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Story

Day 1: Novus Orsa

Admiral Abraxis:
Welcome, citizens, to our destiny!

Thirty years ago, as I lead the remnants of the human race on our great exodus, I would never had imagined such a day might come. Today, we stand poised to retake our rightful place among the stars.

We have all lost loved ones and friends to the Creeper. I wish my daughter, Aliana, could be here to see this day. Perhaps more than most, she made this day possible. I ask that we take a moment to reflect, to remember all those who have passed in our service.

Citizens, I now present to you Commander Dax Joven. He along with nearly a hundred others, were promoted to the rank of Commander earlier today. They will take up the task we have put before them. They will take us back to the stars.

Commander Joven, you may proceed.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Thanks – thank you Admiral Abraxis. It was – I mean is – an honour to be so introduc… to be introduced before our people. Uh, thank you sir.

Lt. Varro Hale:
[PRIVATE COMM TO DAX JOVEN]
Steady Dax. Throttle back, relax, and get to the presentation. You’ll do great….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Citizens, I will now demonstrate the capabilities of the New Human Alliance’s Liberation Ship. These vessels represent the pinnacle of NHA technology, technology pioneered by Aliana – I mean Dr Abraxis.

Without Ali… Dr Abraxis we would not understand how the Creeper functions and would not be able to combat it so effectively.

Without further delay, I will now demonstrate how a typical planetary scrub is expected to proceed. Fear nothing and bear witness to a new destiny… the Creeper’s demise.


Day 2: Far York

Lt. Varro Hale:
That was quite a speech you gave yesterday, Dax. Well, apart from the false start, the stuttering, the stumbling, and the bits when you said Aliana instead of Dr. Abraxis.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’m glad someone enjoyed it. Maybe I shouldn’t have slept through public speaking class at the Command Academy.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Maybe you also shouldn’t have caused the elite team to fail the simulated battle in front of the entire graduating class. It was quite amusing, but you’re lucky they let you off with giving the presentation.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I made a few alterations to the Creeper’s behaviour here and there. They’re not much of an elite team if they can’t adapt to a changing enemy.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Right, Commander, we have just dropped out of Rift Space at our intended destination, Far York.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Threat assessment?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Minimal, as predicted. Scanners detect a single Emitter buried far beneath the surface. Readings suggest it has been in a dormant state for some time.

Looks like I spoke too soon: The Emitter is activating as a reflex to our presence. Also, the terrain under the Emitter appears to be atypical…

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Anything else notable?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Central Command sent ahead some constructions bots that have already built some structures. Also note that most of our systems are still offline. CentComm’s policy, not mine. Also, Far York was once a great colony, and one of the first to fall to the Creeper. CentCom will no doubt be monitoring our progress here carefully.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
If that’s all, let’s get to it. I sure wish Aliana was around to see this.


Day 3: Taurus

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, I took the liberty of reading your debriefing on the Far York mission before sending it to CentCom. You put considerable emphasis on the Creeper eroding the terrain….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
A lot of good it did. CentCom said they would take my battle report “under advisement” and ordered me to continue with the next planetary scrub. Admiral Abraxis would never have been so dismissive. CentCom is governed by a bunch of bureaucrats…

Lt. Varro Hale:
[Dax… we’re broadcasting live to CentCom!]

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Ahem. Report on our current situations, Lieutenant.
[Varro, cut the feed!]

Lt. Varro Hale:
We’ve arrived at Taurus, the first world Odin City passed through on its flight from the Creeper. Two deep Emitters have just become active. There are also a number of Creeper pools to take care of and a significant amount of Ore on the planet.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Lieutenant, are there any other details I should be aware of?
[Cut the feed Varro! Cut it!]

Lt. Varro Hale:
Yes, Commander. CentCom have enabled the Tech Dome structure, which allows us to upgrade key systems.
[FEED CUT]

I managed to disable the feed, Dax… I’ll start it back up in a few minutes and blame it on solar flares. I sure hope they didn’t catch everything you said.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I guess that’s where we differ, Varro. I hope they did. Reactivate the feed in a few minutes, and let’s give them the show they are looking for.


Day 4: UC-1004

Admiral Abraxis:
Commander Joven….
Where do I begin?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Sir?

Admiral Abraxis:
Your comments at the liberation of Taurus didn’t go unnoticed – you caused quite the stir. The Council wanted to have you relieved of command.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I see sir. Varro, enter the coordinates for Colony Prime. We will ret…

Admiral Abraxis:
Not so fast Commander. CentCom was persuaded to reconsider.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Sir?

Admiral Abraxis:
You will continue to fight the Creeper, but on planets with little significance to the NHA. I am transmitting a list of mission coordinates. You will begin here, on UC-1004

And Dax, one last thing. You were right – I would never have dismissed your observations on our enemy so easily.

Abraxis out.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What is that on your scanner Lieutenant? This world never had a colony….

Lt. Varro Hale:
Hmmm. Wait a sec…
You’re right. There appears to be a technological Remnant here. But if there was never a colony here, how could there be some Remnant?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Perhaps Admiral Abraxis didn’t just allow CentCom to reassign us to insignificant worlds after all….

Let’s check it out Varro, then clean this rock up.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, I’ve analysed the Remnant but am unable to identify its purpose or point of origin.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Could it be a probe? Space debris?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Neither are likely. The Remnant is mostly made from ore, which is much too heavy for use in a probe. It is built according to common construction patterns, so it can’t be a fallen meteor.

We should construct a Maker on the ledge, and use the Ore from this Remnant to synthesize Anti-Creeper.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
A sound plan. Flooding the chamber below with Anti-Creeper would make the assault on the Emitters much easier.


Day 5: Maxia

Lt. Varro Hale:
What was CentCom’s response to your report on the Remnants we found?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Their response was a protracted silence, after which they cut the feed.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Why would they do that?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I don’t know Varro, but I don’t like it. What’s the situation planet-side?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander Farston was charged with a standard planetary scrub here on Maxia. Apparently his ship’s packet construction lathes failed, and he was forced to abandon the mission. Our job is to take up where he left off.

Commander Farston built his structures in a valley beneath some elevated Creeper. Foolish if you ask me. I advise using that Maker to create a blanket of Anit-Creeper on top of the Shields.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Sound advice Varro. There are a number of Crystals buried underneath the planet’s surface. We can retrieve those to boost the ships energy levels. Is there anything else?

Lt. Varro Hale:
One thing. Although our systems haven’t been cleared for shield technology, I have been able to reverse engineer the schematic from the Shields Farston built.

Shields block the flow of Creeper and Anti-Creeper, but units and Packets can pass freely through them. Keep in mind that Creeper will eventually dissolve our Shields, so it’s best to consider them a temporary defence.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
And that Holocube on the scanners?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Probably just a message from Farston outlining what we should do and when we should do it. You know what he’s like. Might be worth checking out anyway.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we’ve recovered the Holocube. The message it contains is encrypted with an alpha-level security algorithm. Without the access code, it could take years to decrypt.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’ll take it privately… I think I might have the credentials.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Right away Commander.

