Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Explorer

A blue luminescent glow radiates at the stiff finger that was pointing at it accusingly. “There it is the site” said a flamboyant voice with a hint of excitement. “Bring us over there, now” “Yes sir” the cockpit pilot responded. The vessel slowly towed itself towards the edge of the Yan Jung site with its ill-fated crew. 

They were approaching the Yan Jung relic site, passing across huge asteroids. The crew knew what they were supposed to look for. An asteroid rock that had an irregular shape, for that was all the information they got from The Broker with their life earning all spent for this one information. “Is that all he told us? Just an irregular shaped rock? Is he serious?” said one of the crew member.” Yes, now keep your eyes peeled, it could be anywhere” “exactly my point” The captain shot Short Willow a stern stare. That kid should just shut up. “Sir, could that be the rock?” A holographic display appeared then zooms into a particular field of asteroids. “Amber, pulled that rock closer” A Minmitar girl around her twenties took hold of a joystick and shot a tractor beam towards the rock and pulled towards her closely, which is what she did to the captain to get this job. 

As the rock got closer Amber released the trigger and the rock stayed afloat just three meters away from the ship. A ray of green light wraps around the asteroid as it rotates without the source of gravity to keep it still. “Completed” Harvard the captain of this ship looked down at the results of the scan. Fuck. “Bring us in deeper” The beam retracted, bouncing the rock off the shield of the ship as it passes through more debris.
“I want my hard earned money back, we have been doing this for the past five hours with no luck, look at Amber she is getting exhausted” protested Short Willow “I am not tired” Amber added in a cold and flat tone. I don’t like her either. Fate suddenly took a turn for the better for the crew, as something caught the captain’s eye. An asteroid rock glimmered from the ray of the sun nearby, but there was something unnatural about the flicker it gave off. Something was out of place.

“Amber, tract that rock over there” The captain pointed towards it. As it got closer a barely visible vision of the words “Yan Jung Mobile Laboratory” appeared towards the crew. Yan Jung, we’re rich. Everyone knew that finding old wrecks from any of the four ancient races of New Eden would guarantee them survival for the rest of their lives given the fact if they don’t spend them away lavishly. In the minds of the crew, everyone was fantasizing and planning on what they were going to do once they received their share of the profit, power, women, boosters or maybe even be a capsuler.

Their thoughts of lust and power shattered as their ship was being targeted down by a Yan Jung Sentry Gun nearby “Pull the thing in and let’s get out of here!” Suddenly the captain’s voice turned into a screech of fear.  Willow opened the cargo bay doors to allow the asteroid to come in as it barely fits into the bay, while the vessel shook for a moment. The doors seals tighten as the captain realigned his ship towards the nearest station.  Blue inferno shot forth from the nostrils, thrusting the crew forward towards their intended destination. “Warp drive active” announce a silky disembodied voice of the ship.

The warp meter was filling up quickly; once it’s full the ship would warp away safely except that this time it did not. “Captain we've been scrambled!” shouted Willow. An exploration class ship like this was never meant for combat, which meant if it’s scrambled then it might as well be a wreck stuck to an asteroid like the one they reeled in. “Direct all power to the shield, overload the rack now!” Although the captain may have a flamboyant voice, the crew had always admired his decisive order without hesitation. Another crew member was waving his hands feverishly all about the holograms in front of him as he reroute all the ship’s power to the shield. From the view of the cockpit, the crew could see the blue transparent shield thickens as the blue glow became stronger. This better hold, the captain thought to himself.  Several missiles pounded the shield of the exploration vessel. All this for nothing? “Release the drones!” he commanded.  Two T-2 Hammerheads flew out from the drone bay swiftly and began firing at the sentry gun. “Sir, this isn't enough we would be destroyed before the hammerheads can even get into their armor” I know

At this time, the fabric of space broke as a bright yellow light cut through it followed by a loud explosion. A ship with a yellow and green themed hull shot out from the crack of light and was heading towards them at an impossibly high velocity. However, just as the ship was about to collide with the crew’s vessel it took a swift turn and was aiming itself at the Yan Jung sentry gun. A few seconds was all it needed to finish its task. A bright blue orb almost as big as the ship itself was shot forth from it and towards the sentry gun. Whatever it was, the crew was within the radius of it. And there was no time to escape.

