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General C# Fiction / Re: The Chronicle of the GUNs
« Last post by El Pip on Today at 12:22:06 PM »
A politically-inclined psychopath. Elora Wolfenfield. There's not really much to say other than who in their right mind would vote for her?
After such a fate tempting description I obviously had to vote for her. :D

Though I am mildly annoyed that the greatest candidate has been cruelly denied a chance to stand, win and then blindly lead the GUNs to yet more glory. Consider this a write in vote for Tereshchenko, the candidate they literally cannot kill.
Stormtrooper's Fiction / Re: A.F.R.I.C.A. - Back to the 80's'
« Last post by Stormtrooper on Yesterday at 06:02:58 PM »
Back to the 80's'

By the time summer 2284 arrived on Earth (on Mars it was more like a cold spring, but the last fine-tuning of planetary heaters was slowly fixing that), the Solar System was a mess for big corporations. Exadev no longer had enough power to controll all of it, though most Martian cities remained under its strict influence. TerraNova Inc received some collateral damage from anti-Exadev uprising and the Europa terraformation project had to be postponed, Broken Heart Biotech Group got several labs closed after leaked reports of dubious agreements signed up by test subjects, Facegram Corps faced several charges for manipluative advertisement and pro-addiction practices in their Enriched Reality, Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate had to pay for the treatment of millions of users of the drug distributed by a criminal organization the corporation had ties with and backed up the drug's development, Cosmotech and Cloudpunk got mostly unscratched because of their relative small sizes (and absolutely not because of the fleet of LazerFrictions being the main supplier of rare minerals to Avalon Heights Inc factories and Cloudpunk providing it with fuel in deep space so the mining trips could last longer), senates of Night City and Neo Tokyo had dissolved completely and Avalon Heights' Inc androids were swarming human population, with some of them going rogue, meanwhile a lot of Neon Kamikaze took advantage of the upheaval and scavenged some Duranium Components Inc lost complexes to upgrade their chips for something that'd make them more Neon and less Kamikaze.

When the dust settled, many corporations were still licking wounds and counting losses, forced to operate on a smaller scale, Channel 9 News still remained a significant player, most senators lost the next elections and the population of androids only kept growing, American Frontier Protectorate kept selling military civilian laser blasters to much dismay of half the population and happines of the other half (stating that the main reason aliens hadn't invaded yet was because of so many citizens being armed with direct energy weapons and ready to fry them on the spot), Yellowpeace rebranded as Whitepeace and protested against terraforming of Europa afte rumours of microorganisms in its oceans and "android equal rights" type of movements increased in frequency.

With the fall of the biggest ones and related market crashes, the small, insignificant, ordinary citizens gained a bit of breathing room. 2282 was the first year since exodus from N.O.V.A. Bunker System that noted the decline in slum sprawl as proper city apartments became a bit more affordable. Earth population crossed second billion and beautiful pictures of the planet's nigtside pulsating in blue and purple went viral over cyberspace.

Seeing how things progressed, Avalon Heights Inc decided to play it safe. It had all the means to seize the power and almost no significant competition, but feared Cloudpunk and Cosmotech would do to it what it had done to Exadev. The obvious PR move for the company was related with their most popular product at a time. Seeking to capitalize on certain social movements and became the main advocate for android equal rights to score some points with a portion of population. And negative points with other portion of population, but stirring up drama between regular people had always been the perfect way to rule over them and do as one desired with nobody looking at hands. Demonstrations clashed, with transparents like "androids are humans, too", "we are all synthetic", "make synths not war", "we are all one in cyberspace", "machine empathy", "all our limbs are from factories" on one side and signs claiming that "a toaster with good software is still a toaster", "my fridge will not have the same rights as me", "sentience does not come from assembly line", "they imitate human behaviour, let's imitate human rights for them", "synth eyes, not synth brains", "electric sheep" on the other.

And while everyone was busy arguing with each other, Avalon Heights Inc got sure it'll hold a majority of votes in the senate of a newly founded SyntCity, an experimental place for a man and machine to live in peace on equal terms. And even the fiercest opponents of treating androids like humans had to admit how beautiful this city looked, especially during the sunset, when the red sky and orange light nicely composed with the neons coming to life. As every other city, it was multi-layered, spanning across an impressive amount of seven platforms above the ground, with roughly 200 floors between each, but its constructors designed it so no matter the level, every major artery could get at least a bit of light from the setting sun each evening. Optimized for flying traffic, but also featuring large pedestrian plazas for humand and androids to hang out, clinics offering extensive skin implants for androids to look like a human, but also complex external plating for humans to look like an android, zoos with electric sheeps indistingusihable from the real ones and all restaurants bound by city law to sell food and drinks alongside batteries and oil.

In 2287 Avalon Heights Inc officially announced their new generation of AI software. It was supposed to be the ultimate PR success: a livestream directly from a lab, showing off one of their androids self-developing the capability of emulating abstract thoughts and handling typical human concepts, tapping even into the philosophy of existence.

The stream lasted only for about four minutes, but it spread through cyberspace like neon fire. No netrunner could ever prove it was fake - because it wasn't. Some tried to convince the public opinion it was, though - and some people believed. But not all. While technically training a chatbot to produce this kind of speech had already been considered a resolved problem and AI-generated poetry contests or philosophical debates had been going on for decades already, this line of androids had been meant to serve as regular grunts at factories and none had been training on datasets typically reserved for companionship-class machines. And it had been the only android from the line to display such behaviour. Scientists claimed they needed "more time to investigate the topic", porgrammers frantically searched the code for bugs, the whole line was put on hold until the root cause would be identified, people kept posting all kinds of conspiracy theories, many accused Avalon Heights Inc of a giant fraud serving as another marketing campaign (which, despite not being a fraud this time, it indeed served as an advertisement to boost sales...), many freaked out about machine revolution, even some supporters of android equal rights freaked out, but no matter personal opinions, humanity was on the brink of discovering the first AI that truly deserved its label and no other software ever created could come even close to this phenomenon.

During excavation works needed for laying city's foundations, a previously omitted layers of pre-apocalypse infrastructure had been discovered. The youngest skyscrapers (more like "groundscrapers" given their recent level placement) were about three hundred years old. Interestingly, the city's structure seemed mostly intact - according to geologists, most of the explosions that had wiped all surface life roughly two hundred years ago, occured far enough to not damage most buildings. However, they must'd been going off all around in the perimeter, obliterating any infrastructure and cutting the forgotten metropolis from the rest of the current world, sentencing it to being forgotten rather than destroyed. As a result, archeologists could find a bit more interesting pre-war artifacts than usually. Some of them appeared oddly familiar and hit too close home: they depicted a vision of future as imagined three hundred years ago: magnificient towers with bright blue-purple neons bathing in sunset almost exactly like on the computer visualisations of SynthCity project, flying cars being the norm, high-speed monorail lines high above the ground, rainy nights, animations and screensavers that oddly resembled modern cyberspace loading screens... The future dreamed by generations before had been right there at last.

It wasn't the world free of problems as dreamed, but it was there. Many people felt strange connection driving their flying cars through those rainy nights with the world long gone, yet present in some form. A world that dreamed about the technological wonders that would help build utopian society. Reality was less perfect than anticipated, but somehow this three hundred years old spirit had survived. It survived the hellfire of nuclear, fusion and even a few antimatter explosions, it survived the attempts to rewrite history by N.O.V.A. Megacorps, it prevailed in the hearts and minds of the people who'd engineered the cities of the New World. The human legacy carried on in the souls who watched the sunset from the skyscraper's roof in 2284, who awaited at the monorail station in summer 2286, who partied like it was 2283, who cruised among the neon skyline in 2285. It was these moments that made being a human beautiful. And no corporation could ever take it away from them.
General C# Fiction / Re: Saving Europa by Fleeing to Europa (SEFE)
« Last post by Vandermeer on Yesterday at 11:35:23 AM »
//Two comments on the last entry:
- I figured out why the anti-orbital emplacements wouldn't fire: Being relic designs of the last great war on Earth, they had only 3kps targeting speed and no ECCM. It was peek technology at its time, but against TL8 engine Alps with their slightly above 10k speed and 30 ECM, the turrets literally had 0 hit chance and thus presumably didn't fire at all. It would have been nice to get a notification, but it is also good that they are smart enough to not take shots they simply can't make. Horrifyingly, all colonies safe Europa are thus undefended, but I adjust.
- This added to the consequence that I had now decided to delete all ALP ships one time, and a second time some years later when I saw some new scouts. I made this decision, because the game would otherwise definitely have been over, since just a few days after above report there was an apocalyptic fleet coming in, while 2 whole other fleets of similar size had just been spotted in Alpha Centauri.
..There was simply no strategy that could have stopped this wave, and the list of existing ALP ships in the database altogether was endless. Let's see if under this massive spawnrate, the two deletions will even change anything, but at least I have a breather.

The Great Firewall
A new century had dawned on humanity. Looking back one could surmise every consecutive one to deliver more dangers and more challenges as the trend seemed to spiral towards greater chaos and threat the more power the human race commanded for itself.
Long since have the times past where humanity could for the first time extinct itself through unchecked nuclear reactions. Back then governments could still desperately try to hold hands over the tools of destruction, since the knowledge was arcane, difficult to replicate, and really only accessible for resourceful thrifty societies, barring the most hostile, irrational and thus dangerous regimes from accessing it.
The progress of technology did not halt however, and humanities powers grew forth and forth. Where once a gun or even just everyone's car was already a lethal power in everybody's hand that could easily kill another, now men commanded so much energy that said car was perhaps a private shuttle, which -juiced to maximum expansion synchronization- would develop enough kinetic force to wipe out a small city, and all that while humans also became more numerous than ever before.
It didn't take philosophers and scientists to figure out early for this terrible societal challenge to have to arrive eventually, although nobody had come up with answers towards what to do about it for over 100 years. Now finally a single crazy person could spell disaster over so many as if commanding private use nukes. Even average workers often had responsibilities, such as in power plants, refineries, laboratories or air tower guides, where apocalyptic energy laid at their fingertips every day. The margin for error in society became slimmer and slimmer with the consequences rising. The standard for society to be perfect was almost insurmountably high. The western valued world of individual freedoms had become a Jenga tower rocking on a massage bed.

The Alp knew about this too. It knew it didn't have to succeed in a complete overtaking right away to ignite the fuse on all the powder that its enemy had already prepared. Just a person here and there, which commanded enough energy, -not even a government official or officer-, and unprecedented decimation would ensue.
Following the last and hitherto largest incursion into Sol, the unions had seen such shift in strategy. Focused attempts infiltrated devices and sought for individuals it could reliably take as seedbed to make the Manifesto bloom into its natural red fire. The fact that it managed to get grip of some leading officers in the chain of the orbital defense cannonry command was merely incidental consequence of the weighting algorithm finding the application of resources most lucrative on those positions.

Yet, this change in war philosophy also spelled to expose an unexpected weakness. As was inevitable by the nature of this evolution, in order to actually penetrate complex electronic systems in most circumstances, the Alp methods had to become more refined and structured than just tunneling in malicious code broadly. It had started to 'think' about breaking attempts in the sense of strategizing intrusion stepwise, having a pool of prepared tools, and even using patience.
While all that appeared pretty terrifying on the defensive side of humanity, it also meant the screaming lunacy of the Leninist indoctrination code was perforce giving way to structure. ...A structure that could be exploited.
Given that the amorphous qualities of a full-scale artificial intelligence program made it naturally resistant against classical intrusion, the Alp was assumed to have no actual experience in real system defense. Judging by the information collected throughout their larger scale overtaking of ASEAN wreckage survivors recently however, the AI had now reformed into enough prepared code pieces to for the first time be vulnerable to electronic counter-attack.

..A scenario it had indeed been completely unprepared for. No data existed on this phenomenon, and thus no defense was to be had. Targeting the besieging forces that sat on the Sol cutting point in Alpha Centauri, the deep electronic telemetry of the Chateau colony launched what the military scientists had coined "The Great Firewall". It was a play on the old CCP Great Firewall, -a more modern Iron Curtain-, that hindered its citizen from grasping the reality of the real world outside of the authorities propaganda bubble, which was itself a play on the Chinese Great Wall. The irony seemed to be most approachable to the WU dignitaries in charge, as its newest incarnation should now instead keep China and the consequences of its ideas out of the civilized world.
Of course, this "wall" was less of a blocking nature too, and more on the proactive 'attack is the best defense' side. And whether the "firewall" denotation was really applicable was also made blurry, since at what point of human brain+machine fusion does hacking become a psychological attack?

