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Baby Steps

Our Solar System's Stellar Neighborhood

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a part of Baby Steps, by Jacker.

None

Jacker holds sovereignty over Our Solar System's Stellar Neighborhood, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

880 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Baby Steps
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Our Solar System's Stellar Neighborhood is a part of Baby Steps.

27 Characters Here

Lana Marietta [27] "Where is that report I asked for?"
Admiral McCart [26] "Listen here, Ensign: This is my fleet, and when you're my age, you will understand that better. Until then, shut up."
Lt. Markus Worf [22] "Shiggidy-shiggidy-shwa!"
Natalie Darron [20] "Look, I don't have time for this, I got a schedule to keep!"
Nero [20] "Keep calm and we shouldn't have any problems. Oh, and don't wake the baby...please."
Nakasagi Rai [16] "This is my last shot at an adventure, so I thought I might as well go for it."
Veris [16] We are currently opperating at 55% effeciency, reaching our target destination in 2 days, sir.
EUCLID-II [15] Number crunching supercomputer assigned to run the intense calculations for hyperspace travel aboard the Apollo. Can be a bit of a smart-ass, likes to play logic games.
Captain McCoy [12] "I'm the Captain of this damn ship and as such, I will not be questioned by some lower class soldier. Dismissed."
Dr. Tesla [5] The Descendant of Nikola Tesla and Maker of Tesla Co.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Veris
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


McCart almost giggled at himself when Veris said, "It is not a problem, sir. I am capable of doing far more than that many commands in that amount of time."

”Ah, Veris. You’re a real life saver,” was McCart’s only reply.

It was about 1600 hours Hyperion time by the time the fleet had gotten to the Kaiper Belt. They were running ‘a bit’ behind schedule due to a bit of a commotion on the Apollo and some security protocols on the Thunderchild. Besides that, the Hyperion was also experiencing some integration issues with the new engine core. Although not detrimental to the schedule, an intruding scientist had also found his way onto the Command Level of the Hyperion; it was an odd moment, but McCart ordered him to be escorted to the Apollo. But all those issues were solved by the time the fleet had passed Mars.

”Veris,” the Admiral began, puffing on his cigar, ”do you know of the namesake of the Hyperion? He was one of the 12 titans, birthed from Gaia, the Earth Mother, and born of Ouranos, the chaotic wellspring of everything. His dominion was over light and wisdom, and his son was Helios, the Sun. It’s actually interesting they named this ship after Hyperion. Perhaps they expected her to sail to edges of where light touches? I’m not sure, but it’s been a ponderance of mine for some months. Well I guess it doesn’t matter, huh?”

McCart laughed at himself, assuming Veris had been dumbfounded by the Admiral’s odd ramblings. But then again, perhaps it didn’t really surprise Veris, anymore. McCart was a rambler, especially after losing his family back home. The Admiral just had hoped that perhaps Veris enjoyed the old man’s unique conversations; part of him wished Veris enjoyed his company as much as McCart enjoyed Veris’s company. On a few ironic occaisions, Veris was the only friendly face McCart had on a voyage.

The fleet was nearing the edge of the KBelt, having successfully dodged (or made way) through the iclings and rocks that dotted the outer circle of the system. The 1st Vanguard Fleet was dismissed as the Hyperion, the Thunderchild and Apollo officially made clearance outside the known Solar System. Admiral Stone mentioned some KLF throwdown at Pluto and hurried off; McCart was glad to have the other admiral off his back anyway.

”Veris, three immediate tasks. First, notify the captains to be ready for hyperjump. The ships are all navigationally ready. Upon my countdown and final command, we’ll jump. Secondly, assess all systems throughout the fleet to be healthy and fully functioning. Suspend auxiliary functions for the jump. Thirdly, pray as hard as any android can pray.”

McCart, upon the final command (which he meant somewhat facetiously), pulled out his own black rosary. The rosary itself was a symbol of his initiation into the Knights of Columbus, so many years ago; McCart was a religious man, perhaps one of the few still left on the fleet. He was an old man, and old men in the UNSA were typically afforded more social freedoms than say a young upstart who carried a bible with him. McCart’s faith was well known but uncommented on, simply because he wasn’t one to boast of it or let it be mocked.

The engines revved up, the systems went online, and the pilots of all three ships nervously readied themselves for an even which they had never truly been trained for. But McCart was confident his flight officers were more than suitable; he hand-picked each and they were the best pilots in the whole damn UNSA.

McCart could feel his stomach drop as he nervously finalized the preparations. He slowly felt his mind fade away into anxious oblivion as the Hyperspace Engine screamed up and space seemed to bend around the Hyperion. ”Veris. Initiate communication with the fleet’s bridges.
Commence countdown:
10.
9.
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
Jump…”

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Character Portrait: Admiral McCart
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#, as written by KelEl45
Captain McCoy


"Admiral, in my opinion I think I will have to agree with Captain McCoy on the matter of Kepler-62. Yes it is the farthest system but who knows what we can find? Like the Captain said, the planets there are rich with minerals. Yes there is the chance of extraterrestrial life already inhabiting the planets, but that will give us the chance of learning. Gaining the knowledge they have gained, gaining allies and friends. I have opinions of Gliese 581 and KOI-1686 but I must stick to Kepler-62."

His eyes looked over the head researcher from the Apollo. It's not like he could help himself, his eyes were just drawn to pretty young ladies. Combine that with the fact that she had just agreed with him and he would have treated the woman to dinner had she been on his ship. She won him the vote and he knew it. He cracked a bit of a smile, bordering on a smirk in fact, as he congratulated himself. His ego and pride were... well, not the smallest.

His eyes shifted to the next captain that would be speaking up. He was curious, but not surprised, to see someone besides Captain Spiers standing there. The Thunderchild seemed to have a way of "losing" it's captains. He still hadn't been able to ascertain if that was on purpose or not.


"Uh... hi, Admiral. I know you were expecting Captain Speirs, but I took it as my responsibility to report..." He took a deep breath. "I'm afraid he's gone missing while on a last visit to Earth. I'm the new captain. I've gone over Captain Speirs' notes, however. He seemed to thinking hitting KOI-1686 was the best option. I agree with his judgment, and want to honor it."

Now that wasn't exactly what he was looking for. He was hoping that his words would have been enough to win over a unanimous vote from the captains. This stuck only a little bit in his craw, mainly because he respected the new captain for wanting to uphold the ideas and opinions of his predecessor.

”It escapes me whether the Thunderchild is on Fleet Command Appointment or is Private Commissioning. Did Secretary Maybourne appoint you, son, or did the ship elect you? That would answer that. Either way, I’m glad to have you aboard. Have your ship’s AI send your Nautical File and Officer Serial.

