Author Topic: [AC] One for Profit, One for Knowledge  (Read 7391 times)

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Offline Raz

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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.

Offline Josasa

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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?"

Offline Raz

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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.

Offline Josasa

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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?"

Offline Raz

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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."

Offline Josasa

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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.

Offline Raz

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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.

Offline Josasa

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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."

Offline Raz

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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..."

Offline Josasa

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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.

Offline Raz

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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.

Offline Josasa

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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.

Offline Raz

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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.

Offline Josasa

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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.