Session 6 11

Zinda Tegram: "So, let me get this straight…you want me to power their cities?"
Zinda Tegram: "It's an artificial planet. Where do you expect me to get the fissiles?"
Spyboy Pearson: "I thought the trees were fusion-based?"
The party drifts in orbit over Asago, which is currently wracked by climactic calm: low breezes, mild temperatures, humidity just right for most organic life.
Zinda Tegram: "They're fissile."
Zinda Tegram sighs. "I'll see what I can do."
Zinda Tegram: "Can you send my, uh, garden down?"
Abraham: "That can be arranged."
Abraham gives the order and Zinda's army is soon planetbound.
Zinda Tegram: "Alright. Then I'll go, uh, strong-arm some people."
[OOC] Abraham: So tempting to make that 'Plantetbound'.
Zinda Tegram: "Asago Capital Control center, I'm going to solve your problem. Don't get in the way."
Zinda Tegram glides down and lands near the defunct power generators. Then she cracks her neck and climbs out.
ACCC: "We're all sheltering for the moment. Everything outside the domes is yours to fix, if you can fix it."
Each city has its own power generators, but it is easy enough to access the largest city's first. Due to their nature, they have to be outside the protected areas.
Zinda Tegram stretches out as her garden crashes down behind her. Mentally, she orders the construction of a 'dumb' reactor mind.
Spyboy Pearson sets up a constellation of satellites, gathering and relaying data regarding power flow
There already was one, around the reactor at the center of her garden, but it is built up - and a template for new ones made ready, should new power sources be located.
Zinda Tegram thinks for a second, prototypes a version that can be transported in pieces by flyers, and orders the group to the next city.
Spyboy finds, as expected, very little power flow across the planet - aside from small, mostly personal electronics, all in the cities, and very small flows where what appear to be Kali's sensors congregate.
Zinda Tegram also looks into the Tzimitche station design for any micro 'hunter-killer' designs and sets them on Kali's nanites.
The new reactor mind mainly needs a power source, atmosphere, water, and soil - and the latter are abundant enough here. Beyond that, only a seed is needed; the seed is soon transported to the next city.
No such designs are found; the closest is filtration of toxins, but the toxins themselves had no level of intelligence to avoid filtration.
Zinda Tegram just adopts a native slither-micro-organism design instead.
[OOC] WC GM: Asago native?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: No. Like uh
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Something from the planet who's name escapes my memory where the slithers are from.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I believe she's trying to adapt* a Tuskegee bacterium/spore to kill nanites.
Spyboy Pearson tries the opposite tack, and attempts to speak to the nanite consensus.
[OOC] WC GM: Engineering check, at a penalty. This is somewhat outside of Tuskegee's evolved battlegrounds.
[OOC] WC GM: And for Spyboy, Communications.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + + + + (Base: 6 Total: 10) (Communications to establish connection)
[OOC] WC GM: …Chessa approves.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: YEEEE HAAAAA I wish this wasn't pass-fail
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ….spin?
Zinda Tegram mutters. "I'll have to get some real designs once I'm back on the roland…"
[OOC] Abraham: Chessa's asleep. Get your rolls in now.
[OOC] WC GM: Technically there is a degree of success, actually.
[OOC] WC GM: Chessa's asleep post mods?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + + + - (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Engineering)
Zinda Tegram sighs. "Alright, let's see…"
Tinker, tweak…it is not perfect control, but adapting from Integrated protocols, Spyboy is able to establish the start of a connection, though these motes are not sentient enough to speak in words - just impressions and directives.
Zinda Tegram looks over at the tree fort theoretically growing next to her. How's it doing?
Zinda, for her part, finds a design that may work to filter - eventually. It will be most effective around her forces, keeping the motes from interfering.
The tree-fortress has yet to seriously grow, for want of a viable power source to tap into. It is still just a seed.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: How much power are we talking here?
