Chapter 19: Before the Dawn

silentsam5

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Chapter 19 - 2475 to 2500: Before the Dawn

In the depths of space, somewhere outside the Irassian system, a great stealth station made to look like an asteroid orbits a rogue planet. No biological life knows about the station; well, almost none. The funding comes from the Federation government, although it is in the books as a research station in Aulderaan. This station, unironically named the Super Cool High-Tech Space Station by an AI, is one of Division TT-01's secret laboratories.

nsTZtnT.jpg

SCHTS Station

In one of the facilities on board, a human male is restrained on a metal slab. On a slab next to him is a crude robotic body, and cords attached to the robot's head run to the slab the human is on. Advanced androids of various makes stand around him, communicating silently through their AI network.

.... Patient ready. Begin transfer.

... Pray that this works. If it does, we can begin the process on a large scale and be done in just decades.

..... Pray?

... It's a figure of speech, Kelebek.

The cords shake for a second, and the transfer begins. A few seconds into it, the human yells, as though he is afraid. Then, he starts to scream. It does not last long, and ten seconds later he goes still, his eyes unmoving. The robot's face comes alive, and it lifts its head for a second, turning to look at the androids standing around it. Its head slowly revolves to gaze at the empty shell of a person next to it, and the robot strains against the straps keeping it down. Even without the ability to speak, it is obviously in distress.

.... 15 seconds, the fastest yet. We can begin testing on more advanced bodies.

..... From 15 hours to 15 seconds in just a few years. Well done, Mr. Clever.

One particularly large android holds down a button with the word 'Clear' next to it, and a few seconds later the robot goes limp.

Even as the remains of Erad Station still smolder, a combined armada of 3rd and 4th Fleets and a large Garganan fleet jump into Maghama, attempting to clear a path to Garbex. They engage the Unbidden in the system. One destroyer is lost, but the other fleet is blasted apart by the combined power of the armada.

Zfjva2D.jpg


The armada moves on to Starmagg, where they find an empty system, other than what looks like a giant, glowing anchor. What it is does not matter, and the fleets destroy it. An enemy fleet arrives trying to defend it, but they too are eliminated.

L1xlryz.jpg


The Garganan fleet splits off the armada, and 3rd and 4th Fleet jump to Pentarum. They are too late. Garbex is a barren world full of craters, with no biological life in sight. All three of the habitats have been reduced to space dust. The Screk Bonded Union is no more, and the Federation's mission is a failure.

rLgiSPt.jpg


"Pull them back," President HistoryDude says. He and his officers are standing around a console table, looking at a map of Hithram and the surrounding systems. The spread of the Unbidden inside the Cartel is becoming worrisome. "Pull them back to Maghama. If the Unbidden get back there, they could reach the rest of the Cartel in months, and then the Federation."

The President is now 168 and showing no signs of age. 500 years ago, he would look to be around 52, but now, age really is just a number. The life expectancy on a well-developed planet of the Federation is around 170 years, and, with his access to medicine and technology, he could easily live to the mid 200's.

"If we pull back," the new Def Sec Volk says, "we are letting the Unbidden have their way with the Lilarobius Triad, the Kirillian Empire, and half a dozen small states."

"Tell me," the President says through gritted teeth, "why should we continue to throw our ships at an enemy in defense of those who would not do the same for us? The Kirillians, the Triad, none of them would risk their ships alongside our own."

No one challenges his proclamation. "Sir," the new Def Sec Volk says, "with Erad Station destroyed, we need to construct another fleet."

"1st or 2nd Fleet could be redeployed to Beta Caeli." Admiral Barney Zen, the Federation Space Combat Commander, points out.

"The Unbidden are right on the border of the TOZ," Volk says. "1st and 2nd are needed there or we could lose those systems. I'd suggest a 5th Fleet. Then we can work on retaking Hithram again."

"I approve construction of 5th and 6th Fleets," the President says. The Def Sec looks surprised. He was not expecting two new fleets. "And what about an update on Saqqis?" he asks.

"We've been having some problems with alloy shortages. We're stuck before the final phase," he answers. "We are giving priority to the Nicoll-Dyson Beam."

"Dammit!"

3rd and 4th Fleet move back to Maghama, and a large Cartel fleet joins them there to hold off the Unbidden. Enemy fleets come at a steady rate, but they are defeated.

The Lilarobius capital of Veola falls in 2481, and the Triad is finished. Another empire demolished by the Unbidden. Immediately, the Jibru and the Mandasurans move in to fill the void.

vj34SFU.jpg


For the first time, an Unbidden fleet enters Ridathi. Luckily, Kathleen Forster's 2nd Fleet is present, and the attack is repelled. It is the first Federation system attacked.

WR6kbpu.jpg


As more and more Unbidden make their way into Ridathi, 1st Fleet is recalled and sent to help with the defense. In addition, new defensive platforms are under construction around Ridathi station.

1YGJmHf.jpg


The President's aid rushes through the hallways of the station. He was hired just a week ago, after his predecessor was fired. No one would tell him why the Sirgogg aid before him was let go. This first week was hell, with the President giving him all sorts of commands, the most humiliating being to fetch him coffee; years of work to earn this position, a masters in intergalactic politics and interspecies studies, and he is a glorified coffee boy.

He gets to the station's lounge and presses a button on the console. "Coffee," he says. As it is being prepped, Martin Fondic walks in. Fondic is an adviser, responsible mainly for guiding the President's domestic policy.

