Author Topic: Light Unseen  (Read 624 times)

Offline ecliptix

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Light Unseen
« on: June 29, 2015, 11:16:01 PM »
Light Unseen - Chapter 1: Exodus

It seems that no matter where or when you are, war is a constant. Whether it be the Flame Dawn against Genesis, the world against the sleepers or the heavens against man conflict is never ending. However, the settlement of Scohaven, far in the mountains north of even the great city of Bask has had the fortune of being a land far from the rain of fire and metal present in the rest of the world under the watchful gaze of the Aurora Commonwealth. But as history has shown, peace is only a temporary state.

"Damnit Cais! I asked you to fix the generators two weeks ago!"

"Sorry Isan, but you know as well as I do that with the snows the way that opening the circuit box is going to do more harm than good."

"You're a techie Cais, are you telling me you can re-wire a glacial-generator but you can't figure out how to build a simple barrier to block out a little snow? It isn't like theres a blizzard outside for calamitys sake.

"Yeah, yeah I'™m on it,"€‚ as he reached for his tool kit, he murmured under his breath "Flame Dawn take you, you wretched old man."

The repairs took several hours. Despite the numerous shocks and burns, and the constant battle against the elements, Cais removed his weathermask to study his work before toggling the unit™s bright red switch to the on position. Finally, Cais got the no. 6 generator back online while managing to keep the frozen water out of the primary circuits. He calmly grabbed his light-tool and began to pack up. Maybe the slight electrical burn on his hand would convince Isan that he actually knew what he was talking about. Then again, having the thermal units back online would be a nice boon during the frigid Scohavish winter. As he clasped his weathermask in hand and turned to face the way back to the power station he heard a loud metal ricochet pierce the control panel behind him.

"The hell..."
As Cais turned to face his immaculate repair work he noticed it wasn't quite so immaculate now. In fact, a giant hole could now be seen in the center of the box and snow was quickly filling within the panel. The opposite end of the hole continued well into the snow which was quickly melting into a pool of water. The moment Cais found the thermal round at the bottom of the pool, he clumsily slipped the weathermask on and sprinted back to the power station, leaving his tool kit behind.

As Cais neared the environmental seal connecting the city with the outside, he noticed something horrifying. The doors were locked and in the city there wasn't a single light on. Worst of all, he left his toolkit far behind giving him no way to access the maintenance panel. His sudden dismay at the cities power outage was abruptly interrupted by a single glance skyward. Angels. They were everywhere, but not the kind of angels you would find in a child™s fairy tale. These angels were armed to the teeth and firing death down to the city below. If he had anywhere to go he would have, but Scohavish winters were known for their unstable temperament. If he were to be caught outside during a whiteout death was all but certain, and the nearest settlement was at least 100 miles to the west. The southern route was even more treacherous despite its calmer weather patterns. More than likely the southern pass would be snowed in by now. Things were not looking good. Before he had time to ponder his next move the doors in front of him began to open, despite the power loss.

"Cais? Cais is that you?"

"Demis? What is going on in there?"

Emerging from the darkened corridor was none other than none other than Demis, Cais™' mentor and a member on the civil council.

"Its bad in there Cais. Really bad. The power went out all at once and before we knew what was going on, the whole settlement was under attack by angels. They declared they were fighting under the banner of someone called Ex. They've been rounding up people to ˜recieve penance, whatever that means. They came in guns blazing so we figured it wasn't a good thing to stick around and find out what that was."

"We?"

"Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Come on out everybody, we need to move before they start looking outside the city for stragglers."

Emerging from the tunnel were several dozen refugees, most covered in debris of some sort or drenched in their own blood or the blood of someone else. Whatever was going inside the city had turned it from a peaceful and quiet community to a warzone almost instantaneously. You can't go anywhere without something trying to hit you from above.

"I gathered everyone I could find on my way out, we need the manpower if we're to carry the supplies we need to get to Bask anyways."

"Bask? They're closer to the border and a far more appealing target than our modest little ground. What makes you think they haven'™t been hit yet?"

Demis couldnt look Cais straight in the face. It was like he wanted to say something, but to do so would break some sort of ancient taboo.

"I'™ll tell you when we get there Cais. Until then you a™re going to just have to trust me - Bask is still safe".

"Demis you know me. I am a trusting guy. Now, what do you need me to carry?"

End Ch. 1


Ch. 2
- Flight

There were nearly 50 refugees in the group. Most of whom were either injured or carrying the injured. Those who weren't were carrying food. At least the winter storms brought one advantage - water was hardly a scarce commodity. The weary expedition travelled many miles uninterrupted, but each mile cost them something and, on occasion, someone.

