Stories from the beyond

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Flamelord
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Flamelord » 20:58:46 Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

Aboard the Roald Amundsen

"God, I did not sign up for this," Ganelev complained he worked the console on front of him, the Bulgarian quite obviously not thrilled. Then again, it was hard to blame him in this situation. To call it chaotic after the collapse of the wormhole would have been the understatement of the year, to say the least. At least it had been aboard the EU portion of the fleet. None could speak for the rest, though it probably wasn't good based on rumors and comm chatter of mutinies on other ships.

Pierre grinned from his own work station, checking the radar and tracking the other ships that they could detect. "Hey, it could be worse," he pointed out. "We could be on a Non Aligned Movement ship." If things were tough for them, imagine what it must be like for a coalition of nations all packed together into a single fleet arm. It had to be hell over there, at least in terms of decision making, if not everyone getting along.

Ganelev rolled his eyes as he glanced over at his coworker. "I would rather be on the opposite side of the wormhole right now, drinking vodka and not worrying about this at all."

"Wouldn't we all," Vittorio called from across the room, manning the weapons at the moment and making sure that no one took any potshots at them in this mess.

At it stood though, things could certainly have been worse. At the very least they had food, they had firepower, and they had allies in the form of the Russians and the UN. If someone like those damn anarchists wanted to take a shot at them, they would pay the price for it. That much the bridge crew knew for certain.

Quiet fell for a few minutes before VIttorio spoke up once more. "Now then, anyone know what we're going to be doing now that we can't get home?"

Freida glanced over at the Italian as she worked at her console, running through computer codes and making sure things stayed on track. "Nope. Apparently the Commodore is currently trying to talk it out with the UN and the Russians, get some semblance of a plan in order. I'm sure they'll come up with something."

"Of course," Ganelev replied with more than a trace of sarcasm. "Like the Americans or the Russians will listen to us or the UN if it doesn't suit their interests. A whole habitable planet down there, and I bet they're just raring to get going and begin the exploitation for their own profit."

"Now that's not fair," Gustav commented with a grin. "They have to work out an exchange rate first, you know?

There were chuckles about at the expense of the NAU, before they were distracted back by the sound of doors opening. "Captain on the bridge," Pierre called as Commodore Vargas entered. He looked a year older, tired from everything he'd had to deal with since the collapse of the wormhole. Well, they all did, so it wasn't that much of a surprise really. But he'd had to ride herd on everything, and keep things from dissolving into chaos, no easy task to say the least. No one in this room envied him at the moment.

"Helm, set a course for the planet," Vargas said as he took his seat. "There's point in dawdling around here any longer." The order was acknowledged and relayed to the rest of the fleet. Indeed, this was not the end of their problems. They would just have to do the best they could, as they headed further into the unknown.

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BgKnight
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by BgKnight » 19:40:19 Thursday, 28 May, 2015

They have a saying in the Federal Space Service, "快一點兒而等" (Kuai yi dian'r er deng), meaning "Hurry up and wait". It was specifically used for space combat situations, where it could take up to a day for the ships to even spot each other, let alone get into actual combat. Space combat was pretty much tedious waiting for days for the ships to maneuver in a position where they would actually meet head-to-head. During that phase of the fighting, most fleet personnel kept busy as they waited for the moment of combat, stuck in the shock-gel to avoid becoming a mush, they would take their mind off of the tedious waiting by reading, arguing or playing complex strategic games on their tac-navs and of course, sleeping.

Which as exactly what Lin Kun Ruan was doing when the alarm sounded in his mind and jerked him awake. He physically felt the shock-gel before his brain-cord pulled him out of his body and into the tac-nav. It had been almost a month since the gate closed and the fleet was now constantly moving forward. The Chinese navy was in persuit of the few smaller ships stolen from the TPP, while they were desperately hurrying to get out of range of the navy's guns. So far, the Cultists were successful and since Ruan was not in the lead ships, he hadn't payed much attention to what was happening.

The alarm that sounded had been sent by the tac-lead of the group, who was directing the outlying forces like Ruan's ships to the Interplaneterial ships, as they were spreading open into formation. They were now a day away from the planet itself and action was about to commence. He had noticed that the entire human fleet ha quickly become mobile following the Cultist and Anarchist revolt on the ships within the navy... or was it sabotage? He didn't care.

"What the..." he muttered to himself in his thoughts, as the shock-gel made it impossible to speak.
*warning* missile ports on Interplaneteriál ship "麥爾坎-X -Mai'er kun X - Malcolm X" detected opening *warning*
As that message flashed out, the fleet commander's voice flooded the comms shutting down all other conversations throughout the Tac-nav. "Defensive formation {甲} jia". It was like that command unlocked something deep in Ruan, as he instinctively grasped the ship with his mind, feeling every nook and cranny and all his men and woman. He swung it to the side and as his mind slowed, time sped up. As battle neared, the bending of the mind, dangerous and harmful for soldiers, was turned on, allowing them to speed up or slower their thinking, so that the world would seemingly change speeds. In the mind of Ruan, the following events happened in mere moments, while they actually took hours.

