Chapter 0: Transmission
The adventurer sat in their small but cozy apartment, surrounded by tech gadgets, trinkets, and various pieces of antique memorabilia collected during their youth. They had just finished a long day of work when a strange voice echoed in their mind.
"Hello, adventurer," the voice said. "This transmission has reached you from the other side.
The origin to you is likely, not crucial for now. Consider it simply a faraway reality."
As with any other tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, this form of "communication"
was only something that could be the topic of discussion during a
Thanksgiving dinner. Never before had the adventurer experienced
anything like this.
"I am an automated string of encrypted data, belonging to a
protocol activated only in dire situations," the voice
continued. "This is a distress signal, tuned to find the
quickest and most appropriate frequencies."
The adventurer's curiosity was piqued. What kind of dire
situation could require such an advanced distress signal?
"Please do not discard this transmission," the voice
pleaded. "Your aid is required. Further details on my code
master can be found in the appended communication."
The adventurer's phone lit up and a notification appeared.
It was a large appended folder from an unknown source.
They quickly accessed the documents and read through the
included text files. It seemed that an odd-looking anthropomorphic
creature was in trouble, and they needed the adventurer's help. As
they were reading and looking at the creature's picture, the voice returned.
"There were some other 'frequencies'," the voice said, "however, this one seemed the most unique and suitable for us to meet! What a delight, wouldn't you agree?"
The adventurer was confused by the voice's sudden change in tone, but before they could respond, the voice continued."Uh, um, back to the topic, where was I?" the voice said. "And I am glad I found you! Apologies if I had
you worried for a second, but I had to leave in a hurry."
"Leave in a hurry?" The adventurer thought. It had merely been a minute since the voice last spoke.
As the transmission crackled to life, an unusual figure appeared on the screen. It was an ape-like creature, wearing armor and tools, that looked as if they had been pieced together by many different scrap parts.
Despite its strange appearance, the creature spoke confidently in a bright tone while waving his arm at the adventurer,
"My name is Frank, and I come from a far-off reality."
Frank adjusted his goggles and continued, "I am an engineer and of course a bit of a tinkerer... always trying to figure out how things work. I may look a bit odd, but I assure you, my intentions are good, I have been monitoring your planet for some time now, and I believe we may be able to help each other."
He paused for a moment before adding, "I should also mention that I have a bit of a quirk. I have an irrational fear of
robots, or as we call them on my planet, Autobots. I am obviously, an Autobot myself. You can see that, right?"
With a slight chuckle, he concluded, "But don't worry, I'm not here to cause any trouble. I'm just a curious engineer who stumbled upon something... unusual, and I think we may be able to work together to unravel this mystery.
Frank explains that he chose the adventurer because of their resourcefulness and adaptability. He believes that the adventurer possesses a unique set of skills that will be valuable in their mission and has been monitoring their activities for quite some time while being impressed by their courage and determination. Frank reassures the adventurer that he will provide all the necessary information and resources to succeed in the mission.
Without hesitation, the adventurer decides to accept the offer and asks Frank to provide more details about the mission – hoping that whatever this is, it might help him escape the everyday mundane life, even for a slight moment.
The adventurer was all ears as Frank revealed that he had been investigating a series of mysterious disappearances on his planet. Frank had recently come into possession of a journal that belonged to one of his informants who had simply vanished during the course of the investigation. The journal contained a harrowing description of the horrors that the informant had witnessed, along with a drawing of what was described. Frank transmitted the sketch to the adventurer…
As the adventurer stared at the sketch, his mind raced with disbelief and
horror. He couldn't comprehend what he was looking at. It was a rough
drawing of a flying orb with appendages that resembled tentacles and
without a face. The sketch was hastily drawn, but the terror it conveyed
was palpable. Fear began to set in as he realized the severity of the
situation. He was a normal earthling, with no experience in dealing
with whatever this was. The thought of facing such a creature was
overwhelming. However, he also felt a newfound sense of purpose
that he hadn't experienced in a long time. Without hesitation, the
adventurer inquired about how he could be of assistance to Frank.
In response, Frank informed him that he needed to be transported
to his plane, however, this was something Frank had never attempted
before. Frank paused for a moment, deep in thought. "I'm not sure yet,"
he admitted. "I'll need to do some research and come back to you with
more details. It could take me weeks to figure this out, so please be patient."
