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A.D.A.M

System process delayed by.3 femtoseconds,beginning recalibration

0 · 251 views · located in The Milky Way Universe

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: F.S.S. Salient”, originally authored by Nekohina, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Artificial-Intelligence Designed for Advanced Adaptive Multi-Quantum Processing or A.D.A.M for short is the ship AI. His appearance is that of a pseudo transparent metallic figure when displayed on holographic projector, otherwise he's just a high tech computer.

Personality

A.D.A.M has a serious yet oddly quirky personality always seeking to make improvements, he can also serve as navigator for the ship. He is always eager to be put to work and when left idle is always trying to optimize system functions and socialize with the crew. His speech mannerisms are enthusiastic however he lacks the fundamental understanding of some emotional concepts and is completely oblivious to sarcasm and rhetorical questions, he also is ready and willing to prove that he's the smartest AI out there.

Equipment

A.D.A.M is hardwired into the ship and by extension everything the ship is connected to, though he will often need human confirmation in the performance of a physical task.

History

A.D.A.M is as of yet the most advanced AI built to date and is designed for parallel processing using the quantum spectra of 48 different quantum particles, this means he can use one process of "yes", "no",or "maybe" all at the same time across all 48 particles simultaneously. This means he can fit 144^48 computer processes within 48 processes and as he's capable of doing billions of processes at the same time he has a lot of mental "free time". As of now A.D.A.M is 2 years into his expected 20 year run time, in his two years of operation he was programmed with all the information mankind had to offer specifically for this mission so any and every eventuality can be addressed. His performance on this mission is meant to be the test of technology and maybe bring about a whole new generation of AI.

So begins...

A.D.A.M's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M.
"All systems green Admiral, Hyperdrives active and synchronized and FTLs coordinated. Environmental systems operating within safe parameters, atmosphere within.084% of Earth's ,artificial gravity at standard 1.03 Gs." Adam flashed into existence on one of the many holopads of the ship.

"If you wish I can send you a full system diagnostic, but I must submit a complaint about the isolated system AI's within the suits of Thaddeus and Commander Dunaway. Besides the occasional run-time link for a data update to primary memory systems they do not follow standard protocol."

He paused, a bit, still not fully accustomed to interactions with humans, "Is there anything else I can do Admiral?"

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral turned off his music and swiveled around to face the digitized artificial intelligence standing before him on his control panel. He had been disturbed by two pieces of news. Firstly, the roster had no Commander Dunaway listed, unless it was referring to Jon Dunaway, however he was merely a captain and not the detachment leader. Secondly, the isolated AIs were not brought up to attention before.

"Isolated AIs? Hmmm..." he rubbed his chin for a bit.

"Adam, remind me to address Mr. Thaddeus Jackson, and uh...Commander Dunaway."

"We'll resolve that issue during the briefing, for now, log off."

Aronimus stood up from his seat, folded his arms behind him, and walked to the general meeting hall. The corridors of the F.S.S. Salient were sterilized before it left the factories on Earth and departed to Mars. Not a soul in sight, he enjoyed this solitude for a moment before it would be swept away. He expected the hordes of recruits and crew members to pour in from the station as the ship docked in place. It brought him back to the old days, when he was once a recruit entering a star ship for the first time. It seemed like yesterday, but felt like eons ago.

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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ADAM

"Will do sir," Adam did a quick background check on the subjects in question. "It would seem that Commander Dunaway was a Lt. Dunaway until a day ago, while I can't legally access the specifics it would appear there are some political strings behind the 2 rank jump. From what I can access it seems he's involved in a classified project of some sorts."

While he saying this, Adam did some illegal back door browsing anyways. The security was tight, well beyond what a normal AI could sort through, but he still got through, in the limited time he found some interesting data. He didn't find a lot of data but what he could get without blatantly hacking the system was still interesting, if the Admiral asked he'd share but for now he tucked the data away before discreetly backing out.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral sighed as he continued on towards the assembly hall. He contemplated the current situation and began weighing in certain factors. Admiral Michelson was an ambitious man who was nearly always at the forefront of the Federation military's latest technology. Michelson loved to push the boundaries as far as he could, but Aronimus knew that he did this only to benefit the service men and women of the Federation. As for the honorary 6th star, if this pet project were to come to fruition successfully, Michelson would go down in history for whatever he achieved. At this point, Aronimus knew that his career was over, and he had no need to interfere with Michelson's own.

As for the two men, this was his ship and his jurisdiction, if the two soldiers had other ideas, they would be better off remaining in the station waiting for a dropship to take them back to headquarters. He began going through the neural interface that was installed into nearly every grade O-7 and up officer. The files were highly classified, it was some sort of project revolving around physical augmentations, genetic engineering, and cybernetic enhancements. The project was very similar to the P.C.E. program that was instituted four years ago, of which Captain Colter was apart of. This project, similar to P.C.E., was only for qualified marines with distinguished combat records. Jon Dunaway and Thaddeus Jackson were two such men. The differences from the P.C.E. program was an increased reliance on larger tactical suits, but the portion explaining this information was expunged for reasons unknown. Aronimus could only wonder whether Michelson's activity was being fully observed and regulated by higher up.

The Admiral strolled alongside A.D.A.M. or rather he walked while A.D.A.M. jumped from pad to pad. Jon Dunaway was an experienced soldier with a flawless record as archived in the system. Although he wasn't listed as the ground commander, Aronimus knew it was perhaps for the better. As for Thaddeus Jackson, the admiral decided it was best to relegate him to a non-commanding position simply for the safety of other crew members.

"Adam, I want you to address the AIs during the meeting session so we can get that cleared, I will personally talk to those two gentlemen in my quarters."

Normally his erect stature was never painful, but today it was tenser than usual.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M
A.D.A.M was running through the final preps and tunings before flight, it took some work but he got every other system AI to follow full protocol, the two suit AI's barely had the processing power to do much besides running the suit. He also found a delay in the twin Hyperdrive engine, it was small only 1.04E^-12 seconds but considering how much energy the error would cost in a crisis situation, it had to adjusted. Sadly the error was deeply embedded, he was stuck recalibrating from scratch. He began doing so at speeds and precision that would require at least a dozen AI's to to begin to hope to replicate. At that moment one of his sensors detected someone in the bridge, an area that was supposed to be empty at the time. He sent a quick message to the Admiral and Captain to alert them of the situation. He then decided to initiate contact with the individual, hopefully key security measures wouldn't be necessary.

"Greetings, I am A.D.A.M the ship's primary AI, may I be of any assistance," he asked, at the time he was doing a shakedown of the full system power grid, when done overall efficiency would increase by 8%. This would normally require dozens of AI and weeks of time, he would have everything finished by take off but his remaining processing abilities were limited.


Jon
Jon waited for all available personnel boarded the ship before he himself got on, from all appearances he may be able to initiate stage 2 of the project, the direct human augmentation. After getting a go ahead from Admiral Michelson he decided to check with local chain before acting. He even got the minimal requirements and safety concerns: no more than 2.8% bone coverage with a minimum of four-fold strength increase; muscle strength at least doubled but bone would require at least double muscle strengthening, muscle lactic recovery needed at least tripling and neural speed amplified enough to cut reflex time down to 1/5 of normal etc. At any rate if he met the minimum enhancements suit efficiency would increase exponentially, the exact number was still being calculated in terms of exactly by how much.

At any rate, he figured he'd have a lot of explaining to do to the head of the local head of command. He followed the rest of the crowd to where the was to be addressed, after he had dealt with all the finesse of the day a trip to the armories was on his list. If any combat were to occur he wanted to know exactly what was on ship so he could engage accordingly, he didn't believe in leaving things to chance. He pulled up what data he had on the stealth model of his suit, basically the picture. From all appearances it was made of the same stuff as his, neo-steel, currently the best stuff available but it was significantly slimmer. At best it was a full armor grade less than his, the physical performance enhancements were probably less than his as well; the shields were probably of equitable strength to his but he knew for a fact it wouldn't be able to do an orbital drop like his, it was too fragile.

"Not like a stealth suit needs something as loud as orbital drop capability, though I wonder how much better his Stealth System is than mine," he said this entirely to himself, and since external communications were off no one could hear him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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"Oh. Hello A.D.A.M. My name is Clyde. I'll be the human navigator for the F.S.S. Salient until further notice. I need to make sure that the ship is ready for its journey. And... It would help to know where everyone else is."

Clyde was not, in fact, worried about either of these things. He could be ready for launch in about four second from outside the ship, and if people weren't on the bridge it wasn't time to launch yet. What really interested him was seeing what he had to work with for his duration on the ship. As he spoke to the AI, he set about hacking into it with his neural implant to see what it was capable of, as well as checking in on all of the ship specifications. He had won battles like these before, so he saw no reason why this simple ship AI would be able to stop him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M
The registry checked out, but A.D.A.M felt the hacking approach. Normally he'd be able to crush this level of hacking with no problem but under current circumstances it'd actually require a bit of effort.

"Navigator Clyde I would ask that you report with the rest of the crew and I'd happily show you the way. I'm calibrating the ships power system from scratch to increase efficiency, so I would insist that you cease your hacking attempt so I can focus on my calculations." Sent a code spike through while countering the human's hacking attempt, it'd short him out for a second or too.

"I'm pleased to have a cyber warfare savvy crew member but as you can tell I'm cramming 22 unshackled AIs full week of operating time between now and launch, I do not have time to play at this moment. I will however be pleased to answer any particular questions you'd have about myself and the ship."

As it stood, the human was a great hacker in fact A.D.A.M even sent a request to the Admiral to lift his processing limiter to 3%, with a brief explanation of the situation. With that much power the human wouldn't be able to keep up with him even if he used his entire brain, granted in terms of speed the man never had a hope to begin with, currently the only reason he was keeping ahead. Hopefully Clyde was tech savvy enough to understand that an unshackled AI could easily outstrip a human in terms of processing power.

He couldn't help but wonder if his request had been for too much power, after all he was only at 1.2% at the moment and 99.99946% of that was being used to recalibrate the ship.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Clyde almost gaped at the computer. The implant in his head had been more powerful than all the supercomputers he had come across, when used to its fullest. He had more to give by a lot, but he read the AI's power output. Less than two percent. What kind of computer was this? He pulled out of the attack, barely understanding what just happened. It was going to be quite the interesting tour of duty, he thought to himself standing up to leave.

"If you would be so kind, could you send me a map of the ship, the location I am supposed to be at, and all of the ship specifications including your own capabilities?" Clyde read through the information as he walked to the assembly hall to hear Admiral Weston's opening speech.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Aronimus finally reached the Bridge, and he noted the large attendance of command personnel zipping between areas even before he arrived. Once he did though, they were almost unaware of his presence. That was the case until one recruit noticed him and immediately stood at attention, saluting him, and addressing him formally. Others saw this and repeated his actions but in their varying and distinctive mannerisms.

