Writing Competition Submission - Decsending Darkness

DECSENDING DARKNESS

By Gabriel P 2022/02/05

LOGLINE
Fragments of a memory crystal are found in the ruins of a megalithic pyramid on planet Eden. The shards contain parts of the words of creation. A fallen angel uses them to create a nightmare army to destroy his master’s creations. A young fortune-hunter and his crew play a crucial role in stopping evil.

STORY SUMMARY
In the aftermath of the colonization wars, The United Realms was created. The nobel families of each realm appoints a representative to a Council, knows as The Court. This Council consist of twelve Elector Judges, they in turn appoint Enforcer Generals, responsible for enforcing Council laws and guaranteeing the influx of resources from the various sectors. The United Realms has been the galaxy’s biggest power factor for many years. Rebellions, pirates and religious fanatics who want to restore the greatness of their gods are a constant threat to stability, trade and the exploitation of the masses by the upper class. To support the army and the navy, each nobel family is bound to give their third child to the Lodges. These institutions are responsible for training and educating officers. By genetic manipulation these individuals are destined for glory.

The seer Malaki wrote the book Deus Domi (Home of God) over a 1000 years ago. His controversial view of God saw him burned as a heretic. He describes God as a physical being with unparalleled insights in science. In his scripture, he points to God’s place among the stars, the planet Eden. The book disappeared shortly after his death and was believed to have been destroyed, until now.

Bastian Lux is a young nobleman. As the family’s third child, he was sent to The Warriors Lodge. After fierce battles on the edge of the galaxy, he has seen many injustices. When his ship was listed as missing in action, he took the opportunity to desert with his crew and two other officers, Mika Zipova from The Technological Lodge and Serge Umbra from The Assassins Lodge. They have all lost faith in the council, choosing a life as a fortune-hunters and mercenaries. The galaxy is large and they have managed to stay away from the council’s long arm by changing the ship’s identification codes.

On the planet Sion-6 they take on a mission, to find and exterminate a doomsday cult. In their holy chamber they find a book, the Deus Domi. The high priest survives and hides on Bastian’s lander. Once onboard the ship, which is at anchor in the planet’s orbit, he stays in the shadows.

Mika tries to decipher the book and discovers that it points to a place among the stars the seer calls the Home of God, the mythical planet Eden. What was previously considered a legend now becomes Bastian and his crew’s destination in the pursuit of glory and wealth. After a catastrophic event the priest makes himself known and helps Bastian to find Eden.

In the ruins of a megalithic pyramid, they find the fragments of a memory crystal and a humanoid creature. The body is over three meters long and has been mummified by the dry climate. While Bastian and Mika examine the shards, the priest approaches the body. When he touches it, he is filled with the life energy that still lingers. The priest becomes possessed by the fallen angel Asmodeus, who was left to die after an uprising on the planet. He now has a way of Eden. He takes control of the priest’s consciousness but bids his time. Serge explores the pyramid on his own and finds what looks like a dagger, rough and covered with a layer of crystallized dust. He takes the blade as a souvenir.

Back on the ship, they examine the shards of the memory crystal. The information is damaged but with the high-tech equipment on board they find fragments of the words of creation, the formula for creating life.

When they reach the Hebron system, they stop at a space station above the planet Rhamos for supplies. Asmodius, who has taken over the priest’s body, sneaks off the ship. He finds a lost soul, a captain under Enforcer General Hasdrubael Wecht. The priest finds out that the general is harboring rebellious thoughts. He tells the captain about the memory crystal and together they make a plan.

When Bastian leaves Rhamos, it does not take long before they are attacked by a small fleet that has been at anchor. The priest and the shards are gone and when a life capsule leaves the ship, the betrayal is a fact. They are forced to flee and the life capsule is picked up by the captain’s ship.

Bastian and his crew are faced with a difficult choice, inform The United Realms with the risk of being convicted for deserting, or leave the matter to chance. The shards pose a huge threat and Bastian realizes that they have opened Pandora’s box. With the identification codes on the ships that attacked them, they head to the core worlds. Bastian chooses to present the case himself, so as not to risk the lives of the others. The Elector Judges does not want to listen to his story. Bastian is put in handcuffs and sent to prison moon Hades.

Mika and Serge are reached by the news. They make a heroic prisonbreak and head to Bastian’s father, Rhoban van Lux. They receive a cold reception. When one of Rhoban’s merchant ships returns with disturbing news from the Hebron system, he decides to take their story seriously. They go to the council where Rhoban speaks on behalf of his son. They choose to send a fleet to investigate. Bastian’s ship is ordered to accompany the fleet.