 For a few seconds all they could see was blue hue which turned into white. When their visions returned they could see a cyan ring spreading across the site. He checked his crew around him, all of them seem fine and unaffected, and the ship for one was still intact. Although, the sentry gun was still there, it seemed to have been powered down somehow. EMP blast, the captain guessed from his experience. Without any hesitation the pilot knew what to do and hastily reactivated the warp drive, setting the course towards the station. As the ship power was rerouted back to its default. The captain quickly scanned around from the cockpit searching for that mysterious ship. He knew that the ship was in trouble because they were still in Deltole system, a high security space in the Algintal constellation. CONCORDS would be here soon for whomever that saved their life, as launching bombs in high security space was against CONCORDS law. 
His vision caught the ship sitting among one of the Yan Jung ruins. The hull of the ship started to pulse rapidly, within seconds it turned into a Menticore, but before the captain could see anything else the exploration vessel was already in a warp tunnel and was ready to dock up

“What the hell was that?” asked Willow as he gave his captain one of his stupid looks. “I don’t know. What is important is that we got the wreck which almost cost us our life and all of our savings” He pressed a button and spoke into the air “All crew members except the ones piloting this ship have to gather into the cargo bay immediately.” He released the button and told his pilot to dock up at the least busy hangar in the station. Small drones buzzed around the ship and started towing it in into the hangar as the captain walk away from the cockpit and into the belly of the ship. He leaned against the balcony overlooking the cargo bay, as some of the crew and drones were cutting and slicing the debris that was stuck on the wreck for eons.  This is going to take quite a while, the captain sighed. He walked down the stairs towards them with his hands behind his back showing superiority and authority to the others. “Captain we need H-514 to even softens the astronomical dirt on this” says one of the workers that were working on the wreck. “Will it damage the wreck in anyway?” asked the captain “I don’t think so” “Then do it” The worker nodded and proceeded towards the storeroom.

“Make sure not to dent the inscription, our client may need that as prove” He said over the workers. Harvard turned back and took out his neocom device which was a communication device “We have the wreck you were looking for and it has the words Mobile Laboratory on it” as  Harvard said this he let his alst words ahng in the air a for a few seconds. “Good we’ll meet at Am~” the receiver responded but was interrupted by Harvard “I want ten billion credit for this” Harvard’s eyes darted around nervously, a sign that he wasn’t sure if he was going to be richer by two fold or lose his client completely. A long paused stood between them for several seconds. Then the call ended with only one word from the client. “Deal”

As Harvard’s mouth broaden to a grin, his device received a message “Meet at Expert Distribution Retail Center on Moon 4 in Amarr System” Good. Some of the crew members saw his expression during the call and knew that it was only good news for them. The rumor among the crew was that the client was a powerful Ammarian overload or politician, they weren’t sure which.  The captain broaden his shoulder and with a smile proudly announced “Finish this work in less than six hours and I‘ll double the pay of everyone involved!” Only I have that kind of audacity. Mental boasting was one of Harvard’s favorite past time. He then retired back to his quarters of the ship but before doing so he instructed two guards to protect the entrance of the ship while it was in the station’s hangar to prevent anyone from getting in or out.

Amber was always listening to them, from all corners of the ship. Her ears were at all times no more than ten meters away from the captain’s conversation. She heard it all and would gladly report it to her lover, Alkhan also known to the captain as his client. The only difference is that Hrvard did not know the connection between both of them until it was too late.  She approached the filthy contraption that was now being hosed down by three men while another two were holding it in place as they were resisting the cold water being reflected off the surface of the machine. “How are we doing now, boys?” asked Amber in a feeble but lusty voice. If it was Willow who asked that question he would most probably going to get hose down together with the machine as well, but this time it was a girl who looked like everyman’s fantasy. “We’re almost done, beautiful” said one of the guy who was holding the hose as he tried to give his best smile he had and almost lost his grip. She giggled a little and cat walked away, just as she was walking away Willow walked pass her and she almost immediately straighten up and gave a quick lofty look in his direction. Bitch.

In the Amarr system a group of paladins were receiving their orders from a high and mighty individual from the kingdom. Alkhan was a strong politician among the Amarrians, the people loved him for his grace and his amicable attitude and not to mention his flawless recitation of the holy Amarr Scripture. “By the grace of God, every death that will soon ensue today will be a hundred sins forgiven for each man” roared Alkhan Lovaskian as he raised his hand high up and pointed towards the heaven, or so he thought. This man was very different from the others and unlike Chamerlian Dochuta Karsoth the second most powerful man in the Amarr kingdom who abused his “Holy” influences for dominance and carnal desires. Alkhan was a true believer of the Amarrian God and most probably the most devoted and religious person. He prayed and recited the Scriptures daily in his free time and never did any vices in his entire life. Moreover he truly believed that there was a God and more importantly was that he believed Him to be physically somewhere in the far reaches of space. The only problem was finding Him.