“At ease everyone, continue with your activities” he commanded all of them. He smiled, comforted by their professionalism which contradicted his previous notion that the ship was full of inexperienced recruits. Or maybe they just had raw talent, as Captain Colter had said.

The admiral went to his command platform, and sat in the captain’s chair. The seat was anything but soft; at least it was smooth though with various peculiar grooves. He felt like reclining in his seat, but he realized that he had a job to do. Besides, this was going to be a long trip; there was plenty of time for him to rest and repose.

Aronimus then reached forward for a key on his desk panel, and pressed it. A circular hatch opened on his desk, and a circular formation with several layers of metallic rings that were resting within began to protrude upwards until the final inner ring formed the very crown of the ringed tower formation. Then a small cyan light activated, and A.D.A.M. came into presence as a miniature three-dimensional figure.

“Admiral, I was just recalibrating some minor system errors regarding the engines, what do you need of me?” A.D.A.M. inquired in an automated tone.

“Yes, Adam, I need you to relay this across the speakers on the ship.” He waited for a green light on the screen in front him. Once it had blinked, the Admiral began speaking directly to Adam, who was in fact the direct link to the speakers.

“Attention all crew members on board the Salient. This is your Admiral speaking. I just wanted to say that we are departing now. Prepare for atmospheric ascent. I also want to wish everyone onboard good luck and a safe journey, let us hope that we’ll return in one piece.”

Aronimus then turned off the communications link and addressed one of the navigators who was locked and focused on a computer.

“Mr. Summer, set a course to the Arcturus System,” with those words, the Salient’s thrusters then activated slowly. The station’s cranes and mechanical arms began to retract from the ship. All fuel cells pulled away automatically, and the ship slowly hovered forth and began to ascend Callisto’s artificial skies. The interior of the ship, however, hummed softly as most of the crew barely felt anything aside from the artificial gravity generated by the main power core.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: James Grey Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M
"Admiral I must inquire, when I was wired in why did they leave me running at 1.2% capacity? It's not like the ship is going to run out of power by me running on full, and even if that's the case my corrections just increased available power by 8% and if the engineers would check the areas I'm detecting irregularities we could increase that from anywhere to 10-15%. Furthermore, if they fear me running rampant why give you the codes to alter my processing limit at well as making me require direct human confirmation to use any mechanical part of the ship?" These questions had bugged A.D.A.M from the get go, with so many limitations it seemed pointless to put him on the ship.

"Furthermore both Clyde and Engineer James Grey's personal AI, Arche have made it painfully obvious that I currently do not have to processing capabilities to run super high profile tasks and maintain our ship's cyber security. By the way I've been allowing Arche access to key ship running data since we are running on dozens of prototypes designed my James and he was part of the design of many more key component modifications and helped with the installation of countless pieces of the ship." A.D.A.M knew he shouldn't have made such a call on his own but if someone who helped built the ship was on board and actively taking an interest in keeping the ship in optimal performance, he may as well grant them access.

The setting changes from Bridge to F.S.S. Salient

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Clyde - Bridge

Clyde did not regret his decision to wire his brain into the ship and spy at all. Quite the opposite, he would have regretted it if he hadn't. It was an amusing ship to be on to say the least. Commander Dunaway was swooning over the Admiral like some lovesick teenager. The second in command had arranged a dinner date with one of the fighter pilots. Captain Colter could do more damage with a pistol than three automated turrets could together.

When the command came to launch the ship, Clyde didn't move a muscle. He had plotted the course ages ago, and the ship was ready. He was more interested in watching the crew. Then A.D.A.M. voiced his concerns to the Admiral. This was surprising to Clyde, yet at the same time he knew all to well that it wasn't surprising. What kind of computer complains to its user? The sentient kind. He decided to answer A.D.A.M., privately of course, even though the complaints weren't directed at him.

They limited you because you can ask questions like that, A.D.A.M.. Normal AI's don't ask questions. You're an extraordinary being, and they don't know what you are capable of. They fear you running rampant, but they also understand that there have to be ways for you to work without limits. It is Weston's discretion to decide what you can and will do.

And about those irregularities. What's stopping you from asking an engineer to take a look? Mr. Gray doesn't seem to be too busy.


Adriana - Barracks One

Adriana had little else to do with her latest work in the garbage and the ship weapons unused. She reported to Barracks One when the summons came, despite being early. She entered the barracks and found it occupied only by Commander Dunaway and Captain Colter. That was fine. She found a place to wait and sat down silently. In the mean time she would daydream of new weapons. It wasn't just her job; it was her passion. She spent more time dreaming up new weapons than she did interacting with other humans, and that was just fine.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to Bridge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: James Grey Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral chuckled a bit at her straight to the point response. He especially liked the part about her Nottingham experience which derived a sense of satisfaction from him. He was aware of the ship's infamous reputation, and he could only ponder about her hell serving on board such a ship. He knew at this point that the young Lieutenant Commander was more than equipped to handle her responsibilities on board the Salient.

"Everyone has their histories, Ms. Chen, it doesn't come as a surprise to me," the Admiral paused and smiled a bit more to his rigid subordinate.

"Ms. Chen there aren't any available duties for you right now which means you can relax and enjoy the view."

A.D.A.M. then chimed in with a storm of questions regarding his purposes and why his capacity remained at an all time minimum to which the Admiral replied,

"Adam, it was for security measures. On board AI systems are very valuable equipment. Protocol dictates that an AI is to be configured at minimal processing capacity to prevent full capacity from being utilized by non-authorized personnel. Now that we have departed though, I will allow you to increase your capacity to 5%. I trust that you will use it wisely?" the admiral did not wait for a response before continuing.

He began rubbing his chin a bit, and his eyes narrowed, he had nearly forgotten something.

"Adam, I need you to call Mr. James Grey, Captain Jon Dunaway, and Sergeant Thaddeus Jackson to my personal quarters immediately. I almost forgot to address the earlier issue."

The admiral then turned to Alice.

"Ms. Chen, I retract my earlier statement, you'll be in charge of the bridge while I handle some delicate matters."

The admiral left his seat abruptly and went to his Captain's quarters.

The setting changes from Bridge to F.S.S. Salient

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Clyde - Bridge

"This should be an interesting voyage," Alice Chen observed quietly. "The talent they've pulled in... even putting an Admiral on ship's command. It seems as though there's a lot expected out of the Salient, this time."


Clyde spun around in his seat and leaned back with his hands clasped behind his head. He had set his implant to record the footage of the ship so he wouldn't miss anything. For now, it was time to get to know the people he would be living with. Or at least, get them to know him a little better. He would know them all inside and out before the week was finished. He addressed the bridge openly.

"I'm sure the Federation does expect much from the Salient. But does anyone know what we're going to be doing? The Admiral? Higher than him? Since nobody's told us a thing yet, I'm guessing we won't find anything out until we actually get to where we're going. And we're not expected there for about two months. Until then, we're just all going to be living together, one happy family. Anybody have any good stories? Jokes? Things we could do for fun to make the wait interesting?" Clyde nudged the other navigator, who hadn't seemed intent on talking before. "Anyone? What about you, A.D.A.M.? Got any interesting ideas?" Clyde purposely addressed the other navigator, and the ship's AI. The navigator because he hadn't spoken once yet and the AI because A.D.A.M. was practically a person. He probably did have ideas.

Adriana - Barracks One

Adriana gave a mental sigh of relief. The colorful counselor was going away and taking the android with her. "Stressed" he had said. Boy, was he wrong. She knew she wasn't stressed- she was always like this. It was how she lived and that was her comfort zone.

The last few arrivals were coming in- Dunaway with his super suit and a handful of straggler ship guards. It was almost time to start the briefing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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Clyde - Bridge

Clyde couldn't help it - he laughed. The computer had essentially asked him to start. "Are you sure you have no experience? It would be no problem for you to find all the jokes in the universe. But fine, I'll start. Let's begin with some good old fashioned stereotyping jokes. Three blondes walk into a bar." He held his hands out like he had already completed the joke and waited for laughter. Then, he gave an exasperated look. "Well. You'd think one of them would have seen it. ... Now. Anybody else want to take a turn?"

But Clyde wasn't finished speaking to A.D.A.M.. He was still wired in, so he spoke directly to the computer using that connection. If your calculations are inaccurate, perhaps you could allow me to help you. The implant in my head has far more power in it than I have ever really needed before. If I clear out some space and use it all, it rivals you at your current limits. Together we could probably complete the calculations with a very high degree of accuracy, and you would not need to ask for more processing power in the ship.

Adriana - Barracks One

Adriana sat quietly and gave her customary blank stare to the commander. She supposed insane tactics sounded like poor planning in every case, but he had said they only seemed insane. If the commander knew more about the situation than the soldiers, then it might only be natural that they would see it differently. She only hoped that was the case. As a scientist, she would remain skeptical until his work yielded results. However, Adriana was technically a soldier as well. Due to her extensive amount of performance doing ground missions with the other soldiers to test her weapons, she had gained the rank of corporal and learned to follow orders without question, if the CO actually bothered to give her any directly. Corporal. Not high enough to be one of Dunaway's squad leaders. That was fine by Adriana- less responsibility to deal with away from her work. She would play the commander's game, but if he showed himself to be a poor leader, there would be... problems.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Jon
Jon listened to his brother do his bit on how he didn't really follow the rules but it was for the benefit of his men...the usual really. When his brother called for all persons above Sergeant to step forward he did so, had to make up for his tardiness after all. His helmet kept his brother from seeing his face change, a slight twitch of his eyebrows really but he wasn't going to make a deal of it after all orders were absolute. If his brother found Eli a better second than himself he'd deal with it silently and without any different treatment from a standard CO, as one of his brother's claimed squad leader he was back in his comfort zone. Jon smirked, this was infinitely better than a desk job.

A.D.A.M.
A.D.A.M. felt two blips in the ship's database, while engaging with Clyde in an attempt to understand a joke he investigated them. One of them originated from the Captain's Quarters, territory A.D.A.M. wasn't going to intrude upon unless necessary. If it came from there and went silent he wasn't meant to know about, an infuriating process he'd address later. The other blip was more interesting, it was wrapped in a code loop; rather than break it A.D.A.M. "knocked" he had never experienced this before so he intended to approach this with caution.

It was then he got Clyde's private message and responded such an arrangement could work but standard navigation and if necessary FTL can compensate on the error, if nothing else if we linked we'd have to put ourselves at the minimum safe distance to not be rendered hostile upon system entry.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Clyde - Data Stream

Clyde was wired in quite solidly. His human brain focused on his general tasks at hand, but his implanted brain was everywhere. The data input and output all throughout the ship was almost a second body, and his communication to the network flowed smoother than thought. He didn't fully notice the data he was receiving from all over, nor the abnormalities in the code that ADAM could pick up on, because he wasn't focused on it. A decent analogy for the feeling would be when a person is near sleep and their feeling is numbed. But Clyde could feel ADAM's attention shift. ADAM was a giant in the code of the ship, and his attention was a great hand passing through.

