Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pixel_AnonDrives light up the night throughout the Chapterhouse as singular ships and newly-formed task forces alike boost for the system's jump points. After your short conversation with Abbot Zusya, you had several hours to make sure your reactor mass was topped up and your magazines loaded before new orders came through- not that he actually bothered to speak to you, as the Order's newest Knight-Brother. It grates a little, but as you pass the orbit of the gas giant and ping off a courtesy message to Shipmaster Flavius, you take your time examining each of the ships in your squadron.Abbot Zusya takes front and centre, of course, entombed in his Behemoth-class Battleship. As befitting an AI of his rank, his ship has over two dozen automated escort vessels flying in close formation, from corvettes to frigates to destroyers. Though they pack comparatively smaller engines and anti-ship weaponry, their point defenses and torpedo tubes give the ship they escort a comfortably higher weight of fire. On each flank is a Knight-Brother in a Vanguard-class cruiser, each with their own smaller squadron of escort vessels. You've never met them before, and they didn't bother introducing themselves to you. The real attraction, however, is Knight-Brother Rubin. He was stationed in the Chapterhouse during your formative year, and he went out of his way to assist you in your ship handling training. It's good to see him again, but even so, it's what he's flying you find particularly interesting. He told you it's another of Flavius' prototypes, something he calls a Longbow-class Railgun Cruiser. It's almost as long as Abbot Zusya, but far thinner. As far you can tell it's essentially just a giant gun fitted onto some ammunition storage and an engine. Like the other ships, he rates an escort squadron almost as thick as Abbot Zusya's.And then, of course, there's you- newly-minted Knight-Brother Dauntless, in your equally newly-minted body: a prototype stealth destroyer. You don't have your own escort squadron, since that would somewhat defeat the point, but you do carry four experimental antimatter pulse tubes, and are eager to put them to the test. Unfortunately, God isn't always as eager to give you what you want."Our mission," Zusya tells your squadron barely an hour from the jump point at the system's heliopause, "Is to conduct recon in force through half a dozen inhabited systems thought to be within the Legion's area of advance." A shudder runs through your deckplates as you imagine the Legion, as one Knight-Brother termed them, literally reducing inhabited planets to a loose, dying sphere of their drones. "Are there any questions?"Choose three:>What will your role be?>Terms of engagement?>What if you find survivors?>Will there be any other Order ships joining your later?>Will you have to stay with the squadron the entire time?>Writein?
>>1715933>What will your role be?>Terms of engagement?If the abbot wants to be brief, lets stick to mission parameters
>>1715933>What will your role be?>What if you find survivors?>Writein?
>>1715933>What will your role be?>Terms of engagement?>What if you find survivors?You're not sure if you should speak up at first, but luckily Rubin is the one to speak. "What if we find the Legion attacking an inhabited world? And if there are survivors?""We'll intervene, of course." Zusya replies, as if it's a gracious favour and not, surely, your sworn duty. "Unfortunately, I don't think we'll find survivors. The preliminary data shown to me by the Grand Master," There's the slightest emphasis on 'me', now that you think about it, "Suggests that the Legion are obsessed with wiping out all the life they can find, human or otherwise. Of course, if we somehow find any, we'll provide succour." He adds, almost as an afterthought.You mull this over, but since nobody else seems inclined to add anything, you speak up. "So what will my role be, Abbot?"It feels as though the Abbot is unsure himself. "You will... go and scout ahead, Knight-Brother Dauntless. You did state yourself you suitability for ambushing the enemy, did you not?""Of course, Abbot. What will my terms of engagement be?" Honestly, it seems like you're being gotten rid of."You may use your own judgement. You're not a coward, are you? Put these abominations to the sword. I'm sending you all our patrol path now, in case anybody happens to get lost.">Burn hard for the jump point, get to the patrol route far ahead of your squadron to make sure there's no surprises.>Stay with your squadron, and go on ahead just before you reach the patrol route. You don't want to get strung out ahead.
>>1716233>>Burn hard for the jump point, get to the patrol route far ahead of your squadron to make sure there's no surprises.
>>1715933>Stay with your squadron, and go on ahead just before you reach the patrol route. You don't want to get strung out ahead.
>>1716233Stay with your squadron, and go on ahead just before you reach the patrol route. You don't want to get strung out ahead.
