and how they will find salvation in this mess.
“The prayers have taught us to believe in a supernatural being, something that protect us, a God. But if this God does not protect us when fire rains from the skies, and aliens create death holes on our planets, then it wants us gone. This is the time to choose our own path...”
- - Unknown soldier, one of the first victims of the Volt Conflict
Prologue: Memories of the pastEdit
"-Don't let go!"
"Everybody get down! Missile!"
--Explosions followed by gunfire--
"Get those civies out of here!"
--Loud bang originating from the sky--
"What in the name of the spirit! Is that..."
--Second bang, windows break and explosions occur all over the place. Civilians scream out of intense pain and severed limbs--
"Make it stop!"
"WHY DID YOU NOT PROTECT US!?"
"Wah!? Goddamned, fricking nightmares..." I almost yelled, I lay in my bed that was soaked from my sweat. I stood up to get a glass of water and looked into the mirror.
"Their deaths aren't your fault..." I said to myself into the mirror, but it sure as hell felt that way. I had the intel, I could've prevented all of their deaths. Yet I didn't inform high command of the attack, had to burn it afterwards, they would've wanted my neck for that.
Chapter 1: Religious mattersEdit
"Commander, you wanted to see me?"
"Yes. I'm certain you're aware of the fact that people are losing their faith in religion ever since the beginning of this bloody conflict"
"Recent statistics have revealed that we're reaching a new record, we need something for them to believe in. The Spirit has always been watching and protecting us, but why he has abandoned us is unknown. Maybe there is something bigger to it...What do you think?"
"I think that everyone has the right to believe what he thinks is just. Everyone can choose his own religion..."
"I meant what is the reason that people lose faith..."
"Excuse me sir, I er-...think that because of this war that lasted for maybe a million years without an end they are getting sick of it"
"Indeed, we need the Spirit to come back, give people hope and all that sort of stuff. But where should we look?"
An alarm went off and the big screen turned on showing Admiral Vreyhan. All soldiers and officers on deck saluted.
"Admiral Vreyhan, a pleasure to hear of you again"
"You expected anything less? I'll keep it short as the enemies are massing again at my border. I've assembled a sizeable fleet to enter the heart of VA territory, where the Rulers live. Your task is to find out of technologicaly they are advanced, and if possible, bring some with you"
My commander nodded and kept saluting until the screen turned off again.
"You heard the man! Prepare for departure!"
Chapter 2: Passing the borderEdit
Our ship had joined up with the fleet that was under command of General Orthiok, we had gathered along the border and while trying to keep a low profile, leave our systems going directly for their heartlands.
"Fleets, the enemy will likely already have us on scanners, were going to that big asteroid under cover of being a mining fleet to fool them. Once there we will jump to their heartlands, a pulse generated from our border fleets will temporarily mess with their scanners making them unable to see us passing them by in lightspeed. Once we passed them the enemy will likely think we're a merchant fleet or allies as we've never entered their systems before. Questions?" Sounded through the comm channels, nobody asked questions, we all know Generals and Admirals hate those and show a sign of unworthines.
The fleet consisting of 276 ships, which is slightly smaller then the mining fleets with an average of 300 ships, began its journey to the enemy's territory. We had passed the Blokhran Sphere with clearance from Admiral Vreyhan and entered the no-man's zone. I could smell it, fear, the men were becoming nervous as we began to near hostile space, space they've never seen before. After a week of cryosleep we had finally arived at the heart of the Voltoriém Galaxy System, known to us as the living space of the rulers.
"Commander, our autopilot has changed our course during the cryosleep!"
"Where are we headed!?"
"Close to the galactic core, just outside the grasp of the black holes!"
"Humph, damn secrecy. Alright men, high command has tricked us all into coming here. They know where to find the intel and have send us straight into hell. Be ready for the wors-" Our commander couldn't even finish his sentence before we left lightspeed and witnessed a field of debris, a recent battle was fought here.
"Communications are online sir!"
"Get me general Orthiok!"
"...Static, lot of it. No, I can't raise him sir!"
"Then...No-...Impossible..." The commander looked at the debris again and noticed resemblances between our ships and some pieces of metal. The debris field was our fleet.
