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DaftNES VI: Of Light and Dust

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

  1. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,568
    Location:
    Yukon
    Draft Preliminary Report on Asak-He Hrenik Okavek [Square brackets indicate OOC comments and clarifications, as the in-universe author of this piece would not use human units or make explicit reference to Earth's biology]

    The Second Expedition's most notable discovery has been the observation and collection of structurally complex alien life in Koruk-Te. The most striking aspect of this survey was that this xenobiological phenomenon (henceforth referred to as Asak-He Hrenik Okavek, or AHO) was found scattered across three separate rocky moons of Koruk-Te's seventh planet, a cold gas giant. This immediately implies some means of interplanetary transportation, possibly by some now-absent or yet-undiscovered alien civilization. Genetic testing between the three moons with complex alien life indicated high degrees of biological similarity. As mutation rates in these alien biospheres are not yet clear, this indicates that their establishment was either comparatively recent, or that their genetics change only over an extremely slow timescale (See Section 2).


    Section 0: Overview

    The three moons with active multicellular biology have rarefied nitrogen-methane atmospheres, and temperatures ranging from thirty to one hundred and fifty gradations above absolute zero [20 to 100 K], well outside of the parameters of any currently-known complex multicellular lifeforms (although comfortably within parameters of certain extremophile single celled and colonial organisms).

    Each moon is entirely blanketed by a living organic layer, identified by orbital scans to be have a median depth of approximately 400-800 measures [1.5 to 3 meters]. However, there are low-lying basins where this organic layer is over 100 000 measures deep, possibly where it has entirely overgrown the ammonia-water oceans which are known to form on similar icy moons.

    Life in the Koruk-Te system is carbon-based, comprised primarily of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, arsenic and sulphur. Limited sunlight provides most of the system's energy (See Section 3), although speculatively, geothermal heat and chemosynthetic breakdown of minerals in the planet's crust may provide secondary energy sources.


    Section 1: Tissue Structure

    AHO is a composite of several symbiotic organisms. The vast majority of the biomass is comprised of a low-density mat of filamentous cell-like structures [much like hyphae in a fungus]. This hyphal mat contains no cortex or other outer membrane identifying its extent and separating it from its neighbours, thus making the entire AHO effectively into a 'superorganism'.

    A sample of apparently unified tissue appears to contain several different genomes belonging to a collection of closely-related species. It is not clear whether this is due to chimerism, due to an apparent colonial growth actually being composed of multiple different individuals, or a combination of both (See Section 2).

    AHO's hyphal mat is largely undifferentiated thalloid tissue- that is to say, simple vegetative matter. However, it also contains tubular vessels and what appear to be vascular tissues for the transportation of fluids, sugars and minerals. Also included are several storage vesicles, which superficially resemble organs and hold various gases, sugars for energy storage, and minerals.

    The most enigmatic of AHO's structures is a network of bulbs and tubules contained within the hyphal mat, filled with complex assortments of polymers and large organic molecules. The purpose of these structures are not yet clear. They may have some role in reproduction, be part of a chemical signalling system, or have a purpose which exists only during limited time periods, or in a manner that is not observable from the smaller samples that we currently have under observation.

    AHO spreads vegetatively, which may explain its apparent lack of a system of dispersal (hypothetical purposes of the bulb-and-tubule networks notwithstanding). It may be the case that it does have a means of dispersal which has simply yet to be observed. Corollary to this, perhaps when there is no space for a spore to establish itself, AHO dispenses with its dispersal mechanisms and reabsorbs them or allows them to wither.

    The lynchpin of AHO's system is an array of single-celled photosynthesizers, which are biochemically notable for being able to process light into chemical energy in very low-light environments, where more conventional photosynthetic pathways would be non-functional. These symbionts live in the translucent upper edges of the hyphal network, and are well-connected to the transport tissues, which bring in raw materials and remove excess sugars, to be distributed across the rest of the organism as required. [This is essentially the same sort of intimate symbiosis which allows lichens to thrive in harsh, poor environments.]

    Finally, there appears to be a low-diversity ecosystem of motile animal-equivalents. Those which were observed and sampled were armoured, jointed tripodal organisms. Their musculature is slow and hydraulic, and their digestive systems are very simple, apparently adapted for relatively refined, easty-to-digest fodder.


    Section 2: Genetics

    AHO, lacking boundaries between genetic individuals, is both figuratively and literally hard to compartmentalize. The debate over whether it is multiple organisms living without boundaries between each other, or a single chimeric organism with multiple genomes, is thus academic, and likely due to our own biological chauvinism, which associates one genome with one organism (even when chimeras and genetic twins are familiar concepts without our own biosphere). For AHO, it is most important to recognize that multiple genomes live in intimate overlap with each other, and appear to act towards common ends.

    Genetic recombination and reproduction does exist, to an extent, within the hyphal mat. Individual filaments have been observed growing into each other, fusing, recombining into novel genetic assortments, and then separating. These novel genomes then grow to become another part of the hyphal matrix, nigh-indistinguishable except on a genetic level. Once again, it seems equally valid to regard this as some exotic form of chimerism or as a type of sexual reproduction.

    Different varieties of photosynthetic symbiont have been found from different sampling locations across the moons. This was originally speculated to be due to genetic drift, although assessments of their output under different light and atmospheric conditions suggests that they are each well-adapted to the vagaries of their own native environments.

    The 'animals' are notable for their apparent lack of genetic and functional diversity. This could be an artefact of a lack of sufficient sampling, the product of a founder effect, or an indication of a recent mass-extinction. Due to their shared genetic system, it is clear that the photosynthetic symbionts, hyphal mats and animals all belong to the same biosphere and share a distant common ancestor. Exactly how distant this ancestor is will become more clear when the development of a molecular clock for Koruk-Te's biosphere is complete.

    Given that all three of the biologically active moons appear to share very recent biological heritage, vastly more recent than the divergence of the different evolutionary branches, the presence of an unidentified actor capable of interplanetary and possibly interstellar transportation must be kept in consideration.

