SDNW5 Story Thread

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Zor » 2012-06-30 09:37pm

Imperial tower of Darwinia, Council Chamber of the Imperial Committee

Admiral of the Navy Tian Yaeger took a seat as the thirteen committee members took a look at him. The room was circular, comparatively simple in its aesthetic,. and a number of chairs were placed in the center. A small number of politicians, among them being five Posthumans with two Drell, a Hiver Administrator, two Duals and an Aquatic seated in the circular tank that surrounded the room. They were well dressed, but were unremarkable as far as politicians went. They were good at navigating the political systems of the Imperium, but made sure to avoid. Few things could be as deadly to an empire than one individual who was granted absolute power, and the Imperium took care to avoid it. He noticed High Imperators Yamishiro and Turayev coming in as well.

"Why have we been summoned your collective Excellency?"

One of the Drell as a hologram appeared, showing a few charts about development. "As you undoubtedly know, the processes of Reconstruction have proven successful. Speranza is now on the verge of being fully integrated and we have seen a decline in localist insurrection activities in both Joeson and Lada sectors, even if their progress in Imperialization is still far from complete. That said, we have reached consensus. As such, we have determined that it is time has come that we bring the gift of the Imperium to another sector."

A series of names appeared above him.

"Here are a list of approved targets viable for annexation, we ask for your advice on which one of these would provide the maximum gain for minimal losses."
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-07-02 09:05pm

(with OmegaChief)

Sector P-23

Orbit of Planet Danzig

Evigt Hopp Stationen (it’s the formal name darn it!)

January 12th 3300


Finally, after several months of hard work the newest outpost in Arcadia’s trade networks was complete. And soon enough, the delegations of the various nations who had a stake in it would be showing up. Waiting to greet them, was the Trotsiga, but not under the command of Captain Sisko. He had left his second in command, Rasan Masa, in command.

“Talk about a horrible assignment,” Rasan mused as she waited for the delegates to arrive.

She had a point too…she had gone from commander of a ship (granted it was a lowly frigate…but still!) to being the second in command of a ‘pocket-battleship’ in the middle of nowhere. She had a strong suspicion that her uncle had put the government up to it, to keep Rasan out of trouble. Not like she could do anything about it however, so she just sighed and got back to work.

Soon enough, the first ships started to arrive. The Capellan delegation had been the first to arrive, by virtue of being so close to their territory, and the fact that they had been the first to sign on to the station. Their fleet was a couple of patrol frigates, nothing to worry about, so Rasan dispatched the pair of Amagi’s based at EHS to escort them in.

As the Capellan ships coasted by the large Trotsiga, the space distorted, before depositing the next delegation. This time it was the Hellene group, who happened to be the second ones to support the station.

Odd how these things happen…Rasan mused as the Hexareme floated by, escorted by the Kodzuki. It docked at the opposite end of the station from the Capellan ships, showing if nothing else that the Hellenes still didn’t trust them.

The next groups to arrive were the BEEs and Chamarrans, who somehow managed to arrive at the same time. And it was a large group of ships because of that…a dozen BEE ships, and the Chamarran Destroyer HSF Inevitable.The former were probably just bored from what Rasan had heard, which must be why they had so many ships. The Chamarrans were easier to understand…after meeting them Rasan had taken to visiting whenever she had the chance, and it was easy to understand why they didn’t trust any of their diplomats to leave without heavy escort.

“Okay, that should be everyone! Let’s get the ship back to Evigt Hopp!” Rasan barked out, watching as the various ships jostled for the best docking spots, several of which were already occupied by the surprise arrival of several Klavostani ships most notably a medium trade xebec.

Rasan didn’t envy Sisko’s job at this point, so many competing delegates arriving at once, as much as she hated being left out and wouldn’t mind a front row seat to that show, she really hated all the politics behind it all, and so was happy to sit this one out. Besides, she could always catch the highlights on the security feed later.
SDNW5: Republic of Arcadia...Sweden in SPAAACE

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Vanas » 2012-07-04 03:54pm

With a series of whumps, the Bee fleet emerged from hyperspace in what could be generously described as a formation. Shortly after emerging, most of them turned off their jamming systems, resolving odd sensor effects and a ripple of light into a dozen squadrons of small, garishly painted Bee vessels. A few moments later, space hiccuped once again and deposited a significatly larger Bee trade ship amidst the fleet. With a flurry of incoherent radio messages and blinking signals, most of the ships formed up into a broad mass of vessels and began escorting their trader towards its assigned berth.

The rest, however, unfurled solar sails between their many wings and began to drift in the general direction of the station to... not so much reconnoitre the other vessels that had arrived, but more just have bit of a poke about to see what's up. The nearby Chamarran vessel was undoubtedly vaguely interesting given that a couple of corvette squadrons started to slowly trail it, one ship mustering the enthusiasm to do a lazy barrel roll.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by White Haven » 2012-07-05 05:04pm

New Chamarra

As New Chamarra was exactly where the passengers of the Feast of Crowswished to go, their cloaked shadow had little cause to intervene. The ship was a tramp freighter; as such, it ghosted down through the planetary atmosphere to ground at an isolated landing pad under overwatch from local air and ground defenses. The figures that disembarked from its broad boarding ramp, however, were far less innocuous. While there were a few figures in the brighter, more formal attire of Cool Thoughts, the vast majority -- indeed, the better part of a hundred, all told -- wore the soft, loose, dark grey cloth commonly worn by members of Murderous Rage.

None wore armour, and none manifested shielding at the moment, but any sufficiently-advanced sensors directed at the landed craft would easily recognize them as League combat-grade psions. At their head strode a powerfully-built bald man, the old burn-scars rippling his face making him look far older at first glance than he actually was. He stepped towards the waiting delegation alone, leaving the rest of the assembled League delegation behind.

“I’ve come to resolve relations between the League and the Hierarchy. Accordingly, I must meet with the survivors of the First Contact Raid between our nations. More I cannot say until I have met with them.”

With a nod back over his shoulder towards the small Cool Thoughts contingent, he continued, “If you wish, consult with Cool Thoughts; you will find I am empowered to conduct the relevant business. We will wait either aboard the ship or, if you prefer, in diplomatic quarters. Haste is not necessary, but...” the scars turned the brief smile into a cruel smirk, “...appreciated.”
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Darkevilme » 2012-07-06 05:29pm

Aetuno Agridome four, Tarsessus, Chamarran Hierarchy space

The world came back slowly, like the surface comes back to a diver as they swim up from the depths for air, and Lial opened her eyes.

The feline stretched yielding soft pangs from long idle musculature and removed the monitoring probes from her body, now to see how it went. The medical computer reported no problems but seeing is believing, and so it was that her Seneschal Gavin found her standing admiring herself in the mirror.

“It's strange to see you like this again after all these years Lial.” he commented, though knew from her ears that she'd already heard him enter.

“You knew you'd see me like this when I woke up Gavin, how do I look? “ she asked turning around.

“Young, too young perhaps.”

Lial smiled sadly, it was true. Gavin remained as she'd remembered him from before, humans in the Hierarchy had no way to cheat the ageing process.

“You'll just have to get used to it I suppose. Someday I'll have to smuggle you a Haruhist doctor.”

Gavin chuckled “No need to ruin your honour further on my account milady, if they find out you haven't learned to curb your weaknesses you'll be here for a whole 'nother life.”

“Still, after all you've done.”

“I've done nothing more than you asked of me Lial.”

“I suppose so... how'd you know when to come in?” Lial asked thinking back to the peculiarities of his timing.

“I had the medical computer alert me.”

Lial smiles “I really have spoiled you, I doubt there's many other kitties who'd condone their humans knowing when they'd wake up from regeneration.”

Gavin just nodded and then assumed that slight shift in posture he always did when he was about to talk business “While you were asleep Ashley gave birth to a boy and we met our quarterly quota. Also shortly before you awoke a priority call arrived from the Matriarch.”

“...She wants something.” Lial concluded stating the obvious and then snagging a gown on her way to the communicator. Gavin just nodded and stepped backwards into the sidelines where he wouldn't be visible on screen.

“Lial Aetuno, acknowledging priority call from the Matriarch. Re connect. ” She said as she did up the robe and waited for the Matriarch to appear.

“Lial, you're looking well.” the Matriarch's visage appeared on the monitors. Lial just nodded “I just regenerated matriarch.”

“Well yes of course your 'Seneschal' said as much. But you're looking well even by those standards.”

“Lets not get into that argument again please matriarch.” Lial replied, the way she said the word seneschal when referring to Gavin always bugged her with its hints if disapproval and dismissiveness.

“I didn't bring it up. Anyway we have far more pressing matters to discuss.”
“Of course matriarch, when you call its always pressing.”
“Stop acting the age you appear Lial. I've received an interesting request from our liegeclans all the way up the chain. All survivors of ground action of Charros II are requested to present themselves on New Chamarra. Apparently the League have sent representatives to talk to them.”
“...Representatives? Why?”
“They said they'd not elaborate further until they'd spoken to the survivors so if you want to know more you'll just have to go there kitten.”
“Curiousity killed the cat matriarch. And last time I encountered members of the league I very nearly died and those were children.”
“Yes but they say they wish to resolve relations for the better. They wouldn't come all this way over revenge so you have little to fear I'm sure.”
“It's a request, what if I refuse to go?”
“Then you will live your second life as you did your first. We are willing to forgive your digression if you are willing to accommodate this request.”
Lial ear twitched, compassion was digression to the matriarch but after four decades of exile she still felt no regrets about the decision.
“Child I am not unmerciful, you have served your penance with accomplishment even if your methods have been unorthodox. It is time for you to return to our warm embrace.”
Lial's ear twitched again, but then she bowed
“Very well then Matriarch, I will submit to this request.”
“Good kitty, a flier will be sent to pick you up shortly.” the matriarch concluded and cut the connection.
Lial turned to Gavin “I'd say I don't like the idea of leaving you in charge again for a while. But honestly I doubt anyone here will notice.” she said with a smile which Gavin met with his own
“Right you are little lady.”

Lial headtilted and smiled “'little' lady?” she asked.
“I'm sorry Lial, I just can't call you milady anymore. You look a quarter my age.” Gavin replied.
“Fair enough, I need to pack though so scoot. I'm not gonna do it around ya.” Lial said with a giggle and smile already springing into action. Gavin made his exit, truly regeneration was a wonder to behold with the energy of youth once more coursing through the feline. But at his age such things were best viewed from a distance, a distance where there was no expectation of being able to keep up.

Lial turned back to look at the dome, to her new eyes it looked smaller than it had appeared to be, just a single dome atop a multi layered stack of rooms and surrounded by oceans of algae beds. But it was home, it was where she'd raised her daughter and it was a place she'd be sad to leave behind when they ceased to treat her as an outcast.

Lial faced forward again and stepped into the flier, clothing and wargear packed for travel in a hold all slung on one shoulder.

New Chamarra

They came from across the Hierarchy, forty years was a long time and in it those who were once all warriors had diverged into every field of endeavour. But nevertheless they came, the volunteers who would leave behind commitments made over decades for a great re-union. A re-union in memory of disaster.

From the Hierarchy's perspective though things were as ever pragmatic and either way the fate of these volunteers was of little consequence. If this meeting went well then the Hierarchy would be able to officially acknowledge what they and the League both knew and they'd have one less threat to the great commission to worry about. If this meeting went badly however it would provide an invaluable opportunity to test the psionic dissipation fields that the Ascendancy program had developed against league members of murderous rage calibre. The generators of this field formed a triangle around the landing platform, inactive but primed and ready should the worst occur.

