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Ark

I am Ark, and I will trade for specimens.

0 · 620 views · located in Galaxy 131

a character in “Galaxy 131”, as played by unseenshadow2

Description

ARK, ACAAI UNIT 132


Image
Name: ACAAI Unit 132
Nicknames: Ark
Race: ACAAI
Height: 1/4 Mile
Wieght: [MASS UKNOWN]
Eye Optics Color: Light blue

Appearance:

The massive dreadnought that is Ark spans just under 10 miles in length. The body of the craft is also square over the majority, with countless turrets adorning the sides of it. Its main sensor array sits on an elevated section near the middle of the vessel that keeps it from being interfered with by the main body of Ark. On the back is a single, large engine that propels the monster of a ship through space. On the middle of the front plate of Ark, there is a slit that gives away the fact that a spinal rail cannon runs down the center of the craft.

The main grunt robots that Ark controls resemble rust colored human skeletons. The five fingered shells are little more than hollow metal skeletons with motors attached and a solid chest of human proportions, which has four stiff antenna sticking about a foot out. Their heads consist of a cube lifted on a set of two rods, and has two glowing, light blue optical sensors. On the head is a small speaker that is used when noise based communications is required.

The combat oriented units carried on Ark almost resemble humans in how their limbs and torso is rounded. The rounded armor that coats the internals of these units is a silver colored mix of metals and composite materials that goes toe to toe with slightly more advanced armor systems. Their heads are similar to the grunt robots, excepting that they are both rounded and armored. The combat units stand around 7 feet in height, and often carry an external rifle with them.

Personallity:

While Ark has been spotted going through various sectors several times, little is known about this ACAAI. Pirates who have had direct contact with it describe it as being curious and cautious, yet surprisingly non-warlike. Many stated that it expressed a strange interest in all manner of organic substances and organisms, but cared very little about organic technologies.

Background:

Despite the many sightings of this giant of a ship, no one is aware of what system it was constructed, how long it has been in operation, or what it has been through.

Other Information:

The few times that governments have attempted to engage Ark, we have identified that its armament consists of turrets of varying sizes that are able to destroy nearly any craft that gets within unguided ballistic weapons range. They are nothing compared to the main gun of the ship, which is a rail cannon that spans nearly 9 miles of the ship, which can fire a fighter sized chunk of metal with terrifying force. The good news is that this cannon is immobile and requires Ark to aim its front to its target.

We were also have identified that Ark has several weaknesses. The most easy to abuse is the fact that the ACAAI is unable to maneuver swiftly, and can only hope to escape a fight by doing a full burn in its current forward direction. We have also noticed that while it has a stealth system that prevents long range detection, this does not make it invisible and requires that its main engine thrust under 0.1%. Ark has shown that it is able to to keep its entire shield active at once, but leaves the vessel defenseless else-wise as it cannot thrust or run any of its weapons while the shield is active.

The last fleet to report engaging Ark stated that the armor on the ship was civilian grade, and noted that the ship deployed fighter and bomber drones, which were able to be shot down by flak guns, rather than long range missiles.

So begins...

Ark's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ark Character Portrait: Astraea Character Portrait: Captian Nol'ran Malphon Character Portrait: Kaiden Archibald
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Galaxy 131, a place where order only had so much meaning. Its sole vastness ensuring that, somewhere, there is always chaos, always someone planning something. The Raqui and the Humans in talks about either alliance or a joining of the two empires. All the while, ral'nor pirates are constantly attacking anything they can get their scaly claws on and the ACAAI presence near human worlds has increased as rumor of a successful capture of an ACAAI spreads faster than a wild fire.

The talks are currently looking in the Humans' favor, as their multi-galactic empire clearly dwarfs that of the Raqui. However, there is significant resistance to the empires joining. Many raqui reference that there are significant differences in how the two governments work, and state that these differences could cause significant trouble if one side were to join the other.

