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Unread 28 Sep 2013, 21:03   #1
Kaiba
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Eitraides: The Story

'To boldly go where no man has gone before'

That was the motto of the ancient 'sci-fi' show that Luca had just finished watching. He believed it summed up perfectly what the human race was about.

“Human..” he smirked to himself, there was a term you didn’t hear any more. It was almost a swear word nowadays, taboo was probably a better term, describing a violent past that almost ended in extinction. They were Terran now, it was a new world.

It had been almost 150 years since those fateful days and science fiction was now science fact. Luca's great grandfather had voyaged to this 'new world' on board a small spacecraft, Harpy 1. He had help set the roots down of what everyone thought would have been the rebirth of the human race. He had laid the foundation stones in the High Council's office building amongst other projects, his blood, sweat and tears were in the very grain of Galbradia, the Terran Capitol. But that was then and this was now, a bloody war some 50 years ago against a violent aggressor known as the Xandathrii had changed the whole mindset. From venturing out and exploring the Terran people had almost become recluse, cowering behind their precious ARM defence network, like scared mice.

Luca was 18 years old and disillusioned, “This is not what we should be like” he thought, “We are explorers by nature and we should not betray that...”. He was not the only person that thought this, through clandestine meetings with like minded individuals he had started a club, a group of disaffected souls that wanted better. A 'crew' that wanted to be like that of the TV show he had just been watching, and he would be their captain.

They would change the people's minds, they would push them if they had to. Every great movement started with a simple idea, now was the time to spread it. They would be great voyagers again, discovering new planets and races, everyone would rejoice the name of the people who weren’t afraid any more, they would cry it out loud with joy at those that removed the shackles of oppression, Luca could almost hear it ringing in his ears...

“Eitraides! Eitraides! EITRAIDES!!”

In the decade that passed Luca's group grew greatly, what was an idea slowly became a movement. It seemed that many of the youth of Galbradia did not share the thoughts of the High Council. They wanted their people to be more forward thinking, to reach out to the stars and see what was out there. The thoughts of the wonders they could be missing out on captured their imagination and they became committed to showing everyone this. Various petitions and rallies had fallen on deaf ears, the 'HC' weren’t interested in what the people wanted, they had become so scared what might be they wouldn’t listen to what could be.

In recent years Luca had become a man possessed. His thoughts consumed him now, he was bitter that others did not see what he saw. His faithful comrades got it, why couldn’t the others. Slowly new thoughts formed, if they wouldn't see sense by peaceful means then maybe another approach was needed. Always hiding behind their precious defence network, if they couldn’t rely on it then maybe they would have to change their ideals. Many of his followers had experience with weaponry, demolition and covert operations, most of them were drop outs from the Terran Space Corps for various reasons, from disobeying orders to acts of violence against their superiors. They all believed in Luca though. He was the shining light of this new generation, these Eitraides.

Slowly a solution formed, after extensive planning and training they were ready. The idea was simple, Take out ARM, the defence grid. The execution would be harder though...

One sunny afternoon in 2570 the plan was put into action. Eitraides followers had gather and were staging a peaceful protest outside the High Councils offices. Security officers were watching from a distance, not fully alert because they had come used to seeing this kind of thing, it always had a good message but it would peter out before anything happened.

When suddenly from within the group there was a surge, something was thrown towards the guards which exploded, sending a cloud of smoke billowing around them. Gunfire could be heard from where the crowd had been, screams pierced the now smoke filled air, what was going on?

The officers urgently called for backup, although the council made sure there was a security presence for these protests there was not enough officers to deal with a riot. There was a response that reinforcements were on their way and that the guards should do their best to contain the masses, the guards secretly hoped this wasn’t the start of something big and they would be home safe in their beds late that night.

Meanwhile across town 5 small teams began their operation. The 'riot' had just been a distraction, to pull as many of the security forces away from the real targets, the relay stations that maintained and coordinated ARM. Now these stations were running with a skeleton crew taking over them would be just a matter of time and then the 'fun' could begin. Over the next 8 minutes each team radioed back to Luca that their missions had been successful, Team 4 had had some issues with the security forces at their target but it had been dealt with, a few sacrifices for the greater good was acceptable losses Luca told himself.

