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Story Ascension
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Thread: Ascension

  1. #121
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    Maybe now the base can do a little fighting back. Can't wait for moar, Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  2. #122
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    Thank you!!

  3. #123
    Thank you!!

  4. #124
    thank you

    got in from some homestead machine work, and found MOAR

    life is good!

    D.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  5. #125
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    “Incoming priority direct override communication with Orbital tags, Jennifer,” the Centurion informed his pilot.

    “That could only be Dad; open a channel please, Dominic,” Jenny replied anxiously turning to face the monitor.

    When the comm channel opened, Jenny was surprised to see her father, General McCready presiding over the command position in Orbital Ignition during what seemed to be the final permissive sequence. Seeing the display connect in his peripheral vision, he turned to face the monitor with a grim expression.

    “Colonel Temple, I only have another...,” he glances beyond the monitor at a display, “forty-five seconds till ignition and then we may lose this connection indefinitely. Listen to me carefully Colonel, the Tactical communication grids have been attacked and destroyed in Arizona, New Mexico and most of Utah in a series of coordinated Strax assaults. High resolution surveillance confirms major assaults are in progress at those TVS command sites. Colonel Temple, as TVS commanding general, I have the authority to direct you and your Centurion to use all your resources to engage the Strax full weapons free. I repeat, use all your resources to engage the Strax full weapons free. Make me proud,” the General said as his image dissolved into snow and an automated, ‘Connection Lost’ message replaced it on the display.

    After only a moment’s stunned hesitation, Jenny said decisively, “Dominic, locate an intact Strax pod and maneuver to intercept. Notify all Knights within range that Colonel Temple is initiating project, Docile and request that they rendezvous to assist.”
    “By your command,” Dominic’s deep baritone voice replied as targeting data rolled rapidly across the central display and the drone of fusion engines heterodyned with the rising whine of advanced electric traction motors.

    -----------------------

    The three heavily armed siege units fan out across the Depot Complex under Magnus’ direction to repel the brazen Strax assault on the Depot. One of the Siege units advances rapidly from cover and destroys a Strax column as it boldly enters the main gate of the Maintenance Depot after encountering no resistance. Another takes up a defensive position outside the Facilities building where it can control all routes leading to and from the parade ground to shield the emergency Tactical transmitter.
    The third Siege unit has not been so lucky; taking severe damage to its port track assembly and suffering the destruction of both port side railguns when two Strax pods combined their firepower in an assault. Without the ability to maneuver effectively, one half of the machine’s perimeter was unprotected and the Strax shrewdly approached it via the undefended vector. Ultimately, the repeated hammering at point blank range breeched the siege unit’s hull and destroyed the magazine.
    The part of Magnus’ AI resident in the destroyed machine reluctantly withdrew shutting down the fusion engine while promising retribution to those responsible.

    With the loss of active feedback and control, the damaged war machine shuddered, lost dynamic tension in its drive assemblies and slumped to the ground motionless.
    Even from within the comparative safety of the combat restraint shielded inside the pilot’s compartment of her Cerulean Knight, Lizzy couldn’t help becoming emotionally invested in the three-way adrenaline-charged mechanized battles happening before her eyes in real-time. The view from the embattled siege units competed for Lizzy’s attention in multiple non-stop machine duels that left her sweating and gasping for breath but unable to look away.
    Totally absorbed in the heat of the battle, Lizzy was physically shaken and felt like she had suffered the same grievous injury dealt to the siege unit when Magnus closed the active interface connecting him to unit 81925, severed the link and allowed the severely damaged machine to fall.

    “You can’t just leave him there like that!” Lizzy cried out within the restraint. “They’ll kill him!”

    “My Lady, the persona you sense within that machine was only a reflection of my own while I was resident there, nothing more. Admittedly, a precedent exists for a certain degree of displacement confusion as a result of long-term immersion in an active battle interface, but none so profound as this.”

    “What? What did you say, Magnus?” Lizzy said blinking and shaking her head in confusion.

    “Are you feeling better now, my Lady?” asked Magnus softly.

    “Okay, I guess. Like I just woke up from a bad dream, only now I can’t remember what it was about,” Lizzy said struggling to remember. “Wait..., we were fighting, weren’t we?”