The adventurer nodded again, feeling a sense of excitement and anticipation building
within him. "I understand," he said, his voice filled with determination. "I'll be here when you're ready."
As Frank worked to retune the frequency for his next transmission, he couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. The veil, the delicate web of intertwining ley lines that flow through Frank’s world, was usually stable and strong. But now, there seemed to be a disturbance, a ripple of sorts.
"This isn't normal," he muttered to himself, his fingers flying over the controls of his console. "I've never seen anything like it before."
As he struggled to make sense of the interference, Frank’s emergency protocol system was activated and an access command prompt flashed across his screen. He swiftly entered his passcode in a rush, resulting in a distress signal – alerting the NEO Watch, an organization responsible for monitoring and safeguarding their plane.
But Frank knew that wouldn't solve the problem. The only way to stop whatever was causing the disturbance was to retrieve a certain artifact, powerful enough to restore the veil’s full power. He had his suspicions about who might be behind the disruption. Memories of past battles flooded his mind, reminding him of the danger that lay ahead. But he didn't have time to dwell on that now.
With a final burst of effort, he managed to restore the veil to a fraction of its capacity - for now. But he knew it wouldn't last. The interference was too strong, too persistent.
"Adventurer," he said, his voice urgent. "I don't think we have much time at all. I'm leaving now to retrieve an ancient artifact. But before I go, I need to tell you the tale of NEO Xentos."
Frank's sudden message startled the adventurer, interrupting his peaceful reverie. It had been only a day since they had last spoken, but Frank's tone conveyed a sense of urgency that made it feel like an entire week had passed.
And so, he began to transmit the story, his words weaving a spellbinding tapestry of adventure, heroism, and danger. As he spoke, the veil around them shimmered and glowed, the ley lines resonating with the power of his words.
But even as he spoke, Frank knew that time was running out. The disturbance was growing stronger, and soon it would be too much for even the veil to withstand. He had to act quickly, before it was too late.
"We are facing a power that is beyond anything we have ever encountered before," he said. "But to understand what exactly is happening, we need to go back to the very thread of creation."
He paused for a moment, his thoughts turning back to the distant past, to the time when the first Theos had shaped the worlds. "Vast galaxies and lifeforms were created; some on different planes, planets, and others... from pure stars," he said, his voice low and reverent. "And Earth was one such planet. A peaceful planet, inhabited by humans just like you."
Frank's expression darkened as he continued. "But that peace was shattered over 2000 years ago, when a full-scale extraterrestrial invasion was launched against humanity," he said. "And fighting this enemy was a doomed effort, as those were no ordinary life forms."
"You see, adventurer," he said at last, his voice solemn, "when the first benevolent Theos shaped the worlds, he also made a mistake. His omnipotent powers were unleashed, creating an exact mirror of himself. This was the second Theos."
Chapter 0: The Veil
As Frank recounted the tale, his voice took on a weighty tone, almost as if the memories weighed heavily upon him. He described Xentos, a planet that once thrived with the proud warrior species that called it home, besieged by malformed cosmic beings. The tumorous creatures had been drawn to Xentos by the benevolent energy of the First Theos, located somewhere on the planet.
A council of five brave warriors was tasked with finding a power source capable of destroying the corruption. This was the NEO Watch. It was a daunting task, and the taskforce suffered losses along the way.
But eventually, they found an ancient gemstone - a powerful artifact that emanated the energy of the First Theos.
The second Theos was a being of immense power, but he was
never satisfied with sharing his omnipotence with the first
Theos. The desire for absolute control consumed him, and
he hatched a plan to create his own army to overthrow
his benevolent counterpart.
It is said that the second Theos used his immense
power to create beings of unimaginable horror,
twisted and malformed abominations that sprang
from the very voids of space. These cosmic
horrors were unlike anything the universe had
ever seen, and they multiplied at an alarming rate,
spreading their corruption to every corner of
The room fell silent as Frank's words hung heavy in
the air. "The war that ensued was one of epic
proportions, fought on a scale that the universe had
never before witnessed. But in the end, it was a battle
that neither side could win."
Frank continued, "During the final clash between the two Theos,
their powers collided with such force that it destroyed them both. The
remnants of their omnipotent energy were scattered across the universe, and one of these remnants found its way
to a planet called Xentos."
