Part I - Shattering HopesEdit
"Carmilia here. This is my 1864 recording since the moon incident. I've begun to really see hope here. We just got a word that operation homesick will be commenced. This is really great news. From the rumors what I've heard there has been a cease fire for over three weeks now. Thanks to our base. I'm so happy to see things going back normal. It has been already five weeks since our base finally settled to the orbit. We have been drifting for such of a long time. However as we finally got our oxygen farm functional with 100% output things will be great. Now there is enough air to breath to everyone. We're all saved! Distant voice: We now announce that Hakobune has come to save us. What? It's here already? We're saved! Our hopes have been restored! We're finally saved. I'm ending recording now."
My feet felt slightly heavy and my body was trembling from excitement but I tried to control myself. I started to take long strides towards the computer console and read the news feed. The screen flashed that Hakobune was finally here. And the first lucky three hundred people will be saved and we will get additional supplies. I quickly ran to the communications and checked the network. Everything seemed to be perfectly normal at first but when I tried to contact Hakobune something wasn't right. I noticed that all communications to every MMC post around the arc was cut off, also to the remaining satellites and to earth. The only communications that were working normally was between our base and Hakobune. I casually opened my notebook and cheated some fundamentals that I should've learned from the text book ages ago. I restarted the coms server and overrode the protocols. The server took a while to respond but eventually things went back to normal and the screen flashed:
"Lycerian Research Facility Communications have been restored. Logging in to Earth main server 234.432.454.12 Port 545568B Connection redirected to 114.22.1433.54 Connection Lost Base Radio Feed connected Arc communications network is offline/unable to connect “ "Huh? Redirected? It shouldn't do that... Something is seriously wrong, let’s see if I can log in to this address." I placed the primary internet protocol into 114.22.1433.54 and ran my brothers greatest invention in the lines of communication. After few attempts I managed to finally get some additional information about this strange address that was intercepting the primary connections to earth. " Connecting to 114.22.1433.54 ... Connected, receiving live data stream. *Warning the data is Quantum Encrypted*My jaws dropped, what the hell could this mean? The most expensive type of encryption being used here. This couldn't be a coincidence. I started to dash towards the archives behind me and quickly look up the classified quantum encryption keys. A distant announcement echoed: "Hakobune will be docking in 45 minutes." I'd always imagined that announcement would immobilize me, but for some reason I didn’t feel anything for it. I had finally found something fun to do, something problematic again and I was enjoying it. I started to reorganize all the communication archives until I found what I was looking for. I almost managed to break the important disk by misplacing it to mainframe. Knowing how fragile the new model is my behavior was way too carefree. I logged in to the main terminal this time and transferred my workplace data to the main terminal. After filling in all the data, I started to run the analysis on the quantum encryption, hoping that I wouldn't get noticed. After quickly planning what I was going to do, I ran the program.
" Quantum Encryption attempt 00000001, failed. - Repeating process. Quantum Encryption attempt 00000002, failed. - Repeating process. "
The computer begun quickly increase the speed with the encryption and the numbers flashed in my eyes, but it was taking way too long. After five minutes when I was about to give up instead of giving negative score the system finally got a hit.
" Quantum Encryption attempt 09123853, successful. "
I quickly ordered the computer to encrypt everything as fast as possible before it was too late. I knew that on the moment when I begun the analysis the quantum encryption would send information that it would be being observed by outsider. A few seconds after I managed to find the right frequency the window was closed. I quickly translated everything that I managed to pick up from the data stream.
" Op_rat_on Downfal_ Launch ___+_ 13:55 Br_efing: Hakobun_ ta_es primar_ orbit of Lycerian _______ Facility a__ locks ________-systems to oxy_en farm while T_nshi opens salvofire to the popul___n cent_r Objectives_ -- Leave no survivors -- Sa____e th_ goods -- __f____ _______ "I took several steps behind and covered my mouth with my hands. I quickly gazed to the station clock, the time it was showing was 11:53. I sighed in relief while thinking everything up in my mind. Was this some kind of sick joke? I left the coms and moved slowly towards my room. Half way on the corridor I felt the old maintenance bug. It was the artificial gravity that had gone offline. I felt my heartbeat accelerating while I tried to calm myself down. But then my heart got stuck on my throat. "Life-support system: Failing, warning please conn... Life-Support system: Offline". My eyes widened narrow in terror. I felt the air being sucked somewhere with an extraordinary high rate and quickly all air had been sucked out. I managed to control my thoughts but not mind. I noticed that the emergency EVA suit was in front of me. But I couldn't move my body. I tried to force my every muscle to it. Seconds were ticking slower and slower and they suddenly felt like minutes. By some miracle I got myself next to the emergency EVA suit release lever and I pulled it down. A shockwave of air burst towards me and I was flung towards the wall and the EVA suit with it. My lungs tried to grab whatever air they could. I knew I was going to die if wouldn't be able to put on that suit at once. Oxygen was going low and I hardly could get the suit on me. I was already trying to inhale the last bits of oxygen in the area but it was very close to vacuum. I didn’t quite care how I got myself inside the suit. As soon as I had got the basic suit on me I just placed the helmet on top of my head and activated the emergency life-support system on the EVA suit. My head felt extremely dizzy but I couldn't stop there. I also closed all the bounds in my suit making certain that it would be air tight.