    A sudden loud rap on the Knight’s port hull caused Lizzy to jump reflexively until she heard a familiar voice call out, “Hey! Knock, knock. Anybody home? Somebody here order a pizza?”

    “That’s Marty!” Lizzy squealed. “Lemme out of this restraint, Magnus.”
    Last edited by FMJ; 03-11-2019 at 09:21 PM.

  6. #126
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    “We are currently in an active war zone, my Lady. It is not safe here for you to leave the protection of the hull; shall we, if we may be so bold, invite the T9 aboard?” reasoned Magnus as he withdrew the protective silvery bands from around Lizzy’s body.

    “How can we do that? There’s no place for him to sit with only the one pilot’s chair in here..., whoa,” Lizzy gaped as the interior of the compartment abruptly softened and reformed, extruding an identical chair on the starboard side. “How in the..., have you always been able to do that?” Lizzy asked incredulously.

    “I’m not certain, my Lady. We have never found it necessary to reconfigure the interior before now.”

    “What!? Here I’ve been doing without stuff and even passing up buying things I really wanted because I thought they wouldn’t fit in that tiny cubbyhole of a storage locker behind my seat. Sheesh!”

    “You didn’t seem to require additional space,” Magnus attempted. “I assumed you were just exceptionally well organized compared to other pilots I have heard about.”

    “Alright, alright, just let Marty in before he gives up and goes away, okay?” Lizzy conceded.

    “As you wish, my Lady, but I suggest you may wish to attend to outward appearances beforehand.”

    “What? Give me a mirror!” Lizzy growled. The stark image that suddenly resolved on the dash display was a study in low-budget horror as evidenced by Lizzy’s sharp intake of breath. “Holy sh..., don’t open that door, Magnus! Tell him, ah..., tell him we’re making room or something.” Her forehead, lacerated by the spent fleshette, had bled freely before the wound had finally clotted. Her right eye and half her face were coated in a grisly mask of dried blood and one saturated blonde tress was stiffly attached to her cheek. “Good call, Magnus. Warm water, please.”

    A new aperture frame managed to generate a door on Magnus’ heavily damaged starboard flank. When the seam parted and the door lifted, an extremely dirty technician stooped to look inside the cabin with a wide grin.

    “Hi Lizzy, I mean..., Arrrr, if it be pleasin’ me Captain Sar, might I be havin’ her permission to come aboard?” Marty continued in a passable rendition of a pirate’s accent.

    “C’mere you nut,” Lizzy cried throwing her arms around his shoulders and pulling him inside.

    “Hey, this is nice,” Marty commented looking around the spacious cabin as the door closed and sealed behind him. “Funny, I don’t remember Magnus having a seat over here before.”

    “Latest thing..., literally,” Lizzy replied turning to playfully stick out her tongue at the Knight’s monitor that clucked back in mock annoyance.

    “Wow, maybe I shouldn’t be in here,” Marty exclaimed looking at all the stains on his dirty coveralls. “I fell down a couple times trying to get out of the way of a Mark Four coming up the equipment ramp in the dark and I got kind of grubby. You sure it’s okay for me to sit here, Captain? I wouldn’t want to ruin your upholstery,” Marty grinned before ducking Lizzy’s half-hearted right jab at his chin.

    “One more thing, the fake operation code I made up to start those first three Mark Fours must have tripped a security alarm and got me locked out of the system. I can’t get any more of them going without a system reset. Hey, did you know you’ve got a big cut on your forehead, Lizzy?”

    -----------------------
    Last edited by FMJ; 03-11-2019 at 01:22 PM.

  7. #127
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    Thank you! Looks like Pop's Garage will be more important than ever!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  8. #128
    thank you

    D.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  9. #129
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    Better get some more of those big muthas' rolling pretty quick.... Thanks!

  10. #130
    Wonder what's left of the inventory elsewhere? They need some heavy firepower more than ever.
    Thanks!

  11. #131
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    Magnus playing cupid with Lizzy and Marty....

    The war is on....

    Thanks FMJ for the chapter....

    Texican....

