• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Macavity116

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Hello all, my name is Macavity116.

Exactly one year ago today, I started writing a story based on Stellaris called After Everything. It was one of the most fun and enjoyable experiences I've had in a very long time. I got to merge the massive and malleable universe of Stellaris with a fantasy world I had created back when I was a little kid: an island kingdom called Partoga. I posted the final chapter of that story online just 51 days ago.

Since then, I think I've been bitten by a “writing bug.” I’d enjoyed revisiting my childhood fantasy kingdom so much that I wanted to go back there really badly. Now I’ve done so. Since the 1st of December, I’ve been hard at work creating a direct sequel to After Everything, and now I’m ready to share this new tale.

If you’ve never read After Everything, then don’t worry. Even though this is a continuation of the first story, it will have a very low “barrier to entry.” You do not have to read After Everything to understand what’s going on here. (Sorry about that, everyone. He was really, really wrong when he said that. There's no excuse for making a mistake like that.) That being said, if you have read the first story: Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again.

If you’re impatient like me, then I’ve got really good news for you: I actually gave away the ending to this story in the “Afterward” section of After Everything. So, if you want to know how this is going to end without reading the whole thing, then you can follow THIS LINK to go straight to the “Afterward” and read the synopsis of Extinction.

So, before I start, I should tell you that this new story is a much, much more ambitious project than After Everything was. Just like the first story, it is primarily based on Stellaris but also includes story elements from another sci-fi game. Last time, there was a 1-chapter long crossover with XCOM 2. This time around, the entire story plays out during the aftermath of the events of Homeworld.

*Game details with any mods that were used:
  1. Stellaris (Version 2.1.3 Niven) [PRIMARY GAME: The story events are set here.]
    • Homeworld: Ships by Pangolins
    • TRAPPIST-1 System Start by Özge Kâtip
    • Homeworld Emblem Pack by Stone Cold Jane Austen
    • Flags : Emblems & Backgrounds by Rykhath
    • Slightly Powerful Starting Systems by NewAgeKid52
    • Sol System Expanded by Lion
    • Battle Debris – Starship Graveyards by mzilli
    • Cinematic Space Battles by Chickenhunt
    • More Orbital Deposits by Cian
    • Quadrant Fixed by Dwaine
    • Set War Footing Policy by Life-seeded
    • EditorMenu by silverd
    • EG* - Dimmer Core by ButtJunkie
    • Taskforce Xeno: Alien Invasion Civic by Pytheas
      • Huge Spiral Galaxy (1000 stars, 2 arms)
      • 22 Custom Empires
      • In-Game Start Year: 1860
  2. Homeworld: Remastered Collection (Version 2.1) [SECONDARY GAME: Screenshots and backstory only.]
    • FX:Galaxy v1.3.0 - The Shimmering Path by 9ccn
    • BG Maps by spoonfrog
Unlike After Everything, I’m going to take precautions to avoid the accidental destruction/corruption/loss of the save file, which means screenshots and pictures should have a little more consistency this time around. During the first story, I lost the save somewhere around Chapter 2.5, long before the halfway mark. I had to improvise the remaining screenshots/pictures as I went.

And just like last time, I have no real expectations for this. I’m just out to tell a story and have fun doing so.

Would you care to join me?


=========
FAITH IN CHAOS: A Stellaris Story
Table of Contents - Added January 14, 2019

(click the Chapter title to go directly to it)
 
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stnylan

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On board
 
Prologue: Back to Where it All Began

Macavity116

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Prologue: Back to Where it All Began

In a time before time the Great Hyperspace Core was found. With it came the gift of interstellar travel and the Outer Rim Trade Routes were established, uniting the Galaxy in peace. Four thousand years passed before the Second Core was discovered on a distant planet. Pain and bloodshed flowed in its wake until the Exiles reached their destination.

The Battle of Hiigara left the galaxy in turmoil. In a choice that would have repercussions for centuries to come, the Galactic Council permitted the Exiles to return to their Homeworld. The Exiles left a path of destruction across the galaxy and killed countless innocents along the way. Having escaped from their hot and dusty prison, the decedents of the power-mad warmongers who once dared to raise their hands against the Bentusi reclaimed the temperate paradise that had rightfully been taken away four millennia ago.