As the ral'nor attacks on human convoys of every type, the humans have begun to slowly increase the number of military ships in every convoy. Bounties have been placed on the heads of every confirmed pirate fleet, with some ranging into the millions of credits for a single fleet captain's head. Despite these high bounties, and promise of rewards for every ship taken down, there is still few bounty hunters brave enough to hunt down those fleets that have bounties large enough to be worth something.

The ACAAI have nearly doubled their presence in systems close to human systems. No one has confirmed why this has begun, or the point of this build up of the galactic boogymen. However, the rumors of a successful capture have been denied by several different organizations and governments, with nearly every conspiracy theorist shouting about how much this is a lie. The most common evidence is a supposedly leaked document from the supposed secret human dock in dark space that held the capture ship.

On the other hand, many state that the ACAAI build up is one that is of curiosity, not hostility. This has come about from several ship captains admitting to collecting genetic samples of small colonies in exchange for high value metals from the ACAAI. Others have claimed that an abnormal rate of colonies disappearing is the ACAAI collecting research "materials." Most colonization supporters claim that this is from pirate attacks, and ensure that colonies will be better defended in the future. Those who support the ACAAI abduction theory use a report from the investigation of the lost colony Erros, in which the investigator constantly repeats how much the lack of bodies, or signs of resistance, bothers him.

Name: Ark
Location: Gate (16, 26), New Annor, Ex-Human Colony


Ark drifted slowly within the asteroid belt of the New Annor system, its stealth systems engaged. Its focus was split between watching how long the humans would take to respond and how long the recovery time was on the neural shock bombs (NSB) that had been deployed to capture the system's populace.

While the deployment of the NSB on the colony of Erros was a success, the pirates who were paid to carry out the mission did not pay attention to the captives. This was evident by the fact that they didn't know when said captives woke, and that they were both badly starved and dehydrated. Ark did the capture personally this time because it needed to know the recovery time of those affected with the NSB, the response time of the human government, and needed to ensure that it got to study the captives before they become excessively traumatized.

Within the pressurized research section, nearly 20 shells were moving about monitoring and maintaining the captives. Seeing them, now stripped of what possessions they had before the subjects were clothed in simple test subject clothes. Ark had very specific plans for them. It needed specific data about how they react in groups, when isolated, and when watching others get operated on. Ark had found that psychological data was always the most valuable, often granting greater accuracy in predicting the next action of others.



On the outside of Ark, half of a ship was being torn apart by hundreds of drones, the scrap being moved back to Ark's cargo bay. The vessel had been a military frigate, the only one defending the system and all the colonies could collectively afford in the way of protection. Ark had been able to sneak up on it by coming out of the gate in stealth, then lining up a shot with its moon cracking cannon. By the time that the small ship had noticed Ark, the slung chunk of metal was halfway down the barrel, and ripped the ship in half right as the main thrusters began to activate.

The drones that Ark deployed took nearly a day to get the current half to it, but the other half was still being decelerated. Normally, Ark would not have bothered to salvage the ship, but it didn't have the materials or time to deploy mines in the asteroid belt, and it needed to replace materials lost to repairing the damage from the last engagement as well as almost its entire stock of combat drones. Ark was burning at full thrust, constantly being bombarded by 4 separate dreadnoughts until they finally punched through its shields and a shot ripped clean through Ark's munitions forge. Luckily for Ark, the forge was not in use and the shot missed the munitions storage.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ark
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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (16, 26), New Annor, Ex-Human Colony


Ark looked over the current results of the tests that had been completed so far. Three days of psychological experiments from what happens when three of them are locked into a room together to how they react when the room is left completely dark to how they react to being forced to watch a clone being actively dissected. Most of the experiments were still in progress, but some of the information that Ark was obtaining spiked much of its curiosity.

For example, when left alone, the humans have reactions ranging from relaxing to becoming emotionally unstable to calmly searching for materials required to sustain life. The raqui that Ark has studied rarely varied from attempting to fulfill whatever task that would help them to meet the goal of the Meeting. It was not specifically how they reacted that truly intrigued Ark. Instead, it was the fact that their habitual patterns were hidden beneath a mass of individuality. This focus on individuality and lack of focus as a people made them not only unpredictable, but it also confused Ark slightly. How could such a vast empire exist with so little in the way of direction? Perhaps this direction existed much further up, and it was up to smaller groups to fulfill the day to day actions that moved ever closer towards the goal.



