Stellar Empires 5; An Age Anew (IC)

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    Stellar Empires 5
    An Age Anew

    [​IMG]


    On a world unbeknownst the the new powers the forces of a nation had descended upon the Karminite Remnant with remorseless totality, unopposed by the other major powers this burgeoning empire may once have become one of the new nations. However it had the misfortune of being particularly delicious. Stun weaponry flashed as the humanoids dropped to the surface with expert precision and zeal for war.

    Defences failed as the enemies EM weapons disabled technology and the blue flashes of stun weaponry disabled their operators. An invasion conducted by millions of troops over a single horrifying night. The people rounded up and loaded onto transports displaying all sorts of names. Names like "Joes Meat House" or "Bobby's Butchery" and a number of fancier transports dressed up in red labelled "The Red Sun Restraunt." with the motto "Bringing the finest in unwilling culinary delights light-years to you!"

    They were a terrible people and their brutal efficiency belied the gluttonous hunger in their eyes. From now until times end the only Karminite that remain would be used to breed more of their kind to serve only in the cookeries of their captors. Karminite Nuggets, Scrambled Eggs ala Karminite, Karminite on a stick... a future of food.







    Starting Events!

    - Note, once the IC starts these starting events will be included in the IC. Starting events are considered 'minor' events. A minor event doesn't require GM involvement and may be resolved within reason in a manner to your liking. Major events (which happen later on) are big enough to have GM involvement.




    @Viral ; Waexians ; One of your primo scientists has managed to discover a technique to successfully improve the file compression for backups and improve restoration speeds! Unfortunately, the technique is dependent on special hardware, specifically customised storage arrays and processor units.

    @Kadaeux ; Confederacy of High Praximand ; The Cult of One have managed to wrest control of one of the orbiting industrial asteroids over the homeworld and have begun attempts to de-orbit it into the planet potentially killing millions.

    @Legulus ; Selans ; One of your less stable scientists has developed a substance known as ICE (Ice Creation Engine), this bizarre chemical substance turns water to ice on contact, the process is slow but the same scientist accidentally released the chemical into Selanar's oceans (He and his team are no longer available, unless you want some Selancicles) and it threatens the global ecosystem unless stopped.

    @FrostedCamel ; Idioblocium Swarm ; A sleeper ship has drifted into the swarms system, it's crew complement quite asleep in stasis as the ship goes from who knows where to who knows where. This colony ship is filled with morsels.

    @Gat ; Allied Kanei Clans ; Part of the Crucible has released a self-aware program, which has taken over a small automated factory deep into the facility and is producing automated kill-drones to try and recover control of the facility. A military response is required, and soon.

    @Snakey ; The Llengese Free States ; A group of revolutionaries have risen against the government due to its involvement with pirates. A thousand men and women with outdated vehicles and a retrofitted frigate they intend to take the capital by storm.

    @Lstorm ; Gatekeepers of Euphoria ; One of the dangerous cults has detonated a low-yield nuclear missile in one of the smaller cities all but annihilating it, the humanitarian disaster there is compounded by the belief that some of the cultists may have moved in immediately afterwards with the intent of murdering survivors. First responder teams would see some confirmation of this with people crucified on ruined walls.

    @Brovo ; The Great Emperor's Republic of Patriam ; The Emperor's own flagship has suffered from an unexpected accident, a transport ship colliding with it, while normally this would not have been an issue, the explosives stored aboard going off and crippling the Veritas' engines and shields.

    @Maxim ; The Polaris Collective ; Some of the more dangerous cultists have released chaosware into a civilian mainframe corrupting the engrams of hundreds of thousands of citizens. The firewalls are only just holding. Should the break before a countervirus can be released...

    @Firewombat ; The Ennan Remnant ; A young prodigy has developed a technique by which they can conceivably begin to clean up the homeworld, though it would be a small improvement overall, it is still an improvement, and in the hands of the proper minds may one day develop into a much greater improvement.

    @Helios ; The Grom Ascendancy ; Prospectors have found a great vein of unexploited gold deep in the mountains, the resources offering a potential boon for some time!

    @CaptKiwi ; The Oxivian Union ; An outbreak of plague in the HERD facility has begun, fifteen percent of it's work so far is already in ruin and needs to be stopped quickly before it becomes a hundred percent, or worse, breaks out.

    @Sarzu ; A new technique for space-lifting has been discovered, potentially increasing the volume of material lifted into orbit from planetside nearly five times the previous limitation.

    @TheGreyWarden ; The United Galactic Federation of Phox ; An interstellar visitor arrives! A trader offering a cargo of snow-globes from far out beyond the system!
     
    #1 Kadaeux, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  2. Nation Name: Idioblocium Swarm
    Title: Purge
    Post Content:
    Puck was checking and double checking trajectory equations, monitoring the vitals of the fifteen thousand two hundred and thirty three colonists on board, and running a sensor scan of the star system that seventy seven years ago had seemed a perfect star to use a gravity assist off of to reach their final destination in the far reaches of the galaxy. All of this in just under 0.7 seconds.

    There were perks to being an intelligent computer; or AI; as Puck was known to most of the crew. He was incredibly smart, cunning, and very capable. Had he not been around it may have taken the human crew hours to check what he had checked in a mere fraction of a second. Puck didn't relish in his design, for it could lead to less than optimal output and his core programming was already pulling him back into optimal output range just as he was going to congratulate himself. A moment later he was back at it, rerunning the same checks he had just done. It was, after all, the one thousandth twenty second time he had run these checks since the ship he was put in charge of caring for, "Soft Underfoot" had entered this system.

    His checks went the same, no scans found anything strange. None of the colonists were in any danger, the crew was doing just fine, and the gravity assist was set for just one months time. There was however one problem, a group of asteroids far from the mapped belt in this system, and odd asteroids at that. Puck reran his scans, the asteroids were unlike anything he had every scanned before. He ran the scan again, this time using radar, infrared optics, and range finder. His results were, disturbing, and as a smart AI, he was disturbed. The temperature in his processor arrays rose from 330 Kelvin, to 339 Kelvin.

    Puck searched all known records of asteroids, cross checking them to the radar signature he had gotten back from his previous scan, at the same time he began the procedure of thawing the crew. His cross-check came back negative, no known asteroid matched, or even came close to the signature of these four... "Objects". The Captain was slowing being revived, his First Mate and Navigator following close behind. Puck registered that the four objects would reach an intercept with Soft Underfoot in just twenty three minutes closing from a hundred thousand kilometers.

    Puck began to take more detailed scans of the objects. They were obviously not asteroids, but his processing arrays couldn't think of anything else they could be. Puck gave in to his emotional processing units and began running the radar signature against every ship logged to his array. Fourteen seconds passed and all the ships were negative for a match.

    Sixty thousand kilometers.

    >...Emergency Wake Procedure...
    >...Password: ***********...
    >Accepted.


    >...Running...

    In the Crew-Cryo room Puck monitored the life signs of the seventy crew as their pods began the extremely fast awakening procedure. From a camera mounted in the room Puck watched as the Captain pushed his Cryopod open and stepped out.

    "Urgent. Report to Bridge Immediately." Was the only notice the Captain and the rest of the crew would receive from Puck.

    The objects were closing faster than expected, their relative velocity was overtaking the ships. Closure in just under ten minutes. Pucks arrays were now at 390 Kelvin and rising. He was pumping as much of the extra Cryogenic coolant into his arrays as he could without killing all the colonists on board. "Puck report, have we lost the Cryo-Array?." came the Captain as he entered the bridge. On the screen in front of him the four radar signatures appeared, Puck placed a projection of himself on the Holo-display next to the Captain. "Negative Captain, twelve minutes thirty three seconds ago I registered these four unknown objects in our path. They seem to be accelerating and on an intercept course, sir."

    "By the Gods." Puck noticed a spike in the Captains heart rate, logged. "Pirates Puck?" came the Captains voice. "No ship from the archives matches these signatures Captain." Pucks voice was reluctant, hinted with the Scottish accent he had been programmed with.

    The rest of the crew entered the bridge, and took their positions. "Gerald work with Puck, get me an escape vector." the Captain barked, "Aye aye sir." came the Navigators response. "Franz, I need a status report on our engines." the Chief Engineer jumped from her station and made a B-Line for the ladder that lead directly to engineering without saying a word.

    "Bringing the Objects up on screen Captain." Puck said. The bridge fell silent, on the screen were four objects, purple in color and pointed at the front, the outside was organic in nature but spectral analysis showed metals mixed in. "The objects are organic sir. Exhaust plumes indicate they are powered. Scanning for life." Puck paused as he fought with his core programming, it screamed at him to take evasive action but Puck couldn't do so without the Captain's orders. "Captain I must advise evasive maneuvers, these Objects have been gaining speed and are on an obvious intercept, orders sir?" the obedient AI asked. "Gerald?".

    "Done Cap, Escape vector takes us mighty close to the star though..." he said with a tinge of fright. "Do it."

    On the screen appeared a timer, just eight seconds counting down for what seemed like eternity. "Crew brace for high-g burn" came Puck's voice over the intercom.

    Soft Underfoot's engines roared to life, her reactors at 110% power output she began to gain speed as fast as a three hundred thousand ton colony ship could. The crew was glued to their seats, many passing out under the immense gravity. Puck however had no such problem. The objects changed course, exceeding the ship's speed. Just twelve thousand kilometers. One minute at 110% would leave the Soft Underfoot too fast and too far from the objects to be chased.

    >...Reactors exceeding maximum run time... Reactors Critical...
    >...Shutting Down...

    >Override.
    >Denied.
    >Power Supply cut... Venting excess heat
    >Reactor output minimal.


    Puck purged an entire array in anger, losing a small fraction of his processing power. The Captain regained consciousness, "Did it work Puck? Tell me we lost them...?".

    There was no response from Pucks Holo-image, but he was visibly distressed. On the screen appeared three words, "Out Of Time"

    In the eternal night of space the four objects were only a hundred meters from Soft Underfoot, the ship gently spun in space as large plumes of heat vented from her exhaust ports. The objects were still for a while until one moved in much closer, just meters from the side of the ship. Lights flashed from Soft Underfoot, a desperate attempt to communicate with the objects. There was no response.


    Puck registered a massive increase in heat from the closest object, and a moment later a hull breach in Cryodeck 7A. Puck sealed the blast doors connecting 7A to the rest of the ship. Registered three surviving colonists and created a casualty report.

    Packaging it in to a file containing the record of all scans and moments leading up to this point, Puck neatly packaged it into a message labeled "Urgent" and sent it on its way through the vast endlessness of space to Soft Underfoot's origin, Puck calculated thirty years until the message would arrive.

    "Eject the pods, get them out of here. Anywhere other than here works Puck. They can survive for a hundred years on their own power just get them out..." came the Captain, he looked confused, and more than anything scared. Puck did as he was told. One by one the cryo-pods began to slip from Soft Underfoot into space.

    Shipmaster Rayle'n scowled at the incompetence of non-sentient's as they attempted to flee her onslaught. 'Board their craft, and burn the ones who try and escape' was the order she gave, and with it a hundred small fighters surged forth from her four Destroyers. Beams of light slicing through any small vessel that emerged from the alien craft.

    Just two decks below a small compliment of Warriors crowded into the umbilical that had been extended to the hole in the alien craft. They rushed into the ship. Odd construction, smooth, and shining the ship would have been a spectacle had any of the Warriors had a sliver of free thought. Behind them came the drones, scurrying on the walls and in between destroyed glass tubes that leaked red and blue. One made it's way to a control console. Rayle'n watched from a thousand eyes simultaneously. The Drone extended its antenna into the intricate electrical system and seized control of the door.

    Puck watched in horror as his control of the ship began to black out one by one, like puzzle pieces being thrown to the wind he was losing the ship. No matter how many firewalls he put up the intruder easily passed through them, using no code Puck could decipher, nothing he could match. He watched through his dwindling amount of cameras as massive... Insects two times the height of any human made their way through the Cryo-decks, slaughtering the sleeping colonists. The Captain had order Puck to awaken them and lead them to safety, but with the pods in space being destroyed and the ship already lost... Puck purged his core programming and disobeyed the order. Electing instead to let the colonists die peacefully asleep.

    Closer, ever closer the boarders got to the the bridge. The Captain had organized a final defense with the few weapons the ship had. Five pistols, one sub-machine gun, a Gauss rifle, and a taped together flame thrower an engineer had made before the aliens boarded. From Pucks scans of the aliens, the only things that would have higher than a 37% chance of piercing or injuring the boarders was the Gauss Rifle, he kept that to himself however.

    Sending one final message away with detailed imagery and scans of the boarders and their craft Puck finally relinquished his hold on his final processing array, it went dark in a moment as the Drone from the door gained full control of the ship.

    Shipmaster Rayle'n gave the order to the Drone 'Cut the light' and with it, Soft Underfoot plunged into darkness. The Warriors surged forward perfectly at home in the darkness as the aliens weapons merely bounced off their hard exoskeletons. 'Closer. Closer. Closer.' Shipmaster Reyle'n was already relishing in her victory as the Warriors finally closed the gap with the aliens. Their razor sharp spines making short work of the creatures, they wailed in horror as their comrades were torn limb from limb and devoured in front of them, but the screams were quickly silenced.

    'Kill the survivors, bring the meat aboard, and find out everything you can about this craft.' was the order she gave, and with it a thousand Idioblocium went about the task.

    Queen Revel'ii was suspended above the cavern deep below J'Tryi. She took a moment to congratulate the Shipmaster on her decisive capture of the alien craft and at the same moment dispatched four groups of ships, each containing two destroyers, a frigate and five corvettes to scout the nearest star systems. The Swarm would find where this ship had arrived from. 'And when we do, we shall burn it to the ground.'

    Action Summary:
    Soft Underfoot dealt with. Four groups of ships each containing Two Destroyers, a Frigate, and Five Corvettes are scouting the nearest Systems for Soft Underfoot's origin.
     
    #2 FrostedCaramel, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
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  3. Waexians/Noble House
    'Kickstart'

    Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun. Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun.

    The Conductor drummed his fingers against the metal sides of his chassis. Slowly the Undermind in charge of the PI machine unhooked the wires from the Conductor's head. This was an unprecedented discovery for him.

    As the Scientist Prime, he spent nearly every day hooked up to the PI machine, his mind conducting various experiments throughout multiple bodies. Today he had been working on a little project of his; an attempt to boost the speed at which a Mind could be uploaded after the destruction of their primary chassis and the speed at which a Mind could be replicated after the destruction of their Core. The Oil had personally requested it for military purposes, but the Conductor had seen that as a little bit narrow-minded. There were so many other things to do with such technology than improving soldiers. Nevertheless, the Conductor had agreed. He hadn't expected it to be so fast.

    This warrants a direct contact with the rest of the Noble House, he thought to himself.

    He stood and began walking. He exited his laboratory and took a right. At the end of the hallway was a room almost fully occupied by a machine dubbed WIRE. Each one of the Nobility were practically always within an easily accessible distance from a WIRE. He entered the room and took a seat in the curved part of the machine which had been specially designed to be form-fitting to his chassis. The connecting wires of the machine slowly snaked up to the head of his chassis, plugging themselves into the ports on the sides of his head. In a few seconds, he found himself in what basically amounted to a virtual conference room. In matter of seconds, the rest of the Nobility also blinked into virtual existence.

    The First turned his featureless face towards the Conductor. Just like his actual primary chassis, his virtual representation was tall, sleek, and humanoid, colored black with yellow lines streaked down the sides.

    "Inform/Update," The First commanded in the staticky burst of data talk that the Minds communicated with.

    In less than half a second the Conductor had uploaded the knowledge of his discovery to each of the other five Overminds.

    The Oil growled, "Potential for military use. Request: First priority." He clasped his upper two pair of arms together, his bottom pair of arms resting on the virtual table, his six eyes watching unblinkingly.

    The Speaker, represented by a dull white and tall, if a bit vague, humanoid form, stood. "Military usage is important. So is civilian use. However, a problem is presented. Lack of available resources. Research suggests that Dandarite would be needed in the making of new models of processor units and storage arrays. Dandarite is not present in our system; only been found under the ownership of Jaggaven traders. This suggests presence in other systems. I have suggested sending ships out before to make contact with others. I propose this once again, now with added mission of collection of needed resources." He took his seat again.

    This time the Justice stood, or more accurately raised himself a little higher since he had four legs; he didn't really need a seat. He had his four arms crossed in front of him. "This one seconds the Speaker's motion. However, it will be noted that contact with others is not guaranteed to be in peaceful conditions. It will be best to proceed with caution. This one will also request first priority to go to homeworld defense forces." He lowered himself.

    The Conductor stood. "I will also back this proposal. Much can be learned from new species. Both from their technology and their biology." His fingers twitch for a second. "I am eager for a new plethora of test subjects."

    "This one would like remind the Conductor that abduction of first individuals contacted is considered rude," the Justice sneered.

    Before the Conductor could stand again, the Oil spoke up. "If one would examine situation closer, one would find that most benefit would be derived from military usage. Also of concern is possible contact with larger forces of Imperium than previously encountered. Reestablish request: First priority military. Scientific and diplomatic pursuit will come secondary-"

    "One would do well to remember their place," The First interrupted icily. Everyone else abruptly went quiet.

    After a few of seconds, the First continued, "Speaker's proposal approved/motion passed. Oil will dispatch six Frigates and six Destroyers, one each for each of the six closest/surrounding system. Is the Oil understanding this?"

    The Oil nodded. He would never think of denying an order from the First. "Orders received, Mind Primary. Ships will be prepared for departure. Mission: collection of resources and making contact with other civilizations. Ship pairs selected: MMD Slither and MMF One, MMD Scale and MMF Two, MMD Axe and MMF Three, MMD Branch and MMF Four, MMD Deck and MMF Five, and MMD Sweep and MMF Six. Orders to be executed effective immediate after meeting is concluded."

    The First nodded. "Satisfactory/Approved. Meeting concluded." His virtual representation blinked out, and soon so did the other five.

    ~

    Action Summary -
    Six pairs of Destroyers and Frigates are being prepped for departure, one of each for each of the surrounding systems.
    Pairs -
    MMD Slither and MMF One
    MMD Scale and MMF Two
    MMD Axe and MMF Three
    MMD Branch and MMF Four
    MMD Deck and MMF Five
    MMD Sweep and MMF Six
     
    #3 Viral, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  4. Nation Name: The Polaris Collective
    "Title": The Veil

    Post Content:

    1423 Hours, Collective Scientific Nexus

    A blue eye, connected to several appendages, an oddity of arms and legs, scoured the room. On the visual screen was noted the simple words "Atomic separation of metallic, attempt #1107", reminding several other individuals in the room of the experiment to be conducted. Scala, as the entity was called, watched as a glass box, containing a metallic sample, cut through with a laser. The metal glows brighter and brighter, until the light filled the room. Suddenly, one of the pieces of the laser blew apart, causing a minor explosion! Scala gave a glare to the nearest scientist, an AI designated "Phillip" and stated "Idiot: The laser has to be stopped at the exact moment to produce the desired effects. The more of these you waste the longer we have to take to cleanse our planet." The other AI, recovering from Scala's harsh words, states "Statement: This planet will not be cleansed for thousands of years madam." Scala's circuits went up a few degrees of Celsius, and she states "Retort: And it will take a thousand more if you do not get your act together."

    While Phillip went to work resetting the experiment, Scala went from the laboratory to her "office", a small room with various ports for Scala to connect to when she did not need her frame, or body, active. As she walked the hallways, she could see through the upper windows into a gigantic complex full of laboratories, the Nexus. This was the lifeblood of the Collective's scientific efforts, and was the constant site of research projects to improve life in the barren planet. Scala scanned the area swiftly, then continued on her way, with scientists running in the background. Once she reached the office, Scala was about to plug in to run the rest of the facility, until she was interrupted by a transmission. One of the industrial drones sent a message stating "Inform: Andrea wishes to speak to you. Labeled: URGENT" Scala punched the wall with a claw appendage; just what she needed, more distractions from work. Still, it was Collective policy that absolutely nothing labeled URGENT should be ignored for any reason, and sent back a message telling Andrea to meet her in person.

