Etherium

Fiction from within the Imperialistic World of Prime Reality and the Scope.

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Etherium

Post by arcanus » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:41 pm

Etherium:
1. A place of upper, purer air, or to the higher regions beyond the earth or beyond the atmosphere; celestial; otherworldly; as, ethereal space; ethereal regions.
2. A place consisting of ether; the fifth element.
3. A place of shadow
4. The Scope.


January 1984 - Whitehall, The Imperial Capital, Greater London.
He felt the wafer thin tab dissolve beneath his tongue, several minutes later he still sat within the small secure office wondering what all the fuss about this Scope Tabs was.
Then the office floor dropped into oblivion, his office chair now suspended above an abyss, nausea was not the correct word for how he felt, no his body hadn't had time to become sick, it was pure utter shock.

January 1984 - Greenwich I - The UK Scope.
Fortunately the horrendous effect of nauseous descent passed quickly, George Edward Kiler, G.E. to acquaintances and colleagues alike, stood upon the welded metal plate wharf and looked around.
The scene that greeted him was both familiar and alien, familiar in what he imagined a dock or wharf to appear like (not that he'd ever set foot in one), however the vessel before him and the space in which it sat was far from anything he could have imagined.

The complex sat within a deep red ocean, in reality everything beyond the complex was the same colour, swirling with flashes of orange current, both the sea and sky made of the same substance, Ether.
The building was a huge ornate glass dome, brass framework complimented by mirrored glass, extending from the base of the dome was a number of hangers and machine shops, finally ending in a network of docks that spread in a circular pattern.

The ship before him resembled one of the monstrous Ariel dreadnaughts , constructed of curved steel plates with a greenish tinge to them, the craft had numerous crystalline observation domes and turrets.
Recessed beneath the crafts spine and behind its crew quarters and control compartments, sat an enormous rectangular cargo pod, only the engines were beyond this.
Beneath the control decks was fitted an ornate propeller like assembly, each arm ending in a smooth emerald crystal sphere, a crackle of energy sparking inside.

G.E. watched as small pulses of lights raced through the Etheric space beyond.
Non steam powered Forklift trucks loaded various crates into the black cargo pod, various crewmen hurtled around, clearly there was a departure time looming.
G.E. was astounded by the nonsensical nature of it all, they were in a fantasy world what did it matter when something left, surely the programmers of this place could arrange for everything to leave on time no matter when it departed, he scoffed, this was going to be tedious.

Still the irksome nature of these Scopers imagined urgency had completely allayed any unpleasantness he'd suffered entering the Scope via a Tab, G.E. was not a man to lower himself to dependence on narcotics so using a Scope Tab was pretty abhorrent to him, however he conceded that his usual Remote usage of the Etherscope would have been wholly inadequate.

He approached that large rangy man who was checking people aboard on his checklist, the man was heavy set with a well trimmed black beard, he regarded Kiler with an instead recognition of what he was and therefore distain.
G.E. Kiler was particularly pleased that his position as an assistant assessor in Whitehalls Financial Audit department carried such authority even within the Scope.

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Post by arcanus » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:26 pm

January 1984 - The HMS Wym Notomok, Greenwich I - The UK Scope.
Inside the Etheric vessel HMS Wym Notomok, her crew battened the hatches and made ready.
G.E. Kiler watched with interest making notes in his program notebook, as always assessing and auditing their performance, ignoring the glares and almost snarls, he delivered a wan smile in return and made more notes. 'Definite room for improvement' he thought
The ship shuddered a deep roar rumbling from the rear of the craft, the engines sat within a large distended nacelle suspended from its fuselage tail, releasing thunderous thrust. The entirety of the vessel trembled.

G.E. found it somewhat strange that he had butterflies in his stomach, why would he feel queasy in an imagined place, he moved off forwards toward the bridge.
The bridge was a good twenty feet across, resembling a huge 1940's bomber cockpit, leather pilot seats were arranged in rows suspended by framework around the command centre, due to this being the scope these arrangements did not conform to gravity or earthly physics.
He was getting a little irritated with how seriously this was all taken, it was a program, a fiction yet here the bridge crew were diligently checking their instruments, sat within the central cluster of seats was a lithe, hairy man who wore a tartan beret, which G.E. thought indicated that he was a Scotsman.
He appeared to be piloting the vessel, beside him sat an older woman, one thing that he liked was that everyone looked human, normal, he'd seen from his remote visits to the Scope all sorts of fantasism and self delusion, no-hopers making themselves gods, pathetic.

