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A Shattered World (FT, Intro, ATTN: Olimpiada)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Kortar
Political Columnist
 
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Founded: Oct 09, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

A Shattered World (FT, Intro, ATTN: Olimpiada)

Postby Kortar » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:28 pm

KNF Duorein Vælty
Ræyn-System


Code: Select all
EMERGENCY//FLASH TRANSMISSION
CC 7.88.5.XV
HALT ALL OTHER TRAFFIC//CLIMACTERIC IMPERATIVE
TO ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL

Galactic Threat Condition Is Now SHATTERED GOLD. Hostiles Confirmed In Høne-System. Kortara Has Fallen. Loss Of Ascendant Council Is Confirmed
Do Not Attempt Høne Approach. Extensive Corruption Confirmed As Of Cycle 5-9-4. Unknown Conditions In Other Occupied Systems

For Personnel In Occupied Systems, SILENT BLADES Is Now In Effect

All Personnel In Unoccupied Systems Are To Begin Preparations For ABHORRENT IMPERATIVE

Further Instructions To Follow On CC 5.63.1.VB If Possible

In The Absence Of Further Instruction, ISOLATED SORROW is approved

May The Allspirit Preserve Us


Aada Sverpæis sighed deeply, reading over the message one more time to make sure that she had read it correctly. No matter how many times she had done so, each word felt like a new dagger to the soul. The message had arrived only an hour or so ago, but based on the time-stamp, it had been transmitted from the capital two days ago. The initial reaction from the local government had been one of confusion, as they struggled to confirm the veracity of the message, while they simultaneously struggled to keep the peace amongst panicking military officials.

After a number of failed attempts to reach any of the Inner Systems, the Ræyn-System government had decided to declare a state of emergency, and go ahead with the ABHORRENT IMPERATIVE; a coded term that directed military personnel to begin evacuating all populated planets and flee Kortiran space. Ræyn was the furthest inhabited system from the Grand Republic’s capital, with a population of only a few million, but the evacuation was complicated by the fact that there were few ships in-system capable of deep space travel.

Aada’s ship, the Duorein Vælty, was a Dæyn-Class Colony Ship, one of two such vessels that had arrived in the system two years ago in preparation for a mission to a nearby uninhabited system. At this point, they were supposed to have been nearly ready for departure; instead, they had been directed to begin evacuation efforts of the system’s capital, Vydøt Keile.

Suddenly, there was a hand on her should, and a soothing voice, “Aada, stop torturing yourself. Nothing to be done now.”

Aada looked over her shoulder, relaxing slightly at the sight of her first mate and longtime best friend, Taava Leitir. He was smiling down at her, but Aada could tell that it was a forced one. There was an interminable amount of stress behind his visage, the same stress that was now weighing on everyone’s mind, including Aada’s. Nonetheless, Taava was doing his best to sound comforting, and it was something she appreciated.

“I know, you’re right,” Aada clenched her right hand and the hologram disappeared, “I just can’t stop hoping that this is all a dream, that I’ll wake up any moment and get on with life as it was”

Taava nodded solemnly, “I doubt there’s a person aboard this ship or in this system who isn’t wishing the exact same thing”

“And what of the people in Høne? Or on Kortara? How many might be dead…..”

At this, Taava came around and stood in front of Aada, squatting down so that he was eye-level with her, “Listen to me. If they are dead, then our survival becomes all the more important. The people in this system may be the last remnants of Kortiran civilization. And if that is the case, then for there to ever be a chance to avenge our fallen comrades, we must survive. We must become avatars of vengeance.”

It wasn’t what Aada wanted to hear, but it was the truth. “Yes, of course. You’re right again,” she took a deep breath and composed herself, “Alright…..well, then let’s get to work.”

A quick tap on the holographic controls summoned up an enormous map of solar system, which Aada spun her chair around to face, “What’s the status of the evacuation operation? How far along are we?”

Taava swiped on the controls, and a series of colored dots sprung up across the system map, “Things are progressing, but slowly. The communication blackout has made it….difficult to ascertain specific details, but the occasional flash coms from our transport shuttles have given us a general idea.”

It was yet another frustration that Aada had been dealing with; ever since the message from the capital had arrived, the ranking military officer in the system, Fleet Commander Ilyua of the Ræyn Patrol Fleet, had instituted a system-wide communication blackout. The general idea behind this was to avoid giving the unknown enemy any hints of where the system was, and to maximize the time the evacuees had before things went south. Aada understood why FC Ilyua had given the order, but that didn’t mean it was any less frustrating.

