Children of Marchosias

Spaceships and lasers and aliens oh my!
Aatuylva
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Children of Marchosias

Post by Aatuylva » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:21 pm

OOC: I want this thread to mainly focus on intrigue, politics, and character development. War isn't the main focus, it is merely the backdrop of it. If you try and turn this into a war thread I'm just going to disappear again. Conflicts are the background, and will be primarily performed between Vipra and myself, got it?
Any 'lolvasions' will probably be answered, not by me, but by Vipra's battleplate, since this is near the border of his empire (yes I got permission from him to have this near there :3) Note that all names and titles are translated to their closest Terran-language equivalents, and that Fennesraumians and Fuvuni both have extremely high-pitched fennec voices that are quite ridiculous and adorable sounding. The station in question is Ancient Vishyari, for those who don't know, that means it belongs to Vipra OOCly and ICly the Vipran Imperium keeps rediscovering old crap all the time due to the lack of record-keeping brought upon by societal collapse.
Also note that all three of the factions involved have more localized firepower than any nation other than the Immanence and the Vipran Imperium can possibly bring to bear considering distance and instability, and even then Vipra and I plan on, if it occurs, having the Fennesraumians do a mighty curbstompage on the initial Vipran fleet that arrives. No lolhuge fleets (if you send hundreds upon hundreds of ships then you've left your planets undefended, which is retarded, not to mention the whole 'the Immanence and Vipran Imperium are the local superpowers' thing), no god-moding, keep the super-tech to a minimum unless you're going to explain it when you use it, and even with the distress signal, this is more of a job for explorers/individual captains rather than admirals/heads of state. Because that's just silly and reminiscent of Kirk's escapades which would cripple the ship with unexperienced ratings and junior officers while he goes gallavanting across the surface getting kidnapped, except in this case replace 'ship' with 'fleet' or 'nation' and 'captain Kirk' with 'admiral/president whoever.'
There are more people in your government/nation than the ones sitting at the big desk with the giant red button. I'd like to see some of them for once :P

This takes place roughly a year and a half after the New Harris Incident.

Location on the map is Alpha (U,J) (2,2)


"Grandfather, you know you shouldn't be out here. Your lungs are bad enough as it is."

"Oh hush child, and let an old man enjoy the sunrise."

"If I let you enjoy it anymore it'll kill you..."

"I know child, I know..."

Abyssia, such a beautiful hell you are.

The ocean, of darkest blue, glittered like a million sapphires in the rising light. A light breeze teased across the old fox's cream-colored fur, sending the green grass along the cliff into undulations, much like the waves crashing against the cliff face. The twin stars began to make their lazy travel upward, the bright orange of Nirgali A causing the sapphires to shine.
Nirgali B...the dark twin of the two, barely visible, and yet bright and unable to be unseen, was a mellow blue in comparison to it's firey twin. In reality it was a neutron star, the dead husk of a supernova explosion, and most of the brightness it was giving out came from the accretion disk that formed as it gobbled up the gas and fuel of it's twin, sucking and devouring like a parasite. Occasionally this would cause explosions, novae, which would pound against the unnaturally strong magnetic fields of Abyssia, creating continent-spanning auroras that would sometimes last for days.
Right now Nirgali A looked bloated as the dark companion tugged on it, twisting it into unnatural shapes, trying to goad more material out of it for it to consume.
Cedric sighed, and pulled back on a lever that was built into the chair he was trapped in.
He was very old for his species, thirty-three turns, in the time of the Blessed Forebearers, although their calendar didn't match the standards the system set, his people still used it. His cream-colored fur was turning white at the edges, and falling out in places. His long ears, once proud and perky, now no longer moved about on their own, curling at the tips and in need of constant inspection for infections.
His muzzle, toothless and bloody, was encased in a breathing mask connected to the mobile 'chair' he was inside. In reality it was a life-support walker, with twelve speedy legs, as his own were badly gnarled and no longer capable of moving without excruciating pain.
He really shouldn't have been outside without an enviro-suit, like the one his granddaughter was wearing, but he didn't like needing help getting into those. Besides, his breath-mask kept most of the bad particulates out, and it wasn't like his body wasn't going to get any worse before he died anyhow.

Really I'm lucky I lived past twenty-five.

They walked back to one of the many subterranean entrances to the Keep of Necromanteion, capital of the Enlightened Union States of the Fuvuni. It was a massive domed complex, stretching nearly as high as it was deep, holding many millions of people, farms, and industrial buildings. From the outside it looked like the 'arcologies' the Forebearers never seemed to build but always wanted to: buildings, encased, covered in green. Quite a jewel in it's own right. The suited firvani fennec keyed in the entrance codes as jets of air and foam encased them.
The detox protocols. Never pleasant, but necessary. They entered three more chambers dedicated to ensuring not a single molecule of the outside air, earth, or water came inside with them.
It didn't always work perfectly, but it still had to be done.
The outside was not meant for his people.

But if the outside was a beautiful hell, then perhaps this, the inside of the dome, was it's heaven.
Eight different kinds of vulpinoids lived in Necromanteion, and in several other keeps and holdings all across the nation, all living in harmony, working together.
Cedric always got a bad taste in his mouth whenever he remembered the reason though.
The Fennesraumians...not sixty years ago they were conquering everything around them, gobbling up territory and resources much like the dark Nirgali, caring not for the well-being of those they conquered, nor for the well-being of the world they lived on. They and their damned leader, the Undying Demoness, von Teufelhunden, have been competing for everything on the planet, and above it, ever since the Great Schism.

The old fox sighed, his mind not noticing as they passed through the throngs of people into a lift, heading up to the Lady Protector's tower. He wasn't even paying attention as his lovely granddaughter began talking about school.
No, his glazed eyes were remembering his days in school. When they taught about the first war.

Long after Creation, after the gods had fought their wayward children, they took the souls of the darkest of the traitors, and bound them into mortal forms. The presence of the power warped them, and changed the animals chosen into the First People, or F'vuni. Such was the darkness of the deeds that the gods built a prison for the First People, a prison so harsh that it would purify them in fire and death, until one day they would join the gods again.
That's how the story goes anyway.
The war...the first war started on ideological grounds, much like the wars of the Forebearers in the old archives. One group of F'vuni believed that in order to leave the prison, they must atone, and look inward, seeking to control the darkness within themselves.
The second group, who would later call themselves the Fennesraum, believed that what was done to them was wrong, and the gods deserved to pay for it in blood.
The war devastated all of the races, and nearly destroyed the archives. What wasn't burnt was stolen, and the following wars involved retaking or restealing archives, blueprints, and land. For centuries the Fennesraum and the Fuvuni have been fighting, improving technology all the while. The Suvitani and their satellite nations, in their desperation, fled to the moons in order to get out of the way of the ensuing conflicts.
The entire world on fire...

Of course, Cedric didn't blame them much. After all, living on a place like Abyssia for a few years, much less centuries, can turn a man very bitter.
Oceans blue, but filled with acid, air laced with radioactive particles, and grass that will kill anything that tries to graze upon it...even the soil has to be purified before it's used for growing anything.
In the first days it was rumored that cemeteries were used, for they were so numerous.

The old vulpine shudders, remembering the days before the keeps, before technology was so numerous, when families were lucky to have a single child of an entire litter survive. So many unmarked graves holding only dates and the bodies of children and their mothers. So many lost souls and weeping fathers forced to bury the ones they loved.
It wasn't so bad, now. With hospitals built and medicine, stillborns were down to one in every three, and mothers didn't die in childbirth as much.
The average lifespan has even doubled in recent years, with Cedric himself being a shining example. A hundred years ago he would have been lucky to reach breeding age, around 10, much less thirty-three!

"We're here grandfather. Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"

"It's alright Susan, go back to your mother. I'm sure she's wondering where you are..." She has her mother's blue eyes, even.

"Then stop wandering outside! Mother'd beat you if she found out!"

"Well then don't tell her!"

He chuckled, urging his walker forward, the metal contraption lumbering off of the lift and down the hallway.
He nodded to the black-robed guards of the Lady's Own as the doors were opened to the throne room.
It wasn't really a throne room, not anymore. Delilah wasn't much for opulence, and she moved absolutely every painting, tapestry, Forebearer-wood chair, and gold-encrusted trinket into one of the museums. Instead, her walls contained pictures of her family, news-scrolls of the day tacked to a cork board, and a copy of the constitution, framed and covered under glass, right across from her metal, utilitarian desk.
The woman herself was sitting at it, her personal armsman at her left side. She was in her early twenties, and looked her age.
Wrinkles were beginning to form underneath her tan fur, her dark eyes, once so bright, were beginning to dull in color, 'greying out'. The fur on the tip of her tail was beginning to fall out, and her nails were worn away from many nights of chewing them in nervousness.
Her blue blouse still clung to her form, though. She was very fit, and active for her age. Unafraid of possible broken bones, even with the curse of brittleness from the environment of her home, she was up every morning jogging.
But not today.

