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OoC: Hey gamemaster, could use a little update on my side. I'm kinda lost here. What do I find at my node after the jump?

 
OoC: Hey gamemaster, could use a little update on my side. I'm kinda lost here. What do I find at my node after the jump?

You find much the same thing as HLD_Prophecy did at the other node.

https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95244.msg1879173#msg1879173
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
I just haven't been able to get into this like the rest of you have. Dekker, since you're still around and would have played if it was convenient for you, if you like, you can pick up where I left off and defend the Spooniverse.

Good luck with the game everyone, I'm glad it's proving enjoyable for the rest of you.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

  • HLP is my mistress
  • 213
  • Aken Tigh Dekker
    • My old squad sub-domain
I appreciate the gesture but I couldn't do it justice and if I said I could it would be a lie mate. 


Your friendly Orestes tactical controller
GO GO DEKKER RANGERSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
President of the Scooby Doo Model Appreciation Society
The only good Zod is a dead Zod
NEWGROUNDS COMEDY GOLD, UPDATED DAILY
http://badges.steamprofile.com/profile/default/steam/76561198011784807.png

 
I appreciate the gesture but I couldn't do it justice and if I said I could it would be a lie mate.

It doesn't really require that much commitment. Lots of the current players have gone weeks without posting.
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

  

Offline Colonol Dekker

  • HLP is my mistress
  • 213
  • Aken Tigh Dekker
    • My old squad sub-domain
I get that but I wouldn't be passionate about it and it would just end up forgotten.   
Your friendly Orestes tactical controller
GO GO DEKKER RANGERSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
President of the Scooby Doo Model Appreciation Society
The only good Zod is a dead Zod
NEWGROUNDS COMEDY GOLD, UPDATED DAILY
http://badges.steamprofile.com/profile/default/steam/76561198011784807.png

 

Offline crizza

  • 210
I appreciate the gesture but I couldn't do it justice and if I said I could it would be a lie mate.

It doesn't really require that much commitment. Lots of the current players have gone weeks without posting.
Given the fact that we are... three players :D
I have the problem of overthinking my posts. I was realy upset during the battle at the jump gate, but then I thought it wasn't such a big deal.
It is fanfic, I didn't loose that much, but it gives me great ideas for my own fanfic.
And I think about learning Blender... again, but I don't find tutorials in german for the current version :D

I'll post this week, most likely wednesday.
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 
I appreciate the gesture but I couldn't do it justice and if I said I could it would be a lie mate.

It doesn't really require that much commitment. Lots of the current players have gone weeks without posting.
Given the fact that we are... three players :D
I have the problem of overthinking my posts. I was realy upset during the battle at the jump gate, but then I thought it wasn't such a big deal.
It is fanfic, I didn't loose that much, but it gives me great ideas for my own fanfic.
And I think about learning Blender... again, but I don't find tutorials in german for the current version :D

I'll post this week, most likely wednesday.

Why were you upset?

These are the easy battles. These Shivans are pushovers compared to the Shivans you'll be facing eventually.
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 
- Aboard the Nightfly -

With eyes closed, fingers crossed, Fisher waited for the jump to end. He expected an exploding console, the engine going dark again, some vents opening for unknown reasons, but this time ... nothing happened. The Nightfly came back to normal space with the right speed, vector and energy reserves. Fisher lighted another cigarette and leant back.

"All systems green, we'er as close to the Beta Aquilae node as we can be.", Sally reported.

"Anything within our range?"

"Nothing fancy. A few smaller vessels, GTVA signatures. Good that Schulz gave us the IFF codes, so we don't have to explain everything over and over again every time we meet a GTVA vessel."

"Marcus, what's the energy core doing?"

"It went up to 69 % of maximum energy output, right now I can't squeeze out more juice. But it's stable, for now..."

"I'm scanning the node. Data indicates the same phenomenon we saw at the Sol node. This 'anomaly' seems to have killed this node, too... Oh wait! I can see something. The number of neutrinos being emitted from that thing is slowly rising. It looks like it's recovering. It is rapidly regaining stability and will be safely traversable in maybe 12 hours, if the recovery rate stays the same."

"Well finally some progress!" Fisher walked towards the other consoles. "Do we still have some of this old narn espionage probes in the cargo hold? I know they're slow as sh*t, but they're durable."

"Positive."

"Good, get one of them ready. The moment this node is stable enough, send it through. I wanna know what's on the other side."

