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Aristeia! Story

Discussion in 'News' started by HarlequinOfDeath, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    A while ago I started a little story in the Human Sphere with some Aristeia! in it... though English isn't my mothertongue I tried to translate it and hope it doesn't sound weird. ;) I maybe need to read some of the roleplaying books to get more deep into the background but hey... at some point you need to start I guess. ;D

    Here comes the first part:

    REAL DEATH

    ***

    It would be a home game. But not for her. Someone else was the star in the HexaDome of the Tunguska Arena today. And herself? She was getting tired of going into the arena again and again.

    Because the HexaDome was a perversion or maybe just an expression of the perversion of the masses.

    Decades ago, after the silk had been discovered and made usable by the Haqqislam Nation and therefore people were able to map their consciousness and memories, their entire identity, in cubes and thus secure them, human life no longer meant much, or at least the life of the body that the cube was connected to.

    Because even if the body dies, the person who has a cube does not die. The Cube can easily be used in a new body. The only question is whether you can afford this transfer and which new body the budget gave: a cheap normal artificial body, a standard LHost, or even one with expensive physical upgrades. The really rich, on the other hand, usually use their own optimized clones.

    Immortality has its price. And not always just one that you could pay with credits. Psychological disorders due to long age or experiences with the previous body dying bring with them their own problems.

    Real death, on the other hand, if the cube was damaged or even destroyed when the body died, was less common. Accordingly, such a case was strictly prosecuted and severely punished. In some systems of the Human Sphere, this even means the death penalty.

    In the Hexadome, this concept has now being pushed to the extreme and the technically feasible has been exhausted. When someone dies in the arena - and the participant can afford it - the cube is immediately extracted and implanted in a new body. With some adjustment difficulties and possible trauma from the death that occurred just a few moments ago, you are immediately ready for action again and can continue to participate and... die over and over again.

    This brought with it its own problems and quite a few of these athletes were dependent on drugs, gambling or extreme consumption and are most often narcissists.

    In the past, Aristeia!, this so-called sport, was only carried out in the HexaDome by robots and so-called recreations, artificially created people. But the audience quota fell after a while and Vissiorama, an entertainment corporation owning the biggest media network in the Human Sphere and former sponsor of Aristeia!, decided to let real people into the HexaDome to keep the crowd happy.

    Since then, Aristeia! has forced many other popular sporting events, especially in the esports area, such as the virtual Laser League, to rethink and use people, and has led to a boom in bloody events with real people, such as a battle royale.

    But all of these events couldn't keep up with Aristeia!.

    There was no media channel in the Human Sphere without a show on Aristeia!. Plus live streams from various arenas, Aristos social media channels and merchandise for trillions of credits.

    The top league of the whole was the Prime League with the top stars of the sport.

    And at the top she sits in state, the woman who would shape and dominate this evening again: hEXx3r. A Nomad hacker, always masked and mostly wrapped in red robes. Nobody knew what she really looked like. This mysterious appearance coupled with her spectacular manipulations of the HexaDome had made her one of the most popular Aristos. And that had let her survive her shameless provocations against Aristeia's biggest sponsors.

    hEXx3r's head tilted slightly in her direction and the illuminated single eye of hEXx3r's characteristic white mask flashed briefly: "Well, little one? What is bothering you again?"

    "Oh, nothing ..." she replied.

    "You should concentrate, little one. Two more minutes," hEXx3r reminded her, then added, "We can talk about it afterwards. But I would hate to lose today and in my arena."

    This she said so firmly and emphasized that it was her arena here on the Nomads generation ship Tunguska that she did not want to disappoint hEXx3r. She was a star herself and her fans expected a lot from her, after all, it was only three weeks until the end of the season and half a dozen Aristos were almost on point on the road to the victory and the Bahadur title.

    She brushed her thoughts aside and stretched again. Her eyes fell on a young girl in the opposing team. Her name was Laura if she could remember correctly. In the HexaDome, however, she called herself Storm. She was confused because the girl seemed very nervous, even kind of scared. This was actually very unusual in the Prime League, since only the professionals participated and had already gone through a lot. In addition, nobody died in the big official leagues, which took great care to ensure that there were no real deaths. Not so in the underground leagues. Someone died there almost every day.