“As for the votes, lady and gentlemen, we have two Kepler and one KOI. I myself was going for Gliese, though I’ve been mostly convinced. It doesn’t matter. A fair vote is a fair vote. Kepler-62 it is. Captain McCoy, g’head and hit the Bridge and start the processes for the Hyperion’s departure. Dr. Marietta, please send Veris a report upon the completion of the civilians’ boarding. Captain, uhh… whatever your name is, remember to send the information over.

“Comm-room 3 AI – Terminate holo-conference function. Grand Admiral McCart out.”


He hadn't expected to win over the Admiral, his adopted uncle was rather stubborn like that when it came to these kinds of decisions. Still, he was glad he had won in general and that was enough. One of the things he did like about McCart, really always had, was how he seemed to take things so smoothly and easily. He often looked up to the man for this, taking a trump in his opinion and a last minute change in staff without even really blinking an eye, though he never would have admitted it in his growing age.

As the holo-conference ended, he gave the traditional salute to his superior, and waited for McCart to leave first. This was really more out of respect on a personal level than a professional one. He quickly made his way down to the Bridge, it was relatively easy since most of the people on board the ship were already at their jobs. Once there he resumed being the mind of the hive that was the ship, immediately barking out orders.

"Listen up ladies, the Admiral says to prepare for liftoff. Initiate all pre-flight system checks, warm up the propulsion systems, batten down the hatches, things of that nature." He gave the orders with an almost sarcastic tone. He wasn't really one to play the part of calling lower ranking sailors "ladies", but he had always been amused by the way the popular media had portrayed the role of a commanding officer.

He took his seat in the Captain's chair aboard the bridge and slipped the hand held device out of his pocket. He went into the messaging application and programmed it to send a recorded message to Ms. Marietta.

"I would like to personally thank you for siding with me in the captain's vote that was recently held. Whether it was actually because of what I said or for your own reasons, it was your vote that ended up deciding our destination. For now, let's just say that I owe you one. My deepest thanks, Captain McCoy."

Just as he finished sending the message, he heard McCart's voice come over the ship's intercom system. It was strange that as much as technology had advanced since he was a boy, they still used intercom systems.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the First Expeditionary Fleet,

This is your commanding-officer, Grand Admiral Joseph McCart, speaking. Each and every one of you is in my fleet for a specific reason. Some of you were chosen by the Crew Selection Committee of Fleet Command. Some of you were appointed to be representatives of several different sovereignties back home. Some of you I hand-picked myself. However way you’re on this mission don’t matter. You’re aboard and you’ve each got an important task at hand. WE have an important task at hand.

We are all bound in a fraternal thread that is this mission. It is a sacred mission entrusted to us by our home, Earth, and all her peoples. Any contingent elements of this fleet which put our mission in detriment will be swiftly eliminated. If you plan on endangering this mission, I will have you court-martialed and executed quicker than you can call out for your mama.

I, with the aid of my immediate subordinates, have determined the first destination for this fleet. In approximately 22 days, ladies and gentlemen, we shall all be enjoying the wonderful vista of Kepler-62. I will not let us fail. This is my oath to you.
May many of you excuse this old man for being so emphatic in saying…

May God protect us.

McCart over and out."


A smile crept across McCoy's lips as he listened to the message from the Admiral. The old man always had a way of making people feel like they could depend on him and he was sure that everyone aboard the ship now had the utmost confidence, if they hadn't already, in Admiral Joseph McCart. Even still, he had to give a slight eye roll to the last part.

McCart was from the seemingly dying generation of those who were actually religious and seemed proud to be so. A lack of religion had really taken the main stage now since the beginning of the twenty first century and the trend hadn't really stopped. Whether it was because people really were becoming less religious or just that part of "tolerance" meant not showing anything that makes your culture unique, he didn't know and frankly didn't care.

It was just about then that McCoy received two messages from Veris on his device. The first, a command from the Admiral stating that no commanding officers should ever be in the same place at one time. This concerned him a little. It reminded him of the contingencies put in place by governments in war time. He pushed that to the back of his mind for the moment as he opened the second message from Veris. This one simply stating that they would be leaving Lunar orbit at 1000 hours Hyperion time.

"Orders just came down from the Admiral people! Ship takes off at 1000 hours Hyperion time, make sure we're ready or I'll personally see to it that you're demoted and kicked off my ship!"

Once done with his order, he sent a message to the Admiral. It read,

"Sir, concerning your order about commanding officers. Is there a reason for this or are you just being cautious? Forgive any disrespect if I say, I know you better than to be a suspicious old man. I would like to request a meeting with you to discuss anything that you seem to think may be endangering the safety of any of my soldiers aboard my ship. Uncle McCart, I think I need to know what's going on.

Hunter."

The last part he had intentionally made more personal than professional. To tell the truth, sometimes it was hard to decide which he should act as when with McCart, but since he thought that their messages would be private he thought it would be fine. That and he wanted to appeal to the Admiral in a more than professional way to tell him what was going on. His uncle's worry worried him to say the least.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Flt.Lt. Aidan O'Rourke
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#, as written by conor
Flight Lieutenant Aidan O'Rourke


O'Rourke was slumped into his chair when the orders to move came in. Finally they were ready to go. Months of hard work and training had been put into this, and even still the FTL drives had barely seen much action. When the time came to jump it would be tense. He had to make sure everything went smoothly or the ship would rip itself apart. Not exactly a motivating outcome.

The engines were at idle and ready to go. The engineers had spent the last 4 hours just starting them. Looking at his large monitor O'Rourke could see all the statistics he needed. Everything looked good to go. He opened up comm channels with the chief engineer and the captain. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke preparing for departure. All systems stable and ready to go.'

Using his touchscreen interface O'Rourke pushed the throttle to 40%. The ship started to move sluggishly away from the moon. When he was certain the engines were stable he pushed the throttle up to 100% power. The ship surged to life as the engines roared into power. The ship began to accelerate quickly as they gained speed. O'Rourke grabbed the joystick on his chair pushed it to the left. The ship was slow to react, as expected. The Hyperion was massive and required a lot of thrusters to turn it, it was simply a matter of preempting the maneuvers before they needed to be done. Once they escaped the gravity well of the moon O'Rourke set a course for the Kuiper belt.

-----------

At 16:00 O'Rourke let out a deep breath and momentarily closed his eyes. It was up to him now to make sure all this went off without a hitch. Up to him to see the Hyperion safely into the jump. The bridge was now in open communications mode, every could hear everyone in order to ensure commands and status reports could be heard by everyone on board. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke preparing for hyperspace jump. Thrust at 100%, engine exhaust 85%. Core temperature 13,000 Celsius. Hyperspace drives are a go I repeat, are a go.' O'Rourke made sure the autopilot was configured and ready to go. The navigation systems had Kepler locked in.

