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Rise of Shadows chapter 1 - Asteriod
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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Chapter 1 - Asteroid.  

Chapter 1 - Asteroid.

“We have him now.” Captain Rogers leaned forward eagerly and thumped the arm of his chair.

The ‘Dragnet’ shook as a minor asteroid impacted the shield and splintered into a thousand fragments. The destroyer class ship swept on after its prey heedless, leaving the shards spinning and drifting behind, like a dissipating ghost.

The second in command, Commander Max Blue, scanned the readouts coming in. “It’s still slowing, that last hit must have damaged the engines.”

“Continual fire when you have a clear shot,” the Captain said to the weapons officer. “Let’s rid the galaxy of this drug-smuggling scum once and for all.” The man leaned back in his chair, a look of satisfaction playing over his rugged face as he stroked the top of his bald head. “It’s about time we had a break, eh Blue?”

The Commander nodded, still concentrating on the pursuit. He didn’t share his Captains’ satisfaction, which he considered premature. There were still options open to the smuggler, even if they didn’t lose the ship in the dense asteroid field.

He switched out of scanner mode and looked around the ship’s bridge. The crew was operating well, he was glad to note. Not that he expected anything less, but they were mostly rookies, and this was their first time in actual action together. Blue shook his head. The war had taken its toll of the Fleet, they would be understaffed for many years to come, never mind the ship shortage.

His blue eyes flipped to the main screen, which Captain Rogers preferred over the Bio-Implants most officers now had. He was at best an average officer, thought Blue. No doubt he would have never made command if it hadn’t have been for the high casualty rate in the final rounds of fighting.

“Sir, they are approaching a large asteroid,” reported comms.

Max flipped back to his Bio and flipped through the scanners himself. It was true, the smuggler was heading towards a large rock. A quick spectral analysis showed a high metal content. Rather too high, they must have an outpost hewn into it.

“Slow to half,” said Rogers, still reading the preliminary data on his screen.

The Commander sighed quietly. What the captain had against implants he would never know. The Bio-Circuits were connected directly to the brain, enabling information retrieval at the speed of light. Why read when you could scan?

Still, he remained silent as Rogers caught up.

“Looks like they may have a base there,” said the Captain eventually.

Blue rolled his eyes.

“Shall we nuke it Captain?” The weapons officer asked.

Rogers considered the proposal for a minute. Eventually though he shook his head, and Max released a breath he didn’t realize he had been holding. Nuking an asteroid with such a high metal content would have been a waste of warheads.

“We’ll have to send in a ground squad,” the captain said. He turned to Blue. “Commander, assemble a strike team of marines, you’re going in. Check in with the Psyche first though.”

Max nodded, he’d expected something like this, and was ready, even eager for it. “Aye sir, I’m on it.”

He strode of the bridge, issuing commands to the assault team as he did so. “I’ll be in the launch bay in thirty,” he relayed to the Marine captain.


Jumping into the grav-tube, he floated down several levels to the personnel deck. The resident psych preferred to work out of her cabin. Something about a ‘familiar atmosphere’ she had told Blue once.

He stepped out of the tube and strode along to her cabin, stopping briefly in front of it to straighten his long black tunic. He was about to request entry when the door slid open.

“Enter Commander,” came a voice out of the gloomy interior.

Max entered, pausing as the door slid shut behind him to get used to the dimly lit room.


“I am a psychic . If I can’t tell when a visitor is approaching then I wouldn’t be much use now, would I?”

“I suppose not.”

“Sit.” The figure was sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor.

She was wearing a long purple robe this time, which Max was secretly grateful for. The psychic often went naked, and Max found her voluptuous body a distraction he could do without. He was from a conservative colony, and the prude in him still lingered, despite years in Fleet which was fairly uninhibited in certain ways.

“I expect you know why I’m here,” he said, sitting awkwardly on another cushion.

“You want to know about the asteroid. You’re foolish you know. You could have simply asked me where the pirates were going.”

Max flushed. He hadn’t thought of that. The position of ship psychic was still new and unfamiliar, and he wasn’t used to considering her when thinking about tactical options.

“Wait a moment, I’m nearly ready.” The robed figure leaned forward and added another line to a strange inscription on the deck. Her bald head glistened off the candles that were dotted around the cabin.

Max waited, uncomfortable in his cross-legged position.

“Done.” The psych leaned back and put her head down. She was silent for a minute. Max didn’t move, he had seen her in action once before, and knew better than to interrupt this time.

“There are fifteen on the ‘roid,” she said. “Only two are on the ship, with another one freshly passed over.”

The commander nodded.

“It’s strange…”

“What?” Asked Blue, despite his resolve to be silent.

She frowned. “They… they are not themselves? Oh! Another one has just passed over.”

“Maybe he died from injuries,” said the Commander. “What about the asteroid?”

The Psych shook her head and paused for a moment before answering. “The asteroid has no heavy armament, it’s safe to approach with the ship, but it’s heavily armored. There’s only one entrance. You will have to blast your way in. It’ll be tricky, but far from impossible.”

