Week 4 - How the Hive King died...

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Week 4 - How the Hive King died...

Post  Admin on Wed May 18, 2011 5:15 am

The Moon of Ryn Lac is an Eden-class world. A paradise with no disease, beautiful fresh water, and no predators. It has seven major mountain ranges.

Three of them, Mount Moshe, Mount Erat, and Mount O'Ryn have large traces of metallic debris deep under them. Whether these traces are signs of a Neliff laboratory, or simply ancient Asteroid impacts are unknown.

Any defenses on the planet are also unknown. This conquest will be going in blind.

Beware the Magnetic Storms of Ryn Lac...

That is all the Lions of Earth Pilot had told Red Bishop Mynarch Symms. It did not bode well, for the young crusader.

Mynarch had been scouted by an Inquisitor as a young boy. It was a tough life growing up in the Colony of Dunesphere on the planet Refuge. A colony firmly under the boot heel of the Church of One. A radical violent faith, who believed all aliens were in fact servants of Satan, this Church of One regulated all life in Dunesphere. So when young Mynarch was scouted by an Inquisitor and forced into some of the hardest training a child can be subjected to. There were bright moments, like the moment Mynarch had learned he was special. They had told him he was an Immutable, and therefore protected from the Leyas. He had trained hard to make his priestly masters proud, and learned to take apart, repair, and reassemble most technological weapons available. Mynarch could build a Plasma Ejector rig from compass magnets, copper wire and solar cells within six hours given the proper tools. Now he finally wore the crimson power armor of a Red Bishop. So why was he so happy to run away from it all and join this, the first offworld crusade in the history of the Church of One. Why did he flee his manor and his slaves? Why did he flee the life they had groomed him for.
As he fidgeted with his ornate wrought iron cross, Mynarch Symms felt a heavy weight descend on his shoulders.
An older bald man with a long white beard and plain brown monks robes walked over to him, leaning heavily on a duct tape wrapped cruciform crutch. Mynard noticed a pair of pistols belted at the monk’s waist as he was crossing the large cargo bays of the Starfreighter. Those pilgrims who saw the elder monk bowed their heads reverently.
The old man sat down next to Mynard, heavily, and in that moment Mynard knew this man’s soul was troubled.

“He was proud to be on his first crusade,” mumbled the old man
“Excuse me honored elder?” asked Mynard.

“My friend Kas,” said the old man, “He was very proud on his first crusade. In those days we were just marching on the Olgogs. Back when we weren’t too sure on the distinction between them furry natives and the Nightmares. But Mynarch was even prouder.”

“Do I know you?” asked Mynarch.

“Not me, but I know the Saint you are named after,” said the old man, “You can call me Saul.”

For some reason Mynarch felt he should be worried by that name, but he couldn’t help but feel less worried in the presence of the old religious man.

“So…. Saul? You knew Saint Mynarch, who gave his life to steal the Blessed Hand of the Bishop Kasanth before the Bishop fell into the service of Evil?” asked Mynarch now believing the old man might be more than just a bit crazy.

“You know Methuselah, he ain’t got nothing on me,” giggled the old preacher in a mad sort of way, “For the record I did not know Methuselah, he was way before my time. But Saint Mynarch was just Kas’ squire Mynarch when I still wore the Armor of the Church of One. Its been many years my boy, and I hope somewhere far from the planet Refuge will provide me…refuge from my own personal demons.”

“Ryn Lac is going to be the crusade that begins it all,” said Mynarch, “When we took Infernos and killed a bunch of Horned Dogs, I didn’t know. But then I saw the upswell of support. Did you know one of the Iron Republic Board members began sending people to join the crusade? Imagine a few systems in the passion of it, hunting down those demons and burning them at the stake.”

“And what demons are on Ryn Lac, little Myrnarch,” said Saul.

Mynarch looked closely at Saul, out at the cargo hold, filled with waiting Pilgrims. He leaned in and whispered, “They have a type of Demon called a Neliff. It can steal your mind and make your body act like a puppet.”

“I’ve seen a lot of aliens called Demons, little Myrnarch,” replied Saul sadly, “Rarely do they deserve such a moniker. I saw a real demon in the streets of New Vorik two years ago, Mynarch. It was beyond anything I’d dared to think could exist. If only I’d restrained my people. If only I could have honed them against the true threat, the hidden threat, instead of letting them confuse prejudice with spirituality. True holy warriors, not this racist rabble.”

Mynarch couldn’t believe the heresy spewing from Saul’s mouth. As he was about to declare him a blasphemer, there was a red alert. Mynarch ran over to the window, to look out at space.