Admiral Abraxis:
[HOLOCUBE RECORDING]
Commander, apologies for delivering a message in this way.

I asked Commander Farston to leave this Holocube here for you to find… right before the ‘equipment failure’ that caused him to be recalled.

I’ve long suspected that the Command Council is withholding vital information from me, information concerning Aliana’s death.

Aliana had long suspected that there might be anomalies in the Creeper’s behaviour… things just didn’t seem right to her over the last couple years.

She didn’t have any hard evidence, but there were too many small things showing up on the scans of one world and then another…

One of those worlds was UC-1004. And as you found yesterday, she wasn’t wrong.

Dax, we all know the story of Aliana’s mission. She was on one of the first pilot missions to gather data and test the new Nullifier tech.

During this mission, her Rift Engine spiked which caused the Emitters on the planet to pulse emit Creeper… as is their reflex.

The Creeper flooded her position before her rift engines could come online… you know the rest.

But Commander, what I could never explain is why Aliana never got a message back to Command. We have her ships logs, but nothing from her.

The official position is that she was too overwhelmed trying to save her ship to send a message… I ask you, did you ever know Aliana to be overwhelmed… ever?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
[SPEAKING TO SELF]
Never. She was always bigger and better than everything.

Admiral Abraxis:
[HOLOCUBE RECORDING]
Dax, I think she did get a message out and I think the Council received it and has buried it. And I intend to find the truth.

By the Gods, I’ll have my answer… the Creeper couldn’t stop me 30 years ago, and some fool Council won’t stop me now.

Commander, by the time you receive this message I’ll already be engaged with the Council… showing them the evidence you retrieved from UC-1004.

Dax… I’m asking you to violate your orders and rift directly to UC-1339 when you leave Maxia. This world more than others was one Aliana had been watching.

Perhaps UC-1339 will hold more surprises to sway the Council to give up what they know… –Abraxis out.–


Day 6: Chaos

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we’ve arrived at UC-1339. I hope you know what you’re doing – deviating from mission parameters is a very serious offence. Wait a minute! This can’t be!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro? What is it?

Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
This can’t be right. Commander, the ship isn’t detecting the carrier signal for Rift Space. Hold on.

I’ve run a diagnostic. The rift scope is functioning correctly. It’s like Rift Space no longer exists! We’re marooned!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Steady Lieutenant. Let’s work with what we have. Scan the old sub-space channels for any signals or transmissions.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Those channels haven’t been used in thousands of years. Still, it’s worth a try – give me a moment to recalibrate the sensor array.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Anything?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander! I’m getting a signal – it’s got a NHA identification tag. I’m patching it to your screen.

Admiral Abraxis:
[SUBSPACE MESSAGE]
Attention all agents of the New Human Alliance – this is Admiral Abraxis.

Do not attempt to return to Colony Prime. I repeat, do not attempt to return to Colony Prime.

Vast waves of Creeper from over 1,000 source worlds are approaching Colony Prime. We estimate that contact with the foremost waves will occur in less than 28 hours.

All agents of the New Human Alliance are ordered to find and assist any scattered survivors. But do not return to Colony Prime, even if you regain access to Rift Space.

Though all may seem lost, do not lose hope and always remember your duty. May the Gods be with us all.
–Abraxis out.–

Lt. Varro Hale:
That’s it Dax. After this the message loops. Are we going to inform the crew?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
They have a right to know Varro, but let’s do it after the mission – I need their full attention on the task at hand.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, these are the schematics for a Launcher. I have taken the liberty of integrating them into our system. The Launcher is especially effective against dense concentrations of Creeper.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
The schematics for a contemporary weapons system on an uncolonized world – how could this be?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Perhaps Admiral Abraxis launched it in a probe before Rift Space was disabled. Perhaps the Gods pity us?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Or perhaps an old ally of ours has entered the fray….

Lt. Varro Hale:
Strange….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What is it Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
This Holocube contains various media – mainly music and documentaries, from before the great exodus. How could it have gotten here?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’ve given up on believing in coincidences. Run a complete analysis on the Holocube.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Nothing…. Hold on, we’ve got a hit! The visio-numeric filter has decrypted a set of thirteen numbers encoded in the signal.

The strange thing is that twelve of these numbers are the exact frequencies we use to access Rift Space.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
And the final number?

Lt. Varro Hale:
A subtle variation on the thirteenth frequency.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Enter those frequencies into the rift scope.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Rift space … it’s back … but that’s impossible. Rift Space is part of the physical universe – it’s governed by the laws of physics!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I know Varro. Changing the frequencies used to access Rift Space would be the same as tinkering with the value of PI, or the gravitational constant!

Lt. Varro Hale:
You’re taking all this rather well – the demotion of the laws of physics to mere guidelines.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Aliana once confided in me that she believed the Creeper might not have been acting alone. She thought there could have been some other agent acting in concert with the Creeper thirty years ago.

Lt. Varro Hale:
If the Creeper did have an ally, the launch of our campaign against the Creeper may have forced its hand.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
And what better time to strike? The majority of the NHA fleet is off-world. Simultaneously re-activating the Creeper and disabling our access to Rift Space puts the NHA in a perilous situation.

Lt. Varro Hale:
It seems too concerted to be….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Coincidental? I agree. Head up to engineering and see if you can rig up a subspace transmitter from spares – we need to get these frequencies back to Colony Prime.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Will do Commander. But I should point out that even with the new frequencies we won’t be able to do much more than jump to a random world. It could take months to recalibrate the Rift Engine to properly use the new frequencies.


Day 7: Lost

Lt. Varro Hale:
[SHIP VIBRATING]
Whoa… that was a rough jump!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What’s the situation Varro? Where are we?

Lt. Varro Hale:
We have rifted sub-surface on an unknown planet, and two Emitters are about to activate.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Check that all our vital systems are operational and set the crew on high alert – we’re going to have to fight our way out.

Lt. Varro Hale:
This Holocube appears to have an erased message. Nothing there, just static.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Have you figured out where we are yet?

Lt. Varro Hale:
It’s an uncharted world, take your pick from the untold millions. Did you notice the cavern? It was too organized to be a natural formation – the walls were almost certainly matched.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Strange indeed. Let’s just get out of here. Hopefully the next jump won’t be so rough.

—-

Day 8: Sliver

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we’ve rifted sub-surface again. Scanners aren’t picking up and signs of Creeper.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Any idea where we are?

Lt. Varro Hale:
As a matter of fact, yes – or at least I can make an educated guess. There are numerous Nanochips deposited in the terrain around us, and I have been able to identify their point of origin as the tech colony, Sliver.

