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Vile Motivations

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Guest aramike01

Hey all-

I've been tinkering with this story idea for quite awhile, and now I think I should try it out. Anyway, the story is going to follow Michael Kristophers' life from a young age to the time that he defects to the Insurgency.

[RP]

The days were so short, it seemed. The sun disappeared into oblivion, and distant stars took it's place. The reflections of those stars and the moon could be seen across the water, distorted by the miniscule ripples.

March 15, 2985, he thought. Five days and I'm 20 years old. Five days and my life starts again.

Michael Kristophers was set to join Earthcom in five days. He would go to the academy, and fulfill his life-long dream of becoming a pilot. He cared nothing for Earth's conflicts, nothing for politics, for fighting. He cared only for the exhilaration of soaring amongst the stars, dancing with moons and asteroids.

Kristophers ran his thick fingers over the small, rectangular slip of paper the never left his hand. He looked down at it, just gazing at his ticket away from here, this place of rocks, dust, and water; this Earth of limitations.

EARTHCOM ACADEMY-LUNAR IN EARTH ORBIT

COMMANDANT: RICHARD JEFFERS

TO: MICHAEL KRISTOPHERS, EARTH, NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT, ALASKAN REGION

MR. KRISTOPHERS:

IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE AND PRIDE FOR ME TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED FOR TRAINING AT EARTHCOM ACADEMY. WE ARE PLEASED TO HAVE SUCH A FINE CANDIDATE INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR RANKS. ONLY THE FINEST INDIVIDUALS ARE ACCEPTED, SO YOU SHOULD BE PROUD.

YOU ARE HEREBY REQUESTED AND ORDERED TO REPORT TO THE LUNAR MOON (IN EARTH ORBIT), ON OR ABOUT 20 MARCH, 2985. AT THAT TIME YOU WILL BE ISSUED TWO (2) CADET UNIFORMS, AND LIVING QUARTERS. ALSO, AT THAT TIME,A CADET ADVISOR WILL MEET WITH YOU TO FINALIZE ALL PAPERWORK, AND TO ASSIST YOU IN DETERMINING AND AREA OF STUDY.

I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR JOINING OF EARTHCOM. IT IS MY SINCERE BELIEF THAT YOU WILL BE AN INVALUABLE ASSET TO OUR RANKS.

REGARDS-

RICHARD JEFFERS, COMMANDANT, EARTHCOM ACADEMY.

Kristophers read this many times, and could recite it if asked. He glanced at the signature, noticing that it was obviously mimeographed.

"Lost in space again, Michael?"

Lana slowly moved beside him, gripping his hand firmly. She was beautiful, with long, black hair flowing over her petite shoulders. A tall woman, she stood even with Kristophers.

She looked into his eyes, "Exciting, isn't it?"

"Very", he responded.

Many a jealous man figured that Lana was only with Michael because of their going to the Academy together. Lana knew different. She saw a dreamer, a gentle, peaceful soul inside him.

And she knew that both of their lives were about to change.

But neither of them could ever imagine how much...

[/RP]

I would appreciate any and all comments on this.

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 01-15-2000).]

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Guest Ron Wallin

MORE!

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

Cmdr. Akira

ICV Nevermore

Spectre, Command Staff

Base Commander, The Dojo

Official Tester

Battlecruiser Series

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Hey! This sounds interesting. Got any more whipped up yet? biggrin.gif

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

Rattler, Spectre, Insurgent One

Official BC3K Tester

[email protected]

ICQ 12894104

"Old Age and Treachery will ALWAYS win out over Youth and Exuberance!"

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Guest aramike01

[RP]

20 MARCH, 2985

"Why do these places always seem so cramped?" Lana complained curtly. "I mean, jeez, probably only half of these people have tickets to go anywhere!"

Michael responded with a sarcastic glance into her eyes. "Would you prefer to walk?"

It was a true challenge to get his remark out, considering the allure of Lana's big, exotically brown,eyes. Many a time had he gotten lost in those eyes, seeing nothing but the eternity that seemed to flow from them.

"I'm not going to grace that comment with a response", she replied, noting,that in doing so,she did.

Michael looked away from his love, and panned his glance around the starport. It was massive, thousands of humans scurrying about with no apparent direction. Thousands of voices talking, shouting, even some small children screaming, obviously afraid of the rumble from the bulky star-transports lifting-off just outside the terminal. Thousands of panes of glass were stacked all around him, allowing a spectacular view of the transports departing and arriving.

Lana grabbed Michael's hand tightly, pulling him toward a window. She saw a transport preparing to launch, and she had never seen a launch in person. "Come on!"

They stared out at the massive bulk. It wasn't pretty; all black with oil-covered parts protruding from every angle. A few beacon-lights emitted soft, red bursts of light every few seconds, and that appeared to be the only movement on the transport.

Suddenly, a cloud of dust-ridden smoke appeared from under the mass of metal. A bright flash of light and...

Nothing. The transport was gone. Michael and Lana looked up into the clouds, looking for the transport. They found it, thousands of feet into the atmosphere. It was just a black speck. Never could such a massive vehicle be that small, they thought.

Lana turned her attention to Michael, whose eyes were still scanning the sky, following the transport into space. "That was awesome!"she said.

He didn't here her. He was lost in thought. In his mind, he was piloting the transport, rolling and banking through the atmosphere as to leave Earth as dramatically as possible. That was his dream, his lust. And he knew that he was about to fulfill it.

The pair began their march to the departure terminal, fighting crowds and evil stares all the way there. They were not far, it only took minutes to arrive.

As if on cue, the passenger-boarding door opened as they arrived. This is it, he thought, This is where my future begins. His thoughts turned to his family. His father, James, who was a Marine commander when he was killed in his Alaskan home a year ago. James died as Michael slept in his bedroom, only meters away from his father. It is believed, but not proven, that he was killed because he was considering a defection to a renegade group known as the Insurgents.

Then Kristophers' thoughts turned to his mother, a woman that he'd never known. She died during Michael's birth; Michael never had the opportunity to know her. His father never talked about his late-wife, and he never told Michael her name despite Michael's objections. Michael was sure that the reason was simply because it was just too painful for his father to talk about.

Michael and Lana stepped onto the boarding platform, each one's hands gripping the other's. They moved slowly, almost cautiously, as the thought of leaving their homes behind for the next three years overwhelmed them.

A uniformed man approached. "Tickets please," he said.

"Here you go," Michael replied, handing the man his and Lana's tickets. The man examined them, swiped them through a hand-held computer unit, and returned them to Michael.

"Have a nice flight," the man said, faking a smile as he has millions of times before. Lana noticed the smile,decided that the uniformed man knew something she didn't, and led Michael onto the transport.

The couple took their seats, noted that they were rather ugly and uncomfortable, and strapped themselves in. There were three seats in his row, and Michael wondered who the occupant of the third seat would be. Lana took the window seat, and Michael was in the middle one. God, I hope I don't get sandwiched by some massive, perspiring knob, he thought.

It was worse. No, there was no perspiration. It wasn't anyone who would crush him. It was simply Jon Watkins, the school bully. He was big. He was mean. He was a general M.F. that no one cared to talk to. Michael thought that he was Jon's singular target for the last two years.

Michael was right. "Hey there, maggot," Jon said. "Why don't we trade seats so I can feel your little lady touching me?"

Lana didn't hear this, and a good thing that was. Her temper was unmatched by any being that existed.

"How 'bout you just shut your mouth and enjoy the flight?" Michael replied sharply. He had always wondered why Jon was such an ass to him. Little did he know that it wasn't him that Jon was interested in, but rather, Lana.

Jon began to speak, but was interrupted by a booming noise and heavy vibrations. The transport was getting ready to lift-off, and the three braced themselves. A loud thunder, and they were spacebound.

Lana stared out of the window as the ground quickly moved away. She watched as the blue atmosphere slowly faded into blackness, and distant stars took the place of clouds. She felt the artificial gravity kick in, taking the place of the Earth's pull against them.

Her hand tightened on Michael's. Her mouth hung wide in awe. "This is it," she said. "This is our future."