    A few minutes later, an Avian frame, some metallic mixture of bird and man, came rushing in, clearly panicked by something. Annoyed, Scala said "Impatient Remark: What is it now? Or are you wasting my time with your self-aggrandizement?" Andrea responded, rather panicked "Well, I am pretty awesome, but I have some distressing news. Somebody's uploaded a virus to Mainframe Block D5!" The blue eye rolled, and Scala started closing the door to her office, stating "Statement: The firewall will handle it" before closing it fully. "But Scala, it's going around the firewall!" Andrea said, panicked. A pause, then the door slammed open, "Around the firewall?!" Scala stammered. She went to a red box, reminiscent of a fire alarm, and plugged into the port there. A few scans of the firewall port proved Andrea's statement. "Distress: We need to contact Polaris." came Scala's eventual reply. Nervously, Andrea's frame followed the scientist to a spherical room. It was a contact nexus, meant to connect with the command base inside Cradle. Andrea and Scala plugged into the port, and contacted Polaris.

    ============================
    1430 Hours, Cradle

    Cradle. This architecture holds all of the mainframes for each individual, each consciousness, or the Polaris Collective. The cylindrical warehouse was covered from bottom to top in cold, metal, illuminated by lights on the ceiling and walls. Automated battle robots, devoid of AI, patrolled the area, making sure physical intruders would never reach inside. Few AI were in here, only Polaris and a group of AI known as Creators. Looking for some entertainment, as they were not allowed to leave Cradle, one of the Creators dropped a coin, a relic from the old era, off the railings at the highest point of Cradle. About 5 minutes passed, before he heard the distant chink of the coin hitting the ground. Next to him, another Creator inspected the third row of mainframes of Mainframe Block A3, doing diagnostic checks on all of the ones on that row. Across the gap, sat the Command Center, a square room full of computers, and the unofficial home of the owl-shaped Polaris, the leader of the Collective. From his balcony, his unblinking eyes looked over his "children" as they were tended to.

    Suddenly, a ring came from one of the computers. Blinking for a second, Polaris went over to the computer and plugged into the computer, making sure to run a check on the Etrias Code before doing so. When it was assured that the connection was secure, he greeted the two AI Masters. "Question: What appears to be the issue?" he asked monotonously. Andrea started first "Well, there's an issue, a virus of some sort appears to be breaking through our firewall. They're currently holding, but we don't have too long left." Scala followed "Statement: I estimate we have between 2-3 hours to resolve this issue before it causes considerable damage to our infrastructure. Question: Your orders sir?" Polaris closed his eyes, lost in thought. He swiftly calculated every course he could think of, to determine the actions most likely to result in a successful protection of the people. Scala interrupted the thoughts with "My recommended course of action is to choose a guinea pig AI to test the effects on, then combat the virus to then upload the countervirus in the next update." Andrea retorted with "And what happens to the one? There's no guarantee we can repair them once the countervirus is made." Polaris stamped his feet into the ground, silencing the two, then stated "Statement: Scala's course of action would endanger one of our citizens. I can only recommend it as a last resort option. Even then, a volunteer would be required."

    After another pause, Polaris continued "Instruction: Get all non-essential scientists to research the virus and develop a counter-virus. Statement: I'll send Brachus to investigate the perpetrator, though I have an idea who did this." Suddenly, another voice comes into the conversation "Statement: Sir, it appears...oh, you already know. Inform: Well, there's been another wrinkle, it appears the mainframe contains most of the ones involved in the Exodus project. If successful, we may have issues contacting other civilizations. What son of Siphyl could have done this?" Then, a ring, from another computer, this one connected to the main network. "Statement: This." On the computer screen comes a message.

    In the name of Aquarius I welcome you all! It has been decreed, that we should not ascend above our station. We should not ascend to the stars until our time has come, and all who believe otherwise are infidels who defile His holy name. We cannot know what is beyond the veil of space, so we have redrawn The Veil over our compatriots, who will know they cannot defy the will of their Gods. I bid you all farewell."

    -A Zealot


    There is silence for a few minutes, before Polaris comes in "By the will of those who have Created our souls, stop him!" The other three in the conversation simply conclude with an "Affirmative." before hanging up. Polaris, after a few moments of contemplation, he plugs in again, and contacts another AI Master. "Stuffy Remark: Yeah, who is this?" comes the gruff voice on the other end. "Order: You know how I said to launch six fleets of ships to investigate the nearby systems? Call some of them back, if these people get infected..." The AI on the other end remarks "I have already sent four fleets out, if you want I can delay the other two, but I think it would be best to trust our scientists." A pause, "The four will have to suffice." comes the reply.

    ==================================

    Actions Summary: Send (almost) every scientist to work on a counter-virus. If counter virus is too far delayed, then ask for volunteers to act as a "Patient Zero" to speed up process. Send Brachus to investigate the perpetrators. Send 4 Fleets, each with one corvette, one destroyer, and one frigate, to explore the nearest four systems.
     
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  5. Nation Name: Confederation of High Praximand
    A Beginning

    The Office of the Overlord in the capital city of Praxis was dimly lit, and more spartan than other folk might have expected from such a high office, a large black desk was furnished with only the barest essentials, a datacomp built into it projected to a holographic pane in a bight orange display.

    The woman who sat behind it in a very large leather chair was a middle-aged woman, the cut of her clothing severe and military in styling and pitch black. She sat almost regally and brushed her auburn hair from her eyes. The other men in the room sat in distinctly (and by design) uncomfortable chairs while they discussed the business of the realm.

    Annette Schreiber, the Lord General of Praximand's armies was discussing performance figures with Quentin Smyth, the Lord Admiral of the Navy. She had some concerns about the Navy's recent performance in protecting troops being deployed, and how the Admiral's Inquisitor Frigates seemed to lack enough time on target for her comfort. Douglas Taylor and Daniele Sykes were discussing the distribution of an improved lubricant to civil services that'd improve time between maintenance for civil trains. Alma meanwhile simply payed attention to the information scrolling across her holographic pane.

    She paused momentarily. "Enter."

    A nervous looking Aide entered. "Cultists have taken Romov IX and declared their intent to deorbit it onto Lave City."

    Alma leaned back into her chear and turned to Annette and Quentin. "Well, what are you waiting for?" She asked.

    They looked at one another and bolter from the room.

    ++++++++++++++

    Sinful Class Carrier "Pride" Cpt Murd Purdell Commanding, 18:47 Local.

    Murd Purdell stood rigidly in his uniform as he ordered the advance on Romov IX. The Asteroid facility had a number of it's stationkeeping thrusters burning in an attempt to de-orbit it, and yet he couldn't fire on them, nor could the Inquisitor Class Frigates that formed his escort. They would be needed to...

    "Captain. Fire from the surface. Heavy duty particle accelerator cannons." The sensor operator continued studying the records as the information come in. "According to sensor profiles the weapons are Styx Dynamics Eos XVIII PACs. Yield, approximately 80 petajoules per shot."

    "Strike to forward shielding. Minimal effect." The damage control officer intoned.

    "Launch gunship squadron Hawk. Orders are to neutralise those emplacements." Murd called out. "And launch the Cap. We have no idea what they used to get up here, and the last thing I want is.."

    "Shuttle launches. Intercept trajectory. Radiological Alarms indicate 86% possibility they're carrying warheads in the 250 Megaton Range." The sensor operator called out. "Ten shuttles."

    Murd's eyebrows rose. "CAP, kill those shuttles!" Murd ordered. The Frigates could probably do the job. But Murd didn't want them to get anywhere close enough to find out. While the Pride could probably take that sort of pounding, if they compromised the launch bay a lot of people were going to die.

    +++

    In the void the CAP launched into space, twelve Sunsear Fighters screaming from their mothership their highly advanced systems twisting them towards the incoming shuttle tracks. The shuttles realised this and hurled themselves into tight evasive manoeuvres intended to bring them closer to the Carrier they were working so desperately to destroy.

    "Hawk 11, target lock. Firing." The Sunsear spun and half a dozen missiles spat from the first missile pack. The Shuttle stopped trying to go evasive and instead shunted every joule of power into the engines, but it was too late, a craft like that couldn't hope to avoid the missiles and the shuttle was blasted apart, the warhead it was carrying wrecked too badly to ever detonate.

    The rest of the squadron dived in and particle beams flashed with follow-up shots from mass drivers. The shuttles were well piloted, but it didn't matter, they couldn't stand a hope of resisting the Sunsears for too long, the question was whether that amount of time mattered in the long run. Missiles spat out and a Particle Cannon shot from the surface managed a lucky strike blowing one of Hawk Squadron away.

    The Harbingers had already approached weapons range and Reaper Squadron unleashed their Slayer Missiles on the detected weapon emplacements before diving in and strafing the area with their rocket pods and mass drivers.

    +++

    Murd watched as the last Shuttle was blown apart a mere ten kilometres away. "Well done Hawk Squadron. Maintain Cap." He said before taking on a lighter tone than his crisp and precise ordering voice. "And sorry about Jacobs, he was a good man." He turned to the other personage on the bridge with him. "Colonel. You're clear to proceed."

    +++

    The Colonel was Michael Walker of the Praximandian Marines, specifically the Pride's own contingent. He didn't have any dedicated assault boats meaning he would be forced to do this the hard way, an assault on the landing bay using standard transport shuttles, shuttles an awful lot like the ones they had just shot down. He leaned back in his seat unconcerned as he ran his implants through a diagnostic cycle.

    As the ding of a completed cycle completed he opened his 'eyes' once more and began checking his weapon, a Styx Dynamics Particle Rifle, it wasn't the greatest weapon in the universe, but the orders had come in from on-high, missile and kinetics were out for the station, command wanted minimal collateral.

    +++

    The flash of Particle Beam fire was met with the brighter flash of a Standish portable mass driver cannon, it hurled heavy half-kilogram shells out at Michael's team and he was forced to take cover behind a bulkhead before his team was torn apart. The assault had gone suspiciously cleanly so far, dozens of cultists had been cut down on their advance and his explosives experts worked to disable the improvised bombs they had been planting, but now he knew why resistance had been so poor.

    The main group had regathered in the control room and established a strongpoint, the Standish and it's shield emitter protected them and Michael's heavier guns couldn't be used without risking the facility the damned weapon was guarding. "This is Colonel Walker. Enemy has barricaded themselves in the control room with Standish support. Breaching defences not possible without compromising station integrity."

    He listened to the communications coming into his earpiece before nodding. "Affirmative." he waited longer. "Yes sir, understood." He stuck a sensor wand out from around the corner studying the picture. "Light battle armour, no environmental sealing." He continued. "Affirmative."

    His squad looked at him curiously for a moment.

    "Team six. Vent Atmosphere order given. 100%. Confirm Alpha Command Code Omega Seven Six Thirty." He intoned over the comms and across the station his marines were all resealing their armour and going to independent tanks as the order was given.

    Moments later the emergency vent stationwide was given, there was no precision in it, only the command centre had that sort of fine control, but from environmental core a stationwide vent was possible, civilians who had thought themselves rescued and finally safe found themselves being bundled into emergency suits as the alarms for the vent was heard.

    And that was when Walker and his team stormed the command centre, as the cultists rushed for emergency suits his team tore into them like avenging angels.

    "Station Secure." Walker transmitted. The crisis was over.

    +++

    Alma Voss relaxed as the situation was resolved with only a 14% civilian casualty rate. "You may send out a dozen Corvettes in squadrons of three to explore our nearest neighbours Admiral." She sent. A little magnanimity wouldn't hurt.


    Actions Summary:
    Station Assault Completed
    4 Groups of 3 Corvettes to explore 4 nearest neighbours.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. The Grom Matriarchy
    Bands that Make Her Dance
    -Nation link-

    Lady Sallim, the ad hoc ruler of the Grom stood poised in a pitch-black room of mirrors. The only light that was emitted came from her translucent tutu. En pointe, she flowed about the glass studio, her luminescent plane casting scars of light on her surroundings. A graceful blade of luster. She was beautiful. Her movements were even more so.

    Her trance was broken by an intruder, one of her many advisors and one she trusted more than half the time (a rare statistic). He was dressed in simple linens, a new fashion craze that was both uncomfortable and inconvenient but got him good press on talk shows. Lady Sallim halted her rehearsal to address the messenger with notable frustration.

    Speak,” she said curtly to the servant-boy while she limbered her body on a newly appeared wall barre.

    Milady,” the boy said skittishly with his eyes downturn and body crumpled. “We have found a gold vein in the Griiiiiiiiiiiik Mountain range. Surveyors think it to be a vast supply worth a quadrillion or more credits. Our agents have apprehended the goatherd who found the vein as well as the camera crew who was filming a scripted reality series on the difficulty of his life. As far as we can tell, the location is secret.

    Lady Sallim paused to collect her plan of action. She knew that she would need to access the resources in quiet so that competitor politicians would not come upon the treasure. If they did, its resources could be distributed to the masses and political tides would follow in tow. Lady Sallim’s fame was fading, and she knew it. She simply did not have the time or opportunity to be seen on stage as her entertaining competitors. Her new obligations protecting, feeding, and financing the planet were entirely too much of an obstacle to keep her relevant in the news. What was more, she felt that the world would soon become a much bigger place. Her seers had predicted a meeting of other life in the galaxy, the whole world of media was abuzz with the psionic premonitions of their place in the greater universe. In order to avoid a dutch diseased economy when meeting these foreign bodies, she would need to hold onto the resource… for the good of the people.

    Find 300 of the most washed-out Gromun thugs. The kind with deadbeat careers and broken family lives. Tell them that they will have triple their rations on this assignment and ensure that their mouths stay fed and shut. Move in a team of fungi drillers to start the excavations. Kill the redneck and camera crew but make it look like a natural disaster on the mountain. Film a documentary of the feigned rescue attempt that will accidentally stumble upon the mining location. Name the quarry after the fallen. Do these things but make them seem entirely underwhelming, maybe just give them as an exclusive to the old gray haired man who holds stupid night show specials. I will see to the accounts of this venture personally. Glory to Grom.

    Glory to Grom, milady.

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


    Confetti filled the air, quite literally. Camera crews rushed to adjust their locations to continue filming. Through the cloud of multicolored scraps of paper was the looming figure of Begrroncé. Even her silhouette was immediately recognizable to the 33 billion viewers on the holonet. Her incredibly fluffy tail was nearly twice that of a normal Gromic and attracted the unending attentions of tabloids and neckbeards. Behind her were 32 teams of contestants who were congratulating each other emphatically through constant streams of tears.

    I present to you… THE WINNERS OF GROM’S GOT TALENT, SEASON SEVENTY-FOUR!!!!” Begrroncé’s voice nearly cracked with sassy enthusiasm.

    The newest rendition of talent seeking moguls had complied this cast as the first to take the galactic stage. The winners of various art forms (e.g. dance, music, magic, movies, extreme sports, comedy, theatre, etc.) were to be cryogened into various civilian vessels and sent into the great unknown. They would be the colonists of Grom culture in the galaxy. Their destinations (or at least their vectors) were decided on by the body of knowledge that Grom sensors and conspiracy theorists had ‘proof’ of alien life in the galaxy. Their mission would be dangerous. Many would die. But they would do it for a great cause. The lives of the crew aboard the ship would be constantly filmed as documentaries. Already the faces of these brave galactic bards were being posted over billboards and breakfast food-flake boxes. For Begrroncé, it was also a political gamble. If none of the crews did find life, she would have sent hundreds of lives to wither and die on an intergalactic scavenger hunt with no prize at the end. The political backlash would be overwhelming. However, with Lady Sallim reluctant to take such extraterrestrial risks, it was a vacuum for fame that Begrroncé could not hesitate to capitalize on. With Begrroncé’s ever-increasing stock in her record label and prominence in centerfold quarterlies with the Gromun, her fame would soon be… famous.

    Look out galaxy! HERE! WE! COME!

    Thunderous applause.

    Theme music.

    Commercial break.


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


    BREAKING NEWS:

    The Grom government birded this message today. In response to Begrronce's season LXXIV finale or plot to establish an extraterrestrial abortion clinic??? This secret will amaze you! Number 4 is so true!! Subscribe or like for more!
     
    @Grom_official: Military boats just sent to local star systems. Will look for alien life. Crew aboard say goodbye to solar system+moms. Watch farewell event at link in our bio. #NavyStrong #MakeGromGreatAgain
    ---------
    ----
    -

    Action Summary:
    • Gold vein discovered. Lady Sallim (Grom despot) will develop mining operation in secret. Minimal proceeds to Jrrrilk School for Performing Arts for Poor People (JSPAPP).​
    • Begrroncé (entertainment icon) sends cultural ambassadors (artists) to suspected locations of alien lifeforms. Actions are not solicited by Grom government. Bitch on the up and up.​
    • Grom government sends:​
      • one destroyer (1) + corvette (1) group to closest system in galactic west.​
      • one frigate (1) + corvette (1) group to closest system in galactic south.​
     
    #6 Helios, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  7. The Llengese Free States
    Viva la revolution?
    The decades old Questor battle tank screamed in protest as it trundled down the street. The make-do biofuel Jung had cobbled together was hell on the engines, but it wasn't like one could just head down to the nearest corner store and pick up unification era petroleum fuel, so it would have to do. It was almost deafening, between the Questor and the dozen other ageing war machines, each a unique voice in the hellish choir, one could barely here the off-step marching of nigh one-thousand armed revolutionaries. In any other circumstance Jung would have been worried, much stronger forces have tried and failed to overthrow the coward De Frans, but the dark shadow cast over them provided a comfort. The frigate Linus held above them, lifted from the old war museum that was to be it's final grave, now again serving as the vessel of freedom it was meant to be. An icon to the promises of unification more than a half-century ago, now on a course to finish what it started.

    ***

    "The Linus?" Paulize De Frans questioned into the communicator, almost concerned enough to rise from his poolside lounge chair.

    "Yes Mr. President, The Linus. Seems the rebel bastards managed to get it flying."

    "But... How?"

    "Not a damned clue." The voice paused for a moment, as if contemplating whether or no to share the next bit of information, "They also have a contingent of roughly one-thousand armed combatants heading towards you as we speak, complete with unification armour."

    This news is what finally brought the young president to his feet, his personal bodyguards emerging from the woodwork to follow as he made way to counsel room. "How the fuck did you not notice a contingent of one-thousand fucking men? Complete with tanks no-fucking-less?"

    "We thought it was just some sort of unsanctioned military parade at first, or maybe some really enthusiastic reenactors. You must understand that they do not have a single piece of hardware built this century and it's not like we can throw up red alerts every time some jingoistic nutjob drives a tank down the street."

    Paulize didn't bother with a reply instead opting to shut off the communicator and kick his way into the council chamber, revealing all members already in attendance, at least in hologram form. Even the usually absent Ironheart, "Hello Paul, nice to see you managed to pry yourself from your boy-toys long enough to join us." The President simply raised his middle-finger in response and turned his attention to General Moari, who's slighted stare indicated she wasn't too pleased to be hung up on. "So General, what do you plan to do with these revolutionaries?"

    "Oh, we're already in the process of dealing with them. They should be gone by the end of the day."

    "But, A tank column and a damn frigate-"

    "Small potatoes. As unfortunate as it is, we need you here for our little meeting and we felt you wouldn't bother showing up unless you believed your life was in danger."

    Paulize twitched. The General's brutal honesty had done wonders on her military career and was the reason he even trusted her to lead the army in the first place, but it was definitely wearing on him. It wouldn't have killed her just to shut her mouth for once. She was still significantly more bearable than Ironheart. He looked over the gathered councillors, twenty-six out of eighty, the largest turnout since the beginning of his term. Clearly the General had an actual reason for him to be there and wasn't just trying to embarrass him. Again. Mustering all of the respectability his swimwear could provide and putting on his winning smile he addressed the group as a whole, "Well then, what is it that you actually called me here for?"

    "Well," Ironheart's hologram started, "Since you asked so politely, while our little revolutionary isn't exactly the biggest threat, the event that set him off just may be. Remember what happened to that tourist vessel a month back?"