If we collect the Nanochips, we can use them to upgrade our systems.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Any luck on transmitting the new rift frequencies back to Colony Prime?

Lt. Varro Hale:
We have sent them, but there’s been no confirmation that they have been received.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Are there any new transmissions from the NHA?

Lt. Varro Hale:
The channel appears dead…. Dax! Our on-board systems have just detected six hidden Emitters! We need to act quickly!


Day 9: Intelligence

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we’ve just dropped out of Rift Space on another uncharted world. At least this time we’re above the planet.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Recalibrate scanners for local conditions and report.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Initial scans suggest there are a network of narrow sub-surface passages on this planet. I’m detecting multiple Creeper Emitters – six, seven… scratch that – more like eight.

I’m picking up something else commander. Energy Crystals, refined Ore, Nanochips. Sir, I think it’s the remains of a ship.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
One of ours? Are there any survivors?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Checking… the signature ID is NHA – it’s one of ours. I’m sorry Dax, but I’m not detecting any survivors.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Maybe the wreckage will present some clues as to what happened. Be on your guard, Varro.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, the Holocube we retrieved is severely damaged. The following is all I could recover.

“The enemy is unlike anything we have ever seen. They’re manipulating the Creeper! Lieutenant, route all reserve energy to the fore blasters – fire everything we’ve got. Fire!”

That’s it Dax. Did you recognize the voice?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
[HEAD HELD LOW]
Yeah… Farston. I’m sorry Farston – may your passage to Odin’s side be swift.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Now this is a stroke of luck! We’ve recovered schematics for the Micro Rift technology!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Micro-Rifts will allow us to rapidly deploy units and packets to distant parts of the mission area. Any suggestions on the best way to use this tech?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Standard procedure is to build the first Micro-Rift close to the ship, and additional Rifts in distant areas with high energy demand.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, these Crystals are scattered throughout this labyrinth – what could their purpose be?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I don’t know Varro – I can’t even guess the purpose of this facility.


Day 10: The Experiment

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Lieutenant, what are we looking at?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Another network of subterranean tunnels, alcoves and caverns. Evidently purpose-built…. Just like the last world.

Dax, you aren’t going to believe this. Take a look…

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What in Odin’s name?

Lt. Varro Hale:
There are gravitational distortions all over the place. It’s if gravity were being manipulated on a very precise scale.

Something is generating powerful gravitational fields and using them to manipulate the Creeper. There is a large disturbance in the middle of the large chamber.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Manipulating gravity in this way should not be possible Varro…

Lt. Varro Hale:
Agreed Commander… impossible in the same way that modifying Rift Space frequencies is impossible.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
If there is ever a hope of figuring out what is going on we’ll have to risk much. I’m taking us in…


Day 11: The Cooker

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we have rifted into a sealed sub-surface chamber. I’m detecting gravitational anomalies and four Creeper Emitters.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
This almost looks like some sort of reactor!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Don’t you think it odd that we keep rifting to these facilities? I mean we are jumping randomly after all. Either there’s an awful lot of them, or we are getting lucky, or unlucky as the case may be.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
The Council has launched probes to virtually all planets in range. It seems unlikely that they wouldn’t know about them.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, I’m picking up something on the sensors. It’s a schematic. Given the considerable danger here, I suggest we grab the new tech and run.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’m with you this time – those walls will soon give under the weight of the Creeper. Prep the Rift Engines while I retrieve the schematic.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, this isn’t good. I can detect Rift Space, but can’t activate the engines. I think the gravitational anomalies and the Creeper are somehow interfering.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
My Gods… This same thing must have happened to Aliana on her mission. Ready everything we have Lieutenant. We’re going to have to fight our way out!

Lt. Varro Hale:
I think we’ve just been given a break! The schematics we recovered are for a Repulsor unit. This Repulsor unit can project a gravitational beam, to hold the Creeper at bay. The technology appears to perhaps be related to whatever has created these gravitational anomalies.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, integrate it into the systems, and be quick about it.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Already done. If this Repulsor actually works, we might have a fighting chance. Those Energy Crystals below could give us a head-start.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Let’s get to work, Varro.


Day 12: Answer

Styglek Consortium:
The Consortium grows weary of the Hominid interference.

Lt. Varro Hale:
[Stunned Silence]

Cmd. Dax Joven:
[Stunned]
This is Commander Dax Joven of the New Human Alliance. To whom am I speaking?

Styglek Consortium:
We know what you are, ape. You are the annoyance that will soon be ended. You are the anomaly that has but temporarily kept us from our work.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I repeat, identify yourselves and your intent, or we will be forced to consider you a threat.

Styglek Consortium:
Your rudimentary intellect misunderstands, little monkey. We are not just a threat. WE ARE YOUR UNDOING.
–Consortium Transmission Terminated–

Lt. Varro Hale:
They cut the transmission Commander. Unfortunately, I am unable to triangulate its source.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Run a subspace scan at once – we need to find out what we are dealing with.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Ok, I see something. It is hard to tell what it is, but there is something other than Creeper and Emitters beneath the surface. It looks like some sort of portal or Gateway.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Gateway to where?

Lt. Varro Hale:
I think it’s a Gateway FROM somewhere… The sensors seem to indicate that the Gateway has partially open connection to Rift space… but it isn’t like any kind of Rift opening I have even seen.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I see… ready the crew. I think we are about to have a fight on our hands. We’ve never faced this enemy, so we don’t know what to expect.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Yes Sir… Wait….
It looks like Excavation Packets might be coming through that Gateway!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Good…

Lt. Varro Hale:
Good?!?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Yes Varro… If they are using Excavation Packets, then we share some common technological ground. We can beat them.

Lt. Varro Hale:
OK, I think I can adjust our sensors to show the targets for the Excavation packets. Look for blue X’s in the sensor view.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Excellent. Ready the nano-lathes… I’m going straight in and will plant a Nullifier right next to that Gateway… Then we’ll see who is undone.


Day 13: Horror

Cmd. Dax Joven:
It’s funny, Varro.

Lt. Varro Hale:
What is?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
For all their bluster, the Styglek didn’t put up much of a fight. Their technology is more advanced than our own, and they had the advantage of an established position. Is it possible that we caught them off guard?

Lt. Varro Hale:
If they were expecting us, they would likely have stationed forces to challenge us on arrival.

Commander, I’m picking up multiple signatures on the scanner.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Another downed ship?

Lt. Varro Hale:
The size and signal profile suggests they are Stasis Capsules, but the Creeper presence is making it difficult to determine if they are manned.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
This has to be something to do with the Styglek. If they are holding humans captive….

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, there will be time for that. We better get to the Capsules before the Creeper does.

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Empty, but I’m picking up residual DNA from at least a dozen individuals.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
They must be capturing people and using the capsules to store them. The Styglek will have their reckoning.

