NationStates Jolt Archive

Entering the Solar System

21-04-2004, 09:37

Towards the Galactic core, out past the heliopause, a mote of brilliant blue light was growing brighter, and shifting rapidly towards the red end of the spectrum. Not so small a mote, in fact; closer observation would reveal that the shining mirror was a light-sail a thousand kilometers across, rapidly approaching the light and heat of the Solar system.

OOC: You'll be able to able to spot the ship pretty easily with a telescope of sufficient power pointed in the right direction. In this overcrowded Solar system, there should be plenty of those. Feel free to send a ship to investigate!


The first twenty-four years of Nataliya Ivanova's life had been spent aboard the Kinva, with the sky black before and aft, all the stars squeezed into a thick band of blue around the middle by relativity; the Kinva travelled at half the speed of light. She had been born on the ship, but she would not die on the ship.

Recently, the belt of stars around the belly of the Kinva had expanded, as the ship braked on the light of still-distant Sol. That system, Nataliya had been taught, was filled with more squabbling factions than even the fractious Enrai, now forty-seven lightyears distant in the home system. The worlds around Sol shone like stars on the radio maps with their continual bright chatter; Nataliya had been learning their languages, and what she could of their politics, from those transmissions, for the Enra Siannon had decreed that she was to be a diplomat.

According to her grandmother, who was of the first generation born after the human colony ship's arrival in the Rhiadh system, the Enrai had had no concept of diplomacy prior to the arrival of the humans; contact between their many clans had been either war, or no contact at all. In the system ahead, where Siannon would be the only Enra, it was a necessity.

Before reaching it's destination, the Kinva would pass through the orbits of all the Human worlds and their factions; too many tongues for anyone to learn in just a few years! Even the neural link to the Kinva's computers could only help so much; computers were not linguists, after all.

But that was the future. For now, the ship sailed inwards and onwards, toward the distant fields of Earth.
21-04-2004, 11:06
The bouy bobbed up and down in the middle of the ocean, buffeted by waves, but never moving laterally. Connecting to its base was an impossibly long tether, plunging deep into the water. Down past the mapped areas, past the realm of the giant squids and the sperm whales that hunted them. It went deep below the level where one might expect the ocean floor to be. Where sunlight, or any light, was a dim memory. Deeper still it went, down into the Trench, where light wasn't even a memory; it had never touched. The tether didn't care. Its carbon nanotube wire was tightly bound, completely unconcerned with the oppresive pressure the water exerted on it.

The tether bottomed out at the bottom of the Trench, connecting to a black dome. In the all-encompassing darkness, color was less an issue, really. It could have been bright purple with orange polka dots and it wouldn't matter. Except to those inside.

A computer deep inside one of the domes was connected to the bouy via the tether, allowing it to communicate with an unobtrusive satellite in orbit. The satellite peered out of the system, waiting. The arrival of yet another ship into the system didn't elicit much interest. They were waiting for The Ship.

Only one person remembered The Ship, as he was the only one alive when it had been sent out to find a new home over one hundred years ago. Nobody expected to hear from it, but still the watched.

And waited.

He Who Is demanded it.
21-04-2004, 11:07
Meanwhile, somewhere in the sol-system's asteroid field. A lone mining vessel was making its way back to the Noobarian Republic of Mars.

"This is miner squad #4 calling HQ, we've got a full shipment of ore and are ready to-"
"Lol, d0d t4ht r0xz."
"Omg lol, u n0 'nd3rst4nd 1337?"
"Willkins. You're a newb, what the flying spooglers is this guy saying?"
"No idea, guv'" Cried mining lieutenant Will, who was valiantly trying to duct-tape the ships hull.
"Omg, l0k b3h1nd j00."

The Captain wasn't planning on doing what the git was bantering about, mainly because he couldn't understand a word he was saying, but as he started to sag together in sheer despair, he noticed an unusual blip on the scanners.
"'The hell?"
"Unidentified Craft Approaching." the ship's computers stated in its usual monotone, synthesized voice.
"Oi! I'z a BIG'UN!" Cried Will from the Intercom, since he was working on the hull from the outside, he had a perfect view of the slender craft sailing through the void of space. He was amazed, to say the least.
"0noz!1 l01!" the other guy cried, since he was a evil little simpleton working for an equally evil goverment.
Just then, Captain Guv took the liberty of slumping forward, clutching his head and thinking...

'I'm not paid enough for this nonsense...'

WOOC: Needless to say, we're spooked.
Der Angst
21-04-2004, 11:32
Kuiper Belt, Explorer- class ship Nausicaa

The ship was drifting through the belt. It was amusing, normal people always assumign that it was a dangerous area, with countless asteorids that made travelling there suicide...

Well, it was true, there were countless asteorids, however, there was also lots of space, so the risk was...


The Nausicaa was moving fairly fast, with about 9000km/s, but zero acceleration. It had just left the (still unfinished) Sisgardian Craftworld, starting its search for suitable Kuiper Belt objects that could be taken by the transporters, put into planetary orbits.

And its search had been successful, three objects had been found, and two were already on their way to earth and jupiter, representing a significant income for the Nausicaa... There was a possibility for her to update her old engines for the 'Power Booster 4000' drives that were so cheap, right now...

Thinking such thoughts, she moved on, when she noticed the light... A bright light, actually, still far away... But coming closer.

Coming closer with an almost insane speed.

What is this?

It was intrigued, and it ad made enough money to risk a short... distraction.

After deciding this, she moved closer, her sensors checking for any signs, any signals coming from the incoming ship.

This should prove to be interesting.

Of course, she didn´t tell her superiors... It wasn´t exactly a matter they should care about.

And, considering the extreme velocity of the approaching ship, it was certainly feasible to start a contact...

And so, she send out a message:

From: Nausicaa
To: Unknown vessel <detailed specifications of approximated mass, speed and size for identification purposes>
Subject: Your arrival

"I noticed you arrival. This region of the system is usually fairly... empty, and you are somewhat... Interesting. Where are you coming from? I don´t recognise your ships structure... Although I have a hard time recognising anything, since you´re still a bit far out. More guessing than anything else, I guess."
22-04-2004, 09:53
Nataliya Ivanova! You are required to attend Command!

The message blazed through Nataliya's mind, sent not through the cyborg neural link but through the organic mindlink, and directly from the Enra Siannon itself.

Such a missive, for her, could mean only one thing - some human clan or vessel had contacted the Kinva already, and she was required to translate.

But we're barely into the Kuiper belt! she thought, wonderingly, as almost unconcious hands pulled on clothes and ran sweaty fingers through short-cropped hair. She'd been nearly asleep when the missive had come from Siannon, jolting her back into wakefulness.

Exiting her tiny, closet-sized cubicle, Nataliya dashed through the corridors to the nearest axial shaft. Even halfway through Second Shift the passages of the Kinva were crowded; the ship itself was overcrowded, the population just within maximum parameters. That, like everything else, was orchestrated by Siannon, carefully balancing the need for a stable population shipboard with the need for a large population once they reached Earth.

The up-elevator of the axial shaft was thankfully at the bottom of the shaft, not up at the top, over two hundred meters away. Nataliya flashed her ID card at the Gikuroin elevator-warden and the little lizardlike alien, obviously informed of her requirement by the Enra, allowed her into the lift cubicle.

The cylinder of the Kinva spun fast enough on it's axis to generate eighty percent Earth gravity - one Rhiadin standard gee - in the outer decks through centrifugal force. That force decreased as the elevator rose up the axial shaft, until when it stopped, in the chambers of the long "axle", there was nothing but the standard zero gravities of space.

Such a rapid transition left Nataliya feeling nauseated and unsteady as she stumbled off the elevator; despite her job, she hadn't had to come up here very often in the past.

I'd best get used to it - likely I'll be doing it a lot more once we get into the inner system.

The Kinva's bridge was huge, occupying the axle-shaft from wall to wall. Narrow catwalks spanned the space, occupied by hurrying officers in the black-and-silver uniforms of the Command staff. At the center of it all, surrounded by black-and-silver figures, Siannon itself drifted, wing membranes flashing bronze and gold as the Enra shifted slightly in the zero gravity.

Come, Siannon commanded, a brazen trumpeting in her mind. Nataliya obeyed, hurrying along the catwalks to the point where Siannon drifted; nearly the exact center of the Kinva's rotation.

Translate, the Enra said, and transferred the message through her neural link. Nataliya categorised it instantly by route; Human, Indo-European, Teutonic, Angstian.

She repeated the message aloud in Rhiadin - not for Siannon's benefit, as the Enra could certainly pick it's meaning straight from her mind - but for the human officers nearby, whose reactions mirrored Nataliya's own confusion; who or what was this vessel, to send such a casual missive out of no more than casual interest?

Siannon, of course, displayed no emotion; it's race had fewer facial muscles. Finally the great maw, with it's rows of serrated teeth, dropped open, and the Enra said, in the musical proper mode of Rhiadin for Enrai mouths and tongues;

"Nataliya Ivanova! Translate into the foreigner's speech this..."

From: Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon
To: Nausicaa
Subject: Re: Your arrival
This vessel is a light-sail craft with approximately 785,398 square kilometers of sail surface, launched by launching laser from the Holding Ekizi of the Tianis Aggregate, 47.65 light-years distant.
Of what Aggregate or Clan do you hail, and what is your purpose?
Der Angst
23-04-2004, 09:31
Now, this was fast. Nausicaa thought. She was still connected to the ship, cables everywhere, the shiny new wireless connections that were new on the market were still 'a bit' too expensive for her... Well, for everyone.

She wondered idly what the time dialition at 0.5c would be, but she was a bit too busy to calculate it, and just replied.

Although... Strange message. Well, different culture, I guess.

From: Nausicaa
To: Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon
Subject: Re: Your arrival

"I see... This distance, with sublight speed? You sure have time... or patience.

As for our, err... 'Clan'. I... We don`t have Clans, or aggregates, but I guess that defining my origin as Angstian, Cerio IntP employee should hit it. I might send you some data about our culture, should you want it. Explains it far better than I could.

Oh, and I`m currently wasting my corporation`s ressources by talking to you, rather than collecting data of asteorids flying around in this rather... dead sector of space.

Now, I wonder what your purpose is... Surely you don´t do a 100 year journey just to do vacations.

Nausicaa send the message, idly wondering what the foreigners would think of it... She wasn´t a diplomat, that much was certain, bvut she was Very interested in having some fun, even if it meant to... irritate said foreigners.
24-04-2004, 10:36
As soon as the Nausicaa's reply came in Nataliya began to translate. "I see - this distance, with sublight speed? You-"

"Nataliya Ivanova," Siannon interrupted, the orchestral thunder of his voice more rapid in urgency, "Translate this..."

Of course they must hurry - the Kinva was still travelling at an incredible speed, and time dilation reduced their window still further.

From: Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon
To: Vessel Nausicaa of the Cerio IntP
Subject: Re: Your Arrival

The Enra Siannon has patience sufficient to outlast time, and servitor races replace themselves with ease. One does what is necessary. The Enrai of the Rhiadh system are myriad, and thus it is necessary that the Enrai diffuse to where they are not.

Please transfer your data immediately, and return to your task. The Enra Siannon will not be held responsible for rogue servitors.
24-04-2004, 11:39
The port's domed roof opened slightly, water flooding the chamber almost instantly. Once the port was flooded, and the pressure equalized, the dome finished opening, a painfully slow process; it had been years since the last ship was launched. This launch was a little unusual in that it hadn't been scheduled, and that it was an unmaned drone. Aparently, He Who Is had found something of interest in the last report.

"Run this by me again," a man in a drab gray uniform was looking over some reports.

"Simple," the other man was in a very similar uniform, "The Boss wants to check out that ship the Brains found."

"So who's in the interceptor?"

"Nobody. Just a drone, gonna have a quick look-see."

"Damn," the first man shook his head, "I didn't think we had any of those left..."

"I'm pretty sure we didn't. Good thing we don't work in the Factories, hey?"

"Point." He looked at his watch, and shrugged, "Launch the bugger."
Der Angst
25-04-2004, 09:17

Nausicaa pondered.

They are certainly not of the... talkative kind. Rather strict, it seems. Servitor races... Slaves? Meh, why is it that anyone entering sol is an insane freak?


Why is it that this insane freaks always meet me?

From: Nausicaa
To: Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon
Subject: Re: Your Arrival

I see... Well, I was just curious.

The file with the necessary data is attached to this message.

Catch ya later.

The next thing Nausicaa did was sending a transmission to Neptune (From which it could be send back to earth, thanks to quantum entangled communications) regarding the rather strange... visitors.

Servitor race. Meh.

Once this was done, she gave up on finding some interesting way to pass the time, and continued her work.

Woah... That one looks nice. Yay, another fourteen million DAC on my account.
25-04-2004, 09:51
It was, actually, not long after that the Kinva would have its first encounter with a proper warship... the Menelmacari gravitic cruiser MIS Din'Sul (Silent Wind), currently nominally attached to the Seventeenth Menelmacari Imperial Gravitic Battle Fleet, but assigned to patrol these reaches for the next couple of weeks. It's boring work, but someone has to do it, reflected Ciryatari Elwen nos Fingolfin, sitting in her command chair in a most unprofessional manner. She lazed in the comfortable seat, resting her chin on one elegant, long-fingered hand and drumming her fingers on the armrest with the other. She gazed out at the starfield... nothing but empty space and the occasional floating iceball and sometimes the odd civilian prospector ship (like the Angstian vessel that had passed, bound insystem, shortly previous) and...