It was now or nothing as Grand Admiral McCart's voice come over the intercom for the countdown. O'Rourke sat in his seat anxiously at the count down started. His finger hovering over the hyperspace control panel. His heart started pounding in his chest and his fingertips sweaty. Trying desperately to push the thoughts of his body being propelled at twice the speed of light. '..10..' O'Rourke activated the jump readiness system covering all the ships view-ports with thick steel. '..8..' O'Rourke activated the drive core, he could hear the engines rumbling from the bridge as the core burst to life warming up for the jump. '..3..' the engine indicator systems were glowing red, they were at tipping point. A small blue light started flashing indicating the ship was ready to jump. '..Jump!.. O'Rourke let gravity take control as his finger dropped towards the control panel. It hit the 'hyperspace jump' button and within a fraction of a second his stomach lurched as the ship entered the jump.

'Oh man, that was intense' he sighed. He left his shoulders drop and let out a little satisfactory laugh. He began to relax a little as he checked all the systems. The ship was drifting of course a little, the computer unable to fully navigate the ship at such high speeds. A few adjustments every 2 to 3 hours would keep them on course. He decided to report in to the captain and the admiral opening up a comms channel. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke reporting in. Successful jump, ship is holding together and all systems reporting normal operation, nothing out of the ordinary apart from some minor hyperspace drift. Easily correctable'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild) Character Portrait: Veris
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"The Hyperion was named such because it was originally built around a light speed drive. The light speed drive proved to be too dangerous and hard to manage after the second flight. The current FTL drive was installed with ease, thanks to the large amount of space that the first drive required. Or so states the prototype logs." Veris stated. Had he just left the topic alone, the anilytics add-on would not have been functioning properly, so one could say that this response was proof that Veris was operating correctly.

Once out of the K belt, Veris was ordered to do three tasks: Notify captains of hyperjump, ensuring to state the countdown, initiate full fleet wide ship self-assessment, telling the AIs to turn off all axillary functions, and run pray[].

"This is August 13 Artificial Data Analysis Android August 13 Call-sign "Veris", operating as per command of Grand Admiral McCart, to all captains of the exploratory fleet. All ship AIs will be running self-diagnostics and cutting axillary functions immediately. Once all systems have been prepared, the hyperjump will go on the Grand Admiral's countdown."

As the transmission was shot to the ship captains, Veris was also communing with the AIs.

"Begin parallel transmission...

Designating targets [All Ship AI]...
Awaiting response from 359 entities...
Response complete, average ping at 4.361 ms...

Sending command [run self-diagnostics]...
Responses received...

Sending value [all ship systems]...
Confirmations received...

End transmission to (Vector String [Fleet Captains])...
Maintain transmission to (Vector String [Fleet AI])...

Sending command [suspend systems]...
Responses received...

Sending value [auxiliary]...
Confirmations received...

End transmission...


The final order, running pray[], was significantly more difficult for Veris. The program pray[] took massive amounts of power to run, due to the complexity of the concept.

At the time of the countdown, Veris sent out one last transmission to the captains before they traveled into hyperspace.

"This is August 13 Artificial Data Analysis Android August 13 Call-sign "Veris", operating as per command of Grand Admiral McCart, to all captains of the exploratory fleet.
Commence countdown:
10.
9.
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
Jump…”


At jump, Veris began to slide slowly backwards, the hum of his electromagnets filling in what noise wasn't from the hyperspace drive. To counter the sliding, Veris began to use his exhaust thrusters once again. However, McCart was the only one close enough to even hear them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: Nero
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Natalie Darron
Natalie wasn't sure what the protocol was when a citizen met the head of a ship, so she just stood there while she was being introduced. "Greetings mam." She said. She was holding her two bags, one holding her clothes, the other her plans, minor tools, and her touchscreen, which held a copy of each of the plans, but in a format that allowed a processor to produce. At least, the one in her mechanic's shop to produced... "I don't take up too much space, and I'm willing to do some other work if you need me to." She bowed her head to further emphasize her plea.
She was promptly interrupted by a speaker, which started counting down from ten... Everyone started trying to sit down. Raze pushed her into a seat, so she just sat there. The timer hit zero, and the ship shot forward, following the two warships. Inertia pushed against Natalie, and she was having trouble not flipping out of her seat before it stopped, where she actually fell a couple of inches back into the seat. She glanced around, then stood up when everyone else started getting up.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: Nero
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Image


"Ma'am, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of introducing myself. I'm Rai Nakasagi, linguist, and your second in command for the Apollo," The man with glasses said to her, she was a bit surprised. He looked like an ordinary citizen, "As for the girl well...." Rai looked at Nero with anticipation.

"Um... pardon to interrupt," Lana turned around to see Lt. Markus Worf, who put on his usual sheepish grin. I just want to choke him to death sometimes... Lana thought while sighing to herself. "Ehehe... yeah... uh. Well: basically, I know it's not my business. But why not let the kid walk? Put her through one of those new lie detector tests: you know, the ones that don't suck, to see if she's up to something. If she isn't, well: it's not like we'll let her play Starcraft V: Raynor's Alcohol Rehab on any of the computers like you guys let me do... if you knew about that. If not, forget I said that. BUT ANYWAY: if she were to pass said rehab test, what if someone were to take her under her wing? Someone who isn't me, of course, since I'm too busy playing Star- I mean, calibrating the point-defence cannons to do something like that," With that he walked away to his console, what he said did actually make sense though.

"Lana," It was Nero. Her and Nero had agreed to speak to each other in a first name basis, Lana thought it would boost their friendship, or maybe it was because Nero couldn't choose what to call her. Head Researcher or Captain, Which one which one? Personally Ma'am or Miss is just fine, but to make sure that they don't get scolded in front of officials she would be called Captain or Head Researcher.

"Ah, this young woman is Natalie. It seems she had snuck aboard this ship, and was caught. While in confinement in the holding cells, I saw some schematics for a few different service robots that she said she had thought up. If this is true, then this girl is practically a genius, and would most likely benefit the ship were she to stay on. It's that reason why I request that she be able to stay aboard the ship as we venture off. We have more than enough resources to accommodate one young girl, no?" Nero looked pretty proud about his statement. Lana took a deep breath and smiled, "Once we make the jump I will see the girl in my cabin and we shall discuss...Her time with us." She laughed and patted the relieved girl on the back softly. She wasn't going to kick the girl off the ship in the first place. As soon as she saw her she was going to invited her to stay, that was the kind of person Lana was; Caring for the little people, people who haven't been given a chance to achieve their full potential in life, "Ok you can sit next to Nero but do it quickly we need to get jumping. She strided over to her seat and sat down, crossing her legs. "Ensign, initiate jump in time with the Hyperion and the Thunderchild.

Commence countdown..
10.
9.
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
Jump...