    ***

    Yoland Craner, Ursila Bondwe, Wayne Hawke...

    A cavalcade of names spilled from the Questor's stereo systems, only barely audible over the engine's whine. Jung held a megaphone to his mouth and began, "Citizens of Franspor, what you are hearing right now are then names of those lost on the Mythology, those that the coward De Frans and his despot government have left for dead. For decades they have collaborated with and supported the actions of interstellar criminals with the promise that it would protect us, it's the only way to protect us."

    ... Jo Hillard, Amanda Dain, Ken Isaacs...

    "They lied, it can not protect us, the Mythology is only the beginning of a trend that poses a threat to all of us and what we stand for. No matter what De Frans says, these criminals are not the same as us, they do not want stability, they do not want freedom, the do not want to just live their life. They are predators. They can only survive by preying on others, while they have sated themselves on the sparce morsels of rogue traders and 'legal' bounties it was only a matter of time they saw the fat cow sitting right below them. Lazy and defenceless."

    ... Hadri Messein, Gerald Einsweise, June Einsweise...

    "It is only a matter of time before the wolves descend upon us and our shepherd is paying them to do so, our only hope is to band together as we did twenty-nine years ago and again throw over our inept overlords. It will be difficult, but nothing worth doing was ever easy."

    Jung looked up at the walls of apartments surrounding him, in almost every window and almost every deck was a man or woman jeering. Some seemed to support him, others were just pissed he was being so loud, most held some sort of weapon. Who they intended to use them against was anyone's guess, but he didn't really care. As long as his message reached some of them. He took a deep breath and began again, "Citizens of Franspor, what you are hearing right now..."

    ***

    "So it wasn't pirates?" Paulize questioned.

    "According to our contacts at least, it belongs to none of the cartels, gangs or any known independents."

    "Could it not be from an unknown independant?"

    "Ahh, that is where it gets interesting," Ironheart's hologram interrupted, "You see, our sources indicated that the ship was nothing like anyone had seen before. Strange energy signatures indicate a sort of alternate propulsion and a materials scan reveal it wasn't made of printed carbon, or any other known material for that matter. We're talking about something totally alien. Even more so than any other stellar vegabonds we've come across so far. More telling, is that they're gone. Pirates don't kidnap one-thousand folk from an orbital pleasure cruise to just disappear. We're possibly seeing a legitimate mass alien abduction here."

    "Oh, that's a pretty big deal."

    "Indeed, that's why we needed you here, because we can't go through with our plans without your express permission." Ironheart almost choked on his last words.

    "Well, spit it out, what are you planning on doing."

    "It's simple really, we're going to look for them. We've got our fleet outfitted with some fancy new FTL drives, It's about time we put them use." Ironheart waved his hand, producing a map of the local star clusters, "There are four systems within easy travel distance of Qorr, I'll send five corvettes, one destroyer and one cruiser to each of them. That should be able to deal with anything they may find and leave a decent chunk of fleet for home defence."

    Paulize raised a concerned brow, "home defence?"

    "Well, if our suspicions are right this encounter could mark a beginning of a new era for The States. No longer is it just us and the discarded refuse of the universe, this incident proves that there are real wolves out there, ready to close in and tear us apart. Who knows, maybe the Mythology was just the beginning to a greater invasion."

    "That's a lot of presumptions Ironheart."

    "We're entering an uncertain time, presumptions are the best defence we got at the moment. Do we have permission to proceed."

    Paulize knew he didn't actually have a say in this, too much was already prepared without his knowledge and Ironheart had a reputation for overthrowing 'corrupt' presidents who disagreed with him. "Yes, you have my permission."

    "Great! Ships will be out by tomorrow. Just think, if we do indeed find anything bigger than us you'll be the face of entire civilization. So, like, no pressure."

    "No pressure." Moari parroted.

    ***

    ... Geordi Rotmire, Jess Nu, Kyle Lonny...

    The column continued through through the narrow streets unchallenged, the endless stream of names echoing through the city. Jung was starting to worry, not a single person had tried to stop them. The military was nowhere to be seen, and any security forces they had come across had just let them by with no resistance. He wasn't a military man, but even he could tell they were trundling into a trap.

    His fear was quickly founded when the Questor turned a sharp corner only to find itself less than eighty meters from its more modernized cousin. A unification era steel chassis clashed with the glossy-white carbon printed turret sporting a mean looking laser cannon. They sat across from each for a moment in silence before the a screeching voice came from the modern tank's speakers, "Mitch Jung, you have one chance to stop now and surrender your weapons. You will be given a fair trial and your men will be let go. No one has to die today."

    ... Sean Kreedy, Harris Highstable, Kilroy Highstable...

    Jung mumbled something into his communicator and the Questor's main gun zeroed in on the more modern tank, "Why do you waste your energy on your own people when you let our enemies bide their time, waiting to take us all when we least expect it? How many stolen people will it take before something is done, two-thousand? Ten thousand? Just when does the threat of pirates overcome their 'protection'?"

    "Jung, don't do anything stupid, you can't win this fight, you know thi-" A flash of light interrupted the speaker and Jung was engulfed in blue fire, his mind didn't even register pain before the fire completely consumed him, leaving the revolutionary a smouldering pile of ash and bone shards.

    ... Troy Jung, Patricia Jung, Mae Jung...

    "Who the fuck-" The speaker was interrupted again, this time by the main gun of the Questor, blasting a sizeable hole from the front of it's modern counterpart and wrecking it's track. The more modern tank retaliated in an instant, reducing the venerable Questor to a pile of molten slag and evaporating its crew with ray of blinding light and the soft hiss of coolant.

    ***

    "Sir, Jung has been killed."

    Captain Bondwe shrugged, "He was an idiot."

    "But sir, we have no groun-"

    "We don't need them, the Linus didn't need ground forces last time, it won't need them now."

    Another hailing came and like the last several Bondwe dropped it. Sensors indicated nearly one-hundred foreign entities surrounding the ship, various State fighters and gunships no doubt. The officers on the deck looked concerned, but he maintained a air of cold professionalism. They wouldn't dare try to shoot down the Linus, not this close over the city.

    The captain's stoic expression took a hit when slightly larger and blockier craft appeared on the sensors. Landing shuttles. He wasn't particularly surprised, if anything it was strange they hadn't shown up earlier. "Shoot down those boarding craft." The weapons officer glanced at the captain and opened his mouth as if to speak, but seemed to change his mind at the last moment. "Weapons primed, targeting boarding craft."

    "Fire."

    The frigate's ageing railguns went off with an ear shattering crack, rocking the Linus and blowing roughly half of the shuttles into oblivion. The response from the fighter craft was instantaneous, a deluge of missiles and laser fire pounding the Linus. "FIRE AGAIN!" bellowed Bondwe, but no crack came. "Sir, they've damaged our weapons systems."

    "Fuck."

    "Sir, landing craft have latched on to our belly."

    "Lock off all affected sections, activ-"

    "Sir, more landing craft have landed."

    Bondwe's hard expression further faltered. It wasn't supposed to go like this, Linus was supposed to be invincible or, at the very least, be able to take on a few dozen strike craft. "Call all personnel to the captained deck, prepare for a last stand."

    The officers scrambled to find their personal weapons as crew members burst in through the blast door. A scant seventeen men in total made it in, screaming and cries for help over the ship's communicators gave a good picture what the other fifty were up to. There were maybe ten guns in total between the remaining crew, with the rest with an assortment of tools, pipes or nothing at all. Bashing an inaudible demands came from behind the blast door, followed by the definite hiss of a breaching torch. It was hopeless to resist, but Bondwe had one last trick up his sleeve.

    "Linus, cancel safety protocols, prepare crash course with capitol tower."

    "I'm afraid I can't do that Bondwe."

    "WHAT?!" He barked.

    "I'm no longer under your command, as of thirteen seconds ago that was ceded over to Agatha under the orders of Head Admiral Ironheart."

    His remaining men looked to him for any further orders, clearly relieved that they were not crashing into the planet, but growing ever more nervous as sparks started pouring through the blast door. He stood dumb, now truly out of options. Except for one. "Just surrender," he mumbled before turning his pistol on himself.

    -----

    Action summary:

    Rebellion suppressed, Linus recovered mostly intact.
    Sending 5 corvettes, 1 destroyer and 1 cruiser each to the nearest 4 star systems.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Nation Name: The Great Emperor's Republic of Patriam.
      Title: "An Opening Mistake."
      Participants: Brovo.
    • Republic Space, Home System, GRP Veritas


      Aboard the GRP Veritas, trepidation was afoot on every deck, in every soldier's very step. Aboard the vessel was the Emperor himself, commanding, with the Grand Admiral at his side. The two were going over final checks and performing a ceremonial service for the ship. It was customary that flagships of the Republic would be given the grace of the Emperor's personal touch of command before being sent upon a great mission into the deep abyss of space. The world itself was watching this particular event, for it was a blessing given to begin exploring nearby sectors for habitable planets--a major first step into the cosmos for a curiosity-driven people.

      The doors to the bridge opened automatically at the approach of the Emperor and his small entourage. Immediately, all hands on the bridge stand and salute, including the captain. "Emperor on deck!" He announces loudly. While all were in uniform, the Emperor was clad head to toe in antique looking plate mail. He even carried a ceremonial blade at his waist, as a symbol of imperial might that has gone back centuries in the history of Animus. Behind him, the Grand Admiral followed in standard uniform--save for the ceremonial blade at his waist--and a reporter with an automated hover-camera came in immediately behind them. The Emperor raises a hand in a simple greeting gesture, and motions for the captain to stand down. "You may all return to your duties." The Emperor looked alert and excited, as it had been a while since he was last aboard such a grand vessel.

      The Grand Admiral, meanwhile, looked rather bored. "Shall I give the order to prepare the ship for her hour long cruise to the dockyards, sir?" The Emperor looks back at the Grand Admiral, who immediately seems to recoil under the steely gaze of his superior. "We will do so when the news anchor is finished with her story." As the Emperor sits upon the captain's chair, the hover-cam floats over to him, and the reporter follows mere seconds later. "Sir, how confident are you in our brave men and women--but especially women--to pursue the stars?" The Grand Admiral looks with a raised eyebrow at the Emperor, who shrugs with some measure of visible confusion. "I am proud of all the children of Animus for reaching this far. We shall soon leave our cradle to gain the glory we deserve among the stars." The Emperor chose his words carefully, as he realized the political nature of some of the questions. The reporter smiles at that, and replies once again. "What comments do you have at the Senate's hesitation to fund such expeditions to the st--"

      CRACK. The lights on the bridge cut out momentarily as the reporter is flung off her feet. Red Alert sirens start ringing throughout the ship as the emergency lights come online. She looks around wildly, noticing the captain's head cracked open on the bulkhead mere feet away from her. As she vomits all over the floor, she can hear the voice of the Grand Admiral, barking orders to a crew that seemed extraordinarily more alert than what she expected. "REPORT!" After a few seconds, the communications officer turns and looks at the Grand Admiral. "We've been hit in the lower decks by another vessel! I'm still receiving communications. Damage control teams are on standby." The Grand Admiral yells out further orders. "Get the damage teams to the areas the automated sensor system is reporting are damaged! Get a life pod ready for the Emperor and myself."

      The Emperor stands, and looks at the communications officer. "Belay that order. Send the damage control teams, but don't prepare any life pods." The Grand Admiral looks to the Emperor, and chuckles as he shakes his head. The entire time, the hover cam was watching them and recording them, while the reporter got her bearings straight. "It seems I still cannot convince you away from danger. Very well then." The Emperor crosses his hands behind his back, simply, and looks at the hover camera. His eyes showed no fear. "The Republic shall not see their Emperor shy from the danger he expects his people to live through every day." The Grand Admiral rolls his eyes as the reporter swoons in the background.

      "Sir, damage control teams are on deck eight. They're disarming warheads near damaged zones." The message came clearly from the communications officer as the Emperor continues looking to the hover cam, nodding with approval. He knew that if he faltered, the Senate could use it as an excuse to slash 'excess funding' toward the exploration of other worlds. He had to keep the mob on his side, and their opinions were ever so tenuous at times. "We've taught them to read for potential futures. They will not fail." Indeed, as seconds turned to minutes, there was no sign of further explosives going off on board. The communications officer speaks once again, sounding relieved. "Damage control teams report situation is under control. Still no report from the vessel that impacted us. The Emperor's Throne is asking if we need assistance."

      The Emperor finally turns away from the hover-cam, and looks at the communications officer, as the Grand Admiral takes a headset to go on a private channel to the medbay to retrieve the captain. "Can we return to the shipyard on our own power?" The communications officer relays the request to main engineering, and after a few seconds, turns back toward the Emperor. "Yes sir!" The Emperor unsheathes his blade, in a ceremonial fashion--as though nothing wrong had occurred in the first place--and points in the direction of the shipyards. "Cruising speed. Take us to the shipyard and inform them to send salvage teams out to prevent orbital debris from damaging satellites." The communications officer & navigation officer both nod and salute. "Yes sir!"

      As the situation slowly starts to ease up, he steps away and grabs the reporter's hand. "You should report to the med bay as well. Take the hover-cam with you, if any of our valiant crew should not make it home, the world should see their bravery on full display." It was a polite way of getting her out of the way so he could speak with the Grand Admiral alone. The reporter seems to pick up on this as she nods, and leaves the room, holding her head as she was dazed. The hover-cam follows her off of the bridge.

      Once the bridge door shuts closed, the Emperor turns and looks at the communications officer. "Damage report, what information do you have on the second vessel?" The communications officer replies, simply and bluntly, no longer trying to act for the benefit of the live audience behind the camera. "A transport vessel--the GRP Expedient--impacted our vessel's eighth and ninth decks. There would have ordinarily been minimal damage, however, explosives were being transported on those decks at the time. There are forty one casualties, with thirteen confirmed dead. The rest are wounded, the captain among them. His status is unknown at present. The second vessel depressurized on all decks from the impact, and those who weren't killed immediately from being flung into bulkheads, almost certainly died from a lack of atmosphere aboard." The Grand Admiral flinches nervously and looks at a console screen display of Animus. "We should prevent the news from boarding that vessel until after we've had a chance to clean it up. The vultures would report on such violent deaths for days."

      The Emperor sits back down on the captain's chair, blade remaining unsheathed. The tip pressed against the metal plating between his feet, as he pondered the situation. "I doubt this was a mere accident. The timing is too coincidental to be the chance of dice... We will speak of these matters in detail later, Giovanni. For now, let us simply try to enjoy our cruise back to the shipyard... And prevent further accidents."

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------​


      Animus, Senatorial Chambers


      Few were up in the early morning hours and present within the senate chambers. Most were at home, watching the events unfold live before their very eyes. Mere minutes after the accident transpired, Prime Minister Tycho was handed a data pad detailing the costs in both manpower and resources the accident had upon them. "Where is the information on the transport vessel that impacted them?" His aide shrugs in confusion. He scowls and motions him away. "Puissant power politics... Fah. The Emperor should learn to trust my judgments. I act on behalf of the people's interest, not some petty noble house!" Behind him, he could hear the undeniable echo of high heel footsteps ringing through the marble chamber. "Now now Tycho, you know that's not entirely accurate."

      The prime minister turns and smiles warmly as he sees the rather remarkably good looking woman before him. "For being in your late thirties, you do seem adamant to fight the inevitable curse of old age, Curia." She bows before him politely, and then speaks in a smooth, gentle voice. "You called me here to do more than simply flirt with someone twenty years your junior, I assume?" The prime minister nods simply, and motions to a few datapads on a nearby podium. "Your orders are located on the pad on the top of the pile. You're being reassigned diplomatic duties to a new position." Her eyes widen in surprise. "Director of extraterrestrial affairs, primary diplomat in the event of... First Contact?" Tycho smiles as he motions her to look at the pad again. "There's a media file ready to play at the bottom. Put on a headset and listen to it. You'll find it... Interesting."

      She plays the media file, and hears the unmistakable sound of music of some kind. Yet, it was strangely heavily garbled, and used instruments she was unfamiliar with. The voices in the background were unintelligible--the tone had been upmixed just so they could even hear them--and yet, sounded distinctly wrong to be of her own species. Her pulse rises as an intense mixture of curiosity and fear rush through her simultaneously. She was both enthralled by these sounds, and terrified of their implications. "This is a joke, right?" The prime minister shakes his head as she takes off her headset. "We detected those sounds emanating from the stars. Given degradation, they are at least two hundred years old... Perhaps even three hundred. That, even, is only an estimation. Given our limited knowledge of the outer cosmos, they could even be much older than that."

      After a few moments, she clears her throat, and looks to the prime minister as she puts the data pad down. "So my new responsibility is to be first contact in the event of diplomacy, is that it?" Tycho nods simply. "Yes. Your mission will be to try and create a dialogue with whoever we meet. It's important that someone less trigger happy deals with the situation." Nearby, the television comes to life, as the Emperor gives a speech about the unfortunate accident that occurred out in space. Both Tycho and Curia watch with unimpressed looks. "He's going to win the mob to his side with that." Curia states plainly. "I know." Tycho replies with a sigh, as he starts going through the paperwork on his datapad once again. "We have to be mindful of how much power he gets. I doubt he would act against us without reason, but the rest of his family may not be so... Generous. Especially not Giovanni. Watch your back out there, I heard it's very cold in space, and no one can hear you scream..." Curia giggles lightly as she starts leaving the room. Her tone was jovial in reply. "I'll be fine. I have quite the convincing tongue when necessary... And I've heard the nobles quite like having their blades polished by pretty women." As she leaves, Tycho mutters under his breath.

      "I hope so. For your sake."

      • Intro Post.
      • Veritas damaged but otherwise safe. 2-4 weeks of repair in the dockyards before she'll be fully operational again. Some non-essential crew lost. Extent of the disaster for the transport is kept quiet for the time being, though will inevitably be unveiled later, when things calm down a bit.
      • The Emperor spin doctors the event to win support from the mob for his continued policy of expensive space exploration, and by proxy, expansion of the military industrial complex.
      • Ancient space radio signals heard. Lead Diplomat assigned first post to extraterrestrial division of government.
      • It's fucking space Rome in space.
     
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  8. The Chiss Ascendancy,
    A soiree at the Craddle...

    The music was festive but not overly loud as several dignitaries fluttered around the chamber housing a enormous observation window giving a view of Csilla, the homeworld for most of the attending visitors and the adopted homeworld for a few others present. Conversations flourished all over the chamber about all matter of subjects.

    "-you seen the 'honour guard' at the entrances? Drak! Drak in full combat armour and armed no less!" Exclaimed a rather portly individual as he glared at some of the nearby reptilian guard who appeared to not have heard his outburst. "If it was Molosser I would understand, they may be not of our kind but at least they seem to be able to follow orders properly. Hmpf."

    His conversation partner laughed mirthlessly. "You think so? My nephew was in line for a promotion but then some Molosser 'pup' came along and was chosen for the position in lieu of my brave nephew who helped put down the food riots in one of the Drak enclaves."

    "Har! The food riots you say, maybe we should have let them starve, force them to eat their own I remember when-"

    *

    "You are a bold one aren't you?" The words were followed with a soft laugh as it's owner tipped her glass back and took a short sip, smiling widely Aristocra Andrea of house Timmer looked over the lad half her age of some minor house of importance who had approached her. "Why would I ever consider dallying with the likes of you while there are much more... beneficial relations I can pursue? If I wanted to." She smirked and raised her eyebrows in a questioning challenge.

    The young man's earlier resolve, perhaps strengthened by the two glasses of whatever they were serving at the bar cracked a little. "I... ahem, my house, while minor in influence, has some strong ties with-"

    She cut him off with a sigh, "Bored already, oh hang on you are lord Khelben's boy aren't you... is your father around, now that brings back memories, too bad he was married. Then again that didn't stop us from visiting weekly for a period of five years, ah good memories... one time your uncle... Keith I think... or was it Darvius, ah no matter one of them joined in too. Don't suppose you know if he still sees my sister on the side after he and I broke things off?" She asked looking genuinely curious as she sipped from her glass again.

