Topic The Ascension
Edited by smylez on 9/18/12 8:17 PM (PDT)
NOTICE: I have arranged my post by chapters. While the most recent posts will be up, I will be purging my older post by combining one into one big chunk on the front page.
1. His battle attire is fully encased in armor (including his face) and the back of his chest armor is inscribed with Xel'naga runes that signify leadership. There are battle scars on the armor and they are marks of honor for him.
1. Imagine a shroud around his face that only shows his eyes. Disregard the weapon.
Fleet Master Ramara:
Chapter One: The Awakening
I open my eyes only to find myself staring directly at a blinding white light that overcomes my senses. I stir gingerly, placing a hand over my eyes, shielding it from the intense glare above me.
“The executor! He is awake! Get the doctors in here and call in all the commanders!”
“Where am I?” I ask belatedly, still covering my eyes.
A gentle, soothing voice speaks to me, “Thank Adun! You are still with us. Right now, this is the medical bay executor. How are you feeling?”
By now, my eyes adjust to the glare of the light. Placing my hands on my sides, I turn my head towards the direction of the sound. My eyes focus upon a female Protoss warrior. Her ornate, decorative and flowing battle attire was not only beautiful, it was only given to ones who command respect.
I push myself up from the bed, sitting with my back resting against the frame of the bed. I pause, looking carefully at the infirmary. I was not the only one. Many other wounded soldiers were resting upon the beds that lined up the room. Doctors ran back and forth adminsitering aid for them.
“Do not push yourself,” the female warrior continued, “You are still wounded.”
I gave her a chuckle. “I am fiine, I think. There is no need to get all that worried over me.” Then I gave her a serious look. “By the way, who are you? Where am I exactly? What has happened?”
She gave me a worried look. “It is your second in command, Fa’rah. Do you not remember me?”
I gave her a blank stare. “No, I can not for the life of me remember you.” I place my hand over my head. I felt strange. There was an emptiness in my head, a strange sensation that was numbing.
“You’re Executor Da’aek, commander of the Fleet of Ascension,” began Fa’rah. Right now, you are aboard the flagship “Unyeilding Resolve”. We have begun pursuit of a Zerg Brood. You were unconscious when we found you.“
A pair of doctors come by my bed. They begin to take readings of my vital signs. “All looks well with your body. You say his has amnesia? There is nothing we can do I am afraid. You will just have to remember things as time goes by.”
The doors open themselves. I found myself staring at a particularly intimidating Protoss commander, his body completely covered by a metallic gray cape.
He began to walk towards me, bowing his head once he was next to my bed. “Greetings Executor, I am Praetor Acrati. Everything is going well I hope?”
I nod my head.
“You are interrupting our conversation Praetor.”
The praetor dismiss her words with a wave of her hands. “You can talk later. But we have much more pressing matters to attend. Executor, the other commanders await your orders at the bridge.
“The Executor has lost his memory, he needs to rest-“ began Fa’rah.
“He has lost his memory you say? Well, this does complicate things. Executor, do you think you are fit to lead this mission?
I gave him a nod. “I do not know. I seem to have forgotten many things.” I flex my fingers. “But this body still remembers, vaguely somehow.”
The praetor says nothing but bows his head once more. “Then come to the bridge when you are ready. We will brief you quickly on the situation. If you feel that you are not fit to lead this expedition, you may announce it there.”
“Watch your mouth Praetor Acrati. This is the Executor you are talking too,” growled Fa’rah.
“I realize that, which is why it is in the best of interest to decide now whether he is fit to lead this campaign. Our leader must be sound of mind if he is to lead us to victory. I will take my leave. Do make haste or we will make a decision without you.”
I sigh heavily.
“Fa’rah, get my battle attire ready. I will head to the bridge as soon as possible."
Fa'rah must have noticed my discomfort. "Be careful, you must not push yourself too hard Executor. Your body has not fully recuperated from battle."
"I appreciate your concern Fa'rah, but if something as trivial as this injury will stop me from completing my duty, then I am not fit to be called an Executor. Here we are, the bridge..."
