August 20, 2015: 7:34 pm: Gallian System

Mya sent three survey drones flying on complex flight paths orthogonal to one another. Most salvagers used one drone at a time and just had it cover all the ground. They might have more than one drone in case of large areas or just to have backup in case of damage but they would only use one of them at a time but Mya had discovered over the years that different drones might often report different information about the same area. So she had developed a system— she called it her algorithm, though it was not technically mathematical. The ‘algorithm’ flew the drones in a way designed to bring out those kinds of discrepancies and resolve them. It led to a huge boost in accuracy for her.

The drones reported data back to her but she just let it carry on back to Zactus and SHOE House for Zay to look over. Zay’s report didn’t take long.

“You’ve got a huge amount of metal down there but it’s thinner in the place I marked. That looks very much like a door. Leonard thinks you should try sending a traditional unlock signal to it once you’ve uncovered it. Just in case it has some kind of passive reciever that still works.”

Mya acknowledged and got to work uncovering the metal. It was corroded and dirty but it definitely resembled a hatch of some kind. Faded black and white stripes vaguely suggested a typical hatch warning flag. Mya sent a traditional unlock signal. She cycled through all the major frequencies and then through the rare but known ones. She was about to take the time to have it cycle through all possible frequencies when a mesage from Leonard arrived.

“Try frequency 1120. That’s the one for the Gallian Colonial ship. It won’t prove anything but I have a gut feeling. Zay bet me a sandwich it doesn’t work.”

Mya tried the extremely unlikely frequency. The door made screeching sounds and tried valiantly to open itself. Mya heard gears whining and stripping themselves. She shoved a hand in a small gap that had opened and gave it a push. The hatch slid to the side quickly tearing quite a bit of skin off in the process. Mya knew better but a combination of excitement and impatient had made her risk it.

“The signal worked though the door was so corroded, that it didn’t open. I had to give it a nudge. Don’t know who wins the sandwich.”

Mya was still pulling out light exploratory gear and making the rest of her equipment safe when a message from Leonard came in.

“I win the sandwich.”

It was followed quickly by Zay saying “Belay that sandwich. We need a third party ruling.”

Mya laughed and sighed and sent back, “I vote Leonard. Heading into the structure to explore. May lose messaging.”

Then she walked through the hatch.

July 28, 2015: 11:46 pm: Gallian System

This was when she loved working for SHOE. Away from the drama of headquarters on Zactus but still working remotely with her team there.

Zay was a crack data cruncher. Nobody could match her ability to analyze the stream of information Mya collected for insights and directions nobody else would have thought to even look for.

And Leonard was the hunch master. He took the findings of Zay’s data and pointed Mya in the right direction. Mya’s role was to use their support to dig and make the find. To make the calls that could only be made on the grand when you were looking right at a potential salvage site.

They had done this in the North moons with Zay and Leonard in the ship with Mya. But doing it long distance still felt the same. There was lag to be sure. But the latest reflector technology really helped with that and they had learned to deal.

Mya had been cruising low over an empty plane on the far side of Malaikat. Really just staying close to home because she wanted to knock off early. She was exhausted. The plains had been surveyed a million times but something told her to get a closer look at a set of pipes sticking up out of the ground.

They were noticed on the salvager’s collective maps and unusable, undiggable low value abandoned metal. But Mya decided to see for herself.

The metal was indeed not worth the effort to pull out of the ground. It looked a bit like the remains of some kind of plumbing but there was no record of whatever structure had made use of them.

Mya had made a scan and shot it back to Zactus for Zay’s take.

“I’m seeing slight indications of subsurface metal. Maybe more pipe but it would have to be a lot more to account for this number. Scan more detail about 40 degrees south.”

Mya thought it was awfully close to rescan ut she had learned not to doubt Zay. As she was rescanning she got Leonard’s take.

Pipes don’t come out of nowhere and Zay’s data doesn’t jive well with an abandoned structure. There’s definitely something under there. My guess is a ship. I’m looking for matches. So is Zay.”

A ship? She shot back a message telling them they were crazy along with the rescan. She went back to tlook at the pipes while she waited. It was longer than just the lag time before she got a response. This time from Leonard.

“UH. Zya. That’s a ship. At least that’s what I think. Zay found a match to the pipe configuration. He has his own thoughts though.”

Zay’s message came right after. “The chance of it being a ship are low but it’s still higher than the chances of it being anything else we suppose including wall pipes. Those pipes don’t match any known building code. They’r pretty damn ancient but not older than the common piping codes which haven’t changed in centuries. It matches 14% of ancient long-term voyages.”

A follow up from Leonard came right on its heels. “What she’s too coy to tell you is it matches a colony ship. Specifically the generation ships that settled systems in the era Gallium was founded. Those pipes are ventral exhaust and effluent. They kicked out what little unwanted fumes and liquids the colony ships expelled. Which wasn’t much hence how thin they are. I’m not going to SAY it’s one of the Gallian Arks but only because Zay will punch me if I make such an unfounded assertion. So I Say dig.”

Mya doug.

May 23, 2015: 6:42 pm: Gallian System, writing

The mood in south salvage was different. She knew tat for sure. Put she couldn’t quite put her finger on why. North salvage ops were small but they were identified with the planetary system. They were one of its unexpected success stories, growing out of the older and more respectable resource management companies.

In South system salvagers were less numerous and somewhat ignored but at the same time they weren’t controversial. They weren’t seen as upstarts trying to steal away the culture of the system. In fact, they were cautiously embraced by the resource management firms and existence and the much larger and only tangentially related Energey Harvesting companies that operated acrossSouth’s various satellites.

