Dr. Dresden walked out of his observatory and stared at the vast expanse of green that draped over the Gaian surface. Mountains rose so high that their tips seemed to extend through Gaia’s thick clouds, into space. In the distance, he could see Flaperots soar through the sky, with their massive bat-like wings catching the updrafts of wind. The Flaperots had sharp curved beaks perfect for tearing into flesh. They were known to prefer sea prey like Fryons, but would occasionally attack humans if given the opportunity.
Dr. Dresden jumped back as a giant stinger, the size of a horse hovered and buzzed in front of him. The insect had four wings in two pairs, that beat alternately. Two sets of four eyes glistened a deep purple, surrounded by a growth of black hairs that faded away as they approached the giant insect’s bright yellow abdomen and reappeared – albeit in lighter numbers – on the insect’s legs. The abdomen curved and rolled into a C shape, ending in a wicked looking black sting. Right now, that sting was pointed at Dr. Dresden’s chest. The insect shot forward, striking an invisible barrier that briefly shone blue on impact.
The stunned insect flew around aimlessly for a while before quickly scampering away.
Thank goodness for force field technology.
Dr. Dresden’s observatory was situated atop the titanic walls that surrounded Eden. From here, he had a clear view of the nighttime sky and could use the Zeus Sky Probe to search through so many deep regions of the universe. The probe was archaic, but it would do just fine for now. Thankfully, the city was covered by an invisible shield dome, not many people knew about. The dome was the real protection. Stingers were known to hunt individually, as well as in swarms, and they could easily fly above Eden’s massive walls. If the dome weren’t there, it would be a blood bath in Stinger mating and breeding season. The same could be said for the Flaperots.
The position of his observatory also gave him another advantage. He could see and analyze this side of the Gaian landscape. He hoped the analysis would show him the truth about the impact scars he observed on the north side of Eden’s wall. The walls were slowly being healed by Nano-repairers and would be all but invisible to the untrained eye. However, Dr. Dresden knew one when he saw it. Any Explorer would. You didn’t get through years of training and deep space travel without seeing your fair share of the universe’s own ballistic missiles impact planets and stars. The scars were always shaped in similar patterns.
The rangebot he had been waiting for, drifted into view, it’s anti-gravity discs pulsating a blue light as a faint humming sound emanated from them. The rangebot’s transparent sample holder showed it had retrieved some sediments from the section of the wall it had been programmed to explore. He turned around and walked back to his observatory, the rangebot effortlessly slipping through the shield and following a few paces behind him. The bot landed softly on Dr. Dresden’s desk and the glass shielding the sample holder, popped open with a slight fizzing sound.
Dr. Dresden scooped out a bit of the sediment with a scalpel and placed it under the powerful gaze of an atomiscope. His eyes widened after a few seconds. Dr. Dresden quickly picked up his DDI and dialed commander Glyn’s channel. He had to tell him what he’d found out, immediately.
The mechanical sounds filled the night air as a slender figure in a dark metallic suit and blue visor raced through the thick forest towards a clear opening, just before the base of Eden’s gigantic walls. The runner skid to a stop and looked around at four other figures crouched at the base of the wall. The four figures were considerably more masculine than the first, and when they spoke, their voices confirmed as much.
“How much longer, Baxter?” the slender figure asked the one who was drilling into the base of the wall.
A feminine voice was heard. The slender figure was a woman and the authority in her voice suggested a level of command over the rest of the group.
The one called Baxter stretched his arms and arched his back while letting out a satisfied groan when it popped. Each movement was punctuated with the mechanical whirr of his suit. The black suits were created from a metal that was as sleek and smooth as it was highly durable and resilient. It was capable of taking at least one direct concussive blast from a small attack ship, before being structurally compromised.
“Should be a couple of minutes now, Alexa.”
Even though Alexa couldn’t see his face due to his helmet and visor, she could tell he was grinning.
“I know you can’t wait to see him again.” Baxter continued in a taunting tone.
“This has nothing to do with that!” Alexa snapped.
“Alright, alright you two.” A big muscular figured stepped in between the two of them. “We’ve come too far to give away our position because of your squabbles. Alexa, you are our leader but you need to put your emotions in check. Baxter, get on it. We need to be on the other side of the wall, immediately.”
Alexa sighed and turned away.
The sound of the drilling got a bit louder and soon there was a hiss of air as the plasma flare cut through the thick metal and concrete mass at the bottom of the wall.
The air was wafting through the manhole Baxter had created.
“Guys, that is the sweet sound of a breach. Are we ready to move?”
“We must be. Nano-repairers are in low concentrations at the base of the wall, but they still exist. We’ve got a ten-minute window before this hole begins to close. Let’s move!”
Alexa turned around and punched her left palm with her right fist, keeping both joined together.
“Time to kill the devil. Inform beta team of our successful breach through the north wall and tell them to proceed towards us on the double. Baxter, deploy our Nano-destroyers to engage the walls natural healing system. That should buy them an extra ten minutes. We are first in. Go.”