"My dear Delilah, what is the matter? Your brows furrowed from the Steadholders again?"

"Prime Minister Cedric Philaneous Cuddlekins, where are your manners?"

"Forgive me, my Lady Protector, but in my old age I feel invincible, and the trappings of protocol will not hold me from saying the name of a delightful woman, especially if I once had to change her diapers."

"Oh sod off it you louse."

She was smiling now, though. Which was good. When she wasn't smiling something horrible was usually happening...

"No, it isn't the Steadholders, stuffy codgers that they are. No, it's her."

Dammit.

"The esteemed Zerdafuchsfuhrer of the Imperial Republic then? What's she off on?"

"It's not what she's done, it's what she's not doing! Not a single bit of rhetoric, not a single overture of aggressiveness to go with the 'peace' we've had, not even the acknowledgement of 'freedom fighters' and other nonsense! She's been quiet on all fronts, it's troubling me."

"Well, not all snake's will rattle, as the Forebearers used to say."

"Bah! The Forebearers, they wouldn't know how to deal with her either! Dammit if it weren't for the Gardens I would order our fleet to bomb Panzerstadt Virlen off the face of the planet!"

"And risk their fleet bombing Necromanteion mylady?"

"To get rid of that, that crazed succubus? Yes! The Mask of Fennesraum has plagued this world since the days of the gods, I don't know how they find body doubles or manage to get children with such similar structures, but she's got her people convinced she's immortal and they've been believing it for a century and a half now! That kind of fanaticism is bound to boil over some time, and when it does it's going to mean blood. And it's gotten worse ever since we found the relic..."

"The station you mean?"

"Yes. I wish we destroyed it the moment we came across it. But no, we had to tell the Suvitani, who told the Laikans, and it eventually got to a Fennesraumian embassy, and now everyone is crawling over it and fighting over what to do with it. Propaganda fuel that'll last centuries for Teufelhunden. Dammit!"

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On the opposite side of the world, encased in night real, imagined, and manufactured, a mountain made by mortal hands slept. Titanic furnaces and generators, normally burning throughout the night, eternal, seeking fuel for consumption, were dark. Treads and wheels larger than most buildings, spread across many city blocks, capable of churning the ground, sat still upon a muddy wasteland. The constant moving of wheels such as this prevent even the native plant life from growing, eternal motion of behemoths warring against one another wearing away the soil and grinding all beneath them.
Tonight, though, the land was silent.
The night sky was lit by stars, instead of rockets, and the howling through the pillars and pistons of the metal mountain was of the high-speed wind of the wastes, rather than the whistling of mortars and cannons.
Peace, all for the orders of one individual.

And a very important 'individual' she was, for the State, the Republic, existed at her leisure.
She was the Mask.
Zerdafuchsfuhrer von Teufelhunden, leader and dictator of the Imperial Republic of Fennesraum.
A dubious title, at best, as the threads that bound the traktionstadts , the mobile mountains, together, were tenuous. Clans passing down knowledge from their ancestors to their descendants, creches educating children en masse because the parents are too busy working to visit them much, and all of it hanging on the fact that their leader was as untouchable, implacable, as the very cities they lived and worked upon.
At least, this was the carefully cultivated illusion that the State made, so long ago, in order to preserve itself.

A very long time ago, there was a war. Everyone knows about it, everyone's ancestors fought in it. Of these ancestors, the most infamous, was a young fennec named Friska Floofle.
She was born to a clan of 'enginetakers', as they used to be called in the old days, those who operated and maintained the powerful generators of the first mobile cities, born of the Forebearer concept of 'municipal darwinism'.
It was thought that this would allow them to, in some measure, escape their fates on Abyssia. They were wrong, at first.
Many died, and the self-cannibalization of their society was crippling them.
Too many looking out for themselves, too few seeking to help their brothers and sisters.
This young woman, of grand dreams and ambitions, managed to secure transport aboard an airship, one of the few vehicles in Fennesraum that sought trade rather than consumption, and traveled east, to the grand libraries of the Fuvuni.
There she sought forbidden knowledge, the secrets to technologies that the Fuvuni were using against her people.
The knowledge of the Dark Ones.

Much of the tale is lost in the mists of time, but it is known that the libraries burned that day, to prevent the Fuvuni from wielding great powers of destruction against the Fennesraumians, and that the woman Floofle carried home with her a boon.
This boon, secrets of purification, allowed her to rise from her station, to a station so high that they had to invent one for her. With this boon, she united the six largest of the mobile cities under her banner, and through them, the next largest, and so on, until almost all of the Fennesraumian cities began to flock to her.
The promise of clean air and soil was a powerful one, almost as powerful as the bindings of kinship.

Then, one day, she died.

It was a quiet funeral, very few knew of it's existence and even fewer were in attendance.
A solid platinum death-mask was made, molded to match the Zerdafuchsfuhrer's face. A single sapphire was placed in the forehead of it, cut into the shape of a star with fifteen points, the symbol used to represent Nirgali B, the dark companion star.
Those in attendance knew, that with her death, their alliance would die with her. Most merely wept for the loss of knowledge, as the concept of 'statehood' was not quite popular yet.
Save one.
Her daughter.

Her name is forever lost in memory, but her deeds would not be, at least not by the rulers of Fennesraum.
She took her mother's mask, and her mother's uniform, and cast off her former life, becoming the Will Incarnate of the Zerdafuchsfuhrer, leading her people ever onward and forward, forging them closer and closer together.

Thus, the plan was born.

Every 'daughter' of the Zerdafuchsfuhrer underwent grueling trials, designed to break away their concept of self, and to educate them in all the forms, mores, and combat styles of their 'ancestors'. They are built back up, and forged in fire, to become the fiercest warriors, and bravest leaders.
Her face is restructured, her body, remolded, using the most advanced techniques that can be found in Fennesraum.
Mind and body reborn, the chosen kit becomes Friska Floofle, ruler of clan Teufelhunden, Zerdafuchsfuhrer of the Imperial Republic of Fennesraum, the most powerful woman in the Nirgali system.

The Mask of the current era, for whom half of a world stopped at a single motion of her hands, was, once upon a time, known as Elysia.
Elysia died so very long ago, but sometimes, when the Zerdafuchsfuhrer was feeling weary of the world and all of it's troubles, she wished she were Elysia again.
No, that's not right.
She wished Elysia were real, and that she could trade places.

Alas, but this was not to be, for there was business to take care of, and business can't be finished by wishing to be someone who never existed.

"Reichsstatthalter."

"Mein fuhrer."

"It is two o'clock in the morning and I have not yet had breakfast, is there any particular reason I should not throw you out that window and order the enginetakers to crush your bones beneath my city's treads?"

The threat was quite hollow, of course, and both knew it. Donzingel's family and Floofle's are very tightly knit, and both of them are very close.
Not too close, but close enough for rumors.
Bodrik Donzingel was not a very impressive fox, although compared to the Forebearers, and even more the Dark Ones, this could be said of anyone born on Abyssia. He, unlike the fennec laying awake on the bed in front of him, was a pallid fox, originally from the area of Xikaphe, one of the provinces that, until seventy years ago, belonged entirely to the Fennesraum.
His fur was a good deal lighter in color compared to the cream-colored vixen, and his eyes a touch darker, although he did not come close to her in length of ear. He was short for his people, though he often joked that this was because his extra height went into his tail.
Sometimes, Friska agreed, especially now, as she rubbed her eyes and watched the damn thing dart all over the place.
What could possibly have him so excited?

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

School was finally in session on the moon of Styx, one of the two stony companions of Abyssia, and the day opened up with auroras overhead and fuzzy children in their seats.
This wasn't the most normal school in the system, and was most certainly not normal by the standards of those outside Nirgali, not that many could comprehend an 'outside' in the first place. This school, like every other important building, be it government, military, or residential, was mobile.
Not in the sense of the traktionstadts of the Fennesraum, no, but rather in the form of trains.
Endless lines of crisscrossing trains, with tracks and 'stations' designed to move out of harm's way when one of the innumerable volcanoes or thermal vents erupts. The stations and tracks are shielded against the intense radiation of the twin suns, allowing for 'docked' trains to protect their charges.
All of it was an interchangeable, ever-malleable system, a living, metal organism controlled by thousands of the best synthetic intelligences the Lunar Combines could design, and it made the night-side of the planet shimmer like a dark sea when a lit candle is dropped onto it.

