The lights are on
A writing group where everyone writes in the same world(s). Anyone's welcome to join!
The signup/discussion thread can be found here...
Captain Eorlund stared out of the front window of the bridge of his ship, and sipped his coffee. Well, it wasn't technically a window, it was more of a viewscreen, but at this point, it was semantics. For seventy years now the Congress had kept the peace in the Galaxy, thanks in no small part to the Security Council, of which the Coalition was a member. Still, Eorlund felt that it was best for these regular security checks in the Galaxy. Kept the civilians feeling safe and possible revolutionaries in line.
His assistant refilled his coffee as the ship kept going along, chugged through the silent void by it's ion drives. Soon, the system check of the solar area would be done, and he could go back into hyperspace in preparation for the next one. A cushy assignment, but a nice one after the terror of the Second Intergalactic War. He shook his head, remembering the one assignment he had seen in the war. Shanxi was still only mentioned in hushed tones for good reason.
The console next to him began beeping furiously, as he spared a second of attention upon it. He did a double take. LADAR was showing something that shouldn't be there."Unidentified ship of make and model identified" it pinged out again in it's nasally tone. He stood up, the staff around him now in a panic. First contact scenarios were always dreadfully boring in Eorlund's opinion. Lots of ceremonies, awards, and waiting for translators to work. He pressed anpther button on the console, a microphone turning on.
He began to speak, his gravelly tones projecting over the darkness of space, into the unknown ship. "Unidentified vessel, this is the the CBS Spirit of Chaos,of the Coalition of Allied Humanity, please identify yourself. If this is a first contact scenario, welcome to the larger galaxy."
Iapetus had not expected this. When high command had ordered his Dreadnought, Crucius Imperator, to join four other Minoan ships and five Palantar vessels in what was described as a "joint reconnaissance mission," he had struggled to control his disbelief.
Working with the Palantar? Those slippery buggers couldn't be trusted. Especially not if high command was correct. Another inhabitable galaxy within reach of their ships? Impossible. But when the technicians had finished installing the slip-drives, and the uneasy fleet made its first jump...
He should not have questioned high command. They knew things he did not, had plans he did not understand, nor wish to understand. An old saying, "Not theirs to question why..." It was truth. His orders were to slowly search this new galaxy, searching for inhabitable planets, alien technology, even new xenos species to fight.
For two days, they had traveled at sublight speeds from the dark outer rim of this new galaxy towards its heart, where planets and stars would be more frequent.
And now, today, they had found signs of life. Not just life--intelligent life! A species that might put up a decent fight. A species that might reforge their shattered nation into a cohesive whole once more, as he suspected was the purpose of this mission. A distraction from their own internecine warfare might be all that was needed.
This new vessel, slightly smaller than his own, sent out a signal, a gibberish that Iapetus guessed was some sort of threat, or welcome. He pointed at the nearest subordinate. "You! What is the status of that xenos vessel? What do the scans say about it?"
While his subordinate recited what little information the sensors could gather, Iapetus composed himself. The Crucius Imperator was in excellent condition. He had conducted a weapons drill this morning. In a moment, he would send a signal to the other vessels in the joint exploratory fleet. Within hours, they would be alongside him.
But at the moment... He straightened his stance--chairs were an unnecessary luxury--and barked out a set of orders. "You, broadcast this message on all frequencies: 'This is the Minoan Dreadnought Crucius Imperator. Prepare for destruction.' You, scrambled message to the other ships in the exploratory fleet reporting this xenos encounter, the sector, and any other relevant information. You, increase power to shields, decrease power to engines. And you, firing solutions. NOW!"
(ASIDE: Most of the mid-to-large size ships have rudimentary shields.)
The Tylor Empire is currently embroiled in its own war, but as a gesture of good faith, sends a small shipment of medical supplies to both the CAP and Minoans. The shipment intended for the Palantar was unfortunately raided by pirates, will all hands lost.
Oh, I assumed first contact had already occurred.
Nope. We're doing it as it happens, right now. So basically it's roleplay. A bit DnD, except we're writing everything.
Well, ignore my prior post.
The Tylor Empire remains within its bordera, dealing with its own war.
The transmission filled the bridge, radiating through the hull. The rest of the room was silent, stuck in place. For the first time, many of them would be going to war, the very thing they had prepared for these long years. Eorlund began to grin. "Transmission to unknown alien vessel, continue as follows; cease and desist, or we will turn your ships into slag before you can count to three. Captain Eorlund out."