Meanwhile, with its Immortal Emperor slain at Hiigara, the Taiidan Empire was swiftly destroyed by both internal and external enemies. Fractured by civil war, the most powerful nation in the galaxy was reduced to a handful of warring splinter-groups seemingly overnight. While the “New Hiigarans” celebrated the dawning of a new time, the rest of the galaxy trembled with fear and anxiety. Dozens of minor states struggled to find their way in this new international order while Karan Sjet started building a new Hiigaran regime upon her stolen planet.

No one was capable of filling the Hegemonic void left behind by the Taiidan. Instead, the galaxy was divided up amongst several regional superpowers. Partogans, Blorg, Assurians, and Hiigarans all competed with one another to replace the Taiidan as a new galactic superpower.

Out in the Great Wastelands, the Kingdom of Partoga took full advantage of the power vacuum left behind by the Taiidan and seized over half of the territory once controlled by the Turanic Raiders. Having rapidly doubled in size, the Kingdom suddenly found itself in the unenviable position of being a regional superpower, dominating the region once shared between the Taiidan and the Turanic Raiders.

The new regions of space Partoga had acquired were set aside for the Levakians, a race of mammalians who shared their Homeworld with the Partogans. Six Levakian Kingdoms were built. They could have functioned and operated as independent states, but none of the Levakian Kings were willing to break their oaths of vassalage; oaths sworn to the Queen of Partoga after the Levakians had been conquered by the Partogans two centuries before. Instead, the six new states were simply extensions of Partogan power and influence.

Yet all is not well. The Kingdom is stretched thin, her space fleets and armies too few in number to effectively control the massive new territories. Fringe elements are left unchecked, the borders unsecured, lawlessness creeps in from the outside, and the seeds of something destructive are planted deep within the new empire.

110 years before the birth of Jericho, someone else’s story is about to begin...





It took us a few moments to get our bearings. We had arrived in a place that was both foreign and strangely familiar. We stood on the precipice, at the edge of this strange new realm for a moment overlooking a vast ocean of swirling color and shadow. Then we remembered: Our Guide is waiting for us.

She takes our hands into Her own, and guides us into the Shroud.

For a fleeting moment, we are lost and a sense of utter panic washes over us as we contemplate an eternity spent within the Shroud. Then we regain our footing, and the terror recedes.

We are in no danger. She will not abandon us.

We come to a tempestuous region of the Shroud. Massive currents of raw psionic energy are funneled through here, giving violent birth to semi-intelligent spiritual apparitions. Confused, these beings do battle with one another, releasing vast amounts of power in clashes that last for millennia. Several such duels play out before our eyes.

She tells us to proceed with caution. Even a stray thought can be shaped into something tangible in this place... and more often than not, turned against oneself.

A flock of spirits glowing with dazzling colors that none of us had ever known of danced around us for hours as She led us deeper into the Shroud. The spectacle is enjoyable, until the realization hits us:

We are being shielded from them by Her power.

Suddenly, in a painful moment of clarity, the nature of our existence was laid bare. A multiverse where thousands of galaxies like our own are locked in endless cycles of conflict. It begins, it ends, and then it begins again. Each time with trillions of lives hanging in the balance.

“SO IT IS,” a voice whispers, “AND SO IT SHALL ALWAYS BE.”

She waits until the voice has finished speaking, then commands us to follow her. We comply, partly out of obedience, partly out of curiosity.

Finally, the path She had guided us along came to an abrupt end. We could go no further.

She bade us to step forward and gaze into the abyss below...

It was Partoga. The great city looked different yet familiar. Even through the obscuring wall of flames and smoke we could recognize the Royal Science Academy, the Great Library, Mihaka Tower, and the outer walls of Fort Miranda. All were reduced to ruin. Thousands... no, millions of bodies litter the streets. The smell of volcanic sulfur was overpowering.

“YOUR FUTURE.”

Nothing living remains in the ruins. In the sky above, massive orbital installations have begun the slow and inevitable descent towards the planet, leaving a trail of acrid black smoke in the air. Are we witnessing one possible future out of many?

“NOT ONE OF MANY. IT SHALL COME TO PASS. AS SURELY AS THE SUN RISES. YOUR DESTINY WAS SOLD TO US... BY HER.”

