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DaftNES VI: Of Light and Dust

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Daftpanzer, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    “Bareet!” Oghma’s voice hissed through the coms, her rasp a welcome distraction from the looming shape of the wreck. “Cap’n! I’ve matched the rotation, you’re good for the hop. Tethers firing in three... two...one”

    The ship vibrated, a dull feeling below the range of hearing. From either side of the open airlock door, a thick cable burst forth, bridging the gap. Had I poked my head out, i’d have seen that repeated along the 40 Shetem length of the Naveed. She wasn’t the biggest bird, but she’d been in the family for generations, and damned if the old girl didn’t do her job.

    “Got her!”

    “Acknowledged, number two. Good work.”I frowned, looking across the void. No matter how many spacewalks one took, it never became routine. “Disengaging Grav-Plates. Ready boys?” I glanced at the other two figures. Both were in heavy suits, protecting from the bitter cold of the void. One extended his hand, a thumbs up.

    I grinned, though, neither could see it through the tinted faceplate.

    “For Clan and Glory, boys.”

    Maruk’s voice crackled through in my speakers, a playfully indignant tone. “Boys, he says, as if I don’t remember him in his swaddles. As if I don’t remember him running between his papa’s legs on Argent homestead, as if I didn’t hold his hand on his Barremo, as he walked up to the bridge of the Naveed for the first time.”

    “You held his hand?” Esha’s voice was softer than Maruk’s, though no less teasing.

    “Alright, alright, ladies and gents. When YOU are the captain that cracked the Mayflay, you can talk. Till then, I can call you whatever you want.”

    “What are you thinking, Cap?” Esha asked.

    “Looks to be an Anemone type. One of their colony ships, maybe? Looks a bit like Aksha-7, from last year.”

    “Aksha-7 was a great haul.” Esha giggled a bit at the thought.

    “Yeah, I’ll give you that. Something’s off, though. Don't think it's Anemone. Look, back there.” We gently drifted along the tether, hand over hand towards the derelict. Maruk waved towards the engines. “I’d put money on either a Treasure-ship or a Polyp type.”

    “Mmm.” I answered, nodding, though neither would see it. “You might be right. Hard to tell the difference between those two. Oceanics always build similarly, it seems.”

    “Think we’ll ever find out what happened?”

    “Hah. the great thinkers of Parhelion have been pondering that for centuries. I doubt we’re going to get the answer here.”

    “It just really seems odd to me. Why are we the only survivors? And, why are we the only Colonial-type ship? Every other species has more than one ship in their name.” Esha chattered.

    “Maybe the answer to that is the same answer. We survived, so the Anomaly didn’t keep trying. Someone’s alive, here, now, so it did its job.”

    “That’s creepy, if’n you ask me.” Maruk answered. The green-grey hull was within arms reach, now, a sealed door that looked more like a sphincter than anything mechanical in front me. The circle of lights from my suit played along the edge, and focused on a smaller sphincter.

    “Got the lockpick?” I asked.

    Esha clipped her cable to me, and then off from the tether, drifting gently towards the door. Gently, she inserted a cable that unspooled from the comp-pack strapped to her lower back into the lock. It entered smoothly, with what I imagined would be a squelching sound if we had been able to hear it.

    The door quivered for a moment, before hissing open, a mist of frozen ice billowing out, before dispersing into the ether.

    “Oghma, we’re entering the wreck now, provisionally naming it Eriadu-6.”

    Gently we drifted into the wreck.

    “Way is clear. Any water’s been vented long ago. No gravity.” I spoke, knowing my words were being recorded on the other end. “Layout typical to Oceanic-types - no flat surfaces, cylindrical hallways. No visible light fixtures.”

    Esha continued when I paused, reading from the display on her wrist, her comp still connected to the shipboard systems. “Still current running, though at a trickle. Computer’s throwing up error codes. They’re not in the system, and I don’t recognize the language. Think she might be something new, cap!”

    “Lets confirm that. But if you are right, that’s a big old bonus for us.”

    “Haven’t been a new type in a few years. I think the last one was Clan Jeryk, in the southern rim.” Maruk answered.

    “I think you’re right.” I answered, before continuing. “Beginning ship survey now. Hallways layout appears to be in an ascending clockwise pattern. Logic dictates command bridge at the top and engineering at the bottom. Ship’s engineer Maruk will descend down towards the presumed engineering deck, and Science officer Esha and I will ascend to the bridge.” I paused. “Alright, you know the drill. Data, technology, cultural stuff. In that order. And don’t touch the dead, if there are any. If you find any, we’ll mark this ship for the mausoleum.”

    Four hours later, we were back aboard the Naveed. A routine first-discovery if there was ever one. We’d be back over to the other ship over the course of the next few days, before heading back towards the Grasp.

    We were gathered, as always after a successful salvage mission, in our mess hall. It was a small room, fitting for a small crew, but generations of people living aboard her had worn the sterility usually inherent on ship-board facilities away. A carved wooden table, thick and brown and shiny, sat in the middle of the room. A worn curtain, lovingly colored and embroidered, seperated the kitchen from the mess, and someone, long ago, had painted a vine with delicate white and red flowers, crawling up the side of the doorways. Thick, overstuffed armchairs, more at home in a shiner library than a salvage ship, as amazing as she was, bracketed a bookshelf full of worn tomes.

    Maruk sat in one of the chairs, a big mug full of Ebridian Whisky clutched in the hand he was gesticulating wildly with. Esha flinched as the clear brown liquid sloshed, threatening to spill.

    “Careful!” She laughed. “That stuff’s worth it’s weight in gold!” Her own glass was nearly half empty, though the redness of her pink skin and ridges showed that that wasn’t because it hadn’t once been full.

    “Don’t matter! After today, we’re going to be RICH! Innat right, capn?”

    “Yeah, Cap!” Oghma grinned from her bowl of soup. “There’s gotta be something great, here!” Glancing around, she grimaced. “Tilla! Get your sorry ass down here before Maruk drinks the whole bottle!”

    Maruk laughed, as he topped off his mug.

    “One minute!” the high-pitched voice of our radiographer echoed from above. “Last minute message.”

    True to her word, she soon joined the rest of the crew, a grim look on her face. Oghma’s grin died as she saw Tilla’s face. “What’sa matter?”

    “Here.” Tilla handed her the tablet she held in her hand.

    Oghma spat. “No! They can’t do this! This is OUR wreck.”

    “Give it to me.” I said, and Oghma almost threw it at me. “Clan elders are calling us back.”

    “What!?” Maruk roared. “What about the wreck?”

    “Says they’re sending Ellias and the Narabond over. Says we’ll be compensated for our bonus.”

    “Any idea why, captain?” Esha asked?

    “I haven’t the faintest,” I answered. Taking a deep breath, I finished my glass.
     
