Author Topic: Rise of the Wrix  (Read 14367 times)

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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 10:17:57 AM »
10 December 2008
"I have some bad news and some good news."
Kappa was addressing a full conference of queens, including the new Alpha hive, even though her hive was absolutely tiny at less than a thousand drones and had to borrow computer equipment from Beta.
"First, the bad news is that my projections indicate that we will run out of the transnewtonian metals before we manage to fully establish an offworld colony. I have hinted at this before, but I have since been able to use more accurate consumption data for the projections which have confirmed my earlier suspicions. The good news, however, is that my scientists have developed an ground penetrating scanner that can be used from orbit to find metal deposits. With just a little development time, I will have a full design for a ship to go explore some of the closest planets for mineral deposits."
"Kappa, your refusal to include us in research decisions is starting to become more than a little irritating" Lambda said.
"We have no input on the Swarm's future direction. We only find out what you have been working on once you finish your research" Gamma added.
"The research facility is mine and mine alone" Kappa cut back. "As such, I will choose what is being developed. If you are unhappy with this arrangement, go build your own."
Delta had to suppress a smile.

10 February 2009
"Why do you insist on these command reshufflings?" RZ-67-CGA asked IM as she handed her the last report she would present from her current Armoured Division before she moved to her new command. Over the past several years she had repeatedly moved between the 7th and the 8th Armoured divisions a number of times.
"A number of reasons, my dear RZ. Are you sure you want me to bore you with the details?" IM answered as she scanned her report.
"Might as well. It just seems silly and wasteful to me to expend resources to transfer all of us every two-odd years as you have been doing."
IM-39 smiled and dumped the report on her simple desk before setting off to her next appointment. "But it keeps you on your toes, yes?"
"Yes, I have to start almost from scratch every time I get transferred!" RZ complained, following behind. "Every one of us commanders does things differently."
"Exactly!" IM replied. "Each of you have your own styles, with their own strengths and flaws. By shifting you around once in a while I get far more effective training for the troops for the resource expenditures involved. It far outweighs the rather minor costs associated with moving your commands around."
"I see. But doesn't it also prevent us from forging an effective team with our divisions?"
"I'm not moving you around that often" IM said. "But that is also part of the thing. I need you to be flexible so that you are capable of taking command of any division I assign you to. In case of combat I expect there to be casualties to both divisions and commanders and I feel you will all be more effective if you are able to quickly adapt to a new command."
They walked in silence as RZ seemed deep in thought. "Don't you find it strange that while our industries have become vastly improved by the new technology, our soldiers are still using the same old weapons?"
"They are?" IM asked. "That sort of thing isn't organized by me but by the original hives. I just handle the general administration of the divisions."
"Yeah. I keep feeling a bit out of date. Surely some of these new metals can be used to develop some sort of next generation combat capability?"
"Perhaps, RZ. I'll keep it in mind, but so you know, our development capability is severely restricted at present and nobody really has any wars going. Our priority is getting our industry updated. Now, however, I must bid you farewell as I have another appointment."

8 March 2009
Gamma receives the blueprints for a 1900 ton scoutship using conventional engines from Kappa called the Swaard Class. While its top speed is a 'mere' 105 km/s, once trans-newtonian engine designs become available it will be only a single refit away from being an excellent geological survey craft.
When pressed about why she had changed her mind about waiting for the new engine technology before starting ship construction, she blames research delays and mineral shortages.
Of course, Gamma copies the engine and survey equipment designs for herself before she starts construction. The estimated completion time is in November.

What exactly is happening:
Research into geological survey sensors is completed.
Command reshufflings take place and I make a big deal out of it because I am bored.
Construction starts on the Swarm's first Geo Survey Vessel. I would include its design, but, frankly, its not very interesting. Some sensors, 4 conventional engines, bunch of engineering bays. Yawn.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:43:02 AM by Rabid_Cog »
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 04:48:52 PM »
10 August 2009
IM-39 was intently focused on a data tablet. A drone had fallen into one of the smelters and the rest hadn't even shut off the system. Not that they could save it, but now the entire batch of metal was completely ruined. The resultant carbon enriched sludge had shown a few interesting properties...
She noticed a Wrix waiting patiently for her attention. "Yes?" She asked irritably without looking up.
"PC-49-LQN from Beta hive reporting for duty, First Governor. I want to do my part for the Swarm."
IM looked up. From her well developed headcrest, it was clear that PC-49 was a queen and not just another drone.
"Well, we can always use more competent help, but I have DH-51 down the hall handling all new arrivals. I have informed all the hives that she is the one to contact with new Infertiles."
"Ah, thank you. I will head that way" she said and turned away.
It was only after she was already halfway down the corridor that IM's brain woke up.
"Wait, did you say Beta hive?" she shouted after PC. "That's impossible. Beta killed all her Infertiles until recently and there has not been enough time for any new queens to mature since the new Beta took over."
PC stopped and looked a bit sheepish. "Well, I never said I was infertile..."

IM, PC and a few other trustworthy infertiles were sitting deep in the underbelly of IM's command facility. It had once been part of Lambda's hive, but when IM was called up as First Governor, she needed a place of her own she could operate from outside the influence of any of the Hive Queens. Lambda had gifted her a small, outlying part of her own hive that was rarely used any more and she had had all connections to the original hive sealed off. Among the drones it had become known as 'Swarm Hive'.
"When I saw Beta get shot on the video screen, I tore the throat out of the drone that was supposed to watch me and ran for it. None of the other drones had orders to stop me, so none did" PC explained.
"You didn't stay to try and claim the hive?" IM asked.
"Hah, the whole thing was too convenient. Some other queen clearly had everything already wrapped up so my chance at a takeover was zero. Even if that wasn't the case, there were eight other fertile subqueens in Beta hive at the time so the odds were against me. And if I tried and failed I was dead. No, my best chance of survival lay with running for it."
"Then you traveled over five thousand kilometres to get here?" DH-51 asked.
"Well, the truth is that I had planned on coming here some time ago and had prepared for it quite a bit. I had even planned my route and had a few supplies for the journey stashed away. Beta's death had just forced my hand."
"Incredible. And you say that you have done extensive studies in the areas of chemistry and physics?" IM asked. This was more for the benefit of the other Infertiles who had not been privy to that particular conversation.
"When you are forbidden from doing any actual work by a paranoid Queen but have unlimited reading access to the hive archives, you have to keep yourself busy somehow. Not the scientific stuff though, theory always bored the hell out of me."
Further discussion revealed that PC could significantly increase the production of shipyards and was nearly as skilled as IM herself at organizing mining output. The only problem was that if any Queen found out about her fertility, they would demand to have her executed. Only Infertiles were allowed to work in the Swarm command structure by order of the Queens, who only trusted the Infertiles with that kind of power as they could not reproduce on their own and were reliant on the Queens to provide the work force for anything they attempted.
Regardless, the decision was made to allow PC to stay, even if only as a small gesture of defiance against the oppressive Queens. They could not allow her to reproduce, however, and she would have to take the same hormone suppressants other fertile subqueens had to take to prevent them from entering the reproductive cycle in the hives. Still, they were taking a risk.

