Author Topic: [AC] One for Profit, One for Knowledge  (Read 7181 times)

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Offline Raz

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[AC] One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« on: January 03, 2010, 06:31:42 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,3), Heron System

Tanc Anthony, a Li'Gra, awoke from his light sleep while in this Captain's Chair of the V.A.S.S. Fran's Eyes, quietly aware that it was actually his job to remain alert, and that the executives on board would have him fired if they found out he often dozed off. While he was sitting in the Captain's Chair, Tanc wasn't actually the Captain of the Fran's Eyes, he was just a simple auxiliary to make sure everything ran smoothly while the crew slept. Consequently, no one would see him sleeping on the job. Besides, he reasoned, the ship's computer was smart enough to handle most incidents, why need a sentient awake at all times? His question would soon be answered.

As the ship came out of warp, it began listing off the planets in the system and their qualities as it performed routine scan after scan to make sure it had arrived at the proper system. Space travel was like that, involving distances long enough that being even .00001 degrees off mark meant you ended up off target by thousands of AU, usually far more. It had happened before, a small rounding error in the CPU, a misplaced variable there, and before you knew it, you were in the proverbial middle of nowhere. But today, everything had run smoothly, and the ship beeped a confirmation of target. Nanoseconds later, it realized that there was another variable it was getting from one of the planets that didn't make sense; the presence of radio waves. Confused by this new input, it simply ran the routine for if radio waves were detected; inform the sentient in the Captain's Chair, " Sir, I have detected the presence of radio waves from a planet that logically shouldn't have them. "

Tanc blinked, and being groggy, asked the ship to repeat. It did, and blood suddenly rushed to his brain as his heart, " Alright... alright... possible sentient contact procedures... no... not so soon... Computer, tell me if the radio waves are natural or artificial, " when the computer confirmed them as artificial, Tanc hit the "PANIC" button on the Captain's Chair, otherwise known as the "Oh ****, I'm just the auxiliary who doesn't know what he's doing" button by certain members of the crew, the Captain included. Moments later, alarms rang through the halls of the Fran's Eyes, and the crew manned their stations, the real Captain taking his place, Captain Arching, a Dar'Gra. As Arching spit out command after command, the executives noisily made their way onto the bridge, complaining as usual, "What the hell, Arching? It's twenty past one!" Arching glanced at them with his usual fiery eyes. They stopped openly complaining, but it was obvious that their minds were still thinking it.

Arching quietly said, "Computer says that it's found a new sentient species. Or, at least, the radio waves of one. And they just happen to on your oh-so-special world of near infinite and easily accessed iron," while realizing that this didn't mean well for the sentients on the surface. He inwardly hoped they could display the capacity to defend themselves from the greed of these executives. The executives were quiet, and then huddled together, speaking about what to do as the ship re-engaged warp, approaching the inhabited planet at an astounding speed.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System

The V.S.S. Pathfinder, a far smaller ship than the miner vessel Fran's Eyes, dropped out of warp at the edge of the Slorv System. Its crew had two shifts-worth of members, as it expected to be involved in fighting at any moment. Vantry could never be lenient when it came to the depths of space, which they were just beginning to explore. The sensors then began screaming at their technicians that there were dozens, hundreds, of artificial signals and constructs in the orbits of the various planets in the system. Captain Mamum sounded the alert, and the Pathfinder's weapons went hot, as well as the projectile countermeasure system installed on the ship. They knew that they couldn't hide, now that they had warped into the system, so they merely decided to warp the nearest inhabited planet, stopping as far away as they thought would be safe. At the same time, Mamun sent a message back to Ahm, "Sentient race encountered. Moving to engage as peacefully as possible, however, we're reading to return fire as the procedures dictate we should. Captain Mamun, commanding officer of the V.S.S. Pathfinder, Sector (3,2)."
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 07:16:45 pm by Razonatair »



Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 07:23:27 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

There was never much activity this far out in the system, but Construct A-3 had been a rather new addition to the many space stations constructed by the Slorv. It was always necessary to have at least one monitoring station watching over the 'traffic lanes' that stretched between the many different planets and their moons. Without these stations, the network of trade and the flow of goods wouldn't be as nearly efficient as it was now. And even with these stations there was at least one collision every year, even though that mostly occurred when trying to dock.

Kunta got to the observation deck as soon as he heard the computer calling out for his attention. He had been in the middle of a relaxing warm sand bath when his comm had gone off and since it was his shift, it was his responsibility to report. Normally the computer handled all the routing procedures for incoming ships, but whenever an anomaly was detected the nearest Slorv was alerted so that they could determine what needed to be done.

Please, not another collision, Kunta thought to himself, I already have two on my record. That's the reason I'm so far out on this ****hole... He immediately began tapping away at the console, bringing up the information necessary to assess what exactly was going on.

//Ship signature detected off of traffic lane.// the computer read as Kunta went through the log. He pulled up the files and sensor information. A low resolution image of the ship popped up on his screen, causing him to roll and unroll his trunk as he did so. This was not any Slorv ship he had seen before. Unless the military was pulling some special operations training... he thought to himself.

//Energy spike detected from approaching craft//, the computer interrupted. Without even thinking twice, Kunta pressed the nearest warning mechanism to single to the rest of the station that something was happening. His next step was to send off a radio warning to the next station in line. They could then pick up the message and relay it further and further into the Slorv system. This would take time though, since the Slorv had not developed FTL communications. The first station would receive his message within seconds, but it would take several hours for the message to arrive at the Slorv homeworld.

Once he was sure that this had all been done, he took a deep breath. He was still rolling and unrolling his trunk as a sign of excitement and nervousness. How to contact this thing? he thought to himself. Others would be arriving within the observation deck shortly, but something was telling him he should attempt contact before that happened. Thinking of nothing else to do, he pulled up the sensor controls and aimed them at the approaching vessel. He didn't want to send out a radio message, but instead blasted them with a concentrated burst of static to show that they had been recognized by Construct A-3.

Offline Cyst

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2010, 07:34:55 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,3), Heron System, Seania, Charon

A normal day on Charon, rusty clouds in the sky. Nothing seemed out of place. Then a strange object in space, visible from Charon. Nobody knew what it was. Everyone ignored it. If it meant harm they would deal with it when it landed, if it landed. The hydron continued their daily lives. The factories continued making products. Power plants continued generating. Life didnt stop even in the presence of extraterrestrials. Charon floated along and the farmers farmed. Hydron received their daily food allowance. Hydron ate. Life continued. The news continued on the radio. Speakers broadcasted the radio. The cycle continued as the spacecraft grew closer to Seania. Nobody cared and nobody noticed.
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Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2010, 07:43:15 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,3), Heron System, Orbit over Seania

Arching was arguing with the executives about their options for the world, trying to convince them that assault wasn't worth the risk. Altcom had fallen on hard times, the biggest Vantry corporation in Ahm, but Ahm was becoming a much harder place to find new minerals. It needed the easy supplies on Seania. The Fran's Eyes, while technically a "mining" vessel, could possibly be called a "carrier," due to the huge amount of autonomous mining drones it had on board. These drones had been heavily armored before launch to withstand the heats of Seania, and they also had two lasers each to mine any rock if necessary. The programming to switch from mining to fighting was already in place; spacecraft weren't exactly cheap, and Altcom didn't want to risk losing its first miner, as its financial success was practically based on its success to show the shareholders that it was still able to grow.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

The Pathfinder suddenly dropped out of warp near the station, obviously having moved far faster than anything the Slorv could've thought possible if their science still said it was impossible to move faster than light. It had chosen to stop here due to the odd static signal, possibly a bad decision on the part of the Slorv who sent it. Mamun ordered the "Greeting Message" sent, and began to run through all the possible scenarios in his mind.

The "Greeting Message" was actually four different messages, all played one after the other, each in a different language of the Vantry. It sent "We come in peace," despite cliches in Vantry movies, in the gurgling kind of language of the 'Gra, in the buzzing kind of language of the Milute, the vibrations of the Jergo, and the electrical impulses of the Ragta. Mamun began to run the possibility of hostilities through his mind, considering the implications of all the scenarios. Most of them didn't turn out
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 07:48:03 pm by Razonatair »

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 08:04:09 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

Kunta nearly fell backwards out of his seat when another vessel appeared much closer to his station. "What the?!" he yelled out as he jumped to bring up the scanning equipment to make sure he had seen everything correctly. Several seconds later the first ship disappeared.
//Same ship detected// the computer chirped on the screen. Several thoughts flashed through Kunta's head. "This can't be..." he mumbled to himself as he double checked the computers analysis. As he was doing so, several other Slorv arrived on the observation deck to see what was going on.

"We've made some sort of contact," Kunta turned around to face the new arrivals. His eyes were wide, "this ship just went faster than the speed of light." Almost all of the Slorv let out sounds of disbelief, but Kunta silenced them by replaying the video. "That's the same ship, look at the same markin-"

//Incoming Messages// the computer interrupted him. Four distinctly different messages were played across the comm, all of which the Slorv listened to. When they were done playing the Slorv sat in silence. After several seconds had passed Kunta jumped to action. He immediately sent the messages through an encrypted line to the nearest space station. Construct A-3 wasn't lucky enough to have an AI aboard, but the next station over did. It would do a much better job of discerning what the message meant. In the meantime Kunta turned around to the other Slorv. "Do we send them something back?" he asked, to which he got several affirmatives.

//Greetings. We are the Slorv. We are friendly.// Along with this several pictures were sent across, showing the basic outline of what a Slorv looked like.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 08:22:58 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,3), Heron System, Orbit over Seania

Arching yelled at the executives, "Look, their entire Ahm damned planet is full of the stuff. They probably think it's worthless."

The executives snorted, or the equivalent, and stormed off to their bunks, tired and worn out from fighting with the stubborn old bull that Arching was. When they were off the bridge, Arching said, "Remind me to program the doors not to open for them, sometime," follows by a few snickers and an "Aye Aye, Sir." Arching ordered the "Greeting Message" sent down to the planet, and waited, patiently.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-3 Orbiting Slovian VII

The ship's computer ate up the message for a few moments, running hundreds of thousands of code checks on it, trying to figure out how it was arranged, but it decided it needed more input, and instead, simply spit out the image of the Slorv onto the command screen. Mamun scratched his elongated stomach, considering his options. Why would a hostile race send a picture of themselves, from which could be extracted anatomical data that could find their weak points? Or, perhaps, it was a false image meant to trick him into thinking they were something else entirely. He asked the computer about the statistical possibility of either option, and got the answer, "Or, perhaps, you're just paranoid, Captain Mamun." Damn computers. Built with both a sense of humor and sarcasm. Can never tell the difference between a joke and a fact, thought Mamun, as he let the "Greeting Message" repeat over and over, though he did order the weapons cold. This station didn't seem to have any particular ability to defend itself, why should the Pathfinder?