He turned to his dumbstruck staff, and broke out into the widest grin he'd had in months. "Ensign Ripely, get us a max range on those cannons, they don't look like MAC's. Ensign Chekhov, get us out of the firing lines of those guns for the time being. Commander Tigh, power up our spinal gun, load auxiliary cannons, I want this destroyer living out it's namesake. AND SOMEONE GET ME MY FRAKKING COFFEE!" he barked out, as the bridge returned to the chaos it had been in before. He returned to his seat, and began to imagine the plan in his head. He grinned even wider, taking another sip from his cup. This was the most fun he'd had in years. One of his men chimed in, saying that the spinal gun was fully powered. Eorlund shook his head. First contact battles were always a slaughter.
(How did you understand us? Just curious... And max range? Doesn't stuff travel "infinitely" in space once it's shot, maintaining constant velocity? Because all my guns are projectile weapons. EDIT: I checked, and they'd have a pretty long range. Because there's little in space besides a bit of oxygen and solar winds to interfere, their range would be pretty crazy.)
Another transmission from the xenos ship. Iapetus ignored it. On the monitors, he could see the alien vessel begin to manouever out of the line of Crucius Imperator's guns. He smiled--breaking deck protocol--and barked another order. "Fire!"
As the Crucius Imperator's main guns began to launch shell after shell at the xenos vessel, Iapetus felt the deck shudder. A technician shouted. "We've been hit, sir! Shields are down, seemingly from a single shot of their guns! Few more shots like that and we're finished!"
(I'm assuming since these are projectile weapons, they have a max cutoff range. If the shot were to keep going forever, they'd eventually hit somewhere populated or another ship. As for the translatoers, we're Space UN that's been in charge of first contact protocol, we'd need good translators by necessity.)
The destroyer flipped through the void, shells flying around them. A few were caught on the shields of the ship, before floating off into space. Engineers inside the ship scurried through the insides, getting the last drop of energy though the ship's engines. The bridge was no less hectic, firing solutions being prepared and shield strength being monitored. An ensign screamed out "Shields at 92 percent, sir!"
Eorlund turned, advising the navigation VI, before turning to his assistant. "Kipling, prepared a marine team, I want to know what's piloting that ship! Commander Tigh," he said, turning yet again, "Fire one shot of our auxilliary guns into their highest powered spot. I want their engines and guns down NOW!" he finished, emphasizing the final word. He turned to his new coffee, taking a sip. He started to regret not springing for that swivel chair at Omicron XIII.
The ship turned once more, one of it's smaller guns flashing for a millisecond, magnetism forcing the shell through the barrel so quickly it ignited the trace gases around it. The shot flew towards the other ship, spinning with no resistance through the void. The ship's targeting VI had implanted a copy of itself inside the shell, guiding it. There was no way this hot could miss...
(Oh, if we're gonna play it THAT way. :D )
The xenos vessel seemed to be dodging the Crucius Imperator's guns. Impossible! This was one of the Minoan fleet's newest ships. Everything was top-of-the-line.
Well, if those xenos scum wanted to play that way...
"All non-engine power to the prow guns! Get the forward shield back online! Engines, I want ramming speed! Smash us into that filthy alien ship! Boarding teams assemble at the borer! We're taking the fight to their blasted vessel!"
With a lurch that nearly took Iapetus off his feet, the Crucius Imperator churned forward. All around Iapetus, crew members were donning their vacuum masks. Iapetus did the same. The mask locked into his deck uniform, and he grimaced as the first breath of stale air hissed through.
Another sudden impact. Over bridge comms, Iapetus heard a subordinate. "Sir, we've taken a hit at the decoy power source!"
Iapetus blessed that decoy. Something all the recon ships had been fitted with. The trick would only work once, but once would be enough. They were seconds away from the xenos vessel now. Iapetus rolled the last-resort trigger in his hands.
If this did not go well...
(I hope you realize my ship's toying with yours...)
Eorlund stood up, before everyone on the brdge screamed damn near the same phrase over and over. He sat down, putting on the saftey harness that the chair provided. Ok, maybe the swivel chair wouldn't be helpful right now. He silenced the room, screaming.
"BRACE FOR IMPACT, ALL DECKS!"
He turned to his console as those around him strapped themselves in, as hopefully the engineers below decks were. He reopened the ship's PA system, saying "All Marines, armor up and get to decks 11-54, section 2! Hit their troops as they board!" He pulled out his own sidearm, before issuing one last command.
"Commander, fire one salvo from three of our guns into the frakkers. I want to make them regret this."
Even as the troops poured out of the borer, into the enemy ship, even as the xenos guns pounded the Crucius Imperator, Iapetus knew they had failed. He turned to the data-scribe and nodded. "Send it."
