Hidden 7 mos ago Post by ClocktowerEchos
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Captain Sabal was taken aback to say the least with the rather bombastic if not hostile greeting from the other ship that the translators of the ship's AI worked ferverously to turn into something that Sabal could understand. Quickly returning to composure, he cleared his throat and began to explain:

"I am Captain Sabal Rehel of the TAL Void Halation of the Third Aztrovan Lineage. I must assume that given your tone of voice that you must have met our progenitors, the Mon'hali. We are nether here to avenge or to escape; the Mon'hali have ascended long ago and we are their creation just as they were once the creation of another race. I, as is the rest of my crew, are Ivrah, we are not a race of warriors and generals such as the Mon'hali. We are but thinkers and researchers looking for clues and technology which will allow us to create our own race and ascend one day as well.

As such, our peaceful research and survey vessel has come to this system in search of an outpost that the Mon'hali once had used as a staging point to see if we can recover anything from them. We known that our creators were war-like and violent, but you must understand that when they were created, the galaxy was very different and they were from a different place which forced them to war and that they did not wish the same of us. I can only hope for peace as we both continue on our respective missions... um... I do not think I recognize your people, my apologizes."

It took the Captain a second to realize he might have said a bit too much, but he swallowed hard and prayed that he didn't give away anything to critical to the mission. Otherwise he would get a mouthful from command and a lot of paperwork to do at best, something he would rather not do.
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Palamon
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“MY LORD! MY LORD!” The ensign was as most ensigns are, small, skinny and filled with a little too much enthusiasm. His cries carried throughout Lord Maelon’s chambers, disturbing the beautiful silence.

“I SWEAR ON ALL THE GODS IF THIS ISN’T AN EMERGENCY I’LL HAVE YOU DRAWN AND QUARTERED!” The abruptly awakened Lord boomed as he threw open the door.

“Your Lordship, we’re dropping out of warp. We’re going to be right on top of the signal!” The ensign stammered, the words falling out of his mouth. “Knight-Commander Kennick has asked for you on the bridge.”

The Lord smiled, his bathrobe falling open.

—————————————

“Shields up, red alert.” Lord Maelon commanded as he strode onto the bridge, his crisp blue and gold uniform freshly pressed. “Commander Kennick, ready your squadron. As soon as we drop out of warp I want them flying in a defensive diamond around the New Dawn. Have the marines standing by with their boarding craft. Have we any idea if they are Human or sub?”

“Not yet, sir. And it is already done. The ship and crew stand ready.”

“Excellent.” Lord Maleon responded flatly as he took his seat in the command chair. “Lieutenant Hackitt, give us the countdown till the drop.”

“In ten” the young officer called from his place at the propulsion console, “nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Dropping out of warp.”

“Sir, we are picking up ship signatures from a number of small vessels!” Lieutenant-Commander Tadik called from the comms console. “Bio-signatures detected! Sir, they may be human!”

“Hmm,” Lord Maelon’s fingers rapped against the gold and ivory armrests of the command chair. “Scan for weapon signatures on all detected vessels. I want to know if they are any military vessels present. When you do that, I want you to lock weapons on the largest and most heavily armed. If they are not human then they will be made to understand their sub-human nature before we depart… You have all that Mister Kennick?”

“Aye, M’lord.” The Knight Commander said before barking orders to the various department heads on the bridge.

While the New Dawn was a large and sophisticated exploration ship, it was not a warship. It was equipped with various weapons systems, however these were only meant as defensive measures. House Maelon's naval doctrine leaned more heavily on fighter craft and boarding parties than on offensive weapons capabilities. On-board the ship was complement of Knights who had been knighted by their Lord personally, and they would fly the New Dawn's fighters or lead marine boarding parties. They were ready to fight and die for their Lord, no matter what.

“Lieutenant-Commander Tadik, prepare to send out a broadcast to anyone in the area.” Lord Maelon said, rising to his feet.

“On your word M’Lord.”

Lord Maelon stood, his feet together, hands folded folded behind his back, upright, and puffing his chest out ever so slightly as to bring attention to all the bits, baubles, trophies, and ribbons that decorated his uniform.

