Session 7 6

Zinda Tegram: "Chandley is…open?"
Gulden: "The radiation would seem to make it closed to traffic."
Zinda Tegram: "That's a solved problem on our end."
Zinda Tegram: "Don't sweat it."
Zinda Tegram: "Just…there's a wormhole in there?"
Gulden: "…I get the feeling I really don't want to ask."
Zinda Tegram: "Wise decision."
Gulden: "You live here long enough, you get survival instincts. Even before it started waking up, this ring has had its share of surprises."
Zinda Tegram: "Survival instincts? Have people died here?"
Gulden: "A few, but that's not your concern."
Zinda Tegram: "I see…I'm sorry for your loss."
Gulden: "At least we think they did; we only recovered about half of the bodies. Sometimes literally."
Spyboy Pearson: "That sounds like…well, you know."
Metis: "It may be of our interes…yes. Dying is bad. We are sorry."
Gulden shakes his head. "None on my team; I didn't personally know any of them."
Zinda Tegram: "I see."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you know what uh, did it?"
Zinda Tegram pats Metis on the head.
Gulden: "We suspect parts of the Ring that weren't quite, ah, fully quiescent."
Spyboy Pearson: "Combine archaeotech, rampant AI, and Nephilim, and you get any number of possibilities."
Zinda Tegram: "…I see. Well, uh…"
Zinda Tegram turns back to the console.
Gulden: "In one case we were able to get sensor recordings that very closely matched an antimatter explosion."
Zinda Tegram: "A-anti matter?"
Gulden nods. "Too much of a bother to be minable. Or that's what our reports said - we'd rather this continue to be a scientific endeavor instead of sold off to industry."
Spyboy Pearson: "Sounds…as typical as is possible."
Zinda Tegram: "…Geez…"
Zinda Tegram: "Who's funding the research?"
Gulden: "Well…to be quite honest, these days, it's almost self-funded. We've tapped a few of the, ahem, 'accidents' for power, and Dakka has delivered supplies now and then."
Abraham: "So technically, the navy, as much as anyone is funding this operation."
Gulden: "Besides, until we restore connection to the Confederation, money is of…less use."
Gulden: "We are not even a dozen inhabited worlds now."
Zinda Tegram: "…Oldziey may have some interest in the research results, if you're ever looking for a financier."
Gulden: "We will keep that in mind, but this research should be for everyone."
Gulden: "Besides, your daughter has full access already."
Zinda Tegram: "Haha, true, but…well, I'm sure you could understand the appeal of a more formal relationship."
Zinda Tegram: "Just remember us, if the time comes."
Abraham studies the thought of Oldziey funding pure scientific research. He does not laugh out loud…but he has to cough.
Spyboy Pearson: "[And I wish them luck at removing her access.]"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Consider Oldziey's current scientific position relative to the rest of the cluster.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: They're behind and they know it.
Gulden nods. "Perhaps when the current, ah, situation is over we can discuss in more detail."
Zinda Tegram: "Yes, certainly."
Zinda Tegram looks back to the console.
Zinda Tegram: "So…what to do next…"
[OOC] Abraham: Yes, they're behind, which means they should, intuitively, be funding /practical/ science. i.e. science with obvious and direct applications. Zinda's willingness to fund /pure/ science is unexpectedly forward thinking of her.
The console impassively fails to look back, with its lack of eyes.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey, so, who do you think we are again?"
[OOC] Metis: This is less 'pure science' and more 'ancient alien artifacts'.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: According to Endless Space, those are the same thing.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Metis is right; this is archaeotech, which is basically practical science unsupported by theoretical science.
Zinda Tegram addresses the console.
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, yeah, typing. ;)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Derp sorry
Console: "You are those who can speak to us. That is all the proof we need of your identity and authority."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Classically, in science fiction, archaeotech is largely pushed by those who want to grasp technology without putting forth the effort required to gain said theory. Such as dictators of systems surrounded by systems with better tech.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Not calling Zinda a dictator, necessarily - strike that, never mind. The important thing is that Zinda funding archaeotech is basically 100% in character with her political position, if not her personality.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Given that her personality tends towards 'OMG it's a rogue AI, can I bribe it with ice cream? No? Then kill it it is', maybe less so.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …You know…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …We've never tried bribing Elles with ice cream…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hahaha
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda considers rogue AI to be usually serious threats
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: But yeah it makes sense for Zinda to try and get in on the white pie
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda would appear to be an enlightened dictator, yes?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: No chance to see that, yet.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda would probably try to do her best by the people, but still prioritize her position first.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Thus far all she's done is put Gregory in charge of day-to-day in the knowledge that nobody will try to topple her on the basis that she'll be coming back.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She's basically greedy.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah she's only been in power for a few days.