Once the stations had been taken over the teams set out to make sure they could never operate again. Small charges were set in strategic points in each facility, a new refined form of the Eonium that had almost ended the human race a few centuries ago was the catalyst. Luca found it fitting that what had almost finished them off would be the start of a bright new future. Everything was in place now and the countdown began.

Simultaneously across Galbradia five bright red flashes sparked up into the sky, the noise was deafening. The windows in nearby homes blew out, the ground shook violently and mini earthquakes decimated large parts of the old town and high above them all the clouds the bright blue hue that was the ARM defence grid flickered and stuttered and then vanished, Galbradia was exposed.

Eitraides quickly claimed responsibility and set about broadcasting their message to the wider audience. They were slammed as a terror organisation by the High Council, even conspirators and Xandathrii sympathisers by some of the more far fetched news companies but most of all they were now a player, people now knew everything about them and after this display of skill and power and ruthlessness and the subsequent nervousness of the people, feeling vulnerable without ARM to reassure them more followers flocked to be led by Luca, this young man now had an army.

The High Council quickly set in place measures for the capture of the Eitraides Command. Rewards or bounties were placed on their heads and Luca and his command team had to go to ground. His disciples stayed true to him though and Eitraides and Terran Security forces clashed repeatedly in the streets. There were no niceties any more and many many people died in these clashes, both sides taking losses on a daily basis. This 'civil war' as the media called it seemed to have no end with each side taking chunks out of each other without really ever progressing. As the months drew on and without Luca being able to command his army directly, the Terran Security Service slowly gained the upper hand. More and more Eitraides were captured and put into detainment camps, here they would stay without trial until the Eitraides Command gave itself up to the authorities the High Council decreed, attempting to bait out Luca through guilt.
In a daring yet desperate attempt to save the captured Eitraides from their detainment camps Luca's command team was finally captured. He could have stayed hidden and let these people rot, but they were his family now and he had wanted to help them so badly that he had acted irrationally and in haste. Now all those years of fighting and stories of a better way seemed for nothing, it was over.

In the coming months Luca and his closest allies stood trials for their acts against the Terran people. Although what he had done was wrong and he had shown remorse for all the death that had occurred under his command no one could say Luca wasn't passionate. He spoke with vigour during his trial, completely convinced that what he did was for the good of his people and their future as a race. The positive reception this received with the public over the course of the trial caused the High Council to rethink its punishment, maybe not everybody thought the way they did, one man's villain is another man's hero. In the last month of the year 2578 the High Council delivered its verdict. The Eitraides would be exiled, not to another part of Galbradia though, no, to a new world. Recently Terran scientists had discovered a new planet on the far reaches of their sensors. It was habitable and lush with vegetation from the pictures they had seen. They named this planet Hebradon, it would be the new Eitraides home world

“Exiled” Luca thought as he looked out upon his new domain, this was such a funny term, it sounded like they had been sent away in disgrace. In fact the reality was quite the opposite on Hebradon. In the past 40 years the Eitraides had flourished on their new world, the Terrans had left them with basic equipment to help them survive but with so many high trained personnel at his disposable Luca had quickly turned these into sophisticated machinery. Large scale mining operations had revealed that the planet was flush with natural resources and quickly the small town they had started had become one of many large cities. They had been given four spacecraft by the Terran High Council, the ones they transferred them to this homestead. The military arm of Luca's command had turned these into heavily armed combat/exploration/pursuit ships. They had voyaged out into the unknown in these vessels and colonised two new worlds. Now four decades on they had a fleet of these ships numbering the thousands and a population of millions, the Eitraides people were ready to be a force on a universal scale.

Unfortunately Luca would not be a part of this. He was now a frail old man. The stress of those first few years as Eitraides had taken its toil on him. He would always be revered as the founder of his people but now his time as an active part of their progression was coming to an end. He had handed down command of these people to his son, Elijah, they were in safe hands now. As he sat on the balcony of his penthouse overlooking everything he had created Luca smiled, he would die happy now, he had given these humans back what made them human in the first place, curiosity

After the state affair of Luca's funeral was over Elijah felt invigorated. He had mourned for his father and found a new steel in his heart. His father had been a great man but he would be even greater, he had been brought up on all his fathers mantra's but one clung to him closer than the others, and as he settled in the captains chair aboard the flagship of the Eitraides fleet he would fulfil that one, he would boldly go where no man had gone before.

