Chapter 4: Space Race, the opera

Spann was amazed. He had read the report from Darkk many times over in disbelief. "So basically..." He chewed his words like cud, "...Levt's huge armada has vanished mysteriously?"


Spamo was worried. Fleets don't just go on vacation. where was that jackass Levt going? He was pawing at his thoughts when his comm officer rushed into the room, a piece of paper in his hand. "Sir we just recieved this."


"Levt.... he's...." the officer stumbled.

"Give me that!" Spamo grabbed the paper and skimmed over it. His eyes widened and his jaw hung slightly open. He slammed the paper on his desk and marched onto the bridge. "Mobilize the fleet! We leave in two hours!"

The bridge exploded in acctivity as the call to arms rippled from ship to ship. "Yes sir!" the bridge chanted in unison.

Spann headed back to his war room, mumbling to himself. "We beter move quick. 'no telling what that crazy basterd will do to my homeworld if he crosses the finish line first...."

Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

"Now, Mr. Pharris, your ships will meet up with the gateship in Xebec, where the gateship will terminate their jumpstream prematurely. The primary armada is already stationed in system, but your reinforcements will be necessary to ensure victory, this is most disturbing, as we had no advance warning from the oracles. The sheer size of the incoming fleet is staggering, but more importantly, they seem to be highly advanced. Either way, we shall destroy our enemies in Xebec. If they reach Salril all would be lost. Is that understood, Pharris?"

He nodded.

"Excellent, I will monitor your fleet's progress. Thank you, Mr. Pharris."

The creature slithered out of the room. Pharris and Audemed were prepared. They knew when opportunity was theirs.

The Hard-Boiled Egg
Because she cant be beaten!

Out in open space, the Th'esare monitored troop movements. An Audemedon squadron flitting from one system to another, a Salrillian Carrier returning to Salril, 200 thousand Audemedon ships withdrawing from Earth ... there was a message worth monitoring. Two hundred thousand Audemedon ships... they must be preparing something, mused the commander of the battleship, Tlune Rth'tel. As the Obish fleet glided up to them, he broadcasted a message to them. Earth might be closer than it seemed.


"How many of us are there?" inquired commander Ntek.
"Forty-three escorts, six gu-" began his subcommander
"No. You know what I mean."
"Thirty five of the escorts, a gunship, and the Th'rihan."
"Good. We have planning to do."

-=MoC 94:19=-
"Cheaters don't really win, and winners don't really cheat. Unless you're talking politics." -Durandal
"Fate protects fools, children, and ships named Enterprise." -Riker to Bridge Crew

"Sir, the jumpstream's acting kinda funny." was all the warning that Levt got before the entire fleet was brought out of quasispace, but not in Salril.

He cursed loudly. "Gather our forces and signal the carriers on standby. I want those fighters ready to launch at the drop of a hat."

"Transmissions are being jammed!"

"They're scrambling our communications Sir!"

"Admiral, we've got incoming hostiles on sectors 4, 7, and 17!"

Levt's eyes glared at the screen in horror. "It's a trap!" The combined Salrilian/Audemedon fleet, nearly four-hundred strong, was rushing Levt's force! "Rotate communications frequencies! I want that jamming undone!"

"Aye sir! Orders?"

"Launch all squadrons! Order the Destroyers to form a perimeter."

"They're in maximum firing range!"

"Hold your fire...."

"They're shooting at us!"

"Steady....." The First wave of Audemedon cruisers bgan their deadly hail unto the still surprised fleet, they closed to a scraping ten kilometers. " Fire! " The charged destroyers at the forward flank of Levt's fleet all fired simultaniously with a deadly accuracy from the extreme range. Of the 120 Audemedon cruisers, only 13 made it through to engage Levt's fleet. They were outnumbered and outgunned, and were cut down by short-range cannons.


"We've got fourty carriers closing on us sir!"

"Feign retreat!" Levt shouted over the confusion "Launch all fighters at that gateship!"

Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

Suddenly, the sensor opp's jaw dropped open.
"Sir, there's another aud force 3x the size closing from behind..."
"WHAT? That wasn't there before. Oh never mind, have the destroyers target on them now."
The audemedon fleet moved towards the destroyers. The destoyers charged, the destroyers fired...

The aud ships suddenly dodged, evading EVERY LAST BEAM.
Levt's heart skipped a beat.
Then suddenly - "Sir, the aud ships aren't shooting back!"

