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Secrets of the Sixth Manifold

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  • Secrets of the Sixth Manifold

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Children of the Stars:
    Secrets of the Sixth Manifold
    - Chapter One
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "Alpha Centauri, well at least you can say we made it, which is more than Earth ever expected. Sent out into the ocean of stars on the brink of mankindís destruction, we were a last ditch hope. And what was that hope exactly? You'll find some that say it was to create the utopia Earth never became, some that we could devote our lives to God, others who would have you believe it is the chance to found a society without the tethers of morality for the scientific mind. A single starship commissioned by the United Nations to sail the stars to the Alpha Centauri System. A journey that took us 40 years, thousands of the worlds brightest frozen in a carbon dreamless sleep destined for tragedy. I don't think we were supposed to even make it down to planet alive. We only just separated in time. Seven colony landing ships exploding from the Starship Unity like the petals of a flower opening to the morning sun. Seven destinyís of man...seven hopes.

    When most of us emerged from the cryogenic sleep it was to the beginnings of a war that continues even to this day. I happened to awaken when my cryotank lid imploded from a mis-aimed shredder blast. Some us get all the bad luck, Iím just glad Iím here to say it. There are worse things that can happen to a man believe you me. The bay I was stored in was captured by the Spartans; they managed to break the connectors effectively sealing themselves in with a thousand hung-over bastards and no aspirin. You'd think Iíd be ungrateful I got stuck with that lot but when you learn that the other people they were fighting for the bay was Yang and his soon to be Hive I can't help thinking that this is definatly the greener side of the grass. Better in the frying pan and not the fire as they say.

    It wasn't so bad; they managed to patch me up pretty good to be honest considering the limited resources and the damage caused by the glass lid causing the cryo fluids to poison my bloodstream. They gave me enough morphine to kill a rhino, not that rhinos exist any more, at least not here. Nope we've stranger folk abroad. A massive percentage of Chiron, as the planet has come to be called by most of the factions, is covered by a spoor releasing xenofungus. It spreads real fast as is a ***** to get rid of. You can't burn it and you can't dig it up easily because its roots are too deep. Only thing we've been able to do so far is poison the stuff and let it rot before making the land fertile for our crops. Add to that the mind worms and you really start to understand the depth of the problem. The mind worms as we call them live deep and I mean deep in the xenofungus fields. It takes some serious terraforming work to make them come to the edge of their habitat and then the **** really hits the fan. Now I know what your thinking, a couple of slug-like things that you can crush with a firm boot, end of problem. Wrong, think tens of thousands of ten centimetre worms with a full set of needle sharp teeth, inducing the common worker into paralysing terror. Helpless as the creatures slowly crawl up your body until they reach the head. Next thing you know you've got worms digging their way towards your oh so precious brain. The one that'd be telling you to scream if you weren't suffering from psychic paralysis. So you've got a head full of worms what could be worse right? How about the larvae that then hatches and devours your brain alive until your nerve sensors get round to telling you your, unfortunately, dead.

    It's getting worse too. The worms are getting bolder and bigger. They seem to act like a natural defence mechanism for the planet, only seriously attacking enmass when we're destroying large amounts of xenofungus so that our colonies can expand. I remember hearing Morgan almost lost Morgan Industries itself back when he started to expand his first colony. Deirdre went out onto the datalinks with a statement saying it was "the result of wanton ecological damage, so take heed those that would seek to exploit Planets resources." Three months later Morgan came out with Xeno-Fertilizer, a chemical that chokes the fungus, stopping the absorption of nitrate and sunlight until it dies and rots away. Itís now a standard chemical used by every factionís colony terraformers. Even the Gaians.

    Of course there's alot more than worms out there but you'd be a fool to believe what everyone says and an even bigger one if you decide to go out looking for it. Sure we've been attacked by some weird **** but on the whole the native life seems to leave you alone as long as you leave it alone. The biological evolution of Chiron's inhabitants seems to have only reached the insectoid stage. That means no giant man-eating monsters amongst other things. Makes you wonder what the planet native life might have developed into given another millennia or two. Shame we showed up before it got the chance. Sort of like aliens landing on Earth before evolution got off its centipede legs, you'd have alot of non-existent pissed humans on your hands. Probably some ten foot tall wide mind worms millennia down the line chewing on xenofungus muttering "bad taste destroying our ancestral lands like that, no show of a sporting chance at evolution.

    I know Iím rambling on a bit but when youíre on a scouting mission and thereís xenofungus in very direction the scenery sure isn't one of the highlights of the journ-"

    "You been sniffing fungal spoor or something Malach? You've been talking to yourself for a while now..."

