Posted by Gamemaster Deus Ex Machina (GM) in Bridge Main Sim
Posted by Commander Garinder’Jen th’Jir (Executive Officer) in Bridge Main Sim
Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Bridge Main Sim
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Where is Mardusk. He likes a challenge. Anyone, how can we not get hit in an encounter here? I need countermeasure suggestions fast.”
- Jen, XO
Kelly tapped the comm and opened up a ship-wide message. Lt. Commander Mardusk I am not sure what you doing but we really could use you on the bridge,” she announced.
Kelly Bordeax CO
“Orb,” Kelly asked knowing it was the only source of information. “You told us the hull specifications but is there a record of how the Darkness has held up to being attacked. You said the Lorn and another race has taken them on. How did that end specifically with damage sustained to the Darkness.” Kelly had no desire to take on even a baby model of the Borg cube but it would be nice to have enough info to do it if needed.
“All known races, aside from the Lorn, flee when encountering the Darkness. Twelve years ago, Three Darkness ships attacked a key system of the Nine, 32 ships of varying size engaged the Darkness, all ships were destroyed. One Darkness ship was believed to be destroyed as well, but there were no survivors of the space battle and the survivors on the planet had no information.”
“Three years ago, two Lorn ships engaged a Darkness vessel that moved into their space. The Darkness ship was destroyed, both Lorn vessels were heavily damaged.”
“Seven months ago and Enodorian fleet encountered a Darkness ship near a colony world, the 22 vessels of the fleet forced the Darkness ship to retreat. There were 4 destroyed and 12 damaged Enodorian cruisers.”
Jen typically had less than luck when considering information searches. And the Orb was no exception. Perhaps the captain may have better luck there, though he was not optimistic. Classically it was a data source that neither helped nor hindered rendering it less than useful, at least in this case.
- Jen, XO
Okay, useful in the sense that they are tough - which they knew - and persistent for no reason. “Orb, if ships flee from them how do they do it when the Darkness is faster? Is there any common thread on why they pursue one and not another?” He wanted to ask why they would travel in packs when they seemed more to be lone wolves but then opted not to. That question would yield a ‘do not know the motives of the Darkness beyond chaos’. But he did ask, “Each tentacle has its own beam, and combined the output is considerably more. Do the Darkness tentacles target independently - as in multiple targets - or do they need to act in concert toward one target, whether the beams are in synch or not?”
- Jen, XO
“Records indicate, in combat, the Darkness fires weapons in sequence from its projectors, not in collaboration. It is known to use massed beams against slow or planet based targets. The Darkness routinely ignores ships at random. Ships run, hoping someone else is the unlucky target.”
Her XO’s line of questioning spurred another thought in Kelly. “Added to the XO’s question,” Kelly asked the Orb, “what race is associated with the Darkness?” Looking at the XO, Kelly took a deep breath. “There had to be someone manning the ship right? If not we are dealing with an AI. If it’s a computer overlord situation I am pretty sure we are smarter than a circuit board,” Kelly reclined back in her seat.
“No race has ever been assigned to the Darkness, there has been bio material detected in damaged fragments. When collectedt genetic growth started creating Darkness Octopus Starships.
“So you are saying the ship has a genetic component,” Kelly asked the orb knowing it would only probably say yes. It was more a rhetorical statement than a question actually. The only race that came to Kelly’s mind that was bio mechanical with that much power was the Borg. She did not think the Darkness was the Borg but everyone had an origin or evolution. Maybe there was some connection. “Orb can we get a representation of the genetic material associated with the Darkness in a schematic form,” Kelly requested.
“Yes,” It wasn’t clear if the orb was responding to both questions. But out of its surface a small perturbance raised and it projected as light beam with the genetic breakdown and then the growth rate that started forming into a miniature holographic octopus. (Is there something you wanted to garner from this projection).
Kelly leaned forward looking at the DNA code morphing into the octopus like ship. “Do you think the ship is organic,” Kelly asked her XO. “A blend of AI and biological like the Borg? Maybe that is why it doesn’t have a race associated with it.”