Lana held tightly onto her chair as the jump was initiated, the looked onto the console and saw the energy levels for the hyperspace drive which were rising quickly. Once the lurching was over she stood up, and looked around to her crew with a big grin on her face, "Alright crew, now starts our journey to Kepler-62!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: EUCLID-II Character Portrait: Nero
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As the Apollo makes its jump through hyperspace, EUCLID-II rapidly crunches the numbers so vital to keep everything intact and the jump on course. Higher dimensional geometry, and Calabi–Yau manifold equations had to be run simultaneously to keep them on the right path through a higher segment of reality. While energy fluctuations and particle interactions in the hyperdrive itself had to be kept at the right levels to prevent an overload or the formation of a devastating singularity. He has his work cut out for him.

All of his access panels display a red X in place of his neon green eye and the words "Processing. Please Hold. Processing. Please hold." repeat themselves quietly over and over throughout the duration of the jump.

Meanwhile his technician Argon sits at his workstation, watching the mountains of code being run at speeds fast enough to slightly hurt his vision. He's completely locked out of the system while in hyperspace, it's all EUCLID-II running the show now. He just monitors in the 0.001% probability something goes wrong.

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#, as written by Jacker
Part 2: The Long Goodbye
Roughly Two Years and One Month Later
The Kepler-62 System


Image


The trip had lasted for an eternity for most. While the first few days were eventful, with crewmembers scurrying about and constantly making quibbles about long-term hyperspace journeys (including their danger), nothing eventful occurred. Most would say it went 'according to plan', though many of the higher-ranks of the mission would say they were lucky. 'According to plan' usually meant 'there's going to be a few issues down the road', yet the trip was a largely peaceful one. No terrorists tried to take the ship or blow it up. No hyperspace aliens popped out of existence. No casualties occurred. Nothing unusual. There were a few instances involving crew relations, of course, but nothing serious.

To some, if any of the above had happened, it would make the situation a lot less eerie. Perhaps it was just the smooth ripples of hyperspace, however, that was the real cause of this anxiety. It had been rumored that scientist went mad gazing into hyperspace during the first tests. While that didn't happen with anyone, just gazing at it made most uneasy. It wasn't just the fact they were travelling through a fold of space that could rip them to shreds without a blink of an eye: there literally seemed to be something... odd about it. Almost as if it were watching the beholder.

Naturally, after two years of this (and many window blinds being installed), when the announcement was made that the ship would finally be dropping out back to the familiar, though surprisingly comfortable folds of real space in two days, there was as much commotion as when the ships had first jumped. For good reason, as well: they were literally further than the furthest space probes had gone, even those testing hyperspace engines. They were an island: isolated from Earth and sol, and completely on their own. There would be no call for help if things went wrong, no margin for error. They had to take care of themselves.

Yet still, hope far outweighed fear when the ship roared out of hyperspace, revealing a beautiful field of shimmering diamonds before them. That's right: diamonds. There was literally a belt of diamonds orbiting the system. Naturally, this was a bit unprecedented, but not as unprecedented as what the ship had picked up on her sensors:

Two Superearths within the habitable zone of the system, one gas giant in the same zone with multiple moons (it appeared that these planets orbited opposite of each other from the star, thus preventing gravitational manipulations of their orbits by each other), a Mars-sized world slightly out of it, three other larger terrestrial objects, twice the size of Earth, and finally: a brown dwarf orbiting the edge of it. They would need to draw closer to find life... but little did they know, life was already here.

Ships were darting between planets right before them, yet they were too far to see, even with magnification and advanced sensors. Soon, if given the right order, they would discover this species, one slightly less advanced than Earth before the reverse-engineering of the hyperdrive. Yet this system was one with many dark secrets... secrets unknown to even those who dwelled here. Ones best kept burried under dead soil.

*Cue Zelda Discovery Sound*

NEW SPECIES FOUND:

Image


Meanwhile, back in the Hall of Justice (I mean uh- Sol)

- The UNSA conflict with the KLF escalates substantially, with the KLF somehow gaining a major technological advantage. All attempts at negotiating has fallen on deaf ears. Though the KLF fleet is still nothing compared to the UNSA's, their strategies, mostly involving a tightly coordinated defense and ruses, and their highly improved weaponry has begun to make them a serious threat. A new strategy, as mentioned above, has them attacking UNSA ships, running back to Pluto, and then engaging them there with superior numbers. Wiping them out altogether would be suicide, as an invasion force could take years to completely conquer the place.

More disturbingly, however, has been the KLF blatantly showing off hyperspace capabilities. A year ago, all monitoring stations in the Kaiper belt were exterminated, after which KLF ships began departing into the unknown. The UNSA has begun retrofitting their ships with engines of their own, but they aren't expected to be complete for another month.

A means of FTL communication has yet to be discovered, so the fleet would not know of this.

- On the technological front, the UNSA has begun shifting their focus to extra-solar colony research. They have also begun trying to reverse-engineer KLF micro-sensors, which are capable of making even a light frigate aware of every single building-sized object moving within a system.

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Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Nero
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Natalie Darron
"Hey, you awake?" Natalie opened her eyes. She was laying on her desk, located in an engineering bay, and must have fallen asleep. "Uh, what? Something wrong?" She looked up, seeing a fellow engineer. "Isn't it time you check up on Claudia?" She snapped awake and looked at the time. "Crap!" She muttered, getting her things together as fast as she could. Nero would probably be angry at her now that she was sleeping in while she was supposed to be looking after his daughter for the fourth time. She was just so close to finding out how to get the servos to stop locking up, she swears it! She quickly ran down the halls, ignoring most of the people until she ran into Nero's room, breathless. She looked around. 'Good, not here yet...' She thought, walking into the room where the child was kept. She smiled at Claudia, who was sleeping, and took a seat nearby. She let her thoughts drift, eventually getting stuck in the enigma of the servo lock-ups. It was just so frustrating, she knew she had the answer, she could feel it! But for the life of her, she just couldn't get it to come out...
Natalie decided that some water would do her good, and got up and got a bottle. It was synthesized, but that was better than the stuff naturalists called 'pure'. A voice went off on the speakers, but Natalie wasn't paying attention. She sat back down with her water and took a gulp before the toddler started waking up. "Hey there!" Natalie said, almost delighted to finally talk to someone who she could pretend that she understood. "Here you go." She handed her the bottle of milk before Claudia could start crying for it, as she usually did, but this time Claudia crawled to the opposite end of the crib and stood, staring at out the window into space. Natalie got up and looked out too, not seeing it for a second, then realizing that they were in normal space, not hyperspace. "Woah." She said, looking out. She never thought something so blank and dark could make her happy, especially now that she was in a craft that was floating out in it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Veris
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"Sir, we are approaching our target destination and speed. We will be back into regular space in 30 seconds." Veris stated, with the 30 being dead on the mark. As everyone began to prepare for standard space, or just stood amazed that they had survived, Veris was preparing for a horde of commands.