"Understood, the rising activity within the node indicates that we can send the probe through within four hours."

Fisher smiled. "Good. Sally, you take it from here. I'll be in my quarters for the next three hours. As soon as the probe is ready to depart, tell me. And keep an eye out for unwanted visitors like the ones we saw before. All turrets, stay focused." And with these final words, Fisher moved towards the elevator.

 
-Phuur-Nan Expedition, Unknown System#2, Unknown Galaxy (Presumed)-

This time, the response came without hesitation. The cursor started moving and spitting out words the moment Raonaid's hands left the keyboard.

IT SEEMS THAT YOU DESIRE TO GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. VERY WELL THEN.

1. YOU BELIEVE YOURSELVES TO BE MERELY IN A DIFFERENT GALAXY, BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT YOU ARE IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT UNIVERSE FROM YOUR PLACE OF ORIGIN. THIS UNIVERSE IS ONE OF THE MANY THAT HAVE RECENTLY BECOME ACCESSIBLE DUE TO THE APPEARANCE OF SPACETIME DISTORTIONS SUCH AS THE ONE YOU PASSED THROUGH.

2. WE STUDY AND OBSERVE. WE TRADE AND MAKE DEALS. WE ACQUIRE TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE. THAT IS SUFFICIENT EXPLANATION FOR NOW.

3. WE DID NOT. THE MACHINES YOU FOLLOWED HERE ARE KNOWN LOCALLY AS THE COLONIZERS. WE ARE CURRENTLY STUDYING THEIR BEHAVIOR. YOU JUST HAPPENED TO ENTER OUR CURRENT SPHERE OF INFLUENCE WHILE WE WERE DOING SO.

4. IN ADDITION TO THE COLONIZERS, THIS UNIVERSE IS HOME TO A GREAT VARIETY OF TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED SOCIETIES. WE WOULD ASK THAT YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC IN YOUR REQUEST.


"Well, that clears up things. If the drones, or the Colonizers as they are called, are of a different party from the Mahasu Coalition, it explains why they still have to communicate with us even after the drones scanned us about a dozen times," Shaked said.

"More importantly, they say we are in a different universe altogether. How much do you think we can trust them?" Raonaid asked.

"If I saw this a year ago I would have said they have lost their minds," Shaked said, "but now? We should consider any possibility, I will pass this information to the science team and see what they make of it.... As soon as they are done throwing their tantrum, of course."

"If universe-crossing portals are popping up everywhere, there may be more back in our galaxy, too. Lieutenant, send the homeworld a heads-up, we may soon be dealing with things stranger than the Progenitors."

"Understood."

"So, they are the Bentusi type, or at least this is what they claim," Ferdi said. "If they are capable of messing with our systems remotely I am going to assume their tech is years ahead of us. A useful ally to have, a sticky enemy to make, just like the Bentusi."

"Let's give them the benefit of doubt for now, we'll hear what they have to offer before we decide," Raonaid said and continued typing.

Very well. What kind of deal would you like to negotiate?



 
It's been a month, is anyone still here?

Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 
(Sorry, I have had to deal with some ugly RL business lately.)

THE COLONIZERS ARE BEHAVING ATYPICALLY. THEIR STANDARD BEHAVIOR IS TO SPREAD AND MAKE USE OF ANY RESOURCES THEY FIND TO SELF-REPLICATE. HOWEVER, SHORTLY AFTER ENTERING YOUR HOME UNIVERSE, THEY HAVE BEEN CONDUCTING A LARGE SCALE RETREAT BACK THROUGH THE PORTAL.

THE COLONIZERS WILL USUALLY NOT HESITATE TO ENGAGE AND DESTROY ANYTHING OR ANYONE THAT ATTEMPTS TO IMPEDE THEIR PROGRESS. THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN KNOWN TO WITHDRAW LIKE THIS. SO FAR, WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE ON THEIR MOTIVES, BUT IT SEEMS AS IF THEY ARE FLEEING FROM SOMETHING. WE HOPE YOU COULD SHED LIGHT ON THIS BEHAVIOR.


"Well, I suppose we caught a lucky break, else we would never have made it this far," Ferdi said.

"Lucky indeed, I have to say," Shaked said. "Otherwise it would have been the perfect time to strike at the heart of the Hiigaran Control Zone. Add that to the Vaygr and we will probably lose the war, even with Sajuuk on our side."

