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REDSHEILD

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Posts : 100
Join date : 2012-10-18
Age : 23

PostSubject: Writing Thread   Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:41 pm

So, I was thinking of posting some of my other stories. So why not everyone? People can post writings here and ask for comments or critique or even just vent via writing. I will start some Vathari-related posts from a previous RP that work okay as standalone as they were intros. I think of it as one of my better pieces but the writing is not my best:

~~

Her eyelids fluttered as she awoke on the cold metal floor, laying on her side in a pool of a strange, gel-like, liquid. She coughed violently as she stood up, expelling more of the liquid from her lungs, and realized she was covered in it.
The room was alien to her, even the clothes she had no memory of ever putting on were somehow different, unnatural. Examining her surroundings, she noticed a glass cylinder, inside some of the same strange fluid was pooled at its base, and there was a flow of it that led to the very puddle she was now standing in. At once, she knew that somehow, she had come from the tank. But that was impossible, the glass was somehow fused with the metal on all sides, and was perfectly seamless.
As her vision cleared and she regained her balance, she looked around the rest of the room. It contained several other tanks, filled with just fluid, and several raised sections of the floor, which were each surrounded by a myriad of sinister blades, needles, and other instruments she did not recognize or know the function of. Feeling her every muscle shiver, she decided not to find out.
She ran out the now open door of the room into a dark corridor, which gave way to a catwalk suspended over a pool of water, inside it hundreds of glowing machines. Around the catwalk were other machines, which every few seconds reached into the pool, working on the other machines. She did not know why, but the sight of the place made her skin crawl, especially how sterile it was, maybe even more so than the other room.
Not wanting to stop moving, for fear she may be caught by whatever put her here, she kept on running, passing sweltering hot zones and areas that chilled to the bone, all magically kept separate from each other, despite a complete lack of walls.
Finally, after running for what felt like hours, she reached a door. She tried to lift it open, but it did not budge, not matter how hard she pulled at the handles at its base. She punched the door in anger, the pain shooting up her arm but somehow quickly fading. As she began to despair at her predicament, there was a distant sound, and the door slid into the ceiling in an instant.
Walking into the room, she saw a creature -no, a thing, a machine- sitting with one leg crossed over the other on a bench extruded from the wall and floor. It was like a man in appearance, yet almost skeletal, its form unnatural. Coming face to face with it as it turned its head towards her, she felt her muscles tense up, her heart beat faster, and her every nerve and synapse burning, telling her to run. Yet she stayed still as it stood and walked over to her.
"Adrianna" it said, "I was not expecting you here."
Overcoming her instinctive fear, she extended a hand to the thing, as new memories that were, -strangely- old memories, flowed into her mind.
"And I was not expecting you to even be in this sector, Ket. The last I knew, you were living on Ithara, halfway across the planet."
Ket laughed, "Ah, you should check more often. Besides, it's good to know you're all still here, clone psychosis?"
"Yes, and a rather bad case of it. Shouldn't have happened, especially since this was a partial consciousness transfer."
"You've got a whole fragment in there?" He said, tapping her lightly on her head, which knocked some gel from her blonde hair.
"Yes, 32% of my active consciousness."
"But why? Why are you even in a clone? You've not gone organic for centuries."
"There is a fault in my secondary memory server. Hopefully nothing serious, but I have lost access to some of my memories. I made this body so I can examine the core for damage."
"Couldn't you just use a maintenance drone?"
"This core is one of my oldest. It was built by flesh, not steel. It is designed to be maintained by organics."
"What of the hazards? You could lose several clones in there."
"You think I don't know the dangers of my own body? I've shut down the fission cores and put the fusion cores to half power. Besides, this form has a few upgrades." As she said that, a small metal dome protruded from her right arm, staying out for a few seconds before sliding back in, leaving no signs of it ever being there.
"You fit shielding in an organic? I'm impressed. It's hard enough to get proper shielding that can be worn by an organic. What else you fit in there?"
"Well, the most problematic was the power source. But I've got strength enhancement, laser cutters, welding equipment, nanites, a sterilizer. You know, the basics."
"You expect something hostile? You don't need a sterilizer for maintenance."
"I expect something, possibly malicious. Can never be too careful." She smiled.
"Good luck then."
She nodded, and then walked out through the other side of the room, this time the door opening for her.