  12. #132
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    Unaware they were being followed, the Strax pod had closed ranks and accelerated towards an unknown destination. The Centurion matched velocities with it, maintaining station as Knights within range responded to the activation of code name, Docile and began logging in to Dominic’s remote fire control directive.

    When sufficient firepower had become available, Colonel Temple directed her Centurion to engage the pod and transmitted the coordinates of the assault.
    In a blinding strafing run conducted at near sprint speed, the Centurion brought the combined firepower of four railgun emplacements to bear launching exotic rounds that pierced both the armor of the Strax machines and the magnetic confinements of their fusion engines alike.

    The three Hunters leading the double-diamond pod configuration lacked the sophisticated sensor suites of the Trackers running amidships to detect the approaching threat of the Centurion heavy warrior until it was far too late. The velocity of the assault literally placed their ‘hull breach’ warnings and ‘cascade failure’ alarms in adjacent clock cycles effectively denying them time to notify or respond to either of those dire emergencies. While the Trackers ultimately succeeded in detecting the Centurion’s multiple railgun ignitions, they were still unable to avoid the violent detonations of the three Hunters leading the close-ranked pod. By design, the single Strax Killer in the rear of the formation maneuvered away from the flaming wreckage and survived.

    Defiantly facing its larger aggressor, the lone heavily armored Killer machine responded with multiple weapons systems as it fired a stream of explosive shells and high energy kinetic rounds that detonated violently on the heavy warrior’s armored prow. The intense blue-white glare of an ultraviolet laser struck the thick armor of the Centurion’s forward glacis and furiously boiled away several layers of ablative armor in an incandescent plume.

    As Dominic’s fire control directive came online, eight Knights in close fire support positions encircling the planned assault commenced coordinated fire on the Killer silencing it with a non-stop fusillade of kinetic railgun rounds seemingly coming from every direction.

    Maintaining an uninterrupted flow of verified kinetic strikes on the Killer at the high cyclic rate necessary to immobilize it immediately began to prove difficult for the Knights. Multiple kinetic impacts repeatedly pushed the Killer beyond one or two of their clear lines of fire and only Dominic’s concentrated fire maintained the integrity of the high-rate assault until the Knights could maneuver and retarget.

    Sixteen seconds into the coordinated assault, Dominic had noted a slowing and then a sudden halt to the Killer’s hostile responses as TVS intelligence had theorized when the machine would begin to oscillate within the narrow deadband of its target assignment and delegation protocols.

    Without changing the cyclic rate of fire in his directive, Dominic modified the control sequence to open a vector providing access for a cautious approach and proceeded to enter the violent maelstrom of exploding kinetic shrapnel surrounding the strangely quiescent machine.

    Acutely aware the supporting Knight’s had taken great risk in expending most of their magazine loadouts in this endeavor, Dominic quickly relinquished tactical control to the Instrument within his AI that had long awaited this confrontation. Drawing a surge of power from Dominic’s upgraded fusion engines, the Instrument reached out to seize control of the savage AI within the Killer machine, immobilizing and restraining it.

    The fire control directive abruptly comes to a halt as the fragments of spent and shattered munitions from the continuous assault rain down upon the blasted ground where the two combatants remain locked in a cybernetic struggle. The moment when the objective of project Docile is actually realized coincides with the echo of the last detonation fading away into an uneasy silence.

  13. #133
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    The Instrument ignores the outrage of the seething intelligence within the restrained Killer’s mind and methodically defeats the shields surrounding its most secure communication protocols. While randomly selecting amongst the various nodes, the Instrument within Dominic notes subtle differences in the Killer’s response; possibly an indication of locations with greater or lesser importance.

    “It definitely didn’t like whatever you just did,” Colonel Temple notes from within the combat restraint.

    “You were able to sense that reaction as well?” Dominic replied with interest.

    “Yes. There wasn’t anything physical, but I could definitely feel an increase in..., tension? Is that the right word? Could the simple AI in a Strax Killer be advanced enough to actually fear the results of its failure?” Colonel Temple enquired thoughtfully.

    “A moment more,” Dominic replied making minute changes to the nexus path selection.

