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Old September 27th, 2002, 09:14 PM
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Jmenschenfresser Jmenschenfresser is offline
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Default History of the Galaxy II

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Official Story Thread:
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This is just to get rid of comments and what not. Please post only story Posts here. Not that we don't like comments and criticism, but there are ten players in this game, meaning lots of Posts. Those who have posted in the previous thread, please copy and paste your prefaces here.
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End of Transmission
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Preface:
2399.9

I am not a Good and Just god. Nor am I all-knowing or all-powerful. I promise little and I ask little. I know of no place called Heaven, but I do have in my power to invite those I choose to sup for all eternity at my table. No grander more elaborate castle exists than my own, but it isn't without end. Once the door is opened for them, they are welcome to stay as long as they like. I value the extraordinary and I value their stories.

I am Koei, Creator of Heru, great father of all five tribes. Gods are perhaps the oddest of things the universe sustains. I've never met another other than myself, but I am sure there are some. I've wandered through the galaxy in my spare time, seeing that there are other beings like my Heruvians. Of some, I must say, I am envious, but creation is a difficult, comical thing. I think no god can entirely fashion something in his own likeness. A creature loves nothing more than to will everything but what is.

I foresaw that this day would eventually come to pass. The Heru are resiliant and unwavering when moved by their own hearts. They are natural explorers, devourers, and conquerors. Like children, they are to me, touching and ingesting everything. Gods have nightmares. Would you like to know mine? I see the body of Heru, collecting worlds for its bed, languishing in hunger and thrashing about in thirst, breathing but saying nothing. Heru slowly dies; its body decays and with it, the universe.

A strange dream--the Heru, like the massless substance of the pillars of the universe. I have learned something from this dream. Creation promises destruction. Maybe it is the only promise I have given my people. There are those calling themselves my prophets who've written volumes on the future, but even they do not know that the end was not my blessing. Neither was it a curse. It simply is. Creation promises destruction...a true lesson to all who would form something new. With the beautiful birth of civilization, I unknowingly allowed apocalypse.

But I did foresee this day, and although I realize that it is a great step toward the realization of my worst fear, I rejoice with my people. Today, citizens of the Tribes leave their cradle. I will not plead innocent in this matter. I have pushed and prodded. I have whispered in the ears of those who'd listen. I foresaw it and I willed it. Those whose dreams are of unification morn, for the Tribes leave not as brother and sister, but as cold competitors. Separate paths to the multitude of stars, and although I know this day is bound by and insinuated by strife and division, days and years of hardship will come where they again must turn to one another, with palms open, and admit their essence is tribeless. Oh, the polarity of kin...how many cardinal directions does it have?
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Old September 27th, 2002, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: History of the Galaxy II

2390.0

In their natural habitat, the hive existed as a species of simple fungus. Evolving in the particularly harsh environment of a tiny moon orbiting a gas giant, they had developed many methods for adapting and exploiting any available materials. They developed a particularly complex method of electromagnetic communication between various members of the colony. Tendrils that were not in direct physical contact with each other could share information about available nutrients by these means over several meters of open space. Through this they formed a network over vast areas of their home planetoid.

Of course information shared was of a strictly rudimentary nature as the hive was not sentient by any definition. They simply had a basic plant intelligence and instinct. They grew and spread as any other simple plant life form on countless worlds all over the universe. Had they never left the confines of this barren landscape they would have likely been nothing more than a slightly interesting entry in some database of unusual flora and fauna.

This is how things went for billions of years as the hive spread over the barren landscape of their home planetoid circling a gas giant that was in turn orbiting an average yellow star. In the same star system closer in was a world much more suitable to complex animal life. It had a rich nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and an abundance of liquid water. This planet had a diverse ecosphere and supported a large variety of plants and animal species over the billions of years that the hive held solitary domain over their tiny moon.

One of these species developed to the point of sentience, and began the long process of discovery and technological advancement that is the hallmark of all intelligent spacefaring races. They had just begun their first tentative steps into the star system that was their home. They had sent members of their species into orbit, and had built semi-permanent stations in orbit around their world. While they had yet to develop technology to travel out of their system, or even to other planets in their own system with any practicality, they were a very curious race. Always seeking to learn and understand the universe around them.

In pursuit of this goal for knowledge and understanding they sent small robotic probes to the other planets in their system. These probes were slow and simple at first. Taking years to travel the short distances between the planets orbiting their own sun, beaming back pictures and doing simple remote chemical experiments.

It was one of these probes that finally visited the hive moon and made the discovery that so excited this emerging race. To this point they had fantasized and theorized about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets orbiting other stars. But they as yet had not even found even the simplest forms of biological life anywhere in their own system except on their own homeworld. For all they knew prior to finding the hive they were alone in the universe.

But represented in this monumental discovery was confirmation that life was not unique. And if it were not unique, then perhaps it was quite common. Perhaps some day their descendents would meet other beings living on far distant worlds. It was a tremendous day in the existence of this race.

Quickly they made plans to send a second probe to this moon. Still lacking the technology to safely send members of their own race, they could design robotic probes that could reach the moon, land, and collect and send back samples of this new and exciting life form for further study. They dedicated themselves to this task as a species and within the decade the first sample of the hive landed back on their world.

For many months this sample was examined and experimented on. All precautions were taken to prevent any accidental spread of the hive spores into their own environment. They had no way of knowing what effect this could have on their environment, and they were careful to prevent it from happening. But in the curiosity and excitement of discovery, a mistake was made. A single spore escaped the confinement and was unknowingly inhaled by a janitor working at the research facility. This spore entered his body, multiplied and spread. A species that had adapted and flourished on a barren planetoid sparse in the minerals it needed to survive now found itself a new host that was rich in these nutrients. The hive took root in this being, and flourished.

