Chipmunklike Aliens Enter the Sol System
Captain Grchnogh paced back and forth on the bridge of the Babalogosvami. He was nervous, approaching the alien system at last after so many years. His fur stood up, still feeling the cold of the cryogenic chamber, and crewmembers wisely scurried away from him as he advanced.
He chirped, musically, for a moment. "Communications, open a link on all frequencies."
The communications officer did as he was told. He didn't want his head cut off, after all. Obeying too slowly sometimes wound up like that.
"Give them the following message, not that they are likely to understand our language. Say that this is the Kigobas Vadi colony ship Babalogosvami, and we are nomadic refugees from our homeworld, which is many light-years away. Say that we are peaceful and looking for a place to settle in peace," the Captain commanded.
"Yes, immediately," the officer acknowledged.
He continued to pace. This was always the hardest part.
Glancing forlornly at the optical console he watched as the first planet approached. It was ringed, large and with many satellites-- many non-natural ones as well. It emanated energy, of course, showing signs that this world was quite possibly the center of this system.
They might see their approach as an attack. But the ships missile and plasma weapons were not armed, and in any case they had likely been spotted years earlier.
The ship approached Saturn at perhaps twenty kilometers a second, transmitting its signal...
OOC: As you can probably tell, I'm future tech. The message is sent out in the Kigobas Vad tongue, which as you can tell by the CAptains name is pretty strange. It would sound like chattering and chirping. The ship is a few kilometers long and very narrow, ugly, and is moving only with inertia at the moment. If you have xenolinguists working around the clock on the language you might figure it out in a few months. :)
[Do not currently have time to type out the usual response to these things. Suffice to say, Pantocles picked it up, and the Triumvirate will be very interested.]
[code:1:93379eea4d]Recieving possible transmission... regularity confirmed, attempting to decode... Protocol of Extrasolar Origin.
***ALERT*** Point of origin within Saturnian Subsystem. Unidentifiable object approaching.
pid12@pantocles$>ssh -pw ***** email@example.com
ALL ACCESS LOGGED
Working directory public
pantocles@satnet$>cd ../private/iapetus -pw *****
Working directory now private/iapetus
Working directory now private/iapetus/commlogs/pantocles
pantocles@satnet$>pipe h2ocom "Unidentified object entering Saturnian Subsystem. See file 29193613112263c08.wav. Recommend alerting Ring Control."
The technician on duty in the comm room of the Iapetus Watermining Station nearly jumped out of his seat when the alarm went off. He immediately rang up the Ganges, who, in turn, relayed the news to Ring Control and Stonozka.
"Again?" PseudoEmperor Razak folds his arms while looking at the long-range reports from Iapetus, traditional thought-induced hard frown and harder steel-grey eyes looking over the telescope images and long-range scans of the vessel.
"As shown by the Rulls, we're just a natural magnet for extrasolars, sir." Advisor Hertzfeldt, once in the silver-haired man's shoes, shrugs. "We are the biggest gig in the Solar System, honestly, throwing out a lot of energy--indicating that we're advanced--and yet being relatively quiet compared to, say, Earth or even Mars."
"And every time," Razak grumbles, "we wonder whether our visitors are friendly or hostile."
"Well... they've all been benign in the past, sir. Interstellar conquest is extremely cost-prohibitive due to the sheer energies and logistics involved."
The former Foot-to-Ass advisor nods. "Ah, but to not prepare for war is the quickest way to invite it. I forget who said that, but it tends to be true. What can you tell me about the ship?"
"It has a size of kilometers, isn't particularly dense, and is currently moving on a ballistic course. We're recieving a repeating transmission, sort of a chattery-squeaky thing. Analysis has it set as mammalian... at least, it sounds nothing like the insectoid clicks we dealt with on S-14. Crypto is working on it, but without a basic concept of structure or any sort of translation matrix, it'll be hard going."
