Author Topic: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic (conventional start, 1st January 2021)  (Read 3727 times)

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Online Stormtrooper (OP)

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After the deed was done, 28744 soldiers that served in NOVA fleet were free to do whatever they pleased. Over half of them immediately retired. "Free to do whatever they pleased" included openly talking about what happened since government wasn't stupid to think destruction on a planetary scale happening only a few light years from Earth could be kept in secret forever, so it only took care of hiding the project before realisation and after the last stage was completed it just didn't care anymore.

It wasn't by accident that a huge military contingent headed towards Kappa Tucanae and was on its way when NOVA bombs fell, government knew the worst riots would happen there. Over three thousands protesters and twenty soldiers pacifying them died just in the first way, and it was only worse from there.
System once described as paradise has turned into hell. Some people even straight-out moved away to other Core Worlds.
While many people were busy assembling some weak-ass anti-governmental revolution that had no chance of ever succeeding because strong psionic control government maintained over its army was impenetrable for soldiers to join the rebellion, and many others were busy tracking down all the rebels and sentencing them to a lifetime of psionic imprisonment, barely anyone noticed what was happening with Yagidrerc who has become members of human society before the apocalypse for their Substance-enslaved brothers and sisters came.

They didn't seem to be either angry, stressed or shocked when the news reached them, maybe a little sad if anything. To much surprise of both government and rebels, they did not join the revolution, didn't attempt to do or question anything. Eventually one of them said words that'd echo across minds of many for years to come:


"We are one. Out of many, we form one. We understand the nature of Dark Forest, we've seen the end of the world before. Yet before you bombed the planet Substance has chosen for us to settle down, you took some of us and integrated into your society. We are one. For as long as some of us survive, we all survive, forming one mind that agrees with every one of us and with whom we all agree. We knew all your thoughts before yet we did not spoke, because we knew that was the ultimate price we had to pay. Now that Substance is cleansed from this part of the Milky Way, we are no longer a threat to you. Dark Forest claimed its victims, but we walk among you, alive. Destruction of this world was the last thing that was needed to convince you and we understood it. We knew about it even before we met you, when we were watching Substance consuming us, when we hoped that maybe someone out there will help us before our consciousness switched off. And now our dreams came true, two alien civilisations form one society, even if far from perfect, despite curse of the Dark Forest foreshadowing our every step. We all knew that a destruction on a planetary scale would be the most realistic price to pay for achieving what we wanted to achieve and now we have just achieved it. We are one. We are the Yagidrerc Hive Mind."


The message from Yagidrerc to humans seemed surprising at first, but many sociologists later claimed their approach actually makes some weird sense and that they did, in fact, achieve what they wanted - a peaceful communication and interstellar alliance - even if they had to pay a horrible price for it. Rebellious attitude became less and less popular as the famous words were spreading across many planets. Meanwhile government also released a special matrix module allowing everyone to take part in a "what if NOVA bombs never dropped" simulation, showing predicted spread of Substance and measures that could be taken before it'd be too late, for example bombing Gaia shall the Substance successfully reach it when droplets leave Barnard's Star before humanity can block the problematic planet. Support for the rebellion was dropping daily and situation begin to stabilise again.

With the local Substance threat taken care of, even though it certainly exists and spreads somewhere else in the universe, government could focus its efforts on the next points on "things that want to kill off humanity" checklist.

And it took more interest in Invaders once again, shortly after integrated aliens announced they now know what's going on here. They dumped all the important info they've gathered, however started with a really unusual news: the cold-blooded, cruel Invaders turned out to be quite poetic race. Across their minds echoed songs and poems from ancient days, when they just reached the capacity to travel across the stars and conquered a galaxy in which they were born:




They seemed to have no problem with Dark Forest and expanded quickly, destroying civilisations as they traversed space. As their scientific knowledge and technology expanded, they adapted a new ways of doing it more effectively while leaving no resources behind.
Soon World Government learned about their true approach to galactic conquest and destruction, done many times before. First they did it with their own galaxy, although it was very easy because by the time they achieved that level of civilisation development, there was barely any alien intelligent life left hiding across few systems here and there, then they did it in all galaxies from their cluster.

Their latest war doctrine presented as follows: first, they'd open several Void Wormholes, each in a different regions from the galaxy. From there, their scouts would get deployed and start the hard work of linking all the stars via wormholes. In case of encountering an intelligent life, these scouts carried enough firepower to swarm the enemy and wipe them out, but these local encounters would disrupt the wormhole creation in a local area for a while.

Once every single star would be a part of the network, Invaders would proceed with the next stage of galactic invasion. They'd bring on devices capable of manipulating matter at an atomic level, sucking out literally every atom out of entire galaxy, with which the wormhole network helped a lot as it granted an easy and fast transfer of matter across interstellar distances, until there was literally nothing left. Later all that matter would be used to help Invaders expand and fuel their cosmic war. This was the dark truth behind the creation of Bootes Void, back in some distant past a cluster of galaxies where Invaders evolved.

There was more to it, though. Very often the process of sucking out matter would start earlier, with the remnants of defeated civilisations being selectively picked up until there was nothing left from them, leaving only the natural environment of a given planet. And in case some opposing race turned out to be powerful enough to defeat "unarmed scout fleets", disturbing wormhole creation in the long run, eventually Invaders would send a proper battle fleets that'd prepare ground space for matter manipulators to arrive and finish off the enemy by literally disintegrating them into single particles.

Some officials hearing these reports started openly expressing their fear when Yagidrerc talked about these matter-manipulating devices and what was yet to come for humans who dared to send "unarmed scouts" away. Nobody could imagine the scale of their firepower, well remembering the three Bootes Wars fought so fiercely during the second of which humanity came way too close to having its entire space forces wiped out to the last spaceship, and all the trouble was caused by "scouts" that, compared to what Invaders called "warships" were "unarmed".

On top of that a large portion of Invader's thoughts revolved around Precursors. They were the most advanced civilisation that fell prey to them. Initially encountered in the space that now belongs to Bootes Void, they have been found and fought in many other regions of the universe, too.
Precursors were the ones to save Milky Way (albeit only temporarily), and many other galaxies by simply destabilising and closing all the Void Wormholes, cutting Invaders off, or at least making it difficult for them to travel to the galaxy en masse.
But while Invaders eventually killed every single one of them, many of their technologies and ruined complexes, facilities or even entire cities remained. They were not sucked out like remnants of other civilisations by matter manipulators unless studied extensively by the brightest minds among Invaders.

Shortly before extinction, Precursors were up to something, but Invaders could not figure out as to what it actually was, but grew paranoid about it and tried their best to uncover this secret.
They were also afraid, afraid of Greys cruising around with flying saucers. Not much could be learned about these aliens from them, though. For them they were simply a source of true fear, possibly the race of Invaders was never afraid of something more than it was of Greys - a threat they could not precisely describe, but something so powerful it threatened the very survival of a civilisation capable of sucking out every atom from many galaxies at once at their leisure.

