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Old 2013-07-04, 04:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
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First Sergeant
 
Xenotech labs


This and other stories can be found on my PS2 fan fiction website here.

The story behind the birth of respawning technology on Auraxis has long been shrouded by the chaos that accompanied the Great War. However, the recent discovery of the ruins underneath Xenotech labs has given our Sovereignty Archive a much deeper insight into the actions of key figures who took part in these dramatic and world-changing events. One of the most important being the Luminary and hero of the Sovereignty, Dr Laor Foster.
Without his heroic deeds, the Vanu Sovereignty may not have been able to resist the Republic and Conglomerate assaults in the early days of the War. What follows is his account of Xenotech labs in the final months before the War began. May Vanu bring him peace.

Entry 1 – March 2nd 2844

Could Professor Hutchins be right? That the strange, pulsating energy source within the Vanu artifact may be connected to the ‘life force’ of nearby beings? He is convinced that the relic does much more than echo the dying; that the stone contains the key to creating life itself. Body and mind together!

The theory could explain the energy spikes following the death of the rodent subjects – but that this artifact contains the ‘spark’ that turns an inanimate object into a living being… I can’t believe it. Surely Vanu would not simply hand us the power of life and death on a plate? We are still so immature as a species; are we ready to deal with the enormous responsibility of recreating life?

The entire lab is having daily discussions about what to do next. Professor Hugo too sees patterns and structure in the energy spike – next month our research group will try to capture this structure following the death of the fly and recreate it in the lab it through nanite reconstruction. I’m sure it’ll be a dead end, but it’s worth a try.

Entry 2 – March 25th 2844

Such an incredible opportunity to work at Xenotech! Who would have thought 10 years ago that Republican, New Conglomerate and Vanu researchers could work side by side in the same research facility?! Of course, despite such an open-minded, collaborative environment, we sometimes get a hard time from the others. You know, the usual – ‘alien lovers’, mocking our symbolic markings, ignorance of our culture and tradition.

Wherever we go, there is a deep misunderstanding of the fact the Vanu is either a religion, or a pseudo-science cult. A religion requires belief in supernatural beings who wield powers beyond those attainable by humanity. A cult requires closing the mind of our ‘followers’, subjecting them to brainwashing and false information, denying them access to the outside world. Neither could be further from the truth.

Our philosophy is founded on real possibility and open minds. The people of Vanu may guide us, yes, but despite their incredible advances and mysterious disappearance; there is nothing supernatural about them. Our people are taught from birth the necessity of an open mind to further the capabilities of humankind through discovery and exploration; there is absolutely no resemblance to a ‘cult’.

No, the Vanu way is more than both. It is a philosophy, a way of life. Through diligent work to further the potential of humankind, through a daily practice of the values espoused by Vanu itself, we walk on the Vanu path. As Briggs put it so succinctly “Eternal peace, freedom from disease, hardship or inequality, endless possibility for all are all within our grasp if we dedicate ourselves to a life of togetherness, open-mindedness and self-sacrifice under the guidance of Vanu.”

Despite the on-going ignorance of some of our colleagues, I know that the Vanu artifacts are slowly changing hearts and minds, even within our Republican colleagues. Seeing with our own eyes these relics forged by extra-terrestrial hands, to be so close to their irresistible power – how could someone not be changed? More and more ask questions of us, of Vanu, of his people, of our ways. An exciting time indeed.

Entry 3 – April 15th 2844

Professor Hugo finally came up a way to extract the energy from the artifact and transfer it into the nanite reconstructer. Our team managed to reconstruct a fly, completely free from imperfection. Not one flaw!! Even more extraordinary, the fly was alive and as active as if it had never died at all.

The whole facility is buzzing from this result, and of course, there is a lively debate across the site for what to do next. Do we publish our results early and risk having competing labs take a share the glory in future studies? Or do we hold onto the data until confirm our findings with something truly extraordinary? Could we replicate larger animals, such as mice, chimps? Would their minds be intact or are they empty drones? Wait - I’m jumping ahead of myself… But just think! The possibilities are enormous.

UPDATE 3pm – The committee has decided to hold back from announcing the findings publicly until we have confirmed the findings with larger creatures; rodent studies are scheduled for next week.