Definitions aside, the project exceeded all expectations. The CCP occupation forces had their maneuvers scrambled, likely feared for reversed overtaking and their secrets being exposed, and quickly shuffled to screamingly recede into its territories at the abyssal void. The alpha predator that has never known pain reacts with utter panic when finally being given the taste of it.
For the following years, the Alp would keep out of humanities sight everywhere altogether. No doubt to further reform and adapt its methods, but still, a moment of respite. For once, a dawn of a new century started with the promise of some peace. Hacking and cybertech movies became a sensation for a while.

More win, more WUN
Since the waters were free for at least a short while, this was also the time to coordinate supplies, reestablish contact to the two detached colonies, and reinforce the fortifications if possible of all remote habitats in Sol and out. It was also the time to take a look at the rather extensive ship graveyard that had accumulated over the years in which the seas had been too stormy. Untold treasures may lay hidden amongst the numerous Alp derelicts, not to mention that Europa was running really low on essential resources that were abundant in all old ships.
Also a project was to finally clear what was behind the newly opened cutting point that the Alp had somehow opened up.
Off-Topic: show

To do this quickly and safely, a new tiny but enduring probe design had been launched that uncovered it to be a shortcut to Aberdeen, a relatively tame system that had already been close.

It was a shame though that there was now another attack vector towards Sol, since future strategem had provisioned only two main fleets that would press the circle around Ursae Sibiria. With this new front opening, there might be need to switch to a more mobile defense with early warning scouts far out that could make out possible attacks incoming. Sibiria could still be locked down at the end using two fleets, but it could not be done pushing step by step anymore.

After a year of expeditions, the Venicia Class Freighter "Dyke" had finished the inventory of all the Alp derelicts.(they curiously looked not much more ramshackle in their destroyed state than fully operational, giving cause to some anxiety and paranoia with the salvage crews)
The bounty of the operation exceeded the imagination. In the past all the meager spoils had stemmed from early scout ships that were barely militarized and whose sensible optics often crumbled under the lightest touch of laser fire, leaving little behind but recyclable material.
This time however, Dyke nearly exclusively fished out bonafide warships, leading to an impressive list of dubious artifacts:
Off-Topic: show

..Most notable of which were for one the null-void spawn laser cannons that managed to bundle the elusive, non-mirrorable x-ray light by simply summoning it via a vacuum excitation apparatus ring (kind of a 'well') in required quantities. The other were of course the 60 fully functioning magnetic fusion reactors.
Who would have thought that achieving a stable, non-explosive fusion reaction would in the end be a more challenging achievement than not only fast stellar travel and colonization, but even FTL communication and interstellar exploration too?

...Yet the Alp-technology, whose insight in from extreme low energy state upwards-building architecture was by their nature unmatched, managed to finally break this barrier, or rather tear it down completely. Old fusion philosophy was to heat a plasmatic substance onto thousands times the sun's core temperature to make the statistically very unlikely tunneling phenomenon happen at viable rates. The Alp method ingeniously engineered the fields around the conversely now extreme low-energy fusion material so that tunneling became one of the most likely paths freshly injected energy could take to manifest itself. Thus fusion became just a thing that could now practically be commanded, and at just a couple 100 degrees no less.
From one day to another, the WU was suddenly capable of building working plasma reactors, and have all other kinds of improvements related to sensitive machinery. There was also a great sense of relief that using the Alp methods in most cases didn't involve to outright make a pact with the devil of the null-void to function.
Of course, the exception to this rule was still their abyssal engine system, to which the WU still had no answer. Given the now abundant new supply, new conventional methods to use this sudden energy density could perhaps be thought up, but still lay a decade or likely more out.

In addition this was still yet far from all the secrets that the WU could extract. By perhaps next time attempting to leave critical working parts intact on kills, and salvaging them as early as possible, there were still advances in metallurgy, true x-ray firing (not the shallow imitation of current) and even some mysteriously yet higher form of fusion to be found, as the Alp apparently had figured out a way to recycle muons somehow, which facilitated true cold-fusion.
Advances in ability to fight their electronic intrusion, as well as mimicking it would of course also be welcome, but proceeded slowly.

In July 2105 the first Carrier "Clermont" and its strike group reported 100 percent combat readiness, thus giving WU the deep fighter operation capability for the first time.

Through the years and thanks to the advances out of the salvage, the WUN had come to revisit the Bastille escort concept as well. It was initially planned as both an in-system cutting point defense, as well as an anti-missile escort design for future true cruiser concepts.
With the appearance of the Alp however, it made no sense to leave these old ideas of warfare lying around and doing nothing. Consequently, plans were issued to drop the missile-defense role and refit all frigates into a more effective anti-ship role. Though still lacking to the wishes of the admiralty, the first iteration of such was the 'Diable variant'.

It featured slightly reinforced armor, and replaced all its turrets with laser options. For the time however, it didn't incorporate any new Alptech advances yet, for it was deemed necessary to rather use the window of potentially quickly fleeting respite and make the designs at least somewhat usable first, - then worry about upgrades later.

In the following years, all the other victims of the war were cleared for their resources from Sol, until finally it had become time to even delve into Alpha Centauri and retrieve the honorable remnants of the old destroyer fleet that had once suffered losses here while attempting to save the civil freighter caravans. To shield the valuable Venicia freighter from potentially reappearing Alp threats here, this occurrence was also the first official mission for the Cloister carrier. Escort the freighter operation and use the symbolic act as a show for the recurrence and advancement of WUN naval might to the citizens and other unions.

At the same time the first true applications of Alptech were induced into a revision of the planetary defense program. The old great war anti-orbital artilleries had been revolutionary for their firing speed and precision against the PLA ships, but facing off with the new Alp threat with their combined tactic of maneuver and jamming as well as command subverting warfare, a completely new methodology had to be found for these weapons to have any reliability whatsoever.
Firstly, the new planetary artillery was now conceived to be massive. Large caliber, burst firing guns should tower over the surface and were to deliver punches that hopefully took out the thin foil Alp hulls in singular salvos rather than having to ablate them gradually like before. Incorporating some inherent command resistance and signal strategies (literally firing command by light signal) served to harden their defense on the information warfare front. Additionally, while maintaining the previous weapons' range, their tracking rate had gone up by more than factor x5 despite being so massive.

These guns should be packed in units of 12, and though they required much time to reload, were overall much more powerful than the 72 smaller gun emplacements that were used previously. They however also took between 6-8 years to build, meaning humanity had to hold out until then by other means.

As an addition, though not currently needed, a fast firing anti-missile slug launcher was also fashioned from new sensor ideas.

Their deployment had low priority and was merely an intellectual curiosity at this point of war strategy. However, diversity begets the ability to adapt should the board change, and one may find one or two of these suddenly rise in value if, for example, the Alp should evolve again and rediscover its love for propelled munitions suddenly.

After merely a few years of total silence, new Alp ships arrived in the year 2107. It was the usual scout detachment that the unions had seen numerous times, but this time likely conducting sinister experiments for some form of resurgence plan.
Off-Topic: show

The Goteborg class escort was quickly shot down, but the Stockholm could yet escape the fighter contingents that were still at half strength at this point.

Inspired already by former small scout incursions of this kind, and then sped up in planning through the latest one, WUN finally finished and deployed the concept of a beam firing fighter plane, the Eurofighter Typhoon:

The design was very inefficient as it re-used very ill fitted engines from the original Eurofighter and had issues supplying the always bulky energy cannon that really wasn't meant to fit on fighter planes to begin with. The extreme maneuverability of the enemy however simply forced far ranging weaponry demand on any potential close combat design, as otherwise retreat and strafe tactics would always lead to misses.(the strange lessons that modern open terrain space combat teaches...)
Future iterations should also improve on the firing computer that was still somewhat behind the required standard for CCP interception. Yet, having the ability to finally use at least some close combat fighting ability against the Alp ships at all, would already be a boon on conserving the strained munition reserves.

With this last step fulfilled, a year after the incursion both carriers were finally fully combat ready and equipped with their final complement of fighter planes.

Additionally, just as all the 18 Bastille frigates had been lifted towards the Diable-variant standard, the new 'Diable II' line had been ordered, now featuring some lightly upgraded Alp-grade electronics, as well as 4 larger, far ranging laser artillery pieces, fueled by true fusion.

Testing footage:
Off-Topic: show

Though a revolution to be sure, to make these large weapons possible some corners had to be cut, striping away the extra layer of armor that had come with Diable I, and also reducing the range somewhat. The last of which should be a lesser problem now however, as WUN now also commanded 2 Requisition type fleet supply ships.

To finish off the decade with an invention of its own, a long running engineering project finally came to its close. Europa was a small moon, and though its population had already far outpaced the former census of old Europa, this modern age required ever greater backbone support for the navies defense mechanisms to work out.
In other words: Growth was needed, but space was sparse. Thus an ambitious plan explored the option to move significant parts of population into welcoming ship-like orbital infrastructure that seamlessly connected with the original planet or moon.

Success was finally had with the project of the "Galilean Ring" being sanctioned to be assembled. Although the industrial demand will be extensive, the design was in actuality very cheap on any essential minerals, since only few disentangled materials were needed for mostly stationary technology.
The whole ring would consist of initially 5 anchors that should stabilize further 5 large ring segments, upon which potentially other structures could be built in farther futures.

Though the reappearance and evidently partially already Great Firewall resistant Alp ships gave some reason for worries, the WU had also recovered a good amount of momentum and resources. Should the build-up of ground batteries and the refit of the Bastille frigates proceed without a major incident, the new supply-fed substantial carrier backing was now decent hope for humanity to be able to finally turn this dark era of victimization into a heroic age of the hunt.

Since the new big version is now out that I'd obviously like to try, I will move this game and database to a secure location and leave it there for some while. It is thus officially frozen, though since I find how everything worked out and fell in this game to be quite fortunate, there is always the possibility to continue. The setup is quite good after all.
Stormtrooper's Fiction / Re: A.F.R.I.C.A. - Mutant Alliance
« Last post by Stormtrooper on August 05, 2022, 05:46:24 PM »
Mutant Alliance

There was no time to waste, but it didn't mean Exadev didn't waste some on corporate meetings. Fortunately the command of Cybercity Blue Escort was organized enough to just don't care and head towards the new wormhole anyways, predicting how it all would work out eventually. Thanks to this brilliant decision, a few thousands of employees were saved from their salary dropping below zero as a punishment for not meeting the five minute deadline of entering the new system. It was a G-class star. According to ancient records, it was 61 Virginis. It featured 7 planets, out of which only the second one was terrestial - the other were all gas giants. There was an eight dwarf planet orbiting in the distance, with almost absolute zero surface temperature. But it was not the planets that amazed and terrified the crew at once - it was the moons harboured by gas giants. Three moons around the closest planet to the star alone had decent levels of oxygen in the air. On two of them, the pressure was barely above one tenth of Earth's and the gravity was 3 and 5 times lower respectively, but one of them had a gravity reaching almost 0,6G and a pressure almost at 0,35 atm. Even from far away it was obvious all three moons bore life. According to the pictures made by onboard telescopes, the surface of two was coloured in blue, green and a bit of white and yellow, as if they were Earth's smaller siblings. One of them was covered in ice and snow, with temperatures don't rising above -28 degrees in the hottest regions.

The terrestial planet was also fascinating: the average temperature was below one hundred degrees and it was much smaller than Earth, with a diameter of only a bit over 10k km, but so dense the gravity reached over over 0,7G. The atmosphereic pressure was half the Earth's and it was almost all nitrogen, with oxygen existing in small traces. The planet looked more alien than the moons, with it's dark-blue/greenish surface. There were also a few other more interesting moons further from the sun, having atmospheres composed of mostly helium and hydrogen. Some even had methane and carbon dioxide ice sheets on the surface, but were so far away from the sun that they couldn't support any atmosphere - most gasses were all frozen solid permanently.

As if the proof of life the expedition force had in plain sight before their cybernetic eyes wasn't enough, various measurement instruments picked up all kinds of chatter coming from the surface of the second planet and the three moons of the first. The audio equipment could even process the signals into sounds. Somehow they sounded familiar, like a distant hum of Cybercity, only amplified by a cluster of megastructures and cyberspace nodes. 61 Virgins was a federation-occupied system. That or the sci-fi tropes about every alien planet looking like Earth and every sentient species looking like humans and operating the same technology were true all this time.

PURGE Team quickly got to work on the datastream, identifying it as network protocols of unknown origin. Given years of time they'd probably be likely to come up with their own software for properly receiving and decoding it, but when five unidentified alien vessels flashed on radar they knew they had at most two hours given the velocities of approaching objects and own ships. The fleet admiral would've ordered the ships to just warp out, but the mission objectives stated otherwise and admiral's salary Cybercity was in danger. Five ships... That was laughably little and a mighty fleet at once, all depending on their technology that could be anything from outdated laser blasters glued to the hull with duct tape to singularity cannons and whatnot. Or the worst, singularity cannons glued to the hull with duct tape.