“Hello, I am Lord Danton Maelon, head of the House of Maelon of the Ederian Sovereignty. I come as an appointed ambassador of the Sovereign and noble council of Edyr. We come peacefully, and only as fellow galactic citizens. Please, if it is at all possible, contact us. We will leave this channel open. I repeat…”

@Dragonruby
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by MissingAxis
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Amenmesh was silent for some time. The path he led them along was different from how they entered, and as they went further down the corridors, the change in architecture and materials became noticeable. It was more modern and simplistic, metal bulkheads replacing the carved stone walls of the other hallways. The Lord ushered the diplomats into a room and sealed the door before answering. The room was dimly lit, but as Amenmesh spoke, he stepped toward an illuminated control panel and began activating sets of lights until the room was totally visible.

"It means deathmatch."

With the lights on, the Terrans could see they were standing in some kind of armory, with racks of weapons lining the walls, and a few armor stands placed in the center.

"Zisuthra and I planned for him to rule the Assembly. Megalu was to nominate Zisuthra as well, solidifying the Steadfast's lead. It seems the Heretic decided to make the situation more interesting, and his vote persuaded Megalu to nominate me."

Amenmesh walked over to the wall on his right, running a bare finger -- the tail end of a worm in his hand -- along the items there. A hefty warhammer, a wicked looking sword.

"If Ugar's priest had not cast her vote for me, it would be Ugar and Zisuthra fighting. It seems the priest, though angering the Old One, has saved his life. Zisuthra would never have picked me if Ugar and I had tied. Zisuthra must think I have betrayed him."

The Lord stepped over to an empty armor stand, peeling off pieces of his environmental hardsuit. Compared to a warrior's armor, the hardsuit was thin, though still fairly hefty. It was comprised of plates linked by synthetic polymers, with thin hoses running under the surface. It was by no means intended for combat. Diplomatic missions, friendly meetings, and ruin surveying were the environments it was designed for.

With his arm bare, the Terrans could see parts of the metal endoskeleton that supported Amenmesh's body. The worms ran up and down its length, a twitching mass that looked like thick muscle fibers. With eyes and mouths. Here and there, nodes protruded up between the worms, especially around the joints of the skeleton. They were attachment points, where a new metal skin could become part of the Ophisian's body.

Amenmesh set the exosuit's gauntlet plates down and grabbed a fistful of armor plates to replace it. It took a few moments, but when he was done, Amenmesh had a forearm nearly twice as thick as before.

"It is too late now. Zisuthra will not be holding back. I do not know how much of him I will have to kill to him to yield, but I know how much of me he will attempt to kill. I can not afford to die today, not even a small death."

With his new arm, Amenmesh stepped back to the weapon rack and grabbed the warhammer. He held it out in front of the Terrans, crouching slightly. Then, he pointed at a pair of indents in the hammerhead, one on either side.

"These are for the fuel tanks."

---

Fully armored, Amenmesh led the Terrans back through the halls. There were quarters prepared for the diplomats. The room was large, but the furnishings had been made with the size of the Terrans in mind. Still, the beds and chairs were a little larger than they may have expected even for lavish furnishings.

"The switch on the wall there will lower a privacy divider across the center of the room, from one corner to the opposite. I do not know if your people make use of such things, but it has been included. Stand clear as it lowers. I do not think it will kill you, but it will be painful. I hope these controls can be understood; we configured it with your script, but we have left the functions simple as a precaution. They will adjust the atmosphere in this room and the attached bathhouse to be more appropriate for your kind. We have noticed you breathe less oxygen then our people, and your trace elements differ significantly. One switch to bring it to your comfort levels, another is to be pressed a thousand seconds before you open the main door. You will find a similar panel in the bath-house, to adjust the water temperature and depth. We do not know how buoyant you Terrans are, or how long you can be submerged in the water. If you wish to breathe more oxygen for recreational purposes, there is an option for that as well. Be cautious. I do not want to explain two dead diplomats to my brothers or to yours."

The Lord paused to give the Terrans a moment to understand.

"No matter the outcome tomorrow, your people will be held in the same regard as before. Zisuthra and I have the same plans for you. We want to form a... I do not know what word you will hear it as... A brotherhood. A union. A Congregation of Lords, with Terrans and the Ouroboros side by side. Should I fall tomorrow and be rendered incapable for some time, this offer will still be made to your people by Zisuthra. I do hope our two kinds can work together some day. Yours and mine would make an effective warhost, I believe."

Amenmesh gave the Terrans a brief blessing, which they likely understood only a word or two of, and then excused himself to meditate.