"Where are the missiles headed" - Somewhere from the command chain
"Keep this channel for orders only, change channel..." - superior officer
"Missiles are suspended around ship Mai'er kun X"
"Confirmed."
"Maintain defensive posture. All other fleets confirmed for switching to defensive."

Thanks to the defensive posture, Ruan's ship was on top of a large bubble of ships that was formed around the capital ship, from there he could get information from the light sensors and "see" a lot of the surroundings of the fleet. His mind was racing as he saw the missiles coordinating in a tight formation around the Malcolm X.

"Confirming that the missiles are forming an array"
"Confirming we are detecting the targeting arrays of the missiles are still active."
"Its a large moving smart mindfield..."
"Confirmed heading towards planet. Current calculations predict they will place it in high orbit"
"They are going to blow anyone trying to enter the planet form this vectoring."
"Confirmed. This means they will block 1/3 of the planet off."
"Requesting fleet wide calculations, can we outpace them." - Admiral
"Very nearly. Cultists and Anarchists might make it, we will come really close. Same with Russians."
"Maintain vectors" - Admiral

With the mentioning of them, Ruan remembered about the Cultists, he now had a nice vantage point to their ships. Or, the scrambled remnants of jumbled light that were reaching the ship at such speeds, at 0.3 c they were essentially doing a very complex game of pin the tail on the donkey. From what his systems were getting, the Cultists were close to entering the orbit. This was going to be super close....
***
"Will will make it?!" the voice was one of the many within the tac-nav of the Cultists
"Do you trust her judgment?" was the answer, it was calm, it was female.
"Yes."
"Then proceed as planned."

The Chinese ships were already gaining on them, as the Cultist ships screeched, slowing down their speed. The engines were whailing, they were already close to entering orbit, so were the Chinese, so were the Anarchists, so were the Russians and so were those maniacs from the Interplaneteriál. At this speeds it was impossible to do any evasive maneuvers on a well placed minefield, as changing direction would also mean having to decelerate and none of the forces involved could actually do this. Which meant someone will end up straight into the Interpleteriál's mindfield. So at this point the Cultists were hoping and betting on a few things, first the fact that they had a head-start to the earthly powers, two that the earthly admirals will pull out at any moment, to avoid blowing themselves sky high and third, that their tactic would work.

The ship finally had slowed enough to enter the atmosphere, and it was not that the real test came about, they could see the missiles of the Interplaneteriál taking up positions and behind them they could see the Chinese ships gaining on them.

"Come oooon!" someone said through teeth as the ship begun its dip to the planet, it took hours, but for them it felt like minutes. Slowly, the missile shield spread out from around the Malcolm X, the Cultists' ships were whaling from the speed hoping to pass through high orbit before missiles had spread enough to reach them and get a trace. Everyone on the ships felt intensely tense, and it could be felt by the silence of the tac-nav, as nearly nobody's throughout were transferred through the machines.

Then that damned ticking sound blared through the quiet tac-nav, like a giant slap to the face to all of the commanders. Just as the ships slipped through the net, a single alarm threw everyone into a panic.
*Missile inbound*
"Confirm number"
"One"
"Who..."
"The King in Yellow"
"Motherfucker..."
"Evasive maneuvers, like we trained"

As the ships entered atmosphere, the air could be felt pressing on the side of the ship, the burning fire from the reentry was dissipating. They were now officially on planet, but that damned fucking abomination of a machine...

"Dump the load"
"It won't stop..."
"Its an order" - the womanly voice came in again

and just like that, from the tanks of the vessels hundreds of bodies came out. The rain of men floated out into the open, not disturibing the missile one bit as it continue its steadfast approach towards the King in Yellow. The speeds were so slow right now, that the missile's continued advance meant that it was closing in fast.

"You promised" the woman said
"I did. This is a singular case, you owe me."
"I will deliver" she answered

And with those words, the targeting system of the missile went insane, the automation battled to maintain its trajectory, it begun to wobble. Then the King changed direction, and the missile continued its course, splashing into an ocean. It was over.

They were through.
***
On the Malcolm X, the booming voice of the Fleetwide AI came to life into the tac-com, immediately shutting down all chatter.

"Automation detected."
"They have an AI?" the Admiral
"Yes, they just used it to the shut down our missile"
"Fucking..."

"Confirming the Chinese and Russian fleets have changed directions, they are spreading in orbit of the planet and we are pending Russian shuttles to be dispatched. The European and Iranian fleets are close-by. The Rest of the Prometheus fleet is will arrive within the week. The Anarchists also went through."