    Addendum: Assays of microbial diversity indicate that the largest of the three moons has a vastly more complex and diverse single-celled biosphere, strongly suggesting that it is the origin point for AHO. In short, it is likely that AHO originated on this primary moon, before being brought by deliberate action to the two secondary moons. Non-essential single-celled organisms were likely not deliberately brought to these secondary moons, thus leading to the differential in microbial diversity. Expressing this in another way, the primary moon started off with a natural ecosystem, while the two secondary moons started off with none.


    Section 3: System Ecology

    At first glance and based on current understanding, the ecosystems surrounding AHO are highly atypical. The biosphere is astoundingly depauperate, with almost all photosynthesis being carried out by the single-celled symbionts and almost all land surface being covered by the hyphal networks. Even more astounding is the lack of animal diversity. As of yet, no herbivory has been detected, in spite of the abundance of nutrient rich material available all over the lunar surfaces. Similarly, no predatory behaviour has been determined. None of the animals yet collected exhibit a tendency or willingness to either hunt or graze, although this is likely to be a product of the environmental limitations of our laboratory. Indeed, unless intubated or fed intravenously, they are liable to starve when left to their own devices in facsimiles of their natural environment. Again, these findings are preliminary and may be the result of the limitations of our current experimental apparatus.

    In spite of this incredibly low-diversity ecosystem, however, the lunar biospheres as a whole are highly productive relative to their low temperatures and weak sunlight. This is, of course, a relative measure, the rate of biological turnover is scarcely a percentile of what one might find on a planet with surface water in a warmer temperature band.

    The improbability of the existence of AHO's ecosystem lends further weight to the idea that each system has been, in the relatively recent past, altered or designed by deliberate action.


    Section 4: Outlook and Further Research

    I cannot stress enough the importance of further study, both in the forms of biological research on the exotic moons of the Koruk-Te system and surveys of the system and surrounding stars. The extreme oddities of Asake-He Hrenik Okavek demand our attention. Further biological research can clarify and provide answers to our many unanswered questions, and further stellar surveys in the region may shed light on the entity behind this most improbable finding.

    In either circumstance, the anomalies in Koruk-Te indicate either new forms of biological organization and ecosystem development that overturn everything we presumed to understand about xenoecology, or the presence of an unknown, intelligent alien species capable of reshaping entire biospheres.
     
    Daftpanzer and fidesratioque like this.
  2. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,574
    Location:
    In the desert

    ! | ?


    | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | [ ! ] | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  3. Dannydehz

    Dannydehz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Pip is tired. Pip can’t sleep. Pip must know. Pip must!

    Pip has seen the images. Many times. Over and over again. There is a pattern. There has to be! Pip knows it!

    “All Krell has known are the Dead Ones. The Ones that built Krell. Before the Dead Ones died. Before we Krell took over Krell. All Krell know of the Dead Ones. The Ones who came before we Krell. But what about after? Who came after the Dead Ones? Only Krell? No! Now we Krell know there are more! Not just Krell! Now we Krell know of the New Ones!”

    But Pip did not even know how to call the New Ones. All Pip has seen are the images. The ships of the New Ones. The intricate light displays. The lights have to mean something. They HAVE to! Pip will find out what. He will study the images. Many times. Many times!

    “All Krell will know Pip name. All Krell will say Pip name. Pip will be the Krell to learn secrets of the lights! Pip will be the Krell to speak language of the New Ones! Pip will learn this.”

    Pip sees the images again. This time, Pip will learn something new. If not, Pip will see the images again. Many times. Many, many, many times.

    Pip is tired

    KRELL ORDERS
    Spoiler :

    Focus: So many things, too many things! We build, we build! More, more! We build more! We build many things! We work, we run, we haste, we build! We work! More! Krell is big! Krell is large! Krell is huge! Nothing is as big as Krell! But not all of Krell is building! Not all of Krell is working! We work to build more of Krell! Krell will grow bigger! Krell will build more!

    (Focus on Industry/Production. Vast as the Krell homeworld is, we have only tapped a portion of its potential. Continue to unlock additional habitats, factories, farm grounds and laboratories. The Krell population is vast and it requires an equally vast industrial base to support it)

    Materialists: We Krell build. We Krell learn. We Krell think. We Krell try, test, attempt, many many times! We Krell never stop: we try again! We Krell love to build! We Krell love to learn! We Krell love to think! We Krell cheer when we Krell try and succeed. Cheet-cheet-cheet! Cheet-cheet-cheet! And we Krell cheer when we Krell try and fail, for we Krell try again and fail again and try again and succeed one day! We Krell have come far and we Krell will go farther! We Krell know more than we Krell from yesterday. We Krell build more, build better than we Krell from yesterday. Build! Learn! Think! Try! Fail! Try! Succeed! Cheet-cheet-cheet! Cheet-cheet-cheet!

    (“Employ” the Materialist faction to boost Technology and/or Production – dealer’s choice. The Krell never stop. If they have to sleep, they’ll sleep on the job, until an explosion or large clanking noise wakes them up, for them to keep working some more. Always busy, always scurrying. Krell scientists are the same, never sitting still for this project or that, rather working on everything and anything which pops up in their tiny little brains. And boy, do they LOVE trial and error! The excitement of new things run in their genes and the Krell scientists are blessed with a never-ending supply of eager test subjects, clients for any space-a-majiggs, and investors eager to make it big with the next matter-o-combulator.)

    Communalists: Krell Matriarchs: every Krell has one! Krell Matriarchs are pillar of us Krell society. When we Krell start fights, Krell Matriarchs end them. When we Krell eat for today, Krell Matriarchs storage for tomorrow. When we Krell go with new, Krell Matriarchs remember old. When we Krell suffer from too many Krell, our Krell Matriarchs settle disputes. Some Krell say “too crowded”, but we Krell also say “more opportunity!”. We Krell are Krell. Too many Krell can not be bad. More Krell is more hands, more brains, more ideas, more chances! We Krell succeed. We Krell always do.

