Part 28: Session 11 Part 2*RECORDING BEGINS*
In a world…one like so many others…
[Camera pans across globe, quickly zooms in on surface. Auto-detect software recognizes planet as PICARD]
All Mastev Arroyo wanted was a family. A son to play catch with. His own automated farm. All Mastev wanted…was to forget.
[Camera moves to side shot, a man throwing a ball to a young boy. An idyllic landscape is visible behind, along with farming stations and a pressure dome house. Auto-detect software recognizes man as ANTON KOROVESH, age 27, occupation ACTOR. Boy recognized as WILLIAM HSU-TEN, age 8, occupation MINOR. Industrial works recognized as WORLD OF GOO HYDROPONICS, COMMERCIAL GRADE. Pressure dome recognized as MORGANWORKS ENVIRO-EARTH HABITAT DOME.]
But then…one day…THEY came.
[A shadow passes overhead, and the ball drops to the ground, forgotten. The camera pans up, revealing a massive mothership. Cut to another shot slightly above the ship, giving a view of scores of fightercraft pouring out of multiple launch bays. Cut to a follow cam focused on one fighter strafing apparently civilian targets. A Terran Defense ship flies through the shot, one engine on fire and spinning out of control. Auto-detect software recognizes mothership as UNKNOWN, POSSIBLY DRENGIN-BASED ARTIFICIAL DESIGN. Fighters recognized as COMPUTER-MODIFIED DRENGIN LIGHT FIGHTER. Terran ship is STAR FURY, designation COMPUTER GENERATED.]
And now…if he wants to see his son again…
MASTEV: GIMMIE BACK MY SON!
[A squad of Drengin and/or Korath march into the farm. A woman is cornered in the house and screams as a gun is pointed at her. The man is held at gunpoint and forced to watch as the boy is dragged away. Cut to the boy crying while in a cramped, metal tube. Cut to man on a motorcycle weaving through broken-down cars and trucks. Cut to man holding a pistol to a Drengin's head, shouting. Auto-detect software recognizes uniforms as UNKNOWN. Metal tube recognized as WORLD OF GOO HYDROPONICS WATER STORAGE CHAMBER. Drengin recognized as KORATH LOMAR GORT, visa status ASYLUM, age 278, occupation ACTOR.]
On February 15th, Anton Korovesh returns…as…
[Rapid cuts through action sequences, including a tower exploding as the man drives away on a motorcycle, an enemy fighter shooting down other enemy fighters, the man lifting a Terran Alliance banner high, an explosion following the man as he tries to run from it, and a split-second shot of explosions covering the enemy mothership.]
Brinksman IV: Out for Blood
I probably should have turned off the recognition software first. It's only the short trailer for serial show commercials, but it provides the right idea. What do you think?
Absolutely terrible. I cannot believe they still let people like you film such filth.
A generally expected reaction for your demographic. What did you think?
Bad fucking ass. There gonna be a lot of explosions?
We have the Lucas-Bay studio handling special effects. I can personally guarantee at least 100 individual shots will end with something's destruction.
Any other opinions, for the record?
The film is extremely derivative, jingoistic, and mindlessly patriotic. Even from this brief glimpse, I noted that the characters and villains are so stock and wooden that they could be replaced entirely and not a single audience member would notice. The holo is pandering and exploitative of recent events, and may inspire foolish and unprovoked reactions among our civilian populace.
It is, in short, precisely what we need for our war effort.
So glad you like it. I insisted the director insert a few superfluous dramatic scenes that didn't make it in the action trailer; I figure between those and the war, I might be able to pick up a Leonard or two come award season.
Hey Morgan, love the shop talk, but it looks like most a' the senators have filed back in. You think you wanna tell us all how the galactic economy is doin' now?
Of course, of course. You can see from our current economic report that we have once again managed a surplus.
No doubt our increasing ties with the Altarians are part of it. I should warn you, however, that part of the current surplus is from the motion of our freighters, which is subject to some fluctuation. We should be cautious of how close we come to the margin from now on.
Like that's ever stopped a government before. Arright, Lal, what's up with the peaceful-type relations?
First, I'd like to note that Morgan's payments to the espionage division have yielded two spies at this time, both of whom have infiltrated the Korath empire.
Secondly, we have heard rumors of payments to both sides of the Torian-Drengin conflict by the "Dark Yor."
The fuck are "Dark" Yor?
Query detected. Answering… "Dark Yor" is Yor but not Yor. Were created by Yor as experiment in greater independent control. Dark Yor thought lost during Dread Lord conflict; no response received, deemed KIA. Dark Yor is/are inferior to Yor, "minor" race, located near Yor/Drengin/Torian/Iconian border. Further queries?
Well that's still fuckin' creepy. You were sayin', Lal?
