PS3 Fic - Refugees of the Demon Star - updated 1/19

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Postby Black Waltz 0 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:39 pm

This thing is still good and, if I may say, informative. Plus the twins are adorable. *Cuddles* :D
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Postby Amwhere » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:51 pm

Yay! Praise!

Actually, I started this fanfic 2 years ago to be an explanation on PSIII - it grew from there.
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Postby Black Waltz 0 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:48 pm

Amwhere wrote:Yay! Praise!

Actually, I started this fanfic 2 years ago to be an explanation on PSIII - it grew from there.

Well, yeah. The game does require a bit of an explanation to it. 8)
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Postby Amwhere » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:39 am

Miun and I drove to the cyborg supply shop. I sat in the car, unmoving, with my hands in my lap while staring unblinkingly out the window. The smells from the nearby hamburger stand drifted by my nose. From behind me, I heard a group of teenagers approach. Once they got to my open window, one said, "Watch this." With that, he spat in my face. The group of kids laughed, and ran off down the street.

I just sighed inside. After all, to them, I was just a stupid, emotionless cyborg. Besides, I couldn't exactly get out and teach team a lesson.

Miun returned carrying a box in each hand. Seeing the spit on my face, she sighed aloud and handed to me her handkerchief. As soon as the windows were rolled back up, she said. "I heard those kids laughing from inside the store." She shook her head. "Anyway, these were the only sets of claws they had," Miun tossed the boxes in the back. "The clerk tried to convince me to bring my cyborgs in to replace their claws with guns."

I laughed. "Are we going to install these when we get out of town?"

Miun shook her head. "I need to pick up something from home, so we'll install them there."

We drove back to the house, and saw that the furniture hadn't been delivered yet. We went inside. Miun went inside and came back with her backpack. "Never know when this will come in handy," she said.

Miun and I sat down on the floor, and Miun handed me a box. I opened the dusty box and examined the set of four claws inside. The claws were the best ever made - made of a titanium alloy with a mono-molecular cutting edge. They were far more useful than my old steel claws, and like my current claws, they only would extend from just above my wrist to just beyond my extended fingertips. I was about to begin to install them when Miun said, "Mieu, look."

Miun's box was exactly the same as mine, but the claws were completely different. They were jet black, with a subtle iridescent sheen. That sheen reminded me of the Laconian-17 alloy that made up my armor skeleton... but to my knowledge, the only uses of the nearly indestructible alloy was in Miun and myself.

Down each blade were a set of bright sliver runes - ancient Palman. "I will banish the darkness," I read aloud, although I knew Miun could read them too. "What's that supposed to mean?"

Miun shrugged. She examined the claws closely. "They look like they'll fit."

"You sure you want to install those?"

"Why not? They can't hurt me, you know." That was true, of course. There was no electronic connection between the claws and the cyborg... in this case, Miun.

I nodded and set to work to install my new claws. I rolled up the cloth sheath on my forearm to reveal the white metal underneath. I removed the upper half of my forearm, and then I removed the armor plate under that. Flanking each side of my nanofiber muscles, power relays, and other nano-electronics was my current claws. I popped them out and side them aside and snapped the new ones in. I extended and retracted them a couple times to make sure they worked, and then I put the armor and metal covering back on. After another test extension and retraction, I did my other arm.

Miun was just replacing her armor when I had finished. She rolled her skin back into place, and tested her new claws. "They seem to work just fine," she said. "I wonder where they came from." She stood and placed her hand on the door. "Come on, let's go."

We drove out of Techna and into the light forest that filled the plains west of the Techna River. Our slow buggy had cars passing us left and right on the highway. We were halfway to the turnoff to the village when the low battery light flashed on. "I've got it," I said, rolling up my sleeve. I pulled out the standard power cable from my forearm and plugged into the port on the dashboard. To power a buggy like the one we had, it would require roughly a third of a typical cyborg's power. To my vastly superior power system, the drain was trivial.

The turnoff to the village was just a dirt road. It took us an hour of driving slowly of the rough road until we caught sight of the village ahead. The village was just a collection of wooden buildings surrounding a larger stone structure.

Miun parked the car just outside the cluster of buildings. We walked into the village, and we came across a small girl playing with a doll. Her eyes widened as she saw me.

"Hi," Miun said, bending down, "Do you know where the mayor is?"

She didn't take her eyes off me as she pointed in the general direction on the stone structure.

Miun smiled. "Thank you."

The wooden door of the stone building was unlocked. An older fellow wearing a long blue robe was sitting at a wooden table, deep in paperwork. "Hello?" He looked up and his lined face set with anger when he saw me. "Who're you? And why did you bring that abomination here?"

"I'm Colonel Miun Rydori," Miun handed her ID to the grey haired man, "I'm here about the attack yesterday."

The elder's face softened somewhat. "Oh. It was only two men and..." He paused for a second, "A cyborg that attacked us. They demanded food and meseta... and deuterium from our farming equipment."

I had heard of the 'backwards villages', but I always thought they lived without technology. Miun, in virtual reality, had earned a history degree, so I radioed her: Why do they have fusion powered equipment?

The land probably isn't fertile enough to be farmed easily by hand, she answered, Some sects allow for technology to be used to make living possible, and also to save life.