[/RP]

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: aramike ]

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Guest aramike01

[RP]

20 March, 2985

1532 Hours

Commandant Richard Jeffers gazed through the lone window in his tenth-floor office. His eyes scrolled over the Earthcom Academy facilty. He could see it all: The dome that contained the artificial atmosphere wrapped around the complex like a safety blanket. It was made of a compound called

transpara-steel. The compound combined both the strength of steel and the transparancy of glass.

To his right stood the thirty rows of barracks. They were ugly little buildings, mono-chromatically grey. Each stood three stories tall, with tiny windows painting the broadsides. Several companies of cadets marched in cadence around the barracks.

Several hundred spacecraft hangers littered the grounds. Jeffers was mildly disappointed at seeing only two of them being used. More disappointed at noticing that their use was restricted to the cleaning of the spacecraft. He made a mental note to speak to his lieutanant and inquire as to the inactivity of flight operations and training.

To Jeffers' left stood the large, mildly aesthetic, education facility. Over fifty stories tall, this building housed all of the classwork-related functions. The education facility was dual-purpose, as it also contained the launching and landing pads for the spacecraft. Over seventy pads for both arrivals and departures served to link the Academy dome to the rest of Lunar, and space as well. Many cadets complained that the noise from the pads disrupted their studies in the building. Jeffers remembered one particular cadet complaining to him about it, and recalled his response to her: "Missy, if you think that piloting a fighter or tourin' on a str'ship is a quiet job, ya's may wants to consider flyin'st a desk!" Whatev'r happened to that young lady? he thought.

The thought quickly disappeared as he noticed activity on the four-square kilometer parade grounds directly below him. As if on cue, he began his way down to the grounds for his welcome speech to the new cadets.

20 March, 2985

1543 Hours

Cadets Michael Kristophers and Lana Neecie stood at attention. They were among many; two-thousand cadets to be exact. Drill Instructors quickly shoved them all into a pseudo-formation minutes ago. All faced the podium directly ahead, awaiting Commandant Jeffers' speech.

Michael glanced around cautiously, hoping that none of the DI's saw him move. He was under the common impression that drill instructors were people to be feared, people that would bring about a slow death to anyone who wronged them.

Those impressions were absolutely correct.

"CADET! Did I see you move!"

"Sorry, sir," Michael fearfully sputtered out, assuming the perfect attention stance once again.

The DI moved toward him, getting right in his face. Michael, standing over two-meters himself, was dwarfed by the man. "This is the military!" the instructor barked. "Cadets do things a certain way around here. My way! And my way says that you don't eat, sleep, breathe, or MOVE without permission! Understand?"

"Perfectly," a humbled Michael muttered. He was shaking at the knees. "Umm, I mean, perfectly sir!"

There was a sound, and the DI turned his attention toward the podium. Michael quickly glanced at the man's name-plate, saw that it was Seargent Jones that ripped him a new one, and shifted his eyes to the podium.

"Nice one," Lana muttered softly.

"Shuddap," was the retort.

A loose smile covered Lana's face as the Commandant began his speech.

"Welcome to Earthcom Academy. I am Special Commander Jeffers, Commandant of this fine facility."

He cleared his throat, tried his damnedest to rid himself of his accent, and began:

"Today you will begin the journey that few complete. More than two-thousand of you fine young men and women stand before me today. All of you have a remarkable intellect, are in astonishing physical condition, and are motivated to succeed and become the best there is.

"In three years, the next time I address you as a whole, only two-hundred fifty of you will be here.

"It is unfortunate, but true. It is not as though we are limited to that number, not as though we intentionally try to size down our cadet-body. It is simply a fact that not all of you are cut out to be officers in Earthcom.

"Over the next three years, you will all be cross-trained in many fields of study: Navigation, engineering, medicine, among others. This will complement the field of study in which you and your cadet advisor has selected.

"Now, it is my sincere hope, that you can help make this the largest graduating class ever. Only three-hundred cadets finishing will accomplish that goal.

"It is also my sincere belief that y'all..." he slipped up and his accent shown through. Jeffers cleared his throat and continued. "... You all have what it takes inside your hearts, minds, and bodies to graduate.

"Good luck. Your challenge awaits."

[/RP]

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: aramike ]

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Im certainly reading, keep it up.

Reminds me of when I joined the Royal Navy in 1986 and had to travel to HMS Raleigh to start my 14 weeks basic training.

Thumbs up from me!!

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

Commander Carlton

ORION FLEET

TSUNAMI BATTLE GROUP

GCV Deathbringer

ICQ 53203014

"Peace is something you only get when you're dead"

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Hehe, I'm reading it Commander. Bang-Up Job so far. I'm truely impressed. I have only one question though. You've got this guy almost 10 feet tall? Do you honestly think that Humans will truely gain that much in stature from today's standards? No wonder there's shortages in resources in 3000A.D. Used them all up in clothing! biggrin.gif

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

Rattler, Spectre, Insurgent One

Official BC3K Tester

[email protected]

ICQ 12894104

"Old Age and Treachery will ALWAYS win out over Youth and Exuberance!"

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Guest aramike01

Jeez...I wrote that wrong, should be two meters, hehe. Thanks for the support guys, I do appreciate knowing that there is some interest. smile.gifsmile.gif

Btw, I'm almost finished writing the next segment. Should be posted tonight or tomorrow. And I'll correct the measuring inaccuracy. wink.gif

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

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Guest aramike01

Thanks for the compliment, Tac! smile.gif It's good to know that people are reading this, and even better to know that y'all are enjoying. Thanks, guys!

[RP]

21 March, 2985

0705 Hours

Drill Instructor Mackel Jones' eyes panned over his platoon. Thirty cadets were lined up in formation before him: five rows, each six cadets long. The cadets were lined up according to height; the tallest on the left.

His eyes continued scanning his troops. They stopped on one particular cadet, the second from the left in the first row. "Well, well. Small world, heh?" he quietly spoke to him.

"Yes, sir, drill instructor!" Cadet Kristophers answered. Damn, Michael thought, How in the hell do I end up in his platoon?

Drill Instructor Jones had nailed him yesterday afternoon for moving while at attention. And neither of them had forgotten.

Jones took several steps back and began speaking. "Welcome to my platoon, cadets." His voice barked loudly, resonating over the barracks grounds. "I am Drill-Instructor Mackel Jones. You will call me Drill-Instructor, or sir! Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir!" the cadets shouted in unison.

"Good." His eyes wandered over the platoon yet again. Jones shook his head in disgust. "Why do I always get the dirt around here," he muttered quietly. He still spoke loud enough for his formation to hear him, but, unlike before, not the rest of the Academy.

Jones' muttering gave way to the boom. "I hate you all! You all are not worth the flight that brought you here. You all are not worth the dirt you stand on, or for that matter, the boots that are on the dirt!

"Unlike the Commandant who thinks you are all worthy, I don't think any one of you deserve to make it through a single week here!"

Michael silently wondered what Lana was thinking at this moment. Lana, standing directly behind him, wondered the same.

A smile pursed over Jones' lips. Michael noticed this and figured the man had something saddistic in mind.

Jones would not disappoint. "Dammit, I got it!" Jones exclaimed, snapping the fingers. He moved right in front of Michael, glared into his eyes and began shouting at the entire formation.

"I'm going to rid this academy of all you maggots! And it's only going to take a week." His smile grew larger. "For the next week, physical training will be the order of the day... and night. No one will sleep. You will be fed only with multi-vitamins. You want a break? You can't have one.

"Welcome to Hell Week.

"Now everyone, thirty laps around the barracks compound!"

The formation began moving. A light jog at first, but the DI and his assistants wanted more. It turned into a brisk sprint at their prodding.

Hell Week hath begun.

21 March, 2985

0813 Hours

The platoon was still running. Twenty or so laps to go. Several cadets had collasped already as each lap around the complex was over two-kilometers long. Those cadets were removed from the formation, and sent packing.

There was no more formation, either. Cadets were spread out over a kilometer of the grounds. Michael and Lana were near the front of the group, neither hardly breaking a sweat.

"How ya' holding up?" Michael asked Lana, breathing heavily.