We turn to our Guide. We demand an explanation, we refuse to believe She had betrayed us. She tries to explain, to tell us why She made a covenant with this monster, but the presence forced Her to be silent, and then took Her away. The monster lashed out at us with a massive wave of psionic energy, causing great agony to some of us and knocking others unconscious. We had no choice but to withdraw and escape from the Shroud, leaving our Guide to Her fate.


 
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stnylan

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The Cycle will have its due
 

Nikolai

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End of the Cycle? You accepted? :eek:
 
Announcement: The 4th Wall is missing...

Macavity116

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Before we start for real, the lead characters wanted to say hello as well... I can't find the 4th Wall right now, so I say "Why not?"

=================

Hiya! Thanks for choosing to read our story! Blake is doing his best to make sure that everything is ready for you.

To make those quiet moments between chapters a little more fun, Blake just said the three us can respond to your comments whenever he's busy or unavailable. If you leave a comment after reading a new chapter then one, or two, or even all three of us might stop by and add our own thoughts to whatever you had to say.

Of course, we'll only chime in if Blake himself isn't around to respond to comments.

Don't worry about us spoiling anything.

So here's how to tell us apart: You see that blue text in "Times New Roman" font? Yup! That's me! Mami Tamihana!

The orange "Verdana" font is me. My name's Tantomile, by the way.

The name's Mihaka. Eteka Mihaka. I'm the green text and "Courier New" font.

The one using "white Times New Roman" is Blake Robinson. You'll see him around.

And we'll see you too, alright! Thanks for reading Faith in Chaos with us. Now let's get this story started!!

Signed,

Mami Tamihana; Lead Protagonist
Tantomile; Deuteragonist
Eteka Mihaka; Tritagonist


==============
I checked with a moderator, and this unique comment/response system doesn't count as an "Interactive element." I thought it was a fun idea, but we'll see if it sticks.
 
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Making Blake what, I wonder?
 
Chapter 1.1: The Wasteland Girl

Macavity116

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Chapter 1.1
The Wasteland Girl

March 15, 1928 A.D.
The Gardens of Kadesh – Outer Reaches of the Kingdom of Partoga




Caption said:
A Partogan Vako Nui-class Corvette. These ships are considered to be cheap and inferior knockoffs of the Taiidan Empire's Diirvas-Class Corvette.
A lone Partogan warship crossed the dense nebula at high speed. A massive green flare and a florescent ion trail erupted from the ship’s engine bell, the only sign of the incredible stress the vessel was under. This was the Partogan Corvette HMS Mahiki, and it was responding to a distress call. Burning her engines at maximum acceleration, the little warship careened through the nebula, moving faster and faster with each passing second. Inside her cramped little cockpit, four teenaged Partogans were strapped into their seats and working furiously.

In the center of the cockpit a girl named Mami Tamihana gave orders to her three comrades. In front of her, Rapati Hipango had both of his hands on the helm, keeping the Mahiki flying straight. To Mami’s left, Arahu Ranginui was quickly flicking his control screen back and forth between the sensors manager and the weapons control system. On her right, Eteka Mihaka was holding his headset to his ear with one hand and writing down the latest message with the other.

“Tamihana! A second signal!” Eteka reported,

Mami looked away from the Sensors Manager screen on the armrest of her chair.

“Read it back,” she said. Eteka read the new distress call aloud.

“This is Imperialist Taiidani Resource Collector Tonkin. We’ve struck a mine and are adrift near the entrance to the Kadesh Hyperlane. We have no engine capability and are stranded. Please come at one!”

Mami frowned. She thought quickly, then turned to speak with Arahu.

“Ranginui, is our engine powerful enough to tow a Resource Collector?” She asked,

“Perhaps,” Arahu answered, “But the Taiidani will have to jettison their ore container. Otherwise they’ll be too heavy and we’ll waste all of our fuel dragging them to a Starbase.”

Mami nodded.

“Okay,” she said, “Mihaka, compose a message telling the Taiidani our plan. Hipango: get our tow cables set up, and Ranginui: I want you to change our stance from Evasive to Neutral. We’ve got to conserve fuel wherever we can.”

Arahu was typing a new set of commands into his computer when an alarm on the console caught his eye.

“Wait a second!” he said, “We have a Hyperspace Signature! A Mothership-class vessel 16,000 Kios off our port!”