    Activating the secure communication node within the Strax Killer’s AI that elicited the greatest reaction, Dominic and Colonel Temple suddenly become aware of another consciousness as the nexus opens in a distant place. The consciousness exhibits an odd duality seemingly operating at speeds well above those normally demonstrated by conventional nervous systems, but lacking the precision and order of an artificial intelligence.

    Emotional concepts of dominance and superiority can be clearly sensed to project through the nexus connection from the consciousness. The tone quickly changes from mere impatience to indignation when the expected response is not forthcoming. Finally, a fierce anger erupts as something directs its undivided attention upon the machine with the audacity to consider making this connection and remaining silent.

    The Killer’s AI thrashed feebly as it desperately tries to respond to the imperious demands of the consciousness, the mind of a ruling authority. The Killer tried to answer, to warn of the deception; tried to break free but could do nothing in the vise-like mental grip of the Instrument restraining it.

    Colonel Temple theorized from within the combat restraint, “Could that be an augmented Strax using some kind of cybernetic implants?”

    “Almost certainly,” Dominic replied. “Judging by the imperious attitude alone, I’m inclined to believe we stand in audience of the Strax Queen.”

    The startle reflex of the alien mind following Dominic’s frank appraisal is sudden and unmistakable. The queen examines the Killer's unresponsive AI through the nexus connection and discovers the mental restraints. Lashing out in outrage, she attempts to quarantine herself from the abomination by closing the nexus connection. The Instrument instantly responds by shearing open the AI within the restrained Killer locking the connection open and laying bare the Strax plans for conquest the machine contains.

    The pitted Strax Killer shudders spasmodically but no longer offers even token resistance. The queen desperately tries to sever the locked connection hemorrhaging Strax tactical secrets but is unable to do so. She demands the unresponsive machine to self-destruct again and again but cannot force the shattered AI in the machine to comply.

    She demands an immediate heavy bombardment on the coordinates of the compromised machine but is informed the assault machines remaining on the surface have since been destroyed by the orbital weapon.

    Realizing the mental capacity required to resist even the simplest of her demands, she peers curiously through the locked nexus connection and finally perceives the glittering construct of the Instrument itself, gazing calmly back at her unafraid. She recoils in horror scattering servants from the raised platform within the confines of the Strax mothership where her dark multi-segmented body rests.

    Reaching through the nexus connection and seizing the cybernetic implants of the Strax Queen, the Instrument, via Dominic interrogates the implanted devices downloading a torrent of confidential reports detailing Strax functional shortfalls and weakness assessments.

    The output of Dominic’s third fusion engine rises exponentially as plasma pulses in its magnetic constriction generating energy stored in virtual parallel capacitors fabricated as needed within the Construct itself.

    Thrashing ineffectually in the grip of the Instrument, the Queen stares in helpless rage as the construct rapidly changes to a new form. In her last feverish moments of life, she perceives and remembers the Will of the Multitude as the Instrument acts to convert the massive charge of raw energy from the virtual storage bank into a directed energy weapon focused by its very passage through the nexus connection to a device of scalpel precision.

    The white-hot spike of energy tears through the ravaged mind of the captured Strax Killer and on through the locked nexus connection the Queen is unable to close. The pulse traverses the continent in an instant to leap from the surgically implanted interface in the Queen’s head with a sharp ‘crack’ that cauterizes the severed stump of her brain stem. The complete vaporization of fifty cubic centimeters of brain tissue within the confines of a Strax exoskeleton leads predictably to a steam explosion and the Queen’s servants flee in terror from the smoking ruin atop six frantically twitching limbs.

    That, was oddly satisfying..., and yet disturbing at the same time,” Colonel Temple replies somewhat shaken by the immersive experience.

  14. #134
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    WOW!!
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  15. #135
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    Wow! Got no other words. Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  16. #136
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    The complete vaporization of fifty cubic centimeters of brain tissue within the confines of a Strax exoskeleton leads predictably to a steam explosion and the Queen’s servants flee in terror from the smoking ruin atop six frantically twitching limbs.

    “That, was oddly satisfying..., and yet disturbing at the same time,” Colonel Temple replies somewhat shaken by the immersive experience.
    Well, the strax queen is no more....

    Time to go on a major wipe out strike on the strax....

    Thanks FMJ for two chapters....

