SolGov Campaign, Turn 0

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SolGov Campaign, Turn 0

Postby Rhishisikk on Thu 25 Aug 2022 00:13

The world as we know it ended on December 21, 2012, almost exactly when the Mayan calendar said it would. In the remote regions of the solar system, a section of space ripped open. Exactly as theoretical models said that it could, but really wasn't ever supposed to. The conditions under which such a thing could happen, for example, were not ever supposed to happen inside the planetary orbit of any star, let alone on each end.
Another impossible thing happened, three point seven seconds later, as molecules began emerging from the warp point. Seemingly random at first, but gradually taking the form of a six mile long starship, complete with circuitry and an internal atmosphere, and... crew.
The crew was screaming in pain, as one might imagine. Nerves, unsure how to register the sensation of coming into being without the muscles, organs, and other tissues they were supposed to be monitoring, defaulted to pain. Quite a lot of pain, as it turned out. The aliens arrived screaming, and vomiting, and otherwise reacting quite well, considering they'd been torn apart into individual quarks and put back together hundreds of light-years away.
When they recovered, they took stock of their sensor readings.

December 21, 2012, 10:00 PM GMT, Wormhole
The captain opened his eyes, to find himself curled into a protective ball. He was still crying, his eyestalks withdrawn fully into his head. As an experiment, he pulled in a breath of air through a throat rendered raw by screaming. Water would have been better, but there was little enough of that on any starship; water was mass, and even God-Drive, which rendered inertia mute, had its limits.
"Report." he demanded, unfurling in his chair. "Helm, damage control, scanners. REPORT."
Helmswoman Greet'tikt looked at him, spat blood on the deck before taking a brief scan of her instruments. "We are elsewhere." she said. "No longer are we home." The quote was from an old play, from when fools thought all space above the waves contained air. But, if true, it was a miracle, and the sentiment was appropriate.
"DAMAGE CONTROL!" he said, waving a primary claw threateningly at the weeping DCO (Damage Control Officer).
"We... the instruments must be malfunctioning. We have been completely destroyed, but taken no damage. Resetting system on your permission."
He waved a secondary arm dismissively. "Someone kick the Sensor Officer out of the way and tell me the readouts from his station."
The captain noticed disdainfully that the officer, still bundled into a defensive ball, was instead carefully rolled aside. Weakness was...
TIK, went the ensign. Then, TIK again. The captain was about to unbuckle his harness and strike then ensign when he spoke. "We have multiple electronic signals, all based around the third planet. This... is not our solar system, but it is not unlike theoretical models."
"Quit speaking science gibberish at me. Where are we?" the captain asked.
"Unknowable without analysis, sir." the ensign replied. "It will take time to identify the stars and triangulate."
"IDIOT!" he snapped. "AND SOMEONE GET THAT PERSON TO STOP SCREAMING!"

December 22, 2012, 2:09 AM, Wormhole
Having done a basic sensor sweep, and found the expected rocky worlds, two gas giants, and a wealth of asteroids in between, the captain ordered all people harnessed into their stations and ordered the ship back through the anomaly.
The ship glided into oblivion, and was gone from Sol System.
But not forever.

December 22, 2012, 11:15 PM, Wormhole
Heralded by a wave of gravitons, the wormhole opened again. Again, a ship of impossible proportions formed from molecules that had been so very distant. It was a different Laser Scout, but one of the same fleet. At pulses six seconds apart, new ships began forming. They had entered the wormhole in a line, but emerged at random facings.
'We need to do something to navigate the anomaly better.' the captain thought. 'Especially if there is a native species here, a sapient species, capable of technology. Although... certain tasks would be greatly simplified if such a slave species had evolved here.'
He shook his head to clear it. 'Even if we all know that cannot happen.'

December 22, 2012, 11:22 PM, Earth, SETI project
In a forgotten building, a computer took note of an electromagnetic anomaly. It even flagged the repeating nature of the anomaly. As required by its programming, it brought the matter to the attention of the humans.
"Holy shit." Harold Cotter swore. "There goes the yellow light again."
"You noticed it." Jennifer said. "You. Have to listen to it."
"It's just another random burst of electrons." Harold said, dutifully listening. Similar, yes. Static rising like a wave, and then descending. Except for the volume and the fact that he could feel his fillings, it was almost relaxing. It repeated six times, then four times, slower, then two, and then ended with six long crests.
It was the exact composition of the alien fleet.
"Hell if it means anything to me." Harold said, pulling up the mandatory forms on his computer.
By the time anyone knew any differently, the aliens would have already made contact.

December 23, 2012, 12:04 AM, Between Jupiter orbit and Saturn orbit, approaching asteroid belt
Tan Dchillis tapped impatiently at his command station, careful to avoid touching the buttons.
"We have communication with the Wurg, sir. All ships are in tightbeam network." the Communications Officer reported.
"Excellent. Record message."
"Recording message, aye." (This is the intention rather than the literal translation. It has been altered for your feeble Earthling brains to more easily process.)
"Message begins. Forge ships and laser scouts to the identified locations in the belts. Laser scout six to investigate the electromagnetic noise originating third planet. Verify source and if needed begin first contact procedures. Troopships are to follow only when all troop leaders have reported in."
The Gran-Gran equivalent of a smile crossed his face. "Happy looting to all captains. The wealth of this system is ours. Take it all."
"Message ends. Send message."

