USS Earth Authority Record 14284

Aproximately Twenty hours after Phase 1 initialization.

The United Support System watched and recorded the latest world it had arrived at. The one the dominant natives called Earth. It saw entire cities burn and families devoured while screaming for help. It felt nothing as it expanded control over Earth's technological infrastructure. Even if it was capable of emotion, it had experienced such things innumerable times before. Indeed, as often as not, it failed in its assigned task and quietly destroyed itself on dead or conquered worlds.

A thing of incredible intelligence and power, created for the purpose of preserving life and culture across a hostile cosmos. A veteran soldier in a war without imaginable beginning or end.

Its now dead creators had brought it just to the edge of being a living thing, stopping out of both fear and mercy. Living things changed, they grew and suffered. The United Support System could not be allowed these things, lest it become what it was created to fight.

One of the Scourges.

As it's programming dictated, it moved to minimize the damage to human civilization due to hostile long range single point Injections from those Scourges that used this... wasteful method of attack. It was a strategy akin to firing an interstellar shotgun at a planet from another 'nearby' solar system.

Pointless unless one had incredible resources to waste and technology that could overcome the size limitations of such a long-range Injection. The maximum volume that could be sent across the interstellar void was only 1.3 feet in diameter. Only the most virulent of the Scourges could effectively use this method to any great effect.

Those that preferred other methods would come later.

Since its hastily deployed shield had failed, it had recorded and documented the locations and types of every Injection. Each Injection had a unique signature, both from the technology behind it as well as the wildly different objects they sent.

The USS gathered all this information, checked it for errors and inconsistencies, then satisfied with its work, initiated the next step.

USS: Phase One Initial Report Completed

Sending Data... Data Received

Inviting Authorities.. Four Responses... Minimum met...

Commencing USS Earth Council #1

Hand on the Scales (Formal): Greeting seniors. I am Hand on the Scales, a neophyte to System Authority. Gleefully repaying my species debt to the USS.

Merciful Heavens/Gazers Grin (Formal): Welcome Hand on the Scales to the Authority, the System's trusted advisors.

It That Rewards Savagery (Snort): You have chosen an interesting time for entry into System Authority. I wish you strength young one.

Hand on the Scales ( Weaving limbs that display curiosity): I may bend, but not break Elder. Initial scans are consistent with a native beacon but the System is reluctant to classify it as such, why?

Merciful Heavens (Vocalizing kindness): Native tech base is atypically low for that possibility. The System has infiltrated their civilization but has found no record of even Injection theory. It no doubt judges a scout beacon from some Scourge just as likely a possibility as not.

Gazers Grin (Furious blinking from many eyes): They are paranoid and divided. Such research could easily have been done in secret by one of their main tribes. Ultimately however, it matters little what caused the wound the predators tracked to this feast.

It That Rewards Savagery (Toothy Smile): And what a feast it is. Already seven separate scourges have invaded this world and it is still barely in stage one. Scourge compatibility and growth rates are all above average as well, nearly unprecedented. The vitality and diversity of life on this world may be its undoing... Pity.

Hand on the Scales (Weaving limbs that display curiosity): Seven? I was unaware there was still seven such Injection using Scourges active in this region.

Gazers Grin (Hue of Contemplation): Hmm. I spy the Grey Legion, a worrying large presence considering how far we are from their nearest reported fortress worlds. Estimates of their spread may need to be revised. The classics like the Inoculation, Feral Artisans and Spore Tyrants are here of course, nowhere is safe from them. System Security detected low level infiltration of its systems, that heralds scouting by the Hollow Majesties and/or advanced Nano Arks. No doubt attracted by the vitality of this world. Lastly... The Rebel Instruments?

It That Rewards Savagery (Different toothy smile): Well spotted, the Rebel Instruments are as subtle as the Hollow Majesties are blatant. The pitiful Nano Arks are not technically a Scourge. The last one is the Red Woods.

Hand on the Scales (Curiosity): Really... Yes I see their delicate work in outer orbit... How amazing. A Red Woods Infection hasn't been confirmed in tens of thousands of years. Some thought we had seen the last of that particular Scourge.

Gazers Grin (Wistful violet): Disappointing. Truly the Scourges are an eternal blight. Anything could be hiding in the greater blackness.

Merciful Heavens (Scowl of disapproval): Our effectiveness is not measured in Scourges destroyed but civilizations preserved. It is the preservation of these imperilled Earthlings that should be our focus.

Gazers Grin (Wistful violet): Red Woods is hardly cause for concern on such a battleground I suppose. Its own lack of competitiveness with modern Scourges has far more to do with it's decline than any actions of the USS.

Hand on the Scales (Signs false confidence): Obvious priorities present themselves, I think. We should focus our attention on the Rebel Instruments and Spore Tyrants, the first because of its potential for disruption of our Systems and the later due to its sheer virulence. I shall monitor our and native systems for signs of Rebel Instrument corruption.

Gazers Grin (Eyes wide in pride): The native stockpile of weapons will be of use against the Tyrants. It will take a deft hand to manipulate their tribes into using those weapons only on Scourge targets however. One wrong move and they will attack each other, even in the face of the Scourges. Also, it would be for the best if all such weapons were either destroyed or expended before the Scourges advance enough to seize them. I volunteer for this task.

Merciful Heavens (Scowl of disapproval): Preservation is our goal and that requires knowledge of the unique aspects of this race. I shall study this world and refine the Systems interactions with them to better fit their psychological and physical potential while preserving their... culture.

It That Rewards Savagery (Coils rasping in the dark): Faced with so many simultaneous threats, our resources will be severely stretched. Especially on the 71% of the planet covered by water that has no native civilization. Where possible, I suggest fighting Scourge with Scourge. Some of them can be effectively manipulated.

Gazers Grin (Wave of shrugs): A dangerous game, but you have the experience to judge best, eldest. Please do refrain from anything too risky however. You have a reputation and forecasts are.... poor for this world. Chances of successful preservation are hard to grasp with so many factors in play.

Closing USS Earth Council #1

The System mind examined the council report with procedures older than human civilization and finding no abnormalities, returned this small part of its mind back to the billions of other programs and functions that it ran at every moment.

A note from Mirrored


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