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 A Matter of Time

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Dragonruby



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PostSubject: A Matter of Time   Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:34 pm

Taurus Star System
New Washington


New Washington was a rather barren dust ball of a planet, and a bit on the small side. It was the third planet from the red sun of Taurus, and it contained a very centralized population of approximately a million and a half people. The largest city, New Washington’s initial colony, of New Washington, was the planet’s namesake, the tradition of naming planets after the first colony set up starting when Terrans first set up a base on New London. On the surface, the city of New Washington was a large dome, equipped with an Electromagnetic Barrier, and point-defense guns to defend against the occasional meteor storm. New Washington was set up next to a massive mineral deposit discovered during initial scans of the planet, and it did not take long for the city to grow too large for the dome, so they expanded downwards. Now, an elaborate series of tunnels lie underneath New Washington, and contains the majority of the population, with the rich living topside, and the poor and middleclass living below. While New Washington was the largest city, it was not the only one. Several similar, but smaller, domes dot the barren planet as well, the majority of them set up near mineral deposits like New Washington, but a few instead make a living by draining water from glaciers, both above and below the ground, and focus on hydroponics, shipping water and food to the other cities.

In orbit of New Washington were several defensive satellites, among the other ones used for communication, that were found on almost all colonized planets, along with several refueling stations for the garrison of eleven military ships. They would patrol and police the system, ensuring that pirates would not raid incoming and outbound freighters, and kept the peace up above.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:24 pm

To an outsider, Vathari civilization would seem mostly static, as a glacier. Inching forward, slowly developing and growing denser over time. In a way, this was true, worlds started small and grew by themselves, depending on developed worlds only for a few starships and an orbital tether or two. But on the large scale, the Vathari would all at once leap forward, colonizing many worlds in the span of a century or less, then return to the same pattern of building up instead of out.

However with the destruction of Orisial and Risthun, there were now many millions without a homeworld. An exception was granted to the standard colonization schedule for these refugees. Using stellar spectroscopy viable stars were located, and telescopic observation further narrowed the search down to an ideal system, with three planets of roughly standard mass*

Six months after the bombardment of Risthun, and seven after the destruction of Orisial, the first wave of colony ships appeared through a fold in space-time at the edge of the system, burning their engines to intercept the gravity well of the second planet, midway along its elliptical orbit. These dozens of massive ships in turn held tens of thousands of hopeful individuals, hopeful to return to life as it was before, or at least as close as they could get to normalcy.

*Standard mass for Vathari planetary observation is the planetary mass of Vathar, which is about 99% of Earth's.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:44 am

Rear Admiral Alicia Runde was the lady in command of the New Washington Garrison fleet. When she had been given her position, she had expected something a little more glorious than defending a backwater colony. Quite honestly, she had hoped to join one of the carrier fleets, though someone had to do the things other people didn't want, she thought to herself. All in all, today was wrapping up to be a rather average day. A few freighters showed up, and a couple of ships had been sent to escort them, and once they reached orbit, they were docked and searched to make sure they weren't carrying any contraband. A few sensor blips were detected, but were written off as phantoms after some double checking, and sitting behind her desk on board one of the defense stations, Rear Admiral Runde was busy filling out the last pieces of paperwork for today.

That is, until Lieutenant Jordan came screaming into her office about massive unknown contacts near Taurus II. Bringing up the data from the station’s bridge up onto her computer, she confirmed that Jordan was not, in fact, spouting bullshit, as she had previously thought. This was most definitely something that required her attention, and so headed directly for the bridge, after telling Jordan to shut up and go do whatever it was he was supposed to do before someone ordered him to bring her the news.

Marching into a large hexagon shaped room, she noted that the place was in a bit of a panic, and Captain Bartholomew seemed to have frozen up, standing stock still in the center, where a raised platform was, that allowed a commanding officer to see all around the room. The man never was any good when pressured, but he was damn good with paperwork though. Really the only reason Runde had kept him around.

Marching up to the raised platform, Runde yelled out “Everyone, calm down, and someone give me a report on the situation!” Of course, she already knew the situation, or most of it anyways, having already checked from her personal computer. She had really only asked to get them to focus, and in case something had happened during the four-or-so minute walk from her office to the bridge. Considering that nothing had exploded yet, she assumed that nothing had changed, and considering that everyone had running around like a bunch of headless chickens, and Bartholomew had snapped out of his little panic attack to give Runde a report, her idea seemed to have worked.