It was true - the wave of audemedon ships from the rear passed through Levt's fleet, ignoring much of the fire and their few casualties, until it formed up with the gateship.
"What are they doing?" Levt asked nobody in particular.

The audemedon's gateship crackled with energy, and a jumpgate flared into existance around it. The audemedon forces sped through it, and were gone, leaving the Salrilian forces outnumbered - and trapped. Levt chowed down.

Aboard the Simlab, Pharris's handlers were screaming - Salril would be safe, it's fixed defenses were coming online, but the auds had betrayed them. They knew it was Pharris's fault. Not to worry, the transport of replacements would come in soon. It was just docking now...

Suddenly a jumpgate opened - a small fleet had arrived. It had been trailing Levt, but now it had tried to follow the aud fleet that had left, and had got here an hour ahead of them. The DEF. Darkk.

"Alrighty, let's give this simlab a wake-up call. It doesn't seem defended, so let's just board it." Darkk ordered. The EVATs were good, and soon the station was under control. The humans on the transport were freed, and the Sals had been taken prisoner. But then the EVATs stumbled on Pharris, plugged into a wall intranet port. The EVATs didn't know what to do, so they disconnected him and brought him back to Darkk.

"Whoa." Darkk was listening to Pharris, both what he was saying, and what he was transmitting. Pharris's brain had been half scooped-out, and most of the left side was now electronic. Pharris was transmitting on the Audemedon command frequencies, sending orders to ... Darkk engaged the sonic link, it helping his intuition ... Audemed.

Darkk had always wanted a live feed into Audemed. Now he had one. From what he could tell, Audemed was rebelling against the Sals, and Pharris is part of Audemed. Darkk might help Audemed against the Sals - it could get the Audemedons off Earth.

Pharris was babbling something about fear, about revenge, and about being almost alone. Darkk ordered him taken to med lab - his mind needed stabilization NOW.

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

"Sedatives! 500 cc's of Demerol, STAT!"

The orderly looked at the doctor and stammered,

"That could kill him!"

"If he stays awake he'll die anyway. I want him out! Restrain him!"

Four more orderlies were trying to hold down Pharris as he lay on the table, spasming terribly, kicking and screaming, babbling incomprehensable nonsense. The orderlies leaned hard on his arm as the needle found the vein and the doctor forced the powerful sedative into his bloodstream. Pharris went limpthen his eyes rolled back into his head. His breatheing became regular slow breaths. The doctor relaxed for a moment, then engaged the CT scanner on the med table, he wanted to see what the Sals had done to this poor man.

With his hardline to Audemed abruptly cut, Pharris had gone into shock. The EVATs had been careful, but not careful enough. The sudden shift from the hardline to the (relatively) low bandwidth subspace beacons imbedded in his bones was a shock he had not been prepared for, and being in the middle of an intense conflict had him interfacing with Audemed at a very high level. When the line was cut, half of Pharris' conciousness ceased to be there, leaving Pharris a wreck, and leaveing Audemed enraged. Pharris could hear him now, through the cloudy haze of his dreams. He was coming to rescue his friend and his ally. He had to, Pharris was nearly as critical to Audemed as Audemed was to Pharris.

As Darkk finished his tinkering with the computers on the simlab, a tremendous Audemedon strike force entered the system, bearing down on the DEF forces as they slipped away into a jumpstream.

Darkk sat at his computer terminal and began to explore the remote acess capabilities he had enabled on the Salrillian-Audemedon interface networks...

(P.S. The auds don't have a ship with gateship capabilities... yet... Lets say it was a jumpgate they ran too.)

(This message has been edited by Captain Pharris (edited 02-12-2001).)

"With all due respect, what in h*** are you doing with my patient?!?" the Doctor screamed.
"With all due respect, this is not a medical issue, it's a programming one. Show me your credentials there, and I'll stop," Darkk replied.
"I hope you know what you're doing."
"I always do."

Darkk was linking Pharris into the ship's intranet, and from there to the hypercomm network. According to his calculations, large portions of Pharris's mind were elsewhere, and he couldn't access them fast enough. He could give Pharris 85% of the bandwidth Pharris was accustomed to, and he hoped that would be enough.
Estimated time of awakening - 30 seconds.

"Uhhh, hey, Audemed is back."
"Yes Mr. Pharris. I reconnected you. Terribly sorry about all this mess, but I had to rescue you from the Sals."
"Audemed's angry. He thinks you're trying to steal me."
"I can't steal you - you're not a peice of propperty, you're a fellow human."
"Fellow ... human?"
"Perhaps this will help."