He quickly deducted that to move to the higher posts he needed to activate a disc that lay recessed in the floor, another member of the bridge crew was already suspended in such a way, the man who had checked G.E. aboard.
For a while he stood in frustration stomping on the disc, none of the crew gave him a second look, each allowing him to struggle until he realised that he needed to activate the disc with his knowledge rather than movement and with that he floated.
First he stopped beside the Scotsman and watched him for a while, the man paid him no heed, instead watching a large oval screen before him, one on which he could see the Scope extended before him, but this image had ghostly white lines extending in all directions before the vessel.

Content that he'd get no sensible answer from the Scotsman or his female aid he levitated up beside the burley man.
"I can see considerable opportunity for efficiency savings!" he stated
The man turned his head and looked at him but uttered no reply
"I cannot see why a Scope program needs so much resource, its like some elaborate fantasy" he stated officiously
"I think that indicates how little you understand" replied the black bearded man
"Nonsense, if we want cargo transported then we should just program it to its destination"
The mans centre of gravity changed and he looped into a horizontal position to monitor another crewmembers progress, as if it mattered.
The man flipped back to his original position and he looked out of the cockpit watching Etherspace fly past them "You are?" stabbed G.E.
"First Mate Baxtor" replied the man
"So where is your captain?"
"Our captain isn't board, he rarely travels with the vessel!"
"What!" replied G.E. "That's most irresponsible, he's transporting her Majesties cargo and can't even be bothered to be aboard, this will certainly go in my report!"
G.E. composed himself "So does that mean that your in charge?"
"No, the First Pilot commands the vessel"
G.E. immediately turned to the Scotsman "What him!" he spat
"Mr MacDuff is a first class helmsman, but no the First Pilot is in his ready room reviewing this trips documentation"
"Excellent, someone who abides by protocol, I shall see him immediately and debate the necessary downsizing that this vessel requires starting with your wastrel captain and yourself, sir!"
Baxtor watched as the bureaucrat descended with no small degree of wobble and stumbled off the disc, disappearing from the bridge, he thought to himself that he should have argued more.
Looking back to the Scope he conceded that he had more important things to do, like ensuring their smooth departure.

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Post by arcanus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:35 am

January 1984 - The UK Scope - East Quadrant.
George Edward Kiler suffered what he saw as his first set back and one that he assured himself the First Pilot would pay for with his commission, in that despite the importance of meeting with the erstwhile commander of the vessel said commander refused to see even acknowledge him.
G.E. had been left outside the First Pilots study knocking insistently upon his door and threatening all manner of punitive repercussions.

The following day G.E. had restarted his crusade by interrogating a number of the bridge and auxiliary crew and informing them all that their jobs were in jeopardy if not lost already.
The savings were mounting up steadily and G.E. was confident that his superiors would be highly pleased with his audit on the Scope vessel, of course this wasn't simply a saving in one vessel but every one deployed in this capacity.

G.E. arrived at the bridge with a spring in his step, his eyes narrowed as he immediately spotted the First Pilot, a tall man with unacceptably long shoulder length grey streaked hair and a hard face.
He wore sturdy riding breeches and a waistcoat over a thick white cotton shirt, the only item of distinction upon him was an ornate watch and chain.

G.E. stepped up beside the Pilot as he sat in his command seat "First Pilot, I presume" he said cynically
The mans grey eyes locked upon him, but he said nothing, "You'll need to come with me Mr? I have much to brief you on, regarding Whitehall sanctioned changes to your roster" and G.E. turned to leave, expecting the pilot to follow.
Turning back he realised that the man hadn't moved, infuriated he stormed back to the First Pilots chair "Sir your insolence is intolerable!" he raged
The pilots face looked set to kill, slowly the man stood and his face grew very close to G.E.s
"Mr Kiler, you do not ask the senior officer to leave his bridge, ever, if you continue to harass my crew I'll have you confined to the brig, submit your report and I'll await whatever instruction results from the Ministry of Transport, are we clear Mr Kiler?"
G.E. felt very small and threatened, red faced he stormed from the Bridge.