A few moments later, he ordered the ship to slowly move closer to the station, realizing that it might scare the occupants, but otherwise also being a show of peace in that the Pathfinder would be more vulnerable to the station, if it had any weapons.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 08:33:33 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

"What is it doing?" Kunta thought out loud as the ship slowly came closer. It just kept playing the same message over and over, which was a little disconcerting. The computer was reporting that the energy signatures had dropped, which could only be a good thing, but nonetheless Kunta didn't want to take any chances. "What's the status of our two scouts?" he asked a nearby Slorv who had taken a position behind one of the other monitors.

"The pilots are saying their ships are ready to go if they need to."

"Okay, and what about the transporters? I want those fired up and ready to shoot off if things get dicey." Kunta asked.

"They are being prepared. The dockhands forgot to unload a few things, but they should be able to hold most of the stations personnel." There was a silence as everyone focused on the 'most' in that sentence. Kunta tapped his pincers on the console, trying to figure out what to do next. As he was doing this a new message arrived, along the encrypted line between Construct A-3 and Construct A-1.

//This is Construct A-1's AI. I have received your message and am in the process of deciphering it. This could take some time, but already patterns are starting to show up. Following procedure, I have been ordered to have you relay this message to the vessel// Following that was the Slorv Codex that contained all the information on the Slorv language. It would no doubt take some time for an alien computer to process, but it would go much faster than any other form of communication.

"Well that's good news," Kunta said as he popped off the message to the alien vessel.

"Yeah, at least we're still alive," someone said from the back of the room. At any other time this would have been funny, but the Slorv could only nod their head in agreement.

Offline Cyst

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 08:39:25 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,3), Heron System, Seania, Charon

The radio signal from the orbiting ship was recieved by the speaker towers. The hydron leader, currently Lord Carin III, ordered a response signal. Nobody understood the alien message but they figured they should at least respond. The government argued on how to respond. "We should tell them to leave." "Ask them for technology." "Discuss peace." "Ask for weapons." "Ask for their purpose." "Ignore them."

The lord decided on a simple reply. "We don't know, or care for that matter, why you are here. All we ask is that you land or leave. We have business to attend to just like any other species. And if you choose to leave we request the technology to construct an engine which moves a vehicle faster than light."

The message was sent on a radio wave and reached the orbiting craft 5 minutes afterwards.
DEATH TO DAESH! In solidarity with Rojava!
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Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 08:50:01 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,3), Heron System, Orbit over Seania

The Fran's Eyes received the message, and thankfully, there was just barely enough input from it to discern the main idea. Arching himself had to admit how strangely rude this species was, trying to tell a species obviously far more advanced than it, "Give us your stuff and get out or land." A rather preposterous idea. If they wished to be left alone, Arching was entirely fine with that, but he wasn't leaving without a cargo hold of ore. He ordered it to hover above the molten seas of flowing money, and the drones went hot as the ship descended into the atmosphere.

A kilometer over the surface, it sent out all two hundred of the drones, and stopped, hovering, as the drones began extracting what they wanted. The ship itself remained aware of the movements of the Hydron, making sure they sent no combat craft.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(3,2), Slorv System, Nearing Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

After the computer received the Codex, Mamun ordered the message halted, but the ship continued to advance as the ship's computer chewed the new data, correlating patterns and "words." The Pathfinder stopped a minute later, incredibly close to the station, but maintaining its position well. The blast shields covering the bridge's windows lowered, and Mamun quietly walked to the front, staring across space to the Slorv observation deck. He raised one hand in greeting, calling a few other examples of the races on board to the window. A Ragta quietly made its way to the window, and shook its tentacles almost eagerly, then slithered away, a Li'Gra janitor cleaning up the muck it left behind. Ragta were always taxing to have anywhere, as they preferred slithering to walking around in mecha suits like Jergo. The mecha suit of a Jergo walked up the window next, followed by a runt Milute with its wings carefully strapped down, Milute being another pain to have on board a space ship. Generally, 'Gra and mecha suited Jergo made up the crews of space ships, with a few token Ragta and Milute to not seem racist.

When the computer finished processing the data, it spit out the "Greeting Message" again, but this time, in Slorvian.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 08:59:23 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

Kunta and the other Slorvs stared across the void of space at the strange ship floating there. It was even more strange to watch as a variety of different creatures appeared in the ship and made signals to them. After several moments of silence, Kunta decided to stand up. He motioned for a few other Slorv to come forward with them, which they did reluctantly. The three Slorv bowed low in unison, their trunks touching the ground as they did so. They slowly stood back up to see if there was any reaction from the ship.

Right around this time two messages were received. The first was from the AI on Construct A-1 informing them that three of the four messages had been deciphered. The last one was the hardest to figure out, seeing as it was just a random jumble of electrical pulses. Along with these decoded messages came a request to get more of the alien language so that further patterns could be discerned to get a better understanding of the language.

The second message came from the ship, and it was in Slorvian. Everyone jumped a little bit, even though they had known it was coming. There was something strange about the way the alien computer translated the language. They were subtle differences, but they were differences nonetheless that pointed out it was not from an actual Slorv.

Kunta made his way back to the computer and immediately setup a new message. It started off with a greeting in their own language and then asked for more information in Slorvian. Hopefully the idea gets across, Kunta thought to himself.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2010, 04:02:27 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

Mamun, eased by the new messages from the station, allowed the ship to transmit data it had on the Vantry, specifically images of the 'Gra, Jergo, Milute, and Ragta as well as data on the general location of Ahm. Once this had been transmitted, the ship's computer transmitted an FTL message back to Ahm, asking for a more prepared diplomat to negotiate with the aliens, a request that would be heard in a few hours, and the diplomat likely arriving a few more hours or a day later. The ship's computer then returned its attention to the Slorv, sending, "I am the Pathfinder's computer. We are the Vantry, meaning "Kin" or "Bond Brothers" in your language, and this title may be offered to your species as well at some point in the far future, assuming relations between our two civilizations commence well. Things on Ahm have been rather hectic lately, with our industries trying to get into high gear with the discovery of the FTL drive, but the minerals are simply not there.

"Our's is the only planet in the system, followed by asteroids belts devoid of anything other than some basic iron. We also prefer not to damage our fragile ecology, set up by Ahm itself, by polluting it. There have been previous repercussions dealt out by Ahm for the Vantry' previous ecological damages... I have sent for a proper diplomat to consult your leaders, and perhaps we could come to some sort of agreement. My scans indicate your industrial base is incredibly strong, strong enough to support and supplement two burgeoning empires at once. Perhaps the diplomat will offer the FTL technology in exchange for your industrial allegiance. Though our Corporations would not like that... Too bad, economy is the survival of the fittest. Well, now, look at me, rambling. Do you have any further requests for information?"

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 05:31:13 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

Kunta and the group of Slorvians were all digesting this the best they could. At the same time the messages were being recorded and sent through an encrypted line towards the homeworld through the network of space stations. It was interesting to learn about another race, especially that they had evolved within a system that contained only one planet. Kunta couldn't imagine trying to establish an empire with only one planet. The Slorv had only begun colonizing space within the last century, but within that short interval they had expanded to the limits of their solar system. It was probably really lucky that they had evolved in a system as rich as the Slorvian one.

Kunta was about to record a reply when a message came through the encrypted channel from Construct A-1. As soon as Kunta activated the message the communication gear was shut down and several of Construct A-3's control panels went dark.

"What's going on?" one of the other Slorv asked, surprised that they had lost control.

//My apologies, but protocol dictates that I handle machine-machine communication in the case of extraterrestrial contact// came the voice of Construct A-1's AI.

"He's locked us out of everything," Kunta said as he tapped through the monitor. "It's probably better that he has. He has the training for it, so he's probably better at speaking for the Slorv race." They could only watch as the AI sent off a reply through Construct A-3's communications gear. This way, the Vantry wouldn't be able to detect that another voice was now talking.

At this point I am unable to speak for my entire race. I suggest that you move deeper into our system, the best choice being the fifth planet from the sun. But I must ask that you wait at least one day so that the necessary preparations be made for your arrival. As of right now, no one else in the Slorv race knows of your existence. It wouldn't do for you to suddenly appear and have the Slorv Navy attack you. Attached to the message were the coordinates for the planet as well as a time chart indicating the length of the Slorvian day so as to not confuse the Vantry.

While all of this was going on the AI was performing a variety of other tasks. It was tracking how far along the first message was to reaching the Slorvian homeworld as well as analyzing the alien ship for the 4,156th time, doing its best to mark out anything that resembled Slorv technology. It had already gained a wealth of information from the passive sensors, feeling out how the ship was laid out, how it was separated into different compartments, and the energy sources the ship appeared to use. Everything else was a mystery though, one that would require active observation to be fully understood. Especially the FTL engine. That was what the AI wanted to know about.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 08:02:08 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-3 Orbiting Slorvian VII

The ship's computer signaled a mere affirmative, and notified Mamun for approval to warp to the planet at the coordinates provided. He casually approved the orders, and ship engaged its warp drive, launching out into the depths of space toward Slorvian V with spine-snappingly fast "speed". A few minutes later, it dropped out over Slorvian V, Mamun and the technicians looking over the readouts from the scanners that which sniffing every nook and granny they could find on Slorvian V. While they decided to wait for the diplomat's ship to arrive, things slowed back to normal on the Pathfinder, as they prepared to chart a new course in deep space, still having a mission to complete.

The computer notified the Slorv back on Construct A-3 that it would be approximately two to three Vantry days before the diplomat arrived, sixty-two hours, at which point they would leave the system, letting the diplomat take their place. In the meantime, the Pathfinder would quietly waited in orbit of Slorvian V.

Two Vantry days later, the diplomat's far smaller ship dropped out of warp near the Pathfinder. The two ships' captains exchanged basic greetings, and the Pathfinder quickly resumed its previous course, leaving the system.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2010, 09:05:41 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Slorvian V was a terrestrial planet that had the ability to sustain lifeforms, but the problem was that it lacked these lifeforms. The atmosphere wasn't far off from being breathable, the temperature range was a little on the hotter side, and it lacked an excess of water, but all-in-all it was really the perfect place for the Slorv to start their first planetary colony. They had experience colonizing things, thanks to their homeworld's moons, and so they had been prepared when they set out to land a permanent base on their next door neighbor.

And now, Slorvian V was the second most populous planet in the system, sporting several massive biodomes that were homes to thousands of Slorv and their animal counterparts. Likewise, the traffic far above Slorvian V was quite busy, requiring a large number of space stations and constructs to manage the flow of goods. As the Slorv continued to expand further away from their star, Slorvian V became the center of trade linking the expanding colonies to the industrial planets closer to the sun.

The news had spread fast, and before too long nearly every Slorv knew that an alien vessel was not too far from Slorvian V. There were mixed reactions, but many were put at ease knowing that a diplomat was on its way to begin negotiations between the Slorv and these new arrivals. They were unsure of what the negotiations might entail, but the simple fact that there were negotiations going on was good enough.

As soon as the second alien vessel arrived, the Slorv ambassadors hurried to the communications room, preparing themselves for the video link that would be the first step in official contact. They were unsure of whether or not these aliens could survive in a Slorvian climate, and rather than finding out the hard way, they figured they would ask first. It may have even been bad taste to invite them aboard the space station in their culture. There were so many variables to consider.

