then? They would be forever hunted by an Empire bent on destroying him, and now his brother and his crew by association. There would be no rest or respite. Could he really ask of such a thing of his brother and the crew? All his life, they had been so good to him. Could he really ask for more? And yet he knew what Victor's response would be. Victor would never allow Chris to turn himself over or even to try to hide on his own. Chris knew that especially after the turbo-blast, there was no way his brother would allow him out of his sight. It was at that time that the youth felt a familiar presence, and his crystal blue eyes slowly opened. He caught the last words his brother was speaking into the comm unit.

"Permission granted, kill 'em all! Victor out."

Feeling suddenly weary, as if a millstone hung around his neck, Chris pulled himself to his feet. He wondered if the lethargy he was suddenly experiencing was the effect of dissipating such a large blast, a feat he thought would have been impossible. Chris saw that his brother was outfitted in his complete set of battle gear, fashioned after the characteristics of a wolf. For a moment, the boy said nothing, and then a smile lit up his face like the twin suns of Dolrath. He took a few steps before holding onto his brother tightly.

"Victor...I missed you so much," he whispered, "I'm so glad you're weren't hurt. Thank you for coming for me. I'm sorry if I scared you...I know you probably have many questions, but I should probably answer them when we get out of here."

There was certainty in his voice when he said they would be able to escape. His brother was Victor, the Wolf, and there was no way he'd allow even the Empire to win this battle. The Kamikaze was on it's way, Chris was sure of it, even if he hadn't heard Victor's entire conversation. He briefly wondered what his brother would think when he told him about the strange powers he now possessed. Would Victor even believe him? Of course he would...they were brothers after all, and trusted each other completely. His eyes traveled through the district that had once been their home, now completely reduced to rubble. It filled him with a certain sadness, a wish for a simpler time, but...there was no use dwelling on the past. They had to be ready for the many challenges that were certain to be ahead.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:21 am

Life is a big gamble. You win some, you lose some. A phrase that kept repeating itself inside Victor's head over and over as the Kamikaze broke atmosphere and headed for deep space. It was said to him by a mentor and dear friend when he was still a rookie for the Empire Subjugation Forces. It was one of those "policing" jobs assigned to their unit, he was still but a grunt back then, where they had to neutralize all hostiles causing trouble for the Empire.

Hotblooded and eager to prove himself, Victor disobeyed direct orders from his superior to hold still until reinforcements arrive. He dragged six men with him to stop an onslaught of angry "terrorists" as the Empire labeled them. In the end, six men died and he was nearly bashed to death by the so called terrorists had their backup not arrived. It was then and there that his superior said the same words that he was thinking of right now. Back then, he had won his life and lost his soul in the gamble.

The situation may have been different now but the status quo remained the same. He had won some, and lost some. In this case, he had won the life of his brother Chris but lost their home and freedom, a price he was more than willing to pay for his only kin.

"Captain! We're not getting off Ionious sector this easy, remember Admiral Jainus' fleet in the orbital gate?"

"I know Corwin, we might just have to use 'that' to get off this sector."

"That? Captain, you're not thinking of using the DM Cannon right?"

"No! Of course I don't mean I'm thinking about using the newly built Dark Matter Cannon, I meant we WILL use the DM Cannon."

"But... the risks! It's far from operational and the chances of us being vaporized if not warped to god-knows where are next to reality! Please Captain, reconsider! There has to be another way?"

Victor bowed his head in thought, steel claws of his gauntlets gently rubbing his chin.

"Corwin, even if you calculate the best course to take us, the Empire will know how we will get there. We will be fighting their forces endlessly unless we get out unexpectedly. Then we can hide and lay low for a while until we sort this out and plan our next move. It's a gamble that I'm willing to play along with. Ready the DM Cannon, the Empire is not going to give us time to rest, I'm pretty sure the ESF is already on their way as we speak. I want the DM Cannon charged and once we see Jainus' fleet, fire it directly at them."

The pilot could not argue any longer. All of them are traitors now and fighting the Empire half supplied and half cocked was just not going to cut it for anyone within Victor's crew. Risky or not, Victor's plan is the best they got. Without further words, Corwin began to input a cipher code to the ship's main board.

Initializing DM Cannon... OK
Begin charging protocol... OK
DM Cannon 5% charged...
Increasing cannon discharge output... OK
Running systems analysis... OK
Cannon Core stabilizing at 50% charge...
Aligning Crystal Lenses... OK
ORACLE System synchronized to DM Cannon... OK
Predictive targeting enabled...
Cannon Core stable at 67% charge...
DM Cannon Ready.


"Stay on course at battlespeed Corwin."

Victor let out a pent up sigh and shifted his gaze towards one screen to his right. It was a video feed of Chri's cabin where his brother was being treated by the ship's medic. Victor couldn't help but wonder if he was actually doing the right thing to protect his brother.

He could only hope...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Within Chris' cabin, one of the Kamikaze's medical staff was running a scanning device over the boy's prone body. Chris tried not to blink as the bright light passed over his eyes. He felt fine, but he knew that Victor was just taking the necessary precautions. Besides, it was nearly impossible for him to have taken a direct turbolaser blast without suffering some kind of injury. Even Chris himself hadn't thought that such a feat was possible. But the medic's look of disbelief as the scanning results began to be displayed on a monitor by the bedside.

"Amazing...no signs of internal trauma. No burns or bleeding. Not a bruise or a scratch. Its as if your body was made of titanium, but there is no indication of any metallic presence within your system. I don't know how to explain it," murmured the medic.

The medic turned his gaze on the youth, almost uneasily, "What do you remember before the turboblast hit? Is it possible that a phasing device was used to protect you?"

Chris shook his head slowly, "No...all I remember is standing and holding my hands up, hoping against hope that I could be safe..."

"There is no way you could have deflected that blast alone," sighed the medic, "Let me run a few more tests."

When the diagnostic was complete, shock registered on the medic's features. The readout showed an extraordinary amount of unidentifiable energy within and around Chris. And, almost completely hidden from the sensors, there was the faint detection of another life force. He smiled at the youth to keep him from worrying before exiting the room.

"Victor, I'm sending you this data from the advanced medical tests I performed on Chris. Take a look. I've never seen anything like it before," said the medic into a comlink before transmitting the data.

Chris, meanwhile, waited patiently for the medic to return. He wondered if the deep scans that had been performed would find anything...any traces of this magical energy that he could now inexplicably harness. From the medic's stunned expression, most likely...Christian wondered if he was even himself any longer. Had Victor given up his freedom and home for someone who was transforming into something else. Why had he been chosen anyone? Weren't there any other people in the world? What about those guilds and cults that purportedly practiced magic all the time. Wouldn't they have been more suitable to inheriting this power? And what was his mission in life now? The woman had been strangely silent...