"Better than you," she responded, noting that her breaths were a little more controlled than his. Lana ran track for 5 years in principle-school, and four in secondary. She had slowed herself to allow Michael to keep up with her.

"Do you think the DI was serious about the no-sleep thing?" Michael inquired. He noticed that the concrete below him seemed just a little harder now.

"I think so. Someone once told me that they do that to everyone. Their way of forcing us to put mind over matter and eliminating those who can't. I just think these saddistic bas**rds like to watch us suffer."

Michael let out as much of a laugh as his lungs would allow. He and Lana noticed that they had just passed the starting point and were beginning their next lap. They both silently wondered how many more they had to go.

21 March, 2985

0948 Hours

Seargent Jones watched the last cadet pass the starting point. Twenty-two laps, he thought to himself. Or was that fifteen?

He decided on fifteen and looked over his platoon, making mental notes as to which cadets were holding up well, and which were doomed to drop out before the week was over. His eyes stopped at each cadet in order, sizing them up then moving on to the next one.

He looked at Cadet Kristophers. Jones was mildly impressed. The kid was holding up well and his pace had yet to slow. And that woman next to him, who is that? Ahh, Cadet Neecie. She also has some potential.

Jones stared off into space for a moment. He noticed the Earth directly above him. It seemed larger than usual today. He wondered how this group would hold up during phase one. Unlike his demeanor, which suggested that he didn't want anyone to graduate, he really wanted them all to.

Phase-one was all about peaking the cadets' physical condition, and preparing them for phase-two, which included the cross-training portion. Phase-one lasted twelve weeks, two: eight months; three: the final two years. Anyone who could complete all three phases deserved the uniform. And Jones hoped that most of them would wear it someday.

His thoughts wandered back to the task at hand. Jones hated Hell Week as much as any of the cadets, as he had to be awake and with them at all times.

Now the challenge begins.

25 March, 2985

2319 Hours

The cadets were exhausted. They have eaten nothing. Slept even less. Their days were filled with push-ups and running. Thirteen out of the original thirty cadets remained.

Jones decided that enough was enough. Despite it's name, Hell Week rarely ever lasted a week. When a platoon's DI was satisfied that the remaining cadets were not going to drop-out even if the week continued, he is supposed to end the drill. Some of the DI's would drag it out as long as possible, but not Jones.

He called the cadets to formation. "Fall in, maggots!"

The group obediently stopped their push-ups and entered the formation.

"Hell Week is over," Jones began. "You all have eight hours down-time to sleep and decide whether or not it's all worth it.

"Dismissed."

Michael and Lana began toward their rooms, observing the activity around them.

"Looks like Hell Week ain't over for everyone," Michael noted. "Maybe Jones is a softy."

"Nah," Lana stated. "Just look at our platoon...what's left of it, anyway. I can't picture any of those cadets dropping out. I think that Jones figured that all of us were staying, so continuing would be pointless."

Michael noticed a slight rumble in his stomach. "Damn, I'm hungry. Where's the mess?"

"Dunno. Let's ask her." Lana waved to the nearby security woman, inquired as to where to find nurishment, and was directed to a small building close by.

The couple entered the mess-hall and searched for anything edible. They located the service counter, grabbed as much food as could fit on their trays, and took a seat near a window.

Another cadet appeared to take interest in them and slid a chair to their table. "Hiya, gentle-beings!"

"Aww, shit," Michael muttered. "Hey, Jon."

It was Jon Watkins, the bully, M.F. extraordinare. "How are ya' two holdin' up?"

Lana looked at Michael inquisitively, and asked herself, How in hell did Jon get accepted to the Academy?

Lana disliked Jon as much as her significant other did. She didn't take to kindly to Jon's constant advances, and his cavalier attitude. "Jon, go away."

"Now why would you say such a thing to the person that could handle you like no other?" Jon retorted.

Lana knew what Jon was saying. Her fatigue amplified her anger.

Cadet Neecie stood to her feet, stared him in the eyes. Jon stood to meet her, gazed back and said, "Aww, you want to kiss me now."

That did it. That set off the temper of the normally docile Lana. She wanted to do this for a long time, and finally, she decided, she was going to.

With all her remaining strength, Lana slammed her forearm into Jon's face. He fell to the ground, blood flowing from his nose and upperlip.

A crowd gathered around them. Several cadets began cheering Lana on, giving her advice as to where to hit next. She didn't hear them.

Lana jumped on him quickly, slamming her fists against his cheeks. Michael wrapped his arms around her and tried to yank her off of him. She wouldn't budge. He tried restraining her arms, but she just used her feet. She kicked Jon repeatedly in the side of his torso.

Finally, several security personel pulled her off of him. They placed magneto-cuffs around her wrists and sat her on the floor. The crowd began to disperse, fearing that they may be punished for instigation.

Medical personel arrived and helped Jon to his feet. Blood dripped from his face to the floor, adding to the crimson pool that had already begun to form. He stared at Lana for a long moment, and was hauled away to the infirmary.

Two security officers grabbed Lana off the floor rather harshly, her feet flailing in the air before set got her footing set. They began to lead her off, and Michael followed.

"Nothing good can come of this," he told her.

She looked at him, smiled, and said, "Yeah, this could be bad."

[/RP]

Well, I hope you all enjoy. Thanks for reading. Will post again within the next couple days.

Kristophers out.

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 01-18-2000).]

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 01-18-2000).]

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Guest aramike01

Okay, time to start a small sub-plot.

[RP]

26 March, 2985

0439 Hours

Unknown location

"God, this place is nasty," a private whispered to him.

"Quiet down," he replied.

The marine squad slowly stepped further into the cave. Nearly a dozen marines walked in silence, being careful not to trip any alarms or traps. The darkness complicated this task. Each marine wore a night-vision sensor over their left eye. It only helped moderately as the cave's moisture clouded the sensor's reciever.

The man in charge was Major James Kristophers, Marine Unit Commander, Insurgency forces. The "late" James Kristophers. Just over two years ago he had faked his death in order to escape the Earthcom military and defect to the Insurgency without their knowledge. His only regret was having to leave his son behind to fend for himself.

Kristophers thought about his son daily, always wondering how he was faring on his own. I wonder if he's still dating that Lana girl, he thought. She's real good for him.

His mind turned back to the task at hand. He gazed off into the darkness ahead, wondering what surprises would immerge from the nothingness that surrounded his squad.

Suddenly, his fist raised. That was the signal for his troops to halt. He thought he heard something from the blackness. They complied instantly to his command, all dropping to their knees, with their weapons held at ready. Once Kristophers was satisfied that there was no threat, he waved his arms to signal his troops to continue their advance.

The major was the last to stand, his breathing heavy. A combination of the adrenaline and the cave's moisture, he decided. Sure as hell can't be me getting old.

Kristophers was sure that this was hell. He looked back to make a quick head count. Confident that everyone was still alive, his eyes turned forward again. He had already lost two troopers. One was killed by a stray bullet, while the other tripped and was impaled by an overly-sharp stalagmite.

To make matters even worse, he had no idea where in the hell his squad was. Not even which planet. All he knew was that he had to sneak into a secret underground research facility, "kidnap" some scientist that was considering defection, and destroy the evidence of said defection. After that was accomplished, if that was accomplished, he corrected himself, he would then be given the coordinates to the extraction site.

"Over here," Kristophers heard a private say through the comlink in his helmet. He pivoted his head and moved to the trooper with his hands waving.

"Whatdaya got, marine?" The major was standing next to the private and followed the man's eyes to a small spot in the dust.

"Do you see it?" the private inquired.

Kristophers glanced at the man's face and shook his head briskly. He couldn't help noticing the difference in height between the two of them. The private only came up to his chest. The major was only 1.879 meters tall, so he silently wondered what the private's height was, and how on Earth he could have met the physical requirements to join-up. The short man ever looked too young to be a marine. Maybe my grey hair is distorting my perception, he thought to himself.

"Look more closely, sir. Do you see it now?" Kristophers noticed an impatient tone in the private's voice. His eyes glances down again, to no avail.

"What exactly am I looking for, private?" Kristophers demanded sharply.