[OOC] Abraham: And what particular flavor? Electric? Nuclear? Happy Thoughts?
[OOC] Metis: Rainbow dreams and unicorn sighs.
Spyboy Pearson: "Metis, I could use your help trying to understand this mote network."
[OOC] WC GM: Gigawatts at least, preferably terawatts or better.
[OOC] WC GM: Electric - though the source of the electric can vary.
Metis taps into and analyzes Spyboy's current data node on the swarm.
[OOC] Abraham: Well, let's see… One lightning bolt is worth ~1.21 gigawats… so we need to create an electrical storm.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So, say, a ship's power core?
[OOC] Metis: Noooo, I just fixed that…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hmm…
[OOC] WC GM: The garden in the ejected cargo bay was indeed using one of the Roland's backup power cores, yes.
[OOC] WC GM: Still is - except it'll be harder now to revert that to use by the Roland.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Well, let's pilfer some of its material to jumpstart this one.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Then be like, "Give me a few fighters."
[OOC] WC GM: Metis: Culture/Tech, if you're analyzing the swarm's culture.
[OOC] WC GM: You already are - but you need a power source.
[OOC] WC GM: And that can't be divided and regenerated.
Metis rolled up 4dF: - 0 - + (Base: 4 Total: 3) ((Culture, to learn about my little nanite brothers and sisters))
[OOC] Abraham: You figure out that these nanites don't have a gender.
Zinda Tegram: "$ACCC, I'll need some ship's power cores.$"
ACCC: "$King Roseblood took all the ones we had on hand.$"
ACCC: "$Most of them are manufactured elsewhere anyway.$"
[OOC] Abraham: If we sent Zinda her /entire/ garden, then it's not using that spare any more…
[OOC] WC GM: Sure it is.
[OOC] WC GM: The garden includes that "spare". Otherwise, it'd grind to a halt fast.
[OOC] Abraham: ah.
[OOC] WC GM: Also at this point it'd be hard to extract the reactor quickly.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: My thought when I suggested deploying Zinda was that the tree fortresses were biological fusion power plants. Instead they appear to be organic shells that distribute the energy from a source - such as a fusion power plant.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: My understanding was similar to Spyboy's
[OOC] WC GM: Correct, they are shells around an energy source.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I see. Well, Zinda has designs for some actual fusion plants, so…
[OOC] WC GM: I thought I'd made that clear back when they were introduced - thus why they fought over geothermal power sources, and/or the few nuclear plants from the station.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: The difference between my understanding and Zindas was He3 v. U238 =D
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah haha
Metis: "Studying the data on the nanite swarm, it is possible that Kali is not directly involved. The swarm seems to follow a sequence of unpreestablished heuristics, guidelines and assumptions. That is, they reacted to a stimuli, but the stimuli was not an order or command. This does not presuppose the possibility that they were designed specifically to have this behavior, but based on current data, they identified a degrading ecosystem and chose to intervene."
[OOC] WC GM: Certainly you can build new power plants - but not here, not with what's on hand, at least not easily. You'd need to go where power plants are made.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: It does make perfect sense, however, given one slight change….
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: They probably need heat energy, not electrical - and are able to turn that heat energy into chemical energy for the rest of the plants in the…'Garden.' I like that term.
[OOC] WC GM: They can work with heat or electrical. Zinda's garden specifically works with electrical, because that's the output that reactor has, but heat is an easy enough retooling that no check would be needed.
Spyboy Pearson: "So they're tampering with the ecosystem because they don't have any special preference for humans - they're saving the plants outside the cities because the cities have no special significance for them."
Spyboy Pearson: "I'm….not sure if I'd be able to argue against that. I would certainly try, but I don't know that I would be able to win."
Spyboy Pearson: "Especially given that they'd assume my interest to be selfish, assuming they have that level of perception."
Metis: "I see nothing to indicate a hierarchy in favor of humans or plants, though that is not say such a hierarchy does not exist, merely that I have not discovered it."
