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Old 08-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #1
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Dark side of the Mirror

An idea that just had to be written

Dark side of the Mirror

Langley Air Force Base 2100 hours.

Colonel Simon 'Rocky' Rockford snapped to attention before the Wing Commander's desk. Brigadier General Paul 'Wraith' McConahey had been a premier pilot flying the F105F Thunderchief during Vietnam, flying first 'Wild Weasel' then 'Iron Hand' missions. He'd earned three Silver Stars during that war. Up until his removal from flight status six years earlier, he had also made a name flying the F15, which is why he was now the Wing commander here.

“Rocky, the DOD has decided to have a test of the newly upgraded ASM 135 ASAT, and as someone who worked on that project, you are assigned.”

“Yes sir.” Rockford replied. “When is it due?”

“Two hours from now. There is a small meteor, about fifty meters across that will be passing inside LEO then. You will fire the missile as profiled, and report a hit if you get one.”

“Sir,” Rockford looked puzzled. “I know that NASA had considered using an ASAT to nudge a rock away from a strike on earth. But I thought they decided it wasn't enough bang to guarantee it.”

McConahey merely looked at him. “We aren't assuming it will do that, Rocky. They just decided that since it was there, it wouldn't waste someone's money to kill a functioning satellite.”

“But the TirMat satellite launched back in the 70s is not operating, and is at the same altitude-”

“Rocky.” McConahey leaned forward. “DOD chose the target, not me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Prep your aircraft, and get her in the air. Dismissed.”

McConahey watched the man leave his office. Then he picked up his encrypted phone, and dialed a number. The person on the other end answered by repeating the number back. “Operation Icarus is go in two hours.” He reported. Maybe in the future, history would record the young man's name.

After all, how many people would be able to claim shooting down the first verified alien spacecraft in history?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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Shaheel

Must concentrate, must not think of... that.

I know some before me have done this, gone into senesence without bearing young. Mainly males, from what I have learned. But some females have. Flying-

No. Must not think of it. Must not even dream of what I will be missing.

Think of Don, of how he helped me. Saved me.

We would not even have the word flying if it were not for his race. So many things about our world were just there. The oceans we swam in, we did not even have a word for 'swim', let alone fly or glide. It was something our bodies did to survive, then to fly so briefly, to pass on our genes to the new generation.

That makes it better somehow. I can look at what we gained from his race, what I gained from his race. Including another first. My egg-bearer was a famous poet, did you know that? She was renowned for the lyric verse that described our home world from beyond our atmosphere by those who did not go into old age and death. She recorded the memories of those who went beyond to mine the small worlds that are out there, who witnessed the lights, who went from our world to His for the last fifteen of our years. She was the only one of us who ever made the trip to Don's world who was not trained for it.

No one else can say that. To step beyond the calling you are assigned, to do something no one else has who does your duty. She was a master at creating the crystals that are fed to the Rull, that are later ingested by our young at their first molt to teach us our craft. She recorded their thoughts, but those thoughts became part of her soul. Before her last molting she had gone to Those That Direct, and asked a boon; a trip to that other world we have studied for so long.

She was such a great poet that they allowed it, and she went. Then she recorded two crystals of that voyage. Only I knew at first that there had been two, because she did something none of our Recorders had done. She had created one she hid, with instructions that it not be fed until she had made her mating flight.

That was before my birth, of course. We had learned of the lights beyond our world from those who came down to tell us before they died. What is that word Don used?

Stars.

All previous generations grew up knowing of the lights from our legends, whispered accounts from egg bearers who finally fell from the sky, whispering of it before the gravity killed them. Most thought it was just a final senile madness. Most who delivered the message were males, males that had not passed on their genes, who instead, had braved the heights of our atmosphere, who flew back down, even more fragile than the egg bearers to plop into the oceans, praying that someone would reach them before the Great Mouths could swallow them.

All to whisper of what they saw, the place where our atmosphere ends, where the depths beyond are more clear than any ocean ever was.

And lights, oh so far away.

Of course any youngling of my world knows of the brutal facts of mating. Not every male finds a female that allows him that last rite of passage. For long millennia stories of the lights were considered only lies. Just a last misdirection from a frustrated male who had failed in the most important duty we have to our race. Failed to breed. A male must be strong enough, brave enough to reach the heights where the females go-

I must pause. I can almost feel the hormones flowing through my body. If I give in to them there will be nothing on this crystal I record but poetry about mating. What has happened to my crew, my ship, must reach my people. What I endured in the company of one of the, what was that word Don said was their name?

Human.

I was the first child in living memory to know my egg-bearer, even at one remove. Our mating cycle is so complex compared to Don's! We live in the oceans of our world until our final metamorphosis, when we go from ocean dwelling to drifting into the deep clouds to fly above them.

She who bore my egg knew her time would come, like all of us who lived that long, we would see the stars, though we still had no name for what they were back then. Yet she had deduced something from the records we had from our race's space voyages. She had come to believe that that odd race on that ball with a transparent atmosphere had a closer bond to those that bore them, gave them their seed.

She had done what I am doing now. Recording her thoughts and beliefs on a crystal to feed to a Rull. That last secret crystal, it was for one of her own brood. Her instructions were simple; to save it, hide it, until before our first molting. The Guardians who watch our young before that were to watch those who survived the hatching, who were not eaten by Stingers or Great Mouths.