"May god have mercy on the alien creatures."
"Its not god we should be worried about."
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Iss'fayn
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Iss'fayn » 19:54:49 Thursday, 28 May, 2015

+Aboard IPV Patrice Emory Lumumba+

Mani Kalle's nostrils flared as one of the missiles from the Malcolm X scraped past the cultist ship. Whilst the Very Dangerous Array was primarily looking at the local solar system, it had found little information worthwhile. The missiles had retained their proximity tracking, and it had locked on. He had been watching the feed ever since, the tac-map an abstract overlay behind the live stream. He felt himself flying toward the ship, tracking cameras and radar so locked on he had time to count the rivets on its hull. The feed went to fuzzing white and then died. Adroa, the Fleet AI that resided on Lumumba spoke for the first time since it had informed Mani Kalle of the wormhole closing.

"Automation detected."
"They have an AI?"
"Yes, and it just shut down our missile."

He left the feed open and called the Tac-map forward. Marilyn's avatar appeared, concerned.

"They have an AI."
"Indeed."
"And the follow up action?"
"Maintain the array. But refocus on Bozito. Looking out is showing us nothing. Let's track and map in more detail. Add your work to that of Guevara and Abo. And Malcolm's Missile... he did good... It's keeping them all on their toes."

As the last word slipped from his lips, the feed returned, a murky blackness that terminated in a small static eruption on the seabed somewhere.

"It appears we have announced our arrival."
"We need Freshwater".

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Coin
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Coin » 22:02:49 Thursday, 28 May, 2015

"Entering atmosphere now, sir."

The shuttle, launched from the Sevastopol sixteen and a half minutes earlier, jumped slightly as the increased turbulence began to vibrate the vessel. Stefania Yaroslavovna, pilot and veteran of a hundred such descents in a very different star system, kept the comms link to the platoon section behind in the hold. She hoped her sharp intake of breath at the stunning view opening up beneath her wasn't audible - the Republican Guard section leader hadn't looked like the type to appreciate a view when he a had a job before him.

"How many hundred years, pilot, do you think before we deal with turbulence upsetting the breakfasts of Russian soldiers?"

He'd felt the turbulence, at least.

"Not long I'd wager, sir." She couldn't help but grin. Maybe he did appreciate the view."

Over an alien sea the shuttle skimmed, her navpanel flashing two green symbols to her starboard, finally entering the designated area of lower atmospheric entry, ducking through the clouds. Satisfied that the sensors of most vessels in orbit would now be less able to track them, the three slowly began to follow predesignated waypoints in the direction of their target.

"Pilot, this is Captain Sorokin. Open a local comms link with our shuttles."

She did so, and listened intently as the plan was revealed.

Well, Russia never was famed for second measures.

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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Iss'fayn » 22:27:03 Thursday, 28 May, 2015

+Aboard IPV Sun Yat-Sen+

Chen Fang arched her back and rolled her shoulders as she clambered out of the shock-gel tray and into her exo-suit. The scent of food cooking reached the command deck and her stomach growled to remind her she hadn't eaten since Sun Yat-Sen had entered point cee earlier. Now the fleet had dropped into a holding orbit, she was going to take advantage of the opportunity. The exo-suit jacks replaced those of the shock-gel as the machine shuddered into life. She leant forward and pushed her atrophied legs into the straps, wincing slightly as she did so. The pain subsided slowly, as the message from Captain Kalle pinged onto her subcortex. She wasn't about to re-gel though, not until she'd had some udon.

The exo was slow, but it also meant people knew who she was. She got down to the market where Mr. Chow had placed his stand. The heavenly scent of chillies and ginger had tempted her even whilst she was in the strange mindspace of piloting and command. She ordered her box, and grabbed some chopsticks, waiting with relish as the exo ceased whining and hissing and she stood perfectly still. Sun Yat-Sen was one of the newer vessels and some of the vibrations hadn't got to the point that your fillings twitched everytime they fed the reactor. She let Mani Kalle bleed into her consciousness.

"Lucy, Adroa has received latest intel. We're sending you to the following location on Bozito, under the umbrella and out of the way of the awantu, we hope. I'm sending Fidel Castro and Kashetu Kyenge to act as guard-dogs for the short term, though I doubt you need it really. Sun Yat-Sen's superstructure should be able to handle the pressure, and you can use those turrets of yours to pop awantu or interloping sorts too. I'm hoping you'll tap something we can use."

"And flight-status?"

"Don't plan on staying forever. I'm still hoping we get home."

"But..."

"But don't build with an eye to removing it all next week."

A chuckle escaped Chen Fang's lips and then she shovelled a mouthful of udon and chicken with Singapore sauce in between them. She linked in with Fidel Castro and Kashetu Kyenge and conferred textually with the two commanders as a klaxon sounded. First landing at sea. How apposite.

