Ok we’re back with another instillation of Galactic Academy. Rockett was about to go talk with the Commanding Officer *whos name I’ve already forgotten….*
The elevator couldn’t go fast enough, Rockett though to himself. How was he even going to approach the old man. It wasn’t like he was the next in the chain of command. Hell Rockett had only seen him when he was addressing the entire ship on the screens or at very large hall meetings. But really that was it. So how was he now going to walk up to this man and demand answers for the battle and atrocities that had just occurred.
“Sir, if I may interject.”
“Yes Alfred?” His AI was always butting into things long after the mission was over. That was ok. Even surrounded by all the people on the ship Rockett had always felt a little lonely, with Alfred there he didn’t have to feel so lonely. The AI continued, “Come at it from purely the point of a soldier. I checked the systems Sir. We’re right above Terra.”
THere was a silence that encircled the elevator and Rockett sank momentarily along the side of the elevator wall. “We’re what Alfred?”
“Above Terra. Just about three moon-span. I’ve checked the near vicinity and it doesn’t look like are actually in any peril. None of the other ships made it through Sir. There were no alien followers. Those that did…. well you either shot them down in the flight deck or they melted where they were contained in the stream from the Hyper Drive.
“I…” He didn’t see. HE had seen it. He had witnessed it. What if their numbers had been slightly less. Than everyone would have been pulled along with them. They could have had aliens in the flight bay and there would have been nothing that they could have done about any of it. The thought was absolutely terrifying. They would have brought the enemy straight to the home front. Right to their very skies. The Malstari would have been brought all the way across the galaxy. Had that been their aim!?
Rockett started to sink further before a ding alerted him that he was three flights from his destination.
“Be ready to being up any visuals you feel pertinent to the discussion. It was likely they were looking at the entire picutre, which,while horrible wasn’t on the front lines like we were. I need to have Admiral ______ understand exactly where I’m coming from. This is our home Alfred.”
Rockett started to dust his suit and decided against it. He’d come in exactly as he would have presented had he just come out of his suit from battle. Which was exacly what he had done so it only seemed fitting. There was also no alternative.
The doors to the elevator popped open and Rockett took a large breath before striding straight off and into the command deck. He looked for the man at the center and it was easy to spot him from his tall bald head. The incoming pilot did all he could to hold his tongue and not shoot off anything that would get him thrown off of the Bridge before he had even had a chance to speak.
“Admiral ______, what part of any of your brain or team or crew thought that it was a good idea to jump into HyperSpace when we still had that many Malstari on our asses!?” Rocketts fury was clear from the expression on his face to the venom he was spitting from his mouth. Two men tried to step in front of him, but he had trained to be a Mech pilot and was one of the best, having trained for years through the Academy after being hand chosen from his school. There was no way that he wasn’t going to get the message he wanted across.
Just as he made it to the Admiral, Alfred overrode the permissions on the Bridge screens and started to give video from what he had captured while in battle. The colission, which made everyone jump, when Goldwing had been torn into and they had to shoot the Malstari down. He was likely just now loosing air as Rockett thought about it. His mind only flicking onto that thought for an instant before returning to the old man in front of him now.
“Tell me son, what option did we have?” The tone was as if he was talking down to a petulant child, the sneer clear on his face. Oh he was angry alright, but not nearly enough for Rockett and not nearly for the right reasons.
“We’re barely moon-spans above Terra you old git! There were plenty of other options. For starters we could have jumped to a system that wasn’t Terra!” The shock on everyones faces and the catch in their breath let Rockett know that he and Alfred had stumbled onto information they shouldn’t have already had. Which means that there systems as usual were behind the overall processing times of the mechs that all the pilots rode in. Directly what that translated to was the inprobability that the Admiral was seeing the right information from all the right angles in the middle of battle.
It also meant that it was very likely not the old mans fault. But the old ships fault and they were very all likely to be alive at that point. If the Admiral couldn’t see what direction the enemies were coming from in time then…
“Why didn’t you just get them to wire the visuals from the fucking Mechs!” He all but spat the conclusion at the Admiral. Alfred kept the pictures he had taken and went back through bringing up secondary screens of the same moments and when they were being broadcast to the bridge. It meant that the retreat, by those means should have been called long before it actually was.
“Now do you see boy?” The Admiral stated, his voice just as cutting as when he had first engaged into the conversation.
“Sir,” Grieves has turned around in her chair and was now looking back at all the commanding officers as well as the young Pilot that was standing there yelling at all of them, ” The images the Pilot’s AI are sending through make it appear as though our own cameras didn’t actually have visual on the real time information until nearly 10 minutes after the fact. Sir… This was going on right outside. If it had been 300 years ago we’d have had tempered glass and would have been seeing this in real time.”
“You’d also have been dead almost five years ago Grieves, from radiation poisoning in space.”
Which was completely false and Rockett knew it. There was nothing that was going right with this conversation and it was making the loss of every single Mech Pilot that had been burnt down to nothing but shrapnal in the engagements life seem that much less precious to the Admiral. It wasn’t something that Rockett was going to be able to stand for.
“As soon as this boat lands, I’m off your ship, and I’ll make sure every single fucking pilot comes with me. There are other fleets we can be a part of. Alfred has the data and your systems are too outdated to take it from him. Your through.”
The Admiral could do nothing but stare straight ahead and straighten his shoulders. Meaning he had known and didn’t care, known and their fleet somehow couldn’t afford it, or he hadn’t known… none of which made sense.
Already bridge officers were getting up and putting the information together on the screens from Alfred. Some started to clap, and Rockett took it as a good cue to leave.
Four hours later the ship finally touched down on the blessed soil of Terra.
