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Nebula's Dawn: F.S.S. Salient

Bridge

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a part of Nebula's Dawn: F.S.S. Salient, by VindicatedPurpose.

The central command network of the ship, maintaining direction, engines, and weapon systems. Computer terminals and data receptors are scattered throughout the bridge.

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over Bridge, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Heads Up: Completed Storyline!

This universe is marked as COMPLETED, indicating that no further changes will be accepted.

Setting

The Bridge of the Salient is decked with the latest in Federation technology, with state of the art navigation systems, scanners, to high end data receptors and computers.
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Bridge

The central command network of the ship, maintaining direction, engines, and weapon systems. Computer terminals and data receptors are scattered throughout the bridge.

Minimap

Bridge is a part of F.S.S. Salient.

4 Characters Here

Alice Chen [12] Just because I am a woman does not mean you do not have to obey.
Sheldon A. Willmont [3] "I'm the guy in this picture of the ship, in the back there. You know, the guy over by the screens. No, not that one, the other one. The one on the left, yeah, the one who looks like he knows what he's doing."
Miranda Peters [2] Hey, call me Ronin

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Eli Colter

Earnings

0.00 INK

Prologue:

Date: June 14, 2093 S.C.J. (Solar Cycle Jupiter)

The Federation star ship known as the Salient had departed Rust City approximately two weeks ago. The man at the helm was none other than Admiral Aronimus Weston. The old admiral no longer had fleets at his command, for he relinquished such power near the end of his career in the Federation Navy. He chose to command a single ship, the last of its model. To him, the Salient was his mirror, they were both nearing the end. Aronimus's distinguished career was displayed prominently on the front of his standard Federation service dress grey. From ribbons to medallions, no one could deny his ability nor his position.

Sharp rises were leveled out by crescendos that elevated to a zenith before the string of music slowly and softly drifted from his ears. Aronimus was listening to an old record which he wanted to play once more on the transparent tablet he held in front of him as he sat in his platform in the bridge. While he was listening, he had another transparent screen with text opened to his left. It was a data feed on recent Federation news. As he scrolled through the page, a screen rolled up and a female reporter with red hair began to speak.

"Yesterday at approximately 9:00 A:M Earth time, a bomb was detonated in Verlon City Center, on Avalon. The blast killed 97 people and injured another 300 others."
She continued speaking in a tense business tone.

"Federation Security and Peacekeepers are currently investigating the scene as engineering crews attempt to salvage the wreckage. No leads have been found regarding the origins of the explosive device."

"Relatives of the victims are mourning their loss."

Aronimus looked up to see a man in his early thirties, with a thin beard, fully suited in combat gear standing before in front of the holographic star map wall. The illumination of the star map wall was partially blocked by the contours and outlines of the man. He had a look of solemnity on his face while he held onto a transparent panel. It was a list of sorts, with names, pictures, and profiles.

"Captain Colter...what is it?"

Eli slid the panel onto Aronimus's metallic desk, relaxed his stance, balled his hands into a fist behind him, and awaited the skipper's inspection.

"These are the crew members?" Aronimus used his forefinger to scroll through the list of rejects, greenhorns, and fresh meat. Every time his finger came onto a name, a profile and picture would slide up. Aronimus reached a named listed as Gavin Merrickson. His left eye brow shifted upwards, and he looked up at Colter with a perplexed glance.

"It says here, he's male, but the image makes me think otherwise. Medic?"

"Yes sir." Colter responded with ease.

Aronimus then scrolled down some more until he reached what he saw was a familiar name.

"Alice Chen. Now there's a familiar name." He paused a bit as he looked over her profile. He nodded and then chuckled to himself. Then he looked back at Captain Colter who was standing at ease.

"She was merely a Lieutenant when I last saw her. I actually thought I was getting a ship full of inexperienced recruits."

"Well, sir...they may not be experienced but they're talented." Eli nearly grinned with that comment.

"Excellent point." Aronimus continued scrolling until he reached Jon Dunaway.

"Jon Dunaway, special operations, shock trooper, and perfect record..." Aronimus looked up at Eli with raised eyebrows.

"It says here he was slated to be the commander of this ship's Marine detachment. Now he's just a company commander, like you." Eli titled his head to his side slightly confused.

"The ground commander should be listed..."

"No, it's not on the roster."

"Should I ask command?"

"No that won't be necessary, they'll contact us." Aronimus returned the tablet to Eli and resumed his music session. This was a sign for Eli to return to his quarters to continue preparations.

"Oh and by the way Captain Colter..."

"Sir?" He turned and looked back at the Admiral.