Even more annoying was the fact that, technically speaking, Aada and Ilyua had the same rank. She was Fleet Commander of the 5th Colonial Expeditionary Fleet, but as such wasn’t actually a military officer. The twelve Colonial Fleets were under the purview not of the military, but of the Ministry For Colonial Affairs And National Expansion. But it had always been a gentleman’s agreement that ranks from the CANE would be honored by the military. Now though, there was no CANE. The central government was gone. In that vacuum, FC Ilyua had essentially seized control of the entire 5th CEF under the pretense of ABHORRENT IMPERATIVE. This despite Aada’s early protests that he had no authority to seize her fleet out from under it.

Nonetheless, things were as they were, and Aada was dealing with it. She refocused her attention on Taava, who had now brought up a number of ship counters, “The latest report from our transports indicate that ever SR capable civilian ship has been filled. They’ve been designated Emergency Fleets one through five. The rest of the colonial fleet is at around ninety-percent capacity.”

Aada nodded along, mulling over the information, then reached out and tapped in a command on the console. The hologram shifted to display an image of the Duorein Vælty’s sister ship, “And what about the Odeihū Peide?”

It took Taava a few moments to pull up the data, “I don’t have a specific number. But given that they’re in orbit around Vydøt Keile, I would guess that they’re quite a bit ahead of us. A transport from the surface to the Odeihū Peide would only take around two-minutes travel time. To get to us, it’s about ten minutes travel time. So we’re at a pretty big disadvantage in terms of loading people quickly”

Yet another one of Ilyua’s plans. He had decided that the colony ships should be divided up and sent two different places to maximize survivability; Aada’s vessel was parked in the outer cloud of the gas giant Mæ Eikēmilyiensī, while the other colony vessel was directly in orbit around the system capital. In the event the system was attack from either within or within, it would give one ship or the other time to escape.

A good plan, in theory. But to Aada it reeked up cowardice. A Dæyn-Class Colony Ship could carry around 5,000 if the cargo bays were utilized, and around five times that number in T-Pods. Even without any solid numbers, Aada was almost certain that the other colony ship was likely nearing full. As for her own ship….

“Taava, what’s our status?” She looked towards her second commander, who bit his lip before resigning to the fact that he would actually have to answer that question.

“We’ve loaded around two thousand people so far. I’ve been directing the reception crew to put all evacuees into T-Pods as soon as possible. No sense in letting frightened people mill about and start spreading rumors or whatnot”

It was easy to see that Taava was trying to direct Aada’s attention away from the pitifully small number of evacuees they had taken on. But it didn’t work, and Aada swore loudly, “Two thousand. That’s nothing. We have room for so many more. We’d have three times that number already if that idiot Ilyua had let us park in orbit”

As Aada seethed, Taava could only nod and try and settle things, “I know it’s frustrating, but we cannot be too careful. If the enemy were to strike, and we had all of our ships in one location……that would be it. Potential extinction. Better that several thousand survive than none at all”

Taava was infuriating in his logic, but once again Aada knew he was right. And as much as Ilyua’s plan was rubbing her the wrong way, Aada knew he was likely just doing the best he could. The rapid destruction of the entire nation at the hands of an unknown enemy was hardly something covered in basic training. Everyone was stressed, everyone afraid. The entire Kortiran civilization was staring into the abyss, and the threat of total annihilation was staring back at them.

“How long is this going to take anyways? It’s been two hours. How many have been evacuated?” Aada didn’t want to argue the ethics of Ilyua’s plans with Taava, so she bit her tongue and moved the conversation along. Taava seemingly took note, and then frowned, “I’m not sure……”

“Based on my S-Coms with other vessel Avatars, a total of three-hundred and fifty thousand people have been evacuated so far. Assuming the evacuation continues at this rate, the entire system’s population will be evacuated within a day and a half.”

The new voice boomed out from speakers on the bridge; a slightly digital voice, but a good enough replication to be convincing as an actual person. Aada looked up towards the ceiling, and ever so slightly annoyed, quipped, “Yitsūn, how nice of you to join. I was beginning to think that my ship was an empty husk”

Taava was more courteous, “Well, that’s not too bad then. A day and a half is much quicker than I assumed!”

In typical fashion, Yitsūn simply ignored both Aada and Taava, and kept talking, “Unfortunately, that fact is irrelevant. There are not enough vessels to evacuate the entire population. Even with every vessel present packed to one-hundred and twenty percent capacity, approximately fifty-eight percent of the system’s population would be left behind.”