"Look, see it? The red glow? There, there it is again..."

"Where?" The major was clearly getting frustrated.

"Hang on, hang on...there!" the private shouted a little too loudly.

"What in the hell is that?"

The private figured he would answer his superiors question and touched his hand to the light. He shifted some dust aside, to try and reveal the source.

A small data-screen emmerged from the dust-ridden obscurity. The red light continued to blink, but it was now accompanied by several lines of text.

Insert card and enter access code for entry

Kristophers stared at the screen for a long moment, trying to decide on a course of action. "Richards! Get over here," he beckoned.

Corporal Richards, the units Com-tech, approached from behind. "Yes, sir?"

"This looks like the entry-panel. Try to run a by-pass."

"On it." The corporal reached into his combat-belt and removed a small electronic kit. Next, he placed an automatic screw-driver into a small socket on the right of the data-screen. A screw quickly came loose and softly fell to the dirt.

Next, the corporal inserted a small electronic lead into the now-void socket. Press firmly and...

Unauthorized Entry-Attempt Detected! Security Notified!

Major Kristophers held his focus on the screen for a split-second. "What the hell did you do, corporal?"

"I don't kn-"

The corporal was interrupted by the first volley of carbine slugs fired by the facility's security staff. He fell victim to several of them, his body disintegrating into a pool of blood and entrails as his limp corpse fell to the ground.

"Return fire!" Kristophers shouted, his carbine spitting fire as the order left his lungs.

Loud cracks echoed around him, amplified by the natural accoustics of the cave. He saw another one of his marines fall victim to a bullet's fury. "Assume defensive posture, sierra one!" he screamed, hoping his squad could hear him. They did, and the formation was set.

The Insurgent squad opened fired in unison, each belly-flopping onto the dirt as they did so. Kristophers ducked his head to reload, slipped a fresh magazine into his carbine, and returned to a firing-stance. He noticed that he could not see his enemy; he could see only the firey bursts of ammuntion leaving their weapons.

Slugs resumed their departure from his carbine. The major held the trigger firmly as forty rounds-per-second spit themselves at the security forces ahead. He could have sworn he saw an enemy fall victim to his carbine, head exploding into a crimson burst of tissue and bone.

He spoke into the microphone attached to his helmet. "Fall back! Fifteen meters! Move slow, people."

The squad obeyed, slowly back-stepping as their weapons spit red-hot fury at their opponents. "Containment fire: left, right side! Activate drone for overhead suppression fire!"

A private toward the rear of the group yanked a small dome-shaped object from his belt. He flipped a switch near the top of the drone and tossed it to the cave's ceiling.

A small claw extended from the drone, securing itself to the protruding rocks overhead. The auto-killer opened itself, a meter-long barrel extending from the machine. It began to spit fire toward the security troops.

Kristohers saw several enemy troops fall to the ground as his tactic worked like a charm. The cracking of ammunition dispensing itself from it's homes tapered off, coming to a halt a few moments later.

Kristophers looked up to access the situation. He found three of his marines dead, all laying face-down in the dirt. It was as if they were ashamed of failing him. The major noticed himself suppressing vomit triggered by the gruesome scene. He didn't want to look weak in front of his marines.

He then moved on ahead, looking down at the bodies of his fallen enemies. He counted fifteen of them. Several sets of eyes from the dead men and women gazed upward. Kristophers met the eyes of one corpse, decided that they were praying, and motioned his troops forward.

The troops gathered around, all doing their best to avoid looking at the bloodbath around them. A marine bringing up the rear of the squad threw-up. His vomit pooled with the human mesh laying all around them.

"Gentlemen," Kristophers began, taking note that the only female in his squad had been killed. "Check your weapons and stow any unneccessary shit. Let's see what these overly-well-armed security people were protecting."

[/RP]

I hope this wasn't too graphic or anything. I toned it down a little (a lot) from my original version.

Anyway, hope y'all like! smile.gif

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 01-19-2000).]

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Guest Cmdr Josh Dilvorn

Heaps cool. Can't wait for the next installment. Keep up the good work.

As for it being to graphic.. kinda reminds me of the start of "Saving Private Ryan" in a way.

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

GCV Conquest - ISS-08

ISS Fleet - Tactical Support Arm

"You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone"

ICQ: 12159264

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Guest aramike01

Thanks, Cmdr. Dilvorn. smile.gif May be a little busy the next couple days so I'll post again on Saturday, if not sooner.

'till then...

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

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Guest aramike01

[RP]

26 March, 2985

0805 Hours

Earthcom Academy

"Cadet Neecie," Commandant Jeffers began, "please do enlighten me as to what you were thinkin' when you thrashed Cadet Watkins in the mess yesterday evenin'."

"Sir, umm, I wasn't thinking, sir." Lana responded from perfect attention.

Jeffers got out of his chair and slowly moved to the window. His eyes panned across the oh, so familiar view his office provided. "Cadet, I should inform you that against my personal advice, Cadet Watkins has decided not to press charges. Probably something to do with his manhood being threatened by getting whipped up by a woman. I should also inform you that in no way does Cadet Watkins' decision prevent disciplinary action from being taken against you."

Lana winced at this. She had no idea as to what types of punishment the academy would inflict upon her. But she knew that, whatever it was, it had to be far worse than the torture that the DI's had put them through. That thought scared the hell out of her.

"I have already decided what punishment would fit the crime. Cadet Kristophers has informed me of the history between the three of you. That in and of itself is not good for the cadets of this academy. Teamwork is a must. Therefore, I am reassigning Cadet Watkins to your unit."

"Sir?" Lana was surprised at this. She had expected some sort of beating or, at the very least, detention somewhere for a couple of weeks.

"I'm sure that Cadet Watkins did something to bring this upon himself, and I really can't have cadets at odds with one-another during their training.

"The three of you will either learn to work together effectively, or you all will be removed from Earthcom Academy. Is that clear, cadet?"

"Crystal, sir." Lana silently wondered whether or not the commandant's wishes were attainable.

"Dismissed."

Cadet Neecie snapped a quick salute, spun on her heels and exited her superior's office. I wonder what Michael will say about this.

26 March, 2985

1319 Hours

Earthcom Academy

The woman towered over Jeffers. Her dark, black hair accented her height. Her black eyes sent a warning to anyone who would dare look into them.

"Special Commander Jeffers, I need to speak to one of your cadets."

Jeffers' head slowly pivoted upward to meet the woman's eyes. Her voice surprised him as it was much sweeter than her appearance. "May I inquire as to the reason?"

"You may not."

This annoyed Jeffers greatly. Like hell your going to waltz in here demanding anything without giving me an explanation! His spoken response was much more diplomatic, however. "I'm sorry, this cadet is not available at the present time. Try again later." Jeffers' eyes moved from the woman to the stack of papers littering his desk.

The woman stepped slightly closer to the seated man across from her. Jeffers continued working, as though he was oblivious to her presence. "Special Commander! I haven't even given you the name of the cadet in question!"

"I know, and frankly, missy-" he stressed the missy part, as though to point out that she was a guest in his territory,

"...I don't care. Any business that goes on inside this facility is my business. And considering that you're not very

forthcoming-"

Her identification tag waved in Jeffers' face. A ghostly pale overtook his features. He couldn't even get a single word out. The woman had shut him up, and he didn't like it. Jeffers hated the feeling of helplessness the woman had given him, simply by showing her ID.

"The name of the cadet in question is Michael Kristophers. I wish to meet with him in one hour."

[/RP]

Rather short, but I'm a little busy right now. Anyway, I should have the next post ready in a couple days time-permitting. Enjoy!

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

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Guest aramike01

Here we go again...

[RP]

26 March, 2985

1324 Hours

Earthcom Academy

"He did what??" Michael nearly shouted.

His voice echoed throughout the empty mess-hall.

"He assigned Watkins to our training unit. He figures that we need to learn to work together or find another job."

Michael glared at Lana for a good minute or two. He was in disbelief. In his mind, it was over. He would never get to fulfill his dream of being a pilot. There was no way in hell that Michael, Jon, and Lana were going to be able to work together for more than a couple of minutes. Not to mention working together effectively as the good commandant did add that as a stipulation.