Yuntar, the lead ambassador stood up in front of the other Slorv, presenting himself as the largest being in the video screen. A message was sent out, asking for a link to the alien vessel so that the talking could begin.

"Greetings, travelers. We welcome you to our home. I am Yuntar, Head Ambassador of the Slorvian race. I will allow you the first action, seeing as you are in a distant land." With that Yuntar awaited the reply. He knew that the computer of the other vessel had talked about trade relations, but he would wait to see if an actual being was willing to come to these terms.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 05:54:45 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

The Skipper was quite literally the smallest ship the Vantry had that they could fit a working warp drive on, designated for future possible diplomatic missions. It carried only three 'Gra or Jergo occupants, the pilot, the mechanic, and the diplomat. The ship itself was only about forty meters long, and twenty meters wide, with the bulk of that taken up by the warp drive and its fission energy source(the Vantry had yet to perfect "cold" fusion), as well as the sub-light engines.

The diplomat, a color-shifting Dar'Gra, sat in the cramped "Communications Ward" section of the ship, basically a box with some comm. equipment. The ship's inferior computer merely plugged him in, and once he was connected, he began, "Greetings to you, Yuntar. It is thrilling to think of being the aliens in relation to another species. Few books in our culture have addressed this possible view..." The Dar'Gra shifted around some papers, and picked one up, "Oh, yes, my name is Graka. I believe the Pathfinder's computer didn't inform you that we breath a Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere, and generally prefer a somewhat temperate climate. I'm here mainly to listen to your requests first, and then counter."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2010, 02:17:58 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Several thoughts flashed through Yuntar's head as soon as he received the Vantry message. They too breathed a nitrogen/oxygen mix, although the details of that were still sketchy. Plus there was always the consideration of foreign bacteria which could contaminate the Vantry and vice versa.

"You may be pleased to know that the Slorv also breath from a nitrogen/oxygen mix, which you may already know. I fear though, that out contact may have to remain limited until we can secure a position that is free of all contaminants which may spread disease between our people. Our past history has taught us this lesson, and we do not wish to repeat it if possible." Yuntar paused for several moments before continuing.

"But as for our requests. As you already know, our race lacks faster-than-light technology. We have no engine that can effectively transport us between our planets in a short period of time. But we have done the best we can with the resources at hand." Here Yuntar paused, thinking with great pride on what the Slorv had accomplished, "I was reviewing the conversation log from Construct A-3 orbiting Slorvian VII, and it stated that your race lacked resources. That can be a great hindrance to an expanding race. Seeing that we have an over abundance of resources and the facilities necessary to get those resources, I think it would make good sense to initiate a trade deal. We can offer you a variety of resources over a certain period of time in exchange for the blueprints and technology necessary to manufacture our own faster-than-light engines. What is your opinion on this matter?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2010, 03:29:50 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka "smiled," a nearly imperceptible motion of his mouth to the Slorv, but blatantly obvious to other 'Gra, "Then the Pathfinder's ship said rather too much... Though... you must realize that we have nothing to guarantee that if we give you the technology, and provide the necessary materials to construct the facility, that you won't take the warp drive and overpower us with your immense industrial base. As it is now, we are entirely safe from your sub-light travels, free to do as we wish. I'm being quite blunt, because there's no need to dance around the point. Another great hindrance to an expanding race is another race that is stronger than it.

"We might provide you with the warp drives, but special-built to be tamper-proof so that you can't deconstruct them and try to figure out what does what. The second precondition would be that a Vantry engineer be on every ship to make sure it remains safe. As well as doing that, we would trade as well... What material does your species find generally most valuable, Yuntar?" The main thing Graka didn't mention was the Vantry' possession of FTL communications as well, but as long as the Slorv didn't ask, he didn't have to lie. Even if they got the drives, they wouldn't get the comms from him, that was his superiors' orders. Then he added, "Oh, yes, it would be best to remain on this ship. We don't have any kind of translators or computers we can carry around with us to automatically translate, currently, though some of our engineers and scientists have been assigned the job, now that we have you... "Codex"?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2010, 04:21:53 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Yuntar was slightly disappointed, but not surprised by the Vantry's words. They rang true and he couldn't deny it. If he were in their shoes he would have probably said the same thing. He knew that the Slorv were conducting experiments somewhere involving faster-than-light travel, he just didn't know how far along they were. For all he knew they could reach a breakthrough within the next week, or in the next decade for that matter.

"You bring up very good points, Graka," Yuntar said, doing his best to pronounce the alien name, "and I can understand your position on a matter such as this. I will have to confer with my leaders in order to fully accept this deal, though." Off camera he motioned to one of his associates to bring up the viewscreen of the High Council. Originally they were going to be the ones to speak to the Vantry, but after some intense consideration, it was thought better to leave diplomacy in the pincers of skilled diplomats. Even so, the High Council was currently in session and watching the feed from the alien ship in their own boardroom. While this was going on, Yuntar continued his conversation with Graka.

"I would like to caution you though, that we are not a warfaring people. It is true that we have a military, but that is purely for protection. And while we know of your existence, we know not from where you come. These words may be worthless to you, but I do wish to start this relationship off as friendly as possible." Off to the side one of his associates was conversing with the High Council, figuring out their opinion on the matter. There was some small debate over the best course of action, all of which the fellow diplomat was watching.

"Now, as for the trade. We have always been interested in metals. We know that the basic metals exist throughout the galaxy, but there is the possibility that your race has stumbled upon some sort of alloy that would be useful to us. Basically, we would be interested to see what metals you have, along with any other exotic materials your planet contains. That is, as long as you would be willing to trade it. In exchange we can supply all the basic needs for your industry. If the need arises, we can even trade you some of our ships or construct ships for you in order to bolster your trade fleet." As Yuntar finished saying this, his associate came up to him.

"They have agreed to the preconditions. But they have a few more suggestions they would like to make." The associate whispered the rest into Yuntar's ear. When he was done, he backed away allowing Yuntar to take the center of the screen again.

"Excuse me for that. I would be happy to inform you that the Slorvian High Council is willing to accept your conditions. However, there are a few things they would like to add to this. As you may have guessed, our people have been attempting to develop our own faster-than-light engine. Even if we receive these engines from you, we will not stop in our development of this technology. We will not reverse engineer your technology to speed up our research, but we will continue along at our own pace. I hope you understand our want to be independent from such limitations." Yuntar paused to see if there was any effect on the Vantry diplomat. The computer was capturing everything, but it would be a while before Yuntar began to pick up on the Vantry body language, if he ever did at all.

"The second point they wish to bring up is the idea of exchanging students between our two races. We are unaware of your culture, but in ours we must educate our young so that they can learn about the environment around them. What we are suggesting is an exchange program that would allow our students to come and observe your culture and possibly join in on your educational system. We wish to learn as much as we can about you, both your culture and your technology. I think this would only serve to strengthen the diplomatic bonds between our races."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2010, 07:28:35 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka scratched his elongated stomach, considering his options. He possibly stood at the edge of a cliff, blindfolded, and his decisions could decide the fate of billions. His superiors would allow him to lose the drive, but not the communications... At least, he would satisfy that want, among others, and hopefully, they would praise him for what he decided upon, "I do not underestimate your race's ability to develop technology, your race's present state is a testament to their ability, but I believe I will have to... push you forward a few years or so. We, and when I say we, I mean the Vantry, have yet to set any kind of principles of non-interference or anything similar, so nothing bars me from giving you the warp technology right now, in favor of strengthened bonds. Perhaps, if things begin to come to hostilities, you will remember who gave you the key to the stars. Tell me where and when to transmit the data, and I will do so."

In Graka's mind, the students could also serve as sufficient collateral for their deal, but he kept this to himself, stating, "I cannot think of anything particularly exotic on our world. Most of the materials that are apparently commonplace on other worlds, are lacking on our's, yet we do seem to have an enormous abundance of diamonds and the such, which from our scans, are less commonplace, though we don't hold them to any real value..." Graka purposefully forgot to mention that Ahm could also produce various gems on-demand, "The students is an interesting idea, but I think they will find our world full of possibly hostile creatures... and sentients in our own Vantry. Some of us don't take kindly to those not like themselves, an unfortunate thing built into their biology. Our history is definitely one of killing each other... In any case, I agree to your deal."

Graka then changed topics suddenly, addressing one of the things the Pathfinder's computer said, "It is true that the Vantry are not one species. There are actually five of us, all sentient, who arose on one planet. This is an anomaly we realize, but I will let your students discover the reason for it." He smiled again with that same indescribable small motion of his mouth, "If you wish to know, 'Vantry' in the Li'Gran language means 'Kin,' something I think the Pathfinder's computer told you. It's previous statement that other races may be accepted into it is true, we are more of an blood alliance than anything else."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2010, 07:53:55 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,3), Heron System, Seania, Charon

The hydron watched as the Great Sea was siphoned into the hovering craft. It was a shame. The hydron would've given some of the sea to these aliens if they had asked to trade. Yet they barge in and take the metals of life. These creatures were taking another species life from them. The hydron military sent out several war barges and let them drft towards the invader's craft. Upon reaching a distance of half a kilometer they began loading the shock troopers into the cannons.
"On three you shall be fired onto this orbiting craft. Almost all of you will die and we may suffer a large population loss. But these invaders are taking that which we crawled from. This is an illegal offense against our nation. We will not allow our planet to be savaged.


ONE

TWO

THREEEEE."
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 08:43:57 am by Bagder Man 22 »
DEATH TO DAESH! In solidarity with Rojava!
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Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2010, 08:17:36 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Yuntar was stunned. The Slorvian High Council had accepted the Vantry's conditions, but then the Vantry decided to turn the tech over to them. There were a few shocked moments of silence before he could speak again.

"I am flattered by your willingness to offer us the warp technology. This is a great day for the Slorv race, and all because of the Vantry. I cannot thank you enough." Yuntar glanced over at the monitor to the Slorvian High Council. They were sitting in silence as well, slowly absorbing the information. They appeared frozen, not a single body movement made amongst the group. "This will no doubt start off our relations on a solid foundation." Yuntar took in a deep breath, still slightly stunned from this turn of events. "And this station would be the perfect place to transmit the data. Each Construct holds a large memory bank capable of storing terabytes upon terabytes of information."