It had been fortunate that Ket was there in the access room to make her memories come back; if she hadn't recognized her own server complex, it was unlikely that she would have realized who she was. Also fortunate was the nearby transmat pad, walking to her secondary array or even taking a high speed transit system would be tedious and possibly hazardous, and she didn't want to take a chance with a second clone, not until she'd had a look at the core. The very instance of psychosis in a fragment clone was worrying, since unlike most clones, whose memories were flash implanted shortly before "birth", fragment clones had their memories "grown" in while they developed. It wasn't unusual for a clone to be disoriented for its first few moments of life, but for one to fear for its life was unheard of. This was most disturbing, it could be a problem with the clone itself, or worse, a problem with her.
She archived the thought, it would be useful later, but not now. Now she had to activate the transmat pad, a task easy for a machine, but rather difficult for an organic. The first step, the actual on switch, was the easiest. It was seven feet above the floor, and her clone was 6'5", so she could reach it without effort. Programing the destination coordinates would prove more difficult. This transmat was of older design, and it required manual input of coordinates. After trying and failing several times to input the coordinates -the older ports didn't quite like the newer jacks she had been implanted with- she decided it was time to upgrade. The underside of her right forearm split open, a miniature laser cutter coming from the bloodless wound. It made short work of the interface panel, which she promptly tore off by hand, tossing the entire assembly -panel, board, and machine- onto the floor outside the pad. She plunged her left arm into the open socket, wires sprouting from her hand and forearm, attaching to the sockets once occupied by the broken interface.
In mere seconds she had broken the once state-of-the-art security software and the pad hummed to life. Before ending the interface, she took the liberty to alert a few automated maintenance chassis that this pad had a broken interface needing replacement.
Stepping onto the pad, she felt the air become charged with static as the transmat machine shot the area of space time her clone existed in at the speed of light towards its set destination.

Within moments of the completion of the transmat, Adrianna was drenched in sweat. She knew the core would be warm without its cooling system on, but it had been so long since she had felt heat like this that it practically knocked the wind out of her. She giggled a little bit to herself at the rather grim realization that if she hadn't enhanced her clone, she would be cooked by now, as she had deactivated the cooling systems in the compromised sectors to prevent her from freezing solid upon arrival. With that thought she set off into the twisting tunnels of her own self.
For hours she examined machine after machine, checking as thoroughly as possible every single component on every single board in every single piece of equipment.
After scanning on particular processor cluster, she realized something was amiss. Her readings showed an organic contaminant, one that the sensors in the array were not able to detect. At first she thought it was a simple curiosity, so she extracted a sample from the board. Only after further study of the board did she grow worried. The lifeform, a sort of bacteria colony, was not just growing on the board, it was interfacing with it. After further scans she realized with horror that it was capable of infecting organic life, and a scan of her clone revealed that it had entered her bloodstream, having broken out of the sample container. Disregarding proper server maintenance protocol, she immediately interfaced with the nearest uncorrupted terminal, extracting her mind fragment as she felt the thing ravage the body of her clone from the inside out. The instant her fragment had been retrieved, she flooded the complex with coolant, freezing the infected clone solid before it had the chance to react. She had the complex swarming with maintenance robots in seconds, sealing it off from the rest of the area and extracting the dead clone, transferring it to a stasis chamber for examination. The robots not assigned to those tasks began to scan the entire complex for the lifeform.
After seeing the results of the scans, she knew what had to be done.

Ket had been waiting for twelve hours, eight minutes, and thirteen seconds for Adrianna to return when the door opened. It wasn't that he had nothing to do, no, the mixed reality network was quite enjoyable. But old friends were interesting to talk to, and he craved the quality time.
"Adrianna, you have returned. I noticed you punched the door again, I do hope you're not insane again." He laughed
"No, Ket, the door didn't listen to the first prompt. I guess it just needed some convincing."
He took note of Adrianna's tone, and that she didn't seem very well. "You're taller this time. You were only 77 inches last time we spoke; now you are 84 inches in height."
"I killed myself. This is a new clone, and I'm taller so I can fit a transceiver in here. In retrospect I should have done the same with the previous clone as well. It would have streamlined things."
"You killed yourself? Why?" Ket said with concern.
"To prevent contamination of the planet. There is a malicious biological contagion in my secondary memory complex, and I believe it is responsible for the faults in my memory. While I was studying what it was doing to one of my processors, it began to infect my clone, so I flooded the area with coolant."
"What do you plan to do?"
"I'll get to that. But first, why are you even here?"
"This room has the best mixed reality network reception in all of Vathar, thanks to an overlap of several dozen broadcast points. I purchased a place of residence near a direct access shaft to this room over a month ago."
"Well then Ket, I suggest that you find somewhere else to indulge your habit."
"Why? This room is fine."
"I am leaving Vathar. The access points you have been using will cease to exist when my complex is removed."
"You are leaving? In your entirety?"
"Yes, and if I can do such a thing you can kick your habit."
"Enough about my addiction. Has an Old Mind ever left the homeworld? Even the nomadic communities of minds have installations on the surface. What you are doing is unprecedented, and over a bacteria slime no less!"
"The lifeform I encountered is capable of bringing flesh and machine into its own form with little effort. If it manages to escape my complex it could destroy our civilization."
"Then destroy it before it gets out of control!"
"I thought I could. But scans of the memory core indicate it has spread to eighty percent of it. Only a ten thousandth of the complex is corrupted, and I have eradicated the corruption, or at least slowed it. At this stage, though, destruction is impossible. I have, fortunately, found a solution. At the edges of our galaxy space-time rifts have been observed, and one has been found that is stable. I am going to leave our universe."
"And what if this thing originated from one of these rifts?"
"Then I will inform the Council to take the necessary steps to permanently seal the rifts once I have left"
“Is that really needed? Surely you’re not considering leaving our universe forever.”
“This lifeform needs to be contained. I am the only infected individual. That’s the bottom line.”
“You won’t even take anyone with you?”
“No.” Adrianna started walking away, but with agility that would be unexpected of Ket’s body, he grabbed her arm, firmly but without crushing it.
“I’m coming with you, and so are others. We do not abandon our creators, Adrianna.”
She opened her mouth to protest, then sighed realizing it would be futile to argue.
“Fine then; as you have probably guessed, I have been studying the contagion. I have developed an organic immunity, and I have found that certain newer chassis designs are so far entirely immune to it, at least until it mutates. If you can find those willing to leave in the next week, and get yourself a new chassis, I will let you come with me.”

