Super?

Discovery! pt 2

1:26 AM – March 7th, 2006: … The collected data is amazing! I can’t even begin to imagine the significance behind what I’m seeing. My last entry I speculated that this artefact would change what we know of human history in Europe, not even close. This data ranks up with the neandertal, the homo erectus, the homo habilis… it’s a major part of the understanding our own race.

At the mention of the names of the ancient human ancestors an energy field ignites surrounding the man and the items and burns to an almost palpable level. The young man stops reading the screen of his lap top for a moment and looks about the room, feeling something, but not able to see the mounting energy.

In the corner of the room, light seems to dim as a presence begins to fill the office. Now the light around the artefacts begins to show more brightly. The young man finally takes notice and his new knowledge draws…

THE WATCHER’S GAZE!

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Discovery!

A late night lab worker sits, tired but determined at his work station; several ancient artefacts sit about the young man on his large white desk.

“I know there is a link here! These markings are too similar to not be connected!”

Undetectable to the young man at the table, there is an energy field that connects three of the many artefacts on the desk. A horned human skull, a weathered stone tablet, and a long ago tarnished sword, ancient but still sharp. The young man carefully and reverently picks up the large stone tablet and places it before him on the desk. Pulling out a notebook the man begins to make a note.

9:17 PM – March 6th, 2006: … This morning I finished cross examining our runescript database with item #D04YY214 and although I found a connection between the rune database and the tablet markings, there was a discrepancy that suggested this is either a more archaic set of runescript or this piece is a forgery. I originally believed that this piece was likely a forgery, but I received the lab results of the date analysis, and according to the data this is likely the oldest set of runescript ever found.

Needless to say, this is a career making discovery and the implications might just change what we know of human history in Europe. Although I’ve been here for about thirteen hours already, I am going to input the translation data and see what this new software can do.

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CHUD Arise

Annie walked her shopping cart down the alley, this was a popular spot, the folks in this area were good and looked out for one another; she would have a safe spot to sleep tonight. At the end of the ally there was a make shift gate, here she knocked and waited patiently.

Nothing

She knocked again

Still nothing

Getting impatient she reached up over the gate and fiddled with the latch, she was short and it was hard to reach, but after a few moments she got it and pushed the gate open, nothing could have prepared her for what she saw.

Eighteen dead, all were her friends, all of them had been living on the streets for years, blood was splattered everywhere , and it appeared they had been hacked to pieces… who could of done this, why?

It was then that she felt the pressure from behind her, pressure from a massive body pressed against her back, something warm wrapped around her neck and she found it hard breathe. Whatever it was exhaled loudly in her ear causing bits of spittle to land on the back of her neck

“Lissssten…” it hissed, it sounded like it was behind her and a thousand miles away at the same time, “… Tell Bobo… the CHUD can sssssee through his tricksssssss. Tell Bobo we are coming for him”

The hold on her neck grew tighter, Annie flailed about until finally the lack of air took its toll and the world became dark. When she woke up it was near morning, the ally was empty and clean, there was no sign of any creature or her friends… she didn’t know who this Bobo was…. But she needed to find him, and warn him.

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SUN NEWS
Our reporters are the brightest

Welcome back to SUN NEWS, News you need, today!

“I’m Tom McCloud and this is Mary Sullivan”

“For those of you just joining us tonight we take a look at Toronto’s most famous vigilante, as we have compiled these videos and clips from the past year. Warning some of these images may be considered violent. “

“Castellan where do you come from, are you an alien?”

Scene depicts large caped Castellan turning around after subduing a thief he chuckles twice before answering
**

“No… I am no an Alien, I like all of you am a citizen of Earth”
*
*Scene shows Castellan flying away

“What do you think of that Tom?”

“Well Marry, it’s obvious that he finds our curiosity I big joke, that he appears to be mocking the common man”

“My thoughts exactly Tom, you’ll also notice how he avoids the question of where he is actually from? As if he is ashamed…”

“or has something to hide… now lets watch this clip”

*
*Scene depict Castellan moving a crashed car to allow EMS access to a victim

“Castellan! Why is there so much red in your uniform… are you a socialist?”
Scene shows Castellan shaking his head in… Disappointment?… and then flying away

“What do you think of that Tom?”

“Well Marry, again by avoiding the question he once again admits guilt… clearly he is a socialist”

“My thoughts as well Tom, did you notice all the red in his uniform?”

“And that fact that he decided not to show at the mayor’s fundraiser, just because of his political views… I don’t know about you but is a socialist really the kind of person we want as the cities self-appointed protector?”

Scene depicts Castellan clearing vehicles from highways after the flood

“Castellan, Recently McLean’s magazine ran a cover photo from the flood with the Cosmic Dart carrying you, it seems that she is leaning in for a kiss, any truth to the rumors of a romance there?”

“Often when two people work as closely together as the Dart and I do, it seems like there is a kind of intimacy between them . The Cosmic Dart is a valuable ally and I appreciate everything she has done for humanity!”

“What do you think Marry?”

“He is clearly gay, look at his tights, and who would not want to be with the Cosmic Dart, a successful business women, a hero in her community, any man would be privileged to be with her”

“When you’re right you’re right Marry, in this reporters opinion we have a closeted socialist working on his own agenda while undermining our elected officials, look up in the sky, but watch out, cause it might be dangerous… you heard it here first on SUN NEWS”

“Thanks Tom, stayed tuned folks, after the break we tell you why hippies our ruining our economy!”

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Outbacked (Part 5)

aSparrow felt the thermals and circled rising higher and higher, Uluru at last, she surveyed the giant rock as she flew looking for, who knows what. Carefully she came in low, and landed with a few light steps, and began to walk along the top. Different shrub and moss grew all about it was strangely peaceful. Tourists were not allowed to climb Uluru and most aboriginals had stopped years ago for environmental reasons. As she walked taking in the fresh air and the sunset she reflected on her past year and a half.