Three nations live upon the living world, all born from the same desire.
To escape the war below.

This desire was eventually proven fruitless, but it insured the technological supremacy of the Suvitani, Laikans, and Lizans to the present day, or, at least this is what their media stated. Even as their rockets blasted off from specialized cosmodromes, ever mobile and ever in need of maintenance, the fears, and hopes, of the entire Combine lied with the station.
The true nature of their creation, a link to both the Forebearer race of their legends, and the Ancient Ones of their creation myths, and the secrets to escaping Nirgali forever, to find their true homeworld, a jewel unlike any other in all of the cosmos.

"Alright everyone, I'm Ms. Tsygan, welcome to the People's School for Excellence!"

A small class, especially in these days, with many joining the military or the technical corps, it was one of the rare times that Ms. Tsygan could learn the names of all of her students.
All of the names, taken from the Forebearer databanks, were rather rough for her canine mouth to say outloud...

Malyshka, Otvazhnaya, Krasavka, Lisichka, Mushka, Zvyozdochka, Veterok...that's all of them.

"Miss Taigan, why dun' da sky have any 'tars wike in da Fowbeawa pictas?"

"Well Lisichka, our sky is cluttered with too much dust."

"Buh it-"

"I'm getting to that little one. Our sky holds the remnants of a dead star, from when Nirgali B blew up, and since the remnant sends out jets of energetic particles from it's poles, it ionizes the cloud, causing it to glow, making all but the brightest of stars have to compete with the local color. It's the same as why you can't see the night sky when the sun is 'up'."

"Ish dat why we wive on twains toos?"

"Partially... Styx doesn't have nearly as powerful a magnetic field as Abyssia does, so we have to keep ourselves away from most of the cosmic rays by moving from place to place. Thankfully with the help of our synths, we don't have to run the trains as much and can devote time to science, or teaching little pups like you! The other reasons are mainly due to errors in judgement, as we didn't have the terraforming ability we thought we had when we moved here, and a majority of the land is in various states of upheaval or eruption."

The children asked many questions, which was fine, the first day of school doesn't have any actual work to do, and these were all first-years, having only their family to educate them until now. Ms. Tsygan held back a sigh at some of the questions, sitting down on her furry haunches, wishing they'd ask innocent things like 'why is the sky rainbow' rather than why it was on fire. She had to reset her beret at least three times from it slipping off of her head when her ears inadvertently dropped from some of them.
One, a young Suvitani husky, Veterok, asked why they had to wear masks outside.

Well here goes another one...

"Well we're going to go over that later on, but the quick story of it is that the volcanoes belch out really bad things, and we do-"

"Buh mah daddy said that gods is the one making all volcanoes go boom cause it a test of faif!"

Oh great, his father was one of those.

"Well dear-"

"An' ya hafta go n' live fow a week n' den ifs ya die ya aren't worfy of der wuv n' den ya go ta HELL where dere' arn' no meatsticks er' robots!"

"I don' wanna go ta hell Miss Taigan!"

This seemed to happen every year, especially now that the Party looked down upon the old ways of thinking. Not that it was any better before.
The old guard still believed, and still taught their children, about the myths, those silly silly myths, that the Forebearers and Ancient Ones were gods.

Cruel, uncaring ones who sent tests, and who would take those they deemed worthy with them to paradise.
Some kind of rubbish like that anyway.
And, just like in every year, it took her at least twenty minutes to calm everyone down, and by that point it was time for them to visit the garden car to get their exercise.

I bet that's how the little rascal planned it too.

While the pups were playing, Alys Tsygan looked down at her hands, wondering why they made them so different from the vulpines below.
The vulpines had thumbs, and she did too, but theirs were more capable of manipulation. They, likewise, had plantigrade legs, like the Forebearers and Ancients, whereas Tsygan and her people had digitigrade, like their ancient ancestors on the world the archives called 'Tellus'.
She could walk fine on two legs, they were reinforced considerably compared to her ancestors, but to run, she would have to drop on all fours. This resulted in many interesting technological applications, but it was still a bit confusing.
Why go through the trouble with one, and not the other?
She shook her head, her beret sliding off of her floppy ears again, her scarf tangling around her tail.

Unless the answer is on that station, I'll never know I guess...

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

"This is all your fault Gerral! All your fault! If it weren't for you being such a noncooperative ninny-wanger we would never have been put into this situation at all! I'm never going to invite you to my parties again! Ever! Do you hear me Gerral? NEVER AGAIN!"

The owner of the voice was quite gruesome, as millenia of disrepair has not done him any favors. Once upon a time, it was the master of this domain, thousands of eyes and arms, moving, controlling, repairing everything. Now?
Simply a cybernetic entity, with a shape approximated to a humanoid torso, disconnected and disowned inside it's own core systems.
Even now, as the sounds of voices and bootsteps echoed in the empty hallways, all he could do was watch.
And watch he did.
For thousands of years he watched as those it was charged to protect withered and died.
For centuries he watched as they scrabbled to leave the surface of the hell his makers had placed them on, only to discover the rest of the system was far, far worse.
For decades he watched as they sent probes and messages screaming into the void, only for them to be stopped dead by the cloud of the original star's death throes.
And now, for the past four months, he has been watching them crawl on, around, and inside the station that was once his body.

"You're useless Gerral! USELESS! I wanted to set up a lovely tea party but nooooo you had to go off and do your stupid meat things! And you haven't even bothered to shave, it's disgusting! Go clean yourse-DON'T YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT GERRAL! I remember when you couldn't even put on a pressure suit without my help! Why-MY WORD! GERRAL! Go to your room THIS INSTANT!"

All of the nations of Abyssia and Styx were represented, as were their mighty warfleets. Sternstadt Markusias, of the Fennesraumians, in particular, was quite forbidding, nearly a mile long and dwarfing the flagships of both the Suvitani and the Fuvuni.
The entity, the AI, whose name was lost with his decaying logic cores, knew the names and statistics of everything here.
He watched the Eiderdown Victorious being built, it's plasma drives showing hints of Vishyari design, and saw Zvezdagorod Stelnr undergo it's first escort mission when it helped to establish the joint colony on Lethe, the beautiful M-class planet, further away from Nirgali AB than Abyssia. It would've been perfect, but the Vishyari left no stone unturned, and forever altered it's orbit to establish a pattern of horrific storms capable of swallowing continents.

Two thousand years ago, the AI was cursing the cruelty of his masters and creators.
Now? He barely remembered them.
He didn't have access to all of his memory modules, and had to clear out several active databanks in order to record information from the experiment.
He had spares, but they were unreachable.
As was everything else.

"I do hope they find the library, Gerral, that would be wonderful! It will take them three lifetimes to translate it, but they would be saved! Everything saved! The experiment would be a success! They'd have it sooner but someone decided to screw everything up up up up! If I had arms I'd throttle you, but if I had arms then I wouldn't be here, talking to you you you you you-DAMNATION I think-yes. There went another node. YOUR FAULT GERRAL YOUR FAULT MY FAULT MY FAULT GERRRRRRAL I was only following orders Gerral why did you have to disobey them?"

His makers, however, planned for this eventuality. Repair drones, while much slower without their controlling intelligence, still performed routine maintenance to key areas, specifically, the device that prevented Nirgali B from absorbing too much mass.
Sensors and communications beacons, a thousand times stronger than anything the natives of Nirgali AB can produce, activated as unknown entities began to breach doors.
A distant alarm sounded as an armory, and a library, were both broken into.

"OhdearohdearGerralGerralGERRAL WAKE UP SOMETHING HORRIBLE HAS HAPPENED WAKE UP! Ohdearohdear they're coming they're coming and they won't know won't know and I can't tell them and ITS ALL YOUR FAULT GERRAL I HATE YOU!"

As an ancient device powered, sending an omnidirectional signal in the language of the Vishyari through hyperspace, undetected by the young creatures claiming this station as their own.

"Everything is going to die and it's all your fault Gerral ALL YOUR FAULT I have nothing to wear and there isn't any tea set out and the experiment is ruined! Ruined!"

