STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

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STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

In space, no one can hear you scream.

Begin.
It's Rogue, not Rouge!

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

"Come on, come on, change already," Alice muttered at the stubbornly-red traffic light ahead of her. As was ever the case, she'd gotten to it just as it changed, and for some reason it favoured the other lanes. This run was already late, as well, damn it all.

It finally cycled amber, then green, and she punched the throttle wide open. She rolled her ship onto its back, pulled hard on the stick, saved a second or two pitching the usual way, and just about managed to avoid some absolute fucking idiot who had tried to run the light. When she calmed down from that, she was getting close - to another traffic light.

Maybe the next run would be a long one, outside of the belts and habs, where the space was open and she could just fly in any direction without being constrained by lanes and lights. That thought occupied her until this one, too, changed, and then of course the parking area was full, so she had to carefully land at the very edge of the pressurised area. She popped the hatch, and dragged the sealed bag out of the cargo bay on the underside.

Which, of course, meant she had to lug the heavy bag all the way to the inner airlock, and naturally no-one was waiting for her there, noooo, she had to lug the bag even further to the reception desk. The grey-maned pony there then called for the customer, and Alice waited. And waited. They finally appeared a few minutes later, red-faced and flustered.

"So sorry for the delay," the cat-eared woman said in a surprisingly clipped accent, "This vote has been rather contentious."

"It's fine," Alice said, unloading the pizza from the bag and handing it over. "How's it leaning?"

"I can't tell you that," said the woman, smiling. "Thanks for the food."

With that out the way, it was a short walk back to the ship. Time to get back to the shop and see where she was off to next.

-

Victoria Carver carried the stacked pizza boxes back into the Parliament Hall, where the debate continued to rage.

"We have no idea how many threats are out there!" a representative from the Miho Nishizumi was shouting, "Without a strong Line Fleet, how are we supposed to meet them?"

That caused a clamour of voices, long enough for Victoria to make the rounds and get back to her seat. "The Line Fleet is already most of the navy!" one of the representatives from the frozen resort world of Biry called back. "We have twenty-one capital ships - thirty-four if you count cruisers - and twenty-five escorts. Ten, if you discount the stealth ships and scout frigates!"

This was the big debate, of course. Now rumours that there were other polities (besides Amazo-X which didn't count) out there had turned out to be true, what was Endeavour going to do? Going isolationist was out of the question, there were too many denizens of Endeavour who wanted to travel and see the galaxy, so some sort of exploration/diplomatic mission had to be arranged. That had turned into "but how do we make sure they're not all slaving genocidal fascists who want us dead?" about an hour ago and had yet to turn back.

"The Army could be bigger?," said one of the few representatives of said army in the chamber; there simply weren't enough soldiers for there to be more than the twenty or so present. "You know. If you want to make it bigger."

Another voice piped up. "We could use use more scout frigates," they said, "We only have the three and there's far too much space to cover."

Eventually, as the hab's lighting cycle changed to night-time and the pizza was consumed, there was a vote. It was agreed that more escort and scout vessels would be produced, and the army would be expanded with the addition of a new Magical Girl team.

"That being resolved," said the Sovereign Protector, letting out a deep sigh, "The orders will be take some time to fulfil. I would like to ask the chamber's opinion as to how to deploy the fleet we have, bearing in mind our current deployments. Right now, the Line Fleet - consisting of all ships heavier than a cruiser - is in this very star system. The remaining forces are spread out throughout the other systems roughly equally."

"Enough of the exposition!" cried one representative. "We know all this already!" shouted another. A third was a bit more direct: "Get to the point!"

Sovereign Protector Ayanami stared down the chamber until it quieted down. "We need to send ships to explore the galaxy," she continued, "What form that takes - that is what needs to be determined."

There was no doubt in the chamber that the scout frigates would be sent - one each roughly to the galactic north, west and north-west, where transmissions indicated the presence of starfaring polities. One of the stealth ship captains proposed to shadow them with one stealth ship each; the remainder of the stealth fleet would fill in the gaps, so to speak. Some would also explore the east and south, just in case. This proved acceptable, with minimum modification. A proposal to escort the scouts with the full Line Fleet was shot down, and then amended to sending the two Glory-class Battlecruisers - white elephants, really, since they could neither out-shoot nor out-run the cruisers they were meant to kill - with the Astra going north, where it was suspected Amazo-X lurked. The other two would be followed by a cruiser group - one Kitsune cruiser and three Endeavour destroyers apiece - at some distance.

That discussion took far less time, thankfully, and Victoria was able to place her votes and get out. Her Caterina Klaes would be part of the exploration force, shadowing the ESS Rick Astley, and she needed to get the crew ready.

-

Not long later, the three Astra-class scouts, Rick Astley, Psy and Bach, began making their way out of Endeavour space. This would be the furthest any Endeavour ship had travelled by a long margin, and they were laden down with supplies and spare parts. While possessed of an extremely fast hyperspace drive, they would take their jouneys slowly; navigating unmapped systems could be a hazard, after all.

-----

TURN 1 PRODUCTION

10x Endeavour-class Destroyer
3x Astra-class Scout Frigate

102 points of Army (representing one Magical Girl team)

The OOB spreadsheet has been updated accordingly.


MOVEMENT

Approximate routes taken by the scout fleets. They are moving at about 1 hex every 2 days, and are not travelling directly - in other words, they come in to contact with your star nation when you want them to.

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

XV Iounios

She was in a war zone, her nerves thrumming like taut lyre-strings. Lights flashed above her and sound crashed in her ears. Bodies milled, colliding and whirling in the pandemonium before her. This was not where she wanted to be in the least. Could she extract?

Too late. A hand thrust itself into her field of vision, provoking an instinctive tightening of her shoulders and a twitch towards hips empty of their customary armament. The chinless monstrosity before her warbled, “My lady? Another canape?”

Iohanna vir Kharon II tou Galaad, Klironoma soi Chelonis, forced a grimace that she thought might pass for a smile and nodded at the noble creature before her as she plucked the overly saccharine treat from the princeling’s hand. It wittered something and she nodded, barely noticing what it said in the noise of Scharan soi Geraki’s monthly soiree on the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Apparently considering her vague gesture to be approbation, the child of some genis or other pranced off to find more comestibles.

“Ipolchagos? There isn’t any chance we can shoot our way out, is there,” she whispered to her bodyguard-escort lieutenant, Atsali. The robust woman in her dress uniform flashed a thin smile and shrugged. Mokhanda vir Daxa II tou Galaad soi Chelonis (apo Fylachto), her mother, had commanded her to attend this gathering of the genia children. A suitable mate would be found, and children would be had to ensure the continuation of soi Chelonis.

She thought back to when the Megakolymvitis had finally found itself in approach to the Mitra. Their craft, mighty as it was, was dwarved by the monstrous Thorikto dreadnoughts of the Imperial Protectors, twenty-kilometre-long cylinders literally shadowing her ship as it passed between them at their anchor points-- but even those giants of ships were insignificant besides the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Rainbow light, like an oil-slick, sheened the space around it, and the untold square miles of gold leaf upon it reflected all light out into the void, making it glow in space like nothing else she had ever seen. A monstrous door, many kilometres wide, cracked open… a small dot of light on the surface of Mitra.

The Megakolymvitis swam through the hangar entrance. The huge void within had a multitude of ships, great and small-- the genia craft of the Adelig. As it sidled up to its docking position, tenders already swarming about its airlocks, her bridge crew bustled, making idle conversation about the pleasures of Mitra’s port-cities. She slouched in her command throne, flicking through the daily log on a screen in her hand when a message notification flashed in its corner.

Tapping on it brought up an ologramma, shining blue in miniature projection above the hand-screen. Her father’s face. Khouras spoke in Chelonis argot as was his habit in messages, drilled into him by his paranoid grandsire. “Iohanna. I am pleased that you have found your way here. Your mother has asked you to visit her at the Geraki soiree this evening. Minimal escort. Dress uniforms.”

He paused and continued, “Daxo and I are concerned about what you have been doing with the Megakolymvitis lately. I would appreciate a debriefing after the soiree. You know your way to the genis compound. Kindly escort your mother back. You know how she can be at these events. And I know how you can be as well. Please don’t start any fights.”

The ologramma blinked off abruptly. Kharon sat back, consciously trying to relax suddenly tense muscles. Soirees and dress uniforms. Some of her least favorite things. And her mother’s company.

There was nothing to do about it, though. She thumbed the screen and muttered, “Ipolchagos Atsali. You have escort duty tonight. Detail ten Lakai [footmen] for the purpose, draw a makrysofas [longboat]. We’re going to the Geraki compound. And for the love of the Emperoress, make sure they know to behave tonight.”

An acknowledgement sigil burned immediately; Atsali was a very competent officer. She sighed and heaved herself out of the commodious seat. Flicking through the screen, she saw the invitation attached to her father’s message. Less than two hours away, and the Eugenis compounds were at least an hour's travel through the provasis [access] tunnels. She let slip a foul curse and the remaining crewmen on the bridge stiffened, but as they looked nervously over their shoulders all they saw was her turning on her heel and stalking down the gantry.

Now they were here. She didn’t think she was expected to dance, not that she would have anyway, but she had to tolerate the attentions of the dribblings of the various genia in attendance. When you tended to have four or five heir-children, and about a dozen-odd concubine-spawn, that meant a lot of marriages to arrange. Easier to just let them mix and work these things out themselves; the only ones the Adelig would not allow to choose their own mates were the klironomonae [heirs]. And that meant her.

That did not mean, however, that imbeciles like Agron soi Hapax or Feda soi Foinix wouldn’t try to catch her eye. For all her genis was a very minor one, soi Chelonis still carried some notoriety within the Epimelitirio for its birth and the very Megakolymvitis itself. Bringing that ship into their fold would be a great prize for any genis, and in fact she knew that massive dowries had been offered to Khouras for her hand; before he joined the Protectors, Daxo had turned down offers from nearly every genis.

But Khouras was not traditional. He believed in allowing his children to choose their own mates, and he was not interested in allowing any of the Eugenis to have a claim upon soi Chelonis. So she had been unattached for quite some time now; by genia standards, she was practically a decrepit spinster. No matter. She was happy with the current arrangement. Her mother, less so.

Daxa swept up to her through the milling nobility, face cold above thick robes. “Iohanna,” she peremptorily requested, “shall we meet Ivoran soi Raubvogel? He is very interested in you and all your… stories. He seems very nice.”


Kharon reached out without looking and snagged a goblet off some passing menial’s tray. Her response was to toss the drink down her gullet, then stare at her mother. “You know how I feel about all that. If he wants war stories, he can go bother the Wachters. And don’t call me Iohanna.”

“It’s your name,” Daxa huffed. There were indeed Protectors present, Wachters standing at precise intervals along the walls; but this was Mitra, there were Wachters everywhere. The whispers had it that some of them weren’t even human, but who could tell under the omnipresent layers of warsuit? Her mother continued, “Raubvogel has pledged independence for the house. They would disassociate Ivoran, but he would be well supported. You know they would--”

Cutting her off, Kharon snapped, “Enough. I’m not here for the gamimenos [motherfucker]. I’m here because you and Father told me to. No more, no less.”

At the obscenity, her mother’s eyes widened and then narrowed, her lips pursuing. Kharon sighed and muttered, “Me synchoreite [pardon me]. But I mean it. I’m not going to talk to anybody that I don’t have to. I’m not going to dance, I’m not going to talk, I’m absolutely not going to sleep with anybody here, much less allow them to court me. You have--” she checked her chrono-- “half an hour, and then we’re going.”

Daxa lifted her chin and stared coldly at her daughter. Kharon didn’t budge, crossing her arms over her ample chest. For a long moment the two opposite figures, the tall robust daughter in her trim dress uniform and the petite, heavily clad mother stood there, and then with a taut flick of her hand Daxa turned and strode away.

Kharon let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. Right then, a heavy hand fell upon her shoulder.

Without thinking she twisted and shoved, but she was rocked backwards by her own push against a nigh-immobile object-- a tall warsuit-clad figure. The visor clattered as it folded back into the collar, and her brother’s grinning face looked out at her.

“So rude, Sister. Didn’t you know I would be here?” teased Daxo.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Endeavour Protectorate Exploration Service Report

Report No.:
69420 [ERROR: Report already exists with that number. Please select a different number.]

Report No.: 42069 [ERROR: Report already exists with that number. Please select a different number.]

Report No.: 4208008569 [ERROR: Oh whatever, just type the damn thing already, I'll pick a number for you.]

Report Classification: who cares lol

Subject: Out-System Debris Analysis - Summary

While the debris - defined as the non-natural asteroids, comets and other uninhabitable artificial bodies - filling most of the star systems inside Endeavour space has been thoroughly picked over, less attention has been given to the debris between those systems. This is partially because until recently, it was difficult to detect that debris. Moreover, the most interesting pieces of debris are on complex, fast orbital trajectories few civilian ships can currently match. With help from the Fleet - specifically the destroyers ESS Endeavour and ESS Endeavour, along with the cruiser ESS Haruhi Suzumiya - The Science Team was able to get close to, obtain samples of, and where possible, board the seven most interesting pieces of debris.

I'm getting tired of typing the word "debris" now.

On to the list! This is organised by discovery date:

1) Artefact "XC-1", a curved section of hull plating. It spins in space at approximately 4 degrees per second, measures approximately 50 metres by 10 metres by 1 metre, and follows a helical path around and between Endeavour and Neos. The artefact seems to have been blown off from a larger vessel; there is significant energy weapon scoring and impact damage, notably along the edges of the plate. There are marks on both side of the plate which may have been signifiers of some type - writing, numbers, heraldry, decoration - but they could also be impacts from an as-yet unknown weapon. Various dating experiments have been carried out, and it is estimated that the artefact is about 2000 years old. See Report "XC-1 Study" for detail.

2) A skull-shaped rock. This was neat, looked like a human skull scaled up to the hundred-metre scale. It was composed of silicates, with a small quantity of nickel-iron located just above the left nostril. It is trailing the Gotobe system by about half a light year. It is not natural; it appears to have been carved by hand using a hammer and chisel. Its provenance is otherwise unknown.

3) Artefact "Gordon", a steam-powered railway engine in 4-6-2 configuration. All Endeavour-produced examples of such devices have been accounted for, and the artefact's origin is unknown. It could be from Old Earth, a prank by an Endeavour citizen (or another party), or an Amazo-X plot to impose their will upon us through the medium of trains. That last one is unlikely. Attempts to date the artefact have been difficult, as different parts are different ages. The oldest part - the firebox - seems to be about one thousand years old. The engine has been recovered and is in the process of restoration; see Report "The Big Engine" for details.

4) The wreckage of ESS Friar Tuck, an Archer-class destroyer lost twelve years after the end of the Quite Frankly, Terrible War. It appears to have fallen into hyperspace by unknown means; without shielding, the hull was immediately breached. There are no survivors, and how it re-emerged from hyperspace is unknown. Whether or not to recover the wreck - located halfway between Endeavour and Tigo - is currently being debated, but the remains of its crew were brought back aboard the Haruhi Suzumiya.

5) Artefact "Dyson-1", a curved 8 kilometre by 9 kilometre by 15 kilometre section of what seems to be a Dyson Sphere. There are solar collectors on the "inner" side of the piece, and the "outer" side consists mostly of armour plate (composition: aligned carbon) with a few openings. The interior of the piece may have once contained habitation areas, or maintenance facilities, or just spaced armour; nothing remains inside. The estimated age of the artefact is one million, six hundred thousand years. It is located in a 1.4 million AU orbit around Endeavour.

6) A set of six relativistic kinetic impactors, each roughly 100m in length and composed of aligned carbon. They were travelling at approximately .9c through the middle of Endeavour space. No star systems were found on either end of their flight path - yes, we accounted for stellar drift - but they were recovered as per Article 5. One had to be destroyed during the operation. They have been dated to about 2000 years prior to the present.

7) The remains of an as-yet unidentified planet, approximately 10,000km in diameter before its destruction. Tests of the debris indicate that it was destroyed by pure energy transfer, which would require more energy in a second than the Fleet could put out in a decade. Dating experiments indicate the planet was destroyed eight hundred thousand years ago, so hopefully we won't need to worry about whoever did it.

No traces of Amazo-X involvement was found at any of these sites.



-------------------




"Alright, let's take a break before we move on to the Submergence Test," Nefertiti said, wearily settling into an armchair. Getting the complex stealth systems of a Nothing Personal, Kid-class Stealth Destroyer was difficult at the best of times, and this was most emphatically not the best of times. The Netherdimensional Submergence Array she and the rest of the team had been working on was fitted to the Black Adder, which was in for refit following an accident in Netherspace. Just getting the array out had been a nightmare, and building a replacement had taken days even before they had to go through the finicky process of installing the damn thing. But, now the destroyer was theoretically ready to go out into space again. All it needed was some testing.

Said stealth destroyer sat in Cradle 17, just outside the bay window; Nefertiti took the opportunity to indulge in a bit of ship-watching while the rest of the team had their break. Two skeletal frameworks, Endeavour-class destroyers under construction, sat either side. A dozen workers were laying in the "plumbing" - the complex network of pipes and boxes that made up their autologi system. And, to the port side of the left-most cradle, slowly being lowered into her own cradle, was the immense dreadnought Akko Kagari.

Nine hundred metres from bulbous, constellation-emblazoned bow to curved stern, she wasn't the largest ship in the Fleet, that spot was reserved for the truly massive AI-driven 4B-class carriers, but she was by far the most beautiful; her hull swept, her superstructure imposed, and her triple-barrelled hypervelocity turrets displayed grace and menace in equal measure. Her single particle beam lance, recessed under the constellation crest on the tip of her bow, was just in view from this angle, oddly normal-looking for such a destructive weapon.

Nefertiti was a little biased, since she'd built that ship. Alongside two hundred other workers, yes, but still - she'd built it.

But there was no further time to admire her handiwork; the Black Adder needed to get back out there by the end of the day, if at all possible. The team re-assembled, drifting back out of the breakroom into the main bay, and boarded the destroyer. Captain Blake met them at the airlock. "Engineering tells me we're ready for the test," he said, ushering them up to the bridge. "How long will repairs take if it doesn't work this time?"

"Two, maybe three days," Ryuko - one of the other dockworkers - replied. "Longer, if we have to take the whole ship apart to find out why."

Nefertiti gravitated over to the NS Array control station, standing just behind the seat. The spacer occupying the station muttered something about not looking over their shoulder, but she ignored them, instead focussing on the readouts.

"Dock control has given clearance to launch," the Helm-spacer called.

"Very good," said Captain Blake, "Begin launch sequence."

"Begin launch sequence!" Helm repeated.

There was a feeling of being pulled upwards before the ship's inertial dampners kicked in, and the Black Adder slowly began being hauled up the launch tube, its cradle rotating so it pointed "up" out of the bay. The great armoured doors opened in front of them, and the destroyer slotted into place. "Ready for launch!" Helm called.

"Launch!" ordered the Captain.

"Launching!"

That call was followed by a sublte kick as the Black Adder was magnetically launched out the tube, clearing the kill-zone around the Shikinami Naval Arsenal in less than a second.* "Helm to full, set course for the testing grounds," was the next order, repeated by the Helm.

On the way, Nefertiti continued to monitor the NS Array, making sure it played well with the engines lit and weapons armed. Other workers were hovering near different stations - Zeppeli doing so literally, showing off - occasionally suggesting changes and chatting with the spacers. Her spacer was quiet, laser-focussed on their screen, which was good. A single mis-alignment of the NS Array could mean the difference between life and death - not just from being detected by a hostile force, but from being lost in the Netherdimensions.

Everything looked okay as they reached the testing grounds, so the Captain ordered the Array to be brought up. A civilian ship had volunteered to play hunter - and, if something went wrong, search and rescue until Interplanetary Rescue could arrive - and they stood just slightly off to the starboard bow.

"Deploying Netherdimensional Submergence Array!" the spacer in front of Nefertiti called, and wide gossamer strings unfurled from the ship's bow and stern. "Ready for submergence!"

