Nova Mundi: False Dawn

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NoXion
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Nova Mundi: False Dawn

Post by NoXion » 2015-01-02 07:16pm

It was the year 2207, and for the past ten years the Earth had been at peace. The last conflict had been the North American War, during which two arch-rival superpowers and their allies had squared off against each other. It was the latest in a series of struggles stretching back for nearly a century, between the Republic of Texas and the Technocratic Union of Marispatria, as they each vied for supremacy across the Earth and the rest of the Solar system. It had ended in a technical victory for the Republic, resulting the Union's loss of all its territorial holdings in the Americas, but the underlying conflicts were far from resolved, meaning that the past decade of peace was a fragile one, with more than one occasion threatening to break it. It was a peace imposed on both sides by third party nations on Earth, who all shared a common interest in not having the interconnected environments of the planet wrecked by the escalating use of force by both sides. The Neo-Socialist International had delivered an ultimatum to Texas and Marispatria to cease hostilities, and with both warring nations having expended much blood and material fighting each other, they had little choice but to play along, or face an unacceptably high risk of revolutionary uprisings from populations weary of war.

So it was in this tenth year of peace, with cities on both sides of the Atlantic still bearing the scars, that the star-wandering Bathysites came to the Solar system...

Captain Joshua Pilkington of the Texan Space Force patrol vessel Tucumcari rubbed his eyes, wondering how long it was until his watch ended. A check of his wrist told him that ship time was 17:56, almost time. He could leave now and his bridge crew of long acquaintance would not think less of him for exercising a Captain's privilege, but a sense of professional pride prevented him from taking even such a small indulgence and so he would wait those mere four minutes until his time was up.

"Sir, I think you should see this!" exclaimed Navigation Officer Madison O'Reilly excitedly.

"What is it Lieutenant?" Captain Pilkington asked.

"Great big flash of light sir, nearly missed it, thought it was an explosion at first, but sensor analysis shows an unusual signature- sir, there's someone out there!"

"A ship?"

"Yes sir, should have seen it coming for hours all the way out here, but it appeared with that flash"

"Marispatrian?"

"No sir, this thing is way too bright," O'Reilly shook her head "It's also heading our way"

Captain Pilkington flipped a switch on his acceleration chair, activating the ship-wide intercom. "General Quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your stations. This is not a drill"

He turned back to O'Reilly "You worked out what it is yet, Lieutenant?"

"No sir, infra-red profile is like nothing we've seen before. We should be getting a visual in about five minutes at the rate this thing is approaching us"

"Prep an audio transmission, tightbeam only. Let them know we're addressing them specifically" O'Reilly's hands flew over her console "Ready, sir"

"This is Captain Joshua Pilkington of the Texan Space Force vessel Tucumcari. Please identify yourself"

For a few moments there was no response, and the Captain wondered if this was some new kind of Marispatrian warship that they had stumbled across, another devious invention from their mad scientists and insane engineers whose work had not ceased with the last war.

"I am Emissary Prime of the Diplomatic Vessel Warm Current, and I offer greetings from the Worldship we call the Bountiful Oceans. We come in peace seeking friendship" The voice was pleasantly mellifluous, but its artificial nature was betrayed by its excessive care in intonation and pronounciation.

Captain Pilkington's head whirled. Was this a First Contact situation? The Solar system was no stranger to aliens. The first to be discovered was a small colony of Elder Things found under the ice of Antarctica in the late 21st century, a tiny remnant of what once, hundreds of thousands of years ago, had been part of a grand interstellar empire, but which was now an insular rump making up one of the states of the Antarctic Coalition. Then in 2137 news reached the Solar system that a Confederate colony mission to Alpha Centauri A had encountered the Ghellhonians, natives of a habitable planet orbiting that star whose most advanced invention at the time of First Contact had been the steam engine. Over the subsequent decades most Ghellhonian societies had gone through major upheaval as torch-ship mediated interstellar trade had flooded their planet with new technologies and ideas, and some of them had even taken the three-and-a-half year trip back to Sol in a series of diplomatic, scientific and cultural exchanges with various Solar polities. Then there were the Abyssians, deep-ocean dwellers who were enigmatic even to this day. Although not technically aliens in that they had evolved as natives of Earth, they were nonetheless a breed apart from humanity and its progeny. The Abyssians' highly advanced technology and mastery of physical forces made them a frequent target of vain entreaties for them to reveal their technical knowledge to the rest of Earth, but the Abyssians quietly ignored all such requests. Those devices which were traded into non-Abyssian possession at great cost proved impossible to reverse engineer, with frustrated scientists tearing their hair out at their inability to learn anything beyond the most basic principles, and even the most powerful AIs admitted to being flummoxed as to the details of how Abyssian technology like Gravity Plates and Force Shields were actually supposed to function.

Despite this, there was no set protocol in the Texan Space Force for First Contact situations; two or three encounters hadn't been enough of them to build the required operational experience. Captain Pilkington had participated in some theoretical classes on the subject as part of his elective Xenobiology course at the Space Force Academy in Houston, but had honestly not expected his recall of such relatively rarefied discourse to be tested in the field. His mind raced as he recalled those Thursday afternoon lectures; the main focus had been on overcoming communication difficulties and language barriers, but these visitors had done the all legwork on that front.
Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker - Mikhail Bakunin
Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society - Karl Marx
Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value - R. Buckminster Fuller
The important thing is not to be human but to be humane - Eliezer S. Yudkowsky


Nova Mundi, my laughable attempt at an original worldbuilding/gameplay project

Tandrax218
Padawan Learner
Posts: 184
Joined: 2009-12-19 09:47am

Re: Nova Mundi: False Dawn

Post by Tandrax218 » 2015-01-05 08:01am

Looks interesting
Hope there will be more soon :)

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