It was slow process at first. He himself did not notice any symptoms for several weeks after his contamination. He gradually began to lose his mental capacity. But he we was old and not very educated. And even the brightest of his species only used a small portion of their brains anyway. So he did not suspect anything was wrong until it was too late.

With the onset of more serious symptoms came the concern of his family. Little did they know they had already become infected themselves. For the hive had been spreading. To his family, to his coworkers, the medical caregivers trying to discover the cause and cure for this strange disease that had befallen him. And finally through the very air that surrounded their world and supplied them all with life.

For through a twist of fate, this sentient species was a particularly ideal host for the hive. The hive spores and tendrils could collect in the host’s brain and take over control of it. It instinctively left the parts of the brain alone that were dedicated to the autonomous function of the host’s body, preferring instead the more suitable parts of the brain that were responsible for the host species sense of being, and of their individuality.

The host species also had fairly strong latent psychic tendencies. Nothing too extraordinary. They were even mostly unaware of it themselves. Perhaps with another million years of evolution they would start to tap this part of their identity on their own. But the hive tendrils were able to tap into this almost immediately.

The hives own communicative abilities merged with the latent psychic abilities of the host race and formed something altogether new. The newly infected host members combined with the hive tendrils and became something that together, was much larger than the sum of their parts.

As the hive spread through each host they reached a point where it began to affect their conscious mind and they slipped into a coma. Some of the weaker members of the species died during this process, but those that survived eventually awoke. To those around them they appeared to be the same, but they had become something different. This process was repeated over and over again all over the host world.

This happened gradually at first. The host race struggled mightily to hold off the spread of the contamination. Once it became clear there was something going on, all the resources of their species were dedicated to preventing and reversing the damage that was taking their loved ones from them and leaving their bodies behind. But they could not bring themselves to do the awful thing that must be done to save their race. They could not destroy the ones they had lost.

For they did not know they had already lost them. They thought they were merely “damaged” or “infected”, but that through time they could be healed. But what they did not know was that all remnants of their former selves had been lost. Even if a method of removing the hive infestation had been developed, their bodies would cease to function.

And since they did not destroy the infected ones, their number grew. And as their number grew, the speed of contamination increased. Until eventually there were more infected than could be cared for by the uninfected. Then eventually there were more infected than uninfected. Then eventually, there were no more that were uninfected.

As they lost their individuality, their sense of self, they found themselves interconnected with other infected members of the host race. The process that had occurred over and over with each individual was repeated on a much larger scale with the race as a whole. They ceased being individual members of a race and became parts of a collective intelligence. They became…

The Hive

[ September 29, 2002, 00:18: Message edited by: geoschmo ]
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2002, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: History of the Galaxy II

*Notes: Yes, I know that this isn't really a backstory as it give no through descriptions, but it shows some characters and institutions. Wait until the game starts then a through explanation will come

--------------------------------------------------
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
-Carl Sagan

Galtenn Standard Year 2399, the 9th month

"Secretary, has all the regents checked in yet?"

"Regent Hollsczka and Regent Cimonporte have not arrived due to unknown reasons. Regent Yammose has notified meet planning committee of her absence."

"Other than that?"

"The schedule is going accordingly with an acceptable dilation of 5.7 minutes. All guests and regents in attendance are currently located in the main conference hall."

"Thank you secretary. Please keep me informed on the absent regent's status, if available."

"Confirmed"

I left the room, wearing formal wear, and walked down the stairs leading to the main conference hall.

This was no ordinary meet, like it had been done for 234 times before. This meet would decide the fate of the Galtenn race, whether it would survive and prosper, or shrivel and die. At least that is how many they and I see thing. Others see this meet as a waste of time, where we are fine where we are.

This meet would decide what would happen.

I worked my entire life for this moment. Top notch marks in all my classes- except algebra. 18 years of my life devoted to education; another 10 for climbing the political ladder.

It would make my old man proud...

I now stood at the front of the massive door that led into the backstage and into the main podium. Strange, it never seemed to be that big when all these times before... Now it seems monolithic; colossal. Maybe a manifestation of my goals, of what will happen if this resolution doesn't come through.

Gotta face my fears.

"Open sesame."

"Unknown command: sesame. Please restate your command."

... The wonders of the 25th century.

"Open backstage door, computer."

"Confirmed."

As I walked into and on to the podium, I could see the massive conference hall. This conference hall on Raktajinolia was chosen because of its size; now I know that the committee wasn't joking when they said keep your eyes peeled.

It was now 7:00 Eastern Continental Selective Time. It was time to get started.

As I was searching for the gavel, I could see many people below, mostly, talking. I would have guess that about 200 people were in here. 32 of them are State Regents, who govern their respective Nation states. I could see some powerful ones: Regent Tichino Jahawawa, Regent of the Northern Protectorate, Regent Tongo Salta'hna of 50 States alliance, and Regent Elle Aaanavi of the Confederate Union. The rest would be journalists, critics, and other notable people.

One person caught my eye: Regent Jafhel Kuiens of the Oceanic Federation. He would be the obstacle to this referendum. He has been gathering support from many corporations and lobby Groups, protesting against the topic. I'll have to watch for him.

"Greetings, Central Regent."

A voice in the backstage called out to me.

"Good day, and you are?"

"Commander Erehwon Gnitteg of the Oceanic Defensive Corps."

"What brings you here, Commander?"

"I need a word with you sir, in private."

"I'm sorry but I'm afraid it will have to wait, the meet will begin shortly."

"Then please lean forward."

I started to wonder what this was about.

