NationStates Jolt Archive

Phobos Stirs: Mallberta Returns

26-05-2005, 13:41
A subtle stirring, a windless breeze. Dust dances crazily through the black hallways riddled with tumors. A sigh, a moan, a memory.

Phobos is a small stone tumbling though orbit, jagged structure piercing through its calloused crust. The dead stone is scarred, etched fractal images pocking it like fossils.

Phobos, once shrouded, once dark, now glitters with condensation and steel. Once it held secrets. Now it lies bare, the gaping wounds of tunnels yawning emptily into space.

But deeper, deeper in, something moves. A twitching, a queasy sticky grate. An ancient womb bears a child of yeast and chitin, a mother, a queen. The hive awakes.
Der Angst
27-05-2005, 09:10

On the surface? Not much. A few feeble terraforming attempts involving a flora too ridiculous for normal sentients to even comprehend. A few reconstruction projects, negotiations with the Jovian Faction to lease a few of their ships... Daedalia isn't particularly strong on the fleet side.

In orbit, not much more. Quite a few stations, a fuckton of ships, debris from the battle against the Tyranid fleet.

Overall speaking, Daedalia is pleasently asleep, with nothing happening that would raise its interest.

Of course, a few other Martians ( will most likely start to think differently... For they might now be thrown out of another people's home.
Steel Butterfly
27-05-2005, 22:29
[OOC: I don't have the time to do you justice right now, Mallberta, but as an Order member, I gotta welcome you back. Check the forums, man...the Trium has taken your land.]
27-05-2005, 22:41
OOC: Holy smokes! Welcome back, Mallberta!
29-05-2005, 04:16
ooc: welcome back, how was life on the outside?
29-05-2005, 18:56
ooc: life on the outside is... ongoing. Almost finished my degree, living in Europe (Belgium of all places) and am pretty much just chillin out.

Alright so basically this thread is going to be about my return to activity. What I'm thinking is that given Phobos, by previous domain, is under the control and dismantlement of the Trium, Zero-One specifically, I'm hoping to RP some kind of conflict here. I don't necessarily need to win: but given I just returned, I don't really wanted to be wiped out entirely.

Anyone is welcome, but I'd prefer people I know just as I've no idea who most of the players are these days.

also, refer to the end of page 3 and start of page 4 on this thread
for additional, if brief, information.

Anyways I hope someone is up for this.
I'm going away for a few days, so yeah, you won't hear from me in the meantime.
TM if you need anymore info.
30-05-2005, 18:29
Despite common misconception, the Queendom's interests on Phobos are quite limited. Certainly it spearheaded the exploration into Phobos given that the mechanoids were least succeptable to the most insidious defenses that were the Mallbertan legacy, but had since then turned control over to other various states ( that decided they wanted a piece of the action as well... most of which were not related to the Triumvirate whatsoever except by diplomacy and perhaps sharing a planet with a member. MIDAS II and various third-party actually has a greater interest, but of course that tends to be overlooked for one reason or another.

The actual interests of the Queendom on Phobos consist of a continuing research effort into various forms of legacy Mallbertan technology, proceeding apace for however long it has been, and a decent security presence to act mostly as a mobile deployment point in the defense of Sirenum. So far, it has not needed to be used in such a capacity, but the QACF is nothing if reasonably paranoid and as the capability existed, it was only reasonable to establish sufficiently to sate said paranoia with a modicum of expanded ability in the unfortunate event of an attack on Zero-One interests on Mars.

With recent weirdness on the moon, consisting primarily of an intercepted yet seemingly chaotic signal, the QACF fleetmind in charge of the Phobos operation sends out a message to other parties which may be interested and, coincidentally, may have more to lose.
This United State
31-05-2005, 07:48
The last 5 MK 37 ( military ) Grav-Ships moved away from Phobos, with this weeks duty of Power Armor, Drone Ran, ( Final version " E " ) and thus " PADRE's ", having finished cleaning out the sector they had access to, of various artefacts, and in the process neatly filling to the brim all the specialised security crates they'd brought with them, four ship loads of which were in this curent flight formation, the 5th of which now held the PADRE's, naturally. They were on course back to This United State upon the surface of Mars, leaving behind, for what would other-wise be another week long repair and recharge cycle, a few basic mechanical air-locks installed just within the tunnels they'd been using to access a once vacuum exposed sub-surface sector at the very " edge " of what was once Mallberta.

The sheer beauty of the current method T.U.S. used was that on the whole it was both cheap and effective.

The original plans to build a research facility " up there " on Phobos had been scrapped when funding was cut, by those " up on high " no-less, for ... other projects, so now week on / week off automated drone teams were being used to clean out from there what-ever caught their pre-programmed interests, decon. it and box it up. Once the Zero-One teams had passed by and removed any " malign " presence within the sector, the drones had since began to " tomb-raid " the place which was once Mallbertan labs, building up quite a hearty cache of relics back in a Very Secure Storage site, back within T.U.S. Of ourse, no one actually knew what they had, just that it was all inert and manufactured, not " natural ".

So for this week the " shopping trip " was complete. It was to be the last, for a while, as the entire " safe " sector had been cleared of ... objects. On the way out, another tiny signal glimmer was detected by a Grav-Ship ECM/ECCM suite, and logged for later study. It was a signal like this that had caused Zero-One to alert the T.U.S. Directorate, which itself had after some speedy deliberations decided to forward the regular week-end pull-out schedule to that " morning ", rather than " after-noon " as had been planned. They were quite finished, after-all. Nothing else worth pulling out, and this was the only sector that had been cleansed, thus, which they were going to risk accessing. While they didn't have all that much to lose if something had eventuated there, with only the armed drone team there to investigate and possibly lose, the PADRE's were not cheap, and they ( T.U.S. ) had always been a very cautious people anyway.

It usually paid off ...

( Besides, they could always bung a satellite across to watch from a distance ... )
05-06-2005, 18:52
Phew, finally back. Long trip, fifteen hour bus ride = sucks. seriously.


S.H.O.D.A.N's drone teams clattered away dillingently, analyzing, categorizing and dismantling the myriad chambers and tunnels beneath the Phoban crust. They were effective and efficient, meticulous and infallible as only the artificial can be. Since their arrival, there had been no suprises- many unusual finds, some perhaps distasteful to unmechanized beings, but certainly not the horrors nor dangers that the core of the Mallbertan collective intelligences seemed to beckoned.