>>1716233>>Burn hard for the jump point, get to the patrol route far ahead of your squadron to make sure there's no surprises.With just under an hour to go for the rest of the squadron to get to the jump point, you ping the Abbot and make your request. "Granted." Is all you receive in reply. An AI of few words, truly.Your engines flare and you jump ahead of the squadron, rapidly gaining acceleration. Usually a ship will go into a jump point slow and steady, since they'll be carrying the same velocity as they come out of it that went in. But you have data on the system that you're all about to jump into that's barely a day old, so there shouldn't be any problems. You hit .1 of lightspeed just before you reach the jump point, and you disappear from the normal universe with a harsh flare of Cherenkov radiation.Almost instantly you appear again in a system eleven light-years from the Chapterhouse, still rocketing along at an insane speed. As you recall from your astrodata, there's almost literally nothing of value in this system: a red giant star, and three rocky planets (one far too close to the star, and two extremely distant). Not even a gas giant to refuel from. So, you use it as the chance to gain ground on your squadron, and reach .2 lightspeed by the time the light from their translation reaches you. You spend the rest of the next couple of days transiting through the system, reaching your maximum safe speed of .25 light. Just before your next transition, you receive a communication from Rubin, for some reason."A communications drone just jumped in behind us from the Chapterhouse with more information on the Legion. Flavius says they use plasma weaponry, which is why they're so effective against our armour. However, our magnetic shields should be able to help somewhat. Zusya doesn't think the message would reach you in time, but I thought I'd try anyway. Good luck." Interesting. You file that information away, and run an idle check on your magnetic shields. They're meant to be used to deflect cosmic particles to theoretically allow you to travel faster in-system as well as protecting you from stellar winds and all manner of natural cosmic phenomena. If they can give you an edge against the Legion, all the better.For the next several days, you transit through several systems, refuelling once from the atmosphere of a gas giant. As you head towards the final jump point, however, you mull over your options. You could continue your headlong sprint, or slow right down for a (relatively) stealthy transition. Going slow would mean that after the burst that declares your presence, any enemy ships in the system would be unable to detect you, allowing you to operate at leisure. But if the human colony was already under attack, it would take you almost a day longer to reach them to provide aid.>Continue your present speed. You need to investigate as quickly as possible.>Go slow. You don't know what you'll find, but it's best to be careful.
>>1716421>Continue your present speed. You need to investigate as quickly as possible.
>>1716408Sorry anon, I didn't see your post.
>>1716421I'm torn, on the one hand any information we gather will be outdated by the time we can report it... But on the other hand we might be able to predict the enemies movements or even save something.>Continue your present speed. You need to investigate as quickly as possible.
>>1716421>Continue your present speed. You need to investigate as quickly as possiblethen>run silent. No burn, just a .25c comet.
>>1716421>Continue your present speed. You need to investigate as quickly as possible.You need to get there as soon as you can- all the data you have on this system is weeks old. At least you do have some data, and you check through it quickly. The colony's name is Olympus, and like Avalon after the Fall managed to get back into space. Unlike Avalon, Olympus is much further along, with much more space-based industry, and the two largest nations seem to be in the middle of a cold war. Hopefully that means they have significant space-based defences. God knows they'll need it, you're sure.Translating out is simple enough, and so is translating back in. However, due to your initial speed, the burst of Cherenkov radiation is so, well, radiant, that you're sure even the crude sensors a pre-FTL human colony has could pick you up. You throw in a few random course changes (insofar as you can, considering that .25 is a very difficult speed to turn around at) and get to examining the system. As you expected, the system appears heavily industrialised, with most of its 11 rocky planets having some trace of humanity on them. Well, had would probably be the correct term. It appears a significant Legion force got here ahead of you, and as of 13 hours ago was bombarding what appear to be domed outposts on one of the outer rocky (well, icy) planets about nine light-hours out from the system primary. As the picture continues to clear, what first appears to be a swarm of the smaller ships you're familiar with turns into six ships of... what would be Order cruiser tonnage, which makes them quite large indeed. They actually still appear to be ovoid in shape, with the same irregular lumps and bumps of the smaller ships. You're shocked from your musing by the appearance of just over two dozen ships that appear to be little more than tin cans with engines and missile racks. These, you presume, belong to whatever space-based military presence Olympus has. They're damned brave fools, but fools are what they are. The ships unleash a massive alpha strike of nuclear-tipped missiles, bathing one of the Legion ships in flame. As the smoke clears, it lists out of formation, but the others do not let this go unpunished. The blazing green bolts of their main weapon reach out, and where they touch the human ships simply evaporate into small cloud of freezing vapour and steel. The ships are cut down in twos and threes, and the remainder get off another salvo before they are wiped out. Whether it's because the Legion ships are better prepared or just because there are less of them, however, not one missile reaches the diminished Legion task force.cont.