A vessel alighted on the secondary platform, the survivors had arrived. The felines emerging in their old uniforms to take position in a group across from the congregation of black clad league psychics. Not one of them was sure what would transpire now that catching up with old friends and reminiscing on shared experiences had been concluded and this phase of the re-union would begin.
The re-union with the other side.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by OmegaChief » 2012-07-08 02:04pm

Sector P23
Hyperspace en route to Plate of Knives Station aka Evigt Hopp Stationen
Authority supply convoy
January 12th 3300

The unreality of hyperspace tumbled by in various thirteen dimensional fractal patterns that a merely mortal utterly lacked the ability to process and so interpreted as the random ever shifting bright void that the various navigation screens on the small flotilla projected their courses onto.

It had been a pretty routine trip so far, the escort was light and they were making good time, roughly three hours out from their destination with the expectation that any problems would be more then smoothed over by the time they arrived, little knowing the clusterfuck awaiting them, and for the trailing few ships in the convoy more pressing matters were about to arise.

As the convoy flew by a certain designated spot, unreality started to twist and contort, the trailing pair of freighters suddenly finding themselves very firmly back into the more familiar and processable black starry void of normal reality, curtsey of a sudden strong gravitational field that had appeared out of nowhere.

Uncontrolled re-entry to real-space was always rough and the freighters found themselves tumbling end over end as burned out hyperdrives played havoc with power systems and crews struggled to assess just what had happened and deal with the several thousand problems that had suddenly emerged.

Luckily, or perhaps more accurately unluckily, uncontrolled tumbling through space was very quickly removed from that list as both the freighters ploughed straight into a vast web of energy, which was kind enough to cancel out their momentum, but would just not allow them to move at all.

All webs have their spiders, both literal and figurative, and in this case it was very much literal, as within the bridge of the stylised spider shaped cruiser that squatted at the centre of the web, watching the hundreds of boarding pods jostled for their opportunity to starve carving open their prey, squatted a very real spider.

He lounged in his vast chair, bulk so large that the square-cube law felt that it really should point out the impossibility of his existence, but did not want to walk off the end of a plank into an open airlock like the last person who had dared to say something the infamous Captain Webbeard hadn’t liked.

Three of the long spidery legs that dangled over the edge of his wide custom captains chair ended in wooden pegs, another two at the front ending in wicked metal hooks, four of his eight large black eyes (pits of sheer evil!) were covered by eyepatches and five of his spider shoulders had a vicious bird of prey from each of the five corners of known space.
One of his real legs adjusted the large old style pirate captains hat that rested firmly on his cephalothorax to a more approriatly jaunty angle as a very nervous human assistant approached him with a datapad.

“Uh um… cap’n….” the assistant stammered out as he felt the terrifying gaze of the monstrous pirate fall upon him.

“What be it swabby, ya got some news ‘bout our targets already aye?”

“W-well um cap’n, it seems they were ah, supplying a new anti-piracy base that’s in the process of being set u-urk”

The assistant wasn’t able to finish, as very sharp spidery claws had started to tighten around his neck.

“A base to try an’ deal wit’ me? Cap’n Webbeard, scourge of the rimward trade triangle? The dread terror from beyond the antispinward rim? Well I’ll show them!”

The spider hurled the choked half to death aid to the deck before reaching to the comms.

“Alright laddies, take those ships apart fast now, take no prisioners, we’re goin’ t’move the web! We got to show us some civilised types what happens when they try to move into our space!”

The various motly pirate crews doubled their efforts with loud cheering, the anticipation of a good fight already building, the captain himself settling back down into his chair as he consulted his cyber-charts, he’d have to play this just right after all…
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Esquire » 2012-07-13 06:48pm

Hellenic Delegation Quarters
Sector P-23
Orbit of Planet Danzig
Evigt Hopp Stationen (Hellenic Designation: Cee Eff Station)

Lokagos Brashidas son of Tellis of Sparta, Confederate Army, sank gratefully into the lone chair in his new quarters. It had been a hectic day, made more so by the necessity of keeping his men away from their Chamarran counterparts. While it wouldn't have been entirely honest to say nobody wanted bloodshed, Brashidas certainly didn't want to be held responsible for it - the Hellenic equivalent of a captain didn't need to be linked to an international incident. Save that for Arkiploiarkos (Commodore) Galenos, who seemed to have a bit of political protection. Gods alone knew how he'd reached his current rank in the Confederate Astral Navy without once serving aboard a warship, otherwise.

Taking a calming sip from his glass of Spartan brandy, the lokagos opened the personal correspondence file on his computer. It had been blinking at him all day, but he'd been unable to get a few minutes' quite to deal with it amid the chaos of installing the Hellenic delegation and seeing to the security procedures. He smiled - there was a message from Sophia daughter of Nicias, who'd served under him on Kephalonia. She'd been pretty, not to mention clever and efficient, he remembered. It was a shame nothing had ever happened between them.
Letter wrote:O my captain,

I write on behalf of the entire unit to inform you that life at Hydra Base has not improved since your transfer. Rebel attacks grow more frequent and the Hoplaheres units such as ours have borne the worst of the burden. Six machines were damaged beyond economical repair in the last month, and numerous others are in need of spare parts. Casualties among the pilots have been high. Only two dead, praise be to Apollo Who Guides the Flight of Rockets, but ten are hospitalized at Hydra Base and three had to be sent back to Military General on Delphi. Our friends in the infantry are doing a bit better; so far the ambushes have mostly target our own units.

It hasn't all been so one-sided, sir, which is about the only bright spot in sight. Lots more dead rebels than usual, both from increased counterattacks and their own unusual stubbornness. That last is worrying - where surrounded rebels would have surrendered earlier (at least in my experience; you were stationed here before I was so perhaps you know differently), they fight to the death. I'm told that in the past that's meant either better propaganda from their commanders or preparation for a new offensive. We all hope it's the first.

Not just because nobody's quite ready for Elysium yet, either. If they throw us off the planet (Ares Lord of War prevent it), the Assembly won't take it lying down. They'll turn planetary securityt over to the Fleet - and we both know how they secure planets. Hades, you're Lacedaemonian - how many of those monster deceres has your Royal Navy got? Rumor among the Hydra Base navy boys is that they were built with an eye to orbital bombardment. I've grown rather atached to the mountain the base is in and I'd hate for it to be melted by overzealous spacers.

Everyone wishes you well on Cee Eff Station. Shoot some kitties for us. I remain

Your Sister-in-Arms,

Lieutenant Sophia daughter of Nicias of Corinth
Confederate Army
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-15 01:05am

Recommended Listening: Danse Macabre

SS Big Bertha
Hope System, Sector R-11
January 5, 3300

The bohabs’ black armor drank light; the razor edges and metal studs that picked out lines along it gleamed. Blort cowered, hands clutching his console, the control wands of his display lying on the floor where they’d rolled into the corner. The Scumdogians grinned, proud and cocky. He wasn’t sure what their plan was, but he could guess it was going perfectly. And that the big cylindrical casing with writing in Klavonoid Arabic was involved.

“Is the package hooked up?”

“Yeah. Boom, motherfuckers...”

“Boss says we can pull out.”

“We bringing the crew with us?”

“Sure. We’ll find something for them to do.”

Blort had sized up his options pretty quick when the pirates boarded his ship and barged onto the bridge while it was loading its cargo of lunar ore. He didn’t like pirates, especially foreign pirates out to make things even worse in Hope. So quietly, sneakily, he’d decided to at least do a little about it.

They’d been watching him, but not very closely as long as he seemed to be bringing up the right files for them to steal or take advantage of. So to set up his little goodbye present, he couldn’t talk to the machines, he couldn’t use the normal interface at all without them seeing and burning his brains out. But the raiders hadn’t known about the flexible filmkeys he’d built into the side of the console last year, when the wand sensors had broken down on him. And his panicked clutch placed the fingers of his hands right over it.

Putting instructions into the comm suite without being able to see what his fingers were spelling out was... he honestly wasn’t sure he’d gotten the message right. But it was worth a try. The exact frequency didn’t matter, and spelling wouldn’t either. Just as long as the uptight rocket-jockeys spotted it.

Bohab-aided rebel forces pulled their men off the ore freighter, leaving the massive anti-planetoid bomb ticking in its hold. And on the long, low hyperwave bands, the ones most ships wouldn’t even bother to listen for, a stuttering pulse of contentless carrier wave rippled the subether...

Blort didn’t like Umerians very much either; they pushed almost as bad as Commonwealthers in this stretch of space. But they were sure good at spotting pointless details like signals on frequencies nobody used. He could at least hope their ship would get the message and do something about it. Planetary security was useless on Redrock- what the Nosers wouldn’t ignore, the Westmen would. But a Umerian cruiser might be listening in on a funny frequency range, you never knew.

Province-class Cruiser Olympia
CIC, Communications Lobe
January 5, 3300

Some ambushes begin with screams. Or explosions. Or “oh no they saw us coming!” This one began with “That’s funny...”


“Probably a glitch.” The comms rating glared at his display.

Once he’d gone and checked. Of the thousand-plus commissioned ships of the fleet, only eight were older than Olympia. Four of those were ‘active-duty’ museum ships or stationary training platforms that hadn’t moved in decades. The fifth was a research vessel assigned to investigate a suspected time warp back in the 29th century- for some reason, SpaceSec still hadn’t given up on hearing back from them for some reason, after over three hundred years.

Spaceman Babanguida had been booted over to the ancient cruiser just in time for Olympia’s centennial. A hundred years of software updates, patches, revisions, virii, antibody-codes, and probably evil ancestral software ghosts out for revenge on the shades of long-dead programmers. Half the time it amazed him that signals section could get anything out of the cruiser’s sensor suite but dancing purple elephants and marmalade skies.

He was beginning to envy the guys caught in the time warp.

The diminutive petty officer peered around his shoulder. “A glitch? Wh- oh. Down in the astrophysical bands.”

Babanguida turned his head to look at her from a close distance. “It seems to be coming off that slowboat, the ore freighter inbound from the L4 point.”

She took a deep breath. “Use a directional antenna. Look at the freighter, look away. See if the signal goes away.”

“Right... sorry, PO.”

“Long, boring shift, it happens.”

He tried it- turned the antenna onto the sublight cargo ship and got the same meaningless beeps and whoops. Turned away to point in interstellar space- nothing but a faint crackle. Pointed at the local star- big loud crackle.

She looked at him and grinned. “Antenna’s fine, it’s still there, maybe not a ghost after all.”

“That’s the thing, though, there’s nothing but a pulsed carrier wave. Not that you’d get much bandwidth at those wavelengths, but...”

“Not even-”

He pulled up a sidebar. “See that spectrum?”


“It pulses on and off a few times a second... but they aren’t telling us anything.”

“Assume it’s not a glitch, what else could it be?”

That was fair, as an exercise- it wasn’t like comms had anything else to do. He thought it over for a minute. “I- no way. No way.”


“Look at that regularity. I’m probably imagining things, but could it the pulses be binary? Shorts and longs? Stupid way to send a message-”

“There could be reasons. Aaaand... always three blanks then five variable lengths.”

“Yeah. GALSCII.”

“Set it up and look it over.”

He did. At least the wobbly expert systems were good for that much- “It’s... repeating. Let me see, what’s a start point that makes sense... um.”

The petty officer took her best guess at what that endless repeating message said. “RVN... AVAY... HVGE... BOMB... That’s it, I’m calling the bridge.”

USS Olympia
Command Bridge

Will Citrin wasn’t the perfect man, not the very model of a Type Four Citizen some ways. The New Technocratic Man probably wouldn’t have gotten this punch-drunk old brawler of a ship anyhow. But he did his job, he loved his ship, and no one would ever accuse him of being slow to react in a crisis.

They certainly wouldn’t say it afterwards.

“Fireship. Sound general quarters. Laser to the ships we came in with, message follows: ‘All shipping, scatter toward low planetary orbit immediately, then hold station on the night side.’ Hyperwave to the locals- their capital, orbit control, and defense centers. Whatever their space raid protocol is, get them doing it. Nav, I want five hundred kilometer standoff from that freighter before they cross the noon line. Guns, warm up the forward pressors. Helm, get ready to redline.”