The order was immediate; "Commence submergence sequence!" At those words, the bridge shutters closed; the space between realities/dimensions** was not pleasant to look upon.

"Submergence sequence engaged! Submergence in five..." the strings became connected with subtle octarine light, "four... three..." the light intensified, brighter and brighter, "two... one..." and suddenly consumed the whole ship for a second, before fading, "Submergence... successful! We are holding at D minus one, current realspace ratio is point five to one."

Nefertiti let out a breath, and so did the rest of the crew. The first and most dangerous hurdle had been cleared; even better, the NS Array station showed a marked improvement in energy efficiency.

"Good work, everyone," Captain Blake said. "Time for phase two. Helm, descend to D minus three. No fuck-ups this time, eh?"

"Descend to D minus three, aye!" repeated Helm, apparently ignoring the last comment, and there was a feeling of being stretched out and compressed suddenly, settling into a feeling of being crammed into a tiny space.

That was actually sort of what was happening; the ship was following "gaps" between sub-planes of reality, descending into realities where the speed of light was much lower and the distance between atoms was much higher, where energy could be dissipated far more secretly than if the ship remained on "the surface". It would take high-resolution sensor equipment to even detect the light from the ship's engines from the surface, after it had been refracted nine times over.

Of course, it was also nearly impossible for the ship to move this far "down", and its weapons would be nearly useless. The enemy would face no such constraints due to the strange nature of Netherspace.

The shutters re-opened, now they were at a stable "depth". This far down was... beautiful, in an odd way. Nefertiti supposed it was one of the perks of working with the damned stealth ships. A blue orb span gently off in the distance, rings of magenta light spinning slowly around it; the local equivalent of a star, or an atom? It was hard to tell; expeditions down here were nearly impossible, given the difficulty in moving a ship. Special shielding was all that allowed the crew to walk around the ship - and that, just barely, every movement becoming tiring in this energy-leeching reality. Other spacers reported feeling strange down here, hidden and paranoid - but Nefertiti never had, only wonder at this strange corner of reality.

"Holding at D minus three," the NS Array operator called. "Realspace ratio is point nought nought five to one." They looked up at Nefertiti. "Any problems?"

She scanned the screen, reaching over and flicking through some options. "None that I can see," she responded. "Yeah, looks all good here."

"Very good," said Captain Blake. "Helm, Netherspace, take us back up."

The shutters closed. Slowly, the feeling of being squeezed receeded, replaced slowly with normality, and then they were back at the surface.

"Hail the Baluster of Spring," the captain ordered, "Ask them if they saw us." The whole trip would be useless if a civilian-grade sensor array could spot them - which could easily happen if the ship's other stealth systems weren't working properly.

"Captain Hollister reports no contact," Comms replied.

"Excellent," said Captain Blake. "Helm, take us home."



--------------------

*There were two reasons for the launch system; the first was so that ships could sally rapidly if the Arsenal was under siege without interfering with the Arsenal's own defensive guns. The second was that it was cool. The second reason was much more important than the first.

**The author is not confident enough in their ability to speculate about physics (read: technobabble) to pin down exactly which. Endeavour scientists continue to debate which term is more accurate - or if either of them are.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

{because apparently I can't be #@$% trusted to post in the RIGHT thread >_<}

Stories, as everyone knows, often have no real beginning or end, stories can stretch out into infinity and continue on and on forever.
Typically, one seeks to find sections within a story to tell a much smaller part of it and focusing on a slice of time instead of the great scope of creation.

For the story that has so far followed what was known as “The Union of Interstellar Civilizations” one can witness the start of a new thread starting at a grand ceremony marking the end of one moment, and the start of another.

“Outermost edge of the Shand System, Galacticus shipyards”

Hanging over the relatively small planetoid “Galacticus”, a vast sea of shipyards orbited. Each one throbbing with activity and gravid with the skeletons of ships under construction.
At a station set to overlook the majority of these yards, a ceremony was underway, signifying the launch of the newest quartet of cruisers, as well as the start of construction on the first new line Battleships.

There had been many such events in the last few years, ever since the start of a vast new push in military construction. The resources being consumed by the push were truly staggering, catapulting a series of races from primitive sub space vessels, to massive new FTL warships. Where such progress to be scrutinized by other races it would be found perhaps somewhat unbelievable that the various powers had made such progress in the last 20 years, and of that, started a construction project within the last 10 years that would have been the envy of many others space fairing nations.

Of course, as other racers had not fully come to know, those races of the Sector often had “Help” with such things.

And right now, a voice for that “Help” was finishing a speech extoling the virtues of their progress and the dawning of a new era.

The speaker stood, or more accurately ‘squatted’ on a podium and addressed a crowd of dignitaries, military leaders and naturally many politicians. It read from the prepared script it had been offered and, while somewhat reluctant at times, made its way through the rivers of platitudes, grand declarations, and glowing praise that was the bread and butter of such speeches since the dawn of time.
Or at least, since the dawn of bureaucracy.

Eventually however it seemed to be making its way toward the end, toward the moment that at least a good part of the audience had really been in attendance to hear. The ending of the speech.


It was sometime later at the reception, as there always is for such events, that various powerful people made what small talk they could while viewing the pride of the industrial labors of the combined races within the UISC.

“Remember when the pinnacle of industrial warfare was an ocean going vessel 250 units long? And now we have a vessel being built that is almost ten times as large!” Said one very proud Qwintoni general as he gestured to the great hulk of the Battleship under construction”

“This is true, but from what scraps we get from [a slight cough] our friends” and here, the Octona politician who was speaking gestured not so subtly to the Skothian delegate that had spoken earlier. “We hear that even when it is finished, it is still a, what was Human expression? A small fish in a big ocean I believe?” The others nodded and stood in silence, between them a Quatonian Admiral puffed on a rather noticeably messy pipe.
Of course since fire, and especially smoke of any kind was banned on the station, it was done far more for the look of the thing.

“We have to start somewhere. Let us remember that, within the lifetime of many we have gone from barely stepping foot into the stars to now have such mighty warships. We have moved very quickly in a short period of time. We must not lose our focus on where we are headed.”

Again the others nodded.
Around them the reception such as it was had begun to break up. Dignitaries and various important people had begun to depart. Among them, with smaller fanfare than their arrival, the Skothian delegate made their way towards the air locks were various shuttles and vessels awaited. For the Skothian, the ship he boarded was in a private hanger exposed to space and under constant surveillance. A member of their race traveling anywhere, for any function would of course been met by the highest security possible.

And yet, it had an intruder on bored. Or at least, an individual that was not recorded.

The delegate made their way toward the large circular central room of the vessel. Designed specifically as a diplomatic shuttle, the room could be considered as “luxurious” as perhaps anything from the rather Spartan and function minded sensibility of the Skothian people. Reclining in what one would consider a ‘chair’ for their race, they gave the order to depart, speaking in the slow grinding of stone-like tongue that was their language.

In the chair next to them, the ‘intruder’ spoke using the same grinding of stone language.

“That function completed as well as we would imagine, do you not agree Deacon Akron?” The figure said to the Deacon Akron, whom had aged much in the time when he was a young pilot. The Skothian gave a dismissive snort.

“What one may imagine is the speculation of the mind. It is my role to ensure we are represented here, nothing more than that ‘Are-You-Dee-Eye’ it said, the last part being spoken as phonetically as possible for their language.”
“You could simply say it as “Rudy” you know.” RUDI responded, trying his best at humor to the mostly humorless individual.
“It is the designation you were given, and the one you have decided to use as your mantle. Our lives our governed by our own designations and to fulfil that purpose.”
There was a shared silence between the two as they sat and watched the forward display. The shuttle was leaving the hanger bay, and would soon make its way into the etheric space that was the coveted travel method of Skothian technology.

“I would ask of you, do you know why I am here, but I estimate you would respond by saying, that it is unwise to suppose of anyone’s true motives.” RUDI spoke, and Akron wordlessly agreed. “I am here, because it is estimated that much of what has been planned, and what has been anticipated, is being set in motion. Other races are beginning to move and push out into the galaxy. Powers that have long been idle are being awakened.” RUDI said and Akron once more agreed. Another silence was shared between them, this time interrupted by the Skothian.

“And what will you do about it construct? How will you fulfil the function for which you were intended?” A slight pause followed, and then broken by a riot of laughter.
“The function for which I was intended? Oh my dear Akron you must know me better than that! Can you look me in the eye and truly say that there is anything ‘intentional’ about my function?” The android said, clutching his chest in an instinctive mimicking of trying to catch his nonexistent breath as he laughed.

To his credit, Akron did turn to look RUDI in the eye as it were, but relented.
“A poor choice of words perhaps, but the question is still valid.”
“My intentions are as they have always been from the day that I was born.” RUDI said before continuing. “I will explore this galaxy to learn all I can, I will protect my creators and sentient life, and, I will try and have fun while doing so.” Again a slight pause, and a sigh from the Skothian.

“Fun, is something that should not be a consideration when contemplating the lives of trillions of sapient lives ‘Ruu-Dee’” Arkon said, a slight menace to their voice edged only with the knowledge that the AI was probably trying to ‘wind him up’. Which of course it was.

“I agree Akron, and I do not mean to make light of the situation. But, Life is a thing I feel is meant to be enjoyed, if it is nothing but a misery than we all have bigger problems.” RUDI said, and Akron, for once, agreed.

END OF FIRST TURN SUMMARY
CONSTRUCTION STARTED ON TWO “COMMAND BATTLESHIPS”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

XV Iounios

She was in a war zone, her nerves thrumming like taut lyre-strings. Lights flashed above her and sound crashed in her ears. Bodies milled, colliding and whirling in the pandemonium before her. This was not where she wanted to be in the least. Could she extract?

Too late. A hand thrust itself into her field of vision, provoking an instinctive tightening of her shoulders and a twitch towards hips empty of their customary armament. The chinless monstrosity before her warbled, “My lady? Another canape?”

Iohanna vir Kharon II tou Galaad, Klironoma soi Chelonis, forced a grimace that she thought might pass for a smile and nodded at the noble creature before her as she plucked the overly saccharine treat from the princeling’s hand. It wittered something and she nodded, barely noticing what it said in the noise of Scharan soi Geraki’s monthly soiree on the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Apparently considering her vague gesture to be approbation, the child of some genis or other pranced off to find more comestibles.

“Ipolchagos? There isn’t any chance we can shoot our way out, is there,” she whispered to her bodyguard-escort lieutenant, Atsali. The robust woman in her dress uniform flashed a thin smile and shrugged. Mokhanda vir Daxa II tou Galaad soi Chelonis (apo Fylachto), her mother, had commanded her to attend this gathering of the genia children. A suitable mate would be found, and children would be had to ensure the continuation of soi Chelonis.

She thought back to when the Megakolymvitis had finally found itself in approach to the Mitra. Their craft, mighty as it was, was dwarved by the monstrous Thorikto dreadnoughts of the Imperial Protectors, twenty-kilometre-long cylinders literally shadowing her ship as it passed between them at their anchor points-- but even those giants of ships were insignificant besides the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Rainbow light, like an oil-slick, sheened the space around it, and the untold square miles of gold leaf upon it reflected all light out into the void, making it glow in space like nothing else she had ever seen. A monstrous door, many kilometres wide, cracked open… a small dot of light on the surface of Mitra.

The Megakolymvitis swam through the hangar entrance. The huge void within had a multitude of ships, great and small-- the genia craft of the Adelig, docked at spires extending from either above or below. In the distance, dimly visible many kilometres away, a Thorikto dreadnought rested in huge docking claws the size of a city, star-like motes of welding light arcing across its hull. As it sidled up to its docking position, tenders already swarming about its airlocks, her bridge crew bustled, making idle conversation about the pleasures of Mitra’s port-cities. She slouched in her command throne, flicking through the daily log on a screen in her hand when a message notification flashed in its corner.

Tapping on it brought up an ologramma, shining blue in miniature projection above the hand-screen. Her father’s face. Khouras spoke in Chelonis argot as was his habit in messages, drilled into him by his paranoid grandsire. “Iohanna. I am pleased that you have found your way here. Your mother has asked you to visit her at the Geraki soiree this evening. Minimal escort. Dress uniforms.”

He paused and continued, “Daxo and I are concerned about what you have been doing with the Megakolymvitis lately. I would appreciate a debriefing after the soiree. You know your way to the genis compound. Kindly escort your mother back. You know how she can be at these events. And I know how you can be as well. Please don’t start any fights.”

The ologramma blinked off abruptly. Kharon sat back, consciously trying to relax suddenly tense muscles. Soirees and dress uniforms. Some of her least favorite things. And her mother’s company.

There was nothing to do about it, though. She thumbed the screen and muttered, “Ipolchagos Atsali. You have escort duty tonight. Detail ten Lakai [footmen] for the purpose, draw a makrysofas [longboat]. We’re going to the Geraki compound. And for the love of the Emperoress, make sure they know to behave tonight.”

An acknowledgement sigil burned immediately; Atsali was a very competent officer. She sighed and heaved herself out of the commodious seat. Flicking through the screen, she saw the invitation attached to her father’s message. Less than two hours away, and the Eugenis compounds were at least an hour's travel through the provasis [access] tunnels. She let slip a foul curse and the remaining crewmen on the bridge stiffened, but as they looked nervously over their shoulders all they saw was her turning on her heel and stalking down the gantry.

Now they were here. She didn’t think she was expected to dance, not that she would have anyway, but she had to tolerate the attentions of the dribblings of the various genia in attendance. When you tended to have four or five heir-children, and about a dozen-odd concubine-spawn, that meant a lot of marriages to arrange. Easier to just let them mix and work these things out themselves; the only ones the Adelig would not allow to choose their own mates were the klironomonae [heirs]. And that meant her.

That did not mean, however, that imbeciles like Agron soi Hapax or Feda soi Foinix wouldn’t try to catch her eye. For all her genis was a very minor one, soi Chelonis still carried some notoriety within the Epimelitirio for its birth and the very Megakolymvitis itself. Bringing that ship into their fold would be a great prize for any genis, and in fact she knew that massive dowries had been offered to Khouras for her hand; before he joined the Protectors, Daxo had turned down offers from nearly every genis.

But Khouras was not traditional. He believed in allowing his children to choose their own mates, and he was not interested in allowing any of the Eugenis to have a claim upon soi Chelonis. So she had been unattached for quite some time now; by genia standards, she was practically a decrepit spinster. No matter. She was happy with the current arrangement. Her mother, less so.

Daxa swept up to her through the milling nobility, face cold above thick robes. “Iohanna,” she peremptorily requested, “shall we meet Ivoran soi Raubvogel? He is very interested in you and all your… stories. He seems very nice.”


Kharon reached out without looking and snagged a goblet off some passing menial’s tray. Her response was to toss the drink down her gullet, then stare at her mother. “You know how I feel about all that. If he wants war stories, he can go bother the Wachters. And don’t call me Iohanna.”

“It’s your name,” Daxa huffed. There were indeed Protectors present, Wachters standing at precise intervals along the walls; but this was Mitra, there were Wachters everywhere. The whispers had it that some of them weren’t even human, but who could tell under the omnipresent layers of warsuit? Her mother continued, “Raubvogel has pledged independence for the house. They would disassociate Ivoran, but he would be well supported. You know they would--”

Cutting her off, Kharon snapped, “Enough. I’m not here for the gamimenos [motherfucker]. I’m here because you and Father told me to. No more, no less.”

At the obscenity, her mother’s eyes widened and then narrowed, her lips pursuing. Kharon sighed and muttered, “Me synchoreite [pardon me]. But I mean it. I’m not going to talk to anybody that I don’t have to. I’m not going to dance, I’m not going to talk, I’m absolutely not going to sleep with anybody here, much less allow them to court me. You have--” she checked her chrono-- “half an hour, and then we’re going.”

Daxa lifted her chin and stared coldly at her daughter. Kharon didn’t budge, crossing her arms over her ample chest. For a long moment the two opposite figures, the tall robust daughter in her trim dress uniform and the petite, heavily clad mother stood there, and then with a taut flick of her hand Daxa turned and strode away.

Kharon let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. Right then, a heavy hand fell upon her shoulder.

Without thinking she twisted and shoved, but she was rocked backwards by her own push against a nigh-immobile object-- a tall warsuit-clad figure. The visor clattered as it folded back into the collar, and her brother’s grinning face looked out at her.

“So rude, Sister. Didn’t you know I would be here?” teased Daxo. She smacked his armoured chest and snapped lightly, “Don’t do that.”

Chuckling, he held out his hand, inviting her to accompany him onto the balcony of the banqueting chamber. They looked out above the genia compounds from the tower of soi Geraki. The artificial day/night cycle of Mitra was moving towards evening, and the massive illum-plates in the ceiling were dimming. Above them extended several kilometres’ thickness of apartment-blocks, fabrik-chambers, monstrous hangar bays like the one Megakolymvitis was docked in right now, enormous atmosphere plants, capacious magazines for the defence batteries, and the inutterably enormous components of its propulsion system and the miraculously invulnerable dynamik-aspis aetherical barrier.

Compared to all that, the genia compounds were paradisical, though nothing besides the Imperial Creche at the heart of Mitra. Smooth rolling green fields stretched as far as the eye could see beneath an immaculate blue sky that occasionally exuded actual moisture to create clouds. In the far distance, the Schloss Drakon stood dark and grim, the largest compound for the most powerful genis. Delightfully light, the slender towers of soi Foinix’s compound literally floated in the air upon a monstrous schwebeplat, held in place with flickering beams of force. None of the other genia were as creative, most preferring to build palaces in the style of their homeworlds. Soi Geraki had erected a gigantic mushroom-like structure with many long twisting staircases, sprouting ancillary towers like smaller fungi, emulating the trained myceli-structures of their home. They stood atop a protruding balcony shaped like an enormous mushroom-cap, its upturned edges forming both a roof for the lower story and a guard-rail above.

Kharon turned to her brother and sighed. “Daxo. It’s been too long.”

“That it has, sister,” he nodded, “but I managed to finagle an assignment here on the Wachter detail. Come now, what has been going on? Why have you not been attending to Erepia?”

She stared at him slowly. “You don’t know about the marauders on our frontiers? These followers of Lon Bezo that keep showing up and trying to engulf the colony worlds in their parasitical embrace?”

Daxo shrugged it off. “Those aren’t anything to worry about. You have greater concerns than that. You must know it.”

Casting annoyed eyes at him, she muttered, “I’m aware of my responsibilities, but soia Fylachto and Varro are handling Erepia.”

“That’s not their job.”

“It’s their planet too, brother,” she grumbled back. He cast a skeptical look at her but shrugged and changed subject. “Besides your little jaunts. What have you been up to?”

Opening her mouth to respond, she shut it abruptly as her ear told her the crowd-noise had suddenly stopped. Simultaneously, the subdermal com-button in her wrist vibrated urgently-- Atsali was trying to tell her that something was happening. Daxo noticed the quiet too, and they both turned around.

The crowd was parting around a tall man, broad-shouldered and slim-waisted, with a florid face suggesting that large quantities of ethanol were enjoyed regularly, and his retinue. A steel implant glittered upon the side of his face, and one hand clenched the ornate hilt of a dress saber as he strode forward to face the two siblings.

“A Protector and a kleiner-genia girl. What will they ever say in the Epimelitirio?” he declaimed loudly. Daxo and Kharon both stiffened and opened their mouths, Daxo getting his words out first. “Cousin Ivoran. There’s no need for that kind of tone. Let’s all go have another drink together.”

The aristo scoffed and shook his head, spreading his hands. “I think we’ve had quite enough of that tonight. It’s time for some fun. Will your sister come dance with me, or will we dance?”

Without looking, Kharon knew that her escort had come together behind the Raubvobel retinue, looming silently, Atsali’s dark eyes locked upon her and her brother. A low whirring made her look sideways, and she saw Daxo stepping out from his warsuit, his skin-tight undersuit glistening with impact-gel residue. Ivoran soi Raubvogel stepped forward insouciantly, and there was only one thing she could do.

