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Miscellaneous Childrenstories Whose World Rings of Fate Life ain’t that hard

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Iss it’s only a theory.

“It’s only a THEORY!” It’s the battle cry of those people so far beyond the Dunning-Kruger that you couldn’t find them with the worlds most powerful teleskope/microscope.

This is a declaration of mental bankruptcy. These people cling to their beliefs as if it were a lifesaver in stormy seas after their boat sank. You cannot educate them on the difference between theory and hypothesis, or more specific, the difference between “theory” in scientific and colloquial use. 

Whether it is evolution, germs, gravity or big bang, or something else. Whenever someone says/writes “But it’s only a THEORY!”, presumably with a victorious shit eating grin on their face, you know they have quit the discussion. 

You have won. 

By default.

Whatever else comes out their mouth, is irrelevant and warrants no attention, let alone debate. 

In scientific terms, a theory is factual. Tested extensively. 

It is true.

Any theory that doesn’t hold up to rigorous testing, becomes a discarded hypothesis. 

It is funny though, you know? Just a century or so ago these people would’ve been the village idiots. Never would they have children, never would they breed and pass on the idiocy. Everyone would’ve laughed at them. 

But now, they have internet access, and gather in groups, accumulating their collective anti-knowledge in a celebration of cerebral abstinence. And they breed. And they vote. 

Anyway. Just rest comfortably in the knowledge that you have won any argument by default as soon as these words are uttered. (If it is about a scientific theory that is)

Take care,

A.

Rings of Fate S2xE7 – Horizon – Harpies

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Rudly awoken by her boyfriend Jane felt confused and disorientated for a moment. She must have fallen asleep while reading the Digitalys logs. Faintly an alarm reached ear and consciousness.

“Come on, Harpies are back!” He left their quarters.

Suddenly wide awake and alert she brushed her hair and tucked her blouse back in her pants. While he headed to the barracks, she headed to the command centre.

Still no one could reach the Admiral.

Perhaps the alarm would draw him out.

“How nice of you to join us. Man your station.” O’toole snapped at her, and pointed at the screen.

It displayed the Harpy ship they had encountered just a bit over a week before. At least that’s what she thought, the markings on what remained of the hull were the same. Power output of the vessel was fluctuating, some of the biomatter controlling the ship was exposed to space, and showed signs of decay due to radiation and exposure.

 

“Incoming transmission!” Fohler pointed out after the according signal came from her console. With a nod O’toole acknowledged that fact and told her to put it through.

Monotonous and emotionless the translator kicked in over the distressed voice of a Harpy. “We request assistance, please reply.”

Stunned and overwhelmed O’toole raised his eyebrows, nodded again to open a channel to the Harpy ship. “This is the acting commander of the Horizon, we read you. What happened?”

Coughing was the first reply, then came a moment of silence, Jane felt a knot form in her stomach. “Hostile encounters, please permit us refuge.”

Clearly struggling with his sense of duty for the safety of Horizon and the request for aid tearing him apart, O’toole felt incapable of replying immediately.

“Receiving a call from within the ship, it’s the admiral.” Again it was Fohler breaking the silence.

“What is going on up there?” Muffled, as if he was in a crammed room, the Admiral’s voice came through the intercom. “The Harpies are back, in bad shape, they request refuge and assistance. ”

What followed was a moment of silence. Jane’s knot intensified. “Assessment?”

“Security wise I’m against it, but from a tactical stand point, it might be good if we aid them.” O’toole replied, explaining his dilemma.

“Mulgrew, assessment?”

Now Jane knew why she had that uneasy knot in her stomach. “We are probably responsible for what happened to them, therefore we must give them the help they ask of us. Besides isn’t it our humanitarian duty to help anyone in need we encounter?”

Again there was silence, but it was made uneasy by O’toole’s judging gaze.

“Let them dock, but contain their presence on the ship, Mulgrew is in charge of the situation. Admiral Doherty out.”

Still O’toole’s eyes lay heavy on Jane.

Quickly she drew open a map of the Horizon.

“I suggest we surrender beta gardens to them, we can post security personnel at the entrances and thus contain them.” She ignored the gaze from O’toole. Even as he shrugged his shoulders he was judging her.

Did he think she was bedding the Admiral or something? Jane decided to forget the judging gaze.

For now.

“Harpy vessel, please adjust your navigational pattern to the rotation of the beta ring, sending you specific coordinates.”

 

At the skeletal remains of what used to be the beta ring, a light went on at an access port. From the central ring, that couldn’t be detached from Horizon, only hallways and tubes were extending outwards. Safe for the buffers that once were supposed to be used as normal landing craft.

Against O’toole’s objections they were being reverted to be used as originally intended.

Without any noise the huge harpy ship descended towards the lit up port for docking.

Like the trunk from an elephant a tube extended from the harpy ship. To cope with different docking mechanisms throughout time, and now species, the Harpy ship was equipped with a polymemetic compound at the end of its docking umbilicus to seal the lock.

Jane stood in the empty hallway, half a dozen guards at her back, fully equipped and armed. The uneasiness she felt, did not come from the impending arrival of numerous Harpy refugees, but the fact that none of the doors around led to anywhere. All would open up to empty space, if they hadn’t been welded shut. Like an ugly scar the welding marks across the height of the doors was an uneasy reminder of that circumstance.

In her mind she was fostering an idea that sparked as the seal on the lock was confirmed by Horizon computers.

Two of the now obsolete bufferzone landing craft could be moved to the port. To provide room for diplomatic meetings with the Harpies in the future.

If the humanitarian mission went well of course, and a lasting peace could be negotiated.

Far away from any disruptive forces in the population of Horizon, the pods would be ideal for that sort of use.

 

Torn from her thoughts by the hiss of the opening airlock Jane straightened up. Behind her she sensed the guards tensing as well, but a short glance over her shoulder eased them again. “We’re here to greet them, not take them into custody!”

A Harpy left the airlock, she was unarmed, but the hHarpies behind her seemed to be just as tense as the guards from Horizon.

“I am Jane Mulgrew, and I welcome you to the Horizon.”

“I am subcommander Cyril. We request treatment for our wounded, and supplies for repairs, if you have any left.” Not going to hold herself back with diplomacy Cyril cut right to the chase.

Pointing down the hallway after dismissing the guards, Jane took the lead. “I was authorised to negotiate these matters with you in behalf of our Admiral.” She waited at the tube network, other Harpies followed them into the cab, only once it was full did she embark the cab to the gardens.

As proposed the hallway to the entrance was lined with guards, behind makeshift fortifications, which were O’toole’s contribution, and which made the Harpies tense up again.

“You must forgive our chief of security, he is cautious about you.”

“Understandable. I wouldn’t do it differently.” Cyril’s reply lacked emotion, not due to the translator, but in her natural voice as well.

Jane caught a glimpse of awe from Cyril however, as they entered the garden. The other Harpies in the group were as surprised as she had hoped.

“We have set up an encampment for you, as you know, we are short on other accommodations.” Jane had linked her translator with her glasses, was reading the reactions the other Harpies gave. “It’s beautiful!”

“A wonder what these creatures have here.”

“I might just stay.”

“Incredible!”

The monotone voice from the translator for Cyril broke Jane’s smile of triumph. “It is adequate, we will accept your hospitality. We have medical personnel, but many wounded, we might need equipment and materials to treat them.” With a nod Jane comfirmed her request and immediately sent a message in text to the infirmary on subalpha, where they had the most experience with Harpies.

 

While Cyril got her people situated Jane requested the empty vessels to be moved to the port. It could also provide a waiting room for new arrivals, before transporting to the gardens, as there were only so many cabs available.

To her surprise O’toole agreed to her proposal and went to work.

Inside a tent Jane had set up an office. Arrivals who were in need of something had to run it through that office of hers.

Beatrix Fohler, a cousin of the communication officer in the command centre, entered the tent. Normally she worked In the sub alpha infirmary, had dealt with Hylia and her children when they needed something.

For hours she now had gone through the gardens and checked up on the refugees.

“Most of the refugees have respiratory difficulties, due to inhaling smoke.” She began reporting. “Some have burns, the most severe ones I had assigned to be transferred to sub alpha infirmary, we have the most experience after all. There a few broken bones and other physical injuries, same result there. Here’s the list.” A short transfer of information from one glass system to the other, and Jane went over the list.

“Any information on,”

“What had happened?” The question was posed by the computerised voice of the translator. Behind Beatrix stood Cyril. “And the resident leader of the Harpies wants to talk to you.” Beatrix ended her report, saluted briefly and turned away to leave.

Upon request from Jane she stayed, but at the entrance to the tent.

“Yes, what happened?” Jane sat down on the ground next to the desk. Cyril in front of her. Figuring that if she sat above the Harpy she implied dominance, Jane had lowered herself to eye level, in the hopes of procuring peace.

“We ran into your networkers. They dealt us some damage, but we are confident that we were able to send them the program. Afterwards we moved away.”

 

Slightly damaged by the oddly shaped vessel of the human networkers, the Harrak retreated into a safe distance. Still the human ship fired after them, but they stayed with the other human ship.

“Prepare to jump.” Commander Fyra looked over the data. Although they had sent the program and the information on what it was and how to use it, it was very unlikely that the Destiny could do much with it, since there were only a few moments between the transmission and the arrival of the networkers. “Engines at 50% capacity. We can’t jump far.” Cyril relayed information from engineering.

“Just get us out of here.”

Figuring the best course of action was to tell the humans of Horizon of the incident, Cyril laid in coordinates to get closer to them, after the ship told her they’d need a second jump to reach them. With a simple command the ship engaged it’s engines.

 

Empty space, no trace of the human networkers. “No sign of pursuit.”