Capsule:
Cmd. Dax Joven:
Any survivors?

Lt. Varro Hale:
There is no one inside the Capsule, but it does contain a strange device. It appears to be capable of interfacing with the human brain.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
That’s disturbing, Varro.

Lt. Varro Hale:
I agree, Commander. Such a device might be able to extract knowledge from the human brain.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Might it also implant information, or even commands?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Those are possibilities, Commander.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Let’s get on with the mission. Have the engineering team examine it more thoroughly.

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
This capsule is empty, Dax.

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, we have a survivor – a woman! I don’t know how she lasted this long.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Rush her to the medical bay immediately!


Day 14: Phoenix

Styglek Consortium:
Welcome, primates. Your arrival, though not unexpected, pleases us greatly – the Consortium has need of your kind.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
This is Commander Dax Joven of the New Human Alliance. Your aggression against our people will not go unpunished. We demand that you cease your operations against the NHA, and return any captive humans to our custody.

Styglek Consortium:
Meaningless being, your words carry no weight. We will destroy your primitive vessel with our ephemeral Phantoms. Once destroyed, we will adorn this world with the remains of your primitive technology.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Then you leave us no choice. Prepare for battle. We will not rest until you and your kind are driven from our worlds.

Styglek Consortium:
Primitive creatures, these worlds were never yours… We grow weary of talk. Prepare to meet your end.
–Consortium Transmission Terminated–

Lt. Varro Hale:
These vile creatures must be eradicated! After what they did to that poor woman in the med bay! If I get my hands on one of those bug-eyed friends!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, I think that’s the point – they’ve mistreated our people and they’re trying to taunt us into a careless attack. Keep a cool head and tell me what we’re dealing with here.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Right, sir. In spite of my best efforts, we’ve rifted sub-surface again. I’m picking up a single emitter and multiple Gateways.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Anything else, Lieutenant?

Lt. Varro Hale:
I’m picking up a lot of structures in the surrounding area. The strange thing is that they are ours – Reactors and Tech Domes built to standard NHA construction patterns.

Commander, this is bad. The scanners are detecting Crystals and Remnants at the bottom of a nearby Creeper pool. I’m sorry, but I think the Styglek got another Liberation ship.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Yet another Styglek atrocity! Still, it means another Commander must have figured out how to access Rift Space and been lead here. Let’s get to it!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Wait – there also seems to be a Schematic in that Creeper pool. We should retrieve it as quickly as possible.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, these schematics are for a weapon system. Preliminary analysis suggests the weapon is ineffective against the Creeper – perhaps it can be used against those Phantoms?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
If that is the case, our fallen allies may not have been able to integrate the tech before they were overcome? How long before we can use the new weapon?

Lt. Varro Hale:
I’ve already integrated it into our systems.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Excellent work, Varro. I hope that this new weapon works!

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
It’s empty, Commander. Perhaps it was meant for one of us?

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, there’s an NHA medical officer in this Capsule. He must have been badly wounded when his ship was destroyed. I’m sorry, but he didn’t make it.

Capsule:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Another empty Capsule. I speculate that the Styglek were preparing to take captives from the other Liberation ship before it was destroyed.


Day 15: Exterminate!

Styglek Consortium:
The Consortium brethren find your continued existence intolerable! Your resistance to our Phantoms was unexpected. We accept that random chance plays some part in our efforts to exterminate you.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Styglek, your impending punishment grows with every crime you commit against the NHA. Sneer and bluster all you will, but make no mistake – there will be a reckoning.

Styglek Consortium:
We shall release our Drones to end you now and forever. Pity there are no trees on this world for you to run to little monkey. We would have enjoyed witnessing that.
–Consortium Transmission Terminated—

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, what are we up….

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, sorry to interrupt. I’ve just been contacted by the medical bay – the woman we rescued – she didn’t make it.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
We’ll hold a service for her after we wipe these monstrosities from the planet.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, you need to hear this. The woman regained consciousness for a moment before she passed on.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Who was she? What did she say?

Lt. Varro Hale:
She cried, “Taken, all taken.” Then, as she fell into her final rest, she called out for Aliana.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Could Aliana be…. Varro, was she one of Aliana’s crew?

Lt. Varro Hale:
DAX, MOVE THE SHIP!!! Multiple Phantoms are honing in on our position!


Day 16: Purpose

Styglek Consortium:
Humans, your presence on this world will not be tolerated. How did you get here? Answer us now and we may allow you a moment to prepare for your destruction.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
We don’t answer to you or your Consortium.

Styglek Consortium:
No matter. You will not survive lo…

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Cut them off, Lieutenant.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Gladly Commander.
–Liberation Ship Communication Ended–

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What’s on the scanners, Varro? Are there any Stasis Capsules?

Lt. Varro Hale:
I don’t detect any capsules. It does look like we have rifted to another research world and the situation doesn’t look favourable.

The Styglek presence on this world is formidable. Multiple Emitters, a host of Drones, high-end gravitational distortions, and most likely Phantoms too. As if that’s not enough, the amount of Creeper here is truly off the scales.

Dax! There is Creeper in the terrain all around us – we need to move!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, you won’t believe this. The message in this HoloCube appears to be from the Styglek!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
On screen, Varro.

Thrade:
Greetings human Commander. I am Thrade of the Styglek. I am not of the Consortium. I, and some others like me, stand apart from our lost brothers. We wish to free our brothers from the influence of the Loki and return our race to its former nobility.

For this reason I will assist you through your current plight. Though I share no particular affinity for your kind, you have presented a unique opportunity for me to advance my cause.

Within this Holocube you will find instructions for calibrating your Rift Engines. You will once more be able to choose your destination.

But Human, you must not return to your Colony Prime. You have far more pressing matters to attend to. I have also provided you with the coordinates of a world you must visit in all haste.

On this world is the one you call Aliana Abraxis. My brothers have her and have grown impatient in their quest to extract her knowledge. You must journey to this world without delay if you are to save her and prevent the Consortium from gaining her knowledge.

You no doubt have many questions of me, perhaps you even wonder if I am being truthful. Know this, the fates of your race and mine hang in the balance. Your greatest strength is to know what is right, use this strength now.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, I’m going to scrub this planet while you make the modifications to our Rift Engines. Prepare to rift to the target world as soon as I have cleared all the Creeper.

Thrade:
The victory of your people over the Nexus threw the Consortium into disarray. My brothers serve the Loki, and were the Nexus ever to fall, their mission was to reconstruct the Nexus to re-establish contact with their Loki masters.

Your mastery of the Creeper was not foreseen. Never before across a million galaxies has this been accomplished. The Consortium were cut off from the Loki and faced unprecedented circumstances.

They decided that they too must understand the Creeper so that they could defeat your “Anti-Creeper”. For without this understanding, you might discover their attempts to reconstruct a Nexus and destroy it along with them.

