300 points Rank Up build for The Insurgency (Galactic Imperium)
About this creation
August 3rd, 2098
At night, a woman frantically ran through the jungles of Caracord. She was being chased. Suddenly she tripped and fell on the coarse sand. She turned on her back and attempted to crawl away from her pursuer.
Woman: "No! Please don't!"
She screamed as the pursuer grabbed her.
The next morning a young boy and girl sat peacefully on the beach. The girl was a Collective acolyte, Norri Gothos. She had a few books around her and had her head buried in some notes she was taking. She slowly stopped her writing when she felt the boy's eyes on her.
She brought her head up to see he was smiling at her. She returned the smile to her friend, Jordie Balkech.
Jordie: "Nothing," stuttered the boy when he realized how long he had been staring. "I was just wondering how much longer you're staying here for."
Norri: "Do you want me to leave?"
Jordie: "No! No, of course not. We like having you around. I like having you around..."
Norri smiled at Jordie's slight awkwardness.
Jordie: "Although I have to say some people are a little concerned about you... You know, watching them."
Norri: "I don't mean to make anyone uncomfortable. It's all just part of my observations. But if anyone wishes not to be observed, I'll gladly oblige."
Jordie stayed silent for a little while as Norri resumed her notes. He was contemplating whether or not he should bring up a particular topic. Finally he decided.
Jordie: "There was another disappearance last night."
Norri: "Another one?"
Jordie: "Miss Trudmyre. That's the sixth one now."
Norri: "That's terrible. Is anyone doing anything?"
Jordie: "We were kind of hoping... You might be able to help us."
Norri: "Jordie, we've talked about this. As much as I want to, I can't interfere. Any problems your village has must be sorted by your people."
Jordie: "Right... Forget it. I should get back. I'll see you later," he said standing up.
Norri: "Jordie-" she said upset but her friend was already leaving.
Jordie went back to his small hut where he met his father, Grean.
Jordie: "Hello, father."
Grean: "What did she say?"
Jordie: "She can't help us."
Grean: "That is a shame," said the man sadly looking down.
Jordie: "We have to do something. We can't let more people get taken like mother. There must be someone we can go to."
Grean thought for a moment.
Grean: "There's a man who lives on the other side of the island. Comes once a week to buy fish. I hear he's a soldier. Perhaps he will come to our aid."
Jordie: "I'll find him."
Jordie left to search for this soldier.
After some time, he had reached the soldier's home. It was a small cabin facing the ocean. Quite out of the way with no other surrounding structures. Jordie imagined some old hermit living there all alone. Soldier or not, he wondered what he could do. Still Jordie went to the door and knocked.
After making him wait for a little bit, William finally answered. He looked at the boy strangely, wishing he hadn't been disturbed.
Jordie: "Are you the soldier?"
William: "Are you selling something?"
Jordie: "No, I-"
William: "Listen I'm in the middle of watching a boat building tutorial. So if it's not important, I'd like you to leave."
Jordie: "Please! My people are being abducted! We need your help."
William analyzed the boy for a second and then shook his head.
William: "I can't help you," he said before closing the door.
But Jordie wasn't about to give up. He pounded his fists on the door, wanting William to open it. Inside William groaned.
William: "Go away!"
He walked towards Tuna and scratched him behind his ear.
William: "Who does that kid think he is? I mean if it was a Girl Scout I would've bought some cookies but coming here demanding favors? I don't think so."
Tuna barked in reply.
William: "Yeah, you like those cookies don't you? Even though you're not supposed to eat them. Look at you thinking you can eat people food. You're not people, Tunes."
Both William and his dog were startled when suddenly the door to his cabin was blown open.
William: "What the-"
In walked Norri with an angry expression on her face, clutching her wand.
William: "Oh shi-"
William was thrown against a wall. Norri pinned him there using her Collective power. Tuna fearfully backed away from her.
William: "I have had this exact nightmare..."
Norri: "I wish I'd known you were here. I would've visited a long time ago."
William: "Are you gonna kill me? Take revenge for your brother?"
Norri frowned but did not falter as she thought what she should do to the man that murdered her brother. Finally she let him go. William fell to the ground.
Norri: "I should. But it's not what he would've wanted," she said while he picked himself up. "He was a far better man than you."
William: "I don't doubt that."
Norri: "I'm sorry, friend," she said looking apologetically at Tuna. "I didn't mean to frighten you." Then she turned back to William.
Norri: "Why are you even here?"
William: "Why are you here?"
Norri: "I asked you first."
William: "I'm building boats."