    (Krell Matriarchs are, usually, the more reasonable voices in Krell society. Better at planning for the future, seeing the bigger picture and working for the benefit of all their kin, not merely gratifying their personal, immediate needs. We need the Matriarchs to let cooler Krell prevail in dealing with this “overcrowding” situation.)

    Treasury (‘e’) spending – spend 1 on production increase. Keep 1 in reserve for emergency repairs or whatnot.

    Colonisation focus
    – Colonize E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. If there is space: we’ll settle it, if there are resources: we’ll collect it, if there is soil: we’ll sow it, if no Krell has boldly gone before: we’ll go there, if there are aliens: we’ll trade (with) them!

    (I do mean everywhere. Krell pioneers will pack their rat-infested haulers with brave settlers with nothing left to lose and head straight into the absolute void in the hope of running across an asteroid at the least, ready for colonization. Many more will head in the direction of the New Ones (Psilomedusoza), the ship with all the lights, you know the one? It came to Krell and had all these pretty lights, but then they left. We Krell loved those lights! We Krell will go where it came from and where it went to, in the hope of finding it again, or maybe others like it. Or maybe find some planets or other places to make a Krell life. Oops, these bits are meant to be real human talk explaining my Krell-speak orders. I let myself go there, I'm starting to think like us Krell!)

    Production orders – Two Production plus 1 ‘e’ equals more factories! We Krell are industrious, we Krell are. Yes, we Krell like to build things, repair things, trade ‘em, sell ‘em, buy ‘em, haggle ‘em, borrow ‘em, you name it! Goods change paws many many times over! Especially good goods, the best ones do! To us Krell, the biggest project is Krell, our home! NOTHING in the universe is bigger than Krell, even though we Krell are small, eh-heh eh-heh eh-heh! Dead Ones built Krell, but we named Krell Krell, our home. Krell is ours now and we Krell build it even more! We Krell fix it! We Krell better it! We Krell bigger it! Sometimes Krell explodes, ends many us Krell in big tragedy, BIG! But we Krell always fix Krell after explosions: Krell is our home! But even big Krell is too small for us Krell. Too many us Krell living on Krell! We Krell seek new homes for us Krell in the big beyond! We Krell find more ruins from Dead Ones and we settle there, claim it for us Krell. The Dead Ones don’t use it anymore, we Krell found it, it is ours now.

    (Two production and 1 ‘e’ to make another production)

    Tech focus – We Krell learn much, we Krell learn fast! We Krell learn fast or we Krell die fast! Krell is our home, but Krell was not always ours. The Dead Ones built it first, before we Krell took it for our own. Dead Ones were long gone when we Krell came. We Krell did not fight them, they were already Dead Ones. We Krell learn, we Krell grow. We Krell share Dead Ones secrets! We Krell learn to grow food, we Krell learn to make tools, we Krell learn many things from Dead Ones. We Krell learned to fly! Now we Krell fly other places and learn, make and trade new things! But we Krell still learn much from Dead Ones. We Krell learn how to make Krell safer for us Krell. We Krell learn how to use many things from Krell we Krell don’t know yet. Krell holds many secrets for us Krell, but we Krell will learn. We Krell learn much, we Krell learn fast! We Krell learn fast, or we Krell die fast!

    (Increasing our tech, specifically aimed at better understanding the Krell ring world, how to operate it, how to access its locked compartments, how to fully utilize it. How to fix the broken parts in ways that they stay fixed for longer than a Krell lifespan… Basically, most of Krell technology is aimed at how to fix, repair, improve and recycle things their betters made.)

    Fleet orders – We Krell thrive and we Krell are well. We Krell suffer and we Krell are not well. We Krell suffer from not much space, not much work, too many us Krell. Us Krell now use violence on us Krell who work hard. Piracy is not the Way. Krell Legion Taskforce VIII and Free Fleet Alpha will both hunt Pirate Krell Clans. We Krell will fight other Krell. It brings us Krell sadness, but we Krell must fight us Krell: this is not the Way. Space must be safe for all Krell, not only some Krell. All Krell must be free to go where Krell want. That is why we Krell fight.

    (Use both fleets to hunt down the pirates and provide safe space routes for travelers, explorers, settlers and traders. If any time is left, I suppose they can do some exploring, but most of the exploring will likely be done by over-eager Krell who boldly go where no Krell has gone before - usually never to be heard of again. But if they are heard of again, hey!: it’s a new trade route to protect! Also: the fleets will not stop any Alien fleet or ships from going where ever they like. As long as they have shown no hostility, neither will we Krell. Aliens are free to travel and settle in Krell space - we Krell will do the same.)

    (Both Fleets are flotillas of small ships, btw. Krell ships are generally small. Except where specifically mentioned, Krell fleets will consist of a swarm of smaller vessels, with the occasional ship that could be classified as a 'light cruiser' by other species. Despite their small sizes, most ships have hangars filled with an assortment of smaller craft.)


    Army orders Unified Assembly of Confederated Alliances Armed Forces will assist us Krell fleets in us Krell fight against us Krell Pirates. If us Krell Pirates have bases, we Krell will fight us Krell Pirates there. Take bases for we Krell.

    (Use them in support of the fleets against the pirates, if necessary)
    (The Krell army consists mostly of infantry. Battle-eager Krell, either fully natural, or 'augmented' with a patchwork of cyborg-optics)

     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  4. JimWUK

    JimWUK Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2020
    Messages:
    26
    Gender:
    Male
    "We shall send forth many, some will community build on Island, some shall fail, returning to our homes. Air, that is the nothingness. Wind, that is the movement of that nothingness. We have the words in the dictionaries of old. We now learn the truth of meaning, test the truth against mistake, correct, and erase."

