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Old April 10th, 2008, 01:52 AM

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Default Belanai Society\'s story.

I'm starting over with a new game. Hopefully Vista will manage to hold together long enough for this game to run it's course. I'll post some of the game settings soon. For now, just know that the game is SE4 with CB1.6c; the Belanai are Brainiacs, and there are (hopefully) LOTS of AI on this small map. It will make this low tech start, high tech cost game a gritty battleground. (My only saving grace will be that it's not a human vs computer team game)

2400.1.0
My name is Capt.... no. I am not a Captain anymore, for there is no military anymore. My name is Arabna Jelocu, and I served in The War. As the captain of the Ice Skimmer Jetiyu Melka, I unleashed horror and death upon Our enemies from kilometers away. While I do not regret that The War is finally over, I must admit, I miss my job. I miss the respect of my Bela. I miss the day to day fine details of running a ship of war. I miss the unique camaraderie that exists aboard ship, when brothers-in-arms are all dependent on each other for their lives. There is no place I'd rather be. And so, when this position became available, I could not let the opportunity pass me by, despite the perils of deep-space exploration. This is in all likelihood as close as I will ever get to home.

Now that the Society is finally victorious in our long, bloody War, we finally have peace. The vile Brotherhood has been crushed, and finally we can put the atrocities of The War behind us. The War ravaged Belanara. She cried out in anguish all those long centuries, protesting the abuse our ancestors put her through in the name of Victory. Her cries fell on deaf ears, and now we reap what our ancestors have sown. Our world is a shambles. Belanara's ecosystems have been ravaged, the precious ores all but mined out of her. She can no longer sustain our people. We must look elsewhere for the necessities that furthering our fledgling Peace will require. Such a place exists. It's been overhead for countless millennia, moving across the night skies, orbiting Xtreme alongside her sister, Balanara. But we were too preoccupied with The War to see it for what it was.

And so now the Belanai Society sets out on it's latest quest. Xtreme IV shall sustain us as we attempt to heal Belanara as best we can. Perhaps it is impossible. Perhaps the damage has been done, and nothing can save her. Perhaps it is out of our hands, and She must heal herself. I do not know. I am but a simple Belan, bound for the outer reaches of our Xtreme System. Our telescopes have seen many things, now that we have taken the time to look through them. And our astronomers made many discoveries. There is one, an odd.... something... out here; two of them to be precise. They are not planets, for the exert no gravitational effect upon their neighbors. Nor have they measurable mass or energy. They glimmer in the night sky every night, yet they have no mass to reflect light, nor energy to emit it themselves. Most peculiar. These are my destination. I will be studying these phenomena up close.

And so while the major shipyards are constructing a HUGE ship, designed to carry all the supplies necessary to establish a gleaming new home on a new world, MY small ship was constructed at an old Wartime factory, converted from it's original purpose of building heavy bombers. Well, I say constructed. Perhaps a more accurate term would be "patched together from spare parts". I think that the main reason they did not object to my inclusion of a few long-range missiles was that ... well, ... they just didn't care. Mine is a minor mission, compared to the awe inspiring task of colonizing a new planet, and missiles are a dime a dozen now that there is no use for them. It costs more to disassemble them and dispose of the radioactive cores than it does to store them. I suppose they assume that it's a few less missiles for them to keep track of. They laughed when I insisted on them, but I've too many years of military training to venture into the unknown without SOME means of defending myself.

Now my ship, the Scout, has finished construction and is ready for it's shakedown cruise, so I have but a short time until I depart. I do not know if I shall return. There is no one to mourn me if I and my crew of 3 should perish in our little endeavor (which was probably one of the deciding factors in my receiving this position). Therefore, .... I don't really know who would receive this journal should I not return. I think that I have a cousin in New Marakna. I haven't keep touch with my family; they were not pleased when I joined The War. Someone had to fight for the Society's ideals; they would hear none of that. Most of them are probably now ash scattered to the wind, thanks to the Brotherhood's bombing of Xelra 11 years ago. Some of them may have survived. Honestly, I didn't bother to find out. I made my choices, as they made theirs. I chose to confront our obstacles, they chose to pretend that the Brotherhood didn't exist. I hope that their ends, if indeed they did not survive, were painless. I hope that mine shall be, too, when it comes.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Belanai Society\'s story.

