Frontier: The Highest Wall

A shared universe of Tau stories, created by ATT posters.
User avatar
CmdrCASh
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 142

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#19 » Oct 22 2016 11:12

Too little time to do what seems to be some intricate programming. And with only one hand! :sad:
But, mission still seems to be the correct thing to do. Option 1: but first release photon grenade and duck behind cover. Use time gained to program the drone.
Ka'ash Sept

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#20 » Oct 22 2016 11:27

I'll be posting a new entry Sunday (tomorrow) so if anyone else wants to vote= now is the time.

I'll try and come up with a system that ever Wednesday/Sunday will be update days to get a flow going.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Czar Ziggy
Fio'Ui
Fio'Ui
Posts: 556
Contact:

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#21 » Oct 22 2016 11:46

CmdrCASh wrote:Too little time to do what seems to be some intricate programming. And with only one hand! :sad:
But, mission still seems to be the correct thing to do. Option 1: but first release photon grenade and duck behind cover. Use time gained to program the drone.


Maybe he could fall down an as-yet-unseen maintenance shaft entry and make good his escape!

Czar Ziggy

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#22 » Oct 23 2016 01:44

...Through Boldness, Victory... (some intense voting, this is about halfway between the too leaning toward option 1)

Hu'dai closed his eyes. The physical pain in itself was easy to ignore. His training and his personal awareness of losing a limb kept him from going into shock. It was the loss of his team that raged through his mind, clouding his judgement, bringing everything down to a simple act of defiance against a galaxy populated by creatures that refused to see the light of reason and peace.

Stepping out from the doorway of the ruined homestead, the giant had to bend to fit through. In the light, Hu'dai could see every detail. Strange cursive symbols had been stitched into its arms, each one the size of a greenskin's. But then he saw a third arm, stitched or augmented, sprouting out from its ornate armor. Hu'dai could still not place the race but that would no longer matter. His options were few.

The monster grunted and swung the massive blade effortlessly toward Hu'dai who bent and rolled, screaming as his bleeding stump shot paint through his body. He was up, gripping the demolitions drone in his remaining hand as he eye-swiped his communications channel 'open'.

"Shas'La, I'm transmitting to you a live feed from my helmet. Get out of here."

"I'm almost there, teamleader!" Hu'dai could hear the strain in the only Firewarrior left under his command.

"Xeno sordium!" The alien's shout filled Hu'dai's ears and he ducked, too slow, and was flung across the courtyard by the force of impact from the blade. He found himself looking up into the sky, his optical screen cracked badly and the taste of blood in his mouth. But he was still alive.

"I can see you, Shas'Ui!" The voice seemed far away for being transmitted directly into his ears.

"I said go... Shas'La." Hu'dai groaned, feeling broken teeth with his tongue.

Groggily, he keyed directly into the drone and broadcasted the contents to every channel permitted to him through his own AI. As long as the power pack on his back fueled it it would keep broadcasting. Which meant he had to keep his equipment intact. Which meant he needed to die.

The giant was coming, slowly, purposefully, as though being in the light of day was more difficult for it to move in. Hu'dai could make out the troop transport closing behind the giant, twin fishtails of dust chasing behind its nacelles. There were other aliens out here, in this benighted wasteland, who probably had the means of damaging the transport. The young fool.

"Na'deem, can you hear me?" Hu'dai said softly, attaching the demolitions drone to his power pack on his back and unclipped it, letting it fall away. His helmet vid dimmed at the loss of power so he removed it, breathing in the acrid death of the homestead around him.

"Shas'Ui?" Na'deem, Horizon's Twelfth, could undoubtedly see that Hu'dai was removing vital pieces of armor.

"When there are five there is one and when there is one there is?"

"One... I understand."

"You are the First now, Na'deem." The giant was almost on top of him. Hu'dai didn't bother looking at the alien. All questions about where such a monster could have come from, what its motivations were, why it had mutilated the Tau, they all fell away as his spirit rose watching Na'deem slow the transport and turn away.