Bennelong had been a stout companion, he had slowed their progress taking long detours until she could navigate well enough by the sun and the land to correct him, he had taught her to fish, to survive, how to use the bow, and through it all he’d asked for nothing, he was a true friend, it saddened her a little to think that soon their journey together would be over. She pondered what it would be like when she rejoined the Eroa. Even the small tribe seemed like to many people to be around now, was she ready to return? Perhaps she needed more time to herself.

“An interesting notation that, thinking to be alone whilst barging into a Stone Table Conference” the voice shot her out of her reverie, she had not noticed as the glade seemed to change in the setting sun, now their appeared to be a large stone table, with fresh meats and fruits, as well as jeweled goblets and old wine bottles. The man she looked at was not so old, perhaps early thirties; he wore a cloak of rusty coloured feathers and spoke in an accent that could be English or Irish, his dusty brown hair was short and played naturally in the wind. He ushered to the three empty seats around the table and spoke once more. “Please, my companions have already departed and I could use the company, so few can wander into the Stone Table, and fewer still by accident, choose a seat and enjoy my wine and bread”

She was unsure of what to do, she had not expected a stranger here, she had not expected a feast either, her wings twitched, something told her that this was not a man to be trifled with, and that for now she should do as she was bid, carefully she worked around the table and sat to his right.

“Interesting,” he said with a nod as he snapped his fingers… a glowing ball descended from the sky, it was not larger than her thumb, but seemed more then able to lift the wine bottle and fill the goblet in front of her. “Drawn to the seat of summer, I should have guessed” he reached forward and plucked up his glass and lifted it in toast “to our new friendship, and to the laws of hospitality, may they forever be upheld” he reached forward to clink her glass; she did and carefully sipped the wine. It touched her lips and felt cool and refreshing, the liquid found its way to her pallet and seemed to explode with flavour, she lept from her seat and spread her wings as a thousand new sensations raced through her, each more incredible then the last, it took a full minute before the flavour subsided and she realized she was standing on her chair. Turning a brilliant red to match the wine she sank back into her seat mumbling an apology. “Not at all lass, tis to be expected on one first taste of the Fae wine,” she nodded not sure what he meant.

“Who are you?” she managed to ask, unsure if it was rude or not, but relatively sure that it could not be worse than her little jump and flutter move. She smiled sipping his wine once more.

“I am Oberon, Lord of Wyld, and who might you be my fair lady?” she spoke his name as if it should mean a great deal, it was interesting but meant little to her

“I am …” she was about to say her name, but for some reason could not form the words, instead she merely spoke her nickname that Bennelong and the Eroa had been calling her “… Sparrow”. His eyebrows rose in interest. “So you’re the Sparrow… I suppose it is about that time once more, what gift to you request the Sparrow? What am I to bestow upon you this time”

She looked him up and down again… unsure of how to answer or what he exactly he was talking about.
*
*TO BE CONTINUED

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LEGION movie deal anouncement

Barandov Studio is proud to announce that work has begun on a movie based on the popular hero LEGION. The movie will be directed by Jirik Novotni, who will be working closely together with LEGION himself. More information as it becomes available.

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Finishing School (part 4)

Taryn shook her head from her dark thoughts, it was hard not to think of such things, of Eric or Izna, but she had to keep her mind on the briefing. It had been two years since the catastrophe, two years, few truly understood what had happened. the Council of 9 had said she was not at fault, and had ruled to allow her to continue to practice… they had also decided it was too dangerous to attempt to unlock the NOME, ‘it shall for evermore be sealed’.

She didn’t bother telling them the rest, telling that Eric could speak to her, could visit in her dreams, it was the only escape for both of them. She didn’t bother to tell them that Eric’s powers had never faded from her, as they had predicted, she allowed them their assumptions.

The world seemed darker after the 23rd NOME, things that used to bring her joy, her husband Lord William Pemberly the 4th now seemed boorish, he could never understand what she had been through, and thus could never understand her. She had opted to tell him once, or perhaps leave him, but Connery had stopped her

“he’s needed for your cover, Queen and country before personal tiffs Parker” and so she spent her days focusing on her work, and her nights talking with Eric, trying to figure out how to free his soul, or at least stop the creature from torturing him.

“Parker, have we got an understanding here?” Connery asked. she snapped her head up and nodded

“Yes, I’ll be ready”

“Good” you leave for Washington in two days, be prepared, this may will be your most difficult assignment.

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Falling Skies (Part 3 of 3)

Castellan charged through the wave

SMACK

He shook off the daze, at this speed the water was like hitting concrete, he’d actually felt that impact, he looped around and hit it again, then flew upwards to survey his results, not good, his strafes hadn’t made any noticeable difference. He watched a moment as the Cosmic Dart began trying to loop around the wave and changes its direction and velocity… a good idea, but the wave was expanding too quickly causing her to widen her loops and lose any progress.

“There must be a way” he muttered as he flew back to the harbor and grabbed a large sailing yacht. Cape fluttering behind him he grumbled about his uniform and unclasped it as he pushed the yacht through the water building up a large wave. The two waves slammed together… this time there was a noticeable effect but still not enough to save the water front.

Disheartened the Hero of humanity floated above the blue lake watching the oncoming tsunami his eyes scanned across the vast expanse looking for anything, how could he be blessed with so many powers and yet still be powerless against this force? It was then that he saw the shallow… a good ways out far enough to break the wave before shore. He sprang into action

“DART!” he bellowed at his companion… “Sand Bags… thousands of them, right over here!” he pointed at the water, but was unsure if she’d seen it, she was gone in a flash, then back with two sand bags, then gone, then back, then just a blur of red and blue. Seeing her go to work he quickly headed out himself flying over the shore to a nearby gravel quarry. With a deep breath he swooped down and scooped up a dump truck and used it like a shovel to grab the gravel, then following the Cosmic Darts Blur headed back out to sea, dumping the gravel and returning again for more…. By the fourth trip he could see the sand bags nearing the surface, by his sixth his gravel was a foot above sea level, and the Cosmic Dart was standing on it.