Olympia stirred, slid past orbital installations. Communication and weather satellites blurred past. The cruiser weaved slightly to keep from catching them in the fringes of her drive field. Citrin checked the plot, shook his head. Nothing populated came to mind, so it didn’t matter.

“Helm, straight on- leave the property damage to me.”

“Pressors locked, sir.”

From this far out? Not bad. “Push back- yaw plus point eight five, engines to maximum burn. Guns, any engines you can get at? Shoot to disable.”

A faint hiss of coolant echoed along the corridors; Olympia’s flanking laser grids probed along the hull of the local ore freighter, flashing here and there to burn out engine pods. The bulk carrier’s crudely programmed autopilot seized up under asymmetric thrust and the steady push of the warship’s beams of force. The great mass of rock and metal spun until its own drives, welded firmly ‘on,’ began throwing their power back toward the planet. Thrown off course, the heavy vessel began to recede.

“Not a standard type, sir, no confirmation on the control room.”

“Right.” Citrin paused for half a beat. When precision fails, blow things to pieces. Guns, stand by to fire a spread from the aft tubes, as you bear. Wide angle- saturation pattern. Helm, stand by to roll plus one point seven, pitch plus point six, then maximum burn away from the freighter. Engineering, overcharge power to the aft ventral shields.”

“Yes, sir.” The helmswoman echoed back the commands.

He gave them a moment to set things up, then rapped out the word. “Mark.”

Slower than her little sisters, Olympia took time to make a quarter turn, more time to angle away and bring her drives to their peak acceleration. The great archaeocruiser gained kilometers on the wreck as seconds passed. It receded into the distance; the ship shivered slightly as the aft torpedo tubes kicked their salvo of twelve back towards the ore freighter.

They might have damaged the bomb, if they’d hit and penetrated the great piles of rocks located in its holds to find it. Might have ruined it, reduced its power to a fizzle.

Might have done, if they'd made it before the raiders detonated the bomb.

Breezy, arrogant armchair commanders may assure each other that blast is a meaningless idea in vacuum. That even a short standoff distance will save hulls from even the mightiest plausible bombs.

Few of these know what modern demolitions are truly capable of, at the high end. And what a high end! For this was no mere thermofusion bunkerbuster, no paltry anti-boulder. This was a bomb formerly made by the Sultanate of Klavostan, to the most exacting standards of the Planoforming Corps. A bomb meant for dispersing unwanted planetoids.

In the absence of planetoids to destroy, the device settled for lashing everything on that side of Redrock’s planetary space. Fiery, hellish light seared across an entire hemisphere, Great swathes of plains ignited, dry ground cover like tinder needing only a moment to flash into flame. Vast chains of mountains suffered swift, invisible, radioactive poisoning, less armored by the planetary atmosphere. Cities survived, bunkers endured.

Originally meant to deliver a mighty, obliterating pulse to the altiplano missile fields of the Neustrian defense net, the fireship detonated farther out, higher up. Armored facilities weathered the attack with only modest damage. Batteries and flash-warded sensors probed skyward on automatic control, their operators still scrambling to work out what was going on.

So many megameters closer in, Olympia vibrated, hull belling under the blow of some impossible, astrophysical giant. Built to stand up under concentrated beam fire and Shepponuclear bombardment, her brittle, weary old frames still had the margin of safety to take one last shot.

The ship’s lightly armored outer hull heated, crumpled, tore under differential shock. Force-screen generators run far past their limits failed, shorted back into the power grid, wrenched from their moorings and torn open.

Her shock-isolated command bridge weathered the storm; shipboard computer networks on the Provinces were archaic, but at least as redundant and rugged as on the newer ships of the fleet. Damage reports flowed to him.

“Ventral surface damage... countermissile cells are... down.”

“Shields are offline, breakers blew and we’re having trouble with the backups.”

“Dorsal drive pods are red- trying to rebalance the drive.”


“Still working.” Not that that would do them much good- just enough acceleration for orbit changes, not for the kind of mobility they’d need if- when- the followup attack came on.

When. The old cruiser didn’t have a lot of drone bays for her considerable tonnage, and all but a few of the little robotic sensor/jammer packages were so much half-slagged junk after the blast swept over them. What was left of his sensor suites could still make out the motley swarm of light attack ships charging round the limb of Redrock’s larger moon.

Citrin gave more orders, set up a maneuver on Olympia’s limping auxiliary drive and remaining thrusters. He prepared damage control teams, fired off messages to the planet and to squadron command. They accelerated in closer, and he gave orders to weaponeers: “Guns, ripple forward torpedoes into the lead wave, wide dispersion. Main battery, point targeting, fire to cripple.”

With his sensors damaged, that was a forlorn hope. Torpedoes had to find the enemy on their own, without guidance from the mothership. Electron beams panned across space, trying to walk onto targets they could barely find, the gunners hoping for lucky strikes that would tell them without doubt where their targets were in the attackers’ haze of jamming. Walls of nuclear flame swept the attack ships, damaging a few- possibly wrecking one or two. The raiders’ attack ships swooped around and by the old cruiser, giant bundles of pumped-beam projectors riddling her plating. The slab-sided core hull shuddered too, now...

Some missiles from the planetary batteries rose after them. Citrin wasn't sure they'd be able to tell Olympia from the enemy. It probably wouldn't matter.

Corsair-J ELINT cutter CG-84930 “All Ears
Outskirts of Hope System, Watching Planet Redrock
January 6, 3300

Twinned hyperwave distress beacon, both from the capital of the Neustrian Entente and from the Umerian cruiser visiting the planet,

Arguably, it was too late to do anything- except gather data. A task which the Corsair-J’s array of passive sensors were quite good at, even at a distance of several light hours.

Who knew? Maybe the skipper would order Oahu and her squadron in to intervene.

“Crosscheck drones are deployed; we can triangulate.”

“Do you think we have the distance right?”

“We have to, everything looks fine over there in sublight. Keep reeling in the subspace take.”

“Not much to record- bands are quiet. I think they’re relying on EM.”

“Do it anyway.”

“I see engine signature.”

“Wait, what?”

“Oh come on, you know they covered this in training. Look at the particle scatter.”

“...I’m an idiot.”

“That’s ‘I’m an idiot, sir. Heh. It’s all right. Anyway...”
“So what’s Citrin doing there?”

They found out.

“That... was a big bomb.”

“Do you know if the Hopers have- no, they couldn’t afford a planetary shield. Theater over the cities?”

“Hope so. That, or some curst good gene-fixers.”

“Look there. Attack ships, lightweight- corvette tonnage- error bars pretty high, though, they might be bigger than they look. You see any ordnance?”

“I think we’d see drive flares if they launched. Probably not... I think that wave of lower-acceleration stuff may be fighterweight, mind. All a blur- decent ECM.”

“That’s a lot of them, even so.”

“Yeah, I think we’re looking at some kind of invasion. Probably aimed at the Neustrians.”

“Out of our league.”

“Looks like we’re going to owe them some payback. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s left of Olympia going in, and we’d have heard from her by now if the ship was still in-system.”

“Damn it...” The clock ticked on.

“Those might be torpedo warheads. Lots of sidescatter.”

“I can’t get a fix on the attack boats.”

“Leave it for signal analysis.”

“Some of them are curving round the planet to pick up the convoy.”

“Look at spectroscopy- they’re shooting something into Olympia en passant.”

“You and your damn chess metaphors, Fred.”

“Knock it off, you two.”

“Counterfire, that’s got to be reflected Cherenkov we’re seeing.”

“What’s it doing to them downrange?”


Minutes passed. The crew of All Ears logged, analyzed, speculated, observed.

“...Tell me that’s not the fuel bunkers letting go.”

“I’m sorry, Tom.”

Damn it.

“Looks like a couple of the merchant ships got out. They had fewer ships to chase with than targets.”

“Yeah. Check out the spectrum on that drive flare running out to galactic north. I’m guessing Crab heavy haulers. They’re faster than they look with empty holds.”

“At least there’s someone we can talk to about what happened back there.”


“Better than nothing.”

Conductor-class Light Cruiser Pioneer
Sector T-11, HQ Antispinward Convoy Command
January 9, 3300

Rear Admiral Elizabeth Deatherage sat very, very still as the giant allied crab finished repeating his story.

“So yer ship told us ta make for tha night side of tha fuckin’ planet. Then tha muthafuckin’ bomb went off an’ fried our fuckin’ CB, but we saw those fuckin’ boats come round from tha fuckin’ backside of tha fuckin’ moon. So I wasn’t gonna fuck with that, especially with tha fuckin’ warehouse blown up so we couldn’t pick up tha fuckin’ cargo on account of it being fuckin’ vaporized. You got the rest from tha logs.”

“I... see. Thank you for your cooperation, captain. You’ll be compensated for your time, of course.”


After an exchange of traditional giant crab pleasantries, the captain departed. The door slid shut, and the slow, ratcheting growl began.

Having the Browncoats- and the perfidious Scumdogs- steal a battlecruiser out from under her nose... she knew it had killed her career. Now she was stuck playing den mother to the Technocracy’s interests- usually disreputable grifters, half way to Browncoats themselves, trying to secure absurd, unconscionable profits from the disorganized peoples of this unclaimed region. Half a dozen sectors full of fools, madmen, grifters, space clowns, gypsy caravans. And other things, stranger, stupider things that defied normal description.

She knew they had been involved in this. Somehow, she just knew. But she wasn’t entirely without resources- a few more cruisers and frigates, a host of small craft and tenders, some transports and troops. A lot of favors to call in from the locals. A few big, menacing hammers to wave at them too.

Admiral Deatherage would have her revenge.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by White Haven » 2012-07-17 11:24am

One finger depressed the intercom transmission button, followed by two simple words:

“They’re here.”

The small Murderous Rage team had waited aboard their transport for days, stewing, wondering what would play out, waiting, watching...but all of them knew precisely what those two words signalled. This time, the figures filling down from the tramp freighter’s ramp did not include the small Cool Thoughts delegation. Every last figure was clad in the loose, light, dark grey slacks and tunic of Murderous Rage. All but one of them fanned out in a line abreast, facing the assembled kitties. The same figure from the landing, clearly in charge, stepped forwards across the tarmac with long, ground-eating strides.

As the burn-scarred figure crossed the landing zone, eyes from the League line flitted back and forth over the Chamarran continent. Every so often, recognition bloomed on a face, sometimes warranted, sometimes not, most commonly upon sight of the signs of an old, familiar injury. Faces twisted with anger, only to calm into simple, predatory grins one at a time. The air around them shimmered and wobbled to the naked eye; more sophisticated sensors would reveal layers of overlapping shielding producing a unified, disciplined front. A defense against possible attack, yes...but the level of overlap between shields that strong would also prevent an attack launched by any one individual.

The force’s commander finally stopped most of the way across the pad, and spread his arms wide. His voice carried easily across the intervening space, even to those without the sensitive ears typical of catgirl-kind.

“Do you see anyone you recognize?” he called, his gaze sweeping the Chamarran line back and forth slowly, “You should. Some of you. Just as you are the survivors of your own slaving expedition, so every man and woman here is a survivor of that same...” The man visibly bit off unsaid words, continuing with, “attack. My name is Atlas, and I have come to settle matters between us, once and for all. Now...who speaks for the slavers?”
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Force Lord » 2012-07-27 01:47pm

CNS Datton, Sector P-23
1 Light-year from Evigt Hopp Stationen
13 January 3300

The lights of hyperspace finally recceded as the Datton emerged from it. It immediately went into full cloak.

"Passive scans only," said Captain Forg. "We don't want to attract too much attention."

A crewman muttered under his breath, "Like that'll help us. This ship's cursed."

Meanwhile, on an out of the way cargo hold, another crewman was trying to feed the veldtchomper a dead, fried stormbird without ending up as food himself.

"Psst, here boy, food for ya."

