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The Case of the Missing KernelIt was raining outside in Neurocity, a formatting rain. The data was flooding the streets, overloading some of the older programs integrated into the streets and driving them out to be washed away in a stream of grey zeros and ones. My name is Hex, Hex O'Gonel, cyber-eye and code locater. More often then not, that means running through dirty lo-rez back streets chasing errant bits and overflow data. But every once in a while something strange comes through my door, something weird, something that makes all my time in the alleyways worth while.* * *I knew it was one of those times when she walked in my door. She stepped through the door into the circle of dim light cast by a ceiling bit. She was voluptuous, green and had ears so pointed you could use them for needle work."Mr. O'Gonel?" her voice was as soft as a mattress and harkened to the same."Hex 'll do fine doll," I gestured to the worn dark red chair that was opposite my desk. "Take a seat."She sat with a squeak of stretching
Beyond The Rim - NTI 1I am the Emperor's Second, admiral of the Great Gold Fleet and the highest representative of the New Terran Imperium in Rimspace. Every day I awake on my station, The Imperial Colony of Marcosia. Usually things go quietly, allowing myself to wake up slowly. However, I awake with a start this morning, caused by the ringing of the comm. system. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes I turn to the panel and tap it on. "Emperor's Second, Admiral Kravlar. I am active and awaiting." This time in the morning I find myself relaying heavily on the formal comm. greeting, too tired to bother checking the sender."Admiral, this is an Ensign," Subordinates need not say their name, protocol proclaims it a waste of time. Usually I request that my officers name themselves to me, the image of a thoughtful commander is valuable and in my case true. However the Ensign is now required to answer with equal formality. "I am loyal and relaying. The Head Miner is requesting your attention.""Relay the transmission,
Beyond The Rim - PrologueThe Galaxy is a different place from what it once was. With the discovery of Faster Then Light drive (FTL) humanity finally unified under the flag of the Empire of Terra. What was to follow was Pax Terran, an unbroken line of centuries of peace, exploration and expansion. The Empire of Terra organized an ever expanding ring of colonization under the charter to explore the galaxy, expand and strengthen the empire and find new life. These golden years resulted in the discovery of hundreds and thousands of new worlds and habitable planets. Earth and its sister planets were paradises and there was no want within the empire. When two sides of that ring of expansion encountered the galactic rim and no other sentient life had been found, the scientists of the Empire came to a conclusion, there was no other sentient life to be found, humanity was alone. This discovery was a blow to the grand visions and missions of the Empire. Expansion slowed to a near crawl and for the first time in generati