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Post by arcanus » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:12 am

January 1984 – The UK Scope East Quadrant.
Professor Collin Haxtell sat at his rather ornate circular desk, without a shadow of a doubt he had the best seats in the house, his design studio or laboratory aptly named the observation dome sat upon the back of the Ethership.

Indeed even his quarters were upon the rear of the dome, he could see the Scope in all its glory and horror as it sped by.
Haxtell was an architect, a Scope Architect to be precise, a programmer specialising in the space of the scope, its domains, the Etherships of which the HMS Wym Notomok was one, were a little different from the norm but his function onboard extended from basic repairs or modifications up to complete overhauls if required, ad hoc solutions were often required in the still Great Unknown of the Etherscope.
His lab was like something out of a Penny Dreadful writing of a wizards lair or space aged mad scientist, all glass, round edges and light, a drastic change to the rest of the ship which shared a kinship with a terrestrial naval vessel.

Haxtell had been expecting his visitor and in fact was surprised it has taken this long, however now that he’d made an appearance the Professor ignored him, ‘your move I think!’ he thought
G.E. had been in a state of disarray his embarrassment had surpassed his rage at the First Pilot, so much so that he’d confined himself to his quarters for the remainder of the day and had only ventured out the next day, taking a different route to the Observation Dome.

He looked around the almost ethereal space, which seemed too bright, almost heavenly, scrutinising the strange instruments, measures and consoles, before turning to its sole occupant.
“You must be Professor Haxtell” GE said checking his scope pad
The man he addressed was probably in his early forties, maybe even late thirties but a well groomed beard and spectacles aged the man immeasurably, although giving him the scholarly look he undoubtedly intended, adding this to his conservative suit he did appear older than he was.
GE grimaced in annoyance, the man could be a child, this was the Scope these ‘people’ could make their avatars look like anything, anger at the ridiculousness of the entire situation flooded through him.
The man merely nodded, GE pressed on “So what deeply meaningful role do you fulfil” he added caustically

“I am the ships Architech” the man replied without looking up from the device he was constructing
“Why would a ship need an architech” GE growled
“All manner of reasons, repairs, requests for equipment, modifications to the ship and so on” he replied
“Because the ship is a program, an effigy created from the Ether” GE saw a glimpse of positivity, his argument was correct
“Not quite” replied the Architech
“What do you mean not quite!” GE snapped
For the first time the man looked up, his look as if considering how to explain something worldly to a child, “This ship is as real as you and I in the Prime Reality Mr Kiler”
“Your just saying that to save the crew of this vessels positions, the Ministry is paying well beyond the odds for this service, when an automated program could be created to transport these Scope goods, if they even need to be transported, I think the Ministry has been led a merry little dance”
“Mr Kiler, you seem intent on proving yourself to be extremely ignorant”
GE’s eyes almost hit the roof of his skull “Your impertinency is unbelievable sir, first the First Pilot ridicules and embarrasses me, a servant of the Crown, which he will dearly pay for and now you are rude and insulting”
“Actually Mr Kiler, I can’t speak for the First Pilot but I’m trying to help you! Its evident that you know absolutely nothing about Etherships or Scope Riding for that matter, your here to assess efficiency, how could you possibly do so without knowing the first thing about what your assessing”
GE stopped dead, caught like a rabbit in the headlights

“Etherships are real in the sense that they are constructed from steel and earthly materials ported across, they’re then fitted with programs to control each feature of they’re inner working, that’s where I come in, ensuring that the program elements of the ship function and are improved if necessary”.
“Even the engines are real, they utilise a rotary magnetic system that follows Ether trails or currents and include a Scope Portal, in order to vent oxygen into the Scope, this ignites inducing rocket propulsion in time sensitive or dangerous situations”
For the first time GE sat and listened, “So in the same way as a Prime Material vessel a number of crew are required to run the material and program elements of the ship”
“But why not just create what we need in Greenwich” he replied feebly
“Because we’re carrying a Prime cargo, brought across from Earth for conversion, different areas of the Scope have different properties and affect Prime Material resources in different ways”
“So these goods have to be transported to these areas, what are these goods?” replied GE
“Yes, however I’m not at liberty to disclose the cargo” Haxtell replied “Certain areas of the Scope can be highly entropic and even destruction, we’d have no guarantees that an automated program would deliver the cargo, hence the manned vessel”