And interesting and well-written story. More, please?
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Old April 10th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Belanai Society\'s story.

Yes, more stories! And this time your game is protected against total existence failure .

PS:
Did you intend to put a password on your game?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 12:13 AM

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Default 2400.2.9 - Mission Control?

p.s. the savegame will open without a password now. sorry about that.

"All systems nominal for launch."

Mission Control had been buzzing with activity for three days now. As the Launch Coordinator, Mililam Eklar was right in the middle of it. This place was his baby, and he ran it like a finely crafted clock. Every function was covered with two redundancies. Every angle had been analyzed, and then re-analyzed. He and his team were ready. They could do this.

The Scout launch two months ago had been a complete success. Granted, it hadn't been NEARLY as complicated as the task before them today, but that was OK with Eklar. Scout's launch had served as an excellent dry run for their REAL job: getting the huge Arkun colony ship into orbit. Hopefully, her launch would go as well as Scout's.

Now, it was time. "Excellent. Initiate the automated system. Let's get this girl into the sky!"

Computer Ops entered a command, then a mechanical voice announced over the intercom, "Auto-Launch sequence engaged. T-minus two velars until ignition."

"Talk to me, people!"
"Automated Launch is running. No variances so far."
"Telemetry looks good."
"Cargo hold Life Support one hundred percent."
"Fuel tethers disengaged."

"Ah, Mr. Eklar?" The Bela speaking was not part of his team. Eklar vaguely recognized him as a member of the Scout team, but he hadn't paid enough attention to them to know what part he played in that slipshod project. But one thing was for sure, he was out of place here. He was in the way, disturbing the elaborately choreographed movements of HIS team, HIS project. Eklar found this very irritating. "The, ah, Scout program is requesting access to part of the Sensor Satellite network. We..."

"What? NOW? No, we can't, this launch is too important. We need all available assets focused on the Arkun." Didn't this guy GET it?

While his team continued to call out status reports, the automated system announced, "T-minus one velar, thirty meklas."
"Main Engines at nominal temperature."
"Auxiliary Launch thrusters ready."

"Uh, it's urgent. There is unprecedented activity at Phenomenon #1, and Scout is less than five kilometers away from it. Her sensors have been blinded by some sort of energy surge from the Phenomenon, so we need to ..."

Eklar gave a sigh of resignation as he filtered the little Bela's words out of his consciousness. That's what happens when your mission isn't organized properly. If you just slap things together and hope that they work.... "All right," he consented, just to shut the Bela up. "You can have K-2. It's monitoring the booster release at 45,000; it's resolution isn't the best, and it's redundant to K-24 anyway. You can monitor it at," he glanced at his clipboard, "at station R-17."

"Thank you, Mr. Eklar."

With that, the Bela scurried off to the monitoring station. Good riddance, Eklar thought. At least he'll be out of the way over at R-17.

"T-minus 1 velar," the automated system announced. Status reports continued to roll in. He refocused his attention on the task at hand.
"All Sensor Sats are locked on"
"K-2 is refocusing away! Oh, it's authorized."
"Final Computer Testing complete, no discrepancies."
"WHOA!"


The room abruptly fell silent. All heads turned to station R-17, and Eklar was there before the echoes had died away. "What?! What's wrong?"

The automated systems continued their countdown. "T-minus thirty meklas."
"No, no! You're fine! It's the feed from the K-2. It's ... it's gone!"
"The feed is gone?"
"No, SCOUT is gone! Phenomenon #1 ballooned in size, ... it was like a whirling vortex... and then it just sucked Scout right in."

"T-minus fifteen meklas."

"So, she's dead, then. I'm sorry." He wasn't, really. It serves them right, running such a sloppy program, then coming in and disrupting HIS carefully orchestrated project....