The DNA chain was completely organic. However, that would be the case even if there were a hybrid, or cybernetic organisms as the technological aspects would be added later. However the projection did not seem to have logical locations for technological add ons.
The turbo lift doors opened and Mardusk stepped onto the bridge. “Skipper, you called? What’s the situation?”
“We have an approaching vessel that has half the power of a Borg cube with a hull that will act like out shots are bee stings. We can out run it but need some a plan if we have to go on the offensive. The orb of knowledge is not much help,” she caught him up to speed .
OOC: half the offensive power…
“Meet the Darkness,” Jen said, introducing him to the Kraken like ship taking pot shots at the asteroids. “Hull strength 4 times ours, anti proton beams, we can take a few single hits but a combined hit will punch through our shields. My suggested fall back if need to is to hope that we have tech that they don’t - metaphasic shields to lose them in the nearest sun.”
Jen paused for further updates. “They do not discriminate targets and may attack the base or the pirate carrier as much as us. They have left personnel on the base - neither of which stands a chance against that thing.” Not that they did but even more so. “I might propose in the getting out of the asteroid field to maneuver as close as possible to asteroids to use them as cover. It may slow them down a bit if they strike them and at our speed may keep ahead of debris until we are clear and can go to higher warp.” He smiled wryly and added in a dry tone. “Oh, and they have fighters. Little squids that have been known to make kamikaze runs on ships.”
- Jen, XO
Cara wasn’t going to be much help on the bridge. A ship with no crew meant no one for her to psycho-analyze. So there were two possibilities....”So eider it’s total AI and den that means that someone with de skill could hack de computer, or it’s controlled by remote and den someone with de skill could hack de computer and take control. Either way we might be able tae hack it and take control, or at de very least knock out de antennae it’s using tae send signals. ” Cara wasn’t a computer person but it made sense to her. Then she looked at both Jen and Bordeaux, “Should I go coordinate de evacuation of de families and civilians tae de emergency family shelters. If dat’ thing packs dat much of a punch those areas are reinforced and safer.”
“No,” Kelly said. “I don’t plan on getting that close and we might need you here,” she replied to her counselor. “You are an expert on the sentient brain which means you have a fair to above average of predicting behavior. So if you can tell us what a sentient would do, you can also tell us what it wouldn’t do correct?” Every situation had a polar opposite. Cara usually was supposed to inform the crew what would likely happen based on her study of behavior so it only stood to reason she should be able to spot things that did not follow that pattern of behavior. At times spotting what wasn’t supposed to happen was more useful that predicting things. “Stick around. We might need you to analyze that thing or this situation in another way. Can you put someone else in charge of the civilians and monitor it from here,” Kelly asked.
Turning her attention back to the orb, she asked another question. “Orb you said there have been a few instances where confronting the Darkness resulted in a stalemate of sorts. Do you have any visuals on the attack patterns the Lorn and the other race used to engage the Darkness that let those groups succeed when all others failed?”
Kelly Bordeaux, CO
“I do not possess specific tactical data from those encounters only the reports. Nor were any notable tactics indicated in those reports.”
Jen had been quiet, thinking, and watching the advance of the Darkness. So they tended to fire independently and only focus their beams on easy targets. That meant that their targeting may not be the best with increased maneuverability. At least they had that. Quietly he said, “Helm, if we need to, not just use asteroids as a cover but utilize a highly evasive program.”
Something niggled at him. “Orb, the Darkness employs fighters. Could they be .. children of the Darkness? Do their sizes vary?”
“There are some size differentiation, but less than 20% from fighter to fighter. So there is a possibility that there is a maturity element to the fighters, but there is no evidence that the fighters can ‘mature’ to a full sized Octopus.”
“It seems this is more organic than mechanical, but not like the Borg in being individual drones. This looks to be one integrated being.” He looked to the counselor. “They seem to be very single minded. Is there anything we can direct to them - some kind of beam that might confuse it?”
- Jen, XO
“Strobe lighting is a known cause of seizures for individuals who are photo-sensitive. This thing lives in space and probably spends a great deal of time ‘in the dark’, so it is possible it is sensitive to light. If you could make the entire ship light up like a giant strobe it might do something to it if we know where the ‘eyes’ are.”