It was to be saved for only one of us. The one who swam fastest, who was the most reckless and adventurous. That one would receive her last gift to her children.

That one was me.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Any comments? I forgot to post a poll n this one


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
machievelli is offline   you may:
Old 08-14-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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Prep

The president was not amused. His reelection campaign wasn't going well, and he was running barely ahead of the other candidates in his own party, and almost neck in neck with two of the other party's. He did not have time for this! He glared at the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Anston, and at the colorless little man in an Air Force Colonel's uniform.

But the code word had been specific. When he had taken the office, his predecessor had told him about the codeword, and that it was important, but had admitted he didn't even have a clue what it was all about. No military or intelligence officer in the service had ever been able to tell him any more. A search ordered by him hadn't turned up any plans, emergency situations or military operations connected to it. He found later that he wasn't the only president to try that, either. Yet it had been removed from the Code Word registry in July of 1947 at the order of then president Truman, meaning there had to be something connected to it. Though what could have been kept for secret almost seventy years? And why?

“You have five minutes.” He said coolly.

“We will need more, Mr. President. Several hours, in fact.” The colonel spoke. “We also need to shut off all recording devices in your office, sir.”

“Who the hell do you think you are, Colonel, damn it what's your name?”

“Crispin, sir. Nathaniel Crispin. Under Codename Minos, everything I suggest is an order from President Truman. It must be done as I direct until I feel it is safe to brief you in on the project.” He shrugged. “Frankly sir, you will be the only president since Truman to even know fully what Codename Minos is for.” He didn't look away. Considering the President had his career in his hands, Crispin did not blink as he said this.

“And why should I care what some dead president had to say about this?”

“I am authorized by the Codename to give you only one further piece of information, sir.” Crispin said, then leaded forward. “Alien life forms have been watching us since the early forties. there is proof from a crash in 1947; and we believe they are going to invade soon.”


Shaheel:
It is so calm in space. We were at the end of our mission, and due to head home in less than one of our days.

Like their planet, ours was in orbit of a sun; ours just had one further away from it. When we first discovered that fact about five hundred of our years ago, we had merely called it an orbital revolution. They called it a year. To us on our world there had been periods of greater and lesser light. Those had been just light cycles. Our planet we later discovered also rotated on it's axis, though only those who had been to the edge of space realized it really. We now knew they called it a day.

It amused me to call it that. One of the words of the language of those below we had finally understood on this voyage, and had decided to use ourselves, since we didn't have in in our own language.

I have been part of the Space missions almost from the egg. The youngest ever to be chosen for a mission, literally after my first molt. I had been on three previous flights, and this was the second where I was the One Who Directed.

My crew called me the Egg-Layer, as if I had already made my flight and somehow survived. I was the oldest, a year and a half older than Cooral and Saanaa. Over two years older than our youngest, Reeno. I had almost not made this voyage. Those Who Direct In Space had worried that I would go into my final metamorphosis before we arrived here, or before we returned.

I had Directed that we would drop lower to retrieve one of our recorder arrays. They had been seeded about the planet on a mission before my birth. They record the messages sent out from this world, and since our people had discovered them twenty odd years in the past, they had multiplied like Rull near a thermal vent. There was so much to learn from them, and most would be missed as they spread away the planet below due just to it's own daily rotations.

We did not know why this array had fallen so close, only that it had and that it would leave a gap in our recordings if it was not returned to it's place beyond their moon. We had not been given any new ones, so I had Directed returning it to its place.

I had found on my last voyage that as She Who Directed, I was only needed for that decision; everything else was done by the others. Saanaa, as I had been on my second flight our She Who pursues (Or who flies, as we would be calling it from now on) had more than enough experience in how to chase it, just as Cooral who was He Who Thrusts Forward knew how much speed to add, and Reeno had enough experience to be our Catcher Of Prey; the one who would catch our wayward machine.

So I Who Directed merely sat in the clear space that no ship before had, and watched the planet as I reflected on my last view of it. I had brought a fresh ripe Rull with me; one of the unmarked ones, since all of the marked ones remaining were our records of this flight. I had allowed the others to create the crystals to insert into them. After all this was my last voyage, and I had so many I had fed to the Rull before, back to that very first flight. Let them teach younglings about this. I had created what I thought would be my last crystal after reporting our intent to repair the machine we approached. I had also sent a message to the array in case I did enter my last metamorphosis before we returned. All of what we had seen and heard had been sent out as well. Another first for me, I thought wryly.

These voyages had almost become common to our people. There was to be another in a few of the native's days, not long after we left for home. But ours was the first to understand what these people below were saying.

I worked on the crystal I was forming as I considered that thought. I had almost considered talking to them, and only the Direction not to speak to them from here had held me from doing so. Soon enough we would speak to them, and hopefully Those Who Plan were wrong. For as curious as we were about them, that step was what we feared most...

For they believed the entire race mad.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
machievelli
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For any who have read this in the past two week, I have restarted it as 'Redux' since it was horribly confused up to this point


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
machievelli is offline   you may:
Old 09-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #6
machievelli
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I have been trying to close this post. Now I see that I can


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
machievelli is offline   you may:
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