This article has been archived. For more information on archiving, see the Archives.
Reason: Old version of Dark Prophecy.
|Operation Titanic Discoveries|
|Main author(s)||Krayfish, Nra 'Vadumee, SupcommMonroee, IceBite|
|Story arcs||Dark Prophecy|
Operation Titanic Discoveries directly follows up on Twin of Loneliness 2: Journey of Self.
Prologue[edit | edit source]
...aboard the Batra
Ahrganot had been laying unconcious for the past hour. The GSSOC had just barely escaped Infra from Alk'charis. Galiana was also aboard as the Batra had went back to the Bunker to pick her up for the next mission.
"Infra," Sol I Dor uttered. "I can't believe it. Why would he do such a thing? Exploiting the greed of those lowly Harvesters."
"Hmph." Galiana said. "Why would he do it though? What does he want with the Harvesters? What did he want with me, for that matter? Why have them kidnap me?"
Tholker said, "By the way Sol, if it hadn't been for your quick thinking, we'd probably be dead right now."
Sol I Dor said, "If I didn't protect my comrades, how could I call myself a Delson?"
The COM began ringing. It was a message from Science Officer Seru Tra'war. Etah pressed a button that executed it.
New Message. Status: Encrypted. Description: For GSSOC's eyes only...Decrypting...Done! Message playback.
"This is Science Officer Seru Tra'war, and I have some urgent information to relay. We are aware of this Infra character that appeared during the ongoing battle of Asylum. He is who he says he is: a god. He plans to become more powerful during the next 30 days, and even you, GSSOC, will not be able to stop him. That is, unless, you agree to accept a highly classified mission. Whatever you find from completing this mission may be our only chance in averting the potential disaster that awaits us. Chart a course for 42 Ortus in the Igniculus system. Message over."
Etah spun 180 degrees in his chair to face the other GSSOC members. "Guys, you heard the Science Officer. We've got another mission."
"We're not receiving this mission at the Bunker?" Sol I Dor said. "How odd..."
Tholker replied, "Well, I hope Ahrganot will be awake by the time we get there. I'm sure he wants his revenge."
"Our revenge," Galiana added.
Chapter 1: The Briefing[edit | edit source]
...two hours later...New Arckas...
The Batra dropped out of warp into a highly unusual system. Out the window, they gazed upon an enormous blue planet, bigger than any they had ever seen, bigger than even its sun. Something that no one thought was possible within the principles of modern science. An anomaly of epic proportions: New Arckas. The planet's gravity was way too high to approach directly, settlements were built on moons inside the gargantuan planet's atmosphere. Enormous eagle creatures the size of starships could be seen soaring across from moon to moon. A fantastic sight that left them breathless. The Batra approached a rather large green moon named 42 Ortus, which could almost pass a floating continent.
The Batra landed on the planet's lush, green surface near a small research facility of Karnasaur design. Science Officer Seru Tra'war was waiting for them. She led the GSSOC inside where Ahrganot, Sol I Dor, Tholker, Galiana, and Etah already made their way to the briefing room; behind them followed two armed Karnasaur guards who stayed at the door, and 3 other Karnasaur personel, who each sat at the long table. Seru hit a button on a console near a wall mounted screen, turning it on, and navigated to a presentation prepared in advance.
"Good evening," Seru began, "Welcome to New Arckas, the largest planet in the galaxy. This is a top secret research facility used for testing the latest IU-D technology. We called you here because we found something. Probably the most classified thing anyone has ever known."
"So what is it, then?" Galiana asked.
"Allow me to continue. Now, the official explanation to the existence of this planet is that it 'formed naturally as a result of proto-star that collapsed in on itself'. Obviously, that isn't the case as upon closer study, everything we know about the accretion theory is thrown out the window here. We believe this planet, was artificially created by ancient, intelligent beings that predate even the Omni. Studies suggest that it was actively used as a capital of the known universe more than 4 billion years ago."
"Universe?" Galiana asked.
"Yes. There are derelict structures in orbit of this planet that we believe were gates that lead to galaxies millions of lightyears away. We've found some more examples of them across the Milky Way, but of course, it is illegal to go through them."
"So what do we have to do exacty?" Ahrganot said.