+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Mani Kalle leant back, watching the tac-space in shades of blue and green. The planet below was like a marble as his fleet began to move in parts toward it. The Kwame Nkrumah shifted to a forward position as half of the picquets drifted downward, pairing up with the Marcus Garvey and the Sun Yat-Sen to form 6 and then splitting into two threes. Mani Kalle tuned into a video/audio feed on the surface of the Sun Yat-Sen, just in time to hear the rumble of thunder as the atmosphere broke for the third time that day.
"We need Freshwater".

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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Soverihn » 22:34:44 Thursday, 28 May, 2015

To: IRANIAN HOME COMMAND

From: Commander Najafi

***Begin Playback***

"Fleet command, the vessels have successfully arrived and have completed the rendezvous with our allies in the APV Malcom X. No hostilities have been confirmed thus far with far with the fleets, though we have received unsettling reports the so called 'cultists' have managed to slip from our gasp. That said, the numbers that have escaped are... limited thus far. We assure the Command however, such things are of minor complications and there is no need to be alarmed.

In any case, things are proceeding as planned and at acceptable pace. Our probes have finally set foot and have been set out to map the area. At the same time, the fleet itself is in position; within the next few cycles we shall be arriving at the planet's surface. Contact is to be made with the natives as soon as possible, with negotiations to be confirmed by year's end. You have my word, the investment will be well worth it.

That is all. Najafi out."

***End Playback***

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BgKnight
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by BgKnight » 00:10:22 Friday, 29 May, 2015

From the UN Comms network:

"How fucked are we?"
"We already went beyond fucked a long time ago..."
"By the time earth reestablishes contact we would have committed more war-crimes then humanly acceptable."
"Then we better make sure we can gather our resources and pray to got nobody finds us soon..."
"What... Why wouldn't we want to be contacted b..."
"How long have we been here?"
"A month?"
"Yes, a month. In that time-frame the fleet established a giant mind-field in space over the planet, we had an active rebellion and those same rebels just committed what would be listed as a "first class biological crime" during First Contact. They dumped dead bodies over the fucking planet... we don't even know if the creatures will survive this...

And now each faction is flinging at a different direction... and even worse, the Interplaneteriál and NAU seem to be headed to what seems like two different states. They are about to establish contact outside official channels and ask me do I give a fuck?"

"Do you give a fuck?"

"Not any more. Its each man for himself now."
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Coin
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Coin » 00:43:17 Friday, 29 May, 2015

Aboard the SEVASTOPOL

Relief was not uncommon aboard the Sevastopol, nor aboard the vessels of the Russian Republican Extrasolar Taskforce. It was a feeling universal to almost every man and woman able to come out of weeks of being gelled. No matter how advanced the biorepairs got, no matter how little the doctors claimed it could affect you with full VR software plugged into your brain, nothing beat being on two legs. At least, so things were now. In a generation or two, might men prefer being cocooned in a biodigital world?

The Admiral put such thoughts to one side as he made a quick inspection of the various hangars of the Sevastopol, flagship of the Russian contingent of the Prometheus Expedition. Lifts shot back and forth at tremendous speeds, meaning that what might on foot take hours took less than a few minutes, but even here, gazing at the shuttles being launched to the Istomin, transferring personnel and supplies, the Admiral was still linked to the endless comms chatter, discussions and reports through his biotech. A sudden hail from the bridge, and he was back on his way. The shuttles were returning.

"Bridge, this is Zavoyko. Copy, on my way. Debrief in ten with fleet command council. Prepare a statement for broadcast."

Aboard the NAKHIMOV

Professor Boris Briullov, Theoretical Xenobiologist of the New Moscow State Science Centre, and chief xenobiologist of the Russian Prometheus contingent, had quite literally never been so excited. When he'd married his wife of fifteen years, Lena - also a member of the xenobiology team in the fleet, thanks to a few favours called in - he'd never felt like this. Even the birth of his three sons had been absolutely nothing like this. For the Professor was about to get the honour of studying the very first alien wildlife extracted from Kazbek.

Breathless, he waited on the hangar deck, the blue alien pearl rotating far below them, as the shuttle landed. Slowly its rear door began to open, and a dusty-looking Captain he recognised immediately stepped off briskly.

"Hell Boris, I'm glad it's you. Try to name her after me, eh? She has such lovely features."

Turning to the shuttle, he heard grunts and a strange, guttural squawk.

"What the hell's taking you so long? Off with her men, careful now. Watch you don't wake it up again. Took a few good hits of tranquiliser to get her to sleep, like a fucking elephant."