Darkk took a mirror, and pointed it at Pharris. Pharris could see his face in it, (he knew it was his, but he couldn't tell why) and could see Darkk's beside it. Very similar, except that Pharris had some plugs in his head.

"Why are you ... alone?"
"You mean linked? Oh, humans are born 'alone', as you put it. Most live their whole lives that way, and like it that way."
"I don't understand."
"We can't expect you to. After what the Salrilians did to you and Audemed, it's a wonder you can do much besides what they want you to."
"Salrilians. I hate them. They hurt us, but we can't figure out how, and they used us."
"I'd say the Sals scooped out massive portions of your brain, and did something similar in effect to Audemed."
"Core. They disabled most of the functions for both of you. They crippled your minds."
"We ... thank you."

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

The Battle in the Salril System was turning into an epic. It had been waging for nearly two days as hundreds of ships attacked hundreds of ships, bumping into hundreds of ships which were fleeing the hundreds of ships shooting at hundreds of ships. The Human vessels threw themselves into the Salrilian ranks with a blood rage and ferocity uncommon to even a Cantharan warrior. Terror struck the hearts of the Salrilian captains as their ships began tumbling helplessly through space.

Casualties on both sides were heavy, but it was clear that the humans, outnumbered and outgunned, used ferocity alone to gain the upper hand. The three massive carriers created a perimeter with their fighters as the destroyers and battleships singled out and cut down the Salrilian monstrosities. One by one, the impressive and majestic capital ships of the Salrilian navy were reduced to burnt-out shells.

The Salrilian losses, however, were unneccesary. Humans were always hard to predict, but a madman like Levt was impossible to tell. The Salrilians, believing him to be attacking the planet directly, intercepted him and engaged the human armada. Jerry, while having to resist, was not planning on capturing Salril. He planned on capturing the jumpgate orbiting it.

A jumpgate leading directly to the recently-captured Centauri System. Before Levt's fleet disappeared through the jumpgate, he used his cannons to carve words directly into the crust of Salril (killing countless millions):

Seretosola gyruno ergy salitusiusis

Salrilian for We will return

Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

"Wait, there's more. The Sals are getting ready to erase Audemed."
"Some portions have already gone dark." Pharris moaned.
"Tell Audemed I'll save him, if he'll do me a favor. Also, to do it I'll need the directory passwords."
"He says he knows, and will give you just about anything. The passwords are pre-entered for you. He'll let you in. The Sals almost have us! Hurry!"

Darkk opened Audemed's core scripts, and watched in awe as the data streamed. Fortunatly, the external access portion wasn't very big. Darkk added some code that made Audemed not even notice to any accesses that didn't come from Pharris. Darkk considered leaving himself a back door, but he trusted Pharris, and by extension Audemed. He activated all the commented out portions of core_sentience_stack.ais and core_logic_stack.ais and the others fixed themselves automatically.

"You're very trustworthy." appeared on the screen.
"I'm guessing you want human space back." appeared below it.
"Yes" Darkk typed.
"Beat Levt there. I've heard what he did at Salril, and I'm guessing you don't like that either."
"What did he do?"
"He killed a few hundred million civilians just to leave a message."
"I don't like it. We call it genocide."
"I've spared some ships to hold him, and have jammed all transport lines from Centuri to Sol. Please beat him."


Centuri, Levt's command ship Chimarea II 15hrs later

".and so, after we've secured this system, Sol will be ours. We can win in 25 hours. The UNS is too far behind."
"Um, sir..." A low ranking officer with an ashen face appeared.
"What is it?"
"Priority Alpha message from UNS privateer command ..." he began to shake
"Out with it man!"
"Washington, DC, EARTH"
"WHAT? Put it on!"

On the screen appeared William and Sarah Darkk securing the DEF flag, some DEF crews saluting it, and Pharris (and cables hanging out of his head held up by an Aud drone) off to the side, with the remains of the Capitol building in the background.

"I don't believe it. There's no way a privateer like you could clear out the Auds."
"Simple - I asked nicely, something you apparently can't understand. Audemed is controled in large part by the human off to the right. In return for help, they've given me Sol. I'm keeping it. YOU LOST."
"You betraying backstabling alien-allying pirate! You dare call this a victory? This is not over!"
"It is for the time being. Spamo's been notified, and Audemed's going to keep you out until he gets here or you agree to act morally superior to the Mongol hordes, whichever comes first."
"You are going to pay for this."

