History of the Veritas Lucis
"Nothing great was ever achieved by thinking small"
- Cpt Raindrop, Founding Member of the Oriens Veritas
Beginnings and Endings
Long ago, the skies were dark, scorched by mankind a century or more before the beginning of my tale. You look up now at the bright blue sky and you probably don't believe me. But thats ok, not many around that remember the struggle of a few to change the world for all.
It was at the end of the war between Man and Machine that new hopes, new dreams, began to be considered. Zion, the last city of man, was weakened in body, but in its soul and mind it grew strong. Among these many strange and sometimes novel dreams, there arose a group called the Oriens Veritas. Noble men and women who knew that the Truce was but a pause, that peace needed to be restored between the two races of earth. They looked up at the dark skies and they knew then that only if Man and Machine could co-exist on the surface, would peace be attained.
And so it was with fire in their hearts that they set out on the long road towards their goal. Two brothers, Olisi and Jobi, were among the first captains, and they soon became the driving force of the Oriens with its ships, The Swordfish, The Spirit of Ra and The Aquinas. And yet it was the fourth ship, quiet, understated yet dedicated, that would become the embodiment of the dream of the Oriens. The Hovercraft Onesimus, its captain, a young yet skilled woman, Leelia. For many months the three ships - the Swordfish, the Ra and the Onesimus - powered on, their research sometimes leaping bounds, sometimes slowed to almost a halt, but they would never give up; The goal was more important than they alone, it could not be given up even in the hardest of times. But disaster struck...
Some say he went mad,
Some say he lost vision for the dream,
Some say he was merely a selfish bastard.
The truth, only he could tell you, and he's long gone. Jobi, the man that so many of the Oriens considered a leader, abandoned the dream for destruction. The Masked were a strong force in those days and Jobi along with the valiant crew of the Swordfish set forth to hunt them down and destroy them. The two remaining ships of the fleet regrouped, but one disaster in turn led to another. It was upon a fateful evening in Tabor Park that Olisi, Jobi's brother and Captain of the Morai, entered the matrix to answer the call for help. But there was no assistance to be granted, the trap had been set. An assassin shot Olisi in the back, the bullet lodging deep in his RSI. The assassin escaped, despite the swift reactions of the other Oriens, while on board the Morai, Olisi sank into a coma. His first mate, Venmm, taking the reigns of the ship. Olisi and Jobi fallen to different foes, the Oriens Veritas soon fell from Zion's grace. Despair and mourning in their hearts, the end seemed near for the dream.
A Ray of Light
With Olisi comatosed, the two ships seemed at a loss as to their course. But they were not the kind to give up, resilience and passion still pulsed within their veins, they would not let the dream die. A ray of light broke through the clouds and heralded the second incarnation of the Oriens. Coma Solaris.
And with each passing day Coma Solaris grew stronger. Once more their numbers swelled, and soon three ships where there had been only two trod the path towards the goal. The Baltasar, captained by a man named Plectrum, heeded the call and the Coma Solaris rose up once more. It seemed like a fresh start for the Oriens, a new impetus propelling them forward to greater things, a new hope given to all that the dream would never die. And at that peak, Olisi awoke.
Yet something had changed within him, though none...almost none, could tell what. For a while the Coma Solaris continued its work towards peace. But Zion had abandoned them all, Olisi and the Morai were called back to the city to answer to crimes of treachery. Their refusal only brought a worse fate. In the dead of night, as the crew of the Morai slumbered, a squad of darkly clad men approached, a hit squad, their sole intention the death of all on board the Morai. But they were fickle to underestimate their targets, Venmm and Olisi dispatched them in a bloody battle, their hands forever tainted by the kill in the real.
Another evening in Tabor Park sealed the fate of the Coma Solaris. Venmm and Olisi were no longer safe from Zion's ever watchful eye and far reaching hand, they had but one choice, a choice that none could believe but which, they said, had to be. As Venmm and Olisi departed the Coma Solaris, seeking the protection of the Frenchman, the others mourned once more. When hope had been restored, it failed once more, it would be some time before that hope was found once more.
Machinations and Machina
It was shortly after this blow that the crew of the Onesimus began to hear rumours across the city; Lupines stalked the streets at night, a new Prince of Wolves at their command...and by his side, a terrible and wrathful Lupine....named Olisi. The Brotherhood of the Wolf emerged, and from that point on, its fate would be entwined with that of the Oriens.
Yet all was not as it appeared. Olisi had been infected with the Lupine code, but within him, humanity still lingered. His lamenting howls echoed across the city as he fought the code that corrupted him. For he had learnt of Venmm's betrayal and treachery. His first mate had done this to him, his first mate had been the one to shoot him in the back. He would have been happier dead, but Venmm's bullet was of sinister design. Ingrained within its shell, the code of an ancient and powerful Lupine, resided.
And so Olisi connived and plotted against the man that had betrayed him, enlisting the assistance of the Coma Solaris to help tackle Venmm, the so called "Prince of the Pack". At first they did not trust him, for they knew he was as devious and treacherous as any, especially since it was Lupine code that now ruled him. But they could not abandon an old friend, their aid was given so that they may see Olisi once more.