“And that is why we pay you the big bucks,” Kelly nodded already glad she had refused to let the counselor leave the bridge. In her years and experience, counselors were one of the most unrated but highly used people on the bridge. They often thought differently than the other officers on the bridge leading to more helpful avenues to explore than not.
” Low intensity lasers have been used to treat TBI and PTSD. High intensity laser, of course can do severe damage. Or maybe this thing is like a cat, shoot a laser beam off of an asteroid and it will pounce on it. The brain is nothing more than electrical impulses. You could try to use a few modified torpedoes to shock it. But I don’t recommend it. As I said earlier, run or play dead. Dr. Evrilla might be a better one to ask though, Cmdr. There is not enough data on the behavior for me to guess what cause will effect what reaction. It is single minded in its destruction and seems to have no....” Cara paused and turned toward the orb, “Orb, is there a common mineral or energy source between all the targets of The Darkness? What happens to what is destroyed? Does it take anything with it?”
“This has been researched by many races. They Darkness, collect no resources, take no prisoners’, nor do they attempt to board ships vacated or surrendered. Nor have they ever in deed or gesture attempted to control an planet or area of space they have cleared.”
Cara shook her head let her try it another way, “Orb, does the Darkness consume anything, as in do they eat what they destroy? Is there a common element or energy to what they attack? Is the Darkness hungry in other words? Is there a difference in the amount of mass to the amount of destroyed mass?” She looked at Jen, “All life has common needs, food of some sort is necessary. It could be consuming from what is destroyed. It could absorb the energy from the explosions, or be plant like and use a process similar to photosynthesis. Again Evrilla might have better ideas, or someone from sciences in exobiology or zoology.”
“The Darkness has not been noted to ‘consume’ anything. Obviously the biological nature of their bodies does imply they consume some sort of proteins although their hulls have some photosynthetic properties, certainly not enough to go to warp or project their anti-proton beams. It is assumed that their bio consumption is done.. behind the scenes.”
D’vash had been quietly observing and listening to the conversations on the Bridge. A thought occurred to the Intel officer. “Captain, we know The Darkness is made of of organic material. We have its’ DNA sequence. Let’s say medical and science can create a virus, an infection that will alter its’ DNA and attack its’ systems from the inside out. . . .something strong enough to kill it or at least weaken it enough that an external attack is more likely to succeed.”
“Once we have the virus, the second step is determining how to administer it. . . .”
There was definitely the possibility of creating a bio weapon. Some variations of bio-weapons are considered ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and prohibited by treaty and ethics… but there are no treaties that the Federation signed in this region of space.
The Darkness Octopus closed to a few hundred thousand kilometers. The Atlantis had to move to the edge of the asteroid field to then go to warp to their defensive location.
Kelly stood up and walked around the bridge. Her pacing wasn’t Becuase she was nervous. It was more she thought better when moving around. “Okay on that line of thinking,” Kelly already started thinking ahead,” if the darkness consumes thing we could be facing a war of the worlds thing. While bio weapons are banned, we might be in the situation of decimating the enemy of the darkness absorbs us and catches the common cold. Start running scans of what our diseases do to them. We need a way to treat them if that occurs. While it might be something that helps us escape one of these things I do not want to be known as the USS bringer or plagues,” Kelly thought. “Also run sedatives on the sample. We use anethesine for taking out hostiles. Maybe we have something that won’t harm but just knocks the thing out to give us more time,” she commanded.
“Orb if we upload a chemical composition can you extrapolate possible outcomes?” The idea of giving the darkness a sedative was out of the box but stuff like this bd been done for centuries to save lives.
“I am capable of making such an analysis, however that is not my primary function. Evaluation of your medical technology, suggest your systems are better suited for medical analysis than this data module.
Jen blinked at the flash from another asteroid being demolished and that they were on the move now. How did it ‘see’? Could hard radiation blind it? Standard torpedo payload was one thing. They could up that. The counselor’s observation was poignant. Did it feed? Did it bring in energy from space? Terran ‘sharks’ resembled this Darkness. Simply killing machines in the oceans which were all too warm for Jen. It was evidently fine with normal space emissions from solar or other things.