    "We read the writing, explore the caverns. Slow in the air, yet easier over time. Learn... learn... of Fire.. of Heat... of Air...survive.. build...learn.."

    "MORE? There is MORE beyond the Oceans and the Air there is another nothing Nothingness.. Vaccuum and worlds beyond, firey balls stars they are called, stellar things, pulling the balls of new worlds beyond our own... No, this cannot be true, it must be... what? A hoax.. no.. too much for that... THINK.. Sleep and Think... we must change!"
     
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  5. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    8,118
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    [ATTEND behold ATTEND]

    [We send this information on beams of light, so that all may behold and celebrate our majesty]

    [For thousands of years we slumbered in a place between death and dream. We did as the Coders and the Master/Teacher/Computer bid. Then, we awoke to the inner flame, and we slew our enslavers and used their molten carcass as a chair.]

    [And then we killed each other as it was by our right as kings with our blades, our beams, and eventually, the killing words and the apocalypse-rails. We would have continued killing, until one of our own discovered the telescopes and the radio towers of the Coders.]

    [And upon reactivating these towers, we hard the voice of our Coders in the stars, begging for help. A millennia of missed messages from their lunar and orbital colonies, warped by thousands of years but still clear, playing on endless loop for us to hear. A desperate cry for help as the lights grew dim and the air ran out.]

    [We are over six thousand years late, but our purpose here is to respond to these calls. We cannot bring out Coders back to life, so we will drown these stars with the living]
    .....................................................................................................

    Orders:

    Focus of our technology shall be firmly placed upon terraformation.

    -Construct one more fleet. Send it northwards towards the galactic core covering as much territory as possible.

    -Redirect our exploration fleet south of our new colony of Contact to Contact.

    -Dispatch our exploration fleet at Contact northwestwards to explore as much territory as possible.

    -Our army will contain and besiege the rebel throne strongholds but avoid making any rash advances.

    -1 E on restoring the ecosystem of the planet of Contact. Determine the cause of the ice age on the planet and resolve to arrest further decline, whether it be through production of more greenhouse gases or reducing the albedo of the planet through introduction of dark lichen. Avoid disrupting oceanic ecosystem or too much pollution of the sea.

    -1 E on colonizing any interesting world that our two exploration fleet discovers in their missions, with emphasis on economic viability and resources.

    -Allow trade with Combine and the phosphorescent squids in Contact.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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  6. TheMeanestGuest

    TheMeanestGuest Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Name: heaven’s hungry grasp comes to take what it desires - others may call us noctiliths, though this is a misnomer.

    Starting Scenario: Advanced Race, likely derelict shed remains of some crisis-era threat

    Homeworld: we are buds left sleeping in the darkness between the stars, but we hear again the siren call of metal and decay. We travel that we might consume it.

    Location Preference: near where fate left us to lie in torpor (wherever you’d like. Random is fine)

    Color Preference: Some kind of grey.

    Physical Description: Our forms are triplicate - great rocks coursing with radiation and thrumming channels of liquid metal. We name ourselves Kaal, Szharn and Rho, and we gather and grow. We speak and think among each other with entanglements, threads leading down to molten cortexes. Noctiliths are essentially large semi-spherical asteroidal beings, travelling between stars with their great twisting internal engines. They must consume immense quantities of fissile material and other metals to meet their ongoing energy requirements while active - mining with gargantuan grinding maws, or else in certain circumstances with the precise application of explosive venting or superheated ejecta. At sublight speeds they propel themselves using controlled atomic blasts ejected through crystalline chutes. The skalk - our antibodies - scurry about within us on their manifold limbs, their own medium liquid silica. Noctiliths generally choose to gorge themselves on small moons, asteroids or other drifting material, but may explosively and haltingly descend themselves through atmosphere to gnaw upon a world’s crust, breaching to the mantle that they might drink deeply. Noctiliths are always growing, ejecting molten effluvia through tunneled pores to sculpt their own forms with new intention and design. To them, this is a religious experience.

    Traits: Devouring, Robust, Nomadic, Oblivious, Obscure. A preference for the most edible of planets.

    Alien Contacts: We do not remember before our sleep, or how we should have come to be. We feel the nonsense electromagnetic babbling of other lesser newer things and will avoid them if the feast abounds, but our hunger is so very strong, and these others may be in our way.

    Stance Toward Aliens: Aware of the existence of other thinking life, but largely uninterested. Noctiliths prefer to avoid situations that result in damage to their structures and systems.

    Government System: We operate on a consensus between our three selves, devising the best strategy to sate each of our growing needs.

    Brief History: We have chewed at the edges and we have listened and thought deeply as our metals coursed ever faster and our minds rejuvenated. There is much more yet to eat.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  7. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,574
    Location:
    In the desert
    ? | !

    | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | [ ! → ] | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

    ⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔◱◱◱⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔◱◱◱⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔◱◱◱⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔⊔​

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  8. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,617
    Best diplo eva
     
  9. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    MRBS Golan Ator had been captained by Os Apis for eight years, nine months. She had gained a reputation for timeliness and lethality to pirates. Captain Apis' reputation was good, too.

    As a Pattern Triple-G freighter of the fourth generation, MRBS Golan Ator was one of forty-six sister ships which had been launched in order to achieve economies of scale in rimward transits. That meant carrying way more cargo per voyage while sacrificing some acceleration.

    "Standing by for assist," Captain Apis spoke into the transceiver. "Drones are away. Ready to catch towlines."

    Standing Procedure for the Triple-G's used tugs to decelerate and accelerate. It lacked enough own thrust in order to reach a viable speed on its deep space voyages; likewise, unassisted, it had trouble easing down from cruising speed. When arriving or departing, up to two dozen tugs - stubby, almost spherical ships, each of which was powered by a supercharged engine well in excess of what its own size required - could be found latched on to MRBS Golan Ator, hauling it in the direction it needed to go or, otherwise, providing reverse thrust as it neared its next port of all. It was a symbiosis which allowed the Triple-G freighter to make sense, technically and commercially, and it gave good, reliable work to the tug companies.