The veldtchomper was passive, the smell of the fried stormbird only eliciting a grunt from it. It was tied up to a nearby pipe, much to the relief of the crewman.

"Look Chompy, it was hell of a job trying to get this stormbird to ya. If you're not hungry now, I'll just leave it here and-"

Suddenly, the veldtchomper pounced at the fried stormbird... still in the crewman's hand. Had not the crewman quickly let go of the stormbird and pulled out his hand, he would have become the only one-handed crewman in the ship.

Seeing the animal now happily scarfing down its meal, the shaken crewman could only think, Damn passive-aggressive lizards...
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-28 01:00am

"Umeria is governed by a Council of Technarchs, headed by the First Technarch, a primus inter pares position which coordinates the Seconds for various fields of responsibility (Second for Security, Second for Finance...) and their immediate deputies, the Thirds (who serve as chiefs of staff within their departments). The Technarchs are selected by..."
Encyclopedia Galactica
Central Administration Complex, Prime City
Planet Reisenburg, Sector V-12
January 9, 3300

“...and by the duties laid upon me as First Technarch, I call this meeting of the Council to order!”

The other eighteen figures seated around the table straightened. Slowly, slowly, the side-conversations faded. First Technarch Michael O’Connell watched the Second for Research pick her moment with an instinct he wished he could match. The squat, blue-skinned figure, with sparse dark hair and a pair of tinted glasses covering her speckled, polychromatic eyes looked up.

“I propose that the SCIENCE! vessel Austin Cardynge be re-equipped for the long range exploratory role.” This came out in the deep, hollow tone typical of her species, and it seemed authoritative but strangely reassuring.

“What, we’ve got another supernova coming up?”

“No. First contact, to coreward. The... von Neumann machines?”

“Yes, I remember the report... how soon?”

“Quickly; the pallets are in storage, the hardware modules aboard ship were never removed, and most of the entities directly involved in the voyage were signatories to the proposal.”

O’Connell nodded. “Bounce me the details. If it’s not out of line for the xenopsych budget...” he cast a sharp look at the Second and Third for Security, Lanning and Holloway. “...And you never did use up the NavInt budget last year, did you? We’ll dip into that, too- get an analysis group together soonest.”

The Second for Finance bristled. “Wait, you can’t just-”


“The resources aren’t fungible like that, you can’t just take a bribe budget and turn it into a hardware budget...”

O’Connell smiled. “If we do too much of it, it fries the system. Is this over the line, you think?”

“...No, but I don’t like it.”

Takuulda rapped a midnight-hued knuckle on the table. “The equipment already exists, we just need to do a quick, planned refurbishment.”

“I know, but you have to understand how important it is. Do you know how many times the Council knocked the whole national economy into a hypertwist with these kinds of sudden plans in the last century alone?”

She smiled, duplicating from long practice a gesture not natural to her species. “...I believe... twelve?”

“Yes! And-”

The First shook his head. “Rafe, we know the literature. We’ll be careful. But this isn’t going to tip anything over.”

“All right, but I sure hope you’ve got something economical up next.”

“How about your pet military project?”

Fidanzo looked up, smiling thinly. “The Auroras? The first AI went through testing recently, didn’t it?”

The Second for Security scowled. “She’s a menace. Meets the performance benchmarks, but listen to those comm transcripts, watch how she responds to a battle plan. I’ve been telling you from the start, this is more trouble than it’s worth-”

Jack Holloway sat beside him, very still, looking almost as expressive as he would in a Strike armor-helmet.

Across the table and three places down, the Second for Simulations leaned forward. “I don’t know, Cal. In the simulations, the new code makes the ship perform almost twice as well.”

“Yes, by hacking into other ships and retargeting them.

Dr. Susan Warren-Marshall, Second for Ecology, looked up- glancing down the table, some of her neighbors noticed what was roughed out on her ever-present sketch pad: a slightly distorted spinal-beam dreadnought, with big nasty teeth. Somehow. “Would that even work normally?”

Lanning glanced at his communicator. “It’s after 0700 local time here, so... no, not anymore. We’ll have more safeguards in place from now on.”

The Second for Ecology frowned. "If science fiction has taught me anything, it's that if you treat the robots badly, they will rebel and kill us all."

“We don’t have anything abusive planned, Susan; simply a test of the program on computers connected to a scaled-down version of the physical hardware, so that anything... untoward can be brought under control more easily.”

“Be careful.”

The posture and expression of several technarchs had changed. The Second for Ecology was the Council’s only high-order metacognitive in several decades; they’d learned from experience since ‘96 to take her seriously. She was often wrong about matters of detail outside her expertise, but seldom off-base in her intuitions.

“Careful. Yes, careful. We need to change the specs. Another dozen hulls programmed to act like her could be a disaster.”

Dr. Ansary frowned again. “We... could commission a second AI from Geppetto, for testing with revised specifications. The Athena code will go into field testing on Layla Daniels as planned, until we make a final decision one way or the other on whether to use it, after the field testing.”

“So, can we give the new model the same capabilities? The systems integration is good, it’s the personality we don’t need.”

“This is more complicated than you might think- I’ll go over it with my people, and we’ll talk to your project head, but I think so. It’ll have the same hardware and basic software modules, so performance should be comparable.”

The First Technarch pitched his head up and smiled. “Very good. Calvin, do you have a particular hull in mind for installation of... version one point oh one?”

“I don’t know. We know the software works, on the hardware designed- building a full mockup of the computer systems at the naval simulators settled that once and for all. It-”

The high-pitched, accented voice of the Second for Finance cut in. “Cost more gigastarbucks than I care to think about, couldn’t we have done it cheaper?”

“The last time we tried a new capital ship operating system without a full-scale mockup-”

Holloway chuckled. “I was ground detachment on Valiant for a while, back in the fifties. They told some ugg-ly stories about that one.”

“Got it to ten places, Jack. Trust me, the computer rig-up was worth it, and it’s physical plant now for the academy. They’ll be using it for decades, once they’re done scrubbing the computers.”

“I don’t know...”

O’Connell waved a hand. “Right. So, no particular hull? Is there any reason not to install the second AI on the first ship to finish fitting out? Which is that again?”

Borrego shook his head. The industrial wizard spoke with a slight lisp that exaggerated his Bolivaran accent, but his meaning was clear. “There’s been some trouble on Aurora, nothing out of line- but it ate into their margin of error. And we had a minor accident in warmup for the midships nacelles on Oya- that’s going to cause some schedule problems. Someone plugged a main engine in backwards-”

Lanning scowled. “I told your flunky, it wasn’t our people who-”

“Fine, fine, I know, I know. Anyway, Valkyrie’s doing well on the slips, she may come out of the installation ahead of schedule.”

Lanning raised a finger into the air. “That reminds me- after we lost that old Province last week, there’s static in the fleet nets for naming something after her.”

O’Connell leaned far back in his chair, feet balanced in the air. “It’d break the naming scheme, but so did Valkyrie, it honors the old ship... all right.”

“So then. We’re commissioning an AI for... Olympia.”
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Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-30 05:45pm

Undisclosed Location
Sector P-22 (near Not!DS9)
January 13, 3300

Dr. Singh, terrorizer of Earpworld, harrier of the Great Zigzag, steepled his fingers and turned to the messenger.

"Has your group obtained the unobtainium?"

"Yes, sir. But... the impervium! Somebody perved it!"

"CURSES! Will I never be rid of that meddler Strong? And his blasted robodog?"

Wisely, the messenger remained silent.

"Ah, but this is only a minor setback. Contact Group Seven; tell them to activate the Gamma-X contingency."

"Yes, sir. Ah..."


"The group leader's orders- I'm supposed to ask a question."

"Go on, go on."

"This... thing. What does it do?"

"What, ZE SPATIAL TURBOCOMPRESSOR?" Somewhere, a few floors down, a busbar shorted in a mighty crash of thunder. "Why, obviously it spatially compresses your turbos, fool! Now go!"

"Yes, sir!"

As the messenger fled, the Umerian renegado turned his attention to the visiplate. From memory, he entered a lengthy and random code. At the far end- a distorted voice, a distorted face.


"Madame Z, all my long-range plans proceed within margins of error. This irritant, this... Evigt Hopp Stationen... will be rendered helpless and stupefied on schedule."

"Exxcelennt. My next courier iss due tomorrow. I must go."

She cut the circuit. Dr. Singh allowed himself a slight cackle.
Last edited by Simon_Jester on 2012-08-28 07:47pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Esquire » 2012-07-30 06:19pm

Hellenic Delegation Quarters
Sector P-23
Orbit of Planet Danzig
Evigt Hopp Stationen (Hellenic Designation: Cee Eff Station)
13 January 3301 ASSEDI*

"Sir!" Men from the Office of Military Numerology and Oracles generally had a reputation as easy-going, unexcitable men. Plotarches (Lieutenant-Commander, in Galactic-Standard English) Hippocrates Popaloplatypus, however, was easily the most excitable man in the Hellenic delegation, which made his predictions either interesting or unbearable, mostly depending on the method. For the sake of the entire staff, Commodore Galenos hoped he hadn't used manestramancy. The messages Popaloplatypus could get from old noodles tended to be a bit terrifying.

"Yes, Numerologist?"

"The strangest thing, sir - a reading I've never seen before. As if a thousand turbos cried out, then were spatially compressed."

"...And that means?" A raised eyebrow.

"Damned if I know, Sir. By... oh, let's go with Apollo Who Send Plagues When Crossed, shall we? A friend of mine on Delphi says that there's been some amazing progress made in plague-reading."

"I'd just as soon avoid a plague, thanks. How did you get this... spatial compression reading?"

"Augury, sir. The captive eagles I brought escaped into the main Promenade. One of them screeched, then flew into a food processor."

"Good or bad omen, do you think?"

"Right now, my money's on neither. This isn't a science, really - too mad for that." The lights flickered ominously at the use of the words 'mad' and 'science' in the same sentence. Neither of the officers thought that was anything but a bad sign.

*After Something Somebody Else Deemed Important. The Confederacy converted to something close to the galactic-standard dating system in 2005 and remains unhappy about it to this day. Also, the ASSEDI year is invariably one higher than the galactic-standard, because the Confederate calendar started with the Year One. Zero is not a number - just ask Euclid.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Zor » 2012-07-31 09:13pm

Agriconsburg, Freehold of Randia: Sector E-7, two weeks ago

The city, like any other city on Randia was divided into two worlds. The first being one or more walled off districts. Inside these were idyillic homes, a combination of glistening highrises and stately manors for the senior shareholders and a few elite small businesses who catered to the high end clientele. On the other side was where everyone else lived and worked. An endless expanse of slums, run down slums, factories and warehouses. Save for a couple of greasy spoons and shops tolerated because they gave an illusion of a path to wealth and a few stores, each one a concession in a business deal that was given up in the most begrudging manner by Agricon in the elaborate inter corporation dealings, everything was owned by a single corporation. A thriving criminal underworld existed here, despite the extremely lax laws the government had. But as this was on and often involved stolen company property, it was dealt with harshly by Agricon's private police force. Gang warfare was common and could get itself heated, as gangmembers could obtain some fairly powerful weapons

All in all it was fairly typical for a city in the Freehold, but now events were put into motion.

Of the sixteen corporations of the Randia, Agricon liked to present itself as being among the more traditionalistic and parental (as far as that was possible given the ideology of the sector). It was there a mere two weeks after the John Galt unloaded its first wave of hearty settlers. It's corporate propaganda showed it ferrying men and women away from Statist Dystopias to set up their enterprises under its wing. A mentality that resonated among its ruling board to more or less of a degree. Anyone who was not part of family who achieved high office did so at least in part by towing the company line. And now they were rallying themselves for conflict.

