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Dyson: Shore Leave on Esson


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( Setting: Deep space, some 9 years after the start of Dyson: Journey )

http:// 2kinds. com/ forum/ viewtopic. php?t=1337

Hey, you checked here? Then look at my topic number for that forum! IT was Leet! muahaha.

Dyson: Third Dark War: Shore Leave on Esson




A tear in subspace opened above the planet of Esson sending out a rainbow of colours in all directions. Thousands of meters worth of metal and armour flashed out as a massive starship reverted to real space.


Two seconds later the planetary defense net detected the ship and hailed it.

"This is Esson planetary defense to incoming super heavy cruiser, please identify yourself."

After a moment of delay the ship responded to the query. "This is the ACC Storm Hawk inbound. Permission to enter orbit. We would like to request military leave visas for the crew."

Several second passed then they recieved a data stream from the planet directing them to enter geostationary orbit.


Captain Jed Enright, a Terran in his late thirties, turned to his first officer, a Kavarian woman who looked older than most mountain ranges. "They didn't ask very many questions before letting us into orbit."


"Do you blame them? We're less than a days travel from the border. If it wern't for all of the ships that came here for leave they would have been wiped out years ago."

"True." The captain sighed to himself. "I suppose we had better get to it then. Begin organizing leave parties Commander. I wan't all of our secondary personnel taken care of first then the primary."

"Aye sir."


+ + +


It was a day later and the captain sat in his office reading performance reports. The moment he'd been dreading since they entered orbit was fast approaching. The door to his office chimed right on cue. "Come."

The door parted to reveal the heavily scarred face of Major Alexander Valient. The commander of three of the Carrier's corvette squadrons was a well known workaholic who could turn the worst squadrons into line units in weeks. Rumor going arround the ship had it that he had been in special forces before becoming a pilot.

"Welcome Major, I was expecting you. "


The Major also tended to be conservative with words unless it was something he enjoyed talking about.

"You're here to try and convince me not to send you on leave."

"Yes sir. I was hoping to spend the time setting up some new simulations for my pilots when they return."

Enright sighed to himself and called up the Major's record. "It says here that in the two years since you joined the pilot corps you've barely taken a day of leave time. The only extended period away from the ships or simulators was two weeks in a medical ward after an assassination attempt."


"That's part of the reason tha-"

"Major Valient."

"Yes sir?"

"Major you are going on leave and that is final."

When the major seemed to hesitate a moment he added, "Do I have to make that an order?"

He didn't look happy. That wasn't his problem. The only other option he had was to disobey orders and according to his record that wouldn't happen any time soon.

"No sir."

Both saluted and the Major let himself out.



+ + +


Three hours later in civillian dress Alex sat in the passenger seat of a ground vehicle with the other two pilots of his flight; Velsa and Dian. The palm trees and fancy looking hotels of the beach resort flashing past on either side.


Dian leaned forward from the back seat to talk to Alex. "Aww come on Commander, it can't be that bad going on a vacation."


Dian had joined the service arround the same time as Alex but had gotten into trouble hacking into secure databanks. Fleet Intelligence had eventually caught him washing huge sums of money though false accounts, landing him in the brig for six months. As part of his probation he was to be kept under survielance by another member of the squadron at all times. His long hair seemed to be dyed a permanent emerald green, which, combined with the pointed ears, made him stand out in any crowed.

"Yes it can be that bad. Every time I try to go on leave somone tries to assassinate me!"


"That's what happens when you've got an enemy death mark on you boss." Said Velsa, who sat at the wheel of thier vehicle. "They send people to kill you. "


Velsa was a veteran pilot and had been first assigned to the front before Alex even joined the Military. She was something of a hero figure in her homeland on one of the worlds of the Dominion, as evidenced by the gold metal band she wore on her forehead. Her career had taken a turn for the worse after geting shot down three years ago, ending her lucky streak. Eventually she had ended up in his unit of misfits.

"You could always tell US what you did in Black Ops to get an enemy Death Mark."


"I was NOT in Black Ops you two. That's just rumor going arround the ship."


"Well anyways don't worry, because today we are going some place enemy spies would never look for you." said Velsa with a certain level of confidence to her voice.


"Really..." Alex was intrigued. "Would it be a movie theatre?"



"Hiding at the ground side military base?" Dian offered.



"Getting into a bar fight?"