GE looked out of the domes windows watching the swirling beauty of an all encompassing orange sky.
Haxtell’s eyes narrowed, GE felt odd looking down his form was translucent, slowly fading “What’s happening” he squeaked
“We’re moving beyond the boundaries” the Professor replied “Normal Scope Tabs aren’t well suited for trips into the Marches, your only able to be here because of the Jacked in crew”
The Professors voice was becoming distant, sound flooding in and out “Your Tab must be wearing off”
It was then that GE blacked out.

***
January 1984 – Whitehall, The Imperial Capital, Greater London.
The nurse looked at GE’s manager, “He’s starting to emerge”
“He won’t have completed his audit!” replied the senior man
The nurse looked at the Scope Point “They’re approaching the Aquarius Boundary, conventional Tab duration is not designed for such travel times”
“Can we elongate the trip, keep him onboard, he has an audit to complete?” the Whitehall man responded
“Yes, there are more potent intravenous solutions that can extend the trip and maintain his link, however there are significant risks to his mental state, is this audit necessary?” said the nurse
The senior auditor looked at the nurse as if she’d blasphemed “Ministry audits are the financial heart of the Empire madam, it is essential that Auditor Kiler completes his assignment, he would rather die than renege upon his Duty to the Crown”
“Very well” replied the nurse curtly as she drew a concentrated liquid version of a Scope Tab into a syringe and carefully injected it into GE’s forearm.

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Post by arcanus » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:55 pm

January 1984 – The Scope.
Man Overboard, Man Overboard, Man Overboard, MAN OVERBOARD!”
Through squinting eyes, he tumbled, a sickly warmth trawled through his system, his body gripped by an almost opiate lethargy, as if swimming through the maternal womb.
CAN you reach HIM” echoed far away
Bubbles of vapour emitted from his mouth as he tried to talk, to shout, nothing but a hoarse croak.
“He’s too far down, down, down, DOWN
He winced as his entire body was gripped by painful pins and needles, unable to even scream, vertigo gripped him as if the whole world were spinning furiously around him
“We’re going to lose him, lose him, lose him, LOSE HIM
Crushing pain surged through his temples
‘NO’
Hard but warm hands reached from the darkness, firmly gripping his arms and lifting him, at first it was laboured as if freeing him from molasses, then release and the hands guided him up.
He could make out little going on, as figures pulled him back to safety, he lay upon a hard metal floor, he was back aboard the ship.
A voice close by cut through the miasma “Your safe George, we’ve got you”
Distantly he heard other voices “For a pain in the arse Whitehall suit he’s putting the crew under a shit load of strain”
“Aye but no one deserves to be adrift, not out here!”
GE fell into the welcome embrace of true sleep.

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Post by arcanus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:49 pm

January 1984 – Whitehall, The Imperial Capital, Greater London.
The Audit Manager huffed and tutted, staring expectantly at the nurse who for her part remained silent.
“Well is he in?” he eventually had to ask
The look the nurse returned could have frozen his blood solid “He’s back in, whether he will make it out to the Aquarius Boundary, who knows”
“And if he doesn’t!” he responded, without any degree of sympathy
“Then his mind will be irrecoverably lost, he’ll be a vegetable!”
Before the Manager could respond the nurse turned to her medical instruments, she noted that George Edward Kiler’s brainwaves had settled, that he’d entered REM sleep.
'Maybe he would be okay' she thought

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Post by arcanus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:50 pm

January 1984 – The UK Scope, The Aquarius Boundry.
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!
-The Age of Aquarius


