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IN:FLUX

The Turning Point

Agent Carre waited at the rendez-vous for the leaders of the Neonoans to show up. She squinted against the sunlight as she stared up at the sky. In a grandiose arc, the spaceship careened through the clouds, bursting them apart. Brilliant blue thrusters lit up as it slowed in preparation for its descent. Agent Carre knew that the only hope the resistance had of beating Supreme Leader was to betray the gullible Neonoans, so far their only allies in the fight. The newcomers had already built five reactors, and now had enough power to charge the enormous beacon they were constructing at the landing site of their intergallacting vessel. They also had alien weapons that would be invaluable in the fight. The CIN operative felt somewhat bad for what was about to happen, but in war nothing is fair and any alliance was purely situational. This much she knew.

            “Prepare the ambush,” she whispered into her mic, and glanced at the nano-armoured adepts hidden amongst the rocky ridge nearby.

***

The game of In:Flux takes a turning point whenever a player reaches 5 reactors. Once this occurs, CIN agents embedded in groups of refugees flee from the opponent’s territory. It is your job as CIN operative to open up a laneway and retrieve them. Everyone will try to stop you!

Five reactors signals the end-game start. The Neonoans finally have enough energy to build their interstellar beacon, to call down an alien presence which they believe will unite all of humanity once and for all.

Meanwhile, it is in Supreme Leader’s best interests to get 5 reactors in order to wallop any opposition with their massive armies, led by spider tanks! Genesis with it’s teleporting technology may hold the key to stopping any opponents from achieving their victory conditions. They may become a powerbroker and a useful ally during this phase of the game.

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IN:FLUX

Return to Earth

Commissioner Eloni stood still in his transport pod. The Neonoan forcefield’s subtle humming filled the void in the pod. Eloni, alone with his thoughts, knew this would be the last chance for peace on Earth. He was enroute to a parlay. It was most likely a trap, just like the CIN agents sprung on them when they returned after their 2000 year voyage to the starcluster of Venza. It was decided by unanimous vote that the Neonoans would display honour and impeccable morality when dealing with their unfamiliar brother factions, even the inter-dimensional mutants from the Genesis station, who hardly seemed human at all.

Eloni was thinking about the past. He remembered the Earth being a much different place before they left. It was dying then. World governments had fallen apart and the threat of climate change fractured even old familial alliances. It was a broken world where sisters killed their brothers for survival, and the weather itself was imploding catastrophically, darkening the skies for weeks at a time. The First Collective pooled their resources to leave the planet to find a new home. They did this because it seemed there was no other option. Now…Well, now the world was ruled by fear under the authoritarian control of The Supreme Leader, whoever he is. It seems that humanity, has survived after all — some in a space station orbiting a neutron star, others in subterranean tunnels, and others yet submitting to the whims of a vile dictatorship.

Eloni remembered making landfall on Neonoa, the fertile planet at the end of their cosmic journey. They landed in golden fields, surrounded by lush tropical gardens with trees that bore toxic fruit all year long. None of the biosphere of Neonoa was friendly to Terran biology. The settlers were running out of food, struggling to survive on the feces of native insects, the only digestible thing on the entire planet. But the true conflict happened when the science collective discovered an alien fortress buried beneath the surface of the world. The advanced technology, they claimed could solve all their problems. They wanted to stay and dig more, but they were running out of food, and alien diseases were claiming pioneer lives. They had to return to Earth to survive. And when they left, they assumed they were the last sons and daughters of humanity.

In his pod, whirring high above the clouds, the Commissioner turned on some music. He interfaced with the computer to bring up the files on Agent Carré. They would meet and discuss the potential for a truce. Carré was the same shapeshifting nano-entity who ambushed the Reconciliation Committee when the Neonoan spaceship returned to Earth. There was bad blood. The Committee loathed the fact that the CIN scientists had captured Neonoan tech, but Eloni realised they, too, were simply trying to survive in a hostile world. He had sympathy for these poor rebels who lived underground.

The interfaced beeped, and the pod dropped altitude. It was time. The next few minutes would determine who would survive to inherit the Earth.


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IN:FLUX

The Inquest of Commander Xi

Commander Xi stood under the giant columns of the Panoptic Tower entrance. The grand sigil of the Supreme Leader hung in the vaulted lobby like an immense eye, watching his servants.

As militia men passed by, they saluted the Commander. Servants wheeled cases containing  weapons, and bureaucrats checked every visitors’ papers and RFID chips, scanning their hands and eyes as they entered the building.

The Grand Technocrat had requested a special meeting. Commander Xi knew he couldn’t refuse a face-to-face meeting, because it must have been exceptionally important. Normally your standard meeting would be held remotely on holotube, but he looked forward to this one because it was well known that entering the Panoptic Tower meant you got a meal consisting of Old-Earth delicacies such as meat.

At the appropriate hour, his AR wristband lit up and he proceeded past security. They scanned his chips and eye, confiscated his weapons — except for his ceremonial dagger, of course, which was required to be on his personal at all times when in public.

The elevator took him to the 231st floor, which had an amazing view over the hive city. Screens inside displayed surveillance footage from the lobby, the exterior of the building, as well as some random shots of citizens working at their desks.

Within a few minutes, the Technocrat entered, wearing a thick hazmat suit and respirator, indicating he had just returned from one of the toxic zones. The Commander bowed low, as servants whirled around the official disinfecting him, and stripping him of his garb. The man under the respirator was grey, and had the nebulous look of someone who had been through rejuvenation at least a half dozen times. He was wearing his full regalia, which was either a very good or bad sign.

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IN:FLUX

Provenance Station

Provenance Station in orbit at L3 of the dual Solar System Eucaryote IX

Outgoing Signal: Mayday Loop

Status: Emergency Life Support System Engaged

Station Commander’s Log

“This is Chief Scientist Annabel Esteban, last remaining crew member of the Research Station. Evacuation Protocol has failed. This is a warning to any salvagers, rescuers, or morbidly curious interlopers: STAY AWAY! This Station is contaminated with Dark Boson Mycelia. Despite our best efforts, Project Eternal Energy failed. The immense particle collider Genesis Corp financed ripped through the fabric of space/time. Forty-five Spins ago, we discovered the Dark Particles, which Dr. Fiona Burgess dubbed ‘Mycelia’, due to their organic collision patterns akin to the fungoid web of the mushrooms of old Earth. Beware! These particles cause spontaneous mutation in biological life! And all evidence suggest that those transformed by the Dark Boson webbing, enter into an altered state of mind, claiming to commune with entities from a dark dimension far beyond the veil of our own. Provenance Station is lost…”