I heard my suit starting up
" Eva syslogd 2.3.0: restart Kernel command line: ro root=LABEL=/ Suitlife support functions NOMINAL Configuring surface orientation assist... DONE Configuring surface grip assist... DONE Detecting NAVSAT... FOUND Peripheral scan... *Detected unstable vitals Squad radar network detected, linking... OK Fuel chamber pressure NOMINAL Detecting Lycerian's audio uplink... Environmental sound simulation starting... "I was losing my consciousness; I could distantly hear words such as adjusting volume... bellow pain threshold. Everything turned into white fog and all my thoughts had frozen.
Part II - DownfallEdit
I was feeling dizzy. I saw some murky colors in front of me and some colors flashing in front of me. The ambient that I heard was discord. All my movements were blocked by the Eva suit. Breathing hurt my lungs and my skin was burning from all over, especially my eyes. I could slowly feel tears making my sight even more blurry. I was unable to hear anything else besides some discord. It was almost painful. I tried to dry my eyes by blinking my eyes. It hardly worked. The colors in front of me appeared even brighter. I could visualize a red cloud on dark background, there were also some lights shining brightly, making my eyes feel even more sensible. I shut my eyes. I was unable to say whatever I was dead or blind or deaf. I just floated there pulling my mind apart again. What had happened, what was the message that decrypted, why the gravity failed? Why did the life-support go offline? What could have possibly caused this? Could it be that someone wants us all destroyed? Why? Who? My mind was swarming with sinister thoughts and fears. I tried to pull myself apart again and I opened my eyes, I noticed that I saw all lights as red. I blinked my eyes and I felt something touching me, I reflectively pushed it away and took some distance. I felt my heart rates going up. I quickly managed to recognize the shape of the character. It was a human... A dead corpse. I tried to scream but I failed to have enough air in lungs. I quickly found myself hyperventilating inside my helmet. I could also recognize what was the red cloud blocking vision. It was blood. Another horror image struck on to my mind and I lost my control. I begun to wipe it off with my hands without controlling myself, messing up my visor even more badly than what it already was. The further I was continuing messing up my visor with the blood the murkier the world around me felt, I suddenly felt like the world just collided on me and everything went black. My vision quickly restored and I noticed that I had passed out again. I took a deep breath and attempted to control myself.
I knew that I would require hospital treatment. I had been exposed for vacuum conditions for a bit too long without any protective gear. That is something that can kill. I knew that I had to be grateful for not going to coma, but then again I knew that I wasn't that far away from it. I began to gaze the environment around me. Even though the slowly drying blood on my visor was blocking most of my line of sight I could still observe my surroundings. I noticed that the window next to my work spot had been completely shattered and things just didn’t seem right. However my visor was way too messed up for me to get a clear line of sight outside. I slowly started to get used to the blood stains on my visor and the look from the shattered window was slowly revealing itself. The old landscape of the main oxygen farm had been replaced with rocks, a lot of them. And they were moving really fast. I attached my evasuit to the floor and started to look up the communications panel on my suit. The screen was much bloodstained. I couldn't even read anything from it, not as if I could've read anything with the condition of my visor. "F*** this... Seriously what is going on...?” I took another view to the window and my eyes fixed on the edges of it. It was almost like it was fired with bullets nonstop. I took calmly few steps behind me but after a moment of retreat my left foot stepped nothing.
I slowly turned around. The corridor appeared to be ripped away; in fact half of the darn coms were ripped away. I gazed upon earth. Everything was really messed up. Thousands, millions of tiny rocks and pieces of metal scarps were bombarding the earth. I was getting closer to earth. Perhaps a bit too close. Massive rocks just for about few kilometers away from me started to blaze on fire. I could clearly feel the gravity of earth. "Oh F***..." I slowly swear without hearing anything that I said. The whole horizon upon my sight was blazing from those pieces of rock that were impacting the atmosphere. I began to notice that the tip of the rock on the coms was starting to slowly crumble. I was going to get pulled to the event horizon. I quickly detached from surface and activated my jetpacks with the fully accelerated boost heading towards the shattered window. I hardly felt like I was moving but the window was moving quickly towards me. I swept through the shattered window and entered to a stage of nightmares.