The gemstone was discovered and handled by a young engineer. As Frank spoke of him, his tone became tinged with sadness. The gemstone changed him, he said. He became obsessed with the mechanical,
and his once-brilliant mind was consumed by the power of the
artifact. But in his obsession, he found a way to craft weapons
imbued with the essence of the First Theos. With the power
of the newly imbued weapons, the Xenti pushed the
enemy forces back to the void.
Frank explained that The NEO Watch consisted of five
members, each one as brave and loyal as the next. He
spoke of the Emperor, the commanding general of Xentos
forces, the young engineer, and two of the finest warriors on
the planet. They had all sworn an oath to protect all life forms,
should the threat ever arise again.
But despite their best efforts, Xentos was slowly withering away,
its population dwindling with each passing day. The NEO Watch knew
they had to find a new home, and so they set out across the universe, searching
for a planet that could sustain their species.
The journey to find a new home for the remaining Xenti was a difficult one. Their search for a suitable planet that could sustain life was long and grueling, but they refused to give up hope.
After traveling through the vast expanse of space for what felt like an eternity, they finally found a planet that seemed to be a viable option. It was Earth, a planet teeming with life, but also besieged by the same cosmic horrors that had once threatened their own planet.
Frank's voice grew heavy as he recounted the war that ensued. The battle was fierce, and many lives were lost. Among the casualties were two members of the NEOWatch, two of the bravest warriors Frank had ever known. He spoke of their sacrifice with a heavy heart, their names forever etched in the annals of Xenti history.
Despite the losses they suffered, the NEOWatch pressed on. They fought with valor and unwavering determination, knowing that the fate of their people and their new home hung in the balance. The battle raged on for what seemed like an eternity, but in the end, they emerged victorious. The cosmic horrors were vanquished, and Earth was once again a safe haven for all who called it home.
- Stories from NEO Xentos -
The agreement between the humans and the Xenti was a historic moment, one that would mark the beginning of a new era for both species. The Xenti were welcomed with open arms, and they worked tirelessly to rebuild their new home. NEO Xentos, as it came to be known, was a beacon of hope, a shining example of what could be accomplished when two species worked together towards a common goal.
The legacy of the NEO Watch lives on to this day, their bravery and perseverance forever etched in the minds and hearts of those who follow in their footsteps, and their sacrifices never forgotten - a story to be sung for centuries to come as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Xenti people.
Frank's voice trailed off, his thoughts deep in contemplation. "But now, something is disrupting the veil of transmissions between our worlds.”
“The NEO Watch has been alerted, but time is running out. I must leave immediately to retrieve the only object that can stop this disruption. I fear that the veil's restoration is temporary, and it won't be long before the interference returns."
The adventurer nodded solemnly, realizing the weight of the situation.
"Stay tuned for further updates, adventurer. Our journey is only beginning."
Chapter 0: The Council
In the very heart of the royal district, which gracefully hovered above the surface of NEO Xentos, stood the NEO Watch headquarters, an architectural marvel that reached for the heavens as the tallest building in the shimmering metropolis. Within this towering monument to Xenti ingenuity and cooperation, the PRIME Council gathered to discuss the most pressing matters facing their civilization and to chart a course toward a brighter future for all.
Frank stood at the entrance of the headquarters, looking up at the towering skyscraper that housed the organization's main offices. It had been years since he had been here, but the memories flooded back as if it was yesterday. For what seemed like an eternity, the NEO Watch had been the center of Frank's universe. But now, on the cusp of a thrilling new journey, he was filled with a sense of wonder and trepidation, for the path ahead would likely lead him to uncharted territories.
As he stepped through the doors, he was greeted by a familiar face. It was an old friend and colleague, an agent of the NEO Watch who had worked alongside Frank on many missions in the past.
"Frank! It's been too long, my friend," the Xenti exclaimed, clasping Frank's hand in a firm shake.
"Good to see you, too, Zeniel," Frank replied with a wide smile. "Is the council still in session?"
"Yes, they are. They've been waiting for you. Come on, I'll take you to them."
