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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Section 4: True Thanatos?

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:05 am

The location is secluded in the middle of the Erebus Rain Forest. A twelve meter area has been cleared and surrounded by Electro-wire1. The dilapidated building ahead of us looks nothing like the stock photo on the holosign by the gate.

Once this structure was painfully white against the charcoal soil; the interior covered by equally white concrete tiles. Ahead the structure appears a dull grey, illuminated by random lights. The top two floors of the building have collapsed leaving the internal courtyard a mess of rubble and shards of concrete. The remains of the Thanatos local Headquarters have been picked clean by scavengers, with one notable exception.

The small biodome appears to be out of place. The Transparent Steel roof has no damage as the rain pools around the structure. The glowing lights inside and Terran plant life welcome us in.

Samwell Gibbs was the head of HR for Thanatos Corporation. A squat and muscular man, Gibbs gives off the air of being perpetually aggravated. His thick beard clashes with his bare scalp. He wears a medical coat emblazoned with the Thanatos company symbols; his eyes hiding behind an opaque pair of goggles. His voice betrays no emotion, but it seems he has lost all desire for human contact.

His raspy voice pauses every once in a while, as his mind attempts to find the most diplomatic terms.


Erebus was our most... Important research facility. Thanatos decided long before our move to Erebus we should use a world for our intergalactic Headquarters.

Why Erebus?

Resources here were... Abundant. TEM and UMFL already used the planet for extreme condition training. Erebus was... perfect for our research. Medically the plants had many uses2, and our... other contracts could be fulfilled more easily.

Contracts?

The Sol system had plenty of frames 3, but accidents had steadily increased. The military and civillian brass had... no solutions to curb the numbers.

Who gave you permission to experiment with the Ijad?

That is... Classified.

(Samwell stalls for the next twenty minutes, listing the good Thanatos had done for the entire system.)

Look, I don't question you all invented life saving medicine and aided our military... But Ijad are living beings. What was your end goal for the teenagers, the Ijad?

(Samwell looks uncomfortable and the silence stretches for what feels like an eternity.)

Our goal has ever been... Keeping humanity safe. From themselves.... From the aliens... From their illnesses. Ijad were to be our next... Aid. Their symbiosis is something we almost... replicated, improved on... Our staff worked for months to save Terran lives, and perhaps help our evolution.

Phi-25 was proof they could be our next step in evolution.

What about Subject One and Two?

What about them? Many vanished during the "Great Loss". They were just two more of that high number4. They served their purpose of... Defending humanity on Erebus.

That is extremely Vague. At least tell me what made them Different from Three through Forty.

They were chosen... eventually all of Phi-25 would have undergone the procedure. We were removing our dependence on... Alien technology. (Samwell breaks into a cold sweat even alluding to Subjects One and Two) One became our reckoning... The other who knows.

(Gibbs stops us in front of an Oak tree from Terra an admiring look passes his normally dour expression) One thing is certain, we had it coming to us; not that I knew everything about Thanatos then... Not that I can talk about everything now.

Gibbs talks to us for two more hours. He refuses to give facts or figures. At the end of our meeting I do not see him slip a card into my pocket, "Contact Sadowski and the Raven". He is eager to see us out, and I notice as we leave the surveillance equipment is still functioning.

Samwell is Thanatos' last prisoner on Erebus.


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

Kei Notes:

1. Electro-Wire is commonly seen on border-worlds. It combines one foot titanium spikes with and electrified line to slow Frame activity. Many a pilot has had to eject from their frame after it had been tangled in the wire's deadly embrace.

2. The sap from Erebus' Rainforest was not only harvested for medicinal purposes, but was also used for home remedies and became an ingredient in some Glow in the Dark paints.

3. In 0231, it was estimated the Sol System contained four frames for every human. Recent research revealed the number was almost six full frames per human, including frames in junk yards.

4. In 0231 local authorities believed 75% of Erebus' population vanished during the great loss. The census taken in 0240 revealed 100,214 humans and 400 Ijad remain of the initial 1,003,450 Human and 600 Ijad colonists. The number (75%) only pertained to Nova Moscow.
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Section 5: Military Culture

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:15 am

UMFL Outpost Theta is in the remains of once TEM Camp Foxtrot. Old maps of the regions show a large base, decorated by barracks, frame hangars, and a central radar station. An isolated area perfect for new trainees.