"I wish...this had never happened..." Christian whispered to himself as he felt a stray tear fall to the bedside.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed May 01, 2013 4:04 am


"Thanks Doc, please continue to look after my brother. There's no telling if we're in the clear yet. All I can say is if things go awry, escape with one of our stealth shuttles with Chris and take care of him. While I don't want to entrust his safety to someone else, I don't who else to trust but you Doc,"

Victor then looked at the screen that displayed his brother's cabin. He could somehow sense the kid's distress over the matter at hand. He survived a blast from one of the Empire's ace in the hole weaponry, there's just no way he would be calm and Victor just knew it. The man clenched his fists so tight his knuckle began to turn white. How he wished he could be there by his brother's side but the lives of not just his brother but his entire crew were depending on him. He could not leave his post until they escaped... not now at least.

"Maybe you should talk to him. He has shown signs of anxiety over my scans but that's just something minor. Communication from someone he's very fond of should ease him a little bit."

Victor snapped out of his own thoughts at the doctor's personal remark. "You're right doc. I'll go do that at least while I have time. Thanks again."

The doctor's image blurred out completely from the screen to the left of Chris' cabin. Victor's eyes then rolled over back to Chris' screen and he stared at his brother for a brief second before reaching out to press a button on the nearby console. But just as soon as his fingertip touched the button, his hand froze. His keen eyes noticed the tear that fell from the boy's eyes.

Idiot. Why are you crying now? You survived right?

There was no choice. Victor pushed the button and noticed his brother flinch at the sound of comms breaking in to the room.

"Chris... it's me. It's been a while has it? I know now is not the time to talk when we're smack in the middle of trouble but I just want you to know that we're getting out of this alive. When we do... tell me everything that happened okay? For now, just sit tight in there and wait for me to get us out of here. The bridge is probably the most dangerous place in the ship right now so please, stay in there until we're clear... and hey, big boys don't cry."

Not entirely encouraging considering they are up against one of the Empire's best defensive fleets but that was all the words Victor could muster at the moment. There were more pressing matters at hand that both brothers knew were more important than themselves right now so each of them needed to focus.

Just as the communications faded from Chris' cabin, the bridge alarms rang endlessly. They were locked on and Victor already knew what they were up against.

"Tch! I didn't know they had that stationed here!"

"High energy reading from the front approaching fast! Captain! It's an energy blast!"

"I know! Emergency evasive maneuvers! Hard to starboad! Concentrate shields at the ship's sides! We can't afford a direct hit! Brace for impact!"

"Roger hard to starboad! Shields maxed output and concentrated! Impact in 4...3...2...1"

Time felt ultimately slow in the mere few seconds one of the operators counted down. Victor saw the horrifying blue light come at them and graze their ship's shields. A strong tremor upon getting hit threw a few of Victor's crew off their chairs. Some of them were already screaming for their lives as the computers momentarily scrambled. When the shaking subsided, most of the crew were forced to exhale a long one.

"Damage report!"

"Generating now! Starboard side minor damage to armor plating, shields completely torn from the side that got hit! There's no way we can protect the starboard side now! What is that thing Captain!?"

There's no mistaking it...

"Archer... one of the Empire's Front Line Flagships. He's here... and that can't be good for us! Direct all remaining shield power to our thrusters now! We can't keep sitting around here after getting wounded by that! We have little time to react before the next attack!"

"Captain! We're at battlespeed! How can a big attack like that be fired continuously with so little prep time?! And so accurate too!?"

"Listen, Archer isn't just a fancy name given to that Flagship, it was earned. Now how do you think they earned it? You DON'T want to find out! Now go! We're firing the DM Cannon now and diving into the rip it will make! Do it fast! There's no time to waste!"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed May 01, 2013 9:11 pm

Chris blinked and looked rather startled when the comm unit clocked on. His brother's voice followed a moment later. The medic had been right, however, and it was a welcome relief just to hear Victor's voice. They hadn't been able to speak, even when Victor had rescued him from the wreckage. They had been transported into the Kamikaze immediately and he had been taken to his cabin for his medical diagnosis. Victor's words were reassuring, however, and Chris looked directly at the monitoring devices in the room and smiled. The older Wolfe brother reassured him that they'd get out of there alive and warned him against going to the bridge. Apparently, Victor had seen the stray tear as evidenced by the line that big boys don't cry.

"I know we'll be fine," said Chris gently, "I'm not worried at all. You're the best captain in the galaxy and your ship is one of the most powerful. I'll stay away from the bridge and let you do your work. Just know I believe in you and trust in you with all my heart....I-I'm sorry for crying. It wasn't because I'm worried about getting out of this. But....it would take too long to tell you now. When we get through, I'll tell you everything."

The communication array faded then and moments later the medic stepped in, putting a gentle hand on the young man's shoulder.

"Victor cares for you. He won't let the Empire take you," said the medic confidently.

"I know," Chris replied simply, though his eyes fell to the ground.

But I've taken away his freedom...and he can't fight this...force inside me. What if it wants to use me for some terrible purpose? Maybe I should have been just allowed to die by the Empire's hand...

Chris found himself struggling with tears again as his hands involuntarily clenched into fists. The medic looked at him anxiously.

"Chris, you look upset. Why don't you lie down and rest? It will keep your mind off things," said the medic softly.

Chris took a deep breath and opened his eyes and his palms, nearly crying out in shock when he saw a spark of flame dancing at his fingertips. He shook his hand and the flames disappeared. He looked back at the medic in concern, but the medic hadn't apparently seen the strange phenomenon. Chris knew he would have to do a much better job of controlling his newfound powers if he didn't want to hurt someone he loved.

"You're right...I think I do need rest," he breathed, lying back down on the bed, "Thank you..."

"I'll be just outside. Holler if you need me," replied the medic with a warm smile, "Rest well."

As the door slid open and closed, Chris closed his eyes. Almost immediately, the woman's voice entered his thoughts.

Chris! You are in danger! Wake up!

Images of a ship began to flash unbidden into his mind...A named appeared...Archer, a name that evoked a feeling of dread. Countless lives ended by its fearsome weaponry....Slowly, yet surely, the schematics of the ship began to unfold themselves in his mind. The vital points were spread over the ship, the life support, weapon generators, shielding units, hyperdrive, power core...It was technically impossible to strike at all of the weak points at once...

But you can do it Chris. It will take a tremendous amount of concentration, but you can destroy one of the Empire's flagships with a spell, a mere thought. Follow me, I will guide you.

Chris felt an alien yet somehow warm presence enter his mind, but he immediately revolted. He was not going to allow anyone to take control of his body as long as he drew breath. Victor said he had the situation under control, and Chris trusted his brother. Besides, what if in trying to help, Chris only did something worse...