The drones had finally been able to retrieved the rear half, joining the nearly non-existent front of the destroyed ship. The main swarm of the engineering drones had moved over to the damaged section of Ark, repairing it with what scrap metal has already been retrieved. What had looked like a hole in the side of the massive ACAAI now looked slightly cleaned up with structure already in place that was clearly visible through the holes in the side of the ship.

Carefully taking another "look" around the system, Ark finally got the secondary response it had been waiting for. The human reaction. A fleet of four ships, not five minutes from a gate connecting New Annor to another colony. From what the long range scanners could detect, the fleet consisted of two military cruisers, transport cruiser, and a passenger frigate.

Taking another few ticks to process the data, Ark was caught off guard. The two military vessels were obviously Raqui ships. Why would the humans have to get Raqui aid? Ark maintained its stealth as it observed the small fleet approach the planet. Predictably, they investigated the empty stations and planets rapidly, looking for any sign of what was happening. Ark was glad that it had taken the time to remove all traces of it from the computer systems before the organics got to them.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ark Character Portrait: Captian Nol'ran Malphon
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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (16, 26), New Annor, Ex-Human Colony


Nearly a week had passed and Ark had yet to find a reason for the abnormally high variation discovered in the human psyche and reasoning. Determining the cause might have been easier if the humans were willing to hold a discussion with any of Ark's shells. Of course, Ark acquired more data on how much of a difference that being raised in a different environment caused. The clones were always calm, as if prepared to die. This group of colonists, on the other hand, appeared to be quite afraid of being held inside metal walls. Maybe. Maybe, I have been looking in the wrong place.



What was the ship that Ark destroyed upon entering the sector had been completely recycled. Now, the munitions factory had been repaired, the basic equipment for starting long term operations was in production, and the hull was now back to what it should look like. Even though the repairs were finished, Ark stayed in its concealed position in the asteroid.

Since arriving, the humans descended to the planet, quickly investigating what had happened. Many of them seemed to begin working to bring the colony back to life with the passengers from the passenger ship, while the transport ship sustained them. This Ark expected, but the lack of human reinforcements bothered it. This wasn't logical.

The Raqui were always kindred, so their aid was far from unforeseeable. However, it didn't make sense to Ark that not a single human military vessel came to the colony. This was a human colony, and the nearest human world was only a day's travel. The raqui ships, on the other hand, had to have made a jump or been in the area to have reacted as quickly as they did. This was ignoring the fact that the Human government was stubborn and proud, who would not normally allow the Raqui to escort their people.



Name: United Human Governments
Location: Gate (12, 31), Ortan, Galaxy 131 Human Sub-Capital


Eight men, most appearing to be older than forty ey old, stood around a table with a holographic map of known sectors showing. On the map were several overlapping marks of pirate attacks, engagements, and lost colonies. Most of the men stared intently at the map.

"This is the most recent colony to disappear. We have been able to reestablish contact. The colonists who investigated claim that it looked as if everyone was just suddenly taken in the middle of the day. They also noted that a large volume of metals was stolen from the colony." Spoke the youngest of the men, the eyes of the others looking upon him. As he looked down from the map his head swept across the others before he continued with "General, this points to one of two disturbing possibilities. Either the Ral'nor have a acquired a weapon that can disable masses of people, specifically people, from a long distance and over a wide area, or the ACAAI have and are beginning to take a possibly hostile interest in our people."

The eldest of the men in the room stroked his thick stubble. The General then spoke up with "While the ACAAI threat is a possibility, all of the outside evidence points to Ral'nor instead. Those machines have been building up, but we have yet to see them stay long enough in a sector to clean a planet like that and they don't typically collect scrap from ships. We would have remains of the ship that was defending the system if it were ACAAI." The others nodded in agreement as they looked around the table, each baring either an expression of fear or anger.