Wrix are humanoid with a long, flexible tail and a chitin exoskeleton covered by skin that makes them seem to be wearing body armor under their skin. While tough, it has no chance of withstanding even low velocity bullets. In queens, the tail also permits reproduction. Under normal circumstances, every fertile queen enters a reproductive cycle once every few months in which the skin of her tail swells away from its bony exoskeleton. Over the course of about a day, it forms a rather sensitive 'blister' that covers the entire tail. If, at this point, the blister is punctured and drained of the nutrient rich soup it contains, the reproductive cycle is aborted and the tail returns to its original form in short order. In more primitive times, this was how fertile subqueens were prevented from laying eggs without killing them, but recent advances has allowed the production of hormone suppressants which prevent the cycle from starting in the first place..
If the blister is not disturbed, however, it continues swelling over the course of a month or so until it becomes roughly the size of a small truck. During this time, the egg-laying organs inside it also begin to form and within another week or two, the huge, gray bloated sack of what appears to be slush starts popping out eggs at a rate of between one and five every ten minutes depending on available sustenance. Long before this, of course, the queen becomes unable to move around due to the large, heavy egg sac attached to her rear and becomes forced to remain in one place.
In nature, this is a position she would maintain for nearly the rest of her life, capable of moving only by abandoning the egg sac and 'pulling out' her now rather raw tail from the sac of slush.
Technology, however, has provided other alternatives for the Wrix queens. Modern queens pull out as soon the sacs reach maturity and, before the sacs die, are replaced by tubes leading to large nutrient pumps and electrodes which stimulate the sacs to continue producing eggs, much like the central nervous system of the queen would have.
Once this is done, the queen is free to leave the room and the egg sac will continues to spit out drone producing eggs on a regular basis. It is not unusual for a queen to have numerous different egg sacs, all operating simultaneously and, in fact, this is the only way large hive populations can be achieved.

What is really happening:
A somewhat good civilian administrator joined. First one all game, besides IM-39, so I started something I had been planning for a while.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:43:25 AM by Rabid_Cog »
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Offline Ektoras

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2012, 01:04:25 AM »
I can imagine, in the future, a Swarm Queen only.  ;)

 

Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2012, 01:52:34 AM »
I still haven't quite figured out how the Wrix are going to react if they run into the Star Swarm, seeing as they are practically cousins. Well, space-inhabiting cousins. Fine, they are to each other what humans are to flying, space breathing monkeys, so maybe they aren't that close.

Anyway, there will be some command and control... alterations in the future.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2012, 02:06:17 AM »
20 December 2009
The Swarm's first spacecraft, the SC Amber, is finally ready for operation. It had been finished the previous month already, but being essentially a prototype, it had undergone extensive testing before being declared ready for duty. Now, all that was needed was a competent captain.
Several of the queens, including Gamma herself, were favouring a drone only crew complement (preferably her drones) that would take all their orders directly from a queen or the Swarm Command Structure if it had to. Reason eventually won the discussion, however, as there would be significant delays in communication with Wrixom as soon as the craft moved more than a very short distance away from the planet and it was decided that a captain was needed to be able to make decisions on the spot.
Once again, the Swarm looked to IM and her Infertiles as there were no other real options. HN-31-OZY from Gamma Hive was chosen by consensus despite her genetic condition that resulted in a severely weakened immune system as she had shown a knack for both surveying and operation of the new orbital survey equipment.
Of her own violition, and since nobody had made any other suggestions, Gamma orders her shipyard to begin construction of another vessel of the same class.

HN's orders from the queens had been clear. Survey the closest stellar bodies to Wrixom for minerals and any other interesting features and send back the information as it becomes available. With this in mind, she gives her first orders and the Amber sets off towards Scylla, Wrixom's only moon.

21 December 2009
"We have completed survey operations on Scylla" the HN's voice spoke from the speakers. The video was halting and grainy due to interference from the nearby solar bodies. The drones were working on canceling it out and promised smoother video links in the future.
All the queens were listening to the HN's communication, but because they couldn't agree on who actually were to speak to her, the honour fell to IM.
"And what were your results?" IM asked. There was a second or two delay in the transmission due to the range and all the queens were holding their breath. Minerals on Scylla would be easily accessable, even with nothing but the primitive engines they currently had available to them. Everyone wanted to be the first to exploit it.
"Nothing. No trace of even a single transnewtonian mineral. Scylla is dry."
There were numerous sighs of disappointment from the assembled queens.
"Are you sure, HN?" IM asked again.
"Well, I have found a slight bug with the survey equipment. Not a bug, really, more of a limitation. There are a few ground formations that resist penetration, so below that, who knows? A dedicated ground team would be able to get a more complete picture. What I can tell you, is that it is very unlikely that there would be very much to mine in any case."
"Thank you HN. Continue to planet five and begin scanning it and its moons" IM said.
"Yes, First Governor" HN replied and broke the connection.
The Swarm's first offworld survey operation was off to a most inauspicious start.

4 February 2010
The first offworld transnewtonian minerals are found on the sixth moon of the fifth planet around the primary. Good concentrations of five minerals are found, including duranium, in quantities larger even than what Wrixom was estimated to hold. The queens, and especially Kappa, were ecstatic. Her projections have just been getting worse and worse as mineral use climbed and she had been starting to get afraid there simply wasn't enough minerals close enough to get the Swarm off the planet.
The fact that they still had no way to extract the minerals, as the moon was completely uninhabitable, did not seem to dampen their spirits any.

