Kiirium Echos (Prologue)

Eice Frex

SWRP Writer
Dec 22, 2017
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The groundcar bounced along the uneven terrain of the remote moon, rattling the teeth and other appendages of its passengers as the suspension failed to completely soak up rocks and other obstacles that bounced under the huge tires of the vehicle.

"Remind me again why we couldn't use a repulsorcraft for this??" Remarked one of the passengers, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. As she spoke, the groundcar jolted, bouncing a few of the beings present in their seats and producing a round of grumbling from all aboard.

The driver of the groundcar was a stocky human, male with chocolate-colored skin and black hair. He wore the armor of a Blackrow Risk Management trooper, but had eschewed the helmet, which rattled on the floor beside his seat. He glanced back at his passengers, shrugging his shoulders helplessly; he seemed as uncomfortable as any of them.

"I'd have thought you science types would know." He replied. "The gas giant has an unpredictable magnetosphere, and this moon orbits inside it; repulsorlifts don't work reliably. The company would hate for us to get stuck in a place like this, so, they gave us this."

The driver patted the dashboard of the groundcar. It could have been an antique, although it was actually fairly new; the design of such vehicles had not changed significantly in millennia. Wheeled transport had been passe for about that long; repulsorlifts were quieter, easier to maintain and gave better ride comfort. Still, there were environments where such technology could not be used, and KN-528 was one of them.

"Anyway we won't have to put up with it much longer. According to the nav, the site should be coming up in just a moment..."

Sure enough, the groundcar crested a rise, and there it was. One of the scientists sat up in his chair, pointing excitedly.

"Great old gods... look at that thing!"

The station was of an archaic design, built using methods which had not been widely used since before the days of the Republic. Despite its fall from orbit, and thousand of years of exposure to the toxic atmosphere of the moon, it was still mostly intact; the great wheel that had formed the station's hub rose out of the rust-colored sand at an angle, a few of the photo-voltaic panels which had formed part of its solar power system still attached, glinting in the weak sunlight that reached them so far from the system's primary.

"I dunno, doc." Commented the driver. "It just looks like a lot of old junk to me."

The female scientist who had first spoken stood, making her way from her seat to the cab of the groundcar, staring intently ahead at the looming ruin.

"Old, yes. Junk, far from it." She shook her head. "That station predates the Republic. Hell, it predates Xim the Despot. Back when most navicomputers were the size of a freighter, it made hyperspace travel possible."

She glanced over at the driver.

"You ever wonder how Agorander got the stars to obey his will? Well... that's how."

She gestured grandly at the crashed station.

"The last of Agorander's hyperspace beacons..."

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