Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Short: Test Bed

"Initiating Test Sequence..." prompted the computer terminal speakers, reverberating through the room which was already filled with tension..

The Chief Technician; Prof. Gary Lynx had labored so hard these past few months trying to move the current research project forward amidst several funding cuts & a large proportion of research staff reassigned to other divisions, he'd been diligent in his efforts to keep the project moving on & to schedule. Now, after several months of hard work things were finally looking to pay off as the first prototype had just entered the testing phase..

They'd been working on a new form of dynamic motor response technology to be used to control the next generation of exo-suit & servitor-frames. With the construction industry's increasing demand for the massive robotic solutions to large scale construction development, & the military initiatives to increase the number of armed powered suits in operation, they'd been tasked with researching this new technology in the hope that it would provide the company with a competitive edge on the market & help secure in a wide array of lucrative contracts. However the research (which was initially scheduled for a 2 year plan) overran significantly due to poor management & misspent funds & by the time Gary had been brought in, they'd been given only a 6 month extension to finish up.
His entire career & reputation was riding on the success of the project & without a marketable product at the end, the situation would have been bleak until only 2 months ago. With the foundations of the technology based on excavated relics the company had acquired, a breakthrough discovery in understanding core systems of the relics' architecture, aided in concluding the research & helped the team establish a base to build their systems upon.

The department director stood anxiously, arms folded starring at Gary who tried his best to focus & keep his eyes fixed on the console in front of him. The control room was filled with junior & senior technicians who all stood silent as if they understood the weight of the moment at hand & what this meant for Gary & the rest of their work at the company. Through a large glass window in front of the group they could see the test bed; a huge hall used for field testing, & in the center; stood the test unit & the prototype perched in his hands..

"All systems nominal professor.." blurted one of the control room junior technicians in the direction of Gary whose concentration was lodged firmly on the monitor, making sure no anomalies had been detected.. "Thank you Wade.. Are we ready to begin Race..?" Gary said leaning into the microphone in front of him..
"Ready to roll chief..!" shouted the test unit, Race McCloud whose voice could be heard through the test bed amp speakers in the control room..

Gary paused for a moment before adjusting a few final calibration settings in preparation for the 1st run. Scaling the atmospheric flow pressure & increasing the base suits' activation dampeners remotely, Gary set everything up ready to proceed to push the activation button which in turn would spring the prototype's activation lock & allow the unit to freely decompress & assimilate the test units base suit. It was a nervous time as all the development work done up to this point had been based on paper studies & this would be the first time they'd know for sure whether the technology worked & functioned in practice as they'd theorized. Gary was hesitant but upon lifting his hand to push the activation button a loud voice boomed from over his shoulder..

"This better work professor..!" called the department director whose fierce demeanor seemed to swell in anticipation of the inevitable.. "It will.." prompted Gary firmly as he took one last glance at the monitor which filled him with a little more confidence..

The test unit lifted the prototype into the air in his hands and just as it reached the correct height, Gary depressed the activation button to release the lock..

Monday, 10 March 2008

Short: Acquisition

"You may enter Mr. Reid.." sparked the ruffled, middle-aged man sat behind a large desk..

His name was Mr Aglar Black; an executive manager of the finance division of OrionBeck-Industries, one of the largest commercial entities in the field of semiconductors & advanced technologies. Aglar was responsible for managing corporate earnings & his biggest undertaking yet was coordinating the acquisition of PyramCorp by his company. OB-I were interested in some of the experimental work PyramCorp had been doing on intrinsic field weapons using sourced materials bought from an excavation company out in the Solace desert. The excavation site was wholly owned by PyramCorp & thus the company had exclusive access to the rare materials & relics recovered, of which all were kept secure in several guarded repositories at undisclosed locations. OB-I had been trying to get into the market of energy field weapons for quite sometime & it was only now with the prospect of a takeover bid that an opportunity had finally presented itself.

The door to Mr Black's office opened & a man dressed in similar attire entered with a handful of documents under his arm. He closed the door behind himself & moved in to take a seat in front of Aglar's desk.
"Good evening sir.." responded the man who at this point had already begun sorting through the documents in search of something specific.
"I've just heard back from our solicitors & they've informed us that the majority of PyramCorp shareholders have agreed to the proposed bid & are willing to settle on the figures offered in return for their family's safety. They seem to believe that we we're somehow connected to the numerous death threats & vandalism of property they'd received in recent weeks..."
Aglar smirked... "Hmph! Sounds like someone's been making one too many enemies if you ask me..." he remarked before taking off his glasses, folding them & placing them down on the desk.
"In any case I'm glad everything is going to plan. Soon we'll have control of the excavation site & we can move our men in to see what they can find. There must be at least one Unit down there. & I know Micheals has been hiding something. I can smell it..."
"I agree Mr Black" responded the man who pulled a white sheet of paper out of the stack he was carrying & placed it down onto the desk. "Also here's the report you requested on the missing Unit our partners lost four months ago. It's believed to be in the hands of an ex ID officer..."
With those words Aglar's attention snapped. A shiver crept down his spine as he lunged for the document & pulled it up against his face to get a closer look... "ID Officer you say!? Hmmm..."
He carefully scanned the report as Mr Reid waited anxiously for his response... "It looks like our fortunes are beginning to raise a little further..." he remarked.. "Why Mr Black..? Who is he..?" replied Mr Reid who seemed confused by Aglar's comment..
"This man is the key to our continued partnership with JUDGE.. & I have some personal business with him myself.."
"You sir?" replied Mr Reid.. "But how is that possible..?"