Entry 4 – April 27th 2844

A shadow has been cast over the labs. Yesterday, an explosion tore apart the central square of the Amerishian capitol. Nobody has admitted responsibility; however the long stares and awkward silences in the canteen clearly show that our New Conglomerate colleagues, even esteemed professors such as Kuzyakov and Paulson are no longer welcome among us. I am ashamed to say that even my Vanu compatriots are fuelling the rumours against them.

There is no proof that the New Conglomerate ‘terrorists’ were behind the attack, and it is ludicrous that esteemed professors within our institution could have anything to do with people who would harm others. It is the base of our philosophy, our being not to lower ourselves to such falsehoods and speculation! As Vanu, we pledge ourselves to open-mindedness, consideration of the facts. But once again we reveal ourselves to be merely human after all… Will it be generations before even the followers of the Vanu way are ready to move beyond trivial human compulsions such as baseless gossip?!

Entry 5 – May 16th 2844

Professors Kuzyakov and Paulson have both retired with immediate effect. The social atmosphere within the labs these last few weeks has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Never in my career did I expect to find offensive, racially aggravated comments come from the mouths of professional Republican and Vanu scientists.

Entry 6 – May 19th 2844

It appears that the New Conglomerate professors have gone missing en route to Hossin. I pray for their wellbeing. There is uproar in Congress – the New Conglomerate bloc is clamouring for an inquiry and an immediate suspension of work at Xenotech labs...

Of course, this is impossible – the vital mammal replication experiment will start tomorrow, and the Terran and Vanu representatives are fully aware of the grave importance of this work. At the moment, their political coalition remains strong, the New Conglomerate cannot get enough votes for their veto in Congress, and our work can continue.

Entry 7 – October 24th 2844

Amazing. Utterly amazing. The experiment worked better then we could have ever imagined! A rat, trained to traverse a pain field maze on a 10m2 platform, killed and, again, perfectly ‘resurrected’ using the artifact and Hugo nanite reconstruction, remembers everything. That is… all the knowledge that we taught it, retained and demonstrated with immediate effect after rebirth. This finding is astonishing. The team could barely open the champagne bottle; we were shaking so much as we watched Jonathan, the poor rodent, follow his path through the pain fields with ease. Astonishing!

Think of the possibilities of this technology Marie… If we could recreate humans with their memories intact – war would be at an end! If there is no way to truly kill your enemy, then why continue fighting? Quarrels and fighting would dissolve and we realise that there is no way to get rid of each other; we would have to deal with living one with the other, forever.

One of the pillars of the Vanu ideal would be achieved with little to no effort – the end of war between humanity, and our dark, murderous hearts can instead be directed fully to a glorious future! My hands are trembling as I type these words. Never before has something so great been within our grasp. We need to take it, now! The Director has organised a press conference tomorrow, all of the major networks will be there. We have to get news of this finding out to all peoples of Auraxis immediately. Hopefully we can turn the poisonous atmosphere of accusation and bickering that fills the news bulletins these days.

Entry 8 – October 25th 2844

I am now writing my entries by hand – it seems I have no choice.

The press conference was cancelled. There was another explosion, this time at the Capitol on Indar. We’ve heard nothing official, but there is talk that the conference is suspended indefinitely, for ‘security reasons’… They fear an attack on the labs. But by who? The New Conglomerate certainly had reason to be angry when they were shut out of our research projects, and to have two eminent scientists disappear. But to provoke the Republic with such unforced aggression would lead to no advantage politically, economically or indeed militarily…
No matter the reason, the result is that all inbound and outbound communications from the site are temporarily down, more Republican soldiers are on site (both inside and out) and now I get security checked every time I go for a piss. Talk about the nanny state! Oh well, at least the science is progressing as planned.

Entry 9 – November 14th 2844

Three weeks and still no lifting of the security lockdown. The Republican scientists are slowly being ‘re-assigned’ to a new project on the other side of the facility, for which us Vanu researchers are denied any information. So much for scientific independence!

I dread to think what they could be doing over there… But I suspect they are taking the reconstruction technology further. We all know that the chimp study is going as well as the rodent study did, human trials will surely not be far away. But to have the Terran Republic as the sole faction on Auraxis with access to ‘resurrection’ technology… Surely this will lead to even more political instability? We can’t allow it to happen! Someone must be told about what is happening here.

On the plus side, our Vanu representatives within Congress are petitioning to end the security lockdown here. We should be able to break through to the outside world again in a matter of weeks, if not days.