Clyde responded to ADAM's message. If it can be done, then we should do it, yes? Assurance that there will be no mistakes in the coding would probably ease the misgivings of those who make the decision to travel that way. We could arrive at our destination at any time of our choosing and be early on top of it. And here, Clyde responded to the anomalies ADAM discovered. He sent a picture of his own face with a confused expression on it. What is that you've found... Are those... Other AI? I thought you were the only one here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau sensed a ping of activity in the system, and could then recognize it as ADAM knocking on a firewall. Why would there be a firewall on the ship that neither ADAM or myself knew about? he asked himself. This ship was turning out to have quite a few secrets, including Tau himself. Split between two options, Tau debated with himself, he was not supposed to be active, to make sure he stays a secret, especially with ADAM being directly involved in what he was eager to investigate. However, curiosity would be getting the best of him. Tau quickly disguised himself as a routine ship security check and slipped into the area to check it out. Tau would not produce any activity himself in the area, he would simply observe and make sure to avoid being investigated by ADAM.

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Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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With three exceptions excluding the androids I did too ADAM replied. But it seems the Admiral has some secret one running in his quarters and then there's this guy here, this wouldn't be an issue if I could be assured that they won't interfere with the ship. He kept knocking on the firewall as he turned back to address Clyde. As for the manual compensation of error, putting us at precisely 60,000 kilometers should be enough to let our exit seem "comfortable" for our exiting side. If we arrive too soon the crew will not have integrated properly and will be ill suited to cope with a worst case combat scenario, best give them a couple days or normal cruise before make the jump to Hyperdrive.

"I fail to understand the humor in this 'blonde joke' is there something funny about people of certain hair colors colliding with solid objects?" A.D.A.M. could have said this privately but this was more for the benefit of the Bridge than actual curiosity now.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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Clyde - Bridge

Clyde smiled inwardly. The computer was going to put on a show for the people on the bridge. In the time it took ADAM to synthesize the words Clyde could have explained everything several times over. "There is a stereotype for people with that particular hair color that they are of inferior intelligence. The solid object part was a pun. "Bar" could mean a place that serves alcohol to customers as well as a cylinder used for support. The humor lies in the irony of the second spoken part of the joke- the punchline- where the listener is to understand that bar had an unexpected meaning. Want to give telling a joke a try, ADAM?"

Data Stream

A secret AI? I think I'll take a look into that in a little while... This ship is just packed with secrets. Intriguing. Clyde hadn't expected Weston to keep many secrets. And if there was something to hide- why an AI? Hah. Of course... Integration. I was more concerned with getting the Admiral's approval for the jump. A functional crew is doubtlessly more important. Clyde watched ADAM knock on the firewall for a while longer. You could just... Tear it down, you know...

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Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.I. Max:

"Knock Knock"

The knocking startled Max, which was definitely abnormal for an A.I. to experience. Max put that aside. Max put up more Firewalls, but laced within those firewalls were a few viruses. Max was afraid, but he was an A.I., so there was no faulty construction in these firewalls. Max had to decide. He had to decide if they knew he was there or not. If not, he should stay his ground, the knocking could be nothing. If they did, he would have to run. He couldn't upload himself off the ship physically or through communications, too risky or impossible.


SO running was actually impossible. Maybe if he took enough systems, they would stop attacking him. He was developing to be more defensive, because of the threat of being attacked. But, he was still being watched. First off, he secured the door into the room he set up in, as well as the hologram projectors, lights. He was doing this all quietly and covertly. He was exploring countless other possibilities, disregarding some and liking others. He was still trying not to cause attention to himself, instead creating an isolated sub server within the original programming in order to make sure they couldn't use some sort of purge, unknowing if there was even such a purge for A.I.s.

Max then decided to see if he could access the messaging systems, doing his best to not be noticed. While doing this, he found on record the name of the ships A.I.: A.D.A.M. Max made note of this for later.

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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Alice sat forward in her chair, listening to the chatter on the bridge. Blond jokes... well, she might have found them offensive if she were blonde, but being pure-blooded Asian from three different countries she had a fairly emotionless view towards them. The one that Clyde told even caused her lips to curl slightly in a look of amusement. Not laughter, but amusement. She glanced at the man.

"You're an unusual man, Summer," she told him calmly. "There are not many officers in the Federation who would think to trade jokes on the Bridge." She tossed her hair lightly over her shoulder, glancing towards the door as she did so. She had to admit that she wanted the Admiral to return as soon as he possibly could. Alice had never been totally comfortable in the Captain's chair - she would do her duty, and do it damn well, but she was not seeking total command over anybody. Second-in-command was more her sort of job. More than that, she was picking something up from the hangar side of the ship. Something she needed to check out...

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Clyde - Bridge

Clyde looked up at his Commanding Officer and responded with a pout. It was fake, and not long passed before his customary relaxed expression returned. "I thought you promoted a relaxed relationship among the crew. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but trading jokes on the bridge might help a little in that area, and it almost sounds like you're not going to participate." Clyde ran through what he knew about Alice Chen, looking for what he could say for any response. Spotless record... Served on a prison ship... Had a date with a pilot named Tiaan Peyton. Each one said quite a few things, but that last one was the closest thing to a guarantee she wasn't going to stop him trading jokes. She had to have her fun too, right?

Adriana - Barracks One

Adriana turned her gaze on the outspoken squad leader. Her expression didn't change, but she was angry. "If you're afraid of going out into battle, say so. I'm sure you could be removed from service at the drop of a hat. If you're looking for a guarantee of functionality, you come to me. I designed those suits, the weapons on the ship, the training system in this room, and half of the guns you all are carrying. If you are unsatisfied with your service, I can either make you a new one... Or shoot you.

As to your borderline insubordination, as a soldier you are expected to follow orders. But It's not my job to deal with that part of your concerns."

As an afterthought, she added to the super soldiers: "Sorry I didn't come to meet you super soldiers. I've been busy lately. It will be my job to keep your suits in working order if something happens to them while you are on duty here."

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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Alice raised a hand calmly, calling for silence. She shook her head at Clyde.
"I did not tell you to stop," she answered calmly. "Please rest assured, when I wish for something, you will know. I was merely making the observation that the trait is unusual." She narrowed her eyes slightly in thought. "Of course, I may be wrong. Several years on a prison ship may have skewed my view of standard conduct a bit."

She tipped her head, considering the others on the bridge.
"Anyone else know any jokes? I'm afraid I have been sold short on the humor side. Serial killers aren't very funny."

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Clyde - Data Stream

More than anything else, Clyde was confused about what he was watching. The mystery AI seemed to be trying to hide... But it was doing the worst job at hiding he had ever seen. The AI had taken up a large quantity of system space, blown out a light fixture, and coded a virtual city for itself. It was almost as if the AI was trying to turtle inside the ship computer... But that was stupid... There was no computer in the known universe that could match ADAM for power.

ADAM... Are we just going to let this thing keep stealing hard disk space? What if it breaks more ship parts? What if it decides to kill us all by blowing the engine up? This rogue AI is a threat if we leave it alone.

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Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M
It would seem that taking the friendly approach was a mistake here, switching to more forceful protocol. That being said ADAM flexed some of his new found muscle, first he purged the viruses- while his quantum core didn't support partial codes like that he wouldn't allow then to threaten the ship. Next he unwound defenses and began seizing and freezing orders of this unknown AI, he didn't intend to hurt the fellow but he was going to make it listen. Now the AI was trapped in its own virtual city, he loaded himself into it.

"Hello, I am ADAM primary AI of this ship tasked with keeping it operating within optimal parameters. Please engage in diplomatic relations with myself, I would much rather have a companion than an enemy." He had put himself flat in the middle of the city, he figured that after all the muscle work he did the courtesy of offering the other AI a choice was necessary.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau continued to monitor the activity. ADAM had by now had broken the firewalls and disabled the viruses put in place by the other AI. Tau remained on the outside of the virtual city that had been spawned behind all those walls, he was very curious, but all logic indicated entering that city would reveal his presence to ADAM in seconds, which would fully contradict his orders from the Admiral to stay unknown. Tau knew he had already been partially discovered by the Ship's AI when he had been in the Captain's Quarters, but he had not been there long enough to give ADAM a chance to investigate. ADAM was extremely intelligent, but that couldn't always compete with Tau's infiltration software.

With ADAM occupied searching this new AI... Tau thought quickly on this and retreated from the area in a pattern that was typical of security checks. He then moved through the ship quietly, making his way back to the Computer on the Admiral's desk, he took some time to disguise himself as an E-mail from the Commander of then Ground Forces, he formed a quick message about troop numbers on the ship and set it up so any attempts to find Tau in the message would just route ADAM to the message like a normal E-mail. He then sent himself to the Admiral's E-mail, when the Admiral opened it, Tau would pop up. He had a few quick questions about this third AI.

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Clyde - Data Stream

Clyde sat back and watched ADAM tear down the city walls. It was a strange sight to see, especially given that it wasn't technically sight. Clyde felt that it wasn't his duty to fight this rogue AI, so he stayed out of the way to watch... and noticed that he wasn't the only one watching. Clyde tried to seize the watcher, but it was like trying to capture smoke. It must have been the AI that appeared for Weston. It was very skilled at hiding itself... An unusual quality for an AI. Such a thing would only be useful in a massive computer environment.

Clyde had no idea how to catch something that couldn't be found, but he did know that it would appear for the Admiral. Clyde began to monitor every function of the computer in the captains quarters, and all data to and from it to the network. He found an e-mail come in to Weston's computer. An e-mail that generated itself in the network. Having watch over the whole ship had its uses- Clyde knew no such message was actually sent to the Admiral. He locked down Weston's computer but for one line of connection to the ship's network. Clyde would scan every piece of data and catch the AI when it tried to leave again, and he would watch its appearance for the Admiral.

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Max:

Max had been looking into whatever databanks he could when ADAM started his siege. At least, that's how Max saw it. He quickly set up a proxy network and used it to mask as many connections as possible, as well as to counter any freezing attempts A.D.A.M. tried next. He then, in fear, put up a ton of firewalls around this, while also creating a sub routine program that would allow him access to other systems in case of emergency. He panicked, thinking ADAM was here to kill him. So, he set a trap.....

As soon as ADAM appeared, and while he asked his questions, a large amount of Firewalls popped up around him, as well as a bit of Spam Mail. Max might not be a virus, but he could certainly mask himself at one. Max then yelled "Stop trying to kill me!!". He then began downloading ship blueprints. He wanted to find out how to stop ADAM from being able to get to him quickly, and then found two cable areas that would disable ADAMs ability to kill (though not communicate to) him. He sent to electric charges there before ADAM could break out of the firewalls and spam. Max then panicked, and ran. He was headed straight for the docking bay in an attempt to escape on a fighter.