"5
4
3
2
1
We are back into standard space sir. It appears that we have entered near a belt of damaged asteroids with cores of diamonds that has spilled out. We have two super-earths within the habitable zone, a gas giant that is opposite the super-earths, a Mars sized world, and three other planets, each about twice the size of Earth, and a brown dwarf at the edge of the system.

Orders, sir?" Veris stated, rather quickly after the jump. He had gained all of this using only the Hyperion's outer cameras, and a small laser to judge distance.

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Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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Image

"Space...The final frontier.." Lana was watching Star Trek on her holo-device, she was curled up in her warm bed. Last episode... she thought, she was wearing a tee-shirt and pajama bottoms with sheep on them. She paused the show that she had been watching after Lt. Worf suggested it, when she started to get bored. It worked, the series is actually quite interesting. Of course it was made a long time ago, it still had the wonder in it. She paused the show and looked at the time on the clicking clock on the wall, it was morning. She put the holo-device down and shut it off, lifting her legs out of her bed. Her pink hair was frizzy and all over the place. Lana shuffled over to the windows and rubbed her eyes, "Good Morning, Hyperspa- Wait, we're not in hyperspace anymore! We are here!" She jumped up and down with excitement, screaming out the occasional 'WOO-HOO' then after a while, realising what she is doing she stopped and said quietly, "EUCLID....You did not just see that," She walked over to the wall near the door, and said , "Initiate program: Arrival.Music," there was a Ding! and music started to play. Starry Eyed by Ellie Goulding started to play, "Ah a classic!" she grooved over to the bathroom when she started the shower. It wasn't really a shower with water, it uses this special misty/steam to clean the person, but it was good enough. She got undressed and walked in, the steam was warm against her skin as she sang along to the tune, while shampooing her hair. We are finally here! I wonder if we will find alien life? She thought.

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Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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Hyperdrive shut off protocol complete. Time in Hyperspace; 2 years, 1 month, 2 weeks, 4 days, 12 hours, 21 minutes, and 42 seconds. Rebooting secondary directives

A electronic, staticy yawn echos through the Apollo as his access panels reboot and his many green eyes flash back to life after a long state of near-dormance. Most of his time in Hyperspace was spent running intensive calculations night-and-day, although there was a point he learned to handle long vectors with little processing power. But overall most of the voyage was spent crunching numbers and running his cores to their limits. Lucky he was incapable of feeling tired, but it was enjoyable to process information that wasn't raw mathematics.

One of the first bits of non-mathematical data that he processed, was a series of images from sensor #27 of Head Researcher Lana Marietta, jumping in a loosely fit t-shirt. The image file was promptly deleted from his memory banks as part of his privacy protocol.

Ding ding dddiiinnnggggggggg! outputted from his speakers across the ship. "We have now exited Hyperspace, and arrived at our destination!" followed by a brief snippet of Freddie Mercury's "We are the Champions" which was promptly cut off.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Veris
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


Grand Admiral McCart was a sensible man, albeit oddly sentimental. He wasn’t one to pander or prod, but he’d lie awake for hours just reminiscing. Songs of days gone by, people he knew and loved and lost, memories that were lost in the vortex of time. It was these that had flooded his dreams in hyperspace.

In order to escape the expected adverse effects of hyperspatial travel, such as PTSD, depression, schizophrenia and the controversial “Star Delierium,” the UNSA had the forecastle of all three ships revamped and replaced with individual bed-cells. Like the bunks and hammocks of old, each sailor had a “box” that was his usual sleeping arrangement. But for hyperspace, each cell initiates cryosleep. During hyperspace jumping, each sailor is assigned to several 6-month shifts, with portions of the ship under cryosleep, and the other portions awake. Even the captains and the admiral had crysleep chambers in their cabins.

McCart had only just awoken from cryosleep when a flash of all his dreams cascaded through his mind. The first shock was mental, escaping the realities of dream to the realities of the physical world. The second shock was physical – the body was partially weakened (albeit mostly only reduced muscle mass and missing muscle memory. From the onset of waking from cryosleep, it takes the Cryo AI over 10 hours to completely recalibrate the body and readjust the mind. Various visual images, holograms, exercises and therapies (including submersion hygiene) are employed at this time in an attempt to reduce any psychosomatic blows.

Most of the protocol was scientific theory up until this trip. Every sailor and passenger had been partially trained for several weeks, but almost two and half years of that could never be trained for. It was pure hell to some. To McCart, it was like the rest of his life. Active in some parts, dreaming in others. In many ways, McCart was reliving his past, as well.

When the cryochamber had finally validated his health, he was released, and the chamber unlocked and opened to reveal his cold, dark cabin suite. He pulled himself out, still somewhat weak, and swung his legs onto the cabin floor. Wanting to scream at first, the cold floor reminded him of the warmth that escaped him when last saw Katie and Michael. His wife had kissed him at the spaceport in Houston, one of the UNSA’s many hubs. Her soft brown eyes and golden hair seemed to sparkle with amusement and pain as she whispered to him, ”I love you. I’ll see you, soon.” His son, Michael, just a 17 year old boy, and Michael's boyfriend both hugged the Admiral one last time, a smiles on both their faces. For the life of him, McCart could never figure out why he couldn’t say I love you to those three. They were gone, now.

He spent a few hours alone in that cabin, just in the dark, only illuminated by the puff of his pipe. Naked in body and spirit. This was his ritual every 12 months for the past 2 years. It was deafening, sometimes.
When he was finally able to shrug away his memories, McCart took a long time to don his service uniform. His uniform was a point of pride for him, being a symbol of his authority and achievement. In his hometown of Lockhart, the people would call him Caudillo, an old Spanish title for warlord, albeit affectionately. Back home, he was a respected, well-to-do elder with a generally amicable relationship with most of his neighbors. There had even been talks from kinfolk to get him into the mayor’s seat when he retired from the UNSA.

“Cabin 102-Gold AI. Initiate sunrise. Initiate illumination.” A the command, the windows “unfurled” like time and time before, and the polymer electroluminescent
lights throughout the cabin flickered to bright life.

“AI. Initiate holo-module mirror function.” At that command, the nearest holo-module projected a hologram, which, using advanced refraction and reflection, acted as a mirror for the admiral. He checked all his badges and whatnots. Always made it a point to be in tip-top attire – subordinates might get the wrong idea otherwise.


McCart ascended his seat in the FCC without much ceremony. Today was the day. The end of the long hyper jump. Cryosleep made the event much less climatic as it should have been, at least for McCart, but nonetheless he couldn’t help but a jolt of anxiety dance up and down his spine.

"Sir, we are approaching our target destination and speed. We will be back into regular space in 30 seconds." Veris stated, with the 30 being dead on the mark. As everyone began to prepare for standard space, or just stood amazed that they had survived, Veris was preparing for a horde of commands.