Entry 10 – February 16th 2845

I have no idea if this message will ever reach the outside world. I don’t know who to talk to or who to tell. If one day you find this, Marie – I’m so sorry that you haven’t heard from me. I love you and Jero so much. I am so sorry! I try every day to find a way out of here, but there are far too many armed soldiers here - there is no way out.

They lock us up in here, conscripted, no, slave workers for the Republican war effort. The things I have seen - for the disgrace of Vanu - the technology was never supposed to be used in this way. We told them that the reconstructers were not calibrated for human reconstruction – they forced us regardless. These poor boys, barely seventeen years old, ‘volunteers’ we are told, given a death sentence and then served something even worse… You can’t just upscale a rodent experiment to the sheer complexity of the human body and mind!!

The horrible sight of these physical and mental deformations leave me cold, sweating away the torrid few hours they allow us for sleep. We can only do small things in our power to lessen the torment that these young, brave soldiers are put through… But so many have died… What will they write about me Marie? Know that I did not do this willingly! They say they will kill my colleagues if I refuse – how can I not comply?! At least… the respawning process becomes more accurate with each iteration. Nowadays, these courageous boys appear to be free of physical deformation save hair loss and eye colour… We are saving more and more of their lives. But memory loss, it appears, is unavoidable. I have recorded the name of each and every one of them, so that history may remember their great sacrifice.

I shake my head at my naivety of last year. To imagine that the rebirthing technology could be used for peace! Hah! Of course, developed under the strict ideals and guidance of the Vanu way, this technology could have nurtured a prosperous and peaceful society. But in the hands of powerful men with base motives and dreams of ultimate control… The horror they unleash! A future beyond nightmares!? How can they be stopped?!

News from the outside world has trickled to almost nothing. Last I heard was that our Vanu statesmen had rolled over in the face of Republican pressure once more, and had approved our continued incarceration. I once had hope that when the time came, our Vanu representatives would vote for independence, self-respect and dignity; but once again they prostrated themselves before the superior numbers and firepower of the Republic. Shame on them! How can the Vanu ever hope to be a strong, respected people when we won’t even stand up for ourselves!?

See reply for the conclusion of the story...

Last edited by Sonny; 2014-01-20 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 2013-07-04, 04:23 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Sonny
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First Sergeant
 
Re: Xenotech labs


Entry 11 – May 18th 2845

Every day brings a train full of new conscripts. Their DNA is logged, registered within the system. Their code is connected to a mobile, truck-carried device that can reconstruct human matter and mind upon their death. So what if they lose their capacity for emotions and feelings, their memories, their ability to think rationally? As long as they remember their military training, they are the empty, murderous vessels that any general would kill to have in their army.

Our roles have been reduced to the administrative work of logging and chipping the soldiers as they come in. Us Vanu are just disposable liabilities for the Republic now. We are only alive because the Republic is so desperately short of trained staff to maintain the rebirthing matrices. We are no longer trusted with access to any scientific data, lest we try to contact the outside world. The Terran Republic would have us ‘disappeared’, were it not for the shaky peace deal that somehow still holds with the Vanu and Conglomerate governments, both of whom are still aware of our presence here.

But I feel we don’t have much time. The drumbeats of war echo ever louder. The Terrans are mobilising all of their frontline units through this facility, presumably to head to the front line, respawn enabled. While in and around Congress the ‘peace negotiations’ continue, the soldiers I see every day are the menacing face of Republican realpolitik.

There are only five of us Vanu remaining on site, a small band of researchers and laboratory technicians. There were more – we don’t know what happened to them. Over the last few months, we have stored all of the data from the site on secret drives within our quarters. Our only hope to stop the Terran Republic having complete control of the respawning technology is to broadcast all of this data publicly. Some weapons have been smuggled in to us. Not enough, of course. But enough maybe to give us five minutes, some small distraction to break into the Communications building.

I have seen too much death this past year to retain my fear of it. I will try to stop this war, I promise you, even if it means my death. I will do it for you Marie, Jero. I still love you with all my heart. I hope more than anything that one day we will be reunited. If it is not to be so, know that everything I do is to create a peaceful future for you both.