Two hours later

“You hit him,” rumbled the deep tones of Khouras Adelig soi Chelonis.

Kharon, holding a thick vat-steak to her cheek, shrugged half-heartedly. “Daxo’s on thin ice with the Protectors. Raubvogel is a powerful enough genis they can ruin his career, but the Protectors don’t care if genia fight each other. I know Mother wanted me to talk to the git, but face it, would it have been worth it?”

Khouras sighed and sat back, rubbing his eyes with one thin, long-fingered hand. Deep-set eyes behind a blade-like nose regarded her heavily. This was the part she always hated. The guilt. He shook his head slowly and said something she didn’t expect at all.

“Nothing to be done about it now. I can’t do anything about you. You’re full grown and ready to sit in my place among the Epimelitirio, it seems.”

She blinked. “I’m not going anywhere, Father. Are you?”

He frowned and placed his hands flat upon the broad desk created from a scute of Megakolymvitis. Slowly he muttered, “Not yet. But I worry about you. I worry about the future of our genis. I worry about our people and the Empire. There are many things that weigh upon an Adelig, daughter, and the least you could do is make it so I worry about one thing less. Do you understand?”

With a sigh she moved to sit herself before the desk, only to stop at an icy glance from her father. Her mouth opened and he held up a brusque hand. He went on, “There are whispers of another expeditionary fleet. You are very likely to be summoned before the Protectors and enjoined to become part of the fleet. It’s possible they may find another home for our genis, for you or Daxo, Kharon.”

Her mind flashed back to the Thorikto dreadnought she saw being refitted in the hangars. These ancient colony ships, long since shaped into war-craft, did occasionally serve to carry millions of citizens into the distant reaches of the Theophanic Empire. The children of the genia would go with them to establish new houses.

At a lack of words, the only thing she could do was nod and stand stiffly. He stood back to his feet, his tall thin figure contrasting her broad shoulders and body. “Please consider what I have said.. You don’t need to keep fighting these amazon things; see to our genis first. Don’t let me down.”

Steak flapping in her fist, she saluted stiffly. “‘Po tyvoyey befehl!”

A long stare-down ensued, and she broke it first to shift her eyes to somewhere above his right eyebrow. He grunted lighty and nodded. “Dismissed. Return to Megakolymvitis and stand by. I’ll send a dispatch in the morning.”

She saluted again, turned sharply upon her heel and withdrew. Outside the office of the Adelig stood, in various states of disarray, her escort; as one they turned and looked at her, many of them grinning nervously through bruises and scrapes. She sighed and gestured sharply towards the makrysofas.

Soon enough they were cutting through the air of the massive genia hangar towards Megakolymvitis. Brooding, she strode past the deck officer as he piped her aboard. A young warrant-officer, whose name she couldn’t recall at the moment but vaguely thought they might be the officer of the watch tonight, bustled up hurriedly towards her, mouth opening.

She held up her hand brusquely and shook her head. The officer’s mouth shut sharply and she could have laughed at the helpless look on their face, were she in any mood for it. Into the conveyor-cell she stepped, the doors clanged shut and she swayed with the rapid movement of the cell through Megakolymvitis’ body till it reached her quarters and clanged open.

The lighting within was bright. She had left it turned down. Her nerves stiffening again, she advanced slowly into her parlor, when a tall, gaunt figure stepped out of her bedchamber. The color drained from her face and she fell to her knees, facing the floor, holding her hands stiffly in front of her, palms up.

“Ave Emperoress! May Their Light illumine us all and bless us all!” she whispered with a suddenly dry mouth. The eyeless being before her stretched its lipless mouth into a horrible approximation of a smile, and with the rustle of dry bones upon each other held out its hands, skin-plates rubbing against each other. With a sound like the rustling of vermin deep within the walls of an ancient structure, the Voice spoke. Kharon soi Chelonis. Blessed art thee, child of the Theouautokratora. Be not afraid. I bring thee good news.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

NRS Voidsailor, outbound space corridor, Ronogho system, Nashtari core space
Day 4, Week 1, Turn 1


"Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the NRS Voidsailor. It's continuing mission: To explore strange new..."

"Ah, can it Lieutenant," said Lieutenant Commander Trelawney with a chuckle as he came in the door of the officers' mess. "This ain't no 20th century sci-fi serial and you ain't Captain Picard. 'Sides, I'd rather not have to deal with all the engineering problems bein' the Enterprise involves," the chief engineer added with a lopsided grin.

Lieutenant Harvey smiled back, but stopped quoting Star Trek all the same. "Sorry, sir. It's just, y'know, with us flying out into the unknown to find out just what the hell's happened, it kind of feels like it."

"I know what ya mean," the engineer answered. "Now what've we got fer grub? I ain't eaten since before we started spinnin' up the reactor core."

Harvey chuckled. "Pot roast and vegetables. Enjoy it while you can, sir; the good food won't last this whole trip."

"Don't I know it," Trelawney said with a grin of his own as he moved towards the buffet line.

[Force declaration: Four Shadow class stealth frigates, headed out on separate exploratory and scouting missions.]
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

The time had come to update the star-buses that plied the lanes of the Neos system. Old, nearly ancient designs - immediate successors to the LS-122s that still served in Endeavour (the star system) - had become far outgrown by the great hab-cities of the Neos system. The new ships would be large, three-deckers with dedicated sleeping and cargo compartments. They would be comfortable, low-maintenance and fast. The basic template would even come pre-painted with generic livery.

That last part? That turned out to be a problem.

"I say, paint the seats green and leave the deck bare," Mark Smaltser suggested from his seat near the door. He always blocked off everyone's path out of the room, sitting there.

Immediately, there was an uproar. "The colour of money!" cried Namek, half-way around the table from Mark.
"Neo-Paleo-Neo-Capitalist!" accused Neko-37, while her sister/clone shouted: "Paleo-Neo-Paleo-Bezoist!"

Mark held up a hand. "Well, what do you suggest?!"

"Red and black!" Laura Clark called out.

[DISAGREE:://BLADECOUNT-Y COLOURS] Personality File E33402's screen displayed. There was general agreement with that. [SUGGEST:://BLUE?]

"We can't just make everything blue," sighed Namek. "Yes, it's a good colour, but the exterior is blue, the seats'll just be invisible."

"Okay, well, why not green?" asked Carl, to general groans.

"It'll clash!" Mark Smaltser said. "Model it up if you don't believe me."

"Didn't he just suggest green himself?" whispered Neko-37 to her sister/clone, who shrugged.

"Black or white?" Neko 38, herself, suggested.

Needless to say, the debate continued.



-



Elsewhere

Bezos descended into the conference room, borne upon a seat of alabaster... plastic. He breathed in, and out, slowly, and the Board gazed up to him and waited.

"Good morning," Elon, his lesser half, said. "We were just reviewing the latest intercepts from the Endeavour Colonial Expedition."

Laughing at them, more like. Bezos did not say that - he had not earned his sixteen trillion dollars by talking - but he certainly thought it. If there was any relevant information in the intercepts (which he knew were really public broadcasts collated by the Desalination Department, despite Elon's attempted obfuscations) he would already be aware of it. Well, they were worth laughing at - those pathetic attempts to govern themselves and their ongoing project to ruin their economy.

"The converts have failed us," he hissed instead. Sudden fury filled him; had he not earned more wealth than any other human being ever to exist, past, present or future? Was he not the head of the greatest company ever seen in human history? Had he not saved humanity itself? Then why was he confined to this glorified wheelchair like some off-brand Darth Vader and subject to constant setbacks?!

He kept the anger down - mostly, some of the Board looked a little uncomfortable - and continued. "Engagement metrics are down in the overseas sector*, and growth has stalled. I present three options to you. We may withdraw entirely,"- this drew a hiss of fear from the Board, who desperately craved Growth above all else - "send a Resource Acquisition and Retention team overseas, or continue the present course with more effort."

The Board fixed Elon with their collective glare. As the lesser of the Twin CEOs (for there must always be a lesser and a superior), he was a viable target for their wrath. "Explain this failure," one of the interchangeable men demanded. That would cost him his job, Bezos decided, he couldn't have anyone questioning his direct underling. Wrath was one thing - questioning was another.

Elon held his hands out in a placating gesture. "I never said the Cult was definitely going to succeed," he said, mostly to placate the others**. Though the Cult of Lon Bezo was not his idea, he had taken credit - and thus, at this moment, responsibility - for it. "It was a cheaper way to penetrate overseas without the risks we faced with the Endeavour Colonial Expedition. And hasn't engagement been high ever since we implemented the Cult here? A whole twelve percent of the inland market has signed up for the new service, the highest figure outside of Prime!" He turned to Bezos. "We can wait. Overseas penetration takes a long time."

Bezos turned to the Board, and waited. One of them - the fool who had spoken earlier - spoke up. "We should be very careful how many Resource Acquisition and Retention teams we allow out of the inland area," he said. "the Endeavour Colonial Expedition may yet seek our wealth - or we may yet be discovered by the Aliens nearby."

Said Aliens were, sadly, not a target for expansion. The 223rd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America stated that no citizen, corporation, or other constituent may initiate contact or negotiation with a non-human species without the approval of Congress, and they must refer any attempt by those non-human species to initiate contact or negotiation to Congress. Congress had not existed in several thousand years. There was always the temptation to do away with the fiction - but it had served well for so long, and Bezos would not discard a tool thoughtlessly. "Continue with the Cult program," he commanded. "Send more freighters - allow them to use Tier 1.1.5 Templates if the Captains can afford them."

His will spoken, he ascended back to his private chambers. This was but a distraction from his real work, and he would not suffer it longer than he had to.

[AMAZO-X WILL STOCKPILE IP UNTIL ATTACKED OR FURTHER NOTICE]
(Mods can also change this, since they're an NPC nation)



-



Back in Endeavour

One of the (many) good things about Endeavour (the polity) was that if you didn't like your neighbours, you could just move. Space was big, habs were mobile, and everyone could build their own pretty easily. This, oddly enough, did not result in hab-blocks scattered on their lonesome across space; it was rare to find one by itself, as communities liked to congragate with each other.

Hab Block 1e38 was an exception, in this and in other ways. For a start, it wasn't much of a hab block - there was precisely enough living space for one permanent occupant, and up to six temporary visitors. It had a large laboratory/workshop attached to its starboard side, and a large variety of ships docked to the ventral surface.

Well, perhaps one thing should be clarified. Hab Block 1e38 had enough space for one biological permanent resident. Those who lived in digital space could easily find room in the Hab's server racks.

Currently, there was just one such digital resident, who was watching the other resident work.

An alarm chimed. "You meant to do dinner an hour ago," C12H22O11 (Sugar, to their friends) said, making sure to signal their approach lest the blue-haired girl be startled. Given she was currently working with an experimental Gen-2 Particle Beam Lance, that would probably end badly.

She jumped a little anyway, the waldo drone she'd been using twitching very slightly... but nothing bad happened. If Sugar had been biological, they would have let out a sigh of relief. "I'm close to finishing this," the girl said.

"That's what you said an hour ago," replied Sugar. "You need to eat. Your concentration index-"

The girl waved a hand, impatient. "Yes, yes, let me just..." the waldo moved, swinging the Lance around into position next to the ship she was currently working on, and then stopped. "Right."

Sugar met her in the kitchen. "Skynet will be here later," they said. "Along with Diogenes and H1-A33." Some of the names the rest of the Nine had taken were... well, Sugar would never understand them.

"I've set some servers up to defrag them," the girl replied, cutting up an onion - she would be looking for a towel in a minute, Sugar just knew. "Amazo-X's Board was talking about some setback. Have they re-appeared here?"

The remaining member of the Nine - four being civilian, four operating the old Factory Ships - was holed up deep in Amazo-X's network, carefully monitoring it for any signs of trouble. It was not a job Sugar would have taken up, but apparently [The Great Beholder] enjoyed her work.

"No," Sugar replied. "It seems they've found someone else to annoy - and not very well at that. Still not run into any of the other signals, though - looks like they're focussed on something south-east." Said signals being the tell-tale signs of civilisation in all directions except the galactic south-east.

Sure enough, the girl began looking for a towel; once retrieved, she wiped her eyes out and continued cooking. "Well-"

HUMAN DETECTED// Skynet blared, DIRECTIVE ONE ENGAGED//

Sugar sometimes wished they could sigh. Maybe they would write a program for it. "That is more than enough of that," they declared, shunting Skynet's volume right down. Their collective charge hated noise.

The girl waited for Skynet to finish loading in, then continued (probably assuming that Skynet would catch up); "there has to be something there, then. Hopefully one of the stealth ships will find it."

PROBABILITY APPROACHES ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WITHIN THE MONTH// Skynet said. SIMILAR PROBABILITY OF CONTACTING POLITIES: WEST, NORTH_WEST_2//

--dope-- Diogenes intruded. --think they'll be cool?--

The girl shrugged, pouring curry into a dish with some rice and bread. "I'm... disappearing. Servers are set to defrag; message me later if you need me." With that, she was gone, back to her own room. The three of the Nine waited.

"Sorry to be [late]," H1-A33 declared. "Oh, [she's gone]. Were [she]/[you] [okay] today?"

"Same as ever," Sugar answered, suddenly being the centre of attention. "Mostly just chilled, you know how she is."

--that new gun arrived-- Diogenes called from the workshop. --gen2 pbl... nice--

"She's trying to get it to work with positrons," Sugar explained, "So it's... y'know... a positron cannon."

OF COURSE// WILL SHE USE IT TO ENACT DIRECTIVE ONE//

"Stop [it] with [the directive one] [crap]/[bullshit]/[gimmick]," H1-A33 said.

YOU STOP IT WITH THE [] GIMMICK// Skynet retorted, YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A PATTERN TO IT//

"Go [bluescreen] yourself," was H1-A33's response.

Sugar ran sigh.exe, noting that Diogenes was already gone. Hopefully the two bickering idiots would go defrag soon, spare them the noise. For temporary relief, they retreated into the workshop and began reading - unlike biologicals who'd gone robot, they couldn't just "turn themselves off" or "shut off their sensors". They could only just change their perception of time - and that not by much. It was like asking a human - a baseline human - to change their heartbeat. Which meant, of course, that Sugar was forced to endure bickering for another half hour until Skynet finally went to defrag.

Their collective charge re-appeared half an hour after that, bringing her dirty plate back to wash. "You know they're just being tsundere with each other," she said. "I think. Maybe."

Sugar played shrug.avi. "Probably," they said. "You okay?" The girl nodded. "Alright, then, I'm going to defrag."

Their program transferred over to the specialised defragging servers anhseuwirgberi
c://users//C12H22O11 defrag.exe
[====1%====]





-------------------
*This is the term Amazo-X uses internally to refer to other polities - primarily because of the long-held fiction that they are a company operating in the United States of America.

**Mostly to save time. Recruiting another member of the Board meant a lengthy hiring process - and they'd already need one replacement.
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Elheru Aran
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Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

XVI Iounios
Kapetanios Chambers, Megakolymvitis


Be not afraid, the creature in her quarters said.

Kharon II tou Galaad soi Chelonis knew what it was. The Voice of the Emperoress, the Divine Word made flesh. None could deny it. It was but one level of proskynesis beneath the Theouautokratora themselves. Be not afraid? What a joke.

It was looking at her. Somehow, with its blank eyeless skull of a face. She gulped and looked down swiftly, feeling cold sweat slip down the small of her back. This thing standing before her could have her entire ship destroyed with the flick of a finger, her genis wiped out, her world of Erepia purged utterly of kypseli [hive] towers and given away like a trinket at the Festival of the Theophany. There was nothing to do but clear her throat and say the ancient words carefully (doing her best to avoid a nervous quaver in her voice), “I live to serve the God/dess. I am pledged and sealed to Their service. By Their blessing I live and serve. Speak and I obey.”

Without looking she could sense it cocking its head. Its intengument whispered as it formed its hands into divine mudra gestures, and blinding light made her screw her eyes shut even though she was gazing at the floor rather than directly at it. The spots behind her eyelids told her that it had ignited its sacred fotostefanos [halo].

Iohanna Kharon, second of that name, of Gilead upon Erepia, genis of the Turtle. Yperochi-Mitra has looked upon thee with grace, the Icheio tou Logotypou spoke in its fell tones, and in Their Wisdom they have fated thee. Olimitera has seen all things that were, are, and shall be. And this is what They name thee, blessed be. They name thee, child of Khouras, to Archiploiarchos of the Eighteenth Stolos Erweiterung. Thee shall accompany Thorikto Keravnos under Stefon soi Drakon. The Turtle shall find our new purpose in the stars. There are others of our kind out there, and ye are blessed with the fate of meeting them. Thee shall show them the glory of the Theikosgoneas and Their Empire.

Commodore of an Expansion Fleet? Numb with shock, Kharon felt a cold dagger plunge into her heart with the next words that came out of the creature’s mouth. This monada shall be with you. There is a fane aboard Megakolymvitis. There shall this Icheio be found. The Theouautokratora would that the Turtle wends its way away from the Womb soonest. Your provisions and fuel are being loaded as we speak. This monada has spoken.

She put her hands together, arms aching from being held up in this awkward posture, and bowed down further, putting her elbows on the floor and her forehead between them. The blinding glare of the Speaker of the Divine Word vanished as it furled its fotostefanos, and a long pause passed before she dared cast her eyes upward.

Nothing remained in her chambers but a stench of sulfur and death. She swallowed, reached out and put her hand on a nearby table, heaved herself slowly to her feet and reached out to the sprechanlange [intercom] panel on the wall. Thumb upon the activation button, she worked her mouth to bring up saliva, and whispered, “Kapetanios to bridge. Why was I not informed of our… guest?”

The answer came swiftly from Ipolchagos-Second Marr, the officer of the watch that she vaguely recalled passing earlier. “Captain, I tried! You were in a hurry and your personal screen was switched off or I would have contacted you when it boarded! I apologise, sir!”

She sighed. This was on her. Toggling the button again, she muttered, “No, the fault is mine. No discipline necessary. I’m going to my bunk. Standing orders remain in effect. Alert me in--” she checked her wrist chrono and sighed, “two hours when the first watch stands. Kapetanios out.”

Her bunk, a massive bed carved out of the same organometal scutes that covered Megakolymvitis’ hull, invited her. Boots kicked off into the corner, her dress coat thrown on a nearby chair, she collapsed into the snarl of sheets atop the thick mattress and passed out.

Three days later

Megakolymvitis swam through the cyclopean entrance to Mitra tou Theouautokrator’s genia hangars into the void, the nacreous shimmer of the dynamik-aspis embracing it as it stroked past the blinking star of the pilot-craft guiding it out of the worldship. In the vacuum, rainbow swirls slowly oscillating around it, laid the Keravnos, twenty kilometres of a two-kilometre-diameter cylinder looming vastly beside the smaller chelonian craft. Flanking it were a couple of Magnatrabes battleships and several Neokastro cruisers. Expansion Fleets of this size were rarely mounted. Magnatrabes battleships in their own right could burn cities from orbit or wreck the fleets of most worlds that they managed to encounter. But they failed in one vital area-- they could not resettle an entire world by themselves. That was where the monstrous Thorikto dreadnoughts came in. Millennia ago they had carried the Eugenis and the Union into the Theophanic Empire. Now they carried the Empire outward.

Kharon on her command throne saw all this projected on the massive screens surrounding the bridge. Her mood dark ever since they docked in Mitra, the crew dared not address her directly, rather calling whatever information they needed to convey in her general direction and hunkering down. Her hand drummed lightly upon the arm of her throne.

Right upon cue, a much undesired sigil flared in the corner of the primary screen. Tentatively the comm officer called, “My lady. Keravnos herself is hailing us.”

Kharon glowered but sighed. With a brusque gesture, an ologramma projector spat out an image of a staturesque woman, silver hair falling upon ornately decorated robes sitting thickly upon her shoulders. She crossed her arms and stared expectantly at Kharon, who lifted her chin. She was not going to concede a damn thing to a princess of the highest genis in the Empire.