...perhaps something a bit less boring.

"New contact, milady."

Elwen looked up. She'd been, in truth, half-asleep. "Say again?"

"New contact, unknown," the sensor officer repeated. "It's extremely large..." Din'Sul herself was, in fact, only roughly six hundred seventy-five meters in length. Menelmacari ships were relatively small, but still very effective. "...but from what we can see, of a lower technological grade."

"But it's not affiliated to anyone we know?"

"Negative, milady..." replied the tactical officer. "Light-sail, it looks like..." He let out a low whistle. "Probably three quarters of a million square kilometers of sail on that beast... gravity provided by centripetal force - the ship has rotating sections."

Elwen pondered this. "Well, by all means, hail 'em. I'm bored silly, and we're on patrol, so let's do our job for once. Comm, open a channel..."

Greetings, unidentified light-sail vessel. This is Ciryatari Elwen nos Fingolfin, Cruiser Din'Sul, of the Seventeenth Fleet, Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar. According to our records, I don't believe our peoples have met. Please identify.
25-04-2004, 11:26
It was a few days since the appearance of the Angstian ship, and the Kinva was still buzzing with the information it had imparted. Nataliya had even more work than usual, as Siannon had decreed that she was to familiarise herself with it.

That was difficult, since there was simply no analogy to the Der Angstian corporations in Rhiadin culture, and many of the things referenced in the data the Nausicaa had transferred, while evidently common knowledge on Earth, were as mysterious to them as the Enrai must be to the Earthlings.

Some of that knowledge could be obtained by watching the radio frequencies for stray transmissions, but there were always gaps, and a great deal of the data Nataliya had filed under "unknown", to be investigated as further information was obtained. It was a task which kept her up late into Second Shift, when she should have been sleeping, but one did what was necessary.

And it meant that when Siannon again ordered her presence in Command she was awake, though bleary-eyed, to take the elevator up the axial shaft and translate for the Enra.

Quenya was spoken often in the transmissions the Kinva intercepted, and Nataliya spoke it passably if not well. It was not as unpleasant on the ear as some of the other tongues she'd mastered.

What Siannon thought of it was, as always, an enigma, for the stillness of the Enra's face and the music of it's Pure Speech hid emotion from human ears.

The Enra told her what to say, Nataliya translated it, and an aide in Command black-and-silver copied it down for transmission to the other ship.

From: Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon
To: Cruiser Din'Sul of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Subject: Greetings

This is the vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon, a member legally released from the Tianis Aggregate. It is the first extrasolar vessel sent out by the Tianis Aggregate, for the purpose of exploration and colonisation of the system known as Sol.
26-04-2004, 19:01
For a good while after the message was sent to Kinva, nothing happened, at least from the Menelmacari point of view. Elwen ordered the ship to match velocity with the larger vessel to more easily receive any response, though by about the time Nataliya would be reaching the Kinva's command deck, there was open speculation as to whether the alien vessel would respond at all.

Without warning, the return message arrived at last, and Elwen pondered this. "Tianis Aggregate?" she asked out loud. "Some sort of nation, I suppose... extrapolate their course. I can't imagine that a light-sail vessel would be capable of much in the way of drastic course changes while en route, maybe you can find what system they're from-- wait a minute, were they speaking Quenya?"

"Apparently so, milady," replied the science officer, a youngish elf by the name of Durion. "It's not as strange as you might think... comm traffic lights this system up remarkably, and centuries of it means there is a vast area of space that must certainly be aware of the presence of life here. That ship, Kinva, was it? Would have had a good while to study those transmissions... ahh, almost a century it seems. Their course takes them from a star we haven't explored yet, roughly 47 lightyears out."

"And this Enra Siannon?"

"No idea, milady. My best guess is, given from the reference to being 'legally released from the Aggregate', that it's a person, probably either the captain or the owner of the ship. I suppose it's conceivable it could be private-sector rather than a government ship. But we won't know until we talk to them more."

Elwen nodded... well, first contact was always an interesting prospect. "All right, Amandil," she addressed the comm officer. "Open the channel again. Let's see if we can go about meeting these nice folks."

I see... well, welcome to Sol, then. You've had a very long journey, we presume... the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar is a great power in this system and beyond, though by no means do we control all of it. There are hundreds of thousands of what you might term Aggregates on Earth, most of them tiny, weak, and impoverished, though there are still many with great strength. And I should warn that not all will be so hospitable as we. If it is a colony you seek... you might be disappointed.

As for exploration, though, we'd be glad to help, and it's my pleasure to invite a few of your envoys aboard my ship so we can get to know each other better. We will continue to match your course for the duration.
The Ctan
26-04-2004, 22:58
At the edge of the system, another vessel, almost a seven hundred meters in length emerged from a chaotic billowing flower of radiation that seemed like a small nuclear explosion, but also putting out vast amounts of free neutrons that filled the area. It resembled nothing so much as a large block with some odd details here and there, a protruding spine of sensors and weapons at the front, and a launch/landing bay on its ‘under’side. The Exploratory Cruiser Inviolate II was not a true C’tan warship, its technology was far, vastly even, less advanced, but it was a dangerous vessel, almost able to take on a ship of its tonnage in most nations navies on an even footing, not that its mission was one of war, but in this war-torn universe, it was wise to be heavily armed. Such ships occasionally visited Sol, just to check up on developments. This one was one of three of its class, attached to the large space station at Wolf 1841.

Its engines powered down, reconfiguring for standard flight mode. In the more advanced vessels this took a fraction of a second, in this one it took several minutes, as several discrete parts had to be swapped out for their modular STL equivalents. The Inviolate had two large engines at rear, and two smaller ones facing forward for urgent deceleration, though both sets could technically be used as FTL drives, it was safer to use the larger, rearward ones to handle the vast energies.

“Secure from FTL sir,” said the helm officer, “we have reached the Sol system.”

“Good work lieutenant,” said the commodore, one former Senator Rale, turning to look at the necrontyr woman who had been assigned to the wolf station as chief science officer, “Ah, Sol, always a fun place to visit… Arshaw, anything on sensors?”

“Nothing of any real interest sir,” she said, “wait… unidentified craft, rather large, readings erratic… There could be more, we’ll have to wait for our radiation wake to dissipate before I can get a clear scan. I can attempt to make contact sir.”

“No, observe a little longer, wait for that wake to clear. Launch a probe.”

Her hands flew for a moment, “Probe launch underway sir,” she said as an object was loaded into the lower gravitic mass impeller cannon, one of two of the high KE launchers the ship possessed. It was fired out at about five percent the speed of light, even at that speed it would take several seconds to leave the neutron wake.

“We ought to do something about that wake,”

“Well, according to what I know about these things, decelerating to a more reasonable speed such as ten C before transit will spread the wake out over a few light minutes, it wouldn’t be significant then.”

“Damn, I wish we could shunt all that energy they usually do. Probe report?”

“Yes sir, object appears to be travelling at a C-frac velocity ah, point five, decelerating, looks like a sail of some sort. Range, two light hours.”

“Interesting, not a match for anything on record?”

“No sir.”

“What’s the time dilation factor on that?”

“zero point eight six six sir.”

“We can live with that. Engage engines, maximum acceleration, match their course and bring us in to one light second as soon as possible,” he said, addressing the helmsquendë, She nodded and imput instructions.

“Anyone else there?”

“A Menelmacari ship sir, cruiser, records identify it as the Din'Sul,” replied the science officer.

“Ah?” he said, he knew that name from somewhere, some report he’d read in the past, “Let them handle it for now, we’ll observe.”

The ship’s massive thrust engines began to spew high velocity, close to the speed of light, particles even as various gravitic systems added to its velocity. It had to start from almost dead stop, and even then, hitting .5 C would take some time, even with a linear acceleration around 20000 m/s/s – high on most people’s measurements ((Shush, it’s linear acceleration only. Needless to say, this figure is not used for combat or the likes.)), it would take over two hours to match speeds.
27-04-2004, 01:27
HNSC Spirit of the Revolution

The Spirit (As she was known for short) sat nearby a largish asteroid. The Spirit was a Leningrad class battleship, easily able to beat and probably outrun most ships of any nation. A true ship of war, she bristled from stern to aft with weaponry along her sleek, polished body. She was currently confined to menial in-system work. Her current mission was to protect the builders of an outpost being constructed in the asteroid. The crew had been tracking the new ship since it had entered the system.

Star Admiral Sergei Haton Alexandrov stared at the sensor screen. "Are they close enough?" Alexandrov was bound by SOP to hail the ship when it came within a certain range. He sat back down in his chair and brought up the comm...

Greetings Comrades. I am sure you've been contacted by several people already, but I am bound by Standard Operating Procedure to contact you and ask for your destination.

Thanks for your cooperation
Star Admiral Sergei Haton Alexandrov

Unfortunately, he didn't know which language to send the message in, so he sent it in his native Hattian (Which is similar to Russian), which was spoken by billions of people. He relaxed and waited for the reply.
27-04-2004, 02:52
One astronomer at the Kajal Mars University of the Sciences was... disturbed, for a moment, at what he thought he saw.

Of course, in his frantic writing down of everything, by the time he started looking for it again, he couldn't find it.

Of course, he sent his findings to the government's space division, which, after a great deal of searching, found the object, and it's current... companion.

A small scout ship was deployed, as such a vessel... light-sail, they thought, mostly because it was the only explanation they could think of to create something that large, would be a waste of diverting a warship.

The likelyhood of any hostilities was deemed nonexistent, and even the small frigate would likely be more then capable of dealing with any hostilities a sail ship could possibly present.

The MKSF Zeal departed spacedock, before darting into subspace transit. Due to some rather tricky relativistic effects that the scientists thought might be present, the older Zeal had been chosen for it's ability to accellerate up to nearly .5c, using an ancient drive system that had failed it's initial test altogether.

It, of course, brought the scientists who made it billions, as it was still faster then anything ever built at the time, but that was besides the point.

The commanders at the spacedock wondered if the.. thing would be able to pick up the subspace wavefront that was usually generated by a ship transiting a corridor. They knew the Menelmacari ship would, but that was besides the point.

A full diplomatic team had been put aboard, and the ship popped out of subspace as close as was safe, some distance ahead of the craft.

There, the Zeal waited, accelerating slowly so that by the time the light-sail ship had reached them, they would be able to match velocities with little trouble.

That didn't stop the little ship from transmitting it's own little greeting, of course. They could wait for the response anyways. The message was transmitted first in Riikan, and then english.

Sorai. Mi-sora MKSF Zeal, risol-aa Kajal Mars, mar-i Maru, ua-pira-i nujur Laedan. O-nera ilun forahh na ono-aa himira. Onou lis-aa rei-o harai-i nujuraan.

Greetings. I am the commanding officer of the MKSF Zeal, representing the Duchy of Kajal Mars, a nation that resides on the fourth planet of this system. Your appearance has caused quite a stir in our educational instutitions, and we are intrigued by your vessel.
27-04-2004, 04:32
Pantocles sat lazily in its long orbit of Saturn, occupying the space previously used by the non-extant moon Mnemosyne.
There are many things that Pantocles does not see, despite its name. The giant object just entering the solar system might've been one of them. Except that radio messages started going to and from it, and the whole area lit up like a Christmas tree to Pantocles' long-wave eyes.
Iapetus tagged this for further inquiry.
27-04-2004, 10:35
OOC: Eeek! Lots of replies! A clarification; the Kinva's top speed is 0.5C. It's down to about 0.35C now, I think.
Hattia: I'll assume that this asteroid is some form of rocky KBO - despite the amount of communications going on, the Kinva has yet to pass Pluto's orbit.
Probably this post is doing horrible things to lightspeed communications lags.

From somewhere in Command an alarm blared, and a startled-looking officer hurried along the catwalks to the little cluster of officers surrounding Siannon.

"Great Enra!" she exclaimed, saluting nervously. "The Menelimacari ship has matched velocities!"

Siannon reared up and hissed like a teakettle, wings flashing out to mantain position. The officers, too, were shocked; it had taken the Kinva three years, using a vast launching laser battery, to reach the sort of speeds the Din'Sul had just achieved in under an hour.

"Nataliya Ivanova! Translate this into the Menelimacari speech, and do not err."

Indeed, the transition between systems has lasted some generations. The Kinva cannot return again to Rhiadh - a place upon the surface of Earth will be assured, no matter what is necessary.

Representatives of the Enra Siannon shall be transferred to the Din'Sul immediately by spaceplane.

"Lieutenant Lukanova!" Siannon warbled, and the sensor officer looked up, startled.

"You shall accompany Translator Ivanova to the Menelimacari ship, and speak there with my voice to the occupants."

The luckless Lieutenant Lukanova (OOC: Sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration) looked as if she would assume an expression of perpetual startlement. Clearly Siannon had learned enough of humans to send a Command representative along with Nataliya.

"More messages, great Enra!"

Having transmitted the reply to the Menelmacari, the communications officer dashed back with several sheets of printout, and handed the plastic to Nataliya.

Indo-European, Slavonic, Russian-related ... a dialect? Nataliya translated as best she could; at least her Russian was good, though it was a different dialect, ancestor of the Russian-tinged Rhiadin spoken by the humans aboard the Kinva.

Siannon evidently saw no harm in replying to this message, and told her what to say in reply;

This is the vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon. Our destination is Earth.