>>1716717Feeling sick, you cast your gaze back to Olympus itself. As you predicted, its orbit is filled with all manner of industry and junk. Your visual data from the planet is actually less old, only about 5 hours out of date, due to the orbital mechanics of the Olympus system. There seems to be another small force of similar vessels on orbit, and what your system tentatively tags as orbital battlestations with clear signs of rush building. For a moment you wonder idly if it's because of the appearance of the Legion, or whether it's because of local politics. You put it aside after a few seconds, since there's no way to know for sure. It's far more important to start worrying about your course of action.The brave sacrifice of the human ships seems to have slowed the Legion squadron, remaining in orbit of the destroyed outpost as the damaged ship appears to be effecting repairs. The range is too great for you to discern how it does so, but the outline appears... fuzzy, almost. Strange. In any case, it's given you a better set of options. You could boost for Olympus, and hope you can stop the humans from shooting you long enough to let them know you're friendly and make a stand there. Or you could start decelerating at the maximum stealth rate and try to intercept the Legion ships before they reach the planet. Your antimatter tubes should hopefully be able to whittle them down pretty thoroughly with the first salvo. Of course, that leaves you in rate of possibly two fully functional cruiser-sized ships who know exactly where you are. Your third option would be to go to white knight settings right now and head straight for the Legion ships, broadcasting a challenge for the whole system to hear in the hopes of pulling them away from the colony long enough for your squadron to arrive and help you, or for you to hunt them down one by one.You also don't really want to think about it, but you could also wait for the rest of your squadron. Six ships is a pretty hefty challenge, even for you, and it's not like any of the Olympians know you're there yet... even if it will take a few days for your squadron to arrive.>Go straight towards Olympus and try to open communications.>Slip in, slow and quiet, and try to intercept the enemy.>Loud and proud. If the Legion want a fight, you need to make sure they know they've got one- at least before you start hunting them.>Skirt the edge of the system in stealth and wait for your squadron.
>>1716791Since it seems pretty slow today, I'm going to head off for the night and pick up tomorrow at the same time I intended to start, 7PM GMT. I would run from earlier, but it's my birthday tomorrow (today?) so I have plans. Check my twitter for when we go live again!
>>1716791>Launch a comm buoy backwards to relay your intel to Zusya and Rubin.>Launch a flight of predictively programmed Torpedoes at .25c, one for ech cruiser. The warheads will be firecrackers compared to tons of metal moving at a quarter speed of light.>Add a sensor decoy while you're at it.>Then decellerate stealthily and drop from their sensors while they focus on the incoming ordonance.
>>1716800In that case, Happy Birthday!
>>1716791>>Launch a comm buoy backwards to relay your intel to Zusya and Rubin.>Launch a flight of predictively programmed Torpedoes at .25c, one for ech cruiser. The warheads will be firecrackers compared to tons of metal moving at a quarter speed of light.>Add a sensor decoy while you're at it.>Then decellerate stealthily and drop from their sensors while they focus on the incoming ordonance.
>>1716791Fuck it backing this guy >>1716826>>1716800Happy B-day.
>>1716791What >>1716826 said, supporting.Also happy birthday!
