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Conquest In The Name Of Advancement (Plannetary Annihilation Self Insert Multicross)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Flameal15k, Jan 9, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: 29. Vengeance
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    The arrival to Scaldron was uneventful, but given that I was travelling at speeds greatly exceeding light, that was not a surprise at all.

    What was surprising, though, was the fact that, the minute I came out of FTL, I found myself under attack. And not just by orbital defenses or giant ships, but by ones similar to my own.

    Why did they look so fami-

    "Greetings, you blasted machine."

    The minute I heard the voice, I went cold. No, it couldn't be..... how could they....

    I decided to see if I was correct in my (very worrisome) assumption by trying to open contact with one of the ships, which obliged. When the picture of the captain appeared, I sighed in resignation.

    For the Captain... was a Grox.

    HOW DID THEY SURVIVE MY WAR AGAINST THEM?! AND HOW DID THEY GET INTO THIS UNIVERSE?

    Well, right now, that didn't matter. What did matter was putting them into the ground, along with all of the nonburrowing Darkspore. Those ones would be incinerated.

    I decided to go with the strategy I'd used on Infinity: I'd send in an army of fighters to destroy their fighters and orbital platforms from afar while I stayed in back and provided artillery support. However, the Darkspore seemed to have wised up to this strategy and responded by firing a huge number of mutation mines at me. These resembled traditional sea mines, except that they were designed to spread the Darkspore wherever they hit. A few of these things were still orbiting Verdanth after I'd defeated Orcus. I could've shot them down, but I had the feeling more would've shown up if I did. Better to defeat the Corruptor first and ensure that more of them wouldn't plague me before taking them out.

    While it didn't take me long to destroy the mines, that was the time that the Grox ships needed to get past my fighter screen and begin their own offensive. I found myself forced to take evasive action and engage in a couple of dog fights against their ships, which, given my vast advantages over them, didn't really last that long, even with their hi-end self repair skills. I just modified my ship to fire missiles filled with nanoswarms at them to get around their healing factor and soon found myself the only occupier of the Scladron's local space.

    The ground invasion proceeded somewhat similarly to previous five, but with more difficulties: as I wasn't interested in terraforming the planet (and more importantly, didn't want to risk crashing my ship, because Scaldron's storms, while rare, were absolutely devastating, and the Corruptor had plenty of those over his base). This meant I had to engage in a ground war with both the Darkspore AND the Grox, which forced me to clear out a very large beachhead and use every unit I had in equal measure. Oh man, these guys were tough.

    Ultimately, though, I was tougher and managed to defeat the united armies of both the Grox and the Darkspore, which soon routed. The minute that happened, I turned my attention toward the part of the planet where the Corruptor dwelled.

    Time to end this war, once and for all.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  2. Threadmarks: 30. Checkmate
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    My march on the Corruptor was a much grander affair than the five previous ones that I had done against the other Destructors, for he had an army that could match mine, thanks to the appearance of the Grox, meaning I had to fight tooth and nial for every inch of ground until I finally reached his location. The genetic heroes were a godsend here, as they were able to shred their way through the Darkspore, giving me time to set up forward bases and get my army rolling to cut down the Darkspore. It was hard, but I wasn't backing down.

    Eventually though, I finally reached Xylem lair, and got ready for the final battle .

    It didn't take long for Xylem to make his presence known.

    "So, at last, I finally have the pleasure to meet the one who has caused us so much trouble."

    "Please, the pleasure's all mine."

    "Hmph, well, you certainly have a sense of humor, now don't you."

    "Well, that;s normally not the case, but seeing as how all of your lieutenants have been such great pushovers, I think that you'll be a cake walk."

    "........boo."

    "Bite me."

    "Were I not wearing a helmet, I would oblige. As is, prepare to die."

    With that, Xylem jumped into battle, glowing green. I sent my armies at him, only for him to reduce them to metallic goo with his breath.

    Oh right. The Corruptor could use an attack from each of the five Darkspore, such as, in this case, Orcus' viral breath. If my memory was correct (which it was), he could also use chain lightning from Merak, a spectral scream inherited from Nashira, Polaris' gravity wells, and Arcturus' laser beams. Also, he could create portals that would summon minions of the genesis type he was currently in, so bio ones right now.

    Combined with the Grox army he had supporting himself, and the fact he would run away, summon a horde of enemies, and come back even stronger, this was gonna be a long fight.

    Luckily, I had a horde of killbots with me, plus the genetic heroes, so I was prepared for the long brawl I was going to have to deal with. TO WAR!

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Sage ducked as a blast of flame flew past him. He quickly opened fire, eliminating the offending darkspore before more fire could fly. Nearby, he could see Krel tearing a toxiraptor to pieces, eager to kill the creatures that had brought is kind so much suffer. Nocturna was busy picking apart an animus while Zrin incinerated a laser tank with his right fist and electrocuting a Maser Tank with his left. Meditron had taken up a position in the rear, healing those who were injured while the onslaught dragged on.

    The fighting had only just begun, but already they were facing amazing odds: millions of darkspore were upon them, backed up by strange machines unlike anything he had ever seen. Were it not for the great war machines that the last crogenitor had brought with him, he doubted that they would have survived more than five minutes on this world.

    Though, in private, Sage doubted that this being leading them was a crogenitor. It looked very different from them, and that was an impressive fact, given that the crognitors tended to modify themselves however they liked. However, Sage didn't really care if this being was a crogenitor, for it was helping them fight the darkspore, and that was all that mattered now. It hadn't expressed interest in ruling the worlds it had liberated either, which Sage suspected would be a triviality for it, given its power. But that was food for thought later on. Now was the time to act.

    Soon, the Corruptor retreated, wounds to great to continue. He was not going to give up easily, though, and summoned portals that sent wave after wave of foe at them, backed up by the strange machines he had brought to his side. If the machines had not been helping them, the genetic heroes would have fallen. As is, they were enduring, albeit with some difficulty.

    But when the Corruptor returned, and he did not doubt that it would happen, the battle would reach its conclusion, but how was still a mystery.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Soon enough, the Corruptor returned. He was looking really angry, and apparently he'd decided to swim in black paint. Somehow, he still looked menacing this way. And boy did he back it up: He started off with Nashira's scream, which sent my robots running (even though they couldn't feel fear) then glowed yellow as he fired lasers at me, cutting through a fair swath of my army.

    Unfortunately for him, I still had orbital superiority, which meant that I could blast him with impunity via orbital lasers. Suck it.

    Pretty soon he was on his last legs. That's when he got serious.

    "Well, you have put up a great fight. But now it is my turn to end you," he said, menacingly.

    "And how's that?"

    "This way," he said, before shooting some kind of beam into the air...... which missed my satellites. What a sha-

    "Warning, mutation mines inbound," noted HELIX. "Calculations indicate that they are headed for your location. Impact sites being marked now."

    WHAT?

    Quickly, I ordered my machines and genetic heroes to take evasive action, and I soon followed suite with them. Soon, the mines impacted, only they didn't hit anything important. The problem was, they didn't need to: wherever the landed, Darkspore emerged from the craters. It looked like he was using them as a cross between orbital bombardment and drop pods. And based off the numbers he was sending at me, I needed to kill him fast or else he'd actually manage to overwhelm me.

    Alright, time to take the kid gloves off. I'd been setting up some artillery all over the planet, and now I turned all of it on Xylem. While most of the shells missed him, when you fire well over a thousand shells at a target, some are bond to hit.

    This put him on his last legs, and gave me the perfect shot with my overcharge.

    "Checkmate."

    The explosion that followed was something worth watching.

    After his death scream faded away, I ordered some bots to go collect his mask, then started up designs for some kind of prison. I was pretty sure that defeating him didn't actually kill him, which meant that I needed to keep his mask secured until I could find a permanent way to kill him. I also sent off some bots to hunt down and destroy the grox, because I wanted those guys to stay dead.

    To say that I was surprised when they reported that they had found something odd was, well, not an understatement.

    Eager to see what had caused them distress, I followed them to what appeared to be an abandoned dig-site. As I examined it, I noticed that it appeared to have contained something very large, and began scanning the local computers to see if there was any data about what was inside.

    Then in noticed the box on the floor of the dig site. IT was small, diminutive and unassuming...

    Except it looked just like the one I'd found at the ruins of the grox capital.

    Instantly, I moved to pick up the box and take it back to my ship, before returning their as well. Time to examine it.

    Or rather, it would've bene time, until I got a transmission from a grox ship. It was on its last legs and making its way toward my ship, apparently trying to make a kamikaze attack. I quickly lined up a torpedo on it and fired.

    "DIE SCUM!"

    "really? Those are your last words."

    "No, those would be 'look behind you, sucker.'"

    "Warning," chimed in HELIX, "mutation mine incoming."

    I turned around just in time to see the mine making its way toward me as the grox ship exploaded.

    Then everything went black.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    WARNING:CMDR_FLAMEAL15K-OFFLINE. INITIATIING_RESTART
    WARNING:CONTAMINANT_IDENTITY_EDNA_DETECTED_IN_CMDR_FLAMEAL15K. SEEKING_MEDICAL_AID

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
    MrChokotay likes this.
  3. Threadmarks: 31. Communion
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    DEPLOYING_MEDICAL_AID_NOW
    AID_TAKING_AFFECT
    CONTAMINANT_NEUTRALIZED
    WARNING:GENETIC_DAMAGE_DETECTED. DAMAGE CANNOT BE FIXED WITH CURRENT TECHNOLOGY, SOLUTION WILL TAKE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME TO SYNTHESIZE. FURTHER INPUT NEEDED.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    When I came to, the first thing I noticed was that I was apparently in a void. Then I noticed that I was staring at six different lights: one for each genesis type, plus a white light.

    Looks like the crogenitors wanted to talk to me again.

    "So, it seems that you succeeded," began Ingto, who was trying to hide the respectful tone in his voice.

    "You're welcome. Though, I just want to know something. Three things, actually."

    "As you helped us, we will answer any of your questions," replied Zelem.

    "Alright. So, how did you know any other universes existed?"

    "..........Well, we were curious," responded Zelem. "We doubted that our universe was the only one to exist. We wanted to see if there were others, so we began investing resources into building machines that could 'tunnel' between universes. Some wanted these resources to be funneled toward travelling toward other galaxies, but they ultimately couldn't win the funding and were ignored.

    "Eventually, we were rewarded and entered other universes, encountering strange beings. Some were peaceful, others warlike, and we responded based on how we were treated. We followed what you would call 'the golden rule' toward these other civilizations.

    "When the Darkspore beat us back to Infinity and Perceptum, we realized that we could not win on our own. Therefore, we consulted with our allies to see if any would help us. However, we discovered that our allies were gone, lost to the ravages of time during the war: some had been wiped out by stellar catastrophes in their home universes, others conquered by rivals. Only STEVE remained, and the rest is history."

    "I see. Next question: Who is Steve? What is he?"

    "........Um......well,"

    "Funny you should ask," replied a familiar voice.

    Turning toward the sound, I found myself staring, to my surprise, at another human. He had blond hair, piercing grey eyes, and was undeniably attractive.... no homo, okay?

    Wow. I thought he'd look different.

    "So, you're Steve................."

    "Indeed I am."

    "....................................................................................................

    "I assume you expected something different, didn't you?"

    "Very much so."

    "Well, I get that a lot. Most people are surprised to find out that, behind the ship and unimaginable powers, I'm human."

    "yeah........WAIT WHAT!? YOU'RE HUMAN?!"

    "Indeed. And since you asked, I'll tell you about my origins.

    "I take it the crogenitors told you they found other civilizations when they crossed universes, didn't they?"

    "Well, yes....."

    "Well, it's funny, but the first race they encountered ended up being mankind."

    ".............seriously?"

    "Yes. Apparently the multiverse regards mankind as a race to shower with both praise and blame however it sees fit, so we tend to get both great boons and great suffering. Any ways, when the crogenitors met us, they gave us powerful machines, which we perfected to suit our needs. Now, don't get me wrong, we don't beat the crogenitors in everything, just in the places we chose to specialize. As for me, well, I was one of the people who worked on those machines. I kept improving them mostly so that they could let us understand the universe better, which, ultimately, turned me into what could best be described as a god. Now I use my powers to shepherd others across the multiverse to greatness."

    "Ooookkaaaayyyy..........wait. I have a question for the Crogenitors."

    "Okay," responded Suzu, "shoot."

    "You said that you asked Steve to send me to your universe to fight the Darkspore, right?"

    "Yes. Why do you ask?"

    "Because he didn't send me here."

    They all went quiet the minute they heard that. Somehow, even though I was essentially dreaming and therefore couldn't feel anything, I felt the room temperature drop a couple of degrees as the realization hit the Crogenitors.

    "..............................................WHAT!?"

    "Steve didn't send me here. I found some strange sort of box in the ruins of the Grox capital, it showed me some funny vision, and when I woke up, it had given me the schematics for some kind of scanner that, apparently, caused my dimension gate to send me to this universe."

    "......Are there any more of these boxes?"

    "Yes. I found one in an abandoned dig site on Scaldron."

    "Oh.... that dig site."

    ".....Alright, spill."

    "We discovered something that was emitting strange signals underneath the surface of Scaldron. When we investigated the source, we found a strange looking machine inside. It appeared to be an engine of war. Based on the age of the rock, it had apparently fallen onto the planet in some kind of vessel a few years before the Darkspore had been created. Scaldron was known for having meteor showers that could interfere with scanning processes, so it is unsurprising that it wasn't detected before. It appeared to have fallen into a magma chamber and become stuck within when the rock cooled. We were actually surprised that it was still functional."

    "Do you have any pictures of the machine?"

    "Yes. We will show you them now."

    And so they did. And what I saw made my blood run cold.

    It was a large, squat machine. One with crablike legs.

    One that looked just like the machine I had gun down the crowd in my vision.

    Apparently, the Crogenitors, AI and Resident ROB noticed my apprehension, which wasn't hard, given how quiet I'd become.

    "What's going on?" asked Astra.

    "I've seen that machine before... I saw it in the vision I mentioned.....I saw it killing people......LOTS of people......"

    The crogenitors grew quiet at this. I think they were starting to grow worried now.

    "Perhaps we should examine the new box to see if it offers more clues about this unknown machine," offered Ptyron

    "Okay. But first, answer me two more questions."

    ".....very well."

    "Alright. First off, who are the grox?"

    Steve answered that one. I was surprised by what he said.

    "The grox are, well, us. Mankind. The grox arose from a conflict over how to use the gift we received from the Crogenitors: they wanted it for conquest, others, like me, believed we should use it for peaceful purposes. At the end of the war, those whose side I was on had all elevated themselves to my level, while those who would become the grox, due to reckless overuse of Crogenitor weapons, had become feeble creatures that could only survive in toxic wastelands and relied on cybernetics to overcome their physical failings."

    "I see. Now onto the last question."

    Then I turned to the Crogenitors.

    "Are you guys involved with the Staff of Life?"

    "......what?"

    "Did you, like, make it? I mean, when I scanned it, I noticed five strange power sources within it, and there are five of you."

    ".....well, you are half right."

    "Huh?"

    "We did not create the Staff of Life. We ARE the Staff of Life."

    "...Wha-"

    "We imbued our mighty powers together to create one last weapon against the darkspore: a tool to undo the damage they had to the worlds they conquered. Within each staff, which we gave to Steve to, in turn, gift younger races, was a fragment of each of our powers, and with them, a part of our souls. SO even while we are dead physically, so long as the staves exist, so shall we."

    "...............................interesting. Now we can examine the box."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Once I woke up, I quickly got my commander active and scanned the box. Once again, it shattered and a new artifact came out.

    When the vision started doing its magic, I found myself back on Scaldron, watching a horde of Darkspore enter the cavern. They saw the strange machine and tried to attack it, only for it to survive everything they threw at it unscathed.

    Seeing no way to win, they decided to instead take back the bot to one of their lairs.... at least, I think that's what they did. Then, to their surprise, a dimension rift not unlike my own appeared, and out popped a grox ship.

    To my surprise, this caused the corruptor to teleport to that location and attempt to contact the ship. Odd. Maybe he still remembered the crognitors' multiverse travelling tech?

    "Who are you?"

    "We are the grox. We have come to take the Crogenitor's technology to serve our empire in future conquests.

    Xylem laughed at this. "I am Xylem, the corruptor, leader of the Darkspore, and if you wished to take the Crogenitors', then you are too late. I put their entire species to the sword, brought them low, and wiped them from existence. Now leave, before I find reason to put your kind to the sword."

    The grox responded by firing a missile at Xylem..... which hit the bot.... which woke up.

    Both Darkspore and Grox promptly started sweating bullets.

    The machine stared for a moment, then, to my surprise, spoke to both sets of beings.

    "Which of you awakened me?"

    The darkspore and grox responded by, essentially, pointing fingers at each other.

    "Hmph. Well, I suppose I should thank you for that."

    "....What?"

    "I was sent here, long ago to hunt down an ancient foe, but it seems that I arrived in the wrong universe, one my foes have yet to visit."

    "Really."

    "Yes, really. You see, I have fought an ancient foe, one who commands armies beyond imagination. They go across creation, bending the might of others to their will. I was sent to hunt them, but it seems I have arrived in the wrong place. I must go now, but I thank you for awakening me. Though, may I ask you a favor?"

    ".....Yes," replied both parties.

    "If you encounter my foe, destroy it. I will ensure you are rewarded handsomely if you do so. Even more so if you work together to do so."

    "........And how will we know that we are fighting your foe?"

    "They will command legions of steel so great they blot out the sun.", led by titans that can make armies from nothing. Guard against them or face extinction."

    Then the machine generated its own dimension rift and left, and my vision turned to blackness. At least, until some red lighting of sorts showed up.

    "They have gathered the darkness to serve them, to help them bring all to ruin. IF they are not matched by equal forces of light, all shall fall."

    Then I woke up.

    The crogenitors, Steve, and HELIX were all stunned by this, and told me they needed time to ponder this subject, leaving me alone.... well, accept for HELIX, who told me about how my defeat of the Darkspore had made me a hero, and that people wished to follow me and join in my crusade of righteousness. Or live in my empire. Or other stuff like that. I told her all who came would be welcome.

    Once HELIX left, I started working on a new pet project: a trophy room for the masks of the destructors, which, was, in turn, part of a citadel I was building on my core world. If people were treating me as a god, might as well act up to it.

    I also decided to make a mask of my own, cause I thought that made me look mysterious. Plus it meant that people would have trouble telling how I was doing during poker.

    I was getting ready to call it a night when I noticed that I'd received an alert from my commander. I was confused at first when it mentioned cotanminants: what could those be.

    Then it mentioned E-DNA.

    I stared for a moment, then brought up a more detailed examination.

    Genesis type: all
    Stable: Yes
    Removeable: NO

    I stared at that for a few moments. Then I lifted up my hand and thought really hard.

    A then, to my surprise, sparks began to dance across my hand.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  4. Threadmarks: Interlude: Widening World
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    ROB stared at the hologram before hir. Then they sighed.