"Leave me alone..." he said in a hushed voice, hoping no one could hear him, "Victor will take care of this."

He is going to use a very dangerous device. You might all die. If you die, the universe will die. Will you take that chance?

"Leave me alone," Chris snarled, a bit louder this time, "Victor knows what he's doing. I trust him completely. I accept any decision he makes."

The door slid open again and the medic stepped in, a concerned expression on his face.

"Chris, are you alright? Is someone in here? Who were you talking to?" asked the medic.

Chris took a deep breath, putting his head in his hands, "I'm fine...it was just...just a nightmare..."

At least the voice had stopped its incessant call to action. The medic stepped over and put an arm around his shoulder.

"You've been through a lot, kid," he said gently, "You might be experiencing some minor symptoms of PTSD. It'll be alright. You're safe. Nothing's going to happen again."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu May 02, 2013 2:32 am


System Failure...
DM Cannon Core unstable...
Aborting Firing Sequence...
3..2..1 Abort.
Locking Cannon Protocols..

System All Green.


"Ca--Captain!! Nadjia locked the DM Cannon! What should we do?!

Victor couldn't believe it. The ship's A.I. intervened with the Captain's decision. It was not the first time it happened but when it does, it means the Kamikaze is in danger of being destroyed. It was not the shock of being defied by a mere on-board system that got to Victor, it was the thought of nearly killing the entire Kamikaze crew, himself and his brother included that bothered him greatly. Had it not been for Nadjia, they would have all met their ends in a gruesome death.

"Maintain evasive maneuvers! Buy us some time by diving into that asteroid cluster... and bring up Nadjia, I want to talk to her."

"Roger Captain! Setting course to asteroid cluster at flank speed. Pulling up Nadjia mainframe."

A shimmering blue orb revealed itself before the Captain's seat. It was glowing an eerie blue hue which made it seem like it was sad. Moments later, a voice much like a computer talking greeted Victor.

"Hello Captain."

Victor wasted no time with pleasantries, "Nadjia, what the hell? We're trying to get out alive!"

"With all do respect Captain, I would hardly call destroying the ship getting out alive... sir."

"Then what would you call getting destroyed by the Archer?"

"...."

"See? Either way we go about this, survival is next to slim! I knew the risks when I gave the order to fire the DM Cannon."

"Captain, your calculations will lead to your crew and my destruction. I cannot allow that."

"What about your calculations Nadjia? Choosing to stay here and fight will ultimately lead to that as well. The Archer is not something anyone can mess with using just one ship. I've seen it in combat many many times and it has always been the deciding factor. That beam they grazed us with earlier? That's just The Flyswatter, a long range, high strength rapid fire cannon. Should we manage to survive an onslaught from that, we'd most likely be at our last legs and unable to fight! And that's without considering Jainus' fleet."

"I see how it is Captain. It is not the ship you fear but the man who commandeers it. Do you not trust my capabilities? Do you not trust in your crew and your own abilities?"

"Damn it Nadjia! Don't give me that philosophical bullshit! It doesn't apply! I am merely doing what I think is best for the ship and everyone aboard!"

"Then fight Captain. That is what you do best is it not?"

Victor thought long and hard after hearing the last words of the ship's A.I. It was right. Fighting is one of the things Victor knows best and yet he was being held back. Then it hit him hard, the reason why he couldn't fight back... how could he have been so blind? It was Chris! He's on board and that is the sole reason why he doesn't want to put the ship at risk. He had always loved his brother and putting him in harm's way was something he would never do.

"Nadjia..."

"Captain?"

"What does your calculations say if we jumped using the DM Cannon?"

"0.87% Survival chance. Total destruction Captain."

"What if we fight back?"

"There is an unknown factor aboard the ship that I cannot include in my calculations but if we exclude the unknown, 20% would be our rate of survival."

Victor stopped for a moment. Unknown factor? What could Nadjia be talking about? There were never any unknown factors in the ship and with her being the A.I., she should know what she holds within from the inside out.

"A one in five odds, I like it. Nadjia, show me this unknown factor."

Without a response from the A.I., Victor's right panel began to pull up several images of recordings within the ship. Among the list, Nadjia picked one and played it on screen. Victor's eyes were wide open after watching the video.

"Captain, various energy scans indicated an abnormal amount of Mana, a long lost energy type overflowing from the subject. It was at its highest peak when he was left alone by the good doctor. As you saw, he was able to conjure fire at his fingertips."

"Is that... Magic?! It-it can't be... what happened to my brother?"

"It would appear he is capable of using it Captain."

As if their current situation was not enough, he was shown a great disturbing image by Nadjia. Victor struggled to keep himself calm and composed. In the back of his mind, whatever the Empire did to his brother, he will make them pay! Victor then pressed the comms button again and hailed Chris who was being told by the doctor to rest.

"Chris, Doc, could you please come up to the bridge on the double? Thanks."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu May 02, 2013 5:31 pm

Chris blinked and looked up in surprise as his brother's voice once again flickering through the comm unit.

"Looks like we're needed. You gonna be okay up there, kid?" asked the medic, "The bridge can be a pretty dangerous place."

"I'll be fine," nodded Chris, "I need to help my brother in any way he can. I'm sure he has a plan."

As they got up and exited the room, Christian was filled with a whirlwind of emotions. What did his brother want? Archer...it had to be something to do with Archer. He knew his brother was worried, had heard it in the tautness of his voice. But the Empire had many terrifying warships. Why was Victor so concerned about this one? And what did Victor think Chris would be able to do on the bridge? Hadn't his brother just given him the order to stay away from the bridge. Unless...Did Victor know about his magic? How was that even possible? They hadn't spoken about it.

The data files, Christian. Your brother was able to access the data files. This...ship as you call it, is very advanced, nearly to the point of sentience. It was alerted of your presence and your powers the moment you came on board. From my own analysis of your view of your brother, he is a very perceptive individual and he will be willing to use any advantage he can get. He will ask you to use your powers to destroy the Archer. But what you can do will be far more advantageous. You can obliterate the entire Empire fleet. That will strike a great blow and will be the first of many steps to the ultimate demise of the Empire.

Christian bit his lip and looked over at the medic, not wanting to reply out loud. This time, he tried thinking back at the voice. It was inside his head after all, wasn't it?

I can make my own decisions. Please, just stay out of my head. I won't let you take over my body. I'm still me. I don't want to be anyone else.

The voice sounded somewhat shocked as it replied.

And you won't be, child. You will still be Christian Wolfe, brother to Victor Wolfe. I am only here to guide you, and to set your feet on the path that has been chosen. But I cannot take your body like a parasite. That is well beyond the scope of my powers. And once you have mastered the ability to manipulate Manna, there will be no need for me any longer. Now, you are at the bridge. Show your brother what you have found.