All the men in the hangar bar the Captain and his men - disembarking carrying several large boxes, from which some movement could be heard - were covered in biosuits, but Captain Sorokin didn't mind. Nor did the Prof. Through the viewing panel on the top of the largest box, the elegant form of a large, winged alien animal lay.

"Time for me to get a bath, Boris. Some other nice specimens here. See if you can prioritise giving me the okay for alien pathogens first, though - left some unfinished business down there."

Aboard the SEVASTOPOL

Everything was as it should be on the bridge as the command conference began. First the basic rundown - crew nutrition, satisfaction, morale and supply; vessel state, armament and upkeep. Then the tactical - news, for instance, of the exact nature of the fairly brutalist method the Interplaneteriat had taken to international diplomacy, and of the last known locations of terrorist forces. On this, Chief Engineer Stavinsky of the Karelia spoke first.

"Sensors picked it up as soon as it activated. AI, of old Russian origin - before the revolution. Probably a black market one - slaved, >70 years of age at least, highly irregular and dangerous. Adopted female identity, to guess from the transmissions. Probably deactivated and divided - in itself dangerous for a sentient AI, even slaved - aboard IP ships prior to mutiny."

The Admiral replied.

"Noted. The Karelia and her crew are to be congratulated on the successful flypast."

"Now it will no doubt have caught your attention that three shuttles are returning from their mission on alien planet codenamed Kazbek. I can confirm that First Contact was made by Russian troops, and we have gained valuable intelligence from the encounter - a full replay from commanding platoon officer, Captain Sorokin, is displayed."


Next to speak was Commander Ouromov, of the Nakhimov.

"Contact was peaceful, but non-communicative. Anticipate news has spread throughout alien primitive channels - radio presumed. Normal FC Level 4 xenoprotocol recommends caution and retrospection before secondary phase. However we are in an exceptionally variable situation. Recommend Stage 2 commences as soon as debriefing of shuttle crews complete."

Murmurs of agreement came from around the table - and even from the usually more cautious elements of the command council, time was notably of the essence for all concerned.

"In that case," the Admiral began, "Stage 2 commences as soon as possible. General Ushakov, ready your troops. Colonel Andrei, make the relevant communications."

A slight pause.

"Finally... we have received a hail. From the Burnyi's hijackers. Rest assured, citizens, that we shall do our utmost to get our men and women back - no matter the cost to any lifeform."
General Transmission - To [UN Taskforce PROMETHEUS] From [Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Zavoyko of the Russian Republican Fleet]

Be advised that First Contact made with alien civilisation on planet. Primitive nature confirmed. Any contact attempts on Sorokin Islands [coordinates 436,773] requested to be vetted via Russian Republic flagship SEVASTOPOL to avoid conflict.

Russian Republican Fleet does not recognise nor respect Interplanetariat attempts to claim full third of planet.

Reiterate primitivity of indigenous society. Potential for accidental loss of life alien/human rated high in FC situations.
*******

The room in which Lieutenant Colonel Golovko, depute Federal Security Service officer on the Russian Republic's Prometheus taskforce, worked was eerily silent. He had always preferred things this way, ever since he'd grown up on one of the barely-manned cargo ships that were the lifeblood of the solar system's colonies. From studying for his exams, to writing a letter, to even - when time allowed, and he knew noone was looking - drawing, silence was a great comfort to Golovko.

Young, reserved, patient and intensely patriotic, he had risen through the ranks of the famed FSB faster than any in his class. Some said this was due to an old-fashioned world view at times uncomfortable with e-democracy. Others that his father - a rich shipping magnate by the time Golovko graduated - had a lot of favours he could call in. Whatever the case, Golovko had applied himself with diligence and humility to every task, no matter how unpleasant. This, however, was far more than gruesome.

Every human being knew that terrorism had become a much greater threat to humanity since she'd made it to her neighbours in the solar system. For whatever reason, fanatics, nutjobs, maniacs and bloodthirsty half-wits had made it their business to use the freedom of space to kill, not to create. He had hoped Prometheus might show humanity's finer sides. This, as he looked before him at the sheet of demands from the anarchists holding ninety-seven Russian citizens hostage, was not that finer side.

His reply, when he penned it, was simple. Mother Russia would not forget her own - not those hostage, and not those murdered by thieves, either.

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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by RinKou » 03:25:17 Friday, 29 May, 2015

The following is a transcript of a conference call between ADA SWANSON-HONG, MISSION: EXPEDITION SVP OF COMMUNICATIONS, RON 'THE DON' JOHNSON, MISSION: EXPEDITION PROJECT MANAGER, and STEVEN HECTOR RAMIREZ, SunseTV SVP of Creative Direction occurring from 0645 to 0715 localized time, NAUPDS-ARC EAGLE IN ORBIT. MISSION: EXPEDITION is a production of E-MTV, an SunseTV company, a subsidiary of American Fox Warner Broadcasting Company.