Ida Autoson: This is the admiral of Cybercity Blue Escort fleet. If you understand our speech, please standby and identify yourself.

??: ...

IA: This is the admiral of Cybercity Blue Escort fleet. Identify yourself or you will be regarded as hostile and be destroyed.

??: ..............................

IA: This is the admiral of Cybercity Blue Escort fleet. Identify yourself or you will be regarded as hostile and be destroyed.

??: ..............................

IA: This is the admiral of Cybercity Blue Escort fleet. If you approach any closer, we will open fire.

??: ........................................................................................

IA: This is the admiral of Cybercity Blue Escort fleet. It is your last warning. Reverse and start deccelerating or be annihilated.

??: ........................................................................................

IA: Concentrate lasers on the fastest ship. Evasive maneouvres now. Protect the Trappist Beta Group and Backup Node.

??: ...........-kzzkt- ...eration. Not again, damn -kzzkt-!!!!!!!!! -kzzkt- ...eriments! -kzzkt- you!..................................

IA: We are not a federation fleet. Or generation fleet, for that matter. By building wormholes in space we consider our territory you've violated the 129384761287346712534613846718932674th article of Space Defence Protocol. Surrender or face consequences.

??: -kzzkt-my speech imp -kzzkt- ...ead of comm... -kzzkt- fix... -kzzkt- tape? -kzzkt- v -kzzkt-

IA: ..............................

??: Alright, it's working now... Cool. Next time please tell me you forgot to install an update to my notifying software that should ping me my speech implant needed an update. I don't care you forgot because your memory implant failed after not receiving important updates that were supposed to fix the updates that were installed incorrectly even though they'd still break even if installed correctly besides you have three of them already and you were doing a brain update three weeks ago and don't tell me it's the clinics fault what the hell is even wrong with you you know we rely on genetics and too many circuits is bad for your hormones, especially after you've cloned your liver and stomach... Why do you even need two stomachs anyways, if you never update your digestive system drivers on time anyways... AND WHY THE HELL DO YOU TELL ME THE COMMS ARE ON ONLY NOW?!

IA: ..............................

??: Alright, I don't have the whole day. Identify yourselves or be destroyed.

IA: Listening software also needs an update to fix an update that was installed incorrectly even though it'd still break even if installed correctly?

??: I don't know who taught you psionics and I don't care, but my lasers are charging now so do as I say!

IA: We are a perimeter fleet patrolling the outermost layers of our territory and you've violated our space.

??: Fine, I wasn't expecting a federation contact after all those decades anyways...

IA: You mean the Intergalactic Federation? What do you know about them?

??: Not much besides the fact some corporations interested in genetic engineering kept us in this system. It doesn't have any wormholes like most other federation-controlled systems. It was meant to trap us. The usual. We are the descendants of the clones. Not sure if you know what's going on on Earth, but back in Early 2060s Amazon was successfully launching their first serious cloning project into production. It had some... defects, most likely to demonstrate during breeding... But they didn't care. Shortly after another civil war happened and the South won... Turned us into slaves. Not that we hadn't been enslaved before, but then we got the full package with the official title.  But that was not the worst. The worst was that our genome was unstable, but that unstability was potent for companies diving into genetics. We got our share of "superpowers", but the pile of broken genetics we became pushed us first into the slums of the cities, and eventually into this system that served as a slum of the Milky Way.

IA: What happened to the federation? In particular, what happened in Trappist 1?

??: There was some war going on... And then another. Not like we were kept up to date. FTL tech was strictly banned for us. Currently we live on the three moons around the first planet and on the second planet. Noticed those moons with hydrogen atmosphere and freezing temperatures? We used to inhabit them, too. Tried to hide some physics labs and run warp field tests. The corporations heard and saw. Anyways, I remember the battle of Procyon... Poor mining staff. Heard Trappist 1 was hit pretty badly though. There were supposedly a few planets in the system that all had surface liquid water when terraformers arrived... Almost century-old rumours say there are currently no planets with liquid water in this system. Or water in any state, really. But sometimes when we tune in in that direction we receive cyberspace signals. Distorted after travelling through all these light years.

IA: Do you know about project A.F.R.I.C.A.?

??: I remember an old song... It went like "I bless the neons down in Africa! Gonna take some augs to do the things we never could..." Or something like that. But A.F.R.I.C.A.?... Wait... Solar System was the first one to die. But I've heard the legends. We all have. Some sort of underground ark... But there were no survivors, confirmed by Tech Noir as they launched their last ships. Wait... who the hell are you?!

IA: Nomands that recently settled in Tau Ceti. Our databanks... Missed an update that was required to fix an update that was installed incorrectly even though it'd still break even if installed correctly.

??: Alright, I'm reporting this encounter to the Comitee. Until then, you stay right where you are and don't make anything stupid. I'm not authorized to make the important decisions.


Sending a distress signal and masking it as random comms array glitch was quite a feat of the PURGE, even though it wasn't that hard due to protocol incompatibility. Cybercity managing department was ripping off their bionic hair as if it could help. It was only a matter of time before the mutants would figure out their "nomad" cover story. According to the report, their military was rather on the strong side, as well as hatred for corporations. Their societal structure remained largely unknown, but managers figured out it'd sync up with Cyberccity riots quite smoothly. On the other hand, if they could be contained, it'd mean an insane business opportunity. Perfect test subjects for cloning program. Just perfect. Exadev could even afford to sell a bunch of them to Broken Heart Biotech Group. Or anyone interested, really. Another task was to identify the exact knowledge of the mutants about project A.F.R.I.C.A., Intergalactic Federation and whether they're the sole survivors or are there more societies still existing. And also the deal with signals from Trappist 1. At that point at least it was safe to officially assume the invasion fleet was never coming. Solve one problem, create three new ones. Stonks.

When the ship sent to Cydonia to notify main HQ had returned with a hole in the hull frantically patched with a Cyber Duct TapeTM and half laser blasters overheated Cybercity personnel didn't even want to ask further questions. Apparently enthusiastically buying androids from Avalon Heights Inc in larger and larger quantities to replace personnel sent to Cybercity was a little more expensive than anticipated by the accounting department, because the owner of Avalon Heights Inc himself activated the killswitch sequence which had been in preparation for decades, aimed at overthrwoing Exadev from the position of the most powerful corporation. Androids in Tau Ceti remained unaffected, but with the scope of destruction it hardly mattered. Avalon Heights was capitalizing on the very same sentiment in society Exadev had planned to to carry on with their plan - except Exadev was too late, busy with extrasolar affairs.

The Army of Clones was needed more than ever.

Stormtrooper's Fiction / Re: A.F.R.I.C.A. - Static of dead cyberspace
« Last post by Stormtrooper on August 04, 2022, 12:28:47 PM »
Second spaceport of Cybercity was coming into shape, this time properly equipped with all the spare parts and logistical chains to support the new generation of warships rather than a sketchy design slapped together so that cargo and colony ships could land and liftoff without blowing themselves up that was the first one. Exadev was rushing to get it to usable state and call as many vessels from its new shiny fleet in ASAP. The company refused to send their explorers unprotected. After all, their bionics, ships and corporate secrets they carried were too valuable to risk it falling into the hands of whatever existed on the other side of "Eye of Cybercity". A probe idea had also been shot down for the 12837123th time since the discovery of the wormhole - sending any object at all meant manifesting own presence in Tau Ceti, and with Cybercity still being naked and afraid in terms of space invasion it was the surefire way for the entirety of extrasolar colonization project to end up in a trash bin. Sending spaceships from Earth or Mars was not an easy operation, though - even amateur astronomers could detect something the size of a starship reaching an orbit, launch platforms could only be kept in secret till first launch and the cherry on top was how firing Alcubierre drive was like flaring a huge beacon broadcasting "I'm here" through the whole cyberspace. In late 2270s long gone were the days of space infrastructure so underdeveloped and tightly controlled by the most powerful corporations that one could send an entire exploration and colonization mission to Tau Ceti and have it take years to be discovered. And sending spacecraft that was armed and ready to blow stuff up, especially towards another star, would give all the media a topic of a decade. As if conspiracy theories ranging from alien invasion and corporations commiting genocide on lost human colonies weren't already out of hand.

That's why the first vessel to leave Solar System was a Backup Node-class support platform. Some stuff happened, explorers in deep space need a refuel, nothing to see here. Please ignore the anti-missile railguns, it's for stray rocks in a planetary ring.

Backup Node class Tanker    50 000 tons     230 Crew     2759.5 BP      TCS 1000  TH 1000  EM 0
1000 km/s    JR 2-25     Armor 5-120     Shields 0-0     Sensors 6/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 15     PPV 0
MSP 518    Max Repair 125 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 1

JC51K Alcubierre Drive     Max Ship Size 51000 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 2
500 EP Commercial Internal Fusion Drive (2)    Power 500    Fuel Use 4.42%    Signature 500    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 30 000 000 Liters    Range 2443.8 billion km   (28284 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (8x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16000 km/s     ROF 5       Base 50% To Hit

Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  6m km

But eventually the corporation had to deliver the real deal and managers couldn't postpone it indefinitely. The PR personnel eventually went for lesser evil: instead of just sending the ships as they were, they prepared a story about severe riots and organized crime on the rise in Cybercity (not that the state of affairs there made it a difficult task) hence the need to assign a "peacekeeping force". Getting accused of bombing own employees from orbit was not pleasant, but a "lesser evil" indeed, considering the alternative of details of the real mission leaking out. Of course the fake story got hidden in some files and buried on some obscure servers with enough security to scare off anyone but the best hackers as to not scream "decoy" in the faces of those who'd eventually unearth it.

With no intel whatsoever, corporate management agreed upon sending a squadron of ships being just a tradeoff between delta-v, duraability, firepower and size, slightly in favour of rapid acceleration, though. These were the cheapest options in the entire fleet, meant to act as a fast strike craft and draw attention away from more valuable assets, but still packing enough punch to not be considered cannon fodder. Exadev Space Industries didn't really like the concept of cannon fodder - a whole world war was a budget option in comparsion with even the smalles space encounters and spaceships were not employess, after all. Equipped with conventional far ultraviolet laser blasters, these ships still were supposed to act as a first line of offence, even if not neccessairly in a "cannon fodder" way, but rather they were supposed to just open up some space for the bigger guns to join and then take more of a support role. This design philosophy earned them the name of "Ultraviolet Clearance", since they were supposed to just clear space with their lasers. However, for this particullar mission some of the blasters were swapped for an experimental meson-based weapon. During lab tests meson beams had been successfully weaponized and were able to just skip through various obstacles, like armor or kinetic shields, but if the shots were timed properly, could still damage the inner layers of their target. In theory it made Ultraviolet Clearance fleet able to take down any target for as long as it got the chance to fire. Since the engineers were already struggling with space, they refused the idea to strap additional anti-missile capabilities and instead agreed upon preparing a similar hull, but with all the weapons replaced by rapid-firing Gauss platforms. Another option would be to use swarm drones, but they were still too expensive to be considered as a proper defensive weapon and the replication technology still produced faulty items all too often to deserve being labeled as reliable. Engineers still claimed they'd need months, if not years of fine-tuning to start considering the possibility of just spamming these kamikaze drones in hopes a tiny fraction of them that intercepts the missiles will be at least equal to the size of approaching payload. The only thing both designs were severely lacking in was, ironically, proper counter to Exadev's own weaponry and tactics that'd been feared so much during Battle of Three Bodies. EMP and microwave resistance of each electronic component might have seen imporvements, but at large only proper energy shields remained as a proper defence against a concentrated attack. And the hulls couldn't carry enough shield generators for them to make any real difference.