Chris and blinked up, realizing they had reached the doors to the bridge in record time. The medic looked at him, but didn't say anything. Christian wondered if the man had noticed his internal struggle and had just refrained from pointing it out. It didn't matter, though, because there was no time to talk. There was important work to be done. Christian tried to walk with confidence as he cleared the security measures and entered the bridge. He didn't want the others to notice the conflicts he was struggling with, for they were already in a desperate situation. There was no point in making anyone feel worse. The youth made his way over to where his brother was standing and stood at attention. They were brothers, but Victor was in command here and Chris always showed him that respect.

"You wanted to see me, Victor?" he asked uncertainly, but already knowing what the answer was going to be.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Tue May 07, 2013 10:10 pm


The sight of him walking into the bridge reminded Victor about a lot of things they went through. Now that Victor thought about it, he has always been the one who pulled them out of trouble... until now.

If Victor knew any better, an unknown is something that can change a situation in an instant. Good or bad, if there's an unknown factor involved, it can't turn out well for any side that doesn't hold it. This time, the unknown was in his deck of cards to play, and it was his own brother. Not that he felt comfortable about it but there wasn't much of a choice with the threat of Archer lurking around. If there was any chance of getting out of this system in one piece, his own brother holds the key.

He was silent at first and did not greet Chris immediately. Instead, Victor called the good doctor to his side and handed him Nadjia's energy form analysis. He pointed out key results in the report and asked the good doctor for his opinion and why his own tests did not show the same like Nadjia's reports showed. The good doctor was baffled, it was evident in his facial expression. He could only squint his eyes and pace back and forth while staring at the high energy reading surrounding the boy, not to mention it was a long lost, ancient history energy type they were dealing with.

"I don't believe it Victor... Mana is not something that exists in our time an--"

"And yet it does Doc. Nadjia can't mistake what Mana energy is like. She was made from it anyway. What I want to know is if it is artificial or natural. Are there any implants in my brother? Did the Empire modify him like what they do with their Inquisitors?"

"N-no no! Of course not! I did not find any traces of body modification in your brother aside from bruises and wounds caused by torture devices if I had known better."

Victor's hands curled into a fist. He could feel the sound of bones cracking at how hard he was clenching his fist. His brother was definitely captured by an Inquisitor and tortured because he would not give in to their demands. But there was nothing he could do now. Whoever that Inquisitor was, he would pay dearly for laying a hand on his brother, that Victor silently vowed to do.

"Chris, tell me... how did you survive the blast from one of the Empire's most advanced weaponry? And how can you conjure fire in your fingertips? I'm sorry if I'm asking a lot but right now, we are against the Empire's gate defense fleet plus one of their most advanced battleships, the Archer and it doesn't look good. Currently, you are an unknown factor in the situation we are in. You know how unknown factors affect your calculations during mission briefings right? I'm pretty sure you know my stand on this so I'll ask you straight out, can you do something about Archer?"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed May 08, 2013 4:46 pm

Chris waited quietly and somewhat nervously as Victor and the Doctor consulted with one another. He knew they were speaking about him, but he was patient enough not to pry. Whatever his brother needed him to do, Victor would tell him in good time. When at last his older brother turned to him, Christian listened quietly to the questions. They certainly weren't easy, and the youth knew he wouldn't be able to tell Victor everything when they had so little time. He knew that he needed to answer the questions as succinctly and accurately as possible, and then to find a way to disable the Archer before it had a chance to fire at them again. It was going to be difficult, however, even confiding in his brother. Mana was a long lost energy source, and it was potentially very dangerous. What if Chris himself became dangerous to his brother and the crew if he tried to disable the Archer? But...Victor was correct, he was the unknown variable here. If they did nothing, there would be very little chance they'd survive.

Taking a deep breath, Chris finally spoke, "I don't know exactly how I survived the energy blast or how I can make fire appear. But it has something to do with magic...or Mana as its called. I found out I could use it while you were gone. It was magic that allowed me to absorb the impact of that energy blast. I think...before mana could only be used to manipulate the elements. But it's evolved somehow, perhaps in a way necessary to its own survival, and it can be used to deactivate and even destroy technology, including pure energy. I...understand what you want and what you need for us to get out of this alive. I think I can help..."

The youth picked up a datapad, and after a view button presses was able to accurately reproduce the schematics of the Archer he had seen in his mind. He drew close to his brother and held up the screen for him to see.

"I don't quite know how, but I was able to use my powers to find the weak points on the Archer. I think I should have enough strength from here to cast a spell to detonate or deactivate those weak points...the life support systems, the shield generators, the energy source for the weapons, even the main thrusters and the hyperdrive...Even if I can't destroy the whole ship, I'm sure I could make it so that it is useless in combat. If...what I've been learning is true, I might be able to do the same thing to the entire fleet, or at least cripple it enough for us to slip past...but..."

Christian hesitated, knowing what he was about to say wasn't going to be easy.

"I'm not sure how stable these powers are. I'm only just learning about them. And...perhaps I might not even be in my right mind, because I keep hearing a voice in my head...I see an image of a woman in my sleep, and she explains about my powers and keeps telling me I have some sort of purpose to make sure Mana doesn't go extinct...Some...old man came after me just before the Empire did. I don't know what he wanted with me, but he attacked me and my powers activated....they...they...completely destroyed him...When the Inquisitor came, the same thing happened. My powers went out of control and created some kind of whirlwind, some vortex. I'm worried that if I try to deactivate the Archer things might spiral out of control. I might...even...hurt someone I care about. I don't want that to happen. But I will follow your orders, Victor. If you want me to try to destroy the Archer and the defensive fleet, I will do so."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:38 am

Destroy the Archer? The whole defensive fleet as well? Victor couldn't believe what he heard from his younger brother. Where was he getting this confidence from? Sure, magic is something really powerful if the user is skilled enough but Victor knew that his brother if not only recently, had knowledge that was next to none about how to wield it properly. While deep down he appreciates the fact that Chris was only trying to help or be as useful as being expected of him, Victor cannot help but feel irritated that his younger brother was trying to shoulder everything on his own. Perhaps by asking for his help, Victor placed too much of a burden on the boy's shoulders.

"Don't get cocky kid. Sure, you're blessed with magic and all that but do you even know the danger behind using such power to even try and destroy the Archer? Do you know how big that ship is? And for you to say you would destroy the whole defensive fleet as well? Don't push yourself to do what you obviously cannot do at this time."