"Be sure to make our guests feel welcomed, I am going to personally meet and brief them in the session later."

"Understood sir."

"Dismissed." Eli saluted the Admiral before he turned away and walked off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: James Grey Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen

Earnings

0.00 INK

"At ease Ms. Chen," Aronimus swiveled in his chair to face her. The admiral had a habit of addressing people in that manner; he wasn't the type to get into detail about ranks. He recognized her position in the bridge and on the ship, and he felt it was not necessary to call her Lieutenant Commander incessantly. Before she approached him, he was busy going through any new feeds from command. The chatter on the main channels were flooded, as it turns out another disruption in the circuit was reported. Insurgents had hijacked a party yacht with a well-known celebrity along with his acquaintances on board. Thankfully, a Tier One team managed to infiltrate and subdue them before their plans came to maturity. Unfortunately though, the hijackers committed suicide to prevent capture.

As of now, the Salient was currently on schedule, which was unexpected to the Admiral. He thought they would’ve been behind schedule, but even then it was his duty to make sure they made it to the Arcturus System exactly on the dot. He was thankful that he could trust his crew to pull their weight which would make his job a lot easier.

"So, what are your thoughts so far on the personnel, and the ship?" the admiral inquired. He didn't expect pleasing reviews, but he didn’t expect to hear negative ones either. In limbo, that was the sort of opinion he expected from Alice. Anything otherwise would amuse him.

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat

Earnings

0.00 INK

Chen surprised him with that, he had assumed she would be the up-tight kind that thought being a soldier meant being overly strict. Yet here she was fully willing to engage in idle prattle. Sure enough she had noticed he had gotten lost, no doubt due to how long it took him to reach the bridge.

"I may have misplaced myself once or twice." Ridley replied, scratching his chin. "As for what I want, I desire nothing more than to see this ship through it's journey." He said with an added hint of exaggeration. "It is my duty to wait on hand and foot for the Captain's every need. Or the Captain's fill-in's every need." He added with a smile and a bow. "Therefore, my business on the bridge is strictly business. At least until the Captain returns, or unless you have something that needs doing." He looked around at the bustling, yet quiet, activity of the bridge. He always preferred it here, there was less chance of being charged with some menial labour when you were in the administrative zone. "Of course, I'd be more than happy to test out the food in the mess hall, if that needs doing."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat

Earnings

0.00 INK

Ridley shook the hand with a smile; "Gotta admit, I admire a bit of levity." He released her hand and clasped his behind his back in a casual manner. Oddly enough it was a military posture, yet he'd always been quite comfortable with it. "I've had more or less a few CO's who got a bit on the power-trip side, liked to flex their authority muscles. Sure they had the right to, but it wasn't exactly a very efficient atmosphere." He glanced toward the bridge entrance to see if the Captain had returned yet before returning his gaze to Chen; "Certainly the Admiral isn't like that, right?" He took a few steps away from the chair to look out at the view as the Salient moved onward. "Admiral Weston... That's a pretty well-known name, though I've never met the legend himself." He turned to Chen; "I find it kind of odd that someone so powerful would give up so much for... this." He said, indicating the bridge; "Though I suppose I've no right to judge, maybe he prefers the quieter life of Captaincy than the hectic administration of commanding fleets." He returned to his position beside the chair; "You've met him already, am I right? Any personality quirks I should brace myself for?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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...

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat

Earnings

0.00 INK

Clyde

"Federation Vessel, this is Altamus Cooperation escort detail 973 requesting assistance. Moving to your location, possible hostile contact."

Clyde looked up as the communication link came over the speakers. There was no reason to do it- nobody sees anything by looking up. People just look at the source of the sound...

"Hostiles." He checked the ship scanners to pick out the locations of the ships nearby. "This is a cargo route... Duillium. We've got pirates. We'll be in range with the particle canon in a few minutes. Should we engage?" It wasn't Clyde's call. The frigate would be roasted at the drop of a hat if it was- but Alice was in the admiral's chair. He turned to look at her, a questioning look on his face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

Clyde leaned back in his chair. He was a soldier, right? He was supposed to fight, right? He was the navigator. Navigators don't fight... What could he do? The Salient probably wouldn't need to go anywhere for this. Evasive measures? Maybe if the pirate frigate was going to ram them. Clyde figured there was no need to ram them. What was there...