I step through the marble sleek doors as does Fa'rah. I found myself in awe, the bridge was a magnificent piece of work. A star map was in the dead center of the room. Crew members stood up from their stations and lowered their heads as I made my way down the stairs to the only empty chair in the center of the room.
I made my way there. The chair was embellished intricately. In front of it was the master controls for the ship. I stroke the arms of the chair and then sit. All the other crew members look at me, waiting for orders. Yes, it was a familiar experience. I have watched many battles unfold right here. My grip on the arms softened. It was good to be back.
"Executor?" began Fa'rah, "Are you sure you are ready?"
I nod my head. "Resume your duties," I command.
"Executor!" a voice calls to me below. I shift forward and look down where the star map is. The Praetor Acrati looks back up at me. "I see that you have decided to come! Good, now we can proceed with the meeting. You do remember how to call the others right?"
"Such a condescending tone!" growled Fa'rah. "Do you think he is completely helpless?"
I hold my hand up. "At ease Fa'rah, I understand that they have doubts about my ability to perform given my current state. Yes, I know how to call the others. I have not completely forgotten everything."
I press a button on the terminal in front of me. Immediately, the holograms of several commanders appear before me.
"Well then, you have called for me. Now, shall we begin this meeting?"
The holographic faces of the other three commanders stood before me.
The one clad in a predominantly silver zealot armor with cyan patterns speaks first.
"Greetings Executor, we have been informed by the Praetor Acrati of your condition. While I hope for a speedy recovery, we do not have the luxury of waiting for you condition to improve. Before the meeting starts, we must reintroduce ourselves. I am Sol'am, commander of the carrier Transcendent."
The second commander speaks, his entire face completely hidden by a shroud. "Ja'yaal, commander of the fighter fleets reporting in. I await your decision Executor."
Finally the third commander, a female, speaks, "Ramara, commander of the tempest Retribution reporting. Can the meeting begin now?"
I nod my head. "Tell me about our objectives."
Sol'am speaks first. "We have but one objective, to pursue a Zerg Brood fleeing Char and exterminate them. As of right now, we have tracked down this brood to an icy planet called Kaldir."
"What of our numbers? How many are with us?" I ask.
Fa'rah points to a screen on the master controls. With the swipe of her hands, data begin to stream in. "This screen will display our fleets in real time. Our infantry numbers in the hundreds. I can get more precise numbers if you wish."
"Do that for me." Far'ah nods her heads and steps away. "Two carriers, one tempest, four void rays and several scores of fighter class ships..."
"What are the conditions on that planet? And the brood's strength" I ask.
"Very frigid, other than that there is nothing else of significance. The brood is probably on its last legs. We have chased it for several hours now. We only paused briefly to tend to our wounded. Including you." Ja'yaal replies.
I sit and say nothing. That could be the cause of my memory loss. I will have to delve further into it when I have the time.
"We have tracked the planet's coordinates. We may begin the warp when you decide to. You are positive you can lead this fleet?" questions the Praetor.
I look at the star map. The planet Kaldir slowly rotated. In no time, my fleet will hover over the planet. Our enemy will be there. I look at the commanders one by one and nod,
"Yes, prep all the ship to warp. We will go on my mark. Ready...MARK!"
Edited by smylez on 9/18/12 8:14 PM (PDT)
Chapter Two: Solace
The sunlight disappeared over the mountains just hours before. The embrace of the warm light no longer touched them. Daylight became cold and a pale gray as the broodmother turned to the right, following the icy trail that ran abreast to the bank of a frozen lake. Her gaze wandered nonchalantly towards the skies.
She began to walk once more through the thick piling snow that rolled in smooth undulations as far as she could see. The snow crunched loudly as she braced herself against the cold, unforgiving winds.
She paused briefly. Another voice was silenced. She turned around. A roach collapsed on the ground with parts of its body covered in ice. Already, the snow piled on top of the roach and soon, it will be hidden from sight as part of the white landscape.