There was a stunned silence around the bridge, as even the rest of the bridge crew heard the news. Aada simply stared at the floor, while Taava bit his lip and leaned against the wall.
“I….. Yitsūn, are you sure? I mean…..that would leave…..” Aada started to stutter, interrupted as Yitsūn finished the thought, “It would mean that approximately one-point-six million would be left behind.”

“Damn it….DAMN IT” Aada didn’t realize she was shouting, but Taava put an arm around her and held her while she fought back tears. She shook the arm off and stood, ready to scream again. But the utter silence on the bridge made her open her eyes.

Everyone was staring.

At her.

Aada took a deep breath, “I apologize for my outburst. Please return to your duties, everyone”

There were some looks among the bridge crew, but for the most part everyone went back to focusing on their stations. Aada held her composure until they had done so, then collapsed into the chair, “This is too much. How are we supposed to go on with so few….”

Unsolicited, Yitsūn cut in, “I have been optimizing our systems to enable a quicker departure. Our SR Drive protocols have been adjusted to allow for a one-point-two seconds decrease in charge time, and I have modified our AP collection protocols to prioritize high-energy clusters.”

“Shut it Yitsūn. We aren’t going anywhere until we’re full. I’m not leaving anyone behind” Aada snapped up at the ceiling, “Besides, there’s been no signs that the enemy knows we’re here. It’s been two days, and nothing. They might not even know this system exists”

To nobody’s surprise, Yitsūn retorted, “That is highly unlikely. Assuming that the enemy has captured Kortara, they most likely have access to all of our digital records and data. It would be a very simple matter to discover the location of all our systems. Given the speed at which the rest of the nation was conquered, there is a very high probability that this system will come under enemy attack within days, perhaps even hours”

Once again, Aada knew that Yitsūn was right. It made perfect sense, but of course it did; Yitsūn was, in every way, far more intelligent and far more connected than any organic being ever could be. When he gave an assessment, no matter how dire or catastrophic it was, it was the truth.

“So then, how long do we have? I mean, we haven’t heard from anyone outside this system in at least a day.” Taava questioned, and Yitsūn was silent for a moment or two before replying, “Unclear. Prior system subjugation seemed to take only hours. That there has been a multi-day delay is uncharacteristic of the enemy. I can only hypothesize that they are currently in the process of conquering a different system, and that is why they have not yet appeared here”

Taava bit his lip, thinking over the information, “Well, then we can only hope that our forces in any other surviving systems can hold the line. They might be all that is standing between us and total destruction”

It was all too much for Aada to process, and she abruptly stood, rubbing her temples, “That’s enough. Yitsūn, go back to doing….whatever it was that you were doing. Taava, you have the deck. I need…..I need to lie down”

It was clear that Taava wanted to say something, but he merely nodded. Aada stood and made her way to a door at the back of the bridge. It opened to reveal a small cabin, sparsely furnished save for a bed against the left well, a ledge in the wall with a copy of the Kan Dīmen resting in it, and a small shrine to the deity Vitanen. Aada kneeled before the shrine, silently whispering a prayer for Vitanen, begging him to protect the Kortiran people. At prayer’s end, Aada stood up and walked over to the bed, laying down gently and closing her eyes. The darkness enveloped her, and her thoughts began to drift.

It was not to last.

----------

Some Time Later

The dream was terrifying. Aada’s hometown, her homeworld, they were burning. Millions of people cried out for help, only to be silenced by a sweeping firestorm. Men and women and children; they all burned to death, their last breath dedicated to cursing those who had failed them.

Cursing Aada.

“ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!”

The sudden screeching of a klaxon and the voice of Yitsūn broke Aada out of her nightmares. She had no idea how long she had been out, but it didn’t matter. She bolted upright, right at the same time as Taava burst in through the door, “Get out here. Something’s happened.” Before she could ask what was going on, Taava was back out on the bridge.

Aada leapt out of the bed, half-sprinting out the door to the bridge. Everyone was in a panic, and the central display was showing a map of the solar system; but a large white orb had engulfed most of the center.

“What the hell is that? What’s going on?” Aada sat in her chair, quickly scanning her eyes across the data feeds coming in on the command console. Yitsūn piped up, “Approximately sixty seconds ago, my sensors picked up a massive increase in gravitons just outside of Vydøt Keile’s orbit. This was followed by a three-hundred percent spike in sterile neutrino scattering and graviscalar concentrations”

As Yitsūn spoke, the central display put the data into images. Aada looked it over; the emissions were similar to the ones give off by SR Drives, but much more energetic, and definitely more dangerous. But the bad news wasn’t over, as Yitsūn continued, “Fifteen seconds ago, my scanners registered a massive outburst of æther particles from the following coordinates,” The coordinates appeared, and Aada’s heart dropped. Taava stammered, “But that’s…..”