World Government already knew how the fourth Bootes War will end. Let alone first contact with Greys. Dark Forest knew, like Mechi said back in the day, and uncovering the ultimate secret of Precursors was humanity's last hope.

20th July 2237, Pandoras finish terraforming of Xi Bootis-B II and terraforming fleet swaps places with colonisation fleet. People arriving in Xi Bootis are tasked with rapid expansion of mining industry so that a stable stream of resources will soon begin to flow towards Mechi Prime, a planet meanwhile becoming an important space industry center.

Having confirmed the big scary Invaders' fleet is coming, government has put on hold all the other colonisation plans, including HIP 9786-A III and V577 Monoceri-A I. Reasoning behind this mentioned the current amount of resources in colonised space available compared to the exponentially increasing difficulty of protecting all worlds in case of large-scale invasion.

In order to gain insight into the ruins of Precursors, government figures out mental power of Yagidrerc can be used again. Initial estimates show their psionic skills are good enough to require only a small team of them to break into the sealed parts of facilities, compared to an all-out colony hosting millions of people.
It doesn't take them long to do what needs to be done and soon many scientists can begin assimilating all the invaluable knowledge.

For physicists it is a great opportunity to learn more about multidimensional planes. Hyperspace isn't the end - it's just the beginning. Planes with five and more dimensions do exist and can be reached in a similar way humanity breached into hyperspace - it just requires far more energy, but most importantly a four-dimensional version of FTL drive. The device itself must be four-dimensional, though, if it was to bend or puncture four-dimensional space to acces the five-dimensional one.

While this in itself wasn't something unknown as such theories were widespread among scientists for decades by now, it served as a way to prove the correctness of them and adjust them in places where mistakes have been made. Also theoretical knowledge didn't come without practical applications. Schematics and blueprints recovered talked about a new source of power: "vacuum reactor". The complex machinery worked by constantly creating small, unstable black holes trapped inside a vacuum chamber and siphoning the sheer power obtained from their evaporation. This source of energy could easily generate enough power to meet the requirements for accessing the fifth dimension.

If humanity was to boost their FTL travel by taking a shortcut while already in hyperspace, which would translate to mind-blowing effective speeds in normal space, hyperspace version of an FTL drive was far more problematic because it wasn't a matter of just generating more power. To build a four-dimensional object was beyond the current level od development humanity has reached so far, let alone this object being a complicated device capable of basically doing magic stuff.

While pushing beyond hyperspace was out of the question, building a black hole starship was a more realistic goal for further research. It is theorised that if a war fleet powered by such engines was to be built at some point, it'd be capable of reaching anywhere within known space pretty much instantly, making it very easy to engage any threat attacking any human colony and outmanoeuvre it (well, or at least come on equal terms with it should the enemy also posses this technology) in combat.

Some experts also estimate that this might be the same technology that was used to power and accelerate photonic missiles Yagidrerc once faced.
When the topic of these doomsday devices is brought up, government prioritises research into systems capable of defending humanity from them. First step will be establishing a HyperSensors-based monitoring array, nothing too complicated to develop. After that, two alternate paths will be followed at the same time.

One of them will be another attempt of using Substance as an active anti-missile weapon. Enriched by Yagidrerc experiences and reinforced by learning from their mistakes, the task should progress smoothly. During research and testing of new anti-missiles a squadron of Executors will guard the facilities in which it'll be conducted, ready to immediately evaporate every bit of it should the Substance "try something" and scientists fail to contain it. This decision was concluded from the Substance enslaving Yagidrerc mainly because they lacked the capability to destroy it within first seconds after it broke loose, and Executors were a patch applied to this mistake.

Second path was directly related to vacuum reactor and black hole starship research - on paper it was nothing but building a counter-photonic missiles, also coming very close to the speed of light and launching them directly at incoming ordnance while it was still far enough, triggering cosmic fireworks somewhere in interstellar space for everyone to watch and enjoy the breathtaking sight.

With the War of Poisoned Minds coming to an end and no immediate dangers in vicinity and another breakthroughs in science to be seen thanks to learning more from the Precursors, World Government could take time to look into different projects, not directly related to building first and only line of defence against alien menace.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat."
Having that on mind, another mission into Bootes Void entered preparation stage. This time, equipped with HyperSensors and Hyperdrives, humanity could really hope to track Invaders down once inside and bring concrete intel back.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 09:10:35 AM by Stormtrooper »
 
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THE LAST SUNSET OF HUMANITY

2240s

1st January 2241, right as the new decade begins, a lonely Shadow crosses a Void Wormhole in Gliese 685 and once inside Bootes Void, engages hyperdrive and pierces through the fabric of space, accessing four-dimensional plane. The decisive mission finally begins.
HyperSensors pick up dozens of trails, just like the first time they were used. Shadow's captain picks up one of them and follows it, deeper into the void.

Days go on, with each one of them hundreds of light years worth of normal space are skipped. Alongside the already noticed leftovers of FTL drive usage, random points suddenly light up on radars, some closer, some further and new lines are being drawn as the journey goes on. Bootes Void is full of life. Full of hostile life.

20th March 2241, 14:17:52, FTL communication arrays pick up an unidentified message, even though the closest mark of Invaders' activity lies well over three hundreds light years away. It is of Invaders' origin - that's for sure, but despite all the knowledge gathered, translation module struggles with it. It contains words previously not encountered and can't figure out their meaning using the ones already deciphered.
As it could be anything from identification or status report request, through regular daily update up to a new order being issued, Shadow's crew has no way to tell and the captain decides it's best to ignore the message and keep fingers crossed nothing blows up.

20th March 2241, 14:35:27, a blinding light flares in front of ship's windows. Gravitational sensors detect a strong disturbance in the fabric of space, currently torn out in the spot where the light has flashed.
20th March 2241, 14:36:58, Shadow appears to be pulled out by a previously non-existent gravitational force. Ship's pilots attempt to change course to fly past it and pull a slingshot manoeuvre, escaping from its sphere of influence.
20th March 2241, 14:38:29, despite ship's engines burning on the verge of overheating and everyone doing their best, Shadow fails to escape the anomaly and is sucked right into it, gaining a crazy rotational speed alongside, with which the artificial gravity field struggles to keep up with, causing many people to bump their heads against the walls or fall down from the floor which suddenly became a ceiling. Suddenly everyone realises they're back in normal space, with distant galaxies manifesting their existence with a dim light and emptiness all around. Rotation is dumped, stabilising the ship's trajcetory.