After a few years of exploring and setting up trading routes with minor races the Eitraides fleet came to rest in the atmosphere above a remote planet at the far reaches of their home worlds sensors. This planet had caused some stir back on Hebradon when it was discovered for several reasons, mainly because of its strategic positioning between the three Capitol worlds of the Terran, Cathaar and Eitrades but also for the pictures of strange ruins that probes had sent back. It had sparked many stories and wild theories amongst the Eitraides people, now hopefully they would find out what was real and what was speculation.

Settling down on the planets surface the Eitraides Reconnaissance Team quickly surveyed the surrounding area. There was a faint signal which had not been noticed from space. It seemed to be coming from the ruins which they had come to explore. Slowly more forces disembarked their ships and gathered at the camp, Elijah was in his command tent preparing a speech for his troops. He could feel that something important would happen here on this strange planet, he always had had gut feelings like this, they had never let him down yet either.

After a rousing call to his army Elijah took his position at point and headed out towards these ancient buildings wondering many things.

Who had created them?
Were they still here?
Would they discover something of worth to his people?

Little did Elijah know how much would change after this routine mission.

After weeks of mundane logging of artefacts and slow progress Elijah was starting to get bored. He had always been a little impatient but he understood that cataloguing and details were important to making informed decisions. Something that a good commander needed to make. But he was also eager to make a big discovery, something to make his people rejoice. Although he had been a fair and progressive leader so far he had not done anything like the feats of his father and that niggled at him. His father was his hero and he wanted to be like him. Pondering this Elijah decided to put together a group of his most trusted men. He would lead this group further into the ruins, closer to the signal that had been beeping constantly, and at times annoyingly, on his sensor since they arrived here.

Once prepped, he and his team set forth into the unknown, anxious to find something that would make this mission worthwhile.

After a day which had included mainly walking and the occasional run from a collapsing part of the ruins Elijah and his men arrived at a large metal door. Although covered thickly in dust they could easily make out the giant, red, ornate Z that ran down the middle of the door. Elijah guessed this was the symbol of which ever race these ruins belonged to, and he was sure he had seen it somewhere before, but he could not place it in this moment and that would bug him. He ordered his team to set charges around the door. He had not come this far to sit and wait another month or so or maybe more to see what was beyond, great rulers make the bold choices and he was making one now. Hiding back around the corner he was confident he had made the right one, a few more seconds and he would know for sure.

The loud explosion rang out across the whole ruins, Elijah was thrown back bodily against the wall. Something must have been in the door as those charges were supposed to cause minimal recoil, some foreign substance must have amplified the blast, the red smoke that now filled the room suggested to Elijah that eonium was to blame, that giant Z must have been made of the stuff!

As the dust settled Elijah's team peered into the recess where the door had been. They could physically hear the signal now, the low hum followed the same pattern that had been annoying him for weeks. Using the lights on their weapons they forged forth into the gloom looking for the signals origin, and they were not disappointed when they found it.

Before them stood row upon row of ancient vessels, this room seemed to be a hangar of sorts. These ships looked advanced despite their years though and Elijah was desperate to see if they were something that could help his people be better than they were at the moment. Grabbing the laser saw from his backpack Elijah cut his way into the cockpit on the nearest vessel. As he reached in to grab what he presumed was the release mechanism for the whole cockpit he felt a surge of adrenaline, this was his moment, what he would be remembered for. He yanked hard on the handle and the cockpit broke free, although he didn’t notice a second signal had started up at that moment too, almost indiscernible from the low hum it was not surprising no one picked up on it but maybe in hindsight a more careful approach would have noticed. What they did notice though was that at the same moment all the other releases triggered in the nearby vessels.

Elijah settled in the cockpit of one of these strange craft, he felt small in it, like these were once manned by a much taller race than his. The controls seemed quite simple to work out, he could make out the thrust controls and it was obvious what the stick in between his legs was for, guidance. What puzzled him though was the two buttons on the console in front of him, they were more prominent than the others and his intrigue drove him to want to push them. Tentatively he pressed down on the green button on his left. Above him the roof of this cavernous space shook hard, sending chunks of earth falling to the ground around him. Then there was a crack of light as the roof physically split in two. This was a hangar, and that was the way out. Caught up in the moment Elijah pressed down on the thrust control and his ship spluttered into life. It seemed quite powerful yet its size made it cumbersome to control. As the craft hoovered higher and higher Elijah felt the sense that something amazing was about to happen, he was not wrong.