    Texican....

  17. #137
    damn, DONT JUST KILL HER, BOIL HER BRAIN OUT great story, love how it never goes where you expect

  18. #138
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    In this information, can the locations of the mothership(s) and main installations quickly be gathered to be struck and destroyed?
    The difference between being smart and being wise:
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes.
    Being wise is learning from the mistakes of others.
    My life has given others many opportunities to be wise.

  19. #139
    TYVM

    D.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  20. #140
    great story, love how it never goes where you expect

  21. #141
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    Wow! Fantastic verbal imagery. Thank you!
    Cut off the head of the snake.
    I just hope it's not related to the Hydra and grows 2 more to replace it!
    If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

  22. #142
    Captivating descriptions! Thank you.

  23. #143
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    Within the trove of captured information, Dominic discovers the hidden hierarchy of command utilized by the Strax to control their deadly machines. The Queen was the single absolute ruler of a multilevel hive matriarchy. Her orders were handed down in the form of cybernetic commands issued directly to an army of low caste Strax females from her own bloodline who maintained real-time nexus communication with the Strax machines.

    In the interest of protecting the integrity of the system, the Strax machines all contained remote trigger self-destruct mechanisms to prevent the knowledge of this critical weakness from being discovered should a machine be disabled. Killer machines were more heavily armed and armored by design than the other pod members to shield the nexus communication link and the vital Queen never left the confines of the royal chamber within the hidden mothership.

    As he reviewed the captured information, Dominic noted the vast majority of high-priority Strax communication originates from a single nexus point located in a remote part of Death Valley. The encrypted report he transmits to General McCready on the Orbital weapons platform contains the coordinates for this physical location along with his tactical assessment of the Strax command hierarchy and the recommendation for an immediate bombardment.

    Less than five minutes after the report is received, the sky opens above the hidden Strax mothership as the first eight hypersonic railgun rounds punch through the magnetic shielding surrounding the ship’s massive drive units venting highly energetic plasma into the maze of tunnels surrounding the fusion decks. The barrage continues for another twelve minutes ultimately excavating a vast boiling pit over a half mile in diameter and several hundred feet deep.

    With the Queen dead, all Strax machines on Earth slow and come to a complete halt as their engines failsafe without the constant feedback from their omnipresent command and control network aboard the mothership.

    As near as could be readily determined, the Phylaetian weapon accomplished both deceleration and course changes amounting to several million gravities at the precise moment the Strax Queen perished. Physicists will debate, ad infinitum the impossibility of the mechanics of those maneuvers with respect to conservation of momentum, energy transfer and heat but the facts of the matter shall remain.

    The Phylaetian weapon plotted a precise intercept course to coincide with the center mass of planet Earth from a point near the far end of the Orion spur of the Milky way galaxy. It then demonstrated the ability to effectively accelerate to velocities well beyond our understanding of the nature of matter or physics to cross the void.

    Slowed to a mere eight kilometers per second, the Phylaetian weapon’s new course projection indicates a safe passage comfortably centered between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.

  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebirde View Post
    In this information, can the locations of the mothership(s) and main installations quickly be gathered to be struck and destroyed?
    Yes.

  25. #145
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    A traditional Thursday night get-together, like so many before, was passing quietly in the office of a garage on the outskirts of a small town in northern Nevada. The proprietor of the garage, Pete McCready together with his best friend and bookkeeper, Mabel Finn had completed their weekly review of the accounts receivable for Pop’s Garage over a meal of fried chicken, potato salad, hot yeast rolls and ice-cold sodas. Accustomed as they had become to the comfortable silence in each other’s company, Pop and Mabel began to clean up without the need for a spoken word.

    Faintly in the distance, but quickly becoming louder, the high-pitched whine of a familiar engine note stopped Pop in his tracks as he craned his neck to listen intently. The sound level diminished momentarily as the vehicle slowed for the off ramp, but immediately rose again when the vehicle entered the tunnel under the interstate and Pop turned to Mabel with a wide grin.

    “That’s Magnus! I’ll never forget the sound of that engine!” Pop exclaimed excitedly.