“These coordinates match the last location of the Odeihū Peide.” Yitsūn said out loud what neither Aada nor Taava had wanted to, “The æther particle outburst matches recorded patterns of AP Reactor meltdowns. The only two vessels in the area that could produce an outburst of this size are the Odeihū Peide or FC Ilyua’s flagship, the Kæysø Yis Eduorein. I have been unable to establish a com-link with either vessel.”

Both Aada and Taava were silent for a time. They looked to each other; both of them knew what was happening, but neither of them wanted to say it. Finally, Aada broke the silence, “Yitsūn……is this…..are they…..” She stammered, and Yitsūn confirmed it, “Yes. I believe the enemy has found us. I would recommend leaving the system immediately.”

It was the right call, but Aada was frozen. Whether it had been Ilyua’s ship, or the other colony ship, the enemy was here. And they had destroyed one or the other or, more likely, both. It was the end of times, and Aada was watching it all happen right before her eyes.

“Aada? We need to go. Give the order, please. We have to go” Taava begged, and Aada could only nod. That was good enough for Yitsūn, who began getting things done, “All crew, this is a Category Five alert. Lock down individual stations and proceed to your assigned T-Pods immediately. Full system lockdown will begin in five minutes. SR Drive will activate immediately afterwards.”

Taava gently shook Aada, who shook her head, “Yes, I know. Let’s go.” With Aada, standing the pair made their way to the T-Pod bay, where hundreds of people were scrambling to get to their pods. Aada was halfway into hers when she stopped, “Yitsūn, as soon as all the pods are locked down, send a general S-Com explaining that we’re leaving. Then get us out of here. I don’t care where; just get us as far away as you possible can”

“Of course. I will wake you when we have arrived in a suitable location”

And with that reassurance from Yitsūn, Aada stepped into her T-Pod. The door slide down and hissed closed as it pressurized, and soon the sleep cycle began. Aada closed her eyes, felt the gas flow into her lungs, and just like that, she was out.

----------

OOC: The concept is fairly simple. Your ship detects the gravity waves/anomaly, and go to investigate. From there, we'll see how things play out. Please TG me before posting. I'm looking for one person to participate, at least at first
Last edited by Kortar on Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:15 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Olimpiada
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An introduction to Albanus Mons; Colonial paranoia

Postby Olimpiada » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:35 pm



Albanus Mons, Kytheon 2207
Tauromenium, Hex Conglomerate Extraction Hub 228.Sigma



Oil, heavy organics, and fire. A dusky orange sky for three weeks straight, followed by an alternating three weeks of darkness. A low-lit cable reaching toward the heavens, looming over a cluster of tunnels and synthetic diamond geodesic domes filled with purple vines. Butanol seas slowly lapping at a coastline of dark sand dunes. In one of those tunnels, in a slightly larger hole in the wall than the outpost’s other five thousand inhabitants, lived Basil Auxentius, petroleum engineer.

During the daytime, he worked at the Hub, draining the seas for rare organics which were just a hair too difficult to manufacture on one of the ecumenopoli to not be worth going to this destitute little rock for. Albanus Mons orbited Gracea, the nearby gas giant, at just the right distance to be in a Van Allen belt and blasted with high intensity radiation every second of its life. Combine that with a naturally high hydrocarbon content, and the oceans naturally formed a slew of uncommon chemicals that it was his job to sort out and ship up the elevator for manufacturing a dozen light years away. He hated it.

Every waking moment was the same people, same work, same scenery, same coffee, same food, same goddamn life. He was in charge of this mess of an operation, so awful that even the Izirians wouldn’t fight them for it, so rad blasted that he took oncocidal meds on a hunch daily, so barely profitable by its very nature that he barely had a shadow of a hope of promotion back to the core worlds. When he did, he was going to get all the way up to the board, camp out at the top, and make quadrillions.

But that was all later. Right now, he had problems at home to attend to. Personnel from cargo and processing kept getting into arguments over who was getting the right equipment or products. The best solution was to sic his security chief on them and keep them separated while using human resources as a go-between for both departments. Somewhere in the facility, a leaky distillation column was hemorrhaging thousands of drachma each day at the same time as the detection system had suffered an electrical short from the graphite dust which seemed to be everywhere on the planet. Maintenance would eventually manage to handle it, once they were finished recalibrating the nanofiltration systems along the pipelines to the tanks. And just to add to all the confusion, a call was coming in from the warship Naga, twelve thousand kilometers away from anything that could possibly be important.