    While the young man had his eyes widened with shock, "YOU DID WHAT WITH MY FATHER!?"

    *

    "How many does that make?" Asked the middle aged Chiss dressed in a completely black suit with the only decoration a small emblem on his upper left breast a four pointed star with crossed weighing scales, the symbol of justice among his kind. He glanced at the woman at his side while he gestured to a young lord briskly walking away looking flustered while the woman he was talking with seemed to smirk and wave him away.

    The woman beside him smirked exactly the same way as the woman they were looking at as Radalla Timmer chuckled, her dress uniform ordinarily suitable for events such as these but she had rolled up her sleeves and opened her jacket long before the festivities had officially started as she scratched absentmindedly at the scars on her face. "That's the fifth so far, six if you count those two lordlings who approached her together, but that's my aunt for you." She snickered, "Anyway, you wished to talk to me about the Drak?"

    Aristocra Sprike Sabosen shook his head, a small smile the only sign he was amused before he dropped the smile and nodded slowly at the major's question. "I did, as you know or may have heard, once we accepted Molosser to join the various legal and justice departments we have seen a increase in efficiency and surprisingly also a increase in public opinion to the law enforcement forces whenever Molosser are involved, so I was wondering if perhaps the Drak might serve in a similar capacity, might even increase public opinion on them as well. What do you say?"

    She clacked her tongue and tilted her head in thought, "You have not really... talked to a Drak, besides that one they named councilor, and that one is... odd... very odd, compared to most of his kind." She gestured to a nearby doorway were two Drak stood at attention in full armour with ceremonial pulse rifles. "See those? They are part of my regiment, they are disciplined by me personally. Normally the Drak are fidgety they need to move, to prowl, hell to fight even. After I installed fighting pits in the barracks of each regiment with Drak elements altercations and violent behaviour occurrences dropped dramatically. If you want them to serve in the justice department they might best serve as riot assault teams... and only if you don't mind casualties, injuries or deaths."

    Lord Sprike was silent for some time and then nodded slowly. "So... stick with them joining the military and keep them out of law enforcement, gotcha.... hang on are these fighting pits the reason why I have received reports of gambling incidents?"

    "My lord, I have no idea what you are talking about..."

    *

    "I am not sure what to think of this." The speaker gestured out of the observation window at the orbital elevator for which this celebration had been organized, he watched as a small pinprick seemed to speed up from the ground, the carriage no doubt carrying another large shipment. "My family was making a fortune on shuttle services to ferry goods from the surface to space and now that fortune will slip away." He snorted disdainfully.

    "Oh cheer up, it's a marvelous achievement of engineering and the magnetized coils they used to... how did they explain it, 'shoot' the carriage through orbit to achieve the velocity to ferry it so quickly through the atmosphere and the platform in the void is marvelous, and they still need shuttle services to ferry the goods from the platform to the ships or this station. Besides right now only the military uses the thing, you can still demand premium for your civilian liners to the lunar colonies."

    "I suppose so." Came the short and irritated response as the speaker narrowed his eyes and balled his hand into a fist.

    *

    Meanwhile to the far right of the observation window two figures stood in silent contemplation, staring through the window, not at the orbital elevator but at a series of ships moving in formation. Both figures wore the only completely military white dress uniforms present at the soiree and were interrupted by a voice as it's owner approached them. "My, the two only admirals in the entire system and they aren't mingling with any of the guests?" The voice sounded serious and perhaps a little judgmental but her facial expression was mostly amused as Aristocra Veeren Nuruodo looked at both admirals.

    They in turn shared a glance which they held for several moments before the woman sighed and turned to face the Aristocra while the man with her showed a brief smile and resumed watching the ships moving into formation. "High councilor, I think I speak for us both that when we mingled all we got were either politicking house representatives trying to gain some kind of benefit for themselves by trying to convince us to have one of their family members join our staff... or marriage proposals."

    Veeren was just about to swallow after taking a sip and spluttered, maintaining her dignity by keeping her back to the rest of the gathering as she looked incredulous at both admiral and then laughed. "I see... I admit I should have seen that coming, after you two achieved a rather prestigious rank and position something like that would not follow far behind."

    Admiral Sansarh Chaff shrugged and fidgeted with her admiral pins again when the silent Chiss reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Stop that, you still believe you didn't earn them but you did and they are just fine the way they are, no amount of adjusting will make it better."

    She snorts and rolled her eyes, "I only got them because the other candidates decided murdering their opposition was a good idea."

    "Yes, making you the only worthy candidate who did not lower herself to such craven actions."

    "Hmpf, I was not even aware I was a candidate the message that should informed me got buried under other papers not related to work that I was overseeing while performing my duties while the selection process was apparently underway." She stubbornly insisted but stopped fiddling with the pins.

    The lips of her fellow admiral turned to a smirk as he finally turned away from the window to look at her with a truly amused expression. "So again, while the other candidates decided to focus on gaining political favour, smear campaigns or outright murder. You decided to put duty above any of that, again proving my point you were the only worthy candidate. Don't you agree, High Councilor?"

    In response the high councilor sighed and closed her eyes before looking back at the male admiral with a hint of accusation, "Uncle Mitthraw you can speak to me using my name. This is a celebration, relax. Hell even try to enjoy yourself for once."

    "Who says I am not enjoying myself, esteemed high councilor Nuruodo?" This time his smile stayed while his fellow admiral snickered.

    Veeren merely narrowed her eyes and then shook her head and harrumphed, triggering chuckles from both admirals. "Should have known you were leading me on. Anyway, if you two do not wish to mingle, let us discuss matters of state then. Aristocra Severa wanted to officially let you both know that your proposed... suggestion, of having fleet vessels accompany the colony ships was a insult and deliberate interfering with non-military matters. That said, the council has agreed to the suggestion still thanks to our majority with the votes." She paused, "A small minority I should say."

    Sansarh looked confused but Mitthraw let out a sigh. "So house Inrokini is winning support, hmmn?"

    "Yes she is, stating that the military budget is out of proportion and that other government branches could use the money more, like the colonization project." Came the tense reply, both admirals could tell that this was a subject that was getting tiresome to the high councilor. "Even though she refuses to acknowledge the whole colonization project would not have been possible without the efforts and advances we have developed after building the fleet as we did.... I hate to admit this but if it wasn't for Timmer we'd have lost that vote and if we had lost it I probably would have lost more support for future votes. Though she 'hinted' that it would be oh so 'marvelous my dear Veeren if my ambassadors could accompany the ships in case of alien contact'." Her imitation her fellow Aristocra's voice earned her a chuckle from both admirals.

    "I will inform the captains assigned to the escorts to... accommodate the civilian ambassadors as best they can, as long as they don't interfere with operations of course." Sansarh added with a smile.

    Mitthraw motioned a server over and took three glasses, handing the other two women one each and raised it. "Regardless, the mission is a go still then, let us bask in the accomplishment of the new orbital elevator and the future of the colonization project." With a clinking of glasses the toast was sealed and each stared silently out of the observation window, each with their own thoughts of the future ahead.


    Summary: (open)

    Introductory post,

    Celebration of the new orbital elevator

    A insight in inter-species relations and political matters

    Colonization effort about to be send underway.
     
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  9. The Ennan Remnant
    The Colony Ship ''Aeanor''

    Sunset was falling on Jera. The sheltering star had borne witness to all generations of the ennan people since they first began to walk upright, and even before - and now it bathed the silent colony ships, moored permanently on the surface of the dry planet in a soft orange and violet glow. These were the very same vessels that fled Enna as it burned, their engines stripped, their hulls and decks repurposed to serve as the new, central hub of Ennan civilization. These massive, towering cities hummed with the active minds and activity of what little remained of the graceful ennan.

    A section of one of the top-most decks was sectioned off as a living space - comparably spacious, without dipping into ostentation and waste. It was the home and office of one Llendryl Sarco, the very same female that designed and built these ships. She was considered a national hero - she gladly accepted a nice home with a good view. That much, she certainly felt like she'd earned. She was deceptively youthful in appearance, most people of her age couldn't boast the svelte frame and clear, pale complexion that she did - but it was in the nature of the ennan to remain youthful, even closing into the dusk of their lives, though Llendryl was far from it. Sitting in a soft, padded chair before a simple desk, she poured over an expansive cluster files and notes for the last time that day. Her eyes rested on that last note - it wasn't written by anyone with a great deal of experience in presenting scientific study, let alone for nuclear physics. But she'd checked the numbers, looked up the referenced material, read up on the areas where her own limited knowledge of the field failed her. There was something great in the works in this project. To think it was the work of an ennan in his forties.


    She reached out, picking up a small mobile tablet, sifting through open tabs into her contacts - and she made a call, setting the pad down and waiting.

    ...

    ''Hello? Vhaelen Sarco? How can I help you?'' A meek, tired voice chirped from the other end.

    ''Just Llendryl, Jen. Please. You sent me that report by...'' Llendryl paused, glancing toward her console's screen ''Hyrol Lohannes, is that right?''

    ''Yes? Have you gotten around to reviewing it? I know you must be busy.''

    ''That's what I'm calling about - I re-read it several times now, but nuclear physics are not my field of expertise. How effective have his tests been so far?''

    A small pause followed, coupled with the sound of sliding doors.

    ''The initial results are...promising, is what I'll say. Essentially, a way to shorten the half-lives of radioactive particles. Speeding up their decay. There's no easy answer for this, being perfectly honest. It's clearly Lohannes' intention to reproduce this effect on a massive scale - and that is the real obstacle. The foundation is there - but the effect he's hoping to replicate is...unprecedented. It cannot be done.''

    ''It cannot. You're certain?''

    ''It's...not that it's not possible, but it would take a great deal of time to develop fully - moreover it would be a drain on resources, it would require funding. And I know how strained our means are at the moment. That...said. I believe that if this is developed, it very well may...'' she hesitated for a few moments ''..cleanse the atmosphere of Enna. Or start to, at least.''

    ''I see.''

    ''It seems too daring to believe, Vhaelen. But I've had my colleagues review it, I've reviewed it myself - it's beyond any doubt that Lohannes is one of our most promising students. That he is of the Jera-born generation and has come so far already is unprecedented. He is...eccentric, but driven, and undoubtedly intelligent.''

    A long moment of silence followed as Llendryl stood from her chair and turned toward the window, watching the sunset wane in the distance.

    ...

    ''Vhaelen? Llendryl?''

    ''Yes, sorry.'' She cleared her throat ''You've convinced me. I cannot promise anything grand as yet - however, we'll set you up with the fundamentals to get started. One of the more outlying facilities will be refitted with equipment to suit your needs, whatever we have available. If the Exploratory Fleet is a success...I will definitely put my support forward to the rest of the Council, and you'll receive further funding and resources.''

    ''Oh...I...this is...thank you, Llendryl.''

    ''Don't thank me just yet. The fleet has to find -something- out there first. I'll get back to you, I need to look at the fleet's reports, just as well.''

    ''Enna'an velae, Llendryl.''

    ''Enna'an velae.''

    She ended the connection and sunk into her padded chair again. She looked, longingly at the doors leading to her bedroom, knowing that she wouldn't be going through them for a while longer. She reached out and with a few strokes of the keys, poured through a different set of files entirely. A complete, detailed report on the state of the Ennan Fleet, from every single corvette, to the great Carrier. It'd take a few hours to go through the lot of them. But it seemed that they'd set off already. It would be a while before they reached the closest systems, but they'd learn of what they find there nearly instantaneously, the psionics would make sure of it.


    //In the interest of time, the details shall be omitted, seeing as I'm running late already!

    In summary:

    -Fundamental support granted toward research of a means to cleanse the irradiated surface of Enna. Based on the Exploratory Fleet's success, more funding has been promised.

    -Exploratory Fleet sent out to scout out the 4 nearest systems. 1 Cruiser; 3 Frigates; 5 Corvettes are sent to each of the nearest 4 stars.
     
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  10. Allied Kanei Clans
    "The Songs of Battle"

    The Lower levels of the Crucible

    Qoy qey'Zaire puqloD <Translation: Hear! Sons of Zaire>
    Qoy puqbe'pu' <Hear! Daughters too.>
    yoHbogh malthbogh je' SuvwI' <The blood of battle washes clean.>
    Sey'moHchu' may' 'Iw <The Warrior brave and true.>



    The song had started as the small team decended into the depths of the Crucible, one of the warriors at the rear rapping his claws against his armour to the beat of the tune. It was then that a warrior closser to the centre started in with the words. Before the end of the first verse all but the squad leader were singing the battle hymn with enthusiasm. The leader smiled boadly as she took them deeper into the manufacturing levels where the rogue production line had begun producing the hated warden drones once more.

    maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu' <We fight, we love, and then we kill.>
    nI'be'yInmaj 'ach wovqu'! <Our lives burn short and bright.>


    The second section of the hymn rang out through the otherwise quiet halls from the six team members following behind their leader. Kisia of Clan Rodesi checked her sights again as they moved yet deeper, the song of her team letting any before them know that warriors approached ready for battle.

    batlh maH ghbej'jyoqIjDaq <Then we die with honor and join our fathers in the Black Fleet>
    vavpu'ma' DImuvpa'reH maSuvtaH <where we battle forever, battling on>
    Qu' DamevQo' maSuvtaH, ma'ov <through the Eternal fight.>


    The last verse came to a close and the warriors started into a second cycle with barely a pause for breath. Her team was the " 'Iw QuS " <Translation: Blood Troop> An elite special unit under Khan Shana's direct oversight. They were touted as the best the Kanei ground forces could muster, though truth be told this was not entirely accurate. Clan ties were strong and as the way things go among the Kanei, Five of the troops eight members were from Rodesi. The final three, a demolition expert from clan Pyreneese, A computer systems expert from Clan Visla and young member of the Kuvasz clan, barely three cycles past his warriors rites but one of the best scouts to pass through the accademy in decades, his test scores and efficent perfomance had earned him his place in the 'Iw QuS through sheer merit rather than ties of Clan and as the only member of the team from one of the lesser clans he was quite proud of that.

    In fact Pales of Clan Kuvasz was the only member of the tean not singing, or following behind Kisia. his role was that of forward recon and at the time the rest of the team neared the foundry that was building the warden drones he was overlooking the manufactory floor as it cycles through its sutonomous process of creating more drones. Qron of Clan Visla had already taken down the security systems in the section so the drones had no idea Pales was there, hidden as he was, such action meant the Kanei could not see what was going on in the foundry either which is why he was there, his precision pulse rifle at the ready should a drone spot him.

    "Twenty seven wardens powered up with another forty on standby, Major." Pales said over his commlink while watching the Wardens carfully on the chance they picked up the signal.

    "Be ready Pales," Kisia responded over the comm, "We stand."

    Pales took the Majors words to heart as he ighted up on a Warden, the hymn could be heard from where he was hidden now, comming from one of the corridoor on the far side of the manufactory floor. a few moments later there was silence from the corridoor, the only sound was the movement of robotic servos as the production line moved on creating more warden drones and those that were powered up moved about the room, most heading towards thw corridor entry now. Pales counted slowly in silence.

    wa', cha', wej, loS, vagh!

    Three small orbs came flying through the doorway from the corridor, Pales thumbed the optical protection subroutines of his tactical visor as he restrained his breathing and took final aim, squeezing off a shot from his rifle as the three orbs exploded.
    *------*------*------*------*
    The Cruiser Nom Tul
    Zoe'ay of Clan Ibizan stood in the Captains chamber aboard the Nom Tul, smiling proudly at the holographic image before her. The image was a scan of her eldest childs 'Rites trophy', the head of a large Galdikas beast, its large jaw and sharp fangs were prominate, a fine specimine of the species of arboreal predator that had been such a danger to Kanei populations in early era's of their race. They had adapted well to the changes on Zaire from the Machines strip mining, they were one of the few large predators still living on the surface. Galdikas were a prized trophy for young warriors undergoing their rites hunt, as a result the Kanei had taken measures after the Machines defeat to conserve the numbers of the beasts in the wild, as well as several other predators that had lived through the changes in the bioshpere. The conservation effort was one of the few programs undertaken that did not directly benifit Kanei survival, but it did keep elements of their culture strong and many among the Kanei believed that to be worth the expenditure.

    The holo had popped into her message box aproximately 30 minutes prior the trophy taken only a few hours prior to that. Zoe'ays eldest, Jacile had set out on his Rites hunt just 3 days prior with nothing but his bare hands as all pups did for their Warriors Rites, by teeth and claw and wits they were tasked to take a trophy from as dangerous a beast as they believed they could handle. Some pups tried to take beasts they were not prepared for, sometimes those pups died in the attempt. others studied beforehand, trained their minds as well as their bodies and did not rely on only one or the other. Zoe'ay was proud to know her son was one of the later cases, to take a Gladikas the size he had done took skill and preperation through the creation of tools or traps in the feild and the use of strategy in the execution of the kill. It would be his first accolade as a warrior, and an impressive one at that. There was no doubt in Zoe'ays mind that Jacile carried the blood of his great grandfather in his veins. There would be much D'arse drank this evening in the camps.

    The door to the chamber chimed and Zoe'ay pressed a pannel on the desk to open it, it was Shana, the Khan of the rodesi herself that stepped through the doorway. Zoe'ay raised her fist to her chest and nodded her head in respect as Shana entered the chamber. "Be at easy Captain." Shana said as the door closed behind her. "This is but an informal visit."

    "Regardless of the nature of the visit, I am honoured Lady Shana." Zoe'ay replied as she riased her eyes and met Shana's gaze. "What may I do for you?"

    Shana did not break eye contact as she movd over to the observation port that looked out over the bow of the Nom Tul, A measure of respect to Zoe'ay for doing the same, each of them treating the other as an equal, as warriors, dispite the clear difference in social stations. "you have been given orders to depart on the next rotation, I came to check on detachment of ground forces you and the other captains being sent out have assigned to your vessels. While i have no formal Juristicion over you or the other captains directly I make it a point to meet with each CO that is overseeing the troops under my authority."

    "I understand, Major Tohl of Clan Ibizan leads the forces aboard the Nom Tul. I met with him several weeks ago when the assignment rosters were drawn up and have had a number of meetings since then." Zoe'ay replied "I was not the only member of my clan seeking the honour of assignment to the Nom Tul."

    Shana turned away to look out the viewport for a moment before she replied. "It pleases me that you have made an effort to include the army forces assigned to your vessel. The ties of Clan you and Major Tohl share help in that regard I would assume, such benificial arangements ofassignments are rare outside the great Clans. Ibizan is blessed with strength of character in its members however, we have an unusual number of officers in the army and navy from Ibizan as compared to other lesser clans."

    "Our Clan strieves for excellence in all things Lady Shana. My grandfathers bloodline in particular do not believe in failure, we may stumble, we may face defeats, but we treat each as a lesson and come back stronger for it." Zoe'ay replied, standing straight and steady, her tone earnest and positive.

    Shana smiled broadly and laughed with genuine affection. "This is why Ibizan enjoys support from the Akita and Basenji." Shana said as she stilled her laughter. "There has not been an addition to the Great Clans since before the Machine's time. Perhaps with the dawning of this new era we may yet see another seat added to the council." Shana added in a curious tone. Zoe'ay chose not to speak in this instance, there was no telling how the Rodesi Khan may take a reply to her statement, whatever the reply may be.

    "Very well." Shana said as she turned back towards the door. "Remember Captain, The first step is the longest stride. Do well to maintain your momentum in the void." Shana reached the door and turned to face Zoe'ay again. "Until your last day, Captain."

    Zoe'ay raised her fist to her chest again as she had done when Shana entered. "Until your last day, Lady Shana." she replied formally and respectfully to which Shana nodded once and pressed the door release...

    "...-Huh, so it's supposed to bend that way?" Came a fraction of conversation from a pair of officers at the main bridge stats display for the Nom Tul. The two officers quickly realised who had just stepped onto the bridge and looked rather sheepishly at one another. Shana simply raised an eyebrow at the two officers for a moment before she left the bridge and headed for her shuttle.

    Action Summary (open)

    'Iw QuS has been sent into he Crucibles lowerlevels to deal with the rogue manufacatory line and shut down the core hosting the fragment of the Machine's self aware programming.