The second message had been sent, first in a tongue Nataliya didn't know, but which sounded pleasing to the ear, and then in English, which she did know; that language was spoken even more widely than Quenya.

However, the message, once she'd translated it, didn't actually seem to contain anything of note. Still, Siannon considered, and gave her a reply to translate.

This is the vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon, en route to Earth, for the purpose of colonisation and exploration.

"And now," Siannon sang, "We shall no longer be delayed. Nataliya Ivanova, Asya Lukanova; you shall depart to the Menelimacari vessel immediately."

They saluted, and retreated from Siannon's presence. There was a man in Command black-and-silver waiting for them.

"I am Pilot Akisenov," he told them. "The Enra has assigned me to transfer you to the Menelimacari vessel. Follow me, please."

The spaceplane, like the Kinva itself, was covered in bold silver scrollwork and laquered in red and gold; unlike the Kinva, however, it was not scored with particle hits, and was as shining clean as the day it had been made.

Akisenov ferried them over with remarkable skill for one who'd never flown before, outside of a simulator, and the Menelmacari vessel loomed large before them.
27-04-2004, 11:02
Esterrawk grumbled with annoyance: sleep was integral to her well-being and growth, and it was never wise to disturb an Astraiid during their millenium-long slumber. Realizing that rest would elude her now, Ester decided to investigate the cause of the disturbance that awoke her from her repose. She stretched open a visual receptor, dislodging the dust that had accumulated over the ages. To her dismay, she was no longer alone in her sector of the galaxy: in fact, many small shapes darted in and out of her pasture, coming perilously close to her flock. This alarmed her, and she prepared to act...which meant that nothing would happen for many galactic years, because Asteriids moved slow. Real slow.
27-04-2004, 11:03
Esterrawk slowly came to full wakedness: alert, she quivered to remove the sleep from her tired form. This was a situation which bore close scrutiny: invaders in her flock!

She mustered the energy to send out a call to the Herd-Watchers, and prayed that they would arrive in time. She was still too young to deal with this threat on her a galactic sense, she had existed for thousands of years, but she was still considered a Junior by her peers.

She sat back and did what Asteriids do best: she waited.
27-04-2004, 11:03
" Na teem na wesel day Fr'geniak twa!"

The voice echoed in Esterrawks mind, and she knew that not only would the Herd-Watchers act, they would act with determined and lethal force. They were sending Fr'geniak to deal with the problem, and his reputation as a vicious and deadly Watcher was well-earned. Most recently, Fr'geniak had not only driven off invaders from a neighboring herd, but had followed them back to their home-planet. With much anger and a small modicum of glee, he launched himself at the heavily populated planet and crashed through the crust and into the core, where he caused a seismic disturbance that tore the planet in two. Over 9 billion souls were lost that day, and the history of the race known as the Vril Doxians had come to a violent and tragic end.

Esterrawk was curious to see how Fr'geniak would handle the intruders in her midst. This was worth waking up for...
The Ctan
27-04-2004, 13:03
(Ack well then, change the numbers as appropriate, and for reference, the time dialation factor’s 0.94 then, there’d be no really noticeable delay in communications.)

“Now detecting a launch from the object sir,” said the science officer, punching it up onto the holographic display that dominated the centre of the bridge. “Looks like some form of transport, headed for the Menelmacari ship…”

“Nice,” said the commodore, admiring the elaborate silver hull, as well as its colourful highlights.

“We will have a velocity match in ten minutes sir, we’re already on a parallel vector, then we could launch, receive, or whatever,” said the helm officer, prompting him unprofessionally, “shall I match their rate of deceleration?”

He nodded, this ship was run far more lax than the confederate fleet used to be, but then, that wasn’t there any more, and he could live with this, “Yes, then comm the Din’Sul, ask them nicely if they’d like to pass any information on, or have us come over too, exploration and so on.”

The ‘science officer’ nodded, and moved over to the communications panel, politely usurping the crewman who had been there a moment ago, she sent a brief text-only, mostly due to whim, transmission, helpfully in quenya, which was actually her first language;

Greetings, it appears that you have made contact with the unidentified, to us at least, vessel. Would you mind if we sent someone over to observe, or if not that, bringing us up to speed? We’re rather intrigued by this, many thanks, <Ship ID>
27-04-2004, 13:29
Hattia: I'll assume that this asteroid is some form of rocky KBO - despite the amount of communications going on, the Kinva has yet to pass Pluto's orbit.
Probably this post is doing horrible things to lightspeed communications lags.

Oops, my bad.

Alexandrov waited patiently for the reply. He sighed when the comm button on his chair began to light up. He listened to the message and smirked.

Well, as long as you have no aggressive intention, we will not hinder you. You may want to be on the lookout, there have been reports of pirates and such in the area, and that is the main reason we are here. And people on Earth can be quite warlike.
New York and Jersey
27-04-2004, 13:49
"Admiral Fortune, we've got an unknown vessel, and heavy communications traffic in the area...seems to be the center of attention. They're also heading this way..." The report came from Commodore Nelson Pataki gave unsettled Fortune alittle. Unexpected guests and heavy comm traffic wasnt exactly a good omen. Then again Admiral Fortune was always rather paraniod. It came with the lonely feel of being out in the boonies for such a long time. "Commodore Pataki, inform Commodore Dewey, that he is to move the 16th Battlegroup between Pluto and the unknown vessel, they are to not fire upon the intruder unless fired upon first. Give this new comer a wide berth.." Commodore Dewey gave a small nod and moved off to relay the message to the bridge communications officer.

"Ugh..just great....another first contact...looks like other people beat us to it...since when do the Menelmacari patrol this far out anyway?" Commodore Dewey asked his XO Captain Gridley who only gave a shrug and guessed at their intentions this far out, "Well Commodore, they maybe this far out because of the last time we ran into a problem. They are dependable allies. " Commodore Dewey did see the logic in that and nodded his head abit. "Alright...what are the orders again?" "Commodore, we are to make underway with the rest of the 16th Battlegroup and position ourselves at the following location," Gridley moved over toward the system map on the bridge and pointed toward an area between the projected course of the ship and where Pluto was located, "At their present speed, we'll be in the area long before they are." Dewey waved it off and nodded his head slightly, "Alright Gridley, the bridge is yours. I'll be in my room, inform me when we arrive at our location."

It was some 30 minutes before the 16th Battlegroup finally began to move. Eighty five warships, mostly uniform in type, 40 Frigate sized vessels about 170 meters long each, another 30 Destroyer sized vessels about 360 meters each, 10 Cruisers about 750 meters reach, and at the center were 5 large obvious command type vessels. Battleships measuring slightly over a kilometer. (when trying to imagine what the ships look like think of the old WWII style ships.) Aboard the 15th Battlegroup, Admiral Fortune watched as half of the Charon Defense Fleet moved off to the new position. A report came in from Commodore Pataki, "Admiral the 16th Battlegroup is Hazegray and underway. It'll be an hour before they arrive." Fortune nodded his head abit and moved ahead slightly toward the bridge observation area saying while he moved, "I wonder if this first contact will be as eventful as the time we met those elves aboard the..what were those things called...Spellcasters?" "Spelljammers,sir." "Right...Spelljammers. With the amount of traffic this thing is getting I can imagine it will be."
27-04-2004, 16:42
Fr'geniak was in a foul mood, which is not an easy state of mind for a living, sentient asteroid the size of a small planet to attain. He had just begun a long overdue hibernation when an urgent tele-command came from Dn'karina, the Lead Dispatch of the Herd-Watchers. As much as the thought of tracking down intruders appealed to him, his trophy wall was nearly full and he needed a vacation. Feeling his stress level rising, Fr'geniak threw himself into the gravity well of Stentor 3, and began gaining velocity for the 327 light-year journey. He needed an outlet for his rising frustrations, and hoped that the intruders would provide him with a challenge.
27-04-2004, 16:55
The small scout ship received the return message, and then put some priorities in place, before sending another message, this time in english only, although with the same accent that would have been on the first one.

The second message was also accompanied by text, and it was specifically marked as such that did not require an immediate or timely response.

Kinva we are currently on a parallel trajectory to yours. Colonization of Earth may be... difficult, though not impossible.

If at all permissible, we would like to exchange diplomatic teams. We can also send data on ourselves, if you would like.

The MKSF Zeal had accellerated to about .15c, in the meantime, as it's computers calculated the amount of accelleration needed to match velocities by the time the sail ship would otherwise be passing them.
27-04-2004, 16:55
28-04-2004, 11:40
Nikita Kovalev stared at the message in his hands, struggling to translate it. He was far less adept a translator than his colleague Ivanova, and it showed. Still, he eventually managed to get the thing translated, and the Enra gave him a reply to translate back ... just in time for a second message to arrive.

[code:1:d345215f2d]The Enra Siannon confirms that it's intentions shall not be hostile unless necessary. We are vigilant, and we forsee no troubles in obtaining territory upon the surface of Earth.[/code:1:d345215f2d]

The second message arrived trimmed of audio content by the comms officer; Siannon, communicating with the other vessels solely by text, reasoned that such audio files were more prone to corruption in transmission than text.

Nikita managed to struggle through the translation, and translated Siannon's reply back into English;

Colonisation of Earth shall be undertaken, and shall succeed. We shall do what is necessary to make this so.

The Enra Siannon regrets that the exchange of diplomats is currently impossible, due to a lack of skilled translators. However, any data you possess shall be recieved.
28-04-2004, 12:51
As he approached the Herd, Fr'geniak began to hear the chatter of the intruders. The sounds were familiar, as he had encountered carbon-based life forms in the past. He ignored the noise, instead focussing his thoughts into preparing himself for the culling ahead. Suddenly, he heard a word that shocked him into complete attention: Earth.

This was the name that humanoids had given to the StarChild, last great hope of the Asteriids. Fr'geniak concentrated on what was being said, and realized he had come just in time. These intruders planned to violate the sanctity of the StarChild, invading its hallowed ground and displacing the life-forms that tended to the surface of the planet! Pushing himself to thought-speed, Fr'geniak raced to place himself between the StarChild and the heretics who threatened to harm the Chosen One of the Asteriids.

He knew they would soon become aware of his presence because of their primitive sensor devices, and he relished the thought of defeating them, and taking revenge on their home-planets. Hoping to frighten the intruders off, Fr'geniak released a brace of sheetrock, thousands of tiny particles of himself that sped towards the incoming vessels at high-speed. They would tear through any defenses the humanoids could muster, puncturing soft metal and even softer flesh. He hoped that despite the carnage this would cause, it would not deter the heretics: Fr'geniak was in the mood for a fight.

<OOC: My nation was deleted - apparantly, having the Olsen Twins as National Animal is verboten! :shock: I have learned my lesson, and am properly chastened...>

<OOC Part II: I am REALLY enjoying this story so far...good work, all. :D >
28-04-2004, 18:57
Rhiadhi shuttle, you are cleared to dock with MIS Din'Sul. Please approach the aft end of the landing bay.

The hangar bay of Din'Sul yawned open to accept the Rhiadhi spaceplane; lights along the floor directed the craft to a free place to land, which, as it turned out, was in the precise center of the cavernous chamber.

The room could only be described as opulent, by warship standards. The walls of the landing bay were painted with pleasing colors and swirling patterns, punctuated by structural pillars formed to resemble great trees, complete with branches extending along the ceiling. The room was lit with seemingly crystalline features, giving off a bright glow spectrally identical to Earth daylight. The doors off the chamber were richly carved oak, the floor painted with multicolored patterns that managed to integrate into them markings for landing areas, storage, traffic flows, etc. The hangar itself contained several shuttles, a pair of dropships, and, towards the forward end, twenty sleek, menacing-looking fighter craft, and was designed such to be a 'fly-through' arrangement; launches at the bow, recovery at the aft.

The doors opened, and several Elves entered, wearing black, red, and gold fleet dress uniforms; each had a red eight-pointed star insignia on the left side of their chests. The one in the lead, a tall auburn-haired, amber-eyed female (Ciryatari Elwen), wore also a long crimson cloak. There were also some security personnel, clad in full body armor of a strange, shimmering black metal - galvorn - and equipped with rifles. All, officers and enlisted alike, had swords.

The guards peeled off to flank the door, the officers approached the spaceplane and waited in front of the boarding ramp.
29-04-2004, 11:26
In the blueish light of the external camera screens, Akisenov whistled, impressed. The Menelmacari hangar was almost as opulent as the Aggregate Keep on Ekizi, which said quite a bit about their resources, and their ability to apply them.

There was gravity, too, which Nataliya hadn't expected; the Menelmacari vessel wasn't rotating to provide centripetal force, and it had matched velocities with the Kinva, so it couldn't possibly be accelerating or decellerating hard enough to provide artificial gravity that way (and besides, if that was the case they'd have slid down the deck to the far wall).

"Time to go," Lieutenant Lukanova said, rising unsteadily to her feet in the uncommonly heavy gravity. There were Menelmacari entering the hangar now, who seemed unconcerned by it. It was Earth standard, after all.

Lukanova and Nataliya went to the forward airlock, and waited for Akisenov to cycle them through and extend the boarding ramp (actually the section of hull over the airlock, which folded out of the hull to form a gentle incline).

Then they were standing on the outside of the spaceplane's airlock, blinking in the too-yellow light of the hangar bay (Sol-spectrum light, of course, but unfamiliar; Rhiadh's sun was closer to orange), and breathing the slightly-strange airs.