* * * * * *
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@ClocktowerEchos

:: THEN YOU COME SEEKING YOUR MASTER'S ARSENAL. TELL ME, WHERE HAVE THEY GONE TO DIE? ::

/𝑹𝑨𝑫𝑰𝑨𝑵𝑻 𝑺𝑻𝑶𝑹𝑴 𝑨𝑪𝑪𝑼𝑺𝑬𝑺 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑾𝑰𝑪𝑲𝑬𝑫/ brings its weapons to bear. It is not a warship, but carries a sufficient arsenal to defend itself. Several gimbaled coilguns are mounted on each flank, and half a dozen missile tubes accompany them on each side. The guns have sufficient power to damage or even disable systems if they strike true, but they were never intended to significantly penetrate armor except with sustained fire. The missiles are similar, their warheads designed to focus their nuclear discharge into a single cone pointed forward, for the precise application of God's judgement. /𝑹𝑨𝑫𝑰𝑨𝑵𝑻 𝑺𝑻𝑶𝑹𝑴 𝑨𝑪𝑪𝑼𝑺𝑬𝑺 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑾𝑰𝑪𝑲𝑬𝑫/ maneuvers to shorten the gap between the two parties, approaching at an angle to keep the xeno vessel within its firing arcs.

:: YOU CLAIM TO BE PACIFISTS, BUT ARE YOURSELVES PART OF YOUR MASTER'S LEGACY. GOD FROWNS UPON YOUR EXISTENCE. IS THERE NOT A LINGERING MALICE IN YOUR BLOOD, INHERITED FROM YOUR PROGENITORS? IF NOT, WHY SEEK YOUR INHERITANCE HERE? ::

NEXT >>>
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by ClocktowerEchos
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By the Aztrovans these aliens were hostile to no end it seems and more than just the captain was stunned in either shock or anger. The air grew hotter with rage but the very nature of the Ivrah prevent any flare ups beyond some cursing and rude huffing. Worry however soon began to grow as the bridge crew realized that the maneuver the other ship was taking was one that could only symbolize preparation for a broadside bombardment. The "Void Halation" like all other TAL ships of this era weren't designed for fighting one-on-one if for fighting at all; there was little chance of the frigate winning out in a straight up slug fest if any.

Despite this, High Captain Sabal didn't turn his ship to face the enemy's broadside. There was no point, doing so would only bring an additional pair of primarily anti-astroid guns to bear on the other ship and increase their targetable size plus escalate hostilities. Ordering that an emergency warp jump back to the Void Anchor be plotted, Sabal clutched his fist tightly and kept composure, sending another transmission to the very aggressive fleet.

"We do not know what our creators did to you but we can only assume war and for which we are sorry. However, we cannot correct or fix the actions of our creators no matter how hard we may try for we did not do them; is it fair to punish the innocent child of a guilty father for actions his father did? I must stress that we do not seek violence or conflict, only progress and technology, relics of an age past to further our own understanding of the universe.

We have not come here to find their arsenal of weaponry but merely their technology as a whole and as the Aztrovan Progenitors as our witness, we will not say. This is a part of our fate and faith and I doubt that either one of us could convince the other that they are wrong even if we have proof that our creators exist and have for millions of years. We search the relics of the past of the Mon'hali as they have told us that this is a place hold value in our cause to advance and ascend as the Mon'hali did for they did not die out but liberated themselves of this realm to join their fathers and grandfathers and the Aztrovans themselves in the worlds beyond this one."

@MissingAxis
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Dragonruby
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Dragonruby Putting the Stranger in Stranger Danger

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There's a long moment of silence after the door slides shut. Noah walked up to the panel that Amenmesh had indicated at earlier, and fiddled with the controls to change the atmosphere in the room. “Well... That was certainly something today...” He says finally, as the cycling air fills the room with a quiet hiss.

Erling gives a sigh back in response, unsure of what else to say. “I suppose so... Feudal politics, and we get a front row seat.”

“A duel to decide who is crowned king... Seems almost like a storybook, don't you think?”

Erling retorted with a snort. “A duel that involves jet powered hammers. Not exactly something that's usually found in most storybooks. None I've read anyways.”

Noah steps away from the console and towards the beds provided for them, pulling off the helmet of his environment suit as it tells him that the air has become breathable. “You just haven't been reading the right books then,” he replies with a joking smile before letting himself sit down. Another moment of silence passes. “So... What do you make of all this?”

