Genesis Scrolls Round 2: Genesis Horizon: Episode 1

Name/Pseudonym: {Kaladin}
Contact Info: { / @KaladinNFT}
Ethereum Wallet Address: {0xfb82f703DAce520bfB97Da631d454a66b8A40538}

{Genesis Horizon: Episode 1}

Cal cursed as another salvo of missiles from the pursuing marauders flew by his freighters starboard bow. This was the second time in three trips his ship was discovered and attacked by these cybernetic vagabonds, and this time was by far the worse. His crew managed to find and mine a whole belt of the red stuff before any other mining crews discovered it on their scans. This would go for a fortune back on the Citadel and clear him and his crew of any remaining debts they had. If they survived, that is, the marauder vessel used the belts to mask its approach and was able to land far too many missiles on its initial strike, several power systems were damaged and the freighter was already running at max storage capacity.
Cal’s navigational officer, Aurora, was at her station working diligently to avoid any more impacts to the ship. She maintained her focus, getting them back out to deep space and on a course back to neutral Citadel airspace where the marauders would be forced to cease fire. Cal, however, wasn’t sure they’d make it that far. Their speed suffered greatly with the cargo holds so full.
“Captain,” said a tall, scruffy haired man stepping through the bridge door.
“I hope you have good news for me, Kade.” Cal said, swiveling his command chair to face him. Kade was the ships engineer, he had been sent to investigate why the commands to reroute drill power to auxiliary thrusters was not going through.
“Uhh, well…” Kade said nervously, brushing a loose strand of hair to the side of his head, “that initial hit we took, it knocked out a pair of relays out so we can’t reroute the power from the drills to the engines like we planned.”
Kade opened his mouth to continue but Cal spoke first; “And we’re carrying WAY too much Red to get any sort of speed out of our thrusters.”
Kade nodded.
Cal swiveled his seat back. “Aurora, how far are we from Citadel airspace?”
She looked up from her data panels briefly, then snapped her vision back and pulled her joystick to the left, narrowly dodging another round of marauder munitions.
“We’re too far,” she said, “this thing already handles like a casino barge without all of this extra weight, and it won’t be long until they get frustrated and just throw everything they got at us. Maybe our engineer should, oh I don’t know, fix the problem?”
“Or maybe our navigator should’ve seen the massive marauder vessel coming? Seriously, how does a ship that size sneak up on us?” Kade shot back.
“Enough” Cal said, turning to Kade, “Can the damage be fixed?”
“No, well, at least not while the reactor is running.” He took a deep breath and continued “You see, its one of the first relays from the reactor, meaning there’s no bypass. Even if I wanted to electrocute myself to death and bridge the connection while its hot, I couldn’t possibly align all three phases simultaneously. It’d fry the rest of the ship.”
This news frustrated Cal but there was nothing that could be done about it now but come up with a solution. So, they’d need to completely shut down the ship while being pursued by marauders who would almost certainly just board the ship as soon as they saw the energy signatures dissipate? Yes, absolutely, no problem!
There needed to be a way to stall the marauders from doing so while Kade made the repairs, but how? Factoring in Kade’s skill level, Cal figured it’d most likely take at least a couple of minutes to complete, which is also about how much time it would take the marauders calculate and execute their maneuver to dock and board the ship. They could jettison their cargo and most likely escape with their lives, but that’d leave their debt unpaid at the Citadel…and more than likely also result in maiming and/or death. Cal would rather this ore turn to space dust then let the ‘rauder scum have it, but he couldn’t not take his crews lives into account either. He closed his eyes, he had to think of something…he may have nothing but Kade and Aurora had families…lives…something to get back to on the Citadel. He opened his eyes…
“Ok, here’s what we’re going to do…”