20th March 2241, 14:39:15, radars detect multiple targets closing in. Closing in fast. Really fast. Like, almost lightspeed kind of fast. ETA: 7,132 seconds.
Instinctively, utilising the ships's current inertia, captain herself engages subluminal warp drive roughly three seconds later, allowing the ship to reach effective speed of 20000 km/s.
With their trajectory changed after crossing the curvature of warp bubble, missiles narrowly miss the target, speeding away in front of the ship.

Shadow raises up cloaking, hoping to mess up with enemy targeting systems. Once it is online, captain gives order to make the trajectory of the ship as much unpredictable as possible to avoid getting hit based on last known flight parameters. No computer could be more unpredictable than human pilots desperately fighting for their lives: they fire rotational thrusters, breaking the current record of barrel roll speed. Some of them smash against walls, ceilings and floors, some were more lucky and fastened seat belts in time and now reverse course, deciding actually flying towards the enemy instead of away from it is the stupidest move they could do, and it's precisely why they do it.
If it's stupid but works then its not stupid - for the next few seconds, no missiles are launched. Instead, humans can get a clear readings on enemy ships. There are at least a few of them, all of rather big size, bigger than anything encountered, bigger than anything that ever left human shipyards.

A radical command is given: switch off everything besides basic radars and cloaking system. All power to hyperdrive so it could charge faster.
After doing as commander wants, the ship goes dark and eerily silent, engines die, gravity dies and everyone floats around, only evil dots on the radar still glow and basic life support is still operational.

20th March 2241, 14:42:33, telescopes were able to take a quick shot of one of the hostile spacecrafts:



20th March 2241, 14:42:36, radar brightens up with hundreds of missile contacts.
20th March 2241, 14:42:37, burning through their last supplies of luck, crewmembers successfully engage hyperdrive and tear through the fabric of space, speeding away from dangerous encounter, roughly one and a half seconds before predicted impact.
Once in hyperspace, Shadow dumps all its excess heat, accelerates to the max speed fuel levels allow and runs away, back to the Void Wormhole and Milky Way.
14th May 2241, the valiant crew of Shadow is welcomed as heroes as their starship descends through Earth's atmosphere.

While the blockbuster "Battle in the Dark Sky" makes its director one of the richest humans and the society can't decide whether to celebrate the outstanding performance of the crew or fear what technology they encountered, almost entire scientific community dedicates its work towards studying what little could be pieced together by the data gathered during encounter. It is somehow fortunate the ship which experienced it was Shadow, a vessel built specifically to collect as much intel in as short amount of time as possible.

Two things stand out: photonic missiles of Invaders and their technology to pull out ships from hyperspace back into three dimensions.
In both cases, recordings of space curvature over time during Hyperdrive Interdictor's usage and photonic missiles' flight, all nicely saved thanks to ELINT module of Shadow, were the key to uncover the mysteries behind them.

With the interstellar speed of technological advancements, it took scientists only two years for the first photonic missile to be built and for the first interdictor to be tested successfully, even if only it worked reliably for ships with weaker hyperdrives and acceleration - it was still a good start.
Photonic missiles... A deadly weapon in a space battle, but much more. Near light speed, paired with a devastating warhead. If fired at a star, very likely to cause supernova, destroying the entire system.
And now humanity had this power right at their hands, meanwhile society still didn't recover from the shock after NOVA bombs usage.

It was a strange era in the history of Mankind. Intense work on the "counterattack fleet" has begun and the military, pompous spirit has taken control over many souls, the spirit of ultimate sacrifice and valiant hearts. On the one hand a deadly attitude to have, on the other soaked in noble intentions of saving humanity from the outside dangers human beings have not provoked by anything but existence.
Yet from the other perspective, many citizens feared this is the end of the Mankind as we now it.
Even if the species was to survive this madness, its morals, culture, everything that makes it a human race, despite the bloody history, will be lost in the fires of doomsday weapons and battles cruel beyond imagination.

In these difficult days, many looked at reports coming from the xenoresearch team studying Groaxians, still safe and sound on their homeworld, as the last glimpse of hope. Despite the Dark Forest, despite the sheer destructive power, so far nobody gave an extermination order. Groaxians, with their pacifistic attitude, for many became a hope for a better future, but for even more only a nostalgic reminder of a distant past, back when human civilisation was still very primitive and gazed into the stars with optimism, awaiting adventure and discovery, not death. Even some anti-science movements were born, demanding government to abandon advanced technology and go back to "simpler, happier times", but they didn't gain much support, because it was too late. Dark Forest knew.

5th August 2244, 18:35:49, terrifying sound of sirens tore through the ears of Solar System Citizens. High Alert has been announced. Early warning system has detected a photonic missile at the collision course with the Sun, roughly fifty five minutes before impact.
5th August 2244, 18:40:55, several anti-photonic missiles have been launched from the outpost on Ceres. The entire human population held its breath. Many attempted to escape Solar System with starships, but except those who were already floating in space and could almost instantly power up an FTL drive, nobody had a chance.

5th August 2244, 19:03:15, defensive missiles were about to intercept the photonic missile, but then something terrifying happened: object sent to blow up the Sun was in fact a very small spacecraft rather than just missile in itself. At least that's how it was described once several small decoy drones have been launched from its hull, luring the anti-photonic missiles away from their target. All defensive ordnance has been wasted, but the apocalyptic ordnance continued its ride towards the Sun, unaffected and indifferent.

With no choice but to face the Final Judgement as an alternative, World Government approved usage of the Substance defence line.
5th August 2244, 19:17:40, Substance-filled warheads, much resembling a smaller version of droplets encountered during the battle of GJ 1061, swarmed the herald of the apocalypse.
Yet it kept spamming drones, sending droplets off-course, which a few Executors were tasked with neutralising so they don't spread uncontrolled out of a sudden. Riots broke out in almost every major city as both lines of defence failed. This was the end.

And yet officers responsible for running the defence didn't give up. As the missile was closing in, its exact flight pattern could be determined with almost one hundred percent probability. Instead of trying to hit the missile directly, many droplets were detonated, with Substance forming its "spacecraft shells" to protect from vacuum, right on the estimated path of the missile.
For this it had no counter - it smashed right through "puddle" after "puddle". A bit of the Substance has been burned by its point-defence lasers, but only a bit. The rest chewed through it fiercely. Eventually it broke through the magnetic trap and collided with the antimatter warhead. One blinding flash on the far outer edge of the system later no traces of the threatening weapon were to be found. Riots ceased instantly and turned into massive celebrations within a few seconds.

Within next two months, every colonised system but GJ 1279 and NN 4079, including even EZ Aquarii despite no human population existing there, encountered similar attack. Dark Forest knew and it has launched its first large-scale assault.
Nobody had any doubts Dark Forest knew its attempt was an utter failure. What weapon will be used next remained an open question everyone feared to ask, but somebody had to answer if humanity was to keep on existing.
Whether it was Invaders' job or not, nobody knew for sure. The next logical step was still to launch a counterattack into Bootes Void, though. A brand new fleet has almost passed the prototype stage and was ready to enter construction.