Erling, who had walked off to investigate a nearby chair and desk, turned and quirked a brow back at Noah, having taken off his helmet as well. “The diplomat is asking me what I think of foreign politics?”

“Admirals are all basically politicians now anyways, so yes, I am.” Noah retorts with a roll of his eyes.

“Alright, alright... I'll give you that... You don't get to a flag rank without playing politics of some kind, and that's before the Admirality was formed...” Erling leans up against the desk and crosses his arms, tilting his head down in thought. “In regards to the whole duel... I suppose I'm sorry Amenmesh's plans didn't go as he wanted them too. It's perhaps a little too early to call him a friend, he's certainly been a very important figure in establishing diplomatic relations, and he's been more than a kind host. I'd hope he succeeds for the sake of continued relations, even if Zisuthra would do similarly...” A sigh slips past his lips now, and he turns his head up towards the ceiling. “As for this... Union, as he called it... I believe it'd be met fairly favorably by the Admirality. It'd certainly be better war, even if the hawks might disagree with it. They're too caught up in this idea of 'human supremacy'... You'd almost think that they believe that the stars were here to be handed to them on a silver platter. Luckily they're a small minority, so, not too much to worry about on that end.”

Noah tilts his head slightly. “You don't think we'd be able to win a war against the Ophisians? I mean... I don't particularly want one either, but... They have less numbers than us, less resources. They don't seem all that advanced technology-wise either, from what I've seen.”

“It's not that I don't think we wouldn't be able to win... It's more that I don't know...” Erling scratches his chin and goes on to continue in response to another inquisitive look from Noah. “If it ever truly came to blows for whatever reason, I do believe that, in the end, we'd come out on top, but we'd lose a hell of a lot in the process. The Ophisians... They've been at this for a long time. Countless generations of fighting so hard, they nuke themselves back a century of progress. They know what they're doing. Meanwhile, Terran doctrine is... Untested. They're based off old records and texts, most of which were corrupted or damaged. The civil war helped to iron out some of the kinks, but rebels and rioters aren't much of an opposing force to test ourselves against, doubly so when they were using the same unproven doctrines as we were. For all we know, ancient human strategies only worked because of a distinct technological advantage that we no longer have, and we're simply throwing ourselves to the wolves doing what we do.” Erling shrugged. “Too many unknowns.”

Noah simply nodded along silently as he listened, absorbing what Erling said. Finally he rolled his shoulders and yawned. “Well... Either way... I suppose there isn't anything we can really do but watch what happens next.”

Erling gave a grunt in agreement. “That's what we were brought here to do, anyways...”
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Durandal
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Eight ships shuffled through the void of space, separated by dozens of kilometers. Seven of them formed a rough sphere around the eighth that resided in the center of the formation. Pitch black so as to hide visually, the only warning were the red lights running along the lines of the ships to ensure that no unfortunate accidents happened with close visual maneuvering. Radio signals beamed briefly between the group, constantly communicating on its findings in the area. Nothing out of place. Thrusters burned along the bottom of all eight ships, sending them travelling off towards the local star. The bustle of interplanetary traffic continued below without a care.

Dozens of large vessels, some measuring in at almost a kilometer and a half length, seemed swarmed by hundreds of lesser crafts, ranging from personal to shuttles to modest cargo ships of five hundred meters. Various military vessels, some similar to the group which had left previously, patrolled through the lanes with full illumination, large white lights and radar reflectors signifying their presence to the civilian vessels. Although much smaller than the largest of their unarmed cousins, these "Hunter Ships" as they were often called had a much sleeker, predatory look. At the end of one of the flows was a large ring-shaped structure, measuring almost three kilometers in diameter. Two of the large cargo ships and a cruise liner formed up in front of the station alongside dozens of the smaller craft before disappearing in a flash of light, propelled by the Fall-Through Rings to a significant portion of light-speed.

Down on the planet Ullum, Alir watched through a telescope as the Ring activated. A simple flash and gone. He remembered the disaster of Maz. A large chunk of that moon had fallen several dozens miles from where he was, dust choking the entire city. In the following year, thousands of ships and millions of people were part of a concerted effort to repair some of the damage caused. Nothing could replace the dead. Official numbers had been in the tens of thousands. It seemed low for such a catastrophe. Scrunching his eyes, he shook away the memories, unwilling to dwell upon them. Those scars did not go away easily.