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  2. LordArgon

    LordArgon Prince

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    The Miskatoni Council building was a truly awe inspiring building. It towered over the surrounding city, so it would be an always visible monument to the council's power. The wide circular base housed the public museums and office space for the administrative staff. Higher up, the building gently curved into a cylindrical pillar that housed the offices of the Councilors, the higher up the pole the more senior and respected the Councilor. At the top, the tower bulged out again to form a massive dome shape where the High Councilor's office was and the meeting chambers for the council. While not at the very top, Councilor Veski was three offices down from the High Counselor, making it clear he was not to be trifled with.

    "Councilor, Colony Overseer Heski is here for their appointment."

    "Oh let him in. I need to hear some good news today."

    After a few moments, the Councilor's doors slid to the side, and the Overseer entered adorned in a gold-trimmed, black uniform. The Naharyi officer bowed to the councilor and sat down on one of the gel filled bags the Naharyi used for chairs and gave his report.

    "These are dark times we find ourselves in Councilor. These rebels have forgotten how hard it was to get where we are. They are greedy and ambitious, but they are too lazy to do the political maneuvering for the power and money experience gives. Fortunately, the primitive Aethans prove to be more manageable than our rot-filled kin. With improvements to our infrared lasers, we can overheat any rebellious furballs without killing them. This has a much faster recovery time over our plasma weapons, leading to increased output. We have even started training some of the Aethans to operate the lasers themselves so they can take over as overseers. We give the overseers improved medical care and they do all the work for us. This frees up more of our troops to return to the ships and continue our search for more worlds to mine."

    "Good work overseer, keep it up and you find yourself in a seat on the council. Now if only it so easy to put down those insolent rebels as it was to conquer those furballs."
     
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  3. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    Exploring Zatryon Biology Part 1 - Thought, and Form

    We are aboard the Xolaxi Sensor Ship, which despite its name is not crewed by the Xolaxif, but by a species known as the Zatryon. Listen to the soft ticking of clockwork, the quiet groaning of hydraulics. Intriguing, isn’t it? Ah... Smell the change in the air. A new command has come from above, a command for the Kayons to reproduce. As the Zatryon on the ship react to the message, a host of things change to fulfill this new priority. Nutrients being taken out of storage and prepared, before being pumped along these lines. Following them to the end of the hall, we see they are being pumped into languid organic sacks. These are the Kayon, or reproductive collectives.

    Next, we come closer… much closer, and smaller too. Behold, the Zatryon Cell. Notice the constant shifts of potential within. Where other multicellular organisms think with specialized organs, the Zatryon “thinks” at the cellular level. But… not much of a thought. The sparks are so random, so quick when separated, as they are here. Watch as it reacts to the increase in nutrients, swelling and engorging itself. It’s thinking… and decides to divide instead of developing defenses.

    Whoops, we are nearly struck by the sensor and mixing organ! The Kayon keeps careful tabs of the cell density within the reproductive chamber. As it nears the perfect density, watch as the nutrient flow decreases, and new chemical signals added. The Zatryon cells can recognize a change in their environment, and in certain conditions they… amazing. Just like that, they begin clumping up, and through specialized channels, Communion begins.

    What is Communion? In a sense, a difficult question. In another, how do neurons think? Watch as these cells tentatively begin communion. See anything familiar? Ah yes, you see it. The sending of signals between cells. Look there, it happened again. Watch as these potentials reach these channels, and jump across the membranes. As these signals form patterns, Concordance may form. This is when certain patterns become amplified in effect, and cause physiological changes. Or in other words, the spark of thoughts become shared. Understood. As Concordance forms stronger, watch as the cells in Communion begin to bind together to survive in this harsher environment.

    Let’s zoom out for a moment. The sensor-mixer organ of the Kayon works almost like a cotton candy stick, catching these thin strands of Communion, and bundling them together. But notice how this clump is behaving a little differently. More energetically. Let’s zoom back in and see what’s going on.

    Here, we can see the mucous membrane covering the Kayon’s organ, to help them manage their interaction within the chamber. On one side are Kayon Collective’s cells... Wow! Watch as they flash and cooperate! Their structures are much more specialized than the individual Zatryons we saw before. Here are some of the muscle-like Zatryon… and here are some of the sensory Zatryon... And on the other side of the mucous membrane, we see one of the strands from before, a clump of Zatyron cells in Communion, sticking together in a nutrient deficient environment.

    And just above it… perfect. Notice anything different? No… no… yes, the signals are behaving differently! These cells have reached beyond Communion, they have reached Coalescence. Like the cells within the Kayon, these cells trust their fellow neighbor cells enough to dissolve the blocks between their channels. Where a Zatryon Cell’s signals must translate to another Cell, this Zatryon Coalescense’s signals flow smoothly within the entire being. And in that way, they have given up their individual thoughts, and now think collective thoughts.

    … of course, I’m being somewhat anthropomorphic. At the individual, or even Kayon level, it is difficult to prove that the Zatryon cells and minor Yons “Think.” Even the Zatryon themselves recognize it, and treat them with lower status. Still… all of Zatryon life lives in this spectrum. The spectrum of signals and communication, holding and sharing thoughts, and deciding occasionally, to unite their beings into something greater.


    Glossary

    Communication - Sharing of thoughts through a medium.
    • Conversal - Communicating through a structured medium, such as words or symbols.
    • Crewmate - Communication through grown or improvised mediums, based on past history and communications. Also known as - jargon. (/jk)
    Communion - Sharing of thoughts directly
    • Concordance - When thoughts are aligned in such a way that they increase, and lead to action and change
    • Discordance - When thoughts are misaligned in such a way that they become distracting. Too much discordance can lead to an aversion for continued Communion.
    Coalescense - The combining of beings into a single greater being
    • Submersion - When a lesser Coalescense joins a greater, especially when temporary
    • Transunion - When multiple lesser Coalescenses join together, leading to a greater Coalescense with no single dominating origin
    • Association - When Coalescenses join together with the intent of spending significant time as a single Coalescense
    • Brooding - When a Coalescense collects and organizes their thoughts, especially if they plan to isolate these thoughts into a specific region for budding or other purpose.
     
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  4. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    A warm welcome to fidesratioque, Dannydehz and JimWUK (who sent me a PM), and of course Shadowbound :salute:

    I'll be actually starting to work on the update in about 8 hours from the time of this post.
     
  5. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Hello, I am Suuf and these are my intentions.

    Focus: Technology. Based on the recent signs of extraterrestrial life, swift adaptation may be necessary. Determine what we can from the alien material left behind, including fuel residue, genetic material, tissues and materials. It may also be wise to begin deploying artificial satellites

    Spending: I will maintain and stockpile my energy reserves, in preparation for swift adaptation in the event of a radical change of cosmic understanding.

    Colonization Focus: Tens or hundreds of light years away, my spores drift quietly through space. It will be hundreds of thousands of years before any reach habitable worlds and are able to send messages home. Nonetheless, I will maintain the steady deployment of more spore rockets from Anuu, Daduu and Muuna.