“Water are you doing?” he shouted down to her, “the wave will be here in under a minute. She looked up panting hard

“that’s every sandbag within two hundred kilometers… there’s no more to get… grab another load of gravel… I’m going to check the water front again for stragglers… even if this works there will still be some flooding” he nodded and went for one more load as the blur rocketed towards the shore and was quickly lost in the maze of apartments and stores.

He could hear the thunder of the wave as he poured out his last load… he hoped this would work… then turned back towards the city to assure all was well. The wave broke over the new sand shoal and spilled to the other side, its momentum was still strong and threatened to build up again, quickly Castellan used his dump truck to stir up the water and dissipate the energy. The water rushed up to the shoe and flooded the shore front for miles in either direction, but also dissipated quickly after… another two hours of rescuing the stranded and aiding in relief and things began to settle out.

Eventually he found himself floating near a roof top with the Cosmic Dart.

“Ya did good out there, lotta people would have been a lot worse off without you today” she said looking over the still flooded down town

“you weren’t so bad yourself” he smiled back at her, he was about to add a thank you when he was interrupted

“Those were our opinions as well Castellan” the rich voice came from behind, both heroes turned imperceptibly fast.

“Allow me to introduce myself mam, my name is Col. Simon Telford, Currently I am the command liaison for Department H. Castellan it’s good to see you again, Canada thanks the both of you for your efforts here today.”

“You know this guy?” Cosmic Dart asked as she turned to Castellan

“We’ve met… once” he replied, if the Colonel was taken aback by their conversation he didn’t show it

“Canada needs exactly what happened here today…”

“A flood?” Cosmic quipped, she couldn’t help it sometimes… the Colonel glared but continued

“An immediate response team, a group of special individuals who can respond to threats against Canada at a moment’s notice. We need, Canada needs, the two of you. For the last two years we have been constructing a special team known as Alpha Squad, normally we screen and train out own agents, but I think today more than shows that you two qualify… What do you say?”

*
*TO BE CONTINUED

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LEGION in SPAAAAAAaaaaace (Part 2 of 2)

Misha sat in LEGIONS cockpit. It was a bit cramped, and rather warm, just the way he liked it. Well more room would have been nice, but theres only so much that can be done. For now. There where possibilites of extradimensional storage but the research had barely gotten further then thinking about it while watching Dr. Who. A dim red light illuminated the control panels before him. He glanced at the datascreen to his left. Internal radiation levels where still stable, clock was counting off only another twelve hours to go. " Siri, please alert me if the radiation levels go up."
“Alert already set.” Said Siri.
Checking the radiation levels again, just for good measure, Misha went back to staring out the window, completely hypnotized by the eerie blue glow of Cherenkov radiation leaking off the Temelin 2 reactor core.

Mech in reactor


“Alright, LEGION has been fully checked out for vacuum exposure, radiation exposure, and the re-oxygenetion system is fully functional. You’ve gone over everything yourself, are you satisfied with the preparations?” Karel asked Misha.
Misha nodded, and sat in the exposed seat of LEGION. Machinery hummed, and the seat slid forward, the wall behind him sealing shut. Lights flickered on, the control board lit up. “Siri, give me a system check.” he said, as he scanned all the systemks himself. Everything looked good, and a moment later Siri confirmed as much too. Flicking the cams over, to see his suroundings. LEGION was strapped in a makeshift support structure replacing the warhead on a russian ICBM missile. The coms crackled to life. “Comrade Legion, prepare for ignition in 15 seconds.” came a russian voice. Karel would be back in the control room observing the progress of the mission. Take-off was the russians responsibility. Space work would be mostly him with a a link to moscow for their experts should he require their input. The thoughest would be de-orbiting, the russians had agreed to allow assistance from the Vatican, though nothing was to be divulged about the missions true purpose. The fine calculations required to sync up for re-entry would be handled by the Vaticans Archangel super computer, guided by the skilled and tallented… and atractive, Torricelli’s Trumpet. Re-entry would still be tricky. This whole thing better be worth it. And of course General Jelinek would be standing by with his people and making sure the Russians didnt try anything funny. At first he had worried the general would oppose the mission, but he had been quite quick to accept it. A good man, quite dedicated to the country, and a good general. He must see significant advantage in having the Russians owe us. America hadnt exactly been playing nice with anyone recently, well except maybe Israel, and by the generals own words “The Eurpoean Union is a walking corpse just waiting to fall over.”

Misha closed his eyes and swalowed. Just then, a dull roar more felt then heard, begun to vibrate everything around him. He swallowed again, and his insides dropped into his boots.