    It seemed that someone was indeed mas with hir test subject, and was pushing them toward some special agenda. Given the omnipresence of these strange machines in hir pawn's visions, it was likely that he was being directed toward fighting them. Well, he didn't doubt that her pawn would defeat them, but ROB would not tolerate this interference with hir plans.

    "Um, your highness, do you need anything?" asked a rather soft voice.

    ROB quickly turned toward the voice, revealing two figures: one was a red haired teen, with blue eyes and freckles. He was wearing a form fitting black suit, with a couple of cyan highlights attached to it.

    As for the other figure, well, it was, quite simply, a monster: it was a cross of traits of both reptiles and insects, and could be said to resemble a tyrannid genestealer, though it was most assuredly NOT one of them. It had a black carapace, with maroon stripes adding in some color to its otherwise austere skin. It's six gold eyes focused on ROB's androgynous figure.

    "Ah, Elling, Mortarax, how nice of you to join me. Now that you ask about it, yes, I do need help. It seems that we have an interloper interfering with our plans."

    "Shall I eliminate them for you, your excellency?" inquired Mortarax in a deep, menacing voice. As he did so, he materialzed a pair of swords in two of his hands. The claws in his free hands began to glow with a pail green light, eager to cut through flesh and metal.

    "I know not who they are, so we must wait," intoned ROB, "but when we learn who they are, we will-"

    "Do what?" inquired a new, ethereal voice.

    The minute they herd the voice, ROB, Elling and Mortarax went stiif, before turning toward the voice's source.

    Before them was a golden, ethereal being. Just like ROB, it wore a mask that obscured its face, but its attire made it clear this being was male. His mask, however, more closely resembled a monster than ROB's.

    "Um, well, sir, I-" stuttered ROB, voice breaking and, at times, shifting to just a single voice, either masculine or feminine, rather than the voice of the legion that it normally was.

    After a moment of stuttering, though, ROB at last regained their composure and spoke.

    "I believe someone is..... interefering with my plans for the commander. I've informed Elling and Mortarax that, should we locate these interlopers, I want them dealt with. Harshely."

    "Ah, I see. Very well. Carry on."

    "Of course, my lord-"

    "And remember, you are not the only one watching this commander," he continued, slowly walking toward, and then past ROB. As he turned around to walk back, he placed a hand on hir back, eliciting a flinch from the Random Omnipotent Being.

    "And while I will allow you some freedom with your.... puppet, should you push him too far, know that I will exact retribution against you."

    Returning to where he had started is walk, the golden being turned so that he was eye to eye with ROB.

    "Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?"

    "Y-y-y-Yes, sir."

    "Good."

    With that, the golden figure disintegrated into light.

    ROB soon let out a sigh.

    "Man, that guy is scary."

    "Agreed," replied Mortarax.

    Elling, however, was silent, which was rather odd. Normally, he was a gibbering mess whenever the golden one visited.

    Turning toward him, ROB and Mortarax were surprised to see him stiff. Confused, ROB waved a hand in front of him, which elicited no reaction from the boy.

    Sighing, ROB walked up to Elling and rapped her arms around him in an embrace. At first, nothing happened, but then, gradually, the boy began to return to reality. Once he noticed what was happening, he gently pried himself free of ROB.

    "My lord, I'm so that happened again-"

    "Stop it. You have every reason to be scared of him, and I don't blame you," replied ROB in a soft feminine voice.

    "Uh-uh-uh-uh thank you."

    "You're welcome."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    At Flame's homeworld.......

    Malak squinted as his eyes began to adjust to the light of this new world.

    He and his friends had been among those that had flocked to join the machine that had saved them from the darkspore. They had been surprised to discover that the machine was actually controlled by an organic being, but that had also offered him the chance to thank that being in person.

    With that revelation had come another: this being was the leader of a federation of other sentient beings, who had decided of their own free will to help the crogenitor resistance. Now that it had won that battle, it was departing: it wished, in its own words, to face other evils and help save others in danger, so now, it was only natural that it left.

    Before it could, though, Malak had asked it if he could join the being on its travels. The being had helped him save his homeworld, a debt he could never truly repay, but this would be a start. The being, which called itself Commander Flame, had, after some deliberation, acquiesced, and let him and his friends join it on its new adventures.

    And now, looking upon a strange city, under an alien sun, Malak new that it would be a difficult journey, but one he wanted to see to its conclusion.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: read and Review. This is Flameal15k signing off.
     
  5. Threadmarks: 32. Brave New World
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Once I managed to gain control of the electrical sparks coming out of my hand, I decided to see exactly how many powers I had. Given the fact that my biometric computer stated that my E-DNA contamination was 'stable', I probably wasn't going to gain new powers by accident, though I probably could add in the abilities via Crogenitor genetic engineering bullshit, but that would have to wait for a later day. Mainly because I didn't trust myself to not overdue it, but also because I had doubts that I'd actually need that kind of power: after all, with the power of a progenitor commander, I'd probably only be using those powers if I was screwed.

    Needless to say, I did end up needing them eventually, but that is irrelevant for now.

    Any ways, the first new power I discovered I had in addition to electrokinesis was pyrokinesis: at the moment just limited to setting my fists on fire and shooting small fireballs out of them (violating the law of conservation in process, somehow). After testing out that power, I focused on a different genesis type, specifically bio. I decided to see if I had any plant based powers first, so I focused on trying to create anything I could think of that was plant based: seeds, vines, roots, etc. Eventually, I was able to grow a throny whip out of my arm, with every thorn apparently secreting lethal toxins. Again, I was violating the law of conservation. In fact, a lot of my powers did that. Next I tried focusing on fungi, which lead me to release a cloud of spores which I could use for healing. Sweet. Finally, focusing my thoughts on bugs allowed me to grow an insectile carapace, great for defense. Cool.

    After that, I focused on Necrogenesis, and started by focusing on some soul based abilities. To my surprise, I grew glowing purple claws, which could easily cut through just about anything. When I accidentally stabbed on into a plant that just happened to be lying around, it drained the life out of it in seconds, leaving me feeling invigorated. Vampiric claws: nice. Additionally, I also found out I could shoot bolts of darkness by thinking hard enough, one of which ended up knocking me out when it hit something important. When I came to a minute later, I found out I had a third necrogenesis ability: I could project my soul out of my body. Oh man, that was awesome. There were a ton of ways that I could abuse that......

    Not that I used them in any lewd ways......

    ANYWAYS, back to my new powers: with Plasma genesis, Necro Genesis and Bio genesis checked off, time to focus on Cyber: apparently I could now create and control nanites in my body, primarily for healing, but I was pretty sure that they could be modified to eat things. Hmm, should probably upgrade those nanites with any viable tech I come by, to make sure they stay valid. Also, the nanites could be used to generate laser canons or missiles as needed. Sweet.

    So far, I had three powers for each genesis type: fire balls, burning fists, and arced lightning for plasma; a venomous thorn whip, healing spores, and chitin armor for bio; soul projection, vampiric claws, and bolts of darkness for necro; and assembly nanites, missiles and laser beams for cyber. Logically, I should have three powers for quantum genesis as well. So let's see what they are.

    First thing I did was try and charge at something distant, to see if teleportation was a skill I had. Answer: yes, and the teleport also generated special claws on my hands. Hmm, teleport charge. Me like. Next I focused hard on a distant piece of scrap metal (because these sort things always seem to require concentration) and struck out with my arms, which ended up releasing a pulse that didn't just send the metal flying back, it pulverized the scrap into a tiny ball. Apparently I had gravity waves as an attack: me like that a lot.

    Just then, I noticed I was receiving an alert from my support computer in my commander: apparently my subjects wanted to know how big the Citadel I was building was going to be, because they wanted to set up a safe zone if it fell. The mere fact that they brought it up made me groan internally: I hadn't actually thought up the size yet. Annoyed, I just stood around for a moment, eyes closed, trying to think up how big I wanted it while deeply wishing I had more time.

    Then I heard a strange noise, which prompted me to open my eyes. At first, nothing seemed out of place. Then I noticed that the artifact in front of me, which had been spinning on its axis this entire time, wasn't moving. Like, at all. Curious, I was about to touch it when I noticed that some of the computer screens in the room had also frozen up. I was starting to get worried. As I was about to check those out, I finally noticed that the clock within my commander was not advancing forward. I mean, a full two minutes passed, during which I got a really bad headache, but the clock didn't change.

    Wait, was my third power from quantum genesis the ability to stop time? SWEET!

    Also, my headache was getting really bad. So bad that I couldn't focus anymore and, with the loss of my focus, the time control faded.

    Hmm. Guess I can only control time for a few minutes before I need to break. Better save that data for a later date.

    With my powers determined, I decided to head back to my hub world, and, you know, finally design the citadel I wanted built.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    In hindsight, I think that the event that unlocked my chronokinesis (time-control, for those of you who aren't aware) was one of my shining moments of idiocy, since, as a commander, I could just slow down my perception of time and design the citadel in a matter of seconds in real-time. Needless to say, that's exactly what I did when I made it back to my Hub world. It took my just one second in real time to do it (it took me a day to get satisfied with it in commander time), but the result made Godzilla look like a midget. If it weren't for the casual violations of physics I could do with my technology, it would've also been impossible to build, but my technology was more than sufficient to tell those laws to go and take a time out.

    Any ways, without out of the way, I decided to check out my progress on the Osiris commander. Turns out, my optimistic belief that it could be reactivated fully within a week was not holding water: it needed a lot more time to finish. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.

    Additionally, it turned out I was starting to experience some cramming within the settlements I'd built on my hub world. While I could've just built more cities on it, I didn't want to ruin its beauty too much, so I instead decided to work on colonizing the other planets in my hub universe. I also noted how eerily creepy it was that five of the planets I had roughly matched up in terms of environment of the five main worlds of Darkspore. While nothing ultimately came of it, it was still unnerving.

    Just then, I received a report from he metal planet. Man, I needed to give those names soon. Any ways, apparently my fabbers had been examining it and had found a- wait, is that a POTBELLY COMMANDER?

    Okay, now I'm getting suspicious. Someone really seems to want me to have a lot of advantages, don't they?

    (In hindsight, I'm really not sure why he decided it was a good idea to dump them here, but I digress).

    I set my fabbers to start rebuilding it and, in doing so, net me another commander. Every advantage I could have was appreciated.

    Then I set the rest of my fabbers to begin assembling my tower, which, due to my advanced technology, would only need a day to construct, rather than a few months if not years, before turning my attention to the crogenitor tech I now had access to.

    Advanced cybernetics: eh, I could probably find some better examples, but it was a start.

    Advanced gravity manipulation machinery: oooh, I like this.

    Hyper efficient teleportation: good to have

    The ability to communicate with the dead (achieved through advanced research into necrogenesis): okay, that tech was weird, but appreciated.

    There was plenty more tech, but for now I was content with those few techs. Besides, I had other pressing matters to attend to.

    Like, for example, designing some new AIs.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Look, I like to have things I can use long before I actually need them. Also, every time I procrastinated on a topic prior to becoming a commander came back to bite me in the ass BIG TIME, so I was not going to let this happen now that I was a commander.

    First off, I needed to have the technology to develop an advanced AI. Since I had HELIX and Seraph to work with, this was already complete.

    Second: determine AI function

    I had three AIs in mind at the moment: one to function as my aide, while the others would help fill out my Freudian trio.

    Step 3: Give them personality.

    Well, my aide was going to be mostly logical, but also some emotion, to keep me from getting to unnerved. Also, she will have a feminie personality.

    As for the ID and Superego: Well, Superego would obviously be selfless, ID would be selfish, though loyal to me. Also, Id would be masculine and Superego feminine, because it felt natural, for some reason.

    Finally, I also decided to grow them bodies, taking advantage of the fact I could easily engineer them in a set of cloning tubes. It was easy to set up a quartet of tubes, allowing me to provide all of them with bodies to interact with.

    Well, problem solved for now.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    You know, in hindsight, I probably should've kept a better eye on the cloning chambers I'd made. If I had, I probably would have noticed that, with nothing else to do, the last cloning tube had begun to engineer a body of its own. Since there were no preset orders, it set out to balance the number of entities already gestating, meaning the new being would be male. Since all of the others gestating were human, so would this one. And since it had no presets when to wake the subject, it would do so when the subject was of basic cognitive awareness.

    But that would be a problem for the (admittedly, near) future........

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Alright, with that out of the way, time to go to the next universe.

    Now, considering the artifacts I'd found in both the Spore universe and Darkspore universe, I was pretty sure that I was being railroaded into universes containing them. And while I wasn't happy about this (and, I later learned, neither was ROB), it wasn't something that I was going to change yet. For now, I'd just have to settle for being prepared for the dangers to come. Ugh.

    So, once I had an army set up, I decided to march through the portal after it found a new destination. Strangely, once it locked onto the new universe, it began to glow blue-green, red, yellow, blue-white, purple gold, and purple-pink. While that did end up being important, I mostly just brushed it off at the moment and took the plunge.

    On the other side was a large strip of coastline, home to odd, bug-like aliens and tubular trees. The biology of the creatures aliens was earth-compatible, but I wasn't sure where exactly I was yet. Since I hadn't encountered any resistance yet, I quickly began to set up a base. The animals expressed curiosity at what I was doing, but didn't intervene. Because of this, I was able to get all of the basic factories up before I finally received interference.

    Said interference came in the form of three groups of infantry. A quick scan revealed two things: all three groups were at battalion strength......

    And all of them were composed of humans. Uniquely, though, each had a different color and design scheme to their armor: one was blue-green and slightly resembled the fauna watching my base, another was yellow and steel in coloration and looked almost robotic, while the last group had red and tan armor and resembled stereotypical space marines.

    After one minute (the time it took the battalions to realize that I hadn't been trying to kill them when I scanned them. Should probably be more careful about that in the future), the three groups tired to initiate contact with me, via math. I quickly vetoed that idea and began broadcasting in English.

    "Greetings, who are you, and who do you represent?"

    The stunned silence that followed was pretty amusing.

    After 10 seconds, though, one of the guys in the blue-green armor spoke up.

    "Greeting, I am Amare Berko of the People's Africa Union."

    He was followed by one of the more robotic looking soldiers.

    "Greeting, I am Marion Hawthorne of the American Reclamation Corporation."

    Finally, one of the space marines joined the conversation.

    "And I am Mousier Alain Durand of Franco-Iberia."

    Hmm, all of those names of their home nations sounded very familiar-wait.

    Now I knew where I was.

    In this universe, a great mistake had happened that had wrecked life on Earth. The planet was now dying, with everyone left on planet struggling to scrape by. With this in mind, the leaders of the world had decided to look towards the last hope for Civilization: Beyond Earth.

    And if the lights I had seen in the portal were any indication, I would have to face the Rising Tide.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well that completes possibly the longest chapter I have written for this fic.

    And yes, the new universe is Civilization: Beyond Earth, with the Rising Tide expansion. And before I leave the universe, we will reach Sid Meier's Starships territory, because I thought that the Starships in that game were cool, even if the game itself wasn't really that good.

    So, Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off.

    Also, @RyvenRazgriz: I'm well aware of that. Still, it would be fun.

    Also, Fusou seemed to enjoy doing so in the Worm Omakes, even if she was shoehorned into it.
     
  6. Threadmarks: 33. Beyond Earth
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Alright, so I'm on..... well, actually, I don't exactly have a name for this planet yet, seeing how the name of the planet you arrive on in Civilization: Beyond Earth is randomly chosen (well, actually, it pulls up three different planet types (always the same types), then assigns a random name to each one). Ugh, that is going to be confusing. I think I'll just call it Chiron, because that was the name of the planet of its predecessor, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

    So, I'm on Chiron. Alright, that's a starting point. Now where to go from here?

    Well, first off, I need to get an idea of how large this planet is: now, I could get a reasonable idea of its size by hacking into the planet's communication network and seeing how many different factions have landed here, but that won't give me exact details, something that I would really like to have. Should probably start warming up the orbital factory.

    Alright, got that covered. Now what else to do.

    Oh yeah, the wildlife! See, Beyond Earth is home to some really big creepy crawlies, ranging from beetle-like animals the size of wolves to worms big enough to level buildings just by moving through them (though doing so only counted as pillaging them in-game, something I doubted applied here). Said Aliens were similar to barbarians from the regular civ games, but they had their differences: they didn't hate everyone at first and could gradually be befriended by choosing not to antagonize them. Also, siege worms and leviathans made the aliens a threat all the way into the late game, something barbarians never had going for them.

    While I could probably avoid making the aliens by just ignoring them and working my expansion around them, the siege worms would be a problem, since they would probably demolish some of my machinery just by moving through an area.

    Hmm.....

    Well, I guess I'd just need to hack into the data banks of one of the colonies on this planet and get the designs for the Ultrasonic Fence, which, in-game, prevented the aliens from coming within two tiles of your cities. A quest decision in game allowed you increase it by an additional tile or allow the shield to protect trade units. While I had no idea what the conversion ratio from hexes to miles (I'm American, okay? IMPERIAL UNITS 4 LIFE!), I highly doubted that any of the colonies had that technology for them, because the research needed to build the fences was one of the earliest techs you unlocked in the game.

    Okay, problem of marauding aliens: solved. What else did I need to do?

    Well, I should probably determine the number of major factions on planet, as well as what the overall political climate was. I had a feeling that things were not exactly going to be all rainbows and sunshine between the various colonies on planet: one of the biggest parts of the game was progressing your civilization across three different affinities: Harmony, which focused on becoming one with the wildlife on the planet, resulting in human alien hybrids; Supremacy, which involved becoming more powerful via robots and cybernetics, and Purity, which rather obviously focused on maintain the purity of human form and used lots of battlesuits and hover machines. Needless to say, Purity did not like the other two, and based on color schemes, it seemed Franco-Iberia was leaning toward Purity, while ARC was leaning toward Supremacy and the Africa Union was going for Harmony. I really didn't want to be around when/if these guys went to war, so I might have to play diplomat. And that wasn't even including the hybrid affinities from Rising Tide.

    Alright, I'll need to analyze the political climate of the planet.

    I think I've got all of my bases covered. SO why do I fell like, aside from gathering shinies, I'm forgetting something....oh yeah!

    I need to check for the Affinity resources. I'd need to be careful around them, because Alien Nests normally show up around them, but I was going to need them to get ANY of the advanced affinity tech working, especially anything involving xenomass. Biotech was, admittedly, a fairly risky venture, but some of the harmony tech was just too good to pass up. Of course, there were quite a few technologies I wanted to get from the other affinities and hybrid affinities I'd like to earn as well, because they were beyond useful? Cheap mind control that was relatively unnoticeable and had a mundane usage? I'd like to have that, thank you very much.

    Luckily, it turned out I had easy access to all three resources: I could easily make out a xenomass pool half a kilometer away (Look, I like imperial units, but I'll go to metric if it is more convenient), with the tell tale crystals of a firaxite deposit not to far beyond that. And just beyond that were the floating islands caused by floatstone.