Above his cheap plastic desk, he brushed a cloud of holographic production readouts and a freecell game out of the way to drag the call window forward. A video call connected with a bit of static from the radiation, and he was greeted with the face of one OFAC Captain Domitia Irenaea. Great, the queen bitch herself.

“Greetings Captain, what can I do for you this fine morning?” Every word padded with enough practiced pleasant tones to ever so slightly soften the permanent scowl on the woman’s face. Which meant it was merely back to usual now. Something was off.

“Two minutes ago, we spotted an unidentified craft jump into the orbit of Gracea. Poorly armed, but exceptionally large.” Shitshitshitshitshit. Maybe the Izirians had finally taken an interest in the colony. Or was it the Alexzonyans coming South in a preemptive move? God forbid it was the Welded, he had a nanocoating inside his lungs from when he lived on Crimson and still had to worry about pollution.

“Which xenoi are it this time? Do we stand a chance?” He kept the worry in his voice choked out by years of practice being as bland and businesslike as possible, but his facial expressions were never quite as controlled as he would have liked. Should have made it an audio connection.

“What exactly does unidentified mean to you, Auxentius?” She sounded more disappointed than usual, if that was even possible. “We’ve got no clue. The boat’s Pordish sized, but not nearly armed enough. Not that they’d bother going all the way out here. You’re the civilian in charge here, you need to start preparing for evacuation and find out exactly what their deal is. If we’re very lucky, we won’t have to ditch the whole colony.”

“Can’t you hold them off? I can’t possibly get everyone up the line in time.”

“We’ve got three warships and a dirtside missile battery on hand, not a Basileus among them. Not much of a chance unless they don’t somehow have defense beams hidden all over that thing to kill my missiles. We certainly can’t penetrate far with our lasers against hulls that size.” Great.

“Fine, I’ll see what I can do. Fastest we’re getting out in is 60 hours though, there’s five thousand souls and only the one elevator on this rock.” He closed the connection. Hera’s tits, he didn’t know anything about evacuating a town. He was here to run a business, not abandon one.

Almost regretfully, he called the holographic window for colony administrative commands. It was largely unfamiliar, and it took a few minutes of searching to find the one to start the automated warning systems for an evacuation.

A pleasant chime echoed through steel halls and diamond domes. “Attention all residents of <Tauromenium>,” announced a perfectly calm androgynous voice. “This station will now be evacuated due to a clear and present danger. Please continue with your lives in an orderly fashion and cooperate with <Purple Phoenix Securities> security personnel so that this transition goes smoothly for everyone. Thank you for your cooperation.” Almost immediately after the transmission finished, he hailed his security chief to order martial law. Many of these residents were originally Sabishiinese, the last thing he needed was their rebellious tendencies acting up. Finally, he composed a message to the intruders in his native Latin.

TO: Unidentified Vessel [OFAC Deg. Victor-1]
FROM: Basil Auxentius, Federated Worlds of Olimpiada Colony Governor of Tauromenium, Hex Conglomerate Petroleum Engineer
ENCR: None


Greetings. I am the governor of this colony, and as it is the only colony present, this system by extension. State your purpose, species, and place of origin within the hour or my contracted warships will be forced to open fire to ensure our security. Do note that any attempted hostilities will be immediately met with unrestrained and unremittant force. Attempts to exit this system before declaring any of these will result in similar violence. Please cooperate for the good of both parties involved.
Last edited by Olimpiada on Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kortar
Political Columnist
 
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Founded: Oct 09, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Kortar » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:47 pm

KNF Duorein Vælty
Unknown System


The Duorein Vælty was by no means the largest ship the revered Koirtoikīkai of Sānti Lāhdōt had ever built; that honor went to the three gargantuan Seimat-Class superdreadnoughts built at the end of the Dæypīt Era. Though, given what had occurred, it was likely that the colony ship was now, in fact, the largest Kortiran ship in existence. Nonetheless, for the locals of the system, foreign vessel would likely cause a stir.

At just over six-thousand meters in length, the Duorein Vælty was an enormous sight to behold. Though her rear-most AP collector sails were offline and dark, the spindly frames still case the rear of the ship almost like a bare umbrella, marred only by the blocky engine section immediately behind that. There were no obvious main guns, but the hull was speckled with small turrets, seemingly no threat to anything more than an asteroid.

For all its odd beauty, the vessel was dead. Like the AP collector sails, the entire ship was dark. There was not a single light to be see, not a single emission to be detected. The hull was cold, the reaction coils in the triangular structures dead. The forward collector panels were folded tightly against the matte black hull.