Spyboy Pearson: "There wouldn't need to be."
Spyboy Pearson: "Plants outnumber humans, in terms of strict quantity, biomass, and surface area. The humans live confined in the cities, since that protects them against the rogue climate. The plants are subject to the climate, but tend not to mind so much…."
Abraham: "Very well. Spyboy, Metis, have either of you found anything resembling a self-directed intelligence in the nanites?"
Zinda Tegram: "…Enough waiting."
Spyboy Pearson: "I…don't know. I've seen some consensus intelligence."
Zinda Tegram: "$ACCC, I'm going to need some fissiles to fix this. Fly me over a fighter or something.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$I know you have some.$"
Metis: "It is difficult to isolate the difference between a self-directed intelligence and a complex series of programs. It does not look like the nanites are directly controlled by a separate entity."
Spyboy Pearson: "Agreed."
Abraham: "Hm… so they are 'rogue' or 'wild' nanites?"
Spyboy Pearson: "I think 'loose' would be more accurate. They didn't come from nowhere. Someone put them here."
ACCC: "$We've only got a few. Hold on…$"
Abraham: "I agree. Zinda, does Oldziey dabble in nanotech?"
Metis: "'Rogue' would imply they have gone against their primary function, programming or entity, and there is no evidence of that."
Zinda Tegram: "Nanotech? We don't have the fabs for that, man."
Abraham: "Then they either stowed away on a ship or were put here deliberately. Any idea how long they've been on their own?"
ACCC: "$Alright, we can spare two. But only one for now - the other's a backup until you've done as much as you can with this one. If you're looking to strip it for a power core, we don't see how it's going to be nearly enough, but here you go.$"
Even as the transmission ends, a small orbital shuttle - barely worth the name, about 3/4 the size of the Sterne Lanze - is landing near Zinda.
Zinda already knows its specs. It can be repurposed to several minutes of megawatts of power, but that is all it is good for.
Zinda Tegram leaves a hand near her torch.
Metis scans the data, attempting to discover or extrapolate how long the nanites have been active and/or how long they have been active on this planet.
Zinda Tegram: "$Get out.$"
ACCC: "$It's on remote. None of our pilots wanted to get near you.$"
Spyboy Pearson: "Shocking."
Zinda Tegram: "$…Hahahaha. Figures…$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Well, it won't do much, but here ya go.$"
Zinda Tegram snaps her fingers and watches as the shuttle is promptly devoured.
Zinda Tegram also mentally orders her main garden's power to get hooked up in the mean time.
Spyboy Pearson eyes a map of nanite concentrations.
Zinda Tegram: "$I'll loan you some of mine, too.$"
By correlating with Asago's publicly available data, it is easy to determine that the nanites arrived about 24 hours ago. Climactic altering was a slow process, kicking into gear about 12 hours ago and settling into the current calm about 4 hours ago.
Spyboy Pearson: "I wonder if we can repurpose them, somehow, to provide power to the cities?"
[OOC] Abraham: Spyboy's just going for the 'Nanite Whisperer' achievement.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Well, Spyboy has to balance Zinda somehow, and Zinda's a plant now…
[OOC] WC GM: Not rolling that one - for Spyboy, it's an autopass after a minute's calculation. For Abraham or Metis it'd be even less.
[OOC] Metis: Climatic altering? or climatic altering? Are they altering a climax or a climate?
Some quick calculations show that, given the density of the nanites world-wide, concentrating them all together might result in something that could be tapped for tens, perhaps hundreds, of kilowatts.
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes.
Zinda Tegram: "Well, we could fix the originals."
Zinda Tegram: "$ACCC, do you have enough for now?$"
ACCC: "$Negative.$"
Metis: "The nanites activated within the last 24 hours. Alteration of the climate began 12 hours ago, and achieved equilibrium 4 hours ago. Is there any evidence of a ship passing through or near the planet in the last 24 hours?"