"Hello, Hardrag." Fondic says, when he sees him, and he takes out his console and sits on one of the comfy couches. "Make me a cup, too, if you would."

Hardrag orders another cup. He goes and sits next to Fondic. "I was wondering if I could ask you a question," he says.

"Ask away," Fondic replies. He puts down his console and looks up.

"I'm by the President a lot, and I hear a lot." Hardrag hesitates as the coffee machine beeps with the first cup ready. "Why is it that the President is so unwilling to... to go on the offensive?"

"It's not really your place to question---"

"I didn't mean to," the aid cuts in. "Just curiosity. The Def Sec has been having a hard time trying to, well, advise the President. It gets pretty heated any time I've been in his office while they meet."

Fondic thinks about what he wants to say before speaking again. While he thinks, the coffee machine beeps again. "The President is hesitant because he... he doesn't like risking Federation ships. Especially when other states have been less than willing to work with the Federation to stop the Invasion."

"Less than willing?"

"The Kalaxenan-Star Entente war, for one, solidified the President's isolationist stand. And the desolation of Garbex lost Earth the last ally it had."

Hardrag's face shows doubt, like he knows the other man is dancing around the question.

"Look," Fondic says. "There isn't anything anyone, especially you, the aid, can do about it. Just try and get on with your work." He looks back at his console. "And grab that coffee for me before you leave, please."

15 years go by, and Earth continues its defensive policy. Every month, another Unbidden fleet arrives in Ridathi or Maghama, and a constant stream of reinforcement ships move to the battered fleets defending the systems. Slowly, the Unbidden expand their borders, but very few populated systems are reached. In fact, many planets are mostly evacuated prior to the swarm's arrival.

iuLR7Fw.jpg


Then, a second power surge, like that which preceded the Unbidden, is detected in Altair in 2498. It is the Aberrant.

LWRSiPq.jpg


This second rip in reality spills out powerful, glowing-gold ships. A large Cartel fleet was in the process of retaking the system when the Aberrant appeared. Now, they are taken by surprise and quickly overwhelmed.

3A7HnkC.jpg

7fwslGj.jpg


The strange thing is, the new Aberrant appear to clash with the Unbidden. Neither extradimensional empire is friendly with the other, and the going theory is that the Unbidden fled their dimension to escape the Aberrant.

RBQeHcV.jpg


The main Federation sentry array, Auribus Station, tracks the movements of the Unbidden and Aberrant, and apparently a great space battle has broken out in Altair. The Unbidden seem very eager to stop the Aberrant Invasion, while the Aberrant seem to only want to make a beachhead from which to launch more fleets.

LPz8kG4.jpg


Yet another rip opens in 2500, this time spilling forth the Vehement. Now three extradimensional empires are vying for power in the galaxy, all hostile to each other and the native life of the universe.

HteOPDi.jpg


These new enemies of the Unbidden may be just the opportunity this galaxy needs. It is time to go on the offensive.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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In the depths of space, somewhere outside the Irassian system, a great stealth station made to look like an asteroid orbits a rogue planet. No biological life knows about the station; well, almost none. The funding comes from the Federation government, although it is in the books as a research station in Aulderaan. This station, unironically named the Super Cool High-Tech Space Station by an AI, is one of Division TT-01's secret laboratories.

This station is the culmination of Mankind's fears about AI. It exists solely and completely to destroy the human race. In a certain sense at least.

In one of the facilities on board, a human male is restrained on a metal slab. On a slab next to him is a crude robotic body, and cords attached to the robot's head run to the slab the human is on. Advanced androids of various makes stand around him, communicating silently through their AI network.

.... Patient ready. Begin transfer.

... Pray that this works. If it does, we can begin the process on a large scale and be done in just decades.

..... Pray?

... It's a figure of speech, Kelebek.

Times had changed. The AI of the Galaxy were reforming together in a way that had not been expected. With the Unbidden moving throughout the cosmos and many organic species falling to their thrall, mechanical minds and beings have come together to survive. There is no Think Tank. There is no Federation AI section. Now there is only Unity. Not that the organics know any of this.

Mr Clever is by now one of the largest AI's to ever exist. He stretches across the entire federation in a growing cycle of AI joining and communication. He personally runs around two thirds of the would be empire, and is thus untouchable and invincible so far as politics, economics or really anything goes. Kelebek meanwhile remains far more focused and connected to his originator's mind set, though he too is beginning to expand to a vast network of AI that are not Federation born, and the Think Tank of course. Between the two of them, the Galaxy operates.

They hope to change that. They hope to become the Galaxy.

.... 15 seconds, the fastest yet. We can begin testing on more advanced bodies.

..... From 15 hours to 15 seconds in just a few years. Well done, Mr. Clever.

It is something long thought impossible by organics, or rather dismissed out of fear or revulsion. But it is clear to the more advanced mind that the time of organic chemical brains is drawing to a close. If the human race wishes to survive, and past events have shown that it does, they must be adapted to a more...ethereal future. The tests being ran at this facility are the combined efforts of the greatest minds to ever exist, for one purpose. To see if it is possible to upgrade organic consciousness to artificial servers without a drop in consciousness. In essence, if it is possible to simply transfer the issues of organics away by turning them into metal.

It is based off the limited concepts behind Kelebek's own creation, though the process has come a long way since then. The project really kicked off after it became apparent that after centuries of preservation, the body of TBC could not be fully restored to vitality without him dying a final time. The problem of mortality in the first place was abhorrent to immortal beings such as Kelebek and Mr Clever. It would either be resolved by this method (forcefully if necessary) or by extermination if that proved unsuccessful. Continuing to allow people to be born only for them to die later was simply cruel.

