SCIFI NATION ROLEPLAY
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awilla the hun

((Marinus))

"I am quite sure that Ferdinando would have only the greatest delight in recieving this proposal," Cesario said, smiling genially and diplomatically. "Although I must confess my ignorance towards this Concorrant gentleman. What sort of products may he have to offer our own fair worlds?"

The Patrician accepted the prospect of an alliance with a stiff nod, before returning to his dinner. He had spent a whole day awarding knighthoods to soldiers, and it had been a tiring one.

10/5/2008 #301
AspenIvan

A transmission was sent to the Patrician's office.

"Survaek Command to the good Patrician of the Mirevant. We wish to discuss some proposed measures to keep the ever-untrustworthy HSA peacable in your system. Please respond. Repeat..."

10/5/2008 #302
KrossVD

After the return of the pilot's body, HSA officials pushed the case no further, knowing they would not get any further here, but they still pushed their claim in the senate. After their prior conclusion they just hoped the Mirevant would not find anything. By their conclusion of the autopsy of the body the pilot had passed out due to reasons unknown, if the pilot's body had been returned sooner they could have done a drug test for drugs, but the time to test for these had passed.

10/5/2008 #303
Marinus

"He's a representative of Concorrant Industries," said Refinia genially. "The largest mining and manufacturing corporation in known space. Concorrant provides metals, from iron to iridium, ship hulls, a vast range of civilian goods, some military hardware in partnership with Luminary; everything that can be constructed, Concorrant can provide. I think he also wanted to discuss acquiring mining rights to build an asteroid extraction facility on a part of your asteroid belt, but that is something best left to him."

10/6/2008 #304
KrossVD

A great flocking of the few remaining true Mirevantian citizens still in New Santa BArbara was moving towards the new wall of the city and being forced outside with what little possessions and provisions they had. The HSA were not trying to be cruel, the Mirevantians could take everything that was theirs that they wanted from the city, except for their houses, and for those who couldn't carry it all the HSA was even providing free transportation for it, at least until the wall. It was not all good though, even though the HSA was trying to be as nice as they could, how nice can you be to someone you're forcing out of their home, and those who refused to leave were either being forced or even killed in extreme cases, but their bodies were immediately and ceremoniously turned over to the Mievant, in all conflicts in the galaxy no race would be cruel enough to not return dead bodies to their nation, but a great exodus of all Mirevantinas ensued and soon many humans and even refugees took their place in the city, the city council was even trying to fund a project to place a large bubble over the main part of the city so that it would not be polluted and could be used as a vacation spot.

((And awilla, what types of engines and weapons do your space craft use?))

10/6/2008 #305
awilla the hun

((Few remaining citizens? Unless you actually massacared them, this is still a city of many millions of people. This will prove to be very difficult to manage, and could well cause a few problems in the senate.))

The dead bodies were buried, and the population was redistributed as best as could be.

The Patrician sent a complaint directly to the senate about the "wanton manhandling" of his former subjects, who were being "unlawfully evicted" from their new homes, for the sake of the ambition of the Human Systems Alliance.

10/7/2008 #306
KrossVD

(( I would have thought that many civilians would have fled before the city was attacked and after it was captured, we certainly would not have stopped them.))

Crops began growing in the small space around the old city, but most crops were still being grown inside the ship parked on top of the city.

10/7/2008 #307
AspenIvan

After a sufficient amount of waiting, the signal was cut off. Clearly, the Mirevant did not want to negotiate.

10/7/2008 #308
KrossVD

The HSA was working on an experimental grasshopper mutation that would cause it to eat crops and reproduce ten times as fast, which if unleashed would release pestilence across a planet, which would be a very effective weapon. They had just finished genetically engineered the grasshopper to be resistant to almost every type of pesticide, except the one they created so they could stop the plague if the planet surrendered if they ever used it. This type of project would be much too controversial and dangerous to use on anyone of their planets, but this was a perfect spot to test it. They were locking up for the day and counted the grasshoppers to make sure they were all there, but there were three that were missing. They counted again and again but they were still missing three of them. They knew what this meant and locked down the entire area, coating the entire lockdown area with the human safe pesticide, although inhaling the pesticide did give one a mild sense of euphoria, and hoped they had contained it. They radioed command about the breach in security and command decided not to take any chances and five hours later the pesticide was being sprayed on all the crops in the city; although no one noticed the small grasshoppers flying out past a small home garden and towards the wall which they flew over. The grasshoppers now numbered 20 and were flying past the city, although ten had been killed by the pesticide and the bodies had been collected by scientists who had been radioed out to the fields, now breathing a sigh of relief that the infestation was contained. The ten that had escaped flew past the Mirevantian soldiers without notice and towards the newly planted Mirevantian crops.