[OOC] Abraham: I mean, it took months for 'Thanks Obama' to become a thing…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Important things first.
[OOC] Abraham: Speaking of important things…BRB
Spyboy Pearson tests his blatant lie abilities on the easy targets first.
Gulden: "…if I may ask, how ARE you speaking to it?"
Spyboy Pearson: "So, if we wanted to disable the limiters, how would we do so?"
Spyboy Pearson turns to Gulden before Zinda can answer.
Spyboy Pearson: "I'm sorry, that's classified, at least for the near future."
Zinda Tegram: "…Heh."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm not technically bound by that classification, but…well, I'm sure it'll come to light sooner or later."
Zinda Tegram: "I will say though, the next wave of net infrastructure is gonna be great."
Console: "The same manner as used to disable the formerly-present limiter is recommended."
Console: "Forceful removal followed by thorough elimination, such that it no longer exists to be reinstalled."
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah about that limter, uh…can you tell us what exactly it limited?"
Spyboy Pearson: "You didn't leave anything of it, Admiral?"
[OOC] Metis: That is to Dakka, right?
[OOC] Abraham: Since I was gone, I hope so. Also back.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yeah. Abraham didn't touch the limiter.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …I hope.
[OOC] Abraham: If I did, it would be classified.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Though it's not impossible that Abraham has been Dakka this whole time…
[OOC] Metis: We are all Abraham.
[OOC] Abraham: Wenser, maybe. But Dakka? Really?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Unlikely, yes. Impossible, no.
Dakka blushes. "Aheh…yeah, me and the lads tend to be thorough at using up stuff."
Console: "Everything. Power. Function. Consciousness."
Zinda Tegram: "…Do you have the schematics for it?"
Spyboy Pearson: "It would help if we had schematics so that we could tune our scanners to locate the remaining inhibitors."
[OOC] Metis: We need two more people to ask for schematics now.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Why two?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Eh, I could have rephrased to make it more clear I was responding to Zinda's…
[OOC] Abraham: Because that's what's left of the group.
A burst of data comes through - the radio filters it out, but Spyboy, Heggy, and Metis get a vision of a block. Power - or so it looks like - comes into one end, gets absorbed, and dissipates. The power cables attempt to writhe around the interception, but the absorbed power is used to alter the block to further intercept.
[OOC] WC GM: I am fairly certain PD, at least, has heard the old line about how the Internet treats censorship. Envision that, only the censorship is aware and repositions itself to compensate.
Spyboy Pearson frowns about those power lines.
Spyboy Pearson: "[Those power lines…they'd be the last threat we'd face in reinstalling the removed blockers. And I can't help but remember the fact that even with blocks in place, researchers have still died here.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[I think we may need a more…holistic solution to stop White.]"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Could we just replace the one Dakka broke?
[OOC] WC GM: In theory, yes.
Metis: "[We need more data on how the block functions, which warrants closer examination.]"
[OOC] WC GM: You'd need to rebuild it, though.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: In theory, yes, but the ring would be actively resisting…
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: And the 'schematics' the ring gave us are not helpful.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …although…
[OOC] Metis: We could just remove all the blocks and unleash the ring, riding the wave as mad conquering deities until the eventual death of the universe…
[OOC] WC GM: There's more details.
[OOC] WC GM: *There're
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda's pretty good at building stuff.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Ah, I got the impression all we saw was the 'block.' I suppose that's just the overview.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: -building +growing
Spyboy Pearson looks over his scan records. Does he see any power flows related to the inhibitors?
[OOC] WC GM: That is the overview; you have to peer close to see the details, and the console's AI is not doing so.
[OOC] WC GM: Scan of the local area, or of the whole ring?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Well, the local area would be lacking the inhibitor. Right now I just want to see if my scanners can find the power sources.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Net flickered.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can you still what I'm typing?