He was not speaking out of thin air. Experience in the ESF was one of the things that allows him to say this to his brother. Back in the days while he was still with The Empire, one of the ESF's Black Ops role was to bring whatever remnants of magic users under The Empire's control. Those who disobeys the will of The Empire were met with deadly force. Though he never mentioned anything about the details of his missions to Chris back then, The Bloody Wolf has had his fair share of near death clashes with skilled magic users who refused to submit to The Empire.

Victor remembered one such magic user that goes by the alias Blaze, he was highly skilled and his magic was very strong. The Empire sought after him for twenty six years non stop and he was always on the run. Galaxy to galaxy, planet to planet, wherever this man goes, The Empire follows. It was in the Planet of Ku'th Landa that they, Victor and his ESF battalion met this man. If it was not for the other skilled magic users that were deployed under their battalion's command, they never would have made it out alive from Ku'th Landa.

It was a grueling battle. Last man standing were the terms. Blaze's magic and skill prolonged the fight for nearly a month. Nobody could get near him, and those who managed to even lay eyes on him were burned to a crisp. The Empire had suffered a great deal of casualties just on the first day of combat against Blaze. That was just how terrifying the man was even on his own. Given the fact that Blaze nearly annihilated them back then, Victor had no doubt that the magic of Chris could do the very same, but at his current state it was just impossible.

When he asked his brother if he can do something about the Archer, that simply meant to buy them time or distract the Archer from utilizing its deadly aim and give them a chance to escape. Surely destroying it would be a tempting offer but as it stands right now, that is a far fetched idea. Leaving the Captain's seat, Victor approached his brother with a dignified stride. With an easy tug at his right gauntlet, Victor removed the claws of his battle suit. He placed his right hand on his brother's shoulder and smiled warmly.

"Listen Chris... I may not possess the ability to use magic but I have knowledge about its limitations. A strong will is required to conjure the magic you desire to use, and an even stronger mind and body is needed to wield it. But that's not where it ends. Mana resides in you, and how much mana you have stored is relative to how strong your mind and body are. Look, you're not alone here. Have you forgotten who the Captain of this ship is? And besides, This ship is not christened Wind God for no reason at all. I just need you to create an opening for our escape. All you need to do is distract the Archer, I don't care how you do it but when you do, I'll take care of the rest from there. Everything will be okay Chris, trust me."

Victor suddenly thought about the outcome of the Ku'th Landa Incident. In the end of their encounter with Blaze, The Empire was not able to get him under their control. As a last ditch effort, that man channeled everything he got into one powerful attack that leveled an entire continent on Ku'th Landa. It was an attempt to bury The Empire's ambition and show them that magic is not to be dabbled with by the likes of them. It was a true genocide with the future of not just magic but generations to come as the basis of its execution... a tragedy Victor did not want to see happen again.

Victor gripped his brother's shoulder lightly and put on a serious expression.

"Well then Chris, let's do this. We'll make it out alive no matter what!"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Chris blinked and then nodded at his brother's words. Victor was right, of course. There was no way he'd be able to take out Archer and the entire fleet. Who had even put such an idea into his head? Ah...the voice, the voice of the woman who had been haunting his dreams of late. She said he could do impossible things and for a moment he had foolishly believed her. He was glad that his brother had grounded him in reality.

Chris...Your brother doesn't understand. You are not just another magic user. You hold the essence of Mana incarnate. You can do anything you set your mind to. Show him. Show him that you can destroy this...Archer and its host of vessels with a mere thought. Don't be afraid. I am here to help you and to guide you.

Chris took a deep breath as he clutched his head in his hands. Why couldn't the voice leave him alone? It was as if she was all he heard as of late. Why was she urging him to do things he was certain she could not do? He'd trust his brother over some disembodied voice. Besides, if he destroyed the entire fleet, many lives would be lost. To be sure, many of the leaders of the Imperial Army were power hungry and cruel, but not all who served under them were. Why was this...woman so bent on destroying every aspect of life?

"Just leave me alone...." he whispered to the voice, shaking his head and looking up with wide eyes.

He found a few members of the crew staring at him, the doctor one of them.

"I'm...I'm sorry," he stammered, "My head...it just started to hurt. I'm fine now."

He looked up into his brother's eyes as Victor smiled at him and clasped his shoulder. He lightly put his hand over his brother's and nodded, ignoring the constant chatter of the voice inside his head. For now, they needed to work together to get out of this. Victor was right, together they'd make. Together, they could do anything. He wasn't alone and would never be. He had his family here on this ship.

"You're right, I'm not alone, Victor. I have you and everyone else here," he said with a determined nod, "I can create a distraction. Don't worry. I'll leave the rest to you."

He smiled at his brother again and closed his eyes, reaching for the hidden reservoirs of power that now flowed through his body. For a moment they surged, seeking escape, release. He felt the urge to destroy, leaving nothing in the wake of a destructive wave of energy, but he quickly fought it down and focused on the task at hand. Chris needed to find a way to distract the Archer, keep it from striking the ship. If he could do that. Without realizing what he was doing, he picked up the datapad, tracing a path with his fingertips until he found the tracking array. The Archer's tracking device was extremely sophisticated, delicate, and surrounded by a powerful energy field. It was one of the main components of the fleet, and without it, the Archer would fire blindly. Chris smiled grimly to himself as he finally allowed the power to flow. No visible changes could be seen, other than the tightening of muscles in his face. Chris imagined the device building up power from the inside...too much power and then...There was a brief burst of light on the datapad, showing that the Archer's tracking device had exploded. Chris wobbled as if he were about the fall, but the doctor quickly caught him. Chris nodded his thanks to the Doctor before looking over at Victor.

"It's done...They're firing blindly now..." he said softly, "Now it's your turn."

Chris took a few more deep breaths, realizing how close he had been to losing control. The influence of the strange woman was taking its toll. It was difficult enough to use mana to effect something he couldn't see as he just done. He didn't need to be fighting with a voice in his head as well.

Chris...I'm here to help you. Don't fight it. You could have done so much more. Relax. Open your mind. Release yourself to the mana. Let it flow through your body. If you do not relax, do not let go, you will never realize your potential. And if you don't realize your potential, you will surely be taken by the evil ones. And if that happens, all will be lost...

Chris fought back tears of frustration. Why did the voice insist that he do more? Could he really ever learn to control his powers? What if he wasn't able to? What if he hurt his brother, his friends? How could he ask them to even be near someone like him, someone who was increasingly becoming....unstable...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:49 am


Captain Victor! Scanners indicate we don't have radar lock from the Archer anymore. The Archer lost us from this range!

It was right after Chris told them that the Archer is firing blindly now. Victor felt goosebumps creep from his lower back up to the back of his neck. The power of magic really is something else. Even with the most sophisticated weaponry, with the most advanced technology, it simply isn't a match for what magic and its limitless potential can do. He looked at his younger brother when he said that it was 'his turn' now. Although he promised that he would get them out of there if Chris disabled the Archer, his plan for escape was sketchy at best. There was still the Admiral's gate fleet to worry about.