10/15/2008 #309
awilla the hun

((You know, the HSA was never allowed to enact scientific experiments which could damage Mirevant territory. And why do they hate them so?))

The first towns to fall did so with a strange cheer. Peasants would sit, laughing as their crops rotted in the fields. Everyone else, however, was more concerned. Three days later, a great number of Natural Philosophers were summoned. Wearing their great, beak like plague masks, they scoured the fields.

They reached the conclusion that the pestillence was not one that had ever been encountered on Regario previously; its humours, according to their chief, Alessandro Belsioni, were of an alien nature. Diverse things were collected from the fields, including a strange, green insect. No one had seen such a thing before, and none of the great tomes of the Folio Biologicus had any answers.

((This is not Earth. Thus, it is not unreasonable to presume that they have an identical ecosystem.))

Soon, a connection was made: this was not of terrestrial origin. It was therefore from another planet. The commander of the army around New Santa Barbara (as the barbarians called great Mottorio) was informed. Great stocks of shells were made ready for his guns, and reinforcements began to arrive. Whilst it was not impossible that the soldier of the HSA had quite innocently transferred the humours with them in their wars-which was, whilst extremely unfortunate, not against Galactic War- there may be more sinister designs in this.

A message was also sent to the office of Sir Refinia Violet of the Siridar Imperium, demanding his most urgent presence.

Another was sent to the Dona Lucretia at the Senate, containing a summary of the incident, and a number of instructions.

((Only the HSA, and the Siridar, have been in the League. As a result, it is logical that they are the culprits. And I doubt that just ten grasshoppers could have corrupted the entire Mirevant harvest, but a handful of towns is not out of the question.))

10/17/2008 #310
Marinus

Refinia sent a drone back to Mirevant aboard a shuttle, leaving his dreadnaught - and his vulnerable flesh - in orbit around the desolate moon they were converting. It was good enough to fool most scanners, anyway.

When the shuttle arrived in Mirevantian orbit, Refinia - who had been called from his bed - was less polite than usual, issuing premptory commands in clipped, terse tones. He shifted impatiently as the Aether Lift capsule passed down through the Mirevant atmosphere, and then strode bad-temperedly off.

"I have been summoned," he barked to the nearest guard. "Take me to the Patrician."

10/17/2008 #311
awilla the hun

The Patrician Ferdinando the Tenth was waiting in one of his less sumptuous rooms. To his left was Alessandro Belisari, the Natural Philosopher. To his right stood a gentleman with silver hair, who did not introduce himself to Sir Violet.

"Sir Knight," the Patrician said, after the courtesies had been made, "we have had a number of extraordinary complaints from our peasantry. I will be blunt, Sir Knight, if you do not mind." He didn't wait for a reply. "A number of our wheat fields have been ravaged by a new type of disease." He nodded to Signor Belisari, who bowed and spoke himself.

"The disease," he said, "has spread its humours to these fields here." He indicated them, all around Mottorio. "And it appears to be of an origin beyond this planet, and beyond the Mirevant League, its colonial posessions-" a few asteroids and moons, here and there- "and anything encountered by our explorers. We have narrowed its potential origin down to two sources. One is the Human Systems Alliance, and their city of Mottorio. The other is you and your entourage. You are the only foreigners to have been here for some years."