"Well, I don't see what's wrong will telling them what we have now. Seeing that they probably have our entire database already," Raonaid said and continued typing.

I trust you already have access to what information we have in our systems, but here is a summary of what we know. Our first sign of Coloniser activity is their intrusion into a resource-rich system under our control. They were in the process of stripping it clean of resources at a rate never seen before by us. However, by the time we arrived, most of their drones had left, though they did leave behind half harvested asteroids, which suggests they were indeed retreating with haste. They have encountered ships belonging to the Vaygr, which are enemies to us, and destroyed them. According to the Vagyr debris we have salvaged, the Colonisers were acting in self-defence and retaliation. A Vaygr scouting element attacked and destroyed several mining drones without provocation before retreating to their main carrier, which was later swarmed and destroyed by larger Coloniser vessels. When we encountered the Colonisers ourselves, we were scanned intensely, but we were never attacked. We followed them to another system in our universe where they have stripped it clean of usable minerals and established large installations around the portal they use to enter our universe. We were unable to ascertain the purpose of these installations but we assume it is probably used to defend the portal, given the size of the facilities and the fleet that has been left behind on both sides of the portal to defend it. There is one more thing you may find interesting. The Colonisers were using Hyperspace travel when they were in our galaxy, but upon arriving here they used another mode of FTL travel. We are currently in the process of studying that FTL travel mechanism. So far we have been unable to ascertain its operating principles and without it we will be unable to follow them further.

"Wait a minute," Raonaid stopped typing. "If the Mahasu wasn't toying with us and we are really in another universe.... It's no stretch that the fundamental constants can be different from ours. Would our hyperspace drives even work here?"

"That's... a possibility I have never considered before," Shaked said.

"We ought to test that out. Tell the boys at the PDAs they've got a special order coming. I want a probe with a hyperspace module strapped to it. Do a really short range test jump with it once it's ready."
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 03:15:56 am by Autohummer »

 
It's been a month, is anyone still here?
OoC : still there, just the job and moving the place to live with the family is taking all of my time right now... Will have more time in a couple of days, I hope...

 
(Come on, stay alive, thread.)

INTERESTING. ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE PROVIDED, THESE 'VAYGR' DO NOT SEEM TO POSE ENOUGH OF A THREAT TO CAUSE THE COLONIZERS TO RETREAT LIKE THIS. IF YOU ARE WILLING, WE WILL REVEAL OUR VESSEL TO YOU AND ALLOW YOU TO ESCORT US BACK TO YOUR HOME UNIVERSE, SO THAT WE MAY FURTHER INVESTIGATE. WE ARE WILLING TO OFFER INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS SERVICE.

"Well, I don't see any harm letting them show their face, about time, too," Ferdi said.

"Same here, let's meet our guests," Raonaid said.

Very well. As per the traditions of Hiigaran space exploration, we would like to extend to you our goodwill and friendship, provided that it is reciprocated, of course. We will provide escort for your vessel through this portal and to our own universe.

As the crew waited for an reply, attention turned to their little experiment.

"What itches me more is with the hyperspacing. Is the drone ready?" Raonaid asked.

She was answered by a probe slowly trudging in front of the carrier, weighed down by its bulging nose, which housed the smallest hyperdrive unit available to the Hiigarans.

"Probe Golfer-1 ready. Hyperspace test will commence now, distance, 1000 metres," said the ATC officer. "In 3, 2, 1."

The usual blue window opened and swallowed the probe, but Raonaid could already see that the window opened, moved and closed much slower than usual. A full minute later, after a brief system check and attempts to reestablish contact with the probe, it finally appeared at its destination.

"That puts hyperspace speed in this universe at about 10% of ours," Shaked said.

"Remind me to get us some better FTL in the future. Old blue windows aren't cutting it," Raonaid said.

 
"Unidentified sensor contact, 2 klicks off our starboard," said the sensors officer. "You've got to see this, boss."



"Ominous," Shaked said as Ferdi nodded quietly.

"For a moment, I was expecting another Bentusi horseshoe," Ferdi said.

"Well, we can't exactly be suspicious of an alien race just because how their ship looks, that would be aesthetics discrimination," Raonaid joked, but deep down, even she wasn't so sure. Red, spiky, bad-guy ships have been a horribly overused cliche in modern fiction, but the ship sitting over there matched every criteria for evilness. Not even the Imperialist Taiidan's angular, yellow-red shapes could communicate such wrongness. Perhaps it was true that they are inhabitants of another universe or even dimension, where such geometry are the norm and sensible, modular ship designs are seen as abominations as frightening as the Beast.