    "Ahh shut up Gelus and keep your eyes out for any pissed off wildlife, this ain't no safari we're on. And if you must know itís an audio diary for Ella when sheís older. I want her to have some memories of her Pap and what it was like to come from Earth and not this......."

    Malach looked around the landscape of purple pink Xenofungus. Deep in the heart of the stuff it seemed as if the world was a giant interstellar barbie doll. The thought made him smile.

    "...place!"

    Of all the colours in the cosmos, the only life supporting planet in the Alpha Centauri solar system had to grow fungus the colour of pink bubblegum...umm bubblegum. He'd almost forgotten the taste. It'd been close to nine years since the scattering. Forty-nine years since he'd tasted strawberry bubblegum. Of course it didn't feel that long, forty years cryogenically frozen was like a quick skinny dip in a bath of nitrogen. One second your there, the next you ain't. A ship full of frozen corpses travelling an interstellar ocean of emptiness. Malach shook himself out of that morbid thought. Their orders were simple after all, rejoin their scouting unit after chasing down the Unity supply pod that was still giving off a deep pulsing beep on the radar.

    The Recon Rover banked sharply to the right causing Malach to grab an overhead bar as he was almost thrown out over the side which was followed by a sudden cliff and its impossible drop.

    "..."

    "Well that was unexpected..."

    "Unexpected...you release you almost killed us YOU FREAKING NUT!!!"

    Gelus broke into chuckles; Malach couldn't help laughing with him.

    "Can you believe that drop? Itís so sharp you could cut butter with it, I mean it looks like a continuous landscape till your about 3 feet away"

    Gelus was outside now, heading towards the edge. Exasperated Malach climbed out and followed.

    "Is the signal definatly coming from this direction?"

    "Yep and by the looks of it we are literally on top of it."

    The dark tainted glass of Gelus's bio-suit helmet turned to Malach and a gloved hand jerked downwards.

    "Oh tell me youíre joking?...youíre not joking!"

    Lowering down to his knees Malach crawled to the edge of the cliff face and peered down. It was a nauseating drop but unfortunately there was something to focus on in-between. A short way down a Unity supply pod jutted out of the cliff side, half buried from the impact and hanging there after all these years.

    "Well at least itís had a good view"

    "What?"

    "Nothing, okay get the harnesses attached to the back Iím going down and your bringing me back up....alive!"

    "Best way ain't it?"


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


    A short while later Malach hung roughly twenty feet down from the cliff top, next to the supply pod. The burnt steel was corroding at the edges but the main frame of the thing looked as solid as ever. He was amazed at how big the things were he was every time. This one was slightly on the small side but that was still big enough to park a few Recon Rovers in. Pulling out a drill he began to work on drilling the deep shafted magnetic bolts in. Once the bolts were secured and the harnesses ready he radioed Gelus.

    "Harness is secure, take it easy on the engine, this thing's dug in tight and Iíd say we're looking at about five hundred tonnes or so, over."

    "Sure thing Ma!"

    Malach grimaced and tightened his grip, that could not be a good sign.

    There was a roar of an engine from above and he hung on for dear life, despite his safety harness, as the supply pod was ripped from its hundred foot grave and dragged up the sheer slope at a furious speed. If he survived, Malach swore that Gelus was going to have the living **** beaten out of him.

    In the rear-view mirror Gelus watched as the supply pod flew up over the ridge face with Malach secured ahead of it to the harness cable. He grinned then pressed down on the commlink.

    "Hold on Malach my boy; letís see what this baby can really do."

    He thought he heard some faint shouts from back there then he hit the acceleration pad.


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

    Seventy-five kilometres away six more black Recon's trudged across the never-ending landscape in a loose line formation.

    "Red Recon, this is Blue Recon we have incoming ground units on radar, please advise!"

    "Could be Green Recon returning from supply pod pickup Blue Recon, can you confirm visual?"

    "Negative Red Recon radar image is moving too fast for Green Recon and there are too many, over."

    "Okay Blue Recon, form scatter tactics, we'll swing back behind them and pick up their trail then confirm identity, over"

    "Roger"

    "Blue, Black and Gold Rovers go left. Silver and Yellow follow us to the right, over"


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


    The pressure was approaching unbearable and the Recon in front picked up more and more impossible speed. With the harness hand clips Malach dragged himself painfully and slowly up the cable until he finally reached the back of the Recon and was able to release his safety line and climb onto the back.

    "You crazy ****, what the hell are you playing at?"

    Malach swung himself down through the bars into the passenger seat.

    "You like? I modified the engine myself. I'm taking the mod designs to Sparta Command; hopefully Iíll get promoted out of this bloody Recon shift. Did you know the highest number of combat fatalities come from Recon scouting missions?"

    "Slow down Gel don't blow the engine's else we really will be screwed, miles from any outpost or our squad, in the heart of mind worm territory"

    The thought eased Gelus's speed slightly.