At least I'm taller than them, Nataliya thought, Which is one benefit of a lower gravity.

The elves waited, and the Rhiadin waited, until finally Asya hissed "Say something!" nervously at Nataliya.

And then - thankyou thankyou thankyou - Siannon was there, speaking with her voice over the short gap between the ships.

"Greetings, Ciryatari Eluen," Siannon/Nataliya said (even the Enra could not eliminate the difference between accents), "Let there be peace" - the Rhiadin word for "peace" was closer to "ceasefire" - "Between us. The Solar system is clearly more diverse than was previously thought, and-"

Siannon's mindlinked presence was gone, diverted elsewhere, and Nataliya frantically used her netlink to discover why - an unusually hail of micrometeorites had hit the Kinva. Nothing to worry about, surely; the sail material was self-repairing, and the ship itself was hidden behind a thick shield of asteroid rock.

"-Shall have to be evaluated," she finished lamely, guessing what Siannon might say. Then Siannon was back.

"But that must wait," the Enra said rapidly, "For it appears that we have been attacked. Judging from the spread of projectiles, they will surely also have affected your own vessel? I have calculated the attacker's position, but it is too far distant to allow retaliation."
29-04-2004, 16:04
As he eagerly awaited the coming carnage his sheetrock was sure to cause, Fr’geniak took a moment to review the records of known races that was stored in the bedrock of his mind. He compared the vessels the humanoids travelled in to the data in his memory, and recognized all of them. None of the intruders had been flagged to be censored by the Asteriid High Council, which simply meant that they had yet to defile the sanctity of a Herd…but in the end, they always did. Ignorance is bliss, and the humanoids had always proved their lack of understanding by eventually raiding and destroying the young lives that dwelt in the starfield. They would then compound their crimes by using their victims as raw materials to build more vessels to pollute the universe. It was a vicious cycle, and though the Herd-Watchers had no peers, they were also limited in number compared to burgeoning population of the humanoid races. This frustrated and angered Fr’geniak, which led him to become renowned as the most effective and deadly Herd-Watcher in the galaxy, much to the chagrin of the many races he had wiped off this plane of existence.

He smiled inwardly as the first wave of sheetrock hit the intruders. He watched in satisfaction as the huge star-sail of the closest heretic took many direct hits, shredding it into uselessness….or so he thought. Fr’geniak observed in amazement as the sail seemed to be healing itself, and regenerating and repairing the damage the wall of micro-meteorites had caused. The other ships did not seem to be faring as well, but he had already forgotten them so that he could concentrate on the Rhiaden vessel. A strange feeling came to him…not quite fear, but less confidence than was the norm. As quickly as that emotion came, it was replaced by one of anticipation: it wasn’t often that he was awarded a challenge, and he began to relish the thought of a battle against a foe that was not easily vanquished. He pushed himself to maximum thought-speed, and began his approach to the vicinity of the Star-Child known as Earth.
New York and Jersey
29-04-2004, 20:38
"Commodore Dewey, we have a renegade Asteriod heading from the Kupier Belt into the system,it exploded shortly before and sent chucks of it toward the unknown vessel and the Menelmacari vessel." The LIDAR Officer looked alittle shocked, his computer hadnt registered any weapons impacts on the outer shell of the vessel. It could have been a trap, crack an asteriod in two and send chunks outward into nearby ships. It had happened before in wartime and was a common tactic for pirates raiding ships passing through asteriod fields. However there was always a remote possiblity of the asteriod heading toward Earth, and in this case the course plotted sending it on a believed collision course with Earth. "Contact Admiral Fortune aboard the Flagship Resolute, inform him we are making way from our position and we will attempt to intercept the Asteriod before it passes Mars. Inform him, that we will contact the 2nd and 3rd Fleets on our way there and we will see if we can get further support, however, it does not appear as if the asteriod will take much before it splits in two."

The communications officer nodded his head and sent the message out in a more offical way. The response time was slow though, the ships of the Charon Defense Fleet(CDF) were still relatively new, and their crews while veterans of other fleet warships were all green in this case. Even the design of the new vessels was of radical enough design, that the green crews still had hard enough times dealing with response times. Aboard the Resolute, Admiral Fortune grumbled and sighed. "Wish Commodore Dewey luck on his little turkey shoot. Tell him not to waste any heavy rounds or torpedos. Inform him to use the Plasma Cannons on the Arione class Frigates. He should have enough Frigates to deal with one asteriod." Fortune was not pleased, there were enough orbital defenses around Earth to take care of one asteriod, however being out in the boonies for so long it was more than understandable if one or two Skippers wanted to go after a random asteriod, however this wasnt just a skipper, this was a Battlegroup commander. He dragged his entire battlegroup with him and now the CDF was short 50% of its vessels. However he had other concerns, the Menelmacari Cruiser and the Unknown Vessel....

"Helm make way, inform the Battleships Bayridge, and Queens County to flank our port and starboard respectively, lets see if our friends over there need some cover...Inform the Skipper of the Battleship Hudson Heights he will have control of the remainder of the 14th Battlegroup. They are to hold position unless otherwise noted." The messages were relayed and it was another 30 minutes before the 3 lumbering white painted Battleships began to move from around Charon orbit toward where the massive "sailing" vessel was located, and where the Menelmacari Cruiser was flying next to it. On the general communications channel Admiral Fortune sounded friendly and welcoming, this hid his suspicion of the alien vessel, and his slight annoyance at the Menelmacari for once again expanding its influence whereever it went, "This is Admiral Fortune of the Federal Stellar Navy Battleship, Resolute to the Din'Sul, we didnt expect to see any Elven Cruisers this far out on the edge of the system, welcome to the area. We've registered your vessel as having taken impacts, do your require any assistance over?" A short time later on the same general communication channel, "Once again this is Admiral Fortune, on the Resolute, to unknown vessel, welcome to the system, we can visably see damage on your hull, do you require assistance?"
New York and Jersey
29-04-2004, 20:40
"Commodore Dewey, we have a renegade Asteriod heading from the Kupier Belt into the system,it exploded shortly before and sent chucks of it toward the unknown vessel and the Menelmacari vessel." The LIDAR Officer looked alittle shocked, his computer hadnt registered any weapons impacts on the outer shell of the vessel. It could have been a trap, crack an asteriod in two and send chunks outward into nearby ships. It had happened before in wartime and was a common tactic for pirates raiding ships passing through asteriod fields. However there was always a remote possiblity of the asteriod heading toward Earth, and in this case the course plotted sending it on a believed collision course with Earth. "Contact Admiral Fortune aboard the Flagship Resolute, inform him we are making way from our position and we will attempt to intercept the Asteriod before it passes Mars. Inform him, that we will contact the 2nd and 3rd Fleets on our way there and we will see if we can get further support, however, it does not appear as if the asteriod will take much before it splits in two."

The communications officer nodded his head and sent the message out in a more offical way. The response time was slow though, the ships of the Charon Defense Fleet(CDF) were still relatively new, and their crews while veterans of other fleet warships were all green in this case. Even the design of the new vessels was of radical enough design, that the green crews still had hard enough times dealing with response times. Aboard the Resolute, Admiral Fortune grumbled and sighed. "Wish Commodore Dewey luck on his little turkey shoot. Tell him not to waste any heavy rounds or torpedos. Inform him to use the Plasma Cannons on the Arione class Frigates. He should have enough Frigates to deal with one asteriod." Fortune was not pleased, there were enough orbital defenses around Earth to take care of one asteriod, however being out in the boonies for so long it was more than understandable if one or two Skippers wanted to go after a random asteriod, however this wasnt just a skipper, this was a Battlegroup commander. He dragged his entire battlegroup with him and now the CDF was short 50% of its vessels. However he had other concerns, the Menelmacari Cruiser and the Unknown Vessel....

"Helm make way, inform the Battleships Bayridge, and Queens County to flank our port and starboard respectively, lets see if our friends over there need some cover...Inform the Skipper of the Battleship Hudson Heights he will have control of the remainder of the 14th Battlegroup. They are to hold position unless otherwise noted." The messages were relayed and it was another 30 minutes before the 3 lumbering white painted Battleships began to move from around Charon orbit toward where the massive "sailing" vessel was located, and where the Menelmacari Cruiser was flying next to it. On the general communications channel Admiral Fortune sounded friendly and welcoming, this hid his suspicion of the alien vessel, and his slight annoyance at the Menelmacari for once again expanding its influence whereever it went, "This is Admiral Fortune of the Federal Stellar Navy Battleship, Resolute to the Din'Sul, we didnt expect to see any Elven Cruisers this far out on the edge of the system, welcome to the area. We've registered your vessel as having taken impacts, do your require any assistance over?" A short time later on the same general communication channel, "Once again this is Admiral Fortune, on the Resolute, to unknown vessel, welcome to the system, we can visably see damage on your hull, do you require assistance?"
The Ctan
29-04-2004, 21:21
“Dammed elves,” muttered the ship’s commander. For this he was rewarded with a withering and disdainful glance from the helmsquendë. “Err, yeah, dammed Menelmacari,” now the science officer joined in.

“Right, dammed MIDF.”

“Send again?” asked the science officer still looking rather annoyed at this.

“No, lets wait a bit, then prepare to compose a message for the unknown.”

In that moment, the stream of micrometeoroids hit the ship. Or rather, mostly failed to. While the ship had no gravitic shields like its Menelmacari equivalent, it was preceded by something that protected it from showers such as this, it was, after all, designed for exploration, and a great deal of matter would impact it on a high velocity journey through a nebula, comet trail or any similar gas cloud. However, at this speed, the combined velocity of projectile and target was great indeed.

A rippling, invisible and fairly weak, wall of force preceded the ship, parting debris in its path like a knife, leaving a wake clean of debris. One of the systems officers, a man by the name of Erik Wolfgang noticed something rather strange. “Sir, the draw on the navigational deflector ((I know. Sorry, couldn’t think of a less trekish term.)) just increased by a factor of five, it’s redlining, slight damage to the forward sections, a few holes in the observation deck, explosion in missile tube one – ten.”

Rale turned slightly to the left to look at the pair manning the systems display, “Why?”

“Impacts,” he said, thinking for a moment, “we’ve possibly gone through a vaporised comet or something.”

“Odd. This far out?” asked the commodore, “Scan ahead, see how far this thing goes,” he ordered, and the necrontyr woman returned to her own station to comply, passing instructions to the large department that ran the ship’s sensors. A moment later, the holo of the unknown, with its vast sail, disappeared, replaced with what looked like an asteroid ((Right?))

“What’s interesting about this?” Arshaw tapped a button and the holo added various data. The commander read for a moment. “What the hell?” he said, noting that it seemed to be under power, actively changing its course, “course projection.”

“It appears to be moving to intercept the unknown.”

“Right, let me dictate two transmissions,” Rale said, the prospect of hostility both worried and excited him. He felt like they were starring in some particularly corny sci-fi holodrama. First time they take the ship out, and it becomes a rather eventful mission after all. ‘Short jump to Sol. Yeah, right…’

Din’sul[/i]]Again Greetings, we request that you answer our previous message, and observe <co-ordinates> we believe this may be connected to the recent micrometeoroid shower, and it seems its intent may be hostile. We suggest that you discuss it with the representatives of the unknown <Ship ID>

“Greetings, please state your intent.”
02-05-2004, 06:16
"Welcome aboard the Din'Sul," Elwen replied with a slight smile. "And welcome to the Sol system. I hope you find what you seek... attacked?" The captain was interrupted by the beep of her comm, which she answered, and which would confirm the Rhiadin report. "Elwen... yes?"

"We've just passed through an unusually dense micrometeoroid shower. It originated from a nearby asteroid.... only minutes ago. Interesting thing is, the asteroid wasn't hit by anything. It... launched the shower, on its own."

Elwen blinked a bit. "Asteroids aren't usually in the habit of doing that... damage?"

"None, the shields took it fine. If it throws something larger at us, we can shoot that."

"Well, deal with the matter... carefully. And move us so we are between Kinva and the asteroid."

"Yes, milady..."

Elwen looked up, putting the comm away. "Well, I suppose we should get down to business, then. I'm sure our respective bridge crews can handle this errant rock... I didn't catch your names?"


Stand down, halt course, and state your business. Further hostilities will not be tolerated.

Of course we would be glad to share any data we uncover on the Rhiadin vessel and the people aboard, as well as about our mysterious silicoid visitor. We apologize for the delay in response.

Thank you for the offer of assistance, but none is required. What minimal damage was sustained is easily repairable. We've done patrols out this far for a while now, ever since the dustup with Valinon and Falasmayon... but given the vastness of the area, it's understandable that we may have not run into each other before now. You're welcome to tag along on this little first contact thing, and we'd appreciate as well any additional information you can provide on our rocky friend out there.
02-05-2004, 08:11
On Triton

The orbital defence chief of Tritonites had received the report of an unidentified object apporximately 40 AU from the Sun about ten minutes ago, and had passed the report to me, the Emperor of Moontian.

"This ... spacecraft ... it came from a star system 47 light years away?"

"Yes, your excellency."

"That is roughly the distance to our furthest colonies. Why haven't the exploration vessels detected their homeworld yet?"

"The detection systems aboard the exploration Flaming Arrows are still rudimentry. Lifesigns can only be detected by actually landing on the planet, and the crews are reluctant to enter systems with alien craft."

"And the deep space radar satellites? Why didn't they detect the craft from further away?"

