It's not often a video game comes along and makes me want to step outside for a cigarette after I beat it. Off the top of my head, I can think of two others. The Mass Effect trilogy and Elden Ring. Signalis would have to be the third.

What started as a "why not there's a sale" quickly turned into something that I honestly didn't think would draw me in. In truth, this idea came to me while I was playing. I don't expect this to get many views and in truth, I don't really care. Something makes me want to go back to that miserable planet of Leng something else with it. I plan to someday write something original, something not bound by an already established source material.

Flexing my muscles in different genres/settings will allow me to do that. So here goes, it started in Sierpinski-23 and it will end there.


"We're all going to burn for what we did. Us and the Empire."

Testimonial of a captured Eusan Nation soldier after the First Battle of Vineta


"Get off my fucking planet!"

In the center of a muddy corpse-filled trench, Joseph Jaslo spat through gritted teeth as he struggled to twist his blade into the neck of the Storch Replika unit he had pinned down. Long synthetic arms reached up towards his enclosed face helmet, threatening to gouge his eyes out or snap his neck. Meanwhile, the Replika's long slender legs kicked and stirred up mud from under Jaslo in an attempt to get him off. The artificial human attempted to speak, but could only gurgle up thick spittles of oxidant that leaked from under her mask as she looked back up at him through hate-filled eyes.

All around the struggling pair, the chaos of war continued. The constant chattering of automatic weapons and thudding of heavy artillery continued their somber tune. A small reprieve considering they were drowning out the sounds of the dead and dying. The heat from energy weapons spent munitions, and vehicle fires stifled the air making it difficult to breathe. Nearby, the still-warm corpses of the Storch's squad lay in various states of intactness. Some Replika, some human. Jaslo was doing his best to not wind up like them. If only he hadn't lost his rifle in the struggle.

Feeling the Replika's advanced strength kicking in, Jaslo gave one last burst of effort to twist his blade further. Not good enough, the Storch bucked him off sending the soldier flying through the air. Upon hitting the muck he slid forward, the brown filth clogging his goggles and plunging his world into darkness. He was blind, but not deaf and he could hear the Replika sputter as it got back up and started stomping towards him.

Jaslo quickly wiped the mud off his goggles and started scrambling backward. Meanwhile, the Replika swayed weakly from side to side, a hand hovering over the knife in her neck as she attempted to close the gap. She was a terrifying sight to behold, her eyes shined red from under slicked bangs as her massive frame towered ever closer. Jaslo crawled back and over corpses and the shattered remains of machinery as his hands tried to find something, anything that he could use to defend himself.

Suddenly he felt the familiar rounded shape of a weapon's barrel. He didn't bother to look at it or the corpse that it had once belonged to. With a groan of pain, Jaslo used up his remaining strength to yank the weapon out from behind him and aim it at the towering Replika. By some stroke of luck, the weapon's action wasn't jammed up, and upon depressing its trigger its barrel barked as it spat white-hot lead into the Replika's torso. A Nation belt-fed machinegun, its heavy caliber rounds knocked the Replika back repeatedly as they slammed into her dirty combat vest. Most skid off, but a few punched right through and she drowned out Jaslo's yelling with her death screams as the rounds punched out her back.

Rounds chugged through the weapon as it spat them back out as brass casings and metal links. By now the Storch was drowned in a torrent of rounds as its body jerked violently every which way.

Then, the weapon stopped. Its action locked back, smoke pouring out of its barrel and receiver. Dry, no more ammo. Jaslo tossed the useless weapon to the side and looked back at his assailant. She just stood there now, motionless. Thick rivers of oxidant poured out of the multiple holes in her vest as she stared at the wounds and then back at her killer. Then, she dropped to her knees. Now her shoulders shrugged forward and her breathing came out of her mask in ragged breaths. She slowly felt for the mask on her face and yanked it off, tossing the useless thing into the mud.

Free of the mask she looked at Jaslo and her expression slowly twisted from anger to fear. She knew she was going to die here, in this mud-filled trench. She had been created in man's image and wore the face of a beautiful young woman. Only to be used as a weapon of war for a traitorous regime. Jaslo watched as the Storch's eyes started to dim and water. She wanted to say something, but the oxidant bubbling from her mouth and wound robbed her of words. Storches were known to be aggressive Replikas that demanded the same amount of fear as they did respect. Seeing this one look so remorseful, bothered the veteran.

The Replika took one last up at the sky, mouthed something, and then, nothing more.

The threat neutralized Jaslo lay there for a moment breathing heavily, staring upward at another new horror. High in the skies above the distant irregular shapes of capital ships continued their hellish battle. Bright lances of energy streaked across the sky and detonated against distant ships. Hell had come to Vineta and nothing would ever be the same for the Eusan people. Not wanting to see it anymore, Jaslo slowly turned his head and looked to the right. That was when he noticed the human shape that had been watching him the entire time.

A wounded Nation soldier. Her blood-stained gloves covered an equally blood-stained and hastily applied dressing over her right eye socket. Her dirty brown hair was tied back into a military-regulation bun and her youthful face belied an utter lack of experience. She lay there propped up against the trench wall and stared at him with her one remaining eye. She had a defeated almost resigned expression on her face. Another youth drafted into a war she had no business fighting in and against an enemy who outclassed her.

For a few moments, both soldiers simply lay there staring at eachother as the sounds of hell continued all around them. Then, Jaslo slowly got up to his feet and walked over to the downed Storch. With but a slight bit of effort, he yanked his blade out with a wet tearing sound and pointed it at the wounded soldier. He had half the mind to finish her off there, duty demanded it.

But before he could entertain the idea, a man's voice blared into his right earpiece.


"What?! NO! NO ! NO! NO!"

Jaslo cried out in defiance as the same message replayed. He frantically started climbing up the sides of the trench with blood and oxidant-stained gloves, digging deep into the ruined earth and pulling himself up with strained muscles. Free of the trench he looked out over the battlefield. Ahead of him an ocean of trenches, corpses, wrecked vehicles, and shattered buildings extended for as far as the eyes could see. It had all been so beautiful once and he had shared it with someone he loved more than anything else.


That was when Jaslo saw it. Several bright flashes of light erupted in the distance and would have blinded him were it not for his helmet's auto-dampening lenses. Then came the mushroom clouds, the distant roar. That was it, in a last desperate act of defiance, someone had done the unthinkable. Over the next few years, the Empire would blame the Nation and vice versa. Nobody on the ground cared, especially Jaslo.

Everything Jaslo had done, everything his army had done was for nothing. He could see the shockwave now, it was growing closer. That was when chaos erupted. Everyone that had been fighting paused to watch the spectacle, then, they started to run.

All around Jaslo, tanks and troops began to disengage and flee towards massive squat landers that had started to descend from orbit. Some were Imperial, some were Nation, and all just wanted to get off that doomed world.

Jaslo ignored it all as hands began to emerge from the mud and drag him down to the cool earth beneath. With each pair of hands emerged a familiar face that he had seen hundreds of times before. She had come to take him back and as the shockwave got closer he closed his eyes and accepted his fate.

At least he was where he belonged.