Instinctively, Rapati swung the helm around, turning the Mahiki to face the new ship. Mami’s heart sank when she saw the long thin profile of a Kadeshi Needleship filling the forward window.

“Oh, no,” she breathed, then said loudly, “Action Stations!”

Everyone tightened their harnesses and donned space helmets. Slightly muffled by the glass helmet, Eteka announced,

“We’re being contacted by the Kadeshi!”

Again, Mami asked him to read the message aloud. The cockpit of the Mahiki fell silent as Eteka began to read:

“This is the Garden of Kadesh. For thirteen generations we have protected it from the unclean. The Taiidani who came before you refused to join and were punished for this trespass. Like theirs, your ship has already defiled this holy place. If you have come to join, we welcome you and will spare your ship until all have disembarked. If you have come to consume the garden you will be removed at once. What are your intentions?"

Mami motioned to Eteka, he spoke into a little microphone embedded in his helmet.

“Kadeshi vessel, this is the Partogan warship Mahiki. You are outside of the Kadeshi Reservation and engaging in unlawful contact with a Partogan vessel. Turn around and return-”

Eteka stopped talking and tapped the side of his helmet, as though checking to see if something was wrong. He looked around at Mami and saw she was waving at him, one hand over a button on her armrest.

“Sorry Mihaka, I had to cut that comm channel. They’re just trying to distract us from that! Look!”

A second Needleship had just dropped out of hyperspace to the Mahiki’s right flank and was rapidly closing the distance between itself and the Partogan Corvette.

“It’s a pincer attack! We can’t fight them both!” Arahu said, “Mami, we should fall back to Fort Odina!”

“You’re right!” Mami replied at once, “Bring us about and make for the Nithascal Hyperlane! Engine ahead flank!”

The Mahiki turned and fled. Behind her, the two Needleships began to pursue before abruptly slowing down. It was Rapati who noticed the change in Kadeshi behavior first. He looked down at his sensor manager and spotted the reason why the Needleships had fallen back.

“Incoming strike craft!” Rapati reported, “Fifty or sixty Swarmers, supported by two Fuel Pods and one Multi Beam Frigate.”

Rapati, Eteka, and Arahu all looked at Mami. There was no way their heavy and sluggish Corvette could outrun the light and nimble Swarmers.

“We’ll be overrun before we get to the Hyperlane.” Aranu breathed,

“Not on my watch!” Mami used a confident tone of voice to mask how nervous she felt. “Ranginui and Mihaka, get on the guns and keep our tail clear! Hipango, keep us heading towards that Hyperlane! I’m calling for help!”

As the Swarmers closed in, the Mahiki’s Mass Driver turrets swiveled around and opened fire! One little ship was unlucky, it was shredded into millions of little pieces in one hit! The rest regained their formation and bore down on the Partogan Corvette! Rapati twitched the helm, causing the Corvette to strafe back and forth as the Kadeshi Swarmers unleashed a hailstorm of Mass Driver rounds in return. Meanwhile, Mami punched a small red button on her console and spoke into the microphone in her helmet;

“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday! This is the HMS Mahiki of the Partogan Royal Navy. We are under attack by two Kadeshi Needleships inside the Gardens of Kadesh and need support! We’re going to be overrun! Send help immediately!”

Almost at once, a voice replied!

Mahiki, this is the LVK Griddlebone. Responding to distress call and engaging Hyperspace. Estimated time of arrival: 5 minutes.”

“WHAT?!” Eteka yelled, “We can’t hold for five minutes! We’ll run out of ammo!”

Mami leaned as far forward in her seat as the safety harness would allow and pointed out the cockpit window to a celestial formation just below the ship.

“Hipango! Take us into the asteroid field!” she commanded,

“Are you gripped!?” Rapati replied, “That’s a pilot’s worst nightmare in there!”

“Exactly!” Mami said, “It’ll be their worst nightmare! I can trust you! Get us on the other side of it!”

Rapati took a deep breath and nosed the Mahiki into a dive. The Corvette plunged into the dense cloud of rock and ice, launching Mass Driver rounds at the pursuers the whole time. The sound of dust and ice hitting the ship was like a high-intensity rainstorm as Rapati carefully negotiated the larger, more dangerous space rocks.

