(January 28th, 2003, 5:47 am)
Well... Shoot me, ok? I just thought that since I was not taking this anywhere, I'd give it to you guys.
There's no guarantees that I won't finish this later, and ignore what all story bits get invented by the group, but I probably won't ever finish it out to what I want, anyhow.
If no one wants to write on this, then that's fine - I may just do it myself. :)
The world is set about 15-20k years from now, in our universe. The culture is spacefaring, using my own version of spacefolding as in Coup de Main. This also allows for Ansible-like communications, using laser or radio through tiny slipgates. The goal is not scientific accuracy, but rather to have as much high-tech military action fun as possible, with as little stretching of the "willing suspension of disbelief" that we sci-fi readers are good at as possible.
I figure every submission needs to be at least 600 words or so, since "Dawnglory" is 647. This works out to about two pages, but if that's too much, let me know through edits here. (LOL - this should be hilarious!) DO NOT post ANYTHING but story otherwise! Write your bit, and keep it as a story. I don't want any introductions of tech or whatever. Write it like a real story. You just invented something? Introduce it like you would in a real story.
Also, I want this to stay fairly clean - no sex, no gratuitous violence (nothing bloodier than The Matrix), and little to no language. Ok? Good. Now write.
That's an order. :P
(January 28th, 2003, 5:48 am)
Silent it floats, alone in the void. Orbiting no sun, and possessing no rotational spin at all, it is an orphan among billions of its kind. The largest planet in the entire known universe, it is dwarfed only by the giant stars. It contains a mineral wealth that has never been fully explored, as well as huge underground cities containing technology beyond humanity's wildest dreams and hopes.
Its surface is barren, and its atmosphere is dead. Completely devoid of life, it is equally incapable of supporting it. Nonetheless, it is the most important planet in the minds of any and every leader the human race has spawned.
To many, its name is synonymous with death and ruin, war and violence. Likened by many to hell, it is also the name of the longest war in the history of mankind.
Mighty among the astral bodies, it has borne the weight of thousands of wars, each connected to form the most titanic act of violence humanity has ever seen. Trillions of deaths and uncountable resources have been poured into the effort to gain control over the great sphere by every major power in the last 10,000 years.
She is privy to a million tales; of wonder, and sorrow; of pure joy, of vile evil; of black treachery, and selfless heroism. And while these tales are of weak and mortal flesh, she stands a monument to both warn and glorify humankind of itself.
And yet as the tales are unique to each other as they are from each other, they are common in one respect: they cannot be told without the telling of another's. For Kaelgeon has witnessed them all and more, and while these tales are legend in their own right, they are all threads in the complex fabric that is the history of the mighty planet, and so;
This is her tale.
(January 28th, 2003, 5:55 am)
The dim light of the far stars lit the barren and pocked surface with their feeble gleams. It was surprisingly bright for a planet with no star, and the horizon was so far into the distance that it was invisible to the unaided eye.
Two stormtroopers stood here in their bulky powered battle suits, surveying the ridge of jagged cliffs that split the starry sky with their grey-brown heights. Like everything else on this planet, they were huge, creating an artificial horizon that stretched out to the left for billions of kilometers.
It was quiet, as the temperate worlds are quiet before a great storm. Abruptly, one trooper raised his armored fist, pointing, and said simply, "I see them."
Far ahead, an infinitesimal dot appeared to crawl towards them with agonizing slowness as it passed the corner of the towering ridge. It was the army of Force.
Comprised of over 300 million infantry and 100 million in armored fighting vehicles, it was so far away still as to be nearly invisible. As if on cue, a rumble started in from behind the troopers, and suddenly a huge metal foot pounded down beside them, only to be joined by its mate a second later.
"Well," Said the second trooper in husky feminine tones, "are you big boys ready to see some action?"
The pilot responded in like manner, "Yes ma'am! Just say the word an' we'll give Force a real taste of force." A broad grin was evident in his words- he was enjoying himself.
"Ok, can it you two." The first trooper cut in, his tenor made gruff by the command in his voice. "Mark and Pore, you two get your men up here and drop the hammer on them."
They responded with eager whoops, and began issuing orders. "Alright you boys! It's time to open the bores and unleash some unholy starfire! 5th Magnaport Artillery, fall in and line up in a..."
The first trooper turned his head to the female beside him. "What do you think, Lieutenant? Do we have a real element of surprise?"
She half-turned to face him. "Yes, Commander, I do. I don't really believe that they would have brought their entire force under the reach of the Magnaports on purpose. Kelth may be a self-centered fanatic, but ignorant and stupid he's not."
The commander nodded and turned and waved his hand in the direction of the approaching enemy. "We should get under cover once the bombardment starts, but I want to watch it begin."