The moon of Ryn Lac seemed to turn silently from the depths of space. The quite was not broken when a fleet of vessels tore through the fabric of space and began their orbit over the paradise moon, the vacuum of space ensured this. Five Arcturas Warships stained with the marks of Beacon City flanked two capitol-ship-sized asteroids. Each misshapen asteroid shined with a multitude of tiny metallic gleams. Upon the surface of each where roughly thirty surge platforms and twenty eye-spy operated magi-cannons. Each surge platform had a new Jotun Mk2 fighter attached. The asteroids showed signs that they were previously scorched by the heat of a nearby star, but were now as cold as the dead of space. The vessels were supported by what must have been a hundred Sagittae fighters.

What could not be seen from this reality were two Unity Void Lords, two Unity Dreadnaughts, and another hundred Sagittae bearing down on a host of portals leading to other dimensions, waiting to assault those attempting to leave the system or to assault their allies in space.

The Lions of Earth pilots commed the panicking pilgrims, and said, “No worries people. Calm down and we will get through this allright. The rest of the civvies have already made it planet side, and we don’t want to lead these starfighters to them.”

“There must be over a hundred starfighters out there!” cried one of the pilgrims.

“What sort of fight is this?” demanded one of the Church of One Paladins, “Flying craft? What of the justice of the sword, and the purity of fire? We cannot fight these enemies!”

Saul watched the Paladins and pilgrims freak out with a joyous smile. Their fear and acceptance of their own mortality was what Saul needed to help these people move past their ignorance.

“Everyone,” cried Saul, “Pray with me, pray and the strength of our prayer will take us through this safely.”

“Which prayer?” asked one of the Paladins, having been forced to memorized them all.

“Whatever prayer makes you feel closest to God,” replied Saul, and once again Mynarch wanted to call the old preacher on his blasphemy according to the Church of One. But he held his tongue and instead he prayed.

Their Starfreighter dived low, passing across the tops of the twin peaks of Mt. O’Ryn. Suddenly the Starfreighter came to stop, hurling everyone against the walls and bulkheads. It landed slowly, as if the pilots had chosen to do so. The back hatch of the Starfighter’s cargo bay opened, and the paladins and pilgrims inside raised their swords spears and axes and charged out.
And right into a cloud of Neliff.

Mynarch was trying to do CPR on a pilgrim whose spine he had accidently snapped. It had been in the sudden stop, Mynarch had fallen backward in his power armor and caught a young man between him and the bulkhead. The power armor kept Mynarch safe, but the young man had died a terrible death in his arms.

Mynarch looked up finally from the corpse five minutes later, to see the entire Starfreighter was empty, and there were no sounds outside. Mynarch walked outside to see a wide field of dead bodies. Some had been Paladins, but others were Children of the Falosini. Mynarch approached their bodies; two were K’iou, and one was a Baribur with long white wings, now stained with blood.

A third K’iou dressed in a Beacon City Military uniform was dead on the end of Saul’s outstretched sword. Saul shook the body of the K’iou off his sword, leaning down and inspecting the strange crystalline prosthetics of the dead warrior.

“What are those?” asked Mynarch.

“They are the Recognized of Beacon City. They must have been taken, possessed by the Neliff somehow. They hacked the ship’s controls and forced us to land. When the Paladins ran out it was a trap. The real fight lasted less than thirty seconds, then the juvenile Neliff were among them,” said Saul, “God must have been protecting you Mynarch, why did you remain inside?”

“I was trying to resuscitate someone injured in the crash,” replied Mynarch.

“Some good deeds do lead to good things,” said Saul knowingly, “Others simply lead to damnation. If…If you survive this planet you must ask yourself one day which this one was.”

Mynarch asked, “What do we do?”

“We keep calm,” said Saul, “Out beyond the foothills of this mountain is a settlement with 50,000 people who would come to our aid. If the Lions of Earth maps were correct that is. Little Mynarch, how much do you know about the Leyas?”

“Other than its evil demonic sorcery?” asked Mynarch.

“So much to learn,” said Saul, “there are a great many threats out there Mynarch. Some of them actually are demonic. But when you call everything supernatural demonic, you miss out on some of your greatest allies against real evil.”

Saul leaned over the K’iou he had killed and prayed, drawing the Leyas into the body. The wounds were healed, and the K’iou was returned to life.

“By the grace of the Lord,” said Saul with tears in his eyes, “No matter how many times I resurrect someone, it always fills me with rapture. It single-handedly restores my faith in G-d.”