"As for the student exchange, I am glad you are willing to participate in this as well. This galaxy is a harsh place, something that we have learned first hand in our attempts at colonizing our own system. And I do remember your computer talking about five different races, and I saw them as well on the video recording. We are but a single race. Who knows though, perhaps we are the anomaly and you are not. Sentience may require intelligent competition to flourish." Yuntar knew this was unlikely, but it still seemed like the right thing to say. "But I am interested in learning more about your culture, specifically more about your individual races. Your union is most interesting, especially because you have multiple intelligent species. Perhaps someday the Slorv and the Vantry could be considered one entity as well." It was a bold statement to make, and several other ambassadors were taken aback by Yuntar's words. Others saw it as polite conversation since the Vantry seemed interested in talking about the topic. The more you asked about someone, the more you learned.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2010, 03:15:29 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,3), Heron System, Seania, Charon

The Hydron's troops never made it to the Fran's Eyes. The Fran's Eyes was a kilometer above the surface, and as the Hydron war barges were apparently half a kilometer away from it's coordinates in relation to the surface, their troop shells had to be displaced more than a kilometer to even reach the Fran's Eyes. Besides that, the war barges were recognized from quite far away, and allowed to think they could reach the Fran's Eyes. Moments after the war barges shot their troops uselessly into the sky, who eventually fell harmlessly into the molten sea, the drones were all over the barges, lasers going off, approximately 66 per barge.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka nodded, and hit a few buttons on his communications equipment. Moments later, hundreds of images and pure-text files were transmitting to the Construct, most of them about the individual components of a warp drive, a few of them about Warped Space Theory, "There. That should be everything you need to know. As to learning about us, I will say that I am a Dar'Gra. There are two species of 'Gra in the Vantry. Dar'Gra can change their color at will. Li'Gra have the ability to... control... non-sentients with a dedicated nervous system. It takes some time, depending on the complexity of the brain of the creature, but it is inevitable. Dar'Gra  once hated the Li'Gra because of this, seeing them as controlling Nature, an old God. Unfortunately, some still do. Thirdly, we have hive mind creatures called the Milute, insectoid, and ravenous. They still keep to themselves, even in recent times, and only a few hundred non-Milute Vantry have ever set foot on their Hive Cities. Fourthly, the Jergo, worm-like creatures that once ate anything that moved and breathed. We still have some trouble with them, a murder-feeding case here and there. Lastly, the Ragta. I..." Graka paused for a moment, considering his words carefully, "the Ragta relate to our planet, you could say that they speak to it. Literally. They're basically crystalline brain-shells on slugs, with electrified tentacles coming out of the shell. Hard to describe. But your students will learn plenty about our world, in time."

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2010, 04:35:16 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Yuntar listened attentively to Graka speaking about the different races. As he listed the different races, Yuntar was making connections to the different creatures he had seen in the video log from Construct A-3. Meanwhile, the information was being copied down from the alien ship and immediately beamed out to several different stations through encrypted channels. The Slorvian High Council had ordered a redirection of the information to the Slorvian scientists that had been working away tirelessly at their own version of the faster-than-light engine. They were wasting no time when it came to constructing this new engine. There were already several new ships being constructed in the orbital shipyards that hung above Slorvian III. By High Council decree they would be taken over by the government and systematically restructured to fit the new engine.

Engineers were being called together to look at the new engine and design a new ship around it. There was no cutting corners in this operation, especially when it meant the expansion of the Slorv beyond their home system. It was a huge moment in Slorvian history, and all the while Yuntar was still conversing with the alien who had given them the designs in the first place.

"It seems quite strange that your many intelligent races would unite under one common collective, but I should not be one to judge for I know not the norm of the universe. Later on, after conversing with my leaders, I will send you the information concerning the student exchange program. Is there anything else you wish to discuss? I cannot think of anything else at the moment, but I am sure something will come up with time."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Somewhere in the Slorv System

A large team of scientists had already been present and several engineers had already been staffed alongside them in the government research lab. As soon as the information concerning the faster-than-light engine came in, they had been called to assemble to observe the data. Progress had been slow on the Slorvian design, but there had been several minor successes along the way. Several of the head researchers were able to take a look at some of the missing pieces of data and observe right away what they had been missing all along. It was one of the larger "Eureka!" moments in Slorvian history, and for good reason.

Within the hour the robotic workers were fired up and prepped to begin construction on the first model of the faster-than-light engine. All the necessary resources were there, after all the scientists had been slaving away at trying to create this illusive design, and now that they held the blueprints they were finally able to move things forward.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:22 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka considered all that he had said, and deciding upon, "I don't believe so." He sat back in his chair, scratching his stomach, trying to think of something, "Nope... I believe that's all I was sent here to say." He then rummaged through some papers, making sure he had covered all the bases, "Oh, right, the location of Ahm. I don't think I've given you the coordinates yet. I'm not sure if you understand how our cartographers have decided to map the galaxy, so I'll send you everything including the basic map itself and the coordinates..." He pushed a series of buttons on the equipment, which chirped a strange series of tones, "Alright, should be there. Your own location is on the map, plus some 'landmarks' we've decided upon so that we can orient ourselves in deep space. Simple things, nebulas, etc. I think this ship will remain in orbit until we get new orders, just in case my superiors want a special word with you... How has your population taken the news? Some old novels used to talk about universal panic, etc, in populations. Some of our social theorists have even postulated such reactions as being an indicator of whether or not a species is advanced enough to contact."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2010, 06:00:04 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

"Ahh, thank you for that," Yuntar said as the information concerning the maps came in. "Although we had not discovered faster-than-light travel upon your arrival, we have actually mapped out the galaxy quite well using deep range sensors." As he said this the Vantry map came up on a screen next to the alien ambassador. "I see that you live within the TF-1-DM-3765 system," Yuntar said snorting with his trunk as a sign of laughter. "That is the beautiful name we have designated your sun with." Yuntar snorted again as he closed the map up.

"As for the public. There are mixed views coming from our polls of the people. Most of them are suspicious of you, some want us to ignore you in the hopes that you leave us alone, and some are actually excited that we have made contact and have had peaceful relations thus far." Yuntar neglected to leave out the other small portion of the population that called for immediate war to 'kick back the aggressors from our system' as several different media sites had proposed. "We too have had our fair share of literature involving alien races, with a wide variety of outcomes. I have a feeling that the people were prepared for eventual contact. I believe they would have preferred it if we had been the ones stumbling upon another race, rather than having them stumble onto our doorstep," Yuntar trailed off for a moment before continuing, "but they are content either way. What has been the response on your homeworld? Do they know of the existence of another intelligent species?"

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2010, 06:29:53 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka chuckled, a strange gurgling differentiated from his normal speech, "You ask me if they know of another intelligent species as if we weren't five in number. A more accurate question would be; Do they know of another intelligent species on a different planet? The answer, as far as I know, is no. We also prefer to call our star Tapnam, though we never knew of its existence until somewhat recently. The same goes for having words for 'day' and 'night,' something we didn't have until relatively recently, though the Ragta knew of them." The communications equipment near him suddenly chimed, and printed out a message, " 'Message for the Slorv from the Council;'We appreciate your preference for positive relations. We do not aim to ignite interstellar wars, nor do we wish to partake in war anymore. We've had enough blood shed between the species to satiate our appetites for an eternity. We have announced the existence of another intelligent species on another planet. The effect was mostly a slight gladness, confirmation of our previous theories. Other than that, few people seem to care that we're going to be trading with another intelligent species. Our people had already long since accepted this as a fact that would be proven eventually. However, the mining corporations are giving us hell after we briefed all the corporations on your industrial capabilities. Some were delighted, and others, such as the mining gaints like Altcom, are absolutely devastated. They are urging us to not trade with the 'Xenos,' as they're calling you, resorting to insult-tactics. But once they all break, the unemployed will be re-educated, and get new jobs, and all will be well. Live Well and may Ahm's Light shine on all of your species.' Interesting. I expected the mining and industrial corporations to freak out." Graka shrugged, and began reading through a few other reports that flooded to him constantly from the equipment.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 07:33:17 pm by Razonatair »

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 07:25:57 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

"That is nice to hear," Yuntar said as he listened to Graka read off the message. His eyes darted to the printing machine though as he recognized that a message had just traveled faster than the speed of light in order to reach the Vantry ship sitting before him. He refrained from mentioning anything though, but he made a mental note of it. At the same time, several engineers and scientists who were watching the live broadcast noticed it as well. They were quick to realize the possibilities of faster than light communication. While the Slorv had expanded quite some distance, they had never had a true need for faster than light communication. If anything, it would have made the lives of the outer colonies a little bit nicer, but since the Slorv hadn't ventured outside of their system, they hadn't bothered funding any major programs. Now that they were working on their first faster than light engine, things like this would be necessary in order to maintain an expanding hegemony.

"That is interesting to note that your race has corporations as well. We have several major businesses that have expanded alongside the government in our colonization of the system. I wouldn't doubt that they would wish to expand further out into the galaxy if possible. It will be interesting to see if any competition crops up between our two races." What Yuntar neglected to mention was that the Slorv corporations were bloodthirsty and quite greedy. There had been many examples of corporate backstabbing on many different levels in order to secure the companies standing. For many Slorv, corporations were their lives. They devoted everything to their job. It was one of the government's larger concerns. There was always the possibility of one of the larger corporations breaking free if they had a devoted population. At the same time, this competitiveness was one of the larger reasons that the Slorv had moved to colonize their entire system. Lucrative profits were awaiting those that grabbed the resources while they could.

"I do have another question for you though, Graka. Do you have multiple scouting ships searching the galaxy? Have you found any other examples of life, sentient or non-sentient, in the galaxy?"

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 07:52:01 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka considered his words, calculating their impact, "Well, from the moment we discovered how to move faster than light, we've built orbital shipyard after orbital shipyard to build scout ship after scout ship. I honestly don't know the exact numbers, that's a government secret, but we've been producing them at an almost exponential rate as we've built more shipyards to satisfy demand from not only our own scientific groups, but economic ones like the corporations. They've also ordered other designs that take a bit longer to build, but other than that, we've built at least a solid hundred or so. Keep in mind though, most are rather small, unarmed or unarmored. Only recent ones like the Pathfinder have armament, mostly because of how prolific life seems to be. I stopped personally counting the number of ships when the tenth shipyard was built.

"For a little over three of our decades now, our economy has been almost entirely geared towards explore, explore, explore, and we're starting to get into expansion. The general rule is that the corporations will handle the colonization itself, while the government makes sure the colonists' living conditions remain adequate. The exceptions are what we term, "Hab-Worlds," in slang. They're the worlds that are already habitable without breathing apparatuses, or nearly habitable with them. Those will be entirely government-controlled. The Vantry have a very strong ecological sentiment that says we should impact the life of both Ahm and any world as little as possible. Life is sacred, basically. Because of this, we all live in complex cities that contain everything we need; agriculture, low-to-no-pollution industry, solar and wind power, etc. In scanning your cities, I've noticed that there is a radical contrast generally.

"As to the question of life on other worlds, we've discovered that life flourishes in every place it can get a foothold, unusually cold or unusually hot. It's almost considered unusual to not find some kind of life, be it basic bacterial microbes, fossils thereof, or otherwise. The heavily religious among us point to this as proof of Ahm's power." Graka shrugged, "Me? I don't know my own opinion. It could be that life is just something that happens everywhere, with similar genetic constructs like DNA and RNA. Rest assured, our xenobiologists have been having an unending field day since we discovered the first extraterrestrial microbes. Xenobiology is actually offered as a major at most universities now, and it's been rated as the fastest growing technical field, right behind Warp Physicist and Astronaut. Ahm, there's actually a waiting queue for Astronaut. They got too many applicants for far too few spaceships. I guess it's just ordinary Vantry trying to realize their hopes and dreams."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 07:56:08 pm by Razonatair »

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 08:26:18 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Yuntar was somewhat surprised by Graka's comments. By the sound of it, the Vantry had been in space for some time and had a sizable fleet for exploration. This caught him off guard. When they said they had only one planet, he had pictured a barren wasteland for some reason, one with very little of anything. He now realized how stupid that was, but it was still shocking to learn that they had so many ships under their control.

