Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Location: Rangstadt, Allied Europe, Earth, NEC
|Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:50 am Post subject: Information Stolen from Helios Transit Station
|Reading the data was a little bit like reading the diary of an Eastern Suns Emirate – the sort that stages public executions of the cruelest nature on the same day as providing a tidy sum towards the arts and homeless societies. The first few paragraphs are benign, even sensible – displaying a clear and calm rationality that pervades through the entire discourse. As one continues to read, however, a trickle of discomfort enters the back of the skull like a cold rivulet of ice water that dribbles down the base of the neck. It is only after reading through the entire sordid affair and digesting the enormity of it that one comes to terms with the sense of horror that has built up in the gut – because all of the individual pieces make sense. Taken in isolation each plan is rational, reasonable and orderly – even in their assembly they are sensible. Tiny slivers of insanity, imperceptible and diffuse, fracture the picture but still remain out of sight. Only an inexplicable wrongness pervades the collection of data.
It starts easily, even usefully – a roster of the CEF ships in operation within the Loki system along with the location of each Fleet command base. The roster proceeds through the entirety of the Eighth and Third fleets.
Each following screen made Gage a little more worried. Rows upon rows of destroyers, patrol craft, cruisers, carriers, tenders, and an entire page of gateships were listed. What made him worried were not only the rows of ships, however. It was the little green text beside each, saying “online”.
The entire Eighth Fleet had been repaired. Only a handful of the ships were written in yellow text, indicating that they were still undergoing refit or repair. The majority of them, however, were waiting for supply. The supply specifics were vague, however, and unhelpful.
Slightly more helpful was a basic sensor accessory package, allowing the CEF station to easily distinguish between approaching ships based on their sensor profiles, as well as a copy of the current IFF codes. They were set to expire in a season or so, however, so those would be of limited use.
The other data packages were somewhat more interesting to Gage but at the same time made him feel a little ill-at ease. The majority of the data was of immediate interest - it featured third generation Tannhauser gate drive research. Most of it was over his head, but the overviews and reports generated for officers were helpful enough.
Tannhauser discontinuities generally form upon the lingering edges of gravity wells, where the force of gravity tapers off from a stellar body to nothing. At that edgeless rim around a star’s pull along the Oort cloud of a planet were the largest singularities, easiest to harness and inflate for use. This research, however, could be used to activate the smaller discontinuities found within smaller gravity wells – such as within the orbit of Zeus.
Or perhaps even Terra Nova. So the reports seemed to suggest. A researcher from a Caprician corporation called LokiTech compiled this particular report, apparently.
He read on, displeased with the implications of the Earthers being able to open a gate directly in orbit of Terra Nova – or worse, from Caprice’s orbit to Terra Nova. This led him on to a dissertation from the new CEO of Elite Genome Labs, CEF Major Dammerel Tsagarides, on the company’s newest research into prosthetics and biological enhancement.
He delves somewhat into the history of the company, speaking of a “product” called the Vaween. This monstrous soldier had two hearts and a third lung, was almost three meters tall and composed entirely of aggression. It failed, explained the Major, due to an imprecise knowledge of the practicalities of genetic engineering. This creature eventually was adapted into the Mordred, first of the GREL - smaller, but biologically more stable and more capable of surviving under harsh conditions.
It was a gut-turning dissertation, detailing these creatures miserable lives as their bodies rejected their own organs or destroyed themselves in a chemically induced suicide. However, this led into an explanation of how EGL was planning to rebuild the Vaween in a new form, a new Mordred. The Kassandra was also getting an upgrade in a form which was already being tested on the Helios Transit station, to aid in co-ordination. Other GREL were getting similar upgrades.
The company had begun a new strategy in their bid to build living tools. With newly integrated Caprician technology, EGL planned to incorporate the highest-grade cybernetics into the GREL that could benefit from it most. Kassandras that could babysit a dozen tasks within the confines of their own minds. Isaacs that kept an updateable, reactive database of CEF and captured technology. Mordreds that felt no pain and could endure the worst that the world could offer it. Morganas with synthetic skin that changed hue to act as natural camouflage. They even spoke of granting dogs and dolphins a limited form of sentience through webbling and careful introduction of human genes.
The report closed with a large volume of attached information about the practicalities and limitations of webbling, humanlike-organism augmentation, organ replacement and biomolecular rejection problems.
Mem sat back from the dissertation, images of eight foot tall Mordreds boarding a refitted Eighth fleet and transferring directly to Terranovan orbit. It was a chilling thought.