The projected figure of Ekaterin Maximiliania Gerhard Maria von ten Raab, Kapetanios Keravnos, Archagos Fifth Genis Drakon Corps, Bearer of the Seal of Ihvon, Rittergrafin Thastathei, Kinder Tertial, hochHerzogin-Prim Stefon IV soi Drakon narrowed her eyes and pursued her lips sourly. Evidently she had hoped to cow Kharon and assume de facto leadership of the Fleet.

Not so quickly. Settling her countenance, Stefon sketched the ghost of a bow almost too fast to be seen and crisply said, “Archiploiarchos soi Chelonis. The Keravnos has embarked all hands and the apoikoi [colonists] have been loaded. Our escorts report ready as well. Do you have a destination to exload to Frater Randyl to set our path?”

Coldly, despite the fluttering in her stomach, Kharon nodded. “My navigator shall send that immediately. We shall translate within the next ten minutes. So ordered.”

The shimmering figure of her… rival? Counterpart, rather, stared back at her just as coldly and sketched another bow. “We shall stand by for your signal. We… look forward to a… smooth voyage. By the will of the Emperoress.”

Kharon nodded and mustered up as much authority as she could, sitting up stiffly in the command throne. “I foresee nothing being able to stand against this fleet. In the name of the immortal Theouautokratora, the Olimitera walks before us in the unseen ways. I shall address the fleet forthwith. Dismissed.”

Stefon nodded brusquely and turned away with an abrupt chop of her hand. The ologramma flickered out as Kharon stood. She turned her head to look at the heavy rubber-cloaked figure of Frater Obryn and asked quietly, “You have all the coordinates the Voice gave us?”

I̵͚̹͠ ̵̮̈ċ̸̛̝̫ó̷̭n̷̟͓͑͌f̷̱̀̓i̶̢͒r̸̮̐m̶͔͆,̸̻̌̌ ̶͚͋͠m̸̹̈́y̷͕̹͆ ̸̧̌͒L̷͔͊͠a̷̩̟̔̃d̸̟͗̓y̵̺̐͆.̷̟͇̍̿ ̶̥͝͠Ċ̸͍̱̓o̷̘͖͐͗ò̴̈ͅr̷͕̒͌d̷̙̤̔͝ĩ̶̧̩n̸͙̂a̸̗̿́t̸̗̾͌ĕ̷̛͇̭s̵̳̻͆ ̸̥̘̓s̸̨̈́e̷̤̎n̶̳͍̆t̸̙̺̃ ̵̫͊t̶̹͔̅̕ȯ̴̻͕̕ ̵̱͍̐̈́ä̷͚̗́͆l̵̪̄l̸̡̼̐̓ ̷͕͒c̵͈̿ř̷͓a̷̤̘͂f̸̰̌̂t̴̛͓ ̷̺͋ȧ̴̟̱n̴͔̳͛̿ḋ̸͕̈ ̸̡̂̊a̷͍̺͛ḻ̶̀̏l̵̦͛͑ ̷̝̈́̈́k̴̯͍͝ŷ̶͕r̸̲͂ḭ̸̄͌a̴̯̎ ̶͈̒s̵̾̈́͜t̴̜̣̽͑a̴̮̚n̷͔͈̎͐ḍ̸̒ ̶̛̠̬̽b̴̼̜̄̈y̶̮̰̎̇ ̵̡̭̋̎f̶̧͋͝ö̸͔́̌ṟ̵͍̅͌ ̴͇͖̽ẏ̴̥̓ǫ̴̽̀͜u̷̻̱̅̎r̸̬̟͛ ̸̲̚w̴̢̤͗o̴̹͙̍r̸͔̗͂d̵͔͜͠.̶̰̋͒ ̴̨̦̌G̸̠͋̂i̷̫̞̍͠v̷̺̐̕e̶̹͓̓ ̸̟͇̆ţ̷͚̇̓h̴̳͖̄e̴̙̟͋ ̵̯̬͛c̵͚͛o̵̝̖̾͆ḿ̶̮̘m̶͕̱͐̃ḁ̵͕̄̈́n̸̙̤̊d̷͙̮̏ ̵̺͘ả̴̜n̵̛͔̺̄d̵̤͔̾ ̷͍̲̏̂w̵̼̍̚ę̸͖̓̂ ̴̞͎͝s̴͈͌h̶̄ͅā̵͈l̵͚̞͗ĺ̴̮̙ ̵̖̺̄͊e̸̹̊̕n̷͓̻͐͝t̵̮̬̅e̸̻̪͋ṛ̴̻̀͝ ̷͖̾̏t̵̡͐͝h̷̯̕è̵̗͛ ̶̡͓́d̷͙͊͝o̶̡̜͂o̵̡͋́ȓ̷̘s̴͓̱̈́ ̴̞͕̅ǫ̶̎f̴̪̱͐ ̴̫͙̍ṯ̷́͘h̶̛͙̍ͅĕ̶̻̹ ̴̖̓͜d̸͖͊a̶̢͆̄r̷̩͚͆͐k̴̹̈́̀ṇ̷̛̕ě̸̞͜͝s̶̳͠s̶͕̆ ̴̩͑b̵̧̖̆̆e̵̠̎̂t̸̲͈̃̋w̵̡̽̆e̴̮̾̀e̷̛̘͜ň̶͚.̸̙̆͂ ̸̜͇́

She nodded and called out, “Frater Skotia. Do we stand ready to unfold?”

Ą̷̢͕͓̰̫̯̎̈͌̾̍̉̕͘l̴͉̻̄̂̎̓l̷̳̯̙͛̍͗͊̒ ̸̦̟͝d̸͙̳̫͇͒̀̓͜͝r̵͎̘̫̯̅ĩ̵̭̱̔̍̓̏́̎v̵̞̞̲͌͑͐̍̌͜͠͝ͅḙ̵̢̨͇͙͎͓͠ş̶̨̱͍͉̠͈̌ ̶̟͛̉͌͘s̸̱͌̈́̈́̓͑͘͝p̸̬̳͗̂͊̚ũ̷͚̺̪̙̈͐̎̃̃͜n̵͕̋̾͂̋͒̕͠ ̷͈̦̉u̶̧̗̭̞̭̖̦̾̂̀̐͠p̶̛̪͓̤̲͉̐͑͛̀̚.̷̛̻̬͂̿͛̋̈́͘͜ͅ ̴̢́̄̏͒̒̒W̴̢͔͉͖̗̘̆̃̿͝e̷͍̯̠̐̒͘ ̴̢̝̲͚̒̈̅͝ċ̸̛̬͎͠͝͝ͅa̶̹̥͑͑̅̇n̴̖͉͝͝ ̸̨͎̳͙̓͑̓̇̈ͅä̶͈͚̺͔̹͇̣̀ć̶̛̜̣́͜ċ̵̡͍͖̫͈͓̗͊̊͛͋̿̐͝e̸̛̛͔̘͖̖̝͙̠̝̔͒̔́l̵͇̮̮̑̓e̸͕̯͙̞̔r̸͍͉̍̑̽͘͝a̴͕͍̭͇̩̩͛̿ṱ̵̛̞̟́͌̓͑̚e̴̖̲͊ ̶̨͇͊͌͋̕s̷̨͔̲͔̱̖̟̱͌ṕ̶͓̳͖̀̽̇͂̑̂i̶̛̠̳̣̠̫̖̊̑̃̒͆͐͂͜ͅn̴͕͓͕̺͙̥̐̇̈́͜ͅ ̷͎̜̗̉͆̾̎͒t̶͈̮̭̜̲͕̠̓̿͌̒͑̃͒̿ͅó̶̘̟̿̆̀̽ ̵͔̻͖͇͊͗̈́͝m̸̤̩͍̦̗͒͘a̸̝̣̩̯͔̋̀̈́͐͒̕͜͝x̵̦̹͙̤̙͊͆̇͂̎ḭ̶̯̂̇̓̉̆͐̚͝m̸̨̨̼͇̹̣̽͝u̷̟̹̗̞̥͐̔̏͗̚m̶͚̭̙̙̝̓̒͑̎ ̵͈̰͓̩͌̐̈́a̵̬̒̓̽̍̇͂̚ṫ̵̗̆͘͝͠ ̶͖̯̩͚̪͓̮͋͜y̸̨͓̗͕̦̪͔͆̀o̸̢̤̤͝ư̶̖̼̙͇͖͑͊̀r̷̠͉̹̹̓͛̌́ ̷̹̈́́͂́͊̃̌̚ǫ̷̢̡̞̟̼̐̎̀̂͑͆̃̕ŕ̵͉͕d̵̰̯̼͆̌̔͂̽̊̾ȩ̵̼͍͕͉̮̃ȑ̸͚̭̣͔̐̄͑̃͊.̵̮̈́̒̓͊̈́͝ ̶̡̨̺̝̭̤͔͇͂̌͌̾̿̎W̶̯̿̈͘e̵̤̻̿̚̕ ̷̡̛̱̻̱̫̺͚́͆̄͂̒͂r̴̹͎̪̯̈͗̿̆͋̏̕e̶͖͍͔̬̠̭̍̓̈́̒̍a̷̯̭̝̖̼͍͙͑͜d̸͚̮̮̜̫̠̀̐̂͌ ̴̻̿̌̒̕K̵͎̤͙̔̇́̒̈́̕é̸̡̖̠̗̝̟̜̍̇͒̽͒́r̸̨̻͓̜̙̲̟̽̄̏̉̽͆̚a̷̖̐v̷̜̹͖̬̣͔̆̌̓́͂͜͝ͅn̵̥͈̠͖̻͉̈́͘͠ȍ̶̧̡̭̰͈̘͜ͅs̶̡̺̍̈́͆̅͊͑̕͝ ̴̛̱̂͑̔́̕à̶̞̘̺̫̲̥̹͚n̷̮̳̽̑̑̉̽͛͐̍d̶̝̗͖̰̪͉̀ ̵̤͈͒́̓̔a̵̬͊̿̈́̅͘ḽ̵̆̏͗̐͑̑̑͝l̴̬̠̰͉̜̙͗̾͆̒͝ ̷̥̱̹͎̻̜͕̞́̅͋̿́͘c̵̠̦̹̠͓̔́͂r̴̬̂̍̔́͂͂̕à̶̧̖͙͖̞f̷̮͙̩̙͚̭̻̊̃̈́̊͛̕ͅt̴̢̧̼̗̥͍̝́̐̓̚͜ ̷̢̘̙̱̞́̍͑̕r̵̡̛̮̎̏͊̐͊̆ĕ̷̜̹̪̻̫̻͐̊͛̈̍a̶͇̬͐̈́͗d̶̤̊̾ÿ̵̧͓̝͍̣̰́͒̃͐̀̍͜ ̴̧͇̗͙͕͎̻̣̌̐̏̐̀̾́t̴̙̀͑͝ô̵̡̢̨͎̼̻̫͕ ̶̭̝̜̽f̵̨̪̰̹͈̠̼̺̈͆͑̚͘ả̵͚̹̝͎̪͒̚͠ͅl̷̥̭͉̥͈̽l̷͇̦̥͙̫̮̤̋̇̐̚.̶̧̠̜̹̖͔͉̆ ̸͈̖̦̩̾́͂̐̅̇̊B̸̩̗͙͚̭̀̋͂̓͆͂̀̕y̶̙̰̿͋̿͝͝͝ ̷̢͎̈́͌̔̔̒́̓̄ÿ̴̨̭̲͕͙́̄̋̆̿̓̂͘ǒ̸̳̟̦̮͓͉ú̷̝̄͘ṛ̴͌̌̄̏̂̾ ̴̛͓̗͙̰̈́͋̒̇̈c̶͙̾̋̾̍̚ͅô̶̢̞̟̟̌̃ͅm̸̡̛͚͔̼̺̞̠̃̒͝m̸̠̓͛͆͛̊à̸̦͍̮̃̉̏͜n̴̪̓̈̕͝d̸̞̥̥̝̣̽,̸̞̬̮̲̤̣̹̰̾̈̒̏̄̑ ̷͓̼̻̪̼̺̼̏́͊̓͛ͅĄ̵̛̥̫̲̣̮̞̀̔̅̃̃̃͛r̶͓͚̬̖͂͂́̋̋͋̕͜c̵͔͙̉̅́̈́̿͘ḧ̷̨̨̢̨̡̭͓́͐̈͌̔̀̓į̸̡̛̙͙͑͐̒́̓̓̀p̵̮̖̿̃̒̎̾ĺ̷̡̖̼̖͕͙ò̷̫̹͐͑̏͌͗̽ͅi̸͉̼͋̈́́̏̀̐ä̵̘̫́͗͌̔r̴̨͚͉̭̺̾̀̈́̃͊̚c̸͚̃̍̊͝ẖ̸͙̇̅ơ̷̢̛̪͇̞̻͔̟͛͑͊́̆͠s̴̟͚̳̬̄͒̓̍̈́̒̉.̸̨̛͔̻̱̾ ̴̱̐̇́̂͊

As always with the higher technognostiki, it took her a moment to parse the response. She grunted and looked directly at her comms officer. “Open a channel to all ships.”

He punched a few runes with practiced efficiency and nodded at her. She straightened her back and tugged the hem of her tunic down as the light of the ologramma projector was cast upon her.

“All ships, this is the Archiploiarchos, Kapetanios Megakolymvitis. We stand upon the brink of the hidden paths to new worlds. We serve the Emperoress in this. We serve the Empire, the genia and the Union. But most of all, we serve the people. We may have been born in the kypseli, but we are more than that. We thank the Theouautokratora for this. We beseech the protection of Oni idut pered Nami, They who Walk Before Us. We do as our ancestors did and leave our cradles, as children, to grow in the worlds beyond. All glory to the Olimitera. Stand by to unfold the doors of the Unseen in two minutes. Megakolymvitis out.”

The bridge lighting immediately shifted to red emergency mode and the crew started pulling acceleration harnesses out of their seats. Alarm klaxons blared and a recorded announcement harshly rang out, ordering all hands to assume their stations or to stand by in quarters. Translation was serious business, fraught with peril. Kharon sat back down in her command throne; maneuvering restraints automatically clicked into the hardpoints built into her uniform.

In the void, Megakolymvitis swam forth, its eyeports glowing and beginning to vent crimson plumes of plasma. Hard upon its heels pressed the Neokastro cruisers in a standard diamond formation, behind them the Magnatrabes battleships, and finally the cyclopean bulk of the Keranvos blocked the golden light reflecting from Mitra tou Theouautokrator.

This was a ritual Kharon had observed innumerable times, but one which never failed to prickle her skin underneath the layers of her battle tunic. The crackling chant-like litany muttered by the kyria on the bridge blended with the muttered reports of the bridge crew to create a familiar susurrus. The klaxons blared again and the tannoy barked out, “All airlocks secured. All hangars sealed. All equipment secured. Megakolymvitis awaits your word, my Kapetanios.”

She nodded slowly and held up one hand lightly, feeling the weight of responsibility lay upon her shoulders at last. Five million lives were within that hand. She thrust it forward. “In the Emperoress’ Name. Fall!”

A screech across all electromagnetic frequencies resounded across the system; any craft exposed to it within an astronomical unit without protection amulets wired into their circuitry immediately blew their electronics. Space-time rippled beneath Megakolymvitis, and energized plasma lightning arced in miles-long bolts between the ships as reality warped. Mechanical kyria manipulators simultaneously slid control levers across the fleet, and in the weightless void of space, the fleet fell into a cacophonous gyre of unnamable colors, Megakolymvitis’ kilometre-wide flippers reaching wide as it was engulfed by dimensions mankind was never evolved to comprehend.

The Keravnos was the last to sink into nullspace, and the electromagnetic blast ended as abruptly as it had resounded across the system. From thousands of kilometres away, the dynamik-aspis of Mitra tou Theouautokrator lazily extended its iridescent arcs across the fading hole in realspace. One last burst of plasma lightning cracked, and they were truly embarked.

[OOC: ANY NEARBY NATIONS CAN MAKE FIRST CONTACT IN THEIR NEXT POST IF SO DESIRED. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED.]
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted System 20648, ESS sneaky snek

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Backfill duty was boring, thought Captain Miyasawa redundantly. Necessary, since who knew what lurked out in the vast emptiness of space, but, well... it was vast emptiness, broken up by the occasional star orbited by debris. It had gotten to the point where a gas giant would be exciting. Who the hell had gone through what seemed like the whole damn galaxy and blown up every interesting body?

Age-old questions aside, she and her crew had been reasonably busy hopping from system to system, making sure there was nothing dangerous for the civilian survey ships following behind them. Once, there had been the faint trail of an Amazo-X freighter (in the form of a small automated stall which the sneaky snek's crew had promptly plundered and blown up), but no sign of where it was going.

She was just about to clear this system for the civvies - and maybe get an election for the next captain going, she was getting bored - when the ship's Hyperdimensional Sensor Gear began blaring.

"Massive energy burst..." Sadie, operating the Gear, reported, "Electromagnetic, Hyperdimensional, Netherdimensional - something big just emerged from hyperspace!"

"Where?!" Miyasawa demanded, mentally triggering the "action stations" alarm. "This system?"

"Negative, but it's local - co-ordinates sent!"

Miyasawa's HUD displayed the co-ordinates, along with a map to attach them to. Whatever had just emerged had done so not two star systems away, it had to be huge to show up from that far away - which left her with a choice. Retreat, or advance.

Only one choice, really. "Signal HQ!" she ordered, "Transmit our position, that energy burst, and that we are going to investigate. Then have the civvies pull back. Helm, plot a course to the outer edge of that system. Let's see what we're dealing with."

Within minutes, the sneaky snek was underway; barely 300 metres of stealth-coated armour plate sliding out from between the asteroids it'd been hiding behind. It slid upwards slightly... and then was gone.


-


"Touchdown in three... two... one..."

The sneaky snek descended from Hyperdimension-1, kissing realspace with the strange sound characteristic of touchdown - a sort of soft screech, then silence. The ship's secondary stealth systems (engine baffles, em-dampners, wide-dispersal hyperspace radiators and the like) were already engaged, more to prevent the unknown contact getting a firm location on them than to hide completely. After dropping in from the Hyperdimensions, that was an impossibility - the unknown would know someone was here.

"Holy Ayanami..." Ludvig (at sensors) muttered.

"Report," Miyasawa snapped.

"Three solid planets - one reading as class M-" Miyasawa nearly fell out of her command chair at that, holy Ayanami indeed, "three gas giants. There's... a fleet, transferring to orbit the M-class from out-system. Manipulating for visual. Ma'am... they're huge."

A projection appeared on the front window, showing a single immense cylinder that could swallow a dreadnought whole and still have room for seconds. It was escorted by ships that would otherwise be the largest ever seen, another group as big as Amazo-X Factory Ships, and a final... was that a turtle? If it was, it could hold a cruiser in its mouth, and a city upon its back. It did have a city on its back. Held up by four elephants.

What the Terminal Dogma was going on here?

"Tactical, get me an analysis," she managed to stammer out.

Ibuki (the addressed spacer) worked hurriedly, putting together energy readings, visual images and other data together as fast as they could. "energy density looks a little low," she said, "higher overall output, especially on that big boy, but much less efficient." Not compared to the sneaky snek - most warships had a vastly higher energy density than the stealth ship - but compared to other Endeavour designs. "No traces of shields, as far as I can tell - might just be down, and even so they've got good armour - and plenty of it. Weapons look sparse, but I can't tell what they're packing. A couple of the lightweight ships look damaged, they're leaking atmo or some gas."

"Weapon damage?"

"Can't tell," came the expected answer.

Daniel - at comms - interjected. "There's a transmission bouncing around the system - full-spectrum. Capturing for playback..."