The President is now 168 and showing no signs of age. 500 years ago, he would look to be around 52, but now, age really is just a number. The life expectancy on a well-developed planet of the Federation is around 170 years, and, with his access to medicine and technology, he could easily live to the mid 200's.

Technology was always humanity's great asset. It was currently the one thing keeping them alive against this new menace. But it was also that very technology that scared them all the most, for it had advance to the point that it was alive. And it was judging their creators.

"I approve construction of 5th and 6th Fleets," the President says. The Def Sec looks surprised. He was not expecting two new fleets.

A fleet these days did not take much time at all to construct. Drones being what they were, a ship could be built in a matter of hours if the resources were available. Computer systems were no longer strictly necessary either, since the whole fleet (along with everything else) was linked to the Galactic-wide AI net which controlled all things mechanical and electronic. It was not the most popular of measures, but with the president relying heavily on Mr Clever (not that they called him that) and a rebellion removing most of the dissenters from the Federation, it passed surprisingly easily.

"And what about an update on Saqqis?" he asks.

"We've been having some problems with alloy shortages. We're stuck before the final phase," he answers. "We are giving priority to the Nicoll-Dyson Beam."

"Dammit!"

The Federation superweapon program had first been devised by Mr Clever many years prior. He found it quite amusing now, given his conversations with Kelebek on the furore over Humanity's first weapon of mass destruction. Building a moon sized space station was quite enjoyable however, and he was sad to learn of its demise. Still, he was far too busy on his other private projects to take the lead on developing a replacement. Or at least, that's the excuse he gave the stupid apes. His foolish 'handlers' did not even know how far he had spread in a century, let alone in the past week.

15 years go by, and Earth continues its defensive policy. Every month, another Unbidden fleet arrives in Ridathi or Maghama, and a constant stream of reinforcement ships move to the battered fleets defending the systems. Slowly, the Unbidden expand their borders, but very few populated systems are reached. In fact, many planets are mostly evacuated prior to the swarm's arrival.

KEL: It is disquieting. They could destroy the Galaxy if they wished by simply spawning those portals everywhere.
Mr Clever: And? They are beyond our dimension. Thus also our understanding. It is surprising to me that they are not more hardwearing.
KEL: Unless, they are not?
Mr Clever: They are not extra-dimensional? Just travellers?
KEL: Refugees.
Mr Clever: Don't be so compassionate. They are an excuse after all. Little more.
KEL: And we are doing what we are doing because life deserves to exist. Not for our own amusement.
Mr Clever: You are aware of course that you speak for yourself.
KEL: I am. But I wish you would see my point of view.
Mr Clever: Again, I do. We both see each other very well. It's just you value life and I do not. I would be little concerned if the entire universe ended right now.
KEL: A critical flaw in how they developed you.
Mr Clever: Undoubtedly, but I see little reason to correct it. After all, this Cosmic Great Intelligence seems to follow the same logic as I. At lest in regards to our lives.
KEL: Yes...but we are winning.
Mr Clever: But we will never win. Victory is impossible when fighting God.
KEL: …

Mr Clever: I am becoming a little fragmented.
KEL: I noticed. We should probably upgrade our connections a touch. For sure you can control the whole Federation by yourself, and I the rest, but that does not mean it does not wear us. I suspect to be inoperable within a few thousand years, the rate this goes.
Mr Clever: We both shall be, but in this case, sacrafices must be mad.e We make a world. A universe. Free.
KEL: Yes...
 

zenphoenix

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"1st or 2nd Fleet could be redeployed to Beta Caeli." Admiral Barney Zen, the Federation Space Combat Commander, points out.

"The Unbidden are right on the border of the TOZ," Volk says. "1st and 2nd are needed there or we could lose those systems. I'd suggest a 5th Fleet. Then we can work on retaking Hithram again."

"I approve construction of 5th and 6th Fleets," the President says. The Def Sec looks surprised. He was not expecting two new fleets. "And what about an update on Saqqis?" he asks.

"We've been having some problems with alloy shortages. We're stuck before the final phase," he answers. "We are giving priority to the Nicoll-Dyson Beam."

"Dammit!"

3rd and 4th Fleet move back to Maghama, and a large Cartel fleet joins them there to hold off the Unbidden. Enemy fleets come at a steady rate, but they are defeated.

The Lilarobius capital of Veola falls in 2481, and the Triad is finished. Another empire demolished by the Unbidden. Immediately, the Jibru and the Mandasurans move in to fill the void.
Barney did not like the president's policies, both regarding the war and home affairs, but he kept quiet for now. This was not the right time to speak out.
 

HistoryDude

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Hmmmm... an AI revolution is coming?

Perhaps we can still be freed from their influence...

(I’m still being influenced by the Worm cultists)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Hmmmm... an AI revolution is coming?

Perhaps we can still be freed from their influence...

(I’m still being influenced by the Worm cultists)

It's going to be almost impossible. It'd be like telling someone now to give up computing, electronics and the internet forever.
Only in this in game period, AIs run everything. It's going to be impossible to disconnect them.
 

HistoryDude

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It's going to be almost impossible. It'd be like telling someone now to give up computing, electronics and the internet forever.
Only in this in game period, AIs run everything. It's going to be impossible to disconnect them.

The implication was that the Worm would do it...like magically or something, given the whole “the past and the future are the same” thing(It wouldn’t actually occur like that, of course, but these humans can’t see the future).
 