Indeed, had they been anything but mechanical, their task would no doubt have been somewhat tedious. While the twisting angles and seemingly random structure of the barren hive could certainly be considered unsettling, the nearly inscrutable artifacts within produced no easy answers, defying nearly all analysis. Nor had they found the seat of the collective intelligence which once brooded somewhere below. They found nothing but scorched corridors boring ever deeper, and piles of meaningless debris. Little had been gleaned from the once menancing moon hovering above the Martian sky.

So it could be said that had one certain probe team, working in one of the deeper recesses of the hive, been of organic intelligence, their shock would have been multiplied when a stale breeze stirred the layers of amber dust around them, kicking up curling vapors like smoke from a matchead. Still more suprised would they have been when this wind intensified, blowing great wafts of dust at them, coating them quickly in a bizarre deep-space parody of a winter squall, causing actuators to whine softly as they were quickly enshrouded.

If machines could be understood to fear, they feared then. The wind, the noise, these things should be impossible- conscientious as ever, the drones had exposed this chamber, like the others, to the chill of space. Somehow, somewhere a door, or perhaps many, had closed, sealing them in.

Drones, like all machines, feel no pain. However, they felt something close to it as the orange dust covering them began to buzz faintly, sending short bursts of current through the most minute of cracks. Even worse, where the dust had landed, it seemed to grow. Under its weight, the probes sunk slowly to the icy floor, half-steel, half-chitin, and the spores of the Mallbertan hive bored gently through their carapaces.

As circuitry was exposed, the spores clung to it immediately, redirecting currents, carefully forming some circuits and ruining others. Like many before them, the probes were being subsumed. Soon, they would be the first tools, the first manifestations, of the reawakening hive.


It's been a long time since I played, so I'll just recap the nature of the Mallbertan virus.

In truth, it's not a simple viral infection, but a complex infection comprised of two interrelated vectors, one supporting.

The first component is a heavily modified yeast. This was developed shortly after the founding of the Mallbertan community in the developement of biocomputation. Essentially this yeast is electroconductive and receptive, able to 'communicate' with other yeast cells. In it's current, highly evolved state, it is also able to transmit communications to certain beings (i.e. Mallbertans and those infected by the contagion) and certain computers/machines, by directly conducting electricity into exposed circuitry (this is fairly limited, and not generally a wide-spread tactic). The yeast, like all fungi, reproduces quickly, easily, and without supervision, given a source of energy.

The second component is the M-Virus, a retrovirus designed to pass on genetic code. This is primarily used to rapidly change the make up of the Yeast, enabling it to resist anti-fungal agents, and the M-Bacteria. However, it also may infect most organic beings. Once infected, human subjects will experience a variety of symptoms within 6 hours. Within 72 hours, aprox. 75% of the subjects will be subsumed within the hive, become Mallbertan agents. 10% will die. The other 15% will survive with little consequence. Elves will not be inducted, but will perish at roughly an 85% rate. Other races have varied responses, though terrestrial beings, particularly mammals, are uniformly vunerable to subsumption.
06-06-2005, 22:36
The world goes dark for R-Allison.

After a short pause, it grumbles off a short expletive before backing out from the avatar interface, knowing a loss of signal when it sees one. I knew I should have paid attention to those indicator lights. Dust has been getting into its joints for years; only a matter of time before it failed.

'Backing out' brings it into the Local Network of the 01MC Phobos Exploration Unit, a secure red-server shared with the QACF. Ten-dimensionality is the order of the day--no organics allowed, essentially--and so the mind makes its way back to Central from the avatar control nodes by following a route absolutely impossible to describe in three-dimensional language without resorting to nearly Lovecraftian imagery. As it moves, it opens up a subprog to communicate with its team members over the LOCNET's instant-messaging system.

[C241A7] << Just got dumped from my avatar. Will one of you pick it up and drag it back to base?

Momentary pause.

[18A4C9] << Would love to, but I've just been dumped too.

[C241A7] << You too?

[6B9003] << Me three. Watched that dust collect, ignored it on principle as I moved to get the scoop out to take a sample, then yellow warning lights and disconnect.

[C241A7] << Sounds about right... well, that accounts for our team of three. Odd. Another momentary pause. Too unlikely to be a ghost problem.

[18A4C9] << Complete avatar failure in three adjacent avatars simultaneously? That's at least [egregiously huge number] to one, very much against. No... if cause and effect still has any meaning in the multiverse, that strange dust was at least partly responsible.

[6B9003] << This entire rock is coated in dust. What, are we going to have to send Sec-2s with dustmops and handvacs into every new room? It's been slow-enough going as is.

[18A4C9] << I was thinking more along the lines of maser sweeps.

[C241A7] << And cook anything we'd probably be looking for? Sounds a bit much to me. Anyway, let's just report this incident and let the SIDE decide just how more paranoid everyone should get.

A quick agreement from all parties involved, and R-Allison logs the conversation and prepares to send it, along with the usage logs of the three avatars, to R-Steel Fangs. All the while, it continues to grumble at things in general. This place is such a waste.

(OOC: Just having to work around given assumptions.

Given that quite some time ago Zero-One started their excavations and did manage to find some humans that were once parts of the Hive, they do have some samples of MHV--probably a much older 'version' with no antimechanoid capability. The new version is just that--new--and will therefore be a surprise... still, having worked on counters to the old version for howeverlongitsbeen will mean they do have the potential for working against the new version.

Still, the android avatars in use by the science teams are just instrumentality; they aren't the seats of consciousness and so "subsuming" them just gains the collective a not-very-impressive robot incapable of any sentient activity; the mind looking through it gets dumped. Subsuming an android avatar is equivalent to subsuming a waldo unit. Subsuming a core, on the other hand...

The Sec-2 bots are a different matter, being self-contained subsentient war machines. While it's probably much more useful to subsume them [because one Sec-2 bot can easily match the adaptive strategies of another] it would of course be more difficult because they're hardened against biological attack. This is after a Tyranid invasion, after all, and after sharing SPORE technology with the Sakkrans. They wouldn't be immune to the boring effects of MHV but they would be highly resistant to it. Requisite hardening against EM makes them likewise resistant to subsumption via cracks--not invulnerable, but again, highly resistant.

Is it fair to say that, given that MHV is an electrically active organism, it doesn't fare well when exposed to high concentrations of microwaves?)
07-06-2005, 11:25

That's pretty much all fair enough. In terms of the samples you've obtained, they would be very similar, if not identitical, to the current strain. However, keep in mind it's fairly adaptable, and your samples were inactive- so while you'd have an excellent idea of its physical make-up, you'd know little about it the way it functions, etc.