[OOC] WC GM: Yes
[OOC] Abraham: ^
[OOC] Abraham: Though you won't catch much fish with a flickering net…
Even knowing what to look for, it is difficult to pick out the inhibitors - until the console provides a map.
Spyboy Pearson looks at the area that the inhibitors are no longer inhibiting. Power source detected?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OK.
Zinda Tegram: "OK, guys, before we uh"
Zinda Tegram: "Free this ancient and probably very powerful Kilrathi AI, shouldn't we uh"
Zinda Tegram: "See what if it's causing the gravitational lensing?"
If Spyboy did not know what to look for, he would have missed it. Even knowing that there is allegedly a power source there, the scans from here are at best inconclusive.
Spyboy Pearson: "Also, I wouldn't call it a Kilrathi AI…just an AI that speaks Kilrathi."
Abraham: "Indeed. This is almost certainly another creation of the makers of the ring."
Spyboy Pearson: "Though, to be fair…what the AI told us doesn't jibe with what's happening."
Spyboy Pearson: "The AI said that it was acquiring resources with the help of whatever's in Chandley. But the particles are actually headed away from the ring, towards the jump point."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Correct?
Zinda Tegram: "Do you think it's lying to us?"
[OOC] WC GM: Correct.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey! Do you have a name?"
Abraham: "It's not… impossible. Theoretically."
Spyboy Pearson: "I…don't think it's smart enough to lie to us. Though smart may be the wrong way to put it."
Spyboy Pearson: "I think it's fundamentally mistaken about what's happening."
Neither Gulden, Dakka, nor the console responds to the name request.
Abraham: "It's also not impossible, that /it/ is being lied to if it's sensors are faulty."
Metis: "[Are you capable of self-examination and extrapolation?]"
Console: "[Aye. 'Tis a requirement to carry out maintenance.]"
Metis: "[Are you capable of deception?]"
Console: "[No context is currently known of where deception would be a useful function.]"
Metis: "[That does not answer the question. Are you capable of deception?]"
[OOC] Metis: It at least did a dodge, so it either doesn't understand or /is/ capable of deception.
[OOC] Metis: But an AI not understanding deception wouldn't be unusual.
Console: "[Deception is possible if it serves a useful purpose. Actions that do not serve a useful purpose are only possible by accident.]"
[OOC] Abraham: I keep expecting us to have to interrogate two AIs at once. One always tells the truth, the other always lies.
[OOC] Metis: Yeah, we're not bringing the door puzzle in quite yet.
[OOC] WC GM: One is an ancient caretaker of an ancient solar-system-spanning ring, the other likes ice cream?
Spyboy Pearson: "Translation: it can lie, and either it sees no reasonable purpose to lying…or it's lying about seeing no reasonable purpose to lying."
[OOC] Metis: I didn't know I had a ring!
[OOC] WC GM: If you do, depending on the type of ring, Zinda may want to have words with someone.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I didn't know this thing liked - well. Technically I figured it was a safe assumption.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Besides, Oldziey has a ring like this now; it's just inactive.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: …but isn't ancient, so doesn't count.
[OOC] Abraham: Stay pure, Metis. Don't fall into the gender-stereotype-that-really-doens't-apply-to-you-anyway of obsessing over jewelry.
Metis: "I concur. Either way, it is advanced enough to be able to anticipate the need for deception, which means that we must consider that it may be deliberately deceiving us."
Zinda Tegram: "Figures."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It never said if it was responsible for the gravity spears or not right?
[OOC] Metis: Rings are useful. Especially diamond ones. They always leave an imprint. But often, brass knuckles are better.
[OOC] WC GM: It has not directly admitted to that yet, no.
[OOC] Abraham: Brass knuckles call a lot more attention to yourself than a bunch of rings though
Spyboy Pearson: "[Can you provide a diagnostic on the resource flow to the ring?]"
Zinda Tegram: "Can you just ask it if it's the source of the gravity spears…?"
Console: "[Nay, for said flow does not exist.]"
Console: "[We gather resources, and implement the directive with help. The help is not here.]"
[OOC] WC GM: …ah, I see the confusion. It said it was gathering resources, and that it had help to implement the directive. These are distinct things.
[OOC] WC GM: It has also said that the "gravitational effects" are being caused by it with help, but it hasn't clarified that.
[OOC] Metis: brb
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: So the dust flow is either a side effect or unintended phenomenon…I can't remember. Is White itself doing anything weird right now?
