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To The Great Beyond - Space Empires!

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Daftpanzer, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Any deadline yet?
     
  2. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Maps from previous updates are now restored on this post (from the first page)

    Thank you Shadowbound! However, fleets will cost 4EP, not 2. Should I switch that with your tech spending??

    @Angst not just yet, let's find out who's still playing first :)
     
  3. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    OOC
    That's good. Just wanted to be sure. :)
     
  4. Everblack

    Everblack Blacker then you

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    Wait am still alive *crawling out of his work cubicle* it been so long but am still kicking.
     
  5. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Awesome!! Sorry to have prematurely announced otherwise!
     
  6. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    How does diplomacy work on the first turn of contact? Fairly limited correct?
     
  7. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Complete list of open slots ATM:
    • Tarnakkian Empire (feline humanoids, warriors and materialists / lovers of luxury, red, upper left of map)
    • Carvania (bird-like bipeds, eccentric tech wizards and gadget-makers, light blue, upper middle of map)
    • Skitarii Mercantile Conglomerate (small humanoids reliant on mechanical suits, hard-nosed capitalists with little regard for ecology, off-white, center of map)
    If somebody new wants to join with a custom race, it's not impossible, please do PM me about it!

    I'm thinking of setting an orders deadline for a fortnight's time....

    Given the time frame of each turn, there's enough time to work out communications. Last turn was the initial, basic contact. From this point you can propose treaties and such like.

    Golden1Knight hasn't logged in since mid November last year, according to his profile page :/ So the Tarnakkians are currently NPC, and I'll be handling their responses. They may well have something to say first of all, but don't let me stop you sending diplo first!
     
  8. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    First Contact with the Tarnakki

    The launch platform is covered in a thick canopy of waxy leaves, their green so bright they almost glows under Lagimae’s red-shifted sun. Follow the leaf-weave to their base and you come to thin tendrils of vine supported by calcified shells not unlike those of your own ocean’s mollusca. The vines disappear into a building-sized mound of shining purple bio-mass from which rise innumerable long flesh-like tubes, each breathing independently in a sort of cacophony of wind and pulsating muscle.

    I pulse a series of fluorophores to the purple mass and the leaves slowly curl and retract into the calcified stems. As they withdraw they reveal my aerospacecraft, who’s name you cannot know because it is ‘spoken’ in light and pigment, not in sounds. Any translation is necessarily lacking, but you may call it ‘Eager Talon’. Eager Talon is fattened and green and upon the withdrawal of the empowering leaf-weave spies me easily in my exosuit (the exosuit chromophores never were as sophisticated as our own and often do not provide the same degree of camouflage). A series of bioluminescent flickers along Eager Talon’s ridges and a diffuse red-spectrum shift to its green indicates its happiness at seeing me. I reach a long tendril out and drag it along the ridge, sending light and fluorescence back and momentarily mingling our photo-neuronal structures in a way that I cannot help but feel you cannot fully comprehend based on your own limiting biology.

    Eager Talon has gorged well, the synthetic photosynthesis forest having fed it enough energy for nearly 9 days of continuous space operation. I shrug and flash photo-commands to the exosuit and it ripples away from me. As it drags itself to the locker, I immediately feel the heavy g of Lagimae. My tendrils strain as I pull myself into Eager Talon’s cockpit but it is welcoming and shuffles it musculature to allow me to grip it more easily.

    I slip into the pilot’s cocoon and Eager Talon does not wait for the connection to complete before its burners dilate and we begin to accelerate. My tendrils slip into the aerospaceraft and I contact and affirm identity and communication with its primary node, a consciousness not unlike that of a dolphin or chimp on your world as well as a score or more of small consciousness bundles, photonic nerve fiber dedicated to specific processes such as energy conservation or life-support that are slaved to both my own consciousness and that of Eager Talon.

    Where my photonic nervous system ends and that of the ship begins is no longer clear. Mechanically it would appear to you as just more bundles of organic nano-fibreoptic, indistinguishable without molecular instrumentation. Photonic signaling is so dense, we are not like two beings but like two hemispheres of your brain, the division between us not an instrument panel but like that of your own corpus callosum. There is no ‘I’ and there is no ‘it’. Eager and I are now ‘we’. It is much like the sexual community we Psilocybe engage in but without the erotica.

