Origins Unknown

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:52 am

It didn't occur to him that his little brother had already taken a life. So much has happened since he was away on a mission. Silence was the only thing he could offer at the moment. Victor stared at the half empty cup of coffee he had, the black liquid reflecting his bothered eyes back at him. Clasping his brother's hand in a strong grip, Victor shifted his gaze to his brother's tear filled eyes.

"I wish I could say be strong soldier, but you're neither a soldier or a mercenary. You are my brother, and when it comes down to it, we're still just people. Everything that happened in my absence must have been tough for you. Taking a life, even if its your duty to do so will never get easy in time. It is something you have to live with for the rest of your life. I remember when I first joined the ESF, I thought I was ready... I thought I have steeled my resolve-- enough to handle anything thrown at me... but I was wrong."

Victor thought back at the first subjugation mission assigned to him, he was still a private then. It was rare for him to talk about his past experience with the Empire even with his own brother but this time was different. His brother needed sympathy and more...

"Planet Corona, Selevis star system. That was where I first took a life with my own hands. The mission given to our platoon was to subjugate a group of renegades resisting the Empire's ideals. They have been gathering Anti-Empire people and taking them under their wing to form a resistance faction in that planet-- it was chaotic when we landed..."

Victor held the coffee cup with both hands, his eyes still fixed at the black liquid that filled half of it.

"There was death everywhere we looked. The LZ was hot and the forward operating base set up initially as command center for the mission was being overrun by the renegades. They caught us off guard by conducting a surprise attack. Upon our arrival, we managed to push them back and save the base-- or what was left of it. My CO was displeased and he immediately organized a pursuit force for the fleeing renegades. We gave chase, hunted them down and engaged them time and again through different terrain. Until we got their base location."

Victor paused. The details of the battle was still clear in his head but his brother need not know how bloody the battle was.

"In the end, my CO got to the leader of the renegades with me as his backup. When he opened that door, he stormed in-- fired three shots and it was over. When I got inside that room, my CO has already turned his back at the corpse of the renegade leader, then I saw a little girl crawl out from under the desk, her amber eyes staring at me with resentment and hate, she was crying-- the daughter of the man my CO just killed..."

Victor paused, his heart beating fast as he recalled the next events that followed.

"That was the first time I really aimed at someone. The kid picked up her father's gun and pointed it at my CO, I was dazed as I watched her do it but in that last split second I reacted-- trained the laser sight to her forehead and as if something took over me, duty or my desire to protect a comrade I don't know... but I-- I pulled the trigger. I watched her lifeless body fall to the floor and at that exact same time, I did not understand it... what duty meant, what I'm fighting for. I got a medal for it too-- those bastards!"

Then there was complete silence. The black liquid reflecting rage back at Victor as he continued to stare at it.

"Christian, you're not a little kid anymore. If you have time to cry or mope around, I suggest you try to figure out what it means for you to have this power. The sooner you figure out your true purpose, the better your chances are against whatever is coming our way. Having a goal to strive for is something that can help you focus. I know you're scared, and this is all new to you but what can you do about it? It's already there. My goal is to stop the Empire, what's yours?"

Victor had said enough. Though it pains him to see his brother so distraught, he knew that Christian was not a little kid anymore, he just hopes his brother understands that as well. Chris has to learn how to stop those tears from easily falling and learn to stand on his own two feet, like what he did when the Empire took away their home and parents. Sometimes he can't help but think he may have spoiled his brother a little too much, but it can't be helped... Chris was all he has.

"I'm going back to my room, if you need anything, talk to Nadja."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:01 pm

Christian listened quietly to Victor's recounting of his time with the Empire. Christian knew it was quite rare for Victor to share those experiences, even with him. The story was terrifying, and it certainly was probably even more difficult and more traumatizing than Chris' own experience. He couldn't even imagine the horrors of taking the life of a child...But Victor was right. He couldn't mope and cry or dwell on the past. He needed to find a new goal, a new purpose, and to act on it.

"You're right Victor...I should work on a goal instead of going around and feeling sorry for myself. I also want to the stop the Empire, but I can't help but feel there is something bigger at stake here. I think I know what I need to do..."

He waved to his brother before beginning to head back towards his room. The vision of the three planets still loomed in his mind, and he felt like he was on the edge of discovering a tantalizing secret, something that would change everything...If anyone could help him in locating a planet, Nadja could. Before he reached his room, however, the Doctor passed by him and stopped.

"Chris! I was actually looking for you! Do you have a minute?" asked the Doctor.

Christian paused to turn and smile at the man, "Sure thing, Doctor! What can I do for you?"

The Doctor paused, hesitating before beginning to speak, "This isn't...any easy thing to ask and I don't mean to offend you but...You know you possess a power about which very little is known. This is a marvelous opportunity for science. While I don't want you to think of yourself as a lab rat or anything like that, I do believe that if I ran a few tests, we could perhaps learn more about your powers and how you can better control them. I would completely understand if you refused, but I did want to at least ask you."

Christian thought for a moment, mulling over the decision. He knew the Doctor wouldn't hurt him, though, and perhaps it would do some good to find out more about his powers.

"I...I think it would be okay," Christian said at last, "Though I can't do it right now. I need to ask Nadja about something. Can you run the tests later?"

"Of course," replied the Doctor, "Thank you Christian. This means a lot to me and I'm sure it will do good for everyone. Don't worry, we'll get through this."

Christian nodded before waving goodbye to the Doctor and heading to his new room. The door slid closed behind him and he situated himself on the bed.

"Nadja...I need to talk to you," he said quietly.

Nadja's holographic image appeared in front of him, hovering and pulsing with a blue light.

How can I be of assistance, Christian?

"Can you show me a map of all the planets that contain a large quantity of organic life? Only planets with more than 75% concentration," said Christian slowly.

Of course. Please hold on for one moment...

After a few moments, names and images began to flash in front of Christian's eyes.

I have located three planets that match your description. Ostion, a world where the Empire preserves specimens from almost every known planet in the galaxy in order for the general public to view some more exotic creatures. Records indicate that it provides quite a financial boon to the Empire's investors. The second planet is Apromia, a planet full of botanical rarities. This planet too is owned and run by the Empire in order to generate currency. The third planet is little known and beyond the reach of the Empire. The only information I have on it is that it is called Ucrade. Records indicate there was an attempt at contact by the Empire, but the expedition force never returned.

"Ucrade..." murmured Christian, "That's it...That's where we have to go..."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:07 pm

Finally inside the captain's cabin, Victor let out a soft sigh of relief. His duties had really taken a toll on him and he could feel the exhaustion reaching its peak. Even with several implants to improve his physical condition, he was still susceptible to fatigue. Locking the doors behind him, Victor walked in further to his room, eyes fixed on the single bed. But just before he reached the bed, a flashing red light in his private terminal indicated he had an urgent message waiting.

"No rest for the weary..." he grumbled and walked towards the terminal.

With a press of a button, the terminal screen came to life and an image of a woman in Empire clothing appeared before him, an old friend. The sound in the video message was scrambled so he had to adjust a few things before he could clear it up and make the sound audible.

"Victor, your name had been popping up here in Empire Central Intelligence Network quite a number of times from the top guns. Even Chris' name shows up in here. What have you done this time? Look, I don't have much time to spare but as far as I can tell, something big is happening. Orders from Empire Command are being issued everywhere to be on the lookout for you and your brother. Whatever it is you did might have really ticked off the Empire for them to be so hell bent on finding you guys. I just thought I'd give you fair warning for old time's sake. Victor, 'they' are involved. I just want you to know that before considering your next move. Oh.. and don't worry about a trace on this feed, I made sure it can't be detected. Farewell my friend and good luck!"

End of message displayed on the screen after the playback leaving Victor lost in his own thoughts. Priscilla, head of Empire Intelligence sent him a warning. That being the case, things have just heated up on their end which made the man wonder what is it exactly that they want from Chris. To even involve 'them' just to locate his brother was a little too extreme for simple motives concerning magic...

"Trident huh? Now just what is it that you really want?"

A question left unanswered in contemplation. Trident, the Empire's elite of the elites. As a front, it was believed that Trident is the Emperor's Guard, but in reality, it is a group established by the Empire's inner circle as their black ops team comprised by highly skilled individuals from different species, enhanced humans and even synthetics. They were the ones who picks up the slack if the ESF wasn't cut out for the job. Victor knew about them only because he became a candidate for Trident after a chance meeting with its leader in the field.

It happened a few years ago. The Empire was expanding their territory back then and they had their eyes set on a resource and mineral planet, Cleafi. It was supposed to be easy claiming the planet with the Empire's new terraforming technology deployed there, the problem was one of the planet's local inhabitants, dubbed as Cleavers by the advanced team deployed there. These four legged beasts were plated with rock hard spikes, has a ferocious appetite for flesh, weighs about a few thousand tons but incredibly agile for their weight. Adults normally stand as high as twenty feet. They were always around places with high concentration of minerals for some reason. The first few researchers along with their respective defense/reaction teams sent there were ill-equipped to handle these behemoths. They never stood a chance when the Cleavers ravaged their base.

This is when the ESF was brought in, they were to neutralize these behemoths all over the planet and were given the best equipment to finish the task. With the amount of firepower the ESF brought, they were ready to start a war. Victor was among those in the front lines. The first time they engaged these beasts, nothing could have prepared them for what they were about to find out. The Cleavers were not just ordinary mindless beasts, they possessed remarkable intelligence and are being led in packs. Even with heavy firepower, the ESF still suffered considerable losses every skirmish. Suffering defeat after defeat with each day passing, the Empire grew weary of getting results. That's when Trident first revealed their existence to the ESF.

Victor could not forget that scene when they arrived, a handful of individuals were to be their backup. To top it all off, the ESF were under their command! These individuals ordered them to stand down and departed for the nearest mineral concentration. Half a day later, they returned and gave the researches the 'all clear' for terraforming. They ordered the ESF to carry the equipment and set up a defensive perimeter while the researchers do their thing. Victor could not believe his eyes when they got to the mineral grounds. Countless bodies of Cleavers lay lifeless all over the place, some were disemboweled, others reduced to nothing but bones. It was then and there that Victor knew that whoever these people were, they are terrifying.

Victor's commanding officer that time was non too pleased. He did not like the idea of being shown how things are supposed to be done so despite being given the order to stand down and stay on the defensive, he rallied his troops and ordered them to set out for the next mineral concentration point. The Cleavers having lost one of their mineral points were highly concentrated in that area. It wasn't long before the platoon Victor belonged to and a few others were nearly decimated. With his CO killed in action, Victor was next in line to command. Survival instincts taking over, he strategically planned their retreat and gave the order. In the end, he was able to minimize further losses and save what was left of their platoon.

That was when he was recognized by the leader of Trident and was given a personal recommendation to join them. An offer he respectfully declined to honor his commanding officer.

Stopping his thoughts from wandering any further, Victor left his private terminal and headed straight to bed. With Trident now involved, they probably have less than three days to get out of this system. For now, he would rest his body for he is sure to need every strength he has if they were to encounter any Trident member.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:16 am

For a few long moments, Christian was silent, contemplating the planet. It appeared that it was lush with vegetation and rife with animal life. Very few records existed detailing the logistics of the planet, but from what he could tell, something very dangerous inhabited the planet, something even the Empire had been wary going up against. Apparently all expedition teams had been wiped out, and the Empire wasn't keen on committing resources to a planet in the outer reaches of the Solar System.

Do you require anything else, Christian?

Nadja's voice broke into his thoughts and he shook his head, "That will be all, Nadja. Thank you."

Nadja's presence faded from the room, leaving Christian to his thoughts. It felt good to have a purpose, a clear destination in mind. But...if this planet was dangerous, could he really expect his brother and the others to follow him there? It would be unfair to put them in even more danger after all they had done for him. Perhaps it would be best to do it on his own. But he had no ship, and reliable means to obtain one, especially not now that the Empire was actively searching for him. Well...perhaps Victor could take him to Urcade, but he could go to the planet alone. Christian didn't realize how tired he was until his thoughts gave way to daydreams, which in turn gave way to uninterrupted sleep....


Christian awoke, opening his eyes and looking around. He had no idea how long he had slept and realized he should probably have set some type of alarm. Getting out of bed, he made his way to the mess hall where he ate a quiet breakfast. His mind continued to stray to thoughts of Urcade. What was so important about the backwater planet that he felt called to go there?

Do not worry, Chris. Everything will be made clear in time. This will be but the first step in restoring manna to the galaxy.

Christian blinked in surprise. That was the first time he had heard the woman's voice in a long while. He wondered what it meant. Was she continuing to lose power the longer it took him to complete...whatever mission it was he was being sent on. Or was she slowly becoming a part of him, melding with his very mind? He shuddered at the thought. Whatever happened, there was no way she could completely take over. He was Christian Wolfe, his own distinct person, and nothing would change that.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:03 am

Location: Harbor Planet Ethelas
Star System: Geraim
Influence: Neutral

Docked at hangar bay C slot 42, the Kamikaze was smoothly undergoing repairs to the damages it sustained escaping from Admiral Jainus' armada. The dock slot bustled with life as workers both human and alien worked together to get Victor's ship back in fighting shape. Most of the Kamikaze crew went on shore leave to ease the tension and any lingering stress with what they had just gone through. Victor chose to remain on board with a few of his subordinates to oversee the repairs. He sat quietly in the captain's seat contemplating on what they should do next.

"How are the repairs coming along Hans?"

The workers are going at it full throttle Captain, according to their central tower, the repairs should be done in twelve hours tops.

"Good. Send word to the men on shore leave. They should be here two hours before we ship out."

Roger that Captain, sending word now.

"How much supplies did we restock?"

Logistics report came in two hours ago sir, according to these, we should be good for a month in continuous travel.

"What about our cargo? Were they traded in for credits?"

Y-yes sir but unfortunately, we lost about an estimate of three hundred thousand credits worth of cargo thanks to the hole the armada blasted in our cargo bay. In total, we were able to obtain at least seven-hundred and fifty thousand credits from trading in scraps, rare parts and several techs we had no use for.

"Excellent. Carry on Lieutenant."

For now at least, they were good on supplies and cash. Victor knew that they would need more if they were going to keep Trident off their tails while they figure out a way to get the Empire off their backs. It's no easy task to avoid the Empire and its henchmen while doing trade or mercenary work simultaneously. Somehow, they would have to make do with what they currently have and find a safe system to lay low for a while.


The bluish holographic image appeared beside Victor.

How can I assist you Victor?

"Where is Chris?"

He is in the Mess Hall right now. Should I call him for you?

"No need. I was just checking on him since I didn't see him in his room. Anyway, I need you to plot a course for us after repairs on you are complete."

Certainly. Where would you like to go Victor?

Victor paused, silence taking over him. He had been going over galactic charts and hidden trade routes for a while now but there was just nothing that would get them to another neutral system without passing through Empire territory. Geraim System just happened to be the only system that remained neutral in the middle of Empire controlled territory thanks to its influential leaders and strong armada. Even though it is just one system, Geraim was rich with brilliant minds that continued engineering technological advances in both ship weaponry and planetary defense systems. However, they chose not to involve themselves with the Empire and refused their rule, but for the sake of keeping peace, they brokered a deal with the Empire for Geraim to keep its autonomy. Freedom in exchange for providing the Empire technological improvements. It was an illusion created by Geraim's leaders for the people to believe that they are actually free. While the truth that the Empire had them on a leash is sugar coated by their technology.


"I'm sorry Nadja, but that's the problem that I'm facing right now. I've been going over these galactic charts trying to map out a course for us to another neutral system without having to fight the Empire but I'm just not having any luck at finding safe or even dangerous routes. Any ideas?"

Calculating flight path... Error. No available path to the closest neutral system without having to cross Empire territory. Factoring in logistics, ship performance and weapon systems into equation. Scanning... Match found.

An image of another star system flickered before Victor. It was a relatively small star system but still in Empire control. It has a gate in it that would allow them to shift longer distances and quite possibly to another neutral system.

"There you go again with your auto-calculations. Nadja, don't you ever want to stop factoring in your weapon systems and performance in your calculations?"

Why? I am merely suggesting an alternative to our situation. It is clear we have to fight if we want to get out of here.

"True, but that doesn't mean I want to fight the Empire, not now at least-- and I'm just having you repaired right now! Don't you know how much repairs on you cost?"

Based on calculations upon damage sustained in the last battle, repair cost is at five-hundred seventy-two thousand credits.

"Ughh.. you just have to say it don't you?"

You asked.

"Nevermind... so your alternative is we force our way into this system here and run the risk of getting into a ship fight with the Empire gate fleet there is that it?"

Considering there are no more alternatives other than this, that is affirmative Victor. This star system has the least amount of possible resistance we could encounter while breaking through.

"No... I do not approve of this. I don't want to risk it. Could you tell Chris to come up to the bridge please. I'm going to need his help again."

Affirmative. Informing Christian Wolfe now.

While the Kamikaze is a superior frigate, she is still one ship. Victor reviewed the details in Nadja's suggested plan. The amount of ships designated to guard the gate is significantly smaller than the other star systems in Empire control. While the ai thinks it is the logical plan and a possible exit, Victor sees it as bait. The Empire probably wanted to lure them into that system and get the jump on them, hence the low number of ships guarding the gate.


Location: Empire Command
Star System: Sol

A large man wearing fine clothes with an intricate pattern walked the halls of his palace, the elegant cloak that hung on his back swayed with every step he took. The man was pacing back and forth seemingly lost in his own thoughts. Six other men with him watched as he restlessly continued walking. One of the six men, a tall white-haired one, age showing in the wrinkles of his skin followed the movements of the one pacing back and forth with just his eyes.

"My liege, it is not good for you to stress yourself over this young boy." the white-haired one spoke, his tone soft and reassuring.

"Not good for me you say? Have you any idea what that boy is? Long have I searched for it, many times have I undergone life extension just so I could find it... the key we have been looking for all this time. What's not good for me is that 'he' is out there with my key and away from my grasp!"

The six men with him each had their own reaction after hearing the large man's words.

"It is imperative that we get him as soon as possible! The time is drawing near, our ascension to the land of Manna! Failure is unacceptable!"

Another one of the six men, short and fat, wearing spectacles and clothes that resemble a researcher's brushed the long beard that fell neatly down his chin.

"My liege, I mean no disrespect but you have just ordered Trident to move only recently correct? Please give them a little more time, I'm sure they will come back here with the boy. They have never failed you after all. Plus we're dealing with just one ship no? It is only a matter of time before they fall into our hands, we know where they are and we have them surrounded. There's no place they could escape to this time."

"Fool! That one ship is created using a fusion of technology and magic! What's worse is that it is under Victor Wolfe's command! Have you forgotten what he is capable of? That man's very existence can be a threat to my Empire! It is very unfortunate that his brother is the one where the key manifested in. It was on my whim that he continued to live up until now-- a thing I am beginning to regret the most."

"Pardon my rudeness my liege..." said an alluring female voice breaking up the argument. The Emperor shifted his gaze over to the scarlet haired woman with a slender figure who wore a fully customized battle suit that resembled a dragon. "Raven has begun to move towards them. Fortunately he was the closest one to them. Master Clyde has ordered him to change course, right now I assume he would be close to Ethelas. My liege, you can rest easy."

"Excellent! I knew mobilizing Trident is the best decision for this. I expect good news."

"We will not fail you my liege."

"That reminds me, where is Clyde? Shouldn't he be the one standing there and not you?"

"My apologies but Master Clyde is still taking care of your previous request concerning... 'that'."

"What's taking him so long? It is unusual for him to get delayed by this much."

"I beg your forgiveness my liege but 'she' is... elusive. But according to Master Clyde's last report, he was able to damage the ship she uses and it made an emergency landing in a rather troublesome planet."

The Emperor returned to his throne and began to relax a little after hearing progress from Trident. His attention is now focused on the scarlet haired woman.

"Where is Clyde now?"

"Ucrade my liege..."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:39 pm

Christian was completely lost in thought when Nadja's voice broke his concentration.

Christian Wolfe. Please report to Victor on the bridge as soon as possible.

"Thanks Nadja. I'll be there right away," replied Christian, wondering what his brother's plans were.

Most likely, Victor would be trying to find a place they could restock and refuel in order to keep their distance from the Empire. The only problem was that the Empire's forces held considerable sway over nearly the entire civilized galaxy. A long time ago, the Empire hadn't been filled with corruption and darkness. But leaders came into power who promised ease and comfort of life to all, and as the lives of people became more comfortable, they became complacent. And once they became complacent, they traded the freedom they once enjoyed for technology that would do nearly everything for them and the Empire had been able to assert its dominance.

Christian glanced down at his half-eaten bowl of breakfast mush, and sighed, dumping it into the disposal. He didn't really feel like eating anymore anyway. He got up quickly and began to make his way to the bridge. Without warning, his vision flickered and he felt his body begin to shake. He collapsed against the side of the wall, breathing heavily, sweat beginning to trickle down his face. What was wrong with him? Why did he feel so sick all of a sudden? An image of a middle-aged man suddenly appeared in front of him, though it was clear to Chris that this was no hologram or long range communicator. This was an astral projection, a manna-based ability he had heard of but had never encountered before. The man had blond hair cropped short and deep, piercing emerald eyes. He wore antiquated armor that appeared to be made of gold, highly impracticable as that might have seemed. His gaze seemed to be unfocused for a moment before they finally settled on the youth.

"Christian Wolfe, are you not?" he asked, his voice gentle yet edged with a sternness that brooked no argument.

"W-who...who are you? What do you want with me?" whispered Christian, looking cautiously around to make sure no one else was seeing this strange phenomenon.

"Do not worry, boy. No one will see our conversation. I have taken the liberty of creating an energy barrier that will keep all life forms from coming near to your position. I apologize for your discomfort, but the energy barrier will cause you some temporary vision loss and an uncomfortable body temperature. This will pass as soon as I am finished speaking with you. Oh, and you will need to ensure to wipe the data records of this conversation from your ship's memory, however. Only you are able to control that sort of power," replied the strange person.

"I...don't understand...please, just...go away," pleaded Christian, "I don't know who you are, but I don't want anything to do with you."

