28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

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Roy-Batty
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28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by Roy-Batty » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:20 am

Captain Esperon remains beneath the moon’s surface. Communication with the underground base resonates with anger and hate. War seems unavoidable. War against man. I find the concept difficult to grasp, even when I realize there are but few options available to pursue our goal. The cargo of the Astral Maiden becomes worthless if mankind denies it’s foundation. There can be no mistake, the values and knowledge stored and guarded by myself and the crew stand above individual opinion, but can we force this upon a breed that denies itself?

Seventh Annex, the year 3701 to 3750 AD. Aftermath of the 100 year war. Trouble in paradise.

Near the turn of the 38th century, the scarce remains of mankind began to recover from the apocalypse, now mostly known from stories from settlement elders. The new generation had no knowledge of the world as it was before. Travel from planet to planet seemed absurd and an unnecessary waste of energy and resources, now that simply reaching the next place of civilization could take weeks. Modern man had only just started to specialize itself and establish forms of trade. Virus victims had become exceptions by now, as most survivors had passed on their immune genes to the new generation.
Ohran had attracted smaller settlements near the former border. Some traded with the local community and others enjoyed the passive protection as Ohran patrols controlled the area. The entire area became cultivated and relatively safe to live. Initiated by Ohran, being the strongest settlement in the region, a simple tax system was implemented where smaller societies attributed to larger ones in exchange for trading rights or limited protection. Near 3725, the region was renamed New Anchorage. Nomadic groups simply known as Travelers roamed into the newly founded safe zone from time to time. Mostly on foot or primitive work animal driven vehicles, these small clans were despised by the settlers. It was common knowledge the Travelers used children to roam ruined cities and factoria, loot unprotected settlements and even kill and rob isolated wanderers. However, their presence was tolerated within New Anchorage for two reasons. Mainly, they were the best scavengers left in the western world. They salvaged tech long forgotten and traded it for supplies now produced in abundance within the proximity of Ohran. Weaponry and ammunition would also make good items to exchange hands in a place where security was based on a strictly organized pyramid of power. In extremely hot summers they would even seem to find water when no one else could. It was said to be merely a tale to frighten children, but the rumor that they would extract the water from human bodies found along the way was enough for most settlers to see water trading with the Travelers only as a last resort.

The X’Lanthos seemed to have disappeared from the earth’s surface. Technically, this was the complete truth. The warm earth summer, now lasting for over 7 months in most of the former Unified States, was unbearable for the alien physique who quickly moved underground. Salvaged foreign technology made tunneling relatively easy, and the small, rather confined chambers created beneath the planet´s surface felt trusted and comfortable to the X’Lanthos, used extended space travel. For now, they needed to remain unseen, attempting to contact other alien strongholds with Dark Energy beacons. Found stranded alien groups would adapt a similar, evasive tactic for the time being.
Strangely enough, these creatures so unadapted to earth life were more connected to the local wildlife than mankind. Some animals seemed to have a natural submissive attitude towards the X’Lanthos, where humans were attacked and devoured on the spot. Soon, being used to enslaving, the intruders trained Panthoras and Havoc to patrol land and air in search of both X’Lanthos and human concentrations. Driven by the intense hate for the planet’s original inhabitants, the alien revenge started to take form.

For many years now, the problems in Ohran had been greater than the governing council could admit to the public eye. There were certain parts within the safe zone that were purposely avoided by patrols and scavenger missions. In fact, most of the coast line was deemed too dangerous to explore, as previous attempts had been ambushed and slaughtered. The settlers were in no way prepared to wage war within New Anchorage, even when some more informed members of the council were convinced this was the only way to prevent the conflict from spreading throughout the area.
Especially the council’s elders were convinced of this idea. Some of them were born throughout the war. The 100 year war had brought back life expectancy to less than half a millennia, but there were still exceptions. Nano-tech had virtually disappeared to assist in healthcare, but genetic improvement programs initiated years before the war had provided with strong DNA now being passed through the generations. The sheer destruction of war, combined with the global spread of the alien virus and many years of highly inadequate food supply had brought back life expectancy back to half a century right after the conflict, but with humanity getting back on its feet, life regained space to flourish. The Versed, as war survivors were called, had always been respected as knowledgeable and wise, although many young ridiculed them as overcautious and belonging to a passed age of man. They had always warned against these marauders. It seemed these attackers were not simply looking to take what didn’t belong to them. They were not travelers. They seemed to attempt to destabilize the fragile established order. There was no direct goal to their attacks. After short bursts of violence and death, they simply disappeared.
Only occasionally had armed settlers successfully captured any of these marauders. Crazed and fanatical, most of them preferred to take their own life when the course of battle would go astray. Their equipment would even foresee such occasion, as all aggressors were supplied with a secured collar. Once depinned, the last act of any fanatic would be to hurl him- or herself into the lost battle, before an explosive charge was detonated. Only an extremely heroic act from an agile settler of a failing explosive device could provide with prisoners that still had all limbs attached. However, they were of little use. Deranged and in some cases without a tongue to speak, any form of interrogation was useless, and most would die from self inflicted wounds or be killed after attacking interrogators. Although obviously insane, the aggressors seemed to have heightened senses and stronger than most men. Strapped down on a table and heavily sedated, the opening of a cell door could send a prisoner into a frenzy, sometimes even breaking bones in an attempt to free himself. It seemed odd that these almost feral beings could move in such a coordinated and effective way on the battlefield. Just how effective they were became clear in the massacre of new Quebec.