"No." She grinned, "but you can still do that later."


"I give up. Suprise me Lieutenant."

"Hang gliding!"

Silence filled the car.

Finally Alex coughted into his hand. "...I'm afraid I don't follow. Hang... what?"


(Written and © Aug 2nd 2005. Revised Sept 12th 2005 )

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"Don't tell me you've never heard of hang gliding before?"

"Never came up in conversation before. Why is it dangerous?"

Dian spoke up from the back seat. "Well you two have a good time with that I'll just climb out this back window." The green haired hacker started looing for ways to detach the piece of Aluglass that made up the rear of the vehicle.


"Stop that!" Velsa shouted over her shoulder. "This is a rental, and hang gliding on Esson is very safe. I tried it durring one of my first tours of duty."


"I still have no idea what it is."

"You'll see in a second."


They turned onto a high speed roadway headed south west of the main city. This entire resort was built on an enormous extinct volcanoe that had mostly sunken into the ocean hundreds of years ago. The main resort was built on the North Island which curved arround to the East and West.


As they picked up speed they could see that this roadway followed the curve of the island for the most part. The furtheur along the curve it went, the highter the road seemed to go. The gentle slope curved up and then almost straight to the top a tall hill... where the road seemed to end in mid air.

Instead of slowing down Velsa increased speed. "Ah Velsa?"

"Yes sir... er Alex?" She didn't seem in the least bit concerned. "You do see that gap at the end of the roadway right?"

"No. There isn't any gap."

Alex looked back at Dian, who seemed frozen with fear.

"Ok Lieutenant, jokes over you can stop the car now. "

The road narrowed to two lanes.


"If I did that we'd be hit by the car behind us. "

Looking first to Velsa and then the end of the road speeding closer he said over his shoulder.

"Better strap in tight Dian." Then matched actions to words and tightend his straps.


The car flashed past the end of the road way but didn't fall. Seconds later Velsa adjusted a control knob on the dash and a bluish almost crystal looking structure appeared beneath them.

"Sorry I forgot to set the windows to show the roadway."

Dian inhaled loudly and Alex felt his breathing return to normal.

"Holographic roadway." said Velsa guessing his question. "It leads to a floating platform a few thousand meers up. See it over there?" Looking to the left in the direction she was pointing he could see a large platform hovering some 3000m above the submerged southern section of the crater wall.


"What is it?"


"It's a jump platform. You jump from the outer edge of the platform and glide down to water level. If you can find out where the thermals are you can stay aloft a whole afternoon."




"They'll explain everything when we get there." She glanced back. "Dian are you going?"


"No I think I'll watch from the ground. You two can go ahead."

"Nice try mister but you are staying under survielance." Quipped Alex.


"I'll keep an eye on him while you try it out then sir."


The roadway began to curve toward the platform. Up ahead could bee seen several large spirals underneath the platform as the roadway continued upward.

"Just wondering but what happens if the roadway fails?"

"The local cars have a built in emergency repulsor system that will lower them to the ground at a safe speed."

"I should have noticed that." Grumbled Dian. "If I had, I wouldn't have gotten scared over the road ending."


Minutes later they followed the spiral up and into the parking garage, then headed off towards the main entrance. The large indoor area was bustling with people of all walks and species. Vesla signed Alex up for hang gliding lessons then returned a moment later with a ticket and a thick square of folded material.

"Here's you ticket and a personal effects bag to put your stuff in. We'll meet you up on the deck before you jump."

Wishing him luck the two younger pilots headed off in the direction of the heaviest traffic.


Checking his ticket, Alex headed off in the direction of the orange coloured gate. The attendant cheched his ticket and he was allowed to step through a size scanner to beore being handed a rescue orange colour jumpsuit. Next along this hall were changing stalls of varrying size which he took the opportunity to use. A few minutes later he walked through the next door while tightening some of the adjustable arm straps.


An attendant was waiting and directed him furthur into the room toward the left side. Both sides of the room each had several small slightly raised platforms. When no one else entered after him the attendant walked over.


"We might as well start, it's the slow part of the day right now."


Alex put down his personal effects bag by the wall.


"Don't you want that in a locker, or put on a transit shuttle to take it down to the recovery area?"


"No." he responded "I want this in sight until it's time to jump. A uh.. friend of mine is going to pick it up before I jump. "


"Ok." The attendant shruged then moved off the the laft a bit. "This is a forty minute flight training tutorial system to familiarize yourself with the standard hang glider. "


The attendant gestured toward one of the three circular raised platforms on this side of the room.