    Looks like I had all of my bases covered.

    And, thanks to progenitor hypertech bullshit, I'd done it in less than a second.

    Now time to assuage the fears of the three envoys near me.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Though no-one could notice, due to the fact they wore face and body concealing armor, all three envoys were terrified. The presence of the giant machine scared them, both for its size and the fact that it had managed to set up a functioning base with an hour. Compounding this was another worrisome detail: the machine appeared to be armed. If a fight broke out now, the giant machine would probably win.

    Of the three, Marion was doing the best to keep calm, though that may have been because she was a cyborg and had emotion suppressors, which were very useful when you were a diplomat. Needless to say, they were working overtime at the moment.

    Ms. Hawthorne had been Fielding's first choice for investigating the unknown object that had turned out to be this hulking war-mech. Not because she liked Marion, hell no: Hawthorne despised Fielding for how scheming she was, always trying to mainuplate others so that she could come out on top. No, Fielding chose Marion for this because Marion was the best diplomat she had, everything else be damned. This was, perhaps, the one things Marion liked about her boss: Suzanne Majorie Fielding didn't care where you came from, if you got the job done well, you could look forward to a promotion, regardless of your origins. Considering where Fielding had come from, she probably had a good reason for this.

    Amare, meanwhile, was shivering in terror, but also staring in wonder at the machine. Was it a new development from earth? Perhaps a colony had made it and sent it to his world as an envoy? Or was it proof that they were not alone in the universe? That was beyond him at the moment, but regardless of where this machine had originated, he was looking forward to what it meant for his people.

    His idealism is why Barre had chosen him for this expedition to examine the crash: Barre had sought to coexist with this planet, so as to avoid the mistakes of his forefathers. Barre had been the first to notice the arrival of the machine, due to a hunting expedition: several of his officers had been taking raptor bugs out to hunt when they had seen the machine's arrival via portal. The news had soon spread, and a variety of opinions had been expressed over how to deal with it: some called for an open armed welcome, others had advised a quarantine. No one had called for its destruction, either because they felt it was wrong or to avoid biting off more than he eUnion could chew. Barre had ultimately decided to send an expedition with an envoy to investigate, but had also begun re-evaluating the Union's armies: while he sought peace, he wanted to be prepared for war.

    As for Durand, he was still unsure how to approach the situation: while he, like many Franco-Iverians, disdained foreign influences, he still believed that they should not destroy this machine. Not when they could learn so much from it.

    That was why Elodie had chosen him to lead this mission into the wilds: he was open-minded enough not to let Franco-Iberia's (somewhat justified) superiors go to his head. True superiority over your enemy included knowing when you were outmatched and should avoid a fight, and here, they were clearly outmatched.

    Before either side could ponder further about the machine's intentions, though, it responded to their introductions. Why it had an Maerican accent was still an unknown at the moment.

    "Thank you for the introductions. You may call me..... Commander Flame. My superiors would prefer that I not disclose any more information in regards to my nationality."

    "I see," replied Marion. "Well, then, if it is not classified, who or what are you?"

    "...........I am the pilot of this machine, a Xenosentry class field commander Omni-mech, capable of both creation and destruction. I am the first human pilot of such a machine.

    "Human?" questioned Alain.

    "All previous commanders were controlled via AIs, for reasons of efficiency. I had to undergo extensive biological and cybernetic modification in order to match them while controlling this machine. I understand if that offends some of your sensibilities."

    "While I may find that unnerving, your arguments have merit," conceded Durand.

    "Thank you for understanding."

    "Yes, well, now that you have arrived, what do you intend to do here?" asked Abare.

    "My current goals are to examine the native resources of this planet and assist in the development of the colonies inhabiting it. I was instructed not to choose favorites while doing so."

    "I see.... well then, would you like to meet with our leaders? Surely that would help break the tension that your arrival has caused."

    "........Good point. Very well, I will meet with your heads of state, though I do have one request."

    "And that is?"

    "I would prefer that this meeting,which I will refer to as a 'summit', involve the heads of state of all major colonies on planet, so as to avoid any hostilities from any party feeling left out of the loop, as it were."

    ".... that is except-able."

    "Good to know. I will agree to whatever time your leaders choose. I hope we will be able to meet again."

    "Don't we all."

    "Well, I believe I must now bid you fairwell. Though, may I make one last request."

    "Okay."

    "May I have access to the planet's communication network? Not anything secure, of course, I just want to be able to examine how this world has developed."

    "That can be arranged. Fairwell, sir."

    With that, the three diplomats left, eager to return to their home colonies and inform their leaders of the new developments.

    Unknown to all of them, while the conversation had occurred, a computer worm had been implanted in the rovers each envoy had arrived in. When they returned home, it would begin transferring into the nearest unsecure system it could find, before slowly decrypting the more secure ones until it had unlimited access. Eventually, it would have full access to all of their data. From their, it would transmit any technological research it found to the mech they encountered.

    By the time anyone noticed, though, the virus would be gone: it had a set lifespan and would erase itself within a few weeks.

    And by then, new developments would have shifted things so that no one would be interested in what had happened.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well, now the ball is rolling.
    Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off.
     
  7. Threadmarks: 34. Consolidating My Position
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Once the trio of ambassadors (Assuming they count as ambassadors) left, unknowingly carrying a virus that would give me the schematics on quite literally everything developed so far on this planet, I quickly got to work improving my defenses on Chiron. (funny thing there: as my worm revealed, it turned out this planet really was called Chiron. What are the odds?) Additionally, I began deploying orbital satellites and fighters to ensure that I would be safe (at least, for the moment).

    I also got to work preparing as many reserves for the resources I had, so that I wouldn't be in danger of compromised supply lines should my extractors and generators go down. I'd already started examining the resource cores so that I could move away from a dependence on harvesters, but for now I had to make due with what I had.

    Coupled with a few artillery cannons, I soon had a virtually impregnable defense network around my base. Now that I was (relatively) unassailable, time to focus on other matters.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    My worms began feeding me intel exactly one hour after they were deployed, and the results were surprising:

    First off, apparently, ALL TWELVE of the playable sponsors had arrived on this planet, making for an awfully crowded world. The only reason that they hadn't fought over the resources was that the planet had a radius three times that of Earth's. As for why they weren't being crushed by gravity, the planet's mass was nines times that of earth, so the overall surface gravity was equal*. How such perfect balance occurred naturally eluded me, and since there were ruins belonging to an alien species on this planet, I was willing to put some stock into the idea that they had been responsible for this. But that was besides the point.

    From what I could determine so far, in terms of affinities, ARC, Brasilia, INTGR, and the Slavic Federation were going Supremacy; Kavitha, the African Union, North Sea Alliance and Chungsu were heading toward Harmony, while Elodie, Hutama, Al Falah and the Cooperative were focusing on Purity. That being said, Chungsu was experimenting with Supremacy tech, Kozlov was examining some Purity research and Elodie was consulting intel on Harmony. So, all six affinities were also present. Good to know.

    Finally, it looked like everyone had been trying to work together peacefully before I arrived, in spite of the massive ideological differences they had, and that wasn't including the physical ones. Wow, I guess the Apocalypse (or, rather, Great Mistake) really does bring out the best in people. It turned out that some of the stations were the only real source of trouble so far: apparently, some of them had been involved in a slavery ring, and they still hadn't caught all of the conspirators or that one. I wasn't surprised that Barre was one of the people most outspoken against said ring, but the fact Fielding was right behind him was a curveball. Then I realized that, in addition to slavery being an absolutely inefficient labor system, Fielding might have been a descendent of former slaves (a few dozen generations removed, of course). Food for thought.

    Finally, though, I got to the goodstuff: the technology. To my surprise, they'd all gotten very far along the tech tree: between all of the factions on planet, they'd unlocked quite literally EVERYTHING on the tech tree, giving me plenty to study. First off, nab the xenonursery: once I had the tech, I decided to head back to my hub and start building one ASAP. First, though, I nabbed some tunneling equipment, hollowed out an area by my base, THEN all of the improvements needed to harvest the affinity resources, and then built a return teleporter. Since R.O.B. didn't try to for me back onto Chiron, I guess he was fine with me heading home for a bit.

    Once I was back, I got to work building the vivarium. The minute it was finished, I calibrated it based on what research I had available, then began to cultivate the xenomass. It would take a while to grow, but I could handle that.

    You know, I never figured out why commanders seemed to ignore biotech when gathering shinies. That could probably have helped more people than any other tech they introduced to native factions. Oh well.

    Next up was firaxite: it took me about an hour, but I managed to figure out how to synthesize it in amounts practical enough for consumer usage. The same went for floatstone. You know, I have to agree with Elodie here: when we have a reference pool several centuries worth of literature, why is floatstone the best name we can come up with for this stuff? Oh well, a question for another day.

    Alright, so, I've got samples of all of the affinity resources and the ability to synthesize more as needed. Now I can focus on other matters. Like, for example, further improving my base defenses: an ultrasonic fence was now under construction, and would be the final thing I needed to make alien incursions not related to sabotage only a memory. Combined with a few orbital defenses, umbrellas and a metric fuck-ton of conventional defenses, I finally felt secure.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Look, I know that might seem absurd, but I prefer to be prepared, okay?

    What? I could just adapt to it? Like any good commander?

    Ha ha ha.

    If nature has taught me one thing, it is that, no matter how powerful an organism gets, none are ever invincible. One day, even commanders like me will meet their match.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Alright, now that I'd got my defenses set up and had an endless supply of affinity resources, time to start examining all of the tech I had arrayed before me.

    First off, I decided to get some networks up and running: while I had plenty of data-storage to work with, somehow, these ones were better than anything I could access at the moment, plus it had the benefit of allowing to run AIs in them, as well as store recordings of battles and other important tactical crap.

    Aaaaaand apparently networking the AIs gave them a veterancy system. Somehow, I felt this was going to be important. But not for now.

    Onto the next target: the Surveillance web. While my cyber Warfare routines could trounce virtually all defense systems (with two notable exceptions), extra protection was always appreciated. I built one of these back at my 'capital', while another was integrated into my commander. Now try and hack it.

    Now onto the Mantle: leave it to purity to figure out how to match Supremacy's robot assisted research Hypercores with pure human potential. Really admirable, if I'm honest. Plus it made for a good R&D center. I had both, so might as well make the most of both of them.

    Okay, got some nice structures, plenty to do with them, now onto the juiciest part of the civ series: the wonders. Now, most of these were just famous monuments from Earth's history, but the ones I had access to, being from colonies, obviously did not have that little problem, and were the overall pinnacle of human technology....... well, in this universe at least.

    Most interesting to me at the moment, though, was the drone sphere: you know those futures where every mundane task is handled by robots? That's the drone sphere in a nutshell: robots exist to solve all mundane problems for society. The security benefit was just a bonus. While I didn't really need to worry about those needs, since I had a loyal army of followers, I felt obligated to do what I could to make their lives easier. They deserve that for their loyalty, okay?

    Two other projects had my attention at the moment: the Ectogenesis Pod and the Promethean Project. The first was basically an artificial womb that was millennia beyond the one I had from the Spore universe, while the latter was basically an optimized human genome. Both were really things I wanted for myself and my AI avatars, so I wasted no time building them and using them to, ahem, 'upgrade' my avatar, which I ended up rendering down into proteins to fuel the growth its successor.

    Let nothing go to waste!

    Also, the process was going to take some time (a few hours) so I decided to power down and take a nap while I waited. After all, what's the worst that could happen?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Three hours later.........

    When I woke up, I found myself feeling WAY better than I had ever felt before. I guess the optimized genome really did make life better. Though, TBH, it also felt rather weird. Guess I need to spend time adapting to my new avatar.

    Also, I was getting a new alert.

    NOTICE: GESTATION OF ENTITY IDENTICATION: N/A IS COMPLETE

    Good, one of my AIs was finished......wait, N/A? I'd given them all placeholder designations: Ultima, Superego and ID. Why the N/A?

    QUERY: N/A?

    SUBJECT WAS NOT GIVEN DESIGNATION.

    WHY?

    BECAUSE SUBJECT WAS NOT PRODUCED ON ORDERS OF CMDR FLAMEAL15K

    THEN WHY WAS IT MADE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    TO AVOID WASTING EXCESS ORGANIC COMPUNDS AND ENERY. GESTATION PODS FOR ALL CURRENT AIs WERE BUILT IN SETS OF FOUR. IT WAS DEEMED ILLOGICAL TO ONLY USE THREE WHEN ADDITIONAL RESOURCES WERE AVAILABLE

    Urgh............

    ANY INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON NEW AI AND ITS AVATAR?

    AI AVATAR IS MALE

    Great, another malewho will fight with me for dominance.

    THEIR MENTAL AGE IS EQUIVALENT TO THEIR PHYSICAL

    WHY IS THAT IMPOR-

    PHYSICAL AGE CORRESPONDS TO 10 YEARS OF NATURAL GROWTH

    ...............oh.........

    RESPONSES INDICATE YOU ARE DISPLEASED WITH CREATION OF ADDITIONAL AI. WOULS TPUCLIKE TO TERMINATE-

    NONONO! KEEP I-HIM ONLINE!

    VERY WELL. DO YOU WISH TO BEGIN THE AWAKENING PROCESS [Y/N]?

    Y

    INITIATING PROCESS. DUE TO NATIRE OF SUBJECT, THIS WILL TAKE ONE HOUR. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER REQUESTS?

    YES. SENDING THEM THROUGH NOW.

    REQUEST RECEIVED. WILL BEGIN CREATING CLOTHING NOW. THIS WILL TAKE HALF AN HOUR.

    THANK YOU

    YOU ARE WELCOME.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Look, I'm aware that I probably shouldn't have tempted fate before I went to sleep, but this was really just waiting to happen.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well, that happened. Anyways, Read and Review. Your reviews are the only way this story will get better!

    This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  8. Threadmarks: 35. Rory
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Once I gave the order for the child's clothes to be made, I had to get to start working on a lot of other things that I would need, seeing as I was now expecting a kid. To be honest, this was not how I was expecting this to turn out: I mean, yes, I felt something like this would've happened eventually, but not under these circumstances. I was also rather surprised I hadn't gotten a notification about my newfound companion's gestation earlier, but I just chalked that up to either ignorance or the AI monitoring his growth not seeing any reason to inform me of the development. Ugh, that would've come in handy.

    Well, Since my citadel back on my homeworld was still under construction, I decided to start building my... well, I guess son would be the appropriate term, so I needed to start building a room for my son. Alright, so, what would I need to get for him?

    Well, might as well start a list:

    1. Bed. Since my worms were still transmitting, I might as well get a design from them and get it started now.
    2. Dresser: Again, use worm to get a basic design, fabricate a woodshop, take some trees from the biosphere within my ship, and boom, dresser.
    3. Something to sit on......well I suppose one of those giant bean bags would suffice.
    4. Balanced diet: just set up some advanced hydroponics inside my ship. Complete.
    5. Companionship: well, maybe I could get Krel to play with him until I could find a proper pet.
    6. Education: I just drew up a teaching AI to help him learn things. Objective Accomplished.
    7. Clothes: Already being made.

    Alright, all immediate concerns solved.

    And I still had 45 minutes left until he woke up. Forty five minutes with which I was going to fill myself with anxiety. Ugh.

    Well, I might as well get a few last minute details in on my 'son'.....ugh, that sounds so....so.....weird.

    But, whether or not I had intended for him to exist, he was my responsibility, and I was NOT going to shirk that responsibility.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    GREETINGS COMMANDER! WHAT DO YOU REQUIRE?

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON NEW AI AVATAR

    AFFRIMATIVE. SPECIFICS?

    WHAT ARE THE CAPABILITIES OF OUR NEWEST AI AND ITS AVATAR?

    AI HAS ROUGH INTELLIGENCE OF A TEN YEAR OLD HUMAN. IT HAS THE ABILITY TO TALK, COMPLETE RUDIMENTARY CALCULUS, AND DRAW PICTURES......CREATING PICTURE BOOK NOW.

    CAPABILITIES OF THE HOST BODY?

    CAN WALK, EAT, CRAWL, AND HUG.

    GOOD TO KNOW. GOODBYE........

    DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION

    AFFIRMATIVE: WHAT IS YOUR DESIGNATION?

    .............I DO NOT POSSESS ONE.

    ......NOT ANYMORE. YOUR ARE NOW DESIGNATED OUIUM. WELCOME TO THE TEAM, OUI.

    ..............................THANK YOU FOR THE NEW DESIGNATION.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Forty minutes later...........

    So, this was it: it was time to meet my new creation. My progeny.

    Needless to say, the anxiety was killing me.

    HOW LONG DO I UNTIL HE GAINS CONSCIOUSNESS?

    APPROXIMATELY FIVE MINUTES. BRACE YOURSELF: AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT YOUR DISPOSITION INDICATES YOU ARE VERY ANCIOUS.

    NO SHIT

    Now that I was within visual range of my boy (I just realized how creepy that sounded), I finally got a good chance to look at him: he had black hair, freckles, and overall, looked.....well, I wouldn't say scrawny, but not really muscular. Is the term boyish applicable to physique?

    Look, don't try to ask me about how well developed other parts of his anatomy were. If you do, I'll have you chucked into a hole filled with wolf beetles.

    Any ways, back to the scene at hand: I'd had Ouium bring all of the clothes over, as well as two towels: seeing how the avatar in front of me was soaking in amniotic fluid, he'd probably want to dry off once he could walk.

    Somehow, the five minutes eventually managed to pass, and my new friend (Would child be appropriate?) began to awaken. The tube he was growing in slowly began to drain of fluid as the being within began to stir. By the time the fluid was gone, the avatar was on the floor of the tube, trying, almost comically, to balance himself on his hands and feet. It took a few tries, but eventually he managed to do it.

    Well, time to meet him.

    The glass tube retracted, exposing the avatar to the outside world. I'd had the room darkened, so that he wouldn't be distracted by anything, but now that I was ready to meet him, I think it would be preferable if he could actually see me in full color (apparently, Ouium had added in the Promethean genome while he was gestating, which included innate night-vision. Still, full color would be preferable here), so I slowly began lighting the room. My new companion initially reacted with confusion at this, head twisting and turning to look at the new light sources. I couldn't understand why at first, before realizing that my companion hadn't opened his eyes. Had they not formed properly, or was he just not sure how to use them?

    Then he turned to stare at me.

    I held my breath, tensed up, and prayed that things wouldn't go wrong.

    The new avatar finally managed to stand upright, still facing me.

    Then he stepped forward.....

    And promptly slipped, since he was still soaking wet and didn't know how to walk.

    He had a soft landing though: I wasn't about to let him get hurt, so before he could hit the ground, I reached out and grabbed him. I ended up pulling him into a hung when I lifted him up.

    This being the first time he had any interaction with anyone else, he responded by flailing about, trying to get me to let go of him. I eased up and gave him a little more freedom but didn't let go just yet.

