YC111.01.19 // The Faded Shadow

[date/YC111/01/19.return_log]

  • {call-in ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

“So tell me the end of the story!” She yelled over the channel as the afterburners burned loudly, swooping us into descent over the station. “What happens to Mithathrotes?”

I stand up, grabbing the handlebar for support, readying for deployment with my team.

“Mithathrotes defeats his brother in battle. Traditionally, the battle is said to have taken place at the foot of the Basileau mountains.”

“We’re coming in cold ma’am, ain’t nothin’ showin’ on scan.” said Hario as he maneuvered us toward the docking bay.

“How’d he do that?” she asked, standing up beside me.

“Erebo offered him the power to call up the dead, but he was arrogant. As he fought at the mountains with his brother, the battle wasn’t going in his favor. He realized how weak flesh and steel really were.”

Lights blinked in the bay as we slipped inside, our craft slowly nearing the loading platform.

“So his brother surrounded him and what men he had left, and just as they were about to descend upon him, Mithathrotes cries out to Erebo, asking for his gift. Erebo grants it, and the dead rose up from the ground and consumed Alakalios’ men, dragging them into Erebo’s domain.”

“Boardin’ on your signal, ma’am.”

“As Mithathrotes is about to slay his brother, his sister Agatheria comes to Mithathrotes on the battlefield, accompanied by Athero. They beg him to reconsider his actions, but Mithathrotes is completely taken by his lust for vengeance. He kills Alakalios, and as his brother’s body falls to the ground, a great howling is heard throughout the land, and Erebo comes up from below the earth.

“Erebo tells Mithathrotes that he has stolen the royal blood he promised to him and that his Halls will not be robbed so easily. He demands from Mithathrotes a soul, and in a rush to save his own he reaches to offer up his sister. As he’s about to take her, Athero raises her hand and a great light spills over the field. Erebo screams and writhes in pain, retreating back into the earth. Mithathrotes is blinded by the light, and falls to his knees.”

“Ma’am, we’re pickin’ up movement on scan. We need to get goin’.”

“What happens to Mithathrotes?” asked Caillamode, switching us over to a private channel.

“As Athero whisks his Agatheria away, to the Realm Above, his sister damns Mithathrotes to an eternity of blind wandering to atone for his sins, and with Athero’s blessing revokes his kingship. Mithathrotes can therefore not be consumed by Erebo, because he is not royal blood, and cannot enter into the Enduring Heavens because he is damned. Agatheria and Athero vanish, and the world falls into darkness. They say Mithathrotes still slinks around in the shadows, haunting the kingdom he never had.”

She was quiet for a moment. “That’s not a very encouraging story, is it?”

I chuckled. “No, I suppose not.” I looked at her, and smiled. She smiled back.

I tapped the side of my helmet, and my visor descended, locking into place.

[date/YC111/01/19.end_log]

  • {call-out ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

YC113.08.27 // The Halls of Erebo

[date/YC113/08/27.return_log]

  • {call-in ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

A cool breeze wandered over the park, the grass swaying lazily under its influence. Insects began chirping as night fell on the station, the sun setting behind the horizon of the moon. The stars slowly shimmered into existence in the night sky.

Down at the bottom of the hill, crowds mingled and laughed around booths and stages. In the center, a well lit theater’s lights flashed slowly, signaling the start of the main show for the night. People took their seats and a hush fell over the crowd as a speaker took the stage, illuminated by a single light.

“Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to the second night of the annual ViĆ© du Gallente Celebration!”

People clapped and whistled, and the speaker smiled and nodded.

“Tonight, we continue where we left off in our tale of the Trials of Mithathrotes, that ancient legend of the birth of our people. The Fallen Prince Mithathrotes has passed on to the Enduring Heavens, after being cast out and defeated in battle by his treacherous brother Alakalios, who has also imprisoned their fair sister Agatheria in the depths of the Citadel. Alakalios is now beyond the power of any mortal man or empire; his strength is final, his grip on the kingdom absolute.”

“Tonight, we will witness the fateful decisions that our Fallen Prince must make, and we will see how far he is willing to go so that justice may be done.”

The beam fades away as the speaker steps off, and the stage is pitch black for a few moments. In the darkness, a few small lights blink softly, mimicking the night sky. Mithathrotes wanders into the nightscape.

“I could travel these heavens for eternity, and still not arrive at the same place twice.” he says. “What purpose does this land serve but to fool a poor soul!”

Mithathrotes lifted his head and gazed toward the stars above him. “O! Enduring Heavens, grant me a boon! My legs are weary from my endless travels, and my eyes tired from your vastness! Grant me a boon, I cry!”

A flash of light, and there stood a beautiful woman clad in the finest linen dress, shining bright and fully.