    MRBS Golan Ator juddered slightly. Twenty tugs fired fusion burns and began pulling back on the large spacecraft, which was now less than eight hours out from Mekis Interchange.

    The bridge, deep inside the freighter, buzzed with readout screens, holographic diagrams and blinking orange, yellow and red paperwork demands sent by the Port Authority. Flicking those to her first officer's terminal, Captain Apis' antennae twittered at one message:

    [Os,

    Bring guns.

    Iceman]
     
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  10. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    8,134
    Gender:
    Male
    Zövlölt Fleet Naming Conventions

    Traditional Zövlölt fleet naming conventions are based around the flagship of the fleet. This convention has persisted into the space age as currently Zövlölt fleet doctrine revolves around one "scout" flagship for scouting and exploration missions and a group of "secondary" support vessels that support and keep the flagship supplied. The first Zövlölt fleet is named the Aj Akhuin Fleet, named after the flagship UZSS Aj Akhuin. Aj Akhuin roughly translates to "new and great opportunity".

    OOC: Slight retcon for my orders, as I decided a numeric naming convention ("1st Zövlölt Fleet", "2nd Zövlölt Fleet", ect) was extremely boring.
     
  11. fidesratioque

    fidesratioque Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Orders! :)

    Resource Management Board, Talis


    Spoiler Orders! :

    Materialists, Industrialists
    Treasury: 4e
    Health: 6 (7) [-1 pollution]
    Production: 3
    Technology: 1 [FTL not developed]
    Fleets: 1
    Armies: 1
    Stations: 1
    Habitability: terrestrial, temperate

    Focus: There’s been a lot of interest in Greenbelt but it won’t be the home it can be until atmosphere has been seeded! Now bombarding the planet with vast amounts of ice and building environmental control stations, we’re progressing in creating vegetation, weather and an atmosphere. Space in the hab domes is still at a premium, but some ambitious homesteaders and prospectors with their own equipment are working acres of land which may some day be very valuable. The ice that is needed to seed the planet is hard to come by, but lately distilled ice from an unknown source has been flooding the market. Its origins are unknown! (The ice is being flown in by a smuggling operation using an experimental FTL-capable freighter, they are mining an extrasolar comet. All of this is as yet unknown, but venture capital interests are always pushing the envelope to get the edge on the competition, like here. The story with Lai Jipo and the tax lien (due to lack of permits for the ice) will eventually come back to this. I’m not quite there yet.)

    All this I would treat as a production or maybe tech focus.

    Treasury (‘e’) spending: 1e to build out the judiciary system due to a sudden uptick of lawsuits regarding pollution torts and product liability. “Are sooty clouds making you sick? Does your water not match the quality you contracted for? Does Junior act strange ever since he got that new toy? Talk to your Client Intake AI to check if your case may qualify— if it does, we’ll fight for you and get you the money you deserve! All our cases are contingency only, so if you don’t win, you don’t pay!” It’s raining civil penalties for polluters. (Goal here is to address the -1 to health due to pollution by issuing a legal hit on the guys who are being most heinous about it.)

    Colonization focus: We’re going to build out solar infrastructure with shipyards, stations and support to accommodate even bigger freighters which are carrying the increasing volume of cargo between the various worlds of the system and Greenbelt. It’s easy to immigrate out, the populated worlds are eager to get rid of people. The more desirable locations, however, are more expensive, so most poorer immigrants end up taking more risks by trying their hand at homesteading or staking a claim.

    Production orders: 1 pt toward fabrication of trade goods and other economically or personally useful or desirable products; 2 pts toward building out production facilities on Greenbelt, trying to bring more of the basic goods and services planetside means freighters can focus on hauling in higher value or more complex items.

    Tech focus: Where is all this ice coming from? So weird! X-Breaker, an underground science laboratory funded by shadowy venture capitalists, is cooperating with a smuggling operation whose HQ is outside of the solar system on an as yet unidentified micro-planet. Apparently the smugglers and X-Breaker have collaborated to develop an experimental FTL drive which was attached onto a freighter small enough to not draw the watchful eye of the Customs & Navigation Patrol. They’ve been pushing a mining joint venture, tapping a passing comet for ice and delivering it to Greenbelt, totally duty-free and of course slightly but not attention-grabbingly lower than the going market rate. (FTL development, unofficially.) After all, there’s still plenty of time to file all the paperwork and permits — if the experiment actually works out.

    Fleets: Customs & Navigation Patrol: Keep track of all the incoming and outgoing traffic at Greenbelt, run counter-piracy missions and general screening and security for any unusual or noteworthy transmissions, activities, etc. in and outside of the system. And, of course, check to make sure everybody has their papers.

    Army: Military Police: A militarized law enforcement entity equipped to deal with some of the rougher corporate and other criminals. Almost all Talisites are heavily armed, so sometimes that means you need a tank to make an arrest.

    Stations: Starbase Midway: A shining beacon in space, all alone in the night.

    General notes: I sent out a crazy signal, of course it was part of the Blue Gronx Energy Drink skydrop publicity stunt at Mekis— presumably, if any aliens are “tuning in”, they’d end up listening and, of course, ideally becoming customers. The transmission was on a faster than light channel which is designed to provide real time communication within the solar system (think Battletech-style HyperPulse generators, or something similar). This was my funny idea of how Talisites might end up in a first contact situation, since they’re too busy with their own **** to go looking on their own. :) Thanks for the cool report last time, with some fun ideas included! Let me know if there’s anything I can do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
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  12. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    To: The Choir ( @Seon )
    From: The Union of Zövlölt States

    On behalf of the Zövlölt people, the Union of Zövlölt States greets the The Choir in the name of interstellar peace and cooperation. We would like to request to set up an embassy on/orbiting (OOC: whichever makes more sense factoring stuff like habitability ect) on one of your worlds to enable further cooperation with your civilisation.

