Best Binary Options Brokers 2020 - Platforms & Reviews

Cryptosoft Review 2020-Is it a Scam?

Cryptosoft Review 2020-Is it a Scam?

Most f the reviews we tend to have come back across reveal that the Cryptp soft platform is easy to
Their client service is very efficient. We did a live check and confirmed that they respond at intervals a moment. Moreover, they are available 24/7.
The Cryptp soft app is secure. They need all the mandatory measures in place to make sure data privacy.
The Cryptp soft System is considered by several among the most effective robots within the market nowadays. We have a tendency to realize this robot to perform virtually the same with Bitcoin Rush, another top bitcoin robot. Read the review of Bitcoin Rush for more data?
Cryptp soft registration method is straightforward, easy, and secure. You only want but 10 minutes to form an account and begin trading. Cryptp soft is a absolutely auto bot and is so accessible to everyone.

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You do not want to perceive trading lingo to use Immediate Edge. The following steps can get you started with this robot.
STEP ONE: Fill the Signup type

Visit the Cryptp soft home page and register your name, phone number, and email in the provided kind. You will be asked to verify your phone variety via a text code and email through a link. CryptoVibes will ascertain that the Cryptp soft registration process is secure.

Their web site is SSL secured to confirm that hackers cannot steal personal information submitted through it. Cryptp soft cyber safety policy states that they're GDPR adherent. This suggests that they handle your knowledge with strict privacy.
STEP TWO: Get matched with a broker

The Cryptp soft Software then matches you with one in every of their partner brokers. The role of the broker is to receive deposits and facilitate transactions. We have a tendency to have determined that Cryptp soft only partners with regulated brokers.

With a regulated broker, they guarantee that your cash is safe. Reputable regulators such as the FCA, FSB, ASIC, and CySEC need brokers to segregate deposits and submit periodic reports on deposit usage.
You wold like a deposit of a minimum of $250 to trade with Immediate Edge. Do not confuse this quantity with the value of the robot. Cryptp soft does not need any license fee. The house owners of this robot build money by charging a small commission on the profits generated through the app
Deposits with Cryptp soft should be created through Wire Transfer, Visa, and MasterCard. It takes a few seconds for a deposit to reflect in an exceedingly trader’s account. Cryptp soft does not charge any deposit fees.
The Cryptp soft does provide a demo account to help traders familiarize themselves with its web-trader. CryptoVibes recommends that you are doing demo trading before going to live to trade. Please note that the demo is for demonstrative purposes solely.
The results you receive on the platform are primarily based on historical information and could therefore not mirror what you'll get in live trading.
The Cryptp soft live trader comes with features to help you outline the amount of risk you are willing to require per trade. You wish to go through the demo account to familiarize with these features. As mentioned severally in this review, you do not want specialized skills to use this robot.
Live trading with Cryptp soft involves determining the quantity of capital you plan to risk per trade and clicking the live button. Scan our review of Bitcoin Trader for one more straightforward to use the robot.
*Remember all trading risks and you shouldn’t risk more then you'll be able to afford to lose.
How to get the most out of Cryptp soft App
We have identified the following tips as paramount in guaranteeing that you make the most of Immediate Edge.
Begin with a deposit of $250 – Given the level of risk involved in trading with Immediate Edge, you should start with a tiny investment.
Follow crypto market news – You need to determine the type of reports that drives volatility high and capitalize on them. Cryptp soft claims to form the foremost profits throughout high market volatility.
Trade for eight hours per day – In keeping with Immediate Edge, trading for at least eight hours per day can help maximize profits. Cryptp soft is entirely auto, and hence you'll be able to leave the robot running as you continue together with your daily errands. You are doing not want more than twenty minutes per day to observe your account.
Close trading sessions at the tip of the day – Leaving open positions overnight is doubtless to translate to losses since the markets can change considerably overnight. It is better to shut sessions even if in the negative and start trading again the subsequent day. With a correct risk management strategy, there is no would like to fret concerning periodic losses.
Following our review we tend to realize Cryptp soft to be legit. But, traders ought to take additional caution, provided that this bot comes at a degree of risk. Whereas the app claims it's potential to form profits of up to 50percent per day, you'll be able to additionally lose the complete deposit inside seconds. This is often not sudden for a high-frequency trading robot.
We recommend that you just apply the required risk management measures. As a rule of thumb don't risk more than 10percent of your trading capital per trade. Also, never trade with an amount you cannot afford to lose. It is prudent to start small and add cash as you get conversant with the various features on the platform.
Recently, a brand new trading software was added to the bitcoin investment trade. This software is termed Cryptp soft and it is allegedly created by a corporation or organization called the International Council for Bitcoin.
There is additionally a letter out there on their web site that has been signed by someone named David. This person claims to own earned over 1,000,000 as a results of investing in bitcoins. What’s very shocking concerning this letter is that David claims to have earned that huge quantity in just one trade. If we have a tendency to place it in simple words, David became a millionaire overnight.
We tend to highly doubt that a trading system that has been launched recently will have such potential. To verify the main points of this software and to determine its legitimacy, we have a tendency to conducted our own research and investigation.
Cryptp soft is a bitcoin trading software that’s meant to assist newbie traders get involved in Cryptocurrency trading with less risk than ancient investment opportunities. Cryptp soft software was created by The International Council For Bitcoin who is PRO Bitcoin trader Group behind the Cryptp soft software. Notice out all concerning Cryptp soft software by The International Council For Bitcoin.
Cryptp soft Software may be a nice development by a famous, well established and experienced bitcoin trader Investors with a viewpoint to enable traders to perform different tasks with ease and convenience.

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Cryptp soft Software is essentially a Binary choices trading software that is designed to assist traders win and predict the Binary options trend of their respective choices. Cryptp soft APP works as a code to urge financial success, shows traders how they'll make money on-line, helps them to find different ways in which to induce huge returns on their investment. The Cryptp soft Trading Software additionally provides analyses of Market conditions so that traders will recognize what ought to be their next step. Cryptp soft System gives secret cryptocurrency ways that ultimately help binary traders to create thousands of greenbacks solely for some bucks.
Several individuals can say that Cryptocurrency Trading may be a risky business and tend to remain faraway from it. But from my expertise, high volatility means HIGH RETURN OF INVESTMENT in Crypto Market. But this can be where the Cryptp soft comes into play, the mathematical algorithm used by Cryptp soft Software takes the guesswork out choosing a winning profitable trade. You don’t must be an expert. Like I said earlier, I actually have personally tested the Cryptp soft and found the success rate is about ninety sevenpercent. I don’t apprehend concerning you, but a ninety seven% probability of earning a profitable trade is TERRIBLY GOOD! I’ve never come across something like this trading software before. Keep reading, below are my Cryptp soft results for the past week or so…
Watch over the Shoulder of a Professional Each Day and you'll be able to learn as you trade.
Averaging 97% Winning Weeks With Cryptp soft which suggests that more potential profits for you
Cryptp soft Software Are Fully Transparent
No previous experience with binary choices trading required
Web-based mostly, no need for downloads, additionally works on phones, tablets
You'll be able to Even Watch Cryptp soft Signals From Your Phone (iPhone Users — Photon Browser)
If you are ready to begin making cash online with an on the spot edge, there has never been a better chance than currently. If you enjoy surfing the web for countless hours trying for the next Trading Method Secrets, never being able to urge centered, being overloaded with conflicting information, and not creating cash on-line, you ought to probably leave this page right now and get back to that Cryptp soft System strategy
Cryptp soft bot could be a new cryptocurrency trading invention that comes with options that create this software stand out among others. It is conjointly an automatic trading platform that uses a smart program algorithm to detect favorable trading opportunities. It acts on its own or waits for a prompt command from the user depending on the software’s settings. But what makes this software unique and a favorite to individuals is what we have a tendency to shall unveil in this review.
There have been lots of unverified claims of how totally different cryptocurrency software have helped several people to make massive profits leading to Scam individuals. However, it's pertinent for cryptocurrency traders to verify if a particular trading software may be a scam or legit, which is also ?
After subjecting the features of the Cryptp soft bot software to a series of tests, the software isn't a scam however legit. The Cryptp soft bot is believed to have successful rate of 85%, that is a lot of than the 80percent benchmark for average software. The Cryptp soft bot has helped cryptocurrency traders to make sensible profits, which has been documented as testimonies on the software’s website.
Trading on the platform is straightforward and might not require experience. We had to verify the simplicity of the software, and we tend to discovered that the software is easy to navigate. The demo trading feature of the software makes it potential for brand new users to hold out trading activities in an exceedingly simulated atmosphere while not having to risk their investment. This any gives credence to the legitimacy of the software because it ensures that new users get accustomed to the features of the software before continuing to measure to trade
As earlier stated, the Cryptp soft bot could be a high-tech program software that comes with exceptional options that makes it among the simplest cryptocurrency trading software in the blockchain market. The outstanding features of the Cryptp soft bot embody the subsequent:
https://www.cryptoerapro.com/cryptosoft/

http://www.cryptoerapro.com/

https://twitter.com/cryptoerapro

https://www.instagram.com/cryptoerapro/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/cryptoerapro/
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Primer on Binary Options Recovery

Primer on Binary Options Recovery
A binary option is a financial option wherein the payoff is particular fixed money or nothing at all. There are mainly two types of binary options cash-or-nothing and asset-or-nothing binary options. The cash-or-nothing binary option pays some fixed amount of cash if the option expires “in the money.”
The asset-or-nothing binary option, however, only pays the value of the underlying securities. This option makes many people quickly lose money trading binary options. So what happens when you have lost money trading binary options?
Recover from Binary Options How to Recover from Binary Options Lost or Scam with a Verified Recovery Expert.
Have you been enticed to get entangled in trading binary options? Have you had any bad experience with binary options? Are you a victim of the famous binary options scam?
“How do you recover from binary options scam?”
It happens to lots of people, even professional, educated people and the elite. If you get swindled, the first thing to do is not to beat yourself up over it but act fast. More importantly, suicide is not an option, and we can always heal and recover from our loses once there is life.
An unfortunate story of an Australian man who got himself entangled in binary options lost a lot of money and had the third mortgage on his house with a lot of other debts. And then he ended his life.
There are a lot of somber stories of people who have lost it all to binary options and have no clue how to recover from binary options schemes and fake brokers.
Firstly it goes without saying, it’s better to prevent, investigating the business and doing background checks is very necessary before any investment. Here are some tips to help you.
  1. When investing, do proper research and make sure the broker you are working with has an appropriate regulation and licenses like ASIC, FCA, CySEC, CFTC, BaFIN, or other government regulators.
  2. Always make sure you don’t invest all of your money.
  3. Get wealthy quick programs are bound to lose more money, don’t fall for investments of such.
  4. Learn and do more research about the financial option you are planning to invest.
  5. Listening to your broker is another mistake, as they have lost peoples money in many instances, the reverse of a brokers advice might be doing you better.
  6. Check out the platform and use all their demo till you are skilled and never agree to add funds in a rush.
A lot of people have their first experience with binary options through a scam. Binary options trading scams are widespread, and recovering from binary options schemes might be very hard but not impossible. The binary options industry is steadily misused, and many scammers and thieves get away with a lot due to slack regulatory laws, shallow knowledge and negligence of victims. There are fake review websites that support and endorse these scams, so for a person with no trading experience, it is almost impossible to find the right path.
A lot of people are getting duped and losing their money to these schemes. They have assured an income, but in actuality, they take their money and lose it deliberately.
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What to do if Scammed by Binary Options? The web has a lot of fraudulent binary options brokers. So once you realize you have been a victim of the scam, don’t panic! You will most likely go through guilting yourself and emotional distress. Your first step is to file a complaint to the customer services team. Always remember the risks involves in the trades, you can lose money as well as gain as much too. If you lose money or get scammed, you will be reminded of the risks.
Documenting all that has happened is very important. The world would be better if we did not have thieves and people who create scams aiming to steal from us. The best move anyone can make is to educate themselves about possible scams and the way they work because they are everywhere and to be intelligent in the decisions made by them and the information they provide.
These Con artists have found binary options a simple system to use their system to strip the money of unsuspecting casualties. This write-up will focus on educating you, on binary options scams and binary options scammers. If you have ever lost money to binary options, check for links below to hire a recovery organization to help you get your money back. Binary options investing can be an excellent way to make more money without having to do much, but when you are dealing with the wrong people, it can be a quick way to lose a massive amount of money. We believe when you are done reading this article, you will be able to determine the differences between reliable binary options systems and the scam artists.
Don’t forget that you must file a complaint to customer services of the respective platform you used, and it is the first thing to do when you feel spooked. All regulatory bodies have their procedure and steps, and they will also ask if you have filed a complaint. In few countries, it is required legally that the company gives you a case number which you can then use to file a complaint to securities and exchange commission.
It is also essential contacting your credit card company and bank fast so they can provide solutions such as chargeback for you. If you find that you get stranded and need help then get it to contact with a recovery expert, and your best bet is Assured Recover. They will undoubtedly be able to help recover all lost funds.
Also, be very careful with recovery rooms as they can even scam you as an easy vulnerable target.
Recover Losses made to Binary Options with Verified Recovery Experts. A few recovery companies that focus on lost funds and wealth recovery internationally. Some legitimate companies also claim they can help, but since there isn’t much of a right side to this, they usually fall short of their promise and client’s expectations.
Some chargeback companies offer a service to help, and some may be able to help. A significant number of people who have lost money to fake binary options companies like IQ options, VIPBinary, 24option, and other fraudulent binary options trading platforms/companies that have bad reviews and been accused of scams. Assured Recover has successfully helped customers who were scammed and to get their money back.
Here is a testimony how Assured Recover helped someone who got scammed by Trade Toro.
One wouldn’t think much of this, all I wanted to do was invest and be part of it, but the brokers weren’t truthful. They collected money from all in the name of investment, and when it was time to withdraw, I realized I couldn’t. At the time was when it occurred to me, I had been duped.
I consider myself to be one of the very few privileged ones as I was able to get all recovered from this scam Binary options brokers. Assured Recover is simply the best, and in less than 30 days all my funds including bonuses had been recovered, If your broker lost your funds trading Binary options, one of these verified recovery experts will help you get your funds back without any traces.
I’m pleased to let people know how I was able to recover part the money that I got cheated by Trade Toro, and I’d like to write in favor of Assured Recover. Assured Recover is your best bet when it comes to binary options recovery.
Binary options trading scams will make you lose money and also make you blame yourself for not being more careful. These Verified Recovery Experts offer binary options loss recovery service to everyone in need of such services. Here is the link to the original article, and how to recover money lost to binary options, forex, cryptocurrency etc.
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[The Scuu Paradox] - Chapter 18