Marauder Captain Jax Ervo kicked his feet up on the dash of his cruiser as it pursued a pathetic looking, half disabled mining vessel attempting to limp back into Citadel space. He was pleased when this sad excuse of a ship appeared on his deep space scans all alone with a belly full of ore, just how marauders liked ‘em.
Jax was surrounded by his crew, but marauder bridges worked a little differently than your typical mining vessel. Marauders left part of humanity behind. Implementing advanced cybernetics and implants into their bodies and skeletal structure. Crew members were linked by a system they simply called “The Wire”. There were ports at each crew station where members would pull a thin wire from behind their ear and “jack in” to the ships comm ports. This created a living neural network within the ship where vocal commands were not required between crewmates and commands could be sent and received at staggering rates.
Jax analyzed the integrity of the freighters hull, sent another command through the wire, and his weapons officer unleashed another round of missiles. To his frustration, the freighter dodged once again. The pilot was clearly worth their weight in ore, but that wouldn’t matter much longer. Jax requested the missile salvo be reloaded, he’d give the cheap munitions one more shot at disabling the limping bucket of bolts, after that he’d resort to ripping it apart with a warhead if he had to. Either way he was getting some of that ore.
His weapons officer indicated that his next round of missiles were ready to fire, Jax promptly sent firing permissions and the bridges silence was broken by the hum and whoosh of missiles being fired: pure serenity for a marauder. This time, the pilot of the freighter adjusted incorrectly and to Jax’ pleasure a portion of the rockets made direct contact to the starboard side. The explosion was magnificent and satisfying. Immediate celebrations were felt across the wire as the freighters thrusters and power systems went completely dark. This was great news for the marauders, they could now dock with the vessel and recover ALL of the ore with no losses to the vacuum of space. A clean sweep. One thing that frustrated Jax was that the explosion seemed to have sent the freighter into some sort of high velocity roll. It wasn’t that big of a deal, they’d just need to calculate and match its velocity, that way they could dock without ripping both ships apart. A slight annoyance as this would take time, but a small price to pay for that cargo hold brimming with ore. They’d be heroes at the !warp lounge tonight, without a doubt. Jax ordered his pilot to calculate and match the freighters intense spin, once the two ships were spinning at the same velocity, safe docking could commence. The calculations would need to be precise, but this wouldn’t be a problem for an experienced marauder pilot with half a head full of cybernetics. Minutes seemed to tick by and Jax grew more frustrated, he reached out and prodded for an update from his pilot who indicated he was nearly done with his adjustments, Jax could see this as the freighter appeared to be spinning less, but that just meant they were spinning too but getting closer to matching its speed. Moments later, the freighter appeared to stop spinning. Jax smiled and initiated the docking sequence, the gap between the two ships began to close and the docking array extended.
10 meters.
8 meters.
6 meters.
Suddenly the freighter roared to life, its engines burning brighter and hotter than they had before. Jax shielded his eyes and attempted to retract the docking array, but it was too late, the freighter was barely visible on his display and well on its way to free Citadel space. Jax ripped his wire from the ship and slammed his fist onto his display panel. The realization striking him as hard as he struck the console. That damned pilot hadn’t miscalculated at all, without the impact from the missile barrage that freighter could have never executed such a roll, which in turn, bought them time…to repair. The. Damned. Ship.
Jax smashed his fist into the display unit again, this time sending sparks and shards of glass flying. He stood, took one angry glance at his crew members and, as usual, left the bridge without a word.

