The Antarans Return in Ancient Chorus, a Master of Orion Short Story

The ancient Antarans bridge the gap between our world and theirs in this intriguing short story.

Short stories are the only real way we have of bringing the lore of Master of Orion to life, especially since there haven’t been any announced plans to release campaigns of any kind for the series. With the return of the Antarans, however, comes a brand new short story from the creative team at NGD Studios and Wargaming. We’ve included a small snippet of the story below, so be sure to take a look to see more about the Antarans’ return to our world.

Alex Williams flipped through a book as he sat in the navigator’s chair, his legs up over the armrest in a more comfortable position. He found the book in one of the storage holds of the Human Republic scout ship Lucretia, a leftover from some other poor soul previously assigned to this job. It was an old biology textbook on Sakkra lifeforms with small, neat handwriting in the borders of pages. He scanned through the pages with only a passing interest, watching the progression of notes.

The bridge doors whooshed open and Jackson shot him a dirty look as he walked towards the captain’s chair. “Are you still reading that book?”

“What else am I supposed to do?” He flipped past a page on Sakkra adolescent hormonal systems and onto the next chapter.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Jackson grumbled as he brought up an illuminated panel at his seat, “your job?”

Alex slammed the book shut and turned to face him. “Captain, we are travelling through deep space with no signs of life or inhabited planets. As we were last week. As we were last month. As we have been for the last six months.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “You could be more respectful towards your superior officer.”

Alex sat back in his seat, the book closed on his lap. He turned to look at the navigation screens and saw only empty darkness anywhere that could even generously be deemed as remotely near their vicinity. The screen refreshed every few seconds, a seamless blip that only echoed back the emptiness of space. He set his book down on the console and turned back to face Jackson.

“How are the new maps looking?”

Their mission put them on a lone scout ship that skirted the edge of the known universe to create a map for the burgeoning Republic. Humanity had only taken to the stars within the last century and no one really knew just how large the universe was. Maps were still being made of neighboring star systems, not to mention what mysteries may lie on the opposite end of the universe.

“You would have to ask our cartographer.” Jackson swiveled away, starting a training program on the simulator that recreated close ship combat. His disinterest in talking to Alex wasn’t surprising, as the two men never quite got along. The extended time and proximity had not warmed them to each other.

Jackson thought of Alex as a spoiled, straight from the academy officer who must have pissed off the wrong people to get such a terrible posting. Alex felt that Jackson was a try-hard stick in the mud who took a joke of a posting too seriously.

He stood up and left the bridge, turning towards the cartographer’s office. Cartographer… her name was Eloise. He could say it. He paused in the hallway, almost nervously turning back. She hated when he interrupted her work, but as he was the navigator and she the cartographer, it wouldn’t be weird if he checked in sometimes? It was work. Professional, even. He was supposed to assist her more professionally, but she found it a hassle to slow down to explain things to him.

He got to the doorway of her office and listened in, unable to hear her moving inside. He knocked gently and the door opened so quickly that he almost fell over from shock.

“What are you doing outside my door, Williams?” Her stare was suspicious.

“I just wanted to… you know…”

She was forced by her short stature to look up at a man she would rather not see at all. Her expression was completely unimpressed.

“I just wanted to see if you needed any assistance with your work. I’m a trained navigator, you can trust me.”

Eloise scoffed, but walked away leaving the door open. It was better than the door slamming in his face like she had the tendency to do with Jackson. He entered her office and closed the door behind him. She turned around, put her hands on her hips and let out a small smile.

Alex leaned against her desk, “You can be really intimidating, you know?”

“You’re damn right I am.” She went back to moving sketches and data pads around on her work desk. Eloise was a cartographer who had studied at every prestigious academic institution in the Human Republic. Astronomy, geography, physics - she had more degrees than he could count. When they were first assigned to the Lucretia, she immediately dumped a workload of sophisticated mapping manuals on his lap and demanded that he catch up in order to be on her team. They would end up working closely together for months, the long hours and dense subject matter only bringing them closer.

He turned to face her, but the lights above them dimmed in a way that evoked concern rather than comfort.

Alex and Eloise pulled their attention away from each other, looking at the flickering lights. They regularly had power conserving efforts on the ship, but this seemed more like a malfunction. Before they could reach the door, the lights went black. The total darkness of the ship in space brought an instinctive panic to the back of Alex’s throat, trying hard to suppress a scream.

Continue reading Ancient Chorus by heading over to the official forums, where you’ll find plenty of additional Master of Orion content to dive into. To learn more about the ancient Antarans, be sure to pick up the Revenge of Antares DLC for Master of Orion today for just $9.99. It adds three additional playable races, as well as several other updates to the game.