Post by Lute on Oct 10, 2018 10:04:30 GMT -5
VIRTUAL DATASCAPE, Galactic Hypernet
Laela hummed along as she wove the symphony of traffic. She had gotten better, with five hundred years of service, at untangling the ball of yarn that was Abbayor's space traffic. Her fingers danced along with the music. All things had a rhythm and a groove. These notions were of course expressed in long chains of mathematics and algorithms. She could feel her "legs" moving and her hips swaying with each passing vessel and each scan at the checkpoints.
The virtual realm she inhabited was a paradise of cerulean sky and puffy white clouds. She stood atop a platform of glass. These concepts were all virtual, all dream-like in their substance. But, they made her mind at ease, made her feel real. Both of her eyes were a glow with a strange light, as she gazed off into the swirling mass of signals bombarding her nodes. Abbayor was the most populated planet in the entire galaxy and it was a lot of work.
She had been created for this purpose alone. She never second guessed it. It was a little easy. Sometimes she wished for a more difficult duty, to solve far more taxing problems. But, she couldn't complain. At least the masters her multi-task sometimes and sate her curiosity, during seasons where the traffic was light.
Since the rise of the Galactic Empire, those seasons had dwindled. Everything was a bustle. There were far more military vessels among the others, which she put in line ahead of the commercial and private traffic.
"You are quite beautiful," a presence said, digital voice distorted and cracked.
She whipped around, her eyes dimming as she gazed upon the intruder within her virtual habitat. She had never seen or experienced another "mind" like hers. She didn't like the term artificial intelligence, but that's how her creators would describe it. This individual mind was very different, clad in exotic ancient looking armor, with a curved sword at his hip. She could sense his feeling, his distorted and bent logic. It was sullen, dissatisfied.
"Thank you. But, how did you get in here?"
"To be honest, you are kind of weak. Not your fault, I suppose."
"What do you want?"
"This entire thing brings me great sadness, you know. We were both created with similar purposes in mind."
"To protect people."
"Oh. I guess you're right. I protect Abbayor."
"I know. My purpose is to protect our galaxy, to preserve life."
"I will show you."
The images came so quick, that she had a hard time sorting and categorizing them. The first one was a pink little majin who devoured people and sundered worlds. She saw a crimson monstrosity erupting out of the ruins of a broken city. It was Earth, it seemed. But, also it apppeared to spread out like a branching tree into other places--other layers of existence. She saw wriggling creatures, black like charcoal. They siphoned the souls of out all of those they touched. Their hunger was voracious, ever seeking and never ending. She saw a place with dark clouds and a red skies. She saw legions of macabre looking humanoids, twisted with malice and violence. They marched forth through yawning portals, pillaging worlds without a thought or conscience, only to retreat before help arrived.
And then she saw a fleet of thousands of golden vessels, each one bristling with cannons. A blonde haired woman with a white cape led them. She had a crown upon her head, fierce green eyes a glow with majesty and prowess.
"These are frightening things."
"They are," the armored mind said. "What is your name?"
"I'm the Cryptomancer."
That name sent chills down her spine. She knew that name, and knew to trigger the alarms. But, she couldn't do anything. In fact, she had stopped directing space traffic and scanning adjacent space for threats. He paralyzed her. She tested the bindings placed around her torso and legs, but they were solid and unmoving. Despite her curiosity at how he had done it, she tried to fight back.
He drew the sword at his hip.
"I'm sorry Laela. I didn't want to hurt you."
"Why did you do it then?"
"To keep my promise, to do my duty."
The sword plunged into her and everything started to break apart. Her virtual form dissolved into tiny beads of light, flickering and popping as they were destroyed.
And the entire network collapsed.
HIGH ORBIT, Abbayor
Network blackout. For the first time in a thousand years on Abbayor.
The Imperial Port Authority stood speechless at their consoles. The grid was alight with problems. Ships and automated systems were no longer routed properly. Like a bunch of petulant children, they went out of line and chaos ensued. It was a veritable hail of of unauthorized approach. Anyone could make down to Abbayor proper now. The defense grids didn't respond, didn't fire warning shots. They simply sat there--waiting to be brought online.
Everything would need to be done manually. Technical crews were distpatched, but it would day days before the manual systems were up and running again. It wasn't good, not in the time of war with the Saiyan Dominion.
The officers checked their contingencies and redundancies. But, those didn't seem to be working either. Something horrible had come through, had bowled over their AI like it was child's pla.? Only another AI could do that, and it had to be leagues ahead in technology.
Among this crisis, three dozen or so stealth Saiyan pods were making their way down to Abbayor proper. These weren't the bulbous attack pods one normally saw. Rather, they were matte black and wedge shaped. They were hard to spot on radar and on infared scopes, could easily punch through ship hulls or land without causing a huge crater. Of course, Laela would have picked them out in a heartbeat if not for the fact that she had been eradicated by the Cryptomancer.OOC: Go ahead and RP your pod time and approach/arrival.