[OOC] WC GM: Is Metis radioing that openly?
Spyboy Pearson: "The originals rely on climatic problems that will take hours, at best, to restore…"
[OOC] Metis: Speaking it to Abraham and anyone else on the bridge, and neu-comming it to Spyboy and Zinda and any eavesdroppers, but not over regular radio-waves.
Zinda Tegram: "$Alright. Well, there's a capital reactor core hooked up for now. Since the climate is…uncharacteristically stable, I'm going to see if I can the old system.$"
[OOC] Metis: Unless Abraham left the bridge short-wave mike on.
Spyboy Pearson: "However, I'm sure that, using the tools we have at our disposal, we can tap into those underlying forces."
Zinda Tegram climbs into Sterne Lanze and lifts off, flying out to the old reactor that ostensibly powers the geo control systems.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Hold on a moment, let me get their traffic logs."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ….that old reactor is probably under full use, since the geo control systems are on.
Spyboy Pearson: "So, where do Asago's power plants get their energy….?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Asago Captial Coordination Center, this is the Roland. Please give us all inbound and outbound traffic for the twenty-four hours before our arrival."
[OOC] Abraham: Everytime I see 'Asago', I read it as 'Absergo' from Assassin's Creed.
ExecutiveOfficer: "…well they're being cooperative."
[OOC] Metis: My brain wants to parse it as 'asiago'.
The XO gestures to his screen, where the logs are being displayed. "Looks like the only real traffic is Roseblood and crew, hopping out about 10 hours ago. Guess they figured out things were about to get unpleasant and left everyone to suffer."
ExecutiveOfficer: "I can see how he made such an impression on our expat."
Metis: "That was after the nanites activated and began climate manipulation. Then the method of their arrival is still unknown."
Spyboy Pearson: "Looking at these designs, I think the generator networks should still work, largely - but given their design, they won't produce enough power to accomplish anything."
Spyboy Pearson: "Look at these wind turbines - they're built to survive being hit by a tree at two hundred kph, which means anything less than a gale-force wind won't let it budge."
Spyboy Pearson: "The generator will work - but these mild winds won't let it turn."
Abraham: "Any chances that the design can be tweaked to be more effective?"
Abraham: "Lighter blades?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Sure - with what amounts to a total rebuild."
Spyboy Pearson: "I think we could probably get the slitherers to do that, with small tree-fortresses regulating the output of the generators themselves."
Spyboy Pearson: "As far as the tidal systems go, I wonder if the plants could actually just replace the tidal grid - their own vascules capturing energy from the water flow."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Looks like there was an inbound about twenty-six hours ago - a patrol from the jump point. They left with Roseblood."
Metis: "Oldziey patrol?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Though, I don't know - without the earthquakes, Asago basically has no tide at all."
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy: Engineering check if you want a hint on those lines…though you've almost got one solution as it is.
Zinda Tegram orders her labor force to, uh, do that.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Sure…Spyboy could probably come up with some ideas that I couldn't.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + - 0 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Engineering to establish possible immediate power sources.)
Spyboy Pearson: "In the medium term, the nanites are wind-blown - charting their location and velocity will yield the most optimum positions for new wind power plants."
Spyboy Pearson: "Tracking their heat systems - dissipation, etc - will yield the best locations for solar power."
Abraham: "Is that really necessary? Can't we just have the Nanites 'ping' their location and velocity and compile the data that way?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Sure - but if you want long-term results, you need long-term data."
Spyboy Pearson: "And wheels are not a biological construct - so neither are turbines, so Zinda can't just grow wind power plants wherever she wants."
Spyboy Pearson: "However, she can grow solar wherever."
Zinda Tegram does that.
Spyboy Pearson: "Tuskegee's plants still use chlorophyll, which means they're green, not black, which means they don't get as much energy from the sun as they could - but they can still get a lot."
While not nearly as concentrated - and defensible - as the typical power sources, in this uncontested environment the plants spread like accelerated weeds, nearly exploding over the planet.