    Production Orders: I will continue growing new living material at approximately the same rate as I cull obsolete material.

    Tech Focus: Much of my excess mental energy will be devoted to studying the alien landing.

    Fleet Orders: My colony spores will continue drifting blindly in the directions they are currently drifting in... not that I have any say over that, they're far beyond my ability to communicate with.

    Army Orders: I'll make sure that animal symbionts arecontinuing their standard anti-parasite routines.
     
  6. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

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    The busted agribot rolled out down a freshly excavated irrigation trough.

    The sun shone brightly overhead. It was a bright sun and it often mucked up sensitive circuitry.

    Top-forward of the agibot‘s input overlay, a dull orange warning light flashed on again, off again.

    The agribot came to a stop, it extended its solar panels and it began recharging.

    In spite of the dull orange warning light, the agribot had no idea what was coming.

    A ZL-4800 Tyreen Heavy Manufacturing Concern planetary lander crushed the agribot into a thin metallic pancake, part of a regularly scheduled materials drop for the buildout of Garryon Hab Dome, shipping under contract to the homeowner’s association of the same. A debarcation bridge hefted itself outward amidst hissing steam and hydraulics and fell back down with a rough thud.

    It was the 187th delivery this month. A lot of deliveries were being made to Garryon Hab Dome.

    It looked like now, on top of everything else, they would need an extra agribot.

    Back in the cockpit of the ZL-4800, the captain stretched his legs, pulled his sunvisor down and looked at his instrument panel. Irritated, he nudged the copilot and pointed out a dull orange warning light. “Hey, Dap, look at this.”

    Dap nodded by way of confirmation and ran through a dialogue. “Chief will check it out. Probably a minor impact on entry.”

    “Damn, third one this month.”

    ”Yeah, Garryon sure doesn’t seem to give a frack about clearing its lander pads.”

    “Make sure to fill out a PO to the customer for repairs. Tired of getting my paint nicked. We good for takeoff?”

    “Yes, sir. Cargo out in 45, all systems showing green after clearing hazard warning.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  7. North King

    North King blech

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    Those who eat light make no distinction between stars and hope. So long as they keep burning, we persist. There will come a time (of course, of course) when the stars give out, and when that happens time might as well stop. For life is defined by time; the constant churn of living and dying is what makes us beautiful. It is change that we see. Even a piece of art, frozen in time, is spoken of in dynamism. Placid, stirring, thundering, peaceful—all are descriptors of life, and consequently all are descriptors of death. The stars still burn, and we metabolize them that we may persist, and dream.

    A brief overview of persistent emergent consciousness in the Fleet:

    Sum: Rarely do the Truth-Seekers have a single thought-strand, but on occasion, one does pass through each of the minds and unite them in purpose and calculation. The Sum emerges when a memetic notion takes hold of each independent Mind, and binds them, briefly. And then, as non-hive minds might say, bits of the consciousness begin to “wander,” and sliver off, one by one, drifting to their own problems and ideas.

    Array: Many arrays exist within the Fleet; again, these are formed by the amalgamation of various Minds into unitary purposes via the alignment of their intention and the literal alignment of their optical drives. To speak of consciousness with an Array is a misnomer—it is about as far from a normal consciousness as consciousness is from a bacterium. There are still wants and desires and needs in both, but the sheer computational power in an Array is breathtaking. They are not only able to model theories of mind but theories of all—models of other minds such that conversation with some beings is rather pointless. They are consequently devoted to persistent, higher mysteries, like logistical simulations/solutions, scientific achievement, philosophy, truly novel art, and so on. When an Array finds solutions or reaches a dead end, it quickly fragments into individual minds.

    Mind: A mind tends to have blurry boundaries in the Fleet. Minds can range in mass from the size of the average galactic biomass of a sentient to dozens of times larger or smaller; at the larger end they blur into Arrays, at the smaller, into non-sentience. Minds tend to inquire into the same things any other consciousnesses would—art, math, play, love, and so on. The “blurry boundary” referred to above is nothing more or less than a tendency for thoughts to bleed over form one mind into another. Imagine telepathy, and then up the bandwidth. At a certain point, you merge into one consciousness. Lower the bandwidth, and you lose all connection with the creature. It is as if Alien Hand Syndrome were to turn on and off when necessary or useful. After all, what would be the point of devoting consciousness to eating if there was a more important problem at hand?

    Bots: A bot is the smallest aggregation of Truth-Seeker material. They can range in intelligence from enough to solve simple problems like navigation or simple puzzles, to quite stupid automata. They are used for simple tasks like salvage, survey, and so on.

    Truth-Seeker orders; we trust you not to look!
    Spoiler :

    Orders:

    Continue with the salvage operation. On the one hand, we want to know a bit more about the people who built this. By fully understanding the shape of the construction, we can simulate what they looked like, what their priorities were, how long ago they lived, and what may have eliminated them. And moreover, the chewed edges of the cylinders are quite fascinating! Wouldn’t do to never learn who was doing the chewing.

    Scouts will make their way towards the EM signals. We’re fascinated to add more people to the Library. As usual, offer the ceremonial gift of whatever they happen to metabolize, solicit them for their ideas, culture, ideals, and science to add to the library—whatever they think would be most valuable to save.

    The broader fleet, when a new ship is built, will continue along the rimward edge of this arm, seeking new life. We make contact with everyone, from virtually non-sentients to the most advanced of races. (Note, of course, that the library is open-access, so if we made species with a technologically primitive race, we'd be able to offer them quite a lot of tech.)

    Any leftover production potential will be put into a new investigation of the library project—a megaproject designed to be a mobile home for the library. The exact form and nature of that project is a bit up for debate, but the best guess of some of our Arrays is that we ought to hollow out a set of moons around a gas giant and use them as data and art repositories. This, however, will require making some engines capable of moving planets at FTL speeds, essentially turning our library world into a rogue planet that can follow the fleet around. We won’t get to the stage of moving the planet yet, but we may start making the requisite engines.
     
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  8. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Hello, I don't like to post without the update, but thought I should post for the benefit of people not in discord or IRC chat regulars - I'm aiming to have the update up by Friday night my time (GMT).

    Thank you so much for all of the stories and backgrounds, I will try to do them justice!
     
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  9. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

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    Any day when “the funds don’t clear” is destined to be a bad day.

    Now 48,000 lods of distilled ice were being held in a Patrol warehouse under a tax lien.

    And - worse - I was now running down a well lit hallway filled with several dozen screaming bystanders.

    At least the fear of casualties by friendly fire kept down my own chance of getting shot in the back.