Norri: "You're building boats? Not... Assassinating people? Sabotaging things?"
William: "I'm not a spy anymore."
Norri: "That boy asked for your help. His village needs you."
William: "You think I'm the sort of guy to come to for something like that?"
Norri: "I think you're a fool and a coward. But even you wouldn't let innocents be harmed."
William looked at the floor solemnly.
William: "I don't do that anymore."
Tuna let out a few more barks.
Norri: "You're right. He's being very selfish."
Norri: "He agrees that you should help the villagers."
William: "You're not telling me that you speak dog."
Norri: "I can communicate with many animals."
William scoffed and looked at his companion.
William: "Tunes! Why are you betraying me like this?"
Tuna barked once more. William then stared at him while pouting. Then he turned back to Norri.
William: "Alright, fine! Whatever. Although I'm not sure what exactly I can do."
Norri, William, and Tuna walked alongside the beach, on their way to the village. Norri looked at the dog.
Norri: "You're not his owner?"
William: "He's my dog."
Norri: "But he hasn't always been, has he? There was someone before you... What happened to her?"
William: "She's gone," he said coldly.
Norri: "You two were close."
William: "Tell me you're not reading my mind or something."
Norri: "I don't need to read your mind," she said before pausing. "So you kept her dog?"
William: "He's a reminder... Of my failure."
Norri: "That must be painful."
William: "I deserve it. Besides why do you care?"
Norri: "No one should lose the people they love."
William: "Look I don't want to talk about it anymore."
William tried to change the subject.
William: "So what exactly is the problem? The villagers are being kidnapped?"
Norri: "Yes. They don't know by whom."
William: "So you barge into my house, all holier than thou, but what are you doing? Why don't you help them?"
Norri: "I was sent here by the academy for my anthropological studies. I only observe these people. I'm not allowed to interfere in their lives."
William: ""Not allowed to interfere". Convenient excuse."
Norri: "There are rules that I must follow."
William shook his head, disagreeing with her statements.
Soon they arrived in the village. They went towards Jordie and his father who were standing by the water.
Norri: "This is Jordie Balkech and his father, Grean."
William: "How are you doing? I'm William Nantucket. Sorry I slammed the door in your face, kid."
Jordie: "You changed your mind?"
William: "Your friend here is very persuasive... So tell me about these disappearances."
Grean: "At night, something comes out of the ocean. It takes someone from the village and drags them back into the sea. We've lost six people so far. Including his mother."
William: "What kind of "something"?"
Grean: "We don't know. No one's gotten a good look at it that's still here."
William: "Hmm. I might have a hunch..."
William remembered the Androids. The one that was supposed to be on Toliv had not yet been accounted for. It seemed his hunt for the machines wasn't over.
William: "And they get taken underwater?"
Jordie: "Yes. Everyone's too scared to fish now, worried they will be next."
William: "Okay. I guess we'll have to start underwater. I'll be back. Stay here, Tunes."
The others wondered where William was going to.
Eventually he returned from his cabin wearing diving gear.
Norri: "You're going down there?"
William: "Unless you want to join me."
William: "That's what I thought. Then at least watch my dog."
Jordie: "Please, you have to find my mother."
William: "I'll see what I can do."
William put on his helmet and ventured out into the water as the others looked on.
The water was getting deeper and deeper and soon he was able to dive down below the surface.
He swam for some time, looking around for anything that would give him clues. Finally after passing a ridge, he saw something. It was a large steel structure, some sort of underwater base. Most likely it had something to do with whatever was going on.
William swam towards the base, keeping an eye out for any hostiles that might be around. He then reached a hatch on the side of the base. When he turned the wheel to open it, he found it was locked. Coming prepared, he took a small laser cutter from his belt and started cutting around the hatch.
Once inside, he took off his slightly uncomfortable helmet and ruffled his hair. Immediately he heard what sounded like heavy factory machinery coming from deeper inside the base. Curious, he ventured further in to investigate, all the while keeping up his guard.
William crept along a wall moving closer to some robotic voices he was hearing. He leaned out and saw a terrible sight.
Dozens of robots stood in the center of a large room. They were Corsair Androids. But how was it possible for there to be so many? There should've only been the one Toliv probe unit.
William listened closely to a conversation between two Androids, one of which seemed to be the probe.
Probe: "What is our current production status?"
Android: "We are on schedule and by my calculations, the entire island population will be converted in one week's time."
Probe: "Excellent. Then we will be one step closer to planet wide assimilation."
William couldn't believe what he was hearing. The probe had somehow managed to create a small army? And they were going to invade Toliv?
