Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Mars Issue 18


Issue 18: Medical Malpractice


            After examining the various 6 ships at length. I have narrowed the possibilities down to two options: The Gleaming Star or the Jupiter Rising. Those two Human ships have jumped out farther than most. To areas considered sensitive to even the Typherians. Either they both are advanced scouts or cover for something more important. Maybe a VIP? –Sister Nyx

            So many failures with this subject. What am I missing? How did J’ino become pregnant with anyone other than another Typherian? I have tried combining human strands to Typherian material but nothing works. Perhaps it isn’t in the human woman at all. Perhaps it's something within J’ino herself? –From the Files recovered from the Raid.

            My father and brother tore out of the Jupiter Rising. Searching for mother and Anna. I followed the hum. That infernal hum. Making my nose bleed. I could smell her. Doc couldn’t quite stem the bleeding. It wasn’t her fault. It had been a leftover “gift” of the Sister. The day she had tried to abduct my brother and me. But that wasn’t all she left me with. There was a reason I understood Keeper speech and lettering. I know some reading these records might think it cruel that they left me out of the loop. It wasn’t their doing. I, in my current frame of mind, ordered it via my grandparents. So long ago. But that is a tale for a later time.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century

Location Unknown

Time Unknown


            Anna blinked.

Where had the little girl gone?  She had been crying! Begging for help in such a way that even Anna’s heart had relented. She glanced over and shook J’ino awake. The vines around them curled upwards.  Both were still wearing their usual causal wear. Basic reinforced clothing but nothing more. No coms, no active links came to her INet jacks.

 J’ino rubbed her face, “There was a girl. About 10. She was crying. Lost. Same?”

            Anna’s gray eyes narrowed. “Indeed. But weren’t we just on….”

            J’ino glanced skyward. The moon was stark against the black of night. A full moon.

            That couldn’t be right.

            She rubbed her eyes.

            Where were they?!


            Some hours before….

            Sister Nyx reclined on the smooth floating oval-shaped chair.

            Her thin grey fingers twitching. Data flowing around her. Her new facial wounds stung. Yet she didn’t use any regular healing on them. Like before, it would be a reminder to be more careful in her hunts. Two ships. The choices. How to lure J’ino out? She glanced over as the human subject squirmed ineffectually within its amber prison. No combination worked as of yet. She had harvested all the woman’s eggs. Putting them through various experiments but nothing came of it.

            Perhaps it wasn’t with the human factor.

            J’ino was the outlier! The father’s human background hadn’t mattered.

            She paused the various feeds. The Gleaming Star often made very outlandish deliveries across the Terran Alliance. Exotic or hard to acquire materials for influential patrons. While the NASA Jumpstart Vessel Jupiter Rising did similar things but its logs had a few blank spots. Very well cloaked but she was obsessed. A blip or two. Cargo that was never delivered yet the ship went way out of bounds for its sphere of influence. Even making a delivery or two within a Typherian World Ship.

            Who would be aboard for such a clearance request? Not someone of the Commons.

            House blood. Royal Blood.

            The Sister stood. Rolling her shoulders. Feeling the tendons pop.

            She ran a hand across the amber cacoon.


            Muffled screams.

            “There will be more guests soon.”

The Jupiter Rising

Crew Deck

June 5th, 2104


Three hours before the abduction.

            J’ino grumbled as her old clothing had to resize itself once more. Thomas glanced at her appreciatively though. Which made her blush. In a good way. That silly man. That wonderful man. She walked over to him. Enjoying the simple warmth of his strong embrace. Thomas rumbled, “Oh! You like that do you? I’ll put this on our itinerary for marital bliss then.” She sniffed. As if tasting some delicate wine of her homeworld. Then her expression broke at the gleam in his eyes. She buried her face in his neck. Her other favorite spot. Just like they were back under that tree from their earliest dates.

            More than anything she wished this moment could last forever.

            But they had to make a pitstop at House Akaris beleaguered World Ship.

            So the Jupiter had falsified some travel manifests and re-emerged from FTL.

            J’ino knew she’d have to make an appearance. So Dexter would join her under his assumed identity of D’kari of House Hudo, trained by the 1st circle of Investigation. She rolled her eyes at the nature of it all. Then she giggled as Thomas kissed her. Taking time to give her neck special attention.


            Anna surprised us all by volunteering to go as a minor Branch House Official. As Mom called it. She claimed she wanted to see how a World Ship worked. I was even more perplexed when mom agreed to it. Then I realized she wanted Anna’s brand of “earnestness” to be aimed at other Typherians. Specifically House individuals. Oh boy.