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Ultimatum class Missile Destroyer      30,000 tons       855 Crew       27,128.1 BP       TCS 600    TH 30,000    EM 0
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 30-86       Shields 0-0       HTK 216      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 50      PPV 226.2
Maint Life 1.45 Years     MSP 15,303    AFR 360%    IFR 5.0%    1YR 8,071    5YR 121,067    Max Repair 7500 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 4   BRG   AUX   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J30000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 30000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP15000.00 (2)    Power 30000    Fuel Use 33.05%    Signature 15000    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 1,541,000 Litres    Range 28 billion km (6 days at full power)

Quad Gauss Cannon R600-25.00 Turret (30x32)    Range 60,000km     TS: 80000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 60,000 km    ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS80000 (1)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 80,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92

Active Search Sensor AS42-R1 (1)     GPS 240     Range 42.8m km    MCR 3.9m km    Resolution 1

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


Equipped with a decently optimised Hyperdrive and subluminal warp drive, this ship was able to reach speeds beyond imagination, be it at interstellar, interplanetary or combat distances. Its anti-missile defences gave it even an ability to intercept photonic missiles launched at itself or friendly ships within formation. Success rate might not be the best in such cases, but if enough Ultimatums were made, anti-missile effectiveness would improve drastically.


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Eternity class Battlestar      50,000 tons       1,801 Crew       34,727.8 BP       TCS 1,000    TH 50,000    EM 0
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 30-120       Shields 0-0       HTK 323      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 70      PPV 300
Maint Life 1.23 Years     MSP 21,364    AFR 500%    IFR 6.9%    1YR 14,621    5YR 219,320    Max Repair 12500 MSP
Magazine 3,309   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J50000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 50000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP25000.00 (2)    Power 50000    Fuel Use 50.0%    Signature 25000    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 3,112,000 Litres    Range 22.4 billion km (5 days at full power)

Size 6.00 Missile Launcher (50)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 10
Missile Fire Control FC56-R100 (1)     Range 56.2m km    Resolution 100
Light Photonic Missile (550)    Speed: 270,000 km/s    End: 0.7m     Range: 10.6m km    WH: 49    Size: 6    TH: 1350/810/405

Active Search Sensor AS28-R100 (1)     GPS 480     Range 28.1m km    Resolution 100

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


The Battlestar-class Eternity was the pinnacle of engineering. Only a bit smaller than Executors, it was a feared combat starship, capable of firing 50 photonic missiles adjusted specifically with ship-to-ship combat in mind every 10 seconds. Since fitting as much firepower into it as possible was the main concern, it is the first missile-based ship that doesn't have decoy missiles. These will be launched from the accompanying Valkyries instead:


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Valkyrie class Missile Cruiser      50,000 tons       1,621 Crew       33,645.3 BP       TCS 1,000    TH 50,000    EM 0
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 30-120       Shields 0-0       HTK 191      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 94      PPV 225
Maint Life 2.14 Years     MSP 30,916    AFR 312%    IFR 4.3%    1YR 9,078    5YR 136,168    Max Repair 12500 MSP
Magazine 3,309   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J50000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 50000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP25000.00 (2)    Power 50000    Fuel Use 50.0%    Signature 25000    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 6,052,000 Litres    Range 43.6 billion km (10 days at full power)

Size 1 Missile Launcher (75.00% Reduction) (300)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Missile Fire Control FC56-R100 (1)     Range 56.2m km    Resolution 100
Photonic Decoy (3300)    Speed: 270,000 km/s    End: 0.7m     Range: 11.2m km    WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 8280/4968/2484

Active Search Sensor AS28-R100 (1)     GPS 480     Range 28.1m km    Resolution 100

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


Main bulk of the forces was supposed to consist of laser-based strike ships, with good armor, shields and manoeuvrability as well as excellent effective firing range achieved by near gamma lasers thanks to their wavelength:


Code: [Select]
Ragnarok class Strike Cruiser      30,000 tons       1,109 Crew       42,770.9 BP       TCS 600    TH 30,000    EM 40,260
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 32-86       Shields 1342-805       HTK 199      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 48      PPV 176
Maint Life 1.19 Years     MSP 16,039    AFR 400%    IFR 5.6%    1YR 11,594    5YR 173,910    Max Repair 7500 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J30000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 30000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP15000.00 (2)    Power 30000    Fuel Use 33.05%    Signature 15000    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 1,405,000 Litres    Range 25.5 billion km (5 days at full power)
Psi S1342 / R805 Shields (1)     Recharge Time 805 seconds (1.7 per second)

50cm C20 Near Gamma Ray Laser (11)    Range 1,200,000km     TS: 50,000 km/s     Power 65-20     RM 100,000 km    ROF 20       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS50000 (1)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 50,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92
Vacuum Energy Power Plant R245 (1)     Total Power Output 245.3    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS100-R20 (1)     GPS 4800     Range 100.7m km    Resolution 20

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


While Ragnarok is a one-size-fits-all generic combat spaceship, it is to be accompanied by two types of destroyers, each possessing an insanely destructive firepower in the form of deadly particle beams: Nanosaber and Quantum Paladin.


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Nanosaber class Destroyer      30,000 tons       1,142 Crew       43,187.4 BP       TCS 600    TH 30,000    EM 40,260
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 20-86       Shields 1342-805       HTK 208      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 45      PPV 192
Maint Life 1.01 Years     MSP 13,496    AFR 480%    IFR 6.7%    1YR 13,340    5YR 200,102    Max Repair 7500 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J30000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 30000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP15000.00 (2)    Power 30000    Fuel Use 33.05%    Signature 15000    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 2,088,000 Litres    Range 37.9 billion km (8 days at full power)
Psi S1342 / R805 Shields (1)     Recharge Time 805 seconds (1.7 per second)

Particle Beam-25 (12)    Range 1,000,000km     TS: 50,000 km/s     Power 64-20    ROF 20       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS50000 (1)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 50,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92
Vacuum Energy Power Plant R245 (1)     Total Power Output 245.3    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS100-R20 (1)     GPS 4800     Range 100.7m km    Resolution 20

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


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Quantum Paladin class Destroyer      40,000 tons       1,452 Crew       69,641.2 BP       TCS 800    TH 40,000    EM 40,260
50000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 40-104       Shields 1342-805       HTK 255      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 55      PPV 240
Maint Life 1.20 Years     MSP 27,203    AFR 512%    IFR 7.1%    1YR 19,540    5YR 293,103    Max Repair 10000 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J40000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 40000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP20000.00 (2)    Power 40000    Fuel Use 55.90%    Signature 20000    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 4,099,000 Litres    Range 33 billion km (7 days at full power)
Psi S1342 / R805 Shields (1)     Recharge Time 805 seconds (1.7 per second)

Particle Lance-32 (10)    Range 1,000,000km     TS: 50,000 km/s     Power 100-20    ROF 25       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS50000 (1)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 50,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92
Vacuum Energy Power Plant R245 (1)     Total Power Output 245.3    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS100-R20 (1)     GPS 4800     Range 100.7m km    Resolution 20

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


Quantum Paladin isn't named like that by coincidence - its particle lances come with an alternate firing mode: teleportation strike. Thanks to the ongoing experiments with quantum teleportation, physicists on Gaia were able to find a way to transfer small particles over short distances without having a receiving teleporter at destination. In the end, just like once hypothesised, teleportation could be used as a weapon. Ship's accelerators would prepare particle beam which would later be teleported straight onto the board of enemy ship, provided it is close enough, and deal massive damage inside, having bypassed any shields and armor the ship might come equipped with.