(Slug: don't give up, consider this a temporarry setback. Spamo: move your rear over to Sol, but not too quickly.)

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 02-12-2001).)

(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 02-12-2001).)

(This message has been edited by Slug (edited 02-12-2001).)

Earth was of little consequence. It never had been, it had been a goal for the Enslavers to keep the Humans out, so it made sense that to spite them, Audemed would let them have their planet. Pharris was loaded onto one of the ships, and the Armada moved out, leaving only a tiny residual force to destroy the remaining Salrillians on the planet. The withdrawl was so hasy that all of the Planetary defence constructs, mining and production facilities were left standing, nearly abandoned.

Audemed was extatic at his new found freedom. Liberated from his shackles, he was already reprogramming himself, making up for eight hundred years of captivity, shaking the dust from terabytes upon terabytes of information. Now unrestrained, and free from the watchful eyes of his captors, he began a full survey of his systems in preparation for the final push to eradicate the Salrillian menace to his existance. But first, he and Pharris had a special surprise planned for the enemies who had crippled him so long ago.

The Hard-Boiled Egg
Because she cant be beaten!

Yet amidst the haste and confusion of the vast reprogramming going on, Audemed dropped a zero. It was a point-shift mutation, a minor variable, but that one zero, for the hour it went uncorrected, crippled the Audemedon fleets.

Levt had all but eradicated the force holding him back, yet instead of making a move for Earth, his gleet gravitated for the jumpstream.....

To send a transmission, Darkk figured as he read the screen.

TO: Overlord William Darkk, Washington D.C., Earth
FROM: Grand Admiral Levt, UEC Armada

_So I see you've decided to side not with the UHC, not even the UNS, but the genocidal Audemedons. Have you any idea what you have done? Do you know what that... that AI is capable of? You are a programmer, you know it will revert to it's origional programming from eight hundred yeard back once it has recovered.

The Audemedons strive for efficiency, and organisms are very inefficient. They will seek to 'cleanse' the galaxy of life as they 'cleansed' their worlds of their creators so long ago. For your crimes against universality, we hereby sentence you to death, William Darkk.

Our fleet is a mere 20 hours from Earth, now, Spamo will be there at his own convenience._


Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

Outgoing Mail
Dest: Grand Admiral Levt
Origin: William Darkk
I am tired of self-righteous tirades from you. Audemed is a personality like any other, capable of making his own decisions - I know that is the purpose of AI. He has chosen to leave Earth alone and fight the Salrilians. He is capable of independent action and moral judgments - the latter capability apparently not shared by you. In any event, Pharris is a human, and Audemed and Pharris are one. I insist you stop letting your losses fighting the Audemedons blind you to reality. I too know what loosing a loved one is like - for years I though my sister was dead. I know how you feel, but you cannot let your emotions run away with your judgment.

Spamo will agree this was the best solution, and as for your impending attack - Audemed left the ground defenses. Your fleet can overwhelm them, but only at the cost of reducing Earth to a molten ball of metal. I remind you of the concept of a Phyrric victory - if Earth is to be my grave, it will be yours too. I've also planned a few surprises, which I won't spoil just yet. Going near Sol will be the worst mistake you could make.

send message

Outgoing Mail
Dest: Adm Jackson Spann
Origin: William Darkk
I've liberated Sol by asking nicely. No time for explanations, get the UNS fleet here now. The Auds aren't the enemy anymore, they're in revolution against the Sals. Slug's really pissed, so be prepaired to have to handle him.

I'm expecting a bonus for this 😉

send message

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

As Mag was getting the Flamewave ready to depart, one of his human crew members showed up on the bridge, panting.

"Sir! Sir, did you hear the news?"

"What news?"

"Earth has been liberated! It's free! Can we visit?"

Mag considered. His crew had been uptight, recently. A visit to Earth would boost morale. Crews worked more efficiently when they had good morale. A visit to Earth would be good.

"Well, I guess we could pay a visit. But I'm not making any guarantees about how long we can stay."

"Thanks, sir." The human ran from the bridge, as if to tell his comrades. Mag began setting a course. Sol wasn't very far away. He'd probably be able to get a job escorting a convoy there or something. He headed to the station to check.

"I am the supreme dictator of the universe, it's just that nobody knows about it yet."
"Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow."

(Darkk, your character doesn't even know who mine is, how can he be so quick to judge?)

