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A note from Erios909

And here we enter Act 2! 

USD: ~Nine weeks since awakening, less than a second after crossing Slipstream event horizon

Location: G8 V Yellow Main Sequence, 92 Pegasi, Deep Space


 

The Shrike winked back into existence, Ship systems flickered at the crossing, and the whine of stressed ship systems continued to fill the air.

“Nameless, display astrogation, also go dark, use RCS at maximum to change our course.”

The screen blipped to navigation, displaying only the ship and blackness.

[Informative: Astrogation survey in progress. Local sun located 8.56 billion km from position, relative velocity: 7635km/s, estimated transit time for near orbit on RCS: 15 days, 7 hours.]

“That’s far out. Start our course, but don’t fly straight in, put us off the ecliptic compared to our transit point. Anyone looking for us would be looking in that narrow cone.”

[Informative: Open High Band transmissions detected. Confirmation of system habitation. Signal delay places nearest communication relay 8 AU from local sun. Beginning download of repeated informational data.]

“We are so far out that signals are delayed for hours…”

[Correction: Estimated delay is approximately 6.82251341 hours.]

“That’s not a correction, just a bit more precise.”

Alex couldn’t think of another snarky comment to say back and that clued her into how tired and exhausted she was. The wormhole winked out of existence, and after ten minutes of having no sign of anything following them, Alex let out of a sigh of tension.

“Nameless, maintain maximum stealth, I don’t know if the slipstream would be detected by anyone here, or if anything tried to follow us through while going dark. We need to start repairs immediately, though. We didn’t take any direct hits, but I think the D-field might have overloaded and half the hull might have experienced ablation from… whatever that super nuke was.”

[Informative: Enemy deployed an anti-matter tri—]

Alex held up her hand, “I don’t need to know. Just start repairs, I need some rest and am leaving things up to you. Keep us dark and fix us up. Maybe take an inventory of the munitions we used. Replace the bullets at least, we should have enough raw material for that. Put a stop to any modifications or resource sinks other than that though, we don’t know what we can find in this system, and I have a feeling we might have a harder time salvaging things if there are people around.”

Alex stood up and headed to her bed. Except she found Elis standing in the mess room, waiting for her. Beeper stood guard while Booper was happily charging on one of the charging pads.

“Alex… I’m sorry.”

Rubbing her face, Alex wondered if she should take a shower before collapsing, it would probably be smarter than getting her bed dirty. The sudden exhaustion she felt washed over her heavily, she wasn’t even sure how long she had been awake. Sometime the ‘day’ before.

“Elis, the system we arrived has people in it judging by the High Band transmission relays being active. We are far out, like half a month before we can get anywhere. When we find out more, I can figure out where to let you off. Nameless is taking care of things and I’m going to sleep. I’m a bit exhausted.”

“You performed… like an actual naval officer. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a cadet in the naval academy.”

“Yeah, well, maybe my nanite computer stole me some memories from one.”

Elis frowned, “That’s not what I meant, I just wanted to say you did well.”

Alex shook her head and entered her room behind the kitchen, found her bed, and fell into it, asleep almost as soon as she found her pillow.

 

USD: ~Fourteen hours after arrival to 92 Pegasi

Location: G8 V Yellow Main Sequence, 92 Pegasi, Deep Space


 

Alex awoke slowly, eventually reaching up to grab a small drone that had developed a small soft nosed vacuum that had been sucking dust out of her hair.

“What the actual fuck, Nameless.”

[Informative: Ship cleanliness is an important maintenance factor.]

“You should have plenty of things to do still, and you don’t even have a nose, so you can’t complain I stink.”

[Notice: Prisoner Elis appears agitated and awaiting your presence for some time now.]

“Nothing came through after us? No one pinging us from the system?”

[Affirmative: No contacts detected.]

Alex groaned and rolled over before sitting up. A screen set to mirror mode told her all she needed to know about the state of her hair. Probably some electrostatic discharge had been the culprit, but rather than focusing on the reason, Alex grabbed her spare outfit and then headed to the ship’s showers.

Alex only made it halfway through the mess before Elis stood up from the couch and turned toward her. It was obvious that the other girl had already cleaned herself up.

“Alex…”

Alex raised her hand, “No no no. I’m taking a shower right now and nothing else.”

Elis froze, “Okay.”

Communication accomplished; Alex put her words into action. She stayed under the hot water for a long time, until Nameless began to pester her about wasting ship’s resources with a water usage counter in the corner of her vision.