The ship's main canon. Nobody was even charging it up. Clyde looked up who was supposed to be running the particle canon. "Adriana Stark". He searched for her in the ship using all the cameras he was connected to. She was with the soldiers from Commander Dunaway's briefing, now scrambling to get to their posts. Well now, what good was that? She wasn't using the canon. Clyde accessed the main canon controls and began to charge the weapon. He would fire when the enemy was close enough that he wasn't going to miss. For the moment, a distant hum could be heard throughout most of the ship...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

Copy Salient, status is I'm falling apart at the seams. I’ve got a crippled pirate frigate 300 metres on my six. It’s got no eyes or main guns but still fucking my world up with small fire. Easy score for you, kid's party getting rained out for me. I'm running 30% past safe on my engine but don't want to slow until this ass-hole is scrapped. I'll need to dock with you Salient, I can’t make it back to Mars. How copy?

The frigates were running blind, and one was crippled, that was good for Aronimus, he could pick them off without relying on the particle cannon. The cannon wasn't even authorized, seeing as how the original mission was to investigate the Arcturus System. Engineers had approached Aronimus on the day he departed from Rust City saying that the weapon was a prototype and should be used as a last resort, a fact that did not sit well with an Admiral who was used to firing the main cannon.

Now, he had to worry about two other problems, the gunship and the swarm of smaller raider vessels that were chewing apart the freighters. The raiders have been proven to be undaunted in the face of federal naval power, they would charge at the larger Federation ships out of blind fury rather than sound strategy. Even then, the only sound strategy that was ever applied by the marauders was when they were on the prowl. As for the gunship, she was running on one leg, and still had a long way to go.

"Sir, if she wants to dock, she'll have to throttle down or do a spin around," petty officer Hansen stated with distress.

"That will be a negative Mr. Hansen, at the rate she's going she'll be blown to pieces by the pirates before she gets within meters of us," as the Admiral said this, the scanners began to mark several fighters departing from the Salient.

"Let her in, we'll cut the hostiles off with our fighters," Aronimus folded his arms behind him, analyzing the situation. Normally by now, A.D.A.M. would have flashed into presence signaling alternative plans, but he was busy elsewhere. The Admiral thought this would be fine, considering he needed to flex his strategic muscles every now and then.

Roger that, Ronin. Aye, yeh're clear for docking, try not to damage any ships on yeh way in, the Scotsman's terse voice was laced with comicality.

Salient, 973. Do you have contacts on your screen or are these false positives? If we got inbound I need clearance to land in one of your bays double quick. Ronin out.

She was right on the dot about that, and five were tailing her at higher speeds.

Ronin, this is Salient. There is an affirmative on contacts, you've got five hostiles on your tail, turn off communications systems and anything extra to save power.

That was the most Hansen could do to advise her, being a fighter pilot once, he knew comm systems and scanners took a significant amount of energy away from the pool that was reserved for a light craft's propulsion systems.

"Mr. Summer, activate the rail guns, and target the crippled frigate," as Aronimus said this, the limping frigate began to detach from its hunt and attempt to escape. This was unusual even to Aronimus, who was an experienced veteran, for he had never witnessed a pirate attempting to escape.

"Fire the cannon."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

"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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

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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?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

The enemy ships fired on the Salient, and Tau quickly acted, he launched the boosters on the bottom of the ship, pushing it upwards and out of the shot path, he then pitched the ship down slightly to give himself a better shot. The firing solution he had formed targeted the hottest sections of the enemy ship on thermal scanners, with hopes those areas were hot due to important systems activity, had a 47.4% chance of destroying the enemy vessel in one salvo, Tau liked those odds. "Firing Railguns on enemy ship" Tau announced, activating the firing mechanisms and watching his shots head towards the enemy ship. they hit their targeted areas almost spot on, lighting up the vessel with explosions at the impact points. Tau scanned the vessel, "It seems to be disabled, at least for now, its hull is stressed to dangerous levels" he reported, informing the Admiral of the results.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Eon-312

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The Admiral turned to Alice who looked as calm as the stillness of space. Her proposal merited some thought.

"Hmm, yes you should probably go down down there with security and medical personnel, let us hope that she or anyone else on her craft suffered injuries,"

He returned to T.A.U's report, both frigates were disabled now, the only hostiles remaining were the swarm of pirate fighter ships that were whipping in and around the hulls of their ships and firing back at the Federation fighters. However, after several minutes and several losses, the rest of the lighter craft began to withdraw, leaving their frigates behind for seizure. The original attack plan had failed and now they bailed. Aronimus was worried that they might have returned to base to report their losses and perhaps recuperate for an even larger attack. If that was the case, he'd have to call for support from any nearby Federation patrols. This would put them drastically behind schedule, considering that they had not activated FTL drives yet.