"Mr. Central Regent, Regent Jafhel would like to ask if you can tip the polls of the referendum in his favor; if it is done, the Oceanic Federation can donate large sums of credits to the Alliance, and maybe allow the Alliance to use the Oceanic Federation's Airbases."

"What! I will do no such thing! Get out of my sight before I call security and abolish the Oceanic Federation out of the Alliance!"

The Commander took an angered look to my response, but turned calm in a moment.

"I will tell him that you refused his request. Thank you Central Regent."

"PLEASE tell him my EXACT WORDS, commander."

The commander then quickly left the back door.

With that unpleasantness over with, I grabbed the gavel and hit the plasma interface hard. The computer let out a thick, bass tone, alerting the guests and guests of honor to take to their places.

The speaker system shrieked with life, and the microphone was made available.

"Greeting Regents of Great Nation States and other prestigious guests to the 235th Annual Alliance Meet. Please sit down and activate your comm systems."

"Let’s get down to business..."

The meet began. Various laws and Queries were filled out and rejected, usual stuff. There weren’t many debates about them, as it was clear for them (regents) to say yay or nay.

After 50 minutes of polling, we finally got down to the most important part of the meet.

"For the Last item on the agenda, The Northern Directorate, Illyad Republic, and the Galtenn Alliance's proposal for the launch of the first manned Warp-Node travel capable starship."

I tried to quickly pass this along, so that I wouldn't give the opposition the chance. I would guess that this is censorship to many, but I believed that all of Galtenn would I agree with me. It wouldn't just work out that way.

"Please vote now by pressing the..."

"I would like to say a few words before we commence voting."

Damn.

"The Central Regent acknowledges the Oceanic Federation Regent."

"I would like to point out that there is not enough scientific evidence that sending a ship; a MANNED ship through a warp node is safe, and that we will get back our ship back in one piece. Our probes that were sent to the warp node were destroyed by the event-horizon! The Oceanic Federation and its allies, for one, would not like to see our ship destroyed and its crew mutilated by this anomaly."

"Now just a minute here!"

"The Central Regent acknowledges the 50 States Alliance Regent."

"The recent ISSA finding report that the probes were too fragile to withstand the space-fold, as it have been aptly named by our scientists, and that a ship of sufficient size and materials that the Ship code-named the Escort have been constructed out of, will withstand, such pressures."

"Also, we need to expand out into space. The population on Galtenn is filling up. By the time we are done constructing the ship, 2 billion will inhabit Galtenn. This will create a severe social problem, and expanding out into space, creating more room, is the answer."

"Also, again, there are many scientific reasons and economic reasons that we, as one, should venture out. The new sphearscrapers require exotic minerals that are found almost everywhere in out system, in abundance!"

"The Galtenn race is willing to step out. See the vote results and you will find out..."

"Economic? Scientific?"

"The Central Regent does not recognize the oceanic federation. Please restrain."

"More like militaristic!"

"The central regent does not.."

"We all know who are going to control this space hegemony, and subsequently, a space navy. The Alliance and its little group! What happens to our sovereignty? It will be bombarded into the Stone Age! Also, what awaits us in the great unknown? Danger! We are not prepared to drop 4 million people in some hostile rock! It is not safe!"

The 50 States Alliance Regent spoke out with fury.

"The ends justify the means! Read the findings yourself! You will clearly see..."

"See NOTHING! It is all propaganda! A terrifying scheme..."

"Order!"

"The Central Regent now has the Chair, and in speaking for the Galtenn Alliance, I will not let this be a forum nor a debate!"

"Please return to your seats and commence voting."

After minutes of careful deliberation, a plasma display showed the results.

A smirk grinned on many.

"Computer, please read out the following results."

"Yes to Launch of Interstellar Warp-Capable Vessel, Manned: 73%. No to Launch of Interstellar Warp-Capable Vessel, Manned: 5%."

"The nation states have decided. The Launch will take approximately place 2 months from now, lord willing. The meet is now dismissed. Thank you for your votes."

As the crowds dispersed below, I walked out into the back foyer, exiting from the back door.

The decision has been made; we would be going out into space. I wonder how many different worlds we will see, how many we will colonize how many will discover, and how many different terrestrials we will meet, if there are any.

As I pondered away, a gentle tap alerted me to my behind.

"Regent Jafhel, How are you? I'm sorry to cut you in the middle of your speech but time is money..."

"Watch it Central Regent."

Regent Jafhel snapped, explicitly showing his anger over the results and today's forum.

"You never know what might happen in these two months. I'd watch your back if I were you..."

"Is that a threat Mr. Jafhel?"

"A kind warning. As a regent I would never resort to such lowbrow tactics, but there are those who would..."

he slowly walked away.

These next 2 months and possibly next infinite years will be interesting. The decision to swim in a bigger pond has been made, and now there are predators that I'll have to look out for...

[ October 02, 2002, 00:17: Message edited by: TerranC ]
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Old September 27th, 2002, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: History of the Galaxy II