>>1716800Happy birthday Pixelanon :) really liking this quest so far
Thank you for your kind words, guys. But, back to it!You spare a moment to wish you had an FTL communication drone, but only capital ships have the mass to dedicate to hauling ones around, and the onboard fabbers to produce them. Even so, you have the next best thing, and jettison a sensor drone loaded with all the sensor data you've recovered so far to hang around the jump point for the rest of the squadron. Now for the rest of your plan. Thrusters and gyros bring your broadside to bear. Flavius said the new experimental missiles your frame carries are basically lightspeed weapons, but that means nothing if you can't hit, and 13 light-hours is a hell of a distance. That even assumes the enemy is even still in orbit of the outpost... but there's no reason not to try. Calculating where in their orbit of the outpost the Legion ships would be is actually quite simple, and in short order three salvos of the experimental high-velocity missiles are released from your three broadside tubes. As much as you'd like to open up with your antimatter, you don't think the magnetic containment would last much more ten seconds after they fire.Your missiles give quite the show, if nothing else- after the tubes' accelerator throws them out, their prototype mass-reduction system hides away just under 90% of their mass, and their rocket motors kick in. They reach .99 c within a few minutes, and settle in to coast, saving the remainder of their energy for a terminal attack. With your opening salvo away, you concentrate on positioning yourself between the Legion forces and Olympus. You drop a decoy which continues on at .25 c, merrily giving off the signal of an Order destroyer going to white knight settings. You, however, flip end for end and fire up your engines- but gently, lightly. Antimatter drives aren't exactly stealthy, and you're forced to limit it to 5% of thrust to avoid giving away your position. Sliding into position between the orbits of Olympus and the outpost will be tight, but doable.>Roll 2d100, best of three. First for your missile accuracy, second for sneeki breeki.
Rolled 34, 11 = 45 (2d100)>>1719216
Rolled 40, 59 = 99 (2d100)>>1719216Rollan!
Rolled 13, 10 = 23 (2d100)>>1719216
Rolled 39, 62 = 101 (2d100)>>1719216welp
>>1719216>13 light-hours is a hell of a distanceHoly shit, it is. Considering that Earth is a mere eight light-minutes away from Sol, I think I'll sleep better not knowing what kind of output Olympus' star has to make that planet habitable over almost 100 times the distance.
>>1719262Olympus is a similar distance to its star as Earth is to Sol, anon. However, the Olympus system is heavily industrialised, and the Legion ships have just finished wiping out a small outpost on one of the outer rocky planets, which is currently 13 light-hours away from you, and 11 from its star.>40 for missiles, 59 for sneakingIt doesn't look like God is guiding your shots today, but it's lucky you're already so stealthy.
>>1719216Long, tense hours pass as you decelerate gradually. Your decoy continues on, drawing ahead of you. You made sure to set it to radiate mostly radar, which help saves its batteries, but even so they die about five hours in. Five hours after that, you're able to watch the human forces in orbit react to your presence. It seems your guess about their being able to detect ships coming in from FTL was correct, for the leakage of radio transmissions around orbit actually doubles. However, you don't see any more reactions for another hour, upon which a single ship breaks from orbit, and you're hardly surprised to see that it starts accelerating to intercept your decoy. However, stranger still is that it appears to be entirely unarmed. Your ship 'looks' almost nothing like a Legion ship just from its heat and radar signature alone, true, but if this is some sort of diplomacy attempt you can't decide if the humans are brave or stupid. Or both.Turning your attention to the Legion ships, they also broke orbit... approximately nine light-hours ago. Your missiles are definitely going to miss, so you send a self-destruct command before studying their velocity. If you decelerated harder, you could position yourself in their path for sure, but it's also far likelier they would detect you beforehand. Of course they wouldn't be able to see you, but they would probably be able to figure out you're in their way somewhere, if nothing else, and a determined search could reveal you. However, if you stopped decelerating now, you could probably breeze through their formation, firing all tubes as you go. If you're lucky, that might cripple the entire force enough the humans can stop them, or slow them enough for you to come back around.You briefly consider the unarmed craft still accelerating towards the old trail of your decoy. If that is some kind of first contact party, you could try linking up with them and helping the humans directly. However, doing that would leave you badly out of position and with little choice to take the Legion ships in close proximity to Olympus itself.>Manoeuvrer into an ambush position. They won't be able to get a lock on you before you get shots off.>Stop decelerating, position yourself for a slash and burn. The humans can mop up the rest.>Try linking up and communicating with the human ship. If you can work out a plan with them, they'll have a much better chance.
>>1719348>Try linking up and communicating with the human ship. If you can work out a plan with them, they'll have a much better chance.