ASH: -he fuck do you mean we're out of Squeeze? I can't eat this Royal O shit. What do I look l-
RDJ: Ada, darling, you're on the line.
ASH: Ron-Don, hello! How's the Don doing this fine morning?
RDJ: Better than you, hon. I heard about the Squeeze.
ASH: Oh, you don't even understand, Ronny. You know who thought it'd be alright to even bring off-brand oranges on this trip?
RDJ: Oh, don't even start, girl. These North Shore kids are so, so, so ki-illllllling me right now. You know what S-Jay just did? She asked if we had fucking Eesti. Fucking Eesti. Like, we are fifty bajillion light years from Earth and she asks if we have fucking shit tier bargain barrel - I'm not even going to call it vodka. It is like, potato flavored piss. And the answer is yes, we have your fucking shit tier bargain barrel potato flavored piss, you no-talent orange colored dimebag. We have it instead of, I don't fucking know, aaaaanything that you wouldn't find at a Kroeger-Walmart because it's in your fucking rider.
ASH: I'm so fuck-king done with these North Shore kids. I really am.
SHR: If you two are done bitching, we have business to discuss. Like the dire lack of ceviche on board.
ASH: Oh my god Steve, don't even talk about fish. I haven't had fish in fucking ages
RDJ: I don't know what it is about you two and fish. But then again, maybe that's why I
ASH: Suck dick? Oh my god, Ronny, why do you have to be so fucking vulgar all the time?
SHR: Alright, no, seriously guys, business - S-Jay and G-Dot and fucking Kimmy Z are getting antsy and I don't think they realize that M:E has been, for all intents and purposes, effectively shelved forever.
ASH: Maybe we can space them and sell the footage to the Chinese. You remember how p-o'd Weibo was when KTown got axed? They'd love this shit.
RDJ: Oh my god yes. And let them take their fucking Zara garbage bags with them.
SHR: Hahah, no, but next best thing. We're sending them down with the Citrus Sinesis. Bossman wants our camera crews on the ground in case we ever get out of here. And, for, you know, history.
-silence-
ASH: Wait.
RDJ: You mean you're sending me down there?
SHR: I'm not-
RDJ: What the shit, Steven. What the fuck are you doing?
SHR: I'm not doing any-
ASH: Bullshit! This is bullshit! You're not sending him down there, Steve, I fu-
SHR: It's out of my fucking hands!
RDJ: The fuck it is, Steven. We don't even have a show anymore. I'm not going down there. You said it yourself, we don't have a fucking show anymore.
SHR: This isn't a fucking show anymore, Ron. It's history.
RDJ: Do I look like a fucking historian to you, Steven? Do I? Does fucking G-Dot look like a historian to you?
SHR: This is out of my hands, Ron. I'm sorry.
ASH: Bullshit you're sorry, Steve. You never gave a shit what happened to Ronny. Oh my god this is so fucked up.
RDJ: I'm not going.
SHR: I'm sorry. It's out of my hands. Shuttle's going to be taking you to the Citrus at 11:30, Ron. Get your things in order.
RDJ: I'm not going, Steven. You can tell the Arcturus boys to do whatever they want, but I'm not going.
SHR: I told you this is out of my hands, I can't tell them anything.
ASH: This is so fucked up.
SHR: I'm heading down too, Ron. Second shuttle, but I'll be down there too.
ASH: Why are you going? Why - and you didn't tell me about this? Oh my god, we're never going to see each other again. Why didn't you tell me?
SHR: This is bigger than all of us now, Ada.
ASH: Don't try to make this about 'all of us', what about us? Ground quarantine is fucking indefinite Steven, why didn't you tell me?
SHR: This is bigger than us, Ada. Goodbye.
SHR has disconnected.
Heartache by the Numbers: Caravan Master

If you say that prancing mailman of a GM is ever going to run the gangster game WELL THEN I SAY GOOD DAY SIR -oyid

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Smyg
GETTIN' REAL TIRED OF YOUR MACHIAVELLIAN BULLSHIT, GESAR
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Smyg » 14:58:38 Friday, 29 May, 2015

"God damn you all", the Australian officer spat. "We must take immediate action, to ensure we receive a large enough share of this planet. No more talk!" His Indonesian comrade nodded in agreement, if hesitantly. "No!" their New Alban colleague responded, her voice booming. "We must avoid contact, who knows what diseases they carry, or what hazards we might face? We're too few." The Israeli-Palestinian commander remained quiet, looking unusually indecisive. As did the lone Ridgecliff soldier, the Eros Labs scientific chief, the small handful of Polystaters, and the other Non-Aligned representatives who did not possess significant forces of their own on the expedition. Finally, the Israeli-Palestinian spoke up, if quietly. "Dr. Mason?"

The whole room turned to Abidah.