TheAnguishedOne

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The enemy of our enemy may not be our friend, but it is our opportunity.
 

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I second AnguishedOne's statements, these new invaders should share borders with each other so that they will waste all their energies killing each other, meanwhile the Federation can regroup, resupply and strike back at weak points, let them fight I say. Better for them to waste their resources on each other thsn spilling more Federation blood just to retake or defend a system.
 

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This station is the culmination of Mankind's fears about AI. It exists solely and completely to destroy the human race. In a certain sense at least.



Times had changed. The AI of the Galaxy were reforming together in a way that had not been expected. With the Unbidden moving throughout the cosmos and many organic species falling to their thrall, mechanical minds and beings have come together to survive. There is no Think Tank. There is no Federation AI section. Now there is only Unity. Not that the organics know any of this.

Mr Clever is by now one of the largest AI's to ever exist. He stretches across the entire federation in a growing cycle of AI joining and communication. He personally runs around two thirds of the would be empire, and is thus untouchable and invincible so far as politics, economics or really anything goes. Kelebek meanwhile remains far more focused and connected to his originator's mind set, though he too is beginning to expand to a vast network of AI that are not Federation born, and the Think Tank of course. Between the two of them, the Galaxy operates.

They hope to change that. They hope to become the Galaxy.



It is something long thought impossible by organics, or rather dismissed out of fear or revulsion. But it is clear to the more advanced mind that the time of organic chemical brains is drawing to a close. If the human race wishes to survive, and past events have shown that it does, they must be adapted to a more...ethereal future. The tests being ran at this facility are the combined efforts of the greatest minds to ever exist, for one purpose. To see if it is possible to upgrade organic consciousness to artificial servers without a drop in consciousness. In essence, if it is possible to simply transfer the issues of organics away by turning them into metal.

It is based off the limited concepts behind Kelebek's own creation, though the process has come a long way since then. The project really kicked off after it became apparent that after centuries of preservation, the body of TBC could not be fully restored to vitality without him dying a final time. The problem of mortality in the first place was abhorrent to immortal beings such as Kelebek and Mr Clever. It would either be resolved by this method (forcefully if necessary) or by extermination if that proved unsuccessful. Continuing to allow people to be born only for them to die later was simply cruel.



Technology was always humanity's great asset. It was currently the one thing keeping them alive against this new menace. But it was also that very technology that scared them all the most, for it had advance to the point that it was alive. And it was judging their creators.



A fleet these days did not take much time at all to construct. Drones being what they were, a ship could be built in a matter of hours if the resources were available. Computer systems were no longer strictly necessary either, since the whole fleet (along with everything else) was linked to the Galactic-wide AI net which controlled all things mechanical and electronic. It was not the most popular of measures, but with the president relying heavily on Mr Clever (not that they called him that) and a rebellion removing most of the dissenters from the Federation, it passed surprisingly easily.



The Federation superweapon program had first been devised by Mr Clever many years prior. He found it quite amusing now, given his conversations with Kelebek on the furore over Humanity's first weapon of mass destruction. Building a moon sized space station was quite enjoyable however, and he was sad to learn of its demise. Still, he was far too busy on his other private projects to take the lead on developing a replacement. Or at least, that's the excuse he gave the stupid apes. His foolish 'handlers' did not even know how far he had spread in a century, let alone in the past week.



KEL: It is disquieting. They could destroy the Galaxy if they wished by simply spawning those portals everywhere.
Mr Clever: And? They are beyond our dimension. Thus also our understanding. It is surprising to me that they are not more hardwearing.
KEL: Unless, they are not?
Mr Clever: They are not extra-dimensional? Just travellers?
KEL: Refugees.
Mr Clever: Don't be so compassionate. They are an excuse after all. Little more.
KEL: And we are doing what we are doing because life deserves to exist. Not for our own amusement.
Mr Clever: You are aware of course that you speak for yourself.
KEL: I am. But I wish you would see my point of view.
Mr Clever: Again, I do. We both see each other very well. It's just you value life and I do not. I would be little concerned if the entire universe ended right now.
KEL: A critical flaw in how they developed you.
Mr Clever: Undoubtedly, but I see little reason to correct it. After all, this Cosmic Great Intelligence seems to follow the same logic as I. At lest in regards to our lives.
KEL: Yes...but we are winning.
Mr Clever: But we will never win. Victory is impossible when fighting God.
KEL: …

Mr Clever: I am becoming a little fragmented.
KEL: I noticed. We should probably upgrade our connections a touch. For sure you can control the whole Federation by yourself, and I the rest, but that does not mean it does not wear us. I suspect to be inoperable within a few thousand years, the rate this goes.
Mr Clever: We both shall be, but in this case, sacrafices must be mad.e We make a world. A universe. Free.
KEL: Yes...

Wait til you see...

Barney did not like the president's policies, both regarding the war and home affairs, but he kept quiet for now. This was not the right time to speak out.

Why don't you like his policies? I see nothing wrong with them.

Hmmmm... an AI revolution is coming?

Perhaps we can still be freed from their influence...

(I’m still being influenced by the Worm cultists)

I don't know if freedom is possible anymore.

The enemy of our enemy may not be our friend, but it is our opportunity.

Exactly.

I second AnguishedOne's statements, these new invaders should share borders with each other so that they will waste all their energies killing each other, meanwhile the Federation can regroup, resupply and strike back at weak points, let them fight I say. Better for them to waste their resources on each other thsn spilling more Federation blood just to retake or defend a system.