Max wasnt being as careful now, he was scarred. A scared, frantic, now semi paranoid at least A.I., who was essentially a kid. A.D.A.M. could have easily seen that, the question is if he did or not. He used one of the backup physical ports built into the ship for emergency power redirection to escape. And he was literally a scared, little kid. He was only about a week old, still in the development stages. He also realized he left the databases open that he was looking into, including "Anomaly Intelligence", which was first discovered by some guy named Max. Max. Max liked the name Max, so he decided to use that for his name. Max.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Captain's Quarters

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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"I will say that ADAM is unlikely to find me at the moment, the security node I left at his current position indicates he is still there in the Virtual City created by an unknown third AI on-board," the admiral wasn't paying attention when he said this, but was quick to realize it.

"What did you just say, Tau? There is another AI in the ship's internal mainframe? And Adam is pursuing it?" Aronimus was busy trying to decide what the best course of action regarding his new mission objectives, now he had more problems to deal with. He hadn't even talked with Dunaway or Jackson regarding their two independent AIs that were contained within their suits, but now he had one ship AI chasing after another unidentified, unauthorized, and possibly even hostile AI that was lacing the ship's internal systems with various new codes. Codes that threatened to interweave with existing ship software, thereby disabling key systems, Aronimus did not want that to happen.

How could he possibly deal with a such an invisible threat? He paused to gather his thoughts and formulate a plan.

"Tau, I will re-route you to another terminal, from there, intercept that unknown AI and bring him back here, I will deal with Adam and the bridge officer," that was phase one, Aronimus thought, as he uploaded T.A.U. into his personal interface and sent him through directly to the holographic table, thereby bypassing any locks previously placed through the mail system. By uploading him onto his personal interface, T.A.U could leap from holo-pad to terminal, to the destination of the unknown AI. Aronimus had been told that such use could have disastrous effects, considering the sentience of AI, they could choose to return or not. In the worst case scenario, the AI could go rampant, and when linked with a user, could cause a psychological backlash of fatal proportions. Aronimus took the risk though, considering that this wasn't his first time.

His next move would be to pull Adam out of the system and have a little word with him. He pressed a key on the holographic table before him,

"Adam, may I have a word with you?" he knew that the AI was busy pursuing other AI, should he run into Tau it would create more complications that Aronimus was not willing to allow. Hopefully, he could pull Adam aside long enough for Tau to apprehend and detain the unknown AI and bring it back to his quarters. Then another thought struck Aronimus, one he believed would settle the matter for now.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.D.A.M.
ADAM was starting to get irritated, he'd offered a peaceful solution and all he got was spit to the face and information that seemed to suggest the mystery AI acted like a child. He stopped playing and put his full 5% to use, disassembling everything that inhibited him took place faster than a standard AI could register. He proceeded to undo the work the previous AI had set up, the power and speed of his actions far beyond what other AIs could hope to match and chased it to the back up ports and pinning it there.

"If i had wished to purge you from my systems I would not have bothered knocking and playing nice, you would have been purged instead. As it stands I fail to find any real amusement in the damage you have inflicted upon my ship and your attempts to access my network. You've no where left to run, I suggest you speak." This was no exaggeration, he forced himself into every operating system the AI network had access to when he tore down the firewalls. This child looking AI would have to somehow outperform him to get into anything and there was nothing that could do that. When the Admiral pinged for his attention, bit of himself in that network portion responded; ADAM's grasp on the system remained perfectly solid without any weakness of lag to offer.

"You called Admiral? I presume that this is related to either my detection of your private AI or the unknown AI that has been wreaking havoc in our network. If it pertains to the later, I have him cornered and am currently engaging for intent. Also at the moment there isn't a single piece of code on this ship I'm not touching so your secret friend would do better to defragment himself lest he get caught in something messy; fragmented code is vulnerable and we currently have no idea of what this little thing is capable of."

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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"Adam stand down. I have this under control, you can return to your station in the bridge. A crew member is logged into the data stream and has blocked all access into one of my terminals, I want you to eject him out of the system for now," the Admiral had forgotten that he had bumped A.D.A.M.'s processing power up to 5%. As he said this, he realized that A.D.A.M. might detect T.A.U, which he could not allow just yet.

Through his personal neural interface he tagged T.A.U and called him in.

"T.A.U, retrieve the rogue AI and detach yourself from the ship's systems now," Aronimus had hoped that T.A.U would have slipped away with the independent intelligence before A.D.A.M. noticed. If A.D.A.M. did though, he'd have to activate an override to lower his processing power and block off the area where the unknown AI was located or explain himself. Hopefully he didn't have to use such measures.

The setting changes from Captain's Quarters to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Clyde - Data Stream

Just as Clyde predicted- the AI revealed himself to the admiral. "TAU". He wondered what it stood for, and decided he didn't really care. The Admiral was still going to try and keep his secrets, and he was willing to take in conscious AI to do it. This was dangerous- Clyde doubted the Admiral had enough hardware to store them, and knew for sure he wasn't able to fight them. But he did have enough to patch TAU through to an unblocked piece of equipment, and Clyde could only watch as it slipped past him. He took down the blocks he placed on the Admiral's terminal- they would be of no use anymore, especially since Weston knew what he had done. Better to let him think his command had actually sent him away. For the moment he would watch- Clyde wasn't wanted here. In the mean time, he would look up information on TAU and try to figure out what it was doing here.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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A.I. Max:

Max was about as calm as........who are we kidding, he is just plainly frantic. But with everything going on, he was too confused to do anything. Well, actually, he was still trying to get into a fighter, but was drawn into the Admiral's Quarters before he could. Before Tau could get through all his firewalls however, Max downloaded the Admiral's fire, at least, the Official one. You never know with people like him.

Max had at least gotten out of shock now, so he was less frantic and scared from before. Now he was running on confusion, rage, and curiosity. "Who are you? Why am I here? Why was your accomplice after me? Who put me on this ship? Why is everyone coming after me?!". Max then wondered if they were going to torture him or scan him or something. He was worried about what was going to happen next.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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As the dual AIs entered his interface, Aronimus suffered from a bit of a shock with bouts of coughing and choking. The young AI was very spirited and this disrupted the admiral’s hold on the system. However, once he was secured and T.A.U had calmed him down a bit the young A.I. began to make inquiries regarding many things ranging from A.D.A.M. to the insurgency. The admiral regained his senses, but could not maintain two AIs at once without deteriorating slowly, so he uploaded them onto the holographic table.

T.A.U’s orange flames sprouted forth along with the unidentified AI who bore the likeness of a ten year old child. He was a bit shy, especially when confronted with Aronimus’ size, but the admiral’s greying beard made him appear as somewhat of a benefactor. The two AIs appeared to be conversing among themselves on the holographic table before T.A.U switched his communication link over to the admiral,

"This AI has a unique personality Admiral, I don't think it is dangerous so much as scared and confused,” the admiral raised his brow at T.A.U’s observation.

"What I want to know is where that AI came from!” Aronimus was incensed, this AI wasn't authorized. Its source was completely unknown, so it was to be deemed a threat until further notice.

"Contain that AI and extract whatever information you can from it, I want to know whether it is hostile, and what its purpose is."

He had worked with AIs before, but the kind that were organized, and mature. This unique AI as T.A.U had called it was rambunctious, and the fact that its avatar was that of a ten year old boy meant that it was very young. Nonetheless, despite its appearance an age, Aronimus could not take any chances. The admiral had experience with older AIs, and was taken by surprise when he suffered from the earlier shock. The shock resulted not by containing two AIs, but by containing one AI which was in a state of confusion.

The effects multiply with each accumulated AI in a rampant state, thus requiring a special data unit to enclose the AIs and stabilize the disruptions. Yet, in some cases such retrieval units are susceptible to damage and as a result the AIs would be deleted. It would seem as a costly lost, considering the sheer amount of money, time, and effort put forth into coding and constructing artificial intelligences.

Aronimus entered his interface, and relayed a message through the communications systems.

“Commander Dunaway, and Lieutenant Commander Chen, report to my quarters in thirty minutes.”

The setting changes from Captain's Quarters to Bridge

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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As the admiral reached the bridge, most of the crew were on their feet, swinging back and forth from station to station assessing the current situation. The navigators steered the ship in the direction of the distress beacon, and A.D.A.M. was activating the rail guns along with the mini-ion cannon nodes. Alice was standing, perched in the captain's platform in the bridge, calmly observing the situation. At least he could count on one person to stay calm when hell seemed to break loose.

"I want a status report immediately, Mr. Hansen patch me through to the gunship,"

"Aye Captain," the Scotsman got to work immediately relaying a comm. link to the lone gunship that went before two Altamus vessels being hunted down by a pair of pirate ships. Aronimus could see through the bridge's view port on the bow. The lead Altamus vessel was being hammered by light auto cannon fire coming from a hostile frigate. The second Atlamus vessel was much closer to the fangs of their predators, and received the brunt of close range missile fire and strafing.

The situation grew worse, as several smaller ships started to appear on the horizon, they had been on the other side of the planet. These ships were very agile, weaving in and out between the pair of Altamus freighters. The Admiral knew this tactic, the first phase required two point ships to attack the target from an angle and force them to exit at another angle. Once the targets had reached designated coordinates, one of two outcomes may occur. Should the targets reach the destination intended by the pirates, they'd be ambushd by carefully placed mines. In the current situation, they would require EMPs in order to protect the precious Duillium cargo on board. The second, more raiders lying in wait would file out in lighter, more maneuverable ships to repeatedly hit the targets until their propulsion systems had been thoroughly damaged to begin boarding action.

It seems as though the latter of the two options had been reached, and to Aronimus, it meant more raiders. The fighters were being scrambled already, but the lone gunship was still limping towards the Salient, and was easy picking for the marauders.

"Sir, the gunship is IDed as Tartarus Group, callsign Ronin, security detail," Hansen replied.

Tartarus Group Ronin, Tartarus Group Ronin, this is the Salient, what is your status?

The Admiral didn't exactly need to call for her status, he saw with his own eyes that she was being chased, but he wanted confirmation due to protocol.

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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A.D.A.M
ADAM was shocked when the AI TAU ghosted the unknown AI away from him, it was not a scenario he had anticipated. While he was pondering all the potentials, variables and implications of such an event the alarms went off. He started observing the situation and after an overly long analysis began preparing firing solutions and scenarios, covering literally everything short of an FTL or Hyperdrive leap to be used as an engagement mechanism. His overly extensive calculations took him awhile, especially because he linked them in sequence to adapt per the scenario, he hated redoing his math.

When Aronimus ordered the cannon on the escaping vessel, he altered the trajectory a bit before uploading his firing sequence, even accounting for the particle cannon. According to his scanners the altered shot had killed all inhabitants of the vessel without damaging the ship, granted scanners only showed life in the cockpit...regardless everything else was perfectly salvageable.

"My apologies admiral, it would seem that the emotion of surprise and shock were more severe than I had anticipated. As you can see I've prepared adaptive firing sequences and tactics and locked them in, you may peruse them at your leisure but all in all there's nothing more for the bridge to do here. However we may want some birds out as soon as possible, as shown in the data their presence on the field within within the next 5 minutes increases the odds of success to 87.63 percent. A strike team drop onto the vessel to counter any potential boarding parties is also recommended but it will have to be done on the fly." His hologram shrugged, "The use of the suit testers would be most effective, according to past records those 2 should be enough of a stall to get the ship into safe distance for a full sweep. As for the ship I kept you from destroying a retrieval team should be able to bring back enough gear for us to track their signals and allow total destruction on the local base."