Satisfied Fyra nodded, looked to Cyril, as if to say that they had done it. “Reading a ship on long range.” A navigator interrupted the gaze.

“Networkers?”

For a moment the navigator waited on the ship’s brain to process the data. “Negative. It reads as the Braxi. Patriarchists.”

Immediately defensive and offensive systems were alerted and powered.

A soft, yet uneasing chime told everyone aboard that they were about to engage in battle. The patriarchists made no attempt of communication, but fired right away at the Harrak, weakening the shielding significantly.

Hareak returned fire at the Braxi, due to weakened power supplies their shot was less instense and devastating.

What the Harrak didn’t deliver in intensity of the shot, she made up for in repetitions.

Immediately after the first shot, she fired a second, a third.

The Harrak herself wanted to live.

Another hit from the Braxi, shilding was gone, in horror Cyril oberved parts of the hull fly off. After yet another shot from Braxi various fires broke out. “Clear the bridge!” Fyra demanded, all obeyed. Hirarchy was strict.

Cyril looked back to Fyra, she had a breathing mask on.

 

Harrak returned fire, furiously pounding her weaker discharges against the other ship. “Harrak, are there any shield generators operational?” A confirming signal chimed through the smoky bridge. “Charge the debris from your hull with them, and fling them at Braxi.” Hull debris was immediately caught in a kinetic wake from the shield generators, and flung at the enemy vessel with incredible speeds, as the Harrak used it’s remaining generators to accelerate them.

Impacting at the shielding of Braxi, the first few pieces downed the shielding of the patriarchists ship, opening the way for the next waves.

Another weapons discharge from Braxi struck Harrak but dealt only damage to the hull, supplying Harrak with more ammunition for the improvised rail gun.

After a few moments fire from the Braxi seized.

Cyril watched the display in the auxiliary bridge, noticing that the Braxi was adrift. “No life sign on the bridge,” someone commented. “Radiation leaks all over, neurological pathways are necrotising!”

“Can we jump?” Cyril heard herself say. “Affirmative, destination?”

“The mammalian ship. And get the leaks under control.” Cyril sat down in the place of the commander, a spot she had hoped to sit in once Fyra retired.

 

“Only by mass acceleration of hull debris did your commander win that battle? That is impressive!” Jane was genuinely impressed. Although executed in a high tech way, it was, basically, a low tech strategy, equivalent of flinging rocks.

“Sadly, commander Fyra died. Before we jumped she had suffocated, the breathing mask couldn’t filter out all the toxic gas and ash.” The Harpy studied Jane’s expression.

To her, humans showed a broad variety of emotion on their face, while Harpies conveyed their emotions much more subtle. And the humans reeked. Their bodily odours were repulsive, but she slowly got used to the stench.

“I have noticed that you are receiving the Digitalys logs. Did you have chance to read them yet?”

Surprised at the sudden change of topic Jane looked to the desk, her tablet rested there, with the translated logs open, as she was reading every now and then.

“As a matter of fact, yes. I currently am reading through Cruq’s logs.”

Unnoticeable for the human woman, Cyril made an acknowledging face.

“I must say, I am glad that you are our liaison, instead of the men you serve under.” Confused and suddenly uncomfortable Jane shifted. “How so?”

“Men are erratic, impulsive and unstable. And quite often they don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

“Cruq seems to be thinking ahead.”

“Just wait.” Cyril got up, prompting Jane to do so as well, although now again way taller than the Harpy, she still felt on eye level. “We need a few supplies to fix some of our damage. In the meantime Harrak will retreat to a more safe distance, there still are radiation leaks and there is cause for concern with the engines. They might become unstable.”

Vowing to take matters into her hands Jane complimented Cyril out, activated her glasses to go over the inventory of stored materials from Ericsson.

 

Disappointed by the fact that they couldn’t meet most of the needs to fix the Harrak, Jane wandered through the beta garden. Still there would be transports.

Hylia had suggested to send medical supplies as well, to treat the damaged neurological pathways of the ship.

Ferrying materials to the Harrak was conducted by the tiny beak flyers, as the Harpies called their one to three person ships.

As she crossed into the hallways outside the gardens she noticed that the makeshift fortifications had gone, as well as most of the armed guards. Two were sitting at the other end of the corridor, watching both her and a display.

O’toole had pressure plates installed, detailing how much weight was on them, and where in the corridor the subject, or object of the weight was. That way anyone using even a personal cloaking device could be detected.

“Good evening.” She tweeted to one of the two men. Wolfgang.

“Hi gorgeous. I still have an hour until my shift ends.”

“I’ll wait with dinner.” Winking at him she walked on when the other rose, his gun raised. “Section alpha three!” He barked, Wolfgang pushed Jane behind their table, also raising his gun, pointed at the same location in the hallway. With her eyes she couldn’t make out anything in the direction the two were aiming, but a glimpse at the monitor refealed that something was there.

It was about as heavy as a Harpy.

Quickly she undid a small gun she had hidden in her trouser leg, it only activated with her subdermal implant, so she didn’t fear theft of any sort. “Deactivate your mechanism.” She shouted, using the translator to make sure her message was understood.

The guard closer to Jane moved his gun, as the displayed weight on the screen moved. Firing a shock dart as a warning did only speed up the cloaked harpy. Suddenly it disappeared from the weight plates, only to reappear a lot closer. Again Wolfgang’s colleague fired, as did Wolfgang.

“Their cloak is also ablative to projectiles!” Jane shot her laser, mere two meters from her a harpy dropped on the floor.

Partially still cloaked to the naked eye, partially the cloak had failed. “It’s a male.” Jane cowered next to him. And a patriarchist I presume.

“Honey, go into the garden and call for Cyril. You, call O’toole over here, with a security detail and a medic from subalpha.”

Wolfgang hurried to the garden, while his colleague stood petrified next to her. “Don’t you dare pull rank on me, Sergeant, I’m only doing what’s necessary.” She yelled as he still wasn’t moving a millimeter.

Sighing she kept her gun aimed at the Harpy on the ground, raised the other hand to her glasses, calling O’toole herself. “Sir, get over here, bring a security detail and a medic. We have a situation.”

 

“Your conduct was out of line!” Although the Harpy had been apprehended, and jailed after it was treated for the injuries caused by both the laser and the radiation from the cloak, O’toole was still furious.

The tone with which Jane had addressed him in her call was showing no respect, and the Sergeant she had spoken with said she hadn’t treated him with the proper respect for his rank either.

“Because I did what needed to be done? Or because I made you aware of a situation as quickly as possible without delaying everything by using the proper wording?” Admiral Doherty sat in a corner of the room, he had returned from his vacation because O’toole hadn’t let him stay hidden. After tracing the Admiral’s call, O’toole had searched for him, and contacted him.

Mostly because he thought Mulgrew unfit for her assignment.

“Enough. Both of you.” He rose to his feet.

He felt all the relaxation, he had been gathering, fade away in an instant after the hearing began. “O’toole, I’ve been going over the logs and reports of her actions, and find nothing wrong. Let it go. Mulgrew, although you did an excellent job, learn some god damn respect for the chain of command! Dismissed.”

O’toole gasped for air to protest, but the Admiral repeated the dismissal.

 

In the corridor Jane headed for the tube network, ignoring the blooming plants, that seemed to capture the attention of some other people aboard. Every so called spring people were fascinated anew by them.

“Ensign.” The Lieutenant Commander’s voice stopped her. “Yes, sir?” She rotated on her heels, all stern and official.

“I believe I owe you an apology.” Thrown off by these words, Jane almost lost her composure. “No, sir, you do not. It is I who must apologise for my disrespectful demeanour.” Although she didn’t believe her words, she uttered them so convincingly that O’toole seemed to believe them.

“I was certain that I was going to be promoted to become the first officer, instead you got promoted one rank, and now occupy that very position. So, yes, I must apologise. My petty feelings of jealousy shouldn’t influence our working relationship.”

Grinding her teeth, Jane could her that he didn’t want to apologise, but felt it was his duty. “Sir, I didn’t mean to address you, or the Sergeant, in a disrespectful manner. The sarge was petrified, and you needed to be made aware of the situation as quickly as possible. Any disrespect on my part only resulted from the situation, and was not intended.”

O’toole stood in front of her, also grinding his teeth. As he closed his eyes he shook his head. “Let us forget this incident. Care to join me in the interrogation of our culprit?”

For a moment Jane wanted to decline the offer, but then decided otherwise. “I would like to bring subcommander Cyril into the fold, sir. The female Harpies have experience with the patriarchists, so it would only stand to reason that they might be of help in this.”

Clearly weighing his options O’toole gazed at Jane, through her in a sense.

“Alright. Interrogation takes place in the holding cells on sub alpha. You have fifteen minutes.”

 

Half the time she was given, Jane had needed just to find Cyril. After the patriarchist was apprehended she was made aware of the situation, confirmed that the injured Harpy was none of her crew, but after that, she was returned to the garden while the prisoner got taken away.

After convincing the Harpy, Jane raced back to the tube network with her. Two security guards accompanied them, sat down in the cab.

At first Jane felt irritated by their familiar faces, but when she read their name tags that cleared up. Falkner and Grienberg, the sons of former Admiral Solomon Grienberg and former head medical officer Johannes Falkner.

By the way they were talking with each other Jane figured they had formed a friendship similar to that of their fathers.

The weightlessness set in as the cab entered one of the central tubes to cross from beta ring to sub alpha. Checking the time Jane realised she was almost out of time, three minutes left to go, when suddenly an alarm rang, and a rocking of the cab ended their ride.

Alarmed but remaining relatively calm Jane looked to the two men, who were as clueless as herself, while the alarm continued to ring.

“This is Ensign Jane Mulgrew, raising the command centre, please respond.” Static.

