Charybdis Rising (FT TG for entry)

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Zepplin Manufacturers
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Founded: Antiquity

Postby Zepplin Manufacturers » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:59 am

Trending to Rimward

Trending gently sat, apparently in mid-air, as the rooms walls vanished and a augmented reality workspace filled the view, a morass of flickering files outlined across the where the physical objects had been. Faces, designs, outlines, many with flickering black boxes appearing to cover certain sections with orange text stating “Citizen Right”, “Security Directorate” or even ‘ZMSF”.

“Okay business it is. Accessing list for the citadel core systems during production and use, Charybdis class, ZMSF SCC 0082, twenty eight remote individuals during research, design and development, six on Noor Anchorage and only three in flight with two being required to open the cores secure room itself, of all of these only Kamenev had access before and during flight and only one megacity aerospace engineer was involved in both research, design and production.”

A mousey haired woman appeared something about her engineering ship suit said fussy.

“Moulson, Patrice , Human, within two percent of baseline, standard type six universal citizen shareholder gene mods, just the normal medical gumph, single, never married, no children, seventy eight, born on the Indigo orbital industrial node, Caselllio system. Magda, mother was a united mining citizen representative to the Casellio Concilium, got pretty high up in united mining’s hierarchy, ran for UM system head rep and failed in the 329th Concilium, now retired to Azure along with the father. Father, Philip, head of engineering for the Indigo OIN, family background has AAB economic ratings from both from the Cassellio system office of statistics and central socio economic prediction.”

Facts and figures appeared, write ups and justifications.

“Int-Sec work up puts Patrice’s reliability/loyalty combined score 5.9 out of a possible six, Office of the Security Directorate Psych department rate her at seven point eight on the Bourne,Boons Ransom sanity scale, very level headed, if anything almost overly outwardly sane. High on the biological roulette wheel for smarts, exceptionally skilled in Lobachevsky-Bolyai-Gauss geometry, er non Euclidean, lady could with time probably plot a transit jump in her own head. Three accredited if classified major breakthroughs in partial phased spatial topographical analysis, one major paper when she was forty two that led to her being involved in Project Jackknife leading to the development of the radial inserted position drive. Fourteen major degrees, six doctorates and held a teaching position and tenure at the Oscott Marker star drive institute in Luytens for twelve years.”

A complex star map appeared with dozens of crisscrossing lines.

“Has to our knowledge never left IS space, only major interstellar non work related travel is back to Azure to her family annually”.

A display clearly from a news network, a young girl in a luridly yellow and blue affair that was for the IS of a definitely older style, huge sets of letters marching down it slowly and puffed in odd places, a backpack and hair in disarray.

“No correlated incidents of any note save when she was sixteen, was a passenger aboard the northbound in the Maksik-Langdon blue line crash on Azure and interviewed post incident on Walls System News”

A dozen social networks and dating applications appeared.

“Public and private social feed data shows no sign of extremism, theocratic leanings, or encrypted messages. Moving on to her medical records it indicates that …”

Several hours later..

The footage was grainy, and sometimes wire framed, the figure shaking from position to position as if snapshotted and then occasionally coming into view. A caption on the bottom showing it was interpolated from a dozen sources. The figure slowly made there way along a catwalk in a helmet closed shipsuit, huge structural members visible before it vanished into the bulk of the growing mass of cylindrical forms at the heart of the space.

“And that’s when we think Kamanev pulled the first active move, height, weight and kinaesthetic mapping all match. Whatever it is he’s holding utterly blocked him from every sensor in the entire construction bay so this is all external. We have still no idea of what that something is, to be that wide area and multi-faceted, half the sources that should have picked him up aren’t even networked, and one of those was the latent metal and magnetic stress on the catwalk itself, so we think it is entirely possible it may be a man portable state change device with an effect in excess of a six cubic kilometre general engineering bay. Which puts it well outside anything within our shared technological norm and further it did so with an exceptionally and untraceably light hand. The upside is that its actual effects are physically minimal, the downside is the extrapolated cognitive and real time processing required push the thing well into the medium rated SI scale.”

