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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, '10, 7:47 pm
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A little something for EOTA enthusiasts. This is a story I wrote a few years ago. It's something that links some PS4 events to PS2 and incidentally, EOTA.

I post it here so you can get to know some more of the major NPCs of the EOTA universe, notably Aaron Kurtz (Major in the motavian military at the time), Erad Stern (Captain in the Mota military, leader of the TFT), Sandy Ryan (Colonel of the Mota Military), Rune and Luna Valduran (Bodyguards for Freeman) and of course, our friend Freeman, no EOTA story is complete without his awesome.

I also post it here because lately, besides a few enthusiastic players, the EOTA wind is rather shy, I want to see if I can create some interest.

Anyways, without further ado, the first part of my Vahal Fort story. The events take place at the beginning of AW1286, two years after the campaign started. The Motherbrain is gone, St-Utenia'scult is in full expansion and has found military support in the pirate fleet. Palm is struggling with it's own problems, completely isolated.

The other parts will follow in the next days. They are already written, I just need to proof read.



Vahal Fort. First part.


We were careless.

The situation was touchy at best. Palm was folded on itself, the forces of Seth fighting an inner conflict uglier than any civil war.

The cultists and the pirates joined in an alliance of terror, the menace they posed grew darker everyday. To add to the injury, some of our forces had betrayed us lately, joining the pirates in a coup that almost cost us the planet Mota. The worst part was that they now had a few of our ships to reverse-engineer.

The Atrians were quiet, for now, but I suspected the Mother Brain behind their numbers and the gate to their system shone in my sky like a constant reminder of the impending doom floating above our heads.

My principal concerns remained St-Utenia, head of the cultists and the Dark Force, their ultimate god of doom and destruction.

That's probably why I didn't see it coming. I was putting too much emphasis on these two threats.

We were careless. I was careless.

The Vahal Fort is a mega-structure deep in the mountains to the North East of the city of Paseo. I know that there is a sleeping Daughter-Module hidden deep inside its halls. Two years ago, it would have been a major threat, but it's useless now. The Mother-Brain has been driven from the solar system away by our forces, the Daughter-Module is nothing but a rogue super-computer without a network of influence.

For almost a year I wanted to send troops there to have it terminated. The complex is however hard to reach without air support and it's heavilly shielded by an energy barrier fed by a power generator deep inside. The only efficient way to destroy it would have been an orbital strike from my fleet, but I suspected the Vahal Fort to have been used as a weapon production plant and I always dreaded risking blowing up something that could wipe out half the planet. The people at Zelan always assured me that Vahal Fort was quiet, safe and under control. No need to destroy it. Just a rogue computer without a network.

I was carless.

The energy barrier is gone. For the last three days, Vahal Fort has opened its doors and has been spitting combat machines all over the place. All the agricultural settlements in a 300 KM radius have been destroyed, I have dozens of dead bodies in the morgues and hundreds of people unaccounted for.

That however meant we could go in. Troops have finally been sent. Two beach heads have been established and we're ready to strike. The first threat is gone. My well trained military forces dealt with the rogue machines quickly and efficiently. Our loss were minimal, we were ready for that. A few disorganized machines were a cakewalk compared to the Atrians or Seth`s disciplined forces.

My forces have surrounded the complex. They are awaiting my arrival.

Inside Vahal Fort, the threat of massive weapons remained, I dared not send regular troops, I wanted professionals for this. I followed the good advice I was offered by a trusted advisor, my first group was about to go in.

It sounds so very, disturbingly familiar. A skilled team infiltrating a daughter complex while the rest of the forces await my arrival on site.

The last time this exact set of events occurred, about two years ago, my life was completely shifted upside down.

And it wasn't the first time either.

The first time my life was so violently altered had nothing to do with a daughter complex. It was when I was ripped from my home world and found myself here, on Algo, on this foreign place, alone, away from everything I ever knew, forced to erase my true identity and make a new one to survive, both mentally and spiritually. A new life to shape, to mold and call my own; many men dream of such a second chance. Fools.

The second time my life shifted so radically happened eighteen years after the first. Destiny pulled a nasty trick on me and showed me I would not be alone anymore. From my own point of view, it had been eighteen years, since I was gone from Earth. For them, it had only been a few weeks. Time is such a relative notion when you think about it… All those people I had tried to forget; close friends from my home world, they had also been ripped away from their home, against their will. They had caught up with me, at last.

It was there, at the first daughter complex we visited, I saw the look on their faces as they realized I was also here, on Algo, with them. The person they knew as a simple friend from another life on Earth was now almost twenty years older, a general on Mota, the very head of the military they were working with. For them it was too much, it was… unbelievable.

