I first realise something's wrong when my exobrain crashes. Not just the bandwidth hooking me in to the universal computation engines of the Citadel, but everything. My external memories and slave agents and reminders and scraplets are all gone, and I'm left thinking with just the meat inside my skull.
Then I look around.
Instead of the white walls of the Citadel, I'm in a trench in some blasted field that was once covered in vegetation. Now that's mostly mud and scorch-marks. A burst of plasma shines overhead, and I'm pretty sure that if I still had my full range of senses I'd be able to see maser beams criss-crossing the whole area. A hand drags me down before I can see any more.
My father stands befor eme in the trench. That explains why my exobrain crashed, chronal shifts are murder on any kind of omnitech. His skin's glowing blue, a sign that his personal defence field is active. If I weren't on his flist, I'd be haemhorraging massively right now.
I slump. "Dad, what have you dragged me into this time?"
He grins. With his blue skin and the family's trademark white hair, he looks almost inhuman. "You always said you wanted to be a hero. Well there's no better place for it than a war."
"Fuck off. Wars are just one outmoded socioeconomic structure trying to bash another one over the head with a rock. Why did you bring me here? And when the hell is 'here'?"
"I don't know exactly. I brought you because we're going to stop this war. They're going to destroy our future."
I run one hand through my hair as I think. "What? The Tribunal would never allow that. This whole chapter would be written out before anyone could get in."
"Would be," he agrees. "But they're using omnitech to fight. Omnitech! They stole that from our future, make no mistake. And they know enough to run irreversible calculations to disrupt any chronal shifts in. The Tribunal doesn't know that this is happening. I could only bring you here because you're family. We have to save our future."
"So now we have to stop a war. And do the Tribunal's job for them? All because some fuckup has let a bunch of rock-throwing primatives in on our technology?"
"And don't forget to salvage any omnitech you can. Even zenarchy has its paraiahs."
"To the Rift with salvage for you! Dad, if you hadn't just dropped me in the middle of a war zone, you know I'd drag you in front of the damn Tribunal myself. You've done more than enough to deserve it."
"But the only time you ever see me is when one or both of us has something better to do. Like now. Go on, it's your chance to be that hero you always wanted to be."
Before I could reply, he'd grabbed a plasma rifle and scurried away down another trench. Fortunately, my bracers were still working. I coaxed each into a linear cannon and watched as my skin turned blue.
I straightened up. "Be glad the Tribunal wants you alive, dad. Be very fucking glad." Time to stop a war in the only way these fuckwits will understand.