Spyboy Pearson: "The only real flaw I can see with the solar power plants - um, pun not intended - is that it gives Zinda all the power over the planet."
Spyboy Pearson: "On the bright side, Asago now has one of the most green ecologies in the galaxy."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Pun totally intended. Both times.
Even with additional seeding over the planet, it will take several hours to achieve sufficient coverage to power the cities.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hehe.
ExecutiveOfficer: "So…you're saying, Zinda will have conquered Asago."
Spyboy Pearson: "Tragically, yes."
Zinda Tegram: "$ACCC, you should be good in a few hours. Also, I'm heading to the rose palace.$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Admiral, I forget, are we allowed to believe in inevitable prophecies?"
[OOC] Abraham: So to recap, Oldzie is a problematic territory and I'm helping to set up a friendly and pliant dictator for Oldziey. It's the American way.
Zinda Tegram does exactly that.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Friendly? To an extant. Pliant…?
[OOC] WC GM: That's not a typo for "plant"? :P
Abraham: "You can believe whatever you like. Everyone's got the right to be wrong."
[OOC] Abraham: Well, I am planting a dictator…
[OOC] Metis: Sure, pliant. Zinda's flexible.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: To clarify Zinda's comments, we're putting a dictator who will go with our immediate, short-term interests. Then maybe she'll turn on us - but that's the American Way, too.
The Rose Palace seems abandoned upon Zinda's arrival.
Zinda Tegram lands on top.
Zinda Tegram: "Fucking coward…"
Zinda Tegram wanders into the throne room.
Spyboy Pearson sends an encrypted text message to Abraham…
[OOC] Metis: Wait, wait…did Zinda bring a flag?
Spyboy Pearson: "…Zinda uses 'dumb' tree fortresses, so they won't revolt against her, but she has limited control over them and thus over power distro. However, will be attempting to generate a virus that can redisable geo control systems. …"
Aside from the abandoned security stations and lack of fawning courtiers - not to mention the emptiness of the throne - the throne room is exactly as Zinda remembers it.
Zinda Tegram: "…"
Zinda Tegram sits on the throne.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Now I'm thinking of the end of Saints Row IV.
Zinda Tegram: "$Asago?$"
Abraham sends the standard encrypted 'message received' reply.
[OOC] Abraham: You know, that was a massive missed opportunity to type '/me sits on her throne.'
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …yeah it was.
Zinda Tegram: "$…Only one thing missing.$"
ACCC: "$Yes?$"
[OOC] Abraham: Your face on the one dollar bill?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Her crown.
Zinda Tegram: "$His head on a pike. Where's Roseblood? If you can contact him, let him know he's not welcome on my throne any more.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Rebroadcast that. I call anyone who would challenge my seat to single combat.$"
[OOC] Metis: Up for it Abe?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Single combat. Stern Lanz vs. Roland.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: That's not single combat.
[OOC] Metis: Yeah. The Roland's outnumbered.
ACCC: "$If he sticks to his pattern, you can probably find him in the far Ganges.$"
[OOC] Abraham: That's right. I want.. no… I /need/ the universe's most uncomfortable chair in my life.
ACCC: "$Transmitting coordinates to the Roland now.$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "…oookay, why was I just sent a map with a skull-and-crossbones marker?"
Zinda Tegram: "$Alright. I'll send him a beacon.$"
Abraham: "I guess they think there's treasure there?"
Metis: "In the language of map symbols, isn't a 'X' used for treasure?"
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, that's Roseblood."
Zinda Tegram: "And he's mine."
Abraham: "Ah. And I presume you intend to go there and say 'howdy'?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "We'll have to stick to the asteroid belts to navigate safely."
Zinda Tegram: "No need."
Zinda Tegram: "I have his throne. We just need him to see me."
Zinda Tegram: "Please send a signal burst. Send him…send him this."
[OOC] Abraham: Oh shit! Zinda's getting a publicist!