It was three star systems removed from Old Earth, and was nearly twice as large. Still the people had started to fill it and just like Old Earth, it was beginning to run out of resources. Luckily for everyone the people of Terra started to notice that fuels and minerals and space was starting to get cramped way in advance and that was where the commissioning of the United Generations of Earths Nations or TUGEN began. Together they set forth in commissioning six large ships to begin exploring the surrounding star systems and start to either find planets that they could harvest from, or better yet, to move to after terra forming had taken place.
The Terra Legacy was the first ship that was completed and put into use. It had been nearly 100 years. No one knew the lifetime of a ship. The only ship that the people of Terra had known prior was the original exploration vessel that so many had used in order to evacuate Earth when the skies started to become too full of sulfur to breath. It had been a long time coming and many had warned of the dangers of dangerous fuel use, but no one would hear edgewise. The people had been too consumed by the delusions of grandure from a man that was nothing more than a paid figure head. He had caused strife for many and divided nations from one another. It wasn’t long before people around the world started to form malitias and eventually had to overthrow entire governments. What was left in the wake was nations that were unstable and from the massive loss of lives, there was many less experts on how things should be run. Instead of getting a hard reset the people of Earth tried to continue to push forward on technology that broke down further and further every generation.
The skies eventually got so bad and so charged from gasses that there were constant storms and the skies became increasingly erratic. There was only a select few people and families that knew of ships that had started to be built. By the time that the rest of the world found out it was almost too dangerous to go outside. Some of the wealthier cities had built nets over their cities that not only helped to pull down the electricity and convert it into usable energy which also helped to decharge the skies making those area minimally safer, but eventually there was nothing that was going to be able to contain the electric storms.
The ships that were able to take off from old Earth all went to different systems. Two were never heard from again. One got its com systems going but their signal went dark only two hundred years later. Leaving just two planets up until recently. It was the first time any of the people from Terra had heard about the Malstari.
As soon as they found out about the aliens was really the first time that the wealthy families got together and started to build their action plan again. As unfortunate as it was it was always those with money and power that were able to start ideas and make sure that their own asses were going to be safe far and before anyone else even knew there was a problem. This time they were smart though. They didn’t want to have to reset the clocks on themselves. They made sure that they were more public about the building of the ships. Their missions would be clear, to find new planets. Purely for exploration reasons of course.
With the commissioning and building of the first six ships was also the first rudimentary Mech commission. The basic Mech was used for simple missions such as lifting heavy cargo from one side of a flight deck, with normal original space birds still flying missions.
Then the Seven Gene was found.
There seemed to be people whom, over the years and after an upbringing that was strung somewhere between being connected with nature and learning how to utilize technology in conjunction with it. Through the study of both the wilds, they started to integrate technology on the cellular level. Through bonding people with technology there came a point only 100 years into the Terra’s founding that because of the duration at which the technology had started to be integrated into people that their bodies started to write their own programming, being essentially ready to start to interface with technology from the time they were born.
This was the Seven Gene. Something that wasn’t exactly holy, but sure mimicked it in a way. Those born with the Seven Gene lived longer and got sick much less often as the body had ways of detecting viruses and other damages long before the normal human would. It also mean that through the technological “coding” in the genes that those who could interface were able to communicate with the AI on a level that was more… well… level. Rather than having the AI be something that was absolutely dominating in its knowledge. There was nothing, once explained to a Seven, that needed to be re-explained. At least in certain cases. In other cases it made people be able to see patterns much more quickly, or others still that were able to naturally pass along the coding of what movements “should feel like.” Those were what eventually became pilots. Anyone that could interface with a computer, and could tell it what something felt like, meant that they could then turn those into equations which would eventually get transferred into a larger machine being able to use that part of its “brain” to multiply the affects of that movement or feeling.
The Seven Gene’s were eventually sent to a specialized academy where they were tested, all of their own volitions, on what their abilities could be capable of. It was one of the student squads that eventually synced an AI with a Seven Gene feeler, and loaded them into the same “suit.” The Seven would move the suit and the AI would act as the guiding brain for calls. It was akin to having ones own wingman that was tapped directly into their conscience. A majority of the AI’s were fairly bland, but every now and again one of the programmers could get together with a Feeler and also get the AI to learn from those feelings. It was a much longer process that pushed all parties to the brink mentally. But they were able to come out with and show at the end of the year, the first mech flight suit.
The best part was that the programming for all of the parts of the mech that were for flight were based on dreams that feelers had experienced in their own life times. The testing pool then for that set of programming had taken nearly three years just to locate enough feelers around the world to be able to give that sort of data at the level that was needed to convert into programming.
The Mech was an instant success and funding was granted to take the top students from each academy and bring their teams with them to train and to consolodate into Mech Teams.
Each Mech team consisted of:
The Pilot: Who was a strong Feeler type Seven and also had to test high on instincts and being able to read situations. They were no longer dealing necessarily with 2D spaces and tracks to fly along but had to be much more aware of their surroundings in whole new ways since they were moving large extensions of their own bodies when they moved the mechs.
Chief Engineer: who synced with the pilot and made sure that their AI was maintained. You could be really lucky and have one that was always on the cutting edge, or have one that at least had enough humility to bargain with other Engineers in order to keep your team relevant. Good Pilot Engineer pairings could be bartered for by schools and eventually by flight units for the best missions. Sort of like football players from old Earth. They were the stars, and often times they knew it.
The Lead Mechanic: Not only programmed the coding for all of the movement to suit mechanics, but also maintained the Mech once it was built. They were charged with knowing each and every panel, bulb, wire, and tube. If something went wrong or if a Mech was damaged in battle they had to be able to know if it was going to be able to keep flying or if it needed to be grounded.
Three Junior Mechanics: Charged with aiding the Lead Mechanic with repairs.