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The Shifting Sands of Pyrexis

Thread starter #1


Jul 12, 2017
For some reason i never posted this here. Originally wrote on a steam forum . Its one of my favorite stories too date. Has undertones of blade runner and mass effect. Its a gritty story about space and i really like where its going. Less epic level than the Starseed story easier to work with. Enjoy.

The company said it'd be a routine job. Dirty little backwater moon made of glass, can you believe it? You'd have to go there. Every son of a bitch scum bag alien made its home there. I was called in for a cleanup job, a micrometeorite caused a major fracture in the surface which then created a larger crack that a local town was sitting atop. You get the picture. Damn surface of that shit is way too thin. Like living on a thin glass platform, why they called it Pyrexis.

My job was to order in cleanup crews, get whats left of the town in an working state. Help out those sob cases. Their fine with picking on a galaxy destroyer class III, a lil ol natural disastor and they turn into pussy cats.

Edward Kijenco's Silver Dagger was rapidly drop shipping to the surface. The Silver Dagger is a specialist transport craft, it features an imperius all block energy shield executive upholstry an advanced personal assistant AI an array of concealed weapons and its most impressive feature an experimental warp drive which punchs a hole creating a stable worm hole between two plotted locations enabling near instatanious travel and effective long distance communication between those two points. Use on planetside is cautioned due to potential unexpected effects.

Edward sent his secure code to the local space station commander, the commander sent voice confirmation "Authorization shattered shelter 0701 accepted. Have a good day Sir" With brutal corperate efficiency Edward steered his meanacing craft towards a nearby landing pad, the quad suns of Pyrexis glinted off its paintwork. Edward put on his official wardens coat as the ships systems powered down upon landing, strapped his side arm to his diamond magnetic belt. The gun made a loud click as it secured into place. The ships AI came online briefly "Sir, weather systems are excellent today. The local stock exchange in Pyrexis prime one sends you their greetings and wishes you an excellent stay whilst the operation is underway. Would you like me to ask the embassy for an escourt?" "That wont be neccessary, tell them i will be fine" "Very good Sir" As Edward moved towards the ships exit he spoke again "Authorize colonial warden Edward Kijenco Lock Code Sequence one alpha tripple zero" "Voice authorization required" "Warden Edward Kijenco senior outer rim colonial investigator" "Confirmed. Input lock code" "Four Zero Five Five Ten operation fragile cup" "Confirmed, you have 2 minutes to exit the craft. Thank you warden Edward Kijenco."

A small electronic voice begins counting down as the hidden side door in the rear of the vessel retracts. Edward steps out into a dazzling bright morning. Wind catchs his coat billowing it around his muscular legs. A nearby landing pad attendant motions him to come closer. As Edward moves towards the attendant his ships door closes silently, a large pair of dangerous looking turrets extend from the ships hull one on either end after which a large circular rotating visible scanner beam begins oscilating. Anyone stupid enough to try breaking in gets one warning.

Edward spoke to the attendant "where's your commander? I have business of a private nature" "Sir, head towards the long building at the end of the pad you'll be received there" "Thanks, whats your name?" "Sir, im just a lowly worker i clean the pad stock fuel get paid feed my kids and try to stay out of trouble. Why would you wanna know about a low grade guy like me?" "I see untapped potential in you. Again whats your name?" "Pad crew Jenkins rank 00/2" "Thanks Jenkins, expect a word from your commander" "Thank you so much Sir"