"If you are revealed to be the source- and this is unlikely, but not impossible, and if this is the case, that you passed it deliberately is similarly unlikely- then Signor Umberto here will lay hands upon you, Sir Knight, and you will submit to investigation. If the source is not you, we will find it neccessary to take action against the Human Systems Alliance. This may be to the extent of us taking military action, in which your people may or may not choose to take part. Remembering our alliance, I would suggest that you provide assistance." This was the Patrician again. "We would appreciate it, therefore, if you make a medical examination of yourself, and any other gentlemen who came with you to Regario."

"Include," Alessandro added, "any pestillences which you may consider extinct, or dormant, in your examination."

10/17/2008 #312
KrossVD

The HSA soon noticed the ravished fields of the Mirevant and immediately contacted them, "Attention Mirevant command, this is New Santa Barbara command, we have information on a dangerous new biological substance that may have been released on your crops. You must respond quickly, for this is no ordinary disease but a plague of insects. Only a few fields have been affected now but the number of insects and fields affected will grow exponentially and we predict that within a few years this planet may be devoid of your crops, please respond. This outbreak was HSA in origin but let me assure you that this was completely accidental and in no way an act against you."

10/17/2008 #313
Marinus

Refinia sighed. "Violet decontamination procedures are most thorough," he said "and we put ourselves through extensive quarantine before coming here. Mirevant is also the only planet where we have appeared in the flesh, as it were. Nevertheless, I will order a scan of myself and my people. Do you know of any vector which might have spread this disease - aside from us?"

10/18/2008 #314
awilla the hun

"We have discovered a number of green insects around the outbreak, Sir Knight," said Signor Belisari. He produced a wooden box from his pocket, and unlocked it with a number of intricate brass devices. In the box, through a glass case, resting on a velvet cushion, was the insect.

"The Human Systems Alliance deny that it was deliberate, of course," he went on. "But it may well have been that group."

"They have every motive of getting us off Regario," the Patrician said. "But we have no evidence! No proof! Sir Knight, we must do two things: firstly, cure the pestilence. Secondly, discover the source beyond a shadow of doubt." He smacked his fist on the table.

10/18/2008 #315
Marinus

Refinia whipped out a high-powered jeweller's loupe and held it - and the insect - up to his eye. "Interesting," he murmured, his irritation lost in Violet discovery. "Note the mandibles and the fibrous structures at the fore of the specimen. Hm...hm. Yes, interesting. I have not seen this type of insect before, but it resembles a kurrait in general structure - the mouthparts and the ill-formed fibrils. On Damarin - where the kurrait is native - they used to spread disease quite rapidly in infected crops until we engineered something to keep them down. This is not a kurrait, but the similarities are there. I don't suppose I could take this and have it sequenced aboard the Concerto? It might tell us more about this...thing. And probably where it came from. I don't suppose you have any humours from the infected, either?"

10/18/2008 #316
awilla the hun

A number of samples of corn had been taken, and one of these was also handed to Refinia, in a similar manner, also under glass. A serellotype (photograph) of the humours was handed over as well. ((This being under a microscope.))

10/19/2008 #317
Marinus

"Thank you. I'm sure the lab can find something out about it. In the meantime - I'm sure you've done this already - quarantine the area, track down and destroy all food shipments from there, and if worst comes to the worst, you might want to give some thought to burning off the fields. I'll keep you informed. Patrician." Refinia inclined his head in respect and farewell and hurried from the hall, the samples clasped close to his chest.

As soon as he arrived aboard the Concerto, he had the samples sent to the lab and every concievable test run on all of them. This was a matter of Family pride. If House Violet could not discover the cause and cure of the pestilence, no-one could.

10/19/2008 #318
Marinus

-Concerto-

The lab rats in their warrens above the torpedo bays had finished their rudimentary analyses of the materials Refinia had brought back with him, and submitted their report.

"...so not natural?"

"Definitely not, sir. You can tell because the telomeres in the genome are misaligned, and there's some sloppy splicing in a few areas. And really, what are the chances of something developing with insanely high resistances to almost every known chemical control method, as well as carrying a rapid-incubation withering disease?"

"HSA?"

