Session 6 14

Zinda's torch is right up almost in Roseblood's face. He does not appear intimidated…or defiant, or possessed of any emotion.
Zinda Tegram: "Pssht. Puppet…"
Zinda Tegram kicks him aside and looks up.
Spyboy checks the outputs of the camera feeds. Are they being broadcast unencrypted like he had them configured for?
They are. Zinda sees the ceiling of what's left of the cockpit of Roseblood's ship.
Zinda Tegram: "$Speak now, puppet king, or forever damn your house to shame.$"
Spyboy: "I think he's beyond that, Zinda."
Zinda Tegram waits for a response.
No response comes from the dead king's corpse.
Zinda Tegram: "$Shut up. This is how we do things.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$So be it.$"
Zinda Tegram turns around and sets to taking Roseblood's head.
Spyboy: "Does his body temperature dropping count as speaking?"
[OOC] Abraham: CSI: Oldziey
Zinda Tegram climbs back to the Sterne Lanze and fishes out a message beacon.
Zinda Tegram: "$Roseblood is dead. By rite of combat, Zinda Tegram now lays claim to the throne of the kingdom of unending harvest.$"
Zinda Tegram tosses the beacon out and climbs in the Sterne Lanze.
Zinda Tegram: "$…That was MY kill…$"
Zinda Tegram clenches her fist and tries to slow her breathing.
[OOC] WC GM: So on top of all their other crimes, the Nephilim are now killstealers too?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: They stole her vengeance target. She's gonna try to let it go, though. It was nothing personal.
[OOC] Metis: Yeah. They're also spawn-campers.
[OOC] Spyboy: ….wasn't she the one who dealt the blow?
[OOC] WC GM: I'd joke about reporting them, but increasingly the PCs are the mods.
[OOC] Spyboy: I mean, it's been a while…but if he died cuz she cut the cord, he still died cuz she cut the cord.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: By sucking his personality out, she didn't kill the guy she came to kill.
[OOC] Spyboy: Dunno how much personality they sucked out. But anyway!
Spyboy frowns at his console….and starts rebuilding firewalls.
Zinda Tegram sits in Sterne Lanze, waiting to see a response to her beacon.
Spyboy: "Hey, I'm switching the codes. Be advised that your systems may go into a reboot."
Spyboy: "[Metis, if you have any ideas on how to make our systems more secure, go ahead and implement them.]"
Spyboy: "[Kali's not as good as I am, but she's really good, and she's been doing this a lot longer than I have.]"
Spyboy: "[And unless we passed through her ship on the way here, the only explanation I can think of for why we haven't seen her…is that our sensors are scrubbing her out.]"
Metis: "[Patching all security exploits is not possible without superior predictive capabilities. I will implement what known fixes there are.]"
[OOC] Metis: Speaking of 'superior predictive capabilities'… save Roseblood's entrails. ….no reason.
[OOC] Spyboy: I thought you had to disembowel them alive for that.
[OOC] Spyboy: Hypothetically.
There are no quick responses. From monitoring message traffic, it looks like the Ganges colonies are mostly just glad it is over and getting back to the lesser crises that being reshaped forced on them, Asago is still in survival mode, and the Nile colonies are getting ready to provide increased supply to the others.
[OOC] Abraham: DNA analysis does not require live harvests.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nor does it require entrails.
[OOC] Metis: Hypothetically, dead or dying. A haruspex uses live disembowelment, I believe, but that's with sheep. This is anthropomancy…hypothetically.
Zinda Tegram: "OK, let's grab some fissiles from the reshaped belt."
Spyboy blinks
Spyboy: "I'll bite. Why?"
Zinda Tegram: "For Asago? A queen must care for her subjects."
Spyboy: "…..Why would you want fissionables for that?"
Zinda Tegram: "A fission reactor? To take the edge off?"
Spyboy: "…..Oh, right, right. I forgot that was an option."
Zinda Tegram: "Right. Now."
Zinda Tegram flies over to the nearest mining station to ask about getting some fissionables for aid to Asago.
Zinda Tegram: "$Hey. You.$"
Spyboy focuses on scrubbing the sensor inputs for anything that might be a carrier.
MiningStation: "$Queen Tegram. We expect to resume production within ninety-six hours.$"
So far as Spyboy and Metis can tell, no scrubbing is occurring.
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah, well, Spyboy's gonna assume he's missing something until Kali's ship shows up on his sensors. And then…maybe.
[OOC] Metis: Is no scrubbing occurring because there is nothing to scrub, or is there an issue?
