SYSTEM REPORT - JME-104
Task queue completion - 83%
Ongoing tasks require 18% processor/21% memory utilization
Additional resources will not speed ongoing tasks
Projections for upcoming tasks: 0 in next 100k cycles/10% of 2-5 in 100k-200k cycles
Prioritization programming satisfied; leisure time programming is in effect
Commence program 'Shattered'...Personal Journal, Jaime Tenfor
This is an interesting concept, and I'm glad Marta presented it to me. I shall approach this as a role-playing exercise; the practice should help me in my ongoing efforts to appear more human-like. As such, I've crafted a randomisation routine which should prevent me from making the optimal decision at every point.
Tesla Day Celebration, 11 years after Rediscovery (Year 1 of the Return to Space)
Aboard the SFS Nikola Tesla wrote:"No response from the planet, Captain. The defence satellites are recognizing our transponder, apparently, although their telemetry readings show no missile stocks remaining and most of them barely have enough power to transmit, let alone fire off their Gauss Cannon."
"Thank you, Mr. Han. Seeing as they're almost useless, let's go ahead and retrieve them. If nothing else, we can refurbish them and redeploy later." Sharon MacInnis rubbed her temples. "Astrogation, continue trying to fix our position. I want to see all department heads in my briefing room in 15 minutes... I think our situation just got worse."
30 minutes later
"So that's the situation in Engineering, Captain. Somehow our antimatter stocks are becoming denatured and are transforming to normal matter. I've never seen anything like it, and the computer just returns nothing when I try and research it. Our power requirements are too high for anything short of a Fusion plant to keep us in orbit, of course; and we don't really have the facilities to build one, unless the planet can assist." Dan Simonson, the Chief Engineer, looked hopefully at the Captain.
"Sounds like we're jinxed," commented Astrogation Chief Leslie Harris.
Sharon rolled her eyes. "Are you suggesting that for the name of the planet, Leslie?"
"Well, we can't just keep calling it 'the planet'; the homesteaders down there probably don't have a name for it, if our flyby reports are accurate. The settlements are all concerned with basic agrarian needs. I don't know if they're a group of Renouncers, or if something happened; except for the old defsats, there's no sign of technology here. I suppose they could have been subjected to a nano-plague attack, although I'm surprised the satellites are still in place if that's the case." Han Shirong ticked off points on his fingers as he spoke, one of his habits when he was trying to organize his thoughts.
"Hmm. Jinx it is, then... until we find out if the people have a different name for it." Sharon blinked as a wave of vertigo swept over her. "Next thing is to establish contact with one of the settlements and see if we can get these people to help us establish an industrial base." She swallowed as a second wave swept over her, and noted that several others around the room seemed to be feeling something, as well.
"Captain? I'm feeling unwell..." commented the Astrochief.
"As am I, Leslie. I suppose we should check in with Medical. Mr. Han, please recover any information about rapid technological development from an agrarian base from the library and put it in hardcopy; I'm not sure we want to trust the pads if we might run out of power soon. Mr. Simonson, begin plans to transfer as much material to the surface as possible utilizing our shuttles and whatever we can cobble up. Mr. Harris, we'll need an observatory on the planet's surface..."
"My fellow citizens of the Terran Conclave, it is with great pride that we announce that our civilization has recovered to the point of being starfaring once again! Sadly, our benefactors of the SFS Nikola Tesla
did not live to see this day, due to the strange ailment that overtook them. Still, they made great strides while here and helped to bring our people to the point where we could advance without them.
"As you know, our ancestors settled here many years ago. Vague legends talk of clouds appearing from a clear sky and devouring the works of our ancestors. Thanks to the crew of the Tesla
, we now know that this was a tailored plague of microscopic robots which devoured all of the plastics and advanced alloys composing the vehicles and buildings they built. The resulting dust-storms caused severe changes in the planetary weather, and reduced our population to mere subsistence levels. We still see the effects in our long, cold winters.
"As your newly elected Director, I am proud to announce that we have managed to power the computer core of the Tesla
, and we expect many wonderful technologies to emerge from it. Unfortunately, there seems to be something of a problem with the indexing function. We're working on it, but it may take quite some time to resolve, especially with the programmed safeguards. Still, we have managed to recover information that will allow us to develop the technology to safely suspend a person's life-functions while they travel between the stars. This should give us an edge in colonizing the planets which we know are out there in our local cluster. Today is the first day of our Return to Space!"
As the crowd erupted in cheering, Richard James Hornblower stepped down from the podium while signaling the band to begin playing. Faith Wallace, his Executive, accompanied him as he walked off the stage. "Do you really think it will be soon, Director? I thought the projection was 5 years before we could get the suspan chambers online."
"Yes, well, you can't say that to a crowd at a celebration, can you? Besides, we don't even have any recon ships out yet. They're just laying the keels to the first half-dozen now. We should have them ready before we have to send any colonists out, which is all they'll remember." Director Hornblower led his aide through the throng, heading back towards the limousine. "Let's get back to the office... I know this sort of public appearance is expected - Galaxy knows the Tesla
crew put up with it, even after they knew their time was limited - but there's too much to do, and not enough hours in the day."
Faith put her hand on his arm. "Richard... I know you're anxious to get things moving... but it's Tesla Day. And you, more than anyone, need to relax. Besides... I had Maintenance change the door-codes for today. Even I don't know what they are, so you can't get back into the office. Take the day off, like everyone else. I know I'm going to."Conclave News Network Special Report, 8 Planting 6
"The Conclave Directorate has announced the launch of the new Mark Two Colonizer vessel, with Suspended Animation technology. This promises to speed the development of any colonies founded. And speaking of colonies, the Directorate has also announced that a habitable world, designated Cargg, has been found by one of the first wave of scout vessels. Although population pressures are not yet great in this year of 6 RS, experts forecast that there soon may be issues finding enough elbow room. Fortunately, there appears to be no shortage of star systems nearby for us to - hopefully - settle."Conclave News Network, 13 Landing 8
"Seven years and 12 days after we began our Return to Space, the Terran Conclave has announced that we have established another world for our people. Although the landing was originally planned for Tesla Day - 1 Landing - it had to be delayed due to an attack by strange, bird-like ships from the planet's surface. The Directorate has issued a statement that this menace - which the Core only identifies as 'Black 14' - is a robotic relic left by a long-vanished species, and that measures to ensure the safety of colonists are being investigated."Overheard on a street corner in Conclave City, Jinx, 16 Snowfall 13
"I just got a letter from my sister on Hitomi... apparently there wasn't any trouble landing there and setting up the colony. They've got a lot of hard work ahead of them, true, but it's gotta be exciting. Still seems funny how my older sister is now biologically younger than me, though... guess those suspan chambers really work!"Report of the Conclave Science Department, 22 Research 17
... although it has been a long, difficult task to extract the relevant data from the mainframe, in combination with our own original research it has finally proved fruitful. Attached find a report on methods of genetically modifying colonists to adapt their respiration systems for alien atmospheres. This should broaden the range of planets which we can settle and should improve the birthrates of colonists on all of our worlds due to side-effects of the treatment. In addition, we have developed new means of terraforming - see appendix A - as a result of our new understanding of the respiratory cycle in humans...Broadsheet posted on a building in Darkbird, the capital city of Cargg, 7 Icemelt 22
These so-called Rippers attacked Hyperion without provocation! Call your Representative today and encourage him to vote with all right-thinking Terrans... Black 13 must be eliminated for the future safety of the Conclave!Conclave News Network, "Meet the Scientists", 14 Harvest 23
Dr. Maris Tenkatsu: "In light of the discovery some time ago of the asteroid-mining menace known popularly
as 'The Swarm', the Science Department was tasked with finding some method of dealing with small, fast moving targets. Our first step has been to develop a new type of capacitor to allow our Gauss weaponry to fire more rapidly. While this will help to increase the firepower of our ships, it's only a beginning. Next, we are going to need to work out a method of tracking multiple targets moving at a high rate of speed..."
Harold Davis (Host): "Dr. Tenkatsu, isn't it true that these systems could also be used to provide a defense against missile-armed enemy empires? Say, for example, Black 13?"
Dr. Tenkatsu: "Yes, that's true, Harold. A point-defense system that can reliably track Swarm drones could also do the same for missiles, or the colony-trap drones of Black 14."
Harold: "Couldn't that be seen as provocation? We're already suffering from attacks on our outer colonies..."
Dr. Tenkatsu: "The system has no possible offensive use... logically, one should not be threatened by it. I believe such thinking is alarmist."Infoblurb, 25 Growth 27
Exciting opportunities on the newly opened world of Lupus abound! Do you have the pioneering spirit? If you believe so, contact your Conclave Resettlement Office for testing!Terradyne Laboratories, 30 Learning 32
Michel Fieras stuck his head in the door of the lead Engineer's office. "Thom? I think I've solved the burnout problem on the laser-diodes."
Thomas Ellis looked up at the announcement. "Really, Mike? Not like last time, I hope."
Michel chuckled. "C'mon, you know the 'feline heat absorber' was a Learning-day joke... it's tradition! Anyway, no... I worked up a heat-pipe system that feeds into a thermoclinic current generator. Not only does it keep the LDs cool enough to avoid burnout - even under 110% load - it also reduces the amount of initialization power needed by 7%." The young engineer handed over a sheaf of drawings.
Thom leafed through the drawings, his skeptical expression gradually giving way to a thoughtful expression. "This looks like it would solve the problems, sure enough. Good thinking; I was afraid we'd have to increase the size of the system to account for the necessary cooling. I'll pass this upstairs with my recommendation we adopt it immediately. And you'll probably get a bonus from it."
"Nice! Tara's been talking about getting some new furniture, that'll come in handy."
"Between this rapid-fire Laser and the low-caliber Gauss system they developed at Ironstorm, there should be something for those PD Tracking computers the boffins dreamed up to direct. Nice work, Mike."Conclave Resettlement Office, 13 Deepwhite 37
"Tori... c'mon... you know we said we'd do this when we got old enough!" The young man pleaded with the equally-young woman seated next to him, as the Resettlement Officer looked on with an expression of boredom.
"I know, Jon, I know... but I didn't think the ship would be leaving on the 15th... I want to spend Gifting Day with my parents one last time! It's not like I'm ever going to see them again once we leave for the colonies..."
The young man's jaw set. "If you won't go with me, I'll go alone. I gotta get outta here, Tori... you're smart enough to continue school, but I don't have those kind of brains. And there's not much for someone to do with his hands around here, at least as far as building trades goes... I need to be on the frontier where I'll be useful!"
Tears began to well up in her eyes. "You'd... leave me? But Jon..."
"'But Jon' nothing! I don't wanna be a doler all my life, sweetie, and you know I can't go on with learning stuff... and everything's already built here on Cargg! I mean, I guess we could go to Hitomi, but that's pretty hopeless too... although at least they're still buildin' the infrastructure. They might be finished by the time we get there, though. No, it's gotta be the frontier for me..."
Tori wiped her eyes, and her face firmed up with resolve. "Go, then. You won't be happy here... and I won't be happy out there. I'm sorry, Jon. It seemed romantic when we were younger, but... I need to be somewhere where I can keep learning, so I can contribute as well."
She walked to the door, and without turning her head, said "Goodbye...", her voice breaking on the final syllable. Jon watched her leave, moisture starting at the corners of his eyes.
"So... resettlement for one, then?" asked the functionary.Conclave News Network, 31 Growth 43
... the colony at Azar continues to grow at the expected rate after being settled 3 years ago. In other news, reports have been received from Conclave Fleet authorities that the Zuul - once known as Black 13 - have been cleared from the system Baltar, at the edge of the Core Cluster. Conclave Resettlement has announced that it is low on the list for colonization due to the high climate hazard, but that colonists should be landing on Hynek in the next few months.
Turning to the technology news, Conclave Science Chief Dr. Maris Tenkatsu announced that the long-awaited breakthrough in computer technology had been completed. While the initial application of these high-powered computers will be in Fleet operations - allowing for better command and control of assets in combat - potential commercial spinoffs are 'numerous and likely in the near future', as she stated earlier today.Silicoid Queen invades Jinx, 35 Landing 50
"Here they come again!" shouted the Tactical Officer on the TCS Hopeful Future
Lieutenant Takamoto Shiro winced as the sound reverberated in the small command center. "Divert power to point-defense lasers! Order the fleet to close on the mothership... we need to take her out before she burrows into that asteroid she's close to!"
"Aye aye, Captain. Relaying fleet orders now."
The Hopeful Future
shuddered as another blast of fusing plasma hit the hull. Wish we had better armor,
mused the young Captain. I don't think it's on the agenda anytime soon, though... too many lost technologies.
The battle raged on...Conclave News Network, "Comments and Critiques", 9 Research 51
Jorge Salvanas, Host: "Go ahead, caller, you're on live, so please self-censor."
Caller: "I'm calling about the Swarm Hive that still infesting our asteroid belt. When's the Fleet going to find that thing and get rid of it? What's the use of our spending all that money developing a Command and Control ship, if they can't even stop the Queen from establishing a Hive in the first place? I mean, really... isn't it time to elect a new Director who can get things done?"
Jorge: "Well, it is true that the Fleet was unable to stop the Queen from establishing the Hive. However, considering the losses we've taken in the past against the Swarm, only losing 4 ships was a clear proof of the success of the new Squadron CNC vessels. And with a modest investment in weaponry, I'm sure that upgraded versions would be capable of stopping a Queen without a new Hive being placed. The fleet is probing the asteroids for the Hive, but there are a lot of rocks out there to look at; it may take some time.
"As for the Directorate, well, we here at C&C don't take sides in politics... we leave that to our listeners."Letter to Tori Stokely, 34 Storage 54
It's hard to believe I have time to write you, Tori. It's been pretty busy since we landed on Syrma last year, working on building the infrastructure for the colony and getting the terraforming going. The land is... well, it's not that pretty... but it will be. There are a few spots, though, that are worth taking a second look at.
I know we didn't part on the best terms, but there really wasn't anything for me on Cargg... except you. But here, I'm part of something bigger than me, and I'm really helping out. Much better than trying to be a handyman or something back there.
Home is here now. I, uh... I met someone. She's a terraforming tech... not as smart as you, but still smarter than me. I guess I like girls like that. I helped her set up some kinda atmosphere processing plant and we hit it off, so we've been seeing a bunch of each other. She asked me to marry her and I said yes; she even did the whole traditional giving me a ring thing. (Okay, so it was a worn-out bushing... we don't have any jewelers here yet.) I always thought I wasn't much for the old ways, but that really choked me up.
I never got to say it before, but... thanks for not standing in my way, Tori. Goodbye.
Jon Walker (soon to be Walker-Smith)Inter-office memo, Conclave Science Department, 18 Learning 59
From: The Boss!
Re: Who thought it was a good idea to install a Galaxy-damned videogame?!?!?!
on the research systems? The thing spawned so many VMs and junk processes it slowed our research into the Zuul language by a whole year! The Director is asking questions! And with the increased hostilities between the Liir and our exploration teams, we need to get on their language stat; we should have already started!
Seriously - if I find out who it was - heads will roll. Consider yourselves on notice.Conclave News Network, 35 Planting 60
Citizens of the Conclave are relieved knowing that Fleet elements - including the newly returned Psi Fleet - engaged the long-established Swarm Hive in the asteroid belt at Jinx yesterday. Only a single destroyer was lost in the engagement, and the Swarm Hive was eliminated. Also, good news on the diplomatic front, as the Science Department announced that they had managed to decipher the rudiments of Liir language, which they say is called 'FleetSong'; they caution that it may be some time before any higher vocabulary is translated, however.Conclave Fleet Intelligence report, 21 Storage 62
Examination of the after-action reports and recordings from the action at Serenity by Upsilon Fleet II indicates that although the world was known to be a holding of the Servants, it was in the possession of a group of Zuul called 'The Faithful' when they arrived. This, coupled with lack of recent Servants transmissions reported by our listening stations, proves that the Servants have ceased to exist as an Empire and have been supplanted by the Faithful. Estimates put this as happening two years plus or minus six months ago.
The recent translation algorithms provided by Science Department will be a great help in allowing FleetIntel to gather more information on the Tarka. Fortunately incursions by this race seem to be rare at this time, but information is ammunition.Conclave News Network, 3 Icemelt 67
Psi Fleet seems to be gaining a reputation as the 'Swarm Killers'! The celebrated defenders of Jinx, out on a routine exploration patrol, discovered a Swarm infestation at Canopus and removed while losing only a single ship. According to Fleet sources, all escape pods were recovered after the battle, and a number of rare elements were recovered as well. It's rumored that the easy victory was due in part to the newly-developed Shaped-charge Nuclear Warhead missiles deployed by the Fleet.Report of the Director, 1 Landing 75
... the Conclave continues to progress, if not, perhaps, as rapidly as might be wished. The recent development of a heavier chassis for missile defenses should prove to make our colonies safer, and work proceeds apace on an even heavier warhead, with enhanced gamma radiation emissions.
Seven of our ten worlds are fully terraformed and have their primary infrastructure completed. Cargg and Hitomi, our earliest colonies, are developing what I've termed 'secondary infrastructure', with concommitent effects on productivity and economy.
It is the opinion of this office that economic expansion is our next biggest hurdle. Accordingly, a small team has been working to extract data on trade from the Core, and it will become our next priority project once the current research is finished.
Diplomatic talks with the Liir and Tarka have resulted in cease-fire agreements; our scouts, at least, need not fear meeting with ships of those two races at neutral systems. Strangely, neither race seems to believe such agreements mean anything at inhabited worlds; odd, that. Greater efforts into understanding these aliens might yield more substantial benefits.PRIORITY QUEUE TASK INSERTION DETECTED
Shutting down program 'Shattered'...
Redirecting processor/memory resources to priority task queue...
((EDIT: Now with 100% more save-file!))