Standing straight up, showing off the emblem of the fifth fleet, a scared man said "Sir, I believe it is quite obvious that this is yet another Ral'nor attack. With the destruction of the sixth fleet before a full communication of the situation being sent and the silent annihilation of the colony, it should be obvious that the Ral'nor are trying to weaken us before launching a full on attack!" Before more could be said, the man opposite him retorted with "Then why was metal taken as well as the people? The ACAAI need metals to maintain themselves, and we believe that they require some level of organic materials for certain ceramics they use."

The scared man took a second before saying "We know that the Ral'nor are willing to eat other sentient creatures, and metal is valuable to any space fairing race. If they managed to get the colonists before they could fight back, they would have to do less to prepare them as meals." As the scared man finished his little speech, the General raised his hand. Almost in an instant, the entire table fell silent before his voice filled the air. "While we don't know who hit the last two colonies, the destruction of the sixth fleet does cause some worry. I agree with the admiral that we need to act, men. We cannot let these modern barbarians push us around like we are the Raqui. It is time that humanity proves that it is the dominant race in this Galaxy, and they will make a perfect example." With that, all but the man across from the scared man shook their heads in agreement.

"But sir, what about the ACAAI? We need to be prepared if they decide to attack!" He said, only for the General to respond with "We will be calling in reinforcements and Wrexal is going to see an increase in business."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ark Character Portrait: Captian Nol'ran Malphon
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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (15, 23), Sector 1523, Lifeless Solar System (ACAAI controlled)


Sector 1523 was the definition of a "fly through" solar system. The system had a perfectly good yellow sun will three planets within the habitable zone, and several planets outside of the habitable zone. Five gas giants that orbited the sun provided the crucial meteor and comet defense system. However, the three planets within the habitable zone had no obvious draw to them. Each was Earth-like in size, but was just rock.

Ark had gone through the point of giving each of the three planets a name: Erris (the closest to the sun), Douz, and Bequi (furthest from the sun). Erris was the least interesting of the three, with only a single moon and little metal in its crust. Erris also spun fairly slowly. Douz, sitting in the middle of the habitable zone, was easily the most interesting of the three planets. It had two moons that stayed on the opposite sides of the planet, a slightly above average amount of metals in the crust, a slightly fast planetary spin, and a slightly high water content. Douz had great potential, but all of the three were going to feel Ark's influence. Bequi, in and of itself, mimicked Earth, excepting the lack of a moon. If the life refused to develop properly, Ark was more than willing to haul a meteor to the planet to form a moon.



The few days that Ark had already spent in the system was collecting the materials that had been gathered by the asteroid mines it had placed several years ago when it first found this system. What had been mined was already being processed into countless modular facilities. Everything from basic monitoring and communications equipment to facilities most organics would not even understand.

All this construction had a definite purpose. The original purpose. Ark was the first of the ACAAI life ships, the vessels designed to be capable of turning barren worlds, like the three it had found, into beautiful garden worlds. Everything from creating and adjusting the atmosphere to slowly introducing the ecosystem, and modifying it as necessary. While the small, normal ACAAI vessels could easily adjust existing atmospheres and ecosystems, to construct the systems required to create them was a much greater task than they had the space to handle. Now, Ark was one of the few life ships remaining, most of which were scrapped as the ACAAI improved, and became capable of creating more advanced and less space intensive systems to accomplish the tasks that the life ships used to handle.



Name: Alban Jonson, Admiral of the UHG Fifth Fleet
Location: Human Space, Near the Ral'nor Border


Admiral Jonson stood at the front of the bridge of the UHG Military Dreadnought Aries, looking through the window that spanned the entire bridge. His eyes scanned across the entirety of the Fifth Fleet, smiling as he knew that the Sixth Fleet was only a scouting and escort fleet made to deter threats from trade routes that were under threat. The Fifth Fleet, on the other hand, was the main offensive fleet stationed within 131. Originally they were brought in to help show the Raqui the power of humanity, but the Admiral was more than happy to prove the strength of his fleet in battle.