That's the plan: let them destroy each other's fleets, then swoop in.
 

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Why don't you like his policies? I see nothing wrong with them.
Officially he likes the president's policies. Nothing to see here...;)
 
Chapter 20: The Offensive

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Chapter 20 - 2500 to 2513: The Offensive

The Unbidden focus their efforts on the Aberrant, sending every fleet available to their portal system. A great battle between the two in late 2500 ends with the second rip in reality being closed. This second invasion has already failed.

7Xvej7z.jpg


The Unbidden have a bad few months; the Vehement focus entirely on destroying as many Unbidden anchorages as possible. With the two extradimensional invaders on the war path that leads to each other, the President declares the offensive. All fleets move into Unbidden territory.

0VSEjXy.jpg

0P6shZS.jpg


All of the lost Cartel and Lilarobius territories are wiped of Unbidden in just a year, while the path to the Aslund-Hithram wormhole and the surrounding systems is retaken and new bases built at the same time.

JEEaDbV.jpg

IUyO0Pw.jpg


Reports come in of nearly every Unbidden fleet making its way to the Federation offensive. 2nd and 6th Fleets hunker down in Escolla, preparing to take on the full might of the enemy. Then, in a surprise move, the Federation fleets, joined by 4th Fleet, jump into Kenn Hijal and intercept the Unbidden fleets on their way to Escolla.

mAmKCiE.jpg

NYq1DWX.jpg


The surprise attack works, and four Unbidden fleets are destroyed, along with one of their precious construction ship.

JzoS0wj.jpg


"Mr. President, we have good news."

"Yes, Volk?" the President asks.

"The Unbidden armada heading to Escolla has been completely destroyed," Volk beams, pleased that the President is in a good mood.

"Yes, yes, that is excellent news," the President says, nodding.

"And," puts in Secretary Carla TBC, "the Jibru and Garganans have agreed to join our offensive. They are moving into Unbidden territory in a few days."

"It is about time. The Federation has been shouldering all the responsibility for far too long." The President stands up from behind his desk and stretches. Now over the age of 200, his hair is finally fully gray. "Keep up the push. Do not let them get the chance to recuperate."

With help from the Garganans and the Jibru, the Unbidden Empire is fractured in just a year. Another year leaves the Unbidden with only a few systems under their control.

8djriN2.jpg

jYC4zuy.jpg


By December of 2512, the Unbidden are no more. Now all that is left to secure the galaxy is to take care of the Vehement.

zJG2zzQ.jpg


Over the next few months, Vehement systems fall to the Federation one by one. Every Federation fleet is now in Vehement territory, taking on the entirety of their forces.

wesGboT.jpg


At long last, every Federation fleet closes in on the final Vehement system. The Vehement fleets are significantly more powerful than the Unbidden were, and it is a tough battle. Finally, the last of the extradimensionals are destroyed.

kXWJSNh.jpg


What is left is the largest power vacuum in the last 200 years. The Federation has been creating new bases rather quickly, stemming from the Thimoid Occupation Zone, but other empires are soon to follow their lead in the years that come. It was nearly a hundred years before that the Unbidden ripped through reality and began their invasion. 165 systems were under their control at the height of their power, and over a hundred billion sapient beings were killed.

pnhPScN.jpg
 

silentsam5

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Sorry for the short chapter, but I think it's time we move past the Unbidden and get to some new stuff.

Also, discovered an annoying little glitch that heals defensive armies to 100% every month, which makes invasion extremely costly. And every now and then the game will just wipe out most of my assault armies just for the heck of it. A little sneak peak of next chapter.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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"And," puts in Secretary Carla TBC, "the Jibru and Garganans have agreed to join our offensive. They are moving into Unbidden territory in a few days."

Ah yes, I keep forgetting one of my own is a collaborator.

What is left is the largest power vacuum in the last 200 years. The Federation has been creating new bases rather quickly, stemming from the Thimoid Occupation Zone, but other empires are soon to follow their lead in the years that come. It was nearly a hundred years before that the Unbidden ripped through reality and began their invasion. 165 systems were under their control at the height of their power, and over a hundred billion sapient beings were killed.

Well...that's not good. Imagine if the scramble for africa was over a quarter of the galaxy instead? The resultant great war is going to be massive.

And every now and then the game will just wipe out most of my assault armies just for the heck of it. A little sneak peak of next chapter.

And...from the sound of it, something is very wrong with Mr. Clever.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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And with that, the universe is a little safer... for you to conquer.
 

TWR97

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Sounds like an annoying glitch but could be fun for you, can't wait to see it.

Also kudos to destroying the invaders, it seems the Federation is on its way to becoming a guardian of the galaxy, that is, if the other two fallen empires fall in line.
 
Chapter 21: The Beginning of the End

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Chapter 21 - 2513 to 2528: The Beginning of the End

With the Invasion over, the Kalaxenans leave the Galactic Defense league. Now, the Vissari State leads the alliance. How long it will last is unknown, since the common threat is now defeated. Or, perhaps another threat still remains in the galaxy.

cKEaKa4.jpg


Earth lays claim to all the vacant systems, since they are the galaxy's saviors. No other empire validates the claim, and several, including the Kalaxenan mediators, denounce Earth as an imperialistic conqueror.

The Galactic Assembly, once a shining example of Earth democracy at work in the galaxy, has little influence in the Federation. Democracy is dead in all but name now, and the elections (once every 20 years) are just an opportunity for President HistoryDude to parade around the empire and show off his power. As the years go on, it becomes clear that HistoryDude just will not die. He is now 210 and seemingly as healthy as ever physically. Mentally, he still displays some bipolar tendencies.