Inquisitor Ostaliat was reading. On his desk was lying printed spreadsheets, pictures and reports. His eyes were red, as if he has been crying for a long time. Leaving his chair, he slowly walked to the window. Outside was the garden of His Holiness' Space Research Institute (HSRI), it was a beautiful and very hot summer afternoon, temperature was reaching 3°C. Some snow was melting, which was a rare thing indeed.
The automatic protection system emitted a low beep, as it was complaining to be turned off, but he hasn't been turned on since six years, the inquisition was not anymore a field unit, but a prestigious research unit. A few seconds later Cardinal Iwazahi entered the room. He was also bearing the sad face of those who knew. He stared at Ostaliat, then said “I have just received an update from the geological team from the spaceship. We already knew that nuclear weapons of 100 megatons were used against all major command centers, and a minimum of one hundred and sixty 50 megatons weapons were detonated high in the atmosphere to render entire continents unable to sustain life”.
Ostaliat stayed silent. “But the team in orbit was able to direct guided probes to scan these weird volcanos. Some of the robots Lasted long enough to do a short range radar scan. These volcanos are not standard. May the Almighty forgive us, as they are in fact not volcanos, but deep rifts in the planet's crust and a direct access to the inner layout of our homeworld. These huge scars constantly reject radioactive dust in what's left of the atmosphere. This is why the radiation level is still so high, it also explains why the dust is still covering our world after six hundred years.”
Ostaliat snapped “The atmosphere was dispersed in space by the strength of the bLasts six centuries ago, what we have now is the result of evaporation of our homeworld's oceans”.
Cardinal Iwazahi acknowledged, “I know, I read that part too. We feared the facts, but now we have to face them. The Great Death killed even the simplest virus in a matter of hours. But worse, seismic conditions are such that no settlement will ever be able exist on the surface, there are no lands stable for more than a few hours between tremendous earthquakes. The geological team just told me we would be better off building a new planet. This one will not be able to sustain life for a few million years.”
Ostaliat's head fur flattened, then he hissed “We will not be able to come back to our homeworld ?”
“No. Never. This information went immediately to his Holiness who shall announce it shortly to our population. By the way, our ship scuttled part of the old international space station. As they were not monitoring earth activity, their systems cannot tell us why started the war, but they were working on gravitational anomaly they had located in our system since a few years, so what remains of their work could still be valuable. This point brings me to the main subjects, the Tyrian's Hope spacecraft made the journey to our homeworld in less than two months, the HSRI proved that ionic motors are a better alternative to the prototypes that throw us here six centuries ago. But his Holiness has read your report on hyperwave resonance, and was deeply disturbed by your team's finding that some emissions did seem artificial. Our ship confirmed that it was not emitted from our former homeworld's orbit. His Holiness want you to lead the research teams on both hyperwave technology and gravity anomaly, with increased fundings. Also, I have the pleasure to tell you the Genetic Commission believe that all your children should be able to avoid the Small Death, so you have been granted to have a sixth and seventh children. Congratulations Inquisitor Ostaliat, for the Almighty helps the faithful”
“And the faithful will praise Him in return” recited the inquisitor. And despite his tears, he smiled. The Commission was one of the most hated necessity of their world, more than 8 centuries after being Banned to this world, still 15 percent of pregnant women had to abort by order of the Genetic Commission.. All their ancestors were bio-modified to sustain the Ice planet's climate. But the first generation of children born here had partial mutations of their genetic code, some of them could still live, but the majority were victims of The Small Death. At Last, after five generations without any case of Small Death in his family, Ostaliat and his children had access to the white card. Then his thought quickly came back to the Cardinal “We will do our best to honor his trust in our abilities, we will finish the work of our ancestors by analyzing the gravity distortions points, and I am confident we can create an hyperwave resonance between two linked devices thus achieving instantaneous transmissions.”.
“God spared the faithful from his wrath, He will help us.” concluded Cardinal Iwazahi.
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Old September 28th, 2002, 07:29 AM

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Default Re: History of the Galaxy II

Invexus Corporation

James Hartnell ran his finger around the mouth of his glass of wine, and allowed himself a wry smile. He knew it was petty to take pleasure in making his appointment wait, but he didn’t care. The fool of a President deserved it. He could wait until he died of old age.
He picked up his wine and took a deep pull, trying to fight back his anger with the cool liquid. It didn’t help much.
I might as well get this over with, James thought. He signaled his assistant to round up the President and show him into his office.
James stood up and moved to the side of his desk, stopping to allow himself a quick look in the mirror. He winced a bit at his reflection. Gone were any remains of his boyish good looks. He was graying at the temples, and he could see a few rogue gray patches appearing in his beard. Worry lines, which he had not had three years ago, now creased his face. He looked like he was pushing one hundred and twenty, but in reality he was only seventy, barely past middle age. Still, he could see the wisdom in those creases and that gray, and he knew he had the job to thank for that. After all, being Board Chairman of the Invexus Corporation was a very stressful job.
His assistant announced the President, and ushered the man into the Board Chairman’s office. James quickly put on his best smile, hoping that it would help the President relax. That would make the kill so much sweeter.