“Rear Admiral Runde, ma’am!” Bartholomew cried, turning to her and saluting. “We have tens of large unknown contacts near Taurus II. We estimate them to be around eight to nine kilometers in length. They popped out of nowhere, and they’re moving as a group!”

She waved dismissively at him, her way of telling ‘at ease’, as she looked out one of the large windows that lined the walls of the bridge, staring at the planet below. “Are they moving towards us?” Runde asked.
“Either us, or Taurus II, the way the planets are lined up right now, it’s a bit hard to tell.”

Runde scratched her chin for a moment before nodding. “Alright, order all ships that are out on patrol back to base, now. I want them here as quick as they can. Keep an eye on them, I want a constant report on their location, and tell the other defense stations to warm up their engines. I want every military ship and facility in this system to be on full alert!”

“Yes, ma’am!” Bartholomew replied, as he, and the bridge crew, went to work on delivering her orders.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:12 pm

Thirty-six points of light floated in the darkness, flaring for a few minutes, and dying back down. The final set of intercept maneuvers complete, the fleet relaxed, another six lights appearing in a diamond around it, smaller than the rest.
These new points were small corvettes, fast and agile, fitted with long-range scanners. They lacked much capability for orbital maneuver, however, and so had stayed attached to their carriers. Now the fleet would have to coast for several days before its orbit would line up with the target, allowing an efficient and smooth warp jump, and ample time to scan what would hopefully be their new home system.

"Fleet Leader, this is Aradial* Recon. Detecting radio emissions from the third planet, suggest scanning telescopes on observer ship monitor planet in detail, signals indicate complexity expected of space-capable worlds. Will forward all data to Fleet Home for analysis."

*Bridge of ICF-C Yrridian, Call-sign 'Fleet Leader'*

In its heyday the Yrridian was the pride of Orisial's mining fleet. At five miles in length, three wide and two tall, it was one of the largest ships of its kind ever built. Optimally it had a crew of two hundred thousand, but it could be run by a skeleton crew of as little as four thousand. As a command and control ship it was already a prime choice for a fleet flagship, and its fabrication centers made it ideal for the colony set up fleet. It was also one of the few larger ships from Orisial that had been far and away from the world, and thus avoided being scarred by the massive radiation burst that destroyed or severely damaged many ships in low orbit, and hindered thousands more in the higher orbits.
Now the massive mining control ship had been designated the Command ship of the Initial Colony setup Fleet, or ICF-C, and given the proper call sign. On board it contained the committee that made up the combined provisional government for the planned colony, assembled out of the surviving members of Orisial's and Risthun's governing bodies. Currently, they were engaged in a debate of what to do about the data reported by the recon corvettes.

"The risks of settling an inhabited system are too great. We must turn the fleet around at once."
"Counselor Gorrasid it is entirely possible to coexist with other life forms, provided we have achieved peaceful contact. Did you not read the reports from Crathon?"
"This very fleet is proof that 'peaceful contact' is unlikely, Governor Illias. Or should I say Former Governor? I did notice that your sector had one of the lowest survival rates, and yet, here you are, the Governor of almost none."
"You would dare accuse me of abandoning my people, Wrassus? You, the one who survived Orisial's destruction because you were on yet another pleasure cruise around a nearby neutron star? Even now, you seek to prolong our suffering by cancelling the mission in its entirety, despite the fact that the other fleets have already launched! Shame on you, Counselor."
The Counselor's response was drowned out by the various statements from our members of the committee, each trying to take sides or add in their take on the situation. The moderator soon brought back order among the committee by transmitting a pulse of high-energy radio waves, perceived by the Vathari in a manner a human would perceive a loud sound.
"Gorrasid, you will cease from questioning the integrity of your fellows, especially given that Illias aided her people during the crisis, and as mentioned, you were not even informed of the destruction of Orisial until it was much too late. Furthermore, the Governor's point about the other fleets is worth mention. Much effort has gone into synchronizing the waves correctly, and it would be lost were we to abort immediately and be forced to solve the logistics tasks again. Additionally, this system has been under telescopic surveillance for hundreds of years and no signals were detected within the margins required to mark it as inhabited, and so I find it unlikely that the civilization present on the third world is significantly developed. This committee will remain in session to discuss plans for contact scenarios. Fleet Home and Fleet Support have been notified and are gathering together researchers and minds to work out the details."