    We race into the atmosphere, more acceleration than I alone could ever withstand, but cradled in Eager’s piloting cocoon barely notice. My eyes now, and there are billions of them, are those of the aerospacecraft and I watch Lagimae fall away behind me. Already its surface is dotted in small cities of photosynthetic green, the Psilocybe equivalent of your own industrial revolution, the taming of sun energy capture that allowed our species to grow and opened to us the very stars themselves.

    As the atmosphere thins, we dilate our burners further and accelerate towards one of the moons. We are to take an ambush position in its optical and magnetic shadow. As we arrive, our chromophores dim and our body flexes just so. To sensors we become a dim squint, too dark to see, too energy absorbant to detect. Only a thin thermal signature bleeds off into space from our now contracted burners and that will soon ablate further as we drift in the moon’s shadow.

    Time passes and so we think. My thoughts are neither mine nor Eager Talon but some mix and in this way the bond between aerospace craft and ‘I’ grows tighter. We share experiences, clandestinely hunting the Lagimae (at least until the network outlawed such practices), quiet flights in low atmosphere, remembrance of weapons training in Psilocybae orbit.

    It is two local day/night cycles later that our eyes are almost overwhelmed with the brilliance of an object arriving suddenly and without warning in the space between Lagimae and ourselves. As the brilliance of its arrival fades (relatively quickly) we perceive it to be some sort of massive box or shell, cumbersome and dead like some sort of rock or metal. We shift our eyes to the far red and observe bipedal organics within its shell. Perhaps parasites, or perhaps some sort of organics protecting themselves from the dangers of space in this sort of shell. Despite its lack of grace, it is obviously very powerful, bristling with weapons and what appear to be targeting optics. We want to pounce upon it but I realize this is the fairly basic consciousness of the weapons systems and suppress the urge like a splinter of id.

    Very soon Lagimae and our orbital aerospace craft and satellites are speaking, their photonic language far violet shifted into the gamma-wave spectrum to avoid interception by the foreign craft- energy expensive but language dense and therefore fast. A decision is made. The local network operating at the speed of light and the only barrier to thought the lag between distant nodes.

    From Lagimae, we project an image, something simple they might easily understand, and await a response….

     
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  9. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    after some efforts at translation...

    From Psilocybe
    To Tarnakki

    Withdraw your 'rock/shell'.

    Do not approach untranslatable or untranslatable.
     
  10. Lord_Herobrine

    Lord_Herobrine Back in the Saddle

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    The Flallore are back, baby! Just what I need when I am struggling through my midterms. :mischief:
     
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  11. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Interspecies Relations

    It was the final days of the Existence War. Incessant artillery fire had now pounded much of the ancient masonry of Zollwe into a powdery white-pink dust, which had settled like snow on top of the ash and blackened cinders left over from the firestorm of a few days previous. Not much was left to burn now. Columns of smoke still twisted and tore through the sky; some light grey, some dark black. A few ornate, green copper roofs were still visible amidst the skeletal mass of ruined buildings. Above them, wispy clouds and contrails streaked through a bright blue-gold expanse. There was a distant hum of engines, barely audible over the steady concussion of exploding ordnance.

    He longed to be up there in the sky. Away from his tired, aching limbs. Away from the feelings of fear and horror so great, and so unending, they had become a steel-heavy numbness. Even without wounds, his scales were already turning grey and falling from his body.

    Tragic Zollwe. It had been born a city of poets, engineers and architects. One of the ancient cradles of civilization. A thriving port and meeting ground. One of the most beautiful of the old garden-cities. It had little interest in the games of colonialism played by other city-states; untouched while this war had raged for over a century. But its conscience was not clear...

    In one of the city’s central squares, a proud Killuri patrician still stood tall, made from the finest Mallchine*, darkened by age, though now pockmarked with hits from bomb fragments, exposing the brilliant sheen of the original stone underneath, almost like bloody scars. Exotic Tarnakki servants stood around the base of the statue, carved in diminutively small size, clinging to the legs of their master; their facial features exaggerating what was, to Killuri eyes, their animalistic and simple nature. How everything had been overturned!

    A Tarnakki war machine now trundled past the ornate fortified wall of the old citadel, kicking up clouds of ash and dust with its thick metal tracks, dislodging a rain of debris from roof tiles high above. The rough welding spoke of somewhat unsophisticated production; its sloping lines and long gun barrel spoke of careful design. The markings on its turret spoke of ancient tribal history; warrior instincts, refined and weaponised for the industrial era. A momentum that his people had helped to unleash, and could no longer hope to contain.