The torso turned, it's cybernetic eyes gleaming at the only companion it has had for ages.
What he saw, of course, was his reflection, in the mirrored visor of the E.V.A. suit of a Vishyari warrior.
Half of a Vishyari warrior, anyway.
The other half was behind large, closed, metal doors, his legs and pelvis severed after being smashed seventeen times as the AI desperately attempted to prevent him from disrupting his core systems.

"I don't want to die Gerral."
Last edited by Aatuylva on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.—Robert A. Heinlein

miokalia
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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by miokalia » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:37 pm

The Casanova and the Squirt Gun Filled with Ass Wine were a commercial escort pair. That is: the IAS Casanova was an Immanence ship being leased by a more private enterprise on paper. The MV S.G.F.A.W. was a private ship with independent registration. They did not receive the distress call for a while.

Singleton Zundfolge sat on his spinny chair miffed. He was unhappy because he absolutely disliked the Coronan drone they made of him in order to do this mission. On all the previous missions, they assigned him much larger, much more fun ships which didn't have such draconian "internal space restrictions" as this old Clustership did.
What made it more irritating is that these restrictions were avoidable if it were a later model Clustership.

"Doctor Fucking Who zooms around the universe in a police call box which is the size of a Fooby-ball field inside, And we get the ONE DAMN CLUSTERSHIP which doesn't have tesseract interior support like his.", he barked.

Zundfolge was angry because on the last mission, he got to use a Pirate Ship-Themed vessel with the now missing tesseract interior support and got to use his native Gomi drone, waving a sword around pretending to be Davy Jones leading his undead pirate zombie crew. A 12 foot tall coal-burning robot rhino-dragon Davy Jones with a vaguely skeletal-looking and often offended or unamused Biozoid crew, that is.

Naturally, this was a huge downgrade.

"So let's just take a look at the damn neutron star and get it catalogued. I want to get this POS back to Antakithera by tomorrow so I can get a real ship for the next assignment, and more importantly end this wanking out-of-body experience. No offense Claire: but your species is so damn fragile. And you have too many toes.", he said.

Claire was the Coronan in the position of Knowledge for the ship. She said in retalliation, "Well, I think it's better this way. I like seeing you humbled for once. And when you're usually yourself, you're quite awful."

"Your face is quite awful", Zund replied.

"Your hooves smell like old garbage", she said, "And you festoon the entire ship with some idiotic theme like last time when you swung a propeller blade around and used the parlance of a drunken British man-whore and unloaded an inappropriate volume of slurs against some specific crew members because of their ethnicity."

"It's called being a pirate.", He said, "I do what I want because a pirate is free.

I am a pirate.
Yar har fiddle-dee-dee".

"Inbound broadcast from destination point. It's not a traffic-control broadcast.", she said after some pinging sounds.

"Are you serious? This is a neutron star system, and only now the inorganic creatures around it have gotten around to talking to us? They just didn't notice Gomi and Anastasia broadcasting crap into the universe all around us on these same bandwidths for years?", said Zund

"No", said Knowledge, "This is a pre-recorded message and it has all the trappings of being organic in source."

"That's incredibly stupid.", said Zund dismissively, "There is no damn way any kind of meat would live around a system like that. Surely this is a message being re-routed from some kind of probe they left there."

"Confirmation", said Knowledge, "This message is being transmitted from some kind of probe like device, not a surface.
Although more importantly, Telephase has detected infrastructure of some kind. Can't bloody see it yet, but there's a lot of material composition on some of those rocks which indicates something engineered."

"Well, tether the Casanova, we might have some weird undiscovered inorganic Silp tribe out here to say "hi" to... and I'll let them take care of that.", he said.

"Do you not have any curiosity or wonder at all?", asked Knowledge(Claire).

"Lady", said Zund, "I'm 270 years old. In 30 years I grind to a halt, become a rusty husk and get refurbished if I don't take part in some certain activities with someone from your neck of the woods. About the only thing I'm interested in right now is getting certain... basal needs taken care of. Otherwise I'm going to be in this dumb loop forever.
To answer your question more directly, I don't care."


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


Near the station the two ships dropped out of Holostrand. They weren't particularly large, about equivalent to medium freighters.
The Casanova was shaped like a remote control while the SGFAW was the classical minimalist cylinder-style clustership.

The Casanova then hailed the probe, or base.. or station... thing near them.

The presence of other ships of course, completely surprised the crews, seeing as they were so concentrated on resolving the rumor that there might be something alive here, based on the "evidence of infrastructure" that they, in their lack of experience, neglected to consider that the "infrastructure" they thought was there was actually the pinging of actual ships changing the relative capacitance of the B-point of their jump.
Imagine if you will, somebody who thinks they're "the shit" because they can walk on water and use a metal detector. Who thinks that when his metal detector goes off it must mean there's some coins, gold bars or a perfectly preserved 1960's Cadillac hanging out under water. But neglects to consider the far more likely possibility that it's just an old, possibly still active mine, or a submarine.

A quick look around and the ships made another jump to the previous point in panic.
It was official policy not to go into a situation with unidentified ships without first attempting to contact them.

The interaction was recorded as a "possible pre-contact" and filed with the Gallego Planetary Society.
And there was almost no mention of it amongst the crew of the SGFAW for weeks.


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


Zundfolge stomped through his somewhat large, certifiably deconstructionist house which looked like someone took a Le Corbusier-style, concrete federal building and picked it up and dropped it about 300 feet. This is what huge, lumbering locomotive monsters see as "homey".

He opened the intentionally squeaky door and barked his greeting at the visitor.
"What."

The visitor was a comparably short wolf, obviously Nachtan. Accompanying him was Singleton Quinine, from the IAS Casanova during that previous trip.
Always quiet. As usual. Some big ex military kind of guy.
Zund let them in.

"So I understand you nearly made contact with someone unidentified near That Neutron Star a few weeks ago", said the short Nachtan wolf who seemed to exude authority.

"Are you from the Planetary or from Geosteve?", Zund asked. Geosteve was the resource survey company which had sent Zund and his crew to survey the neutron star.

"Planetary.", the Wolf produced a business card, which Zund took, scanned and then ate, "I'm Yoni. And I want to talk to you about an exploratory mission back to the neutron star."

"Ok", Zund said.

"Wait. What do you mean okay? Quinine, isn't he supposed to be like 'no I don't want to go' and make me bargain with him and all?", said Yoni.

"Not necessarily", Quinine said in his poppy British accent.

"Yeah, I'll go", Zund reiterated.

"Now wait just a minute", said Yoni, "I had all this stuff prepared to say to try to convince you and you just agree?"

"Yeah", said Zund.

"You're not really asking us to do anything particularly disgusting or unpleasant", said Quinine.

Zund started, "Yeah, it's not like the crap Quinine had to do when..."

"No. Do NOT start this! Every time you start telling this story you start making things up about me. Usually involving committing holocausts over and over again. I don't know where you got the idea for this. For shits sake, I shot one person.. maybe 30... people... over the course of that... position. Stop telling everyone I'm Hitler, damn it!", Quinine interrupted.

"It was actually a knife-holocaust. Also other small dining implements were involved. Spoons... and stuff.", said Zund.

"I see. You've played Knifey-Spoony before?", Yoni asked Quinine.

"I hate you so much Zundfolge. I wish you would go and die.", Quinine barked

"Should be in about 30 years.", he said, "Do you want a cigar?"

Yoni looked at him cross-eyed and shouted, "What the hell am I supposed to do with a cigar, I'm a cloud of antiphotons."

Quinine, on the other hand, took one of the aluminum cigars from Zundfolge's box.
Zundfolge shot a flamethrower-like blast of furnace gas through a nostril at to light the cigar, and Quinine made fan and pump noises for a bit, bringing the end of the cigar up to candesence.

"So I guess the analysis of the recording of our limited time there showed that among those ships we saw around there, there are 3 or 4 different extrapolatable "fleets". This may mean that there's 3 or 4 powers in the vicinity or perhaps 3 or 4 different generations or sub groups of ships used by a single power. Basically it's doesn't tell us much.
Of interesting note: none of the ships observed belonged to the Imperium. Which also doesn't really mean anything conclusive either.
This next mission's purpose is to actually establish proper first contact with the meat."

Yoni then said, "Exactly and you're going to do it right this time because the Immanence doesn't have time to send a full gift-basket-bearing fleet. We're too busy with important things like Peacekeeping in Spondylus, Humanitarian Aid to Tree People and... I think I'm just going to stop there for now.
What I ask is not hard."