George Edward awoke with a start, his senses returning in a flood of wakefulness, no gentle return to consciousness.
His startled state was heighted by the a small creature stood on the back of the couch he’d been asleep on, the creature loomed very close to GE’s face.
The creature resembled a small goblin, enormous eyes and great pointed ears that outdid its eyes in scale, its skin a mud grey, it smiled to reveal sharp fangs.
“Fizzle! Leave George alone” came Professor Haxtell’s voice, the creature sniggered in a monkey like fashion and make its way across the lab
GE realised that he was in the Observation dome, above him in the Scopes sky were huge concentric bands of bluish energy.
“How are you feeling” asked Haxtell as he rounded his bench and came over to GE
“A bit groggy but otherwise quite good” he replied
“You’ve a stubborn mind there George, you wouldn’t let go, good for you”
GE noticed that the professor had started to address him by his first name, however he didn’t mind, in fact he had a nagging feeling that he owed this individual, owed him quite deeply
“Where are we”
Haxtell stood beside the great arched golden glass panes and looked out “We’ve reached what’s called the Aquarius Boundry, simply put the border between the near Scope and the deeper wilder territories!”
GE nodded thoughtfully taking it in ”Will that be a problem for my Tabs”
“I don’t think so, whatever they gave you back in the Prime has put you under very deeply, hence why your more grounded, however I need to warn you George, things may not be chipper when you get back”
“What do you mean” he replied suspecting he already knew the answer
“I’m not sure, but whatever they gave you pushed you in deep, your mind may struggle to cope with that degree of immersion, however we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”
GE stood and joined the professor at the window, beneath him he saw a cylindrical brass station surrounded with rotating rings, the station floated amidst a coppery ocean of Ether, dozens of Scope ships and vessels buzzed around it, docked and undocked.
“The Wayfarer Station, First Pilots allowing a quick stretch of the legs before we venture deeper”
GE’s faced furrowed into a frown
“Don’t get all official George, Ah here she is!” exclaimed Haxtell
GE turned from the window, his eyes widening to see a woman made entirely from amber or burnt orange glass, her smooth form lined with thousands of hairline cracks.
“George may I introduce you to Cassandra Alba, the lady who rescued you!”

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Post by arcanus » Fri May 06, 2011 1:58 pm

January 1984 – The Wayfarer Station, The UK Scope, The Aquarius Boundry.
Riders on the storm, riders on the storm
Into this house we're born, into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

There's a killer on the road, his brain is squirmin' like a toad
Take a long holiday, let your children play
If ya give this man a ride, sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah

The Doors – Riders on the Storm

The station rocked turbulently, GE found himself bouncing from one table to another, negotiating the stations mess with some difficulty. At least the motion wasn’t making him feel sick, although he felt very unsafe.

The mess hall was packed with Scope Riders and Ethership crewmen, Avatars of all manner of shapes and sizes, the perturbing thing was that the crew of the Wym Notomok were quite normal.
Professor Haxtell followed the others through the throng, gesturing to GE to catch them up.
The banter was rapturous, a huge din, plates and mugs were sliding from one end of the tables to the other, a miracle (or clever programing), GEs attention was everywhere, except in front of him and he walked smack bang into a large bestial avatar.
The creature snarled at him, its fanged head lowering toward GE, a guttural snarl chilling him to his etheric core, a tense standoff emerged as GE thought that the creature would attack.
A figure slipped between them, a woman made of amber coloured glass, the woman called Cassandra Alba, the beasts eyes narrowed, it shrugged and turned back to its companions.

GE released his held breath slowly, cursing himself that this bear like monster was probably a child in the real world of flesh and blood, Miss Alba was looking at him with interest her eyes the same colour as the rest of her glassy form.

His mind went back to two days previously when they’d been introduced, Miss Alba immediately came across as different to the rest of the crew, his voice more resonate, her avatar clearly different.
She’d said little but been polite in what she had said, GE had come away with a sense of mystery about her and the sense that Haxtell had a great deal of faith in her, GE wasn’t in a place to argue by all accounts this woman had saved his mind if not his life.

The stations swaying had grown more vigorous, he was filled with a curious sensation that he should feel sick but didn’t which was in a sense even worse.
“Is it always like this?” he asked finally staggering to the tables occupied by his crew, most ignored him but a chisel featured dark skinned man, who he recalled was called Widow regarded him, “No this is a bit rough today” he replied
GE nodded watching mugs and glasses now impossibly teetering upon the table edges.