"5
4
3
2
1

“We are back into standard space sir. It appears that we have entered near a belt of damaged asteroids with cores of diamonds that has spilled out. We have two super-earths within the habitable zone, a gas giant that is opposite the super-earths, a Mars sized world, and three other planets, each about twice the size of Earth, and a brown dwarf at the edge of the system.

“Orders, sir?"


Veris was a ball of talent, and McCart smiled as the android immediately enthused the situation. The dizzying shift from hyperspace to standard space was almost an immense sense of vertigo. McCart had instantly likened it to “the kick of a 12 gauge shotgun against a brick wall,” and then pondered over why anyone would shoot a brick wall with a shotgun.

”Veris. Initiate auxiliary functions. Commence a fullscale diagnostics procedure across the fleet. Discharge several pods for substance- and bio- scans. And Veris, it’s good to see you, again.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Veris
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"Begin transmission...

Designating targets [All Ship AI]...
Awaiting response from 359 entities...
Response complete, average ping at 2.335 ms...

Sending command [run self-diagnostics]...
Responses received...

Sending value [all ship systems]...
Confirmations received...

Sending command [resume systems]...
Responses received...

Sending value [auxiliary]...
Confirmations received...

Sending command [run self-diagnostics]...
Responses received...

Sending value [all auxiliary systems]...
Confirmations received...

Sending command [run crew diagnostics scans]...
Responses received...

Sending value [all crew, all possible non-invasive scans]...
Confirmations received...

Sending command [launch pods]...
Responses received...

Sending value [bio and substance observation pods, solar system]...
Confirmations received...
End Transmission...

Begin audio report...
Designating target[Grand Admiral]...
Announcing Value[
"All systems read good, sir. Three minor problems have been detected within the Thunderchild's systems. Airlock 12 appears to need sealant, burner 5 on stove 3 has a deteriorating heating element, and bolt 5,391 of the hyperspace engine needs to be tightened 3 rotations. The Hyperion has only one problem, theater 4's projector needs a new bulb. The Apollo has four problems. Docks 4 and 17 need the door fuses replaced, the main server for entertainment requires fuse 31-9 to be replaced, and door 64 to the kitchen needs lubricated and cleaned. No damage or problems have been detected within any non-mentioned functions or parts."]...

Social command being processed...
Announcing value[
"It is good to see you too, sir."]...

End audio report...

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Kirill Tsvetkov Character Portrait: Fyodor "Fedya" Voronin
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Image

Phobos Shipyard
Krasnaya Bratva Territory


"Мы здесь, ультра-рыцаря. Эта территория уже наша. Красные выкорчеваны местных подонков."

Voronin looked out his window, seeing their ship dock at the space dock. He picked up his briefcase and began to exit their small spacecraft. This was the first time he had been off Earth. His two босс followed him, along with three витязь. They were moving their operations to Phobos, and had already been shipping arms, drugs and their Krasnyye, or "Reds", over to clear out the local crime.

"Speak English, Kirill. We blend in better with the locals."

"Yes sir, Ultra-Rytsar. We will be taking you to Stickney Heights, the more luxurious towers built above Stickney Crater. The local gang, the "Trinaughts" were mostly open to our business and have assimilated well. Three have been made Vityaz. They will add twenty-five to our numbers, which will be hitting 120 now that you have arrived."

"Shall we take the train? I'd like to get some rest before our business really begins."

"Of course, sir. Their is a lunar train a few streets down. It will take us to your penthouse suite. I took the liberty of putting your suite in the view of Mars, and the Sun. It will give a great view."

After walking a bit, passing the Red and Black Bratva Star mural that had been painted onto the wall, the group took a train to Stickney Heights. The high speed train was cheap, but effective at getting them their quickly. The trip took about fifteen minutes.

Welcome to Stickney Station, InterTrain Corp hopes you enjoyed your ride. Please come again!

The clean, white station was much different from the rest of Phobos. It was pure white, and clear. The towers looked fit for a king, and Fedya smiled as he stepped into the tower. Kirill ordered the Knights to stay downstairs, while he headed up with Fedya. The two stopped at the 43rd floor, where his penthouse was located. They entered, and Fedya instantly took a seat in his dining room chair. Kirill sat next to him.

"Ultra-Rytsar, sir. I have been meaning to talk to you about some unwanted....attention we have been receiving. The local crime syndicates of this side of Phobos tend to be very open to business and are becoming sets daily, but in Flimnap, another spacedock-based town, large gangs want to oppose us. These three tend to be of problems," he said, handing him a folder with names, dates, locations and gang business, "The Bandin Clan is a abnormally racist skinhead group with small numbers but large influence. The Rockies are a general street gang and the Flimnap Drug Mafia are the main dealers in the area. We will need your permission to launch our attacks. Are you ok with this?"

Voronin looked up from the folder. "Yes. Let's start with the Drug Mafia. Says here you have located some of their dealing sites and their storage? Take those out. Send some experienced and well armed Krasnyye to do this, as a display of force. Meet back with me once this is finished. I am going to bed, to catch up on sleep. Thank you, Kirill."

"Yes sir, Ultra-Rytsar. I will speak to you in a few days."

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Character Portrait: Admiral McCart
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#, as written by KelEl45
Captain McCoy


Captain McCoy had it arranged so that he had come out of his own period of cryosleep several weeks before they were released from Hyperspace. He wanted to make sure that he was in peak physical condition for whenever they actually landed on the planets that they were supposed to be studying, he would have nothing less than to be on the first exploration team.

The first couple of days had been agonizing. He went through the rehabilitation process, albeit with a few difficulties. His body hadn't taken well to almost six months of full sleep, his mind had always made him restless to be doing things. Combine that with the fact that he pushed himself extra hard, just to make sure that none of the crew saw his weakness, and it might as well have been hell for him.

Today was the day, however, and he was glad that he was back to one hundred percent by this time. He had constant information flowing into the Bridge for him to review, making sure that their exit from Hyperspace wouldn't be absolutely disastrous. So far, everything seemed fine. People were being roused out of cryosleep, the engines were running well, the ship was still stocked enough to make it back home even if they stayed here for a while. As a captain, there was nothing more that he could want from the Hyperion.

He received the report that they were supposed to be exiting hyperspace any minute and he felt his stomach launch up into his throat. He was suddenly nervous. He had no reason to be, everything was running fine, but this was everything to him. This one mission dictated the rest of his career, the rest of his life, and his legacy.

He stood for a moment, he was really too nervous to sit. The moment that he got to his feet, they exited hyperspace. The feel of it was dizzying, he actually had to return to his seat for a moment as he got his bearings. Then his eyes widened. From out of the front of the ship he could see the star system in front of him. They had done it, they had been the first humans to ever successfully make it outside of the solar system. He couldn't help but let out a laugh and a large smile spread across his face.