"Sir, over there! That's the Heavenly Wrath!"
"No, general Orthiok's flagship..."
Chapter 3: Penetrating hostile barriersEdit
I stood before the commander's door and asked if I may come in. He agreed and I stepped in as soon as he opened the door.
"Sir, if I may ask. What are our plans now? Are we to continue or not?"
"Yes, if we returned now High Command would treat us as Irithii and we will never find glory in battle... The way I see it they have messed with the autopilot to fly us around for a few extra days while the others arrive at the destination and take the hit, when the enemy is aware of the attack they'll be tense and won't expect a single ship... Speculations, I hate those..."
"So-...I should prepare the men for battle pretty soon?"
The commander nodded and said I could leave. I began to prepare the troops for departure both the Qanatha and the Irthaz-Qanatha. Vehicles could only later serve a role in the landing but I still found them usefull, especially one of our newest toys, the Obelisk.
The ship slowly flew past the debris tryng to evade collsions against the molten shipparts.
"Sir, fighters are coming closer!"
"Deactivate all systems and activate your battle suits!"
Everyone made use of their suits, the heat that their body created was directed to the exhausts at their feet in an attempt to minimise the chance of detection. Eventually the fighters passed the ship without slowing down or showing signs of being aware of their presence. Once the fighters couldn't be seen with the eye anymore the commander ordered the systems to be activated again and to move on to the planet.
Once we began to near the planet's atmosphere 7 enemy ships began closing in on our position.
"Sir! 7 enemy ships spotted on interception course! They're onto us!"
"Charge all weapons! Rerout all non-critical system energy to bot the weapons and the shields and give them hell! Lt, get the men ready, we're going to have to drop everything now before the enemy is close enough to shoot them down when they leave the ship!"
I ran of the command bridge and went to the hangar to see that all the troops were loading onto the dropships.
"Get the Irthaz-Qanatha in their drop pods, they're going in first!"
"What!? Lt, they're on the dropships already, it will take longer to unload them and get them in the drop pods instead of continuing loading everyone in"
"I said I wanted them in the droppods!" And so they did, in remarkable speed the Qanatha made place for their superiors to pass and they stepped into the drop pods. As soon as a drop pod was fully loaded it was being launched towards the planet. It was a magma like planet, probable a SHH type.
"Sir, we have to go, NOW!"
"I heard yah! We're waiting for the commander!"
"He's not comming! He's coordinating the ship!"
The dropships began to ascend when their engines were warmed up and left the ship's hangar. When our dropship, one of the last to leave the ship, entered space we were nearly hit by a beam of some sort fired by the enemies ship, they had commeced their attack. However, a dropship behind us was not so fortunate and was obliterated sending debris back to the hangar and hitting the dropship trying to leave.
"You saw that? 2 for the price of one?"
"Private Tikhlom, if I hear you making stupid comments again I'll throw you out of the airlock"
The whole dropship began to shake as yet another beam passed us fired by one of the ships who had begun to chase us, shooting down the unlucky dropships leaving the ship too late. The remaining 6 ships were in trouble as they seemed less defended then our ships, it was clear that our fleet was destroyed mainly due to the enemies numbers.
"We're entering the atmosphere, hang on! That ship hasn't stopped its pursue!"
"Ramzarh, out of the way! Let me fire the big gun!" I yelled while pulling the gunner at the side and controlling it myself. I quickly found a spot that I thought that could be a flaw and began firing at it while the pilot was evading the foe's beams, after several volleys the ship's shields were weakened in the front and I was able to puch a hole in the ship. The ship changed course and left us alone.
"Saw that Ramzarh!? That's how you do that!?"
He seemed to be upset over the fact that I pulled him of his seat, he felt...unnecessary and a failure. We had breached the atmosphere and began to descend to the planet's surface.
"We're descending and going to Site Hretha, ETA 6 minutes!"
"Alright men, once we leave the ship we're gonna have to fight as hell to secure a foothold. The Irthaz-Qanatha have been trough heel for us already and are becoming weary, we have to gather them and regroup at one location to succesfully call this landing a succes! I assume nobody has questions!"
The men, and 2 women, shook their head and checked their guns. After several minutes the ships had reached the surface and the doors opened allowing us to leave the dropship but allowing the enemy to hit us, Freliah found that oout the hard way as she got shot in the chest pulverising her scapula.