"Leave him Cais. He isn't going to make it."

Cais unmounted the small child from his shoulders. His face was black and purple. His eyes were the color no child should be and even his skin had lost all sign of life. Thankfully a few of the refugees were hunters and more than able to make some form of winter protection out of the nearby bears and wolves. Sadly, this discovery came far too late for the young boy who was already beginning to show the symptoms of severe frostbite. The animal pelt the boy wore was unfortunately too little too late, as was the case for many others. By the end of the first day the size of the fragile expedition had already been reduced to 20  They had been fortunate not to encounter a whiteout, which would have surely killed them already, which could still kill them.

"Was it really that bad Demis? You know as well as I do this is suicide."

"Trust me Cais it was that bad. It was raining thermal rounds. You couldn't walk anywhere without a chunk of building falling on your or a random shot. I don't even think they cared about the resources, it was the people they were after. I don't know why and I don't want to know. At best it was slavery. But you don't cause that level of fear without a purpose. Even the Flame Dawn wouldn't have caused that much devastation if they chose to invade. They're a lot of things, but at least they have a purpose when they conquer. This was just a senseless slaughter, almost as if it was revenge for some terrible crime. Don't ask me why Cais, I couldn't tell you."

"Demis, you need to tell me why we're risking so much to get to Bask. I've always trusted you, but...Alarin was far closer, and it had the protection of the subterranean tunnels. But this route is designed for travel during the warmer part of the year. Even if we make it to the tunnels, there is no guarantee the lightbridge will even have power, the solar energy it receives is so small I wouldn't even trust it for a single crossing, let alone getting 20 people and supplies across it. And I don't know how much harder we can push these people. Most haven't eaten today and we have to reach that tunnel before nightfall. Last night almost killed all of us and I don't think we can take round two. Even if we were to change our direction we could still reach the tunnel that connects to Alarin and--"

"Cais...Alarin is gone."

"What?"

"How do you think I was able to gather supplies and get ANYONE out with as quickly as that happened? Alarin messaged ahead and let us know what was coming. I had barely started taking inventory in the food stores before the attack began. Bask is the closest place we can go. The winter conditions have made any northern or eastern route impossible. Plus we aren't equipped to traverse any mountains right now."

"Damn. You know this means we're going to have to leave a few more people behind don't you? Killian has a crippled leg right now and that older couple have been slowing the whole group down. I believe in leave nobody behind as much as the next person...but there are still three kids in our group. They won't last another night."

"I know Cais...I've just been waiting for the right moment to-"

"Demis, there isn't a right moment. You have to do this now and we have to speed up markedly if we're going to reach the tunnels. Even without those three slowing our progress I'm not sure we'll make it before nightfall."

"Cais, I know what you're say---DOWN NOW. EVERYBODY DOWN NOW!!!"
 
"Demis are those?"

"Yeah Cais, Angels."

[I'll get some more work done on this tomorrow. I feel right now is a pretty good place to stop and take a breather. *trollface*]
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 01:52:28 AM by ecliptix »
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Offline ecliptix

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Re: Light Unseen
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2015, 11:16:59 PM »
Sorry about the formatting issues - I made this in word and transferred it over. I've got to leave for now, but I'll get the edits in tonight, hopefully.
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Offline ecliptix

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Re: Light Unseen
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 06:28:38 AM »
7-12 Update: I've been kept busy with work and haven't really had the energy to continue on lately - and most of my BS writing time has been spent helping the newbs out on the Steam forums. However, I'll be updating this sometime this week, so if you're interested in following this keep your eyes peeled, the next chapter (or 2?) should be up no later than Friday!
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Offline Rickashay

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Re: Light Unseen
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 08:26:48 AM »
I'm liking what you've got so far, looking forward to reading more. It's very dark so far, very end of the world kind of dark so far. I do hope there's some hints later on why the angels had such a destructive entrance. It's good reading, keep going.

Offline ecliptix

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Re: Light Unseen
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 06:01:11 PM »
Ch. 3 - Renewed Faith

There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Demis knew that if the Angels wanted them dead or captured there was nothing he or any of the others could do to stop them. The first good sign the former wasn't the case was the fact he was still breathing. When they had assaulted the city there was no rhyme or reason, just a storm of metal, light and fire. As the shadow lit against the back of the sky drew closer and closer he tried to imagine they were the angels he was told about as a child. Sadly, recent events had taught him differently.