James extended his hand, and the President took it.
“James, how are you?” He looked very relaxed, indeed.
James pumped the President’s hand in return.
“Just fine, mister President. Things couldn’t be better. Please, have a seat.” James gestured to a large chair facing his desk.
James walked around his desk and sat down in his chair.
He stared at the President a moment, and then spoke.
“Mister President, that was quite a speech you gave the other day in Arendia.”
The President laughed, and put his hand up.
“There’s nothing to worry about, James. I know I jumped the gun by a few months, but my staff felt that it was time to let the public know about the program, and I agreed. The people needed a morale boost, and that’s what they got.”
James listened, his arms folded across his chest. He could feel the anger welling up inside of him, and this time he wouldn’t try to stop it.
The President continued.
“My staff and I felt that the time was right. The ship will be ready in two months, right? We felt that by having something to look forward to, they might work a little harder. Maximum productivity and all that, don’t you know?”
James took a deep breath. The anger continued to build.
“Oh, so you did it to boost moral and productivity? Well, mister President, let’s get one thing straight. Invexus decides when the public will know about the project. If we wanted them to know about it now, we would have told you to tell them.”
Concern spread across the President’s face. He opened and closed his mouth a few times. James almost burst out laughing watching him struggle to regain his composure. He looked a lot like a margofish gasping for air. The President tried to speak, but James shot him a warning glance.
“I’m not finished, mister President. What you did was put my corporation, and myself, in a very tight spot. Just as you and your administration are a façade, so to is the public’s trust in you. Everyone on this planet knows that Invexus is the real power behind the throne. It’s been that way since the end of the Corporate Wars. Now you and your staff have cast suspicion and doubt on our good name. You have stepped across a line that should never be crossed. Did you once stop and think what sort of questions the people would ask regarding your revelation? Such as why Invexus is devoting so many resources to a project on warp travel? Were you not concerned that this might frighten some?”
The President looked absolutely panicked now. He tried to stammer out an excuse, “No, wait, Board Chairman. I only thought…”
James shot up out of his chair, overcome by his rage. He let it wash over him, red hot and prickly. He absolutely loved it.
“THINK? I don’t want you to think, you fool! I want you to smile and wave to the people of Cherek, and tell them exactly what I want you to tell them. While they may know that Invexus rules this planet, they need a government to blame for all of their problems, no matter how incompetent that government is. When you start thinking for yourself, you are no longer useful to me! All you had to do was keep your damn mouth shut, but that proved to be far to difficult of a task for you!”
James tried to reign himself in a bit. He could feel himself going past the point of losing control. That, he did not like. James never liked being out of control. Watching the President begin to cry was exactly what he needed to beat back some of the anger. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that two of his security force had come in to investigate. I must have been shouting very loudly, James thought.
Tears rolling down his face, the President began to plead.
“Board Chairman, please! I didn’t mean to cause trouble for Invexus, nor for you. I only thoug…meant to give the people something to cheer them up. Times have been so hard for so many of late.”
James sat back down in his chair, and ran his hands thru his hair as he fought to keep control. He straightened his shirt collar and took a few very deep breaths.
“Mister President, I apologize for screaming at you that way. However, the damage has been done. I will disclose as many of the details of the project as possible to the public. In two weeks time, I will also let them know about the message. You will appear with me at a press conference and together we will deliver the most important news in the history of Cherek to the people.”
The President looked as if he had been given a stay of execution.
“Yes! Yes, mister Chairman! Whatever you wish! Anything you need, I am there for you!”
James waved him down. “One other thing, mister President.”
“Yes?”
“You’re sick.”
“Pardon me?”
James flashed him a predator’s smile. Just when you thought it was going to be ok, I will twist the knife, James mused.
“You’re sick. That’s what we are going to tell everyone. After the press conference, you are going to get sick. So sick that you will be forced to vacate the presidency and retire to your home in Cassidy. The vice president will assume the presidency the next day. Is that understood?”
The President looked shocked, then angry, and finally he just looked tired, all in the span of a few seconds.
“As you wish, Board Chairman.” He hung his head in defeat.
All of the anger was gone. James was filled only with triumph, and possibly a bit of pity.
“Good. Now get out of my office.”

In low orbit above Cherek, in a secure bay sealed off to all but the most vital personnel, work continued on the Invexus Explorer. She was to be the first ship capable of surviving warp travel thru a wormhole. Only smaller remote drones had been sent thru the wormholes so far, and after months and months of failure, they had had one survive the trip. At least they thought that it had survived the trip. The scientists had lost contact with it almost as quickly as it entered the wormhole, but the Last signal had come from a different solar system, and that solar system was where they theorized the exit from the wormhole was. Based on that success, they began work on a full sized ship.
Captain David Bromley was the man picked for the job of taking Invexus Explorer into the wormhole . To David, there was no way he could have possibly said no. The company was offering him an obscene amount of money to do this, and they were going to give it to him up front. When they told him what his chances of survival were, he knew that he had to try and spend all of that pay before the trip, because there was a very good chance that he would not be coming back to spend the rest once they left the space yard.
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Old September 28th, 2002, 04:05 PM

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------
2399.9
------

"shinjitsu o shiruto seiriyokugarau" [Translation - To know the truth is to have power]
Old saying of the Mahatsuhito clan

Although it had been two thousand years since the Imperium had been formed, its various parts still acted in synergy. It was as if the Imperium itself was a living being with the Shoguns controlling the primary organs of its existence. The ebb and flow of wealth, power and information from these was what gave the Mahatsuhito clan its overwhelming control over the empire.
Kaneko had been born into that power, yet her finesse in exercising that power could be compared to even the great Tanika, who had taken a lifetime to master true military and political power and had left her legacy to the Mahatsuhito clan she had given birth to.

Elegant, graceful. These were the first words uttered by many who admired the most advanced vessel ever constructed by the Katana Imperium. Generations of finely honed technical mastery had been applyed in its design and only the most trusted craftsman of the shogunates had even been allowed to enter the shipyard in which she now lay. Kaneko had spent so much of her life planning the vessel that would take take the Imperium to the next level and allow it to expand into untold sectors of the universe, and now, finally, her well laid plans had come to fruition.

Untold promises and sleepless nights were now behind her, she smirked as she realised the truth in that thought - the real journey was just beginning and all her attention would be needed if the Imperium was to remain as cohesive a being as she had always known it should be. She gazed out the vast windows of the imperial palace towards the endless stars that dotted the nighttime sky and for a moment she was overwhelmed by the endless possibilities that the future could hold...

[ September 28, 2002, 15:06: Message edited by: Gimboid ]
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Old September 29th, 2002, 01:29 AM
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2399.9

I am tired. I am awake. I am cold. I am hot. I am…

The Hive was in chaos. The collective intelligence of two billion separate minds in continual contact with one another, each seeking explanation and direction, and receiving none. There was a constant stream of information, and no analysis. Billions of symptoms, but no diagnosis. All was confusion.