Chaim Grienberg also tried raising someone on the intercom but also only received static. All eyes laid on the Harpy which seemed as frightened as can be. “I believe there has been,” she paused turning to Jane, “an incident.” Quickly she explained that her neural implant, although prevented from networking, had received a short signal.

A suicidal one, like the death cry of a warrior.

“Alright.” Jane concentrated. All of a sudden the walls of the cab seemed to move in on her, and she felt as if every breath of air was pressed from her lungs. “We need to figure out where we are, and what had happened. Next steps depend on our findings.”

Immediately the two men and Jane tried raising alpha, beta and gamma, Falkner tried reaching his mother on subgamma in engineering, but no call succeeded in getting out.

Was it possible that another saboteur had destroyed the tube and they had been flung out to space? Immediately as she had that thought Jane chased it away, as her claustrophobia only worsened.

 

There was a jolt. Although they had no weight, there was inertia.

Jane’s fear felt validated as they rocked in various directions. She had seen videos of theme park rides on earth, and couldn’t believe that some people went willingly into a device to be rocked in various directions without any sense of where they were.

“Still, nothing on the radio.” Falkner sighed, continuously trying to reach anybody, for nearly an hour.

Rather worried Jane took out her tablet computer. Was it her claustrophobia, or actual sorrow? “How much air is in here?”

Without saying a word Chaim opened his seat belt and floated to one of the doors, accessing the computer panel on the wall. “Not much left to breathe,” he sighed further punching at the touch screen, “either we have another power out, or we were flung to space, the cab can’t establish a connection to the magnetic fields.”

That’s it. We’re going to die in here.

Falkner pulled out his gun. For a moment Jane thought he was going to shoot himself, but he took out the container with pressurised oxygen that propelled the darts out of the gun, and vented it.

“How about now?”

Chaim smiled. “Better, but it isn’t going to last forever.”

 

Half of an agonising hour passed, before another series of jolts rocked the cab around. Retreated into her mind Jane looked around as if she watched a movie. Suddenly gravity kicked in, and a pressure seal was established at the door that chaim had used the interface at.

It opened with a noisy hiss.

Three people were in the other room, the two women were dirty, the man sitting at the computer panel was only using one arm, the other was in a sling.

“Technician Junkic to command centre, we have them.” Relieved Jane opened the seat belt and hurried out of the cab, Cyril closely behind, followed by Grienberg and Falkner.

“What happened?” Jane and Chaim simultaneously asked the same question, instead of a reply Jane received a call from O’toole on her glasses, informing her that the Braxi had showed up and decided to shoot at the Horizon. Retaliation was not very successful at first, but after the Harrak had weakened the Braxi’s shields sufficiently, the lasers from Horizon dealt enough damage.

“Enough for what, sir?” Figuring it meant that they retreated, or were left adrift and unarmed for Harrak to deal a final blow to them, she received damage reports instead of an answer to her question.

 

Damage reports from all over the ship. Subalpha was in bad shape, alpha had a hole in it, gamma had lost much of their buffer zone. The only thing intact were subgamma and beta. Even the tubes between alpha and subalpha had taken a beating, which had delivered them out into space, where a beak had taken them to the bea ring remnants, and later docked them.

“What happened to Harrak?” She noticed that all scheduled deliveries to the harpy vessel had been cancelled. “She’s not going to be repaired. What was left of the crew is abandoning ship and sending for help.” Finally having arrived in subalpha Jane sat in the briefing room near the command centre.

To her relief Wolfgang had been on duty at the beta garden entrance.

“You still haven’t told me what happened to Braxi, sir.”

Instead of telling her O’toole pointed her attention to the large screen. Cyril and Jane looked. A series of harpy glyphs on the edge of the frame told them it was recorded by a beak affiliated with the Harrak.

The vastness of space opened up before them, and the grueling image of the badly beaten Horizon. Hovering at beta was the beak with the cab in tow.

In front of the Horizon was the intimidating Braxi, although her shields had failed she still was impressive.

An energy discharge from the Harrak behind the beak, mand thus the camera, opened up a gap in the Braxi defenses, as the beaks had scrambled after shield failure.

That’s when the lasers from Horizon followed, bombarding the hostile Harpy ship, until the beams of UV light emerged on the other side of the ship, tearing the beaks there to shreds.

“We wanted to fire a nuke at that point, but, see for yourselves.” O’toole spoke at that point. There was satisfaction in his voice.

A series of explosions ripped through the Braxi, Cyril clawed the seat she sat in as the explosions moved from the hole in Braxi outwards, until reaching the engine core, from where a singular explosion tore the Braxi apart.

“Yes!” Cyril hissed, with an angry victorious grin on her lips.

Her fallen sisters had quasi been avanged. Overwhelmed by the victory the Horizon had achieved, Jane too couldn’t hide her satisfaction.

 

“Our ship will be arriving soon.” Four days had passed since the destruction of the Braxi. Jane strode through the gardens on beta with Cyril. “Following your actions in this crisis, the matriarchy will consider peaceful ways with your kind, but know this, there will be no technology made available to you.”

“I understand, my superiors do too, although there certainly are forces aboard Horizon who would want it, but we have had too many cautionary tales in our own history and cultures, to ever truly follow it through. Just think of the linkers.”

Laughing the two stopped, Hylia wandered down the path, her two children behind her. The two were excited, as they were leaving with their people, always welcome to return to Hylia on Horizon. The older Harpy had decided to stay, as she felt more at home there now, than with her people. Besides, she didn’t want to spend what was left of her life as a curiosity and story teller.

“I’ll leave you to talk.” Jane headed for the exit.

Still there were issues to be dealt with resulting from the patriarchists attack. Admiral Doherty had been killed in the attack, and O’toole was a prime candidate for succession of that office. Before that became truly relevant, work schedules to repair damaged areas, and replace some if possible, was more pressing.

Jane started on the work schedules immediately upon leaving the garden. Most important was to close of the exposed tubes between alpha and subalpha. The spine of the ship, almost broken.

“I heard you’re getting another promotion?” Wolfgang studied her from head to toe. “Unofficially, yes. Officially maybe in a year, probably two.” She winked entering the tube cab, swallowing a chilling sensation.

Although badly beaten, Horizon had learned much from the incident. Better shielding, buffers and more effective and efficient lasers for future enfounters, could be developed with the collected data.

Improvement and repair was her new assignment, once the Harpies left the ship.

 

“Good morning, sir.” She manned her station in the command centre, O’toole sat in the chair of the Admiral. “Good morning, Mulgrew. I have a task for you, find out how much our trajectory was altered by the bombardments and decompressions, and then, alter it to our previous heading.” Confident in her, he smiled, tunring his attention back to the main viewscreen, where long range scans already picked up the Harpy ship that would pick up their refugees.

Vaping

Imagine you’re walking a street – any innocuous urban street – and about two meters in front of you walk two guys.
In the olden times they’re regular old smokers. They smoke as they walk. You would’ve gotten a whiff of their smoke and to a degree you could even tell the brand. At least whether they’re smoking cheap or expensive tobacco.
These days, they vape. As they walk. You get a cloud of scented shit in your face. The artificial chemical approximation of ‘apple’, or ‘vanilla’, or something else that it doesn’t smell like.
We get it.
You vape.
It’s hip these days. But here’s a suggestion to all you vapers out there: grow a lung and either smoke like everyone else, or don’t smoke like everyone else.
But this steam bullshit ain’t going to cut it.
Research showed it is just as chock full of poison as traditional smoking, and you look like a colossal dipshit doing it.
The clouds you leave behind smell like a unicorn fucked a potpourri turned into vapor.
Seriously.
Stop.
This is vegan sausage all over again.
Either you want to be a vegan, OR you eat sausage. Either you smoke, OR you don’t.
Decide. But don’t try to dance on both weddings at the same time, ruining the fun for everyone.
Take care,
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE6 – Digitalys – Digitalys

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Like stars in the far off distance, various controls and lamps on the control panel lit up from time to time, only to darken again.

Since the Harpies had left the Horizon to warn Destiny, almost a week had passed, a week of ongoing repairs, and in between repairs of mind numbing boredom. 

No news from the Harpies, no sign of the DEHumans, not even transmissions from Explorer or Destiny, even though longrange communication was routed through the new whisker probes.

“Miss Mulgrew, where is the Admiral?” Startled Jane took her eyes off the panel before her, turned to security chief O’toole.

“He didn’t ?” Not ending her question Jane closed her eyes in disbelief. O’toole was the head of sefurity for the entirety of the ship, and the Admiral hadn’t informed him?

“He is on vacation. I have no clue where he is right now. Nor will he be reachable via intercom, he left all of his devices.” With her head she pointed at the door to the adjacent room. “Didn’t he tell you?” 

“Obviously he neglected to do so. Otherwise I wouldn’t need to ask you, Ensign.” O’toole didn’t shroud his disdain for Jane’s rushed battlefield promotion. “Who is acting commander of the Horizon?”

Running her finger along the edge of her console, and inspecting it for dust afterwards, Jane kept her mouth shut. “Lieutenant Fohler!” O’toole raised his voice to draw the attention of the communication officer. But she kept silent as well.

Sighing a silent prayer O’toole turned to his station. “So,” he ground his teeth, “acting commander Mulgrew. Sit rep!” 

“Repairs are underway a little ahead of schedule. All entryways to the now non existing compartments on beta are being welded shut. Some of the pods we formerly had as a buffer are now being converted into habitable rooms. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report, sir. Handing over command to highest ranking officer in the command centre, sir.” 