"Please step onto the Holo pad."


He stepped up onto the pad and was instantly in open air several thousand meters above the ground. Atleast that's what it looked like.


What he assumed was the hang glider appeared above him.


"Let me give you a hand with that." The assistant appeard out of thin air, stepping through the holographic illusion.


"There is an attachment point on the back of your suit that hooks onto the frame about one meter back from the handles."


With help he attached himself to the unlikely looking contraption.


"Ok good. Now, put one hand on either side of the handle bars and try to straighten your legs out so that they point out behind you."


"Like this?" Alex asked leaning forward and pointing his legs straight back letting the attachemnt in the back of his suit hold him up.


"Good. Ok, you keep your legs out behind you for two reasons; Balance and wind resistance, or drag. You can shift your weight from forward and backward to adjust your flight angle. Lean left or right to bank and turn. Sound simple enough? "


"About as straightforward as I like it. "

"Now, do you know what thermals are?"

"A friend of mine was telling me about them a bit."


"Well here on Esson we have both natural and artificial thermals. Thermals are columns of rising hot air that allow you to climb to higher altitudes. The natural ones are erratic at best and vary through the seasons, so we made several of our own using the Holo technology that is so abundant here.

"There are artificial ones at various altitudes that allow you to climb back up to the same altitude as the main Platform. Some of the staff here use both types of thermals to get above the platform some times."


The attendant unpaused the tutorial program and allowed Alex to fly arround the simulated skies for a few minutes and every now and then would ask him to turn the glider this way and that to make sure that he had the basics down. After awhile Alex turned to where he guessed the attendant was behind the projection and asked, "Can I do a barrel roll in one of these?"


She chuckled and smiled to herself. "I think you should just keep to the basics while you're out there. Don't overdo it on your first flight in one of these, just enjoy the flight."




"I think that you are ready for the real thing. Remember to stay alert for wind gusts."


"Thank you that was a really helpfull tutorial."


They headed up a set of stairs that ended at two swinging doors leading out onto one of the main jump decks of the platform. As they stepped out the doors another person wearing an instructors outfit handed Alex an armband marking him as a jumper, not one of the many tourists on deck. Off to the left were Dian and Velsa leaning against the railing of a deck over looking the jump area. Waving to them the pair descended a nearby ramp and came over.


The attendant pointed Alex over to a parked hang glider where another instructor was waiting.


"So this is your first jump?" Asked the thin, weathered looking man.


"Ok. I see you have your personal effects bag with you. Do you have anything else to put in it before giving it to your friends?"


"Yean just a couple of things I didn't want to get lost." He then proceded to remove a half dozen concealed weapons and placed them in the bag, followed by a thin but heavy looking flack vest.

"I have permits for those weapons before you ask." Alex turned to Dian. "Here could you take this bag for me? Oh and-" Alex leaned in close, "You are not to open that bag unless there is a serious emergency, hear me?"

"Yes Sir!" Shouted the green haired young man and tried his best to stand at attention. He picked up the bag and moved off, clearly muttering "Dear God what all does he have in here, it weighs more than my ship..."


"We'll see you on the ground Commander." Said Velsa, throwing a mock salute and heading off after Dian.


"If you could come over here I'll get you hooked in an ready to go." said the old instructor.


He attached the connection to the back of his suit just like in the simulator than walked over to a clear wall facing out into air. Touching a button the wall became a platform extending out a handful of meters over open air.


"This is one of the actual jump platforms. The idea is that you walk out onto it, and I turn it off causing you to fall and immedialy begin gliding."


"Oh... is there another option?"


"Well what some people do is extend the platform enough for them to run and jump off the end."


"I thinking I like the second option. Atleast that way it feels more like I'm doing it intentionally."


The instructor took a moment to get hold of an overwatch flight to let them know a novice jumper would launch soon. Seconds later he gave Alex the all clear. "Anytime you're ready kid."


Alex started thinking to himself that 'kid' was ususally how he addressed most of his pilots.

Lifting up the glider by it's handle bar he started walking out onto to platform. In the last few meters he picked up speed and jumped at the very end. "Here.. I.. GOooooo!"


(Written and © Aug 2nd 2005. Revised Sept 12th 2005 )

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