"Now, the mission specifically is to investigate what we believe to be an ancient antechamber." Seru flipped to the next slide in the presentation. "Based on unusual electromagnetic pulses we have detected within this particular area, we believe that there is some kind of Virtual Intelligence interface is down there. Should you make contact with it, we could learn information critical to our war against Infra."
"So how do we get in, then?" Galiana asked.
"Have you all heard of Locubrermour?" Seru said.
"The place where reality dies," Etah said. "But...that's only a theory. Does it actually exist?"
"Haven't heard of it," Galiana said.
"A dimension that exists parallel to ours created as a result of millions of years of the use of faster-than-light engines. We've managed to open a gateway that leads to it within this planet's atmosphere. By passing through this dimension, we can skip past the planet's enormous gravitation."
"So, it's like using a wormhole, but going the long way?" Tholker replied.
"Generally speaking, yes. Think of it as a miniature version of the entire universe - and by miniature, that's a huge overstatement." Seru presented what seemed to be some sort unusual handheld apparatus. It was marked with an array of buttons and wirings. "If our scientists made this device correctly, it that can relay your location within the warpspace dimension. Once you get to the appropriate spot within it, we'll initiate a signal that will teleport you straight under Mt. Arterius and into the antechamber. Now," Seru said, "Any questions?"
Tholker asked, "So what exactly does this have to do with Infra?"
Seru replied, "It has everything to do with him. Whatever you find down there could be our only hope in stopping Infra and potentially changing the course of all existence."
Ahrganot asked, "New Arckas. This planet is supposedly larger than its own star, correct? How exactly are we going to survive there?"
Etah answered the question for him. "Anti-gravity suits, of course. A well-crafted Sauran piece of technology."
Seru said, "Ah, but you shouldn't underestimate New Arckas's gravity. Its sun orbits it, remember?"
Etah answered, "Well, how long would you expect us to last down there?"
Seru replied, "A personell with an anti-gravity suit can survive for two hours."
The look in the entire GSSOC team's eyes was obvious nervousness. They all knew that this mission could result in death. They were dealing with beings capable of destroying cities without effort, a physics defying dimension, and a planet that could crush them with sheer force. However, none of them backed down. No one else could do this mission.
Science Officer Seru said, "So to sum it up. The mission, should you choose to accept, is to enter the portal. Find New Arckas in that dimension. Then, go down to Mt. Arterius and tell us what you find."
Tholker said uneasily, "So...who's up for going into another dimension, then going on the surface a giant planet?"
Chapter 2: Through the Gateway[edit | edit source]
Sol I Dor guided the Batra steadily cruising towards the gateway. Nearly everyone on the team had some sort of look of apprehension. Another dimension. A universe with physics greatly differing from the regular world. They could clearly see the distortion in space through the front windshield as it continuously twisted and warped.
"So this is the kind of work the GSSOC does?" Galiana asked. "Dealing with galaxy-wide problems and saving the universe?"
Etah said, "If you want to put it that way, yes. Being in GSSOC will test you both mentally and physically. But I do have to admit. This is probably our most dangerous mission as of yet."
Tholker said, "Well, they say the first mission is always the hardest."
"Alright, guys," Sol I Dor said. "Here goes nothing." He pulled a lever then, they went through. Everything outside the ship turned to white momentarily before warping to a completely different landscape unlike any they had ever seen. It could be described as a junk yard of floating pieces of planets. Deserts sharply transitioned to snowy ice capped mountains. Nothing made sense geographically.
"Computer, is this area habitable?" asked Sol I Dor.
"Error message 726: Failed to calculate atmospheric pressure and temperature."
Ahrganot then spotted something strange among the landscape. "What is that?" He pointed out the window. "That structure over there. That looks exactly like my old combat institution."
"What? How's that impossible?" Tholker interjected. "Wait, what's that over there? Is that...the hotel on Herit?"
Etah thought for a moment. "The theory was right. This is Locubrermour. Different segments of the universe are represented by notable landmarks."
"So finding New Arckas in this place will be easy then. We just have to locate Mt. Arterius or some other landmark unique to the planet," Galiana said.
"Hopefully. But there's billions of planets that are massed together in this junkyard, but that relay device should be a great help."
The alarms began wailing. "We have to land. The ship can't handle the anomalies in the air pressure," Sol I Dor replied.
"Great. I was hoping we didn't have to walk..." Galiana replied.