    In opposition, ornate bronze cannons stood poised, as if ready to fire; but they were relics from a bygone age. Tarnakki soldiers stalked behind, brandishing swords and long bayonets, running and leaping between cover, leaving only the red banners of their standard-bearers in plain sight. Defenders - at least the living ones - were nowhere to be seen.

    The pounding of the engine cylinders began to resonate in his lungs. He couldn’t help but remain gazing out of the window. For a moment, he found himself looking straight at a Tarnakki warrior’s helmet, with predatory eyes underneath. Eyes full of focus and intent. Eyes looking straight at him; through him. In a sudden reflex, he pushed himself from his crouching position by the window, falling to the floor, dusty pillows cushioning him from the broken glass and pottery beneath. She was crouching beside him now, looking him in the eyes, her tail wriggling limply at her side, poking out from her torn clothing. Her expression as numb and hopeless as he thought his must be.

    Shots and shouts began to ring out. Strong vibrations from the base of the building. It was a crazy thought but maybe - just maybe - they could still make it to the riverboats, maybe make it into the wilderness. Maybe there was still someplace left to go. The survival urge fought with his aching body. Winning, just; he found himself dragging his body to the door, stumbling into the dust-filled corridor, grabbing her by the paw. Feeling their way through mis-hanging tapestries and broken sculptures. Stumbling, scrambling, ducking for cover.

    Screams. Gunfire. Pain. Stumbling, stumbling…

    -----

    Zais Arkkin awoke to the roar and rumble of a ship-wide alert. It took a moment or two for his consciousness to re-orient itself. For a moment he was between words; the smoke and panic of a centuries-old war filled his sleeping den. Suddenly the thick spine of the book ‘Unification Wars - A Complete History’ was in focus, strapped down on the ledge next to his bed, alongside an assortment of mild narcotics in small bottles. A warm, soft wriggling betrayed the presence of Alluri* Mais entangled in bed next to him; she purred complainingly as he gracefully flicked himself up, recoiled from the ceiling with one outstretched leg, and landed almost upright. He proceeded to wrap his naked fur with a minimum of presentable dress, somewhat less than gracefully, taking care not to get entangled with the now-scattered bedding, while bouncing slowly against the weak centrifugal force that was doing its best to simulate gravity in the sleeping decks.

    Crew members paused briefly to salute* Zais as he hurriedly hauled himself along mood-lit corridors and past open blast doors, warily eyeing the massive hinges as he passed; his scarred tail and deep-red officer robe trailing behind him. There was no let up in the alarm call throbbing through the hull of the ship. His ear pod was still searching for the right audio channel; chopped up bits of conversations only hinted at what was actually happening. The ship was supposed to be on cool down; he knew they weren’t due to enter close orbit with Gaitan-III* for another few hours. Having stayed awake for 14 hours straight* in the preparation for the last Superluminal sprint, he was somewhat annoyed at his current predicament.

    The Lookout was empty when he got there; the captain and other officers had instead decided to meet in the Command Lair, deep within the armoured ‘citadel’ of the ship. Zais hesitated while he fiddled with his earpiece, suddenly aware that he had only a couple of paw-widths of hardened glass separating him from the eternal void; the room was dark enough that the brighter stars were visible beyond.

    Blank display screens bounced against their tethers as the ship began to maneuver. Long streams of glowing xenon gas erupted from thrusters just below the lookout windows, straight at first, before erupting at an angle. He felt the ship straining, its massive bulk creaking under the inertia. The grey-blue disk of Gaitan-III came into view, still somewhat distant and toy-like.

    It was then the first flash streaked across his field of view.

    “Hold fire. Maneuver for distance. Get us some distance! No - Not yet.”

    Captain Allazand was finally audible, her voice cool and heavy as always; unfortunately Zaid still couldn’t hear the other participants in the conversation.

    Another rush of lights went past the view-panes. Sparkling things were moving out there. Things of substantial mass. Very close to the ship. In space.

    Zaid suddenly felt a need for his officer’s sword, in spite of all rationality; he felt naked without it.

    “Not yet! Hold your fire.

    The weight of the Captain’s last command rooted him to the spot, even though he was not being directly spoken to, and was nowhere near any of the weapon controls.

