Greetings all! You may call me Maogan. I have been following the development of this game since I first heard about it last year. I come from a background of MOO/MOO2, Star Control 1-3, and other great space games, so I couldn't wait for SoaSE to come out! I practically bought a new computer just for it.
While I appreciate the lore section provided, I thought a good first contribution to the community would be to add a little bit of my own take on the lore of SoaSE. Please enjoy the following short story. I came up with the idea while driving to work yesterday, and wrote it in one sitting tonight, so be gentle . Please enjoy, and I welcome comments and cannot wait for this game to come out!
P.S. story might be PG-13, not sure, I just tried to keep in the theme I was seeing. Please enjoy.
"Commander, the scout is reporting one ship, capital level displacement, about to enter real-space on time and on target," said Comms Officer Second Class Falkeen.
Commander Byron looked up from his console and, lit red from the view screen below, let slip a smile from one corner of his bearded mouth. The light glinted off the medals on his chest and cast little ruddy reflections on the ceiling that moved with the commander. "Right on cue. The governor is a punctual man, I like punctual." The comms officer nodded in agreement and awaited his reply. "Send word, message reads, 'Greetings Governor Tiberius, from TEC Mining Asteroid Station Beta Three Beta. Your inspection is eagerly anticipated. Please proceed to the attached coordinates for docking and debarking.' Send coordinates to berth two on a sub-channel."
"Aye, sir," the lean and youthful Falkeen replied, in clipped naval fashion. "Sending mess-- Standby." Falkeen's face drooped as his head began shaking.
"What's wrong, Falkeen? Speak!" demanded Byron.
"Sir. Commander. I--our scout. He's unable to confirm IFF or the silhouette of the governor's flagship carrier Pride of Our Fathers. Sir, you'd better hear this." The commander stepped quickly down from his command throne and placed his earpiece jack into the comms station.
"--eporting wea----nsfire---Crew to ba-----stations." Electrostatic made the signal almost indecipherable. "We can't count how m-----of them there are! Hull br--- hull breach! Abandon shi----" The signal cut off abruptly and Commander Byron's face darkened, sucking in the glow from the console and giving nothing back. His hand slapped down on the station-wide intercom, "All fighters, scramble! Repeat, scramble! This is not a drill! You have ninety seconds!"
"What am I looking at?" demanded Byron, as the main viewer brought the jump exit into view. Enemy ships were picked out in white and marked only as symbols on the wide command screen.
"Carrier class ship and multiple strike craft, over forty, sir! Unknown configurations! They're not ours, and they're not Vasari! Sir, they're coming in straight and fast."
Alarms begain to wail and chatter on the mining station's bridge increased markedly as fighter crews and pilots called in to the bridge for more details, launch sequences, and approach vectors. Byron stalked back to his command throne and hailed engineering on his personal, encrypted channel. "Engineering here. What's going on, commander?"
Byron's voice dropped to barely above a whisper, "As soon as the fighters launch, divert all power to the shields. Life support too. "
"But commander," the unidentified engineer began to protest, "without life support we'll only have enough air for eighteen min--"
"Frag it, I know my station!" Byron roared, "I know how much god's forsaken air she has! We are facing a hostile carrier! If the shields don't hold, none of us will need a puff of air to breath! Get me my shields!"
Most of the command crew was now looking at the commander, wide eyed, and in silence. He put on his best face, still a grim sight, and ordered, "You heard me, carrier inbound. Battle stations!" Quieter, and to no one in particular, "Gods help us..."
* * *
In the silent vacuum of space, pinpricks of light grew tails and streaked out of the crater pocked mining asteroid. Twenty five, mostly matched, strike fighters slowly converged at a point ten klicks galactic north of mining station Beta Three Beta. Silent prayers accompanied weapon's hot alerts and routine formation chatter. Ahead, and barely visible in the distance, a fireball appeared and disappeared before most of the pilots even had a chance to register it. On the bridge, the commander mourned the loss of the scout ship quietly. To Falkeen he said, "If that's not the governor, then where is he? Send a message to fleet command requesting status of the Pride of Our Fathers. Inform them we have hostiles inbound and request immediate assistance, highest priority!"
Almost as an afterthought, Byron added, "And tell them we are on a time limit. Quickly now!"
Falkeen's hands blazed across the station in front of him, and almost immediately he had fleet command's reply from the other side of the solar system. "Fleet command sends greetings and states that the Pride has been delayed by mechanical troubles, ETA to repairs one hour."
Byron barked, "Frag their greetings! We don't have and hour! Tell him we will not last half that time without their help!"
"Aye, sir! Message away."
Back in space the fighters got their first glimpse of the enemy. An arrowed prow, dark, and non-reflective was barely picked out by the instruments of even the best fighters. Moments later, dark specks, back lit and moving almost exactly opposite to the TEC strike craft could be seen. Fighters. Moments after that, on the bridge of B3B, the commander saw almost twenty of his own fighter's icons go dim in what seemed an instant. What few fighters survived the first wave of enemy attack were quickly overcome, and soon Byron looked on a blizzard of white icons snowing toward his station.