"Damn! Shi- that...that really hurts!"
"Go, go, go! Freliah, hang on!"
I began to pull her out of the ship into cover to treat her wound.
"I've got both good news and bad news Fre! Your scapula is completly shatered"
"And the good news?"
"Ahem, that was the good news, the bad news is that we'll have to amputate your arm and place a cybernetic arm!"
"Damned...Alright, when do you have to begin!? Otherwise you could just give me a gun to shoot them!"
"I expected no less Corporal! Tulvakh, come here! Get her to base camp, I received word they've established a camp not too far from here! I assume you won't die on the trip! Now move it!"
"Any good news here!?"
"Yes sir, we're winning ground fast! The enemy was unprepared for a ground attack and doesn't seem to have much troop concentration in this location!"
"Good, just the way I like my battles, smooth and fierce!"
After several minutes the enemy forces began to retreat due to heavy casualties and we began to gather at the base camp.
"Men, set up barricades at those holes there, there and there! Patch up the wounded, I want them combat ready for the next fight! Give me a casualty report!...Good, minimal losses. And where is the CO!?"
"I assume that is Captain Thyov, and that would be me. Lt, how was your landing?"
"Good, although I've had crashes that felt better, maybe we should improve the seats?"
"...Anyways, have you had casualties?"
"None sir. Although Private Freliah's scapula is as good as gone. She's in the field hospital now getting a cybernetic arm an-"
I turned around and saw Private Freliah stepping at me with her (new) cybernetic arm.
"Ah, you feeling well Freliah?"
"Yes sir, thanks for the concern. But I'm not the only injured of the squad, Corporal Tulvakh was shot in his back left leg, but that was merely a fleshwound compared to my...'injury'. He should be fine, nothing to worry about"
"About 11% was shot down by AA-batteries, the others took them down and afterwards another 11% was KIA, the others held out until we arrived and retreated behind our lines to rest a bit. One of them made the comment that the enemy was fighting like madmen, trying to keep us out at all costs. I don't think intel is everything we need Lt, High Command is aware of something bigger..."
"The Commander mentioned it too, think its something big?"
"Possible, only destiny, time and the path before us will tell"
"From orbit...I-...I didn't see any signs of light aside from the explosions from the fights, are there cities of the enemy present?"
"We believe so, we haven't seen a sign of their cities yet and haven't pinpointed our exact location. We'll need to raid an enemy base to gather intel"
"And any luck finding them?"
"That's the fun part, we landed on top of it"
"What!? Do you mean it's underground?"
"Indeed, I've dispatched several Irthaz-Qanatha squads to get a detailed map of the base with an echo scan. It worked partially", he showed a hologram of the scanned piece of the base, "as you can see it ends at these 2 long hallways, we believe that there are some air-tight doors there, which means that there is probably something of importance"
"Probably reinforced, triple-layer doors or something. Its likely that there is a high operative or classified dossiers stored there, but alas, speculations..."
"Whatever is down there, we're probably going to investigate it"
The radio began to emit static instead of the expected communications with the border guards
"...re co...rds o...emies....own to...he bun..."
"They regrouped this fast?"
"Yes, get your men ready, we can't lose this position until Commander Yikhim gives us new instructions. And we also won't get reinforcements so try to minimise casualties if you can Lt"
I saluted and rallied my squad to aid the border defences against the enemy counterattack.
Chapter 4: Retrieving intelEdit
"Somebody cover our left flank, don't let the enemy get through! Where are those heavy weapons I asked for a minute ago!?"
"Sir, the enemy is moving in with vehicles!"
"...Yer, I see them. I need those heavy weapons now!"
"Here they are sir!"
"Gimme that son, you don't even know how to find it's trigger!"
I began to target the enemy vehicles with the Hephaestus Cannon and waited for the right moment.
"Sir? They're getting awfully close! Sir?"
"Shutup and enjoy the fireworks Corporal Freliah"
I fired the Hephaestus Cannon, several orbs of light left the weapon and went straight up until it reached a certain height and stopped. Every orb found its target from this height and with a tremendous speed flew at them completly crushing them into a plate of metal, or in case an organic was chosen, a heap of pulp.