"So what did you say to him?" Michael inquired sharply.

"Umm, I think it went something like: 'Yes, sir, that's a great idea sir.' What do you think I did, argue a case?"

Disturbing. No this was worse. This was the absolute and utter destruction of a dream. No more hopes for Michael. It's was over. Michael's face contorted as his body shuddered at the thought of being pinned down into some factory job somewhere. Hmm, maybe I'll be building interceptors for real pilots... The thought was too depressing to continue it.

Lana looked at the distraught man and decided to try and comfort him rather than letting her sarcasm show through. "Look, it can't be that hard to find some middle-ground. As soon as Jon's released from the infirmary, how 'bout we all have lunch together or something? It may help..."

"Yeah, sure," was all the helpless Michael could sputter out. He was in a daze, a trance of sorts. Lana'a words were merely echoes that barely broke the coherency barrior.

"Come on, give it a shot. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. Anyway-"

Lana was interrupted by the sound of the doors to the mess crashing open. Several uniformed personnel marched through, their boots crashing heavily onto the floor with each step.

A tall woman approached. Her hands waved a signal to the rest of the troops telling them to stay back. "Cadet Michael Kristophers," the woman spoke quietly, holding her identification tag in her hand visible to the young cadet. "Please follow me. I have some questions to ask you."

Michael quickly nodded his head in compliance upon reading the ID tag:

Tara Krastins

Special Commander (G-3)

Intelligence and Internal Security Agency

He looked over at a curious Lana and moved to her side. His mouth slowly converged on her ear, whispering, "I have no idea what this is about," as to answer her unspoken question. "Doubt it'll take long. See you soon."

Michael kissed the beautiful and ever-so-curious Lana and disappeared through the door with the IISA woman and her guard.

March 26, 2985

1401 Hours

Earthcom Academy

The room was small, barren, and dark. Cadet Michael Kristophers and Commander Tara Krastins were it's only occupants. An overhead lamp flickered as it swayed, it's stillness disturbed by an unseen guard slamming the door behind the two humans entering the room.

Commander Krastins motioned Michael to a chair behind a small, metallic table in the center of the claustrophobic chamber. She sat in a chair opposite of him, placing her attache on the table. She removed a small device that appeared to be a audio-recorder of some type and positioned it between her and the nervous cadet. Her thumb switched it on.

"Cadet, as you know, I'm Special Commander Tara Krastins, IISA," she began, clearly amplifying her voice to accomodate the recorder between them. "This is an informal interview. I would like to ask you a few questions. First, please state your name and rank for the record."

"Michael Kristophers, Junior Cadet," he stated quickly, his voice a little shakey.

Krastins raised an eyebrow at the nervous cadet, feeling a slight twinge of guilt for having to question him about something that could very well tear open a rather new wound. She carried on, despite her personal feelings. "Do you affirm that all statements you make during this interview will be completely accurate and true to the best of your knowledge?" she said as though she were reading it.

"I do."

Krastins cleared her throat. "Junior Cadet Kristophers, please give me any and all details you are aware of concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of your father, one Marine Captain James Kristophers."

[/RP]

Okay, commanders. Now I need a little insight and a critique of sorts. Let me know how I'm doing and anything that I could do to improve this story as it moves along. Too detailed, not detailed enough. Too slow in developing, too fast, whatever. Be harsh if you must. I want to know what you all think, and where any suggestions given would be greatly appreciated. I have more to post soon, but I decided that now would be an excellent time to figure out where improvement is needed. I'm writing this to entertain anyone who cares to read, and if there is something I can do to make it more entertaining, I want to know.

Also, keep in mind that this story is going to follow Michael's life for 15 years. Think of it as multiple stories with intertwining plots that describe who Michael is in 3000 AD and why he is that way. Primarily, why he becomes an Insurgent.

Thanks in advance... smile.gif

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 01-24-2000).]

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Ok, I'm not used to giving compliments to Insurgent scum bags, but I think I should.

It's a good start to a promising story Mike, and althought I haven't said anything on it up until now, I have been following it from day one. Well done that scumbag. smile.gif

As far as the plot is concerned, it's first rate. Explaining the origins of the principle character is always important, and so far you are doin a bang up job. As far as the detail is concerned, it's probably just about right for what it is, whis is essentially a long, short story.

No complaints there.

Development of the plot is commin along at a good introductory rate, so again, no complaints. You have kept it interesting, not bogged it down with too much drama or detail and havent broken the pace of the story and sent it into plot/action overdrive to early. All things considered, it's a good piece of writing and one that deserves to get good praise.

Just a shame it's about a cowardly Insurgent traitor and not a heroic GalCommie. wink.gif

Lookin forward to the next installment ...

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

F.C KARL 'BLADES' SAVAGE

ORION FLEET

TSUNAMI BATTLE GROUP

GCV - TSUNAMI Ôäó

www.orion-hq.fsnet.co.uk

'For Queen and country'

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Guest aramike01

Thanks for the feedback, Blades. Very much appreciated it is, although it has come from a sworn enemy by association... wink.gif

Keep in mind that so long as you are a F.C., I'll be aching to take the Tsumani out when BC:M hits the shelves. So be forewarned: I'm viscious, hehehe.

Anyone else have any comments (good or bad) to share?

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

Commander Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

ICV-Intrepid

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[RP]

13 September, 2985

1005 Hours

Earthcom Academy

The second phase of their training had begun well. While phase-one was a mostly physical regimen of- in the cadets' minds at least- brutality, phase-two was mostly classwork associated with proper military protocol for officers-to-be and flight dynamics.

Cadets Lana Neecie and Michael Kristophers were simply excelling in their classwork. That's not to say that they haven't been faced with a few bumps in the road- no, far from it, actually. First it was Lana's abrupt entry into the land of dressing-down by the commandant. Then that mysterious visit from the IISA Commander wanting to know information pertaining to Michael's late father. Not to mention that brief period of fright when the pair had thought that they were doomed upon their assignment to work with their hated nemesis, Jom Watkins.

But, as the old pre-stellar adage goes, all's well that ends well. Lana's transgression had been forgotten by the powers-that-be, partially due to Watkins being thrown out of the academy as a result of some "unresolved felonious actions" from his years of puberty. That mysterious visit had been lost in memory by both young cadets quickly. Michael simply refused to discuss it citing orders to keep his trap shut. Lana obliged curtly and it had been expediantly forgotten.

Phase-two still forced the cadets to carry out a well-laid plan of physical activity each day however, it was not nearly as draining as the initial phase. Plus, free-time was abundant. The two enjoyed spending the warm, artificial Lunar afternoons on the volleyball courts. They'd come up with a ritual: two games and back to the books.

Now, three weeks into phase-two, the cadets felt right at home on Lunar.

The classrooms were even plush with a well-defined and sophisticated architectural style. Rather pleasant on the eyes, Lana noted before her attention returned to the instructor's lecture as he called her name.

"Cadet Neecie, please recite the third rule of contact when faced with a superior opposing force."

Lana quietly cleared her throat and answered. "Engage only with intention of breaking contact unless instructed otherwise by a superior authority." It sounded exactly as it read in the engagement manual.

Satisfied with her response to his demand the instructor moved on. "Now, with that in mind," he pointed to the holographic three-dimensional display in front of the class, "in this scenario, what would be the ideal point-of-attack and egress?"

Cadet Kristophers volunteered himself for response and the intructor directed his index finger at him. "

"Grid 14 by 19 by 33 would offer the best ingress postion. Engage the two interceptors there in a 'flare' pattern and pull out at 14 by 19 by 30."

Michael was met with a unforgiving stare by the instructor. "Why wouldn't you just cut through 18 by 28 and hit the jump there?"

The young cadet has his response ready as if he knew the quesion was going to be asked. "Along that route, sir, you'd be susceptable to interference from the formation at 16 by 26. They'd most likey detect your ingress into their field-of-attack range and intercept before you could reach the jump. 14 by 19 by 33 raises the odds in your favor and offers an uninterrupted travel to the JP. And it keeps you well out of range of any possible interception."