    I had been running down station corridors for maybe five minutes now, and I was running out of shortcuts. The three Telisites chasing me were a mixed constituency: two of them wore plain clothes, possibly deputies or contracted bounty hunters, and the third was in a fully equipped and powered recon battlesuit sporting official markings (probably one of the newer Oliant XT-5 models, which had upgraded servos and a better rangefinder, but it was hard for me to tell without an eye in the back of my skull and it wasn't like I was in a position to conduct a thorough analysis). The involvement of the military police indicated that my little scheme had metastasized to a point which I had neither desired nor expected. That meant that I was, or was about to be, dipped in sh*t.

    The fact that I had drawn out the chase this long was its own miracle. Space stations aren't exactly rife with escape options.

    So that's why I pulled the roll of c-bills from my vest pocket, fumbled the rubber band open and threw a wad of cash in the air.

    At first nothing happened, but then - probably when someone in the crowd realized the c-bills were 100s - the chaos started.

    Even a recon battlesuit would have to pick between tramping civilians or pursuit. Fear and greed were effective obstacles.

    "F*ck it," I muttered, blowing past the elevator. The upper level concourse had the MRB offices and government consulates. But I was going down, both literally and metaphorically.

    When I hit the lower level concourse, skidding down the stairs, it took a hot second to evaluate my meager options.

    I shoved past a startled security guard and blew past a revolving door with the help of my upper shoulder.

    “I have an appointment!” I blurted at a charmingly albino secretary whose antennae were very sexy.

    “When? Mr...?”

    “Alp!” I answered, wincing at the dull sound of stun munitions going off outside. In all likelihood, the XT-5 would soon be here. I checked my watch. “Six and a half rotations, ma’am.” I struggled to keep my tone matter-of-fact. “It’s with Jai Lipo. Uhh... concerning a substantial cargo of distilled ice under contract for delivery. I need Jai to broker me a ship.” I heard a series of heavy footfalls outside, and then quickly added: “I would advise you permit me to use one of your interior conference rooms. Now.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  10. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Update 1



    A new age is dawning across the galaxy. Countless worlds lay waiting in the void for a new generation of explorers to reach them. Among them are a few hidden gems; verdant worlds already awash with life, and more exotic worlds, strewn with giant crystals and incandescent mineral formations.

    A few have never been visited before in the history of the galaxy. A few still bear the mark of former inhabitants, and hold secret treasures.

    But there is something much more exciting, for those that watch the galaxy from afar; the offspring of the stars are starting to speak to each other again…

    In no particular order



    A cloud of giant, hollow metallic cylinders floats in space, slowly orbiting a nearby star. Here the Truth Seekers linger for a while, searching for clues to the origin of the mysterious artefacts. Some of the smaller cylinders are captured and sealed to form the hulls of new ships for the flotilla, adding new shapes to the fleet’s eclectic mix of ship designs. The Minds then decide on the next course of action; most of the fleet heads off in a spinward direction, while a smaller scout flotilla heads inwards, searching for one of several faint sources of quantum noise in the vicinity. It is this scout detachment that encounters the Doszob Orub civilization, and makes its presence known over the vibrantly-green planet of Orub.

    A Truth Seeker shuttle lands near what they think is a major settlement - it is difficult to tell due to the amount of organic matter that is growing in, on and around the planet’s structures. The locals are Alaszob, hunched semi-bipedal beings with overlong front limbs, their hair and skin showing varying degrees of fungal growth. They are just one of several sentient or semi-sentient species on the planet. Facing them, emerging from the shuttle, are a variety of different-sized mechanical beings. The Alaszob show little fear in approaching and even prodding the Truth Seeker envoys. News spreads around the planet, and representatives from the different races and major settlements of Orub begin to converge on the landing site. Thus begins an initially-promising exchange, the Seekers employ their long experience of diplomacy in an attempt to charm the natives and collect any samples of culture or biology that they are willing to share, offering some of their technology in exchange. But this first contact is one of the more awkward that the Seekers have experienced; there is a sense that the Doszob do not regard the Seekers as much more than a curiosity; in their minds nothing so cold and sterile, and untouched by the fungus, can be considered a real life form. As the Orub parliament debates its response, It is unclear what, if anything, the Doszob will be willing to share.

    Meanwhile, the Doszob’s first FTL-capable vessels are already light years away, on an expedition to search for a suspected habitable and Oros-compatible world. This turns out to be Egade, the homeworld of the six-limbed reptilian Malzoi race and of the Zasta Dynasty, the most powerful Malzoi nation and the only one with colonies on the moons and other planets, as well as a sizeable collection of spacecraft, though it has yet to master FTL travel. Zasta ships are scrambled to match orbit with the aliens, and basic communications are attempted, but neither side can decode the other’s transmissions. After making several orbits, the Doszob vessels suddenly launch a group of lander craft to the surface. With only moments to react, the Zasta commanders are not about to allow these aliens onto the surface of the homeworld. The decision is made to open fire.

    Zasta weaponry, however, is not designed for such a task, and their missiles are unable to intercept the fast-moving landers, which reach the surface of the large continent of Irais, scattering amongst dense jungle cover. This continent hosts a mixture of imperial colonies, independent city-states and primitive tribal societies, living alongside vast tracts of wilderness that is stalked by highly-dangerous megafauna. The Zasta army has a difficult job in containing the situation, and efforts are ongoing, with news reports of airstrikes and heavy artillery fire in the area of the landings, though this may be due to the army running into said wildlife. The Doszob spacecraft meanwhile do not return fire, but break for high orbit, then use their FTL drives to jump to the outer system; here they linger on, staying several steps ahead of any Zasta vessels, which in any case are not equipped for combat and can do little but try to keep an eye on the intruders. The Zasta government tries to contain news of the events, as they themselves try to figure out what is happening, but this does not prevent panic and paranoia sweeping the system. The true nature of the aliens still seems to be a mystery; citizens living on Irais are asked to report any strange activity.

    The main Truth Seeker fleet has meanwhile been searching for the source of faint quantum noise coming from Malzoi civilization but has been unable to pinpoint the exact location. In the meantime, they are distracted by the ruins discovered on a scorched, caustic world that seems to have suffered a climate catastrophe in relatively recent history. Its evaporated oceans have left behind enigmatic ruins of some kind of aquatic civilization and an abundance of cultural artefacts, as well as many fossils of extinct creatures, samples of which are carefully lifted and transported aboard.



    Suuf begins to understand that it has been visited by something. For now the phenomena does not repeat itself, giving Suuf time to listen to the signals being sent from the apparatus that was left behind, before beginning to dissect it. Suuf finds intricate devices made largely of metals and other materials that would be difficult for it to synthesise. But its overall function does not seem too complicated - sensory devices and broadcasting equipment. The power of transmissions suggests that the listener must still be in orbit, or at least in the local system. While Suuf and its sister-moons continue to launch spores into space, Suuf also takes time to grow and launch a special new type of adapted spore, designed to remain in orbit and watch out for anything unusual.