Her brood, a sizable force of zerglings, hydralisks and roaches languidly followed the broodmother's direction. With each breath they drew, a white mist formed in front of them, only to settle on their lips creating little crystals of ice that shattered and reformed again when they drew in air once more. Their cries of pain filled the broodmother's mind.
Her gaze once more found itself in the skies. An overlord, one of many, shook the snow of their backs. The overlords pressed onwards against the piercing southern winds, knowing that if they should fall, not only will the ones below go rampant, but the drones inside of them will be lost. Inside, the drones huddled together; even they felt the biting cold.
Did I make a mistake? the queen thought to herself. The plan went wrong at every turn. Ever since she left Char in order to strengthen her own brood, there was not a single instance where something went accordingly.
It was the Protoss. The most hateful race in the sector showed up as her brood traveled through contested space. In her arrogance, the fighting with the Protoss lasted for days days and seriously weakened her forces. It was through sheer luck that the behemoth initiated a blind jump and land on the planet at the cost of its life.
Her brood was seriously weakened and the extreme conditions on the planet did not help to assuage her losses. She knew that they will hardly last any longer in the cold. Finding shelter was paramount to the survival of not only herself, but her brood. To stay out in the open was to invite a slow, torturous death.
Her eyes scanned frantically, looking for something to provide solace against the biting cold yet the effort proved futile as it was impossible to make anything out. The winds howled ferociously in the open tundra; the blinding snow came down furiously. Bits and pieces of ice fell from the sky, pelting stragglers below.
Was it over? To narrowly escape death from the Protoss only to die in the frozen wastelands was a thought that seemed preposterous to the broodmother. After all, the Zergs were known for its ability to adapt into any environment in a matter of days whereas it would take generations for other races.
Yet the possibility of death was a real threat that they faced if they found no shelter soon. The broodmother knew this. No Zergs have ever been exposed to the extreme cold that they now faced. She pictured it grimly, her lifeless body and that of her brood gone under a sea of rolling white as if they were never there, swallowed up entirely by the arctic winter. An ignoble fate. But if they were to survive through this ordeal, she knew her brood would grow stronger.
"My queen," the deep voice of an overlord echoing in her head, "there is hope. We have spotted a canyon in the distance straight ahead and perhaps no more than a 100 meters. It will offer us respite against this accursed cold."
The broodmother acknowledged the message. There was hope as the overlord said. Hope for her and the brood. Her strength renewed itself once more. All that they had to do was inch forward a little more and salvation will soon surely follow.
The brood made it to the entrance of the canyon. A pair of insurmountable cliffs greeted them, seemingly going higher and higher, the top of the canyon hidden by the white, blurry cloud as the snow continued to fall down adamantly.
The broodmother turned around once more. She saw nothing behind her. Perhaps it was the still harsh winds obscuring her vision. She felt light headed; it was very quiet inside of her mind, a feeling that unnerved her. How strange it was to have total silence in her head. To think that the pitiful cries of her brood fell completely silent. To come so far and have all of her warriors fall silent…
She continued to look behind her. A shadow approached from the distance. Then another and soon, several more made their way closer to the queen. A cry, there were several of them but they were different. Not pitiful cries, but cries of determination. Several scores of Zerg warriors emerged from the cloud of white, their bodies gaunt and grim from the frost yet their face showed a fiery will. They rallied to their broodmother, snarling and grunting. The frost will not get them so easily.
They hugged the walls, hoping that it will provide some amount of protection against the wind. It helped little as the wind simply whistled through the canyon’s formation, ever more fierce thanks to the wind becoming more concentrated. The zerglings ran forward ahead of the brood. The broodmother felt an icy grip running along her back, slowly creeping its way into her dark heart. Her extremities turned a light blue and she could feel nothing no matter how much she hit her hands against her sides.
The voice of an overlord boomed inside her mind, “My queen, the zerglings found a cave not too far away from our position. It is a mere fifty pace from where you stand.”
She picked up the pace. It was a surprise to her that she was still able to move at such speed even though her legs were completely devoid of any feeling. The cold, it was perhaps a deadlier enemy than the Terrans and Protoss. Even Char, for all of its fiery brimstone and toxic atmosphere, was more hospitable than this frozen planet.