My brethren have nearly perfected their control of the Creeper through many experiments on many worlds. They have somehow rendered this pool of Creeper ‘frozen’.

Thrade:
Humans, the peril you face on this world is great. Beware the Consortium’s ability to manipulate the Creeper!


Day 17: Trickery

Lt. Varro Hale:
I have good news, Commander. The modifications that Thrade suggested did the trick. The Rift Engine is fully functional again, so no more random jumping. Perhaps he is telling the truth.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
A stasis capsule, Varro – is there a stasis capsule?

Lt. Varro Hale:
There is an incredible amount of Creeper on this planet, Dax. It’s causing havoc with the scanners, but I’m getting a weak signal. Impossible to tell if anyone is inside.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Let’s head straight in. Fire up the nano lathes.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, it’s a message from Thrade.

Thrade:
You have chosen wisely, human. Seeking eyes search for you all across the galaxy. I have done all I can to mislead the Consortium, but time is short. Greater and greater grows the Consortium’s mastery of the Creeper.

Save your Aliana. Act quickly, but act with caution!

Styglek Consortium:
You were perhaps expecting a message from the traitor Thrade? That pawn led you here just as we calculated. We now have this traitor in our possession, as he no longer serves our purposes.

You have dismissed the Styglek Consortium as a savage and arrogant foe, and one whom you might easily defeat. We allowed you to destroy a few weakened facilities in exchange for your unknown compliance in a much larger plan.

We allowed the traitor to communicate with you, and provide you with the assistance needed to survive, and ultimately, to make your way here.

We have analysed the human you call Aliana Abraxis for some time. Her mind has been notably strong in resisting our efforts to probe it.

Her mental defences were so potent that we were unable to access the much needed knowledge on the Creeper. Until now, that is. Your presence here triggered an emotional response in her mind, softening the barriers that kept us at bay. We have what we need.

The Creeper expansion will resume shortly. Colony Prime will fall and the human insurrection shall be eliminated at last. We hope you and Aliana Abraxis will enjoy what little time remains.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I don’t trust them Varro. They’re still a savage and arrogant race, just a little more subtle than we thought. Perform a comprehensive scan of the area – look for anything that might suggest a trap.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, I’m picking up vast quantities of Creeper, but I can’t see anything.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
It’s entombed in the terrain around Aliana’s Capsule – they’ve found some way to compress Creeper and infuse it in the soil. Any suggestions on how we can get her out safely?

Lt. Varro Hale:
I would suggest constructing a large amount of upgraded Launches nearby. You’ll need some Blasters to take of the Drones. Flooding the chamber with Anti-Creeper might not hurt either.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
My thoughts exactly. In Odin’s name… we can’t fail now…

…   Capsule:
Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, status!!!

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Don’t worry Varro, I’m just fine.
Hello Dax, or should I say, Commander?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Aliana! I never thought… please tell me that you’re okay?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
I’m glad to see you too my love. I feared this day might not come.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Did the Styglek harm you? Did they manage to extract the information they needed?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
They believed so, yes. Their probe technique could be manipulated, I discovered, to work both ways. I learned many things about their race, their history, and their present agenda. We have little time to act….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
We’ll rift back to Colony Prime immediately. They were under attack and will need our help. Your father will be so pleased to see you alive and well.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
No, Dax. Listen to me for a moment. Thrade is the key to defeating the Loki. Without him, it doesn’t matter if we can temporarily repel the Creeper at Colony Prime. I know where Thrade is and we have to save him from the Consortium. You have to trust me….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, input Aliana’s coordinates and engage the Rift Engine immediately. It looks like we’re going on a jail-break.


Day 18: The Tide

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Dax, this is where the Styglek are holding Thrade.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, anything on the sensors?

Lt. Varro Hale:
There is a Capsule, but getting to it isn’t going to be easy. This planet is a veritable fortress.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Dax, the other planets you visited were strategically unimportant to the Styglek. They let you survive, if only just. This is different. The Consortium place great value on this world, and they will not let it fall easily.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
And there I was thinking my tactical superiority won the day. Can you offer any advice on how to proceed?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
The Styglek’s knowledge of the Creeper is frightening – who knows what they can make it do at this stage. All I can advise is caution.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, some of the Drones are emitting a much larger energy signature than the ones we’ve faced before. Also, this planet’s gravity is disproportionately strong for its mass. I’m not sure what this means.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’ll exercise due caution – let’s get to it!

Capsule:
Thrade:
I am grateful, humans. Your timely arrival is both welcome and fortunate.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Aliana believes you can aid us against our enemies.

Thrade:
Aliana Abraxis speaks the truth. I may yet accomplish such a goal.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Greetings Thrade. I trust my debt to you has been repaid.

Thrade:
Indeed Aliana Abraxis. It seems my investment in your survival was well placed. Have you informed the other humans of the threat poised against them?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
We’ve had no contact with Colony Prime. We came straight here to free you before it was too late.

Thrade:
We must hope that your Colony Prime has managed to resist the Creeper. We must travel as a matter of urgency and render what assistance we can. We must act quickly to prevent my people from rebuilding the Nexus.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
The Consortium are building a Nexus? Surely all will be lost if they succeed – we must travel to the site at once and prevent the resurrection of this abomination.

Thrade:
We must not… you are not prepared. We must return to your Colony Prime first.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Don’t trust him Dax… if there is another Nexus, we’ll force him to tell us the world coordinates. We have to take it out before it is complete.

Thrade:
Aliana Abraxis, you know of what I speak.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
He’s right Dax… return to Colony Prime immediately. I only hope Father has somehow held out.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Do it Varro.


Day 19: Colony Prime

Admiral Abraxis:
[Static]
Com_i_ Liber_it_n Sh_p!! Do y_u re_d?!?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Lock onto that transmission Varro!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Sir! There is nearly too much Creeper to get….

There, I think I have it!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Admiral Abraxis, is that you?!

Admiral Abraxis:
Commander Dax Joven…. I might have known you’d find a way to cheat death and make your way back here. Son, we’re under heavy assult as you can see. We’re barely holding on and we need your immediate assistance.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I don’t know how you have managed to survive for this long, but I never doubted you would find a way.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
If you two are done congratulating each other, we might want to get to work. Hello, Father.

Admiral Abraxis:
By the Gods… I….
I always knew you were still out there Aliana… somehow I always knew. I was nearly on the edge of hopelessness and ready to accept defeat, but now that you are here and alive….

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
I’m glad to see you too, Father. I hoped for so long that this day would come. I was never certain it would happen, but I always had hope. I see you have held out in a rather unconventional way.

Admiral Abraxis:
We’ve cannibalized some Liberation Ships along with various weapons and constructed some Bunkers to house the few survivors. Dax, you have to get to those Bunkers and save the people in them. These survivors may be all that is left of Colony Prime.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
With your permission, Admiral, I believe the best move would be to secure your Bunker first, so you may lead the defence.