    Another object suddenly rushed into view, only this time it came to a halt and hovered outside the window. Display panels flickered around him as his eyes struggled to focus; it was a fuzzy silhouette against the stars, streaked with patterns of light that danced and swirled as he watched. He was hypnotised, terrified. It felt like some force was piercing him. He had the sense he was being watched. Observed.

    He had a sudden flashback to the vivid - dream? - he had been experiencing mere moments ago. He was back in bed, back on Tarnakk; he was a Kalluri of centuries ago, looking out at a mirror of his Tarnakki self. A predatory intelligence, completely cold and uncaring.

    Another flicker of the display panels, and the pattern of light was suddenly gone. Stars faded back into view. A rush of conversation opened up on various channels. Zaid found himself clutching at the floor on all fours, panting to catch his breath. Amidst the chatter, a single sentence lodged in his consciousness.

    “Commencing encounter protocol”

    -----

    *Mallchine: a type of bright white-pink marble with very faint golden swirls. Favoured by Killuri builders on ancient Tarnakk as the most beautiful stone in existence; much of the material was destroyed in the unification wars, all known sources have long since been quarried out.

    *Alluri: no direct English translation. They are high-ranking courtesans, companions, therapists and healers in Tarnakki society - mostly, but not exclusively, female.

    *the standard Tarnakki salute is in fact a subtle tense-shoulder, head-bow action, where one avoids direct eye contact; arms typically remain by the sides.

    *Gaitan is the name of the Lagimae star in common Tarnakki language.

    *Tarnakki prefer to have multiple sleep-wake cycles, or at least multiple naps during the day. A 14-hour stretch would be the equivalent of a human staying awake for ~24 hours.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  12. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    From Tarnakkian Empire
    To Psilocybe

    unstranslatable untranslatable untranslatable ?food item? untranslatable ?'orb dwellers'? untranslatable '?territorial markings?' 'rock/shell' untranslatable untranslatable ?initiate play? untranslatable ?body parts touching? untranslatable untranslatable untranslatable.

    OOC: in game terms we can communicate on clearer terms, I'm just having a little fun right now ;) I may have another story and more diplo to follow that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  13. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Bah, it's no fun when they tell you what it means. :p
     
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  14. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Orders Deadline: Monday February 27th, 23:59 GMT

    That gives us this coming weekend and next (a chance for me to catch up with some npc stories).

    Any questions or concerns about anything at all, or anyone interested in joining, feel free to send me a pm! I'm finding the new forum much easier for private messaging ^^

    I meant to say, good to see you again! Happy to, 'help'? :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  15. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Aerospace Vessels and Tangential Conversations


    It was a typical late-autumn sky on Hmmaia. A vibrant gold-orange hue lended a magical ambience to the weathered landscape beneath; the yearly storms were dying down now across this moon-world, but the haze layer they kicked up still hung in the atmosphere like a delicate gossamer curtain. A few, lonely dark clouds were sharply silhouetted against the golden sky, and there were bright blue flashes on the horizon, just visible in gaps between the towering mesas of the Gurrull Plateau - a dramatic landscape that had been sculpted by a slow-motion battle between tectonic uplift and the elements of wind and rain.

    But today, apart from a distant rumbling and occasional breeze, it was quiet. There were no visible stirrings of life. A few hardy plants had toughed out the storms, but they more closely resembled rocks, with nothing but spirals and loops of spiky green-orange growth to betray their true nature; they formed lonely sentinels among cracked dirt and gravel littered with the decaying debris of the summer blooms. It would likely be another week or two before any of the annual plants started to show themselves again.

    A Hurrunn by the name of Marrannue Murra Hue scraped away at the thick accumulation of red-brown dirt on her forearms; a somewhat futile effort, as they would soon be caked in dirt again. Her mouthparts held an assortment of brushes and tiny shovels along with one zoom-camera. With light beginning to fade, a large spotlight flickered and hummed into life beside her. She turned back to look at the trench. So much digging still to do - and they had only another year to do it! She paused to exhale deeply, angling her mouthparts to blow some of the dust off the monocle which covered her right big-eye.

    In front of her, several rectangular and circular patches of dirt had been dug out to a depth of about a metre. Here and there, worn pieces of oxidised metal had been exposed, hardly different in colour to the dirt and rock in which they lay. Joining the dots between the different sections of the dig, with a little imagination, a rough ellipse could be perceived, its poles about a hundred metres apart, extending into as-yet undisturbed ground.