The glare from the instructor continued. Kristophers was almost worried.

Almost. Michael had a strong confidence in his tactical abilities as a direct result of the scores he recieved thus far in his "Tactical Analysis" class.

"Exactly!" The instructor seemed almost excited. "Always watch for possible interception. Never risk a more difficult fight later on when an easier one would save you the trouble."

A sense of satisfaction on his face, Michael threw a glance in Lana's direction. Her look conveyed her message: "Show Off!" Her smile conveyed a different one, a more personal one.

[/RP]

Been a little late in doing this, but I'd thought I'd continue nonetheless. More to come, stay tuned. smile.gif

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

Cmdr. Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

Commanding Officer, Spectre StarStation

ICV-Intrepid

Recruitment Officer

"You won't get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!"

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[RP]

14 September, 2985

2315 Hours

Hotel at Lunar 1 Colony

(Just outside Earthcom Academy Dome)

Darkness filtered through the windows accompanied by the dim light of the moon. A shadowy figure layed stretched out on the down-filled plaid sofa.

Another shadowy figure lay sprawled out in an oddly familiar bed, surrounded by oddly familiar bedroom pieces.

Floating into the kitchen, the door leading into the home from the garden swung freely in the wind.

A heavy wind.

The figure on the sofa twitched gently, rolling to one side. The eyes opened. The gentle light reflected off of the exposed irises.

Oddly familiar eyes.

Yet the rest was just a silhouette.

In the bedroom, the sleeping figure's chest rose and fell with each breath. The curtains near the figure's head swayed gently with the wind, moving almost as though they were dancing with the breathing shadow below.

A period of awakening.

A sneeze.

The waltz of the sleeping returns.

A small sound emminates from the sofa. Was that someone clearing their throat? It was. Was that a man? Indeed.

Another sound. What is it?

Metal?

Hissing?

An engine?

A vehicle.

Two even more shadowy figures appear. They're in the garden?

A crunch.

What is that?

Footsteps.

Footsteps over flora.

The crunching- no, the walking- gets closer. In the bedroom, sleep prevails undisturbed. On the sofa, sleep is lost. Full awareness overtakes the figure there.

He knows?

Sounds change. The crunching becomes feet on wood. A wooden floor? They're in the house? My God, they're in the house!

Now the sofa is empty. It's occupant moves slowly to the kitchen.

Don't go there! They're in the next room!

Why the hell can't you hear me?

The intruding figures emerge. Behind him?

Are they behind him?

Why can't you hear me?

Michael...

His eye's opened to reveal a most pleasant figure leaning over him. Shaking him back to consciousness.

"Michael, you were talking. Wake up."

Michael Kristophers slowly brought his hands to meet his face, wiping sweat from his brow and his eyes open.

"Michael-"

"I'm awake. Just a bad dream, that's all"

Lana sent a piercing glare in his direction. "Not just a bad dream, Michael. The same bad dream that you had last night. You said the same thing."

"What did I say?" he inquired, somewhat idly.

"You kept saying, 'why can't you hear me?' or something like that."

His head turned and he fixed his gaze on the small vase containing a wonderful earthly floral arrangment. I knew I shouldn't have taken this leave. I knew she'd want to sleep next to me. I knew she'd find out.

The soft skinned, black haired woman beside him was getting impatient. "Michael, dammit! Just tell me what's going on."

He considered this for just a moment. She really should know, he thought.

"I keep having this dream. More like a nightmare, actually. It's about my father."

Lana noticed Michael's thick fingers as they began fidgeting with her hair. His face went somber as he continued. "It started with that visit from the IISA officer. She asked me to tell her everything I remembered about my father's death. Ever since then..."

His voice trailed into space. Ever since then, you can't stop thinking about it. Or why IISA would be interested, Lana thought, completing his sentence for him.

Her arms wrapped his torso tightly. She pulled him to her as close as she could. "I don't know what to say."

He rolled away and let his body return to a state of REM once again.

14 September, 2985

2345 Hours

Somewhere near Barnard's Star

ICV-Listour

A small chirp echoed through Major Kristopher's quarters. He slowly rose to awareness from the soft bed he had been sleeping on. His mission was finally complete, although a good fifty percent of his squad was KIA. Upon his return to friendly confines, he issued an order to his troops to get some sleep, get some ale, and have some fun.

Another chirp. "Alright, alright," his mumbled, then swithing to a louder voice: "I'm coming."

A finger pressed gently on release mechanism for the lock. A small click greeted him, and a swoosh of air showered his body as he opened the door to find a young ensign standing impatiently.

"What can I do for you, son?" the major asked, his voice still not completely returned from the subliminal abyss.

"Sir," the ensign began, snapping to attention, "I have orders for you from Spectre Fleet Command."

A small computer chip made it's way from the ensign's pocket to Major Kristopher's hand. He eyed the chip briefly before dismissing the young officer.

Backing into his modest and spartan living area, he closed the door and locked it, checking to assure that it was secure. Old habits die hard, he thought, especially in the Insurgency. A small grin and chuckle met his thought half way as he moved to the small computer terminal nearby.

Kristophers mind returned to his sleep, actually to his dream. He dreamt of the men entering his home while his son slept peacefully what seemed like so long ago. He dreamt of sneaking up behind the taller of the two, breaking the unsuspecting man's neck with a quick thrust of his hands.

He dreamt of moving through his own home as though he were in enemy territory, using the art of stealth to stalk his prey.

He dreamt of the other man locating him, raising his silenced rifle to deliver the killing blow. He dreamt of his hand removing the weapon from the grip of the intruder, and turning it on him.

He dreamt again of his son, asleep as he pulled the trigger, pumping twenty rounds into the second intruder to hide is identity.

His dream ended there, but his thoughts continued as he slid the chip into the terminal in front of him. His thoughts turned to his leaving in the middle of the night, searching out all who knew of the raid in his home. He found the man pulling the strings of his minions of murdering puppets.

He found him, and then he killed him.

James Kristophers knew that such raids were not public knowledge and if they were to become such, the press would have a field day. He knew that they weren't even documented, as to leave no evidence of the murdering that occured nightly; the savage killings of Insurgent sympathisers.

The destruction of human lives.

He knew all of this, because he used to participate in all of this. He was a killer. He was what is now his sworn enemy. But he was no longer any of that.

Major James Kristophers was an Insurgent. An Insurgent trying to make ammends for the atrocities he himself had commited.

The screen before him changed from it's readout of "Loading" to "Ready for Playback".

He stared at the monitor for a moment and pressed the appropriate button for playback.

[/RP]

Yes, yes, this is going somewhere. wink.gif I'm just taking my time getting there. This is supposed to be a *long* story anyway. biggrin.gif

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

Cmdr. Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

Commanding Officer, Spectre StarStation

ICV-Intrepid

Recruitment Officer

"You won't get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!"

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 05-25-2000).]

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[RP]

28 September, 2985

1305 Hours

Somewhere in the Trenis system

ICV-Listour

That damned siren annoyed him more than the useless indication it made. It was as if the roar of the shuttle's engines weren't enough to alert anyone in the vicinity to stay the hell out of it's path. Then again, Major James Kristophers noted to himself, almost everything regarding his current assignment annoyed him. Especially the junior-looking senior officer who so often reminded him of the small margin of error of his mission. More than once he wanted to tell the little prick that there was hardly ever any margin of error. When an error occurs, good people die.

The shuttle lifted uneventfully, turning to follow it's programed heading. A slight jolt and the course was set. Looking over his shoulders, Kristophers saw his Marines relax a bit. Traditionally, Marines never liked being in such tight confines as a shuttle for very long. But his Marines were used to it, he noted as several of them drifted away to their dreams. He silently wondered what those young men and woman dreamt. The looks on their faces were rather peaceful, he decided. He hoped their dreams were as well.

Satisfied that the trip would be uneventful, the grey haired major turned to face the communications console before him. Slowly his thick fingers repeatedly tapped the frequency button until the display read the proper channel. He sat back against his seat for just a moment to collect his thoughts. He threw a quick glance at his Marines, then turned and leaned forward to hover over the terminal. Firmly pressing the transmit button, he waited for a response on from the other side.