Admiral Abraxis:
Negative Commander. Save the civilians and the Council members first. That’s an order. I don’t know how much longer they can hold out. My commander Bunker is safe for now.

My communications array is shattered, so I can no longer control any of the weapons you see on your scanners. Assume control of any and all forces you find, Commander. Now hurry and save our people, and keep my daughter safe. I’ll be just fine.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
But Sir…

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
We will be just fine, Father… you hold on.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What do we have Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
An unholy mess Commander. Creeper and Styglek Drones are pressing their assault on those ingenious Bunkers that Admiral Abraxis hobbled together. He’s definitely right about one thing… they won’t be able to hold much longer.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Thrade, can you offer any assistance?

Thrade:
I can not, Dax Joven. I only know you must defeat these forces so that Aliana Abraxis and I can create the instruments we will need to face the Nexus.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Alright….
Varro, Aliana… let’s do this.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
We’ve saved a group of very frightened colonists.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we’ve rescued another 250 colonists.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
150 colonists in this one. Some of them are wounded…

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Around 100 people saved. One is an old lady, and she’s scared out of her wits.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Several hundred colonists saved.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
We’ve rescued a handful of NHA Cadets, and a large group of children.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
We have rescued 13 Council members. Shall I relocate them to the diplomatic quarters?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Put then with everyone else, Varro. I’m sure Admiral Abraxis will want to talk to them shortly.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
We’ve rescued a squad of Colony Prime Home-guards. They’ve offered to assist our medical team in attending to the wounded.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
Over 200 more colonists rescued, Dax. Keep it up.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
We’ve rescued another group. Among them are several of the scientists who worked on the Liberation Ship’s design.

Bunker:
Lt. Varro Hale:
A large group of people are now safe in our cargo bay.

Bunker:
Cmd. Dax Joven:
Admiral Abraxis, are you alright?

Admiral Abraxis:
Well done son…. Well done! You’ve saved all of these people and have accomplished a great thing today.

Thrade:
We must now act quickly if we are to stop the Nexus.

Admiral Abraxis:
What in Odin’s name is that? And who said anything about a Nexus? Aliana, is this true? Has a Nexus somehow returned?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Father, this is Thrade of the Styglek. I own him my life… I could not have survived without his assistance. And yes, I believe Thrade when he says that his kind are attempting to rebuild a Nexus.

Admiral Abraxis:
How much time do we have before it is complete?

Thrade:
We may already be too late. Aliana Abraxis and I must work quickly to create new instruments for an assault and we must depart before this day ended.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
What is he talking about Aliana?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Thrade knows that I had been developing other weapons to use against the Creeper. Now he wants me to complete them. I’ll need my personal notes assuming you still have them father?

Admiral Abraxis:
Of course, Aliana. I’ve always kept them with me.

Thrade:
We may yet have a chance of success… Dax Joven and Varro Hale, prepare your crew for we will depart in 12 hours. Aliana and I will enhance your systems with new weaponry for the assault.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Very good Thrade. Aliana, if you need anything…

Admiral Abraxis:
12 hours Dax. That’s all I need. See you then.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Admiral Abraxis, I assume you would like to speak to the Council members. Varro and I will make the necessary preparations for the upcoming assault.

Admiral Abraxis:
Thank you Commander. I’ll brief the Council members then join you on the bridge for the assault.


Day 20: All Things

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we have arrived at the coordinates that Thrade provided. Scanners are off the chart with Creeper and the Rift scope is completely scrambled… just as we expected.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Very good, Varro. I see we are fully loaded with all of the Crystal energy we could scavenge from Colony Prime. Aliana, are the new weapons online?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Yes Dax, they are. Thanks to Thrade we were able to complete two new systems. The Conversion Bombs were my idea. I had been working on the concept before my ship was lost. With Thrade’s help I have completed them.

In short, Conversion Bombs will convert any Creeper in range to Anti-Creeper. Drive them into the creeper and hit detonate and they will do their work. From the looks of the scanners, you might need to think about doing this immediately.

The second weapon was something I was reluctant to create. With Thrade’s knowledge we have constructed a Dark Beam. This energy beam destroys most things in its path. In particular it will cut right through Creeper.

I have managed to modify the weapon so that it does not destroy Anti-Creeper. But, Dax… this weapon taps into an alternate and dark parallel reality. It draws its destructive power from this place. Thrade and I both believe that is the same place that originally corrupted the Loki.

Admiral Abraxis:
Aliana…. This alternate reality turned the Loki into the menace that they are today. Are we sure this Dark Beam is safe?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
No father, we are not. But it may be our only chance to destroy the Nexus.

Thrade:
I concur Aliana Abraxis. This may be the only weapon that can damage the Nexus core.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
OK, these are risks we will have to take.
Admiral Abraxis, would you do the honours of commanding this assault? I will relinquish my comm…

Admiral Abraxis:
Commander, this is your ship. Our destinies are in your capable hands. Please proceed… and Dax, trust your instincts just as I once trusted mine.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, what’s the situation look like?

Lt. Varro Hale:
The surface is covered… good thing we have massive energy crystal reserves. Beneath the surface appear to be incredibly large Creeper repositories. The Styglek must have placed them here as defensive reserves.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I see them Varro. We need to rush in with the new conversion bombs and try to convert them before they are released. I’m not sure our normal weapons will be able to handle that amount of Creeper. What about the Nexus… anything on scanners?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Looks like something deep, but it’s hard to ma….

Styglek Consortium:
Yes, hard for you to make out Varro Hale. This is by our all-knowing design. We welcome you to this occasion. We welcome the last remnants of the Human population to witness the rebirth of their demise.

Thrade:
Brothers, it is not too late. Abandon your attempts to rebirth the Nexus and join me to free our kind from the Loki. We have technology that can des..

Styglek Consortium:
We are not interesting in the words of the traitor. You have served your purpose, Thrade. You may now join these inferior beings in their demise.
–Styglek Transmission Terminated–

Cmd. Dax Joven:
OK crew… We know what we have to do. It’s time to end this now and forever.

[!KABOOM!]

Nexus:
ONCE AGAIN I AM AMONG YOU!!!

THE PURITY OF NOTHINGNESS SHALL AGAIN BE RESUMED. NOW BEAR WITHNESS TO THE END OF ALL THINGS!!!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Admiral Abraxis, Aliana…. Varro…..
We’ve failed to reach the Nexus in time.

Admiral Abraxis:
Now is your moment Dax. Everything in your life has been building to this. I believe in you, we all do. Look to your strengths and find a way…

Cmd. Dax Joven:
[…My strengths, what are my strengths… No, not ‘what’, but ‘WHO’… That’s it! Varro, Aliana and Thrade are the keys…]
Varro!, scan the center of the Nexus and feed the readings to Aliana’s console. Aliana, keep a close eye on those readings…

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
What am I looking for Dax?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Just keep watching.
Thrade… have your people ever faced a Nexus before in open rebellion?

