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Helios Preludes

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:01 pm
by Lazarus
The world in which Helios is set is almost our Earth. It shares enough history that on the surface it's indistinguishable up to the arrival of the Providers. The same news made it onto television, the same politicians were in power. Some of the difference is in science, there are things that work in the Helios version of our Earth that in our world would defy physical and biological laws. Some of what is pure fiction in our world, for this story is disguised historical fact.

Beyond that I'll need to make a few tweaks for the narrative. One is that because the game is set shortly in our future, and set in America, I'm guessing Hillary Clinton is the US President. Also government surveillance is less strict in this future, it is not intended to be a political game, so I don't intend any agency involvement above the police level.

With all that said I move on to the prelude.

Re: Helios Preludes

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:01 pm
by Lazarus
Prelude 1 (character knowledge)

August 27 2016
Astronomers spot an unknown object moving within the solar system. Moving at a speed not achievable by the aerospace industry the object approaches Earth, stopping just over 700,000km away.

August 28 2016
The object now identified as a craft over half a kilometre in length moves again, taking up orbit less than 7km from the International Space Station. A radio message is heard aboard the space station broadcast in a garble of multiple languages, most identifiable as a version of “Teach us your words.” The six man crew supported from the ground begin communication with the alien craft, with a focus on Russian, English, and French. The aliens quickly begin to communicate fully, aided by a translation technology. The aliens self identify as dimensional travellers, nearly identical to Earth's Humans, from a colony world called Hope.

August 29 2016
With understanding up to a level both parties are comfortable with, a smaller craft approaches to dock with the ISS. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov is the first man to shake hands with Head Diplomat Provider 24739. The people of Earth learn of the Provider mission to bring peaceful technologies to every civilisation that will welcome them.

Sept - November 2016
The Providers continue to negotiate diplomatic contact, opening dialogue with every welcoming nation. Their translators assimilate all languages offered to them. They offer advancements in medicine, new chemical and biological sources of power, and a rudimentary replicator system to provide free nutrition to famine regions. Conflict and paranoia erupt on Earth slowing negotiations, fuelled by fear of the aliens intentions, religious, and economic questions. For the most part Earth governments agree to receive alien missionaries.

December 2016 – May 2018
The Providers land across Earth as more and more nations accept their aid. It doesn't take long before they have a mission in nearly every major hospital on the planet.

They make true on their promises beginning with blueprints and recipes for new methods of power manufacture, plus a unit in each hospital to make it self sufficient. A common question asked in these early days is “Why don't you give out that power technology”; to which is answered “If we give you limitless power tomorrow your current energy sources will be worthless, what will that do to your economies? No we give you methods that will take time to implement, that will be enough for now, and we will provide seed knowledge you can use to develop beyond on your own.” Predictably the fuel market does crash, but retains enough value to continue.

The food replicators get released where needed without technological plans. Essentially sealed units that exchange garbage and dirt for plates of unappetizing mush. The Providers refuse an unrestricted release of the replicator technology for two given reasons. First that a large part of the Earth's economic links revolve around food production and distribution. Secondly that advanced replicators can potentially create anything, including weapons and hazardous materials. A number of the food units are stolen or damaged, but the machines prove to completely cease to be operable if opened or moved.

Medicine proves to be where the Providers provide the most advancement, giving a vast amount of equipment and training. Of the worlds economic powerhouses the pharmaceutical industry takes the biggest hit, becoming nearly redundant. With scanning technology that can take a full body look down to the cellular level, energy beams and fields with selectable depth, cell culturing methods, and medical nano-machines. Cancer becomes curable without so much as breaking the skin. Bacteria and virus' can be selectively purged. The Providers display further technology that can repair any wound, and even reverse ageing, but for the most part the most advanced medicine is kept beyond public reach.

Several terrorist attacks take place during this time, and more are thwarted. No provider lives are lost in these attacks.

June 2 2018

A well funded, simultaneous attack against dozens of Provider hospitals takes place, mostly in America. Attackers include moles in some of the security forces provided by the host countries. The attacks cause a great deal of destruction, and seem to have a focus on theft of the alien technology. No terrorist group takes credit for the attacks, but some are under suspicion. The Providers release a press statement that some of their diplomats were injured but none were killed, that various equipment was stolen, but that it was doubted much of it could be used. They further announced they would be moving their missions away from the hospitals, for increased security, and because the Humans were trained enough to work without them.

June 20 2018 > Now

Provider Clinics begin opening in major cities, wherever local government accepts them operating under embassy rules, and with their own hired security. A new service is offered of a 20 year rejuvenation, offered mostly to the rich for exorbitant asset based sums. Some controversy sparks up at the aliens decision to operate as a business, but overall their apparent desire for wealth serves to humanise them to the public.