The whole craft simply drifted, slowly, through the system.

Unknown to the locals, aboard the seemingly dead craft, things were happening. Though there was too little power for Yitsūn to fully reactivate; instead, a secondary sub-protocol was enacted, one that would allow the performance of basic functions without over-taxing the already spent power reserves. In this state, the Avatar was reduced to functioning more like a basic ship computer than anything. Basic systems were checked, a general analysis of the local area was begun. And, in the midst of it all, the message from Basil was received.

The communication was processed and analyzed, to no avail. The language was not one that Kortira had ever encountered before, and in it's reduced power state, Yitsūn was able to do very little to begin a translation process. The only thing he could do was decided whether or not to respond.

On the one hand, there was very little chance that these people were the enemy that had seemingly wiped out all of the Grand Republic. Though he couldn't understand the message, a basic analysis of its composition of structure lent weight to the assumption that it was a more diplomatic query; at least among the Kortira's enemies, there was a tendency for threats to be short, sweet, and simple. This wasn't a guarantee of course, as these were still aliens; assuming anything based on sentence structure was a highly risky strategy.

On the other hand, it was equally as likely that these were some other violent species, and that no response from the Duorein Vælty would effectively be a go-ahead signal to start shooting or looting. Though the Grand Republic had shied away from interactions with outsiders as a matter of self-preservation, the Kortiran people were well aware of the dangers of the universe. There had been skirmishes and wars in the nation's history, and the Grand Republic had won nearly every single one. But there would be no military support, or help from the VEE.

But ultimately it perhaps didn't matter, since Yitsūn had no actual weapons to speak of at his disposal. The ship was equipped with only small projectile intercept turrets, perhaps capable of damaging a fighter craft, but nothing larger. The Duorein Vælty relied on its massively powerful Dimensional Fold Shielding to stave off potential attacks, and unfortunately there simply wasn't enough power to run those at this moment in time. So the options available to defend the ship were minimal, to the point of being null.

With no other choice, a decision was made. Using what little power was left in the reserves, a weak message was dispatched. There was no expectation that it would be understood literally, but Yitsūn had hoped that at least it might stave off hostility, at least until the Duorein Vælty could be powered up again. The message itself was short

Code: Select all
Dæypīt
Re Ne Ain
Kīt Kirpo
Ain Nū


Included in the message was a chunk of code that would function as a polymorphic linguistic analysis system. In theory, once the message was opened by the locals, it would analyze any response given and attempt to grasp a general hold of the native alphabet and language. Of course, it was equally possible that the program would simply be blocked. But either way, it was an attempt.

And really, that was all that could be done right now.

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Olimpiada
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An argument; Introduction to Iron Squad

Postby Olimpiada » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:14 am



Albanus Mons, Kytheon 2207
Tauromenium, Hex Conglomerate Extraction Hub 228.Sigma



Within the allotted hour, a message had come in reply. The only problem was that it was utterly incomprehensible. A cluster of short words, not matching any known language. Not enough data was present for a linguistic analysis algorithm to produce a likely translation with any reasonable accuracy either. A block of code came with, but no one was foolish enough to let that run rampant in the systems. The newcomers had done exactly what was asked of them, but without actually achieving anything useful.

On the planet below, thousands slowly filtered up the elevator. They assembled their possessions and moved corporate machinery, and worked as best as they could to abandon the colony. Some resisted, of course, and were currently being held in empty tunnel terminals as makeshift brigs. Why would anyone even want to resist leaving this place anyway? Basil could see the silver lining to the six kilometer cloud hovering above them pretty clearly. The vessel was at least somewhat cooperative. So, what was the next move?

They could simply sic the fleet on it when it wasn’t expecting an attack. A number of sudden missile strikes from eccentric orbits would tear the craft to ribbons, based on his understanding of strategy. A planetary strike likely would be equally unexpected. But then again, this was first contact between polities. These could be unmet humans. Fractal Sol had certainly seen to enough of those scattering the ‘verse, and firing on them without good reason would be only negative for his career. Alternatively, they were aliens with unknown technology, and would proceed to annihilate any incoming attack and dismantle every man-made object in the system with weapons that failed to obey known physics.

The next option was to wait them out and merely leave. This was obviously suboptimal. If the evacuation did not have to be completed, that would mean that he could keep making money, and get a career boost for making first contact with another nation, potentially not even the hated xenoi. That alone could be enough to promote him out of this dump.