Haxtell smiled as he sat and passed him a mug, surprisingly he felt a shot of flavour and exhilaration go through him as he drank, he looked at the professor questioningly.
“Stimulant code, creates mental pulses which transmit back to your Prime body, they target the hunger and pleasure centres of your mind” Haxtell explained
GE continued to look at Haxtell suspicion written across his face, “George its quite harmless, merely providing some comfort of home and human comfort”
GE examined the mug for a time, before drinking the rest down, as always the professor was right and he felt much better, the station continued to rock turbulently.

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Post by arcanus » Fri May 06, 2011 6:50 pm

January 1984 – The Wayfarer Station, The UK Scope, The Aquarius Boundry.
There is an epic drum roll,
that the thunder beats.

The lightning dances along,
with an earth shattering plié,
across the skies.
Luke Britsch


Tension seemed to run through the mess hall, they were aboard a ship in stormy seas, something that even these hardened Scope Riders weren’t that used too.
"I'd have joined the bloody Prime Navy if I'd wanted all this crap" grumbled one of the Scope Crew
GE watched with interest, occupying himself so that he didn’t succumb to the nausea, in concert the ships crew looked at their pocket watches,
a collective groan arose from them and they began to make their way out of the mess hall.
GE stood and immediately followed Haxtell, “Whats going on?”
“We’re being recalled, all hands on deck” replied the professor hurridly

Haxtell had stopped in the bulkhead “Mary Mother of Jesus” he gasped
GE looked past him and his eyes bulged, racing across the etheric ocean, stretch in every direction was a rolling, boiling storm.
A thunderous force so immense as to be biblical, lightning flashing and curling across it surface, gigantic tendrils lashed out in fury ahead of the main tsunami sized storm,
several crashed into the Wayfarer station.

The Scope crews were a blur of frenzied movement, unlimited by the laws of physics they leap impossible distances or flew to their ships, Haxtell took off flitting across to the Wym Notomok.
GE froze he had no idea how to leap tall buildings or fly, gripped by all consuming fear he began to quietly chant a mantra, one that he’d begun to cling too like a life raft in recent days.
“Its all in my mind, its all in my mind, it can’t hurt me”

The winds were now running at hundreds of miles an hour, throwing the orbiting Ether Craft around violently, some of the smaller vessels had already been swept away,
The Notomok swung around violently, the Wayfarer station had lost several of its outer rings, huge bronze plates peeling or ripped away.
Scope Rider avatars were blinking out of existence evading the onslaught or torn apart by its advance and the main body hadn’t struck the station.

Collin pulled himself aboard alongside other members of the crew, each stung from the peppering of raw ether that had blasted their avatars.
First Mate Baxter hurried them aboard, then barked orders, the crew galvanised and sped to their stations, engines cycled, First Pilot Hoste received the roll call from his First mate.
Haxtell hurried into the bridge nodding to Cassandra, followed by Baxter “All crew aboard, Mr Hoste!”
“Where’s George?” said Collin with alarm
First Pilot Hoste looked at the Architect sternly
“There he is” chirped one of the watch
The assembled bridge looked at their various screens each looking at the tiny figure clinging to the railing of the station.

“It’ll put him out of his misery in a second” said Hoste, “We have a ship and crew to protect, make ready”
“NO” Haxtell’s shout froze the bridge, the First Pilot turned and regarded him with lines of anger etching across his face
“He’s in too deep!” he stumbled his words out
“What” barked Hoste
“The drugs they’ve used, he’ll take a long time to die, I don’t know if his mind would take it” pleaded the Professor, each crewman scrambled to grab something as the ship was violently hurled starboard.
Hoste looked as if he’d tasted something very unpleasant, “Well you can’t save him, Professor, I’ll not sacrifice our Architect, and before you say anything Cass we need you as well”
Cass gave Collin a sorry look
“I’ll go” a hard voice from the bridge doorway, they turned to see the bulky form of the crewman called Widow “I’m a Rigger and not many riggers will be on any hulls at the moment”
Hoste looked torn “GO, before I change my mind”, Collin, Baxter and Widow were already running through the bulkheads towards the fore hull hatches.