Yes, microwaves would be very effective- while the are radiation-resistant strains, they are not commonly produced, and take at the minimum a few days to breed. However, the inside of Phobos is essentially saturated with the stuff, so it would be difficult to irradiate/burn/goo-ify all of it.


The probe listed drunkenly down a vertical shaft, indicators casting a dull glow upon the striated walls, small sparks spraying fitfully as it spiralled down. Covered in dust and tufts of fungal growth, it resembled nothing so much as a flashing tumbleweed. Intermittently it brushed the sides of the tunnel, producing an erratic screech.

The amber fungus continued to grow, fed on the probes internal energy source, leaching minerals from its non-essential components. By the time the time the bottom of the pit was illuminated under wan search lights revealing great drifts of dust looming like dunes and wafts of dust gusting slowly up the shaft like steam, the droid moved more gracefully, the contaminant stabilizing and adapting itself to the unfamiliar form.

The fragment of intelligence had size the probe had an inherent distaste for the artifical form of the droids, all smooth lines and glittering alloys. However, its role, its purpose depended on the uninspirig probe. This intelligence, if it could be called even that, so limited was its scope and ability, existed for one thing- the awakening. Small as the droid was, it was the only tool at the Awakeners disposal, and was suited well enough to the task.

Growing acustomed to the movements of the droid, the Awakener guided it skillfully between the great mounds of dustlike fungus which lay waiting for their activation. The probe hummed softly beneath the fungal growths which had now encompassed it with a thick layer of black lusterless chitin. It resembled nothing so much as a spherical insect, its exposed appendages the only legacy of its original form.

Seconds later, it glided without hestiation through a narrow corridor, and an oddly angular one at that. The rectangular steel passageway was strangely out of place, a shocking breath of humanity in the hive. Chipped and worn paint marked the walls, heavily disfigured but still legible: REACTOR CONTROL.

The control room was strikingly antiquated. Dusty monitors ringed a series of valves and readouts, all lying dark and unmoving. The Awakener was particularly unnerved by this chamber- its sterile functionality nearly alien to it, a disturbing legacy of a past rather forgotten. Not that this distaste slowed it in the least- the probe danced rapidly between levers, switches, and dials. Within minutes a low hum filled the chamber, now basked in a warm light. Back down the steel corridor, amber bulbs lit up sporadically, flickering here and there.

Throughout the hive, those few lights not broken ignited, filling the complex in a soft scarlet glow. Here and there, doors opened and closed, as erratic bursts of electricity triggered them in the architectural equivalent of a seizure.

Back in the control room a large monochromatic monitor blazed a message, green on black: AUXILARY REACTOR ACTIVATED.
08-06-2005, 16:00
The walls dripped with a thick black ooze, stinking of blood and oil, from the ruptured tubings than ran round the walls of the cramped vacuole. The Awakener ran his hand through a puddle of the fluid which covered the floor, staining his naked legs blueish black. He scanned the room absently, eyes cutting through the cold steam stained red by the now-lit bulbs in the ceiling. His nose twitched absently, receptors searching hugrily for the scent of others. Nothing.

Cautiously he rose from the hard thronelike pedestal upon which he'd passed the decades since his birth, dreaming of the hive and the hot hunger crying ceaseless for more: more room, more food, more life. His thighs bulged with muscles, human skin exposed only in the gaps between thick plates of chitinous carapace, grown onto him while he'd slept. His body was covered in these plates: dusky dark purple, run through with the slight contours of fat veins below.

He filled his lungs with the cold humid air, breathing unassisted for the first time. He felt strong, alive and hungry. The thick black goo which nourished both him and the fungus that permeated the air was sufficient for sustinence, but he craved the something richer, more rare. All must wait in the service of the hive.

Walking to the center of the spherical chamber, calfs splashing heavily through the growing pool of fluid, he readied himself for the trek. The auxilary system could not tell him the extent of the damage inflicted on the hive by the interlopers, but he had a low sick feeling it was considerable. His destination was not far, but the raging ice of space would quickly kill even him. A minute, no more, would be all he could survive.

Once the hive had legions of drones, happy servants steeled against the void, capable of hours of exposure. But with the industry wombs dead and blackened, and the breeding chambers barren and dark, there was no one to do what must be done except himself.

Staring at the floor, he reached out, fungal implant lighting up in a brief blaze of pleasure at the base of his neck. For a brief moment, a fraction of a second, he communed with the hive. He asked, and the system responded, though slowly and weakly, the auxilary reactor barely capable of raising it from its torpor at all.

With an near inaudible grinding gasp, the center of the room slid open, as a hatch dropped down and over, releasing the nutrient fluid down into the depths, where it splashed some seconds later like a whispered cough.

Without hesitation, the Awakener found a grip, and began to descend.
09-06-2005, 04:08
To say R-Steel Fangs is not a happy little camper would be an extremely gross and not at all accurate approximation of the situation at the moment. First, any reasoned observer would point out, R-Steel Fangs is by no stretch of the imagination "little," as long as this imagination does not belong to some massive beast. Being both a walking war machine in realspace and some of the blackest I.C.E. to ever grace any network, "little" completely fails to describe R-Steel Fangs in any way with any sort of accuracy. Also, a semanticist would probably argue, a combat sentience is not exactly a "camper." Still, this rather verbose and pedantic way of introducing the subject is all intended to make a simple fact quite clear: The military director of the Queendom's Phobos assets is not at all pleased.

First it started with a probe team losing their avatars past the sensor perimeter and, thusly, past the location where they could be easily retrieved, especially now after the avatar logs revealed that they were moving somewhere when the explorer-minds got dumped. Then came the ludicrous excuses of "the dust did it" and perhaps it was the result of "the long-forgotten ghosts of Mallberta come to reclaim what's theirs." R-Steel Fangs, never the poetic sort, rightly (in its own mind) abused R-Allison when it came up with that bit of prose and let it know in no uncertain terms that those avatars, being the applied resources of the Queendom of Zero-One, not to be lost and ghost stories manufactured for paltry excuses. After sufficient threatening, R-Allison and its teammates disappeared.

Now the streaming feed from the sensor perimeter shows a steady increase in neutrinos--those little particles that zip through most anything and are indicative of high-energy reactions--and are slowly building up a heat signature analogous to some sort of reactor being turned on deep inside Phobos, beyond the sensor perimeter and past but relatively near to where the android avatars were lost. This aggrivates R-Steel Fangs far more than the "incompetence" before; being proven wrong about a potential threat. Decidedly unhappy with both the situation and itself, it follows procedure and sends a caution up the line even as it ups the alert level again.