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Inquisitor class Assault Ship      30,000 tons       1,246 Crew       39,840.6 BP       TCS 600    TH 36,000    EM 0
60000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 30-86       Shields 0-0       HTK 192      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 50      PPV 190.7
Maint Life 1.17 Years     MSP 16,600    AFR 360%    IFR 5.0%    1YR 12,332    5YR 184,981    Max Repair 9000 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J30000(3-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 30000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Photonic Drive  EP18000.00 (2)    Power 36000    Fuel Use 58.93%    Signature 18000    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 3,111,000 Litres    Range 31.7 billion km (6 days at full power)

Quad R800/C16 Meson Cannon Turret (5x4)    Range 800,000km     TS: 60000 km/s     Power 64-64     RM 800,000 km    ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS60000 (1)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 60,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92
Vacuum Energy Power Plant R320 (1)     Total Power Output 320    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS100-R20 (1)     GPS 4800     Range 100.7m km    Resolution 20

ECCM-8 (1)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


The entire fleet was to be supported by a squadron of assault ships firing away meson-based particle beams, faster and more agile than rest of the fleet, acting as scouts or harassing the enemy while dodging as much shots as possible. Thanks to the properties of mesons, these ships alone were a serious threat to enemy vessels.
On top of all these ships, a special one has been built for the High Admiral himself to oversee the battle, with its massive tonnage leaving Executors feel like tiny support ships:


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Exterminator class Superdreadnought      100,000 tons       3,785 Crew       144,210.6 BP       TCS 2,000    TH 100,000    EM 120,780
50000 km/s    JR 10-50      Armour 34-191       Shields 4026-805       HTK 665      Sensors 800/480/0/0      DCR 111      PPV 593.1
Maint Life 0.90 Years     MSP 73,007    AFR 988%    IFR 13.7%    1YR 81,124    5YR 1,216,856    Max Repair 25000 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 5   BRG   AUX   ENG   CIC   FLG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J100000(10-50) Hyperdrive     Max Ship Size 100000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 10

Photonic Drive  EP50000.00 (2)    Power 100000    Fuel Use 18.10%    Signature 50000    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 2,084,000 Litres    Range 20.7 billion km (4 days at full power)
Psi S1342 / R805 Shields (3)     Recharge Time 805 seconds (5 per second)

75.0cm C20 Near Gamma Ray Laser (10)    Range 1,200,000km     TS: 50,000 km/s     Power 147-20     RM 100,000 km    ROF 40       
Particle Lance-32 (10)    Range 1,000,000km     TS: 50,000 km/s     Power 100-20    ROF 25       
Quad Gauss Cannon R600-25.00 Turret (15x32)    Range 60,000km     TS: 80000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 60,000 km    ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R1200-TS50000 (3)     Max Range: 1,200,000 km   TS: 50,000 km/s     99 98 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 92
Vacuum Energy Power Plant R401 (1)     Total Power Output 401.1    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS12-R1 (1)     GPS 20     Range 12.1m km    MCR 1.1m km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH20-800 (1)     Sensitivity 800     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  223.6m km
EM Sensor EM20-480 (1)     Sensitivity 480     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  173.2m km

ECCM-8 (3)         ECM 80

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes


On top of being well-protected from gunfire, heavier but maintaining same mobility as rest of the fleet and filled with guns itself, it also has a built-in Hyperdrive Interdictor module so that it could pull enemy vessels out of hyperspace just like Invaders did with Shadow during its mission.
A strange sense of pride mixed with extreme fear filled the hearts and minds of many who saw the official initiating ceremony of what was called "Bootes Force". Humanity's ultimate response to the Dark Forest, a warning message and a testimony of determination, it was a sight to behold. It was capable of wiping out several planetary systems out of face of the universe by itself, without resupplying.
Soon the fleet reached combat readiness and was supposed to be sent straight into the Heart of Darkness.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 11:11:58 AM by Stormtrooper »
 
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4th July 2248, 17:45:32, last preparations for the departure of Bootes Force which was supposed to happen in the next month were underway, but suddenly a fleet of small numbers, but of large starships has been spotted leaving hyperspace beyond the edge of the Solar System. Estimations have shown it was heading straight towards Nibiru. For the first time enemy has directly entered Solar System. Bootes Force used their hyperdrives to make a short-range jump into the vicinity of Planet X, reacting fast enough to prevent enemy from attacking the world. What was supposed to be a counterattack, ended up as a desperate defence.



4th July 2248, 17:48:40, not waiting for the enemy to move, Eternity ships open fire, supported by Valkyries. First photonic missiles have been fired:



Initial fear was replaced with optimism when first missiles reached their targets. Insane kinetic energy punched through enemies as if they were pieces of cardboard. It lasted only a few minutes till the entire fleet has been turned into ashes:





4th July 2248, 17:50:44, another fleet warps into the system. Feeling encouraged, Bootes Force heads straight into the battle. Before new photonic missiles are launched, enemy manages to fire away their own:





4th July 2248, 17:50:50, as Ultimatums prepare to intercept the ordnance, a strange signal sequence is emitted. Weapon operators report a sudden cybernetic attack and no anti-missile defence gun is being fired as enemy missiles rip through the human fleet. Invaders have targeted Eternity battlestars exclusively - this caused the remaining ammunition on the destroyed ships to go off right in the middle of formation. Several ships have been damaged and humans scatter around, wasting a good chunk of time before a strict formation can be rearranged.