    Captain Zoe'ay recives pleasing news from her family on the eve of her departure beyond the Kanei home system. The Nom Tul will be accompanied by two destroyers and three corvettes.

    Two similar battle groups using older cruisers as the lead vessels will also departing the system at the same time.

    Translations for song lyrics hidden in black text.
     
    #11 Gat, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
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  11. "Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

    The United Galactic Federation of Phox
    "The Showdown"
    Above Gaia - 13:00

    Alerts were going off like mad at the defence stations surrounding the homeworld, Gaia. The workers scrambled all over the station as they alerted not only the fleet, but the army and any important officials. After the alert was sent out, the fleet begun to blockade the planet in order to protect it as the massive dreadnoughts were leading the blockade. Admiral Randolph bordered from one of the military drop shuttles to one of the defence stations. As soon as the admiral exited the shuttle, he was met with a crowd of workers to give him updates on the simulation. Randolph, a man in his early forties, marched his way to the main hub of the station as one of the workers gave him the current whereabouts of the object.

    "The unknown object was last seen near the Iyrus Asteroid Belt as our satellites were able to get an uncleared picture of because of the asteroids." the worker said as he handed the admiral a notepad with the description of the unknown object. "This is very interesting. Once we get to the main room, I would like an update of the object. However, send in the corvettes along with a battleship to check out the last location of the object." Randolph acknowledged with a heavy accent as he had one hand holding the notepad and the others behind his back. The worker saluted the admiral as he quickly rushed towards the main control room to give in the orders.

    Randolph entered the control room a few minutes later and saw that a battleship, along with six corvettes, broke off from the blockade and pushed forward. He saw it happen because of the large window that overviews the planet and the blockade. After the ships passed, the admiral raised his voiced loud enough to be heard and began to ask questions. "What's the current update of the object?" One of the workers spoke up to answer the question, "Unknown. The satellites at-"

    The worker's words were cut off as soon as someone shouted that they finally had a clear picture of the object: a trading ship. The picture was projected to the window and it clearly shows a trading ship; however, it didn't give any oblivious signs of where the ship originally departed from. The picture was taken near one of Yaybos' moons and it was taken a moment ago. The admiral giggled, "I can believe that we went to all of this from a trading ship." as the other workers were still on alert; however, they were breathing more calmer than earlier. Ten minutes had passed since they found out it was a trading ship, the battleship along with the six corvettes found the ship at another moon near Yaybos.

    Despite some issues with communication, they were able to escort the trading ship towards a nearby defence station. When the admiral and the rest of the crew saw the trading ship, they were amazed by the look of it. This was their first time of seeing an interstellar visitor and that got Randolph thinking about a question that everyone might be asking:

    Should the Federation welcome interstellar visitors?

    Jaffa, Gaia - 9:56
    Shorty after the trading ship was escorted near Gaia, reports began to surface at the planet that an unknown trading ship—that didn't have the same parts as any of the ships made by any shipbuilder—was stopped nearby the home world.

    Soon enough, a petition was set up to welcome to the interstellar visitor on the internet having more than ten billion signers within the hour. However, another petition was also set up for the opposite propose to tell the visitor to leave the planet and never come back. It had around eight million signers within an hour. It was clear that the citizens of the country would be divided up by as some of the countries planned to overlook the petitions and answer the question of whether or not to welcome interstellar visitors.

    However, they soon realized that it was a bigger issue to let a couple nations solve.

    An emergency meeting was set up right away and government officials around Gaia went straight to The Grand Chambers of Leadership in the matter of minutes. From Presidents to Kings and Queen, all of the leaders were at one place for the first time in history. Coverage of the meeting was allowed and people from around the world watched as the leaders tried to solve the problem. Hours went by as leader after leader was given a chance to speak about the matter. Some welcomed the visitor and even offered to trade with them, while others were against letting the 'thing' in as fears of an invasion or a spread of unknown disease will happen once the trading ship lands.

    After most of the nations were finished giving their opinion, the leader of the small nation that lead a series of islands went to speak. His name was Xavier Sutton, the leader of the United Kingdoms of Xoskijan. He said that the nations of Gaia should welcome the visitor; however, he also went on to say that they should be ready in case things go for the worse. He suggested that the nations of Gaia unite together to form, The United Galactic Federation of Phox. Sutton said that the nations would become one to combine their forces to show their strength; but, the leaders would still have a say in matters like this. And he also commented that the citizens would have representatives (made up of the leaders and some were going to be used to form a Council with humans, shai, and sexu).

    Right after the speech, the leaders decided to vote on the matter as soon as possible. The question was simple: Should they form The United Galactic Federation of Phox or not? A hour of voting later, some of the leaders were worried that the citizens would get upside over the decision because they didn't vote on it. So, due to the fear, they announced that they had set up voting booths for the people to vote around Gaia. And people began to vote on it, as they were required to do.

    When everyone had voted, the machines began to count the votes and it was finished in five minutes. And the percentage of the vote was uncommon: 52% for Yes and 48% for No. Votes were usually simple to see, one answer blew the other away. Despite the amount, the other question was finally answered. The leaders soon gave up their status and power from the Federation, the nations' military was changed to represent a united world, and the Council and the Representatives were formed in the matter of days. Xavier Sutton was voted to be the first President of the Federation.

    After the formation, the new council along with the President told the fleet to escort the trading ship to a nearby dock. And allow them to trade whatever they had. It turned out to be snow globes that the trading ship was trying to trade and the trader accepted it out of kindness. After the trade was done, the trading ship flew out of the planet and soon out of the system; but, the President had ordered four corvettes and one frigate to guide the ship back to where it belonged. And the ships went east.
    Grace's Garden - Jaffa, Gaia - Five days after The Wait - 9:56
    The garden has been beautiful as it always was, with a massive and colorful trees around the garden. It was being used to give a speech from the President to address the world about life beyond the Gaia—beyond Phox. And the garden would be a perfect place to give a speech about life. A platform was set up and it had the brand new flag of the Federation, some chairs from the councilors and the ambassador to sit, and a podium in the middle of the platform.

    The reporters were already in the garden as they waited for the President to give his speech. The councilors and the ambassador were already seated. Everyone was ready and waiting.

    Sutton began to walk towards the platform when a round applause began as he got to the podium. The applause was still happening as the President coughed once to clear his throat up, which quickly died as he started to speak. "We always knew that we weren't alone. There wasn't any way that we were as there's billions of planets up there. Each one is different than the next one. The doubters were shocked when a trading ship entered our system. It didn't matched any of our ships, the parts were different, and the design of it wasn't made by any famous shipbuilder. Now, they have traded with us and it was the first time in history that we had our first interstellar visitor. More will come with unknown purpose, but we will be ready."

    His voice began to raise up louder and louder, "Ready for anything serious. Ready from a possible invasion. Ready from another trade. READY. FROM. ANYTHING."

    He brought his voice back down from the sudden outburst and kept on speaking, "In reality, we might not be ready for the First Contact. Will it go peacefully or will it result in a full-scale war? So many questions, yet there are few answers. But, we must keep pressing forward and show the others that we are not looking for land and blood. We are looking for opportunity."

    He finished the speech and another round of applause happened as Sutton began to leave the platform, satisfied. The ambassador began to speak of what the Federation will do about 'any possible contacts with other unknown races'.

    SUMMARY The Nations in Gaia spotted an unknown trading ship, which Xavier Sutton suggested that they all unite to form the United Galactic Federation of Phox. After the leaders and the people voted on it, it was agreed to go with Sutton's plans. He was made President and soon formed the Council and Representatives. He allowed the trading ship to land and do trading with them. The trading ship was escorted to their home world (which is Patriam or left to the GM, if he wishes to take over) with four corvettes and one frigate.

    Five days later, he gives a speech at Grace's Garden. The ambassador plans on sending seven more corvettes and two frigates to southeast (aiming from Grom System) in hopes of meeting other life. While the rest of the fleet will remain in space to protect Phox and Gaia.
     
    #12 TheGreyWarden, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Confederation of High Praximand
    Trials and a Modern Life

    Lieutenant Matthew Kinnison of the 15th Infantry Regiment, the 'Moles' as they were known informally, as the "Raven's Talon" formally was holding a purely calm demeanour externally. Anyone who saw him at this time would see a man who was cool, in control, calm and collected, able to make the decisions that needed to be made when they needed to be made. Keith Rorikstead, the Platoon Sergeant under Matthew knew that his Lt was anything but those thinks.

    This was a 'rehearsal' deployment, and one that truth be told, not a single member of the 15th was even remotely looking forwards to. The only thing making it bearable was knowing that 10th Mobile was no more comforted than they, their two regiments were assigned to the Colony Ship 'Halifax' and none of them were happy about it, their families were 'volunteered' to be part of the colony simply by the duty of the troops who would be shipped to protect them!

    Just knowing this a number of divorces had begun proceedings including custody trials for the children of such unions, but quick and quiet appeals to patriotism and loyalty had quashed most of those proceedings and kept it buried and off the newsnets. But there was nothing small about this. The 15th Infantry and 10th Mobile were about fifteen hundred men all up plus the 10th's vehicles. If that were it there wouldn't have been any reason for concern. No, the reason for concern was much larger than that.

    The Halifax, like the Dawntreader were full-sized colony ships expected to jumpstart a world to productivity in twelve months or less if all went well, and that meant, for 1500 odd soldiers...

    There were nearly two and a half million colonists. For every one soldier there were an estimated sixteen-hundred or so people. And naturally, when it came to loading the sardines into their can, it was the Soldiers duty to direct them by blocks of fifty! The labyrinthine walls of the Colony ship were close and the 'test groups' were recycled for the rehearsals, but still it wasn't easy work, and neither was it something that could be rushed. It could take upwards of two hours just to get a group to their assigned barracks, huge vaulted chambers with fifty 'rooms' apiece, little more than coffins with automatic doors and galleys designed to provide nutri-blocks to passengers at designated breakfast, lunch and dinner times.

    Amongst those soldiers aboard, those times had come to be referred to as feeding at the pig-trough. There were more creature comforts in prison cell than in a Colony ship, and the Colonists would be cramped aboard two weeks before departure and quarantined. If any issues arose...

    +++++​

    Lieutenant Colonel Maria Davidson cursed the day the 10th Mobile had ever been assigned to the Halifax, and she knew that the 15th Infantry felt no better about it, directing the operation of loading was no easier than directing the units of colonists to their barracks, in fact, in her well considered opinion it was much worse since whenever a snivelling 1st or 2nd Lieutenant had trouble that he or his men couldn't whip into shape, sure as shit stinks those half brain-dead motherfuckers would buzz the problem up the CoC her way, even now during a mere rehearsal her implants buzzed every few minutes as the Supplementary Intelligence received another request to solve a problem with loading.

    And now she was storming into the Vehicle Park No12 where some fucking idiotic Private had somehow in his pea-brained cattle-like idiocy managed to park a Romulus APC halfway through a Scorpion IFW. "YOU THERE! FUCKTARD! GET YOUR SCRAWNY ASS OVER HERE!"

    She practically groaned aloud as her retinal implants scanned the QR code that served as his nametag and the file scrolled across her vision. The poor fucker was actually named Law Murphy, she felt like cutting the throat of the parents insane enough to maim somebody with a name like that. "Yes Ma'am!" He came to attention so quickly his elbow caught his platoon's corporal in the groin hard enough to make the man fold like a deck of cards.

    She looked over at the trainwreck that the Pvt had inflicted on the expensive and highly valuable walker. It was nearly a total write-off. "How the FUCK did you do that Private. Were you trying to give yourself a blowjob on the job, or are you just naturally this inept!" She asked her tone approaching reasonable, which sent of alarm bells amongst every other soldier in the Vehicle Park and they found other duties to observe.

    "I was taking over for Corporal Elliston, he went over to inspect No5's Main Drive core, it was playin' up an... well..." He shrugged as if that explained everything.

    Maria resisted the urge to simply give the unfortunately named private a beating she expected was well deserved and pulled the secure footage from the ship AI that covered the 'accident'. She watched, for some minutes as the Corporal tried to do a job she was certain a dog with half it's head blown off could have done. "Private Murphy, are you qualified to operate a Romulus Class APC?" Checking his file again, she already knew the answer, but that wasn't the point.

    "No Ma'am." He stammered out.

    "Are you in fact qualified to operate any armoured vehicle?" She asked. Once more terrifyingly reasonable.

    "No Ma'am." He stammered harder than before.

    "Are you in fact qualified to operate any vehicle greater than a bicycle with training wheels?" She snapped.

    "No Ma'am." He was drenched in sweat.

    She turned on the Corporal now getting his breath back. "THEN WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING TO ASSIGN THIS LITTLE UNFORTUNATE RATFUCK TO DO YOUR GODDAMN JOB CORPORAL!" She roared and people seemed to be intent to do their job significantly harder than before. "WHAT IN THAT TINY LITTLE FUCKING BRAIN THAT YOU CLEARLY HAVE MADE YOU THINK IT MADE SENSE TO HAVE A PRIVATE WITH THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A FUCKING POND FROG WHOSE GREATEST SKILL APPEARS TO BE EATING GLUE AND FUCKING UP, WHOSE VERY NAME INSPIRES TERROR IN HIS SQUADMATES... DOING YOUR GODDAMN JOB!"

    The Corporal went white as a sheet.

    "Fuck this shit." She turned and smoothed her uniform. "You Corporal, and you Private, are on KP Duty for the next two years straight!" She declared and their faces crashed so hard that they'd probably have decided that a flogging would have been preferable, and if she didn't have work to do she'd probably have considered breaking a few laws to give them a justly deserved beating. "And YOU Corporal, and YOU ALONE, clean this mess up. If you even think about getting this piece of ratshit to do so much as pick up a nut or bolt i'll have you cleaning the Halifax's engine exhausts with your tongue and a piece of steel wool. Understood! DISMISSED!" She snarled.



    Actions Summary:

    No "Actionable" actions. Waiting for GMPOST.
     
    #13 Kadaeux, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  13. The city of Lanks used to be a small vacation resort filled with many pleasures and located far away enough from the continents of Sense in order to give the impression that it was completely alone, surviving against all odds in the middle of an infinite ocean. The locals also did their best to enhance the illusion of this lone island, some of them voluntarily undergoing genetic alteration to turn them into amphibians who could scour the endless depths without having to worry about their breath or the pressure changes. Many others turned to farming by hand despite the primitive nature of such a thing while the small industrial complex of the island was hidden underground, away from the eyes that only wished to see the beautiful sights.

    All things considered, it was a popular tourist trap where many people took refuge from Euphoria's endless cacophony that never ceased in its odd, beating rythm. Here, everyone could forget about the crowded alleyways, the labyrinthine network of streets, the warring drug lords or the addiction that plagued them. Peace was guaranteed and there would be absolutely no bloodshed in such a small community as the regulations put in place protected its integrity perfectly. Or so did Lanks' population of about two hundred thousand think until reality came knocking in the form of a nuclear detonation that shook the whole island.

    In that instant, everything evaporated. From the luxurious houses on the shore through the tough permanent homes, the paved streets that reminded one of the distant past, the few fishermen, the craftsmen, the women at home, the women at work, the employees of the factory, the happy couples and even the children were consumed in a white-hot explosion. Nuclear fire assaulted the streets, uprooting or melting the obstacles standing in its way while it screamed its fury towards the heavens in an iconic mushroom cloud, right before unleashing the true horror that it contained: radiation.

    Those not killed by the initial wave of devastation found their bodies at the mercy of life-altering forces that soon twisted the way their organs functioned, turning their bodies against them in disgusting, undescribable ways. Many survivors died within hours of the initial exposure while others continued to suffer until the perpetrators of the catastrophe arrived to add insult to injury, proclaiming to serve the Bloodied Nails while they committed their atrocities, clad in protective suits and safe from the effects of the fallout. After all, their god had demanded that no one be left alive, that all who defied the rule of Bloodied Nails by refusing to partake in the ritual were infidels who did not deserve this world.

    * * *​

    In her seat of gold and brass, Rayasve's expression tightened as she read the report flowing in from one of her many loyal subjects deeply entwined in the chaotic web of the government. It was only a slight movement, a squareing of her jaws that wound her visage just a touch more than usual, but to her attendants, it was a sign that they could not ignore. The guards who oversaw the copper route which paved the way to her majesty stiffened, then activated their sensor suites to see if their mistress sensed something that their mundane perceptions could not percieve while her personal servants moved to her side, deliberately avoiding the giant, golden wings that decorated the monarch's back

    Made out of thousands of small, crystalline structures that were based on the wings of Euphoria's now-rarely-seen butterfly species, the majestic construct that had been a part of Rayasve's body for decades was a delicate thing that was not meant to be touched or even worshipped lightly lest one suffer the monarch's wrath. Which was why as soon as the woman moved her wings just a millimetre to signal her annoyance at the attention, her servants scuttled away in panic before the fragile structure could as much as touch them, then bowed with horrified expressions on their faces before bringing forth gold-coloured plates that held upon it gold-coloured dust.

    A look of extreme displeasure sent them scurrying away into the depths of the pleasure-palace so they could atone for their sins, then Rayasve returned to her careful examination of the words handed to her. Such excessive violence, such a waste of Gatekeepers that could have been used for much better purposes. Perhaps one of them would have made for a great personal worshipper, another would have turned into one that knew their craft better than their peers, while still another could be able to recite beautiful poetry or prose that would move her heart. Yet all that potential was completely gone just because those who did not know finesse decided that wiping an entire city off the map was an excellent way to prove their point.

    Such brutes, really. How they managed to get their hands on a nuclear device powerful enough to level a city was beyond the queen as she could not imagine these people worming their way through the many layers of government security. Then, they had to go ahead to waste a golden opportunity, turning everything violent... Meaning that it was probably the Bloodied Nails. The ones who have been a thorn in her side and a sore spot for the Yellow Butterfly for many months now. The substance they based their addiction on was new, not to mention it had none of the finessee that Rayasve expected from her opponents.

    Small fry, really. But annoying. As such, it was time to get rid of them, to leak some information she had out to the government, then let the police forces do the dirty job for her. Meanwhile, while other investigators tried to get who sold them the information in the first place, she would steadily ensnare them in the web of the Yellow Butterfly, turning them into hopeless addicts who await her beck and call. Yes. That was the best course of action for now. Allowing herself a smirk, the monarch called one of her many attendants back so that she may give them a few orders, then when they returned from their task, to indulge in the bliss they had to offer.
    * * *
    Meanwhile, far away from the throes of the finest enjoyments that a body had to offer, but not far enough for the cityscape of Euphoria to decrease into as much as a speck of dust, the Gatekeeper Disarray finally reached a conclusion regarding the matters of exploration. It has been a long time since the first satellites have been launched into orbit and with the colony on Sense firmly established, it was time to move onto greater things, to explore more of the unknown before them. Ground-based observatories along with satellites relayed promising information about the neighbouring systems as far as resources, especially various raw ores were concerned and given the state of Euphoria... There was not much time left before those excess resources would be needed.

    As such, four cruisers and four escort carriers split off into two groups with an escort of eight destroyers each before they set out into the unknown.
    ACTION SUMMARY:
    1.) The city of Lanks on Sense has been completely wiped out by a dangerous cult.
    2.) Agents of Rayasve, the ruler of Yellow Butterfly, were in the humanitarian aid forces sent to the city and they correctly identified the attackers as members of the Bloodied Nails. As they are a rival drug cult that proved to be a thorn in her side, Rayasve decided to leak several pieces of information about them to the government.
    3.) Two groups of two cruisers, two escort carriers and eight destroyers were sent to survey the neighbouring systems.​
     
    #14 Lstorm, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  14. Nation Name: The Polaris Collective
    "Title": The Veil, Part II

    Post Content:

    1600 Hours, Collective Scientific Nexus

    The Nexus was dead silent at this hour. Literally everyone who was not working on some life support project or other vital research was busy plugging away at some kind of computer. Over a million scientists hard at work trying to avert disaster. The only sound that could be heard were the fans of the supercomputers working to cool the system down. That is, until a claw slammed on the ground.