Turning away, he spoke in the airy, whistle-like language of the natives of Ullum, much rarer than the rougher derivative that had taken hold in most of the Calaerin Union. A shame, truly. "Pol, contact the Luminary of Space Projects - Advanced Research Agency. Tell her that testing for the Gellar Project is nearing readiness. Thank you." He heard his secretary move off, her hooves clacking against the marble floors of Alir's office. A simple flick of his head brought up the integrated computer, the image displaying directly into Alir's vision. He moved past the SPAR Luminary's contact to the Luminary of Outer Defenses. A good soldier. The image on the profile hid most of the mqah's various medals, but no one would need the medals to identify him after the final combat actions of the Varuzh War.

"Monitor, record and send message to the Luminary of Outer Defenses. Tell him that Gellar will begin testing soon. Star-Strider Initiative operations can now safely commence." After a brief moment of encryption, the data was beamed into orbit and caught by a probe. Unhooking from the attending stealth satellite, it disappeared in a blink, heading off towards Gillad. If all went according to plan...

Alir tucked away the medal of the Luminary of the Union. Soon he would wear it.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by MissingAxis
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:: LOOK UPON THE BURNING WORLD BELOW. IF THIS IS THE LEGACY YOU SEEK, WE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU. ::

The turrets of the /𝑹𝑨𝑫𝑰𝑨𝑵𝑻 𝑺𝑻𝑶𝑹𝑴 𝑨𝑪𝑪𝑼𝑺𝑬𝑺 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑾𝑰𝑪𝑲𝑬𝑫/ swiveled about, acquiring firing solutions on the xeno craft.

:: YOU WILL FIND ONLY DEATH ON THAT WORLD, AND MANY INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH ON ITS MOON. EVEN A PACIFIST KNOWS WE CAN NOT ALLOW THE POTENTIAL RECOVERY OF THOSE INSTRUMENTS, WHATEVER TOOLS OF PEACE MAY BE BURIED WITH THEM. ::

Met-Um's bluff seemed to be paying off, or the xeno was under-equipped for its size. The cathedral could not blockade a true warship, lacking the mobility to pursue it on a rendezvous course to the moon's relic site, and lacking the firepower to cripple one before it passed by. Its capabilities were sufficient for warding off boarding parties or fighting off a warship looking to take the cathedral's cargo intact, but little more.

:: IF YOU TRULY SEEK AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE, WE CAN EXPLAIN IT SIMPLY ENOUGH FOR A MIND NAIVE AS YOURS. SURVIVAL IS THE PRIMARY REQUIREMENT OF CIVILIZATION. SURVIVAL OF YOUR SPECIES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SURVIVAL OF OTHER SPECIES. THESE RULES ARE UNIVERSAL, AND THEREFORE YOU MUST KILL OR BE KILLED. XENOS ARE A THREAT. EVEN ALLIES ARE THREATS THAT MUST BE REMOVED. ::

The large ring structure mounted around the cathedral-vessel begins to emit bursts of radiation as it activates. The cathedral is preparing to leave realspace.

:: WE ARE FAR FROM HOME, AND CAN ONLY ASSUME YOU MUST BE AS WELL. BUT WE KNOW NOW THAT THE MON'HALI'S CHILDREN ARE OUT THERE. WHETHER YOUR CLAIM OF PACIFISM IS TRUE OR NOT, WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THE WORST. SCAVENGE AS YOU PLEASE. SHORE UP YOUR DEFENSES, OR HIDE YOURSELVES ACROSS A THOUSAND ROCKS. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. WHEN THE OUROBOROS DISCOVERS A THREAT, WE REMOVE IT. ::

A salvo of missiles is fired, but not at the xeno. The missiles begin a slow burn toward the moon, saving their fuel for the final approach to the surface. The Ouroboros knows of one relic site on the moon. Met-Um hopes it is the only one.

:: WE WILL LEAVE YOU NOW, BUT HEED OUR WORDS. THE UNIVERSE IS NOT A SAFE PLACE. ::

The faerie ring is nearly charged. In no more than ten minutes, the cathedral will disappear, leaving only the cluster of missiles in their wake.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by ClocktowerEchos
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Tension of both rage and worry were increasing aboard the Void Halation, it was now very clear that whoever these people were had very little good will towards the Ivrah. High Captain Sabal however, refused to give up without a proper (oral) fight and also refused to shoot knowing well aware of what kind of conflict could occur due to it. But all of that changed when they saw missiles fired. Panic erupted on the bridge.