“What about further out? Are there any other pirate ships nearby?” Max didn’t want to be taken by surprise from the rear whilst he was on the offensive.

“Let me see.” She was silent for another minute, and Max was about to ask if everything was okay when her head shot up. Her eyes were wide open and dark as night, looking right at him, right through him.

“Ahhh!” The psych cried out, holding her head in her hands. “No! Get… out...”

“What’s the matter? Semeral!” Max shouted her name, not daring to touch her whilst she was in a trance.

The psychic slumped forward, falling to the floor with a thump.

Blue leapt up and roller her over. She was unconscious. “Medic to the psyche’s quarters” he relayed. He lifted her body with a grunt and managed to manhandle her onto her bunk just as the medic arrived.

“What happened?” The young doctor asked, flipping open scanning instruments.

“I don’t know. She was in a trance, then… then she just passed out.”

The medic nodded. “Well, it happens sometimes with these psyches. There’s nothing much I can do usually. The mind isn’t really my area.”

“Will she be okay?”

The medic waved a hand. “Let me work.”

Max nodded and straightened up, turning away and heading towards the door. There was still a smuggler base to deal with.


“We’re in position,” Blue relayed.

“Acknowledged,” came the answer. “Launching torpedoes now.”

They waited. Twelve marines, a pilot and Max, in full battle armor, squashed into the small shuttle that was hanging a few thousand clicks from the armored bay door in the asteroid. The minimum safe distance.

“Tracking ordinance,” said the pilot.

Blue flipped to his Bio and watched as the ship’s missiles approached the target. Invisible in the vastness of space, he could still follow their progress via his implant, which was connected to the ship.

“Impact,” the pilot said, rather needlessly as the flash of light was clearly visible in the dark. “Bay doors are down,” he said a moment later.

“Go,” relayed Max.

The shuttle surged forward as the pilot issued his commands, flying silently towards the entrance, the asteroid’s rocky surface flashing by ‘overhead’.

“Weapons ready,” Blue commanded. “Standard attack pattern.”

The marines shifted slightly as they gripped their rifles and ran final diagnostics.

The shuttle turned, and the wreckage of the doors flashed by. Then they were in a hangar bay. The ship they had pursued was docked at one of two ports.

“I’m not going to dock there,” the pilot said. “No doubt it’s loaded with explosives.”

“I agree,” Max said. He turned to face the marines. “Let’s go for a walk. Nothing comes out but us, understand?”

“Understood!” The twelve voices came back instantly.

“Doors open,” the pilot said, as the side port swung open. The crew were in sealed battle suits, and the atmosphere inside the ship had long since been vented, so it was simply a matter of launching outwards.

The marines were all veterans of the war. They deployed smoothly, scanners sweeping the area efficiently.

“Nothing,” the lead reported back.

“Check out that docking port then, and the ship too. Find a way in,” Max commanded as he floated out into the empty bay. He hung there, slightly apart from the shuttle, as the orders were carried out. The bay was dark, and the marines’ lights were off. Only the suit’s dark vision and his Bio’s readouts allowed him to follow what was happening.

“The docking port is clear.”

“No life signs on the ship. The door is locked. Do you want us to effect entry?”

“No, leave it for now,” Blue answered the second message first. Then he directed his comms to the other scout. “Clear?” Blue frowned. “Are you sure?”

“I double checked,” the marine answered. “No booby traps, no life readings, nothing.”

“Okay, One to Ten, you are with me. Assemble at the entrance port. Eleven and Twelve, you are on rear guard. Be alert.”

The orders were acknowledged as Max thrust his way over to the second docking port. He arrived there and examined the entrance himself.

“It’s clear sir, I checked once more as you were coming over.” Two turned to face him. He had his helmet light on, making it look like a disembodied head was hanging in the dark. “It’s not even locked.”

Blue nodded. “Very well, effect entry. Go carefully, there’s something not right about this.”

Two turned and issued several commands via his implant. The door slid back, noiseless in the vacuum, and he led the marines inside.

The airlock was also unprotected and unlocked, and it wasn’t long before the eleven soldiers were inside the base, standing in a deserted changing room. Several mismatched space suits were hanging on the walls. Three doors led into three tunnels that wound into the interior of the base.

“Air normal,” Three reported.

Blue nodded as he did a sweep with his scanner, but the asteroid was interfering with the signal, and he could get no useful readings. “Okay, switch to local atmosphere.” He slid back his helmet and looked around. “Looks like we are doing this the old fashioned way. Two, Three and Four, you’re with me. We’ll split up. Five to Seven, take that exit, Eight to Ten the other one.” He gestured at two of the corridors. “Go easy, and keep in constant contact.”

He watched as the marines moved off, then turned to his squad. “Our turn.”

They started off down the remaining tunnel, which had been roughly hewn from the asteroid itself, with the rock melted and smoothed to make the passage walls. It was a standard method for this type of structure, cheap and easy to do with modern mining equipment.

