Slipgate to “The Darkness”

Gertronic Exile Scouts have located an abandoned structure deep in the Expanse.

It appears to be a gateway or some kind; and it is active.

No ships entering this ‘Slip Gate’ have returned.

The only thing to ever come back through the gate is the following signal.

TRANSLATION COMPUTER: MESSAGE EXTREMELY UNORTHODOX IN COMPOSITION. TRANSLATION INCLUDES MANY LINGUAL BEST-FITS. FOR CLARITY, BEST-FITS ARE DENOTED BY ASTERISK PAIRS.

OVERALL ACCURACY OF TRANSLATION: UNKNOWN.

(MESSAGE BEGINS…)

That is *funny*. You think you *see* Darkness but Darkness are not *light reflections*.

Maybe you think Darkness are *many bubbles* too. It is such a joke.
Darkness are not *many bubbles* like *campers*. Darkness are just Darkness.


I am Darkness. I am one with many *fingers*.


My *fingers* reach through into *heavy space* and you *see* *Darkness bubbles* but it is really *fingers*.


Maybe you do not even *smell*? That is sad.


*Smelling* *pretty colors* is the best *game*.

Perhaps you have not been to the *Playground*. The *Playground* is for Darkness, but *Campers* can go.

It more fun than several.

You can go there for too much fun.

(MESSAGE ENDS…)

The Bullfrog Catches Some Flies

Responding to an allied SOS, A Gertronic Consortium Bullfrog class light attack frigate was dispatched to Earth. During the descent; an enemy transmission was intercepted with GPS coordinates near the allied base. Upon arrival at the coordinates, a suspected hostile crashed ship was found in a crater and eliminated.

A nearby base; presumed to be property of the attackers; was deemed a legitimate target and also destroyed.

The Consortium Bullfrog then proceeded to the allied base and saw that it was being harassed by 3 fighters. The enemy ships were engaged with one being shot down, and the other two retreating from the combat area.

Once the immediate area was secure, the Bullfrog returned to the crater and spotted a landed enemy fighter. This fighter barely escaped a missile attack and proceeded to run, with the Consortium Vessel giving chase.

After being pursued in a large circle, it is suspected the enemy fighter ran out of power and crashed. A Consortium Marine force was deployed to secure the wreckage. Shortly after; the 3rd fighter returned and did a strafing run on the Bullfrog. Damage was taken but the bullfrog remained operational and was able to win the engagement.

After determining the area was now secure; and warning our ally that his base is now compromised, the Bullfrog returned to space to rendezvous with the Gertronic Core for repair and resupply.

Welcome to The Expanse

This is a dangerous region of space, survival is not guaranteed.

Will you risk meeting other Engineers?

Trade, work together, and help each other build?

Or will you seek to ensure your own survival through force and domination?

How far are you willing to go to survive?

The choice is yours, in the Expanse

Nothing Survives the WIPE

WIPE: Acronym
Whiteout Interphasic Periodic Event

Every so often, a natural occurrence happens in this region of space when the concentration of space-time anomalies reaches a certain saturation point. These anomalies cause wild fluctuations on things meant to be constant. (The speed of light, most noticeably.) This effect causes time itself to slow to one half or less of its normal pace. When it occurs, engineers are required to board special pods with limited equipment; the only vessels capable of surviving a WIPE event, in order to survive.

No normal vessel has ever survived a WIPE; until now.

“Check it again”

“I’ve verified twice sir, it’s definitely a large ship

How is this possible? No ship this big has ever survive a WIPE'”

It would appear Captain, that this one can. Scans confirm this ship survived the WIPE event. Identity records confirm it is owned by an engineer with an identification tag cwtheking. The ship is armed, recommend immediate retreat.’

‘Leave the area, Full speed ahead; Get me a secure channel to the Gertronic Council, Inform them of our findings and ask further instructions’

‘Bullfrog 1, this is Infantry56 of the Gertronic Council; That ship represents a clear threat to the balance of power here in the Expanse. If this technology is allowed to survive, it could be used on next WIPE to dominate the expanse before any other engineers have a chance. you are hereby ordered to circle back and destroy that vessel, and any other assets in the area.