"At ease weary travellers. We mean you no harm, but we must move quickly." The female angel landed with a grace and precision that normally would have held the humans attention in awe. As a result of the recent chain of events her presence should have instilled a foreboding sense of fear and dread. However, the 20 people left were either too close to death, too cold or too jaded to seem to care.

Except for Demis. His sole duty for the past decade had been the stewardship of one of the few places safe from global war. If he was cold, his anger made him forget. Normally a wise man of patience, the elements and delirium made him abandon all thought and give in to more primal instincts. He raised his scatter-pistol at the false prophet and pulled the trigger. No hesitation, no mercy. Upon pulling the trigger he immediately felt a force pulling his underarm disallowing him from further use of his gun.

But it was to no avail.

"Hmph, is this how you treat all your saviors human? I assure you, if we were following his orders you would have been dead already. If there is one thing Ex isn't known for, its leniency. Fortunately for all of you, Ex is as much my enemy as he is yours. As much as I would love to speak to you, it seems you aren't fit right now to engage in a discussion of wits. No matter, I wasn't ordered to speak with the groundlings. *sigh* fetch and retrieve missions? What are you going to do?"

Without engaging with the rest of the group, she motioned for her subordinates to gather the winded party together around a small box she threw into the snow. The box's outer edges were pure white and the interior could not be described with mere color, as it was like peering into some strange nebulous phenomena. As the colors within shifted across the whole spectrum it began to hum before flashing to a pure white light forcing onlookers to close their eyes or be blinded by its brilliance.

When they opened there eyes again there was no snow. There was no cold and for the first time since the attack there was a small bit of hope again, even if that hope was tightly bound around a core of fear, for they were in the midst of one of the Overseer's floating cities of legend. Looking all around there were even more angels, magnificent structures and sophisticated technology was all that could be seen for any length in all direction. In the center of it all, an immaculate white spire rose up from the center of the city visible from all locations withing.

"Watcher Erika reporting sir. I have the groundlings as instructed."

"Erika, how many times have I told you to abandon the old words? These are our allies and must be treated with dignity and respect."

"I apologize sir. Old habits."

"See to it you upload the ark's scan data. Ever since Bask went down there hasn't been much hope. Maybe we got lucky."

"I don't believe in luck sir."

"Neither do I, but it seems luck is what we need today."

The male angel turned to the frozen group and looked at the small dead boy. Without a word, another angel came and scooped the boy up eliciting a strong reaction from the few members of the group who could still do so.

"Its not enough you kill us all, now you steal our dead from us? You are despicable creatures! How we ever worshipped you is bey-mpmhmhmmphm" To his horror, Demis's mouth began to close shut against is own will in response to the angel raising his pearl white glove like something out of some cheesy fantasy novel.

"I can see you are all still quite tired from your escape. I wish to converse with you as quickly as possible, but I can see you need some time to regain your senses as you seem to be quite...primal right now. If you are worried about the child there is no need. He will be returned to you as soon as he has healed in the nanite chamber. My name is Valin, I'm sure you have many questions and we will answer them as soon as you are renewed. Until then please follow Anese here. She will lead you to the refugee quarters where you will be safe and not exposed to the dangerous of superior technologies."

Cais muttered under his breath, "Even when you are helping us you're still a pain in the ass to deal with."

"A pain in the ass is still better than a bullet to the head wouldn't you say?"

Cais was dumbstruck. He had mistook these angels for mere men with wings and machines. That would be the last time he would make that mistake.

"True enough, thank you gracious one."

"I like this one, make sure you bring him with the rest of the elected group when they are ready to discuss current events. Now if you will kindly excuse me, I must be on my way to the war council."

Without another word, the raven-haired angel gave a mighty flap with his wings and took to the air headed towards the white spire. As he left their presence, Demis finally regained control of his own voice, but anything he had to say was replaced by shock.

Anese on the other hand was the stereotypical definition of a female angel. Tall, graceful with every step and a soft-spoken voice, if containing the same patronizing tone as her companions.

"Come with me humans. There is a comfortable bed and warm food awaiting you. You are our guests here and we wish to help you recover and renew. All the same you must respect the age of our race and refrain from interacting with restricted technologies. Such knowledge must be averted by your kind until we deem you worthy of using it responsibly. If there is anything you need do not hesitate to contact myself or one of the other stewarts at the refugee camp."

Cais and Demis both wanted to object. But neither had the strength, the will nor the means to do so.

The survivors of Bask still didn't know whether to give their fear or their gratitude precedent at the present. Though grateful for being saved from the wild which was bearing down on them like a hungry wolf about to feast, they couldn't agree on the answer to a simple question.

Were they prisoners?
No matter the problem, the solution is always a flying emberstarter.