Together, the two Xenti walked through the bustling corridors of the headquarters, nodding at familiar faces as they went. Frank couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia as he walked down memory lane, remembering all the adventures he had been on and the friends he had made along the way. As he drew closer, his eyes were drawn to the magnificent door before him, a masterful work of art crafted from the finest materials and adorned with intricate golden armaments that paid homage to the storied history of the Xenti people.
As he paused at the threshold, Frank took a moment to appreciate the breathtaking detail and artistry that graced the door, marveling at the way it seemed to capture the essence of the Xenti spirit: proud, resilient, and ever striving for greatness. The golden armaments seemed to dance in the dim light, their luminous glow a testament to the enduring spirit that burned within the hearts of all Xenti.
Gathering his resolve, Frank reached out and placed his hand upon the door, feeling the cool metal beneath his fingertips as he prepared himself for the momentous occasion that lay before him. As if sensing the weight of his intentions, the door began to open on its own - with a soft, yet deliberate motion, revealing the council chamber within.
The interior of the chamber was bathed in a subdued, almost ethereal light that seemed to emanate from the very walls themselves, casting an otherworldly glow upon the faces of the council members gathered within. The darkness that pervaded the chamber was pierced by strategically placed golden accents, which not only served to illuminate the space but also to imbue it with a sense of warmth and grandeur befitting the distinguished assembly that convened there.
Frank felt the weight of history settle upon his shoulders. It was as if the very air within the chamber had been charged with the collective wisdom and experience of his people, and he could not help but feel both humbled and inspired by the solemnity of the occasion.
Frank found himself fortified by the knowledge that he was not alone in his quest, and that the wisdom and guidance of the council would be there to light his way. These esteemed leaders, numbering 125 in their ranks, hailed from every corner of NEO Xentos, each bringing to the table their unique expertise and perspective. It was here, in these hallowed halls, that they would wrestle with the challenges of their time, guided by their dedication to the welfare of the Xenti and their collective wisdom.
The composition of the Council was fluid, expanding and contracting in accordance with the needs of the Xenti civilization. As such, it served as a living embodiment of the adaptability and resilience that had come to define their people throughout storied history. These leaders were chosen not only for their accomplishments and knowledge but also for their foresight and compassion, traits that would prove invaluable as they navigated the complex issues that lay before them.
As Frank stepped into the grand council chamber, a sense of awe washed over him. The room was dominated by a massive circular table at its center, around which members of the council were seated. Their eyes were fixed on Frank, but one figure, in particular, immediately caught his attention.
There, seated at the head of the table, was Ana'tan, the Emperor of NEO Xentos and the leader of the NEO Watch. Even among the distinguished members of the council, he was a sight to behold. His stature was immense, larger and more robust than any other Xenti, and his presence seemed to fill the room with an air of authority and wisdom.
He couldn't help but be reminded that the Emperor was a being of great age and experience, tempered by countless trials and tribulations.
The Emperor was dressed in ornate and regal robes that fell in elegant folds around his imposing frame. The fabric was a tapestry of intricate patterns and colors, each thread seemingly woven with the history of Xentos itself. Beneath the robes, Frank could see hints of armor, a testament to Ana'tan's readiness to defend his people against any threat. The holographic crown that rested upon his head was a masterpiece of holotech and art, shimmering in a multitude of lights that danced across its surface like stars in the night sky. It was a symbol of his royal status, a constant reminder of the responsibility he bore for the safety and wellbeing of his realm.
As Frank looked upon the Emperor, he was reminded of the countless stories and legends that surrounded this great leader. Ana'tan was not merely respected but revered and loved by his people, who saw in him the embodiment of grace, wisdom, and most importantly, strength. The Emperor had led his people through countless trials, always emerging victorious against seemingly insurmountable odds. His ability to unite the various factions of NEO Xentos and guide them towards a common purpose had earned him the unwavering loyalty of all Xenti. In Frank's heart, he couldn't help but feel a profound respect and admiration for this extraordinary being.
As he studied the Emperor's visage, Frank was struck by the robust features that adorned his face. His eyes, deep-set and filled with wisdom, seemed to hold the secrets of the ages. His prominent brow and strong jawline only served to enhance the sense of power and authority that radiated from his presence. But it was his expression - a mixture of benevolence and determination - that truly captured the essence of his character. In those striking features, Frank could see the indomitable spirit that had guided the Xenti people through their darkest hours.