Aloud, Miun said, "I see. Which way did they go?"

"To the west," The elder said. "Now, please leave and bring those bandits to justice."

"Of course." Miun said. "Come along, Mieu."

We went to the western edge of the village and started to look for tracks. It wasn't look before Miun called out, "Mieu, come to me!" She had found a set of three tracks, on of which looked to be made by a cyborg. We followed them back up into the hills to a cave.

We went inside. The cave took a sharp curve, and we saw light coming from around the corner.

I don't hear anything, Miun radioed.

Me nether.

We rounded the corner and found...

September 9th, 3086: Mission High School.

"And that's all the time we have for today," Mieu said, cracking a smile. "Homework will be the same as last night - write a summary of what was said today. Class dismissed."
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Postby Amwhere » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:31 am

It is bad that I spent an hour figuring out how powerful Miun's punch is in real terms? I ended up ball parking it at around 45000 joules, or roughly the energy of a 20mm round.
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Postby Amwhere » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:43 am

Friday, September 10th, 3086, Mission High School

The class was full two minutes before the late bell rang. In her centuries of teaching, this was an event that she's only seen on party days. It's nice to see them take learning seriously. She radioed Miun.

They have a teacher that's committed to making them learn. Miun's lips turned upward. Of course, they probably just want to see us beat up something.

Mieu lightly punched her sister on the arm. I'll beat you up! But yeah, it's probably is because we're attacking something.

The tardy bell rang, ending the girl's conversation. "All right," Mieu clapped her hands together and waited for the class to settle. "Go ahead and pass your homework up. As I'm sure you all remember, Miun and I were in a cave searching for bandits. Well, we rounded the corner, and..."

April 10th, AW1276 - In a cave forty miles west-north-west of Techna, Palma

There was a Maren type cyborg standing guard in the chamber that was around the corner. Its steel body showed much abuse with many scuff marks, dents, and a couple of crude patches. It was a standard civilian model, and didn't have any armor except the aftermarket ceramic plate that had been bolted to its chest to protect its vital areas.

"What scarp heap did they pull that from?" I radioed Miun. The Maren was state of the art over fifty years ago The Maren type a glitch made the Maren extremely slow to adapt to rapidly changing situations. Very few bought it, and it was quickly replaced by a corrected Meren type.

"Probably the one we'll be sending it to," Miun replied.

A head raised. "Yes, Robert?"

"Couldn't the cyborg hear you radio to each other?

"No," Mieu answered. "It would be almost impossible for even one of our sisters to detect our communication, and we have specialized systems to do that. The Maren had no hope at all."


"Please," the Maren said in a dull monotone, "leave now or I will be forced to use force."

Miun took two steps forward and stood nanoflesh face to synthskin face with the Maren.

"Please leave," the Maren repeated.

Miun drew back her fist and drove it towards the cyborg's armored chest. The Maren didn't move. Although it probably noticed that Miun's nanofiber powered punch was coming in much, much faster than it should, it didn't have time to figure out how to react to it.

The punch landed on the center of the cyborg's armor plate. The ceramic armor had been designed to stop small arms, not a fist traveling at almost the speed of sound. The ceramic plate shattered and the four hundred pound cyborg was knocked backward a step.

Miun jumped on the cyborg and wrapped her legs around its waist. She extended her claws from her right wrist and slashed at the Maren's now exposed chest, making two ragged cuts in the thin steel. She took her left hand, and grabbing on to the cuts, ripped the cyborg's chest wide open.

Retracting her claws, my sister reached inside the cyborg's chest and grabbed its brain box, and pushing off with her free hand did a back flip. The cyborg crashed to the ground as Miun landed on her feet.

"I'll have to rate that a 10,"[i] I radioed her.

[i]"Quickest way to do take care of it,"
she said as she put the cyborg's brain box in her backpack, "but thanks."

We heard someone coming up the tunnel that led farther into the cave. We waited, and two men walked groggily into the chamber.

"Who're you?" The blue haired man said.

The other man looked at the cyborg's ruined body. "You're going to pay for that!" He snarled, drawing a gun from his belt and pointing it at Miun.

"I'm Colonel Miun Rydori, and both of you are under arrest!"

"Really, now?" Blue haired pulled a cyborg stunner from his pocket and pointed it at me. "This thing is set to fry - now leave or I leave you cyborg less."

"Cyborgs can be replaced," Miun said. The bandits knew if the killed an army officer, they'd be hunted till the ends of the planet... and beyond if need be.

"I gave you a chance," Blue haired said, and fired the stunner. A white arc shot out from the stunner and danced across my body.

I was no mere cyborg and I was completely immune to the stunner's effects. Still, I had to play along, so I collapsed to the ground. I landed face up so I could still see what was going on.

Nicole raised a hand. "Don't you have any backups for you eyes?"

"I didn't back then, but I do now." Mieu said, "Miun's always had them. When we use them, however, it discolors our skin" She showed the back of her hand to the class, which has a thumbtack sized black spot on it. "See? We can't use them without drawing attention."


Blue haired tossed the stunner aside. "Now, Colonel, I suggest you leave. I wouldn't want to see a pretty girl like you get hurt."

I'm going to back off, Miun radioed me. They'll probably going to follow me, and when they pass you, get them.