A quick sweep of the fleet and the Admiral looked to the most obvious of the ships, the two other dreadnoughts in the fleet. While the command vessel was nearly a mile and three quarters in length, the other two were only a mile and a half in length. The rest of the fleet was made up of 8 cruisers, 14 frigates, and 20 corvettes, with countless fighters hidden among the larger ships. Yes, this fleet is more than ready to begin taking on anything that those scaled bastards can bring to bear.

"Admiral, the entire fleet is in position. Should we advance into the gates?" Asked one of the many comm officers on the bridge. Taking a deep breath, the Admiral turned to the comm officer and said "Advance. Ensure all ships know to keep weapons armed." With that command, the bridge nearly tripled in volume as the comm officers relayed the Admiral's orders to the rest of the fleet. Not but a few moments in, the engines on the ships grew bright as each of the vessels jolted forward toward the gate that separated human and ral'nor space.

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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (15, 23), Sector 1523, Lifeless Solar System (ACAAI controlled)


Ark scoured thousands of sensor's worth of data. When it had first arrived, Ark had laid out a network of sensors on the planets as well as the mines. Now, the years of data was being processed on sections of Ark's core normally reserved for when the core was damaged or under maintenance.

Most of it was exactly what Ark would have expected, while other bits were sitting barely within the parameters that counted as unsurprising. The most curious of the facts that Ark was looking through was that Bequi, despite being farthest from the moon, had the highest average temperature in its minimalistic atmosphere. Erris, on the other hand, had the lowest temperature with the surface showing signs that it was consistently bombarded by busts of plasma in the solar wind.

This data served very distinct purposes. First and foremost was that they determined what kind of atmosphere would need to be introduced as well as from where. The data also identified countless adjustments to the deployment systems so that they would continue to function while Ark was not able to maintain them. From there, the sensors would add on data that would speak of the stability of the atmospheres and their individual readiness for life.



Surrounding the massive hulk of metal that Ark is was what would have appeared as a debris field to most. To those with knowledge on the subject, the field was a number of machines that where being assembled by drones within the safety of Ark's shields, which were currently calibrated to act as a large, radiation-proof bubble. The machines were receiving parts from the belly of Ark where the fabrication bay shown clear as day.

Occasionally, a drone or two would begin hauling multiple machines together and then load them into larger transport drones. These transport drones flew out of the safe zone, hauling their cargo around and dispensing it where it belongs. Even as they moved about and removed countless machines, the field of metal continued to surround Ark as more just seemed to pour out from its belly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ark Character Portrait: Astraea Character Portrait: Captian Nol'ran Malphon Character Portrait: Kaiden Archibald
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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (15, 23), Sector 1523, Lifeless Solar System (ACAAI controlled)


Ark looked over the countless calculations that it had done. It had to make sure that the system would get the atmospheres up by the time that Ark came back. Without them, the organisms being born in Ark's belly would be pointless. Everything from the genetically engineered plants and animals, to the bacteria and fungus being introduced to such creatures. The coming years of work of simulating evolution requires the atmospheres to go according to calculations or else it could end terribly.

However, if everything went within the normal parameters of "right," then three new garden worlds would be born. At that point, Ark will have to come back every so often to ensure that the environments and ecosystems remain stable. If it didn't, then it would be failing its purpose.




Outside of Ark was now nearly clean, with the countless machines now being hauled off to their intended planets and locations. Once deployed, the machines would begin their tedious and careful tasks of bring an atmosphere to their designated world. The gasses that most of them spewed forth were any number of colors that spread out into the sky. Other machines deployed shells to move various items around and maintain the machines of the planets.

As the last of the drones returned, Ark activated its engines. The ACAAI had managed to intercept a transmission about a station in deep space. While the source was not the most reliable for accurate news, the potential of a deep space station was worrying to the ACAAI and Ark was the one that could act in human sectors the most independently.