Moments later, the Batra made an uneasy crash landing on a hard rock surface. They each equipped their life suits and stepped outside onto the hard ground. Dead trees were scattered across the landscape. In the sky were chunks of floating crystals and rocks. Beyond was what seemed to be dark clouds with occasional sounds of thunder. The foreboding sound of rushing wind echoed across the unnatural landscape. A dark twisted world of its own.
"The gravity here. It seems the same as back home," Tholker said.
Sol I Dor replied, "Same here."
Etah concluded, "Well, it seems gravity doesn't matter so much in this dimension. We better keep an eye out for any more strange anomalies."
"According to this device," Sol I Dor said, "New Arckas should be...that way." The rest of the team looked upon floating chunks of volcanic rock. There were even some miniature planets floating around.
Sol I Dor's psychic senses went active. "Something's wrong. I sense...darkness. And terrible, terrible evil. I can't tell where it's coming from, but all I can say is someone got here first. We're not alone."
In the distance, they spotted what seemed like a stone statue of a humanoid figure crouched on the ground facing away from them. The unsettling, otherworldy statue moaned. Curiously, Galiana stepped forward moving closer towards it. The other GSSOC members stood their ground. She raised her sword to be ready for any traps. The statue had slowly stood up on its two legs, then turned around to face her, revealing one of the most hideous visages she had seen. A monster with empty eye sockets, a drooping saliva-filled jaw, white, unkept hair and a crooked neck. Though it did nothing more than stare at her.
"What...is that?" Galiana said with mixed fear and disgust.
"I don't know," Etah said. "But don't make any sudden moves."
The moaning creature inched towards her, and Galiana stepped back. After stepping back a few times, she moved a bit too quickly. An ear piercing, brain wriggling shriek let out from the creature as its eyes flared a glowing, blood red. It charged towards her raising its arms, but without thinking, she swiped her sword lopping off the creature's head causing it to collapse to the ground.
"By the Tokarthi..." Galiana muttered to herself. "I never want to see such a thing again."
However, severing the creature's head was not enough. The headless creature managed to get back up, still able to shriek and moan. Her next instinct was to knock the creature over and jab it several times.
"Here," Etah said. "Let me make sure it stays dead." He fired several plasma blasts at the monster, disintegrating it into a pile of ash.
"Okay," Tholker said. "This place is officially creepy."
"I've never seen anything like this, not even in my science texts," Ahrganot said. "What do we call it?"
"Well," Sol I Dor said. "Galiana, you discovered it. You get to name it."
After thinking for a brief moment, she came up with the name, "Wiht. They are scary, ghost-like statues that shriek at you."
"Alright, then," Tholker said. "Let's keep going before we encounter more of those things. As they travelled further, Sol I Dor perked up and spotted what seemed to be a stronghold in the distance. It was like a city but with dark and twisted. The architecture was completely warped and otherworldy. A wormhole was situated just above the city.
"The evil is coming from over there!" Sol I Dor said.
Ahrganot said, "Infra...I know its him."
Tholker replied, "That twisted looking fortress over there is where Infra lives?"
Ahrganot said, "We can go after him in his own base now!"
Etah said, "No, Ahrganot. We're not ready yet obviously. We barely survived our last encounter with him. We're going to have to come back later. Let's mark it on the map."
Chapter 3: The Lost City[edit | edit source]
The GSSOC had reached the base of a replica of a gargantuan mountain. "We're here," Tholker said. "Ready to be transported back to New Arckas?"
Etah said, "Wait, is your gravity suit working? You guys wouldn't want to get crushed to death, right?"
Each of them proceeded to put on the suits and Sol I Dor readied the device. After a brief flash of light, they found themselves amidst some underground ruins. The gravity felt like a giant starship was pressing against them even with the suits on. The architecture however, was unlike any they've seen. Statues of creatures with squid-like beards sat in giant thrones on the right side of the room. They gasped in awe at witnessing the impossibilities of such carvings. A long hallway followed though behind them was a wall of solid rock.
Curious about the gravity, Tholker tried to lift a pebble off the ground. He couldn't. "Geez, this place is kind of ridiculous!"
They proceeded down the hall which was curiously lit by floating glowing lights. Along the left side of the hall was some intricate carvings. Etah, examining it, noticed that it told a story of sorts. At the very beginning depicted an explosion of sorts with many giants walking upon floating spheres. These giants varied in shape and size - one in particular resembled a dragon.