Again sending a silent prayer to the heavens around the ship O’toole thanked her. Although he knew that she hadn’t done anything wrong, or illegal to ascend to her current position and rank, O’toole felt left out, like Jane’s peers, who were still a rank beneath Jane. After Joleen Jenkins had defected to the DEHumans, he should have been promoted to first officer, but instead there had been no promotion, and a private was promoted to Ensign, and placed in the position of the first officer.

“I am receiving a message, sir.” Lieutenant Fohler explained a sudden beeping noise on her console. 

“Source?” 

“It’s a Harpy signal, text only. Judging by the signal degredation it appears to be old, very old.” 

Already not in the best of moods O’toole closed his eyes to remain calm. “Can you specify that?” 

“No sir, between four and five hundred years old. It is currently running through translation.” 

“Ensign,” the Lieutenant commander turned to Jane. “Please analyse that signal, once translation is complete, if necessary, talk with Hylia.” 

14th Shekray, 3221 after Digitalys settlement. Daxa.

We have successfully spliced the genes of all our crops with sequence 531. Widespread implementation has begun, predicted crop yield is at 90%, with a predicted 95% mortality rate among pests, and weeds.

I can’t wait to witness it with my own eyes, finally the bugs won’t eat my Arratis, and the indigenous plants will be susceptible to herbicides that won’t touch my Arratis.

It was damp and dark in Hylia’s quarters, her two children sat in a corner, reading some human literature that they were interested in. Other media didn’t seem to interest them as much. But that might be because Hylia had raised them that way.

“Welcome to our home, I hope it is something absolutely not life threatening that brings you here.” The elderly Harpy seemed to be in a jolly mood, perhaps because she had a chance to alter the climate in her quarters.

Or because she finally felt vital again after constantly fending off the DEHuman network trying to pull her in. 
“We are receiving some sort of signal.” She handed the harpy a tablet. The jolly mood seemed to fade away, a more stern expression replaced it.

“The Digitalys logs.” Although the computerised voice was monotone and emotionless, the sounds that Hylia made sounded anything but jolly. “Sent as an analogue signal, to keep it from too much degradation. It will take you some hours to receive all of them, but they’re worth reading.” Glancing over to her children who had begun listening to them instead of reading, Hylia request a copy for them to read.

“Digitalys, has become a synonym for a cautionary tale in our culture. I won’t spoil it any further for you.” Hylia handed the tablet back.

23rd Shekray, 3221 after Digitalys settlement. Daxa.

Softly the blossoms of the Arratis swayed in the wind, under a forgiving sun. Scientists crawled around the field in protective suits, to keep their samples from getting contaminated with any feathers or scales. 

Somewhat satisfied Daxa looked over her field. For years she had tried to fend of the bugs, and for years they had eaten up to half of her crops. For just as many years the indigenous plant life had been competing with her crops, but herbicides also killed the Arratis. 

Now, there was nothing to see but the Arratis blossoms in the afternoon breeze that came in from the ocean. “Thank you for letting us collect the samples. We’re off.” 

“It is I who must thank you. Less fertilisation, irrigation, no pesticides and simply spraying herbicides onto the weeds, It is truly me who must thank you.” 

The wo,man in the environmental suit smilingly shook her head. “Sequence 531 is to thank, we’re just making sure it does work properly.”

Thinking that she and the other farmers would’ve told the scientists and the matriarchy about any problems, Daxa just nodded.

“This is the future, my dear.” Daxa turned to her mate who was preparing a small robotic tiller for another field. “I guess, my love.” He winked. 

7th Hakiray, 3279 after Digitalys settlement. Goraka.

Cold light filled the room, shining down on testing equipment and computer pads. 

“Begin log.” A relatively young harpy entered the room, she seemed aggravated. “For some fifty years we have deployed the spliced crops. It had begun some five or ten years later that farmers reported weeds and bugs adapting. I brought this matter before the matriarchy of Digitalys, but they threatened me with revoking my status within the scientific community.” Carefully she picked up a test tube with samples of the Arratis fungus in it. Theoretically the fungus should’ve been wiped out with the deployment of sequence 531, but still it had not only survived, but adapted and grew around the roots of Arratis. 

“I hold in my hands irrefutable proof that the flora is adapting to the changes we introduced. I also have genetic evidence of the gobbler bug developing an immunity to sequence 531.” She put the tube back into the shelf she had taken it out from. “Going to need more evidence apparently, until they can’t ignore me anymore. End log.” Breathing heavily she stood over the notes on her desk, but turned away. 

A long day was lying behind her. At the present moment she simply didn’t have the mind to go back to work.
“How was your day?” Immediately after settling down for dinner, Jane’s long time boyfriend Wolfgang Peters asked. He always asked.

Mostly Jane adored it. 

That day she was annoyed by it.

“It was okay. All I’ve been doing was reading. Ancient Harpy logs from some colony of theirs.” She picked up a piece of meat with her fork. 

Lab grown meat, stem cell beef, the generation who had once lived on earth called it. She couldn’t believe that there was another way to get meat. One that involved killing another lifeform. 

But she enjoyed the taste, if she had lived in an environment where slaughtering animals was the only way to get meat, she probably would eat meat, despite the brutality behind it. “What are these logs about?” 

Still more talking. “The rise, and presumably fall of the colony. They released a GMO into their ecosystem. Sequence 531 it is called.” She vaguely remembered seeing the details for sequence 531 somewhere in the logs.

But unable to make heads or tails of it, she skimmed those that were to detailed in their scientific explanations.
After dinner Wolfgang went to bed early, as he had an early shift in the infirmary. All too often Jane was bothered by that circumstance, but on this evening she found it to be a good thing. Eagerly she reclined on the bed next to him, her tablet in hand, looking for the next log. 

8th Hakiray, 3279 after Digitalys settlement. Goraka.

A beautiful morning sun greeted Goraka after she left the house. Some small animals were shouting out to their kin, something furry was gliding from one tree to the next. It sang to it’s children waiting in a hollow for her return. 

How they managed to do that with a mouth full of berries, seeds or nuts, was beyond Goraka. All she knew was that they were considered pests out in the fields, normal in the forests and cute in the towns. 

After the long row of trees along the road to the research centre she found a large transport waiting outside the building. 

Uneasy she entered, a row of workers from the matriarchy was carrying out crates filled with notes, papers and samples. The uneasiness spread in her. 

Still there was a small chance of hope inside her, although the equipment carried past her, looked awfully familiar.

With weak knees she walked to her lab. No one had spoken to her, since she entered the building, only gazes were shyly thrown in her direction. 

“What is the meaning of this?” Her crushed hopes vocalised as she came to stop in front of her lab.

Or former lab. 

A few matriarchy officials were still inside the room, opening closets for the tenth time to ensure nothing had been left behind.

“I’m terribly sorry, Goraka.” Slythis approached her, the head of the research centre seemed to be truly sorry. “The matriarchy revoked your position, confiscated your research. I tried to fight it, but,”

Goraka raised her hand. “No ‘but’, you tried, you failed.” Goraka clenched her jaw. Nothing would’ve satisfied her more than to jump at Slythis and maul her. But she wasn’t the one to blame. 

“It is I who must thank you. For your patience with me over the years, and the attempt to save me.” And it is I who is to blame for this.

Not waiting for a reply from her former superior she turned to leave. “They are watching you! Dont pursue your ideas.” Slythis grabbed her by the hand. “At least not publicly.” She hissed, letting go of Goraka’s hand, leaving behind a data crystal. 
“My position with the scientific community has been revoked. Matriarchy knew of the problems with sequence 531, the fact they confiscated all my research is proof for that. Gladly Slythis has saved all of it digitally and returned it to me. They must’ve known about the transferring genes! I will continue my research in private. Gotta be extra careful now that I have no backing.”

Humming ventilation was almost a lullaby for Jane. All her life. 
But in Hylia’s quartes it was keeping her awake and alert, she almost felt as if birds and insects were buzzing around, ready to peck at, or sting her. 

“These logs contain a lot of scientific data I can’t follow.” Hylia studied the logs Jane was referring to. “I’m an engineer, I knew the brain of my ship, and the engine parts. I don’t understand anything about genetic manipulation either.” She closed the logs.

“But that isn’t what they are supposed to communicate. Yrag included that data to show how sophisticated the genetic engineering was, but still failed to understand the greater picture.” The harpy made a face of regret. She hadn’t intended to mention the name of Yrag just yet. “Forget that name for now, the next one you’ll be interested to read about is Cruq. A male, but with a lot of genius, no wonder, was he the son of Goraka.”

16th Joshi, 3309 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

There was a certain stiffness to the wind that came down from the mountains. Cruq glanced into the diatance against the wind. 

Up in the mountains weather must’ve been harsh. 

Crisp air, perhaps early snow. 

Glad he didn’t live there, he looked across the fields of Arratis before him. They belonged to his sister in law and his wife Lyma. Eco rebels as the matriarchy called them, as they had largely unspliced crops. Pollen from spliced crops however crept up on the fields with the wind and migrating pollinators. 

It worried him. 

Shortly after being expelled from the scientific community Goraka had found a man, and settled in the area, they had only one nest, and only one egg hatched.

Him.

He met Lyma in their childhood, her parents already were eco rebels. But the matriarchy let them continue.
Seeds were low, he noticed with a worried experts eye. Many Arratis plantaswere dead from fungus and weeds, what survived was ravaged by the pests.

But, the harvest was free of spliced sequences. 

“We found the new sequence on the property.” With a shaky hand and angry undertone to her voice Lyma handed him a datasheet.

“I told you.” Expressing his dislike for her always checking his findings with his facial expression only, he took the sheet back. “Sequence 2210 is even worse than 531!” Crying in anger she trembled as a whole. “It is found to kill animals that eat those that were supposed to be merely repelled by sequence 2210!”

All the facts she was reciting to him, hen had heard before. Some he brought to her attention. But he kept silent as they walked down the side of the field. 