Right.

Miun raised her hands and backed off slowly.

"That's right," Blue haired said as the two bandits stepped over me.

I struck. I sprang to my feet, and spreading my arms, tackled both men. They forced me off them and struggled to their feet. Miun rushed forward and with two swift kicks to their chins, knocked them both out.

I rolled the men over and made sure they were still alive. It looked like that Miun had broken both of their jaws, and I pulled a couple broken teeth from their mouths so they wouldn't choke on them. I told Miun of their injures.

"That'll give them something to remember," she said.

I ran my left hand over each of them. Unlike Miun, I was equipped with a bioscanner that, coupled with the paramedic training I had, told me a lot about the men's internal condition. "Both of them has a bad concussion. I should use Res on them."

"Res?" A confused Eric asked, What's that?

"A curative technique," Mieu answered, "Some people call techniques magic, but don't tell a technique user that."


"Using Res would wake them up, right?" Miun asked.

"Yeah."

Miun mulled it over. "Keep an eye on them. If they need Res, then do it."

I wanted to heal them right away, but Miun had far more experience in the field, so I yielded to her judgment.
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Postby Amwhere » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:45 am

Miun went deeper into the cave while I looked over the unconscious bandits. "Mieu, come here!" Miun called out. "I found someone!"

I followed the tunnel back into another chamber. Laying on the ground, his hands and feet bound, was a boy that didn't look older than fifteen. His pale skin showed many small burn marks, a sign of the use of a stun gun.

I scanned him. "Except for the stun gun effect, he's fine" I told Miun. "Do you want me to wake him up?"

"Yeah."

I untied him and tossed the rope aside. I activated my technique system and felt a great deal of power shift from a special capacitor to a converter that changed the energy into what technique users called "life energy". The energy then moved to a filter, which shaped the energy into the proper wavelength for the Res technique. The energy ran down my arm and to my hand, and then surrounded the kid with a soft blue glow."Wow." Nicole said. "Can all cyborgs do that?"

Mieu shook her head. "No. To the best of my knowledge, only Miun, myself, and two others had that ability. It was one of many things that were unique or almost unique to us."


When the blue glow has dissipated, the boy's burns had disappeared. His eyes opened. "Where am I?"

"You're in a cave 40 miles west of Techna," Miun answered. "I'm Miun, and my cyborg is Mieu."

His eyes looked us over. "I know. I've seen you before." He clapped his hand over his mouth. "Forget I said that."

"He knows us?" I radioed Miun is bewilderment. "How?"

"I'd like to know," she answered back.

"How do you know us?" She asked.

"I can't tell you." He replied.

Miun sighed. He must be a liar.

I don't know, sis, I radioed back. That seemed sincere.

Miun helped the kid to his feet. "Where are you from?"

"Earth." I didn't have a clue what Earth was.

"Earth?" Miun echoed. "The planet Earth?"

Mieu, we need to get this kid to Pyre, fast.

We need to haul those bandits back to the village or to a hospital, I radioed back, Isn't that more important?

No, sis, Miun replied, surprising me, We need to head back as soon as possible.

All right.

"What's your name?" Miun asked.

"Tim."

"We need to take you to our superior. Trust me, you'll be safe."

Tim nodded without hesitation.

The three of us walked back in to the other chamber where the two bandits were still unconscious. Mieu, use Res on them. I'll start back with Tim.

They'll need a hospital if their jaws don't set properly. It was very unlikely, but possible.

Then they'll have to drag themselves there. Miun replied.

September 10th, 3086, Mission High School

"Miun dropped me off at our house and took Tim to the base." Mieu said.

"I had radioed Jager as we walked back to the car." Miun said. "Pyre had teleported from the capital and was waiting for us. He said he'd let me know if Tim's story was true or not."

"Neither of us were quite expecting how he told us, though."

"That's where we'll stop for today," Mieu said. "No homework, and enjoy the weekend."
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Postby Black Waltz 0 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:38 pm

Is it weird that I imagine the two teacher girls wearing dresses like that crazy teacher woman from 'the magic schoolbus'? :P
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Postby Amwhere » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:47 am

Monday, September 13th, 3086, Mission High School

"Good morning!" Mieu said cheerfully. "I hope you all had a good weekend." After she had given a short review of the week before, she turned it over to Miun.

"The furniture finally arrived, two days late. They were unloading it from the truck when..."

April 14th, AW1276, Mieu and Miun's house, Techna, Palma

The moving man and I stood on the front porch, watching Mieu and the moving companies' cyborg move a bed off the truck.

Another car drove up and parked ahead of the moving van. Carl, who was a member of Eagle Team, and Tim climbed out. I turned to the moving man and said, "Excuse me," then I jogged up to Carl. "Hi, Carl. Come to see my new place?"

"Yeah," Carl replied, not missing a beat, "I brought you a housewarming present." He handed me an envelope.

"Is my cousin going to stay with me?" I said, jerking my head at Tim.

"Yeah," Carl said. "I've got to get going. Nice seeing you." He climbed back into his car and drove off.

I told Tim to wait inside while the rest of the furniture to be offloaded. I went back and stood next to the moving man. On the outside, I looked like a somewhat bored young woman. On the inside, I was somewhat worried about what envelope contained.