He knew that the Admiral would be up and about by now so he went ahead and sent a message to him. "Congratulations old man, how does it feel to be the Grand Admiral of the first space expedition outside our solar system? Forget Mayor of Lockhart Admiral, I'd be surprised if you weren't nominated for president. Congratulations in advance."

The message might have been a little much, but he was excited. The entire Bridge had actually gone up in celebration. There was lots of shouting about how they had done it, lots of hugs going around, high fives, applause, and some people just stared dumbfounded at the system before them. He allowed the crew their moment of celebration, they deserved it. They had done one hell of a job keeping this thing up and running for almost two and half years through hyperspace. He was probably more proud of this crew than any other he had ever lead.

He stood up out of his seat and began to address those on the Bridge. "Alright, alright, settle down! First of all, I'd like to congratulate you all on such a good job. I salute each and every one of you. Second of all, I'd just like to say... welcome to the star system of Kepler-62!" More applause and cheers went up. He couldn't help but laugh good heartedly at this. "Take a moment to compose yourself then start running ship diagnostics. We may have made it, but let's make sure that exiting hyperspace didn't mess with our ships. That's all."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: Kirill Tsvetkov Character Portrait: Perseus Isocrates Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: EUCLID-II Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Adriana Caine Character Portrait: Fyodor "Fedya" Voronin Character Portrait: Dormus Executes VIII (Edward Buoy) Character Portrait: Nero Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild) Character Portrait: LCDR. Maxwell D. Corder Character Portrait: Veris Character Portrait: Boris Yakunin Character Portrait: Flt.Lt. Aidan O'Rourke Character Portrait: Sae Asou Character Portrait: Dr. Tesla Character Portrait: Holly Tame Character Portrait: Android I-101 Character Portrait: Annabelle Scluvik
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


”Veris. Thank you. I am confident that those diagnostics are already in capable hands and are being attended to. Please notify me when the pods return.”

McCart finally allowed himself a moment of… jubilation, as he stared out over the Bridge’s primary windows. Such awe. Such wonder. Planets unknown to mankind, around a star previously just a blip on a telescopic image. A message on the Admiral’s inbox came up.

"Congratulations old man, how does it feel to be the Grand Admiral of the first space expedition outside our solar system? Forget Mayor of Lockhart, Admiral. I'd be surprised if you weren't nominated for president. Congratulations in advance."

McCart joyously shook his head. He was content with the message.

[color=DarkSlateBlue]”Congratulations to you, too, Hunter.

It feels… overwhelming. We’ll talk about it more over a bottle of wine sometime.

And president? President of what? I do have dual-citizenship, you know? President of Texas, or were you thinking something more… D.C.? Or maybe President of Toy Land? President of St. Henry’s Home for the Senile?

I suppose we shall see.


The uproar that had erupted on both the Bridge and the Relay was most definitely echoed throughout the whole of the ship, indeed the whole fleet. It seemed almost like a deafening buzz of applause and cheers, right for at least 15 minutes. From the FCC, the Admiral could see the various smiling faces of the young men and women aboard. It inspired a ‘kink’ of pure ecstasy in the old man for a moment. He remembered Katie at that moment – she’d love to be here.


He waited for a moment to allow the hum to die down, slightly. At what seemed the apex, he stood up from his chair and stood just in front of the navigational module, using it as a pulpit above his congregation. From his raised position over the Bridge, he stared off into a few of the eyes that caught his own. Raising his right hand as if calling a cab, he called the attention of Captain McCoy.

”Veris. Bring up a camera and focus it on me. I’d like to address the fleet. Broadcast to all public facilities,” the Admiral said to his trusted side.

A small, spherical pod was discharged from the ceiling of the Command Level and kept itself in hover around the Admiral’s FCC. It’s lights turned from green to red, indicating broadcasting. The screens and holo-modules of the Bridge, likewise, manifested the Admiral’s face. It was safe, at least to McCart’s mind, to assume the case was the same on the Thunderchild and the Apollo.

Clearing his throat, the Admiral began to speak, culling the roars of the crew to attention.

”Ladies and gentlemen, damen und herren, madamoiselles et monsieurs, damas y caballeros: my… fellow children of Gaia, my fellow Earthlings. Welcome to Kepler-62.”

The crew burst into cheering once more, forcing the Admiral to humbly stretch out his hand as if to understandingly snuff their cheers away.

”After over two years, we are finally at our destination. Many of us have just woken from cryosleep today. Many of us haven’t been in cryosleep for awhile but with all the busy-bodying, I bet it feels like cryosleep.

“We are all the very first humans to use hyperspace, leave our local system, and see with our very own eyes the horizon of another star. Before us lies perhaps a system filled with destiny.

“For the time being, we will engage slowly. Apollo shall work on deciphering which of the planets will be the safest to engage and then I’ll determine who’s going where and when.

“Congratulations. Now if there be life out there other than our own, let’s introduce ‘em to our King.”


At that, the Admiral initiated a track from his personal datacore, and broadcasted it to each of the ships public facilities.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Veris
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"Begin transmission...

Designating targets [All Ships' Public Facilities]...
Awaiting response from 3 entities...
Response complete, average ping at 1.114 ms...

Sending command [stream video transmission]...
Responses received...

Sending command [release camera]...
Response received...

Sending value [Grand Admiral]...
Response received...

Sending command [video transmissions check]...
Response received...

Beginning transmission [video]...
Streaming...

”Ladies and gentlemen, damen und herren, madamoiselles et monsieurs, damas y caballeros: my… fellow children of Gaia, my fellow Earthlings. Welcome to Kepler-62.”

”After over two years, we are finally at our destination. Many of us have just woken from cryosleep today. Many of us haven’t been in cryosleep for awhile but with all the busy-bodying, I bet it feels like cryosleep.

“We are all the very first humans to use hyperspace, leave our local system, and see with our very own eyes the horizon of another star. Before us lies perhaps a system filled with destiny.

“For the time being, we will engage slowly. Apollo shall work on deciphering which of the planets will be the safest to engage and then I’ll determine who’s going where and when.

“Congratulations. Now if there be life out there other than our own, let’s introduce ‘em to our King.”

End stream...
End transmission [video]...

End transmission..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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#, as written by Jacker
Markus sat his weapon station. For the last week he had run calibration after calibration, and was finally satisfied that while they may have been the weakest ship in the fleet... they were the weakest ship in the fleet with pimped out guns. He was so busy he barely had noticed they had dropped out of hyperspace until the admiral gave his grand speech.

"Ahhh," he sighed, smiling dreamily. "One small step for America. One giant step for American kind."

A few of his fellow helmsmen quickly gave him looks, to which he quickly returned.

"What?! Who funds the UNSA more than America?!" he grinned.

"Idiot..." one of them muttered.

Markus rolled his eyes. "Pfffft, I heard that Riley, and I don't see Norway throwing it all in the ring! And we'll see who's the idiot when I win the game!"

