Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dust Fiction: For This Immortal

Gaining access to the compound had been simple enough. Using his stealth camouflage he had been able to avoid the patrols, and hacking the security systems was not a problem. Captain Samuel was one of the best infiltrators the Pro Hic Immortalis Corporation had. The mission was not very complicated. Gain access to the facility to confirm the location of the target to be assassinated. It was a one way mission with no evidence to be left behind. Once inside, Sam was able to hack a security drone as it floated by and link into the internal security feeds and communications. The target was in the middle of a transmission. 
 “... beginning to spread. The effects will begin to manifest within a week.” said the target. 
“You have done well Naberius, you will... your transmission has been hacked. You have an intruder.” said the voice. Sam could not determine the origin. 
Sam sent a transmission to the fleet commander in orbit. “The target is confirmed. I’ve been found though. The target was in communication with someone I could not track.” Disconnecting his link, Sam began to head for the room the target was in as as alarm began to sound. It was too late for anyone in the facility.

Suspended in an aqueous fluid connected directly to the massive ship he piloted Gremund commanded the large Maelstrom battleship as if it were his own body. Supported by a fleet of Thrasher class destroyers the fleet was a forbidding force threatening the world below. He had an open link to the generals commanding the operation, When the transmission from the captain ended he turned his attention back to his superiors.
Dawn was the first to speak, “The captain was not able to determine who Naberius was connected to? Oh well, continue with the operation. Leave nothing behind.”
The voice of Director Ren rang out. “Yes, finish this now. We will debrief the captain in more detail later.
“As you wish.” Gremund began targeting the captains location. It was a small blink from orbit, but the blast was large enough ensure nothing remained.

As the blast ignited Sam opened his new eyes for the first time. His consciousness having downloaded from his previous body at the moment of death to a clone reserve bay on the Battleship in orbit.     
There was the usual cloning facility attendant and medical drones. As he stepped forward the pod new his body had emerged from dropped into the floor and the row that was behind it moved forward. There was a dozen rows like it reaching back into the cloning facility. “They want to debrief you right away.” said the attendant. “Your vital functions seem good. No reason to delay them.”
As Sam head to a communications room he felt the Maelstrom lurch into warp as they left the planet. Entering the communications room he opened a link to the Generals.
“Report Captain. How were you detected?” Director Ren commanded as soon as the link was established.
“Sir, I was able to enter the facility without detection. I was able to gain access to the security network and found the target was in communications with someone.” Sam reported.He himself was uneasy with how quickly and easily he had been detected.

“Who was this someone Captain. We do not want vague ideas, we want an accurate report!” Dawn’s anger was barely under control.

“Now Dawn. Lets hear what the Captain does have to report.” said the calm voice of Iggy. “You do have something for us, don’t you Captain?”

“The target said that something is beginning to spread and would manifest within a week. The unknown person seemed pleased and the one the target was reporting to. The unknown person alerted the target that the link had been hacked at which point I severed my connection and went after the target. I was able to lay eyes on the target before the facility was destroyed.” This did not get an immediate reaction from the generals. They all seemed as surprised as Sam was at how quickly it seemed he had been detected.

The Director addressed Sam. “ Thank you Captain. We will have need of you again soon I am sure. That will be all.”

On a station hidden in a dense asteroid field sat a man few knew the existence of, and whose name is known only to The Board. Tracking signals from across all the regions of the Empire and many in the sovereign states, it was said that The Legion was everywhere.
Hidden deep within many signals was a segment of code. It was passing undetected as random distortion, but this one noticed something in what appeared to be random. It almost seemed as if the random distortion of static was spawning a code. Spreading like a virus.
Creating a virtual system not connected he began to pull together the random segments to determine what it was constructing. As it took form he realised it was indeed a virus. One that seemed to be created to infect the very quantum entanglement network that made immortal technology work. As he watched the virus started trying to find a way out of the virtual system. He destroyed it as it seemed to begin to probe the systems allowing him to observe it.