I am hungry. I am full. I am in sick. I am well. I am…

Hundreds of millions of hosts wandered aimlessly aimlessly about. Many millions simply sat and stared. They had the knowledge and most of the memories of their former selves, but had lost purpose. They remembered how to do things, but had lost their reason for doing them.

I am lost. I am wet. I am dry. I am…

Failing to receive the guidance that they sought, gradually the host beings began to revert to their fractured memories for information about what to do. One by one they began to resume their daily tasks. They began to care for themselves. Eating when they were hungry. Sleeping when they were tired. The workers returned to their plants, not exactly knowing why, but having nothing else to do they did what they had always done. The students returned to their schools and sat obediently at their desks staring at the front of the class, whether or not the teachers had returned. The teachers that did return stood at the front facing their students, or in front of empty classrooms in many cases, not knowing why. Even the artists returned to their workshops, though they had lost their reason for doing so, and no one was left to appreciate their works.

Where am I? Who am I? Why am I…

Gradually the chaotic stream of voices began to subside. It began to process the information that had been overwhelming it. It began to assign simple tasks to individual hosts. As a newborn brain begins to form neural pathways and organize sensory data, so to the Hive intelligence began to develop ordered pathways of communication. To prioritze the information it was receiveing. At first, it was concerned only with the health of it’s host bodies. Just as a single organism does not need to consciously “learn” how to get nutrients to it’s individual cells, so too The Hive instinctively handled these simple tasks. Those that were too young or too feeble to care for themselves were cared for by others, just as they had been when they were separate beings.

I. You. Me…

We.

We think. We act. We learn. We are...

The Hive had become a single entity. A single being made up of billions of individual beings, instead of merely billions of individual cells. It was still young, childlike in many ways, but it was self aware. It was sentient. It did not understand many things around it, but it had the collective memories and knowledge of billions of sentient organisms to draw on. It was getting better at processing the moment to moment sensory information and physical needs of its hosts now and could begin to devote more energy to retrieving and analyzing this memory data. It began to take notice of the world around it. And then a new thought emerged. A bit of curiosity bubbled to the surface. On half the planet every eye turned towards the heavens and noticed the tiny lights twinkling in the night. It saw the

stars…

The Hive knew the word. It knew that the stars were merely suns like the one they circled around, but that they were so far away that they appeared very tiny. Just as a mountain that from one hosts perspective was on the horizon would appear only to be a tiny hill. But to another host standing at the base of it would see how truely massive it was. The Hive knew there may be other planets circling these other suns. And it wondered. For the first time in it’s existence it felt a longing. For all these many months of learning to listen to the billions of voices it was hearing, it had now realized that all these voices were it’s own voices. It heard no others. It wondered if it were alone in the, what was the word?

universe…

For that was one piece of information it could not find in any of it’s hosts memories. It found many contradictory thoughts. But no host had hard facts that the Hive could analyze. Is there another out there? Another like us? Or are we the only one? For the first time, the Hive felt…

alone…
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Old September 29th, 2002, 04:08 AM
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Juprup Federation News

2400.0

Almost ten years since the concept was first proposed, the Juprup Federation came into existence as the first unified government of the Juprup people. The first official act was to elect the Speaker who would lead the newly founded Federation Council. The Council’s unanimous choice was Councilor Kwok from Port Spoogy, who played a pivotal role in organizing the new government from the beginning. In his inaugural speech, Speaker Kwok declared, “This is the dawn of a new age for the Juprup, an era in which peace and prosperity will lead our people to many great things,” and later lamented “These exciting times will be remembered for millennia to come as we begin to reach for the stars.” Among the first tasks of the Federation Council is to finalize the plans and funding for the creation of the first off-world colonies to help relieve the over populated and resource depleted Juprup homeworld.

2400.2

The first orbital construction station, Juprup Construp A, was launched to the delight of all Juprup citizens. The first of five orbital stations to be built above Juprup prime, Construp A will provide the facilities for the construction of the first Colorup colony ships. Later stations will focus on a variety of tasks, including the construction of Enoki class explorers that will be the first manned ships to pass through the Warp Point, a phenomenon first discovered by robot probes almost fifty years ago.

[ September 29, 2002, 05:11: Message edited by: Captain Kwok ]
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Old September 29th, 2002, 04:25 AM
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*Notes: Please note that I will now try to put some visual representations: Pictures! They will be in BMP format, and some might be large. Please be patient if you want to see the pictures, or skip them altogether. Thank you.
--------------------------------------------------

"It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
-Neil Armstrong

Galtenn Standard Year 2400, 2nd Month

Despite the "friendly warning", nothing damaging have been done to me and/or to the alliance and it's partners of the space program in these past two months; well... if you count some of the coffees I've spilled which scalded me, I guess you could say that I was damaged.

The Construction of the experimental vessel has ended 3 weeks ago, and after cleaning and testing the equipment and the ship, it was brought out into the desolate plain of Anozira via 4 hoverfrieghts to the Noscut airport. From there, it was delivered to the Anozira North Launch site section by section, deck by deck. It was then reassembled in the Jet Propulsion Labs Anozira Hanger, and now it sits in hanger waiting for launch.

The experimental vessel has been named Swift.

Swift Specifications

It sports 6 newly developed JPL Ion engines which is packed into 3 engine nacelles, which are supposed to give the Swift the title of the fastest craft ever built; but I have my doubts. The Swift is also fitted with NOLGS. Nuclear Ordinance Launcher & Guidance systems. There was heavy debate on this issue, on why a ship of exploration should sport such a deadly weapon. The Galtenn Alliance won the debate, after we discovered a meteor that narrowly missed our planet, after it passed us 2 days prior to discovery.

The landslide victory over the H&P Group, The Hypochondriacs and Pessimists Group, as it was called by most of the media, has caused the Oceanic Federation and the Namor Republic to pull from the alliance. Their loss. From the creation of the Alliance after the worldwide Trade Disputes a 100 years ago, No nation has pulled it's representatives home, under any ordinary circumstances. I guess an exception could be made, as in these times, nothing was ordinary.

Although the warning didn't strike, it may be due to the extra security detail I've put on to every alliance installations, institutions, embassies, and any building, corporations, and parties connected to the space program. No chance could be taken; especially after the riot after the poll on Oceania City that injured 3 people.

I never expected all this. As the Galtenn Alliance is an alliance of the nations, and since we have no land or population to call our own, the power are in the states, and two of them rebuked their demiregents from the alliance representatives’ council.

No matter. As long we have primary support of the majority, all is fine.

"Sir, we should be landing at the launch site in a few minutes. Your long wait is over, sir."

"Thank you pilot."

I could see the launch site now, despite the heavy storm. There wasn't much to see. I could see the central control spire, 3 research Geodesic Domes, and 3 dark buildings, which I presumed, would be where the Crew and I would be staying until the weather clears up. The Launch was supposed to take 3 days ago, but a snowstorm blew into Anozira, disrupting air and ground traffic. One of our convoys carrying the bridge module almost got stuck in the snow, 2 kilometers from the launch site. Thankfully, it safely rolled in after getting out of the ditch, and before the worst came.

"Sir, we're landing now. Please keep your hands inside at all times."

"... Thank you pilot."

The door slid open, and I had 3 minutes to get to the nearest object that would shield the hovercraft crew and I from the snow. An ATV-W quickly came over, and stopped right in front of us. The crew and I got on, after anchoring down the hovercraft.

"Fine weather we're having, isn't it, Mr. Central Regent!"

"Yes, pilot. Absolutely splendid!"

The ATV sprang into motion as we got on, and went down an underground chute to a full-scale parking lot, complete with heating. I deactivated my thermal insulator of the body suit I was wearing, and walked outside.

Galtenn prime is almost completely comprised of Ice; other parts are water, boreal forests, and a very small fraction is tropical. All Galtenn evolved from the icy parts, which explains our natural insulation furs, located under our epidermis and throughout our whole body. Even a race with normal insulation from the elements need protection from anomalies, so one day, one brilliant unknown inventor developed a body suit which could provide warmth, chills, humidity, dry air, and other things. Even to the point of anchoring down a person from a harsh winter storm. Several improvements were made from the day it was made, but most of the systems still remain originally. If needed the body suits could be compressed into pockets attached to normal fabric underwear or other wear instantly, with the touch of a button. The body suit automatically cleans the air inside it, and since we don't have the need for sweat as other few tropical species on our planet do, hygiene is not an issue.

I pressed down the compressor button, and the body suit instantly disappeared, showing my formal politiksuit.

"Ah, Mr. Central Regent. Thank you for coming."

"I wouldn't miss this for the world. And you are...?"

"Gerrehdt Provost. Facility Director. It is an honor to have you here at our facility."

"If I may ask, what facility? I saw only a few buildings outside...?"

"The whole facility is underground, made up of 30 flours and capable of holding 30 000 people. The buildings that are outside is only for pure necessity, as we lose heating that way."

Mr. Provost continued, leading me into the turbolift.

"It's already late sir. Would you like to go to your quarters?"

"Thank you, I am feeling a bit tired."

As soon as we stepped in the turbolift, it quickly shot down, across and up. Leading into one of the dark buildings.

"How is the weather going to be like Mr. Provost?"

"The Forecast is bright, Mr. Central Speaker. We should be able to launch tomorrow morning."
"Here are your quarters, Mr. Central Speaker. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call us. Have a nice dream."

As soon as I stepped off, it shot down again.

As I lay at the bed, I kept thinking about my father. He wasn't a politician, nor was he anybody special, but he was a great father, and an amateur astronomy enthusiast. He got me interested in stars, and in space. And he always would tell me that "Someday, We will be able to go out into the stars, and see many strange, but beautiful sights."

He passed away shortly after christening the chassis.

The launch sites was clear and bring the next morning, as I could see from my quarter windows.

Launch Site

The Launch site were some kilometers away, but it could be seen with clarity. 4 pillars of cables, metal cables no doubt, kept the Swift grounded, as it seemed to fight the swift from launching out into space. There didn't seem to be any snow on the Swift, So I guessed that it was brought out this morning.

But there were 4 short, stout pyramids on the corner of the launch pad. I never saw those on the blueprints.

Mr. Provost walked in behind.

"Good Morning, Mr. Central Regent."

"Mr. Provost, what are those pyramids on the launch site?"

"2 of them are bunkers and 2 are emergency stations. They were brought in the Last minute."

"Thank you. I suppose I should get ready?"

"Yes sir. The Launch commences in an hour."

I hurried to the turbolift, and got down to the command center. By the time I got down, it took 15 minutes to get from my quarters to the Control center. This place was massive.

The place was flurry with action, as crews worked around the clock to insure safety. I saw 5 main plasma displays outlining the most important information: The Ship engines, Launch site traffic, the weather, or more specifically, the temperatures, Ship system status, and space traffic.

30 minutes before launch.

"Mr. Provost, who is the head of the controls?"

Mr. Provost pointed out a man near the 4th plasma display.

"His name is Delgado Trallan, but he likes to be called by his first name; he's coming over now."

Mr. Delgado came running to us, he seemed to be in a hurry. He was an old man, I would guess about 124 years old.

"Mr. Central Regent, It is an honor to be in your presence."

Yeesh... Honor this, Honor that...

"I am honored to be meeting the man who would make the launch come true, Mr. Delgado."