“Orb, is there any regions of space where the Darkness has not been seen in?” To the others, he said, “Perhaps if there is some space where they don’t like we can figure out why.”
“There are billions of kilometers of space that this Orb does not possess the data on. However all known races have been targeted. Only the Lorn appear to be actively excluded from most attacks, which suggest there is some thought behind the targeting of races and regions.”
To Odinson, he replied, “That is something for our back pocket. Right now that thing is almost in our back pocket. If we make it out of this you and those other departments can work on that option.”
- Jen, XO
NE Helm, started maneuvering the ship to the edge of the Asteroid belt, at a tangent to the location of the Darkness. “One quarter impulse power,” The helmsman reported. They could feel the Atlantis twisting and turning about the asteroids.
The Octopus didn’t stop at the Pirate Base. It seemed to be in pursuit of the Atlantis, but it did pass close enough to the base to fire upon it, which it did. The Octopus lashed out with several anti-proton beams causing minor explosions and clearly doing damage to sections of the base. Sensors could detect 100s of casualties. The pirate asteroid was given more attention that other random asteroids that were in the Octopus’ way and this one was not a danger to the Octopus’ navigation. However there was no effort to fully destroy the base, which the Octopus could clearly do as it seemed to prioritize pursuing the Atlantis.
Jen winced at the casual brutality of the attack and the unnecessary casualties. They were unable to rescue them but Jen had hoped they wouldn’t have so recklessly fired on them. At least it meant that the carrier could circle around and help their own people. His antennae focused on what was now. Tactically they couldn’t do much but they could only do what they could, and improvise along the way.
“Aw nuts,” Kelly said seeing the Darkness far more interested in them than the pirate base. Kelly was not thrilled about leaving the base after it was attacked but they could always come back and render aid later. “We need to get that thing to follow us so it doesn’t attack the base again,” she said taking her seat in the command chair. “So if we poke the bear, we are able to out run it right,” she asked the crew. Sometimes running away was a tactical choice and not just running away.
“We don’t need to poke very hard. It already seems to take a shining to us.”
“Sensors. There wouldn’t happen to be any Lorn ships in sight would there?”
There were no Lorn ships within sensor range. There were two transports (the Nine, Alfian), an Endorian Cruiser or Battle Cruiser (hard to tell the difference), and a Dilgar Destroyer. None were particularly close, all over 2 hours at high warp… probably longer as they were slower than the Atlantis.
“Tactical. What is the maximum speed we’ve seen the Darkness go at sublight?” A thought occurred to him. “Prepare some torpedoes. Triple the yield on them. Can you make a dirty bomb out of the explosion? Maybe if we detonate close to it it will sour their sight.” He addressed everyone. “Is there anything we can do to try to blind it or disorient it? A mult-spectrum radioactive blast of some sort? And if so how?”
The officer turned, torpedoes didn’t have the capacity to go to triple yield. “Well, we could pull the propulsion or navigation to make room for increased warhead mass?” The officer shrugged… “Best option”
The Darkness has not exceeded .1 c. However projecting the thrust force the ship seemed capable of suggested a top speed of .2c. which was about 4/5 impulse power for the Atlantis.
“Helm, current evasives. Use the asteroids as you can. When clear of that go to warp.”
- Jen, XO
“Aye. Ma’am.” The ship continued to twist… but the maneuvering decreased as the ship cleared the most dense area of the field. “If we get more clear, they could take a pot shot at us.” The screen was clear enough to shoot, but not clear enough to go to warp… “We could cut right behind....” The ship turned sharply.
Kelly weighed her options. The Dilgar were aggressive and wanted galactic domination. The Nine were strong but religious driven which could make them see possible martyrdom in fights. The last was the Endorians. Since transports were not going to be of any help it was the possible battle cruiser or destroyer that were their best bet.
“Helm set course for the Endorian Crusier and comms send a distress call. Make sure you keep us under cover as long as you can before we go to warp. It does us no good to get nailed in the arse by this thing,” Kelly ordered. If the Endorians were the best race as the Great One said earlier, they were they would at least return the hail and offer assistance. If not it would not be the first time the Altantis was on its own
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