"That is quite a number of ships to have under your control, especially for a race that only has one planet under their control." The Slorv had roughly over a thousand ships, but a large majority were focused on transportation from one orbital object to another. Only two hundred or so were fit for interplanetary travel. That number would probably shrink when the requirements for system to system travel were determined. "Have you found a need for armed ships in space? This may seem like a strange question, but even within our home system, the Slorvian High Council has found a need to keep a small fleet of warships orbiting each planet. The problem lies with our asteroids. Several rogues have decided that they can rob the goods of traders. These war ships are very low tech, but they keep the peace and make sure to keep the bandits in line."

Yuntar took in a deep breath, only the third breath he had taken during this entire conversation. "But when you speak of your cities, you say they are much less polluted than ours? Then your race must truly be one of ecologists. True, there are some leftover solar batteries from old ground stations, but our race relies on the microwave power stations that orbit the planets. Our race has always been one with the environment, even while our industry grows and expands to new levels. The trees our the source of our life, and as such we have honored them by respecting their position and encouraging the growth of forests. The majority of any Slorvian city is found underground, so that the environment can provide the produce necessary to sustain both a Slorv and the wildlife." A message flashed on a nearby screen, showing that the Slorvian High Council wished to speak with him. "But I digress. Graka, it has been wonderful conversing with you. I must apologize though, for my leaders call me to converse personally. I do hope that we can have another discussion soon." Yuntar waited to see if Graka had anything else to say before backing away from the video feed.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 08:38:16 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Graka scratched an eye, stating simply, "Your students will learn that our cities are... in tune...? with the environment itself. You could even say they grow out of the surrounding wilderness, though it hasn't always been this way. We physically can't have microwave power stations in orbit. We can't even have satellites for things like radio transmission. Pretty much no electromagnetic radiation beyond a mix of visible light, UV, and infrared pierces the sky-shield. Anyway, as all Vantry say, 'Live Well and may Ahm's Light shine on all of your species.' " Graka nodded, a literal nod of his head, and waited to see if the Slorv had any communications. In the mean-time, he smacked himself in the head, thinking, Agh. It was so obvious that the Council had communicated faster than light. What moron thought to put FTL communications equipment in here?

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2010, 09:00:58 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

Yuntar bowed out of the room and cut the video feed. He immediately headed for the nearest door and walked down the hallway. After traveling down several levels on the elevator and pushing through two large doors he found himself amongst the Slorvian High Council members. They had all been awaiting his arrival and quickly stood up and lifted their trunks into the air in the sign of greeting. Yuntar did the same before finding a seat. He knew they would be asking him questions.

"What was your first impression of the Vantry?" a female councilor asked him, "I have my own, but I would like to hear your opinions on them."

"Well," Yuntar began, "at first I didn't know what to expect. They were alien, no doubt, but I can see an actual relationship forming between us. They seem peaceable enough to us. And, to be quite honest, if it ever came to war, I don't think we would have a problem securing our assets. I know this is not how a diplomat should be speaking, but I must look at all the possibilities." Several other councilors shook their head in agreement.

"Especially now that we have our hands on a faster-than-light engine," one of the councilors chimed in. "Which we must also talk about. We've been in contact with the researchers and engineers that have been working towards a prototype. They've looked at the information and they've confirmed it. The theories are sound and production has already begun on one of these engines. We have decided, as a council, that the first engine will be tested on one of our smaller ships. If the tests go as plan, our flagship of the Slorvian IV Defense Fleet will be outfitted with the engine. We've chosen this ship because it is the largest one we have, and because it has the most up-to-date technology."

"This sounds excellent," Yuntar said. "If I may speak freely?" he received a nod and continued on, "I would suggest the construction of several giant ships. They can be built under the guise that they are meant for trade, but in reality they can be used for colonization. I do hope that I am not the only one thinking that we must expand beyond this system..."

"We are already ahead of you on that matter," one of the councilors said, chuckling. He tapped away at a hidden display keyboard and a holographic image of a ship appeared in the middle of the board room table. Yuntar was fascinated by this piece of technology. Holograms were relatively new, but this was the Slorvian High Council, and as such, they had access to technology others could only dream of. The ship itself was an elongated orb with several fins and a large engine protruding from the smooth surface. It was a very Slorvian design, in that it had a smooth appearance. "This is a scaled down version of the generation ships we had been debating long ago. At that time we were considering the possibility of constructing these massive ships to expand the Slorv race outside of this system. The idea was scrapped after it became to expensive. But now that we have a faster-than-light engine we've been reconsidering these ships so that we can finally colonize new worlds." This was exciting news to everyone, and it showed on their faces. "Our team of engineers have been pouring over the old plans, updating them and cutting down on the size. Construction on these ships should begin within the week. We're moving at a fast pace here, and for good reason." Yuntar nodded his head in agreement.

"But now, a matter that we had been discussing before you arrived. Do we give the corporations access to the faster-than-light engine?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2010, 04:04:25 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Hours before Graka recieved the Council message

Deep within the bowels of the Altcom Corporate Headquarters, sat a ragged and weary Jergo in its mecha suit, checking reports of different varieties. The recent financial quarter reports were bleak at best, and when the government told im and the other CEOs about the industrial might of the Slorv, he realized that either Altcom was going to fail, or he had to do something big immediately to save the corporation. The CEO determined his options as; merge with a Slorv corporation, convince the Council to levy heavy tariffs on Slorv imports(unlikely considering their view that the Vantry needed the Slorv industry), or roll into the capitol with significant military force alongside other disgruntled corporations and those mistrustful of the Slorv who had power in the military, and there were quite a few powerful military Vantry ready to stage a coup.

Claudin Fran IX, the Altcom CEO, was a member of the Frans by adoption. Many years before the Jergo-Fran bloodline was established, the then-Fran-leader Claudin Fran I decided that he would integrate both the Jergo and the Milute into the Fran ranks, but he found no Milute willing to even discuss the idea, so he settled for just adopting a Jergo to make the Frans seem like an open, good-natured family. Through this connection, Claudin IX obtained great power and control over the Vantry economy, as the Frans essentially controlled every important corporation. They even feigned competition to keep the Council from levying charges of monopoly on the family.

However, Claudin IX's control had been waning for decades, as the minerals of Ahm seemed to disappear into thin air, almost as if Ahm was himself hiding the precious metals from Altcom and the Frans. There was hardly any need for a military anymore, as the enemy to tackle now was the frontier of space. Only the newer space industries, something which the Frans had no stake in, were growing like wild fire. The Council had also figured out how to take down the Frans, and had ceased to obey the commands that the Frans handed down. The old Military-Industrial-Governmental Complex was taking its last dying breath, the exact complex that held the Frans in power, and Claudin IX and his family didn't like that at all.

The Frans could do little to nothing about the death of their control over Government and Industry, but they still had their allies in the Military, which was slowly but inevitably dying. Almost all the old and powerful military officers were under their thumb, and acted like lap dogs. The only issue with using them to roll and fly into the capitol high above on the sky-shield was that the younger officers and enlisted would never attack other Vantry, as per the Vantry Constitution's orders. What Claudin IX needed, was a false-flag attack to rally the people to the corporate side against the Slorv, as the Council would no doubt defend their new-found allies. So, he handed down orders to contact the Slorv corporations via ship, sending off the Altcom Skycutter with the fastest FTL drive Vantry scientists had so far developed, which was only slightly faster than the older one, but hardly enough to make a difference in travel speed. Within the hour, it was soaring towards the Slorv to make corporate contact.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2010, 11:20:06 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Construct A-1 Orbiting Slorvian V

The Slorvian High Council had been debating over the corporation-FTL issue for the past few hours. Every now and then Yuntar would add his opinion, but for the most part the High Council seemed to agree. Eventually the corporations would get access to the engine, but only after the Slorvian government had established a fleet large enough to secure both the home system, and any other system the Slorv hoped to colonize. Everyone knew that while the government would be able to fund several different colonies in far away systems, the real growth would be seen when the corporations started to invest their funds in the colonization effort. That's how it had been before, and there was no reason it wouldn't happen the same way.

"So," one of the councilors said after there had been a momentary lapse in the conversation, "we must add more funding to the military. It seems that anymore we cannot sustain any true growth in colonies. The people follow their jobs, and their jobs are supplied by the corporations. We should cut back the funding in those areas and focus on the protection of our people. That is what a government if for, is it not?" There were many nods of agreement at these words, since they spoke the truth.

"So we can agree on this? The particular figures can be worked out at a later time, but I call for a vote for an increase in the military budget." With that each High Councilor tapped in a few entries into their datapads in front of them. After several minutes of this the votes were up. "Eighteen vote in favor, three are opposed. Then it's settled. A new committee will be setup which should include a good team of engineers, several military officers with experience in space warfare, and scientists to continue weapons development. And with that, I think it is time we take a break." Everyone slowly got out of their seats. They were all a little sore from sitting in the same place for such a long time, but they had reached a decision. Things were moving forward, and at a very quick rate.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2010, 11:46:06 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Days after Graka's talk with Yuntar

The Altcom Skycutter dropped out of warp on the other side of the system from where the Skipper had arrived, with the intention being to avoid all governmental-Slorv intervention, as well as give the Skipper as little time to respond to Altcom's presence in the system as possible, though the pilot and messenger had what they thought was a good story if Graka decided to ask why they were here. They quickly scanned the system, and decided upon the most industrialized planet, assuming that the center of industry was the center of the corporations, setting off towards it.

Predictably, the Altcom Skycutter's warp signature appeared on the Skipper's sensors within seconds, and Graka was alerted within minutes. He quietly stepped into the cockpit, and looked over the sensors, "Altcom... I don't like this. They shouldn't be here, the system home to the corporations that will bring about Altcom's downfall... it doesn't make sense... contact them." The pilot nodded, and keyed in the ship's 'frequency' on the FTL communications equipment built into the cockpit itself, followed by a short "Hello?" from the Skycutter's pilot. Graka quickly sat down in the co-pilot's seat, and began, "Why are you here? And don't give me some bull crap story. I know you corporate types."

The pilot of the Skycutter took a moment to respond, but then he replied, "Don't worry, Mr. Diplomat. We're just here to negotiate a merger to save our hides from poverty. Nothing illegal about that, is there?"