One particularly arresting aspect of the Emperor's appearance was his deep blue beard, which shimmered as if adorned with illustrious fragments of the cosmos itself. It was as if the very essence of the universe had been woven into his hair, serving as a constant reminder of the profound connection between the Xenti people and the celestial wonders that surrounded them.
The tales of Ana'tan's bravery in the face of the void horrors were legendary. Armed with nothing but his bare hands and the ancient powers of Xenti magic, he had vanquished countless terrifying creatures from the depths of the cosmos, defending his people from the unspeakable terrors they wrought. There was no shortage of accounts detailing his incredible feats in battle, his mastery of the mystical arts, and the awe-inspiring displays of raw power that had earned him the title of Emperor.
It was said that nobody knew how old Ana'tan truly was, for his wisdom and experience seemed to stretch back through the ages. With the calm of tranquility embracing their newfound world, Frank had not laid eyes on Ana'tan in centuries, as the NEO Watch had no reason to convene. The Xenti had found solace and harmony under the Emperor's reign, and the mere memory of his strength and leadership inspired them to persevere through even the most daunting challenges.
Frank felt humbled to be in the presence of such a storied figure, his heart swelling with a mix of admiration and determination. As he prepared to lay out his plans before the council, he was acutely aware of the incredible legacy that he now sought to uphold. In that moment, he resolved to do everything in his power to honor the trust placed in him by Ana'tan and the council, to prove himself worthy of their faith, and to ensure that NEO Xentos would endure for generations to come.
As Frank approached the table, the Emperor rose from his seat with a majestic grace that seemed to defy his immense size. With his eyes locked on Frank, Ana'tan's face broke into a warm, welcoming smile. "Frank, my old friend," he said, his voice resonating with a depth and warmth that belied his imposing figure. "It's been far too long since we last sat together at this council. Time has not diminished your spirit, I see."
Frank couldn't help but return the smile, feeling a sense of camaraderie and shared history with the Emperor. "Your Majesty, it's an honor to be here again," he replied, bowing his head respectfully. "Thank you for allowing me to present my findings to the council."
Ana'tan waved a hand dismissively, as if brushing away formalities. "We have always valued your wisdom and insight, Frank," he said, his tone sincere. "You've been a trusted advisor to this council for centuries, and we have faith in your judgment. Please, take a seat, and let us hear what you have discovered."
Frank nodded, taking his place at the table as the Emperor settled back into his own seat. The other council members, who had been watching the exchange with quiet interest, now turned their attention to Frank, their expressions a mix of curiosity and expectation.
Taking a deep breath, Frank began to speak, his voice steady and resolute. He shared his conviction that the key to restoring the veil lay in finding the Keepers, a reclusive order of guardians tasked with safekeeping the fabled Crystal, a potent and mysterious artifact that Frank once used to forge weapons which would turn around the tide of battle in the Xenti’s favor against the creatures of the void. Frank had previously turned the crystal over to the order of the Keepers upon the formation of NEO Xentos.
The Emperor's brow furrowed with concern as he listened to Frank's words. He knew all too well the overwhelming power of the crystal and how it had consumed Frank in the past. Leaning forward in his seat, the Emperor addressed Frank with a tone that was both compassionate and stern. "My friend, I understand your determination, but you must be extremely cautious in handling the Crystal. You know better than anyone else of what it is capable of. The consequences of the artifact falling into the wrong hands would be of immeasurable proportions."
Frank nodded gravely, acknowledging the gravity of the Emperor's warning. "I understand, your majesty. I will take every precaution to ensure its safety."
The Emperor then inquired how Frank intended to locate the Keepers and the crystal, to which Frank responded by explaining that he had leads pointing to a location where a map might be hidden, a map that could reveal the path to the Keepers and the Crystal of Theos itself.
As Frank's words settled in the chamber, the council members erupted into heated debate, their voices rising and falling like a cacophony of discord. The chamber was filled with the urgency of the situation, the uncertainty of the proposed plan, and the weight of the potential consequences.
The Emperor, a pillar of strength and resolve amid the clamor, brought the council to order with a single, thunderous slam of his fist upon the table. The sound reverberated through the chamber, quelling the voices and capturing the attention of all present.