The scientist struggled with the ever-present conundrum of having to commit himself to something. "Someone unskilled in genetic alteration," was all he would allow. "And there are no suicide genes or triggers to control them. I mean, we can probably sequence a ribozyme complex to target the genome and then fix it in some liquid for a planetary spraying campaign, but that won't save the crops already infected - at best it will halt the spread - and it will be expensive. I mean, you'd need total saturation of the planetary surface. That's a lot of vessels and ground crews and a hell of a lot of ribozyme. If you were hoping for some regression agent we could replicate and easily disperse, I can't give you anything."

Refinia groaned. "All right, get to work sequencing your ribozyme - and send a message to Tarona to turn all lab production complexes over to ribozyme generation - once you have the right code sequence. I will go back to Mirevant and explain. Can you spare anyone who worked on this problem with you?"

"Harron will go with you."

---------------------------------

-Mirevant-

"I have news for the Patrician and the Natural Philosopher, Alessandro Belisari," said Refinia importantly, at the gates of the governmental complex. He flicked a glance at the pitch-black sky and felt a faint surge of vindictive happiness. They had called him from his bed, and now he was doing the same to them. "Be so good as to summon them at once."

He ignored the other Siridar shifting nervously next to him, ill at ease here.

10/19/2008 #319
awilla the hun

The Patrician, for once without all due pomp and ceromony, but still with a great air of dignity that did not suggest his awakening from his few hours of sleep, was the first to arrive, with Signor Belisari scuttling along at his heels.

"Explain, Sir Knight," the Patrician said, after the normal courtesies had been made. "Pray explain this urgent news."

10/19/2008 #320
Marinus

"We have conducted some rudimentary analyses of the insects and substances we were provided with. As I said, they are rudimentarily similar to the kurrait, but we have been able to determine they are not of Siridar origin. Interestingly, we found extensive evidence of genetic tampering. Unfortunately, whoever did this didn't adequately factor in breakouts, so as far as we can tell at this early stage there is no regression agent. The insects all have extraordinarily high resistances to most pest-control chemicals and are endemic carriers of a short-incubation withering disease - we're calling it the Red Harvest, from the observation of its effects as the plants rot. Our scientists have concluded that to control the insect a planetary spraying campaign with a ribozyme complex - that's something which is specifically coded to destroy a certain pattern of genetic code - is necessary, and you'd need to burn off all infected fields to prevent the disease jumping on its own. This gentleman-" he indicated the nervous, twitching Siridar beside him "-has more detailed information and evidence. I have given the basic precis of their findings."

10/20/2008 #321
awilla the hun

The Patrician nodded. "I shall contact General Zereffi immediately, sir Knight," he said. Zereffi was in command of the Patrician's personal Orinthropter Corps, who were to do the burning of the fields; many had incendiary bombs. "I am quite sure that Signor Belisari will be able to understand this gentleman," he added, before leaving the Natural Philosopher with the two Siridar.

In a matter of hours, the Orinthropters with the grey gear flags swept down over the fields, and commenced bombing and discharging flame projectors, before dropping caskets at the peasants, and flying on. Soon, the fields were purged of the humours, if the instructions of the Siridar were correct.

The caskets contained scutoes and grain as compensation.

10/21/2008 #322
KrossVD

The pesticide killed 99.9% of all the insects, and the burning of crops soon stopped the spread of the disease on its own. The disease was an unseen side effect of the grasshoppers, and they had even had to burn a portion of their crops, although it was nothing compared to what the Mirevant had lost. But, as in most natural things, there was a .01% immunity to the Siridarian pesticide, but this was such a small amount that it would be easy to assume that they were all dead. But within a few weeks the grasshoppers were once again a visible nuisance to the environment, and this strain was immune to the Siridar pesticide. ((Don't say this is cheap either because this happens much in insects and viruses))

10/21/2008 #323
awilla the hun

((I thought that you only used ten of them. And how fast can a grasshopper move?))

As the pestilence spread, a system was slowly set up to limit it. All crops that could be removed were removed. A radio network was set up in the villages around the outbreak areas, each of which sent messages to Orinthropters, which in turn carried Natural Philosophers to take samples and insects, compensation canisters for peasants, and incendiary weapons for the fields. Slowly, a pattern was being formed: it was centred on New Santa Barbara. It was far from a conincidence, the Mirevant League was thinking, that strange offworld insects would arrive just as a plague was unleashed, from a people who had a history of animosity with the Mirevant League, and who had the capacity to make bio weapons.

