Snuggle Nook

In to the future

Futuristic Robus

Mephisto’ Kryten was born on the planet Finovgorod. As a young child, as with the ancient tradition of Keltoi-Norsemen, his father bade him stand alone ‘gainst a charging sangliyay. A ferocious tusked wilder-beast that roamed the frozen, still, snow-capped mountains of Finovgor’. At the tender age of ten, the young boy Mephistopheles showed no fear in the presence of the Eaorldomen, but felt very, very afraid. Turning terror in to courage, fright in to fearlessness, the boy of only just double-figures took his mortifying rite of passage – to become a man, a young fang.

His father – Kevian Kryten – had noted in his only son a lack of warrior-prowess. In its place, was his mothers soft sensibilities and spiritual side. Thinking something lacking in Mephisto’s heart, passion for the hunt, Kevian took the boy to see the Seer, the high-priest Edred Thorsson. Edred the master Rune-smith told the worried father that a mutation in the gene-seed had ever skipped a generation. T’was the Kryten clan destiny to be both blessed, and cursed, with dark visions.

While out hunting for fish, Mephistopheles encountered a mighty Kraken, slaying the gorgon with much pride, honour, and satisfying his family honour through doing so. In the following formative years Mephistopheles trained to be a vēnātor rāvusor before being apprenticed to the Rune-master Thorsson. The Lupīnus Chapter of the Star Soldiers were posted far and wide, and Mephistopheles served a tough decade fighting his own inner daemons, those of the void, and many a foe: ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ troopers transgressing to lawless heretics, incursions against primitive worlds infested with fierce creatures, and battles ’gainst fearsome greekskins, armed and dangerous. Eventually the watchful eye of the imperātor hand-picked Mephistopheles to join the Occīsus Excubiae.

On the planet Illioch he arrived to begin his inauguration along with Zeriul, a member of the Chapter: the Obsidian Spectres. The two recruits were sent deep beneath the spiral city, to observe a xenomorph named only as ‘Species 659’ down in violet zone. The lifthrust descent was fast, industrial portal opened with the sound of scraping steel, grating and wire mesh clad the corridors’ sides. The two proceeded with caution. Μephistopheles lent Zeriul his blast-pistol, the Techno-Marīnus spied a terminal to access. Requiring genetic authorisation, the Techno-Marīnus was nearly shocked with thousands of volts as his hand drew back from the computereader. Trying another method, Zeriul hacked in to the system, managing to access research files and the camerarray.

Zerial observed the adjacent prison cell after briefly gathering information on two files regarding xenomorphs. He could see no-one in the empty cell. After switching to different filters, infa-red, ultra-violet, thermal, et cetera. Then he caught a glimpse of a terrible beast, as soon as he had spied it, t’was gone. Mephistopheles pointed his blasterifle against the plastiglass cell window, lest it threaten them. As Zeriul the Techno-Marīnus scanned through the various frequencies, he would occasionally catch a brief glimpse of it again, until it disappeared. The Star Soldier of the Obsidian Spectres (that is, the Techno-Marīnus: Zeriul) suggested the pair should split up, and patrol the area. Mephistopheles replied “Nay, this is not a good idea. We are but two marīnus and this area is probably teeming with xenomorphs.” After some deliberation, the two agreed to compromise. Mephistopheles took the first patrol, leaving Zerial to continue scanning various frequencies, for signs of hostile alien life forms.

Wishing to remain as quiet as possible, Mephistopheles tried to silence the growling suit of armour that had been granted to him in the initiation, while joining the Occīsus Excubiae in solemnity. The defiant living armour gave a low sinister growl. By force of his psychic will, Mephistopheles tried again. The armour howled with renewed vigour. Annoyed now, Mephistopheles began removing his regimental adornments from the suit of powered protective suit. Beginning with his teutonicross, a badge of honour won by single-handedly besting a kraken, back on Finovgor’. The suit was not at all content, and fought Mephistopheles with his mind.

Meanwhile, Zerial wrote a program to log any successful attempts to locate the correct frequency, that he might spy on the xenomorph. He bade the computerminal to relay any successes back to his communications relay pad. Zeriul also tried to manipulate the sentry guns, without any success. As this was happening, Mephistopheles was further in to the complex, stowing away all other regimental adornments to his armour – furs, teeth, all except his pelt. The armour fought him tooth and nail, mentally. Suddenly, a flash of pain brought Mephistopheles back to reality. By his leg was a small xenomorph, trying to bite through his protective suit with some success. Mephistopheles brought his psychic sword down upon the things head, which exploded in flames.

Taking the only charred remain of the creatures carapace, he picked it up, and attached the trophy where once lay a large tusk. The living suit seemed to approve, and when the vēnātor lupus had put his helm back on, flashing spectrums of light appeared on the vidisplay, movement, more xenomorphs were closing in, fast, on his location. Mephistopheles then re-attached the teutonicross badge from the kraken kill. He radioed in, telling Zeriul to come to his position, for he was heading back to the computerminal. Sure enough, the Star Soldiers were back in formation. Then, an almighty crash sounded as the door between them had some invisible creature attempting to liberate itself from the prison cell. The cell door would not last much longer. To make matters worse, a swarm of smaller xenomorphs were closing in…

Between the two Marīnus lay an angry invisible beast, nearly free from its incarceration, as another huge crashing sound matched a massive lump appearing in the reinforced cell door. The swarm had arrived, Zeriul let-rip with his twin burst-fire pistols. Two of the tiny xenomorphs exploded in flames as the shells connected, finding there intended targets. Mephistopheles hacked at the swarm with his psychic sword, slicing another in flame. The xenomorphs retaliated, spraying acidic liquid over Mephistopheles’ helm, he tried to use his psychic senses to seek out his enemies. This had no success, so he took his helm off.