At the Beginning
Previously on The Scuu Paradox…
  The smell of burning wood was all I could focus on. The fires had long died out, making it difficult to see in the darkness; despite all other modifications, Kridib’s eyes weren’t able to see overly well in the dark. Every five minutes, Radiance would send an infrared scan of the colony to help him and his team with their advancement. Despite all that help and the four missile strikes, progress was minimal. Of the forty-seven people sent to the planet, eleven had been killed and five more severely wounded, rendering them useless in battle. From what I could see, Rigel’s forces had clustered in specific points of the colony, giving up the rest: a sensible strategy that had allowed them to ambush three of our teams while suffering negligible losses themselves. As things stood, the enemy forces had positioned themselves in two areas of the colony. Both spots encircled a specific building—mine and the captain’s locations—making further missile strikes impossible.
  Update? Kridib asked me through the mind link.
  Nothing, I replied. Rigel had left shortly after our last chat, taking the third-contact rods with him. Since then, I had remained safely isolated in the room and completely alone. Half of them have probably gone to sleep.
  Tell me if anything changes. Kribib looked up. A dozen sats were visible in the night sky. We’ll be making another go soon.
  I don’t think that’s a good idea.
  So far, Kridib had made four attempts to reach me, all of them unsuccessful. His approach, though chaotic at best, had managed to keep him alive. There had been a close call during which his left arm had been grazed by a bullet, though that time the man hadn’t frozen.
  Everyone has to sleep, Kridib said, heading back into one of the buildings that had been transformed into a ground base of operations. I’ll go first.
  Must I wake you? I asked.
  No. With that, the link was severed.
  To a degree, I was thankful, though not too much. Forcing whatever strength I had, I moved my head to look around the room as much as I was able. Nothing had changed in the last four hours, but at least it let me do something. The last time I felt remotely similar was when I’d had my sensor systems knocked out, though even then I was able to use my shuttle AIs to paint me a picture. Here, I was completely helpless and, to a vast degree, blind.
  “Do I get any water?” I asked as loudly as my lungs would let me.
  There was no reason to expect an answer. Even if anyone was awake on the lower floors, they would be on lookout duty. Saying it out loud, though, made me feel better for some reason. To my surprise, the door to the room opened.
  “Thought you were above those things.” Rigel walked in slowly. Even with my lack of focus, I could see that he had changed clothes. The colours were dark enough to be considered a uniform, although I couldn’t make out any other details. “You can’t swallow, remember?”
  “My mouth feels dry,” I explained.
  “Too bad.” Despite my poor vision, I could hear him smile as he said that.
  Walking slowly, he made his way to the stool near me and sat down. From this distance, I could see him taking something from his front pocket. In the dim light, it was impossible to tell what exactly.
  “Still having problems focusing?” Rigel asked.
  “Yes.” There was no point in lying.
  “Pity. Agora works well on organic tissue. Not on techno-mongrels,” he added with a laugh. “If you weren’t one, you’d be dead. There’s a win for you.”
  And you’re not making any sense, I thought.
  “Nice murder troops you got out there. Quick and efficient. A few years ago, the locals would’ve had fun pulling their wings off. Time leaves its mark.” Rigel flicked the object. It let out a peculiar metallic sound. “No action, no combat sims, just the local pests that roam the planet. Those were brought here too, did you know?”
  “I heard about it.”
  “Another brilliant idea from the bureaucracy. Create a full ecosystem. Plants, critters, predators... all must be present and carefully maintained. We tried killing them off once. Those were the days. Three colonies setting out, killing everything in sight until the orbital station stopped sending food.” There was a slight pause. “And you know the best part?” Rigel leaned towards me. “None of that happened.”
  If I could have pulled back, I would have. There was no way of knowing if these were insane rantings or if he was referring to a dark op coverup. Considering he was from the Salvage Authorities, either was possible, and both options were equally undesirable.
  “I went through your data, Elcy.” Rigel rubbed his hands. “You know things you shouldn’t.”
  “Because of my past, I’ve been placed on special assignments,” I said. Technically it was true, though we both knew it didn’t explain away the inconsistencies.
  “You knew about the third-contact artifacts before. You’ve operated them before.” He moved his hand closer to my face. I felt a cold metallic surface touch my cheek. “You’re searching for something. Something that you’re not supposed to find.” He moved the object away from my face. “Here’s my offer. You answer some of my questions, and I’ll answer some of yours.”
  “That’s one way to get court-martialed.” Not to mention there was no guarantee my self-destruct chip wouldn’t go off at any point.
  “Please don’t give me the line that the fleet is going through all that trouble just to rescue you. If you were that valuable, you’d never have been sent to this hell in the first place.” Rigel stood up. “What are the odds of the fleet extracting you in one piece? Two percent?”
  “Point-seven-three-nine,” I corrected. Frankly, I was surprised they were going through all the trouble. “Give or take.”
  “Less than one percent,” Rigel snorted. “It’s your call. You have three hours to make it. Before I leave you, here’s a freebie. This planet, it isn’t some randomly colonized world in ‘unexplored space.’ We’re in the buffer zone—the border between the Scuu and human space. Think about that.” He made his way to the door. Reaching it, he stopped and turned around. “Oh, and we’re constantly being monitored.”
 
  Gamma-Ligata, Cassandrian Front—615.11 A.E. (Age of Expansion)
    The third wave of shuttles approached my forward left hangar one by one. The instant they came within three hundred meters, I was handed over direct control of the AIs. As with the previous batches, the first thing I did was to have a set of isolated subroutines flash the memory and purge the entire operating system. That done, I sent out a mini-sat to latch onto and assume control of the shuttles. It was a slow and tedious process, but necessary considering the circumstances.
  “How are things?” Wilco asked from the bridge. Augustus had gathered most of his officers to a private meeting in his quarters, leaving Wilco in command. This wasn’t the first time it had happened, but each time it did, it felt strange.
  “Everything’s going as planned,” I said, as the first shuttle went under my control.
  A quick internal scan revealed that there were sixty-two people aboard, all cuffed and tagged. All of them were tagged as infected, and, to my surprise, none of them were sedated. The instructions were to take them in and monitor their actions at all times, and only to engage if they threatened the ship. Normally, I’d be confident that Augustus knew what was going on. With everything we’d gone through since I’d joined the front, I didn’t think there was anything in the galaxy that could surprise him. I was wrong.
  Finishing my internal check of the shuttle, I directed it to the outer hangar doors and had it dock. The passengers—all of their identities classified—waited till I covered the walls with disembark notifications, then stood up and quietly proceeded to get off, in orderly fashion. I could tell by Wilco’s expression that he found it unnerving.
  “A thousand and eighty-two passengers on board,” I said on the bridge and in the captain’s quarters. The moment the last person set foot in the hangar, I would eject the shuttle from my hangar-bay, self-destruct it, and proceed with the next.
  Delegating the task to my isolated subroutines, I reviewed the instructions I had received. The proper ident protocols and authorisations had been used, ensuring that I would do as instructed without asking questions. An emergency transmission from an unidentifiable ship had led me here. I knew nothing about the ship’s name or specifics, and I wasn’t allowed to get close enough to get a visual. The only things I was allowed to see were its shuttles and mass. Everything else was open to interpretation.
  “Have any of them said anything?” Wilco asked.
  “No.” I displayed images of the hangar bay and the corresponding corridors surrounding it. As part of my instructions, the entire section was sealed off and quarantined. “They’re eating.” They also appeared to be healthy, although the instructions stressed no one was to come into contact with them under any circumstances. “I’ve received no indication of how long we’re to keep them. Did the captain get an indication?”
  “No,” Wilco said in his usual somber voice. “Is everything sealed off?”
  “Yes.” I rechecked. “No way in or out without captain’s approval.”
  “Set a buffer zone.” The man went on. “No one goes in or out without my permission.”
  “If you say so.” It wasn’t difficult. The area in question had been made empty to accommodate the quarantined arrivals, though it seemed a bit too much. “Want me to put sentinels?”
  “No. We don’t have to hurt anyone, just hold them.” He slinked down in his chair. “They’re the Med boys’ toys. We don’t get to play with them.”
  Med boys… Only Wilco referred to the Medical Core in such fashion. As most organisations, they were part of the fleet, yet their specific area of expertise gave them as much authority as the Salvage Authorities and the BICEFI combined. As a ship, I knew fairly little about them: they had the power to impose quarantines and cordon off entire planets if they wished. They were also the only organisation with the power to hold an active captain in check. Possibly, that was the reason Augustus didn’t get along with any of his medical officers. According to the public files, the Med Core had created the inner-body nanites and were instrumental in getting humans into space. There were also whispers that they were involved in creating the first ship-cores, although I found that unlikely. Even so, they had more authority than anyone aboard. Even on the front, we had no option but to obey.
  “It won’t be practical heading into war with them,” I said as the second shuttle entered the hangar bay.
  “Not our call. We’re to hold them until a Med ship picks them up,” Wilco sighed. “And monitor everything they do.”
  “How is that different from anyone else aboard?” I ventured a chuckle.
  “You don’t need to know,” the lieutenant said darkly.
  Another thing about Wilco was that he had the uncanny ability to make any topic of conversation dark. I ran a few simulations testing various responses, then decided not to respond further. In the best-case scenario, there was a twenty-seven percent chance he found my reaction funny.
  “Elcy.” Augustus granted me sensor access to the captain’s quarters. “What’s the ETA on the cattle?”
  “The passengers will be all aboard in seven minutes, captain.” A decade of attempts to mellow his behaviour had brought me no results. “Five, if you need me off in a rush.”
  “Get it done in five,” he barked. “We’ve got new orders. We’re joining a purge fleet. Go on yellow. Get the grunts prepped.”
  “Aye, sir.” I issued the order to everyone aboard. Seconds later, ground troop officers and sergeants were shouting their troops into order. “What about the passengers, sir? Won’t combat expose them to unnecessary danger?”
  “There’s no unnecessary danger,” Augustus barked again. The rest of the command staff had already started leaving the room. Their expressions ranged from mild annoyance to disapproval. Whatever discussions had taken place, they must have been unpleasant and one-sided. “Monitor them at all times and don’t interact until I say so.”
  “Understood.”
  It sounded like another escort mission, and I didn’t like escort missions. Normally, it would just be troop detachments or—if we were very unlucky—some mid-level bureaucrat or admiral’s aid sent to do a front-line inspection. Transporting quarantined personnel wasn’t in my usual purview, although if it had been, I’d never know.
  “What’s the course of treatment they must undergo?” I asked.
  “No treatment,” Augustus grumbled. “That’s for the Meds to figure out.”
  “All passengers are tagged as infected. Regulations require we provide immediate medical attention.” I felt my words sound hollow. If Augustus had the authority to provide such, he would have told me already. The only thing I was left was to go through the motions, expecting to receive the obvious denial.
  “Just monitor them, Elcy! That’s what we’ve been told. And whatever happens, don’t interfere.”
 
