“By his own admission and as his court-martial will undoubtedly confirm, our Lieutenant Sarathos screwed up by the numbers. We stipulate that.
“Many casualties undoubtedly resulted on the Ekritat surface from his misplaced shot, and this in turn will have unknown and significant consequences for the cultural development of the Ekritat autochthones. We stipulate that, too.
“But, by the letter of the Accord on Protected Planets, the matter of punishing such negligence and performing such meliatory action as may be possible is the proper domain, in this case, of the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Exploratory Service, to which Lieutenant Sarathos has already requested a transfer for that very purpose. It will not serve the interest of justice, the interests of the Ekritat autochthonous cultures, or the spirit of the Accord to place these matters in the hands of the lynch-mob of socionovists and League chieftains currently tarnishing the repute of this august body, and thus, gentlesophs, we have no intention of so doing.”
– Adm. Cheriss Uldariel, military attache to the Presiding Minister
FROM: CINCCORE (CS UNCONQUERABLE SELF)
TO: CORE COMMAND
*** EYES ONLY FERVENT SPAN
1. REPORTS FROM PATROLS AND PICKETS INDICATE THAT THE REPUBLICAN FLOTILLA IS ADVANCING PAST SPINDLE SYSTEM WITHOUT, REPEAT WITHOUT, SECURING SPINDLE LOCAL SPACE.
2. REPORTS FROM PICKETS TO NADIR INDICATE THAT FORMER REPUBLICAN LEVIATHAN CONSCIOUSNESS PICKET FLEET IS MOVING COREWARD AND ACME DIVIDED INTO SEVERAL TASK FORCES, ENGAGED IN RAIDING OPERATIONS PRIMARILY TARGETED AT FUEL DEPOTS AND LOGISTICS SUPPLIES. SUSPECT THEY INTEND TO CONVERGE WITH PRIMARY FLOTILLA FOR RESUPPLY.
3. PREPARING PROCEED-UNLESS-CANCELLED INTERCEPT AT PROJECTED CONVERGENCE POINT.
4. AUTHENTICATION SERPENT INCARNADINE SNOWFALL BASILISK BOLD HARROW / 0x9AC944187DB43321
FLT ADM PARVÁNÉ LOCHRAN-ITH-LORIS
“Rumors abound at this Capital Fleet forward headquarters that the units of ‘Heavy Six’ dispatched to quell Iltine aggression in the Saragós System have withdrawn after only minor skirmishes in the outer system to the neighboring systems of Tintegós (Osis Deep) and Kachik (Melcin Domain). The reason for this is not, at present –”
“This just in: A statement from the Admiralty reports that the GRUMPY BADGER task force, under Admiral Gileon Cularius, executed a voluntary strategic withdrawal from the Saragós System after countermeasure profiling revealed Iltine missile salvoes and autonomous weapons systems were driven by changeling AIs.”
“This abhominable practice, the use of brain-ripped and conditioned biosapience neural nets to compensate for a lack of true AI technology, has not been seen in the Worlds since the Firital Conflict, and is condemned by every civilized polity as a grotesque violation of the Universal Accord on Sophont Rights.”
“Admiral Cularius’s statement emphasizes that the withdrawal of the Capital Fleet from the system is temporary, and the offensive will be renewed after tactical considerations have been revised to minimize the loss of innocent life.”
“This is Andria Sarthal, Telememe News, reporting from the Capital Fleet forward base.”
From: Imogen Andracanth, VP Research, Ring Dynamics
To: Adm. [blank], Imperial Naval Intelligence
Subject: Re: UNSEEN KEY; info req.
Security: EYES ONLY UNSEEN KEY
Oh, they’re relevant. That EM and gravitic signature is what you would expect to see when a high-mass boson condensate undergoes controlled q-state implosion. That’s how you manufacture entangled singularities. Stargate cores. I think Serril and Athné’s fragments just told us where the Republic are getting their stargates from after all.