He raised an eyebrow. "The game?"

Markus leaned close, smirking. "You know... the game. The game Captain Kirk started a century ago."

Riley threw him a deadpan look. "Do do realize that the chances of finding something for you to have sex with out here are about as high as the chances of you finding something to have sex with on Earth."

"Pfffft," he grunted. "Who does that on Earth?! The moon is so much better, baby! Zero-G is a little awkward, but hey, you make it work."

Riley shook his head, an irritated look on his face.

"Yeah, that's right Riley. You go back to blogging."

"I'm writing reports on the hull integrity," he muttered.

"Techno-blogging."

He slowly nodded, giving Markus the evil eye. "You do realize that I want to kill you right now, right?"

"Hell yeah," Markus smirked.

"Ugh! That's it, we're not talking until we hit the bar later."

"Oh, OK, no more talking."

...

...

...

"Hey, Riley?"

...

...

...

"Riley?!"

...

...

...

"YO, BIG RILEZ!"

"WHAT?!"

Markus put on an innocent look. "Do you think they'll be green? You know, like in-"

"NO!"

"Come on! You gotta have hope, man!"

"Hope that there's an airlock accident with your name on it?"

"Hope that I remembered to pack... the essentials, if ya know what I mean. Giggity-giggity-giggity." Markus then nodded to himself. "And by that I mean condoms."

Riley didn't respond. Instead, he began continuously banging his head upon his station's keyboard.

...

...

Markus chuckled at this. "Don't worry man, I know the feeling, but I have you covered."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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EUCLID-II began running some trial simulations, to make their next jump into hyperspace use 58.9% less computer resources; which would free him up plenty, next time they jump. As he was running most of these processes in the background he couldn't help listen in on a conversation between Lieutenant Markus Worf and another crew member. He also couldn't resist butting in.

"Actually;...." EUCLID-II chimed in from a nearby access panel "The United States of America is only the 3rd largest contributor to the UNSA circa 2053, James Tiberius Kirk AKA Captain Kirk is a fictional character in the 1960's Television broadcast Star Trek and never actually existed, and Luna's gravity is 1/6th of Earth's, not Zero-Gravity." he commented with a tone that could almost be recognized as smugness.

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Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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#, as written by Jacker
"Hah! I knew you were full of it," Riley grinned.

Markus' smile, however, did not fade. "Pffft, yuh-huh, EUCLID-II, you're only measuring our contribution in material gains. That's the problem, here!"

"What else are they possibly contributing?" Riley said, before widening his eyes. "On second thought, don't answer that-"

"Well, duh- that's simple as pie!"

Suddenly, Lt. Markus twirled about, flipped a few switches on his console, and immediately, the American National Anthem filled the cabin, earning a few groans from the crew.

"Ugh... that's the third time this week..."

"That's not even their anthem anymore, isn't it? I thought it was 'All Hail Walmart'."

"Hey, everyone be quiet!" Markus called, grinning. "I'm about to make a dramatic speech."

At that, he cleared his throat. "You see, America would contribute more materials, but we don't need to! Because we provide the most important asset of all!"

The bridge crew raised their eyebrows.

"Arrogance?"

"Pride?"

"Apple Pie?"

"Close, but the real answer is... HEROISM!"

Riley blinked incredulously. "Heroism? Are you sure you're not from another country, then? Because I remember how you oh-so-heroically volunteered to investigate the noises coming underneath my daughter's bed, before running away screaming 'HYPERSPACE MONSTER!'"

"Yeah well..." he coughed. "At least I looked! And that sweater totally looked like one! So in the end, guess what?!"

"What...?"

At that, Markus twirled out of his chair, dramatic as possible, before bellowing:

"Image"

"No, no you're not," Riley sighed. "Because I was the one who found the pipe leak..."

"Image"

He finally facepalmed. "Stop saying that."

"Image"

"Stop-"

"Image"

He merely gazed at him this time.

...

...

...

...

...

"You done?"

"Image"

"Image

Riley began to pant after that, taking a few deep breaths.

"Ok... OK, I'm cool. But yeah, Markus..."

"Sup?"

"I'm just going to get back to work, now..."

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Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: EUCLID-II
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EUCLID-II simply records and processes all the movements of the Lieutenant. His behavior confuses him, but most human behavior tends to do that. Worf's behavior does register a tad bit odder than most, however.

"Your unwavering and overzealous patriotism.............amuses me." he lets out a staticy chortle "If you are an average sampling of the American populace I can safely assume America is #1 in stubbornness. Which may or may not be a good thing."

A moment of silence hangs in the air before Euclid adds his final commentary "Such matters of nationalism are irrelevant when 1200 light years separates us from any organized government."

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#, as written by Jacker
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#, as written by Jacker
Lt. Worf chuckled a bit. "Home is where the heart is, my friend. Gotta remember it any way I can."

"If only you could do it quietly..." Riley moaned.

"You know you find it kind of funny," Worf grinned.

"..."

"It's why you hang out with me..."

He sighed in defeat. "Fine, alright. You can be funny - when I'm drunk."

"Woop woop! Score another point for America!" he beamed.

Riley slammed his head one last time.

"But yeah, anyway, EUCLID, any idea when we're going to head out into the solar system? I wanna see what's out there! I wonder if aliens play anything like Halo..." His eyes widened. "Woah! Wouldn't it be crazy if they have aliens that looks like humans in their games about aliens?! That'd be so hilarious... unless they've been spying us... and actually do hate aliens and it's not a-"

"You're rambling again..." Riley sighed. "Though we do have proof aliens have been spying us on before. It's why we're here after all: the ship on the edge of the Oort Cloud..."

"Meh, I think those aliens lived closer to home," Markus shrugged. "Now that I think about it, if there's anybody here and they haven't discovered any aliens... it'd totally be a mutual First Contact! Only it'd be twice as crazy for them!"

"Heh, guess so," Riley chuckled. "Hope they don't try to nuke the ship or something to cover it up if that's the case... what if they're religious fanatics?"

"Even worse, what if they're dicks?!" Markus gasped.

"Dicks?"

"DICKS!"

"Dicks."

"Huh: say, EULCID. What are the chances that an alien species in space would be outright hostile? Any figures?"

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"I have not heard any word on when we plan on getting a closer examination of the planets. Me I'm patiently waiting to sift through the data from sensor sweeps of the planetary bodies." EUCLID-II replied to the Lieutenants first question.

While most major data was mainly for the scientists onboard. EUCLID-II enjoyed air current mapping and calculating weather patterns. Call it a hobby.

"As for the chances of alien life being hostile there are too many unknown variables to make such a calculation of the probability. First things would be confirm the presence of life. Then assess their cultural and technological characteristics."

He finishes his hyperspace simulations for the day, and runs several dozen games of Solitaire and Minesweeper in the background, as well as calculates pi to a few billion digits.