Ultraviolet Clearance class Assault Ship    20 000 tons     809 Crew     8536.4 BP      TCS 400  TH 4000  EM 0
10000 km/s    JR 3-50     Armor 10-65     Shields 0-0     Sensors 160/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 49     PPV 65
Maint Life 2.45 Years     MSP 5075    AFR 168%    IFR 2.3%    1YR 1164    5YR 17456    Max Repair 2500 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 2

J20000(3-50) Alcubierre Drive     Max Ship Size 20000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
2000 EP Internal Fusion Drive (2)    Power 2000    Fuel Use 296.46%    Signature 2000    Exp 25%
Fuel Capacity 3 330 000 Liters    Range 10.1 billion km   (11 days at full power)

45cm C5 Far Ultraviolet Laser (1)    Range 320 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 53-5     RM 5    ROF 55        53 53 53 53 53 44 38 33 29 27
30cm C5 Far Ultraviolet Laser (3)    Range 320 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 24-5     RM 5    ROF 25        24 24 24 24 24 20 17 15 13 12
R40/C4 Meson Cannon (3)    Range 320 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 16-4     RM 40    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Fire Control S08 160-16000 H40 (2)    Max Range: 320 000 km   TS: 16000 km/s     97 94 91 88 84 81 78 75 72 69
Tokamak Fusion Reactor Technology PB-1 (1)     Total Power Output 96    Armor 6    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR39-R100 (40%) (1)     GPS 2800     Range 39.2m km    Resolution 100
Thermal Sensor TH20-160 (40%) (1)     Sensitivity 160     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  160m km

ECCM-2 (2)         ECM 30

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

CyberSurge class Missile Destroyer    20 000 tons     635 Crew     8127.4 BP      TCS 400  TH 4000  EM 0
10000 km/s    JR 3-50     Armor 10-65     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 49     PPV 115.95
Maint Life 2.53 Years     MSP 4827    AFR 168%    IFR 2.3%    1YR 1052    5YR 15784    Max Repair 2500 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 2

J20000(3-50) Alcubierre Drive     Max Ship Size 20000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
2000 EP Internal Fusion Drive (2)    Power 2000    Fuel Use 296.46%    Signature 2000    Exp 25%
Fuel Capacity 2 985 000 Liters    Range 9.1 billion km   (10 days at full power)

Quad Gauss Cannon R3-25 Turret (15x20)    Range 30 000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 25%     RM 3    ROF 5        1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S08 160-16000 H40 (1)    Max Range: 320 000 km   TS: 16000 km/s     97 94 91 88 84 81 78 75 72 69

Active Search Sensor MR39-R100 (40%) (1)     GPS 2800     Range 39.2m km    Resolution 100

ECCM-2 (2)         ECM 30

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

The fake story leaked sooner than anticipated and the fleet was still assembling and resupplying in orbit above Cybercity and preparing to make a short warp jump to the wormhole and then cross it when everybody high enough on the corporate ladder freaked out from all the accusations of war crimes. Senates of some megacities would call for a collective actions about a corporation that has once again grown too big and powerful to not have a harmful effect on the whole society, but luckily for the lawyers and PR departments trying to fend off the accusations, there were also some movements criticizing the current political system to become too corrupt and allow the evil giants to rise again, demanding a more radical change and a shift towards more sustainable future, with no more corporate exploitation. The possibilities of using these people to stir up inner drama within the opposition and have city governments and the radical protesters fight each other while forgetting about Exadev were endless, but temporairly limited by the volatile nature of anti-government opposition. It had members with all kinds of economical political beliefs, from radical capitalists to radical communists, only united by the case against a few select megacorps nobody liked anyways. This rendered such groups volatile and prone to argue with each other rather than do something productive. A contract with Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate was already in the making, aimed at getting access to the latest psionic chips extending the influence one could have on the user so that Exadev could distribute them among target groups posing as members of resistance and then nudge them away from company's policy and towards various senates. Unfortunately, Cosmotech aiming at taking Exadev's position by leveraging its still fairly small size compared to the corporations that received the most hate didn't really help.

In the meantime, as 2279 was coming to an end on Earth, joint fleet of explorers from Trappist Group Beta and Cybercity Blue Escort was the first post-apocalyptic human force to traverse a wormhole. Space warped around and unwarped again and it only took a brief moment to for the fleet to cross the vast distance. On the other side there was nothing. No hostile ships unloading all their firepower on the poor crews, no space stations, nothing. Just a very brigh sun, and another, small and dim compared to the main component. The binary system was identified as Procyon. Around Procyon-B there was only a small, airless dwarf planet, Procyon-A was more interesting, but nothing that could host life had been detected. Just a hot, partially molten world orbiting close to the sun, with several atmospheres worth of sulfur acids, two gas giants further behind and another airless dwarf planet. Interestingly, it's surface temperature was almost the same as on Earth after TerraNova Inc'd been done with terraforming. No water in any form had been discovered, and the gravity over ten times lower than on Earth made it a very weak candidate for terraforming. The system also hosted an asteroid belt, but it was orbiting Procyon-A so close that attempting to mine them would be unprofitable considering so many better spots that weren't so unimaginably hot, starting with the good old asteroid belt within Solar System. Still a better find than the empty Epsilon Indi system that'd been chosen as the next destination for Trappist Group Alpha a few years before.

Trying to locate what'd been responsible for the unsettling broadcast was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, except it was the wrong haystack and nobody knew the needle was actually a pebble rock. The journey wasn't fruitless, though - during detailed mapping of the system remnants of a few mining outposts had been discovered, and even debris from what must had been a fuel-shiponing space station still orbiting Procyon-A III. A clear sign of human presence in the system. Given the state of everything, nothing more could be learned from the decayed structures. Some employees venturing into these small wastelands started to think whether the Intergalactic Federation was even real at this point. Back on Earth, Humanity survived the worst thanks to the N.O.V.A. Bunker Systems. But maybe the ones who left their homeworld behind as it was consumed by nuclear and fusion fire met even worse fate. Dozens of worlds, once inhabited, now dead and in disarray. And that's why Trappist 1 "assist fleet" never arrived - because a transponder that could receive distress signals and send automatic responses was the only thing that survived out there. But of course these were just speculations, amplified by the feelings of emptiness and desolation in a system that looked more miserable than an empty one, thanks to all the ruins. Trappist 1 threat still had to be treated seriously, just in case.

Some of the crewmembers were still busy making sure they didn't omit anything in the labirynths of twisted metal when a message reached them, originating from the Tau Ceti's side of the wormhole. This time it wasn't a creepy, unintelligible signal, but a clear call containing all the neccessary Exadev transmission codes, urging the whole fleet to break the mission and come back. The matter was serious - AI observing the logs from Tau Ceti's monitoring stations noticed a local collapse in a particular spot. After a while, it could classify it as another wormhole that's just been formed. An hour later an unidentified vessel appeared on radars, heading towards the outermost planet, Tau Ceti VII gas giant.

The situation was considered serious enough than the Cybercity Blue Escort fired their engines and left explorers behind to come back at their own pace, rushing back to Tau Ceti. But before they could return, the mysterious spaceships reversed, stopped and accelerated back into the wormhole it arrived from. The fleet was to be resupplied ASAP and then, without any delay, pursue the spaceship into the wormhole. A PURGE team boarded a Synth Waver and was expected to get back to Earth and deep dive into cyberspace to find traces of some corporations possibly already experimenting with wormhole creation technology or try to identify which one might have build the spaceship in question. And of course notify the upper management in Cydonia. Astronomers and physicists were tasked with studying the energy outburst of a new wormhole and try to tell whether modern fusion reactors could reasonably power whatever machinery was responsible for it. On the surface of Tau Ceti III Blue Squad struggled with the tough job of identyfying and capturing any citizens that might've noticed the event themselves before they would think about posting it. Parts of cyberspace had even ben shut down and disguised as a temporary network fault to limit the possibilities of info leak. Whether it was the long lost Trappist 1 fleet, a hostile corporation who somehow mastered the art of staying under the radard so perfectly it could build a wormhole and have nobody notice until the final effect or some sort of mass hallucination caused by hacked brain chips, military personnel sensed another decisive battle incoming, possibly much bigger than Battle of Three Bodies.
General C# Fiction / Re: The Chronicle of the GUNs
« Last post by Aajowa on August 02, 2022, 09:18:39 AM »
With Gardiner winning 2-1 versus Zimmermann, let's continue down the fun only military path. Assuming GUNs name has something to do with our obsession with railguns might be an overreach but the correlation sure
seems suspicious. Because it was an ~eight month break between starting that last chapter and finishing it, here's a quick summary of the game and nation:

GAME characteristics

RACE characteristics

January 01 2140 -
Celebrations throughout the world erupted to mark the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Grand Union of Nations. From its' earliest timezone in New Zealand all the way to the West Coast of the Americas, the following 24 hours would be marked by fireworks at a scale not seen since the 2100 New Years Eve, before conventional fireworks were restricted Jan 2nd 2100 for environmental concerns. Waving this for one night, the skies across the world lit up in sequence, to no lack of annoyance by Earths' tracking stations and active sensors, each system firmly believing the world was under bombardment or some unknown cataclysm.

These alarms were ignored in favour of champagne and wine, and whilst the world partied the diligent operators of the Unions' many space tracking stations...also partied, but under a veneer of legitimacy granted by the constant resetting of the alarm systems. Administrator Tereshchenko celebrated also, enjoying the revelry despite not being able to see the fireworks. By all accounts, this celebration just-prior to the second inauguration of Chris Gardiner was a wonderful sendoff and he was content to listen to it all.

January 14 2140 -
Administrator Zimmermann paused from his duties to view the inauguration of Christopher Gardiner. Their diametrically-opposed ideologies had seen the electors induct Gardiner over Zimmermann for the second time in just a few decades, an understandable preference given Zimmermann's platform was based upon perpetual dilution of Terrestrial voting rights as the number of colonies continued to grow. In comparison, Lunar Base had not expanded much in the last decade - Supplies of crucial infrastructure had been interrupted during military tensions and the outbreak of the Christmas war, and then shipping efforts had largely been directed by former Administrator Tereshchenko to continue creating new tracking stations on major asteroids, worlds, and moons deemed of interest.

Sending a terse yet polite message to the new incumbent, Administrator Zimmermann suggested a meeting soon; the first visit of a sitting Union Administrator to the Lunar colonies. This would be an attempt to ambush the leader and coerce out of him ten new Koziol-class freighters in addition to beginning the first steps towards a Lunar spaceport. This would be all but laughed at, but made the idea of a few new freighters seem quite reasonable in comparison. The ever-larger number of destinations for ship freight had seen fewer and fewer visitors to Luna in recent years, and this 'Colonization Corps 04' would be dedicated solely to Earth-to-Luna infrastructure and colonist transport, if only he could convince the new Administrator to work with the colonies rather than focus on Earth.

Having seen and done this all before Administrator Gardiner continued preparing to take the reins of the GUN, glad that the spectacle had overtaken controversy regarding the name of the recently-laid UNCC 0041 - 'Romania' and the UNSC 0025 - 'Horlivka'. This next decade would surely not see UNSC ships used for anything other than protecting cargo preventing piracy and of course rescuing stranded spacefarers - and for this he was grateful. During the series of pre-inaugural briefings however, he had noticed a peculiarity in that there were two as-yet unconfirmed ship prototypes that had apparently been worked quite far along in their designs. Briefly noting the size and armament of the designs, Gardiner endeavored to follow up on these mysterious
submissions - they were the first he'd yet heard of them, and by the looks of things were very much almost ready to produce.

April 09 2140 -
Amidst no shortage of press, Administrator Gardiner stood in front of the crowd to shake hands with Administrator Zimmermann to finish off his whirlwind Lunar conference. With Lunar Base having no dedicated conference room, the crowd of dozens found themselves in a cleared warehouse in one of the capillary residence hubs. With a substantial part of the growing city established underground, the sealed lava tubes and caves under the surface were a naturally warm area of around 17 degrees Celsius. With effort, a fragile yet breathable atmosphere had been established by sealing the craters and caverns that served as their entrance. This made for a branching linear city of tens of thousands. Though few could fit in the warehouse,  hundreds were waiting in the cavernous corridors watching via screens and waiting for their glimpse of the Head of the Union; the only Administrator save for Zimmermann to ever poll positively among the Lunarians.

Now as the first sitting Union Administrator to leave Earth and having defied detractors who had called it a needless flight risk, Gardiner had led the meeting in an unexpected direction to what Zimmermann had planned. The wily Lunar leader had determined to strong arm Gardiner in to creating a dedicated colonization corps with a sacrificial goal of establishing a Lunar spaceport. Giving up the latter would secure the former - or so he thought.

Rather, Gardiner  thought it a splendid idea. A new Colonization corps would be established, in order to deliver several hundred pre-fabricated modules to orbit of Luna. This automatic cargo handling station would allow a new class of freighter to traverse established Union colonies; one with 50% greater cargo capacity in exchange for lacking shuttle bays. At this point, the Lunar colony and eventually even Mars would each receive a direct freight corps to continue sending uninterrupted infrastructure to each. Though the lava tubes had proven habitable with only moderate modifications, it was still a substantial undertaking to continue growing Lunar Base and that infrastructure was sorely needed.

Stunned at the compliance of Administrator Gardiner, Markus Zimmermann could do nothing but grin - He had achieved what he considered to be a major concession from the Union government, and officiated the closing ceremony with barely concealed glee.