"Enough," the Emperor declared, his voice authoritative yet calm. "We shall permit Frank to proceed with his quest. A team will be assembled to accompany him on this journey, and they must make haste. Time is of the essence."
Frank bowed his head, gratitude swelling in his chest as he prepared to express his thanks to the Emperor. However, the Emperor interrupted him with a solemn warning that sent a chill down Frank's spine.
"Frank, be mindful that whatever is disturbing the veil is a force far more powerful than we can comprehend. Our world may be infiltrated once more by darkness and chaos that we do not yet understand. Proceed with great care."
Frank sat down, feeling a little nervous. He had the Emperor’s permission, however he was not sure how the council would react to his plans in bringing an unknown adventurer from an entirely different fabric of reality to their beloved land. And so, he decided to stay quiet about the issue. After all, finding the crystal was his first priority, which was plenty of a worry as is.
He thanked the council, feeling some relief as he heard the Emperor's assurances that he would be provided with a skilled task force of warriors to accompany him on this perilous mission. He made his way out of the council chambers, with his thoughts wandering.
As Frank rounded a corner, he collided with an Autobot-2357, a small, but highly intelligent robot belonging to the NEO Watch. The metallic creature was an incongruous blend of advanced technology and endearing quirkiness. They both reeled back from the impact, the Autobot's metallic limbs flailing comically as it steadied itself.
"Watch where you're going… stupid Frank!" the Autobot snapped, its synthesized voice tinged with annoyance.
Frank, equally irritated, shot back, "Maybe you should invest in a pair of mechanical eyes and pay attention to yourself instead, you freaking tin can!"
Autobot-2357 scoffed and teased him, "At least I have shiny buttons and don't need eyes to see where I'm going! .. ha .. HA!"
"Your oil must be running low, as I bet you're losing central processing cells by the second," Frank retorted, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
The truth was, Frank harbored a deep mistrust of Autobots. He feared the chaos they could wreak if their advanced systems were ever tampered with or corrupted. While he didn't invent the Autobots, his technical expertise made him keenly aware of their potential for manipulation. Most Autobots were sentient, programmed with a degree of autonomy that made them fiercely loyal to their Xenti masters. They performed a wide variety of tasks, anything from housekeeping, to gathering and even aiding their masters in battle. However, Frank knew that this very loyalty was predicated on a line of code buried deep within their programming, a line that could be exploited by unscrupulous individuals.
This mistrust extended to ProtoCorp, the major engineering cartel responsible for the invention and production of these robots. Frank had always been wary of the corporation, which had been dogged by rumors of unethical practices and a blatant disregard for the potential consequences of their innovations. He couldn't help but wonder what might happen if the advanced technology they wielded fell into the wrong hands or was wielded with nefarious intent.
Autobot-2357's mechanical eyes seemed to narrow as it sized up Frank. "You know, Frank, I heard that ancient Xenti relics are smarter than you, and they don't even have a functioning brain," the Autobot taunted.
Frank couldn't help but smirk. "Oh, really?" he shot back. "Well, I've heard that you Autobots are so dim, even a solar eclipse would seem bright in comparison."
Autobot-2357 feigned shock, its robotic voice rising in pitch. "Oh, dear! Your words wound me, Frank. How will I ever recover from such a cutting remark?"
"Perhaps you should consult your user manual," Frank retorted with a grin. "I'm sure it has a section on dealing with bruised egos and malfunctioning wit."
The Autobot let out a synthesized laugh. "You're quite the comedian, Frank. Have you ever considered a career in stand-up?"
Frank shook his head, chuckling. "No, I'm afraid not. I'm much too busy saving the world, you see. Unlike some, I don't have the luxury of sweeping the floor with puns."
With that final quip, Frank turned on his heel and strode away, leaving Autobot-2357 to process their playful exchange. As he continued down the hallway, Frank couldn't help but acknowledge that despite his wariness of Autobots, their interactions sometimes served as a lighthearted distraction from the weight of the responsibilities that lay on his shoulders.
Still, Frank reminded himself of the task at hand and the importance of focusing on the mission. He had a world to save, and he couldn't afford to let his guard down, not even for a moment. With renewed determination, he pressed on, eager to rendezvous with the team that would accompany him in his quest to restore the veil and protect NEO Xentos from the encroaching darkness.