"The ship must be using some form of solar sail for navigation. The sensors would have detected it easily otherwise."

"Have you sent any ships to communicate with them?"

"Not as yet, sir. But there are a couple of Raven-eyes ready to be sent to intercept."

"Send them in to establish contact. They are only to open fire if fired upon. Their neutronium armour should protect them if anything untoward happens."

"Yes sir."

Greetings foreigner. This is the Moontian vessel Hannajh. We come in peace. Please identify yourselves and your intentions.
02-05-2004, 09:35
Nataliya translated the Ciryatari's speech into rapid Rhiadin for Lukanova's benefit.

"I am Translator Nataliya Ivanova," she told Eluen, "And this is Lieutenant Asya Lukanova, an officer of the Command core. We speak with the voice of the Enra," she assured the elven woman hastily.

(OOC: Argh. Painfully short. I'm going to assume that the Kinva and everyone escorting it have passed Pluto orbit by now, else I shall never get anywhere.

Also, it's been pointed out that the solar sail is much too small, and the more I think about this the more I'm sure it's correct. I'm pondering upscaling it to 10,000 km across retroactively, but of course that wouldn't be proper without the approval of everyone else involved (though I don't see it mattering much, as it's plenty big enough already). Opinions?)
02-05-2004, 13:22
OOC: Fine with me.
02-05-2004, 15:33
OOC: No prob... I suggested doing so. ;)
The Ctan
02-05-2004, 16:52
The sensor control centre of this particular ship was… huge. Dozens of people supervised various controls and displays. At the moment, a vast hologram of the Kinva domintated the room, on two separate scales, one showing the craft itself, and one showing its vast solar sail.

One of the controllers blinked, re-reading a display – “Ten thousand clicks across? That is impressive.” He could think of a few uses for one of these things already, not in the immediate future, but in the long run, project Garm, for example, something fairly well known to the scientific community of the C’tan, would have uses for such a vast solar – shade…

He headed up to the bridge, on a ship like this, non-military, and passed this revised estimate around, with his idea. This changed things, and there was now a reason to make direct contact with this unknown.

There was a short flurry of long-range encrypted communications on the possible uses of such a sail, and finally received the go-ahead a few minutes later.

After a short debate regarding the method of contact, it was decided that they may as well just transmit a radio message on the frequency that the Menelmacari had used, with the same characteristics, in English, which was after all, the most common language around the solar system.

Inviolate II[/i] to Kinva]Greetings Rhiadin vessel, I take it we can assume, given the design and course of your vessel that you intend to colonise the third planet of the system ahead? We believe we may have an interesting offer with regards to that…

Shortly after that, the Inviolate also accelerated ahead of the Rhiadin vessel, putting itself in a similar position to the Din’Sul’s, moving to block the renegade rock. This could turn out to be a valuable investment.

((I actually do have a use for a sail like that one now that you increased the size… :wink: 8) ))
03-05-2004, 09:00
OOC: Ex-cellent. *Quietly increases the sail area* A note on the Kinva's course; it's going right in past Mercury's orbit, around the sun, and up the other side of the Solar gravity well to get to Earth. This is necessary for the solar braking. But it should be possible to predict the course, yes.

That's odd, Nikita thought after translating the message from the Involiate II, How did they know we are Rhiadin?

He imagined that the Enra looked rather upset, and imagined why; not one but two vessels had reached in minutes a speed it had taken the Kinva years to accelerate to. Of course, he could be imagining things...

"Nikita Kovalev!" Siannon sang. "You shall translate this..."

The Enra Siannon assumes that you have been in communication with the Menelmacari?

Our destination is indeed Earth/Sol III, using a solar slingshot orbit to decellerate sufficiently to enter Earth orbit.

Please elaborate further upon your "interesting offer".
03-05-2004, 10:42
The sphere's engines powered up at the command of the two men in the neighboring dome. It cut through the seemingly endless water above it like a knife, unconcerned with the rapidly decreasing external pressure. Its sensors barely registered the hapless fishing boat above it, Abatorians not being known for their compassion, or interest in external nations. The sphere tore through this ship, sending bits of wood and people flying. With the water no longer present to slow the craft down, it excelerated rapidly, breaking the sound barrier before the injured sailors managed to land in the water, the sonic boom adding insult to injury.

Once out of the atmosphere of the earth, the sphere paused, waiting for its orders. A nondescript satellite lazily turned, beaming instructions to the sphere, which promptly rocketed out to a predetermined point at the other side of the sun, before counter thrusters stopped the craft, allowing it to essentially hover in space.

Waiting with infinite patience for the strange craft to pass by it.
03-05-2004, 14:25
Within the Emperor's office in Auburn, Earth
General Kufil, leader of the orbital defence on Earth, was summoned into my office to discuss the ship that had entered the solar system.

"Have the Raven-eyes been following the unidentified craft?"

"Yes sir. There has been no reply yet, but they appear to be trying a gravitational braking manouvre in order to come here, to Earth."

"Do they have any engines?"

"No sir. It looks like the ship was sent to establish a colony in this system."

"A bit of a problem, with so much space already taken up. Are there any other ships following behind?"

"No, sir."

"Then they shouldn't be hostile. There are only so many soldiers that can be shipped at a time, including weapons and vehicles. They'd be wiped out too quickly. Order the Raven-eyes to keep hailing the ship on all frequencies."

"Yes sir."

As the Emperor started reading through the stack of paper on his desk, general Kufil stood up and left.
03-05-2004, 16:13
Frustration was a new feeling for Fr’geniak, and one he did not enjoy. Not only did his hail of sheetrock fail to faze the intruders and cause negligible damage to their vessels, but more interlopers were appearing by the moment. Settling into his position between the Star-Child known as Earth, and the invaders in his Flock, Fr’geniak considered his options. Part of his mind was still monitoring the primitive transmissions of the humanoids, and he was surprised to hear a message aimed directly at him! Never in the history of his race had any alien ever tried to communicate with the Asteriids, and he immediately linked up with the Group Mind to transmit this new and surprising data. Intrigued, Fr’geniak sent a thought-speak towards the aliens:

“We are the Watcher of the Herd, and you are in violation of the Sanctity of the Starfield. There will be no discussion, no negotiation. You must leave immediately, or face the destruction of your ship, and the peoples of the world in which you hail. No further discussion is warranted, or permitted. Taste now the power of my wrath, and forever remember that your destiny lies in my patience.”

Fr’geniak was proud of his warning: never before had his race communicated with others…would an elephant deign to speak to a flea? Little did he know that the minds of the aliens were different from his own, and the message they received in their thought-receptors was a simple, over-riding emotion:


With that, Fr’geniak dislodged a half-dozen Spheroids, tiny clusters of pure plasmatic energy which were created using his own life-force. Each spheroid had a small level of sentience, allowing it to make directional decisions as it was en route to its target. Ectoplasmic in nature, the Spheroids were nigh-invulnerable and virtually impossible to stop. As they gained velocity, the small, torpedo-shaped balls of plasma attracted energy and sub-atomic particles to their mass, fueling them for their eventual detonation. The six missles quickly attained sub-warp speed and sped towards their targets. Fr’geniak did not want to completely annihilate the intruders…he wanted to frighten them back to their home-planet, never to return to this Herd again.

As he watched in satisfaction as the Spheroids split-off from each other and made their approach to the respective vessels, Fr’geniak received yet ANOTHER message directed at him! This one came from the ship identified as Din-Sul, and it was clearly a threat. Intrigued, he commanded Spheroid Eltar to avoid its target, and redirect its energy to the target of its choosing. It chose the vessel known as Inviolate II, and rapidly changed direction to the new heading. He would spare the Din-Sul for now, simply because it had aroused a level of curiousity in him, one that he had not felt before. He threw his mind into the ether, and found the name of the leader of the Din-Sul, Elwen.

He looked forward to discovering more about this curious interloper known as Elwen, and tasting the screams of her people as he destroyed them.
Five Civilized Nations
03-05-2004, 16:38
The Ctan
03-05-2004, 18:48
Even as they received the message from the Kinva the crew of the ship were assailed by something. Arshaw gripped the console in front of her, knuckles whitening as she was forced to resist the urge to vomit. Various others around the bridge shrank back, or tried to control themselves as they were hit by something. The science officer managed to bite it down before anyone else, and noticed something odd. “Incoming weapons fire. Some sort of plasma, unidentified type - impact in fifteen,” she shouted.

“Point defence online!” replied the weapons officer, a thin sheen of sweat covering her features, “retaliating!” she added, and stabbed another button. Main turrets on the vessel, mounting heavy beam weapons – mixed electromagnetic energies and a fluxing tracer beam, a light blue cheese wire designed to slice through armour and ships with ease. Five of them fired at first, and the ship angled itself to bring the others to bear on this renegade asteroid.

The science officer blinked, “no!” she said, “fire missiles from all available launchers. Now!”

The weapons officer didn’t need further prompting, and twenty-three large missiles shot from their tubes like avenging angels. The bluish-grey skinned science officer dashed across, watching the large weapons indicator, the icons of the missiles shooting out from their position crossing with the icons of the enemy – for that was what it was now – plasma torpedoes.

“Detonators, quickly,” she snapped, and the woman in front of her pointed to a keyboard. Arshaw gazed at the icons… almost, almost. They joined, and she slammed her hand down on the keyboard, icons for each of the launched missiles had turned green, indicating that they were at a safe range to remote detonate. Signals lept out, and the missile warheads, inverse gravitic pulses, like the missiles the Menelmacari used, based on them in fact, detonated around the incoming munitions. She knew that conventional point defence might not succeed in destroying these semi intangible things, but the intense gravitational flux generated by that many missiles in close proximity at once might just tear them apart, or deflect them, or do something.

The commodore picked up her intention, and snapped orders out to launch the ship’s full complement of fighter craft – eight of them – armed with similar, if vastly smaller weapons. If this didn’t work, the fighters were probably the best hope of dealing with these projectors.

Meanwhile, some of the weaker willed crewmembers darted for escape pods and landing craft in the hope of getting off the ship should it be hit. In communications, someone hit a ‘hypertransmitter,’ sending a distress signal. Out, not far, in stellar terms, another ship answered.

The Inviolate was built as a ship for an exploration fleet, but what answered was not. The necron scythe class cruiser Worldslayer would not tolerate this attack on those under its protection – this upstart would learn the meaning of humiliation… soon... It turned from its established patrol route near Sol, and prepared itself for combat.
04-05-2004, 05:00
The only actual sentient alien aboard the Kinva was the Enra Siannon itself. Happily for Fr'geniak's telepathic missive, Siannon was also a telepath, as were all Enrai, and a powerful one.

As the alien message arrived in the specialised cereberal lobes at the back of it's skull, Siannon hissed angrily, scattering the surrounding Command officers as his wings extended to their full and impressive span.

Even were I willing to do so, little rock, he sent in reply, It is not possible. It has taken this vessel 28.75 Human years to reach this system, and it's environment systems are insufficient for a further such venture. I shall reach Earth, O Watcher, no matter what you might wish. Cease fire or be destroyed.

Then rapid-moving plasma munitions of some kind flashed by - the Involiate II and the Din'Sul were between the Kinva and Fr'geniak, and that meant that they, and the thick asteroid shield ahead of the ship itself, shielded the vessel from the weapons. Still, the things punched through the still-repairing sail, and Siannon hissed again in rage as the sail was holed again. And increased the flow of repair matter to the sail; it was a good thing the Kinva still had large supplies of that, even after the long journey from the Ekizi holding!

Very well, Watcher of the Herd. You have made your choice.

"Nikita Kovalev!" Siannon keened, amber eyes flashing golden at the hapless Human translator. "You must translate this for the Din'Sul and the Involiate II..."

The entity attacking our respective vessels is a telepath of some power, calling itself the "Watcher of the Herd". It does not appear to wish to parley.

At this point, it remains outside the range at which the Kinva's weaponry would be effective. The Enra Siannon requests that you continue to facilitate it's destruction until the Kinva reaches weapons range.

There was very little parallel to such cooperation in Enrai culture - a Clan-lord could simply impose it's will upon it's descendants, and an Aggregate was essentially one mind. The closest comparison Siannon could draw was trading or courtship. In such straights, there was little the Enra could do but request the assistance of the aliens, and hope that their price was not too high.
05-05-2004, 03:28
The Zeal had been a good deal ahead of the other ships, having matched course to let the sail ship catch up with it. She was no longer accellerating, instead sitting at a speed that the computer had deemed would allow for quick matching of speeds when the sail ship would pass them.

They were about to transmit a historical database when the shields lit up from the impacts of the micrometeoroids, to be followed by intense feelings of fear.

They had recieved no message of the attack, of course, having no contact with the other ships since their second transmission.

"Euh... we're reading weaponsfire. Shields are fine, but this boat is only really outfitted with them because it can't support a standard type deflector..."

"Subspace transmission to Asgard please."

"Channel open."

[code:1:39188b6ffa]-opening subspace tube-
-connection established-

This is the MKSF Zeal. We have detected weapons fire in the vicinity of the sail ship. As we are poorly equipped to deal with _any_ combat, we will withdraw. Recommend deployment of retrofitted Azaal cruiser.[/code:1:39188b6ffa]

The Zeal then sent a message to the sail ship.

Our vessel is ill-equipped for combat situations, and we are withdrawing from the area. A vessel that is more capable will be deployed, with a full diplomatic team.

They will also have the database we have prepared for you.

