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Shotan

Chronicle - Part 2

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The following is an extract from the recording from classified files stolen from an unidentified man. No claims have come forward as to who the people in the recording are; however, video evidence suggests that this was recorded in a classroom - four men, explaining their roles in the universe, only identifying themselves as the four horsemen.

 

Begin recording.

Four men in various outfits walk into the room. The man known as "Famine", wearing a cloak and wielding a scythe, walks in. The back of his cloak bears the Imperial seal.

FAMINE: Good morning, soldiers. Allow me to introduce our conglomerate...

Three more men walk into the room. The one identifying himself as "Pestilence" is the first walks in, wielding a long, liquid metal strip and dressed in . The second, calling himself "War" walks in wearing a suit of fabricated nanocomposite armour and wielding a plasma blade, roughly four feet in length.

FAMINE: I am the bringer of hunger. I am the greatest weapon against the starved civilizations throughout the galaxy, the alien races that stood in our way that dared face our kind hundreds of years ago that we conquered. You call me a soldier of the empire, but I'm simply a soldier.

The horseman "Pestilence" smirks, then speaks:

PESTILENCE: Not quite the most endorsed method of destruction, might I add.

The classroom inhabitants begin laughing among themselves. Famine speaks sharply, drawing his scythe high towards a pupil's head.

FAMINE: Now, imagine being one of my victims!

The classroom falls silent. The scared pupil looks up towards the horseman.

FAMINE: If you think you have what it takes to defeat me, you'll have to think a lot better than considering laughing about it is a solution. I've put an end to lives like yours, little boy.

PUPIL (scared): I'll remember that...

PESTILENCE: He may not be endorsed, but the first colonizations happened because he made them possible.

Pestilence stands forward, dropping the rest of his liquid metal strip to reveal eight more, sharper and varying in length. Famine moves his scythe from the young pupil's head and steps back in a formal position.

PESTILENCE: Do you know what biogenesis does? Anyone?

Another pupil brings her hand up, eager - knowing the answer straight away at the mention of the term.

PUPIL 2: Biogenesis is what is used to create life by disturbing the order of another entity that was used in --

PESTILENCE: -- 2059 on Earth, well done, young girl. What's your designation?

PUPIL 2: Designation Theta 71536-C. My friends call me Alice.

Pestilence smiles, slowly turning to a grin, baring teeth.

PESTILENCE: You'll do well to remember how far biogenesis has come, little Alice. And you'll be even more terrified to know I was the one who perfected the art...

Famine moves back and sits on a chair, dropping his whip. The handle of the whip is surrounded by embroidery of the emblem of the Chancellor, the Federation's insignia.

The other horseman, War, steps forward with his armour wrenching as he moves. Across his left eye is the insignia of the Mendes family, a rite of the heirs of his Jericho family.

WAR: Who here has heard of an ancient Earth tale of an ancient warlord...?

No answers from the room, only bemused looks are captured.

WAR: Does anyone recall the name "Hetel"?

Suddenly, the room begins actively speaking again and are drawn back to attention when War continues speaking:

WAR: Hetel was a warlord of the middle 20th century Earth, a conqueror by most righteous description. He was a commander of commanders, the advisor to the consortiae and an ingenious artist of destruction. He tore apart civilization after another, purging anything he saw as unclean and cleansing anything of faulty design he saw fit to strip to reform his new beginning. His weapon was fear, and I do not envy you for feeling the same fear when faced with the same thing in this very room that he spread across the Earth many years ago.

Alice brings her hand up, slowly.

ALICE: His name isn't Hetel. The original name was forbidden to be spoken a long time ago after a catastrophe destroyed half of humanity in the 21st century...

WAR: Clever young girl. Perhaps you could speak his name for us, if you know it...?

Long seconds pass. All eyes on the girl, she can't bring herself to speak - almost terrified of saying the word out loud.

WAR: No matter. Well, I think we should introduce you to the final piece of our equation...

The door opens.

A man walks in wearing a lab coat, bearing the Ellydium corporation insignia. It's the doctor, and he is evidently in control of this situation. The Head follows him into the room, a man with a bald head and sharp eyes wearing a suit - but the rest of his face is distorted by the camera's side view.

DOCTOR: Now that you've met the first three, allow me to introduce myself and my employer. I, my little friends, am the developer - and the man in the suit behind me is the facilitator. Together, we are the bringers of death.

End recording.

 

A few moments passed while a man, watching the feed in the darkness, examining the final frame looking at the man in the suit. "Can you get an identification fix on this man?"

Another man leaned in to have a look, speaking in a strong Federal accent. "The image isn't clear enough," he began. "It may take a while to clean up some images and cross-reference people of the description. Alice still hasn't spoken to us in days."

"Make her speak. Whatever it takes, do you hear me?"

"She's a traumatised fourteen year old girl who's just lost her parents to a wild pack of Crystallids, not to mention the neuro-exhibition techniques are still not working. We can't recover anything from the current neural scan."

The first man turned his head, revealing an eye patch over his left eye and a short beard. "It would be too dangerous to scan her again. I want her talking as soon as possible."

"Roger that sir." The second man stood up out of his chair, moving towards the door before being stopped, halfway grabbing the handle.

"Taen... I don't care if you have to produce a state of chronoflux in her brain. We're going to get the information from her, whether she wants to or not."

With that, the man at the door turned the handle, pulling back the creaking hinges to reveal a bright chamber.

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