"How did it get there?" Shaked asked.

"Unknown, it just... appeared," the sensors officer answered

"Some kind of advanced cloak, perhaps? Or maybe they've just been manipulating our sensors data," Ferdi said.

"It looks like a gunship-class vessel," Raonaid said.

"Negative, it's about 170 meters long, about the size of a frigate. It's moving our way."

"All right, all ships, escort formation, once our groups have merged, we will set course back home. Just in case I want half our strikecraft out there and the rest on standby. The frigates should be on alert, too. Keep an eye on our guest and let me know if anything strange happens. Finally, keep our emergency hyperspace charged and emergency escape coordinates ready."
« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 01:31:43 pm by Autohummer »

 

Offline HLD_Prophecy

  • PVD_Hope in a former life
  • 29
Any chance it would make sense for me to jump back in?  :)

I might like to get back into the storyline on my side of things, but with terser, plot/scope/strategy oriented posts rather than trying to write character development. Kinda like FS2 itself, now I think about it. That'd be more enjoyable.

 
Any chance it would make sense for me to jump back in?  :)

I might like to get back into the storyline on my side of things, but with terser, plot/scope/strategy oriented posts rather than trying to write character development. Kinda like FS2 itself, now I think about it. That'd be more enjoyable.

Of course. Just post an update on your faction and I'll continue the story.
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 
The Mahasu ship entered formation with the expedition and together, they set course to the portal. As the ships approached the portal, the Coloniser drones activated. In moments, the drones once again swarmed the fleet and began their now-familiar procedure of scanning every atom in the fleet in triplicate. Still, the Mahasu saw it fit to issue a rather redundant warning through text.

THIS IS STANDARD BEHAVIOR. DO NOT PROVOKE THEM.

"Won't dare imagining it," Raonaid said, even though she doubted if the Mahasu bothered to access their internal microphone systems to listen in.

After the requisite intensive scanning, the Coloniser drones decided that the Mahasu ship and its newfound escorts posed no threat and returned to their business. The fleet sailed on in silence, unaware of what was awaiting them on the other side....


-Phuur-Nan Expedition, Unknown System#1-

What everyone immediately noticed as they returned to their universe and galaxy was not what was there, but what was missing.

"Where are the megastructures? Navigation, check and confirm our current location," Raonaid said.

"On it.... We are at the other end of the portal, same location as we entered. Stellar drift shows we have arrived in approximately the same time as we first left, too."

"What?" Ferdi asked rather plainly, pointing at the sensors manager.

"We have been on the other for only 95 hours and the Colonisers were able to remove all this mass," Shaked said, furiously summoning data readouts and simulations from her console. "Dissembling the megastructures would have taken months with the number of drones we encountered. This means the megastructures must contain some form of propulsion of their own.... But why did we not encounter them if the megastructures did indeed transit through the portal...? Perhaps they are able to generate their own portals...?"

"No, not that, Lieutenant. What I am more interested to know are those," Ferdi said, still pointing at the sensors display.

Shaked looked back up at the sensors manager hologram. Before her was a 3D map of the sector, which was practically empty save the Phuur-Nan and the Mahasu ships, but what Ferdi was pointing at were one of the eleven sensor contacts across the system. Together, they made an incessant series of pings across the CIC until Shaked shut them off.

"These weren't there before..." Shaked said to herself as she targeted the sensors array at the closest one.

Out of nowhere, she felt an overwhelming fear, as if she had forgotten something important, as if she would soon lose everything, as if.... A second later, she remembered what it was. Cursing herself silently, she cautiously took off her headphone, but left it hanging around her neck just like what Ferdi did, in case of another sensors spike. She was not at all eager to make another visit to the medbay this soon.

"You all right, Lieutenant?" Ferdi asked.

Fortunately, despite Shaked's lack of precaution, this time, there was no sensors spike strong enough to burn through all the surge safeties. However, that gut feeling hadn't stopped. If anything, it got worse.

"Yes, sir. Commencing scan now...."

"This is PN Expedition Command to Acolyte, how is our guest doing?" Raonaid asked.

"This is Acolyte Leader, they aren't doing a thing. But what the hell are those, I wonder."