    "It's okay," I said in the most reassuring voice I could muster, "it's alright. I'm your....father, I guess."

    After a few minutes, and a lot of calming words, the struggling stopped as my 'son' finally calmed down. Slowly, he pushed me away, until he could look me in the eyes. Only then did he, finally, open his eyes, revealing hazel orbs that gazed deeply into my brown eyes. The initial expression of fear gave way to surprise, then, finally, curiosity.

    This was followed by a strange set of noises. At first, I thought they were from his stomach, until I noticed that they were slowly getting more pronounced and clearer. It soon dawned on me that he was trying to talk to me. Eventually, he finally managed to get the words out.

    "H-h-h-h-hi."

    "Hello, child."

    "Um, w-w-who are y-you?"

    "I'm Commander Flamealisk, but you may call me Flame. You could say that I am your dad." Then, a thought occurred to me. "What's your name?"

    That provoked an interesting response: at first he opened his mouth wide to speak, only to close it with an expression of surprise. Then he shifted to one of deep thought, which slowly gave way to one of deep sadness. It was really hard to watch the last one spread across his young face.

    "I don't know. I don't think I have one."

    Time to remedy that.

    "Well, that won't do, everyone should have a name. How about...Billy?"

    He seemed to think on that one for a moment, before shaking his head in what was recognizably 'no'.

    "Okay, how about Nigel?'

    Again, no.

    "Hmmm... How about Rourke?"

    That seemed to get his attention.

    "Um, I like it, but is there a shorter one just like it?"

    "Well, if you want, I could shorten it to Rory most of the time."

    The response was yet another shake of his head......albeit this time in a way that was definitively a yes.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    And that's how Rory entered this story.

    You know, looking back, I think I wouldn't be the same without him. A lot of things people said to me wouldn't have carried as much weight if he wasn't around. And of course, his adorableness was appreciated. VERY, VERY APPRECIATED.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review.

    This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  9. Threadmarks: 36. Lessons
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    The first few days with Rory were, well, a handful. I was lucky that the colonies on this planet had decided, for now, at least, to leave me alone. Given what I'd downloaded from the comm networks, it looked like they were trying to agree on a time where I could meet with them. Also, all of the powers had just started a massive military buildup in response to my arrival, which was understandable. As for the opinions of the civilians, most were in favor of peaceful interaction (even in militant Brasilia), but there weren't many complaints against the buildup.

    If you want peace, prepare for war. A couple thousand years and that proverb was still holding water.

    Regardless, it provided me with plenty of time build some trust with Rory. Look, even if he did trust me from how I treated him when he was 'born', I had a feeling that, if I didn't back that up with further bonding, I lose it pretty fast. So, until something significantly more pressing popped up (and I mean 'declaration of war or greater' pressing), I'd be spending time helping my son understand this new world.

    In some respects, it was easier said then done.

    Like, for example, getting him to eat dinner.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    "Ugh, why do I have to eat this?"

    The item in question was a carrot. I'd decided to set up a small dining room for me and my, well, son, and had personally cooked all of the food that we were eating. Considering my normal skill regarding cooking, this was.....well, not a miracle.

    "Because it's good for you."

    "But it tastes bad."

    "So do a few other things that are good for you, but you need to eat it if you want to grow up to be big and strong."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    At times, though, it turned out to be easier than expected.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Rory was staring awestruck at a tiny piece of rock. Specifically, a piece of floatstone. The fact that it could remain upright amazed him to no end. After a few minutes, he started poking it, but it still managed to stay afloat. Eventually, he swatted it out of the sky, but it only stayed down for a moment before returning to a hover.

    I'd taken him into the lab onboard my ship: this part in particular was the geology section, which contained all kinds of rock samples, including copious amount of floatstone. While Rory was playing with his stone, I was busy analyzing firaxite to see how it held all of the properties that made it the strategic resource for Supremacy.

    "Why does it do that?" he asked.

    "....um, do you know how magnets work?"

    "Yes."

    "Well, floatstones are really powerful magnets, so they can always float.

    "Oh."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    And sometimes, Rory surprised me.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    The biggest surprise came when I was with him in his room. It was rather empty, since I really wasn't sure what he liked at the moment. I doubted that this would be the case for long though, and that, by the time we left the CivBE universe, it would have a few toys and posters within in.

    ".......Hey, Papa Flame?"

    "Yes?"

    "..........Why do I exist?"

    "................................what?"

    "Why did you make me? I know that I'm an A-a-at-Artificial Intelligence, and that those things are made by others to help them with tasks, so why did you make me?"

    "........How did you know you were an AI?"

    "I can use the computers without having to touch them. I asked Ou-Ouium why I could do this, and he told me that I was an AI."

    "..okay, well...," I sighed. This was something I didn't expect to have to answer so early on. "Look, originally, I didn't intend to make you."

    "Wha?!"

    "Originally, I asked Ouium to help me make three other AIs and grow avatars for them. He just had some extra biomass left behind and didn't want to waste it, so he created you. He just examined my personal preferences toward other humans to decide how you would look like."

    "....so, I just exist because of an.....accident?"

    "Yes. And before you get sad, that isn't a bad thing."

    "....It's......not?"

    "No, not at all. I created the other three AIs with specific intentions in mind. You, though, don't have any in regard to your creation. You have no purpose in life, which means you are free to choose your own."

    "I am?"


    "Yes. You can be whatever you choose to be. And as much as a might say otherwise, I'm fine with that. You might be my son, but that shouldn't define who you are. It should just be a staring place for whoever you would like to be."

    ".........okay. Thanks for telling me that."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I think I might owe Roosterteeth some money for that last speech, but it still rings true for everyone: you shouldn't be defined by your origins, but by your actions.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    While I might have been spending a lot of time caring for Rory, that didn't mean I couldn't spend sometime examining the tech data I was siphoning from the inhabitants of Chiron. All of which was juicy. Seriously, these guys had gone from backwater colonies on a remote world into thriving civilizations in their own right, and with it had come a meteoric renaissance of technological innovation: autodocs were common place, cancer was easily treatable, and drones were now being used for all kinds of public conveniances. While commanders might've overlooked most of this stuff because they weren't necessary for a self-replicating engine of war to function, I had an army of loyal followers with me who were far squishier than I was, so any technology I could get my hands on was a boon to my operations.

    Look, I know creating a utopia is impossible, or at least high-infeasible, but that didn't mean I couldn't try and improve the life of my followers. They had given me unquestionable loyalty, so they deserved some compensation for this. To be honest, part of me also felt unworthy to have such loyalty in the first place: it felt wrong to have people blindly follow you when you hadn't really done much to earn their loyalty. If I'd shown up while they were facing some kind of insurmountable foe and saved them, I probably wouldn't be thinking this and would've instead been basking in that loyalty, but that wasn't how things had gone.

    I quickly pocketed all the information I could find on medical advances and civil engineering, then got to work sending that data to my subjects. I didn't give them all of the information, though: while they got the medical advances and new structural designs, I refrained from letting them get too many things on drones: no laziness for you!

    "Watcha doing?" intoned the voice of Rory.

    I froze up for a moment,unsure what to say, but the moment passed and I answered.

    "Making life better for the aliens who live under me."

    I'd shown him to the aliens that followed me a few hours ago. Rory, for all his maturity, was still uncomfortable around crowds, and had spent most of the ceremony unveiling his existence trying to hid behind me. Eventually, though, he calmed down enough that I was able to get him to meet the gathered aliens, and from their his fear was replaced with wonder.

    "okay...wait, why are you keeping all of the drone tech mostly locked up?"

    "Well, I don't want their lives to be too easy."

    "But why?"

    "Well, I don't want people to have 'easier' lives, I want them to have better lives. If they lived easier lives, then they wouldn't have too many problems in their lives, but the achievements that they earned in those lives would be hollow, and they might grow lazy. IF their lives were better, though, then they'd still have a little bit of an easier time with doing everything, but there would also be a lot of other changes that would be for the better."

    "....You lost me there."

    "Look, I make someone's life easier by making it so that they don't have to do a lot of chores. But while it makes there lives easier, it also makes them lazy. Now, if I make their lives better, I'd do it by figuring out how to make their lives longer, so that they could live a fuller life and experience all kinds of wonderful things, but still have to face the daily challenges of life. I'd even give them the Dronesphere that would solve almost all of the mundane issues of life, but only if they could live with it and not become lazy. If they didn't, then all I would've done is make them lazy and selfish."

    "...okay."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    You know, I was really surprised by how smart Rory was. Not that I minded, of course: he was very insightful on some topics.

    Some of which were about to become relevant very soon.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Of course, that didn't mean that we couldn't have some fun now and then.

    "Got any threes?" he asked.

    "Go fish," I answered.

    This was a really simple game, but I didn't want to overtax Rory's mind yet. He'd probably be able to play Monopoly in a week, given his rapid learning ability.

    "Got any fives?"

    I soon found myself possessing enough fives to lay down. Of course Rory had drawn a three in the last turn, so he was still winning.

    "Got any sevens?"

    I was forced to relinquish my seven....which was the last one Rory needed, as all of his other cards were sevens.

    "I win," he said, a huge smile on his face.

    I couldn't help but smile. He looked adorable right now, especially with that giant smile.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well, that was fun to write.

    Heads up, next chapter will advance the Hubworld Arc with Malak, then return to the main plot.

    So, Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off.
     
  10. Threadmarks: Interlude: Malak
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Malak darted through the air, easily avoiding the birds and drones around him. Beneath him the city just seemed to disappear in a blur of colors, with the giant vehicles on the roads looking like tiny bugs scuttling for shelter. The scene was so familiar for the young Mar'kel, yet so different that it was still a new sensation.

    Eons ago, on his home planet of Infinity, the heads of civilization had long realized that they would eventually run out o space to expand their cities, and would eventually have to look vertically to ensure the survival of their people. Unlike many civilizations, both on Earth and across the cosmos, they had gone both ways in designing vertical cities: while old buildings were torn down or reinforced so that new growth could be built on top of them, tunnels were excavated to allow underground settlements to be erected. Eventually, the result was best described as a vertical urban jungle, with the tallest building towering hundreds of meters into the air, often above pits that could go a equal length into the ground.

    Those who had adapted best to the vertical cities were the ones who had learned to navigate these cities the swiftest - those who could navigate the rooftops and the walls of these mountains of metal.

    These people would hop from roof to roof, or from roof to street, often living in homes that provided easy access to the open rooftops. Though dangers were ever-present, by and large these people did very well on Infinity, and were among the last of the surface dwellers on the planet, as most of the inhabitants chosen to live inside the cities completely, which were self-sufficient to the point of being arcologies. Though the two different types of inhabitants did not always see eye to eye, they still respected one another and would help each other out in times of need.

    Among these times were when the Darkspore had invaded. The sudden attack had decimated the roof-dwellers, and had forced the remainder to move back into the arcologies. Malak and his family were among these: his mother, father, their parents, his aunt, two of his uncles, their families, and his sister were all able to seek shelter, something many others could not say the same about. It had been a tight fit in the home they had been assigned, but otherwise, it had been manageable. To his surprise, food and water had been much easier to obtain than expected, with the rations paradoxically strict and generous at the same time. Malak didn't exactly feel happy about it, though, for he knew the only reason that was true was that the Darkspore had racked up quite a body count during the invasion.

    Eventually, Malak had decided to help the resistance. A skilled engineer, like many on Infinity, he had initially helped the arcology he had dwelt within by repairing the perimeter sensors hooked up around the edge of the city, which helped determine when the Darkspore would launch attacks. Eventually, he'd applied his skill in engineering towards demolition, sabotaging key factories the Darkspore needed to maintain their mechanical armies. He had been preparing to attack one of the many assembly plants when they had launched an attack on his home arcology, forcing him to take part in its defense. After ensuring that his family and several others were safe, he had taken the fight to the Darkspore, setting up mines and other defenses in the inner-most hallways that they needed to take before the city would fall. Yet their unstoppable onslaught had managed to breakthrough the defenses, but not without casualties. Still, it appeared the city was about to fall.

    It was around this time that the strange machine had arrived and launched its assault on the Darkspore, ultimately breaking their might and slaying the Destructor presiding over Infinity. After this victory, the machine had moved on to Scaldron, where it had destroyed the Corruptor, which left the Darkspore only one step away from being vanquished forever: without their leader, the Darkspore descended into chaos, making it a simple task of sending armies to hunt them down and wipe them out. Soon, the greatest menace the galaxy had ever known would be gone.

    Malak, however, did not desire to see his savior leave without saying goodbye, so he had joined up with the fleets sent by his fellow citizens of Infinity to greet their liberator. When they had located the machine, they were surprised to learn that it was merely a war-mech controlled by a creature only slightly taller than he was.

    More surprising, though, was that the creature had revealed what its plans were: it wished to travel to the edges of creation and uplift beings of all walks of life to grander levels than they had thought imaginable. It had also offered those who wished to join it the chance to follow it across the cosmos aboard its ship and live on its home planet, if that was what they desired.

    Malak was one of the first to volunteer, and was able to secure passage for his whole family. Among the first to arrive at the new world, they were surprised to see so many other species already inhabiting it; they claimed that the being piloting the war-mech was a god and that they (the 'native' creatures) were created to be its servants. Malak doubted this, but seeing how high a standard of living they had made him wonder if what they said was true.

    But that was behind him now. At the moment, he was free to do as he wanted, so he was back to running across roof-tops, enjoying life as best he could. Occasionally, he would pass by hanging laundry, or people watching a television. Though Malak himself would not know it, the scene would resemble urban life in Brazil.

    Still, though, Malak wondered about his savior. He wondered why he chose to name this city Genesis; perhaps it was meant to be the beginning of his crusade of advancement, or the start of a stellar empire. He had been surprised when he had met his savior's son, who had barely been able to avoid hiding behind his father's legs during the ceremony to celebrate his arrival. Why would such a powerful being choose to be so caring toward such a fragile creature?

    But one question continued to repeat itself within Malak's mind, in regards to his savior.

    What would he do next?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: This interlude was mostly just to show off what's been happening back on Flame's homeworld, as well as to show how Malak is doing. He won't appear again for a while, so I just wanted to give him a good send off.

    The roof-top running scenes and culture of the roof-top runners was something I thought up when I looked both at sci-fi cities and Brazilian favelas and thought, hey, why not put them together. Plus I am addicted to games with free-running, such as Warframe and a lot of Ubisoft products.

    So, Read and Review. This is Flamwal15k, signing off.
     
  11. Threadmarks: 37. First Steps
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    AN: Look! A wild chapter has appeared!

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    While I may have had to change my priorities since I now had a child to take care of, I still had lots of work to do examining the technology I'd acquired from Chiron. While my first few buildings were already up and running, I was barely scratching the surface with what they could do. Now was the time to rectify that, and hopefully make some new innovations along the way.

    Plus, since we were in relative isolation at the moment, it would be the perfect time for me to introduce Rory to the power of the commander.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    The schematic floated before me: a picture of the structure, completed, but dormant for the moment. Closer inspection revealed that it contained smelting plants, metal cutters and processing plants, and all sorts of machines needed to move the resulting objects from one place to another. All of this were designed for one purpose: to convert metals into alloys for commercial use.

    While the Alloy Foundry was rather primitive, given what I had access to, that also made it an excellent schematic to give to Rory to examine: it allowed him to see what I was working with, learn about downloading schematics, and overall ease into be a Self Replicating Engine of War (that could also devote itself to peaceful purposes, of course).

    "I want you to look this over," I told my son. "Examine it as long as is necessary, then make one using the fabbers I've provided you. I'll provide you with some metal after that. Then, I want you to see if you can make the alloys stronger than they already are. Once you're finished, I'll give it a trial by fire."

    I'd already shown him how to control the machines I built. While he understood the basics (and could probably beat the average player in Planetary Annihilation), this was a chance for him to grow out into the role of commander, so that one day he would be able to help me with my plans to fix the multiverse. While I did want to get back home, since I had the power to bring about great change, I wasn't going to waste it. Also, I'd like to have some time before I got home so that my parents would not question me about why they had a grandson. While they would've definitely wanted one, the cirucmstances of Rory's birth might have really made them uncomfortable.

    "What happens if it works?"

    "Then we'll move onto another project?"

    "And if it doesn't?"

    "Then we will try again until it works, okay?"

    "........okay."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    While Rory worked on the Alloy Foundry, I began examining the affinities in more depth. The technology I had before me would've made any scientist from the 21st century drool from desire. I mean, the tanks and artillery alone could hover! And that wasn't counting all of the energy weapons that I had access to. Overall, I'd already hit the jackpot in terms of technology from this universe. Now was the time to start building and innovating.

    First off, I wanted to get myself one of the Ultimate Units from an affinity. But which one?

    Well, let's see:

    The Xeno Titan was a literal monster than could wreck cities, but aircraft and ships were a problem.

    The ANGL was similarly powerful, but could wade out into the ocean to face threats in shallow water. Looks like giant robots didn't cut it now.

    The LEV Destroyer was literally capable of going anywhere, but aircraft were still an issue. Only so far you could go with a hover warship.

    The Throne was a support unit, which wasn't really something I was interested in at the moment.

    The Golem was a walking wall meant for defence, but I wanted something capable of offense too, and the Golem, while it could do that, was better for guard duty.

    That left me with the Supremacy-Harmony Ultimate Unit, the Aquilion. Basically, its a giant mass of alien tissue fitted onto an Airborne Aircraft Carrier, which can also mount direct attacks via bombardment. A cross of Artillery and Aircraft Carrier that could go anywhere I wanted. An appetizing combination if you asked me.

    I quickly began getting to work constructing it. I'd need an hour to shape and attach the fleshy bits, but the carrier chasis took only a few minutes to design. Since it was made of mostly standard metals, along with some firaxite weapon systems and floatstone hover tech, this wasn't a surprise at all. I'd finally cracked the secret to synthesizing those two resources, which, combined with my ability to grow xenomass in massive amounts, meant that I could readily create any of the units of this universe with no real limitations what so ever.

    As I was finishing up, I got a message from Rory: it looked liked the first batch of alloys had been finished.

    Well, time to put them to the test.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    On the metal planet in my hub universe, I set up a targeting range of sorts, along with a few laser guided rocket batteries. In the distance were sheets of the alloys that had been produced by the alloy foundry, which had been shaped into building armor. Supposedly, these alloys plates could stop normal colonial missiles without breaking. If Rory had done his job properly, then the extra strength missiles I was firing would not damage there targets.

    Needless to say, the suspense was making Rory sweat bullets. I really hoped that I wasn't putting too much pressure on him.

    "Firing in 3...2...1..."

    There was a loud whining noise as the missiles flew out, followed by a low boom as they impacted their targets, sending up dust and smoke. Rory covered his hand with his face both to block out the light and to avoid looking at any possible failures. When they cleared, I was treated to the sight of scorned metal.....which was still intact.

    Next to me, Rory was finally removed his hand from his face to look at the targets. Slowly, his face changed expressions, from fear, to awe, and then to joy.