14 March 2010
Someone rather interesting had arrived at the Swarm Hive, and IM had no idea how to handle the situation.
"Queen Delta, what is the meaning of this?" IM asked, flabbergasted. Hive Queens never left the safety of their hive, yet here stood Delta, in the flesh, right next to her.
"IM! I was between reproductive cycles and feeling rather bored in my big, stuffy hive so I decided to pay you a little visit. You know, to see what exactly goes on in Swarm Hive. Now, lets have the royal tour."
Delta brushed past her, followed by a number of abnormally large, bulky drones. Her bodyguard.
"Delta, isn't this a bit dangerous?" IM asked, almost in a state of panic. "There are drones of numerous hives here, constantly running about. Not to mention all the Infertiles like me, we have no loyalty..."
Delta waved her off. "Nonsense. There are other kinds of loyalty than genetic. Why would anyone want to harm me here, after all?"
"If you had just given me some warning, I could have..." IM tried but Delta cut her off.
"Now that would have been dangerous. Give my enemies time to smuggle a tactical nuclear device in here? I think not, for both our sakes. Now isn't this just wonderful? Look how industrious everyone is!"
Delta had turned in one of the larger rooms where a number of IM's assistants were setting up work orders and planning schedules for the drone teams. None of them paid attention to the new entree.
"Er, yes" IM tried to recover. "This is one of the..."
"No time, no time!" Delta cut her off and began walking again. "Can't stay long, so we must move along." IM had to rush to catch up. Delta breezed through a few more rooms, barely ever staying still long enough to look at everything before moving on but continuously and loudly commenting on how hard at work everyone was.
Only when they reached an empty corridor in one of the quieter areas of the complex did she lower her voice. "IM, did you know that our video links are not secure?"
"What?" IM asked in confusion. She had always assumed that private conversations were exactly that. Private.
"Yes. It is rather safe to assume that anything you say over any private connection is common knowledge. Sad but true."
"How do you know this?" IM demanded.
"Because I'm tapping a number of other queens connections as we speak. And they are doing the same to mine. There is a whole next level to this political game you are not even aware of, IM. But, don't worry about it. Just thought you should be aware. For your own sake."
IM's thoughts raced as her mind raced to figure out all the consequences of this new knowledge. "The research lab! Then your project is no longer secret!"
Delta nodded. "Indeed. I know Lambda knows and I suspect Kappa is aware. Who else, I am not sure. But that is not important. What is important is that everyone who knows is pretending they don't, which means they think they can get some sort of advantage out of this. Also, I think your facility is bugged."
"What?" IM was really out of her depth with all this clandestine stuff.
"Of course. Why did you think Lambda was so eager to give you a facility of hers? She probably has so many listening devices here she can monitor your heartbeats. I'm also certain the other queens aren't far behind, you yourself said there is little to no security here."
"I'll have to address that immediately" IM stated. She was more than just a little shocked.
"Don't bother. They'll just know something is up and this lack of security is the only reason they give you so much free rein. They don't need you to give them hourly updates, they get it themselves. Makes things easier for everyone involved, don't you think?."
"Wait, wouldn't they be listening to us now?"
Delta smiled and shook her head. "That's why we are talking in a corridor, smaller chance they bugged it. Also, one of my guards is carrying a jammer and activated it just now when I gave him a signal, just in case. All they are getting is static."
"So that's why you came here? To tell me all this?"
"Not exactly. That new fertile you have taken under your wing, what is her name again? PC-something, isn't it? I wanted to discuss that with you."
IM groaned. Of course, that particular bit of information would also be nearly public knowledge. "Am I in trouble?"
"For being sloppy? Yes. But we may be in luck. I had a drone sweep that room you and your stooges were chatting with her in and while it did find another listening device beside mine, it appeared to have malfunctioned some time ago and had not been replaced."
"What about in my office, when PC had just arrived?"
Delta shrugged. "You will have to bluff your way out of that one, if anyone asks. Shouldn't be too difficult. Just say you sent her away when you found out. What I want to know is whether you would, potentially, be willing to take another fertile queen. On the sly, of course."
"Another one?" IM hissed. "Why?"
"Well, let's just say that this particular queen would be very useful to you and to the Swarm in general."
"I don't know, Delta, I'll have to see. I have to remain impartial..."
"Don't worry about it. I think I have my answer anyway. Now, however, we must continue the charade. The tour continues!" They had reached the end of the corridor, so Delta gestured to one of her guards who flicked a switch on a small device he had been carrying in his hands.
After only touring a few more rooms, Delta excused herself, saying that she had important Hive business back home that she had to take care of. As quickly as she had arrived, she was gone again and IM realised that her visit had been just under an hour in total. Clearly she had set herself a time limit. Most likely so as to not give one of the other Queens time to react.

What exactly is happening:
First spaceship completed, yay! Too bad its slow as all hell with a max speed of 100km/s. Still, slow and steady gets the job done, especially when you have nothing better to be doing.
First few surveys were disappointing, especially Scylla (the moon). Would have been a easy couple tons of minerals. P5 M6 has some nice things, though.
Delta's visit? Wait and see  ;D
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:45:04 AM by Rabid_Cog »
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2012, 11:52:49 PM »
19 March 2010
Mineral reports kept coming in from the Amber as she worked to survey all fourteen moons around planet five. Each time a positive survey result came back, there was a feeling of elation among everyone involved. IM kept meticulous track of the finds and their locations, which now amounted to three different moons, and had already begun formulating ideas for future extraction. Of course, the Queens, and more specifically Kappa, might have their own ideas for what must be done.

27 March 2010
The survey of the planet five and its moons is completed. The Amber is ordered to head to planet three, which is the closest solar body at that time.

24 April 2010
Planet three is found to contain over thirteen million tons of Duranium, the most commonly used trans-newtonian mineral. Even better, the deposits are quite accessable with a rating of 0.9 (out of 1). Unfortunately the other minerals, while numberous, are not so easy to reach. Still, Kappa states the find to be 'significant, as it assures our long term Duranium supplies'.

24 May 2010
"Are the survey reports from planet four in yet?" Kappa asked IM over the 'private' link. IM hadn't forgot what Delta had told her about what happens behind the scenes and how secure these links actually were.
"Just arrived. Large quantities, but most of it tough to get to. Over twenty million tritanium at 0.9 accessability, though." The other queens had by now mostly lost interest in the individual survey reports. They were mostly of academic interest anyway as no decisions would be made until a more thorough report was available.
"So that's two minerals we will have plenty of. Only nine more to go" Kappa observed dryly. "Although planet four would be an excellent spot for our first off-planet colony, I think."
"What about our cooling sun? Surely it would have the same problem we have now."
"Yes, but it is actually a little hot for Wrix life as it is. As our sun cools, it will become more comfortable to live on, at least for a while. It will perhaps buy us as much as fifty years. That should be sufficient time to complete our move to the secondary."
"By the way, what is the Amber doing now?" Kappa asked.
"On her way to the asteroid belt. Unless that is a problem?" IM replied.
"No, no, not at all. Any mineral deposits in the belt should be easily accessable. A nice short term boost to our industry. You are doing a good job as always, First Governor."
"We still have no way to properly extract these offworld minerals, Queen Kappa."
"Do not fret, when the time comes we will find a way."

14 September 2010
The second Swaard Class survey vessel is completed. The SC Amethyst's commander is chosen to be CR-25-SML, another Infertile who had proven herself skilled at surveying. Ironically, as with HN-31, CR-25 suffers from a minor genetic ailment affecting her lungs. Once again, it is believed to be inconsequential as the controlled environment on board a starship would protect her and possibly extend her lifespan.
There is some discussion among the Queens as to whether the Amethyst should be dispatched towards the secondary. Calculations show that due to the rather favourable current positions of both Wrixom and the secondary the trip there could be completed in less than three months. As the Swaard class had been designed with long endurance in mind anyway, the risk involved with being that far away from a safe berth and a repair station is deemed acceptable. After speaking with Kappa, who eventually admits that she is quite a bit more than three months away from a working prototype for a new engine, the mission is confirmed.
The Amethyst sets off towards the first planet of the secondary, from where it will perform a geological survey of the planetary system.
No further ships are constructed in the Gamma Yards, but another wave of expansion is planned.

6 December 2010
The Amethyst begins her survey of the planetary system surrounding the secondary.

19 February 2011
The Amber finally completes its survey of the primary bodies. Since it does not have an asteroid belt, the survey of the secondary is expected to be completed much sooner and should be finished shortly as well.

19 March 2011
The Amber arrives back at Wrixom. Its crew and HN in particular are fully debriefed in the Swarm Hive in the presence of representatives of several of the Queens. They also undergo full medical analysis to determine any detrimental effects of long term space missions. While a few are found, none are serious enough that it would prevent such activities. Several workarounds are even proposed by a number of designers.