    The Jhorra Authority persists on the degenerating world of Embarre, a world brought to semi-habitability by ancient terraformers in aeons past and since been left to deteriorate. The planet’s ocean may soon face a tipping point where a toxic, anoxic ecosystem takes over, killing off the undersea forests of aquatic plants that the Jhor are dependent upon. Giant storms increasingly batter the coasts of the fragmented barren landmass, sometimes whipping up toxic soils into suffocating sandstorms. The Authority has succeeded in ending inter-state conflict amongst the Jhor, and focusing efforts on technology and survival, but the task of reversing the decline of their world still seems daunting. There is a growing challenge to the status-quo from those who question the memory of the ‘Ieldra’ and the dogma of the Compact; the Jhor should, they argue, focus their efforts on finding a new home amongst the stars. Others, however, hold the Compact as sacred, and argue that the battle to save the planet’s ecosystem is not yet a lost cause. For now at least, the pursuit of FTL technology remains forbidden.



    The Miskatoni Combine reels from the shock of multiple alien contacts that occur in rapid succession over just a few years. First is the arrival of Zövlölt explorers, and the Miskatoni are faced with their first space-faring alien civilization. Rudimentary communications are soon worked out, thanks largely to the efforts of the Zövlölt scientists, but not before the newcomers establish several refuelling outposts inside what the Combine considers its domain. The main Combine fleet is busy with anti-insurgency operations and is unable to rally any significant forces to oppose the newcomers. However, it soon becomes clear to the Naharyi that they have a technological lead over these strange, bright-eyed, upright bipedal beings, who in any case are not showing any real hostile intent, and tensions begin to ease on the outer frontier.

    Next comes contact with The Choir on the spinward frontier. This time communications take longer to be hammered out, as the Naharyi struggle to understand the melodic language of these beings; it takes even longer for the Naharyi to realise they are dealing with a rather diverse race of self-replicating war machines. The intentions of The Choir seem more opaque, and the large numbers of their vessels along the spinward frontier is a real concern for Combine leaders, especially as these new aliens seem to be more advanced than the Zövlölts.

    Concern turns to a sense of crisis as ships from the Psilomedusoza arrive on the same frontier. These aliens are even more enigmatic, and the Naharyi are currently still currently trying to establish communications with them, with only a vague idea that this is some kind of aquatic species travelling in graceful biomechanical vessels, that either display dazzling displays of light and colour, or seem to camouflage themselves against background space at will. The region is soon dotted with outposts of both Choral and Psilomedusozan origin, with the Combine unable to enforce any territorial boundaries in the area.

    Meanwhile, reports filter in to Attrios of yet another alien civilization encountered in the outer spinward sector, in a region where explorers and colonists have been expanding the Combine’s borders. Alien vessels are detected exploring these same star systems in a somewhat erratic pattern. These latest contacts prove more elusive, and direct contact has yet to be attempted. The overall situation is worrying for the Combine as they have just begun to settle a resource-rich system in the area.

    The oligarchy, already in the grip of political intrigues, now faces severe pressure to invest in the fleet and army. With aliens roaming at will through Combine frontiers, the news can only be partly censored, and there are waves of public paranoia. During this time the Combine’s main battle group has been providing artillery support for counter-insurgency operations, it’s heavy firepower ensuring that any rebels are pushed underground, but a Combine army weakened by chronic attrition has struggled to mop up the survivors. Damaged industrial facilities on several major worlds have also yet to be rebuilt. The military leadership seem embittered, especially as the Combine itself has no lack of resources; there are rumours of vast stockpiles of materials, and its cities are awash with consumer goods of all kinds. Indeed, the imperialist ethos seems to be fading in favour of materialism and science; the recent years have seen great strides in the area of medical and bio-technology in particular, with Combine soldiers able to recover from grievous injuries, and its citizens living longer and healthier lives. Nonetheless the political atmosphere is now highly charged, and seems ripe for a violent showdown between factions if the oligarchy is not careful.

    Zövlölt society is gripped by the shock of encountering an entire alien civilization, especially coming just a few years after the first experimental FTL flights. Some scientists had even publicly downplayed the chances of finding intelligent aliens. There is now immense curiosity about the Naharyi race and their culture, but also genuine fear of the strange four-legged beings, and of their clearly superior technology. Other Zövlölt scientists had already made a head-start on deciphering fragments of Combine communications, in the process spawning a whole new industry of FTL comms and signals intelligence back on Nüür. For now, diplomatic contacts are limited to a few Naharyi colonists and engineers found in the frontier systems, though these Naharyi seem somewhat nonchalant in their attitude. Now as a ‘ten year plan’ for industrial growth reaches a fairly successful conclusion, aided by new mining outposts in nearby systems, the Zövlölts look to the great expanses of unexplored space that still surround their homeworld.

    The Choir
    is not surprised to encounter alien life - they have scattered memories of their creators from thousands of years ago, and still more fragmentary memories of other races besides. They take an open and friendly attitude towards the Naharyi, yet it seems the sudden appearance of so many Choir ships has caused the aliens to take a defensive posture. Close to the porous frontier with the Combine, Choir ships find a struggling terrestrial world that seems to be caught in the onset of a severe ice age, with dying forests and expanding glaciers, with native species dying off at a rapid rate. Some amongst The Choir wonder if they can rescue this world as they did with their home garden. In the surrounding systems, Choir ships dance with the graceful bio-mechanical vessels of the Psilomedusoza. The more inquiring minds of the Choir begin to uncover a visual language hidden in the flashes of light and colour emitted by these vessels, and rudimentary communications are established. The Psilo’s also take an interest in this freezing world, building outposts under the planet’s seas, while The Choir establish a base amongst the withering autumnal forests, there being no immediate conflict.

    The role of the Psilomedusozan homeworld is now diminished, as colonies become more powerful in their own right, and outposts are settled further and further from the home system. At the opposite end of their expanse, the local Psilos encounter The Krell, hyperactive rodentoid beings with an innumerable population. Psilo vessels reach the magnificent ancient ringworld that forms the home of the Krell race, a vast ancient construction several thousand kilometres in diameter. The Psilo vessels are hard to track on Krell sensors, but are seen to linger over the ocean sections of the ringworld in particular. Krell ships eventually close in, and haphazard attempts are made at communication, with Krell using all the apparatus at their disposal in an attempt to replicate the intricate light displays coming from the hulls of the alien vessels. It seems some progress is made, but all too soon the Psilo active their FTL drives and retreat back to their frontier. The shock of contact spreads quickly through Krell society before dissapaiting in the space of weeks; thoughts soon turn to how they may learn to profit from these mysterious aliens. All is not well with the Krell besides; despite the colonisation of several border-line habitable worlds, there is an ongoing overpopulation crisis, and some clans in the outer systems are turning to piracy and extortion. There are also rumours that previous fixes to the ancient systems of the homeworld have not been as successful as hoped, and that there is the potential for catastrophic failure in future. Though not lacking in resources, the chronic lack of stable government makes it hard for the Krell to focus their efforts.