“Today we shall acquire the key to the Heavens my brothers, only a few of you have been selected for this Holiest of the Holiest of mission bestowed onto us, the favorite of His children”
All of the paladins stood like poles. “It is vital that every man aboard that vessel must be sent to Him” as he said this he thought of his love. Tristus Shah was Amber’s real name and by blood she was of pure Minmitar decent. Somewhere in Alhkan’s memory implant were the days when Trintus served him as a slave, preparing his clothes and food every day. She was indeed a loyal slave to him. For in the Amarr believe the Minimitar race could only reach the higher echelons of enlightenment though slavery for the Amarrians , except that fate took a twist and soon master and slave were lovers bound only by affection. This was the one rule that Alhkan did not follow and was bound to keep it as a dirty little secret between him and his men. “The wreck will be delivered directly to my ship after job is done” The Paladins nodded slightly.

Tristus’s device beeped with a message bearing the words “The stars begun to fall on the forth night” It’s time. She then proceeded to the intercom and told the captain that the work was completed. Harvard looked out again for the last time from the balcony to witness what use to be an “asteroid” was now a glistering and beautiful hull of an ancient ship. He wondered what it was that is worth so much to his client,  he pondered for a few moments if he should just cut the deal off and possibly sell it to higher bidder. However before he could fantasize a higher amount of credits his device blinked with an additional ten billion credit to his virtual wallet, which firther reinforced his idea that this was the right client.

The ship finally reached its destination and was docking up into the Amarr station. Something isn't right, the captain thought. “This seems to be a really quiet hangar in the station” He then noticed that there was only one drone that was towing it into the hangar and it looked different, it looked somewhat familiar to him. He ignored his instincts and walked down towards the door of the hangar bay and was ready to unload it’s cargo to his client.

The ship came to a complete stop hence their fate in this ship was sealed. The entrance of the cargo bay opened up slowly. In the middle of the path was a man adorned in a golden weaved cloak and behind him were six men, half of them on either side of him. These men wore a white robe with a thick golden stripe over their heads and down to their feet, which glistered in the lighting of the hangar. The color red would contrast the tone of this place the most. And it soon will.

“Captain Harvard my workers would be carrying the cargo off this ship” Harvard nodded.  Fancy clothes for just workers, he thought. In one movement the men heaved the wreck up and started walking, Harvard was confused as they were walking towards him and his crew instead of the exit.  Are these people’s vision blocked by their hood? “Hey the exit is that way~” AHrvard shouted  but in a split seconds a whipping sound sliced the atmosphere. At the same time all of the crew were laying on the ground, except that there was no blood, yet, it’ll take sometime for the blood sipped though fresh cut flash from nano-cable wires. Harvard looked around and felt something wet. He soiled himself. Then he felt something prodding behind his skull. A gun, he guessed.

To his surprise it was Short Willow who was holding the gun on his right hand and his left was locking Tristus’s neck in a frantic position. The man who stood in the middle seems to flinch for just a moment but was composed again before anyone noticed. “Someone tell me what’s going on here!” Willow hysterically barked “Why are the pilots dead and most importantly, why is this bitch here still alive?” he’s expression was unbalance as every muscle in his face twitched and flinched “Willow’s finger was shaking and so was his trigger finger. “Release her Willow…” Harvard calmly said. A second later a hard thud was heard in the bay as Tristus fell and tried to catch her breathe while supporting herself with her hands on the floor. Harvard turned his body quickly and with both of his his arms grappled Willow’s neck and in one swift hundred and eighty degree turn. A sickening series of crack echoed throughout the cargo bay. Willow’s neck was cleanly dislocated at every angle. Somewhere in his windpipe Willow’s last breath was stuck. 

“Let me join you, I’ll be more of an asset to you if I were alive” Harvard pleaded for his life. If he did not have the exploration experience and knowledge he gathered from his life experiences exploring the cosmos, he would have most probably ended up as a mercenary. Alkhan responded “Let your blood be the judge of that” Harvard suddenly felt that his torso was falling towards the ground, he then tried to balance himself by placing his right foot in front of him, but it would not respond and before his face crashed to the floor. He saw both of his feet still grounded on the floor except that his body was not connected to it.

As soon as it was over all six men carried the wreck out of the ship without even a single expression on their face for the disgusting scene that was just unfolded before their eyes. Alkham waited for Tristus to finish her work. “Nice wiring in the bay Trist, looks like we didn't even need the paladins” Tristus smiled back at him as they were walking out of the ship. No one should ever know what they were about to embark. The ship behind them suddenly disengaged in the hangar and undock on its own. In a few jumps this exploration vessel was going to self-destruct on its own somewhere in a dead space pocket, destroying its crew and any evidence that could link back to Alkhan and his men.