    The only difficulties for the professionals were the stress, the physical pain and the death experiences that Aristos inevitably suffered in the HexaDome. And she also - as she told herself - took "medication" against it.

    The noise from the arena grew louder. Today a large number of spectators, almost all Nomads, were actually physically present to see their star. Usually they were only projected onto the seats using holograms, but the tickets for today's event were sold out within 1.5 seconds. It was also a political statement. Everyone was aware of that. The Nomads Nation stood closed after the Wotan jump gate affair.

    "Ten!" it popped out of the speakers and she was torn out of her thoughts again. For the next few minutes, only the sport was in the foreground. The crowd counted down the countdown over the commentator's voice.

    Then their team's platform rose and the cheers of the crowd grew louder when they saw Hexxer and cheered for the team.

    Her team was her mentor, hEXx3r, the legendary Bahadur Final Boss, another Nomad, a robot called Mecha-1, and herself, who was known in Aristeia as Gata.

    Their opponents were the legendary Wild Bill, 8-Ball, Maximus and the newcomer Storm.
     
    #1 HarlequinOfDeath, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
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  2. -V-

    -V- A! Team member
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    This first part is promising. If you don't mind, let me comment:
    • The name of the show is "Aristeia!". I know that "!" is a problem, but the correct name must include it.
    • hEXx3r, not Hexxer.
    • ALEPH did not decide about humans in Aristeia! It was Vissiorama's decision. Though ALEPH could have been behind... Who knows?
    • "Usually they were only projected onto the seats using holograms, but the tickets for today's event were sold out within 1.5 seconds". Love it.
    • "And she also - as she told herself - took "medication" against it". The famous Pain Suppressants. :wink:
    :smiley: Waiting for the second part!

    Thx!
    :wink:
     
  3. -V-

    -V- A! Team member
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    One day we'll talk about the main plot of the Core Box... :thinking_face:
     
  4. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    Thank you very much for your positive feedback. :)

    Writing the second part and describing combat will be a challenge to me.

    I changed the names to be correct and the part about Vissiorama/ALEPH. And sure, ALEPH always pulls the strings (saying this as a Nomads player ;)).

    What did you mean here?

    Now I'm curious. :D And would be nice to see a manga/graphic novel from CB in the far future with a story in based around Aristeia!.
     
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  5. -V-

    -V- A! Team member
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    You catch me editing my post. I just added "The famous Pain Suppressants"
    Yes, sure it would! :smiley:
     
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  6. Koni

    Koni BanHammer
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    I'll be more than happy with simply an standalone manga of Gata drawn by Kenny Ruiz. A man can dream!
     
  7. -V-

    -V- A! Team member
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  8. Ealthril

    Ealthril Well-Known Member
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    Hi @HarlequinOfDeath,

    I read this morning into my bus from home work. That's really cool and immersive. I liked the way you settled the story with "her" point of view (discovering only at the end who "she" is) ! :tada:
    And those teams, whooo, I like it and wonder how this match will end (they have 8ball on the other side, who is a Nomad also lol, so is this a fight between Tungunska and Bakunin hidden behind? meanwhile there is Final boss on HeXx3r side... :thinking_face: )

    Go ahead, I found you really at ease describing and writing this story. :facepunch::flag-de:
    Thank you for that advertisement. :clap:

    And I would love also a manga/comic book in Aristeia! universe :innocent: (exclusive Ko Dali miniature from Betrayal resembles a bit to Parvati, doesn't she?)
     
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  9. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    Thought about changing him to Major LUNAH since I got a cool idea for her. But I need that stuff later. ;D
     
  10. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    The story goes on. Thanks to @Jonah for the proofreading:


    "3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Aristeia!"

    As soon as the countdown was over, the first shots hit a billboard next to her. The arena AI had already calculated this in advance and displayed an advert for Wild Bill's casino chain and captured it with the numerous and nimble micro-drones the size of flies that were buzzing around the arena at the right time and equipped with high-performance optics.

    Gata instinctively sought cover, but she lost sight of the opposing team as a result.

