Disclaimer: I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to apply this story to anything. Video game, flat out novel, I dunno yet. It's just an idea I had in my mind for a while so please bear with me as I share this decade old idea. P.S. There's also some pretty graphic things going on in my cesspool of a mind, so don't be surprised if something is a bit on the explicit end. Enjoy! ============================================== Prologue Year 2775. The Roman Empire has risen again and has conquered every inch of the globe. They still desire expansion and thus have begun looking toward space. They have built a structure within the orbit of Earth called the Infinity Band, the Empire's "home away from home" and it's forward operations base for missions to the rest of the solar system and beyond. Life is serene on the Infinity Band and rumor has it that the secret to life, the universe and everything can be seen if one passes directly over the space station and looks down. However, that portion of the Infinity Band is off limits to anyone but the Emperor himself. As life moves outward from Earth, the planet itself is stuck in a suburban nightmare. Houses are organized into tightly-knit ghettos and many of these complexes war with each other over multiple issues - a gang war between cities. Rome, the Empire's capital, is no different but is known to be the safest of these cities because of it's proximity to the Imperial palace. Most people want to escape Earth but are helpless without a Crucible, a transparent, turquoise cube that can launch an EMP to drop Earth's Imperial-owned planetwide shields for a short time before the emergency shields kick in. Those who found a Crucible have all but failed and died on their attempts. Crucible's are rare to come by on Earth. Productivity in the ghettos are low and minimal at best to tend for the peoples' essential needs. Large factories and companies are focused on military manufacturing to maintain order in the Empire. Crucibles are also very expensive to construct and transport with the necessary repellants; they are surrounded by a radioactive substance that requires multiple repellants to transport safely. Because of their rarity, it would only be natural that many people would want one. One such organization claims to actually have one: CHAOS. CHAOS is an underground mercenary organization that resents the Imperial sovereignty and plans to break the shield that surrounds Earth and liberate the planet's inhabitants from their unbearable cesspool. The group is led by five such mercenary veterans, only known by their callsigns: Calypso, Helios, Ares, Ophelia, and Syphon. Together they share power in the organization which has become more or less a drug cartel; the members of CHAOS have split into separate factions, each with their own culture and goals. In addition, the leadership's claim to a Crucible is falsified, a ruse to instill hope in the minds of the members the organization and Earth. Time is running out for CHAOS, but two new members, Cyrus Valens and Livia Ulixes, show new promise for the leadership. A man's misfortune and a woman's insanity are all that the group - and possibly the world - can cling onto for hope. ============================================== Chapter 1: Operation Saving Grace --August 23, 2775----CHAOS entry OP #387-- == SAVING GRACE == -- Members: ---- Helios ---- Cyrus ---- Livia -- -- Status: CLASSIFIED -- == RECORDING BEGIN == (Helios): How much longer on that hack, Cyrus? (Cyrus): Almost got it. Give me another 30 seconds. (Helios): I don't think we have 30 seconds. I can already see the damn raid squads pulling up down there. (Livia): I see 'em too. *chuckle* Should be fun. *Confirmation beep* (Cyrus): That's it. We're in. (Helios): Great! Get it out of there, quick! Hold on... *Grunts of effort* *Latch bursts open* (Helios): Agh! plops! Try opening that thing BEFORE we get our masks on! *sigh* You got it? (Cyrus): Yeah, got i- wait, what the hell, Livia!? *Grunts of effort, followed by two blasts and screams of pain* (Livia): Sorry boys, but this minx has more use of this Crucible then any of you combined. Who knows? It may even kill all of you. Now THAT should be fun to watch, hehehe... ah.... Ciao! (Helios): Livia! Goddamn it! *Violent banging on door* (Raid Member): Open up! We're giving you 60 seconds to open up and surrender yourselves. You are surrounded! (Cyrus): We gotta go after her! Nrgg... That's the only one they got! (Helios): Yeah I know. Uhh... Think you can survive a window jump with that shell in your gut? (Cyrus): What!? (Helios): I'll take that as a yes. == END OF RECORDING == The recording ended abruptly. Calypso's finger rested firmly on the stop button, eyes fixed on Helios. "How about THAT? You wanna explain all that to me, or do I have to talk to Cyrus about this now?" Helios sat in silence, arms crossed and face lowered. "We couldn't have known about her intentions. Besides, who else wou-" "That's enough!" More silence. "I've heard enough of this garbage! How many times do I have to remind you that YOU were the one who brought them in? Those words came out of YOUR mouth, Helios: 'Trust me, they can get the job done', remember that? You said that, right? You brought along a ticking time bomb, and you endangered the life of a new recruit. Is that the kind of message you want to spread to our organization? And Livia! You knew that Livia was a volatile recruit, yet you brought her along for this op! Not even a month into their recruitment and that psychopath has made off with a fluffing CRUCIBLE!!" Helios straightened up. "Then we know it's in good hands." "Get out of my office. NOW. We'll talk about this with the others later." Helios stood and walked out, Calypso slamming the door behind him. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes and took a deep breath. He spotted Cyrus sitting hunched over at the Med Bay looking at him menacingly. Helios rose the cigarette slightly and smirked, offering it to him, but Cyrus' expression remained firm. Helios made his way down to the Med Bay, cigarette lit. "You know nobody is going to look at you in the same light again, right?" Cyrus said looking straight on as his side was being patched up by a service bot. "Yeah..." Helios took another drag, this one longer then the others. "But at least we found a Crucible and know who it's with. That now makes Livia the most wanted woman in the entire order." "She's insane... You know, my father once told me: 'If you give a psychopath a toy pistol, don't expect a blank, expect a hydrogen bomb.' Now, Livia's turned that hydrogen bomb into something that maybe even the emperor can't stop. You think a bunch of disorganized mercenaries are going to stop her?" Helios turned to Cyrus. "Then what about that eyepiece of yours?" Silence. "You say you keep seeing visions in that thing, messages from the gods was it? Why not ask them for help?" "I don't control them. It's not a fluffing vidcall, alright? All I hear and see are their messages and I can't make any sense of them. It's all divine jargon to me." Helios let out a laugh. "Ahh... cmon now Cyrus, you and I both know that's bullplops; you know what they're saying. Even still, it's probably all that Kozaas going to your head. Drugs do some crazy things to you, you know. Stay in school and all?" "Shut up. There's more behind this eyepiece then your entire organization. It's best if you don't concern yourself with it any longer." "Ooh, big words from an average man. Look you're lucky I got you this gig, alright? I had to do some major persuasion with the leadership to get you in. Wanna know why I did that? Because I trust you. Unlike the others I still think you can make something of yourself." Cyrus let out a sigh as the service bot finished up. "Fine. So what are you suggesting we do?" Helios chuckled and took another drag. "Well, first we gotta get that spirit of yours up. I know a guy, goes by the name Germanicus. Big dude. He's in deep with the syndicates in Europe. Last week, he got a report of recent recruits to his portion of the network." "Yeah, that's all fun and games but what's the point?" Cyrus struggled to say as he got up, holding his side. Helios turned to him. "One of the names that came up was Ulpia Valens." == Chapter End == All I got so far but I plan on expanding this as much as humanly possible, because I love everything I've created here (as any writer does). Feel free to leave comments and other such responses!