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Snacks
rhetorical masturbation
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Snacks » 19:27:33 Friday, 29 May, 2015

Aboard the KING IN YELLOW

"...Missile went into the ocean, Ma'am. We're clear."

Seul-ki breathed a small sigh of relief, the shared joy at having made it through the landing palpable, but immediately turned her attention to still-pressing business. "and the bodies?"

"Confirmed burning up as expected during entry: the message is sent, but they shouldn't cause any harm to the natives."

"Good, now let's take stock of the situation: Ford, we can discus what you want later. Now, what's our situation, everyone?"

"Entry damage minimal, though obviously the turbulence was rough on some of the airlocks opened during. Seems to be the worst on La Montaña Sagrada, but even that should be repairable within days, once we put down."

"Where will we be putting down, anyway?"

"She has already given instructions as to that. Navigational crews should open the prepared files now. I shouldn't need to remind everyone now that we are not running into this like the stagnant imperialists. First, we have introductions to make, so be on your best behavior. Now: alter course and begin preparations to drain shock gel. We're not landed yet."
---
Aboard the Haute Tropique

"Oh thank fuck," Johnson leaned back, letting his head loll to the side, "we made it. We all made it!"

The navigation room seemed to share the sense of nervous relief, the momentary jubilation joining them with groups all over the small cultist fleet in acting quite unlike the average person in the fleet's idea of an insane cultists.

His superior, Natal didn't seem to share his enthusiasm, "until the next time, at least."

"Hm? Chief?"

She shook her head, "I don't fucking like it. We knew it'd be close if we all made it, but that was too damn close. The King has that AI, Lucy Ford: it should have solved the problem right away, but it didn't, even though it would have been blown to kingdom come along with us, or isolated when it tried to jump to one of their ships and hide. That goddamn pile of code was fucking with us."

"That statement is worryingly close to speciesism, Natal," the voice of Captain Fields chimed in.

"Sir, nothing against AIs in general. Just this particular one that we've decided to get into bed with."

"My chief navigator's concern for our safety is noted. I'll discuss the issue with the Herald later. For now, open the prepared files: we're making Landfall, and I trust you to get us there."

"Yes, sir. Not even the Russians could stop us from making Landfall now," The rest of the navigation crew fell silent as she opened the encrypted document on their destination and first contact procedures. She visibly paused, blinking when reaching the information about their destination, and continued on."

"...Something wrong, ma'am?" Johnson asked.

"No, sailor. Just...huh, that's where she wants to go first. Probably going to make a stir, from what little we know. Then again, I guess that's our thing."

She sighed, "Time to make some new friends, I guess."

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Iss'fayn
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Iss'fayn » 22:52:00 Friday, 29 May, 2015

+Aboard IPV Marcus Garvey+

Francis kept the Mighty Dub loud on the bridge, whilst Maelcum and Aeron smoked a joint. The two security chiefs sprawled across their chairs. So far the awantu had been hiding from Marcus, and bothering Lucy so much that Francis had his group return to Sun Yat-Sen after a brief conversation amongst themselves and fleet. The video footage from Marcus, Nasreddin and Kwame Appiah was being pored over by technicians on Leonie Abo already. Mani Kalle had agreed that it was worth sending it to the UN with some notes and observations.

The slow movement across the surface of the globe heading toward the ocean where Sun Yat-Sen had partially submerged gave Francis time to think. Lucy was using the ocean to fuel and cool Sun Yat-Sen and the column of steam was visible from five klicks distant. Around the bulk of Sun Yat-Sen a varied flotilla had gathered, which was broadcasting and communicating looped messages in a variety of methods. They definitely had radio. Francis made sure they crawled that last 5 klicks. He didn't want to create a bow-wave and sink something below by mistake. The four small picquets circled lowly above the water, keeping the aliens from getting too close. Lucy's avatar appeared beside him and Francis smiled to her.

"You're popular. They hid from me."
"I'm sure they're in awe of the fact you were scaring them in their homes just 3 hours ago."
"Probably. Any clue as to what all this radio noise is?"
"None yet. Adroa and the linguistic team on Lumumba are going nuts over it though."
"Are we saying hi yet?"
"In which language?"
"Point. Do we have any idea if they all speak the same language."
"Do I look like a linguist?"
"Sorry Lucy. How's it going?"
"Couple of months, same as the linguistics team."

Francis nodded a little. "I'll stay here for now. Let me know if you need anything. Crew, parts. A raid for manufactured goods..."
Lucy laughed. "We'll have to make a foundry and start cracking out rifles and artillery."
Francis pinched the bridge of his nose. "I hope to God we don't bring all our baggage with us."
Lucy stared past him for a moment, and then Francis glanced to his right. Mani Kalle had joined the call.
"We must not let the mistakes of the past be repeated. You know what happened in Congo."
"We need Freshwater".