Poorer clients from the predominantly poor neighbourhoods where the clinics set up are called in by specific invitation for employment based rejuvenation. Those who agree receive a free rejuvenation in exchange for a 3 year contract as paid employees. Their wages paid from a fraction of the richer rejuvenation clients. Initially this sparks a flood of people seeking accommodation near provider clinics, which dwindles when the Providers declare only those initial hires would all be from near the clinic. The clinics also keep busy curing all non-aging based ailments.

Re: Helios Preludes

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:02 pm
by Lazarus
Prelude 2

Simon awoke again, blurry and sore. Someone was lifting him, he failed to hold in a whimper as his memory woke up. He was in a bland grey room being lifted from the bed to his wheelchair, no not his wheelchair 'a' wheelchair. This wasn't his home, or a hospital, no it was somewhere wrong. The orderlies if that's what they are say nothing as he's deposited gently into the seat. He knows they hate him, at first he just saw it in their eyes, now it screams from them straight into his mind. Whatever they'd done was changing him.

One of them opened the door, while the other wheeled him out to a corridor. More clean grey walls, and the sharp light. “Please.” He begs. “No more.” There is no response beyond the waves of hate, and a wrongness he feels from them. Somewhere new, or somewhere he doesn't remember, and his memory has been oh so sharp these last few days. They move through corridors, a lift, he fits it all to his mental map, trying to piece this complex together.

Finally stopping at a door one of the men presses a button, a howl of pain sounds through the door. Open, through, and he's facing strangers. The door clicks closed behind him, the orderlies departing. Simon stares at the three strangers, and very strange they are. A woman tall beautiful, with eyes expressing terror is the most normal of the three. The big man lumbering about, and swearing is hard to ignore, both for his rancour, and the disfiguring scales across his body. The third one is another man, old, short, with rubbery features, he looks like he wants to fade into the wall. Simon senses fear and despair from all of them, and the scaled man also radiates pain and anger.

The woman is the first to greet him. “I'm Caroline.” She says. He feels pity and discomfort from her as she takes his hand. “I'm Simon.” He responds. They cut away from the introductions, the tall man having calmed enough to take some sympathy from the others. They explain the floor is electrocuted around the door, and he'd been pacing when the buzzer had been pressed. Caroline lays a hand on the scaled man, and Simon feels the pained thoughts sooth. He asks. “You have a power too?” The other man quiet up till now chimes in. “We all do.” Waving his hands at the tall man he calls out. “Turn that frown upside down!” The tall mans face goes slack then breaks into a goofy grin, Simon also feels his thoughts relax and soften, the fear and anger vanishing. Feeling tired Simon cuts the intrusion into their thoughts, recovering power as he listens to their stories.

Caroline explains that she is a trainee doctor grabbed on her walk home from work. Since then she's been through injections, tests. She's been drugged so many times she can't tell how long she's been here. She has a power that helps with healing, and heals fast herself.

The tall man tells Simon to call him Moose, apparently because he looked like Jared Padalecki, whoever that is. This sets Moose off complaining about the things that were done to him, that the MLB will can him for illegal drug use. Simon can see the others have heard this before repeatedly, as Moose bemoans his ruined baseball career. Eventually he revealed he'd been driven off the road by another driver. There he had been attacked, cuffed, and watched in horror as a body wearing his clothes was put in his car, than the car lit on fire. His story of his treatment sounds similar to Simon's own, painful spinal injections, strange food, and time feeling ill. His skin had itched and ripped leaving him looking like a monster.

The last of Simon's new companions tells him he's Mojo the Clown, and that yes he'd had his name legally changed. Mojo doesn't remember his capture, or much of his imprisonment, except something about lights. He'd started discovering an ability to make things happen, even claiming to be able to see through things, a little bit. If he concentrates he can see lines of colourful light which he can draw on to power these new tricks.

Relaxing a little in the company of these changed people Simon tells his own story. A cripple since childhood he'd learned programming and graphic design. He had hopes of developing computer games, but so far has had to settle for work as a beta tester. He'd been taken from his own home where he lived alone. He speculates that he won't be missed from work, because staff frequently stop turning up to the crap pay, long hours, and lousy work conditions. He tells them how he's been feeling weaker, but he thinks smarter since the injections. His telepathy, telekinesis, and a post cognitive touch.

Their stories reveal them all to be from separate states Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and none of them with a clue to their current locale. All of them had been brought in from separate cells. The four bunks in the room suggesting no new roomies to come. The in room toilet showing that there will be no dignity offered. After hours of conversation the floor crackles around the door, and a cart of food is pushed in. One of the attendants waves a large revolver around, causing even Moose to back off. The group eats and eventually beds down for fitful sleep.

Another day of captivity passes, with only food cart visits from their captives. Simon decided to voice an idea. “My last cell was opened with a key card, but this one just takes a press of a button. I think I might be able to push the button through the wall, especially if Mojo can see through to make sure I'm lined up just right?” “What about that fuckin' shocker?” Asks Moose. Simon smiles. “This chair has rubber tires, if the rest of you stay back...” Mojo waddles his way up to the door, gesturing and exclaiming. “Peekaboo I see you! Hmm.. ..yes (tap), the button is precisely here!” Simon drives up to the wall by the door as the others move back to the bunks. He concentrates pulling towards himself with the power. He sighs with relief as the crackling floor fails to zap him, and with another twist of the power the door slowly swings in.