Lastly, he could board. This presented interesting possibilities. Seizure of technology, understanding of culture, an aggressive solution to the black swan problem presented to him. The more his mind lingered on it, the more that putting marines in danger seemed the safest bet. Step one: call Queen Bitch.

“Governor. I trust the evacuation is going smoothly?” Captain Irenaea seemed settled back to her usual distaste for Basil’s entire existence now that the ship had established itself as somehow cooperative.

“Quite, we should be finished within the allotted timeframe. But I’m not entirely certain that’s necessary.”

“You don’t mean to tell me you want to fire on this thing, do you?” She lifted an eyebrow quizzically.

“No, of course not. That’s far too dangerous at present.”

“Then what exactly could you have in mind?”

“Boarding.” She laughed.

“That’s foolish. Waltzing right into enemy territory, putting lives at stake, and assuming they won’t immediately be torn apart by defense systems. The Aegis is a good suit, but it’s not that good.” Great. She was being difficult about the whole affair.

“We’re already putting everyone at risk just by existing, might as well try to pull something good out of this mess. Look, if we get on there, we can get more data for translation, maybe just seize the ship outright. Think about your career.”

“Think about the five thousand people who could die when you fuck this up.”

“If threatening to shoot them didn’t get me that result, I doubt a squad of astronauts will.” A pause. Tension built up in the twelve thousand kilometer tightbeam between them and threatened to snap into a proper argument when Irenaea spoke her mind. “It’s also worth noting that pursuant to Federal Dictatus 3155.1202, you are my subordinate in this system. Make it happen.” He could almost see the steam rise from her ears, but she clearly knew she had been beat.

“If this goes wrong, I’ll kill you before they can.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way, Cap.”




Albanus Mons, Kytheon 2207
FWOS Mouth of Kala, Subnautikos XI.A Aquilae



Ejiro Naucratius coasted along the space between ships in his Aegis Mk.I-EV combat suit, 20mm recoilless hive rifle resting in his arms. An egg crate of micromissiles perched on his shoulder, while clusters of counterbattery lasers swept around with rangefinders for incoming projectiles. Thermal, gamma, and millimeter radar inputs from cameras all over his faceless helmet fed into an internal viewscreen to give him an integrated and complete view of all pertinent combat data at any time. Right now, he had all that turned off and just enjoyed the view.

To his rear, the Mouth of Kala, a Constantinople-class escort. Its five hundred meters of cylindrical body bristled with guns and sensors. Its grey graphene body was unpainted, and periodically pockmarked across the hull with inactive combat radiators, their faint orange glow spelling out the myth of Prometheus in kanji across the hull. Toward the back, the far more active main radiators shone a bright orange as they stretched out from the hull, shedding gigawatts of wasted heat energy from the ship’s fusion reactor.

Beneath him (though this was relative, his squad was in a circular formation as they approached the unknown craft), Gracea. Ammonium hydrosulfate crystals in the atmosphere gave it its characteristic orange color, while the edges still held a faint blue hue due to the methane that was also present. It was the source of all power and industry in the system at present, and likely would be the fall of it someday. He pondered how long that might take, before recalling that he only had two minutes to impact and boarding.

Ahead of him, the unknown. Six kilometers long, covered in strange spines, and possessing a wholly impractical amount of glass. Likely, it wasn’t military, but he had been wrong before. He flicked back on his HUD. An overlay of green outlined metal and pink hued heat sources formed over his vision, along with the squad’s intended ingress point.

“Iron Squad, this is Iron Actual. Reaching destination in thirty seconds. Counterburn to a halt and magnet lock when ready.” A chorus of affirmation. Around him, jets of hydrogen peroxide burst out into the void, rapidly forming into white clouds of crystals which scattered into space. Ejiro followed suit, impacting with a hefty thump. Fortunately, his exoskeleton could take the hit.

They had impacted just ahead of the large glass area toward the rear of the ship, and now prepared to cut into the hull so as to access it. “Iron Three, breach.” Another black suit stepped forward, this one’s faceplate decorated to look like a roaring tiger. She laid down a large square of a viscous fluid from a gun in her suit vest, and then pressed a small metal dot into it before stepping back. The square quickly flashed white, and metal flew away from the hull as depressurizing air pushed it away from the vessel.

Time for reconnaissance.

User avatar
Kortar
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 3
Founded: Oct 09, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Kortar » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:45 pm

KNF Duorein Vælty
Unknown System


The translation protocols hadn't worked. That much was evident as Yitsūn sensed the foreigners blow a hole in the colony ship's hull. Of course, there had been no inherent expectation that the foreigners would be able to understand Væys, but that hadn't stopped Yitsūn from hoping. Nonetheless, the aliens were aboard the Duorein Vælty, and that is exactly what Yitsūn had been trying to accomplish. The hole was far too small to threaten the structural integrity of the ship, and would be repaired as soon as power was restored, so there was no need to retaliate.