While the Mahiki fled deeper and deeper into the asteroid field, the squadron of Kadeshi Swarmers seemed to be having a far worse time. Some got caught by Mass Driver fire, others slammed into asteroids. Fifteen Swarmers bailed out of the fight entirely, exiting the asteroid field and returning to their Needleships. Only five Swarmers were still chasing the Mahiki! Mami pumped her fists in the air and yelled!

“Yes! We’re almost there! You can do it, guys!”

Eteka and Arahu both fired another Mass Driver volley and took out two of the pursuers! Rapati pulled hard on the helm, bringing the Mahiki over the horizon of a particularly large asteroid. Then he wrenched even harder on the controls and screamed,

“WAI-WAIT WAIT NO-NO-NO-NONONO N-”

Out of nowhere, a mountain rose into view from the surface of the asteroid below! The Mahiki was too close to the surface to react in time, no matter how hard Rapati pulled on the control column. All four smiles in the cockpit vanished as the Corvette plowed headlong into the mountainside at full speed!

Sys/ Simulation terminated due to mission failure.

Sys/ Ship crashed!

Sys/ Controlled flight into terrain.

Sys/ Flight simulator apparatus disengaging...




March 15, 1928 A.D.
Officer Training School, Fort Daxia – Trecta Star System, Kingdom of Partoga


Caption said:
Fort Daxia, Partoga's largest spaceborne military installation, located near the Partogan Homeworld (right)
Mami, Eteka, Rapati, and Arahu were unceremoniously removed from the Spaceflight Simulator by a crew of Partogan Royal Navy workers. After shaking their heads and sharing a sigh of disappointment, the team split up. The three boys reported to one locker room while Mami went to the women’s locker room by herself. As soon as she was alone, Mami kicked the door of her own locker in frustration, denting the metal with her steel-toed boot. Once the last of her frustration was vented, Mami opened her locker, grabbed a comb and went to a nearby wall mirror. She needed to do something about her hair before the Debriefing began.

Mami gave her reflection an unsatisfied look, and the reflection did the same. After a moment, Mami smiled. She couldn’t stay mad at herself, after all.

Like the vast majority of Partogans, Mami Tamihana had light brown skin, straight white hair, and vivid purple eyes that stood out even in low light. Unlike most Partogans, Mami was significantly taller than the average 13-year-old girl, she looked down on everyone her own age. Mami made up for her unusual height by being strongly built. Her arm, leg, and ab muscles were all in peak condition thanks to nearly four years of continuous military training. Despite being through a (simulated) series of stressful events, Mami didn’t feel tired or worn out in any way. She was in the best shape of her life. The Royal Navy had been good to Mami, and she would definitely return the favor... as soon as someone actually put her on a ship, anyway.

Mami ran the comb through her white hair, straightening out the tangles that routinely appeared whenever she flew in the simulator. She’d given up on trying to prevent or escape the static electricity that tormented her whenever she spent a lot of time in that little capsule. Once Mami looked a little more presentable, she changed into a fresh uniform and left the locker room.

Mami was the first member of the team to report to the door of the Drill Instructor’s office. Eteka Mihaka showed up next. He was a tall and slender kid with short grey hair, a round face, and rectangular glasses that kept sliding down the bridge of his nose. Arahu Ranginui appeared a few moments later. He had recovered from the shock of failing the simulated mission and was back to his smug “look-at-how-cool-I-am" appearance; Arahu’s long hair was carefully combed and slicked back while his face was decorated with an incredibly self-assured smile that made everyone feel just a little inferior to him.

“Where’s Hipango?” Mami asked,

Arahu rolled his eyes at Eteka, who rolled his eyes at Mami. Then all three of them said together:

“Shower.”

Rapati Hipango had always been a “less-than-perfect" Student-Soldier. His physical fitness status was just barely passable, he couldn’t be trusted to remember basic general orders, and he couldn’t go more than two days without upsetting a Drill Instructor. His career at the Daxia School had been so lackluster that his classmates were able to predict his mistakes and failures with unerring accuracy.

And sure enough... Mami, Eteka, and Arahu had guessed correctly again.

Rapati came dashing into view. His boots made wet squelching noises on the metal floor and water was soaking through the front of his PRN uniform, which was improperly assembled. Eteka and Mami went to work correcting all of the little errors on Rapati’s uniform while Arahu sniggered and said,

“The Commander said you’d be ‘wet behind the ears’ but this is ridiculous!”

