Part 23: Session 10 Part 2*RECORDING BEGINS*
Well, like most time travel stories, this one begins both in the past and in the future…
Indeed. As the Iconians have no doubt told you by now, our universe was created by five effectively omnipotent and theoretically omniscient beings they call the "Mithrilar." Four of these beings were evidently content to watch what they created, and they have not been heard from since. One, however, who was called "Draginol," was unimpressed by the emptiness of the young universe, and decided to create the Arnor using a massive stellar forge. At some point, the Arnor and Dread Lords split over what to do about evolved sapient life, and the two wound up annihilating each other.
You realize that makes no logical sense? Even if one side was destroyed utterly, it's highly unlikely that the other would also disappear completely.
We only know what the Iconians were able to save during the evacuation of their homeworld, plus what the Yor are willing to share, which is precious little. Empirically speaking, we have had no sign of their presence in our corner of the universe, so we may as well assume that they're unreachable.
As for Draginol himself, it seems he was taken out of the picture during this fight, through some unknown means. As I said, only effectively omnipotent by our standards. Sadly, the Iconians were kept mostly uninformed of the larger picture, but we have been able to identify the planet where he must have landed. It was Altaria.
Yes. We haven't come across his remains-and honestly, I'm not sure if we even should-but there must still be something left of his power, since he was apparently able to guide our species' evolution to match yours on Earth perfectly.
How do you know it was your planet, then, instead of ours? Humans have been around for much less time than Altarians.
As I said, there are various hints of some kind of influence in our religious records that are much more specific and rigorous than your own. In addition, Altaria is the only planet found so far on which two separate branches developed sapience simultaneously.
You're kidding. You've never mentioned this before.
We don't like to talk about it. This was before we had adopted the philosophy of Good, and there are many painful episodes involved. Several tens of thousands of years before FTL travel was introduced to our planet, Altaria was home to two sapient creatures: Altarians, and Drath. Our two species competed for resources throughout the entire world. The Drath were stronger and tougher, physically, but they suffered from a much lower birth rate. Eventually they were reduced to a few pockets which hid in the dark regions here and there, until eventually-quite suddenly, in fact-they all disappeared.
They went extinct?
No, they quite literally disappeared. One day they were present, the next they were all gone. It may be that Draginol or one of the other Mithrilar teleported them off the planet. Considering how the Drath left no physical bodies behind after the date of disappearance, intervention is as likely a hypothesis as any other.
Arright, we been dancin' around the big question long enough now: what in the fuck has any a' this got ta do with us Terrans? Why would a Myth-railer want ta copy a species that didn't even fuckin' exist yet?
Ah, well…you see, Draginol, the Mithrilar who created my species…he is, or rather was, human.
That cannot possibly be true!
Mother of fuck me…
I suppose we should all be thankful Senator Godwinson's son was sick today. Please, explain.
In my research, I was able to find a badly neglected and degraded recording crystal which hadn't been copied since the Iconian Evacuation. Through extensive restoration work, we were able to discover Draginol's image as he was talking with an Arnor. This was several hundred million years before either of our species had come about. His appearance was unmistakably human, even after accounting for image distortion.
How could this possibly happen?
I have no idea. Perhaps one of you will discover enough Precursor technology to ascend to Mithrilar levels of power. Perhaps the theory of recursive universes is true and he's a leftover from the last iteration. There is still a lot that has yet to be discovered. Thank you for your time, Senators.
Man, history's a fucked up subject sometimes, ain't it? Morgan, give us the good news.
"Good news" indeed. Thanks to the increasing surplus, I decided to move taxes back into the 30's. Our senate approval rating has reached over 90%, and most non-core planets are at full.
Our second freighter has reached its destination among the Yor. Quite profitable, as you can see. The Drengin have also sent another freighter our direction.
With all the freighters going back and forth, our trade income has finally outpaced our tourism. All commissioned freighters have been built at this point; we merely need to wait for them to reach their destinations. We may also wish to invest some of our profits back into some espionage.
How's about them politics?
Our government's popularity has shown itself in the annual lower house election, which you can see here. I was able to get some Pacifists on board this year, at least.
And yet it seems that my party, the Federalists, have managed to make some gains over last year.
Yes, well. Early into the second quarter, our allies, the Torians, declared war on the Drengin. They first presented a long list of grievances related to the long Occupation, then made a series of rather unreasonable demands. Once the Empire refused, they declared that force would be their only means of obtaining recompence.
Now in this case, the Torians chose not to call us into the conflict, which, being a Pacifist, I am thankful for. However, there are several things we can do to affect this situation. First, we can ignore it and let the war proceed as it may. Second, we can declare war on the Drengin and provide what support we can to our allies. Third, we can act as peacemakers and convince the Torians to call off the war. Still, we are not personally involved, or else I would have presented this immediately.
It seems the Drengin have also asked the Snathi for monetary support in the war effort.
We have also learned that the Altarians have finished the paperwork to maintain a monopoly over Xinathium Hull Plating. Since we are so close, I think we should obtain this trade good from them as soon as possible.
We have also made several notable technology trades recently. Senator Zakharov?
