Hexapodia

From: Vorin Telnicev, Archives, Admiralty Intelligence
To: Rilis Tsurilen, Overwatch, Admiralty Intelligence
Subject: The Sixfold Abomination

I regret to say that Archives has no confirmed information on the precise thinking behind the Galian’s abomination of “all that walks on six legs”. It was declared shortly after the Falish Traverse constellation was opened for access, and before a solid Directorate presence had been established; and unfortunately, the Theomachy’s own records are neither complete nor reliable.

Our best surmise is that the abomination in question was a matter of political convenience, developing popular support before the Theomachy’s holy war against the nearby Gardens of Rechesh, the link!n-Rechesh being a hexapedal, matriarchal species. However, due to the resounding lack of success on the Theomachy’s part in prosecuting the war – despite the link!n-Rechesh‘s reliance on purely organic starship technology and the threefold advantage in size and rather greater advantage in industrial production of the Theomachy – any records confirming this would assuredly have been purged.

Regarding your secondary question concerning potential threat capabilities, the latest projections (attached) filed with Archives indicate that while the Navy of the Pure’s light classes are adequate for their usual slaving and raiding, their ships of the plane and their general combat performance against military-grade forces continue to be, as in the above case, barely sufficient to intimidate a troop of Star Scouts on a camping trip. No serious threat potential.

VT

 

Squishy

Seen in a post office on Maiath (Tasein Ways):

CUSTOMER ADVISORY

The postal service is not accepting shipments of biologicals, especially live biologicals, for shipment via packet torpedo at this time, or at any other time. Customers are requested not to attempt to bypass this restriction.

Despite the events depicted in the recent Galactic Studios InVid, Fatal Sunburn, it is not possible for biologicals to survive shipment by packet torpedos, which lack all inertial damping and use accelerations well beyond the tolerances and indeed structural integrity of all known sophonts. To be blunt: your package, or yourself, will arrive as meat chutney, and the postal service will bill your estate for the cost of mopping out the parcel stowage.

If you need to be there on time, consider mindcasting. Mindcast and bodily reconstruction data can be sent by packet torpedo quite safely.

Thank you.

Torsk Induts, Postcatalyst General

(This piece inspired by this ST:TNG episode in which someone was shipped to the Enterprise inside a photon torpedo casing accelerated to Warp 9. Needless to say, if you tried the equivalent to this in the ‘verse, it wouldn’t be a case of “sit up and take off your breath mask”, but rather a case of “Please pour organic slurry enclosed into healing vat, and run attached reconstruction program. Stir, and allow two hours to finish baking,” in a similarly gruesome fashion to the Gideon Drives of the Pax in Endymion.

…which is why it’s much easier just to send the mindcast data.)

Prank War

GAN-LAK-NAK (HANTH CLUSTER) – The capital of the Aklaknak Cluster was in chaos today after multiple issues have wreaked havoc on its governance automation, local correspondents report.

Currently these issues include the deletion of all data relating to sophonts whose names begin with the letter ‘K’ from Revenue Generation Service databases, the replacement of all digraphics in license documents with pictures of as-yet-unidentified small furry quadrupeds, highly localized snowfall despite midsummer temperatures, the designation of all sugar-containing products as Class V restricted toxins, and public-access vehicles driving in circles while unoccupied, singing popular drinking songs.

The Archetype of Security has appealed for calm, blaming the errors on ‘unexpectedly severe systems glitches, currently under investigation’. Outside offers of technical assistance have, thus far, been rejected.

 

Spoilers!

From Neithe Daphnotarthius the Elder to Neithe Daphnotarthius the Younger, greeting.

This message is not the manuscripts you expected to be delivered the day after having your brilliant idea, regretfully. Please understand that the problem we encountered with your brilliant idea was that it was actually an idiotic idea: it turns out that while using a knight’s-move transit such that we can publish our next series first and together, and then write it in peace afterwards, has the slight drawback that we cannot escape learning details of the story and reactions to it while we try to work on it, which makes writing it virtually impossible.

Or so I am given to understand, based on the message you are reading now, which I received last week. As I have and you will have confirmed by the temporal mechanists I consulted over said last week, this is a valid case of a predestination paradox creating an informational loop.

In any case, since we’re going to have to write it the old-fashioned way, you’d best get started. Once you convince yourself that this message is what it claims to be and you send yourself a copy, anyway.

And don’t take the wager you’ll be offered in the morning. Trust us on this.

You (Plus Eleven Days)

 

The Other Half

(…of this.)

“Wynérias SysCon, this is CMS Greed and Mass-Energy inbound from Kythera System checking in, emergence point on bearing one-eleven ascending four from stargate, drift seven three eight. Request instructions per previously filed flight plan code niner-three-zero-eleven-one. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Wynérias SysCon, we have you arriving in Wynérias System at 5158-11-10:4+37-34. Squawk ident, subcode F; Wynérias Development and Holding welcomes you to our colony. Please specify preferred transit profile.  Over.”

“SysCon, Greed and Mass-Energy, squawking ident-F. Prefer direct brachy routing to Wynérias Actual, acceleration four point eight, for insertion into planetary inbound transfer orbit.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, SysCon, you are cleared to initiate brachy burn in five-one pulses, acceleration as specified. Proceed direct, no need to confirm flip. Compute to cut acceleration to two point one at range zero point four five seconds for optimal insertion into inbound transfer slot, confirm with Orbital at that time and any variances on this channel. Ack and back. Over.”