"We have ordinance launched, repeat ordinance launched. They appear to be some missile-torpedo!"
"Attempting to preform evasive actions, cogitators are computing the trajectories."
"WAIT! They aren't coming for us! It seems they're aimed at... the moon!"

"Protect the site!" Sabal roared. Thought his anger, his mind became clear and he decided that he was going to gamble with this. It was reckless and honestly foolish, but the relic must be protected at all costs, even if they weren't the ones to recover it. He sent out a ship wide alarm, voice booming through corridors:

{ATTENTION ALL CREW. PLEASE RETURN TO OPERATIONAL STATIONS IMMEDIATELY.}
{I REPEAT, RETURN TO STATIONS NOW. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.}


"All powers to shields and thrusters, now." Sabal ordered the ship forward, towards the moon, right in the path of the missiles, "We are to protect the relics at all costs! They are the works of our creator-fathers and we cannot let them destroy it! Dsiang Galhamwa comrades!"

@MissingAxis
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by FlightofIcarus
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He eyed the rows of books, tracing the edges of the book case with deft fingers. The man then stopped, and backed up two books back. "Hm, this one is new isn't it?" he asked in his usual deep baritone. He pulled out the thick tome, quickly flipping through pages. "'The Eraehni War, by Halek Dryfuss', I heard this one was good," he commented. "Please don't go through my things, Vic, you always do this," another man says from behind the desk. "And you sound like a broken record, friend," the first man says with a chuckle. He shut the book and slid it back into place where he found it. "Mm, Admiral Trnka, First Lord of the Admirality, never would've thought I'd see the day."

"What is it? I'm a very busy man now days; and I don't think you came here for small talk," Trnka replies. The man turns his attention to Trnka fully. "Yes, you're right. You've seen the reports from Daran right? The one about the unusual thermal readings a few parsecs out?" he asks. Trnka nods, "Yes, I have. And you want to check them out?" Videric, or 'Vic' nods, "Uh-huh. You understand as well as I do the implications of this. We can't be caught on the backfoot here." Trnka looked skeptical, "True, but I don't want to show our hand so soon. We need to shore up our defenses."

"Against what? We don't even know what's out there. And besides, you know the council won't act on anything less than concrete evidence," Vic scoffs. Trnka nodded, "I thought of that, the chance that whatever threats that may be are so unexpected that our defenses are unsuited to fight it." Vic interjected, "And that's why we need to gather intel." Trnka looked up from his terminal, "Okay, you've made your case. I didn't factor in the council in my initial assessment. I was thinking purely military. But who do we send?"

Vic grinned, "I'm glad you asked. He produced a folder from his uniform jacket and placed it on the desk. You've been following Daria Varskaan, yes?" Trnka opened the folder, "Branko's girl? Yes, she made Lieutenant Commander right." He looked at her personell record in the folder, "High marks, adaptable, shows ability to act defensively and offensively depending on the situation..." Vic nodded, "Yes. I propose promoting her and sending her out in courier ship with a light escort." Trnka closed the folder, "Alright do it."
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by MissingAxis
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The guidance systems aboard the nuclear missiles are heavy, but not particularly intelligent. They've been programmed with the sequence of maneuvers required to impact the target site, but have no brains or awareness beyond that. The missiles carry comparatively little in the way of re-mass, and so their maneuvers must be fairly efficient. Still, despite the lack of haste in their approach, the missiles have much higher acceleration than a starship, and the lead they've gained is significant.

The cathedral watches on as the xeno ship maneuvers to give chase. Aboard it, Met-Um's many heads grin, but only for a minute. Perhaps it was wrong to foul the mission of proclaimed pacifists, but the children of sinners are indeed touched by sin in Ouroboros culture. Such is the value placed on blood. Met-Um wondered if the cathedral would make the jump back to civilization before or after the missiles hit. A report from her navigator answered the question.

The cathedral disappears from realspace.