The K’iou stood up, seeing what looked like Church of One zealots standing over him.
Its not surprising he immediately drew his shard sword. A razorsharp sword made of ice formed in his hand and he prepared to die in battle.
“I am Kha’z’hak Muir of Beacon City,” said the Recognized, “It will be a pleasure to kill you.”

Mynarch was going to go for his gun, until he realized he had left the plasma ejector inside the Starfreighter.

Saul sighed and just said, “We mean you no harm anymore Kha’z’hak Muir of Beacon City. Are you of the Clan Hak Mu’ir from the northern kingdom of Borvis?”

“Aye,” said Kha’z , “Much of Hak Mu’ir lands are now inside the Valley of Beacon City. Life is better than it was. How does a zealot like you know of the Clans of Borvis?”

“I agree I am a most egregious sinner, and was once a terrible zealot,” said Saul, “But am no more.”

“What about the Red power armor? He a Brethren?” asked Kha’z.

“No he’s Mynarch, and he’s getting better,” said Saul.

“What about my fellow Recognized?” asked Kha’z

“Honestly the more bodies we have with us the more bodies the Neliff can turn against us,” said Saul, “Take a finger from each, and recover any artifacts they will need later. If you wish to come with us Kha’z’hak Muir, we will be leaving in five minutes.”

“Go with you?” asked Kha’z with a chortle, taking samples and a few unique keepsakes from each of his friends, “I have a mission to accomplish. General Garmin Fe is awaiting my report, but first I have to figure out where they took my fellow soldiers. That will lead me to their base which is the real goal.”
The K’iou It was bloody work but necessary.
As he did so, Mynarch gathered his weapons from the hold of the Starfreighter.
Mynarch returned with his plasma ejector, and a short double barrel shotgun, and a backpack with an RPG Launcher and warheads.
“Quite an arsenal there little Mynarch,” said Saul, “Lets pray we don’t need all of it. But God does help those who help themselves.”

“Saul, why didn’t you resurrect the Paladins, if your prayers are so powerful?” asked Mynarch as they began a long march following the trail of the Paladins and Recognized under the control of the Neliff of Mt. O’Ryn.
Saul didn’t bother answering and the tension was palpable.
The trail first led the trio to a wide plateau where an obvious battle had occurred. There was a single four legged Strider, its gleaming chrome ripped apart. On its side were orb-like blisters on automated tracking. As the trio approached, they saw the seven still functioning blisters turned towards them. They each looked down to see a red tracking laser marking their clothing. The weapons tried to fire, but its reactor was just a smoking hole and it didn’t have enough power to intensify the laser or power up the magnetic rails on the EPR.

Saul finally approached the wrecked Culler Strider. He could see the tracks of nine more walking off towards the far side of the mountain. A good hundred of the Paladins and Pilgrims were dead surrounding the Culler Strider. They had been killed trying to assault the Culler formation.
The Neliff were still learning tactics. It seemed they did understand using the Recognized they had controlled to disable one of the vehicles. One more Recognized lay dead here, and Kha’z said sadly as he sawed off one of the dead comrade’s finger, “Most of my squad is still missing. How are we going to find them. The ground here is trodden and there are no tracks.”
Saul relaxed his vision and began to see the tracks of the many warriors etched in the Leyas. Saul was happy the K’iou had a Leyas generator or he would have been quite unable to call upon the Leyas this far from Refuge.
“I have found the trail,” said Saul.
“What about the dead?” asked Mynarch stomping his feet, “If you can resurrect them. Why won’t you?”
Saul looked at him with a strange expression and said, “In our faith, dying is a chance to be reunited with G-d. Why steal that chance from them? It is time to follow the tracks, we will have time to talk later, if you survive.”

The trail led them to a centennial Manor of four floors that had only been apparently abandoned a few months before. Growth was wild, but the Manor had not been reclaimed by the landscape yet. It was inset into the mountain with the back third of the house hidden inside Mt. O’Ryn.
Stepping past the carved stone gargoyles that were placed to stand guard at the gates Mynarch saw a small plaque and wiped it clean so he could see it.
It had written across it, “Welcome to the Home of the Family Lac. Mr. Iragi Lac & Ms. Ryn Lac welcome you to the eden they have created for you.”
“Who is this Iragi Lac?” asked Mynarch, “I swear I hear his name on the Iron Republic holo-newsnets.”
“How do you have access to IR news?” asked Saul in concern.
“Rigged myself an illegal FTL uplink when I was twelve,” replied Mynarch
The K’iou Recognized growled when he heard the name Iragi Lac, “That was a horrific trap, that’s what Iragi Lac was. He played himself off as a brilliant doctor. Cured a few flues and outbreaks on a couple of worlds. Instead he was using illegal technology, even by Unity standards. He was turning those he cured into Supplicants, cyborg slaves. Igari Lac released them onto other worlds and the deathtoll was horrific. He revealed himself to just be a plot, a trap set up by Auger of War 2.0.”
“So he wasn’t a real person?” asked Mynarch in confusion.
“This manor would seem to say otherwise,” said Saul, “And those we are tracking seem to have entered the house.”
“It’s a trap,” said Kha’z, “They’re taunting us. Because we know and they know it’s a trap.”
“Then we must spring the trap,” said Saul walking up to the front door without saying a word and actually knocked.