The rain now falls in a clearing in the middle of the Erebus Rainforest. The radar station is the last remnant of a lost era; the control tower still containing a crater from the Great Loss.. The other structures were levelled by forces unknown. TEM forces lost 95% of their personnel and hardware during the Great Loss, and were forced to rely on UMFL aid to protect the remains of Erebus.

Aleksei Volkov, a wiry man with his curly hair longer than regulations allow, sits on the edge of the roof of the Radar building. His blue eyes burn with anger, and the twin scars on his face give him the air of a lifelong warrior. Two steps behind him is parked a Yellow Commissar, armed to the teeth and idling.

Locally, Volkov is considered a hero, having guided a lost company of UMFL to safety before the EMP1.

Originally a TEM recruit, Volkov joined the UMFL unit to replace one of their losses. He keeps his responses short as he watches for what he calls, "Shadows".


Before Thanatos, Erebus had two options for your career... Mining or Military. TEM, and UMFL liked Erebus for extreme environmental training.

Did Thanatos affect the military?

No. Some of their eggheads would watch our training... Most of us had family working for the company.

Did you train with Thanatos Security?

Those Phi-25 pilots? Never. They were more expensive than our Frames. My training was for communications specialists, and I hardly was out in the field.

Volkov pauses for a moment. An outline passes through the rain just in front of the rain forest. He shakes his head sadly and then continues.

We had our training frames, and the best training the SU could offer. We were prepared for anything.

Was there any hints before the Great loss of what was to come?

Aleksei thinks for three full minutes. Long enough that the shadow vanishes into the undergrowth.

We lost ten civillians2. Vanished without a trace. I was part of the search efforts... And was put on radar duty for breaking the jumpjets on my training Chub.

Our men thought it was wildlife. Those dire wolves are no joke.

Volkov presses a button on his pilot suit's gauntlet. A holo-still of his training group appears to flicker as rain passes through. Strangely over half the group's eyes are hidden in shadow. His eyes lose focus for a moment.

Thanatos took over the investigation within the week. We didn't think about the incidents from then on... Until the disappearances intensified. Local agencies asked for our help... Findings were inconclusive.

But Thanatos obviously caused this-

What caused this was much worse.

Aleksei continues to talk with us for the next hour, until he is relieved by the next patrol. As we part he gives us a business card, maked by an anchient Terran bird. He promises to share more of his experience in Nova Moscow, "Away from the Shadows".

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

Kei's Notes:

1. Shadow Company is one of the few UMFL companies still intact. Under Volkov's guidance, Shadow Company managed to lose only a single pilot and frame. Since the Great Loss they have been one of the few companies available to defend Nova Moscow.

2. The First Loss (Local name for the event) was a group of five scientist from Thanatos. Two days later, three colonists disappeared. One month later two tourists vanished. The Governor of Erebus asked for SU assistance on the Second Loss (The small mining colony Theta vanished) after losing an additional twenty individuals.
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Interlude: Video Recording #1

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:09 am

As I return to the crew shelter from my interviews with various individuals about Subjects One and Two, I find a steel footlocker on top of my bunk. None of the crew remember the individual who dropped it off; the only evidence a quickly scrawled note on the touchpad near the locks.

Use this information wisely. Our talk will have to be postponed... but I hope to see you soon. The note is followed by a scrawled ancient Terran bird1. As I had planned to make this holo-report with as much video evidence as possible, I will include the three tapes contained within.

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!


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

The video is merely labelled "Test Alpha, results".

Two Identical surgical beds are prepared, the white metal and muted padding are obscured by a male and female. Both are shaved bald, each has a tattoo with the number One and Two. Behind their necks are pairs of antennae. One man in a white coat who is scrawny but with a strangely deep voice begins the log.

"This is test alpha," he boredly drawls, "One of Forty, Two of Forty you will be given a test drug to improve your reflexes."

One chimes in with her melidous voice, "You mean Uno and Mack and no longer good enough?"

Two speaks in a distant voice, "I'm disappointed Prof..."

"Stop it. Uno and Mack will see an improvement as well. Please sit still."

Two assistants enter wearing white coats, holo lenses cover one of their eyes displaying diagnostics for the best placement for the injection.

"I'm not so sure of this," Two is speaking more directly, his forceful but still teenage voice quivers.

"We have tested this on twelve control subjects. It will be over faster than you can sneeze."

The medical assisstants sear a small patch of skin on each of their arms sterile with medical lasers, followed immediately by plunging in the needles.

At first both subjects sit dazed... when they suddenly start screaming!


