Shards, Part 1 of Alien Artifacts lore series will introduce you to the universe of the Alien Artifacts. You will witness the various facets of this world, its heroes and the events that take place during the monumental shift in humanity’s history. A shift that was initiated by the discovery of an alien race: its creations, technologies, architecture and philosophy.
Chapter 3: Takeover of the enemy structures and securing infrastructure
Union Navy Base designation JFK-45, Eureka system
Briefing room G-34
1004 hours, local time
A dynamic, colourful fractal of visualization flashed over the heads of officers and NCOs. It alternated between folding in on itself while being played on fast-forward and unfolding like a flower when re-winded. Glittering strands of courses taken and potential, explosions of luminous fireworks when each squadron gained its own signature, course lines and forecasts of manoeuvres after detachment from their mother ships. The immersion was so deep that the signs painted on the ship’s hulls were visible, interwoven with wide shots, which even included telecommunication buoys spaced at the periphery of the system.
The centre of projection was the planet Eylus – a small, rusty-grey rock, surrounded by the ring of a mega-structure. Dark, angular blocks traced the crystalline structure along the thin – for space conditions – core. In places, the mega-structure grew into a two and a half kilometre-long structure, reminiscent of a city without streets or a gigantic beehive. Elsewhere, the bare core of the ring was visible: a dull wire that contained hundreds, thousands of identical segments. In two places its continuity was interrupted, yet the structure remained stable.
“Battle contact in T minus forty”
A barely-visible shudder went through the structures along the frame, like a wave caused by a light breeze. Three seconds later, the ring flared up with hundreds of launched rockets, ships and modules. It looked as if a cloud, spore-filled fog, swelling, formed a protective zone, preparing hell for the invaders – all before the approaching fleet came into the combat range.
– …We are not dealing with a war where actions aimed at destroying the enemy are acceptable. We cannot just fire warheads and wait until they reach their target, turning it into a cloud of cosmic trash. Annihilation is not a solution, and it is not because of the pacifist manifestos… – The monotonous voice of the major would be much better suited for meditation or reciting prayers. Unfortunately, he was the one to run the briefing, condemning nearly a hundred officers gathered in the hall to hopeless struggle with sleep. – Our goal in this type of operation is as follows. One: neutralization of all defence systems. Two: recognition of algorithms and tactics. Three: identification of used weapons systems, including direct fire equipment such as rockets, counter-rockets, lasers, force fields, protective fields and other…
Suddenly, the projection behind major’s back gained a few interesting details. One of the ships spewed a spinning egg that rolled along the line of trajectory, rolled and then started to grow. Soon, it was big enough to clearly show the outlines of two naked women, glistening with sweat and attractive in a context of a classical pornographic production, locked in an erotic choreography. The part of the room that had not yet fallen asleep suddenly came alive – a wave of choked laughter rumbled along the rows of seats.
– Six: Takeover of the enemy structures and securing the infrastructure. I would like to remind you that we are meticulously cleared of every kill and piece of equipment destroyed, according to the P-O protocol of August 4, two thousand … ” The Major continued as if nothing had happened, pacing back and forth in the middle of the room.
The girls – still behind major’s back – rolled over briskly, letting go of each other for a moment. One laid on her back, while the other jumped her enthusiastically. The battle waged around them: dozens of objects materialized in around the blonde’s steadily moving head, as well as between the wide-spread ankles and somewhere at the height of the brunette’s hips. Reports of destruction appeared, and new fractals of simulation flashed as foreign forces crushed the up-until-now iron hold of the Union’s offensive. Units from the union’s fleet lost their advantage with every moment: aggregate data and dramatic reports from individual sections of the battle fought for a place in the projection with a frisky pair, larger and larger, eagerly posing for meticulous close-ups of the more involved organs.
The major realized that he could not be the cause for the sudden perking up of his listeners and stumbled in his monologue. He began to look around cautiously, but he could not see the holo-girls, since they were displayed behind his back, leaping from place to place, the more violently, the more the major attempted to look around.
– What the hell is going on here? A sudden question rang around the room. The lights flashed on, showing everyone Admiral Harris, standing at the entrance. And apparently really, really pissed. A rustle went along the rows as all of the gathered officers and cadets stood at attention. Who? – He barked. Only a short moment passed as he waited for an answer.
-It was me, Admiral- A young woman, perhaps twenty years old, in the uniform of landing troops spoke up, putting down projector rod on the desktop in front of her. – Second lieutenant Yutta Dannadale. I’m sorry, sir. she shouted vigorously.
Silence fell, as if the whole hall was holding its breath in anticipation of an apocalyptic chew-out.
– We’ve lost nearly half of the operational group on the approach to Eylus, nearly seven hundred men – and you’re sitting here, messing around – the admiral finally said, surprising everyone with the tone of his voice. Instead of rage they heard sadness, silent and painful. – Good people, veterans of the Fourth World War on the Belts. My students and companions.
The briefing room was never so quiet. Despite some good fifteen meters separating them, it seemed like the old admiral was talking to the lieutenant face to face.
– And now we’re going there again. And not to blow this shit to smithereens. We’re not even going there to take over the megastructure. We’re going there to catch aliens.
The admiral tore his eyes away from the woman and looked around the briefing room
– We won’t be shooting at them. We won’t try to punch through. We will not destroy everything that tries to destroy us. Our goal is to board their ships, capture their pods and take over their command centres.
Despite the sensational nature of the news nobody moved even a single muscle.
– Our target won’t be to capture the technology. This time, we will capture its creators. Whatever the cost – he finished in a tone barely above a whisper.
Written by Rafał Szyma
English translation by Danai Chondrokouki