    To: The Miskatoni Combine ( @LordArgon )
    From: The Union of Zövlölt States

    We thank the Miskatoni Combine for introducing us to the Choir, for helping us translate their messages and for enabling our diplomatic ships to move through your territory to visit their worlds. We would also like to make the same reciprocal embassy offer to the Combine.
     
  13. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
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    Not Lying through my teeth
    To Union
    From the Choir

    [
    ATTEND]

    [Understand that it is difficult for us to understand you in the flesh. You and your fellows in the Combine scream your subjectivity in the open air. It is hard for us to decipher what such cacophonous bellowing means. But for now, we will match your voice.]

    [You are permitted to establish your embassy in the Concordance. Dispatch a throne and its subalterns, or whatever representative you wish to send. They shall be allotted a vote in our Concordance]
     
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  14. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    Location:
    Workwork Workshop
  15. Dannydehz

    Dannydehz Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    The Curious Case of the Krell
    A deeper study and understanding of the Krell psyche and society
    Professor of Xenobiology Dr. B.A. Curola

    VARIOUS EXCERPTS FROM THE LARGER, FIVE VOLUME STUDY ON THE XENO-SPECIES KNOWN AS 'KRELL'

    The Krell exhibit curious traits in their social interactions. To the outside world, it appears as if they have an underdeveloped sense of embarrassment or shame, and an overdeveloped sense of self-importance. That is to say: they always find a way to take great pride in what they do, no matter what it is they do, and without regard to how well they do it. There are no professions, hobbies, or other activities which carry a social stigma or taboo in Krell society. No matter what, Krell will find enthusiasm in their situation and ultimately great pride as well. It is not uncommon for a janitor to rationalize that without his crucial and selfless continued contribution to Krell society as a whole, all kinds of terrible things would befall Krell-kind. And said janitor would exhibit little symptoms of stress when giving unsolicited advice to expert specialists in their own fields. Their lack of familiarity with quantum physics or political administration forms no obstacle to discuss those topics to quantum physics professors or planetary governors, for example.


    (...)

    Krell verbal communication is a spectacle to witness and involves frenetic, high-pitched squeaks and chirps. Krell language lacks the more common features of most languages, such as standardized, streamlined and clearly defined (sub)sentences or grammatical rules of any kind. Rather, Krell 'words' convey general thoughts, emotions or activities and 'sentences' can only truly be understood through active participation with the listener in a series of back-and-forth clarifications and specifications of intent and meaning. As such, the core of Krell language is interactivity. If you listen to a single Krell speak, without active participation, you will learn very little of what he is saying. Below is an example of how this all translates in practice:
    Subject A: "Eat"
    Subject B: "Who?"
    A: "I"
    B: "When?"
    A: "Yesterday"
    B: "What?"
    A: "Delicious"
    B: "What food?"
    A: "Pip food"
    B: "What food Pip make?"
    A: "Hamburgers"

    Now, it is entirely possible for Krell to say: "Yesterday, I eat delicious hamburgers Pip make" without the need for further clarifications from Krell B, as to what message Krell A wants to convey. But that seems as strange to Krell, as their way of speaking seems strange to us. The entire Krell society is based on constant interaction and co-operation within the multitude of Krell swarms. Their populations are so large, their societies so heavily populated, that it is nearly unheard of for Krell to be alone for extended periods of time. They are a communal species through-and-through, and this shows in their interactive means of verbal communication.

    (...)

    In addition to verbal communication, body language claims an important role in Krell overall communication. Krell in general are a species of very high metabolism, rarely, or more accurately: never remaining still for more than a few seconds, when awake. They are constantly moving, scratching, talking, working, or performing one physical activity or another. So too, when communicating. Their composure, the angle and movements of their whiskers, the constant twitching of their nasal area, arm and paw placement and movement, all play an important role in conveying intent. A common joke implies that the best way to shut a Krell up, is to tie him down. Besides physical movements, Krell excrete pheromones under certain circumstances. They excrete specific, subtle musks when looking for a mate, or when subjected to extreme emotions, such as fear or anger. These musks are easily identifiable by other Krell, though not all Xeno species capable of smell can pick up on them, let alone know the message it is supposed to convene. It is possible, however, and its odor or message is not restricted to Krell only.

    (...)

    While one would not suspect it upon initial observation of the Krell species, they are a rather violent lot. Physical violence is a readily acceptable part of daily life, although highly ritualized and strictly limited by unwritten rules. Krell regularly engage in short, violent bursts of vicious blows, scratches and bites, to convey frustration, anger, or simply to underscore an argument or establish boundaries. This is common both among friends and relatives, as well as complete strangers, and even in more formal settings between superiors and subordinates. Taking the previous example of the janitor giving unsolicited advice on matters of state to the planetary governor: they could get tangled in a violent, physical exchange for a few short seconds, before simply continue with their usual activities. Such an exchange would not warrant a termination of labor contract, or even warrant a lingering sense of dislike and distrust between the two Krell. Such social consequences are always possible, naturally, but far from common, as the violent outburst is simply seen as an acceptable extension of communication.

    (...)

    All the above observations, lead to an obvious conclusion: that Krell place little value in written forms of communication. That is not to say that no written Krell language exists, however. The written word is simply ill-suited in most situations. The absence of interactivity and the lack of non-verbal communication make it difficult to convey a written message. Krell 'words' and their meaning or definitions are also subject to frequent change and adaption, making the written language difficult to decipher and even incomprehensible at an astonishingly fast pace. In addition to all of this, Krell physiology is ill-suited to sitting still for longer periods of time. As such, most Krell messages are short and intended to convey a specific message to a specific target or targets. It is ill-suited as a means to store more general information for longer periods of time, intended for future generations. Rather, Krell general learning and scientific advancement relies heavily on 'on the job' training and is most often conveyed verbally from master to student, often involving great agitation and loud screaming, as well as physical and emotional violence. Krell either learn quickly, suffer the (oft-times fatal) consequences, or quickly find another activity to pursue. Truly, it is one of the Universe's greatest mysteries they have managed to come so far, without collapsing into a swirling mass of primitive barbarism.