Graka snorted to himself, but the equipment didn't pick up on this, "Oh, nothing illegal at all. You've all been informed about the Slorv, I suppose you would want to not lose your job." Before the pilot could answer, he cut the connection, and typed in a few commands, "I'm sending a recording of this small conversation to the Council... their computers will be able to determine whether or not that pilot is lying. As well as whether or not we're going to need a military inquiry into Altcom's latest movements." The pilot of the Skipper nodded, saying a quick "Good thinking, sir," as if he hadn't been listening. It was technically his job not to hear anything Graka said.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2010, 12:01:06 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

News of the aliens had spread across the system, and the corporations had been waiting patiently. They all knew that this was opening up new windows for trade, and they would be quick to jump on it. Little did they know that it would happen so soon. It was Altair Inc. that was the first to notice the approaching alien ship, and they were the first to attempt contact. The Vantry language had been downloaded from the government, so they were able to readily communicate with the new arrivals. They didn't realize that the ship represented an alien corporation, but they did realize that a ship was approaching the general area of their headquarters so they weren't going to sit around when there was the possibility of trade.

//Greetings alien vessel. This is Altair Inc. attempting contact. We know of the peaceful relations between our two races and wish to speak with you concerning trade. Are you able to discuss these matters?//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2010, 12:09:33 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Nearing Slorvian II

The pilot notified the messenger, Claudin X, that a Slorv corporation had tried to contact them. Within moments, he sat down in the co-pilot's seat, and began transmitting to Altair as he read the message that his father had entrusted him with; //Greetings to you, Altair Inc. This ship represents Altcom Inc., and Altcom represents the primary mining corporation on Ahm. Consequently, our very existence is threatened if our species trades with yours, without tariffs. Is this a secure channel, I.E., can your government hear us?// Claudin X sat back in his chair, waiting patiently. Already, they had gone out on a limb. If this corporation decided to turn them into the government, they would be ruined.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2010, 12:13:34 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

//Our scientists and engineers ensure us that this is an encrypted channel, but one can never be too sure. But you say you represent a corporation yourself? What deals have you come to discuss, especially if you are a mining corporation? Altair Inc. constructs space ships, so there is definitely a connection, but we would not present any major competition to you. That would be Alcoan Inc.'s job.//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2010, 12:22:48 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Nearing Slorvian II

Comforted, Claudin X continued, //We do not wish to speak to our future competitors. Altair Inc. constructs space ships? That's perfect. You see, we're here to offer you the chance of a lifetime; the blueprints and theorems to build a FTL drive, specifically the fastest one have built.// Of course, not mentioning that it was hardly faster than the Skipper's FTL drive, //In exchange for this, we would like you to build military-grade ships Altcom has designed, with our own material and armor, at a massive discount, for a period of ten of our years. It would also be preferable that you keep your government from snooping around too much, if you can do so. We would also like any information you have on weapons manufacturers who are willing to build infantry and vehicular armament for Altcom, as well as knowing not to ask why we want them built. Would you accept this deal?//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2010, 12:36:13 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

The executives were nearly jumping for joy when they heard this message.

//I think we can agree to those terms. As long as you supply this FTL drive you speak of and the materials necessary to construct these ships, it shouldn't be a problem. As for weapons development, there is one company that specializes in automated mechanical beings. They are quite effective on the battlefield, and each new generation continues to improve over the last. Retrem Inc. builds these robots, but if you wish, we could contact them for you since you seem to be trying to avoid too much publicity. Altair Inc. understands that and respects that. If not there are several other arms dealers that could produce any number of weapons for your purchase. As for vehicular armament, there are no major corporations specializing in the construction of military grade material.//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2010, 11:58:20 am »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Nearing Slorvian II

Claudin X could just imagine how excited and relieved his father would be, and proud of his son as well, //Hmm, no vehicle manufacturers? We'll just have to make do with taking some of our military's... But theirs are more than satisfactory. We may have be in peace for many years, but we never forgot how to build a tank. We can offer the further incentive of having five pre-built drives delivered to you within days, if you will build the first five ships for free. All you would need to do is make some modifications to your current ship, and hook the drives up to their power systems, and you'd be weeks, months, even years ahead of your government. Do you mind if we land on your world so that we can sign the contracts written in Slorvian? If you don't, are there any Retrem Inc. representatives on Slorvian II to negotiate a different contract?//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2010, 12:05:58 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

//For all intents and purposes, our robotic 'buddies', as we refer to them, are our vehicles. They come in many different shapes and sizes. As for the exchange of five drives for five ships, we can only say no. Ships are expensive things, and even though these FTL drives are invaluable, we do not think they are on par with the profit of selling five ships. I can barter with you though and agree to giving you three free ships for the five pre-built FTL drives.

When we do reach an agreement, you would be more than welcome to land on our planet, but seeing as a majority of it is covered in magma fields, it would probably be better to dock with our space station to conclude the deal.

As for Retrem Inc. representatives, there may be a few scattered around Slorvian II, but I doubt they would have the seniority to negotiate any major deals. However, they would have the means to contact their headquarters better than we could. I'll have them called up to be present at our contract signing if you so wish. It would be the most efficient way to move things along.//

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2010, 12:24:48 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Nearing Slorvian II

//Agreed then, we didn't realize you were in orbit of Slorvian II. Three ships for five drives is satisfactory. As for the docking, does your station have what we call uh... a 'ship-to-ship' connection, or does the ship land within the station, where there is already pressurization? And we would indeed like you to have them be present. We should be in orbit of Slorvian II in a few minutes... But we can wait for them to gather.// Claudin X pushed the button to transmit the message, having all the while been aware of the time-lapse involved in radio transmissions.

Suddenly, the FTL communications chirped, and it said, in Claudin IX's voice, "The others are in agreement. Once you've obtained the deals, the material will be there in a day. The cargo ship has already left the station." Double-meaning messages, his father's favorite way of communicating secrets. The message was literal, the cargo ship had indeed already left the station with the ship material, but it also meant that the operation was a done-deal. It was going to happen now, and there was no going back. It just needed the proof-the deals- before the other corporations would sign instead of agree.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

The Council computers received Graka's message, and processed it within moments, deciding upon 'Liar' as their result. It sent this result down to the Council themselves, in their debate chamber. Councilor Alpha read the message to the assembly of Councilors and Military brass, and spoke, "Altcom is up to something. We cannot trust a corporation which can see its death coming. Vantry can do many things in desperation, especially when greed is involved. General Daedan, I want your Inquisitors to investigate and report their findings. There are no buts involved in this matter of Vantry security." Daedan nodded, and immediately began whispering into a transmitter that he always held on his first left shoulder, as Alpha continued, "Now, what is the next issue?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2010, 02:06:10 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

The executives of Altair were bristling with pride. They had successfully dropped the deal down to only three ships whilst still securing the five faster-than-light engines, a very successful barter if they had ever seen one. Plans were already being made, and the area within the Altarian Shipyards and prepped to begin construction on these three ships. It would take some time to construct them, but the sooner they got construction underway, the sooner they would be done and the more money could be made.

At the same time, Retrem Inc. representatives were called to the meeting area where the deal would take place. They came along, wary of their corporate rivals, even though they weren't directly competing. They were accompanied by several three-legged robotic 'buddies' that were tasked with the job of carrying several large containers which held images and some smaller examples of nearly ever robotic model in production. They were prepared to strike a deal, and they were willing to show these newcomers everything that they had to offer.

//Normally we would have a ship to ship connection, but because we are unsure whether these locks would be compatible, it would probably be better to land within one of our docking bays which can then be pressurized. I am not sure of your preferences, but it would probably be better to come in some sort of biosuit, depending on the differences of our two worlds. We must also take into consideration that there may be some foreign microorganisms that could be transferred between our two races. It would not be good if we were to trade these along with our material goods.//

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Throughout the Slorv System

The arrival of the alien species and the subsequent transfer of technology had pushed the otherwise hectic Slorvian Empire into a chaotic spiral of energy. Rather than being fearful and staying at home, many Slorv were excited by the idea of new life and the possibility of traveling between the stars. A majority of the population had no idea that the Slorvian High Council has secured a faster-than-light drive, but they now realized that it was possible to go faster than light and arrive in a far away place almost instantly. Or so they thought.

The real action was occurring within the Slorvian government itself. Funds were being shifted, spending was being increased, and production facilities throughout the home system were going into overdrive to pick up the slack where others left off. Most of this activity was military in nature, after the High Council agreed to secure the home system and guarantee protection to every Slorv. Various shipbuilding corporations, namely Altair Inc., received new orders of military grade ships while several high-tech production facilities received blueprints to begin construction on mysterious objects. Several executives were briefed that they were in fact FTL drives, but the average worker had no idea what they were building.

Retrem Inc. became the most busy. They were receiving orders to begin construction of several new Robotic Brigades, complete with weapons and the latest hardware. New models required to carry out strange tasks were called for and old designs required upgrading. The Slorv were going to expand in, and they were going to do so with the ability to defend themselves if the need arose.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2010, 02:40:24 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Near the Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin X was already getting suited up in the exosuit, a practice that was still unprecedentedly dangerous and required exosuits to survive space. However, instead of space, it would be a foreign atmo and biosphere that could potentially still result in death. As Claudin wasn't present, the pilot answered, //Claudin X is already getting suited up. We're going to come in while he's holding onto the side of the ship, an assuredly sterile way to land, as no microbe we currently know of can survive space.//

Once Claudin was suited up, he entered the air lock, which vacuumed the air out as they approached the station. What was left was sucked out into space as the lock opened, and Claudin briskly climbed out, clutching a square pyramid-shaped device that would print copies of the contract for each representative and himself, as well as translate these different copies. Alternatively, it would also serve as the translator between species. He then gracefully crawled along the Skycutter's hull, as all 'Gra do, because of their six leg-arms that give them great mobility, even in zero-gee.

The pilot selected the first empty bay he saw, and brought it in slowly, making sure not to scratch the sides as he deployed the landing gear and shut off the engine. Safe, Claudin climbed down the hull, orchestrating a kind of back flip to land on the ground. It was almost uncanny how agile a 'Gra became once gravity ceased to be part of the equation. He then patiently waited for the representatives to pressurize the dock and come see him.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

Almost immediately, the Inquisitors got to work, walking into Altcom's headquarters calmly. Two of them, always working in pairs, simply showed their IDs to the security guard, who knew what to do if asked if the Inquisition were here, as they walked through the metal detector, but it oddly made no noise as it scanned them. Secretly, the Inquisition was the only Military force to use Ragtan Alloy weapons and armor, making them virtually undetectable by all convention forms of scanner technology. Nothing short of a full-body scan would detect that anything was amiss, and even then, their equipment would simply appear as voids in the scan. They kept their IDs out, and showed them to the secretary at the front office, quietly saying, "We are going to speak with Mr. Claudin IX. This matter is far beyond your clearance. If you hear gunfire, we were not here. If you are asked if you saw us, you saw only the air." The secretary, slightly frightened by the appearance of the Inquisition, quickly cleared them to go straight to the top of the skyscraper. One Inquisitor made his way to the elevator, the other asked the secretary, "Did you see us?" The secretary quietly gulped, and replied, "Is the wind blowing? Strange." Underneath his hood, and behind his protective Ragtan mask, the Inquisitor smiled, and joined his comrade in the elevator.