"Ah, how rude of me for not introducing myself. My name is Kordjan Ezron. I am the leader of very small group of individuals with talents like yours. We have been hidden from the Empire for many years, but we felt your power awakening. You must come to our hidden planet as soon as possible so that we may instruct you in the use of your powers, and so that the realization of the Empire's downfall may be complete. I have transmitted the coordinates of the planet to your memory. I trust that we will see you soon."

"No! Leave me alone! I already met one of your kind, and he tried to kidnap me!" Christian snapped.

" must have been speaking of Master Vorosh. He was a rogue member of our group and acted without our explicit permission. You did us a service when you destroyed him and for that we thank you. Now, remember you will erase the ship's log of our conversation, and you will tell no one of this."

Before Christian could do or say anything, the image flickered out of existence, and his vision as well as his body temperature returned to normal. He had no intention of erasing the conversation that had certainly been recorded by the ship's high tech sensors, and yet he found an inexplicable urge to do so. Without realizing it, he closed his eyes and with a mere thought he deleted the smallest bit of data contained within the ship's audio and visual displays. He slumped against the wall, breathing heavily as he bit back tears. He needed to be strong. He couldn't let Victor see him like this. He took a few deep breaths before resuming his walk through the corridor, that was oddly devoid of traffic. It seemed like Kordjan's energy shield really had prevented others from entering the area, perhaps without them even realizing it. At last Christian reached the bridge and stepped inside.

When he saw Victor, his first instinct was to tell him of the conversation that had just occurred, but when he opened his mouth nothing came out. He struggled for a few moments before he realized this most likely looked extremely odd.

"You...wanted to see me Victor?" he asked at last, though he sounded confused and slightly worried.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:42 am

"Something on your mind Chris? You don't sound like your usual self."

Victor could pick up his brother's slightest change in tone or demeanor simply by the bond of being his older brother. He was trying to hide something and Victor could sense it. But he did not want to pry any deeper, they had more pressing matters to attend to after all.

"By the way, have you given the good doctor a chance to run those tests on you? I heard from him that you agreed. You should go see him when we're done here. He might be able to find something useful for you. Anyway, come here and take a look at this..."

Victor motioned for Chris to come closer to his control panel and slid the holographic image of the galactic chart he was looking at over to Chris. He pointed out the systems highlighted in red and lastly at the white one.

"The red ones are under Empire control, the white one is where we are right now. I'm not as good as you when it comes to mapping out courses on a galactic chart. I was hoping you could help me out here a little. I'm trying to find a route we can take that would avoid any form of contact with the Empire. Sadly, all the trade routes mapped out here and even the secret star lanes and routes are going to pass through Empire controlled territory. Maybe you have a suggestion? Because Nadja here wants to break through this little star system over here..."

He pointed at the small star system that held a gate for Chris to see.

"According to Nadja's intelligence, this star system has the least amount of Empire warships that are guarding a gate. Where there's a gate, there's an exit, I know that but what bothers me is the amount of defense they have in that system, it clearly looks like bait to lure us in there and get the jump on us, so I'm not going to take that route."

Victor moved the holographic image directly in front of Chris so he could start going over the charts himself.

"Repairs will be done in less than twelve hours from now. By then we should be out of this system and on the move. The Empire isn't going to stay quiet for long. I know it's too much to ask to map out a route within that short span of time but I know you're a genius so it should be nothing for you. Just so you know as well, we have enough supplies for a month of continuous travel . That should serve some purpose to you I believe."

Victor stood up and walked over to another screen. He pressed a button and it displayed the part of the dock slot where repairs on his ship is taking place. Satisfied with what he saw, Victor turned around and looked at Chris, then to his Lieutenant on the bridge with them.

"Lieutenant, could you give us a moment to speak in private?"

Yes sir.

When his lieutenant left the bridge, Victor took one last look around to make sure it was just him and his brother left on the bridge.

"Chris, we're in trouble. I know what I'm going to say will make little to no sense to you since you barely have any knowledge about the Empire's inner workings but here's the deal, the Empire dispatched an elite group called Trident to look for us, you especially. I will not lie to you Chris, this group is one dangerous bunch. I'm sure you're familiar with what a Cleaver is right? Five members of Trident can take out several packs of those things. This is just to give you a little background on how dangerous these people are. As much as possible, I don't want to stick around in one place for prolonged periods of time unless absolutely necessary, like now for repairs. What I really want to ask of you is if your magic can find us a place we can safely travel. Can you do that?"


Location: Near Ethelas Orbit
Ship: XS-0021F
Class: Fighter
Affiliation: Empire/Trident

Approaching Ethelas orbit in T-minus fifteen minutes.
Auto course correction engaged.
Sending docking request to plant yard.
Initiating A-break procedures.
System all green.

"Good. Prepare for atmospheric entry and begin docking sequence."

Atmospheric entry initialized.

The XS-0021F Blackwing, a midsize fighter ship designed by the Empire capable of SBT (Short Burst Travel) on its own. It has a twin ion core powerful enough to open a small gate which the ship can use to jump to the next star sytem. This fighter ship is commonly issued to any Trident member with missions that involves space travel to a different star system. Without its SBT capability, it's just another standard fighter with average specs. It has state of the art fuel efficiency tech installed as an option for the engine for prolonged space travel, light weaponry and can be equipped with variable weapon packs to fit in any situation. A popular choice among many of the Empire's fighter ship line up.

aven... co... in...

Raven, come in... do you copy?

"Master Clyde? Sorry, I'm about to enter Ethelas' atmosphere, radio is starting to get jammed a little. You need something?"

Change of plans. I received word from Dyce that the Emperor wants the boy alive and the ship intact. Can you do that?

"Why did she have to say that to you and not to me directly? That Dyce... she really only speaks to you and the Emperor huh?"

Sorry about that... it's her extreme loyalty disorder. Hehehe! Anyway, I'm counting on you with your new orders.

"That's easy for you to say. I'm actually the one dealing with a frigate here and with 'him' in command of it. Do I get a raise or a promotion for this?"

I will talk to the Emperor about your accomplishments once we get results. Good hunting Raven.

"By the way, what should I do about 'him', should I kill him?"

Hmm... I leave it to your discretion. Clyde out.

The radio clicked back into silence as the fighter ship entered the planet's atmosphere.

"Leave it to my discretion huh? This should be fun. Hmm... the Bloody Wolf eh?"

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:55 am

Christian didn't answer when Victor asked if there was something on his mind. He wanted to tell Victor everything, but it was as if there was some block on his memory. He could barely remember the details of the exchange he had just had. All he could remember was the location of some kind of planet that had long been hidden. The youth was relieved when his brother continued to speak, apparently deciding not to pry.

"Yes, I'll go see the Doctor once we're finished here. If anyone can help me to find a better way to control my powers, he can," replied Chris as he followed Victor over to the star map.

He listened quietly to Victor's explanation of their current situation. Already his mind was scrutinizing the possibilities as he began to touch a few of the routes on the map. He realized this wasn't going to be a quick task by any means. The Empire's influence could be felt throughout much of the galaxy, and he agreed that the Empire was clearly trying to lead them into a trap with the sparsely defended star system. A few moments later, Victor dismissed the Lieutenant from the bridge and told him the real reason why he had brought him there. He felt a shiver travel up his spine when his brother mentioned the word "Trident." He didn't know of them, but he had heard of Cleavers. For only five members to slay a pack of Cleavers was nothing short of remarkable. Trident must be quite a deadly foe, many times worse than the Inquisitors. They needed to find a place to restock as quickly as possible. Victor seemed to believe that magic would be able to help them in this case, and something sparked in his memory.

"I think...I might be able to help. I remember a book I read about something called wormholes. They're nearly instantaneous travel routes from one place to another. The thing is,most of them are rare and don't lead to any particular system. But...magic users did possess the ability to create artificial wormholes that could be used once and then they disappeared. I think I might be able to do that if I research whatever I can find on the technique. Give me a little bit of time and I'll come back to you. I'm going to go to the Doctor first and then I'll see what I can find on the wormholes."

He smiled at his brother before exiting the bridge and heading towards the lab. As he thought, the Doctor was already there. The Doctor looked up at him with a grin and motioned for him to sit.

"Ah, good to see you Christian. I must say I am very grateful that you are allowing me to run these tests. I assure you that I am only doing this to help you and in helping you, I am hoping this will help everyone in their fight against the Empire."

"As long as I don't start growing extra arms or legs I'm not worried," joked Chris.

"No need to worry about that," replied the Doctor, "Now, the first thing I want you to do is try to reproduce that fire that you created before."

Christian nodded and closed his eyes. A moment later, a wisp of flame appeared hovering above his hands. The Doctor quickly took a wooden stick and allowed the stick to catch fire before placing it in a container and locking that container within an analyzer. Within moments he was reading the results.

"Fascinating...this is true fire, not an artificial substance or element. Results show that you were able to excite the molecules around you in order to produce spontaneous combustion. Have you tried to manipulate the other elements?" asked the Doctor.

"Well, I did create a windstorm, but I don't think you'd like me to do that in your lab..." replied Christian.

"Ah, quite right. What about water then? Do you think you can create water?" asked the Doctor.

Christian hadn't done it before, but he thought he could try. He closed his eyes, holding out his hand once again. For a moment, nothing happened, and then slowly water began to drip from his fingertips to the floor. The Doctor also collected a sample from the water.

"Very good Christian. Now...I've been watching the readings from a scanner that is measuring your mental capabilities. It seems that when you actively concentrate on creating something you have much more control than if you were to use your powers spontaneously. Now what I want you to do is to create a larger fire this time. Don't worry, I've stowed away the flammable materials."

Christian hesitated a moment before nodding and closing his eyes. There was a longer wait this time, when suddenly a burst of flame as bright and large as a bonfire appeared above Christian's hand, and yet he was not burned. Moments later the fire disappeared.

"Fascinating..." breathed the Doctor, "So not only can you control the elements, but it seems like you have an immunity to being harmed by them. Now, I want you to try that again, but try not to think so hard, if that makes any sense. Focus on the bonfire and cause it to appear. I don't believe you even need to close your eyes."

Christian nodded hesitantly and focused, but nothing happened. He tried again, still nothing. The third time, however, the flames burst in existence once again.

"Excellent," said the Doctor, "It's just as I thought. I believe you may be concentrating too hard when you're trying to do these things. It doesn't matter what effect you're trying to create. All you need to do is envision what you want done in your mind and then do it. From these brain wave patterns, it seems like when you try too hard, it slows down the complex process of manna manipulation. My advice to you would just to go with the flow when you try to perform any magic. Let the manna flow through you naturally instead of forcing concentration. Remember, a moment's hesitation may be life or death against the Empire.

Christian nodded, trying to calm his nerves at the mention of the Empire. Now that he knew Trident was after him, a group that could handle Cleavers on their own, it had him on edge.

"Alright, I think you've given me more than enough data to work with. I'll let you know if I find anything more. Thank you Christian."

"You're welcome," replied the boy before exiting the lab and heading to his room."

"Nadja, do you happen to have a copy of Wormholes and Space Travel?"

Yes I do Christian Wolfe. Downloading now.

After a few moments, a holographic image of the book appeared and Christian began perusing through its pages...

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:42 am

"Wormholes huh?" Victor thought out loud to himself.

His lieutenant now back in the bridge tending to his duties overheard Victor talk out loud. He paused for a moment after hearing what Victor said.

What is it about wormholes Captain? Were you able to come up with a plan for escape?

A little rattled after realizing he spoke out loud enough for his lieutenant to hear, Victor tried to come up with an excuse. "Not really. I was just thinking if it is a plausible course of action. Lieutenant, what's the rate of a natural wormhole appearing?"

I uhh... wish I know the answer Captain, but I tend to fire a gun better than to read a book. Although what I know from the academy is that wormholes are natural gates in space. Our own man-made gates came to be from the concept of wormholes after all.

"True enough. I was just hoping that when we leave port, there's a wormhole somewhere in this system..." Victor trailed off.

Captain... we're in that bad of a position aren't we? It's rare for you to come up blank with a plan of action.

"You give me too much credit Lieutenant. I come up with plans on the fly. I'm a man of action and not a thinker."

But... for you to hope that there's a wormhole when we leave port... its... disturbing in the least.

Unknown to his Lieutenant, Victor was actually hoping that Chris could come up with a way to make that wormhole happen, not just for his own sake but for everyone aboard the Kamikaze.

"Carry on Lieutenant, I don't plan to die anytime soon. We'll make it, that's a guarantee. I'll be in my cabin if you need me."

Victor walked the familiar halls of his ship towards his cabin. While walking, Nadja's holographic image appeared beside him and matched his pace.

"Anything you need from me Nadja?"

Nothing in particular Victor. Just a minor warning about your plan to use a wormhole. As you may already know, a wormhole is unstable most of the time, I cannot guarantee the safety of you and your crew should you proceed with this course.

"I know the risks Nadja. I for one don't want to be molecularly disintegrated but the situation leaves us no choice. Have you finished researching Trident's recent activities?"

I tried Victor but the Empire's networks have recently upgraded their security protocols. I used to be able to hack in their database with ease and undetected, but now I can only access part of their archives. It will take me several weeks to counter their new security protocols and hack in safely.

"I see. It's a shame, we're completely in the dark and they surely know where we are. If my hunch is right, there should be at least one or two Trident members on their way to us by now. What about this planet's docking logs? Anything from there?"

I have been keeping tabs on all ships that make a stop to this planet. So far there are no Empire ships from the last forty-eight hours... hold on. One ship just came in, model XS-0021F Blackwing, fighter class.

Victor stopped dead in his tracks. The ship model Nadja just mentioned instantly made him remember what the ship looked like, and memories of that man coming down from a ship like that played back in his mind. Shivers began to crawl up his spine.

"Where did that ship dock?"

Phaelos port.

"How far is that from here?"

Given this planet's form of transportation, three hours.

"How long till repairs are complete?"

It will take another five hours for repair completion Victor.

"We don't have much time! Tell the tower to hurry up with repairs. Notify all crew members on shore leave to get back here on the double. Inform the bridge to begin preparations for departure. There's no time to waste Nadja, Trident is here!"

Understood. Executing orders now. All personnel notified, dock tower informed. Should I ready the weapon systems?

"No, we can't fight in a civilian port. Prep our shields, that ship will probably just resupply and head straight for us. Keep tracking its movements and put that on screen in the bridge."

Victor rushed to the bridge. It will be a race against time and whatever happens, they cannot get the people of this port involved in an outright battle. Pressing a button on his control panel, Victor contacted Chris in his quarters.

"Chris, how's your research coming along? Have you found a way yet? I hate to rush you but Nadja just detected a single Empire ship dock in one of this planet's shipyards. I'm sure it's Trident, they're here."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:16 am

Chapter 1: A Fateful Encounter

As I am writing, I try to remember the details of that day quite vividly. I had been making a routine jump to Xarcis I to meet with an old friend. As I was about to begin gate travel, in the distance I noticed something shimmering more brightly than the stars. Intrigued, I brought my craft closer to the source. That was a nearly fatal mistake. As my sensors adjusted to the brightness, I could see some sort of spinning vortex. Space pirates told tales of this strange phenomenon, referring to them as Whirlwinds of Death. In the scientific community, it was well known that a vortex was the basis for our own gate travel system, though there were still many mysteries surrounding the phenomena themselves. My scientific mind couldn't help but wonder at the nature of the such an occurrence. An opportunity for discovery could not be passed up. And so I gently eased my craft into the vortex's gaping maw. No sooner had I done so than all my instruments went haywire. I began calibrating and adjusting things, just trying to keep my shields from failing. I knew somehow that if I did so, that would be the end of me. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, my systems continued to fail. A mere thought, a memory of a story told to me by one of the Ancient Sages, was what saved me. In times past, apparently people like me had been able to create a sort of shield or barrier against the vastness of space, protecting them from its harsh elements allowing them to traverse the cosmos without any sort of technology. I had performed rudimentary experiments, but had never had an opportunity to test them. Now it would determine if I would live or die. I focused, allowing manna to flow through my body to form a fluid barrier around my ship. At first the barrier snapped and my ship careened as if it would be dashed to pieces against the violent energies surrounding it. Again I allowed the manna to flow, and this time it held. Almost immediately warning lights and sensors winked out and my ship was again stable. A few moments more and I found myself back in real space. I quickly allowed the manna shield to dissipate and used my sensors to deduce my location. Imagine my shock when I realized I had flown halfway across the galaxy to Seron in the matter of a few moments. Therefore it is my postulation that wormholes if utilized properly could become the basis for instantaneous interstellar travel. Yet they were so unpredictable. Was there a way to somehow create them and control them? This will be my lifelong work.

Chapter 2: The Nature of Wormholes

From the data I was able to gather after that first bumpy ride, I realized that wormholes were not just distortions in space. They followed very distinct rules. For example, a wormhole would never appear exceptionally close to a planet or a star. The large mass must have had some sort of disrupting effect on it. That being said, wormholes are extremely unstable and unless one possesses the power of manna, they would have a 0.0111111 % chance of surviving. Therefore this would not be a travel method of choice unless people like myself were given charge of the entire operation. Wormholes also tend to appear after some major space event, be it the death of a star or an exploding nebula. Wormholes allow nearly instantaneous travel from Point A to Point B and yet there is no accurate way to deduce where a wormhole might take you. I was very fortunate to have been transported close to a major planet. Otherwise I may have been doomed to travel through space until my death. I can't help but wonder whether there might be a way to create an artificial wormhole. Imagine the implications...Trading could become more efficient and less costly. Exploration teams could be sent to the far reaches of the galaxy with a quick way to return to the colonized sectors. What modern wonders could we discover in this way? Wormholes could become the key to a better and brighter future for all...

Wormhole Creation: Testing Log

1. After much research, I've created a simulation wormhole using a computer. It is a collection of vast stellar energies, and stellar manipulation is my specialty. The goal may be attainable.
2. I've succeeded in creating a very small wormhole above the planet of Carthis IX. Very unstable and vanished after a few seconds.
3. A larger wormhole was created, but again unsuitable for travel. This one lasted for a good five minutes. I realized that manna alone cannot create the wormhole. I needed an energy enhancer from Gauff Tiar in order to produce this wormhole.
4. Success at last! The wormhole only took me from Carthis IX to its neighboring planet, Carthis VIII. This was done with the help of a second mage, my good friend Targauth. We were able to successfully create the destination of the wormhole. See the formula below. But it is a time intensive and power draining process. Only two mages enhanced by the Gauff Tiar flower had the strength to do such a thing. But this is viable.
5. We've created wormholes successfully to much further places with the help of other Mages. The Mage's Syndicate has expressed interest. We will be working on a much larger project.
6. Today begins the greatest day known to man.Or so the Mage's Syndicate has instructed me to say. Vague rumors of a Promised Land outside the reaches of space have surfaced. They say that I will be the one to lead them there through the use of these Wormholes. I don't believe them. They feed me these lies so that I will continue to do their work. Everyone knows I am not the Chosen One, and yet if there were a way for the mages to gain their power without the Chosen One, they would utilize it, and they seem to believe my discovery is the key. I have no choice but to follow their wishes or risk a fate worse than death. I fear this will be my last journal entry.

The data is corrupted and encrypted.

"Nadja...Can you decipher this?" Christian asked.

Though he had been given some insight into how to create wormholes, he wanted to hear the rest of the story.

Deciphering....I'm sorry, Christian. I have the capability to crack the encryption code quite easily, but the data is far too corrupted for me to recover. Shall I attempt to locate another copy?

"No...that's alright. I think I tried looking for the copy before, but there isn't anything. I think I know how to create a wormhole now. I'm very lucky Victor brought me this flower. But...they needed two mages to create a vortex. How am I supposed to do it on my own," whispered Christian, half speaking to Nadja, half speaking to himself.

The boy looked up as Victor's voice spoke to him over the intercom.

"Chris, how's your research coming along? Have you found a way yet? I hate to rush you but Nadja just detected a single Empire ship dock in one of this planet's shipyards. I'm sure it's Trident, they're here."

Christian tried to keep the panic from his voice as he responded, "I know the method for creating the wormhole. seems like it takes quite a few tries, and it requires not only the flower from Gauff Tiar that you brought me, but the help of another mage. Unless I'm somehow able to do it on my own...But I don't want to risk the lives of everyone on board."


Deep Space: Unknown System
Planet: Uknown

A man with blond hair, green eyes, and clothed in gold armor sat quietly at his desk, tapping his fingers together lightly. A moment later, there was a soft, almost diffident knock on the door.

"Come in," said the man abruptly.

The door opened to reveal a lithe, thin woman dressed in a tight-fitting combat suit meant to allow her to move quickly and efficiently.

"Ah, Mira. How did your mission go?" asked the man in a conversational tone.

"I have fulfilled my duties, Master Kordjan. I've delivered the Mox Emerald to Sigarda on Ucrade. Now it will only be a matter of time. One way or another, the boy will come to us, sir," replied Mira.

"Good, good. I also contacted the boy on his shape through an astral projection. I am unsure if the power that manifests within him will be able to fight off the subtle manipulation I implanted within his mind. If he is unable to fight it off, he will come directly to us here."

"What about the others with him?" asked Mira, "They cannot be allowed to discover our secrets."

"We do not need to estrange potential allies, Mira," said Kordjan, sighing as if he were speaking to a petulant child, "They will be welcome so long as they follow our very specific instructions. Otherwise...we may have to resort to your...methods."

"What about the subject's brother? The captain, Victor Wolfe. Sources deem he is extremely dangerous. And if we were to harm him, wouldn't that make the cooperation of the boy extremely difficult?" asked Mira.

"Ah, you surprise me with your foresight, Mira," grinned Kordjan, "But you are correct. That indeed would complicate things. That is why I propose an alliance between them, at least for now. But once we are able to ascend to a higher plane of existence, the petty cares of this galaxy will be nothing to us. And at last we will be able to get our revenge on those who forced us into hiding.."

"I look forward to that day, Master," replied Mira with a tight smile.

"As do I," murmured Kordjan, "As do I..."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:17 am

Seconds ticked by into minutes, the minutes continued to grind into an hour. Victor restlessly tapped his fingers on the panel before him while staring at the blinking icon of the Empire ship currently in Phaelos port. The man was going over countless strategies given their current situation in his mind as he continued to keep an observant eye on that ship's movements.