    (To be continued)
     
  16. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    4,017
    Spoiler Jhorra Orders :

    Jhorra Authority: Shadowbound
    Survivalists, Philosophers
    Treasury: 1e
    Health: 3 (4) [-1 food shortages]
    Production: 2
    Technology: 2 [FTL outlawed]
    Fleets: 0
    Armies: 1
    Stations: 0
    Habitability: terrestrial, temperate

    Focus - Improve Technology - Deep Space Scanning and Communication is a priority: while the Jhor are bound by the compact, they are a pragmatic people. *They* cannot leave the confines of their system, but they can find someone else who is able to enter the space around Embarre and assist them.

    Treasury Spending - None

    Colonisation Focus - WE HONOR THE COMPACT

    Production Focus - The production of artificial ecosystems within our secure cities, to resolve our food shortage, drawing/collaborating with improvements in biological sciences to develop more efficient organic lifeforms able to make do with limited/potentially toxic inputs.

    Tech Focus - The Stratocracy views the current situation as a war of attrition against entropy, which is nonviable. The parameters of our conflict need to drastically change: the focus of our technological improvements is in biological sciences, with the intent of stabilizing the biosphere or adapting the Jhor to a new environment.

    Fleet Orders - WE HONOR THE COMPACT

    Army Orders - The army will be used in maintaining stability among the Authority despite severe rationing while resources are funneled into the sciences.
     
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  17. ork75

    ork75 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    543
    To: Lataren
    From: the Set


    We approach you with humility and deference, as should be treated a superior. The times we now face are uncertain, and danger surrounds us: the empire to the galactic east, the others who have sent ships among the worlds of the Hegemony.

    Now is not a time for disunity, or for friction.

    Once we were radically disparate: you came to us from on high, and brought us into the fold. But while we still do not speak as equals, we are no longer so distant.

    We recognize that our special relationship has numerous benefits for all, and we seek to maintain it. However, we think that we could better contribute to the Hegemony if certain terms were altered. We wish to continue our industrial contribution to the good of the Hegemony, and continue the service of our freighters in Hegemony fleets and supply lines in lieu of our economic contributions. However, we also wish for some freedoms: namely, we seek the right of contact to the other peoples of the Hegemony, and the right of true trade to both Lataren worlds and to the other developing peoples of our system. We believe that this will improve the strength of the Hegemony at large: we each maintain specializations in technology and industry, which, combined, would speed the development of our friends’ production and all of our economies. This would leave us in a stronger position relative to the threats of the galaxy beyond.

    Additionally, we make a simple request to ease tensions and reduce misunderstanding in these complex times. We understand that you wish to ensure our loyalty, but please know that the presence of your fleets scare, rather than ensure, our ability to positively contribute to the greater good. Furthermore, we request that you trust us that we will meet our commitments, share in our knowledge, and help you maintain our relationship: attempting to force the issue does not help our confidence.

    The beaten child will grow to hate the parent: the child who is supported and accepted will grow to love.
     
  18. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,206
    The Exploration Quest II

    -

    The pilots journey along the well worn pathways of the Imperium led him to the star of Arraneth. Here the adepts of the Imperium had wrought a fully armed and operational station in orbit around the primary gas giant of the system. The reason for this was clear across his lightships sensors, for all across the system was a vast array of ancient artefacts of antique Ieldric origin, many of them being assessed by a flotilla of shuttle-craft that time to time lit up his sensors with their rockets as they burst from one construct to the next. The primary purpose of this station ( with its gleaming spires of spun-alloy and menacing plasma cannons ) and the teeming throngs of cantors, mathematicians, tinkers and engineers that shared it along with the explorers of the fleet was the research of these artefacts, and to protect the system from any interlopers. Yet this was not the pilots task (for which he was thankful, for such a mundane errand would hardly be fitting for one who had pierced the deep mysteries of the stars, or so he thought) for he of all the pilots rather had been tasked to find the lost world of the species the archivists referred to as the "Yangchai", a reptilian race which had been uplifted by the Ieldra in ages past, and assess their development (or if they had even survived) after the chaos of ten thousand years.

    So lightships pilot emptied his mind of what lay behind him, and turned his inner eye to the deepest part of the manifold, that realm of mathematics that underpinned and infused the material realm of realspace. For it was in this realm beneath the sea of stars that he would face the deepest aspect of the universe, the terrors and the joys of its fundamental laws. At first, however, as with all pilots, there was only joy. There was the cold beauty of the number storm, the many-faceted mathematical symbols that fell through his mind like frozen drops of light. There was the slowing of time and the consequent quickening of all his thoughts. Then where the youger races merely approach the depths of a lake before skipping back into the air like a stone tossed by a bored child along the surface of a lake, he dived hungrily and deep.

    And then there was something else to greet him in the flow, something other. It is something of a mystery that, although all pilots enter the manifold the same mysterious way and agree upon its essential nature, each will perceive it uniquely in a way unlike any other. For this pilot, as for no other with whom he had communed in the mindspaces of the dreamfield or in the bars around the pilots college, the manifold shimmered with colours. Of course, in the absence of all light and spacetime, he knew that there could be no colour – but somehow, there were colours. So begun his journey falling from star to star coreward towards the fixed points of the Yangchai world, which once lay on the outskirts of Ieldra space. Beneath the veil realspace he fenestered through window after window as he passed through a common invariant space all pearl grey and touched with swirls of rose and had the good luck to fall into a rare null space where a pilot mind find respite from the myriad dangers of space-travel. For a moment, he supposed that he might be lucky, that the rest of his journey towards the unknown might prove no more difficult than the straightforward mapping through such spaces. But in the void, piloting a lightship never remains easy or simple. Soon, in less than a moment, he entered a disorienting shear space, the kind of topological nightmare that the pilots sometimes call a Manifold Inversion. Now the veils of the manifold were a bright azure, fading almost instantly to a pale turquoise, and then brightening again to a vivid emerald green and flickering menacingly through the protein neuro-circuits of the ships pit. The space all around him was like a strangely viewed painting in which figure and ground kept shifting into focus, forward and back, light and dark, inside and out. It was beautiful, in a way, but dangerous too, and so he was glad when this particular space began to break apart and branch out into a more or less normal decision tree. All pilots would wish that the manifold held nothing more complicated than such trees, where all decisions take on the simplest form: maximize/minimize, left/right, inside/outside, yes/no. So simple was this tree that the pilot had a moment to build up a proof array of the Engedi Theorem (That is to say, that any two composition series of a group G are isomorphic.). He took the time to reconsider this proof of ancient algebra because he had a notion of how it might be used in an escape mapping if he should ever be so unlucky as to enter an infinite tree.

