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[M - B05] Uplink

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Planet: Marphacia - B05

Tags: Military, Building.

Chapter 2: Uplink.

Yseult stood on the upper terrace on the eastern side of the M.A.N.T.I.S. outpost watching the Marphacene sunrise. As usual, the morning mists diffused it into a messy and unattractive blur that was far too bright for her liking but she hadn't been able to sleep again, so she watched it anyway.


Why am I here, she pondered, considering the unusual events that had led to her being wrapped up in the Galaxy's 'most avoided' mega-coporation. She didn't trust them, but then they probably didn't trust her either... except maybe for that scientist... Why an I here Big Sal? Why did you bring me in?

"Late finish or early start?" The voice behind her came from a man carrying two steaming mugs, one of which he offered her. "Either way" he continued, raising his eyebrows to emphasise the offer, and perhaps intonate that there is wisdom in having the drink. "Coffee?" Yseult asked, taking it with both hands, the warmth welcoming against the brisk early morning air. The man let out a wry smile. "I wish" he responded. "Why pay to ship in coffee once they discovered you could get twice the caffeine from locally grown delicious cold-steeped brooga beans. Just add..." He looked, down at his mug with a worried expression. "Well, anything that'll take the taste away". Yseult couldn't stop a brief smile and an ever more brief chuckle. She looked at her feet as if to hide her face in embarrassment; it had been a long time since anyone had made her laugh. The man carried the smile he had from evoking the reaction openly. "And there was everyone telling me the new girl was just a walking bad temper." He said, holding his mug forward. That's because I am she thought. She considered the gesture, Friendship her heart implored. You can't trust him her head warned. Warily, she raised her mug and they chinked with a dull thud. "Riddaeon" He said before taking a large gulp of the brew. Yseult stopped, perhaps she'd hoped she'd never have to tell him, she'd prefer not to. It was an instinct, she was safer if no one knew who she was, that was how it had been for five years now. That's how I survive. "Yseult" she finally said, as quietly as she could get away with before taking a long sip of the drink herself. She didn't mind the bitterness so much as the flavour of something trying to be a tart fruit and a herb at the same time. She lowered the mug and couldn't hold back the grimace of displeasure but upon seeing Riddaeon's similar reaction, they both found some comedy in sharing such an unpleasant experience. "It's very bad" she was finally able said once the taste has stopped forcing her mouth into a painfully tight sliver.

The moment was broken by the sound of an approaching shuttle as it flew directly overhead and disappeared at the peak of the pyramid-like structure that formed the outpost. 'Uplink' was a communications hub, its landing bays arranged vertically down the centre of the North and South faces with smooth walls of opaque and transparent composites on either side. The East and West faces were not so elegant, one having a huge dish for off-world communications and data transfer (the function that gave the outpost its name) and the other having the communal block and local transceiver antenna. At the top of the pyramid, 360 degree views were afforded to traffic control and the executive's offices, above which was their private landing pad. with regular traffic all being directed to approach the main landing bays from the North or South, a shuttle arriving from the West into the peak of the structure could only mean one thing... Someone important had arrived. Once the shuttle was out of view, Riddaeon looked back to Yseult. "Looks like news of your arrival is spreading" He said. She looked back at him, did he expect an answer? Did he think she knew who was in the shuttle? "I've seen people come and go in M.A.N.T.I.S." He continued. "I know what kind of people they are, what they look like". He paused for a moment, as if trying to figure out the answer to a question he hadn't asked yet. "They don't look like you." A tension emerged between them. Yseult knew M.A.N.T.I.S. operatives were supposed to be suspicious types, always looking for spies. Was she accused? Suspected? He took a last gulp of his despicable coffee and inspected the dregs at the bottom of the mug. "Why are you here... Yseult Brenneux?" He gave her one last look, then casually strolled back towards the building entrance. "I didn't tell you my full name" she call after him. He stopped, gently placed his mug on a nearby table. "No." he replied with certainty. "You didn't". He gave her one last glance, then turned and continued to the doors back inside. He's trying to read me she told herself, or scare me. She didn't like either. Uncertainty clutched at her. Where am I? Why am I here?. Would she ever get back to her normal life? But I don't want to go back. I didn't choose that life, they left me there. She was tired of looking back though, M.A.N.T.I.S. was a strange place but look what it offered. But if I leave, I'll never find her... I'll never get her back.

Chapter 1: The mark

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The plot thickens! Love the layers of mystery in this character and the story. Curious to see why the guy knows her full name and what he suspects! Can't wait to see what happens next in your story! Great build too!

~Insectoid Aristocrat

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