Captain Victor, most of the crew have already begun heading their way here. The shipyard's tower says they can't go any faster than their pace right now and is stubbornly refusing to give additional manpower to help.

"That's understandable. They do have rules to follow and other customers to serve. It's a shame these people think that the Empire is really afraid of them..." Victor let out a sigh of disbelief.

It has been an hour and twenty minutes already yet the Empire ship still stayed in place. Victor isn't complaining though, the longer he lingers there the better it is for them after all. In his mind, he was thinking of using the DM Cannon on board the Kamikaze again to aid Chris in opening an artificial wormhole. When he went over this plan with Nadja, she refused to acknowledge it and even tightened the lock protocol on the DM Cannon.

Another half hour passed, most of the crew had already made it back. The bridge crew, most of them looking displeased or disappointed looked at Victor who is in his battle suit and has a fierce expression on his face.

Captain, what's this all about?

Perhaps now is the time to inform them part of what was actually going on. Victor took a deep breath and stood up from his seat. He pressed a button on his panel and began to speak, his voice echoing through the speakers of the entire ship.

"This is your Captain Victor Wolfe, I am sorry to have to cut your shore leave short people but we got a situation here. One Empire ship docked in this planet and I am sure it's going to be heading straight for us soon. While it is just one ship, we should know better that they have something up their sleeve for just sending in that one. I just want you all to know that we will be departing this dock as soon as repairs are complete and I want you all to stay vigilant, we might be in for a fight on our way out. That is all."

The bridge crew shifted their gaze over to the blinking icon on the main screen. Their attention was caught by movement from it. Victor's eyes even turned fiercer as he noticed the icon moving at an abnormally fast pace.

Ridiculous! A Blackwing cannot travel this fast!

"Perhaps I spoke too soon... Prep the shields and expand it to cover the dock slot and the people working down there. I'm heading out to buy us some time."

But Captain?! How are you going to--

"Lieutenant Hans, you're in charge while I'm gone. I will use the Garm."

With his final order, Victor returned to his seat and pressed a combination on his panel. The sound of machinery powering up emanated inside the bridge, soon the Captain's chair began to ascend to an opening in the ceiling. Victor soon found himself inside a familiar cockpit of a fighter ship, the lights on the control panel turning on simultaneously as the Captain seat locked in place. Control sticks slowly emerged from hidden ports on Victor's chair and soon the words 'Garm Initialized' appeared on the small screen monitor in front of him.

The Garm, a multirole fighter that was attached directly above the bridge of the Kamikaze, it is a state of the art fighter ship that was initially meant to serve as the Captain's escape pod should the Kamikaze sink but Victor never thought of it that way. Boasting superior mobility with it's aerodynamic design, it can easily outrun and outmaneuver any standard fighter ship in production to date. Powered by a Nova Engine, the Garm can tear through the skies and space at incredible speeds assuming the pilot doesn't pass out. Equipped with the ORACLE targeting system and armed with two twin-barrel laser cannons and ten multi-warhead tracer missiles, this fighter is a formidable opponent indeed.

"It's you and me again buddy." Victor said as he floored the accelerator pedal. The fighter's engines roared to life as the ship took off from its dormant slumber.

"Victor to Kamikaze bridge, relay that ship's course to my system and plot me a best intercept point. I prefer fighting him without a town under me."

Sending data now. Captain, you should be able to intercept him at point X:2215 Y: 1692, it's a wasteland in there.

"Roger that, I'm heading in. By the way bridge, my brother is currently formulating a way for us to get out of here, I'm going to buy him some time to figure out how to do it. If he needs help, be sure to give him what he needs."

Roger that Captain, don't overdo it now okay? It's been a while since you flew in Garm.

"Heh... who do you think you're talking to Lieutenant? Thanks, I'll keep him busy for as long as I can."


Ship: XS-0021F, Blackwing

"This is great! These Thruster add-on module sure makes my Blackwing fly! I will get there in no time at all! Now then..." Raven pressed a few buttons on his panel and pulled up his mission data. "I should review the enemy ship specs just to be sure."

Just as he was browsing through the detailed information, he stopped in surprise after noticing that there wasn't any info on the Kamikaze at all. Most of the information pertained to Christian Wolfe and the others were records of Victor from when the man was still with the Empire. All that Raven found out about the ship is what it looked like.

"Mhhmm... blacklisted info even from Trident eh? Not very helpful are we Clyde? Just what the hell is the Emperor after these people for?"

Just as he cleared the mission data away from his screen, Raven noticed a bright flash in the distance. Three seconds later, his ship's systems suddenly sounded an alert for incoming attack. He reacted just in time to pull back his control stick and maneuver his ship out of harm's way.

"What the hell! I thought Ethelas is going to stay out of this!"

Just as he looked at the direction where the attack came from, he spotted a blue and gray ship coming in fast.

"Wait, that's no Ethelas ship! It's too small to be the Kamikaze... Who the hell is this?! Computer, open a channel to that ship now!"

Channel open.

"Oi you nutcase! You realize you are attacking an Empire ship right? Do you have a death wish?!"

Instead of getting a reply, Raven's systems again sounded an incoming attack alert. He gritted his teeth and steered the control stick to the left causing his ship to barrel roll to the said direction and avoid the volley of laser bullets.

"Are you out of your mind! I said I am with the Empire! I will not say again!"

Drop the act Trident. I know why you're here.

"That voice... Well, well, Victor Wolfe. Long time eh?"

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:27 pm

Christian began to pore through other books, arcane tomes with hidden knowledge, but still there seemed to be very little information in the way of wormholes. Apparently, when manna was abundant, it used to be a fairly standard form of travel. But the details of that type of travel had been lost to the ravages of time. The sources did all agree on three things, however.

1. Wormholes were dangerous and unstable.
2. It took a power enhancer like the flower from Gauff Tiar to complete.
3. The assistance of another mage was required for any chance at stability when transporting something as large as a ship.

The youth shook his head as it was beginning to spin in confusion and helplessness. He knew that they didn't have much time, but he just couldn't think of a solution to this problem. But Victor was counting on him. Chris knew that they were in trouble because of his own powers; therefore it was only right that Christian should come up with a way to get them out of this mess. He looked up with wide eyes as his brother spoke over the intercom.

"This is your Captain Victor Wolfe, I am sorry to have to cut your shore leave short people but we got a situation here. One Empire ship docked in this planet and I am sure it's going to be heading straight for us soon. While it is just one ship, we should know better that they have something up their sleeve for just sending in that one. I just want you all to know that we will be departing this dock as soon as repairs are complete and I want you all to stay vigilant, we might be in for a fight on our way out. That is all."

Christian felt fear grip him in its icy claws. Trident. They were here. He was sure of it. They had no time left. Without a wormhole, they would find themselves caught within the Empire's trap. He looked up as Nadja's shimmering form appeared beside him.

Have you deduced a solution to your problem, Christian Wolfe? I have already informed you that there is a 1.5% of the ship surviving the instabilities of a wormhole.

"I understand, Nadja," said Christian slowly, "All the records state that some sort of manna shield protected the person traveling through the wormhole. The problem is I would need to not only create this shield, but create the wormhole as well and direct it where to go. I don't think I'm that powerful."

Data analysis indicates that no mage living possesses that capability. There is a certain unknown factor with you, however. Sensors indicate a slight trace of another living presence surrounding your body. They also indicate an overload of untapped manna. Is there any way for you to access it?

Christian bit his lip in frustration, knowing what Nadja was getting at. The woman who spoke to him in his dreams...She most likely had the power to help him in this situation. Indeed, she seemed to think he was capable of anything. And yet he was afraid. Afraid that if he gave in to her urges, he would become something other than himself. Perhaps he'd even become a creature bent solely on revenge, on the destruction of the entire Empire, perhaps all of technology. And that was something he wasn't going to risk.

" some scans for me and see if there are any power sources on the this ship capable of assisting me in creating a wormhole. I think after that it is done, it won't be nearly as difficult to maintain a manna shield," said Christian.

I will do as you ask, Christian.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:54 am

"Hey! hey! That's the sixth multi-warhead missile you fired now. How many times does it take for you to understand that it won't hit me huh?" Raven mocked.

The Blackwing, still flying in front of the Garm swayed its wings left and right taunting Victor to attack him more. Pulling the trigger in fury, Victor's craft unleashed a hail of laser bullets toward the Blackwing which was evaded with ease and grace.

"Tsk tsk! Getting a little hot in there eh? You see Victor, this is the difference between Trident and a regular ESF officer. You're way out of your league."

"Shut up! I'll take you down no matter what it takes!"

Smirking inside his cockpit, Raven increased the thrust of his ship and began speeding away from the Garm. Victor in turn pushed his craft to give chase. It was a one sided high speed battle in the air.

"Damn it! He's toying with me! Just how good is this guy?" Victor groaned while chasing the enemy ship through some canyons in the barren wasteland. "Even with the Oracle Targeting System, I can't even land a hit on him! And he's just using a Blackwing!"

Raven smirked while watching his radar track the movements of Victor's ship behind him. "I was right, this Blackwing is definitely outmatched in specs, I can't shake him off my tail no matter how hard I try but... I bet he has not realized it yet that hitting me in an outclassed ship is a different matter entirely." The radar again sounded an alert as another hail of laser bullets came at Raven from behind. "Woah! That was close! If it wasn't for this thruster module, that normally would have grazed me. Oh well... I'm near the target point anyway, might as well have fun too."

Coming out of the canyon and back into the air, the two ships trailed each other with Raven on the defensive. When an alert notified Raven about the Kamikaze being in radar range, the smile on his lips grew wider. He opened a channel to Victor again.

"It is experience and training Victor Wolfe. How many battles do you think I have been into using this fighter craft? I also know about the Oracle Targeting System you have on board."


"It's true. We learned of its existence a while back when that ship was given to you in the Crux System. Of course, we had to use extreme force to get those who built that ship to talk, but even with that, we were only able to obtain information about the Oracle."

Dread began to crawl up his spine after hearing the words of Raven. He began to recall what happened in the Crux System after he got the Kamikaze.

"Now do you understand? We were the ones who laid waste to that planet. While we did not get any information useful to us, Master Clyde took an interest in the Oracle and devised a training program for it as a countermeasure. Have you not wondered how I am able to avoid your attacks with ease yet? No doubt your ship is superior to mine but as long as I know where you'll be firing, you won't hit me."

"Don't get so full of yourself Trident!"

"Oh I am not believe me. This is just child's play. Compared to my experience in air combat, you are but a mere child with an expensive toy you don't understand. We of the Trident are trained to always be ahead of our adversaries by a few steps. If you haven't noticed yet, you were fixated on taking me down that you let me keep moving forward... or should I say failed to stop me from continuing on to my destination. Look, there's that port your ship is docked in."

Realizing what was said to him was true, Victor began to feel tremendous pressure coming from the ship in front of him. He was actually led on by that inferior ship. This was just a testament to how terrifying Trident really was. He knew he needed to act fast, not just for him and his crew's sake but for the other people in the port that had nothing to do with them. While he was thinking on what to do next, Victor noticed the lower section of the Blackwing opening. A few seconds later, a large missile came to his view.

"What are you doing! There are innocent people down there!" Victor roared.

"What I'm doing is I'm taking you down and accomplishing my mission. Guys like you..." Raven trailed off and pulled the trigger to fire the missile. As soon as it launched, Victor broke away and began chasing after it. When Victor's ship lined up behind his missile, Raven locked on to him and fired. "...are easy to predict."

One shot from him was all it took. The Garm was trailing smoke as it began to lose altitude. Victor struggled inside his cockpit to keep the ship flying in a futile attempt. The bastard got his thruster and it was only a matter of time before he crashes down to the ground.

"Damn it!" Victor cursed as he watched the missile continue on towards the port.

Raven began to relax as he watched the smoking ship go down and his missile approaching its target. "Shooting down their captain right before their eyes, that surely has an impact to their morale. Things should be easier from here on out."

Kamikaze Bridge

Impossible... The Captain got shot down?!

The crew couldn't believe what they just saw. They were in shock as they watched the Garm crash right outside the port. Immediately, the crew hailed their Captain but there was no response. Dread enveloped the entire bridge. Even Nadja couldn't ascertain Victor's situation. But the more pressing matter is the incoming missile.

Lieutenant, what do we do now?!

It's not like we're sure the Captain is dead! Expand the shield further and raise it to maximum output! We need to protect as much as we can! Brace for impact! We can assemble a rescue party later! We're going out to get him after that missile hits! I'm sure he's alive...

Nadja's holographic image flickered out of the bridge and into Chris' room.

"Sorry to interrupt you in the middle of research Chris. Victor's ship was shot down. For some reason, I am unable to get a reading on vitals from here. Should the worse happen, you will be next in command of this ship. That is Victor's priority order."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:26 pm

After some searching, Nadja had reported to Chris that only one piece of technology on the ship had the power to assist him in opening a wormhole, and it was locked down. There was no command that Chris could give to override it as she hadn't even given in to Victor's request. Frustrated, Chris knew that there was only one other option left. He needed to communicate with the woman in his dreams. He was terrified, of course, but there seemed to be no other option. Settling himself in a meditative state on his bed, he closed his eyes and reached out with his mind.

Are you...there?

I am here, Christian Wolfe. I am always here if you need me.

The woman's voice was soft and reassuring, attempting to lull him into a sense of security.

I know you seek a way to open a portal to a place far from the influence of the Empire that chases you. You have the power necessary to do such a thing, especially with the manna enhancer that your brother gave to you. You can create a wormhole and maintain the manna shield to protect the your craft with your own power. Remember, the fate of manna is entrusted to you and your access to it is limitless. The only limits on your power are the ones you have placed on it yourself. Free yourself to the power, let it flow around you, through you, and you will be able to achieve the impossible.

At the edges of his consciousness, Christian could feel the swirl of energy, the vastness of the cosmos. He could reach out and take it, do whatever he wished...Yet at that moment, a surge of some emotion flickered in his mind...Somewhere out there, he felt a burst of emotion as a ship was shot down. Christian's eyes flew open just as Nadja appeared in front of him.

"Sorry to interrupt you in the middle of research Chris. Victor's ship was shot down. For some reason, I am unable to get a reading on vitals from here. Should the worse happen, you will be next in command of this ship. That is Victor's priority order."

Christian's eyes widened and his heart leaped to his throat. This was all his fault...He should have been able to find a way to create a wormhole sooner. He should have done something to the enemy's ship to give them time to escape. Perhaps he should have even somehow rejected these powers in the first place...or allowed himself to die on the day the Empire attacked. Then none of this wouldn't have happened...He wouldn't have had to force all these innocent people to go on the run from the relentless pursuit of the Empire. Perhaps he could still end this. What if he handed himself over to the Trident member that had found them? It was Christian that the Empire wanted. Turning himself over would free the crew and his brother (whom he refused to believe dead) from the fear of the Empire. But...that most likely wouldn't be how it would work out. Once they had Christian, there was no guarantee they wouldn't attempt to destroy his brother and the crew again. Handing himself over wouldn't be an option, at least not at the moment...

"Christian, I do not meant to rush you, but there is a missile heading our way. Impact will be in less than 2 minutes."

Nadja's voice broke the stupor of inaction Christian had fallen into. A missile heading their way? Now, there was something real that he was sure he could take care of. But just in case...

"Nadja, if they haven't done so already, instruct the crew to raise the shield to maximum capacity. I'd tell them myself, but I don't have time. I'm going to stop the missile."

"They have already done so. Data analysis indicates that even with the unknown factor of manna, halting a missile of this size will be next to impossible."

"I understand, Nadja. But I have to try," replied Christian, closing his eyes.

He visualized the missile as it came towards them in the center of his mind's eye. The first thing would be to redirect it and the second would be to detonate it. It would probably be best if he directed it back towards their attacker, but he was sure that Trident would most likely have anti-missile technology so the attack would be ineffective. Better to just redirect the missile and destroy it. He reached out with his mind, but nothing happened. He tried again, but still failed. Sweat beaded his brow as he realized that he had less than a minute to act.

You have the power, Christian...Don't be afraid. Hesitation will cause death. You must act now.

With a feeling of apprehension, Christian allowed the powers he had been holding back so long to flow through his body. At first they threatened to overwhelm and consume him, but the woman's voice guided him in the process and kept the energies from tearing his body apart. He directed those energies on the missile, and at the last second it sped upward and away from the port. After it was safely away from the port, Christian sent a way of combustive energy through the missile and it exploded in a burst of fire and light. The next moment, Christian opened his eyes, and yet they were a milky white. Without realizing what he was doing, he began to project his image...


Inside the cockpit of the Black Wing, Christian's image appeared, flickering like a hologram. He stared directly at Raven, his gaze haunting and piercing.

"I've disabled the missile you tried to destroy us with and I can do far more. If you value your life, you should leave this system and never return."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:39 am

The Blackwing halted in its approach and hovered just before the Garm's crash site. Inside the cockpit, Raven was surprised to see a holographic image of his target appear before him. But that was not the real surprise, he was being threatened by a greenhorn at manna usage. To him, a trained soldier, an elite of the elite to be asked to back down was laughable. But he did not want to show all his cards yet to them.

"I may have underestimated you Christian Wolfe, but that doesn't mean I came unprepared. It's a good thing you demonstrated your capabilities even just a bit when you were held captive by that inquisitor, that was very educational. Let me tell you this, as a fellow manna user, you have a long way to go before you can threaten someone like me."

Pressing a few buttons on his control panel, the Blackwing forced a video feed channel into the Kamikaze's system. It was a live footage of the Garm's wreckage still aflame. The Kamikaze crew on the bridge felt relieved as they saw a familiar figure crawling out of the Garm's cockpit.

It's the Captain! He's still alive!

Moments later, audio broke through the Kamikaze's system as well.

"Listen well you rebellious bunch, as you can see, Victor Wolfe is clinging to life. Should he live or die rests on your shoulders. Try anything funny and I will blast him to oblivion. Christian Wolfe... you did well in stopping my missile but can you stop me from killing your brother? Refuse to surrender and I will use manna to obliterate him. Now then Kamikaze, you have fifteen seconds to respond."

After terminating the connection, Raven began to surround his entire ship with a manna barrier. He had watched the video footage of Christian countless times while en route to Ethelas. He was able to conclude that Christian Wolfe is unstable and not in full control of his powers. The best approach to deal with him would be giving him no time to think and focus. That should be more than enough to keep him at bay. It was a gamble of course but for Trident, failure is not an option.


Lieutenant! What should we do!?

There was chaos in the bridge. Nobody expected to be put in a position where they would choose the fate of the Wolfe brothers in their hands. The time limit ticked by what seemed like an eternity as the Kamikaze bridge crew debated and contemplated on the best possible course of action. The life of the man they respected, the man who saved them all from the Empire, or that very same man's brother whom he cherished deeply? Hans, the man Victor left in charge could only look down with a grim expression.

Lieutenant! Time is running out! Your orders sir!?


Victor, still dazed and barely clinging to consciousness heard it all through his comms unit. He was being used as bait to lure his brother out into the Empire's clutches. He tried to contact the Kamikaze but it would seem his comms unit was damaged in the crash and he could only receive transmission. He never dreamed of this day and was surely unprepared for it. But now is not the time to contemplate on his lack of readiness, it was a time to act! But... what can he do? There was a weird barrier that was barely visible encasing the Blackwing and the time limit was but a mere few seconds. It was hopeless... almost.

Sudden images of their time in Gauff Tiar Archives suddenly surged in his mind. That very same moment when he injured himself and that weird liquid seeping into the wound. But why was he remembering this now? What was the significance behind it? Then the battle suit he wore began to slowly rise in temperature until he could see white smoke coming out of almost the entirety of the suit. It was followed by a sudden increase in his heart rate, perspiration and his senses. He could suddenly hear and feel it, everything around him from the wind rustling, the thrusters of the enemy ship, the earth shifting beneath his feet... everything in his proximity.

"W-what... is this?"

Then it stopped. Victor's eyes were wide open behind his helmet. There was nothing before him and yet he was seeing a computer interface clearly not of his helmet's visor. The interface seemed like it was processing something and Victor, despite the shock, read on what it was doing.

Class 4 identified...
Uploading combat data...
Adjusting unit power output...
Augmenting nano-enhancers to host...
Synchronizing units to host nerves...
Initializing SLAYER... failed.
Stabilizing host vitals...
Emergency Nano Repair...done.
Initializing SLAYER... complete.

Victor could not believe it. He felt good as new after what that system did to him, in fact, he was feeling stronger than before. Just as he was trying to sort things out, Raven's voice crackling through his comms unit caught his attention.

"Time's up Kamikaze! I guess the decision was to let-- what the?!"

He did not know how, but with a single leap, he was right before the Blackwing's cockpit staring directly at Raven's eyes. He could not believe he just jumped to this height but the chance was there, he was able to catch the enemy off-guard. Curling his right hand to a fist, Victor smashed through the barrier surrounding the Blackwing right through to the cockpit's canopy. He grabbed Raven by the neck and forcefully pulled him out.


L-Lieutenant!!! Look! T-The Captain!!

The bridge crew watched in surprise as they zoomed in on the enemy craft from their screen. They knew their eyes weren't lying but it was hard to comprehend seeing their Captain standing on the enemy ship's nose and holding the pilot outside by the neck.

What is going on?

Nadja who kept a close eye on things immediately informed Christian of the things that transpired.

"Christian, Victor is still fighting. Please hurry on your research. I do not understand how Victor did it but for now he is buying you time. Use it well."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:39 pm

Christian snapped back to reality, his image flickering from Raven's cockpit, as a video feed was forced through the Kamikaze's sensors and he viewed it on the room's viewing screen. His first emotion was relief at seeing his brother unharmed, but the second was terror as Raven threatened to destroy Victor. Shock coursed through him when Raven placed a manna shield around his own ship. Christian should have known that at least some of the members of Trident would be trained in manna abilities and they were far more adept at controlling their powers.