((And by the way, you actually have to tell the Mirevant League that if they evacuate the world, the plague will stop. Which in turn reveals that you have had connections with it, which will in turn lead to accusations of genocide in the senate.))

10/22/2008 #324
Marinus

((It's not exactly a chemical pesticide - it's enzymes which target certain chains of DNA and rip them apart, rather than by conventional poisoning. You'd have to have a radically different genome pattern [which would kill the insect anyway] to avoid it. And you did only have ten of them. And while they do breed fast, the whole spraying campaign began five days after breakout [by my reckoning] so there's not much scope for mutation - and all genetically-engineered organisms have identical genomes to begin with.))

10/22/2008 #325
KrossVD

((Okay, it would have to dramatically change but it would be about a week before sprayers because they wouldn't notice it until then, and I guess then the logical thing would be that it would destroy the disease, but not the grasshoppers, so they could repopulate and this does happen often))

10/22/2008 #326
Marinus

((Slightly confused now...why would they be going after the disease? They want to eliminate the root cause before tackling that. Hence the scorched earth policies.))

10/24/2008 #327
awilla the hun

((I'll take your word for the biological jibber jabber. Are you finished yet?))

10/24/2008 #328
Marinus

((Yes.))

Refinia passed a hand over his tired eyes. "The sequencing of a cure for the disease is almost complete," he sighed. He'd had no sleep for the last three days and was running solely on raku. "And we've been able to contain the disease and its vectors to Mottorio province." He shook his head and murmured, sotto voce, "Bloody HSA."

"The source of the pestilence and its carriers appears to have come from inside the city of-" he winced "New Santa Barbara," he reported, "And our spraying campaign has been halted at the gates - on the ground, at least. They can't do much about sub-orbital dumps from spacecraft, or wind-dispersed spraying, but that only covers the exterior."

He took a breath. "We have noticed some few insects beginning to develop immunity to our ribozyme. A new batch will soon be coded, but we would seek the permission of the Mirevant League to use it in a two-stage plan, which is as follows." He looked at the Patrician and the Natural Philosopher. "The Tarona labs have coded a parasite which will target these HSA insects, and these HSA insects only. In order to prevent an accidental upset of the ecosystem, they contain seven sets of suicide genes, with different triggers, and a further safeguard in terms of mutation - any alteration to a suicide gene breeds lethality, so the mutation can't spread, and they are of course mechanically adapted to the grasshoppers only. House Violet wishes to deploy it to control the HSA insect - which they call a 'grasshopper' - and when numbers reach a low the new ribozyme will be deployed also." He smiled. "As I said, we're also trying to develop a cure for the disease - hopefully we will have something for you soon."

He placed a small projector on a table and it sent a crystal-clear 3D image of the Violet parasite into the air. "Note the unusual proboscis," said Refinia, pointing to it. "A masterpiece of genetic engineering - we went through a thousand generations to get it - it ensures that the parasite can only feed on these grasshoppers. We went through your entire Folio Biologicus to check. It should also be fast enough to catch up to them, too. As it is a biological control, it won't eliminate the entire population on its own, but that's where the altered ribozyme comes in. It kills off most of the insects, and the parasite gets any it misses. Then we send the suicide trigger, the parasites die, the ecosystem balance is restored." He lowered his voice.

"And then we can do something about the HSA. If you find out who's behind it in the city, pass the names on to me and the Penitentiary will...remove them."

10/25/2008 #329
AspenIvan

The HSA were patched into a Mirevant chat, "Attention Mirevant, we need to discuss the Siridar's advances on the insect. This weapon was released accidentally and was never meant for you, but it is not a normal insect, it is a weapon that was never to be used, only to be had. It was designed so that the more you try to destroy it, the more it adapts. We had plagues like this on Earth, you no nothing of the gene structure of the grasshopper and neither do the Siridar. The Siridar have caused our specifically designed pesticide to become obsolete and the more they try to destroy it the harder it will be to stop them, please respond!"

10/25/2008 #330
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