This virus could be a disaster. It could seriously disrupt war efforts across the known galaxy. He opened an emergency link to The Board. “We have a problem.”

Director Ren of Pro Hic Immortalis Corporation opened a secure communication link with his generals when he received a message from The Board. “We got an emergency call to arms.. A virus has been detected and tracked back to Drone space. We are the closest available in the alliance, so we are going in.”
Iggy was the first to respond. “A virus out of drone space. Is this linked to the unknown that Naberius was talking to?”
“It seems likely. It doesn’t really matter though. All we need to know is that it is dangerous, and that we have been told all losses will be compensated. Its a top priority mission.” Ren began to send out the message he received from the board.
“Our own networks have not detected this virus?” asked Dawn.
“It doesn’t matter now. Prepare a fleet and a strike force. Our target is a Drone facility where a particular A.I. system known as The Hive Mind is thought to be the source of the attack. This Entropy Virus will not be able to finish forming if this Hive Mind AI is destroyed.” Ren was able to understand full well the significance of this mission and the true price of failure. The ability to transfer consciousness was the backbone of the war machine and a virus that threatened that network could destabilize civilization.

Deep within the Drone Regions at a remote outpost the Pro Hic Immortalis fleet dropped out of warp. Two Naglafar class Dreadnoughts supported by a wing of Maelstrom class battleships and dozens of Thrasher class destroyers all came under fire from Drone defensive turrets. The Thrasher class destroyers began to burn as the fleet targeted those turrets destroying them before Drone wings were deployed from the facility.
Gremund launched the Dropship and watched it take off for the facility stationed on a large asteroid, large enough to be considered a Dwarf Planet. He ordered the Maelstrom wing to follow the Dropship into its target while the Destroyers provided cover fire. A Drone battleship dropped out of warp and he targeted it as more began to drop out of warp.

Captain Samuel grabbed his trusty Breach SMG and stepped into the launch tube. He could feel as the ship hit the thin layer of atmosphere the large asteroid supported. He had dropped into many battle with these immortal men around him. He was proud to die with them. Yelling loudly to all his men. “Who is going to rain down destruction?”
“This immortal!” the shout echoed up from the men.
The launch tubes slammed shut and they were shot out of the bottom of the Dropship. Hurtling down through the thin barely existent atmosphere the launch tubes broke away and the soldiers activated their inertial dampeners. Slamming to the ground at barley subsonic velocities the soldiers began their advance on the facility.
Although the suits were regulated for use in low gravity environments, moving quickly was going to be a little difficult. The flashes of battle taking place above them provided a light show as they approached the large metallic surface of the Drone facility before them.
Sam opened a link to the squad as they approached the facility. “Lt. Waitin. I’m going to need to to watch the perimeter from the edge of that crater ridge a half click on our right. Let us know what comes our way. Lt. Chill I am going to need you to organize the squad once I start the hack and make contact with the Hive Mind. Lt. Law, I want you to wait outside of Chill’s defensive zone and be the ambush for anything attacking us.”
A collective ‘Sir!’ rang out over the link as they split off to their destinations. Lt. Waitin was one of the best snipers in the known galaxy, and Lt. Law was death on legs. Sam knew he could trust these men to rain fire on whatever tried to get near him, but now he just had to be sure he could hack and infiltrate the A.I. that so easily detected him before.
Approaching the smooth surface of the structure. The wall before them was not much different than around the rest of the facility that was not designed for biological life to enter or navigate. Lt. Chill had his men establish their defensive perimeter as Private Mel used a plasma torch to start cutting open a hole to gain access to the circuitry inside. Sam felt a little uneasy that they had not seen any Drone activity on the surface yet.
As if to answer his thoughts far above a hangar doors opened and Drones began to shoot forth above them. One of the Drones exploded and rained down scrap metal from above from a well placed plasma bolt. Lt. Waitin coming over the comms. “Sir, the enemy knows you’re there.”
“Just you guys keep them off me long enough.” With that Sam was able to plug into the network and begin gaining access.
He knew that they could not hold the Drones off for very long, but he had to be careful. Slowly probing the network he noticed false connections that lead to firewalls likely protecting nothing. Being careful not to rush anything Sam accessed the network and was able to see the security data. The fleet above was in rough shape. According to the Drone security over half of the Destroyers were already lost and the battleship fleet that had protected the Dropship were targeting anything that tried to fire on their logistical ships. One of the Dreadnoughts began to break up under sustained fire as he watched.
Turning his attention back to the network he found the communication systems that were sending out the strange signals that were his target. When he tried to gain access he noticed his own firewall alerts activate. Something was trying to not only stop him, but hack into his drop suit. Now there was no longer time for being careful. The Hive Mind was now aware of him and it was a race to see who could gain access first that mattered.

