Author Topic: [AC] Cascade of Reason  (Read 3779 times)

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Offline Kitkat

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[AC] Cascade of Reason
« on: January 14, 2010, 06:47:15 pm »
The probe―and its multiple fragments that trailed closely behind―sailed quickly towards certain doom. "One miscalculation, and you would be reduced to star stuff." The quote that inevitably appeared within any intelligent space-faring beings, proved itself to be true with the glimmering hulk shooting through space. Despite the apparent ease of navigation, seemingly proved by the safe travel of its six relatives currently scanning the galaxy, this ship had wandered a bit too close to the gravity well of an ancient star near the outer core, and the results were... not good. Currently, after nearly 1,000 years of travel, the end of their journey was fast approaching. The message every captain dreads, "Danger, you are on a collision course", was flashing through the circuits of the Chara'ai probe. The captain and crew could do nothing, once just one or two warp motors were knocked out, the ship's maneuvering wouldn't function. Despite their impending doom, the probe did all it was designed to do, send astounding photographs of the gas giant that quickly approached.

And it happened. The ship barely grazed the atmosphere of this overgrown planet, slowing it inadvertently in an atmospheric breaking maneuver. Though this was certainly next to nothing in astronomical scales. It continued on its course, heading directly for a moon in orbit. The ship careened through the atmosphere, only just managing to retain structural integrity, and quite near the melting point of the crystalline superstructure. The ship crashed to the surface, still traveling at one or two thousand miles an hour, though with a great splintering of crystalline silicon, it, or rather its reduced components, quickly slowed, coming to a stop on the barren landscape of the moon.

But the moon wasn't quite as barren as it looked.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 07:49:07 pm by Kitkat »


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Offline Clarke

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Re: Cascade of Reason: Kota Coalition-Chara'ai-Phaaruun First Contact
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 07:38:28 pm »
Kota System, Mira Orbit, Moon Bulan
Kebun'an sailed over the Bulan's surface, bursts of gas erupting from his back-arms. The wire-plant's thin stems, along with the bright light from the sun-lamps orbiting around Mira, cast long shadows over the rocky surface, the ice that had formed during the long night sparkling in the morning light. Kebun'an thought of the years spent hauling KBO's into Mira orbit, saving enough money to buy the modest plot of land that now flourishes with life. A patch of life, out at the edge of the solar system. Kebun'an chuckled at the thought, his flash-shell glowing with light. Suddenly, a bright flame caught his eye. A ship, glowing with frictional heat from the contact with Mira's atmosphere, lit up the sky, and the point of light was only growing larger. A ball of light struck the ground beneath Kebun'an, rock and ice flying up from the point of impact, throwing him to the ground.

Kota System, Mira-Bulan Lagrangian point, Research Station Alpha
A bright light flashed from the console, waking Pengtai'on. Surprised, she glided over to the console, pulling on the handles strung throughout the room to guide her. She wasn't expecting any data from Mira, the gas giant hadn't shown unusual activity in many years, the reason their was only a single-man ship at this prime observation point. She tapped the console, the tissue flexing slightly under her touch. The screen showed a diagram, along with four lights rapidly blinking in the "letters" of the Kotan language. Pengtai'on performed the Kotan analogue of a frown, her flash-cell lighting up. Something was wrong. With a flick of a finger, she pulled up a list of comets and asteroids, and ordered the computer to run a comparison of possible orbits with the orbit of the object skimming through Mira's atmosphere. None matched. Pengtai'on became even more uncomfortable, not helped by the fact that the object seemed to be changing its orbit. Warning lights flashed, the object seemed to be heading for a direct collision with Bulan. Pengtai'on engaged the engines, pushing the ship toward the expected crash site, but it was too late. A plume of debri exploded from the surface as the ship headed toward the moon.

Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 06:59:30 pm »
Kota System, Mira Orbit, Moon Bulan
Kebun'an emerged from under the rubble, pushing away the thin layer of rock, ice, and dust that had fallen near the impact site. Irritated, he made his way over to the impact site. If he could find the co-op that had mis-calculated the asteroid's orbit, he thought, he might be able to get compensation for the damage. Suddenly he stopped, forcing air from his front-arms to slow him down. Instead of an asteroid, a massive gem rose from the crater, glimmering in the light. He hovered over the gem, watching his reflection flicker as something stirred inside the ship.


Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 07:14:33 pm »
The Sub-Probe bay cover finally gave after all the stress, releasing its broken contents; a relatively good-sized scouting craft, and an EVA unit. Both sparked energetically as their logic circuits spilled their energy out into the atmosphere. In other words, you could say that the EVA, and the Chara'ai personality inside, was dying of "blood" loss. Despite the dire situation, the scout relayed information to the being before it, as was commanded by the ancient programming inside. Slightly garbled from damaged equipment, a looping message appeared, projected by a small display on the EVA unit. It displayed Chara'ai numbers, speech, written language, planetary system, and all the obligatory tidbits of info on an extraterrestrial "IQ test". Followed, unusually, by one, broken scentence:

~//We.... Request... immediate, assistance.... Help us... please//~
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 07:37:32 pm by Kitkat »
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2010, 07:05:43 pm »
Kota System, Mira Orbit, Moon Bulan
Kebun'an stared at the gem as it cracked, watching as two smaller gems emerged from the glowing wreckage of what must be, he realized, a ship. One of the gem-creatures lit up, displaying strange symbols that were incomprehensible to Kebun'an, but gave the impression of sentience. The creature was obviously hurt, sparks coming off broken limbs, glowing brightly in the thin hydrogen atmosphere.
...
Pengtai'on brought the ship down gently, the side of the vessel just touching the ground, with the ship holding itself down in the moon's small gravity well by grasping at the surface with two of its three front limbs. She emerged from the side of the ship, the orifice enclosing her and pushing her out, keeping an air-tight seal. Pengtai'on pushed off toward the bright light that lit up the horizon.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 12:46:43 pm by Clarke »

Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 03:47:45 pm »
~//EID Protocol... comprehension failure... Resort to plan 2...//~

The scout disengaged its fine manipulator arms, in a last ditch attempt at communicating his thoughts. A Direct Mind/Concept link could often be used in life-forms possessing a computational system, and he hoped that this would be no different. He reached out toward the creature presently looking at him, and touched it. A simple thought was passed over and over:

//Help.//
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 04:13:03 pm »
Kota system, Mira orbit, Moon Bulan
As the gem-creature grasped his arm, a strange, tingling sensation ran through Kebun'an's body. The feeling changed, becoming an emotion, a thought. Kebun'an felt the gem-creature's agony, and it's plea for help, as if it were it's own. His answer was not a series of lights, nor vibrations through the thin atmosphere. Rather, it was a thought.
//What can I do to...to help?//
 

Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 04:36:45 pm »
//Power... Energy... Electricity. We live... by electricity. A small amount will do. A generator. Ke... Kebun'an, thank you for your assistance. We are indebted to you.//

In an attempt to conserve power, the scout deactivated most of his body, save for what maintained the link, his brain, and any locomotion systems he might need. The sparking stopped (Thank goodness), he thought.
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 04:03:00 pm »
Kota system, Mira orbit, Moon Bulan
Pengtai'on swung her front-arms forward, bursts of released gas slowing her motion. In the middle of the crater sat three gems, one much larger than the other two. One of them, oddly shaped, seemed to be grasping another Kosong hovering above the surface. The Kosong suddenly noticed her, and in quick flashes of light they exchanged greetings.
//Have you been able gather information about this meteor?//Pengtai'on asked, adjusting her position to account for the weak gravity of the moon.
//I reason that the gem is a ship, containing this gem-creature.//Kebun'an gestured toward the EVA unit, still gripping the Kosong's arm.//It seems to be sentient, with its metabolism centered around electrical energy. Its ship must have malfunctioned, it is hurt, and desires electricity.//
Pengtai'on responded, the implications of the situation slowly sinking in. //Electricity we can do, especially if we are to appear courteous. My ship, a short ways away, can generate small amounts of energy.//
//Then help me lift it, will you? The moon drags the creature down to its surface.//

Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 08:02:19 pm »
After the energy conduit had been drawn sufficiently near to the scout, he resumed normal functioning, minus the damaged equipment. He had much to say to his saviors. Still communicating through Kebun'an:

"I thank you both for your most generous acts toward the salvation of me an my people. However, we are far from being entirely safe. First, we must establish a communications link with our home world, in order to get sufficient assistance from our command, or, if the situation worsens, transfer our intelligence back there. For sufficiently fast communications between us, we require a faster-than-light transmitter. And, as we are virtuously powerless beyond the scope of our mental ability, we have no way of creating that device... on our own. I would be violating innumerable rules and regulations in doing so, but I must enlist the assistance of your people to construct this transmitter. Until then, I request that I be allowed safe residence of this "delightful" moon Bulan. I hope that this is within possibility...?"
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 04:18:15 pm »
Kota system, Mira orbit, Moon Bulan
Kebun'an glanced at Pengtai'on as he relayed the message. Faster than light communications would revolutionize existing Kosong technology, and chances were that if the alien had FTL communications, it would also have an FTL drive.
//We would be happy to help, but at our present technology level we have not yet discovered FTL communications. You would need to supply us with plans to assemble the device.//
Meanwhile, Pengtai'on opened the communications panel, and began to inform her supervisor about the situation.


Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 12:36:17 pm »
//If you'd be so kind, I'd like to probe for linguistic information.//

After a minute or two of "looking" around Kebun'an's nerves, he had sufficient information to compile a language program so he could talk independently.

~//The system is actually quite simple, you see. It is composed in this case of a nuclear reactor, and energy projectors.//~ He projected a diagram of what the communication device would look like. ~//It needs a reactor for energy, and projectors to create the FTL communication. It doesn't even need to be overly large. About 70 feet tall at it's highest. I am however, neglecting to take into account the availability of said materials. Judging by structures that I've seen on this world, you use no metal, correct?//~
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2010, 01:44:18 pm »
Kota system, Mira orbit, Moon Bulan
//We do have metal, but it is only used when necessary, as we prefer the greater efficiencies that biotechnology gives us. The assembly of the transmitter should be simple enough, with your help of course.//
Pengtai'on turned away from the console. //I have contacted the local scientific board about the contact, and they in turn have contacted the local government. They are willing to construct the transmitter, if your race agrees to share the technologies behind your ftl drive.//

Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2010, 03:20:10 pm »
~//You drive a hard bargain, but not an unreasonable one. We would expect no less. We accept the conditions.//~

Around one year later...

The construct gleamed in the moonlight on Bulan, standing proud, pointing directly at Chara Alpha XII.

~//We thank you for your assistance in this matter.//~ The rehabilitated captain said to the construction crew around them all. ~//With your help, thousands of personalities have been saved. For our debt to you, we present this.//~ He produced a small crystal structure and showed it to the Kota. ~//This crystal will help you. It is a knowledge crystal, and will teach you. You must be willing to accept it's lessons, but I am greatly reassured that you will have no problem with it.//~

~//We, however,//~ A collection of crystals spoke up ~//Do ask for one more thing. Our mission is to explore, and rarely do we have the opportunity to observe such intelligent beings as you. As well, your system is equally intriguing, so many unique things about it! Our point, is that our science crews, until such a time when we have a ship of our own, would like passage on research ships of yours. We wouldn't intrude, a small silicon base for a computation board is all we would need to remain; an entire team could fit into a half-meter wide space of equipment. We would appreciate this, but it is not necessary, as we have asked so much already.//~
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Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 06:45:47 pm »
Kota system, Mira orbit, Moon Bulan

Kebun'an, now the official ambassador to the Chaar'ai, glanced up at the construction, then turned to face the the gem-creature in front of him.
//We would be glad to include one of your science crews on the new ships, I'm sure that the knowledge they provide would be invaluable to the expeditions as they travel into new frontiers.//

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2010, 05:24:10 pm »
Tuul System

The Phaaruun had never thought much of the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. As a whole, the notion was not discredited, but most viewed it as insignificant. What calculations they had preformed showed that the speed of elecromagnetic radiation, that oh so mysterious form of energy, was unreachable by anything with physical form. Hence, even if there was life on other worlds beyond the fluctuating glow of Tuul, it would by no means ever reach them, nor could they reach it. The topic came up every now and again in works of fiction, but no self-respecting Phaaruun actually considered seeing an alien in their lifespan...