As they walked carefully along, a distant booming sound echoed through the tunnel.

“Firing?” Asked Three, cocking an eyebrow.

“All Squads, check in!” Commanded Max.

“Squad B, all clear so far.”

“Squad C, no contact yet.”

Max turned to his comrades. “So who is firing?”

“And at who?” said Two.

They walked further, every sense on heightened alert. Several more reports were heard, merging together.

“More than one weapon,” commented Three.

The tunnel widened slightly, ending in a set of metal doors that slid aside as the troops approached, and they entered cautiously with weapons ready.

The room was apparently some kind of rest area. Comfortable chairs, several tables and food and entertainment stations were scattered about. On one chair sat a rigid figure, a drink clutched in one hand.

He made no movement as the marines approached. The reason was soon evident.

“Frozen solid,” said Two, after taking some readings. He prodded the man with his gun. It was like poking an ice statue.

“Yet look, his drink is still liquid,” Three peered into the cup.

“This is weird,” Max said, stating the obvious. He looked around, but could see nothing else strange. “Come on.”

The room had another door, which also opened as they approached, and they entered a kitchen area, bereft of people, living or dead. Beyond that was a long corridor, with multiple doors spaced evenly along its length.

As they entered one of them flew open, and a man staggered out. His clothes were covered in blood, and there was a wild look on his face as he saw the intruders.

“Life!” He shouted, staggering towards them.

The marines opened fire, their rifles ejecting heavy solid slugs that were the default ammunition in this kind of environment.

The bullets hit home, hammering into the figure and tearing large chunks of flesh off his torso, splattering blood over the walls.

“Pain!” The man screamed, he stopped and turned, yanking open another doorway he dived through, apparently heedless of the massive injuries he had sustained.

The three troops looked at each other in shock.

“What the hell?” Said Two. He was interrupted.

“This is Squad B! We are under attack. Repeat, we are under attack! They won’t go down! We are…”

The signal was cut off, to be replaced a second later by another one.

“This is Eleven! The pirate shuttle is moving, I say again, the shuttle is preparing to launch!”

Max looked down the tunnel, at the door the man had fled through, then back the way he had come. Things had just become serious…


What’s the next action for Commander Max Blue? Orders please!

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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject:  

How about go help Squad B first? Being understaffed is a problem so obviously they want to keep casualties of war down. The pirates can wait or be caught later. There are lives at stake here! :shock:
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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:10 pm    Post subject:  

Assuming they have heavier weaponry back in the ship, return and restock for weird, supernatural being that doesn't notice massive wounds. I suggest something that blows a body into several pieces. This will result in the spirit escaping and taking another body. If it is smart, it'll sneak in with the rest and randomly wreak havoc inside the ship. If they already have heavy weaponry, request backup, if there is any, and move in, continuing from two sentences ago.
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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:42 pm    Post subject:  

hurrah! Finally another chapter of a scifi story.

Well, get everyone back to help the other team, and contact the ship to take out the shuttle.

That should do it.
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Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:53 am    Post subject:  

Blast the Pirates. That's why you came here. And anyways those other guys are expendable soldier and not usful equipment.
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Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject:  

Help squad B if you can, then order your troops to fall back to the docking port and get back to the ship. This is obviously something you can't handle on your own, and the smugglers are your primary objective anyway. Maybe come back later with more troops and equipment.
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Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject:  

I read the story but I have no clue what to do.
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Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:52 am    Post subject:  

So far we have...

Rush to help squad B.

Request backup or return to the ship and restock with big guns.

Keep moving on. (I think).

Any more before I start polling?
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Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:02 am    Post subject:  

I said go up and blow up the pirate ship, remember?
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Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:04 am    Post subject:  

Masterweaver wrote: I said go up and blow up the pirate ship, remember?

Oh, that's what you meant. Well, the pirates are on the asteroid, or most of them anyway. They are all pirates!
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Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject:  

BLOODY PIRATES! (Sorry, couldn't resist, considering the third movie comes out on May 25th here!) :D ;) :cool:
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Posted: Sun May 06, 2007 5:48 am    Post subject:  

Poll is up! Fire the phaser of voting.
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Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject:  

i say keep moving after the com from squad B goes silent after some loud screams of pain.
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Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:48 am    Post subject:  

For something that won't go down easily I say retreat and try to get intel on what they just enountered then go back after them
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Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 5:50 am    Post subject:  

So, rush and help squad B takes the final corner well ahead of second place.

So be it. Expect a new chapter fairly soon, assuming RL gives me a break. :mad:
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Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject:  

Mehehe. Not any more... The score is 4 to Help Squad B and 3 to Stock Up With the BIG GUN- er, that is to say, stock up with superior weaponry that might aid our party in their worthy cause. *coughs* Yes.
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Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 4:53 am    Post subject:  

Well, it's still winning (forgot to close the poll), which is good, 'cos the next chapter is done. I will post it as soon as I retrieve it from my laptop.
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