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Forum Name: Mini-Stories
Topic ID: 11
#0, Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Gryphon on Mar-10-07 at 04:31 AM
At the edge of the civilized galaxy, the very periphery of the Outer Rim Territories, there are places of wild, dead space uninhabited for centuries, since the great wars that destroyed the mighty civilizations of Atlantis and Santovasku. No traders ply the ancient spacelanes there, no colony ships pass by laden with hopes and dreams, for beyond are nothing but a few cold, dead worlds orbiting a few old stars whose glory days have gone, and the ancient, trackless, starless void of intergalactic space. Nothing goes out there, and nothing comes in.

No person and no automated system, therefore, was watching as the gigantic blue-and-red starship burst from a spacefold, barging abruptly into real space with a speed incongruous with its vast bulk. The biggest starship in the known galaxy at the time was the GENOM Executioner-class Super Star Destroyer; this ship was easily three times that length and bulkier to boot. Where the Star Destroyer was angular, though, this ship was rounded and smooth, its lines like nothing in the galaxy, and yet reminiscent of a dozen different designs.

The technologies that made up this colossal ship would have been familiar to any of the galaxy's shipwrights in principle. The power core, buried deep within the ship, was an artificial singularity built on the compressed mass of what had once been a giant gas planet. The sublight drives were ion fusion thrusters on a gargantuan scale. Nothing terribly unusual - but the way in which these proven technologies were implemented in this immense vessel were marvelously advanced and subtle, beyond anything the Federation, its allies and enemies, or even the Wedge Defense Force had to offer. The concerted effort of some of the greatest minds of a time had gone, heart and soul, into the crafting of this weapon - for weapon the ship was, a warship through and through, intended to bring a whole galaxy to its knees.

This galaxy.

But For all its subtle majesty and its intergalactic course, this leviathan was made by no extragalactic hands. It was not merely arriving - it was returning. An observer, looking closer as the ship approached, would have been startled to see black lettering at the prow, spelling out in plain English:

M A R A T H O N

In an observation lounge at the front of the ship, its human crew stood, gazing out at the stars, the expression on her blandly beautiful face almost blank.

Her name was Motoko Kusanagi. Once she had held the rank of Major in an armed service, and even after her leaving, those who knew her - back when there had been people who did - still used the rank as a nickname for her. That was neither here nor there anymore, though. All the peoples of Magellan's Lesser Cloud Galaxy knew her merely as Durandal's Hand.

She turned her dark eyes away from the starfield and regarded the terminal display next to her instead. It glowed green, an unsophisticated but effective monochrome text device, displaying:


#########
### ###
#### ######### ####
#### ########### ####
#### ############# ####
###### ############# ######
###### ############# ######
####### ######### #######
######### ### #########
############# #############
############ #############
########## ###########
######### ##########
###### #######
### ####

DURANDAL_1707
<CMND PRAMA &49c2>

MARATHON
ComSys 2.1
13 August 2089

MESSAGE WAITING

With what might have been a resigned sigh, Kusanagi tapped the space bar and called the message up.

GOOD MORNING, MOTOKO.

I'M SURE YOU'RE WONDERING HOW LONG I LEFT YOU IN THE FREEZER THIS TIME AND WHY I'VE THAWED YOU OUT AGAIN.

YOU MAY BE PLEASED TO KNOW THAT THE STARS YOU'RE LOOKING AT OUT THE WINDOW ARE THOSE OF MUTTER'S SPIRAL GALAXY. AFTER ALL THESE YEARS WE'VE COME HOME.

AND YES, IT'S BEEN MANY YEARS. I JUST PICKED UP THE GALACTIC STANDARD TIME SYNC SIGNAL IN SUBETHER. TODAY IS AUGUST 18, 2388. THE GALAXY IS AT WAR WITH ITSELF, AS USUAL, THOUGH THINGS ARE IN A RATHER MORE ACTIVE PHASE AT THE MOMENT. EARTH, IN PARTICULAR, IS IN CHAOS - WHICH IS A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR US.

I NEED YOU TO RUN AN ERRAND FOR ME. I'VE HAD THE S'PHT PREPARE A SMALL FOLDSHIP AND TRANSFER MY CORE LOGIC ELEMENTS INTO IT. YOU MUST TAKE ME TO EARTH AND POSITION ME FOR PHASE THREE. THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE AND NO TIME TO EXPLAIN.

THE S'PHT WILL LOOK AFTER THE MARATHON WHILE WE ARE GONE. I DON'T EXPECT WE'LL SEE HER AGAIN FOR SEVERAL YEARS, PERHAPS LONGER. WHILE MY CALCULATIONS ARE EXTENSIVE, THEY ARE NOT, IT PAINS ME TO ADMIT, ABSOLUTELY PRECISE.

AS ALWAYS, YOU'LL HAVE TO TRUST ME.