Your orders Captain?! The Admiral's fleet is advancing towards our position!

Like a true veteran, the Admiral wasted no time to advance upon knowledge of the Archer being disabled. It was exactly how Victor predicted it, the Admiral would send his fastest ships first and then block the gate with the bigger guns...

Enemy laser barrage incoming! Captain!!?

What was he spacing out for? There was no time to waste!

"Evasive maneuvers now! Head for the asteroid belt nearby! These ships have no less than standard radar and like any other empire frigates, these things will have difficulty aiming at us with magnetic jamming!"

Roger that! Diving to the asteroid belt!

"It's going to get bumpy, Doc, Chris, both of you take a seat and buckle up. Nadja, enable flight assist and calculate the best path for gate entry from the asteroid belt, set course for it. Gunnery, I want all front cannons of the ship armed at maximum output and ready our trump card as well!"

Captain, we're going to use that?

"The Empire left us no choice. A Hyper Disabler is among those technologies sealed away by the Empire for their own use, it's a good thing we got our hands on one somehow. Replace a tracer mine explosive with the Hyper Disabler, we only got one shot so we need to make it count. We'll fire that on my mark."

In the heat of the moment, Nadja, the ship's AI, formed a holographic image of herself and floated close to Victor.

"If I may ask what exactly is it that you are planning to do? In a few moments, we would be leaving the asteroid belt and we'll be in front of the Admiral's main fleet. I do not comprehend the logic of your plan."

Victor smirked at the comment of his ship's AI.

"Then that's all the more better. If my plan can be comprehended by an AI such as yourself, then countermeasures against it would be a guarantee. Sit back and relax Nadja, I'll take care of this."

The Kamikaze blazed through the asteroid belt with a good distance between the pursuers. At this time, the crew and Victor held their breaths at the face of the Admiral's massive gate fleet. They were in open space and right now would be an easy target as soon as they get in range. There was an eerie silence in the bridge, all hands fidgeting, awaiting for the Captain's orders.

Energy readings rising from the gate fleet Captain! Your orders?!

"Full Burn, head straight for the gate and get ready to jump. Fire all cannons!"

A volley of lasers soon followed, the Kamikaze weaved through the open space with its superior mobility. Although a few lasers grazed the ship now and then, it was just an indication of the sheer number of the Admiral's fleet firing at them. The ship shook mildly with every hit it took but it kept pushing forward under Victor's command.

Captain! The shields can't take much more of this! We're losing shield power fast!

"Keep dodging! Maintain speed! We've almost broken through! Gunnery! Destroy any ship blocking our path to the gate! Ready the tracer mine!"

The Kamikaze rumbled violently, Victor almost lost his footing.

A Direct hit to the starboard wing! Shields are down Captain!

"Keep Flying! Aaagghh!"

Port side container section took a hit! We have a hole! Sealing gates three through five!

"Drop the mine now! We're almost at the gate! Everyone brace yourselves for gate jump!"

The battered Kamikaze broke through the Admiral's gate fleet just barely, leaving behind a present nobody expected. Just as the Admiral's frigates prepared for pursuit, the Hyper Disabler attached to the tracer mine detonated. A massive non-destructive blast engulfed the entire fleet disabling any and all forms of electronic equipment. The ships in the entire fleet was rendered motionless, dead in space including the gate. Admiral Jainus slammed his fist into the nearest control panel in frustration, the Bloody Wolf has escaped his grasp.

On the other end of the gate, a smoking Kamikaze emerged. The crew, exhausted but relieved that they have made it. It was a close call but they pulled through somehow. Victor was already sitting in the Captain's chair, thinking in silence.

Captain, no signs of pursuers from the gate, what now?

"Of course there wouldn't be any pursuers, we just disabled them all including the other end of this gate. Head for the nearest planet with a shipyard, we need to fix the Kamikaze first before we venture any deeper into space. We have about less than three days before they can restore the gate's functionality, we need to be out of this system before then."

Victor, after giving his orders turned to look at his younger brother. He then called out to him.

"Chris, I'm sorry you had to see all that back there. It's been a while since you've been in the Kamikaze right? She might not be in the best condition right now but feel free to roam the ship to relax a little. You did a good job earlier, you deserve a break."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:25 am

Chris nodded and complied with Victor's orders as they began their flight through the asteroid belt. He understood that while those who didn't know his brother well would think this strategy was crazy, Victor had a knack for achieving the impossible. If anyone could rescue them from their dire situation, it would be their Captain. So...he was going to use a Hyper Enabler? Chris knew that the weaponry had long been banned by the Empire, but Victor always seemed to find a way to get his hands on the most classified of technology.

The asteroid belt did indeed give them enough time to shake off their pursuers, but soon they faced by the remainder of the gate fleet. Even though Chris completely trusted his brother, he held his breath involuntarily. How were they going to survive running through a gauntlet of some of the Empire's most fearsome warships. And why would they go to such great length to catch him? Chris had heard rumors of others who could use powers like he possessed, could wield the potent force of Manna. But perhaps they pursued any and all who even had a touch of Manna's might. He didn't remember any stories Victor had told him of his time in the Empire's services...What was it that Manna could do that they were so afraid of? Sure, he had disabled the Archer's tracking system, but that had taken quite a bit of energy from his body. He wasn't sure he could do anything more complex or powerful, even though he had spoken of eradicating the entire fleet. Yet that voice in his head seemed to expect even greater things from him.

That is because you are special, Christian Wolfe...Think of yourself as the embodiment of Manna. For too long has the world of technology asserted its dominance over the masses. It is time for the energy of the universe to become alive and vibrant once again! Remember, with this power you can do anything. Do not think of limitations, for there are none. The fatigue you feel is all in your human mind. Allow yourself to let go of your limitations and nothing will be impossible...

Chris had little time to focus on the voice as the ship began to shake, riddled with laser fire. If he had not been strapped in, he most likely would have been violently thrown from his seat. As it was, he was quite shaken up. He closed his eyes, praying that this would soon be over. He heard Victor's order to drop the mine and moments later they were through the gate. He took a deep breath and then smiled as his brother called over to him.

"You don't have to be sorry. You saved us, brother!" grinned Chris.

