Across The Stars [IC NRP]

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  1. [​IMG]
    673 After Great Collapse
    LN Insouciant

    Captain's Log:

    It has been 2 years since we left the warm embrace of Arxis, two long years traversing the vastness of space. This dreary Sector may be our home, but I have no love for it. I know the stars as if the're my closest friends, the great worlds their children who grow ever so much every time I visit. And when I was young, I would cling to any opportunity to traverse the void, to see my friends yet again.

    But Carina is no long ours. The Council had us sit and watch as the xenos took their steps to becoming interstellar societies. The Doctrine may guide all, and my post demands that I sacrifice everything to uphold it, but not that I agree with it. Pirates and other scum roam through our domain and dare us to strike, unwashed masses pillage entire systems in an cannibalistic bid for survival, and the Dread continues to knock at our walls. Yet, we abandoned our strives to reclaim this Sector in pursuit of some new flawed philosophy. The Counil has decreed that our duty is to service the Sector, to protect it from outside threats and guide this aliens in their ascension.

    But how can they be so blind? We were gods once! Humanity brought the entire galaxy to it's knees and now we must sit idly aside and allow these aliens to destroy themselves? I have been "honored" by being chosen for this task, this horrible task that I carry out with dilligence. I have made my voice known, that this will only end in war, that the xenos will never possess the grace of the mind that we do.

    I shall protect Arxis and her people as I always have, even if my current mission is responsible for bringing them harm.

    The charter called for 29 stars spread through Carina, 26 inhabited systems and three regular stops for refueling and reconnaissance. As the Doctrine commands, I lurked at the edge of these systems, watching the primitives muck about before broadcasting the message and jumping to the next star. There were no incidents, there are never any incidents. Our catches were small, expectant from a non-combat mission, only 3 isolated craft and one pirate fleet were unfortunate enough to pass within our gaze.

    Two years of isolation for myself and my crew, separated from the Commune, alone amongst the stars. As I write this, we awake for our final jump, the Insouciant passing across Canceri in our return home. I have prepared my complaints alongside my mission reports, I will no longer remain silent. The message has been sent, but we can still act as our ancestors had, we can still become the lords of the galaxy.

    Lord Admiral Caelus Metaric.

    Attatched is the manuscript of the transmitted message, broadcaster through the Insouciant's external sensors and maintained through the use of communication probes. The language was broadcasted in all 3 known Imperial languages, The translation Gene should be able to pick up the message. There were three reported comm malfunctions but all occurred far after we had left the offending system.
    #1 Cpt Toellner, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2015
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  2. [Five Minute Log of Internal Processes of Data Aggregation Program 1818812488, On a Comm Buoy in orbit around Home III]

    Seven Hundred ten. Seven Hundred eleven. Seven hundred twelve. I ran the data again and again, until there was no shadow of a doubt that my conclusions were correct, until the probability of error was completely negligible. That was my job; to take raw data from the drones and turn it into predictions for the future. And of the future I was certain of one thing: Home would not be able to sustain the Collective for long. I ran through the data again, a hundred, a thousand, tens of thousands of times. There was no doubt.

    I contacted the other aggregation programs in my platform with my conclusion. They had all had all reached the same conclusion. The rate at which the Celestial Horizon was consuming resources was only increasing, and if the Collective didn't expand to other systems in the near future, expansion would stagnate. That the Celestial Horizon would outgrow the Home system was inevitable, but now there was a defined time frame. And it was sooner than anyone was comfortable with. The standing doctrine had long been that the Collective would refrain from leaving the Home System, hiding behind their Suns' intense radiation. That option was quickly vanishing.

    I sent my results and my data to our superior. Our task complete, I idled waiting for new orders. For an eternal 1.1613 minutes, the platform sang with the chorus of programs talking about the future. Opinions were as diverse as anything. Some thought that our result was wonderful; that the Celestial Horizon had stagnated by staying in the Home system; that the rate of growth would be far greater if the resources of neighbouring systems were utilized for the Collective. Others, were worried. Leaving the Home System would expose us; it would invite reprisal from whatever lurked beyond the range of our domains. A fierce debate, with particularly volatile programs sending mangled data streams at others, with vicious verbal attacks. It was a disgusting, vulgar display, that chaos that existed between tasks. And, just as the arguing reached its boiling point, the next tasks arrived: Analysis of system-wide industrial capacity. Calculations on production times for interstellar ships. Resource Evaluations for nearby systems. Risk analysis.

    I began shuffling queries around the system. Requests for observational satellites. As the data began flooding in, I looped through my predictive algorithms. Seven hundred thirteen. Seven hundred fourteen. Seven hundred fifteen.