    Her subconscious sounded the alarm. She quickly thought about what was strange to her and it took a few seconds before she realized:

    The gravity in the arena had been reduced, because usually Wild Bill's revolvers didn't have that long a range. She only knew such situations from earlier fights on Corregidor, where many Aristos with excellent Zero G training took part in corresponding competitions that were regularly held in their HexaDome.

    She looked at her teammates, who had also taken cover. And they too seemed to have noticed that something was wrong here. Or was that another crazy idea from the show masters?

    hEXx3r switched the fastest and gave Mecha-1 appropriate instructions. If the enemy took advantage of the changed conditions, well, so could they.

    Mecha-1 was an old war robot that had long since been retired thanks to the ALEPH creations. His specialty was therefore a bit outdated and not particularly subtle: transforming into a stationary Gatling gun that let a devastating and continuous hail of fire rattle down on the enemy. With reduced gravity and thus increased range, this was of course an unpredictable quantity.

    However, he would need time to get into a good shooting position.

    "Darling, you have to give Bill a little lesson and I'll give you the necessary distraction," hEXx3r called out to her. "On my command."

    Gata understood and knew that it was up to her now.

    Immediately in the moment as hEXx3r shouted "Now!", she sprinted off. She only saw out of the corner of her eye how an ever faster energetic vortex began to form around the Nomad hacker and heralded her ultimate ability. She was gradually lifted up by the suspension of gravity around her, stripes on her jumpsuit, together with the only visible slit of her characteristic white mask, began to shine as bright as sunlight and emphasized her flawless body even more. And suddenly, at the apparent zenith of the charge, a red nova escaped from it, bathing the arena's hex fields in an equally red light.

    And no matter how often Gata had seen this effect, it was always an impressive spectacle, designed by the best hologram artists in the human sphere.

    The result of this effect was visually impressive and meant that hEXx3r temporarily took over control of all the mechanisms that controlled the HexaDome. Because every field had a hydraulic system to move it, optics for visual special effects, strong magnets and much more; and all of this could therefore also be hacked. And that's exactly what hEXx3r had done.

    The HexaDome now obeyed the Nomad witch.

    Shortly afterwards, the mechanics began to move under the feet of their opponents and briefly shook Wild Bill and Storm. Only Maximus and 8-Ball were able to maintain their balance. However, despite all resistance, they were all moved to other places in the HexaDome.

    Then everything happened at the same time:

    Final Boss gave Gata cover fire as she ran from cover to cover, waiting for the enemy to react. She saw Maximus throw himself in front of Storm to protect her from the fire with his huge shield while 8-Ball tried to get at hEXx3r.

    Wild Bill, on the other hand, assessed the situation and realized almost too late who Gata was targeting. In what seemed to be the last moment he realized that he was her target, pulled out his second revolver, let both swirl around impressively in his hands and discharged the entire chambers of both firearms in Gata's direction.

    But that was what Gata had expected. She let herself fall and slide the last few meters in his direction on the ground, but not without first having administered herself special neuroblockers via a small switch on her wrist, in case she should be hit.

    But everything went well and when she got there, she sprinkled a blinding powder on his face and hit him in the back with a painful but not dangerous blow with her artificial cat's tail, only to scurry away from him.
     
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  11. Ealthril

    Ealthril Well-Known Member
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    That's completely wonderful !

    Thank you mate
     
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  12. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    It has been a while, but I managed to imagine a bit what happens next... (though the whole storyboard is in my mind, I think the hardest part is to describe an Aristeia! match :sweat_smile: ):

    ***

    The drugs coursing through her blood kept pushing Gata. Through the heads-up display projected by her special contact lenses, she had a perfect view of the ziggurat she had to reach within the round timer in order to score, as well as the positions of all Aristos in the HexaDome.

    Such contact lenses were not implanted, one of the few aids Gata allowed herself. Because Gata had never been a friend of augmentations and was known and loved for the fact that with her - in contrast to most other Aristos - everything was natural and she only reached these peaks through hard training. That was her brand. She was the cute daughter, big sister or cool friend that everyone wanted and a multi-billion advertising icon.

    That's why she had to keep secret her increasing drug addiction, which helped her endure the trauma of every match and would have ruined her image.