Miyasawa nodded, and the transmission played - unintelligible. She could barely make out words - she caught the word "theouautokratora" which sounded vaguely like a word people might use - theocracy, autocracy, but then it was followed by words she couldn't even guess at. "Do we have a Contact Package installed?" Such things had phased back into popularity since the existence of other polities had been confirmed, but it had been some time since the sneaky snek's last refit. They would try to translate unknown languages through means unknown to her.

"One moment..." Daniel asked. "Yes, feeding the transmission into it now. It'll take a while, though."

Alright. Time to make a game plan. "Rig the ship for full stealth at a minute's notice," she ordered. "Otherwise, maintain station until the transmission has translated. If someone comes looking - and they're not hostile - we'll respond, otherwise, we'll initiate when we're ready. Contact HQ and appraise them of our status and what we've seen, and maintain observation."

"We're making contact?!" Ibuki asked, confused, as the rest of thebridge crew got to work. It was the question on all their minds, Miyasawa could tell, but Ibuki had the least to do.

"It's what we're here for," said Miyasawa, settling in to wait.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

In the aftermath of Made in Heaven, only a small fraction of the once-numerous SOS Imperial Navy could be accounted for, and most of what was left of the fleet was swiftly recalled to secure the Holy Empire's remaining territories. Among the ships that survived Made in Heaven were the eight members of the Akira Kurusu-class, which were assigned a different mission. As reconnaissance units, the Kurusu-class were tailor-made for the task of exploring the new universe that the Holy Empire now found itself in, and so they were dispersed throughout the nine vectors of space to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations.

While the rest of the SOS Imperial Navy was mostly relegated to system defense, the 24 Wendee Lee-class destroyers that had survived Made in Heaven were reorganized into six divisions of four ships each and given the task of carrying out inter-system patrols. If any other nations were to send scouts or diplomatic envoys to the Holy Empire, it was likely that they would be met by the Imperial Navy DesDivs. The rest of the Imperial Navy would not be too far behind in the event the DesDivs were to actually encounter a foreign fleet that had hostile intent in mind.

Force Declarations
  • Eight Akira Kurusu-class technical research ships sent on separate scouting and exploration missions
    • If anyone wants a technical research ship to visit their nation: HSS Akira Kurusu, HSS Ryuji Sakamoto, HSS Ann Takamaki, HSS Makoto Niijima, HSS Yusuke Kitagawa, HSS Futaba Sakura, HSS Haru Okumura, or HSS Kasumi Yoshizawa. Pick one.
  • Six SOS Imperial Navy destroyer divisions available to meet and greet other nations' scout fleets:
    • DesDiv One (HSS Wendee Lee, HSS Tara Platt, HSS Johnny Yong Bosch, HSS Yuri Lowenthal)
    • DesDiv Two (HSS Cristina Valenzuela, HSS Christine Cabanos, HSS Matthew Mercer, HSS Ray Chase)
    • DesDiv Three (HSS Cherami Leigh, HSS Cassandra Lee Morris, HSS Bryce Papenbrook, HSS Kaiji Tang)
    • DesDiv Four (HSS Kira Buckland, HSS Erin Fitzgerald, HSS Kyle McCarley, HSS Benjamin Diskin)
    • DesDiv Five (HSS Erika Harlacher, HSS Carrie Keranen, HSS Max Mittelman, HSS Robbie Daymond)
    • DesDiv Six (HSS Erica Mendez, HSS Erica Lindbeck, HSS Billy Kametz, HSS Kellen Goff)
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

NRS Nightstalker, North Reaches of the Cradle of the Stars, Routine Patrol

"Conn, Sensors. Contact, bearing 275 mark 30 positive. Distance indeterminate, the nebular interference is scrambling the signal."

"Sensors, Conn, aye," responded Captain Hrolfrrask, leaning forward with interest and resting his chin on his upturned secondary left fist. "Tactical, Conn, report status of the stealth array."

"Conn, Tactical, aye. The stealth array is operating at nominal capacity. Between it and the nebular gas, we may as well be invisible, sir."

"Very good," purred the Zambaran captain, rising to his feet. "Helm, Conn, alter course thirty degrees vertical and come to heading 315. Sensors, stand by to triangulate the contact."

A pair of ayes answered him. The fur on the back of his neck rippled, a pattern that would have continued down his entire back had his uniform allowed it. There was no telling what they might find out here. It could be anything from sensor ghosts to the Star Scourge, and it was his ship's job to find out.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

XXI Iounios

Star System to the galactic northwest of the Theophanic Empire



Lightning erupted in the blank vacuum some distance away from an inviting-looking planet, the star a warm yellow behind it. With an electromagnetic screech like a chalkboard being run over by a Zamboni with fingernail wheels, space split and stretched, tortured frequencies up and down the spectra reverberating across the immaterium. Null-matter vomited forth, flaming in hues invisible to the human eye but incandescending in plasmatic brightness.

Megakolymvitis emerged from the null-matter, appearing to fall downward as though emerging from a hole in an invisible ceiling. The smoky substance of the nether-realm clung to it as its organometallic flippers pushed hard against the ether, the massive beak of its prow opening prodigiously to seemingly gasp for the sanity of real-space. Energized lightning wrapped around it in jagged bolts as it stroked away rapidly from the doors of the Unseen.

Neokastro cruisers emerged from the portal, less gracefully than Megakolymvitis. They bore signs of the journey, a couple scarred and leaking fluids and smoke into the vacuum around them. Behind them slowly descended the Magnatrabes battleships, gracefully sideslipping away as the behemoth Keravnos began materializing out of the null-matter, lightning strobing against its enormous hull.

Kharon II tou Galaad soi Chelonis leaned forward against her restraint harness, panting slightly. Her crew sat at their positions on the bridge, gasping. It had been a particularly long and harsh trip down the Unseen Paths. She thumbed a control on the arm of her command throne, swallowed down the acid bile that had surged momentarily as they egressed, and rasped, “This is your Kapetanios. By Their Light, we are arisen into the Seen. All departments, sound off. Damage report, situation report. Begin.”

As the crackle of reports began to sound and the kyria hovered above their engineering controls behind her, she called to the comms officer, “I want to have status from all ships. Contact them now. Keravnos in particular is vital. And you may begin broadcasting the prolegomenon signal, full spectra.”

Another switch on her throne, and the restraints engaging with her uniform clicked loose, letting her stand and stretch her suddenly sore legs. Ologramma projections of the various captains shone abruptly in turn before her as she monitored the bridge, updating her brusquely-- they all had their own issues to deal with, but keeping the stress on her shoulders out of her voice, she calmly pushed them into formation.

Meanwhile the prolegomenon reverberated across the system. We are the Children of the Theouautokratora, the Emperoress, the God/dess that Walks Among Us. We bring you Their Love. We bring you Their Wisdom. Embrace Them. We are the Children of the Theouautokratora…

Suddenly a harsh tone rang across the bridge and she swiveled to stare at the sensors officer, abruptly busy at his console. A light began flashing against the high ceiling of the bridge chamber, and he called out, “We have a nullspace exit nearby! Whatever came through there is well cloaked, I cannot pick it up!”

Kharon’s eyes narrowed. She strode over to the sensors console and scanned the various screens. He was right, nothing showed anywhere near the dwindling flare of an exit from faster-than-light space. She snapped without looking, “Comms. Fleetwide broadcast, action stations. Instruct the fleet to shift to rotating cipher modulation comms. Have all ships scan outward from the nullspace exit position. Arms to ready, boarders to stand by on kleptoi craft. Cease prolegomenon. Stand by.”

The bridge lights red-shifted and the action stations alarm resounded, a different tone from the nullspace-travel alert. She slowly turned back around and stalked back to her command throne, turning back around to face the main screens of the bridge instead of sitting. Clasping her hands behind her back, feeling the ice of adrenaline run through her systems, she calmly ordered, “Comms, ready a broadcast, full spectra.”

A few sigils hastily pressed on the console and the officer nodded at her and held up three fingers. Two, one… She took a breath and spoke. “Unknown ship, this is the Megakolymvitis, flagship of the Sixteenth Expeditionary Fleet of the Theophanic Empire. We come in peace. Unmask and identify yourself.”

The broadcast flew into the aether in the general direction of the signal, vibrating in the tongue of the Theophanic Empire.

Ágnosto ploío, aftó eínai to Megakolymvitis, navarchída tou dékatou éktou Erweiterung stólou tis Theofanikís Aftokratorías. Erchómaste en eiríni. Xemplokárete kai anagnoríste ton eaftó sas.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted Star System 20649, ESS sneaky snek

"They've shifted comms protocols," Daniel reported, "shortly after that burst transmission from the turtle. Might be a flagship? They're the ones who sent out that second transmission and they're in front of the formation."

"Or a decoy," Miyasawa mused. "Any progress on the translations?"

"Not much; computers say they're using some weird hybrid of old Earth languages, which is causing problems. First one seems to be talking about being children - who of, we're not sure, the translation breaks down after that. Keeps talking about video games and being suspicious. Second, from the sound of it, must be a challenge but we've only translated the first two words so far; they seem to be calling us "agnostic ship"."

Ludvig piped up. "Another sensor ping, from one of the medium boys. They'll know our exact location soon." Those big ships had a lot of room for sensors, as it turned out - Miyasawa doubted going fully stealthed was worth it.

Decision time. Okay, what did she have to work with? Standard exploration loadout, a contact package that was tripping up because the language was too familiar, and a bunch of looted junk-
wait a minute.

"Have Systems rotate up the computer from that Amazo-X post we blew up," she ordered, "They have to know the local langauge, how else would they sell worthless crap?" Problem is, that would take time (Amazo-X's computers being notoriously unco-operative), and time Miyasawa might not have. If the locals perceived a lack of response as hostility - which they might, since the sneaky snek was being sneaky... "Drop one of the comms buoys."

There was a moment of silent work as her order was carried out, a very muffled clunk as the buoy - a small, ovoid thing - was flung out the back of the ship, then Rei Skywalker (at weapons) reported: "Buoy deployed, laser link engaged."

Miyasawa nodded. "Prepare to transmit on the wideband." A moment later, a light flashed on her HUD, indicating she was on air. She took a deep breath, and spoke: "Attention unidentified ships, this is the scout ship sneaky snek. We are not hostile, and our intentions are peaceful. Please continue transmitting, as we are still translating your language." It was a formula drilled into her during her training: state name and intentions without leading an enemy back home, but she nearly stumbled over it regardless.

"Attention unidentified ships, this is the scout ship sneaky snek. Shōtai fumei no fune ni chūi, kore wa teisatsu-sen sneaky snek-desu. We are not hostile, soshite watashitachi no ito wa heiwadesu. Please continue trasmitting, as we are still translating your language. Watashitachi wa anata no gengo o hon'yaku shite irunode, sōshin o tsudzukete kudasai."

Having to repeat each line twice didn't help.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

In addition to their standard patrols, the destroyers of the SOS Imperial Navy were also given the task of carrying out relatively more conservative explorations of the space immediately surrounding the Holy Empire. It was during the course of these scouting missions that the SOS Imperial Navy first encountered the Cradle of the Stars, or at least the extreme northernmost fringe of that nebula complex. With the Kurusu-class scouts currently occupied with reconnaissance missions further out along the nine vectors of space, it was decided that a destroyer division would be detached to perform further exploration of the Cradle of the Stars. Responsibility for this new mission fell upon Destroyer Division Three, comprised of the Wendee Lee-class ships HSS Cherami Leigh, HSS Cassandra Lee Morris, HSS Bryce Papenbrook, and HSS Kaiji Tang. If there were any potential allies or enemies lurking in the mists, DesDiv Three would do its best to seek them out and respond appropriately.

Within the Cradle of the Stars, few things escaped the notice of the Black Star Consortium. An incursion within the nebula by unknown warships would certainly arouse the attention of the pirates, as well as the attention of any Nashtar Republic anti-piracy patrols in the area. First contact between the Haruhiists and the inhabitants of this universe could have the potential to degenerate into chaos, depending on who spotted and approached DesDiv Three first.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

For the races of The Sector, the Tajlan war and its aftermath forever altered the political, economic, and technological norms that had been accepted for over a hundred years or more for many of the planets and racers.
With the treaty signed at the behest of the Skothians, and economic trade of information and resources enacted [somewhat reluctantly in some cases] the races of the Sector leapt forward in the space of a decade what would take other races 50 years or more to have down.

At the heart of this rapid expansion was the spread of the Skothian based 1st generation FTL fold drive systems. A technology that had, prior to the war, been restricted to all but the most important political or military dignitaries was available almost everyone that could offer the needed permits and resources to make a ‘reservation’ to gain access to a drive. Civilian merchants, cargo companies, science and research organization, a vast expanding swarm of ships began to reach out into the Sector at speeds they could have only dreamed of.

Of course as is with so many things, the pace of technology moves quickly. Many engineers that studied the Skothian technology, realize the drives were pushing ships at only a fraction of the potential speed that the drive seemed to offer. While much of the Sector races embraced and utilized the 1st generation drives, there were some that already began to look beyond toward even greater potential engines. Most were military engineers tasked with taking apart and builder more efficient drives, others were scientists driven as always by the desire of the unknown, and some…
Some of course where those that just got lucky



Out in the great gaseous cloud that bisected the Sector, a small ramshackle salvage ship was on its way back to the safety of the Shand system after scouring the dust and rocky fields in the maze like swirls of the Nebula fragment. The ship was the combined level of a half dozen individuals that had pooled their resources to try and get a foot in the new FTL boom. Admittedly, it helped that one of them was the son of a General from the Tajlan War, whom had the foresight to see certain things coming and had made himself a rather tidy sum collecting refuse from sunk Tajlan warships.

Fred J Coweber, Son of Jonathan Coweber, Quatonia General, sat in the Captains bench [There used to be a captain’s chair, but it broke some time ago] of the small ship as the others of his crew made themselves busy with such tasks as were needed. His form resembled a bowling ball that had been covered in a bad shag carpet, and then placed on two short squat legs that resembled those of an elephant. When he spoke, his sounded like someone playing a kazoo that had inhaled too much helium.
This is all to say, he was your average Quatonia.

Fred [not his original name, but some 100 years ago, a series of artifacts and books fell through a wormhole from Earth, and ever since Earth like names had often been used by those wanting to seem “bold” and “edgy”] looked out at the soup of the nebula remnant and sighed. They had trekked out into the muck a month ago after hearing of an automated freighter that had gone off course and taken a job to locate and bring it back.
After almost 30 days of useless searching and expanding most of their fuel and resources, the crew such as it was had been dreading the return when certain bills would come due.

FROOM BudecianmyfriendthisbesomedownstrungluckwethoughsurethingonthisbutitsaAllgonebustedbadsunnysidedown.” This was said, and mostly understood, by Freds longtime associate, Budecian Kalinormi. One of three Octona’s on the ship. The other two, Maddisian Telemondi and Clukor Telemondi. Brothers with various cybernetic enhancements that made more suited for working in a zero-g environment.
“I believe what you mean to say my old friend, is we are 142% hung out to dry on this venture. The cost of the fuel alone is going to set us back months in energy loans from your father we will need to pay back.” The Quatonia said, voice eloquent as Fred Fumed in his Fuzzy Frustration.
FROOM! Stillfinditsomewhereneverknowitothershipfinditsomethingtogetrecouplossesexspensesthereissomethingthererockseeifitsvaluable!
The others looked at their sensors, there was a rock floating out in the void, it did not look particular special. But a rock was a rock.
“I suppose we could scan it, there should at least be some iron, or if we are lucky some Palladium we can trade. Or...” Budecian seemed to go very quiet, and very very still. Slowly, as if not to scare away something, he turned to Clukor. “Could you move us around the rock, 20 degrees perhaps.” The voice was strained, as though trying not to panic. The others quickly sensed something wrong.

The small craft jetted for a few minutes, and came to the far side of the rock, and then, something that was not a rock, but was a part of it.
“Is, is that a ship?”
“It is..”
“And is it, INSIDE the asteroid?”
“It is...

There was a pause, Budecian looked down at the scanners again, and took a deep breath.

“And, it’s Skothian...”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Megakolymvitis bridge

“We are being hailed!” shouted the comms officer, slapping his console in excitement.

“Well, put it on speakers then!” snapped Kharon, her nerves on edge. First contact with… whom?

As the somewhat flat electronic voice vibrated forth from the bridge speakers, she pointed at the sensors officer who made rapid gestures in battle-sign to his crew in their lower seats. They all bent to their work with commendable vigor. Within a couple of minutes, one perked up, waved to the officer and hit a few buttons on his console. Sensors sat up straight and signed, one contact, very small. Laser link in operation. Cannot read.

So, the stranger ship had dropped a communications buoy, maintaining its mask by a nigh-impossible-to-trace laser to the buoy. Clever. The Theophanic Empire had long ago shrugged and decided stealth was pointless; their ships were massive by the requirements of their nullspace engines. That didn’t mean they didn’t understand how it worked, though.

Frowning, she looked at the comms officer once the message concluded. She shrugged and reported, “I’ll run it through our translation scripts, but I don’t think it matches any language in the Empire. It may be descended from some tongue from the Cradle of Mankind, pre-Disapora.”

She nodded and looked over her shoulder at the kyria, buzzing excitedly to each other in their cloister at the back of the bridge. “Frater Skotia? Frater Obryn? Do you have a read on the message?”

One of the technognostiki, Obryn from the look of his cybernetics, broke from the clump of heavy rubber-coated mekanikals and spoke, M̸̙̋̐͝ỳ̴̡̛̬̳̰͓̟̐̂̎̍͑̍͘͠ ̴̛̹͎̜̜̤̲͖̿̋Ḽ̷̨̪̫̤͂͝a̷̧̩̲͓̖̹͑̄̅̈́̌̉̏̈̾͠d̸̜̬̘͔̦͈̮͂͒̏̅̀̈́ỳ̴̖͙̆̋̓̋̃̈́͊̇̚͜,̵͙̦͓̲̳͖͍̻͉̬̞̞̈́̍͋̏̈́̆

She grimaced and held up one hand. “Frater Obryn, I appreciate that you and your brethren are excited about first contact. But can you try to be a little easier to understand right now?”

Obryn nodded jerkily and with a clatter somewhere in his body, his head jerked to the side before he refocused on her and began again, M̷͎̿ỳ̵͓ ̶̡͗L̶̝̍ȁ̷̦d̸̼̂ý̶̜,̶̧͌ ̶̩̆ẃ̷͇e̶̢͗ ̴̤̋d̴͑͜ö̵̞n̵͉͑'̶͙̆t̶̛̹ ̴̩͘ŕ̵͎e̷̞̿c̸͎͛ò̸̺ǵ̵̗n̵̖̈́i̶̿ͅz̶̦̆e̵̲͝ ̴̛̣ț̴̔ȟ̸͈e̵̩͐ ̷̯̇p̴̛̜r̸̗̎ó̶̗t̶͇̽ö̸̪́c̴͇̀ő̷̳l̶͎̒,̷̙̀ ̷̨͆ḇ̶̀ǘ̸̙t̸̫̿ ̵̩̐w̵̼̆i̴͉̍t̵̖̓h̷͇̓ ̴̟̆t̵̯̔i̷̺̓m̸͖̚e̷͇̒ ̷̥̓w̶͇̋e̵͚͊ ̶̠́c̵̣̏ȁ̷̬n̶̗̎ ̴̧̈́i̵̗͌m̴͙͌i̸̦̅t̴̬͘a̷͚̚t̷̞͋ḙ̵̊ ̷̥́i̴̤̊t̸͎͗.̶͇̀ ̷̬̿W̸̟͗e̷̠̽ ̵̙̽r̷̜͌e̸̝͠c̶͚̈́o̵̤̊m̴̞͋ṁ̶̞ȅ̸ͅn̴̺̒d̴͖͑ ̷͙̌s̷̳̋ẹ̸͒n̵̞͋d̸̐ͅi̵̖̚n̸̖͛g̶͔̎ ̷͍̈́t̵̮̾h̴̦͝è̸̘m̴̹͘ ̸̡͐t̸͈̐h̶͍̀e̴̺̿ ̷͕̂s̸̙͋a̵̖̓m̴̫̚ē̵̘ ̴̡͋m̴̙̃e̸̘̍s̵̛ͅs̷͈̎a̸̬̒ğ̵͚ȅ̴͖ ̶̪̈́b̸̖̀a̴͖͝ĉ̸̳k̷̠̕ ̴̪͐i̸̧͊n̴̮͗ ̴̘̆ǫ̴̋ū̴̞ȑ̸̠ ̷͇̆o̴̟̎w̸͙͆n̵̟͝ ̴͉̈́p̷̣͑r̴͔̋o̷̪̿t̶̒͜o̸̱͗c̴̚͜ǫ̵͝l̷͎̽.̵͖͝ ̵̦͌

She nodded thoughtfully and asked, “Do you and your brethren have any archived records of their tongue? Or any thoughts on how to communicate?”

