- Chapter 1: Interview / Awakening
- Chapter 2: Interview // Escape
- Chapter 3: Interview /// Terminal
- Chapter 4: Interview //// Relay
- Chapter 5: Sanctuary
- Chapter 6: Ivara
The Orbiter floated away from Venus and quickly escaped its gravitational influence. Amita was very excited about the smooth flight and the freedom that the larger vessel was giving her, but Manmi was more interested in the Railjack escort that accompanied them from the Relay on the way to the Venus-Earth Junction station.She was still inhabiting Ivara as she stood in the empty metallic room on the port side of the Orbiter, watching the massive ship below.
“Flying in space is soooo much easier than flying in the atmosphere!” Amita chirped energetically as her hologram appeared in a small projector pedestal nearby, breaking Manmi’s reverie “Just aim and go! There’s no interference from gravity or atmospheric conditions! The information that Simaris uploaded to me is super helpful too but the simplicity is just great!”
“Just aim and go?” Ivara asked as she walked past the hologram and out into the corridor, “What about debris? Enemy ships?”
“This thing has SO MANY SENSORS! You don’t even know!”Amita chirped excitedly, her voice coming through speakers in the passage between rooms, “I mean, being integrated into this magnificent ship must be like you being in a Warframe right? Just so much… more of everything!”
“Hmm, something like that.” Ivara said while standing in front of the Somatic Link pod. Manmi was keeping it closed; it was a very disorienting feeling looking at herself while looking at herself when she opened it up without breaking the link. But she had spent enough time without a Warframe on Venus that she was more than happy to stick with the one she has. Even if Ivara lacked in certain areas compared to Vauban, she was a very capable frame for Manmi’s purposes. Especially since her purpose was to hunt.
“Amita, how long until we reach the Junction?” Ivara asked as she left the Somatic Link room. She wanted to get to Earth as soon as possible so that she could synthesize a “Ballista” for Cephalon Simaris and prove her worth as a Hunter. Once she did, she could have a steady stream of missions to perform and meaning in her life once again.Since the Orbiter was meant to, well, orbit a planet it lacked the Void Drives necessary to travel the vast distances between planets itself, so it relied on the old Junctions to make the big jump between planets in the system.
“Not long now,” Amita said, “We’re already in range of the Vikhandan’s weapons so our escort pulled back to Venus.” There used to be armadas of Railjacks throughout the system. Manmi remembered the one she served on back during the War, the Stambh, but it went down with so many others in the battle against Hunhow. Now it seemed that there was barely enough to make a single fleet, and they split duties such as escorting and protecting the Junctions. If they didn’t, the Grineer and the Corpus would likely destroy them to cripple the ability for Tenno to travel across the system. Manmi was not entirely aware of the full scale of operations, but from what little she had seen it seemed that the Grineer and the Corpus would quite like to stop the Tenno from traveling around so freely.
Ivara approached the automated weapon rack and activated it. Two weapons came into view, the only two available to her. Manmi was completely reliant on Cephalon Simaris at the moment for all of her gear and equipment. So far he was only willing to invest so much materielle on her, but fortunately for Manmi they were weapons that she was well acquainted with already. The Vectis sniper rifle was one of her preferred weapons back in the old War, and the twin Fang daggers were not her favorite weapons for getting up close with her enemies, they were more than capable of getting the job done in a pinch.
“Amita, how long have you been operational?” Ivara asked as she walked to the front of the ship to watch the approach on the Junction. The Vikhandan was visible and growing larger with each passing second.
“I was first activated six point seven two five years ago,” Amita said, “I was the seven-hundred and fifty fifth in a line of five thousand Cephalons specialized for operating and maintaining secure locations, but it's really boring. Why?”
“I was just curious what I’ve missed since while I was in cryostasis,” Ivara said, “Everything is different now.”
“Well that’s easy!” Amita said cheerily, “How long were you in cryostasis?”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh… that’s less easy,” Amita said in a ponderous tone, her hologram appearing in a small pedestal by the navigation console, “What do you remember before you were cryostasised?”
“That’s…” Ivara started, but shook her head and decided to ignore the fake word, “I went into stasis with many of my brethren after we brought down the Orokin.”
“The Orokin?” Ivara asked, looking at the hologram, “The system-spanning empire? They ruled… everything.”
“Hmm… nope, never heard of them.” Amita said, “Next time we talk to Simaris I’ll ask to get plugged into the Weave again and find out. Maybe we’ll be close enough for radio contact with some other Cephalons when we get to Earth that I can ask them too.”
Manmi was incredulous for a moment. How could anyone not know about the Orokin? But she reconciled the idea that if Amita was only half a decade old and the Orokin were wiped out a significant amount of time ago – long enough for the Corpus to become an apparent threat and the ‘Grineer’ to be on par with them – then it was plausible. If Amita was only given the information required to run a prison then she likely did not have much in the way of historic knowledge.
“Yes, please do that.” she told Amita. She wanted to follow up on the idea some more but her mind was distracted as they came upon the Junction. Manmi was usually able to keep her focus, but there was so much for her to take in and so little time to do it that she found her mind wandering from subject to subject. She had so many questions, but thus far her only source of answers was a six-year-old Cephalon who knew more about who was stealing office supplies in a Venusian accounting department than the largest, most influential empire in the history of the Origin System.
The Orbiter made its final approach to the Junction. The beam of energy powering the station passed across the field of view and came to a stop a few hundred kilometers away. At that point a bright blue flash exploded in the black emptiness and a swirling vortex appeared. Amita guided the ship towards the portal while vector graphs appeared on the navigation console. Ivara had no idea what they meant; she was not uneducated in the physics of interplanetary travel, but the graphs and text scrolled too fast for her to keep up.
“Alright, make sure you’re sitting down for this part,” Amita said in an excited tone, her hologram whirling energetically on the projection pad, “Simaris told me it would be a bit bumpy!”
“Cephalon Simaris said ‘a bit bumpy’?” Ivara said while looking for a seat, her tone flat and implying disbelief at the notion, “There aren’t any seats in-”
The moment that the Orbiter touched the threshold of the portal there was a sudden jolt as the ship was teleported across the vast distance of space between Venus and Earth. Ivara was almost knocked off-balance from the jolt, and when it emerged from the other side she fell forward into the console.
“Yep!” Amita chirped, “The Jhagha-class orbiters have an older model of acceleration dampeners so there’s some jittering between the two points of space. You’ll get used to it! Oh but maybe we should install a chair or two. Or five! What if you get a full crew! That would be a-may-ziiiiiiiiing! Well a crew isn’t really needed, I got this whole ship covered. But friends! Friends would be great! We could tell stories and talk about our days and…”
Amita’s voice faded out of Ivara’s attention as she looked out through the orbiter’s view at Earth. Earth. The origin of life in the system. Everything that ever was and is came from there. A world she had never seen with her own eyes. A world she had never set foot on before today. But more awe-inspiring than Earth was the cracked and snared Lua off to the side. Lua, the capital. Lua, the battleground. Lua, the last place Manmi remembered being before waking up from cryostasis.
Is Vauban there? She wondered silently. She would have to find time to investigate. Once she earned more help from Simaris perhaps. She needed to start earning that now.
“Amita, prepare the landing craft,” Ivara said, walking deeper into the Orbiter. It was time to land Earth. It was time to hunt.
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