📖Tale of Two Brothers

The story of Enith and Jirel begins with their father. A decorated military leader, he expected the same fighting spirit from his sons. While Enith’s athleticism and determination made him a natural born warrior, Jirel was much more timid and careful. So from a young age, Enith endured countless days and nights of training in order to hone his fighting skills while Jirel was mostly ignored by the both of them. This intense training ultimately led Enith down the path of stoicism, as he had to encompass the weight of responsibility that befalls on a leader’s shoulders.

Even at a young age, Jirel approached the world around him differently. In all facets of life, he sought innovation. Jirel believed in the advancement of society, in addition to expanding on and passing down valuable information to teach the future Shodai generations. He held to his own devices, nurtured his mind rather than his muscles, and strived to climb the ranks to become one of the Shodai’s premier Scientists.

As a result of their father’s influence, the brothers would grow up to lead very different, separate lives. Driven by an incessant obsession to become the ultimate warrior, Enith distanced himself from his bookish younger brother. This separation only became more tangible when their mother passed away tragically, as each brother hid away in their own world to try and deal with their grief. During the few encounters they did have with each other after her passing, Enith would be needlessly harsh on Jirel, lashing out at his younger brother for even the most trifling actions. Hurt by his brother’s lack of compassion, Jirel would often hide his true emotions behind snark and wit, mocking his brother for his focus on brawn instead of brains.

Although he never realized all the pressure Enith received from their father, Jirel eventually comes to learn the struggle and pain his elder brother endured in their father’s wrath as their story progressed…

Redemption and Rebirth

Although their separate pursuits led them to become estranged, the brothers were joined together later in life by none other than their father while he was overseeing a remote Everai outpost planet named Iso. The conditions on Iso were incredibly dangerous and nigh uninhabitable, which made it the perfect location for a top secret, highly experimental scientific research facility where the Shodai studied the mystical properties of the Asterstones. Discovered on a distant planet known as The Source, these gems were believed to have the power to bridge the gaps between our material world and other, more spiritual planes. The brothers’ father never saw them as more than commodities to help him get what he wanted, so he proudly volunteered Enith as a warrior prepared to enter strange worlds and Jirel as the brains that would get him there. What he and his team didn’t realize is that in tampering with the thin fabric between worlds, they were breaking the barrier to an insidious force of sheer destruction: The Exoswarm.

The Shodai stationed on Iso were hopelessly unprepared for The Exoswarm attack. Shapeless, inky black forms that decimated everything in their path overran the facility. Enith valiantly gathered the other soldiers present to attempt to fight back, but he had never seen an enemy like this. With every soldier The Exoswarm took, it transformed them into a corrupted extension of itself, turning Enith’s fellow Shodai against him. Knowing his little brother was among the scientists trying to evacuate, Enith put himself in harm’s way to clear a path to the ship to try and escape. It was then that he saw Jirel, who he always belittled for not taking training seriously, risking his life by letting all other Shodai on the ship before him. In that moment, the brothers connected on a level that they hadn’t experienced in years.

However, it would be torn away from them all too soon by the same person who always divided them. Their father, the first one to board the ship and with no regard for who was left behind, had initiated an emergency self-destruct protocol on the base. A massive explosion rocked the facility and, spurred by their fraternal bond, Enith shielded Jirel from the debris with his own body. When the dust settled, Jirel looked around and saw no Exoswarm… but not much else. Everything had been taken in the blast, including the escape transport. He frantically searched for his brother, but it was too late: he found Enith’s broken, lifeless body lying a few feet away. With the world around him being decimated into ruin, Jirel felt that he had truly lost everything. Within him lay years of pent up frustration and anger, and those intense emotions began to swell as he couldn’t bear to see his brother perish after his noble sacrifice. He owed it to his brother to make it right.

Carrying Enith’s body to a small scouting ship Jirel had spotted a few klicks off base, he gathered what little data he could recover from the attack and took off. Jirel set a course for the one place he knew he might be able to save Enith: his private laboratory located on a small moon nearby. Inspired by the work on Iso, Jirel had been conducting his own experiments with the gems in regards to their connection to spiritual planes. As the brothers never quite recovered from the death of their mother at a young age, Jirel was desperate to find a way to reach her through a synchronization of soul and technology and he thought the Asterstones were the key. But now Jirel saw this personal project as a final gambit to save his brother’s life. He bound Enith’s soul to an Asterstone and implanted it inside of his prototype bionic regeneration tech, a device called the Everglyph. Just as the process began to whirl to life, The Exoswarm would blot out the stars as they made their way towards Jirel’s moon base. As they fought to make their way inside, Jirel pleaded to the cosmos in hopes that a miracle would befall him and that his soul binding process would finally work. Before The Exoswarm could harm Jirel, Enith would emerge from the procedure. At first stumbling as his mind tried to catch up to the strange, unfamiliar vessel it found his body in, Enith’s innate warrior’s instinct would kick in as his eyes surveyed the threat around them. His cybernetic body would prove to be more than a match for The Exoswarm as he attacked them in a primal rage. Jirel could only watch in shock as his newly revived brother tore through the enemy. As the last one fell, Enith would turn his attention to his brother. Jirel’s eyes met with Enith, and Jirel knew that was not his brother’s gaze. Enith was on the verge of losing himself.