They made it to the mouth of the caves and without delay entered inside. The innards of the cavern was more than big enough for the overlords to fit through and still have room to float. Cries of relief echoed through the caverns as the brood finally found respite against the harrowing arctic outside.
The broodmother silenced their cries with snarl. Several large alien footprints were imprinted on the ground and they looked recent. It was too soon to celebrate. If the bitter cold did not get them, then perhaps whatever that lived inside these forlorn caverns will. All that the broodmother knew was that anything can go wrong at anytime. She knew that the first thing she must do is to secure her new home. With a wave of her hand, several zerglings ventured forward and disappeared in the darkness.
As they made their way inside, crystalized mushrooms along the ground emitted a cooling blue light that reflected off the icy walls of the caves. The broodmother paused briefly to inspect an image of herself in the wall. It shocked her how she looked. Much of her body was covered in blue; some parts looked waxy and hard. Yet for that shocking transformation, she felt no pain at all. Her sensation of touch was gone. Turning away, she continued to walk but everywhere she looked, all that she saw was her pitiful self.
But that will no longer be the case. All that needed to happen was for her to secure this new home and begin the assimilation of the local species to resist and thrive in the cold. And she decided to do so starting with a pack strange ape like creatures that appeared in front of her pummeling onto the corpse of several zerglings.
The way you describe things are really, how do I say it... Describable. It's a compliment in case you aren't sure. You've really nailed how to word things. As for the plot in itself, I feel that it's a bit rushed in the first few protoss posts. This seems to be a common problem, that even I suffer from.
Starting with amnesia gives you a lot to work with. You can skip a bit of background detail and give it in further in the story which keeps the reader hooked. So if this story turns out that way, it can be considered as another plus.
Switching to the zerg's point of view and showing how helpless they were is something that I'm not to sure about. Unless you plan to introduce a third party, but I'm not a prophet so I don't know what's going to happen. So I'll stay neutral on that part.
All in all, pretty good so far.
In a moment's flash, I found myself slightly overcome with nausea. Apparently, my body was still not up to the rigors of warp travel. I look up at my console. A holographic image of the fleet displayed itself in front of me.
Praetor Acrati glances at the star map and touches the board, igniting an image of an icy pale planet that dimly illuminated the room. His cold voice echoes in mind head, "Executor, we have arrived on the planet Kaldir. Our fleets are ready to be deployed whenever you wish."
"Praetor, how far are we from the nearest Protoss settlement? Can we reliably call help from Shakuras if we need to?" I ask.
The Praetor waves his hand and the star map transforms from simply showing the system of the Kaldir and its nearby satellites to that of the entire Koprulu Sector. He remains silent and just as I decided to press him to talk, he speaks.
"We have traveled where dew Protoss ever treaded. Communications with any other fleet requires the use of psi-link towers, especially if we wish to speak to those in Shakuras. However, I trust that we will not require the use of them since this is but a simple extermination task."
Fa'rah walks through the main doors holding onto a data pad and stands behind my seat. "Executor, I have a report regarding our logistics and some troubling news."
I shake my head. If it wasn't one thing, it was always another.
"Speak," I simply say.
She looks at her data pad. "I doubled checked our databases to find any information regarding Kaldir and what I found spells trouble for our soldiers if we are not careful. The temperature is extremely cold; in fact temperatures can reach the coldness of space. In addition, flash storms happen with frequency. For us to operate in these conditions, all shield levels must be raised to the maximum and even that may not protect us from the flash freeze. The flash freeze won't kill us, but this weather seriously impedes on our ability to fight if we are exposed too long."
"As for our infantry, we have a force strong enough to take on a brood twice the size of the one we are chasing. But this weather could pose a problem. In addition the observers located the body of the behemoth and the its hard to tell how long it has been dead. The Zergs are indeed in the area. However, we lost several observers to the flash freezing." She closes her datapad and waits for my reply."
"Thank you for the report. Either way, it appears we must land and find these vermin. They can't have gone far. How long has it been since we have pursued them?" I ask.