"Universities" are what the Torians use instead of dedicated research centers. We have already surpassed this building type. Quantum Power Plants, however, improve on the Antimatter reactors we had previously. Advanced Materials allows us to strengthen hulls (for an exceptional amount of resources) and Kinetic Streams III is the last stage of that beam weapon's development. Fleet Defense is basic theoretical work that may lead to larger developments later on, and ECM (which we obtained from the LentzLandians, I should mention) is the next step in counter-missile technology. And in spite of the name, Advanced Missile Weapons has improved our offense regarding all weapon types.
The Torians have also declared to the galaxy at large that they have found and started harnessing the power of an Ascension Crystal. Still, we have 20 years before we need to worry about this development, assuming they don't find and exploit a second crystal.
Let me finish by saying that our increased diplomatic abilities and our increasing trade has brought us Close with the other Good races of the galaxy. I highly recommend signing alliances with both the Altarians and the Iconians as soon as possible.
Why do you keep calling them "races?"
Because we are all united races of the galaxy-
No, we're not. "African" is a race. "Polynesian" is a race. "Korath" is a race. And while the Altarian situation may lend itself to a racial connotation, sapient bears and amphibians are entirely separate species. Humans cannot breed with them, much to the disappointment of certain xenophiles, and this isn't a sci fi holo show where all the aliens are humans with prosthetic bits added on top.
On that note, lemmie add that I still owe a beating fer whichever one a' you changed my desk wallpaper. Fuck, man, I know I've seen some disturbing shit in my time, but that shit is not what I want to see when I turn my desk on in the mornin'.
Ah, to change the subject, I finished developing the Laser mark three, then decided that humans, as the developers of the initial hyperwarp, really should be on the cutting edge of propulsion technology. The Impulse Drive III is a version of the technology that manages to be nearly as compact as the old Ion Drive. And since it was finished just this past week, I haven't had the chance to develop the next technology.
Deidre, Miriam, how's them colonies doin'?
Another planet has been colonized and named "Imhotep." At this point, the only thing between our main territory and the expansion around Odin and Kamadeva is the Snathi planet…
Somehow the Torians managed to sneak in behind our territory and colonize the two Nildil planets.
Which we purchased immediately upon seeing them, I should add.
Beyond the low land cover even during an Ice Age, Nildil I is very early into its development of plant life. However, this means it has a lot of promise: with a little terraforming, this planet could easily be a Class 10 or even 12.
Nildil 3 is much less fortunate. Even with the greatest amount of terraforming, it can only hope for a Class 8 distinction.
There is also one additional planet in the down-left area which the Torians have taken. Lal says he wants to wait for the senate to decide, since it was founded only recently.
Yang, what's up with the 'stations?
Perhaps you noticed it earlier, but the Korath have somehow discovered our Ascention crystal and sent a constructor to its location. Since they did so after the Torians exploited theirs, I am not very worried by this development. With our own planets so close, the station does not even cast any territory around it.
The economy station requested has been set up to include both Odin and the Agena planets in its influence range. More modules will be necessary before it can begin improving production levels, however.
Our new synthohol production station has also been upgraded.
The Earth starbase, on the other hand, has been improved to a 9% bonus. Perhaps later I shall remember to add Battle Stations.
I shall begin by stating that the Defender is now in its fourth iteration, thanks to the small Kinetic Streams III.
Several of our…cruise ships have been produced and are heading to the rally point near Kamadeva. Several more Decatur-C's have been produced as well, and three Battle Axes are nearing completion.
However, given the times required for our ships to meet up and move to their destination, I fear I must ask for an extension on my deadline. It may take an entire semester just to move our assets to the target planet.
Arright, but what about the war declaration? Ain't that already been sent?
And lose such an important operational advantage? No, I'm keeping that a secret until the very last possible moment. The minor species never signed the UP pledge to keep people out of their territory, so we can build up right next to their planet before declaring war.
Sounds like a good idea. Now fer my turn. Y'see, I finally decided to recall the Nautilus from the frontier and make it explore some a' those anomalies that have been showing up closer ta home.
Totally worth it, if ya ask me.
Oh, and we also found an area which the civvie traffic says belongs to some species we haven't met yet. Excitin'!
Right, that's the extent of it. Get to it!
LenzLandia shall be invaded within a year; the committee chairman Santiago may have full authority to commission ships to effect this invasion, but Information Warfare must be used for the invasion itself (assuming its availability).
The Terran Alliance shall declare war on the LentzLandians!
Colonial Support Initiative
Senator Godwinson may not use her prerogative to name new colonies. However, new colonies may be given one of the following names: "Mbaba Mwana Waresa," "Daikou," "Sean Connery," "Roger Moore," "Timothy Dalton," and/or "Daniel Craig."
Xeno Relations Board
Energy credits and technologies are authorized for any and all foreign technology trades; priority is given to military technologies so purchased. Humanity is prohibited from selling or trading away colonization technologies.
Colonial Development Commission
The starting order for all colonial buildings will be: build a factory, a market center, a factory, a market center, one research center, one starport, and one farm (once possible, only up to 13b) in that order, using special tiles when appropriate.
Infrastructure Development Commission
Battlestations I shall be built on Earth's economic starbase.
Trade and Loan Commission
The XR Freighter shall be upgraded when applicable.