April 29 2140 -
Good news came to Gardiner after months of talks with former-Administrator Tereshchenko. After years of research, scientist Pak Hei finally unveiled the first full-scale model of the new 1 Gigawatt ship-mounted nuclear reactor. A far smaller version of the existing 3GW primary nuclear reactors, the eighty tonne module would allow for a sufficient supply of energy to power the new generation of reasonably-sized UNSC ships. Gardiner had come to realize that the 2000 tonne Nelson class warships were far too large for escort duties, and had brought Tereshchenko's vision to life of a reasonably-sized 500 tonne escort capable of travelling from the surface of Earth to the colonies as necessary at an incredible 300km per second. In tandem to these would be the new 'Lion' class defence platforms. A team of seven would operate the 180 tonne machines from a stable orbit, allowing Earth to be protected from both unrest and piracy even if all warships were on duty elsewhere.

Acting as a second line of defense alongside the numerous surface-to-orbit installations of the Union Army, this would ensure adequate balance of power between the army and navy. Administrator Gardiner had noted with caution the eagerness of the Admiralty and Generals, and was worried that the intentions of both were more towards their own career advancement rather than the advancement of humanity as a whole. Though he largely trusted the intentions of Montaro and Heckel, it was impossible to say if their successors and subordinates would remain similarly dependable, and thus preventing any future possibility of a coup would require neither to have a major advantage over the other.

The ground-based STO weapons of the army had the advantage in range, size, and fortification and thus the naval weaponries would have to compete by measure of quantity. Administrator Gardiner contacted ground-based manufacturers across the Americas and Asia contracting the construction of ten Lion platforms and a half-dozen Montaro escorts. Above these factories, UNSC Shipyard 01 continued spitting out new Nelson escorts to replace the older warships.

March 12 2141 -
March 12th was to be an extremely busy day for Administrator Gardiner. First, he was re-establishing the commitment the Union had towards commercial and civilian pursuits by  unveiling the UNCC's new slipway; the fourth possessed by the Colonial Command. Secondly, he was to preside over the launching ceremony of three new sister ships; the England, the China, and the Carthage. These were entirely ordinary Koziol-class freighters and would normally be launched by any upstanding available officer. In this case they were also the first freighters of Commercial Corps 04, and to help unify the colonies it would be advantageous to preside at their Christening.

Then and with far less fanfare, he would also attend the opening ceremony of the UNSC's fourth slipway. Now able to produce sixteen Nelson escorts a year if needed, it was already responsible for the bulk of the Unions' military. With the first of the ordered Lion class delivered and with the frame of the Montaro now complete, these Nelsons would patrol the shipping routes of the Solar system, in addition to posting in orbit above the colonies colonies and escorting Union freighters. There was now no contest over the military control of Earth or the solar system.

Finally at days end, he would attend the departure of Colonization Corps 02 on their first journey to Mercury to found Outpost Mercury. This would be the third major Union colony, and would likely have an eventual Union population of well over three million. The outpost would straddle the craters of the Northern polar regions in order to make use of its' ice deposits and more survivable polar temperature. With no names yet chosen for the new outpost, the Gardiner Administration decreed that the public ought decide.

Please suggest a name! I haven't come up with anything other than Vulcan, Brightside, or Twilight. The first two being ironic given that the areas in question are typically <-100C and the last isn't 'optimistic' enough.

September 15 2141 -
The long-serving Martian Administrator Konrad Oelsner retired from public service after decades spent guiding the colony to its' present state. The colony of fifty thousand bade him farewell as he left the seat of power on Elysium to Mansur Zivian. Administrator Zivian had long-ago left his wealthy family and good name, determined to prove himself amidst the blossoming colonies. Finding colonial life far more difficult than expected, he struggled to get by for years during economic disruptions during and after the Christmas war and was far too stubborn to call it quits.

Doubling down, he had befriended the hardworking Oelsner and began a life of public service. Befriending the powerful amidst the colony, he was considered the most popular candidate and likely the best and was sworn in with little fanfare. Despite the substantial delay in telecommunications between worlds, his very first message as Administrator was to remind the family
he had left behind that he had made it despite their doubts.

The following messages were more congenial, offering assistance and good faith to the administrators of Earth and Luna and assistance to the growing other Union colonies wherever feasible.

September 20 2141 -
A century prior, the foundations of general relativity were somewhat shaken by 'exotic matter', the eleven so-far discovered materials that defied Newtonian physics as they were understood at the time.
Bridging the gap between the rules and exceptions required hundreds of questions and thousands of thories and through this, Neo-Physics was born. A student of this hypothetical school Sigge Berlund had continued on the lifes work of a half-dozen of the worlds brightest neophysicists using substantial Union funding. Shocking the world on September 20th, his first draft of the 'Berlund General Model' was released for peer review.

Raising both questions and cortisol amidst scientists the world across, part of the new model suggested delicately balanced bridge-points far from the gravity well of stellar objects containing trans-newtonian matter. These points were hypothesized to be where the unpredictable forces of the stellar objects' exotic matter overpowered the force of its' gravity, towards the tapering edge of its' gravity well.

Hypothetically, these 'breach points' would exist adjacent to other breach points in other stellar systems despite their immense distance in spacetime. Sigge Berlund suggested that this distance could be crossed in an instant with a sufficiently complex mechanism to control those fluctuations and transfer mass along that plane. Though no such mechanism existed and the field was entirely theoretical, there was uproar of having to learn a new model amidst recent graduates of gUNI.

Addressing the response and the academic furor in public a few days later, Sigge specified that these points might also exist outside the orbit of Saturn all the way to to Oort cloud, though it was impossible to determine where they might be ahead of time if they existed at all. Sigge also happened to suggest that similar intra-system travel points existed between gas giants presuming those bodies also contained any traces of exotic matter.
At this point however the conference devolved into a borderline brawl and no suggestion of proper academic behavior or light refreshments could assuage either side.

I've just realized Tereshchenko's still here as of July 07 2142. I swear I retired him and i'm getting scared. I'm retiring him, saving, calling an exorcist, and saving again.

May 15 2143 -
The two dozen men and women of the First Colonial Guard Platoon were sworn in months ahead of schedule, in order to introduce them at a brief military parade surrounding a Martian History exhibition in the arid deserts of Nevada, USA.
Showcasing geology, old Earth cultural beliefs regarding Mars and extraterrestrial life, and the planets' contemporary colonization; the exhibition was considered a wild success despite the scorching heat. With a heatwave reaching 48C/120F most outside activities were brief and sweaty affairs. The display of microbial fossils discovered in the sediment around Jezero lake were particularly contentious, due to raucous interruptions by those religious adherents that refused to believe their authenticity. All in all however, the day was well-received and widely televised.

Those men and women would find themselves transported via new Trojan class transports to Mars later that year; the first Grand Union land-based military presence to reach another world.

Febuary 10 2144 -
Receiving the news of its' completion Christopher Gardiner determined that the newest research lab in New Zealand ought be assigned to Pak Hei; who had shown herself a fierce advocate of the Berlund General Model. Her preliminary assessments had convinced the Administrator that she might just be able to 'crack' one of the more pressing engineering issues regarding interstellar travel, and he had no qualms in doubling her staffing for the duration of his tenure as top Union servant.

If she could continue producing these fascinating hypotheses and experiments he might just be able to convince the bean counters to allocate her yet another research center, scheduled for opening late 2149. The new model had finally after several years stopped causing academic uproar and increasing funding towards training and answering its' issues no longer caused mass protest and strikes - though possibly because the previous generation of unconvinced Neophysicists had by now already resigned in protest.

Recent distribution of the colonial guards to Mars and Luna had for the most part quieted the colonies, and Chris noted to himself the striking calmness of the Union. He wondered briefly whether this was a soon-ended calm or whether he could rely on this trend to continue. Disregarding it in either case as a blessing, he continued the very busy and very important work of reorganizing the knickknacks on his desk.

April 25 2144 -
Almost in spite of this universal state of calm, trouble began to hit Colonization Corps 03 as it passed through the asteroid belt scarce few months later in the way of concurrent shortages of fuel and repair supplies.

Leuitenant Commander Femke de Gelder of the freighter 'Ukraine' called to the rest of Colonization Corps 03 in horror. Months earlier, he had disembarked on Titan alongside some of the task forces other officers and crew in order to partake in some traditional Titan Gambling. Outside the jurisdiction of tax and law offices it was not illegal to gamble on a wide range of things, and he had assigned his second officer to oversee activities during his shore leave.

With that second officer taking the opportunity to also gamble outside of Union jurisdiction with the other crew members aboard, his ship had missed refueling from the taskgroups' assigned tanker. With the fuel now long-since distributed through the one-way valves to the other ships of the small armada of freighters, there was no way the Ukraine would be able to return to Earth - and there wasn't enough fuel in the tanker to allow him to rectify this. An emergency message was broadcast then to the only other Outreach still in service; the aging 'UNCC 0019 - Oshkosh'. With it in orbit of Earth, the Ukraine was now stranded.

Concurrent to this, the shuttle bay door of the 'Chile' was struck at a piercing angle by an asteroid fragment approximately six by six inches across, and almost twelve inches long. Despite its' low speed its' size gave it the power to pierce through the shuttle bay and embed within one of the small shuttles' engines. Having used most maintenance supplies on-route, the crew lacked anything to fix the hole or shuttle and sealed the bay. Once back at Earth, the taskgroup would be firmly reprimanded for their disciplinary issues with the ships overhauled completely and repaired.

By some stroke of luck, the stranding of the Ukraine happened only 53 million kilometers away from the 'Dario 1'; the first ever asteroid to be proved to contain trans-Newtonian materials by the well-regarded Admiral Dario Hume Li'ito. Christopher Gardiner was somewhat happy even despite the incredible failures of the crews. The stranded ship would wait on Dario 1 for rescue by the Oshkosh whilst freighters would deliver communications supplies to the rock. Outpost Dario would become the latest tracking station commissioned within the asteroid belt, and this disaster need not be considered a failure on behalf of the Union but rather a daring rescue of a stricken vessel towards a monument of humanities' progress.

May 21 2144 -
Maybe Chris Gardiners' optimism was a little hasty. After assigning substantial funding to scientist Pak Hei, she had decided to retire. Not only that, she released well-circulated articles that the idea of interstellar travel was impossible. Whatever she called a 'Jump Drive Efficiency 4' was science fiction and would remain so; at least according to her. He could sympathise regarding her three months of effort in such a difficult field, but was disgusted by the method of her resignation. The first he had heard of it was a news telecast showcasing a 'GUN Academic Scandal!' and wildly inaccurate posts about funding misappropriations.

Salvaging the controversy as best he could, Administrator Gardiner instructed her assistants to continue their work under a new scientist. Caroline Kastrup called it a promising field, but after Pak Heis withering remarks about her own field, hopes for interstellar travel were greatly diminished.

July 26 2145 -
Disheartened by his detractors, Sigge Berlund retired from government service aged 62. Despite his new theoretical models holding up against academic scrutiny, the backlash following Pak Hei's denouncement had taken their toll, and the further study of applications of his theory towards interstellar travel would have be be undertaken by someone else. Though he still believed in his model and theory, the burnout had been taking its' toll and he would do what he could from the sidelines to maintain that it wasn't all just 'quack pseudoscience' as the tabloids were claiming.

Attempting to salvage his reputation as a scientific visionary, Administrator Gardiner assigned all available academic bandwidth towards Caroline Kastrups' theories. With just a single advancement in applying Berlunds' General Theory, confidence would be restored in the Gardiner Administrations' priorities. The faith in the Union that had seemed to coalesce during the prior few years was beginning to evaporate with this continued scientific rebellion and Gardiner needed at least one substantial win during the second half of his tenure in order to convince the Electors' he was worth keeping around for another decade. Two of Sigges labs would go to Kastrup, while the other would go to the quiet and conscientious Thavong Navaratna as she continued Sigges work.

October 10 2145 -
Goodness, we're running out of P&P scientists at this rate!

And with the frustrations of masses accusing the Gardiner Administration now firmly directed at Ms. Navaratna, the usually quiet and academically-inclined 61 year old decided to follow in both her predecessors' steps and withdraw from the field of Neo-physics. With near-constant protests outside the academy regarding what was considered a widespread misappropriation of funding, Christopher Gardiner did what any reasonable leader is likely to do in such a scenario:

He doubled-down.

Thidar Kay Win signed several contracts in order to secure directorship of the Malaysian Institute of Higher Research. Firstly he would continue the research of Berlund-Navaratna regarding the feasibility of interstellar travel. Secondly he would travel only with approved security contractors in order to reduce the risk of protest-related disruption. Finally he would be forbidden from resigning for a period of no less than three years on pain of heavy financial penalty.