[OOC] WC GM: The star? It's flickering on and off a partial wormhole.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Gotcha.
[OOC] WC GM: And - slight spoiler: the dust flow is neither side effect nor unintended.
[OOC] WC GM: But neither is it the sole purpose.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Sorry, I misspoke when I said that. I meant unintended side effect as one possibility, while the other possibility was it was directed on the part of whatever's causing the phenomenon from Chandley or the C-W JP.
[OOC] WC GM: Yep.
Spyboy Pearson: "Either the gravity spears are some kind of near-physical connection that the Chandley megastructure is using to boost the White megastructure's ability to create a wormhole…"
Spyboy Pearson: "…or the Chandley megastructure is using the gravity spears to gather material to finish repairs to itself, or construct a fleet, or something else that is even more worrying."
Spyboy Pearson: "Or, of course, both…"
Zinda Tegram: "…Who's offering the help?"
Console: "Unknown. But they speaketh, and we obey."
Zinda Tegram: "Can you put us in touch with them? How are you contacting them?"
[OOC] Metis: back
Console: "They speak by the same means you speak. Relaying coordinates now."
Zinda Tegram: "Excellent."
[OOC] Metis: Pay no attention to the man behind the neu-comm…
Metis, Spyboy, and Heggy get coordinates for a neu-comm relay just outside the Chandley-White jump point.
Zinda Tegram fingers the switch on her torch.
Spyboy Pearson fires off the Nephilim handshake protocol.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Expecting Wenser, though.
The relay fires off its own handshake before Spyboy can react.
[OOC] WC GM: Assuming Metis brings the translation filters on this too.
[OOC] Metis: Yes.
???: "[Are you from home, or one of the heretics?]"
[OOC] Metis: We're the heretics from home! Don't say that.
Zinda Tegram: "[You first.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[We are from home.]"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Absolute truth, there.
Zinda Tegram: "[We are home.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Actually, we'd like you to stop wrecking ours.]"
???: "[…impossible. No native of this space can speak the holy ways.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[We serve the Abrahim. Who are you to say what is possible?]"
Spyboy Pearson crosses his fingers.
???: "[The seekers of the Abrahim actually FOUND the Abrahim?!?]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Really, your notions of possibility are functionally broken, too.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[You barely understand us. Why should it be impossible?]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[You have certainly confused them. They believed that what you have done here is the work of the Abrahim.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[I'm so fucking tired of you bugs acting like you understand us. If we're routinely doing the impossible, then don't you need to revise the concept? We're not the 'special' ones here.]"
???: "[Then please, there is no time to waste! Open the way, bless our homeworlds! Thousands still die every minute!]"
Zinda Tegram: "[…Typical bug…]"
Zinda Tegram: "[You wanna 'enlighten' him or should I?]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[Enlighten him about what? They're relfans. They're nuts. Their whole belief system is based on the fact that some things are impossible, and it shatters their whole worldview when we do some of those things.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Fair enough.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[Or it would, if they'd let it. But instead, the fact that we can do some of those things, edging towards routinely - they slot that into their existing worldview with no problem, and proceed to make assumptions about us based on that.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Your entire belief system and sense of what's impossible is fundamentally flawed.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "[We do some things they think are impossible. They think they're impossible because they're largely incapable of realizing they're going about them all wrong. They see us do it - and so clearly we can do the impossible!]"
Zinda Tegram: "[The seekers of the Abrahim found us, and thought we were the Abrahim for a while until we spelled out how little they understood our culture.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[You'd probably call us Abrahim anyways if you really knew us, but that says more about you than about us.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Understand, alien? Now, please stop destroying our planets, you're acting no better than those idiots who attacked us after the Kilrathi did.]"
???: "[But, but…Abrahim! Thousands yet die every minute! Please, help us!]"
Zinda Tegram: "[…Do you ever understand what you're asking us to do?]"
Metis: "Their entire problem seems like a simple buffer overrun coupled with a memory leak. Can we reboot them?"
Zinda Tegram: "…Do you have an idea of how to do it?"
Zinda Tegram: "[OK, listen, can you stop with the gravitational anomalies so we have time to talk?]"
Zinda Tegram: "[You, personally, are going to kill millions if you continue in that current path.]"
Metis: "Turn them off then turn them back on?"