Edward walked towards the long building, as he approached the entrance an electronic voice rung out "Halt, Identification!" "Colonial Warden Edward Kijenco" a small scanning beam lasered a criss crossed beam over Edward "Identity confirmed, state your business!" "Im here on confidential business, colonial federation override Tripple Two Two Two Ten Nine Seven Zero" "Override accepted" The door slid open Edward moved inside. A voice this time human boomed out "Edward? Is that you? Its been so long" The commander ordered his guards to put their guns down as he lowered his. "You sly dog, Commander Riley how'r you been?" "Same as always, drinking a hole in my office" "HAHA lets have a drink to that" The two men wandered off to the commanders office as the guards resumed their stations. After the two men were securely locked in the office Edward spoke "I have urgent business to attend too, Riley i know i can trust you with what im about to say. Ive been sent under the guise of a cleanup operation for that small town that took a meteor hit, the colonial federation doesn't have full authority here we prefer to let the rim govt run things since you guys are one of the developer colonys. Can you cut the feed to all surveillance before i continue." "Ok Edward but you know i need the correct authorization for that." "Gamma Code Silent Black" "Authorized" Riley tapped a few buttons on his security station entered an exceedingly long code and with a loud click the closed circuit feed in the office shut down. "They found something." "Who Edward?" One of the early assessment teams working out near the town" "Is that so? can ya let me in on the details?" "Ive already told you enough, you can guess the rest. Here's a hint, how old is Pyrexis? Think about it Riley" Edward got up to leave "Hey so fast? lets have that drink" "Sorry buddy, im on the clock another time eh?" Riley frowned "I'll keep it handy" "Its a promise" Edward high fived Riley as he turned for the door. "Dont fall over ya hear" "Dont you get a walking stick too soon" "HAR HAR HAR you old dog get outta my office" "Oh shit I almost forgot, one of your employee's Jenkins on the pad crew. Under colonial federation power i grant him a rank rise along with his pay and all associated privledges. You may offer him the promotion at any time. File the request to Colonial Federation HQ i'll see its processed." "May i ask why?" "Trust that mans ability he has great potential" "No problem i'll summon him to my office during his break" Edward snapped open the door and was gone. He spoke to one of the guards "Pad guard, where can i find local transport" "Sir would you like me to call in a surface transport?" "Yes please, i'll wait over in the processing room" "We'll let you know Sir when the transports here. Any particular destination?" "I'll discuss that with the pilot" "Very good Sir" Edward walked into the waiting room, sat down in a chair and whistled a tune from his child hood.

An overhead terminal bleared away showing orbital debris threats, local stock exchange trends occasional planet wide news broad casts. Edward whispered."Yawnnnnnnn, who'd want to be stuck in this dump" After a brain numbingly 30 min long wait, the guard approached Edward "Sir your transports here, if you walk outside you'll see it landed and waiting at the far end nearest this building" "Thanks alot" "Your welcome Sir" Edward walked off out of the buidling into the billowing wind, the 4 suns beating down. Before Edward was the crappyest looking bolt bucket he'd ever seen, more like a beat up rubbish transport than a civvy transport. He was unable to work out how it was able to remain hovering with one of its hover jets spewing out dense smoke. Edward walked up to the passenger cabin, the door opened with a sickening hydraulic whir which made him wonder if maintenance had ever been done on the poor thing. As he clambered inside, a small intercom terminal blinked into life "Hello there, i'll be your pilot for the day where ya be heading?" "Ive coordinates for you, does this terminal take coded mission chips?" "Yeah, its a bit clunky be kind to her and she'll treat you like one of her own" Edward searched for a chip interface, finally located it in a small recessed hole. Pop'ed out a tiny box from under his coat, snapping the security lock removed the chip from its case and inserted the chip into the hole. The terminal begun to whiz excitedly making an array of electronic bleeps as it processed the data on the chip. "Pilot, confirm coordinates" "Colonial Federation orders received, shall we get underway?" "Proceeed" The Bolt bucket took off with surprising power "Weeehehehe shes a strong old mule, you all right back there .... whats your name?" "Call me Edward" "Ok Edward, i'll let you know when were approaching our destination. I knew today was gonna be special not everyday i get to fire up the ol girls jump jets" "Thanks pilot" The transport speed its way over land towards the coordinates locked in. Edward wondered how long the artifact had been there, such a significant find. He'd need to stop off first at the cleanup site and begin proceedings, cover was paramount.