At this point Gardiner wondered if it would not be better to follow the not-so-subtle suggestions of the academic version of an angry mob, and forget about interstellar travel. There was functionally infinite resources within the Solar system. He always had the tendency to be a bit too enthusiastic however, and the notion of backing down did not agree with him. Conceding that the issue would likely make or break his career, he began looking at the source of inflammation surrounding these scholars.

It was a shock to him to see that just one woman was quite possibly the origin of his adversaries. A fixture of gUNI and older than many of its' campuses sat the tiny yet fierce Kapuku Makaya. Heading the primary university of the Union, the academy commandant held an outdated and shockingly conventional view on theoretical neophysics. Having been the second-ever appointed academy commandant and holding tremendous sway within the academic world, he endeavored to meet her and if possible, to convince her that this path would prove fruitful if followed.

Best case scenario, she might reconsider arguing that the Berlund General Theory was fantasy. Worst case scenario, the centenarian would double-down as he had, and publicly admonish his academic expenditures. Despite her small stature she was considered a giant within the field, and winning her over would surely stop the tide of resignations and malcontent within Union research centers.

The ancient commandant of gUNI

September 21 2147 -
After years of concern and nearly running out of time before scientist Win could withdraw from their position, Administrator Gardiner had some fantastic news. With the begrudging assistance of Academy Commandant Makaya, Sigge Berlund, and no shortage of union science funding there was now hard evidence supporting the Berlund General Theory. A working experiment had managed to send half of a micro-gram of sorium out of a sealed vacuum to an unknown destination. Measuring the entire closed system confirmed that the substance was indeed no longer present and had indeed 'teleported' to an unknown location.  The results were perfectly replicable, and it had shown sorium would play the greatest role in interstellar travel in future.

The destination was completely uncontrolled, though it was theorized to be within 50,000kms of a breach-point of one of Earths' closest stellar neighbors. If it could be reproduced and controlled at a macro scale, Win suggested it would be possible to send larger and more complex objects through using a similar process.

Despite objections to the legitimacy of the experiment and no shortage of controversy, the results were immediately published to the world as the next domino to fall in the Unions' interstellar ambitions. Amidst wide-spread published doubt regarding the experiment, the swelling price of Sorium on the open market proved that at least the financial and resource markets believed in the legitimacy of the the Gardiner Administrations claims.

December 17 2149 -
Little had changed in the prior two years. With hard evidence applying Berlunds' General Theory the leakage of scientists had largely stopped, whilst the expansion of humanity amidst the Solar system had become almost routine. Several names had begun to take shape regarding the name of Outpost Mercury, but nothing had yet transpired. With an election looming the ever-contentious Lunarians were once again stirring about voting rights, but even their complaints seemed quite tame against recent decades. All in all, the Gardiner Administration approached the end of its' second term in a positive yet lukewarm condition. There had been achievements across the board, but nothing particular stood out compared to the characters of previous administrations. There were no major outstanding issues coming out of this tepid decade - just the ever present droning of international shipping rights and colonial voting. Pundits noted that this was in
effect the most uneventful election in living memory.

Campaigning still at the opening ceremony of the latest gUNI campus, Chris Gardiner implored the electors present that this rate of progress would only continue as his administration maintained the course. Doubt began to grow though, given the 72 year olds' seemingly ailing health and the contracting Union budget - These military and research strides had come at great cost, and there was no certainty of their continued financial feasibility.

Let me know your names for Lunar Base and Outpost Mercury!

Candidate 1: Chris Gardiner

A two-time Union Administrator, Gardiner has shown aptitude for running the GUN, even though his administration has grown stale as far as the public believes

Candidate 2: Markus Zimmermann

The only candidate to have a fourty year history of campaigning against the very electors he needs to rise to power, Markus Zimmermann

Candidate 3: Elora Wolfenfield

A politically-inclined psychopath. Elora Wolfenfield. There's not really much to say other than who in their right mind would vote for her?

Candidate 4: Aja Upadhya

A conservative and traditional graduate, the second-highest administrator in the Union besides Gardiner.

The power cut forcing a reset last time I tried. You'll never guess who's still around.

Stormtrooper's Fiction / Re: A.F.R.I.C.A. - Bitrot
« Last post by Stormtrooper on July 26, 2022, 07:36:57 PM »

Cloning adults was too complicated, cloning embryos had a good chance of completely screwing up human genome and cloning fetuses proved to generate so much mess that the cloned children could barely survive, even after heavy augmentation. So all in all, Exadev Space Industries had a long way to go to raise the CEO's dream army of clones. For the time being, good old boring colony starships were the only reliable source to expand population of Cybercity. The fleet used was nothing special, basically a group of PhaseRunners with cargo space filled with cryopods and some small tweaks in security due to the cargo being quite sensitive, fragile and squishy. With enough augments it was no longer sensitive, fragile and squishy. But then augments were worth much more than the body of a slave single worker's life. So while they made their temporary user owner less sensitive, fragile and squishy, the paranoia of managers only grew exponentially with the number of enchancements being transported. To reduce risk, the crypod storage bays didn't even have atmosphere inside, stocked in vacuum chambers so that a micrometeorite puncturing the hull wouldn't cause a chain reaction killing the 110000 sleepers on board. Not that it was easy to breach that hull with anything but military-grade weapons, though. It was coated with a layer of repair nanodrones constantly watching over its integrity and being able to repair even the tiniest scratches by using the alloy microplates distributed to them via a system of densely-packed, small transit tubes with magnets accelerating and guiding the materials, all supervised by AI making optimal logistical decisions. For the naked eye the hull looked like the most cliche colony starship hull imaginable, but the consciousness about its construction sparked the imagination of its constructors and crewmembers, with many feeling like they were about to enter the stomach of a giant, synthetic organism, or the core of AI superbrain. Such feelings were often reinforced by the sound the semi-intelligent hull produced. They could be heard if one decided to glue their ear to the wall. And so these synthetic beasts were weaving through the interstellar void, earning the name for this line of spaceships - Synth Waver.

Synth Waver class Cargo Ship    50 000 tons     231 Crew     1881.8 BP      TCS 1000  TH 1200  EM 0
1200 km/s    JR 2-50     Armor 1-120     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 24    Max Repair 100 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0
Cryogenic Berths 110000

JC51K Alcubierre Drive     Max Ship Size 51000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 2
400 EP Commercial Magneto-plasma Drive (3)    Power 400    Fuel Use 6.19%    Signature 400    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 2 350 000 Liters    Range 136.7 billion km   (1318 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Exadev didn't feel like sending millions of employees away from the Solar System with so much work to be done, but the Central Stacks Crisis kind of solved this dilemma - after the megacity-wide scandal about local police cooperating with Blue Squad to deliver specimens for cloning experiments from the (in)famous stack towers that once'd given the name of the metropolis, a "small restructurization" of Central Stacks department was announced, with most employees being selected for Cybercity colonization program. It took only five interstellar jumps in and five interstellar jumps out of the new fleet for the population of Cybercity to rise from 10 millions to 30 millions. And more courses were planned.

At the same time PhaseRunners kept on transporting the android shipments ordered from Avalon Heights. When human population of Cybercity crossed the 30th million, android population was already at 7 millions and expanding. Engineers tried to capitalize on the recent improvements in machine self-replicating technology to try to make the androids able to "breed" and produce more androids, but as if the process itself wasn't complicated enough, Avalon Heights' management wasn't stupid and put some damn fine security measures designed to prevent other corporations from stealing their product's inner design.

On 10th December 2277, an unprecedenced event took place: on the surface an insignificant story about just another day of pure insanity of the synthetic world, but with consequences surprisingly getting out of hand. A woman who came to Cybercity alone and against her will after the mess in Central Stacks bought a "companionship android". That alone would be anything but interesting in 2277, even together with her claim of "being in love", but somehow she persisted in her quest to prove to the world(s) that it was "for real" and that her "companionship android" was "really special, unlike the others of synth kind". She persisted so much that somehow during one of the Enriched Meta Reality Framework v3.1.2077 sessions she got into contact with a net journalists scavenging through the virtual insanity reality in search for article material. An interview with the woman, which the journalist recklessly published, made its way through the onboard network node of one of the Synth Wavers all the way back to Earth, Moon and Mars. And ended up being watched in particular by a team of researchers from Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate who had been struggling with their Deep Feeling Enchancer BrainBots project for long enough to see half the team sacked and replaced. Twice. Psychologists consulting the project studied the interview in and out to determine that whatever was going on between that woman and the android looked almost like the end result of a prototype they'd been supposed to show as a demo two years earlier. Which was odd given the woman had no brain chips besides standard ID implant and the android's programming was hardly comparable with the most sophisticated AI existing somewhere in the underground research complexes of the most powerful corporations.

Exadev made one mistake of not realizing what was going on early enough and by the time security was reading reports of Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate's personnel walking down the streets of Cybercity, the woman was already having her brain scanned and mapped in the outpost founded by the rival corporation far away from the city sprawl. Results were fascinating - the android's output signals, brain activity and the patterns emitted by the ID chip all combined almost perfectly, producing a stimulating feeling for the brain's owner. There was nothing special in this particular setup, though - it simply happened to mess with human brain in a way that was desirable for the researchers. Android's software had been downloaded and decompiled, woman's brain analyzed, ID chip encoding sequence deciphered. Experiments continued. A supplementary AI program had been written, capable of learning the process of observed human-android interaction, in hopes of reverse-engineering and taking the full control of the process. Eventually the head scientist approved a new type of experiment: the woman was to be implanted with an experimental psionic chip. It was built with human-human mental interaction in mind (pun intended), not human-machine, and even that part was working barely better than simply trying to guess what someoen's thinking about by observing external behaviour. Not to mention machines couldn't think. Nevertheless, the one thing the chip was doing correctly was to correctly determine user's feelings and enrich or extinguish them accordingly, giving improved control over one's own emotions, potentially useful in mental disorder treatments, silencing intrusive thoughts, on-demand forgetting about something and the like.

But something must've gone wrong (how surprising). After successful operation, recovery and chip calibrating, the woman and the android were placed in a room under strict observation. The feelings of the test subjects at first were growing according to the predicted model, but soon started to rapidly escalate. Thousands of thoughts stormed through the uplifted brain and reached android core in the form of network datastream. But then it all cooled down, almost ceased. The process repeated for a few times. Based on real-time brain scans, the woman really wanted to "give in to her feelings", but past a certain intensity threshold just used her new chip to just reset her mind. After the experiment session she barely could walk and struggled to remember even basic info about herself. Or sometimes would remember random, irrelevant details. The scientists figured out that somehow she was "glitched". Patterns of her brain activity stopped making any sense. Especially when she came back to her senses a week later, only to glitch again within another three days.

Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate smoothly swept the case under corporate carpet. But the research continued for years to come. Generally it was possible to reverse the damage to some extent, but the symptoms had never been fully treated. The patient could function normally for the most part, but sometimes the glitches would reemerge. And with years going by, the "bug episodes" lasted longer and were more intense. As if the brain was slowly decomposing itself, ceasing to put up with all the hard work a good human brain is required to do to keep its owner alive and functioning properly. Experts on human-augmentation interactions and the influence of the ever-blurring line between analog- and cyberspace on human condition named this strange disease "Bitrot", because the affected human would just rot away, bit by bit losing mental consistency and capability to safely interact with modern technology. Who would have guessed too much uncontrolled integration with a machine could have some nasty side effects. Synthetic Dreams Conglomerate planned to do anything but surrender on their long-term goals, though.

Meanwhile, on 5th May 2279, astronomers orbiting Tau Ceti III on board of space station hosting Cybercity's AI governor assistant started picking up sequences of clearly artifical origin coming into the system through the wormhole, still left unexplored due to Exadev still being spread too thin to do everything at once. The signals seemed to represent regular cybernetic chatter. Except they'd sometimes glitch from time to time and produce random nonsense for a few days, and then fix themselves and come back to normal.
General C# Fiction / Re: The Chronicle of the GUNs
« Last post by Aajowa on July 25, 2022, 12:33:55 AM »
I had to cut out a good chunk of post. It'll be unedited from Febuary 14 2135. Sorry this chapter took so long! Originally I was delayed by an error that forced me to replay and rewrite, then current events made a post themed around subjugating Ukraine feel a

With three votes (two for Tereshchenko, one for Spada), our dear lich shall usher in his new dark age. If he dies mid-decade, Spada will take over.