Zinda Tegram: "Do they even turn off?"
Zinda Tegram: "Metis, you're a good girl, but…people don't have on/off switches."
Metis: "…that is so inefficient."
Zinda Tegram: "Let's try and just talk some sense into them, OK?"
Abraham raises his index finger… then lowers it.
Metis: "Okay…"
Zinda Tegram looks back to the cast.
Zinda Tegram: "Shall we go pay our idiot friend a visit?"
???: "[The gravitational…do you mean the reconstruction of the path to the homeworld? Why would you want that to stop? A few mere millions, once, is as nothing compared to thousands over endless thousands of minutes.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "I don't think we have much choice."
Spyboy Pearson: "[…that'd be millions, so…either way?]"
???: "[A few millions, to save infinite millions.]"
[OOC] Metis: Do we actually know what their problem is, stripped of religious and mystical verbiage?
Zinda Tegram: "[We're coming over there. Shut off the stream now, on order of the Abrahim. If we're going to save all those lives, you must first come to understand our means.]"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Which problem? The one they want us to fix?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That one's entropy. They want brain uploading.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Which Elles can, in fact, provide.
Zinda Tegram: "[Otherwise your salvation will remain but a dream.]"
???: "[As you say.]"
Zinda Tegram: "OK, I think I've got us a reprieve."
Zinda Tegram starts back to her fighter.
Gulden's radio chirps. He listens to it briefly.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey, scientist man, try not to break anything OK?"
Gulden: "…you may wish to take off soon. Our camp is out of the shadow, but your fighters are not."
Zinda Tegram: "We've bought you some time, we're going to go pay a certain idiot a visit and see if we can get something more permanent."
Spyboy Pearson listens to Gulden's radio - oh dear.
Spyboy Pearson: "Oh, dear."
Zinda Tegram: "Alright, let's go."
Zinda Tegram breaks into a run.
Indeed, a certain formerly-gravity-speared carrier is now in freefall toward the Ring.
Zinda Tegram radios Dakka the news.
[OOC] WC GM: Let's see some Agility checks.
Dakka is right there and overheard.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 4 Total: 2) (Agility for Heggy)
Metis rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4) ((Agility))
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + + + + (Base: 4 Total: 8) (Agility to win.)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: MMPH!
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 + - - (Base: 7 Total: 6) (Using Michael's Near-Prescience to sub Tactics for Agility)
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's fighter is being threatened. She gets the lead out.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Is Heggy's roll good enough?
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Agility)
[OOC] Metis: We'll need to boot up a new admiral.
[OOC] Abraham: I'm sitting on my ass, eating Doritos.
Heggy trips, but Spyboy is able to carry her along. Likewise, Abraham gets stopped by initial debris, but Zinda is able to double-back and pull him out of harm's way - barely.
In all, the party takes off mere seconds before the bulk of the carrier crashes down where their fighters just were.
[OOC] WC GM: Wrong genre, but good distance ref: it's about as close as http://i.imgur.com/AhrPBwI.png - the guy in the foreground running away from the thing behind him.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda probably tow cabled a fighter at least.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I hope not. That would imply that a fighter was removed without its pilot…leaving its pilot under the Waterloo.
[OOC] WC GM: A fighter with pilot but without fully warmed up and running engines.
It is either a small miracle that the research camp completely avoids destruction, or Gulden figured that might happen and calculated the debris landing pattern exactly. The latter seems likelier when you see one large sheet of metal land precisely between two buildings and roll through the camp without hitting anything.
Once away from that excitement, the hour-ish trip to the Chandley jump point is about as boring as most intrasystem transits. Moreso, for the complete lack of other traffic or interesting things: the Ring has completely shut itself down again, perhaps directing its energies entirely to maintenance.
At the jump point, the party finds a small buoy, which - as soon as the party nears - transmits. "[This is a recorded message. Honored Abrahim and servants, approach this servitor and it shall open the way to us, and bear its identity that our wards will not rend you upon transit.]"
Spyboy Pearson: "Sweet. Minefield safecodes."
Zinda Tegram: "…Alright let's go."
[OOC] WC GM: And now I am picturing a "Protection from Evil" spell conjuring an antipersonnel minefield in front of a marching zombie army.
[OOC] WC GM: But anyway…
[OOC] Metis: Zombies aren't evil, they're misunderstood.
