"Reckoning" is a sci-fi series that can be read by the blind. It tells the story of overview of the story
Reckoning is a comic book series that is readable by the visually impaired and blind. It features detailed information about the story and characters>
Click here to see the storyboard for the comicbook conversion of chapter 6 on Patreon
“Okay gentlemen, sunscreen at P500, now - All radios off!!!”, Captain White said and slipped on her goggles, flipping through a number of switches on her wrist console.
If asked the Chief Engineer would have said that the goggles were the accidental child between a pair of steampunk welders glasses and a competition skiiers VR display. He had done most of the tinkering needed to adjust the visual circutry to adapt properly to the lights of the QHiliin Frigate now that the auto repair systems had restored the internal ambience of the ship to normal levels.
The glass of the slightly oversized goggles looked completely black from the outside, but aside from a sligh whiteout when the doors slid aside they were quite comfortable, White took a deep breath. The QHiliin Medical Frigate had been moored in lunar orbit by Valhalla Station for a few weeks now and TDF delegations had been going aboard the Frigate on a regular basis after figuring why the QHiliin seemingly had such an adverse reaction to being near humans.
Turned out they had some sort of extreme sensitivity to magnetic fields, something that had sent most of them tripping and not in a pleasant way when they had met with the TDF delegations attempting communication. So wifi and radio communication was strictly off limits unless the QHiliin in question had on one of their Faraday like suits and what looked like head jewelry that somehow was able to absorb most radio energy.
One spooky and for most rather uncomfortable fact was the QHiliins extreme sensitivity to magnetic fields resulted in an ncanny ability to detect the state of mind of the people they were communicating with.
If they could so accurately read emotional states, could they be able to read minds as well? After all the brain did produce magnetic fields as synapses fired.
The Chief Engineer decided to shake the feeling. After all the QHiliin had freely started sharing technology, especially the medpods seemed like breakthrough technology already implementing fully automated medical treatment. Off course they did not understand more than a mere fraction of what they had received so far and Captain White seemed to have been a very important asset in that respect as the First Contact event had pivotted around her role in saving the Chief Medical officer and the remaining crew of the Frigate.
The light inside the QHiliin frigate would be blinding to a human without protection, apparently the QHiliin homeworld was a brightly lit place.
As the doors opened to the Command Bridge. The QHiliin Captain towered above a central table like structure. He waved his hands in the air and a blue orb appeared morphing into an image of planet earth rotating and next to it the moon and in orbin around the moon Valhalla Station and the QHiliin Medical Frigate.
Chief Engineer Black studied the Unicorn/like features of the QHiliin, they were humanoid per se, two arms, two legs, upright standing. unicorn like was perhaps an overstatement the horn in forehead was seemingly folded into a skull cavity said to rise only during agitation or mating season.
Black studied the muscular body of the QHiliin Captain. The structure would be the envy of every bodybuilder back on earth, the mane, gold like shimmering and with it's upward flow seemed to defy the artificial gravity of the Frigate and was a sight to see.
The Captains hands were claw like and bulky but dexterous to a degree that surpassed human hands as he waved in the air controlling the information processing device in front of him.
“May I touch it?”, the Chief Engineer said pointing to the Captains magnificently braided suit. It gave of an impression like that of fire covering the entire body.
The QHiliin smiled and extended his scaled hand towards the Chief Engineer. Black stepped closer and touched the Captains arm. The suit seemed alive and shimmers pulsed down towards the hooved feet and back up again.
“It has full sensory capability?”, the Chief Engineer asked. The QHiliin Captain acknowledged with something akin to a nod.
Please Captain White approach there is reason for requesting your presensce as well as that of Chief engineer Black.
The two approached semi flanked by the additional members of the delegation who were still keeping their distance.
“Captain White, this ship is likely the last QHiliin vessel, we came out of the rift and did not detect any other vessels accompanying us. Off course they could have come out elsewhere but the odds are very low so it is up to us to follow up on the primary perogatives we were sent out to accomplish.
The QHiliin for as long as history goes back, to before the dark times that are not to be talked about have had no homeworld, we have been vagrants, migrating from star to star in search of a permanent place to settle, we are returning to earth where we have been before as we originally came here as it had the most similar climate to home.