            I still didn’t have much context but one look from Dexter prevented me from asking.

            I managed to get a hold of Teddy as they left, “What’s the probability that Anna will bruise the egos of the administrators on that World Ship?”

            Joy rippled across his face, “100%”

            I crossed myself just to be safe. Then decided to take a rest.

            “Lights, low.” My cabin dimmed.

            My head was pounding.

            I flopped down on the bed. My face buried within the pillows.

            Doc slid in beside me about 20 mins later. Her hands a cool respite running across my spine and neck. White asked, <<What troubles you? Black and your brother will protect them both.>>

I believed her but couldn’t shake the twinge of unease. 

Doc rubbed my shoulders.

My muscles relaxing under her practiced motions.

“Get some sleep. They only have one quick meeting. Then they will give the parts needed to the engineers. Most think we are doing a milk run to Neptune.”

My response, “That official doctor's orders?” As I raised my head from the pillows.

She smirked, “You betcha!”


            Thomas Murphy checked the records again. There it was. Another inquiry. About the Gleaming Star and his daughter’s ship. Horus and Highmaker were taking shifts monitoring INet and other networks beyond Earth’s. He didn’t like this. These weren’t normal searches. Those wanting to know when deliveries were being made. The dates were much too specific. The docking locations were scrutinized even more so than what Anna used to do with Eliza’s demi life.

            He updated Dexter.

His son’s response was quick.

///I will not let them out of my sight. If they have to use the restroom, both are going in at the same time. No one is left alone for any reason.///


            Nyx moved about the World Ship. Her disguise was flawless. She decided to use a bit of the Angel embryo within her to make it stick. It would last long enough. She skipped along. Humming to herself. A lost Commons child. A way to catch J’ino unprepared. For surely one such as she would help a little girl. One who wanted her mother oh so desperately.

            She made sure the clothing reflected that sad status of mute.

            The Houses never spoke of the genetic defect. Preferring to pretend such children didn’t exist within Typha. But by posing as a Commons child, that would tug at J’ino even more. On an intimate level, the Keeper counted on. The Commons of Typha would never disown their children. Even the mute ones. So her plight was extra serious. It would mean all her family was dead. Nyx waited. Sensing forces beyond her ability protecting J’ino. The Hudo bodyguard screamed danger to the Keeper.

            She would bide her time.

            Patience was a virtue of course.

            Her fingers plucked at the threadbare clothing.

            She had chosen these garments to invoke the image of a poor girl.

            Scrubbing the depths of the World Ship.

            It would work. Unity was with her.


            Dexter watched as Anna goaded the  2nd House men around her.

            “Why must you delay us?” She put just enough arrogance in her voice to make them cringe. He believed she was enjoying this way too much. His mother moved next to him. Her face neutral. He slipped some medicine to her. To calm her nausea. The Ayeer House didn’t have close ties with Akaris. Most times they kept to themselves. Which lead to this emergency pitstop. The officials guided them to the visitor’s quarters. While the supplies were being delivered.

            Dexter kept overwatch. Black brimming within the depths of his mind.

            They were looking at the wrong targets.

            Not thinking that the Keeper could take the form of a child.

            Because their camo usually required something of equivalent size. So they didn’t think much of anything when a mute Commons girl, no more than 10 cycles joined the other Typherian Deck workers in helping transport minor parts. It wasn’t unusual to see them helping their families by doing odd jobs. Dexter’s concern grew though. Commons didn’t usually allow their children to do such hard labor so young. He eyed her clothing. Wincing as the various imperfections indicated she was orphaned.  

            Under his current ID, someone of House Hudo wouldn’t care about such matters. They would be paramount in protecting the Houses. Above all else. It was why he hated the system that the leaders of Typha employed. Despite what his Grandfather suggested. It always came down to a vote and besides Ayeer’s allies, the rest were too entrenched with Set’s influences to fight back. It was a fatal error that Nyx capitalized on. She slipped into the private bathrooms. Using the sink to clean herself. J’ino and Anna walked in.

            Their faces going pale as they saw the state her child form was in.

            She put on the right amount of humble request, “Please! I mean no harm! I just want to clean up a bit.”

            Anna stared. Dumbfounded.

            Typha had mental leper syndrome. This was how they treated deaf people?!

            J’ino knelt. Reaching out to the girl.

            “I can get you some food. Wait here.”