Lt. Chill looked back at the still form of Sam. He didn’t know what was taking the Captain so long, but he knew they could not hold out for much longer. All that mattered was holding out the attack long enough for the Captain to complete his mission.
Turning his attention back down the sights of his rifle he kept firing at anything coming their way. Their squad was pinned down under a section of the facility jutting out from the rocky surface rising up on either side which channeled most of them. Most came from above but many tried to come up the rocky channel, where most of them were brought down by Lt. Law.
The rain of scrap metal continuing to fall as lt. Waitin did what he could from the distant ridge. He could see though that a detachment of Drones started to break off and head for the ridge. “You got a group of tin coming your way Waitin!” Chill yelled out over the comms. Chill knew that they could not last much longer without sniper support.

Sam could not help but be slowed down by the probing attacks to his own systems. The effort spent preventing his critical systems from being taken over was taking resources he needed to quickly penetrate the system. Sam was forced to shut down his suits assisted motor functions to prevent that system from being taken over by the Hive Mind.
As each second passed Sam was coming to the realization that he may not be able to completely penetrate the system and destroy it. Conscious of each second that went by as his attacks were diverted and his own systems were under attack he changed his line of attack. Creating his own barriers within the system Sam began to cut the Hive Mind off from its connection to outside systems. He maintained his attack on its core systems as if it were still his main goal. If he could not destroy the virtual system, he had to try and disconnect it from its networks.
Sam could hear the battle around him and tell he did n’t have much time left. Committing nearly all of his resources to completing the firewalls to close the system off his suit systems started to be over run. Only holding back enough to keep his communications connected he was able to finish walling off the system.
Disconnecting from the network Sam opened a link to Gremund in the surviving Dreadnought. “The package is boxed but not dropped. Requesting the package be burned, I repeat, burn the package!”
Having successfully cut off the communications systems, the AI and the virus could no longer be transmitted and leave the facility. Destroying it now would prevent it from popping up again before they could create security measures against it.
Sam saw the blinding line of light as it hit the facility from above and took a first breath in his new body. He could feel that the ship was still taking heavy fire as Gremund put it into warp. The last readings Sam had seen from the Drones security had shown that the fleet had been decimated. A small handful of ships left from the large fleet that entered the system, but a small loss compared to what could have happened had they failed.

Connected from various stations in the Syndicate region The Board looked at the reports from the conflict. The findings were a cause for some concern, but The Board often saw the nations rise or fall due to the matters they dealt with. The board leader Mitauchi spoke first, “This Entropy Virus is being dealt with, correct?”
“Yes our analysts have already begun to research the virus. It was a nasty one, but not as complex as its creator thought.” Ren the representative for Pro Hic Immortalis seemed amused now that he had seen the findings on the virus. “Our fleet sustained heavy losses that will need to be replaced.”
There was a general murmur of consent from The board. Mitauchi was pleased with the results of the mission. With their immortal armies leading the charge The Legion was continuing to spread its influence.


  1. +1 to fiction writing on this blog.

  2. is this the same PHI from the tournament?

  3. yes - this is the PHI in the tourney.

  4. +1 for awesomeness

  5. I was expecting more in the way of haters. Thanks for the responses guys. I will have to think about doing some more.