The first tima around we decided to leave as there already was a promising race evolving. We tried to leave marks so you should know that we had been here but from what our probes have uncovered those sites have been stripped of all technology and defiled in the most shameful way to obscure the fact we were ever here.
The Captain took a deep breath expelling a slight mist from his nostrills.
“We want to settle on the continent you refer to as Antarktis”.
“I have no mandate to authorize a settlement”, Captain White began.
This is not really a request”, the Captain replied. Consider this more of a friendly heads up.
“This ship is carrying the Aegis, it will become an integral part of the defense of your planetary system”.
“The Aegis… Defense of our planetary system?”, Captain White asked in a curious but demanding tone.
“The Khrlaa will be coming, they are unforgiving relentless and ruthless. We see the athmosphere of Earth already contains trace elements making dimensional jumping a near impossibility, though that won't nessecearely hold the Khrlaa back from trying”
The structure at Antarctica is still operational according to readings while the structures in Egyptm, South America are stripped the KROATIA ? one seems possibly to be in a reparable state apparently lower levels have not been ravaged completely.
We want to install the Aegis in the Pyramid on Antarctica. It should be possible to link it up to both Mars and Iapetus. Once in place it wil create a spacetime disharmonic effect that will make cutting a rift extremely difficult.
“Hold it, rewind all the way back to explaining what the hell the Aegis is?”, the Chief Engineer interrupted.
The QHiliin Captain puffed letting out vapor.
“The Aegis is a construct of a hyper advanced machine civilization, they had learned to manipulate and tap into zero point energy, in reality the Aegis is the central bit of a planetary shielding construct, we had the tech to create the remaining bits and for millennia before the dark time the Aegis protected us - a pearl like construct the Aegis connecting to each pearl of a ring of defensive generators, charging spherical deflectors by basically warping spacetime coordinates for slow moving object guiding them safely away from what is behind the Aegis and anything that is pushing through the field is schredded and vaporized.
The Aegis was originally intended to be used for asteroid and comet deflection against planets and artificial bombardment, we tweakede the functionality somewhat in order to protect entire systems.
The construction of the defense network for this planetary system had already been well underway by robottic probes when we for ethical reasons pulled back from further construction in the Earth system to let it evovle on it's own.
“Why did you start construction in the first place? You must have known the system was inhabited”, Captain White inquired.
The probes did register life but at a very primitive stage, once we had the resources to do a closer inspection you were already passing through hunter gatherer stages to an agricultural civilization, seem like you had a little help there, you know your evolution has been quite rapid the latter few thousand years.
“You are saying it was not natural evolution?”, The Chief Engineer interrupted.
“No not exactly, I see the handiwork of more than a dozen species involved here”, the QHiliin Captain responded.
“I'll be damned”, Captain White exclaimed. Chief Engineer Black clicked his tongue and let out a little whistle, “You know some folks won't appreciate hearing what you have to say”.
The QHiliin Captain sighed loudly “Yes I guess the human belief that they are unique and alone, beliefs of supremacy precipitated by a swath of religious and other institutional beliefs has been the biggest roadblock to true freedom your species has endured, I can't help but wonder how many times and close you have ben brough to destruction as a species due to dogma. For sure one can only wish your leaders will take a more open and pragmatic approach from now on dealing with the unknown as well as the known, or the Khrlaa will wipe humanity from existence once and for all before you even have a chance to try and mount any form of defense”.
“The Khrlaa?”, Captain White inquired.
“A briefing is being put together for Rear Admiral Dunbar, a more imminent issue is at stake here, The White Pyramid!”, the QHiliin Captain answered.
“The what?”, Chief Engineer Black bursted out in disbelief, the webs had been flooded with tales of Antartican pyramids as far back as he could remember, the tales were real?
“The internal defense systems were activated a few days ago and intruders were repelled, but we have been tracking another contingent on their way across the ice. It is our understandingt weather conditions right now are quite severe so transport to and from the continent are limited and the number of crafts able to operating in the area even fewer, but nevertheless attempts are being made to reach the structure as we speak and they are not your people this much we understand, we need to get you down there and inside before the structure is breached in order to secure the planetary defense system”.
Elsewhere Rear Admiral Dunbar opened a drawer, he pulled out the flask and unscrewed the cork, he gulped down a a little and chased it down with another gulp before securing the flask. He packed the flask away again and popped a mint from a tin box.
His gaze flickered across the inscription. In Defense of Humanity it was engraved said under the decorated shield of the TDF.