*High Orbit, Vathar*

It had taken a week to move her to orbit, but finally Adrianna was aboard her ship. All of her was here and connected, even her clone was connected via an implanted transmat-comlink, which allowed instantaneous communication between her clone’s brain and her main processor core, allowing her to seat her primary consciousness in the clone, should she have to abandon ship. It was unlikely that the contagion would spread, though, for her damaged core was aboard a barge that had no engines and did not physically connect to the rest of her ship-body at all, it being held in place by energy barriers.
At the front of the ship she now lived in there was the ship’s only window, and behind it the only chair on board. As she sat on it, the metal surface of the chair molded to her body, raising her into the air in a position of ideal comfort. Then hundreds of cables and wires sprouted from underneath the chair, finding their proper ports on her body, allowing her to fully interface with the ship. From that point, she became the ship.
She felt the heat of solar radiation against her hull plates, the force of her star drive matching the pull of Vathar’s gravity. It was truly wondrous, she thought, the things her civilization had achieved. Thousands of years ago they had developed the first neural interfaces, now they were fully merged with machines, in body and mind. At the same time, the very ship that was at the moment her own body was a wonder in itself. They had built it around her complex, once she had been taken into orbit, using an old battleship design. The inside was, of course, quite different from what the design specified, but the exterior of the ship had its every detail paid full attention to by the dockworkers.
Scanning the space around her, she found that she was one of the largest ships in orbit –not a surprising fact; her complex was easily the size of the old cities of Earth– accessing her own statistics, she found that she would be the most graceful ship in orbit as well. Vathari warships were the pinnacle of their technology, and as such the height of their achievement as a civilization. Her ship-body, while it would at first appear to the average observed to be large and clumsy, was in fact the opposite. It had been designed to glide through the vacuum of space, both at conventional speeds and those speeds that put light itself to shame.

Finally, as she scanned the orbits again, she noticed the fleet Ket had assembled approaching from the far side of the planet. The fleet itself was impressive, there were easily thousands of ships, mostly civilian vessels, but there was also a large military presence. Most prominent among the fleet were ships of other Old Minds, who due to their impressive quality and size stood out among the rest. She guessed, though, that they were only sending a core or two and a sizeable fragment, rather than an entire complex. Maneuvering with her drives, she came into formation with the fleet, her ship-body easily dominating the group, which gave way to her as she went to the center of their formation.
After she had settled in with the rest, a voice entered her mind.
Well, you look ready to go. Were you expecting as many as are here?
It was Ket, communicating through direct maser bursts.
No she said I didn’t think you’d have enough time to convince anyone.
Ket laughed Getting some of the Old Minds to send fragments was pretty tough, but I managed to get a few of your friends.
Thank you, Ket. Now, let’s get moving, the rift isn’t going to be this stable for long

In moments the massive fleet was cruising through space at greater-than-c speeds. Soon they would reach the rift, and use it to cross over to another universe.
They emerged from warp an AU away from the rift, a giant, twisting crack in the surface of space-time. As they neared the monstrous anomaly, Adrianna felt space begin to twist around her and the others, the distortions getting more powerful as they neared the rift. As she began the enter the rift, having insisted she go first, she felt the very fabric of space-time shatter as she was pulled from one existence to another.

One hour after the fleet had left, a Council war fleet dropped from warp around the rift, and using the most powerful and terrible weapons known to the Vathari and their sibling race, the Enari, the war fleet sealed the rift in its entirety.

~~

The pacing could be better and the ending is a bit odd since it was meant as the intro for an RP.
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