A few moments later the door opened revealing a cyborg that looked decrepit. His once gleaming metal surface was pitted and scarred by centuries. His metallic skull was topped by a crystal casing which held his brain inside.

The cyborg said, “Welcome to the home of Dr. Igari Lac. The Doctor is currently out.”

Kha’z extended his shard sword, “You are a Unity Cyborg-Hunter. What are you doing here?”

“I am Unity Cyborg-Hunter 1. I was first built by General Kal’Shek in his original laboratory. I have seen the rise of the Unity, and its fall, and its rise, over many timelines. Do you realize the Unity has known about this place all along?” asked the 1.

“Then why did Prime of Unity not tell the brave General Garmin Fe?” asked Kha’z.

“He didn’t know,” said the 1, as he turned and motioned for them to follow him.

Shocked and confused, the trio followed mutely behind the 1.


He led them to a hidden in the rear of the first floor. The door to the lift opened revealing an amazingly advanced chamber. As they stepped inside images from the entire planet were projected holographically as the lift descended.

“Oh my god!” exclaimed Mynarch as he grabbed Saul’s sleeve pointing to one of the holo screens. It showed one of the Church of One camps as a spike the size of a building descended from the sky.
As they broke atmosphere on the moon, virulent black clouds erupted from the prophets, spewing Dr. Gilmore's creations on the landscape. Harbringer troop transports streaked into the ground, turning the ground around them to glass with their beam weaponry as a Praetorian Legion landed, equipped with filtering equipment on their frames. As before, they carried standards of the shining legion, dispelling shadows around them. The holo screen suddenly shut off.

“Unity Prophet Fleet has begun to descend,” said the 1, “It will be time soon.”

“Time for what??” asked Kha’z.

“The Hiveking will activate soon,” said the 1, “When the Prophets attach to this facility they will link and hack directly into the Unity network.”

“What is the Hiveking?” asked Saul as his eyes narrowed and his hands rested on the butts of his handguns.

“You should know my body is made of Zela metal, your annihilation pistols will have no effect on me, Saul…or should I say Paul…Paul Tarisi, Pope Paul Tarisi?” asked the 1.

“Pope Paul Tarisi, first pope of the Church of One?” asked Mynarch in shock, “You weren’t lying when you said you knew Saint Mynarch. Was Kas…was Kas.”

“Yes, Kas was Kasanth Dannor,” said Saul, “The Devil Bishop himself, but I knew him before his fall to evil. Before Domino twisted his devout faith and twisted his mind and exposed him to truly demonic texts. Before all of that Kas was… he was a knight. A brave young Paladin. I even knighted him myself when he was only eighteen summers old. Your Saint Mynarch was Kas’ squire.”

The 1 interrupted, “Your musings are quaint. And only waste time.”

Kha’z’hak Muir was a Recognized of Beacon City, and he would not be denied information by a traitor. The Recognized created a pair of chillbolts and slammed them into the 1’s knees knocking the cyborg from his feet.
The 1 said, “Killing me will not stop the process.”

“But how?” asked Kha’z, “This manor has been here for centuries.”

“The Lac family had been watching it and waiting, caring for the wonderful gift the Neliff created for their mutual master deep inside this mountain,” said the 1, “When the Bishop Kasanth was uploaded into the Unity at the end of Border Wars of Refuge, he made sure to corrupt elements of code that would allow the HiveKing access. And the Unity will be plugging in within moments.”

The door to the lift finally opened revealing a huge sprawling laboratory. There were dead Neliff everywhere, and holes in the ceiling that were only centimeters wide.
Mynarch approached the closest Neliff corpse, despite its alien physiology, he knew what he was seeing.
“These are lasers wounds,” said Mynarch, “It punched right into this thing’s gas bladder.”