    It was tough manual work. Machines could not be trusted to handle archaeological artefacts with care. As they got deeper, every inch of dirt had to be coaxed and brushed away by hand, lest it disturb some vital clue, or destroy some precious piece of history. Anything still buried here had survived centuries of storms and erosion, a true gift from fate; it would be sacrilege not to take every precaution.

    Machines had their uses, though. As Murra pondered her next move, a hexapod robot skirted the edges of the dig, roughly Hurrunno-morphic in shape; its legs ended in spheres, enabling it to roll quickly over smooth terrain. Every so often it paused to lower a seismic probe into the ground, updating a map of the invisible mass beneath. The biology of the Hurrunn enabled them to get a rough sense of the ground beneath their feet by listening to the reverberations of their own low-frequency calls; this sufficed to locate buried eggs and tubers under foot, but had its limitations. Technology allowed them to peer deeper. Through her monocle, she now had a 3D projection overlaid on her vision. Again, it took some imagination to make sense of the bright and dark patches that she was seeing.

    Murra’s friend stood by the edge of a trench, guarding a stack of boxes and folded-up rain covers. He was somewhat less dirty. A long smoking pipe extended out from his poised mouthparts, framing his face rather nicely and complementing his antennas. Puffs of smoke were caught the spotlight and glowed brightly, in contrast to his dark grey-blue skin; the complexion of a true equatorian. Murra enjoyed the company and the conversation, but she didn’t yet trust Surrun Ullamar Hue to do any of the delicate work. That suited Ullamar just fine. He was here to enjoy the particular ambience of the scene.

    They made eye contact for a moment. Neither was in the mood for more smalltalk; they just acknowledged each other’s continued presence with a low greeting-rumble. Ullamar noted how Murra’s light-blue skin was no longer visible; what wasn’t covered by her loose grey work fabric was now covered in red-brown dust and dirt. Still, she looked very much in her element.

    A telecoms message pinged Murra’s monocle, giving off an audible buzz. She let it timeout to text display. Somewhat annoying, a message in extra-large bold font now filled her vision, scattering the seismograph data; someone needed to adjust their message settings.

    “XENOMORPHS IN YOUR AREA. BE COURTEOUS”

    That was from the regional director of the Kallar-Gurrull Geological Kinship. Though not her Kin specifically, she was a visitor in the Kin’s domain, which meant paying attention. Their Director seemed to have a habit of sending short, terse messages, to the point of being rude, though she assumed it was not deliberate. But she wasn’t sure if the last word was really meant cautious; the particular phrasing could mean both.

    Xenomorphs; the word suddenly began to sink in. She looked up at Ullamar; the com-dish strapped to his back was now upright in an angled position, like an anxiously-raised ear. They rumbled to each other again, this time a subtly different tone, conveying a shared understanding. His pipe looked in danger of falling out of his mouth.

    Why would the aliens be interested in an archeological dig? They hadn’t shown much interest in historical artefacts thus far. The Taccuu seemed to be a culture that was very much focused on the ‘here and now’. Perhaps they were just... bored?

    -----

    ‘We’re calling it the Nemmussannah’ - the Organiser had spent some time practising the exact pronunciation; the name was from a rather outdated dialect.

    ‘Yes, so I read.’

    A group of Hurrunn were having a discussion in one of the smaller meeting halls of the Great Undercity. The Chief Organiser of the Greater-Southern Hmmaian Industrial-Aerospace Coalition - arguably the single most influential grouping with the Hurrunn Agreement, comprised of dozens of Kinships working with cutting-edge of technology - was ‘pitching’ an idea to one of the Joint Chief Critics of the Agreement itself.

    The room was deliberately gloomy. Small spherical light-orbs were placed in recesses in the curving smooth-plastered wall; most of them were on a dim setting. A holographic projection of a large spaceship took up the center of the room, hovering above a pile of cables and humming boxes of electronics. The rest of the floor was indented with seating-nests in an orderly, radial pattern. Hurrunn individuals filled about half of them, arranged in no particular order; most were facing inwards towards the holograph. Their growing encrustation of refreshment-containers testified to how long this meeting had already been in session. The air was thick with exhaled smoking-herbs.

    The Critic’s single remaining antennae drooped low on his face, almost to the point of obscuring one of his big-eyes, which remained closed in any case. The hologram cast a dramatic light on his somewhat doubtful and unconvinced expression.