"No, that's the strangest part! We're still receiving telemetry from Scout.... but it's coming from Phenomenon #1 now!"

"T-minus five meklas"

An unfamiliar voice came over the com channel. "Uh, Control, this is Scout.... are you... are you getting this?"

"Four ... three ..."

"Bring Scout's telemetry up on the big screen," Eklar ordered. No one moved. "NOW!" he yelled. Someone pushed a button.

"Two ... One ... Ignition.... Liftoff. ... All systems nominal," the automated systems continued. "Trajectory nominal. Engine cutoff in twenty meklas."

No one in Mission Control heard it. They were all staring in disbelief at the large wall mounted display, at the brilliant orange orb hanging in the center of Scout's telemetry readings. The harshly glowing star was not at all like the soothing yellow light of Xtreme. They couldn't believe their eyes as they gazed at the 8 unfamiliar planets in strange, lopsided orbits. There was no question; they were seeing a completely new star system.

The Arkun, pride of the Belanai, it's best hope for the future, attained orbit. No one was watching.

Having fulfilled it's purpose for existence, the Automated Launch System switched the Arkun over to manual control and shut itself down. The Arkun's captain tried three times to raise Mission Control without success. Following the contingency plan for an on-board communications failure, she set course for Xtreme IV, not knowing that what had happened two minutes ago had changed everything.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:51 AM

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Default Re: Belanai Society\'s story.

You will need two races to view this game properly. One of them is the ship set I'm using, BOB. You can download it from SE.net. The other is a file called Vikings 2. .... uh... don't ask. Vikings 2.rar is attached.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:45 PM

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Default Re: Belanai Society\'s story.

2400.3.8

Administrator Gelstin listened to the report on the new star system discovered. At first, he had found all this a bit too hard to believe, and had assumed that it was just a series of coincidental sensor malfunctions. His Sciences Administrator was assuring him that it wasn't.

"There can be no doubt, Felega," Artillin Veriug said. He hated being referred to by his familiar name in official contexts. But Artillin and himself had been friends since before Primary; for him, he made an exception.

The Science Administrator continued. "We have triple checked the readings. While Scout's sensors are suffering from some distortions now, she has more than enough resolution to determine whether the astronomical bodies present fit the familiar Xtreme system. She has transited Phenomenon #1 four times now; the first time was her accidental transit late last month. In the past seven days, she has returned to the Xtreme side, then re-transited to this new system, and has now re-transited back again. She's currently in our system, in close orbit of Phenomenon #1, taking further readings. Her sensors were functioning perfectly, and even more amazingly, this... Phenomenon, this Warp Point, appears to be stable. Upon re-transiting out of Xtreme, Scout was returned to the same star system as before."

"Have the crew been monitoring for hazardous radiation levels," the Health Administrator asked. "Your report mentioned that an energy surge overloaded the sensors on the first transit. What if that surge also has harmful effects on our crew?"

"Scout's crew was not monitoring for such things on the first transit, as they were not expecting it. However, they did monitor for any radiation variations on the second three. All three transits showed no harmful radiation either in the crew compartments or outside the hull. We have no reason to believe that the surge that blinds our sensors has any harmful effects on biologicals whatsoever. However, the sensitive sensor arrays are another matter. Scout reports that while she is able to recalibrate her sensors fairly quickly after these energy surges, their sensitivity has been negatively affected by these surges, and that the problem will only be exasperated if they continue. She will be returning to Belanara to have her sensor array repaired. Hopefully by the time she arrives, we'll have devised a means of protecting the sensors from these energy surges." With that, he looked meaningfully at the interim Design Administrator, Hirim Lomoron.

Hirim was new to the Council of Administrators. Only 3 months ago, she was assigned as the Assistant Deputy Design Administrator under Velua Morroi. It was a political decision. She showed no special desire to be an administrator, but her prowess as an engineer... left something to be desired. She was the daughter of an powerful provincial administrator, however. His political wrangling had gotten her demotion lessened to a transfer to the Administrator's pool, as opposed to simply being turned out on the street. The untimely murder of Administrator Morroi and his deputy Meletha Holigs in his penthouse bedroom just three weeks ago had catapulted Hirim into a chair she was not yet fully trained to fill, and it showed. She was no match for the minds gathered around this table, and everyone at the table knew it, including Hirim herself. Gelstin could almost see her physically recoil from being called upon now. He was surprised that she hadn't yet resigned.