Thrade:
No Dax Joven. We have remained secretive and avoided exposure.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Perfect. Now’s your chance. I’ll have Varro open a channel to the Nexus. You should declare yourself and the existence of your movement.

Thrade:
Dax Joven, this will accomplish nothing. If anything it will enrage the Nexus, and provoke it to destroy us sooner, rather than later.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
All through this journey you have asked me to trust you, Thrade. Now, I ask the same of you. Trust me.

Thrade:
–Open Transmission to Nexus–
Greetings Nexus of the Loki. I am Thrade of the Styglek. I, unlike my brothers, do not serve the Loki or their creations. I am not alone, and we will one day see the Loki defeated.

Nexus:

IRRELEVANT. I WILL WIPE THE WORLDS OF THIS GALAXY AND COVER THEM WITH CREEPER SO THEIR SURFACES NO LONGER SEE ANY LIGHT.

WHEN THIS IS DONE I WILL GATHER THE STARS INTO AN ABYSMAL VORTEX AND ERASE THE VERY MEMORY OF THIS GALAXY. YOU AND YOUR FELLOW REBELS WILL BE PRESERVED UNTIL THEN SO THAT YOU MAY WITNESS THIS ENDING.

AND THEN, WHEN MY WORK IS DONE, YOU TOO WILL ENTER THE ABYSMAL VORTEX AND NOTHINGNESS WILL HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.
— End Nexus Transmission —

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Aliana… check the readings carefully. Look for any deviations in the readings around the time Thrade was speaking.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Checking…
Oh, this is…. Ah. Dear, you are brilliant. I see it and I know what to do. I’m on it.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, I’m not sure I see it….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, Aliana is going to make some mods to the Dark Beam. When Thrade told the Nexus about his movement the Nexus faced an unknown situation. So I knew it would send this information back to the Loki…

To communicate with Loki, the Nexus must use some sort of communication via the alternate, dark reality. The same dark realm that Aliana’s Dark Beam uses…. If we could lock onto the frequencies it uses to modulate access to this dark realm….

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
That’s it Dax… the mods are made. The Dark Beam will now operate at the same frequency the Nexus uses to communicate with the Loki. If you can get a beam fired into the Nexus core you should be able to damage it.

Thrade:
Dax Joven, the Nexus draws its strength from the Creeper that surrounds it. You must eliminate or convert the Creeper immediately around the core before the beam will have effect.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I’ll ready some conversion bombs and Dark Beams. Varro, we’ll need to deal with those Styglek drones guarding the Nexus. Prime all systems to their limits!


[!KABOOM!]

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
My Gods Dax! We did it!!!!
The Nexus has been destroyed!

Admiral Abraxis:
Well done Commander, well done!

Thrade:
You have saved your people as well as mine Dax Joven. One day when I stand again with my freed brothers we will look to this moment as the moment the tide turned. We will be forever grateful to you and your people.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Thrade, I trust that you will continue your fight and will prevail. The scattered remains of the Styglek in this galaxy will no doubt be willing to hear your proposals. Go from here and spread the word to other galaxies… bring freedom to all your kind.

Thrade:
I shall indeed do these things Dax Joven. I bid you all farewell, we shall not meet again.

Admiral Abraxis:
Dax, Aliana and I will be with the others celebrating below. Take us back to Colony Prime when ready… we have a civilization to rebuild… again.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Well, Varro… I told you we’d make it… somehow.

Lt. Varro Hale:
That you did Commander Joven…. that you did.
Rift engines prepared to jump to Colony Prime, sir.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Engage!

--Simulation Complete--

This completes the interactive historical simulation for Volume 2: NHA Refounding. Participants are encouraged to further explore this period history through other interactive simulations.

Varro Hale
Varro would go on to command his own Liberation Ship in the years that followed. He would lead many critical and important missions, most of which demand their own historical volumes. Eventually, Varro would come to head the Command Academy where he instructed the next generation on the finer points of Creeper destruction. To this day, a mighty statue of Varro Hale stands proudly at the gates of the Command Academy to welcome, and challenge, all new cadets.

Thrade of Styglek
Thrade would quickly unite the scattered remnants of the Styglek. Together with a new purpose they would set out to many galaxies to spread knowledge of their movement. Though it is projected to take many millions of years, Thrade’s movement will eventually free all of their kind from the Loki.

Dax Joven and Aliana Abraxis
Dax and Aliana’s love for each other grew to match that of their courage and intelligence. Never far from Aliana, Dax would go on to lead the reconstruction of the new Colony Prime. Over time as new colonies were founded, Aliana would personally commission each world’s Academy of Science. In time Dax would become President of the New Human Alliance and Aliana would become the founder and first person to hold to coveted title of Abraxian Professor of Higher Sciences.

Eventually, in their waning years, Dax and Aliana set out on a extra-galactic exploration mission. They were never heard from again and all present efforts to track their ship have failed. Mighty memorials to both stand today in the heart of Colony Prime.

Admiral Abraxis
No history regarding the re-founding of Humanity would be complete without volumes devoted to this man. Admiral Abraxis played pivotal roles in re-establishing the Command Council and personally overseeing the founding of 25 colony worlds. His leadership of the Command Academy stands alone to this day, only being challenged by the leadership of Varro Hale. Some years after Admiral Abraxis left the Command Academy he mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Efforts to locate him proved futile, but eventually a purported holo-recording surfaced of his last evening on Colony Prime. The recording was audio only contained the following:

Unknown: Hello again Young One.
Abraxis: Platius? Is that you? I thought you would never return…
Unknown: Ah, my young friend, I said I would not be far.
Abraxis: why have you come back now?
Unknown: I foresee that you will be desperately needed my friend. You must come with me.
Abraxis: Will I be able to return Platius?
Unknown: No, Young One, to where we will travel there will be no return…

–Records End–

The NHA Historical Foundation would like to thank you for participating in this interactive historical simulation.
Kira Joven
Director, NHA Historical Foundation

Academy

1. Legacy

Admiral Abraxis:
Gentlemen…. These last few months have been very hard. But, thanks to your efforts we have survived. Want to know what your reward is?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
I'm sure this is going to be good, Admiral.

Admiral Abraxis:
In the years to come, we will reestablish an Academy… and new cadets will need to be trained, Dax. Who better to test the training worlds than the famous Dax Joven and Varro Hale!

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Wonderful. And just who designed these training missions?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Uh hmm…

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Ah, I see. We'll get right on it.

Admiral Abraxis:
I knew you'd agree.
And Varro, keep an eye on Dax…

Lt. Varro Hale:
As always Admiral….