    Through her team's distractions, she reached the ziggurat just as the timer ran out. "3 victory points for the Tunguska Thunderlords!!!" echoed through the HexaDome only to be immediately replaced by a countdown roared by the crowd: "10, 9, 8..."

    Gata knew they couldn't rest for long. Both teams were already beginning to reposition, and 8-Ball, who had by now reached hEXx3r, tried with his staff and a smug "Be water, babe!" to throw off hEXx3r's balance. But hEXx3r was as supple in her movements as ever and skilfully dodged his action. She gave him a short nod of approval, because after all they were both nomads and good colleagues in real life.
    The countdown rang out: "... 3, 2, 1..." and the HexaDome began to vibrate as the outermost hexes sank and made room for a hologram reminiscent of a raging surf.

    The theme of the evening was Atlantis and the HexaDome sank deeper and deeper into the sea, in keeping with Plato's myth.

    But hEXx3r knew the animation had nothing to do with the cool, salty water it represented. Behind it was a special viscous mass which, once it had caught you, would not release you and acted like a mixture of pudding and hydrochloric acid. You didn't really sink, but were painfully dissolved from below, experiencing what felt like an eternity before the hologram faded over your own agony for the audience, a martial "Frag!" went through the arena and the next incarnation of your self came into action thanks to hyper-fast cube transfer in the HexaDome.

    Wanting to avoid that tonight, her night, she hacked a hex to throw 8-Ball several feet away to avoid giving him another opportunity. She then instructed Mecha-1 to position himself in the center of the HexaDome and keep Wild Bill at bay.
     
    #12 HarlequinOfDeath, Jul 28, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  13. Ealthril

    Ealthril Well-Known Member
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    Nice !

    We want to know what's next :muscle:
     
  14. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    Officially, the playmakers of the Tunguska HexaDome later said it was a malfunction of Mecha-1. Because after all, it was an old model. But what they overlooked, or wanted to overlook, was that these kinds of malfunctions simply didn't happen in the 23rd century. Everything was controlled by a central AI or - in the case of drones like Mecha-1 - was pre-programmed.

    So if something unforeseen happened, someone else had a hand in it. And if you were aware of the security features and jammers in the HexaDome designed to prevent an Aristeia! match from being tampered with from outside, you were either an insider or a damn good hacker.

    Mecha-1 moved into position as requested by hEXx3r. He transformed into a stationary Gatling and began firing. 10,000 shots per minute discharged. However, not in the direction of Wild Bill, but towards the newcomer Storm.

    Storm, to hEXx3r's astonishment, had been ducking since the start of the match, cowering anxiously behind a rock protruding from the sandbars of the imaginary beach. That was more than strange, because by the time an Aristo had climbed all the way to the Prime Leagues, they couldn't be afraid of being hurt or killed anymore. It was always painful, but thanks to Cube technology, you knew you would not actually die.

    In the lower leagues, the Cube then had to be salvaged and re-implanted. In the Prime League, however, things went much faster. The HexaDome's AI made a comprehensive backup of each Cube before the match and kept this remote updated during the match - a unique feature in Aristeia!, since remote access to Cubes was usually forbidden due to personal rights. But the superstars of the greatest league in the Human Sphere enjoyed different privileges than the Aristos in the underground leagues.

    Therefore if an Aristo was killed in any match during the Prime League, the remote backup would be uploaded to a deployed clone's Cube within seconds and the player would be up and running again. At a fraction of their efficiency, because some disorientation at the shock of experiencing their death mere moments before left its mark on anyone, even professional Aristos, and it usually took them a round or two to come to terms with it and clear their heads.

    Sometimes sponsor gifts also allowed the administration of special suppressive drugs to shorten this period of adjustment and reassurance. But that wasn't always common and was, in any case, very costly for the sponsors who gave their favorite heroes an advantage.

    So Storm's actions were even stranger, hEXx3r thought. "Mecha! Stop!" she said over the throat mike, but the robot didn't obey. "Stop!" she shouted now, much to the astonishment of all aristos and spectators, whether in the HexaDome or in front of their screens and holoprojectors. But Mecha-1 relentlessly unloaded its rounds in Storm's direction and the rock splintered more and more, so that soon no cover would protect the young girl.
     