Understood infantry. We will do our duty; Helmsman – turn us around, all hands to battle stations!

The Gertronic Consortium Strikes Back!

Special Message from the Gertronic Council

As you all know, despite our best efforts; relations with ALT have deteriorated once again to the point of open hostility. To that end, 16 hours ago I ordered a small attack wing to assault ALT’s Delta Base.

An opening presented itself and we had little time to act. We did not have a full fleet, only 2 attack frigates and a light cruiser. I knew this was a risky move, but I also knew that a message needed to be sent. ALT needed to understand that The Consortium will never hesitate to defend itself or others from unjustified attacks.

As you well know The Consortium is not a dictatorship, this was put before the Gertronic Council of which I am a member and have but a single vote. The decision to strike ALT Delta Base was unanimous. The attack was a success but a heavy price was paid; The entire attack wing was destroyed.

Consortium communications arrays picked up a transmission from one of the frigates. It shows some of the attack and stunning bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. This Captain gave up an easy escape to circle back and face a vessel that severely outclassed his own. He and his crew demonstrated what it means to be members of The Consortium.

Their sacrifices will not only be remembered; but will serve to enhance our resolve.

Thank you everyone.

Gertronic Council Member Gertron; Founder of The Gertronic Consortium

His name was Ezurth

Fellow engineers, I would like to talk to you today about a very special engineer who made the Expanse his home; for a time.

This was an engineer of great potential. Hardworking, studious, persistent. He took great pride in his works and his craft.

Initially, upon arriving in the expanse, he wished to build a drone army. This army was intended to both protect his assets and expand his reach. There was even talk of a joint effort with The Gertronic Consortium to deliver aid to engineers in need.

Unfortunately his research and development teams, after months of efforts, failed when they attempted to make more drones than the single prototype. No matter what they tried, they could not have 2 active remote control blocks at any given time. The reason given was some type of interference from the anomalies that litter the expanse were limiting the bandwidth available for remote blocks to function.

Lesser Engineers, after such a failure, may have given up but not this one. Not this time.

This engineer changed his vision; he would reside in a heavily armored cube that was to be put in stationary orbit around the earth-like planet. Inside his cube he could quickly manufacture a single disposable drone for use in aid missions or otherwise.

His ingenious solution would effectively mitigate the limit of one drone per engineer; if he needed another drone he would simply detonate the active one hogging the limited bandwidth and make another.

All that was left now was for him to jump his cube into orbit.

Unfortunately, the instant he engaged the jump, an anomaly phased through his navigation array, causing it to travel 10km further than he had intended, inside the gravity well of earth.

With no thrust to counteract the effects and no way to jump out, he was caught like a beast stuck in quicksand. His cube started to fall.

You need to understand that this cube was an extension of his ego, It was his magnum opus. During his long fall to earth, he went through all of the stages of grief.

  • Denial – ‘I am sitting in 25x25x25 heavy armor cube that jumps’
  • Anger – ‘my station just teleported into gravity!’
  • Bargaining: ‘any gods that can stop this because the jumpdrive glitched by sending me into gravity’
  • Depression: ‘now I am screwed’
  • Acceptance: ‘Here is the GPS of my projected impact point’

A Consortium ship ‘Olive Branch One’ arrived at the impact point hours later, only to find a dent in the earth. 

Investigation revealed that the engineer had put his jump drive on overload and everything in the area, including himself had been vaporized.

This engineer is not the first to react in this manner, and he won’t be the last. This extreme and dramatic maneuver has a nickname among citizens of the expanse. They call it a ‘Rage Quit’, due to how angry you would have to be to take such an extreme action.

It is on you, as engineers here in the expanse, to learn from this great person. 

He chased his dreams so fully that anything less than complete success, was a complete failure.