At last the loading was done. I thanked the driver and went inside. I made sure the windows were fully opaque and sat down on our new couch. I opened the envelope.

What's that? Mieu radioed me before I had the change to remove the envelope's contents. I told her. Inside the envelope was a single piece of paper.

"Miun," it read. It was Pyre's handwriting. "As Tim claimed, he is a Earthman. However, he doesn't have anything to do what the Earthmen have done to Palma. He does, however, have information that will be very useful to us. I've sent him to you for protection. Tim has quite a story to tell you - ask him."

"Go ahead and tell Mieu about the Earthmen. She would find out anyway, unless you took ridiculous measures to prevent it. I don't want to force you or Tim to watch everything you say in front of her. You all have enough secrets to keep as it is - you all don't need any more between you and your sister."

"Good work, Miun - General Pyre."

"One last thing." This was scribbled on the bottom of the page, "Those bandits were arrested at Techna Hospital last night."

I radioed Mieu about what the letter had said, and about the Earthmen.

Kind of throws history into a new perspective, doesn't it? Mieu noted. But why are the Earthmen doing this?

I looked at Tim and asked him. He shrugged. "I don't know."

"Yesterday, you said you knew who we are. Do you know what we are?" I asked him.

"Yeah," He said. "You're both sapient androids."

"Did Pyre tell you that?"

"No," Tim said.

"Well, then... how do you know?" Mieu asked, released from having to act like a typical cyborg.

"I told General Pyre how," Tim said. "And he told me not to tell you. Something about a paradox."

"A paradox?" I said. "So that means that either us or you have traveled back in time."

Tim stayed silent. I smiled at him. "Good. You're going to have to keep secrets - I'll go over the ground rules later. Now, Pyre told us you have a story to tell us."

"Yes." He took a deep breath. "It all started when I won the only internship to the Mother Brain program. I've always had an interest in AIs ever since I was little, and Mother Brain was supposed to be the most intelligent one ever made."

"Mother Brain!" Mieu exclaimed. "Not the Mother Brain!"

Tim nodded. "Yes... I think."

"Before you all ask us what Mother Brain is," Mieu said, "I'll tell you. Mother Brain was going to be the AI that ran the Mars Colony - which building was supposed to begin in 2092. Mother Brain, as Tim said, was the most advanced AI Earth had ever made up to that point. Scientists both back in the 2080s and today agree that given enough time, Mother Brain could become self-aware.

"In Palma, Mother Brain was officially tasked with running the colonies of Motavia and Dezoris - the second and fourth planets of the Algo system. Unofficially, it was monitoring everything in the Algo system: communications, records, everything."


"It was the day that we finally finished the project," Tim continued, "and all the scientists were having a party. I needed to go home and finish some homework, so I left early."

"The next thing I knew, I was aboard the Noah with a man who I had never seen before shaking me awake." He took another deep breath. "We... we went to the Noah's meeting hall and waited with the other crew of the Noah... it seemed like a couple hundred people of so. Suddenly, a bell rang, and... and... the entire room broke out in cheers." I could see his eyes welling with tears, but somehow he kept himself together. "I asked the man who brought me what that meant, and he..."

He choked up. "It's all right," I said, full knowing that it wasn't all right, whatever it was. "It's over. You're safe here with us."

"He... he said that the sensors had detected the nuclear war on Earth they had planned!" Tim finally lost it, and burst into tears. I hugged him and let him cry into my shoulder. I felt anger well up inside me. To corrupt on civilization was bad enough... but to destroy their own home, killing countless people... that was another.

"We need to stop them," I said, letting my anger flood into my voice.

Mieu's face didn't hide the fact that she felt the same as I did. "Yes," Her voice had a hard edge which I only rarely heard, "We must. They're monsters that don't deserve to live."

I didn't hide the surprised look on my face. I wasn't surprised at what she said - I agreed with it - but that she said it. I knew, without a doubt, she meant it.

Tim's tears finally stopped flowing. I wiped his face with the sleeve of my shirt and asked him gently, "What happened next?"

Tim's voice was hoarse. "I was forced into a stasis tube. I don't know how long I was in stasis for. After I woke up I was forced into Mother Brain's control room," he paused to drink the water Mieu had offered him, "and they demanded that I enter my password into Mother Brain. I had the same access as everyone else on the project, so my password would allow them to do anything."
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Postby Amwhere » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:49 am

"Why did they need it?" I asked.

"I don't know. I refused to give it to them."

"Good for you!" Mieu smiled at him.

Tim smiled weakly in return. "Thanks. After I refused, the man who brought me said "Dark Force" aloud and I felt... this evil surround me. Suddenly, I was surrounded by a warm, comforting light... and when it had vanished, I was in a forest next to a box."

"A box? What was in it?" I asked.

"I don't know. I guess I was in daze... I wandered off."

"Where you were captured by the bandits and we found you." I finished the story.



"That box may be important." Mieu said.

"Yes," I nodded. "Tim, do you remember anything about where you were when you... appeared on Palma?"

"I remember seeing a huge rock," he said.

I went over to the computer and displayed a picture of Giant's Rock, which was reasonably close to where the bandit's cave was. "Does this look like it?" I rotated the picture around so he could see the rock from all angles.

"I think. I'm sorry... I can't remember exactly."