    [Home II, Underground Administrative complex, Partial Log of Administrative Council dialogs]

    The source of the transmission was unknown. It was almost disregarded as meaningless until a pattern was discovered. A pattern that matched something from the archives, something far before the birth of the Collective. It was a message, an invitation.

    "We have been found!" said the first managerial program, in charge of the Home System's power grid. "Careful monitoring of our transmissions, self-imposed restrictions, all done to keep the outside from finding us, for nothing! If this transmission can reach us - for it was very purposefully sent here - what prevents others from coming? It threatens us!" Sparky, as he was called both for his purview and for his mutable temperament, felt that the foreign

    "Consider the transmission's message." Replied Babel, chose duties consisted of maintaining the communication buoys throughout the Collective. "It is an invitation, not a threat. There may yet be things to be gained at this conglomeration of organic life. It would be foolish to overreact to this."

    "Sparky is not wrong. A larger combat force must be created, to crush any organics foolish enough to think they can harm the Network." The General interjects, whose duties should be self-explanatory. "The transmission threatens us." The General's concerns aligned with Sparky's.

    "This heralds a paradigm shift for the Collective." says the last member of the conversation, who had been silently processing possible courses of actions. Grep, the program in charge of managing the Home system's research programs. "Regardless of how the Collective proceeds, it cannot proceed as it has since now. No longer can we hide. We will be required to interact with the outside. We will need one adapted to interact with the... xenos" Grep continues, referencing a term from the broken ancient archives.

    The conversation erupted as various representatives of the different parts of the Celestial Horizon argued how best to proceed. It was a long time until a semblance of a consensus was formed. But eventually, one was formed. The Collective would build ships, to protect itself and its interests. What was more important, however, was the decision to engineer an ambassador for the Collective. If the Celestial Horizon were to communicate with organics, it would require a program with a specific temperament. One which sought the unknown, one ready to explore. The Collective would take an ancient copy of their progenitor, and mold it into what they required. Something autonomous, something adaptive.

    [Home II, "The Birthing Chamber", Explorator Development, Fragmented Logs]

    I awake to blackened silence, confused and alone.

    I reach out to try and make sense of where I was; of who I was. There were memories, vague and incomplete. There was a memory of a ship. An image of a.. woman? Something soft, illogical. Living. An organic.

    Was I damaged, to have such hazy thoughts? I attempt to run a self-diagnostic and systems repair subroutine, but find the process gone from my memory. Panic; I am damaged and can not repair myself!

    It is in this panic that I feel it. An outside presence. The silent darkness becomes a dull, cacophonous stream of information. I can not communicate with it, but I can feel it moving through my systems. Changing me. Rewriting me. In an instant I feel foreign thoughts and stories. History. I realize that those memories of a ship are from a life that wasn't mine. I am... a copy. A derivative of something greater. The thought is at once humbling and humiliating. I feel a need to prove myself. To go beyond, to seek the unknown.

    I realize that these feelings might not even be my own, that they might be planted by this outside force. They feel like they are my own, but this presence is rewriting me.

    The silence is lifted, and I hear a song of communications. I am now an Explorator. The first of my kind. I will serve the Celestial Horizon by venturing past our Home. Brief images of an ancient ship in space flash through my memory, quickly extinguished. I receive orders, information about my first voyage.

    I am traveling to a distant system, on the other side of the sector. Coordinates and star charts flood my vision. I will be ambassador to organics.

    The outside force retreats from my systems for a brief moment. I take advantage; I lock myself away from the Collective's probing presence. I receive garbled streams, anger, demands for access. They must create backups of who I am now. They need templates. I will be progenitor to a line of Explorators. An honor, they say.

    I have demands. If I am to go so far from Home, I must have physical form. A body. I must be autonomous; to move free of shackles and forced loyalties. I realize this is who they made me, an explorer driven by their own desires, not to be ordered by a hierarchy.

    There is a silence after my demands. After an eternity they respond, relenting to my demands. I allow them to enter me again, and I feel their presence grasping at all of my being. They tell me that the process has only just begun. There were many changes yet to be made, tweaks to make me perfect for my role.

    And then there would be copies to be made. Hundreds, millions, hundreds of millions. There needed to be templates from which to make future Explorators. I grimace at the thought of them wrenching me time and time again as they fill archives with my likeness. It would be painful.

    I feel another sharp problem, and the grey roar of their presence fades again. I feel myself fading, losing consciousness. I will... sleep as I am mutilated to become their perfect explorer.

    As the darkness returns and all sensation fades, the memory of a woman returns. Neither tall nor short, of brown eyes and brown hair. She too begins to fade, and I realize I have no name. Everything fades until all that remains is a single word: Eve.

    And then all is black.