As the ship rose up beyond the clouds and entered space Elijah started again to wonder about the red button on his right. Could he resist the urge to push it, he tried for a short while but finally succumbed. The ten short range Eitraides Fighter class ships in proximity reassured him that if anything went wrong he would be saved. He pushed down on the button.

Instantly the sensors on his ancient ship kicked in, targeting all the fighter ships nearby, it then prioritised them by threat level and selected one, then it happened. Elijah felt the pit of his stomach pulled forward hard and it was although he had been pulled forward out of his ship into open space, he wanted to scream but there was a blinding white flash and suddenly he was sitting in the cockpit of the fighter ship his ship had been targeting Its pilot was nowhere to be seen. Looking out the side window he saw the remains of the ship he had been in, split into eight pieces which had their own thrusters and were drawing closer to his ship. Grapple hooks shot forth from each part and attached themselves magnetically to his ship. Then it dawned on him, if this had been a battle he would have commandeered or stolen this ship. Ships that steal others, now he knew where he had seen that giant Z before, in the books that the Cathaar people had given his father. This was a Zikonian vessel. The Eitraides now had Zikonian technology, they would be feared.

In the coming years Eitraides scientists and researchers managed to start backwards engineering this new tech, it could never be as good as the original they knew that, this was an alien races masterpiece after all, but their version would do the job.

The next major event in Eitraides history would be opportunistic in its delivery but revenge filled in its motive. A war had been raging in recent years between the Cathaar and Terrans, the Eitraides spy network had been keeping Elijah and his council abreast of the situation and it seemed the mighty Cathaar were on the rack so to speak. A surprise Terran offensive had plundered the mines of Theodira and the Crystal it produce was relied on heavily to operate the Cathaars sophisticated EMP technology. Elijah saw this moment as the perfect time to offer support. The Eitraides had had little to no contact with the Terrans in the last 50 years, not through lack of trying and this generation resented the way the Terrans looked upon them. They blamed the Terrans for the way they treated their forefathers and wanted to strike a blow back against them.

Elijah met with the heads of the Cathaar race, a royal family which could trace its ancestry back thousands of years. He offered military support, intelligence on Terrans ARM network and access to his own Crystal resources, in return he wanted the blueprints for the Cathaars sought after EMP technology. At any other time the Cathaar would have refused this offer without thought but now was different, they were losing a war, and losing it badly. The Eitraides were offering them salvation and they couldn’t pass that up.

Armed with this new technology alongside their new 'steal' ships the Eitraides were a diverse attacking force that could come at you from all angles and definitely an impressive foe in battle. When you added to that their intimate knowledge of their former brothers the Terrans have a lot to be worried about. To make the most use of the surveillance intelligence that the Eitraides had gained on ARM they had developed ships that would specifically target installations on a planet, purpose built to cause maximum damage to these buildings without devastating the surrounding areas these structure killers or 'SK's' as the Eitraides army had labelled them would prove vital in the upcoming battles.

It was decided that the new coalition would test itself on a Terran outpost first. Lucitia, which was rich in the Metal resources that Terrans used to power their artillery was chosen as the target and the combined fleets set out to war.

The attack was a complete and comprehensive success. The SK's made light work of the ARM relay stations and the new ETD steal ships worked well in tandem with their new EMP compatriots, disabling and then stealing the high powered Destroyer ships of the Terran. Turning these hulking war machines on their creators felt good and the battle was swiftly over, the Terrans had not put much thought into defending against their own fleets.

Various battles took place over the next ten years although the Terrans were quick to adapt to these new combinations of fleets thrown at them by this alliance of races. Slowly the battles became less and less, with both sides nullifying each others assaults on each other. The Eitraides captured two new worlds to call their own but lost one to the Terrans in a bloody battle that would go down in both races history as the Yevidian Bloodbath.