"Well Mr Reid that is because I believe this is the man who's responsible for the assassination of my brother..."

Monday, 10 September 2007

Short: Assignment

"The rain ceases for no man.. It pours out from the heavens like a torrent of crystal, unrelenting.. & paying no heed to the command of kings, rulers or the governments of this world.." the man muttered to himself as he stood perched on the side of a roof spire, high above the skyline of Quaternion city. He was a mercenary once but fate had led his services toward a much more ideologically-motivated group. He never imagined his journey would have brought him this far. Being hated, loathed and despised by society out of a preconceived notion that the Freemen's agendas were politically motivated out of the desire for terror & to make innocent peoples' lives worse rather than better. The influences of JUDGE shielded the populous from the truth & it's hold on media, communication & public opinion filled every corner of the city with hate-filled propaganda directed at thwarting the Freemen's activities..

The man lifted his arm and used his glove to wipe the rain from off his brow so that he could get a good look at his target; a senior official of JUDGE's Advanced Technology Group (ATG), Emmet Lieberman. Lieberman convened at the Harper Hotel once a quarter, meeting with other ATG officials to discuss projects & new developments the organization had planned for the the next period. Emmet was the vice chairman of the board of directors for the group & his main responsibilities lay in the production of advanced weapons & technology research. It was clear that his loss would prove a major blow against the ATG & JUDGE & would severely slow down the roll out of new anti-personnel Security Assault Suits they'd been piloting. The first few tests proved concerning when the first security squad equipped with them in the field incurred a malfunction in one of the units which concluded in several civilian casualties & the death of the pilot. As a precautionary measure the units were brought back in & all major deployment postponed until the defects had been identified & corrected.

With his eyes fixed firmly down the barrel of his rifle the mercenary lined up his aim towards the hotel window where Mr Lieberman stood inside, facing a table full of businessmen. The shooter took a deep breath, pulled down the pressure release vent & flipped off the safety before pressing his finger firmly on the trigger..

A split second.. A single shot..

In a flash the bolt was sent racing across the skyline, a mile distance became a mere meter in an instant.. As the shot pierced the 4 inch thick reinforced glass window the entire pane erupted in a shower of fragments.. With no time to react the room was filled with debris & blood as every member of the table was forced out of their chairs by the array of shards colliding with them all over.. As they came to their sense & realized what had happened, panic & hysteria set in as they leapt out of their seats, scurrying to and fro, frantically ducking out of sight of the possible shooter & making for the fire escape.. An alarm sounded & screams & wails could be heard as security beacons were raised & guards on sight rushed up the stairs & lift in the hopes of discovering the cause of the commotion. As the dust & debris settled the room was still.. Lifeless & empty save but one silent, mortal body, draped face-flat across the table in a pool of blood..

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Solace: Prologue

"There is no glory in this war.."

"& no solace to be found in victory.."

In 642 AE a war erupted which decimated most of the known world. Millions were murdered, maimed and slaughtered for a cause that was never their own. A resistance movement was suppressed and a government supplanted. The world had begun to spiral down a drain so steep, it seemed nothing could stop it..

All seemed lost until, out of the smoke and darkness came a collective of warriors. Imbued with power so great that the very earth shook with their footsteps and whole mountains crumbled at their wake..
These avatars of the embodiment of a great Light & Hope laid waste to the evil that had so decimated the world and, once the fog of war had lifted and the scourge of darkness purged from the land, the collective dissolved into the mist almost as mysteriously as they first appeared..
It was then when it happened; the EM proxy visited the world & all sentient life was wiped out, almost as if those great warriors who came before had not come to save the world, only pave the way for it's annihilation..

1200 years later a new civilisation emerged.. Ignorant of those that had been before them & assured of their right to exist they took upon themselves the relics of old, settling into the old-cities that had been errected by their precursors & establishing for themselves vast economies of peace & prosperity.. In their new uptopian world the civilians knew not of the history of their dwellings nor did they know anything of the secrets of the old world they were so shielded against by their leaders.. The only link they were exposed to presided in the central square of quaternion city; a giant monolith with the words inscribed "Illic est haud glorior is bellum..." and "& haud solor ut exsisto instituo in victoria..." [Ion Cave Archive, 2088 BE]