    ‘You do realise. You are proposing to name our greatest and most expensive endeavour after an example of old and fragile technology. And not only that, but one that crashed in a storm and was buried in a landslide, if I am not mistaken!’

    ‘There were no recorded fatalities.’

    ‘Rahhh!’

    The Critic's antenna was briefly animated, before coming to a rest near his eye once again. He briefly considered several avenues to continue his criticism, but he realised that evoking the spirit of the doomed airship actually had a touch of genius. In any case, the Organiser was first to pick up the lull in conversation.

    ‘To recap; our colleagues in the Garrannue Antiquities Kinship recently discovered the remains of the original Nemmussannah; one of the great pioneering airships of its age; a time when the 3rd Agreement was in its infancy. It was the first craft to circumnavigate our world. And, in the opinion of many historians, it helped to solidify a worldwide Agreement as a workable idea.’

    'But it crashed!' – came a voice from near the back of the room.

    The Organiser continued – 'we would not suppose to create a vessel that will endure for the rest of time. But I would like to see us recapture the same essence of the Nemmussannah, within - as myself and my colleagues have outlined - a larger and more powerful space vessel than anything we have constructed thus far. In my opinion, with the recent completion of our orbital defences, the time is right for such an undertaking.'

    There was a minor tremor in the chamber as a rocket-shuttle launched from one of the Undercity’s magnetic tubes.

    The Critic again considered several lines of argument. The current politics of resource distribution and project prioritisation were extremely... complex, to say the least. It was as if, after four centuries of stagnation following the mastery of space travel around the home system, a thousand different avenues had opened all at once. Many of the old certainties had vanished – and with them, many of the understandings between the industrial-technological Kinships that were the foundations of the Agreement itself. But he could see how this project would draw in a lot of those troublesome impatients, and keep them occupied; that could be a plus, he was sure many of his colleagues would agree.

    The Critic brought a hand to his chin. The entanglements of the 33rd Agreement were surely an order of magnitude greater than those of the 3rd, he thought. What straightforward times they must have been. Then again, considering the industrial revolutions that were then taking place, maybe not...

    A pause was meanwhile hanging in the air – a rather long pause, even by Hurrunn standards. Clearly many of the assembled members were lost in their own thoughts, out of those who were still awake; several of them were holding digital-paper displays, streaming technical specifications of the proposed new ‘Large Explorer Ship’, as it was technically - and in typical Agreement fashion, unimaginatively - classified. The Critic was the first to break the silence.

    ‘I believe we have all said enough for the time being. I will take your words to the Agreement Council’. The Critic ended with a slow, deliberate bow. There was another moment's pause, as various faces turned to each other, but with no interjections, the assembled Hurrunn repeated the gesture and began to stir from their nests. Rumbles of acknowledgement rippled through the chamber. The Organiser was content; there were no guarantees, but it meant that the Critic hadn’t rejected the proposal out of hand. And well, even if had done, the Organiser still had other options.

    ‘Hmmm…’ the Critic rumbled especially loudly, deliberately catching attention. ‘Ahh. One last point, Organiser. I’m told that our Taccuu guests have learned of your project, and showed some interest..’

    The Organiser froze, all six limbs firmly planted on the floor, his two antennae raised. It was an involuntary, defensive posture; his body in confrontational mode, primed for sensory input.

    ‘The… Taccuu were informed of our orbital defence program, I believe… As such, we did not deliberately withhold information…’

    ‘Well’, the Critic continued, ‘I believe the Ambassador and its entourage have ventured down to the surface, on their way to a certain archaeological dig site... I propose, they have gone to see your shiny new spaceship, the one that we have yet to begin constructing...’

    The Organiser could tell the Critic was enjoying this.

    ‘It... Seems there has been a miscommunication. I will look into this, Esteemed Colleague.’ He bowed and turned to exit the room, with some added animation.

    Most of the Hurrunn continued to filter out of the chamber, leaving only the Critic and those who were still asleep. The Large Explorer Ship diagram hung in the air for a few more moments, before flickering into chunky pixels and finally fading into nothingness.

    -----

    The sky was turning a deep red, and a light drizzle of rain was beginning to fall over the Gurrull Plateau, as a strange floating orb bounced over the dig site. Murra, in the middle of fetching the rain covers, caught a glance of the orb as it passed over a misaligned spotlight; the light revealed small red-pink objects jostling for position within, along with several metallic spheres - presumably the flotation and life-support devices, all contained within some kind of flexible, translucent sac. The whole assembly reminded Murra of a microscopic living cell, as if blown up to the scale of an adult Hurrunn.