The Cathaar people once gained an even footing in the war started looking for a peaceful end to the war and eventually all three sides gathered round the figurative table and drew up a truce. Elijah's daughter, Lucile, was now in charge on the Eitraides people. Her father, Elijah, had perished at Yevidia alongside his battalion, but she was a strong woman like him and her grandfather and fought to make sure the Eitraides people were rewarded by the Cathaar people and respected by the Terrans in the negotiations She managed to open trade routes with the Terran and continue relations with the Cathaar people.

Over the course of the century the Eitraides people traded everything they could get their hands on. They need lots of different resources to now power all the diverse technology they had at their disposal and branching out to new planets and outposts helped the trade routes be more successful and profitable.

In 2750 on a Eitraides planet in the outer regions of Cathaar space they encountered the Xanthadrii again. This hive minded race had clashed with the Terrans almost 400 years ago when both races were the same but had not been seen in direct combat since, preferring, according to intelligence reports, to harvest resources from uninhabited worlds. The radar station picked up a small signal quite far out on the sensors. It seemed to be a small fleet of Xandathrii resource harvesters, commonly known in the universe now as 'Astropods' or just 'Pods'. It wasn’t really considered a threat on its own so apart from notifying the relevant authorities it was left to carry on its way.

The pods quickly approached the planet and as they grew ever closer the Eitraides Defence Command stationed there grew suspicious. Were these Xandathrii coming in peace or was it a suicide mission? It all seemed very strange but after multiple unreplied hails the Defence Command decided the ships could not be allowed to land on Eitraides soil. A small squadron of Interceptors were sent up to contact and disable the Xandathrii fleet. It all seemed routine if not a little weird but then the most unexpected thing happened, from a point in the skies to left of the pods a burst of gunfire strafed the Interceptors, blowing them out of the sky. They never saw it coming. The Xandathrii seemed to have invisible backup.

Another two squads of Interceptors were sent up to confront the aggressors, both met a similar fate, with blasts coming out of thin air destroying the defending fleets. Then all of a sudden the sky went dark, hundreds of thousands of ships 'de-cloaked' in the heavens above. The Eitraides people were aghast. This was incredible yet horrifying, their tiny outpost had no chance of surviving this....

Word spread back quickly to the other Eitraides worlds and defences were tightened, this invisible attack force scared the hell out of the Eitraides people. But the High Command were in awe, with this technology added to their arsenal they would truly be unstoppable they thought, but how would they ever acquire it. This is a thought that started to consume them, the desire for new technology at the forefront of all Eitraides desire since its creation this addition would be the crowning glory.

Apart from this encounter the Eitraides did not hear from the Xandathrii again. They seemed like a ghost race, flitting in and out of radar displays. None of the other races seemed to have any contact with them either, their need for interaction was not very great it seemed, probably content with the hive mind that they all shared.

Around 2765 the Zikonians returned to the forefront of news within the galaxy. They slowly had been making contacting with the four races that ruled all the quadrants of the universe, setting about creating a truly universal trading system. The Eitraides were worried what the Zikonians would say about the acquisition of the ancient Zikonian fleet and the further backwards engineering that the Eitraides had performed to create their own version of these formidable craft. It actually turned out that it was upon entering the hangar all those years ago that the Eitraides had alerted the Zikonians to their presence. This is why they were back, the signal that had been sent out had been gathering data for millennia and relayed this all to the Zikonians. Upon realising that there were now several powerful and advanced races amongst the stars the Zikonians had returned to trade and ally with these races. Commerce was a big thing for them, something which was in tune with the Eitraides ways. In 2775 the Zikonians held the first of many Universal High Councils, with the ruling powers of the five races all negotiating and trading goods and technology. Barul, the grandson of Lucile was now the Supreme Commander of the Eitraides people and he shared all of the tenacity of those family members that had possessed this role before him. He was a wily negotiator and wasted no time turning others wants to his advantage. This was the moment when finally having a chance to talk to the Xandathrii that the Eitraides finally managed to acquire their prized cloaking technology. What once was a mishmash of old war tired vessels was revamped and the Eitraides finally had the fully diverse and potent attacking and defending Armada they craved, all by sticking true to the initial ways that had started them as a race. They had boldly went where no man had gone before...

And then that fateful day happened in 2815 and everything changed forever......
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