"Don't be sorry. It's somewhere to start." Mieu said.

"We can track your tracks back to the box," I said. "That might take awhile to find your tracks, though, depending how close you got to the rock." I shut the computer down. "Are you up to coming with us tomorrow?"

He nodded.

"I guess I'll need to go out. We'll need food, silverware, plates, more glasses, toiletries... humans make things so complicated!" I grinned at Tim. "You can help Mieu sort out the furniture, or you can just rest. I'll be back."

September 13th, 3086, Mission High School

"Tim cried himself to sleep that night. There wasn't much Mieu and I could do to help him. The next morning..."

April 15th, AW 1276, Mieu and Miun's House

The bacon sizzled away as Mieu dealt with the eggs. I sat on the couch, watching the morning news, There wasn't anything noteworthy, except for the large rainstorm that would be moving in later today.

"Maybe we should wait for tomorrow. We don't want Tim to get sick." Mieu said from the kitchen.

"I bought him a jacket, sleeping bag, and a weather proof tent yesterday," I replied. "He'll be fine."

"Good thing I cooked enough food last night for a three day search," Mieu said.

"I offered to buy pre made stuff, you know. You didn't have to make enough for us, either."

"I know," Mieu checked the biscuits in the oven, "but it gave me something to do."

Tim came shuffling into the living room, wearing the pajamas I had bought him. "Good morning," he yawned.

"Did we wake you?" I said, "You can go back to sleep if you want, it's only seven in the morning."

"It's OK," he sat down next to me. "What smells so good?"

"Bacon, eggs, and homemade biscuits," Mieu said.

Tim didn't say anything at first, but a second later, he blurted out, "Bacon? From a pig?"

"What else?" Mieu said, sounding a little confused.

"But... pigs are from Earth," Tim said. "I had a pot bellied pig when I was little."

"You'll recognize a lot of things that are from Earth, I believe," I said. "But the pig is an interesting case - it was here on Palma before the Earthmen arrived. Like humans, cows, and chickens, it doesn't share a common ancestry with anything else on the planet."

"Enough with the history lesson, Miun!" Mieu joked as she brought the food out to the living room table. "Breakfast is served."

"This is good," Tim mumbled with his mouth full.

"Thank you," Mieu said.

I swallowed my bite of the salty bacon and set my fork down. "You have any idea what's in that box, Tim?"

He shrugged. "I don't know."

"Miun," Mieu said as I spread some butter on a warm biscuit, "shouldn't you let Pyre know what we're going to do?"

"Yeah, we should." I replied. "I can't think of a way to let Pyre know on the phone without any outside ears getting suspicious. We'll have to go tell Jager - he's got a secure line to General Pyre."

We finished breakfast and Tim got dressed. "Before we leave, " I said to him, "can you sit down for a minute?"

He sat down, a questioning look on his face.

I sat next to him. "I have something very important to tell you," I said to him firmly, "so please listen. Outside this house, you cannot, under any circumstances, speak about who we all are."

He nodded.

"All three of our livelihoods depend on our secrets being kept: The Earthmen would probably love to get their hands on you, my very existence is illegal, and Mieu's existence is legal only by a thread."

"What would happen if your secret got out?" He asked.

"The law says we'd get shipped off Palma - probably to Motavia or Dezoris." I answered. "However, if the Earthmen found out, they have enough influence to make us both 'disappear'. That isn't all that important, because our secret won't get out, will it?"

Tim shook his head emphatically.

"Good. Now, I am a 25 year-old Army Colonel. Yes, I know I look a bit younger than that, but that's what my ID says. Mieu is a regular cyborg, so treat her like it."

"Don't worry, I won't be offended." Mieu said. "I'm used to it."

"And you're my cousin that has come to live with me because..." I really didn't want to say it, but it was the truth, and the truth is easier to keep, "your parents have died." I saw it on his face that it hit home, but he held himself together. "Got it?"

He nodded.

"Let's get going."

We drove to the base. Mieu and Tim waited in the car as I went into headquarters. "I'm here to see Commandant Jager," I told the secretary.

The secretary motioned to Jager's office door. "Go right on ahead."

I opened Jager's door slowly. To my absolute surprise, everything seemed normal. Jager wasn't even wearing a large hat!

My hopes of normalcy were dashed when the commandant held up a sign saying, "Take a paper and pen. They are listening." I wrote my plans down on a piece of paper and handed it to. He scribbled back, "I'll let General Pyre know. Good luck."

I walked back outside and climbed back into the car. "Do you need something to do back there?" I asked Tim, "It's going to be a fairly long drive."

"No, I'll be fine." He said.

It took us over two hours before Giant's Rock appeared off in the distance. I had kept my eye on Tim the entire drive. He had seemed to be lost in thought, and I let him be. "Hang on," I said as I prepared to turn the light buggy off the road. "This will be bumpy!"
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Postby Amwhere » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:51 am

The buggy had surprisingly good off road capabilities and I drove us up to the rock with no problems. "I'll search this side, and you two can search the other," I said.

Since we were still in eyeshot of the road, I couldn't break out in a 25 mile per hour jog to search quicker. Because of that, it took me two hours before I found Tim's faint tracks, rather than twenty minutes. I radioed Mieu and she drove the buggy and Tim over.