[C0113D >> QACF/MDF] << Be advised, there are strange things afoot on Phobos. An exploration team lost their avatars out beyond the sensor perimeter and, immediately after, that perimeter now reports an increasing energy signature where before there was just blank volume we had not gotten around to mapping yet. I am increasing our alert level further, as this may be associated with the unknown signal received earlier.

<< The probe team's reports and logs are attached. They suggest that they were attacked by a new, active strain of MHV. Please advise.

<< send.block[REPORT]

[QACF/MDF (Grey I.C.E.) >> C0113D] << This is the mind of Grey I.C.E.. I have received your message and am passing it along both to QACFHQ and the rest of the MDF so we up in the fleet can analyse the situation and return suggestions to you. We recommend that you immediately set up a reconnaissance mission to investigate the energy source and determine whether there really is active HMV about... message from headquarters. Proceed with reconnaissance mission; primary objective is to verify the presence of active HMV, with a secondary objective of obtaining a sample to be compared to our stores of inactive HMV. Investigate the power source if there is no insurmountable threat to your mission.

[C0113D >> Grey I.C.E.] << The power supply may be a trap. Authorization to evacuate resources?

[Grey I.C.E. >> C0113D] << Denied, for now. You may pull 01MC resources back behind the sensor perimeter to provide a margin of error; however, if it is not a Mallbertan contingency suicide plan then your combat resources will probably be necessary to neutralize the threat.

[C0113D >> Grey I.C.E.] << Understood. Acting by your command.

* - * - *

Skittering down the corridors, a small pack of streamlined beasts moves as one concerted organism, each one watching out for the other three as they blast through the empty intersections that mark the invisible boundary created by the sensor perimeter. Moving more carefully now through crossings, they bolt through straightaways, oftentimes taking advantage of their clawed hooves to run along the walls or on the ceiling, whatever is necessary for the greatest expedience and to cover blind-spots. To someone caught unawares, they may just be white blurs gone a slightly paler tone of red in the dimly-lit halls and rooms. If one has a quick eye or could slow them down, they have a streamlined, predatory look with a feral intelligence, cold and efficient as they move with pretenatural grace. Their eight legs would seem to flail if they didn't land just so, snagging particular portions of crumbling wall or decaying conduit, digging in just enough for that extra traction they need to launch off, nearly flying in one bound extended by each footfall. Their heads are streamlined with an eye both to aerodynamics and to image, for once; their slitted spidereyes glow ruby red out of a vaguely canine visage, the head small, and sleek, and equipped with a surprisingly large gripping 'mouth' from which the occasional glitter of a diamondoid fang can be seen. They have a little bit more than teeth and claws, suggested by the thin metal-wire streamlines that trace along the lines of their bodies, but it is their animal analogs that stand out most... for good reason.
10-06-2005, 13:59
The beasts tore through the bowels of Phobos like a hot steel enema, blazing through twisted corridors and down vertigous shafts. They were nearly too fast to be seen; but there was no one to see them anyways. Through every tunnel and chamber they traverssed towards the missing droids, nothing stirred.

However, bits of amber dust, motes barely visible and thinnly dispersed, hung like miniscule sattelites permeated the meagre air. As the hounds tore through the vast networks of tunnels and chambers, they disturbed an unseen, though intricate, monitoring system.

As the bits of dust were brusquely disturbed, the sent a tiny pulse of electricity to their neighbours, who in turn passed it to theirs.

Not far away, the Awakener slowed his descent, and paused. An itching at the base of his skull where an oblong lump of fungus grew indicated a need for communion. He closed his eyes, and became one with the biomass.

Moments later, he snarled. He had no expected intruders so quickly. Still, it changed nothing: resistance was inevitable. Reaching back out towards the crippled mindnet that had survived the long sleep, he rerouted the trickle of power flowing from the auxilary reactor.

Almost immediately, a deep thrumming filled the shaft down which he climbed, filling the tunnels around him. Air, cold but warming slowly, blew up from below in great blasts, carrying with it a near blinding mass of dust rising like a mushroom cloud. Within seconds he was enveloped by it, the ruddy brown bits of fungus embracing him as a brother. Within minutes, the atmosphere in the lower tunnels would be saturated with the stuff.
This United State
10-06-2005, 15:02
While the 5 ships had made tracks towards the V.S.S. site in a " remote " part of This United State, ( Or as remote as you could actually get from what was in effect the Hong Kong of Mars ), something had passed them, not that they had any reason to notice, thanks to the hash of traffic around T.U.S. space and the greater Mars area itself. Not that they had any need to know.

It might've risked ... worry for them. If they'd been human, of course, which they were not. But there was no point in shouting out what Port Control was doing for any and all to hear. Softly-softly, watchee ... rock. And all that jazz, was the plan of the day.

ICU - 999, a " traffic observation satellite ", this one being mostly used with a few others just like it by T.U.S. for " Customs " duty and ... such things, not that you'd know of it, had been directed by T.U.S. Port Control, away from the usual well-worn path it had made around Mars and from inside the near ever-present swarm of orbiting masses, to slip towards Phobos and take up a fly on the wall position near it, -

Not that you'd be likely see a fly there.

Or even a wall.

But ... you know.

- And thus keep a careful eye on this ... evolving situation.

Mean-while, the Defense Director ( D.D. ), Clarice Oshanko, aboard the Battle Station, so very high above T.U.S. New London Dome, who despite being herself quite busy in preperation for the delivery, sent out a series of delicate feelers towards Zero-One about the situation on and in Phobos, as it was now.

Within an hour, she and her staff, of both the " living " and AI would be watching, via ICU - 999, the shell of this near peanut-like ( Although they expected it to be more mineral than vegetable ) egg.

It'd be rather nice to hear just what the whites of it were now doing.
The yolk itself was still an absolute facking mystery to them.
Clarice had a nasty feeling it was going to be rotten.

Quite rotten.


As ICU - 999 drew closer, and with some more intricate sensor booms un-folding, a chilling thought struck Clarice. Considering the history of this egomanic pebble ... just how would the Pilonese react if they noticed any of this ? She arched a brow in deep thought. Moments later, Director T.R. Kom was dragged away from his work by a shrill ring from the tad out-of-place looking tannoy grill set in his onyx surface desk ...