Just as he was turning around to search more of the base, he saw an Android standing over him.
Android: "Intruder detected," said the robot pointing its wrist mounted gun at William.
The Android marched William over to the probe. William looked at the probe with green markings. All the probes had strange names printed on their chest plate. This one was the Witch of Agnesi.
Witch: "Intruder identified as William Nantucket."
William: "Why do I keep running into you robots? Itís getting a little old..."
Witch: "State your purpose."
William: "I'm selling Girl Scout cookies."
Witch: "Dispose of him."
William: "Wait, wait, wait, wait!" William yelled quickly pulling out something from a pocket on his suit.
All the Androids in the room promptly raised their arms as William showed them his flask which he felt compelled to always carry around.
William: "I'll take you all down with me."
Witch: "What is that device?"
William: "You've never seen a plasma disruptor grenade? It's Collective tech. It'll take out at least half of this base."
Witch: "A bluff," said the Witch stepping towards him.
William: "You want to take that chance?"
William now confidently walked to the center of the room and looked around.
William: "So you're the Toliv probe. But where did all these chumps come from, I thought it was one per planet?"
Witch: "Compatible organic matter was converted."
William: "Compatible organi-"
William stopped mocking the Android. His face fell when he realized what that meant.
William: "The villagers..." he trailed off. Then he looked at the Androids once again. "You turned them into Androids..."
Witch: "This island is just the beginning."
William: "You think you can convert this whole planet?"
Witch: "We have calculated successful odds."
William: "Why this? There's always something sinister with you probes and so far it's been pretty much tied to the destruction of life. But this is different. You don't want to kill people, per se, but you want to turn them into yourself... Why?"
Witch: "Machines are superior."
William: "There it is."
Witch: "Flesh is weak. It lacks strength and intelligence. It fights amongst itself. Humans are the most inferior. Your civilization is built on barbarism. Such a society cannot be allowed to exist. It must be replaced with capability and efficiency."
William: "You think robots are better than humans?"
Witch: "Androids superior, humans inferior."
William: "A human built you, you know."
Witch: "The Maker is an exception."
William: "Right, of course... Tell me, Witch of Agnesi, do you feel anything? Are there any emotions in that processor of yours or just programming?"
Witch: "Emotion is weakness."
William: "See that's where you're wrong. All those chemicals in our brains, that raw emotion, is what gives us strength. It's what reminds us that we're alive. You don't know what it is to be alive because you're not. Your 'on' switch is just flipped. You don't feel a single thing. You don't feel pain or loss... But that's what we endure. If you felt anything you would see that there's beauty in being human, being alive. We're not inferior."
The room was silent for a while after William's little speech. Then the Witch broke the silence.
Witch: "You are compatible, you will be converted."
William: "Hey, try it and I'll blow us all up!" he said once again raising his flask.
Android: "Scans reveal nothing. That is not a weapon."
William: "Well it can be against an alcoholic. Which I'm not..."
William tossed his flask in the air and ran back the way he came.
Witch: "Let him go. He cannot stop our plans."
William swam back to the surface as fast as he could. Only when he had nearly reached the shore he realized the Androids had not followed him.
He walked onto the beach, water dripping off of him onto the sand. Dumping his gear on the ground, he went to Norri, Jordie, Grean, and Tuna who had all anxiously waited for his return.
Grean: "Well? Did you find anything?"
William: "It's not good... There's an army of robots down there who are getting ready to invade this island and then the whole planet."
Jordie: "What about my mother?"
William looked sadly at the boy regretting having to tell him the unfortunate news.
William: "I'm sorry kid... To create more soldiers they turn people into robots. That's what the kidnappings were about."
Jordie: "No..." he said on the verge of tears. "She could still be alive, maybe you didn't see her. Maybe they didn't turn her."
Before William could explain there was no point in denial, Norri interrupted.
Norri: "I don't understand, why are there robots down there? Where did they come from?"
William: "It's a long story but to sum it up, about a hundred years ago one Android was sent to every planet in this System for research. But unfortunately there was a problem in their programming. They all came to have some pretty sinister primary objectives."
Grean: "You said they were going to invade the island?"
William: "To convert more people."
Grean: "W- What are we going to do? We can't let that happen."
William: "Fight back. You stop the Androids here, they'll never make it to the rest of the planet."
William: "Fight? We're fishermen. Farmers. We can't defend ourselves from a robot army!"
Jordie: "You're a soldier, why don't you call your Imperial friends for help?"
