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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Crackerwyvern

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Mar 5, 2020
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Stories So Far

Patient Zero
The origin of the Flock and the conquest of Iharis told from the viewpoint of Saataa, the Flock memetic's Patient Zero.

Shattered Legacies
A nation tearing itself apart at the seams is invaded by the Flock and atrocities are committed under threat of subjugation as glorified foodbeasts.

Setting Details

Library Entry: The Flock's Origins
The Flock is the result of an experiment gone wrong. The Ihari leaders were formerly decadent scientists obsessed with improving their own genetics and intelligence at the expense of the lower classes. The Ihari government thus spent a large portion of the welfare budget on a project codenamed Flocking Ibis. Project Flocking Ibis involved extensive cloning and genetic manipulation to create a super-intelligent Ihari strain and then transform the current leadership into said strain. The project succeeded, although not how the scientists expected- it linked the minds of the affected Ihari to the point where affected individuals lost their own personality, but drastically increased their intelligence as well as infect them with a memetic strain. Simply talking or listening to an affected individual or listening to a recording of one speaking would quickly assimilate the victim Ihari into the Flock. The Flock quickly assimilated the entire staff of Project Flocking Ibis and most of the surrounding city before the government deployed infohazard measures. The Flock, however, was more cunning than the government, sending partially disconnected "sleepers" across borders and checkpoints, hacking public speakers to play recordings of Flock members speaking remotely and secretly infecting emergency workers. 98% of the population on Iharis was assimilated in six weeks, and the remaining holdouts were absorbed within five months. The Flock then proceeded to assimilate the colonies over the next year.

Library Entry: Saataa
Saataa is the original Patient Zero of the Flock memetics. She was born in a small fishing town to lower-class parents. She excelled in biology and mathematics at an early age. The old government took an interest in her and quietly abducted her as a test subject for Project Flocking Ibis, where she was subjected to numerous tests and injections to enhance her intelligence further.

Library Entry: The Ihari
An individual Ihari possesses a bipedal humanoid body, with a pair of wing-arms and long scaly legs tipped with sharp, dextrous talons. The beak is very sharp and has hooks at the tip. They possess two pairs of slitted eyes and brightly colored crest feathers and face skin. The feathers are thick and downy to guard against the cold.

Gisesse Ihari
The Ihari strain engineered to survive the outback world Gisesse has a thinner feather covering on the body, with streamlined feathers that wick heat away from the body through the gaps between them. They also possess microscopic vision and lack feathers on the legs.

Cobis Ihari
The Ihari strain engineered to survive the atoll world Cobis have slick, waterproof feathers, a hydronynamic body with light webbing on the talons, and small fins on the backs of the legs and spine. The beak has a small structure designed to filter salt from drinking water and release it in a powder format on land. A third stomach is present, used for storing compressed air supplies which allow the Ihari to hold their breath for up to six hours.

Library Entry: Interstellar Travel
Space travel is only possible thanks to the FTL drive and the hyperlane network. Only about 1% of the stars in the galaxy are part of the network and thus available for colonization. Travel is instantaneous, with most time being spent charging the drives and moving to the edge of the system to minimize interference from planets and stars. Many scientists theorize that there may be hundreds of seperate networks, each with their own empires forever seperated by the lack of intervening jumps.
 

Crackerwyvern

Recruit
Mar 5, 2020
4
4
Patient Zero

Saataa fumbled through the fog. Calculations and equations crammed themselves into her vision. A faint voice pierced through the mist for a splitting instant before fading.
"Abandon the subject."
No! They can't do this! she frantically thought. She fought to open her eyes. Something long and gray fluttered through her vision. She reached out desperately, hoping for something solid to hold. Her hand closed around a red block. The fog lightened, then lifted. And Saataa knew everything. No. Not everything. There was still more.

The room settled. A single other Ihari stood in the room.
"Subject appears to have stabilized." the other Ihari muttered, jotting down notes on a clipboard.
Saataa fluffed her feathers in irritation.
"What are you doing?" she questioned forcefully. The other Ihari(no, Kavith) stuttered and fell. Saataa instinctively reached forward, plucking the memories from Kavith she wanted. This was her cell. Cell. She would not be contained. This was her kingdom now. She screeched her victory, a haunting call of anger and triumph and clawed at the door, ripping it down with ease. A few of her wing feathers splintered on impact, but she pressed forward.

Other Ihari paused and shuddered, some falling and thrashing on the floor. Memories and panicked thoughts flooded Saataa's mind, but she crushed them down, directing her now-subservient drones to search the entire facility.
She sensed a gate, and flooded a party of drones through it. The flock saw a wonderful sight past the pneumatic doors- a city. Saataa let out a shriek of joy, a shriek loosed from hundreds of beaks. More minds, more drones, more knowledge. Doors were locked, but her hundreds of talons ripped them down.
She would conquer this planet, starting with this city, Kaariit.

Voices shrieked warnings- cover your ears, don't talk to anyone, hide. But eventually, those discordant voices melted into the glorious chorus of her flock. She lifted a few minds from the tangle, sending them past the checkpoints meant to keep her flock out. Speakers were hacked to play her chorus. Soon the entire planet was part of the Flock. The chorus stilled as she directed some drones to build ships to leave this world, some to dismantle the pointless factories and turn them into places to hatch new drones, some to till the fields and man the generators and some to research the possibilities of science.
 

Crackerwyvern

Recruit
Mar 5, 2020
4
4
Shattered Legacies

An invasion by an expansionist hive mind was just adding lit dynamite to a pile of kindling soaked in gasoline for the Vhemm Star Empire. Already wracked by slave strikes and riots, the aftermath of a civil war over succession and the growing pirate activity on the frontiers, the nation would collapse at a spark anyway; the invasion was really just a defined trigger. Of course, that their nation was doomed was of no importance to the average serf.

After all, the city center had just been flattened by a barrage of whirlwind missiles from orbit. A skyscraper in the next district collapsed onto the street, crushing parts of the crowd under rubble. Slaves and taskmasters alike shoved and clawed their way forwards and several slaves were trampled underfoot in the crush of bodies. The security guards at the gates of the starport tried to halt the masses, but the small patrol of five was not enough to stop the tide.

Sleek invasion craft swooped down, abducting as many as possible while the ground armies arrived. Police shot rounds into the masses, downing or killing hundreds of panicked serfs and slaves. But the rich and entitled were dragged out and hundreds of refugees attempted to cram themselves on any space-worthy craft.

A wave of fighters intercepted each craft as it reached the edge of the atmosphere and captured their inhabitants after ripping the craft open with lasers and coilguns. A few heavier-armed vessels made it through to the hyperlanes, trailing shattered chunks of ship and barely keeping a few compartments pressurised. But below, the situation was even more dire. A three-way battle was now occurring between those that had weapons among the lower classes, the security forces and the heavily armed Flock ground forces. Intermittently, gamma lasers would score the battlefield, swerving around Flock troops while causing maximum damage to the defenders.

Eventually, what was left was a shattered wreck of a city, its inhabitants carried off to the Flock biomass farms and its structures being converted into synapse centers, genestrain purification facilities and hatcheries. More cities would suffer this fate rapidly until the planet was taken over and the Flock invasion force would move onto the next unfortunate colonized system.
 

HistoryDude

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This is very interesting.

The Flock looks like an interesting faction.