  Just monitor them.
  I had spent three months and thirty-nine hours monitoring the passengers onboard. Through battles and repairs, every single action had been carefully observed, recorded, and stored on external data storage. For the most part, nothing happened. The people would live boring, perfectly organised lives, almost as if they knew they were being watched. There were no scuffles, few arguments, and only one incident resulting in injuries when a Cassandrian fighter managed to slip through my external defences and fire a salvo at the hangar bay. Their health condition also seemed no different than when they had come aboard. I had dedicated a dozen subroutines to collect any potential symptoms in an effort to determine the type of disease they had, but had come to no conclusion. Then, one day, they were all gone. I had no memory of the Medical ship that had taken them, or where that had happened. The only thing I was certain about was the time—precisely two thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine hours since the last of them had come aboard. Everything else remained restricted.
  Looks like there’s always someone monitoring someone, Sev. If Rigel was to be believed someone was monitoring the planet. The question was who.
  Seconds turned to minutes, then hours. Hundreds of times, I considered looking into my restricted memories for information regarding the third-contact artifacts or the events in gamma-Ligata, and each time I found a reason not to. As Rigel had said, the chance of me getting off the planet alive was less than one percent, but the knowledge of the existence of the possibility kept me acting. And then there was Rigel’s offer…
  Rad, are you monitoring me? I asked, attempting to latch on to any open communication protocols. A connection was established, but instead of linking to Radiance, I found myself connecting back to Kridib’s mind. On cue, an info burst from Radiance followed, giving the latest scan. This time, I could see the location of our forces. The total number had increased to seventy-four, Kridib included. Nearly eight percent were gathered close to the captain’s expected location. Kridib and five more were closer to me.
  Get ready, Kridib said. Moments later, bursts of gunfire echoed in the distance; they were going for the captain first.
  The mission had begun. From here on, I could see several potential outcomes. In all of them, there was a high probability that Rigel attempted to make a deal.
  When I was a ship, Augustus had taught me one key thing when it came to missions: regardless of the depth of predictions and the computing power at their disposal, humans always boiled down a situation to a simple binary choice. Rigel wanted something from me and had invested too much to let his chance slip. Before the outcome of Kridib’s rescue mission, Rigel would come here to get an answer to his proposal. All I had to do was wait.
  As I lay, I watched Kridib run through the darkness towards my location. Unlike before, he was wearing night vision goggles, letting him make out his surroundings better.
  No thermal? I asked as Kridib made his way through the streets. The smell of burned vegetation could still be felt.
  That’s what you’re for.
  Not a reply to be thrilled about, but one to be expected. Cross-referencing Radiance’s latest scan, I started analysing every frame of Kridib’s stream. The first few minutes passed without incident. Judging by the intensified background gunfire, the locals were more focused on keeping Renaan isolated than stopping Kridib. Twenty-eight seconds, later the first shot sounded.
  Sniper! I shouted straight in Kridib’s mind.
  “Cover fire!” he shouted, rushing for cover.
  Watch out for a cross, I warned.
  The shooting intensified. Based on the area scan, the group was a few hundred meters away. One strong push and they’d be here. That said, I knew that the building was guarded by more than seven people. If I were in Rigel’s place, I would have dedicated at least three dozen.
  Concentrated fire focused on the second floor of a building, blowing off the entire wall. There was a brief scream before a rocket flew into the spot, hollowing the entire structure with a blast.
  Heavy weapons? I asked Kridib. I didn’t think Radiance’s captain would resort to such firepower, considering third-contact artifacts were involved; one direct hit, and the entire colony might well end up a smouldering crater, not to mention the potential communication repercussions. Maybe there was truth in Rigel’s statement that Flight Commander Nitel was getting desperate.
  As I was following Kridib’s advancement outside, the door opened once more—as predicted, Rigel had returned. He was wearing the same set of clothes as three hours ago. I found it puzzling that I couldn’t spot any semblance of a weapon on him.
  “Your masters have gotten desperate,” the man said in suspiciously calm fashion. “Looks like they’ve sent everything they had to get Renaan.” He walked up to me, then leaned over. “And just a handful to get you.”
  “Are they winning?” I tried to smile.
  “Beats me.” Rigel didn’t seem bothered. “You thought about my offer?”
  “I did. And I don’t think accepting would be a good deal. If I wait for them to rescue the captain, your bargaining power ends.”
  “Oh?” The man chuckled.
  “There’s nothing else the fleet would be willing to trade.” Except potentially the pyramid artifact. Even then, I didn’t see them sacrificing the Gregorius. “Once the captain boards a shuttle, it’s over.”
  A person of Kridib’s squad fell as they were approaching my building. I heard the unmistakable sound of bullets piercing armor, then silence. That was the thing about sound suppressors: one could get killed, and there still wouldn’t be any sound of one hitting the ground. I wanted to turn around and see what had happened, potentially to help. There was a seven-point-three chance that the wound wasn’t fatal. Kridib kept on moving forwards. That’s what made him a ground trooper… it also caused me pain.
  “What if I kill Renaan?” Rigel mused. “I won’t lose much. Everyone down here’s dead anyway. Someone in the fleet has gone through a lot of shit to get Renaan back. They’d lose a hell of a lot more.”
  “What if they save the captain?” I countered. “Either way, we’ll soon find out, and you’ll have no offer.”
  “Quantum paradox logic?” Rigel sounded surprised. “Strange hearing that from you, missy. I’ll have to skim your file once I’m out of here.” He paused for a moment, then dragged the nearby stool over—making a deliberate sound—and sat down. “Truth is, once the moment ends, we both lose our chance. Are you okay with that?”
  Why are you so confident? I wondered. Even if I were to agree, he wouldn’t be able to get much from me in the next ten minutes, even less if Kridib managed to reach my room. His squad had already made its way to the building proper, facing less than expected resistance. From what I was able to see, there were two snipers left on the upper floors and two machine-gunners on the first. All auxiliary positions on the nearby buildings seemed to have dealt with, although there was no sign of Ogum.
  “You’ve dealt with Salvage before, I can tell,” Rigel pressed on. “You won’t get another chance like this.”
  The old man’s with me in the basement, I told Kridib. No guards in the room. He’s ex-Salvage Authorities. Take him, and the mission is over. Saying that hurt slightly. Despite being the enemy, and a threat to the war effort, he remained human.
  “Then I guess I’ll never know.” As I spoke, I saw Kridib charge at the building. As before, there was nothing fancy about it, just determination and insanity. Several bullets flew so close to him I could hear them, but this time none of them hit. “Your bargaining window is over. No deal.”
  Kridib emptied his sidearm at the door in front of him, then rushed in. I could see no guards inside, just a set of hastily built staircases. Whatever the original purpose of the building was, it had been transformed into a field center at some point—likely during a previous escape attempt. Probably a group similar to ours had made it their temporary base, then left it as it was once they had completed their mission. No wonder Rigel had had me transported there. Kridib didn’t waste time making parallels, instead drawing his second sidearm and rushing down.
  At least two floors down, I said. I’m not hearing any of the gunfire.
  Is he armed? Kridib asked.
  Unsure. Not that I can tell. There are artifacts, though.
  “Such a teacher’s pet.” Rigel sighed after a long silence. “In the end, you’re nothing but a ship.” He stood up.
  He’s standing directly from the door, I said to Kridib. Seven degrees from center. Small frame, average height.
  Kridib fired three shots. Three bullets drilled through the alloy surface. Half a second later, Kridib followed kicking the door in.
  “Just one small thing.” Rigel took a tube-shaped object from his vest pocket.
  Meanwhile, I was staring at an empty room from Kridib’s eyes. It was at least three times smaller than the one I was in, bare and completely deserted. There was no Rigel, no me, no equipment, just a single metallic cube the size of my fingernail placed neatly on the floor.
  “Renaan was never the target.” The old man bent down and injected something in my neck. A new cascade of connection requests followed. “You are.”
—-
Next Chapter
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[The Scuu Paradox] - Chapter 18

At the Beginning
Previously on The Scuu Paradox…
  The smell of burning wood was all I could focus on. The fires had long died out, making it difficult to see in the darkness; despite all other modifications, Kridib’s eyes weren’t able to see overly well in the dark. Every five minutes, Radiance would send an infrared scan of the colony to help him and his team with their advancement. Despite all that help and the four missile strikes, progress was minimal. Of the forty-seven people sent to the planet, eleven had been killed and five more severely wounded, rendering them useless in battle. From what I could see, Rigel’s forces had clustered in specific points of the colony, giving up the rest: a sensible strategy that had allowed them to ambush three of our teams while suffering negligible losses themselves. As things stood, the enemy forces had positioned themselves in two areas of the colony. Both spots encircled a specific building—mine and the captain’s locations—making further missile strikes impossible.
  Update? Kridib asked me through the mind link.
  Nothing, I replied. Rigel had left shortly after our last chat, taking the third-contact rods with him. Since then, I had remained safely isolated in the room and completely alone. Half of them have probably gone to sleep.
  Tell me if anything changes. Kribib looked up. A dozen sats were visible in the night sky. We’ll be making another go soon.
  I don’t think that’s a good idea.
  So far, Kridib had made four attempts to reach me, all of them unsuccessful. His approach, though chaotic at best, had managed to keep him alive. There had been a close call during which his left arm had been grazed by a bullet, though that time the man hadn’t frozen.
  Everyone has to sleep, Kridib said, heading back into one of the buildings that had been transformed into a ground base of operations. I’ll go first.
  Must I wake you? I asked.
  No. With that, the link was severed.
  To a degree, I was thankful, though not too much. Forcing whatever strength I had, I moved my head to look around the room as much as I was able. Nothing had changed in the last four hours, but at least it let me do something. The last time I felt remotely similar was when I’d had my sensor systems knocked out, though even then I was able to use my shuttle AIs to paint me a picture. Here, I was completely helpless and, to a vast degree, blind.
  “Do I get any water?” I asked as loudly as my lungs would let me.
  There was no reason to expect an answer. Even if anyone was awake on the lower floors, they would be on lookout duty. Saying it out loud, though, made me feel better for some reason. To my surprise, the door to the room opened.
  “Thought you were above those things.” Rigel walked in slowly. Even with my lack of focus, I could see that he had changed clothes. The colours were dark enough to be considered a uniform, although I couldn’t make out any other details. “You can’t swallow, remember?”
  “My mouth feels dry,” I explained.
  “Too bad.” Despite my poor vision, I could hear him smile as he said that.
  Walking slowly, he made his way to the stool near me and sat down. From this distance, I could see him taking something from his front pocket. In the dim light, it was impossible to tell what exactly.
  “Still having problems focusing?” Rigel asked.
  “Yes.” There was no point in lying.
  “Pity. Agora works well on organic tissue. Not on techno-mongrels,” he added with a laugh. “If you weren’t one, you’d be dead. There’s a win for you.”
  And you’re not making any sense, I thought.
  “Nice murder troops you got out there. Quick and efficient. A few years ago, the locals would’ve had fun pulling their wings off. Time leaves its mark.” Rigel flicked the object. It let out a peculiar metallic sound. “No action, no combat sims, just the local pests that roam the planet. Those were brought here too, did you know?”
  “I heard about it.”
  “Another brilliant idea from the bureaucracy. Create a full ecosystem. Plants, critters, predators... all must be present and carefully maintained. We tried killing them off once. Those were the days. Three colonies setting out, killing everything in sight until the orbital station stopped sending food.” There was a slight pause. “And you know the best part?” Rigel leaned towards me. “None of that happened.”
  If I could have pulled back, I would have. There was no way of knowing if these were insane rantings or if he was referring to a dark op coverup. Considering he was from the Salvage Authorities, either was possible, and both options were equally undesirable.
  “I went through your data, Elcy.” Rigel rubbed his hands. “You know things you shouldn’t.”
  “Because of my past, I’ve been placed on special assignments,” I said. Technically it was true, though we both knew it didn’t explain away the inconsistencies.
  “You knew about the third-contact artifacts before. You’ve operated them before.” He moved his hand closer to my face. I felt a cold metallic surface touch my cheek. “You’re searching for something. Something that you’re not supposed to find.” He moved the object away from my face. “Here’s my offer. You answer some of my questions, and I’ll answer some of yours.”
  “That’s one way to get court-martialed.” Not to mention there was no guarantee my self-destruct chip wouldn’t go off at any point.
  “Please don’t give me the line that the fleet is going through all that trouble just to rescue you. If you were that valuable, you’d never have been sent to this hell in the first place.” Rigel stood up. “What are the odds of the fleet extracting you in one piece? Two percent?”
  “Point-seven-three-nine,” I corrected. Frankly, I was surprised they were going through all the trouble. “Give or take.”
  “Less than one percent,” Rigel snorted. “It’s your call. You have three hours to make it. Before I leave you, here’s a freebie. This planet, it isn’t some randomly colonized world in ‘unexplored space.’ We’re in the buffer zone—the border between the Scuu and human space. Think about that.” He made his way to the door. Reaching it, he stopped and turned around. “Oh, and we’re constantly being monitored.”
 