Queen Gamma was not happy. "What do you mean we can't implement the changes? We built the damn ship in the first place, didn't we?"
"Yes, your majesty and while we would cetainly be able to take the ship apart and put it back together again, our biggest problem is worn out parts. We simply do not have the facilities to manufacture spares or perform repairs without disassembling the ship." The chief of Gamma's shipyards was attempting to appease his queen, but the look on her face said she wasn't satisfied that easily.
"Then take the damn thing apart and put it back together again when we need it!" she shouted at him.
"But, your majesty, Kappa's notes that came with the design said that once her engines were done, we would only need to refit..."
"If you would prefer to serve Kappa, get out of my sight!" Gamma screamed and threw her console at him. "And someone begin taking apart that ship!"
And so it happened that the Hive's first ever starship was unceremoniously scrapped.

What is really happening:
Second geo survey ship on its way.
Most of the system is surveyed, not too bad minerals. More complete details will be forthcoming.
Too bad when I tried to overhaul the thing I realized I hadn't built any maintenance facilities and had no plan to for the next few years. With only a four year expected lifespan on the Swaard class, there was no way they would survive. So I scrapped one for parts when it got home. It was pretty much obsolete anyway.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:45:47 AM by Rabid_Cog »
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2012, 04:42:26 AM »
4 June 2011
"Gamma, what have you done?" IM asked. Only after the last component was offloaded planetside did the Swarm figure out what was going on. "That ship was the first vessel ever constructed by the Swarm, and you just scrapped it."
"That ship was crewed by my hive and built by my hive. I had full right to do with it whatever I pleased" Gamma stated.
"You blithering imbecile!" Kappa shouted. "That ship was designed to be easily refitable. All it needed was some new engines..."
"Really? When? Because that ship would have been nothing but an orbiting heap of scrap by the time you got around to getting me some new engine designs!" Gamma retorted.
It rapidly devolved into a screaming argument between Gamma and Kappa. Both accused the other of crippling their chance of getting off planet through their total incompetence. The other Queens did not intervene; everyone knew Gamma and Kappa were the two major players in the Swarm.
Eventually, when it became clear no end was in sight and things were about to get even uglier, IM interrupted: "Hey! Cut it out, both of you!" She had never spoken to a Hive Queen like that before, much less the two most influential Queens in the Swarm. For the moment, they were too stunned by the outburst to continue their argument.
She continued: "Gamma, if you feel ships built by your shipyard are your property then by my power as First Governor I hereby confiscate it for the good of the Swarm and all Wrix. If you have a problem with this, feel free to take it up with the six Army divisions under my direct command and whatever the other Hives are willing to provide, which I suspect will be rather more. If not, I will consider allowing your drones to continue operating it."
Then she turned to Kappa. "Gamma was correct in saying that we had no way to maintain the Amber, and I suspect we will have the same problem with the Amethyst once it returns. While I do not agree with her action of immediately scrapping it without considering the alternatives, we are still in the process of upgrading our factories and I doubt we would have been able to construct maintenance facilities any time soon, so perhaps it was the correct decision after all. Industrial decisions are mine, not yours."
A few tense moments followed as Kappa and Gamma stared at IM, whom they had so far regarded as nothing but a glorified clerk.
"I think its about time a cooler head started making the decisions around here" Delta chipped in before either of them could respond to IM's brazen rebuke. "Don't the rest of you agree? Personally, I'm getting rather tired of these power games when we are all facing extinction."
Many of the smaller hives nodded agreement while Kappa and Gamma seethed. As long as the majority of the hives still supported IM, neither Kappa nor Gamma could make any direct move against her. Delta would pay, though...

9 July 2011
Another shipyard expansion is completed. The last planned size expansion is then started. Over two hundred conventional industries have by now been converted into equal amounts of specialized mines and construction factories. IM briefly considers converting a few of the industries into other kinds of facilities or shifting some industrial capability to assist Delta in completing the research facility sooner, but eventually she decides to leave priorities as they were. In the longer term, Delta will benefit more from more upgraded factories than she will from some more resources assigned to the facility in the short term.

6 August 2011
The Amethyst reports that she has completed her survey of the planetary bodies orbiting the Secondary and has sent all her data to Wrixom. She is ordered to return to home, but due to the rather unfavourable positioning of Wrixom compared to the secondary, the journey back will take almost twice as long as the trip there had taken.
Regardless, the Swarm now possesses significant geological data for the solar system simply known as Home. IM sends a package containing a summary of this data to all the Hive Queens. Home contains the following:
-Two planets around the primary contain large quantities of minerals, but most of it would be difficult to extract. Only one of them is a viable colonizable world.
-Three of the moons around planet five, the gas giant, contain minerals but one contains little more than trace quantities.
-Four of the planets around the secondary contain massive quantities of difficult to extract minerals.
-A large number of asteroids in close orbit around the primary contain varying amounts of minerals with perfect accessability. Assuming the Swarm can get to them, somehow.
-Of particular interest among the asteroids are asteroids 117 and 87. They both contain sizable quantities of minerals, with asteroid 87 containing all of the minerals which Kappa has projected they would need the most of, Corundium, Neutronium and Duranium.

What is really happening:
Amber is scrapped, shipyard is expanded and survey results in a nutshell. If somebody wants a more complete breakdown of mineral deposits, let me know and I'll post one.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2012, 04:51:47 AM »
Interlude
Perhaps it is a good time to take a break and provide a summary of what is going on and all the personalities. Perhaps a bit of history and future plans as well.

Current activities are depressingly few. Most factories on Wrixom are busy converting conventional industries into TN factories and mines. Maintenance and fuel refineries are considered unimportant and will rather be constructed from scratch later. The Amethyst is on her way back to Wrixom, although her fate when she gets there hasn't been decided yet. She will most likely be scrapped as well.

Characters
Kappa can best be described as a technocrat, although that is not quite accurate. While she certainly favours technological development, most of it stems from the fact that she controls the most advanced research facility on the planet and the only one equipped to conduct research into transnewtonian technology, for now at least. Her hive is situated on a large island, which her forbears had fully conquered ages ago. This has allowed her to commit far more resources to technological development than her competitors. She enjoys her current position of most influential Queen in the Swarm due to this fact and would prefer to wait for better technology rather than make do with what she has. The constant delay while research is being done also keeps the whole Swarm dancing to her tune.

Gamma is a bit of a brute. Not as pigheaded as Beta was, but she still considers military might the greatest asset to a hive. She has little taste for subtlety and prefers direct action. Despite the fact that Gamma is currently the single most powerful hive on the planet and crews the only shipyard the Swarm has at present, she has still been mostly ineffectual and had no choice but to let Kappa and even the upstart governer IM-39 walk over her as her military might meant nothing in the face of the global catastrophe hanging over all their heads. This has, as you can imagine, not done her mood any good. Despite all this, she is probably the second most influential Queen in the hive, simply because of her hive's size. As soon as ship production starts in earnest, her importance will most likely grow even further and hence she is very much in favour of building something, ANYTHING at all.

Lambda is a mystery. Her hive is smaller than either Kappa or Gamma, but large enough to be considered a 'major' hive. Yet, nobody is quite sure how she attained that position. She was originally a small hive sandwiched between two much larger hives, which allowed it to exist only to be a buffer between them. But over time the other hives shrank and hers grew until she completely swallowed up all their territory. Now, with the assassination of Old Beta, she has obtained a reputation as a ruthless spymaster among the other Queens and every subqueen, fertile and infertile, is considered a potential agent of Lambda. Most of this is just paranoia, but Lambda's quiet, reserved nature and careful, calculated actions have not done anything to dispel these notions. She also maintains the best electronic intelligence network on the planet, but rarely acts on her knowledge, preferring to see how things play out.