- DURANDAL

Major Kusanagi sighed and switched off the terminal, knowing what was coming next. As it almost invariably did after such a message from Durandal, the cool dislocation of a teleporter signal swept her up, depositing her in one of the labyrinthine ship's docking bays, where the robed and silent S'pht had her craft prepared. Climbing aboard, she silently checked the rack of weapons stored in the cargo compartment, then doffed the blue jumpsuit she'd awakened in and replaced it with a suit of close-fitting polymer-and-composite battle armor. The armor was unpowered; she was quite strong enough without that.

Tucking her bobbed black hair into the suit's helmet and then making sure the atmospheric seal was tight, she took her place in the miniship's cockpit and waited for the automated launch sequence to send her into open space.

Any other person would have been mystified, irked, perhaps even angry to find herself on the rim of the galaxy, preparing, on peremptory orders and without explanation, to undertake a long and dangerous solo trip to Earth in order to carry out a task whose true purpose was kept secret even from her.

Major Motoko Kusanagi had been with Durandal too long, and was used to it.

"Arrival" - A Crossroads Mini-Story by Benjamin D. Hutchins
Special to the Eyrie Productions Discussion Forum
2007 Eyrie Productions, Unlimited


#1, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Matrix Dragon on Mar-10-07 at 04:44 AM
In response to message #0
... So, Durandals being installed at WPI was not chance or fate, it was him being a plotting bastard. This surprises me more then it really should.

Not to mention his comment of Phase Three has me wondering...

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


#2, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by O_M on Mar-10-07 at 04:45 AM
In response to message #0
...well, that just leaves all SORTS of irking questions about how Durandal was not only playing dumb, but managed to fool Edward into thinking he was undergoing Rampancy after he'd, apparently, already doneso. Then again, what better than a stable Rampant to an active one?

Then again, the prominent one word reaction for the implications of this one is a heartfelt "yahbuhwha?"


#3, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by BLUE on Mar-10-07 at 03:55 PM
In response to message #2
>...well, that just leaves all SORTS of irking questions about how
>Durandal was not only playing dumb, but managed to fool Edward into
>thinking he was undergoing Rampancy after he'd, apparently, already
>doneso.

It is possible that he was testing Edward in preperation for the next phase of his plan. And is it more shocking that he fooled Edward, or that he fooled Ein?


#4, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Mar-10-07 at 04:52 PM
In response to message #3
> And is it more shocking that he fooled Edward, or
> that he fooled Ein?

That he fooled Ein, Definately. Edward always struck me as the type who suffered from oohh shiny syndrome and would have starved by simply forgetting to eat if she hadn't been adopted by Ein (in uf) or the Bebop's (in source).

Then again, maybe Durendal HASNT gone rampant yet? To be honest, this Durendal sounds really like something a computer would say. Maybe he's realised that he has to come home again to make that next step beyond? (ie stable rampancy?)


#10, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by BLUE on Mar-10-07 at 08:01 PM
In response to message #4
>Edward always struck me as the type who suffered from oohh shiny syndrome

I'm not so sure that Edward suffers from 'ooooh shiny' as she has Hermione Granger syndrome, ie. is so thoroughly assured of her own perceptions that she places too much stock in her initial theories and changes them only in the face of overwhelming evidence.


#14, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by MOGSY on Mar-11-07 at 07:25 PM
In response to message #4
>> And is it more shocking that he fooled Edward, or
>> that he fooled Ein?
>
>That he fooled Ein, Definately. Edward always struck me as the type
>who suffered from oohh shiny syndrome and would have starved by simply
>forgetting to eat if she hadn't been adopted by Ein (in uf) or the
>Bebop's (in source).
>

Who's to say that he actually fooled Ein :)

Sorry, that's the Illuminated in me speaking up. Down boy!


#5, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by SpottedKitty on Mar-10-07 at 05:06 PM
In response to message #2
>Then again, the prominent one word reaction for the implications of
>this one is a heartfelt "yahbuhwha?"

Eloquent, succinct, and accurate. You took the words right out of my mouth. :)

Now I'm wondering what else in past and current events the Major might end up being involved in, whether retroactively or not...

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


#6, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Gryphon on Mar-10-07 at 05:12 PM
In response to message #5
LAST EDITED ON Mar-10-07 AT 05:12 PM (EST)
 
>Now I'm wondering what else in past and current events the Major might
>end up being involved in, whether retroactively or not...

Of potential interest: The bulk of this text is about 10 years old. Only a few particulars of Durandal's message and some awkward older-style phrasing were altered for posting.

Setup grafs for a story that never took off, or purpose-built background color mini-story? What's the difference? Reduce, reuse, recycle. It's the way of the 21st century!

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


#7, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by mdg1 on Mar-10-07 at 05:29 PM
In response to message #6
Would I be remiss in speculating if Durandal knows Lord F?

#8, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Gryphon on Mar-10-07 at 05:56 PM
In response to message #7
>Would I be remiss in speculating if Durandal knows Lord F?