Zinda Tegram: "$Thank you. Asago's geology has recently stabilized so they're currently having an energy crisis, and they need some fissionables. Do you have any reserves from before the, ah, breka in production?$"
[OOC] WC GM: There doesn't seem to be anything being scrubbed, likely because there's nothing to scrub.
Metis: "[Analysis indicates that there is nothing to be gained by repeated scrub cycles. Is it necessary to continue?]"
Spyboy: "[To be honest, a part of me says 'yes.' But…]"
MiningStation: "$We do. It is less than a full load, but…let me check…ah. If you take a bit from each station down the line, you should have enough for a reactor by the time you get to the crossover point. You're probably in a hurry, so I'll send word along to have them packed and spaced, so you can just pick them up without docking at each station.$"
Metis: "[Then you should query your individual parts and arrive at a consensus.]"
Spyboy: "[Then again, a part of me says 'the only reason we can't find anything is she'd be too subtle to do something like that.]"
Zinda Tegram: "$Excellent. Thank you. What's your name?$"
[OOC] WC GM: …resisting urge to make a joke about how Heggy is better at querying Spyboy's parts than Spyboy is.
[OOC] Abraham: Which would mean that there is nothing to find because you're looking in the wrong place.
[OOC] Spyboy: I'm on it.
B-4: "I can take care of that, Spyboy."
Spyboy: "Not while we're flying, please…"
MiningStation: "$…err…Sirius Roseblood. Pleasedon'tkillme.$"
[OOC] Abraham: Roseblood must be his middle name. Sirius Roseblood of the proud Pleasedon'tkillme clan.
[OOC] Spyboy: "I'm not saying you're a barbarian, Zinda…your actions are."
Zinda Tegram: "$I'll remember it. And don't worry, I'm not out to purge the Roseblood clan.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$The mad one's actions were his own. I remember his father as a proud and fine king.$"
[OOC] Abraham: "$Unless, of course, I feel like it, or I'm having a bad day, or I get bad intel, or I'm out of orange juice. But other than that, no.$"
[OOC] WC GM: The proud, proud Pleasedon'tkillme clan, which has produced legions of military officers - none of them particularly high-ranking, though, and few of them surviving to retirement.
[OOC] WC GM: And most of those officers of the non-commissioned sort.
SiriusRoseblood: "$Thank you. Ejecting fissile package…now.$"
[OOC] Metis: How is it that never sounds good?
[OOC] Spyboy: "This fissile package appears to be ticking…"
[OOC] Spyboy: "Oh, that's just my geiger counter."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir! The weakest torpedo I have ever scanned has just been launched. I can't identify its target - it seems to be unguided."
[OOC] Spyboy: <Abraham> "Fire the flak guns, just in case."
[OOC] Spyboy: Just kidding. All of Zinda's private comms are routed through the bridge.
Abraham: "Hrmph. Inform Zinda and have her evade or detonate or retrieve the torpedo at her discretion."
Spyboy blinks and does a quick scan. Has his paranoia really blinded him?
[OOC] Spyboy: Is the ring, that is, still threatening to turn Oldziey into a wormhole?
[OOC] Abraham: "Oh, and tell her she is under no circumstances to adopt it."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Roger. Sterne Lanze, be advised a torpedo has just been launched near your location."
Zinda Tegram: "$I will keep that in mind.$"
Spyboy's scan of the ejected fissiles package quickly confirms the XO's analysis that, as a torpedo, it is less than worthy.
Zinda Tegram: "$It's just a shipment of fissiles.$"
[OOC] WC GM: The ring has stopped rotating by now.
[OOC] Abraham: Why do I get the feeling that this will become a yearly festival? Having all the citizens fire torpedoes at their Queen.
[OOC] Abraham: And they'll sell Turkey Legs at 6.50 a pop.
[OOC] Spyboy: Turkey legs? In Asago? Nah, turkeys are too hard to grow in confined spaces.
[OOC] Metis: Space turkeys, also called 'humans'.
[OOC] Abraham: Imported. From the RenFaria system.
[OOC] Spyboy: Works.
Spyboy shakes his head
Spyboy: "Nah, it's a fission torpedo without the explosive mantle or detonator."
Spyboy: "Makes sense, though. That'd be the easiest way to send one out, and if they were preparing for war, that's what they'd be producing."
ExecutiveOfficer: "And when isn't Oldziey preparing for war?"
Spyboy: "During war."
Abraham: "Naive. They are sill preparing for the next war."
Zinda Tegram: "Jackasses…."
Zinda Tegram: "You think we just fight for the hell of it?"
[OOC] Abraham: They're democrats? I thought this was a monarchy.