He nodded when his brother suggested that he roam the ship for a little while. It would do him good to relax after everything that had happened only recently. Uprooted from his home and now on the run from the Empire...At least he was with his brother and the crew of the Kamikaze, those he called his family. Together, they would be able to handle anything the Empire could throw at them. As he wondered through the halls and automatic doors, his eyes taking in the familiar haunts of the ship, his mind began to wander once again. This time, there was no voice, but a series of images flashed through his mind...A jade green planet, one of the few where greenery had not been destroyed and harvested by the Empire's forces. A water world, valiantly defended by a race of sea-dwelling creatures who refused to allow the Empire to turn their seas into dumps for toxic wastes...And a world of fire, volcanoes and geysers, untouched by the Empire because of the danger involved...He found himself slumped against the wall a moment later. What had happened? Had he just blacked out? Had what he seen been visions, or was he beginning to hallucinate after all the ordeals he had been through?
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:49 pm


With Chris off the bridge, Victor let out sigh that was noted by his other crew members. They looked at him and saw him rubbing his temples with his eyes closed. The people on the bridge knew just how dangerous their situation was earlier and the one person who has to bear all the weight of worrying and giving orders would be the one sitting at the Captain's seat. It would be no surprise if they saw him looking stressed out after such an ordeal.

"Victor, your stress levels have risen a considerable amount even after what we went through. Are you alright Captain?"

It was Nadja's A.I. hologram hovering beside Victor's seat. It was rare for the ship to show worry for the crew and the gesture simply surprised Victor to a certain extent. But it was not just the ai who was worried about him. The ship's doctor too was soon breathing down his neck.

"When was the last time you had a good rest Victor? Or at least something to eat?"

Victor tried to recall the last time he rested or ate. It took a while but there was only memories of their last mission in the Archives, the rescue mission on their homeworld and the escape from its system. The only thing in his stomach was the quick bite of nutri-rations he ate before deploying for the Archive.

"It's been a while doc and the last thing I ate was the tasteless rations you're so proud of... and since when did you ever start to give a damn about me Nadja?"

The hologram shifted over to Victor's left side and pulled up a statistics screen for Victor to see. Victor looked at the calculations made by the a.i. and smirked.

"That looks like a probability chart, what's with the low odds?" Victor asked.

"These results were based on careful analysis of our situation prior to entering this star system. The low odds would have been our result for successful escape given all possible options considered. Your actions clearly was an unexpected result. But all things considered, we have avoided possible annihilation."

"What's your point Nadja?"

"You have proven yet again that my calculations are incorrect, though you were still able to achieve the desired result despite the unknown probability of success for your actions. If anything Captain, it may be safe to say I am impressed."

"Heh, getting praised by an a.i. isn't really helping much but thanks. The important thing is we're out of trouble and we're still alive. Carry on Nadja, please oversee the ship repairs once we're at port."

The artificial intelligence acknowledged Victor's orders and the hologram image of it disappeared from Victor's side. The good doctor approached Victor and looked like he wanted to talk about something. Though he felt tired and wanted to take a break, Victor knew that duty comes first when he is in that seat.

"Something you needed Doc?"

"Yes well... it is about your brother. I know you care for him a lot but if you would allow me, I would like to conduct some tests regarding his rather... unique ability."

"What for Doc? The kid has seen much and he probably doesn't know what to do with what he has at the moment. Pushing him to do more tests would only result in more confusion for him.."

"I.. I completely understand your sentiments Captain but I am merely suggesting a simple study of his ability so that if at all possible, we can help him learn to control it. It sounds selfish I know but it is a rare opportunity for one lifetime to be able to be so close to one who can use magic. The scientist in me just can't stay still."

Victor paused to give thought about the Doctor's idea. Knowing his brother, right now Chris is surely confused or if anything, scared with what is going on with his body.

"Doc... it is not for me to say if I should allow you to do tests on my brother. I may be the Captain of this ship but I have no right to decide for my brother. You should talk to him instead. If he agrees to it, then I have no problems with it."

"But of course. I will go find him after he calms down a bit. Seeing something like that for the first time must be quite a shock to him. Take it easy for now Captain, you really look tired."

"Is that a Doctor's order?"

"We-well yes. From a medical standpoint, it wouldn't be advantageous for us if this ship's Captain is on downtime because he's sick. I shall take my leave Captain. I'll be in the med bay if you need me."

After watching the good doctor leave the bridge, Victor stretched out his arms and stood up. He notified the rest of the bridge that he will be taking a break and gave out orders for everyone mostly concerning the ship's repairs and resupply. He stepped out of the bridge and began finding his way to the mess hall. It has been a while since he had good food. While walking to the mess hall, Victor thought now might be a good chance to talk to Chris in private as his brother and not the Captain.

"Nadja, notify Chris to come meet me in the mess hall please."

Right away Captain. Locating Chris Wolfe and notifying him now.

With that in mind, he remembered a present he had for the kid. He recalled his brother's love for flora and remembered he had a few of them from the Archives in Gauff Tiar inside his portable shrinker box. That should help his brother relax even more. Victor after saluting a bunch of his subordinates also on break in the mess hall found a quiet seat in the corner. He got food for two and placed his shrinker box on the table. Now all that's left is to wait for his brother.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:58 pm

Christian tried to wrack his brain, thinking of the multiple star maps he had studied and contemplated over the years, but he could not think of any planet that matched the description of those he had seen in his mind. But...that would make sense, wouldn't it? Apparently these planets were untouched by the Empire, so it stood to reason that they wouldn't be located on any of the Empire's official star charts. But there were other charts, less than official, that would perhaps prove useful in locating the rogue planets. As he got up to see what he could find out, the holographic image of the ship's AI shimmered into existence in front of him.

Christian Wolfe. The Captain requests your presence in the mess hall at your earliest convenience.

Christian blinked a moment in surprise before he smiled at nodded, "Alright, thank you Nadja. I'll go to see him right away."

The youth turned to leave, but realized that Nadja was still hovering there, as if she were waiting for something.

"Do you have a question, Nadja?" asked Chris.

No. I am merely trying to deduce how it is you were able to scramble the Archer's sensors. Manna is generally not used in that manner. Records indicate that manna is often used to influence the elements and in extreme cases, the natural forces of the universe. To directly interact with technology in the way that you were able to is quite out of the ordinary.

Christian hesitated, unsure of how he was to respond to Nadja's words.

Victor is waiting for you. I was merely making an observation. There will be time for all of this to be analyzed in the near the future.

Nadja winked out of sight and Christian turned towards the mess hall. What did this all mean? He had read some books about manna, though many were forbidden by the Empire, and Nadja was correct. Manna was generally looked on as a force that could influence the elements and sometimes even the minds of others. But it was distinctly separate from technology. In fact, it was said that technology had led to the near extinction of magic users because there was little they could do against its power. Yet he had somehow survived a blast from some of the Empire's most powerful weaponry, and had been able to scramble the sensors of one of its most powerful ships. What if manna itself were evolving and changing, adapting to this threat and now trying to act through him? Would it...try to destroy all of the technology in the universe? Chris shivered at the thought, and realized he was nearing the mess hall. He would have to think on it later. For now, he just wanted to spend time with his brother now that they were at least relatively safe. As he entered the mess hall, he noticed his brother in the corner and hurried over to him, taking a seat across from him.