Enforcer General Hasdrubael Wecht controls the Hebron system. He has rebellious thoughts against The United Realms. When his captain hands over the priest and the shards, he sees his chance. Together, Asmodius and Hasdrubael begin to experiment with the fragments of God’s formula. In Asmodius’ hands, it has nightmare-like consequences. The population mutates into monsters. Asmodius takes his true form and Hasdrubael becomes his right hand in a new twisted form.

When Bastian and the fleet reach the core worlds of the Hebron system, they face the forces of Asmodeus and Hasdrubael. Bastian, Mika, Serge and a group of elite soldiers descend to the surface of the capitol world. They are forced to fight against creatures that were previously the planet population before descending into a tunnel system. Through the corridors they enter the capital city in search of Asmodeus and his laboratory.

Non-organic inhabitants have not been affected by Asmodius experiment. They find a broken bodyguard robot that Mika and her assistant droid repair. After she reprograms it to protect her, the robot guides them through the tunnels to the laboratory. They find Asmodeus and fight for their lives. When Bastian is injured, Serge throws himself at Asmodeus. Serge is killed and falls. The dagger from Eden hits the floor and the crystallized dust falls off. A perfect blade is revealed with strange symbols. The robot takes the blade and stabs Asmodeus in the back. The angel loses strength and Bastian gets to his feet. With his last strength he cuts off the angel’s head.

They take the shards and flee from the monsters that storm the laboratory. They report that they have the shards and join the battle in the void. Hasdrubael dies when his flagship explodes. Bastian and the fleet win the battle and bombs the city from orbit.

Once back, they hand over the shards to the council. A remnant figure detaches itself from the shadows and folds back the hood. The face radiates light, the voice is neither male nor female. The angel says that the knowledge in the shards was never intended for the mortal races, they must be brought back to the Lord. The fragments of the memory crystal fly to the angel’s hand. Before it disappears, it gives the council a warning, they must change their paths otherwise the galaxy is lost.

MAIN CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Bastian Lux - Officer, Warriors Lodge. Genetically engineered with wolf DNA he has predator-like features. He is stronger, has sharper senses and instincts than an ordinary man.

Mika Zipova - Officer, Technological Lodge. Genetic engineering has given her a third arm. Technological implants make her a living encyclopedia and her cognitive ability is far above normal. Trained in the use of technology she can repair almost anything.

Serge Umbra - Officer, Assassins Lodge. Genetically engineered with snake DNA he has reptilian features. He is fast, agile and can move almost silently. He fights with knives and blades and is an expert on poisons.

C-MOS - Mikas technical assistant droid. Small and equipped with variety of tools it is a technician’s best friend.

Luther Navale - Priest of a doomsday cult. He has lost all faith in humanity and the other races. As the last keeper of the book, Deus Domi, he knows the scripture almost by hart. His biggest dream is to travel to Eden.

Asmodeus - A fallen angel who tried to kill his creator. Left on Eden to die he wants revenge and is set on destroying god’s creations.

Hasdrubael Wecht - Enforcer General for the Hebron Sector. Bitter and tired of taking orders from The Court he wants to rebel and crush The United Relms.

SETTING DESCRIPTION
Glory of the Void - Bastian’s ship is a sleek space frigate. A state of the art battle barge. It has been modified to carry more cargo and now has a crew of a few hundred men and an elite force of 30 soldiers. The ship is in relatively good condition but with some defects.

Sion 6 - A pale world of smog and decay.

Eden - A deserted planet of stone and gravel. Half the surface is in the darkness and half in constant daylight. The vast rocky desert is filled with fossil remains of unknown animals and creatures. A giant dead tree stands at the foot of a megalithic pyramid. The building is crumbling, a ruin after a bygone war.

The Court’s palace - The council is based in an ultra-modern mega-city. At the top of this hive city lies their palace. Marble and gold is mixed with the latest technology.

Hades - A prison moon without atmosphere. On the crater-filled surface is a prison complex made of gray concrete.

Rohban’s Palace – This barock palace lies on a lush planet. A mix of castle and spaceport.

The planet Cerberus - This is the capital of the Hebron system. A big city with tall skyscrapers that stretch against a fiery yellow sky. The population are mutated nightmare creatures. Many have been loaded on board ships as ground troops, but the streets are far from deserted. The older parts of the city lie below the ground and form a system of tunnels. Here the outcasts move, who also mutated into monsters.