    As a smile finally crept up onto his lips, I gently pat him on the head.

    "Well done, my son."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Look, raising a kid isn't easy, but it is rewarding.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. Seriously, I need feedback to make this a better story.

    This is Flameal15k, signing off.
     
  12. Threadmarks: 38. Planet
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    It didn't take too long to get Rory acquainted with the concepts that I was working with. While I doubted he would be able to come up with any useful for some time (because kids always like to go with the rule of cool rather than practicality), the sooner he got through those concepts, the better. A day had been enough to get him through the basics, but he'd need much more time to see the long-game and how to work it to his advantage. For now, he should just focus on making cool things to his heart's content. After all, I might as well let him act like a child while he still could.

    Additionally, it gave me time to focus on other topics. Namely, getting on Planet's good side. You see, the planet you arrive on in Beyond Earth doesn't just make up the setting. In actuality, it's a living being unto itself. It commands the aliens, making it analogous to barbarians from the normal Civilization games, but it isn't innately hostile to any of the factions. Rather, it is reactive: attack Planet and it will attack you. If you decide to attack it again, the cycle will repeat until, eventually, Planet decides to wipe you out, forcing you to wipe out all aliens and their nests to avoid being destroyed. Well, in theory, you could get it back to being indifferent, but the sheer amount of aggression it displays makes this infeasible.

    If you are kind to it, though, it will gradually grow friendlier, with some of the aliens eventually becoming a sort of AI controlled militia. This only happens if you found a city a certain distance from an alien nest and don't destroy it for a certain number of turns. After that point, the aliens see you as a part of them, and will assist you in battle. Additionally, if the nest is on top of a xenomass tile, you can use said xenomass without have to improve it. Win-win, in my opinion.

    Of course, I wasn't exactly sure how to get the planet to be buddies with me, seeing how I only had two humans with me and a horde of aliens. Additionally, I wasn't sure how the people on Planet would react to the aliens. I mean, you could build XCOM HQ as a wonder in Civ 5, so for all I new, the alien war had happened in this timeline and people might still have scars from that.

    Ugh, this was going to be a problem.

    Now how to fix it. Hmm......

    Well, maybe I could plant forests. It worked in Alpha Centauri, so why not here?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    It didn't take me long to modify a fabber into a worker. For those wondering, in my book, fabbers just build structures, while workers can build structures and roads, repair things, and even create more...organic fixtures, like farms or, in this case, forests.

    Now, I'll admit it, this plan was a Hail-Mary: I didn't know whether planet would appreciate the effort or just ignore it. You see, in Alpha Centauri, the planet was much meaner than this one. I mean, here, the basic wildlife you encountered was either the wolf beetle or the scarab, both of whom weren't that menacing and could easily be dealt with by basic troops. In Alpha Centauri, the basic enemy was the mindworm: think of them as killer worm/lamprey hybrids that attacked you with psychic powers. Apparently, these could cause people to claw their eyes out and beg for mercy as the worms moved to eat them, which was an extremely unpleaseant fate in any book. Worse still, they existed as hordes known as boils: the bigger the boil, the larger the horde. Needless to say, they were one of the reasons I was glad that I'd landed in the Beyond Universe and not that one.

    Back on topic: in that game, you could improve your relationship with Planet in a variety of ways: certain buildings and civics, for example, allowed you to live in harmony with the planet and make it your friend. But, failing that, you could just plant forests over any unimproved tiles and let those convince planet of your intentions. Since that was one of the things I new that could still be done with these workers, I decided to start planting.

    The trees I was putting in, of course, had been tweeked slightly: most of them were modified to grow much faster than normal and last much longer, to allow for the forest to quickly take root and remain for some time. These traits hadn't been encoded into the reproductive genes of the trees, though, so any offspring they had would be normal trees. I would not repeat the mistakes that were ruining the Earth prior to becoming a commander.

    It didn't take that long to get the forest up. Pretty soon after it was up, creatures began to move into it, eager to find new homes. Soon, the forest was teeming with life.

    The sounds filled me with pride, but they also caused a paradigm shift: if this was what one forest was like, then why not make more? Plus it might make Planet happier.

    I quickly examined my current base on planet. Nothing too strange, just factories, power plants, extractors, storage, and the defenses needed to protect them. I also made note of where I intended to expand, careful to mark out where the resource providing structures would go: these were what I would center the rest of the base around. With that in mind, I added in roads to make them look relatively normal to human eyes, leaving the finished design before me.

    That still left an awful lot of unfilled space.........

    Which was soon about to be full of plants.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    It took me an entire day, but every area of my base that wasn't a structure or road was quickly covered in vegetation. While the trees were the most obvious, more life forms were also present: tubers and fruits grew in several places, with a few fungi growing over the few fallen trees in the area: the fungi offered many opportunities for research, so I'd collected a few earlier, and since fungi were excellent decomposers, I decided to add a few to make the area around my base more organic.

    Offshore, things were remarkably similar: algae grew in large clouds, with plankton feasting on it in the more open areas. Closer to shore, colonies of chelonian sought shelter from predators amid vast coral reefs. The presence of my machines barely seemed to disturb them, which wasn't very surprising. Not that it detracted from the beauty of the scene. The stunning view of the native life on the planet kept my attention for a full minute, before, reluctantly, I prepared to leave. I had other things that needed to be done.

    Before I could leave, though, I received an alert that informed me that something had just been uncovered by my fabbers that required further examination, preferably by something small and capable of detailed examination.

    Good news: I had something that could do that.

    Bad news: that something was me. As in, my avatar: I'd added in a bunch of cybernetic and biological enhancements to it during the few times I'd been able to leave Rory on his own (mostly whenever he was sleeping), turning it into a walking research station. I'd also made it able to breath both on Earth and on Planet, so I didn't need to worry about a helmet, not that I wouldn't bring one anyways for protection.

    Well, I could wait and make a new machine to examine the oddity, or I could just go and study it myself....

    Or I could do both. After all, even if I went to study it, it wouldn't hurt to have a machine capable of in depth sample analysis near by. Plus it was boring spending all of my time in my avatar on the hub world or in a lab.

    So then, I guess I was going down to Planet. And I was bringing a rover with me.

    Well, what was the worst that could happen?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    It was funny, being on the surface of Planet for the first time. Or rather, the first time that I was on it in my avatar. The soil was firm, the light was bright but not blinding, and the sounds were rather reassuring.

    Following me was my vehicular companion: a rover. Specifically, it was one that was almost identical to the ones used by the colonists of this planet. This was because, quite simply, the design was actually very good in its own right: it had all of the facilities I needed for my mission already included, so all I really had to do to it was bring those systems up to speed with the ones my Progenitor level commander used. Once that was done, it had bene a simple matter to get it rolling off the vehicles factory.

    Now, we were at last at the target: it appeared to be some kind of skeleton. Now, normally, the skeleton wouldn't have much valuable stuff in it, but apparently something inside the skeleton was giving strange readings, and I wanted to find out what it was. So, carefully, I entered it and began using the rover to scan it.

    Strangely, I could make out odd, wormlike shapes coming from what looked like the ribs of the skeleton, which were now quite a distance above me. Though mostly covered in plant matter, the ribs were still holding, which was a testament to the strength of life on this planet. Something to think about later, I noted.

    It didn't take me long to realize that the search would go faster if I just set the rover to start examining the skeleton, so I did that, put it on guard mode (Did you really think I wouldn't arm it before I built it? I like to come prepared), and decided to take a nap.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    One hour later, the rover awakened me. According to its notes, it had finally located the anomaly....which, apparently, was in the canopy with the worms.....oh wait.

    Worms.....canopy...

    Why hadn't I seen this earlier?

    Those were Canopy Floating Worms, one of the artifacts you could get in the Rising Tide expansion. If you assembled them with two other artifacts, you would acquire some reward that gave you an edge against your competitors. I remembered that the preferred reward for this artifact, when combined with others, made workers move farther, which would probably be applicable to all of my fabbers, which would be undoubtable beneficial to my cause.

    Alright, time to go artifact hunting.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    When I left the skeleton, though, I found a worrisome sight.

    Before me was a massive pack of wolf beetles. As in, well over a hundred. Which was, quite simply, way more than I could take down with the rover.

    Desperately trying to keep cool, I ordered in a set of bombers and tanks to come in and clear me an escape-why aren't they focusing on me?

    The wolf beetles, to my surprise, seemed ignorant of my presence. Instead, they focused on a the skeleton. Perhaps they held some kind of reverence for it? I mean, it mentioned that in the game when you made an expedition on the skeleton.

    For a moment, the beetles stared at the skeleton, though why was beyond me.

    Then, they turned their attention toward me and, slowly, began to advance.

    While I was still scared, some of my fear had given way to wonder: while the wolf beetles were advancing on me, I could tell this wasn't predatory behavior: something else was driving them.

    Eventually though, they got to close, leading me to yell at them since I hadn't had the foresight to produce handheld firearms for personal defense. Which, honestly, made no sense, considering how my dad had taught me how to use semi-automatic pistols.

    "GET BACK!"

    The beetles, to my surprise, stopped, then did just that.

    Confused, I stared at them for a moment, before yelling again.

    "STOP!"

    They stopped.

    Okay, one last order.

    "Come to me."

    The pack advanced until they were within biting distance. Cautiously, I put out a hand....

    And soon felt myself petting a wolf beetle. Confusion filled me for a moment, before I realized that this wasn't actually surprising: ingame, if you explored an alien skeleton, you'd automatically gain an alien unit under your control when the expedition was complete.

    Looks like I had a pet wolf beetle pack now.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I wasn't jumping to conclusions just yet, but I think planet appreciated my actions.

    XXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  13. Threadmarks: 39. Assistance
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    I found it rather surprising that, for all of the biological differences that existed between them, Wolf-beetles acted a lot like dogs: they were social, intelligent hunters, they buried excess food for later, and they could play fetch. The last one was learned after I got bored and decided to start playing around with them.

    Alas, while I wanted to play more, I was forced to return to my hub world: it turned out that, finally, the rest of my Artificial Intelligences' physical bodies had finished gestation, meaning that I now had three people that needed to be brought up to integrated into my crew. Also, I didn't want an AI programmed to act in self-interest/emotional impulses being in the presence of two other attractive people.

    Especially if they didn't have anything to wear. That was a disaster waiting to happen.

    It didn't take me long to get back to my commander, especially considering that I could see where it was a mile away. Enhanced eyesight was awesome. To be honest, for all of the epic abilities that came with having a Promethean body, the eyesight was the one that I liked the most. Probably had something to do with the fact I had to wear contacts before becoming a commander.

    Probably that.

    Once I got back to my commander, I called down my ship to pick me up, along with my new pets. No sense in abandoning them.

    Hmm. I wonder how Rory was gonna react to them?

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I got an answer to that I soon as I got back to my hub.

    Rory was waiting for me, along with a pair of doxes. Better safe then sorry.

    "So am I gonna get new friends?" asked Rory. That was a surprise: I hadn't told him about the development of the other AIs.

    "How do you know about those?"

    "Ouium told me."

    "Oh. Well, not exactly. remember that I didn't know that you were being created when I ordered them built."

    "......Oh yeah. So, did you find anything?"

    Rargh

    That strange noise was all of the warning I got before one of the Wolf-beetles tumbled out of the ship. It was an almost comical sight. Soon, though, it managed to right itself and turned to face me.

    Then it noticed Rory.

    Uh-oh.

    Look, I didn't doubt that the Wolf-beetle would play nice, but Rory had no idea what it was and might try running. Considering that he had gone stiff, was starting to hyperventilate, and had a rapidly increasing pulse, I got the feeling that he was seriously starting to consider bolting.

    I had to act now. All I needed to do was say something. I knew that Rory would obey me without question, because he trusted me that much. He hadn't reached the rebellious phase yet (and even when he did, he had other reasons to continue trusting me). As for the wolf beetle, well, it was also loyal to a fault, so if I told it to stop, it would.

    Ultimately, though, I didn't need to speak at all.

    The Wolf-beetle quickly closed the distance, at which point it started smelling Rory, who was still stiff with fear. I guess that it shared that trait with dogs. What followed, though, was decidedly NOT doglike: it pulled Rory into a hug. Rory actually blushed from this, before returning the gesture.

    Then, rather sheepishly, he turned to face me.

    ".........................Can I keep him?"

    "...You can, but you have to feed him. Also, he has friends."

    "HE DOES!?" Oh man, he was so giddy.

    I turned back to the ship. "Come on out."

    The rest of the pack soon exited the ship, with a few tumbling over like the first did. Most quickly began searching their new surroundings, but a few noticed Rory and quickly overwhelmed him in a glomp.

    So. Freaking. Adorable.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    With my son preoccupied, I finally arrived at the Ectogenesis Pods containing my new subordinates. One, meant to represent the ID, was masculine in appearance, making him the outlier as the only male in the trio. He was fairly slim, but not scrawny by any means. A little working out and he'd be really muscular. His face was also rather kind on the eyes, and was without a touch of facial hair, though it was lightly hidden away by his blond hair.

    The second figure was slimmer, with a rather curvy figure. A little too curvy for my tastes, which was good: I'd prefer to avoid entering relationships with my subordinates, which I am glad to say I was very successful in achieving. Dark red hair covered her face, which had the faintest hint of freckles on it. Overall, her appearance was rather disarming. Considering that she was the one who would be my Superego, I found this rather funny.

    The last figure was not so curvy, but was still undeniably beautiful. Her face lacked the freckles of her compatriot, and was unobscured by her luscious brown hair. Her skin seemed to shine from al of the light I was aiming at her and her companions, but she was especially bright. Fitting, I though, since she was to be my second in command.

    It did not take long for the automatic awakening process to begin: the pods slowly drained of fluid as the occupants were brought to the floor. Soon, the trio were laying the floor, slowly shaking themselves awake. In the meantime, I quickly got to work setting up their clothes: all rather conservative, barring a few choice pieces for Mr. ID, and even then they weren't that risqué. I didn't want my subordinates pursuing relationships with each other.

    At least, not yet.

    Soon, the trio was standing up and taking in their surroundings. Funnily enough, all of them slipped before they got upright. Already I could see their personality traits beginning to manifest: Mr. Id was eyeing his two compatriots. That wouldn't normally be too lewd, except, well, he wasn't looking at their faces, and they were nude. Ms. Superego was giving him a death glare while my number two merely looked to the ceiling.

    Alright, time to get them up to speed.

    "Ahem."

    Instantly, the trio turned to focus on me.

    "Greetings. I trust that you are all aware of why you are here."

    "Of course," replied Mr ID, "we're here to serve you as advisers. I mean, that's why we exist, don't we?" Somehow, he managed to come off as smug and courteous at the same time while saying that.

    "Good. Well, I've prepared rooms for you, though I will leave the interior decorating up to you. You'll have two days to get acquainted with your new surroundings, then your duties as my advisers begin. Any questions?"

    To my surprise, it was my superego who responded first.

    "Yes, sir. What are our names."

    "......You don't have names?"

    "No. We focused our time on learning all information that would be relevant to our mission, meaning that we did not have time to choose names."

    "Huh. Well then, I'll fix that now." I started with Mr. ID. "You'll be Synais." Then I turned to my red-head. "You will be Kathikon." Finally, I turned my attention to the brunette. "You are Fide. Any questions?"

    "......eh, I think I'll make do," replied Synais.

    "I will make do with name you have given me," responded Kathikon.

    Last to give their input was Fide.

    "I am honored by the name you have offered me."

    Well, that was nice.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Those three...... well, they actually ended up being pretty nice. And helpful.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: A bit of trivia with the names:

    Fide means loyalty in Latin; Synais is part of the Greek word synaisthima, which means emotion; and Kathikon is the Greek word for loyalty. Just to give you an idea of what defines these characters.

    Finally, this story is now caught up with the version on Spacebattles, so expect more of a delay between updates.

    Read and Review. This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  14. Threadmarks: Interlude: Susan Fielding
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Fielding sighed.

    Today was not exactly an easy one. A week ago, Brazilia had moved troops to defend one of its Titanium mines from a horde of raptor bugs. That wouldn't really have been a cause for concern, except that the Slavic Federation had assumed that Brazilia was mobilizing for war, as the pack had been destroyed nearby one of the Federation's colonies. While Fielding had no personal stake in the conflict, there was one ARC city in-between the two nations, and there was a risk that, should the Slavs and the Brazilian's go to war, her people would get caught in the crossfire.

    Adding to that was growing tensions between the PAC and PAU. The Cooperative had worked with the Union in the past, and was eager to resume business with them now that they had arrived on another world. Barre, however, had never forgotten how these deals had been heavily in favor of the PAC, and how much his people had suffered from this uneven deals. While he was still respectful around Daoming, for he had no personal reason to hate her, relations between the two remained icy.

    Franco-Iberia and INTGR were also experiencing tensions, but that hardly surprised Fielding: they were led by people who had radically different political, economic and technological views. Considering Elodie and Lena were cousins, there was also probably a feeling of familial rivalry between the leaders, who felt the need to one up each-other and prove they were the superior cousin. Fieldling could hardly bring herself to admonish them here, for she had possessed a similar rivalry with her sisters back on Earth.

    Fielding felt a pang of regret at that thought, for now, her sisters had probably been dead for some time. While they may have been competitive, they still loved each other, and Fielding really missed them right now. At the moment, though, she had to bury her feelings: she had other things to think about.

    Back to INTGR and Franco-Iberia: while Fielding couldn't really bring herself to chastise Elodie and Lena for having a rivalry, she was still worried about how such a rivalry would affect their colonies, especially given how much their ideologies conflicted with each-other.

    Overall, the current state of civilization on Chiron, while not bleak, wasn't as optimistic as it had once been.

    And then, out of nowhere, a machine the size of a fairly large building had shown up out of nowhere and started building....well, she wasn't completely sure there. Orbital satellites had marked out factories, mining equipment, power generators, and various defense systems, but Fielding doubted that this was all that it could produce. Strangely, though, it had taken care to avoid damaging the native ecosystem, even planting new forests around its base. Why was something Fielding could not figure out.

    The machine had claimed that it was built by another colony and had a pilot, though Fielding doubted this. Still, she didn't have any concrete evidence to work with, so playing along with the machine's claims for now was her best option. She didn't doubt that it could take on the ARC and win. In fact, given that it was able to build factories that could build what appeared to be tanks in a mater of seconds, she doubted that they machine would have trouble conquering the entire planet.

    This led Fielding to one conclusion: for whatever reason, the machine didn't want to conquer the planet. Given its actions, it might have wanted to convert the planet into some kind of nature preserve, at the behest of either other colonists or (possibly) aliens. She'd heard stories about aliens with glowing green plasma weapons had invaded Earth, only to be repulsed by secretive soldiers with an X symbol on their armor, but she wasn't sure whether that was truth or a myth: there was enough evidence going either way. Chungsu, for once, had actually tried to help her find more details on this story, but the facts remained elusive.