I say that my life was altered, but it would be selfish not to mention theirs. They were mercilessly betrayed. We all were. At that moment, in that daughter complex, one of our trusted friends decided to forfeit his own identity, just like I had to do, eighteen years ago. He did it for different reasons, however. I did it to survive. He did it for power, to become what he is today. The daughter module had taken a person dear to me and had made it into a machine of hatred. The person known to us simply as a companion from Earth, once my great friend, had been reborn as Nathaniel Seth, my bitter enemy.


-General, we are in stationnary orbit above Vahal Fort. Colonel Ryan reports that her team is ready to enter the complex.

-Excellent, tell her she may proceed.

The voice of my first officer made me snap from my reverie. Captain Serra was a good man, career officer, older than myself. If 47 was young to be a general, it was unheard of to be THE general. Serra had a knack for catching me as I was lost in my thoughts. Now it was starting, it was time to focus. My friends were no longer helpless neophytes trying to fulfill a hunter's guild contract, they were seasoned battle veterans and I had every bit of faith in them.

***

Captain Erad Stern was looking right and left, trying to evaluate the halls of Vahal Fort. He knew he wasn't a tactical specialist, it wasn't his job. He now lead the TFT forces, an elite unit he had helped to create which was meant to minimize field losses and increase the efficiency of a deployed team. Today, his main job was to make sure all his team comrades survived the mission. He was happy that General Freeman had recognized the value of his idea; two small groups, very efficient, very quiet, very easy to manage. Large groups tend to suddenly turn chaotic in small places and delicate situations. A small, well coordinated group of trained individuals had the best chance of success. Freeman had agreed to follow that idea. Each group was made of three individuals. One Hunter, one Ranger and one Force.

In this group, he was the Force. Dressed in his dark blue and white combat armor, courtesy of the Espers, his tall figure made him look like a noble statue come to life to embody the perfect marriage between the Esper forces and Mota's military. Pamela, his trusted sidearm, was quietly waiting in its holster. For now, he preferred to keep his gloved hands free to allow himself to use his techniques at the first need. He usually had two roles to fit, one of group healer and one of ranged attack technique specialist. Today, however, he was there as the healer.

The ranged assault, he left in the capable hands of Colonel Sandy Ryan. The slight mechanical noise made by her power suit as she walked a few feet behind him made him relax. Though it was more than likely that any noise might make them easier to detect, he would rather be detected with her at his side than without. She was a competent officer and she knew how to use that arm cannon of hers. She was technically in command of the team, but she stayed in the rear, ready to protect them if they were sneak attacked. There was a very high sense of mutual respect between the three officers so, even if there was a rank difference; no one was really in charge. They all knew their job and how to do it best.

Casually brushing his dark brown hair aside, Stern looked at the man walking a few steps in front of him. Major Aaron Kurtz preferred to stay in the front. In his right hand laid the handle of his energy blade, quiet for the moment. Kurtz was attentive to his surroundings. It was almost as if he sniffed the air, looking for "it". What started as an esoteric power learned from the espers was now a second nature to the Major. The man could literally sense entities possessed by darkness long before anyone could physically see them.


-How long do you think we have to do before we reach the command systems?

Stern's voice was low but he was certain his comrades clearly heard him. He could have whispered in his wrist communicator but he was not used to the darn thing. It annoyed him, like an overgrown watch, it hindered his movements.

A small holo-display appeared in front of Sandy's left eye.


-We should be there soon. Forty meters at most.

-It won't be that easy. We have company.

Kurtz's voice was calm and determined. His purple buster blade hissed as he flicked the power switch. The purple light revealed a trio of security Poleziax slowly walking towards them. Clunky, insipid humanoid imitations, the polezi series were employed by the former Mother Brain government to enforce security and laws. The Poleziax were an advanced model more dangerous than the basic Polezi. They however remained mindless, humanoid machines rarely used to arrest but instead to eliminate undesired targets.

-Assume positions, don't take any unnecessary risks.

Sandy's voice made Stern stop in his steps. The only thing that crossed Stern's mind was that there was no wounded for now, so no point in playing doctor.

Without any unnecessary display of emotions, Stern snapped his fingers and unleashed his Foi technique. The first Poleziax was toppled down, engulfed in a ball of fire that quickly melted his vital components. The machine stayed down and ceased functioning, unless smelling like an old toaster was part of its features.

There was a loud, sharp sound followed by a quick flash of light as a wide energy bolt blasted passed Stern and hit the second poleziax in middle-torso. Stern instinctlvely closed his eyes to avoid the glare from blinding him. When the flash dimmed, Stern saw that yet another machine had been dispatched, torn apart by a precise blast from Sandy's arm cannon.

Their last opponent vaguely saw a purple blur coming his way. Stern witnessed the three slashing blows, precise, accurate and fast. He heard the energy shrieks as the blade found its way through the Poleziax's steel. Kurtz stopped a few feet passed the machine. Sparks flew, metal pieces fell down. After that brief instant, it was not much more than scrap metal.
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