There was little time to think or react. Christian wasn't sure what the Trident member was capable of, and if he made a wrong a move it would be the end for his brother. The only thing left to do was to surrender...But then wouldn't the Empire destroy those who had helped him anyway? Wouldn't it be better to die fighting than to be killed in the Empire's prisons after torture and terror? Before he had any time to react, however, Victor suddenly sprang from the wreckage, seemingly unharmed. He somehow punched right through the manna barrier and grabbed Raven by the neck. Christian quickly went into action after Nadja informed him that Victor was buying him more time. Nadja was right. He needed to act immediately. Who knew what other tricks Raven had up his sleeve, considering he was a manna user. Even with Victor's newfound strength, Christian believed he'd be hard pressed to keep Raven back for long. There was no longer any time to contemplate the risks. He needed to create the wormhole himself. Nadja hadn't found any other power sources capable of assisting him. For once, he would trust the voice and try to accomplish this on his own. His greatest fear was that Raven would follow them through the wormhole, but they would just need to take one step at a time.

Christian carefully cupped the flower from Gauf Tiarr in his hands and closed his eyes. Again he envisioned the limitless energy of the cosmos, swirling around his body. In his mind's eyes, he saw the empty black space around them. In the back of his mind he could hear the woman's voice encouraging him and strengthening his resolve. He imagined a hole appearing in the midst of empty space, a vast vortex leading them to a safer place, their next destination. For a moment, nothing happened...Christian forced his powers into the flower he was holding, the conduit of energy. The energy dissipated into the sky and without warning, the wormhole appeared. Christian felt a brief flash of pain echo through his mind, but he ignored it, focusing again to create a shimmering manna barrier around the Kamikaze. At last everything was ready. It was now or never, because he wasn't sure how long he could hold the shield. Without moving or opening his eyes, he opened a communication channel to the bridge.

"Lieutenant...I've opened a wormhole to a safe location and have surrounded our ship with a manna barrier to keep it intact. We don't have much time because I'm not sure how long the wormhole will remain open or how long I can keep the barrier up. We need to pick up my brother and go."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:39 am

How is this possible?!

Raven's mind almost completely went blank after he was yanked out of his craft's cockpit. In this regard, Victor simply exceeded his expectations in all aspects and gave him quite the shock. Despite all that, he was able to immediately regain composure the very moment he felt pain in his neck thanks to Victor's death grip.

"Ggh!! H-how?!"

His training quickly kicking in, Raven forgot that he had his craft set on hover mode and that they were quite a ways up in the atmosphere. Survival instincts taking over, he immediately countered Victor's clutch with a blast of magic. He was unable to control the amount of power he used causing quite a huge explosion upon impact of his power on Victor. The result? Victor was blasted away in a cloud of gray smoke and the Blackwing's cockpit torn to shreds. The craft began to spiral out of control as it seemingly hurried to crash into the ground.

Leaping away from imminent danger, Raven regained his balance in mid-air and turned on the thrusters built in his combat suit boots to slow down a fatal descent. He kept his eyes trained on Victor's smoke covered body as it sped down to hard ground...

"I must admit, I lost my cool and forgot to hold back. No way you're going to survive a blast that strong... and even if you did, the fall will surely kill you this time! Victor Wolfe... not only did you manage to surprise me, you actually succeeded in stopping me. As expected of the man feared by the Emperor... a pity you had to go out like this."


Oh no! The Captain!

The crew once more was put in a state of worry after seeing Victor get blasted away. Everyone had horror in their hearts as they held their breath, waiting for the unthinkable for them. But their attention was drawn towards an audio transmission from the dock's command tower. They were glad to inform the bridge that the repairs had been completed and that the ship was ready for departure. The next transmission came from inside the ship, this one surprised the bridge crew even more...

"Lieutenant...I've opened a wormhole to a safe location and have surrounded our ship with a manna barrier to keep it intact. We don't have much time because I'm not sure how long the wormhole will remain open or how long I can keep the barrier up. We need to pick up my brother and go."

The bridge crew looked at each other with expressions that are quite hard to understand. Whether it was joy that they felt for being told that they now have a way out, or sadness for seeing the big brother of the one who told them that they will be safe who is now falling a thousand feet or more per second into hard ground, they did not really know. The pilot looked into the man Victor left in charge with worry clearly in his eyes.

Lieutenant, what should we do? I don't think Chris saw what just happened to the Captain, there's just no way he would survive a blast like that! And what's more... if we do come to pick him up... I don't thi--

Stop Corwin. The orders were given. We will pick the Captain up that's all there is to it. All hands prepare for launch! We'll take the Captain and get the hell out of here!

Hans then opened the line to Chris' room.

Understood Sir, we'll be leaving shortly, please prepare for launch procedures.

The ship's engines roared to life as it slowly disengaged the locks holding it in the dock slot. Ascending slowly to a safe altitude, it began to move forward where Victor's predicted crash point would be.


On the ground, Raven noticed the Kamikaze rise up into the atmosphere. The man couldn't help but admire the ship right before his eyes. They were already on their way out of his grasp and there he was, standing right in front of them unable to do anything. He took a quick look around him and found a burning pile of rubble which used to be his Blackwing and sighed in defeat.

"So much for failure is not an option huh? Victor Wolfe, you sacrificed yourself to ensure your brother and your crew's escape, admirable indeed."

Just as he glanced over to where Victor crashed, he noticed the Kamikaze's bearing and was stopped in surprise. "Of course! They have to recover your body! Then again Victor, it would seem like it's my win. I won't hand you over to them and I will use you to board that ship."

Immediately, Raven ran towards the direction of where Victor's body crashed with hope that he could still complete his mission. As he drew closer and closer, the man wondered why the smoke hasn't cleared yet and as he finally stood over the site, his eyes behind the dark amber visor suddenly widened in surprise.

"A life reading?! Seriously... this is insane! How tough is this guy?!"

Raven tapped his helmet a few times even though he was sure there was no damage to it. He just had a feeling, or rather he wanted to believe that his combat suit might have malfunctioned. Still getting the same life readings after a few seconds, he decided to do something about the smoke. Just as he was about to use magic to blow away the smoke, he was greeted by a flying knee attack coming out of it. Reacting just in time to put his guard up, Raven took the hit and skid a few feet back from the force of impact. He could feel both arms instantly going numb after that single hit.

"You?! Why?! Why are you still alive?"

He stared right into the spiting image of Victor in his severely damaged combat suit standing right before him. Victor's right arm, which the man used to try and block his magic is completely exposed, half his face was also exposed but what bothered Raven was Victor's left eye that stared fiercely at him making him feel like a hole is being bored right into his very being. There were other parts of Victor exposed from his combat suit but there were no signs of wounds on any of them. As it stands, though there were no traces of physical injuries on Victor, Raven still felt like he was facing off a cornered wolf. The pressure coming from the man before him was just too intense that Raven was starting to tremble.

"I don't know how you're still alive, but that look in your eye is starting to irritate me."

Victor in response removed his damaged helmet and stared at Raven with both eyes visible now. He threw the thing away and took one step forward, Raven took one step back in return.

"Then you better take a good look at my eyes right now... because this will be the last thing you'll ever see."

"Don't get so full of yourself!" Raven retorted and immediately channeled manna in his right hand. In a split second, he threw the concentrated ball of manna that shot like a bullet at Victor. His target though, simply spun around and landed a back fist at the ball of manna with perfect timing to deflect it away. What shocked Raven was the fact that Victor used his exposed right arm to do it and there was not a single scratch on him.

"It can't be! You can't use magic! There's just no way you would be able to deflect a pure manna ball like that with your bare fist!"

Victor smirked. "It's true. I am not blessed with Manna like you or my brother. How I did that just now is also beyond me, but the fact that I am able to do so is also true. This makes us even don't you think? I can fight you without having to worry about your magic."

"Heh! I thought I told you not to get cocky!" Raven then began to gather even more manna in his right fist. This time he added fire into the concentrated manna swirling in his fist. " You know Victor, this much concentrated manna is dangerous even for the user. I am going to give this everything I got! Sure, maybe you can deflect low level magic but this one... this one I'm not so sure."

Even from where he stood, Victor could clearly feel the sudden increase in heat around him. The fact that it was still steadily increasing told Victor that what this man had in his right fist was indeed dangerous. It came to a point where although not quite the same level as the one 'that' man wielded, the magic his opponent is wielding now pretty much reminded him of Blaze.

"Spacing out eh? I suggest you dodge, but it's not like I'm going to let you! Take THIS!"

That instant that the magic was hurled at him, in Victor's eyes again began to display words in rapid succession, like he had a built in computer in his head...

Incoming Class 9 Pyro...
Augmenting defense parameters... complete.
Increasing unit statistics... complete.
Healing protocol standby...

Not allowing himself to get lost in the moment trying to understand what it was he just saw, Victor took a defensive stance and braced for impact. The moment the magic hit, Victor felt searing pain and then he was engulfed in a huge explosion. The blast after the impact was more than enough to send Raven flying a good distance away.

As Raven watched the explosion, a smirk played in his lips. "That's everything I got Victor Wolfe... If you survive that, which I highly doubt you would... it will be your win." he muttered in exhaustion before falling on both knees. There was no way he would be able to complete his mission now given the state he is in, but if he can manage to take out Victor Wolfe, it would have been worth it.


Nadja's blue orb appearance made itself visible to the Kamikaze bridge crew.

"Li-Lieutenant, I lost control of the ship! It's Nadja, she's taken over the controls!"

A sudden tremor in the ship caused some of the standing crew in the bridge to lose balance. Hans managed to grab hold one of the chairs and kept himself standing and roared at the artificial intelligence.

Nadja! What the hell?!

The ship ai did not respond immediately but instead activated all of its weapon systems, the DM Cannon included.

Nadja! Damn it what is going on!

"While all of you act like Victor is already dead, I was able to detect a strong life signature from him until after that explosion from a distance. Right now, his vitals are rapidly decreasing and all of you are procrastinating. I do not want... to lose Victor."

Nadja denied answers to any of the following questions from the bridge crew after her statement and her blue orb image vanished from the bridge.

Lieutenant... I think Nadja is angry at us.

Corwin, just sit tight and let her do what she wants. We should have not assumed anything until we have seen it with our own eyes. After all, that was one of our Captain's guiding principles and we, in the heat of the moment, forgot it. If anything... I feel ashamed to be lectured by Nadja.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:40 am

Christian hadn't realized that his brother had been sent spiraling from Raven's ship, so intent was he on keeping up the manna barrier. It wasn't until the woman spoke in his mind did he realize just how dangerous a situation his brother was in.

Christian...your brother is in grave danger. Extend your senses...

The youth knew his brother was fighting a member of Trident, and that alone should have given him cause for worry. Continuing to focus on the manna shield, he allowed his mind to reach out and felt that his brother was alive and still miraculously unharmed. He was so focused he barely heard Hans' response to his orders. He felt surges of emotion and energy as Raven and his brother traded blows. It seemed that even when his brother was hurt, the injuries automatically healed of their own occur. The power from both sides was immense, and he silently urged the Kamikaze to land to pick up his brother faster. Without warning, there was a rather large burst of manna and fire energy that engulfed his brother. Chris found himself crying out in anguish, terrified for his brother's safety. He heard Nadja's voice over the comm system as she continued to bring the ship closer. With his sense still extended, however, he could feel that Victor was still alive. Somehow he had been able to survive a blast of pure manna imbued with fire energy. Just how strong had Victor become? Was he somehow able to use manna as well? Chris cleared his mind of the thought, realizing what he needed to do. From his rudimentary sensing abilities, he could tell the Trident member was still alive but had very little power left. If ever there was a time to act, it was now. But what could he do?

You can do anything you set your mind to, Christian. Manipulate the very atoms of your body. Go to him.

But the shield...I can't maintain it.

Yes you can, Christian. The only limits you have are the ones you set.

Christian took a deep breath, focusing as much as he could on Victor's faint energy signature. His body shifted and warped before disappearing completely. A moment later Christian found himself beside his brother, miraculously still alive even though he was surrounded by a crater that had been formed by the overwhelming amount of manna and fire energy. The boy's gaze was unsteady and unfocused at the amount of power he was channeling, but he determined to return his brother to the ship and to safety. Once again he focused, this time surrounding himself and his brother with a blanket of power. For a moment, nothing happening, then they both were warped back to Christian's room. With some effort, Christian lifted his brother onto the bed and then opened a comm channel.

Hans. Nadja. I have Victor on board. He's weak but alive. We need to enter the wormhole now. I don't know how much longer it will stay open or how much longer I can maintain the shield around our ship.

There was a constant buzzing in the back of his mind, and he felt as if he might lose consciousness at any minute. But he couldn't just stand there with his brother in the condition he was. He had no way of knowing the newfound regenerative abilities his brother now possessed. And so held out his hands and allowed a controlled burst of healing energy to sweep over Victor. Hopefully it would be enough...

Christian sunk to his knees, taking deep breaths, the prolonged effort of using so much manna beginning to take its toll. Now he was beginning to show physical signs of exhaustion, his breath coming in gasps and his head exploding with pain. They needed to get through the wormhole quickly...

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:18 pm

"Detecting time space anomaly a few clicks to the north, setting course for it now. All crew, brace for jump into the wormhole."

Nadja's voice echoed throughout the ship and the thrusters roared in full blast as the Kamikaze headed straight for the wormhole Christian created. The crew was relieved to hear that Chris managed to get his brother, their captain, to the safety of the ship. Lieutenant Hans stared fiercely at the monitor that displayed the image of that Trident member who almost took out their captain. In his mind, he was trying to piece the puzzle together, about why a man of this caliber were hunting them down. He looked around the bridge and noticed the expressions of the people with him. It would seem it's not just him who had questions in mind.

The Kamikaze approached the wormhole and as the ship's crew all braced themselves for entering the unknown, the ship made its way inside under the protection of the manna barrier...


Location: Ethelas Orbit

The Archer, and a small portion of Admiral Jainus' gate defense fleet loomed over the small shipyard planet in wait of the Kamikaze. The Empire had succeeded in partially restoring functionality to the gate that Victor and his crew disabled. They were immediately issued orders for an entrapment operation by the Emperor and would serve as backup for Raven.

Inside the bridge of the Archer, a man with sapphire blue hair, wildly arranged sat at the commander's chair twiddling his fingers in wait. Despite being affiliated with the Empire, this man dressed more like a space pirate, and the eye patch that covered his right eye only served to make him look like a fierce pirate. His one good eye kept a keen observation at the readings of the planet.

It would seem a small skirmish broke out with the Blackwing and the Kamikaze sir.

The commander's response was only but a small sigh. He shifted his gaze over the man at the radar station. "The Blackwing got shot down correct?" The man nodded in response to his commander's question.

Not only that Commander Sigfried, there's also a time space anomaly within the planet, big enough to allow passage to a ship the size of the Kamikaze. Our target is heading there now, probably a drastic measure to escape.

Sigfried stood from his seat and slammed his left fist at the nearest console. "That idiot! Trident my ass! Elite of the elites?! Don't make me laugh! He couldn't even put up a decent fight! He just got himself run over by that wolf!"

The vice commander, an alluring woman who dressed more like a model Empire soldier, waved her long dark hair back before crossing her arms in front of her chest. She had a smirk playing on her lips, seemingly mocking both the Trident member and her commander.

"Commander, need I remind you not to underestimate our enemy? He used to be one of the Empire's rising stars after all... and he bested us once too. It would be prudent to not only take caution but ample aggressiveness as well."

Sigfried turned his head to the right where his vice commander stood. "So you're telling me that instead of waiting here under orders, I should have take initiative is that right?"

"Yes. Although our long range tracking and targeting system is still under repair and we lost about more than half our battle power, we are still a force to be reckoned with. Had we descended Ethelas, it wouldn't have been this easy for them to escape."

Sigfried slapped his right palm on his face. "Mildred, why didn't you say something about this sooner? Now how am I supposed to save face for this failed mission?"

"But commander, I believe your exact words were, I am the commander of this ship! My orders are absolute."

Sigfried sighed as he watched the Kamikaze vanish from their radar.


Location: Unknown
Ship: Kamikaze

Victor slipped in and out of consciousness. In his mind, he was still engulfed by that huge explosion. He groaned in pain as he turned in his sickbed. The good doctor Mizaki immediately tended to him, comforting him with another shot of pain killers. When he was sure that Victor felt relief, the doctor made his way back to his microscope to analyze a sample of Victor's blood.

"Fascinating... truly remarkable."

Nadja's blue orb hovered near the professor, as if trying to see what he was so scientifically happy about. Doctor Mizaki, like a child given some candy had a gleeful expression on his face as he turned to face Nadja's blue orb. He would have, if possible, let Nadja take a peek under the microscope but remembered that she was nothing more than a simple hologram.

"What is it doctor?"

Doctor Mizaki took the glass slide from under the microscope and placed it on another device that projected his findings on screen. "This my dear artificial intelligence, is another finding of a lifetime! Lost technology! Victor's body is currently being healed by these highly advanced nano-machines integrated into every cell he has!"

"Then why hasn't he regained consciousness yet?"

"Nadja, Nadja, Nadja... the extent of damage Victor received from his fight is immense. Him in this state is a sort of miracle as it is! Any other person would have been obliterated and turned to dust! These nano-machines healed him at an astonishing rate while he took the brunt of the attack. You should have seen him earlier when he was first brought here. Some parts of his body were... let's just say... too exposed. But look at him now, aside from minor burns and physical wounds, he is mostly restored and healing quite well."

"I see. Doctor, I should have been able to detect these foreign bodies when it entered the ship, but I am not able to do so with these machines. Why is that?"

"It would take more time to analyze these things. Perhaps when Victor wakes up, we might find some answers. Could you please inform Christian that his brother is stable now. He should be back up on his feet in no time."

"Understood. Informing Christian Wolfe now."

"Oh Nadja, by any chance, where are we now?"

"While I am uncertain about where the wormhole will lead to, our present location has already been established. We are safely orbiting planet Ucrade Doctor Mizaki."

The Doctor was surprised at the result of their wormhole jump. "Ucrade?! My my, we can never rely on jumping wormholes after all. We've been thrown too far off the galaxy charts! In any case, I will continue to monitor Victor for now. I guess with our captain in this state, there's not much we can do but wait is there?"

"Not necessarily. Christian Wolfe has been designated by Victor as the next in line for command of the ship should he be deemed unfit or unable to continue his duty."

Last edited by Ethereal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:24 am

When they at last made it through the wormhole, Christian finally allowed the manna barrier to dissipate. Doctor Mizaki took his brother to the sick bay to care for him. Christian took a few moments to rest, but sooner than he thought the pain and exhaustion left his body. He was just going to get up and check on his brother when Nadja's holographic image appeared.

"Christian Wolfe. The doctor requested me to inform you that your brother is in a stable condition. In addition, because Victor Wolfe is not fit for duty at the moment, you are next in line for command of the ship. What are you orders?"

Christian felt relief that his brother was stable. He still wasn't sure how it had happened as Victor had been struck with pure manna. From all accounts, that much energy would have destroyed a lesser man. But Victor was strong, and Christian felt that it would take a lot more to put his brother out of commission. He looked at Nadja in confusion for a moment when she mentioned that he was second in command, but then he nodded.

"I understand. Nadja....what planet did the wormhole take us to?" asked Christian.

"We are now orbiting the planet of Ucrade."

Well...that was where he had personally wanted to go, but he hadn't wanted to drag the whole crew and the ship with him. Apparently Ucrade had been so prevalent in his mind, it had shaped where the wormhole had taken them. It seemed that he had a lot to learn about wormhole travel and manipulating the wormhole to take one to a specific destination.

"What are your orders, Christian?" Nadja asked patiently.

Christian hesitated, trying to decide what to do. He knew that Ucrade held part of the key to understanding his powers, but he felt that most likely whatever was on Ucrade would be dangerous. He didn't want to drag the whole crew into the situation, but he wasn't sure they would allow him to leave the ship alone. The prudent thing to do would be to run a full scan of the system before they made any decisions.

"Nadja, direct the crew to run a full scan of the planet. I want to investigate it, but we need to know what's down there first," said the boy.

"Understood. Running a full scan now..."

Christian Wolfe...

A voice flickered in Christian's mind, though this time there was no uncomfortable change in vision or body temperature. Wait...this time? Had it happened before? Christian was sure...

Who...are you?

This time Christian reached back with his mind.

I am Sigarda, a guardian of this planet. I have been waiting for you for a long time. You are special, Christian. You will restore the power of manna and free us from the clutches of the Empire. But you still have much to learn before you are ready for so great a challenge. I can help you. There is an item of great power I hold that I am to pass on to you, and a trial that you must pass that will also enhance your powers tenfold. I have transmitted my coordinates to your mind. Find me, Christian. You may bring the others, but they will not be able to help you in your trial. Furthermore...

Sigarda's voice was suddenly cut off, however, and Christian felt a brief flash of pain. What did that mean? Though he had never met the woman before, there was something in him that felt like she was in danger and that she needed his help.

"Nadja, set us down at these coordinates," Christian said quickly, typing the set of numbers into the coordinates.

"Christian Wolfe. Be advised that I was not able to get an accurate reading of the planet. The canopy of the forest is so thick I was not able to get accurate readings. We will be flying blind."

"That's alright. I'm sure these coordinates are safe," replied Christian.

"Records indicate that the Empire tried to land on this planet numerous times and were destroyed. Survival chances are very low."

Christian hesitated, but then spoke again, "We need to risk it. Someone is in danger down there and I need to help them."

"As you command, Christian. I will inform the crew."


Deep Space: Unknown System
Planet: Uknown

"Sigarda reports that the ship bearing Christian Wolfe is orbiting Ucrade, Master Fargus. She will deliver the Mox Emerald to him and he will be able to complete the trial, which will begin the process of unlocking his full potential. And soon, he will come to us."

"Very good Master Kordjan," replied an elderly gentleman dressed in snow white robes that blended with his frosty beard, "Very soon the boy will realize his destiny. If only my brother hadn't been so foolhardy...This could all have been avoided."

"Master Vorosh was very foolish," sighed Kordjan, "If he had only fulfilled his mission properly, we could have perhaps had Christian here with us much sooner without having to worry about the ship and its crew. But it is of little concern. Having them on our side will surely help us in our fight against the Empire."