Arahu waited for someone to laugh at his joke. Mami just shot him a disappointed look.

“How has your sister not killed you yet, Ranginui?” Mami said exasperatedly.

She was about to go on when another voice interrupted her.

“I ask myself the same thing every day, Cadet Tamihana. Still don’t have the answer.”

Mami, Eteka, Arahu, and Rapati all jumped to attention and raised their arms in salute. Standing in the now-open doorway was a middle-aged Partogan Navy officer. Bright red shoulder epaulettes showed him to be a Drill Instructor. He waved Mami and her team into his office, where they sat down on four uncomfortable chairs and waited for their Drill Instructor to seat himself behind a large desk.

Drill Instructor Ruiha Tahana drummed his fingers on the desk, looked at each soldier in turn, then said,

“Well done on the Kadeshi sim today. I saw the whole thing from the Commodore’s office.”

Mami and Eteka looked at each other in confusion.

“Wait,” said Eteka, “I thought we failed the sim.”

Drill Instructor Tahana nodded,

“You did. But you got further than most Cadets before you failed. Most of the kids like you try to stand and fight the Kadeshi. They get blown up in the first minute or two.”

Rapati seemed to perk up when he heard this, but Drill Instructor Tahana wasn’t finished.

“The fact is, you still failed to meet the standard, and I don’t care about this being your first attempt at the sim.” he added as Mami opened her mouth to protest, “Your mission objective was to rescue that Taiidan ship, and you did no such thing. The Royal Navy expects nothing less than excellence from its soldiers. If you don’t meet our standards, you don’t get to be part of this military. It’s as simple as that. You will have to redo the simulation ten days from now, so Ranginui and Hipango, I expect you both to keep studying hard while Tamihana and Mihaka are gone and to bring them both up to speed when they get back week after next.”

Mami’s heart skipped a beat. What did the Drill Instructor just say?! Eteka, Arahu, and Rapati turned in their chairs to look at Mami, who instead addressed Tahana.

“Uh, sir?” Mami asked slowly, “What are you talking about? Why are Mihaka and I going to be ‘gone’ for a week?”

Tahana raised an eyebrow at Mami.

“I never forgot, Tamihana.” He said, “Eight months ago, you asked for permission to go on leave so you could do the Rite of Passage. And you, Mihaka. You did the same thing, right around the same time. Well, the paperwork for both of you has gone through and your requests were approved. Tomorrow, you’ll each be picked up and taken to the Homeworld by a family member.”

Tahana gave Mami and Eteka a respectful smile.

“Mihaka and Tamihana, I’m sure both of you know how your lives will change once you complete the Rite of Passage. Especially you, Tamihana. You’ve been a member of the Navy for nearly four years, yet I’m still legally obligated to treat you like a child. If you come back here after summiting the Mountain then I promise your life will be changed instantly and for the better. You’ll be given the respect and treatment someone with your level of experience deserves, and...”

Tahana tapped a piece of paper on his desk.

“You might have promotions and deployments in your future. Don’t forget there’s still a war on right now. The PRN needs trained and skilled soldiers like you and your team. So, I expect you to both come back to base as fully-grown adults. Good luck and happy climbing.”

And then he dismissed the team. Mami, Rapati, Eteka, and Arahu half ran, half jogged to the mess hall, which was located deeper inside of Fort Daxia. As soon as they reached the mess hall, all four of them burst into celebratory cheers!

“I’m gonna climb the Mountain!!” Mami squealed,

Eteka patted her on the back.

“We can climb together!” he said, “So there’s no way we can fail! It’s so lucky the Admiralty is letting us go at the same time.”

“Oh, please,” Arahu commented smugly, “You know my Great-Uncle ‘convinced’ the Admiralty to let you go, Tamihana.”

Arahu put his arm around Mami’s shoulder and drew her into a close side-hug, ignoring the uncomfortable look on her face.

“Being friends with the Ranginui family has so many perks, you won’t know what to do first!” Arahu declared, “Welcome to the winner’s club!”

“Hey ‘winner,’” said Rapati, “Why haven’t you done the climb yet?”

That took a little wind out of Arahu’s sails.

“I... uh.... didn’t get around to it.” he said,

“Uh-huh. Sure.” Said Mami. “Don’t worry, Ranginui. I’ll bring a piece of the summit back for you!”