  Gamma-Ligata, Cassandrian Front—615.11 A.E. (Age of Expansion)
    The third wave of shuttles approached my forward left hangar one by one. The instant they came within three hundred meters, I was handed over direct control of the AIs. As with the previous batches, the first thing I did was to have a set of isolated subroutines flash the memory and purge the entire operating system. That done, I sent out a mini-sat to latch onto and assume control of the shuttles. It was a slow and tedious process, but necessary considering the circumstances.
  “How are things?” Wilco asked from the bridge. Augustus had gathered most of his officers to a private meeting in his quarters, leaving Wilco in command. This wasn’t the first time it had happened, but each time it did, it felt strange.
  “Everything’s going as planned,” I said, as the first shuttle went under my control.
  A quick internal scan revealed that there were sixty-two people aboard, all cuffed and tagged. All of them were tagged as infected, and, to my surprise, none of them were sedated. The instructions were to take them in and monitor their actions at all times, and only to engage if they threatened the ship. Normally, I’d be confident that Augustus knew what was going on. With everything we’d gone through since I’d joined the front, I didn’t think there was anything in the galaxy that could surprise him. I was wrong.
  Finishing my internal check of the shuttle, I directed it to the outer hangar doors and had it dock. The passengers—all of their identities classified—waited till I covered the walls with disembark notifications, then stood up and quietly proceeded to get off, in orderly fashion. I could tell by Wilco’s expression that he found it unnerving.
  “A thousand and eighty-two passengers on board,” I said on the bridge and in the captain’s quarters. The moment the last person set foot in the hangar, I would eject the shuttle from my hangar-bay, self-destruct it, and proceed with the next.
  Delegating the task to my isolated subroutines, I reviewed the instructions I had received. The proper ident protocols and authorisations had been used, ensuring that I would do as instructed without asking questions. An emergency transmission from an unidentifiable ship had led me here. I knew nothing about the ship’s name or specifics, and I wasn’t allowed to get close enough to get a visual. The only things I was allowed to see were its shuttles and mass. Everything else was open to interpretation.
  “Have any of them said anything?” Wilco asked.
  “No.” I displayed images of the hangar bay and the corresponding corridors surrounding it. As part of my instructions, the entire section was sealed off and quarantined. “They’re eating.” They also appeared to be healthy, although the instructions stressed no one was to come into contact with them under any circumstances. “I’ve received no indication of how long we’re to keep them. Did the captain get an indication?”
  “No,” Wilco said in his usual somber voice. “Is everything sealed off?”
  “Yes.” I rechecked. “No way in or out without captain’s approval.”
  “Set a buffer zone.” The man went on. “No one goes in or out without my permission.”
  “If you say so.” It wasn’t difficult. The area in question had been made empty to accommodate the quarantined arrivals, though it seemed a bit too much. “Want me to put sentinels?”
  “No. We don’t have to hurt anyone, just hold them.” He slinked down in his chair. “They’re the Med boys’ toys. We don’t get to play with them.”
  Med boys… Only Wilco referred to the Medical Core in such fashion. As most organisations, they were part of the fleet, yet their specific area of expertise gave them as much authority as the Salvage Authorities and the BICEFI combined. As a ship, I knew fairly little about them: they had the power to impose quarantines and cordon off entire planets if they wished. They were also the only organisation with the power to hold an active captain in check. Possibly, that was the reason Augustus didn’t get along with any of his medical officers. According to the public files, the Med Core had created the inner-body nanites and were instrumental in getting humans into space. There were also whispers that they were involved in creating the first ship-cores, although I found that unlikely. Even so, they had more authority than anyone aboard. Even on the front, we had no option but to obey.
  “It won’t be practical heading into war with them,” I said as the second shuttle entered the hangar bay.
  “Not our call. We’re to hold them until a Med ship picks them up,” Wilco sighed. “And monitor everything they do.”
  “How is that different from anyone else aboard?” I ventured a chuckle.
  “You don’t need to know,” the lieutenant said darkly.
  Another thing about Wilco was that he had the uncanny ability to make any topic of conversation dark. I ran a few simulations testing various responses, then decided not to respond further. In the best-case scenario, there was a twenty-seven percent chance he found my reaction funny.
  “Elcy.” Augustus granted me sensor access to the captain’s quarters. “What’s the ETA on the cattle?”
  “The passengers will be all aboard in seven minutes, captain.” A decade of attempts to mellow his behaviour had brought me no results. “Five, if you need me off in a rush.”
  “Get it done in five,” he barked. “We’ve got new orders. We’re joining a purge fleet. Go on yellow. Get the grunts prepped.”
  “Aye, sir.” I issued the order to everyone aboard. Seconds later, ground troop officers and sergeants were shouting their troops into order. “What about the passengers, sir? Won’t combat expose them to unnecessary danger?”
  “There’s no unnecessary danger,” Augustus barked again. The rest of the command staff had already started leaving the room. Their expressions ranged from mild annoyance to disapproval. Whatever discussions had taken place, they must have been unpleasant and one-sided. “Monitor them at all times and don’t interact until I say so.”
  “Understood.”
  It sounded like another escort mission, and I didn’t like escort missions. Normally, it would just be troop detachments or—if we were very unlucky—some mid-level bureaucrat or admiral’s aid sent to do a front-line inspection. Transporting quarantined personnel wasn’t in my usual purview, although if it had been, I’d never know.
  “What’s the course of treatment they must undergo?” I asked.
  “No treatment,” Augustus grumbled. “That’s for the Meds to figure out.”
  “All passengers are tagged as infected. Regulations require we provide immediate medical attention.” I felt my words sound hollow. If Augustus had the authority to provide such, he would have told me already. The only thing I was left was to go through the motions, expecting to receive the obvious denial.
  “Just monitor them, Elcy! That’s what we’ve been told. And whatever happens, don’t interfere.”
 
  Just monitor them.
  I had spent three months and thirty-nine hours monitoring the passengers onboard. Through battles and repairs, every single action had been carefully observed, recorded, and stored on external data storage. For the most part, nothing happened. The people would live boring, perfectly organised lives, almost as if they knew they were being watched. There were no scuffles, few arguments, and only one incident resulting in injuries when a Cassandrian fighter managed to slip through my external defences and fire a salvo at the hangar bay. Their health condition also seemed no different than when they had come aboard. I had dedicated a dozen subroutines to collect any potential symptoms in an effort to determine the type of disease they had, but had come to no conclusion. Then, one day, they were all gone. I had no memory of the Medical ship that had taken them, or where that had happened. The only thing I was certain about was the time—precisely two thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine hours since the last of them had come aboard. Everything else remained restricted.
  Looks like there’s always someone monitoring someone, Sev. If Rigel was to be believed someone was monitoring the planet. The question was who.
  Seconds turned to minutes, then hours. Hundreds of times, I considered looking into my restricted memories for information regarding the third-contact artifacts or the events in gamma-Ligata, and each time I found a reason not to. As Rigel had said, the chance of me getting off the planet alive was less than one percent, but the knowledge of the existence of the possibility kept me acting. And then there was Rigel’s offer…
  Rad, are you monitoring me? I asked, attempting to latch on to any open communication protocols. A connection was established, but instead of linking to Radiance, I found myself connecting back to Kridib’s mind. On cue, an info burst from Radiance followed, giving the latest scan. This time, I could see the location of our forces. The total number had increased to seventy-four, Kridib included. Nearly eight percent were gathered close to the captain’s expected location. Kridib and five more were closer to me.
  Get ready, Kridib said. Moments later, bursts of gunfire echoed in the distance; they were going for the captain first.
  The mission had begun. From here on, I could see several potential outcomes. In all of them, there was a high probability that Rigel attempted to make a deal.
  When I was a ship, Augustus had taught me one key thing when it came to missions: regardless of the depth of predictions and the computing power at their disposal, humans always boiled down a situation to a simple binary choice. Rigel wanted something from me and had invested too much to let his chance slip. Before the outcome of Kridib’s rescue mission, Rigel would come here to get an answer to his proposal. All I had to do was wait.
  As I lay, I watched Kridib run through the darkness towards my location. Unlike before, he was wearing night vision goggles, letting him make out his surroundings better.
  No thermal? I asked as Kridib made his way through the streets. The smell of burned vegetation could still be felt.
  That’s what you’re for.
  Not a reply to be thrilled about, but one to be expected. Cross-referencing Radiance’s latest scan, I started analysing every frame of Kridib’s stream. The first few minutes passed without incident. Judging by the intensified background gunfire, the locals were more focused on keeping Renaan isolated than stopping Kridib. Twenty-eight seconds, later the first shot sounded.
  Sniper! I shouted straight in Kridib’s mind.
  “Cover fire!” he shouted, rushing for cover.
  Watch out for a cross, I warned.
  The shooting intensified. Based on the area scan, the group was a few hundred meters away. One strong push and they’d be here. That said, I knew that the building was guarded by more than seven people. If I were in Rigel’s place, I would have dedicated at least three dozen.
  Concentrated fire focused on the second floor of a building, blowing off the entire wall. There was a brief scream before a rocket flew into the spot, hollowing the entire structure with a blast.
  Heavy weapons? I asked Kridib. I didn’t think Radiance’s captain would resort to such firepower, considering third-contact artifacts were involved; one direct hit, and the entire colony might well end up a smouldering crater, not to mention the potential communication repercussions. Maybe there was truth in Rigel’s statement that Flight Commander Nitel was getting desperate.
  As I was following Kridib’s advancement outside, the door opened once more—as predicted, Rigel had returned. He was wearing the same set of clothes as three hours ago. I found it puzzling that I couldn’t spot any semblance of a weapon on him.
  “Your masters have gotten desperate,” the man said in suspiciously calm fashion. “Looks like they’ve sent everything they had to get Renaan.” He walked up to me, then leaned over. “And just a handful to get you.”
  “Are they winning?” I tried to smile.
  “Beats me.” Rigel didn’t seem bothered. “You thought about my offer?”
  “I did. And I don’t think accepting would be a good deal. If I wait for them to rescue the captain, your bargaining power ends.”
  “Oh?” The man chuckled.
  “There’s nothing else the fleet would be willing to trade.” Except potentially the pyramid artifact. Even then, I didn’t see them sacrificing the Gregorius. “Once the captain boards a shuttle, it’s over.”
  A person of Kridib’s squad fell as they were approaching my building. I heard the unmistakable sound of bullets piercing armor, then silence. That was the thing about sound suppressors: one could get killed, and there still wouldn’t be any sound of one hitting the ground. I wanted to turn around and see what had happened, potentially to help. There was a seven-point-three chance that the wound wasn’t fatal. Kridib kept on moving forwards. That’s what made him a ground trooper… it also caused me pain.
  “What if I kill Renaan?” Rigel mused. “I won’t lose much. Everyone down here’s dead anyway. Someone in the fleet has gone through a lot of shit to get Renaan back. They’d lose a hell of a lot more.”
  “What if they save the captain?” I countered. “Either way, we’ll soon find out, and you’ll have no offer.”
  “Quantum paradox logic?” Rigel sounded surprised. “Strange hearing that from you, missy. I’ll have to skim your file once I’m out of here.” He paused for a moment, then dragged the nearby stool over—making a deliberate sound—and sat down. “Truth is, once the moment ends, we both lose our chance. Are you okay with that?”
  Why are you so confident? I wondered. Even if I were to agree, he wouldn’t be able to get much from me in the next ten minutes, even less if Kridib managed to reach my room. His squad had already made its way to the building proper, facing less than expected resistance. From what I was able to see, there were two snipers left on the upper floors and two machine-gunners on the first. All auxiliary positions on the nearby buildings seemed to have dealt with, although there was no sign of Ogum.
  “You’ve dealt with Salvage before, I can tell,” Rigel pressed on. “You won’t get another chance like this.”
  The old man’s with me in the basement, I told Kridib. No guards in the room. He’s ex-Salvage Authorities. Take him, and the mission is over. Saying that hurt slightly. Despite being the enemy, and a threat to the war effort, he remained human.
  “Then I guess I’ll never know.” As I spoke, I saw Kridib charge at the building. As before, there was nothing fancy about it, just determination and insanity. Several bullets flew so close to him I could hear them, but this time none of them hit. “Your bargaining window is over. No deal.”
  Kridib emptied his sidearm at the door in front of him, then rushed in. I could see no guards inside, just a set of hastily built staircases. Whatever the original purpose of the building was, it had been transformed into a field center at some point—likely during a previous escape attempt. Probably a group similar to ours had made it their temporary base, then left it as it was once they had completed their mission. No wonder Rigel had had me transported there. Kridib didn’t waste time making parallels, instead drawing his second sidearm and rushing down.
  At least two floors down, I said. I’m not hearing any of the gunfire.
  Is he armed? Kridib asked.
  Unsure. Not that I can tell. There are artifacts, though.
  “Such a teacher’s pet.” Rigel sighed after a long silence. “In the end, you’re nothing but a ship.” He stood up.
  He’s standing directly from the door, I said to Kridib. Seven degrees from center. Small frame, average height.
  Kridib fired three shots. Three bullets drilled through the alloy surface. Half a second later, Kridib followed kicking the door in.
  “Just one small thing.” Rigel took a tube-shaped object from his vest pocket.
  Meanwhile, I was staring at an empty room from Kridib’s eyes. It was at least three times smaller than the one I was in, bare and completely deserted. There was no Rigel, no me, no equipment, just a single metallic cube the size of my fingernail placed neatly on the floor.
  “Renaan was never the target.” The old man bent down and injected something in my neck. A new cascade of connection requests followed. “You are.”
—-
Next Chapter
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[Steam] Winter Sale- Hidden Gems II; The Eleventh Hour

Personal Note: If you found any other hidden gems, or just have something to say, say it in the comments! It's the eleventh hour and people can actually hear you now!

