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In Darkness, There Are Only Your Brothers (Lancer/??? Quest)

Prologue: Cast From The Valley
  • Gideon020

    New member

    What shall come, what has come, and what is. These are already known.
    You will die.
    But how glorious will your death be?
    And who will stand at your side

    They say that in the final moments of life, or in the moments before the medic manages to drag you back from the gates, you walk through the Valley towards the Gates. Civilians get the dark tunnel, with the light at the end, but the mercenary, the soldier, the bandit, the warrior, they see what the Valley truly is. No-one has words for it, the sight is maddening, horrifying, alien but all agree that the judgement of the soul happens in the Valley, and if you are unworthy, you are not sent to the Dark Sea or Hell, or whatever you believe in, where unimaginable horror and torment await before you are dissolved to be reborn.

    No, if you are unworthy, you live.

    And there is no greater punishment than to survive on a miracle, to wake up and find you still draw breath and you're still stuck here, in this galaxy, and you know that the suffering must continue.

    You suck in a ragged breath, feeling the bandages upon your chest and the distinct small agonies of having survived getting your ribcage cleaved open by a Reaver War Machete; an experience you wish you could say was something you have only experienced just now. Sadly, it won't be the last time and it wasn't the first time that this has happened, which means that not only do you owe money to people, you also owe more money to people.

    Again, not a first-time occurrence.

    "Back in the land of the living I see." A grey-haired medic, preparing clean bandages for more deserving patients and gathering various injectors and inhalers, comments as she passes you, "How much do you remember?"

    You wrack your head for a moment to consider the question, before shaking your head slightly as you concentrate on who you are.

    []Your name is Cassandra, a wandering mercenary who was hired by the local Corpro-Dictator of this pissant Corpro-State, before their rivals sent in the big guns.

    []Your name is Kal Merat, just another outlaw from the latest criminal endeavor gone wrong at the critical getaway. Losing your loot to pirates is frankly not gonna go wonders for your reputation.

    []Your real name was erased centuries ago. She calls you Puppy, because you act as Her attack dog. She'll be waiting for you to contact Her once you can move, and have replaced your cybernetics.

    []The name laser-etched into your skin says 'Templar'. Without any other memories, the ideal of a Templar to go with your name sounds just fine to you.

    []You named yourself Penthesilea, a better name in your head than GDO-9086298/A-U9 for certain. The bandages should help hide the fact that you are capable of perfect regeneration, and you haven't been on this world long enough for anyone to notice that you don't age. You hope your companion is intact.

    [] You know nothing. You are a blank slate. A name comes to you. NEMO.

    The medic looks you over as you consider your answer, "Don't answer straight away, just fill out what you do remember on the tablet next to you and we'll go from there. Here, Trid's free for pilots, so take a load off." The room's Trideo system engages, allowing you to sit back and allow a moment of relaxation and decompression before you get tossed into the shit once more.

    Connecting with your OmniNet link, you flick through the staggering number of networks with equally mind-bending numbers of channels per network, filtering according to your preferences as you take in some items being pushed forward for additional views.

    []A new colonisation ship called the Marathon has just made contact with Union via Blinkspace-courier drone, and there are plans underway to connect the newly-established colony once it has developed further. The UEC, the Corpro-State that backed the colony formation, is calling the new colony the furthest in their twenty-system territory, and is legally recognized as being outside Union territory until a Blinkspace gate connection can be made back to the UEC.

    []A strange art-piece transmission collates and forms into a coherent message. The Sun. The Sun. THESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNThe transmission ends and you find that you are shaking and weeping uncontrollably. And somehow you know the address for an OmniNet site as the last flecks of sunlight fade from your eyes.

    []A bizarre documentary about an artifact called The Holy Grail triggers a memory and you realize that it is a coded message for some kind of meeting to take place on a particular world.

    []A recruitment ad for a mercenary group called Militaire Sans Frontieres plays. Since you're out of work options now in this place, you decide to contact them about joining.

    []A news item plays about the sudden disappearance of a colony, and there is an open recruitment call for mercenaries by the founding state to investigate the colony named Harvest.

    []Interstellar Mining Corporation, a minor Corpro-State, is putting out a call for mercenaries to suppress a rebellion in their colonial domain. The pay on offer is quite high as the IMC territory happens to be near the extensive empire owned by Harrison Armory and is exceptionally resource-wealthy, making it a prime target for possible subversive efforts.
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