"MAAACK!!! HUTCH WHAT THE HUTCH-" Subject Two's voice dissolves into screams. HIs voice seems to be rising higher in pitch as a black substance seems to be drawing intricate tattoos from the injection site.

One's eyes are filled with tears, "U... N.... O.... WHY DOC-" Her voice fades into intense screams followed by tremors shaking her body.

"Seditives, STAT! We'll lose them to pain..."

The orderly next to One is on top of her game. She quickly pushes a full syringe into One's arm. She goes limp, but has blood foaming from the corners of her mouth.

Two's orderly is not as lucky. In his flaling, two punches the man across the face, forcing him to his knees. Two's body seems to stand of its own accord. The lights start to flicker around Two, as his body launches through the observation window, lacerating his scalp.

The antenna on Two are gone, and One's antenna are shriveled and black. The Video Skips ahead.


"Two this is Five. Skip and I want you to come back," says a pleading voice into the radio.

We appear to be in the cockpit of a Timber Wolf frame. All systems are green, and it appears to be outfitted with an EMP Frame Retrieval System2. A group of four zealot frames shield the view of the Erebus Rain forest, each armed with frame stunning weaponry.

"I am no longer one of you," the text appears on the HUD of the main viewscreen, "Leave."

A shadow passes the cockpit. One of the zealots reels back, its arm severed at the elbow. Its stun blade impacts the Zealot to its left, sapping its movement capabilities. Two zealots open fire with blue white lightning from their heavy weapons. The operator of the Timber Wolf changes his scanning to infrared to see the heat of a frame.

The Conscript is punching towards the timber wolf, who fumbles out of the way.


"Three, I'm down. Request evac," states a small quivering voice.

"Four, cover Six. Five, take the hutching shot!"

The Conscript appears to react faster than the Timber Wolf. The Wolf's sensor dish flies in front of the viewscreen, the pilot is heard to struggle with the controls. The cockpit turns in time for the phase sword to miss the pilot.

"Skip will not warn again. Mack would not want you to fight," the pilot's voice is no longer pleading.

The pilot flips the lever over his head and the Timber wolf clamps onto the Conscript's arm. A slight nudge of the controls and the indicator shows a direct hit from the Wolf's elbow cracking the Conscript's power pack. The view is upended as the warning indicators show both of the legs severed below the ankle and above the knee.

The pilot hits a switch and is greeted on his viewscreen by a Conscript flailing on top of his Frame. Stuggling to stand back up.


"LET... ME.... GO! One is waiting for me!!!"

"Sorry... friend."

At point blank range the Timber Wolf fires its weapon. The Conscript and the Timber Wolf are bathed in white hot lightning, lighting the clearing enough to show two Imps scampering into the underbrush. Five's viewport goes black and his control board explodes in a shower of sparks.

"Administering anistetic, Shrapnel detected," the pilot's suit chimes in their direction.

"Command, we have him. Two is apprehended! Need medical attention and evac," Three chimes in without a second thought.

The video again breaks to blackness, a small afteraction report pops up.

Subject Four Condition: Stable, Frame needs repairs.

Subject Five Condition: Stable, facial scarring from damaged electronics. Frame needs Overhaul.

Subject Two condition: Coma, side effect of EMP on Injection. Frame under study.


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

Kei's Notes:

1. The ancient bird is known as the Corvus Corax (Common Crow, or Raven), and is used by a local rebel faction known only as ACE (Anti-Corporate Entities).

2. During the Duncan rebellion on Titan, the SU developed the EMP frame Retrieval System, a baton like weapon whose sole purpose was to incapacitate rebel frames to capture rebel elements. Used widely by security and police forces on the outer rim due to a rise of Driving Under the Influence of Peach Ale.
Last edited by NinjaLegendDoom on Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Erebus awaits us all...
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Section 6: Mysteries, Disappearances, Riots

Postby NinjaLegendDoom » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:09 am

The soft white light bathes the room warmly, making one forget the darkness of Erebus. Two orderlies wearing bright blue armored pilot's fatigues write updates on wrist mounted holopads, talking quietly to the individuals scattered around the rec room. The patients appear normal, but suffer from various psychological and physical issues associated from the great loss. The Nova Moscow Memorial Hospital (renamed from "Thanatos General") took over planetary health care after Thanatos' abandonment of the populace.