    This would be an interesting conversation...
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  16. erez87

    erez87 Lord of Random

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    Ooc feel free to write it, Tac would usually act sort of like children, quick, pushy, they will all constantly ask questions, many of which won't have anything to do with... anything. They won't be clear with what you are doing, and won't ever be, but everything is interesting to them, at least for five minutes, and it better be shiny! They are also extremely imaginative and have those kind of sudden brilliance moments (they did get to space...), but those pass really fast unless a unique obsessed Tac is present who will keep to that subject till he dies...

    Oh and they will talk with each other in a language Hurrun couldn't understand and never could translate as the Tac merely makes their personal language more and more complex, some may say they do it on purpose. Their dnd is playing aliens and making up entire alien languages, so they are pretty good with languages... They probably already know the entire Hurrun language by now. Thou they are probably horrible with the grammar... mostly since they don't care.
     
  17. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Notes from the Proceedings of the Stabilizing Directorate of the Hlur-Baiheen Endstate Civilization



    Preamble: Esteemed Directors, the pattern of life in the stars has now become unmistakable. Outer space is not the unpeopled void we had theorized it to be, it is dense with multiple different forms of life, alien to ours, but apparently possessing some form of sentience. Their existence upsets previous theories about the long-term trajectory of the Stabilizing Directorate.

    Understanding the First: The purpose of the Stabilizing Directorate is to preserve a state of peace, where the three goods enshrined the First Principle (Free Association, Free Reproduction, and Free Song) where the universal goods enshrined in its founding may be maintained. The Fifth Principle, the population release valve, is critical to the protection of the First Principle, and is threatened by the existence of technology-wielding alien forces. The resolution of this impasse is thus of critical importance.

    Regarding Types of Alien Life: Should sentient, technological life exist, present hypotheses split it into two categories: Hlur-Hoom (Mute/Soulless/Mindless Animals) and Hlur-Baiheen (Singing Animals). The former possess technology but lack culture. It is hoped that no such things exist, but it is probable that they do. Hlur-Hoom have the potential to provide only material benefits to the Endstate Civilization, as their existence offers no enrichment to the universal milieu. Hlur-Baiheen, by definition, are capable of taking part in the Endstate Civilization. They can provide both material and cultural benefits, and are capable of enjoying the three fundamental goods enshrined in the First Principle.

    Point of Philosophy: Should alien life be considered to be part of outer-sphere civilization? Their practices may be vastly more foreign to us than even the most fringe of the exodite factions, but it remains feasible that they may someday be integrated into the Endstate Civilization. Presuming broadly similar biological origins and ascribing broadly similar motivations to alien life suggests that slight variations on the Endstate Civilization may be amenable for multiple forms of sentience, although this area is dearly data-deficient. We propose auditing nearby civilizations to assess their potential for participation in Endstate Civilization, before proceeding further.

    Scenario of Eternal Cacophony: Extermination of alien life allows for continual expansion of Hlur-Baiheen civilization. Additionally, constant warfare alleviates population pressures. As a critical counterpoint, however, this shatters the Third Principle of the Directorate. Warfare is recognized to lead to the depletion of the goods intrinsic to the First Principle of the Endstate Civilization. This loss must be balanced against the potential losses caused by the demise of the Fifth Principle (the option to reject the Stabilizing Directorate). Similarly, this scenario must be balanced against the probability of victory, as even a limited continuation of Hlur-Baiheen civilization is preferable to extinction at the hands of a martially superior enemy.

    Scenario of Universal Harmony: Incorporation of alien Hlur-Baiheen will allow for the enrichment of the Endstate Civilization's songs, which is regarded as a good. Expansion will occur not through the propagation of a single species, but through the merger of several, just as many cultures joined to form the Stabilizing Directorate, at the conclusion of the Worst War. All creation will sing in harmony, and the Endstate Civilization shall be preserved intact. This scenario must be recognized as being optimistic, assuming that all Mute Animals are either non-existent or non-resistant, and that all Singing Animals are amenable to incorporation into the Endstate Civilization, which may prove to be impossible for their alien psychologies. Again, knowledge in this area is severely deficient.