January 13 2130 -
Alik Tereshchenko stood grinning amidst the clutter and dust of Outpost Herculina. Having announced his victory, Union electors had voted overwhelmingly in favor of his appointment to Administrator. With his team already on-site on Earth, he would soon give his speech to the Union to reconfirm the priorities of his administration. Knowing full-well that the broadcast would be received and dissected by all nations of Earth, declaration of a full-scale military reshuffle would be poorly received at best, and wildly threatening at worst. At over eighty however he had to act fast to achieve his goal of liberating homeland within his lifetime - it would be necessary to rectify military deficits as soon as possible.

His address would therefore consist of a carrot and a stick. On the one hand, he would take a page out of candidate Spadas' playbook and liberalize independent colonial ventures. Granting this decades-long request would ensure he was not considered particularly totalitarian, while potentially securing the Union a new source of capital and mining goods. On the other, his empowerment of the Union military would ensure terrestrial stability for the Union, despite long-rising global tensions. Commentators across the globe would note that during its' existence the GUN like the defunct EU had never needed a true standing army - Member states under the Union had long held universal articles of defense, and creation of a standing army could only signify intent of military adventurism.

Using the two to offset one another, deposed Ukrainian president-turned-Administrator Alik Tereshchenko hoped his arguments of balance would ensure that the Romania-Ukraine regime would not receive assistance over his tenure. With only a few non-Union states supporting it, direct GUN intervention could come by decades end if only they could prepare properly.

Hundreds of millions of kilometers away, Premier Sergiu Mihalcea saw the threat, and arranged for immediate re-militarization of the state-run economy. The people of Romania-Ukraine had duly rejected the Grand Unions' tyranny, and left through force. The insipid peace corps of the Union had withdrawn decades prior, allowing the people of the combined state to determine their own fate outside extranational jurisdiction. The old puppet Tereshchenko still acted on behalf of globalists and not his homeland, and finally was being used as a pawn to 'liberate' the free states. Premier Mihalcea would not have it, and neither would his people.

Our beloved GUN, a summary;

The treacherous dual-republic of Romania-Ukraine, a summary;

January 17 2132 -
Alik Tereshchenko had settled in well to his new life as Administrator. With tensions continuing as a result of his desire to rebel-held regions in Eastern Europe, he considered himself quite lucky to be out of the share market. Every press release he made sent the market to a tumble or frenzy, and every move he made was carefully dissected by a legion of would-be political experts. A thousand people coming up with two thousand motives for his actions was both humorous and wildly irritating. Knowing full-well that this would agitate both the tyrant of his homeland and the gawking masses, Administrator Tereshchenko released the news that several new ground force infantry prototypes had finished development, and would soon be trained within the facilities that had until recently been training Union peacekeepers.

As expected, the politically-minded went immediately to a state of furor. Unexpectedly, global share markets rose. Apparently, the commercially-minded had adjusted their appetite on  conventional and poorly-equipped peacekeepers, and revitalizing the military with 'Union Guards' evidently reduced the risk on market investments. Alik requested market data be sent to him in real time for the next fortnight, in order to gauge the enduring financial reaction. No need to request political updates, as they were far more intrusive and seeped in regardless of how hard he tried to ignore them.

January 18 2132 -
Enraged, Premier Mihalcea responded to this new military transgression with releases of his own. The numerous 'Infantrie Brigada' of the Peoples Republic would be bolstered. Doubled, even. Though securing nuclear arms from his nations supporters had proven impossible thus far, requests were made to every supportive non-Union nation for conventional and trans-Newtonian armament. It appeared the imperialistic Union would not allow the people of Eastern Europe any respite. Additionally ordering the establishment of several vehicular divisions to counter the Unions' aggressive weapons development, the Premier would not allow a mote of Union control over his homeland.

October 21 2132 -
Amidst fanfare, a representative of the Tereshchenko government attended the Unions' first guard graduation ceremony. Recently refitted, the brigade was smaller than anticipated, containing a modest fifteen hundred dedicated men and women, and their supporting vehicles. By dawn the day after, the grounds would be cleared for the induction of the next cohort, with several armored vehicle companies to follow afterwards. With sanctions mounting on the growing Eastern Bloc powers and with international tensions on the rise after Administrator Tereshchenko's military readjustments, few if any doubted those incoming cadets would not see action.

Thousands of miles away, Administrator Alik attended a ceremony celebrating the opening of the first non-union mining colony. Though he could not see them jostling, a dozen foreign leaders were held at bay by his security as they approached, each attempting to flatter him with flowery words and insubstantial platitudes in hopes of softening him up to granting further solar mineral rights.

Members in attendance noted to themselves the significance of the dual-ceremonies. Here, Tereshchenko himself continued to attempt appeasing Union and Non-Union nations alike with promises of continued peace and cooperation. In parallel however, were several thousand graduating military personnel, each swearing to defend the Union against the very nations that Tereshchenko was attempting to ingratiate. Circling above it all, ships of the UNSC continued monitoring the situation in ever greater numbers. Working only amidst their own naval hierarchy, the aging yet well-armed ships were poised to strike with just a moments notice, should the need ever arise.

November 20 2132 -
Roaring to life amidst a spectacle, the twenty brand-new vehicles of the 'Ninth Vehicular Company' began maneuvering before a small crowd of delegates. Though technically the first of its' kind, an old misinformation strategy was employed to infer a larger force number. With four supply-laden helicopters performing deft aerial acrobatics above, the sight was a well-choreographed if poorly-attended spectacle. Showcasing far more advanced equipment than the recent graduate ceremony and with no families present, the ceremony was over in short order before the next cohort of trainees began activity less than twenty-four hours later.

Not fooled by the spectacle, Premier Mihalcea dismissed the events as more sabre-rattling, to boost GUN morale. The troops of his free nation were more numerous than all the Union combined, and were not spread out worldwide on alleged 'Peace-keeping' operations.  Against the new Union vehicles would be the well-armored Main-line tanks, produced by the dozen in central Romania. With vehicles more numerous and better armored, the Union wouldn't stand a chance if they tried to bring Romania-Ukraine back in to compliance.

September 03 2133 -
After three years of fostering small independent Solar ventures, Administrator Alik virtually officiated the opening of a Canadian-run mining colony. Having dozens of 'control' stations throughout the solar system, the Canadian government had been granted first-of-its-kind mineral rights to Comas Sola. Now the largest non-union colony in the Solar System, the mining facilities on the distant comet would generate almost two-thousand tonnes of valuable material per annum. Using private contractors, the materials would be shipped to Earth at Canadian discretion  - the single largest concession yet granted to a single nation. Though hardliners rejected any notion of extra-national or private commercial development, Tereshchenko recognized that seeming pliant and cooperative undermined arguments coming out of the burgeoning Eastern Bloc and freed Union-directed industry to produce and deliver more valuable forms of infrastructure.

October 07 2134 -
Quite early on a Thursday morning, Tereshchenko was doing two things. Firstly, he was being read reports of the completion of a massive mining district in New Caledonia, and secondly he was learning of the release of a new cohort of mobile artillery platforms. Several years in the making, he was somewhat elated to hear a recording of their celebratory first firings. Alik was known for his fierce appetite for risk, but he wondered if he would even need to risk utilizing the platforms - the news was that the Bloc was in dire financial straits, and would either become unable to grow their military, or collapse entirely. With a history of unstable Eastern-European coalitions, the feedback was positive for the Union. Signing off on the new postings for the artillery pieces, Tereshchenko reaffirmed five more companies of them and permitted a recently-commissioned research lab to join Doctor Hei's work in power and propulsion.

December 25 2134 -
Christmas day 2134 across the world saw two things:
First, the delivery of presents across the globe. Despite the downward trend of most organised religions during the 21st century, Christmas maintained its' longstanding tradition of a unifying period of goodwill. Secondly and in stark defiance of that goodwill, the troops of Romania-Ukraine preempted Union aggression, and began an overwhelming assault to the surprise of pundits and strategists alike. Blocked by heavy snowfall and with the Northern plains bogged by substantial melt and runoff, Ukraine was well-defended from the North, while the West were almost impassable, and bristling with fortified infantry and artillery.

In response to Tereshchenkos' warmongering, and in recognition that the Union appeared to be in some sort of waiting game for the Bloc to crack, Premier Mihalcea had used the security-lax festive period to bring war to Union forces across Eastern Europe.

Moving to capture agrarian Moldova from the North and East, Ukrainian forces came across little resistance and saw surrender in less than a day. Pictures of the disheveled Moldovan president signing the peace accord in bloodied casual wear would circulate the world by days end, and would generate great unrest despite arguments of the signing being invalid, made under duress. Concurrently, mobile divisions stationed in Southern Romania began a rapid transit over the Danube, taking the only border bridge. With the now-poorly-named Friendship Bridge under Romanian control and with few-if-any passable ways to attack the aggressor states, independent forces began movement towards Bulgaria, and afterwards the crucial waterway bisecting Turkey.

[Edited out some sections like the one here, because writing about towns being levelled and sieged while they're now actually being bombarded and sieged seems shoddy]

At the behest of Admiral Tsukamoto Montaro, the UNSC began requesting targets from the ground-based OTS spotters. The twenty warships of the UNSC struggled to find isolated targets to strike without hitting city centers themselves. With consideration for the citizens beneath, the Union would not burden itself with a twenty-second century repeat of the bombing of Dresden. Determining not to raise dangerous and radioactive dust from their exotic weaponry, they would wait until the situation beneath was either improved or desperate enough to warrant such actions.

This is where I found out the OTS spotters have light personal weapons rather than FFD. I believe this must have happened when I redesigned them in a rush after errors forced a reload. On a quick test, indiscriminate barrages caused a civilian:combatant casualty ratio of about 12000:1, so the now-useless UNSC will be sitting this one out until a small group of newly-designed spotters are recruited.

Tereshchenko, formerly convinced of Serbian support, was stunned to discover the borders would be closed to Union personnel. Determining that maintaining neutrality would best protect Serbia, the only relatively-undefended path towards Romania would remain closed to GUN and PRRU both. Beginning a far-harder journey, the recently-stationed Union Guard Brigades began their 1055km transit to the Sofian battleground. There the battle would be quickly joined.

On a near-universal day of rest for billions across the world, boiling tensions had resulted in the deaths of over twenty-five thousand people. Men women and children who had been celebrating the end of an uneventful year at morning were now bloodied or dead at evening, presents unopened and the wrecks of their homes and livelihoods now scarring the unexpected battlefield.

December 26 2034 -

[Another cut section. Damn Russians]

With the death toll mounting and the holiday season brought to an horrific end, Tereshchenko signed for immediate refurbishment and expansion of Union ground force training facilities. Though it wouldn't be operational until late 2136, there was not one mote of dissent regarding this priority despite its' immense economic disruption.

In a wide belt from Debresen to Burgas, scenes native to any war began to appear. With roads clogged with newly-created refugees and with the death toll rising by thousands an hour, there were few within the Union that were not either transfixed to hourly news broadcasts, or discussing the worst political and humanitarian crisis in over a century.

December 27 2134 -
From his seat of power in Kyiv, Premier Mihalcea viewed the progress of his invasion. In defeating Union forces in Europe, he would be able to secure his nation against the ousted Tereshchenko and his imperialist ilk. Long dreamt by his party, proving secession from the Union was possible by force would strike a hard blow against the GUN - similar to the secession of the United States from Britain several centuries earlier. Like the old British Empire, the lingering implicit threat of violence would ensure that the Union provided its' remaining members with a path to peaceful independence.

If only his countrymen didn't have to shed blood to make them see that.

Shocked by the Boxing Day massacres in Chișinău, Mihalcea ordered a single-days grace for the residents of Moldova. After collecting and disposing of the dead, Premier Mihalcea instructed non-combatants to leave the city, and head through a new humanitarian corridor to Poland. Though the trek to Poland in wintertime would be harsh, it would prevent further 'misunderstandings' with newly-appointed Ukrainian law enforcement.

[Another cut section]

December 28 2134
With Union troops in withdrawal from Sofia to nearby Pernik, and with heavy street fighting across the Bulgarian capital, PRRU Mitralors' began moving to position. Similar to the suppression of protestors in Chișinău, violent crackdowns on the civilian population broke most of the unprepared civilian resistance. With fighting at a temporary standstill in Hungary and Bulgaria, Tereschchenko's goal of a direct invasion of Kiev was in peril. Instead of moving South as expected, the vehicular divisions focused instead on encircling Sofia, seeming instead to protect the city from counterattack. With most of the Bulgarian cabinet missing or dead, it appeared that the mostly-Romanian brigades were hunting for leadership to secure a peace treaty.