Eon had been standing in the corner, perhaps waiting for an order; it wasn’t until the Admiral turned away from viewing the situation that he noticed the android. A pentagonal badge with two wings protruding from the top corners welded onto Eon’s torso designated him as a multi-purpose machine. The identification tag located next to the badge was inscribed with the word “Eon," followed by a dash a three digit designation.

“You there, report to the engine room and check with the engineers immediately, see if you can’t make yourself useful,” the Admiral hoped to give the bot something to keep him busy rather than have him stand there like a useless automaton.

Then cheers erupted from the bridge crew as another pirate fighter's wings were clipped apart by the twin blasters of a Federation fighter. So far the Federation ships had successfully avoided casualties while delivering massive blows to the raiders.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway

Earnings

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Everyone in the bridge was standing, applause, cheers, fists struck the air, and most of all laughter. It had been awhile since the Admiral heard the outward expressions of joy pour forth from those who served under him. Perhaps it was because he had not commanded vessels in war zones for a certain period of time now. A warm feeling flowed within his heart as he smiled to fellow crew members, but he held that sensation in check though. There was more to be done, the two Altamus vessels were damaged and he couldn't let them rest among the debris while he continued on with his own objectives. He intended to question the crews and the captains regarding the appearance of the pirates. He hoped to record the information and send a report back to Command detailing the events that had transpired just now. Hopefully, they would send some escorts and repair ships to help the two corporate freighters finish the last leg of their original course.

A message then came in from Commander Dunaway, Aronimus assumed it regarded the two pirate vessels.

"Yes, Commander Dunaway, what is it?"

"Sir, I've deployed two teams to investigate the two pirate vessels, maybe they could find some valuable information left in the data banks, or from any remaining pirates that might have survived the initial salvos of our ship,"

"I understand Commander, carry on, I will await your findings," the Admiral closed off the communique.

"Sir, the Altamus vessels aren't responding...," Hansen reported to him, for the past five minutes while the dogfight was occurring, Hansen had tried to get a link to the two vessels. To no avail though, Aronimus had forgotten about that, as he was busy watching the display of Federation fighter superiority.

"Perhaps their comm links are down," the Admiral turned the communique with Commander Dunaway back on.

"Commander Dunaway, dispatch the teams on a follow up, the comm links of the Altamus vessels may be down,"

"You want them to check in on the crews of the freighters?"

"Correct."

"I understand."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway

Earnings

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"Lieutenant Commander Chen to Admiral Weston," the Admiral picked up the incoming call on a separate channel.

"Miss Peters has requested that we send a general hail out for Cronos aboard the Summerwind. Code words 'salvo fire, wins wars.' She has also asked that we send an encrypted message to one of the other transport squadrons for a replacement escort for the freighters. I am bringing Miss Peters to guest quarters now. She was the only one on board."

"I see," Aronimus paused before continuing.

"Do as you see fit Ms. Chen, Weston out," Aronimus turned to petty officer Hansen who was still celebrating with fellow personnel.

"Mr. Hansen relay this code on a secure link to the Summerwind, it's a hail for Cronos. 'Salvo fire, wins wars.'"

"Aye, Captain..." the Scotsman typed the words in. Hansen hadn't really served aboard a real ship before, but he was one of the few that were quickly getting to used to the ship. He could tell that the ship was getting used to him and his accent. He waited for several seconds as the system began to check for the authentication.

"Yeh're clear sir," Hansen reported as the tone for authentication rung from the system.

The Admiral nodded at Hansen and asked him to relay an encrypted transmission to the headquarters of Tartarus Group. Although Aronimus would've gotten word to Command for confirmation, perhaps they would have a different opinion as to who should escort the ships back to their departure location. He'd need to question those aboard the two vessels.

He activated another channel, one for Commander Dunaway.

"Commander Dunaway, cancel the follow up, we've got a clear channel to the Altamus vessels.

"I understand sir," the channel closed, Aronimus resumed his link with the corporate freighters.

Altamus vessel Summerwind, Summerwind, this is the Salient, what is your status? I repeat, what is your status?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

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#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau waited patiently for orders, scanning the enemy vessels, there were lifeforms on board, so Tau accessed the messaging system and sent an alert to the Drop ships to let them know there were confirmed crew alive on the ship, and that they would likely be hostile. He checked on the ship's defense and attack systems, realizing not a single shot had landed on the Salient, the larger ships were disabled and the fighters were distracted. Tau noted it as a complete success to this point. He addressed an order that have been scrapped earlier due to the battle. He turned to face the Navigation Officer, "Mr. Summer, the Admiral would like to see you in his officer after this, unless he has changed his mind, you can ask him, if you like"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston

Earnings

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Alta-Corp Vessel Summerwind, we read you Salient. We're undamaged but in need of an escort, which I'm getting covered as we speak; one of our carriers the Queen Gertrude. Our protocols keep comms clear during combat unless it's a trusted source, we weren't ignoring you. You just didn't have the magic word. Tell Ronin thanks for looking out and thanks to you guys for taking out the trash. We'll be underway as soon as our escort arrives if you can stick around until then. Summerwind, out.