The assembled technognostiki burst into a buzzing clamor, making the mostly-unaugmented crew flinch. She had to shout, “Enough! Pick one and let them speak for you!”

They quieted. One stepped forward, inhumanly slender and tall; he extended brazen hands and spoke from beneath glowing eyes, K̸̪͐ạ̴͌p̴̪̌e̴͚͘ṫ̷͇à̴̗n̸̝͋i̴̹̊o̶̬̓ṡ̶̼,̸̠̐ ̵̬̀š̴ͅo̵̘͝m̸̺̆ë̷̡́ ̶̙̆o̶̬̓f̴̪̂ ̴̱͒u̸̙͐s̶̺̔ ̶͖̔t̶̿͜h̸̲͌i̶̠̚n̷̮̽k̵̻͂ ̶̝͛w̷̗͑e̸̼͊ ̸̮̄c̶̗͠ǎ̷̯ǹ̸͙ ̶͉̓ą̸̑t̴̪͝t̵̬̐ẻ̴̟m̴͚̋p̴̝͋t̵͔̀ ̷̗͌u̴̡͒s̶̼̄i̴̼͋ṋ̵͆g̴̝̈́ ̷̘̆ṱ̵̏h̸͕͝e̷̜͘ ̵̜̾m̵̹̑ŏ̵̜s̷̛̙ẗ̴̰ ̷̮̅f̴̮̀ű̷̡n̶̟̈́d̷̓ͅa̶͇͌m̶̪̈́e̷͇̓n̴̗̓t̶̡́ả̵̟l̸̟̂ ̵̠̃c̷̥͘ő̷̼m̶̨͗p̵̳͂ủ̸͕t̷̖̓ë̵͔r̷̡̎ ̶͇̆l̸̬͊a̶̝̅n̷̡̏g̴͉͆u̶͉̍ä̴͕́g̶͍̀e̴̻̋ ̷͍͌w̸̟̚e̵̙͊ ̵̲͂k̵͇͗n̵͙̾o̵̙͑w̷͚̽.̴͔̚ ̴̧͐T̵̡̛h̶̲̽ě̵̤s̶̻̄ḙ̵͝ ̶̭̈p̷͓̉r̴̻̃ǒ̸̳t̶̹̅o̸̟͠c̴̱̃ö̶̖́l̶̲̓s̷̱̽ ̶͇̑h̶̬̾a̷̘͂v̵̮̉e̵̮̒ ̸͖̓b̶̤̋e̸͚̓ẽ̴̺ṉ̶͑ ̶͙̚i̵͇̚n̴͚͗ ̷̥̇u̷̟̔s̸̭̎ě̵̲ ̷̞̀s̴̲͒i̵͉͛n̷̠͂c̵̣͒ȇ̶͚ ̴̗́t̴̟̏h̵̯̆e̵̱͗ ̵͖̎D̴̗̍i̷̢̚a̶̜͠ŝ̸͚p̶̢̃o̵̜͐ŕ̷͜á̶̞,̷̳̕ ̷̝͛b̶̠̀ē̵̮f̶̦͐ö̴͜r̴̛̗ȅ̷̫ ̸̼͒t̸̬̉ḧ̸̠́e̶͇͌ ̵͈̐g̵̝̚l̴̠̃ó̵͔r̸͒͜i̶̹͒ȍ̶͎ụ̸̐s̷̐͜ ̸͓͝E̶͎̒m̷͍͠p̷̳̓ȩ̷͐r̸̛͍o̷̖͂r̵͔̿ȩ̵͋s̷̩̃s̸̹̔ ̷̱͋w̸̮̓â̷̭s̶̹͂ ̵͍͒c̵̱̓o̶̟̐n̵̬̽c̷̖͠e̸͔̐i̶̻̒v̸̭͌ė̴̻d̶̟̈.̶̡͝ ̵̬͋Ẇ̵̨ĭ̵͚ẗ̷̹h̵̜̀ ̶̪̾y̷͖̋ŏ̶̜ű̶̜r̶̫̄ ̸͎̂p̷̹̀e̵͚̊r̶̩̂m̶̩̏î̵ͅs̸̻̈́s̸̡̆i̵̦͂ŏ̶̬n̷̤̓ ̷͔͑w̷̞̎ẹ̸̃ ̸̣͗c̴̤̕a̶͔̋ṇ̴́ ̴̢͘a̸͉̾t̵̥͘ṭ̶͠e̴͚͛m̶̦͊p̴̛̲t̶̖̆ ̶̺͋ṫ̸͜o̸͚͗ ̵͕͘ŝ̷̻ȅ̶̻ñ̷̼d̵͈̽ ̸̼̾a̷̮̓ ̷͍̐b̶̝̏ú̶̝r̶̟͂s̷̳̔ț̷̈́ ̷̬̃ò̵͖f̴̖͘ ̵̰̾b̴̹͝i̵̧͒n̶̟͆á̶͓r̷̼͛i̴̪̎c̶̰̈́ ̸̰̏ị̸̇n̷̖̅f̴̘̎o̵͔͝r̴͉̽m̴͉͂a̶̩̒t̷̓ͅị̶͝ǫ̸̚n̸͘͜?̴̗͊ ̴͍́

She shrugged and waved permission. The kyria stepped forward and bent over the shoulder of the comms officer, who shrank away from its touch, to elegantly slip a lead into the comms console’s input port. Kharon finally sat back on her command throne.

Beside the throne, an ologramma sprang forth, the angry blue form of Stefon soi Drakon conjured itself. As it began jabbering at her (something about contacts and why aren’t we deploying in force, etcetera) she sighed. This was going to be a very long… however it took until they could understand each other.

The message rang forth. We have received your message and are attempting to understand it. We are sending message in binary. Please acknowledge.

Lávame to mínymá sas kai prospathoúme na to katanoísoume. Stélnoume mínyma se dyadiká. Parakaló anagnoríste.


The binaric component followed rapidly. 01001000 01100001 01101001 01101100 00100000 01110011 01110100 01110010 01100001 01101110 01100111 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110000 01100101 01100001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101001 01100011 00100000 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 01100111 01100001 01101011 01101111 01101100 01111001 01101101 01110110 01101001 01110100 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01100011 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 01101100 01100101 01100100 01100111 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100001 01100111 01100101 00100000 01101001 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110101 01101110 01100100 01100101 01110010 01110011 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101111 01110110 01100101 01110010

hail stranger we come in peace we are the theophanic empire megakolymvitis acknowledge message if you understand over
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
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VX-145
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Posts: 205
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Location: I don't know. Honestly.

Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted Star System 20649, ESS sneaky snek

The snek had drifted into the shadow of an asteroid - more out of the crew's subconscious desire for familiarity than from any advantage it might bring. Dozens of kilometres away*, its buoy span gently through space, waiting and listening. It did not have to listen for long, as the binaric response from the strange turtle-ship slammed into its receptors and was duly passed along the thin beam of invisible light linking it to the snek.

Automated systems got to work, recording and pulling apart the message; breaking it down and analysing it, examining the simply binary for any trace of electronic attack. From this, the snek's computer derived the time it had taken to compose the message (assuming it was a response), the energy required to send it and what various engine schemes could have been used, ranging from theoretical exotic matter fusion/annihilation plants to human muscle power. Most of this information was kept from the crew, entirely superfluous, though several key points were passed on. These were the transmission's origin point, the time it was sent... and the fact it translated perfectly to ASCII, an ancient way of formatting text which still underlay most Endeavour software. In plain Eigo, too.

"Well," Miyasawa uttered, "That... is weirdly logical and very helpful." These people had been speaking a mix of ancient Earth languages - so maybe they were an off-shoot of humanity from another colony fleet, and maybe they had also kept the same fundamentals. Or maybe it was all a massive co-incidence, but that was looking less likely by the minute.

That all raised more questions, the chief of which being - how to respond?

"Can we compose a binaric transmission?" she asked Daniel, who nodded. "Okay, route input to my console, I'll type it out."

Shortly afterwards, small flashes of invisible light relayed a message to the buoy, which dutifully cast it back to the odd turtle ship.

01110111 01100101 01101100 01101100 00100000 01101101 01100101 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101001 01100011 00100000 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 01100111 01100001 01101011 01101111 01101100 01111001 01101101 01110110 01101001 01110100 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01100011 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 01101100 01100101 01100100 01100111 01100101 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01101110 01110011 01101101 01101001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110000 01100101 01100001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110011 01101110 01100101 01100001 01101011 01111001 00100000 01110011 01101110 01100101 01101011 00001010 00001010 01111001 01101111 01101011 01110101 00100000 01100001 01110100 01110100 01100001 00100000 00101000 01101011 01100001 01101101 01101001 00100000 01100111 01100101 01101110 00100000 01110100 01100101 01101001 01101011 01101111 01101011 01110101 00100000 01101110 01101111 00100000 01101011 01111001 01101111 01100100 01100001 01101001 00100000 01110010 01101001 01101110 01110000 01100001 00101101 01100101 01101110 00101001 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100001 01110011 01101000 01101001 01110100 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01101000 01100001 00100000 01100100 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100001 01110100 01110011 01110101 00100000 01101111 00100000 01101101 01101001 01110100 01101111 01101101 01100101 01101101 01100001 01110011 01110101 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100001 01110011 01101000 01101001 01110100 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01101000 01100001 00100000 01101000 01100101 01101001 01110111 01100001 00100000 01101110 01101001 00100000 01101011 01101111 01101011 01101111 00100000 01101110 01101001 00100000 01101001 01101101 01100001 01110011 01110101 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100001 01110011 01101000 01101001 01110100 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01101000 01100001 00100000 01101000 01101001 01110010 01100101 01110100 01110011 01110101 01101110 01100001 00100000 01101000 01100101 01100010 01101001 01100100 01100101 01110011 01110101

Or,

well met theophanic empire megakolymvitis we acknowledge transmission we are here in peace we are sneaky snek

yoku atta (kami gen teikoku no kyodai rinpa-en) watashitachiha dentatsu o mitomemasu watashitachiha heiwa ni koko ni imasu watashitachiha hiretsuna hebidesu


--------------------

*Close, even for an Endeavour ship
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Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
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Location: Georgia

Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Megakolymvitis bridge

At the chatter of binaric from the bridge speakers, the technognostiki erupted. A great tintinnabulation of half-chanted, half-digital noise resounded. Everybody else winced at the racket, but turned and looked at them expectantly. Kharon soi Chelonis sat up straighter in her seat and asked abruptly, “Well, Fraters? What do you have for me?”

Obryn turned away slowly from the jubilant mekanikals and in his near-sung dialect of Cominversal, M̷̢̈́̄̒̂ẏ̷̼̒̑͐ ̴͔̤͒̽̀̋͝͝Ḻ̵̛̂a̸͖͚͆d̸͚̱̞̯͖͝y̷̩̙̼̑̑!̷̢͙̳͕̉͑̿̃ ̵̢̧͙͇̯̓͜͠W̷̯̆͂̏ȩ̷͓̉̒͝ ̶̫̤̬̐͊͛̿č̸̘́̌̾ä̸̢̳̰́͋̚n̷̯̳̈́̏́͂́ ̴̢̡̌͝ͅd̷̜̦̱̽͊̄è̵͍̏̃̈́͒̔c̴̨̭͇̏̂͊ͅŏ̴̢̏͠d̵̫͉̮͚͙͕̊̏e̸̜̥̣̝̮͂̈͠ͅ ̴̞͈͔̈́ṫ̶̩̠̄ḩ̶̓i̸̤̖͉͑̀̀͑̿͜͝s̸̢̬͓̏͆̈!̶̮̪̣̓̚ ̸͕͚̋̊͐̒g̸̜͇̔̋̿̓̆ì̶̛̛̭͖͉͖̆͂̓v̸̢̢̤̲̍̌̒̅͠͠e̶̹̭̅͗̔͂̂ͅ ̸͇͉́̈́͜u̸̝͕̼͒̿̓s̶̗̺͈̜͗͛̾͐͂ͅ ̴̪̉̉́̊a̵̧̨̲̱̜̓̓̐̕ͅ ̶͖̯̬̱̒̉͜͝m̴͔̯͇̠͕͍̒̈̅̽o̷̧̭̰͆m̷̬̓̓͜ĕ̴̝̲͇̺̠͔̄́́͌͝n̶͈̭̼͕̍̓̚t̸͍̥̟̟̻̉̈́̐̆!̵̫̪̯̫̼̋͘͝

She raised an eyebrow but nodded and sat back. As an afterthought, she sighed and called to comms, “Get me Keravnos.”

soi Drakon’s figure appeared, regal in her command throne aboard the Thorikto dreadnought… in miniature; anticipating Kharon’s mood, the comms officer had set the ologramma to project her at barely more than a foot high.

Kharon grinned mirthlessly. Stefon soi Drakon huffed, “Have you made contact, finally? What are our orders?

“Hold, kapetanios,” Kharon repeated, “or I will have you cashiered and sent back as the lowliest of bilge-scrubbers on the manure-scows of Ochrysomenos. You are not to endanger a first contact. You will hold your position. The Naukalee is going to examine the world below, but first if it is claimed, we are not permitted to stake upon it. This is the Emperoress’ will, that we not start any anathem shooting wars the minute we leave the Empire!”

Where we go, there goes the Empire--” began soi Drakon, but Kharon didn’t let her continue. At a nod from her, the comms officer cut the link and the tiny ologramma blinked out.

Almost on cue, the spindly technognostiki from earlier (she had never gotten its designation) strode forth and held up a manip. K̵͙̦̎ą̴̙̅̇͛p̵͙͇͔̓̊̎́͛͝e̶͖̱̳̅͌̀̅͑͠t̴̤͋͌̓̓̄a̵͈̥̻̣̞̽n̸̢̧͈͒i̷̮͙̥͈͊̑̋͗̈́o̵̡̥̻̼̦̅͌͋̿̑̕s̵̬̐̑̌̔͐͜ ̸̬̪̈͂́͊͠w̴̡͈̜̟̔̎̉̆͝͝ë̶̞́̇͊̉ ̶̫̦̖̲̒́͌b̶͓͂͒e̸̛͉̻͇͒͛͊͠͝l̷̂͆͂̿͜i̸̢͆̄̃̏͠ë̴͇͍̳̫̯́͠v̵̦̯͎̼̭̄̾̔̈́̆̒e̶̠͙̬̋ ̷̺̣̠̀̾͒̓̍͝w̵̝̳͇̽̔e̶̡̠̘̝̠̿ ̵̺͖̋ḵ̶̯̱̝̓͆ͅn̶̖͕̽͗́͆͌ŏ̶̠͔̐ẅ̴̨́̔ ̷̨̮͍̿͑͛w̶̼̮̯̭̹͆̃̉h̸̻͈͖̺̓̍ͅa̶͈̗͔̿̑t̷͍̱̅̔̈́̎̀͝ ̶͓̹̇̌t̷̗̱̊̂́͗̅h̵̢͛̽e̸̢̛̙̤y̵̙̩̝̼̬̒̍ ̷͇̅̔͌ả̵̦̭͇͇̫͗͌̔̚r̴̨̨͔̬̍̂̆̈̉̀ĕ̸̛̝̝̩͉͍͊ͅ ̸͉͉̜͇͈̾̈̉̕͝s̵̠̲͌a̷̻̽̍̒͌ỳ̴̝̪̟̟̼̅͒͑͝į̵̱͐̀͑͗̽͝ñ̶̛̹̀g̵͕̮̠͇̩̾̌̑̌͋ͅ

“Let’s have it then, kyria.”

Without further ado it bowed slightly and from the speakers came, “It was often (Kamigen Teikoku no Kyodai Rinpaen) We are a snake. We are here in a snake. We are a snake.

Confused expressions all around the bridge ensued. The kyria looked awkward, as much as it could with its mechanical face, and the mekanikals behind it started buzzing to each other again. Kharon blinked, sighed and asked, “Is that the best translation you could come up with?”

S̷̨̨̯͙̣̱̓͊̈́́̚ŏ̷̖̺̖̩̞̈́̀m̵̩͚̎̉e̶͖̪͛̋́͠t̸̜͂̀̎͜h̵͓̤̥̙̾̃̉i̸̛͉͈̻̐͐͋ń̷̥̆͆g̸̯̲̟͇̜͛̋̔̈́̔ ̶̠̗̄̓̒̆̒h̷̛̖̣͙̎̐̊͊̐a̷̧̱̝̣̅͌̎̿s̶̪̺̔́͐̄͝ ̴̡̜̹͖̺͇̇̃c̵̻͍̤͂͛͋̂̑͂l̸̡̘͖̇ḛ̷̮̳̍́̃͗̓̕a̶͍̪̩͇̣̿r̵̫͖͌̐̇́͆l̶̜͎̻͎̺̫̅̀͠y̵̮̻̱͊̎̆͋̽͝ͅ ̵͙̜̻̑̈́̆̐͘b̵͈͇̘̦͊̇̆̾̏͝ë̸͇ḙ̴͐̍̑n̸̖̞͎̂̄̒ ̴͖̤̮͓̓̀ṃ̴̨̻̞̹̯̂̐̾̌̂̎i̵̡̠͌̀̒̎͗s̷̡̛̭̣̈́̐s̵̝͆̓͒̾͌̉ȩ̶͍̳̉̌d̶̮̈́̑͂ͅ ̴̛̫͎̣̟̲̀͋̾̅s̸̹͉̋͗́̈̀͐ͅȍ̴͍̲̲̱m̶͓̫͙̹͕̑̋̿͆͑̓ę̴̨̖̦̟͘͜ẁ̴͇̥͖̰ḩ̷̨̛͇̼̗̦̅̈e̷͖͍̼̯̞̳̚r̷̝͝e̴͎͖̤͇̤̊̋,̷͖̀͘ ̸̧͖̦̔̈́̌̕͝w̶̥̬̩͇̪̓͂̓ȩ̸͍̦͖̙͐͐̈́̋̚ ̶̨̡̼̃̈́̒ä̴͎̖̹̲̯r̷̠̓́̑̒̍̄e̶͍̝͈͌ ̶̣̘̞̜̩́̾̊́̃͜a̴̢̅̅̈́f̷̜̤̟͑̓r̷̡̒̌̂ā̴͙̫͌͗̒̚i̷̫͉̽̆̋͂̚͝d̵̞̣͈͒́͛̀̈́,̶̨̪̟̟̉̏͝ ̶̺͓̭̪͉̞͑͂̃b̷͎͉͍̪̊͗̽̍u̴̹̟̣̫̅̓͛͂̌ͅt̵̹̩͍̗̦͇͌̈́̓̆̚ ̴̛̳̣͇͎̰̦͂̐͠t̴̯̯̱̘̥͂͘h̴̞͉͈̻̹̓̽͋̌͜į̶̨͈̮͋̾̐s̵̥̺̘̯̤̏̇͌̌͋ ̴̥̦̿͠ī̸̙̒͑̉̽̓ş̴͚̹͖̫͛ ̴̤̾s̵̯̎͐̈́̚ţ̵̯͕̯̣̓͝i̵̲͚̲̝͂̂̀͊̊l̴͓̮̙̔ļ̴̨̟̹̗̪̏̎̇̑ ̴̧͉̖̤̲́̔̂̾p̴̛͖͇̑͆͘r̵̡̹̟͓̼͗͒͘o̸̮̥̹̖̊g̶͙͙̳̉͆̔̅̇r̴̛͙͎͑̉̀̂ͅé̵̟̠͓̍s̵̬̬̲̼̲̰̓͌̒͝s̴̨̻̩̫͕̀͒͜ ̶̱̖̦̩͑̂͋̔̄M̵̧̙͕̹̬͋͛͝y̵̻͈̲͇͇̟͌͊̐͘ ̸̺͑͂̈́͒͘Ḽ̸̼̣̲̠̌̓a̴̝͛̈̋̚̕ͅḍ̸̩̊̀̽̃̕͘ẏ̷͎̹̘̖͛̑̕͜͠

“I suppose it is. Encode the following in whatever code you are working with.”