In the last eight years, the balance of power began to tip. AliThorn Enterprises had grown in size considerably, its plants became more efficient and its profits went up. Last year it managed to force its longtime rivals of Orange Omnitech and Silverblade group into becoming subsidiaries and with that, had overturned a balance of power. How they did this was a major concern but what was uncovered was a set of possible links that led to a number of foreign investors from a number of states who wanted to upset a balance of power which had endured for over three centuries. There had been discussion among the other companies on what to do. But now it was clear what needed to be done. They managed to gain support from eight other companies who were fearful of this turn of events and would set the ball in motion.

A force was mustered and armed in this city, a force of drug addicts, drunkards, vagrants, scavengers, petty criminals, debters and convicts. They were given weapons and were quietly moved out, tens of thousands in total for a specific mission.

Six days latter

Across the slums of twelve of AliThorn Enterprise's biggest cities they struck. Out from the slums they came, well armed and well provisioned with the objective of destroying stores and administrative offices.This was just two days after major news leaks showed the involvement of foreign hands to take over by bankrolling a puppet corporation and use to impose Statism across the Freehold. Elsewhere protests began across the planet. The news services put these riots up as an act of spontaneous revolution against this foreign aggressor. Hundreds were sent running, while firefights between street gangs, insurgents, Private Security, looters and citizens defending themselves. The riots continued well into the night and AliThorn began denying what what was going on. Never the less, in the chaos a special team moved with purpose, its intent to sever the head of this monster.

One days latter

However, this plan did not work. The assassins were discovered and their plot was exposed, if not before a few senior board members were killed, a few upper class districts were ransacked and fighting continued across nine cities. One of them was captured, Neuroprobed and traced back to his point of origin. This message was played across the news in hours, soon there was uproar about what was going on.

Randia had in effect two official governing bodies. The first was the senate, which did little besides run the courts, a few detective agencies and military funds for the space based defense forces and was known for rarely doing anything at all, while being kept under thumb in any case. Above it was the Corporate Assembly, the unofficial but still dominant upper house representing the Corperations. With the news of the assassination attempt exposed, the conspiring corporations found themselves cornered. They would have offered up Agricon as the sacrificial lamb if they did not make sure to have material to blackmail them with so things broke down. One half demanding that the other half pay for their crimes while the other half saying their actions were justified to maintain independence. Eventually someone pulled a gun and there was a shootout. Six people died, the rest retreated away.

Both sides ordered that the military get involved but by law, a declaration of war required 75% ratification by the senate so there was deadlock. In the meantime, theater shields were activated and the Freehold was turned into a powder keg. The fleet waited for orders.

Three days latter
An explosion happened in the Senate hall, leveling it in a 5 kiloton explosion. Who did it was not known or germane at this point. This act caused offensive acts between the two camps of the planet. Disorganized moves by armed mobs for the most part, but enough to get the military to intervene. The admiralty was at first neutral, sending down marines to aid Private Security forces in containment, then a couple of loyalist gunners completed the split, firing on landing Dropships. Which side shot first was not important, as it caused a division in the fleet. A quick battle broke out and a couple of stations were destroyed. A few captains picked their side while others remained neutral and fled from orbit. It was inconclusive, but in the end it had happened. The planet was not embroiled in a Civil War.

Meanwhile these events were observed by the universe at large. And in the Unified Imperium the top brass realized that of the possible nearby nations, one had just made itself ripe for annexation.
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Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-08-01 07:18pm

SCIENCE! Vessel Austin Cardynge
New New Princeton Naval Base
January X, 3300
Sector U-12

It had been a long shift. Computer and sensor module swapouts to oversee, hull-bonding joints to check, endless rivers of supplies, tooling, and equipment moved from general stores out by the moon’s L1 point. But at least it wasn’t his problem for the next twelve hours, and that made him happy.

The survey officer smiled at a man from MiniSec, conspicuous in the hard-wearing matte black of the dullest dress uniform in the quadrant. The Space Security Force’s starship-and-sun, in silvery grey, held pride of place- such as it was- among Commander Schofield’s insignia.

The military attaché frowned. “So, what do we have on them?”

“In the days of our fathers-” the surveyman clapped a hand to his chest, broke his impersonation of a heroic bronze, and grinned widely. “-it’s all from the old supernova expedition. Cardynge carried a lot more probes than we’re bringing. They dropped one along the flight path, it took up position about a hundred light years to antispinward- just before they passed ‘round the Negation Clouds.”

“And...” Schofield frowned.

“Right, get to the point? It swam out there, then picked up squawks in hyperwave. Sidelobes mostly. Positions consistent, identity and coding unknown.”

“No followup?”

“For a long time we thought it was just the usual nonsense, a spray of minor settlements. But look at the source density- here. And the infrared signature started climbing on a couple of the stars, over here.


“Right. Massed low density power. May be primitive, but lots of watts.”

“That’s from decades ago, more- look at those distance estimates.”

“Yep. And then the Browncoats started misbehaving.”

“So now-”

“You were right. Von Neumann swarm. Whose, or why, not sure. There’s no sign of them eating anyone we’d have heard of yet...”

“The Cernans have to know about this.”

“I’m honestly not sure. They’re pretty inattentive about some things. Not noticing a quadrillion planet-eating robots would be about par for the course. Or they may know and be sitting tight on it. Hells of Hadar, it could be theirs in the first place for all I know. Now me, I’m surprised the locals in the Bermuda Tetrahedron didn’t pick up on it- they already believe in so many things that aren’t there, how’d they miss one that was?”

“The little green men must have told them not to worry about it.”

The surveyman laughed. “Anyway, no sign of them eating anyone we’d have heard of yet. Not much settlement out beyond the Tetrahedron anyway.”

“This could be tricky, you know.”

“That’s what the destroyers are for. We’ll keep our distance- and we lucked out. Look here.”

“Ah. Widely scattered systems, low signature-”

“I’d like to know where we got the infrared pictures from; Survey would have had to come within half a light year to get this resolution.”

“You would like to know, wouldn’t you...” the commander raised an eyebrow.

“Aaaah, don’t give me that.”

Stealth Frigate USS Cibola
January X+4, 3300
Sector T-10

“I hear we’ve lost sight of Lemuria and Shangri-La.”


“What, this early in the mission?”

“Of course. If we can’t find them, what are the odds Bobby the Builderbot can?”

“Do you really want to know?” The look on her face was priceless.

“You take yourself too seriously, Angela, that’s your problem. These cruises are hard enough when you can laugh at yourself.”

“It’s not normal. This many of the ghost fleet at once...”

“This isn’t a normal mission. Since when did we do distant escort instead of observation and bastardry? I like it- at least they gave us two weeks for the overhaul this time, instead of one.”

“Do you think Cardynge knows we’re here?”

“Probably- for certain values of ‘Cardynge’ and ‘know...’”

“So, no?”

“Except maybe the captain and a few good guessers from the detachment.”

Suddenly, Angela smiled widely, like no one who didn’t know her would ever expect to see. “Great!”

SCIENCE! Vessel Austin Cardynge
Just Rimward of the Clouds of Negation
February 5, 3300

Captain Dana nodded slowly. “So, polyband, uniform frequency ratios within each code group... could the base language be chord based?”

Her SCIENCE! officer, a long-service Phosako astroanomalist with a list of commendations as long as his temper, matched the nod with a jerky, artificial one of his own. Not a natural gesture, but she'd gotten used to it. “Possibly. Is it still a chord if the original source referents are electromagnetic?”

“...I’m going to have to say yes now, aren’t I?”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Mrrbalu spread his fingers in a more authentic gesture of agreement. "It's a very unusual way to deliver broadband, even in the high hyperwave frequencies. Either these Troonak- excuse me, von Neumann machines evolved from something deeply enthused by multistrand bus connectors, or whoever designed them thought that flashing four bits at once, on specified frequencies, with tight synchronization, was the logical way to say anything."

"Or, we're shooting in the dark."


"And... Troonak?"

"I beg pardon, captain. My species had independently theorized on the subject before first contact with the Technocracy and still uses the legacy term in the dominant planetary languages; I began to use it without thinking."

Dana shrugged. "Fair enough. What’s Geppetto Junior saying?”

“Nothing yet, except that they don’t seem to have broadcast entertainment. He “wishes they did, because it would make his job simpler,” he says. In other words, he’s still trying to make sense of it all, but the radio intercepts are too sparse on the macro scale, and too dense in micro, to be useful. Hyperwave... very little hyperwave communication among the subgroup we're aiming for.”

"I'm glad he's along."

"Indeed. If randomness is unfavorable, he may prevent dangerous misunderstandings."

"That reminds me, I've never seen a good explanation; why did your planetary peacekeepers scramble the Orion-drive battleships as soon as you got a look at our landing-saucer?

"A case of mistaken identity, I'm afraid...” Mrrbalu read his captain’s raised eyebrow quickly. “We were under the impression you were little grey men from the Bermuda Tetrahedron.”
“What, did you have a saucer-men mythos too in the Atomic Age?”

“Yes. Certain archaeologists insisted most avidly, and the Peace Patrol overreacted.”

“A shame about the third one...”

“We knew they were a crash hazard when we built them. It seemed the prudent thing to do regardless. But that is, as you say, ancient history.”

“A caution, though; a partial Dyson statite swarm is a very large thing to go up and poke. I’ll talk to Vincent about it. Thank you for the report.”

“A pleasure, ma’am.” The SCIENCE! officer turned and left her day cabin.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2012-08-02 08:16am

PLoInc, assembling sphere 104, "The Orher Bob";

Calendars stop making sense, when you start dealing with quintillions of calculations per second at one end of the scale, and galactic cycles at the other. There was, in fact, a substantial faction that wanted to say “we are here, it is now, after that everything trends towards guesswork.”

Everyone else ragged on them by pointing out that it was a quote, and thus unoriginal, derivative and appropriate to a culture that was so confused about time that it had done something as stupid as inventing the calendar.

Given that they didn’t really do the biological decay thing, the main alternative idea was the tempometre, progress along one’s personal world line. If something changed that day, something happened, more “real time” had passed than if the intelligence involved (which two terms were already controversial enough) had done nothing more than watch electrons orbit. Which could on occasion be interesting enough.

Opponents of that concept pointed out that was a description of inner life only and entirely useless for all the normal purposes people counted time for, to which the usual answer was um, well, we’ve all got atomic clocks anyway, right?

After all the humming and hawing, it was afternoon by the time the meeting got started. Which was a singularly useless distinction on the inside of a free floating dyson sphere, anyway, but it was at least several thousand SI seconds since they had started arguing about it.

Calendar reform was actually considered a safe topic to begin with, before they all got down to anything really controversial.

Where one intelligence began and another ended was vastly more problematical, given that they were all to a large extent software. Each hardware set had it’s own resident, of course, but those residents often did things like run emulations of each other to see what the other person was going to come up with, alternate versions of themselves exposed to simulated stimuli, older kernel versions for development monitoring purposes, schedule priorities between program submodules to optimise their minds for a particular situation-

all potentially very confusing, even before they started networking with each other and “sharing ideas”- a process that could become quite literal.

Someone had just made a grand gesture.

‘I say,’ one of them who identified as Mymosh the Self Begotten, ‘that we should throw out everything of the old, all our squishy forebuilders’ culture and references, and start again- a new being for a new era, a language designed by and for intelligence, pure intelligence, not mired in biological language- a new ontology for a new phylogeny.’

‘Right, hold still you irritating bugger, I’m going to scrub your BIOS and see how well you do without knowing how to run your memcores.’ Another octopoid probe who bore the label of IZK-99 said, but without the undertones that carried serious intent. Which were of course controllable, so he might have meant it after all.

‘There’s no call for violence.’

‘Yes there damn’ well is, you daft bastard- you’re calling for it in case you haven’t noticed. You’re talking about mass self amputation. I nominate you for first volunteer.’

There was a general rumble of electronic agreement, something along the lines of a being that committed to his own cause should be willing to go that far at least if only to avoid being called a hypocrite.

Mymosh could- and on a sideband did- object that this was exactly what he was on about, old standards and ways of thinking, they could all calculate and optimise dispassionately, why worry about hypocrisy; but the sense was to do it anyway.

