Spectres of Erebus

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Spectres of Erebus

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Thu May 23, 2019 4:46 am

Foreword

It had started with a communications blackout. A few ships left the planet's surface bringing reports of Corporate corruption and sabatage. The only evidence provided were broken surveillance recordings, and one comotose subject with the numbers Zero-Two tattooed into his hand. The SU had to learn more of the situation on the ground and assess the accusations levelled against Thanatos Corporation.

A Terran Expeditionary Marine task force was assembled with investigators chosen from the Solar Union News Network (SUNN), the Galactic Detective Agency (GDA), third party consultants from Ninja-Tech (an upstart company at this time) and one Veteran from the Meres IV Ijad Insurrection.

The Erebus Gate logged the group's arrival in system in early 0232. Contact was lost when the group's transport hit the upper atmosphere. In an attempt to communicate with the Team, the SU had Erebus Gate launch twelve Cricket class communications satellites into geosynchronous orbit. All bands of communications from analogue to digital were silent.

In 0232, the SU wrote Erebus off. The planet was officially quarantined for fear of a new plague, and no new attempts were made to rescue the, "Ghost Planet". The only companions of the lonely world a Gate with a skeleton crew and two carriers to intercept any crazy enough to visit Erebus.

In 0242, contact was finally reestablished with the surface of Erebus. The true story of the citizen's struggles and Corporate culpability caused a stir in the SU not felt since first contact with the Ijad. Two operatives, a man and a woman, decided it was their duty to report the truth.

What follows are the interviews SUNN correspondent and Task Force Investigator Jansen Bjorn compiled for the SU. All interviews are subjective, but supported by evidence collected by GDA Senior Inspector Kei Ikeda.

The Erebus taskforce are still grounded on the onyx planet.

"'The Great Loss' is what I originally intended to bring to the viewers. Instead I got to live it."
-Jansen Bjorn

"Statistics and numbers pale in comparison to reality. A reality we all are still experiencing."
-Kei Ikeda
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Section 1: Rise of Thanatos

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Fri May 24, 2019 5:03 am

It's a quiet day at the Tomb of the Lost. The massive structure built of recycled frame metal towers over a mostly empty rainy plain. The midnight soil and glowing orchard of peach trees clash with the industrial nature of the monument.

In the suffocating darkness one can hardly make out the silent sentinels guarding the structure. Four Chubs in matching Black and purple colors from the Spectres of Erebus mercenary company; a group founded in response to the "Great Loss" by ex-employees of Thanatos Corporation.

Hugh Fear, a tall but slender man, agreed to discuss the rise of Thanatos. Fear keeps his regulation pilot's suit and helmet (visor closed) on the off chance he needs to help his company fight off the rampaging wildlife. He was once the Chief of Security for the medical wing of Thanatos.

Hugh's standard has the calming tones of the ancient Terran United Kingdom.


Things are never what they appear. Thanatos is the best example I can use to warn others. What information did you need?

We wanted to learn about Thanatos' involvement with the "Great Loss". So really anything you can provide. Start with a bit of history.

Right. I'm not a stuffy historian, but I will do my best.

It all started with a group of scientists who were looking for new ingredients for medication.1 They had heard of Erebus from the survey ship's crew; a land of glowing plants.

The scientists found the rumors were true and also found the sap could be used as natural anti-virals. More interesting to them was the genes of these plants allowed them to grow without sunlight; Photosynthesis requiring only carbon dioxide and water.

Did these researchers found Thanatos?

Negative. Thanatos at that time had broken away from its competition through military frame research. Their first fortune was gained building better thrusters for space combat.2 The company wished to diversify their portfolio; that is they wished to branch out into medical and biological research.

Thanatos hired the first scientists to become their Medical wing. They then paid the SU charter fees to place a gate next to Erebus.

Did the locals cause trouble?

Not after Thanatos used the genes from the flora to make Erebus farmable. (Hugh takes a second to point to the trees). Peaches were a luxury out here, and the mining boom had died down considerably and the populace were struggling to pay import tariffs. The citizens of Erebus soon proudly declared their planet as home to Thanatos Corporation.

From 0225 to 0229 Erebus prospered from Thanatos' help. The population grew from a hundred thousand to one million and I was proud to be helping this growth.3

(Fear pauses for a few seconds. To our west a lightning bolt illuminated the silhouette of an Erebus Dire wolf. A Chub fires into the air to spook it).

Unbeknownst even to me, there was a second reason Thanatos wanted Erebus. Isolation. Erebus was the perfect place to hide from the Solar Union in plain sight. Thanatos hid right under the noses of TEM and UMFL officials on the planet.

On the surface Thanatos were the saviors of the planet. Underneath they had damned it.

While I had hoped to learn more from Hugh, the interview was cut short by a pack of Dire wolves attempting to make off with Hardsuit-clad workers.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kei Notes:

1. The SU encouraged Scientists in 0225 to scour the then established colonies for new medications in the wake of the Phobos Chicken Pox outbreak (Estimated 5,000 casualties in the Sol system).

2. Thanatos-Style thrusters are still in use today. Ninja-Tech has been reported to use these in their (unconfirmed) Prizrak project.