"Avenge us." Hu'dai snarled and leapt forward, ignoring the pain in what was left of his arm. His pistol was in his hand and he fired, almost point blank.

The giant moved with impossible speed. Its blade shot upward, deflecting the orbs of plasma with an energy field that snapped into life from the blade. With its other hand, the augmetic one, it reached out and speared Hu'dai through the chestplate. Pain, hot and terrible, throbbed outward from the arm. Some kind of poison.

Hu'dai tried to get another round off but his hand betrayed him, dropping the pistol in a spasm that rushed through his body. The alien brought him close so that Hu'dai was looking directly into its twisted eyes. It pulled its rebreather away, revealing a maw of needle sharp teeth that pierced its own flesh in places, masked in a terrible smile.

It took a long time for Hu'dai to finally die.

***


Na'deem heard all of it from the cockpit of the transport. The Shas'Ui's recording was static filled with only moments of visual showing the madness that had been the sub levels of the homestead. Na'deem had forced himself to watch it, over and over, as each of his brothers and sisters fell.

He didn't know what had happened to the Shas'Ui. After Hu'dai had removed his helmet and charged the giant Na'deem was long gone, racing across the stratosphere. He hated himself for feeling the anxiety fall away, safe as he was, only to be replaced by the sense he had failed.

When he got high enough to use the transport's antenna to contact a low orbit drone he opened a channel to the Shas'Ar'Tol of the colony thousands of kilometers at the equator.

"Troop transport TX-424, Horizon, this is Benefit"

"Benefit, this is the First, my team has been ambushed at Homestead R-22, Sector Five."

"Understood. Survivors?"

"I am the only survivor."

There was a moment, the time it took to take a single breath. Then the Firewarrior communications officer was back, clearing his throat. "Understood. Enemy designation?"

"Unknown, I have live recordings from the engagement."

"Transmit now, Shas'La Na'deem." A new voice, deeper, female, authoritative had replaced the officer.

"Identify, Benefit?"

"This is Shas'El Fo'tan Soo'nar Ga'rah."

Na'deem glanced at the comms screen. The channel had been intruded upon by Ga'rah. He'd heard of her, a local, probably the highest ranking Fire Caste member on the planet other than his own Shas'O Kel'shan Vra'datha. At the start of this operation, he and the rest of the Kel'shani forces had been given clear orders to divert all new information directly to the office of the Shas'O.

The Kel'shan were supposed to be bringing Fo'tan into the fold as a member colony rather than let it become its own Sept, Fo'tan's not so private aspiration. Such petty differences seemed exactly that; petty, amidst an external threat but a command was a command.

OPTION ONE: Exemplar

There must be unity, ignore the Kel'shani order to report only to Kel'shan Firewarriors.

OPTION TWO: Through Boldness

The Shas'Ar'Tol does not issue commands lightly and the Fire Caste never involves itself with the politics of the Water Caste. Obey the command and report to the Shas'O.
Last edited by Calmsword on Oct 27 2016 01:40, edited 1 time in total.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
El ZorDacK
Shas'Saal
Posts: 92

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#23 » Oct 23 2016 09:56

Option 2

User avatar
TauMan
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 599
Contact:

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#24 » Oct 23 2016 11:29

Okay my heart wants to say option two, but I'll have to go G.I. on this one. Na'deem has to follow orders and the chain-of-command. Therefore I choose: OPTION ONE: Exemplar.
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

User avatar
Darkstriding
Kor
Posts: 5

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#25 » Oct 23 2016 03:51

I vote for Option one this time around too, order needs to be restored to this situation.

This is brilliant so far! :D

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 950

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#26 » Oct 23 2016 08:33

My analytical genre-savvy brain is telling me to go with option two based on a theory I have, but my heart says to go with option one.