"Saw that you buggers!? I've got plenty more of these so ya can all better get back to your bases and hide!"
"Sir, get down!"
"Lemme do my thing Corporal, I'm just enjoying the fight!"
A stray bullet, or aimed, I didn't know, hit me in the chest downing me for a moment.
Corporal Freliah began draging me out of sight to ensure my safety and thus survival.
"Corporal, am I shot?"
She began looking at my wound and answered: "Yeah, pretty good. That was no stray bullet sir..."
"Then give me the head of the jerk who just did this to me!"
"I believe you're still combat ready sir"
"Like hell I am!"
I stood up again and checked my weapon before firing another volley at the enemy only to see that they stopped firing back.
"Cease fire! The enemy is retreating, stop wasting your goddamn ammo!"
It took longer then I had wanted but after 5 seconds all fire was stopped and the only sound that was still to be heard was our troops laughing with the enemy and the wind blowing, maybe here and there you could hear a bubble of magme in a small puddle burst open. After making sure the enemy wasn't coming back anytime soon I returned back to Captain Thyov to report the situation, casualties, in short: the usual spam.
"Sir, I came to report that we were succesful in forcing the enemy to retreat"
"I know that, otherwise they'd be knocking at my door right now. Casualties?"
"Several, they brought vehicles with them, they're preparing for a bigger offensive and will probably bombard us with artillery soon sir. We need the vehicles on board of the Filhyam to keep this up"
"I know, but..." he sighed, "we lost contact with Commander Yikhim during the last attack. We fear he's shot down, that or captured, which I really doubt. Our priority still hasn't changed, getting that intel still stands on the top. Afterwards we can go looking for a ship to get of this molten planet"
"As I would say, nothing is uncertain aslong as its not certain"
"My words exactly Lt, one more thing. We've received word of the Irthaz-Qanatha infiltrating that base, we're clear to go, they're having difficulties and had some losses. Can you make some time and spare their scalled skins?"
"You need any extra weapons? Or troops?"
"Troops, no, more chance of casualties. Close quarters risks. Weapons, yeah, shotguns, grenades and explosive stuff"
"I'll take care of it"
I left the tent and searched for my squadmates and briefed them shortly of our task.
"So we've become a resque team now?"
"No, sort of, we still have to go and get the intel during the retrieval"
We moved out, checking in at the southern barricade and following the beacon's signal towards the Irthaz-Qanatha. We came out at a cave where some cables ran through.
"Speaking of subtility, who lets cables run like this, they're so exposed"
"Doubt it, they're putting up a heavy fight to keep us out of here"
We moved into the cave and came out at a giant titanium door that was blasted apart by explosives.
"Can anyone tell me what the strnage part about this...'entrance' is?"
"That its not closed?"
"Pvt Tikhlom, when we were in the dropships, what did I tell you?"
"To keep my dumb comments for myself, I know"
"That was a standing order, but I'll just say the problem here myself. The door was blasted from the inside"
"So our troops could just barge in?"
"Appears so, they've had help"
We followed the beacon's signal once more and after a long walk we began to hear gunshots. Our comm channels began to boom out a lot of radio chatter.
"Hostiles are breaching the perimiters, we can't hold them back! They use some sort of molecule breaking weapons! How the hell did they get so fast inside the base!?"
"Is that radio chatter of the enemy? Why can we understand it?"
"Hell if I knew"
"Let's just keep moving, our troops need us!"
We reached the Irthaz-Qanatha and helped them fighting the enemy, after we had killed most of them and they retreated we stopped firing. The Sergeant of the troops came to me.
"Sir, we've encountered fiercer resistance then we expected since we began getting closer to the lower blast doors"
"They're hiding something. Also, is it possible you've received help getting in?"
"Yes sir, that is correct. Fliom!"
I saluted him and asked what his involvement was with the Rulers. "So you call them Rulers? My kin calls them Abominations." He replied. It was clear he was hiding something for us all.
"Is something wrong?" I asked him. At first it seemed he was not going to answer me but eventually he replied: "...We are theirr creators...We made them to be the perfect being, an indestructable force of hyperintelligent cyborgs...".