Pleading with the humanity inside Enith, Jirel tried to recall a happy moment from their past — a single moment of brotherly love between the two in an ocean of resentment. In those few moments, Jirel racked his brain recalling a time when they were children, before their mother had passed, when Enith taught him how to whistle. A seemingly insignificant moment that Jirel had long forgotten until now… As Enith bore down on Jirel, Jirel whistles the familiar tune. Almost immediately, Enith disengaged his attack, and the two brothers collapsed to the floor in exhaustion. Suddenly, Enith’s body instantaneously morphed back into the Everglyph device, leaving Jirel to wonder what had just happened to his brother.

The End is Only The Beginning

20 Years Later…

After working out the initial issues with the Everglyph and ensuring a spark of Enith still existed in this new form, Jirel and his brother had spent the last two decades working together to stop The Exoswarm. Enith had taken on a new name that symbolized the duality of his nature: Duo. Combining the data from the experiments on Iso with his personal research and development of the Everglyphs, Jirel’s discoveries led to the creation of cybernetic warriors infused with spirits from other realms: the Everai. Partnered with Shodai known as Pilots just as Jirel and Enith had been linked, these Everai would prove to be the Shodai’s strongest weapon against The Exoswarm. Although the Pilots and Everai bravely battled The Exoswarm in a war that spanned decades and planets, they were only able to stall the inevitable…

It took the Shodai generations upon generations to build an empire that spanned the universe… and it only took The Exoswarm 20 years to consume it all. From the moment they escaped Iso, they began ravaging outer worlds, and like a flood, worked their way inward, rapidly approaching the Shodai homeworld of Vikare. Thanks to the Everai, the Shodai High Council had enough time to prepare a contingency plan: the Ark Protocol, a collection of massive, city-sized space faring vessels each individually housing specific elements to rebuild their species, such as an Ark with thousands of Shodai younglings in Cryosleep. These Arks ensured the future of Shodai civilization and would be captained by the Sages, genetically engineered Shodai leaders who could live for over a thousand years, functioning as the keepers of Shodai culture, tasked to use the Arks to rebuild. Unfortunately, The Exoswarm had expanded at a rate far quicker than the Shodai initially calculated. When Vikare’s atmospheric defenses finally alerted the Shodai that The Exoswarm had come to their doorstep, only 15% of Arks had been launched. With the enemy at its gates, the planet had fallen into pandemonium.

Jirel and Duo were amongst those assisting with the evacuation. While each of the Arks had their own unique purpose, the most interesting one by far would be the Neo Shodai Ark. Designed to only hold thousands of infants in Cryosleep, along with their protectors and mentors, the Sages, this Ark was a perfect manifestation of hope for the future of Shodai civilization. Jirel and Duo, along with a crowd of brave Shodai citizens making their last stand, valiantly fought back The Exoswarm to buy the Neo Shodai Ark time to launch. During the battle, Duo spotted a lone, young girl with eyes closed shut, hugging her knees, and terrified as a cluster of The Exoswarm bore down on her. Without hesitation, Duo immediately shifted his focus, leapt into action, and decimated The Exoswarm surrounding the area. He then knelt down and gently patted the top of her head. With her eyes still shut, he picked her up. Just then, Jirel shouted for his brother to look out as a downed starfighter was heading right towards them. Arms wrapped around the girl, Duo bolted towards his brother and the Ark, but the damaged starfighter came crashing down behind him. The resulting explosion propelled Duo into the Neo Shodai Ark. As Jirel entered to try and help his brother, The Exoswarm overtook the citizens outside and headed straight for the door. With the safety of the children in Cryosleep paramount, a Sage aboard the Ark decisively activates the locking mechanism. The airlocks swiftly sealed. The engines boomed to life.

As the brothers grappled with the reality that they were aboard the Ark heading into the unknown, little did they know that far below the dozens of Arks dotting the night sky, a decision had been made that would change the universe forever. An emergency session of the Shodai High Counsel had been called to deliberate over the use of an extreme last resort weapon known as the Novaburst. Using the same dyson sphere technology they had employed to traverse and terraform the universe, Shodai scientists had reverse engineered the process to instead explode a star from the inside out, absolutely decimating The Exoswarm along with everything else in its path. Originally, the idea was to get all Arks offworld and safely out of the blast radius before using remote drones to activate the Novaburst. The premature arrival of The Exoswarm necessitated a change of plans, and now the Counsel had to decide if they would destroy their entire galaxy with millions of Shodai still planet-side. In the end, the Counsil recognized that the Novaburst would give the already launched Arks a fighting chance at escaping before being consumed. The difficult decision was made to preserve a tiny fraction of Shodai culture aboard the Arks rather than risk losing it all to The Exoswarm. With a heavy heart and firm resolve, the Novaburst was initiated.

As Jirel and Duo gazed out the observatory deck at their homeworld, they saw a blinding flash of white light come from the windows. They would never witness what became of the many planets within their galaxy though. At the moment they saw the flash, an alert blared throughout the Ark.

Brace for an emergency jump…

Last updated