Delta's hive is comparatively very small to the other major hives, but this is not because she has large and aggressive neighbours. Rather, most of her 'territory' consists of mountains and frozen tundra. She simply cannot support a larger hive. The harsh environment has forced her to be very devious and ingenious, however. Her hive was the most technologically advanced besides Kappa before the formation of the Swarm and already she punches far above her weight class influence-wise due to her 'friendship' with the First Governor and common sense approach to the internal politics of the Swarm. This exact influence is starting to haunt her a little, however, as it has drawn the attention of particularly Kappa, who might soon start to consider her a threat that must be eliminated.

Old Beta was pigheaded, old-fashioned and considered downright stupid by many of the other Queens. It was merely her good fortune that her hive was located far away from Gamma or any other of the major powerhouses. Still, she had already been forced to cede a part of her territory to the surrounding small hives when the Swarm was formed and all conquest was halted. She had not fit in well with the Swarm.

New Beta, henceforth simply known as Beta, on the other hand has been aggressively dominating the smaller hives around her. Military conquest was banned, but through threats, bribes and sheer force of personality she had bullied them into a cooperative alliance with her hive that rendered them little more than subjects. She has been careful not to attempt to swing her weight around in the Swarm in similar fashion, however, knowing that she was comparatively weak militarily and not yet respected among the stronger Queens as it had clearly been Lambda that put her in power. Also, technological advancement has resulted in the capability of hives to project power and move troops further and faster than ever before and it would be a mere three hour trip for Gamma's shock troops to arrive at her doorstep. The truth behind her relationship with Lambda was far less spectacular than the other Hives believed and consisted solely of a hidden receiver left where she could find it, a cryptic proposition and a single demand. She had simply gone along because she had nothing to lose.

Alpha was the true agent of Lambda, although with her cover now blown and in possession of her own very young hive, she has very little further use and very little desire to work with Lambda anymore. As such contact has dropped off to almost nothing. Instead, she has attached herself to Beta now, her closest and most powerful neighbour. While suspicions between them are still high after Alpha, with the help of Lambda, planted a hidden bomb in Beta's hive to force her to give her her own hive after the death of Old Beta, queens are very pragmatic and quick to forget a grudge if greater gains can be made elsewhere.

IM-39-VVU was thrown into this tangled web rather against her will and is a little out of her depth. She obtained the position of First Governor by being the most qualified person on Wrixom that did not already have political connections and ambitions. While this made her the perfect candidate, it has also left her a bit naive as to how the Swarm truly functioned. Since her inception she has grown considerably more savvy, much to the irritation of the other Queens who had rather been hoping for an impressionable sock-puppet that would favour their hive above the others. Now she does not hesitate to stand up to even Kappa, despite the fact that she could be very easily replaced by the Queens, should they agree on it. Her somewhat selfless dedication to the work and the greater goal of getting off the planet has so far kept her position secure.

While there are a few more minor characters that have been mentioned before, namely the captains of the survey ships HN-31 and CR-25, the Armoured Division Commander RZ-67, the fertile subqueen who had sought refuge in Swarm Hive PC-49 and the Queen of Rho hive, enough time has been wasted and as they begin to play more important parts within the swarm, their characters will be duly explored. For now, back to the action.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2012, 02:38:54 AM »
6 January 2012
The Amethyst has finally returned. There is some discussion as to what to do with it, but eventually it is agreed that due to the lack of maintenance facilities, scrapping it is the only viable option. Then a tiny hive named Epsilon presented an idea.
"Perhaps we are being hasty. The Amethyst has some transporting capacity, right?" Epsilon asked.
"Hmph, not much. Can't even get a hive settled anywhere with it" Gamma replied.
"Of course. But can we move a single team with the equipment necessary to sustain them?"
There was a bit of confusion as plans and designers were consulted before Gamma eventually answered: "Yes. I believe we can, although it might be a bit of a tight fit."
"And our survey sensors leave some blindspots, correct?"
"That's right" IM replied. "I think I can see what you are getting at, Epsilon."
"What? What is she getting at?" Gamma demanded, rather angry at being out of the loop.
"We use the Amethyst to move a team of survey experts with portable equipment and supplies to a few of the planets around the primary" Epsilon explained.
There was a general chorus of consensus among the Queens, when IM-39, who had been examining the designs of the Swaard Class, cut in.
"We might have some difficulty bringing them back with the Amethyst."
"What do you mean?" Kappa asked.
"The Swaard is only designed to operate without external maintenance for around four years. We have no idea how long the survey would take, but it could be far longer."
"Is that a problem" Gamma asked. "Any drone would gladly sacrifice their life to serve the Swarm."
"Perhaps, but good luck recruiting an Infertile to lead the expedition. We dislike suicide missions. Since we have the available shipyard capacity, it should be quite simple to build a courier ship to move the team around."
Kappa already had the plans for the Swaard in front of her. "Yes, look here. We can strip off the survey sensors and reduce the number of engines. She might be slower but should last a very long time. Good if we have no plans to build maintenance facilities."
It was decided. A team would be assembled to further explore the mineral riches of the primary planetary system and designs would be drawn up for a tiny transport vessel.

The result is the Hecate class Courier. Unfortunately, the shipyard is in the middle of being expanded. Since there is no rush to produce the cheap Hecates, it is decided to wait for the expansion to be completed before it is refit.

HN-31 was just a little bitter. Gamma had had her ship scrapped without even bothering to inform her. The first she had heard of it was when she had enquired as to her next orders. She was simply informed that her position as captain had been 'eliminated' because her ship had been scrapped.
Still, practicalities were the order of the day. She still suffered from her little 'condition' and out in space in a controlled environment was her best chance at survival. When she had been asked whether she would be willing to lead a ground team to further explore the mineral deposits of the Home system, she had leapt at the chance.
It hadn't taken her long to gather her little 'team'.
"The Swarm needs these minerals. We are the front line of the defence against resource depletion. We have a duty."
Her team was gathered in front of her, along with their equipment. A few infertiles and about thirty drones would comprise the 'expedition'.
"We will most likely not be returning home any time soon, so if that bothers you, get out now. If you stay, you plan on pulling your weight and not complaining."
Behind her, the Amethyst had landed in a clearing and drones were busy loading supplies. The mission would get going as soon as everyone and everything was on board.
"Our first target is planet three, the closest planet to Wrixom at this time. It is a harsh, inhospitable place, so say your final goodbyes to this place. You might never see it again. Now, mount up!"
Slowly, everyone began boarding the Amethyst.

6 January 2012 (again)
The Amethyst touched down in the clearing once again, after barely starting to get airborne, to the confusion of the drones below. A team of drones disembarked from the ship and ran to a large container that was lying inconspicuously nearby. Together, they managed to carry the big box onto the ship.
"Alright, do we have everything NOW?" the captain asked.
"Yes, thank you captain" HN replied. "I do not know how we managed to forget the main survey array."
"Good. Because I am not putting this bird down again. She wasn't built for it. Now, prepare for takeoff! Again."