EPISODE SUMMARIES

Episode 1

Bastian and his friends take on the mission, to destroy the doomsday cult on Sion-6. They enter with their elite soldiers. The cult members resist fiercely and some of the soldiers die. They find the book Deus Domi in the cult’s holy chamber. After collecting their reward, they take the lander up to the ship in orbit. One of the cult’s priests, Luther Navale, survives and hides on board Bastian’s lander. Mika manages to decipher part of the book and they set course for Eden. On the way they run into difficulties. The book is hard to decipher and they end up in an unstable area in space, the ship risks being destroyed.

Episode 2

They get out of the area and the priest makes himself known. He offers to help and interpret the book, in exchange for being allowed to follow them down to the surface of Eden. They accept the priest’s suggestions. Through a wormhole they reach Eden. They land at the ruins of a megalithic pyramid. In the vaults, Bastian and Mika find the shards of a memory crystal. The priest finds Asmodeus’ mummified body and becomes possessed by the fallen angel. Asmodeus continues to act as the priest Luther to get away from Eden. Serge finds the dagger covered by crystallized dust. They leave the planet. The shards turn out to contain fragments of the words of creation. They make their way back through the wormhole and stop at the spaceport above Rahmos to replenish their stores. The priest makes an agreement with one of Hasdrubael’s captains. When they leave Rahmos, Bastian’s ship is attacked. The priest takes the shards and escapes in a life capsule.

Episode 3

Bastian and his friends are forced to flee. They realize that the information in the shards is a threat. They have the identification codes on the ships that attacked and make the decision to inform The United Realms. They go to the core worlds. The captain and the priest travels to the sector’s capital world, Cerberus. The priest is introduced to Enforcer General Hesdrubael Wecht. The general sees his chance to increase his power with the help of the shards. He enters an agreement with the priest who begins to experiment with the words of creation. Bastian meets the council. They do not want to heed the warning and send Bastian to the prison moon Hades. The priest puts together a formula of the fragments and unleashes the power.

Episode 4

Mika and Serge succeed with a heroic prison break on Hades. The priest who unleashed the power of his formula takes his true form as Asmodeus and the planet’s population become monsters. Hasdrubael also becomes a darker version of himself. They gather ships and prepare to spread the formula to the entire sector. Bastian and his friends go to Bastian’s father Rohban van Lux for help. After a chilly reception, Rohban receives disturbing information from one of its merchant ships. A nightmare fleet gathers at Cerberus.

Episode 5

Rohban speaks before the council, which decides to send a fleet to the Hebron sector. Bastian’s ship is ordered to accompany. When they reach the area around Cerberus, the forces collide. Bastian and his friends go down to the surface with their soldiers. After some fighting they get into the tunnels and find the bodyguard robot. Micka and her assistant droid repair it. He leads them through the tunnels where they meet some resistance. They find the laboratory and Asmodius. The monsters from the tunnels are not far behind.

Episode 6

They kill Asmodeus and take the shards. The monsters enter the laboratory and they escape. They join the battles in space and crush Hasdrubael’s fleet and bomb the planet’s surface. When they return to the council to report, an angel appears and takes the shards. He gives the council a word of warning before he disappears. Bastian and Mika are pardoned by the council. The question is, are all monsters dead, and will the council work for a better future?

TONE
This is a dark and grim future, dramatic, fateful, with sharp contrasts. Abundance, decadence and perversion are the everyday life of the nobility and the ruling class. The common people are poor and toil under the yoke of their masters. Progress and development has its price. Many of the galaxy’s core worlds are well-developed, beautiful places. The fringe worlds are impoverished and the cities are in disrepair and decay. Technological wonders, large spaceships and well-developed robots stand in stark contrast to the nobility’s nostalgic predilection for times gone by. Ultra-modern meets Baroque, where both laser weapons and energy-rapiers are widely used. The remnants of religious communities and cults slowly subdues and paints their faces with ashes.

THEME
At first glance it may seem this story is about good vs evil, but it is more about reason vs faith. The United Realm has abandoned faith and turned to reason and science. They hunger for power and wealth and care not for its people. Bastian has lost faith in the council and deserted, the priest has lost hope in mankind. The angel Asmodian has fallen from grace, and maybe God himself has lost faith in the galaxy and left. Can faith be restored? Bastian’s return to warn the council is the first step of many in this story. The story should evoke the feeling of a God who can never quite be known or rationally explained, but if there is faith there is hope.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Email: primus.gabriel@yahoo.com

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It has been fun to read all your contributions, thanks to you who read mine. Good luck to all!