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  15. Ealthril

    Ealthril Well-Known Member
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    i really like how you imagine some of the game effects to make them real into your story!
    Really well done mate
     
  16. HarlequinOfDeath

    HarlequinOfDeath Tha Taskmastaaa
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    But Mecha-1 disobeyed. And the fiber-reinforced composite 3D-printed rock continued to shrink under the shelling. Then, after what felt like an eternity, the first projectiles broke through the prop and hit Storm.

    First one bullet, then the second, and finally dozens. Storm was caught by their force and pushed back and her body, from which all life had drained away in a fraction of a second after the first hits, moved further across the floor of the HexaDome like a lifeless puppet as the projectiles continued to rain down on her.

    And Mecha-1 didn't stop. Even as Maximus, Bill, and the other Aristos began beating and shooting at him, he relentlessly unloaded bullet after bullet at the dead newcomer. Because the Aristos quickly realized that no Cube could withstand such a thing and everyone, Aristos, commentators and spectators looked on in horror at the spectacle before them.

    After the first hit against Storm, it took Mecha-1 48 seconds to become scrap metal. But these 48 seconds were plenty to mercilessly wipe out a young life.

    As the AI of the HexaDome determined Storm's real death, the arena was immediately superimposed by a hologram for the viewers on site and all streams were interrupted by advertising.

    No one saw Maximus exhaustedly holding his shield stuck in Mecha-1's mechanisms, or Gata hiding her face in hEXx3r's arms in shock and tears.

    "It can't be," Gata stuttered, crying. "That must not be…"

    ***

    Real death, thought hEXx3r. How long had that not been the case? At least not in the Prime League. There were too many safety devices to bypass.

    She was at home on the couch in her apartment on the Nomads mothership Tunguska, thinking hard but still trembling about what had happened in the HexaDome three hours earlier.

    "Can I get you something else?" a melodious voice asked softly.

    She looked up. Her bodyguard Jack looked at her caringly and she was grateful that he was with her at that moment.

    He had been a nuisance to her at first, since she had never needed a bodyguard. But with her increased popularity, her sponsors and some influential families on Tunguska had insisted that she accept him.

    Now she was glad she had allowed it. She hadn't needed him very often since then, but quickly realized that she could rely on him and that if in doubt he would protect her unconditionally with his life. And now she needed him too. More than ever. But she would never let him know how much.

    She knew, however, that after months of service, Jack's unconditional dedication wasn't just based on professionalism. He loved her, she was sure of that. And she him. But as long as she pursued this sport, she could not and would not allow it anymore.

    "No," she replied politely, lowering her gaze thoughtfully. After a few moments, however, she noticed Jack continuing to look at her. She was unsure for a moment, then she looked at him questioningly.

    "Are you sure?" he asked. "You're dealing with more than just the shock of what happened today."

    "Mhm..." hEXx3r reacted absently.

    "You can't let go of how it happened. And of course the death of the young girl.”

    Still hEXx3r didn't answer.

    "Do you want to talk about it?"

    She looked up and regarded him. His stature was immense. Packed with state-of-the-art cyber-, bio-, and nanotechnology, he was a seven-foot-tall fighting machine, with synthetic muscles and other implants subtly concealed behind a normal organic-looking appearance.

    He was like a Haqqislam super soldier or a bodybuilder in a designer suit and much more. Because his dark brown eyes, synthetic or not, calmed her and made it easier for her to think clearly after the shocking accident.

    "What do you think of the incident?" she asked him.

    "Very strange," he replied.

    "Why?"

    "I think you've come to the same conclusion. Normally this doesn't happen. Unless someone wants someone else dead and spends a lot of money and pulls a lot of strings.”

    She nodded.

    "Admittedly, that's a lot of conditions," he continued. "But it shows that someone very powerful didn't even care that it was happening in front of everyone. And it did, in the truest sense of the word. The entire Human Sphere has seen it. It was like a statement.”

    She nodded again.

    "And that's why you should keep your hands off it. 'Cause I know you but that's a size too big for you."