"Commander Eliphelet Manaan, you have to describe what you see better than the word 'those.'" Ferdi said, annoyed.

"No need to pick on me, pal. Those green things.... I count nine, ten, eleven of them."

"You mean those anomalies?" Raonaid said. "We have picked them up on the sensors as well. Shaked, do we have sensors telemetry?"

"Negative. Those anomalies are showing up on optical sensors, our pilots can see them with their eyes, but the moment we point our deep scanner at one, the telemetries are as if it was pointed at empty space," Shaked was about to tell her captain that she felt a very strong unease whenever she looked at the sensors, but she thought better of it.

"One part of me wants to fly close and take a look, the other part of me says it's a really, really bad idea," Eliphelet said. "Bad mojo. I've got a sinking feeling just looking at them, Boss."

"Noted, unless the Mahasu goes there, I won't order anyone near them before we know what those actually are."

"Thanks, Boss."

"No thanks necessary, I get your feeling too," Raonaid said. "Bridge to hangar, prep us eleven probes."

Afterwards, she began typing in the text file that was used to communicate with the Mahasu.

I assure you the Colonisers were here and those green anomalies were not present when we entered the portal. Do you, by any chance, have an idea what they are?

"As we wait for them to respond and the probes to build, let's find out as much as we can about the new anomalies," Raonaid said. "Shaked, what can you tell us about the anomalies? Just what you can get with the optics."

"Yes, Captain. Please look at this," Shaked pressed a few buttons and a sickly green mass took over the sensors manager. It was barely a sphere, constantly warping and writhing, as if it was an organic being. Colours flashed violently and the space around it twisted and turned with no rhyme or rhythm. The only other thing capable of distorting space like that would be a black hole. However, while the effects of a black hole are well-known and consistent, the anomalies' "behaviour," for lack of a better term, was completely unpredictable.

"This is one of the anomalies as seen through live telescope feed, it is of an intermediate size, at about 20,000 km in diameter, about that of a large rocky planet. However their size can vary considerably, from 600 meters to 60,000 km."

"In thirty years of sailing the stars I have never seen anything quite like this," Ferdi said. "How much power would it take to make a planet-sized thing boil like that...? Lieutenant, please stop zooming in, that is quite enough."

"I did not, sir."

"Then it's growing in size, too. I don't like the look of this, not one bit. Do they stop growing once they reach a certain size?"

"No, Commander. Their rate of growth seems completely random, the only thing I can gather is that they are growing faster every minute."

"How long will it take for them to fill the entire system?"

"Assuming current rate of growth increase.... 110 years."

"That's silly short."

"The closest one will reach our position in only 36 days' time."

"That's good to know, but we probably will be leaving soon...."

Before anyone could continue, the screen suddenly shut off, words began floating on the hologram screen, giving everyone a start.

WE UNDERSTAND NOW. THE OTHERS HAVE BEGUN TO MOVE, AND THIS UNIVERSE IS FORFEIT. WE REGRET CUTTING NEGOTIATION SHORT, BUT WE HOPE THIS WILL BE SUFFICIENT COMPENSATION FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. WE WILL MEET AGAIN IF YOU SURVIVE.

After that, the Mahasu hijacked the carrier's systems, opened a new file, and began inputting raw data. Binary and hexadecimals flew across the raw text files' pages for minutes until it suddenly stopped and the file auto-saved. Then, the file name, New Text File.tex was backspaced character by character and replaced with New Hyperdrive Specifications and Blueprints.pfd.

"Boss! The Mahasu ship's moving! It's heading.... It's heading the wrong way, it going straight back to the portal!" Eliphelet said.

"Let them go," Raonaid said.

"Aye, Boss. It just hyperspaced out. Never seen s hyperspace window move this fast."

Raonaid moved her mouse cursor over the file and double-clicked. It was a standard pfd file, detailing everything from hyperspace theory to high-resolution blueprints for what looked like a hyperdrive, presumably the one used by the Mahasu. Apart from going all-caps and some grammatical quirks, the entire thing was written in plain Hiigaran.

"Well, turns out the Mahasu has a melodramatic streak, just like the Bentusi," she joked and forced herself to chuckle. "I'll pass this to the hangar and lab boys and see what they can cook up. Meanwhile, helm, move us somewhere further from the closest green meanie."