Living on these smaller spheres were what seemed to be people. They built many cities and seemed to prosper. As the GSSOC continued gazing at the wall, carvings of menacing spacecraft were found destroying these people wiping them clean from the universe. However, these people had left behind some tools for others to use. No doubt, this was the history of the universe.
Towards the end of the wall, five people in great detail were depicted standing against a taller figure that depicted some sort of overlord. Around there, the carvings had started to erode and the detail wasn't as great. But it was not long until they saw a carving of a gargantuan demon with gaping jaws about to swallow the galaxy. The image of such monster sent chills down all of their spines. The rest of the wall was blocked by a fallen boulder which they had no hope of moving.
It was not long until they saw a massive door that towered five times as high as they were. Intricate carvings and patterns adorned it. Etah, using his strength, pushed it open sliding it along the stone floor. A flash of bright light followed. They all stepped through into a dark, massive circular sanctum. Only the middle of the room was lit by a collection of brightly glowing shards orbiting around a larger shard. The light from the shards gleamed against each of their faces as the strange light somehow soothed them - perhaps one of the most peaceful moments of their entire lives.
"What is that?" Sol I Dor asked.
"It's been a long time since a child of the Creator has walked the grounds of the city of Arckadium," said a spectral voice that seemed to originate inside their own minds.
Tholker noted, "Those floating chunks of...shards? It talked?"
Etah said, "I subjugate myself to you, entity. Will you identify yourself?
"There is no need for such formality. The Ancients have monitored the information of all life in the known universe. Etah Owar, Immortal Colonel and the god in flesh. Tholker Zhevhyit, man and machine and father of legends. Ahrganot Skizgo, troubled warrior and exarch of shadow. Sol I Dor, the exile no more and whispered legend. Galiana, young soldier and harbinger of cleansing. You may refer to this interface as Na'zrah, who has been given a blessing that Na'zrah's light would always shine the brightest in times of great darkness. You seek aid in a quest to stop darkness. You have come to the light to find such aid."
Ahrganot said, "You must be the virtual intelligence interface that once managed this facility."
"Na'zrah once mananged the great city you know as New Arckas. Generations and generations of Ancients walked these halls, but they could not evade the cycle of life and death. The Harbingers passed judgment on them to allow new civilizations to take the place of the previous one. However, Na'zrah has sensed a change in the order of the universe. The next incarnation of the Harbingers has yet to be chosen, and the galaxy is falling into chaos."
Sol I Dor asked, "Well then, entity, can you help us with our crisis?"
Na'zrah replied, "The Omni as well as their ancestors had left artifacts behind all across the galaxy. A previous visitor from many years ago foresaw your arrival here, and has requested that Na'zrah tells you where to find them."
Tholker said, "Where are these artifacts exactly?"
Na'zrah glowed a bit brighter. "Na'zrah knows many things. He can tell you where to find these artifacts. The Ring of Shadow, hidden from the light, buried deep in the fabled Ice Temple of Ucharpli. A cache of Starbolts, munitions of the gods, under a base on Zerevst. The Blade of Rolalda, a weapon that destroys that of Chaos, hidden away by Krayhan in a Delson structure known as the Temple of Illusions. The Sword of 1000 Lights, forged by the Creator himself from a thousand shards of light, deep in the Sepulchur of Kings on Karnas. Amulet of the Tokarthi, closely guarded, a powerful creation made by the one known as Selvarius that momentarily grants the powers of our kind, found within the Tokarthian City of Lemuria on Ashadra."
"They're all from ancient myths and legends!" Ahrganot remarked. "And each are on our homeworlds..." he said shifting to a solemn tone.
Tholker said, "Well, thanks for letting us know, Na'zrah. But not to be rude or anything, but why are you speaking in third person?"
"Our Creator is known to us as "I". Much like the rest of the Creator's followers, Na'zrah speaks this way so that the master, "I", can never be forgotten. You will eventually meet Him when the time is right. In order for you to claim any of the artifacts, each of you must face the trial of conquering yourself. Each of you will be facing what you've tried to hide for many years."
Sol I Dor said to the comm, "Admiral Seru, we're ready to go now. Beam us up."
"Go on ahead, I have a few more questions to ask Na'zrah." Etah interjected.
The rest of the team stared a moment, and Sol I Dor gave an affirmative. The rest of the team vanished into a wormhole, leaving Etah to speak with Na'zrah.