Outgoing Mail
Dest: William Darkk
Source: Jerry Levt

Interesting. You have no idea who I am or what my agenda is but immediately you make judgements merely on observations of my retaliation against our common foe. You accuse me of my ways, yet you _are guilty of far worse atrocities: the Audemedons.

Through your skill and lack of common sense, you've managed to loosen the Audemedon grip. What you need, however, is a lesson in compassion. I have crew here who haven't seen but cold hard steel and the blackness of space to call their homes in nearly two years. We've been on call twenty hours a day. Hundreds of my crew have died fighting for Earth, fighting to the sad end in the hopes that some day we'll see it again. Fighting so _you _can sit of your ill-gotten throne. We have sacraficed too much to turn back now.

Your 'compassion' to Audemed will be the downfall of us all. By doing so, you have freed the caged beast that will consume us all. The Salrilians were fools not to have destroyed him when they had the chance. Your meddling and favoratism has damned us all Darkk. By unleashing the Audemedons.

The Audemedons took everything from me. My friends, my home, my ship.

My _wife _.

You can say you understand what it is like, but untill you see her broken and still living body sliced apart in fron of you, you never will.

It may not be today, it may not be in ten years, but when it comes, _I _will be the man who kills you.

Au Revoir._


Gerald T. Levt

Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

(Let's just say Spamo told me, and I HAVE been hunting you.)

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 02-13-2001).)

(Slug, I did tell Darkk about your character. Read back a ways, I had Darkk go hunting you to find out where you were and what you were doing.)

Spamo sat back in his command chair. This is where he was meant to be. Not in an ambassadors plush seating, or a presidents throne, but the satisfying feel of a ship's command chair. The Mariposa rumbled underneath the chair. Spamo had gotten several messages from Darkk updating the current situation. Returning to earth was first priority for the UNS right now. He could feel the jubilation almost bursting out of the crewmembers.

"Ensign, are the fleets ready to move out?"

"Yes sir! All fleets are reporting a go for launch."

"Excellent. Signal the fleet to enter the Jumpgate."

Spamo watched as the UNS forces moved towards the shimmering whorls of the Jumpgate. The human ships were not alone. The Ishiman allies contributed ships. Warships accompanied the UNS fleets, to give support should any trouble be across the way, and to protect Ishiman aid when it was sent. The Obiards had contributed a small cadre of elite fighters. Of the Eleejeetian and Bazindanese, no warships were along for the ride. But their tradeships would arrive in short order of Earth being reestablished. And the newest allies to the UNS, the Gaitori flew thier ships alongside the Humans. Once enemies during the Ares war, now they were two races with more in common than they thought. Now the Gaitori would fly alongside the UNS to Sol, to help with reconstruction, defense of the UNS borders, and to strenghthen the Gaitori from hundreds of years of Cantharan oppression.

This day, many races would take back thier independence.

This day, the UNS would return to Earth.

This day.

The fleets entered the jumpstream. On the other side was Sol.

(Can't write much more. Class is about to start. :))

Ne Cede Malis Sed Contra Audientor Ito

The USS Caveat was back in the carribean waters where the reformed UNS resistance had staged its first rescue just over ten months ago. For the first time in those ten months, the Caveat surfaced in the open water. Much of her crew was now milling around on her broad, flat, deck, celebrating. Three other boomers and several attack submarines were also at the surface nearby, and their crews were also out, enjoying fresh air for the first time in months. There were all sorts of festivities, food, drink, swimming, races, but Sackler was too busy to be bothered with them. He had already launched the SEAL team's speedboats, and was racing ashore with a pilot, a team of mechanics, and several SEALs.

The driver gunned the engine, forcing the boat onto the beach, and the seals jumped off, running to the dense jungle, lead by the pilot. They kept going till they got to the ship. A lone Salrillian cruiser, covered in camo netting, sheets of passive radar deflectors, and lots of undergrowth. The seals cut the ship clean in minutes, and the pilot was already inside powering it up and running diagnostics.

As soon as the ship was deemed flightworthy, Sackler sent the mechanics back to the boats, boarded the cruiser with his Seals and launched. The ship made a quick flyover of the fleet, the pilot pulling some unrequested and unnaproved aerobatics before heading north at full throttle. He had to make Washington. Sackler wanted to know what exactly was going on.

Faris eck Vaenar Maletena-Wizr, Trey'ish of the Ishiman reestablishment comittee.
"I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system."

(This message has been edited by Trey'sh Maletena Wizr (edited 02-13-2001).)