Zinda Tegram approaches the buoy.
Heggy follows.
The jump point opens, and indeed, on the far side there is an impressive array of mines that fail to blow the party to scrap. Beyond that lie a few high-energy emitters; Abraham and Spyboy simultaneously recognize their intent: to dress up anything returning through the jump point as if it had been bombarded by radiation.
Spyboy Pearson: "….Has this place ever been radioactive?"
Zinda Tegram: "…friggin neph…"
A partially assembled wormhole stabilizer lies around the White jump point.
The wreckage of the stellar wormhole stabilizer still drifts around the star.
Though the one barely habitable planet, even from here, no longer reads as habitable, its atmosphere blasted away; logically it should have recovered a bit of atmosphere by now, but not one measurable from this distance.
Zinda Tegram: "…"
Zinda Tegram records the minefield layout.
It shares some obvious similarities to Oldziey's.
Zinda Tegram frowns, wondering if that's them copying us, us copying them, or just convergent doctrines,
Right down to the serial numbers - though useless cosmetic additions to these mines.
Zinda Tegram sighs.
A part of the stellar wormhole wreckage is inbound to the jump point, being herded by a small fleet of small craft. It is from this fleet that contact is made. "[Greetings, Abrahim and servants! We continue in our effort to build a bridge back home!]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Yes. We would like to speak face to face with you, as a matter of etiquette. Where can we land?]"
Nephilim: "[We have repurposed the native depot as a temporary base. There should still be supplies compatible with your craft there.]"
As the planet turns, the former colony site comes into line of sight. An atmosphere shield can be detected from here.
Zinda Tegram proceeds to the designated landing point.
Zinda Tegram: "Native depot?"
Zinda Tegram: "*Native*?"
Zinda Tegram: "They're the ones who need *our* help."
Spyboy Pearson: "Well, more so than them."
Spyboy Pearson: "And they've established that."
Zinda Tegram: "…well if they want our help, they're going to need to treat us with respect."
Metis: "'Native' is a pejorative?"
Visual inspection on the way down shows that at least no colonist suffered. The buildings look a bit slagged from whatever blasted away the atmosphere; the Nephilim apparently either installed their own atmosphere shield, or activated an on-site emergency one too late to save any human present.
As the party lands, they can even see a few piles of ashes through the broken windows of what was the local traffic control center, right next to the starport's main landing pad. A supply ship takes up most of it - a few more piles of ash dotted around - but there is enough room for a trio of fighters.
Zinda Tegram: "In this particular concept it is, though I doubt they realize it."
Spyboy Pearson: "You know, I don't think that there's a valid military solution to the Nephilim."
Spyboy Pearson: "But every so often, I wish there was…"
Zinda Tegram: "…Yeah. Me too."
Zinda Tegram drops out of her fighter.
Zinda Tegram: "And if we can't get them to listen to us this time…"
Spyboy Pearson: "And if they don't think of it as a perjorative, that's only because they don't understand the term. They were perfectly happy to kill every person on this planet to build a wormhole in a system right next to a disabled but otherwise operational wormhole generator."
Zinda Tegram: "Well. Let's go to work."
If ever there was a ghost town, this is it. Silence echoes around the ruined buildings.
Zinda Tegram fiddles with her torch in it's harness.
Zinda Tegram walks forward, to the designated meeting place.
Spyboy Pearson starts sniffing around for networks. Mostly metaphorically.
Up ahead a Nephilim carries a supply crate, moving in total silence.
The Terran networks are still running just fine, albeit with no traffic.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Nooot worried about…huh. I'd have expected the electron flux to…
Zinda Tegram walks past the Nephilim.
The Nephilim networks indicate about a hundred laborers, and less than half as many pilots distributed through the system - apparently mostly laborers in their own way, quite a few tending the jump points leading to Confederation space.
Zinda Tegram: "…Huh. A lot fewer than I expected."
There is a brief flurry of activity as a Confederation probe jumps in-system. It is systematically destroyed, slagged, and sent back through.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: From Confed side, I assume?
[OOC] WC GM: Yep. Either coincidence, or they noticed something happen.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Probably the latter - there's no reason for White and Grissom to be the only systems with gravity spearing.
Zinda Tegram: "So."
Zinda Tegram: "Who's going to talk?"
[OOC] Abraham: Now /that's/ a logend line

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