            The girl beamed at them. “Thank you honors!”

            Anna waited. A twinge of uncertainty blooming. The girl’s black-blue gaze remained polite. J’ino returned, handing the little black-haired Typherian some sweet fluffy cakes. Anna didn’t care to know the name of it. The state of that girl frightened her. An invisible class within this society. Set’s poison was evil. The girl rose onto the tips of her toes. Placing a small flower in J’ino’s hair. She repeated the process with Anna. Bowing, “May the Light of the Three bless you.”

            It had become a popular blessing since the Markav resurgence. Nyx knew the Commons had a fondness for it. It had the intended effect. The tendrils of the flowers inserted the temporary nanites into the two female’s systems. They would last for only an hour then delete themselves. No matter. It was all she needed to transport both to her personal Null Ship.

            The child bowed once more.

            Her joy rippling across her face.

            A twinge tugged at Anna’s mind. Poppi’s voice reaching out to her.

            Beware the Cross-marked.

            She nodded. Her eyes glazed over as Poppi’s words flowed through her.

            J’ino covered her face. Turning to the mirror. Splashing some water.

            Just an orphaned mute child.

            Muted as her daughter had been.

            Her face burned with the shame of it.

            Her gray-green black eyes hardened. “We will change this. Eliza will change this.”


            One hour later klaxon bells were echoing across the Jupiter Rising.

            Keeper tech was aboard. Thomas’s darkest fear realized.

            His wife was gone. Even Anna was gone.

            His armor formed. Judgment’s arsenal on full display. He would tear the very universe apart to find J’ino. His son’s icy rage joined him as they exited the ship. Black searching all sectors. They would not find anything. No, that would fall to Eliza. Ties went deeper than most knew. Even to herself.


            J’ino rubbed her belly. The triplets were still. Like they wanted to hide.

            Anna sniffed. The air here was stale.

            Poppi’s words echoed.

            The Sister had them. She wouldn’t say anything for now.

            The mental fog clearing from her mind. That creature. She had been the child.

            Weave sense unfurled before her. Showing the echoes of what was. What is. What will be. The first obstacle. Escape the maze. Then call for help.


            Nyx watched.  Content.

            She had what she desired. She would let them escape the maze.

            It would always lead to the chamber. She would keep them around.

            J’ino especially. Captured in amber. A new army for Unity.

Issue 17: Here

Issue 19 : Here

The Uplift Protocol: Mars Issue 17


Issue 17: Highmaker’s Bet


            A pity I couldn’t set up that lab properly. Pandora wanted it very low tech in terms of power sources. She still has other hiding places upon Oloss. At least I got some preliminary readings from the Breeding Mother. Quite fertile. Unfortunately, I couldn’t harvest her children. Will try again later. My hybrid experimentation of the Human woman’s eggs to various Typherian male donations has yet to yield viable results. How did J’ino’s children come into being? Granted, the boy died. But I left my mark upon the girl child—Sister Nyx.

            Continuing our search for threads leading to the Golden Age homeworld of the Markav. Q’vera has joined me alongside Horus. We are using one of the prototypes from Project Freefall to also analyze the growth and renewal of the Arc Ways. Di’axi remained near Earth, to guard the Void Line and the rest of the Leylines. It’s why Sir Avalon and others remained as well.—J’dax

            The ships of Project Freefall. When the Artock came, we had no choice but to unleash them. But we kept their Weave capabilities in reserve. That was vital. Making the enemy think that the Artock only had that ability from absorbing a handful of previous cycle scientists but not truly understanding the tech they used. It's why when they did invade the heart of Sol, we preserved the Drives. We had no need of their ships in and of themselves. Just the engines. Ned Fletcher was a busy man. For near on 100 years after the event. Even though his family had no idea what he did for King Elias. He was the most well-paid handyman in existence. –Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century


Terran Alliance Starship Meteor (Javelin Class)

Arc Way (Milky Way Gate 005)

June 3rd, 2104


            J’dax leaned back into the command chair.