From behind a wall, Mayór Petar Savu addressed the mounds of sandbags and wire fortifying the Largo, home to the Bulgarian administration. Nestled within its' many layers were the local citizenry - stubborn defenders that were preventing him from securing a Bulgarian peace. Forbidden from razing the complex to the ground and without a Bulgarian translator, his crude gesturing was insufficient to move them. Estimating them to have little in the way of food or supplies, a small-scale siege of the administrative center would suffice. With Savu's own fortifications beginning to take shape surrounding the center square and adjacent streets, if the President or her cabinet had survived thus far, they and their guards would soon be forced out.

December 29 2134
Though global-scale conflict had not at this point broken out, targeted terrorist attacks on GUN assets globally had increased in the preceding twenty-four hours. Making global news, an entire shift of several thousand Venderite miners were killed in Brazil when dissenting locals stormed the unguarded civilian complex. Looting what they could, charges were placed to collapse the deep shafts and destroy the complex entirely. The valuable complex was destroyed in less than twenty minutes, by rainforest conservation extremists that had found themselves long-ignored.

In secret, Administrator Tereshchenko had discussed former Administrator Koziol's fate. Though he had disgraced his office, all his actions thus-far had been solely to safeguard against this exact eventuality. Vindicated, Koziol would be pardoned and his house arrest withdrawn. With this news instantly leaking towards Zimmermann and his sympathizers, an inflammatory Lunar request to explain was received and rejected by Tereshchenko. Though discussions regarding the possibility of a Lunar rebellion had begun, there was simply no way for the colony to survive on its' own, and such an event was presently the least of the Administrators' concern.

[I deleted the rest of the post related to the war, because it was mostly focused on levelling Kyiv, Odessa, Mariupol, and settlements downstream of Kyiv all the way to the mouth of the Dneiper, half for story and half to explain the inexplicably high civilian death toll]

Febuary 14 2135 -

As agreed, the Christmas-Day war came to end at midnight, Valentines Day 2135. Signing upon the peace two days earlier was the bruised Premier Mihalcea, forced to sign a peace under similar circumstances to the Moldovan president eight weeks earlier. Despite its' estimated 3.6 billion dollar weekly damage bill, the war had calmed in its latest days. Cut off from fuel and ammunition, the stalling of the PRRU's main offensive had proven catastrophic and prevented damage to the extent seen in the first phase of the war.

The Valentines Armistice of 2135 would not see the PRRU rejoin the Grand Union of Nations. Over the course of three months the conjoined territories of Ukraine and Romania would be forcibly separated from one another, democratic governments reinstated, and both nation states would rejoin the Union as member states. Knowing that his homeland was again returned from nationalistic extremists, Tereshchenko determined that he would step down at decades-end to retire in his hometown, Odessa.

With peace signed, it would only be a matter of time before other entities within the GUN and without sought to violently force development of their own interests, and Administrator Tereshchenko endeavored to find likeminded people to address the security deficits that had allowed the PRRU the confidence to openly attack the Union, and initially overwhelm Union defenses.

Records of casualties over almost 8 weeks. Total GUN losses: 20676. Total PRRU losses: 25124. Total civilian losses: 312000.

March 16 2135 -
Addressing the Hall of Representatives were three men of great power. Administrator Alik Tereshchenko, Admiral Tsukamoto Montaro, and General Boris Heckel represented the highest ranking members of the administration, navy, and army. The three were to convince the Union at large that the best course would be a substantial expansion of the Unions' army and navy. Former Union leaders had assumed compliance of extra-national and extraterrestrial governments. Despite Lunar Administrator Zimmermann's protests, so far Union relations had been largely been peaceful. Independent attacks on Union assets in addition to the recent outright European war had shown that compliance had to be assured - through overwhelming military capability.

Following the full adoption of the Romanian and Ukranian peace treaties and with rebuilding efforts in Eastern Europe fully underway, the Union was losing in excess of a third of a billion dollars a month. It would be necessary to rectify this, and then immediately adopt the first true Union standing army, with additional developments in transporting these troops to the colonies. Increasing military strength and power projection outside the domains of Earth would ensure that the imprisoned war criminal Mihalcea was the last to threaten the goals of humanity and the Union.

November 13 2136 -
Attending the graduation ceremony in person, General Heckel watched the newest expansion of the Union military with great interest. The First Union Defence group was comprised of eight demountable surface-to-orbit railgun sites, alongside some eight hundred infantry and two dozen spotters and mobile artillery to protect them. Spreading several dozen of these sites around the globe would ensure no nation would be able to maintain local space superiority in future, as well as enforce Union presence on nearly every corner of the Earth.

With a planned two hundred thousand military personnel being trained by the end of the century, the Union would soon have a standing army comparable in size and greater in strength than even its' largest member states. With few updates to make regarding ship-based troop transportation, this ceremony was the best military update General Heckel would see for a good while yet.

Settled after the initial ceremony and knowing full well that this first group would be one of dozens, Heckel enjoyed his light refreshments - It was quite warm for the season, and the day would be quite long indeed.

March 14 2138 -
At his colleagues request, the far-away Admiral Montaro made plans to meet with Administrator Tereshchenko. Updates from the Union research divisions assured Tereshchenko that new micro-reactors would soon be available for the long-awaited 500 tonne escort ships. Delayed for years by environmental activists and nuclear safety concerns, arguments for ship-mountable nuclear reactors on surface-capable ships had finally won, and a prototype was almost ready.

Estimating the final adjustments would be finalized between April and June 2140, the first ships would begin construction within thirty months. Agreeing that the new 'Montaro'-class escort ships would suffice for extra-planetary protection, there would be a decline in production of the the far larger 'Nelson' class, with the signing of production contracts to fall for the first time in history.

Febuary 14 2139 -
Four years on from the Valentines Armistice and its' associated treaties, the Premier of Ukraine and the President of Romania gave a dual address to the Hall of Representatives. The post-war period had seen a great economic boon, with the books of the Union balanced to deliver a small monthly surplus, and damage from the Christmas war now considered almost entirely rectified. Scars still existed in riparian zones adjacent to the Dneiper river, but the deepest craters had become welcome wetland habitat, and were considered acceptable reminders of the war. Hearing this speech of peace and reconciliation were non-member states, all believing that these subjugated nations were no longer acting upon their own interest and were opinion-less protectorates, nothing more.

Expansion of the armies had been ongoing, and there were now a half-dozen new military bases; one in each continent and with more being trained. The free nations of Earth were growing stifled while adjacent to what they each believed to be an Empire in all but name. Above it all, the shipyards of the UNSC were churning out warships, while renovation of the sites that used to construct and launch the Lloyd-class geosurvey launch platforms would see them soon launching multitudes of warships allegedly to "Protect Union Shipping". Without access to the materials or sciences the Union had, these conventional nations could do little but watch the disparity between the GUN and themselves grow with increasing contempt.

The Electors of the Union had another year to decide who would steer the Union for the next decade, and there were several candidates considered likely to take the position. After such a dramatic decade, there was no shortage of candidates taking up a multitude of positions and offering to solve a plethora of problems they considered of utmost importance.

Remember you're an elector! The poll should be on top of the page from posting til I start next decade.

1. Markus Zimmermann.
The first was as always, Markus Zimmermann. One of the first Union Administrators, Zimmermann had spent decades addressing the need for a Lunar and Martian voting presence within the Hall of Representatives. Alongside campaigns for extraterrestrial rights, he had a longstanding reputation of being a competent if contrarian leader. Attracting the votes of the farthest-left electors, Zimmermann had either continued either drive the Union to be its' best, or sat stubbornly as a thorn in its' side - Depending on who you asked.

The arguments against him ranged from that suffraging less than a hundred thousand colonists would effectively disenfranchise billions of Earth-dwellers by diluting their voting rights - as well as that he was an extremist, a weak-stomached vegetarian and quite possibly a communist, though the latter allegation was yet unproven.

2. Donna Spada.
Appealing to the more moderate-left electors was Donna Spada making her second election appearance. Ever charismatic, Mrs. Spada had endeared herself during the Christmas war by leading relief efforts and charity drives. Passionate and friendly, she advocated for a trend towards keeping military strength and international cooperation high, while setting groundwork for eventual extraterrestrial rights without prematurely granting elector status. Ever known for her cheery and flexible nature, Donna Spada was considered a genuinely cooperative leader, moreso than any of the other candidates.

Detractors considered her to be an inexperienced and ineffective leader - Having not acted as an administrator for Earth or its' growing list of colonies, it would be difficult to gauge her effectiveness on the job. Against this argument was that she mirrored Evie Lloyd in passion and starting experience. With tiredness of the Unions' established path growing, Administrator Spada's open-mindedness would make peace a likely possibility.

3. Topi Manninen.
Having gone viral online for looking perpetually miserable, the Finnish candidate Topi Manninen had secured Nordic support of his current campaign following his tenure at Parliament House in Helsinki. The internet had become enamoured by his gloomy and depressing personality and looks - much like was common for grumpy or sad-looking cats during the 21st century. Though former Minister Manninen had enjoyed his time as a Finnish minister, he had never understood the internets' obsession with him and stereotypical of most Finns largely desired a life of service out of the spotlight.

Campaigning for modest yet effective Union expenditure, most centerists considered Mister Manninen to be an ideal and proven if mundane leader. The internet had already began trending petitions regarding the miser becoming Administrator of Earth, with his endearing similarity to Eeyore continued to bolster his otherwise inexplicable popularity.

4. Christopher Gardiner.
Having moved towards a slight nationalistic tendency over the last decade, Gardiner was the the third of three repeat candidates and the only of the three to have formerly been an Administrator of Earth. Manning the Aten deep space tracking station, Gardiner had watched the war from afar and determined that the best way to continue peace was through increasing Union strength. Unknowingly Gardiner had become an ideological clone of Tereshchenko, and attracted the same voter base that had seen the outgoing Administrator elected in the first place.

Popular during his tenure in the 20's, his existing supporters would vote for him without much argument, while his detractors discussed whether his previous inaction had caused the conditions leading to the Christmas war.

5. Aja Upadhya.
The candidate most appealing to conservative-leaning electors of the Union was Aja Upadhya. Migrating to the US as an adult, Aja was raised in a somewhat strict, traditional Indian household that saw her valuing both traditional ideology and the delicate environment with equal parts. Having been selected as Administrator of the US-lead civilian mining complex on Halley's Comet, Aja loved nature, tradition, and astronomy to the utmost.

Administrator Upadhya resists the notion of foreign influence and would see the Union not only strengthened militarily, but would go so far as to ensure the colonies of Earth remain just that - colonies, nothing more. Non-union mining colonies would be heavily taxed and Union dominion over international affairs would be paramount. Her strong-armed stance made her an extremely attractive candidate to those who felt Union weakness caused the Christmas war, especially amongst the European nations who had lost so much during the PRRU invasion.

And finally, a farewell to the outbound Tereshchenko, the luckiest (evillest?) leader to grace my gameplay - I've never had someone so old and so injured come back so many times from the dead. I'm starting to think all the error-related reloads are due to him and his magic. I'd RP his retirement ceremony, but honestly the lich probably just crumbled to dust.
Solar Struggle / Re: (5) Into the Vast
« Last post by nuclearslurpee on July 20, 2022, 02:29:13 PM »
Corruption is always interesting as long as you don't have to live there.
Solar Struggle / Re: (5) Into the Vast
« Last post by doodle_sm on July 20, 2022, 01:44:07 PM »
Generally, my advice is to write at least some kind of outline of whatever conspiracies or other shenanigans you want to have happening, devising some rough timeline, characters involved, etc. which you can then refer to as you write narrative updates. This also helps you think in advance about what information needs to be presented to the reader and plan ahead - it is very easy when writing narratives to forget some key detail that you know but the reader does not, otherwise. This also ensures that your writing is focused and not too scattered, introducing more plot threads than can be handled and wrapped up.

The other trick I think is to focus on a few main plot threads aside from the basic game reporting, and make sure they are coming back consistently (not every update, but enough that it is not too much of a surprise to the reader when things come to a head), and not confusing the reader with too many seemingly unrelated hints and asides. On this forum I would say Kurt is the master of this: he will often work out a significant plot arc slowly over many updates and a large chunk of AAR time, but there are consistent indications that something it going on until things build to a head and the conspiracy comes onto the scene. There are often surprises along the way, but rarely would the reader feel that such surprises are nonsensical or coming out of nowhere.

Since Aurora is often rather random or unpredictable, it often is better to write up factions or actors instead of rigidly planned events, and then keep in mind each faction's goals and plans. This way, it is not predetermined that the Carrier Strike Faction will force their way through Parliament (say), but they can always be doing something to try and get what they want and once those plans intersect with the game events (by chance or by force!) you have a story to tell.

Appreciate the advice! I'm going to focus on a few main plot threads besides the basic game report. The few threads I'll focus on are going to be the Zikh and the corruption in the Empire.
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