"We, ah, have an improvement for the sensors that looks, uh, promising," she managed to stammer out. "We think it might be reinforce the sensor array enough to withstand the energy surges from the, uh, Phenomena. If we decide to explore them more, that is."

"You think it might?" came the angry reply from the Alemni Xeratom. Since the Military Administrator's post had been eliminated after The War, the Construction Administrator's office had taken over control of the few military forces that had been retained, and Xeratom was vehemently protective of this new power base that had fallen into his lap. Most of the military assets that remained in service were large ice skimmers retrofit to large scale civilian construction or mining operations. The fledgling space fleet thus fell under his jurisdiction. "You are willing to gamble with the lives of my crews with sensors that you think MIGHT hold up to the stresses of traversing the Phenomena?"

This time, he was sure he saw Hirim shrink back into her chair. Before Xeratom could continue further, Gelstin stepped in. "Now, Alemni," he chided, "Watch your temper. After all, 'He who is not of rational mind cannot rational decisions make.' Let's maintain our focus here." Xeratom remained silent, despite the blueish tint of anger still in his cheeks. Gelstin knew that Xeratom would not, could not challenge him directly. Not yet, anyway. There were rumors that Xeratom had set his sights higher than the Council of Administrators, that he wanted to get back into a research lab. His influence then would be great indeed. But for now, Xeratom held his tongue.

"So, we know that these Phenomena... lead to new star systems. And judging from this report, there are MANY opportunities for growth here. Belanara should be relieved with all the planets we can make new homes for ourselves on. But what of the other Phenomenon? Should we continue to explore these Phenomena, and see what other wonders await us in the stars? Or should we instead..."

At this, a door opened, and a Bela entered. He hurried over to Artillin, handed him a report display, and whispered a few words with him. Gelstin was annoyed at this interruption; it was bad form to disrupt a Council of Administrators meeting. But then, the vaunted Scientists had more important things to do than wait for a scheduled break. He should have been one of them. He knew he'd passed the tests, despite what the grading computers had said.

His reverie was broken when he noticed the color draining from his Science Administrator's face. The interrupting assistant had taken his leave, and Artillin's hand faintly shook as he held the report display. "Artillin? What is it?"

Artillin's voice shook slightly as he spoke. Gelstin couldn't remember seeing his friend so shaken since his son had joined the military, all those years ago. "The sensor logs from Scout, we... we're still analyzing them, of coarse, what you've seen so far is just the preliminary analysis. We, uh, we..."

"Just spit it out," Xerotom commented gruffly. "You're starting to sound like the kid over there," he continued with a not-so-polite gesture towards the Design Administrator.

"Ah, there is evidence that, uh," he referred to the report display just handed to him, "that the ninth planet AND the moon of the fourth planet in the new star system have previously been inhabited by intelligent beings."

A hushed silence fell over those at the table, and then the cacophony of shouted questions was nearly deafening. It took over a minute for Gelstin to quiet everyone down. Then he asked, as calmly as he could, the question that everyone had been shouting just a few moments before. "Are you saying that we aren't alone? That there are... some form of aliens just beyond Phenomenon #1?"