"Thank you Central Regent. The launch is going according to schedule. There has not been an error since ever. Everything is going according to schedule. No errors. Absolutely no faults."

"Calm down Mr. Delgado. I'm sure the Launch will be spectaculous, especially under your guidance."

"Thank you Mr. Regent. Thank you... Since we have some time on our hands, would you like to see something interesting?"

"Of course."

Mr. Provost and I followed Mr. Delgado into a room that had 3 golden disks on it. Mr. Delgado reached up and grabbed all three and showed them to me and Mr. Provost.

"They're disks. First Contact disks to be precise."

"First Contact Disks?"

"Disks that comprise information about us, Galtenn prime, other animals, our scientific achievements, our history, and even sounds!"
"Let me show you."

As Mr. Delgado put in a disk labeled Galtenn, a holographic display came up.

"Galtenn Alliance. An Alliance comprising of 35 Nation states, The Galtenn alliance works as a worldwide Regulation Institution. A Central Regent, who comes into power by voting and stays in power for 24 years, governs the Galtenn Alliance. The Galtenn Alliance has 24 branches, from humanitarian..."

The holographic player stopped and popped out the disk. Mr. Delgado grabbed them and put them back on the wall.

"These are the planetborn copies. The real ones are aboard the Swift. When the Swift or If the Swift encounters an alien species, they will give the aliens these disks as a gesture of good will."

"That's brilliant!"

"Thank you Mr. Central Regent."

"It is now 15 minutes to launch Mr. Central Regent."

"Thank you. I would like to speak to the crew of the Swift if possible."

"Anything's possible, Mr. Central Regent."

The Main Display showed a communiqué being sent to the Swift. After a few short Minutes, The Display showed a young woman in full body suit sitting on the captain's chair.

Mr. Provost spoke to the microphone in front of him.

"Good morning Swift. Mr. Central Regent would like to talk to you before launch."

"It's an honor sir."

"Thank you captain...?"

"Captain Jahanna of the Galtenn Starship Swift sir."

"Congratulations Captain. You must be proud to be the first one to bring our race into the warp age."

"Yes sir. It is a tremendous feeling."

"I have no doubt that you and your crew will succeed. Tell me, how many people are onboard the Swift?"

"35 sir. Most of them are from the Northern Directorate, but everybody are from everywhere."

"Thank you..."

Mr. Provost signaled me to look at the time. 5 minutes to launch.

"It seems that we will have to cut this short, captain. The launch will be soon. Good luck captain."

"Thank you sir."

"All right! Everybody give me your status!"

The monitors now seemed to work even harder than they did before a second ago.

"Capcom!"
"Good to go"

"Telsat!"
"Good to go"

"GalSupport!"
"Good to go"

The Checklist Lasted 4 minutes. The computer now started the countdown.

"Countdown: T Minus 59 seconds. All systems go for launch and good to go."

I went outside while the checklist was being checked off; Mr. Provost and the Hovercraft Crew also came out.

The Swift had 6 Booster rockets attached to its enormous wing; it would seem that Ion Engines won't do any good in the atmosphere.

"T Minus 10" "9" "8" "7" "6" "Ignition started" "4"

Your wish came true dad.

"3" "2" "1"

BLast-off!

The cables quickly came off admist the chaos. The Rockets roared with thunder and strength and the heat generated by them were felt all the way up to our position. What seemed like an eternity was only a few seconds; The Swift gracefully lifted off, like a tropical swan flying into the sky, leaving a trail of smoke along the way. The Swift shot up and up and up into the sky, until it was nothing but a speck in the sky.

Inside, the crew could see that the swift was now in the upper ionosphere, and it could see galtenn in it's fullest.

"Command, This is Captain Jahanna... we have jettisoned the booster rockets and will commence the ion engines"
"Ion engines at 10... 20... 50... 70... 100%"
"It's beautiful out here command... It's so blue. Like a gem."

Space

"Congratulations, Captain, and Good luck on your upcoming mission"

"Copy that command. See you soon."

[ October 15, 2002, 20:09: Message edited by: TerranC ]
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Old September 29th, 2002, 02:16 PM
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CEO Cunsi Davdi watched the vidfeed with mixed emotions. I really should be celebrating, he thought to himself. The initial public offering for Pilda Shipyards had broken several records; the "New World, New Life" promotional campaign had drawn over two hundred and fifty-five million entries; speculators had sold their berths on the _Consumer Confidence_ for as much as eight times what they'd paid for them. It had been the Eifralo Conglomerate's most successful project so far during his tenure as CEO.

Yet all Davdi could think about as the hulking colony ship prepared to break orbit was that the woman he loved was leaving with it. Talro hadn't even told him that she'd entered the sweepstakes, and when she announced that she'd won one of the non-specialist slots, he was stunned that she actually intended to go, rather than resell her ticket. They'd never actually discussed a household merger, but Davdi had assumed that they'd spend the rest of their lives together. If that was going to happen at all now, it wouldn't be until he retired; he couldn't run the Conglomerate from a frontier branch office, and the Conglomerate needed him more than Talro did.

And that was the crux of it. Talro didn't need him at all. How much did he need her?

"There you are," his thoughts were interrupted. Retla Gurse, Vice President of Construction, bounced into the room. Besides being in charge of Pilda Shipyards' day-to-day operations, Gurse was also Davdi's closest friend. "Public Relations has been looking for you for a soundbite about the launch."

"I know, that's why I ducked in here," Davdi grinned. "Needed some time alone to compose something catchy enough to make the early newsfeed."

"Better get out there, then, before you get upstaged. The drive flare when all five engines throttle up is pretty impressive. And stop worrying about Talro; you know as well as I do that she'll be fine."

"You know me too well, old friend. Let's go give the customers the show that they came for."
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