Clarice was covering her ass.
Now T.R. had to think how he'd cover his.
12-06-2005, 14:20
The Security-1 scout robots suddenly halt in their advanced, stopped by the presence of a pressure door that was previously logged as open. Sending a message to update maps in the LOCNET, they then start prowling around, silently picking up data. One goes up to the door and puts one paw up against it, listening to the air rushing behind the door through the thudding vibration of the metal door. Two more split off, trying other corridors to see what else may have become closed, other routes that whatever opposition that lies beyond the door may have access to.

Notified of the door closing, R-Steel Fangs decides it has two hypotheses to work off of: either the doors were closed manually, or they were closed remotely. Manual closing seems unlikely due to the location's exposure to hard vacuum at the time; remote control suggests an operational communications and control system probably associated with the energy signatures and previous unknown transmission. If this is true, then the possibility of control being extended through to the QACF-held sections within the sensor perimeter via hardlines is unacceptable. It orders the sensor pods along the perimeter, built along existing infrastructure communication lines both for efficiency and for exactly this contingency, to sever the lines leading towards the core of Phobos. Concurrently, the SIDE directs squads of Sec-2s to act as border guards, moving to the sensor perimeter so they can close the doors manually if need be.

Inside the sensor pods, monomolecular blades snap through lines and then twist slightly, sacrificing their cutting heads to break lines apart so they cannot be bridged so easily. The heavy feet of armored Sec-2s echo down the corridors (or would, if there was any sound-conducting medium other than the walls, ceiling, and floors themselves) as they run sinuously towards their new positions... and finally, the Sec-1 scouts simply wait.
13-06-2005, 13:57
ooc- exams today, tommrow and wednsday, will post after that. Sorry.
This United State
13-06-2005, 14:42
Clarice Oshanko had finished her secure call to T.R. Kom, whom was himself ground-side, and returned her attention to her other equally pressing duties on, around and in the Battle Station. T.R. Kom was by then busy watching the red-shift of the artificial light inside New London Dome, while he tried to work out what to do. it wasn't too hard, really.

After a moment, he keyed a command into his desk-pane and fired off a confirm command via one of his less exotic implants. This initiated a connection protocol from his desk-pane display direct into some special hard-ware. Consequently, in a now dark and quiet lab deep within New London, several sets of equipment and a control console lit up, some of the very same semi-experimental gear used by T.R. Kom and a team from T.U.S. D.D. Cyber-Warfare Division, with much technical over-sight, to interface with the Matrix of Zero-One, and meet with S.H.O.D.A.N. herself.

T.R. Kom was doing the same thing again, this time though, not with a neural inter-face but a simple audio-visual / HUD variant. Safer to do on his own, and he rather wanted to test the new soft-ware any-way.

Because of these now fairly simple to facilitate actions, in Zero-One cyberspace, also known as GLONET, a simple, smooth black sphere, comparative to almost everything else the size of a common basket-ball, with T.U.S. Directorate ID tags inserted into its public code, came into existance, and made a bee-line, such as can be done in several dimensions above the " norm ", towards the towering blue MCP structure.

It was the ultimate cross-reality RC-toy experiance, so Director T.R. Kom thought. He had some polite questions for " Queen " Shodan regarding the situation on Phobos right then, as well as a humble offer which he was of the hope would make her more likely to give him some answers.

He also had the concern raised by Clarice to present, though he wouldn't be all that surprised if Shodan had thought of it all a significant period before he or Clarice Oshanko had.
17-06-2005, 08:24
Amber dust surged through the corridors, shafts and tunnels, rapidly covering every surface with a thick coating of fungus. Like a thick red fog, it seemed to swallow up every object, obscuring every wall. Here and there, low level bursts of electricity, invisible to the unaided eye, snapped silently, stabs of communication informing the Awakener of progress.

Not that he paid much attention. He had nearly reached his destination. He had climbed deep down towards the center of Phobos. The normally weak gravity had become almost negligible, and he drifted slowly still deeper, barely touching the sides of the shaft, eyes passing lovingly over the gouges and crevasses left in its sides by the great Diggers, half-scarab, half-bulldozer. All lying dead now, of course: the auxilary reactor provided barely enough power to allow for the most basic communication, much less eighty tons of burrowing steel, flesh and chitin. The Diggers had carved most of the tunnels here, chewing though the loose rock, digesting its ores, and passing them along: part tunneler, part refinery.

The base of the shaft was visible now, glittering gently under the low blue lights which ringed the tunnel. The air here was ice-cold, freezing the Awakener's breath even as it gusted out the slits of his respirator. His carapace shimmered with a thin coating of ice, and his few exposed areas of skin burned fiercely, thickened and conditioned thought they were.

He landed with a heavy clang, feet first, on the hard steel surface. It curved slightly, hinting at a spherical shape several hundred meters in diameter, though only a scant twenty were exposed to the shaft. Dented, scorched, and pitted, it spoke of great age, even antiquity. Here and there, small hatches, the size of his had, lay open, exposing empty ports, awaiting connection.

In the dead center of the surface lay a larger, closed hatch, bordered in chipped red and yellow painted stripes. Above it was written, in barely legible english:


Hand trembling, the Awakener reaced out to the handle which sealed his mecca.
Wazzu Elysium
18-06-2005, 08:27
Elegant Solutions Power Generation and Transmission Plant, Phobos Surface, Mars Orbit

A shrill voice suddenly passed through the thin walls and doors between the waiting room and Mrs. Oroyko's boss's office, causing the young "foxgirl" transnational to cringe.

OROYKO! the voice screamed, WHY WASN'T I TOLD ABOUT THIS BEFORE?!? The young secretary shuddered as her boss's door slammed open behind her.

"We...we just got it ma'am." she meekly uttered.

"And whom may I inquire sent it?" Boss Sandra was not happy.

"Umm, upper right corner Ma'am."

Sandra's eyes uncrossed long enough to read the source information.

Int. Corp. Class.
Public Capture: 1831h

1831 hours...that was 10 minutes ago. DomInt must have sent it as soon as it got it. Sandra thought, Ahhh, and look there, it was a "public" message from Zero-One, our own beauty Queen.

Of course, in all fairness the message had probably been sent to the powerplant only to be lost in some communications failure or another...probably human. Sandra however was not the type of "manager" to be reasonable. Paranoia, obsessive-compulsiveness, and manac were just some of the qualities that posessed her, and now she was taking an alarmist viewpoint that for the first time, was probably bad for her career.