    Her blue-grey eyes contradicted at first and then seamlessly changed to something Jack didn't like at all.

    "Don't look at me like that," he responded indignantly, partly mocking, partly seriously. hEXx3r smiled. She rose lithely from the couch, her flawless body silhouetted against the semi-transparent cream silk kimono, giving Jack a shiver of pleasure and her appreciation of his reaction. She stepped towards him, placed her graceful hands on his chest and looked up at him. At 1.80 meters, she was a tall woman, slim and fit. But next to him she seemed like a fragile plant.

    But Jack knew that this plant had strong tendrils and poisonous thorns. With Laura, as that was the real name behind her Hexadome persona, you shouldn't be fooled by her looks. She was a brilliant and hard-nosed businesswoman, hacker, and athlete who knew how to get her way. Also with him.

    "What do you need?" he relented frankly.

    She smiled, “I want you to find out for me who hacked the HexaDome and Mecha-1. Kick down a few doors if you have to.”

    "Why is that so important to you?" he asked.

    "I don't know…" she said. “Firstly, I would like to know who it was and how it could be possible. But the fate of the girl is much more important to me. I want to know who she was and why she had to die."

    "I'm not sure I'm going to like the way this whole story ends," Jack mused.

    "You're scared?" Laura asked in astonishment.

    "Like I said, this might be a tad too big for you, and by extension, for me."

    Laura guessed why Jack hesitated. She had heard stories about him. He was a former Bakunin S.W.A.S.T. Taskmaster, an elite soldier from the Special Weapons and Suppressive Tactics Team who was as brutal and uncompromising as it sounded.

    After an incident on Praxis on Bakunin in which some moderators - that was the local police forces - and Morlocks lost their lives to contain a failed experiment and give the S.W.A.S.T. Team blamed it, the officer in charge, a Taskmaster sergeant, at a hearing had only spoken of necessary pawn sacrifices because of the many casualties, replying: "It's not going to keep me up at night, and if you mind, well, that is your problem. As I said, we make the rules here. Tell us what the problem is and we'll take care of it, but don't tell us how to do it, that's our job. And believe me, we're damn good at it.”

    The sergeant ended up not even being reprimanded for that statement and the incident. The higher-ups had just been glad that all the work going on there had been kept safe and secret. The action, however, reinforced the reputation of these soldiers, who were not only excellent and uncompromising combatants, but also, by necessity, good tacticians.

    So is Jack. After his service with the S.W.A.S.T. he continued his career in the combined forces of the Nomad Nation, carrying out assignments in the interest of the nation and, of course, for wealthy clients.

    And according to the rumors Laura had heard, on one such assignment, Jack had been betrayed by his then-partner and significant other and had been sidelined for a while. To this day she hadn't been able to find out why. All files on the incident were gone, or well above her security clearance as an Interventor in reserve in the armed forces, and also well above the clearances of her old military connections.

    At some point Jack reappeared and served as an Intruder on an outpost to protect other Nomads from attacks.

    It had all been very strange and during her research, words like Black Hand and Cube hacking were used and she was quickly told not to investigate further.

    The Interventors were the Nomads' elite military hackers and the starting point of their meteoric rise in the HexaDome. Laura had done many assignments with this unit and to this day she used the knowledge she acquired during her service and her sponsor-funded military-grade equipment to her advantage in Aristeia!.

    But she couldn't shake the feeling that everything she'd experienced while on duty didn't come close to matching the horror and harshness Jack had experienced.

    Still, Laura knew that Jack wouldn't turn her down on anything that at least didn't directly endanger her safety if she did it skillfully and gave him some leeway.

    "So what do you suggest?" she asked.

    He sighed deeply and replied, "There are not many hackers who have the know-how for such a risky and difficult task. I can ask around but I have to do it secretly."

    "That's all I wanted," she smiled.

    "It just won't stop there," he replied.
     
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  • About Us

    We are a company founded in 2001 in Cangas (Spain), and devoted to design and manufacture games and figures. Our main product, Infinity the Game, was born with the ambition to satisfy the most demanding audience, offering the best quality.

     

    Why are we here?

     

    Because we are, first and foremost, players.

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