    Scenario of Discordance: It is most likely that we will have to navigate a middle path between the two aforementioned scenarios. Some aliens may attack without song, or engage in aggression against the Stabilizing Directorate. Such forces are existential threats and must be disabled and incorporated, insofar as they can provide valuable contributions to the Endstate Civilization. If they cannot, then extermination is the only reasonable approach. Other aliens may initially resist the expansion of the Endstate Civilization, by either rejecting incorporation or responding with violence. Xenoethical utilitarian calculus must be developed to best resolve these situations.

    Additionally, some aliens may not discern between the violent and early-state Hlur-Baiheen who settle outside the fringes of our civilization, and the Endstate Hlur-Baiheen who make up our polity. Based on this, we may be forced into war, according to the Third Principle, or forced to police populations who, under the Fifth Principle of governance, we ought not to control. Both of these harm the First Principle of Hlur-Baiheen governance, which is intolerable to us.

    Summation: A considerate and thorough re-examination of the political, economic and philosophical underpinnings of the Endstate Civilization, given recent discoveries of alien life, is necessary, so that we may continue to best uphold the First Principle. Research into the culture, or lack thereof, of these aliens is also immediately necessary. In all but the most optimistic scenarios, increased militarization of the Stabilizing Directorate is highly recommended, in order to best maintain the goods enshrined in the First Principle.
     
  18. J.K. Stockholme

    J.K. Stockholme Right Opposition

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    Awesome! I'm looking forward to continuing ~ I should be good for the deadline.
     
  19. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    Was our talking too loud?

    Captain Allazand purred softly to herself, something she did when she was thinking deeply. Her aides knew enough to leave her alone when she did but apparently Zais Arkkin did not, or perhaps his age meant he simply did not care. He repeated himself, “I don’t believe it is an attack.”

    Her officers seemed to take that as a cue to engage him, offering their opinions on the high energy gamma bursts the aliens were firing from Gaitan-III.

    Zais would not stand down, “The complexity of the energy stream suggests language, something different than what we were meant to receive and decode. It may be a language they use to discuss uniquely amongst themselves or it may be encoded in some way. Despite its effect on our sensors, its not an attack.”

    ***​

    I am part of a network of Psilocybe dedicated to observing the alien ship, a subnode within the larger network dedicated to understanding, communicating with, and deciding a course of action in regards to the vessel.

    We watch it carefully, relaying what we observe as optical tones and cues but which you might classify as electromagnetic, thermal, or even audible energy. We note that it reacts to our language-dense gamma communications; several of the vessel's sensors seem to cease tracking our aerospacecraft for tenths of a millisecond, not a huge slip, but certainly enough that a network with hundreds of trillions of integrated and suddenly very dedicated sensory nodes would note it.

    Our node passes the observation back to the larger Lagimae network and we are told ‘observe’. Shortly thereafter a more direct, though shorter in length and with higher energy, burst of gamma energy is fired across space in just such a way that its path overlaps significantly with the foreign ship's sensors, meaningless versions of what you would call ‘alphanumerics’.

    ***​

    “And you’re going to tell me that wasn’t an attack?” Defense officer Kabera was still and his tone was respectful but Captain Allazand knew her crew and knew Kabera’s tell, her whiskers would twitch just so shortly after she had steeled her nerve and as Zais prepared to respond she noted it, the characteristic shudder in Kabera’s whiskers that meant despite her cool, she knew the dangers of confronting the older and widely respected Arkkin Zais. The Tarnakki were a dueling people and lives had ended over smaller slights than this questioning of hierarchry.

    Before it could go any further Captain Allazand stepped in, “Protect the sensors before they fry them, or a least reduce their sensitivity. If they wanted to attack they would have.”

    From her periphery she noted that Zais hadn’t taken his eyes from the younger Kabera. This wasn’t over yet.

    ***​

    I note with satisfaction that the more high energy burst of false communication has caused several of their targeting and communication systems to withdraw. Optical apertures thin. Antennae withdraw, at least partially. So they do not like our high-energy communications- this is very interesting.

    Photo-neuronics take our findings back the central network; further tests will be necessary.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  20. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Hooheeoo is its name.

    Five arcing curves, electrostatic lenses, forming a targeting reticle around a central cylinder.

    A charged particle accelerator strapped to an impulse thruster, with a tiny ring of life support around the middle.

    An unabashed weapon, No purpose but to rain ionized, hyperenergetic particle masses at its foe.

    A weaponized precaution.
     
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