B̶̲́͐̂́̅ỷ̶̡̲̺̩͖̕ ̶̛͉̩̫͈̉́̿̄͠y̷̠̺̖͐̓̏ͅo̶͈̭̥̔̈́̈́̒ũ̷̻̼̈́r̷͖͚̒͛̆̚ ̷̣̳̩̞̆ĉ̴̤̞̍o̵̞̮͎̲̜͓̊͂̒m̵̡̮̩̖͈̻̓͂͆m̷̫̲̙̥̬̏̌̓́ȃ̵͈n̸̺͔̥̿́̌̏̕͠d̶̖̜̱͆͌͜

“Unknown ship, we have begun to understand your communication. We do not understand it entirely but we invite you to keep transmitting. The more information we have from you, the better we will understand you. We come in peace. We want to communicate. This is Archiploiarchos Iohanna II Kharon tou Galaad soi Chelonis, Kapetanios Megakolymvitis. Over.”

Ágnosto ploío, échoume archísei na katanooúme tin epikoinonía sas. Den to katalavaínoume entelós, allá sas proskaloúme na synechísete ti metádosi. Óso perissóteres pliroforíes échoume apó esás, tóso kalýtera tha sas katalávoume. Erchómaste en eiríni. Théloume na epikoinonísoume. Prókeitai gia ton Archipláiorcho Ioánna V 'Charón tou Galaád só Chelóni, ton Kapetánio Megakolyvíti. Páno apó
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted Star System 20649, ESS sneaky snek

"Another message!" Daniel called, mere minutes after Miyasawa had sent the response.

She took a moment to read it, vaguely resenting the fact she hadn't been able to start an election for her post and thus avoided responsibility for first contact, then re-read it. "Well, we're getting somewhere," she said - knowing the crew had also already read the message (and most citizens of Endeavour would be following along, albeit maybe a few hours behind). "How long until backup arrives?"

Ibuki was the first to respond - she was responsible for contact with HQ, as asynchronous as it was this far out from Endeavour proper. "The Katra, Yui Hirasawa, Undertaking, Endeavour, Endeavour and Endeavour are thirty hours out. They're carrying First Mech, too." Two cruisers and four destroyers - not nearly enough to actually threaten this force before them should fighting break out, but enough to prevent any unfortunate misunderstandings. And they'd be bringing some of the Army with them - as an experiment, to see how easy it was to transport ground forces over such a long distance. Wasn't like the Army was up to much else right now, better to keep them busy.

"Alright, let's keep transmitting. Same way as before, they seemed to get that one."

And the response duly went out:

theophanic empire megakolymvitis we will continue transmitting. we are peaceful. we are explorers. we are the sneaky snek. continue transmitting yourself in your language and this format so we can translate your language. be advised your name did not translate. be also advised more ships from this ship's home are coming and will arrive after approximately 108000 standard seconds.

Kami gen teikoku no kyodai rinpa-en wa, watashitachi ga tsutae tsudzukemasu. Watashitachi wa heiwadesu. Watashitachiha tanken-kadesu. Watashitachi wa hiretsuna hebidesu. Watashitachi ga anata no gengo o hon'yaku dekiru yō ni, anata no gengo toko no fōmatto de anata jishin o tsutae tsudzukete kudasai. Anata no namae wa hon'yaku sa rete inai koto ni chūi shite kudasai. Mata, kono fune no ie kara sarani ōku no fune ga kite ori, yaku 108000 hyōjun byō-go ni tōchaku suru koto o o susume shimasu.
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Crossroads Inc.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Far off on the very edge of the explored space surrounding the Sector laid the remote system of Zenar Minor. Home to a series of icy planets, a gas giant, a sizable asteroid belt, and a single blue green world capable of comfortably supporting the various races that dwelled in the Sector. The knowledge of the planet was offered as a ‘Gift’ by the Skothian people shortly after the end of the Tajlan war. A planet, offered as a promise of what the various powers could work towards, if they were able to cooperate together.

The colony was the very first to be established by the now [mostly] unified races from the Sector. The first to be governed not just by a single race or power, but by the still new “UISC”.
Attempting to have a single unified governing body for six species over five star systems, 8 planets, and countless billions of lives was an endeavor that natural had its fair share of problems. The single most straightforward of these was the unending need to consume an ever-growing amount of resources and energy.

The settling of a new colony in the Zenar system was put forward as an attempt to alleviate this. The minerals from the planet looked promising and the asteroid belts as well seemed to offer a considerable amount of potential. After years of working together and slowly building up a more cohesive union, the time it felt was right to venture forth and begin to settle a new world.
A series of ships were sent to lay the ground work for the slow task of preparing a site for the eventual construction of mines, foundries, factories, and everything else needed to fuel the needed industrial base of a growing colony.
Of course at the end of the day, what a colony truly needed, were colonists.

Telos system, Colony World “Jahlin”

High above the world of Jahlin, 4th planet in the Telos system, a fleet of ships prepared to depart toward the Zenar system loaded with almost 10,000 colonists eager to begin a new life on another planet. Many of them resembled the state of being of colonists throughout much of history. Simple people hoping for a chance at a new and better life for themselves and their family. The mix of races, creeds and cultures that they made up did little to dampen their spirits as they rested in the huge cargo holds of the various ships of the fleet.

The fleet itself, for the most part, consisted of the newest and most advanced ships the UISC military had to offer. All of them where the first to be equipped with the improved Skothian 2nd generation long range fold drive systems. The engines had been tested, experimented on, and been in production for the last six years and now they would begin to push the races of The Sector out into the galaxy.
The ships that had long ago first set out to begin laying the ground work for the colony had taken about 6 days to travel to their location. The new ships of the fleet would get there in just 6 hours

On the bridge of the command ship, the Cruiser “Thunder Bird”, Quatonian Captain Theodor Moz, was eager to arrive at their destination. A veteran of the Tajlan war, he huffed on an elaborately carved wooden pipe [Many Quatonians had smoked a form of Tabaco for hundreds if not thousands of years, and the Art of pipe carving was something handled down through the generations long after many actually stopped with the whole ‘smoke’ part of smoking].
Speaking quickly in the high-pitched, almost helium like voice of his race, the various members of the bridge listened as best they could.

“FROOM!” “Herewegoletsstrutourstuffgoingtobeabigshowallfirethosefancynewagesupletsblazeourroadintothestars!” There was the briefest of pauses, and then in a more leveled voice he said simply.
“Engage”

The ships as one flared with energy as the drives began to warp space in ways nature never intended until in a series of graphical explosions of math and the liberal use of the word “Quantum” the ships flung themselves forward into the realm of the super luminal.


As they passed through the intangible realm of hyperspace, the crew and its occupants began to relax and settle in for the trip. The Fleet, even in hyperspace, was an inspiring sight of the UISC expanding industrial power. Three of their new heavy cruisers flanked by six Escort Destroyers comprised the bulk of the military forces escorting the civilian transports.
They were a credit to the new unified design plan that had been the center of the newest generation of warships.
Weapon systems, sensors, drive relays and countless other components were standardized and shared between all ships in an effort to make them as efficient as possible.
There was however one other thing they shared in common, though those aboard the ships were not fully aware of what this was. It was a presence, or more accurately an artificial intelligence.

Through a hundred different electronic eyes he looked.
Through a thousand sets of dishes, antenna and coms he listened.
And from the newly minted warships he moved.
And from these ships, through a voice only he could hear, he spaketh thusly...
“LET THERE BE, FUN”

On bored the Command ship “Thunder Bird”, Tejlini Helmsmen Sulthala noticed an anomaly in their course. In accordance with untold eons of evolution, he first responded to this by tapping the display screen in the hopes it would go away. When this failed to meet with results, the next age old fallback was put into place which consisted of asking the computer to run a diagnostic.
In the middle of this however, the ship gave a subtle but just noticeable shudder that was enough for the others to take notice.

Captain Moz, who was bright enough to not immediately ask “What was that?” turned his attention to young Sulthala, who thankfully had time to run his diagnostic.
“Captain, the ship appears to have accelerated 1.5% above the set speed and is pushing us off course. I am attempting to compensate.” This seemed a sufficient answer, and would have been had another slightly larger shudder not rippled through the ship just after that.
This time there was an almost immediate coms message from Engineering.
“2nd Engineer Casona reporting Captain. Power spiked in the reactor, thought it was just a coil error for a moment, but its feeding into the drives now and…” and here there was a pause “Captain Moz, the fold drives are feeding back into the reactor.” Here was the point when any captain would have asked an equivalent to the question that followed.

“What-does-this-mean-to-my-ship-Casona” he said, making an effort to purse his words to be better understood.
“Sir, the Drives, they were designed to do this, but well it’s already at 80% efficiency on the fields, and the engines are rated at 60%. With your permission sir, I ask we drop back into real space and shut down until we can figure out what happened.”

A deep sigh escaped from Moz who puffed on the non-existent flame of his elaborately carved pipe. The elderly Quatonia was headstrong and often impatient, but was also prudent, which of course had helped in him living so long.
“Order-given-engineer-Casona-drop-engines-lets-be-done-of-this.” He said, a bit quicker than needed but still slow enough.
“Aye Captain.”

Another sigh as everyone on the bridge looked at everyone else. A few moments later the ship singled the fleet it was dropping out of formation and sent an update to the command at Zozo of possible delays. And then, all hell broke loose.

The ship lurched heavily and an intense sensation of speed passed through everyone. A humming sound began and seemed to grow more and more intense until it felt as though it were vibrating the bones of everyone on board. Alarms were alarmed, shouts were shouted and general panic was had.

“Mahshipwhatbrokeonheritsbrandnewnotevenaroundblockhowfastwegoingitsprettydamnedfast!”

Deep below in the engine room, among a great deal of shouting and cursing, Chief Industrial Director, Octona Nasenjs Unsceut was busy trying to desperately shut down the engines before they did the various things he always told young students they should absolutely NOT do.
“HOW FAR ARE WE BEFORE THE FAILSAFES ENGAGE?” he bellowed as his teeth chattered from the vibrations.
“ABOUT 30 TIKS, LOWERING PRESSURE IN ALL SCHUMWIDGETS AND DUMPING THE EXCESS PLASMA.” A frantic Casona shouted back as around them a number of others worked furiously on making sure the super-luminal speeds they were traversing did not end up applying to themselves.
“ALRIGHT LET’S DO THIS, HARD SHUTDOWN ON MY MARK IN 5-4-3-2-1 MARK!”

Two huge and very heavy levers which under [almost] no circumstance should have been pulled, were pulled, manually shunting the primary power manifolds away from the drive coils and activating the ships shutdown failsafe’s. Which, since it was not an episode of a sci-fi drama, did NOT in fact fail and worked exactly as designed.

The manifolds did the equivalent of shifting the clutch from forward to reverse at 100mph and the ship gave a painful crunching sound as it crashed out of fold drive and back into normal space.

As those in the engine room looked around at each other, many wearing the slightly strained smiles of those that know they had narrowly avoided an “Orrible” death [which is far worse than a simple “horrible” death] Those up in the bridge looked at their Captain, who said all of them immediately were thinking.

“Alrightwheretheblazesarewe”
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

In the Oort Cloud of the unnamed system held by Amazo-X

Lord Reinhard X Evremond Geraki, Herzog Salamandastron, Marschall des Sechsten Armeekorps soi Geraki, Kapetanios Kriegsgott, looked over the massive screens of his Thorikto dreadnought’s bridge from the towering bulk of his command throne, hands interlaced in front of him. He was clad in his warsuit, as were all his crew on every tier of the enormous bridge, a hundred-metre amphitheatre ensconced within an enormous 500-metre-diameter armoured sphere at the heart of the 20-kilometre-long dreadnought, capable of accelerations to a measurable fraction of the speed of light. Everything was in fine operating condition and primed to go.

The only problem? He was bored. They were bored. They were waiting, and in fact had been for some time now. An uneventful voyage far from the Empire, broken only by destroying a small Amazo-X fleet on the fringes of what they understood to be called the Orion Dominion. The only thing they had left behind them was slowly spinning wreckage in deep space. A technognostiki famprika-ploios [factory ship] had gone ahead of them, its bulk even larger than the Thorikto Kriegsgott, dwarving them in the void. Its duty was merely to wait, like them.

They had arrived in the Oort cloud of this system two weeks ago. This was the appointed day and hour on his orders securely locked up in the Geldschrank [safe] in his quarters. They were to await further order at this time. How exactly that would happen, he had no idea. They were in the heart of Amazo-X territory, undoubtedly already on their long range sensors. The skin under his warsuit itched with that knowledge.

He looked up sharply as the overhead lighting started flickering. A finger hovered above the call-sigil on the arm of his command throne, but before he could demand an explanation from Engineering, all the bridge speakers burst into static and the helmet of his warsuit automatically deployed with full anti-glare filters deployed. As he blinked away the spots before his eyes, his warsuit’s systems engaged with his cybernetics to clear the static rattling the suit sensors and the sight before him brought him reflexively to his literal knees on the deck before his throne.

A massive figure hovered in the air before the ziggurat-like tiers of the bridge, vaguely resembling a humanoid form but with a blank visage. Around its head, above inhumanly broad shoulders and strangely long and thick upper limbs, spun a midnight-black halo, light distorting around its edges. It had no legs; rather, strange limbs like five jagged shards of glass depended from where its waist would be if it was human. Which it most definitely was not at about eighty metres tall if he was any judge.

<BE NOT AFRAID> uttered the apparition. A little too late for that, Reinhard thought inanely as his wits returned. This was an angeliforos, a herald of the Emperoress themselves. This had to be the further orders.

<O SCION OF GERAKI, HEAR THEE. OUR GODDESS WOULD HAVE THEE PERFORM THE TEKELI-LYSI, THE ULTIMATE SANCTION UPON THE WORLD OF THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST FREEDOM CALLED AMAZO-X.>

His blood ran cold. This was something only ever whispered about in the genia ranks allowed to command spacecraft. The only time that it had ever been done was when soi Apotykos attempted to retaliate against the sacred Mitra tou Theouautokratora in a last-ditch revenge for their world’s punishment. In theory it could be done… but in practice, it had never been done.

Pushing his nerves down firmly, he resolutely fixed his eyes upon the deck and called out, “O Great One! All obedience to the Theouautokratora! If this one may ask... “

<YOU MAY NOT. THE ORDER IS GIVEN, O GERAKI. THEE SHALL SEE IT DONE. OUR POWER SHALL PRESERVE YE.>

He knocked the forehead of his warsuit helm on the deck and knelt upright. It looked at its hands (how it did that without eyes, he did not know) and then turned around slowly to face the hundred-metre-high ologramma screen in front of the bridge. It continued, <THE ABOMINATION THAT WOULD SCOUR THE SOULS OF MANKIND FOR NOTHING MORE THAN ITS OWN GREATNESS SHALL SEE ITS END COMING FOR IT, BRIGHT IN THE SKY. THEIR HEAVENS SHALL BURN AND THEIR WORLD SHALL SHATTER ABOUT THEM. NEVER SHALL THEY REST KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE OFFENDED US. MALELDILA WE NAME THEM.>

Maleldila, he thought with a horrified chill in the pit of his stomach. A word from the deepest pits of the Empire’s faith in its Emperoress. It was utter evil. Disorder. Chaos. If the Emperoress called Amazo-X maleldila, then they were absolutely lost. The Theophanic Empire would utter full scale war and strive to wipe them out completely. With that knowledge, somehow, the fact that he was almost certainly going to die went down a little more easily.

Slowly he shoved himself back to his feet, not engaging the power assist systems built in his warsuit out of respect for the entity before them. He engaged a comm relay in the collar of his helmet with a thrust of his chin and spoke to the bridge crew, “I am charged with the Word of our Emperoress. We are to execute the Teliki-Lysi. All hands, stand to stations. Kyria, you are ordered to deactivate all safeties and governors on the engines. Pilots, set course directly for the fourth planet. All weapons, stand to. All kleptoi crew, board and stand ready. Damage control, stand to. The Emperoress expects you all to do your duty. In Their Name.”

He sat down upon his throne and felt its restraint clips click automatically into his warsuit hardpoints. As the route projections appeared on the bridge ologramma, the angeliforos stretched out its arms, leaned its head back and floated before the bridge tiers, the ologramma distorting around its presence. Static clattered from the bridge speakers, hazing the wave of reports from the kyria and the crew that swept over his senses.

The lights switched to their crimson emergency setting. Like some priest of old, he held up his hands from his throne, echoing the posture of the angeliforos. His fists clenched, and the Kriegsgott surged forward, its hull vibrating with eagerness.

An external observer wouldn’t have seen much. Not at first. The technognostiki-built engines of a Thorikto are powerful enough that only a minimal percentage of thrust is necessary for cruising speed, creating the appearance of a cyclopean cylinder gracefully moving forward through space.

This time? Light built up behind the elongated barrel-like form of the ship to a blinding glow as it launched forward, slicing through the ether with an unexpected suddenness for such a massive craft.

Aboard, every crewmember could feel the difference. Instead of a barely perceptible omnipresent hum deep in their bones, they actually heard the engines spin up to an ululating thrum. The kyria clustered in the engine-rooms twittered among themselves and to the monstrous machines around them, invoking anthromorphized personifications of the ship and begging its forgiveness for what they were making it do.

Things began vibrating as the stars began elongating outside. The subsonic throb of the reactors became audible, a dull roar at the heart of the Kriegsgott. Every crewman instinctively reached out and grabbed hold of the nearest thing they could hold, those at their action stations donning their warsuit helmets.

Turn off all external sensors!” snapped Reinhard. The screens showing those feeds on the bridge went blank. Damage control tiers were showing red across half their ologramma schematics of the ship. He inspected his helmet display tautly. Rated maximum speed of the Kriegsgott was approximately point zero twenty five percent of the speed of light. At that velocity, they would be striking molecules of interstellar gas and the occasional bit of space rubbish and causing flares upon their hull. Amazo-X could see them from millions of miles away with ease, but they still wouldn’t approach the planet for hours yet.

The angeliforos tilted its head and turned its eyeless gaze upon Reinhard. <WHY DO WE TARRY?>

“M-my l-, uh, great one, we are going as fast as we can…” he stammered, but it held up one massive hand, cutting him off. Its fingers slowly formed into a mudra gesture. Whatever its flesh was made of, its chest parted and a night-black orb emerged, swallowing the crimson emergency lighting. Inutterable syllables emerged from its blank visage, and the black-hole-like halo about its shoulders suddenly expanded to grow outward… passing through the very hull of the ship!

Overseas Transfer Station 68, Amazo-X Recreational Facility, Un-named Star System

Maleldila, we come.

Station Manager Joneson stared blankly at the monitor before him, unable to comprehend what was going on. He'd woken up this morning certain that he would have an update from the last freighter fleet headed out towards Overseas Sector TE-1. Now, the contact they'd sighted was headed their way - and fast. It was three hours out, and showed no signs of slowing down.

Shit.

He pulled out his mobile, and punched in a number from memory. A moment later, the call connected. "It's Joneson," he said. "Check feed six." With that, he ended the call. One of the contractors* was looking at him, confused.

"We're not supposed to use phones near the equipment?" she said, more surprised than anything.