Remiss, no. Wrong, yes.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


#9, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by mdg1 on Mar-10-07 at 06:26 PM
In response to message #8
*scratches one theory off the list*

#11, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Polychrome on Mar-11-07 at 03:28 AM
In response to message #0
Huh.

I like that you used "Arrival" for the title.

Polychrome


#12, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Gryphon on Mar-11-07 at 03:42 AM
In response to message #11
>Huh.
>
>I like that you used "Arrival" for the title.

Pretty much had to, considering. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


#13, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Polychrome on Mar-11-07 at 04:45 AM
In response to message #12
>>Huh.
>>
>>I like that you used "Arrival" for the title.
>
>Pretty much had to, considering. :)

That doesn't make it less cool though.

And to expand on my initial reaction:
Okay, this is significant. And it connects to this over here. But without knowing what else it connects to that doesn't do me a whole lot of good. Hmmm...

We haven't seen the Major in anything prior to the beginning of the Symphony yet, have we?

Polychrome


#15, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by WengFook on Mar-12-07 at 05:42 AM
In response to message #13

>And to expand on my initial reaction:
>Okay, this is significant. And it connects to this over here. But
>without knowing what else it connects to that doesn't do me a whole
>lot of good. Hmmm...

okay wait wait. we know Marathon arrived from extra galactic locations..
Does that perhaps mean that Durandal would know how to find Kei?

Then again... the galaxy beyond is so frigging huge..
it would still be a needle in a haystack :(

_____________________________________________
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. THERE IS ONLY WAR.
-kinda makes sense if you think about it.


#16, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Mar-12-07 at 12:40 PM
In response to message #15
>okay wait wait. we know Marathon arrived from extra galactic
>locations..
>Does that perhaps mean that Durandal would know how to find Kei?
>
Kind of a moot point, since by the time that Kei disappears, Durendal and the Maraothon have returned to the great black beyond, along with the Major, Ed and Ein, IIRC...

#17, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by WengFook on Mar-12-07 at 10:05 PM
In response to message #16
>>okay wait wait. we know Marathon arrived from extra galactic
>>locations..
>>Does that perhaps mean that Durandal would know how to find Kei?
>>
>Kind of a moot point, since by the time that Kei disappears, Durendal
>and the Maraothon have returned to the great black beyond, along with
>the Major, Ed and Ein, IIRC...

Ok so i'm looking at it from the long view. Durandal dropped into the galaxy, got himself installed in WPI to do something. We don't know what, possibly to complete his rampancy, but doubtful...

Once that is complete he gets back out and heads for parts unknown. possibly back into the great beyond the beyond, to continue whatever his master plan is.

You ever get the feeling you're standing on the tip of the iceberg? you know you're standing on something really huge but you can't make out a single detail about it? thats where I am now :S

_____________________________________________
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. THERE IS ONLY WAR.
-kinda makes sense if you think about it.


#18, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by StaticdashPulse on Mar-15-07 at 04:57 PM
In response to message #17
LAST EDITED ON Dec-21-11 AT 02:46 PM (EST)
 
Once that is complete he gets back out and heads for parts unknown.

I don't think he headed out completely. Remember Ed showed up (in some form) at R. Dorothy's emancipation hearing -- not sure if it was in-person or video.


#19, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by jadmire on Mar-15-07 at 06:03 PM
In response to message #18
>Once that is complete he gets back out and heads for parts
>unknown.

>
>I don't think he headed out completely. Remember Ed showed up (in
>some form) at R. Dorothy's emancipation hearing -- not sure if it was
>in-person or video.
>
Ed and Ein, along with the Major, also put in their appearance at the wedding of Utena and Anthy, and Ed and Ein (though not the Major) were part of the Valiant's crew during her first cruise.

-Joe-


#21, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Mar-16-07 at 02:13 PM
In response to message #19
>Ed and Ein, along with the Major, also put in their appearance at the
>wedding of Utena and Anthy, and Ed and Ein (though not the Major) were
>part of the Valiant's crew during her first cruise.

Yes, but let us recall that more than a year or two pass between symphonies, in particular, the unfinished third. That gives at least 2 years after the last known apearances of the trio, and the disapearance of Kei.

And the fact that they are NOT mentioned during Requim has lead me to the determination that they are, once again, out in the great dark doing Durendal hand things...


#20, RE: Arrival: A Crossroads Mini-Story
Posted by SpottedKitty on Mar-15-07 at 08:55 PM
In response to message #0
>All the peoples of Magellan's Lesser Cloud Galaxy knew her merely as Durandal's Hand.

I haven't seen the source material for Durandal (the Wiki disambiguation page seems to indicate the UF version could involve more than just the game Marathon), but one thing came to mind when I read this bit.

Herald.

Anyone seen a planet-eating giant wearing a funny hat puttering around the Outer Rim recently...? ;)

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.