The rocks and metal debris was big and moving really fast. I felt some pounding on my body and the visor started to take some scratches. I did my best to avoid every single rock that I could. I was certain that I am going to die. There is no way a human could survive from this. The acceleration of my jetpacks started to slowly diminish. The large lumps of rock started to come towards me faster and dodging one after each other got a lot harder. I felt a shock on my head that felt like I was being shot by a cannon ball. I noticed a small crack on my visor, which lucky didn’t seem to be that large. Things were starting to feel completely hopeless, I started to take a lot more pounding than before. My eyes fixed on a pipe spinning with a rapid speed towards me, I tried to dodge it but it was slightly too late, it struck to my chest. I lost all my knowledge of direction when I also took some of the inertia of the pipe. I felt how another meteoroid pushed me from behind detaching me off from the pipe. I couldn't control my movements. The thought of "I want to die..." lingered on my mind. I was moving in high velocity and thousands of rocks were moving quickly in front of me from my flank. And I still felt that I was taking pounding from the smaller meteoroids. A green text flashed to my HUD.
" Eva syslogd 2.3.0: failure Restarting... "
I was certain that I was dying... My suit had been destroyed and these strikes that I kept taking were eventually going to rip me into tiny bits. I was going to die; actually I was definitely going to die! My HUD started to restart with some major malfunctions though; the cracks on my visor were distorting the bluish light hurting my eyes with its brightness.
" Eva syslogd 2.3.0: restart Kernel command line: ro root=LABEL=/ Suitlife support functions NOMINAL Configuring surface orientation assist... FAILED Configuring surface grip assist... DONE Detecting NAVSAT... FOUND Peripheral scan... *Detected UNNOMINAL Suit Integrity Squad radar network detected, linking... OK Fuel chamber pressure ZERO Detecting Lycerian's audio uplink... Envioremental sound simulation starting... "
At least my life support was still online. My visor went black and I struck on something heavy. A lot of moon dust floated around me and I noticed that the micrometeoroid pounding had ended. Not far off from me I noticed a metal tunnel, similar to the ones in Lycerian base. However it still felt really risky but at least there I'd be safe from micrometeoroids. I floated a bit closer to get a better peak. The whole Lycerian research facility had been ripped in pieces. There were scarps from the oxygen farm and a lot of dead bodies. I saw distantly some flashes of light that resembled like gunfire. Things had gone really bad. The Operation Downfall had been a true thing. We were lured to a trap; they used our own greed to get rescued to welcome Hakobune in. "Save 300 people"... What a big lie. Especially if each flight would cost around 5 billion euro. I peered to the distance of these ruins. The tiny rocks had wiped out almost all blood on my visor, on the cost of its thickness. I indeed could spot two ships there. I activated recording on my suit and made casually a record, just like I've always used to do, daily. Well today I just made two recordings instead of one.
"Carmilia here. This is my 1865 rec... Oh god, this is so stupid. Nobody will ever hear this. This will be my last recording. The Lycerian has been completely destroyed. Our hopes have been shattered. Our lives have been taken. It might be that mankind will have truly a downfall in space, until all of us are dead. Carmilia out... I love you all..."
I stopped the recording and sighed heavily. Before I was going down I could try my stupid feat of getting saved. I started to fly towards the wrecked base with emergency propulsion. I felt like taking again the pounding from the "cannonballs". Every muscle of my body started to be on bruises and a third crack appeared on my visor slowly expanding to the second one. I could see my hud very distorded. I still kept on going. I tried to have one accelerated boost but it quite didn’t give anything. I still had hundreds of meters of distance towards the cutted off tunnel from Lycarian. When I gazed around me, I soon noticed that taking cover from the tunnel wouldn't help that much, the tunnel still had almost one kilometer distance from any base installment. It was completely hopeless. I felt an very sharp strike on my right elbow. I noticed sharp pieces coming off from my suit. That one must have been a bit larger than the ordinary rocks. I couldn't feel my right hand. I took off my emergency propulsion and stopped the meaningless fight. I began to just float in the space. It could've felt like bliss without the constant impacts on my suit. My suit HUD was starting to warn me about low suit integrity. Not much longer until I would be set laid to rest. The view on my visor slowly turned into white. My brains barely reacted to it. But soon after I felt like I got struck on something heavy. I turned my head to right and I noticed that I was on the corridor of the tunnel. It was around 50 meters long. It seemed to be very damaged and slivers from the pipes on the supposedly ceiling were floating. I might have survived after all. I saw a dim blue light on my visor. My HUD flashed red but a bit too late for me to react. I instinctively tried to turn my suit to silent running mode but too late. I saw a figure about forty-meters off from me. I was being pointed with a gun. From the discord that I managed to hear from my suits audio stimulation I could hear a short burst of gunfire. I was being shot. I felt sharp pain on my chest and the glimpse from the gunfire from this figures weapon frozen to my HUD. I could see how I was floating further away from salvation. The pain was starting to get unbearable and my eyes felt heavy. I could feel all the muscles on my body to relax on a strange way. I felt the bliss on death. A one last word lingered on my mind before my thoughts froze for an eternity. "What a fool was I..."
Shattered Horizon Fanfiction brought to you by T.Laitakari aka Kitsunebi. I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to give feedback of any kind.