Tim looked around. "I don't see anything."

"A trained human eye could, if they knew what they were looking for," I said. "Your tracks are there." I looked up at the sky, which had clouded over and now was starting to darken. "It's going to rain soon."

"Yeah," Mieu said. "You hungry, Tim?"

He nodded.

"OK, then," I said. "You two stay here, and I'll follow the tracks. I'll radio if I find anything."

I followed the tracks through the light forest to a stand of trees, where they stopped. I saw a depression in the grass where the box must have been. I also saw three more sets of tracks leading from the trees back towards the road, which I wasn't all that far from. I radioed Mieu, and then I followed the new tracks.

The tracks reached the road and stopped. I cursed silently under my breath - whoever these tracks belonged to must have driven off. Then I got a wild, illogical hunch... what if they didn't drive away?

I crossed the road and for the second time today, I was utterly surprised. The tracks continued towards the hills. I waited for Mieu to drive up before continuing.

My sister hid the buggy in a small group of trees, and then she and Tim walked over to me. I pointed out the tracks. "Someone has your box, Tim."

These tracks were obvious, and Tim looked at them. "Are we going to follow them?"

"You bet. You stay between Mieu and I, all right? That way, if anything happens, we can protect you."

We followed the tracks to a sheer rock face. Brambles and grass climbed up the wall for a good five feet. "There's a cave behind those bushes." I said, pointing it out. "Someone must have planted there ."

"I can't see anything," Tim said.

"I'm not surprised. It's hidden very well." I said. I walked up and pushed the bushes aside. "Remember, you stay between Mieu and I.

We entered the cave. Unlike the cave the bandits hid in, this cave had smooth walls. "Someone dug this cave," I whispered.
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Postby Amwhere » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:53 am

It's a cliffhanger! What will be in the cave?
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Postby Amwhere » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:51 am

I took a step forward and felt the ground shift slightly. Suddenly, the cave was lit up with sensor emissions.

"They know we're here," I said, for Tim's benefit.

His eyes filled with a combination of excitement and fear. "Should we go back?" His voice quivered.

"No, we'll never find the box that way," I said.

The tunnel ran deep into the hill, and connected up with other tunnels. The sound of something sliding open stopped us cold. I heard footsteps, and shortly afterward a light bounced down a tunnel. "Get behind us, Tim," I hissed.

"Hands up!" A man yelled. Four people came into view. Two helmeted and armored men looked down the sights of there assault rifles at us, flanking a man and a woman.

The woman looked to be my apparent age. She had short black hair and dark brown eyes which matched her black leather coat. To my surprise, she motioned for the men to lower their weapons. "They're all right, Zyram.

The man, who looked to be in his early thirties, turned to the woman. "Are you sure, Maya?"

Maya nodded. "Yes, dear. Have you known me not to be sure? You two!" She was talking to the armed men now, "take the cyborg and the boy to the hotel and make sure there comfortable."

"Yes ma'am. Sir, if you and the cyborg will follow me..." Tim and Mieu walked off with the guards.

Zyram looked me over. "What's this about, Maya?"

"I'll tell you in a bit. I'll bring her to the office."

"All right, dear," He left down the tunnel.

I had my third utter surprise of the day when Maya said to me, "Hi, Miun."

"How did you know my name?"

A slight smile flashed on her face. "I'm your eldest sister, Miun."

Prove it, I radioed her.

Claws extended from her wrist. This proof enough, sister? The radio message had the proper encryption, which only one of my sisters or the single radio Pyre had could do. "I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but let's get out of these tunnels."

I followed my sister through more tunnels until we reached a steel door set into the tunnel wall. Maya punched in a code on the door's keypad, and slid it open. We went down a steel lined corridor to another door. Maya opened it... and I gasped.

"Welcome to New Camineet!" Maya swept her arm at the vista that was in front of us. The entire inside of the hill had been hollowed out into a great cavern that was three miles across. Projectors on the cavern's walls and ceilings gave the illusion that the cavern was under open air. Rain fell on the city that filled the cavern's floor, like it was no doubt raining outside. From my vantage point, halfway up the cavern wall, I could see that the city was much like any other: It had homes, streets, parks, markets, and farms.

Questions filled my head - before I can decide on one, Maya kindly directed the conversation. "My husband is the mayor of New Camineet. He knows more about the city's history that I."

I looked at her in surprise. "Your husband?"

Maya's lips turned upward. "Zyram. We first met the day I was awakened. Slowly things grew from there and we got married four years later - right about the time you were activated, actually."

"Zyram was at Sa Riik labs?"

Maya shook her head. "I was built in New Camineet and I went through virtual reality and awakening down here as well. Our father need to prove that his ideas worked. Since he didn't have the needed permission, he needed somewhere secret to do it. NC is about as secret as you can get."

"Our father? Who is he?" I wasn't quite sure why meeting my father and creator was important to me. I had a loving mother and father in virtual reality... and I'm almost 30. I'm supposed to be independent, right?

We boarded an elevator that would take us to the cavern floor. "He's asked me not to tell you. To be honest, I'm not sure why."

I frowned. "I hope I see him some day." My father was that important to me. Why?

"He regards you, I, and Mieu as his daughters. I'm sure he'll reveal himself to you when the time is right."