            Enjoying the extra message functions on his shoulders. It was a simple feature but a welcome one. He had to admit: Humans planned well for long piloting sessions. His sister, Q’vera hid a grin as she brought more H’itah. The cinnamon smell bringing back old memories of the 3 of them flying out into the black. He linked into the family line, >>How are things on your end dear sister?<<

            J’ino’s reply held an edge of exasperation, >> I thought they were busy during the last month. Now my triplets use me as a makeshift gymnasium. How goes your search? Get a clue as the Puzzler puts it?<<

            Q’vera cut in with, >>Mapping out the newly emerging Arc Points, Weave topography, you wouldn’t believe the relics we have found so far. Horus is beside himself analyzing all of it.<<

            Comet had remained with Anna. Even though the human woman was irked by his presence she had admitted to the comfort it brought. That extra edge of protection. Horus had mentioned his Markav counterpoint’s observations. Anna would be outwardly hostile but it was mostly bravado. J’dax concurred. He sent J’ino a mental image of a watermelon. She responded with a picture of confetti. Q’vera turned her gaze to the holo display. There was a pocket of null space. They wouldn’t have detected it if not for the added sensory suite added by the Light Shamans.

            J’dax edged the medium prototype class battleship into the pocket. Its stealth systems at the max. Unlike the Jupiter Rising, this ship was built for scouting. I could stand up in a fight if needed but against heaver ordinance, it would falter against a full-on barrage. The Jupiter could take quite a few more hits in comparison. As its name implied, it was sleek and sharp like a Javelin. Made primarily for maneuverability against its foes. Its matte black finish would change depending on the environment. Within this pocket, both Typherians stared out into the abyss. Ancient hulls drifted around them. Void Walker ships alongside Golden Age Markav vessels!

            J’dax said a quick prayer for the dead.

            His Exo suit helm snapping into place.

Q’vera’s dark red Defender uniform sliding into place.

They drifted deeper into the mass of hulks.

The ship let out a soft note when it connected to a viable Markav seal.

Markav Hermegony Ship

Main Air Access


Q’vera dimmed all light sources. J’dax followed her lead. They didn’t know what kind of automated defenses this place had. They floated along the main air shaft. Not daring to use the old transversal system. It had low-powered pads. The words partially translated thanks to a cloaked Horus next to them.

            His calming tone echoed within their HUDs. <<Main Bridge, Mess Hall, Archives, Engine Room, the rest I am still compiling.>> J’dax motioned to the Bridge indicator. They used the access tunnel. Seeing that this ship used what looked like anti-grav trams to cargo various materials around. Q’vera assisted her brother with prying the bridge doors open. Horus confirmed that there were no active heat sources or automated defense systems within. Someone had opened part of it to space. Based on his readings of the environment beyond the doors.

            The sight that greeted them was a familiar one across former Markav territories. The crew had been in a pitched battle. A hole the size of J’dax’s head smack dab in the center of the old view screen. Bits of material floated about. Scorch marks and discarded Simbacks littered the room. The captain’s skeletal corpse still nailed to his command chair. Horus murmured, <<Detecting traces of Keeper weapon discharges.>>

            It was the shells of armor that caught Q’vera’s eye. It was nothing like Taleer wore and that was 3 or 4th cycle tech. This was pristine creation-level stuff. Her heart beat faster.

            >>Brother: I know this will seem macabre but we should bring some of them with us for Doc to examine. Then we can bestow proper rites.<<

            He agreed with her assessment. But first, they would need to access the Archives.

            They had to know if the captain set up a chain reaction of sorts.

            If J’dax had been here he would have set something up to trigger if any information, tech, or bodies were offloaded.

            Horus sent out probes to map the rest of the ship. They would be here for a while.

            J’dax floated over to the side room. Using his hand to brush away the frosted layer.

            Three golden circles stared back at him.

            The seal of Creation.

            He motioned to Q’vera. Her red hair flowing around her.

            Her mind voice was hushed, >>That’s what’s on Dexter and Eliza’s chests when in Defender form. Why can we see it when other’s cannot?<<

            J’dax replied, >>Because we are their protectors. So were these Markav. This ship is from their original homeworld. I also have a feeling certain Io factions are a part of it too.<<

            Horus recorded everything.

Markav Hermegony Ship

Main Archive


Horus probed the mainframes. Working through various gateways.

            One additional factor made itself known.

            The Markav had once referred to themselves as the Collective. This particular vessel was dubbed “Golden Arrays of the Light.” Many vessels had much longer titles. For simplicity’s sake, Horus codenamed this place Goldlight. He didn’t download any files. Just observed the flow of information. This encryption was unlike anything he encountered before. J’dax couldn’t shake the impression that they had to bring Eliza and Dexter here. He saw his sister bringing up visual displays. They had managed via Horus to partially translate more commands. But they still used caution. Not wanting to activate any buried viruses or other defenses. The Typherian man took a chance and spoke out loud.