The gabbled reports from engineering that reported breaches and failures in the ship overlapped with the screams and gunfire he heard over the boarding crew's comms. He laughed. These would be worthy foes indeed. His ship was crippled, about to die. But the Crucius Imperator was only one ship. Every day, the shipyards churned out new vessels. Every day new soldiers, new starsailors were born. What was the loss of one ship, one crew, when they could be replaced one of ten thousand, no, one hundred thousand others?
"Launch it! Launch it!"
As the payload missile blasted down the barrel that the borer had become, he triggered the last-resort. If the payload of nukes didn't kill the xenos scum, the virulent diseases and nanoviruses certainly would.
He felt the wave of heat. And then Captain Iapetus Dextrus was gone.
Eorlund fired his pistol into the head of the foe, the alien's head quickly becoming pulp. He saw the rest of his bridge staff doing the same. Oxygen was leaking fast, and he knew the aliens had a backup somehow. He turned, fired at an alien firing upon Commander Tigh.
"TIGH! SEND A MASER TO THE NEAREST HUBWORLD! TELL THEM WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED HOSTILES!"
He fired his gun again, thinking while doing so. They could never make it into FTL with another ship practically docked. So he made the only logical choice. Send out a beacon and send the *** with him into hell. He pressed the self-destruct on the ship's fusion core as Tigh told him the message had been sent.
A wave of light flashed in front of him. And then Captain Jonathan Eorlund was gone.
The two explosions made the depths of space grow as hot and bright as the center of a star, if only for a millisecond. The ships crumpled, their hulls unable to take the stress of trillitons of pressure and heat. Plastisteel and Ceramite melted, and zero degrees Kelvin became a million. A second passed. Space grew cold again. No evidence was left to explain there has been a battle, save two transmissions, headed in opposite directions.
(Next post inbound shortly.)
Jason Joegenhiem tapped the microphone, coughing. The Congress stood before him, all 765 members, all of different races and nations. the full session had just finished roll call, and the other twelve members of the Security Council stood around him, prepared to make similar speeches. The Council had just finished meeting, now was the time to get the rest of the Galaxy on board.
"Ladies, Gentlemen, Both, Friends, Foes, fellow Congress Members, I come to you today on a solemn occasion. As of 0500.67 Central Human Time, on July 16th 2678, EarthDate, a peacekeeping ship from this very Congress, the Spirit of Chaos, of my own nation, was attacked by an unknown force. This force contained a single ship with very primitive shields, even using gunpowder weaponry, not Mass Accelerators or Gravity Punctuators. However, it managed to ram the Spirit, setting off a Hypernuclear Device, killing everyone on board."
He gazed around the courtroom. The air was deathly still, no one daring to talk. This was unprecedented. The last Intergalactic War had been devastating, and no race had been to war since. Jason was reminded of the ancient Earth war, World War One. No one had wanted to go to war afterwards, and yet had been on the brink of the last of the great planetary wars. He wondered, but for a millisecond, whether there would be a repeat of history. His neural uplink showed him the next paragraph, and he continued.
"If all these forces were so weak, we could overwhelm them in a month. However, their message to their command requested 'A hundred thousand or more fleets' So, we shall need support! We can drive these invaders out! For if we don't they shall overwhelm us! We must take this fight, to these foes! We will go to where they live, and show them the same aggression they showed us! We, the Security Council of the Congress of Allied Species, declare war on these aliens! May they taste the wrath of our guns!"
He was lying, of course, about the other message. But even if the rest of the galaxy wasn't ready to fight, they could make ships and guns. The crowd broke out in thunderous applause, and Jason grinned. It was a good day for the Coalition.
The two generals and their respective advisors listened to the message for a third time, then a fourth. Again and again, a voice, near panic but still struggling for calm, repeated a message: "Intelligent xenos discovered. Advanced weapons and technology of unknown types. Combat potential is high. Expected resistance also high. Final evaluation: These buggers might be an actual challenge."
As the message began to repeat again, the generals both began to smile, then laugh. It wasn't the defiant breach of protocol before death, it was the promise of a fight. A new fight, that might distract their troops from killing one another long enough for this entirely pointless war to be ended.
War was meant to be fought for territory, to eliminate xenos, for fun. Not over some perceived slight that no one alive could remember.
Slowly, the two men stood, stretched out their hands, and shook.
It would be difficult, convincing their factions to work together. But the payoff: new technology, new resources, new planets to inhabit, new fights to fight. The payoff would be worth it.