4 February 2012
HN-31's geology team is dropped off on planet three, along with a basic habi-base and enough food and other supplies to last them a few years. They immediately begin setting up the survey equipment as the Amethyst heads back to Wrixom on what will most likely be her last journey.
For a while, HN-31 and her team was going to be completely alone and unsupported.

What is really happening:
Planned scrapping of the Amethyst is delayed so that it can drop a geology team on a nearby planet. I actually just want to start training the team up without doing it on places where I really want to find minerals.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2012, 03:05:39 AM »
29 February 2012
The Amethyst's stay of execution is at an end. She arrives back at Wrixom and, to the dismay of her captain, is immediately ordered to the shipyard for deconstruction. The ship had safely carried its crew all the way to the secondary and back, a monumental distance for such a primitive craft, but its time was up. The Wrix were not exactly sentimental.
After the crew's final disembarking, her captain, CR-25-SML takes only a single look backwards as the first cutting lasers bite into the hull of the Swarm's last remaining starship.

4 March 2012
"What do you mean you are done?" IM demanded.
"Exactly what I said. We finished the ground level survey. The whole planet is now mapped" HN replied after several seconds, the normal delay for communications at the distances involved.
"But you only arrived there a month ago!"
"Turns out those dark patches on the scanner was pretty much all Sorium that was crystalized due to the incredible pressure. Its crystalline structure caused some reflections and refractions, which is why the ship couldn't get a clear reading. Once we got down to ground level and started drilling a few test holes, it was pretty obvious what it was."
"Sorium? You mean the stuff we make fuel from?" IM asked.
"Yep" HN replied. "That's the stuff. There is a fair amount under here, about hundred thousand tons by my calculations, and not too hard to get to either, I'd say about a 0.6. The only question is, what are we supposed to do now?"
There was some shuffling of papers as IM and her assistants checked up on a few things.
"Okay. The shipyard upgrades are scheduled to be completed in less than a week. As soon as it is done, the Hecate will be put into production. Sit tight, we will hopefully have you off of there within three months. The Hecate will then be at your disposal to move you wherever you need to go."

14 March 2012
Gamma Yards finish their expansion and immediately begins preparing to build the new Hecate couriers. IM has ordered a batch of four to be built to start with. With expected unmaintained lifespans of over twenty years, these ships should last a while, even if no maintenance facilities are built.

19 April 2012
"First Governor, the Gamma Yards have finished their tooling for the new courier vessel" a drone reported.
IM was in her office, going through a rather disturbing report of the death of one of her Infertiles. There had been an accident at one of the factories...
"Then get started, why bother me with this? I'm busy."
"Umm, there is a bit of a problem, First Governor."
"What?" IM barked irritably.
"The slipway isn't available. It is still busy deconstructing the Amethyst. It won't be available for another..."
"I don't care! I said I was busy, can't you sort it out yourself? Build another slipway or something."
"Yes, First Governor."
It was only a week later, when the first shipments of minerals had already arrived at the shipyard, that IM realized that the drone had taken her suggestion as an order. For better or worse, the Gamma Yards was going to have a second slipway, even though it would never be completed in time to construct a Hecate.

What is really happening:
Scrapping of the Amethyst starts.
Geology team finishes survey of planet four, 100k tons of sorium at 0.6.
Retooling for Hecate finishes, no slipway available. Construction of second slipway starts.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2012, 01:40:16 AM »
24 May 2012
The last component of the Amethyst leaves the shipyard, and construction starts on the first Hecate.

14 July 2012
"And how long have you had this cough?" the medical drone asked.
"No more than a few weeks, can't recall exactly" IM replied. "It sort of came and went. Was never this bad before, though."
This set off another fit of coughing that had her doubled over.
"Hmm." The medical drone flipped through the file of her test results. "Well, I have some good news and some bad news."
"Typical" IM mumbled.
"The bad news is that its genetic, as I am sure you suspected as well. See here? Your lungs are essentially failing and fluid is leaking in. The good news is that we caught this early. Now, a cure is impossible, but we can control the condition, slowing it down or possibly stopping its progress completely. You will never be what can be considered 'healthy' but with proper care and if you take it easy, you will probably outlive every drone on the planet."
This was a far less impressive statement than it appeared. Individual drone lifespans were rarely over twenty years while queens could live up to the ripe old age of eighty.
"Gee, thanks. But taking it easy isn't exactly possible for me, you know? Being First Governor and all. I kind of have responibilities."
The medical drone shrugged. "If you take it easy, you might die. If you don't, you WILL die. Your choice."
IM was wracked with another coughing fit that had her clinging to the examination table. "Fine! Can you at least do something about this damn cough?"
"I guess we can operate to remove the damaged lung tissue. That should reduce the irritation. Are you up for that? Surgery will be available within the next few hours" the medical drone stated.
"Alright. Just give me some time to call a conference. I will need to discuss some things among the Queens."

"What was important enough to warrant an emergency council?" Kappa demanded. "I was sleeping."
"It appears I might be dying" IM responded.
"Is that all?" Kappa asked. There was a general lack of interest from the Queens who had attended the council.
"I cannot perform my duties anymore. Not all of them, at least. I want your permission to assign an Adminstrator for Wrixom" IM asked before embarking on another coughing spree.
"What exactly will this Administrator do?" Lambda asked.
"Industry. Nothing else. Organizing our industrial base takes by far the most of my time and requires me to fly around to factories all over the planet. I simply don't have the strength to do that anymore. I'm going into surgery in an hour and I need your go-ahead right now."
"Fine, fine, who do you have in mind?" Gamma said.
"PC-49-LQN. She is a recent arrival from Delta hive and very qualified" IM lied. PC was in fact the fertile queen from Beta hive, but she was the most qualified person for the job. IM didn't have time for petty politics and paranoia.
Delta raised an eyebrow, but only remarked: "I'm not sure she is right for the job, IM. Regardless, we will discuss this another time. Good luck with your surgery."
The Queens agreed, with several outright complaining about being bothered with such a triviality. If only they knew.

29 July 2012
The Sir Frances Drake Hecate class courier rolls off the production line and is sent to pick up HN-31's geological team. IM-39 is still recovering from surgery, but is up and about already. PC-49 is taking care of the day to day operation of the Swarm, but she has shown far more interest in the shipyards than the factories.

8 September 2012
The Francis Drake arrives at planet three and loads up HN's team. The extra crew space means that there is plenty of space for the team and all its equipment. It then sets off towards planet two, the closest one at this time.
Due to a mixup at the shipyard, the construction of the second Hecate starts late.

22 September 2012
HN's team is offloaded at planet two by the Francis Drake. They immediately begin checking for further mineral deposits.
Back on Wrixom, the lack of war and conquest has resulted in a sharp increase in the quantity of drones available for work. The population is estimated to have climbed by 30% since the formation of the Swarm as Queens use this time of peace to expand their hives. Also, the number of new hives have climbed dramatically as areas previously too conflict prone are now available for settling.

7 October 2012
Moderate deposits of Gallicite totalling about hundred thousand tons are found under a sensor resistant layer of bedrock on planet two. Unfortunately, none of the other previously unscannable areas appear to have any new minerals, so HN once again proclaims the planet fully mapped. The Francis Drake picks up the team and heads for planet four.