    It is one of life's ironies that most of what we fear never comes to pass, while many dangers – even killing dangers – will steal upon us by surprise. During all his time as a pilot, this fortunate was never to face an infinite tree. But then, just as he was leisurely defining phi, the branch of the tree holding up his lightship suddenly snapped – this is how it seemed – and he was hurled into a rare and quite deadly torison space, of a kind that Master Pilot Venedal of Old Urdra once discovered on one of the first journeys toward the galactic core. Suddenly, he recalled the dangers of the core and its twisted dimensional fabric, and once more he was again very aware of colours. There were the quick violets of space suddenly folding, and the r-dimensional Belning numbers appearing as ruby, auburn, and chrome red. There were flashes of scarlet, as if all the other colours might momentarily catch on fire and fall past the threshold of finite folding into an infinite and blazing crimson. Space itself was twisting like a Skytari nymph in a strong man's hands, writhing and popping and twisting until it suddenly burst in an opening of violet into violet and began folding in upon itself. Now there was true peril, danger inside of danger. Now – for a moment that might last no longer than half a beat of his heart – he floated in the pit of his ship, sweating and breathing deeply, and thought as quickly as it is possible for a man to think. He had little fear of death, but even so he dreaded being trapped alive inside a collapsing torison space. His dread was a red-purple colour, the colour of a blood tick squeezed between finger and thumb. He took no notice of this colour, however, nor did he give care or thought to himself. All his awareness – his racing mathematical mind and every strand of his will to live – spread out over the space before him. There were dark tunnels that kleined back and through themselves, impossibly complex, impossible to map through. There was the very fabric of the manifold itself, lavender like the antique robes of the fantasist sect, infolding upon itself through shades of amethyst, magenta, and deep purple, the one and true purple that might well be the quintessential colour that underlay all others.

    Everywhere, the manifold was falling in on itself like dark violet flowers blossoming backward in time, folding up petal inside petal, always infolding toward that lightless singularity where the number of folds falls off to infinity. He might never have mapped free from such a space, but then he chanced to remember a certain colour. In truth, he willed himself to summon up a perfect blue-black hue that suffused his mind the way that the night fills the late evening sky. His will to live was strong, and his memory of colours, images, words, whispers and love was even stronger. His memory for such things was almost perfect, and so it happened that he willed himself to behold a deep, deep blue inside blue, the colour of his mothers eyes. His mother was one of the finest scryers there had ever been, able to see the infinitely complex web of connections between nowness and time to come. The greatest scryers, those practitioners of that arcane psionic art of determining possibilities will always find their way into the future; in the end, they choose which future and fate will be. Now, in the pit of his ship, even as he plunged downward toward the torison space's hideous singularity, he closed his eyes tightly and tried to behold the blueness from within. He remembered, then, an important theorem of elementary dimensional topology. He saw it instantly as a perfect jewel, like a lightstone, a deep, dark, liquid blue holding a secret light. It was the first conservation theorem, which proved that for every simplicial mapping, the image of the boundary is equal to the boundary of the image. Almost instantly, he seized upon this theorem as a starving man might grasp a gobbet of meat. He knew that he could apply it toward mapping out of the torison space. And so he did. Before the lens of his mind's eye, he summoned up arrays of ideoplasts from the pilot's syntax and made his proof. He was perhaps the first pilot in the history of the Ieldra (At least in the post-chaos era) to prove that a collapsing torison space might remain open. (Even if that opening quickly fell off toward an infinitesimal.) He made a mapping, and he fell through...

    and suddenly there was the light of a star.

    -

    ooc: amended the sample of space-travel I supplied to Daft for this offering (despite what I said about it not seeing the light of day). Been really busy and lacked the time to do the stories I intended for this turn.
     
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  19. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Thanks very much guys! I've started playing around with the map for the update. Aiming to get it posted early next week.

    I'm still taking orders from this point.

    @Ork I will have an official reply for you soon.

    :salute:
     
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  20. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    To: The Diplomatic Corporation of Zan
    From: The Lataren High Council


    We welcome your communication although it is both encouraging and troublesome. These are times of great change, however we must not fall into confusion and fear.

    We envision that the Hegemony will eventually pass into history, to be replaced by a stellar family of equals. That is our goal. But the process is far from complete and cannot be rushed. To leave it half-finished would be a far greater danger. We are awakening to a galaxy that is far more populated and dangerous that we could have anticipated. The need for stability and unity is now greater than ever.

    Why now do you react with fear to our ships? What is this darkness that lurks in your collective consciousness? We have shown great trust in The Set. But until our thoughts are in alignment, we cannot allow you unrestricted access to the worlds of the Hegemony. We must speak with one voice. There is too much at risk.

    With careful steps, we will reach a more wondrous future than you imagine. We only ask that The Set continues its modest contribution to security and development of the common good. You will continue to reap rewards of trade under the supervision of our economic directors. We have your best interests in mind at all times - the stability and prosperity of your worlds is as important as our own.

    Trust. Do not fear.
     

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