Razak nods, then looks over at the lantern-jawed man sitting against a desk, arms folded. "So, Hawke, what's your take?"
Advisor Lance Hawke, current Foot-to-Ass advisor and former lieutenant general of the Scolopendran Military Services, grimaces. Then again, he always grimaces. "I'm definitely of the 'absolute paranoia' mentality, but it's odd. If it's an attack, why announce their presence? To put us at ease? That kind of trick is so transparent it isn't even funny. My money is on that it's on a legitimate peaceful mission, but we should be prepared just in case."
"What's the status of the Trium military right now? I know that the First, Second, and Fourth Expeditionaries are in Earth Theatre with Speaker for the Um Lizaans; the Fifth Expeditionary is covering for the transit operation between here and the Shogunate... the Fifth Combined and O'Neill is assembling with the Sakkra for their parade... leaves, what, the Third Expeditionary and the First through Fourth Combined on call?"
Hawke nods. "You haven't lost your touch yet, sir."
"Damn straight I haven't. I think that it might not be wise to call up to TYCS, though... too many ships going out to greet them may be misunderstood."
I was wondering when you'd come to that conclusion. Alshai Kommetrez grins, shaking his head. Definitely an old soldier mentality, Colonel.
"Yes, Major, I know." Razak winks. "Still, I'm getting the hang of diplomacy not requiring massive force. What about sending out the Defense Squadron?"
Hrm... still too much, possibly.
Razak shrugs. "We'll just send Arthropod, then. One cruiser, and K'zta's a damn fine commander. He'll represent us well, I think."
Kommetrez nods. Sounds good. D.O. Hesche has just come back from leave; lemme get him on Arthropod and then we'll have a real diplomat too.
Razak nods. "Acceptable."
* - * - *
Aboard the Scolopendran WarShip Heavy Cruiser Arthropod
The sufficiently boxy, utilitarian bulk of the heavy cruiser Arthropod settles onto a rendevous course, powering away from Titan on low-distort gravydrive. Aboard her command deck, a massive uniformed form paces, watching the spherical situational awareness holoprojection up front. Broad orange-backed and white-furred hands clasped behind his back, just above a naked rat-tail, broad boots padding softly against the deck.
"Rendezvous course set, sir." The helmsman looks up at the tiger-like face standing over her shoulder... and not fazed in the least. It was just a K'zin, after all.
Flag Colonel K'zta nods. "Disengage drive. Let us coast in; let them get a good look. The order of the day is non-threatening... correct, Officer?" The felinid looks over his shoulder with a smile.
Magnus Hesche nods. "Of course, Colonel."
Grchnogh twitched his whiskers as the sensors officer - a short Kigobasi, almost orange fur, with shifty eyes - gave the alert.
"One contact approaching. Reading gravitic field signatures, numerous weapons, heavy armor."
Grchnogh twitched his whiskers again. "Any signs of an attack run?"
"No sir. Engines have been turned off and they're just coasting. Relative velocity 22.5 kps."
Very interesting. "Good. Helm, engage gravitic engine, reverse. I want our relative velocity to nothing, or I shall rip your throat out with my teeth."
The helmsman obeyed quickly. The Babalogosvami engines kicked in and quickly began to halt her forward velocity. Grchnogh marvelled at how efficient this engine was, compared to the old fusion pulse drives he had grown up on.
By now, the Kigobasi back home would be years ahead in technological developments. He tried not to think about this for sake of pride, but consoled himself with the fact that everybody he once competed with in the 'Core was dead by now as well.
"Anything?" Grchnogh asked the comm officer.
"No. Perhaps they do not think we are sentient."
"I didn't want your analysis."
"Sorry, sir!" the comm officer raised one paw to his neck, protectively.
Hmmm. Perhaps they didn't, though. "Perhaps they don't, though. Very well, send them the Packet."
The Packet was designed specifically for the colony and survey ships making first contact. All the known Kigobasi scientific theories and principles were crunched down into numerical data in one data chip, ready for displaying. It had impressed the Gurxan, anyway, and served as a basis for breaking language barriers.