T’was then, that the invisible xenomorph escaped. It swiped at Mephistopheles, who retaliated with his psychic sword. The crackling energy of the blade met a hardened limb, the xenomorph parried the strike with ease. Mephistopheles dashed past the alien, heading for the lift. Across the communicator, command said that the lifturbo-drop was heading down. More shots rang out as Zeriul suppressed the xenomorphs. “Come on brother!” shouted Mephistopheles across the comm’-net. His keen lupusenses sensed smoke: fire. A roaring crescendo of the lifturbo could be heard. “Get back here and out of the way! I’m about to try and call the avenging angel, to purify these abominable monstrosities.” Zeriul reluctantly did so, squeezing off a few more bursts of his blast-pistols, which went wide of the mark.

Mephistopheles focused, deep in meditation, stirring energy of the void, chanting litany in an attempt to summon the avenging angel…

“Sint mihi dei Acherontis propitii! Valeat numen triplex Yawey! Ignei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princeps Pan-faunus, inferni ardentis monarcha, et Demogorgon, propitiamus vos, ut appareat et surgat Mephistopheles, quod tumeraris: per Yawey, Gehennam, et consecratam aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipse nunc surgat nobis dicatus Mephistopheles!"

Something had gone awry… His usual darkened flame lit in the void-space and his mind turned to tearing the fabric of astral space. A portal was opened in the swirling eye of random stars, dæmons tormented the Rune-smith, horrific faces terrified the lupīnus vēnātor. A sea of dæmonic beasts plagued the psychics mind. The avenging angel appeared yet only ethereally, having no effect on the oncoming swarm. The two Marīnus entered the lifturbo upon its crashing arrival. Claws and spores struck out at the Star Soldiers, who were only just able to slam shut the door, and ascend to the upper level. A huge explosion sounded where they had just been.

The debriefing did not go so well, as Zeriul defied orders hacking in to the computerminal. Mephistopheles tried to justify his own advice against the action, yet defended his comrades course. The two Marīnus were dressed down, but told that they passed their first test. The two were told they would be considered for a command position some time in the future. They were given the use of a battle-frigate, complete with dropship, a land-rover tank, and introduced to a third-eye psychic navigator teamember. The next mission: Planet Marus.

Meanwhile … on another, distant planet, somewhere on the outer edge of the cosmos; the Chapter of the lupīnus vēnātor dropped down, descended upon its fecundity. T’was a planet known as L.V.426, named after the species of xenomorph that was known to inhabit the sphere: the xoats. These creatures, the very same that lay prisoner within the bowls of Illioch. A fledgling tribe also climbed the trees of this planet: the Wild-Elfæn Folk of the Forest. Staying to the tree-tops, and being silently watchful of the native species on L.V. 426, the two cultures had lived in relative harmony, ignorance on the part of the gene-brood tyrasaurs, and careful observation by the Wild-Fæ.

Now that the Marīnus lupīnus vēnātor had landed, was a grave concern for species L.V.426 and the Wild-Elfæn Folk alike. A Way-Watcher and a Spell-Singer envoy were sent to communicate with the hive-mind patriarch – both species having forseen their inevitable downfall. Both the alien hive-mind and the normally peaceful tribe of the Elfæn Folk took the only course of action possible for their collective survival. Drawing on an ancient alliance, that betwixt xoats and wood-elves, meant that this coalition was one that had withstood the test of time. Deep rooted harmony had existed once, many moons ago, before the xoats had turned to the dark-side, become more insidious, incongruous, than once they had been, millenia ago, on the olde worlde.

This union of xoats and forest folk had another victory on the planet of Pandora. The distant relatives of the forest people and that of the Na’vi’hœ. Another attempt had been made to annex and exploit the mineral obtanium from planet Pandora. The news of which had travelled throughout the stars, the legendary turuk’maktœh, last shadow-rider [Jacob Suhlee] inspired the xoats and forest people that a victory could be won, against the seemingly invincible forces of humanity.

In the months that followed, preparations were made for the lupīnus vēnātor to guard other regular soldiers of the ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ who, in turn, were to protect the civilian contractors: miners, engineers, and scientists. Huge obtanium deposits were found below the planets surface, penciled-in for exploitation by the ΙΜΡΕЯΙVΜ. Both Carnivœx seers and Elfæn warlocks had foreseen the planets’ plight. Immediate action needed to be taken lest the planets people and resources be violated by mans insatiable greed, need to conquor, over all other forms of life.

The fact that their were many more Wild-Elf kin than xenomorphs meant that – for most part – species L.V.426’s feral-nature could be tamed, in accordance with the Patriarchs’ wishes. However, this proved to be a risky engagement because the xenomorphs’ reversion to instinct, the beast within them, may not be always tamed by the hive-minds will. The difficulty would be to keep the hive-mind close to one another, lest the id be let loose, the rage of instability wrecking havoc over the battle-field. The forest folk would defend them from the relative sanctuary of the trees and from the skies. Wild-riders on giant-eagles, massive hawks, descending from the heavens.

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Maxen

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