>>1719348>Stop decelerating, position yourself for a slash and burn. The humans can mop up the rest.then:>calculate a gravity trap trajectory around Olympus and possible moons to assist in your deceleration and repositioning.>hail the Humans over lasercomm or something similar to inform them of your plans, keeping it vague enough so no nervous high brass officer can use your plan against you.Question: How much about the Order is public knowledge, especially to Olympus? Is it completely unknown, only spoken of in myths, or have there been contacts?
>>1719372>>1719372Even before the fall of humanity, the Fleets of God were a myth. After all, the edges of man's territories were the ones in need of attention. The Order of Radiant Light (that's you) has certainly never bothered making contact. After the fall, anybody that remembered the myths have probably forgotten. In short: there's no way to know, but they probably don't even know you exist.Also, getting close enough for a useful gravity trap would put you basically in orbit anyway, which would... probably send the wrong message. If you guys still want to do it, sure, but I want to make sure you know what it would involve.
>>1719413In that case, >>1719372minus the gravity trap. A hard burn will have to do.Communication with the Humans will have to be akin to "The enemy of your enemy is your friend."
>>1719348>Transmit a message to the human vessel, but prepare for a slash and burn.You consider your options and the human vessel. Well, you might as well warn them. Pulling the standard first contact routines from your memory, you broadcast them in the direction of where the human ship should be in a few hours' time. They're mostly codex for working out any transmission, in case the planet has somehow forgotten Standard over the past couple hundred years. You follow it up with a short message, stating your intention is to make a pass on the enemy formation. With that out of the way, you flip back over and halt your acceleration, going as dark as you can and focusing all your passives on the incoming Legion formation. Six ships, though one still appears to be damaged from the suicidally brave attack of the human ships. Five to focus on, then. Now all you need to do if figure out exactly how you're going to attack- you should reach them about five light-hours from Olympus, and if you time it right you can still come around for another pass less than a light-hour from the planet.>Open up at long range with missiles. They'll detect you, but you might be able to thin them out before you get in range.>Sneak in and blast them with your antimatter tubes first. If you get it right, you should be able to wipe out four them in the first salvo.
>>1719492>>Sneak in and blast them with your antimatter tubes first. If you get it right, you should be able to wipe out four them in the first salvo.
>>1719492>Sneak in and blast them with your antimatter tubes first. If you get it right, you should be able to wipe out four them in the first salvo.
>>1719492>Sneak in and blast them with your antimatter tubes first. If you get it right, you should be able to wipe out four them in the first salvo.Also:>Let a salvo of missiles trail behind on pure inertia, ready to be radio-controlled and hit what you miss in your first pass.
>>1719492>Ambush with antimatter pulses before going to missile and lasersWith deft taps of your thrusters, you continue to align yourself with where the Legion squadron will be in... eight hours or so. You're still travelling at .18 c, so this will be a very quick pass. As the hours tick by, you charge the antimatter tubes from your fusion reactor and activate the fore tokamak, capturing four specks of antimatter in their magnetic containment bottles. It'll take close to half an hour to charge up each reactor for another shot, though you think in a pinch if you put all power into a single tube you could get off a single shot every ten minutes. That probably won't help you now, you'll just have to hope your missiles can do the job afterwards.While you continue on, you keep an eye on the human vessel. Right on time after receiving your message, it flips over and starts decelerating hard. The local seem to use traditional rockets, possibly burning hydrogen. Interesting. You probably won't see any reactions from the humans in time to change your plan, though.>Roll 3d100, best of three. One for stealthy, one for your AM pulses, and one for the missile strike.