“Come with me, Mithatrotes, and rest your feet and close your heavy eyes. I, Athero, will take you to the world above, where many souls are looking down upon you, full of pity. Come with me, Mithathrotes, and you shall reside with them.”

Mithathrotes became angered. “Why would I desire to rest my broken heart and soul in a place where the people think so little of me? I would not rest for a moment in such a shallow place.”

At this, a second being sprang forth from the darkness, a man of all black. “Come with me, my Fallen Prince, and I, Erebo, shall take you below to my Great Hall. Come with me, to where the denizens of my house look up to you.” The Black Man laid a hand upon the shoulder of Mithathrotes.

“I shall go with you, Erebo, for I am weary and your house desires my company; be gone with you and your sordid ways, Athero!” demanded Mithathrotes.

“You are a foolish lord, Mithathrotes. You know not what you want nor what dangers lie before you.” And with that, Athero vanished, her great light taken with her, and Erebo took Mithathrotes to his Great Hall.

The stage went dark once again, and after a few moments, low lights came on, and the sound of many people crying and wailing faintly filled my ears. The actors took the stage once more.

“Welcome to my Great Hall, my Fallen King. My people and I welcome you with open arms!” said Erebo, bowing lowly, his arms spread wide. “Sit at my table, and feast!”

A great onyx table rose from the black floor, and food of all varieties grew upon it. Mithathrotes sat and rested, regaining his strength. Erebo spoke.

“I know of your troubles and heavy weights, Mithathrotes. I know of the treachery committed by your own kin upon you.” Mithathrotes listened, gazing at him. “A grave injustice indeed.”

Mithathrotes nodded in agreement, consumed by the lavish meal before him.

“Let us right what has been wronged; let us set straight the course of balance.” said Erebo. “I will give you the power to take back from your brother what is rightfully yours – the throne, your people, the kingdom. In exchange, I ask for a measly penance.”

“What do you require, wise Erebo? Tell me, for I am curious.” asked Mithathrotes.

“All I require is a royal soul. Perhaps your brother’s, should it be a desirable exchange to you, O Fallen King.” Erebo bowed again. “A royal soul for all the world.”

“I cannot deny you; we must set right what has been wronged, mustn’t we? If the price for absolute power should be one’s soul, then let the grievances be great when it is lost.”

Mithathrotes clapped the arm of Erebo, and the world fell dark once more.

[date/YC113/08/27.end_log]

  • {call-out ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

YC108.03.31 // The Enduring Heavens

[date/YC108/03/31.return_log]

  • {call-in ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

“Am I going to die?”

The stars shimmered. They seemed so distant, so far away. I shifted her weight in my arms. She was so small, still just a child.

I choked. My face flushed and a tear rolled down my cheek. I felt a small hand reach up and wipe it away. She patted my face, trying to get my attention. She had always done that with me.

My legs were sore from being bent so long. I could feel the tingling sensation of numbness in them, but I had no reason to stand. There was nowhere to go. The station had long since entered reinforced mode, and all non-essential and exterior corridors had been locked down in the ensuing Imperial attack. All I could do was sit there, wishing I had more time.

She patted my face again, and I looked down at her. She looked so much like her older sister, who had always held a contemptuous grudge against me for being gone so often after I had joined the Federation Navy. She had the same golden hair, although her eyes were softer, as was her demeanor.

“Yes.” I whispered.

A bright light shone from space, and I looked up to see an Imperial Armageddon-class battleship listing toward the station. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled herself close to me. I could feel her shaking, and tightened my hold on her, covering her head between my hand and chest. I closed my eyes and held my breath as the shutter of the impact rippled through the station. I heard the structure heave and the thick glass wall groan as it bent and flexed. The station settled uneasily.

“Tell me about Mithathrotes, Adainy.” she said, her voice quiet and muffled.

I was silent for a moment. The Trials of Mithathrotes was her favorite story.

“Mithathrotes was an ancient king. He lived thousands of years before people called themselves Gallente – before we knew of the god-kings of the Amarr or the tribes and rituals of the Minmatar. Before Gallente and Caldari called one another ‘brother’.

“He commanded a great army of warriors, and it’s said he once conquered all of the world. But before that, Mithathrotes was a prince. His family was great and powerful and loved by the people. The King had two sons, and one daughter. The daughter was good and faithful to the kingdom, and her name was Agatheria. The older brother was named Alakalios, and he was strong-willed and quick-tempered. The younger brother was Mithatrotes, and he was passionate for order and justice, but foolish and naive.”

I looked out the window once more. A wing of Republic Rifters engaged a lone Imperial Harbinger, their projectiles silently but quickly tearing through the Harbinger’s armor plating. The laser turrets of the Amarrian cruiser caught a pilot who had wandered too close to stasis webifier range. They blasted a clean hole through the frigate, which detonated a moment after in a brilliant flash.