The smell of the rotten roots and plants lingered in the air with an all too familiar moldy-sweet note, mixed with the smell of the near ripe seeds. 

“We can’t release the harvest.” He stopped underneath a fruit tree the two had played under as children. 

Worried but still furious she looked in his eyes, although an eco rebel she was a strong matriarchist. Convinced that men, although smart sometimes, were not as smart as women. “That’s silly,” 

He put his finger to her lips. “I know what you believe, this is not a sexism debate, nor should it be. We provide splice free crops for like minded people. They are not splice free. They are now laced with the most dangerous sequence the matriarchy has yet spat onto our plates. We cannot release the harvest. Think about it Lyma, and you will come to the same conclusion.” 

Leaving her to ponder his words Cruq marched down the beaten track, he had a shed there. Under some old trees, which had overgrown with a fungus from the fields. They had formed a symbiosis with it. Not pretty to look at, but healthy in its own little weird way.

Silently gliding into the wall, the door revealed a tidy laboratory inside the shed. Once, it was his mother’s, now it was his. 

“Computer, open nanite research, replay last programming sequence.” Under a low hum a holographic projector went on. 

In the middle of the room a giant apparatus was projected, but Cruq knew it was as small as a few molecules in truth. 

Routines and subroutines appeared next to it, always so that he could read them, no matter where in the room he was. “I still have to introduce you to my wife.” He sighed judging his creation. 
12th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

“I have received information claiming that sequence 2210 has shown up in our own kind!” Behind Lyme the door to Cruq’s shed slid close again. It was three months since he had shown her the lab his mother had created, three months in which Lyme had changed her look upon her man completely. 

He had, in her eyes, the mind of genius woman.

“Say again?” He turned from a microscope to face her. 

“Three people have died from sequence 2210, several dozen are poisoned, and it is linked to ovarian death syndrome in half a dozen cases.” She sat down next to the hologram of the nanite Cruq had running to view changes he made, on a large scale.

“Dead hatchlings? Due to 2210?” Uneasy he got up, paced up and down the room. “I can’t believe it. Are these allegations confirmed?” 

A stern glance from Lyma remined him that confirmation of such allegations was a tricky thing, as the matriarchy denied them, hushed them.

“I have good new however.” He turned to the microscope, with the push of a button the nanite on display changed minutely. 

“They’re ready.” 

Almost instantaneously Lyma jumped to her feet. “Ready for what?” 

“They target sequences 531, 2210 and markers identified in the DNA of both weeds an pests threatening our crops. They can even be used on people.” 

Determination in her eyes Lyma stretched forth her arm. “Give it to me, if you err, I will perish, but you can continue to work, so don’t do the crazy scientist stunt of injecting yourself with it!” The tone of her voice told him not to try and argue her out of it. 

Nodding he strode over to the desk and took the batch he was working on from it. “If we want this to be spread, we have a lot of work ahead of us.” He mumbled under his breath as he prepared the injection. 

“If we want this to be spread, it is better we try to sell it as either a joint venture, or my idea all together.” She rubbed the point on her arm where he had injected her. 

Agreeing with her he put the injector aside, and took out a small wand like scanner. He waved it over her arm, and her torso. 

“They’re spreading as planned. According to the signal they emit, they’ve found 2210 and traces of 531 in your body already and are targeting it.” The data was displayed in the hologram, in a way so they could easily read it.

“I feel quiverish.” She admitted, but figured it was due to excitement. Before the two left the shed he began synthecating more nanites over night. 
Halfway to the house Lyma looked across the harvested field, standing underneath the fruit tree. Satisfied that she had listened to him when he said they couldn’t release the harvest she smiled, as a cold wind from the mountains set in.

“Thank you.” She took his hand. “For what?”

He squeezed it back, not letting go though.

“For putting up with me, even though I sometimes treated you like most women treat men.” She stopped, leaned against the fence. 

“And for sharing your invention with,” suddenly short on breath Lyma sancknto the ground, Cruq tried to suppn but was utterly helpless. “What is it?” 

“I can’t breathe!” 

From his pocket he produced another scanner wand. “They’re multiplying too quickly.” He read from a small display at thenother end of the device. Quickly, with a surprisingly calm hand, he adjusted a few rings on the wand, checked the reading on the display and confirmed the new instructions for the nanites.

Gently stroking her hand he kept kneeling next to her. “It is getting easier!” Falling in love all over again with that smile of hers he couldn’t help but smile too. “Good, now don’t let me forget to make that adjustment on the new batch tomorrow, or you’ll end up a widow.” 
17th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Satisfied with himself Cruq led Lyma through the fields. He had successfully injected himself with a new batch of the nanites, and even had given it to their children, without any ill effects. They had to keep it under wraps as the matriarchy would surely disapprove of it.

“I have made contact with a friend in the scientific community.” Lyma said, her hand brushing the leaves and fruit of a nearby bush as they strode through the fields. “She has agreed of giving me aid in our paper.” 

Proudly nodding Cruq looked around. 

There had been another spot he and Lyma had often visited as children, they even had built a tree house there.

It was the spot where he had proposed to her.

“Take a look.” He finally sighed as they had reached the oak like tree. The house was still there, although it had fallen into disrepair. 

Warm autumn sunrays shone on it, and them. But not as warm as her smile as she laid eyes on the tree house. 

“Why have you brought me here?” 

“Here I first proposed to you, here we two agreed to our matrimony. So I figured this is the perfect place to renew our matrimonial vows.” 

He took her hands in his, and locked eyes with her. “I hereby vow to always cherish you, care for your needs and wants, to the best of my abilities, and beyond. Lyma, I hereby vow to stay true to you, as your husband.” 

Stunned Lyma stared at him. She had forgotten the date. 

Their anniversary! 

“My dearest Cruq, I vow to always uphold you, support you in your need, and catch your fall. My heart belongs to you, and I shall always stay true to you and our matrimony, as your wife.” She recalled her vows word by word. 

Gently he touched her forehead with his. Producing a necklace from his pocket with one hand. 

A small pendant showed two harpy hands holding each other around an egg shaped gem. “Happy anniversary.”
“Two hands and an egg?” Jane giggled, Hylia didn’t seem to be as amused as the human woman. “It’s wonderfully romantic, kinda cute.” she added. Longing for something romantic from Wolfgang, but the most romantic gesture she could expect was dimmed lights, her favorite dish on the table and romantic music playing.

And that got old, fast. 

“Maybe you should tell your man to be more romantic, instead of giggling with an almost tangible yearning over gestures from people who are dead.” Hylia winked, a habit she had picked up from the humans. 

Walking down a path in the beta ring’s garden, the two enjoyed the simulated wind. “You must read on, to understand the meaning of the word ‘Digitalys’.” Hylia sat down in the Orchard, underneath an apple tree.

With a glad glance she looked around at the tall grass, just moments ago she had surprised the young human woman by appearing out of it.

For a brief moment both had experienced how life must’ve been 65 million years earlier on earth.

14th Hakiray, 3315 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Waving a tablet computer in her hand Lyma rushed towards the tree house. Underneath the tree Cruq had built a bench, on which he sat.

From afar he could make her out, the tablet’s surface reflecting the noonday sun as she waved it in excitement. 

From her demeanour alone he knew what had happened. What had failed three time prior. 

The nanites got approval. 

In earlier attempts his name always had shown up in the proposal. In the first one it was him and Lyma, then it was Lyma and him as the authors. In the third attempt it had been her with him as aid. 

As an excuse in the third attempt, the matriarchy had brought up concerns of the networkers. Even though his nanites didn’t even remotely do what the implants did. 
For the fourth attempt they had taken him out of the picture entirely, sold the technology as hers alone.

No recognition, no fame, no memory for posterity. 

Lyma’s nanites they would be called.
Although glad that the salvation for the devastation caused by genetic engineering had finally gotten approval, that he and Lyma had won a great victory, he felt a bitter aftertaste.

“It is approved.” His voice echoed this bitter aftertaste.

“Don’t ruin our, no, your victory here.” She scolded him, still catching her breath. “We both know that it is you who deserves credit for saving Digitalys from the doom brought upon it by its denizens. Your conscience is clean, and I am honored to be the puppet that brought into the light of day.” Cheering his mood up with her words, she handed him the tablet with the news.

“Synthesis of your nanites will begin shortly, large scale implementation will commence next season.” She gave him the abridged version, before he could read it. 

“Great news.” Smiling, the bitter aftertaste vanishing, he put the tablet down. “In two months the greatest threat to our society will be gone!” 
11th Jekram, 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Watching thunder strike the ocean in a few kilometres distance to his position, Yrag stood on the shore. The bolt moved along the dome shaped outline of an invisible forcefield, created by a grid of emitters designed to shut off nanites.

His grid.

“We have lost communication with the matriarchy.” Jujy approached him slowly from a small building in his back. It had the likeness of a lighthouse, but was a satellite relay station, the two lived in. “I hope it’s just the storm, but of course it is more likely they had suffered the same fate as the rest of the mainland.” Another bolt of lightning followed the shield’s outline before striking water.

“They’re sludge.” He replied. 

Both had seen the effect of Cruq’s nanites, rampant in the wild. Only a few years after global implementation the nanites got out of control. 

Replicating out of hand. 

Originally they replicated and destroyed sequences 2210 and 531, but soon they replicated despite also consuming other materials.

Other DNA molecules, other molecules, all sorts of material. 

In affected areas soon the soil, streams, lakes, soon the ocean and even the air became laden with nanites.

Trying to fend off the sludge, as the silvery mass of microscopic robots was called, both he and Jujy had risked their lives.

Only by exposing the sludge to intense bursts of magnetic fields did the nanites in it become inert.