3. In 0225 it was reported by the SU colonial census Erebus' population was 100,536. In 0229 the population had grown to 1,002,652. At the time of the "Great Loss" (0231) population growth had stagnated to 1,003,450.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good evening everyone, as I mentioned previously in Last Transmission I decided to take a bit of a different approach in this. I am still unsure if I want to keep this going, or right an outright sequel (prequel?) to it.

C&C would be appreciated.
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Photos for Section 1

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Mon May 27, 2019 7:33 pm

ImageMobile Frame Zero Spectres of Erebus; the Crew by NinjaLegendDoom, Off-Duty Spectres of Erebus, including Hugh Fear (Gold Visor)

ImageMobile Frame Zero Spectres of Erebus by NinjaLegendDoom, Company Photo of the Mercenary group Spectres of Erebus

ImageMobile Frame Zero Spectres of Erebus; Hugh Fear’s Chub by NinjaLegendDoom, Hugh Fear's Personal Chub, geared up to fight wildlife.
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Re: Spectres of Erebus

Postby VitorFaria » Mon May 27, 2019 8:04 pm

Pretty cool, nice to see you are still pumping those great fan-fics!

More interesting to them was the genes of these plants allowed them to grow without sunlight; Photosynthesis requiring only carbon dioxide and water.


That kinda exists in real life, but requires energy from a chemical source as well.
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Re: Spectres of Erebus

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Mon May 27, 2019 9:58 pm

VitorFaria wrote:Pretty cool, nice to see you are still pumping those great fan-fics!

More interesting to them was the genes of these plants allowed them to grow without sunlight; Photosynthesis requiring only carbon dioxide and water.


That kinda exists in real life, but requires energy from a chemical source as well.


Thank you, Vitor! I'm glad you're enjoying the read. The article you posted is fascinating and in line with how I expected the plants to make food (Erebus being a hotbed of Geothermal activity, I was expecting the planet to have a high chemical composition in the soil).
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Section 2: Effects of Thanatos

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Tue May 28, 2019 6:38 am

Katya Moscova is a bubbly pilot. She hides her face behind a rebreather and obscures her pilot's suit under a standard Sub-zero thermal suit. Standing at 1.57M, she is also the shortest in her group.

She is not bothered by this, but laughs, "I fit the best in our equipment."

Katya pilots Imp Hardsuits, small and cramped machines that were used to protect the miners of Erebus from cave-ins, for the UMFL on Erebus. During the "Great Loss" the UMFL suffered a loss of 80% of their Frames, and has found great success in supplementing their companies with Imps.

The UMFL outpost where Moscova lives and patrols is in the middle of the Erebus Rainforest. A sea of brilliantly colored trees surround the old mining camp, but all is obscured by the torrent of rain outside. Katya is working on her Imp hardsuit with the bay door open, "Better to enjoy the scenery."

Katya was a teenager when Thanatos began their research on Erebus, and ended up working for them as a mechanic.


Papa used to say, "Something about Thanatos is not right."

(Katya grunts as she removes damaged plating from her Imp)

He was a miner, moved himself and mother here to get away from everything. I can see why he wanted to, you can't beat the view! Mother and he lived here happily, with a whole community of like-minded people.

How did Thanatos change that?

At first nothing changed, at least for the original colonists. By the time Thanatos was here it was Papa and I, Mother had moved to the core systems to help with the Phobos outbreak as she was a Doctor.

It seemed every year the effect snowballed. Nova Moscow grew beyond its own borders, and new colonies popped up overnight.1 The mining business was improving.2

More people moved to Erebus. More teens showed up at school...

More people disappearing?

Nyet, at least not until I was an adult. Thanatos offered every citizen more options. Originally every colonist could work in the mines, or join the military. With Thanatos in the picture more jobs came to Erebus.

My Papa had warned me against Thanatos, he believed they were too good to be true. I did not listen, because I wanted to work with Frames.

(Hutch Katya mumbles as here wrench falls and rolls under the Imp).

I met all kinds of new people, and loved my work. It was hard to believe after all the good3 they did for Erebus, they were the ones to ruin it.

The Ion storm warning siren kicks on, and we are ushered by two UMFL security members to an ECM reinforced shelter. Katya smiles at us as we leave, totally unfazed by the brilliant blue and white lightning engulfing the visible sky.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kei's Notes:

1. With the population growth two new colonies were founded besides Nova Moscow: Volkgrad and Outpost 326 (named by Thanatos).

2. Compared with the previous year (0224) Erebus Net Export increased from Two hundred thousand tons of material (Onyx, Copper and Titanium) to Eight Hundred Thousand tons (0225).

3. As of last calculations, Thanatos increased the net worth of Erebus by 6.4 Billion credits, Increased profits by 55% and dropped unemployment on Erebus to below 3%. Additionally, Thanatos provided 400 million credits of aid to Erebus charities.
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Photos for Section 2

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:48 pm

ImageUMFL: Unit 37109, “Weber’s Warriors”, Imp Pilots by NinjaLegendDoom, Katya Moscova (Front, Center) with her fellow Imp Hardsuit pilots.