And since I've gone with option two twice already now, I think I'll switch things up by going with option one this time.

So my vote is for EXEMPLAR. Action: With a confirmed attack on the colony the need for co-operation and working together for the Greater Good is more pressing than ever. Na'deem transmits the recordings to the Fo'tan Shas'el, but also prepares a second report to send to the Kel'shan Shas'Ar'Tol.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

User avatar
CmdrCASh
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 142

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#27 » Oct 23 2016 09:34

Poor Hu'dai. :sad:

But I'm really liking the story progression so far! :D
And hooboy, another tough decision!

I notice that being an Exemplar actually meant ignoring orders...

With the shock of his entire team wiped out, he's going to be falling back on the familiarity of chain of command.
... so Option two for me.

Though... once the information has been transmitted to the Shas'O, it is no longer new and can also be transmitted to the 'El.
Interpretation: There was never an order to NOT send information to other Shas superiors. Just that new information gets to the 'O first :crafty:
Ka'ash Sept

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#28 » Oct 24 2016 06:09

I'm glad everyone's enjoying this! These are really my favorite types of stories to write because everyone gets involved.

Option 1: Tauman, Darkstriding, Kakapo42

Option 2: El ZorDack, CmdrCASh

Don't feel shy about expressing your thoughts. This is a very contained story taking place in a time period that has some connections to the Into Silence group story and links to older 40k fluff- for enthusiasts of that side of the hobby I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and if you're newer to fluff hopefully it will be a good read.

I wrote a whole explanation about the mechanics of this process with hints and easter egg explanations- but I think you will all have more fun if each of you experiences this as 'raw' as possible.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#29 » Oct 27 2016 01:34

Exemplar of the Selfless Cause...

Na'deem closed his eyes and established an uplink directly to Shas'El Ga'rah. It took only a few seconds but in that time Na'deem felt something in his gut that just said this was wrong. He would be reprimanded for divergence, but surely direct contact with an extremely hostile force meant warning everyone.

Percentage points multiplied as the data transmitted.

"These are the last recordings of my team, Shas'El-"

"You are currently in a none designated fly zone, Shas'La." The officer from before was back. "There is a Kel'shan dropship that has been notified of your predicament." His home Sept's name sounded dirty in the officer's mouth. Na'deem frowned; that didn't seem right. Horizon team's base was much closer, safer, and would have another two teams that Na'deem could integrate with and begin planning a defense, or better yet, retaliation against the aliens.

He glanced at the uplink; almost done.

"I would prefer to rendezvous at Overwatch, Benefit."

"Negative. Kel'shan Shas'faan have been instructed to withdraw to Kor'vattra elements."

The callousness of the officer felt like a slap in the face, a foul taste in his mouth. "I have lost brothers and sisters, sa'saal'a, have you no empathy?"

The upload completed with a chime.

The officer paused, "Know your place, Horizon-"

"Proximity alert!" The elderly male voice of the transport's AI bellowed.

Warning klaxons drowned out everything with a jolt that rocked Na'deem back against the cockpit's chair. The AI of the transport fired countermeasures, a combination of flares and burst filaments, as Na'deem struggled with the controls buckling against him. The heads up display coalesced into holograms that showed the icon of a ballistic missile veering away, barely, from him.

Na'deem swore, he'd forgotten to activate the cloaking field.

"Horizon to Benefit, I am under attack-"

"Proximity alert!" The AI again.

Na'deem's stomach turned as the sensor readout showed three new signatures arching up from the forests below. He stabbed his controls, adding the transport's logs to the upload to the Fo'tani Shas'El even before he activated the remaining countermeasures.

The outer cloud deflected on missile and it exploded causing the second the spiral off back toward the planet. Na'deem rocked against his restraints and threw the transport into a nauseating dive. The inertial dampers whined in protest as they fought to keep him from passing out.

The third missile closed.