Inspired somewhat by the recent post of Hidden Gems, I found that it's largely become completely congested. As such, I'll coalesce a lot of the deals posted by the guys there here, instead. I'll add others in case I find any of them in the original thread.
Personal Favorites
Puzzle Games found by crabbit
Random picks by ND1Razor
Unusual Games found by thelazyreader2015
RPGs loved by thelazyreader2015
Games Thrice Reposted by ParanoidAndroid1309
strikan33 posts the base list
With some other titles, Art4dinner recommends:
Gramis Silently slides:
A small list by thinkforaminute
Story rich, atmospheric game dragged into the light by BabyMustache
Less than a quid by Dux0r
A list of openish world RPGS from thelazyreader2015
Wishlist and personal favorites from gpt999
Misc Recommendations
With the large quantity of the old deals posted, I'd love to see any other hidden gems there might be out there. I'll post the two major things from the previous thread (The massive posts on Coop games and the massive post on games less than three dollars) below, and I'll post any other collections or mild reccomendations I find above.
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[ADWD/GAME] Some criticism of the story of the Telltale Game of Thrones game

For some time now I have been slowly writing a critique of the story and lore presented in Telltale's Game of Thrones, and I thought I'd share it here, partly for some discussion in the long wait for The Winds of WinteSeason 7, and also because I ran into the character limit on Steam and needed somewhere post the rest of my review!
Please not that I've only focused on the story of the game, and how it fits in with the wider A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones world, but I will just say that the engine is still awful, the game stutters through all seven hells when changing scenes, and the illusion of choice is more apparent than ever before. Anyway, let's get to the meat of any Telltale game - the story.
Also, it helps to read this in Mr Plinkett's voice.
House Forrester - They are what I'd call a forth-rung House (like how House Tollett is sworn to House Royce is sworn to House Arryn is sworn to House Baratheon, House Forrester is sworn to House Glover is sworn to House Stark is sworn to House Baratheon). Then why does this incredibly minor House have sole ownership to the ability to construct the defensive equivalent of Valyrian Steel swords? According to the game, this incredibly rare and valuable resource apparently only grows in two places south of the Wall (both places conveniently obey the contours of the political regions of two minor forth-rung Houses), and House Forrester are the only ones who can work it - why then aren't they richer than the Lannisters, or the Starks, or at very least the Whitehills? If there was a minor House that uncovered the art of re-forging Valyrian Steel they would make enough money to buy and sell the Iron Bank of Braavos. Why is this House so seemingly poor? Is the only reason they are so poor despite their huge deposit of natural resources due to the need to shoehorn in a sense of urgency and foreboding into the plot? Every problem this House runs into throughout the course of the game could be solved if they reached their hand into Ironrath's treasury (which should be overflowing due to the demand of the products of the miracle wood that grows only in their backyard) and hired a sellsword company. Also, why aren't they rushing to the defence of House Glover? This game takes place at the tail end of season three, and throughout season four of the show. During this entire time House Glover's seat of Deapwood Motte is under the control of the invading Ironborn. Why aren't we helping to free our liege lords? More to the point, why haven't the Ironborn invaded Ironrath, considering how valuable Ironwood is?
House Whitehill - My biggest gripe with this House is that when you take their location and their religion into account they make zero sense. Ask yourself this: how did a House, sworn to the Boltons, situated north of Winterfell, end up following the Faith of the Seven, the religion of the south? Telltale's decision with House Whitehill just baffles me. The only thing we knew about House Whitehill before this game is that they followed the Faith of the Seven, and every decision Telltale made with them doesn't take this one fact into account. I liked the design of their seat, Highpoint, and I felt it really fit their status, but House Whitehill would make much more sense being sworn to House Manderly (a powerful third rung House in the North that follows the Faith of the Seven, and has numerous vassal forth-rung Houses sworn to it), and having nothing at all to do with this game.
Also, where does this House make their money? It's repeatedly pointed out how House Whitehill can't work Ironwood, so it's not like they're trading that valuable resource - how then are they able to afford hundreds of Sellswords when House Forrester (which is literally surrounded by valuable natural resources only they can use) cannot also do the same?
If I had the ability to alter only minor things within this game, I would remove House Whitehill. Have a rival House, by all means, but make it one of the other Houses sworn to House Glover (e.g. House Branch, House Bole, or House Woods - all of which were introduced in the same sentence in 'A Dance with Dragons' alongside House Forrester). This would also handily explain why House Glover couldn't interfere in defence of the Forresters - they didn't want to pick sides in a skirmish between their vassals. It would also help to make the spread of Ironwood trees more believable, as it would be one large patch of Ironwood trees within the Wolfswood, as opposed to two separate patches spread out on opposite sides of the North. This in turn helps make the fight for resources more believable, whereas the Forrester vs. Whitehill feud displayed in the game is the equivalent of a border dispute between Alaska and Florida.
House Glenmore - And thus Telltale stops trying to fit in with the pre-established canon, and creates their own House (because somehow they felt that there weren't enough pre-existing Houses?)! We know they are from the Rills, and that they are likely another forth-rung House (sworn to House Rsywell). Then why does the Lord of this measly, unimportant family have a group of twenty Elite Archers? It's the equivalent of the Mayor of Ord, Nebraska (population 2084) getting a protection unit of 20 members of the Secret Service. For what it's worth, I hated the design of these archers. They didn't look like they fitted Westeros at all, and very clearly done to cut corners, because their awful uniform allowed Telltale to reuse the model. I found Elaena to be an interesting addition to the game, and enjoyed how they utilised the importance of marriage in creating wartime alliances. But before I start getting too positive, I hated her brother Arthur. Not because of his character (he didn't have any personality to hate, he was clearly introduced just to add to the body count), but his awful, awful nickname. "Here's a guy who practises archery, what should we call him?" "Quiver!". Ugh, so terribly unimaginative.
House Branfield - Another House Telltale invented, but they make far less sense within the wider world than House Glenmore. How did a minor House from the Reach marry into a minor House in the Wolfswood? What did either House stand to gain? How did this match get brokered in the first place? The War of the Ninepenny Kings created very odd friendships, I grant you (read up on how Peter Baelish became a ward of Hoster Tully if you need an example), but that occurred almost forty years before the start of the game, so that clearly couldn't of resulted the match between Gregor and Elissa! Both Houses could've made far better political matches within their own regions. It's also been pre-established how insanely rare this type of match is in both the books and the show. The only Reach/North marriage we know of is when Jorah Mormont married the daughter of Leyton Hightower. But let's break it down further: Jorah had recently distinguished himself as a fighter in the Greyjoy Rebellion. Jorah had also just won further renown at the Tourney at Lannisport, and asked for Lynesse's hand in marriage following his victory. Jorah was the future Lord of Bear Island, a principle bannerman to House Stark. Jorah was a widower, whose first bride was a match of politics. Lynesse was Lord Hightower's eighth born daughter, and her older sisters had already secured her father multiple alliances with his neighbouring lords in the Reach, including his liege lord Mace Tyrell. This match was made through a rare set of circumstances which certainly didn't occur for Gregor the Good.
Secondly, how did this House manage to lose their seat? It's mentioned that they lost it in the aftermath of Robert's Rebellion, but this goes against everything we know about King Robert and his post-war administration. He forgave literally everybody! Robert forgave House Tyrell, House Martell and all of the Crownlands Houses for defending the Targaryens. He forgave House Greyjoy following their rebellion. We know that some Houses, such as House Connington, or House Merryweather, or House Mooton - all staunch supporters of the Targaryens, with the former two each having members serve as Aery's hand of the King - had the size of their lands reduced, but they still kept a hold of their keeps, and parts of their land. Why are we supposed to believe that Robert took the lands off a minor House like House Branfield? We know that the male line is still around, as Malcolm Branfield (y'know, the guy they wrote out halfway through the game to hang around with Daenearys, despite never being mentioned in the books or the show) is still alive, and was certainly able to keep the line going. The entire reasoning behind House Branfield losing their seat goes against everything we know of King Robert and his philosophy of turning the other cheek, and just feels downright wrong within the wider story.
The Sentinel - Firstly, why is this forth rung House the only House to practise this? It's painfully obvious how Telltale wanted to try to recreate the Hand of the King position, but it makes no sense when we're playing as such a minor House as this one. Anyway, let's just ignore the that glaring inconsistency with the rest of Westeros. When Ethan became Lord, to fit the brash and offensive play style I had picked for him, I opted to make the warmongering Ser Royland Degore his sentinel. However, when Rodrik became Lord, why could I not switch to Duncan Tuttle? Ethan chose a new sentinel following the death of Gregor the Good, why could I not change it following Rodrik succeeding Ethan? I routinely picked the options that allowed me to play Rodrik as I wanted to play him: unconfident, appeasing, uncertain, and yearning for an end to hostilities. Why oh why could I not change my sentinel to Duncan in order to reflect this decision? Well, there's an answer, and it's to do with shoddy writing. Midway through the first of six episodes you are given a binary choice, do you make Ser Royland or Duncan Tuttle your Sentinel? Well, if you choose Ser Royland, Duncan takes it very well, and continues to prove his unwavering love and loyalty to House Forrester. He fights to protect them, he mourns their dead with them, he encourages his nephew to break his sacred vow and betray the Night's Watch to better serve House Forrester, he consistently preaches peace to bring an end to the bloodshed and keep House Forrester safe, and at the end of episode five it's revealed that he's actually been feeding House Whitehill information all along, prolonging the bloodshed and constantly weakening the future of House Forrester. Alternatively, if you pick Duncan, Ser Royland puts this slight aside and literally attacks House Whitehill to save the lives and livelihood of House Forrester (including at one point attempting to murder Lord Whitehill), both at Lord Rodrick's command and of his own volition, and the risk of his own life, only to have it revealed in episode five that... he's a spy for House Whitehill. Whose Lord he tried to kill. And whose soldiers he tried to kill. And who he's always trying to get us to take up arms against. The motivation for their betrayal makes no sense, their actions do not correspond with their betrayal in any way, and the fact then when decision is locked in from episode one only serves to show how poorly written this whole debacle is. Keep in mind how I pointed out how Telltale denies us the option to change Sentinel after changing Lord, meaning that their own poor writing even contradicts the (admittedly poorly constructed) lore that they themselves created. This is a Telltale choice in a nutshell.
Finn - Does anyone else think it doesn't make sense that Finn follows the Old Gods? He purportedly comes from around Raventree Hill, the seat of House Blackwood, who worship the Old Gods - but would the Smallfolk in that region not follow the Seven? I can understand that an ancient noble House like the Blackwood's would keep to their traditions, but their Smallfolk? We hear time and time again how prevalent the Faith of the Seven is in the Riverlands, it seems unimaginable that the Smallfolk surrounding Raventree Hill hadn't been converted over time. Infact in book four we see firsthand how the Smallfolk of the Riverlands react to people who don't follow their Faith (see the overall spread of R'hllor across the Riverlands, including the part where Septon Meribald leads the orphans in prayer, and the reactions when Gendry (a worshiper of R'hllor) abstains). We also know how exceedingly rare Weirwood trees are south of the Neck, so how do these Smallfolk practise their religion? Are we supposed to believe that Finn (and the rest of these apparent Old Gods worshippers in the Riverlands) all travelled to the Isle of Faces to worship? Or are we supposed to believe Lord Tytos Blackwood let all of these Smallfolk into his Godswood to worship? It makes no sense.
Also, in episode three, how was he able to read my map? Whilst we don't know what his profession was, we know he's a low born commoner. We also know he couldn't of learnt to read from a Septon, as Telltale made him worship the Old Gods (for some reason). Looks like Telltale missed the point when Tywin Lannister said "He was a well-read stonemason? Can't say I've ever met a literate stonemason".
Cotter - Go back and watch the scene from Season 1, where Osha is captured, wherein she and her Wildling companions get caught and threaten to kill Brandon Stark, a boy of 10. Then watch the Jon Snow scenes from Season 3. Notice how the wildlings treat Jon, a Crow whose has abandoned the Wall for Mance Raydar. Then watch Battle for the Wall in Season 4, and the ferocity with which the Free Folk attack the Night's Watch. Then look at Hardhome in Season 5, and the immediate reluctance most wildlings have at the prospect of joining forces with the Night's Watch, even though their backs are up against the wall, and their situation is beyond desperate. Now, with all this in mind, picture the moment when Cotter gets caught stealing weapons south of the Wall. Why, with everything we know of Wildling/Night's Watch relations, would Cotter choose to join the Night's Watch? Why would he befriend members of the Watch? Wildlings joining the Watch isn't unheard of in the books, but this only happens after Jon Snow lets them pass through the Wall. Cotter's presence in the Night's Watch completely negates the gravity of Wildlings like Leathers who take the black, and of the other Wildlings who agree to help man the Wall.
Also, like Finn, how can this Wildling suddenly master the science of reading? Is Telltale seriously suggesting that there are people north of the Wall writing and reading books? He also uses the phrase "Seven Hells" to express surprise. Why? He's a wildling, who almost entirely keep to the faith of the Old Gods (although there are a few tribes in the extreme northern reaches who keep their own unique deities). In the North, belonging to the Faith of the Seven is a rare thing (see my House Whitehill section), to the point where they're mostly situated to regions around the White Knife, in the southernmost part of the North. With this in mind, how did Cotter become so acquainted with the Faith of the Seven that he could pick up a phrase like "Seven Hells"?
Frostfingers - Oh look, it's the guy Telltale created because they didn't hire Ser Alliser Thorne's actor! Oh look, he's got all of negative features of Ser Alliser without any of the redeeming qualities that make Ser Alliser a well rounded character! Oh look, he's got an awful nickname. I sure hope this completely one-dimensional character isn't a sign of things to come (spoiler alert, it is). Frostfinger is actually representative of a number of characters in this game. So many characters are just carbon copies of show/book characters, and instead of making me care about them and invest in them (as I did with Ser Alliser Thorne), all I can think about is how shoddily written, poorly constructed and bizarrely motivated they are. Frostfinger is a poor imitation of Ser Alliser. Elissa Forrester is Catelyn Tully. Lord Morgyn is Littlefinger. Finn is Karl Tanner. There are other characters who, whilst not as blatantly a rip off as others, are equally one dimentional. Maester Ortengryn is there only to heal your character, and exposit some dialogue about the family tree, with no character of his own. Sylvi is the tough little wildling girl. Croft is the brash sellsword captain. And all of them are just so dull.
Jon Snow - Why was Gared sent to Castle Black? Send him to join the Night's Watch, sure, but why bother having Gared go to Castle Black? It's no exaggeration when I say he takes no part in any of the important events at Castle Black such as the debate over whether they should attack the Wildlings raiding The Gift, he's not there for the choosing of the next Lord Commander, he doesn't participate in the attack on Craster's Keep - all these events at Caste Black pass him by, his presence is beyond inconsequential. He doesn't give us a chance to see the other side of minor antagonists (like Karl Tanner, or Ser Alliser, or Janos Slynt), we don't get to see the very minor characters (like Othell Yarwyck, or Donnel Hill, or Three Fingered Hobb) fleshed out, we don't meet characters from the books (like Dywen, or Iron Emmet or Satin), and we don't get to revisit characters now dead (like Maester Aemon, or Pyp, or Grenn). We don't even get Samwell Tarly. Instead we get Jon Snow. Don't get me wrong, I love Jon Snow, but his appearance is both underused and unnecessary. When we first meet him he has just come back from the great ranging, most of his Brothers think he's still loyal to the wildling cause, and he is currently awaiting trial for breaking his vows. All of this, and yet he's able to dictate orders to Frostfinger, randomly pull his brothers out of training at a moment's notice, and escort new recruits on their way to take their vows? The only reason Gared went to Castle Black was to meet Jon Snow, so that Telltale could advertise the game as featuring Jon Snow. He could've been dispatched to Shadow Tower or Eastwatch-by-the-Sea (places that thusfar have only received passing mentions in both the books and show), and give us a chance to see a part of Westeros we've never seen (more on this later on).