The Truth[edit | edit source]
Etah and Na'zrah were alone, deep in Mt. Arterius, in the center of Arckadium.
"Those epithets... they're more than they seem, aren't they?"
"The Immortal Colonel shows his forefather's acute mind. They are only what you will be called."
"This conversation will arrive at that point later."
"...Very well...Then they are prophecies."
"I have one question."
"You may ask."
A chime a soft laughter from Na'zrah.
"Come now, colonel. Think; What does it mean to be a 'harbinger'?"
"To guide something into fruition. But then, what do they harbinge? What do they guide?"
"The Harbingers are not a mere race; They are but a face to an idea."
"What idea do they represent?"
"Allow this one to explain from the start. Think of it: What did the Harbingers do?"
"They've attacked the superpowers relentlessly. But why?"
"The Harbingers are the great sentient force of the Milky Way Galaxy. They are one of many noncorporeal sentient minds known as Titans. All Titans originate from their home realm, known as the Hub, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Their single leader is the Creator, Titan King, who is the sentient mind of the entire universe, yet even he is still one of many universes. Unsurprisingly, the organics of today worships some of these Titans as gods."
"So we've been struggling and fighting...against an actual deity?"
"If deity is the term you wish to use, then yes. The Harbingers exist is to maintain control of organic life. Civilizations rise, then the Harbingers judge them to meet their ends. New civilizations take their place to ensure the continuity and diversity of all life."
"And a perfect orderly civilization defies them?"
"That is but a fraction of the purpose. All galaxies in the universe have their own method of preventing this from happening. Should a perfect civilization arise, another Titan known as Vernietigen will be unleashed to destroy the universe, remaking it and starting anew."
"I don't understand. It doesn't add up. The Harbingers...They are just so...oppressive. Did the Creator have somehting else in mind?"
"It is a concept that you do not wish to accept it. The Harbingers represent destiny. They are agents of predetermined events. They are harbingers... of fate."
"But... The Karnasaur god, Deus, he said to our prophets that destiny can be changed! That fate can be rewritten!"
"Deus? There is no Deus."
"Wha-" Etah was shocked by the revelation his entire empire's religion was wrong.
"But these sayings are true. Fate can be changed; It simply requires much effort. The Harbingers were but a way of tying the chaotic mortal peoples into the order of Fate. But they will return soon..."
"...Yet we undid Fate in this universe. Order is only temporary, is it not?"
"No. You've merely severed its tie. Fate is omnipresent, as if it were one of this one's kind, but this universe is now much less constrained. Your choices are more unpredictable; Your destinies are more your own."
"I still don't understand why something as overpowering as Vernietigen exists. Does the universe really need order? Does it need to have things like cycles?"
"No one but the Creator knows the answer to that question, not even the other Titans."
"A final question"
"You are curious as to who your forefather was."
"You may be the Enduring Soldier now, Etah Owar, but when you lay claim to your true clan name, you will be far more."
"What do you mean?"
"Owar is your clan, but it neither always was nor will it always be. When you claim your true name, it will be a manifest destiny."
"What is my true clan name?"
"When you claim your true clan name, you will be the Enduring Father."
Etah's eyes shot wide open in shock at this last, great revelation.
"Etah Yetu. Son of Baba Yetu. Rightful King of Karnas."
"I... I don't believe it..."
"Search your feelings. You know it to be true."
"...You said when I claim my clan name. As in, I must, but in the future at my leisure?"
"In the future, but not at your leisure. You will be forced to."
"What do you mean?"
"You will learn."
"Hm... I'm not going to get anything more from you, am I, Na'zrah?"
"...This exchange is over, yes."
"Very well. I'm ready; Beam me up."
"Farewell, Son of Yetu. We will meet again."
Etah had beamed up after his private discussion to find the rest of the GSSOC waiting.
Seru said, "I hope you got some useful intel from staying behind. Infra is on the move, and his goons have been spreading like wildfire. Oh, and while you were away, we managed to get the Batra back from Locubrermour. It wasn't easy, so you better thank us. Now get going. We obviously don't have much time."
"So where are we going first?" Galiana asked.
Ahrganot said, "How about Karnas? It's the closest planet to here."
"Sounds like a plan," Etah said. "Sol I Dor, set a course to the Saurasol system."