Space… a star ocean, a dark tapestry decorated with tiny droplets of light. It was so beautiful… Siri floated past his head. He quickly grabbed her and clicked her into the dock. Scanners showed the ICBM that had carried him this far receading in the distance, enroute to impact somewhere in northern Syberia, a failed weapons test. He clicked the comms. “ROSCOSMOS, this is LEGION. Orbit achieved. Prepared to recieve telemetry.” His voice would come out the other side suitably mechanized. A moment later, Siri buzzed and fed the MageDrive co-ordinates. It would take a couple jumps to get there… He glanced at the power output levels more out of habit then anything else and blinked. The display was displaying an error, integer out of bounds. If something was wrong… he glanced at Siri’s display. The earths gravity well was starting to draw him in. No time to debug, if he gained too much velocity before making contact with P-G… He hit the activator, and suddenly the planet bellow shifted. The energy display was still errored out… and none of the lights as much as dimmed. Odd.. could the display not actually be glitched? “Siri… prepare for Jump directly to Phobos-Grunt. Over-ride distance restrictions.”
“Understood… Over-ride initiated.”
The world shifted and the Russian ship popped into existence in-front of LEGION. Not even a flicker in the power. One more microjump, and he grabbed hold of the hull. After a moment the thrusters on the ship fired, accounting for his slight impact. So at least some part of the ship was still working.
“Siri, begin diagnostics of target.”
“Diagnosing… Failure to communicate, ship is responding with gibberish.”
“Alright.” Misha sighed. Of course it wouldn’t be easy. He pulled up the blueprints. “Lets take a look at the transmission array.” Another microjump, and the transmission array came into view. It was half deployed, jammed, and twisted. This would require some work. He thumbed a few keys, and reconnected with the Russians ground base. “Target has been reach. Damage to transmission array evident. I am transmitting video and preparing repairs.”
There was a moment of silence, and then, “ROSCOSMOS receiving video. Proceed with repairs.”
Misha nodded, though they could not see him. A scan of the jumble of twisted supports and servos quickly revealed this was no accidental damage. There was obvious blast marks, someone or something had rigged the array to go boom when it activated. “Siri, keep an eye out for anyone approaching us. Even if it looks like just junk I want to know about it alright?”
“Of course. Sensors at maximum. Alerts set.”

It took hours, the array had to be disassembled, damaged components had to be repaired, or replaced. At least there was sufficient parts to be gathered from the old pieces of debris floating around in orbit. Eventually, the transmission array was clear and intact. LEGION reached out and turned a crank normally concealed under one of the external panels. The array slowly receded into the hull. He reversed direction and it slid out again. Thank the gods for the Russians manual over-rides. “RSOCOSMOS do you receive? Array has been repaired, attempting to open communications with crew.” He barely waited for their response and switched channels to the ships frequencies. “Siri, please get a status report from the onboard systems.”
Siri blinked, and the transmission light started flashing. Text popped up on the screen.