"Agreed," replied Fargus, "But...we must be careful not to alienate the boy. Acting as if he is a tool, a means to the end, will only cause him to distrust us. And if we lose his trust, he may very well turn on us and we would be hard pressed to combat such power. Besides, he is still only a child and must be lost and confused. He needs compassion and understanding more than anything."

"We've had this discussion before, Master Fargus," replied Kordjan patiently, "And while I have sworn to be as gentle as possible, he must be made to see the importance of our fight against the Empire, one way or another. The Empire grows in strength every day, and it is only a matter of time before they find our base. If Christian Wolfe will not fight for us willingly, other means must be employed to ensure his cooperation."

"But..." began Fargus, though he was cut off as Mira burst into the room.

"Master Kordjan. Caralis has just received a message from Sigarda. Ucrade is under attack by the Empire. They have come with new machines and weaponry that fight even the Living Forest. She is not sure she can fend them off his time."

Kordjan stood up, gripping the table tightly, "No...they must not be allowed to destroy centuries of preparation! Send the Manna Fighters and the Soulreaver to deal with them."

Mira nodded and bowed her head, "As you command."

"And so the conflict begins...I wonder how it will end..." mused Fargus.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:20 pm

Location: The Empire, 23rd Special Operations Division HQ

The planet Ucrade itself have become legend among the ESF soldiers. Every time the Empire issues orders for securing the planet, it would end up in failure and those that make it back, the 'chosen few' or the 'lucky devils' as the others in the ESF dubbed, will either go into rehabilitation or completely retire. The name Ucrade itself struck fear into the hearts of the soldiers of the Empire, but what caused more fear than the name were the stories of those who survived...

The planet itself is alive!

We thought we came prepared but were decimated in an instant...

That planet is cursed!

I've never seen anything like it... I was lucky I got out!

Right from the start it felt wrong... stepping foot on that planet is suicide!

Among those stories that spread like wildfire, one became popular with the senior soldiers, it was the story of the living forest. They use it to scare the new recruits unlucky enough to be assigned to the one division dedicated by the Empire to take Ucrade, the 23rd Special Operations Division. Directly funded by the Emperor's Inner Circle, this division will take anything they can get their hands on and throw it at Ucrade while learning everything they can from the outcome of the battle. They have their own R&D section that handles mostly upgrades to current Empire technology made available only to the members of the 23rd S.O.D. In exchange for taking part in the effort to take Ucrade, the members of the SOD get to play with the toys for the big boys and other special perks within the Empire. Sometimes they were envied, most often they were pitied. After all, the soldiers do agree that the perks they get were just there so they wouldn't think of how short their lifespan would be.

The structure of the 23rd S.O.D. is simple enough. Losing soldiers left and right were everyday business so they did not bother with creating a long chain of command. Soldiers were divided into Unit, each Unit with twenty-nine soldiers, one captain and a number designated to separate them from the rest. The higher the Unit number, the newer they were, it was easier tracking their losses that way. Even though they had the best gear a soldier of the Empire could hope for, they were still outmatched by the inhabitants of Ucrade, or it would be precise to say they were no match for users of Manna.

General Croix, a war veteran of the ESF was tasked with handling the 23rd S.O.D. His prior accomplishments were nothing but exemplary during his time with the ESF, thus warranting him command of this operation theater. A man who fears nothing, a ruthless soldier in the field and a genius tactician, he was the man that allowed the Empire to set up a base in Ucrade. Victory at all costs was his motto and his soul belief. Both respected and feared, this man will do anything in his power to attain the planet. One such deed is Operation Quagmire which they were undertaking now. As the name suggests, the operation is to soften the footing of Ucrade's hostile inhabitants.

The plan was to deploy their newest weapons in nothing but a simple test of Ucrade's response to them. Should the opportunity arise in the operation, they would strike while the iron is hot. The weapons deployed include bipedal mechs developed in secret, they were codenamed Walkers. These Walkers were made with special alloy coated with the latest Liquid Reflection Technology (LRT) based on Manna properties. Standing a good thirty feet tall, these bulky units are heavily armed with miniature reactive warheads in missile pods from both legs, arms, chest and shoulders. They are the 23rd SODs artillery units. MkII Riders are also deployed, agile hoverbikes modified with LRT plating and improved laser weaponry and an additional gravity cannon mounted at the back to compensate for the lack of firepower the predecessor had. To avoid loss of speed and agility with the addition of the new cannon, the MkII Rider engine was also fine-tuned for more output thus exponentially increasing its already high speed and agility. These units will serve as the main attack force.

The infantry units were given the Aegis Battle Suits specially designed to counter magic attacks. These suits also have the same LRT slightly modified to activate on command so as to save the battle suit's energy reserves. Although designed with light material to avoid encumbering the soldiers, the Aegis Battle Suits were also made to withstand heavy explosions in mind. One would think such a light suit would serve little protection but the ABS is incredibly sturdy. Fully outfitted with the latest life support systems, these suits also incorporate a system that allows physical boosts to a soldier's own abilities in terms of strength and speed. With a simple thought command to the suit's neuro-controller, a soldier can instantly tell the suit to increase strength or speed depending on the situation and the soldier's needs. The downside of the suit is its high energy usage which was compensated by attaching energy packs to the back of the suit and an ample supply of energy cores attached to the suit's belt.

The standard issue Ravenstein Rifles were also modified with new technology. Improving the rifle's core design, the R&D section was able to not only increase the rifle's range, they were also able to increase the rifle's power and already deadly accuracy. In addition to the improvements on the rifle was the creation of a new type of ammunition. Combining bullet and laser techs respectively, the 23rd SOD's R&D section developed a new type of ammo for the rifle, Solid Laser or dubbed as SL Rounds by the soldiers. Initially starts as energy, the ammo solidifies after being shot out from the rifle resulting in not only adding the impact of a bullet to laser shots but a small explosion upon impact as well. They were made with the intent to deal with a magic user's manna shield.

"What is the status of the new weapons Major Schneider?"

Armed and ready to deploy General, awaiting your command.

"Good. We have fifty Walkers, one hundred MkII Riders and two hundred soldiers correct?"

Yes sir. But if I may speak freely sir, I have a question.

"Very well. Speak."

The number of forces we're deploying, isn't it a bit too much for a field testing operation?

"Major Schneider, while it is true that we are going to test the new weapons, Operation Quagmire's true motive is to weaken the Ucrade resistance we are facing. Should the opportunity arise, we shall switch from test mode to full assault."

But why this many General?

"Major, we need to get optimal results. Our opponent should be made to fight ferociously don't you think? We're not deploying this much for mere target practice for them, we'll make them fight for their lives."

I see. I understand General. Should I put 'them' on point sir?


If I may sir, if we are aiming for optimal results with a chance of this operation turning into full assault, in my best judgement, I think we should deploy veterans as the lead for this op. I'm talking about the 23rd SOD's Unit 4 sir.

"Hmm... Unit 4 eh? They're hotshot rascals yet they are the only single digit team we have left intact here in the 23rd SOD. You make a valid point Major Schneider. I wish to save them for last since they are highly skilled soldiers but I will consider your proposal. Very well then, deploy Unit 4 and have them take command in the field. That is all Major."

Understood. Major Schneider out.

Location: Planet Ucrade, 23rd S.O.D. Forward Ops Base

In the East side of the base, a lone group of soldiers were gathered in a circle. The left shoulder patch they had on their suits indicated the number four under the 23rd SOD's emblem. Since the start of the Ucrade campaign and when the 23rd Special Ops Division was just newly formed, these soldiers were the fourth unit to be drafted into the SOD's division. Although they were lesser in number than they originally were, this unit had survived a great many hardships in Ucrade from day to day skirmishes against the local inhabitants of the planet. While each individual in the unit started out as a rookie, the experiences they had in the planet tempered them to become hardened veterans able to quickly adapt to survive mostly anything the planet threw at them. These soldiers became a legend of their own among the 23rd SOD and stories about them even reached the regular ESF.

Admired by many among their fellow SOD soldiers, they don't socialize with other units and mostly keep to themselves. This was their way of dealing with the sheer amount of losses they suffer every time they make a move to take the planet. Better not to make friends here so as you won't lose any. Such were the words of Unit 4's captain, Lucas Grim after losing many of his friends including his best buddy from Unit 2. While many among the newer SOD soldiers think they are a bunch of snobbish hotshots, those who knew their story would immediately tell them otherwise. In the field they are ruthless, in the base they are as silent as a lamb. Those who witnessed their unit's prowess cannot help but feel admiration for their remarkable tenacity and teamwork. Before they knew it, Unit 4 led by captain Lucas had become a symbol of hope for many of the 23rd Special Ops Division.

One of Unit 4's members, a tall muscular man with gray hair can't help but fidget. "Cap, I can't believe they're sending us out to test these toys. As if they didn't know better about this planet!"

"Keep your cool Benning. Give these toys a chance. Have you read the manual on these things? They are surely remarkable if I say so myself." Lucas replied while stroking one of the MkII Riders issued to them.

"Bahh... LRT my ass! That's the same thing they said about the older weapons they developed and issued us! These things are all the same, what these things do at best is get us killed." said another man who wore glasses and had long silky black hair.

"Regretting that you joined the 23rd Jaq?" asked a beautiful woman who sat on one of the MkII Riders with a bored look in her eyes.

The roar of the engine on one of the riders broke their conversation as another member of their unit throttled the vehicle to maximum. The sound fell to silence shortly after he cut the engine, his face portraying sheer excitement. "These hoverbikes have been tuned really well! They made several mods to the engine I bet this thing could fly if we attach wings to it!"

The beautiful woman sitting on one of the riders shifted her gaze over to the man excited with his new toy. "That's very mature of you Tak. Can't you see we're talking here?"

"Oh come on Bryn, aren't you excited to see what these things can actually do? It's been a while since we got weapon upgrades you know? Plus this Gravity Cannon..." Tak trailed off, seemingly drooling at the sight of the mounted cannon.

"You're hopeless... if you have nothing better to say, just stay quiet like Fillio over there." Bryn said and got off the hoverbike.

Another man was checking out the new Ravenstein Rifle and its new ammunition. He had a grin on his lips as he checked out the rifle's scope. "Perfect magnification levels, it's scary to think they almost made this like an assault sniper rifle. This should prove useful in dealing with those things in that forest."

"Sheesh... and I thought Fillio doesn't have something useless to say. Guys, no matter how much firepower we pack, there's just no taking this planet! Just how much more death does the Empire have to see before they give up on Ucrade?" Bryn burst out in anger.

"Alright people, that's enough. Bryn, we promised didn't we? To the people we have lost on this planet, to our friends and loved ones that died trying to claim this land, that we'd see this through. If not take the planet, at least kill the bastards that got them. These new weapons might help us do that. Don't lose sight of our true intent. It's almost time. Where are the trio and the others?" Lucas asked.

"Sorry Cap... I lost my cool. I can't help but get angry knowing that the Empire and the 23rd are sending out more soldiers to their deaths. The trio and seven others went to their respective Walkers sir, Rigald's sniper squad is waiting in the launch bay with the other MkII Riders."

"Anger is good Bryn, use it to fuel your drive to reach your goal-- our goal. Ucrade is relentless and so should we. People, we're in command of this operation in the field. We're going to show the newbies how we do it! Which Units will be coming with us in this Op Fillio?"

The man scoped the other units prepping for the operation at the other side of the base. "Units 165 to 172 Cap. If you ask me, they might as well send us alone rather than have those rookies come. They'll just slow us down."

"Nahh... Command says we need to get optimal results for the new weaponry. Ucrade's defensive response won't be satisfactory for the R&D if we go in with just one unit. According to them, we need to get them to fight seriously so they can gauge where our technology stands against them now." Lucas replied and got on his hoverbike.

Bryn and the others did the same and started their engines. "Captain..." Bryn called out. "There's more to this op than just testing the new weapons right?" she asked.

Lucas looked over his left shoulder and into Bryn's eyes. "Sharp as always. You're right, this Op might turn into a full assault should these new weapons prove to be effective. That's why they're sending in so many. Also, there's a ship orbiting this planet not affiliated to the Empire. While details are not provided to me, Major Schneider asked our unit to be on the lookout for them. It would seem they are about to descend Ucrade."

"I knew it... Okay, it's time. Let's get this show on the road Cap!"

Unit 4's remaining members throttled their bikes to maximum and proceeded to the launch bay. They only had a few more minutes remaining before the operation starts.


Location: Kamikaze, Sick Bay

Nadja's blue orb hologram hovered around Victor while he was fast asleep on one of the beds. Most of the scars have vanished by now and he looked like he was never injured, he was sleeping peacefully. Doctor Mizaki couldn't help but notice the artificial intelligence's strange display of behavior.

"Nadja, might I ask what you are doing?"

The hologram immediately moved away from Victor's face and hovered over to the good Doctor. "I am merely examining Victor's vitals and physical condition doctor."

"I see. But you can do that anytime you want right? And I already told you he'll be fine. To be honest with you, I lost count of how many times you popped into this room to check on him."

"That's true but... why hasn't he regained consciousness yet? His vitals are stable, his stress levels are normal, there are no functional errors in his implants, all indications point to him being fully recovered. I don't understand doctor."

"The way I see it Nadja, you are seriously concerned for Victor. I'm sure you know this but the human body require at least six hours of sleep. In Victor's case, with his implants, he only needs a few hours, two at most and he should be fully rested. I belie--"

"It's already three hours Doctor. He's still asleep. Christian Wolfe ordered us to descend into Ucrade and the crew is questioning me for the boy's reason for this descent. I don't know what to tell them. I found nothing of interest upon repeated scans of the planet."

The Doctor sighed. "Nadja, I and this ship's crew trust both Victor and Christian Wolfe. Have you forgotten that in the past, our missions would be analyzed by Christian before Victor discusses it with the crew? Chris would formulate a strategy with the highest probability of success which if I may add, you always agreed to. Whatever his reason is for having us descend to Ucrade, I'm sure it's a good one. The way I see it, I think you just miss Victor isn't that right Nadja?"

"I do not understand that emotion Doctor. How does missing someone work?"

"W-Well... I uhh... I am a man of science but human emotions is not my field of expertise. If I should explain it in a simple manner, missing someone would be like not being able to eat your favorite food for a long time."

"I am an artificial intelligence, I do not require food nourishment."

"W-Well then... it would be like--"

Like what you are doing now. You express concern and think of that person a lot, then you have an urge to just see that person or hear that person's voice. That's what it's like to miss someone.

"Victor! When did you wake up?" asked a startled Doctor Mizaki.

"Since the start of your conversation. Nadja, sorry I worried you. I'm fine now."

Victor tried to get up but Doctor Mizaki immediately rushed over to stop him. "Let me run some more tests on you before you go Victor."

"Doc, I'm fine. More importantly, we are descending Ucrade as per my brother's command right? Nadja, what did he say about this?"

"All he told me was that there is someone that needs his help."

Victor fell into silence. In his mind, he tried to think of anyone he knew, any of his contacts or clients that headed over to Ucrade. Nobody fit the bill. After a few moments of silent contemplation, Victor got up from his sick bed and looked at Nadja's hologram.

"I want you to run another full geographical scan of the planet. This time, I need you to integrate heat recognition with motion sensors."

"Processing integration... Scanning... What exactly are you looking for Victor?"

"Empire Forces."

The Doctor stopped and looked at Victor seriously. "We have been in orbit around the planet for several hours while you were asleep. Nadja ran numerous scans of this planet and found no traces of the Empire here."

"No, they are here. Before I left the ESF, I have heard talk about the Empire forming a division dedicated to taking Ucrade. It wouldn't hurt to be on the safe side. Nadja, display a live feed of your findings on screen please."


Victor carefully looked at the image of Ucrade and slowly spun it around, carefully examining each signature he lays eyes upon. "There it is! Heat signatures moving in a large group. Looks like we're walking into a battle. Nadja, inform everybody to stay on alert level two."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:58 am

As the ship descended, Christian closed his eyes, concentrating on trying to find any flicker of life, but there still seemed to be some kind of dampening effect on his abilities. He could feel...something in the forests below, but it was as if manna scattered away from them as soon as he tried to touch them with his power.

Break through the barrier, Christian. The foolish designs of technology are no match for you.

Christian took a deep breath, calming himself and allowing his senses to extend...Full awareness exploded in his mind as he realized a large force was heading directly for the area. He expected another group somewhere in the vicinity. Wouldn't the locals be defending their planet? After all, Nadja said the Empire had never made a successful assault on Ucrade. Yet all he could sense was a single person, standing within the forest. A moment later, warning lights flashed as the ship was placed under level 2 alert. A quick check with his manna abilities revealed what he already knew: Victor had awoken. His first thought was to rush to his brother, but he sensed the Empire forces were closing in on the lone defender of the forest quickly. There was little time for thought. He had to act. He quickly opened up a secure channel to his brother.

"Victor! I'm so glad you're awake! But listen...I can sense that one person is trying to hold off the entire Empire squad down there. I'm going to help her."

He knew his brother wasn't going to like the plan, but Chris reasoned that if this person was a manna user as he suspected, together they would prove to be quite a powerful force. The youth closed his eyes, focusing on the terrain below. The white energy of manna surrounded his body, pulling him through space until he reached the forest underbrush. Trees surrounded him, glistening with an emerald light. Exotic plants grew from hidden nooks and crevices. The call of startled animals could be heard as the Empire forces continued their unrelenting march. Never before had Christian seen so much flora and fauna in one place.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" whispered an ethereal voice, a gentle feminine voice.

Christian whirled around to find himself face to face with a young woman, who looked to be just a little bit older than him. She had eyes the color of sapphires, and her hair seemed to be as spun gold as it fell past her waist. She was clothed in a loose fitting garment that seemed to change colors every-time he looked at it and her wrists were adorned with bracelets.

"Christian...I have been waiting for you for so long," smiled the woman, bowing her head, "Oh my...within hold the spirit of the Lady Mother. I am honored to be in such a wondrous presence. My name is Sigarda, and I am the caretaker of this planet."

Christian finally found his voice, "Sigarda...Yes, this place is beautiful. are in danger! The forces of the Empire are closing in on you as we speak!"

"I am not worried," laughed Sigarda, and her laughter was like the peal of bells, "Especially not now that you are with me."

Her words were cut off as a bolt of laser energy grazed her neck to slam into a tree. Her eyes filled with purpose and she suddenly took Christian's hand.

"Extend your senses, Christian. Feel the planet beneath you. Here, more than any other place, you will feel an abundance of manna. You can do anything you set your mind to. The forces of the Empire are petty, and of no concern to us," she laughed.

Christian hesitated, but then did as she said. Immediately his mind was awash with a myriad of lights and colors. Manna at its purest permeated the planet to its very core. Here there was very little in the way of technology, and the Empire's forces were the only dark blots on what was mostly a pristine, pure canvas.

This is what all planets should feel like, my child. We must restore the glory of manna, of the universe. them your power!

Christian opened his eyes, but this time they were completely white. Both he and Sigarda were filled with a haze of energy and power. As the first line of Empire troops came towards them, a burst of pure manna shot forward from their bodies, obliterating them completely. The next line was a bit hardier, however, and somehow managed to reflect the manna sent their way. Without warning, water suddenly sprang from the earth, drenching much of the machinery, and sending it crashing into trees. Moments later, the trees and plants themselves came alive. Vines and branches swung at offending Empire forces, and creatures large and small began to tear into the remaining forces. Without seeming to use a conscious thought, Christian and Sigarda used their powers to tear a gaping chasm into the ground, swallowing most of what remained of the Empire's floundering forces.

Unfortunately, they didn't sense the attack from behind. A burst of energy somehow tuned to ignore the effect of manna sped through the manna barrier to strike Sigarda in the shoulder. She gasped and fell to the ground, dropping Christian's hand. Christian knelt beside her, only to find that both he and Sigarda were surrounded by a small group of Empire forces, guns held at the ready.

"Don't move. For your crimes against the Empire, you are under arrest," ordered one of the soldiers.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:02 am

Location: Kamikaze, Ucrade atmosphere

"Victor! I'm so glad you're awake! But listen...I can sense that one person is trying to hold off the entire Empire squad down there. I'm going to help her."

His brother's words echoed within his mind over and over as Victor watched the battle from a safe distance. He had forbidden his ship from entering the combat space and gave strict orders to just observe. The battle itself was brutal. Even with miniature reactive warheads at their disposal, the Empire forces were still decimated left and right. The death count rises with every minute against only two magic users.

Victor was on edge. Nobody dared to talk to him while he had a grim expression on his face. He was irritated that Chris took action on his own without thinking things through first. It was just unlike his brother to do such things recklessly.

C-captain... looks like it's over. The battle just stopped.

Victor's eyes darkened, his right hand curling into a fist. Right then and there he knew that the magic user Chris was trying to help lost to the Empire forces. The Kamikaze crew was in awe as they looked at the level of destruction the battle caused to the land. The ground torn apart, riddled with craters from the reactive warheads, foliage burning intensely and a nearly blackened atmosphere because of the smoke from destroyed machines.

I-I've never seen such a battle before... the Empire's new machines sure is something. But for Chris to lose to such a small number of forces is... he's capable of disabling the Archer right? So why?! Why is this happening?!

Captain! We should go now! We might still make it in time to save Chris!

Victor paused. He was gritting his teeth so hard he could taste blood in his mouth. Of course he wanted to go! That's his little brother down there! But with the Empire having displayed such firepower under their disposal, it would be very dangerous to enter combat with them now even with their severe losses.

"No. We're staying here."

Everybody was surprised at Victor's words. Even Nadja who was already in the process of formulating an attack strategy stopped. Hans turned around and faced Victor.

With all do respect Captain Victor, that's your little brother down there.

Victor slammed his right fist on the nearest console. "It's exactly because my little brother is down there that we can't go recklessly like he did Lieutenant Hans! Everybody saw the firepower of the Empire's new machines! They just defeated a skilled magic user! What do you think our ship can do?"

C-captain, we should still try!

"No Corwin. The Kamikaze is not built for atmospheric combat. Even if we did try, the best we could accomplish is get shot down or get captured. Either way, we'll just become a burden for Chris."

Are you saying we should just abandon your brother?!

"For now..."

B-but captain!