For many weeks they worked with Olisi against Venmm, but it was to no avail. The strength of the Prince of the Pack was far greater than any imagined. Olisi had but one chance, he had to seek a process to remove the code from his RSI. It was Doctor Crowe, Olisi's Science Officer, that hatched the plan, but it could not have been without the assistance of the Medical Officer of the Onesimus. It was Zampano who fitted Doctor Crowe with the plugs so that he could enter the Matrix. And though it was for the greater good, he also knew that it had to remain secret from his friends.
Olisi died and was reborn anew; weak, feeble, yet human. The Lupine code had been removed, but it had almost cost Olisi his life. His RSI was traumatised as the Lupine code was torn from its structure, and this had reduced him to weakness. But Olisi persisted, his pride still intact, and with new hope once more, joined the Coma Solaris. His ship, The Spirit of Ra, one of the founding ships of the old Oriens. A good omen many thought, but it was not to last.
The Baltasar was first to disappear, its communications channel suddenly going dead. The Onesimus searched for many days and weeks, but there was no chance of finding them. If it had been the only loss in those days it would have been easier on the morale of the Onesimus crew, but soon they found themselves facing solitude. Doctor Crowe had given Olisi only months, maybe weeks, to live. The shock sustained during his RSI reset had produced a fatal heart condition in Olisi's real world body. The end was near for Olisi. But the end of the Coma Solaris came sooner.
The onesimus stood alone, its crew diminished, its hope lost, its faith in Zion crushed. Only four remained loyal to the dream of the Oriens Veritas; Leelia, Ozzin, Zampano, and their operator, Marcus. The Last ship of the Oriens had but one choice to survive, and it was a choice that none on them could have envisioned at the beginning.
Zion always viewed them as "The Enemy" even during the truce; A malevolent and evil force that had enslaved the human race to preserve its own survival. Their propoganda made it clear that choosing to assist the machines was a treachery to the human race. But the lies propogated by Zion could not convince all, least of all those of the Onesimus. For it was not only the sun they sought to uncover, but also Truth.
Initial contact with the machines was made within the matrix. A meeting between the last crew of the Oriens and a program, an agent of they system, representative of the machines. Agent Gray was cautious, yet curious, not malevolent as the simusarians had been led to believe in Zion.
Indeed, the Agent listened closely as they told him of their goal, their ambition to clear the skies of the real. They expected it to be prohibited yet the Machines showed interest, for they too sought peace and they knew that the restoration of their most efficient energy source could further this. Yet they had no belief in Ideas or Dreams, they needed results.
Agent Gray asked only that they proved their loyalty to Zero One, and prove it they did, though they had many obstacles to cross along the path. And where there once was despair, hope arose once more. The Onesimus gained strength with its new employer. New Crewmen and new allies allied to the assistance and call of the Onesimus and it was not long before the last ship of the Oriens became well respected and distinguised among Machinists.
For many months the Onesimus worked tirelessly alongside the machines, each day their reputation growing among their allies. New friends came forth from the ranks of many of the most notable factions, The Glitch Society, Novus Tempus among many. Their fate had turned and though the past would never be forgotten, it was left behind.
It was with the arrival of a new recruit that began the rise to further prominence. A woman named Adicia, confident and with a youthful ipetus, joined the ranks of the Onesimus, immediately impressing her fellow crew mates. It was not long before her hard work and strength of character was noted as beyond that of her peers. The three officers of the Onesimus could see that Adicia had the calibre of a Captain, she deserved her own ship, but things were never simple. Leelia contacted Zero One, notifying them of the promotion, but the response was muted. The Machines had no ship to spare. Disappointment spread through the ranks, but it did not last long.
Chance, Fate, Providence....Who knows...but old things have a habit of coming back when you least expect it. It was upon a stormy evening that Marcus discovered the signal; a distress call looping from some distant and unknown source. He delved deeper into the code trying to find its source but it was Leelia who eventually decoded it. Somwhere, in the darkness of the real, The Baltasar was still broadcasting.
They seized the chance immediately, taking dangerous risks to track down the signal of the Baltasar. And for a moment, all of the surviving Oriens were united: Venmm, Prince of the Pack, and Vengany. Fluke and Mesajeri, old comrades in arms. And Jevex, a long lost member who had only recently returned.
And, of course, The crew of the Onesimus. All on opposing sides yet united by curiousity, bound by old friendship. With their help and assistance it was not long before the Baltasar was found, though its location was the unlikliest of places; The rogue city of Byzantine.
The Onesimus followed the signal and arrived at the hidden docks within days. They knew the horrors and dangers of the city, but they put their trust in Marcus to lead them. he guided them through the sleazy underworld of the real towards the signal of the Baltasar, though not without incident. Soon their eyes gazed upon the ship, though it looked more like scrap than anything that could fly. Daringly they snatched the Baltasar from the rogues, taking with them a man named Lucas, and escaped back to the cavernous wilderness of the real.
For many days they worked upon the ship but with the combined expertise of Ozzin, Marcus and Targie the Baltasar was soon in working order once more. With two ships and two captains came the third incarnation of the Oriens Veritas. From the Sunrise and Ray of Light, came Veritas Lucis... Truth of Light.
And the rest...well..thats a long long story. I'll save that for tomorrow night my boy. How do I know this? well, lets just say its in my blood. Goodnight my son.