S̹͚̗͈͕̰̺̠̯̀ͧ̐́̎ͣ̌͟͠Ț̤̻̱̳͚͓̆̌͞͝À̭͔ͧ͂ͤͧͥȚ̥̞͋ͨU̸̡̧͔͚̭̝̟̔̽ͦŜ̡̰͍͚͚͈̺̥ͯ̌͌̒ͥͥ͑ ̡̳̯̜͇̀ͨ͘R̪̗͖̟̰̐͒̿̿͘È̸̛͕͚͖̩ͧ̌̈̎͆͂P̲͍̼̳̠̣̃͆̇͠͝Ơ̵̷̟̪͙̪̹̟̻̊͑̎͗̀ͧ̿̒R̰͓̣͙͉ͭ̅ͧ̕T͓͔̥̤̤̳̒̍́̔̌͑͑̉̆͟͢:̧̭̺͍̠͔̪̙͗ͣ̃
̭̩ͨ̔̃͡͞Ṗ̸̩̞ͭ̈̇ͦ̔H̒ͬ̽̽͊̏̊҉̠͚̩͎̭̻̳͘͢ͅO̞̙̽̏B̴̶̹̭͓̝̣̠͍͍ͬ̈́̿̈́͆̌O̖̼̘ͦ͐͌ͬ̈́ͧ̋̿̕͢͢Ş̫̗̪̼̖͔͓͉͌̒̈́ͪͦ-̞̘̜ͤG̹͇̖̪͕̪͚͉̙ͭͤ͒ͧͨ͐͛̊̂Ř̔͌͊̈̑͒ͦ̈́͏̦̩̞̣̩͈̱̺U̵͕̦̰̳͖͎̱̺̤̅͞N͎̠̗͕͖̯ͨͬ͂̓̑͘T͉̰̤͎̪̱ͧ͐̇ͣ
̷̜̳̳̇̏M̧̨̗̠̈͌̃̓̐ͭ̕A̴͍̣͖̲͛͐͌ͧ̎́ͬ̏͟͝I̝͕̎̾̄ͤ͑̐̚N̴ͤ̽̽̑͛̂͂͌҉̞̲̜̱ ̛̰̫̣̱̻̥̀̋̓ͦ̚̚S̭͉̙͎̝͛̐͛̃ͨ͑̇͆͢Y̧̝͖͕̣̺̝͕̣͙͂̉̆̉ͤͧ̊̎͟S͙̗̗̱͕̼̪͇̍̄͆ͪ̈́ͭ̿ͫT͚̻̱̠̝͉ͨͫ̋̃̑͊̂ͤ̆E̵̛̫̩ͫ͐M̸̴̱̬͈͇̳͚ͯͅS̤̟͕͇̹ͪ̈̅͆ͣ:͔͎͔̞̘̳̗͗̓̐̌͋̀̚͝ ͕̤̒ͭȌ̘̞͎͙̳̠̠ͬͯF̞̻̼̲ͧ̄̒ͧͩ́͠F̸̜̩͚̪̝̮̤̪ͬͫ̐͛͗L̢͈̱͇̟̐̈̌́̕Ï̩̙̠͙͚̻͍͗̓̾́N̽̔̎҉̵̢̥̹̹͙È̗̩͈͚̣̾̓ͦ̐̐̕ ͙͈̗͍̲̰̣ͤ̃̌ͦ̏ͭ͡
̵̶̠̖͙͇̻̞̉̏̌̌͜S̖̩̟͇̩͍̼̈ͩ̽͂̔̅͘Ě̸͖̟̱̤͎̹̲͆̌̈́ͪͪ̽C̮̟͉̘ͣ́͡O̥ͯͣ͛͊N̶̯̦ͧͫ̓ͪ͗ͯ̿D͈̟̤̤͇̳́͡Ä̔͏̗͎ͅR̠̫̮͕̭̫̣͕̂̑̏͐͊̈̇Y̢̜̙̥̟̯̜̓͌ͭ̽ͭ͌ͫ͢ ̱̖͕̭̄͆ͯ̑ͤ̐ͪͯS͋ͮ̓ͭ͗ͬ҉̠̼͔̳͓͇̺̤Y͖͈͕̊̋̉̿͑ͤ͝͠S̴̸͖̣͇̑̑ͨ͋̆̾͟Tͨ̐҉̦̯̣̞͇̰̝̞E͈̤̞̻̩͑́ͮͮ̎M̶̵͈̟̋ͮ̑̄ͦͤͯ̏ͧ͝:̛̠͚̤͚͖̂́̚ͅ ̲͙̳̰̲̙̔͂͐̽̄̉Ỏ̵͇̙͇̃̊͠Ṉ̸̪͕͑͂ͭ̍͛͘͟ͅL̺̲̹͔̠ͦ̔ͬ̃̎́ͯ̋͜I̥̺͖̬͆̀̚ͅŅ̷̼̟̯̣̩̻̰͚̂͆E̢̥̺̞̥͈͔̪͔̠̔̀̍̊͢
̨̜̹̦̹͉̜͚̙̎̂͑̍̿̏̉ͮL̪̤̙̜͚͖̩̮̽̌͆ͮͪ̉̾̎͟I̞̅͠F͙̓ͭͩ̕E̫̠͇͊̊̒̇͛̾͆͜ ̷̯̰̹͍̌ͦ̍ͧ̑ͤ̈́͝Š͕͎̐̏̍̀͠͞ͅÙ̴͙̞̭̘̩ͧ͌ͨͯ̌͠ͅP̛̪̙̟̀̓͌̌̐͡P̵̼̃ͫ̇͞O͖̭̦͈͚̐̄̐͋̊ͧͅRͭ͂͋҉̛͏̫͎T̢͓͖̼͙͇͍̓͌ͨ̔̈̂ͯͣ́̚:̲̙̮̩͖̟̣̦̍ͥ͑̑͒̅̽̕ ̸̟̪̎̎̓̋̾̽O̭̠̮̯͍̟̪̩͋͆ͫ͆̃͡F̪̮ͮ́͂̾͆̊ͧ̕͡Fͮ͊͒ͦ҉͔͎͙͕L͓͓̻͖̒̈́̽͛ͤ̾̑͞I͈͇͕̻̙͓̟̙͇ͣ͌͜N̩̱̻̞͒̀̅͂̾͒ͨͮ̈́Ȩ̺͔̲̖͆̃̎̋̽͜
͙̼̦̮̺͇͗͌̌M͊͆̋̓҉̻̠̹͢ͅÂ̘ͫͦ̄͢I̡͍̮̫̲̩͍͍̯̒ͬ͋͟͢N̵̵̥̅͋͊ͯ͑͝ ̨̻͙̋́̂̌͡͞E̩̞͎̬̼̎͒̚N͙̬̻̱̲̠͑͗̅ͮ̓ͪͭ͗͘G̴̩̱̫̜̥̫ͧ̀ͧ́I̗͍ͥ̋̏̔̀͜Ṋ̥̜̯ͬͨ̎͘E̴̡͇̫̖͕̘̭ͥ̔ͥ͒͠Ș̴̳ͧͬ̄͛͠:̦̞̤̩̳͔̯̭̔̅ͭ̂͠ ̬͍̦̞̏ͩ͐͊ͧ͝͠O̷̵̸̮̘ͭ̈́̅͒ͧ͗ͮF̧̰̘̞̖ͮ̓͆̃ͦͧ̃ͨ͂F̦͓͕̙̗̖̪͊̋͌̄͊ͣ͊́͠L͌͗͐ͨ̆͏̠͈͎̬̙̺Į̖͕̜̦̩̙̳͉͛̂͘N̗̺̐ͅȆ͋̈҉̥̺̼͘
̴̢ͤ̋͗͒ͤ̓̚͏̫͕̘͙ͅN̫̟̞̮̯͌̎̌ͥͥ̑͢͠Ą̤͈̱̰̫̩̋ͤͥͬV̵̖̩͉̙̊̿́I̠̬͍̦ͯ̏̋ͪ́̐ͫ͋̓̀͟͠Ǧ̱̙̙̳̝͗ͭͅA̞̜̞̗̼͙̗ͯͪ̏̑͞ͅT̨͎̙̟͈̥̿̊̽̉͋̎̐ͩ͑͞Ǐ͐ͬ͏̧̧̺͈̲̫Ǫ̡̳͓̣̝́ͬ̑͆̊͋ͪN̷̦͖͇͕̏̈́ͦ͐ ̮̼̜̃̐͡E̡̍̓̀̅̂͗̄͏̠͇̦̖̩͓͈̲̼̕N̬̰͇̣̻͓̳̾ͯ́G͔̤̥̻̩̓̔̌̂ͯ̃ͤ͛͢͞Į͍͈̃̓͜͝N̶̻̱͍̮͖͍̘̅̓E̫̗̘͖̋ͮͦͅS̶͙̞͉̪͑̍ͤ͂̽͌ͬͥ͌:̹͖̪͛̿͋́͘ͅ ̖̳̖̥̑͊̊̍ͯͧO̡̺͇͆͊̚N̡̘͈̪͎̉ͬ͟L̡̪͈̟̯̩͎͈̔Ȉ̙̲͎̳̞ͩ͗̀͟N̟̟̲͙̫̝ͣ͗̿Eͥ̇͛̓̽҉̗̫̙̹̖͜
͋҉҉̼̗̫͉C̫̦͙̘͎ͥ̀O̧̖͖̖̒͒̾ͅM̢̨͙̹ͦ̔ͣͦ̕Mͦ̋͗̏̃͏̶̷̮̹̥͇̼̟͓U͙̘̞͕̝̻̽ͭͨͯ͊̋N̢̨̢̲̬̩̩͓̝̘͑͌͊͊͊Ĩ̘̭̦̰̣̠̜̞̽ͩͭ͟C̴̤͔͎̬̫̮̈́A͖͖͌ͪT̲̿̇̈́ͣ̀I͒ͯͩ̄́̉҉̹̺̱̻͙͘͞O͕̳͔ͪͪ͌̉ͨ̆̃͊Ņ̵͙̺͇̀̋̽͠S̡̯͔̳̦̦̦͉͐͌͘:̝͗͑̂ͯ ̲̫̼̹̬̭̖͔ͣ̾ͤ̒͛ͪ͟͡O̥ͧ̇ͭ̆͑͜N̞̪̦̺̱͉̻̦ͤ̐͘L̨̰̠͓̗̱̖̑ͥ͗́Ĭ̡͓̺̮ͨ̍̇̾̈́ͣN̹̳͉̲͈͈̯̖̼ͬ͆͐̄̓̕͡E̴̡͔̖̮̯̘̪̞͑̔ͯ̄̋̒̋̀͟ͅ