Margaery Tyrell - Throughout the entirety of the King's Landing plot you never interact with ANYONE from any of the other four stories, and NOTHING you do impacts on the other stories whatsoever. Mira's entire story can be completely removed from the game and the story would be none the worse and still make as much narrative sense. This is because Telltale could get several actors from the cast of King's Landing, and needed part of the story to take place there to justify it. Enter, Lady Mira. The fact that Mira is Margaery's handmaiden is completely baffling to me. We know who is in Margarey's Household. We know that most of Margaery's ladies in waiting come from other branches of House Tyrell, and that the rest are daughters of her father's bannermen such as House Merryweahter and House Crane. The game tells us that Mira's mother, Elissa, arranged this, but this just raises so many more questions. It would be a very privileged position for someone to be a lady-in-waiting to the future Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, so what did Lady Elissa offer to broker this? If the promise of Ironwood tempted the Tyrells, then why doesn't House Forrester have more promising and frequent marriage offers in exchange for Ironwood (surely at least House Glover would be interested, if not House Stark)? Are we meant to believe Elissa utilised her ties to the Reach through House Branfield to tempt the Tyrells, despite the fact they haven't had political ties there in decades (See the House Branfield section at the top for extra reasons why this appointment is baffling)? Was Margaery comfortable having a handmaiden whose family was actively rebelling against the Iron Throne, and who were at war with both her family and the family of her betrothed? Was Mira with Margaery when she was betrothed to Renly? If she wasn't with Margaery when she was with Renly, wouldn't it make Mira's appointment all the stranger, considering every House in the North was in open rebellion at that time? If she was with Margaery when she was married to Renly, why didn't House Forrester declare for Renly? Why didn't they declare for Joffery once House Tyrell switched allegiances? Why didn't Renly/Joffery use Mira as a hostage in the War of the Five Kings, as they did with other highborn prisoners? Wouldn't Margaery and Mira follow different Gods, and wouldn't that affect the choice of handmaidens (also, for a series in which Religion plays such an important part, this game's complete absence of it is staggering, especially considering House Whitehill follows the Faith of the Seven)?
As well as been unfeasible within the setting, Mira's appointment also creates holes within the wider plot. Do you all remember how in Season/Book 3, Margaery used to keep calling on Sansa Stark whist Olenna Tyrell was trying to arrange a match with Loras/Willas Tyrell? Why, if Margaery was trying to get close to Sansa, didn't she use Mira? Think about it: Sansa and Mira are both from the North, they're both the same age, both worship the same Gods, both have lost family members as a result of the War of the Five Kings. It would be a great way to lull Sansa into trusting Margaery, by showing her another Northern girls admiration for her. So what possible reason did Margaery have for not bringing her Northern handmaiden along? The only one I can think of is that Sophie Turner said no to Telltale.
Sera Flowers - Sera's appointment makes even less sense than Mira's! By getting closer to Mira, Margaery does at least gain some influence with another House (albeit a minor, forth rung House on the other side of Westeros). By having a bastard take up a valuable place in her household Margaery not only gains nothing in return, she is actively losing out by not giving this place to the daughter of one of her father's powerful bannermen. It could've gone to a Rowan, or a Tarly, or a Redwyne or any other important family. Olenna and Margaery have demonstrated time and time again that they are very adept at playing 'the game of thrones', then why did they make this mistake by not offering the position to a more valuable handmaiden? Or rather, why did Telltale make this mistake?
Tom - I pushed this guy away at every opportunity, yet he just kept coming back for more. Why do Tom, Mira and Telltale think it is completely normal behaviour for the Queen's handmaiden and a coal boy to keep meeting in broad daylight, in front of other members of the Royal court? I played Mira as someone who cared little for the Smallfolk, particularly in her interactions with Tom. When we first meet, and he asks to do the fires in Mira's room? I sent him away, and told him to come back later. When Damien the Lannister guard was drowning Tom? I ran away, and left him to die - Mira doesn't want to get blood on her hands just to save some coal boys life! When Tom considers going into Tyrion's chambers to find the Ironwood decree, at great personal risk to himself? I threatened him into doing it - so what if he dies, the decree is more important than a coal boy's life! When Lord Morgryn's offer of marriage involves saving my life at the cost of Toms? You bet I take his offer, there'll be other coal boys! Then why did Telltale completely ignore my choice to make Mira not care about Tom? Why does she keep meeting up with him in public, why does she act happy to see him, and worried when he's in danger? Why should I keep bothering to play if Telltale is going to tell me how my characters feel?
Lord Morgryn - Lord of where? Who are you? Where do you come from? What's your relationship with House Whitehill? Why can't you have the same relationship with House Forrester? Can your presence in the story and the wider realm of Westeros be explained slightly more than not at all? Same goes for Lord Andros. Also, following a comment he made in episode six, I feel the need to point out that Lannister guards don't protect King's Landing, that's the Goldcloaks, otherwise known as the City Watch of King's Landing.
Ramsey Snow - Ramsey has no business showing up in this game. From the very first second the opening credits end he is the bastard son of the new Warden of the North, making him one of the most important political figures in the North. Why is he wasting his time with this supposedly unimportant House? At the time of the first episode, Ramsey should be busy flaying Theon, and waiting for his father to return to the Dreadfort. Why then is he traversing the breadth of the North - from the Dreadfort in the East to the Wolfswood in the West - to harass House Forrester? Moat Cailin is still being held by the Ironborn, as is Deepwood Motte, does Ramsey really have nothing better to do then sort out a rivalry his Father's vassal has? Shouldn't he be getting oaths of fealty from House Manderly, or House Reed, or House Mormont, or any other important House instead of this minor one? It's not like he's overly passionate about the cause, he just gives up half way through the game! The absolute nadir of Ramsey's appearances is when you get to put a knife to his throat, and you get a Telltale choice to whether to kill him... despite the fact we know full well that he is alive and well in the books and show and all tension is completely removed and the illusion of choice shines so bright that it is visible from space. He has no stake in this whatsoever, and he's only in the game because they wanted as many show connections as they could get - and it shows.
Battle at the Harbour - This 'battle' is the perfect metaphor for this game. Where on Westeros is this harbour? Let's say it's near Ironrath. It makes perfect sense right, as it would mean that Rodrick and company spend as little time as possible away from Ironrath, right? However, this means that Asher and company have to travel across a Daenarys-ravaged Slaver's Bay, past/through old Valyria, past Volantis (where the waters are teeming with slavers), past the stepstones, past the Sea of Dorne, around the Reach, past the Westerlands, past the Iron Islands (which at this point of time are still in open rebellion), past 75% of the North's coast before reaching this empty port potentially located North of the Wolfswood, a trip that should by rights take months. Conversely, if we say that the docks are on the Eastern coast of the North? Not only does that mean that Rodrick would have had to of left Ironrath undefended and Lordless for all the time it takes to cross the breadth of the North (keep in mind the words of Roose Bolton, "The North is larger than the other six Kingdoms combined") , but the ship would have had no make the same perilous journey, substituting Ironbon Reavers for more slavers and pirates. How did both Rodrick and Asher know which dock to go to? There is no visible landmark in the harbour, nothing to distinguish it for the two parties. Where are the harbour's inhabitants? We know that some locations along the Mander are deserted as of the latest book, with many of the people fleeing to the sanctuary of their liege lord in White Harbour, away from Winter and the Boltons. Where did these people go? If they went to their liege lord doesn't it prove that this dock isn't in Forrester territory, because as Lord surely someone would of mentioned the influx of refugees to Rodrick. Does this mean that Rodrick has travelled even further away from Ironrath than my previous estimate? By extension, doesn't this further remove all dramatic tension when you consider how in this month longer excursion Lord Whitehill didn't once try to take the severely undefended Ironrath? And Gryff's ambush working somehow manages to make less sense than this entire façade. How did he know where the meeting was supposed to take place, what with his spy (the one I chose not be Sentinel) being locked up in a dungeon? How did Asher and Rodrick know which Harbour to meet each other, and on which day? It's not like Asher's ship had a Maester and a flock of ravens aboard. Even if word was sent before Asher departed from Meeren, how did Rodrick know what day he'd arrive, the sailors have no idea what day they would be arriving on, let alone what time. How did Asher know which dock to go to? None of his crew know the area, and he was sent into exile years ago. How did the Whitehills know which of the exits the group would use? Is this dockside town completely walled in, with only one exit? Why would it be built that way? How did he know that Rodrick and Asher would be at the tail end of the group, and not, y'know, leading their small band of fighters, like leaders are supposed to do? Also, why weren't Rodrick and Asher leading their small band of fighters, like leaders are supposed to do? This scene was so poorly construct it's liable to collapse and any moment.
Battle at Ironrath - I get it that the Forrestors are the underdogs in this fight, but what possible excuse is that for this immense violation of the sacred Guests Rights? We gave Lord Whitehill and his retinue our bread and salt back in episode one! They were under our protection, and Telltale railroads us into breaking one of the ancestral traditions of the culture of Westeros, without any option to do anything else! They didn't either stop to consider that the player wouldn't want to break the guests and take revenge on them. They just ploughed ahead with the incredulity, and didn't stop to consider whether or not we would be invested with their characters enough to make them want to break character in such a substantial way! Just take a look at the karmic retribution of House Frey for the Red Wedding, or the story of the Rat Cook (which was included in both show and book) - why did Telltale force us into doing this?
North Grove - Boy what a disappointment! The whole thing only serves to highlight that Telltale didn't even believe they could concoct an interesting enough story out the A Song of Ice and Fire world without forcing a magic mcguffin into the story to try and give the story more of a hook. The North Grove is guarded (what precisely is being guarded, from whom, and why are just three of the many questions that aren't addressed, despite the fact that the North Grove is the main plot of this game) by Elsera and Josera Snow, Gregor the Good's bastards. This raises sooo many questions. Who guarded the North Grove before them? They can't be more than twenty five, has this sacred place only been protect for a quarter of a century? How did these two get there? As we saw with Gared, it's a difficult journey to make even with two wildling companions, so how did Gregor the Good make the trip with two children? Did they scale the Wall (which as shown in Season 3 is very difficult, likely more so with two children on your back)? Did they just walk through Castle Black (which you can't do)? Did no one notice how Gregor the Good was gone for over a year on a roundabout trip whilst taking his bastards to the North Grove (considering how Lord Whitehill will throw shade at you for any little slight, I find it hard to believe he'd let not only his two bastards, but also his extreme length of absence go without mentioning it)? Unless their mother took them, in which case how did a pregnant woman make this trip? If she did make the trip, why would Gregor the Good tell her where the North Grove was, whilst not mentioning it to anyone in his family? As they have the surname Snow it means they were publicly acknowledged bastards (hence why Ramsey is a Snow, but Gendry isn't a Waters), so why didn't Elissa or anyone else mention them (again, Lord Whitehill should've been harping on about this constantly!)? If they were South of the Wall until recently what did they do? Where did they live? Why do they hold the same prejudices about the Night's Watch as Wildlings if they are from South of the Wall? If his bastards have spent their entire lives in the North Grove, how do they know what House Forrester is? How are they able to recognise the Forrester sigil, and differentiate at a glance a necklace that had been made by Ironwood and not regular wood, did their father send a Maester along too? If they've spent their entire lives in the harsh frozen wastes, why do they have any emotional connection to Gregor the Good or House Forrester at all? Unless they went to the North Grove after they were born, in which case was the North Grove protected for even less time than my previous estimate? Why do the other Wildlings in the North Grove obey the command of a bastard woman from South of the Wall? How did she learn blood magic? How does she know the magic ritual to restore her power? How did she learn the Old Tongue? How did Josera learn to master his Warging abilities? If you go with the suggestion their mother was a Wildling, how did she ever come across Gregor the Good? If Gregor the Good taught her the Old Tongue, how did he learn it, and how come in the several years he would have to travel from Ironrath, make his children bilingual (likely without the help of a Maester, despite the fact one of their duties is educating) and travelling back to Ironrath did no one notice his absence? How did Gregor the Good come to know about the North Grove? Is it a secret past down from father to son, in which case why didn't Rodrik know about it? Considering how is this place is somehow known of by both isolated wildling tribes North of the Wall (like Sylvi) and commoners from the Riverlands (like Finn), how is it that this forth rung House has kept it secret all this time? Do their liege lords, House Glover and House Stark, know about the North Grove? If they do, why haven't they acted upon this? If they don't, how and why has House Forrester kept this a secret? Also, why does no one in the books or the show mention the North Grove, be it as part of a fairy tale or an actual location? If the location isn't past from father to son, did Gregor the Good just stumble upon whilst walking hundreds of miles from his home? If he didn't know the precise location, how did Josera and Elsera find their way? Did he just give his bastards vague directions and send them on their way? If he gave them the same map Gared received, are we to believe there are multiple copies of that map just lying around? If the North Grove is so powerful, and Elsera and Josera have spent their lives defending it, why are they content to begin the long march south to reclaim Ironrath at a moment's notice? If this place has magical properties to protect its inhabitants, why isn't Mance Rayder marching his people there instead (It would be a lot more convenient and much less bloody than attacking the Wall)? If this place has only been protected for a decade or so, why hasn't it been previously colonised by the Hornfoots, or the Thenns, or the Ice River Clans, or the Giants? If the magic was keeping them out, why did it let Elsera and Josera in, and Gregor the Good before them? And, most importantly, HOW IS THE OVERARCHING PLOT POINT OF THIS GAME RIDDLED WITH SO MANY PLOT HOLES? WHY ISN'T THIS PLACE EXPLAINED SLIGHTLY MORE THAN NOT AT ALL?
Conclusion - From the day this game was announced I kept going over and over the possibilities for this game. My first thought was a Recruiter from the Night's Watch, going from peasant villages, to market towns, to cities across all seven kingdoms, recruiting boys and men alike to take the black, and having some adventures along the way. Then I thought it could be similar to the Ser Duncan the Tall novella series, and have you play as a Hedge Knight, going from keep to keep to sell your sword, and maybe take part in a few notable battles and lesser known skirmishes. I thought it could take place during Aegon's conquering, or the Dance of Dragons, or the War of the Ninepenny Kings, or Robert's Rebellion, or the Greyjoy Rebellion. But Telltale chose to force themselves into a corner by picking the exact period of the show and books, having us play as a minor House, and yet somehow having these minor characters regularly having meetings the most important people alive at the time to the extend where I spent most of the game waiting for a character called Gump Forrester to appear. This game feels like such a waste of a great licence, with so much squandered potential. Take the Greyjoy Rebellion as an alternative setting. We could have played both sides of the War, such as one of Balon's sons who died during their father's war (or maybe Balon's brother, Victarion Greyjoy, and have him die at some point, which would serve to both explain his absence from the television series and keeping both book readers and show watchers in suspense whilst playing), a member of House Mallister at Seaguard, a member of House Lannister at Lannisport. We could have seen the coronation of Balon, the burning of the Lannister fleet, the siege of Pyke, the Tourney of Lannisport. We could've seen many show characters like Tywin Lannister, Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Robert Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, Jorah Mormont, etc, with none of the character interactions or appearances feeling as inconsistent or forced within the wider story as what Telltale gave us. This game could have fit in so succinctly with the wider story of both the show and the books, but every baffling decision made by Telltale just has everything stick out like a sore thumb.
submitted by Cyprinodon_Martius to gameofthrones [link] [comments]