4th July 2248, 17:55:42, adaptive anti-malware algorithms figure out the signal pattern of the enemy and are able to remove the cybernetic blockade, just in time as radars detect many more missiles to come. Many are intercepted, but also many detonate against shields and armors. More ships are blown out of the void, with the force of the impact accelerating them against other ships, sometimes causing a chain reaction:





4th July 2248, 17:57:59, remaining Inquisitors and rest of the fleet split and stop trying to charge the enemy head-on. Eternities fire away their last volley, spending all the photonic missiles humanity has managed to assemble, meanwhile enemy missiles keep on hitting:



Enemy appears to also have changed its mind and forces its ships to turn around. Classic circling manoeuvres begin:



4th July 2248, 18:05:24, last missiles are successfully destroyed. Enemy also appears to have run dry:



Humanity closes in for its energy and particle weapons to hit, with Inquisitors assault ships leading the way. Soon antivirus software detects another trojan: Invaders have messed with radars to display wrong distances. Before glitches can be fixed, Inquisitors end up too close to the enemy, with not enough time to deccelerate before getting dangerously close:



4th July 2248, 18:06:31, first streams of mesons reach enemy ships. Not having enough time to reverse course, Inquisitors try to gain perpendicular velocity relative to the enemy. This works to some extent:



4th July 2248, 18:06:33, enemy opens fire from up close for the first time. What at first appears to be just normal railgun projectiles, turns out to be a deadly weapon: each bolt is a small matter manipulating device. Human soldiers watch in terror and despair as their ships disintegrate on their eyes. Many hull tiles simply vanish, creating holes through which everything is sucked out into space or simply destabilising antimatter traps in the reactors, causing entire ship to be erased in a bright explosion. At least manipulators seem to quickly run out of power, they're still very scary weapon nevertheless.



Bulk of Bootes Force quickly arrives to support combat ships that got separated too much. A ruthless firefight begins. Humanity scores many hits, but their guns, even though powerful, struggle to pierce through the enemy shields. Meanwhile Invaders fire miniaturised matter manipulators and wreak havoc, destruction and panic:





4th July 2248, 18:10:13, High Admiral tries to figure out the way to dodge some shots and buy at least a few seconds. Human fleet slows down a bit, taking more fire in the process first, but as soon as the distance is low enough, entire fleet suddenly accelerates in the opposite direction than the enemy movement vector is pointing. Even with their powerful engines they can't turn around fast enough and catch up:





4th July 2248, 18:13:30, Bootes Force changes direction once again, this time successfully establishing itself on a "circling course" around the enemy. At the moment humans score more hits, but it is Invaders who's actually blowing up ships. Their shields still hold tight. Human morale dwindles with each matter manipulators successfully attaching itself to the hull:



4th July 2248, 18:13:35, Invaders, well-aware of their worse tactical position, break the current engagement and fly away. Humanity chases them down. First ship of theirs is destroyed by teleported particles, meanwhile the ships that have been firing missiles jump into hyperspace. Before that happens, though, Invaders launch one last attack: their ships emit several powerful infrasounds. People on ships survive without problem, but escape shuttles, lacking necessary protection, become graves for everyone on board.



Enemy appears to be concentrating fire of Exterminator, but its armor is tough enough and holds well. Even shields alone manage to fry many manipulators on contact.



Invaders seem to be losing ground. Humanity slowly gains advantage and recovers from the initial shock after death of soldiers escaping the wrecks. Hostile ships are still deadly, dealing severe blows:





4th July 2248, 18:17:42, after a fierce firefight, the battle of Nibiru comes to an end. Last remaining enemy ships meet their doom:





After the battle of the Nibiru Solar System has been secured, but at a price humanity was not able to afford in the long run. The ships were took so long and so much investment to build, yet many of them were wiped out, despite being the most powerful ones ever designed. And the war fleet of Invaders wasn't even that big, it was without a doubt they could send more of them and attack whatever system they pleased rather quickly. Government, having estimated how this would end in the long run, decided there's no time to waste. The best defence is to attack. Bootes Force had its ordnance replaced and a few ships which have been almost finished when the battle of Nibiru broke out joined the ranks, but apart from that the ships were to be sent straight into Bootes Void almost instantly. Their task was to recover as much matter manipulators as they could (and possibly other weapons as well as maybe some intel) so scientists could reverse-engineer them and give humanity a fighting chance in the long run.
 
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6th October 2248, 12:39:20, Bootes Force crosses a Void Wormhole in NN 3009, for symbolic reasons, since it's been the first one to be discovered and as soon as it reaches Bootes Void, hyperdrives are powered and the crucial mission begins.
18th November 2248, 10:20:41, after weeks of following signals tracked by HyperSensors, humanity encounters a very large enemy fleet. Order to engage is given. Exterminator turns on its Hyperspace Interdictor and attempts to pull both sides back into normal space.
Enemy must have not expected this, because it didn't even try to escape - interdiction has been successful and soon two species of one Dark Forest face each other across the Void:



Human soldiers freeze when they see what they see: enemy fleet is not a fleet at all: it's an enormous space structure, a mighty fortress, bigger and heavier than anything ever seen. It also has an alien, unusual shape:



18th November 2248, 10:20:48, there's not much to be said as Dark Forest prevents any communication to be established: the only discussion is to be talked out with gunfire. Hundreds of photonic missiles swarm human positions:



A squadron of missile destroyers struggles to keep up with the sheer firepower despite reinforcements. Many missiles leak through and blow up human spaceships one after another:





18th November 2248, 10:21:11, Bootes Force returns fire and swarms the space station with its own photonic missiles:







Doom-bringing ordnance roars as its entire energy is tanked by shields with unmatched power while humanity loses more vessels:



18th November 2248, 10:29:50, to much surprise of everyone involved, even High Admiral himself, human fleet still holds on well as a whole despite severe casualties, meanwhile many sections of the attacked fortress have already been destroyed:



18th November 2248, 10:32:26, at some distance from the besieged fortress the fabric of space rips itself, creating a passage, and another space station arrives at the battlefieldspace, even bigger and more intimidating than the previous one:



Nobody can explain this, but there's something to be truly feared about these behemoths as they lighten up in flames, launching more photonic missiles:



18th November 2248, 10:32:34, initially attacked space station falls apart at last. The explosion is so powerful that sent debris reaches human fleet and damages several ships, completely obliterating one of them:



Unfortunately, human forces have run out of ammo. Close firefight with energetic weapons is the only way to proceed. As the fleet tries to cut the distance, more and more casualties are taken:







18th November 2248, 10:36:12, once close enough, first ships start to open fire, but the retaliation is unimaginable. Thousands of matter manipulators are launched, accompanied with quantum-based particle beams, far more advanced versions of what human engineers achieved with Quantum Paladins. Some of the weapons are apparently just quantum teleporters, too. Many ships report hostile drones suddenly materialising into existence inside.