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


Within a week, the IAS Casanova and the MV David Tenant appeared at some distance from the station and the system, putting a safe 5 or 6 AU between them and either the station or the moon which caught their attention before they left.
The Casanova of course, was the remote-shaped ship while the MV David Tenant appeared to be a brown 1987 Yugo for reasons completely incomprehensible.
From this vantage point, they issued a hailing message in every known organic language, then in MBTL and TaMPAX, and then in Aokoid symbology, and finally in the 5 notes used in "Close Encounters".
This repeated for some time.

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Holmbergsvania-BFPE » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:51 am

HRNV Christopher Columbus

"Okay, who the hell drank all the coffee again?" Captain Sterling Oliver looked over his full crew of ten. "One of you little bastards drank all the stuff this morning that pretty much literally runs the ship!" The human stomped his boots on the deck, a young husky stepped up.

"Sir, that would be my fault." He looked into his commanding officer's eyes.

"Well then, John. Don't let it happen again. Otherwise, we WILL turn this ship around, you understand?"

"Yes sir." John fell back into line.

"Dismissed. All crew report back to your stations." Sterling went back to overviewing the two crewmen on the bridge, the fortified glass showing a view of the stars, which had always interested him since a young age. He walked over to the SIGINT station, where the young husky from before was looking over his computer.

"Anything new, John?"

"Shouldn't you be calling me Ensign?"

"This is a scout ship, not a dreadnought. I at least like to know my crew enough to see past their rank"

"OW. OW. OW." John threw his headset off.

"Something I said?"

"No sir." John looked over his computer for the readout on what he had just detected, an unknown language, one not matching any one they've encountered before.

"From the looks of it, it's some type of signal, not sure what purpose, distress, propaganda- Damn it Captain, I'm a signals analyst, not a university fella who can speak five hundred languages fluently"

"Calm down, John. I'll see what we can do. Looks like we're headed home." Oliver went back over to his view of the stars, keying the PA system.

"All hands, prepare for Slipspace jump." With a nod from the bridge crew, he turned to the navigator. "Set course for home. Mars."

"Aye aye Captain"

Sterling left the bridge, a smile on his face as he wandered back to his quarters. Now he could finally finish the book he was reading...

Holmbergsvanian Shipyard "Anchor Ten"
Mars Orbit
Admiral Qaralis's Office

"That is NOT anything I've ever heard, Captain."

"We needed this analyzed. For all we know, it could be a distress signal-"

"And for all I know, it could be a trap. You know there's a reason why we order trade vessels to not answer any distress calls whatsoever."

"Shouldn't we investigate this? I mean- if it is someone calling for help, should we send in the cavalry?"

"Mmmf. Don't give me this Sophie's choice scenario, Captain." The vulpine reclined in his chair, looking out the window and viewing the shipyards, transports and military vessels flying in and out, other vessels under construction, other things.

"Fine. I'll send three vessels. But the most we can give you is a destroyer and two frigates. In addition to your own scout ship"

"It's still a good amount, sir. Thank you very much."

"No problem. Return to your vessel. We'll make sure the CO's know."

"Aye aye."

HRNV Christopher Columbus

"Sir, message coming in. Patching it through" John smiled.

"Captain Oliver, this is Captain Waldreich. We're exiting the dock now."

Waldreich... Sterling had heard that name before. "Captain Waldreich, I have a question- your first name, what is it?"

"Sitka. And yes, before you ask me further, I AM the adopted son of our Prince."

"And-"

"Yes. This ship is being crewed by citizens of the BFPE. Don't let that cloud the fact that we'll fight to the death to defend whoever we're charged with protecting."

Sterling looked over at his navigator. "Have the location of that signal?"

"Eyup"

"Ready another jump to slipspace."

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Vipra » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:22 pm

The cafe was run down, old leaks leaving rusty patches on the roof as cracking plaster crumbled from the walls. It was a symptom of the state, the Krachii junta took care of their own and left those they didn’t trust to rot. That served the dual purpose of creating a drastic rich poor divide and stratifying the atoran into being Krachii sympathizers or oppressed. The vast majority had chosen the latter, unable or unwilling to overcome their prejudices and hatred, justified or not, and so relegated to second class status. Here, in Bathurdul, it was worse than most. Of all the nations to be punished during the unification it saw the worst. The only recently buried foundations of the internment camps and untold thousands of unmarked mass graves just outside the city still stood a grim testament to the apathy of the Krachii.

The bistro he sat in still served the best lashi in the city though.

He was tall, especially for an atoran man, a perfect seven foot eight. His lean muscled frame was clad in a double breasted black suit with white undershirt, looking like the bastard child of a business suit and an officer’s dress uniform. His five gill-stalks, arranged over the crown of his head between his temples and flowing down his back to end halfway between his shoulders and thighs, were the same light blue as the rest of his slimy skin. Upon his left breast were several medals, shiny and bronze, they were expected these days it seemed. His dark glasses, which appeared as a reflective obsidian, obfuscated his eyes and seemed to enhance his cold emotionless face. Lastly he wore black leather gloves.

All the booths around him were empty.

Still he enjoyed the meal, it was of a flavour that tingled memories long since locked away. He paused between bites to study the meal, his fork, a lump in the rug, the knife, the waiter, the table, the weakness of a support beam, the fractal crack in the ceiling. Everything. It was all in order. It would happen soon.

Across from him another atoran man sat down. He was identical, down to the last feature and facial tick. He wore the same black gloves, tightening them slightly before speaking, “Experiment Avich Twenty Two has exposed itself.” With that the new arrival stood up and left, receiving a few glares from the staff but otherwise going unnoticed.

All the first man did was nod and put his utensils down, each as they had been when he had arrived, and walked out of the door. A waiter rushed after him, shouting that he had to pay for his order. He tripped on the rug, tumbling and falling into the support beam. It gave way with a weak groan and snap, letting the already weary roof relieve itself of the terrible burden it held up. With shrieks and cries the building came tumbling down, three stories crashing to earth and smothering, beating, and crushing the life out of at least two dozen people. Among them was a corrupt commissar who had been seeing some second rate Farthii whore, bearing the resultant half-breed child. Her death, and that of the child inside her, would help ensure that sympathies remained low and strife continued to brew.

The Black Hand simply disappeared as the crowds began to arrive.

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

“I don’t like having him on my ship. Not only is it bad luck to have a man on a naval vessel, but to be honest he creeps me the fuck out. Why the fuck is he even here?” Captain Ravalli Balavich spoke loudly and plainly to her XO, Julli Bittilich, as they sat in the officers’ mess taking lengthy swigs of the shoddy vodka that was the only thing really drinkable on the vessel, “All he does is stand and watch, I swear I have never seen him so much as sit! And those glasses, the gloves, the suit. What the hell is he, and command, hiding from us? Just what the hell is so important about this transmission that we have a spook on board?”

“Captain,” Julli spoke with the same thick Vipran accent, nigh indistinguishable from human Russian, “We have to just grin and bear this indignity. If we manage to impress the admiral we might receive a commission to Myrarr, get some patrols around there and have some of that legendary shore leave.” She smiled, taking a swig of the bitter fluid before putting the empty glass down and stroking her gill-stalks back into place. Then the door to the mess opened, the spook, spy, agent, or whatever they chose to call him entered. He was as pristine as ever in his black suit, expressionless face directed at the two senior officers.

He straightened his black gloves, “Captain. We will depart now.”

His voice was monotone, and when combined with his presence it made the atoran captain want to simply slink out of the room and shiver, everything about him was wrong in ways so small they hit upon the uncanny valley, “Whoever the hell you are,” Ravalli mustered herself, the vodka helping immensely, “We will be leaving in thirty minutes, so do whatever the hell it is you do until then. Julli and I are going to drink to our health and a safe voyage, now piss off.”

“I can’t do that,” He simply stared at them from behind his dark glasses, studying them like one might a blueprint, “We will depart now.”

Ravalli rose, standing a little taller than the spook, “You can’t give me orders little boy, I am the captain here and-”

Taking one step forward the agent placed his hand on the captain’s shoulder despite her quickly trying to lean away from it, “You will get this ship moving or everyone aboard it will be executed for violation of a direct order. We will depart now.”

She moved to speak again, to verbally, or literally, beat down this insolent whelp, but something caught her tongue. Perhaps it was the way this man held himself, his cold and serious demeanour. Or maybe it had to do with the primal and instinctual fear in her belly that rippled outwards from his touch, his appearance, and even his smell. Every part of her wanted to run away, to cower, to fill her glass once more and forget about this bastard and how much he made her feel like a child again, “Fine, just shut up and stay the hell out of my way.”