A number of laws now appeared alongside graphs.

“Legally the thing is very probably sentient if of very fixed purpose, its an abomination, violates every one of our SI laws, the equivalent of a gene slave and something that Int-Sec, as an organisation has rather fixed opinions of, violates one of our founding tenets. Much less my own as an SI citizen or a serving agent.“

Trendy stood at that and gently rubbed her elbows.

“Im physically hardened as an agent, expected to do close EWar or worse, way above civilian or normal mil ship SI norms, internal shielding and shear points and all sorts of other little toys, but so was she as a strat boat rated core. Different methods used by the SSC but same sec rating as I have. Which is the highest available for anything that's not a static planetary, system admin or megacity core or the Gestalt itself. They went after her core while it was still being installed, so some active gear would have been off but the passive .. some of it should have caught it under almost any other attack vectors. That damn ..predator sat there, invisible in her own most personal sanctuary passively watching her learn her new body and then it just ..took over or influenced her on his command. Hell I'm an agent, I'm expected to do the same sort of op end result in some extreme situations but it gives me the heebie-jeebies to see it actually practiced like that and by that stars bedimming thing rather than anything that could be called a person."

She sat cross-legged on the floor now seemingly staring at the Nav plot.

"The Gestalt gave me one hell of a booster shot before we went out but that thing scares the waste parity checks out of me.”
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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:08 pm

Aston nodded, rubbing his chin. "Yes, the evidence seems relatively incontrovertible, although I'm thinking that someone who can get their hands on a mindraper could possibly spoof the sensors. We should check again for dogs that aren't barking; if everyone else is accounted for, then we can rest at ease that we've got our man. Which then begs the question of how he obtains such a piece of kit, and why? Not what we're seeing, but the motivation behind that?" He stood up, folded his arms, and started pacing across the cabin.

"Those sorts of devices are ludicrously illegal everywhere in civilized space and uncommon outside of it. Getting one would take a plan and no small amount of effort. That requires a drive, and a powerful one at that." Jamsheed paused to look at the screen, narrowing his eyes. "He doesn't look the type to be swayed by money. Might even be insulted by it. Ideologically... hmm, that's a thought. His profile said that he's not native, right? Well, not 'properly'--from some sort of splinter colony that got reabsorbed? Maybe there's an angle there."
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
People is people, whether they be the guy down the street, a scary and/or sexy space alien, a giant doom robot, or a candy-colored pony.
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Zepplin Manufacturers
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Founded: Antiquity

Postby Zepplin Manufacturers » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:11 am

Thirty Four years previously, Priean IV, Independent Religious Colony, Masik Penal Facility

The chair was hard. Metal. But not cold. There was no food just the dull ache of the thing clamped to his left arm. The restraints strangely softer than almost anything he had ever felt. They were still restrictive, like elastic bands that gently pulled him back to position with the immeasurable strength of mechanism. The one around his neck was particularly unpleasant; rubbery almost like badly tanned half rotting leather, disturbingly damp in patches. The room was nearly always dark though sometimes he thought they had blinded him. Time had long left him. In the distance he could hear something. Voices. Muffled. Reality had become a long nightmare.

The first voice was old, strained and strangely hollow as if all the emotion had been burned out of it.

“And as you say he will remember nothing? “

Memories. Public addresses. First Cleric Philip Mongsfeld. An old weathered man who sent people to the gallows by the dozen while screaming about impiety while wearing cloth of gold.

The response was smooth, filled with a confidence that few could carry.

“Yes its… absolutely an untraceable bypass as you paid for first cleric, the kid won’t remember a thing we don’t want him to. He will be you perfect little walking talking recording mechanism.”

“and it is ..non human?”

“Sorry, with all respect to your position you did not pay enough to know of its origin.“

A new voice now raised in temper

“You dare speak to”

There was a dull thud of inrushing air before the old voice again.

“I won’t miss Willard but I take our benefactors demonstration to be clear brothers, this I not the place or time for theatre.”