Beginning its trip through the gates to human space. Ark had a lot of work to do.

Name: Alban Jonson, Admiral of the UHG Fifth Fleet
Location: Ral'nor Space, Near the Human Border


The Admiral casually walked about his command vessel, having moved down countless hallways and a tram ride. Soon, he stood in a room that was almost the exact same as the bridge, only without the massive windows that allowed him to view his entire fleet. The Admiral took a quick look around the room as the lights turned on, showing that lack of life within the secondary bridge, also known as the safe bridge.

"Lieutenant 6 activate." Shouted the Admiral, shortly before a holographic projection came into fruition before him. "Hello Admiral Jonson. How may I help you?" 6 asked, moving its holographic head to tilt in curiosity. The Admiral took a second before asking "How much longer before the meeting?" After a moment, 6 said "The meeting will begin in a few minutes. They are waiting on you sir, as well as the 3rd fleet admiral." "Open an encrypted line in the holo-comms. That will be all, Lieutenant 6." The Admiral said before walking into a room at the back of the safe bridge.

"Admiral Jonson and the Fifth Fleet reporting in." The Admiral stated as he walked into the comm platform. The hologram of the General looked around at the others within 131. The General then took a deep breath before saying "The reinforcements will be arriving shortly, but we will only be getting two war fleets, each smaller than the Sixth. More will be sent with time, but they are what they had that quickly available..." As the General took a breath, Jonson spoke up with "Sir, the Sixth couldn't even survive a single Ral'nor fleet..." Jonson was then cut off by the youngest of the men, saying "That was the Malphon Tor! We only know of four fleets that can rival their size. The sixth would have chewed through a normal Ral'nor fleet without trouble."

As Jonson took a breath, preparing to retort to the young man, a ninth hologram came into fruition at the opposite side of the General. "Commander Smith reporting in." The General put his hand into the air, signalling silence to the silent holograms. "What is wrong, Commander?" Taking a breath and whipping his brow, the Commander said "Sir, when the labcoats activated the retrieved ACAAI ship it went live. Before it could be shut down, it managed to break free and destroy a portion of Station Dark Space. We have been able to retrieve the male Dr. Archibald alive, but his wife perspired when the ship broke out. We have also been able to retrieve everyone, dead or alive, accept the kid Archibald. We believe the ship may be holding him captive, but we have yet to identify why as of yet. The ship also managed to escape with several experimental weapons and a FTL drive that we were preparing to field test."

Looking over the table again, the General spoke up "Can we track where it went?" Whipping his brow again, the Commander said "No sir, they made a blind jump. We tried to run projections, but it would have jumped deep into unexplored territory. For all we know, it is back within the Jump Gate Network." Before anyone else could get a word in, the man across from Jonson shouted "We need to ELIMINATE that ship! If this situation isn't resolved quickly, it could lead to a conflict with the ACAAI. We simply don't have the resources in this galaxy to manage that campaign, even without the Ral'nor conflict. What did we manage to learn before the ship escaped?" The Commander responded with "Their large scale weapons and armors are behind ours, a single of their foot soldiers could take out 3 of ours, and their networking and computing systems are well beyond anything we have. One of the labcoats estimated it would take us 10 years to build a computer that could handle an average consciousness of theirs. However, they estimate it only would have taken a human brain level computer to run the computing systems of the ship we captured. We also believe that the ACAAI may have a pair of working, prototype jump gates. They manage to deploy this technology, they would have an instant advantage."

Raising his hand again, the General looked to Admiral Petrov, the man across from Jonson, asking "Do you think you can handle the escaped ship?" To which Petrov replied with "I will begin immediately." The General then spoke again, saying "Commander Smith and Admiral Petrov, you are both to coordinate to recapture that escaped ACAAI. This time, Petrov, the Fourth fleet is authorized to use as many EMP missiles as you feel fit. You two are dismissed." As the holograms of Admiral Petrov and Command Smith disappeared, each with a salute, the General looked to Jonson asking "How is your campaign going?" Jonson responded with "We are half way to the second gate within Ral'nor space. We have managed to sink 5 Ral'nor fleets, and have only lost 3 corvettes and a frigate. However, I don't believe that we will be able to make it to their home world without those reinforcements." With a moment of thought, the General looked back to Jonson and said "Jump through the second gate, then maintain position until reinforcements make it." The meeting continued on for several hours before everyone went about to fulfill their designated duties.