Laughing and joking, Arahu and Rapati went to the chow line to get some food, leaving Mami and Eteka to claim a table for the group. The two stared at each other awkwardly for a moment as they sat down.

“So, I guess we’re going home for a few days.” Eteka said, trying to start a conversation. “That’ll be cool. Didn’t you say you lived somewhere far away, like by Candon or something, right?”

Mami giggled,

“I’m not from Candon!” she corrected him, “Heck, I’ve never even seen the Homeworld! I’m a colony brat.”

Eteka put his head in one hand and just stared at her.

“So, where are you from then??” He asked, “Your accent is pretty close to someone from the Homeworld, you’ve gotta be from the Core Worlds at least.”

Again, Mami shook her head.

“Nah, I only talk like a Core Worlder because I’ve been here at Daxia with you guys for years. I’m actually from Aoraki.”

Mami thumped her chest with pride and Eteka’s jaw dropped.

“Aoraki!” he repeated the name in an awed whisper, “You mean that planet that’s-”

Mami nodded.

“A cold Tomb World so far above the galactic plane that it might as well be outside the galaxy?” She finished Eteka’s sentence for him, “Yup. That sounds like Aoraki to me.”

Eteka leaned forward, he wasn’t ready to believe her just yet.

“Aoraki,” he repeated, “Where the nights are fifty hours long? Aoraki? Where the sun is blocked by clouds for hundreds of days at a time? No oceans, no lakes, rivers, or streams. Nuclear winter all year-round. Dark... arid... cold... Aoraki. You and I are talking about the same planet right!?”

Mami smiled,

“Oh, stop.” she said, “You’re gonna make me homesick. And we do have clear skies and sunny days, you know. They’re just really... uncommon.”

Mami couldn’t help but feel that Eteka was looking at her with newfound respect.

“So,” he spoke slowly, reading Mami’s reaction, “Never been to the Homeworld?”

Mami shook her head.

Eteka started to reach across the table as if to take Mami’s hand, but withdrew it quickly and rubbed his arm instead. Mami chose to ignore the aborted hand-hold, but still felt a little hurt.

“I was thinking...” he started, “Since we’re both going to be on Partoga at the same time, why don’t we just do the Rite of Passage together? I’ve got five siblings who’ve all climbed the Mountain before, and my family always sends someone to help. We know the best way up and we really wouldn’t mind at all of you join us.”

Tackling the Unnamed Mountain with her best friend and his family? The idea had been lingering in Mami’s head ever since the Drill Instructor’s office. Mami definitely would have asked to join Eteka if he hadn’t beat her to it. So, she smiled and answered casually;

“Sure. Sounds like fun!”


 
Last edited:

stnylan

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This seems rather back to front I must admit, with the military education. A touch of the Ender's Game to it.
 

Kylia Quilor

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Definitely got Ender's game feels from it.

Is 13 about the same for a Partogan as a human, or do they age faster/differently?
 

Macavity116

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Is 13 about the same for a Partogan as a human, or do they age faster/differently?
A "human?" Hey, wait! You mean a Snowskin?

Yeah, we definitely age the same as them, same species and all. But don't ask me to pull a Snowskin outta my pocket to show you. They died out 400 years ago.

-Mami
 

Kylia Quilor

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Why do you call the natives of Earth snowskin? And since when are Partogans human? Didn't whatshername in After Everything have to go on a big massive voyage to find humans again?

And why are freaking children being trained as soldiers? What kind of dystopian nightmare do you live in?

( :p )
 

Macavity116

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:p:eek:

Lotta laughing going on over here. I guess that's my fault though. I didn't make this part clear: Remember Chapter 3.3 of After Everything, when Mira and the Midak crew synchronized their clocks with the humans?

After Everything is set in the year 2200 A.D.

Faith in Chaos is set in the year 1928 A.D.


As for child-soldiers...well...



There's a really big war going on right now...
 

Kylia Quilor

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Yeah, that wasn't clear. I assumed that since the characters knew about After Everything this took place after after everything.

But also, in that one, wasn't it stated that Earth was relatively new to the galaxy when they joined in the big destruction Armageddon war thing that Jericho ended? were humans kidnapped from Earth ala Stargate SG-1 or Traveller or whatever and spread to other worlds?