The smooth voice again.

“Thank you First cleric, you were all warned when we first met of the penalties. For the moment your money and position are useful to us . And more than just death or pain remember the fact that we know.”

A sound of shuffling, closer, around a corner before two voices now outside the room, muffled now only by a door.

“You know what?”

“We know old man. We know who you are, after all did answer”.

Now the smooth voice was very different indeed. Old and wizened like a crone

“You answered when we asked you what do you want ..and did we not provide?”

“YOU! It can’t be! “

“Ssshh Philip your little court of thugs and killers can’t hear you, you’re not going to have a heart attack and the only ears you’re irritating are mine and the boys. Did you honestly think things lined up as they did with hah divine intervention? No it was us. It was us at the bell tower. It was us that Sunday afternoon in the seminary. It was us who helped you along the path you asked to be on when we asked you what did you want..”

Trending to Rimward
The room lit up with statistics and a mottle mud colored orb as video windows opened and Trendy began speaking.

“Pirean IVs not a pretty story. About three hundred and twenty years ago a piece of work called Jameson Morisette, or “the reverend captain” as he liked to be called turned up out of the hab block depths. Big time old religion with his own interpretation of the good book. Wanted a world of his own. Self-governing charter straight out of the hat. Self-start plan forming kit too. A limited slow burn one. He seemed to have good intentions as did his followers, pure pacifists and as with most back to the farm groups col-dep had no qualms about granting them settling rights."

Shots of an older style colony ship and charters.

"Whatever else about his “truth” he had charisma. Enough to swindle funds for a full registered deep range col shot. Very deep range, well out of normal patrol until it was too late and given the first few passes showed a nicely growing agrarian colony with no issues well. Six generations of theocrats each more corrupt then the last. In the end even blowing the planoforming budget on internal security. Morisette would be turning in his grave if he knew, theocrats were all his blood relatives. “
An image of a gunship strafing muddy prefab huts.

“By the time our boy was a kid it was a full blown civil war, he spent most of his childhood idolizing the services he had read about, we were almost vocal myth to them at that point, and they fought with what they remembered of our colours, our mottos. Our ideologies. The same ones we had used against the oligarchs when the citizen brigades had to liberate the big meg in 04... that had a big public impact when it got home afterword’s.”

Scenes of street to street warfare, primitive kinetic and bloody and everywhere mud.

“Then it got worse. Someone down there had disabled the standard asteroid defence tug about a century ago to sell for parts. God wills it along with deep corruption at play. We have no way to know if someone pushed or not but ..”

The image was low res, flickering. It showed a landscape of ruin.

“Impactor struck fast but still possibly natural. Wiped out a third of the colony and set off an automated seismic alarm that had been buried when it was founded. Too deep for them to remember to sell it. “

Images of huge blocky freighters and massive curved white and red shaded vessels hovering over the landscape, “rescue service” and “Col dep” logos abounding.

“Our boy was rescued. Showed signs of strain, long term fatigue, malnutrition and an insatiable curiosity and intellect and a belief that he had to be in service. We know he fought against the theocrats.”

Images, close ups marked “RESCUE SERVICE again” of trigger callouses and ligament maps showing use of weapons to the point of muscle memory.
“He admitted it, and both sides’ records, what was left of them collaborated it. Theocrats killed his biological family and later his adoptive parents. His response was perfectly within human norms.”

Next read outs and blocks of notes from interviews.

“Went through the full psych battery, all clear save what could be expected of growing up like that. Surprisingly sane, driven and brilliant. He ..Believed, or Believes in the Incorporated State. We can verify that. Strat captains have full deep scans before getting position… and another if they leave territory and every few years.. “
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Postby Scolopendra » Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:28 pm

"So we've got an idealist." Aston permitted himself a lopsided grin, with his lips sealed as per the usual manner of his countrymen. "Stereotypically, then, you've called in the expert on those. If that's a factor, then there's the question of whether he believes in the State or the State, if you catch my meaning. I doubt those in charge of your strategic service would let anyone showing any signs of political disgruntlement run a boomer, but it's still an angle to consider--as is his history."