He swiped across the surface of his handheld device. The implications of what he had in his hands was enourmous. Intruders not just from another world but from across multiple dimensions in the multiverse and intruders with no remorse or intent to negotiate or pause in their endeavours and they were already at war with humanity.
The Paladdin project be damned, who in their right mind would think a few puny nukes could stop someone like the Khrlaa, what had the world come to, guess that is the result of electing a deranged Commander in Chief more concerned by how ordinary folks responded to his musings on the webs that to actual important world concerns like weather warfare and global warming as well as the inequality driven migration patterns of the world, well fuelled by the constant hunt for increasingly rare resources artificially kept up demand and technology held back and hidden away under lock and key to enrich a tiny elite sitting on most of the worlds riches.
He reached for the drawer again when there was a beep, there was sonmeone at his door. Rear Admiral Dunbar sighed, how he hated desk jockying. A tear ran down his cheek as his gaze flickered across the table and the picture of Sarah. He carefully wiped the tear from his cheek, took a deep breath before uttering “Enter!” in a clear and commanding tone.
The blizzard tore through the vehicle, just a few hours earlier for the most of the contigent the snowmobile had felt like a safe bubble surrounding them. Now it was as if the elements toyed with the belted vehicle as it plowed forward through the snow fighting the elements.
They had left the comforts of XXXXXEXPLORERTOWNNAMExxxxx a southpole city housing the hardcore crews of the UN sanctioned mining colony and the Antarthican Independent State a few hours earlier.
The city was a large underground complex, during winter people stayed in the temperate safety of the dwellings, during summertime things changed, people would work hard and play even harder once they were able to go topside into the neverending days.
The mining of precious minerals had become a necessity to keep the gears of the world running at least so it was said.
The placement of the city underground, using geothermal heating had been a compromise with the green lobby that fought for years to keep people away from the continent, this despite the boundless riches Antartica held.
Not that the green lobby would have been able to sway much had the 1% wanted something else, Earth still was a world of stacked decks despite the valiant efforts to change things for the better.
The QHiliin technicians felt very much at unease with the darkness, the makeshift viziers flicked together by Chief Engineer Black, enhancing the light by a factor 20 did something to alleviate the feeling of desolation and abandonment the technicians had come to feel during their trip to the surface of what was to become. This was indeed a harsh world they had come to.
Captain White looked at the NavScreen they were still a fair bit out when the main battery suddenly dropped into the red.
“What the….”, the navigator said letting his mechanic arms dance across the control surface. “This is impossible!”
He had not more than uttered the words when sparks sputtered up from the control surface and the vehicle came to a dead stop in total darkness.
The silence was all encompassing, the howling of the wind was the only thing to break and underline the isolation to perfection.
The emotions crept up on the QHiliin, half the crew seemed frozen in terror thoughts whirling through their minds while the others were either composed and awaiting the next event only one seemed fully concentrated on getting the vehicle operational again, the bionic man.
There was something about him that was very different the QHiliin had known this from the onset of the journey, he had only been able to glean a partial imprint from the man, the rest was alien, almost like the feeling that one got from interacting with an Aegian Construct.
Seconds later a red light flicked on lighting the cabin in a crimson hue.
“Okay, I am not going to say we are screwed, but I can tell you this is all but good, seems we've lost power to the main drivetrain as well as most all of the instrumentation. I have no idea what the cause is but we will figure this out and get the tub moving again, it might take some time though and as there is no power it might be getting cold pretty fast. I suggest huddling up using the emergency blankets and if you can sit together under the blankets it will help keep as warm as possible”.
“I will be needing someone to assist me as we need to go outside to examine the snowmobile, it is pretty dark and I likely need to be able to use both hands once we're out there”.
He tossed a floodlight and a rope to Captain White. “Captain I believe your armor has good environmental controls, pick someone to go outside!”.
Captain White looked at him. “I'll go”, she said and before she could get any further Chief Engineer Black interjected, “Me too!”.
“Sorry No can do”, White rebutted. “If things go south for Rob here, we'll need you to try and fix things up, every one of these scientists needs to get to the target lukewarm and in one piece, deep freeze is not an option, understood”.
“But!”, Chief Engineer Black began.
“No Buts!!!”, Captain White cut him off. “Mattis, you are with me”, she said tossing the rope to the big Finn sitting in the rear.