The ship plummeted downwards as a tendril slammed into its dorsal hull, each braced in the hatch compartment, “READY” shouted Baxter, Widow nodded, gunmetal grey tattoo lines and geometric symbols had covered his Avatars skin, his eyes grey black.
Collin watched as Widows form changed, the lines opening like panels as his Avatar became mechanical and vaguely insectoid, he looked in admiration, the writers of the Avatar codes were as every bit as accomplished as he was with domains, with that Baxter opened the hatch.

The Ether outside was filled with shards of angry red etheric energy, the storm was infused with highly entropic ether, Widow nodded to them both and leapt out of the hatch onto the hull and was gone.
First mate Baxter grimaced as the shards tore and bit into his hands as he struggled to pull the hatch closed, the ship lurched and dived, battered by the storm.

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Post by arcanus » Fri May 06, 2011 10:32 pm

January 1984 – The Wayfarer Station, The UK Scope, The Aquarius Boundry.
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me
Mama I just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh, Didn't mean to make you cry,
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody


“AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” George Edward Kiler screamed a tearful scream, “It’s not real, it’s not real” he sobbed
Every inch of GEs Avatar was scorched and torn, great gouges and rents stretched across his limbs and torso, angry red shards tore away at him, he felt as if he was being eaten alive.
Above him a huge form sailed through the ether landing on the remnants of the station with a heavy thud, eight legs gripping what were left of the bronze hull plates, there wasn’t much left of the outer structure of the Wayfarer and impossible to tell if anyone was still aboard.

The form scurried down the hull, GE was oblivious of the approach until a metal limb reached out and effortlessly plucked him from his place on the hull, with that the form sprang sailing into the ether.
Static crackled from Widow’s Ethercom, the program straining to fulfil its purpose
“Widow, I’m sorry you’re on your own” Hoste’s voice was bitter and sorry
“Understood sir, we’ll be alright” he replied

The Wym Notomok’s engines cycled and accelerated down into an Etheric current, the ship buffeted by the onslaught the main body of the maelstrom was now upon them, its edges lashing at them.
Aligning itself with the magnetic currents that forged their way through the Scope the ship levelled.
“Don’t stand on ceremony Mr McDuff” The First Pilots fingers furiously tapping sequences into his crystal screen, McDuff was doing the same into the navigation console.
“Aye sir, tha storms eatin all tha currents” replied McDuff
Hoste looked up at the consoles and saw that their available paths were disappearing
“Cass Shields” he said, despite the rage bearing down upon them, the First Pilot was his clinically calm self, Cass concentrated her glass hand settling atop a metal column with a flat crystal top.
Across the hull a shimmering wave of energy swirled, deflecting the brunt of the burning shards.
Using four of his arachnid limbs Widow pulled GE in close beneath his metal thorax, his form resembled a metal spider with a robotic man’s form extending from its head, joined at the waist.
Essentially a mechanical spider centaur, the storm raged around them, they’d landed upon a loose hull plate from a now dismembered Scope Ship, the plate now riding the whirlwind.
Unfortunately the plate was disintegrating rapidly and the eye of the storm was almost upon them, even he wouldn’t survive its arrival, a large object passed beneath them, obscured by the swirling ether.
The Wayfarer suddenly plummeted into the currents, presumably trying to sink below the storm.
Widow tensed it was now or never, tensing he sprang four powerful legs vaulting him into the Ether as a storm tendril smashed the hull plate into oblivion.

They crashed into the object, an object that in fact was a ship, smaller than the Notomok but thick and reinforced, as they clung to the hull, a hatch slid open and Widow dragged GE inside.

January 1984 – The Central Administration Tower – New London.
One by one dozens of monitoring drones were consumed, the Administrators of the London Scope city watched the gigantic maelstrom tear across the Aquarius Boundary.
Considering the sights they saw within the British Scope this one was truly awe inspiring and terrible, a stark reminder that the Scope was not made by man, but another frontier that they had to tame, one that they had only a fraction of understanding.