Afterall, all she knew was that there were ghosts in the machine....
18-06-2005, 21:01
The Awakener's hand was numb, crusted with frost, as he gripped the thick handle in the center of the hatch. Arms clenched, he heaved, ice groaning in protest around him as the handle moved, slowly at first, then solidly clanking to a halt. Gas hissed, steaming billowing out from within as the door slid out, then over, revealing glimmerings steel shrouded in fog within.

Body shaking in anticipation, he drifted slowly in, gravity barely exerting any tug at all. It was madness within, the low ceilings/floors indistinguishable without a gravitational point of reference, massive fungal growths reaching everywhere like red coral formations. Here and there, ancient computer terminals blinked endlessly, monitors displaying cursors in the sick pale green of monochromatic display.

This was the core, the heart, of the Mallbertan mind net: a massive sphere, forged in the Mongolian steepes, then buried deep within the planetoid. It was here that the M-Virus was created, here that collective thought was birthed. It was nearly eternal: and for the Awakener, its very presence was all-consuming.

He knew his task well. Bumping off the metallic walls which dripped with oil and nutrients, he plunged towards the heart of the sphere, some hundred meters from the hatch. There, the master control awaited, a single antiquated PC enthroned in mold and fungus.

The air was thick with fungus, enveloping him in the warmth of the hive, ancient memories flooding him with hope and hunger, with something very near lust. Within moments, he was there: the monitor blinking silently above a collumn of red-brown growths, straited like muscle.

As he approached the keyboard, his mind pusled, overwhelmed with the promise of completion. Almost hesitantly he pressed key after key, a long sequence of digits and numbers, entrusted to him alone. He pressed enter, and the core exploded in light.

Muscles clenched throughout Phobos, servos groaning as they once again served their purpose. A dozen chemical plants engaged, energy blasting through circuits either dead or broken. Arcs of electrcity scorched the walls, burning even those that remained healthy, if dormant.

Power burst through the vast drifts and clouds of fungus, surging through them, activating each and every particle.

On the surface, doors opened and close crazily, blinking like the eyes of a patient in the throws of an epilleptic attack. Lights shone out in to space, turning on and off in a morse code for the utterly insane, ghoulish green glow throne onto the sides of structres both Mallbertan and otherwise.


For anyone observing the situation, everything essentially just went to shit. Massive levels of energy radiation are clearly detectable, as are some seismic signs as various sections of the Mallbertan installations fail.
This United State
19-06-2005, 15:59
The sat. had taken up position just in time to witness the ... awesome spectacle happen, with-out any real warning. In the Battle Station above This United State, Master Alarms were activated in response to the information they monitored, and Clarice Oshanko, along with most of the staff there with her, stopped dead in their tracks as they watched what was happening half a world away. Live feeds of the data broad-cast via secure links to the Queendom as well, though Clarice had a certain feeling the poor bastards were more than aware that all hell was presently breaking loose.

Oh shit ...

Clarice realised there were still people down there.

She had another " phone-call " to make now.

This was bad.

Very bad.
19-06-2005, 20:14

Automatically detecting Kom's login via NETSEC resources, the master control program immediately sends one of her nodes' icons to meet with him in the open space of GLONET's Core. Upon reaching him, S.H.O.D.A.N. executes a short bow in the c-space in front of Kom's remote avatar and, while still seeming cordial enough, isn't smiling. I would ask to what I owe this visit, Director Kom, but I fear I can guess it rather easily.

T.R. Kom commanded the avatar to hold steady and adjusted his view so as not to be distracted by the whirling alternate reality of c-space. " Yes, I would expect you could. We both know something is happening on Phobos, and I come to you with both a humble proposition and a grave concern. "

The mechanoid queen nods. This caught us unawares as well, but we do have plans in place at least. What can we do for you?

" Firstly, in thanks for the information you've provided us with in regards to the initial ... disturbance, we'd like to offer you access to a satellite we're directing to monitor the situation. we feel that in dire events it may provide a redundantcy to our mutual resources, " he pauses momentarily, " -- secondly, there is our concern. you are well aware that when Phobos first came to light as being made ... available to us all, that some were not so eager to see it ... utilised. " Namely, some one who is going to react very negatively to ... all of this when they realise something might be going on. I do of course speak of the Pilonese. Quite frankly, we're worried about the position they may put us all in, both in an political and material sense if they decide to snap and try to nuke Phobos .. out of turn. "

The Pilonese, S.H.O.D.A.N. says simply. I have been thinking about them, actually, and it is quite possible their negative reaction could actually be quite useful if we channel it correctly. Having had to emerge from stasis once a long time ago, I can understand somewhat the situation within any reactivated Mallbertan cells. If they do become active again, I will not expand my Phobos operations into their domain. However, I would also stay neutral if, say, a particularly hotheaded mutual acquaintance of our two nations took it upon themselves to crusade against the reborn menace.

As for nuking Phobos 'out of turn,' she continues, all they need to know is that we would frown strongly on that and, if they took that option, it would be a simple enough matter for us to exploit their rather monstrous Achilles' heel and ensure they never make that mistake towards us again.

T.R Kom smiled. Despite his own experiance, he hadn't quite thought of it that way. " I expect that you're most correct in regards to not expanding should Mallberta ... rise again, it seems quite a sensible decision, to say the least , further-more, I expect I would support your position of neutrality should such a turn of events actually occur. But I do strongly advise you to be aware that I would not put it past the Pilonese to disregard their own assumed biological prowess and leap straight for the ... cleansing fires of the ... nuclear option.

" However, I think you're more than capable of handling the situation yourself and I am glad you're aware of ... all of this. My offer for sat access stands, of course. "

I shall let you on to a public secret, S.H.O.D.A.N. says with a devious look. Their so-called 'prowess' is indeed their greatest weakness. They have designed a commendably complex system, truth, but with complexity comes the exponential increase for the potential of error. It is up to our diplomacy, big-stick and otherwise, to maneuver them into less obnoxious responses. I thank you for your offer and accept. As you said, redundancy in planning is rarely a bad thing. While we do have a sensor network on the ground, it is best if we keep our options open.

T.R instructed the avatar to " bob " in a nodding motion. " Yes ... I expect your analysis is most certainly correct. I am glad I may be of service. I'll inform our SD Network to make the link available via the regular channels. " He blinked as an emergency contact protocol blinked on the corner of the screen. He frowned but ignored it for the moment. " Well, I can see the Queendom is prepared, I can only hope my own assets may be as organised as your own. again, thank you for the courtesy of the original contact. "

S.H.O.D.A.N. bows again. You are most welcome. We will do our best to contain any 'menace;' the Mallbertans were moderately reasonable in the past and perhaps they could be moderately reasonable again.