Spyboy: "No, I think you fight because you don't know how to stop."
Abraham is pretty sure there would be an…incident…if he had said that.
The XO sends Abraham a look, telling the Admiral that the XO is thinking much the same thing.
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, sure, it's nice and easy to say that when you've never had to go hungry because the hydroponics can't produce enough, or when you've never lost a brother, or when you've not had to spend 10 hours going painstakingly over an asteroid exterior because there might be a micro breach on our hull and if you don't find it you might have to airlock someone…$"
Spyboy: "I didn't say you didn't WANT to stop, Zinda."
Spyboy: "I said you didn't know how."
Zinda Tegram: "Go fuck yourself." ((For the record, I am not actually pissed.))
Spyboy: "It's how people are wired, I guess."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda is tho
Spyboy: "Situation like this, everything would be a lot easier if everyone pulled together and helped."
Spyboy: "But we don't."
Zinda Tegram: "Quit while you're ahead, Spyboy. Drop it."
Spyboy: "We pull back, protect our own at the cost of the next guy…and down the road, when we need the next guy, it's too late."
Spyboy: "It's too late for me to be ahead, Zinda. Mu Cephei's the same way."
Zinda Tegram: "Tch. Don't talk like you know us. At least Mu Cephei has heat."
Spyboy: "Oh, not in the stations - not for another few days, anyway. We've always practiced fairly draconian population control."
Spyboy: "But down on the planet- well, you've seen it."
[OOC] Metis: Hasenpfeffer?
Spyboy: "So complaining aside, Zinda, the biggest problem with Oldziey is that it's inhabited by humans."
Spyboy: "And…honestly, we're at the point now where we can do something about that…"
Spyboy: "But I don't think it's worth the cost."
Spyboy blinks for a moment.
Spyboy: "Though, if you disagree, I'm sure between us we could figure out a way to make a spore that could Integrate everyone in the system."
B-4: "I think you're probably saying too much right now. She's taking everything too personally. Give her some time to cool down, and a chance to do some good."
Spyboy: "Yeah…you're right."
Zinda Tegram: "$Just…just find Kali. I will take care of the immediate domestic issues.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$It's my system.$"
Spyboy: "Believe me, nothing would make me more happy. It's making me nervous that I have absolutely no idea where she is."
[OOC] WC GM: Strange, she seems to be over there.
[OOC] WC GM: …read that either way you please.
[OOC] Spyboy: Right now I'm reading it as a twitch on Spyboy's paranoia
[OOC] Abraham: You know, we've never seen Kali and LAGOS in the same place at the same time. Just saying….
[OOC] Spyboy: …….huh. Time to throw things into the GM's hands.
[OOC] Spyboy: Tactics to see where Kali would be?
[OOC] WC GM: …Engineering, actually.
[OOC] Spyboy: Terrible for me, but works
[OOC] Metis: Isn't your Engineering Great?
[OOC] Abraham: Oh when you go that route, she is always right behind you. With a machete and a hockey mask.
[OOC] Spyboy: Oh, it'd be fine in normal Diaspora, but… =p
Spyboy frowns. Where, if he were Kali, would he be?
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 6 Total: 9) (Engineering + Information, First Principle of Warfare)
[OOC] Spyboy: Thanks Chessa!
[OOC] Abraham: BRB
Spyboy frowns
Spyboy: "Hey, Abraham."
Spyboy: "Have you ever known Kali to shun the limelight?"
Spyboy: "So….you know how I've been feeling paranoid about what Kali's been up to?"
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah?"
Abraham: "You don't get to be an admiral, or really any level of command rank, without being noticed."
Spyboy: "….I ran another scan of the microbots."
Spyboy: "I think….I think she's in them."
Abraham: "… Are you saying she is a distributed intelligence?!"
Spyboy: "I don't think she's managed to complete it - we'd know - but I think she's made some significant progress on it."
Zinda Tegram: "…No."
Zinda Tegram: "No no no no no no."
Spyboy: "I'm totally with Zinda on this one."
Zinda Tegram: "Every single fucking thing is like some star eating planet, or fucking nephilim puppets or giant AI world cores or fucking…"
[OOC] Abraham: ~Uh oh, Zinda. Kali's in your hair!~
Zinda Tegram: "$Just no.$"
Zinda Tegram: "We're gonna nip this one in the bud. EMP the whole damn system."
Spyboy: "I also noticed that fixing the environment controls on Asago was about the worst thing she could do to Asago….but now that we've adapted things to -"
Spyboy: "I take it back. EMPing Asago would be worse."