Yes, I was, wasn't I? The last planet in our area of control was taken by the Altarians recently, so I purchased both it and Advanced Heavy Gravity Colonization from them.
We've also been given word that the Yor have declared war on the Scottlingas, whose homeworld we still haven't located. I would say the most disturbing thing about it is that the Yor did not bother listing any reasons or grievances; their robotic representative just powered up one day and said, "Yor am coming for you."
More recently, I made several tech trades with the other races of the galaxy. Allow me to finish, and Senator Zakharov will brief you on their benefits.
When the democratically elected lower house had their vote in October, there was a rousing amount of support for the Universalists, as well as a significant number of Populists.
With most potential planets colonized, I have had a lot of time to go about campaigning.
When the UP met again earlier today, I was chosen as our representative. While I agree in principle with the idea that mining bases should remain with those who created them, I believe too strongly in the individual right of their operators to send supplies to whomever they deem most worthy to receive them. The other benevolent races agreed with me, and so the "Mining Loyalty" bill didn't pass.
And I'm sure the fact that all the species who voted against it had the most territory had nothin' ta do with it, right?
What do you mean?
Oh, nothin'. You just finish yer report now.
Right. Well, this is the state of the galaxy at this point. Senator Zakharov?
Getting the basic Advanced Colonization technologies allowed us to colonize marginal planets, but production on such planets was left at 50% of nominal. With the Advanced techs, our marginal colonies are marginal no longer, but are operating at the same level as our regular planets.
Enhanced Miniaturization improves our ships' capacity by a further 10%, which has been noted in your handouts. ECM III has also replaced ECM I.
Cheap ansible voting booths were developed earlier this year, leading to the vote for government change, as I'm sure you all recall.
The last part of my mandate, Xeno Trade Centers, was completed fairly soon after.
Given our state of war, I decided that developing armor should be a priority.
Our scientists have exhausted the possibilities of titanium and developed a new material specifically built to withstand kinetic force discharged at fractions of light speed. Santiago's engineers have already been going about implementing the stuff, and its stats are in your handout. For now, I've allocated the research fund to Sensors mark II, but the field is wide open once again.
I have one thing to add: our final colony ship has landed on Daikou.
You may recall how we found pirates living there? We voted against doing any business with them, but certain corporations weren't satisfied with the senate's decision and made their own deals. This has given them a sort of backdoor legitimacy. I hope you people are proud of yourselves, because I find you despicable.
Daikou is much larger than Earth, and for various reasons, it has no ice caps. The continents are at a stage where the Pangaea has only just fully broken up, leaving a large number of free-floating continents. Between the geologic instability and a low variety of plantlife, we have given it a Class 9 category.
Slepur IV has been renamed Mbaba Mwana Waresa. The plantlife is actually mostly non-chlorophyllic, making it hazardous to eat, and its pollen causes strong allergic reactions. Still, it has significant natural resources, making it a Class 11 planet.
Also, Odin has now officially been declared our Economic Capital.
Yang, how's the spacestations doin'?
Extraordinarily well. The unnumbered constructors have been put to good use, I can assure you. In particular, Battlestations have been added not only to Earth's own economy base, but also to the bases near the frontier. We now command the same power that so startled Santiago.
"Impressed me," perhaps. But now I shall impress you. First, a Defender was purchased to guard Odin. This would become useful later.
In October, a Korath scout ship made the mistake of flying past one of our Battle Axes.
Later, a Korathian freighter was spotted moving past Odin. Odin's new Defender thus drew its first blood.
Finally, in December, a team of two frigates made it to one of the two border starbases.
What easily crushed our corvettes was no match for Terran capital ships.
Naturally, a constructor was on hand to take the synthetic alcohol in the name of the Terran Alliance.
Except a bug made it invisible for a while. Oh well!
On their way to the second station, we noticed a Korath heavy fighter trying to infiltrate Terran space through the Altarian border. They were dealt with.
Regarding the future of our conflict: after destroying the second mining installation, I intend to use our Battle Axes to escort our Hengest transports to Albiredo IV. From there, Kora herself will be within our reach, and the Korath empire should soon fall into our hands.
Aintcha countin' yer chickens before they're hatched?
The Korath Clan seems unable or unwilling to develop or build frigates. I fail to see how they could possibly stop us without them.
If ya say so. Well, I got just a couple things ta add.
First, the Nautilus is still busy out there, searchin' fer useful junk.
…Well actually, that's about the sum of it.
Now let's get the yellin' over with.
Infrastructure Development Commission
Unless given a commission, either by the senate or a committee chairperson, idle starports will produce constructors.
Automatic ship designs shall focus on beam weapon technology.
Colonial Support Initiative
Senator Godwinson may not use her prerogative to name new colonies.
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. The Terrans shall maintain a strictly neutral stance in the Torian-Drengin War.
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.
Trade and Loan Commission
The XR Freighter shall be upgraded when applicable.