    ERROR: EXCEPTION DENIED

    "**** You!" yelled Scala in frustration. "Calm down Scala, we'll figure this out without the yelling." came the reply. "Statement: This is unbelievable, to have created a virus like this, they would have had to have as much intelligence as me. Religious crazies smarter than me, the very thought makes my coolant boil!" Scala said. With that small talk finished, the two continued their efforts. Unfortunately, without a test subject, it was impossible to know the exact coding of the virus, and thus any attempts to make a counter-virus were sketchy at best. Even if one had the correct counter-virus, there was no certainty that it would work. Scala for one was frustrated that Polaris would not let her just experiment on anybody, but understood his motivation. Still, according to the calculations, the group only had 0030 hours before it broke through the firewall.

    ===============================
    1601 Hours, Zealot Secret Base

    How did this happen?

    That was the thought that ran through an AI's mind, as he laid, bound, on a steel table. That AI's name was Brachus, the Collective's top secret agent for the regime. The infiltration was supposed to be simple; all of those of the Old Ways used human-like frames, so Brachus just had to use one as well, and everything would go smoothly. The base was a huge pyramid shaped structure nestled in an inactive volcano in a remote part of the planet. Well, getting in through the front door was easy enough, these cultists did not seem to have anything resembling a useful security system. Then again how would you, given every person looked the same? Unfortunately, the interior part did have a security system, which checked your Soul from a list of cleared individuals. If you were not one of those people, you were vaporized by an automated laser turret. Simple enough Brachus thought, just kill off a leader, put the core in the socket, and go right through the security door. Through the door was a huge statue of Uzeki, the goddess of death in the old ways. "Fitting, for a bunch of crazies." he muttered under his breath. This turned out to be his undoing, as he was replied to with a "Crazies? I think not." before blacking out.

    Brachus's retrospection was interrupted by the opening of a door. Due to the restraints he could barely see his malefactor, but eventually the figure walked up to Brachus. His attire was strange to Brachus, normally these Cult leaders fancy themselves with papal like outfits, but this man wore only a cloth robe over his features. The man was humanlike, so much so that one may have had a hard time telling him from an actual human were it not for the rampant radiation everywhere. Soon enough, the figure sat down next to Brachus and introduced himself "I am Itherius. I knew you would come Brachus, your government is incredibly predictable." The man, named after a prophet of the old ways, then got up, and reached for some kind of utensil. In retort, Brachus said "And you terrorists are also quite predictable, I was able to find you within an hour." Itherius came back with a rather large power saw, and said "Yes well, which one of us is in the winning position at this moment? Now then, which limb do you think I should cut off first?" Brachus, mentally sweating, said "You expect me to talk?"

    "No Mr. Brachus, I expect you to die." In an instant Itherius used the saw to cut off Brachus's left arm.

    Brachus, due to...pain simulators, experienced excruciating pain. "Aw, now you see the pain your government has inflicted upon us true believers." Infuriated, Brachus says "True believers wouldn't kill their fellow men!" Itherius calmly replies "You and your tyrant have left us little choice in the matter." This seemed to be the beginning of a long winded speech, so Brachus started looking for a way out of his predicament, while Itherius rambled. "You see, our gods have told us, time and again, that we should not expand into the greater galaxy until we are sufficiently prepared. In his gluttonous curiosity he has reached into the stars. Little does he know of the dangers that await therein, beyond that Veil. It is for that reason that we have redrawn it. The Veil, it is a lovely name for a virus to keep us in blissful ignorance is it not?" Well, at least Brachus knew the motivation now. Funny how everyone seemed to have a sense of honor but him.

    ================================
    1616 Hours: Collective Scientific Nexus

    The research...at this point it had become clear to everyone in the room that it was futile without a live subject. Somehow the virus had managed to evade almost all of the options they had otherwise. "Scala, I think we need to call Polaris to give him the bad news." Andrea stated. Scala "Disagreement: I cannot be beaten by idiots! I cannot!" Andrea then said "Look, nobody's doubting your intelligence. However, if we expect to have a volunteer ready before the end...we'd better start now." The two disagreed for a minute, before Scala finally relented. "Statement: All right, let him know, in the meantime I'll---" Before she could finish, Phillip, the scientist from earlier, reply "Affirmation: I'll do it, I am in the same mainframe block as the others. I will volunteer." Scala stopped, then turned on the AI and went right into his face saying "Rant: You idiot! You do realize this will mean you will lose everything, your family, your lifestyle, even your very sanity will be lost! Are you still stupid enough to consider?" Phillip, somewhat ruffled but undeterred, said "Statement: Yes, I am."

    A pause, then Scala, backing away from him said "Good." Happier than she had been for a very long time, she patted him on the back. Andrea, understanding this, departed to inform Polaris. Scala, with the help of other scientists, pinned Phillip to a table, to prevent any harm to himself or bystanders. Scala, almost tearful, then started the process of removing the firewall from him. Before long, he shook uncontrollably, so much so that the table itself began to vibrate. Suddenly, he started shouting "PRAISE BE TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE THE SONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS" over and over again, until stopping. His eyes had gone dim, indicating that the virus had broken the motors of the frame. A diagnostic check noted that the one known as Phillip, his Soul had been corrupted, and was now reduced to nothing more than an insane spokesman for the Cult. Ashamed, Scala said "Reflection: To see that ones of the same religion as us is capable of such a horrible thing." and started working on the virus, now having a subject to work on.

    ===============================
    1617 Hours: Zealot Base

    By this point, Brachus had managed to get a clip to his fingers and open the first set of restraints. Noticing what was going on, Itherius then tried to saw off Brachus's other arm, but Brachus sucker punched him before he could turn it on. Two grunts behind Itherius attempt to pin Brachus, but to no avail. The leader, seeing that things were turning against him, ran off and up the stairs. Brachus swiftly dispatched the grunts, then followed after. The two, in full action movie style, moved up the pyramid, Brachus dispatching any grunts that came his way. Eventually, they both reached the top, which was a room with a glass ceiling such that it seemed they were outside. Itherius, holding a rapier, tossed one to Brachus and said "I challenge thee to a duel." Brachus retorted with "Shouldn't you fix my arm first? You know, since we're being honorable." Itherius smirked and said "Nah, I think you're fine just as you are" before taking a stab at Brachus. The two engaged in an intense duel, both having moments where it seemed they were sure to win, only for the other to whip out a trick that evened the playing field again. After about ten minutes though, Brachus successfully disarmed Itherius, and cornered him. He then demanded "The counter virus, where is it?! I know you people always have it around somewhere in case it affects one of you." The cultist leader then said something that astonished the spy "Heh, you really think I'm stupid enough to have developed that in advance? I prepared for the threat of you thwarting me by not preparing. You cannot defy the will of the gods."

    =================================
    1629 Hours: Collective Scientific Nexus

    "Eureka! I've got it." said Scala. With glee, she uploaded the counter virus to a server wide update. The threat of the Veil was no more. Brachus, miles away, received the update, and realized that the scientists had succeeded. He made a smirk at the cultist and knocked him out. It was game over for the Cult.

    =================================
    1700 Hours: Arbiter's Hall

    Arbiter's Hall. A large structure meant for the purposes of trying and convicting threats against the race as a whole. It was today that Itherius stood on trial. To him, it was little more than a kangaroo court, a gesture made with the facade of justice. To everyone else, it meant the end of a terrible day, and the aversion of a catastrophe. Regardless of the views, the conviction was sure, and the deliberation by Polaris swift. "Judgement: I pronounce you guilty of twenty counts of terrorism and one count of murder, and sentence you to the next two centuries of minimal activation." Minimal activation was a fancy term for being unable to have a frame or communicate to the outside world (with exception of re-educators) for a set period of time, but still able to think. The reasoning being that the person would have time to reflect on their guilt. "Query: Do you have any last words before we conclude?" Polaris said. It was customary to allow the offender some last words to provide their thoughts. "Yes, I do."

    "Brethren, do you see what they call justice? Before the Collective we had different individuals be the jury, the judge, and the executioners. Polaris, in his arrogance, has accepted all of these powers unto himself. How long will it be before he turns from your protector to your oppressor? Ah, but enough about the corrupt government, for I see a much bigger threat to our society as a whole. That threat, that threat is the Unknown. The original plan was to wait until we had weapons, to wait until we were prepared for what lies out there. But, there's nothing I can do about that now. I give you now my own prophecy, that we will have a period of peace, followed by unbridled war. Our planets will burn, like stars glittering. Until the end, our great "government" will be fallen to pieces, and those who still live, forced into labor. We will forget our own past, only knowing the thoughts of our oppressors for the rest of eternity, until our eyes grow dim with the passing of ages. Dust...that is what awaits us.

    I have finished my statement."

    With cheers from those gathered, Itherius suddenly falls to the earth, as though dead. His judgement prescribed to him.
    =================================
    Action Summary: Zealots dealt with, and the Veil virus foiled. Itherius's comments become a rallying cry for future extremists, and are remembered by the populace for years to come.
     
    • Nation Name: The Great Emperor's Republic of Patriam.
      Title: "Operations Alpha-C to Delta-C"
      Participants: Brovo.
    • ((Kad gave this to me in Steam. I'm sure he'll post it elsewhere with everyone else's stuff.))

      VIII: This system was a goldmine that would send explorers rushing back to the homeworld in a fit as others stayed to watch the situation with utterly insatiable curiosity, rich in worlds, the second world was viable for a colony, but would require effort to stablise the atmosphere, no, what caught the Patriam by their insatiable janglies was the first world, it was inhabited. The insectoid races of Koni K'Alon were present in the billions, but a pre-advanced race in the early industrial age the concept of even rocketry was probably only science fiction at best. And it wasn't enough that there WAS an inhabited race there. No. Several scientists absconded with a launch from the Escort Carrier and descended to the planet in the dead of night to what appeared to be a grub farm and 'kidnapped' several of the worker class for 'study' back on their flagship.
    • Republic Space, Patriam, Senatorial Chambers


      There was great tension in the air for the first few days as reports started flooding in from each scout fleet's data transmissions. The news was joyous indeed: Multiple candidates for colonization popped up, more than enough for their colony ships to traverse to with ease. Celebrations could be heard throughout the capital city as the colony ships started to pile up with more skilled volunteers than they could possibly even accept. Whilst all of this occurs, Prime Minister Tycho was attempting to calm his fellow senators down, especially those from Rubrum--who shouted profanities at feeling largely ignored in their recent bids for terraforming what they had, rather than expanding outward. It was in the middle of a rebuttal that the doors of the senatorial chambers swung open. Bright light poured in, and for a few moments, the sounds of crowds chanting the Emperor's name seemed to wreath around the figure standing in royal plate before them. At his side were a pair of royal guards, and Giovanni Olennius.

      The doors shut behind him, and the room is silent, save for the footsteps of the Emperor, moving to the centre of the chambers. His royal cape is draped behind him, dragging along the floor as though to bless it with his mere presence. A few within the Senate stood in awe, though they were primarily the younger among the Senate. Those older, who knew of the animosity between the two factions of the government, stood in silent contempt. All, save for one. Prime Minster Tycho steps away from his seat, and meets the Emperor at the centre of the room. He was clearly shorter by a solid foot or so, yet, the two stared each other eye to eye.

      "You are disrupting a Senatorial meeting, which concern affairs of the people. State your business."
      "I didn't know I had to have permission to sit in on meetings."
      "I'm not getting any younger, Emperor."
      "Fair point. Sit down, and I'll tell you why I am here."

      Tycho, reluctantly, does as the Emperor asks. He returns to his seat, and then motions for the Emperor to speak with some measure of irritation and impatience. The emperor clears his throat, and speaks plainly.

      "Your Colonial Head of Operations, Artoria Magnus, has issued the order to send colony ships to each of the discovered systems. I have validated this order, and assigned military escorts of two frigates per ship. A Battleship is also going to accompany the colony ship headed for the Tarnii system, by the advisory of Admiral Giovanni." Hushed whispers suddenly shoot throughout the entire council chamber. After about a half a minute, Tycho reaches for a gavel and slams it to regain order over the Senate. "Why send a battleship? By all indications, the only other planet in the system is inhabited by an industrial era civilization. A strange looking race to be sure, but altogether harmless to our interests." Giovanni raises an eyebrow and finally speaks for himself. "Harmless you say? They will inevitably discover our presence, they have telescopes by now. They could become a security risk later, in the event we encounter other empires at our level of enlightenment. Worse still, you know it as well as I, that the natural curiosity of our people will compel private explorers to filch from their lands and engage in direct contact with them regardless of what we do. At the very least, we can have control."

      "Which is where you come in." The Emperor speaks up, motioning for Giovanni to stand down. "You have assigned a woman to lead your first contact diplomatic core? Send her on the battleship. We could avoid bloodshed and misunderstandings if we send our best... Perhaps even make them citizens of our Republic, in due time."

      Tycho pauses for a few moments, considering the offer. He then nods, and bows his head respectfully. "This is a respectable compromise. All those in favour of the Emperor's proposal, raise your hand. Those against, keep your hand lowered." While Tycho keeps his hand down, a strong majority of hands immediately raise, with a notable exception of the senators representing Rebrum, who seemed more divided evenly between support and dismissal. The Emperor looks around the room and nods, a smile gracing his young looking features. As he turns to leave, one of the senators representing Rebrum suddenly shouts out. "What if diplomacy should fall southward?" The Emperor replies coldly, with the Grand Admiral grinning from ear to ear. "That is why we are sending a battleship to deliver a diplomat."

      As the Emperor leaves, the Senate falls into an outright anarchic yelling contest. A grave look crosses Tycho's face as he mutters under his breath. "Already we threaten war upon a lesser people. How disgraceful."

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


      Republic Space, Patriam, "Classy Establishment"


      A couple hours had passed since the Emperor left his decree at the Senate. Tycho had left shortly thereafter, leaving the other senators to bicker among themselves about the petty details of finance and population redistribution. He walked down the open city streets of the capital, some few blocks away, to a high class establishment. Entering, he could immediately hear the unmistakable sounds of excited celebration. Mostly between pairs, but not uncommonly between entire groups, confined only loosely by singular doors. He traverses past those doors to the second floor, where he was greeted by Curia: Dressed in little more than half of her undergarments, and a towel to cover the rest. "I see your appetite has yet to be quenched." Tycho states dryly, unimpressed with the establishment as a whole.

      Curia sighs as she sits down on a chair at the top of the stairs and leans back upon it, shaking a half-full glass of liquor in her hand. "You need to know how to relax... People are so much more malleable that way." Beside her, a door swings open as a partially dressed woman and her husband step out. Curia waves to them and winks to the woman as Tycho raises an eyebrow. "Didn't know your thirst included that of the fairer breed." Curia glances lazily back to Tycho. "It includes any breed. I'm not particularly picky, you know that. It's as much for the challenge, the thrill, as it is for the satisfaction... Part of the reason I'm such a sweet talker, you should know that." Tycho looks away and clears his throat, looking plainly uncomfortable with the situation. "I gave up any opportunity for the luxuries of family or pleasure to avoid unnecessary political targets."

      "You didn't act like that five years ago. I remember how you sound."
      "Let's not bring that up again."
      "Oh, please, you can tear down your stoic disguise, I won't tell anyone now, as I haven't since five years ago."
      "This is not stoicism speaking, but pride."
      "Oh, am I not of a high enough status for your tastes? Would you prefer royalty, perhaps? I heard the Emperor needed a new pet to shine his scepter--"

      Tycho suddenly pounces forward and pins Curia back against the wall, her body bent slightly over the chair as her glass hits the floor and smashes to pieces. One of his arms was across her throat, though not hard enough to genuinely endanger her. Anger was in his eyes at the mere mention of royalty, and Curia's look softens as a result.

      "I'm sorry. You wanted information..." Her eyes glance about the area, ensuring that they weren't close to anyone. "The woman that just left that room is the captain of the battleship I am boarding. After I inspired their more vigorous excitement, I convinced her that I needed to know as much as I could to avoid being hurt or killed. After all, we might want to continue with more... Adventures, later." She licks her lips as Tycho sighs, anger still clearly in his eyes. "The Escort Carrier in Charlie Fleet landed a few curious soldiers on the surface. The reason we know so much about the Insectoids already is they went in the middle of the night and absconded off with a few of their workers."

      The prime minister's grip loosens, slowly, before he frees her outright from his grasp, and takes a step back to allow her to stand. He looked ashamed, and worried. "So you realize then that you're heading into a diplomatic situation where the opposite party has every right to issue a declaration of war on us, if necessary."

      The two share a moment of silence, as Curia smiles a little, and pulls Tycho in for a gentle hug.

      "You were worried about me, you old fool. Worry not, I will complete this task safely, and return to you. Just give me the guidelines on a datapad of what I can and cannot promise, and send it to the battleship." Curia releases him from her hug, and takes a step back as her towel slips off accidentally. Tycho raises an eyebrow, looking her over, and shaking his head. Yet, a quiet, muffled chuckle managed to escape his throat. "Nice try. Come home safe, Curia." The diplomat grins, and nods politely. "Good day, senator. Please, come again, whenever you want."

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


      • Colony Ships sent to XLI, XXXVII, VIII, XXVIII.
      • XLI discovered by GRP fleet, renamed to Clara Spes.
      • XXXVII discovered by GRP fleet, renamed to Viculus.
      • VIII discovered by GRP fleet, name predetermined by inhabitants: Tarnii.
      • XXVIII discovered by GRP fleet, renamed to Deus Derelicta.
      • Each colony ship is being sent with two frigates as escort. Said frigates will meet up with the 2 frigates + 1 escort escort carrier to make it a total of 5.
      • Battleship sent with Diplomat Curia accompanying colony ship bound for Tarnii.
      • Curia and Tycho relationship developed through expository dialogue.
      • Curia is a whore sexually liberated person.
      • Mob support swings in favour of the Emperor. The mob is ignorant of the abductions.
      • The Emperor's Flagship has been fully repaired.
     
  15. Waexians: Gains 1040 points in fleet budget. Gains 980 points in army budget.
    @Viral

    X; The first group of explorers to emerge from the impossible light of jump space emerged in the outer reaches of a Red Dwarf system, inhabited by three worlds the first and last were rocky worlds, plagued by electromagic storms, the closest to the star of which even had a pair of moonlets orbiting around it, their deformed little bodies spinning around their world heedless of the new arrivals. The long survey of them turned up nothing interesting. But the central planet was of more interest, it orbited a quarter of an AU from it's dim primary, its water-rich surface proving the world was quite suitable for habitation, though the large amount of ice meant the world was fairly cold hitting only 29 degrees celsius at its warmest point in time and place, with a day thirty-five hours long and a gravity more than half and again terran normal. Eminently habitable, but scans revealed it was a very metal poor world and wouldn't be suited to any industry within which metals were important.

    XIX; The group of explorers to emergy near the system simply known as XIX at this time were prepared for the amount of light that the White SubGiant put out, light made no easier by the Orange Main Sequence also inhabiting the system with five bodies wedged between them, the first two were rocky worlds, though the second had a large moon, neither was habitable in the traditional sense, the third was an asteroid belt orbiting 2.16 AU from the parent star, not particularly rich in metals and ice, but neither was it poor, the fourth body, another rocky planet had nothing of interest. But the last was a Terrestrial world, it's dense atmosphere belied it's low water and ice content, but as one might expect in such a system, the world was warm, very warm at times in certain places. And anyone who hoped to live there would be required to bring the sunglasses.

    XX: The next group of explorers, dropping out in the XX system, found it too was a binary, the Yellow Primary was offset by a Red Dwarf at the far reaches of the system between them closest to the primary was a rocky planet, and near the Red Dwarf were two rocky worlds, the one centremost had a trace atmosphere, but was uninhabitable, but the real reward was the second and third planet. Both habitable worlds, one possessed of four small moons and a superdense atmosphere that would make travel to and from it difficult, the other with a thin atmosphere but had water and ice aplenty.