    The Resource Management Board (RMB Talis) has emerged as the supreme power among Talisite civilization, which now spreads across several planets and moons in their home system. National governments are being relegated to little more than providers of social services on the overcrowded homeworld; corporate power and influence is now almost absolute, and the resources harnessed from this one system are considerable. Basic FTL drives have been demonstrated, but the prototypes remain little more than a curiosity, as the Talisites thus far have little collective appetite for venturing beyond the safety of their home star and its riches - though there are rumours of renegade starship projects. From their towering headquarters in the sprawling megacity of Heyos, the RMB now directs further development of the home system and experiments with terraforming technology in the pursuit of long-term profit. Currently the only opposition to the Corporate order is a combination of criminals, dispossessed minorities, and citizens who have gone ‘off grid’ for whatever reason, forming a dangerous underclass in the depths of the megacities.



    On the warm ocean world of Altara, an ancient artificial island is discovered, one of only several specks of solid ground to protrude above the surface of the great waters. A few brave souls among the Altarans are able to climb onto it to begin exploring, though at first their limbs can barely cope with the strain of working against gravity, a handful seem to have a stronger natural ability for the task. A seemingly endless series of chambers is found; some collapsed or badly corroded, yet others remain intact - decorated with a vast array of symbols and many strange artefacts. It would seem that there is truth to the origin legends of the Altarans, whose humanoid biology is so very different to the other creatures of this planet’s ocean. The ‘island’ is claimed for the Emperor, and some of his most trusted subjects are sent to protect it and attempt to unlock its secrets.



    Fleets of the Zatryon Collective are on the move across their local space; some collect fresh tribute of resources from the native cultures of Xolaxif and Peurtovok, while others patrol between star systems, looking for any sign of the hostile civilization that attacked their homeworld. It would seem, however, that the old enemy has not given chase; all is quiet on the outer frontier. But to their anti-spinward, a few light years from Peurtovok, the Zatryon detect the approach of some other alien civilization; for now, Zatry ships watch from a safe distance, gathering as much intelligence as they can. A separate expedition is launched into the unexplored reaches of the outer anti-spinward frontier, and finds another system blessed with abundant heavy elements in the form of accessible asteroids, that could well be used as an alternate mining area. The natives on Peurtovok, meanwhile, after a series of border incidents, aircraft shootdowns, and growing civil unrest, are showing a rapid and worrying escalation in their cold war tensions that Collective agents are struggling to contain.



    The Celestial Mandate of Telanas gathers a large battle fleet for a determined push against the Raspid Growth. It is the greatest gathering of space-based firepower that the Telanians have yet put together. Perhaps wisely, the Raspids do not rush to meet it, instead keeping their fleets in defensive positions behind the frontier. In system after system, the Mandate fleet runs into a steady stream of mines and automated missile-pods that do little damage, but keep crews on edge; more losses are in fact suffered through accidents and friendly-fire episodes, made worse by the complexity of handling so many ships across a large front line. Nonetheless, progress is made, as dozens of Raspid outposts on barren planets are blasted from a safe distance with heavy firepower and nuclear demolition charges, before teams of elite EVA marines probe the wreckage and recover any viable biological samples. Some of the Raspid mining outposts are even rebuilt to serve the Crown. In the process, valuable experience is gained of organising large-scale fleet actions and keeping the ships supplied at the front. As yet however, the Mandate fleet command is reluctant to push too far beyond its main supply bases.

    Other Telanian forces, meanwhile, continue sweeps for insurgent forces including backers of the so-called ‘true King’ - said to be a distant relative of the ruling dynasty, but also a renegade messianic figure, promising an age of greater material abundance and spiritual advancement. While government forces continue to scatter any gathering of force that the pretender’s supporters have dared to put together, the Monarchy also puts great effort into rebuilding and restoring order in areas that had seen disruption, and the security situation now improves on every major world. But there is now the fear of traitorous devotees going unseen amongst the masses and plotting sabotage from within. And while the wave of rebellion among the old nations of Ohkhak seems to have died down for now, there are fears that future Ohkhak and Esogi rebels may turn to the pretender’s cause. The pretender’s location is of course a closely-guarded secret.

    It is during this somewhat tense time that explorers from The United Colonies arrive in Mandate space, in spaceships that have been largely re-constructed from older wrecks found in the Utopia system. For the Lost, this is the first confirmed alien contact, but they have been preparing for this moment for decades. Nonetheless, it takes some time for communications between the two sides to be established, when it becomes clear that the Telanians are taking a superior attitude towards them, and even seem to be inviting the Colonials to subject themselves to the Divine Crown. Talks are then disrupted by an ongoing event close to the frontier; Colonial ships have discovered a promising terrestrial world, even if the atmosphere is oxygen-poor and native life is barely multicellular, there are abundant minerals and great potential for terraforming. The planet is however guarded by a giant geometric construction of some kind, hovering in close orbit over the planet, its sides almost completely smooth and featureless when seen from a distance. Though seemingly inert at first, even when approached at close range, the construction erupts with glowing energy fields as the first substantial group of colonists attempts to land on the planet below. Beams of energy hit all Colonial craft in the vicinity at once. Contact is lost, the fate of crews and landing parties unknown, white the system dubbed ‘Bastion’ is marked off limits until further notice...

    Other Colonial ships have better fortunes; a separate expedition heading in the opposite direction from Utopia finds a large, mountainous, wind-blasted, geologically-active world with a barely breathable atmosphere, and limited biosphere and drinkable water, made more appealing by the abundance of heavy element-bearing minerals that have been churned up and exposed near the surface. The first among the Lost to reach this world propose to call it ‘Fortitude’. Back in the Utopia system, news of these events grips the colonies, overshadowing news of fresh discoveries among the wrecks in the system; details are yet to be confirmed, but it seems that at least one significant new find has been made, and is now being studied for any new clues about the Anomaly.



    Explorers from The Set reach out in the direction of the distant galactic rim, conducting a slow and steady survey of stars in this part of the frontier. Their efforts pay off as a thriving terrestrial world is discovered after being missed by long-range observations; the world is a large for a terrestrial world, with several times the surface area of Zan, and its climate is also a stable, warm and perfectly suited to supporting an immeasurable biomass of giant, colourful plant life which covers almost all of the land surface. However, this world also harbours many dangers; several ground team members are soon killed by severe immunological reactions to the planet’s microbes, while several more are lost to night attacks by ferocious scythe-armed, pack-hunting predators which stalk the forests; these creatures seem to have extraordinary sharp senses and may even be sentient to some degree. Compared to these dangers, the ill-tempered megafauna and giant swarms of stinging insect-like creatures are lesser concerns. It seems that an accelerated evolutionary arms race has run rampant over the planet for hundreds of millions of years, creating a severe challenge for any colonisation effort.

