|A day shy of a week ago Robotech Master was out on his e-bike when an SUV struck him and drove off. According to the most recent news available, he passed away from his injuries at around 2:00 this morning. I have kept some news up on his user page and, at this point, ask that anyone wishing to leave messages or tributes do so on either his talk page or another page that can be used for such things. His account here and all of the stories he has gifted the Shifti community with will be preserved in memoriam, as we also did for Morgan.|
User:Michael Bard/Saving the Multiverse
Saving the Multiverse
|No further updates are expected.|
All around flickered floating images showing intercepted native transmissions showing security scans of their so-called military might.
The images vanished and the room flashed into darkness, replaced by a holoprojection of local space. At first it looked normal, splashed with glowing nebula and pinprick stars, and the colour coded systems of the growing and unstoppable Nekri Empire.
Or, at least it looked like that for an instant as it loaded the default image before updating with the newly scanned information. Even Nekri information processing was limited by universal constants, though that problem was being worked on.
Slowly, at the centre of the Nekri sphere, a jagged black tear appeared.
"COMPUTER! What's the cause of the graphic's error?"
"CONFIRMED NO ERROR. DISPLAY IS REAL TIME AND ACCURATE VISUAL MAPPING OF EXPANDING DESTRUCTION OF SPACE/TIME"
"READING CONFIRMED, TELEMETRY FROM BORDER MONITORING STATIONS CONSISTENT ACROSS ALL SPECTRA."
More and more stars and systems blanked out, consumed by the rapidly expanding blot. It wasn't black, but the deadness of NULL DATA. Nothingness.
"YES MASTER!" the STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE RETRIEVAL robot reported from somewhere in the secret base.
"Analysis of native activities. Any threat to this installation, or the Armada?"
"NO THREAT MASTER! NATIVES HAVE NO KNOWN OR DETECTED CAPABILITY."
"SIR! Get down here NOW! Class RED emergency."
He looked up, and the nothingness was twice as large as it was before.
"LOSING TELEMETRY-- AI NET SPECULATES-- SPECULATES CAUSAL EVENT/TIME CO-ORDINATES ON DEVASTIS-- SPECULATES-- AI NET DOWN."
The nothingness encompassed the entire Nekri Empire. It was gone. All gone.
For a second Miyequi stood there, jaw hanging open reflecting the horror beneath.
"Computer... Status of the Armada!"
"ARMADA... ARMADA IN FLIGHT... ARMADA... ARMADA... MASSIVE... DESTROYED."
A second passed as the meaning of what was said shuddred through is body. The Wisest were dead. The rulers of the unstoppable, all mighty Nekri Empire, fated to RULE THE UNIVERSE gone, destroyed. Everything.
He shook himself, wishing his mane was free beneath the syntheflesh disguise that transformed him to look like one of the pathetic worthless natives of this peace of dirt.
"COMPUTER. Disengage from AI net. Local operations only."
"ACKNOWLEDGED. WARNING! ACTION NOT RECOMMENDED."
"NOTED. ETA until tear reaches our position."
"Estimated 2.3 standard units."
For a second his throat was dry. WHERE WAS SIR?
"COMPUTER, do you have the co-ordinates of the initiation point?"
"CO-ORDINATES-- LAST DATA TRANSMISSION GARGLED. TIME/SPACE LOCATION 99.9887655113% ACCURATE."
Miyequi turned, looking at the wormgate. He checked the data in the PAK implant along his spine beneath his mane. Translations of Ancient writing confirmed it was possible, but best speculation was that doing it had destroyed them. But then, what did he have to lose? He was an elite NEKRI INVADER! He would NOT be defeated! THE EMPIRE WOULD BE SAVED!
"COMPUTER, Activate wormhole. Override code GAMMABETAALPHAOMEGA8169110. Set Time/Space co-ordinates to available co-ordinates."
"SUCH ACTION IS FORBIDDEN. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BE WARNED OF THIS."
"COMPUTER. Logic directive. Directive can only be forbidden by direct command of Wisest. Massive confirmed destroyed. Logic dictates that I am the only Nekri left. Logic dictates that, by default, I am now the only Wisest. Overide GAMMABETAALPHAOMEGA8169110 repeated and confirmed. ACTIVATE!"
An iris hissed open, and SIR stalked into the room, mennacing and attentive, the visual units glowing a sinister red. "S.I.R. UNIT REPORTING! WHAT ARE YOUR ORDERS?"
"WISEST, OVERIDE CONFIRMED. ACTIVATING WORMHOLE. ESTIMATED 2.8 UNITS TO BUILD UP MAXIMUM AVAILABLE POWER."
A query to his implant confirmed that the tear would consume him in .98 units. "SIR, connect yourself to main power system. Authorization GAMMABETA12. Discharge all power into primary systems."
Without a pause, the S.I.R. unit responded with "ORDER ACKNOWLEDGED!" Then SIR turned and executed his last instructions.
Miyequi looked around. Leave nothing behind. ETA was .93 units. "COMPUTER, OVERIDE ALL SAFETY PROTOCOLS. DUMP ALL POWER AVAILABLE INTO GATE. OVERRIDE GAMMAGAMMAOMEGA. When I've passed through, activate base destruct. Code ZETAGAMMAGAMMA. Confirm instructions."
"INSTRUCTIONS CONFIRMED. 100% WORMHOLE STABILITY IN 1.11 UNITS."
"CONFIRM ARRIVAL OF TEAR AT THEORETICAL EDGE OF THIS STELLAR SYSTEM."
"ARRIVAL IN .95 UNITS."