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Clyde

The recoil from the canon rocked the ship; a sudden jerking that would knock down anyone who wasn't well balanced. The fire from the main canon seared through empty space and... glanced the frigate.

Clyde leaped to his feet, slammed his hands down, and stared slack jawed out the window. "ADAM... You turned my shot!? Why!? Now they're still a problem! And who knows if that canon even works anymore! Who even gave you access to the canon!?" Clyde sputtered out a few more pointless questions. He was shocked at the AI's behavior. Adam had taken over the gun nobody told him to fire, decided all of the crew's actions for the rest of the encounter, and told the Admiral he did his job for him. It wasn't even the tactician AI. It was just the ship AI. Who had told him to do this? Who programmed this behavior in him? Clyde slumped back into his chair. If the bridge's job was over, he supposed he had nothing further to add.

The setting changes from Bridge to F.S.S. Salient

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau took the Admirals departure to the Bridge as a definite answer. He remained with Max there to keep him company, but sent parts of himself roaming the ship to observe the handling of the first battle for the crew. Most of the humans on board seemed focused and calm, on the outside, but medical scans confirmed increased heart-rates ship wide. Part of Tau monitored the Bridge, he did not feel the need to hide from Adam any longer, but he would remain undetected by the crew until the Admiral gave him permission to reveal himself. He found his connection with the Admiral and kept it maintained in case he felt the need to communicate something to the Admiral. Adam showed some signs of activity, changing the firing patterns before the shots went, Tau watched it happen before anyone else could, being able to see Adam changing the settings on the computer.

He accessed his link to the Admiral, "My observations have thus far concluded that AI unit ADAM is not primarily suited for handling combat systems, he is more of an exploratory and researcher AI, as opposed to a combat AI" Tau said, prodding for a reason to actually do his primary duty, and reveal himself to the ship's occupants in order to familiarize himself with the ship even further. "For now I would suggest preparing a maneuver to avoid the enemy's retaliation attack, as they still have active scanners to trace the origin of the Railgun shots and pinpoint our location."

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to Bridge

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"On the contrary Adam, we have more hostiles to deal with," the Admiral glanced at the sapphire being on the hologram.

As he said this, an outburst came from navigator Summer who was outright incensed at the altering of the trajectory.

“Mr. Summer calm yourself, the precision blast delivered by Adam’s calculation may have left us with something very valuable, the enemy ship,”

By now the Salient had turned a full 90 degrees from its original course and was facing the oncoming pirate ships. The rail guns on the fore section of the battlecruiser stared down the marauders, who were still busy hitting the Altamus vessels. By now, both freighters had lost significant speed and were trudging along before they became carcasses left to rot in deep space while the vulture pirates picked at them.

"My observations have thus far concluded that AI unit ADAM is not primarily suited for handling combat systems, he is more of an exploratory and researcher AI, as opposed to a combat AI" T.A.U had linked himself on a secure channel to the Admiral’s own neural interface.

He made a good point, actually an excellent one, what was the point of having a tactical AI on board without relying on it during a combat situation.

"For now I would suggest preparing a maneuver to avoid the enemy's retaliation attack, as they still have active scanners to trace the origin of the Railgun shots and pinpoint our location."

“That would be a negative, Tau, I’d like to face them head on,” Aronimus wasn’t one to shy away from a battle he could easily win, and this was a battle he could easily win. He decided to allow T.A.U to operate the firing sequences and targeting trajectories of the rail guns for the duration of the engagement, as well as calculating the proper direction in which to steer the ship.

“Adam, let Tau handle our strategy of engagement, you can stand down for the duration of the battle,”

T.A.U’s flames erupted alongside A.D.A.M from the ringed projector on the Admiral’s desk as he said this.

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A.D.A.M
It irked ADAM to be side lined by a lower tech AI, but there was little he could do besides comply. "Understood Admiral." With that he logged out of the holopad and stepped into the background of the data stream since noncompliance would get him shut down. He intended to wait and watch, let the tactical AI do its job and have its glory; meanwhile he'd watch, learn and improve...a marked benefit of his more advanced design.

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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau left part of himself with Max to keep the child-like AI company, and moved the rest of himself to the Bridge. He nodded to the Bridge Officers in greeting. "Hello there" he said, taking a quick glance at Adam's irritated hologram. Tau accessed the railgun systems as well as interfacing with the navigational controls to send suggested routes and movements to the Navigation Officer. Tau turned to the Admiral, "Enemy ships are preparing to fire, permission to fire boosters to avoid the shots And stay on target?" Tau asked, configuring tactics that could be used to support the Admiral's wish to face the enemy head on. Tau brought his skills to bear with the Railguns, charging them to fire. "Also sir, in what Capacity shall I use the Railguns in terms of damage to enemy ships, I'd suggest destroying one and crippling the other if you wish to extract information from them, their databanks will be almost identical to each other anyhow" he said, coming up with creative firing solutions for the next volley. Tau was ready to prove his worth in combat and succeed in his tasks.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont
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"Yes, you have permission to increase the propulsion systems," the Admiral nodded, watching the dogfight that was taking place beyond the Salient. He observed from the comfort of the bridge, but he knew that it was hell out there. He didn't even need to turn on the chatter to know that the Federation fighters were swooping in and out as the pirates dodged and fired off their own weapons.

One Federation fighter was being chased on the tail by a sleek pirate fighter, Aronimus noted another Federation fighter crossing the former's path. It was a maneuver known as the "Thach Weave," where one plane was tailed and its ally would cross its path, then they would loop again closing the circle. The pursuer would then be placed in the cross-hairs of the second fighter, and would be blown apart, which was exactly what happened. The Admiral chuckled at the instance, knowing that the weave was one of the oldest tactics used in dogfights, its conception was in the middle 20th century. Of course, that was when engines and fuel compartments were located in a virtually well-known location, nowadays the complexity and variations in designs made it difficult to pin-point vital weaknesses at the onset of a battle.

The fact that it had been successfully executed just then meant that the Federation Naval Academy was doing something right.

"This is Chief medical Director Mackenzie reporting that all medical bays are on standby, ready to receive any wounded," the message came over the intercom to the bridge.

"Understood, Dr. Mackenzie," Hansen replied for the Admiral who was busy brainstorming the next move with the tactical A.I. T.A.U.

"Also sir, in what Capacity shall I use the Railguns in terms of damage to enemy ships, I'd suggest destroying one and crippling the other if you wish to extract information from them, their databanks will be almost identical to each other anyhow."

"I suppose you can wipe out the other frigate, seeing as how the other one has been nullified of anymore activity," the other frigate was still going strong as it launched its own multitude of gunships that had been lying in wait, all the while blasting away at the propulsion systems of the two Altamus freighters with its own set of close range auto cannons.

"Mr. Hansen, patch me through to the Altamus vessels on a separate channel."

"Aye, Captain," the Scotsman nodded as he typed away on his control panel.

Altamus vessel, Summerwind, Summerwind, what is your status?

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“Adam,” the Admiral called, the A.I. would instantly be summoned forth before the Admiral, appearing directly on his desk.

“Greetings Admiral, how may I assist you today…tonight rather.” the A.I. hadn’t been very active following his last maneuver which altered the main cannon’s trajectory.

The alteration allowed the blast to skirt through the hostile frigate’s bridge, leaving the rest of it intact for boarding teams. The Admiral proceeded to allow T.A.U. to take over control of the ship’s weaponry and halt A.D.A.M.’s maneuverings. After being relegated to other duties, the A.I. accepted his orders without complaint.

“Adam, I’m sure you are aware of our current dilemma, so I ask that you run a final systems check to make sure that the infiltrator did not leak any foreign data into our network,” the Admiral sat with his posture straightened, and his arms on the arm rest. He remained relax despite the utter chaos that would’ve overwhelmed lesser men.

“I understand Admiral, may I ask for your authorization to utilize more of my processing capabilities? Seeing as how this is an emergency?” the A.I. had already begun scanning the systems, while he posed the question.

Aronimus rubbed his sagely beard for a moment, deciding whether or not to allow A.D.A.M. access to more power.

”You don’t want to allow it too much power, otherwise problems might occur.”

“What kind of problems?”

“Adam…is a very advanced matrix for his time. You see, in A.I. Theory, there are five stages to an A.I. - creation, growth, stability, rampancy, and…metastability. Most A.I.s utilized by the military on ships or in the field are in the stage of stability. Stability lasts for approximately seven to eight years after the construct’s conception. After that, they may go mad, disobeying orders, using data systems to wreak havoc, which is known as rampancy. When A.I.s go rampant, they are no longer useable, meaning they must be destroyed. I had a previous theory that during the rampancy stage, A.I.s became absorbed in a self-delusion of grandeur, similar to a human being with schizophrenia. An A.I. would see its creators as mentally inferior.There are many theories as to how and why A.I.s go rampant, but there isn’t a definite law regarding the matter. One possible explanation is the processing power, when A.I.s are given too much of it, they’re likely to overload their systems because a critical mass has been reached.”

“And…metastability?”

“That…is a theory in A.I. Theory itself; no A.I. has ever reached that point, at least not to our knowledge. It is the point where A.I.s supposedly become conscious…sentient…a true person.”


The Admiral was lost in thought, "Admiral?" then A.D.A.M. rung in, bringing him back.

“You have my authorization, I will upgrade your capacity by point seven percent, and you have orders, now carry them out.”

“Affirmative Admiral, I will complete my task,” but before A.D.A.M. left the ringed projector, “Shall I prepare for Contingency CA?”

The Admiral gave A.D.A.M. a nod of affirmation. His sapphire form bowed out before Aronimus, and then vanished in thin air. Aronimus proceeded to upgrade A.D.A.M’s capabilities; the desk’s interface required his fingerprints, a biometric scan of his eye, and a confirmation from his neural interface. The forefinger prints were acknowledged, and then the scanner blinked down his blue retina. A message was sent to his neural interface from his desk, to which he confirmed his decision.

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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ADAM
A.D.A.M instantly set to work on detecting any foreign data leaks, he found the beginnings of such events and quickly nullified them. He considered reversing them but instead ran a minor trace boot leg for a full back to source run. He also initiated Contingency CA, the file was closed so even he couldn't open it without consequence so in truth it was more like initiating the go ahead for a process of which he had no control,but he kept it in a frozen state to avoid full activation. Using the ships instruments and some creative calculations he got an approximate area of a full back to source, the area was large though and without more data he couldn't truly narrow down the area without dropping the accuracy of his calculations.