T.R. Kom coerced the avatar into another bob " so we must hope. thank-you for your time, Shodan. as always, it is most enjoyable despite the ... external events. "

Hopefully your day improves from here, Director. Fare well.

* - * - *


These are not good signs. R-Steel Fangs muses to itself, watching both the dry datafeed from the sensor perimeter as well as physically feeling the rock shake. First order--ascertain control status. Quickly running error detection protocols on the Zero-One section of Phobos, all reports return full green--cutting off from the Mallbertan core lines was a wise choice, apparently. Second order, secure area. More near-instantaneous mental orders, and the Sec-2 teams at the doors that lead deeper into Phobos seal and dog them before stepping back, raising combat masers to the ready. On the surface, Sec-2 robots secure the wide open airlocks of the mechanoid territory, careful to ensure no one tries to enter that way. Third order, continue mission.

Four scouts in the middle of potentially hostile territory cannot be expected to do much. What they can do is confirm whether or not this is a Mallbertan resurgence or something else. A sample return is perhaps too much to hope for, but still... taking advantage of the randomly opening and closing doors, the scouts continue on in groups of two, heading towards where the energy levels are strongest and continuously feed information back to the local Phobos secure LOCNET.

Meanwhile, R-Steel Fangs once again contacts its superiors in the Martian Defense Fleet and QACFHQ. This is R-Steel Fangs C0113D. I am requesting resupply for heavy nerve gas and heavy blister agent, as well as the current version of our anti-MHV nanite and microbial agents. Please comment on the plan, which is as follows...
This United State
21-06-2005, 07:02
The D.D. Clarice Oshanko and her staff watched Phobos actually - shudder - at one point, from the safety of the Battle Station above T.U.S. , having made sure first that the Queendom was able to and was actually accessing the link to the ICU-999 Sat now in position, which was of course what Clarice and her staff had been watching Phobos via at the very start of this ... disturbance. Most other things like traffic monitoring were being done from the Port Control back down in New London, while active defence measures were mostly automated any-way, which left the staff under Clarice to gawk at the celestial event, and Clarice to finish her call to the Director, T.R. Kom.

She'd been angry to find the " hot-line " was on hold, then of course she'd found out to whom T.R. Kom had been busy with. Since then, she'd been able to point out that Elegant Solutions of Wazzu had a staffed plant of some sort on the surface of that rock, probably a power generation facility if memory served correct. T.R. had pointed out they were not exactly in a position to carry out a rescue operation with what they had because of time delay both getting thee and the amount of absolute danger involved. Clarice pointed out if this was the Mallbertan ... thing waking up, it might prove wise to knock out the plant later if things got really active down there, to stop it from getting such a source of raw energy. T.R. reminded her there were still people down there as she'd pointed out, and they still were not in any position to do anything of the sort. Clarice had used serveral swear words. T.R. had pointed out for now the Elegant Solutions plant was a Wazzu problem, and Phobos was a Queendom problem, kind-of, and if it made her feel better, she was to have a team of 15 MK 37 grav-ships ( Augmented with drone minds as pilots ), 10 of which with the usual " mounted cavalry " ( 10 PADRE's to each of which ) all of which were / was optomised for space operations, the other 5 as evac shuttles for Elegant Solutions staff. And that only as a last resort were they to be sent in and recover the staff as a humanitarian operation, and only with his express permission. Until then they'd remain in " parking position " beside the Battle Station under the guise of extra security.

T.R. Kom didn't like the idea of sending anything back there with a potential Mallbertan plague event even possible. The public datalinks made that kind of horror clear enough and he wasn't going to jeopardise all that'd been put into the colony just because of this. No ... Yet he also had to think of the politics that may eventuate ... Still, maybe the Queendom could handle it all yet. Shodan had put his mind at ease at least part-way, so it was just a matter of waiting, now. And watching.

T.R. Kom looked at the wall-screen in his office / pent-house suite. The rock looked like it was trying to hatch ...

He gave an involuntary shudder.

Back in the Battle Station, Clarice Oshanko had become as stilled as her staff had been, watching this thing spasm and flash.
21-06-2005, 15:13

Welcome back, Mallberta. Good to see you posting again.

Catch me on IRC sometime, perhaps we can come up with a mutually entertaining RP.
21-06-2005, 23:25
OOC: Glorified TAG. No idea IC-ly or really OOC-ly why everyone is so scared, and it's not like I can do anything, so....

Satellites were the basis of Weyr's slowly expanding defensive structure on mars. Several thousand kilometers above the semi-planoformed planet's surface, a small sphere detected a sharp spike in radiation. Its only job was to notice things and, if they were serious, report them. Speudo-intelligence arrays cycled through scenarios. A moment later the sphere 'knew' it had no idea what on Phobos had produced the spike, or the continuing anomalies, or what it meant, except it could be a weapon and was therefore dangerous. It unfolded its antenna. A narrow beam played across a small segment of space, locked onto its couterpart on the WDS Ocean Twilight.

>MTacNet feed
>Detecting anomaly at section...
>Requesting further instructions

A computer on the Ship of the Line, center for Weyrean operations around Mars, would have shrugged.

<Await further instructions flashed back over the microwave beam several minutes later, an eternity in computing cycles.

The satellite considered this.

>Detecting anomaly at section...
>Requesting further instructions
>Priority 1

The response flashed back instantly, more or less. <The matter is being handled> And a few instants later. <Thank you

Had it had a sense of humour, the small sphere now retracting its antenna would have chuckled at its own cleverness. In a few moments, it was gone beyond the horizon.


Lieutenant-Admiral Jakob Greenfield dismissed the issue, wondering what idiot had decided this was important enough to put the Ares Fleet's flag officers into emergency session.

"We have no intel on what is actually going on there," Chief of Intelligence Briar's thought-words contained the overlays of a shrug, and indifference. "Wazzu has a power station. Zero-One is doing excavations of some sort. Several others have vested interests."

"The United State's involvement might mean this is big," Captain Miria li'Skai noted. Over the net emotions were not easy to identify, but a skilled user could employ a wide array of feelings to aid her argument. Miria was a professional, Greenfield thought. "They're a corporation. If this was a minor problem they would not have acted."