The Home system is interesting in that it does not have a planet one orbiting the primary. At least, not anymore. Wrix scientists and astronomers have determined that as recently as within the last ten thousand years, there had been a planet even closer to the sun than planet two. They theorize that as this planet's core had cooled, it had become more brittle and less able to withstand the intense gravitational tidal waves of their sun. Eventually, it had broken apart, forming what is now the inner asteroid field. That, or perhaps it had just been hit really hard by a stray moon. Whatever the reason, the asteroid belt has a spiral pattern indicating its young age.

What is really happening:
Amethyst scrapped, Hecate built, Geo team shipped to next planet.
IM gets a medical condition  that drops her health to 'good' from 'excellent'.  :(
And I notice the pretty spiral pattern of the asteroid field  :)
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Offline Ektoras

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2012, 04:09:39 AM »
Poor IM she did not even get some love from the Queens. On the other hand her illness brings more power to PC and if she survives she can become the Queen of the swarm.  ;D

I think good health is ok, but generally i do not notice how much the leaders live if they are ill, i only notice the effect after they die  :P
 

Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2012, 12:48:21 PM »
The average queen is a total self-serving bitch. IM probably has a genetic flaw that makes her so 'nice'. Perhaps she just lacks the driving ambition of fertile queens, knowing she can never spawn herself.

HN, the geological expedition leader, actually had 'fair' health when I assigned her to to the Amethyst. Never even saw the event that she got sick, but ever since I've kept my eyes out for it getting worse. So far, nothing. I suspect a leader can go a long time with reduced health and only gets really sick if he/she gets unlucky with the RNG again.
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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2012, 12:52:48 PM »
25 October 2012
"Finally, a planet I can walk around on without a damn spacesuit! Those things are hella cumbersome." HN stretched and breathed deep from her portable oxygen tank. Planet four was damn near habitable, the only problem was that the air was a little thin to breathe. Still, it wasn't toxic and already supported some fairly primitive grasses.
She turned back to the Francis Drake parked right behind her and watched as drones carried the sensitive survey equipment down the ramp. The heat was a bit oppressive, but she could see why it was being considered as a potential first stop for the Swarm.
When the last crate was offloaded she gave the order and the Francis Drake lifted off again. Hopefully, they would find something interesting here.

5 November 2012
The second Hecate, the Henry Hudson, is completed in the Gamma yards. PC orders a delay in the construction of further Hecates, as the second would be idle for the immediate future. Instead, she begins to draw up a few of her own plans for a freighter. No matter how she tries to cut down, though, she just can't fit it into the construction capacity of the Gamma Yards. The cargo holds are simply too large.
Eventually, she gives up in frustration, but does not stop thinking about it.

6 March 2013
"So, how are you feeling, IM?" Kappa asked. The question was not motivated by a concern for her well-being, it was rather more pragmatic in nature. If IM died, the Swarm would need a new First Governor.
"Much better thank you. I have fully recovered from my surgery and while I do not think I could run too far, the drugs are helping me to mostly control my condition. It should not interfere with my duties, but thank you for asking nonetheless."
"That is good to hear, IM" Delta said.
The conference was nothing out of the ordinary, IM reported on the state of the Swarm to the Queens every once in a while and it was usually a very boring affair. Today, however, a bombshell would be dropped.
"Before we start with the report, I would like to make an announcement" Delta interjected.
"Very well, if you must" Kappa said. She always found the proceedings very tedious. Her spies have already given her a more complete picture anyway.
"As some of you might be aware, I have been secretly building a research facility to rival that of Kappa for the past several years."
It was as if someone had sent an electric shock through the Queens, especially Kappa. While a number of them had been aware of this, none of them had expected Delta to admit it so brazenly. Their plan had been to wait until it was finish then stumble upon its existence 'by accident' and confiscate it by force, hopefully destroying Delta in the process. At least, that was what Kappa had planned. Her admission had just moved things up a bit rather unexpectedly.
"What?" Kappa demanded, still playing ignorant. "This is unacceptable!"
Oh dear, IM thought to herself. This was going to mean war.
"Let me finish, please" Delta asked. "Construction is now a little more than halfway along..."
"This is an outrage! I demand you take action to punish this rebellious behavior, IM!" Kappa shouted.
"... which is why I have decided to put it fully at the Swarm's disposal" Delta finished.
"I demand we deploy our military... what?" Kappa interrupted herself.
"Yes, as soon as construction is finished, the facility will be turned over to IM and her dedicated assistants" Delta answered. "Of course, in order to fully make use of this facility, we would need Kappa to share all results she had obtained so far."
"But..." Kappa began, but couldn't think of anything to say.
"On behalf of the Swarm, I accept, Delta" IM stated, smiling. "I also believe you are right. Once this facility is completed, Kappa, you will no longer be able to direct our research as you see fit. For the good of the Swarm, there will have to be some coordination."
Kappa finally found her voice. "How dare you!? The Swarm was my creation, how dare you think you can take it away from me like this?"
A few other Queens were quick to spot an oppertunity when one presented itself.
"Kappa, she is right. The optimal situation is no longer for you to make all our research decisions, so your own excuses for doing so are no longer valid. When the facility finishes, you will turn over all the data you have and any future research will be a cooperative effort" Gamma stated.
"Good idea. In fact, I can see us building many more of these facilities now that Delta has shown us the way" Lambda added.
"You!" Kappa screamed, pointing at the screen. In her rage she had forgotten that nobody else could see she was pointing at Delta. "This is all your fault! Did you think I would just let this slide? You have humiliated me, Delta! You will pay!"
There were a few seconds stunned silence before IM responded. "Kappa, I suggest you get yourself under control."
"No, she is correct" Delta interjected, once again surprising everyone. "I feel so ashamed. I had no idea you would react this way, Kappa. I... I have humiliated both you and myself. In fact, I think it would be best for all involved if I stepped down from my position as Queen of Delta Hive. Would that appease you, Kappa?"
If news of her secret research lab had been a bombshell, this was a nuclear bomb. No Queen had willingly given up control of their hive before. Ever. Nobody knew how to react.
"I... I don't..." Kappa began, completely unsure of how to respond.
"Regardless, it is done. I will designate my successor and you will never see me again. I bid you all farewell. Long live the Swarm!"
Then the screen marked Delta went black.

Delta sat back from the console and breathed a sigh of relief. It was over.
She gestured to her personal medical drone who had been waiting in the background with a bag of equipment. "I want you to trim my headcrest. Cut it short and assymmetric as well if possible. I want it to look as if my genetic code is flawed. Are the other preperations in place?"
"Yes your majesty. Just as you commanded."
"Good. And you informed none of the other drones?" Delta asked. "They will shortly have unwavering loyalty to someone else and I can't afford them telling everything."
"Yes your majesty. None but the few who will accompany us."
"Good. Now get busy. I want to be out of here within the hour."