//Freighter Aamar requesting landing clearance.//
//Clearance granted, welcome back! Please use landing strip 3.//
//Thank you, Uunaam Control. Landing now.//

//Uunaam Control to Aamuure Control.//
//We hear you.//
//Your shipment of food, water, and various mechanical parts is on its way.//
//Thank you, Uunaam Control. Clearing a landing strip.//

Thousands of similar messages bounced back and forth between the two colonized worlds, carried on radio waves. Each was carefully pinpointed towards its destination, but alas, things leaked through. If one were traveling around the Tuul system, an odd set of readings would be registered. Faint, ancient broadcasts several thousand lightyears out, then silence until within 50 lightyears, a relic of their past civilization.

Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2010, 06:12:43 pm »
Kota System, Mira Orbit

Tokoh'an gazed at the rolling clouds of Mira underneath the ship, illuminated by the torches of his people. He had grown up here, and was reluctant to leave, even if it was only for a few weeks. Faint signals overlaid the image of the giant planet, signals that, in reality, were not on the front of his eyes as it seemed, rather simulated by the organic computer attached to his nervous system, conveying to him the short amount of time left before his ship left the system, riding a wave of space-time to the stars. The accelerendo, they were calling it, he remembered, the dispersal of the Kosong people and culture to the stars. Already several nearby star systems had been colonized, but his mission was, thankfully, not a colonization mission. Rather it was a scouting mission, just a single ship with a small crew, including a pair of Chara'ai. The system, though relatively far out, was one of the more desirable ones detected so far, at least the scientists told him so. Two planets, both just slightly smaller than Kecantikan and in the habitable zone, would provide perfect gravity wells for glorious new ring systems that would arise as the colonists hauled KBO's from the system's Ort Cloud into place. There was even the chance that they might find another microbe-laden planet, the only other planet with life on that had been discovered had been a boon to Kosong engineering. In all probability, though, the planets would be barren and sterile, empty waves crashing upon an empty shore. Toko'an left his thoughts as the ship began to hum slowly, the combination of organic ship and a crystal engine straining as Chara'ai technology folded the very fabric of space and pushed the ship and its fragile contents toward a new star system, to their knowledge unobserved by any intelligent life.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2010, 01:53:13 pm »
Tuul System

Was it a meteor? It hadn't been reflecting radiation just a few moments ago. It was small. Perhaps it had merely slipped past the last scan of the area, dismissed as white noise. The observers contacted another station, then another, asking for confirmation of the object that had seemingly appeared in their midst. Every last one relayed that there was indeed something solid out there. Radio chatter flitted between Uunaam and Aamuure, asking who had a launching cannon free, if they had a probe that could be used. A single unscheduled cannon was found, and an unmanned hunk of sensory equipment was launched unceremoniously.

The probe coasted outwards on the force of the cannon launch, only firing its thrusters for minute course corrections as it homed in on its target, lying just outside of the system in the maze of rocky, icy planetoids that circled most systems. All the while, it relayed its data back to the homeworld to the waiting auditory receptors of mildly curious Phaaruun scientists. Perhaps it contained some new element, perhaps they would find some new microbe on it. Even if it was nothing, they had at least tried, and they knew they weren't missing anything.

Fortunately for their curiosity, the probe began detecting that part of the object was composed of organic materials, while the rest contained some odd, incredibly complex crystalline structure. The Phaaruun scientists hooted and bellowed with excitement as the numbers kept rolling in, each second relieving more and more details. They weren't entirely sure of the implications of such an object, but they were happy simply because they had found it. As the probe left the orbit of the system's outermost planet, its ion engine kicked on in reverse, slowing the craft down so that it would not crash into such a beautiful, delicate object...

Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2010, 01:24:57 pm »
Tuul System

Just as suddenly as the stars had disappeared, they returned, in a flash of light that signaled the ship's arrival at their destination. Within the first hour of arrival, the crew discovered the Phaaruun's radio transmissions, as well as the life that coated two of the terrestrial planets. Consultation with the Kosong's home system and the Chara'ai on board the ship produced a cipher for the Pharuun's language, and a phrase to be transmitted. By the time that the Pharuun's probe had coasted near to the ship, the envoys had prepared a message. And so it happened that, for the first time, the Pharuun heard the message of a being which had been raised under the light of a distant star.

//Hello. We represent the joint partnership betweeen the Kota Coalition and the Chara'ai Crystalline Entities. We would like to open a channel for the negotiation of your entry into the inter-solar community.//

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2010, 05:45:22 pm »
A collective bellow of excitement reverberated throughout the listening post. For several moments, all other transmissions, magnetic and radio, were silenced to relay the news. Most simply sat is stunned silence as the transmission poured in. More than a few were convinced it was a fantastic joke, and their homes echoed with the sounds of raucous Phaaruun laughter. Many celebrations currently in progress had their subject stealthily changed from "The Existence of Bruus" to "Welcoming the Aliens."

"Aaaaahhhh..." one scientist sighed with relief once he had finished vocalizing his joy.
"We should reply, right?"
"Right, right, right... Let's get on with that."

The probe was instructed to relay the following message to the ship. Though the transmission was a simple code, lacking any emotion, one could imagine it being recited with great enthusiasm.

//Hello! Good show! Good show indeed! Yes, we would like to talk with you, exchange information, have some fun, perhaps even a little diplomacy while we're at it! Yes! Are you capable of landing? You are guests, we must show the proper respect!//

Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2010, 06:08:35 pm »
Tuul System
Tokoh'an was amused at the strange organism's cheery attitude. He quickly sent the message back to the Kota system, which returned with a reply almost immediately.

//Sadly, we are not capable for landing, as our anatomy is better suited for a near-zero gravity environment. We would be delighted to accompany you in free fall, perhaps on a space station? We have had experience with terrestrial life before, if it is fair to assume an Oxygen-Nitrogen standard, that will be more than suitable for our needs.//

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2010, 01:13:38 pm »
Tuul System

//Yes, yes, yes. We understand your dilemma. A shuttle will be on the way! If you can't fit in our ship, then logic stands we can fit in yours! We'll get this welcoming committee to you, one way or another!//

All those necessary to create a proper welcome were summoned, most notably the Senior Chairman of the Department of Celebration, Delaar, who was standing in for High Queen Seeh as "head of household." The group of eight was loaded onto an extra-large and spacious shuttle normally reserved for transporting large cargo. The logic was that if a being was unable to withstand a gravitational field, it must be either very large and heavy, unable to support its immense weight; or it was very large and light, unable to support even its tiny weight. The shuttle was also packed with a large amount of food, both animal and vegetable in origin, along with various trinkets and bits of technology, in the hopes that the aliens would find something they liked.

Some time later, the craft, huge in comparison to the tiny probe, drifted towards the foreign ship, its ion engines steadily slowing it as it approached.

//We are here!//

Offline Clarke

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Re: [AC] Cascade of Reason
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2010, 12:47:21 pm »
Tuul System

It was decided, both aboard the ship and at home, that the different ship's airlocks were not compatible, and that the Kosong delegation would have to move from one ship to the other outside of any construction. While this may have seemed dangerous to some, the Kosong's adoptions to space would suffice, along with a small amount of atmosphere ejected from the ship along with them, to cross a short distance with ease. Quickly, then, the transfer was made, with the Kosong delegation(including a lone Chara'ai) gliding swiftly to the open airlock. As the last of the Kosong entered, the outer hatch slammed shut and fluorescent lights seemingly popped into existence.