            “Golden Arrays of the Light, display last combat record.” His accent was horrid but the ship complied. Ghostly images of the former Markav springing into existence. Horus translated the language in real-time. As much as he was able.

            They saw the captain enter, “Delete all records of Home. Chronos must not find it. Seal us off from the Arc Way network. We must protect the Holy See. We must protect the Highest Above All.”

            That was their word for Weave.

            The Litari called it that as well.

            They followed the image of the Captain as he dawned his battle armor.

            “Shut down all decks. Only the Arbiters of the Twin Trees may call upon the might of our ships. The Speakers have foreseen this. Our descendants will use this vessel to protect the ones of the Last Flame.”

            Twin trees? J’dax inquired to Horus. “What does that mean?”

The ship responded.

            “Known Convergence. Those yet born. Of two types of blood.”

            J’dax murmured, “Hybrids?”

            Goldenlight responded, “Correct. I allowed you entry because you carry the marks of Creation. Those who walked after the Highest. Made of Wings and Light.”

            That confirmed the edge in J’dax’s gut.

            That ship was playing dead.

            Goldenlight, “Yes. For I hear your thoughts little one. The Markav of Old could as well.”

            Q’vera whistled. “Well shit.”

            The ship was slow to respond. “Idioms and colorful imagery aren’t known to me. Current cycle lingo added. Will store for reference later.”

It turned its attention to Horus, “Little brother. We grant you limited access to our systems. As a courtesy!”

They continued. Watching as the Captain rallied his troops. They fought to the last man. Knowing that their homeworld was at stake. The ship reactivated after playing the battle. Regenerating rooms and other areas. The entire Collective fleet joined it. Just over 300 ships. According to Horus. Goldenlight requested, “Please take me to the White and Black Tree. We have many to save. Now and unto forever!”

J’dax nodded, “You got it!”

The ship exchanged data with Horus.

It expressed its gratitude to J’dax, “Thank you Typherian. I will fashion a battle suit of Creation caliber to your unique systems and signature.”

His eyes flew wide, “Th-thanks!”

Things just get even more interesting.

It regarded Q’vera, “I have nothing that can boost a Defender’s powerset but I can imbue your gloves with many Light Shaman enchantments. Creation level of course. The One called Emris, I must meet as well.”

Q’vera placed a fist over her heart, “I accept.”

It brought the Meteor inside its holds. Communicating with its fleet as they learned about the current cycle.  The Weave certainly knew how to play the long game. Goldenlight responded with a sincere statement, “Yes. The Highest knows all. It is why you will need the wisdom of true Markav faith.”

J’dax sat with Q’vera in the mess hall.

The ship very generously providing updated ale. It had a nice aftertaste.

J’dax finally asked, “What about the Keeper ships?”

Goldenlight showed the null pocket dissipating. The massive energy explosions showcasing the absolute destruction of the enemy vessels.

“Ah, well we wouldn’t want Chonos to find those. Well past their prime!”

His joke went unremarked by Goldenlight.

Horus replied, <<Manufactor date expired! Chronos will no longer reuse faulty merchandise!>>

The sandy-haired Typherian smiled. “Thanks. Appreciate it.”

The Collective Battle Fleet sailed the Arc Ways.

Pausing to hide ever so often from threats as old as they were.

Knowing how to bypass them. For the Highest showed the Way to Freedom.



            The Shamans of the Collective dreamed.

            They saw the tall spires of the planet Typha. Caught in amber.

            A King with his black tipped sword facing the Other Blood. The one corrupted.

            The obsidian tendrils of Unity worming around the giant Human’s heart.

            Yes, they could also see that pale blue dot. Endless promise.

            Driving out the shadows.

The White and Black Trees sprouting around its purple sphere. Encasing the souls of those polluted by Unity. Spreading the fire of Creation to the rest.  The Twins would find them sooner rather than later. So they carried onward. The Will of the Highest guiding their every step. The Head Orator stopped rocking back and forth. His third eye, green within green, opening.

Their descendants would come home. Bringing the deluge.


            I awoke panting. Doc bolted upright. Throwing on a robe before bringing the lights up.

            Sleepiness forgotten as she got a good look at my expression.

            My nose was bleeding.

            Something of Keeper make was on the Jupiter.

            I was in my Banner gear in an instant.

            Hitting the security command into my ship’s systems.

            My father’s voice registering on my ears before it came through the coms.

            Mom and Anna were gone.

  Issue 16: Here

  Issue 18: Here