Artillin shook his head, still in shock himself over the revelation. "No. Note that I said there were signs of PREVIOUS habitation. There is no sentient life there now. But... There are structures clearly present on the lifeless moon, and there are indications of them also on the nineth planet. You can reference the Radar logs at datapoint 2685493 through 2970584 to see for yourselves. But this opens up an interesting, yet potentially hazardous line of thinking. If there was once alien life out there... is there still?"
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:44 PM

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Default 2400.7.1

2400.7.1

Selam Votrom was an oddity. He came from a well bred family. He tested in the top 2% in his Primary Education Placement tests. It seemed that Destiny herself was leading him to be the Lead Researcher at on of the prestigious Bela Astor Research Centers. He chose a different path. He had joined the Military Straight out of Secondary. His family was appalled. The Pride of their proud family, lowering himself to Military Service! It was unheard of. They had refused to allow him to make this mistake. He had refused to back down. And so they had disowned him, cast him out of their house, out of their lives. He had not spoken to any of them in 16 long years. Now, with the Great Victory and subsequent dissolution of the Military, he was beginning to doubt his decision. He had no regrets, he was proud of the fact that he had helped end the greatest threat to Peace his race had known. But now that the Military's usefulness had come to an end, he and all his brothers-in-arms had been cast aside. When Arabna had found him two and a half years ago, he was little more than a beggar on the street, living off of governmental assistance and barely getting by. How the Hero of Me Lamit had fallen.

Now here he was, Helm Officer of the Scout, once again putting his life on the line for the Society. He was second in command under it's Captain, Arabna Jelocu. It had turned out to be anything but dull! He had been one of the first Bela to lay eyes on a new star system, and now they were on course to do it again. The pay was pathetic, the recognition non-existent. But at least he was off the streets, and he had time to think as they slowly traveled toward their destination. He had all the time in the world, it seemed, to sit and wonder whether he'd made the right choices. What would his life be like now if he had not rebelled against the path he seemed destined for. A nice house. The respect of his peers. Perhaps a lovely wife or two to keep him company, and perhaps even....

His respite was interrupted by a flashing yellow light on the Operations Station. He leaned over to get a better look, blanched, then took the two steps needed to stand before Ops. He pulled up the sensor readings to the large display to his right. There was no doubt, Warp Point #2 was active. That could only mean...

He rushed over to the bunks on the far right side of the Bridge. "Captain, wake up!"

Arabna Jelocu opened his eyes, squinting in the bright light of the Bridge. He felt like he'd only just fallen asleep. It can't yet be time for his shift. He glances at the clock, and it takes him a moment to realize that his shift isn't set to start for another 4 hours.

"Somethings coming through the Warp Point!" With that Selam ran back to his station at Helm Control. Arabna sat bolt upright, his cry of surprise cut short as he cracked his forehead against the bunk above him. Cursing under his breath, he swung his feet out of the bunk, pulled on his boots, and strode the three steps to the Operations station. The bridge was so small, he didn't even have a proper command chair, and had to run Ops while making command decisions.

"What do you mean, somethings coming out of the Warp Point? WHICH Warp Point?"

"Warp Point #2. And .... there it is."

Arabna glanced at his system charts, already knowing the answer. Scout's current mission was to transit Warp Point #2 and explore the system beyond. At current speeds, she would arrive at the Warp Point in one month's time. But now, there was something in the way. He pulled up the Visual sensor readings. The new array was already pointed toward their destination, so he didn't have to realign them. What he saw was a roughly cylindrical chunk of matter, with a rough bronze coloring. It had two large protrusions, on from each end of the cylinder. One of them looked roughly like the head of some creature.

"Captain," began Selam, "I'm picking up what I think are ... Transmissions. I think... I think it's trying to talk to us."

"Then it must be a ... daemons curse us!" A lump formed in the pit of Arabna's belly as he realized that a new threat to the fledgling Belanai peace had just emerged from deep space.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 04:57 PM

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Default 2401.0

2401.0.5
Miliol Votrom broke through the corroded door into a room that had not seen the light of day in countless millennium. She and her team spread out, examining the bare room. Like the rest of the ruins complex, it was all but bereft of any archaeological evidence. No pictorial displays adorned the walls, on writing demonstrated itself. It was as if the former inhabitants had intentionally sanitized the vast complex before departing for parts unknown. So far she had been highly disappointed, but she had hoped that this room would be different. Unlike most of the rest of the complex, it was not open to the elements. In fact, it appeared to have been intentionally sealed shut. She had hoped that there would be something worthwhile here. Anything at all would have been nice! But it seems that her Archaeological opus would come to naught...