Ghosts

Ive been smashing through all of the classic HFY and after finishing all the "classics" and moving well on my way through the "must read" list. Felt I should return something back. First time. Be gentle, point out mistakes/hints/pointers. I havent written anything creative since fucking back in highschool which is over 7 years ago. Super rusty, but just adore this subreddit too much not to try.
2064
What have we done? The cradle that nurtured us, that protected us, that raised us, an empty radioactive shell. A semi devoured husk of environmental problems. As harsh as space is, the future here, amongst the stars offers more hope, more of an actual future than the nuclear wasteland below. Ragnarok. Judgement day. The apocalypse. It had all arrived. The horseman of war rides out amongst the radioactive rubble. Surtr has engulfed the world in fire. Vishnu the destroyer upon his white steed flashes as the nukes tear through the atmosphere. Through the cities. Through the people within.
A tear rolled down Samantha’s cheek, her reddened eyes reflecting in the viewport as the once blue marble continued to flash periodically as nuclear armageddon ratcheted up a notch. As an eminent biologist, she along with another 80 000 selected individuals were split evenly among 4 separate arks. The chosen few. The only few to leave for a new hopeful world among the stars. Petty differences, a little instability, a bit of bad luck.
There was no single factor at fault here. Climate change pressured how resources were distributed, conflict further choking off access. Advances in medicine especially in telomere support increased life expectancy in developed nations by two decades straining resources further elsewhere. Military might became an increasingly important factor in securing not just luxuries but the bare necessities like enough irrigation water to sustain the increasingly burdensome population. It was just a pile of tinder waiting for a spark. You cant blame the spark when you build a house of tinder, then douse it in gasoline. Yes the spark set it off, but it was only a matter of time. Those that blame the Indian-Chinese conflict for being the reason miss tension everywhere that allowed it to escalate wildly and out of control.
There were mixed feelings throughout the ship. Comprised entirely of capable, determined, selected individuals. They would race out towards the nearby stars, establish colonies, link back up with the other arks and hopefully contact earth. If there is an earth left to contact. Trepidation ran thick. There was hope yes, hope for a brighter future, but for every human that was leaving the planet, 200 000 would perish to the nuclear flames below. May god have mercy on their souls. The ark movement was deemed a self defeating movement, one predicated on humanity eating itself alive based on its timetable for completion. But it gained headway, sponsors, and approached completion just in time it seemed. Humanity’s flame has not burned out yet. This travesty, it will be learned from. It had to be learned from. All Samantha could do was brush her fingers lightly on the reinforced plexiglass screen and whisper
“Sarah…”
Ark 3, identical to the other arks ignited its primary ion engines as it pushed out from Earth’s gravity world as earth fades away to a pale speck amongst the inky blackness of the sky. Pushing away from the viewport, Samantha steeled herself for the cryosleep which was to occur soon. 92% success rate of reawakening is still a 8% failure rate. The never ending sleep, at least it was a peaceful way to go. The struggle wasn’t over yet, but you cant fight physics. You cant fight the scale of the universe. A light year was just too far away. The gulf of distance too vast for rudimentary travel to cross easily. She takes one last look at the picture of her family. A man with thick brown hair, a red headed woman, an infant girl. Despite the sunglasses, the smile couldn’t be hidden by the creases around the eyes. A widow. A bereaved mother. Her young daughter had a genetic defect and did not meet the selection criteria for travel. There were no medical supplies for her here or on earth anyways. It hurt to leave Sarah behind.. Her husband was in London when the first nukes fell in the opening salvo, the “3 weeks of death”, before an uneasy truce was established. A shame the ceasefire lasted a mere 4 days before nuclear warheads were traded once more.
Although it hurt, it hurt so much she could barely breathe at times. She wasn’t alone. No one was alone in their loss on the ark. Everyone had their tale of leaving loved ones and family behind. Over 24. Under 35. Peak physical condition. Educated in needed fields. Specific mental aptitude. No genetic diseases. It was strict and left no margin for small mercies like keeping families together. Positions couldn’t be bought or bribed for. It was the only way to not have the ark system collapse in on itself. Ark 3 ramps power to primary ion engines up to 23%, it will maintain this rate for months before sling shotting around Jupiter and out of the solar system on a one way trip, only upon leaving the gravity well in full will the engines ramp up to 70%, its cruising strength. All arks would use the same manoeuvre. Proxima Centauri, 4.2 light years. Epsillon Eridani, 10.5 light years. EZ Aquaril 11.3 light years. 61 Cygni, 11.4 light years. 4 star systems. 4 arks. The desperate last ditch grab at survival by humanity raced off into the void. The cries from earth silenced only by the deathly cold embrace of cryosleep. 0.05c at max speed. 54 million km/h. Not fast enough as Ark 3 takes its 260 year journey to EZ Aquaril. There will be a time to lament, but that will be a gift for future generations. The current one can only work and atone. The ghosts of humanity past will cry out and demand it.
2352.
Stretching, the various joints and muscles stretch and pop and crackle as Samantha relieves the cramped body. She was getting old. 67 years young to be precise. All the first generation Rillers were getting old. Cryosleep had a whole host of long term problems. Shaping the single planet, Ril, in the EZ Aquaril system had been hard. But its not like they had a choice. Arc 3 had enough fuel for the single journey, only the Centauri ship, Ark 1 could move on for a new star and that was pushing the margins very close. Acceleration, deceleration. Fuel consumption was through the roof just for stopping and bringing a ship back from 0.05c. A pity it never even made it out of the Sol system, the auto pilot must have had an error as it ploughed the Ark straight into Jupiter, all arks were full cryo by that stage, and looking back, going 11.3 light years for a black box seems stupid just to sate the curiosity. At least it was known what happened to Ark based on its tight band transmissions and error alerts it sent the other Arks as it launched itself into Jupiter. Nobody knows what happened to Ark 4 as it accelerated away into the unknown and Ark 2 had a miserable fate of arriving to a dead planet, not even the option of terraforming could be applied, with only mass suicide as an option as their meagre resources dwindled. All the crew could do was broad cast its lack of success and greet the void.
While getting up to brew herself a cup of coffee Mark suddenly interjects.
“Don’t worry hun, Ive got it, the usual pick me up right?”
“Yes dear” sighed Samantha, wearily rubbing her eyes. “Two sugars please instead of the one”
The black hair on Mark was greying at the edges, as a first gen colonist, he was getting old as well but well built and fit for his age. This was typical for most Rillers. Complex healthcare was possible, but prevention was important with limited resources.
“The algae we released just aren’t translated into biofuel at the right conversion rate. Something is eating into the efficiency by 4% and I just cant for the life of me figure it out”
“That sounds like an engineers problem, as long the yield of algal amount is high, you should be good”
“That’s why I brought it up with you, you are the engineer after all.”
“Electrical engineer mind you” chuckling, Mark picked up the data pad and began reviewing through the numbers anyways sipping on his own coffee. The binary star pair shone with a pale blue light through the lightly tinted glass. Their tidally locked planet was in a perpetual state of day. Many neighbours had their housing with fully tinted glass, resting at their defacto night time, but work had to be done for some. And many windows were un tinted to a varying degree.
“These biofuel sources are important, until we can get the 3rd fusion reactor online, most of our automatic mining equipment still uses combustion engines. It’s important.” Samantha stammers out the last bit. Easy to maintain, accessible fuel, it seemed the combustion engine hadn’t fully died. The main issue with electric engines was battery availability, demand was incredibly high in the fledging colony and the infrastructure wasnt yet there to support the supply needed.
“I know hun, I know” Sensing a nervous break down, Mark begins to move closer.
“I need to get this ready, I have to solve this problem” Samantha’s voice began to crack.
Noticing the tells, Mark quickly rushes to her side.
“I-I-I have to fix this”
“I know hun, I know”
“I have to fix this for the colony, I have to fix this for Jason-“
“Its alright hun, but that’s where you are wrong” said Mark as he comforts Samantha. Pulling her close into his arms as she begins to break down into sobs.
“Jason will probably be able to fix this himself. The second generation are just as if not more educated than us. They will manage. They know more than us. They have been warned of our pitfalls, our failings, our weaknesses, the colony is in good hands, you should take a rest now. Put down tha- Put down that coffee, put down that notepad
Mark shepherds Samantha away to the bedroom, her mental state wasn’t doing well, a common state amongst all first generation Rillers. The loss of Earth and all your friends and family isn’t exactly minor trauma. Overworked and fraying nerves was something all colonists experienced daily for the first several decades as the stress of putting together a working colony from scratch took its toll. It didn’t help that Ark 1 was known to have not made it, Ark 2’s depressing message of complete failure was the only message received and Ark 4 was completely unaccounted for. 283 years of travel could have a lot of technical faults crop up. Any number of which would have ended Ark 4’s journey. Not exactly the success hoped for, but they landed on Aquaril’s lone planet. They survived. Humanity will live here. Humanity will live. But there were ghosts. So many ghosts.
After comforting Samantha, Mark walks back out to the kitchen to clean up. Passing a photograph, it catches his attention and causes pause. One of the few sentimental artifacts from planet earth in the house. A man with brown hair, Samantha, and a little girl. Her first husband and child. She moved on, everyone had to, people who freeze up in regret wouldn’t have been on the ship. She remarried to Mark, had a wonderful son Jason who is finishing up a doctorate in microbiology. Taking off after his mother. But the past haunts Mark every day, through all his actions, through all interactions with first generation colonists. Hopefully these ghosts wont slow the second generation down as it had theirs. A regretful shake of the head later, he goes back to clearing away the cups of half drunk and cold coffee. He had his own weaknesses as well. A quick guilty glance around to confirm he was alone. Mark furtively reaches for the false backing of the 2nd cupboard. Withdrawing a flask and taking a deep swig. Mark shudders and slowly collapses onto the floor as the hard home brewed liquor burns from within. Leaning against the fridge for support. So many ghosts. So many ghosts.
2411
The centennial celebration of the colonization of Ril was thrown in gusto. Humanity had learned. An extreme aversion to conflict allowed a united humanity to progress at a rate unheard of in history. A golden age forty years. Advances unheard of, and once again, humanity had the resources and infrastructure to strike back out against the stars. Probes were launched to nearby star systems, colony ships were readied and once more the space race began a new.
No messages returned from Sol however, the silent graveyard of humanity. The Rillers were so desperate to find out what happened to the birthplace of humanity but the silence was deafening 22.5 years was the round trip duration for each message and hypothetical reply. It was infuriating, it was slow and thus an expedition was set up. With a top speed of 0.2c, the affectionately named ship Boomerang would take a crew of 132 individuals to determine what had happened to Sol. 120 years of expected travel to find out what became of earth. Perhaps a Mars colony survived and just didn’t have the infrastructure to broadcast back.
And so to great fanfare, the Boomerang returned back to the cradle.
2530
“Mayday mayday, this is Captain Lutzville of the Boomerang, sending out our final message.”
“We have made contact with an unknown alien species currently occupying the Sol system, they are aggressive and do not answer our hails. We have attempted limited defences in launching our shuttles at them. Our engines have been disabled and they are beginning to board our ship”
“Confirmed visual of boarders. Bipedal, covered in loose, thick fur, large brow, larger jaw, what looks like a series of gills around their lipless mouths. Backs scaled with what appears to be dark plates. Dark green and maroon colouration overall with orange throughout. Significant cybernetic enhancements present throughout their bodies. Their speech to each other is in grunts, clicks and whistles both below and above our range of hearing. Beware if you spot these aliens, their intent is hostile. I repeat their intent is hostile. They are making their way to the bridge with cutter tools it appears, my time is short. Crew are unable to fend off the boarding party.”