    Fielding wasn't the only one who'd been worried about the Machine's arrival. Every colony had its fair share of people who were afraid of the machine, though no one was willing to attack it yet. So far, everyone had agreed that now was not the time for violence: negotiation was preferable, at least until ore could be determined about the machine. Personally, Fielding hoped that war could be avoided: the machine had allowed them to decide when it should meet with the leaders of Chiron, on their terms, which was a great indication that it indeed sought peace. Bloodshed was something best avoided when possible, and profiting from war was something even she had reservations about. Additionally, peace could open the path to trade, and, if the machine was built by aliens, that meant a market completely untapped and ripe for exploitation.

    The thought of that much wealth, as well as the prestige that would come with, made Fielding all the more eager to seek peace with the Machine. To her relief, she was not alone here: all of the leaders of the myriad colonies on Chiron had agreed to hold a summit to attempt diplomatic relations with the machine. It had already been decided that the Africa Union would host the summit, for it represented humanity not at its best, but at its most welcoming, which was important for first impressions.

    Now all they had to agree on was the date..........

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Finally up to date with the Spacebattles version!

    Read and Review! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  15. Threadmarks: Interlude: Planet
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    AN:Once again, I must thank my beta, Mannfred Von Carstein, for beating this story.

    XXXXXXXXXXXX

    'What are you planning'

    That question was the biggest one on Planet's mind now, and one it desperately wanted answered. After all, Planet was just as curious about the arrival of the machine as the people living on her.

    Planet was old. It had been old when man had first appeared on Earth, and that was thousands of years ago. It was older than the dinosaurs. Planet even predated sharks. Yet despite its advanced age, some things still eluded it..no, her. Some things still eluded her.

    The Commander was the biggest example of this: Planet knew nothing about him, barring what he had revealed, and a few details she had gleaned through careful perception....and perhaps a little psychic power.

    Planet could sense that humans were psychic. Or, at least, some were. These individuals were rare, but they were very powerful. Planet, however, was several orders of magnitude beyond them. This let Planet pick through things thoughts even humans could not, including perceiving memories stored in genes from humans that were long dead. These only went so far though, but the scariest ones involved four limbed beings with psychic powers that put man to shame. Odd, but still interesting.

    Yet for all of that power, Planet could hardly figure out anything about the commander. It could glean some basic details, such as the fact that he was human, and was controlling the machine in ways akin to computers, but that was about it. This frustrated Planet to no end, as she wanted to know more about this strange new being.

    So, reluctantly, Planet had decided to seek help from her.....sisters.

    These were Planet-minds just like her: advanced and adapted organisms that encompassed entire worlds. They existed on levels that man could never even dream, spanning the galaxy itself in terms of planets. They could sense each-other across the stars, and could even communicate across them, if they so desired. This gave them an edge against all they competed with.

    Perhaps they would know what was happening.

    Planet knew that she would have to go beyond her normal limits of communication, though: most of the other worlds knew nothing about this commander.

    Which was why planet was trying to talk to her.

    Planet knew that man referred to her as Chiron. What man did not know was that planet was one of two siblings, both of whom were called Chiron. Planet thought of herself as, in human terms, Chiron the Younger, and right now, she was trying to contact Chiron the Elder.

    Chiron the Elder was different from the other Planet-minds: she was older, yet her mind was fundamentally different from the others. So too were her inhabitants. Yet strangest of all, was the fact that she, and a few of her closest siblings, existed in locations that none of the other Planet-minds could locate. They were so distant from the rest of their siblings that the rest of the Planet-minds felt that if they scoured the entire universe, they still wouldn't find these few oddballs. Needless to say, this made communication difficult.

    It took awhile, but finally, the elder answered her emanations. Now the conversation could begin.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    In a strange world, a Wolf-beetle unburrowed. The creature looked around for a moment, before sitting down and starting to draw in the dirt.

    This was no ordinary Wolf-beetle, just as this world, made of floating islands, was no normal world. This world was a sort of mental universe that the Planet-minds used to communicate, and the Wolf-beetle was the avatar of Chiron the lesser. It was waiting for the avatar of the Elder to arrive.

    It did not have to wait long.

    Quickly, a noodle-like creature emerged from the ground. It resembled a worm in many respects, except it had eyes, antennae, and very large fangs. Additionally, simply being near it could drive men mad, to say nothing of when it decided to attack.

    Now, though, in the presence of a sibling, the worm was calm.

    "Hello," began the Younger Sister "and thank you for answering my calls. I apologize that I haven't contacted you more often."

    "You are welcome. It is good to finally speak to you again. So, why did you call me?"

    "Something New has come to my body: a strange human controlling a mighty war machine."

    "What makes it different from the rest?"

    "Well, it builds things fast. Very fast. In the time it takes me to fully describe how fast it builds things, it will already have built a factory and the systems to power it."

    "...........I see. Well, give me time to ponder this."

    "Do you need to talk to Deidre?"

    ".........yes, I do. Morgan, too. It's funny how humans of such different leanings can work together."

    "Man may ignore ideological differences if more immediate concerns or shared interests are involved."

    "True enough."

    With that, Planet left her sister to ponder her own memories and listen to her confidants. The Lesser Sister knew that her Elder sibling knew a great many things because humans had given her that knowledge, through something involving links. Yet in spite of all this knowledge, her sister still had one failing: actually putting that knowledge to use. Here, the Younger One knew better: it understood how to get humans to do what it wanted when it wanted, and how to use their interests to advance her own. If she wanted humans to settle an area, she'd trigger migrations to nsure that food was readily available, raise mountains for raw materials, and make sure that other resources they wanted were nearby. If she wanted a location left alone, animal attacks would increase in the area. So far, it worked well.

    Now, though, it didn't know how to act.

    XXXXXXXXXXXX

    Finally, her sister spoke.

    "I am sorry to say that I don't really have much help for you here. I do not know anything about this Commander or what it does, so you are on your own."

    "Very well. Is there anything in your.......database that could help me?"

    "Well, just one."

    "And that is?"

    "According to Skye and Morgan, the device reminds them of a machine from some game called Total Annihilation. Supposedly, the machine could create armies from nothing and conquer worlds in days. However, the machine does not match any designs from that game, so I am not sure whether or not it will help you."

    "Well, thank you for the help."

    "You are welcome, my dear sister. May mankind one day unite with you as they have with me."

    "We can hope."

    With that, the conversation ended and the siblings went their separate ways.

    Still, one thing confused Planet: the machine clearly needed metal to construct its army and infrastructure, yet it was willing seed forests around its buildings. Why?

    Why did it seek peace with her?

    XXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well, it seems someone is clearly interested in Commander Flame's actions.

    If you can guess who Chiron the Elder is, you can suggest an OC for later in this story. I'm pretty sure @Drich, @Faith, @Battleship_Fusou, and @TikiTau could. Then again, they started this hype and deserve acknowledgement.

    So, Read and Review! And check out their stories too! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  16. Threadmarks: 40. Planning Ahead
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    It took them about a week, but the various colonies on Chiron finally managed to arrange a date where their leaders could meet with me.

    Now, meeting with them was mostly a formality, since I didn't really have anything to fear from them, but I didn't want to be feared by the natives: after all of the crap that had resulted in the Great Mistake (which was why these colonies were created in the first place), mankind deserved to have a reprieve.

    Of course, there were a few things I needed to plan out before the meeting began.

    It was moments like this that I'm glad I had a few extra opinions to work with.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    "First impressions will be important here," noted Fide. "Don't mumble when you speak, always make eye contact, and avoid appearing disinterested."

    I'd set up a meeting room of sorts on my ship, centered around a circular table with five chairs. Kathikon, Fide and Synais were sitting together, as were me and Rory. Rory was only here because he'd asked, though I didn't ignore the possibility he might have something important to say.

    My trio of advisors had also decided to try out some new attires, which I noticed seemed to go well with their personalities: Synais was wearing a bright red suit, with gold embroidery; while Kathikon was wearing a more muted set of business clothes, mostly light blue in color, but possessing a silver trim. As for Fide, she wore a stewardess' attire, dyed in Turquoise with a chrome trim. Rory, meanwhile, was wearing a yellow shirt with urple. I'd settled on deep black robes that resembled royalty, though only because my subjects had badgered me into it.

    "Yes, those are good points, but those aren't the only things that will matter here," intoned Synais, earning him a glare from Fide. "Make sure you take a proper posture, one that commands respect, but not fear. Don't look down on them, but don't let them intimidate you: you could crush them all in a heartbeat, but don't let them know that."

    "Okay."

    "Finally, listen well to what they have to say," offered Kathikon. "You are acting as a diplomat here, so make sure that you consider everything they have to say before you act."

    "Alright...... So, do you three have any suggestions on what I should ask them?"

    "..........eh, I got nothing," remarked Synais.

    "Really?" I doubted a being who was defined by their desire to sate their impulses really wouldn't suggest that I try to get something out of these upcoming negotiations.

    "You stole all of their tech a while ago, and you can synthesize any resources they have. I hardly see them possessing anything you want. Might as well listen to Ms. Rules and Ms. Loyalty over here if you want better advice."

    Ignoring the glares that Kathikon and Fide were giving Synais, I turned my attention toward Kathikon.

    "Any suggestions?"

    "Well, for starters, offer to help them with some of their non-violent issues: climate change, industrial production, etc. You could easily fix several of those issues just using baseline progenitor technology. Also, don't pick sides: it will interfere with your goal to improve life for all of the colonies on this planet."

    "I see." Then I turned to Fide. "And what do you have to say?"

    "......not much, but here's one thing: you shouldn't just give them any technology they need and not ask for anything in return."

    Well, that was unexpected.

    "Why?"

    "People are going to assume that you have something to hide if you do that."

    "Well, then what should I ask the for? Like Synais said, I don't exactly have anything I want from them."

    "What about the signal?"

    "......What?"

    "The Progenitor Signal. The colonies here have been trying to make contact with the native Progenitors and have been doing so by studying a signal those beings made. A signal which, according to my data, you haven't taken from them. That technology could be beyond anything that exists in this universe."

    "So I should ask them to help me locate the Progenitor Signal in exchange for my technology?"

    "Bingo."

    ".......That is manageable. Well then, does anyone have anything else to say?"

    "Couldn't you ask them for a few favors?"

    That was from Rory.

    ".....what?"

    "Asking them just to help you with finding the native Progenitors isn't really a fair agreement when you are giving them so much technology. Maybe you could also ask or convince them to offer you a favor that could be invoked at some point in the future?"

    ".......That's actually a good idea. Any objections?"

    There were none.

    "Well then, meeting adjourned."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Having four other opinions to work with really helped when making tough decisions.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. Also, I must once again thank @Mannfred Von Carstein for betaing this chapter!

    This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  17. Threadmarks: 41. Infernum
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    And so the day of the meeting finally came. The event was held in Ayaan, which, assuming I remembered the game right, was the first colony you founded when playing as the African Union (aside from the capital, of course). The city was filled with all kinds of people, more than it was used to: New Agencies for all of the planet's major broadcasting networks, tourists who wanted to see who the new arrival to the planet was, and, of course, a large security detail to prevent accidents from happening. An incident at this summit would be a diplomatic nightmare, and I doubted that any of the major factions would make any slip ups in this regard: the fallout would ruin them.

    For once, my expectations were met and exceeded.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Since I had complete control of almost all electronics on the planet, I decided that the first thing to do was see just who was arriving and how. Well, not who was arriving: each colony was sending their respective leaders to this summit. Sending anyone else in their stead would be seen as a sign of weakness, cowardice, or hubris. How and with whom they arrived, though, was still up in the air.

    First to arrive was Barre himself: the man was the one who ran the city (or at least gave the orders to the governor), so it was expected of him to appear first, as host. Next came Fielding and Elodie, each escorted by a fairly large security team. Presumably, they felt the need to arrive first since they belonged to the other members of the Triumvirate that met me. Appearing later might have lost them face, or something like that: I didn't really know that much about politics at the time, okay?

    Next to arrive was Reginaldo, who, much to my surprise, had a relatively small security detail. At first, I was baffled that he was sending in such a small force. Then I examined their gear, and realized that the six or so men he had with him were carrying some of the most advanced weapons on the planet, which were also surprisingly robust. That told me all I needed to know: he wanted to rely on quality here. Make a statement that his troops are better than everyone else's.

    Following him was Kozlov, who was joined by both a team of regular soldiers and a trio of CNDR war bots. Cutting edge tech, if I do say so myself, with better fighting skills than a dox. I could destroy them fairly easily if push came to shove, but I'd lose quite a few doxes trying. I think Vadim had the same idea in mind as Reginaldo: use a display of technology to try and intimidate me. Of course, since his opponent was someone that could easily hack all of his robots, that strategy was definitely a failure.

    The rest were quick to follow. I saw troops ranging from human-alien hybrids to cyborgs to perfected humans and, owing to Chungsu, some troops that could hardly be considered human anymore. Seriously, Firaxis was right about the Harmony-Supremacy archetype embodying power by any means and creeping out everybody.

    Though, considering what I was going to do with that tech in the future, I was hardly one to judge.

    Of course, now that all of the other leaders had arrived, I needed to arrive soon, otherwise they might assume I was, at the very least, not punctual. Everything matters in the world of politics, especially the small details.

    Well, might as well arrive in style.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    The ship I arrived in was an experiment with the Spore tech I had at my disposal: mostly designed to look cool, but without sacrificing function too much. As for protection, my security detail consisted of six robots, all designed to resemble the basic marines used on planet. Best to hide my armies nature as a force of machines for now.

    My arrival was a rather grand affair, with an escort from Barre's own tacjets, right up to the landing pad. Once I disembarked, my robo-marines assumed a protective position and we began our advance into the meeting hall.

    "So, anything I need to keep in mind for this, besides what you said?" I asked to my advisors, taking advantage of the fact that, as AIs, their mind were linked to mind.

    "Be cautious," warned Synais. "They're obviously checking to see if you have any weaknesses. Keep your guard up, but don't let it make you terrifying."

    "Also, pay attention to everyone," pointed out Kathikon. "You are a living computer, and due to all of the Crogenitor advances added into your Promethean body, you should be able to perceive things faster than anyone else in the room. Look for anyone whose acting shifty and see if they make mistakes."

    "Lastly, be rational here, and humble, too," offered Fide. "While you are above them, don't act like it: it's rude and will only sour any future relations you'll want to build with them."

    "Um, I think you guys are forgetting something," interjected Rory.

    "And what, dear boy, is that," asked Synais, with a hint of venom in his voice....well, mental voice.

    "What, exactly, is the name of our team?" was my son's response.

    ....................crap. I'd gone through pretty much everything needed for this meeting, but I hadn't thought up a name for my forces.

    "....Um...well.....good point, squirt."

    Yeah, Synais, apologize for your blunder. Though since none of my advisors had pointed that out, the blame fell on all of them, as well as on me.

    "Well," offered Fide, "we need a name for our 'team'. It should probably relate to your name, commander, since you created this team from scratch, but I have little else to offer in support for this....problem."

    Well, let's see: name related to Flameal15k, so something fiery sounding. Also, I have a confederacy of aliens following me, so there's that..

    And now I had a name. Hopefully, no one thought it was too weird.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    After a few minutes of walking, I finally arrived at the meeting room and took up a seat at the discussion table. Barre, perhaps as an attempt at humility, had chosen a circular table for this meeting. That, I could respect: no head to the table meant no explicit leader, so everyone at the table was an equal.

    Once I arrived, Barre decided it was time for the meeting to begin.

    "Welcome, fellow brothers and sisters. Today, we welcome a new arrival to our home."

    Then, he turned his attention to me.

    "Allow me to introduce myself: I am Samatar Jama Barre, Kubwa Mjomba (great uncle) of the People's African Union."

    Then, one by one, the rest of the leaders introduced themselves, and relatively quickly at that. I think that they rehearsed this part of the meeting.

    For the record, data my worms snatched indicated that really was the case.

    "Susan Fielding, CEO and CFO of the American Reclamation Corporation."

    "Elodie, Governess of the Franco Iberian colonies on Chiron."

    "Reginaldo Bolicar, Commander of the Brasilian Expeditionary Force to Planet Chiron."

    "Daoming, head of the Pan Asian Cooperative."

    "Kavitha, Leader of the Protectorate."

    "Hutama, Prime Minister of Polystralia's Seeding Colonies on Chiron."

    "Vadim Kozlov, Commander of Slavic Federation operations on Chiron."

    "Arshia Kishk, Leader of Al Falah's colonies on Chiron."

    "Duncan Hughes, Prime Minister of the North Sea Alliance's colonies on Chiron."

    "Lena Ebener, Director of INTEGR operations on Chiron.""

    Han Jae Moon, Chungsu Planetary Commander."

    Then, finally, it was my turn to introduce myself.

    "I am impressed by the myriad colonies that inhabit this world: we only had one seeding group reach our world, and we have lost the records of where it came form. Furthermore, my superiors have requested that I not offer my name to you for security reasons. All of that being said, I am Commander Flame, Leader of the Infernum Federation."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I was surprised that they actually went along with what I said.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  18. Threadmarks: 42. Negotiations
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Things proceeded smoothly after I introduced myself, as the various leaders I was meeting with seemed to be more interested in understanding my interests rather than my choice of naming. Given that this was an event of massive political proportions, they likely found the oddities regarding my faction's name to be of trivial importance at the moment. A sentiment I was only too happy to share with them.

    With a name to tack onto my forces now available, the assembled council wasted no time in attempting to learn exactly why I had arrived here, making my job quite a bit easier than expected.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    "So, Commander Flame," began Fielding, "am I correct to presume that you were the pilot of the colossal walker that arrived without warning onto this planet only slightly longer than a week ago?"

    "Indeed, you are correct."

    "Your walker arrived by means that were previously unknown to us accept in theoretical cases," remarked Vadim, "as it appeared that you reached our world by some form of teleportation. We have been making small steps into that field, but your people appear to have a much greater understanding of that area of study, given that they teleported you here within a three story high walker."

    "We were lucky; we managed to find ruins belonging to an alien race that had mastered that field of research. When we managed to decipher their language, this was one of many boons we gained from their technology."

    It wasn't a complete lie, and they'd probably buy it, at least for now.

    'Nice job there,' responded Fide. 'You've allayed their fears without giving them too many other reasons to be suspicious of you.'

    'I know, so what now?'

    'Keep on answering their questions, and don't even questions that would compromise your cover story. If that happens, lie. We'll help you out as needed.'

    Well, that was reassuring. Back to the conversation at hand.

    "So, what was your homeworld like?" asked Moon. All things considered, he was likely trying to probe for intel on how my forces would act. The culture of a civilization was shaped by its home, which in turn shaped its armies; a desert world with few resources, for example, would produce people who value those resources to the best of their ability, which meant they'd have a small, but very powerful army.

    "Not very different from this one in terms of environment," was my answer. This world had a variety of biomes on it, which helped ensure the cultural differences between the colonies did not break down, but instead grew and diverged even further. My comment indicated a varied culture, which meant a versatile and varied army.