Without much hurry Alex slid into her clean skinsuit while a miniature drone grabbed her dirty one and whisked it away for cleaning. Looking at the captain's adornments she paused for a moment, then reattached them to her outfit. She decided she did like how they looked after all.

“Nameless, did we find anything called ‘coffee’ in the supplies we found? I heard it’s meant for poor frail biologicals in situations like this.”

[Notice: No items labeled ‘coffee’ located. However, combat stimulants can be synthesized by Avatar’s personal nanites if Avatar desires.]

“Uhh… no, that sounds like a bit overkill for a slow morning, thanks.”

[Interrogative: If Avatar has completed biological maintenance, there are 187 items for review.]

Alex groaned again, “I assume a lot are on the situation of the system and repairs?”

[Informative: Repairs are currently ongoing, with multiple major issues. The system, 92 Pegasi, is an independent system currently claimed by the Solarian Federation and Unified Corporate Systems, and low grade hostilities have been ongoing.]

“Woah... wait. We ought to review these things with Elis, she has a right to be updated, too, being stuck in… Uhh, do we know what system we just came from?”

[Informative: Observed stellar data places previous system 32LY from current system. According to Astrogation data there are no known star lanes that connect to this system.]

“Wait, we have Astrogation data now?”

[Affirmative: While Avatar was sleeping, this unit downloaded and catalogued all public astrogation data available, currently charting 235 systems and their basic data profiles.]

“Hold on!” Alex almost ran out of the showers and back to the Mess room, startling an Elis who had been sitting on the couch reading a datapad.

“Uh, what?”

Alex plopped down beside Elis and waved her hand at the big holo display, “Display astrogation data.”

 

 

The screen lit up with a colored map of known space.

“We know where we are!” Alex calmed herself to point at the gray area in the southwest quadrant of the map, “Pretty far from everything, I guess. But near the Federation!” Alex swallowed a bit of sudden discomfort, “I think we can find a way to drop you off… somewhere close to home?”

That’s when Alex realized Elis’s face had frozen in shock.

“Is this… is this what we picked up from the system relay?”

“Umm, yeah, Nameless grabbed it. Why, is there a problem?”

“I recognize some things, but this… This is all divided up, the Federation is The Federation. What the hell is a Solar Imperium, or Holy Ertan Republic? I don’t even know what ‘Solarian’ Federation means. What’s the GSD?”

[Informative: No GSD date format exists; current USD is 28:12:0076/18:24]

Alex let out an uhm before asking for clarification, “Day, Month, Year… time?”

[Affirmative.]

[Informative: GSD format predates USD format by 76 years. New official standard was adopted by four major powers and superseded the GSD as galactic defacto date format.]

[Correlative: Sufficient historical data exists to supersede reactor rod dating estimation for subjective time spent in system of progenitor destruction: 84 years with +/- 5% margin of error due to relativistic effects.]

Alex didn’t have many chances to point out Nameless’s mistakes, “Your first guess was off by a bit?”

[Informative: Lower radiation levels of yellow dwarf likely created error in rod dating estimations.]

Elis shook her head, “Seventy years, eighty years, who cares.” She pointed at the map of space, divided up into multiple colors. “How the hell did this happen?”

[Notice: A dataset of galactic history is not available on High Band relay satellite.]

Alex told herself that they would buy one as soon as they had a chance. First, they needed to take care of the ship.

“Nameless, can you please go over the damage and repair report?”

The holo screen swapped to an overhead schematic of the Shrike that Alex had seen before. Suddenly parts flared red. Important parts.

[Informative: Structural beams 23-48, 65-88 have suffered severe deformation. Ship integrity is severely compromised.]

Alex nodded with a frown, those beams ran the length of the ship, and most of the internal hull was supported by them.

“Well, can we just, uhh, take the time fix it?”

[Notice: Repair of deformed beams would require detachment of internal compartments, remelting and recasting of beams or locating replacements, rewelding of beams to ship body, reattachment of internal components. Required material would be 324% of currently available ferrite and derivatives. Estimated time for repair without a full shipyard facility: 18 months.]

Alex rubbed the bridge of her nose and leaned back into the sofa. “That’s… not great. What about finishing your nanite compartments, and using nanites to… uhh… magic it back to health?”

[Informative: Proposed solution would require a longer duration of repair, but sufficient material is available. Estimated time: 42 months.]

“Okay, no.”

Elis spoke up, “The system must have a port facility? What exactly is in 92 Pegasi, Nameless?”