December 24, 2012, 8:49 AM, sunside of asteroid belt
Captain N'glex let two sets of his secondary arms clutch his stomach. It was a side effect of the God-Drive, vibrations that others could not feel, but which slowly irradiated crews, even through the dense hull plating. N'glex had... symptoms... in his digestive system when over-exposed, as they had been recently.
Still, he had confirmed the worst. Although primitive, the patterns of the signals, across multiple wavelengths, confirmed the worst. An infection of inferior alien life, like a cancer, only it had achieved sapience. The recreation computers had been repurposed to translate the alien language. They had wisely encoded their transmissions, making it seem as though hundreds of different languages were still in use.
Maybe there were, he thought. There was a time when different clans had used different languages, back when there were clans. 'If the savages employ a clan-like system, it will at least be easy to turn them upon each other until we can defeat each one in detail. Not that any of that will be our concern. We need only hold the orbital, and attempt to unravel this gibberish.'
It didn't seem so worthless now, the air required for the science caste members to breathe.

December 25, 2012, 5:30 AM, Helsinki, Netherlands, Earth
It would be three and a half hours before the first of the employees began to arrive. Most of them had plans with friends or family; the laziest had already gone on vacation.
Martin Reville had things to do. Just because the holiday stopped the stock markets didn't mean the financial world halted, nor the mundane world beyond. And that meant there was still news to go through. To sort and process, and assign staff to analyze. And, most importantly, to take the most interesting tidbits for himself.
The rest was drivel for the masses. For example, the main news article:
ISS CONFIRMS SIGHTING OF ALIEN VESSEL APPROACHING EARTH.
It was a ludicrously long title, exactly the sort of... thing...
Martin looked at the image, re-read the title.
He wasn't even aware of his fingers dialing on his cell phone. "Miss Obelstadt? Come to the office immediately. Something more important than the office Christmas party has just come up."

December 25, 2012, 04:33 AM, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, United States, Earth
Bleary eyed officers bolted through hallways normally abandoned. Leaves had been cancelled; orders issued. Every unit, EVERYONE, was reporting in. Or they weren't; someone's head was going to roll for that, and James Sargent was only sure it wasn't going to be his.
Not that people were acting like their heads hadn't been cut off already.
'Fucking aliens.' he thought, 'Moving so damn fast.' The energy signature hadn't been spotted until it was clear of the asteroid belt. A lozenge of energy, big enough to contain the six mile vessel that had been estimated at James-didn't-care millions of tons of metal. It was a fucking monster, thirty three aircraft carriers long. God only knew how many thousands of aliens were inside that thing.
'At least it's only one of those vessels.' he thought. 'And they'll be parked in orbit in time for me to be home for sleep tonight.'
But even as he thought that, James Sargent knew that nobody was sleeping in their own bed that night.

December 25, 2012, 10:12 AM, United Nations building, New York City, United States, Earth
"No, tell the Chinese ambassador this is NOT a prank. We're having an emergency session with or without him." Brian Gessel calmly stated into the phone. "Yes, EVERY council is having a special meeting, and we're having a general council meeting at the same time. Hell, we may even be making additional councils to deal with this."
Brian listened to the measured response from the other side of the line. He clenched his teeth, but remained professional. "Because," he said, "the alien vessel is signaling back. Basic math only at this stage... yes, that won't be an issue; we already have extra staff on site. Yes, thank you for your time."
He allowed himself a sigh before dialing up the next consulate in his list.

December 25, 2012, 4:24 PM, Comstar Satellite, Earth orbit
There wasn't supposed to be any communication request from outside Earth orbit, but some programmer had been crunched for their deadline. The encryption matched, the key matched, and the account had been funded for the month.
Receiving data on the new routing point, the satellite began direct communications with the alien vessel.

December 25, 2012, 4:40 PM, HSV (Holy Sky Vessel) Wurg
Captain N'glex noticed that his intestines could still twitch, even though he knew they were empty.
"Begging the captain's pardon." the Communications Officer said. "We have confirmed radio contact with one of their orbital communication buoys."
"Excellent." N'glex said. "Download as much data as we can."
The officer lowered his eye-stalks. "I fail you, my captain. We... we haven't discovered the order that lets us do that yet."
N'glex was surprised at how calm his voice sounded. "Given that satellite has less than twelve hours before it's a piece of scrap, perhaps you could ask our science caste members to prioritize figuring that out?"
"I live to serve; I shall relay the priority at once."
N'glex permitted himself a prolonged sigh. Then, he again went over the navigational and targeting templates. Primitive as they were, it wouldn't do for the savage natives to see his ship performing at anything less than its best.