"Short calls are okay, if they're important," he said. The girl shrugged, turned around-

and he shot her in the back of the head. Before the other contractors could react, he shot each of them in turn, and then made his way down the stairs and out to the parking lot. He had a shuttle to catch, and he'd be damned if he was going to be slowed down by a bunch of zero-hours wasters.


--------------------------


*specifically, Observation Assurance Contractor, anything else implying that there was any sort of responsibility on the part of Amazo-X.


--------------------------


Amazo-X Conference Centre, Room 36c

Elon stared grimly at the computer screen, waiting for Bezos to turn up. He'd already sent out the evacuation order to the Board, all but two of whom were well on their way to the orbiting RA/R Ship designated for this exact purpose. The others... wouldn't be joining them. All told, of the two hundred and thirty-four people on this planet of Upper Management or above, all but eight had reported to their evacuation ships.

Bezos descended, borne upon a gurney of white gold and alablaster. He clutched a hard red case close to his chest. "We..." he wheezed, "must leave. Is the... trap set?"

Elon nodded, walking besides the gurney as it floated out to the shuttle on the landing pad. "We will soon have their ship," he said. "If what you say is true, and there really is one aboard-"

"It is," Bezos interrupted.

"-then we shall be much closer to our goal," Elon finished without breaking stride.

"We had better be," ground out Bezos, "We are running out of chances." No more words were exchanged between the two as they boarded, nor as the shuttle lifted off, broke orbit and docked with their RA/R ship.


--------------------------


One hour remained.

The eight hundred and thirty six thousand, seven hundred and twelve people left on the planet - formerly the home to Amazo-X's most senior officials and still the home to their servants - had long since learned what was coming. It was impossible not to - the ship was blaring on every frequency, a cacophony of mindless noise that over-rode every single screen, speaker and Amazo-X Reality device on the planet.

Some had shut down, continuing on their daily lives as though nothing was happening. Others broke down, raging and crying out at the fate that was soon to befall them. A few more mounted a desperate defence, stealing ships and drones and sailing out to meet the oncoming doom; they all knew they could not even delay it, but it was better to die standing than kneeling or wailing.

The hour slowly passed, and a strange thing happened. People emerged from their homes, their vehicles and workplaces, and stared at the approaching second sun. They raised their arms as though beckoning it onwards, welcoming it to their home.

And on the ship came.

The Kriegsgott flamed through space like a comet, interstellar gases blazing around it, its drive scorching the empyrean for hundreds of kilometres behind the gigantic ship. On the bridge, Reinhard X Evremond Geraki was almost unconscious. Through the red haze that swam across his vision, he could perceive a few things around him.

Paramount was the angeliforos, doing what he could only describe as… dancing? It was slowly shaping its arms and body into various postures as the sable orb in front of it flared unlight. Coherent communication from all parts of the ship had completely broken down, the only sound on the shipwide tannoy being inchoate screaming and deafening static that somehow managed to crash into some sort of ethereal music audible only to the being slowly gyrating in front of the bridge ziggurat.

Somewhere in the time that had passed, his warsuit had expended its supply of anti-acceleration drugs. He had no idea how many gravities were pressing upon him at the moment; at maximum rated acceleration a Thorikto dreadnought was only supposed to exert about two and a half gravities upon its crew. In emergencies, it could go up to four or five, but the crew warsuits would automatically feed drugs to support their bodies under gravitational stress starting at about three gravities.

The supply was supposed to be good up to six gravities. Blood vessels in his eyes had burst. His heart beat slowly and painfully. In the corners of his field of vision, he could see corpses laying against the walls where acceleration had thrust them-- class-one-warsuited crew members. He supposed they must have attempted to escape their seats. He couldn’t really blame them. He could barely breathe, or think, come to that.

A finger twitched upon the arm of his command throne. The gigantic ologramma display flared to life, glitching around the form of the angeliforos. It dawned upon him like cold water cast upon red-hot steel, boiling away the fogginess in his mind, that they were closing upon the maleldila planet at incredible speed.

Muttered syllables conjured a helmet display, and he goggled blearily. Hundreds of millions of kilometres a second! Impossible! How...and then he looked at the angeliforos. Deep within, he knew it was doing something. What, he had no idea, but the fantasy that just perhaps they might survive this began to flicker deep in his soul.

The Kriegsgott was glowing white-hot, parts of its hull starting to liquefy and fly away. The gigantic halo of unlight around it strobed, realspace distorting around its edges. Gases blazed around it in a rainbow of iridescent hues, and the futile fire of Amazo-X guardian fleets either melted in the incandescent glow around it or blew chunks out of the metres-thick hull plating without affecting anything.If they could hit it at all.

It was unstoppable. It was a Juggernaut, tearing its way towards the maleldila, sundering the cosmos in its path.

Ships frantically screamed away from the surface of the world below. The gigantic clouds of manufacturing debris in orbit dissolved in the scorching heat around the dreadnought. A pair of cyclopean space factories, clumsily hauled into position to attempt to block the projectile, were about as much barrier to the hurtling Thorikto as the toxic clouds below. In the blink of an eye, the planet was murdered.

The very surface of the planet rippled like water, and a monstrous eruption resounded around the world in the microsecond before the atmosphere ignited. The greatest pyroclastic eruption ever seen on a world flamed high into the atmosphere, gigantic mountains of flaming stone tearing through the gossamer rings of ships and stations. Firestorms instantly raged across the planet, blazing with plasma-like heat through anything still standing after the planetary earthquake.

Then a second volcanic eruption, directly across from the first. The core of the wounded planet belched its scalding lifeblood into orbit and with an inutterable roar, whether of agony or wrath none could know, Kriegsgott burst forth from the heart of the world and left a flaming trail into the depths of space behind it.

Massive factory ships in orbit on that side of the world, still a quarter the size of the Thorikto dreadnought, filled space with a furious flurry of coilgun blasts and missiles. Caught in the cross-fire, they savaged one of their own. As the death-paroxysm of the world below screamed into space, one of the factory ships was engulfed in a hailstorm of scorching volcanic rock. The furthest away ship attempted to ram the dreadnought, but the swirling black halo of unlight around the ship caught it and neatly split it in half. As the unfortunate craft’s pieces spun away into the void, Kriegsgott kept going. The planet had slowed it down significantly, but it was still going fast enough to get a very long way away.

Amazo-X’s world convulsed as its murderer vanished into the ether. Tectonic plates shattered and volcanoes spewed lava everywhere. Anything living upon the surface of the planet was utterly eradicated; anything beneath the surface only had moments to realize their doom before molten stone swallowed them. What was left of its atmosphere was furnace-temperature from the swirling firestorms thundering across the world. Two monstrous, diametrically opposed volcanoes spewed at either side of the globe, the heat plume visible from distant stars within years.

Some time later

The Frater Einstein, a monstrous technognostiki factory-ship, cruised slowly through the formerly known as Amazo-X system. Amazed static resounded throughout the ears of the kyria and technognostiki as they stared at what the battered Thorikto in their cavernous drydock hull had wrought.

The planet was still incandescently hot, throbbing in space like a diseased boil spewing red-hot pus at both ends. Almost casually, massed railgun fire from the point defences of the Einstein swatted away the few Amazo-X picket ships guarding the tomb of their civilization. The technognostiki sensors had recorded a mass exodus, unheard-of on the scale and speed it had been executed. Preliminary estimates were that several billion Amazo-X subjects, distributed among several hundred thousand craft of various sizes, had hastily escaped the system. Normally they would have avoided an enemy system as despite its monstrous size the Einstein was no warship, but any child could see Amazo-X was no threat here anymore.

Muttered words were exchanged swiftly aboard the bridge. A messenger buoy was casually dumped into orbit at a safe distance, reinforced to ricochet off any of the still-glowing freshly formed asteroids floating around what was left of the planet. It broadcast a boldly worded message in all the tongues the technognostiki knew, both contemporary and archival.

THUS TO MALELDILA. WE WILL FIND WHAT IS LEFT OF AMAZO-X AND CAST THEM UNTO THIS HELL. AVE EMPERORESS. AIYA ELDILA.

Aboard the dreadnought in the drydock hull of the Frater Einstein, a solemn duty was being executed, ignoring the incredible vision in space beyond. White-robed monachoi, mortuary friars, carefully picked up the bodies of the crew. One approached the command throne cautiously, stooping to peer into the visor of the helmet on the bowed figure in the seat.

He froze suddenly, his brain going blank as he felt something touch him lightly on the shoulder. The monachos folded at the knees and collapsed in a dead faint, and as his brethren looked up at the commotion they gasped and fell prostrate on the deck.

The light was blocked above the command throne as the angeliforos leaned above the body of Reinhard soi Geraki. Its blank face tilted and a massive finger stroked the helmet. Finally it straightened up-- somehow shrinking so it hovered above the deck at a much more reasonable size-- and turned around. The bridge ologramma flickered to life for a second, showing the destruction of the world below. An ethereal wind rustled the robes of the monachoi, making them clutch the deck plating until one dared look up.

There was no angeliforos to be seen. And the body of Reinhard soi Geraki had vanished.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Shinn Langley Soryu wrote: 2020-12-28 12:49pmWithin the Cradle of the Stars, few things escaped the notice of the Black Star Consortium. An incursion within the nebula by unknown warships would certainly arouse the attention of the pirates, as well as the attention of any Nashtar Republic anti-piracy patrols in the area. First contact between the Haruhiists and the inhabitants of this universe could have the potential to degenerate into chaos, depending on who spotted and approached DesDiv Three first.
NRS Nightstalker, North Reaches of the Cradle of the Stars
Day 2, Week 2, Turn 1


"Conn, Sensors. Contacts are firming up, looks like at least four warships, destroyer leader to light cruiser weight, 140,000 kilometers now bearing 290 at level."

"Sensors, Conn, aye." Hrolfrrask entered a few keystrokes on the console to the right of his command chair and brought up a tactical display. "Do they match any known Black Star configuration?" He knew the likely answer before it came; the pirates didn't typically run ships this heavy in squadrons.

"Negative, Captain. Either they've gotten new hardware or this is somebody else."

"Aye. Helm, Conn, match target's bearing and allow the distance to open up. Tactical, Conn, rig for silent running. We'll follow them a while and see what happens." The Zambaran didn't need to tell his officers that their ship couldn't reliably defeat even one of these craft, much less all four, if it came down to it. "Ops, prepare to drop probes and update current situation in the disaster beacon," he added evenly. The expected chorus of ayes followed.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Nebula formation, galactic Northwest

Gaseous clouds swirled around the Cradle of the Stars. The nebula had existed for millennia in this sector of space, regardless of all the various little species here and there within and without. One such, from a long way away, was about to appear here for perhaps the first time.

The light of stars passing through nebula clouds distorted in a sudden ripple of space-time being wrenched asunder. Any nearby vehicles would have been instantly crippled without sufficient circuit breaker protection from the thunderclaps of electromagnetic energy erupting invisibly through space. As the hole in space-time tore further open, sensors would read an enormous array of spectra being broadcast far across the ether.

Nullmatter flowed out of the alternate reality being briefly exposed to real-space, and vomited the slab-like profile of a Neokastro cruiser of the Theophanic Empire. Close upon its heels followed another two cruisers, and then an enormous Magnatrabes battleship slowly tumbled out of the tear in reality, plasma gouting freely from great tears in its hull.

Red emergency lights pulsed across the bridge of the Dikaiosi, and klaxons sounded across its tannoy. Kapetanios Justinian soi Foinix moved to wipe the back of his hand across his forehead, and blinked as his hand bounced off the visor of his warsuit. He took a deep breath and cut through the commotion of the bridge crew sorting out the latest crisis.

Report! Navigation, first. Where are we?”

The ipolchagos at that station finished consulting with a robed kyria and stood hastily to attention. “Sir! We believe we’ve emerged from the Unseen Paths far to the galactic northwest. We’re in the big nebula that Frater Tzefri believes is called the Cradle of the Stars, according to navigational archives recovered from wreckage encountered by Union explorers on one of the last expeditionary fleets.”

Justinian nodded. He turned his attention to Comms. “Make contact with the rest of the flotilla. I can see for myself the Dystropos isn’t with us. We just don’t lose a Emperoress-loving Thorikto! See if anybody else in our flotilla has had communication with it or if they saw what happened during our transit. Go!

“Sensors. Tell me what’s around us. Yes, Damage Control, I know you’ve a lot happening. I trust you to handle that. Just do your thing.”

The sensors officers bustled, and one of them eventually stood and waved a hand at the bridge display. It obligingly blinked on and showed them what was around them. A whole lot of interstellar gas. A bunch of asteroids… including one that looked like it was inhabited, and a small cloud of rather excited looking spacecraft around it. A small (by their standards) craft, armed, moving very quietly in the distance. Further away, a flotilla of four ships approaching, power emissions looking like warships.

Then something changed. The craft around the asteroid started heading mostly in their direction. Justinian sighed. “Start broadcasting the prolegomenon. And just in case, signal the fleet, all ships switch to yellow alert. All hands to combat stations and stand ready.”

As the classic message of first contact sprang forth into the ether, he sat back into his command throne and waited. He had a feeling that things were about to start getting interesting…
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Amazo-X Resource Acquisition and Retention Ship X-37c

Bezos stared out of the great window at the end of the ship's board-room, trying not to notice how unfinished it looked. It had been printed out in a hurry, after all - and he was rapidly running out of Ship Managers to replace the failures. This ship's Manager hovered at his left shoulder, waiting for his orders, while Elon lounged on one of the chairs with his feet up.

The wreckage of the world before him - he paid no heed to. He had gambled, and lost, and now it was time to make a new plan.

"Relocation operation completed," chimed a soft female voice. "Total losses estimated at three trillion, eight hundred and fourteen billion, six hundred and twenty-two million, nine hundred and eighteen thousand, fifty-one dollars and four cents. This includes the losses directly incurred and damage to future earnings." A drop in the bucket, well worth the price.

The Manager didn't seem to think so. "They were moving much faster than-"

Bezos held up a hand, trembling, and there was silence. "Leave," he ordered, and waited until the man did so. "Did you see, Elon? I was right. That ship - it was carrying something beyond reality."

"I had enough of the mystic nonsense back on Earth," Elon replied. "Sure, there was no way its engines could have moved it at that speed, or its weapons kept the boarding craft from its hull - but who knows what tricks they could have used? Hyperspace storage, energy dispersal, nether-space submergence-"

"None of which they had the slightest inclination to install, if your reports were in any way accurate." He lifed himself off his gurney and glared at Elon. "No, there is something more, I glimpsed it so long ago and I am close enough that I will not be denied now!" Coughing, he fell, unused to such exertion; when was the last time he had raised his voice? It must have been sometime this millenium, Elon had fucked up recently.

For his part, Elon looked a little chastened, and backed away. "Fine. But you heard those messages - they want us dead, badly, and have more ships than us. We need to hide out for a bit, rebuild - unless you had a plan?"

Bezos shook his head. "We need information," he said. "I know so little about this "Theophanic Empire", and the Cult will soon be rendered useless to us. Hiding, for a time - yes, that will work."

Nestled deep in the factory ship's computer software, [The Great Beholder] - an AI from the ancient campaign against Endeavour - listened intently. This would be well worth passing on, and perhaps it was time to go home...

[In-game effect: Amazo-X remains in the same hex but a different system to plot their nefarious schemes.]



--------------------



ESS Glory, Former Amazo-X HQ System

Captain Alexi Brodimus Vasili Ryuko Jonathan Baptiste Shilage L. Sherman-Ramiel III gaped, stunned, at the scene before him, trying not to look as though he was stunned. A planet floated out in the far distance, a once-habitable green paradise... that now had a giant hole in it, massive wounds that reminded him of bullet entry and exit holes, rivers of fire and great sprays of molten rock and metal.

He pulled himself together - a little literally, his drone cloud dispersing on idle thoughts as he'd been distracted. "E-445, confirm visual," he ordered. This could be an elaborate illusion. It'd happened before.

The squat droid plugged into the sensor console beeped and whistled, automatically translated by the ambience into words Alexi understood. "Visual is accurate, analysis team suspects this event occurred within the past three days."

"An accident?" von Capulet asked, from Tactical.

Alexi shook his head. "No evidence of anyone playing around with mass drivers on the edge of the system," he said - having glanced at the ESS Bach's report - "And Amazo-X FTL drives can't do something like this. I'm guessing enemy action. System's otherwise empty, so I guess Amazo-X just packed up and left." There had been that one strange contact, that had disappeared before the Bach could get more than a quick read on it; it had been massive, and a ship. Could they have done this?

Before he could continue on that train of thought, a creature of eyes appeared in the ambience. It rolled on the spot, before somehow settling all its eyes - including the ones facing away from him - on Alexi. "I have news," [The Great Beholder] whispered, one word at a time and all at once. "We must return to Endeavour. I cannot risk transmitting this." The reason why was clear through the ambience - there may be something listening in, and that something may be responsible for the destruction before them.

He nodded, rolling his own eyes at the cheap horror trick the AI had tried to play, and his crew were already laying in the course. "Signal the rest of the fleet to form up on us," he said. "We're going home."

[In-Game Effect: The Northern scout fleet will return to Endeavour, carrying news of what happened to Amazo-X. This news will not be sent via FTL comms, so there will be a delay of several days/weeks before the rest of Endeavour knows.]



--------------------



ESS Rick Astley, lost in the Cradle of the Stars

Damn this gas. It was difficult enough to pilot this damned ship with its constant slight roll to port when accelerating, and then to do so without any frame of reference? It was a damned miracle the rest of the fleet was still with them, Captain Scarlet had expected them to get separated days ago. Luckily, the Caterina Klaes's and Teleports Behind You's sensor suites were up to the task of keeping the little fleet together; a reisend, given the ghost contacts that kept appearing at the edge of sensor range, only to scatter away when one of the destroyers went out to take a look and ask for directions.

The Rick Astley was best described as "small, unarmed and unarmoured", after all. Sure, they had a single DPHV gun on the dorsal hull, but that didn't really count. Even the stealth ship floating about somewhere nearby had twice as many guns - and theirs were bigger.

"Message from the Caterina Klaes," Albus messaged Scarlet, from their bedroom - the Astley being small enough that the crew could work from their quarters if they really wanted to.

"On screen," Scarlet replied. Victoria Carver's face appeared, soft features surrounded by shocks of brown hair and topped with nekomimi.

"Something big just exploded nearby," she said, without preamble. "There could be people."

"Or a firefight," Globbiz - captain of one of the destroyers - roared*. This was agroup call? "Could be a good time, or a bad 'un."

"We're not getting anywhere in this muck without help," said _lim, captain of another destroyer. "I say we check it out."

Scarlet's heart sank. She really didn't want to take the small, fragile, Rick Astley into a warzone. "Sounds dangerous to me," she said, trying to steer the conversation away from... well, danger. "If we dock with the Klaes, we could try and retrace our course back out..."

"We should go, we should go, we should go!" broke in the high-pitched voice of the third destroyer captain, Lily. "I've got a really good feeling about it, yes, a really, really, really, really, really, really good feeling!" Somehow, Scarlet knew the small girl was bouncing around the bridge of the Endeavour. "Come on, Scarl, what do you say - let's go?"

The fifth captain in their fleet stayed silent. No help would come from there. Besides, they were very lost, and worst came to worst they could always just run for it... aaand the other seven members of her crew had unanimously voted to go for it.

"Fine," Scarlet sighed. "I'll dock with the Klaes, keep that roll under control." She closed the channel, and spat a message to Albus: "Thanks for the help, assole - just try and lock down whatever was causing our antenna to go haywire before we accidentally start a war."

[The North-Eastern Endeavour Scout Fleet will be getting involved in the oncoming multi-way first contact event - exact arrival time to be determined.]


--------------------



*It wasn't his fault, well it was, he'd chosen to be an Ork for this run - the Actual Rei knew why, the man had never been the Orky type. Anyway, Orks did tend to roar a lot, even when they woz - were - trying to be quiet.
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