He felt pressure push down on him. Na'deem couldn't breath. It was as though he were looking down a tunnel, watching the sensors turn scarlet one by one.

"Benefit... I... am undone!"

Three kilometers above the planet's surface the troop transport unravelled in a wreathing cloud of fire and debris.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#30 » Oct 27 2016 01:36

Alright guys, that's Chapter 1! I'm the story without choices in a new post for the benefit of easier reading.

The real choices begin... SOON!
~Good Hunting

User avatar
CmdrCASh
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 142

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#31 » Oct 27 2016 08:24

Calmsword wrote:The real choices begin... SOON!


:eek:

What?! It's just starting?
Ka'ash Sept

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#32 » Oct 27 2016 10:41

Yes, my friend, that was just to iron out some of the selection processes and give me time with my outline. More coming this weekend!
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#33 » Oct 31 2016 03:26

Avar'an Nel looked up as the distant explosion reverberated in all directions. Bra'ka, her Yo'shi mount, reared back and growled, tasting the air with his fanged tongue. She had raised him from a hatchling and as such the enormous bipedal saurian was sensitive to her emotions.

"There, Bra'ka, find peace." She patted him on the back of his spotted neck with one hand while she retrieved her macrobinoculars with the other. She scanned the sky, seeing a black speck mar the blue of the sky. Dialing up the intensity, she made out the vestiges of the explosion, debris still tumbling.

"A ship?" She muttered, zooming out, "Troop transport..." Three white contrails, reaching up from the surface like crooked fingers. She dropped the macros and touched the antenna on the side of her face.

"This is Nel, anyone see that?"

A wash of static, her own words echoing back on her. She didn't have an AI so she scanned each frequency in search for any contact. Nel had been traveling for a two days and a night alone with Bra'ka since the Pioneers took to scouting a Go'rath migration. The large, long haired near-sentients were native to Fo'tan and the Earth Caste had yet to determine their value in Fo'tan's new ecosystem. Unlike the Kroot were busy reforming every animal in their designated sector, the Tau preferred a measured approach, surgically removing those flora and fauna that the Tau would now replace in the food-chain.

No one answered her. The next rendezvous was another few decs of travel, as the mountains gave way to the coast. She could either ride along then double back with the rest of the troupe or wait for the rescue teams that would eventually get here after a satellite or watch commander learned of the explosion.

Something glinted, falling toward the horizon. She looked again, full magnification. An escape pod, heavily damaged, struggled to slow its descent, its emergency grav thrusters twitching as they failed. The pilot was probably dead already.

Probably.

Nel smiled, a sad expression that tugged at old scars, both ritual and inflicted. She shoved the macros into her satchel and swung her carbine around. The decision was no longer hers with the possibility that life might still cling to the being in the escape pod. Life on the frontier was hard, all Sol'ai Pioneers knew that more than any other Tau'faan and on the frontier the lessons of the Greater Good were clear; Life must prosper even at the expense of life, only then can order come and the wilds be tamed.

"We go Brak'a, with haste." She tensed and the Yo'shi bolted in a burst of speed, forcing her to hold on with her legs as she leaned behind his bobbing head and held on to his stirrups. Brak'a was of Tau'N stock, his genetic data patterned from the finest examples of the breed, and as he bounded and raced through the underbrush he displayed such eugenically perfected traits.

Brak'a carried her up into steep hills, easily leaping from stone to stone one his two strong legs, his claws finding perches in the convolutions of the terrain with ease. A flock of Fo'tan avians burst from a cleft in the stones. Brak'a, in mid-jump, snapped at one of the four-winged creatures and swallowed it in a burst of feathers and blood.

Never did he slow but Nel slapped him, "Focus, Brak'a, focus!"

He croaked through mouthfuls of the animal and hastened in his climb. They were at the top of a jutting rock wreathed in thick clouds of condensation rising from the forest. Legs splayed, Brak'a stood at almost a horizontal angle, offering a full view of the terrain. The woods stretched from the valley beneath her in every direction. A primordial world, a beautiful world, her world. Fo'tan was special, different from any other world in the Empire.