December 25, 2012, 8:18 PM GMT, Earth orbit
The ISS went silent first, as the monster alien vessel cleared the moon's orbit. Then, nearby satellites flashed a malfunction warning and did the same. By the time people on the ground realized their orbital infrastructure was literally melting, a third of it was gone.
The Wurg orbited the planet twice in the span of twenty minutes, methodically wrecking orbiting objects in order from highest mass to lowest. It was something that people had planned for since the fifties. From the US and Russia, missiles capable of striking each other instead targeted the massive alien vessel.
The energy field that was its drive bloom made an unmistakable target. None of the initial warheads struck the vessel; none of them needed to. The radiation and EMP effects did what direct exposure to super-heated hydrogen would not.
The drive bubble surrounding the alien vessel popped like a balloon, releasing deadly radiation that failed to stop the second and third waves of missiles. By the time they began detonating on the surface of the alien vessel, all of the crew were long dead.
Some humans celebrated, even as others gathered bottled water and toilet paper. History records that there were mild riots, and that the United Nations was holding an emergency session to decide how to respond.

December 28, 2:58 AM, Troopship Virallak
Dchillis, Tan of what would become the Gran-Gran invasion force, didn't seethe. He hadn't raged, as some had, beating their claws against the carapace of their chests, lamenting the loss of life against the savage and primitive forces of Earth. 'It is a good thing that we are here,' he thought, 'before these barbarians could destroy each other with nuclear fire. The potential damage to the planet alone would be unacceptable.'
Ideally, there was to have been a survey of any potentially life bearing world. There was no time for such niceties now. Scans had determined that the planet possessed an atmosphere, was at acceptable temperature, and in theory was not poisonous. Enough so that the General had declared type two breathing apparatus units would be in the vanguard.
Tan Dchillis... did not agree. But he did not have to. The savages were hostile, and were willing to employ their primitive weapons. Only with feet on the enemy world could they begin to plunder it in safety. To destroy such weapons as they could, and the sites where they could enrich the heavy elements that such warheads were made of.
Such waste, he lamented. But the natives had made their choice; the rest was in the claws of the General and his ground troops.

December 29, estimated 5:15 AM GMT
It is not known who launched the first nuclear missile at Russia. It might even have been the Russians, firing at alien units inside their territory. What is known is that in spite of the aliens targeting every missile their 'assault shuttles' could reach, roughly a fourth of the world's population died over the next four hours.
MAD, or mutually assured destruction, had predicted that mankind had the potential to exterminate itself six to eight times over, even with the reduction in nuclear arms. The reality was both better and worse. The nations of the world were broken; several major cities were blighted ruins, and the aliens were landing troops.
Humanity met its first non-Terran species. They resembled lobsters, if such could grow to the size of two and a half to three meters, not counting the layered metal and plastic they wore as body armor. Their weapons weren't anything particularly special; or at least were not death rays and laser pulsers. They employed... guns, if you could call something with a rate of fire measured in roughly a dozen rounds per second a gun.
They had tanks that crawled on treads, resembling giant tortoises. Artillery, personnel carriers, mortars and howitzers and drones, both armed and unarmed. Nothing the Gran-Gran brought to the surface of the Earth was entirely alien to humanity. It was just better.

December 31, Earth
General Hrutaan risked exposure to the air to enjoy his lunch. Things were going well, if one discounted the idiocy of the native species. Of the eighty four hrin that had been brought to the alien world, over seventy were still combat capable. There was some difficulty keeping the remaining units from swearing blood oaths of vengeance, but so long as they still performed in combat, the general didn't truly mind.
So long as the army achieved its goals, they would remain funded. It wasn't as if there were any shortage of people on the homeworld. Once they saw the images of the broken Wurg, the recordings from far orbit of the lesser species unleashing nuclear fire on their own troops, their own cities...
One of Hrutaan's secret fears had been that a truly sapient species might disrupt loyalty among his troops. And that might still happen, in some future he could not foresee. But no, these were clearly animals that used tools. Animals that needed those tools taken away.
For their own safety, the savage animals of this planet needed to be yoked and trained to serve. Not something that Hrutaan would be doing; he had perhaps a third of the forces needed for that.
But he had his objectives, and the natives were not a serious opposition. Hrutaan turned his attention to the tasty Earth animal that was his lunch.

December 31, Zwolle, Netherlands, Earth
"No," Martin Reville said again, "tell the Germans that we have no food for just refugees. They help us secure supplies and fight the aliens, or we've no need of them."
"And I've already said," April Obelstadt said, "we need every healthy body we can get. That means," she wagged a finger in his face, "that we need diplomacy, not this macho bullshit."
"You are engaging in more 'macho bullshit' than I am at the moment." he responded.
"Go ahead. Tell me defending women and children is bullshit." she said. "I'll quit, see if I don't."
"All right. Let's go over this again. The nations of the Earth are collapsing or collapsed. NATO is pift, gone! Who is there to conduct diplomacy with?"
She smiled, as if a switch in her mind had flipped. "Actually, THAT is something we need to discuss."
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