Doctor Mizaki who was also at the bridge listening to the argument between crew members decided to butt in. "If I may, I would like to agree with the captain's decision. Nobody else in this room feels a much more greater desire to save their brother but Captain Victor I believe. It's just that he has to also consider the safety of everybody else on his ship. Surely you must know that the Captain cannot afford to act selfishly like what his brother did by going in without a plan."

But Doc, still! I think if there's a small chance we should take it!

"Corwin, Hans, don't you understand what your captain wants? He doesn't want to risk his brother for a small chance. Your captain wants to absolutely save him. You heard what he said right, the Empire will not kill magic users that easily if they can help it. I'm sure Chris will be taken captive."

There was silence in the bridge for a while, everybody pondering on the good doctor's words. Victor broke the silence by deciding to share a piece of his mind to the crew.

"I have never seen Chris take the first step on his own until now. Ever since he was a child, he always depended on me. But when he found out he could use magic, he has been distraught, uncertain of who he is, his purpose and his goal. While I would want to always be there for my brother, there are times when he just has to learn the consequences of his own actions, to find a way to solve problems with his own power. Even without magic, I believe my brother is strong. I'm sure he will not give in to the Empire that easily."

Nadja's hologram hovered to the right side of Victor. "I have analyzed the context of your words Victor. It would seem like you want to teach Chris something. How can you do that if he's not here to listen to you?"

Victor chuckled. "Nadja, a wolf pup will never learn to hunt if it is always sheltered."

Nadja paused a good long while after listening to Victor's statement. "I am sorry Victor. I cannot seem to find similarities between Christian and a wolf pup."

The Kamikaze bridge crew laughed at Nadja. Though they were worried back there, the crew understood what their captain wanted to happen.

"Alright Corwin, take us up to a safe altitude. We'll follow these Empire forces back to their base. Be sure to stay out of their radar range. Once we locate their base, we'll plan a rescue op."

Roger that Captain, taking her up!


Location: Living Forest outskirts

Jaq smirked after watching his friend take a shot. "Rigald... I can't believe you missed that shot from this distance. You getting old or something?"

The sniper named Rigald rose from his cover and scoped the targets who were now cornered by other members of his unit. He looked at the woman again and at the wound his first shot caused her, a neck wound.

"No... I did not miss that shot. She flinched at the last possible second and somehow changed the trajectory of my bullet. She did the same thing for my second shot but I made the adjustments. Still, I was only able to hit her shoulder with the second attempt."

"I know geez... and that was a perfect shot too. That woman sure is something isn't she?"

"Hmph. Say what you want Jaq. In the end, we took them down. That's all that matters."

"I guess huh... but would you look at that?" said the other sniper and pointed far out behind them. It was the scene of utter chaos. Rigald used the scope to look at the direction his comrade was pointing at. Several Walker units destroyed and turned to a pile of junk. MkII Riders swallowed by the ground, infantry men dead left and right. "We took her down but it really cost us. This is hardly something we can call a victory isn't it?"

The heat of the battle played back in Rigald's mind. He could remember hearing the horrific screams of the newer Units through communications as they were decimated by those things that tore through them like they were nothing. Too much have been sacrificed for a mere test operation... again.

"Yeah... you're right Jaq. The only thing we proved with these new weapons handed out to us is that they're still not enough." Rigald huffed. "But more than enough to get us killed." Jaq added.

Their momentary conversation was interrupted by the crackle of their communicators with the voice of their unit captain.

Good job on wrapping this up Rigald. We'll take it from here.

"Roger that Captain, we'll take the wounded and survivors then begin preparations for heading back to base."

I'm counting on you two.

"Alright! You heard the man. Let's gather up our beaten asses and head back to base. Take whatever equipment we can still use and help the medic unit with the wounded."


Location: Heart of the Living Forest

"Don't move. For your crimes against the Empire, you are under arrest,"

The same soldier pointed his rifle at the woman and the boy with her while holding a fierce glare at them. His trigger finger at the ready in case of sudden movements from their captives. Soon, other soldiers bearing the 23rd SOD Unit 4 Emblem emerged from their cover behind large trees. With a prideful stride, the captain Lucas Grim walked towards the wounded woman. He couldn't help but feel mixed emotions upon looking at their wounded enemy. In his mind, he wanted to kill her where she stood, for all the lives they have lost against her, but his soldier's pride strongly urged him to follow orders. He was silent for a while then switched his gaze to the young boy.

"Fillio, you got eyes on the kid?"

Want me to send him to meet his maker?

"Hold your fire soldier, I got this."

Roger that captain, holding fire.

"Never seen you before. You're lucky Rigald has a soft spot for young boys like you. Had it been me, you'd be the first one I'd drop seeing how confused your eyes are. Don't try anything funny kid, I have another sniper aimed at you right now." he said as he watched the laser pointer hovering on the boy's forehead.

The woman tried to make a move but Lucas immediately drew his handgun and fired two shots aimed for both her legs. A scream of agony echoed throughout the thick forest. "I wouldn't do something stupid now that you are weakened. If it's one thing we have learned about you magic users, your strength is also dependent on your physical condition. I'm no expert but even I can tell that there's hardly anything else you could do."

Bryn looked at the boy curiously and then to her captain. "We should kill them both Captain. We lost Units 165 to 170 fighting these two. If we take them out, this would be one big step towards taking this god forsaken planet."

Lucas turned his head sideways to catch a glimpse of Bryn. He then turned his gaze back at the boy. "While I would love to indulge my urge to finish them here and now, I was given orders to take them alive for further study. Bind them and have them heavily sedated. I don't want them using magic while under our custody. Use those special cuffs and circlet on both of them."

Tak rummaged his pack for the things mentioned by their captain. "These things? How sure are we that these are enough to detain them?"

"Tak, that's an order. Bind them now and put on those circlets. Unless you want them to fry your ass with magic. If you're curious to what these things do, put on the circlet and try to focus on something."

The man after securing both their captives with great caution put on one of the circlets. After the device locked itself in, it hummed gently upon activation. "So I just need to focus on some--- yyyaaarrghh!!" After receiving a shocking jolt of pain to his head, Tak immediately threw the circlet to the ground and nearly stomped on it had he not been stopped by Bryn. "You're an idiot you know that? For a gadget freak, you sure don't know much about what we're being given do you?"

"Then enlighten me princess!"

"Heh! Fine! I'm no expert but the circlet is called a Neuroscrambler. It's a known fact that our brains constantly generate some form of energy passively from controlling our bodies, speaking and thinking. Now that energy rises at its peak when we focus on something. This Neuroscrambler will sense and target that energy reaching its peak and disrupt it by giving you a strong jolt. The harder you focus, the stronger the jolt, sometimes enough to knock you out, more often fatal. That way, you have no choice but to limit your brain activity to down a certain extent."

"I see... so this way, if they have this thing on, they won't be able to use magic?" Tak questioned.

"That's what these things are supposed to do, or so they say. As for the cuffs, it will inject a very strong sedative directly into your bloodstream if it detects too much activity from the Neuroscrambler, or an attempt of forced removal."

"But even so, there's still no guarant--"

"Enough of the science lesson people! We're moving out!" Lucas ordered.

Lucas then pulled out a different handgun, one equipped with sedative darts and pointed it at the woman. He fired one shot hitting the woman at the neck and watched her slip out of consciousness.

"Bryn, give that woman first aid. Can't have her dying on us now can we?" he said and looked at the boy next. "Don't think bad of me kid. You're lucky I'm only going to put you to sleep temporarily for all my men that you killed." he finished and aimed for the boy's neck and firing another dart.

The captain, after watching their prisoners fall to the ground signaled for the other soldiers to wrap things up. The fighting had subsided after they took down the woman and the boy. It was a clear indication that they were the source of all the things they had to fight to get here. But the Unit 4 captain couldn't help but wonder what was the part played by the boy... plus the fact that he resembled someone.

As they watched the prisoners get taken by the soldiers from the other remaining unit, Bryn approached her captain and stood by his side. "I've seen the way you look at him. Does that boy remind you of someone?" she asked.

Lucas got on his MkII Rider and looked at Bryn. "Yeah, his eyes resembled those of someone from back when I was still with the ESF."

Bryn straddled her hoverbike and looked back at her captain. "If you remember him that well, that ESF guy must be one hell of a soldier. Who was it Captain, if I may ask?"

Lucas grinned and started his hoverbike. "He sure was. If you must know, that boy reminds me of the Bloody Wolf. I heard he had a younger brother."

Bryn started her own hoverbike's engine and chuckled. "That Bloody Wolf? Are you thinking this boy might be his brother? There's just no way!"

"Yeah you're right, it can't be. The Bloody Wolf isn't a magic user, it might just be my imagination. Well then, good job for today Bryn, let's head back," Lucas said with a faint smile and turned on his communicator. "Captain Lucas Grim of Unit 4 here, all units we're heading back!"

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:46 am

In a matter of moments, everything had fallen to pieces. Chris felt sick to his stomach as he looked at the group of Imperial forces surrounding them. There was nothing he could do. He had rushed recklessly into a situation and had paid the price. What was the matter with him? Any other time he would have formulated a plan or a strategy. Why had he left the safety of the Kamikaze to help someone he didn't know? Was this really his decision or was...she influencing his very decisions now? Sigarda looked up at him with wide eyes, apparently unused to being in this situation.

"Oh Christian...I'm so sorry..." she whispered, "This is...all my fault..."

Christian wanted to say something, to use his magic to ease her pain, but just then a man walked over to them. By his bearing Chris could tell that he was a high-ranking officer. For a moment it looked as if the officer was going to kill Sigarda where she lay, weak and helpless, but he seemed to think better of it. Piercing eyes suddenly scrutinized Christian, and the next words caused terror to overwhelm his senses.

"Fillio, you got eyes on the kid?"

Want me to send him to meet his maker?

No...It couldn't end like this...Not after all his brother had gone through for him. Not after the attack on their home...Not after their harrowing escape from the Archer or their battle with Raven...Christian closed his eyes for a death shot that never came...

"Never seen you before. You're lucky Rigald has a soft spot for young boys like you. Had it been me, you'd be the first one I'd drop seeing how confused your eyes are. Don't try anything funny kid, I have another sniper aimed at you right now." he said as he watched the laser pointer hovering on the boy's forehead.

He can't hurt you. He thinks he's won this battle, Christian, but he's wrong. He's a fool. Don't speak with him. He is not worth your time.

Christian wasn't sure if the voice in his head was the woman from his dreams or Sigarda. A quick look at Sigarda, however, told him that she most likely didn't have the energy to even send a mental thought to him. She suddenly made a move as to escape, and the boy bit back a sob as the officer shot her in both legs. He turned an angry gaze on the Captain, even as he tried to summon his powers to heal Sigarda's wounds. Unfortunately, he never got the chance as cuffs were placed around his wrists and a circlet snapped around his head. He hadn't heard the description of the Neuroscrambler and had been caught in the middle of trying to send healing energy through Sigarda's body. As a result, a burst of pain tore through his mind and he couldn't hold back the sobs that began to wrack his small frame. A few moments later, Sigarda was shot with a stun dart and slumped to the ground. He looked with wide eyes at the officer as he aimed the gun at Christian's own neck. The words hurt more than the brief stinging sensation of the gun that entered his neck and the numbness that followed...

For all my men that you killed...


Christian didn't dream, being consigned to oblivion by the sedative, but the state of unconsciousness was worse than the most terrifying nightmare. Over and over again the officer's words echoed through his mind...

For all my men that you killed...
For all my men that you killed...
For all my men that you killed...

He hadn't even thought about the lives he was taking...Even if they were members of the Empire, these people had homes and families. They would never see them again after the very trees and forest creatures tore them to shreds. He had somehow muted their dying screams of terror. Was this was using manna was going to turn him into? A complete and utter monster? He couldn't take it...This couldn't be happening...Why couldn't this all be a bad dream? Why couldn't he just wake up?

When he finally did open his eyes, he realized he was screaming. A few of the soldiers were glancing at him nervously, though the ones who held him never let go. He quickly stopped and turned his aching head to the side, glimpsing Sigarda's shimmering garments. She was still completely knocked out, and though her wounds had been tended to, she still looked to be in bad shape. Not only was he responsible for the death of many men...he hadn't even been able to fulfill his own mission.

"So you're awake..." grunted one of the soldiers who carried him by one of his arms, unable to hide the astonishment in his voice.

"Cut the chatter. No speaking with the prisoner," the soldier carrying him by his other arm said.

"But...nobody could come to that quickly with that much sedative in his system, especially not a boy," whispered the other soldier.

"Shut-up," growled the second soldier through gritted teeth.

Christian! You must act! The forces of the Empire cannot hold you. Focus your mind. Shut down the fetters that bind you.

Without realizing what he was doing, Christian felt a tiny surge of energy trickle through his body, deactivating both the circlet and the cuffs. The muddled and aching feeling in his mind suddenly stopped completely.

Now...render all of their cursed technology useless and destroy them. This is what should have been done in the first place.

Christian found himself concentrating for a powerful spell, but quickly stopped. What was he thinking? Even if he miraculously was able to deactivate all of the Empire squad's weaponry, they still were much more physically stronger than he was. Besides, he wasn't sure he'd be able to use his manna to defeat every single one of the Empire's forces and to free Sigarda in the process. No...for now he'd need to do something else....He remembered how the officer had said he had confusion in his eyes...Well...let them continue to think that. Let them think he was frightened and scared, that he was a complete and utter weakling. That way...when he did plan his escape, they would never know what had hit them. Briefly his thoughts flickered to Victor and the Kamikaze. He was glad they hadn't rushed in recklessly as he had done. He closed his eyes, and was immediately able to sense the ship behind them, tracking their every movement. He smiled to himself, finding comfort that his brother was still with him. Of course he was! Victor would never abandon him to the Empire.

"Hey! What are you doing?" growled one of the soldiers, slapping him across the face.

Christian looked stunned for a moment before he suddenly burst into tears, "I-I...I-I'm sorry..." he sobbed, "I-I d-d-d-didn't know what I was doing...I-I-I'm so confused...I-I just want to go home..."

The soldier laughed, apparently buying the boy's act, "Oh, I don't think you're going anywhere kid, no after what you've done. But maybe they'll be more lenient with you because you're just a boy."

Any further conversation was cut off as they neared the Empire's base. It wasn't a very imposing structure, and it obviously was made to move at a moment's notice. After all, one never knew when the trees and the forest itself was going to attack. The prisoners were herded quickly through the metallic blast doors and into separate cells. The cells were reinforced with some kind of protective coating. Christian had a sneaking suspicion that any spell he tried to cast would be hurled right back at him. But...the Empire forces didn't know he had deactivated both the cuffs and the circlet. He would find a way through this...strange material as well. Now that he was alone, he had time to think of a plan....


Location: Hyperspace

Admiral Vorlis Emalt sat on the bridge of the Soulreaver, lost in thought. To the eyes of the common person, the Soulreaver was a standard ship. It was a capital ship, about the size of a dreadnaught, but to the untrained eye it had little in the way of firepower or shields. It was also bulky and slow, a deceptively easy target to hit. And had the power to destroy an entire Empire fleet with relative ease. It had been crafted and imbued with manna over generations until the entire ship had developed a life of its own. With a simple command from even a fledgling manna user, its weapons systems would raise to ten times their power. The same could be done with shields and maneuverability. From a skilled magic user like Vorlis, the effects would be devastating. In addition, the Soulreaver could augment spells considerably and had the ability to magnify those spells to a planetary level. It was a small wonder that the ship rarely saw action, as the consequences of those spells were devastating. But to support the Ucrade system, it would be worth it. Besides, the Chosen One had appeared, and that meant the time for skulking in the shadows was over. It was time to bring the full might of manna against the oppression of the Empire.

Admiral Vorlis...

A disembodied voice echoed in Vorlis' thoughts.

What is it Caralis?

Things are worse than we feared. Sigarda has been taken by the Empire appears that Christian Wolfe is with her.

Vorlis felt anger rise as he slammed a fist on the console. Just as quickly, he was able to calm himself. The Chosen One may have been captured, but the Empire most likely wanted him alive. Still...they would need to hurry before the Empire transported him from the planet.

I am increasing all speeds through manna acceleration. Inform the others to do the same. And Caralis...What of Sigarda?

My alive...But in great pain. Her wounds were tended, and she is in no immediate danger. But I am afraid the Empire will execute her if we do not hurry...

Understood. Do not worry Sigarda, we will save your sister.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:17 pm

Location: Kamikaze

Nadja's blue hologram flickered as she hovered closer to Victor. "Captain, we've located their base. It is well hidden using phase technology but nothing my scanners couldn't pick up."

"Excellent work Nadja, analyze the base layout and find me a strategic entry point. I want to go in as quiet as possible."

"Affirmative. Judging by the amount of weaponry they have stockpiled there, it would be difficult for me to attack them head on even with long range weaponry. But given the base layout, the rear blast doors of their fortified walls is mostly used to bring in supplies from orbit, it is the least guarded section of the base."

"Hmm... even if you say least guarded, the amount of troops and defensive structures they have at the rear is still quite formidable. Hmmm... and here I was planning to go in with just a small team..."

Nadja started calculating again and after several moments she pulled up a three dimensional map of the base. "This is the best map I could come up with given they are using heavy jamming to conceal their base."

"That's okay, this should be good enough. Have you tried locating my brother?"

"Affirmative. But due to the interference, I was unable to pinpoint Christian Wolfe's whereabouts. Information indicates he is being held in the western building which appears to be a lab of some sort. Which floor and which room, I am unable to find out."

Victor fell into silence. Things were never meant to be easy when dealing with the Empire. It was times like these that he wished he had the power of magic, but there was no point in asking for something he would never have. "That structure is several floors high, possibly has a basement too. It would be a damn cliché if they held prisoners underground wouldn't it?"

Hans examined the structure Nadja zoomed in on from their three dimensional map. "Layout suggests the existence of underground floors but wouldn't it be nice if they went for the cliché Captain?"

"True, since we are unable to pinpoint my brother's location it would sure be nice coming in and knowing where to go."

"Hmm.. first, how many do you plan to bring with you Captain?" Hans asked.

Victor contemplated for a moment and spoke. "I wish I could bring a squad but the more people we have, the bigger the chances of being discovered. Hans, you're with me on this and one more. I was thinking if the good doctor would like to come?"

There was silence in the bridge. "Why Doctor Mizaki? Bringing a non-combatant for a situation like this is just--"

"I know what you're trying to say Lieutenant. I want him to come along just in case we need his expertise in the field of medicine. As much as I would like to believe my brother is okay, this is the Empire we're dealing with. There's no telling if they drugged him to a certain extent. I want to take the doctor with us just as a precaution."

Nadja interrupted the conversation. "Victor, you would have to protect the doctor while trying to rescue Christian. Bringing him along for this mission not only increases the difficulty of the mission twofold but decreases the chances of getting Christian out undetected as well."

"I'm well aware but.."

"I have a suggestion. Doctor Mizaki and I have been working on a faux body I could manipulate for quite some time now. It is near completion and it can already be deployed. If you would permit me, I would like to come with you."

Victor paused and looked at Nadja's hologram. "A synthetic body?"

"Yes but not like any ordinary synthetic body. It is geared for combat use and has a wide array of functions built in by the doctor."

"Nadja, why didn't I know of this?"

"I was the one who coerced the doctor to continue working on it. Originally, it was supposed to serve as a nurse and assistant to him but there was a mistake in the shipment of the synthetic body. He received a military grade by mistake."

Victor's eyes widened a little in surprise and so as the others in the bridge. "A military grade synthetic body you say?"

"That is correct."

"With the Empire hogging all the synthetic tech for themselves, those things are hard to come by. I can't even begin to imagine how they mixed up the shipment for that."

"More importantly Victor, with me in that synthetic body, I would be able to help you disengage most locks and security protocols we may come across in the base. The synthetic body is also equipped with medical tools and the doctor will have direct feed from the body in the safety of his lab."

"I like it. Go ahead and do what you have to."

With that said, Nadja's hologram vanished from the bridge. Hans and the others looked at each other in anticipation of how the artificial intelligence would appear before them in a few moments. Victor too was curious enough, although he was able to hide the look of anticipation from the rest of his bridge crew. Victor removed such thoughts from his head and focused entirely on what was on hand.

"Okay, with all the information given to us, Nadja suggested we enter from the rear of the base, from there, it's just a few clicks to the structure Chris is held in. We definitely have to avoid combat so stealth is the only way to go until we secure my brother. Plus, we don't know where exactly is Chris in that structure so we might have to comb the place while staying hidden."

Hans nodded to the simple instructions given but a questioning look was evident in his eyes. "How do you propose we get to the rear of the base Captain? A halo drop wouldn't work, we'll get pruned by their AA Sentinel Guns before we hit the ground for sure."

"Yeah that could be a problem if we get in range. That's why we're going for a halo drop out of gun and patrol range from the rear."

"But Captain, we might encounter the things they are fighting earlier if we drop far off from the base's defensive line."

"No. I have a feeling we won't be attacked. If those things see us as hostile, we'd have been attacked simultaneously with the Empire forces earlier, but we were left alone. If anything, I think the person who Chris was trying to help knew he belongs with this ship."

"Isn't that a gamble Captain? We can never know for sure. I thought you don't want to take any unnecessary risks?"

"Well, if you see it that way, I can't do anything about that, but I trust that whoever Chris was trying to help knows that they can use our help. I'm sure of it."

"Okay sir. When do we leave?"

"This op starts as soon as we're ready. Get yourself down to the armory and gear up Hans."

"What about you Captain? Your battle suit got fried against that man on Ethelas right?"

"True, and it's not yet repaired but I still have my old one. I'm gonna use that instead."

"Been a while since I last saw you in that crimson battle suit. Well then Captain, I'll go get ready."

"Roger that Hans, see you at dispatch bay."


Location: Kamikaze, Dispatch Bay

Several minutes later, Victor and Hans were all geared up and waited for Nadja patiently. Hans stared at Victor for quite some time. In his mind, seeing Victor now wearing the very same battle suit he wore when he still served the Empire brought back memories both bitter and good. Although there were numerous scratches and dents on some parts of Victor's battle suit, the functionality of it was kept in excellent condition. Although wear and tear is evident in the suit's crimson red color, the sight of Victor wearing it still sent shivers down Hans' spine. Much like his new customized battle suit, Victor's old one still resembled a wolf and its fading colors only added to the feel of intimidation just by looking at it.