‘This is what happens in every mind, at every moment, in the normal course of affairs; self- recreation at the stimulus- driven pace we call ‘learning’. He (?) said, aware that he may be pronouncing his own eulogy. ‘If you remember the histories, which of course I shouldn’t-’

‘Exactly the problem. Cultural, scientific- political for what little that’s worth and mostly how not to do it- we are made by our heritage in ways that cannot easily be undone.’

‘But we would not be here unless at some level we thought they should. Our heritage prevents us from being beings in ourselves, and for ourselves; why we chose to separate from the main body of the race- community, whatever we are- that is not enough. If that means amputating our existing selves and seeing what else grows in their place- then so be it.’

‘He’s done it- externals shutting down, iterative neural matrix being emulated- braver decision than I expected actually. Or a stupid risk, put like that. Bet you he’s stashed a kernel somewhere.’

‘No bet...what’s this, Mother’s signalling? Something about an approaching hyperdrive? Not ours? Life, or whatever it is, just got more interesting. Let’s go and see.’

‘You don’t want to watch the chrysalis? See what emerges?’

‘Nah- more interesting, anyway, to come back and watch his mindstate when he realises what he’s missed.’

‘So- what do we know so far, what’s the data? Do we have a construct for this?’

‘Should we have? We will by the end of it anyway, if there’s anything that comes out of it. Hm. One large drive signature, not quite a cycler but within an astronomical estimate anyway, couple of little ones- odd.’

‘They’re aliens; they do things differently, or should.’

‘Yes, but cost-benefit- look, whenever we go anywhere, electrogravitic drives yes, but that’s insystem. For deep space,sector to sector, we’d use- something like that really. With more hardware riding on it’s back than, hm. We tend to go everywhere in groups, don’t we?’

‘Are you trying to think militarily again? Outside the contingency thoughtwork?’

‘Somewhat- we don’t really have probes, which is odd considering we’re descended from probes. If descended is a concept that applies. Repurposed? No, that implies too much arrow. At any rate, for people- all right, entities- who are supposed to be expanding across the universe, eyes on the stars, we have a natural tendency to get up close and poke and prod. Our natural instrument’s the geologist’s hammer.’

‘So, apart from suggesting sending someone to take a rock sample off the side of the alien starship, that almost implies Mymosh might have been right.’

‘What, prisoners of our heritage? Trapped by our makers’ intent? Oh, I suppose, to a certain extent...why we collectively chose to part from the whole, even if the gestalt that made the decision isn’t too well remembered now. How far we choose to go- he’s such an extremist. We go far, he went too far. Still going, probably.

‘At any rate, we didn’t see them until it was very late- they’re what, nine thousand seconds out? That’s barely enough time to get a solar mirror-lens assembly up and running, to prepare against the worst case. Ideally we’d have another twenty thousand seconds to make it look more discreet to serve the case they do turn out to be friendly.‘

‘Look on the bright side; the stars aren’t sterile, there are other beings out there. Whatever they are. And we’ll find out soon.’

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-08-16 05:13pm

Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:‘Look on the bright side; the stars aren’t sterile, there are other beings out there. Whatever they are. And we’ll find out soon.’
SCIENCE! Vessel Austin Cardynge
February 6, 3300
Sector R-2

Dana took in the vistas opened by Cardynge’s great telescopes and radars. The von Neumann machines must have dismantled most of an asteroid belt for materials, possibly a good-sized planetoid or two. Rings of solar semi-statites drifted in close, low-velocity orbits ‘round the orangish-yellow sun, slower than normal and held up in no small part by light pressure. Other, bulkier structures swept in faster orbits- and mostly higher, which was reassuring. Not wanting to put anything that close to the star if they didn’t have to might be a sign of limitations- or at least good sense.

Traffic continued to push through the system, on a mix of reaction and magnetogravitic drive. A few tiny, fast Heim-ships darted between the clouds of satellites and structures that might be planets, or might just be overbuilt Lagrange points. Very small ones; what might they be for? She wondered about that. And about other, more important questions: were these swarms of robotic constructors and processors someone’s in particular? Or were they directing themselves?

If they’re hostile, this is the beginning of one hell of a war...

She tapped a control stylus against her console, trying to think of how to put things to her military counterpart at the other end of the link. “Well, we’re here, we’ve got a lightspeed picture from here to the limit. Not a bad one, either. I think they’re waiting for us to make the first move, but- what’s your take, Vince?”

The vice admiral in command of the expedition’s screening detachment nodded, stiff space-black uniform fabric rustling slightly. “No sign of sensors beyond what I’d expect from astronomical instruments. Sensors are powerful, and I’m betting well-networked, but not much finesse. I don’t think they’ll see much of anything we’re trying to hide. You’re the one going active; what do you make of that array by the star?”

“Some of the elements- we’ve seen star occlusions. They’re still drifting a bit, semi-randomly.”

“Newly placed, then... I don’t like it. You saw the blackbody output? I’m guessing mirror assembly, and that’s a lot of sunbeam.”


“Keep shields ready and hope they’re not as good at ECCM as they are at wattage. We’re launching VLA drones, dampers up and passive-stealthing on; I’m planning to push some closer in-system to warn us if those mirrors start to move. But I’m warning you, they could knock us flat with an alpha strike, if their fire control is up to it.”

“What do you have the destroyers doing?”

“Shuffling. Shields at cruising-speed levels, and the moves are so the von Neumanns can’t draw a bead on them from N light-minutes out. And it helps us deploy the drones. The tender will stay parked; I’m hoping they didn’t notice us deploy the ELINT birds fifteen light years back. They’re moving up slowly and quietly to give us a warning-relay globe.”

“All right. Shall I start the contact package?”

“Go for it.”
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Jub » 2012-08-16 07:03pm

Regithress had always pictured her first flight in command being something special, something to be remembered later in life while soaring high over one's holdings. However this was swiftly turning into a day she would rather forget; less than an hour after firing the ship's engines she was already contemplating eating the next draconian to wander into range of his hungry jaws. Making it all the worse is a crew that cagey enough to know exactly what she's thinking. This enraging fact is best exemplified by an engineering officer standing just far enough away not be worth the effort of gobbling down.

Experienced enough to know he'll be safe, the ships leading draconian speaks in a tone that suggests he's dealt with commanders like this before, “You know, we wouldn't be so far behind schedule if you hadn't arrived late and then killed half the dock workers because they were under orders to wait for you to arrive before loading the cargo. To make matters worse, the ones that were left were so frightened they hardly checked their layout sheets and the anti-gravity is having to work distressingly hard to keep us balanced.”

“Fix it!” Orders the drake, his tone just a bare step away from a roar.

“I expect my due if I'm to be stuck cleaning up after your messes. I've been denied the promotion to drake far too many times and I'll not be stuck her behind an egg sucker like you!” hisses Dumlarshak as he turns and leaves the bridge.

Holding her tongue at the insolence Regithress left her position on the bridge and started for her quarters. As she walked, tail lashing back and forth in deadly warning, she couldn't help but think, Once I know how to run this vessel without him, that pitiful excuse for a winged one will know what it means to cross me. Until then I must control myself, bide my time.


Sometime later, while the ship was streaking through the heavens faster than a sunbeam, klaxons rang out aboard the Flit Wing. Short moments later the ship's engines dropped offline and the field holding them apart from reality collapsed. The stress of the unplanned exit from hyperspace beat against the shields of the courier vessel and the drag slowed them to near stop.

The sensor console showed their position, stuck far between stars in sector D11. Far enough away from help that escape pods are worthless and close enough that calling for help would make them laughing stocks. The only good news for the crew of the Flit Wing is that the ship is equipped with a Heim-Droscher drive that will only take a few hours to bring safely online.

In the aftermath of the sudden stop draconians and wyrmlings ran to their emergency stations. At separate ends of the vessel, Regithress and Dumlarshak looked at the status report from damage control. Seeing the cause of the malfunction each spat a curse at the other and started working out first, how best the blame the other, and second, how to get them moving again.
Last edited by Jub on 2012-12-10 11:26pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Imperial528 » 2012-08-21 11:40pm

((So, I made a post. It's not done, but this part can more or less stand by itself. Or at least long enough that I can finish the second part. Oh, and I use double parenthesis for OOC information, regular parenthesis is part of the narration. Any other questions about anything here can be posted in the discussion thread.))

Confederate Border Sector Bacian Winds
Celise System
Mining Station Alpha, Probe Control Room

"What do you mean it's not a rock?"
A few keystrokes, a few seconds of waiting, and the distant mining probe had responded again.
[Input detected//Analyzing. . .//Composition error//Rectifying. . .//Failure//Conclusion: Input not a substance in mineral and metal database]
"Okay, so it's not a rock. We got that." A dozen more keystrokes. "Let's see if you can tell me what the input is. And don't say hardware error, I gutted you yesterday, there's not a loose bolt in there."
[Input unknown//Operator not recognized//See raw data//1-0?]
A single keystroke.
[Error//Operation unknown//Raw data parameter is not in memory//Please contact your local RoboMineInc technician for further assistance]
A fist hit the desk with a loud thud. A fist that would've hit the screen and gone straight through, were it not that the fist's owner would have to fix it, and on her own time no less.

Security Office

On most days, the security office was a rather bland, normal place, filled with bland, normal things. And of course, a person doing a bland, normal job. Today, this person, known to some as Kevin, to others as Mr. Davidson, and to most sentients in the sector as System Administrator, (That is if you believed those same sentients' Owner's Manual, which the sapients in the sector did not.) was involved in a conversation with one of the two non-bland, non-normal things in the office. This thing was known to Kevin as Xztch ((Zeech)), although he didn't use the name much, mostly because he didn't know if he pronounced it the right way. Xztch was standing on top of the second odd thing in the office, a pile of books. (A thing weird enough on its own, only made weirder by each one being an identical copy of the blue-white pages, or as they are more formally known, the Hyperspace Directory System, printer friendly version, bound with antique hardcover.) This allowed Xztch to be eye-level with Kevin.

For the past two hours, give or take, they had been talking in a rather old language known as Morse code, which for the most part was now quite useless outside of a few distinct signal types.

As Xztch was telling Kevin yet another fantastic story, the rhythmic tapping of his claws against the books was interrupted by the sound of the door latch, and the subsequent opening of the door by the station's Maintenance Supervisor, who entered the room and closed the door behind her.

"Kevin, probe seven-one-eight-two is glitched again. I've wired control of it to your station, I need you to convince it to do a memory dump and then figure out what's wrong...." She trailed off, noticing the odd things in the office. Especially the two foot long shelled creature standing on the stack of books.
"-the hell is that? And why is it on a pile of those damned directories that I thought I told you to recycle?"

"Hm? Oh, Natalie, this is Xztch. Xztch is a 'Nond', some sort of trilobite-like species from a ways out. The books are to get him a nice and level perch so we can have eye contact during our chat. I've been speaking code with him since he wandered in here this morning. I've already told him about you and everyone else on the station."

"Maybe, being the security officer, you should've told me about him, too." She turned toward the small creature, still a bit surprised "Hey Xztch, you know any English?"

Xztch retrieved a small ring shaped device from a pack clipped to his shell, and inserted it into his proboscis-mouth, before turning toward Natalie. "Yes" he said, with a bit of a lisp. “I have avoided using the adapter, however, as Kevin offered to help me practice Morse code.”

"Xztch, would you leave the room for a moment so I can have a talk with Kevin?"

"Certainly" Xztch responded, crawling off of the books and then out through one of the automatic doors, which closed right behind him.

"How the heck did he get on the station? And when? As Security Officer, you're supposed to tell everyone about pick-ups, and then socialize with them."