"COMPUTER, OVERIDE GAMMABETAALPHAOMEGA8169110. CONFIRM. ACTIVATE WORMHOLE IN .94 UNITS."
"WARNING. LIKELYHOOD OF YOUR SURVIVAL ESTIMATED 27.3%"
"NOTED. OBEY INSTRUCTIONS." He refused to let some idiot scientist on Devastis ruin his mission and destroy the Empire! If he had to go back in time to stop him, then so be it!
Turning, he stalked across the platform, his horrible disguised hooves surrounded in soft sensiflesh so that they gently padded across the plasteel instead of making their natural sharp clomp clomp. The wormhole gate was already glowing, swirling with a kaleidoscope of colours, some visible, some feeding into his eyes via bioimplants given to all invaders. The holoprojection of the tear faded, the lights faded, as all power was fed into the gate. The swirl grew brighter, a whirlpool of unimaginable colours. The disgusting natives could probably feel it now, sense the buildup of energies, but if the tear didn't get them, the contra-terrene destruct device would take out half the continent.
"TEAR CONTACT IN .31 UNITS"
Miyequi stood there, waiting, his soft silky tail imprisoned in the sensiflesh ugly ropy tail whipping back and forth. Nothing mattered. SIR, the base, it was all replaceable. All that mattered was the Empire and the Mission.
The wormhole was a disc of energy, wavering and swirling.
He stood there, waiting, ready. With a thought he activated his defenses and life support to maximum.
Onboard systems confirmed .49 units to walk into gate so Miyequi began his journey. The gate swirled, colours spinning. Even through the artificial bioflesh that encases his glorious nostrils, he could smell burning, sweet grass, ozone, the stench of methane ever present in the local atmosphere, even though his activated suit systems struggled to filter the impurities out.
And he stepped through…
Miyequi slammed into the floor, smoke billowing all around him, dead synthflesh chunks falling charred to the floor with a crackle revealing his burned and scarred ebony Nekri form. For a moment he lay there, letting the biosensor implants perform a passive scan of the room. A monochrome image built up in his sensorium showing what appeared to be the central lab of his secret base. No sign of SIR.
He could see his body, surrounded by scarred chunks of dead synthiflesh, the last few living scraps sliding off his sleek black-furred body. At least this disguise for those foul thick-furred natives, with their long tuft-edged tails, horrible too-long ears, and pathetic splotched body, was gone! Internal status supports showed his body was unharmed other than first and second degree burns; artificially created symbiote cells made their way to the damaged areas, draining the material reserves to conduct emergency repairs. Drugs flooded into his body suppressing the pain. Defenses were at 18% efficiency, life support at 28%. Systems confirmed the atmosphere was breathable.
Could it have been a dream? All of it?
His disguise was gone, so there was no sense in hiding. There had been no immediate attack, so they were obviously afraid to approach one of the Nekri Elite. Blinking his eyes, he jumped onto his noble hooves, long silky tail hanging behind him, shining black mane running down his furred back as he looked around through his enhanced dark brown eyes. With nostrils flaring, he breathed deeply, letting more created organisms scan the inhaled air for information.
Nothing for it. "COMPUTER, report status."
Silence. Just the dim glow of standby mode.
"There will be no response, Miyequi."
"Who said that?! SHOW YOURSELF!"
All his systems still showed this as the central lab. Except for the air -- the stench of methane was gone.
"Invader Miyequi, I am the Butler. You are here for a very specific purpose." The voice was coming from all around. "You see--" It trailed off and the room was replaced with a holographic depiction of universes crumbling. The same nothingness he'd seen spreading out and consuming all.
"YOU! HOW DARE YOU THREATEN THE MIGHT--"
"The Nerki Empire is gone. Destroyed, like so many others. Your universe is dying, just like the Multiverse is dying."
Miyequi forced down his rage. He was still alive, and as long as he was alive, the Empire lived! And the Empire would be triumphant over all!
Silently, the presentation went on, universe after universe, reality after reality. On and on for 40 units. Finally it ended, and again he could see what appeared to be the main lab in his base. Appeared! And still, every system he had swore it was.
"Surrender to me and I'll save the multiverse." What the Empire could do with this technology! Entire realities to squash underhoof!
"It doesn't work that way. If you could, I would, but you can't. Not alone."
"A Nekri Invader needs no one!"
"You would argue with help?" The voice was coarse, grating on his sensitive silken ears as he spun around.
Before him he saw two hideous figures, similar in form. One was wearing primitive and bulky armour. Internal systems flagged a number of weapons that could penetrate his defenses, along with primitive anti-grav units. But then the implants of a Nekri Invader were designed to be indetectable first. The other was dressed in robes woven of coarse and primitive fabric, and carried various pouches and simple stone and ceramic tools along his person. The only difference he could see between the two pathetic worms was that one was thin, weak, with pointed ears that dared to approach the grace of those of a Nekri. The other was heavily built, almost rectangular. And just as ugly. It was the unarmoured figure that had spoken.
"Lord Bran McDunne, noble equine one. Merry Meet."
What was an equine?
"Name Pyotr Petrov," the other said, its voice low and grating.
For a moment Miyequi stood there, nostrils flaring. They weren't cowering, and they weren't making futile attacks. Therefore they did not know what he was. Pathetic fools!
Tools were always useful. Tools to take the risks, and be discarded or destroyed later. The Nekri Empire would live! "Hello. You can call me Miyequi." The words hurt him as he said them, even pretending to treat these worms as equals made his stomach hurt. "It seems we have a massive task ahead of us."