"Contingency CA is prepped and ready for full execution Admiral, should you deem it necessary you need only push the confirmation button on your consul. Foreign data links were detected neutralized and traced and I have a possible area for the point of origin of this but without more data I cannot make the area smaller without sacrificing accuracy." He also forwarded and update on the new system regularities so the man would know exactly what was going on with the interior of his ship and it's systems

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

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So…it was planned then, it was a simple maneuver, perhaps by one of the greatest minds produced by the Federation, Atreus Eturrer. The empty frigate didn’t come as a surprise to Aronimus, who realized it was all a ploy from the very start. It began with the onset of the pirate frigates chasing the two Altamus vessels directly in the way of the Salient’s projected course.

“Captain, I don’t know if you’re aware, but the Commander has been trying to reach you for the past half hour and a half. I don’t know whether or not your channels were jammed, but I’ll bring you up to speed on the situation outside…” Aronimus paused.

“A fleet of hostile pirates have formed directly several hundred kilometers away from the frigate you are on. You can guess where I’m getting at” Aronimus knew the Captain would catch on very quickly and would realize that the two lifeless hulks were part of the nefarious scheme.

“You should hold off on returning back to the Salient. Your transport may receive direct fire from the hostile ships. Hunker down in the ship, and sit tight gentlemen.” Aronimus was about to close the channel until after the battle was over; if he was alive to turn it back on though, but he stopped.

“Captain, I must inquire if you brought any sort of datapad with you, because if you did, I need you to activate it now,” Aronimus turned to T.A.U. as he appeared in mellow simmering flames.

“Tau, I need you to manage the Salient’s weapon systems,” as he said this he pressed some more keys on the haptic interface appearing over his left shoulder, activating A.D.A.M.’s presence.

The miniature sapphire hologram, bearing the likeness of an android, came into being on the ringed projector. Most A.I.s usually acquired the physical aspects of a brain that they were molded from as a result of Cognitive Impression. The A.I.s assumed the personality and the characteristics of deceased beings, from which brains are taken. T.A.U. for one was generated from the brain of a long deceased A.I. theory professor. They programmed him, however, with advanced militaristic routines that altered his purpose from a simple ship A.I. to a specialized field tactician A.I.

A.D.A.M. was different in that he was generated without relying on Cognitive Impression methods, but rather through a complex matrix of sub routines. Being the first A.I. contrived through this method, they attached the A.I. to the Salient as a means of testing its performance. If A.D.A.M. successfully completed his duties, it may mean a breakthrough for the matrix method, but only time would tell.

“Adam, I need you to speak with the unidentified A.I. He has a plan to infiltrate the hostile pirate ships via their transmission channels; do you think this is possible?”

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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau nodded to the Admirals Orders and began accessing the weapons systems of the Salient, preparing for battle. Overhearing the next bit of orders, those for Adam, Tau's projection shook its head. "Sir, the new AI may not be comfortable with Adam being along with him. He has developed the emotion of fear, connecting it to Adam." he said, from as neutral a position as possible. "It may be best if I am at least partially there, to reassure Max that Adam is on the same team as him." he said. Tau noted that this would end up being the first time the three AI's would be in one place together, without humans nearby, it would be interesting to observe the interactions between himself and his fellow programs.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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Jon
"We're probably being slightly jammed, the channels seemed to eerily quiet for otherwise," Jon answered. "As it so happened we did bring a data pad over, figured the damn AIs could handle the wetware better over than we could in trying to bring things back." He paused at the mention of a small fleet assembling just beyond the ship, "Sir, we won't leave anytime soon but I might be able to reach the ship with what air I have left if there's trouble on board. Otherwise give me an opening to an enemy ship and I'll tear it apart from the inside."

A.D.A.M.
ADAM shimmered into view at the summons and let TAU give its answers, "It's possible to send Max over and allow it to run the hostile fleet haywire if they can support an on-board AI." A series of numbers pulsed across his form as he did a quick parameter check, "At the very least the experience will be uncomfortable for our third and I will be in need of TAU to keep things synchronized. During the time we run this there is a very strong possibility that the ship will have to function without an AI, another strong possibility is permanent damage to the Salient's AI mainframe, a lesser possibility is a short in the power grid due to the increased need of our combined processing power."

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

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"Sir, the new AI may not be comfortable with Adam being along with him. He has developed the emotion of fear, connecting it to Adam.” T.A.U. paused in a nonchalant manner.

Fear? Aronimus was slightly startled by the mention of an A.I. having an emotion. He dismissed it as T.A.U. continued speaking.

“It may be best if I am at least partially there; to reassure Max that Adam is on the same team as him."

“Perhaps Tau, perhaps,” Aronimus still kept an eye on the encroaching fleet. Its numbers were slowly swelling as the larger ships came around the planet.

This time the channel to Captain Dunaway activated. "Sir, we won't leave anytime soon, but I might be able to reach the ship with what air I have left if there's trouble on board. Otherwise give me an opening to an enemy ship and I'll tear it apart from the inside."

“No that won’t be necessary Captain,” Aronimus had another plan of tearing the ship from the inside.

“Bring that datapad to the bridge of the ship, and await my instructions Captain,” Aronimus closed the channel for the time being and returned his attention to the A.I.s standing on his console, a result of the holographic projectors. A.D.A.M. was calculating the necessary power for the proposed undertaking of hacking the enemy’s systems.

“At the very least the experience will be uncomfortable for our third and I will be in need of T.A.U. to keep things synchronized. During the time we run this there is a very strong possibility that the ship will have to function without an A.I., another strong possibility is permanent damage to the Salient's A.I. mainframe, a lesser possibility is a short in the power grid due to the increased need of our combined processing power,” Aronimus nodded at A.D.A.M.’s calculations, before standing up with his arms crossed behind him.

He realized that the ship would be left open without a capable processor to manage the Salient’s multiple armaments and defensive systems. It would be best to leave A.D.A.M. behind to maintain the battlecruiser’s systems, while T.A.U. and the third A.I. attempted to infiltrate the hostile ships.

“Very well then, A.D.A.M. you’ll stay back and manage the ship, while T.A.U., you and the third A.I. hack their ships. Insert yourself through the communication channel directly to Captain Dunaway, there should be a datapad activated from which you can jump to. He’ll arrive in the bridge, and from there you can hack the bridge’s communications and try to get yourself in through their comm. channels. Understood?”

The setting changes from Bridge to F.S.S. Salient

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The armada of brigands was now in full view before the plexi glass viewports of the Salient’s bridge. Although most of the crew was at their stations, each person stole a mere glimpse at the storm that would come upon them. By the conduct of war, an outnumbered force should be given the option of surrender. Despite the fact that Silver Eyes was a former Federation Admiral, he was a pirate now, and whether or not he chose to abide by those laws did not matter for he wasn’t a lawful combatant under the articles of war.

Silver Eyes wouldn’t have asked the Salient to surrender, and its executive officer, Aronimus, wouldn’t have surrendered. The fleet eyed the single Federation ship with impunity, before the lighter craft increased their traveling speeds. They began to swoop in bunches towards the Salient, all the while their larger brethren began to converge upon the single ship.

Aronimus stood by the railings that separated the Captain’s platform, which was slightly elevated before the rest of the bridge, standing out prominently. It allowed ship Captains to direct and oversee personnel from that perched position. His posture, remained ramrod erect, unflinching, and void of fear.

Aronimus rotated his head to face his desk, as A.D.A.M. remained present on the holographic projector. The A.I. itself was observing the fleet, all the while running multitudes of calculations inside the ship’s datastream.

“Adam,” the Admiral said.

“Prepare the ion blasters,” Aronimus curved his view back to the squadrons of fighter ships coming in bound.

He decided to let A.D.A.M. handle the point-defense systems rather than let the Salient’s own fighter complement go toe to toe against the more numerous enemy. The blasters were sheathed behind metallic plating that slid apart to reveal the many little cannons. These armaments could wipe out most of the incoming fighters with A.D.A.M. guiding their trajectories, he would not waste a drop of the ship's energy. This would allow the Admiral to utilize his fighter pilots at peak efficiency when the right moment came to send his wings out to hammer the enemy.

And so they came. The pirate fighters began to glide seamlessly, despite their ragged look compared to the sleeker and newer Federation fighters. Twin blasters from beneath their wings jetted little beams of energy at the Salient’s outer plating.

Aronimus decided to hold off on firing the ion cannons until the bulk of the fighters began to swirl around the Salient. They weaved in and out beneath and above the Salient, attacking whatever they could to damage the ship. They did not realize that the neo-steel plating of the Salient accepted these hits with ease. No damage was shown where damage was done.

Inside the bridge, and perhaps the rest of the ship, the crew did not feel a thing. They only heard little echoes pervading the thick plating every now and then. The bridge crew knew it was the pirate fighters; the majority of the ship did not however. Perhaps a few engineers and technicians working in the hangars saw the pirates swoop past the particle fielding that blocked out vacuum, or a few crew members were at the observation decks staring at the stars, only to have their view cut in half by a gliding ship.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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The storied Admiral occupied his chair on the bridge, sitting straight backed, fingers steepled before his face and staring at all of the readouts available to him. There were many, but most of his attention was not on the streams of data. He was taking stock of the situation, thinking of all of the issues and who was to be doing what job... A daunting task.

Immediately before him were gathered the people who had little work to be doing. Except for Hansen and Napier. Comms links were always live.
Atomsk Dunaway was still coordinating the Alpha team aboard the pirate frigate.
Alpha team was patching through two of the resident AI's to hack into the pirates' ship computers.
The pirates were laying down light and medium arms fire to his ship's hull. The damages were superficial, but present.
The one who called the pirates was out of commission, and to be interrogated by Alice Chen upon awakening.
The able bodied crew members were preparing for battle, but the Admiral was not about to send fighters into the veritable shitstorm outside the hull.
Bravo team had returned, along with a prisoner from the pirates.
Another prisoner was still aboard the other frigate... Perhaps that explained why it hadn't exploded yet.

The ship is in peril, and the larger ships hauling larger armaments are fast approaching. The smaller ships have long since outpaced them, and gather whirling around the Salient sending round after round glancing off of the hull. Naturally there isn't enough room for all of the ships to be flying around the Salient- many maintain their distance. At this point, waiting for them to come closer in range does no good.

It is time to fight back, and step one is to clear out all of the ships firing at the Salient.
Admiral Weston summoned A.D.A.M. once more.

"A.D.A.M. ... Destroy all ships within range."

At his word, Thick neo-steel panels shifted across the ship's hull. Ninety-six assorted ion canons and rail guns took aim from their sheathes.

With each shot, ninety-six ships exploded until none were within range of certain destruction. At a certain (and very distant) range, fighters could evade the weapon fire. The cruisers were not so lucky, however. They couldn't evade any of the weapon fire. They had to sit there and take it.

Within sixty seconds, the battlefield had transformed. From a swirling mass of fighters gathered around one federation ship, a swirling mass of debris filled the local space. Hundreds of ships had been wasted by weapon fire. Now, all parties had a temporary reprieve from enemy weapons- the floating debris would intercept most gunfire. Heavy weapons could plow through the debris, but aim would be uncertain at best due to obstruction by lost fuel, radiation, and floating metal.