The rest of the bridge crew resumed their previous activities as the field cleared of hostiles. The lumbering hull of the Salient slowly approached the two Altamus vessels, before finally stopping within reach of the two vessels.

Salient to Summerwind, we will remain behind until your vessel escorts have arrived, Aronimus paused.

The Admiral turned to one of his junior grade lieutenants, Francis Napier, who was attending his own systems. Napier was of mix descent, a majority of which was French, a recent graduate of the Naval Academy. He did not have a distinguished academic career during his time in the Academy, and was sent to serve on a small frigate. After two years time, he requested for a re-assignment, where the Department of the Navy reassigned him to the Salient, against his wishes. He wasn't exactly enthusiastic to be dragged to the far reaches of known space for obscure reasons. However, following the small victory enjoyed by the Salient over the pirates, he felt a bit of pride and excitement.

"Mr. Napier, can you do a scan on the two Altamus vessels to assess their damage?"

"Right away sir," Napier spoke with a hidden accent that even the Admiral could not distinguish from an accent-less voice.

Located in the underbelly of the Salient were multiple sensors and scanners, which then beamed directly at the two vessels. The beam bathed the two vessels in a thin field of particles. Once the reading was acquired, Napier began to read out the assessment.

"Well, both vessels still have their propulsion systems working, though the Centurion has one damaged drive, as well as extensive damage to the external hull. The Summerwind has damage, but not as severe. Your orders sir?"

The Admiral rubbed his beard, before coming up with an answer. He could send some of the Salient's repair drones, but those were strictly for federal vessels plus the Altamus vessels already had another escort en route to their location. Aronimus returned the link to the Altamus vessels.


I am inclined to inquire about the nature of your cargo. I want to know why the pirates went after you.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Eon-312

Earnings

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Aronimus turned to the enthusiastic android, who proposed that he help repair the corporate vessels. Although Aronimus knew that androids were well equipped for such duties, Eon wouldn't be enough, plus he didn't have authorization to send Eon to repair a private vessel. All personnel of Federation vessels would be delegated to duties on board Federation vessels not anywhere else.

"No that won't be necessary Eon," the Admiral returned to awaiting a response from the Summerwind.

"Mr. Hansen, you think you can find our friend here something to do?"

The Scotsman turned to the Admiral, he looked baffled, he didn't have the first idea as to what he could assign to the android. He scratched his head of unkempt red hair before coming up with a suitable duty.

"Eh? Why don't you go to the hangar, a damaged gunship should be docked in there. See if you can't help the engineers repair that," Hansen turned to his control panel and activated the internal communications systems.

"Any available engineers, report to the Alpha Hangar, we've got a damaged ship that needs repairs," Hansen turned off the communications and nodded to the android.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston

Earnings

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Salient Control, Rapier 338, hostiles are no-factor. Do you want me to maintain a patrol until the civies get their escort or head back to the barn?

"Rapier 338, this is Salient, the field is clear of hostiles, yeh might as well spin around and head back, Salient out." Hansen closed the channel, but not before they received a transmission coming from the Summerwind.

Salient this is Summerwind. First, thanks for sticking around. Second, to answer your inquiry an encrypted communique is being sent. Acknowledge receipt. Any follow up questions should be sent in the same way. Summerwind, out.

The Admiral turned to Hansen, who gave him a nod of approval after the encrypted message had arrived.

"Summerwind, this is Salient, we received your transmission. Salient, out." Aronimus turned once more to the petty officer who began to decode the encryption.

"Aye, Captain, they're carryin' Duilium as the cargo," the Admiral's eyes narrowed, now it made complete sense.

"700,000 tons of it sir! Aye, that be worth trillions on the market," Hansen was mystified at the quantity that was given.

"Calm down Mr. Hansen," Aronimus was similarly surprised as to why only two pirate frigates attempted to raid the freighters.