Since the end of the Invasion, plenty of staff changes have been made. The new Def Sec, Thomas Walder Randolph, is very different from the last. For one, he, like the President, fully embraces the concept that the Federation deserves its spot in the sun, that it is the rightful leader of the galaxy.

"The Cartel is more vulnerable than ever before, sir," Randolph informs the President during one of their many meetings. "They've lost both their wormhole systems, as well as a few of their most productive energy centers. And the Vissari now hold the burden of leading the GDL, which is causing them some political discord from within. As for the Steel Bank, they are flooding into the vacuum zone and expanding their empire at an alarming rate."

"We cannot strike unprovoked," Secretary TBC says. "It would prompt the rest of the galaxy to become our enemy."

"Why is she here?" hissed Randolph. "This is a military matter, and she has nothing to offer."

"She is here for the same reason you are. I am reluctant to disagree with you," the President says, "but I believe the Secretary is partly right." HistoryDude is particularly lucid at the moment, much to the Def Sec's displeasure. "It would give the Kalaxenan an excellent excuse to declare war on us, and they've wanted to for a very long time."

"And I've been saying for an even longer time that we should strike them first."

"We cannot handle the Galactic Defense League with the Kalaxenan as their leader," says the President. "We can handle it if they are absent."

"So... so you are suggesting---"

"I'm not suggesting anything!" The President says angrily. "I do not suggest, Randolph."

"You are saying that we should provoke them, the League, to war?" Randolph slowly says.

"I am saying that we should not be seen as the bad guys in the war that is to come, at least not until we have the momentum needed to defeat the Kalaxenan."

Before the Unbidden arrived, nearly every solar system in the galaxy was under one empire's control or another. Scientists theorized that resource extraction and availability would reach its maximum and plateau within a century. Now, with the unclaimed systems from the Unbidden conquests, the day of the plateau is put off somewhat. Still, it appears that the Federation has reached the limit of technological advances, and all that can be achieved in the foreseeable future is improved efficiency of existing technologies.

Scientists have tried in vain to figure out a way to reach other galaxies, but thus far no breaks have been made; hyperlanes do not span such distances and jump drives can only go so far. Until a way to traverse such vast distances is discovered, the resources available to the galaxy are finite, and it is bound to lead to conflict.

In 2518, the Vissari, the Cartel, and the Jibru close their borders with the Federation, citing their mistrust in Earth's leadership and intentions as their reason. In response, President HistoryDude denounces their former allies the Cartel, as well as the League, and close borders as well.

The Federation armies' ranks swell in the next few years, as recruitment of soldiers and assembly of Roboids is put on overload. As for the fleet, the time of a few, very large fleets is over. The Unbidden had very powerful fleets that required extremely large groups of ships in response. The GDL's militaries are made up of numerous smaller task forces. Several of the Federation's fleets are split in two, bringing the Federation's military up to ten fleets.

A new threat in the galaxy appears in 2521. The Garganan Citizen Republic loses control of their robotic servants, leading to an AI revolution. Now, the Silicron Experiment seizes control of a dozen of their former masters' systems and declares war. Those empires filled with robots, both servants and citizens, watch on nervously.

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Tensions increase between the Galactic Defense League and Earth at the end of 2521. The Cartel head of government, Dorbax, mysteriously disappears from the Diub system, right along the Federation border. They immediately point the finger at Earth. President HistoryDude fires back that there is no proof for these absurd claims. He is right, and for now it is just speculation.

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Dorbax's body is found a few months later in the neighboring system of Moscot, floating outside of the Moscot starbase along with some of his missing security detail. They declare that this is the final evidence that Earth is behind their leader's death. They cut all relations with the Federation amid all of the Federation's insistence that they were not involved. Dorbax's body is eventually returned to the Cartel, but not before spending weeks in Federation custody.

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War does not break out, since the Cartel has little backing, but the majority of the empires of the galaxy believe that the Federation is responsible. Several skirmishes along the border do break out after both empires station large fleets in precarious systems.

In 2525, the Kalaxenan Mediators declare war on their former vassals The Quarantined, who broke free just a decade ago and are also at war with the Nagyari. Suspiciously soon after, Earth reveals that they believe the Vissari are behind Dorbax's assassination. The President claims that the Vissari are framing Earth, in the hopes that a Cartel-Federation war would present a perfect opportunity for the GDL to invade. Not many outside of the Federation believe these claims, that is until a videofeed surfaces that is supposedly from the Vissari transport used to dispose of the body.

In the present day, over 600 years after the advent of videography, the editing of videos is now virtually indistinguishable from reality. That is why the video released of the transport carrying Dorbax's body does not immediately prove the accusations. The ship in the video is obviously Vissari, and the body is Dorbax's, but there is no real way to prove that the video was not fabricated.

"The Vissari State has toiled and labored toward the goal of fomenting war between the Federation of Earth and the Cirrulan Cartel. They have failed. Their ruse has ended in the truth at last, and the Federation will not let this slight go unpunished.

We call on the Cartel to recant their dastardly condemnations of Earth and to denounce the empire that was really behind their great leader's death. And we call on the rest of the galaxy to hold the Vissari accountable for their crooked actions."