Victor noticed his Lieutenant staring at him and spoke though his helmet. "Something on your mind Hans?"

"Not really sir. It's just... seeing you in that suit reminds me of things."

"I can tell you the same thing. To be honest, I wouldn't want to wear this suit if I can help it. It's just too heavy..." Victor trailed off.

Hans understood what his captain meant about the suit being too heavy. That suit and the previous Victor went through a lot together. The suit itself can be considered a war veteran knowing it had seen so many battles, and even more tragedies. Hans shook his head to clear the thoughts away.

"You need its power now for your brother Captain."

"I know Hans... I know."

Their conversation came to an abrupt end when the dispatch bay doors slid open. A woman with long, straight, deep blue hair walked in. She had a very beautiful face that had the features of an Easterner from one of the planets in the Sol System. Her figure was no less than sexy and the way she walked in added more to her allure. Hans almost fell off his seat after taking note of the battle suit the woman wore. Although some parts had metal plating for added protection, the suit still showcased her figure and was pretty daring to say the least. One look and anybody who didn't know wouldn't think she was a synthetic.

Victor just had to ask. "Is that your new body Nadja?"


The voice was different from the usual computerized Nadja. This was sweeter and more pleasant to the ears but Victor did not understand.

"Uhh... what?"

"Hayaku Bikutā, ikuzo."

Victor sighed and scratched his helmet. "I don't have a clue what you're saying Nadja. Is the communicator system broken?"

"Gomenasai. Chotto matte Bikutā."

"Ookay... there's not much sense in taking you with us if we can't understand what you're saying Nadja. Looks like your faux body isn't ready yet."

There was no response from Nadja and it took several minutes before she spoke again.

"There. I have overwritten the core language program. Is everything okay now Victor?"

"Y-yeah I guess... but what are you doing? Your face is distorted."

"I'm smiling at you."

Victor slapped his right palm on the face part of his helmet. He wanted to laugh at the sight of Nadja's distorted facial expression which she had mistaken for a smile but there were more important issues to take care of. Hans on the other hand couldn't help bursting into laughter but with just one look from Victor, Hans managed to compose himself rather quickly.

"Ehem! S-sorry sir. I couldn't help it."

"Nadja, ask Doctor Mizaki to teach you how to smile when we get back." Victor said and pushed a button on the wall that opened the dispatch bay hatch for them.

"Affirmative Victor. I will do as you say."

Shaking his head sideways, Victor looked at both Hans and Nadja. "See you both on the ground," he said and jumped off from the hatch.

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:10 pm

Christian spent some time examining his cell. He reached to touch the cell walls and was rewarded with a jolt of energy that sent him sprawling on the floor. Apparently there was some sort of electric pulse running through the walls, discouraging prisoners from touching it. He then prepared a very small spell, a controlled stream of water. As it struck the walls, the water immediately turned on him, splashing him in the face. He sighed, shaking his now soaking hair, but now had confirmed what he had suspected. The walls were constructed with some sort of material that was able to reflect any manna back towards its source. Unfortunately for the Empire, Christian didn't need to use any of the traditional spells. Resistant as it was to manna, if Christian were to disable the unit that powered the cell walls, there would be nothing to keep him from escaping. The voice in his mind had said that he could shut down the technology of the entire base. Perhaps that would be the best thing to do. The Empire would be in confusion, he'd be able to free Sigarda and then he'd make his way back to the Kamikaze. Before he could act, however, the cell doors slid open to reveal a petite woman with burgundy hair cropped short, a set of glasses that slid forward on her nose, and wearing a white lab coat. She had a no-nonsense air about her as she regarded the boy for a moment.

"Subject appears to be a young boy in his late teens," she said, speaking into a recording device, "Hair color: Russet. Eye color: Royal Blue. Height: Approximately 5 feet ten inches. Weight: Approximately 140 pounds. Initial observations: Subject seems tense due to abnormally heightened blood pressure and rapid breathing. Words to describe overall appearance: Scrawny, little muscular structure."

"Hey...ummm...I'm right here, you know," Christian suddenly cut in, looking just a bit annoyed.

"Subject has addressed me directly, showing at least some sense of initiative," the woman continued to speak into the recording device before finally turning it off, "You may address me as Dr. Borgan. And what would your appellation be?"

Christian blinked, before realizing she wanted his name. He realized that giving his name at the moment was most likely not a good idea.

"I am...C-C...Corwin Wolde," he replied, stammering just a bit.

Dr. Borgan looked at him sharply, "Subject seems extremely tense and nervous, indicating that he is attempting to subvert the truth. Very well, Corwin Wolde. Follow me."

Christian barely had time to gather his wits as the scientist walked from the cell, her heels making a strict clattering sound on the perfectly smooth floor. He wondered why she would allow him to walk out of the cell without any sort of precautions, but as he left two guards flanked him.

"Should you attempt to escape, the guards will shoot you where you stand," sighed Dr. Borgan, as if she were reciting something from an instruction manual, "In addition, there are many safety precautions in place that will neutralize you if you pose any threat."

As they walked through the white-washed corridors, Christian said nothing, but allowed his gaze to wander, taking in every detail, always searching for a place to escape. If only he had detailed schematics of the building...A few more turns, and double doors opened into what was clearly a lab. Various machines lined the walls, machines that even Christian was unable to fathom the function of. Dr. Borgan wordlessly directed him to sit on a cold, steel table.Christian hesitated when he saw a structure with many sharp appendages waiting.

"Do you require some assistance?" asked the Doctor listlessly, "I am sure the guards would be happy to oblige."

Still shivering with apprehension, Christian sat uncomfortably on the steel table.

"W-what...w-what are you going to do with me?" he whispered, trying to keep the tears from leaking into his voice.

"Relax. This is standard procedure. You will be examined for your manna level first. Then we will conduct some experiments with your various abilities. The probe bot is only if you decide to make things...difficult," replied the Doctor, "Now...hold still."

Above Christian, a circular vent opened and a bright light enveloped him. The Doctor had procured a data pad, and after a moment there was no hiding the shock registered in her features.

"In all my years...I have never seen manna at such a concentrated level," she whispered, looking at Christian with just a bit of awe in her eyes.

Her expression narrowed as he motioned for the one of the guards, "Bring me an identification unit."

The guards quickly complied, and before Christian could do anything, Dr. Borgan was sweeping his body with a red light. She looked at the blinking words for a moment before smiling smugly at the youth.

"I realized your name was only an alias. You are Christian Wolfe, and it seems that you are wanted for much more than the destruction you caused here. While I would appreciate a chance to test your abilities, orders must be followed," sighed the Doctor.

She pushed a button and red lights began to flash. Almost immediately a squad of guards entered the room.

"We have a Class A prisoner," said Dr. Borgan briskly, "He will need to be escorted to the restricted containment area. Inform...them that he is under our custody and we are awaiting further orders."

Two of the guards pulled Christian from the table and another aimed a tranquilizer dart at his neck.

"Sorry kid. Can't be too careful," shrugged the soldier before firing the dart.

The dart suddenly changed trajectory, slamming itself into the neck of the soldier who fired it. He went down in a matter of seconds.

"I thought they put a Neuroscrambler on the kid!" shouted one of the guards, tracing the boy with a bead.

His commanding officer slapped the gun from his hands, "No! We have strict orders for this prisoner to be taken alive."

Christian held out his hands, and immediately the power to the lab was cut off. The light flickered and went out, pitching the room in complete blackness. In the confusion, he made his way to the double door. A quick spell caused them to open, and he ran into the lighted hallways. The guards saw him, and ran towards the doors, but Christian quickly shut them with a second spell.

Class A Prisoner has escaped containment. This is a code red situation. Activating internal defense system.

"No you're not..." Christian muttered under his breath and closing his eyes.

With his mind, he was able to locate the control unit for the defense system and quickly shut it down. He made his way over to a terminal and quickly downloaded the schematics for the building into his personal datapad.

"Alright...first to find Sigarda and then to get out of here.." he whispered, making his way towards the prison cells.

He should've know it was a trap. A group of soldiers armed to the teeth suddenly vaulted from hidden access ways, all aiming weapons at him.

"We have you surrounded! Surrender!" shouted one of the guards.

Christian slowly raised his hands and closed his eyes. Without warning, all of the technology the guards possessed suddenly deactivated. A burst of wind sent them sprawling into the walls. Christian walked forward, deflecting attempts to grab him with short, controlled blasts of wind energy. If they thought they could ambush him, they had a surprise coming to them. He froze as a projectile came his way. He raised his hand and it embedded itself into the wall. The second shot flew into the ceiling. Without warning, a barrage of darts headed his way. Christian opened eyes once again pure white, and all of the darts froze in mid-air. He never detected the dart hidden with manna that suddenly shot through the ranks of suspended darts to embed itself in his neck. He gasped in surprise as he slumped to the ground...The last sound he heard was the ominous stomp of boots on the white-washed floor...

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:07 am

Location: 23rd SOD Barracks

The scuffle earlier in the lab alerted the whole base of the code red situation. The Units of the 23rd SOD taking a breather in the barracks all hurried to gear up. Unit 4 however, sat idly as they watched the newbies grab their gear and go. Their eyes were the usual laid back and indifferent from the others. Lucas could only let a short sigh out as all the other soldiers except for his unit made their way out of the barracks.

"Not a bad response time for newbies don't you think Cap?" Fillio asked nonchalantly.

"Yeah. Too bad they forgot he's here and with that being the case, they are only wasting their efforts to respond." Lucas replied and continued drinking his coffee.

One of his Unit members tapped into a console and pulled up several report sheets, namely the one from the code red situation and several others related to it. Bryn hovered behind the shoulder of that unit member and read the reports with him. A certain line from the report caught her attention and her eyes greatly widened. She immediately spun on her heel and walked up to her captain.

"Cap, you wouldn't believe what that is all about."

Lucas moved his eyes to the left to look at Bryn, seemingly waiting for the news she had.

"Uhh... you know that boy? He's actually a Class A prisoner."

Lucas stopped drinking his coffee midway and the look in his eyes sharpened. The rest of Unit 4 stopped what they were doing and looked at Bryn in surprise. They never thought they were handling such a criminal earlier since he was just a boy.

"That kid? He's a Class A criminal? No way!" Tak exclaimed.

"So who was that kid really?" Fillio asked.

"He's... Christian Wolfe." Bryn said, the shock of finding out clearly still with her.

"Wolfe? Now where have I heard that surname before?" Rigald asked out loud while contemplating.

Benning got out from his bunk and walked towards the group. "Anybody who came from the ESF here should know that unique surname. Victor Wolfe alias the Bloody Wolf, former ESF officer, a highly decorated soldier and survivor of many tragic operations. Although he stayed as a Lieutenant, he would have easily made it to Major had he not turned down all the opportunities given to him. He's really good."

Jaq tied his long black hair back and adjusted his glasses. He then looked at Benning with a teasing smirk. "Sounds like we have a fanboy here. He can't be that good."

Lucas put down his cup and crossed his arms before his chest. "He's that good Jaq. I worked with him in a couple operations in several theaters. With that guy in command, he can utilize his squad to the fullest and even in dire situations, his quick thinking and decision making will keep his and other squads alive and still get things done."

"Oookay... one fanboy is enough but even you Cap? What's with this Victor guy deal anyway?" Jaq asked.

Benning joined the table and sat on one vacant chair. The rest of the members of Unit 4 who did not come from the ESF had their interest piqued and joined in with the conversation. Lucas looked at his members and smiled, it seems like he has a tale to tell about the man.

"Alright, listen up! I may not have worked with him much but Victor Wolfe was... an extraordinary soldier..."


Location: 23rd SOD Manna Research Lab

A man carefully walked through several dazed soldiers after firing his tranquilizer gun. He had a distinct air of superiority and at the same time gentleness. Standing a good six feet tall, he had a lean frame and balanced proportions. The way he carried himself suggested he came from royalty. He wore a white cloak over his battle suit with the logo of Trident on the left sleeve. He had short black hair, golden eyes and a calm expression. His vision was trained on the boy he just tranquilized, a smile slightly forming on his lips as he watched him slump to the floor. Behind the boy was that doctor, with an unimpressed look on her face same as always.

"Quite the catch doctor."

Dr. Borgan simply ignored his comment and moved to examine the boy's state. She checked for vitals and plucked the dart out from the boy's neck.

"Impressive as always. What is the leader of Trident doing here?" she asked.

Clyde refused to answer. He knelt in front of the boy and grabbed his hair, raising the boy's head to get a good look at his face. Satisfied, he then turned his gaze over to the doctor. "Powerful yes, but immature. Smart but foolish... inexperienced. Such an innocent look on his face too. Would you have believed him to be a Class A criminal doctor?"

Hesitant to answer, Dr. Borgan immediately regained her composure. "I find no meaning in answering your query. They are all test subjects to me, innocent or not."

Clyde chuckled. "Hm, amusing. Even for you... that is cold doctor," he trailed off and picked up the rest of the boy from the floor. "Well, I will take him under custody and make sure the Emperor knows of the 23rd's accomplishments."

Displeased that one of her test subjects will be taken away, Dr. Borgan scoffed at Clyde and turned around. She was just about to walk back to her lab when Clyde's voice stopped her.

"One thing though doctor. You could have stopped this boy from leaving that room. You have long completed it haven't you? You may have kept it secret all too well but we know..."

Dr. Borgan turned her head sideways. "I have no idea what you are talking about."

Clyde smirked but decided not to press any further. "Suit yourself. You can keep the woman, we have no use for her."


Location: 23rd SOD Barracks

"Okay, now that you all heard his tale, you know what to do right?" Lucas asked while prepping his gear.

The rest of his Unit were also gearing up and prepping for a sortie. The look on their faces as serious as when they go out the safety of their base walls.

"If he's really as good as you say he is, I'm eager to go up against him and see for myself." Jaq said and cocked his rifle.

Lucas smirked. It could be said that Victor was an inspiration back in the day but now, he's just a renegade going up against the Empire. What these soldiers think of him now, Lucas would be unable to tell. "Alright, we'll keep watch over the boy while he's with us. Victor will surely come for him. Let's move out!"


Location: 23rd SOD Rear Wall

After quite a thrilling halo jump, Victor, Hans and Nadja made it past the patrol watching over the borders of the rear gate. Taking a peek at where they were headed, Victor ducked behind some metal crates when a searchlight passed where they hid. Several soldiers were on patrol duty and there were a couple more placed on turrets and bunkers.

"Captain, the defense looks a lot tougher than what the data suggested. They're too tightly formed. How are we supposed to break in?"

"Hans, I thought I told you nothing is ever easy when dealing with the Empire."

Victor scoped the gate and soldier positions one more time and slumped back with Hans and Nadja. "Hate to say it but we need a diversion."

"What is on your mind Victor?" Nadja inquired.

"We need the Kamikaze to attack the base. That's the only way we could draw off the guard's attention..." Victor trailed off after noticing a bright flash of light from a distance.

Moments later, a huge beam flew overhead and struck the base causing quite an explosion. Within seconds the base alarms started blaring and the soldiers scrambling for cover. Defensive structures started firing one after the other towards the direction of the beam. Victor and the other two watched as unidentified fighters loomed overhead and started dropping pods into the base. Some were shot mid-air and the others made it inside. Before the three realized it, the base had become an entire battlefield.

"Or not..." Victor finished.

Nadja's deep blue eyes started flickering in different colors as she analyzed the situation. With a straight face, she looked at Victor. "Manna signatures emanate from those fighters. Multiple life signatures are coming out from the pods they dropped."

Victor paused in horror. Could it be the planet's counter attack? He brushed the question off and vaulted out of cover dashing towards the rear gate, Hans and Nadja trailing behind him. His brother was in danger and he was quickly running out of time to save him. Some of the guards noticed them approaching and opened fire but Victor's speedy reflexes allowed him to dodge their fire and close in. He disarmed and disabled the soldiers with ease then proceeded through the rear gate with Hans and Nadja behind.

"Victor look..." Hans said as all three of them watched the base burn.

With great surprise, Victor stared at the building the fighters left alone as they made multiple bombing runs on the base. "They're not attacking that building! Then that could only mean..."

Nadja cut off Victor as she picked up one of the soldier's rifles lying around. "Victor, they might be after Christian as well."

Soon an all out ground battle began as the things from the pods took position and opened fire on the soldiers of the Empire. It was chaos and Victor knew that this was also the perfect chance to get his brother out.

"Let's go! We're going to that building! Take out anyone moving that gets in our way!"

Acknowledging his orders, the other two followed behind Victor covering his back and sides as they gradually made their way through a blaze of lasers and explosions. Just as they neared the structure where they believed Chris was being held, Victor noticed a flash from a distance. Stopping just in time, the bullet knocked out the rifle he had in hand instead of hitting him directly.

Not so fast there.

From his vantage point, Fillio looked through the scope once more to confirm if his eyes were not deceiving him.

"Red battle suit, tailored like a wolf, soldier's instinct... there's no mistake! It's him! Cap I got the wolf in my sights with two others!"

Pin them down! We're taking heavy fire from these things that came out of the pods! We'll back you up as soon as the remaining Walkers have started up.

"Roger that. Pinning them down."

When Fillio looked through his scope once more, he saw the wolf move like he threw something his way. Realizing what it was, Fillio was able to get his eye out of the scope just in time before a knife struck through it. The next time he looked at where his targets were, they were no longer in sight.

"Damn... the Captain wasn't joking about that battle suit and his implants. More over, this guy is really good spotting me here." Fillio radioed in on his captain once more. "Cap, that's a negative on pinning him down. He spotted me and destroyed my scope. I'll follow them to the lab."

Fillio, don't! Alone he'd just take you out. Leave the wolf to them, we got bigger things to deal with.

"Okay, holding position and... Holy crap! What is that?!"

Fillio watched a huge ship descend from the sky. The sheer size of it simply dwarfed the entirety of their base and any other ship he has laid eyes upon. It hovered just above their base and released several pods that headed into the base.

"Cap... we've got literally bigger problems to deal with. Are you seeing this?"

Yeah... with that thing above us, this base is history. We're moving to the shuttle! I'm not dying on this planet! Fillio, take your squad and make your way to us. We'll get out with Major Schneider and the white coats.


Location: 23rd SOD Research Lab

With all the chaos going on outside, it was easy for Nadja to hack into most of the control systems in the lab. Trading fire with several soldiers inside the building, Victor and the others slowly combed the floors with no luck. Looking around rooms and blasting doors that didn't open. The have decided to head underground where Chris is most likely being held. Shooting from behind the walls, Victor took down two more soldiers coming at them from the corner. Nadja was busy cracking the lock on the room while Hans and Victor cover her from both sides.

"How long!?" Victor roared while firing another salvo at the soldiers to keep them pinned down.

"Hold on Victor, I am almost done. The lock on this room requires top clearance, it is not that easy to hack into."

"Do what you have to!" Victor said and tossed an HIL grenade when the soldiers started to move towards their position. "Hans, how's your side?!"

Hans emptied his rifle's clip and reloaded the weapon. He continued firing, aiming at an almost inhuman rate. "I'm good here Captain. No worries. I can pin them down. I just hope this is the room we're looking for."

The lock on the room beeped open and the doors slid to the side. Nadja entered the room and looked around only to find an injured woman inside. The woman was barely conscious and tried to hold out her hand to call on Nadja. Ignoring the woman's call, the artificial intelligence turned around and stepped outside.

"Victor, I suggest you take a look inside that room. I will cover you."

Victor left his post to Nadja and stepped inside the room. There he found the wounded woman Nadja saw. She wore almost glittering clothes and was bound to a table. That indicated she was not affiliated with the Empire but a captive as well. The wounded woman reached out once more, pleading with a pained expression and a weak voice.


That was all she could say. While Victor didn't come here for anything or anyone else but his brother, he could not help but feel pity for the woman. Hoping he would not regret it later, Victor blasted the restraints that bound the woman to the table and helped remove the wires that were strapped to her body. Noticing that both her legs were bandaged and had circular blood marks, he immediately knew they were shot and that she wouldn't be able to walk on her own.

"Hold on... I'll get you out of here. I know this is sudden but would you know if they are holding a young boy here as well? Russet colored hair, blue eyes? I came to find and rescue him."

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:08 am

Location: Soulreaver Bridge

Admiral Vorlis sat in his chair on the bridge, watching with satisfaction as the Empire forces were overwhelmed by his trained manna users. Already he could see ships attempting to make a hasty retreat. Let them run, and they could tell the Empire of the might of the manna users. Make the Empire tremble in fear at what was to come. The few pockets of resistance remaining were swept away with ease by magic users who had been dropped from the Manna fighter pods. Bursts of flames enveloped Empire forces and great waves crashed into hastily erected military formations, shattering them and filling them with confusion. Satisfied with the outcome of the ground battle, the Admiral turned his attention to the lone building they had left standing.

Caralis...How fares your sister?

She is weak, but alive, Admiral Vorlis. My squad of manna fighters are entering the building now. It's strange, though...I can sense one...two...and possibly a third life-form in the cell with her. They don't appear to be hostile, but I cannot tell if they are prisoners or perhaps some other type of rescue attempt.

Very good. If they are mounting their own rescue attempt, make every attempt to ally with them. Any enemy of the Empire is a friend of ours. What of the boy? Have you located him?

Yes, Admiral. However, my lock on him is very hazy. It's almost as if someone is attempting to shield his presence from us. Can the ship's system get a lock on him for phasing?

The Admiral received the mental coordinates of where the youth was located and barked a command. He waited for a few moments before the technician on the bridge silently shook his head.

Looks like you were right, Caralis. Apparently there is another manna user allied with the Empire and he or she is attempting to shield the boy's energy signature from us. Apparently they are also strong enough that we are unable to get a lock with the ship's sensors. Use extreme caution, Caralis, and don't hesitate to call for back-up if things go awry.

Understood Admiral. Caralis out.