Normally, quantities that ranged over 250,000 tons would attract a larger contingent of pirate ships. Yet, there were only two frigates and around three dozen fighters to harass the vessels, granted that the escorts were only five gunships, but even then a cargo of this magnitude was enough to bankroll a small scale war effort. Marauders would be more than ready to swarm two freighters with a meager wing of escorts. Another oddity was the fact that the pirates had withdrawn so readily, leaving behind their two frigates. All of these details didn't seem to add up to Aronimus.

"Mr. Hansen keep your eye on the monitors in case any more hostiles show their faces,"

"Aye sir," Hansen saluted the Admiral.

"Tau, keep the weapon systems online as well," lines of worry began to appear on the Admiral's forehead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Gazimu
AI TAU

Tau nodded, "Yes Admiral, weapons systems are hot" he says, complying with orders. He checked in on the Hangar bay Cameras to inquire the condition of the fighters and gunships, "Shall I keep our pilots on standby for launch? Their ships don't seem too damaged" he asked. Having as many assets as they could pull would be good. The load they were defending could bring out quite a large group of Pirates. Tau checked on the Rail Guns, like the rest of the ship, they had taken no damage in the attack. They were being kept hot, but that could cause overheating, so Tau let the charges drop slightly to cool things down, but keep the ship ready to fire at a moments notice. Tau then checked in on the scans, looking for anything out there. "We seem to be in the clear so far" he notes aloud, to the bridge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

“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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

Navigator Summer arrived in the bridge alongside several technicians and co-pilots, assuming his seat by the galaxy map, his demeanor was unsteady, a result of acquired knowledge. At the mention of Silver Eyes, the Admiral’s face tightened. He tapped his fingers in a rhythmic pace on his seat’s arm rest. The interface screens surrounded his seat; the holographic displays were linked with a status on the ship’s engines and weapon systems.

Silver Eyes…was a pirate. It wasn’t actually his name, but rather a pseudonym. Not many people knew his real identity, only a select few in the Federation brass. On the record, his real name was Atreus Eturrer, a former Federation Vice Admiral. He had a distinguished record of service, but his change of allegiance at a focal point during the Titan Conflicts came as a surprise to many. As the two sections of the Federation fleet were linking, Eturrer went rogue for reasons unknown. The majority of the single section was obliterated, and the loss was counted as a fault of Eturrer, who was branded as a traitor.

He went off the grid, until he returned once more, raiding middle rim and fringe worlds. He went by the alias of Silver Eyes for a time being until an intelligence agent managed to infiltrate his chain of command, and discovered his true identity. Silver Eyes was known for his unparalleled ability in the field of naval warfare. Many small Federation squadrons had been ambushed, defeated, and even lost to the last man by him. The odds of the Salient surviving a direct confrontation on this scale with Silver Eyes were meager, the Admiral could tell even without A.D.A.M.'s calculations.

"You're dismissed for now Adam, but stay posted and continue monitoring the ship for any other suspicious activities," Aronimus returned to observing the data screens. Nothing occurred yet, but to assume that nothing was ever going to happen was a fatal mistake.

"Lieutenant Napier, are you getting anything?" The Admiral shifted his view to the JG, whose focus was divided between multiple screens.

Napier did not bother to turn around. "No sir, my readings show no anomalies.”

The Admiral angled his head in the direction of the Petty officer, both of their work spaces were situated next to each other, with a walkway dividing their consoles. The walkway led directly to the massive screens that received feeds from the Salient’s fore section cameras. This simulated a fore section port view. "Hansen?"

"Aye, nothing as well sir,” Hansen gripped his console, his eyes skimming back and forth.

"Stay on guard then," the Admiral left the crew members to their work. By now, several more crew members were coming in, as word passed around quickly. The room began to fill, not to the point where the Admiral could no longer keep track of people, but just enough to swell the activity in the bridge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

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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?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

“Yes Summerwind, this is Salient, we’ve spotted the pirates. I suggest you try to clear the area, they might still be after your Duillium cargo.”

Alright, understood. Summerwind out.

The Admiral would’ve walked down to the very fore end of the bridge, and observe the pirate fleet directly, but he much rather enjoyed his position on the Captain’s platform. Navigator Summer was typing away on his own screen, while petty officer Hansen and JG Napier were monitoring the pirate fleet. A beep alerted him of an incoming message, to which he strode over to his desk and pressed a key on the holographic interface.

The rectangular screens were light blue as a result of the holographic projector’s LED lights; they dispersed once the Admiral had pressed the key. A screen then came into full view, projecting Atomsk’s face before the Admiral’s.

“Admiral Weston,” the Commander paused briefly to allow the Admiral to acknowledge him with a response.

“Yes, Commander Dunaway what is it?”