She reached for her helmet, a piece of armor rarely worn for she preferred the feeling of the wind through her hair and the rich smells of the planet unfiltered.

There was a moment where she was disoriented, the optics aligning with her own eyes. She looked down, reacquainting herself with the heads-up display.

"There, I see it." The pod was emitting signature radiation, only able to be picked up by Earth Caste made technology rather than use flares which might entice an enemy. The signal came out like heat waves, pulsing like a heart to her augmented vision. She touched Brak'a who tilted his snout toward the direction of the pod far below; and dropped through the rising mists.

*


Shas'La Na'deem woke with a start and a scream. He was alive, cold and wet. Wet?

He stood, struggling against the sands to the bank of a small river. The pod had listed on its side and he had fallen out. Checking his chrono on his wrist he saw that almost a dec had past since the destruction of the Horizon transport which meant he had most likely received cranial injury.

Pulling open a side panel on the pod he withdrew a medical wand and an emergency pack of food and medicinals that would help him survive. Securing the pack to his recon armor he used the wand to scan his head, limbs and chest. It warbled in vesa'sia, words appearing on its small blue tinged screen.

---Sixth rib broken, trauma with a chance of psychological distress---

Na'deem groaned, taking the wand and inserting it into a port in his armor. A beneficial cocktail of stimulants was injected into his blood stream that would keep him active and relatively pain free while servos whined tighter to keep him from moving wrongly and causing more damage.

A twig snapped.

He went for his service pistol and leaned against the pod, using it for cover. Ahead of him was the river, across that dense woods. The beach lay behind him, trees with multi-jointed branches forming a dark canopy at its edge. Na'deem knew he was beyond his skill-set. The deep forests of Fo'tan were non-traversal and deemed unsafe by the Ke'lshan even if the Fo'tan fringers insisted on constantly scouting them.

Na'deem looked over the lip of the pod. He couldn't see or hear anything which didn't make him feel any better. The things that had killed his team were hunting him, surely. An unrecognizable call broke the silence and was answered by another.

Something dark moved between the trees.

Was it real?"

"Mont'au devils." He whispered to nothing. He could wait here, use the pod for cover and pray to the fates reinforcements came soon, or, he could slink back and let the stream carry him into the maze of the woods.

Option 1:Exemplar: Fire a warning shot. Na'deem is lucky to be alive but if he's being hunted, maybe his time is up after all.

Option 2: Through Boldness: They're going to have to earn their kill. Last stands are for humans, let's see how deep this river can take Na'deem.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
El ZorDacK
Shas'Saal
Posts: 92

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#34 » Oct 31 2016 10:54

Exemplar. But from the point of view of him, could be the "Alien enemys", so I made my choice with the knowledge of a Pioneer is around

User avatar
TauMan
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 599
Contact:

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#35 » Oct 31 2016 12:21

Exemplar: But Na'deem doesn't fire a warning shot! No reason to let an unseen enemy know he's still alive, and waste a shot as well. If Na'deem is going to be rescued then he as to stay close to the escape pod. He need to confirm who's out there. Besides trying to "swim" the river will expose him to possible enemy fire, and may just be as quick a death.

Na'deem pulls a photon grenade from his belt and gritting his teethplates, readies himself against all comers. The plan is to toss the grenade when the enemy appears, fire off a spread of pulse rounds and then run as fast as possible down the beach.

The TauMan
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Frontier: The Highest Wall

Post#36 » Nov 01 2016 02:29

El ZorDacK: As an omnipotent reader, it's okay to make your decision based on what you know rather than what the characters level of knowledge is.

Tauman: The Shas'La has no grenades. Just the medpack, scanner and pistol (he's even wearing recon armor as he was the transport pilot).
~Good Hunting

Return to “Into Silence”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest