Session 5 13

Abraham: "Zinda, this had better be a perfect plan for that price."
Abraham: "Remember, The Roland is not my personal property. It is /assigned/ to me, and it's not something that can be easily replaced."
[OOC] WC GM: Fortunately, it is not The Emperor's carrier. So far as you know.
Zinda Tegram: "I said the Roland will be dead in the water, not destroyed. You'll need to eject the main reactor. We're going to use it as, uh…"
Zinda Tegram: "Well, a mine."
Abraham: "Yes… and when things go wrong The Roland will be destroyed because, as you so kindly pointed out, 'it will be dead in the water'."
Zinda Tegram: "There's a shipyard right there. Besides, do you have a better plan?"
Abraham: "It's galling, but no. I do not. Still, yes there is a nearby shipyard. It's technically not impossible that The Roland will survive. All right. Give me the coordinates for where you wan the reactor drop."
Zinda Tegram: "Alright. If Elles is going to squirt herself out of the planetary core to the jump point, she only has a narrow shot. Orbital mechanics aren't my forte, but if the Roland holds position between Mu Cephei and the jump point, we should be able to react to any shot she takes and deflect it with the blast from the reactor."
Spyboy: "Before we do anything, I want to make sure we know our options here."
Zinda Tegram: "Not quite. She's already started offloading processes…"
Zinda Tegram: "And, if she doesn't take the shot…I can make her."
Spyboy: "One, we step aside, catch the Warrens when they launch. The minds that were in Elles have been resleeved. The people who were refusing her help will soon be forced to either start helping themselves or freeze to death in the cold of space."
Spyboy: "Then Elles vanishes into an unknown part of the universe, and maybe we see her fifty thousand years down the road."
Zinda Tegram: "I have that taken care of…I think."
Abraham makes orders to jury rig some ships batteries (In a power as opposed to firepower sense) and fill them while The Roland still has a reactor. At least it will be able to limp to the shipyards under it's own power.
Zinda Tegram: "I, uh, might have..grown a ship's AI for the warrens."
Spyboy: "Two, we interfere. We convince a planet-sized AI that we are standing in the way of its primary objective."
Abraham forces himself to allow mild curiosity, and only mild curiosity, to be heard in his voice. "Oh really?"
Spyboy: "Admiral, are you sure we want to do this?"
Zinda Tegram: "Hmmph. What, is earth being host to one of *her* in fifty thousand years any better than just stopping her now?"
Spyboy: "Why would she go there? There are plenty of other worlds with noone who would slow her down by trying to fight her off."
Spyboy: "Besides, by then we'll have uploaded our intelligences into mega-AIs of our own."
Abraham: "I've already stated my preference, but repairing Elles to integrate her better into society is looking less and less likely." |
[OOC] Abraham: BRB
Abraham: "While I agree it is exceptionally unlikely Elles will ever make her way to Earth, I also do not want her wandering the galaxy on her own. The last thing we need is for her to be the First Contact an unknown alien species has with Lagos and the FedCom."
[OOC] Abraham: Also, back.
Spyboy: "Well, in that case, Heggy and I will be getting a runup. Given the speed Elles will be going…we'll need to be moving fast to rendezvous."
[OOC] WC GM: Is the Roland moving into place?
[OOC] Abraham: Yes.
Abraham order The Roland to move into position and orient itself as needed.
Fortunately, it does not take much time to arrive. As the crews are setting up…
Elles: "You MIGHT want to move fuuurther."
[OOC] Abraham: Is that over the general radio?
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah, and why's that?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "…Elles hailing us."
[OOC] WC GM: Yes.
Elles: "I intend to mooove my cores through where you are. I would not want my child, I guess you would call it, to be damaged."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah, of course."
[OOC] Ingenue: Aww, that's sweet. Kind of creepy, too. But sweet.
Elles: "Not while there is more ice cream to consuuume. An odd directive, if you ask me."
[OOC] Abraham: AIs dig their ice cream.
[OOC] Ingenue: Its what powers the fusion reactors.
[OOC] Abraham: Well, that's how you get /cold/ fusion.
Elles: "And apparently there is one other thing to protect. That is also in the way."
Abraham: "What's that?"
Elles: "The Zinda."
Zinda Tegram: "What."
Zinda Tegram: "$Alfred what the hell.$"
Abraham: "Looks like Zinda's made a friend."
Elles: "Orbital window passing. Aborting launch cycle."
Ingenue: "That is a deeper integration of the primary directive than expected."
[OOC] Spyboy: Not Alfred, Metis.
Alfred: "$Don't ask me. She got it from outside.$"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: $God dammit WC$
[OOC] WC GM: $ :P $
Abraham: "So what is it with you and AIs, Zinda? Are you the AI Whisperer?"
Elles: "Iiit is not my primary directive. It is yours. But I may honor it when convenient."
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda's going to make me pay for that, I'm sure. Totally worth it.
Elles: "Besides. The Zinda wold be in the way, and my planned trajectory would be altered."
Zinda Tegram twitches.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Confirmed, sir. The planet is powering down."
ExecutiveOfficer: "…I never thought I'd have to say that."
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, I can *make* her take the shot."
[OOC] Abraham: <ExecutiveOfficer> "Confirmed, sir. Zinda is the AI Whisperer."
Abraham: "I'm sure you can, but if she's not going to eject The Warrens and make a nuisance of herself wandering the galaxy, why bother?"
Ingenue: "It is unlikely that Elles will continue in this manner without our presence."
Elles: "Why would I wander the galaxy? I have a destination in mind."
Ingenue: "Please transmit coordinates and/or designation of said destination."
Elles: "Designaaation: presumed Nephilim homeworld."
Abraham: "And have you called ahead first? It's the polite thing to do."
Zinda Tegram: "Satisfied, Spyboy?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Oh. Is that all? I say let the rogue AI go.
Elles: "I have been iiinvited."
Zinda Tegram: "Have you?"
Spyboy: "To be fair, she's powered down for this shot. Doesn't mean she won't take the next, or the next, or the next, once we finally have to tear ourselves away to deal with whatever crisis is brewing elsewhere in the cluster."
Elles: "The Nephilim who were here. Somehow they guessed, Kilrathi language known. We talked."
Elles: "They believe you will be their saviors."
Elles: "And me, just a herald. To teach them your language, if nothing else."
Elles: "In exchange I would receive new ways to dig, new places to dig. It is my primary directive."
Ingenue: "That doesn't sound dangero-oh."
Elles: "So you see. To this end, I do what I can, because I must."
[OOC] Abraham: The Abraham's language has 526 different words for 'dig'. Truly the universe is a mysterious place, but we can dig it.
Ingenue: "That is information that can be retrieved without the inefficiency of transporting and/or destroying a planet. The gathering and retrieval of such data is a primary purpose for this unit's existence."
Ingenue: "The attempt could also have negative repercussions on the continued functioning of LaGOS."
Elles: "Perhaps. Do you have a plan with less risk, for the same results?"
Elles: "They saaaid they will listen to me, but wish to become you."
Zinda Tegram swallows and clenches her hands.
Ingenue: "Yes. This unit would travel in your place, to gather and return said information. Primary unit would remain in orbit, where it is capable of sustaining indefinitely. This would also prevent release of 'Zinda Virus'."
Zinda Tegram frowns.
Elles: "Please explain this 'Zinda Virus'."
Zinda Tegram: "Metis…"
Spyboy: "$Let her do her thing.$"
[OOC] Abraham: If one wishes to choose to serve two masters, who am I to deprive one of the joy of getting caught between them?
[OOC] Ingenue: Its less 'serve two masters' and more 'maximize input of ice cream'.
[OOC] Abraham: Savvy.
[OOC] WC GM: The Ice Cream Singularity is not a thing, unless you make it so.
Ingenue: "Zinda has demonstrated an immense capacity for destruction. Such capacity exceeds any that this unit has experienced. Previous analysis dictated that Zinda was incapable of destroying an object on a planetary scale. Such analysis was incomplete. Current projections demonstrate that Zinda is capable of planetary destruction, perhaps galactic. Such processes function quite similarly to a virus, in that it will co-opt system resources to use in destruction of said system. This unit has not formulated a method of halting the process of the 'Zinda Virus' once it has been released. Even destruction of Zinda cannot guarantee halting of said viral activity."
Zinda Tegram: "…huh."
Ingenue: "There is a related concept of 'martyr', but this unit has not fully analyzed all connotations and denotations of said concept."
Abraham: "In other words, Zinda is an incompetent virus because a competent one will not kill slash destroy it's host."
Elles: "Workers apparently under her direction have been observed within the Warrens. Is this the Zinda Virus?"
Elles: "Has she infected the Warrens?"
Zinda Tegram: "Hmmph!"
Abraham: "The Warrens are still there, at least I assume they are, so probably not."
Elles: "For the moment."
Ingenue: "…..this unit is not prepared to evaluate competencies of virii."
Ingenue: "To evaluate that, it would be necessary to gain access to planetary sensors for evaluation. This unit cannot process on insufficient data."
[OOC] Abraham: Yes, this is Gang up on Zinda day.
Elles: "Forwarding all data from Warrens-facing sensors now."
Indeed, Ingenue receives a flood of raw data.
Primarily cameras and maps, showing a containment of Zinda's workers to the lower Warrens levels and to the Shaft.
[OOC] Abraham: Point of world building: Is it possible to jam communications channels with floods of data such as this one?
[OOC] WC GM: Depends on the channel. Ingenue's neu-comm link was specifically designed to handle floods such as this, transmitting or receiving.
[OOC] WC GM: I.e.: good luck jamming Ingenue.
[OOC] WC GM: It could be done, but the little one would start with at least 1 or 2 pre-invoked aspects boosting the defense-against-jamming roll.
[OOC] WC GM: Open radio, though? Yeah, totally, and Abraham's probably read a textbook case of that happening at some point.
[OOC] Abraham: Okay, thanks.
Ingenue: "Yes. That is one vector that is utilized by the 'Zinda virus'. Purging such an infection seems simple and obvious. However, activation of purge processes triggers an escalation response in the Zinda. Such responses are the primary observed method of escalation in destructive output. They also result in assimilation of new data and capabilities, which result in more complex and insidious methods of infiltration. Advise not terminating said vector to avoid previously described escalation."
Elles: "Addendum: the Nephilim may have realized part of this, and seek to invoke escalation as much as possible."
Elles: "Escalaaation may be part of their directive."
Abraham: "That would not surprise me in the slightest."
Elles: "Indeed. They may seek to escalate all of you."
[OOC] Abraham: But mostly Heggy.
Elles: "Desirability is unknown."
Ingenue: "Escalation is an inevitable process. This does not make it a desirable process in all situations."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh my god
[OOC] WC GM: Yes. Literally.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Are we just, lying to her? xD
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: "Zinda is terrifying don't provoke her"
Elles: "On the contrary. Nephilim escalation halted miiilenia ago."
[OOC] Abraham: Not at all. We are merely pointing out one interpretation of events. We make no claims to the accuracy or even the veracity of that interpretation.
Elles: "Or decades, due to relativity induced time dilation."
[OOC] Spyboy: Hey, Ingenue's only weeks old. Look at what she's seen. She just doesn't have context.
[OOC] Ingenue: Nue can't lie. It just reports data. With… varying degrees of precision.
[OOC] Ingenue: And yeah, no context at all.
Ingenue: "Recent contact with Nephilim shows renewed interest, if not potential, for escalation. Further observation is necessary."
Elles: "Not renewed. Escalation was their oriiiginal plan."
[OOC] Abraham: I just dropped this thing from thirty feet up. It has fallen twenty feet. Further observation is necessary to confirm that it falls the remaining ten feet.
[OOC] WC GM: Or if a pigeon will snatch it out of the air first?
[OOC] Abraham: Or if it was in fact a pigeon that dropped and is now flying off.
[OOC] Ingenue: Possible repealing of the 'suggestions of gravity'?
[OOC] Abraham: Bah. We all know there's a switch that turns gravity on and off.
[OOC] WC GM: Indeed, the Roland's gravity can be controlled from the bridge.
[OOC] Abraham: And sometimes the bridge of other ships if they shot out our reactors.
Elles: "Nephiliiim invitation was for my cores to arrive prior to your arrival. Your means of travel was unspecified, but they assiiigned high probability to your eventual arrival."
[OOC] Ingenue: How big is a core?
Abraham: "Well, as was suggested, do you want us to simply take Ingenue there in your stead?"
[OOC] WC GM: Many kilometers across - and there are several of them. Basically, the entire planetary core would be transported.
Elles: "Iiinvitation specifically included arrival prior to Ingenue."
Elles: "In addition to information acquisition, there was also the matter of language."
[OOC] Ingenue: Too big to put in cargo and/or transport via tug behind the Roland?
[OOC] WC GM: Way too big.
[OOC] WC GM: Without significantly expanding the Roland's engine power.
[OOC] Ingenue: Okay, I'm out of ideas. Zinda, kill.
[OOC] WC GM: Sorry, the Roland is not a planetary tugboat.
[OOC] Abraham: Yep. You only get a certain number of points to build your ship with and I had to make sacrifices. Budget cuts, you understand.
Ingenue: "Admiral, what destinations are planned? Where in the itinerary is 'a Nephilim homeworld'?"
[OOC] Spyboy: From a narrative perspective, "Between White and Oldziey" would be absolutely horrifying. I mean Oldziey as a step in tension UP?
[OOC] Ingenue: I guess that means we're doing it?
Abraham: "Well, it's not on there at the moment. But it's my itinerary, and I'll add it if I want to."
[OOC] Spyboy: Please, that was a given once someone pointed out that wormholes were two-way. =p
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Kill it?
[OOC] WC GM: …you thought Oldziey would fail to increase the tension?
[OOC] Abraham: Never. Unless it was totally unaware… which it might be.
[OOC] Ingenue: So, our goal is take Oldziey by surprise?)
[OOC] Abraham: Take them out for Ice Cream. They will be surprised.
[OOC] Ingenue: So, we kind of have a switch on elles right now. The further up we move our time-table, the more it wants to launch now, we dial things back, that gives Zinda more time to work. Hmmm.
[OOC] Spyboy: Fail to increase? No. Fail to increase over the Nephilim homeworld?
[OOC] Spyboy: Again, no. But the prospect is horrifying.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: You know, I have a simple kill at this point.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Trigger her explosives and launch her on the wrong trajectory.
[OOC] Ingenue: New trajectory being?
[OOC] WC GM: How would you trigger her explosives?
[OOC] Abraham: Launching her on the wrong trajectory would be worse than just letting her wander.
[OOC] Spyboy: New trajectory would have an eccentricity of close to 1.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: New trajectory? Who cares, as long as she misses.
[OOC] Ingenue: Because that gives the GM a planet roving around the galaxy, and there are some things you never ever give a GM. Like ideas, and roving planets.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: no, it gives the GM a free floating planetary core.
[OOC] Abraham: And given that Elles is an AI, you then have a roving planet that can give the GM ideas.
[OOC] WC GM: Trust me, I already have ideas. :3
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Without the pressure, she'd just kind of disperse wouldn't she?
[OOC] Abraham: Have we ever been that lucky?
[OOC] WC GM: You can presume that she's prepared for transport.
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda, Chessa is giving you a meaningful look.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ah, is she?
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah, because she exists to make sure we never get that lucky (and to document us never getting that lucky). You seem to have forgotten about her.
Elles: "Hooow long will it take you to complete your current itinerary?"
Abraham looks and does math.
Abraham: "Assuming nothing too time intensive happens at any of these stops… about a month."
Elles: "Then I have a proposal."
Abraham: "Oh?"
Elles: "If the Zinda Virus will assist, the Warrens can be made more haaabitable before launch."
Elles: "A month can be spent on that."
Zinda Tegram: "That is consistent with my aims."
[OOC] Abraham: You want us to split the party?
[OOC] WC GM: No, just redirect the workers.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: No, we can leave Alfred and my tree-fort to run things.
[OOC] Abraham: ah.
[OOC] WC GM: To construction instead of sabotage, is what Elles is offering.
Abraham: "The Zinda virus seems amiable. Okay, we can certainly do that."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alfred is familiar with the workings of long-term habitable stations, and Zinda's tree fort can provide the, uh, 'muscle.'
Elles: "If you return here before the month is up, weee can discuss further based on what you have learned."
Zinda Tegram: "…I still hate you."
Zinda Tegram: "But this is an acceptable proposal."
Elles: "Acknowledged."
Elles: "Contemplating additional tertiary directive."
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah? What's that?"
[OOC] Abraham: "Discussing how you are raising my daughter. We've got a lot to talk about."
Elles: "The Zinda, and the Zinda Virus, seem to run on hate."
Elles: "Accordingly, to ensure survival of the Zinda and assist with Ingenue's related directive."
Elles: "Troll Zinda."
[OOC] Abraham: … I was really close.
Alfred: "HEY! That's my job! …err…"
[OOC] Abraham: That's /all/ our jobs.
Zinda Tegram: "…The hate is just you, Elles."
Ingenue: "And the Nephilim. And Michael, on alternate weeks. Potentially the Terran Confederation. Also Admiral Kali. That is what is noted in recent memory."
Ingenue: "Correction: recent events may require recategorizing observed emotions towards Nephilim."
Abraham: "And she hasn't been around that long. In fact, the only person or thing that you haven't expressed hate for at least one time in the short time I've known you is Heggy."
Ingenue: "And Wenser."
Zinda Tegram: "Heggy? Well, uh…Heggy is…just kind of inoffensive."
[OOC] Ingenue: I think she liked Dakka?
[OOC] Ingenue: And is benign in general towards Lagos.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The cyborg lady.
[OOC] Ingenue: Apparently, yes, this is pick on Zinda day. Zinda, Metis still loves you.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She dislikes the cyborg mayor because he fucked with her.
[OOC] Abraham: She expressed some irritation with the admiralty, though that was before I joined the admiralty.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The only one on that list she really hates is Kali.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: And that's just some very old bad blood.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Looking forward to typing "$BLEED, BITCH!$" when she bombs Kali's next capital ship.
[OOC] Ingenue: I forgot about the cyborg mayor. To be honest, even Metis doesn't like the cyborg mayor.
[OOC] Abraham: Frankly, cyber-mayor isn't on Abraham's Christmas card list either.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Err, sir? Energy reading from the far side of the sys-aaand it's gone already."
Abraham: "Did it exist long enough for you to identify it?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I have any eyes there?
ExecutiveOfficer: "Yes sir. Like a temporary jump point."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …Kilrah teleportation.
[OOC] WC GM: Nope. Far side of the system, far from any point of previous interest.
[OOC] Abraham: Oh shit, Cyber-mayor heard us.
ExecutiveOfficer: "I'm pretty sure nothing came through, though."
Abraham: "Hm… Zinda, Michael, can you get eyes over there."
ExecutiveOfficer: "It was just…there, then gone."
Abraham: "Best to make sure of that."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Yes, sir!"
Zinda Tegram: "[Was that a wormhole Elles?]"
Ingenue: "Acknowledged. Zinda will be lured with bait."
Elles: "[Iii have to rely on your sensor data. The reading was on the far side of the sun from here. But it does not look like one.]"
[OOC] Abraham: Bait? For Zinda? Would that be chocolate?
[OOC] WC GM: Do Zinda and/or Spyboy check it out?
[OOC] WC GM: Metis-shaped chocolate statue?
Zinda Tegram: "[You don't know?]"
[OOC] Abraham: Yes they do. Go forth my minions and investigate! THIS, I COMMAND!
[OOC] Ingenue: Zinda wants to eat Metis what?
Zinda Tegram: "[I figured it was you.]"
Elles: "[No, I do not. It wasn't me.]"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: N-no! She's her DAUGHTER gawd. T_T
[OOC] WC GM: Or just watch the statue melt in the sunlight?
Zinda Tegram: "$Geoffrey, you catch that energy spike?$"
Zinda Tegram: "$You mind flying recon$?"
Geoffrey: "$On our way.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Good man.$"
Minutes later…
Zinda Tegram: "$Looks like the planned engagement may not be going down here.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Since…Alfred is out.$"
Geoffrey: "$We're not finding anything.$"
Geoffrey: "$Not even a trace of that energy spike.$"
Geoffrey: "$It w-BREAK!$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Energy signature returned, sir!"
Zinda Tegram: "$…Disengage! I'm on the way!$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Alfred, when's the last time you flew copilot?$"
Geoffrey: "$Phew. It almost clipped me.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$What are we looking at Crown 1?$"
Alfred: "$Me? Copilot? Not since my dad let me in the front seat.$"
Geoffrey: "$Jump point outta NOWHERE.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Well, I don't have a spare Schwarze Lanze and Sterne Lanze's back seat's been empty for quite awhile.$"
Geoffrey: "$We're fine, no damage. …and it just vanished again.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Meet me on level 1.$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "It's gone, sir."
Spyboy: "$Not wormhole, jump point?$"
Abraham steeples his fingers. "Interesting."
Geoffrey: "$Jump point, yeah.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Hmm…they're boom-and-zooming us huh?$"
Spyboy: "That's…weird. That's…really, really weird."
Geoffrey: "$Nothing came through it. I'm positive.$"
Ingenue accesses the Roland's sensors, studying the compiled sensor data.
Zinda Tegram: "$The target is probably cloaked, Geoffrey.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Be careful.$"
[OOC] Abraham: It's a Boom Tube from Apokalips. We're being invaded by the New 52!
Geoffrey: "$Even cloaked, it'd affect the jump point in passage.$"
[OOC] Spyboy: Just as keikaku.
Zinda Tegram: "$Yeah I'd think that too, but these days things are changing.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Assume you're engaged and stay evasive!$"
Abraham: "XO, does it seem to be in the same place each time?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Yes, sir. Relative to the local sun, anyway."
Geoffrey: "$Affirmative. Staying out of formation.$"
Abraham: "Hm… Deploy a buoy with a message warning people away and to monitor the area."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Buoy away."
A probe rockets forth from the Roland, heading toward Crown Squadron's current location.
No further signatures are detected for about an hour, until…
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir! Getting reports from Sommers of temporary jump points, just like ours."
[OOC] Abraham: BRB
Heggy: "Oh dear."
Ingenue: "Any reports of entering or exiting the points?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "None. They're quiet, just like our two."
Spyboy: "Admiral, is Aldrin next on our list? Because perhaps it should be."
[OOC] Abraham: Back
Abraham: "It is now. Which is a shame as I was so dearly looking forward to White."
Ingenue: "Is Aldrin not restricted territory?"
Heggy: "If it was Aldrin there'd be only one."
Spyboy: "But it's the logical-"
Heggy: "You're thinking triangle - and it's on a straight shot, too. But Sommers already has jump points to Aldrin AND Mu Cephei, no reason for new ones to pop in."
ExecutiveOfficer: "…uhh, sir? Receiving SOS signals from Aldrin."
ExecutiveOfficer: "They're under attack."

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