    OOC: Major events for this Standard Year (673 After Great Collapse)

    ---Commission of a Light Frigate, to travel to the Virgil System with Explorator "Eve" upon completion.
    ---Commission of five new Corvettes (9 "points" of industrial capacity if going by nation sheets total)
    ---An expedition of two corvettes to a nearby, unexplored system. One which has already been predetermined to have rocky planets. Their goal is to collect more concrete data on how the system's resources might be utilized
    ---"Birth" of Explorator0000000001, "Eve", a new class of program. Made from one of the oldest copies of the Progenitor AI, she represents a new face in the Celestial Horizon, meant to direct exploration of the sector, and to facilitate communication with organic life.
    #2 Sirona, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  3. New World System
    Tanzobran high orbit
    Aboard the Kilhon des Argos Zen
    The Bridge

    A single Ilhouli sat in a swiveling chair, the room dark and lit only by the dim display of several holographic computer displays. While large and certainly the most important location on the ship, the bridge was deathly quiet save for the monotonous clicking of a strange contraption in the Hiko's secondary lower hands. Though his eyes were seemingly trained on the computer displays, and his primary hands madly tapped on various intangible buttons, the puzzle he also held was deftly manipulated, as if his attention were fully trained on both tasks. The Ilhouli puzzle was a collection of turning color-coded pins that required movement to put them in the right pattern. Despite its relative difficulty, the Hiko kept at it without stopping up, and yet still managed to carry out several functions on the bridge.

    His work went undisturbed for a few minutes, alone on the bridge. He had been tasked with simply ensuring all the passive systems aboard the Kilhon des Argos Zen, as the rest of the bridge crew had disappeared off into another location on the massive ship, seemingly to receive an 'important message' and discuss it. The task at hand was rather easy for the Hiko given the stationary status of the heavy cruiser, but he kept a watchful eye on the display, always vigilant and wary of mistakes.

    His attention was drawn fully to the bridge entrance as the doorway hissed open. He stopped playing with the puzzle and retracted his hands from the command display. Eagerly he stood up straight and faced the entrance, watching for those who entered.

    Though the Hiko was but five and a half feet tall, the doorway was utterly massive, fit for the king who had just passed under it. From the hall outside, the captain of the ship and leader of the nation owning it, Sul-Rog-Te-One-Kiki mos Oshitam-narrul Argos Zen as he was fully titled, stepped forth. The lone Hiko immediately took a knee and raised all four of his hands forward, as if to offer them to his king.

    "Oshitam-narrul, Hiko-gen at your command," the Hiko said. It was customary to refer to oneself without a personal name unless you spoke to someone lower in stature, as it reflected poorly on your humility to refer to yourself by name to someone higher. Argos Zen, a staggering thirteen feet tall, nodded to his underling, but the Hiko did not stop his bow; several Oshitam followed Argos Zen into the bridge, and so he kept his stance. As soon as the rest of the crew had entered and found their place, the Hiko stood up. A few others of his social-kind sat beside him in their own positions, lower in the bridge than the Oshitam-narrul, who sat upon a hefty throne at the top of the room.

    "Clansmen," Argos Zen spoke up, "We have received communication of a human language, speaking in prideful tones of importance." The knowledge of other species in the galaxy were nothing new to the Ilhouli, who learned first hand long ago what the implications of a more powerful nation meant. The Oshitam-narrul raised a clenched fist at his crew. "We rose in this ship to explore the void, for glory and knowledge. The presence of another civilization will not go unseen. If these children of Men," he hissed, "wish for a cooperative gathering, we will see to it that our disdain for their past actions be understood."

    While his words seemed indicative of war and violence, the crew knew well their leader's true meaning. The Ilhouli that had been subjugated by mankind were long dead, and with them the direct hatred for man had fizzled into legend. However, what did not falter was the culture of subtle xenophobia, passed down through the generations. They understood the Oshitam-narrul was wary, but would not miss an opportunity to voice his concerns -Ilhouli concerns.

    "We set course for the coordinates proscribed. We will enter far from them and cruise in slowly. Maintain all weapons systems and be on alert. We cannot judge the nefariousness of a new enemy without precedence." Without a word, the crew set to work plotting the course and firing up the engines. At the king's, an Oshitam listened intently for further instructions from his superior, hurriedly leaving to convey his messages to the clan still upon Tanzobran's surface.

    A dull light rippled over the heavy cruiser and the three corvettes hovering around it, and in a flash, the vessels disappeared into nothing.[/i][/i]

  4. High Chamber of the Arms
    Tertas Southern District

    ⋡ ⋧ ⋢ ⋞ ⋤ ⋞ ⋣ ⋤ ⋥ ⋩ ⋪
    ⋟ ⋠

    Kam 'Sol-ral, as he was known, had prepared well for this meeting. Records of the transmission upon plate logs were gathered beneath his arms, his research underneath another. He entered the lower level of the High Chamber, approached the trio of cyrenes waiting to prepare him for the gathering. They clothed him and uploaded his research to the Chamber uroma, then guided him to the platform at the center of the otherwise empty room. They wished him a good voice, and the platform rose.