"Ma'am! Over here!" Meloka Sentia motioned to her. She considered him mediocre as an archaeologist, at best. He just didn't have that creative spark that allowed him to see things as they once were. Instead he looked at a site as just a bunch of artifacts, to be cataloged and pieced together. He didn't really see the big picture. As she strode over to where he knelt by the entrance to the chamber, she wondered if she should demote him down to a supervisory position in order to get him out of the way of a few of the associate archaeologist that were showing promise.

"What have you got, Meloka?"

He pointed down to a oddly rectangular stone jutting out of the floor It wasn't square with the walls. They would have to remove the almost 1/2 inch of dust from the room to see if it lined up with the other.... "I'm reading a small energy signature here" he said, and her breath caught in her throat. Gently, she used her whisk brush to remove the dust from the shape on the floor. It was not a stone at all. It appeared to be some sort of device!

"Good Job, Meloka! Everyone out of this chamber! This is now our prime artifact site. No," she grabbed Meloka by the arm, "You stay. Get out the stasis box. I don't want this damaged while we take it to camp." Carefully, they began the process of collecting and tagging the only artifact of any significance they would find at the site.

2401.0.9

Miliol Votrom sighed as she sent her report in to the Institute. One little artifact. Nothing else of note. Granted, it was an intriguing piece, but still just one piece. There were no real clues as to who or what had lived in this place. The device that Meloka found had turned out to be some sort of data storage device. It had been highly degraded, but there were two datasets that had survived intact. One was a list of star systems known to this ancient race. She now knew that this strange, brilliant orange star had once been called "Sophenis", and that this planet would therefore have been Sophenis IX. Roughly translated, Xtreme was known as Caveat, or possibly Cavern. Unfortunately, it was only a list of the systems and their coordinates in the galaxy. If there was a map of the Warp Point connections attached to the list, it had not survived the millennium.

The other dataset was a complex set of blueprints. They were too complex for her to interpret, so she would leave it to the Engineers at the Design Administrator's office to dissect. All in all, it was a disappointing excavation. What she thought would take her up to 2 years to sift though had turned out to be nothing but an empty shell. She hoped that her next expedition, when one became available, would be more interesting.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 03:34 PM

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Default A short recap.

Administrator Gelstin sighed as he perused the Council meeting minutes one last time. Things were happening too quickly; he felt like the Society was slipping through his fingers. No sooner had he finally secured Peace for the Society, than the possibility of traveling to other star systems was discovered, followed immediately by the possibility of a whole new, alien threat to that ideal his people had sacrificed so much to finally achieve. Then, not three short months after that possibility revealed itself, it became reality with the appearance of what could only be an alien ship through the unexplored WarpPoint. It had burst transmitted mountains of data, then disappeared back through the WarpPoint, and the linguists were still working on deciphering that data. They couldn't even tell him what these aliens call themselves!

Meanwhile, Xtreme IV was colonized. This month it finished construction on a SY facility, and construction has begun on the first of two Defense Class corvettes commissioned there. For now, the ships will remain under the auspices of the Construction Administrator. What was once the "Best Hope for the Belanai" isn't anymore; there are more colonization opportunities, with better resource potential, in Sophenis. And who knows what other possibilities lay out there among the stars? So Xtreme IV has been renamed False Hope.

Speaking of other opportunities, the colony ship Opportunity is about to land the second Society colony on what we now know was once called Sophenis IV. The Council decided to use the ancient system names gleaned from the ruins on Sophenis IX, save for our own Xtreme solar system. Since no other Warp Points have been detected in Sophenis, the Council decided to focus that system on industrialization. If Peace is to survive against this new possible alien threat, we must be strong enough that these aliens are wary of attacking us. That is why the council has reinstated the Military Administrator position. We must be ready for war, if it comes.

Unfortunately, old Gelram Grafz, the former Military Administrator, died last year. Our next council meeting will focus on finding an new Military Administrator. Gelstin doesn't envy the winner of that position. They will be responsible for developing a defense strategy in a completely new environment, with completely untested equipment and tactics. Filling that position will be a difficult, critical task for the Council.