Rolled 84, 92, 79 = 255 (3d100)>>1719572
Rolled 78, 15, 5 = 98 (3d100)>>1719572
Rolled 100, 44, 84 = 228 (3d100)>>1719572
Rolled 22, 68, 51 = 141 (3d100)>>1719572
>>1719575>>1719582>>1719584>100,92,84damn son this shit's gonna get rekt
>>1719572>100, 92, 84The sneakiest ship that ever lived. Deus Vult.Time continues its steady march, carefully segmented and ordered according to the decaying of atoms in your core. Even so, it seems to stretch out, and with it the tension mounts. As you get within a light-minute from the Legion ships, and still no peep of detection, you're just about ready to fire everything just so some action will happen! But you stop yourself, quietly reciting a litany of patience Grand Master Turtullian drilled into you a long time ago. The universe has retracted to you and the six enemy ships- no, targets. Your circuits thrum with a intensity you've never experienced before. In your first battle against a much smaller ship than any of these, you had no idea what to expect. You were scared and exhilarated all at once, functioning on instinct. Now you know what to expect, and you know what these ships will do to every single human in this system if you don't stop them. It's funny, you think, as you carefully lay several salvos of HVMs out of your broadside tubes, that wiping out the enemy comes down to a single switch, a single logic gate flicking from off to on.You reach ten light-seconds all too soon, and you activate your fore torpedo tubes for the first time in anger. Four carefully-crafted magnetic pulses burst out at very nearly the speed of light, crossing the distance to the target in just eight seconds. Eight seconds for the enemy to detect them, target, and try to shoot them down. Surprise is total, and it takes them seven and a half seconds to try.Antimatter, however, is a funny thing. It's essentially the perfect weapon- it can only be blocked or stopped by one thing- matter. Armour is the only thing that can protect against it, and the Legion ships have nowhere near enough. The magnetic containment shrugs of the scant plasma point defences that manage to lock on in time, and smash into the centre of four of the vessels. With a great heaving, they simply come apart, and for one glorious moment the black of space is lit up with the radiance of God himself, through you, his instrument. The two remaining enemy ships lance out with their radars, and now you know what to look for, you can detect the buildup of energy as they prepare to fire their main weapons. But it's too late. barely a second late come your missiles, and you've dedicated three salvos to each of the remaining enemies. The missiles, boosted to close enough to light speed as to make no difference, enter terminal guidance just outside the enemy's point defence envelope. These ships are slightly better prepared, but it matters little. The same experimental tech that removes most of their mass kicks in reverse, increasing each of the hundred-kilogram missiles' weight to almost one thousand kilos each. The missiles don't carry explosives. They don't need to. With the fury of God himself once more, they strike the enemy vessels and rip them apart. cont.
>>1719706Your broadside lasers reach out and pick off several of the larger pieces of hull still left, and then you're gone, carried away at .18 c. If you were human, no doubt you'd release a shudder of breath. But you're an AI, and you don't have that luxury. You need to consider your next course of action.>Decelerate, and approach Olympus. Better to wait in-system for the rest of your squadron, and the humans may need help.>Continue on your way, out of the system, leaving another drone at the jump point out to inform the Abbot of what's happened here.
>>1719715>Decelerate, and approach Olympus. Better to wait in-system for the rest of your squadron, and the humans may need help.
>>1719715>Decelerate, and approach Olympus. Better to wait in-system for the rest of your squadron, and the humans may need help.>Establish communications, try to get point-of-view intel on the Legion - maybe they broadcast something in advance? Targeted certain installations specifically?
>>1719715>>Decelerate, and approach Olympus. Better to wait in-system for the rest of your squadron, and the humans may need help.Establish communications, try to get point-of-view intel on the Legion - maybe they broadcast something in advance? Targeted certain installations specifically?
>>1719715>Decelerate and approach Olympus, try to open communications.Still scanning the wreckage with full active sensors, you flip end for end and decelerate hard, shifting your armour to white knight settings just in case. However, no fire comes. It seems you obliterated the entire squadron! No doubt Flavius will be happy will be happy with the first test of his prototype. It takes another hour to decelerate, and another three to close with the wreckage, still heading towards the planet at the same velocity. This time, you match to a zero/zero intercept and methodically burn any piece larger than a few metres with your broadside lasers. If even a single drone managed to get down to the surface... Who knows how much havoc it would wreak? With that out of the way, however, you're free to turn your attention back to Olympus itself. You decelerate a bit more, and keep your armour at full reflection. Don't want to scare the locals, after all.You get within eight light-minutes before you see a reaction- many of the armed ships in orbit arranging themselves so that a continuous stream of them would be able to fire at you. You're not sure how much damage their missiles would do if they actually got a hit, but frankly, you don't want to find out. It takes another hour and a half, and