“Ah shit.” Misha swore. "Looks like the systems right royally fucked. He squinted at the screen. “Siri, can you try and clean up the text for me?”
“Of course, right away… Done.” Siri said, the cleaned up text popping up on screen.

S̸̛̛T͞A̧TU͘S̕͟ R͜E͡P̀O͠͠͡R̸T͟:̷̷̵
͢͏P̵̀́H̶̶O͏B̵͝O̷̵S̴̷̀-̴̛͜ĢRU͝N̵̸͜T̵͡
͢͡M̀AI̕͡N̴͡ ̷̴ŚY̶S̨̕T̵̡̡ÉM̛S̷̀͞:̵̡ ̛͢OF͠F̶͟LÍ͘͠N̵͡E ̸͏
̶̀S̀ECO̢͞N͢͜ḐA҉͢R҉͞Y̷̢ ̡S͠YŞ͞TE̴̷̡M: ̵͢͡O̧͟͝N̸͘͢L̡INE͞
̴͘LĮ͝F̷̡͞È̸͜ ̡S̀͟UP҉POR͜T́:͟ ̨Ò͠F́F̛͡҉Ļ̕I̕͢͠N̵E̵
͏̶M͘AI͏̴͡N̴͟ EN͠GI͜N͘È͢S͟:̸ ͏̨͡Ǫ͢F͢F҉Ļ̷I͡͞͡N̢E͢͡
̷N͝AV̨͘I͞GA̸̧̕T̴̶͟IO͝҉N È͠͝N̸͏Ģ̕͡I͘Ǹ̴Ę͠S̴͜:̨ ̕ONL҉͏I̴N̷͟E
C̴̨͞O͡҉M͜M̨͏U̸҉N҉ICA͘͜͝T̵͘IOŃ́͡S͟͝:̧ ̷͡͡O̵̷N͡L̶̷͞I̢̕NȨ̷͜

“Hmm says life supports offline and its running on the backup system. Assuming it knows what its talking about. Looks like our Russian friends managed to get themselves a virus. Or had one uploaded to them. Lets get in touch with them again.”
A moment later, “ROSCOSMOS hears you, whats the status of our ship?”
“You boys got yourself a virus. And unless viruses have the ability to materialize explosives, it wasn’t just one of your people browsing porn on a work computer.”
“Understood. Any sign of our cosmonauts?”
“Not yet, and the back-up system claims life support is offline. I wouldn’t trust what it says though, its barely functioning itself. I recommend cleaning up the software before trying to find out what happened with the crew.”
“Noted…” There was a sigh from the other end of the line. “I’ll patch you through to Vladimir. He’s the head designer behind the software, he can walk you through the steps to get the systems rest to their pre-launch conditions.”
There was a crackle in the line, and another voice took over, speaking English with a heavy accent. “I am Vladimir. We is havink technical difficulties yes?”
Misha groaned. This was not going to be fun. “Affirmative. Main systems offline, but I am communicating with the secondary system.”
“Very Goot. I will guide inside system. We do full restore. How you? Do not want our only cable to system infected.”
“My security is sufficient, lets get this problem fixed.”
“Okay. First, must….


Finally, after what seemed like hours… Misha checked the clock. It HAD been hours. And his ass was getting seriously sore. Not to mention the ache in his legs from not moving for so long. Hell, his whole body hurt. Would’ve probably been worse if there was gravity… or would it be better? At least then his organs wouldn’t feel like they are trying to drift out. He shook his head. “Yes Viktor, I am here. Reboot sequence initiated…”
“Goot goot. This take care of virus. I too have small patch, steak up security, make future virus fail if try. Will send downloaded systems to people downstairs. They rip virus apart. Find who did dis. Then they be very unhappy. Maybe go to Siberia yes? Breaking my work. Unforgivable!”
“….. System is online.”

STATUS REPORT:
PHOBOS-GRUNT
MAIN SYSTEMS: ONLINE
SECONDARY SYSTEM: ONLINE
LIFE SUPPORT: ONLINE
MAIN ENGINES: ONLINE
NAVIGATION ENGINES: ONLINE
COMMUNICATIONS: ONLINE

“Alright, looks like everything cleared up Vladimir. And all systems have been brought online in the reset.”
“Okay. I will rouse the commander.”
Misha let out a sigh of relief. Vladimir’s broken English was infuriating. To say the least, though not as bad as his Czech, which was nonexistent.