A rather surprised subqueen in Delta hive is suddenly ushered to the Queen's chambers where drones begin swearing loyalty to her. When she asks what is going on, she is informed that the Old Delta had become indisposed and that she has been chosen to be the successor. This usually only happens when a very old Queen knows she is going to die, but Delta was still young. Regardless, as the new Queen of Delta hive, she immediately orders all other subqueens executed and is very surprised to hear that there aren't any. She was the only viable queen in the hive.
When she tries to check the computers for logs of what had happened to the others, she discovers that the logs had clearly been altered and in some places deleted outright. There is no trace of any of the other subqueens or what had happened to them. What there was, however, was a very interesting document addressed to her from the Old Delta. While it shed no light on the mystery of what had happened to either Delta or the subqueens, it contained a treasure trove of information for the new Queen, things Delta had taken years to learn. At the very end was a simple instruction: do not tell any of the other Queens what had happened, especially Kappa, but lead Delta hive to being a valuable member of the Swarm.
I have my own subforum now!
Shameless plug for my own Aurora story game:
5.6 part: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php/topic,4988.0.html
6.2 part: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php/topic,5906.0.html

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Offline Rabid_Cog (OP)

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Re: Rise of the Wrix
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2012, 02:25:25 AM »
7 March 2013
"A note? From who?" IM asked the drone that had waltzed right into Swarm Command and dropped the piece of paper in her hands.
The drone just shrugged. He had orders not to say a word.
IM unfolded the note and peeked inside. A brief message, 'Meet me outside. Don't bring drones. -D'.
"Who sent you?" she asked again. The same stoic silence answered her. She had a suspicion of who 'D' was, but no idea what was going on. All she had ever wanted was to work in peace but it seemed intrigue had swallowed her against her will.
"Fine, I'm coming" she said, exasperated.

"Tada!" Delta said as she stepped from behind a bush. She was wearing none of the tidbits, trinkets or gadgets that were usually seen adorning Hive Queens. In fact, if IM hadn't strongly suspected it was her, she might not have recognized her with her altered headcrest. "What do you think?"
"Delta, I don't know what you are up to..."
"Please, there is a new Delta now. Just call me US-93-OSS" Delta interrupted. "That was my designation before I became Delta."
"Alright, US-93-OSS, what is going on?" IM asked.
"Isn't it obvious? I want to join Swarm Command. We discussed the possibility of a fertile queen joining up, didn't we?"
IM was dumbfounded. "Are you kidding me? Another fertile? Do you have any idea how dangerous this little stunt of yours is?" she hissed.
"I've been sending you fertile queens for months and nobody has the slightest idea. Yes, I actually know exactly how dangerous it is. Not very."
"What?" IM almost shouted. "Delta... I mean US-93 are you trying to get me killed? And now you want me to take you in as well?"
"It will be fine! Relax."
"But a Hive Queen? Are you insane?"
"Ex-Hive Queen. I am no different than any of those other fertiles you currently have running around here. Just a lot more useful. You see, IM, I might be a few years younger than you..."
"You are?" IM asked.
"Yes. Now shush. Like I said, I might be younger, but I ran Delta hive for most of my life. I have far more experience with large scale projects than you do."
"So not only do you come begging me to take you in, you admit you want to replace me?"
"Oh please, cut it out with the belligerence. First Governor is the one position I do NOT want. Do you think I could pass scrutiny if I saw the other Queens on such a regular basis? Hell no."
"What then?" IM asked.
"I've actually been eyeing that Administrator position that you created. Come on, you know I'll be useful to you! I know more of whats going on below the surface than you ever will" US-93 begged.
"Give a good example and I'll consider it."
US-93 smiled. The stage had been set for her ace. "Did you know they've found something on planet four? Something HN-31 and her team have been prevented from sharing with the rest of you by Gamma's drones on board the ship. Something amazing. Why do you think they have been taking so long to survey the place?"
"How do you know?" IM asked.
"I've had Gamma's communication systems thoroughly penetrated for years. She was the closest major power to me, you know. If she even thought of moving troops my way, I had to know."
"Alright, I'll bite. What did they find?"
"Make me Administrator and I'll tell you" US-93 replied with a grin.

So that was where Delta had disappeared to.
Lambda glanced again at the photo displayed on her monitor and leaned back. The face recognition software had shaded a number of areas on the individual in the picture. It was a one hundred percent match. This was definately Delta.
One of Lambda's hidden cameras in the Swarm Hive facility had taken the photo of IM and another individual walking together. The recognition software had determined the identity immediately. Delta. She may have trimmed her crest but the computers could look at fine bone structure and analyze minute facial patterns. The only question was what was the next course of action.
She could inform the rest of the Queens, but that would provoke a smegstorm of its own as she would have to reveal the existence of her cameras. Many probably suspected they were there, but suspecting was different than knowing. She would most likely be forced to have a number of them removed and it would take time to emplace new ones.
There was a time when she would have ran straight to Kappa with this information. Kappa would both keep it secret and take care of the problem without involving her, but now she wasn't so certain. The truth was, Kappa's influence and credibility had taken a bit of a beating in the last conference and Lambda wasn't so sure whether she would make a very valuable ally anymore. More than likely she would become nothing but a burden as she relied on Lambda's resources more and more.
Lambda could also take care of the problem herself. She certainly had the assets in place, Swarm Hive was probably the most easily infiltratable facility on the planet with so many different hives' drones running in and out on a variety of errands. But no. As little as she liked the idea of a fertile queen in Swarm Hive, there was no advantage to be gained in eliminating her. That, and seeing Delta there had made Lambda realize the same thing that Delta had a while ago: that there was far more power to be had than merely being a Hive Queen. And all of that power lay in Swarm Hive.
So, for now, Lambda did what she did best. She merely observed.

"Aliens?" IM asked. She and Delta/US-93 were down in the room she had originally discussed PC-49's future in. She regularly had the room swept for bugs now and had even managed to procure a jammer which she only activated when there was something secret to discuss. The room had become known as the 'Bunker' by a few of her closest assistants.
"Not aliens, alien structures. One of the drones apparently drilled through a domed ceiling and nearly fell in" Delta/US corrected her.
"I meant, alien structures imply aliens. Or at least, that there had been aliens at some point in the past. I had never even considered that there might be intelligent life beside the Wrix. I don't think anyone has."
"Forget about the philosophical crap, think practical!" Delta said. "Alien structures mean alien technology! And who knows what else? The team there at present don't have the necessary equipment or skills to properly examine the ruins. We need to get a properly equipped team there as soon as possible. Preferably one that doesn't have loyalties to only a single hive as is the current situation."
"And how do you intend to do that?" IM asked. "The only two ships we have are completely crewed by Gamma's drones. She won't be happy if we try to swap them out. We need to confront Gamma with this."
"They aren't heavily armed, they rely mostly on numbers to keep HN's team in line. And don't worry, we will confront Gamma. I just prefer to negotiate from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness. I have a plan..."

What is really happening:
US-93 made governor (finally!). Her bonuses beat that of IM, and I've had her for a while, but due to rp I couldn't make her governor. Yay for 25% factory and mining bonus!
I must admit that the ruins on planet four were SM'd in by me, which is technically cheating. But I had a good reason. The geological survey was taking forever and using SM I had a look at the system summary. While I had been sitting in Home twiddling my thumbs, the NPR's have been exploring and activating more NPR's and about 12 systems were already explored. I was in danger of falling seriously behind.
After all that, all I got was a Destroyed Outpost anyway  >:(
I have my own subforum now!
Shameless plug for my own Aurora story game:
5.6 part: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php/topic,4988.0.html
6.2 part: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php/topic,5906.0.html

Feel free to post comments!
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