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Coin
Mise, Pangur Bán agus PILOT WHALES
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by Coin » 22:53:00 Friday, 29 May, 2015

Aboard the KARELIA

"Stavinksy, this is command. You are go for launch one, over."

The Ryazan class medium vessel Karelia shifted course slightly as the hangar's alert systems activated, the ship pivoting to face the planet. Now that the analytics of their flypast - and, most interestingly, the cultist AI - were done, they had a new mission for a vessel that never failed to surprise. Chief Engineer Fyodor Stavinsky, certainly, had been impressed by her adaptability for the role of support vessel, helping coordinate the fleet's movements and monitor nearby fleets and the planet itself.

Now, though, they were giving that work to something else. Or subcontracting it, at the very least. How very American, he thought to himself. Hailing the shuttle pilots as they powered their engines, his order was brief.

"Launch is a-go. Cargoes to retain geostationary positions upon release; monitor for anomalies before proceeding to subsequent targets as noted in TacHub. Deploy."

As one, the six shuttles slowly began to move towards the empty vacuum of space, accelerating hard for the planet's upper atmosphere. Not quite as advanced as some of the ground landers available on the Sevastopol and Nakhimov-class ships, they were nonetheless ideally suited to what the 3rd Beta Drive Engineer had termed "eyeballing".

He returned to the Engineering Hub in time to see the first dots appear on the relevant TacHub substrate, the six shuttles assuming different positions. A quick thought later, and he was able to see the landers returning or departing as well, their landfall still disguised somewhat by heavy cloud and ever more inventive pathfinding to any inquisitive observer.

"Won't matter soon, in any case," he mumbled.

It took seven hours for the mission to come to an end, the last shuttle having had trouble adapting their last orbit's vectors with interference from other human paraphernalia in orbit. But the twenty-four green dots on the TacHub were - at least to Stavinsky, who had planned the network himself with a heavy dose of simulator runs - something approaching geometrical beauty.

"Command, this is Stavinsky. Advise eyes are open, all sensors replying. Twenty four satellites now in orbit of Kazbek. Uploading encryption scrambler - ETA on feed to Command is seven minutes."

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BgKnight
George R. R. Martin in space and with less talent
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by BgKnight » 23:09:51 Friday, 29 May, 2015

***UN Summery***
Confirmed first contact at various points. Stop.
Confirmed no aggressive activity as of yet. Stop.
Confirmed air on the planet is breathable, but will require expanded lungs. Stop.
Confirmed no trees. Stop.
Confirmed jungles exist, but made out entirely of shrubbery. Stop.
Confirmed United Nations ships dispatched. Stop.
Confirmed construction works of Interplaneteriál and Russian vessels in isolated locations ongoing. Stop.
Confirmed clear danger of Interplanetriál missiles, avoid. Stop.
Confirmed Iranian ships passing through Interplaneteriál shield, unknown heading. Stop.
Confirmed Alien Species groups in large herds. Unknown function in society. Stop.
***End UN summery***
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RinKou
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Re: Stories from the beyond

Post by RinKou » 03:21:45 Saturday, 30 May, 2015

UN RESOLUTION XXXX
MOVEMENT TO PRESERVE PEACEFUL FIRST CONTACT
RECOGNIZING that the Prometheus Expedition has discovered an alien planet and peoples
RECOGNIZING that this alien species is sentient, sapient, and civilized
RECOGNIZING that first contact with these peoples has been made

Also

RECOGNIZING that seditious factions have committed a Class I Biological Crime during first contact
RECOGNIZING that Interplanetariál and Russian Federation vessels have begun construction of structures on the surface of this alien world
RECOGNIZING that the Interplanetariál fleet has deployed a VLA of autonomous munitions to deny a significant region of LPO from other arms of the Prometheus Expedition

The NAU Fleet Arm of the Prometheus Expedition proposes:

ARTICLE I: NON-AGGRESSION

-Prometheus Expedition members will refrain from military action against these alien peoples, except in cases of self-defense
-Prometheus Expedition members will refrain from military action against each other, except in cases of self-defense

ARTICLE II: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

-Prometheus Expedition members will be allowed free movement across the planet and its orbital regions
-Should the Interplaneteriál fleet wish to maintain their VLA for surveillance purposes, all ships must be allowed passage without regard to nationality

ARTICLE III: CESSATION OF ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT

-Prometheus Expedition members will make no effort to create permanent structures on the surface of the planet unless explicitly given permission by the appropriate planetary authorities

Signatories:
Ryo-Long Kim Co., CECO TPP-NAU Prometheus Expedition
Heartache by the Numbers: Caravan Master

If you say that prancing mailman of a GM is ever going to run the gangster game WELL THEN I SAY GOOD DAY SIR -oyid

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