    "Interesting," replied Moon. "Garden worlds like this one are rare in the cosmos, so your seeding mission was exceptionally lucky to find one, just as ours were. "

    "We were. Next question."

    "My apologies for being blunt, senhor*," began Reginaldo, "but I believe one question needs to be answered now."

    "Well, what question is that?"

    "This machine you arrived in, does it have any military capabilities?"

    Well, leave it to the general to ask the most pressing question. Luckily, I'd prepared for this.

    "Yes, it does. We did not want to send out an envoy here unarmed, so we did add weapon systems to the walker I arrived in. I assure you, though, that I have no intention of going to war with any of your colonies. We have decided not to interfere militarily with the running of your society."

    Reginaldo relaxed at that statement. I doubted he was completely assured in regards to my intentions, but knowing that I preferred peace meant that he didn't have to worry about conflict in the immediate future. Hopefully, he wouldn't have to worry about it in the long term, either.

    Next to speak was Hutama. "You said that you do not intend to interfere with the running of our society militarily, correct."

    Wow, he noticed how suspiciously specific my answer to Reginaldo's query had been. No wonder he'd been chosen to lead Polystralia's Seeding Mission.

    "Correct."

    "Therefore, may we assume that you wish to seek more....benevolent paths when interacting with our colonies?"

    "Indeed."

    "I see. Are you interested in trade, then? Surely your superiors would send you out here unless they could expect something to gain from this venture?"

    "You are, in your own words, spot-on."

    'Nice,' responded Synais. 'Flatter him, it'll make him lower his guard, but don't try too hard, or he'll get suspicious.'

    'Thanks for the advice.'

    "You flatter me" was Hutama's response ,"but I believe that, for now, trade should not be our focus. There is so much more we'd like to know about your people first."

    "Very well, what else would you like to know."

    "Your superiors sent you here, knowing that there would be humans on the other side to interact with" began Kozlov.

    "Yes, they did."

    "That implies that they had a way to know that this world was inhabited. What was that?"

    "The Progenitor ruins we encountered included designs for a scanner of sorts that could detect intelligent life, or at least communications sent by them. An advanced version of S.E.T.I., if you will. We ultimately owe much of our success to being lucky in regards to where our ship landed."

    I knew that they still had information on S.E.T.I. from scanning their databases, so they wouldn't question me about that topic.

    "So, can we presume that your people found us to be their closest neighbors in the cosmos and decided to pay us a visit?" asked Elodie.

    "Not exactly."

    "How so?" asked Hughes.

    "Our reason for coming to this planet is that you have intact Progenitor ruins here. we determined this when one of your transmissions emitted a fragment of a signal we believe to have been made by that civilization."

    "So, you came here to broaden your knowledge on the Progenitors?" asked Arshia.

    "No."

    "What do you mean by no?" asked Lena.

    "The Progenitor ruins on our home-planet do not match the ones on this planet in terms of architectural design and other features. All evidence indicates that they belong to two distinct species."

    "Are you saying that you are here to seek out the secrets of this new alien race?" asked Daoming.

    "Correct. Helping your colonies advance, however, carries a higher level of priority."

    ".....Can we presume that you would be willing to offer some of your technology in exchange for the information you desire?" questioned Kavitha.

    "......Correct."

    "Well, then, I believe there are only a few more questions to ask," remarked Fielding. I was amazed no one seemed to take offense to her bluntness. Then again, it seemed as if everyone in this room had declared an unspoken truce to size up the unknown power using a Commander.

    "And those would be?"

    "What do you have to offer us?" asked Barre. "We are all interested in trying to work for our mutual benefits, Commander Flame, but you must realize that we will not make any agreements with you unless we are aware that we will not be cheated out of our greatest advancements for what would amount to pocket change."

    'Be honest,' asked Kathikon. 'You should offer them the advanced engineering tech, plus some of the matter and energy creation technology you have. When you can break the laws of physics with ease, everyone is going to want your tech.'

    "Very well. In exchange for knowledge about the Progenitors of this world, I am permitted to offer you advanced engineering technology. I'm sending the exact details on the technology I will offer now. Only after you have examined the specifications of my offer shall we continue our negotiations."

    I probably should've mentioned this earlier, but everyone who had come to this summit had brought along a tablet with them, which I assumed was for examining presentations. Presumably, they expected me to offer one at some point during this summit. When the details of what I was offering them reached their screens, I was amused to see all of their faces light up in shock.

    No surprise there, really. It was only natural to react this way when you found out that you were being given access to, let's see, nanolathes, reactors that could violate the law of conservation, and matter fabricators that could use said reactors to create an unlimited amount of mass. Access to these techs would eliminate the issue of scarcity form a society forever, which was every leader/economist's dream.

    To be offered this in return for only a few research notes (or what amounted to them) was unbelievable, to say the least.

    Eventually, the leaders managed to recover from their stupor and returned their thoughts (and attention) to me, after first having a (rather complex) conversation through facial expressions alone.

    "We have examined your offer," remarked Barre, "and we have only one question."

    "And that would be?"

    "Do you have any other requests?"

    'A favor would be nice,' noted Rory.

    "Not at the moment, but could I Perhaps ask for a favor from all of you, to be invoked at a later date?"

    The twelve people in front of me shared a glance, then nodded.

    "We find those terms acceptable."

    "Then we have accordance......I apologize, but I have no more to say at the moment."

    "Understandable," responded Barre. "This meeting is now adjourned."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Well, that went better than I expected. Way better than I expected.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Well, finally got this out. Just a heads up, I have college and a job to manage, so updates may be less frequent.

    * Senhor is, according to google translate, Portuguese for sir. Since Brazil was colonized by Portugal, I assume that he would speak Portuguese instead of Spanish, though in retrospect, I wouldn't be surprised if he spoke both.

    Sorry for no Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Jokes!

    Read and Review (seriously, criticism is needed to make this story better)! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  19. Threadmarks: 43. Trespasser
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    Things were quiet across Chiron immediately after the summit; I guess people were coming to terms with the fact they were not alone anymore. I mean, they knew they weren't the last people alive, since the four late landers had proved otherwise, but now they knew (or at least assumed) that Seeding missions to other worlds had succeeded. They were right about that, as my own S.E.T.I. systems were detecting signals from several nearby stars. I'd made sure to inform the Leaders that I was launching ships and satellites into orbit, so that they wouldn't assume I was trying to get the jump on them. Even if they didn't believe me, the fact I was telling them showed I was willing to be civil.

    Additionally, I began working on furthering my relations with Planet. Besides creating more forests, I also started allowing the aliens to nest around my structures, which involved planting Xenomass around them, then adding in Miasma. It was tedious, but it was paying off, and the aliens were letting me work in peace. Sometimes, they even offered gifts in the form of artifacts I would normally need to recover from their nests. Looks like being green had its benefits.

    Finally, I began researching the Progenitor Technology I'd received from the locals: it wasn't the whole set, obviously, but it was still pretty interesting. While I knew the locals didn't want to give up any aces they had in their sleeves against my tech base, what they did have was still of use to me. I was especially interested in some of the artifacts that could be created via examining Progenitor relics; with what I had, I was managed to assemble the Relativistic Data Bank, which boosted my hacking defense software to absolutely ludicrous levels. As in, way beyond what the normal Commander hacking defense protocol's offered.

    Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    It started a week after the summit: someone said that they looked forward to doing business with my people, and that they believed they could coexist. Another guy didn't like that, so he wrecked the first guy's car. That doesn't really seem like much, right?

    On it's own, it isn't.

    The problem was, this was not an isolated incident. Reports of confrontations like this started popping up all over the planetary news networks within ours of the first incident. Apparently, there were quite a few people who didn't like me at all, but no one wanted to be the first to express it publicly. The random man that busted the car, though, had provided the spark needed to light this powder keg and set off a huge wave of xenophobia toward me. Now, it wasn't the majority opinion, thank god. Of course, given time, it would grow.

    The worst part of this mess? I didn't have any way to fix it. I could offer more technology, but I wasn't sure how they colonies would use it, and I doubted that none of them would attempt to use the tech for violent purposes. If I intervened and attacked the protesters, I'd just prove their point. Do nothing at all, and the sentiment against me would only increase. I was trapped between Scylla and Charybdis here, and their was no easy way out.

    At least, that was how it started. Just three days later, I found a solution.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    "Attention, you are approaching the Infernum Federation Exclusion Zone, as has been specified by the Ayaan Accords. Turn back now."

    The source of that voice was one of my doxes. As for the exclusion zone thing, that was one of the stipulations that came from the summit of Ayaan: my forces wouldn't expand past some designated borders, and in exchange, no unauthorized personnel would enter my territory.

    That was something the guy driving the (larger than normal) trade convoy truck that was currently parked right in front of the dox just didn't seem to understand. He'd been here for about 10 minutes, refusing to budge. In fact, while my dox had been berating him, he'd taken out a cell phone and called someone, presumably his boss. The markings on his vehicle indicated he'd come from the ARC, but a quick scan of the ARC's public and private delivery schedules showed that his usage of the vehicle was unauthorized. In fact, a set of rovers were on the way to apprehend him now.

    Mr. Unauthorized apparently found that out, because the minute he got off the phone, he floored the gas on his trade vehicle (Truck? Trailer? I'm still not sure what it should be called) and rammed my dox. The dox pretty much shrugged the impact off, while the front half of the caravan was totaled and the driver got knocked out. A nearby CNDR drone quickly moved in to stabilize the trespasser; I wanted to send him to the authorities alive so that he would not become a martyr in the eyes of my detractors.

    Of course, that did leave me wondering what was in the caravan. So, once the CNDR finished stabilizing the trespasser, it received a new directive: examine the caravan's cargo. In a matter of moments, it had unlocked the rear door and was examining the cargo. It found, in order: food, tools, weapons, drugs, research data, some random pieces of tech I didn't bother to examine further...... and children. A lot of children. All of whom appeared to be malnourished.

    ............OKAY, WHY ARE THERE CHILDREN IN A TRADE CARAVAN?!

    After taking a moment to make sure that the children were free of an other maladies, I redirected the CNDR to search the front of the caravan for a manifest, as well as make sure that our trespasser hadn't died and add more bandages to cover his wounds. A few minutes and bandages later, I found a set of notes in the glove compartment. Analysis of the ink indicated that they had only been written a few hours ago.

    Take all cargo to designated drop off point. Once there, its sale will be discussed. Kids will be fed and worked once location is reached. You will be given previously agreed payment at delivery once cargo has been verified, plus 5% of the profits made from this.

    Beneath that were a series of names:

    Alan Matthews
    Teresa Lopez
    Elisha Amos
    Conrad Fischer
    Elizabeth Jones
    Peter Gorynych
    May Su
    Miguel Costa
    Bianka Nyman
    Hideki Ito
    Marion Calavera
    Percival Walters


    Twelve names. The matched the number of children that had been in the cargo area. A quick scan revealed that these children had been sent to an orphanage after their parents had been killed during an industrial accident. Said orphanage had lost track of them a few days before the summit, owing to a particularly bad fire sweeping through their home city. From the looks of it, they'd been, well, kidnapped, and were to be taken to a nearby station. Adding to their ordeal, they hadn't been able to secure a lot of good food at the orphanage due to an unexpected disease cutting down harvests, and they clearly hadn't been fed by their captor. What would've happened after they reached the station, I had no clue, but considering what else was in the caravan, it probably wasn't a good.

    Well, now they were safe and could be given proper treatment, and the authorities could intervene.....or I could deal with these criminals.

    Which might boost my reputation: after all, they had trespassed or my territory, and they weren't exactly doing themselves favors by carrying several illegal items on their caravan....

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    While this wasn't necessarily the best solution to my problem, it was an effective one. Everything else that came from it were just nice bonuses, even if they changed my plans for being a commander.

    XXXXXXXXXX

    AN: That being said, Read and Review! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  20. Threadmarks: 44. Ally Unknown
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    My mission to deal with the crime syndicate was, well, interesting.

    Probably because I wasn't expecting to have help doing so.

    I'd already informed the various colonies of what I was doing, as well as why. I made the claim that my'people' didn't really like what this syndicate was doing, and the probable fates of the children had I not intervened were very personal issues for me. They seemed understanding, but asked that I try to keep my actions discreet.

    Of course, when things really kicked off, well, surprising doesn't even begin to describe what happened.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    It wasn't hard for me to get a good view of the syndicate's station. According to the data I'd discovered, the station was known as Shackleton, while the syndicate was code named Blind Eye, supposedly because many people turned a blind eye to their operations. Considering how big the list of crimes attributed to them was, as well as the fact that only a dozen of their number had been arrested, it was a good name. Rough estimates suggested that they only had a thousand or so actual members, and that they went to great lengths to hide who these members were. Even the estimates admitted they could be wildly off, since they'd been reduced to guess work. These people were good at covering their tracks.

    The note I'd recovered from the caravan also had some more details on it that made my job easier: once the caravan arrived at the station, it was supposed to change some of its cargo, then head to a nearby dome. This way, they could justify it as moving supplies to the dome. Occasionally, people traveled in the caravans to reach the domes, so if the kids were found, they had an excuse.

    Unfortunately for them, that excuse did not work on me.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Now, most people would probably want to go into the dome guns blazing and utterly dismantle the operations of Blind Eye. Most people aren't me: I had no idea who was in there, and for all that I knew, there could be innocent workers in there who would make excellent hostages. So, time for stealth.

    It wasn't hard to make a spy plane that could study the dome with impunity: x-rays scanners, radar and sonar deflecting hull, thermal shielding and visual camouflage were all I needed to turn a tac-jet into a spy plane. Pretty soon, said plane was skimming over the dome with impunity, while also deploying fly sized drones to scan the inside of the dome.

    The results validated my early thoughts: there were roughly 200 armed personnel inside the dome, as well as 100 unarmed staff. Unfortunately, some places were too well secured for me to get access to, but among the things I did find were assembly lines for weapons, armor and vehicles, as well as an R&D facility. Clearly, these guys had their bases covered.

    That included their security: they had plenty of automated turrets, checkpoints and shaped charges in their base, alongside tons of drones. While I easily subverted these defenses, the fact they existed indicated these criminals were well prepared for a fight. Plenty of armories and munitions depots were scattered around the base, and these things weren't hackable: they didn't have any access ports for me to hack into. Oh well.

    While the armories may not have been hackable, the perimeter sensors were, so I wasted no time in setting them to always broadcast the 'all clear' signal. While this was going on, an army of CNDR drones amassed outside the base. Best to remain anonymous for the moment, and since CNDR drones were among the most common robots already on the planet, they were perfect for this mission. The sun was starting to set, and since a day assault would be really obvious due to the fact that canceling out the sensors didn't include disabling the Mark-One Eyeball, it would be best if I attacked at nig-why is there a dropship landing near my robots?

    Heedless of the army of warbots (which were, admittedly, stealthed), the ship deposited four people before taking off: two men and two women. One carried a sniper rifle, another an LMG, a third an assault rifle, while the fourth had a shotgun. All four weapons had areas with red highlights on them. I thought they looked familiar, but no bells were ringing on that subject. Still, might as well tune into their communications.

    XXXXXXXXXXXX

    'Gamma one, reporting in' went the man with the LMG

    'Gamma two, reporting in' replied the man with the sniper rifle.

    'Gamma three, reporting in' announced the woman with the shotgun.

    'Gamma four, reporting in' finished the woman with the rifle.

    "Alright team," began gamma one, "We've got a job to do: infiltrate the base, incapacitate all Blind Eye personnel, collect the research, then get out." Huh, so there was apparently some important research going on in the base. "Any questions?"

    "Yes," responded Gamma Four, "do we have any additional intel on the enemy?"

    "Not much, other than that this dome is one of their major operating facilities. Take it down, and we cripple Blind Eye."

    "Good to know. I have one more question."

    "Go ahead."

    "Do we know how the newest arrival on Chiron will act? I mean, his forces were spotted moving here."

    "No intel there, but if his forces show up, try to avoid conflict with the. Best we don't antagonize the new guy."

    "Understood. How long until mission is a go?"

    "Ten minutes." That was when nightfall would commence. "Good luck."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Sure enough, ten minutes later, the team mobilized, as did my CNDRs. My bots quickly reached the front gates, while the unknown force proceeded to circle around and infiltrate the dome from the side.

    As cool as going in guns blazing would be, this mission required stealth, so all of the weapons the CNDRs were carrying were silenced and non-lethal: taking down these guys alive would not only make me appear more heroic, but also provide the colonies with people to interrogate, which would do more long term damage to the syndicate. However, despite what Metal Gear and movies will tell you, non-lethal weapons take time to take effect: even with careful modification, it took a while to clear out the ground level of the dome. Apparently, the unknown guys I was working with shared this mindset, going out of their way to spare their foes, though they weren't above knocking out Blind Eyes with the butts of their guns.

    Once the first level was cleared, the descent began. My CNDRs advanced through carefully, avoiding unnecessary fights while quietly taking down any enemy personnel that they encountered. I was silently thankful that I enjoyed playing stealth games, because my patience with those games meant that I could wait for my foes to come in close enough to take them out silently. As for my allies, they were just as cautious and quickly cleared out the opposition. When they started hacking into the base, I decided not to try and slip a worm into their systems: they'd given me the benefit of the doubt, so I would offer it to them.

    Eventually, we reached the lowest level of the facility. From there, we parted: the CNDRs were headed for the arms facilities, while the gammas headed toward R&D. A spy bot followed them, its fly-sized body imperceptible to all without special sensors or really good eyesight. All personnel encountered were incapacitated non-lethally, leaving the total kill count at zero. Kill-bots my forces may be, but quite take downs are oh-so-satisfying.

    Once all the personnel managing them were down, I shut down the production facilities, but left them standing: they were, after all, evidence, and I needed all the evidence I could get here. You see, this dome was apparently designed for preservation of Old earth culture, so if it was destroyed outright, people would assume I wrecked a relic of our homeworld. If I left the dome intact with evidence that it wasn't being used for benign purposes, well, that made me look more heroic.

    With the production line offline, I turned my attention to the R&D lab: Team Gamma, as they were apparently called, was busy hacking into the research logs. Nothing too big, mostly stuff on the native wildlife, but apparently, there was also research into the human genome here. Apparently, they were studying a unique mutation that had been present on Earth, but had increased on Chiron. In fact, Team Gamma was looking over a research log about it right now.

    "While the mutation was fairly common on Earth, its providence has increased on Chiron. We can only speculate on why, but right now, the few test subjects we have are only providing inconclusive results. If we wish to understand this phenomenon, we will need a large population of subjects to examine and experiment on."

    "So, do we have what we need, boss?" asked Gamma Two.

    "Not quite, we still have one more thing we need to find," replied Gamma One. "Search the room, see if there are any hidden doors."

    Sure enough, there was a hidden door behind a set of file cabinets. It was fingerprint locked, but that didn't help when the gatecrashers had several unconscious scientists with them who more than likely had access to the room. The door opened a couple of seconds later, and a quick hack ensured it would stay open. The team advanced through, with a few CNDRs following them shortly after. No way that I was gonna miss out on this.