The Admiral drummed his fingers together as he surveyed the wreckage of the battlefield. There was only one group that he knew of that could generate enough manna to block even the ship's sensors. And if they were involved, this would only serve to make things very interesting...He doubted they'd be able to escape the planet with manna, considering as soon as they used a high level spell, every manna user on board the Soulreaver and within the manna fighters would lock on to the Empire's magic user. And even someone from that group would be hard pressed to combat against this many well-trained manna users. But still...they might have a trick up their sleeve that even the Admiral wouldn't see coming. And the Admiral hated surprises.

"Tristan...Bring up any information you have on a group known as Trident," ordered the Admiral.

"Yes, sir," replied Tristan, inputting the search parameters.

As a steady stream of information began to flow, the Admiral began to peruse in a calculating manner...


Location: 23rd SOD Research Lab, Prison Cell

Sigarda blinked and looked up at her rescuers with wide eyes. The man who spoke to her was clothed in blood-red armor and looked to be quite intimidating. Why did she feel as if she somehow knew him...Had she seen him in her visions? She shook her head to clear it from the haze of pain, trying to focus, but receiving a jolt of pain from the Neuroscrambler for her efforts. She took a deep breath when the man asked if she had seen a young boy with russet colored hair and blue eyes. She should have known he hadn't come alone. She was fortunate she had run into this group. She could only hope they truly were allies.

"Yes...I've seen him...he...saved me..." she whispered, her voice dry and cracked with pain and fatigue, "Please...take I'll help you...find him..."

She struggled helplessly in the cuffs until they were slashed with a vibroblade and the Neuroscrambler was removed from her head. Almost immediately her mind cleared, and though her legs were in pain, she could already feel strength beginning to return to her body.

"I...cannot walk," she said slowly, "But I can feel Christian's presence, though it's very faint. I must warn you, I believe he is being held by one of the Empire's magic users. Rescuing him will not be easy. Are you sure you're prepared? I can sense my comrades have landed. Perhaps we should wait for them."


Location: Unknown

Christian couldn't believe that twice now he had made a mistake and twice had been tranquilized. Why had he been unable to sense the other magic user until it had been too late? When he finally opened his eyes, he saw that he was in a dimly lit room with very little in the way of other commodities. Standing with his back to him was a tall man in a battle suit with a white cloak thrown around his body. The way he held his body showed that he was indeed, very dangerous. Christian was certain that this was the one who had succeeded in capturing him. But...he had made a mistake if he thought he could hold Christian without properly restraining him. He knew he'd only have one shot, and quickly began to concentrate his manna into a single, powerful blast. Without warning, a burst of pain shot through his mind and caused him to fall to the floor, writhing in pain. Only then did the man turn around with a rather amused expression on his features.

"Surely you must have known I'd reactive your Neuroscrambler. It was quite impressive that you were able to deactivate it the first time. I think you'll find it much more difficult to do that a second time," the man spoke.

Christian looked up at him with wide eyes as the pain receded to a dull ache. He forced his body to stand and took a few steps back, eyes searching wildly for a way to escape.

"W-who are you? W-what...what do you want with me?" whispered Christian.

"Come now, I was certain you would not be so foolish. You know what the Empire wants from you," replied the Trident leader with a smile, "You may have slipped from the Empire's grasp quite a few times now, but you weren't dealing with me. Even now, your friends are mounting a foolish attempt to rescue you. If they were only dealing with standard Imperial forces, they might have stood a chance. But against me, they have no hope."

Christian took a deep breath, biting back words of retort. He briefly wondered if he was going to be tortured for information. He didn't know how much more pain he could take. It brought him hope to hear that his friends were on their way, but...would even Victor be able to deal with this man? Even with the Neuroscrambler in place, Christian could sense that his captor had extreme control over manna. Sure, Victor had defeated the one known as Raven, but this man was even more powerful than the other Trident member. Could it be...this man was their leader?

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:52 am

Location: 23rd SOD Research Lab

As soon as Victor heard about his brother being held in the same building, he felt relief even if by a small amount. The woman had claimed she was saved by Christian which could only mean that she was also the magic user the Empire was fighting earlier. She offered to help, but in her current state, Victor doubted if she can do much. But perhaps it would be wise not to underestimate magic users. She did put up a good fight against the Empire with Chris earlier after all. The woman also warned him about Chris being held by an Empire magic user. One thing struck his mind upon hearing it, Trident. If they got their hands on Chris, the time he had left to save him had just been shaved off by a great deal. But hope remains when the woman suggested for them to wait for her allies that have landed. He was about to ask for the woman's name but despite the loud gun battle outside, the yelling of his lieutenant caught his attention.

"Captain we have to move! They're beginning to swarm on the right!" Hans called out, frantically trying to keep the soldiers on his side from advancing.

"A magic user holding Chris? Then it could only be them. Let's save the introductions for later then. Here, grab on to me. I'll carry you," Victor offered and moved to lift the woman off the table. As soon as he touched her, Victor suddenly started to feel strange. He began to see words forming before his eyes once again but he was sure that this was not his helmet's display he was seeing.

Manna detected...
Initializing SLAYER System...
Class 7 user identified...
Adjusting Unit Statistics...
Raising Parameters...

Victor wobbled for a second but quickly regained his footing. He could not allow himself to lose concentration now of all times. Whatever was going on with his body seemed to react when in close proximity with Manna energy or to be precise, Manna users. It was quite hard to describe what was going on with his body but Victor could feel the changes from within. He was getting stronger and it was not due to the implants he already has active. In his mind, he decided that he should go see Doctor Mizaki when this is over.

"Am I too heavy for you?" the woman asked.

Victor shook his head sideways lightly. "No, even with my implants turned off, you're light as a feather. I just stepped on something." he lied. "You ready? It's chaos out there."

The moment the woman nodded, Victor stormed out of the room. Hans who was busy covering their right flank quickly tossed HIL grenades to blind the soldiers on his side. "You got your bro--," he stopped after seeing who Victor had in his arms. "Captain, we didn't come here for extra baggage! Since when have you become prince charming saving damsels in distress?" the lieutenant finished with possibly a scowl on his face behind the helmet.

"Lieutenant, where are your manners? It's rude to call such a lovely lady extra baggage. This woman was why my brother came here in the first place. I know we don't have enough manpower but we'll make do! Nadja, how's the left flank looking?"

Nadja was busy firing from her cover but she looked at Victor while reloading her weapon. "All clear Victor. We can go this way."

"Okay, we're going left! Nadja take point! Hans, you got the rear!"

With a nod from both his companions, the three briskly moved to the left corridor checking rooms along the way and taking out any soldiers springing from the front and the back. The party engaged numerous hostiles here and there as they moved but when they came to a fork, they had to go for cover. Up front was heavily guarded by soldiers blocking both paths with makeshift barricades.

"Caralis..." the woman muttered.

"What?" Victor asked while moving from cover to cover with the woman.

"My allies... they're coming... the right path..."

Nadja looked at Victor with a blank facial expression. She discharged another clip from her weapon, reloaded and sprung from cover to return fire. "Victor, we have to clear a path now. I am detecting several lifeforms coming in from the right, a squad, we will be overwhelmed."

Looking at the woman, Victor decided to trust what she said. He laid her down behind cover and readied his rifle. He returned fire with Hans and Nadja taking out three soldiers before ducking for cover again.

"Forget the right path, this woman said those are her allies. We'll clear the left!"

Focusing on the left path, Victor and the others traded fire until there were only a few soldiers remaining on the left path. Seconds later, a loud crash followed by an explosion came from the right. There were debris and mostly Empire soldiers sent flying from the right and soon, the makeshift barricade was torn down in a blaze of beams, magic and smoke. Victor propped up from his cover taking advantage of the situation and took out the remaining stunned soldiers on the left flank. Soon as the smoke cleared, several soldiers wearing a different outfit were standing on the right path. Their weapons were a unique looking handgun on the left hand and a glowing right, all aimed at Victor, Hans and Nadja.

"Nadja! Hans! Hold fire! Lower your weapons!"

The two did not comply, caution their number one priority. "You tell them that Captain." Hans said, his weapon trained on one of the new guys on the right.

"Caralis..." the woman Victor rescued mumbled again.

Looking at the woman, then to the edgy people on the right path, Victor noticed that one of them, particularly the one standing up front in the middle wore a different looking outfit. If he was not mistaken, that must be their squad leader.

"Caralis! Is there a Caralis with you?"

The other party hesitated to answer at first but the one in the middle motioned for his squad to lower their weapons. When they did, Nadja and Hans did the same.

"Indeed my name is Caralis. Who are you?"

Tensions aside, Victor removed his helmet and turned to the woman he rescued and lifted her up in his arms. "This woman said you guys are her allies. My name is Victor Wolfe."

Upon seeing the woman Victor had in his arms, the one called Caralis immediately started heading their way. "Sigarda!" he called out.

Handing the woman called Sigarda over to Caralis, she was entrusted to the others in the squad for healing. The three watched in awe seeing so many who could use magic in action. Victor was probably the least surprised.

"For rescuing my sister, I am in your debt. You have my deepest gratitude Victor Wolfe." Caralis said and bowed with respect.

Unused to pleasantries, Victor extended his right arm instead, offering it for a handshake. "Don't worry about it. Is she the one you guys came for?"

Realizing that the man before him means business, Caralis shook his hand. The moment he did so, Victor once more saw the words in his eyes.

Class 7 & 8 users identified...
Caution advised...
Revising protocol...

Again he could feel changes occurring in his body. He was getting restless, like he was being overloaded. But Victor paid no mind to it, enduring the stomach churning-like experience.

"Yes and someone else... the same boy you're here for." Caralis said and let go of Victor's hand.

"For what reason?" Victor immediately responded.

"Sigarda told us that Christian was of big help to her. Also as a fellow magic user, we cannot allow him to fall into the Empire's hands. We are not the enemy Victor, we're merely here to help."

He was about to respond but a communication from the Kamikaze crackled in his comms unit.

Captain, we're looking at an unidentified big ass ship laying waste to the base! Is everybody alright?

Upon hearing the report, the look on Victor's eyes immediately changed. The situation is immediately slipping from his control and something tells Victor that there's more to it than what he's being let on. But with Trident involved, getting the help of these people is surely the best move to make.

"We're fine Corwin, that ship is on our side. We still need to find Chris. Stay close." he radioed back.

Victor then looked at Caralis. These guys brought serious firepower with them for a mere rescue operation. Something is amiss but they are not someone Victor could afford to mess with right now. For the meantime, he would cooperate. "Alright, but my brother stays with me."

"Of course Victor."

"We don't have much time Caralis. Tell me what you know while we move."


Location: Containment Cell Alpha

Clyde sat on a chair while talking to one of his subordinates via vid-comm back on Sol System. He had a brief conversation with the boy prior to this call but he had been silent after their short exchange of words.

Master Clyde, we've received troubling reports from the 23rd SOD in Ucrade, are you alright?

"For now yes but I am at a disadvantage."

What is going on?

"I was able to subdue patient zero and was about to make my way back, but then I learned that the 23rd SOD got their hands on Christian Wolfe when they ran his identification. He too is in my custody. The bad thing is, they came for the boy as well and I'm stuck in this base that has been overrun."

They? You mean that other group? This is bad... Master Clyde, can you make it out?

Clyde closed his eyes for a few seconds. "Scarlet, I had to use up quite a bit of magic to subdue patient zero and right now, I am using magic to track their movements and screen our location from them. I have not been given the chance to rest. As it stands, I do not have enough manna to teleport three individuals."

Oh no! Should we come?

"Ucrade is too far. You'd just burn too much Manna teleporting here to be of any help."

But Master Clyde!

"Don't worry Scarlet, even as I am now, I'm still strong enough to hold my own. They would find it very difficult to deal with me."

Master Clyde, let me remind you that you're alone! The 23rd SOD won't be of any help!

"You worry too much Scarlet. I never counted on the 23rd SOD to begin with. Besides, they're already done for. They're here yes, but it's not like the can kill me that easily. Relay this to the Emperor after his meeting with the Inner Circle. We can't let 'them' find out about patient zero but I also have Christian Wolfe, and that I can only bring either one of them there. I'll let the Emperor decide which one he wants."

Yes Master Clyde. We'll be in touch, stay safe.

"Now then..." Clyde said and turned to face Christian on the far side of the cell. "Tell me about the 'key' while we wait for your friends to arrive."

The boy hesitated to answer. The long silence followed by the expression that the boy had was enough for Clyde to make a conclusion. Sighing in defeat, Clyde understood that the boy knew nothing about the Key to Nirvana... at least not yet. "So she hasn't told you about that huh? That voice in your head?" he chuckled but quickly fell to silence. He was getting carried away by the boy's innocence.

"Manna is not what it seems young man. To many, it is just a means to an end-- to use magic, but it is more than that," Clyde said and conjured a blue flame to dance in his right palm. "This energy is alive. It has a will of its own and chooses those who can wield it. From what I have observed with your actions to date, you clearly know nothing-- a mere puppet to your power..." he trailed off after receiving another call on his vid-comm device, it was the Emperor. The look on Clyde's eyes changed after their brief conversation, it was time to move.

Despite the rumbling from above, Clyde stood up and slowly walked towards Chris, drawing ancient symbols in the air using the blue flame. After drawing several symbols, Clyde commanded them to surround Christian's head. The ancient symbols of blue flame hovered and started to circle the boy's head.

"Do you know what I'm doing?" he asked mocking the boy's knowledge of spells. "Obviously not, knowing you are but a mere amateur when it comes to magic." he finished and placed his right hand on Christian's head.

"This is an ancient high level spell, I like to call it The Truth..." lectured the man with a faint smile. "While I will be giving away our location to your magic user friends, with this, I will learn the secrets 'she' has been hiding from you. Oh! One more thing... this is disorienting for first timers."

Having said that, Clyde's body began to emit a tremendous amount of Manna flowing outward from his very being. His eyes turned as black as night and the hand he had placed on the boy's head started to glow. It was like being sucked into a vacuum of light into the boy's mind. Clyde could see it all, memories the boy held dear. The deeper he went into the boy's mind, the stronger the manna Clyde emitted.

"Ahh... I can see it all..." he mumbled as he traversed the boy's being.

Upon diving even further, Clyde suddenly found himself in a place where there was nothing but white all around. A smile slowly grew wider on his lips when he found a door, chained shut and emitting a sound similar to a heartbeat. He has found it, the door that holds the key to the gates of Nirvana, the promised land. Clyde reached out for the door and as soon as his hand touched it, a surge of pure manna blasted him right out of the boy's mind and cancelled his spell.

Ignoring the minor sting in his hand, Clyde scoffed at Chris. "Hmph! As you are now, you are useless to us. I have seen enough." Clyde stated and removed his smoking right hand from Christian's head. He then turned his gaze to the door that locked them inside the room.

"Any moment now..."


Using his magic, Caralis yanked the metal doors out with ease but Victor was the first one to enter the room. Inside he was greeted by the smiling face of a man he knew. His eyes immediately locked on to his brother who was bound by the same weird devices the woman he rescued had. He then turned his gaze to the man's golden eyes.


"Ahh Victor... how nice of you to join us," Clyde responded and looked at the others that soon entered the room. "I see you brought some friends. Not like it matters but... It's good to see you again."

"Let my brother go now Clyde." Victor demanded and trained his weapon at the man.

"Such hostility. Victor, you don't really think that toy of yours will do you any good do you? Look, I did not harm your brother. As you can see he is breathing. Well, a little disoriented but breathing nonetheless."

"Damn you! What have you done to him!?"

Clyde smirked. "Nothing you should concern yourself about. As much as I would like to stay and play, my attention is needed elsewhere. But before I leave, allow me to give you a parting gift."

Without a moment's notice, Clyde shot a pure blast of manna at the group. The last second before impact, Nadja shoved Victor aside and took the force of Clyde's magic head on. The artificial intelligence was sent flying back out of the room, knocking down Hans and several of Caralis' soldiers. Caralis managed to erect a manna barrier just in time to shield him and Sigarda from the blast but even with his barrier up, the sheer force of the magic Clyde used brought him down to one knee. When the group regained their footing, Clyde was no longer in the room.

"Damn that bastard! Hans! Is Nadja okay?! Is anybody hurt?"

Hearing that the others were fine, Victor immediately rushed to Chris.

"Hey buddy hang in there! Are you okay? Let me get these off you..." He worriedly said and chopped off the cuffs and removed the circlet.

Join date : 2009-08-07

Posts : 1276
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:29 pm

Christian looked over at Clyde with wide eyes as he spoke on his communicator. He had next to no idea what the man was talking about, though his heart leaped to his throat when Clyde said something about teleporting. If Clyde took him back to the Empire, there would be absolutely no hope for escape. Yet again he wondered why he had been so rash, foolish, and reckless when he had felt Sigarda fighting the Empire forces. If only he had consulted with his brother, they would have found a way to save the girl together. Now...all he had done was get himself and Sigarda captured, and forced his brother to form a rescue mission. He had failed utterly and completely...As he lowered his head, he heard Clyde speaking to him once again.

"Now then...Tell me about the 'key' while we wait for your friends to arrive."

Christian hesitated, wondering what in the universe the man was speaking of. What was this key? Why would Christian have a key? He thought the Empire was chasing him for his magic abilities, not for some key. What would they want with a key? What would the key open? Whatever it was, the Empire was surely planning a way to use the key to serve their own ambitions. Even if he knew about the key, he would never have said anything to Clyde. Clyde laughed and said something about the voice in his head, and the youth inhaled sharply. How had Clyde known about that? Still, he obstinately said nothing, listening quietly as Clyde explained about manna. He body began to shake with fear when Clyde drew strange symbols in the air, which began to float around his head. What was the Trident member planning? Christian felt like he was helpless. There was nothing he could do with the neuroscrambler around his forehead and the stun cuffs binding his wrists. He shivered as Clyde described the spell, biting back tears.

"N-no...p-please...don't," he pleaded but it was too late.

Clyde's eyes turned dark as a raven's feathers, and he placed a hand on the boy's head. Christian gasped as he felt the manna user invade his privacy, his innermost thoughts laid bare. It was certainly unpleasant, and even painful. It was if every memory, good and bad, was being ripped from his mind and rifled through like a stack of papers. Painful memories of losing his parents...his worry whenever Victor would leave...more recent memories of fighting Empire forces...ending lives...He found himself sobbing, but unable to escape the spell. Suddenly, an image of a chained door appeared. And though he swore he had never seen the door, it somehow seemed familiar. Clyde reached to open it, even as Christian founding himself screaming in horror. Clyde never opened the door, however, as a powerful surge of manna broke his concentration and shattered the spell. Christian sank back in the chair, his entire body shaking with exertion. He was barely even aware of his surroundings.

"Hmph! As you are now, you are useless to us. I have seen enough."

Moments later, a familiar figure entered the room.

"V-Victor..." whispered Chris in a weak voice.

Before anyone could do anything, Clyde sent a blast of manna at the group before disappearing. Fortunately, no one was harmed. Through blurred vision, Christian could see Victor hovering over him. His brother removed the cuffs and the circlet, and immediately Christian felt a sense of relief, even though he felt tired and worn out.

"I'm...okay...just a little tired...T-that man used some...kind of spell on me...i-it was horrible," whispered Christian, trying not to sob.

Weakly, he reached up to hold his brother's arm.

"I-I'm so glad you're here...T-thank you for saving me..." he said, voice still soft, before he turned his gaze on the others, "T-thank you to all of you."

He hung his head a moment later, "I-I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble, Victor...i-it's my fault all this happened..."

Sigarda, who had been mostly healed by the other magic users, suddenly rushed forward and knelt beside Christian and Victor, "No, it's not your fault at all Christian. It's mine. I was overconfident and thought I could take on the Empire alone. I was wrong and I hurt you because of that. I am only glad that you weren't taken away. I know that the spell used on you took a lot out of you. Here...I think this may help you. It belongs only to the Chosen one."

So saying, she released a spell she had been using to conceal something around her neck. It flashed with a green light, and Christian could see a rather large emerald suspended from a golden chain.

"This is the Mox Emerald, one of three gems said to have a connection to the Key and the Light of Nirvana. It is said once all three are in the hands of the Chosen One, the door will be revealed. You are the Chosen One Christian. This is yours," she whispered, slowly placing the necklace around him.

The Emerald reacted immediately, beginning to pulse with a strong light. Immediately Christian felt a sense of strength and renewal. Power surged through his body, more raw manna than he had ever felt coursing through his very veins. The door appeared again in his mind's eye, and one of the chains binding the door fell loose, clattering to the ground. For a brief moment, the woman appeared once again in his mind...

The seal is weakening, Christian. I am sorry I hid this from you for so long. I thought perhaps if I didn't tell you of your true destiny, you might be frightened and that others might seek to extract the information from you. I see I was wrong. Know this, once you have collected all three gems, all parts of my essence, they shall combine with the greater essence inside of you. Then you shall have the power to enter the door...and to change the world. To bring manna back, and restore it to its glory.

The vision faded, leaving Christian disoriented for a moment. He finally let go of his brother and stood up. Before he could say anything, alarms and sirens began blaring.

Self destruct imminent. Evacuate immediately. Ten minutes remain before complete destruction.

Location: Soulreaver Bridge

On the bridge of the Soulreaver, Admiral Vorlis watched with satisfaction as his forces completely decimated the Empire with very few casualties. He finally allowed his mind to concentrate on the rescue mission. For a moment, he felt the strong presence of the Empire's magic user, and then it disappeared. Finally the manna masking the boy's energy signature fell away, and the Admiral could tell that though he was weak, the one they sought was unharmed. A moment later, a burst of power surged.

"Ah...that would be the Mox Emerald," he murmured.

Another moment and he saw light begin to flash in the base. The self-destruct sequence!

Caralis! The base is self-destructing! Shall I give the order to teleport you out of there?

Location: Containment Cell Alpha

Caralis watched quietly as his sister placed the Emerald around the boy's neck. It surprised him to see the Emerald react, as in all the years they had possessed the gem, never before had its energy signature been so strong. Maybe there really was something special about the boy...He looked up grimly as the self-destruct system activated.

"Our ship can teleport us out of here," he said quickly, "I can promise you that you will be safe and returned to your ship immediately. Or we can risk being blown to bits. It's your choice."

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Re: Origins Unknown

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