28 September, 2985

1309 Hours

Spectre Starstation

In Antis Orbit

"Ma'am," the stocky young comms officer bellowed. "Incoming message from Major Kristophers".

"Patch it through to my office", a rather attractive Marine colonel replied as she made her way to the dark room at the far side of the command deck. The young comms officer watched her lustfully, although he thought that she could stand to lose five pounds. He thought of his own weight then and decided that he could hardly talk.

Colonel Melissa Wimberly entered her office through the sliding door which hissed open upon her sliding her access card through the panel at it's side. The lights flicked on as she entered and she gracefully moved to take a seat behind her desk. Her hand swiveled the monitor to meet her eyes and she punched a button. An image of a man slowly faded onto the screen; the image being disturbed rather heavily by cosmic radio static. But Major James Kristophers was still recognizable, Colonel Wimberly decided after seeing his smile.

"Major, nice to hear from you again!" She said it with much sincerity which brought an even larger smile to the Major's face. "How've you been?"

"Doing well, could be better." His eyes glowed more than his statement would imply. Never in his life had he felt more at ease while talking with a superior officer. It didn't hurt that they were, quite obviously, mutually attracted to one another. "Is this a secure channel?" he continued.

Melissa quickly checked the status readout beside the monitor. "It is. What's on your mind?"

"Colonel, I'm en route to Spectre HQ to deliver a message from a mutual aquaintence."

Wimberly paused to think for a moment. Who would qualify as a mutual aquaintence? Sure, she and James had spent many an evening together just chatting it up in some pub or another but rarely had those conversations included another individual. Oh wait, she thought, he must be refering to...

"I just thought I'd give you a call to let you prepare for this one," Kristophers went on. "Something's stirring back home but he doesn't know what it is. It may involve some intervention on our part to get to the bottom of this."

"I thought he went offline two months ago," Wimberly semi-inquired. She noticed Kristophers' charming face turn a smitten frown at this.

"Well, ummm, I had a small feeling, you know? Call it 'intel intuition'. I just figured that a month or two or three longer wouldn't hurt if we played it safe, and we may find that it was well worth it."

The Colonel gazed at him for a slow moment. James thought that he may have upset her at the slight defiance of his changing their plans. After all, it was an operation that Insurgent One himself authorized. And it was also an operation that Insurgent One himself choose to forget, leaving it in the hands of two of his most capable officers.

Her next words clarified the meaning of her gaze. "Really, how've you been. I've been missing you."

[/RP]

The beat goes on. wink.gif

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

Cmdr. Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

Commanding Officer, Spectre StarStation

ICV-Intrepid

"You won't get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!"

[This message has been edited by aramike01 (edited 07-04-2000).]

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[RP]

18 October, 2985

1819 Hours

Earthcom Academy

She approached the large room slowly. There was nothing about this next test that she took a liking to. She had heard numerous stories about what generally happens to cadets upon it's conclusion and Cadet Neecie would've prefered to just not experience that feeling. Nevertheless, she sucked it in and entered the room with a confident stride.

Once inside she noticed the only two other occupants of the large room. One was her preflight training instructor; the other was an slightly overweight technician. Lana decided that he would be the one throwing the switch when the test was prepared to be executed. For that, she wanted to slap him.

The instructor stood over the technician for a moment or two, helping him calibrate the test to Neecie's medical profile. It could be quite dangerous if the test wasn't configured properly, as the academy had found out after first installing the system ten or so years ago. Three cadets were killed and a hand full more suffered from permanant blindness and other drastic side-effects. Now, for the most part, every tested cadet simply vomited after it was over.

Lifting his head slightly, the instructor noticed Cadet Neecie's presence. She was staring intently at the large machine before her, wishing that she wouldn't have to enter it. Quickly her heels snapped together and her body went stiff as the instructor finally acknowledged her presence. The position of attention was broken with a timely "at ease" command.

"How are you feeling today," the instructor inquired casually.

"Sir, I'm doing well, thank you, sir," Lana answered with the utmost regard for formality. She secretly liked Flight Instructor Novak as he was always pleasant and casual with her. He made her feel as though he was on her side; as though he wanted her to become a pilot. That was a far cry from what other cadets had told her to expect. They made it sound as thought the instructors would do anything to try and fail the cadets.

"Well, Cadet, I'm sure you've heard many ugly stories about this test. Let me assure you that the centrifuge is hardly as bad as others would like you to believe," Novak said sympathetically.

Lana thought about the last for a moment. Michael did say that it was just a long, pressured, ride.

"Anyway, why don't you get your flight suit ready and be back in five. The machine should be ready by then."

"Yes, sir," Lana said as she made her way to the locker area.

Her step was brisk as she entered the large room once again, donning her flight suit and awaiting her test. The centrifuge was a maching dating back to the mid-twentieth century, used for testing how much g-force pilots could handle safely while still operating their planes. Granted, the machine had evolved somewhat over the years but Lana was convinced that this particular centrifuge was directly from that era of pioneering aviation. It even had windows on it's cockpit so the cadets would really have reason to hurl their guts. When in most 30th century machines of this type, the users would have no idea that they were spinning. It was decidely a part of the saddism the naturally came along with military training.

She moved a little closer to the maching as Novak was still occupied with last minute calibrations. The large pole in the center looked to be attached to a rather massive engine-looking device protruding from the floor. Two slightly smaller poles extended from the center one in exactly opposite directions; one was the cockpit and the other was a counter weight which kept the machine turning with less power consumption. Oh, and it kept the cockpit from flying through the wall out onto the parade grounds, as well.

Novak, confident that the test was ready to occur, called over to Neecie. "Step this way, Cadet."

Lana complied, and followed Instructor Novak's extended hand into the cockpit module. He reached in and helped Lana secure her body tightly to the chair of the machine. She noticed a small control panel to her left which included an emergency shut down switch for use in case the g-force became too much for the cadets to handle. Also included on the panel was a read-out informing the occupants as to how many G's they were pulling, and the time remaining on the test cycle.

When Lana was fastened securely, the instructor removed himself from the cockpit and proceeded to the control panel. Lana could see the panel from where the window was currently facing, and she wondered curiously as to why Novak apparantly relieved the techician so he could control the test himself. She figured it was a standard safety precaution, although one would think that the techician would remain in the room while the instructor fled to a more secure area.

Lana watched as the instructor keyed a few commands into the panel, and felt the centrifuge begin to move.

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

Cadet Michael Kristophers crisply made his way toward the building which housed the centrifuge machine. He'd forgotten a data chip with is strategic assessment assignment on it in one of the lockers. He cursed himself repeatedly as he walked; it was a long friggin' way to that damned building. And it seemed hotter than normal today in the Earthcom Academy dome.

Finally, he saw the large test-building appear across the parade grounds. He entered a quick jog hoping to avoid being caught up in the retreat ceremony for the evening.

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

The spinning began without event, and Lana was now beginning to feel a slight amount of pressure. Her eyes were locked intently on the small panel within the cockpit. She watched the meter slowly rise as more g-force was applied to her body from the machine's acceleration. It now read: 2.232.

She felt safe enough to throw a glance through the window. In reality, she wasn't spinning too fast to see what was outside the cockpit with detail. She could see Novak rapidly hammering commands into the control panel.

Suddenly, she heard a loud cracking sound. The acceleration was faster, and the pressure was a bit more intense. 3.467 the display read.

Another look through the window. What in the hell? Novak was no where to be seen. The control panel had been vacated. She was all alone and Lana felt the pressure rising fast.

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

"Good evening, sir," Cadet Kristophers greeted Flight Instructor Novak as they passed on his way into the building. Novak simply nodded and hurredly carried on his way.

As he entered, he noted the sound of the centrifuge spinning yet another cadet to nausea. He walked directly into the locker room, pulled his data chip from the locker he had used earlier in the day, and made his way to the exit. He decided that a quick glance into the centrifuge room wouldn't hurt as he never experienced the process from outside of the cockpit module.

The machine was accelerating rapidly. It looked almost as though it was speeding up even faster than it did during his test. Must seem different from the outside, Michael figured.