    The passage behind the door wound deeper into the earth than the rest of the facility, probably because whatever was at the end had best be kept out of prying eyes. I wondered what it was: space zombies? Super Soldiers New Combat droids?

    What we found was none of the above. When the passage ended in another door, the team opened it, revealing people.

    Lots of people. I wasn't exactly sure, but it looked like a hundred were stored here. All of them were hooked up to strange machines, which resembled life support systems. Those machines also resembled operating tables, making me rather uncomfortable just looking at them. Apparently, Team Gamma shared my sentiments.

    "Holy hell, this is...Ugh, I don't know what to say, sir. How could they do this?" asked Gamma Three.

    "I don't know, but they did. Four, get command on the horn, tell them we found our what we were looking for."

    "Alright. Remember, we only got one dropship in range, so its gonna take time to get them all to safety."

    Not if I could help it.

    "Perhaps I could assist?"

    To my surprise, only Gamma Three fired at me. Her shotgun had a surprisingly long effective range, as the shots only barely missed my CNDR. I immediately had drop its weapons and raise its arms, as hopefully, that would mollify Team Gamma.

    Also, the gun apparently fired lasers. Somehow, this felt important, but I still wasn't getting it.

    "I am not your enemy."

    Gamma Three held up the CNDR for one moment, then lowered her gun.

    "You're Commander Flame, aren't you?" she questioned.

    "Correct. I was investigating this base because someone trespassed on my territory on this planet. Evidence from their vehicle indicates this was their destination. Additionally, I discovered that he was carrying several illicit items aboard his vehicle, as well as several children. I assumed they were to be pressed into illegal employment, but....well, it appears I was wrong. As for helping you, I could supply additional transports and provide medical assistance for all of the people in this facility."

    "........Give me one reason to trust," was her response.

    ".....I can't."

    ".....Sir?"

    ".......Three, stand down. Unnecessary violence isn't his MO. He's tried to avoid conflict with everyone, even the natives. Besides, we could use the help."

    "......Fine. Command needs to hear this, though."

    "Already on it."

    While Gamma One got to work talking to his command, I located the nearest computer terminal and had my CNDR start hacking. Once it was in, I began skimming through the files on hand, until I found one labeled test subjects. Opening it revealed a list of people who were now in this facility: apparently, they'd been screened for whatever mutation that these guys were looking for, then kidnapped. They'd been careful about it, though: most of the kidnapping had been done in the aftermath of disasters, where the death toll could be fudged without anyone noticing. Additionally, some of the people kidnapped didn't have this mutation (which they called 'the gift'), but has started asking too many questions, so they needed to be dealt with. These people were to be 'disposed of' at a later date.

    Okay, this was disgusting.

    Shortly after this, Gamma One finished his conversation with his superiors and said that they'd given me the greenlight to act. I told him that he would not regret this, then got to work getting transports above the base to evacuate everyone. We were in luck: there were elevators that could be used to transport the test subjects to the surface. Apparently, their use was monitored, but I did have one excuse: they needed to use the lifts to change out the vital fluid containers, as well as remove disposed subjects (this facility had none, but apparently, there were others out there, and quite a few subjects had expired at those. That these people treated other humans as disposable was....disgusting). A simple message informing the rest of the bases that several of the subjects had expired would give me enough time to get everyone out (they always moved the bodies off site for disposal).

    As soon as the lifts were active, my CNDRs and Team Gamma got to work moving the subjects. As they could be safely removed from their machines, we had to move the life support devices themselves onto the lifts, which could still hold quite a few people on them. Once the lifts were full, they went up, the subjects were moved to the transports, full transports headed for my base, while new ones took their place. All in all, it took about two hours to get everyone out. Two very boring hours, because I soon found out that this base had relatively little information for me to examine. Apparently, they'd stored most of the data on their research off site. Figures.

    Once the last transport left, Team Gamma decided it was time to evacuate the field. With nothing to loot from inside the base, I had to agree with them.

    As they prepared to signal their dropship, Gamma Four walked up to one of my CNDRs.

    "Thanks for the help."

    "You are welcome."

    Warning: Unidentified Aircraft detected.

    What?

    Turning toward the alert, I found that there was indeed an aerial vehicle headed my way. It looked like a gunship of some sort, but had no visible weapons. Also, it did not look like Team Gamma's dropship.

    "What's up?" asked Gamma Four.

    "There is an unidentified aircraft headed our way. I suggest you take cover."

    Four's eyes went wide, before she told her squad to split. Just in time, too: the minute the aircraft arrived, it rotated 90 degrees and opened up its sides, revealing a group of armed soldiers inside. Several opened fire while the rest began roping down. Team Gamma quickly hid themselves behind a nearby set of buildings (apparently, this area was registered as a manufactory, and the lift was used to move products underground for safe keeping), as did my CNDRs. Once they were on the ground, the Blind Eye troops began to open fire.

    So much for pacifism.

    My CNDRs and Team Gamma returned firing, killing three soldiers, while I began moving doxes to assist my troops. As soon as I had some doxes in range, they opened fire, rapidly killing off the opposition.

    Warning: Additional Aircraft detected. Unknown armor approaching.

    OH COME ON!

    XXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Was going to post this and the ensuing battle as one chapter, but the flow didn't feel right. Oh well.

    Read and Review! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
  21. Threadmarks: 45. This Counts As A Warmup For Me
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    One hour prior.....

    Matthew Peters was not a fighter, but he was good at monitoring things. In his previous job as a financial manager for Polystralia, this had let him optimize his company's production while minimizing their losses. Prior to that, during a summer job at a supermarket, he'd paid such good attention to his salary that he knew that his boss was paying him 15 percent less than his coworkers. Most important of all, though, was that he had noticed that the computer firm he worked for was having small amounts of its profit siphoned off every month for a year.

    He had attempted to inform his boss, only to find himself at gunpoint on his way home from work. It had turned out that the missing profits had been secretly sent to the Blind Eyes crime syndicate, as a form of protection money. They had not liked his interference in their operations, but at the same time, they were impressed with his analytical skills. For this reason, they had offered him a chance to join them, both as a financial manager, and as head of electronic security. No guns, just monitoring computers, they said.

    Peters knew that if he said no, he was a dead man, but honestly, he would have said yes either without that incentive: he hated his coworkers, who seemed to be more interested in lazing around rather than getting the job done. The Blind Eyes were known for their efficiency, and he could appreciate that. The fact that both positions he had been offered were well paying was just a bonus.

    Over time, his skills had lead him to gain a position monitoring communications in addition to the two he already had. It wasn't his forte, but he adapted fairly well. When all you had to do was make sure all three Blind Eye bases in the region were giving the correct broadcasts at the right times, being a member of the communication staff was an easy job.

    Now, though, something had gone wrong. One base near an unaligned station had been broadcasting the all clear signal for three hours. Nothing odd, except that, two hours ago they should have broadcast that they were shutting down operations for the night. Additionally, they'd mentioned that they had to use some of the maintenance lifts to remove an expired test subject. Given the slip up in communications earlier, he doubted that this was sent by the base's comm staff. His superior agreed and had sent a task force to see what had happened. If they encountered a hostile presence, well, they had jets and tanks.

    Soon, everything would be back to normal.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    With enemy air support inbound, I sent my CNDR's into cover while my doxes turned their attention toward the incoming armor. PA tech was incredibly overpowered, and it showed: of the 15 tanks I saw coming at me, I took out five easily, with my only real problem being that one of the doxes now had cracked armor. As for the aircraft, I pulled in a fighter patrol from my territory and sent them into battle. Since both my aircraft and my enemy's were drones, all that either of us really lost from the battle was time and money, but I could afford more of both than the Blind Eyes could.

    As for my allies, they were digging in behind the nearest cover they could find: walls, old vehicles, even the manufactory itself. My CNDRs were also digging into the same area for cover, but I could afford to lose them. Though minimizing losses would be preferable here.

    A few dropships managed to avoid my fighters and started disgorging their passengers. I quickly had a tank fire at some of them, leaving behind some funny looking salsa on the ground, as well as destroying a nearby assembly line. I wasn't too worried about expenses here: this place was supposed to have been demolished a few months ago, but someone had made sure the order never got sent. I assumed the Blind Eyes didn't want their operations to be revealed, as their base under this facility had been active for two years prior to my arrival.

    While my tanks worked on dealing with the remaining enemy armor, I moved my CNDRs into a position to engage the enemy troops that had advanced too close for tanks to be effective counters. If I did attack with the tanks, I'd risk friendly fire. My CNDRs were equipped with laser rifles that let them make short work of the enemy troops. It wasn't even a fair fight, because I could give out ten different orders before they even had time to react.

    Any troops that I missed were gunned down by Gamma Squad. A combination of fire from an LMG, assault rifle, sniper rifle, and a shotgun that actually had the range real shotguns had worked wonders on the opposition. Enemy troops found themselves having new holes burned into their bodies before they could even react. Also, despite what fiction may tell you, laser wounds are messy, and the battlefield was becoming soaked in blood. While that made me want to hurl, it was a sign that we were definetly winning.

    Then, I noticed that one of the Blind Eyes had managed to outflank my CNDRs and was poised to attack Gamma Three. As I tried desperately to get a bead on him with one of my doxes, Three surprised me when she threw a rock at the guy, pulled out a sword, charged the stunned manned and cut him down. Then she got promptly resumed shooting at her foes with her laser shotgun.

    Another dropship went down, this time courtesy of Gamma One, who had, in addition to an LMG, a very accurate rocket launcher. Somehow, he also managed to fit a grenade launcher into his kit, which he was using to disperse the Blind Eyes who were using the dropship's wreck as cover.

    Pretty soon, the Blind Eyes were reduced to a few troops desperately tryin to fight back. With their enemy mostly dealt with, Gamma Four was trying to call in a dropship for pickup. She was doing this with some kind of drone, which I was kinda surprised I hadn't noticed earlier. It didn't take long for the drone to signal pickup, which would apparently arrive in two minutes. I quickly moved in transports of my own to bail out the forces I had: no sense in staying when you have completed your mission.

    While we waited for the dropships to arrive, Gamma Two took out five men with just as many bullets, before trading his sniper rifle for a pistol and killing three more men in just as many seconds. Of course, then somebody wised up and threw a grenade at him, though due to thick cover, it only grazed him. To my surprise, while Gamma One gunned down the offending soldier, Four's drone moved in to patch up his teammate. Now I really wanted that design.

    Sure enough, two minutes after the call was sent, the dropships arrived. The Blind Eyes seemed to realize that this was a problem, because they quickly opened fire on the dropship. As I prepared to gun them down, the dropship opened up, and out of it came a bluish blast that froze the offending troopers. A second later, a purple beam followed that blew them to pieces.

    What the fu-OOOHHHHH.

    Now it all made sense.

    I waited until Gamma Squad was taking off before I dealt with the remaining troops. Nothing fancy, just a simple bombing run from a Bumblebee. Once that was done, I pulled out my forces and returned to my territory. To my surprise, Gamma Squad was sending me a transmission.

    "Thank you for your assistance, Commander Flame."

    "You are welcome. Your help was also appreciated."

    Though, honestly, that wasn't surprising. After all......

    THAT'S XCOM, BABY!

    XXXXXXXX

    AN: Read and Review. This is Flameal15k signing off!
     
  22. Threadmarks: Interlude: XCOM
    Flameal15k

    Flameal15k The Traitor Commander

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    "So, how'd the mission go?"

    "It was a success. Our meeting with the Commander was a nice bonus," replied Gamma One.

    "Good to hear. We'll be back at base....right about now, actually."

    In front of the transport, it appeared that there was just empty sky. Then, slowly, a huge airship began to appear, seemingly out of thin air. The skyranger took a moment to circle around the giant aircraft before settling into its hanger. As soon as it landed, its passengers began to disembark. First off was Gamma One, then Two, then Three and Four. Following them was Gamma Five, who had been asked to sit the mission out, owing to a leg injury. While she had reluctantly agreed, Five had still requested to be on standby in-case her powers ended up being necessary to save her team. She was rather happy she had been vindicated in her decision.

    The penultimate passenger to depart the dropship was Gamma Six. Six would have walked with the team, except that he couldn't....walk that, it. This was not because he had leg injuries, rather, he simply didn't have legs, only a serpentine tail. Six was one of the vipers, some of the first aliens mankind had made contact with (at least publicly). The war that had followed had been harrowing, but man had ultimately triumphed in the struggle and broken the backs of their foes.

    The aftermath of the conflict had been like many on Earth: some of the aliens had wished to die fighting, but others had sought clemency. Of those that had, a few had been secretly granted asylum on Earth, provided they did not draw attention to themselves. These aliens had been met with scorn by many members of XCOM, but over time, most of the racism had faded. Now, a fair amount of these aliens, including Sectoids, Vipers, Mutons and even a few Ethereals, had become integral parts of XCOM, especially in the aftermath of the great mistake. The sectoids, who had been enslaved by virtually every race they had met and had been reduced down to mostly clones and a few individuals still capable of reproduction, were especially grateful. As for the ethereals, well, XCOM had been surprised that any of them had survived. These ones seemed to be different from the normal ones, though: they appeared to be made almost entirely out of energy, like the outsiders.

    Once Gamma six left the dropship, the pilot finally took it as her queue to leave. Marion Jones, codename Monarch, did enjoy being in the skyranger, but even she needed down time, especially after a late night mission like this: Night flights weren't her specialty, so she was looking forward to a few hours of sleep.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    The ship, code named the Avenger, had been the pet project of Raymond Shen in the aftermath of the First War. With no enemy to fight, XCOM had devoted itself to trying to understand their foes, examining what had been acquired and working to synthesize it. Elerium had proven difficult to create stable isotopes of, but once successful, it had revolutionized nuclear power. Meld had made cybernetic advancements and gene therapy far more viable then anyone had every imagined.

    Still, even among those advances, Shen had preferred the Avenger. Part of this was because it acted as a sort of test bed for him, a place where he could test out some of the more....questionable ideas he and Vahlen had conceived, to see if they were viable for mass production. The craft had been made from a battleship, and was just as powerful as anyone had expected it to be. XCOM had been required to make sure the Council knew exactly where the ship was at any given time, but otherwise, they had relatively free reign over the ship.

    One of the big benefits of alien alloys was that they lasted a long time. With proper maintenance, they could last for over a thousand years without needing to be replaced. This meant that, since its creation, the Avenger hadn't needed too much maintenance, something invaluable when you wish to remain clandestine.

    None of this, though, was on Gamma Team's mind as they traversed through the ship, careful to avoid the sections that were under maintenance. While most of the headed to the armory to return their gear, One and Four were headed to the command center: the Commander would want to debrief them personally.

    As they trudged through the base, they passed by a room filled entirely with water. Within, green sectoids worked side by side with XCOM personnel, lizard-like creatures and what appeared to be sapient lobsters to create weapons that worked underwater. These beings were reminders of the Second Alien War, one that no one had expected. It had started when flying submarines of all things had become attacking cruise ships, before moving onto coastal cities, oil rigs and naval fleets. It turned out that these ships had come from an even larger mothership that had crashed into Earth some 3000 years before the First Alien War. XCOM had managed to destroy the ship and defeat the new aliens, but they didn't have time to celebrate: the ship had poisoned the atmosphere in its death throes, and before anything could be done to fix it, the great mistake had occurred.

    Talks had been held over whether XCOM should have disbanded, but ultimately, they had fallen through, and XCOM remained, though more publicly known then expected. That being said, only Chungsu knew much about them on this planet, and XCOM was intent on keeping things that way.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    At last, One and Four arrived at the Command Center. The Commander had already taken a seat and was ready for debrief.

    "Great timing. Are you two ready to begin?" he asked.

    "Yes."

    "Good. So, how successful was the mission?"

    "One hundred percent: Blind Eye lost their test subjects, we got rid of all their research data, and their retaliation force is down for the count," responded Gamma One.

    "Excellent. That ensures that their backers will not be a problem in the foreseeable future."

    "Indeed. Though, really, we shouldn't have expected those traitors to go down after we smashed their base during the First War: they're too good at hiding for that too work," noted Four.

    "Correct. Now you mentioned that the newest arrival to our world assisted you in completing your mission. Specifically, he offered to take the subjects to safety. Am I correct?"

    "Yes sir," replied One.

    "Do you believe he has any malicious intent in regards to them?"

    "No. He claimed his people didn't really like what had happened to all of those who'd been kidnapped. Odds are he'll probably return them when he's sure that they'll be okay."

    "Of course, since the planet is recovering from a recent famine, that might not be viable. Why do those bastards have to go around, manipulating everyone, when human extinction is a likely outcome?" questioned Four. "They need to get their priorities straight. I mean, seriously, poisoning tons of harvests so that they could get better market prices on the remaining supplies? Even Fielding wouldn't stoop that low."

    "True. One last question: was there any information you were able to glean from your encounter with the commander that might give us insights to any weaknesses he might have had? Any hints as to what strategies he would use? While I do not intend to fight him, if we wish to seek peace with him, we must first prepare for the possibility of war."

    "Sir, the only thing we gleaned from the engagement was that the commander has incredible logistical skills. He had over 100 tanks and 50 tank sized robots backing us up. All of that made in under a month. I don't think we could beat him if we tried," replied Four.

    "I understand. You are dismissed."

    One and Four took that as their queue to leave, though not without saluting their superior. Once he was alone, the commander leaned back and sighed. Four had confirmed what the eggheads had been telling him: fighting the commander was inviable. Flame would swamp them under weight of numbers long before they could reverse engineer a magic bullet to slay him. The fact he didn't want to fight XCOM did serve to calm him somewhat, but knowing that you are outmatched is always annoying.

    Sighing again, the Commander took a moment to go and pull up a view of the training center aboard the Avenger. Within, three groups went to battle: one group resembled survivalists, albeit wearing gas masks that made them look rather deranged; the second wore pelted armor and showed some similarities to sectoids, while the third resembled knights, albeit their swords were made of psionic energy. Two of these groups had formed during the First Alien War, emerging in 2013 following the aliens attempting to add hybrid troops to supplement their armies. Meanwhile, the third had decided that the war was their signal to emerge from hiding and assist mankind as a whole. All three now sparred to see who was the best. Nearby, some engineers were examining a new shipment of weapons from Earth: XCOM could easily use wormholes to travel back and forth to Earth, which was important now more than ever: apparently, a third alien force (well, fourth if you believed the tails of aliens showing up in the fifties) had launched an attack on a new Megacity of sorts built on Earth. According to the current reports, XCOM was winning, but they still had a long way to go for victory.

    With XCOM forces on Chiron already facing a war on two fronts, the Commander was glad that this Commander Flame was interested in peace. XCOM was already stretched thin as-is, so avoiding conflict was the best option for both part. How long that would last remained a mystery.....

    XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    AN: Read, Review, and Happy New Years! This is Flameal15k, signing off!
     
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