[Informative: 92 Pegasi is a G8 V Yellow Main Sequence star, with one inhabited orbital body. Planet Ackman, 0.731g, average temperature -175c, Hydro extent: 99%. Population: ~3,000. Main exports are plentiful rare hydrogen isotopes mined from the planet’s ice. An orbital facility is in an equatorial, geosynchronous orbit over the planet’s single city. Port prices for fuel, supplies, and cargo services are available, but no mention of repair or drydock facilities.]

“Well, a frontier place like this, I wouldn’t expect any. Although I think you might have problems if you try to repair at a civilian yard… one look and anyone can tell this is a warship, and the navy doesn’t take kindly to civilians flying around in warships.”

Alex thought for a moment before answering, “That’s… actually that’s ok. We can do the repairs ourselves, it seems like a long time, but we don’t really have any pressing matters to rush off to. Other than figuring out how to get you home.”

Elis gave Alex a weak smile, “Alex, I don’t have a home. Not really. I mean I was born on Chala, a populated water world, in the 56 Cassiopeiae system. I might have a few cousins alive, but I didn’t have any siblings, and my parents were already quite old when I went into service. Anyone from my family would essentially be a stranger.”

“Well, there is probably somewhere you want to go?”

“I would like to see about figuring out what happened to the Federation… if I even have a superior to report back to.”

“Right, you’re in the military, you probably should report back in.”

“Things look like they have changed drastically, I really don’t know what to think until we can figure out what happened after… well most of us went after the Monster. By the time of the final confrontation there wasn’t much left of what any of us would have considered to be part of our chain of command. Everything ‘official’ had become a puppet for the machines. Looking at this… there might have been power vacuums that led to division and… the Federation breaking apart.”

“56 Cassiopeiae… umm.” Alex looked over the map, finding it in the Solarian Federation. “It is on our side of the quadrant. How far is it, Nameless?”

[Informative: Assuming you mean a fastest time trip via Linear Waveform drive, approximately 48 days of intra-system transit and 10 weeks of Waveform transit.]

[Notice: Insufficient resources are available to conduct this trip, there is a lack of reaction mass for thrusters. Recommend resupply and replenishment in 92 Pegasi.]

“Looks like we need to deal with the locals or find what we need ourselves, anyway. Nameless, are there any good rocks or… wreckage for us to salvage?”

[Informative: An extensive belt of asteroids containing valuable metals is located in a ring around planet Ackman.]

“Most of our processing is geared for wreckage, how hard would it be to task for processing raw material?”

[Informative: A major reconfiguration of smelter would be required for efficient processing.]

[Recommendation: Expansion of industrial compartments on the ship, including new full-size smelters and fabricators.]

“You know what, I like that idea. We need way more independence than the Shrike was ever designed for.”

Elis had a conflicted look on her face, but she seemed to decide to chime in, “You have so many capabilities with the nanite systems that you could build your own entire industrial facility and shipyard if you wanted.”

Alex was surprised at the scale of that idea, but her eyes lit up, “Yeah, you’re right we could. If we found a quiet place somewhere we could probably be left alone, too. I don’t like the idea of settling into one place just yet, we need to gather more information. I think it is a pretty good plan and high on our list, though, filling out the ship, or even building a new one.”

Elis nodded hesitantly, “Make friends with the locals, supply them with ships and industrial goods they don’t have the capacity to produce out here on the frontier, it sounds like it would be a good gig.”

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A note from Erios909

Hello everyone! 

Thank you for reading!

As always, if you are enjoying the story, why not leave a comment, rating, or review!

I really like engaging with you all, and those things make me happy. 

Also this is the first time I put a image inside a chapter. This one isn't AI art, but an actual map I made playing a game, Aurora 4x, while taking a lot of liberty in GIMP to put it together how I liked. The thing I like about this is that it lets me calculate distances between places, have a good idea of the system geometry, and grounds some things for me.

The map is intended to be the data that Nameless pulls from the relay and is public data, but that doesn't mean there are not any surprises waiting :)

Additions to the map can definitely take place.

Here is a link(clickable image) if you want a more detailed look:

 


Support "ShipCore | A Sci-fi Space Opera ShipGirl Action-Adventure "

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It was great!
21.21% 21.21% of votes
I liked the way the battle was written
21.21% 21.21% of votes
It was intense!
15.32% 15.32% of votes
It felt flat
0.44% 0.44% of votes
I think it was rushed
3.61% 3.61% of votes
I have a specific like/dislike about the way it was handled, see my comment!
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Multiple choices are allowed. I picked this to be funny!
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THIS MAP IS COOL
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Total: 1136 vote(s)

About the author

Erios909

  • West Virginia, USA
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Bio: Still alive, yes.

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