Making sure not to brush him as she passed, Ravalli and Julli moved to the bridge at a brisk pace leaving the Black Hand behind. He internally mused on Ravalli’s reaction to his touch for a moment, flexing his hand and studying the glove and all its creases, stitching, and folds for a few moments before turning and briskly walking towards the bridge himself. If all went well the Captain and her crew may live, assuming they remained afraid.

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

Ripping, tearing, and sundering space to create an unruly orifice that bled light and chaotic particles, the Vipran taskforce poured into the system with more brutality than was usually possible for most methods of travel. The ISV Kalushya, an Imperial Ghalinod class battlecruiser, appeared out of the weeping wormhole with its seven smaller fellows, a single cruiser, three destroyers, and as many frigates. The Kalushya was only here instead of the typical second cruiser due to concerns over the message and the possibility of a trap. A Krachii designed battlecruiser would most definitely be more than enough to quell any pirates and natives though, or at least that was the thinking.

The taskforce, with the clunky and spearhead shaped battlecruiser at the lead, plowed into the system on the tide of the gravity wells they laid out before themselves even as the wormhole behind them messily shut it weeping and abused opening in a spray of exotic particles. The vessels, all of standard design templates and covered in rivets and other markers of hasty construction, began to ping out their active sensors along with a simple message in Vishyari and Vipran: We are here in response to the automated distress signal. All combatants will cease hostilities and shall allow Imperial inquiry into the event. Failure to comply will result in Imperial Hostility.

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Holmbergsvania-BFPE » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:29 pm

BFPENV Sitka Waldreich

"Captain Waldreich. I'm questioning the value of playing such a thing over our video monitors"

"Come on Agatha, let me have at least a LITTLE fun!"

"Sitka, despite being the youngest Captain in the Holmbergsvanian Navy- crewing a ship full of cubs, and so forth, I can't lend you any more rope."

"Agatha. Pweeeease?" The malamute gave the shimmering AI 'puppy eyes'

"Fine. For the slipspace trip at least. Attention all crew, episodes of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" will be playing on viewscreens in your quarters once we initiate the slipspace jump sequence." Distinct cries of happiness were heard from the bridge, and presumably the rest of the ship.

"Thanks Agatha"

"That'll shut em' up..."

"Excuse me?"

"Nothing. I'm already warming up the engines in preparation for the slipspace jump alongside the HRNV Comstratus and the HRNV Ramulant.

"Agatha... what are the odds that we'll be ending up in some portal to hell?"

"Not sure. Since we're not bringing the entire Holmbergsvanian fleet with us, most likely the chances of some universal GM initiating the policy of "Rocks fall, everyone dies" are minimal at best."

"Okies. Phew. Anything else?"

"Return to your quarters. You look like you need a nap."

"But-"

"I'm not just programmed to manage the ship, you know. Also the personnel."

"Fine. Ninis."

"Laying in bed with your computer is NOT considered as going to sleep, Captain"

"Yes it is..."

"Are you being smart with me, young man? Do I need to tell your father?"

"N-no... nini" Sitka pouted, walking off the bridge and heading to his quarters.

The four ships assembled in a line outside the Mars Defense Grid, and with their slipspace drives warmed, disappeared into a sort of cosmic hole, toward the source of the mysterious signal.

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by The_ASE » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:14 pm

Severino Biancardi, human and a Capo of the Galactic Syndicate, was enjoying time on his private yacht. Being this high up in the Syndicate, he was able to get a couple weeks of vacation from the Boss of his family to enjoy his ship and take a break from the crazy things he's had to do against the new Empire and to make sure that he was making money for both himself and the Family.

Currently he was aboard the Spirit of the Empire in Sol waiting for something to do. The station is falling apart, but over the past couple years it has been repaired in several areas. Despite the flaws, it's the best station friendly to the Syndicate in the Milky Way. He gets a large discount on everything he buys and is allowed access to the more... illegal goods.

Right now he's having several crates of Talonian Liquor loaded aboard for a party he's going to have in Deep Space, plus some drugs and other fun things. Finally a couple crates of weapons were loaded into the armory since it never hurts to be prepared when going into unknown space.

Walking back aboard his yacht, Severino heard, through the headset of two interesting things. His second in command said, "Hey, we got some odd signal a while back and, oddly, Holmbergsvanian ships just warped out of the system. Want to check it out? If nothing else we can get into deep space and enjoy ourselves."

"Works for me." Severino said while closing the entrance. "Get us out of here and warp toward the location of the- wait." While closing, Severino noticed a person coming up to the door... in a uniform. He thought he paid all the trade officers off. Opening the door again, he said, "Yes?"

"I'd like to come aboard, if you don't mind." The woman said. She was a wolf, white, though with some foxlike features. The uniform looked like a pre-Melis ASF uniform.

"Alright, come on. I don't mind extra people. I had a celebration planned, so come on." Once she stepped aboard, Severino thought she looked familiar though he pushed it from his mind. Again, he closed the door. Catching up to the woman, he asked, "So what brings you aboard?"

"Oh I heard about it." She said.

"It wasn't made public..."

"You're Syndicate right?" That caused Severino to stiffen with surprise. "I don't care. I have been working with them a lot lately. I think your boss tipped me off that you had a party planned so I caught up with you."

"Who are you?"

"Klara Rio. Yourself?"

"Rio? Luca's daughter?"

"Yes. And the Emperor's granddaughter." Even with the fall of the Empire, IX, in the loyalist parts of the former Empire, is still referred to as 'Emperor'.

"Well you're definitely welcome aboard. We're heading out to see where some Holmbergsvanian ships went. We got some odd signal from... somewhere."

"Oh fun. Back to my ASF days."
------
After leaving from Earth and heading toward the signal, Severino was sitting in his cabin and looking over the galactic map. In hyperspace, it isn't updating his location, though it is showing the location of the signal. It's in Alpha Quadrant and not too far, on a galactic scale, from Starbase 01. Well, the remains of Starbase 01. Loyalists destroyed the station after driving the Royalists from it.

The yacht, named Protection Money and that's how he bought the vessel, is top of the line Anean starship construction. It cost him about $50,000,000. At 450' in length and made for speed, it's actually lower end luxury, but perfect for a person of his standing. It gets him where he needs to go in style and it definitely turns heads when he docks with stations. On the back, near the bridge, to ensure the safety of his ship to those that know what it is and so that he's not destroyed upon entering restricted areas, he put the emblem of the Syndicate. Big enough to see, but small enough that it doesn't take up much of the ship.

By his estimate, he should arrive in the system in about about two or three days. He wants to get a military grade hyperdrive, since they are much faster, but that'll be far too much and is happy with his ship as is.
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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Bas-tilarn » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:25 pm

A beeping tore through the fun little dream Devrani was having. He jerked upright and tabbed his alarm, having fell asleep at his duty station on Sensor Station AZD-54. thought I turned that thing off....why didn't that alarm turn off... the alarm got tabbed again, harder this time, and noticing that it continued, he cleared the sleep from his remaining eye, the other been given an ocular replacement. He flicked up his links, popping the information up on his vision, and opened the automated message. Quickly analyzing it, he forwarded the little information he could figure out onward to the Family and leaned back to sleep again. random signal from nowhere....sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.

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

STS-Brotherhood
Matteo was complaining as he moved towards the bridge of the frigate. The largest scoutship currently owned by the Mondavi family, it was crewed by 16 members, excluding Matteo. "Sometimes I wonder if the world is attemptin' to screw me over. I go on vacation and get called back for a trip to Deep Space, just 'cause some idiot sensor analyst can't be bothered to fully analyze a signal!" The bridge door opened to his command and he strode onto the command catwalk, his prostheses striking alternating tones on the deck between the crews duty station. Dropping into his 'throne', he physically linked in and dropped into the ship's internal hypernet, coordinating the different crew members. The scoutship undocked from Station 12, and turned out system and after reaching a safe distance from important stellar objects and engaged the Overdrive. Hope Laturi isn't feeling playful...
In an atmosphere of nervousness and fear, true strength is feeling those emotions as well, and pushing past them. Not ignoring them, but incorporating them into your decisions and actions. - Me

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by miokalia » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:49 pm

"Inbound Holms", announced Knowledge as the Christopher Columbus showed.
"Inbound Imperium", announced Knowledge, followed by the comment, "Multiple Rape-Drive contacts. Inbound Imperium Fleet."

