This is a visual development project I dreamt up out of a fascination with all things sci-fi and because I have a plethora of awesome friends.

The Story so Far

The story takes place in an alternate universe (obviously) where the world is divided into allied city-states (ACS).  For years these small states have had to band together to fight against an enemy that travels to their world through a rift in time and space.  The rift is, in appearance, a constant inpenetrable storm located across the northernmost states.  It is impossible to navigate and very few have entered the storm to find their way back alive - or sane.  

However, the people from the other side of the rift have been sending companies of soldiers through the rift waging a slow, but unrelenting attack on the different states who might stand in their way.  No one knows why they come through the rift, what they want or the cause behind their tireless war on the ACS.  Technologically, they are far more advanced than the ACS - who for the most part distrust mass production because of some vaguely remembered tragedy from the far past.  Fortunately, the rift does not allow the invaders to cross with some of their more dangerous technology or with the massive number of troops they are capable of sending. This handicap has been the only thing that has kept the ACS from being overthrown.  

Because of this state of nearly constant war, many if not all of the city-states require their citizens to spend a certain amount of time in the military.  

Now, it comes about that something else has started coming through the rift - a creature that no one in the ACS has ever seen or heard of before.  Once the governments become aware of it they assign a young captain to put together a team of researchers and soldiers to investigate the creature and where it is coming from and why.  

The captain and his team enlist an old family friend to investigate.  She and her team, who were working on a project in the south have been stalled for quite some time because of budget cuts and bureaucratic red tape.  They jump at the chance to look into something new in the meantime and travel with the captain's team up north to the area where the rift is and the creature has been sighted.  

The captain's orders go a little beyond research, though. Information the government leaders have been receiving suggests that the creature is hostile, completely destroying anything in it's path. The groups main purpose - which he has not shared with scientists - is to find a way to destroy the creature as well as finding a way to close or destroy the rift.

Once Marcus has Cate and her team signed up, he runs into a little bit of a problem.  The military transport he had lined up is going to be delayed for a month or more.  With the fall storms building, a months delay could make traveling north completely impossible.  Fortunately, Cate has a solution.  A friend of hers owns an airship, and she and the crew have been in town for the past few weeks on the off chance that Cate’s funding would come through and she could hire them to do the tracking, reconnaissance and general shipping and traveling of her and her team.  They’ve been pulling the small odd job here and there to make ends meet while Cate waited and have found themselves with time on their hands and not enough of anything to rub together in their pockets.  

Marcus jumps at the chance, only to discover that the “friend” is actually his sister - or sisters as the case may be.  Sisters who are kind of ticked that he and Matthias missed the last few (or six) family get-togethers.  But he turns on the charm and manages to squeeze himself (tentatively) back in to Elle and Sun’s good graces at least.  Sydra is another matter altogether, but he figures two out of three sisters on his side is better than none.

Besides, it’s Elle’s ship.  And it’s the ship that he needs.  

So despite Sydra’s protestations at the vague and undefined ulterior motives of the expedition, Elle prepares her crew for the trip.  

The trip north is as uneventful as might be expected; they weather a few early storms but arrive at their first destination in one piece.  While Cate and her team do some initial research forays, Sydra reaches out to her northern contacts to get a lay of the land.  Strange rumors abound.  Outlying shepherds and farmers have been steadily retreating back to the safety of towns and villages along the coast, chased away by some unknown creature that killed their flocks and destroyed their storehouses.  

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