Finding Faith – Prologue & Chapter 1

by Cayti

Remember the silence,
Remember the peace,
For what we forget,
Soon forgets us,
Without silence and peace,
We have only chaos,
And without our memories,
We are nothing.

Hymn of Serenity and Past
(Ancient Quantar Psalm)

Prologue

>Personal Log H56c-51a

This is crazy. What am I doing out here in Amananth Space? Why did I get talked into flying the Amananth Faction Mission? Why did I turn in my nice, cozy, safe, albeit ungainly and un- maneuverable, boat called a Hurricane for this Typhoon?

I am NOT a fighter pilot!

I’ve been to Amananth once before, and left as soon as the pilot registry in the docking bay identified me as project FAITH. I guess these Amananthi don´t exactly personalize the way most civil people do.

Anyway, flying this Faction Mission is fairly easy, and reasonably rewarding. About the only trouble are squids, and a beacon in the flight path. Well, it´s no Emma, but it certainly is in the way. One time while passing this beacon (I nick-named it Fred), I noticed it was unaligned, so being the faithful TRI pilot I am, I flipped it. Several others were off in the neighborhood, so I flipped them as well. Soon after a Solrain honor guard, (the name of the pilot escapes me at the moment), came through and must’ve started flipping the beacons to blue.

I thought it was amusing, and I hailed him and asked if he was enjoying flipping my beacons. He seemed to panic, and turned his flashfire on to get back to the station quickly. Curious, I flashfired and pursued him, hoping to coax his fears.

I am a miner, I am not a fighter pilot.

I said to him that I was just curious if he was the one flipping the beacons I had already flipped. Well, I think he panicked again, cause he hit the side of the Amananth station. I felt bad for him…

Anyway, about half an hour later, my radar shows a pilot Egill, of L.O.K.I. squad, flipping the beacons >back< to green. Being a friendly gal, I hail him, and tell him what had just happened. He invited me to flip the rest if I wanted and I said, there was no need, for I was indeed a coward, and had no intention of going Honor Guard just to flip beacons. Kindly, he let me join his wing and share the data gained by the beacons.

Only one trip to the sea of shadows and back, and Egill hailed me on a private comm, asking for assistance in Aman Hook. Apparently, he was having trouble with some mantas. I don´t know why in the five systems he would contact me for help, but I owed him for the generosity and went to see if I couldn’t intervene somehow.

I am NOT a fighter pilot!

Arriving at Aman Hook, the situation looked very, very grim. He was leading a trail of three c6 Mantas, and two c5 Snails. I had never engaged a Snail before, let alone a Manta. I’ve handled the c5s in the training simulator, but these were the real flesh and blood things. (Do they bleed?) Egill proceeded to trail the Mantas and told me to close in behind and lay waste. Well, heeding his advice, I did just that, though I have to confess I was more than a little nervous. My first shots fired on the furthest behind Manta met with success, and the purple flare of the Conflux shield. It quickly turned to engage me, something I was not at all prepared for. I quickly hit my flashfire and ran away, feeling quite the coward, and worried I would be unable to help the Tariq Egill.

He quickly flipped around and quickly began closing on the c6 following me, despite still having the majority of the Conflux on his six. I weaved as he instructed, occasionally turning right in slow arcs so he could catch up. Just as he´s closing in for the kill, my sensors picked up something remarkable. A piece of pre-construction wreckage, just to my left. I hit the brakes and have my targeting system select it, and for a moment I curse myself for bringing Featherfires instead of an insight. Of course, the manta on my tail quickly reminds me where I am and what I should be doing as my shields begin dropping rapidly. But Egill comes to my rescue and with a few well-placed shots eliminates the Manta. One down, four to go.

My optic sensor starts shorting out again, just like it did at Tripoint (when I hit the asteroid), and the PC wreckage begins transmitting data. Before I know it, I´m closing on the tail of the snails, and eliminating them in short order. Then as Egill finishes one of the remaining mantas, I am on the heel of the last sending the beams of searing energy from my Featherfires into the back of the final fleshcrafted monstrosity.

And the wreckage is gone. No sign of it on radar at all. I assume I just flew too far away from it in the heat of combat, which is a shame really, though…

These waking dreams of pre-collapse are really starting to bother me. I know I´m a miner, and yet, I just helped protect a fellow Brother from our alien enemies. I flew and fought, and there was no mining involved. What´s happening to me?

«eof»

 

Chapter 1 – The Devil´s in the Details

Part I

The Typhoon closed on one of the three snails. Having just jumped into the Path of Hordes and seeing a transport under attack by the C5 bombers, its pilot, a girl whose only name she knew was Faith, engaged them, hoping to at least buy the transport the time it needed to escape.

“I’m a miner I shouldn’t be doing this,” the Quantar pilot thought to herself. Her glove covered tapped across the controls, quickly aiming the Featherfires at the leading snail. She tapped the fire control a few times, and let loose a few of the shimmering blue streaks of energy. The two beams missed the flesh of the C5, and dissipated without effect. Faith began panicking, her sensors showed the transport’s shields down and hull dropping rapidly. She chewed her lower lip in anticipation as she lined up for another shot, hoping to at least draw the attention away from the fleeing cargo vessel.