18th November 2248, 10:36:28, human fleet attempts to get away from teleporters' range while still being close enough to score hits. Suddenly, as if insane weaponry wasn't enough, enemy reveals its "station" is in fact one giant fortress-sized starships, equipped with regular engines, allowing it to reach velocities beyond imagination:



Humanity gets a few decent shots, but it's all nothing for enemy shields, meanwhile Invaders successfully destroy yet another ship without an issue:



Bootes Force successfully breaks shifts velocity while Invaders essentially outmanoeuvred themselves, flying past it, but with the acceleration that powerful, they quickly make a turn and chase down humans. They must be outfitted with black hole propulsion system and three unfortunate crews learn about this fact when evaporated particles, sent away from hostile engines to generate thrust, overload their shields and puncture right through their armor:





Battle rages on, but the shields of the enemy just refuse to go down, so no matter how many times Ragnaroks, Quantum Paladins and Nanosabers hit their targets, Invaders come out of it unscratched and ready to deliver more punishment towards the ones who dared to counterattack:



18th November 2248, 10:39:02, out of a sudden Invaders push their speed even further and come at humans with full force: two ships directly on their path are rammed into space dust, meanwhile hostile shields barely took notice of that event:



However, ramming did throw the enemy off-course by a tiny bit. With computations precise enough members of Bootes Force bought themselves a few precious seconds of a bit longer engagement distance:



But it's all for nothing when matter manipulators consume three more spaceships. With well over half initial forces scattered around in the form of debris and enemy barely damaged, High Admiral doesn't see anything to do but to flee and issues a command to calculate hyperspace jump. World Government, watching the battle in realtime on its FTL comms, approves, trying to only avoid pointless slaughter of top-tier soldiers and ships at this point.



18th November 2248, 10:41:14, emergency hyperspace jump is almost ready when suddenly a beam of light flashes in a distance and all sensors go haywire. If one was to form an opinion based on the readings coming in, he or she would have to claim that the very foundation of reality has ceased to exist. Nobody who saw this was able to explain as to what they were looking at a time.
Three seconds later, all Invaders' ships have disappeared as space around them became heavily warped. Still alive humans stared at it with awe and fear.

18th November 2248, 10:41:18, reality "fixed itself" and a spacecraft emerged from where a few moments earlier Invaders existed. At the same moment, everyone suffered from severe headache. Something was ringing in their heads, but they were unable to tell exactly what, though some believed it was an intense psionic attack.
Barely holding on, shaken crews slowly forced themselves to asses their situation. The unidentified object has been moving closer. Before anyone did anything concrete, though, Exterminator's onboard AI have already matched the parameters and shape of the object.

There was no doubt.
It was a flying saucer closing in.
 
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Panic ensued on all ships, no exceptions. Barely holding on to combat formation, barely holding on to their battle stations, barely conscious thanks to enormous headache, brave men and women, finest representatives of Human Civilisation, prepared their last stand, knowing exactly how this final battle will end.
Guns blazed, shots echoed in the ears of people serving on ships that fired them, reactors and engines burned, but Greys dodged all the shots. They moved just like described in the oldest conspiracy theories, accelerating within milliseconds and coming to full stop at the same moment or rapidly flying up, down and around as if an atmospheric drag was present. Somewhat similar to what human vessels could do with subluminal warp drives, but more efficiently and with more beauty.

Everyone awaited the final killing blow, but it did not happen. Instead, flying saucer matched speed with Bootes Force and approached so close it was clearly visible with naked eyes. Humanity kept pounding it with everything it could, but it seemed to have no effect.
Suddenly darkness covered the every pair of eyes. Deep within it, all humans, both on board of ships and members of the government watching as the situation unfolds, could see the alien figure:



We come in peace - spoke a deep, calm voice, with each human hearing this message in native language with flawless accent. Fear not, human beings.

WORLD GOVERNMENT: Who the hell are you? Why don't you just blast our fleet into oblivion? Why prolonging the inevitable? You know the rules and so do we.

ALIENS: We are the Arilou. We've watched over you. Fear not.

G: Yes, we were warned that Dark Forest knows. We know you were watching over us, just like Invaders. We do know how the universe works.

A: Fear not, human beings. The time has come for you to eventually embrace the light in this dark universe.

G: Who are you? What do you want from us?

A: We are the Arilou. We've known you and kept watching over you since the creation of Solar System. We kept you safe for as long as we could.

G: So all those sightings?... Photos, recordings, testimonies... Roosevelt Incident, Phoenix Lights, Stonehenge Incident... All true?

A: Yes, all true, since ancient times. And yet all false at the same time, until now.

G: What do you mean?

A: We wanted to prepare you for this day, so we let you embrace the vision of how we look, how we operate, who we are... But our ships never came within your detection range, let alone naked sight. It was all psionic simulations. That's why the special team you formed back in the day could not find a single proof of any of these encounters being true. Because they all happened only inside the heads of your species.

G: What do you want from us? Why now? Why not earlier or later? And why do you look different than we expected?

A: Express patience and we shall explain everything from the beginning. That's why we came here, that's what we want you to know.

G: We'll listen then.

A: You already know a lot about Precursors and the Dark Forest, so it'll be easier for us to tell what we have to tell.
Precursors were the first to acquire sentience and the first to walk among the stars. They fell in love with the beauty of universe and the joy of life. They expanded their civilisation across galaxies and thrived, but they weren't the only ones to uncover the secret of interstellar travel. In its early days, many other civilisations rose, and with them rose conflicts for the finite amount of matter in the universe.

Trees grew denser and denser in a young Dark Forest which soon started claiming its first preys. For eons to come, Precursors were unmatched and they were able to defend themselves, albeit with great pain. The darkness hurt their souls so much they started working on a possible solution. As they cruised across the hyperspace and higher dimensions, too, they realised that for a hypothetical multidimensional lifeform resources found in a three-dimensional space would be useless and vice versa. So if two civilisations existed, but one lived in normal space and the other in hyperspace, Dark Forest rules would not apply. A peaceful communication could be established. That's how Project Ascension was born.


G: Project Ascension? We've found some info in their ruins, but it looked... Too... Mysterious. We couldn't figure out much from it.

A: That is understandable as your civilisation hasn't progressed far enough. But worry not, we will explain.

G: Then we listen.

A: Precursors dedicated all their science to this project and were obsessed with it so much they neglected their military research. And so eventually the inevitable happened: they came into contact with a race you know as Invaders. A serious threat to any living being. A great war took place and Precursors took heavy beating, but survived by managing to close all Void Wormholes leading to their galaxies and prevent Invaders from opening new ones, separating both civilisations. But Invaders found a way regardless and breached the blockade. That's when the second war broke out.

During this war Precursors were already deep into the Project Ascension, having solved most of the theoretical dilemmas they expected to move onto technical details soon. But war fleets of Invaders were too much for them to handle that time and they fell. But as they were falling and knew the end was nigh, they dedicated their last resources into building the facilities you've encountered yourself: they were meant to store all their knowledge for other civilisations to uncover, with the ultimate goal being finishing their most beloved project.

Invaders picked up on this and were really invested, but they could never figure out the true purpose behind it all. All they searched for was some kind of ultimate weapon that'd seal their dominance and grant them easy victory over all the other civilisations out there. They got it all wrong and could not progress past certain point, which fuelled their thirst for conquest even more. They swept galaxy after galaxy in search for answers their combative attitude could never allow them to notice.