Not that Yitsūn really could anyways.

The AP collectors were still offline, and would be until main power was restored. The solar collectors, though lacking positional data to optimize photon collection, were still online however. And since the ship's arrival in the alien system, they had been steadily charging its massive auxiliary batteries, which Yitsūn was using to both restore himself to full operational capacity and maintain power to the T-Pod chambers. Accounting for both of those things, there was just enough power left to activate emergency lighting and surveillance in one area of the ship at a time. Thankfully that was all that Yitsūn needed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Central Transportation Tunnel

The space Iron Squad would find themselves in was, for a lack of other words, simply gargantuan. The massive tunnel was shaped roughly like a slightly squashed hexagon, and around three hundred meters in width and one-hundred and fifty in height. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all composed of matte grey metal plates, with light white squares placed in the upper and lower walls every two meters or so.

Running down the center of the tunnel was a thin metal catwalk, only just wide enough to walk on comfortably. Occupying the bulk of the tunnel, however, were a series of massive metal strips, gently bent into broad upwards facing arches. Identical metal strips faced down from the ceiling, matching the ones on the floor in terms of positioning. These were arranged one after another, all the way into the inky blackness towards the bow, and likewise down the tunnel towards the stern.

The only other thing of note in the tunnel were the sculptures. Built into alcoves in the upper and lower walls were statues of what looked like people, constructed in a gleaming iridescent metal, and composed entirely of flat panels that gave it the look of a polygonal computer model. Each one seemed similar, but each one was also slightly distinct, with subtle differences in the arrangements of panels and slight alterations in the size and seeming "gender" of the individuals depicted. Regardless of the other details, each statue was in the same pose; kneeling, with arms straight out in front of them, a gleaming gold sphere resting in their outstretched palms. If inspected closely, the foreigners would notice that the spheres were etched with long strings of words, different for each statue.

Of course, all this was was visible only with flashlights. The entire tunnel was pitch black, without gravity or atmosphere, partially thanks to Iron Squad's creative method of entry. Even with flashlights, nothing was within visible distance in either direction, though towards the stern the faintest outline of something large and metallic could be seen resting on the metal strips.

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Olimpiada
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1235
Founded: Aug 13, 2016
Corporate Bordello

On the possibility of good relations

Postby Olimpiada » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:17 am



[/b]Albanus Mons, Kytheon 2207[/b]
Unidentified Vessel [OFAC Deg. Victor-1]



Thermal and millimeter radar vision overlaid an amplified visual spectrum display of the world Ejiro now found himself in. Very long, very tall, roughly hexagonal, and a metal catwalk which was likely just there for service during normal use. No artificial gravity, which was excellent since he had only read about the stuff and did not want to deal with it.

The walkway looked precarious. Certainly too narrow for any of them to be comfortable walking on, even without the concern of it being an obvious place to trap. “Spherical formation, advance along the length of the tunnel to the end. I think I see something.”

They floated in a rough blob around the walkway, taking full advantage of the microgravity to keep their flanks covered in all three dimensions. As they passed, conversations broke out.

“Humanoid shapes. That’s a good sign. We can work with humanoids,” commented Theo Maltinus, Iron Four.

“If that were entirely true, the Ellians wouldn’t have lit us up over Staiunerth. Fucking bloodbath, that one,” remarked Silia Alethius, Iron Three, in reply. The battle she was referring to had taken place within the low orbit of a single planet, and near complete casualties were had between the two forces within mere seconds of engagement starting due to the lack of any time to maneuver before rounds would impact.

“Well yeah, but the Peninsularians don’t give us any trouble.”

“They’re from SATMA. And in the GCC.”

“Well, directly. Point is, they can’t all be bad.”


“Theo, you do remember that our comms are monitored, right? I’d rather not get a visit from Section 7 on shore leave.” Right, like the Office of Military Integrity would go after her straight laced ass. Time to change the topic.

“When do you suppose the translation’s going to come through on all those etchings?” asked Ejiro.

“Whenever the software manages to decipher it,” said Theo.

“Right, that’s helpful.” He suppressed a sigh. “Still gotta wonder what they say. We could stand to learn a lot before dealing with whoever’s driving this barge.” And so they conversed back and forth, floating toward whatever awaited them at the end of the corridor.


OOC: Sorry for the extremely late reply, classes have been crazy lately.


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