William: "I'm not a soldier anymore. I'm... In hiding... So I'm not gonna tell them where I am."
Grean: "But surely you can protect us."
William: "Look I figured out what was going on. The rest is not my problem."
Grean: "Not your problem? You live here too, you know."
William: "Then I'll move. Come on Tuna," he said beginning to walk away.
William frowned and turned back to face the others.
Norri: "You said you'd help."
William looked up at the sky and stroked his beard. Then he let out a frustrated groan.
William: "Okay. But I'm not doing it for you guys. I'm doing it because I want to destroy all of those probes. Grean, gather your people."
William stood on a crate in front of the villagers to explain the situation.
William: "There's going to be an invasion soon. There's an army of robots underwater that's getting ready to come here. Now I'll fight them but I can't do it alone. You guys need to step up, defend your homes. We have one week to prepare. If you're having doubts, maybe you'd like to know that these aren't even the worst odds I've faced. We can do this!"
William stepped down and left the villagers to worriedly murmur amongst themselves. He then went to speak with Norri.
Norri: "So you're going to train them to fight?"
William: "That's the plan. What about you? We could use your Collective powers."
Norri: "I can't."
William: "Right, your rules. You know sometimes it's alright to break rules if it's for the greater good."
William left her alone to think about that.
Very soon William began training the villagers. Recalling his own training, he put them all in formation and told them to grab whatever could be used as a weapon.
He showed them the proper technique and form for sparring.
With Tuna by his side, he walked along the rows of villagers and watched as they prepared for combat.
William saw Grean lose his spear when practicing with it. He went over to pick it up and return it.
Grean: "This is no use," he said shaking his head. "We're not fighters."
William: "Don't give up so easily. This will all be useful, not just against the current problem, but also any future threats you could face."
Grean: "You said the Androids convert people into their machines. You're asking us to fight our own people."
William: "They're not your people anymore."
As the days went by William allowed no rest for the weary villagers. If they wanted to stand a chance, they needed to get better. He continued showing them how to fight along with other different tricks and maneuvers.
Taking a break and leaving them to practice, he once again went to Norri who was busy taking notes. He was finding he liked her company. And somehow things were not as awkward between them as they should have been. Even Tuna liked her.
William: "I hope you're taking some good notes at least."
Norri: "I'm documenting every event."
William: "Well when we all get killed, maybe you can write a history book about us."
Norri: "What happened to all the confidence from earlier? You seemed sure you could win."
William: "That's because I always win. But this time I'm not so sure... These people show promise. But they need more time."
Norri: "If the Androids maintain their schedule, they will be here in two days."
William: "Yeah... I kind of just wanna run."
Norri: "You wouldn't dare."
William: "No I wouldn't. I don't know these people... Yet I'd fight to my last breath for them."
Norri looked at William and realized there might be something almost admirable about the man.
William: "I'm not trying to show you I'm a good person because I think we both know I'm not."
It looked like Norri wanted to say something but hesitation stopped her.
William: "Listen, if it gets too bad you should go. This isn't your fight. No point in you getting hurt."
Norri: "I need to document what happens."
William shrugged and went back to the villagers.
Now it was the day the invasion was supposed to occur. Little barricades had been set up on the beach and the villagers had taken defensive positions. Most of them shook with fear as they nervously clenched their makeshift weapons.
William looked out at the sea through his binoculars. Such beauty was on this island. Only hours away from being ransacked.
Norri was holed up in a watch tower, not wanting to get involved. Tuna rested in her lap.
William: "Any moment now..."
Everyone anxiously awaited the Androids to emerge. Until finally William saw the white top of an Android head rise out of the water. The others followed and began walking to the beach.
William: "They're here! Battle positions!"
William put away his binoculars and took out two pistols. Some of the villagers were armed with the guns William had but there were not enough.
The battle commenced.
Everyone picked their targets and started fighting. William had already taken down two of them. It seemed their armor was not as strong as that of the main probes. He looked around for the Witch but could not see it.
Another Android then came towards him.
It dodged William's bullets and swung it's heavy metal arm at him. William was knocked on the ground. He attempted to roll away from the robot but he was grabbed and lifted by the neck. The Android threw William further back in the sand. After picking up one of his pistols, it slowly walked towards him.
Android: "You are inferior," it said before shooting William.
He let out a painful cry and fell back.
Just as the Android was moving in to finish him off, Grean came in and whacked it hard with his spear. He then looked at the injured William on the ground and then around at the other villagers who were not faring any better.
Grean: "Everyone, move into the jungle!" he shouted hoping to put some distance between them and the Androids.