At the top, the elevator opened, but it was apparently empty as Claudin IX looked up from his paper-covered desk. He narrowed his eyes slightly, suspicious, but went back to work. Moments later, the elevator doors closed, and it went back down to respond to a call from some employee on another floor. He looked up again to check to see if anyone got in, and was greeted by a blue, crystal-armored fist slamming into his face. He woke up some amount of time later, strapped to his chair, but he felt no pain due to the pain killers the Inquisitors had thoughtfully given him. He quietly contemplated whether or not these pain killers had something else mixed into them, as the pair conversed in whispers in front of him.

One of them noticed he was awake, and looked over at him, saying, "Mr. Claudin IX. We have some allegations that seem to involve you. You may have heard rumors about the Inquisition. They are all true."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2010, 02:31:44 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Once the Ventry ship was securely locked in the docking bay, the large blast doors closed behind them and an atmosphere was slowly pumped in to the chamber. This wasn't the most efficient way of docking ships, but because there was no compatibility, it was really the only way to conduct this transaction. It took several minutes for the atmosphere to be pumped in to the, all the while the Altair and Retrem representatives stood watching up above from behind a plexiglass window.

When this procedure was finally completed, the representatives made their way into the docking bay, preferring to go out and meet the Vantry rather than forcing him to leave his ship. It was always better to be close to something familiar. The robotic companions filed in behind the representatives, several large containers stretched out between them. They waited patiently for the first deal to be made before moving on to Retrem.

"Greetings, soon to be business partners," Chief Executive Hoko said. She was one of the higher representatives of Altair Inc. and had been given the clearance and go ahead to conduct the first trans-species business deal in Slorvian history. She knew that her name would probably go down in the history books, but that wasn't what she was focusing on at this point. She was a businesswoman first and foremost. She was good at her job and it showed. She had a contract to sign, and she was going to get it done. "We have written up the terms of the deal on these pages," an associate came up carrying several stacks of paper, "that basically state everything we have agreed on. You may review them if you like, but we Slorv are very particular about our business transactions. For what it's worth, we have never had a case of illegal procedures or switching the legal terms of a deal in our history. We normally conclude our deals with a signature. If your race has a different tradition, I feel it would be best if we conducted this transaction in both our races traditions to securely seal this deal without stepping on anyone's tails."

The Retrem Inc. representatives watched the proceedings with much interest. They recently came from a business deal conducted between Retrem Inc. and Alcoan Inc., but they were always aching for information concerning other major Slorvian corporations. Plus, if things went well, they could very well be signing a deal similar to the one going on.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Retrem Inc. HQ on Slorvian V

Retrem Inc. headquarters were one of the few buildings that broke through the ground and extended above the planet's surface. Following colony protocol, a majority of the buildings and infrastructure were located underground to provide protection from the dangers of space. But there were several structures that had been given clearance to pierce the protective earth. And the Retrem Inc. HQ was one of them.

CEO Tiik sat in his office chair pouring over the information that continued to flow in from every corner of the Slorvian homesystem. Ever since the arrival of the aliens, things had been hectic and massive shipments were being ordered from practically everywhere. The government orders alone were going to put Retrem Inc. in the black. So Tiik had ordered a group of representatives out to Slorvian II in order to secure a larger shipment of refined metals from Alcoan Inc. and had been pleasantly surprised to learn that contact had been made between an alien corporation and Altair Inc. They had asked for representatives from Retrem Inc. as well, with the promise of good business between the two races.

But there were other things that were making his job as CEO hectic. He had secured a deal with Yasirean Inc. a few months back for several experimental small drive AI constructs. They had just recently arrived and were currently being installed in a group of military-grade robots. These were the first AI constructs being installed in military robots. For the most part, the military robots of the past had been hardwired to identify enemies and determine whether or not to shoot. They had been successful, but they had required an actual Slorv commander to order them to certain positions. This hadn't been a problem though, because a majority of the alarmists didn't like the idea of totally automated robots that had the capability to kill someone.

AI constructs had made leaps and bounds since then, and now were fully capable of being installed into a robot whilst giving it cognitive thought. This was the current test, to see whether or not they were effective in battle or whether they would fall flat in comparison to their computer controlled, Slorv commanded brethren. They still had the hardware that wouldn't allow them to disobey direct orders from their superiors, but now they could strategize. Truly a step up.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2010, 03:33:47 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin X nodded his suit slightly, "Let's get a move on. It's one thing to spend your entire life in a mechanical suit. It's another to be a mechanical suit within a mechanical suit."

He set the pyramidal device on the ground, and activated it. Immediately, it formed a much larger holographic pyramid around it, with the Vantry contract written in Jergoan on the side facing Claudin, and the other side written in Slorvian for the Altair representative, "This device is a relatively new development, very useful for inter-species communications and things of that nature. I forgot to mention it's been translating for me almost this entire time... If only we could miniaturize it more. Interestingly, it is modeled after Ahm's Message. In any case, you use your finger to sign where it tells you, at the bottom. Feel free to read it as you will, the device is designed to be unbiased and impossible to hack. You will sign your side, and it will copy over to my side, and I will sign, and it will copy to your side as proof. Then we shall sign your... inefficient amounts of paper," Claudin motioned to the stacks, "Oh, and my name is Claudin X, son of Claudin IX. My father is the Altcom Inc.'s CEO."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Claudin IX's Office

One of the Inquisitors spoke to the other as he made sure a Ragtan was sharp(they almost always were), "Alpha, how shall we conduct this interrogation? Torture?" The other chuckled, and said, "Omega, must you always play the bad cop?" to which, Omega replied, "Of course, that is why I am the Omega."

Claudin IX tried to move his suit, but found that its power had been knocked out except for life support, so he settled for sarcasm as he pushed a button within his suit, "So original. The Alpha and the Omega. Good cop, bad cop. So the rumors are true, you're all a bunch of wackos. I've done nothing wrong." Omega came towards him, putting away the Ragtan knife, and taking out a battery with cables to connect to Claudin's suit, "Are you done complaining? Because I want to get on with the electrocution. You damn Jergo are so hard to torture, so easily killed. You don't have anything we can cut off." He connected one of the cables, and waited for Alpha's signal with the other. Alpha leaned against Claudin, perfectly aware of his armor's insulation against electricity, "Look. We are going to do the old good cop, bad cop tactic. Only we're not cops. We can do whatever we want without possibility of repercussions. For us, anyway. Not so for you. So, either you tell us everything, we electrocute you until you tell us everything, or we kill you. Take your pick." Claudin IX said nothing for ten seconds, causing Alpha to motion for Omega to connect the other cable, "Have it your way."

After nearly an hour of on-and-off electric shocks, Claudin broke, telling the Inquisitors everything as they recorded his words. If Jergo could cry, he'd likely have been filling the oceans. They cut his suit's bindings, but left the power off, as Omega put a pistol with a single armor-piercing round in the exact place a Jergo would know to shoot to commit suicide, and pulled the trigger. Alpha and Omega turned the suits' power back on, and moved a few of the more disastrous reports on his desk towards the lifeless mecha suit. Minutes later, they disappeared from the headquarters.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2010, 05:22:21 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Hoko laughed at the little comment made by the Vantry. "It's all about the traditions, my friend. Paper is a relic of the past, but we still honor our transactions by having signatures on something physical rather than storing it as simple data. It makes it much more real." Hoko signed when he was urged to, as did Claudin X. When everything was done, Hoko bowed to his counterpart. "It was a pleasure doing business with you. I await the arrival of the FTL drives. And construction is ready to begin as soon as your specific materials arrive. Now I leave you with the Retrem Inc. representatives. Good luck in your business." Hoko bowed again before signaling for his group to leave. They filed out of the docking bay leaving behind the two Retrem representatives and their entourage of robotic companions.

"Greetings Claudin, I am Rem and this is my bond brother Rom," one of the Retrem representatives said as they approached the Vantry. "We were informed that you were in the market for some military-grade material, of which we have large quantities." Rem motioned to his robotic companions behind him which started to unpack the cargo containers showing off a wide variety of models designed for one thing, and one thing only. Destruction. "We have a wide variety of tools at our disposal. What exactly were you looking for?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2010, 05:56:06 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin X examined the models, asking, "Do they distinguish between civilians and armed soldiers? What is their capability to think on their own? If their commander is killed, can they continue to serve their purpose? Building on the second question, do they actually fight intelligently instead of marching onward to their doom?" Most of these questions were superficial; Claudin X would already have his soldiers even if they weren't robotic due to his father's plans. Whatever he agreed to here would just be extra, though it could mean winning or losing in what was to come. The Vantry had little experience with fighting against robots. Conventional doctrine held that organic pilots were always superior to metal brains. Specifically metal, as crystalline was a different story. Claudin X also quietly wanted to see how the Military fared against these devices, no doubt some of the Generals that would join them when the time came would also like to witness this.

He stopped examining them for a moment to ask one more question, "More importantly, what kind of materials do you value highly? I'm trying to think of something other than our currency that could be traded, perhaps something Altcom mines or has access to." Suddenly, a light seemed to switch on his head, and he rushed over to the representatives, saying, "Look at my ship. Do you wonder why it is blue and covered with a crystalline substance? It is because what we call Ragtan Alloy is very... versatile. Extremely tough, extremely light, very hard to get because of limited supply. Stops harmful radiation, completely insulated against electricity. Consequently, we Vantry value it highly. Would your corporation have any use for it? Tougher, lighter robots that can take greater punishment before even getting a scratch?"

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Present until Claudin X's Return

Back on Ahm, the CEOs who would've allied themselves with Claudin IX were coerced into forgetting anything about the plan, but when they checked their finances, they discovered everything had been transferred to Claudin X. Remarkably, Claudin IX had managed to steal the entire Fran fortune, and give it to his son. Where it was now held, was unknown. The Inquisition reported that it had all been changed into physical substance, and hidden somewhere, there wasn't a paper or electronic trail anywhere. Obviously, this angered the Council, as they also had no idea where Claudin X was. Immediately, dozens of orders were issued to police everywhere to stay alert for Claudin, and the Inquisition went around as they normally did, beating people to a pulp who might have even the slightest idea of where he was. It was all very strange of the government, reacting so violently, but the media said nothing beyond that a sudden rise in suicides among CEOs had occurred due to them discovering their corporations would soon be bankrupt once trade relations with the Slorv began.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2010, 06:34:18 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Rem and Rom listened to the Vantry's questions. It was quite normal for these types of questions to be asked, seeing as they were nearly the exact same ones that popped up upon the invention of mechanical warriors. And these robots had improved greatly over the years.

"One of the defining characteristics of these robotic warriors is that they can quickly and accurately identify any weapon that could cause fatality and reply with the correct amount of force. For example, if someone happens to be holding a knife, the robot will refrain from firing its weapons, but will move to restrain and disarm that person. They will fire their own weapons when ordered to, or if fired upon." Rem said, taking the lead questions and doing his best to explain their capabilities.

Rom soon took over, "They are intelligent in that they can remember certain situations and reply differently, or the same way, depending on the level of success of the past. They are programmed to protect themselves, meaning that they will not needlessly sacrifice themselves. However, they will put themselves in the line of fire to protect a commanding officer or other important target from attack." He paused for a moment before going on. "The benefit of these machines are these facts. Their reaction time is unparalleled. They can recognize something and respond almost instantaneously, much faster than any organic. That is one of the benefits of the computers that run the robots."