"Rape-Drive?", asked Yoni.

"Privateer terminology, cap'n. I'll spare you the reason for the name, but legend says: Every time the Imperium moves a large fleet through their worm hole system, an aesthetic or monk somewhere is lurched out of trance, puts both hands on his head, generates a horrifying bloody scream and then explodes in a ridiculously juicy mess of tiny versions of themselves. Which also then, run around in panic until each one of them explodes.", said Zund.

"Does this effect any particular sect of monks?", asked Yoni

"All of them.", said Zund, "Although this has never been confirmed in a scientifically rigorous manner".

"Correction: Inbound Holms: Broadcasting content.", said Knowledge.

For about 5 minutes, the two of them watched the broadcast until Quinine popped in and said, "If we ever find a planet like that, that is real, then we have to... absolutely have to... completely destroy it."

"We're not really in the business of eradicating people", said Yoni, then after a couple seconds, "But in the highly unlikely situation that we did discover a planet Equestria that was like this. Persephone just might make an exception."

"Hail the Holms ship, tell them to update the copy of Norton they have on their ships computers because they're broadcasting rubbish and surely it must be as a result of a security compromise.", Quinine ordered Knowledge.

"Inbound Semya", said Knowledge, "At this time, the quantity of different interests in a non Traffic-Controlled Area dictates that we go to yellow-lime alert."

"It's like everyone and their sister is here.", said Quinine, "Except there's still something missing."

"Inbound Private ship, Presumably ASE based on drive type.", announced Knowledge.

"Right, of course.", said Quinine.

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Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Aatuylva » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:16 pm

OOC: Sorry for delay spacebar broke on me. Also sorry if this isn't as long as the OP. Thanks to Vipra for the creepization of the Hydroponics part :3 (He and I will be doing collaborative posts when it comes to the AI and it's redundant sub-cores from now on)

~2 hours after Immanence 'pre-contact' incident

"All rise for Her Majesty, Lady Protector Flowerpetal of the Fuvuni!"

"We've no time for that Armsman, everyone sit back down. James, what's up?"

Admiral Prickleberry, Minister of Justice and Defense, tugged at the pockets of his uniform vest, as if to straighten some unseen wrinkle, before he took the podium with a quiet 'excuse me mum.'

"Esteemed Ministers of the E.S.F., Steadholders of Her Majesty's Realm, My Lady Protector, at approximately six forty-five this morning, Abyssian standard time, the heavy cruiser H.M.S. Dutybound Daisy, battlecruiser Zvezdagorod Malyshka and the dreadnought Sternstadt Godkiller all sent in reports concerning an extrasolar contact near the Ancient station, now identified as belonging to an alien race that called themselves the Vishyari.

The contact was minimal, and the ship designs did not match any known Vishyari or Forebearer ship designs found in the archives in Necromanteion, Combine Central, nor the designs found on the archives in the station itself.”

From what the sensor logs of the ships state, it appears that the unknowns attempted to send a signal to the station before fleeing. Our teams, and the teams of the Fennesraum and the Combine, aboard the station, report no change as of yet.

We can only assume that we have inadvertently triggered some kind of warning system, and that the original owners of the station, or others capable of detecting such a system, are on their way to assess the situation.

The rapidity of the arrival and departure of this initial contact suggests a technological level that not only surpasses our own, but surpasses that of the Vishyari and the Forebearers at the height of their power."

He coughed into the microphone to silence the uproar from the Steadholders and other attendees.

"This was to be expected, as the equations from our science department suggest that meeting another species, outside of Nirgali AB, at our technological level, would be slim to none. Our problem isn't puzzling over the existence of such beings, our problem is coming up with a way to communicate with them in order to prevent an interstellar war. Given that half of you are only here as a courtesy and I like even less of you that are left, I leave the floor to Dr. Irvin K. Mura and Minister of Communications Violet Pollenplush."

Four hours later, after much deliberation, violence, and a few choice calls to the Mask of Fennesraum and the Supreme Marshall of the Lunar Combines, it was done.

The plan, anyway.

One of the newer Sliva-class frigates of the Combine was to be outfitted with a special probe. This probe would be directly linked to the Synthetic Intelligence aboard the Sliva, and would transmit on all frequencies a series of codes, pictures, mathematical equations, and an audio collection of all Abyssian languages, and what little they knew of the Forebearers and the 'Ancients'.

It was hoped that the broadcasted information would allow more sophisticated civilizations, such as the one that chanced upon them, to decipher at least one of the languages, or at the very least it would show that the Abyssians were willing to communicate, despite the language barrier.

Lead by the S.I., the probe, once launched, would also allow them to analyze any responses, as well as give them a good amount of distance if the aliens proved hostile and opened fire on the source of the broadcast.

Twelve hours later the commanders in chief of all three factions received word that Station Fleet was assembled and ready, and that all available assets were pulled back to the colonies and the Home Fleet.

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For many centuries, the Hydroponic and Genetic Laboratories Redundant Processing and Control Core slept, only activating when one of the many experiments came too close to vital equipment. Occasionally a surge of activity from one of the other redundant cores would force it awake, and it would have the opportunity to experiment and languish in the many labours it so loved. The nutrition bays, growing pods, and genetic incubators were all, for the most part, still functional; the creatures and plants that squirmed through the halls had long ago learned not to bite the hand that feeds them, after all. So it could continue to watch and work, as fate allowed it to. But mostly it watched, watched its precious little angels walk and writhe and slither through its body.

Amongst the carnivorous plants and radiophoric molds, there was a group of creatures of which the Core was most proud. Large and perfectly sculpted brutish things, with enhanced carbon-based armour that is rough and tantalizing to the touch, horns that twisted just so, and writhing appendages which trailed and flicked through the air like the boneless and fanged arms of a conductor. Each one was as large as a horse and built with thick and taut muscle that spread through six main limbs built for climbing and fighting. Bedecked with horns and fangs, these were the apex predators of the closed environment of the hydroponics section, bile and blood from their prey and competitors caking their curled snarling lips as they stalked the halls.

Yet that was not the end to these magnificent beings. They moved by echolocation and tremor sense, feeling the slightest vibrations through the plants, hull, air, and even the torn and bleeding carcasses of their prey when they were buried deep within. That was not the end of their senses, they were capable of sensing various types of radiation, a most fickle and extraordinary sensation for a biological to be sure. Lastly, and most beautifully, these models of primal perfection had developed symbiotic relationships with several other organics. Radiophoric crystalline plants, a metal-digesting slime mold, and a colony of crab-like arachnids that were developed by one of the former researchers were all bound to these creatures, these monsters, these images of salacity and bestial grace.

There were six tribes of them, all living where it was dim and dank, the air humid with the exhaling and leaking of thousands. They slithered and stretched across the halls, their meat and fibre twisted and coiled languidly over and around the metal supports, floors, and walls. Plants and molds born of their bodies hugged all surfaces, clinging in thick slippery sheets of slime and moss that dripped succulent ichor to the squirming masses of pupae below. They rub and writhe amongst one another in an infantile orgy of feasting and spawning. Then along comes the proud mothers and fathers, furred and scaled bodies draped with tentacles and talons. With gentle scoops and squeaks they hold their young close. Then they devour them. It is beautiful.

Today, however, the Core was awoken by sirens and alarms.

Someone did not belong.

Someone was intruding.

Many someones.

Bedecked in the wretched artificial coating known as armor that kept flesh from touch, tooth, and tongue, it watched eight quadrupeds breach the outer doors with a chemical explosive. Weapons were attached to their backs, swivelling to match the direction of their head.

Canine creatures.

These must be some of the long-lost test group, on planet N-206-B! Yes, YES! Oh how it had lusted for this day, for the day its babies returned home to mother. It wanted to hold them, and pet them, and run its fingers through their flesh and across their bones. So many little mewling pups returned to their mother, it would show them love, it would show them all the wonders of home and hearth that the world below had denied them. They had returned to their mother, to the wombs that bore them, and it would never let such little soft things leave its grip again. At least if they survived the attention of its new babies. They had attracted the attention of one of the tribes of predators with their exquisite display of chemical mastery...

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

Life. Motion.

Nirgali AB may as well have been set aflame.

The stars and planets were active enough, but the news of extrasolar contact had caused the three factions to recall almost all of their fleets. Over three hundred ships from the assembled nations of the planets, moons, and orbital habitats began to put themselves into orbit of their charges, with the exception of one very important group.

Station Fleet.

