Ambassador vint-sal-halk (Aklaknak Cluster): “Am I correct in understanding, Madam Vice President, that your company is collecting transit fees from the Republic’s invasion fleet?”
VP Sinith Arání (Ring Dynamics, ICC): “You are. Am I correct in understanding, Your Excellency, that you would prefer that we let them invade us for free?”
– records of the Conclave of Galactic Polities
Sale! Sale! Sale!
If you’re looking for a bargain on cheap general supplies, divert a ship to the bazaar at Flern (Galith Waste) arriving five weeks up-time, and see what we have. We’ve got general stores, prefabs for ground, inflatable workshacks for space, all the rations you can eat if your biocode’s compatible with O-LDL-D11, mid-tech spare parts, tools to go with them, tankers full of rocket juice, and a whole pile of scrap metal and composite. All war salvage, legitimately condemned. Contact merchanter Flagrantly Bourgeois for more information and full inventory.
– announcement posted on general offers memeweave, spinward constellations
Minae Andracanth-ith-Cyranth (Temporal Mechanics): So let them! My colleague may be right – is almost certainly right – that they’re going for a CTC back-jump. If that’s what the Spindle is for, which we don’t know, and if they can make it work, which is doubtful. Going near that thing’s a good way to get your ship, or your fleet, shredded.
But let’s say they do.
Chronology is consistent. What has happened will have happened. Worst case, a Vonnie task force vanishes somewhere in the past without leaving any traces to detect or changing the situation we’re in right now. Best case, they’re shredded, spaghettified, and splattered trying. There’s no way we come out of this worse off.
Atrianni Cheléä (Precursor Archaeologist): How confident are you of that? Bet-your-existence confident? Bet all our existence confident?
Minae Andracanth-ith-Cyranth (Temporal Mechanics): I’ve always thought laws of nature make pretty solid bets, yes.
– excerpted from the HTT memeweave
FROM: CORE COMMAND
TO: CINCCORE; FIELD FLEET COREWARD COMMAND (CS UNCONQUERABLE SELF)
*** EYES ONLY FERVENT SPAN
*** STRATEGIC ACTION MESSAGE
1. THIS MESSAGE CONSTITUTES A WAR ORDER.
2. INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES SUGGEST REPUBLIC FORWARD TASK FORCE MAY BE ATTEMPTING TO REACH “THE SPINDLE”; REFERENCE APPENDED FILE CODED “ANNULUS BLACK”.
3. DISPATCH PICKET FORCE IMMEDIATE TO SPINDLE SYSTEM. PICKET FORCE IS AUTHORIZED TO ENGAGE IF NECESSARY BUT OBSERVATION OF REPUBLIC ACTIVITIES IS CONSIDERED A HIGHER PRIORITY.
4. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED AND REQUESTED TO OBTAIN NECESSARY SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANCE FROM EXPLORATORY SERVICE ASSETS IN THEATER OR ELSEWHERE.
5. AUTHENTICATION: PADLOCK WILLOW WOLF GATEWAY CIRRUS PRAYER / 0XAE9532BB81200A18
ADM/FLT RELEQ CLAVES-ITH-LELAD, FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY
FROM: FIELD FLEET NADIR COMMAND (CS EVER-BURNING FLAME)
TO: CORE COMMAND
*** WILDFIRE WILDFIRE WILDFIRE
*** FERVENT SPAN; NADIR DEFENSE GENERAL
1. REPORTS FROM THE LEVIATHAN CONSCIOUSNESS PICKET FLEETS INDICATE THAT THE REPUBLIC CONTRIBUTION TO EACH FLEET HAVE ABANDONED THEIR POSTS AND ARE MAKING BEST SPEED COREWARD.
2. IN ACCORDANCE WITH STANDING ORDERS FOR TREATY VIOLATIONS, THESE TASK FORCES WERE NOT ENGAGED LOCALLY TO PRESERVE THE INTEGRITY OF THE QUARANTINE.
3. IN ACCORDANCE WITH BACKACHE PROTOCOL, RESERVE REINFORCEMENT FORCES HAVE BEEN ACTIVATED AND DISPATCHED TO PICKET FLEETS.
4. RECONNAISSANCE FORCES HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED IN PURSUIT.
5. MORE FOLLOWS.
6. AUTHENTICATION GRIZZLY NUGGET PADLOCK ASH CROWN LAUREL / 0x2219B41E8D8DA918
FLT ADM LEONTRIUS, CINCNADIR