    Meanwhile, news filters through from the Lataren Hegemony. It seems that the Lataren have made contact with two new powerful alien factions - lithoid beings of the Trodhuk Core, as well as a cosmopolitan variety of aliens under the Republic of Free Peoples - though it takes some time for all the details to reach the Set. The Lataren are attempting to mobilise more ships to guard their expanding domains, and to this end accept the offer of the Set to take over some of the trade and logistics routes within the Hegemony with Set-operated freighters, which allows the Set to start picking up more information from the frontiers. The Lataren insist, however, on keeping their own direct supply line to Zan, no doubt to keep an eye on the progress of the Set; it does not escape attention that Zan now boasts a level of technology equal to any of the Lataren worlds, and have emerged as leaders in the field of nanotechnology. Meanwhile there are some political reforms, with Riorappi being granted semi-independence now that their homeworld has achieved a greater level of development. The Noz Nitsi are promised similar liberty in future, though for now it seems the Lataren want direct control of their space in order to secure the spinward border.

    The Trodhuk, recently awoken from their slumber, are now busily re-igniting their ancient magma-powered industries, and there is much work to do after several millennia of decay. The idea of exploring the nearby stars is something of an afterthought, but after some deliberation, the recently-repaired starships are sent on a voyage in a rimward direction. The Trodhuk are sedentary by nature and are not natural explorers; progress is slow, but eventually their fleet encounters colonies of the Riorappi, a somewhat crustacean or turtle-like species with radial symmetry, and one of the subject races of the Lataren Hegemony. Meanwhile, seeing that the Trodhuk are at the point of venturing beyond their home system, the Republic of Free Peoples decides the time is ripe for making open contact with the Trodhuk, and send one of their fleets to the volcanic world of Ilnion. For the Trodhuk, the galaxy has suddenly become a much more populated and complex place. Initial diplomacy with the Republic in particular is promising. Still there is no sign of the legendary Zurreons, the original mentors and guardians of the Trodhuk race...

    The Republic of Free Peoples is now perhaps the most complex polity the galaxy; no other civilization has the same mix of idealism, optimism, mutli-racialism, political divides, and deep-rooted psychological trauma from the events of millenia past. The revialist project led by the crustacean Shink species may well be stumbling; the simultaneous challenges of maintaining political unity, restoring ancient infrastructure, and reaching out to other space-faring races, all while maintaining their ideals and defending their coreward frontier against powerful nomadic fleets, combines to put a severe strain on the resources of the Republican project. The enigmatic nomad raider fleet known as ‘Brave Tungsten’ continues to pillage and destroy Republic outposts closest to the galactic core; the Republic does what it can to organise a determined resistance, but efforts are hampered by political deadlock on Cribos. A powerful Republic fleet is eventually gathered together, but receives no orders to advance against the raiders, and instead takes up a defensive position some distance from the frontier. However, on other fronts, there is cause for more optimism, as contact is established with the Trodhuk and the Lataren Hegemony; initial diplomacy with these aliens seems promising.



    The Ieldra Imperium begins to stir into action, sensing that the time has come to expand its gaze outwards once again, to recover and rebuild what has fallen into decay, and to spread enlightenment to a new generation of intelligent races. Initial focus is on the spinward frontier and the star system known as Arraneth; explorers examine ancient ruins floating in space throughout this system, and a forward base is established here, the first such station the Ieldra have constructed in thousands of years. Meanwhile, efforts are made to increase production of essential components, in preparation for the years to come. In practice, it proves easier to construct new fabrication plants than to restore decayed ancient facilities, even if the workable technology is not quite as elegant or efficient. And from the shrine world of Urghaal, contacts with the Scytari and Dharmanel are intensified, with both receiving technical help towards constructing their own FTL devices; the civilization of the centipede-like Scytari shows the most progress.

    Alarm now spreads through the Imperium as a mysterious alien fleet is sighted on the coreward frontier. Unlike the sporadic nomadic fleets that have been encountered in previous centuries, this fleet is both larger in number and seems to be led by a gigantic capital ship of clearly ancient origin, its hull scared with impact craters and marks of high-energy beam weapons. Hovering over a small Ieldra outpost on an unremarkable icy planet, it opens communications only once and briefly to give its apparent callsign, using two symbols from an ancient language that the Ieldra have not seen used in living memory: ‘Dead Thulium’; it is not clear if this is a mistranslation, a double-meaning, or perhaps the language has changed in intervening centuries. Nonetheless, the Ieldra scramble their own warships to meet this new threat. Days pass before a concentrated force arrives in the system. The Ieldra, thinking that they may still be outgunned, do not press an attack, but the alien fleet maintains its orbit and is unresponsive to any communications. Days later still, with no apparent prompt, there is a sudden surge of energy from the alien fleet, its capital ship soon surrounded by a vast glowing halo...

    [to be continued...]

    Link to Empire Stats (beta)

    OOC: just a point about stories, this came up in chat. Just to repeat, I’m not doing a story bonus as such, as I don’t want anyone to write from a sense of obligation or need to stay competitive. I prefer the system where all you *need* are orders or even just guidelines. But stories will help everyone understand your faction more, and help me to make better decisions.

    The galaxy is spinning anti-clockwise on the map. For most people, ‘spinward’ refers to a southeast direction, ‘anti-spinward’ is northwest, ‘inward’ (towards the core) is northeast and ‘outer’ is southwest.

    !Stats are being worked on - will be updated within 24 hours!
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  11. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    To Misaktoni Combine

    [ATTEND behold ATTEND]

    [OUR fathers and mothers and parents in the CONCORDANCE have only ever wanted us to BUILD. WILL you force us to BREAK our promise?]
     
  12. LordArgon

    LordArgon Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
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    Male
    To The Choir Of The Machines:
    Is building the function you were created for? If so then continue, for we have no problems with construction robots. We had been worried that the absence of your creators was by your design, but your faithful following of their orders shows us otherwise. It is unfortunate the fate that befell your creators, as we always welcome those with great knowledge into the combine.
     
  13. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,699
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    [BUILDING is not the function we were CREATED for.

    THRONES are SOVEREIGN. We do not follow ORDERS. To BUILD is a PROMISE and not a SHACKLE.

    YOU are free to send your REPRESENTING THRONE to the CONCORDANCE. Let our PARENTS BEHOLD your will]
     
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  14. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

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    Jai Lipo was a respected shipbroker.

    He had started his firm more than 30 years ago and had built it up to be a small-to-medium-sized threat to the established, blue chip shipbrokerages.

    For one lifetime, that was a significant achievement.

    And the best part was, he wasn't even dead yet!

    But that could change at any moment, especially in the solar rim.