Here Rem took over again, "And pound for pound, these machines can put up quite a fight. Their strength is one of their defining characteristics. We have several designs created specifically for this, able to maneuver heavy objects around the battlefield or take on enemy machines that are much larger than them."

"As for materials," Rom cut in, "this alloy does indeed look interesting. We have been spending large sums of money trying to develop the lightest and most durable alloy for our machines. This could be very valuable, and would definitely be part of any deal we create. So, what exactly are you going up against?"

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2010, 06:51:23 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin X scratched his chin, "Well, I suppose you can understand my father's corporation's position in this matter. When the Council, our Council, decided to trade openly and without tariffs with your people, they doomed multitudes of well-founded corporations that would fall almost immediately to Slorvian corporations other than yours. Disgruntled as we are, and as annoyed of having lost the control we once had over the government, we plan to instigate a coup, as bloodlessly as possible. What we are going against is our own coalition's Military, which hasn't lost any of its strength during the recent peace time. If anything, it's strengthened. Part of the Military will join us, but it will not be a majority. So it's likely we'll have to fight for a few months, maybe a year, to eventually return to stability with the corporations reigning supreme once more."

He continued, thinking of things, "We'll be fighting virtually everything you can think of; Land, Sea, Air, and Space. Sea is involved because all of our cities are coastal, therefore, the Military will have ships to bombard us if need be..." He then pointed at his ship, "We can have what reserves Altcom Inc. possesses of Ragtan Alloy to you in the same amount of time it'll take the material for our war ships to arrive for Altair to use. Then, once the war has progressed, we'll go into the Ragtan tunnels, and force them with steel boots to give their entire supply to us, though no non-Ragta has ever set foot in the Deep Tunnels... Besides Ragtan Alloy, we have other valuables. I believe scans of your system have told us that what we have in huge abundance  are probably precious jewels to you, namely things like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2010, 01:22:32 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Rem and Rom mentally remembered everything that the Vantry listed. Their robots were mainly based around land warfare, including anything that involved closer combat within space. There were several drone designs that were capable of aeronautical combat, but other than that they hadn't developed anything for combat in or under water. That is to say, their machines could enter the water and survive, but they weren't the most agile and probably wouldn't be able to handle the unique circumstances of sea warfare. After the Vantry finished, Rem and Rom told him as much.

"But that is interesting. Corporations running the government instead of the government running the corporations..." Rem said, trailing off as he did so.

"It seems that all too often these government agents are telling us what to do and when to do it," Rom said, picking up where Rem had left off. "This is a very interesting idea indeed." Both were thinking the same thing. Retrem Inc. was probably the largest Slorvian corporation. They had several strong ties with their suppliers as well as those corporations that they sold their products to. They could very easily produce their own army if the need arose and still have the support of a large portion of the population. Their CEO needed to hear of this.

"But back towards the deal. This Ragtan Alloy is very interesting, something that we would like to see more of. These fine gems that you speak of are also worth large sums of money and would most likely be sufficient to secure a deal between our corporations, if there is a large enough quantity supplied. As for our specific designs, we have them separated into distinct categories that allow our consumers to specifically pinpoint the most design that would be most effective against their opponent." Here Rem and Rom pulled up their computer, showing off a projection of several different categories.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2010, 04:18:43 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin nodded his suit, "We'll mostly be engaged in close quarters combat... very twitch action, I assume your robots will perform exceptionally well with their reaction times. Heavy artillery is less... useful, in our cities, as they're grown out of Ragtan Alloy for the most part. Slow, but it also allows them to stretch from ground to sky... We could also use some Rapid Fires, but Single Shots are practically useless where we'll be fighting. What we do need, though, is some anti-air designs, preferably with guided missiles. What would you say their general kill-death ratio is?" As he finished, Claudin was running the numbers in his head. The Military was composed of roughly fifty million soldiers both active and reserve, and he assumed that maybe a third would join him. That left the odds at seventeen million against thirty-four million, and it was unlikely that they'd obtain higher than a 1:1 K/D ratio. So Claudin needed to account for seventeen million surviving soldiers standing against him.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2010, 03:31:50 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

"As for anti-aircraft, we do have several different models that specialize in keeping the skies clear of enemy resistance. Guided missiles are among our most effective anti-aircraft weaponry, but we do have several explosive projectile platforms that are quite accurate thanks to their advanced tracking systems." Rem pulled up several different designs. The layout was basically the same, except that these robots sported dual missile pods that could contain twelve missiles each.

"As for their kill-death ratio, I would have to say that is unknown," Rom said. "In our testings, the general outcome is 1:1, but this is robot against robot. There have been several tests of organics against robots, but these results were inconclusive. But the one thing that was conclusive is that our close combat robots were quite effective when placed in a close combat situation. They were able to identify situations in mere milliseconds and reply with the necessary force. They were very effective at clearing out hostile buildings with minimal casualties. Don't get me wrong though, our mid and long-range robots were very accurate, but the distance allowed organics the opportunity to identify the situation and respond in their own manner."

"Depending on the numbers required, we can start shipments fairly soon. Our production facilities are very efficient."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2010, 04:09:04 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Claudin nodded a few times, considering his options. He had a huge amount of wealth at his disposal, but his decisions as to what to purchase could win or lose the war, "I'd say we'd need about five million pure-close combat, preferably of a Size I or II, with about a million mid-ranges, and a couple hundred of your best anti-air designs. The gems and Alloy will arrive on a ship named the Dia'Montun, a freighter. It'll be as full of them as you wish, but I'd refrain from selling too many gems too quickly, otherwise you risk crashing or lowering your market. Slowly, over time, or to keep them for yourselves would be best. The first cargo hold will be for Altair, the second is yours. I'd also like if you would refrain from shipping any orders to us until we can gain control of Vantry Beta; our spaceport on Ahm. The only one, to be exact. Further orders may be needed, if the war ends up dragging on, but I suspect it will end quickly... If that is agreeable, we can get to signing..."

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2010, 04:17:44 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Rem and Rom nodded as the Vantry listed off the numbers, punching them in to their computers as he went along. It was the largest deal they had ever secured, but not nearly as large as some of the initial colonies required. They smiled to each other as the Vantry tried to teach them basic economics, but refrained to point out the fact that they were well versed in the ideas of supply and demand. If the alien wished to speak his mind, they wouldn't stop him.

"If you would like, we can begin shipping the robots to a secure orbital warehouse. That way they'll be ready to ship as soon as you give the go ahead. Other than that, I can see no reason to deny you this deal. It is beneficial to us both." With that Rom stepped forward to initiate the deal while Rem continued to punch in the orders and send the transactions back to the Retrem HQ.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2010, 04:24:21 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

If the Slorv could ever understand how a Jergo smiles(and Claudin didn't have both an exo and mecha suit on), they could see him smiling like a madman, "That would be great... I suppose you guys are getting to play actual war profiteer for once? I can almost say for certain that we may need later orders... but I personally hope that's not necessary. Things would be easier for me if I was in your shoes, unthreatened by the prospect of sudden bankruptcy."

If the Slorv were finished as he signed their documents, and they his, Claudin would climb back onto his ship to get ready for the bay to open.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2010, 05:01:13 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Altairian Shipyard Orbiting Slorvian II

Rem and Rom smiled at the idea of being war profiteers. "You could say something along those lines..."

When everything was said and done, the transactions were signed and the two Retrem Representatives bowed low. "It was a pleasure doing business with you. I hope that you are successful in your ventures and know that our doors are always open." With that the two packed up their supplies, signaling to their robotic companions to do the same. In a little under a minute everything had been restored and the group began to march its way out of the docking bay so that it could be depressurized and the Vantry allowed to leave. As soon as they were securely back through the airlock, Rem and Rom looked back through the plexiglass window at the Vantry ship. Two smiles were plastered across their face as they rang up their HQ to speak to the CEO personally.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2010, 07:09:00 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System

The Skycutter turned its engines back on, and left the bay. Claudin made his way back inside the ship through the airlock, going through the trouble of getting out of the exosuit. When he was back safely within the ship, it got to a safe distance from Slorvian II, and activated its FTL drive, disappearing suddenly from sensors.

Meanwhile, the Skipper and its diplomat stayed in orbit, Graka thoroughly annoyed that he still has no idea what Altcom was up to.

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Re: [AC]One for Profit, One for Knowledge
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2010, 08:32:07 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Retrem Inc. HQ on Slorvian V

Tiik sat at his desk staring at the message that Rem and Rom had just sent him. It was a recorded message that was sent back and forth between the two people since they were planets apart and any attempts at a live feed would result in minutes of lag between conversation. This was the closest thing to personal contact the Tiik and his representatives could use. He watched the message several times, downloading the numbers for the orders they had received from their alien counterparts. Within several hours production would begin on the long list of robots, creating a decent sized army within weeks. This order was large, however, and would take more than just weeks to complete. At most it would take several months, but new production facilities that had been under construction for some time along with those being planned for construction were increasing the Retrem production rates.

In reality, the close range robotics were the easiest to make since they didn't have to go through the arduous weapons test that would zero in their accuracy. They would still have to go through some calibration, but nothing like the long range robots that would take almost a day to get everything running together properly. But the anti-aircraft robots that Claudin had ordered were another story. They required a large amount of guidance electronics along with a lot of expensive missiles. On average, their brains were much smarter because they had to take into consideration much more than their ground-pounder brothers. And because of that they were much more sensitive.

After looking over the reports one more time, Tiik finally pressed the record button to send his reply. "Good job Rom and Rem, you've done just excellent. These orders are going to give our corporation a large sum of money to work with, and when I say money, I mean precious stones. You'll both be receiving a nice bonus and commission because of this. Make sure to stop by my office when you arrive planetside, I'd like to speak with you face to face to congratulate you."

Once the message was sent, Tiik immediately switched gears and went back over to watch the results of the new experiment.

Deep Within the Retrem Inc. HQ Basement

Booting up   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   Online

The words seemed to appear out of nowhere, but then again so had this conscious entity. For the first few moments of existence there was a general confusion as to what was what and how anything had even come to be. This was all normal, of course. Slowly the information began to trickle in as more systems were activated and general awareness came about. Then, in a flash, everything was answered.

I am RF-PE-I-2442, nickname "Raffa." Gigabytes of information were being transferred into his body, but Raffa focused on the first part above all. I am Raffa, he thought to himself. I am a machine.

"Wakey, wakey, rise and shine!" a voice came through his outer sensors. Without even having to think, Raffa unfolded from his ball mode, his legs stretching out to hold up his body while his head peaked up and his 'eyes' opened for the first time. Standing before him was a rather large Slorv dressed in military fatigues. The bars on his collar designated him as a lieutenant in the Slorvian armed forces, quite a high rank. Raffa continued to unfold, his dual mini-guns extending out the side of his small body as he fully extended himself.

"RF-PE-I-2442, reporting for duty, sir," Raffa said through his outside intercom.

"Raffa, you just made history, son," the lieutenant said, a large grin stretched across his face.