“Jax Ervo–” said Flam Sanct in his unusually deep and booming voice. The voices of Marauders were typically low and grumbling, an unexpected result of generations of seldomly used vocal cords after the implementation of the wire. This, however, never seemed to be an issue for Flam. He was the Brig Chief, leader of all marauders and commanding officer of the flagship battle station known as “The Brig”, when he spoke, he spoke with power and authority.
“—You stand accused, by your crewmates—” he paused and smirked behind his skull mask, noticing Jax’s disapproving glance toward his crew, who refused to meet his gaze “—former crewmates I suspect, of holding back your vessels weapons systems and allowing a mining vessel to escape with a sizable amount of ore.”
Jax opened his mouth to speak but Flam slammed the talon of his poleaxe into the floor beside him, letting Jax know it was not yet time for him to speak. A hooded advisor approached Flam and handed him a datapad, bowing as he retreated into the corner of the room among a crowd of other tribunal spectators.
Jax knew the information on that datapad would be the cargo manifest that was registered and recorded at the Citadel when the mining vessel returned and logged its earnings. The Citadel was organized and efficient in the most annoying of ways and this manifest would tell Flam exactly how much ore his marauders missed out on due to Jax’s presumed blunder. Judging by the miner’s initial sluggish maneuverability, Jax assumed it was hauling quite a substantial load.
“Fifteen tons of Red, five tons of Blue,” Flam spat, tossing the datapad onto the floor as the crowd around him gasped. Those numbers hit Jax like an industrial freighter but despite the blow, he stood tall. If Flam saw any weakness in him, he’d pick him apart. Flam stood and approached Jax, keeping his elegant but brutal poleaxe at his side, slamming its rear into the floor with each step. He didn’t stop until they were face to face, or as close as face to face could be. Jax often stood two feet taller than his brethren, but Flam was taller yet and imposed his intimidating presence on anyone he approached in this manner. The mountain of a man held his gaze, only his eyes were visible behind his mask, but the red hue of the room’s lighting only served to further extract the rage from them.
“How do you plead Jax Ervo, Captain of the Oathbringer, Son of Dalath, Pride of Arion 7?”
Jax raised his chin and Flam moved closer, putting his mouth to Jax’s ear “If it weren’t for your father, I’d gut you here and now. One of these days your luck will run out and I’ll be there to enjoy it.”
“Not guilty,” Jax said. Unwavering.
Flam nodded, expecting this reply, “Not…Guilty, very well. Accusers, step forward.”
The three accusers, Jax’s crew, stepped forward and stood in a line facing him. Only his first officer, Arne, made eye contact with him. Body language made it clear that Jolk and Blyne did not share his enthusiasm. Arne was young, strong, and ambitious, and had Jax suspected for some time that he had his eyes on the captain’s chair, he was clearly looking for the right opportunity and chose the one he thought had the most merit. Unfortunately for him, this was not that opportunity. Jax knew as soon as he declared his innocence, there was only one way out of this tribunal.
Flam returned to his throne and sat amongst his officers, tapping his poleaxe once more, causing the roof of the room to blossom open exposing windows leading to the stars outside.
“Settle your grievance here and now in the eyes of the Goddess. Only she knows who speaks true and will guide his blade. By her grace, we will have justice,” Flam announced, leaning back into his throne. Immediately, one of his officers leaned into his ear.
“Sir, this isn’t right. It’s three against one. Surely the Goddess would not approve of…” Flam dismissed him with a wave of his hand.
“Be calm, Lucious, for surely the Goddess knows I have just sentenced these three men to death.”

Earth’s Orbit, 150 years ago:

The transport shuttle’s hull and panels shuttered and rattled as the ship finished its ascent from what remained of the Earth’s atmosphere. The muttered conversations of several hundred passengers onboard filled the cabin, which wasn’t all that different from a modern airline cabin aside from additional reinforcements and upgrades. Justim gripped the armrests until the shaking subsided, he never did like flying let alone flying into space…but when he and his wife’s survival depended on it he’d made the exception without a second thought. His wife, Luna, sat beside him with one hand on her pregnant belly and the other on his arm in an attempt to calm his nerves. Her hand was cold as always, but it was welcome and comforting to him. The transport was filled to the brim with citizens of Earth, now labeled “Genesis Citizens”, these people were handpicked by a government entity based on skill and occupation, labor that was deemed essential to build and develop a new homeworld for humanity.
The ship’s intercom buzzed and the pilots voice came through, “We’ve now left Earth’s atmosphere, we will be leveling off shortly and you’ll be able to see the Earth off the port side of the ship and of course, off the starboard side you’ll catch a first glimpse of your new home for the next couple hundred years, humanities crown achievement; The Citadel. Please remain seated and we’ll have you onboard for processing in about thirty minutes.”
After racking his brain trying to recall what port and starboard meant, Justim had determined they were portside. He had no interest in sliding open their window cover but Luna handed him a vomit bag and smiled gently, this indicated she expected him to open it for her to see. She was the brave one of the two, he’d known that since the day they met and that’s why she was the best partner he could ask for. He was brilliant but lacked confidence, and in his eyes she was confident and lacked NOTHING.
“Fine,” he said, smiling, “but as soon as that baby is out, he’s assuming command and I’m sure he’ll be taking my side.”
She cocked an eyebrow at that, “Is that so? We’ve been bonding for nearly eight months, I’d say I have quite the headstart on you.”
In response, Justim leaned over and spoke near her stomach, “resist her influence, I’ll be the one giving you ice cream after 9pm.”
Luna laughed and smacked his arm, “open the damn window, I want to see.”
He smirked and did as she instructed, sliding up the window cover to reveal cold, black space and the Earth outside, his phobias left him as quickly as they came as he was immediately flooded with emotion. He knew it was bad, they had just come from there after all…but the Earth looked much worse from above than he anticipated. It was no longer the vibrant planet he’d known from the pictures and recordings from space when growing up. The oceans seemed less blue, black columns of smoke plumed into the atmosphere where towering and majestic white clouds once resided, lush grasslands and forests were now ablaze, glowing orange and appearing charred even from this distance. It looked like Justim’s best interpretation of hell. He looked over to his wife, he could see the earlier playfulness had left her, replaced only with sorrow that he could see welling in her eyes as she tightened her grip on his arm. Their home truly was ruined, everyone they left behind would die, they really were leaving, this was actually happening…
He put his hand over hers and gave her the best smile he could muster, “Everything’s going to be ok, as long as we have each other, as long as we’re all together…You, me, and Cal.”

Present day: The Citadel, Culture Deck: The Dizzy Drill

Cal sat at the bar alone, staring blankly into his cup as he swished the last bit of scotch around the base of the glass. They’d been reckless today and it nearly cost them everything, including their lives. He’d have to take extra measures to ensure his crew weren’t put in danger like that again. The money they’d earned from the day’s haul would help him achieve that goal. He’d sent Aurora off to scout new ships for a potential purchase, she had a good eye for that kind of thing. Kade was undoubtedly at a different bar telling his story to anyone who’d hear it. His prowess in engineering was only surpassed by his ability to embellish a good story. Cal knew without a doubt that wherever he was, the size and amount of marauder ships pursuing them today was, at minimum, multiplied by three. He downed the remainder of his drink and signaled the bartender for another as he heard the metallic screech of someone loudy dragging out the barstool beside him.
“You really do find the best shitholes, don’t you?” Aurora said. She caught a glare from the bartender, causing her to wince and add, “Err, no offense.”
“Making an entrance, as always,” Cal smirked, pointing at his glass and then to Aurora, informing the bartender to pour one for her as well. Despite her earlier comment, the bartender obliged. Cal would leave a good enough tip for him to forget that part ever happened. The bar was a shithole, but it was quiet, unlike Club Discord with their ear-blistering music and overcrowded bar. Cal much preferred this setting to that sort of thing.”
“What do you got for me?” he asked, eyeing the datapad she set down on the bartop. Aurora downed her entire drink and gestured for another, Cal cocked an eyebrow at her.
“What? We almost died today…Anyway, the last auction was just a few days ago so we have plenty of people trying to offload their old ships. Out of about three hundred listed, this one looks real promising.” She tapped the screen of the pad, activating the built-in holo projector. A floating, blue image of a ship appeared above the pad with statistics and personal notes made by Aurora listed beside it.
Cal was impressed, “The hull is hypersteel, making it strong and light. This is complemented by the tier-three thrusters making it highly maneuverable as well.” He stroked his short beard, “mining lasers aren’t half bad either and have an analog backup. This is good Auri, this is real good. I only have one question though, who would sell a ship like this?”
“Well…,” she replied, “that’s the catch, it’s uh…it’s Jimmy.”
Cal looked at her skeptically, “Sorry, there’s probably five thousand Jimmy’s on the Citadel. You’ll excuse me if I don’t know who that is.”
“Mayhem,” she said, swiping a stray strand of hair from her face, “Jimmy Mayhem.”
Cal sat back against the rear brace of his stool, “The flip4ships guy?”
“Yeah…the flip4ships guy…”
“I’ll be damned, that commercial is stuck in my head to this day,” Cal said, “I can’t say I trust the guy, I mean…that voice…he could sell ore to an asteroid.”
“Don’t trust a guy because of his voice? You sound jealous,” Aurora quipped.
Cal laughed, “No, Dad just always said “If it’s too good to be true, it is”.”
Aurora finished yet another drink and replied, “Sounds cynical…” she then saw an opportunity and immediately pivoted, “you’ve never talked about your family before.” Her comment was followed by what felt like an eternity of silence and she feared she’d pressed too hard, but Cal broke the silence.
“You guys are all the family I’ve got.”