Entry 12 – June 21st 2845 11:32am

We were told not to come to the labs today, and we are locked in our quarters. Our few remaining Terran contacts have told us that there has been an attack on the Kane prison compound in Kaorr; all Terran regiments are on red alert. The attack is large and on-going. Apparently the New Conglomerate has had enough of the Republican sanctions and broken promises.

Entry 13 – June 21st 2845 4:18pm

Our doors were opened without warning. We were told to get out as soon as possible, any way we can. All of the scientific staff are being evacuated as I speak, the sound of fighters and dropships fills the air. Soldiers no longer guard the corridors of the living quarters. I think this is our day.

Entry 14 – June 21st 2845 6:45pm

The Vanu Sovereignty have just declared their independence from the war between the New Conglomerate and the Terran Republic! I never imagined that I could live to see such a glorious day! Finally, some courage! Our task is now all the more urgent – we need to contact the Vanu people before the Republic turns their eyes towards our lands! Otherwise, with the power of immortality in their hands, the Republic will see no need for political opposition again, and they will crush us. I am certain of it.

There are many aircraft flying over, and some explosions close to the site boundary. The guards are going crazy, all running to the bunkers. This is our chance, while the Terrans are distracted. We are breaking out now.

Marie, this may be the last note that I have a chance to write. I hope that one day this notebook is discovered, and you can see that I never forgot about you or my beautiful Jero. Know that everything I have done here was for you and your future, following faithfully the Vanu way. I love you both endlessly, I wish for you to live your lives in a free society, far from conflict. Love always and eternally, Laor.

Entry 15 – June 21st 2845 7.24pm

(AUDIO TRANSMISSION BEGINS, ECHOES OF GUNFIRE)

OK it’s on. Go!

Peoples of Auraxis. Th - This is Dr Laor Foster, researcher at Xenotech labs and Adherent of the Vanu Sovereignty, Esamir. We have been imprisoned within this facility for nine months under the control of the Terran Republic. We are under heavy attack in the communications building and need immediate assistance. Listen to this message carefully.

SUPPRESS THE DOOR FARO! THAT DOOR!

The - The Terran Republic are able to resurrect their soldiers at will on a global scale. We are uploading all of the data from the human trial experiments, along with blueprints of their ‘respawning’ chambers and related devices. This information is now publicly available to all peoples of Auraxis - no one should have sole control of respawning technology! Use it now, before it is too late!

(HEAVY MACHINE GUN FIRE)

We are under –

(RETURN FIRE FROM PULSAR RIFLES)

We are under heavy attack, we are connected to the respawning matrix and we will broadcast until we are stopped. The Terran Republic has deployed mobile respawning facilities on the back of ES-type trucks to the following five locations: Number one, Mao Technology Plant, Indar –

(HEAVY GUNFIRE, SHOUTS)

NUMBER TWO –

(EXPLOSION, RAPID FIRE, A SCREAM)

MAX UNIT!

NUMBER TWO – IKANAM BIO LAB, AMERISH

(SMASHING OF GLASS, RAPID THUD OF BULLETS)

CROSSROADS WATCHT –

(END OF TRANSMISSION)
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Old 2013-07-05, 03:29 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
Micro
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Re: Xenotech labs


Wow, awesome!
Dude, if you'd start writing books, I'm sure your books would sell really well!
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Old 2013-07-08, 09:59 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Ghodere
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Re: Xenotech labs


I won't lie, I really enjoyed this. There's a certain human element you can only really get from an eyewitness account of events, and I think you nailed it absolutely wonderfully. I think it's interesting that you named the factions as existing in name and form before the war started- I always imagined that the Vanu were nothing but a loose ideology and the NC just a shadowy corporate council, which each started recruiting away from the TR, but your version makes a bit more sense now that I think about it.
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Old 2013-07-10, 01:57 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
Sonny
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First Sergeant
 
Re: Xenotech labs


Hi Micro, Ghodere,
Thanks a lot for your feedback, greatly appreciated . To respond to your thoughts Ghodere - I think that both the NC and the VS were named political factions for some time before the war started. I base that on the info from here. The NC at least were definitely a faction (the timeline states they were having peace negotiations with the TR in 2845). I assumed that the VS were a political group too, since it had been almost 200 years since Briggs had discovered the alien artifacts on Auraxis - enough time for them to form into an official and separate faction.

Of course, both interpretations are possible, as the official lore is so wide open .

Sonny
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