As for the mysterious aliens, captain Arabna Jelocu and the crew of the Scout are about to follow the nameless alien ship though WarpPoint #2 and find out what's on the other side. Information is our only weapon right now, and it is in critically short supply. Jelocu has shown a level head so far, he's the best choice for tracking down these aliens... Jelocu... Hmm. Perhaps.
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Author: The Belanai Story

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Old May 20th, 2009, 10:17 PM

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Default Belanai Society's story

Once again, I'd like to thank my Editor in Chief, SJ, for his numerous and very helpful suggestions and guidance. The savegame files are attached, as always. Also, don't forget to check out my comments thread.

2401.395
How did I get into this mess?

It started innocently enough. Scout was less than 1000 kilometers from the WarpPoint, ready to follow the alien vessel into another star system. I was off-duty, downloading a recent article by astrophysicist Gerum I'morum describing his new theory on the functional physics of WarpPoints, when the transmission came in.
"Date: 2401.198
To: Arabna Jelocu, commander of Scout
RE: New Orders
Return with all speed to Belanara. Arabna Jelocu jur%@#$ $32#$6&(^FG$@^YN$RR%^AWfsdge454wrfdfgte4r^$%EWATRDSFTG%$^ SRertf..."

Most of the message was garbled. I postulated that it was due to our proximity to the WarpPoint, and made a note of that in the science logs. Scout had turned into something of a test bed for Warp Travel technologies, it seemed. So, we turned Scout around and headed back home.

Upon my arrival at the shipyard docks, I printed of a hard-copy of the message, such as it was, and disembarked. On the landing platform I discovered a young Bella waiting for me. She told me that the Council was waiting for me, and led me to an express elevator straight to the planet's surface. From there, I was ushered into a ground-car, and soon found myself at the Council building. Completely ignorant of why the Council would wish to see me, I asked at the front desk. The clerk there seemed quite dull; he didn't ask me any questions, and answered none. He simply had me scan my ID into the system, then directed me toward the Council Chambers.

By the time I arrived at the council chambers, I was already dreading the worst. But I had no idea just how bad it was going to be. Most of the Belanai were unfamiliar to me. I did vaguely recognized the Administrator, although I couldn't remember his name. And of course, I recognized the Construction Minister, Alemni Xeratom. There were a few planet-side Military ships that had some civilian uses; when the Military had been disbanded, he had been given authority over those. The Scout was among them, although it was new, and not a surface ship. He was furious, however, and wouldn't even look at me. He is a very intelligent man, and I'd hoped not to disappoint him. It appeared that I had, somehow. Why else would I be here?

Once I arrived, the Administrator called the Council to order. First I was introduced to everyone at the table. I admit that I still don't recall some of their names. Then they discussed colony development on False Hope. Apparently the plan is to build a large medical facility. It's main focus would be on Medicinal research, searching for new and better understanding of our physical selves and how to treat ailments. Additionally, it would be capable of quickly containing and vaccinating everyone against another plague, like the one the Brotherhood grew desperate enough to try back in 2371. Well, not everyone; it seems that the colonists in systems outside Xtreme won't be covered. I just hope that the aliens don't prove as willing to kill us as our own kind did.

After that is built, a headquarters for a system-wide environmental control facility will be constructed. It's a bit late for environmental improvement here on Belanara; the War ravaged her. Then again, administrators weren't known for their common sense. Who knows what "logic" brought them to that decision?

At this point, my thoughts were interrupted when Administrator gave me an odd look and said "But before any of that, the shipyards there will continue to build the two Defense class ships. Correct, Xeratom?". If it were possible, the Construction Minister appeared to grow even more angry, but managed to grunt his accent. The Administrator (I believe his name is Gelstin) continued to look at me, almost expectantly. After an awkward moment, the design minister meekly asked if, with the recent breakthrough in missile storage and loading mechanisms, the Defense ships should be put off until after the design can be upgraded. Again, the Administrator looked at me, and seemed to be waiting for me to say something. When I did not, he seemed troubled; but he told the Design Administrator that the construction on the first ship was too far along to change the plans now, but surely her team could have the designs upgraded by next month, when construction was to start on the second ship.