He must have drifted off for a little bit, he woke up to Siri buzzing and wailing. ROSCOSMOS was back on the line. “LEGION do you copy?”
“Affirmative. LEGION receiving.”
“Excellent. I hear you have repaired all the damage to the ship. Any sign of the crew?”
Misha checked the video now streaming from the ships internal cameras. No sign of people… or bodies… He muted the line to earth. “Siri, what is the most likely location of the crew, if they are not on cameras?”
The response was almost immediate. “In the case of critical failure on a spacecraft, the best location to take refuge would be the Lander Module, much like during the Americans Apollo 13 mission. Blueprints show the lander module is on separate systems, so would remain safe no matter what happened to the main ship, short of complete destruction.”
“Excellent, thank you.” He unmuted earth. “Predicting high probability the crew has taken refuge in the lander module. Systems will have been disconnected.” He paused for a moment. “They will have disabled all connections with the main system. Do you have the frequency for the lander communications? They should function at this range even when packed.”
“Of course… erm… transmitting frequency now.”
Siri beeped “Data received. Type analysis: Radio Frequency. Save to contact list?”
Misha muted earth again. “Yes. Uhh… and run our transmission through the Czech to Russian translator.”
“Done.”
Misha switched to the new frequency. “Phobos-Grunt, do you receive? Your systems have been cleaned and transmission array repaired. ROSCOSMOS is awaiting contact.”
He waited… then muffled noises, and a Russian voice started speaking. He looked to Siri who was running the words though translation. “Yegor Krupin here. I hear you. Who are we talking to?”
“This is LEGION of the Czech Republic on contract with ROSCOSMOS. Glad to know there’s someone still alive up here.”
“Aga, we though we where dead too. Everyone still here though. All good. You say all systems have been repaired?”
“Yes. You can communicate again, and the systems been scrubbed. Was there any other problems?”
“No, that was it. We had just entered orbit when we heard an explosion and comms went down. Right after, all the systems broke. It tried to turn us around, go back to earth, not in mission plan. We shut down main system, but secondary not acting right either. With life support off, we didn’t have enough time to analyze the problem more.”
“Alright, well you might want to get on the horn with home. They’ll be anxious to hear from you.”
“Of course, thank you for your help. Yegor out.” The line went dead.

Misha reconnected with ROSCOSMOS. “All good here. Your cosmonauts should be contacting you shortly.”
“Excellent. Please stand by, we have decide on what to do with the mission.”
“Affirmative.” Misha said. He was about to break the link when another voice came online. “LEGION, this is director Karel. How are things up there?”
“Everything is functioning well director. Radiation levels are steady and minimal. Internal pressure consistent with expectations.”
“Good good. Looks like we should be ready for the de-orbiting phase soon. The Russians are still discussing it, but they will probably continue with the mission as planned.”
“That’s good. What about whoever created this virus?”
“Theres people working on that. Not really our problem unless they ask for more help. Just sit tight while we get everything prepared for your return.”
“Got it…” Misha looked out the window. The sun would be rising soon. “Its… kind of pretty up here.” He killed comm link. “Siri, lets get some music going. Something suitably… beautiful, for this view.”
“Loading media… scanning for tags… Playing: Kingdoms End

He must have dozed off for a bit, when he woke Siri was buzzing for his attention. He managed to hit his head as he brought himself awake. “Misha, ROSCOSMOS wants to talk to us.” Siri announced. Misha groaned and pushed on the growing bump on his head. “Alright alright, lets hear them.” He yawned.
LEGION, director Karel speaking. The Russians are prepared for departure, but they want to try and make sure whoever tried to sabotage them thinks it worked. You and the Phobos Grunt will soon be passing by some old satellites. Destroy a few of them, this should temporarily blind any earth based sensors watching you. The Phobos-Grunt will then engage its engines for Mars. You will take its place on the expected flight path and de-orbit into the atmosphere. The Russians have been making small adjustments to their current orbit, so you should begin to hit atmo soon after leaving them.”
“Understood. Is everything prepared for pickup once I’m falling? I’d really prefer not to hit even the ocean at terminal velocity.”
“Of course. Miss Gabriel is standing by on a separate line, and our cargo planes already cruising as high up as it can get.”
“Excellent. I can see the satellites up ahead, and PG is firing its engines.”
“I’ll see you dirt-side then. Good luck up there, stay safe” The line went dead.

Still weightless, he drifted closer to the blue sphere. Phobos-Grunt was long off, en-route for Mars… re-entry would be in… he checked Siri’s timer. 5…4…3…2…1… almost imperceptibly, he felt the lightest gravity return as the air started to drag on him. He checked Siri again. Gabriel should be getting in touch any moment now… LEGION had no heat shield. He straightened into an arrow falling feat first to reduce friction. It had been decided that speed could be accounted for better then melting. Finally Siri blinked and patched in to the incoming communication. “Legion are you listening?” Came Gabriels voice, slightly staticy from interference.
“I hear you. Can you get me down in one piece?”
“Of course. You need to drop down lower for pickup. Here’s the first co-ordinates for the jump…. activate…. 3…2…1…Now!”
Siri fed the data into the MageDrive as soon as it came in, and Misha activated the jump exactly as Gabriel said so.
Suddenly the world was a hell of a lot bigger and closer. He checked his power. Definite fluctuation there. Whatever had kept the power so high was lessening with proximity to the ground. “Jump one successful. Do you still have a lock on my position?”
“One second… yes there you are. Alright prepare for second jump. This will put you in line with the pickup plane. Transmitting data… and jump on 3…2…1…Now!”
Again the world blinked a hell of a lot closer. The lights dimmed as power was drained by the MageDrive. A green shape roared in from his right, nose down, engines turning at full speed. It was flying straight down to catch up to him. “Alright Legion, we’ll need a few small jumps here to sync speeds. Sending coordinates and 3…2…1…Jump!” The plane shifted a little, now trvelling right alongside him. He looked down and could see the pilots strapped into the cockpit.
“Sending coordinates…. 3…2….1…JUMP!” Just as Misha activated the MageDrive, he heard Gabriel praying in quietly. So this was the big one. velocities perfectly matched, the interior of the plane had been rebuilt with support structures perfectly matching Legions current shape, falling feet first towards the ocean bellow. It had to be a tight fit, if the calculations where off by even a nano-meter, Legion would overlap with the support structure. What would happen then… Theory said the result would make nuclear weapons look like firecrackers. It had never been tested. This was why the Vaticans supercomputer was needed, it and only a few others could perform the calculations to the required number of significant digits within the scant few seconds available.