It was on the morning of October 10th, 3748 when sentinels alarmed the Ohran council. There was smoke coming off the north side of New Anchorage, near the coastline. It seemed there was an enormous fire blazing through the settlement of New Quebec. Thick clouds of black smoke kept on forming towards the large mission sent out from Ohran to assist and rescue where needed. The voyage took almost three days, and during the sunset only just before their arrival, the rescue party could see most of the flames had died down, and had made place for a dismal overview of what once was a secure community of mostly young settlers looking for the last Great Corporation. There were no survivors among the ruins of what once were simple housing units. Mangled and burned bodies of entire families of settlers, some fixed in their final embrace, knowing death would be inevitable. Between the corpses of people attempting to recover life, many marauders lay slain. New Quebec had not fallen easily. The attackers had to pay in what had to be a fierce but short clash. But now, there was no longer anything left to save. Ohran’s settlers stood helpless between the remains of man, while the cold morning mist slowly revealed the shoreline. There, one of the youngest settlers noticed a small red light, flickering in the thick fog. And another one ignited, not far from the first. More and more Ohran inhabitants started to look up from the all present destruction to witness this phenomenon, now slowly lighting up the surf as more and more light burst into life over the waterline. Wonder soon was replaced for fear as engines could be heard in the distance, and above all, the shrill war cries of the marauders. The Riggers were here.
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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Roy-Batty
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by Roy-Batty » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:23 am

This one is a bit longer, but I had to end this one with the Riggers. They have been in my head for a long time! I also needed to flesh out a bit what is happening with the X'Lanthos and the wildlife, as all factions need to come together in about 350 years...
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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wasaw47
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by wasaw47 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:06 pm

great work! are the riggers supposed to be the bandits? cuz they sound really awesome :twisted:

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Roy-Batty
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by Roy-Batty » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:25 pm

@ wasaw47; Yeah, the Riggers are going to form part of the origins of the bandits, or at least what the bandits are like in my head. In the next pieces i'll try to flesh them out a bit more. I will try to get all factions together and nice and fluffy before the year 4100, when Dark Potential starts. After that.... I don't really know yet.
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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AirborneHam
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by AirborneHam » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:23 pm

Another great piece. Your writing always keeps me anticipating the next part. Your Riggers are ten times more intense then the bandits I had imagined. The only issue I have is that I always imagined the bandits being more of a noble group with twisted or demented thoughts and goals, not crazed beasts. I do really like the Riggers though, and am interested in where you go with them.

As always, keep writing.
AirborneHam, author of several stories in the Dark Potential Fan-Fiction Forum.

Start here: http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 19&t=63550

It only gets better.

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Roy-Batty
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by Roy-Batty » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:00 am

@ AirborneHam; Thanks a lot for reading and the inspiration of your own stories! About the Riggers... for now, we have only seen the ones that go out and kill, loot, and all of that stuff. Those types couldn't exist as a coherent group without something behind it... I have a basic outline for the faction, i'll go into them a bit more in the next pieces. For now, I can only say there is a bit more to them.
Did you ever hear of the Eris Scrolls?

You can get to know them here:

http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 16&t=63414

And that's just the beginning.

Don't forget to bring your opinion!

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trooogdooor
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Re: 28. The Eris Scrolls: Aftermath - Scarlet Skies

Post by trooogdooor » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:52 am

Finally got up to date on the Eris scrolls, and I'm glad I did.

Adding the Nautical element to the bandits really does something for their appeal. Riggers... ranging out into a large territory via oceanic mobility, prowling for booty, but based on a rig "castle" to return to with their loot. Post-nuke feudalism via Sith Fremen of the sea, we might even get away with an eye-patch or two. Fun is to be had with this, arrrr!

I have no idea of how Scofield can mesh in though, curious to find out. I'd generally like to have him fleshed out much more, right now I still don't know who or what he is. The mind does grasp for characters in this kind of story, to make sense of the thinking.

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