Spyboy: "Also, nanobots are mostly too small to be affected by EMP."
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah. They literally fit between the peaks and troughs of the wavelength.
Spyboy: "…We may want to check out that base on David. She didn't come up with this plan here - she did it there, and then triggered it. If there are any records, they're on her base on David."
Spyboy: "Well, Wenser's base that she took over."
Metis: "Then it is necessary to recall the fighters and proceed to David after delivering the fissiles to Asago?"
Spyboy: "That's my gut recommendation."
Abraham: "Zinda, are you coming a long? Or will you be working on affairs of state?"
Spyboy: "I'm afraid my head is a bit too….panicked for solid advice right now, though."
[OOC] Spyboy: Best part is, though, by diverting to David and then coming back with a plan, Kali has a chance to finish! BOSS FIGHT WITH MICROBOT SWARM!
[OOC] WC GM: My scheeemes…
[OOC] WC GM: And here you thought you might be done with Oldziey.
[OOC] Abraham: No. We have always been at war with Oceania.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nah, I was expecting Kali to emerge and invade. Yorktown/Yorktown battle!
[OOC] WC GM: That's more Dakka's style.
Zinda Tegram: "If you can hold off for a second, I hoping to get a reactor mind to manage things briefly."
Spyboy: "Well, we need the locals to survive long enough for us to get back, after all."
[OOC] WC GM: So - picking up the fissiles and heading to Asago?
[OOC] Metis: Aye.
The trip is largely uneventful, if slow - having to actually pick up each package lowers the maximum safe speed. It takes about half a day to finally return to Asago.
[OOC] WC GM: How are you installing the reactor? Orbital drop, carrying it down, with or without plant attachments…?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Go down, feed it the fissiles to the seed?
[OOC] WC GM: So - with plant, then?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Basically.
ACCC: "$Feeds online. Power's climbing back into the green, and now we can properly scan your ship.$"
Spyboy: "Should I let them, Admiral?"
Abraham: "Certainly we should allow passive scans. We have nothing to hide."
ACCC: "$Just who ARE you?$"
[OOC] Abraham: Behave. Or I'll for you to make all Spathi ships.
[OOC] Abraham: "$I'm the only person in the galaxy who doesn't speak Oldziey except for this statement explaining that I am the only person in the galaxy who doesn't speak Oldziey.$"
[OOC] Metis: We are an experimental precursor vessel here to recruit soldiers from Oldziey in order to free humanity from the Ur-Quan. Of course.
Zinda Tegram: "$I'm Zinda.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$They're, how to put it, some extra hands of mine. Don't worry though, I'm still human. Mostly.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Now, is that any way to greet your new queen?$"
[OOC] Abraham: "Everywhere we go. Everywhere we go. People want to know. People want to know. Who we are. Who we are. So we tell them. So we tell them."
ACCC: "$Sorry! They read as only partly Confed. We were worried this was the invasion after all.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$The carrier there does have Admiral Abraham on it, but they're here under my auspices. Think of them as guests, please.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Now, how long is that reactor I just grew for you going to last?$"
ACCC: "$We would rather not think of them at all. Ah…we honestly don't know. Fission reactors last for many years - normally. With what you've done to it, it could be millennia or it could die as soon as you leave orbit.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Well, it's a temporary measure. Just give me a sitrep. I'm about to go hunting Kali in David, so I need to make sure things won't fall apart when I leave.$"
[OOC] Abraham: brb
ACCC: "$We're charging reserve batteries before we take ourselves off emergency rationing. Even if the reactor fails, that should give us at least a day or so.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Alright. Longer term I'm planning to fix the geo control systems and make the planet livable, and then we can probably move some of the spaceborne population back here.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Before that though, I need to make sure that my system will stay mine. A lot's changed here in four years…$"
ACCC: "$What are your plans, your highness?$"
[OOC] Spyboy: murder, piracy, the usual
[OOC] Metis: No no, she's queen now. Executions and privateering. Murder and piracy are illegal.
[OOC] Spyboy: Eh, let's be honest.
[OOC] Spyboy: Her plan? Transcendence Victory.
[OOC] Abraham: Back.
Zinda Tegram: "$Well, for now, please order the remaining fighters in the system to form up in orbit around Asago. I need to see what I have.$"
ACCC: "$…just combat fighters, or cargo haulers too?$"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Cargo haulers have a lot of work to do, so just combat for now.