    "Chill Mal, we'll be back in formation within the hour"


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


    "Silver Recon can you confirm sighting from your position?"

    "Affirmative, its a squad of speeders, six in total and the course they've set indicates New Jerusalem as their destination, must be Believer's what do you advise Red Rover?"

    "We'd better ghost them just to be safe; letís send out an encrypted message to Green Rover with our updated coordinates. They should be here soon then we can head back to Commander's Keep"


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


    "Malach check the topography charts Iím getting a weird signal on the radar."

    "How come we didn't get it on the way here?"

    "I'm taking a short cut..."

    Their tinted helmets turned to each other, Malach could just make out Gelus's pale thin haggard face and the mop of back hair hanging limply over his forehead, the face was grinning.

    "Trust me"

    Malach groaned.

    "We're doomed!"

    "Hey, hey that signals getting stronger; itís got to be a vibration of some kind. The radar has a tendency to increase the radar signal with loud vibrations as it were."

    "What the hell would be vibrating way out here?"

    "Could be anything? Its real big whatever it is and its close, I just hope itís not down another cliff edge"

    "Thatís not funny"

    "Couldn't help myself..."

    Malach scanned through the recent topography data finding nothing. He tried a different tactic and began formulating an up to date topography chart from the current scans.

    "Thereís an indentation up ahead, by the looks of the data itís a pretty deep valley. We're actually near a shifting template which goes directly through the indentation. Back on earth that would have meant volcanoes, ash, larva, here I haven't got a clue but we should start descending pretty rapidly so--"

    "HOLD ON!!!!"

    They flew over a hill and there like a hidden city was the valley in question laid out expansively before them. There was no city but there was a structure there, surrounded, by what a glance suggested, was a forest of some kind which they were approaching way too fast.

    "Gel hit the brakes"

    "Well thereís an idea Mr Engineer, what do you think Iím doing, the engine's stalled and even if we could stop, we've got five hundred tonnes of crap in a steel box ready to sledge hammer us at the first chance it gets. No my friend this ride is a one way ticket to hell with only one way off."

    "How?"

    "Jump!"

    Next thing Malach knew he was alone in the cabin.

    "Oh ****"

    And he jumped in a nick of time as moments later the Recon flew off a slight hill rising out of the decent and arced gently through the air onto the structure at the bottom of the valley. Behind it secured with the magnetic harnesses the Unity supply pod plummeted on an intercept course. When Malach finally stopped rolling and had a chance to look up he chose the wrong moment. The flash sent his visor pitch black to protect his eyes and there was a shockwave that knocked him off his knees backwards.


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


    The shockwave raced across the continent hundreds of miles in every direction. From the Sparta Recon Squad's position and that of the Believer Speeder's they were ghosting, the explosion was sufficient to appear on their sensors and on the eastern horizon as a blinding flash. The Believers began to change direction until the speeders where heading on a new course for the explosion.

    "Red Recon please advise, the Bel--"

    "We will follow them; we need to know what that explosion was as well"


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


    Malach heard someone groan, it could have been himself. He was in agony, his limbs felt like they'd tested the double jointed theory and decided they didn't like the sound of it much; the screen covering his helmet was still a midnight blue colour but was getting better. That explosion, there was no way a Recon Rover could explode like that. It has to have been the supply pod, what the hell had they been dragging behind them at two hundred kilometres an hour? An explosion like that had to have put it into the volatile chemicals category which basically had the words 'Weapon' and 'Dangerous' written in the blood of those it had been tested on. Malach hazarded a guess that it was a missile of some kind. What the hell was the Unity doing putting missiles in the supply pods though? It was like giving a kid a loaded gun and telling him to go play cops and robbers with his friends.

    There was a groan further up the hill. Malach turned to see Gelus sprawled out on the xenofungus slope at an awkward angle. Dragging his jelly legs up to the standing position Malach stumbled over to his friend.

    "You alive then you crazy bastard?"

    Gelus groaned again. Malach rolled him face-up and peered through the helmet.

    "Looks like you had a heavy fall. I gotta SOS for backup buddy, we are in big **** and I dunno about you but I want to get out of this alive."

    "Red Recon this is Green Recon, this is an urgent SOS, we are stranded and in a hostile situation. I think we just blew the **** out of something real important here..."

    As he spoke those final words he stared through his visor wide eyed at the sheer devastation far below him. The forest was ablaze and deep in the heart of it all was a charred landscape with a huge stone structure rising above the wreckage undeterred by the smoke and flames, as ancient and alien as the stars above.


    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by Dygash; November 28, 2005, 06:13.
    There is always a beginning...