Celeste Bisset, a tall but muscular woman stands in a corner, using old fashioned felt markers, drawing stylized tribal symbols on the walls and tables surrounding her. When questioned of their meaning, she launches into a tirade about the Creatures of the jungle; "Shadows"1.

Celeste was once the squad leader of the local Search and Rescue branch of the Galactic Detective agency. Many believed the Search for the Missing was too much for her sanity, but Celeste insists her symptoms started the night of the Great Loss. An orderly hovers nearby, ready to assist if she suffers an episode during the interview.


Erebus used to be ze most quiet place. My job consisted of stopping frame pilots with too much Scotty's in their system. Until.... 'utch, I can't remember the date.

The Orderly calmly tells Celeste this is fine. On his Holopad her heartrate is shown to have spiked.

Ten people... Statistically point oh one percent of ze whole planet. A planet I might add we 'ad explored maybe twenty percent of2. (As she talks, Celeste begins another spikey tribal outline, this time on the back of her hand) I was to find them using all our resources.

Did Thanatos help in your efforts?

'UTCH NON!!!! You believe those basterds would aid us? Mon personnes were able to find ze trail.. WITHOUT 'ELP!! (Her eye twitches slightly, as if her body is startled by her own shouting) We 'ad ze best of ze best on ze planet. In ze jung-...... undergrowth, we found ze scientist's camp. Thanatos swooped in... BASTERDS!!! Lost half of ze evidence with their frames trampling 'ither and yon.

What of the others.... Those not associated with Thanatos-

Ze whole planet was Thanatos! (Bisset is now breathing hard, sweat is starting to bead on her forehead and her free hand starts twirling her waistlength mane) Those colonists that vanished; MY FRIENDS, left at ze orders of ze company. Those Tourists... Thanatos was looking to use outside scientists for some reason.... (Celeste's eyes become glassy as if she is remembering something she wishes not to) Those..... Shadows...

I heard Volkov talk of the Shadows... What are they?

The orderly shoots us a disapproving glance, and presses a button on his holopad. Out of his gauntlet a needle clicks into place, ready just in case.

Ze.... Shad.... (Her eyes widen with fright, her Heartrate jumps exponentially. She struggles with her words for a full five minutes)

I was separated from ze main party. We had a trail from a missing Imp 'ardsuit..... Ze Jung... undergrowth 'ad kept this evidence 'idden from our view... I was lost.... lost... lost... a sea of glowing 'utching 'ell... (Celeste's scriblbing had grown more frantic. The spikey tribal outline of a person began to take form

You don't need to conti-

THE MINES!!! Who knew Erebus 'ad so many entrances... A CAVE that was PERFECT to hide in. 'E stood in the open.... A COLONIST?!? NON!!! Living Shadows, Prizrak stood in the ENTRANCE!!!! TATTOOS OVER 'IS BODY, only a GLIMPSE afore 'e VANISHED!!!! (The orderly started forward, as Bisset staring past us was reliving the horror)

I radioed.... AND EIGHT OF 'EM APPEARED!!!! NON!!!! I 'AD TO RUN!!! THESE WERE NOT- (The Orderly wrestled with Celeste's arm for two minutes as her words became a ear-peircing scream, the other residents looked nervously in our direction)

NON!!!!!! (As the orderly injected the medication, Celeste's eyes became focused glancing at me the horror on her face haunting me still)..... 'Ere...

Celeste holds out a sheet of paper, the tribal spikes covering a human form covering its entirety.

They will.... come again. Erebus... Will come for us all.

The orderly usher us out to the main lobby. "I haven't seen her that upset in a long while."

I step outside into the permanent downpour that is Erebus, wondering on Celeste's words... I unfold the picture once more to see Bisset's nightmares. In the lower corner, writing that could be mistaken as tribal design; Worse than Death.


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

Kei Notes:

1. Shadow is a popular Erebus umbrella term for supernatural entities. The most popular of their Folk lore being the Prizrak, a human-like living shadow that kidnaps sleeping individuals, slightly different from old Terran Russian descriptions. (Note: no scientific nor holo-pic evidence exists of any Prizrak or Shadow).

2. In total local Geographers agree thirty percent of the planet's surface was explored before and during colonization. Satellites of course mapped the entire planet of Erebus, which data was lost and corrupted during the "Great Loss". Due to the natural Geothermal and tectonic activity of Erebus, the mantle of the planet is honeycombed with potentially endless caves, volcano tubes and mineshafts. It is currently estimated only 7% of the cave systems have ever been explored.
Erebus awaits us all...
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