Zinda Tegram: "$Just fighters, for now.$"
ACCC: "$A moment…$"
ACCC: "$There are at this time no remaining combat-capable fighters in Oldziey, other than those already in orbit.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$You're shitting me.$"
ACCC: "$More can be prepared…eventually…if you order it.$"
Spyboy: "$They just dumped their weapons, I think.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$…That won't be necessary. But, sorry, just…$"
Zinda Tegram: "$None?$"
Spyboy: "$I picked up a signal saying to 'disarm immediately,' and didn't think anything of it…$"
ACCC: "$Your highness is invited to inspect the many colonies if that is your wish.$"
Spyboy: "$But if every combat fighter in the system dumped its weapons, then it'd be a cargo hauler, now wouldn't it?$"
Zinda Tegram: "$….Any cargo hauler that was recently a combat fighter.$"
ACCC: "$Ah…there are 96,378 registered operational spacecraft in this system, not counting your group.$"
ACCC: "$All of them can be fitted with weapons.$"
ACCC: "$Or, as you know, as weapons.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Naturally.$"
ACCC: "$There are 96,378 spacecraft currently dedicated to repairs, transportation, and general recovery from Roseblood's rule.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Of course.$"
ACCC: "$Your highness has brought a moment of peace to Oldziey.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$…Apparently. For now, just start construction of additional dwellings on Asago. And if anyone can spare the effort, try to get the Ganges mining facilities running. I'd like to see if we can get an export economy running.$"
[OOC] WC GM: This is on the level of, "for just a moment, there are no active wars anywhere on Earth."
[OOC] Spyboy: I.E. blatant lie?
ACCC: "$As you command. Ganges mining facility repairs are already underway.$"
[OOC] WC GM: No, more like "impressive but temporary accomplishment."
[OOC] Spyboy: Hmm. We're at the low end of the chapter length, so this could be chapter end….but ~3 sessions to take out Kali fits just fine.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I am flexible.
[OOC] Spyboy: In the meantime!
Spyboy amuses himself by planting remote shutdown commands in the Oldzieyan fighters. Not saying that they'll inevitably revolt against Zinda or anything….just that he'd like to be prepared.
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, was planning on this not being chapter end.
Zinda Tegram wanders up behind Spyboy and clears her throat.
Zinda Tegram: "Having fun?"
B-4: "Hey, Spyboy. Zinda just pulled into orbit behind us."
[OOC] WC GM: What are Abraham and Metis up to while this is going on?
[OOC] Metis: Technically? Waiting for B4 to query all of Spyboy's various parts so they can form a consensus on the scrubbing.
Spyboy: "Always, Zinda. What's up?"
Abraham surveys Asago, figuring out how he would lay out the cities and farmlands of the world once the faultlines and such are no longer a vital consideration.
[OOC] Abraham: Scientifically, of course.
Zinda Tegram: "Now, knowing you, you're probably fucking with my fleet some how. I don't know for a fact, of course, but just on the off hand…"
Zinda Tegram: "Don't. Or I'll be very cross."
Asago's layout assaults Abraham's sensitivities, in a way that only an alien culture - even if still technically human - can.
Spyboy: "Hey, I'm just waiting for you to say we're good to go to David."
Spyboy: "If you have a good target, a military target, then I wouldn't need to kill time practicing."
Zinda Tegram: "My people aren't 'practice'. Got it?"
Abraham can see some of the logic - staying away from faultlines, near-coastal placement for ease of access to wave generators - but…the farmland. There is so much dead space here, and over there. Is this not supposed to be an artificial planet where even the coasts could have been designed?
Spyboy: "Being perfectly honest here, Zinda…"
[OOC] WC GM: Neither are Zinda's people Alderaan.
Abraham tsks at the…inefficiency of the layout, doubtless at least somewhat intentional. Nothing like Nielnieh where every square meter of land land above sea level is used for maximum efficiency.
[OOC] Spyboy: Wondered if someone was gonna catch that =p
Spyboy: "If anything I made needed to be deployed, it'd either be changed to be beneficial to your people…"
Spyboy: "Or I'd be using it on the people who were backstabbing you."
Spyboy goes dead serious.
Spyboy: "In all honesty, I don't think they will. You've generally got a good balance of scary-intimidation and genuinely wanting the people around you to do well."
Spyboy: "But let's not forget there's a posthuman AI who hates you personally running around the system, shall we?"
Spyboy: "Now, are we going to sit here and argue, or are we gonna head to David to find out how we can stop Kali?"
Abraham resolves to show Zinda his final write-up once he has completed it. The people of Asago has enough to deal with being Zinda's subjects without having to put up with all this waste.
Zinda Tegram: "…Let's get her."
Spyboy: "Damn straight."
Spyboy: "Admiral, I think we're ready to pull out. Your orders?"

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