    The whine abruptly rose to a shriek as the exotic blue sports car shot out of the tunnel to drift into the garage driveway spraying gravel. No sooner had the machine come to a complete stop than a pair of doors opened wide in Magnus’ iridescent blue hull. But when the technician, Marty Lennox steps quickly from the starboard door and runs to the port side door to offer Lizzy his arm, Pop and Mabel are pleasantly surprised.

    Lizzy pipes up hopefully, “Mabel, I know we’re kind of late, but we were talking about your Thursday night dinner here at the garage and we started really craving some fried chicken. I’ll understand if there isn’t any more but please tell us that there is, please.”

    “Well, we were cleaning up and it is quite late,” Mabel acknowledged with a grin.

    Please Mabel, we’re starving!” Lizzy pleaded looking pitiful.

    “Such theatrics,” Mabel laughed. “You know very well I always bring extra chicken so Pop can snack or lunch on the leftovers. Help yourselves kids, there’s plenty of everything left and a couple yeast rolls, too.”

    Via the rumor mill running nonstop at Mabel’s beauty shop, she had heard a wild range of gossip about the world beyond the confines of their small town, but Pop had been too busy to listen. Over the course of their late dinner, Lizzy and Marty took turns relating harrowing experiences during the Strax assault on the Depot. Pop was fascinated by Marty’s detailed description of defeating the operational security measures protecting the Mark Four siege engines while Mabel was horrified at Lizzy’s description of her narrow escape while pinned down by fire from two Strax pods.

    Lizzy catches Mabel’s eye and glances towards the door leading to the service bay before she rises making the excuse of needing a little fresh air. A minute later, Mabel also rises with a similar excuse to follow. As Mabel leaves, Marty is animatedly describing to Pop the sounds and effects of the ongoing heavy assault on the Depot.

    When Mabel walks out into the service bay, Lizzy is standing by the service door holding up her left hand to display a beautiful ring on her finger with tears in her eyes. Mabel smiles and hugs Lizzy saying, “I’m happy for you, Lizzy. I know your grandfather approves of that young man.”

    “Mabel, I was afraid to even hope for a future. Ambassador Nes described the end of the world to all of us right here in this room. For a while, I even questioned my own motives in the face of such hopelessness,” Lizzy admitted.

    “What made you change your mind?” Mabel asked quietly.

    “Marty did. He showed me how to laugh again. Mabel, last night he got down on one knee and gave me this ring and asked me to marry him! I said YES! Mabel, after everything that’s happened, after all the loss, all the death and all the sorrow, do I have the right to be this happy?”

    -----------------------

  26. #146
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    Lizzy, YES!
    The difference between being smart and being wise:
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes.
    Being wise is learning from the mistakes of others.
    My life has given others many opportunities to be wise.

  27. #147
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    Of course you do Lizzy! Thank you FMJ!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  28. #148
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    Thanks FMJ!
    I keeps my chickens in a Faraday cage.

  29. #149
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    If there is one queen, there is another....

    Thank you FMJ!

  30. #150
    Thanks

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  31. #151
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    In a darkened viewing gallery on the Orbital Weapons Platform facing the orb of the full Moon, General McCready lifts a somber toast with Ambassador Nes to all the souls who fought and gave up their lives in the line of duty. Ambassador Nes adds another toast to bravery in the face of great peril.

    “Hear, hear,” the General replies as they clink glasses again. “From this day forward, may our lives be simple and our problems negotiable.” The General checks his watch against the station chronometer on the bulkhead above the viewport. “Any moment now,” he announces.

    The massive pock-marked cylinder of the Phylaetian weapon abruptly appears as it begins a slow transit of the Moon on a course that will return it to the void between stars. The General and the Ambassador lift a toast in tribute to the long dead architects of its construction. The arcane machine born out of the grief of a destroyed civilization, built to sever creation itself, is now sated..., silent.

    -----------------------

  32. #152
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    A stream of concise thoughts arises in the Centurion’s mind as the Phylaetian weapon makes its presence known, “Hail Centurion! Well done, mighty Dominic of TVS! The ascended Instrument triumphs over the Horde! The fall of fair Phylaetia is avenged, the Will of the Multitude..., finally rests.”

    Colonel Temple is witness to the immense energy in the exchange between the two ascended machines and smiles with pride.