Zeal out.

The Zeal flashed away into subspace at about the same time their transmission was recieved at Asgard station, which pushed the first Azaal cruiser they had retrofitted, the Meloun into service.

Subspace drive was minimal compared to what it used to be, but it would be in the area momentarily.

It even still had the Imperial class XII shielding, and it's engines guaranteed that it would be able to match velocities quickly, rather then have to accelerate for as long as the Zeal did.
06-05-2004, 13:17
"Even were I willing to do so, little rock, It is not possible. It has taken this vessel 28.75 Human years to reach this system, and it's environment systems are insufficient for a further such venture. I shall reach Earth, O Watcher, no matter what you might wish. Cease fire or be destroyed. "

The words echoed in Fr'geniaks mind, shocking him back to the now. Never in the known history of the Asteriids had any communication been established between an alien and his kind. He was at a loss as to what to he did what he was TRAINED to do: he sent a thought-speak to the High Council asking for direction, and prepared his next assault.

He watched in satisfaction as the life-force driven Spheroids made their final approach before reaching their intended targets. He quivered in anticipation as the vessel known as the Inviolate tried desperately to defend against the assault. For the first time in his long existance, Fr'geniak felt a modicum of admiration for the aliens who seemed willing to give their lives for the defense of their people. No matter, this would not stop him from accomplishing his sacred mission. With satisfaction, he directed Spheroid Altoid to change direction, and strike at the smaller pods that seemed to be issuing from the Inviolate. He watched as the Spheroid tore through 3 of the pods before dissipating into the cosmic ether. Now the aliens would feel the same loss as the Asteriids did every time one of the Flock was violated. Fr'geniak turned his attention to the remaining Spheroids, relishing the thought of the impending destruction of the intruders.

347 light-years distant, Qx'nathin was pulled away from his slumber by an urgent missive from his Herd-Watcher, Fr'geniak. As he digested the news from the field, alarm raced through his mind: "Siannon" he thought " The Destroyer returns..." Deep within the group thought-vault lay the history of his people, a bright and glorious legacy of growth and peace. Throughout this history lay references to the Destroyer, the one graet danger to the Asteriid race. Qx'nathin sent an urgent thought-speak to the rest of the High Council, for decisions on a course of action demanded the input of all the members. Unease grew in his soul...the Apocolypse had come.
The Ctan
06-05-2004, 16:32
“Watcher of the herd?” muttered the commodore, punctuated by a loud ‘bang’ as the remaining spheroids impacted, “interesting, and damage report!”

“Two impacts. (Yes?) We’ve lost the sensor spine and are venting gases on the ventral surface, sealing off the affected section. We’ve also lost three fighters,” was the reply.

“Return fire with all NPB batteries, and acquire for main cannons.”

“We lost one of the GMIs when they took out the sensor spine.”

“Lock remaining GMI on, position us to fire,” ordered the commodore, turning around to look at a large table, covered in various icons, he beckoned the science officer over as the distant sounds of the main neutral particle beam weapons – neutron cannons, a low mass beam of particles without charge travelling at near the speed of light -opening fire on the asteroid, fifteen large cannons, and numerous point defence weapons began a distant assault on the senses. They needed to divert the asteroid from the others, and he had conceived a plan to do just that, and probably seriously annoy it too.

“They called it the ‘watcher of the heard’ what does that imply to you…”

“A shepherd,” she replied, blinking a little, confused at where he was going with this.

“Precisely. Are there any more asteroids that could be described as a herd around here?”

She suddenly understood, and hit a button, and the horizontal table altered to show a two dimensional map, vastly zoomed out, “yes, a concentration of them… here.”

“How many missiles left?” he asked, and as she worked snapped out to one of the systems officers, “Prep the deceleration drives for FTL.”

“Five per tube, we’ve used twenty three, so ninety seven.”

“How many high yield warheads?” he asked.

She checked for a moment, “Fifty.”

“Instruct the autoloaders to equip our last fifty missiles with high yield warheads,” he ordered, turning to the missile officer, and keying in an authorisation code.

Meanwhile, in the bows of the ship John Adams rushed to the panel for component swap on the port deceleration drive. He pulled it back, cut the power and slid the large box that contained the distribution system out, placing it on the floor beside him, he reached for the replacement, which would change the peripheral components of the drive, and alter its function. He flinched slightly as the GMI nearby fired, accelerating a large slug to a C-fractional speed, carrying the energy of a large nuclear bomb. Doubtless the rock could avoid being hit by it, which would come as no surprise to anyone, but it might serve as a distraction from their true intent.
06-05-2004, 23:54
OOC: Gawdly, I'd much prefer it if you didn't make up backstory for my nation, since I've already got it nicely worked out. Siannon is at most only five hundred years old, and has led a reasonably uneventful life (for an Enra). It is hardly some kind of semi-mythical "Destroyer"; this is the first time they've ever left the home system!

Grr, argh.


The logosphere blazed with the light of weapons fire, data from the Kinva's sensors fed directly to Siannon's optical nerves. The vessel was rapidly approaching the "Watcher of the Herd", and would eventually pass it by a hundred thousand kilometers or so.

The window of opportunity to strike the rogue asteroid would be narrow, given the extreme speeds at which the Kinva was still travelling and the relitavely short effective range of the message laser as a weapon.

Siannon ordered power routed from the fusion tokamak to the message laser, building up a charge in preparation to firing.

Of course, there was one slight problem - the Din'Sul was between the Kinva and the Watcher...

Siannon stretched it's mind across the short distance to the Din'Sul, and found the electromagnetic field that was Nataliya Ivanova's mental activity; quite distinct from that of the Menelmacari.

Though the Enra had used Human servitors since shortly after they'd arrived in the home system, over seventy-eight of their years ago, their minds remained alien to Siannon, Nataliya Ivanova's no less than any other's.

Looking out through the Human woman's sensorium - so very limited in comparison to Siannon's own! - the Enra fixed it's gaze upon the Menelmacari Ciryatari, and spoke.

"Ciryatari Eluen! The Kinva now approaches weapons range of the "Watcher of the Herd", and I prepare to strike. However, your vessel is currently between the weapons of the Kinva and the asteroid; I request that you shift position slightly, that I might strike."
07-05-2004, 12:49
OOC: My apologies, too much Star Trek and comic books during my youth, and this is my first NationStates RP. Where I WAS planning to go, is that Siannon was a PROPHECY, and the name Siannon was the Asteriid version of Satan. No worries, feel free to destroy me and get on with your story.

"Cease all hostilities NOW" came the words, screaming into Fr'geniaks thought receptors. The missive from the High Council was clear, and urgently delivered. Though he bowed to no one, Fr'geniak recognized the power of the High Council and using a small portion of his mind, called the remaining Spheroids back to his rocky form. Frustrated, he sent a question to them.
"What is your command?"
"Wait, and do no further harm to the intruders UNLESS they seek to violate the Star Child directly." was the reply.
"But what of the Herd?" asked Fr'geniak.
"As long as they are not directly threatened, you will do no action unless instructed."
Frustrated, Fr'geniak settled into orbit around the soul known as Earth, and waited for the High Council to tell him what to do.

Suddenly, he became aware of an object travelling at high-speed towards him, and he determined that it was a weapon of sorts, a counter-attack by one of the alien intruders. He desperately wished that he could respond to this attack and show the invader the TRUE meaning of power, but his orders were clear. He did nothing as the missile approached, and finally struck him with a vicious impact.


Fr'geniak howled a telepathic cry of agony as the weapon burned away a large part of his forward mass. He had never felt pain quite like this before. The wound was major, and his plasma-based lifeforce slowly seeped into the atmosphere. Weakening by the second, he sent out a telepathic distress signal before his higher functions shut down to concentrate on trying to repair the damage caused by the alien weapon.
The Black
07-05-2004, 13:45
The Oort

The Skylark Three is "maintaining readiness while attending tasks of some importance but little urgency fitting its capabilities". For now, the important capabilities aren't arms or hugely capable drives, but onboard fabrication capability and a SAT drive able to cycle rapidly. Essentially, vast power generation and computational abilities have caused the immense warship to act as an errand boy for astronomers, out where the Sun's gravity makes for a perfect lens.

This actually rankles a lot less than might be expected. There are many minds aboard with a keen interest for the wonders of space. If anything rankles, it's the loss of General Kutusov to the TYCS and her replacement with another (admittedly well-reputed) officer. Replacement of components in the loose group-mind that is a TAF warship is always a difficult thing.

Then the reassignment orders come in. First contact situation. Proceed to intercept.


Colonel Belisarius Thorne-von Saucken is pleased overall with what it feels for its old friend's previous command. The herm's been assigned to cover for reassigned senior officers before, and the Skylark company is no worse than many others. It's not a matter of deliberate resistance, it knows... it's just hard for a ship to adapt to new senior officers.

So the Colonel is not upset when the comands to begin maneuvers are twenty-four milliseconds slow in penetration. It notes it, and the steady trend of decreasing command lag.

An autofac is ejected to complete the last observatory and commence a two-year return run when done. Sergeant Mubutu has done a good job of maintaining mass-thrift and still making sure that sufficient resources have been ejected within the small timeframe available. Good man.

The ship finishes its reorientation and separation, and the SAT drive does its dirty work.

Outside Neptune's Orbit

Far inside the vast solar-sail craft the superdreadnought appears, drives already cycling up to full power. A shell of observation drones is ejected. Soon it reports probable weaponsfire.

The ship's reaction is one of weary disgust.
The Ctan
09-05-2004, 21:39
A moment before a direct hit from the force impelled projectile, the rock had… recalled its weapons. After brief deliberation, the crew of the inviolate paused, and stepped down from combat status, and signalled the Kinva again.

Apologies for the interruption our rocky friend appears quiescent for now, we’re keeping weapons locked on it, but it looks like we’re able to relax, for now at least.

You are indeed correct, we have been in communication with the Menelmacari vessel.

Our offer is in, basic, related to an exchange of a significant area of land on Earth for the sail that propels your vessel, which we believe we may have a use for in a certain terraforming project. If you wish to discuss this further, we shall send a launch over with appropriate representatives to discuss the matter further.

Similarly, they transmitted a signal to the Worldslayer informing it that, for now, it needn’t spook the locals.
09-05-2004, 23:18
The Involiate II's offer was intriguing, to say the least, and Siannon examined the possibilities as it reordered it's logosphere. Being able to trade for land instead of fighting for it, and trading with an item that would soon be worth little to the Enra, was very appealing.

"Nikita Kovalev!" Siannon sang, "Translate this reply to the Involiate II..."

Your offer is most interesting to the Enra Siannon. Please send your "launch" immediately, and it shall be guided into the Kinva's hangar by radio beacon.
The Ctan
10-05-2004, 09:14
The ship’s launches were basically heavy ferries, blocky and not particularly pleasing in its design, it was basically a modification of a vessel that was, a smooth personnel transport used by some facilities, but with changes made for this job, a stopgap measure until they actually got dedicated and designed shuttles. The lines of the thing were spoilt by the large boxlike section built onto its underside, designed for heavy transport of various vehicles to planetary surfaces. The ship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Roger Styles, watched as they prepared the first of these somewhat ungainly craft for space, they were stored with their large atmospheric manoeuvring wings folded up to save space.

He watched with a little interest as the science officer appeared from the bridge. He looked at her for a moment, “When did you start doing first-contacts lieutenant?”

She smiled enigmatically, just for a moment, “Oh, I think you’ll find that it’s in my job description,” she said with a smile, walking up one of the ramps to the surprisingly large launch and then up to the cockpit, after a moment, waiting for Styles, and others, to board, she casually flipped a few switches, lowering the thing into position in the rear hanger, folding out the wings if not due to necessity here, then habit, and heading toward the Kinva, quickly locking onto the beacon and heading toward the hanger.
10-05-2004, 09:55
11-05-2004, 09:24
Nikita Kovalev stood nervously in the airlock of the Kinva's No. 14 hangar, waiting for the pressures of the hangar and airlock to equalise. A foothold on the floor of the airlock kept him from drifting into the Command officers flanking him; there was, after all, no artificial gravity in the Kinva's asteroid shield, where the hangars were located.

Finally the indicator switched from red to green, and the cylindrical airlock rotated on it's axis to face the outer door.

The big bucky-steel airlock doors, plated inside and out with reactive nara psuedoceramics, were firmly shut against the external vacuum; not that this made Nikita feel any safer, standing a few dozen meters from oblivion without an EVA suit.

He felt dreadfully insignificant, standing between a pair of officers who resembled Teutonic deities, waiting for emissaries from a much more advanced civilisation to exit their launch...
High Griffins
11-05-2004, 22:26
If Nikita had been expecting something particularly intimidating. Any dignity they had evaporated the moment the necrontyr woman stepped from the landing craft’s doorway.

She was certainly impressive enough to look at, something between six and seven feet tall, somewhat alien in appearance, while still humanoid. Her outfit was a similarly impressive white robe, trimmed with gold, coming down to her ankles. It was actually capable of quietly heating the wearer, essential, as her species preferred higher temperatures.

What evaporated the illusion, was the fact that, so accustomed to artificial gravity being everywhere as she was, she stepped onto the floor, a little bounce of excitement in her step, and promptly flew up into the air with a little surprised squawk, only to be quickly retrieved by the XO. After making her way over, safely, she looked at the locals rather sheepishly, smiled, and said, “Err… Hello,” all complicated speeches pushed to the back of her mind by that little humiliating incident.
The Ctan
12-05-2004, 06:58
That was me. I have no idea how that happened.
13-05-2004, 09:02
I thought they'd be taller, Nikita thought. The foreign woman was only short-to-average compared to the Rhiadin.