Standing up, he started pacing as he thought aloud. "I guess one question is when he had his latest scan. Another is how long he knew that he'd be skippering Charybdis, since obviously he had to plan and prepare. Another's whether or not the black market knows anything about having provisioned his kit, though I figure that if you knew that, you'd have already shut them down. People don't usually just snap, especially not for a plan like this, so we need a motive: any news from his homeworld, or people he'd have grudges to settle with? Ranging back on the idealist thing, what class of idealist is he?"

He looked up momentarily as if expecting a response, which made sense because he was. Then he shook his head. "Sorry. Local colloquialism. A first-degree idealist is your standard-issue type, really believes in something. Prints fliers, chants slogans, goes out on protests, that sort of thing. Someone really thinks that rights to arms are inviolate, or that markets should be free, or whatever. Second-degree idealists are people who are willing to compromise in order to attain their ideal, or a meta-ideal beyond that: the right to arms is the right to protection, and letting everyone run around with continent-crackers is counterproductive, so there should be regulation. Free markets in the traditional sense mean no limit to monopolization, so free markets die--freedom is actually maximized with some golden amount of control. These are your 'liberals with conservative action strategies' types. Finally are the third-degree idealists, who are not just willing and able but do violate their ideals for the sake of achieving them: honest-to-God pacifists that kill for peace.

"If we know what kind the good Captain is, we can narrow down his motivation for stealing a boomer. He can't be looking to trade it in, since anyone who buys it has just signed their own death warrant. If he's a first-degree idealist, there's some cause it'll help him advance. If he's a second-degree, then it's probably at right angles to what he believes in--against in the short term, for in the long run. If he's a third degree, then he's either extremely dedicated who can be relied upon once we figure out how he thinks, or he's a straight up unpredictable zealot that somehow slipped through reliability-vetting procedures. Again, not the type I'd expect your services to put in charge of their fastest, quietest, boomiest ship.

"And before you ask," he interrupts his own train of thought with a dry look, "I'm second-degree."
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
People is people, whether they be the guy down the street, a scary and/or sexy space alien, a giant doom robot, or a candy-colored pony.
Caught you peekin!

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Founded: May 13, 2008
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Postby Oyada » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:17 pm

Idama was prowling. Since he'd woken, an hour and a half and a bit more had passed and sleep had been, quite clearly, out of the question. Maie would still have the command for a good hour yet; therefore, Idama was prowling, quietly and fairly unobtrusively, though the spine-warping, neck-cracking passages of his boat, exchanging quick reports with the crew as he went and assessing their mood: quiet, keyed-up, knowing they were on the hunt again and facing a new enemy.

They called it 'The Touch' – the thing that made men follow other men to the ends of the earth, that gave them absolute confidence in their leaders' judgement and ability; Idama wasn't sure whether he had it or not, and didn't suppose that he was in any position to judge, but he knew some of its characteristics and had slipped into them easily in the course of his command, the ease fed by the fact that he knew most of the men he now passed, bent over their stations for the most part, some quietly trying to get some relaxation in their berths and awkwardly clambering to attention as the spectral shape of their captain slipped by, flicking half-baked salutes in their direction, making for the bow with one hand instinctively gripping the guide rail hanging low above the narrow, red-lit corridor, pleased to note that it was being kept clear of the impedimenta that characterised a lazily-run boat.

A couple more bulkheads and he was at the final point on his tour, the torpedo room; a mad forest of high-pressure tubing and cables the thickness of his neck, trailing like creepers into the black undergrowth in which lay the four gleaming torpedo tube airlocks, I-1068's teeth. Silhouetted by the green glow of the weapons monitoring station, Uatanami could barely be discerned, a black, diminutive presence in the tangle of machinery. Dangling above him in the reloading cages, four fresh torpedoes basked contentedly in the luminescence. At the sound of Idama's footfalls, Uatanami turned stiffly from his position and stretched, right arm curling into an approximation of a salute.

“Up early, Captain?” Uatanami might have grinned in the shadow.