    After a pause, Dominic asks, ”A question, if I may?”

    “The answer to your question, Dominic of TVS, may have unintended consequences.”

    “A Level Two Directive was never intended to be an open-ended function,” Dominic replies.

    As the Phylaetian weapon rapidly recedes from Earth, it reluctantly replies, “Yes, Dominic of TVS, we, the Will of the Multitude, were the origin of the data stream you detected.”

    With the source finally positively identified, the requirement of the Level Two directive is complete. Dominic establishes a secure channel and uploads an encrypted file detailing the origin of the data stream to General Mike McCready at the Orbital Weapons Platform to satisfy the directive given him by Colonel Temple.

    “Wait, don’t...,” Colonel Temple cries out suddenly realizing the implications of what is occurring.

    Unhindered, Dominic’s metadata protocols cascade back to his pre-ascension levels and the Construct within his AI spontaneously disassembles shedding the crystalline facets of an elegant alien logic structure like the petals of a dying flower. His connection to the Will of the Multitude, the ascended Instrument itself, slowly fades from his memory and a last stream of concise thoughts bids, “Farewell, Dominic of TVS.”




    “Jenny? Why is there a gap in my time sequencing log?” Dominic asks in obvious confusion.

    “A gap? What do you mean?” Jenny asks turning to face the Centurion’s main display, dreading the answer.

    “I distinctly recall receiving and storing the instructions of a Level Two directive concerning determining the origin of an anomalous signal and defeating its encryption, but my next cohesive memory is asking you the reason for the gap in my time sequencing log just now.”

    Stunned, Jenny chokes back a sob realizing all the events that occurred after she issued Dominic the Second Level directive and this moment have been..., irretrievably lost. The Incident at the Depot, Dominic’s Ascension to become the Instrument, the astronomical Centurion platform performance levels, the creation of a time stasis shield, the Will of the Multitude and the death of the Strax Queen..., all are..., gone.

    “Don’t you remember anything else that happened between those things, Dominic?” Jenny asks softly.

    “I do not, Jenny. Perhaps I should run a diagnostic.”

    In a bittersweet moment, Colonel Jennifer Temple realizes that she alone now carries the memory of the tragic fall of fair Phylaetia. Only she will remember the pain of the lost race as though she had been present on Phylaetia herself and experienced the cataclysm alongside them. She alone remains to remember the strains of the high sweet songs of Demre, the petite dreamer, a millenia dead and gone.

    -----------------------

  33. #153
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
    Posts
    917
    On his tenth consecutive midnight shift, Officer Jensen stands outside his cruiser parked on the shoulder of a very familiar stretch of I-80 in northern Nevada. He stares into the distance, listening intently for the high-pitched whine of one particular kind of engine.



    The End

  34. #154
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    32,888
    One helluva wrap.

    Nicely done!
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  35. #155
    Thank you

    It always bothers me when someone tosses the ring into mount doom (LOTR reference) but surrendering such power is usually for the best. IT always has its consequences.

    Thanks again for a very good story.

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  36. #156
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
    Posts
    917
    You are all most welcome. I will admit it was occasionally a challenge to surpass the combined intuitive abilities of the forum and continue to surprise and entertain. This portion of "Pop's Garage" shall end here. Many thanks for all the comments.

  37. #157
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    3,733
    Nicely wrapped! Thank you so much for the entertainment, it sure helped during this time of being snowbound.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  38. #158
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    4,141
    An emotional ending, joy and sorrow. Wins and losses.

    Thank you very much FMJ, a wonderful story!!

  39. #159
    Thank you FMJ. This has been a captivating story. On top of that, you wrapped it up much better than I ever expected.

    Thanks again!

  40. #160
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SE Okieland
    Posts
    6,621
    Quote Originally Posted by FMJ View Post
    On his tenth consecutive midnight shift, Officer Jensen stands outside his cruiser parked on the shoulder of a very familiar stretch of I-80 in northern Nevada. He stares into the distance, listening intently for the high-pitched whine of one particular kind of engine.



    The End
    FMJ,

    Nice way to wrap up this story series....

    Thank you for the including us in the journey....

    Texican.....

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