Fleeing them they had retreated to the island. A community of roughly five hundred lived on it. Like the eco rebels fifty years before, the islanders refused splicing, but also Cruq’s nanites. Jujy had spoken to the local government, oddly enough composed of females and males, to set up the grid, with success.

“G-type stars are so rare, we find one with a planet suitable for colonisation, we do so. And what did it bring us? We destroyed this one.” He gazed out at the ocean. 

Most colonies were on tidal locked planets around red dwarf stars, only few planets were like Digitalys. 

“Not all is lost my love, we have the haven.” She pointed at the island in their back. “For now.” He added, his eyes squinted, focusing on a shadow in the water.
18th Jekram, 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Exhaustion weighed Yrag’s body down. He sat at the desk on the other side of the entrance to the satellite relay station. For the entire previous day he and Jujy had been in a small craft hovering above the waves just inside the perimeter of the shield. 

As he had suspected, the large shadow in the water was one of the aquatic giants of Digitalys. 

Like some ferocious fungus the nanites oft times infiltrated a larger organism, drove it to new grounds for the nanites to multiply at, where the organism was completely consumed so the nanites could spread.

The creature had been infected with the nanites. For hours they tracked its movements beneath the waves, took readings, and finally decided to blast it with the magnetic pulse.

After which the creature died, already the nanites had taken over too many parts of the creature’s brain and internal organs, bloodstream. After the nanites were deactivated the creature died within moments of the blast.

What followed was dragging the creature inside the shield, and dissecting it. 

Matriarchy’s false accusations of the nanites being like the networkers chip were actually somewhat justified the examination revealed. “They formed a command structure within the creature’s brain, taking over in essence. Not to bring other creatures into the network, but to spread.” He noted in his log.

Heavy rain pounded against the window and door of the building, Jujy was just as tired as him, as she came up from the subterranean room. “We’re on reserve power.” She sighed, for days it had rained, and for days there was only black clouds overhead. Solar cells couldn’t charge with that kind of weather, and both had a feeling that the nanites were causing it. Their heat evaporated enough water to fuel the rainstorm.

A researcher had described the sludge as hot to the touch in his final moment on mainland. 

He actually screamed out that it was hot, and weird. Yrag looked out the window. To think the locals began referring to the island as Yrag’s haven after he and Jujjy had set up the shield.

Now it was going to fail. He clearly saw the lightning striking inside the shield now. 

“Shielding this building.” Jujy stated dryly behind him. “Shall I send the last logs?” 

Tired and sad Yrag turned around. Currently dozens of creatures smashed themselves ferociously at the shield, in the programmed hopes of getting their nanites through. 

Deafening thunder caused the two to rush to the window again. 

Outside a small tree had been struck by lightning, rain fell. 

Silvery rain. It consumed the leaves from above, sludge seemed to crawl upwards from the ground. Crackling the tree fell over and seemed to melt into the sludge.

“Yes. My beloved.” He sat down at the desk with her. All the logs he had obtained, that documented the events leading up to the Digitalys apocalypse, were already stored in a geostationary satellite. Only their latest findings needed to be sent. 

The heat radiating in from the door and window became noticeable across the room. As the nanites changed other materials into new nanites, they generated heat. 

“I love you.” He took her hand, squeezed it gently. “I love you too.” More breath than words, as Jujy supressed her urge to cry.

Taking each other in the arms Jujy and Yrag closed their eyes. The last data package was transmitted to the satellite, along with the command to start the transmission of the analogue signal. 

A countdown flashed up on the screen. “I don’t want to become nanite fodder.” She faintly smiled as an explanation. “Nor do I.” He touched her forehead with his, approving of her activating the self destruct program. 
A violent explosion tore the ground on Yrag’s haven’s south peninsula up, engulfing, consuming it and all on it. Harpy, structures, nanites and rock.

A shock wave plowed through the silvery sludge, deactivating what nanites it touched, but a new wave of nanites was released from the clouds immediately. 

19th Jekram 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Upon reading this log, know that I have perished, that we all have perished. In the end, our own shortsightedness was our undoing. 

Please my sisters and brothers, find a way to peacefully coexist with the universe around you. What ever species you might encounter, what ever spaces you enter, do not force yourselves on the universe, but go with it.

This is Yrag, take a lesson from these logs.

Digitalys settlement, out.

Raw Water

The newest fad from the “wholesome”* crowd.
In short it is untreated water.
The chief lunatic behind this looks like he is in bed with the headspace idiot – both metaphorically and literally. How many people have died from dysentery and cholera from untreated “clean looking” water since the turn of the millennium alone (let’s ignore Oregon trail times)?
What baffles me is, how did we get from “We don’t want untreated water that the deer, bears and forest hermits piss and shit in” to this shit??
How did we get from “We want hospitals with nurses, doctors, clean sheets, vaccines and medicine” to “better chew on some rabbit droppings, drink turpentine and bleach, smear mud on the wound”???
This is your flock of black sheep, political left, these are your people. Reign them in, otherwise the political right wins.

It is cases like this I ask myself why I am burdened with a conscience. I could design neat jugs and sell virgin water – untreated spring water that big titted blond virgins bathed in before it was bottled. Improves your health, increases your attractiveness for women, and your sexual stamina for men.

I’d be rich.
Filthy rich.
Excuse me.
I have to draft a few things and apply for a loan…
Take care, A.
*bat shit crazy, without insulting bats, feces our people no longer in possession of their faculties

RoF S2E5 – Horizon – DEHuman pt.3

image

“Open the frequency.” Admiral Frederick Doherty ordered to his baffled first officer Joleen Jenkins. Next to her was the frail small frame of the elderly Harpy Hylia.

“They are communicating to my implant.” She mumbled, Hylia too was mesmerised.

“We are the Digitally Enhanced Humanity. We request you let our brothers and sisters travel peacefully to our ship, as you have seen how we dispatch of those who oppose us.” Her voice was monotonous, but yet filled with the emotions of many people.

“The woman you are communicating through, is not one of your kind. She was implanted by the Harpy!” Frederick jumped from his seat, a little easier than he anticipated, he paid no attention to that in his rage. “The only people on board this ship who carry an enhancement have been implanted by the Harpys! So do not feed me your nonsense!”

“Fred.” Solomon got up, also easier than thought, he noticed and paused for a moment. There was an awful similarity to the situation.

A quick glance at Joleen’s console relieved his worries. The shockwave momentarily slowed the roation speed of the ring, he wasn’t going to have to float away from the command centre.

“What?”

Still weirded out Solomon had to concentrate to continue the conversation. “They know better than we. I always suspected that we didn’t catch them all back then, there surely are some aboard whonstill bear the implant. Just now they fried all that dampens or suppresses their frequency.” He pointed at the smoking cellphone object at Joleen’s feet.

Begrudgingly Frederick agreed with Solomon’s assessment of the situation. “We will not hinder them from leaving, but tell me, where will you go with them?”

“Our evolutionary paths diverge here Admiral, humanity and DEhumanity will walk separate paths from here on out. Where our kind goes is none of your concern.”

Anger and rage showed clearly on Frederick’s face, he was infuriated by the choice of words by the other side. A calming old hand laid on his shoulder.

“The people you are about to take with you, they are our friends, as close as family in many cases. You know the feeling of loss as well as any human. We kindky ask you to tell us where you are going.”

An empty expression stared back at Solomon. Twitching her facial muscles Joleen showed a hint of compassion. “Bernards star, SF-p15.”

Thanking her Solomon bowed slightly. Having learned when to accept defeat Solomon nodded to Frederick. “Let them go.”

“How? The outter most rim of every ring is a vital buffer against Harpy attacks.”

An amused smile appeared on Joleen’s kips. “We can dock with you.”

Alarmed both of the Admirals turned to her. “An umbilicus, not more.” Suddenly frowning Joleen stepped towards the Admiral in charge. “What’s the matter? Don’t you trust us?”

“No, we don’t.” Solomon pushed his younger successor to the side. “If you don’t like the umbilicus, we can figure out something else.”
“Sit rep!” Feeling as if he was still in charge Solomon entered the meeting room. Two of the governors were present, the third had gathered with other DEHumans in the beta ring. “Governor Thomas Dyson has defected.” Freya Lånden, Governor of the alpha ring grumbled. “He hasn’t defected per se, he didn’t switch loyalties because of a liking of his, he is one of them! Always has been.” Wanda James, gamma ring’s Governor replied in a calm, but somewhat resigned tone.

Frederick Doherty pressed a button on his tablet, bringing up a detailed list of people transferring from and to beta ring.

“People leaving beta reported that they are overrun by the linkers, they leave because they feel insecure. Those who flock there are most certainly linkers. And journalists.” In a small inset frame video footage played from beta.

Worried Solomon squinted his eyes.

Only minutes ago Frederick had asked him why he was there. After Johannes’ had died Solomon felt the urge to work, not to sit around and contemplate his dear friends death.

Understanding the current Admiral had invited the way more experienced Admiral to join the action on this one.

“They are trying to secede.”

Shocked Frederick jumped from his seat. “What?”

Thoughtful Solomon paced around the table. “Two years before my retirement beta ring had tried to secede. They blocked all traffic going through beta, and had planned to break away, waiting for Destiny to come and pick them up.” With a moaning sigh he sat down. “In light of the current development, perhaps they had been lead by a member of the DEHuman back then as well.”

Shrugging his shoulders he turned around to face the other members of the meeting. Another image flashed up, it was the Harpy ship. They kept their distance, but followed the Horizon like a foreshadow of ill omen. “As soon as the Ark1 leaves, they surely will come and take us head on.”