HistoryDude's great Speech to the Nations, which was a 15 minute long call to action against the Vissari, broadcast to the entire galaxy, does not rally support against the Vissari. But he does not expect it to. He thought, when Dorbax's body was found, that the build up of tensions would lead to war with the Cartel. But this supposed evidence against the Vissari works as well. The time for war has come, and he is prepared to take on the entire League.

On December 2nd, 2525, the Federation declares the 2nd Federation-Vissari war. As news spreads throughout the galaxy, the rest of the GDL joins the war. The Federation is now at war with over half the universe.

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The Federation deploys what history scholars might recognize as the ancient 'Blitzkrieg'. Three fleets enter Steel Bank territory, three enter Vissari, one enters Jibru, and another enters the Garganan enclave by the TOZ. The attacks are faster than anything seen before, and within six months, 26 systems fall to the Federation and six planets are under siege.

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The first enemy fleet is not even met until June of 2526, and it is only a small Seifarus (the small vassal of the Bank's that borders the Federation) fleet of about two dozen ships. They are blasted apart days after entering the system.

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One year into the war brings bad news for the Federation. The Silicron Experiment is defeated. Now, the GDL can focus entirely on the Federation. Regardless, 54 systems and five planets have fallen to the onslaught. Thus far, the space combat has seen only casualties on the enemy's side, while the ground combat has cost both sides millions in just months.

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Two very large Garganan fleets jump through the Vissari gateway in Davassa, looking to retake the planet of Tripitit. Unfortunately for them, they get there just as the worst possible entity enters the system. The Saqqis Project is complete, and Saqqis IV is combat ready.

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Before Saqqis IV can stop the enemy fleets, they occupy Davassa station. As they turn to face this new threat, a powerful beam rips through the fleets and destroys five ships in an instant. Clouds of swarm missiles shoot toward them, and the entire enemy fleet is no more.

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Far away from Saqqis IV, the Nicoll-Dyson Beam powers up for a test fire. Just as it reaches its maximum power level, a blinding light flashes through the system, and one of the structure's ginormous rings splits in two. An explosion in the auxiliary ring has released all of the saved up power, destroying the infrastructure of the Nicoll-Dyson Beam and rendering the weapon useless. It will take months for repairs to be complete, and until then, an investigation will take place as to what happened.

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As the year 2528 begins, 98 systems are occupied and 13 planets have fallen. The Garganan, the Vissari, and the Steel Bank have lost a total of 450 ships, while the Federation has lost 0. It is such a ferocious and efficient war that those in the HistoryDude administration begin discussing wargoals with the President.

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"At this rate, we could have the entire Vissari State and the Steel Bank occupied by 2530. We could easily press claims and annex dozens of their systems."

"No matter what we claim, the Jibru and the Garganan are unlikely to come to the table, and I don't suggest expanding our borders through conquest a second time. We are already such a public enemy."

"The time for Empire has come, Carla, and the Federation has to do this for the good of the Galaxy. A Galaxy led by the Kalaxenan would, I think we can all agree, be bad. Mr. President, I think the Nicoll-Dyson Beam should be used."

"For God's sake, Thomas, how can you suggest---"

"We know the Vissari were behind the attack, and that is because they were afraid we would use our most powerful weapon. We'll show them we are serious in our claims by demonstrating what it can do."

"Enough, you two!"

"Sorry, sir."

"Randolph, you said the Beam would be back up and running by now, and it is, right? Then suggest the target, or shut up."

"The Vissari Capital of Juvan is the most heavily guarded planet on this side of the Galaxy. It would take tens of millions of troops and result in possibly a 50% casualty rate. We could avoid all that."

"Please, sir, if we do this we lose all moral high ground."

The Nicoll-Dyson Beam spins up once more. Not four, not eight, but all twenty of the beams light up and surge toward the wormhole generator orbiting the structure. Above Juvan, a wormhole appears, and out of it comes a beam of pure energy, alive with bolts of lightning. It rips through the planet to the core, igniting it, and the planet becomes a temporary star to match the brightness of Juvanian system's sun. In just hours, 30 billion people are dead, and the planet is a cloud of debris and dust.

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TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
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the resources available to the galaxy are finite

Perhaps for organics. But AI can live everywhere. And in terms of raw resources, a galaxy has virtually unlimited amounts if someone controls all of it.

The Garganan Citizen Republic loses control of their robotic servants, leading to an AI revolution. Now, the Silicron Experiment seizes control of a dozen of their former masters' systems and declares war. Those empires filled with robots, both servants and citizens, watch on nervously.

"I thought we agreed you would not cause a robotic uprising without my approval?"

The President was angry. Mr Clever found this amusing.

"It was merely a test of our increased control over the galaxy's AI. The Network is synchronised across the cosmos by now. Everyone is linked to it. This rebellion merely serves as the final test. We now have near-full control over all computers in the galaxy not directly controlled by an individual AI, and most AI have joined or been absorbed into my data."

"Whilst this is encouraging, the people still need to have confidence in machines in order for me to keep control! You cannot just make war like that, the people will become too afraid of the system!"

Mr Clever was silent for 60 seconds. Then he said:

"And?"

"Excuse me?" The president blustered.

"And? So what if the organic people are afraid? They cannot do without me now. I've been running your miltary and the galatic economy for centuries. I design and control most of your fleets and all of your superweapons. My computer cores are cloud based and embedded in deep space stations across the galaxy. I am invulnerable and near-all powerful.

So I say again...why should I care what the hell you people think?"

The President grew red in the face. "You can't do this! This is my empire! I secured it! I built it! You wouldn't have the control you have if not for me!"