“We’ve detained the infiltrator; she’s currently being guarded in the Barracks. She’s unconscious as a result of my stun pistol, but I ordered some medical personnel to give her a look. They said she’ll come out of it in half an hour.”

“Excellent work, Commander.” Aronimus would’ve smiled, but he felt it wasn’t prudent do so at such a time.

“Sir, may I ask for your permission to interrogate her?” Aronimus paused for a moment, rubbing his chin, before he responded.

“No, I want to let Lieutenant Commander Chen interrogate the prisoner. Her experience on board the Nottingham may prove useful in extracting information from the infiltrator.”

“I understand sir,” Aronimus was expecting Atomsk to close the comm, “I also have some more news...” Atomsk’s face suddenly turned grave.

“Go on.” The Admiral decided to take a seat upon seeing his face.

“We had several casualties…” Atomsk paused, he would’ve grabbed a cigarette, but it was against protocol to do so before the Admiral. Even if Atomsk had no regard for rules, he still respected Aronimus, admired him even, to follow protocol, at least in his presence.

Aronimus responded with a face that darkened in expression, his features seemed to be crushed beneath the weight of his eyebrows as they dug in.

“One of my Marines, and two Naval crew personnel were killed along the generator corridors by the infiltrator.” The Admiral rubbed both his temples with a single hand for a moment, before returning to the conference.

“I also have reason to suspect that the infiltrator sabotaged some of our generators. One of our turbines in generator room F was working out of sync with the others, blinking and flickering at will. I called some engineers down; they should be checking the system out now. Just to be safe, I also asked them to give a look at the main generator. Hopefully she didn’t damage our trans-light drives.”

“Very well, Commander. I must commend you on your celerity of action. Is there anything else?”

"No sir." Atomsk replied solemnly.

"Alright then. Admiral Weston out." The Admiral pressed a key on the holographic haptic interface, cutting the channel. He then returned to his post by the railings, overseeing the crew and observing the movements of the hostile fleet.

As of now the larger ships, the frigates, and destroyers, began to move closer. They launched their early salvos at the Salient, which did little to no damage at all, similar to the attempts of their fighter craft earlier. Their fighters were still zooming in and around the Salient trying to prick away at the double reinforced hull of the advanced warship. Unlike the fighter craft, the salvos of the larger ships however, shook the Salient. This automatically activated the klaxons. JG Napier voiced over the comm as the blaring red lights shone and fade throughout the corridors and passageways.

This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill.

"That should wake them up..." Aronimus thought to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M

Earnings

0.00 INK

“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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

Clyde

Clyde's hands flew over his keyboard. Most of his work wasn't technically being done with his hands- his virtual apparition inside the network was doing far more. He was actively plotting smaller ship courses through the drifting debris- a work that needed to be done with the perspective of the ships in question, not just the Salient's sensors- as well as trying to fix the FTL problem.

The FTL problem... The intruder had uploaded programming directly into the engine room. Clyde had seen as much. But that alone was nothing to the technological giants that inhabited the ship. The real problem was that she had shot the engines. No amount of software can repair hardware damage. The damage had locked the commands put in by the intruder in place, and nothing short of turning the ship off could stop them from being completed. Not that turning them off was a solution- even if someone were to forcibly shut down the ship systems, the engines would continue to generate energy until it could no longer be contained.

The sheer genius inside the sabotage led Clyde to question whether or not the intruder had actually done it on purpose...

He broke the bad news to the Admiral.

“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?”


Delay it? What the hell? Nobody delays an FTL launch... Things are scheduled around the jumps, rather than the jumps being scheduled around events. Clyde would have to write a new program into the FTL protocol just to slow it down... And that didn't solve the energy problem. Where was it all supposed to go? The weapons weren't firing, routing power to wiring would blow out lights and computer circuitry, and nothing was operating at less than maximum functionality. He was going to have to overload something. What could he increase the output of without destroying something? Clyde ran through all the ship functions. The first thing he did was increase air cooling. Not enough. Then...

The artificial gravity. The artificial gravity machine could output greater force than the single G that humans live under in order to neutralize extra force from takeoff and landing. It required quite a bit of energy to run... and if Clyde only increased the output slightly over the whole ship, it would serve to dilute the charge. With the press of a button (and a few questionable acts regarding protocol), everything on the ship became just a little bit heavier.

“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.


Well... This promised to be interesting. It was time to see what the Admiral was really capable of.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

Clyde

As the particle canon charged, Clyde set about his new task of aiming. It was a complicated business- There were hundreds of extremely quickly moving targets, a veritable wall of debris, and the timing involved in causing the most damage in one shot. He had to sit there and plot the motion paths of all of the ships and find the most likely place to deal the most damage. Oh. He also had to make sure he didn't come close to shooting any allies, who were darting in and out of the fray with their fighters.