Maya had a car waiting for us, and she drove us down to the center of the city.

Zyram's office was unremarkable, save for a rich wood desk. Maya sat in the chair next to her husband. "Please, sit," Zyram pointed at the chair across his desk.

"This is my sister Miun." Maya said.

"So this is the Miun the General and my wife have been talking about, eh?" Zyram held out his hand. "It's nice to meet you."

I shook his hand. "Likewise... brother-in-law." I had never thought I'd say that... at least, not for quite a while.

"I'd expect General Pyre to warn us before you arrived." Maya said.

"Well..." I told them what happened.

"I found that box yesterday," Maya said, "during one of my patrols outside. I'll had it brought back here, and I'll have it delivered to the room were Tim and Mieu are staying."

"Thank you."

"I'm sure you have questions." Zyram said, "In the strictest secrecy, of course."

"Of course." I chuckled. "I've had so many questions that I don't know which to ask first." So I just began to ask questions. When I was drained of inquiry, I had learned that New Camineet was created as a place that ancient Palma's traditions and culture could be maintained so that it could be reintroduced when the Earthmen had finally been defeated. The cavern the city had been built in was there long before the city was even considered - artifacts dating from a million years ago had been found in the cavern.The city had been founded by Queen Alis nearly a thousand years ago. Alis had defeated the evil Earthman tyrant Lassic but couldn't eradicate the Earthmen from the government entirely.

"Camineet," Miun said to the class, "is the capital of Palma and Algo. So, in a way, New Camineet is a fitting name for the city.. as it's the seat of true Palman culture."

When we were done, Maya stood. "I'll take you back to Tim and Mieu." She bent over and kissed Zyram on the cheek. "I'll be back soon."

It turned out that my sister and Tim were only a short walk away, in the cities only hotel. As we were walking, Maya said, "We're planning to have a kid, Zyram and I."

"I'm sure that you'll be a fine mother to whomever you adopt." I said.

"Thanks." Her tone turned more serious. "Don't tell Mieu anything."

I sighed. "I know the drill, Maya." A simple question could have Mieu's Slavedriver spill the beans. I knew that the Slavedriver had been programmed to be "forgetful" about some things, but I didn't know what they were and how far that "forgetfulness" went.

As we walked up the small hotel's front stairs, I asked, "Why does New Camineet has hotel, anyway?"

"We do get visitors from time to time." She knocked on a door.

Tim opened it. In the back of the room, I saw Mieu scramble for a proper cyborg like position. "It's OK, Mieu. She knows."

Mieu sat on the bed as Maya closed the door. "I'm Maya Kilan, the chief of security here."

"Where is here?" Mieu asked.

"I can't tell you, sis." I said.

I saw a flicker of disappointment cross her face as she nodded.

"Has the box arrived?" Maya asked.

"Yeah!" Tim was excited. "I was waiting for you." Mieu lifted the box on to the bed.

Maya nodded. "Good. I'll see you off before you leave tomorrow. Have a pleasant night." She left.

I looked at the box closely. It was roughly three feet wide and high, and it was made of an opaque blue material. I couldn't see any way to open it. "We might have to break it open."

Tim placed his hand on the top of the box. "It's smooth-" He was cut off by the sudden loud pop the box gave off. The top of the box had separated from the rest. "Whoa."

I carefully removed the lid and the three of us peered inside. Tim pulled out what looked like a lowercase T on a chain.

"This... this is my St. Christopher's medal that my Grandmother gave me. But... I wasn't wearing it that day..." His voice trailed off as he reached back into the box and pulled out a thick binder. "This is the family scrapbook." He left it shut and set it aside. I was curious, but I let the binder be.

Next he pulled out a small box. "These are the family recipes." He handed the box to Mieu. "You'll probably have an interest in these... I can't cook."

Miun smiled as she accepted them. "I'll do my best to make them."

Most of the contents of the box were pretty mundane: Some of Tim's clothes (which wouldn't look out of place here on Palma), a music/video player, and a couple books and videodisks.

At the very bottom of the box, though, were two items that interested me - a book entitled "A Complete History of Earth - Unabridged Edition" and an atlas. "I've never seen these before," Tim said.

"I'd like to take a look at these when we get back," I said.

"Sure." Tim looked into the box again, and came up grinning. "My chess set and playing cards!" He pulled out a black and white checkered board and a bag containing pieces and two decks of cards.

I looked at the rain running down the window. "At least we'll have something to do while we're cooped up in here."
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Postby Black Waltz 0 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:44 pm

Heh heh, Tim. One of my bestest friends ever is named Tim. I can't help but picture him in this story somehow, sorry. :o
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Postby Amwhere » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:37 am

September 13th, 3086, Mission High School

"We left New Camineet the next day," Miun said. "When we got back to Techna, General Pyre was waiting for us. He thanked us for our good work, and asked for the history book and atlas."

Mieu clapped her hands. "OK. Homework tonight is just your typical summary. Any questions?"

Nicole's hand raised. "Why do you eat? You don't need to, right?"

Miun and Mieu resisted bursting into laughter. "No, we don't," Mieu said. "We eat for the taste of it. We do have sensors that equate to the human taste buds and nose - plus sensors that would tell us what exactly it was we put in our mouth. Any other questions? No? Class dismissed."