Then he noticed the empty control panel. A technician had been monitoring it for the duration of his test. Something was certainly very wrong.

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

3.943 ... 3.998 ... 4.079 ... 4.376

Lana watched the display as the G-forces applied to her body climbed rapidly. Her breathing became heavier with every tick of the meter. At this rate, she thought, the force would reach 20-plus Gee's in less than five minutes. Fear settled in. Something was very wrong.

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

Michael peered through the window as the centrifuge seemingly accelerated out of control. He could see the occupant status display on his right. He squinted his eyes and finally made out what it read:

Neecie, Lana M.

Flight Cadet

113-2245-0963-B

Michael felt the adrenaline pump through his body upon reading this. He knew something was wrong before, now he knew something was wrong and Lana was in danger because of it. He knew he had to help her, but didn't know how.

Outside the building he heard the evening's retreat ceremony begin. He ran to the entrance and peered at the several hundred cadets assembled on the parade grounds overlooking the UFN flag.

Cadet Kristophers quickly ran back to the entrance to the centrifuge room. He made a futile attempt to open the door, as it was obviously locked for safety purposes. The irony of this was amazing; his safety was not in question. His girlfriend's, however, was.

Running hard, Michael stumble into the locker room. He looked for anything that could help him open the testing room's door. A large bench appeared to be the only thing removable, so he struggled to lift it and hustled to the locked entrance.

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

Lana observed the room through the cockpit module's window. She was quite frightened. The display now showed 7 and a half gee's. The pressure was draining and becoming harder to endure in her panicked state.

She was tired of this scare. Her hand reached over to the cut-off switch and her soft fingers flipped it with much vigor...

Nothing happened. The machine continued it's acceleration. Lana's heart raced from the helpless feeling that settled in. It's out of my hands now.

Just as that thought entered her mind, she observed the door to the testing chamber crash open. She couldn't tell who entered as the spinning was too fast, but she knew that whoever it may have been, that person was her only chance to get out of that thing.

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

Kristophers' heart thudded against his chest. His body felt an excessive exhertion from slamming the bench into that damn door so many times. Quickly he ran to the control panel. Shit! That damn thing's controls had been smashed!

Thinking back to the briefing, his mind analyzed the situation and what he could possibly do about it.

31 gees. No human could survive past that. He could see that Lana was now feeling 14. In a minute, it would probably get to the point where she would black out. Not much longer, and she would suffer permanant damage to her nervous system.

He couldn't shut the centrifuge down. He certainly couldn't get inside and remove Lana. It was spinning too fast for that. Michael decided that the only thing to do was, well, break the machine.

His hands grabbed the bench that he used as a ram before and lifted it off the floor. Damn, it was heavy. Heavier than before. He ducked down as he lumbered under the spinning centrifuge. Slamming the center pole didn't work. It kept spinning.

It kept accelerating.

17 Gee's...

Michael moved from the center, keeping his head low. Close enough to the outside, he decided. His hands lifted the bench vertically and he prepared to thrust it into the path of the spinning death machine. A quick breath, and he threw all his energy into tossing the bench upward.

It worked. Sort of. The speed of the machine was too great to be interfered with. The counter weight module broke off, falling to the floor with a loud bang, just meters away from Michael. The cockpit module couldn't stand the stress individually, and broke off violently, slamming through the thin wall between the testing room and the parade grounds. The cadet assembly scrambled at the noise and the large object hurtling towards them. Self-preservation took control of their minds.

The module came to a halt, just two meters before the flag pole. Michael rushed to see if his girlfriend was unhurt.

[/RP]

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

Cmdr. Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

Commanding Officer, Spectre StarStation

ICV-Intrepid

"You won't get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!"

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Guest aramike01

[RP]

18 October, 2985

1905 Hours

Earthcom Academy

"I'm fine, really," Lana assured Michael, her head still spinning from the sudden loss of pressure. Slowly she reached to grab something to help her remove her body from the destroyed centrifuge cockpit module. Michael extended his hand in an offer to help her out, which she accepted with a barely audible grumble. Lana hated feeling as though she needed help with anything, although she had come to accept it as a part of life. But she could still grumble.

The scores of cadets assembled for the evening's retreat ceremony formed a perfect circle around the module and they watched as Cadet Kristophers helped Cadet Neecie to her feet. Every one of the onlooking cadets where too laden with shock to offer a helping hand and as such, they all watched.

"You sure you're okay?" Michael inquired for the third or fourth time.

"Positive. Just a little dizzy, just give me a minute." Lana's knees shook as she cleared the module.

"We had better get you to the infirmary, Lana."

An emergency vehicle arrived just as Michael spoke. One rather burly drill instructor ushered the gawking cadets off of the parade grounds to make room for the arriving medical and mechanical crews. He was participating in the ceremony when the sudden interruption occured and was ery thankful that no one had been hurt.

Lana and Michael next found themselves inside an emergency vehicle, speeding to the infirmary.

19 October, 2985

0916 Hours

Spectre Starstation

In Antis Orbit

"In other news, last night there was reportedly an accident at Earthcom Academy on Lunar. From early reports it appears to have involved a cadet being tested on an out of control centrifuge machine. A centrifuge is designed to test a human body for it's limit of applied gravitational forces. The cadet's identity has not been released to the press.

"At this time no one from the Academy has issued a statement regarding the accident. However, one official speaking on the condition of anonymity eluded to Insurgent involvement, possibly even sabotage.

"We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available."

James Kristophers slapped the power key just a little too hard. He was tired of hearing the UFN blame every one of their screw-ups on Insurgent saboteurs. It didn't bother him so much for reasons of the bad publicity, rather it annoyed him because the Insurgency was not a terrorist organization and those little screw-ups appeared to be the work of terrorists.

For years the UFN had unsuccessfully tried to put the Insurgency under the label of terrorists. The problem with politicians has always been their inability to remember the slightest bit of history if it were to conflict with their agendas. The Insurgency was intitially a peaceful organization. Eventually, their ideology grew quite popular which threatened the political controlling entity, Earthcom. Hence, they were labeled an outlaw organization as the threat to the powers-that-were became too large to be acceptable.

Not being allowed an ideology to peacefully fight for is what precipitated the violence. Members of the Insurgency, even sympathising non-members, were thrown into prison, the key discarded. Earthcom sent it's agents to kill, no, to murder, the more prominant members and non-members alike. Political assassinations were carried out against low-level members of the UFN body politic, doubtlessly ordered by the higher-ups. These were then blamed on those damned Insurgent terrorists.

The relief for James and the rest of the Insurgency was that the public-at-large was not buying the bullshit. Government approval ratings plummeted with every story. Many prominant officials denounced the UFN's lies and defected to the Insurgency where, at the very least, they felt the truth would prevail. James knew that, with every passing second, the Insurgency gained ground on the UFN. In his heart he knew that the Insurgency would eventually prevail in this life-long conflict. He curiously wondered if that was the result of reading too many stories where the powers of good prevailed over evil or whether that was truly the most likely strategic scenario. Either way, he believed it in his heart.

Kristophers slowly pulled himself away from the screen that the news lady occupied only moments ago, his thoughts returning to the task at hand. His team would deploy on the most dangerous Insurgent mission yet in two weeks, and he needed to plan and prepare. His forehead wrinkled as his mind fell lost to thought; wondering if he'd be alive in a month, wondering if he'd ever see Michael again.

A knock at the door cleared his head. "Who is it?" James shouted, just a tad too loudly. Interruptions almost always annoyed the hell out of him.

"Three guesses," a familiar female voice replied sweetly.

Feeling his mood change, Major Kristophers bolted to the door, not wanted Colonel Wimberly to wait long.

[/RP]

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Good read so far mike. keep it up smile.gif

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

Cmdr. Antilles

Spectre Fleet

Spectre Starstation

ICV- Eclipse

Chief Security Officer

Learning is not compulsory... Neither is survival.

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Guest aramike01

Thanks, Eclipse! Was wondering if anyone was reading this... biggrin.gif

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

Cmdr. Michael Kristophers

Spectre Fleet

Commanding Officer, Spectre StarStation

ICV-Intrepid

"You won't get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole!"

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