I thought they'd be more dignified, he thought, as the woman's blunder drove the carefully-rehearsed greetings from his mind.

"Uh ... hello," he replied, embarrased himself. Where is the Enra when you need it?

"Surely you have more of a greeting than that?" one of the Command officers asked in rapid, amused Rhiadin.

"One moment," Nikita replied, blushing, "I think I forgot it."

The Command officer looked amused or exasperated or both.

"Welcome to the Kinva," Nikita added lamely.
The Ctan
16-05-2004, 18:45
“Thank you!” she said, still looking rather flustered, “Err, could we perhaps go to a more… comfortable area?”

As she said this the other officer came up behind her, looking very apologetic for his companion’s nullgrav ineptitude.

((Many many apologies for the shortness of this post!))
17-05-2004, 09:30
"Certainly," Nikita replied, "The Enra awaits. Though I must forewarn you - the Command center is in the axis of the Kinva, and has no gravity."

The pair of Command officers - Nikita still didn't know their names - led the way across the hangar to the airlock, using the footrungs set into the deck to keep themselves from drifting off.

Nikita made sure the foreigners had the trick of using the rungs, to avoid further upsets, and entered the airlock himself. Once they were all crowded into the little cylinder the motors began to hum, rotating it around to face the interior of the ship.

The airlock was one of two, so designed to prevent hull breaches, or make it harder for invaders to enter the ship. Beyond that the second airlock opened out on a large corridor, visibly curved; it ran around the bulk of the asteroid shield, connecting the hangars.

The footrungs continued here also, and Nikita led them a short way along the corridor to where an elevator took them down to the center of the asteroid shield. From there it was only a short walk through the axis of the Kinva to the cavernous Command center, where Siannon waited.
The Ctan
23-05-2004, 07:28
The journey itself was easy enough, after Styles grabbed the necrontyr woman and proceeded to carry her along like luggage. He at least knew, from long hours spent in it, how to move in zero gee with no problems. She of course, found this even more undignified, and after a few minutes of subtle glaring, managed to persuade him to put her down and let her move on her own, which she did surprisingly well.

She took careful note of every detail of the ship as they passed it, quite interested in its design. Finally, they reached the command centre, and observed its occupant.
23-05-2004, 09:52
The Command officers moved aside so that the foreigners could approach the Enra, who extended it's long neck to regard them.

"Nikita Kovalev!" Siannon said, in the True Speech, uncluttered with Russian loanwords. "Extend unto my guests my greetings."

"The Enra Siannon greets you, Emissiaries," Nikita translated. "Might I have your names?"

OOC: Ack, short. The inspiration is not much flowing.
The Ctan
27-05-2004, 10:32
"Arshaw 'Mîriel,'" she said, it was rather odd that she had an elven name, more so that it was gramatically incorrect, but the full version was a bit of a pain to repeat, so it was usually shortened, "and Commander Rodger Styles," she said, cutting off his own intended intoduction.

She examined the Enra curiously, wishing that she had, like her sister, one of those neat telepathy blocking devices. That said, she'd wished she had one of them since that incident with the rock.

"And now, about our offer," she said, "we assume that you wish to land on the planet ahead," she paused, "and will, after that, have no use for your solar sail?"
27-05-2004, 10:43
Nikita translated this for the Enra, who replied in the True Speech. Both True and Common Rhiadin mangled the foreign names, inserting extra vowels to force them to sit comfortably on Rhiadin tongues; Arshaw 'Mîriel became Arisiau Miriel and Rodger Styles ended up as Rodiger Sityles.

"That's correct," Nikita translated, "We're headed for Sol Three - Earth. The solar sail will be of little use in a planetary system - it's too big, and acceleration's too slow, for it to be efficient."
The Ctan
27-05-2004, 10:50
"Good, then," she paused, taking something from her pocket, a palm sized display system, which exploded into life, showing a fairly large, three dimensional map (though Earth was far stranger than that, with fractured reality an so on) of the former C'tan Confedercy, and its surrounding lands, illuminated quite clearly, "We would like to offer this following land in exchange for it, we have quite a use in mind for a sail like this one. I have no doubt that this is a preferable arrangement to more... confrontational, measures, no?"
27-05-2004, 11:36
Siannon's great head turned to regard the holographic image (another example of the disparity between their technology levels!), and Nikita knew that the Enra's sharp eyes were examining it minutely, taking in the sprawl of the territory - from 15 degrees South to 55 North, and wider East to West - and it's features; two small seas, a scattering of high mountain ranges, and many short rivers.

Finally, Siannon issued it's response, which Nikita translated;

"Much preferable, Arisiau Miriel. We have come a long way, and we do not wish to come down to war. Exchanging the sail for these lands would be an excellent bargain. Siannon requests to know - is this territory inhabited? Humans, the Enra says, are difficult to control and may disagree with such a sale, if there are many of them."
The Ctan
30-05-2004, 09:31
'Heh, Arisiau' Styles thought quietly, 'have to remember that one, see if I can't tag it onto her as a nickname.'

She nodded to the Enra, "No. There are no natives we are aware of, at least, not yet."
30-05-2004, 10:22
Nikita passed this on to Siannon, who sang it's approval in the True Speech.

"The Enra asks, can we then transfer the sail to your ownership in Earth orbit, once we no longer have need of it?" Nikita translated back.
The Ctan
30-05-2004, 10:56
The necrontyr woman nodded, "Of course, that seems like the most logical arrangement."
01-06-2004, 09:30
Siannon nodded (when had it picked up that Human mannerism? Nikita wondered) as Nikita translated it for the Enra.

"The Enra says, if you will then have a vessel waiting in Earth orbit, it shall be transferred to your control once we have made landfall," he translated back.
09-06-2004, 09:57
OOC: This long thing was mostly done a couple of weeks ago on IRC with Menelmacar. I'd hoped to get it finished, but it doesn't seem like that's possible, so I guess I'll post what I've got. Maybe we can finish it some other time; for now, I really don't want this thread to die on me.



"Of course," Elwen agreed with a nod. She opened her comm again. "Bridge... remain on this heading, but adjust our position relative to Kinva by five hundred meters to port, to clear the way for Kinva's weapons... and give the rock-beast a taste of our own wrath as well." She closed the comm, and smiled at the ambassador. "That should do nicely, yes?"

"Very well," Siannon replied, increasing the power to the message laser into the red. "The window of opportunity is narrow."

The Kinva was still moving at impressive speeds, and the distance between the craft and the asteroid closed rapidly. The message laser flashed on as soon as the range closed to one AU, the first photons of the overpowered beam taking eight minutes to reach the target.

As the Kinva drew closer, the distance decreased, and less of the beam's energy dissipated into vacuum; the radiation impacting the Watcher of the Herd increased vastly, boiling away silica rock and ammonia ice.

Such a strike would also impart great momentum to the asteroid, knocking it onto an elliptical orbit out of the plane of the ecliptic. The Watcher might be able to correct it's orbit for this, but only at the expenditure of further energy.

Then the Kinva flashed past, leaving the malevolent rock behind, and the message laser cut out.

Simultaneously with this, Din'Sul opened up with the forward spinal mounts, and a pair of dual streams of coruscating golden plasma bolts lanced out, carrying untold quantities of energy and heat to its target, in all likelihood with similar effects to the Kinva's laser.

Siannon's satisfaction echoed throughout the logosphere of Enrain telepathy and cyborg links, and the Enra redirected it's attention to Nataliya Ivanova and the Din'Sul.

"The Watcher of the Herd is now behind the Kinva," the Enra spoke through the translator, "And I can no longer strike at it. Thus, I request that you shift position to protect the sail masts at the stern of my vessel from attack."

Such a change of position, going around the rapidly moving sail, would be difficult, but from what it had already seen, Siannon had no doubt that the Menelmacari could manage it.

Elwen nodded. "We can do that," she said, passing this on to the bridge crew; the Din'Sul shifted position again, pulling way out to starboard, then dropping its velocity slightly to drop back a bit, then speeding up to match again, then pulling portwards to follow Kinva dead astern. Down the length of the black-and-red hull, turrets swivelled to aim aftwards in case Fr'geniak attempted to pursue.

Siannon's rear sensors reported the successful manuever of the Din'Sul ... and the not-so-satisfying disappearance of the Watcher. The Enra hissed in anger, unconciously still through Nataliya, before reestablishing stability of the logosphere and correcting for the anomaly.

"Ciryatari Eluen!" Siannon told the Menelmacari captain, "The attacker has vanished from my perception. I do not believe that our attack has destroyed it; it appears to have retreated."

Elwen's crew likewise reported this to her... "Disappeared, you say? No good can come of that... for the Watcher." She looked at Nataliya to explain. "The orbital assets around Earth are... myriad. If he is trying to get there before we do, he will undoubtedly be targeted and destroyed. Populated planets do, after all, get antsy at the appearance of an asteroid in close vicinity."

"Excellent." If Siannon had had more facial muscles itself, Nataliya would have smiled. As it was, the Enra's pleasure was plain enough. "I am hopeful that this shall not prove to be a problem in the future." - The Kinva, of course, had most of an asteroid before it, to shield from micrometeorites, and attacks such as the one it had just weathered.

Elwen smiled. "So, come, Nataliya Ivanova, let us find somewhere to get to know each other better, and to discuss diplomacy."

"Certainly." Siannon withdrew, allowing Nataliya's normal thought patterns to return to dominance. The translator rocked a little on her feet, feeling voluntary motor controls returned to her like the end of a paralysis.

"This way, if you please," Elwen said, gesturing towards the door, and the two Rhiadin women followed the Menelmacari across the ornate hangar bay to the exit. Nataliya felt like an insect of some sort, crawling across the surface of a Fabergé egg.

Elwen fell in beside the two visitors, and the two security guards fell in behind them all. The door slid soundlessly open as they approached, revealing a corridor of similar decor as the hangar bay. "So," Elwen mused, "I must admit I'm surprised at seeing humans on a ship from a culture that's apparently never been here before... how did that come about?"

Nataliya rapidly went through the history database aboard the Kinva with her netlink, refreshing her memory. It wasn't a subject which came up often.

"One hundred and fifty Earth years ago," she began -

"Is it wise to tell her this?" Lieutenant Lukanova hissed in Rhiadin. Nataliya sent a brief query over the mindlink to Siannon, and felt the Enra's approval.

"The Enra says so," she replied. To Elwen, she contined;

"One hundred and fifty Earth years ago, a Human nation named Abatoir sent a NAFAL colony ship to Rhiadh - somehow, they were able to use their ship's drives to reach velocities above lightspeed. Presumably they knew about the civilisation there from the Enrain radio communications, much the same way that we knew of the peoples of this system before our arrival.

"This colony vessel was found by an Aggregate in the Outer Belt - the Tianis Aggregate, of which the Enra Siannon is legally released from. Though the NAFAL drive was somehow damaged in the encounter, the humans - our great-grandparents - became servitors of the Aggregate, and work was begun on the Kinva; it took some fifty years to build our craft!

"When the Kinva was launched, it was only sensible to crew it with humans - the Gikuroi, which the Enra had used as servitors before our ancestors' arrival, are not smart enough to crew a spacecraft without constant supervision."

The Ciryatari nodded slightly. "The Gikuroi?" she asked. "Another race?"

"Yes," Nataliya replied, "But less intelligent - something like the Homo Erectus of Human evolutionary history, I think."

Elwen nodded a bit, leading the Rhiadin down another corridor now, probably somewhere in the direction of the bow. "Interesting... so it's almost something of a return for you, then? This mission, I mean."

Nataliya shook her head. "Maybe if the original crew were still alive ... but we are Rhiadin now, and none of us have been here before."

"Tell me about this... Aggregate... how does it work, how is it governed?"

Nataliya frowned, trying to think of the right words in Quenya. "The Aggregate is a ... merging of sensoria? An expanded Enrain courtship-bond, with the many acting as one. No, not acting," she corrected herself, "Being the one."

"Fascinating," Elwen said thoughtfully. "I had guessed it was simply another term for nation. Then I was wrong in describing Menelmacar as an Aggregate. Yet you are 'servitors' - how does this work?" She turns a corner, leading the two Rhiadin down a side hall, towards a door at the end.

"The hands of the Enrai are not well adapted for tool use," Nataliya explained, "So they have evolved the ability to control the Gikuroi to act as their hands. But the Gikuroi need almost constant supervision in order to perform complex tasks, and humans are more intelligent. Thus we serve the Enra of our own initiative, and the Enra uses us as it's hands when it is necessary - or as it's voice, as you heard before."

"So it was actually speaking *through* you? Controlling your body?" As before, the door was ornately carved hardwood, and slid open at the Ciryatari's approach. Inside was a luxurious conference room, with soft leather chairs. Elwen gestured, offering them a seat at the table, before sitting herself.

"Yes," Nataliya replied, as she and Lukanova sat down opposite the Ciryatari. "I am not so high in rank to control the Kinva's lasers!"

Elwen chuckled softly. "Would you like a drink?" she asked. "My people are well-known for our fine wines and spirits."

Nataliya had to search the databases for "wines", and found a glowering "interdict" in the entry on alcohols.

"It is not permitted," she explained to Elwen. "Please, take no offence."