Faith’s concentration was interrupted by strange data being displayed across the optic enhancer covering her right eye. Her HUD began flashing the data rapidly before her eyes. Words in garbled phrases, numbers, data she had no way of understanding flew through her vision. One of the Pre-Collapse data disks that she had happened upon during her brief stint into the world of artifact searching, began to whir and beep, reacting to whatever was happening on the HUD.

“Not now!” she cried, and the images before her swirled and changed. She found herself sitting in a Dervish, a Pre-Collapse elite fighter. The Dervish had but one gunpoint, and the laser within it wasn’t horribly powerful for weapons at the time, but it was accurate, and the Dervish was a very, very fast ship. Without truly knowing what she was doing, Faith spun the Dervish about, orienting the Yurai pulse laser on the amorphous black shape in front of her. The tendrils from the oily black ship lashed out at the Dervish, but she rolled to the side, quickly changing her vector and avoiding the attack. She returned fire, once, and then again; zooming in to deliver the pulse blasts with robotic efficiency. Just before the Dervish would collide with the black amoeba like monstrosity, another pulse blast tore it apart splitting it into two.

At first, Faith was surprised, but instinctively within her, she felt what was happening was right. Everyone knew that Uirio Worms split into two halves after the shields were brought down…didn’t they? She spun the Dervish around and engaged the twin Uirio vessels. The antimatter cannons usually hidden in their recently exposed cores let loose a barrage upon her, but she maneuvered quickly to avoid most of the negative substance. What she could not, was easily handled by her shields. Quickly she slammed on the inertial dampers and flipped the Dervish around, hoping to come in on another strafing run before the Uirio Twins had reoriented their firing orifices. Letting loose a Twilight missile at one, she rolled towards the other, firing the Yurai like a surgeon. Her pinpoint accuracy extracted the antimatter core from the surrounding tissue, leading to a violent explosion, met by another one as the Twilight found home in the oily film coating the other twin.

Faith breathed a sigh of relief and turned her head to see if the Hyperial pilot had escaped safely. “Desperate times sure do call for desperate allies,” she thought. Before she could muse further on the temporary alliance between Hyperial and Quantar, her vision shifted again. She found herself back in the Path of Hordes, the remains of three Snails drifting past her, and the cargo tow she was attempting to rescue was making the jump to the Quadrangle. She blinked rapidly and checked her scanners for signs of another craft, wondering who could’ve saved both her and the tow. As Faith looked around the cockpit, she noticed the artifact disk, now dead, and looking older than it had when she picked it up originally. Her eyes trailed up from the cargo view port, and across the targeting computer. A gasp escaped her lips and she nearly threw the Typhoon into a nearby asteroid in her surprise.

Duelist Targeting System Analysis:

System Status: Nominal
HUD integration: Operational
Spore capacitor: Full

Featherfire 1: Operational
——-Shots fired: 9
——-Shots hit: 8
——-Accuracy: 88.88%

Featherfire 2: Operational
——-Shots fired: 9
——-Shots hit: 8
——-Accuracy: 88.88%

Target: Quadrangle Jumpgate
Status: Operational
Last Target: C5
Last Target Status: Eliminated

Faith quickly started the ship to return to the Tripoint station. She felt the need to lie down…very quickly.

 

The Devil´s in the Details – Epilogue

>Personal Log H57f-11a

I feel like I’ve been sleeping for days. All the artifacts I brought back from deep space are ruined, though not lost. I can remember bits and pieces of the information contained on them…despite knowing I shouldn’t be able to.

After waking up today, I went back into my Typhoon, trying to see if I could fight. I …can’t at all. I missed the squid six times before giving up and turning home. Whatever it is…that´s happening, it´s related to the PC data disks. I have to acquire more of them…I can’t deny the urge now. All of this feels like I´m reliving something else, but…

Well, I don’t know what yet. I´m returning to my Hurricane. It’s safer for me despite feeling like I’m piloting a rock. I received a data transfer from Governer Queliar Neamru II, Brother. I have to say, what he sent me certainly …punctuates the week effectively.

————————————————————–
Pilot File: 06044-i8ee6-ch03
————————————————————–
Name: Faith
DoB:
PoB:
Age:
Vision aptitude: Marginal
Coordination: Marginal
Physical prowess: Marginal
Reflexes: Marginal
Mental aptitude: Marginal
Piety: Acceptable
Background Information:
Notes: Pilots this low of caliber are usually rejected.
TRI Research insisted that she be allowed to fly.
Reasons for being based in the TRI-point station are unknown.
————————————————————–

Wholly useless. I can’t say as the file helps much.

So, two things to do now. Number one, find pilots who are willing to sell their arti data disks to me. Number two, find someone capable of …I can’t believe I´m writing this, but break into TRI Security and find out what´s under the classified banners.

I’ll have to go see squadmate Iwakura too. He may have some advice, and in any case I’ll need someone to protect me while I’m flying the boat.

«eof»


Continue to Chapter 2

 

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