His name was Ezurth, and we will remember him.

Virus Class Aid Pod Incident

Consortium Incident Report

Galactic Star-Date: 20190815
Consortium Officer Involved: Gertronic Captain GRT-085
Others Involved: Captain Zuluhulu22
End Result: One ‘Little Blue’ survival pod completely destroyed. Aid pod manufacturing arm destroyed, collateral damage to windows.

Description of Incident

The Officer in question was deployed in a Consortium ‘Virus’ class planetary aid pod to rendezvous in orbit with another captain named ‘Zuluhulu22’.

Although generally against Consortium policy, this officer agreed to meet with Captain Zuluhulu22 inside the gravity well of Earth-Like planet. Consortium Officers are advised to reject waypoints within orbital gravity due to complications that can arise, but the Captain in charge of the mission is empowered to use discretion.

The official video can be seen here.

The rendezvous did not go well, the two vessels impacted, and Captain Zuluhulu22’s survival pod suffered critical damage and had to be scuttled. As for the aid pod, the primary impact occurred on its manufacturing arm which was was sheared off. Some windows were broken but other than that the vessel was functional.

Captain Zuluhulu22 was picked up and they went to the surface to perform repairs on the Aid Pod. Once that was completed, Zuluhulu22 was manufactured a miner and provided with supplies to build a small outpost.

On debriefing, the Consortium Officer claimed that he was ‘blinded by the sun’ and did not see that an impact was going to occur until it was too late. Investigation teams discovered pieces of glass from liquor bottles in the wreckage, but were unable to prove the officer was drinking at the time of the incident.

A formal reprimand has been issued which does include suspicion of piloting a vessel while intoxicated.

Given the success of the mission, however, no further action will be taken.

END INCIDENT REPORT

Consortium Captain’s Log – Final Entry

Consortium Captains Log
Stardate: ???

There I was, hurtling at maximum speed in the crippled mothership towards the surface of earth. All the escape pods had successfully jumped away before crossing into the gravity well and I was the only person left on the ship. I used the last of the available auxiliary power to steer the ship away from populated areas.

Once my impact zone was confirmed there was nothing more to do but watch the altimeter count down and wait for the end.
5000….
4000….
3000….
2500….
2500….
It had stopped at 2500.

At first I was sure my ships failing systems were responsible and this was simply a glitch, but a quick glance out the window confirmed that I had indeed stopped. How was this possible? I had instantly gone from 100 m/s to 0 m/s; I should be a stain on the deck plating.

There was a bright flash, and an entity appeared in front of me on the bridge.

‘Hello Gertron, my name is Garret; I’m a member of a race of caretakers tasked with ensuring the stability of our host dimensions.

This dimension CWX-01, was being run by another caretaker; You may know him as MIKE. Unfortunately, MIKE is no longer able perform his duties and as a result this entire dimension is in a state of collapse. Once this process reaches a certain point we are unable to stop or reverse it, this dimension will cease to exist shortly.

To preserve some of what was here, I am authorized to offer safe passage to my host dimension, which is known as The Expanse’

What about my crew and their escape pods?’ I inquired.

‘Due to the collapse, the radius of the universe in this dimension is now less than 1000km, your escape pods all jumped further than that into the void. I’m sorry, but you are the only member of The Consortium I was able to find.’

‘And if I refuse to go with you?’

‘Then I will leave, you will resume your descent and your story ends here. Please decide quickly I have a few more people to visit before this place goes for good.’

Given my limited options, I accepted his offer. ‘Great, please take my hand and hold on tight’ The instant I grabbed his hand, we ‘phased out’ (for lack of a better term) and my ship fell away from us, I watched it crash and settle in its final resting place.

Next thing I know the entity is gone and I’m sitting in a drop-pod parachuting down to earth. Everything here looks the same but it’s different.

With nothing else to do, I start to gather resources and start build an base. Using that base, I build a ship. Using the ship, I explore the planet, looking to make contact with other Engineers.

I hope they’re friendly!