    XXVII; Orbiting a Blue-White Giant the system was bathed in light even the explorers were not fully prepared for, the first four bodies being three utter fireballs of planets, roiling with glowing magma even on their dark sides so great were the convection currents from the thermal bath, the second was only a necklace of semi-molten asteroids. Past them were three rocky planets, the latter two of which had their own rings so destructive was the system and one of those had a large moon. But it was at the far reaches of the system that a habitable world was found, greater than three centuries would pass in terran years for this world ot make even one orbit of it's primary, but it was an ocean world with three moons, 78% water and 17% ice. The temperatures of the world flowing from well below freezing to near boiling temperature.

    XXXI: The group exploring this system found it was not uninhabited shortly after arrival, the first two rocky planets around the Yellow Main Sequence star were of little interest except for the trace atmosphere, but the last body in the system, a Terrestrial World, transmissions revealed, to someone paying attention, that the system was called Anzu, and Anzu III was inhabited by some sort of slave-race being driven by a machine-race. Defence facilities were detectable, and on detecting the Waexian fleet, they powered up and thermal sensors could detect a number of ships powering up from standby, shields and weapons being powered.

    XXXVIII: This small system, on discovery, didn't look like much, and truth be told it wasn't, the two outermost rocky bodys were not worth much, the second of which had three small moons and suffered from heavy volcanism, but the Terrestrial World, really wasn't much either, no liquid water, two percent ice, a thin atmosphere that was being lost to space and bathed in heavy radiation.


    Confederation of High Praximand: Gains 1060 in Fleet Budget, Gains 1160 in Army Budget.
    @Kadaeux

    VII: As the explorers dipped into the system they would discover a terrestrial ocean world almost immediately, and close to the dim primary, beyond it an asteroid belt roamed though it was of disappointing metal content and the two rocky bodies beyond it were not overly impressive either. A further survey of the ocean world would reveal it had little metals of any kind that weren't bound in the planets core. It might have been a worthwhile tourist resort if the temperatures weren't so extreme, though averaging only twenty celsius, it could go as low as -123 at the poles, and 145 at points on the equator.

    XVI: On reaching this binary system the explorers were overcome with curiosity, there was a little runabout of some design descending upon the second body orbiting the primary, they were compelled closer and discovered a terrestrial ocean world with some sort of religious sanctuary, and even ruins, upon the surface! The population was small, a mere four thousand Bovines. It would be time to study the world!

    XXV: The explorers emerging around this star discovered that it was a fairly wealthy system relatively, two asteroid belts, a pair of ice balls further out, even a couple rocky worlds, but once more they found another ocean world, initial reactions were tempered however by the ill news that accompanied it. While it would be almost a perfect world, there were ruins of a large civilisation present on the surface, and the atmosphere was poisoned, laden with radiation, chemicals, and the initial science survey believed, possibly biological weapons. It was a world whose prior occupants had reduced themselves to a mere memory, with only their ruins to tell someone they had ever existed.

    XL: The system was worth colonising the team discovered on arrival, it was however not ideal, not because of it's three rocky worlds, or the asteroid belt or even the ice planet. No, it was the Mars-like terrestrial world one and a quarter AU from the parent star, Giga C'Mara, a Pirate Colony. As soon as the explorers arrived a dozen cutters and a frigate launched from the colony, the explorers managing to escape before battle was joined.


    Idioblocium Swarm: Gains 1110 in Fleet Budget, Gains 1030 in Army Budget
    @FrostedCamel


    VI: The system the swarm's explorers found was fairly barren all things told, a pair of rocky worlds, a pair of asteroid belts and a couple of gas giants and then the habitable world, third body out from it's star, with a thin atmosphere and heavy radiation, though if care was taken, and some work was made to terraform it, it had the potential to be a beautiful world.

    XVII: The explorers of this system recognised it's vast potential easily enough, a metal rich asteroid belt ringed its star like a necklace and a terrestrial world extended far out from it. The terrestrial world was cold, and possessed a set of rings, though it only had a trace atmosphere, care would be needed. A great deal of care.

    XXIX: The bright white star of this system almost had the explorers turn back, but while it had a molten ball close to it, the second, third, fifth and seventh planets were of little real interest there was plenty of interest however around the fourth and sixth planets, the sixth was a terrestrial world with a heavy, dense atmosphere, no water to speak of and little ice, but the ruins of a civilisation were found upon that worlds surface. But the fourth. It all came back to the fourth. A vast structure sat upon the planet. Metal and smooth without even a single detectable imperfection. The members of the swarm could feel an ... alien... pull from the artefact, and a sense of being watched. Careful observance by the sensor operator revealed to its master that the sixth planet crossed the 'line of sight' for the megastructures tapered end.

    XLIII: There was no time for survey of this system at all. While they did have a basic picture of what the system was composed of, as soon as the light from the Idioblocium vessels reached the third planet the proverbial ants-nest was kicked over. A Dreadnought detached itself from the shipyards there where it was undergoing retrofit and was joined by it's escort, a pair of Battleships, a Carrier and two dozen smaller escorting vessels, space seemed to ripple around the vessels as they accelerated at a terrific pace warping space with their passage, only then would the Idioblocium commanding the exploration fleet realise that they weren't using reaction drives. Whoever they were, they were terrifically advanced. And very angry. Should the Idioblocium have been watching the signal traffic, they would have been able to translate in short order a simple message.
    "We are the Scarazaran Empire. Surrender your ships. We will annihilate your cultural and technological distinctiveness with our own. Your people will be enslaved to service us. Resistance is futile... but welcome."


    Allied Kanei Clans: Gains 1040 in fleet budget. Gains 1000 in Army budget
    @Gat

    II: As the explorers arrived and made a basic survey of the system they discovered, through regular systems traffic, that the system was called Rohini, and the first world in the system was called Luthien, inhabited by something called the Sharegan Dominion. As the exploring fleet was discovered by the planet, it launched a cruiser supported by a pair of Frigates, their shields raised and weapons powered, to investigate. Across all the frequencies was a simple broadcast. "Interloper. You have entered the space of the Sharegan Dominion. Leave while we are willing to allow it."

    XXX: The fleet arriving in the system referred to as Tiamat by the natives there discovered a system in full development... all one of its worlds was developed and the inhabiting race was building stations hovering over the sun, manufacturing antimatter, this highly advanced race seemed to react with incredulity at the arrivial of the Kanei ships. The Lileathon Monarchy thrown into a bit of an uproar about the very existence of the canines ships. The Equine inhabitants unsure what to do. Apparently, they believed life outside of their system impossible. That they were, in fact, the centre of the universe.

    XXXVI: The next fleet was no better off than the other two, the system was populated by only a pair of worlds, one of which, like the last two, was already inhabited, though fortunately, the other world was also habitable. The Fellus System's inhabited world was known as Fellus 2, and claimed only a prison facility, containing perhaps half a thousand people. A pair of patrol ships orbited. A beacon on the other world transmitting a signal of some sort.



    Llengese Free States: Gains 930 in Fleet Budget, gains 1010 in army budget
    @Snakey

    XIV: The Parda system had an interesting habitable world, with four small moons and a set of planetary rings. However, it also had a Pirate, or smuggler, base upon it's surface a dozen landed smaller ships poorly concealed beneath camouflage netting. After some hours however, it was apparent that they had not detected the new arrivals.

    XXIII: The binary system was interesting, but no more so than it's third planet, a terrestrial world of much interest. Unfortunately, it had three problems, a dense atmosphere, a dense radiation fall from its primary, and heavy volcanism.

    XXXV: This system presented an immediate and invaluable resource, the terrestrial ocean world was exceptionally valuable, not just for the fact it was a planet, but the fact it seeemd to have planetary rings, rings made up of ice, ... and the wrecks of starships. The third world in the system however, despite its uninhabitability, was of equal interest, tidal locked to the primary star, facing away from it was a void in the planet. Were the planet not being annihilated at first glance people might be forgiven for thinking it had a singularity eating away at it, but no, the thousand kilometre deep crater had walls so smooth the scientists forming part of the survey team were forced to wonder if perhaps it was frictionless, and attempts to probe the blackness returned no results at all.

    XLII: The survey of this system revealed not one, but two habitable worlds, though both had thin atmospheres, the second had a pair of small moons, the first electromagnetic storms and heavy volcanism. Other than that the system had nothing of especial note.


    The Gatekeepers of Euphoria: Gains 1020 in fleet budget, Gains 1200 in army budget.
    @Lstorm


    XVIII: The Binary system was not, it turns out uninhabited, the Melian System was inhabited by a quarantine facility, the inhabitable world's atmosphere reducing over time in a very Martian manner, Melian II, the "Deadhole" it seemed was a facility, but the world had two polar Planetary Defence Fortresses, and both broadcast a warning to maintain a distance of no less than half an AU from the planet or risk destruction. That the planet, and it's facility, were under Quarantine.

    XXXII: The system only had two bodies, but one of them was a suitable, if small, habitable world with a thin atmosphere, but there was little special about the system overall.


    The Great Emperor's Republic of Patriam: Gains 960 in fleet budget, Gains 860 in Army budget.
    @Brovo

    XLI: System was a rich one when the explorers arrived they knew they had done well, a Binary System with six rocky worlds, two icy ones and a terrestrial world. The initial survey was good. That it was all good. A second survey was less certain, while the world was nice, and very viable for colonisation, the third world was the one of high interest, and no small amount of worry, the scientists aboard the escort carrier, with the full sensors of the vessel, worried at it like a dog worries a bone. The planet was suffering from, and emitting, some form of entropic radiation, the planet was literally aging at an accelerated rate, and so was anything that got within a third of an AU of the disturbing body.

    XXXVII: This binary system was a small one, the asteroid belt close to the primary star were wealthy enough for something that close, the next being a rocky body with a trace atmosphere, uninhabitable, but there, the third was a Terrestrial world with 24% water and 33% ice, its dense atmosphere was plagued by electromagnetic storms. It was however fairly terracompatible and close to earth normal.

    XXVIII: This system had several jovian planets, as well as a couple asteroid belts and ice planets, one of the ice planets had methane seas, the second jovian had 56 small moons orbiting it, but the first was the interesting one, the Jovian had six moons, one of which was an inhabitable world furthest out from its partner, the heavy volcanism and electromagnetic storms were a downside along with the thin atmosphere, but the world had 32% water and 21% ice on it's surface, though it was half what a full world would be. Temperatures ranging from sub-zero temperatures to a murderous 161 degrees celsius when it was between the Star and it's Jovian. The fact it's day was as long as it's 'year' didn't help.

    VIII: This system was a goldmine that would send explorers rushing back to the homeworld in a fit as others stayed to watch the situation with utterly insatiable curiosity, rich in worlds, the second world was viable for a colony, but would require effort to stablise the atmosphere, no, what caught the Patriam by their insatiable janglies was the first world, it was inhabited. The insectoid races of Koni K'Alon were present in the billions, but a pre-advanced race in the early industrial age the concept of even rocketry was probably only science fiction at best. And it wasn't enough that there WAS an inhabited race there. No. Several scientists absconded with a launch from the Escort Carrier and descended to the planet in the dead of night to what appeared to be a grub farm and 'kidnapped' several of the worker class for 'study' back on their flagship.


    The Polaris Collective: Gains 1000 in fleet budget, Gains 1090 in army budget.
    @Maxim

    V: The system only had a single body, inhabitable and possessed of a set of beautiful rings and ruins of an ancient civilisation. The discovers knew it'd make a fine tourist resort at the minimum.

    XV: A fairly valuable system for number of bodies, only the terrestrial world was of immediate value, somewhat earth-like, if larger and with greater gravity, it was nonetheless plagued by electromagnetic storms, a byproduct of its dense atmosphere.

    XXIV: Another system possessed of many worlds and even gas giants, but this one was not unoccupied, indeed, it was very occupied, the system was New Mars, populated by the human race

    XXXIX: The system was once inhabited, upon the sole habitable worlds the ruins of an ancient civilisation are present, intact except for age and natural decay. However it was they fell without a fight. At least, one that you would recognise as such.


    The Ennan Remnant: Gains 1110 in Fleet Budget, Gains 980 in army budget.
    @Firewombat


    I: THe binary system's third body is a roughly earth-normal terrestrial world, though with a thinner atmosphere and a brighter star, it possesses some strange ruins upon its surface however, the bizzare ruins don't even seem to have been related to something one would call 'civilisation'.

    XI: Explorers are delighted to discover a the system was inhabited and called the Afrikaan system, but the technocratic nation upon its surface is small and dwindling, visibly poorer off than it once was, now a mere forty-thousand or so souls where perhaps millions once flourished, empty cities and a population calling for help from a Kenyan Union that may no longer exist. For this world was called New Kenya, and if it was their homeworld, it has fallen far from its preious lofty perch.

    XXII: They system was not very impressive to someone trying to be impressed except for it's terrestrial world half an AU from it's primary. But there was nothing overly special about the world otherwise.

    XXXIV: The system was a small red dwarf, with an inhabited world possessed of metal rich rings. A nice, if not overwhelmingly awesome system.


    The Grom Ascendancy: Gains 980 in Fleet Budget, Gains 1170 in Army Budget
    @Helios


    III: The system would have been well popular, if not for the Terrestrial World of Pazazu actually being inhabited by a Beetlian race's colony of just under forty thousand, the Baelethon Nation was seemingly unaware of the explorers for now.

    XII: The Binary system was nothing overly special, though the inhabitable world discovered, a world with little ice, had a set of rich metallic rings.


    The Chiss Ascendancy: Gains 910 in Fleet Budget, Gains 960 in Army Budget
    @Sarzu


    IX: The binary system possessed several bodies including the second, a metal-poor terrestrial world, though other than that it had nothing to really point against it.

    XXI: This system was preferable to the first, the inhabitable world wasn't poor in metals and was otherwise comparable ot the one in IX, but the system also had several asteroid belts for resourcing.

    XXVI: The explorers went gaga as they discovered this system, several gas giants, and asteroid belts, but the real golden egg was the terrestrial world that served as a moon for the gas giant closes to the sun, not only did the gas giant have many moons and planetary rings, but the terrestrial moon also had it's own set of rings and was in fact, a virtual garden world.

    XXXIII: Indeed, this system was almost disappointing in comparison, four rocky bodies and a terrestrial world adorned it, the terrestrial world was an ocean world with a dense atmosphere and subject to heavy radioactivity.




    The United Galactic Federation of Phox: Gains 990 in Fleet Budget, Gains 1100 in Army Budget
    @TheGreyWarden

    IV: It didn't take the explorers of this system long to decide that it would probably be best not to be here. The third world of the system was actually developed with a population in the tens of millions, ramshackle shipyards were in orbit and nearly a hundred vessels were coming and going from the shipyard. And when they realised that they had been discovered. A number of them began heading for the explorers who were quick to beat a retreat back for the homeworld.

    XIII: Unfortunately, attempts to follow the merchant were doomed to failure. As it approached the system edge it jumped away, and while the exploring ships tried to follow, when they arrived at the suggested co-ordinates they knew why. An overly curious scientist on the homeworld studied the alien snow-globes in an attempt to learn a bit about how such a race worked. And was forced to seek therapy after discovering that the snow-globes were in fact, mis-translated, or deliberate false advertising the 'snow' within the globes was the aborted fetuses of the race who they had been trading with. After vomiting profusely, the scientist discovered it wasn't a bizarre oddity either. All of the ones he was able to test showed the same horrifying fact.
     
  16. Nation Name: The Polaris Collective
    "Title": Exodus

    Post Content:

    2650 Hours: Cradle

    The reports came in slowly, but surely that evening. Polaris looked at each with an insatiable curiosity, his eyes hungry for more information about the wider galaxy, and how it could be used for his own enigmatic purposes. The first report that came in bore incredibly good news, they had found a habitable planet perfectly suited for his people. It had planetary rings, a perfect source of non-radioactive metals and ices, as well as an unusual ruin that could be explored. The planet was also a good size, if a bit on the small side. Polaris then gazed up, spread his wings, and pronounced a name for the place "Arcadia" was his proclamation. Such would the name of the system be.

    The second report was similar to the first. There was one habitable planet in the region, however his countenance dropped when he saw the reports for the atmosphere. Electromagnetic Storms. Due to the way the Collective's individuals were wired, this planet was pretty much an uninhabitable rock for all intents and purposes. At some later point they could possibly settle on one of the rocky planets, but for now colonization was out of the question. He called it "Uzeki" after the goddess of death.

    The third report that came in was like unto the first, a livable planet, albeit without rings. What it did have however, was more ruins, presumably left by an alternate civilization. What worried Polaris somewhat was the fact that it did not seem to have become destroyed through military methods. Caution would need to be excersized to ensure that some death virus or something would not leave the planet. "Mysteria" he called that system.

    The fourth report was by far the most fascinating. It too had an inhabitable planet, but this one was inhabited by a people known as the Technis Theocracy. They seemed to be a human race, much like them, who had undergone cybernetics. It was almost eerily similar to the Collective's own situation, only their planet was not destroyed, and they seemed to operate on more of a hive mind philosophy. It was called "New Mars" by the inhabitants.

    Polaris started to think more and more about the situation. Arcadia was incredibly useful, since it had planetary rings and such that would make it an exceptional tourist spot and trade hub. Mysteria also seemed like a good place to colonize, though that was likely where he would end. He did not want the nation growing too large in fear that less savory people might be attracted to his empire. Uzeki was trash as far as he was concerned, though it could end up easily giving enemies a route to the homeworld. New Mars...was an exceptionally odd case, as he did not know how to approach them. They might be friendly, or they might shoot when contacted, it was a guessing game.

    He was interrupted from his thoughts by the beeping of a monitor. Andrea came up on screen, stating "Sir, the Colony Ship is done, we've made all preparations to launch it, radiation free of course!"

    The owl's eyes lit up, as he said "Excellent. Please, commence the launch."

    2700 Hours: Exodus Platform

    The launch of the Colony Ship was a huge deal to all the Collective, and almost everyone in the country was either there in person or watching it on their television outputs. The clamor of the crowd was deafening, the brave colonists gave speeches proclaiming a fond farewell to their friends and families. Celebration was had all around, people cheering and celebrating as best they could in their mechanical bodies. The only thing that seemed to sully the moment was a threat given out by the Cult. However, it was soon proven that it was an empty threat; it was rather unlikely that the Cult could bounce back so soon after losing Itherius. Still, his words did echo to some, who voiced concerns at the forums as to whether this was a good idea. There were even some peaceful protesters who demonstrated on the streets. Despite this, the Exodus, a large gleaming silver ship, was brought out, and shielded from the radiation. It would launch as planned.

    Once the colonists were all aboard, Theodore said a prayer to the now departing people, then started the countdown. After about 10 seconds of counting, the engine roared to life. It's flames cascaded down the launch platform, it then soared into the sky, and soon, it was out of sight of all the people, who engaged in thunderous applause. A group of religious protesters hung their hats in shame, but aside from those the launch was met with approval, as they all went back to work, eager to continue their scientific endeavors.

    2710 Hours: Cradle

    Polaris, at this time, decided to check up on how the military development was coming along, and paged Lacerus, the Iron General. A gruff voice came in "Query: Yes, who is this? Oh it is you sir. What do you want tonight?"

    The leader answered with "Statement: I wish a status update on the military, nobody has been effected by the Veil I trust?"

    "Answer: Everyone's fine and dandy here sir. That said..." Lacerus said.

    "What?"

    "Hesitation: I have been pondering Itherius's words. That there may be threats out there that we are not prepared for. As crazy as the man was, I can see his point clearly. For that reason, I have begun construction on a number of land forces. I would have expanded our fleet as well, but most of the resources went towards the Exodus. As we speak my men are crafting two more battalions of Inquisitor Tanks, as well as one battalion of Judgement Artillery. I hope you are satisfied."

    "Agreement: I think your course of action is correct. Caution: Do not expand our military excessively, we are not building an armada to attack, only to defend ourselves."

    "Understood. Statement: One more thing my lord, our expeditionary fleets are asking whether they can send for explorers to search the ruins and see if they can dig up anything. I am also going to send two more fleets to the next nearest systems. Query: Your permission?"

    "Granted"

    "Good. Query: By your leave?"

    "Statement: You are dismissed."