"You really don't remember anything do you Executor?" Praetor Acrati says solemnly, "Then I will tell you briefly. We have chased this brood for nearly 2 weeks now ever since it left Char and fought its remnants in a wild chase all over the sector to find and kill the Broodmother where upon you injure yourself in battle, putting yourself out of commission for 15 hours. But never have we found the behemoth carrying the queen until now. This brood is nearly finished. It may have had 2 weeks to adapt, perhaps it has even landed today. But the longer we delay, the stronger they grow. And we cannot stop until we remove the head from the body."
This is very well written! I havent had the time to read this until today~we had a free reading hour at school so I read this on my ipad for the time we had.
I really do enjoy the story so far, especially the parts you wrote about the zerg. The best advice i could offer would be to keep it up! ^^
Edited by smylez on 9/12/12 6:20 PM (PDT)
I press the screen and the hologram of the planet expands in size. I clasp my hands together and rest my chin on my hands. I stare at the hologram, contemplating quietly. After several minutes of silence, I open the transmission link to all the other commanders. The image of their faces appear before me.
"Here are my orders. I want a scan of the planet near the behemoth in a 30 mile radius. What we are looking for are caves or anything that can double as shelter for a brood of that size. We will land on the planet once we located possible areas where they may hide and hunt down these vermin. Deployment orders will be issued shortly on your terminals. Our mission will not stop until the brood mother is exterminated."
"Executor, a suggestion," Sol'am began, "Perhaps we should send several scout parties during the scanning of the planet. Perhaps they can find something of use that our scanners cannot detect. If they were to find the frozen corpses of Zergs in the vicinity and track their bodies, that can narrow our search."
"An excellent idea. Fa'rah, arrange several scouting parties and see if they can track down the zerg on foot. Send them down immediately once they are organized."
Fa'rah nods her head and steps away. I continue to speak.
"Once we have found their location, I will personally lead a expedition force and rout the enemy. I will establish a foothold and reinforcements will be warped in from orbit should we need it. Commander Ja'yaal, Fleet Master Ramara and Imperator Sol'am, you will remain in your ships. I trust you understand why?"
They nod their heads together.
"Executor, I have already arranged the scouting parties. They are heading down to the planet as we speak," Fa'rah says.
I turn around and give Fa'rah a nod of approval. "Very good to hear. Now we will wait patiently. Commanders, I will adjourn this meeting. You will all receive your orders in your terminals soon."
"We will see each other soon. Bring glory to Aiur Executor!" Ramara says.
Edited by smylez on 9/13/12 7:55 PM (PDT)
The pilot's voice graces my mind, "Executor, the company has landed on the landing zone. We will mobilize at your command."
"Move out, this chase ends now." The doors of the shuttle bay open and a howling wind graces my face. I immediately feel the frost licking my skin in spite of my shields. Already, I see fortifications constructing around our perimeter.
"It seems our scouts have went to work quickly. With our scanning technology and the scouts reports, this cave ahead must have the hidden Zergs. ...I thought fiery lands that was Char was hell. This frozen tundra is truly something else. Fa'rah, you will stay here and oversee our base of operations. Their lair is not far from here and I want this perimeter secured if anything goes awry."
She looks at me with worrying eyes. "If you say so. This weather is demanding on our shielding though. I still say it is folly for you to fight so early. Let me go in your stead."
"You are a true friend and I appreciate your concern. I feel fine and this body yearns for combat. We have systematically exterminated this brood across the sector and it is a sizable force that I am leading into the caverns."
She closes her eyes and opens them slowly. "May Adun watch over you. I pray for your safe return." She turns around and heads to the the center of the makeshift encampment.
"As do you. Come! We depart." Behind me, a regiment of warriors follow. The faint outline of the fleet hover over the gray horizon. Some time later, I make my way to the cave, staring at the expansive mouth. I kneel down, noticing something on the ground.
It was blood that I know all too well. There was no doubt about it. The Zerg were inside the caves and they were in bad shape before they found this cave. I kneel and scoop the blood covered snow up.