Zinda Tegram takes her torch and slashes the Roseblood family crest engraved on the throne.
Then, she takes a picture and sends it to the Roland.
Zinda Tegram: "Make it public band."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sending that on all public channels."
[OOC] Metis: Zinda just took an imperial selfie.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Fuck yeah
ExecutiveOfficer: "Should we prepare for incom-"
Zinda Tegram: "Heh…"
Zinda Tegram rushes back to Sterne Lanze.
ExecutiveOfficer: "…umm. Oldziey asteroid belts do not normally reconfigure themselves, do they?"
[OOC] Abraham: Yes. We better get a paycheck out of this, we all need income.
Zinda Tegram: "Hehehe….Hahahahahahahaha!"
Zinda Tegram: "They do. $Asteroid Guns.$"
[OOC] Abraham: /me screws up and accidentally sends out Zinda's laugh instead.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Fusing into solid rings?"
[OOC] Metis: Lensmen asteroid guns?
Zinda Tegram: "$Hmm…? I'll see it for myself.$"
The XO sends along astrogation signals. Sure enough, the Ganges is shifting, asteroids lining up in contact, forming a thin but solid ring.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: WC's mad that we skipped most of the Aldrin dungeon. =p
[OOC] WC GM: Nah, it'll keep.
[OOC] Metis: Nah, WCs too crafty to get mad.
Spyboy Pearson: "Huh."
Spyboy Pearson: "We forgot, didn't we?"
Spyboy Pearson: "We forgot that the patrol we encountered when we entered the system….was using Nephilim tech."
Zinda Tegram: "I didn't."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: "I don't believe you~~"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: We skipped the Aldrin dungeon?
Zinda Tegram: "A ring….? Oh, haha, I see."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: We went to the beginning, we cut our way out, and we went to the end.
Zinda Tegram: "It's a road."
Zinda Tegram: "He's hurrying back."
[OOC] Abraham: He must have left the stove running.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yes, because creating a ***** RINGWORLD is a legitimate solution and a good way for a despot in a low-ish tech system to accelerate his trip home.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Marginally.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Aaand it's starting to spin."
Spyboy Pearson is getting irritated.
Zinda Tegram frowns.
Zinda Tegram takes off towards the ring.
[OOC] WC GM: Directly would be through too-high radiation - why no one in Oldziey can make that trip. Or back to the area of the jump point, where the Nile belt Asago is on intersects Ganges?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ganges is the inner belt.
[OOC] WC GM: Right. So, heading there by means of the nearest intersection?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh. Derp, yeah.
[OOC] WC GM: Is the Roland following?
[OOC] Abraham: Yes
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Spyboy's regrouping, too.
[OOC] Abraham: I'm sure Zinda will want Metis to have a front row seat to Oldziey-style diplomacy.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …Zinda pissed him off, huh?
[OOC] Abraham: Well, it is her Apex skill.
Upon reaching the intersection, and getting a closer look - yep, the aseroids are being fused together. Looks like Roseblood has cowed the workers into some sort of grand plan. But she does not recognize the type of emitters evident on the sun-facing sides of many of the asteroids.
Zinda Tegram flies through as publicly as she can.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Keep in mind the flip side.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 7) (Resolve)
The workers keep on working. There is no way they did not see her, though.
Zinda Tegram: "$You don't need to do what he tells you. He'll be dead soon enough anyways.$"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: By fusing the asteroids together…whoever is doing this is ensuring that there's only one safe place to be.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: And given what 'fusing the asteroids together into a solid ring' means, it's clearly not Roseblood behind it.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Especially at this rate of speed.
Spyboy Pearson: "For the record, sir, the scale of what we're seeing has me a little bit terrified."
Abraham: "Yes. If this is where the bulk of their energy is going, then it's small wonder that the rest of the system is having energy problems."