G: And what all this has to do with your species?

A: Ever since our ancestors knew what the stars and planets were, we wondered about alien life out there, just like you did. But once we finally reached them and made first contact, the harsh truth knocked at our doors. Remember all the classical alien invasion movies of your race? That's right, they are from that period. In an indirect way they refer to these events. We were never proud of our Death Rays, but we had no choice at the moment, just like you had no choice but to drop NOVA bombs.

Since these days we put a great effort into enlightening the Dark Forest. Mechi, as you call them, or "Baile Screed", as we officially named them, were our early attempt. We terraformed that one planet in HIP 22738 system, but were not happy with the results - it had too much deserts and too little lush zones, not resembling our homeworld in the slightest, even though technically habitable for us.

Mechi, the product of our Singularity, were programmed as a friendly civilisation. To limit their spread but at the same time grant them some possibilities, we didn't gave them FTL technology other than building a network of wormholes. They were meant to act friendly towards any aliens they might encounter, but you already know how it all ended. We didn't really lose anything because of this, but it was an utter failure. Mechi were just like anyone else out there, predator and prey in one.

But eventually we discovered remnants of Precursors and their knowledge banks. We were the ones that finished their grand project. But to complete their will, that was not enough. Precursors wanted to share its fruits with anyone worthy of ascension.

Despite your bloody history, our best psionic analysts sensed great potential in your species, but you weren't the first ones we watched over.


G: Who did you look after before us and how it ended?

A: Although when we arrived, Nibiru was already in a state you found the planet in, two civilisations existed in the Solar System: one living on Mars and the other living on Venus. But they waged war since they knew about each other. There were no winners this time. Both destroyed each other, leaving the two planets lifeless until you stepped in and terraformed them.

G: You said you discovered ruins of the Precursors. But according to evidence gathered by our civilisation, mainly on Nibiru, Precursors must have known about you. How was it possible?

A: We never knew Precursors, but Precursors must have known us. We like to think they watched over us, too, till the day they were gone.

G: Now tell us finally something more about Project Ascension itself.

A: As we already explained, lifeforms of different dimensions do not compete in the same Dark Forest. That's the square one, basic assumption on which the project has been founded. So, in its basic goal, Ascension meant nothing else but to transfer oneself into a being existing within higher number of dimensions. Our science allowed us to figure out everything needed to prepare technology that would allow that. And so we ascended. Currently we are five-dimensional species, which is why we look different than you expected. But that's just the three-dimensional projection, once you see us in Quasispace you'll see how we really look like in our current form.

G: Quasispace?

A: Just like hyperspace, but with one more dimension to it. We called it like that because it provides cover from the Dark Forest since its inhabitants don't go beyond hyperspace while in FTL. "Quasispace" was the word in your language that was best to express the concept we have on mind.

G: Do you have plans to bring us there? You said "once you see us in Quasispace". Now we see why you aren't hostile, but won't this change once we're on the same plane?

A: We watched over you for long enough to know. Also please take a note that Quasispace is not the end. Even as we speak our civilisation works hard to push itself further. We do not know how many planes exist, but we do know that there are at least two above Quasispace, so we have a lot of work awaiting us.

Constantly pushing through more dimensions is the ultimate warranty of safety that can be sent to other species: once you join us, we could interact according to the Dark Forest Theory, but the truth is it won't make sense. It will be in your best interest to help us ascend into six-dimensional plane. Why? If we stay in Quasispace with you, we will consume same resources as you and war will be inevitable. War you might win or lose. But if we work together to go beyond fifth dimension, you'll get rid of us from your resource pool in a safe way. If you decide to attack us, you risk getting annihilated yourself, but sending us one tier higher is a perfectly safe way for you to handle us. The same rules obviously apply to ourselves, too. Once we'll be six-dimensional, you'll find yourself in same situation as of now and the cycle will repeat - another warranty will be issued.


G: Shouldn't this apply to the three-dimensional space, too? Help others ascend so that they consume different types of resources instead of risky survival in a Dark Forest?

A: And that's exactly the key. That's the message Precursors were preparing for the universe, but it didn't want to listen. Now we are carrying out their will.

G: What if number of dimensions is finite and you reach the last one? Won't this degenerate into Dark Forest all over again?

A: So far we lack a solid proof, but it is very likely this number is infinite. Meanwhile this universe is going to collapse and a new one will be born after a finite amount of time passes. For that our descendants will need to prepare, to survive the collapse of the universe might be the biggest challenge any civilisation might face. There's so much more for us to discover, so much more to learn about... Science never stops. There are wonders which for us are as alien as the concepts we are explaining are for you, waiting for someone to resolve their mysteries.

G: What will happen next?

A: We will share with you our knowledge and technology. You will ascend with us, you will transform into a new, more beautiful form, and from that point your civilisation will thrive alongside ours, celebrating the end of Dark Forest as we know it. This is the end of your harsh path and a beginning of a new one, pure and breathtaking.

G: Why now? Why did you suddenly arrive and make contact, saving surviving part of the Bootes Force from Invaders?

A: We could no longer wait with finally revealing ourselves. Dark Forest knows. And it knows photonic missiles failed to do the job. Next it'll most probably use black hole generators to crush you. You need to hurry.

G: Black hole generators?

A: You think all black holes are a product of supermassive celestial bodies collapsing under their own weight naturally? No, it's a pretty popular way for super advanced civilisations to deal with their enemies. They send a special device to a solar system which, once in place, generates a black hole that devours it, wiping out all life it might exist there. And this is why the universe will collapse rather than die out from too high entropy. Our simulations have shown that with the current usage of this weapon, all matter will be sucked in to form one universal black hole much faster than the universe would've died off at its own pace. Later the whole cycle will repeat.
 
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And so, on that memorable day, Humanity has finally found peace and solace. Arilou kept their word and gifted humanity with all the technology it needed, starting with a four-dimensional FTL drive. Tens of thousands of starships outfitted with Quasidrives carried every single human being deep within the realm of Quasispace only a decade before black holes sent by Dark Forest destroyed every system once populated by Humans. But two of them, GJ 1279 and NN 4079, survived. And with the latter survived Groaxians as well.

Humanity decided to keep the tradition started by Arilou going and declared itself the guardians of their race, willing to watch over them and keep them safe and sound until they'd be able to ascend, too. To help Groaxians develop, Humans placed a monolith on their homeworld, filled to the brim with a lot of scientific knowledge gathered by Mankind through its history. Among all the mathematical formulae one thing stood out: it was a short message to the Groaxians, encoded in the languages of all their tribes via proper sequence of smells and shades of pink and purple so they could easily understand it:

We are the Humanity
Sleep tight little ones
Until you join us among the stars
We will keep you safe


THE END