As the line of artillery 'mechs formed up in ranks behind them, she faced outward again and smiled to herself inside her helmet. Guys and explosives, she thought, and laughed to herself.
"On my mark, then!" Sergeant Pore shouted, and began the firing sequence. The great war engine spread its two huge metal feet, lowered itself, and leaned forward. The torso leveled, and traversed, rotating the giant barrel hung under its shoulder. Behind his 'mech, the rest of the squad followed suit, the hundreds of tons of metal behemoths shaking the ground beneath the trooper's feet.
"Acquire targets!" His barrel elevated, and then traversed slightly. "Remember, fire for effect after the target is a confirmed hit. MARK!" There was a slight pause, and suddenly the heart of a star leaped from the muzzle of his barrel. The dust spouted up in wings to either side of the shell, and a glowing streamer hung in the sky even as the shell hit among the Force.
The explosion was mighty, even from 400 kecks away. A horribly beautiful gout of yellow flame and thin energy wisps spouted from the midst of the faraway army, and suddenly the air above was alive with the arcing shells hurtling towards their intended targets. The ground beneath shook from the power being flung upon the enemies of the Empire.
It had begun.
(February 14th, 2004, 2:56 am)
Even while knowing what to expect, Private Praine was utterly surprised by the first volley of fire from the ‘mechs. He and all the others had run scenarios like this thousands of time in the sims, but this was for real. Here he could die. Ahead of him, two blasts collided with an AFV, disintegrating the command module. It collapsed to the ground, smashing a dozen infantry in the process. Praine ran with his squad. It was all he could possibly do.
The AFVs returned fire, hitting one ‘mech, which quickly regained its balance and destroyed the offending vehicle. This is suicide. Then again, I always knew it would be. Praine did his best to keep up with his squad, but the constant rain of fire forced him to the ground as one bolt landed a tek away from him. Diving into a nearby crater, he was hit by a shower of debris. Praine grabbed his rifle again and kept moving.
The Force had advanced a hundred kecks by now, but this merely gave the Empire an easier target. AFVs were falling like flies, and even with 300 million infantry this battle was hopeless. More than half of the 100 million AFVs that marched in the beginning were little more than husks, and thousands of infantry had been blasted or crushed. Praine ran through the carnage, a man possessed. All of the soldiers were. The only thing keeping them alive was a complete and utter hatred of the Empire, forcing them to go on with no regard for their lives or their own safety. Thousands of the brave fools were mowed down by the blasts of the ‘mechs, but there were always more. Praine wondered why there were even this many of the Force here, charging to certain death on the plain, the only one guarded by the Magnaport.
The Force was now only a hundred kecks away from the forces of the Empire. The army was now nothing of any power, only the ragged remains and bloodthirsty men of decimated platoons. They were driven only by insanity and obsession now, knowing Death as a friend, charging into battle with Him at their shoulder. The speed the men of the Force ran was astounding. They covered 50 kecks in an hour, never tiring it seemed, dominated by the adrenaline rush of battle. Millions of soldiers died, with the full brunt of the ‘mechs now boring down upon them, but still they ran.
Praine was now at the distance where the ‘mechs became useless. If they fired at this distance, the shockwave would destroy them. Now all that was left was the stormtroopers. Praine brought his rifle to bear, adjusting the speed of fire to full. The gun wouldn’t last long at that rate, overheating as the plasma hurtled through the barrel in a near-continuous stream. Praine didn’t expect to live long enough to get any more us out of it anyway.
As if on cue, thousands of blue streams of plasma burst out of the ranks of the Force. Stormtroopers boiled in their armor as the streams swept across their ranks. The few remaining members of the Force’s heavy assault corps took out ‘mechs by the dozen. Praine curled his beam through hundreds of the troopers, decimating their ranks. Stormtroopers hurriedly trying to get their rifles to work were cut down alongside their firing brethren, screaming as they melted in their armor.
The troopers at the rear end of the line were prepared once they had a clear line of fire. Their repeating rifles fired a retort to the screaming beams of the suicidal Force. Then the battle’s tide began to turn once again, as the rifles burned out at last. The few Force who’d grabbed fallen comrade’s weapons were soon firing once again, but the ones who didn’t resorted to their pistols, shortly being cut down by the rifles of the Empire.
Praine hid himself in the rear of the force once his rifle burned out. He was relatively safe from the fire of Imperial troops there, but once the line was sufficiently decimated, he would die. Then he spotted the body of a heavy weapons soldier. Praine dashed over and looted the corpse, grabbing the grenades and portable energy cannon. The energy cannon was the Force’s most dangerous personal weapon. It had almost unlimited ammo, due to being able to restore power via solar cells, and fired blasts of pure energy capable of taking out a hundred widespread infantry in one blast. There were only a few in existence because they were amazingly expensive. Perhaps Praine wouldn’t die today after all.
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