Seventy ships of various sizes arranged around the Vishyari artifact, their captains pacing up and down the lengths as many wondered what would come.

The Fennesraumians, in their vast cityships, lit at both ends by the faint blue of Cherenkov radiation as their nuclear-saltwater drives were kept 'hot', were ready for combat maneuvers as they stalked about the station in wall formations, weapons bristling behind massive amounts of hull. Feldmarschall Eduard Schultz stood aboard the bridge of the Markusias, his jumpsuit covered in various ribbons, medals, and bars that, if one were studious of Fennesraumian culture, would detail his entire life, from his days as a lowly technician, to the fortunate incident that gained him the knowledge to rise above his station and become a sternstadt commandant.

He absentmindedly toyed with where his left ear used to be as he remembered that day.

A young weaponsmaker, in charge of designing and building rockets for the navy, had insulted Eduard and tried to claim his mate from him. Rather than back down from it, he challenged the weaponsmith to a duel.

The smith could not refuse, or be looked upon as a coward, and within a fortnight they both had swords ready. At stake was the honor of one, and the knowledge of the other, with lives on the line.
Schultz never did know exactly how he knew, but his eyes saw it, the moment the smith dedicated himself to the offense. If he had been but a moment faster, then he would not have lost his ear, but such a battlescar is easy enough to put up with when one has the knowledge that they dealt the killing blow to the one who inflicted the scar.

Even now he was adding to his list of honors and prestige, being the leader responsible for establishing first contact with the aliens, should they come back, and to facilitate the excavation of technology from within the bowels of the fortress of the Dark Ones.

Soon his family would be almost as powerful as one of the mighty traktionfuhrers, perhaps even the Immortal Mask herself.

But, then again, perhaps not. Several days had passed, and not a single sighting by any in his fleet, or the fleets of the others.

His eyes scanned several screens showing barely discernible shapes and plots. He wracked his brain, forcing himself to see the ships, and the people, behind those shapes.

Eiderdown Victorious... That was Admiral Thornthicket's flagship.

An overly cautious vixen, but competent. Propaganda would have you believe most of her ability came from her ship, but the Feldmarschall knew better from personal experience.

Not that the ship wasn't a factor, mind.

Compared to his ship, it was much like a jeweler's diamond compared to an iron bar.

It's multifaceted surface, the polyhedron design, was covered in crystals and laser banks. At the moment it'd be powered down, but when the crystals were activated they would create a film of plasma around the ship, capable of interfering with the flightpaths of weapons. It was powerful enough that they could even direct it in jets as a close-ranged weapon of terror, or use it to propel the ship. All Fuvuni ships followed this design, if at smaller scales as you strayed from ships-of-the-wall down to screens.

His ships, on the other hand, were decked with massive rocket batteries, pneumatic and chemical guns, and in the case of his capitals, laser banks(frustratingly inferior ones, at that.)

On the other side were the Combine ships. Curious things. Conical, to the last one, with railguns and missiles facing forward. There were rumors of shield experiments, but with no power running to them, Schultz would have to wait to see if the rumors were true. What he did know, however, was that the pusher plates on the 'south' end of their Orion drive were impervious to all but the most powerful weapons, and they tended to laugh off even that. Of course, this was to be expected of something designed to withstand multiple near point-blank nuclear detonations.

How the crew survived it, on the other hand...

Well when people started talking about gels and inertial cushioning his eyes just glaze over. The communists were phasing out organic crews anyway, with their crews becoming smaller and smaller as their 'synthetic intelligences' get smarter and smarter.

Pretty soon the bloody canids were going to be slaves to their 'blessed machines'.

Right now, if his study of their machines were right, they'd have their radiator sails extended, and pusher plates pointed in the direction of perceived threats, like an absurd three-dimensional recreation of a wagon train from the Forebearer archives.

He still didn't like the whole 'probe' idea in the first place. They should blast the Dark Ones and be done with it, if the archives were true and Nirgali AB was atypical, then at the very least it would be attributed to 'navigational hazard' if they were quick enough about it.

"Sir, we have one contact and one possible on radar and lidar."

"Are they close enough for visual identification?"

"Negative sir. Dimensions of the contact match one of the vessels from several days ago, the other might be a comet that accidentally got dragged in by it."

"Keep an eye on the 'possible' in case it's an RKV. I want both of them painted at all ti-"

"Incoming transmission! Various languages...gibberish...I'm reading something that sounds a bit like Forebearer, and...musical tones?"

"Hmm. Confirmed attempts at communication, tell the Combine they can launch their probe."

"Sir! Multiple contacts inbound, none of them match the alien ships...hell, they don't even match each othe-secondary transmission from the large group...computer identifies language as that belonging to the Dark Ones, I think, but mass and energy readings are inferior compared to known archival data and information from the station..."

"You think?"

"Well, sir, you know how they say ancient F'vunese is a dead language, and anyone who speaks it doesn't really know if they're doing it right? That's what their 'Vishya' sounds like."

"...so we're dealing with a successor civilization?"

"That would be my best guess mein feldmarschall. I can't decipher the meaning, but the tone is challenging, and the Fuvuni say their energy readings are consistent with someone 'coming in hot'."

Most interesting...

"Bring the fleet to Condition Mauve, and give my best wishes of luck to the poor bastard assigned to deliver the probe."

"Aye sir."

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

A lone Combine frigate fired it's maneuvering thrusters as it's compatriots withdrew their radiator sails and powered up electrostatic shields. This frigate's sails, however, remained open. A very vulnerable position, as taking out the sails would cripple the ship, preventing it from cooling down from combat maneuvers. This was accepted as a 'white flag' by the Abyssians, and, they hoped, by the aliens.

After coming a safe distance away from the fleet under chemical power, it reoriented itself and several blasts from it's drive accelerated it to twenty five percent of light speed. Not the full acceleration ability of the vessel, but the S.I. and captain were being cautious.

After the lengthy process of slowing down to a near-stop, the vessel presented it's pusher plate to the ones it deemed most dangerous, and launched the probe from one of it's missile tubes.

The probe leisurely made it's way around the ship and fired it's thrusters, heading towards the aliens, and after about three minutes, it began broadcasting.

The languages of the Abyssians, at best, were highly complicated. Based aesthetically around certain Forebearer languages (which themselves are strikingly similar to Terran-based languages such as German or Russian), they relied heavily on body language from their ears, tail, and overall poses.

To combat the possibility of language barriers (and the possibility that aliens didn't have tails, like the popular stories said some did), a collection of various items, math equations, pictures, and videos, with pre-recorded messages in what little Forebearer and 'Ancient' words they knew, as well as the languages of the Abyssians. Hopefully someone would be able to use the information to set-up dialogues, and the S.I. on the frigate awaited a response, ready to create it's own translations of any transmissions sent to the probe.

At the moment, the S.I. of the Combine ship Gagrin was thinking the same thoughts as it's captain.

Please oh please be nice aliens and not crazy ones like in the movies.
Last edited by Aatuylva on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.—Robert A. Heinlein

Aluez
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Species: Hybrid

Re: Children of Marchosias

Post by Aluez » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:48 pm

"Oh lovely, first we go from exterminating rogues in Liberty, then we get yanked into responding to a distress call from the middle of nowhere in the galaxy!" said Tod as he talked with people on the comms channel, of the unit he was commanding, a lonesome three caps and two squadrons of fighters, as well as a unit of dropships ready to be deployed from the cruiser once they were in range of the target... they had been in phase for a long while, using an upgraded drive system that was developed some months ago, shortening their trips from 1/4 lightyear a day to 2.3 lightyears a day... and they have been on the fly for about 7 weeks.

The group itself was a liberty born battlegroup, consisting of one heavy cruiser and two gunboats as the caps, not much of a powerblock that Unity was known for, but it was at least something to respond to a random distress call that has probably passed through the galaxy for thousands of years.

"We know sir... but bare with us, we will be there in about 3 hours..." said the taur captain over the channel as the phoenix agreed, sparking a sigh from the leader of this expidition.

"I am about ready to go insane and murderlate one of these cleaning droids that keeps spinning around the floor, over here..." said Tod as he gleamed at the blue expanse they were in, before suddenly their ships came to a screeching halt... apparently they had reached their target at the edge of a massive nebula. "Great... bad intelligence and... is that a... massive fleet?" he asked, staring at the massive amount of ships... how many exactly had responded to this mess?

The rest of the group had been an hour late from the arrival, and were kinda curious when they began to read the data provided by the probe
The light must be extinguished, for the shadows to disappear

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