The foursome move cautiously into the corridor. Simon quietly tells them what he can of the layout. “ I believe if we go this way it will be into uncharted corridors, but I hope we'll find another elevator. It sounded like one through the walls.” They move on the wheelchair humming in the wake of the others slapping bare feet.

Down another corridor a side door opens revealing a man in surgical garb. Moose slams into him before he can fully react, but the man proves monstrously strong, and he hurls Moose back. Mojo shouts something about a banana, at which the man crashes to the ground. Simon sees the man start to draw a gun and manages to yank it away with a though. Moose picks up the gun as the others struggle to hold the man down. “Keep him still!” His first booming shot ricochets off the floor, the second a bullet in the head doesn't show any sign of slowing the man down. “I don't think that thing is Human?!” “Turn that smile upside down! (oof) I can't calm him!” The thing shaped as a man manages to throw Mojo and Caroline back, and pushes back to its feet. “Die damn you!” Shouts Moose as he manages to get a shot into the things chest knocking it back to the ground. Mojo yells at Moose. “Gimme that piece and you hold him!” Moose complies body slamming down onto the struggling thing, Caroline grabbing onto an arm. The creature looks close to struggling free again as another slugs enters its head, Mojo's small body thrown back by the recoil. Finally the creature stays down.

Moose grins at Mojo favouring a sore hand. “Thought you knew how to use that?” I do grumbles the old clown, but this thing is huge, the bullets are bigger than my finger. And you nearly took my head off with that first shot!” Moose looks away. “Yeah well, whatever, I ain't owned a gun.” Caroline cuts in. “Guys I found a key card.”

Using the card the group move into the room the man-thing emerged from with Moose dragging the body in behind them. The room is a surprisingly plush office, Simon drives his chair up to the main desk. He touches the keyboard, his eyes start rolling back. The others watch patiently as Simon does his thing, his hands tapping slowly across the keys, and other keys moving apparently of their own accord. “This wasn't that monsters office, I saw.. ..someone else here, and I saw their password. I'm in!” The others crowd around as he looks through the options. “Jesus! Some of this stuff looks like it's written by a Bond villain, this place even has a self destruct option, and there are other prisoners here.”

Before he can poke around further Simon's chair starts to drive backwards slamming against the wall. The door opens and men and women start rushing into the room. Moose charges into one of them beginning to grapple. Another man in a security uniform raises a gun like the one Mojo carries, Moose goes down with two shots in his head. Mojo shoots one of the others in the arm, the injury apparently ignored.

The fight goes fast from there. The gun in Mojo's hand clicking uselessly, out of rounds. Two of the staff creatures manage to hold Caroline. Mojo doesn't try to resist. Simon stabs impotently at the chairs controls. The guard looms over Moose, barely alive on the ground. “I deem this one too dangerous.” Two more shots leave Moose clearly dead. Caroline and Mojo scream and try to struggle as one then the other have a gun like device pressed to their forehead, both are left standing dumbly, obediently with a metallic something on their brows.

Simon whimpers, his escape attempt foiled, and his new friends dead or worse. “Please!” he begs as a bracer is clipped to his arm. He feels it go away, his powers. “Please don't hurt me!” None of the staff react with anything but looks of hate. “One of the staff remarks. “We will need a new Peter, father will be displeased.” “You are not to call him that.” Replies the shooter in the guard uniform. “This Peter was weak, our master will not care. Take these old race scum to the cell adjoining the other prisoners, we'll test the Builder. Let the other prisoners watch.” And with that Simon was wheeled off to his fate.

Re: Helios Preludes

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:02 pm
by Lazarus
Prelude 3 (character knowledge)

In New Orleans in the summer of 2009, between Catrina and the oil spill there was another disaster, or rather a series of disasters over less than a week. First an intense building fire seen from across much of the city spread ruin across several city blocks. The initial fire so intense the firefighters were hard pressed to keep it contained.

Over the next few days people started to disappear. This largely went unnoticed at the time, as many of those who vanished apparently booked holidays or otherwise looked to have left by choice. It wasn't long however before people noticed more than two thousand people had essentially vanished without a trace. This included some people of influence, the police chief and wife, the district attorney and wife, and a noticeable chunk of the New Orleans police force. The bulk of the disappearances were people with few friends or family, making it hard to judge who were part of this bulk disappearance, and who had just moved on to new lives elsewhere.

Some suspect many of the lost may have been killed when a plane was stolen from the Alvin Callender Field airbase outside New Orleans, and used to drop a substantial payload of bombs on a waste dump also outside New Orleans.

These events had quickly fallen into favour with conspiracy theorist, and out of the thoughts of most other people. If any connection does exist between the fire, the missing people, and the bombing, it hasn't been shared on public records.