((*The corvettes are at points which are prograde, retrograde, normal, anormal (anti-normal), radial and aradial (radial out) to the orbital motion of the fleet))
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Dragonruby



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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:03 pm

Runde drummed her fingers against the railing that lined the command platform. "Ma'am," Bartholomew said, "all patrols have returned. They're arranging to face the unknown contacts now."

"And what about our guests?"

"Still on the same heading, though we've detected an increased amount of radio chatter."

Runde stopped her drumming. "Send a radio message to them."

Bartholomew looked at her, confused. "What do we send? I doubt that they'll understand what we say."

"Just ask them to identify themselves. We need to see if they're intelligent. If they respond, we'll at least know they can respond to us."

Bartholomew nodded. "Understood."
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:47 am

*Command Sector of ICF-C Yrridian, Call-sign 'Fleet Leader'*

"Admiral on deck!" The First Officer's announcement sounded throughout the spacious command room as Admiral Tratyr walked into the room, her utilitarian combat chassis contrasting with the more aesthetic service and command chassis of the bridge crew.
Traditionally in vessels of such size, the commanding officer would be stationed on the bridge, with the First Officer and a secondary crew in the Command Sector, both for redundancy and to reduce workloads.
"What convoluted plan have the bureaucrats hiding up on deck six churned out for us this time?" The First Officer asked jokingly.
"Plan? Hah, I wish they'd just stick to one. There's at least five different scenarios, possibly up to seventy, that we need to account for occurring eventually, until one of them does. Then we need to be ready to work on that one. Fleet Support over on the Rirsthal and Fleet Home on the Uragnal have patched together a research team to handle the peaceful scenarios, and Fleet Guard has been notified to be on low alert."
"And us, Ma'am?"
"I want our escorts to form a screen around vulnerable approach vectors at the normal and anormal zones. Drone wings on us, Salslium and Errashial are to be prepped for launch and given flight plans to cover the radial and aradial approaches. Send a command over to Captain Osrasus on the Tertrial directing him to cover our prograde approach. Signal the rest of the fleet to clear firing paths from the escorts and our guns over the retrograde arcs. Whatever happens, I'd take nav comp duty over yet another crushing defeat. If they do attack us the plan is to cover the civil ships and give them time to form stable warp fields, since with just a heavy cruiser, two carriers and six frigates, we're a patrol group escorting a fleet over twice our size. Now, here on Yrridian they outfitted us with drone hangars and some heavy weapons, but our only real armor is the sheer bulk of this thing.
Once those orders are all out, get us a live feed to Fleet Recon's corvettes. I'm not going to coast blindly into this."

~~

The signal itself was the first warning, Fleet Recon having sent it in raw as requested. It was a garbled, jumbled mess of static, the encoding foreign to the Yrridian's computers. They had prepared for this, though. The signal was copied and sent to Fleet Research, the call sign for the groups formed from researchers aboard the Rirsthal and the Uragnal. Then the Yrridian sent a message back to the source, repeating the signal first, pausing for exactly one standard second*, then streaming a simple signal comprised of high and low frequencies which described binary bases.

((*Vathari seconds, of course))
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Time   Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:20 pm

Runde listened to the unknown ships’ response. The enormity of what was happening was not lost on her. These aliens were obviously intelligent, at least enough to respond to stimuli. Still, the fact that they outnumbered her garrison in both numbers and ship size was on the forefront of her mind, rather than the fact she was possibly in charge of a meeting between two intelligent species. “Have you sent that message back to Terra Nova yet?” Runde asked Bartholomew.

Bartholomew nodded, saying “We have the message onboard an outgoing freighter. It’ll send it out to the comms buoy for us, and it should reach its destination in a few days.”

“That’s one bit of good news I suppose.” Runde mumbled to herself. The garrison above would stay in position, waiting for the unknown ships to get closer.
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