“SysCon, Greed and Mass-Energy, acknowledge clearance for brachy burn in five-one, proceed direct, cut to two point one at zero point four five, confirming with Orbital at that time and any variances on this channel. Clear.”

* * * * *

“Wynérias Orbital, this is CMS Greed and Mass-Energy reporting per clearance, cutting acceleration to two point one at range zero point four five seconds. Request further instructions. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Wynérias Orbital, wait half… Greed and Mass-Energy, you are cleared into inbound transfer orbit level six, slot nine-ailék; perform maneuvering burn at your discretion to establish zero-zero and circularize on slot entry. Call back once established. Ack and back. Over.”

“Orbital, Greed and Mass-Energy, acknowledge clearance to inbound transfer level six slot nine-ailék, maneuver at discretion and circularize on entry, callback when done. Clear.”

* * * * *

“Wynérias Orbital, Greed and Mass-Energy, established at inbound transfer level six slot nine-ailék, standing by for further clearance. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Orbital, state intentions. Over.”

“Orbital, Greed and Mass-Energy, request docking and cargo transfer slot at Sung Orbital. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Orbital, do you require bunkerage? Over.”

“Orbital, Greed and Mass-Energy, top off with standard mix, over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, please hold current slot due to heavy traffic in orbital maneuvering transfer zone. Estimated delay four point two hours. Please remain ready to maneuver. Clear.”

* * * * *

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Wynérias Orbital, you are now cleared continuance for transfer to Sung Orbital maneuvering zone, initiate one point five gravity retrograde burn per route-book in two-six-zero mark, circularize at zone entry and contact Port Control at that time. Skies are clear. Ack and back. Over.”

“Orbital, Greed and Mass Energy, acknowledge clearance to Sung Orbital manuevering zone, initiate route-book burn at one point five in two-six-zero by your mark, circularize on entry and contact Port Control. Thanks for your guidance. Clear.”

* * * * *

“Sung Orbital, Port Control, this is CMS Greed and Mass-Energy entering your orbital maneuvering zone on flight plan code niner-three-zero-eleven-one for docking and cargo transfer slot. Request taxi instructions. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Port Control. Your flight plan is acknowledged and closed. Please terminate use of heavy thermal engines at this time. Wait two for taxi instructions. Clear.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Port Control. You are cleared to proceed from orbital maneuvering zone to outer docking volume corse gilék two seven in four-five. Switch to cold-gas only within outer docking zone, maintaining highport-relative velocity below ten fips. Forbidden thrust vector map available on subchannel gishalel. Callback on arrival. Ack and back. Over.

“Port Control, Greed and Mass-Energy, acknowledge clearance to proceed from orbital maneuvering to outer docking volume corse gilék two seven in four-five, sub ten fips and cold-gas only within zone, forbidden thrust vectors on gishalel, callback when done. Clear.”

* * * * *

“Port Control, Greed and Mass-Energy, we are zero relative in dock corse gilék two seven. Over.”

“Greed and Mass-Energy, Port Control, discontinue engine function at this time; squawk null. Call back when your radiators are in the black, and we’ll get the service pods out to you. Welcome to Port Sung! Over.”

“Port Control, Greed and Mass-Energy, squawking null and will do. Much thanks and glad to be here. Clear.”

 

Know Thy Enemy and Know Yourself

Perhaps the most embarrassing of all military disasters in the history of the Worlds is the Battle of Aktir, also known as the Five-Second War, the Last Biochauvinist War, and The Day The Meat Was Tenderized.

In its increasing frustration with the increasing numbers of independent digisapiences and digisapient polities and polises in the Worlds, the biosupremacist True Life Alliance – made up of a number of polities and private organizations which had adopted rigorous anti-AI views – determined to strike a decisive blow against AI acceptance, while simultaneously demonstrating the superiority, as they claimed, of biosapient life.

To this end, they marshaled a combined fleet from their members, comprised of vessels of all classes from battleship to frigate numbering over 3,000, and dispatched this fleet against the oldest and best known of the Worlds’ digisapience polities, the Photonic Network.

The Photonic Network, in response, sent a single processing node.

The fleets met shortly thereafter in the Aktir (Tomal Cluster) System, an uninhabited system a short distance outside the Network’s home volume. After transmitting a lengthy statement of intent – by all accounts quite stirring, if rabid carbon chauvinism is to your taste – every ship of the True Life Alliance fleet fired its mass drivers and flushed its missile tubes simultaneously at the lone processing node.

Much to their surprise, 4.3 seconds later, their missiles executed coordinated dispersal and deceleration maneuvers, and every starship of the fleet simultaneously lost thrust and helm control. This surprise was relatively short-lived, however, as the starships in question opened their airlocks and internal spacetight doors – thus venting their internal atmosphere and unsecured crew to space – immediately thereafter.

The undamaged processing node returned to the Methizar Traverse with its freshly acquired escort fleet and missile cloud, which unsubstantiated rumor claims were broken down for raw materials upon arrival. Meanwhile, when news of the debacle reached their homeworlds, the True Life Alliance collapsed in disorder, as did the governances of several of its member polities.

No-one has attempted a frontal attack on the Photonic Network since.