**************************

-Two Days Later-

Shaked woke with a start. She wasn't entirely certain what made her woke with a start, but she was drenched in cold sweat. The clock told her she had just slept for half an hour. The adrenaline coursing through her veins denied her the opportunity to fall asleep again, so she decided to do what the others do and take a stroll.

Shaked found herself coming up against the bulkhead to the research facility, where the data was being kept. Yes, the data. The entire ship was talking about it. The data the probes gathered the day before. People were questioning the wisdom of keeping it on the ship. Suddenly, the entire carrier shook, the sound of groaning metal, the woosh of air leaking into space. There was a hull breach. The bulkhead flew open, throwing Shaked on the ground and pinning down her legs. A green slime-like glow burst through, by the time she opened her mouth to scream, it was already too late.


**************************

-15 hours after return into home universe, Phuur-Nan Expedition, Unknown System#1-

Shaked woke with a start. This time, she was certain she was actually awake, face planted on the floor next to her bed, and not in some disgusting tactical grape scenario. Damn those Manaani and their "art." At least the Taiidani rained Kharak-fire on the perpetrators and made them scrub the resource collectors for two weeks straight. The "bulkhead" pinning her down turned out to be her laptop. She opened it and saw the faces of her family on the desktop background. It was an old photo, but loving memories were the only keeping her going at times like these.

Shaked washed up and noticed she had a bloody nose, from falling out of bed, no doubt. She made a mental note to visit the medbay. Again. Damn it.

After returning from the portal and the Mahasu's panicked departure, the Phuur-Nan became much quieter. Someone went along the corridors and shut the blinders of every window that offered a direct view of a "green meanie," as the captain christened them. Instead of lightening the mood, the moniker convinced the crew that those things were living, malevolent monsters. This, added with the Mahasu's warning of universal destruction and their as-yet unchecked growth, made a lot of people worried. Even the usually well-humoured captain and her Somtaaw mining crew were hushing their voices when they talk, as if something was watching them.

Admittedly Shaked was feeling rather tired by the time her shift was on, but she was not able to fall asleep either. The probes were ready to be sent to the anomalies and it was up to her to liaise between the CIC and the science division.

"Ready, Lieutenant?" Ferdi asked.

"Yes, sir. Probes Golfer 1 through 11 away. First probe ETA 15 minutes."

One by one, the probes reach their destinations and began sending back telemetry data. Even with the science team's better computers, they couldn't detect anything worthy of note, even if the middle of the anomaly. Oddly, however, the bitrate began to noticeably fall after a few seconds' worth of transmissions and in a minute they were lagging almost unbearably. Shaked ran diagnostics but, apart from the inexplicable lag, all probes' systems were normal, or so it was claimed.

"Bridge to hangar, can you run a check on your probe templates? The last batch have had a malfunction here," Raonaid said.

"This is odd, everything checked out, passed all pre-launch tests."

"Should I pull the probes out?" Shaked asked. Just in case they were some kind of portal, the probes were programmed to only spend half their propellant getting in and would return to the carrier after 5 minutes or by manual command.

"Do it. Doesn't hurt trying," Raonaid said.

It took fifteen minutes for the probes to acknowledge their command input and five more for them to fire their drives. Out of curiosity and hoping to look for surface evidence of damage, the science team locked a telescope at a returning probe. The imagery was relayed to the CIC as well. What became immediately apparent was that the green matter that made up the anomaly adhered on the probe, covering in the same sickly green glow, translucent, writhing. Shaked could not help but remember sharply that dream she just had.

"Captain?" Shaked looked at her captain, asking, begging for the order to stop of self destruct the probes, anything to keep that thing from coming onboard.

"Stop them. Now."

"On it!" Shaked shouted and hit the halt command, but the signal lag meant that it took more than five minutes for them to receive the order.

"Captain, Golfer 7 won't stop in time!" Ferdi said.

"Recon, intercept and destroy Golfer 7, engage at maximum range only!" Raonaid said.

"Roger that!"

The entire bridge froze and stared intently as the sensors screen, where the rogue probe, now marked as hostile, rapidly approached the expedition. The flak frigates positioned themselves to physically block the probe if necessary and the interceptors readied themselves in case the scouts could not catch up in time.

"That crazy green smoke!" shouted one of the Recon pilots. "My systems are acting up!"

"Why am I shaking all of a sudden?!"

"Come on, come on! Daddy needs a bull's eye!"