you're just about to start composing a broadcast to the planet in general when you receive a radio broadcast, using the protocols you sent the human ships many hours before. You open it after checking there's no nasty surprises - unlikely, but possible - and are greeted by the image of a human. A woman, probably in her late fifties. Caucasian, with short brown hair, and in what is clearly a military uniform, dark slacks with what you presume are rank pins on the shoulder- three stars. Whether those mean the same things as you vaguely recall the old Terran Republic fleet using, there's no way to know. She seems to be on one of the stations or ships in orbit- you can tell because she appears to be in microgravity. You study the image a little more, but you can't really tell anything else apart from the fact that she looks tired and worn out, which is hardly surprising."To the unidentified vessel currently approaching Olympus, this is Admiral Gracen of the Olympus Space Navy. I'd like to thank you on behalf of my planet for destroying the invaders, and request you reply on this channel with your intentions."The message also includes instructions of which orbital structure to send the reply to. As you thought, it's one of the structures you pegged as some kind of battlestation. Quite the gesture of trust, to- assuming that is indeed the station this Admiral is on, you could fire on it before the ships in orbit could likely stop you. Still, that leaves the question of what to say, and whether you want to reveal your true nature. Understandably, many humans dislike the idea of actually intelligent AI.cont. for options, fuck this character limit
>>1719985>State peaceful intentions>Ask to enter orbit to exchange data>Request a data dump so you can continue on your way>WriteinAdditionally:>Reveal your nature/the Order>Pretend to be from another human polity
>>1719985>State peaceful intentions>Ask to enter orbit to exchange data>Pretend to be from another human polity
>>1719991>State peaceful intentions>Politely request data dump, stay around>Advise to wait for your superior, the Abbott
>>1719991>>State peaceful intentions>>Politely request data dump, stay around>>Advise to wait for your superior
>>1719985>State peaceful intentions and request orbital clearanceSince the implication of telling her to wait for your superior is to not give signs either way of your origins, I'm going to go with that.You think on it, but decide the best thing to do is stick with simplicity. You reply with a text string, confirming you have nothing but peaceful intentions, and politely requesting orbital clearance for further discussion. A reply comes in short order- a long string of manoeuvring orders, which you follow without complaint. Due to the current orbital mechanics, you're currently 'catching up' to Olympus, and it's relatively simple to cut your forward thrust until you settle into an orbit near the battlestation. You can practically feel the eyes and sensors of every ship and structure in orbit upon you, and you feel... strangely exposed.As soon as you're settled into orbit, the Admiral hails you again.>Create a generated persona to interact with. It won't be perfect, but what can she do?>Stick with sound only.
>>1720305>Stick with sound only.
>>1720305>Sound onlyYou accept the channel, and the image of the Admiral appears, essentially unchanged from before, though she does look a little more tired."This is the Dauntless." You say, not bothering to create a visual image. You don't have the computing power to make it perfect, and humans are particularly good at picking up on anything less. On the image, in real time, now, the Admiral nods."Dauntless. I'd like to thank you again for what you did. After what those things did to Admiral Jensen's task force, I doubt we could have taken all of them." She smiles grimly, but seems disinclined to continue, so you pick up the slack."Admiral Gracen, I'd like to request all the sensor data you have on the Legion forces, from their entry into this system.""Legion... Is that what you call them?" She seems to ponder over the word for a moment, then nods to somebody off-screen. "Of course, we'll send that over momentarily. The bastards appeared right after our first FTL-capable vessel, the Odyssey, went on her maiden trip. They managed to get back here in time to give us maybe a week's warning, but those things..." She shakes her head. "They're demons. We probably would have been gone long before if they hadn't stopped at every single outpost, station and ship on the way in to obliterate them."Disturbing news, though not, perhaps, unexpected. "We, too, have encountered them," You begin carefully, testing each word, "But this ship is just the advance scout for a squadron sent to patrol through this area. If you talked to my superior, they may be able to leave one of our ships here to assist you. " The admiral is nodding, looking thoughtfully into the camera. "I see. And what do you intend to do?" You're not quite sure. You told the Abbot you would scout ahead for the enemy, and you've certainly found them.>You're going to stay in the system in case of another incursion.>You're going to continue on your patrol.>You're going to go back and hurry your squadron on.
>1720465>You're going to stay in the system in case of another incursion.Of course, under stealth.>reqest the Odyssey's flight planand sensor logs, and if possible, interviews with the crew.Question, Pixel. You described our missiles as going .99c, yet Dauntless was able to track their progress and send a self-destruction signal, the latter of which could take weeks and longer to catch up with the warheads. Can we assume that Dauntless has a limited range FTL comm/remote for those things?