The Bolt Bucket shuddered "Hold on were in for some chop". "You don't say". The Bolt Bucket was thrown around like a ball in a vendor machine. "Blasted weather systems, i swear its gonna shake the old girl apart one of these days. Im raising the vertical thrust gotta get through" Both Edward and pilot were rapidly approaching the fracture site, some nasty winds had got hold of the transport. "Edward, hold on tight pushing the ol girls engines past safe levels" The pilot shifted his throttle forward, the main engine howled as she broke free of the winds intense hold. "In all my years ive never seen anything like that, ive travelled this glass wool planet from one end to the other. I swear something unnaturals goin on" "Pilot you will remain on course, if i have to hold a gun to your head then thats whats gonna happen." "ok ok, i get it no need to get up in my face" "Whats your name pilot" "Frank, cause im always rather Frank. See my face, its ugly just like my butt HAHAHA" "Get on with it Frank, theres important matters i must attend too"

The Bolt Bucket finally reached the disastor site. Limited recovery efforts were already underway. "Landing now sir, i'll await for your departure to the next coordinates" "Very good Frank, can we land somewhere a distance from the site i dont need any eyebrows being raised" "Can do Edward, whats your specifics?" "Atleast 5 mins walking distance from any habitation, i hope your rations are stocked you could be waiting a while." "All i need is my fav bottle of imported whiskey from the Epsilon Maw Cluster." "That hell hole? Who'd you have to sell stringers for to get hold of that?" "Oh i have my connections" "Maybe we can have a chat later Frank, im always in the business for information." "Oh yeah? Whats the deal?" "That i don't blow your head off." "Righto, your the boss" "Land here Frank, i gotta deal with those sob's" "Yes Sir" The Bolt Bucket shoke as the force of her jump jets gradually reduced coming to a soft landing on the surface. The metal of her hull clanked on the glass underneath. "I'll be back in roughly an hour, keep the engine primed im due somewhere else very soon" "Your welcome Sir, i will await your return." "Oh and Frank, if anyone gets curious you know what to do" Edward gestured to his sidearm.

The hydraulic door opened, Edward stepped out into the blinding light of Pyrexis's 4 suns. The walk was relatively easy, Edward approached the smouldering ruins. "Hey, you with the yellow helmet. Who's running this shit show?" "Ah that'd be Robert Stellar" "Where can i find him? I have business" The worker pointed over to a hastily assembled emergency shack. Edward walked up to the shack and knocked on the door "Open up Colonial Warden" a heavy set gruff civvy opened the door, he stunk like old cigrettes and cheap whiskey. Cough Cough "Whada want?" "Im here on official business to oversee the recovery efforts and draw up a plan to fix whats left of the town" "So?" "Hey pal, you wanna play games?" "Whats it to ya?" Edward drew his sidearm in a flash, slaming the civvy to the door pointing the gun at the civvy's temple. "Listen here you little fuck, im here to make sure this town gets back to working order. Im now in charge of this fubar, any questions?" "N n no Sir," "Good im glad we understand each other" Edward clicked his sidearm back to its resting spot on his belt. "Now hows about we get to know each other, ive got some plans that need discussing" Edward walked into the foremans office. "Nice to meet you Robert, im here sent by Colonial HQ, i dont give a shit what sweet lil racket you've got going for yourself there's a job to be done and it'll be a cold day in hell if it aint done by the time Pyrex's four suns complete their cycle. Get it?" "Yes, Yes Sir" "Now Robert, brief me on whats been going on since you shitbags turned into the utter pussies you obviously are" "We started digging out survivors 24 hours ago, weve found few sir. Its a damn shame. Alot of good men lost. Most of the towns infrastructure is fucked, power's been restored in some areas whats left of them." "Ok, thats a start. who's handling repair efforts?" "That'd be Jake Swan" "Where can i find him?" "He should be over by the old tritanium mill. Him and some boys were attempting to power up the mill to assist." "Goood goood, radio through to him that i'll be paying a visit." Edward looked around the small shack as Robert sent a garbeled message to Jake detailing Edwards arrival and to be expecting him "I have special orders for you Robert" Edward handed Robert a sealed eeprom mag disc. "Go ahead, play the message, you've authorization in my company" Robert Stellar placed the small chip embeded disc in a low tech older style player, the mechanisms whired for a bit then a life like avatar of Colonial HQ's financial liaison appeared. Edward crossed his hands and tapped his foot as the message played. "To whoever the following message concerns, im the Colonial chief finance liaison. Ive been issued orders to grant the sum of 100,000 outter rim credits towards relief efforts which will be at your leisure converted from colonial simbits. I require you to sign the supplied requisition form which Edward Kijenco Senior Outer Rim Colonial Investigator security class #555-909 ceti station 5 shall provide forthwith." Edward pulled out a digi paper form from his coat unrolled it on the mans table and proceeded to read some terms out. "If you agree to the following propossed relief credits, they are strictly not to be used for any use other than materials goods and equipment in the effort to rebuild the town. If found the relief credits have been used for means other than as outlined in the form all suspects will be rounded up and put before the supreme sector judge to plead their case. In other words, its not worth it" Robert hastidly signed the form with a optic pen" The Chief financial liaison resumed his message "The funds will be transferred within the next orbital cycle. May this be a handshake of friendship to those less appreciated sectors in the outter rim. We haven't forgotten you." The avatar disappeared and the player clicked indicating the message had ended. "Robert, i need to pay Jake a visit now. Dont dick those funds around or i'll be back you hear?" "Ye, Yes Sir you can count on me i'll make sure this town gets back on its feet" with that Edward slammed the door open and begun walking to the old mill.