At that very moment, the views creen flickered, blasted white, and then went pitch black. The entire control room followed. Emergency lighting had yet to come on when the screen returned. A silhouette, he or she back lit by a dull yellow glow and featureless, appeared. The bridge crew ceased their duties and stared and the hijacker of their communications. A voice, but not a voice, began to rumble seconds before a real voice spoke. Deep, mechanically enhanced, but nonetheless smooth and menacing bass sounded from the speakers and formed these words, "Behold! Your bastard sons and daughters are returned! Come to punish our wayward and abusive forefathers who shunned us and left us scattered and thought dead for over ten generations." Several of the bridge speakers began to spark, casting an eerie strobe across the enraptured faces nearby, and one eventually burst, sending smoke curling to the ceiling and adding a haze to the already vague view screen.
"My name is unimportant," the voice continued, "but my faction, my family, is not. We are the Advent. Those whom you cast aside in your piousness to make room for more of your mercantile, degenerate, self-absorbed spawn. We did not die, as you had hoped, we did not shrink away from the worlds you threw us to. We embraced life, technology, science, self. We became more. More than you could ever be, and now we want more. More than you can ever give. We take back what is ours, starting with your puny rock, and the planet below. My carrier, the Sin of Hubris is all that is needed to begin our crusade. But rest assured, my brothers and sisters will find the rest of your nests, some even as we speak, and root you out." The voice reached a crescendo, "Now join your fathers in death! And make way for the future!"
The screen flicked off just as suddenly as before, and the bridge lighting returned. Shield status was confirmed even as the first bolts of energy juddered the asteroid and sent chips of stone twirling into space. Helpless against the ever increasing intensity of the barrage, Commander Byron ordered a repeating broadcast of the distress call and, as a precaution, submitted a copy of the interloper's transmission to fleet command.
Engineering hailed the bridge, even as chips of stone and motes of dust fell from the ceiling and pooled on the floor amid the shaking of the huge rock. "Commander, we are down to two minutes of oxygen, and the shields are almost depleted. Down to seventeen percent, sir. We can't take another moment's barrage. We are going to die!"
Byron's grip on his throne tightened, his nails dragging matte paint off of the arms and drawing blood from beneath themselves. "Where is our reinforcement?"
Falkeen almost jumped out of his station, not a what the commander had said, but at what had just played in his ear. "Sir, a message from fleet command, delayed by jamming, reports: The Pride forwent repairs and left orbit eight minutes ago. They regret the delay. Repairs remain unfinished, but they should arrive any--Incoming! IFF and silhouette confirms the Pride!" A cheer went up from the deck, drowning, for a moment, the alarms and klaxons that continued to blare, forgotten, in the background. The view screen showed a massive green icon, representing the immense, angular TEC carrier, which bounded down on the surrounding enemy fleet.
Byron's grip relaxed slightly. He sat back and muttered, "Saved."
As soon as the word slipped from his mouth, the icon flickered. "Status," ordered Byron. "Hail them!" Falkeen obeyed instantly, fingers intuitively dancing to the right switches. At the same time, the station's sensors were finally able to pick up a visual image of the Pride as she bounded in toward the fight. Even lit by the nearby console, one could tell Byron's face had gone pale in an instant. Deathly pale. Everything on the bridge slowed to a crawl. The motes of dust seemed to stand still in their descent, and the revolving emergency lights fixed in place. On the screen, magnified for all to see, the Pride of Our Fathers, largest, and most beautiful of the Coalition's flagship carriers burned in impossibly slow motion. Bodies, frozen, hundreds of them, reflected the light of the burning carrier. Expelled coolants and debris added to the mess drifting along the carrier and seemed to create an encompassing halo, fed by the reflected internal fires. Dual fires erupted from launch bays on the once mighty ship's prow. In the haze it looked light a pair of burning eyes, haloed, a god and a demon all at once. And all the while, in slow motion, it came on. Closer...closer...
Unnoticed to all on Beta Three Beta's bridge, the enemy craft spun away from the doomed asteroid and rejoined their carrier, like children called home. The Hubris pulled away and began it's lumbering trip to the orbit of the planet below, the battered asteroid already forgotten.
In impossibly slow motion, the burning Pride of Our Fathers careened toward the asteroid.
Five klicks. Falkeen reached under his shirt to seize the icon of his god in a white-knuckled grip.
Three klicks. The engineer kicked the stool out from under himself, and caught a fleeting glimpse of the bleeding corpses of his fellows before the rope snapped his neck and his bloody wrench slipped from his limp fingers to the floor.
Two klicks. Commander Byron, decorated hero, veteran spacer, seasoned miner, father of two, looked to the roof and bayed at the top of his lungs, arms in the air, fists pumping, blood gushing unhindered from shrapnel, now plunged deep into his chest.
One klick. Time finally froze...