In a facility near one of the moon, the Yan Jung wreck was being reversed engineered while being protected by a shield and a several jammers and sentry guns surrounding it. Within the confine of an office in the laboratory, Alkham and his lover were having a conversation. “Alkham I suspected the captain saw one of our “friend” before he could change” said Tristus and she turn towards him. “Which is why he is dead” he responded. Tristus gave a sigh “They could easily find his body and salvage his memory” “It doesn't matter in a matter of days we would have our own ship, specially manufactured to withstand the magnetic storm of the gate to heaven, The EVE Gate” said Alkham with pride while Goosebumps overtook his body. “What if you can’t jump through once you get close enough? Does this mean that God never wanted us to see Him?” Like Alkham, Trsitus was also a staunch and true believer.  She cultivated the culture of the Amarrians and their believes, from a tender age. She was one the rare Minmitar slave who really embraced their faith. “He has not brought us this far for nothing, the gate will be operational just for us” he looked into her eyes while memories of them playing hide and seek secretly in the field of Oris passed by their eyes.

The couple and six chosen paladins boarded The Explorer, a one of a kind ship that was made from the reversed engineering of Yan Jung hull technology. Only a few individual in this universe knew about Yan Jung’s ancient technological capabilities and The Broker was one of them but he only wanted to sell the information and nothing else while others like Alkham sought for divine exploration beyond the stars of New Eden.  The system of New Eden where the gate lies was the closest to the Amarr region with only a few light-years away and thereby would only take a few days before reaching its final destination.

Radiance of a thousand suns shone onto the hull of The Explorer as they witness what they said was the Glory of God. The ship realigned towards the brightest gate of New Eden, so bright that it was that it could be seen many light years away. The gate was completely covered with its magnificent rays of lights. This gate was build twenty thousand years ago when men was said to have come from a different galaxy known as The Milky Way and had found a stable wormhole from their galaxy to New Eden but was cut off at some point. It was estimated the wormhole lasted for only seventy years or so before fate claimed it. However it was also known that people back there were building a gate similar to this but was not completed before the wormhole collapsed. When it collapsed it created the biggest catastrophe in New Eden, completely wiping out most planets in the system and starving new colonies because of the lack of supply back from earth. However what was not known is the fate of the other side may not have been the same as New Eden as many speculated that the blast could only happen at one end of the wormhole, meaning the other side could have survived and only saw the closing of it. Whatever the outcome may be, the gate on New Eden’s side had somehow survived the blast and if the other side didn’t embrace The Dark Days as New Eden had, then they could have continue building the gate further advance their technology unless they thought it was useless as the wormhole was closed and finding it back was impossible. There was only one problem for them to test this theory and that was the magnetic storm blasting from the gate would have destroyed any ships that comes too close or stays too long in the system.

A station in this system had a hangar that was gargantuan and was said to have been built by the Terrans who were the people that came from the other side. According to some research the technology that earth had  back then went way passed on what New Eden is having now. So just to imagine what would happen twenty thousand years later would be unimaginable, of course this is taken into the fact that humans did not end up destroying each other during that period of time.

Howeve, Alkham was only interested in finding God and not the fate of the other side. Of course the Amarr civilization were not the only ones who believed that god was on the other side but also the Sisters of Eve Corporation had a similar believe except that they did not get help from the Jovians like Alkham had. And it was for a good reason. As they were in the warp tunnel both of them held their hands while feeling the slight inertia that was bringing them ever closer to the gates of heaven. God was waiting for them, they were sure of it. The hull of the ship was still intact; damage calculated was near zero percent. Everything was perfect for the jump. According to Alkham’s calculation the radiance magnetic field should create enough power for the gate to be active enough for just one jump but they had to wait for the perfect pulse from the enigma before they could do it. Indeed Alkham had spent many weeks in his office working on the calculation of the power needed for the jump and the impeccable alignment of the ship, and the Nano seconds of the window of opportunity given for the ship to jump through.

A group of battle ships bearing markings of pirates were sitting two hundred and fifty kilometers away from The Explorer just far enough so that they would not be affected by the pulse. “Target down that ship” a rough voice commanded. He then hears the sound of the constant beep signaling that this ship was targeting another. It then stopped abruptly, it was gone the ship had just vanished in front of his eyes. No ship has ever jump through that gate, no ship.

The Explorer indeed disappeared from the face of the gate bearing the word “EVE”. A great monolith that was built by men and would undoubtedly cause the ultimate destruction to them. In the coming weeks and months the pirates spread their encounter of this incident and so it became a folktale of New Eden and rumors of where they ended up became legends. Some said they found God while others said they found  their ancestors and some even said they went back in time to prevent the whole catastrophe from happening  And legends became myths and the story of The Explorer would forever be passed down as a classic bedtime story, for indeed The Explorer was never heard or seen again, but one thing was for sure, they managed to jump through the EVE gate.

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