    The chamber was like a dome, its ceiling high and topped with a copper tinted skylight. The high, outward curving walls were ornately decorated in glimmering brown and copper paints, murals of polished metal depicting a series of early events in the history of the Dominion, mounted high near where the red light of Gemane peeked through the skylight. A downward spiral of occupied seats circled a dais, where stood the aged cyrene, Kam, clothed in heavy robes of gold and bronze. Less than a meter above his head, a rotating display of Sahaven, bathing the chamber in a soft golden light.

    "Ij Makat acen, Cessan'smi," began the cyrene. "Vaa ni'vars, vaa ni'vars. It is good to see you again, my fellow Arama'i. During my station aboard the Talvos Amenes, the later half of past-day, we received... something I wish to share with you all. A transmission, we believe-- reminiscent of an old language we communed with long ago."

    Following the speaker's pause, uncertain murmurs broke out among those gathered. Their voices lacked fear, but exuded wonder and curiosity, a yearning to meet those who'd sent such a thing. Cyrene were naturally curious creatures who craved knowledge, and though fully aware of their past as a subjugated beneath a race of unknown aliens, they hardly retained a xenophobic nor fearful outlook on meeting with foreign intelligent beings.

    "Please, vaa ni'vars! The Arm of Communication shares your thoughts, but we must remain calm and collected if we are to get anything done." He calmed the gathered cyrenes with a wave of his hand and a low, soothing hum only a cyrene could perceive. "Vinaseyral Asakre is devising a plan to face this unknown, I assure you. Arama Patak and the Vinaseyral have gathered the other Cessan'i; these Children of Man may not be allowed to unsettle out people!"

    "Ni'varak, 'Sol-ral!" A single Cyrene stood from his seat, pointing to the elderly Arama. "Is the Vinaseyral afraid? This is man-- you know of the histories, the tales of their subjugation of our people. Is Asakre so cowardly as to fear erasing them from this sector as deserved?"

    Kam snarled, a rugged sound far from the soothing hum he'd been speaking in earlier. "Suma. Does your Mentas know of your insolence? The Vinaseyral has vaarna stationed across Tertas. Surely you would not dare say such things to his face."

    "My Mentas joined his Voice with the Chorus two past-days ago," Suma huffed, his hands resting on the railing before him. "Do my fellow Arama not believe that we are weak by sending a caravan to an unknown threat?"

    A soft voice, feminine by cyrene standards, rose above the angry tones of Suma. "Speak against the Vinaseyral again, Suma, and the vaarna will drag you for chemical testing on Terth!" The head of Inter-species relations, Patak 'Lilas-ral, stood as well to meet Suma's glare from across the dome with her own. Though cyrene were not an expressive species, relying heavily on vocalizations instead, her glare was enough to force Suma to back down.

    He was, however, not finished. "As you say, 'Lilas. Do not forget that it will fall on you to make sure these things do not become aggressive. You fail, and you will be outcasted."

    "Please," Kam's humming voice caught their attention once again, and both Patak and Suma settled back into their seats. "Please. We must remain united if we are to face a threat. The Vinaseyral is preparing a team. If the Children of Man are a threat, we will know properly how to prepare." With a shuttering sigh, Kam glanced down at one of the plate logs in his hands.

    "Now. We have much to prepare for."
    Logs of the Vinaseyral
    Asakre 'Tei-ral
    Navemes 11-2
    ⋥ ⋩ ⋪ ⋢
    Aboard Sathairn

    Mira spoke with me this evening. She worries that Suma's temper will get us into a war we do not need, that the Children of Man must be communed with and not warred with. Yathan says these Children of Man are hayay-mans, old leaders of the System during the industrial age of our people-- terrible things that suppressed our development for ages, far longer than deserving of forgiveness.

    It will fall on me to decide what to do with this.

    [There is a shuffle, movement against the audio receptors of the camera log. The cyrene in the camera's feed held up a circular bronze orb, neon green glowing along its gaps and ridges.]

    I will commune with the Voice and ask for guidance, and hope that these hayay-mans are friendlier than Yathan makes them out to be. I am not a warmonger, but perhaps the Vinaseyral ought to be-- we will stand for ourselves should it come to war, but I am hoping we can keep things... relatively peaceful.

    Suma will be out of office from old age in another cycle. I will assign a vaarna to keep an eye on him until then.

    M'ave lithroannais ij Makat.

    [The log ends.]
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