I returned to my story as I watched the brawl unfold and grow in intensity outside as reinforcements of Imperial, Federation and Republic fleets warped in.

“When it came time for the king to die, he had not chosen a new ruler from among his children. The night before one was to be named and crowned, Alakalios snuck into the king’s chamber and convinced the king not to pass the crown onto Mithathrotes or Agatheria. He said to the King, ‘Father, what good is upholding peace or goodness in a kingdom if you cannot defend it?’. And so the next day at the crowning, the King named Alakalios his sole heir. Mithathrotes was unaware of his brother’s motives, although Agatheria was suspicious. She said to Mithathrotes, ‘Dearest brother, I would not trust Alakalios, for he is wicked and has swayed our father’s judgment.’ Mithathrotes disregarded her warning, saying to her, ‘He is our brother, dearest sister, and would not betray his family so,’ and pledged allegiance to his new king.

“When the old king finally passed away, Alakalios showed his true intentions. He locked his sister in the dungeon, far away from where she could speak the truth to others about him. Alakalios banished Mithathrotes from the kingdom to wander in exile, thinking he would die in the wilderness.

“Mithathrotes settled in a distant land, gathering a following of citizens who wanted to be free of Alakalios’ tyrannical ways. Even with all those people, Mithathrotes felt alone. He had been cast out from his home and denounced by his own brother who had imprisoned their only sister. Mithathrotes could not let such an injustice go unnoticed or unpunished.

“He became known as the Exiled Prince, and he rose up a rebellion within the people of Alakalios’ kingdom. He thought he was strong enough to end his reign. But when he tried to fight against Alakalios, Mithathrotes and his people were defeated by his brother’s soldiers, and all of them were killed – the Exiled Prince had died.”

She shifted herself in my arms, reaching down to my side. She picked up my helmet and looked into the visor. Large explosions began to rock the station, and it growled in defiance, trying to hold itself together.

“Where did Mithathrotes go?” she asked, raising her voice above the rumblings. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as rounds of ammunition streaked through the sky and beams of light pierced the unending darkness behind her.

“He went to the Enduring Heavens.” I said loudly, my eyes red but empty, my voice straining over the noise of the station as it roiled. She lifted her head.

“Why?” she yelled back as she stared intently at me, her small hands gripping the helmet tight.

I couldn’t look away from her eyes. “To try to start again.” I leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “I’m sorry, Abha. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better brother.”

She placed the helmet on my head. It consolidated itself with the rest of my armor, and I saw her through my visor. She was holding onto my suit. The station shook violently and a large crack shot across the glass pane.

“Adainy, don’t let go of me.” she yelled.

I pulled her close and held her head against my chest again. I could almost feel her hair through the material of my glove, and for a moment it was silent. I could feel her last breath, and I stared out the window.

“I won’t let go, Abha. I won’t let go.”

There was a loud shriek, and with a tremendous crack the station broke. The stars shimmered in the night.

[date/YC108/03/31.end_log]

  • {call-out ref:date/YC110/07/07.ref_log}

YC110.07.07 // The Trials of Mithathrotes

[date/YC110/07/07.return_log]

I awoke in a haze. My mouth was dry and tasted like iron; my head swam as I rolled to sit up against the cold metal of the craft I was on. My hands were bound behind my back. Every breath was a shot of pain in my lungs.

I looked around. I could hear the thrum of an engine cooling down from exiting warp. The craft rocked as it came to sub-light speed, and I heard a second, softer engine engaging.

I glanced around the interior – soft, curved designs with a tinge of rust and danger in them – Guardian Angel. There was no mistaking it.

Orange lights glowed on the ceiling and there were crates of supplies stacked against the walls, latched with cabling to hold them securely in place. A large steel door stood across from me. It slid open, and a flood of bright light washed into the room. A figure loomed in the entry way.

“So, you’re not dead then.” the man said, his voice rasping and heavy.

“No, I’m not.” I said, wincing as the words came out. “Sorry if I ruined any plans you had that required me to be.” I cracked a dry, painful smile.

The figure walked over and bent down, looking me in the eye. His face was a sickly yellow in the lighting, with scars marking him.

He chuckled, and grabbed me by the throat, his hand crushing my neck. I tried to wriggle my neck out of his hand, but he seemed to have an inhuman amount of strength. He lifted me up, my feet dangling in the air.

“You’ve got a smart mouth, boy. I’d kill you for it, but you’re worth more to me alive than dead.”

In one quick movement, he slammed me into the metal floor, bearing the full meteoric force of the act into my the side of my skull. Stars burst from the edges of my vision and my head rang. The lights stuttered and darkness swept over my eyes.

[date/YC110/07/07.end_log]