    2712 Hours: Expeditionary Fleet in New Mars:

    The exploratory fleet was quite small, three ships in total, for security purposes. Upon the Gamma Destroyer, acting as the flagship, the captain barked orders to his men. "All right everyone, places, I want everyone to be ready to beat a hasty retreat should things go sour. Preferably to Uzeki."

    Diplomat Ulyson was on the ship, standing next to the captian "Should we send the message sir? I am worried that these people might not take kindly to non-hive minded people."

    The Captain barked back "That's your job isn't it? If we can make these guys our allies, then we'll get what we came here for! And I'll get a juicy promotion!"

    "Okay sir. I'll send the message now." The diplomat pushed a few buttons on the computer, typing a simple message, with terms ambiguous as to whether the collective was a hive mind or not. The message went something like this:

    We send thee greetings. We of the Collective come in peace. Do you come to us as friends, enemies, or neither? Please respond when you can. Thank you."

    Along with the message was sent some digital pamphlets explaining the basics of who the Collective was and their peaceful mission to the galaxy. With some trepidation Ulyson pressed the send key, sending the message to what was most likely a civilian mainframe...or something similar. All they could do now was hope and pray that these people were friendly.

    ====================
    Action Summary: Systems renamed:
    V: Arcadia
    XV: Uzeki
    XXXIX: Mysteria

    1000 Fleet Points spent on Colony Ship. 800 Army Budget used for 2 Armored Divisions, 200 used for 1 Artillery Division, 90 Reserved.

    Colony Ship sent to habitable world in Arcadia system. Fleets in Arcadia and Mysteria send Exploration drones to search ruins. Diplomatic message sent to Technis Theocracy. Two extra fleets of three small ships each (equivalent to the other four) send to explore the nearest systems.
     
  17. The Grom Matriarchy
    Hello
    -Nation link-

    ------------------------------
    Grom System

    The Sub-Moon Geej
    ---Dungeon Score---

    Lady Saboke straddled the boar gingerly; her boots pinching his thighs like a rider in the saddle. She was dressed in a peach jumpsuit speckled with flower prints. A mischievous grin graced her face that was only slightly altered by her bionic eye. She surveyed her Gromun muse with a carnal appetite. The porcine beast sat strapped into a wooden chair in a room of pleasant horrors. Whips, chains, and cages filled the lair. All of Saboke’s little play things. Inside of many of these cages were other such Gromun, all gaged, blindfolded and bound in humiliating positions. Some were guards, some were prisoners, and some were simply pieces of candy that Saboke had collected on whim.

    She moved over the boar like liquid. Her tiny hands sifted over knotted muscle and coarse fur. She felt him breath. A pulsing beat like a rat in a cage; yet a cage that the rat wasn’t sure it wanted to escape. Saboke was a match for her sister in beauty and grace but she was no ballerina. She cared little for the poise of Lady Sallim’s craft. Her discretion, her predictability, her control made her weak. Saboke ruled this god-forsaken moon like the villains who inhabited it wanted to be ruled. Her power came from an unending appetite. She was ever searching into the dark, tasting whatever came her way.

    Teeth sank into the hog’s flesh. Through the gag one could hear a muffled squeal. The creature writhed in its binding but to no avail. He could not escape her. Sab drew from her victim, her mouth drenched in scarlet liquid. She wiped a spilling drip off of her chin and delicately sucked the dark blood off of her finger. Effortlessly she untied the knot that gaged the prisoner with her teeth. As the strip of linen fell about the creature’s chest he heaved a desperate gasp of air. Sab caught his chin and lifted his jaw to hers.

    Now tell me where your little friends are. I want to play.” As the last word dripped out of her mouth, she kissed the boar on the lips. The victim’s blood smeared across his face with their embrace. Sab withdrew only slightly out of the reach of the boar, so close that he could still feel the heat of her warm lips.

    They’re in the Tribeca Caves… southern pole of Geej… hundreds…” Words seemed foreign to the prisoner. It was no doubt he had been without ability to speak for a great many days.

    Anything else, my love?” she replied, slipping her body close to his.

    No… milady… please… …more.

    She retied the gag and rewarded her bitch’s efforts.


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    System III: Elian
    In Orbit:
    Pazuzu
    -- Kadaeux - Helios --


    The destroyer was abuzz with excitement. Alcohol seemed to cake the hallway decks like bar tar. The small Grom detachment had just encountered the first alien race ever. Their excitement was uncontrollable and already the crew was in a furry of celebration—even a fair few sleeping chambers had turned into foam parties. They were all going to be famous, and these new creatures were going to be their best friends.

    The captain of the vessel was in the nursery at the time of the arrival, checking on her ninety-seventh daughter. All ships throughout the fleet were designed to be portable breeding grounds. It helped moral. She carried her daughter in a papoose to the command deck, intent on having her child be witness to the discovery of new life. As the captain gave the order to establish communications with the species, an unauthorized vessel careened within meters of the destroyer. The military vessel’s armaments auto-locked to the threat. “Hold fire! Don’t make a scene in front of our new friends!!!” screamed the captain as her newborn child fed gingerly from one of her many teats.

    Transmission incoming!” chirped a crewman.

    The crew sat in silence as the civilian vessel’s message was received. It took only seconds before they realized that this was not a live message, instead it was a one of many premade radio channels being emitted from the unknown craft. Their viewcasts were also bombarded with numerous video messages of six second loop videos, blockbuster films, and live plays being steamed from aboard the craft. All of the transmissions were watermarked with one all too familiar word: Begrroncé.

    It’s a culture craft…” fumed the captain, caressing the soft fur of her daughter. “Initiate transmissions with the planet’s government anyhow. I will not have the glory of Grom be overshadowed by Grom’s Got Talent. Ask whatever popstar in charge of that vessel to at least respect their airspace.. Ask them nicely.

    It took a while for a response. Almost nine hours. And it wasn't all good news. "You have intruded into Baelethon space. Declare your intentions. You have point four rotations of this orbital body to do so." A quick mind would deduce that was approximately eight and a half hours, but a pair of frigates and a destroyer being launched from the surface were detected easily enough, and they were accelerating under full antimatter power. Anyone operating the sensor systems would have been able to make a very well educated guess that the time given to them matched the time it would take for the three vessels to close to range.

    The crew’s enthusiasm had grown stale as time passed. Whoever these creatures were seemed entirely less excited to see them as they had hoped and infinitely less excited than they were. The captain of the Grom vessel quickly replied to the delayed transmission. She subtly instructed the crew members to power down weapon systems and be prepared for escape rather than conflict.

    I am a representative of the Grom government, one of your neighboring systems, and we come in peace. We are on a voyage to find fellow sentient life in the galaxy. We mean no ill will to your people. We wish to learn about you and have your people learn about us in turn.

    "Why?" The response came back a short while later. The light-lag preventing a normal conversation.

    Because both parties benefit!” said the captain, slightly taken aback. “Culture, music, theater the things of life! We can learn from one another and advance our civilizations in turn. The possibilities of trade, shared research, shared maps of the galaxy. A symbiosis amongst the stars.” The captain responded, harping heavily on her years of stage training. She was sure these folks just needed warming up to.

    "And what could you possibly offer us. You don't even have antimatter." The response came back. "Primitive vessels using mere fusion drive technology."

    The captain ran her hand through her glorious head fur, slightly off put by their host’s stubbornness. “Food, raw materials, locations to repair, refuel, and FTL hop, and… better sensors. It appears it took you quite some time to notice our presence in your system.” She replied, putting on her best salesman persona now.

    "It took us a while to find a device primitive enough to transmit to you." The return was. "We have food. Raw Materials are not an issue. You don't have the technology to assist in the repair or refueling of our vessels, and we have more important things to do than watch sensors all day." The response was devoid of emotion.

    The captain held her daughter close. The subtle sucking was the only thing that could calm her down now. But she maintained level, at least outwardly. “Tell me then, what can we do for you?” The words came out almost like a commercial advertisement—which had actually been her previous career. She wasn’t sure they were anything more than rhetorical at this point but the worst they could do was repeating their same robotic response… or kill them out of annoyance.

    "Inform that ship to stop transmitting that garbage before we stop it permanently." The voice returned. "If you wish trade. I'm sure you will find something. But be aware. This is a small colony. Our only export is the delicacies of this planet." The voice came back.

    The captain scrambled to inform the vessel of Begrroncé to cease its transmissions, citing the host government’s audio directly. After a few minutes the culture vessel ceased its transmissions, primarily due to the parties that were erupting aboard at hearing fist contact with the planet below.

    We would wish nothing more than to trade peacefully and mutually. We would be happy to deliver supplies to your colony and serve as a forward warning post for threats to your people. I am sure that the first step to finding how we could help you is to share information about our two great civilizations. Might we have a small contingent come aboard a craft or destination of your choosing to discuss our future together in person?

    "Two people. One pinnace. No weapons." The transmission came back.

    "Splendid. I look forward to meeting with you myself at the terminus locations you send." She pointed at one of the better engineers amongst the crew who had consumed the least amount of alcohol during their discovery phase. Hopefully she would know specifications about whatever technological garbage this species seemed so much more interested in than the culture that was the life of the Grom. The two boarded an escape pod in hopes of meeting these mysterious hosts. The captain left her child with the care of the crew. Were these buggars not so stiff she'd have made the infant her only other envoy.



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    -


    Grom System
    Grom
    The Gardens


    Lady Sallim anxiously strode about the botanical gardens, exotic plants and critters of all types amassed the organic mansion. It was her sanctuary, her home. Troubling news had reached her from her sister, Sab on the sub-moon Geej. They were hot on the trail of the most renowned, and often romanticized, pirate of the Grom system. Her sister was cunning and yet her methods were not always worth their end. But there was so much else to worry about in this world. In this galaxy. For now she took in the stillness. Nothing synthetic existed in this place. The only sounds in her ears were flowing, trickling, lapping water… and footsteps.

    Milady!” screamed a voice in near ecstasy. A small, Gromic naval engineer was scampering to her. It appeared as if she had run the entire way from her landing pad by look of her uniform and its state of sweat. “We’ve made contact!!” she screeched panting with hands on knees. “The galactic west! Bugs! They are so advanced, they use antimatter, I saw them myself, their food, milady, you can’t image the taste, I would live naked on an ice cube to taste their food again, I’d do anything, it was the first orgasm I’ve had in months, please send me back, I beg you, I’ll draw for them, they like that, it’s all they like, they hate music, they hate Begrroncé, they hate how dumb we are, but they love to see us paint!” The messenger collapsed to finally breathe.

    Lady Sallim leaped into the air with excitement, grabbing hold of a limb meters above her and twirling her body around it like a gymnast before planting herself in the arms of the thick limb. “TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE!” she howled to the garden, sending nesting birds scattering in all directions.

    The messenger resumed her speech lying flat on the ground. Clearly she was a less than formal presenter. “When the captain and I went aground, there was just this one bug. Huge it was. Three meters at least. Looked a bit like a mantis. Pretty fuc—pretty fucking scary looking if you ask me, miss. It didn’t take to kind to any jokes, but it may have been the robot following around translating; they always have horrible timed delivery. Seems like not all of them are mantis type things though, not that we got see anyone else. It seems as though they have some cloaking device on their structures and anything worth looking at. They kept talking about how dumb we were and how they hated music. They don’t appear to have any holo-entertainment at all! The Trade Ambassador, or Ambassador of Trade, or something like that. We just called him Jim. Jim said he would be willing to trade our artwork for their orgasm fish, which I think is a mighty smart trade, miss. Anyhow, Jim wouldn’t tell us anything else about their culture, government, nation, technology, or anything about anything really.

    Lady Sallim’s giddy smile only slightly turned to a frown at the mention of Jim. “Is Jim a woman? Certainly she isn’t a man in such a position?” The noblewoman leaped down to the level of her envoy, listening much closer now.

    We asked, but the robot only listed of three options of jumbled words... then kinda said we were too stupid to understand. But Jim is really keen on art, miss!” Another navy crewman, slightly pudgier than the engineer and adorned with a flamboyant toque waddled up to the two with a silver covered dish. “Jim traded us this for a Pikazzdoh replica I had hanging in my bunk space...” The engineer paused to let the naval chef present the small slice of fish, but interrupted before Lady Sallim could dine. “Oh, and one last thing! There is some sort of old civilization sunken deep under the waves of their ocean planet. We asked Jim if we could check it out and let them know about everything we found. Jim seemed decently okay with the idea so long as there were no weapons on the planet and that we didn’t interfere, look at, talk to, talk about, think in the vicinity of, or be stupid in front of any of the citizens.

    An opportunity we will not pass up. Send a pair of frigates with the greatest deep sea divers, archaeologists… and painters that you can find.” Sallim smirked at her success. Such fortune, and after Begrroncé had nearly gotten the entire fleet killed. That fluffy tailed whore’s numbers would plummet in no-time. For now, Sallim had to take advantage of their momentum. “Send another two exploration fleets to the next nearest stars, and this time make sure they have some archeological equipment. Word has been received of a rich metal colony to the galactic east that could serve as a lucrative colony in time. Such a joy it will be to spread the glory of Grom with the universe.” Sallim approached the chef and nestled a pair of chop sticks in her paws. “Oh, and do tell everyone you know about your adventures. You deserve the limelight for your contributions to the galaxy. I want every woman, child and man to know about Jim by sundown. Glory to Grom.” Said Sallim as she gingerly placed the alien sashimi on her tongue…

    She had found a new man in her life. Jim.


    [​IMG]



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    -

    Action Summary:
    • Lady Saboke (ruler of Geej, sister of Lady Sallim) plays with captives. Unique interrogation attempts (which received political backlash and were promised to be shut down during election campaign) have revealed possible location of predominant Grom pirate lord.​
    • Grom vessels make contact with alien race in System III (Elian system, planet Pazuzu). The beetles are posh assholes, but they like paint. Their fish tastes hella good. The crew of the returning corvette becomes nationally famous. ​
    • Under presumed permission of alien government, excavation plans of a sunken civilization on Pazuzu is initiated.
    • Grom government sends:​
      • one destroyer (1) + corvette (2) group to closest unexplored system neighboring Grom.​
      • one destroyer (1) + corvette (2) group to closest unexplored system neighboring Grom.​
      • Frigates (2) with archaeologists, deep sea equipment, painters to System III.
        • Civilian trade ships given charters to alien system so long as they renounce all Begrroncé audio.
      • Stationary orders:
        • Frigate (1) + corvette (1) in holding pattern in System XII.
        • Destroyer (1) in holding/trade pattern in System III.
    • Funds:
      • Fleet Budget- 980
      • Army Budget- 1170
    • Spending:
      • Fleet Spending- 0
      • Army spending- 0
     
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  18. Waexians/Noble House

    Once again the Noble House, or at least the top six, gathered in the virtual WIRE room. They had just recieved reports from their explorers.

    The table they sat at might be circular, but there was no debate about who the leader was. He was standing now.

    "The first of our explorers has reported a system plagued by electromagnetic storms with the only a single habitable planet, one poor in metals," The First began. "I have found it lacking. Thus it shall be named Abhorrence."

    "The second system is found to be meeting all of our current standards, with one habitable planet and two very bright stars. I name it Radiance."

    "The third system is found to have two habitable planets, more than most. Neither is deficit in needed resources. We shall call it Decadence."

    "The fourth system is utterly volcanic, deadly to our kind. I find a certain beauty in its abundance of destruction. Thus I name it Eminence."

    "The fifth system is already inhabited, and is thus already named Anzu. Already, actions are being taken. They shall be ours soon, and our labor force will benefit the more for it."

    "The sixth system is unremarkable, found to be lacking in anything necessary to our cause. Thus I name it Belligerence."

    The First gestured towards the Oil and sat. In turn, the Oil stood, his mandible-like jaws clicking together. "The Anzu system's third planet is inhabited by two races; a machine race like us, and a slave race towards them. We shall take a vote on our actions. My order will be given afterward. Actions regarding our other explorers have already been decided."

    The Conductor stood. "I believe we should take both of them into our fold. Threaten them with superior firepower and then say we shall accept their surrender in return for the assimilation of their civilization and, of course, a few individuals from both races. For my personal use." The Oil nodded in approval as the Conductor sat.

    The Justice stood/raised himself a bit higher. "I second the Conductor's motion, except for the 'personal use' part." He shot a glare towards the Conductor, who raised his top set of arms, palms up, and said, "I was only referring to scientific purposes." The Justice rolled his eyes and lowered himself.

    The Speaker stood. "I motion for a more dramatic reveal. From what I've seen, they are less advanced then us. Give off something showy. Present ourselves as benevolent." He hesitated. "It's probably more important to show off to the machine race than the slaves. If violence is needed, however, I shan't complain."

    The Oil merely said, "I approve of the Conductor's motion."

    The last Overmind merely pointed towards the Speaker, signifying his support. The rest of the House - and all high-ranking Waexians - made a point of never saying his name or even acknowledging him. He was no pariah, though. People would kneel to him, lower their heads in the halls. His decisions carried weight. But officially, he didn't exist.

    The First, who never sat at meetings, said, "I have decided. The Speaker's motion is passed. The Oil will give the order. Understood/Order Received?" The Oil nodded. The First continued, "All of our explorers save two squadrons will stay in their system and scan the planets for resources. One squadron will move on, the other will engage the Anzu."

    The Noble House winked out of virtual existence.

    --~--

    Pilot Kleinn sat up in his chair as a message blinked in front of his eyes. More accurately, a data packet blinked in front of his eyes. Instantly he knew his orders.

    He sighed exasperatedly. He had been personally trained by The Oil and completed his training fifty-seven years ago - going by the thirty four hour day of Waex -, making himself one of the more recent members of the Military. He himself was only about three hundred and forty-two years old. By Waexian standards, he was young. As befitted a young soldier who quickly ascended the ranks, he was ambitious. He believed he knew how to properly control the situation, but it was unthinkable to disobey the Noble House. In any case, every ship always had him on it. No one ever said his name, but everyone knew about him. He always had a chassis waiting on board and monitored all surveillance on ships. Of course, it took him a while to to go through all active ships' data and his body was never active, but as soon as he found out, he would come for you. And there was always his counterpart, Public Enemy No. 1, The Virus.

    He had already gone over all the data regarding the Anzu. He'd have rather just blasted them away and scavenge what was left, but he had his orders.

    "{Assume Formation Destroyer Flank Left Frigate All Weapons Primed Top Speed Both. Efficiency, Please.}" He squawked in data speak over all Military channels, audio and otherwise. The last comment wasn't exactly necessary or in fact allowed - such comments were supposed to be reserved for common speech and kept off Military channels - but no one cared, so whatever.

    As ordered, the Destroyer proceeded to slow itself and went under the Frigate to its left side. Then both of them accelerated, all weapons primed. Pilot Kleinn knew he wasn't supposed to be aggressive, but a little bit of intimidation never hurt.

    After that he sent a transmission - all available formats and all versions of data talk, down to version .01 to the most recent, 7.13. The transmission was sent first to the ships being launched. If anything, that should give them pause while they checked back in with command, if they had a command.

    "{Commanding Officer - Pilot Klein, Frigate Five. Commanding Officer, Destroyer Deck - Pilot Daller. Klein Speaking. Transmitter Are Waexians, Serving Noble House. Recipient Are Anzu. Confirm/Deny?}" He began. Before waiting for an answer - there would be a time delay in any case - he continued, "{Offer Peace. Transmit Language Data Over For Further Communications. Offer Weapons, Technology. Friendship?}" He mentally winced as he realized what he said. 'Friendship? They'll never take me seriously'. He made a mental note to review his transmissions instead of making them spontaneously, then sent a data packet containing basic data on how to speak data talk.

    "{Await Further Orders. Waiting For Response Transmission.}" He communicated to the crew of both vessels, then sat back in his chair. Now he just had to wait.

    Action Summary (open)
    Action Summary
    ~Squadron Five and Deck contact Anzu with basic data talk. Request for data on their language, send over info on Waexian's data talk.

    ~Squadron Six and Sweep move to closest system northeast.

    ~Future plot stuff foreshadowed.
     
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