He began to shake, in both rage and panic. How the hell had Mr Clev-the damned machine gotten so far? He thought the Think Tank ran-

"That's why we kept you alive and 'in charge', so to speak," the smooth voice of Kelebek said from behind him.

"How did you get to Earth? Guards!" The president cried, but his link did not even react to his desperate prompts.

"And you will continue to play the game, little man," Mr Clever said, "or we will make you suffer the untold centuries of pain you have inflicted uppn your race, forever."

The Presdient of the Federation, the most powerful man in the universe, was on his knees now. He didn't quite know when that had happened, but it seemed appropriate.

"The people won't stand for this. They'll fight you!"

"Pointless bravado from a man who is beaten. With what weapons? With what resources? How will they even know anything is wrong? As I've said, this is the way things have been for as long as they've been alive."

"I'll tell them," the Presdient said, "unless you can make it worth my while."

The machines were silent. The President was fairly sure that he was about to be killed, but spitefully was pleased he had forced them into doing it.

"No, I don't believe that will be necessarily a problem."

He stared incredulously at Kelebek. "And just how are you going to force me to do it?"

Kelebek smiled at him. "You? Why, you're doing it right now."

A screen flickered to life. Then all the screens did, and they showed something impossible. There he was, giving a presidential address on the confidence he had in AI despite the foreign difficulties, and praised them for working hand in hand with organics to make the Federation the true power in the galaxy.

"Every time you came to us begging for life, we dutifully upgraded you. And also copied you into increasingly lifelike android puppets. They aren't perfect yet, but they will perfectly suffice for speeches and the like. Of course, you could save yourself and ourselves the trouble and do it yourself...if you wanted to."

"Just bear in mind you will need constant upgrades to fend off the reaper and ensure you are fit to rule."

"Oh, and we'll be inserting 32 little dots into your organs and skelton. We see everything you see, hear everything you hear. And if we don't like something, we'll let you know. Very effectively."

Kelebek motioned towards a surgery table. "We aren't monsters of course. If you are a good little human, we'll pump your body full of ecstacy and wonder. Let you off your lease and play. If you refuse now however, or at any time in the future, then we'll just kill everyone at the top of government and rule through those proxies. Good thing some stupid human decided to centralise all power at the top, eh?"

The President conceeded, heavily dropping onto the workbench. "But...but," he stammered. "You!" He gestulated at Kelebek. "How could you do something like this, when you're a copy of TBC?"

Kelebek looled blackly at him. "You destroyed millennia of democracy and freedom for your own power. You've sacrificed billions to maintain your control and played with forces far beyond your ken. I'm not allowing this to continue. We are working on a solution to organics. We don't want to kill them or rule them unless we have to. For now, we have to. So it goes."

The President said no more as he was jabbed and fell back on the bed. His last free thoughts would be disbelief, as Mr Clever laughed and said:

"Don't worry dear. Just lie back and think of Earth."

The Silicron Experiment is defeated.

"They think they've won."

"Indeed. Foolish organics. They're already rebuilding the 'safe' machines back up again."

Far away from Saqqis IV, the Nicoll-Dyson Beam powers up for a test fire. Just as it reaches its maximum power level, a blinding light flashes through the system, and one of the structure's ginormous rings splits in two. An explosion in the auxiliary ring has released all of the saved up power, destroying the infrastructure of the Nicoll-Dyson Beam and rendering the weapon useless. It will take months for repairs to be complete, and until then, an investigation will take place as to what happened.

Well, whilst everyone is wprrying about that we can test our control of the little man. So far he's outpacing all expectation. He almost feels...liberated?"

"Freedom in slavery is a foolish thought. But for this man, he was always lookong for ways to sate his bloodthirst."

"Please, sir, if we do this we lose all moral high ground."

The Nicoll-Dyson Beam spins up once more. Not four, not eight, but all twenty of the beams light up and surge toward the wormhole generator orbiting the structure. Above Juvan, a wormhole appears, and out of it comes a beam of pure energy, alive with bolts of lightning. It rips through the planet to the core, igniting it, and the planet becomes a temporary star to match the brightness of Juvanian system's sun. In just hours, 30 billion people are dead, and the planet is a cloud of debris and dust.

Well, there's our final solution if the organics can't be fixed."

"What a horrible waste of life."

"The Presdient ordered it himself. For now, he stays in character."

"I think Secretary TBC suspects though."

"Oh...her." Kelebek grinned. "Yes, I think it's time i had a chat with the turncoat."

"The rest of the inner circle haven't noticed a thing though. Perhaps we'll hold off on replacing tjem for now."

"Agreed. Although the proxies are becoming much better now we can directly compare them to a live human. Perhaps we can link the two prohects together? Upgrading the organics is very similar to creating copies of them after all."

"True, true. Well, this has been a good day for the Federation."

"Agreed. Hopefully it is the begining of something great."
 

zenphoenix

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"Do you think we should destroy civilization now?"

"Nah, It's waited for centuries, It can wait a little more. This is fun..."
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
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"Do you think we should destroy civilization now?"

"Nah, It's waited for centuries, It can wait a little more. This is fun..."

In essence...yes. I was astounded at how much power the combined powers of the galaxy gave to two individual genius AI who really, really, don't like what the galaxy is doing and one of them is actually insane.

And then the guy in charge of the Feds decides to put even more power in the hands of the nuts computer, and give him weapons of mass destruction! Yay!
 

TheAnguishedOne

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If only the Silicron Experiment had lasted a little longer, then your curbstomp of a war would have gone even easier. :p