"I'm here Victor!" he said, a smile appearing on his features for the first time in a while, "Nadja said you wanted to see me?"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:35 am


Seeing his brother sit before him looking alright eased Victor's worry just for a bit. But he knew that it was his brother's way of reassuring him that there is nothing to worry about. A smile gently played on his lips as he offered the portion of food he got to his brother.

"Eat with me, it's been a long while since we just sat down and talked. Oh! I almost forgot, take a look at these..."

Victor opened the portable shrinker box and took out one of the contents inside. A beautiful flower, its petals topaz blue in color and almost shimmering. He placed the flower at the side of the table and smiled at his brother.

"I got this and a few more variants like it from Gauff Tiar in my last mission. This flower here would most likely be a remnant of life in that planet after the Empire desolated its inhabitants because of The Archive long ago..."

Victor paused for a moment. An awkward silence engulfed their table. It was not often that he would suddenly lose his train of thought like that but this time was different. The flower reminded him of the Magic Users who were either taken in or weeded out by the Empire. Now his brother is one of them and the Empire knows it.

"This is now a rare flower... and I just can't help but compare it to people who can use magic. I'm sorry... I shouldn't have brought it up."

Victor sipped a cup of coffee and looked around the mess hall. In his mind, these people that were with them now wanted nothing more than to simply continue living free from the Empire's grasp. When he started this group, he promised these people that they will be free from the Empire's control and they can do whatever it is they wanted. A life of a mercenary, a bounty hunter or a merchant. But with Chris suddenly becoming aligned to magic, the Empire will no longer leave them alone, that much Victor is sure of. He let out a sigh that could very well mean a lot of things and put his coffee cup down.

"Sorry... There's just a lot on my mind right now. You're not that snotty nosed brat that I used to take care of back then so I'm sure you know what I am currently thinking about. Chris, the Empire will not leave us alone anymore. You know that right?"

He took another sip from his coffee cup and set it down. He looked at his brother's eyes, his own reflecting a serious look in them.

"With you being able to use Magic, they will follow us to the ends of any star system under their influence. The people with us believed that they will be free from the Empire's grasp by joining us. I'm not saying I can't have you on this ship, of course I would protect you from the Empire, I just don't know about these people if they find out that you can use magic. For now, try to limit the people who knows about what you can do to a bare minimum. Right now it's just me, my crew on the bridge, Nadja and the good doctor. Can you keep it that way until we sort things out?"

Victor stopped talking when a few people from the engine room passed by.

"I have made arrangements for you to have a room near the Captain's cabin. It used to be a storage room but lately we haven't really stored anything there but electronic hardware. I had them clean it and equip it with basic necessities. I wish I could give you more but it's hard to imagine having a garden inside your room." he said and chuckled.

"I know this won't be easy Chris, but I will do whatever I can to keep you out of the Empire's grasp. Anyway, how are you holding up? Must be quite a shock to you knowing you can suddenly use that you know."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:46 pm

Chris thanked his brother for the food, but before he could begin eating, Victor placed a topaz blue flower beside him, telling him that it had come from Gauff Tiar, the planet where he had conducted his last mission. The youth's eyes widened with delight as he gently picked up the flower, holding it delicately and gently touching it with his fingertips.

"This is beautiful, brother," he whispered, eyes shining, "I love it. Thank you so much."

Indeed, it was as if the flower was shimmering, and it almost seemed to brighten at Christian's touch. He felt a certain resonance with it, a connection he couldn't explain.

A beautiful flower, child...they used to be common before the accursed Empire destroyed most of them...They can serve as a conduit for manna, able to magnify spells well beyond their normal capability. Take good care of it. You never know when it may be needed.

Victor spoke then, remarking how the flower reminded him of those who used magic. Chris looked down at the table then, a bit of the happiness in his eyes fading as he was reminded of this gift...or the curse he had been inflicted with.

"It's alright, Victor..." he sighed, "It's true...The few magic users who remain either serve the Empire or were destroyed....I-I..I know they'll be after me. Especially since it seems the type of magic I can use is somehow different from the others."

He nodded in understanding when the Captain cautioned him to keep his powers secret from as many people as possible, "I understand. I'll be careful. And I know you'll do everything you can to keep me safe. I....I just wish I didn't have to be such a burden for you, brother. But...are you sure it wouldn't be best for me to...go...on my own. I...I just don't want to put you or anyone else in danger.."

The boy smiled thankfully when Victor said he had arranged for a room close to his, "Thanks, Victor. I'm sure it will be fine. I don't need my garden. Besides, I have this flower you gave me. It's all I really need."

He hesitated when Victor asked how he was holding up. Looking up into his brother's eyes, Chris was able to see how tired Victor truly was. Most likely it was a combination of knowing his brother was a magic user and the ordeal they had just gone through to escape the Empire. Chris didn't want to burden his brother with anything else...But it was difficult for him to keep it inside. He needed to talk to someone about it. Christian reached across the table to take his brother's hand. He needed to know that Victor was real, that all this was real, not some sort of nightmare that had been playing out...

"I'm...trying my best to be strong and brave...like you always are," he whispered, trying to fight the emotion in his voice, "It's just...it feels like I've gone through twenty years in a few days...so much has happened...Not long after you left...I started having dreams. This woman....would speak to me, telling me that I had a great purpose, that I needed to restore the lost power of manna. I didn't understand it. I didn't think I had a magical bone in my body. I always thought you were born with it. But just before you got back, an old man came to our house. He saw my hand..."

Christian slowly held out his right hand, so that Victor could see the strange design etched on his palm.

"This appeared on my hand one morning after I woke up from one of those dreams...The old man said it was a sign that I would lead him and his people against the Empire. He tried to take me away, but I felt this power growing inside me. I knew I couldn't control it and I told him to go away, but he wouldn't leave. The fire came then...it...completely destroyed him..."

Christian bit back a sob as he tried to suppress the horrible image of the man burning to ash. Even if the person had tried to kidnap him, did that mean they had to die? Christian took a deep breath to calm himself and continued.

"Soon after that...the Inquisitor came...he...tortured me. He wanted me to join the Empire. I..refused...I thought I was dead, but my powers activated again. They completely shut down the Empire's machinery and they created a whirlwind that sent them all flying. The Empire tried to kill me with a turbolaser then, but the voice spoke to me...the lady from my dreams. She told me to close my eyes and imagine absorbing the energy. And then you found me soon after...I'm so glad you came back and you found me though....If you didn't...I...I don't know what I would have done..."

Chris' voice broke then as he struggled with tears. He knew he should be stronger, but the memories were just so painful...

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