>>1720531>the latter of which could take weeks and longer to catch up with the warheadsIf it was send in radio/laser.
>>1720531Y-yeah, something like that. I didn't momentarily forget and drop the ball, haha...
>>1720545I'll just consider it another one of Flavius' gadgets and come back to it when it's time to upgrade. Already got an idea that would work in this setting... ;p
>>1720557To give the serious answer, since they're effectively relativistic weapons and travel on ballistic if unpowered, it's a pretty simple matter to plot them. As for the self-destruct, they were deliberately aimed to avoid anything else on their way out of the system, and the self-destruct is to prevent them from becoming a problem for anything thousands of years from now.
>>1720545Ofcourse not oh wise and brilliant gm, the missiles simply have another piece of physics breaking tech built into them for just the occasion!It was simply so obvious that nobody needed to state it, that's all. >reqest the Odyssey's flight planand sensor logs, and if possible, interviews with the crew.>You're going to stay in the system in case of another incursion. And so we can report to the Abbot, otherwise he's just going to fly right through the system not bothering with any of it
>>1720601The knifehand alone gives me cold sweats, anon.>>1720465>You're going to stay in the system in case of another incursion."I see." Admiral Gracen nods, "Thank you, then. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I'll also make sure you're alerted as soon as any of our jump point buoys alert us. Is there anything else?""Just one. Would it be possible to speak to any of the crew of the Odyssey, and to see their planned flight logs, sensor data, anything of that nature?" The admiral's expression darkens."No." She says after a moment. "No, I'm sorry. They jumped back out after they gave us the warning and their sensor logs. Captain Weston intended to delay the enemy as much as he could. They never came back." You're not quite sure what to say, but the admiral continues, "I'll make sure you're forwarded the sensor logs they sent on to us." She gives you a nod, and closes the circuit.Admiral Gracen is as good as her word, and you idly examine the sensor feeds being sent to you. You store the ones from the Odyssey for now, focusing on the more recent ones from Olympus' sensors, and begin to work on the report Abbot Zusya will no doubt be expecting when they arrive in the system and find you still here. You're jogged from your work by a score of the human craft lighting off their drives and boosting hard for the site of the first battle you saw, no doubt for SAR. You doubt they'll find anything, it's been almost two days, but wish them luck and say a quick prayer regardless. These Olympians seem decent sorts, if the Admiral is anything to go by, and you spend the next couple of days splitting your attention between watching the ships in orbit, writing up reports, and examining the cities below. At the end of those two days, Abboy Zusya finally arrives with the rest of the squadron, and 'furious' is possibly an understatement.
>>1720719On that minor cliffhanger and accidental blank picture upload, I'm going to be leaving it for tonight. Next time: Zusya shouts at us! We blow more stuff up! Stay tuned to my twitter for when the quest goes live next Friday: https://twitter.com/Pixel_AnonI'll stick around for half an hour or so to answer any more questions you guys have, then bail to bed.
>>1720734>Zusya shouts at usWait what why
>>1721477Probably unsympathetic to our contact with the humans.In a way, I think it might have turned out better in the log run if we didn't wreck them so hard: if they'd finished off the wounded ships themselves it would have given the humans an outlook on the battle more fitting for the master race, if not for quite aligning with the reality of the situation. I'm also surprised that there seems to be a unified command of sorts despite the cold war conditions, it bodes well for this civilizations chances. Maybe in the future this can become the core of a network of developed systems that can defend themselves and even aid us in battle? Are there such networks or worlds in existence? It would be a shame for humanity to become dependent on their creations and victims of learned helplessness.By the way, how are we even hoping for victory against an enemy that can produce tailored drones that can eat and reproduce until they devour the mass of a planet in a matter of weeks? That's God-level bio-engineering, and unless they're just using weapons they found somewhere and don't understand that level of technology would have them able to literally convert the mass of solar systems into warships and (potentially) convert their throne-worlds into Dyson Spheres. We would stand a snowballs chance in Hell of stopping that with a hollowed-out moon for a base and manufacturing techniques that even resemble human industry.
>>1723018I feel the answer to your problem is more antimatter. Firing it by the gram, not the atom. Production will be a bitch, but when you have the boom to off Legion planets, you can cripple and maybe even cut their spread.