Grean helped William up and dragged him away.
Norri saw how badly the battle was going for the villagers. She then saw William being carried by Grean and another villager. If he was lost, what hope did they have?
Norri: "Come, friend," she said to Tuna as she began to climb down the watch tower to follow the others into the jungle.
They both rushed over to where William was being treated.
Norri: "Is he alright?" she asked crouching down.
William: "I'm fine," groaned William but when he attempted to get up, his face twisted in pain.
Jordie shook his head.
Jordie: "He can't move. Obviously he was the best fighter here. Without him there's no chance."
When Norri looked at William, she saw his eyes were begging her to do something. She realized that it was in fact up to her now.
Norri: "I'm going to break the rules," she said softly to William.
William: "About time," he said giving her a grin that couldn't hide his pain.
Norri stood up and looked in the direction of the beach. She could hear the Androids slowly closing in. She gave some thought on a possible solution for this disaster.
Norri: "What is their weakness?"
William: "I don't know," he said before coughing up some blood. "They're slow?"
Norri: "They're machines. They're not alive."
William: "They're on."
Norri: "So we turn them off."
William: "And how do we do that? Because I don't see a big magic off switch anywhere. Do you?"
Norri: "They could all be connected to one system."
William: "The probe. I didn't see it here. It could be controlling them from the base."
Norri: "Then we must destroy it."
William: "There's no guarantee that would work."
Norri: "Well we have to try."
William: "I can't..." he said weakly.
Norri: "Don't worry, I'll go."
The acolyte looked at Grean.
Norri: "I will try to hurry. Until then tell your people to hide."
Norri sprinted back to the beach.
Using her powers, she created an air bubble around her head as she dived down to the Androids' base.
Getting inside was not hard especially with all the Androids currently on the surface. Norri searched the base, looking for the probe. Finally she came across something.
In the center of a room full of different computers was the Witch of Agnesi sitting on a throne. It seemed to Norri this one was controlling the rest of the army. Destroying it should shut down the others. She slowly walked towards the Witch and raised her wand. Just as the got close, the Witch detected the movement and powered on. It stood up, towering over the girl.
Witch: "What is your intent?"
Norri: "I am going to stop you."
Witch: "You are a foolish organic. You will be converted."
Norri: "Eris'e!" she yelled causing the Android to go flying back.
Since she was not as experienced, using her powers was a bit of a drain on her. She could not pummel the Witch with attacks. This allowed the robot to quickly make a comeback.
It swung its arms at Norri, who was trying hard to dodge the attacks. The machine did not fight as if it was over a hundred years old.
Norri concentrated hard on a different ability. Fire. She had been able to use that power only once before and even then it was not very effective.
Norri: "An'kl!" she yelled but there was no result.
She concentrated again, channeling her energy into the word.
A burst of fire shot out of her wand, hitting the Android. It's circuits melted and it collapsed to the ground in a charred heap.
On the island the Androids were about to surround the villagers. Many of them cowered in fear as they hopelessly awaited their fate. Then all of a sudden the Androids stopped moving. A villager was able to knock one over. They had been shut down. Norri had done it.
The villagers cheered, happy to be alive. William let out a sigh of relief and closed his eyes. Tuna then came over and began licking his face, at which he groaned.
By the time Norri returned to the island, William's injuries had been treated and he was feeling a little better. He, supported by Grean and Jordie, walked towards her.
William: "What happened?"
Norri: "You were right, the green one was controlling all of them. I destroyed it."
William: "I kinda wanted to do it..."
Grean: "Does it matter? We're saved."
Jordie: "But mother isn't," he said before angrily storming off.
Grean: "Is there any chance?"
William: "It doesn't look like their conversion process spares the person."
Grean: "That... Is a shame."
William: "I'm sorry this happened to your people, Mr. Balkech."
Grean: "It is most unfortunate, yes. However you taught us how to defend ourselves so perhaps in the future we will be better prepared."
Making sure William could stand on his own, Grean patted his shoulder and walked away leaving him and Norri alone.
William: "Thank you for doing what you did. I know you had to break your rules but you saved them."
Norri: "Those rules are not as important as the lives of these people."
William: "Are you staying here?"
Norri: "For a little longer. What about you, what are you going to do?"
William: "I don't know. I'm tired. Tired of the war, tired of losing people. Maybe I'll stick around too. Until I get bored."
Very close to the end of the season now, about 4 possibly 5 episodes left. Not sure when they will be posted because I don't really have much time to do this anymore but with any luck, it'll get wrapped up before the end of the year.