“Unlikely.” Tired, somewhat exhausted, and weighed down by his personal grief, Solomon leaned back in his chair. “They had fourty years and more to come and wipe us from space. Yet they chose to monitor us and always send in a small fighter or two to keep us busy. I don’t understand it, but I doubt that they choose now to destroy us.”

Agreeing nods came from the Governors, Frederick was alone in his worries.

“What boggles my mind more is, how are the linkers powering their ship? We can’t read through their shielding. Ideas?”

A round of silence followed Solomon’s words. No one wanted to say the most obvious probability.

Antimatter.

Shrugging Solomon looked to Frederick with a gaze prompting him to speak.

“The real question is, how do we get the linkers off the ship over to others? Our estimation is that they’re running out of space, they’ll demand parts from Horizon, if we’re unwilling, they have the power to take what they want. Suggestions?”

Attentively Solomon studied the faces of the Governors.

They were clueless, frightened and worn out. A mixture of feelings he felt way too familiar with.

Letting out a tired aigh he turned to the screen. “Disengage the buffer pods, let a series of the landing crafts go, reengage the buffer pods.”

As he returned his attention to the others he found astonished faces looking at him. Was there a hint of shock in their eyes? Already he knew what they were going to say. Not to take any of the living space away from their rings, where to put the now homeless refugees and so on.

It was all written out on their faces.

In all his years as Admiral he had learned to read the faces of the Governors well. Even though they changed, some things always stayed the same. “In absence of the beta ring government, and the obvious intent of their current rulingruling body, I vote for this plan to be conducted from beta ring.” Freya raised her hand, followed by Wanda. Frederick and Solomon exchanged a knowing glance then agreed.

The umbilicus was a notion soon dismissed as impossible. Material for it was in abundance, but with all the fragments from the destroyed Harpy vessel it would’ve ripped, or gotten otherwise damaged beyond practicality. Having the DEHuman ship dock with the Horizon was outmof the question. Too great was the risk of being hacked by them. With wireless data communication to external sources blocked both Admirals felt relatively safe.
Eyes squinted into small slits, the jaw clenched close.

Her entire body tensed up.

Almost unrecognisable to Solomon he found Hylia sitting in her quarters. “It costs her a lot of effort to keep her implant offline.” Gérard Maiziere monitored the frequency of the implant, he sat next to the glass wall behind which Hylia sat.

Hylia had been drifting in and out of responsive phases, during which she had told Gérard of similar events in harpy history. Keeping his attention on the instruments Gérard handed the former Admiral a tablet, with the words that he needed it back.

Sitting down as well Solomon began reading the transcript.
A few months after large scale deployment of the implants began in ancient Harpy society, a fraction of the population linked together, just like the DEHumans.

Unlike their human counterparts the ancient Harpy linkers succeed in actively forcing the link upon others. Soon the entire colony of the linkers was joined, and they started genetic diversity breeding.

Solomon had read the recent reports from Explorer that were still on file, the crew of the Orion had just done the same with at least two members of the Explorer away team.

The rest of the harpy society looked at this development with unease. Fearing forced assimilation they attacked the knked colony with little success. Until they brought in weaponry to destabilise a large number of asteroids in the solar system. Too many for the colony to handle. Once the defences were down, and the offences largely destoryed the colony was bombarded from space.

To be sure, the entire syste, was declared uninhabitable, and off limits. Solar powered turrets were left in orbit around the planet, shooting everything that came from it or approached it from space.

“Interesting. There were no attempts of any kind to ever recreate such a collective?”

“There were, but in our colonies and ships we have routines active to disrupt such linking.” Hylia spoke with a pronounced growl in her voice, the computerised voice did not carry it over, but it was audible through the wall.

A glimmer of hope rose in Solomon, but he had to ponder on it for a while. If the harpys shadowing them had such a virtual defense against the linkers, it was a question of getting it from them, and a second one to get it into the DEHuman network. But, was it the right thing to do?

Doubting that it would be correct to enforce his view on the linkers, born into it or freely chosen to participate alike, Solomon shrugged his thoughts away.

First he had to attend something he had dreaded for the past two days.

Johannes’ memorial.

Having known him since childhood, and having had a friendship for all of that time, his death had hit him hard. Working, despite his retirement, kept him afloat mentally.

Attending his memorial gave no relieving distraction, he would be forced into his pain, his memories, his loss.

“I hate this.” He repeatedly mumbled on his way to the alpha ring.
Clad in black, Sharon met him there. At first the rules of the closed ecosystem seemed weird, but Solomon had gotten used to them. There were no graveyards, or space burials. The nutrients in a human body were valuable to the plant life, and in turn for the following generations.

“We have gathered here to remember Johannes Falkner. Doctor, husband, father and a close friend of mine.” Solomon had the doubtful honor to lead the ceremony. I hate this even more than just attending. “He will always be in our hearts, in our memory and for those of us that do it, in our prayers.” He looked at the crowd, there was Oleksandra, Johannes’ wife, Karl, his son. Of course Sharon and Solomon’s own children. Solomon jr. and Sara. The latter with her fiancé, and the baby the two had half a year ago.

Colleagues and friends. Itnsaddened him that Hylia couldn’t attend. Had she not gotten under the influence of the DEHuman link, it would’ve been possible to get her to the ceremony.

“I once heard an ancient proverb. Sadly I forgot where it originated: Some things live only as long as the last person who remembers it. If that is the case, Johannes hasn’t died. His son will remember. His wife will remember. I shall remember! My children had always liked Uncle Joe, so they will remember. It is my firm hope that he will be a true immortal, never forgotten, meaning never dead. But his body has passed on, butbhe will be always among us.”

After he had spoken, Karl had his turn, Oleksandra couldn’t bring herself to it. She was too grief striken.

Once the body of his old friend had been carried off intonthe interior of the morgue Solomon stayed in his seat.

“Distract me.” Oleksandra sat down next to him. Both their sons had led the guests off, including Solomon’s wife. “We face a secession on beta by the linkers. How’s that for a distraction?”

Answering with a weak and faint smile, Oleksandra stared at the wall behind which her husband’s remains were treated to become fertile soil one day. “I could use his advice on this. He had an understanding of different cultures and cultural ramifications, that I lack. Look how well he got in touch with Hylia.” Solomon couldn’t help but start tearing up again. “And I could just use his company. Our jokes, jests, and old stories. New stupid stories to be added to the anthology of our friendship.”

“I miss him too already.” Surprisingly stout Oleksandra shook her head. “I guess, I knew it was coming when he had slipped into that comatose state then. It prepared me, more than it prepared you.” Sighing she got up, patting Solomon on the shoulder. “Come on sir, let’s celebrate.”

Celebrate! With a swift motion he wiped his tears away. Why is death celebrated? After someone died there was a sad memorial, and then the reltivesnand frienda gathered for a feast and a party. Solomon didn’t feel like celebrating.

Never the less, he visited the party, stayed for about an hour, mingled with the other guests.
After he had left the others Solomon had wandered around the ship aimlessly, found himself in a cab going to subalpha. The zero G bit was his favorite.

For a few brief moments he didn’t feel the chronic pain in his joints. When I die, I hope it is in zero G. No worries here. Closer to the universe that gave birth to me. A faint smile was still on his lips as he entered Hylias quarters.

Gérard had left, his shift had ended, some other man sat there monitoring her condition, he saluted as he saw the former Admiral, but soon continued to work in silence.

“Johannes is dead, we just had his memorial service.” There was no apparent reaction from Hylia. “One day, you have to tell me what you do with your dead.” Not speaking another word Solomon stayed in front of the glass wall, he wept in silence, undisturbed by partying friends of Johannes, or the technician.

“We incinerate them. Mourn them. Mammal or not, we are more alike than some would like.”
It was a painstakingly effort to hold the conversation with Hylia, but it was worth it. She had recorded the message he intended to send to the harpys. Even if the Admiral was against uaing the program he hoped to procure from them, it was good to have it, in case they ever needed it.

Hylia also provided him with information on how best to contact them, concerning frequency and modulation.

Slowly he walked through the hallways, weary that at any time he could be ambushed by one of the linkers. Surely not all had gathered in beta, paranoid that Gérard’s replacement might be one of them, he took detours and stayed away from others. If it couldn’t be avoided to be in close proximity, he tried to have a multitude of others around him.

There were four people in the corridor outside the tube.

He felt safer, but still haunted by his paranoid fear that one or all of them might be linked.

The two deck ride to the command centre should be short, there he was sure to find Frederick, or in his den, only a one minute walk from the command centre.

With one ear he listened to their chattering, about some mundane stuff they were interested in. An infirmary based TV show from Destiny if he wasn’t mistaken.

“You can’t take us down.” One of the four, a young woman, turned around to him once thendoors shut. He, as well as the three others were surprised.

A moment later he felt a sharp stinging pain in his abdomen. His muscles twitched, the world grew dark, as he also felt an indistinguishable painin his chest.
Quickly private Thompson got disarmed, she grew unresponsive the same moment the former Admiral hit the deck.

“Alter heading: infirmary!” Private Jane Mulgrew barked at the computer. “Get her to a cell!” The two men holding Thompson saluted.

“Medical emergency,” Jane had meanwhile raised the infirmary on her glasses. “have medica at the tube access!”

A shaky hand rose from Solomon, he grabbed her by the shoulder. “Bring, my tablet, to the Admiral!” His voice was more a whisper than a tone, once the doors opened medics streamed in an heaved the former Admiral on a stretcher, hurried off with him. Her two fellow colleagues left, heading to the brig a few corridors down, leaving Jane clutching the tablet.

“Command centre.” She ordered the cab. Doors closed, during the ride she began drafting her report on the incident on her glasses, typing with eye movement and blinks.

All the while clutching the tablet with her hands.
“They have powered up weapons.” Were the first words Jane head as she entered the command centre. “Brace for fire.”