Spyboy Pearson: "Energy, hell. Where are they getting the matter? If you took the volume of all the asteroids in the Ganges, added them up, and divided by the radius of the Ganges, you'd be left with a torus the thickness of your thumb."
Spyboy Pearson: "They are spreading a planet around a sun."
ExecutiveOfficer: "…oh. So that's why. I thought our maps were out of date."
Abraham: "It's obvious where they got it. They imported the matter. Just like they did on White."
Spyboy Pearson: "….are they missing a gas giant, Commander?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Assuming the XO has that rank.
[OOC] WC GM: Fair enough assumption.
ExecutiveOfficer: "The innermost."
Spyboy Pearson: "…..That….wouldn't be enough, but it would be enough for a start."
Abraham: "Is that the only missing planet?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "And some of the others seem a bit smaller than they should."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Admiral, sir. We *really* should consider making planetary theft a crime."
Abraham: "I think a case could be made to extend ecological crimes into interstellar space."
Zinda Tegram: "Even if you did, it's not your jurisdiction, admiral."
ExecutiveOfficer: "I'll relay that to Legal next time we're in Armstrong."
Abraham: "Depends on where they got the rest of that mass from."
Sure enough, the band is not very thick. Fighters can maneuver behind it with some room; the Roland receives constant radiation flux around the sides, though not more than it can deflect with full shields.
Spyboy Pearson: "It's a gas giant, Zinda - it's basically all only good for fuel, and that with imported engines, since the local ones are fission."
Habitats have been molded to a mostly one-dimensional configuration, squeezed into thick stacks where they used to be warrens.
Spyboy Pearson: "Still, we didn't notice any missing planets in David, or Mahavier…"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Uh, technically we did."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Counting Tuskegee."
Spyboy Pearson: "It wasn't missing, just misplaced….actually."
Spyboy Pearson: "….We never went to Mahavier."
Spyboy Pearson: "Tuskegee, yes, but it was already in Armstrong."
Spyboy Pearson: "….So they could have deployed Temblors and moved whole asteroids into Oldziey to expand the ring."
Spyboy Pearson: "It tends towards the unbelievable when you consider how fast it was done, though."
Zinda Tegram: "$Doesn't matter.$ We'll just find Roseblood and end this."
Spyboy Pearson: "I disagree with everything you just said, except that Roseblood is definitely the next step."
Abraham: "Try not to kill him until we figure out who was helping him."
Zinda Tegram: "No promises."
Zinda Tegram hits her afterburner.
Heggy shifts to 75% speed and paces Zinda.
[OOC] WC GM: Heading along the ring to Roseblood's coordinates?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yes.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah.
Abraham: "You might want to make some promises. After all, if they were helping him, they might want revenge if you kill him. Might be nice to know where the next challenge to your throne is coming from."
Fortunately, the ring is spinning Roseblood towards the party - but crossing a solar system takes time. Time enough to notice energy signatures - spikes and fluctuations - rippling across the ring.
[OOC] Abraham: Science to see if I can figure out what that means?
Also time to analyze the ring. This is definitely inconsistent with the Ganges on record; lots of rock and solidified rock elements have been added, consistent with stolen mass.
[OOC] WC GM: Autopass for Abraham.
Abraham: "Damn, I was afraid of this, but I was too far away to be sure. This thing is a wormhole generator."
Spyboy Pearson: "That….makes far, far too much sense."
ExecutiveOfficer: "This large?!?"
Abraham: "Zinda, that's another reason not to kill Roseblood immediately. He is most likely the only one who can give the order to shut it down."
Zinda Tegram: "…I can."
Zinda Tegram: "Once I have his head."
Abraham: "Then you are officially on the clock. I have no doubt that we do not want to see what's to come through this wormhole."
Spyboy Pearson: "We also don't want to see our hard work on Asago go to waste when Oldziey turns into a black hole."
Zinda Tegram: "Don't worry admiral. This time, $It's personal.$"
[OOC] Abraham: They drew first blood?

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