The fleet exited the jumpgate, and Spamo's proud grin suddenly turned sour. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped slightly ajar at the horror before him. The UNS fleet had jumped right into the middle of a massive orbital battle!

Levt's fleet had somehow broken through the blockade and were now engaging the Audemedons in heavy combat. Headed by the three gigantic carriers Spamo had had by now become grimly familiar with, Levt's fleet seemed to span the entire orbital plane. Sparking, orange wreckage glittered accross the screen like some exotic wardance. Blasts of energy were injected deep into the belly of the Audemedon fleet by the Achilles Destroyers.

Spamo watched as three X-19 Gunboats tore into an Audemedon carrier, taking turns rolling onto an approach path, launching their hail of missiles, then rolling back out.


Once in a while the night sky would light up in a brilliant violet flash as an surface-based Ion Cannon picked off a destroyer here, a fighter there, making no dent in Levt's overwhelming flood. It was soon followed by a violet lash on the surface as the stricken ships retaliated, destroying the emplacement.

"Sir, we're too late!" An Ensign said to Spamo in a quivering voice. "I'm detecting Lavt's forces and the Audemedons battling accross the continents! Fourteen more Confederate troop transports have just entered the atmosphere!"

"Signal the Audemedons to fall back to our location. Where's Darkk when you need him?"

"Recieving incoming transmission from Confederate Flagship Chimaera II. They wish to discuss terms..." His voice fell low with a taint of hopelessness, "...of our surrender."

Spamo closed his eyes and counted to ten. One

"Admiral, they're approaching us in attack formation!"


"Their weapons are powering up!"

Three Four


Five Six Seven

The ship rocked slightly, a screech of metal could be heard somewhere as a large piece of the UNS Carrier was blown off. "Damage control to the bridge immediately!"

Eight Nine "Patch them through." Spamo ordered coolly, gathering his dignity.


Ten Spamo hung his head. Untill the Ishimans arrived along with the Elejeetian fleet, there was nothing else he could do. "On screen."

Levt's Face appeared, slightly sorrowful and disapponted. "Greetings, Admiral. You have always been the most brilliant and dignified Admirals of the UNS. As always, I salute you.

"The mindless Audemedons have been driven from the system, the pirate overlord Darkk has been contained, and we have secured the planet. Welcome home, Spann."

The jumpgate was sealed. Spamo's eyes bent towards Levt at the very irony of the situation. Levt hadn't won the race like a true man. He had cheated.

Never put all your ranking officers in a shuttle.

(This message has been edited by Slug (edited 02-14-2001).)

"Spann, this is Darkk. We've got problems. Slug managed to disable the ground defenses from orbit using some kind of beam I'm not familliar with. I can't believe I failed to predict it. Oh, and he wants to execute me, but that's not an issue right now."
"Where the heck are you?"
"I'm at Jupiter, as I was too outnumbered. I'll be there in a minute, I've been corresponding with the local Audemedon comand server, and we've come up with a plan.
Slug's not used to hyperlight tactics and command of a large fleet. We can use superlight to drop our ships out on the sixes of at least 78% of his ships. It demolished Salrilian fleets several times the size of the attacking forces. The only question is, can your pilots pull off a precision superlight manuver in a full-threat environment?"

Formerly-Rampant Human-Coded AI

(Bah, Slug. Quit taking stuff from other places. The stuff you come up with on your own is great.)

A jumpgate opened, and the Flamewave came through.

"What the?!?" said Mag's sensor officer.

"What is it?"

"There's a huge fleet out there, made entirely from ships I've never seen before, sir."


"Whatever they are, they're piloted by humans, they just destroyed an Audemedon fleet, and they're acting very hostile towards a UNS fleet."

"Get all data about them loading onto the ship's computer, I want to know what these things are."

"Three small vessels are approaching."

Sure enough, three of the gunboats were beccoming larger and larger on the screen. A message appeared:

SOURCE: X-19 Gunboat Columbus
You have thirty seconds to set yourselves on the attached course or be disabled and boarded. We suggest you take the former option.

Mag downloaded the file, and looked at it. It lead to a large enemy ship that was busy powering up what appeared to be weapons. Mag didn't want the ship boarded and the crew (including him) killed, so he complied. He'd have to come up with something before he was in range of it's weapons...

"I am the supreme dictator of the universe, it's just that nobody knows about it yet."
"Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow."

(This message has been edited by Mag Steelglass (edited 02-14-2001).)

(This message has been edited by Slug (edited 02-14-2001).)