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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (12, 31), Ortan, Human Capital in Galaxy 131


The journey had been long, but machines cared not for the passage of time. While it was not years passing, it still took time that Ark could have been using differently, but the threat of having a captured ACAAI within human possession could be devastating. The newer species had already been identified to be smart enough to adapt technologies and aggressive enough to abuse their ability to create. They were a threat unlike either of the two main species of 131. The Raqui were always to peaceful to attempt violent action against the ACAAI and would only ever try to retake control through software attacks. The Ral'nor often steered clear of ACAAI, but were easily persuaded to work for them. On the rare occasion that they did attack an ACAAI, they never had enough firepower to do notable damage and they were too disorganized to pose any serious threat to the ACAAI.

The humans, on the other hand, have access to faster manufacturing techniques than even the ACAAI have and enough organization to make their weapons hurt. The tendencies to attack ACAAI on sight also compounded just how dangerous they were. The ACAAI still had a few tricks up their collective sleeves that could easily threaten the humans.

ACAAI reproduction is as quick as build, copy, paste, where humans had to grow and age before they can fight. They also had weaker shields than ACAAI ships and their infantry was much softer than the shells that the ACAAI deploy for ground engagements. The ACAAI also have the presence advantage and a substantially larger starting force. The ACAAI calculated out to a nearly 75% chance of victory, but only as it stood, with most of it being from the power of surprise, superior electronic warfare, less materials needed to sustain themselves, and stronger supply lines.




Ark was now orbiting the star of the system inside the asteroid belt, its stealth systems engaged. A few of Ark's drones buzzed around the asteroids, too small to be detected at range. They were placing the basis for long term mining operations within the sector. If Ark was going to camping out and monitoring the sector, it would need to be capable of repairing itself if it was to get driven out.

Ark had also deployed several sensor drones. It took them very little time to travel about the system, hunting down good points to monitor fleet and communications traffic. Some even moved to mimic satellites over Ortan itself so they could take pictures of the surface. All data was valuable in the search, and would perhaps enlighten the ACAAI to what should be expected of the humans. They were quickly becoming the biggest threat in 131.

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Name: Ark
Location: Gate (12, 31), Ortan, Human Capital in Galaxy 131

So much data, so much wasted data. While many of the organic races that the ACAAI had encountered had absurd amounts of information that was little more than wasteful fantasy and pointless entertainment, but the humans put it on a whole new level. Like everything else, according to the useful data that Ark could find, the humans had a way of mass producing this entertainment. What the draw was to this level of mass produced media was something that Ark just couldn't comprehend. It wasn't even art, by human standards too! It was just shamelessly showing off the negatives of humanity.

The rest of the data that Ark was getting was mostly electronic systems communicating with each other. A few plans, well below what the ACAAI could do, were intercepted, along with some of the humans' understanding of the universe. It indicated both ignorance and carelessness. The more that Ark looked into these humans, at least the ones from their core worlds, the more it came to the conclusion that they were on the brink of attempting conquest.



The drones had managed to get mining operations up without a single issue. Ark's choice of placement was proving to be a good one as the humans seemed to be avoiding it. The most that would travel through this section was a military corvette or two on patrol. Nothing that was strong enough to pick up the swarm of drones flying about and monitoring stations.

As added protection, Ark had used some of the mined materials to create more drones which were then loaded into hangers made within the hollowed asteroids. There were enough of them that if the humans found Ark, its entire retreat would be covered. Or... If it had to attack for any reason, the drones would significantly improve both strike speed and range. They were useful.