The Tritanium mill was a heap, it'd been out of commission for years since shipments of raw Tritanium were diverted to another sector mostly due to a shorter route for transport time and cost reductions. Edward moved past the rusted shell of what appeared to be a crane like machine. "Jake Swan? I have business with you, im a Colonial Warden" "Crap, whats Jake done now" A voice rattled off in the distance. "Where can i find him" Edward shouted towards the voice. "He's puttering around in the mill with a uranium ultracore generator. It'll be nothin short of a miracle if he gets this heap of junk powered, even then it'll take weeks to get it the mill in a usable condition". "Thanks" Edward wandered into the mill's dark interior. "Jake Swan?" Jake was jumbled up amongst a mess of cables assorted attachments and one large glowing generator. "Yeah? thats me, whadda want?" "Im here on official business to assist in relief efforts, im a Colonial Warden. I also need to find out the details of what happended here so i can write up a report. I suggest after im done here you go and speak to Robert Stellar, a significant sum of credits has been given for relief efforts, as you appear to be the person in charge of building that'd be your department to buy materials and goods." "You dont say? well thats a change of tides, Colonial HQ never helps us rimmers out." "What appears to be the problem with powering up the mill Jake?" "You know, its the strangest thing. Ive got this here generator hooked up to the mills main coupleing board yet nothings happening. Ive yanked this and that megawatt fuse out replacing them multiple times." "Let me take a look Jake" Edward walked over to the coupleing board, examined it closely. He pulled out a small device that eminated a low pitched beep, it utilized logic circuits to ascertain a solution to whatever problem it was pointed at. After a few minutes it projected an image in the air, displaying its report of located problems. Terminator 1 and 3, disabled. Remedy, requires tool repair. "Well shit, thats gonna take some time if the terminators are poked." "Can i assist with anything further Jake?" "Naw you've done plenty here. Ok lemme tell you what went down for your report" Jake explained the eruption from the micro meteorite "Half the town thought we were under attack from a battalion of renegades left over from the Beta Grueis uprising. Then the cascade took place, it was as if the entire planet was cracking under its own weight. You ever seen a ice sheet crack? It starts as the smallest rift, gradually growing larger and larger until a huge area falls in on its self. I was at the impact site, i could see the crack growing along the ground it was surreal man." "Did you notice anything unsual about the impact hole?" "Naw man, but one of my workers ahh whats his name got a closer look. Barry or Baz as we call him." "Where can i find him Jake?" "Check behind the mill, old Baz's got a drinking problem hehe" "Drinking on the job? Im gonna have to put him on report" "Ah, dont bother poor old Baz he's a likeable old tramp you'll see" "Ok, we'll see. Thanks for your contributions to the report, i'll be sure to pass on a word to Colonial HQ about your good conduct" "Hey, thanks." Edward walked through the mill and out a small door, a short squat man was standing with a bottle in hand mumbling to himself "Its in there. . . I saw it . . . the fate of millions . . . What if?" "Hello are you Baz?" "Yeah, got a drink for ol Baz?" "I might, i need information" "Give Baz something to wet his whistle and i'll tell you what this old man knows" "Hey buddy, i aint got time for your games im here on business speak up or i'll tear you a new one" "Do what you want, were all dead anyway . . . mumbling" Hmmm