It was dark outside the windows. Only faint illumination gave enough light to see the cavernous body of the plane hurtling towards the water bellow. Nearly immediately, even before the surge of elation at having made the jump alive, he felt the harsh fist of gravity slamming him in the gut as the plane sought to pull our of its nosedive. Engines roared, the frame creaked, bolts complained in their housings, but the plane held together as it bled off its vertical velocity, and levelled out into a high altitude cruise for home.


After the bomber had landed, it disgorged Legion from its bay, and he made his way back to the subterranean maintenance bay under his own power. Once secured and personally checked, Misha headed up the stairs towards the surface levels where the administrative offices where. He was dead tired, but wanted to check in with Karel, and see how the Russians where doing before he called it a night. The techies would be running through all the data collected by Legions systems all night, collecting information on systems that needed improving, or tuning. Climbing the stairs, he pulled out Siri, and tabbed in a short message to Gabriel. “Thanks”

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LEGION in SPAAAAAAaaaaace (Part 1 of X)

“Gentleman. We have a unique opportunity today, we have been approached by the Russians in the matter of a sensitive issue regarding their Phobos-Grunt mission.” Martin, the head of international relations asked, addressing those seated around the conference room.
A low murmur spread across those gathered. Martin held up his hand. “A moment please. Allow me to elaborate, for those who might not be keeping up to date in these affairs. The Phobos Grunt was… IS to be the first Russian led interplanetary mission since the failed Mars 96, and hopefully the first successful mission since Vega 2 in 1986.”
The room settled down to hear the briefing as Martin continued. “Ships destination is Mars, its supposed to land on Phobos, pick up some core samples, and return them to earth. Quite groundbreaking research possibilities, blah blah blah.”
A voice spoke up from those seated in the room “Whoa that’s completely groundbreaking, if they want us involved give us the full details!”
Martin frowned and scanned the seated scientists, engineers, and administrators. “If you would not interrupt me… Ahem. The following information is top secret, national and international security, need to know only. Fortunately we are all considered need to know, because they need our help. More on that later. The truth is, the Russians still haven’t forgotten their defeat in the space race. They where first in space, but lost the final event with the the Americans moon landing. The world is content to leave that era in the history books, and leave America as the victor. Russia is not so willing to let things be.” He swipes at his tablet, looks down for a second and continues speaking. “So, the official story is what I have already skipped, you can look it up online later. In reality, the Russians have decided they are going to overtake the Americans in one huge leap. The Phobos-Grunt mission is not a mere probe, it is a full scale manned mars landing mission….” His voice was drowned out by the explosion of sound as gasps and exclamations made their rounds at this news. After the hubbub quieted down, someone shouted out “Well get on with it man, so whats the problem? They lose their cosmonauts?”
Martin twitched glaring at the location where the shout had come from. “If you would stop interrupting me…” He glares in the direction the voice came from. Of course, Ondrej from materials research. He glances at his tablet again. “Aside from out over-anxious colleagues jokes… the Russians managed to lose not only their Cosmonauts, but in fact the entire ship. Rather embarrassing for ROSCOSMOS, to say the least.” There where a few murmurs, but for the most part everyone had decided to be serious. Martin continued. “As of two weeks ago, the Russians have lost contact with the ship. Yesterday, a facility in Australia managed to open contact with the ships computer, but only a short burst of mostly garbage was received. Crews either dead or maintaining radio silence as they where ordered to. The only thing we know is that its in near earth orbit. Fortunately the computer seems functional enough to automatically maintain its orbit for a while, or the cosmonauts are controlling it manually. The system wasn’t designed for that though even if it is the case, so its only a matter of time till something goes wrong and… So the Russians are completely blind, and no doubt someones neck is on the line if this is another failure, not to mention the cosmonauts. They want our help. More exactly, they want to know if Legion can help.”
The conference room exploded in a hubbub of noise as everyone broke into discussion at once. “How would he get up there?”
“Does the MageDrive have the range for orbit?”
“How about re-entry?”
“Is Legion even space worthy?”
“How long do we have?”



Once the conference room had calmed down, director Karel Sarka spoke up. “There is definitely good use for such a mission, Legion has undergone a barrage of tests, many of which touch on an extra-planetary environment. The Russians have agreed to cover any expenses, and throw their whole support behind us on this. The opportunity to run full test, and have someone else pay for expenditures will definitely help our budget. Whats more, the Russians are offering us a partnership in their upcoming Orbitalnyj Pilotiruiemyj Sboročno-Ekspierimientalnyj Komplieks, the Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex. If you haven’t heard of it yet look it up on Wikipedia.”

Martin fingered his screen again. “If I may answer the prominent question of time, its not much. A little unsure, since communications with Phobos-Grunt have been difficult, but the current estimate is a a week or two to salvage the mission, any more then that and the human crew will not have the resources for the trip while still maintaining a healthy reserve. If it takes longer then that to prepare, it becomes a rescue mission, to offload the cosmonauts and de-orbit the ship safely. Assuming everyone’s still alive.” He runs his finger across the screen, and nods towards Karel. “The director and LEGION have already been briefed, and both want to do this, so lets make it happen.”

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