The xeno vessel would be able to close the gap on the missiles, assuming they had a competent and decisive helmsman. However, the string of maneuvers the missiles must perform as they near the target site has shorter and shorter pauses as time goes on. Closing the distance is a matter of intelligent piloting, but intercepting the missiles between maneuvers is a matter of precision guesswork. And the closer the missiles get to the target, the more dangerous the maneuvers for the xenos become. If the missiles reach their kill-burn, the pursuit vessel may not have enough time to avoid impacting near or in the site themselves, assuming they survive the blast.

Met-Um was disappointed she wouldn't be able to see the results for weeks, maybe months. It could almost be said to be a matter entirely in God's hands, with an equal chance of failure and success.
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Nansei System, Imperial Destroyer Mikazuki

(@Dragonruby)
"Captain, ma'am! Get up! This is urgent!"

The captain chuckled, not a surprising reaction considering there wasn't exactly much that one might expect to be urgent in the universe anymore. Not since the subjugation of the human colonies. Really, the most exciting thing that ever happened was an argument over whether or not to fund an expedition. As such, the captain-a small-time noble who owned nothing more than a couple asteroids-didn't actually think much of it.

"Well we've gotten awfully familiar, haven't we Alexander? What is it this time? Did somebody go and break the coffee maker? Did you have a nightmare and want me to tuck you in like your mommy? Are you too disgusted to empty out the cat's litter box? Be sure to answer carefully, because only one of those is worth waking me up for."

"Dammit captain, this isn't the time for joking around! Get your jumpsuit on. No, wait, make it the dress uniform! Oh fuck it, put something on! They can't see you in a nightgown?"

"Who's 'they'? Is there an inspection or something? Because if there is then we're totally fucked since we're not even supposed to have a cat on this ship."

"Get dressed captain! An unidentified ship just showed up in the system and they sent a message! Flyer Abdul sent a message to the rest of the system informing them that you, as Daimyo of the nearest celestial body and captain of the nearest ship, would make contact. Daimyo Kipposhi has his personal star forces standing by to step in if it goes wrong, so the whole system is watching!"

The captain's eyes quickly widened as she jumped out of her bed.

"Oh fuck!" She said, running over to her closet and almost tripping on the way. One would think that someone with the best quarters would keep better care of them, but there were various things all over the floor. "Have they made any moves yet? Can we translate their language? How powerful do they look?"

"Slow down, captain!" Said Alexander, just before turning around. He and the captain were close, close as a human and Hoshijin could be really, but that wasn't that close. Were he not an honorary Hoshijin, he wouldn't have been allowed to even enter the room in the first place. "I know the language, it's human. The speaker said that he's an ambassador who comes in peace, but the ship is pretty big. Big enough to be a battleship, I'd say. No obvious weapons, but it could always be a carrier. After all, my people know well that the word peace doesn't mean anything if the person using it finds out they have the bigger stick."

"Well in that case have the CIWS ready. Don't power up the railgun though, we need to appear non-threatening for now."

"Already done, I thought you would want that. Are you ready yet?"

"As well as I can be on short notice. We'll meet Flyer Abdul in the comms suite, both you and him are going to speak as well. You're honorary Hoshijin so you have the right, and you represent distinct parts of the empire. I want them to understand that the Empire is more than my people."

"If you didn't talk like that you could own a couple cities instead of a couple mining outposts."

"I prefer to talk like that and prefer my mining outposts, thank you."

The two double-timed it to the comms suite, which was fairly close thanks to the destroyer's size. The captain herself could hear the fans in the computer core through the walls of her own room, something she found calming. Alexander couldn't imagine sleeping like that.

"Flyer!" Said the captain as she entered the room. "Is the channel still open?"

"Yes ma'am, they're still broadcasting. Are you ready to respond?"

"Damn right I am. Open up on our side, video and all. And come stand with us, I don't want them being surprised if they land and see people that don't look like me. I'd rather not have them assume that you're a subservient species."

"I mean... we are." Said Abdul.

"Yeah and you know that I know that you think it's bullshit and you also know that I think it's bullshit too."

"This is why you don't own a couple ci-"

"I already heard it from Alexander. Open the link. Alexander you do the talking, you're the one that knows the language."

Abdul shut up-he wasn't the kind who often did that-and opened the link before moving into range of the room's video camera. Luckily for the captain, the message had repeated itself already. She wouldn't cause an interstellar faux pas. Hopefully.

"Uh... hello m'Lord. This is Alexander Moreau, representing Lady Ukon of the Fujiwara clan. She is to my left. To her left is Flyer Ahmed Abdul, our communications officer. The Empire extends it's greetings to your Sovereignty and the Fujiwara clan extends the same to House Maelon. It is an honor to make contact with you, m'Lord."