Not that the Gurxan had anything worth saying. Grchnogh snorted thinly at the memory.
The Packet was relayed by the communications officer in hexadecimal, low band radio wave to the Scolopendran ship.
Remembering the Gurxan, though, Grchnogh reacted in time when he saw the weapons officer dis-arming the gravitic missiles. Apparently the fool thought it was safe now, and that he could disobey Grchnogh's command.
The Captain's whip lashed out, the flexi-steel slicing through the unfortunate officer's neck and cleanly lopping the head off, where it fell wetly to the nearby floor, bringing silence for a few seconds on the bridge.
Oxythsz, the second highest ranked weapons officer nearby, chirped. "I relieve Ftheryth's post as weapons officer, sir!"
Grchnogh nodded. "Be alert, mind you."
Noting the Scolopendran ship being deployed, the Ganges pulled a tight turn to face the newcomer, and fired a short burst of the main engines to push it into a wider orbit to meet it.
"The alien ship is killing velocity, sir." Numbers next to the icon indicating the extrasolar vessel on the strategic board tick off. "Vee-zero self-relative, sir." The sensors officer leans back, watching analyses scroll past his screen. "Definite gravy sigs, max power indeterminite. We're reading what appear to be missile tubes... low power gravysigs from them, but we can't tell if they're hot."
K'zta nods, then looks over as a communications technician leans over the railing that seperates the technician gantry from the officer floor. "We're recieving a tight-packed transmission, sir. I've got decoders working on it right now... looks like symbolic logic. We've got things that look like Coulomb's Law, the Maxwell Equations, stuff like that. My read is it's a scientific database."
"Hrrr. Compile our own based on their code and prepare to send it out." K'zta smirks. "Until then, send messages of goodwill in all known languages, extrasolar taking precedence. Start with Snel."
"Acting, sir. Do we want any image feeds yet?"
K'zta laughs shortly, a sort of grumbling chortle. "Not yet. I do not wish to be imposing."
"Sir?" The weapons officer taps his console. "If they have weapons..."
"Then they will incur the wrath of our fleets, Lieutenant. The guns stay cold. Still... Engineer, increase power to the maneuver. Computer, emergency evasive protocols authorized."
The engineer nods and the sub-sentient computer beeps in response. "Also," the colonel adds, "divert extra power--slowly and quietly--to the maneuver and shielding grids, maneuver priority."
"Weapons, traverse our weapons grids as far away from the contact as possible. Maintain cold weapons."
The weapons officer nods slowly. "Understood, sir."
Arthropod continues to coast 'towards' the alien ship, although with matched velocities, no ground is gained. She transmits simple messages of identification of peace, going through Snel, S-14, Tkzin'sutung, Noldorin, Sindarin, Orcish, and anything else the Triumvirate has ever contacted.
With the parade going on, and the incident at the World Disc, the Orbital Docks defensive forces seemed to be a bit thin. However, they were not depleted.
The incoming transmission was picked up from the extrasolar vessel. Ensign Chouuf routed it directly to the C.O. on duty. Commander Ghaan took action.
Vrelt! When it rains, it pours! "Deck Officer, get the 6th squad Void-bound now, and sound a general alert. Too much is happening in to short of a time to each other."
The crackly comm comes in. "Aye, sir! On it."
He played the message back several times, and felt something that hasn't been felt by any Sakkran in a long, long time. Deep in his mind, a primordial urge began to gnaw at him.
The 6th patrol squad consisted of two corvettes and six long range fighters. Listening in on the comms, it was ascertained that the Scolopendrans had managed to get there already, along with the Eniqciri.
a Trasian Miranda-class Destroyer sends a message to the Colony ship, in their language
Commander Gyrthar:This is Commander Gyrthar of the TSS Malestrom, we understood your message and we shall assist you in anyway possible,if you understand me please respond.