Senior Administrator Carwood had alerted the New London Commissioner who was now on his Scope Point.
“It’s the single largest Maelstrom we’ve ever seen, completely off the charts, the Wayfarer station is gone!” he reported
“Is it a threat to New London?” the Commissioner replied
“We don’t think so, the Boundary is relatively speaking a very long way away sir, we’re confident the walls will protect us if it does arrive, I’ll keep you posted”
“Very good” replied the Commissioner
Carwood turned back to his point and watched the monster advance.

January 1984 – The UK Scope, The Aquarius Boundary.
Widow had shifted to his human looking Avatar, as he watched the hatch slide closed he was greeted by an ear splitting “YEEHAW”, the ship was cramped inside, small living chambers behind the cockpit, with cargo space behind.
He turned his attention to GE, the Whitehall man was burnt and battered but still with them.
Widow couldn’t remember his name “Mister, you need to reform yer Avatar, only ye can do it”
GE weakly blinked at the man, every part of him was burnt and cut, some parts of him resembled pork crackling and he stank of ozone, he groaned as the ship wildly swung about.
“WHOA, this bitches wilder than a Prairie Mustang” if Widow had had any doubts they were gone, their rescuer was definitely an American.
“Mister, ye got to think yerself well” he repeated
GE seemed to understand, but where did he start.
Widow made his way forwards, the pilot was alone, dressed in rawhide waistcoat, chaps, denim and complete with Stetson “Welcome aboard partner” he said not taking his eyes off the cockpit and screen before him.
The screen had a number of blue lines which fluctuated, Widow was no pilot but he knew they were Ether currents and that the craft was riding or following one, he could also see that the storm was eating the currents.

They were in the middle of storm now, the ships engines screamed against the wall of force crashing in from all sides, the ship was hurled from side to side, Widow realised that the American was a very skilled pilot and Scope Rider, he was keeping the ship intact through force of will alone.
Ahead of them another ship appeared, Widow squinted trying to peer through the swarm of red ether raging around them, the shields gave it away however it was the Wym Notomok.

January 1984 – HMES Wym Notomok, The UK Scope.
They were flying through the belly of the storm, buffeted by hundred mile and hour winds, lashed by lightning and attacked by the entropic shards, in truth like flying through hell itself, however above them was Armageddon itself.
Hoste knew that time was short, the ship wouldn’t withstand much more punishment and the storms heart was expanding, including downwards devouring all of the ether currents.
“Sir” rasped McDuff, his look said everything, they had seconds at most, a wave of force slammed down onto the ship, she strained, pushed down.
Hoste nodded, McDuff quickly punched a new sequence, his assistant navigator gulped in fear, the First Pilot gave Baxtor a knowing look and the First Mate quickly sounded the ships comm.
“ALL HANDS BRACE AND PRAY!”
The navigation screens blanked and McDuff drove the control rods forwards as far as they would go, the Notomok suddenly plunged downwards accelerating to colossal velocity, its bow hull glowing as it fired through the shards.

“SHEEEIT” cried the American with a mixture of surprise and Widow noted pleasure as the Notomok rocketed into a dive, he immediately did the same, spiralling downwards after the falling ship.

Second Mate Eddie McDuff watched his navigation screen as the Ether currents fell away, until all were gone they were freefalling, suicide, Hoste watched cycling the engines and bringing the boosters online.

“OH MY GOD” screamed Professor Collin Haxtell, he hung clinging to the seat in his laboratory, the velocity having picked him up.

Widow clung on, as incredibly the Americans ship caught up with the Notomok, both ships were suffering the brunt of pure destructive entropy pummelling them, above the storm heart raced down after them.

As they descended a calmer blue ether began to appear, “NOW” roared Hoste, the crew flew into action, both he and Baxter wrested with the control rods straining to heave them back, as the rods released and the ship levelled he hit the boosters.
The engineers engaged the Scope portal air rushed through from the Prime, entropically ignited and exploded out of the booster exhausts pushing the ship into an even path free from the Ether currents.

Hoste blinked as he saw a battered ship emerge from the belly of the maelstrom, the ship far smaller than the Notomok descended to a lower level and then fired its booster, accelerating back up and levelling out behind them, impressive piloting especially without the collective Scope Riding ability of his ship’s crew.

Still he didn’t have the luxury of worrying about the other ship, they were truly Riding The Rails.

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