I stand up, grasping the Khala with my mind and linking it to every other Protoss in the area, "My brothers, today the hunt is finished. The enemy think they can hide before our wrath. They lie before us, cowering in fear. Every trial we faced we have overcome. This bitter cold will not stop the flames of vengeance that lie in our hearts. En Taro Tassadar!"
I crush the bloodied snow with my hand. Activating both Psi blades, I take a step towards the abyss.
As we made our way inside, the glow of our psi blades illuminate the darkness of the caverns like a thousand suns. Footsteps liken to those of the Zergs were imprinted on the ground; there was no element inside the caverns to cover their tracks.
Mushrooms that were plentiful near the entrance seem to have disappeared the further we made our way in. Many cracked shards of ice littered the ground where the frozen stem of the mushroom was. Either the Zergs were harvesting the mushroom's caps for some reason or they disliked the light they gave off. I bend over one and inspect it. It was recently rooted and its faint glow slowly faded into the darkness. We continue onwards.
A fairly large crevasse barred our way but it was an trivial jump across. The uneasy feeling of something soft on the soles of my feet register immediately into my body. It was creep and it slowly inched its way across the cold floor. No doubt about it, the Zerg were here and they had already made much progress in securing the caverns. I turn around to my brethren on the other side. "Weapons ready, they know we are already here."
They were clever creatures and fond of ambushes. I pause to observe my surrounding. Numerous cracks appeared on the ground. A fall would be fatal. The cavern was expansive, stalagmites of minerals clusters were everywhere. Somehow cold air still found its way inside. Many openings lead to the unknown. The creep was very thin; the cold likely inhibited its growth but for how long? Claw marks and splatters of blood stained the icy walls. The bones of several bloodied massive corpses stripped to the bone laid in the room.
Edited by smylez on 9/19/12 1:34 PM (PDT)
I empower my blades. My eyes slowly tracing the rocky bridges above and below me as well as the dark ledges along the wall for any sign of movement. I tentatively head towards several opening of various sizes on the walls, taking great care to avoid the large cracks on the ground. The dull thuds of several feet hit the ground behind me. Soft light shines behind me, casting long shadows of my brethren that stalks the forlorn frozen walls.
"KRAAAA!" The screech echoed through the room. Immediately, every single Protoss warrior I see prepare themselves for the Zerg. "Brothers!," I shout, "Stand steadfast against the adversary! Give them no quarter! Maintain your formations!"
I feel the thundering steps of the enemy vibrating on the ground. Bits and pieces of dislodged rocks shake violently. I focus my mind; the Zerg's movements were everywhere and they rapidly were closing in.
"RAAAARAAA!" I turn around in time to see the monstrous face of a zergling lunging for my neck. I swipe my left blade at the creature, cutting off its right arm and directing its momentum to the ground. Bleeding profusely, the Zergling screeches madly and gets up on three feet and leaps high into the air once more. A frightening resilient creature it was but also a mindless one. I stab its face as it comes near me with my left blade and I swing my right blade right onto its ridcage while it was still in the air, flinging its body towards another the head of a hydralisk.
A large pack of Zerglings were running along a fairly thin rocky bridge above me, preparing to jump down. I began to channel and shape psionic energy on my palms. It became a ball of energy and I throw it right below the bridge. Once directly under the bridge, the ball detonates, destroying the bridge and blowing debris. The bodies of numerous zerglings flew all over the expansive cave. Chunks of rocks rained on the battlefield, the bigger ones crashing on the immeasurable masses of Zergs approaching us and creating new openings on the ground.
I immediately look around for the enemy. The sound of flesh being cut filled the room. I must be careful, I should not destroy this fragile environment so easily. My shields activate as several spines hit me from behind. I take cover behind a boulder and peer out. A pack of hydralisks snarling were preparing to fire again.
I really like the story, it has a lot of details, you can visualize the battles, really well... But could you describe the characters? I read this entire thing, but I don't think it ever talks about what the characters actually look like.
So when I read a part about the Commander leading the charge, I get the image of battle armor, and a blanked out face, leading a squad of Units.