    Jai Lipo fidgeted with his purple, brocaded velvet vest, which accented his pale blue skin wonderfully and had been hand tailored by his specialist. Within the concealed interior liner pocket, there was a bill of lading entitling to the release of 48,000 lods of distilled ice which were, as he had been carefully told, subject to a tax lien. Purportedly the result of some rather quotidian scum-skimming by the MiPo, the Telisite military police, Jai Lipo was intent on using this information to both gain leverage and make some c-bills. He knew that a) his 3% commission for chartering an ice hauler to bring this cargo out to Garryon Hab Dome would be the frosting on an already good month and b) every now and then, busting government corruption - the more ham-fisted, the better - was an important way to preserve his silver reputation from further tarnishing.

    How Mr. Alp had gotten so much distilled ice was, as yet, murky. But a bill of lading is a bill of lading: as the saying goes, possession is title.

    Flanked by two armed footmen, Jai Lipo turned down a corridor that led to Warehouse 481.

    It was one of the furthest-out warehouses belonging to the station. Many of the larger, bulkier cargoes were warehoused at the extreme arms of the station to allow for easier loading and unloading. That saved a lot of money on stevedoring costs even if, at the same time, being so far from the station's center and so exposed to space, occasional acts of theft and piracy were more common.

    "That's far enough!" barked one of the officers standing at the W481 gate. "Sir, this facility is off-limits."

    Jai Lipo smiled graciously. He took one more step forward. "And I'm very grateful to you and your men for keeping my cargo so securely locked away, sergeant."

    "You must have the wrong gate, sir. This cargo belongs to the Hiween Republic Customs Office." The sergeant held out a hand. "Let's see your papers?"

    "Yes." Jai Lipo extended a set of copies to the sergant. "You'll find it all in order, the copies are notarized and apostilled for intrasystem conveyance. My credentials are included. I'm conducting a handoff for this consignment on behalf of LPP Chartering and Logistics. The freighter MRBS Golan Ator will be docking here in under 12 hours during its scheduled rimward transit while en route to Greenbelt, so some alacrity is called for."

    "I'll need to take this up the chain."

    "Of course." Jai Lipo's empathetically mirrored the sergant's concern. "This all comes so suddenly, but only just now could I get this bill properly endorsed. Please take my card and pass it along to your superior."

    The shipbroker waved his index finger in the sergant's direction, triggering a direct upload of his data.

    Whoever was involved in this would need to get in touch quickly. LPP Chartering and Logistics had already been contracted with for the cargo, and they did not take kindly to deadfreight.

    "Oh. I'm sure you don't mind if I leave my two friends here to keep you company?"

    Jai Lipo's two footmen maneuvered to opposite sides of the corridor.

    The sergant then saw they had been carrying energy shields and repeating recoilless rifles, which they had begun to set up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  15. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    It's great to see some diplomacy getting started :)

    I've updated the stats (beta), link at the bottom of the update. I've overwritten the same google doc, but will be keeping backups of previous turns if anyone wants them.

    I promise I will eventually update people on projects and secrets. If anyone wants to ping me pressing questions on discord etc please feel free.

    :salute:
     
  16. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 The Continuation of the Dream Supporter

    Joined:
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    To: The Misaktoni Combine
    From: The Union of Zövlölt States

    On behalf of the Zövlölt people, the Union of Zövlölt States greets the Misaktoni Combine in the name of interstellar peace and cooperation.

    From our understanding, we have mistakenly built refueling stations in areas that are sovereign to the Misaktoni people. We sincerely apologise and will dismantle them upon request. We will not intrude upon your lands further without first consulting your government.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  17. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Hello, I think I have caught up on covert ops / secrets. If I missed anything feel free to give me a nudge.

    I'm setting an orders deadline of Friday midnight GMT, 6th March



    :salute:
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  18. JimWUK

    JimWUK Chieftain

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    Male
    HeWhohasBeenBeyond bowed to HisImperialMajestyCommunityLeaderInChief and made his report, floating bowed before the court.

    "Lol and unto you great greetings from HeWhohasBeenBeyond, for so it is that I have. I left our world and journeyed on the outside, verily the surface of the stormy oceans. By your orders, MightyFatOnetooLargetoLeaveThrone, I did ascend and pushed through into nothingness. Yet the nothing moved, and I was cold, and though movement along the border was easy, moving away was less so... I, and those whom I have the honour to lead, found the strange place, which has been designated Island, a word from the old libraries of our ancestors. Verily the mission was continued and we explored this land, and found much that is best not spoken of, even in this august and select group....the lore masters have them and will make report. I have a strange gift for you MySoveriegnLordWorthyofObesience a golden stick that makes fire!"

    He flicks open the small device and rubs his thumb rapidly on the lever. Bubbles left the device and floated upwards, but no 'fire'.

    "Hmm, strange, it worked fine on the Island...." he says and shakes it vigourously!
     
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  19. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    “Now transmitting live from Starbase Midway with the new Magnetron PX9 multi-pulse-band signal! 830 trillion watts of power!”

    An upbeat, excited theme gave way once again to the announcer’s deep voice -

    “You’ve been waiting for months. Now the dramatic skydrop is here! Brought to you by TMC Talisite Mining Consortium and Blue Gronx Energy Drinks - drink Blue so you can power through! - daredevil Ari Lo will jump down from Starbase Midway to the surface of Mekis, touching down in Centerville after dodging the asteroid mining belt and satcom ring. Ari, what do you think?“

    “I’ll be diving 28,000 li in my exosuit, the view is going to be out of this world!”

    “Now for those of you watching on the comnet you’ll see a trajectory of the dive and all the obstacles Ari will be avoiding. At an altitude of 22,000 li, there’s the mid-orbit TMC belt station and refueling platform. They’ve lit their beacons to help guide Ari down and keep him on course. According to our meteorologists, there’s a two and a half hour window starting now where the belt is clear. At 19,000 li, Ari, you‘ll start running into the first satellites that you’ll need to keep an eye on, isn’t that right?

    “Yes, it is Dav! I’ve been training for this dive for a long time and I can’t wait to get in the air. And of course I downed a delicious Blue Gronx already so you just know I’m ready to power through! Those satellites don’t stand a chance, ha ha! And once I’m past the satellites, it should be smooth sailing because commercial low-orbit air traffic has been re-routed for about 100 li in all directions from the target landing site.”

    A slight uptick in the tempo of the music indicated that the transmission was about to shift gears.

    “All right, ladies and gentlemen, whether you are watching from Mekis or from orbit or if you’re listening star- or rimward, or hell, even if you are 70 light years away, you should be hearing us loud and clear on our Magnetron PX9! Having trouble getting through? Then the Magnetron PX9 is right for you! Thanks for tuning in to AAGO TM 4890 - get ready for the ride of a lifetime!”

    (If anyone is listening... :) )
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  20. LordArgon

    LordArgon Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    368
    Gender:
    Male
    To: The Union of Zövlölt States
    From: The Miskatoni Combine

    We have a saying adapted into more modern times that states, "A refueling station is a terrible thing to waste." Your refueling station happens to be in the perfect location for supporting a trade route between our systems. We shall be sending merchant envoys to help better our translation and find what goods would be the best to exchange between our worlds.
     

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