"Markowitz wants answers, sir," a technician interfered, his words cutting into the quiet tension of the subEtha space currently used to allow the commanding officers of the Ares Fleet to converse without needing to spend time traveling from their ships which, in several cases, were quite a distance away from Mars itself.

"Tell him to wait," Greenfield snapped.

"Aye sir," the tech’s avatar vanished.

"Zero-One should be able to handle this," another captain countered, throwing up a literal fog of spherical warships heading towards a red planet.

"And if they can't?" Miria inquired, blowing the ships away.

"Then we better kiss out asses good bye, captain," Greenfield laughed, a bitter tone to his voice. "Orders to make inquiries in the United State and Wazzu about the subject. Do we have a needle on standby?" A warship observer would be a waste of resources, and just begging for a misunderstanding in the incredibly armed region. A needleship was a known unarmed target, even if it could theoretically protect itself against most concievable threats, and it had some of the best scanner systems in the Weyr Defense Fleet.

"Yes, sir," Miria responded.

"Send it. Purely observational," the admiral commanded. "Any questions?" There were none. "Conference dismissed."
This United State
22-06-2005, 04:36
When the polite, on - the - quiet - like, request from Weyr over the entire " So, you pissed off out from Phobos rather quick-like today, fancy telling us why ? " thing, if not in those exact words, made its way across the small T.U.S. net, it was tagged by the most effective, if a complete mystery of a routing system that did such stuff so very well, and soon turned up on the screen of the desk-pane in front of T.R. Kom, along with a prepared reply from the Commerce Directorate, co-signed by whom, as well as the Defense Directorate, also co-signed by whom, who'd both gotten it first and finally passed it up to T.R. Kom a few minutes later. T.U.S. policy at present was to nurture Weyr, so as to when possible, establish good working relations with them.

Still, this was hardly going to put their concerns to rest, but it was the truth, well, pretty much. If not all that detailed a set of truths ...

There was nurture, yes. But, then there was also nature. And it was hardly in the nature of T.U.S. to let just about everything slip out ... for free, heh.

Attn : Fleet Control, Ares Theater Defense Fleet, Weyr Aerospace Self Defense Force. ( Weyr )

Regarding : Phobos Disturbance, T.U.S. / T.U.S. Asset Security Policy

As you've noticed, This United State ( Education Directorate ) was engaged in a research operation on Phobos. That operation has since been ceased before the pre-planned end of the operation schedule. The final stage of the research operation was acclerated to close, due in part to information recieved regarding an un-known signal from Phobos.

Because of an affordable margin of error in the entire operation being included in our schedule, it was possible for us to bring forward our planned evacuation time, and an executive decision was made based in part on this to do so. This executive decision also relates to a T.U.S. Asset Security Policy which we're sorry to inform you that we're not obliged to divulge details of which to you at this present time.

This United State presently has no information on the cause or nature of the disturbance on Phobos that has eventuated since our early, pre-cautionary evacuation. We refuse to speculate on the nature, or the cause of the present events.

We presently cannot comment on the status or intents of other national or private interests on Phobos.

We presently have a sat. acting as a remote observation plat-form near-by Phobos, a link to the data generated by which is availble to your departments for free, if you require it and request it of us.

( FYI : Tagged on T.U.S. net as Secure Stream : ICU-999 (TUS) should you need access )

Due to the scale of the disturbance and the system-relative proximity to our geo-physical location upon Mars, our Strategic Defense Network has been placed on a higher alert status as a purely pre-cautionary measure.

Thank you for your interest. Please feel free to direct any future interest in this particular matter directly to the Office of The Directorate.

Signed : The Office of The Director.

Co-signed : T.U.S. Directorate, Defense.
Co-signed : T.U.S. Directorate, Commerce.And so that was it. T.R. had the system fire it off to the Weyr folk, and turned back to watching, now along with a fair portion of T.U.S. citizens and visitors, the events around Phobos now being cast to their screens in New London, by a delay of several tactically precious minutes, of course. Naturally, T.R. had the feed which was more ... up-to-date than the public one, thanks to the processed ICU-999 data being sent to his access point not being slowed back, it was after all a " military " grade feed access he had, just like the one being sent to Zero-One and, maybe soon, Weyr ...

This being just one of the minor perks of his job.
23-06-2005, 09:43
ooc- sorry for the day, last exam tommorow WOO HOO!
24-06-2005, 15:47
OOC: This is more or less a tag

IC: The Pilonese defence network noted the strange energy readings from Phobos. As they still had insufficient information at this point and still feeling hurt over the arguments about Phobos in the first place, the government decided to do nothing. Let them sort this mess out themselves, its their own folly, we tried to warn them. There was an old saying in Pilon, machines are like parasites, they will always come back unless you remove them at the source.
07-07-2005, 02:22
...then everything went silent....

Engineer Daniel Robowski looked around the crew kitchen in amazement. Just a second ago, plates were falling off shelves (moons, even small ones, were NOT supposed to require a ship's securing equipment), chairs were rattling along the floor, and Daniel was anxiously wondering when that monster of a boss would give the OK to evacuate.

She was watching MNN, wasn't she? he asked himself, fully knowledgable of the international news agency's reporting on the Phobos situation.

But now it had stopped. Strange.... If anything, this was perhaps a little more nervewracking. Had whatever ghosts that were in this planetoid gone back to sleep, or were they building up for something bigger?
07-07-2005, 21:35
Konchion Space Research Center, Konchion Island, Tiburon Mars

In one unglorious wing of KSRC-Mars, stood a small group of scientists working the night shift on the MAGE-TISAT 22, a thermal imaging sattelite jointly operated by NASA and NOAA to watch for enviornmental anomalies on Mars and its two moons, but primarily Mars.

So it came to everyone's surprise when it was Phobos that began heating up like crazy, and the first thought that came to everyone's mind was the same.


The virus couldn't possibly be acting up again. No, the combined Martian effort eliminated that possibility, didn't it? Some of the people there remembered the furor that had happened over certain actions taken by various governments that had to be settled in the Duma... actions that had not been resolved to this very day.

And this was at the worst possible time, with the Nid war in SBN and QM, and the USF Army building up a force to counter the threat. Immediately, they called New Helic City and the military base at Konpetioh Island.
Intergovernmental Action Notice

Due to rising concerns over the reactivation of Phobos and the possibility of surviving strains of the viruses there, the government of Tiburon Mars has banned all flights and travellers coming from Phobos for the next 3 days while we evaluate long-term solutions to the problem.

Governor Korin Subiyalie, Tiburon Mars