Beneath Darkness - Part 1 (Fanmade)

Date: 4621 October 23.
Ellydium’s largest battleship, the Skidbladnir, equipped with a vast research laboratory, arrives with its crew of 4,750 to the depths of alien space, from where they must launch expeditions.

2 weeks before its arrival, the Ellydium has set up several stations in the ‘Inverter’ sector. To deploy the facilities, the first step was to knock the alien forces out of the sector. Biomorphs… And Crystallids. Together. They’re probably under the influence of one of the Leviathans, otherwise… How could the living and the undead live together, protecting the same mechanism?
The ‘Inverter’ sector has been temporarily occupied by the Ellydium, but they won’t be able to hold it for long. The aliens are returning and besieging the defences, the Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius ‘Skyscrapers’ are being sent in if they don’t have access to the Inverter for long, and the Inverter is impossible to destroy or shut down. It has become too advanced. The expedition was given 1 month at most. The S2 Research Station will maintain contact with the Skidbladnir flagship throughout. This is a silent mission, it can’t take the fleet with itself. It’s on its own, who knows what awaits it deep in alien territory…

The gunship ‘Aminyon’ has requested permission to land at research station S2. The ship bore a relatively rare faction insignia: a knight’s armour-like helmet with a snowflake behind it. The mark of the former Dexter Legion, of which only a few original ships survived. Two people got off the ship. A boy with reddish-purple hair and a much taller, modern, knight-like space armor with no eyes or mouth. The armour was icy, with only bluish smoke seeping out through the small openings. Dexter’s best warriors can see, hear and speak without any chinks in their armour - they are spirits who have taken on complex metal suits of knightly armour, like Dexter himself, the “Ghost of the 1000 Ice Legions”. The boy just walked past the armour with a neutral expression on his face, and he walked over to the researcher waiting for them. The researcher spoke:

-“Welcome to research station S2! The command tower is upstairs, quarters are to the right and the toilet is to the left-”
-“Do I look like I need a toilet? Just tell me why I’m here, deep in the alien space on this absolutely not wonderful day. My name is Ferocious Dex, Petty Officer of the Lambda Fleet.”
-“Dex, be a little more… patient.”
-“Patience is not planted in me. I’m not used to doing the requests of those… human beings.”
-“By the way, I am Veiro, from the Mezza system. And this is… Dex.”
-“Yeah, Dex. We’re all just called Dex.”
-“I see, Dex. As you may already know, the Ellydium’s expedition is in serious trouble - it has lost contact with its flagship, the Skidbladnir.”
Dex whispered to Veiro:
-“Skidbladnir? Isn’t that one of their projects that was cancelled after the accident with Odin?”
-“Yes… But we shouldn’t be dealing with that right now.”
-“I am curious how they built a brand new Defiant class dreadnought in just a month while they didn’t even finish the last one!”
-“Are you listening to me?”
-“Please, pay a little more attention. This information will assist your mission.”

S2 Station’s command tower offers a perfect view of the main parts of the sector. The scientist stood by the glass behind which, a few kilometres away, was the Inverter itself - the largest mechanism in the sector. A huge shining iridium sphere around which stone rings rotate and keep the mechanism running. Also around the Inverter are long, angular, otherworldly stone blocks several kilometres high, with thousands of unknown symbols on them. The language of the Crystallids… The scientist just stared out of the glass, then continued:

-“You know, we don’t let just anyone enter the most secure facilities of the Ellydium. We trust you because you serve in the Nexus Guardian fleets - So you should be infinitely trustworthy. On this mission depends the fate of the expedition and the future of Ellydium’s researches. You cannot fail.”
-“So what are we supposed to do?”
-“You must go to the ‘Darkness’ system and find the Skidbladnir yourself.”
-“What?! There’s no way I’m going to that miserable, desolate dead system where every ship has been lost!”
Veiro whispered quietly to Dex:
-“If we go find the ship, we can complete the mission and find out what’s happening around Ellydium.”
-“You say?”
-“Trust me.”
-“Hm… All right, we’ll do it.”
-“Great. As soon as you’re ready, you can go. We’ll give you the coordinates, and we’ll be in touch with you the whole time. If you lose contact, come back immediately… If you still have a chance…”
Dex and Veiro looked at each other and slowly walked out of the tower.
-“You know… I didn’t always have to go on suicide missions like this. I was created to fight, face to face, and help the legion, not to play detective…”
-“I don’t want to go into a dead system deep in the alien space either…”
To be continued (soon)…