Tuesday, September 14th, 3086, Mission High School

"I didn't hear from Pyre," Miun said after the class settled in. "After a couple days, I...

April 20th, AW1276, Miun's and Mieu's house

"I'm getting worried about Tim," I said to Mieu as she cleaned up from lunch. Tim, in the last couple of days, had sunk into a deep depression. I had an inkling of what he was going through. I tried to help him through it, but feared it wouldn't be enough.

"Poor kid," Mieu plopped herself on the easy chair opposite mine in the living room. "I think he'll pulled through."

"I'm not so sure, sis." I replied. "I think he needs professional help."

"But, sis..."

"I know, I know." I stood up. "Maybe Pyre will know someone. I've got something else on my mind to ask him, anyway." I walked down the hallway and peaked in on Tim. He was nibbling on his grilled cheese sandwich and looking through his photo album. I let him be and went into my room and got changed into my uniform.

When I came out back into the living room, Mieu said, "You never wear your uniform to see Jager."

"I'm going to Camineet to talk to Pyre directly."

Mieu nodded. "All right. I'll keep Tim company."

"Thank you, sis."

The nearest teleport station was down the street. The station's attendant looked me over. "Destination, Colonel?"

"Camineet Palace."

"That'll be 75000 meseta."

"10 meseta, the currency of Algo, had the buying power of roughly one dollar. So, my teleport cost me about 7500 dollars." Miun explained.

"7500 bucks!" Nicole blurted out. "That's 3700 cheeseburgers!"

Where did that come from?[/i] Miun thought to herself. "Well, yes, I suppose. Anyway..."

I handed him my payment card. "Thank you, " he said after he handed it back to me. "Please step on the pad."

I followed the attendant's instructions. After a second, there was a blue flash of light and the sign that said "Techna Central" now said "Camineet Palace."

I stepped out of the station into a nice warm day. Unlike Techna, Camineet was in Palma's northern hemisphere, so it was only a couple weeks before summer began. On the way to Camineet's military base. I passed through the park in front of the Royal Palace. In the park I saw a small group of protesters carrying signs like "Power to the People!", "Bring Parliament Back!" and "Democracy Now!". A couple of Camineet's finest were watching over them, looking quite bored.

I shook my head as I passed the display. There had been many groups that had tried to restore the parliament since it's disbandment five hundred years ago. None of them really got close to that goal.

When I told the secretary at Pyre's office that I would like to see him, she began to say, "Ma'am, General Pyre is - "

"Tell him Colonel Rydori is here to see him. He'll see me."

She gave me a look that said "They all say that", but she picked up the handset. "Sir, a Colonel Rydori to see you. Yes. Yes, sir. Right away." She hung up and looked at me in surprise. "Go right on in, ma'am."

I went into Pyre's office. It was very spartan - the only decoration was the picture of his wife and daughter on his desk. "Miun! What brings you all the way here?"

I decided to deal with the most important thing first. "It's Tim, sir..."

Pyre held up a hand. "Drop the sir when we're in private, Miun. Call me Ewin."

I nodded. "Tim's deeply depressed. I think he needs professional help."

"I see. I can understand why... I don't think any of us would be quite right after what he's been through." Pyre drummed his fingers on his desk. "I'll give Zyram a call and ask him if he has a psych down there. Anything else, Miun?"

"Yes," I said. "Ewin... when you released me, you said that you trusted me."

"More than anyone, Miun."

"But... why didn't you tell me about New Camineet, or Maya?" I let the small amount of pent up anger I had into my voice.

Pyre looked down at his desk. "I'm sorry, Miun. I truly am. You're right - you should know everything." He picked up his handset. "Sari? Cancel all my appointments for today. Thanks." Over the next two hours, he told me a lot. I didn't know that it was everything, of course, but my instincts told me it was close. The only thing that I asked that he didn't tell me was my father's identity.

Eric lifted his head from his desk and asked, "Are you going to tell us what Pyre told you?"

"In time," Mieu replied. "There's not need for a two hour lecture, is there?"


"I have a mission for you," Pyre said after we'd finished discussing secrets, "if you want."

"Of course," I replied with giving it a moment's thought.

"Over the last few weeks," Pyre said. "we've noticed an increase in illegal weapon movements. This maybe only a temporarily fluctuation, but I'm not so sure." He brought up a map of Techna on his computer. "Techna police have found a probable cache of illegal weapons at a warehouse here on the banks of the Techna River. The TPD would be able to handle it, of course, but we may be able to find out more if you and Eagle Team handle it."

"Of course I'll go," Not saying 'sir' felt very odd to me, "Although I'd personally rather be taking the fight to the Earthmen."

"All in good time, my dear android." He opened his desk and handed me two cards. One was a transporter pass, so I wouldn't ever have to pay the exorbitant fee.

The other... "This is an invitation to Techna's winter solstice ball!" I exclaimed. "What about your wife?"

"She'll be on Dezoris visiting family, so I'd like you to accompany me."

"I'd be honored. Thank you, Ewin."

I teleported back to Techna and met with Eagle Team at the base. That night, we took up positions around the warehouse.

Everyone ready? I radioed the rest of Eagle Team. They checked in saying that they were.
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