“We’re not the target!” In horror Jane saw the ship move off, heading towards the harpy vessel, on the way there the DEHumans eliminated the whiskers. “Harpys left.” A flash lit up the screen, the harpy vessel had abandoned them.

For now at least.

“What do you want?” Harshly emphasising the “you” Frederick turned around with his seat. “Admiral Grienberg got shot by a linker, Private Thompson, he tasked me to deliver this to you before medics took him to the infirmary.” Keeping her disciplined demeanour and posture Jane handed the tablet over.

Equally shocked by the news and curious what his predecessor had him delivered Frederick took the tablet. “Have the technician currently in Hylias quarters arrested if I don’t deliver this personally.” Solomon’s voice came from the tablet. By his tone and the background noise it was easy to deduct he rcorded that message in a narrow hallway.

With a nod to his chief of security Frederick confirmed the order of the old Admiral.

In silence he read through the transcript of the conversation with Hylia including the details of the Harpy communication frequency.

“Helm! As soon as you so much as catch a glimpse of the harpys, contact them on this frequency.” With a few simple commands he sent the information to the comsole of the navigation officer, currently also doubling as communication officer.

After reading through the rest of the transcript he turned back to Jane. “Private?”

“Mulgrew, sir.”

“Right, excellent work. Now return to the infirmary and keep me apprised of Admiral Grienberg’s condition. You’ll also double as his security guard.”

Jane saluted, containing her surprise until she was out of the door again. Displaying an excited smile shw hurried off.
“Looks like they’re chasing after the harpys.” Bettina Fohler on the navigation post observed the Ark1 disappearing.

“They’ll be back. I suspect they’re lacking the power to mount a full scale chase.” Frederick seldom voiced his fears, even though the linkers had the capacity to destroy the harpy vessel, he feared that they lacked the engine power or scientific advancement necessary to chase them through space.

“Registering them, they entered range of our sensors again, moving towards us.” Here we go. Pinching the base of his nose Frederick sat up straight.

“They’re demanding the release of the linkers aboard Horizon. Now.” Dismissing the urgent call Frederick left the room, in the adjacent room, formerly the bunk room for command centre staff, he went to a chair in which Joleen was sitting.

Strapped in.

“Are you still in there Joleen?” Empty eyes stared back at him. With a grim expression he reached into his pocket. “Your friends are currently out of range, for a few moments at least.” He activated the cellphone like device he had fixed by an engineering junior.

Disturbed, almost angry Joleen snapped back to reality.

“Do you want to join them?” Knowing that he probably had only moments before the device was fried again, he didn’t waste any time on pleasantries. “Oh, sir, you have no idea. All my life I felt out of place, out of touch with the rest of humanity.” She sat up a bit more comfortably, as much as the straps allowed her to.

“In the link, I was one with all. No longer was I the freak, the misfit, the highly intelligent but socially awkward one. I am one of many. So yes, I want to. I belong there.” Almost on que the device in his hand got hot and he dropped it.

“So be it then.” He stood up straight. “I am keeping Private Thompson, she has committed a crime and must be punished accordingly to our laws. The rest of you can leave.” Two guards in the room with them stepped to his side as he waved them over.

They helped Joleen to her feet, once she was unstrapped.
Once back in the command centre he was informed that the DEHuman ship had powered down weapons and reassumed its previous position, ready to collect the others leaving the Horizon. “I have an estimate of the loss.”

Raising an eyebrow as he sat down Frederick waved for Bettina to go on. “Nearly a third of our population.”

Struck by the immense number of people he would lose if he let the linkers go Frederick took a few deep breaths.
Who knew that in their war ridden, and slight undermanned, population there were so many linkers? Was it that the maximum number of permitted children per couple had been raised to four? Or didnthe people need the escape mechanism?
“Guess we won’t need the implants for a long time then.” He grumbled, opening a channel to the beta ring’s speaker and public broadcast system. “This is Admiral Doherty speaking, to all non linked individuals in the beta ring. I strongly suggest for you to leave, as the separation process will commence shortly.”

Before he could give the command an alarm began beeping.

“Bufferzone is disengaging!” Lieutenant Fohler couldn’t help but feel utterly helpless, she found herself locked out of every control that the beta ring had to offer.

“Can’t halt it, they locked us out.”

Resigned Frederick leaned in his chair. “Figures.” He grumbled. Behind him the doors opened, Jane entered, intercom had been disrupted, so she came on foot from the infirmary. “Sir, I bring you the grim news of Admiral Grienberg’s death. Apparently the shock dart had caused a heart attack, from which he didn’t recover, after a second heart attack some ten minutes ago he died.”

“We’re loosing too many good people today.” He nodded, “take that station there.” He pointed Jane to Joleen’s former post.

“Buffer pods are orbiting as planned. It seems the linkers at least will leave us with that much.”

“Not funny.” Jane commented, immediately she put her hand over her mouth. Bettina was a superior officer after all. “I agree.” The Admiral grumbled. He has gone to another station, was observing the situation as well.

One by one the landing crafts disengaged from beta, floated over to the Ark1, where they stacked up on the other parts already lifted from Explorer.

“They’re taking more than allotted.” Jane had familiarised herself with the planned evacuation as hpshe had stayed at Solomon’s side, of course only after the former Admiral had given her the access codes to the secret files.

“Can we stop it? No, so we have to watch and see what they leave us with.” Still grumbling Frederick wanted to shoot the Ark1 out of the sky.

But he had nothing in his arsenal that would do the job.

“Where are you from Mulgrew?” Almost sounding disinterested the three watched the same data on the main viewscreen. A lieutenant commander entered the room, and took post at the security console. “Beta, sir. Born and raised. That’s my neighbourhood floating off.”

“There will not be much of a beta ring left afterntoday, Private.” Lieutenant Commander O’toole too turned his gaze at the main screen. “All sections are secure Sir, except, that of course.” He nodded to the ships leaving the beta ring. “Emitters are in place, once they leave and are out of range, activation will commence.”

“Good work O’toole. Stand ready.”

The last ships disengaged, leaving only the central garden and the first two decks outwards. Preprogrammed the buffer ships docked again.

Far from where the new surface of the beta ring was. “I hate these creeps.”

“Me too sir, me too.” Jane concurred with O’toole’s words, as did Fohler.
A few minutes passed after the docking of the bufferpods and the last ships on the Ark1 had finished. O’toole had hia finger poised over the butto to activate the emitters.

It was a field that would probably kill ever linker hidden amongst their midst. Only their prisoner and the harpies were shielded from the emitters.

“Sir! Look!” Fohler pointed at the screen, some of the ships that had docked with the Ark1 began to break apart, but in a strange, orderly fashion. “They’re breaking it apart.” Assuming to mold the components and alloys into new equipment Frederick watched in awe how fast and efficient the linkers were.
“No sir, they already broke it down. That which we see here is behaving weirdly.” Jane enhanced the image. “Nanotechnology?”

“Yes, for now it is a mass of tiny robots, behaving like a controlled liquid. Once the desired form is reached, the machines bond together on a molecular level in the new configuration.” Looking at her with disbelief in his eyes, Frederick had to acknowledge the genius in both her, and the plan of the linkers.

“What will they produce? Doctor Mulgrew, I presume?” He put the emphasis on the title. “Master of Nanotechnology, sir. Hard to say, looks like a massive ring,” the moment she had said it both she and the Admiral knew that they had just increased their power capabilities.

“Antimatter!” They yelled simultaneously. As if they had given the other ship a que, it vanished in a bright flash.
It took a second or two, before the alarms went off again. Not the antimatter alarms, but proximity alerts. “It’sthe harpys again, we would’ve seen them sooner with the whiskers intact.” Fohler reported her sensor readings.

“Great. The vultures come.” Fully aware that dinosaurs on earth had evolved into birds, and thus vultures, Frederick shook his head.

“Weapons cold, they’re hailing on the frequencies provided by Admiral Grienberg.” Fohler seemed more than relieved about these circumstances. “Accept their call.”
After formal introductions were over Frederick begged the Harpy commander to send the program to inhibit the link, not only to the Horizon, but the Destiny. He had to force himself to give up their position in space, and admit their existence to the Harpy in the first place. In the long run he figured the linkers posed the greater threat.

There was no reply from the harpy ship for agonising moments. 94283Z

“We agree to give you the information you seek, as the threat from the conjoined minds outweigh the difference between our species.” The computerised voice, he was all too familiar with from Hylia, gave the reply from the harpy commander.

Thanking him with quite a lot of relief showing in hia voice Frederick turned to Jane, his joy was dampened by tye fact that he didn’t find Joleen there.

“New Whiskers are ready, sir. We can launch them right away.” Jane tried not to feel offended by the sudden diminish in the Admirals joyful expression.

“When the harpy left.” He nodded, forcing himself to smile harder, attempting to mask his true feelings.

“I doubt that they’ll reach Destiny in time.” As the transmission from the harpys was received Fohler couldn’t help but muse about the situation.

“I believe that there is hope. The haroy have more experience in that mode of transportation, and thus can outrun the linkers.” O’toole replied. Before the Admiral could say a word of his own, the Harpy ship sent a final message that they’d attempt to reach Destiny in time, before thwy too vanished.

“Alright, we’ll know soon enough. O’toole, activate the emitters. Mulgrew, launch the Whiskers. It’s time to end today’s shift. It has been a long day.”

NYE 2017/2018

Party animal, alright. 

Ever wanted to see a bull or a moose regurgitate wine, or champagne, or vinegar, or oil, or sauce from a bottle? Here you go! 

Whoever needed these was a sick person who needs counseling rather than be allowed corporate decisions.

I hope your new year turns out to be the worst ever if this is how you decide to celebrate it.

Crappy new year.