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Chapter 1

LOCATION: grid 3549829.3

PLATFORM: United Global State Warship/Fifth Kingdom Chernobyl

CATEGORY: heavy munitions and carrier combine

INFLICTION CAPACITY: 9th degree

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: survey grid 3549829.3 and eliminate all Insubordinates

The platform hung in space---a spectacle of monstrous size, yet without weight in the raw expanse of the cosmos. This platform (or "ship," as called by some) bristled with weaponry, as if to show any challenger the grief and despair they would meet if it were to be crossed in the wrong way. Silos were hot, kinetic guns active, beam and particle drivers primed, and defense grids aware. There it stood in the clutches of dark void, the stars casting far and mysterious glances. This three and a half kilometer juggernaut was not alone, however...

The juggernaut was facing that which was never thought to be faced. An ominous darkness lay before the dauntless platform, a cloud darker than the darkness of space. This cloud seemed to... avoid the light, as if not allowing itself to be touched by it. Somehow, the "darkness" prevented the eye from catching it directly; this cloud, darker than the black of space, escaped sight, defying the laws of physics in arrogant rebellion.

The commander of the juggernaut, Normann Ford, was standing on the deck of the control room. How they encountered it, he did not know. Commander Ford squinted his eyes, vainly attempting to focus on the black cloud. He felt fear deep in his gut. Somehow, Ford knew that it was the black cloud that had spotted them first and had drawn them in. The commander pursed his lips in frustration. This was impossible. "Tactical," he snapped. "What do we have on it?" The chemical modifier implants, or "emotional correctors", in his nervous system strained to keep his emotions in check.

Supervisor Lieutenant Hall shook his head. "Commander, our scanner systems seem to... glitch.. when they attempt to scan that sector."

The commander approached Hall. "Come again, comrade?" Although known for his ability to keep cool and collected in most stressful situations which even the military modifier implants could barely handle, his voice held an edge, one that Hall was intent on avoiding.

"Scanners are unable to make contact with that sector, Commander," Hall repeated.

"If there is anything new under the sun, Lieutenant, it would be this platform's scanner systems. Why is it not working, Mr. Hall?" Ford demanded, his tone becoming more aggravated, and his pupils fluctuating. A few glances were cast his way.

With the help of the chemical modifier implants, Hall's face never changed, and neither did his tone of voice. "Scanner and sensor computer matrix and subcores do not show any malfunction, Commander."

Ford faced the central holoprojector which was located at the center of the control room. "Why can't we see it?" There was a long pause. "Launch a recon drone."

"Aye, sir!" Hall responded immediately. He turned to his subordinates. "Harvest an E-type drone. Establish matrix link." Hall's subordinates followed orders promptly and precisely. Ford's senior control crew was like a well oiled machine. The Chernobyl platform had some of the best soldiers in the Fifth Kingdom. "Drone ready for deployment, Commander," Hall announced shortly after the order was given.

"Launch the drone."

The central holoprojector showed a tiny craft zipping toward that which could not be seen. Ford followed it with his eyes, and when it was nearing the unseen cloud... Ford and the rest of the people in the control room screamed in sick pain, grasping their heads with their hands. As soon as it had happened, though, it stopped. Ford looked around the room at his subordinates in shock, his implants unable to diminish the hurricane of raw human emotions which were all but overpowering their minds.

"What happened?" the commander screamed.

Hall was on his knees, slouched, staring down at the floor. Vennison, the chief of engine control, was staring with wide eyes at the central holoprojector. Borrov, the chief of weapons control, was leaned back against his chair's backrest, his head hanging by his neck, one eye closed and the other staring up at the ceiling. Such were the states of his senior control crew.

Panting, Ford was afraid to look back at the holoprojector. He didn't have to, for a looming figure suddenly appeared in front of him. The commander opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Fear gripped him like he never knew before. The figure was at least twelve feet tall, and was clothed with what almost looked like brilliant crystals, which somehow had cores of darkness in them. Looking up at its face, Ford then couldn't pull his eyes away. There were no words that could describe the face of the intruder. It had eyes, though, and they were made of the same blackness that could not be focused upon. This time, however, it focused on him.

The creature began to speak. "So you are the pride of humanity?" The voice was a vibration that jostled not only the ear drums, but the consciousness of the mind. "Feeble humans. The signs were given, the words spoken, yet you ignored them. You will die of ignorance, and no salvation will be within grasp. We will throw this impotent machine down into his precious garden, for our time has come. He will not save you now. Fools. Material will never open the door to victory." The indescribable creature dissappeared suddenly, leaving Ford and everyone else who was conscious in silence.

To follow the story, see Here be the Giants Chapter 2

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