2. Basic Training

Cmd. Dax Joven:
So…. these training worlds look easy enough. What do you think, Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Dax, remember how overwhelmed you were on your first training missions. Try to think like a cadet again….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Ha… sure thing. After what we just went through, those days of innocence are long gone. Anyway, looks like a basic training mission. I'll fly through it so we can move on.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Remember to use Blasters to attack the Creeper along with Makers to produce Anti-Creeper… and build Beacons to expand your operational area.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Really, Varro?

Lt. Varro Hale:
Hey, I just want to Holo-Recording to look good for posterity. I don't want your antics making the great Varro Hale look bad!

3. Mind and Muscle

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Launchers! It's about time. Nothing like pounding the Creeper into oblivion with depth searching missiles!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Yes, typical of you Dax. Always distracted by the latest weapon. You should also notice that Tech Domes are available in this mission. You know, so you can produce Technytes for research upgrades….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Yeah, that too… Now, bet you I can build four launchers before you stop shaking your head!

4. Spelunking

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Wow…. Aliana really plans to push these future cadets hard. A cave based up-fight. This is a relatively advanced assault.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Agreed… Shields will help out here a bit. Also, she isn't playing around. there are incoming Phantoms at regular intervals so Phantom Coils are also provided.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
What's the matter gentlemen? Did you think this was going to be all fun and games?

5. Engineering

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Commander, as you recall you once faced some 'interesting' Creeper configurations. The Styglek mastered Creeper manipulation in ways we thought impossible. Enjoy this scenario…

Lt. Varro Hale:
She isn't kidding, Dax. Fortunately, all tech are now available. Micro-Rifts are available for rapid connection of points of space. Repulsors will allow us to push the Creeper around on our own.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Varro, if I didn't know better I'd say Aliana has tried to make these missions 'personal'.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Huh, haven't noticed. What I have noticed is Creeper bearing down on two chambers full of Reactors. Best act fast and rift in some Blasters and Launchers.

(After collecting the Holo Cube)
Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
[RECORDING:]
To all Cadets. Should you ever make dinner arrangements with your partner, I suggest you keep them. Excuses like, 'Varro needed help calibrating the rift engines' simply won't do.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Uh huh….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
No comment.

6. The Zoo

Admiral Abraxis:
Gentlemen, how go the training scenarios?

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Nothing short of a challenge… for new cadets that is.

Admiral Abraxis:
Excellent and good to hear. I asked Aliana to put in a scenario to test the cadets with Styglek Drones. I want to make sure our future defenders know how to maneuver Blasters properly.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Excellent choice Admiral. I'll try to keep Dax focused on this one…. what with his distraction over Aliana weighing on his thoughts.

Admiral Abraxis:
Good. He'll need it Lieutenant. –Abraxis Out–

Cmd. Dax Joven:
You just couldn't resist….

7. Pressure

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Cadets, this mission will test your ability to 'keep your appointments', so to speak.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Uh, Aliana… it's just us here you know…

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Please don't interrupt my instructions for the holo-recording, Commander. I'm sure Cadets for generations to come would prefer to benefit from my prudent advice.

Now, as I was saying Cadets… Feel free to address the threats above the ship, just don't waste so much time that you neglect the pressurized chamber of Creeper below.

There is a gateway that is excavating towards your ship. As such, you have limited time to prepare a defense. By this point, you should have all of the skills necessary to determine the kind of defense necessary for success.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
OK, OK… Aliana…. ….I'm sorry about the other night….

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Hmmm… I suppose I accept your apology Commander (wink).

Now get to work Dax, I have something odd I need to check a couple of worlds ahead….

8. Dimensions

Lt. Varro Hale:
Wow…. this is impressive. One of Aliana's abstract challenges.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
It's Creeper. We kill it. Nothing too abstract about that if you ask me.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Good thing Aliana is on the next world and didn't hear you say that…

9. Accident

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Gentlemen, I… uhhh… have a little problem.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
You got a Creeper problem Ma'am?

Lt. Varro Hale:
This actually looks serious, Commander.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Varro is right, Dax. Some experiments I was conducting went horribly wrong. This world was destroyed, and I'm stuck in a survival pod in the large asteroid furthest from you.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Just turn everything off and we'll come get you. By the way, why were you experimenting here?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Worry about that later… and the Creeper here is live. I can't turn it off.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Aliana….! Real Creeper… How?!?!

Lt. Varro Hale:
Commander, we need to act now!

(After collecting Survival Pod)
Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Thanks, Dax. That was a close call.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
How did you end up experimenting with live Creeper?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
I wasn't… it….

Lt. Varro Hale:
I'm receiving a priority distress call from Admiral Abraxis. We are ordered to immediately proceed to UC-7114

Cmd. Dax Joven:
Engage Rift Engines!

10. Darkness Looms

Admiral Abraxis:
Gentlemen… and Aliana? We're in dreadful tactical situation. I and some Council members were here at the final Cadet training world to greet you. Something terrible happened after we arrived….

Cmd. Dax Joven:
More actual Creeper? Aliana, what is going on?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
We use a slightly altered type of Anti-Creeper to produce simulated Creeper used in our training simulations. This has been transformed into the real thing.. and I saw it coming.

Lt. Varro Hale:
Aliana, I detect a residual echo on a wide spectrum of sub space channels. It is as if something selt a powerful signal through thousands of the old subspace carrier channels.

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
There is only one thing that could do that… The signal must have come from the dark and alternate reality that originally corrupted the Loki.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
The same dark reality we used in our final assault on the Nexus?

Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Yes… This is what I was investigating on the previous world. I had detected the same signals Varro now sees the echos from… and I had to act fast. But I failed to act quickly enough. The signals came through before I could isolate them.

Admiral Abraxis:
Fortunately, this world contains the only simulated Creeper in existence. We are very lucky the signal came through near the end of your run, Commander. Even so, we are currently in a perilous situation.

We have massive Creeper reserves building on our starboard.. and one of Aliana's interesting contraptions to our port. And some threats bearing down immediately.

We've scavenged together some bunkers to defend our position, Commander. I suggest you cannibalize them for their resources once the immediate threat has passed.

Cmd. Dax Joven:
We're on it Admiral…

(After retrieving Holo-Cube)
Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
[RECORDING:]
Cadet, these Conversion Bombs should be very useful in defeating the Creeper chamber. Use them wisely by detonating them in the densest Creeper possible.

(After destroying all Creeper and structures)
Dr. Aliana Abraxis:
Thank the Gods…. that was a close call. We need to return home so I can further analyze these events…

(Original script says “need to open than academy” rather than “need to open the academy”)
Cmd. Dax Joven:
Admiral, looks like we may need to open the Academy sooner rather than later.

Admiral Abraxis:
Agreed Commander. And Dax, yet again we are in your debt. Now, lets pack it up and rift home, son. Looks like we have a serious new threat to assess!

cw2/story_text.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/19 18:25 by goreae