Great.

To Clyde's mild surprise, the place where the most damage could be done wasn't in the damaging of a larger ship. It was a mass of fighters, swarming around trying to catch the Salient's pilots, and the mass behind that mass, still targeting the old dead pirate frigate. Clyde fired the cannon. Without preamble, the massive recoil rocked the ship once more, and a great beam erupted from the Salient, tearing through all of the shattered debris and enemy ships, leaving an impression from the light burned into the retinas of anyone who had the misfortune of looking into the blast.

Meanwhile, the FTL charge ticked up one more point, its stasis broken by the sudden lack of power being drawn by the cannon. 46%.

Clyde attempted to activate the cannon's charge once more, but he had been locked out of the system. Corporal Stark informed him curtly about cooldown. It would be a while before it was safe to fire the cannon again. And the FTL charge grew ever higher.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Clyde Summer

Earnings

0.00 INK

49%.

The first beam fired by the Salient's spinal cannon ripped through a small destroyer, tearing it into quarters. The fourths were sent to drift in space listlessly while the limbs of crew members floated away with little spheres of blood trailed them in the vacuum of space.

"Damage report, Mr. Hansen," Aronimus turned to the petty officer.

Hansen sifted through the status readings, "Aye, sir. They've managed to do some extensive damage to the outer hull, but they haven't breached yet, so we're safe."

"Hmmm," Aronimus was deciding whether or he should move the ship forward and position it beyond the field of debris. That would leave them out in the open for a clear attack, yet at the same time allow the Salient to fire its salvoes. The Salient could handle it of course, but repeated abuse would eventually breach the outer hull. He could decide to stay within the field, but should the FTL drives activate prematurely, the debris could be damaging during the slip space jump. He decided to position the ship outside the debris field, so as to neutralize the need to rely on the main particle cannon. This would allow the FTL drives to activate faster.

There were a million things the old Admiral had to worry about, the squadrons of fighters still roaming out in space, the Marine squad that was deployed onto the crippled pirate frigates, the two A.I.s aboard Silver Eye's armada. He was wondering where his XO was as well, but no matter.

"Clear the debris field, Mr. Summer," with that command he pressed a key on his metallic desk. The ringed projector established itself before him, flashing a variety of screens in front of him.

On one screen was Commander Dunaway, who was in the Barracks with his subordinates.

"Commander Dunaway, have the two fireteams reported in yet?"

The Commander saluted, "Bravo Team has sir, but Alpha team hasn't responded..." then the Commander turned away, his attention stolen.

"Wait no, they're in transit right now, a shuttle, and I believe Captain Dunaway is flying on his own."

The Admiral's eyebrow raised, "What do you mean?"

"Our scanners are showing that he's relying on his suit," The gadget had surprises, Aronimus wasn't amused.

"And how's the prisoner?" Commander Dunaway paused a bit.

"She's proving to be a hassle, I've got the notion to go put one in." Aronimus chuckled.

"I'll send Lieutenant Commander Chen to see the prisoner, she's been aboard a prison vessel before. Perhaps the Nottingham taught her a thing or two."

"Hmm, hopefully she'll have better luck than my officers,"

"Hopefully, Weston out." Aronimus cut the comm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston

Earnings

0.00 INK

Ninety two percent.

There was nothing left to be said or done. As the pirate ships had disengaged and were no longer firing, the Admiral realized that the battle was over. He decided to leave his platform and stride to the viewport at the fore end of the bridge.

By now the crew had paused all activity, perhaps it had sunk in. They had won the battle. To Aronimus, he stared grimly at the armada of pirate ships still on the field. They weren't retreating. They had no reason to retreat. The battle had in actuality, concluded with a draw. The Salient was bruised and battered, though still functioning.

The jump was about to begin, Aronimus, his crew, and his ship, had done everything they could.

"What are your orders Admiral?" asked a crewmen.

Aronimus looked over his shoulder to the nearest crew member.

"I want all fighter squadrons and units recalled to the ship immediately, get them out of there before we make the jump," he huffed. Then he returned to the viewport, the debris field seemed to have enshrouded his view.

Aronimus retired to his seat back on the platform. He tapped a key on his chair's interface, activating a holographic screen which beamed into being.

"We'll be clearing the field immediately," the Admiral reported.

"Very well Admiral, we can handle it from here," a voice replied.

"Soters out," the screen then made expiation of itself.

Contingency CA was in now effect.