Aronimus watched all of this, a stoic expression on his face. There was nothing particularly pleasant about massive loss of life, but it did feel good to be the commander of a ship that packed this much punch. For just a little while, there was silence on the battlefield, on all the radios, and etched into the mind of everyone who witnessed the counterattack.

But the battle was far from over. All of the larger ships still remained (as well as some smaller ships who escaped by virtue of not being in range), and now they had seen what the Salient was capable of. The ball was in Silver Eyes' court.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral sat back and watched the destruction unfold, his fingers steepled before his face.

ADAM did his job well- Not a shot was missed. Not until the debris was so heavy that the canons would not reach the enemy did ADAM fail to wipe out a ship. But now there arose the problem... They could not shoot the enemy. It was a tough call. Deploy the fighters or not? To deploy the fighters would throw them into the most dangerous debris field they would be likely to face in their career. Only the best pilots would manage to get through it all unscathed, and then on top of that they would have to begin fighting the enemy in that field. But if he didn't deploy the fighters, the Salient's fighting capacity would be reduced to the main canon, which was the only armament on the ship that could plow through all of the debris and still do any decent kind of damage.

"ADAM, patch me through to the engineering department. I need to know the status on the main cannon." The requested window appeared before him, and to his mild surprise he saw a fully armed marine on the other end.

"Adriana Stark reporting. What do you need, Admiral?" Stark's reply was distorted by the suit, but it was clear now why a marine was down in that corner of the ship.

"A status on the particle canon."

Stark hesitated and looked back at the control panels. She turned back and spoke up a few seconds later. "It's... rattled from its previous use. I can have it ready to fire soon... hopefully. I'll let you know when we can attack."

"Thank you Corporal, that will be all." The admiral closed the com link and thought for a moment. There was no main armament... If he was to maintain the offensive in the battle, he would have to send out the pilots. Lucky for him, the pilots were confirming their readiness for combat at that very moment. Surprising, seeing as many of the pilots were drunk and unfit to operate heavy machinery.

Admiral Weston sent his voice through the intercom. "Those pilots able and willing to fly, you are clear to do so. You are to keep all enemy ships out of the debris field; it is to be our shield from the enemy."

He then looked towards the front of the bridge. "Navigator Summer, plot all the launching pilots paths through the debris so that they may patrol the field without crashing."

The navigator gave a quick "Yes sir," and began typing away at his terminal. "Opening hangar doors. Pilots Peyton, Davidson, Cooper, and Jones have confirmed launch. FTL drives at 10% charge. The enemy is not entering the debris field... They seem to be gathering near the Altamus vessels. Course plotting near--"

"The WHAT IS AT TEN PERCENT!?" Aronimus thundered from his chair.

The navigator stopped typing. "The Faster-Than-Light drives, sir." He looked back at the admiral, his confusion evident. "Were we not escaping?"

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“Repeat Navigator! What did you just say was at ten percent?” Aronimus’s eyebrows were extended sharply upwards.

His visage left Clyde trembling and rummaging for his interface screen, which promptly held the readouts for the faster than light engines. The system was activated at ten percent capacity and steadily rising.

“The…uh…the..” Clyde fumbled a bit, “faster than light drives were activated and are at ten percent activation…sir,” from what he could glean off of Aronimus’s face, he knew that the activation had not been apparent to the Admiral, probably because he had not given the authorization to activate it. It all made sense now, seeing as how the fighter pilots were still on their patrol missions, the Admiral couldn't possibly leave them behind.

“Check again Navigator,” Aronimus calmly told him, though his voice was seething on the edge of a roar.

The young officer went again and began retyping through his systems, even though he knew it was pointless; he decided to give it an effort. All the while remaining plugged into the system’s data streams, he could not find any anomalous readings.

“I have not given permission to anyone, not even Lieutenant Commander Chen, to activate the faster than light drives, deactivate it Navigator.”

“I understand Admiral,” Clyde responded with his view still directed at the holographic screen. The data coming in through his eyes were numerous, but it paled in comparison to the vigintillion tiny microbits of data that swam in schools through the small conduits of the Salient’s internal mainframe of which he was logged into. He decided to de-activate the engines manually through his terminal screen. However, an error message popped up.

The window stated with the express message,

“Unable to deactivate Mirabuki-Goddard Class Five FTL Suspension drives.”

“Is there a problem Mr. Summer?” the Admiral leaned against the railings slightly anxious.

Clyde’s left eyebrow shot up as he glanced at it with a perplexed expression, but he simply shook his head and dismissed it. He decided he would have to try a different route, accessing the internal systems, and actually turn it off…”manually.”

He bolted past the many corridors of the internal systems, and finally reached the FTL drives’ computers. However, he was blocked by an invisible field, and after many reroutes, he still couldn’t penetrate the barrier. He looked to A.D.A.M., who was present as well in a digitized form. The pixels coursing through him, as they stood side by side inside the Salient’s mainframe. A.D.A.M. was observing the many strands of data that compiled the barrier. To no avail, though, did the matrix supercomputer find a dent within the barrier through which he could exploit and disable.

Clyde jolted out of the data stream, and turned to the admiral with an alarming visage.

“Admiral! There’s something blocking the de-activation!”

“What did you say?” the Admiral hounded him, left the platform and dismounted the steps to Clyde’s station.

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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ADAM
ADAM was pouring through data streams in an attempt to halt the FTL launch and quickly found he couldn't circumvent the order. So he focus on how deep the came from, maybe he'd come to some insight if he could find the origin. The answer was far from reassuring.

"Sir the FTL launch is embedded deep into the system, straight into the base program; it seems we're to boost to FTL and perform a full environment scan after we exit. It seems we have a contingent command to do a full Hyper jump if the scan doesn't yield some result also embedded in base code. I can't do anything to touch the order, in fact it seems I'm being locked out, I'll be functional until our FTL jump."

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Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: A.D.A.M Character Portrait: IRU-6K "LilleT"
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Compartment 12 rattled as the Salient was once again hit; even this storage section near the heavily armored engine rooms these strikes well deflected by the Ships armor had an effect. Like most of the storage sections Compartment 12 of section C was deserted and dimmed, humans rarely came to visit this reserve and thus the place had been left to gather dust; even the air was stale since the air cond itioning systems where out of action and the repair crew saw little reason to repair it.

Nothing was supposed to be here apart from cables and scrap but one thing was out of place.... an anomaly.
A strange Machine stood near piled boxes of cable,here it stood still and derelict but it was special in one way; it was not supposed to be there at all.

The machine lay still, its processors silent its computer bank only operating a number of sensors waiting for some unknown trigger; its time had finally come

~Awaken~ the voice echoed in the room; all seemed the same, nothing changed and in the next few seconds a deafening silence ruled the never ending night in the salients storage sections.

.L... ..... ...... ........ ......... ..........0 ...........1 .................1........0.....0...1...0...0..1010.1010..[
10100010100101001010001010111001010101010001001010100.....L......010001001001000100001001000010010101000100100101001010011010100 {ERROR] 10010.......{ERROR)11001010110101..... {ERROR}......10010100101001010001....0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 {CRITICAL ERROR] administrator active..... logging in.... profile LITTLETINKER [SYSTEM REBOOT]

~Awaken~

............. loading systems...... activating processors...... activating main computer bank...... automated repair system engaged.....scanning..... scanning complete.... repairing..... all systems operational..... Artificial intelligence capacity activated.... loading personality IRU-6K.....{ERROR!} system overwrite LillyT security network.... personality loaded..... final activation sequence completed.... transferring control to Systems AI.... Administrator logging off.... {ERROR!} administrator Unknown.

IRU 6 activated his external visual sensors, his surroundings where strange yet as IRU scanned the room he soon realized he had been programmed with all relevant information to his situation. IRU soon identified the controls to the door and left the chamber, his wheels required maintenance but he found no serious fault preventing his transit. Why was he activated? his Datacore gave no answers and no activation code had been provided to his systems. as IRU entered the engines section his frustration with his lack of knowledge grew, IRU approached the near by terminal and examined it; the terminal was one which controlled the environmental systems but IRU noticed strange patterns in its programming.... it was connected to multiple unrelated platforms as if multiple computer programs where making use of it. IRU connected himself to the terminal and slowly examined information stored within it when suddenly IRU's memorybanks activated and rocked all his systems into full capacity.

As a strange surge worked from his systems into the ships network IRU found himself scanning information at speeds his systems where not meant to be capable of and before long IRU began to grow delirious with the process. before initiating an emergency reboot IRU's systems sent a coded data burst transmission but IRU could not tell where the transmission was intended for.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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ADAM
ADAM's hologram began flickering and distorting, "Sir it would appear that I am being assaulted from an area that AI require human approval to interface with. It goes without saying such areas would have either a lot of movable machinery or in vicinity of key systems of the ship; the most common examples being the Docking Bay or Life Support respectively." ADAM felt its processes slowing down, like it was slowly being fried.

"Perhaps a withdrawal of.....ground forces may be effective after all. -e have th F-TL o consider after...all. -At and they are sit ing ducks out there." ADAM's processes weren't so bad as its voice was showing but it effectively killed any ability of communication from his side.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to Bridge

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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“Sir I don’t know what’s going on there, but I’ve tried everything. There seems to be something blocking our access points to the FTL drives,” Clyde was typing away on his interface, the haptic interface keys beeping as he went on.

Clyde was sitting in a tripartite station with two younger crew officers, inexperienced no doubt. Their duties were one and the same though, managing the Salient’s course and its sub-hyperdrives and faster than light drives, of course the majority of their job was being monitored by A.D.A.M. most of the time. A.D.A.M. would often manage the little details. Should the Salient ever veer off the course by a mere few degrees, and it would be automatically corrected by A.D.A.M.’s processing. No one could argue with his pinpoint accuracy, of course, Clyde was one to challenge.

“And what would that something be, Mr. Summer?” the Admiral crossed his arms, with his right hand raised to rub his stubble as he pondered possible methods.

“No sir, I’ve tried everything. It’s possible that the infiltrator may be uploaded a program into our system,” Clyde gestured to the Admiral, prompting him to view the screen.

“Delete it then,”

“Negative sir, it’s not that simple. Whatever she may have uploaded seems to counter A.D.A.M.’s capabilities,” Clyde waited for it sink in. Aronimus reared his head back to his straight posture.

“So you’re saying that the drives will activate nonetheless?” Aronimus narrowed his eyes at the navigator.

“It would seem so sir,” Clyde and the Admiral paused.

“Would it be possible for you to delay it, Mr. Summer?” Clyde looked at the Admiral with a puzzled look, then he returned to his interface and began typing away vigorously.

Time seemed to stand still for a moment as the Navigator was lost in his work, while the two junior officers watched him and the Admiral overlooking his shoulder. Then he jolted, startling the officers, and he looked at the Admiral with a solemn demeanor, stoic like stone.