Edward thought, this isn't gonna be easy. "Hey Baz, hows about some Colonial Simbits, that'd buy you a month worth of drinkin" Cough "Your for real? My whistles wetter than a river of glass" "Speak up Baz i aint got all day. What'd you see at the impact site?" "After the big blast, i walked over to look dazed as anyone. I found the impact hole, it looked like it went down for a million miles. This was before most of the town fell into the abyss. I could see smoke pouring from the hole, an unholy sound was eminating from it. As i moved closer to the hole i felt something . . . it clutched at my face trying to drag me down into the depths. I panicked, im an old spacer little phases me today i shit you not that experience drained the blood from my face. There's something down there, its not of this world. Whatever fucked up shit is hiding down there... i hope that's why your here. I know what you Colonial Wardens do, you aint just about keeping order. Whatever insane plans your superiors have cooked up, get in there and blast that unholy presence from all existance in this world and the next." "Here Baz, your service to Colonial HQ is appreciated" Edward offered Baz 50 Simbits. Cough cough "Uh, look dont worry about it just clean up whatevers hiding down there so we can all get back to drinkin. If you need an old spacer im your man, i can drill mine and navigate anywhere" "I'll keep you in mind Baz. Need to get my report completed and sent to HQ. Thanks your help will be noted on your file at Colonial HQ" Edward decided the old man was indeed a likeable tramp, and he may yet come in useful. He wasn't terribly bothered by the fact the old man seemed to know why he was there, it was a strange sensation. Shit happens. Edward sat down near the old mill and begun filling out a small report form with all the information he'd gathered, then hit the send button and the communication module bleeped indicating it was hyper spacing the report off the nearest comms satellite. Satisfied that his cover was adequate, Edward walked back to the transport. He entered, seeing Frank passed out on the floor grabbed him and begun shaking "Wakey wakey fly boy its action time" Frank groggily responded "Jus one more, jus..." then passed out again. "That's just great! Ok think Eddie whats the plan? Guess Baz might fit the bill" Edward walked back to Baz "How's about a little adventure Baz?, my pilots passed out he clearly wasn't cut out for drinking. Whats your fly skills like?" "Sir, i once served under General Williams. Retired fighter ace Barry Wilson at your service" "In that case, Baz im recommissioning you. What do you say to a monthy simbit wage, Colonial HQ privledges and reinstatement with rank to the Colonial Deep Space task force." "Mac, you've brought a tear to this old mans face. you got it" As the two walked towards the Bolt Bucket, Edward listened to Baz's tales of combat during various stages of the Mendelian Triangle campaign. The old timer had been through fire and flames.

"Pheeeeew, shes a real classic. Not built like this today" Baz and Edward moved into the transport. "Dont mind him, the man cant hold his drink not fit to take me where im going. Can you drop him off at the nearest outpost" "Can do Mac" Baz jumped into the cockpit, fired up the jumpjets and main engine, then hurtled off "Shes a beauty" Baz twirled the Bolt Bucket around in the sky along with the other two passengers, eventually leveling off in a steady smooth transition. "Enough fun, take me to the nearest outpost i need to drop off some trash" "Aye aye Mac" Baz punched the throttle forward hurtling towards a nearby outpost.

What ancient evil, what terror lays beneath the planet made of glass? Let me shatter your reality. All in time.