"Tell him that we wish to meet if possible." Said the captain in Hoshijin. "Not with Kipposhi though, with me. The last thing we need is Kipposhi the fool making a first contact. He'd bring Lasis the cripple Daimyo along with him too, and we all know how she is in a formal setting. At least I can hide my oddities. I'd rather not have one of them start a war by some fluke."

"Lady Ukon wishes to meet you in person if such a thing is possible, m'Lord. Though she also wishes that said hypothetical meeting take place on either our ship or yours, so as to avoid the complications natural in dealing with owners of other fiefs while in their territory on on their vessels. I'm sure that you, a Lord yourself, understand how such things can cause problems."

The captain bowed. Not even a simple greeting bow, but a full-on formal knees-touching-the-ground bow like the one a person would give when being granted a title or being put under a command. There was nothing saying one couldn't do such a thing to a foreigner, but to actually choose to do it was something else entirely.

And to think she calls the other Daimyo of this system oddballs.

"May your life be free from evil." She said. Alexander wasn't entirely sure whether or not it was meant to be a sign of goodwill or a reminder not to kill her if there was a meeting, but he translated it all the same and gave a small, more conventional bow himself.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by ClocktowerEchos
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ClocktowerEchos Professionally Asian

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Sabal sighed a breath of relief as the other ship disappeared into the void. While not his predicted outcome, his gamble had worked in the end. Ideally the other ship would have tried to shoot down their own torpedoes or offer some sort of apology, but that might have been too optimistic for whatever those were. Clearly some people held grudges that could not be sated with anything less than blood, the myopic barbarians. Collectively, the bridge was still in panic mode, but after explaining his plan, they found comfort in knowing what Sabal had planned even if they doubted his exact actions.

"Have all point-defense batteries open up; targets are basically fast moving astroids." Sabal ordered to his crew, "Continue on current path however. Should one of the torpedoes get through, we'll have to use the ship and her shields to take the blow. I think that our shields should be able to take it at any rate."

The void lit up with fire from the point defense batteries to began to snipe the rockets at a distance. Once they got closer, they changed to more shotgun-like burst shells and managed to destroy them all. Cheers rang out in the ship once the torpedoes were confirmed to be eliminated. Sabal himself smiled as he got up from his commander chair, "Mission successful people, prepare excavation and survey teams for both the site and to recover anything that might be left of the missiles. Also, tell High Command I want at least one more ship here for protection and that I want to know everything of these people are, cross reference the language as a beginning. Seems like our first encounter hasn't been as friendly as we had hoped."

@MissingAxis
Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by FlightofIcarus
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Daria absentmindedly read some news article on her tablet device. She could hear the soft murmurs of casual conversation and the steady hum of the shuttle's engines. It was a modest sub-orbital jumper craft used to take people from the transition stations in low orbit to the larger stations higher up. She was on her way Gundersieg station, named after Admiral Gundersieg, a Mesenthian admiral from the age of sail. It was the space force headquarters currently. Daria had been summoned there by Admiral Videric 'Vic' Morowitz.

She wondered why an Admiral would be summoning her of all people. She was just a junior officer who commanded a corvette. Oh well, an Admiral was an Admiral, she had to come. Regardless... her leave was over, even if Morowitz didn't want to see her, she still had to report in. Still, it was fun to visit the family estate for awhile.

The intercom crackled to life, "This is your pilot speaking, we are coming in to dock with Gundersieg. All passengers make sure you're buckled in."

Daria felt the shuttle lurch as it oriented itself with the dock.She heard the thrusters thumping as they used short bursts to make minute ajustments. Then there was a metallic clang as the shuttle made contact with the station.

The intercom came back, "Your pilot again, we've sucessfully docked. Passengers are free to move about the cabin."

There was a series of clicks and rustling of clothing as people unfastened their belts. Daria did the same and pushed off from her seat. She floated up to the luggage loft above, grabbing one of the hand holds for stability. She grabbed her bag and her meagre belongings she had brought. There was a strict weight limit so she had to be careful what she brought. She got in line with everyone at the lock. They went in by fours and had to wait for the airlock to cycle for each group. There were only three groups so it didn't take that long. Some of the people were military like her, but others seemed to be civilian contractors.
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