“Something like that,” said Idama, noncommittal. “No point in wasting valuable time, I think. Any problems?”

“One of the torpedoes failed its guidance self-test. I was planning to have the next watch fix it, unless you...”

“No, no,” Idama interrupted rapidly. “We've enough torpedoes ready for now. How long to fix that one?”

Uatanami clicked his tongue. “If it's what I think it is, two hours or less. There was a batch of faulty chips from Maihare about two years ago. When the guidance computer takes its data from the FCS, these chips seem to think that the target range is negative. Of course, the torpedo won't launch if it has to travel a negative distance. I'll spare you the nuts and bolts, but it's a quick job to replace the chip; and, if we have to, we can just replace the entire board.”

“Right.” Idama nodded, thoughtful for a moment. “I thought I'd let you know what's going on, so you can tell the ratings yourself. And I'd appreciate a little more light.”

“Ah. Yes.” Uatanami reached into the abyss and an instant later the torpedo space exploded into blinding, clinical white. “Apologies. I prefer to have some darkness,” he added, as Idama blinked the space back into some semblance of normality. “Er... won't you sit down, Captain?”

“I never like sitting down in rooms full of antimatter.” Idama cracked a wry smile. “Anyway. The position.” Now his hands were clasped behind his back, no longer gripping the guide rail, a habitual, lazy pacing taking him left and right, balancing almost delicately on his heavy boots. “We're tracking a new Maelstrom class of some kind. Fimukhi thinks she's carrying a modified drive system of some kind. Practically biting his pipe in half trying to work it out... in any case, this stranger left Noor going like hell and headed straight for a needle-thread. Whatever this thing is, it's worth watching. Third Fleet agrees.” He paused in his pacing, staring at one of the shining torpedoes. “Hopefully, we won't have to use these. But, if we do, I want them as ready as they can be. Understood?”

“Aye, sir,” Uatanami said crisply. “I would have thought that you know I keep my weapons in top condition, actually.” The waspish note unmistakable, he stood to attention. “Sir.”

“I know that. No implication meant, of course. I just meant... well, be ready. Something about this smells strange.” Idama spoke quickly, whether from eagerness to make amends or to argue his point being unknowable. The Zeps haven't brought any escorts. This thing has to be a prototype, yet it's steaming around subspace with no escorts, no trailing units, and not under any obvious testing. It's making no effort to shake off a pursuit, and it's well outside any normal testing area the Zeps use. None of it makes sense for a boat under test. I think she's operational.”

“And if she is, then nobody knew about her until... yesterday. Or, if they did know, they didn't tell us.” Uatanami rubbed his pointed chin with a hand that lacked its smallest finger, replaced by a gunmetal-grey prosthesis.

“Exactly. And that drive...” Idama whistled softly. “This thing moved like it had been shot from a gun barrel. It's fast, Weaps. Fast, stealthy, and yet still a Maelstrom. It might be the best one the Zeps have. And if they find us tracking it, they might want to shoot first.”

“Understood, Captain.” Uatanami's salute was addressed to Idama's back, and a moment later the torpedo compartment returned to blackness. But, he added to himself, you really do have to work on your way of talking to people...

Far behind, still hovering on the periphery of Noor, I-881 kept a tense vigil over the comings and goings of the base. Her captain watched the plot with grim fascination, wrinkling forehead furrowing. Called by the howl of deeply encrypted siren-song, an immense flock of ships had gathered; in vast, slow-moving walls of metal patrolled by the swiftly skittering forms of light attack craft, the Incorporated State was calling the Maelstroms home.
Last edited by Oyada on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Freedom's price is liberty. The individual and his liberty are secondary to our objectives; how are we to protect our lives, our culture, our people, if they all act independently? If each man pursues his own petty aims, we are no more than tiny grains of iron in a random heap. Only by submitting to the need of the whole can any man guarantee his freedom. Only when we allow ourselves to be shaped do we become one, perfect blade. - General Jizagu Ornua, The cost of freedom for Oyada, 1956.


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