Mattis quickly got up, grabbed his helmet from the overhead compartment then secured the rope to the clasp inside the door.
He clicked himself onto the line then handing it to Captain White who secured herself and Rob Hornby, the navigator.
“Careful about those Penguins, I hear they grow pretty big down here”, John Quimby the resident Aussie joked as he got up.
The crew snickered. In the darkness the QHiliin felt how the mood lightened among the humans at the comment. Humor an odd concept indeed.
“Okay John, once we're out keep that door closed, if you hear any knocks it means pull us in fast, the rest of you wrap yourselves up temperature is about to drop below and no saying how long it will take before this tub is operational again”.
The crew frantically unwrapped the emergency blankets, only the QHiliin remained seated. “No blanket”, one of the scientists ventured holding an unwrapped foil sheet towards the QHiliin.
“No need, the nanites in my bloodstream will allow me to endure the cold for an extended period, perhaps I should assist on the outside!”
“Negative on that, you stay in here, besides you must be nearly blind as a bat at this point, no offense”, Captain White
“None taken, you are right, this darkness is indeed dulling my sight, but my sense of touch is still functioning perfectly”, the QHiliin answered unaffected.
“Got it, nevertheless, you stay in here, see if you and Chief Engineer Black can do further troubleshooting from in here while we investigate on the outside”.
investigation - Mattis gets his hand blown off - TMIC sabotage leaving them stranded apparently a spy was with the party sabotaging their equipment bleeding most of their fuel
The savior turns out to be the semi bionic man who scavenges himself for parts to repair the electrical system and who dies to save his team, gives
a cube to a team member, give this to my mother, she will know what to do with it (a collection of memories, thought and beuroligical patterns that
can be feed into a rebirth module bringing back the prescence of the dead as artificial constructs to help grieving ones overcome their trouble and
later live on as evolving purely electronic enteties and the QHiliin powerpack that is cannibalized for the purpose leaving the QHiliin near blind
without his optical enhancement having to talk the Bionic man through interfacing the power drive of the vehicle and the bionic mans control system
that will be permanently fused with the snw transporter and will not be able to be unfused- imagine dying as human fused to a snow transporter.
The QHiliin trying to get a reading from the bionic man but it is hard, but the very thought of this humans sacrifice even if a bionic human and
even if humanity seems to have compeltely wrecked the place it looks like there is hope for them after all
TDF catch up to the TMIC team that has entered the Pyramid
Pyramid defense systems detect weapons but anti measure systems are still only partially functioning so TMIC team is able to easily overcome while
working their way inward towards the machine halls and control section of the Pyramid
As TDF enter pyramid several team members hurt by awakening defense systems, but as QHiliin enters systems halt detecting a friendly.
The TDF team advances fast due to the QHiliin's knowledge of layout and ambush the TMIC team and eventually capture a few.
The QHiliin takes full control of the Pyramid as “Acting Arbitrator of Power” fully activating automated sentries that seem to have been activated
and then subsequently deactivated and or destroyed in and around what the QHiliin figures are the years 1946–1947 - but he is unable to see who
tampered with the system or what happened as the records prior to these years have disappeared. It seems however that for some reason the visitors
to the Pyramid at that time had not been able to access the lower levels containing the bigger resonance chambers something the QHiliin is happy
about for with that kind of power the primitives could have torn the very planet apart something they seemed absolutely adamant about pulling off
with uncontrolled experiments creating mini black holes and wormholes here on earth, it was amazing they had even lasted this long.
The QHiliin ship comes in - a beam from top of the Pyramid juices the energy of the ship back up - the tip splits open and ship lands and then the
pyramid closes again leaving the ship in a big dark hangar with nothing but a bright beam of light where the QHiliin begin their disembarkation,
the QHiliin are back.
Here we are Leaving the readers wondering, what is this great threat the QHiliin are not telling about, why was their ship all banged up and is
that the reason the CHiliin are returning to Earth, because they think their old defense grid might stand a chance against an enemy that has
already defeated them once and how long will Earth be a semi safe spot for the CHiliin after their long and exhausting run/chase that they have
been through and might the CHiliin have brought this warth upon themselves by meddling in things they should not have meddled ?
Confused - You won't be after the next episode of…. oh wait maybe you will :)To Be continued in Part Nine - River of gold