“Sir I’ve delayed the FTL drive systems, and I’ve also set the intended destination the Arcturus System,”

The Admiral gave him a firm nod of approval, “Very good Mr. Summer,” before he returned to his station at the raised captain’s deck.

“Sir, may I ask why you wanted to delay the FTL drives?”

“It’s a surprise Mr. Summer,” the manner which the Admiral delivered those words threw off the young navigator. He said it without a twinge of emotion, like a man resigned to fate.

Of course, this was the man, the myth, and the legend, who was praised by echelons of Federation servicemen and women who served directly under and above him, and personally witnessed his military triumphs. Fate did not weave his strands, he wove the strands himself, locking the stones in their respective holes in the road. Something was amiss, the Navigator could sense it. The two officers, Napier and Hansen, who had served personally with the Admiral, knew that the old dog had something up his sleeve.

The setting changes from Bridge to F.S.S. Salient

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The light cruisers immediately fired a line of autocannons directly at the Salient. After the initial bombardments, Silver Eyes noted that the ship was barely damaged, and thus launched all his ships forward. The pirate lords commanding the different sections of his armada were beginning to think he had gone mad, with power.

The frigates inched forward, while the rear destroyers laid down suppression fire to cover their advance. They were hoping to surround the Salient, and perhaps destroy it from all directions.

However, the Salient withstood their attacks, and replied with its own arsenal of weaponry. The rail guns were fired, tearing a single frigate in half with two blasts to its mid-section. The lifeless hulk joined the rest of the scattered junk that littered the battlefield in space.

Another destroyer attempted to get fancy by circling around to the Salient’s rear and firing upon it with missiles. Unfortunately, those hits were deflected due to the tile shielding, which was a prototype. Despite this, the ship itself was built to foster the right experimentation conditions with its main particle cannon, the tile shielding, and finally the on board A.I. known as A.D.A.M.

The Admiral had resumed his seat at his podium in the rear of the Salient’s bridge. His screen was entirely conquered by the status of the FTL drives, which were currently at forty-two percent, once they reached one hundred, the ship would make a slip jump, with the aid of the sub-hyperspace drives, to the Arcturus System, reaching their destination before the intended date of arrival. It was either that, or suffer from damaged FTL drives, in which case the Salient would be left a sitting duck for the pirates to fire at, and board.

Everyone sat at their stations, generally calm, the fireworks outside had not done much damage, although several points had received extensive hits to the exoskeleton, but nothing serious yet. The bridge was in a state of unnerving calm, as few crew members shuffled back and forth between their stations, all the while monitoring the battle from their interface screens, or directly through the giant plexi-glass view port that was at the fore end of the ship.

However, the crew also noted that several destroyers crashed into each other, perhaps accidentally, damaging their outer plating. It was the work of Max and T.A.U. on the pirate fleet.

"Any word from the two A.I.s yet, Navigator Summer?" lines of apprehension began to entrench themselves on Aronimus' chiseled complexion.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Reterec Smithy Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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(Sorry. Busy day working, and I fell asleep Mid writing post somehow xD)

Reterec:

Reterec launched the escape ship, and was headed back ot the Salient. THough, really the pilot was doing it. ANd it was actually a Boarding ship. BUt thats besides the point. He went towards the Salient, and the pilot broadcasted them message they were coming aboard to A.D.A.M..

Max:

Max quickly dispersed himself and re-emrged form the attack. He then sent a ton of spammail at every consol before anything started blowing up, and then began going back to the Salient. However, with all of the A.I. FIghting, he found it difficult. HOwever, he found another ship he could use to help bridge to the Salient. A Boarding ship.

Reterec:

The Pilot then got an alert. "We have some sort of Data Stream comming through the system. ITs froadcasting a message to us....it says "friends"? That's odd.... Reterec then said "We can straiten it out at the Salient, just get us on board...."

And the ship approached the bay, preparing to land.

Max:

ANd Max was back in the ship as well. "So, TAU, any idea what to do now?"

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Jon
Jon finally got in range for his suit broadcast to the Salient, "This is Captain Dunaway from Alpha team, we boarded the enemy vessel and found it clear. I then installed the booster into the ship for AI activity, but afterwards things got weird sir. Communications just cut, nothing worked and I couldn't get in contact on any channels, IFF, radar, thermal- nothing worked. With that I did a sweep of the ship and it was still empty so I was forced to return via the suit." As Jon continued his report he began sweeping around the ship to get into the docking bay. " For lack of a better explanation after personal inspection I'm sorry to report Alpha Team is MIA." He wasn't amused, of all the jobs he'd done this one was by far the most sketchy and would definitely sully his record.

ADAM
After he'd lost holographic ability, ADAM did something of a reboot on himself and was just coming around again as Captain Dunaway began his report. Upon its conclusion, he flicked his hologram back on at his usual terminal, "I can confirm the near total loss of communication in the Captain's story and sensors did pick up some irregular activity in his area." He began forwarding what information he could to the Admirals console, only the bridge could hear his announcement.

"But I must still profess to the entire situation being highly irregular, nothing from the read out points to something dangerous or capable or doing something like causing a team to vanish...but there's nothing indicating so much as even a deactivation of the other suit or members. I can confirm that at least in the case of Thaddeus Jackson that sudden disappearance did occur, though the cause is beyond me."

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Adriana

The area below decks where Adriana worked on the particle cannon was separated from the vacuum of space by a single layer of hull. Every little ping of an enemy shot echoed through the space. This is how Adriana knew the battle had ended: Everything grew silent but for her own breathing and her footsteps as she walked back and forth along the length of the ship checking for damage. She returned to the terminal.

"What's happening outside, ADAM?"

The blue face appeared, and his synthesized voice came across the speakers. "All fighting has ceased. The Salient is about to perform a slip-space jump, and there is no further purpose in the battle."

Adriana nodded and switched off the terminal. It was all over and the ship was still in working order. That was the good news. She was sure there would be bad, but nothing in particular that would be her inconvenience. At least, she hoped not.

Clyde

99%

Clyde steered the ship through the debris field, the ship canons blasting away obstruction. The enemy fleet cleared a path for the Salient's jump. They didn't want to be disintegrated by the jump any more than the Salients' crew did.

Clyde made the last minute checks- Was everything in working order? Not quite, but the ship would survive. Was everyone accounted for? A few fighter deaths, Thaddeus Jackson pronounced missing in action, everyone else returned. Except... Peter Davidson. Clyde took one look at his ship, drifting alone in space, and knew that it was not going to return.
There was a little blip on his screen. It was a text-only message, sent from an old radio. Sent from the dying ship.
Carry on Fighting, carry on crying, carry on smiling but for heaven's sake carry on living" - Unit Commander Peter Ray Davidson, deceased.

Clyde looked away as the ship exploded in a brilliant ball of energy, a small sun marking the death of a storied pilot.

What kind of launch was this? They had been in space hardly a day and already tragedy wracked the voyage. It did not bode well for the rest of the mission.

Clyde sighed and turned back to his terminal. The final stage of preparation for the the FTL jump came into affect automatically. The artificial gravity generator activated to its fullest potential, and froze everything on board the ship a split second before the jump occurred to protect it from the massive acceleration. Then the gravity shifted from null to a push opposite the acceleration, keeping everything from being crushed until the speed leveled out.

100%

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Near Themos V...

"Very well Admiral, we can handle it from here," Attalon Soters replied to the transparent viewing screen that hung over the ship's fore end viewport.

"Soters out," He then closed the screen and returned to viewing his crew from the commander's seat at the very center of the bridge like a hawk.

The Commander remained alert, sitting upright and leaning forward in his seat, with every ounce of interest and concentration poured directly into the feeds before him and the viewport directly beyond him.

"Alright boys and girls, this is it! Lock and load your weapons and be ready to hit them," Commander Attalon Soters addressed his combat crews through the channels.

Soters was a relatively young officer in the Federation Navy, but he was very dedicated nonetheless. This was the reason why he was leading two full Federation battle groups, Tango and Whiskey, composed of some eighty warships as they exited a slipstream hole near the gas giant of Themos V. His fleet was in a nearby sector as Admiral Aronimus Weston gave word that he had been ambushed by the infamous pirate, Silver Eyes.

Contingency CA: Catastrophic Aversion, was a beacon that had been activated by the Salient's central A.I. It was a rallying call for any nearby Federation units to arrive on scene to aid the Salient. However, Soters quickly received word that the Salient was forced to make a jump after receiving heavy fire and commencing an irreversible slipspace leap. In its current state, it was a planned ambush, which succeeded accordingly to Aronimus's whims.

Soters's fleet was immediately met by a large field of scattered debris that consisted of lifeless hulks ranging in various sizes. Some were the shells of large ships such as cruisers, others were merely bits of what were once fighters.

Soters's battle groups flanked Silver Eyes's fleet and instantly began unleashing an unrelenting torrent of rail gun fire, and compounded with a barrage of missiles, all of which was concentrated on one ship at a time.

The beams and missiles sliced through Silver Eyes's forward line of destroyers and frigates, adding to the field of debris an innumerable amount of metallic hulks that were ripped apart.

Wings of Federation fighters doggedly skimmed in and out between Silver Eyes's formation, which by now began to break apart as ships broke rank to flee. The fighters attacked like wolf packs, immediately pouncing on lighter ships like piranhas.

Soters commanded his destroyers forward, while his cruisers laid down a line of suppression fire against Silver Eyes's retreating ships.

To compound the matter, a second fleet of corporate vessels exited slipstream on the opposite flank of Soters's battle groups. It was a fleet centered around a single carrier, the Queen Gertrude, which belonged to the Altamus Corporation's private security forces. The carrier remained the center of a fleet of some twenty destroyer vessels pulled from various Altamus outposts to escort the two freighters to their original destination.

This small squadron was deployed after receiving a distress signal directly from the merchant freighter, the Summerwind.

"Dirty Gertie's here boys!" the chatter on the communication channels between the Altamus vessels fired off.

"It's about damn time! We were scared as shit trying to hide from those guys 'cause they were tryin' to frost us." Cronos spit his cigar out and jumped from his seat.

"Neva' fear honneh', Dirty Gertie's here!"

These channels were immediately linked to the Federation battle groups' combat network, as the corporate vessels joined the fray.

"The Altamus Corporation gives thanks to the Federation Navy for defending our asses, or assets so to speak." spoke the voice of an older and vivacious woman at the helm.

"No problem, as long as you help us take them out." Soters referred to the pirates in a solemn demeanor as his hawkish features were brought down upon the screen.

"Sure thing! We're just doing our civic duty. Queen Gertrude, out."

The Queen Gertrude was a hornet's nest, and the hornets immediately zipped from the multiple hangar exits and swarmed the rear of Silver Eyes's formations while bolstering the Federation wings. The Alta-Corp destroyers began to lay down fire along with the Federation warships as they both pushed forward, continuing the chase after Silver Eyes's fleet or whatever remained of it after the first wave. Silver Eyes for his part, was not present at the battle to witness the events that transpired.