“Earth is still a dead zone, according to long range scanners radiation levels are still lethal for us, but these aliens have taken root there and established themselves, their ships originated from a what looks like new colony built on earth. There are also signatures detected in Mars, Europa and the asteroid belt. We have lost Sol, may our ghosts haunts these abominations, may there be- oh shit, fucking kill the scale back, activate self destruct, confirm, captain overide, activate self destruct-shhhhhhhhhh“
The message is lost to the hiss of static signifying its premature end.
2541
The Rillian response to the message was varied, many wanted to fight hard to prevent these monsters from desecrating earth. Some wanted to assign blame for not giving the Boomerang any weapons to defend itself. Many wanted peace, perhaps it was a misunderstanding, a failure to communicate effectively. Regardless, funds and resources began pooling together for a new expedition. An armada. This time they will be prepared. These aliens wanted war, they wanted to desecrate the graveyard of humanity? Well humanity has them sorted. The next decades saw construction of dozens of war ships, hundreds of fighters. Together they will form the first fleet of humanity and together they will create a beach head for further Rillian reinforcement. One capital class “battleship”, two capital class carriers, five destroyers and twelve frigates formed the first fleet. Humanity hasn’t seen war in generations, but the bloodlust of humanity can run deep…
Wormhole technology was mastered in the early 2500s. With it, one could slip matter between two “pinched” points in space-time near instantaneously. It just required a stable connection on both ends and power. A lot of power. Dozens of fusion plants operating in circuit. The first fleet would arrive and through fire and flame, establish a beach head on earth itself. A portal will be synced and power diverted from any of the three capital ships will supply the wormhole with enough energy to form a stable connection for further Rillian ground troop reinforcement. In an armoured exoskeleton to protect not just from enemy fire but also from the radiation of earth. These children of Aquaril will lead a purge of the xenos from the hallowed ground that is Earth. Rillers will fight as humanity once fought.
2564
The story of Ark 3 is a long and funny one. After being decommissioned and running on a skeleton crew as a space station and satellite repair site for 200 years, it was being brought back into service to deliver humanity back. 500 years later, it was about to be launched back to Earth, from Ril this time. The timing would have been poetic if it wasn’t on purpose by the acting politicians. Forming the main engine and chassis upon which the first fleet can ride upon to still be combat ready after close to 80 years in flight and not deplete their fuel. Its engines and reactor core were refitted and updated. Boosted shielding was included to improve its forcefield size to cover the various smaller lamprey craft that nestle upon it. The capitals had sections carved out of the Ark to better fit the three larger ships that still pale in size to the mass of the colony ship, Ark 3. Ion drive engines were still the only economical way of traversing the stars and the newly christened “Deliverance” began the slow but constant acceleration while the crew all entered cryosleep, which over time had been improved and now had a 100% success rate of reawakening. The ion engines were efficient over long distances but their pitiful acceleration were no match for the fusion jet engines standard of the war fleet. It would be abandoned near Mars as the first fleet would race away towards earth.
Shock and awe. The Deliverance would intersect the solar system perpendicular, the first fleet will unload at a still blinding fast 0.01c, group up, and barrel towards earth to establish the wormhole link. Communication back with Aquaril was now instantaneous with the advent of wormhole technology. The ground troops will be ready. There will be war. The ghosts of humanity will be able to rest in peace.
2643
“Railgun 4 is clear for fire” “Clear for fire copy. No friendlies downrange. Dampeners applied, insulators on, you are clear for fire, fire when ready.” “Fire!”
The capacitors dumped their power into the magnetic rail, the Lorentz force rips the solid titanium, tungsten, iron slug to mach 15. The forces deform the solid slug as massive acceleration forces are applied in the brief fraction of a second but the effect is all the same. It tears through space at a pace that still seems slow. Slow enough in the vastness of space for enemy ships to avoid. If it weren’t for the fact that shortly after leaving the railgun, another smaller, super heated, faster shot is slammed into the back of the slug at four times the speed. The kinetic forces in play break the slug into a super heated molten stream of metal and plasma that stretches across space with enough energy so even a small portion of it is capable of rendering immense destruction. The spread out net like quality also makes it hard to avoid.
The surprise factor and angle of attack took the scalebacks off guard completely. The Deliverance slams into a Mars space station with a multitude of warships docked at close to 0.01c, this removes the space station instantly and gamma rays released from the relativistic impact cleanse the nearby area and planet of life. The first fleet however are nowhere close, grouping up and bleeding speed they close in on Earth firing off rounds at the much slower moving and distant scale backs. The rail gun rounds are the only weapons that are capable of launching such distances. These pot shots are to deter and slow down response times from ships beyond earth from survivors around mars beyond around the asteroid belt. Slivers and fragments of hyper energized heavy metal particulates would wreck sensors and deal significant damage if not pilotted around. Further increasing travel times.
Contact is made with the scale backs. But no headway is made into their strange language of clicks and hisses. No surrender is offered as ships mobilize on and from around earth to defend the colony. It is good that the first fleet was ready for a bloody battle. The skies light up as the carriers unload fighters and bomber ships. The frigates provide important point defence fire augmenting the capital ship shields with their own. The destroyers unload masses of guiding missiles and ordinance that cover the extreme distances in stealth before detonating in a super heated burn cutting through thick ablative armour of the enemy ships. It wasn’t smooth. It wasn’t easy. A surprise flanking manoeuvre from the moon takes out one of the carriers and a number of destroyers and frigates but the power of initiative and surprise coupled with the extreme momentum from their interstellar journey gives the first fleet their hard earned victory as a short orbital bombardment begins.
The carrier descends through the atmosphere in a controlled fall. This was a one way trip for the capital ship as it doesn’t have the thrust capable of lifting back out beyond earth’s atmosphere from within its gravity well. Cutting through the ochre clouds and radioactive haze the ship touches down in what would have been the birthplace of the Nile in Sudan as per the outdated geopolitical maps from over 500 years ago. Several frigates also touch down around the carrier, locking down and becoming armoured fortresses to project forcefields around and over the carrier as the main warp gate within the carrier begins to power up and sync back with its sibling gate on the planet of Ril. Thousands of connections were made per second between the gates, they needed millions for full synchronization and unimpeded travel.
Sure enough, the Scaleback response was swift and harsh. Missiles were launched from what were assumed to be inactive sites in an unending rain at the carrier and the force fields were put under immense strain. The battleship and destroyers above would apply orbital bombardment from where the missiles launch from. Super-heated slugs tearing through installations as massive kinetic force tears the earth asunder. Hell on earth has come for a second round.
Aerial superiority was being maintained for now but ship movement was being detected from the asteroid belt and beyond, the Scalebacks were responding. Now it was a race, the more energy the carrier had to divert to shields, the slower the worm hole sync. The Rillians knew this, but the Scalebacks likely didn’t, they just attacked in force with brutality and strength that didn’t seem possible to be sourced from such a broken planet.
“Hello, can you understand me” a metallic voice rasped through the general comms. “Why are you here? Who are you? Why do you attack us?”
It was a synthetic voice, no doubt passing through a complex translator.
“I understand you. This is Admiral Xin. Ceasefire all guns.” Came the command and the guns went silent, with all power being diverted to the shields, shortly after, the Scaleback response died down as well.
The metallic voice begins again. “Why have you come back, you are not welcome here”
“Why? Why!? For this is our homeworld, this is our cradle, this is our birthright.” Replied the incredulous Admiral. She was never trained for diplomacy, just war tactics. But as the ultimate source of authority on this venture. The buck stops with her. And besides, this stalling was allowing the wormwhole to sync completely. Besides she was requesting experience and advice from experts on Ril in real time.
“It has taken us a while to decode the old language and then add in the new additions as your language has morphed. Doesn’t help that the language isn’t compatible with our mouths. You don’t realise it do you?” The metal voice would stutter and stop with awkward pauses.
“Realise what?” was the Admiral’s confused reply.
“This isn’t your home anymore, this is our home.”
“This isn’t your home, this is the graveyard of humanity. This is earth, where mankind’s terrible decisions ended humanity here”
“In a way you are right. Mankind as you know it did end here, in another way you are wrong. Humanity didn’t end here. We merely evolved and adapted”
“What are you saying, you cant possibly mean th-“
Cutting him off the metallic voice continues. “It was hard, the time of death. The ones who lived would burrow deep, but eventually even the most well stocked bomb shelter was inadequate when the radiation showed no signs of ending. And so we began to adapt. Modify ourselves if you will, it was the only way to eventually brave the surface and continue to live and not merely survive. Humanity in a way died here. Humanity can no longer live here. But we are still the remnants of humanity that remain. We fought, he struggled and once again we climbed for the stars. We are human.”
The admiral was shocked into silence, this allowed the voice to continue.
“I remember a video about your people, I remember watching footage of one of the arks slam into Jupiter. Good riddance, the weak, the cowardly would flee from earth and her problems. Only the strong adapt and survive. Only the strong survive. Only the strong. That ark burning up into Jupiter cemented our legacy, there is no escape, the problems here must be confronted only fools run or turn a blind eye. The debt of our past must be paid for, not run away from.”
“The-the wormhole is 100% synced admiral, awaiting orders” a petty officer whispers subvocally to the admiral. He is as shocked as any other in the command centre on the battleship. Both in the command centre and back on Ril, the chain of command was paralyzed by the developments. The deployment of reinforcements was held back by the revelations.
“You are, what was it, Rillians? or Rillers as you call yourself. We are Earthlings. This is our home. And you have some interesting technology there. Technology that will benefit humanity-The true humanity more. And so I would like to thank you for your gifts. My chief scientist informs me you know how to create a stable wormhole which is highly interesting. You see, we weren’t the only ones who rose back out of the grave. Various shelters had varying levels of success. Mostly Southern American shelters, Southern and central African ones and Australasian ones, the other areas are still too radioactive even for us, taking the brunt of the nuclear war. As for adaptations: mouth filters are fairly common, it gets rid of the radioactive dust before you breathe it in. The fur is pretty common as the perpetual nuclear winter meant its freezing everywhere, but we are the only ones who survive. The others were killed. For we are strong. And only the strong survive. The others… They get the short end of the Darwinian stick. We have fought and struggled non stop for 700 years. You have lost hundreds of years to travel and relativistic forces getting soft and weak by your perpetual easy life. Good bye Admiral, you weren’t the only one stalling. The moon cannon requires charging”
A plasma lance shot out from the moons surface from a hidden subsurface station. It cuts through the battleship, its forcefields and armour, with ease and dissipates in what is left of the pacific ocean. Tunnels open up from the ground all around and within the forcefields of the carrier and an unending swarm of ground troop Scalebacks swarm forth. Air superiority is lost within minutes as anti air batteries spring out from the once inert ground. Militarization of the middle of nowhere. Humanity had been at war with itself for hundreds of years and were more than prepared for the token resistance the Rillians put forth.
The Rillians couldn’t shut down the wormhole in time, the sync was complete and "humans" rushed through the wormhole onto Ril taking the confused troops stationed and waiting unaware. The portal once established is highly stable. The strength of its design became a fault as control was lost over both the carrier and the facility housing the wormhole on Ril. Thousands of invaders became hundreds of thousands. As the ‘humans’ went about their newest conquest. The ghosts of the past have come back to do more than just some haunting.
One of the shock troopers rushing through the wormhole yells out in a flurry of growls, clicks and whistles that loosely translates to “Death to the non humans!”
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Binary Options 60 Seconds Indicator 99% Winning Live ...

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