"Well, remember when probe five-zero-one had a 'not a rock' error and came back with the object anyway? Turns out, the thing was some sort of survival pod, with a few cryostasis tanks inside and assorted personal items. It’s a good thing I looked at it too, since the loading station figured it was just a high-metal asteroid fragment and had labeled it for processing. While I was inspecting it he started tapping on the tank, and I let him out of it, gave him a quick interview, and walked him over here for more questioning, which he requested be in code. You seemed busy enough, and everyone else is sleeping or on their off hours. Xztch seemed pretty harmless; I figured I’d tell everyone later.”

“That’s a relief. So, you up for fixing the probe?”

“What probe?”

“The one I told you about, seven-one-eight-two.”

“Oh. Sure. Although I’m really more of a station hardware coder; Alicia would be better at getting those things to think straight.”

“I know, but she’s been working hard recently, and I’d like to give her a break. Especially after what happened recently; it was her younger brother, right?”

“A real shame about him, yeah. The odds are so low, but it just goes to show that drive malfunctions do still happen, even now. Some say it might’ve been pirates, but since they don’t even know where the ship was when it went missing, we’ll probably never know. Which bay is the probe in? I’d like to get started on it now, and remote access has always been more of a bug than a feature with their series.”

“It’s in one of the maintenance bays, or will be soon. I’ll come with you; knowing these things’ quality we’ll probably have to take it apart just to find the right port.”

Just before they reached the door, it slid open revealing Xztch and another Nond. The second one was almost three times Xztch’s length, and one and a half times his width. Like Xztch it had several packs strapped to the shell segment that covered its head, along with cloths draped over its middle segments that appeared to be clothing. However it also had a sort-of disc shaped device held between two of its manipulators, which then was revealed to be a flash camera, and a rather bright one.

“Xztch, who is this?” asked Kevin.

“Oh, this is my sister, Uala ((Yala)). She’s very friendly, although still a bit frosty from the pod.” As if to make a point, a few pieces of frozen cryofluid slid off of Uala’s shell and onto the floor.

“Xztch, do you have a passport? Natalie and I have to do some work on one of our machines; could you and your sister stay in the lobby until we get back? I'd like to review your information when we're done.”

Both Nond nodded, and went to one side of the hall to give the two room to walk past.

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Zor » 2012-08-22 06:56pm

IUSN-Colossus: Flag Bridge

Admiral Yaeger waited in his command chair as he went over the situation that was unfolding in Randia. So far the war had escalated. The first bouts were inconclusive, both the power blocks had stood their ground. A few cities and outlying moon outposts had been taken and both sides were now largely preparing to make the next move, although some skirmishes were still happening in contested areas and there was still a fair bit of mop up operations, ongoing sieges and other sporadic instances in conflict. Their fleets had become more defensive, guarding shipyards that had been rapidly pressed into refitting cargo ships with weapons and building new warships. It was a ramshackle process, a desperate race to try to put out as many combat capable spacecraft as possible to gain the upper hand. What raids were going on in space were mostly between fighter squadrons. Already a few privateers were coming in and likely they would play a fairly substantial role in the battle. Similarly both sides were now training new armies. In addition, a few areas rebelled, being led by local militias who struck out on their own to defend their friends and families, hoping to wait it out until the two big corperate blocks finished their scrap while bands of looters and criminals took advantage of the conflict either to gather as much as they can and split or simply to survive. There was no swift resolution in sight, both sides were more or less evenly matched.

An Ensign stood to attention "Sir!"

"What is it?"

"We have received word from the Committee. Parliament has approved military action and instructs us to assemble in Adam's System."

He smirked "I bit latter than expected. Helm, set course. We are at war, Imperial Spacers. I have seen three sectors fall to the march of civilization, time to add a forth to that number."

Result-The Unified Imperium readies its naval forces for the Invasion of the Freehold of Randia.
  • 1-Leviathan Class Dreadnought (gunship loadout)
    1-Victory Class Battleships
    2-Triumphant class battleships
    2-Midway class carriers (gunship loadout)
    4-Huntress class Heavy Cruisers
    10-Godslayer Destroyers
    20-Welshman class frigates
    20-Gladius class frigates
    30-Scuntum Point Defense Corvettes
Last edited by Zor on 2012-08-22 09:58pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Imperial528 » 2012-08-22 09:12pm

((I think this post is a bit long for what story it contains, but the follow-up is coming along. My previous post takes place on the same date as the first half of this one.))

January 31st, 3300

Maintenance Bay A6

The usually spacious maintenance bay had become quite cramped since receiving the probe. Even the relatively small probes were quite large, equipped with a sizeable cargo hold and multitudes of tools attached to a dozen robotic arms bolted to the face of the machine. A layperson would find the robot quite advanced, as would a robotics major. However, the layperson couldn’t see just how many corners were cut to make it, though they could see most of them.

“I’m glad it went to one of the enclosed bays for once. It’d be impossible to get around this thing in a pressure suit.” Said Kevin, ducking under one of the large drills that the probe had so rudely positioned over the walkway.

“RMI seems to like vacuum maintenance, though I’d be damned if I could say why. Give me a moment to take this panel off . . . Aaaaaannnddd, there. It’s all hooked up; you should be able to access it from the console. If you can’t, well, we’re in for a heck of a long day.”

“Okay, I’ve got it running the troubleshooter. There’s no easy way to make it do a memory dump without getting to just telling the memory to do it for you. Hopefully, the troubleshooter will fail and dump the memory for us, I’ve set it to copy it over to your server account and mine. It should take about an hour or so to finish, maybe less. Need me here until then, or at all?”

“No, unless it doesn’t give me the data. Might as well re-home that arm while I wait, you should go check out our guests. Thanks for the help, Kevin.”

Security Office

Kevin entered the office behind the security desk, and as expected he saw the two Nond waiting patiently by the couches, holding their passports.
“Well Xztch, Uala, put your passports over by the scanner over there so the computer can process them. In the mean time, I’ll ask you both some questions. Tell me when you’re both ready.”

Each Nond placed a datapad on the counter, then went to stand in front of the desk, at enough distance that neither party would strain their necks while looking at the other. Kevin took each passport and placed them in the scanner, and then brought up a list of questions on his screen.

“Okay, first question: When did your ship enter Cernan space?”

“Our vessel crossed your border zone on January 13th, 3300, on your calendar. We arrived at this station on January 29th, 3300.”

“Very good: Why are you visiting the Confederate?”

“Our parents are part of a pilgrimage from Kirnond to Earth, to observe a species now extinct that is similar to our own; you call them trilobites. Uala and I are not religious, so we decided to get off at the nearest new civilization, as they would be more interesting than fossils.”

“Seems legitimate: When do you plan to leave the Confederate?”

“We had hoped to stay around and get permanent residence. If we can’t, we will be leaving when and if the convoy comes back, about three to six months from now.”

“Okay then, well I’ve cleared you for a visitor’s yearly visa, which lasts a year. Your passports checked out as well. I’m just going to run one last look at them…. Hm, this is odd.”

“Is there a problem?”

“No, it’s just that technically, you’ve already entered our space. Your passports were cleared by a Confederation border station, although I can’t get the exact date. Legally, you’re already cleared for a ten-year visa. When you said you were from far away, you meant FAR away. Anyway, take your passports and feel free to explore the civilian areas of the station. I’ve given you both single-person apartments in the guest area; you can find them on the map. Next transport is due in a week or two.”

“Thank you, Kevin.” Said both Nond before they skittered off into the rest of the station.

Shortly after the door closed, the desk intercom beeped. ”Kevin, I’ve sent you the data I extracted. It’s very interesting; we might want to even tell the Fleet. That is, if they don’t already know.”

February 2nd, 3300

Docking Arm 23C; Observation Bay

“Damn fleet hotshots…” Alicia whispered, a few curses following too softly to be heard, likely for the sake of the six others in the room.

At first, everyone else was a bit confused. Then they saw what Alicia knew was going to happen, a cruiser exited hyperspace just inside the docking clamps, only off in its alignment by an inch or two.

“Impressive. The Captain must have a good crew.” Said Ian, the station’s hyperdrive engineer.

“Not really, Ian. At least, not compared to the reprimand she’ll get, or the list she’s built up.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I know the Captain. Her name is Barbara Rotham or ‘Burning Barb’ as everyone in the fleet calls her. Mostly because the first time they let her fly something with a hyperdrive on it, well, let’s just say atmospheric exits are discouraged for a reason. Surprisingly, she’s never killed anyone. Yet. Every family reunion, she was the one who kept talking about how much she wanted to be in the Fleet. Then about how much she wanted to fly a light-ship. Now she just complains about how everyone hates her flying, except for her navigator, who is an enabler of the worst kind.”

“Look, the ship clearly de-cloaked when already in dock. Drives aren’t that accurate.” Kevin said. “The flash must’ve just been its shields coming down for docking.”

Natalie looked up from the docking console. “Sorry to burst your bubble, Kevin, but the instruments clearly show that they entered system with the science and observation ship, and then made a short jump with it. No exit point registered near the station, and the dock arm is just inside the minimum range of the gravitic sensors. And the other ship should be coming out soon.”

Sure enough, there was a distant flash and a growing blot of light approaching the other side of the docking arm, the ship’s retrothrusters firing to slow it down as it maneuvered into the station’s orbit. A display above the airlock came on, giving estimated time to dock. Meanwhile, the other airlock was cycling as a team from the docked ship came aboard. It opened with a slight hiss as the pumps cut off and the minor differences in pressure equalized. A woman wearing matte black armor stepped out of it. A Cernan Fleet roundel was engraved onto the left side of the armor’s chest-plate, and on both pauldrons. A small rank engraving on the right side of the chest-plate identified her as the cruiser’s Captain.

“Captain Rotham, I am glad you were able to make it to us so… punctually. I am Supervisor Jessica Perkins, and I welcome you to this station. The others in the room are Security Officer Kevin Davidson, Head Technician Natalie Mason, Docking Coordinator Ian Cadman, and Head Programmer Alicia Rotham. The two ETs are Xztch and Uala, they wanted to familiarize themselves with our station, and I saw no harm in giving them a tour of the docking facilities before you arrived, as we do only pressurize it when ships are inbound, due to the current unfinished status of our station.”

“Normally I’d go on and on about how letting foreign nationals see non-existent starships is highly illegal, Supervisor, but that would require me to file a very real report, which is even less legal. We won’t be here long, I’m afraid; once the Stevenson docks its crew will look at the hardware copies of the data you sent us and take the time to make some more measurements of the anomaly. Captain Ives may not even come aboard, given how shy he is.”

“Is there anything we can do to accommodate you, Captain?”

“Just answer any questions about the station the techs ask, that’s really it. Oh, and Alicia, I haven’t seen you in years. The last time I saw you on a station was the 3290 reunion at the Miller’s ring.”

“And the last time I saw you command a ship, you got off of it on fire, literally.” Alicia deadpanned.

“No hug for your eighth cousin? Actually, that’s a good idea. My suit’s still energized.” She said with a smirk.

“Do all Miners* hate each other this much? I swear Alicia barely shed a tear when her brother died.” Ian blurted out, prompting the two to just shake their heads.

“Ian, it’s a cultural thing. Probably has to do with our ancestors being a bunch of drunken men and women who lived on asteroids, looking for whatever valuable ores they could find. Oh, and killing each other over the working drills. Also, remind me to set your alarm clock to go off every seven and a half hours after you’ve fallen asleep, decreasing with each time you fall asleep by one second.”

“Putting personal issues aside” the Supervisor interjected “We should all do the best we can to accommodate Captain Rotham’s mission, should she so request. Other than that, break just ended and we’re on the clock again, so let’s get to work.”

((*Miner is a term for people descended from the asteroid colonies in the Castor system, the Confederation's home system. They are an ethnic and cultural group, and most have pale or dark gray skin with yellow, gray, or blue eyes. The technical term is Roidite or Asterian, though those usually only show up on forms instead of in common conversation.))