  • #2
    Thought anyone coming across this should know that i have discontinued the story because someone emailed me threatening legal action against myself and apolyton dispite our storys differing significantly with only a similar beginning. I feel it is in the best interest to stop the story before anymore trouble is caused.

    I can be reached at anu8is@gmail.com, however if the person threatening me emails me there i will report them to gmail for abuse.
    There is always a beginning...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dygash
      Thought anyone coming across this should know that i have discontinued the story because someone emailed me threatening legal action against myself and apolyton dispite our storys differing significantly with only a similar beginning. I feel it is in the best interest to stop the story before anymore trouble is caused.
      Legal action? WTF!?

      This is non-profit Alpha Centauri fanfiction. You can't be sued for plagiarism over that. I mean, OK, in theory Firaxis might be able to undertake steps for copyright violations or something, but other than that...

      This is... I dunno... ridiculous.
      "I'm too young and too male to be the mother of a seventeen year old female me!"

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with WotanAnubis, nobody but Firaxis can sue you for fanfiction.
        SMAC/X FAQ | Chiron Archives
        The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --G.B.Shaw

        Comment


        • #5
          Heres the email

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

          Dear Dygash,

          I am writing to you as a former member of Apolyton.net and a writer of Sid
          Meier's Alpha Centauri fan fiction. You have recently begun a story entitled
          'Children Of The Stars' (which coincidentally is the name of a trilogy of books
          by Juanita Coulson). Since I am no longer a member of Apolyton I have used this
          other message board to contact you.

          You claim not to have read any SMAC fan fiction or indeed have read Michael
          Ely's official trilogy of novels of whom Malachai is the main Spartan scientist.

          I wrote a piece of fan fiction entitled 'Children Of Zakharov' back in March
          2001. It is no longer online but I have record of it and the idea treatment
          (note: IDEA TREATMENT) is, independent of Alpha Centauri setting, mine by
          intellectual property rights. I have also formerly copyrighted in the U.S. my
          idea treatment that was used in my story 'Children Of Zakharov'.

          While I am not sure that your story is or will be the same as mine I do think it
          is my obligation since our titles are similar and my significant story opened
          with a team in a rover discovering a Unity pod with important genetic materials
          from Earth to tell you.

          If your story is the same as mine insofar as it is the same idea treatment and
          infringes my intellectual property rights, it does not matter if this is by
          accident or design, I will take legal action agianst you and Apolyton. I shall
          be watching carefully the forums and will consult with my lawyer this weekend.

          Please accept my profound apologies if your story is nothing like my idea AND
          its treatment. Pretty much no two stories have ever been exactly the same for
          Alpha Centauri fan fiction which is why your title and opening gave me cause for
          alarm.
          There is always a beginning...

          Comment


          • #6
            This guy/girl takes his/her fanfiction way too seriously.

            OK, so he patented an idea (and I don't know if he could, I'm not that up to speed on the legality of fanfiction and indeed, the patent-worthiness of 'ideas'), which he claims is INDEPENDENT OF THE ALPHA CENTAURI SETTING.

            Then he goes on to complain about the use of a ROVER opening up a UNITY POD. I'd say that's not independent of the Alpha Centauri setting.

            Frankly, arguing about blatant fanfiction like this is bull****. I doubt he could make this stick, if indeed there really even is a 'this' to stick.
            "I'm too young and too male to be the mother of a seventeen year old female me!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Malachai is also the name of the little village leader which settles on benders chest in futurama.

              Just carry on imo, technically i think most facfiction isn't legal (he's also infringing property rights by using recon rovers and unity pods so unless he is firaxis sanctioned, which i doubt, i'm finding it hard to believe he got this copyrighted) but aslong as it isn't copied word for word or uses characters with exactly the same background setting then nothing happens about it. If he's willing to stump up the money for a lawyer and take anybody to court (in which case he'd be amongst the first to do so as it's never really been challenged on the internet) I doubt anything harsher then forcing you to delete it from here or change a few names would be imposed.
              Was talking with somebody who knows abit about law and he says since you're infringing firaxis rights and only they can sue you but it will be a flimsy case as with a decent lawyer you can put your story down to research or educational use and the case will be thrown out as derivates of copyrighted work allows that.
              Last edited by Lazerus; January 16, 2006, 07:36.
              Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendant, and to embrace them is to acheive enlightenment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lol, some kind of real bullsh^t!
                The guy probably has some empty space in his head..
                -- What history has taught us is that people do not learn from history.
                -- Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by
                  Pretty much no two stories have ever been exactly the same for
                  Alpha Centauri fan fiction which is why your title and opening gave me cause for alarm.
                  Ignore him. I would like to see him pursue a lawsuit.
                  SMAC/X FAQ | Chiron Archives
                  The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --G.B.Shaw

                  Comment

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