Jax stood and appraised his opponents, the trio seemed to have found their courage as they retrieved weapons from the cage walls and immediately fanned out to surround him. He took a step back to buy himself some time, he’d noticed the heavy metal shackles around his wrists had not clicked open yet and immediately knew Flam was toying with him. To Jax’s surprise, Blyne rushed toward him first, the edges of his great-axe glowed a fiery orange as he activated its heat core. Noticing his shackles still in place, the man rushed Jax and brought his axe down in a heavy overhead arc, Jax parried with the bridge of his shackles and rammed his head into his face. Finally, the red light on the shackle locking mechanism flicked to green and they clicked open. Before the artificial gravity could pull the shackles to the floor, Jax grabbed one end of them and turned as Jolk rushed him from behind with a spear. Jax swung hard as he spun out of the spears path and his shackles made direct contact with the attacker’s jaw, sending blood and teeth flying into the crowd. The crowd gasped as Jolk collapsed to the floor, grasping at his mangled jaw. Jax quickly relieved him of his spear and rammed it through Blyne’s gut as he finished recovering and closed the distance to take another wild slash at Jax. He gasped as the spear drove deep until the spearhead and a portion of the shaft protruded from his back. Jax scanned the arena floor and found Arne, who had cowardly allowed his crewmates to fend for themselves after leading them to their doom. Jax casually stepped past Blyne, never breaking eye contact with Arne while absently grabbing the spear and yanking it fully through the man’s body. For a moment, Arne wore his panic on his face like warpaint, but attempted to shake it off and fell into his battle stance.
Jax leveled his bloodied spear at Arne, “I am sorry for this path you’ve chosen,” he said in his low, grumbled voice. “Just know, I may be taking your life but it is not I who has killed you.”
Arne spat, “do not speak riddles to me, I am not dead yet.”
Jax shook his head, “You were dead the moment you called this tribunal. You were just too much a fool to see it. But it is too late to turn back now, the Goddess exchanges blood for truth, and it will not be mine.”
“Enough with your nonsense,” Arne said, letting out a battle cry and breaking out into a full charge at Jax.
Without hesitation, Jax hefted the spear above his shoulder and threw it at a velocity that did not seem humanly possible. For a brief moment Arne saw the projectile coming, but by the time he could process the need to dodge it was too late. The spear ripped through his chest and emerged from his back with no visible change in momentum. It continued its path through the steel slats of the arena before eventually wedging itself into the stairwell leading up to Flam Sanct’s throne. The floor began to hiss and smoke rose into the air as the spears superheated tip began to melt the floor around it.
Flam gazed down at the spear from his throne, an assistant raced to retrieve the weapon but he waved them off and pulled it from the floor himself. He inspected the blood red spear and looked to Jax, who was watching him carefully as he paced back and forth like a caged predator. Flam signaled the arena operator to lower the cage and approached Jax, who begrudgingly knelt before him.
“The Goddess has shown this man her undeniable favor,” Flam Sanct boomed, “the results of this display are a testament to her wisdom.” Jax still knelt, eyes aimed at the floor. Flam reached out with the tip of the spear and used it to raise Jax’s chin to him.
“Rise now,” he said, “Jax, The Red Spear.”

I hereby waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with respect to this work to the extent possible under the law.


jaw drops wow wow wow

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Thanks so much and Thanks for reading!