Several years ago I began a novel that evolved greater than the original concept.
It is a multilayered plot with multiple characters, proud noble families, struggling rebels, covert operations and a conspiracy that reaches far beyond what many of the characters within could imagine.
You are introduced to Damian Marshall, the orphan of the first Rebellion that shattered his home nation after a global war that freed them from the oppressive Imperium. Over two decades later, the same group appears to be agitating for all out war again, and despite his efforts and many others, including the Tau embassy; all seems set to slide back into strife again.
Yet.. something is very curious about these reinvigorated rebels, new abilities and hidden friends. When Damian returns after the latest attack on a community his Family’s foundation supports – he is targeted by elements of the rebellion; an act which lights the tinder anew and sends everyone seeking answers before an all out war destroys everything they have rebuilt.
High in a corner of the chamber, an al’ma’caor infiltrator drone refocused several optical pick-ups. Adjusting further, the diminutive arachnid form shifted to a superior position by which to record the happenings below. Having observed the gue’la leader talk to the gathered soldiers, it continued to watch as the group dispersed, going about their duties quickly and with a much faster pace than before. With the original mission it had been tasked with recently completed; a survey of the complex that involved working alongside a networked clutch of drones like itself; it had little reason to remain longer. Internal logic engines proposed a return to the drop point. A gestalt decision was made across the clutch and they all began to evacuate for recovery.
Skittering along rapidly without attracting more than cursory attention, it retraced a previously mapped route out of the complex. Travelling across service pipes and ducts, down corridors, through adjoining rooms, behind stacked stores and between walking footfalls; it ran fast upon nano-engineered legs.
Suddenly, the drone happened upon a fellow clutch mate. The two halted, waving leg signals and reviewing escape plans over a hastily created link. The clutch mate decided the route it utilised was obsolete and fell in behind the first. They proceeded onwards to an old service vent, through which the first drone had gained entrance earlier that evening by plasma cutting a small coin sized slot. Slipping through it, they climbed vertically to the top. Leaping onto the long grass and leaves outside, the duo crossed the hill overtop the facility below, to close on their drop point as several others arrived in unison.
Kneeling down within his stealth field, Shas’Ui Kunas’Ka Ulo dipped the round cartridge disc in his spare hand onto the forest floor, all twelve al’ma’caor‘vesa hopped onto the lip of it, then curled into their respective connector cusps, like insects eager to hibernate. Standing back up he inserted the canister in a storage recess, then reviewed the newly rendered floorplan as it uploaded across his helmet display.
The facility below his hooves was revealed in intimate detail. He studied the layout with experience, looking for choke points and other such tactical issues as the optically projected floorplan shifted before his vision, following retina movements as he regarded different sections. Satisfied with the completeness of it, Ulo contacted Orbital control.
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