Kha’z rejoiced as he saw the rest of his squad of Recognized blinking in confusion. The orbital laser attack had only happened moments before. Kha’z embraced his comrades, and then Kha’z and his squad began setting up a Unity Shadow Satellite. It would only be moments until the Unity Prophets ripped into this section of the planet in their effort to convert it.

Saul ran towards the giant metal egg in the center of laboratory. Knowing whatever horror was inside was the very trap left here

As he got closer he could see what looked like oil pooling up from the floor. Mynarch was leaning over trying to get a sample of the goop with a metal rod, when it climbed up the rod. The Nightmare fleshworms, which was what the goop really was slimed up the rod seeking to consume Mynarch, when Saul drew his pistols. Without regard for the giant metal egg, Saul fired his pair of annihilation pistols and they tore through the Nightmare Fleshworms, and the Metal Egg. The fleshworms were destroyed utterly, and the inside of the egg was revealed.

The creature inside was part Neliff, and was not destroyed by Annihilation, but was finally revealed. Metallic tendrils extended from the creature down into the ground, already plugging into the descending Prophets. The Hive King, with his human-like face, crown of horns, and Neliff tentacles tried to rise up, but Saul was already upon him.

Saul’s sword was drawn and he swung it in a wide arc connecting with the side of the Hive King’s beautiful face. At the moment the Hive King had full control of the Quall, the Estrain and the Unity it drew their power into itself creating a dimension for itself.
Then the blade of Saul, forged in the blood of the K’ias Domino, slipped through the hard cheekbone of the Hiveking and struck its face cutting cleanly through the other side of the head.
The top half of the head with its horned crown fell to the ground before them both, and the Hive King collapsed dead. Pain like nothing they had ever experienced throbbed through all three sets of Hivemind networks. Then the link was severed with the death of the Hive King.
Saul turned to see the Recognized waving to him and Mynarch. They had set up the Satellite and opened an escape route offworld. Saul grabbed Mynarch’s hand but then the tendrils of the Prophet fleet ripped through the ceiling separating them.

Saul fell backwards still holding Mynarch’s hand. Saul was bouncing and rolling, dying and reforming endlessly as the planet was converted by the Prophets. Hours later he awoke to a smooth landscape dotted by the Prophets. His robe was destroyed, and Saul looked down to see his sword was gone consumed by the planet. His pair of annihilation pistols remained as if they had chosen to remain at his side.
He picked them up in his bloody hands and clutched them close. Saul hoped that the planetary conversion ships could do what no force had done in two thousand years. Finally lay him to rest. Saul knew there were still Church of One zealots threatening life, he knew G-d would not let him rest until they were all freed of their hatred and prejudice.

He walked out into the now toxic environment of Ryn Lac, his lungs dying and regenerating as he hobbled along, tormented by Gilmours toxic spores. Even they could not kill poor Saul, and finally he just lay there regenerated endlessly until he was picked up by a Guild Scout ship days later. The pain was excruciating but his curse would not let him die...

Above them a Beacon City Arcturus watched the last phases of conversion. On its bridge stood Recognized Muir and his team, resurrected and happy to be far from the Neliff, at their side stood former Red Bishop Mynarch Symms. His left arm had been replaced by
cybernetics, and his future was looking grim. Mynarch was technically a prisoner of war.

Apparently days before a treaty had been signed between the I.R. and the Unity, and Sector General Deer was working alongside the Beacon City fleet in the pacifying the planet. When the level of Neliff infestation had been discovered the Unity had authorized extinction protocols. They had called in Scientist Gilmour to develop the something that could wipe out the Neliff. It succeeded beyond what had been expected. All Neliff have been cleansed from Ryn Lac. Only 7 colonies of Neliff are believed to remain in Known Space. Their location is currently unknown.

The Hive King has been killed…

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Re: Week 4 - How the Hive King died...

Post  Admin on Wed May 18, 2011 5:27 am

Rewards for the Mission are as follows

All players involved in this mission gain access to the Part 2 mission Key.

Only players with the Part 2 Mission Key can play in the week 5 continuation.


--
Captain Axis does NOT gain this reward. Respectfully, His mission post does not seem to have anything to do with this mission.

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Re: Week 4 - How the Hive King died...

Post  GeneralGarminFe on Thu May 19, 2011 12:40 am

Mynarch Symms, and any other members of the Lion's of Earth that survived will be offered an option. They can choose to be released outside the border of Beacon City territory on Refuge and make a pilgrimage to Dunesphere or they can take asylum and learn a different path by educators in Beacon City. Supplies for their journey, should they choose to take the pilgrimage, will be provided for them.
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