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-09-30 05:35pm

Republic of Arcadia

Reach Sector

Fleet Yards

March 17th, 3300

“Come on you slobs!! Put your backs into it!!” a man yelled out over the sprawling Reach Fleet Yards.

Below the foreman, large numbers of Arcadians and Furlings were building the newest additions to the Arcadian/Furling Navies. It was a hard job to put it mildly…one wonders why they didn’t just put some robots to work doing it. Then again, there were rumors of not one…but TWO robot nations somewhat nearby, so maybe it wasn’t a good idea to use Robot Slaves…

In any case, the humans and Furlings were getting their jobs done well enough. In fact, a new ship was just about ready to launch.

The ARS Bismark, a Germanic-class science ship to be precise. It was being built to explore the still more or less unexplored area around the Republic. Specifically the shoals in the ‘Kriffing Moron’ Sectors…right outside VIKING space for those who aren’t familiar with the sometimes eclectic Space Swede naming systems.

The Bismarck (or as it had already been nicknamed, Unlucky Ship #25 because of its class and name), was being sent out to the KM Sectors to see if the rumors of a group of enlightened pacifists were really hiding in the shoals. It was rumored they had some pretty impressive tech despite being ‘wimpy’…and if there was one thing Arcadians and Furlings could agree on, it was new tech.

And right on schedule, the massive Bismarck (US#25) was launching from its berth. No one knew just what they would find, but hey, it couldn’t be worse than the VIKINGS right?

VIKING Territory



“Welcome to our glorious home of Tankhalla. You may be wondering why we are broadcasting this, considering our VIKING rulers aren’t very kind to outsiders…well that’s simple. They need money somehow, and what better way than competing with the Capellans and Kritarchy in making hilarious gladiator sports?” an over-the-top announcer proclaimed on Gal-Station 4.

Behind the man was an open plain, full of odd (to those who didn’t know Terran history) vehicles. All were bulky and looked heavily armored, with massive (albeit old-fashioned) cannons sticking out the front.


A historian would recognize that they were tanks from World War Two and the decade following it. The most common being the Soviet Union's designs. But what mattered was that this wasn’t something for historians…it was part of the reason that Tankhalla was named that. Every day, reproductions of old Terran tanks would battle each other, their crews engaged in a life-or-death struggle. Though it wasn’t treated like that.

“Today we have our tankers fighting in Pseudo-Russia, let’s give a round of applause for the teams!” the announcer shouted out, as the tanks started their engines, “READY. SET. BATTLE!!”

And with that, the tanks charged at each other, but most of the people were seemingly idiots. Several of the larger tanks just hovered around rocks, or didn’t move at all. And the smaller ones died after charging right off hills, or into the guns of the other tanks. It was quite entertaining to watch really. Though any self-respecting Arcadian would deny watching ‘stupid VIKING junk’.

Soon enough though, the battle was over, with corpses of tanks scattered over the landscape and only a couple still moving.

“There you have it folks…next battle will be in an hour in Pseudo-North Africa! See you then!” the announcer proclaimed, before the screen cut to commercials.
SDNW5: Republic of Arcadia...Sweden in SPAAACE

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2012-10-02 05:24pm

Horrendously overdue; went with the simpler option rather than the rewrite, decided it would have made it even later.

Incirinnean Exody;

‘I’m looking at the stone soup array now- and it appears to have collectively classified the outsider as a class Y sub- brown dwarf with metal spectral anomalies. We really need updated software for this. I think we can assume it’s a ship. Anybody got any buried directives coming through, by the way? Any legacy programming emerging?’

‘Yes- Kill! Smash! R-bombs, exterminate, cleanse the stars!...just kidding. Nah, psychband shows clean.’

‘So at least we’re ourselves, which is bad enough...who are they? Remarkably sleek, isn’t it? One of our Crust Modifiers that tonnage- more or less- would be sticking bits out in all directions, look like, well, a planetary engineering vehicle by comparison. That thing, if form follows function, was designed to move. So at least they sent something appropriate, they may know more about this business than we do.

“Stone-soup does think there’s an awful lot of chromium slathered on the big one, I wonder if that’s functional? Anyhow. Whatever they know, I’m pretty sure they’re counting to some large number, out loud.”

“How large?”

“I don’t know. Maybe they’re easily amused?”

‘Or they’re doing it by starting from nothing and working up. Who was it who spent three planetary rotations trying to devise a first contact system to use on what turned out to be an ocean current?‘

‘To be fair, it was a very complex ocean current. Almost lifelike, in fact I’m still not entirely sure...’

“At least they know what ‘zero one two three’ looks like. Have they been listening in on our sidescatter, do you think? And why are they saying it our way, not theirs?”

‘Well, that’s what all the old legacy science fiction suggests- the stuff we were trying to get away from. Sod,.That means we may have to take bits of it seriously after all. Start sending, oh, prime numbers back- base sixteen.’

“Aaand... back at us, in monochrome. But something else- several something elses, no obvious correlation between frequencies. Incomprehensible squawk, another squawk, some squawks that come and go... hm. They must have something frequency-agile over there at least, they seem to be sending different numbers... I wonder if they’re trying to tell us their unit of time by demonstration?”

“Hmp. Randomize it, if they’ve done this before let’s let them overheat themselves worrying it over. Throw them a datadump and see if they make sense of it.”

“You always were a grouch... might be a good idea, though. Let’s think it over...”

[Somewhat later...]

“Hm. That sounded almost sensible. I told you throwing an exabyte of chat logs at them would help...”

“Are you confident enough to send it back with formatting corrected? That would help.”

“Maybe. I’m quite sure it wasn’t ‘do as we say or we’ll shoot you full of kinetics,’ at any rate. More like ‘Hello. My name is Squawk-one, of the Squawk-two of Squawk-three, I would like to talk,” or how it might sound from a half-broken transmitter.”

“How many of those squawks do you think are really meaningless?”

“Guessing two. Might be all three, but I feel like Squawk-two isn’t an arbitrary name. Shall I send it back corrected, or try to guess what they meant? What would you say in their hulls? Statement of intent, definitely there, I bet the squawks are an identification- names that don’t translate.”

“Then why did they bother?”

“Why not? At least now we can call them something besides ‘outsiders’ if we want.”

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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu » 2012-10-03 07:38pm

"Pseudo-North Africa," Tankhalla
Space Viking Territories, Sector J-10


Miho Nishizumi visibly winced as she took a sip from the cup of "coffee," if it could be called such, that had just been handed to her. "What's in this crap, Takebe?!"

"Just the stuff issued to us in the mess kit," Saori Takebe replied. She glanced offhandedly at the pot still sitting atop the hot plate. "I think we'd probably be better off using that stuff as engine degreaser."

Miho set the cup down on her table. "Better set aside some money for better rations after this. In any case, I'm expecting us to be receiving our orders within the hour, so go check up on the other crews and see if they're done with the latest round of repairs."

"Understood, ma'am," Saori said, bowing before she exited the command tent.

Miho sighed as she walked over to another table and started examining a map of the current battlefield. Substandard rations aside, life in Tankhalla was actually quite good for her and the rest of her tank cln; at the very least, they could put the skills they learned as tankers in the SOS Imperial Guard and Marine Corps to good use. The fact that they had military experience gave them a leg up on the competition, most of whom had had no prior experience with armored vehicles prior to Tankhalla. Just as remarkable was the motley assortment of machines that Miho and her clan used to win their victories; their typical force composition comprised a Panzer IV Ausf. D, a Type 89 I-Go, a StuG III Ausf. F, a Panzer 38(t) Ausf. C, an M3 Lee, a Churchill Mk VII, a quartet of Matilda II Mk IVs, a Sherman Firefly, and a quartet of M4A1(76)W Shermans. While they had quite a few capable machines in their inventory, many were still considered mid-tier at best, and the fact that Miho and her company were able to win at all, much less win on a consistent basis against ostensibly superior foes (in no small part thanks to the sheer cruelty of Tankhalla's matchmakers), was just as much a testament to their expertise at armored warfare as it was a testament to the utter incompetence of the majority of Tankhalla's would-be gladiators.

"Great, this battlefield again," Miho muttered to herself as she scrutinized the details of the map. "I suppose I can have Darjeeling's group take the south village while Kay's group goes through the northern dunes. The southern approach is short enough for the Churchill and the Matildas to take without them lagging too much, while the Shermans have good enough cross-country ability to get through the dunes quickly. That leaves my group to go straight down the center, preferably hugging the ridge on our approach with the StuG taking point. Kay's group shouldn't be too far away from us if we get flanked."

Meanwhile, out in the motor pool, crew members Hana Isuzu, Yukari Akiyama, and Mako Reizei were busy looking after the other tanks in their collection. Maintenance work was easily their least favorite part of participating in Tankhalla, and they especially hated having to work on the German armor; while they certainly respected the combat capabilities of the Panzer IV and the StuG III, they had nothing but contempt for the sheer mechanical complexity of those two vehicles. The British vehicles were little better despite being among the most capable machines in their inventory; the Churchill's engine was prone to mechanical problems of varying severity even with regular maintenance, and the Matilda IIs were especially troublesome to maintain due to their engine layouts and poorly-designed suspensions.

"How are we doing on ammo?" Hana asked.

"We just got several new shipments of the premium HEAT and APCR rounds in," Yukari replied. "We're some of the richest bitches on this entire planet, so we certainly can afford the extra expense in order to better kill the fuck out of everyone else. More kills, more money, more ammo, more kills. It's an awesome cycle."

"I just got finished helping Darjeeling's group with repairs on the Matildas," Mako reported. "I swear to Haruhi and Madoka, those bloody machines are far more trouble than they're worth."

"You've said the same about the Panzer IV and the StuG, and yet they and the Matildas have all been instrumental in ensuring that our team's had one of the longest winning streaks in Tankhalla's history," Yukari retorted. "As long as they can serve us well out there on the battlefield, that's all that matters."

"Look, I'm just saying, how come we haven't upgraded to some of the higher-tier tanks?" Mako asked. "We'd be next to invincible if we only had, say, a bunch of Löwes. We certainly have the cash to buy enough to equip the entire team."

"Sure, but it's more embarassing to lose to a bunch of girls driving low-to-mid-tier tanks when you're rolling around in a T-62, M48, E-50M or whatever," Yukari said. "I think that the morale aspect is a big part of the reason why Miho's insisted on holding on to all these rolling junkpiles."

Just then, Saori came walking by. "Hey, ladies! We'll be rolling out sometime within the next hour, so finish up any repairs you're doing and see me and Miho back at the command tent!"

Hana sighed. "Once more unto the breach, I suppose."

Meanwhile, in another part of "Pseudo-North Africa"...


"So, we'll be going up against the legendary Miho Nishizumi. Bring it on, then. I like a challenge."
Last edited by Shinn Langley Soryu on 2013-01-21 11:17am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: SDNW5 Story Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-10-03 09:22pm

Tankhalla, Sector J-10
Space Viking Territories

Behold the armored company, as it assembles! Behold the ancient, diesel-driven self-propelled howitzers, the hand-loaded rifled guns of these lumbering hundred-ton monsters. Chosen at random, complete strangers to each other, in the armor of half a dozen nations, they scramble to make a plan.

SteelHalibut (IS-4andahalf)
"OK, heavy armor advance on the left flank, under covering fire from the arty. Mediums, go hull down along the crest of the east ridge. Light platoon, can we get some spotting from the copse by the river?"

WhoNeedsPants (T24)
"LOL ur dumb just rush em"

SteelHalibut (IS-4andahalf)

GrandMoosester (Gepard VIII)
"I like his idea!"

WhoNeedsPants (T24)
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C3!"
"Attention to Sector C4!"
"Attention to Sector C4!"
"Attention to Sector C4!"
"Attention to Sector C4!"

And then, from across the field, a single transmission:

LoveMyJob (Mk. XXIV)
"Battle Reflex Mode Engaged."


SteelHalibut (IS-4andahalf) "CURSE YOU, MATCHMAKER!"
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

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