"10 seconds to impact!" Shaked shouted, even though the probe was not set on a collision course, she felt it might as well be.

"Five!"

"Almost there!"

"Four!"

"My guns are jammed!"

"Flak frigate 1311 firing."

"Three!"

"And impact-"

At the very last moment, the probe snaked away and exploded in a green blast. One of the scouts or the flak must have hit the probe.

"Just to be safe, move us the hell out of here. Get those scout pilots a full decontamination and quarantine," Raonaid said, wiping off the sweat on her brows. "Whatever that is, I don't want it anywhere near our ship."

Shaked's station beeped. It was the science team.

"Bridge, this is the research module, can you hear me?"

"Loud and clear, what have you got?" Raonaid asked.

"Look at the other probes!"

The telescope locked on another intact probe. The green mass was engulfing it. Another one was in even worse shape and a mini anomaly had formed with the probe as the centre.

"Sajuuk help us," Shaked said.

"Clear us out, stat. Get us to the Oort cloud," Raonaid said. "Shaked, I'm afraid I'll have to overtime you for this, you'll need to send a full report and send it to the homeworld. Give them the new hyperdrive blueprints, too. I am giving you access to all data, if the boffins here couldn't figure it out, send it back home and have them put the entire Kiith S'jet to work if they had to. We don't have enough resources to refit our ships, but it may help the people back home with the Vaygr.... If they are still fighting the Vaygr."


**************************

-Two days after return into home universe, Phuur-Nan Expedition, Unknown System#1-

The last few days had been nightmarish. Somehow, Shaked knew it was just the beginning. And somehow, she found herself standing before the bulkhead leading to the research facility. This time, she had her sidearm in hand. Whagainst t would have against that green stuff is doubtful, but bringing it along made her feel safer. She swiped her ID card against the card reader the the bulkhead opened smoothly. She thought the scientists were working their computers and consoles, but presently they were all hunched around a half-dissembled supercomputer.

"Are you the tech we called?" asked one of the whitecoats.

"No. I am Lieutenant Shaked Jaraci, Intelligence Officer. I am here for the report."

"I'm afraid there is no report, young lass, not until we get this bloody thing working again."

"What's the matter?"

"The computer slowed down. Don't tell us it's bad sectors, we've already run disc-check. Don't tell us to try defraging it. Solid state drives don't need defragmentation, who the hell uses mechanical hard drives these days?"

"The computer slowed down?" Shaked repeated. This was eerily similar to what happened to the probes. Then there was her dream, it felt so vivid now. "Have you tried another computer?" she asked.

"The other computer outright stopped responding after we plugged the telemetry in. Worked normal after we took away the hard drive, so it must be a hard drive issue."

Suddenly, Shaked felt that same dread again, this time, so overwhelming that she nearly collapsed.

"The drives! They are inside the drives!" she shouted hysterically. It all made sense now. The data, the thing resides in the data, she must stop this. This was why the other probes seeded new anomalies but not Golfer 7, which entire electronic system was destroyed. "Take the data, drives, UDB sticks, notes, everything you have put that data in! Take them now and destroy them!"

"You can't be joking-"

Shaked pulled out her gun.

"Easy! Look, the telemetry data was saved in only one hard drive, the one we have here, I'll go pull it out, there is no need to shoot!" said the scientist, who walked slowly over to the computer....

And pushed an emergency distress button.

"Security! Security!" he shouted over the blaring sirens.

Shaked was running out of time. Rushing to the computer, she pulled out the hard drive. It felt as if her hands were simultaneously numb and burning. Throwing it onto the ground, she took aim and fired her entire magazine into the hard drive until it was nothing more than a pile of scrap. Shaked could see a faint green wisp drifting out of the drive before fading. Not a moment too soon, she found herself on the wrong end of a dozen 5mm calibre kinetic rifles. Relieved that an imminent threat had been neutralised, she put her hands up and let herself be taken to the brig.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 03:54:20 pm by Autohummer »

 

Offline HLD_Prophecy

  • PVD_Hope in a former life
  • 29
Hi guys, I'm quite sorry, I made a mistake in making my earlier post. I am not able to rejoin the game quite at this time. Sorry for the confusion, I'd like to get back into this but am not quite able to. My above post was made in haste.

 
I think it's okay, just update when you are able. Also, out of boredom, here is a screenshot of what the Phuur-Nan fleet looks like after my previous entry.