ImageUMFL: Unit 37109, “Weber’s Warriors” by NinjaLegendDoom, The "Glory-Hounds" Erebus UMFL, Ethan Weber commanding.

ImageDZ-79 Imp Hardsuit by NinjaLegendDoom, Katya's Personal Imp Hardsuit, posing beside a Chub from the Erebus First and Only TEM.
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Section 3: Immoral Thanatos

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:28 pm

7 of 40, "West," is unlike anyone I have ever interviewed. He is of average build, with buzzed black hair. He carries himself as if he has been in the military, though his only records indicate him being third in command of Phi-25, a Thanatos Security Frame company. He is also host to an Ijad, whose antenna poke out of an armored casing built into the back of his pilot's armor. The Ijad is only known as "Sever," it true identity was lost long ago.

West stops his Zealot style frame on a small hill, overlooking some ruined pens and buildings. The rainforest has reclaimed most of this area, with shrubs glowing in an almost somber violet.

West is standing on top of his frame throughout the interview, enjoying the light drizzle in an otherwise heavy monsoon season. Both he and Sever take turns telling the story, Sever's voice is direct and slightly higher than West's natural tone.

Phi-25 currently are housed with the last remaining Ijad colony, "Ghalesh", where they act as the local security forces.


Sever: This was my home. 0220 one year before human colonization, Ijad settled here, or so Merash1 has shared with me. We lived here peacefully through 0229. My memory has been altered... I have lost much.

Take your time. What made 0229 different?

Sever: I was fresh hatched. A nestling. A human company had come to trade with our village. They did not want Ghanat, they did not want Frames. They wanted Ijad. The village leaders refused, as it was not our way.

West: I was fifteen. Erebus was not my home, but my parents sent me for school or something like that. I really don't remember much from before we met. The only blurry memory is of a man in a white coat pulling me aside. I could've been at a Hospital, or in school... The background is always shrouded when I try to remember.

Sever: The trading caravan opened to reveal Frames instead of goods. They gave the Elders five units to decide.

West: I came to with a migraine. I was too young for Scotty's Pale Peach Ale2, mind, but it certainly felt like a hangover... I was in what looked like a hospital bed... Forty-five others around my age stretched what seemed to be an entire hospital ward. In bold letters the wall proclaimed I was in "Thanatos Medical Recovery". The thought crossed my mind that I was infected with some new viral outbreak.

Sever: Five units passed, and the Ghanat waded into the battle. They.... lost. Merash escaped with ten others. The nestling brood was captured. The village was burned.

What happened then?

West: The scientists "introduced" me to Sever. I felt the cooling disinfectant on the back of my neck, followed by an expanding of my consciousness. I felt different.

Sever: I experienced learning. I accepted the common tongue and spent the next year adjusting, learning.... Experiencing through another.

What was the goal Thanatos had? Also, do you regret being chosen?

West: We were in a secret program.... Run by humans for human benefit. They were trying to reverse engineer the Ijad. Some corporate bigwig crunched numbers; Ijad were more efficient than humanity. Bonded human performed 10% better under stress, not to mention the reflex boost.

Sever: We are neither Ijad nor Human. The bond was not chosen by us3, but we showed the same efficiency. We did what Thanatos ordered; It was all we knew.

West: I will never regret having Sever. I would have liked a normal life, but I love never being alone. Besides we have 3 through 40 of 40 who are going through the same life.

Sever: They intended to make us better Human. They made us better team.

What happened to 1 and 2 of 40?

Sever: Ask Thanatos.

We finish our conversation and I am invited to Ghalesh. I graciously decline, as we scheduled an interview with the last Thanatos Representative on the planet. As we depart we can see West, still on the lonely hill. He has opened up the storage compartment on his Zealot, and is pulling out Grend flowers4 a grim reminder of the sacrifices of the brave Ijad.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kei Notes:

1. Merash is the current Ijad leader on the planet of Erebus. Considered by many to be an outspoken proponent of Ijad rights on a galactic scale (The SU still has not found out how he is getting transmissions offworld).

2. Scotty's Pale Peach Ale was the number one spirit exported from Erebus. The name symbolizes the color of Erebus peaches (white, due to genetic manipulation). It glowed in the dark, which grew brighter with time. Erebus has kept up its stock, but has no way to export it offworld.

3. Ijad normally will seek consent from its host before bonding. Thanatos were able to bond the members of Phi-25 due to the age of the nestlings.

4. Grend flowers are a mutation of the Geranium family noted for their muted colors and pollen that glows in the dark. The more flowers in a cluster, the brighter the glow. Citizens of Erebus give Grend flowers for condolences and good luck.
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Re: Spectres of Erebus

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:31 pm

ImageThanatos Security Phi-25: Last Photo before Experiment Theta-21 by NinjaLegendDoom Phi-25, Thanatos Security; Photo taken before the Escape.

ImageThanatos Security Phi-25 by NinjaLegendDoom Phi-25, Frame Company Gamma

ImageThanatos Security Phi-25: Seven of Forty’s Zealot by NinjaLegendDoom West and Sever's Zealot.
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