"They're not that indestructable, we just killed a lot of them! Ain't I right!?" I asked my troops. "Ahroth Vhyrim!" They replied with loud voices.
"That's because of the weapons you use, we never mass deployed those and they were still in the experimental stage. But you don't seem to be having any trouble. I'm sure that your race would win all ground battles against them but a space battle would be lost before it even started." He explained.
"Sir! The enemy is making another push!" One of the Irthaz-Qanatha yelled.
Their sergeant apologised and returned to his troops, I turned my attention to the Qwatko again. "You seem to know a lot more than I could ever imagine...Help me and I'll give you full support of the troops under my command, do we have a deal...?"
The Qwatko looked at me as if inspecting my face for signs of treason in my personality and eventually nodded, "Deal" he said.
He aided us in repelling the enemy and after several minutes we had pushed the enemy back with only 2 casualties. "So Fliom, any idea of what's behind the blast doors?" I asked.
"Probably one of their superweapons, either that or something worse..." He replied.
"And that 'worse', is that something that would wipe our entire presence here out?"
"If only it would be that simple..."
We reached the blast doors eventually without encountering a single enemy. "Use your guns, they'll break through it eventually..." Fliom said.
A well aimed volley began to break down the door, the only light that was on the other side came through the hole we just made. "That's...quite a dark room..." somebody said.
We activated our flaslights and nightvision and proceeded deeper into the base. The lack of both light and life was quite disturbing, the men became nervous and saw certain 'things' moving. After we had walked the hallways for about 27 minutes one of them lost it and fired a volley of his gun. "Sergeant! Get your men in check!" I ordered, he went to the soldier and kicked him on the head. "I- I'm sorry, I saw something moving in that hallway..."
"Alright, listen up! There's no need to worry! I have a motion sensor that is modified to be both abled and enabled to react to specified species" I added the Twiks to my database and so I can only get readings of hostiles, if there are any I'll give a shout!" Fliom explained.
I asked him if he picked anything up. "All the time..." he silently whispered to avoid anyone but me from hearing it.
The hours must've passed one after another, contact with the surface was lost and Fliom told me that the contacts he's recieving with his motion sensor has tripled. I ordered the group to halt and made an echo scan, it revealed a large open space about 2,3 km ahead of us. After making a smaller but more detailed scan I was able to get a picture of the things that were following us.
Fear inflicting predators, they had long scorpion like tails with a sharp blade at the end. They appeared to be 4 limbed creatures with the back legs having 3 claw like toes, it's front legs had 2 claw like toes. It's neck was covered with small spikes and it's mouth had 3 rows of razor sharp teeth.
As soon as one of the men began to understand what I was looking at I tried to hide but was too late, he began to freak out which began to spread like a disease, soon after our troops were in disarray and we had to make them come back to their senses. When we were able to make them shutup we noticed several soldiers were missing but heard their screams almost at the same moment. "Men...run like hell...!"
Chapter 5: In the beast's denEdit
I lost track of the time we had been running to escape those beasts but we stopped once we reached the open space. The strangest thing about the room was that the ground was gone while on the scan it showed only an open ceiling of some kind. The entire room began to tremble. "Are those beasts coming!!?" Someone asked while everyone looked back into the hallway.
"Its way worse..." I said while looking at the hole along with Fliom, something was coming out. It resembled the beasts from before but was more tower like, like some sort of caterpillar. It had 10 pair of scythe like arms and seemed to be grinning insanely at us. "That must be the most fricking scariest thing I've ever seen in my entire life..." I mumbled, Freliah who stood beside me asked if I ever saw her interrogate somebody. But I had no time to ask her what she was talking about, the monster attacked with one of it's arms cutting of a piece of the side causing a soldier to drop into the hole.
"We gotta get outta here!" I yelled as I pointed towards the other side of the room, my troops began to run as fast as they could to escape their death.
- The comment in Chapter 3: "-I'll throw you out of the airlock" is a reference to the dialogue Javik has when talking about legion in ME3.
- The 'yer' the Twik-Twikh always say instead of yeah was a joke proposed by a friend of mine who always says yer instead of yes.
- 'Ahroth Vhyrim' is the Twik-Twikh version of Hoorah.