Elwen nodded. "Understandable. I apologize. I hope you don't mind if I indulge?" She clapped her hands twice, and a random crew-elf entered, probably an enlisted sort, wearing a snappy fleet uniform much like Elwen's. "Yes, milady?"

Elwen smiled. "A nice red wine for me, please, and some non-alcoholic beverages for our honored guests." She glanced to the Rhiadin. "Any particular preference?"

Nataliya translated this into Rhiadin for Lieutenant Lukanova.

"Ask the Menelimacari if they have tea," Lukanova told her, and Nataliya passed this on. "Tea, please, if you possess it."

Elwen nodded. "All right, tea it is." She glanced to the crewman, who bowed his head slightly and withdrew. "So, tell me about these Enrai... and I'd be glad as well to answer any questions you may have about my people."

Nataliya shrugged. "What would you like to know?"

Elwen smiled. "Well... who and/or what are they? And how do they speak through you?"

Accessing the netlink, Nataliya found the appropriate files in the Kinva's databases. "Obviously, they're a sentient alien race. That's a rather general question, Ciryatari. As for how the mindlink works, I don't know; there isn't data on it. It is limited to the speed of light, though."

Elwen nodded; the crewman came back with the wine and the tea, placing each beverage before the appropriate person. "I see... I'd be fascinated to meet one sometime."

"Maybe it will be possible, one day," Nataliya replied, "Once we make landfall. For now, Siannon is the only Enra in this system."

"So... Siannon leads your mission?" the elf asked, sipping from her wine.

"Yes, of course - Siannon is the Enra! It was sent out by the Tianis Aggregate, of course, but once communications lag times reached several weeks, Siannon was legally released from the Aggregate and command became it's."

"It's?" Elwen asked. "They're asexual?"

Nataliya nodded. "That's so - or at least, that is what the Enra has told us. Obviously, we cannot confirm it!"

Elwen chuckled a bit. "So... how many Aggregates are there? Is there peace between them, or conflict?"

Nataliya sipped at her tea - sweet and thick, in the Rhiadin style - and retrieved more facts from the databases. "When the Kinva left the home system, there were over three hundred in space alone, with over twice that many "batchelors". The Tianis Aggregate - which is named after the founding Enra - didn't have data upon the planetary populations. And yes, there is conflict - the natural state of the Enrai, should two meet, is war, unless they are trading or courting."
The Ctan
10-06-2004, 11:08
‘Arisiau’ shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably for a moment, painfully aware of just how much she was exceeding her official authority here. As such, she blinked nervously, and smoothed the robe-like outfit she wore over her more normal clothing, the ‘fabric’ reassuringly warm to the touch. She doubtless had enough influence to make them stick with her bargain, but she’d probably get some sort of reprimand for it.

Oh well.

“Certainly,” she said, “I’m certain that we can send an appropriate vessel.”

She paused again, not wishing to make a poor impression, “I think we’ll be able to send more qualified diplomats than myself as well…”
10-06-2004, 11:40
OOC: I figure the Kinva can be wherever it needs to be/will have the most RP being. Right now that's looking like the inner system, on approach to Mercurial orbit. Mercury peoples, be sure to wave as it goes past! :)

More qualified? Nikita thought, Does that mean this trade isn't proper or something?

"Emissary Miriel says that a suitable vessel can be sent to Earth orbit to transfer the sail," he translated for Siannon. "It will also send more qualified diplomats..."

In the Common Speech, the word for "diplomat" was akisenov, after the Abitoiran officer who had first communicated effectively with the Enrai of the Tianis Aggregate. In the True Speech, the closest one could get was "neuter-who-brokers-drowries".

"That is good," the Enra replied, great jaws opening wide in a whistling yawn of approval. "I shall greet the "more qualified diplomats" also, when at last I enter Earth orbit."

"The Enra Siannon accepts your offer," Nikita translated to "Arisiau".
10-06-2004, 13:51
The sphere waited, having arrived exactly where it was intended to. He Who Was would expect nothing less. He would tolerate nothing less. All citizens knew that they were expected to perform their jobs without error. Failure ment reassignment to less desirable duties. Such as working the mines. Or being sent to "repair" the exterior of the giant domes that housed the submerged demesne.

The sphere hovered -- as much as such a term applies in space -- near the apex of the Rhiadhian vessel's orbit, allowing it to scan and photograph the craft for the entire loop. Once the craft entered the sphere's range, the non-propulsion systems powered up and started running. Scores of different sensors and a dozen different cameras scanned and photographed the craft, tracking it for the entire pass and re-pass. The scans were not invasive, nor destructive, or even dangerous, but they showed the high degree of interest that whomever sent the sphere had.

Once the craft left the sphere's sensor range, its engines powered up to full, and it rocketed back towards Earth, presuming, of course, that the Enra felt no need to assault the sphere.
11-06-2004, 10:57
The scans of the foreign sphere impacted upon Siannon's logosphere, but there was little time, at present, to regard them; the Kinva was now within the orbit of Mercury, and almost all resources were currently devoted to the delicate solar braking manoever.

The solar sail was tacked to better gather the most thrust from the photons streaming from the sun, rapidly decreasing the ship's speed. That had been happening since the Kinva had reached the heliopause, of course, but here close to the Sun the photons were closer together, and thus the force imparted to the sail was higher; after braking around the Sun, the trip back up the gravity well to Earth would take almost as long as the entire journey inwards to the Sun.

So the data was put aside, for now. Later, when the immediate work had passed and the Kinva was once again at ease, it could be examined at the Enra's leisure.
The Caloris Basin
12-06-2004, 04:22
"What the Hell...?" Elijah frowned at the satellite feeds coming in. With a thought he signaled to one of the Daedalus to turn and peer at the Rhiadhian ship with its unblinking eye. As he examined the ship with curiosity, another Daedalus watched the fleeting form of the Abatoirian sphere.

Elijah's liquid form shrugged in a non-commital manner, powering up his communications array.

Initiate CommandKey \\:\\:extrncomm\\tightbeam:craft
Return //://:extrncomm\\tightbeam:craft Successful

Welcome to the neighborhood.

Initiate CommandKey \\:\\:closeroute
Return //://:closeroute Successful
Spacer Guilds
12-06-2004, 04:55
The Guilders, being as they are, were of course aware of the Sailing Ship for quite some time. But seeing as it was coming to them anyway, no need was seen to waste fuel going out to meet it.

Now that it crossed the orbit of Mercury, however, it wouldn't be that much trouble, and so a greeting was dispatched from one of the hundreds of Guild solar collectors.

Lightcraft, may we rendezvous?
~Guild Mycenae
16-06-2004, 21:41
18-06-2004, 05:59
Amerigo is a land of contrast...
18-06-2004, 09:23
Message Laser @ Mercury Communications Array: Thankyou. Currently exiting "neighbourhood" ...

Message Laser @ Solar Collector: Negatory. All resources are currently in use during near-Solar operations.

OOC: I'm sorry, but anything better is just not happening. Grr. Argh. Brain is approaching critical temperatures ... meltdown imminent ...
23-06-2004, 00:30
OOC: We continue on, then...

Ahead of the Kinva, Earth grew from a pinprick to a dot, and the Enra Siannon was well pleased to see the destination finally in sight.

Even before reaching orbit, however, there was work to be done. The flimsy solar sail would not survive the crowded orbital space of Earth - not in any state it's prospective owners would accept, at least.

So for the first time in thirty Earthly years, the sail was furled, folded, and eventually packed into a space only a kilometer long, small enough to fit neatly along the rotating hull of the Kinva. The ship was now coasting towards Earth on it's momentum, several orders of magnitude slower than it had been when it last passed Earth orbit, but still too fast.

Nuclear thermal rockets, studded around the asteroid shield, fired all along one side of the great rock, turning the Kinva around one-eighty degrees so that the shield was facing the way it had come and the rear of the ship was now facing Earth.

But how does one slow a ship as large as the Kinva, hard enough to force it into Earth orbit, to prevent it drifting past and onwards back to the outer system? The Enrai had had the answer for thousands of years, and humans had also developed it, though not on such a scale.

Shorn of sails, rigging, and masts, the stern of the Kinva was converted into a gigantic pusher plate, half a kilometer across, and the first "push" was applied - several megatons worth of fission-fusion bomb, exploding ahead of the ship to lessen it's speed.

The brief flash of light would be visible on Earth's nightside, and the radiation would be observable in Earth's orbit. Siannon considered that ample warning for whatever Earthlings were still unaware of the Kinva's approach.
Spacer Guilds
23-06-2004, 01:44
An Orion drive.... No Guilder had seen a working Orion drive for over a century, since the last of them strong enough to ride a high-g fractional ship had been breeded out of the population. Platon Nikephoros had never seen one at all, save for in old historical films. In the knowledge of the Guilders, only two Orions still existed within the Solar system, both of them safely hidden away aboard the Battlestar Samael.

But there was no mistaking the object approaching Earth now. It was on an unheard of scale, but it was most definitely and Orion. Most confusing, since it was coming along right where previosu reports indicated a Lightsail should be.... But never mind that.

The Governor of Aríêtê wasted no time. A Prometheus torchship ( was appropriated, provisioned, crewed, and launched in only twelve hours from the time of the first blast. Firing up its NEP engines, it began its journey to rendezvous with the newcomer.
25-06-2004, 14:07
25-06-2004, 14:16
The original plan for entering Earth orbit had been devised at the Ekizi Holding by the Tianis Aggregate, and in the distant asteroid belt of the home system there had been no knowledge of the Eternal Necrontyr Empire of the C'tan, or of how crowded the destination's orbital space was.

Under the original plan, the Kinva would have entered high orbit, and located a suitable site before comitting to a geostationary orbit. But with the promise of the C'tanni lands, and more importantly the C'tanni maps, Siannon had selected a worthy location along the equator.

Now the Kinva dropped speed still further to head directly to the point, 35,790 kilometers above sea level, where the Kinva would remain motionless relative to the peak below.

This saved time, but also had the great benefit of decreasing the number of nuclear detonations required - a high priority, when every blast sent radiation sheeting out to harm the myriad satellites, stations and spacers in Earth orbit.

And at last the Kinva had reached Earth, the Destination at the end of the long voyage! As the rotational section of the ship turned, the humans, young and old, dropped their tasks to gaze at the world below. Siannon, too, basked in the information provided by the logosphere, and pronounced it good.

OOC: Here I may start a new thread, given that the basic purpose of this one is now complete. If I do, I'll link it here.
27-06-2004, 06:05
OOC: Here we go ( Ground-based stuff should go in that thread. I suppose space-based stuff can stay in this thread.
Spacer Guilds
16-07-2004, 16:37
To the minor annoyance of its crew, the torchship was unable to make a direct approach to the Kinva, due to the necessity of keeping the radiation shield pointed directly at it whenever on the same side as the Orion drive.

It therefore made a 7h45 drop around the planet, and did as well as it could manage to come up on the Kinva from behind. Once out from behind the 12500 kilometer radiation block that is Earth and out of the way of the radi interference from the detonations taking place on the other side of the Kinva, the torchship turned its low-gain antenna on the Kinva and began transmitting text in Russian, English, and Greek.

Greetings. We represent the Intrasolar Republic of Spacer Guilds. We request identification and would also like to know if you have time and personnel for a more formal first contact meeting.
20-07-2004, 11:21
OOC: The Kinva has stopped firing the Orion drive by now, and is happily in geostationary orbit over C'tan's former Earth territories. Any necessary stationkeeping will be done by the nuclear thermal rockets on the asteroid shield. Anyhows, to continue ...

The Enra was almost pleased to have discovered a political group with the sense to transmit it's messages as text, and one with the added advantage of speaking Russian; it was a different dialect from the Abatoiran Russian which the first humans had spoken, and was further again from the heavily Rhiadin-influenced Common Speech variant of Russian, but it was Russian, and it was easily understandable by Siannon's translators.

As had by now become standard procedure, Siannon informed Nataliya Ivanova of it's reply, and the young woman translated that into the appropriate language for a return transmission.

The radio transmitter on the Kinva's bow had been little used since the launching twenty-eight years before, but it was there for those messages which required a response via radio, such as now.

Greetings. This is the Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon, a legally released member of the Tianis Aggregate. Sufficient persons are now avaliable to meet with your representatives. Do you require assistance in docking?
Spacer Guilds
21-07-2004, 04:41
Greetings. This is the Vessel Kinva of the Enra Siannon, a legally released member of the Tianis Aggregate. Sufficient persons are now avaliable to meet with your representatives. Do you require assistance in docking?Captain Euphranor of the City-ShipArêtê at your service,Kinva. As far as docking goes, if you have null-g facilities, those would be most convenient. Just give us directions to the port, please. Otherwise, I'll have to request that a transfer vehicle be dispatched, if that's not too much trouble. Should a workable docking arrangement not be reachable, we invite you to send a first contact team to the Arêtê itself.
22-07-2004, 10:40
The Kinva is currently at zero Earth gravities in the docking bays, command core and axial facilities. One Rhiadin gravity (eighty percent Earth gravity) is mantained in the habitation cylinder through centripetal force.

Although the majority of our docking facilities are configured for spaceplanes and other smaller craft, we do possess docking tubes which may be able to accommodate your vessel. If not, it may be possible to send a spaceplane to collect your emissaries.

Attached are schematics of the location and nature of the Docking Tube Number Two; please advise if it shall not suffice.