After that, the discussion turned toward the details of the trade alliance the aliens had proposed. The linguists were still having trouble with the language barrier, although most of the rudiments of the translation had been worked out. For instance, there seems to be no consensus on what these aliens actually call themselves. But a trade alliance is good news; it means I'm not going to have to go up against that alien ship with absolutely no information about them or their weapon systems. I can instead focus on using Scout to explore for more planets to colonize. Unless... unless the treaty is just a ruse, to gain unhindered access to our Warppoint! The Brotherhood had tried that tactic occasionally; they promise peace in exchange for a bit more territory, or a shipment of food. Every time they had dangled that bait of "peace" in front of us, the Administrators had desperately grabbed for it. And every time, we had found our hand caught in a trap.

I've seen the size of ships they could build, and to my knowledge, the only ship we have is Scout. Belanara have mercy on us all if they prove as hostile as the Brotherhood was.

I came out of my thoughts to find Alemni Xeratom gruffly listing off what was to be constructed on which colonies, and here at the shipyards. Apparently, I missed what was decided about the treaty proposal. There was some discussion of what should be built here at the Belanai shipyards, but honestly, I found all this mostly boring. I am a man of action, why was I called to this table to sit here and listen to them talk about the workings of the Society?

Soon the Administrator announced that all the business seemed to be finished, and seeing as we all surely had better things to do than sit here, he adjourned the meeting! "Wait!" I said, "Why did the Council summon me here?" For a moment, one last moment of peace, they all just stared at me. Then they were all shouting questions and/or accusations at me! I could make nothing of the cacophony. The Administrator quieted everyone down, then turned to me and said, "I don't understand. You are here, so you obviously received our message. It was self-explanatory!" I began to hand him the hard-copy I'd printed out, explaining that most of it was garbled, when he added, "You've been appointed as the new Military Administrator."

I was dumbstruck! Military Administrator! I ... I can't be stuck behind a desk! I belong on a ship! With my Bela! But my voice abandoned me, and I just stood there with a blastedly idiotic look on my face, the message still in my hand, as the Administrator apologized for the confusion and consoled me on my appointment. Everyone seemed confused, but filed past me out of the chamber. Most smiled sadly at me, understanding the disappointment apparent on my face, but Xeratom continued to shoot icy glares my way. It took a moment for me to understand why. The Construction Ministry had taken over the Military assets that weren't scrapped along with the Military Ministry itself. Now that there was again a Military Administrator, Xeratom must have lost control of those assets (to me!), and thus lost some of his political pull as well. If he wanted to get out of here and back into a research lab, as I'd heard rumors of, then he'll need as much political muscle as he can get. No wonder he staring daggers at me!

After the others had left, Administrator Gelstin introduced me to my administrative assistant. She was the same young Belle that met me at the space dock. Gelstin assured me that if I needed guidance, he would be willing to assist me. Before taking his leave, he gave me my access codes. My administrative assistant then apologized, as well, for the confusion. She game me a quick tour of the labyrinthine offices behind the main Chambers, then showed me to my office, and left me to begin my new work.

Now I sit here, alone in this large office, wondering what I'm supposed to do. I suppose I have answered my own question; that's how I got into this mess. Now the more important question is, "What in all insanity am I to do now"? The only combat worthy space asset the Society has is Scout. I will have to send it back out through the Warppoint. If these nameless aliens don't share our views on peace, I will have to fight them. I'd rather not do that here in Xtreme! So Scout's next task is to explore, find the aliens so that we can at least know what we may be up against. I'll give command of Scout to Selam. He made a good first mate, and he's a solid head on his shoulders. He'll keep the ol' girl safe.

Farewell, old friend. I envy you.
Attached Files
File Type: rar Belanai 2401.3.rar (79.7 KB, 228 views)
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Author: The Belanai Story
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