That’s what she didn’t understand about her boss’s attitude. This was a fertile field in which to operate. her boss should have been overjoyed that she was here. Instead her boss just seemed jealous and looking for excuses for her to fail.

But she wasn’t failing. She knew that. Her salvage was as strong as ever and buyers were snapping it up. She panicked when she thought about the need to maintain the consistency of her discoveries. She was deathly afraid her luck would run out as would her stream of good salvage. But so far it didn’t seem that way.

She hoped that after a long enough track record, she could be established in south and allowed to solidify her contributions. Granted, she did not want to become tied only to her boss. She loved the ability to do side enterprises. It’s why she had left RCON and signed on with such a small operation like SHOE. But she didn’t want it to end. She dreaded the idea that she might be cut free.

That’s when her comm flashed. It was Brittany from the planet Delvalli.

“Hey Brit, what’s up?”

“Are you sitting down?” Brittany said. “I debated with my husband whether I should tell you this, but in the end it would be unfair not to.”

“What?”

“I just got a call from SHOE.”

Brittany did some freelance work from time to time so that wasn’t that surprising.

“It was from Connor. He offered me your job. They said they weren’t going to keep you on after the next quarter was over.”

“What did you say?”

“I said I’d think about it. But unless you want me to say yes— I mean— I’m not a salvager really. I just thought you should know.”

She sat down. Now what?

March 21, 2015: 2:06 pm: Gallian System

Gallian System

Brief: Settled by Seed ships and pioneers as multi-use system. Early industry primarily mining. Origin system for Gallium Corporation. Site of historical headquarters for Gallium though no longer occupied by the corporation itself. Current primary industries are energy harvesting, resource maximization and salvage.

Inner Planets and moons

Gurun (uninhabited)
Temperatures on the most inner planet make it impractical for habitation though it was extensively mined. It is occasionally used for research or training but no permanent bases exist and all earlier habitation remnants have been salvaged.

Delvalli – Lari
The second planet settled was used as worker habitation and has a strong independent working class tradition. Solar energy harvesting is the main industry.

Gallium – Bask and Provi
The first planet settled and the oldest continuously occupied. The historical headquarters of the Gallium corporation is maintained here by a staff of 6 but is the only presence of the corporation left in its founding system. The planet is the most comfortable for habitation ann the most populous. Salvage operations are protected under local laws but do exist.

Gran Ban asteroids
Settled by pioneers and still occupied mostly by independent resource maximizers raising foodstuffs in hydroponic bays and harvesting energy. However some small-scale salvage operations exist.

Outer Planets

North – Herb, Elektra, Zactus, Verd, Sedang, Friend
The oldest of the outer planet settlements with the first Gallium outpost on Herb, now preserved but not owned by the Gallium corporation. While the Moons and gas giant are mined out, resource maximizers dominate the economy in multiple verticals. Salvage operations thrive here.

South – Malaikat, Naran, Doug, Winter
The more financially successful although younger of the two habitable gas giant systems. Also the cultural center of the system. Energy harvesting and resource maximization dominate the conomy though some salvage operations have taken hold in recent decades.

East – Numerical (uninhabited)
Mined out and all mining operations reclaimed.

West – Numerical (uninhabited)
Mined out and all mining operations reclaimed.

Related subjects

Gallium Name
The first settled planet was named for its prodiguous amounts of bauxite and zinc which yielded a relatively enormous amount of gallium(III).

Gallium Corporation
Early seed ships brought the founders of mining operations that formalized as the Gallium corporation, named after its home planet and the first principle export. Expansionist in nature, the corporation expanded to a nearby system in the days before generation ships and eventually took to acquiring other struggling mining systems. When the Gallian System was mined out the corporation moved its headquarters to the Allium system, reducing staff to public relations and historical preservation.

Principle Salvage Operations
RCON – Engaging in resource maximization and salvage in the North gas giant region, based in Herb and Gallium

Montrose – Respurce maximization company based in Gallium but with significant slavage operations out of Herb.

SHOE – (Salvage Headquarters Open Everywhere) a small but successful salvage operation that showed salvage-only companies could survive. Based off Zactus.

Menemui – Resource maximization company based on Provi. Got into salvage by acquiring Herb-based salvage company Tiga.

XFCon – Spinoff from Gallium mining ops that baceme an independent resource maximization company out of Bask and Herb and operates some salvage ops.

Suara – Gallium based salvage operation with significant operations in the North gas giant system.

Titor – Founded in Elektra engaging in Resource maximization then expanding to salvage and Energy harvesting now predominantly operating out of Malaikat. One of the largest operations in the Galian system.

December 18, 2014: 1:26 pm: humour, internet, Technology

A: 132 divided by 26 is about 5.

B: How do you know.

A: Because that’s how division works.

B: Doesn’t make sense that you can just say that. I mean I think we should investigate all sides of the issue. Who benefits from 132 being divided into 26 parts? Why does it have to be 5?

A: But when you divide 132 by 26 that’s the answer you get.

B: OK OK. Explain to me like I’m 5.

A: We don’t teach division to 5-year-olds.

B: So you can’t explain it. :)

A: Fine. So in this case let’s say you want to separate 132 things into 26 groups.

B: What things?

A: Doesn’t matter.

B: I think it could but let’s see where you go with this.

A: The idea is to find out how many things would be in each group.

B: So gather 26 twist ties say. And I spread them out until I have 26 groups. But not every group will have the same number. That doesn’t give you one answer.

A: Well you can keep shifting the groups around until they all have the same amount but there’s an easier way if you know how to multiply. Which as a five year old you would’t.

B: So this is all sounding like a runaround. The simple truth is you don’t know what 132 divided by 26 really is. You can’t prove it to an average person.

A: Multiply 26 times 5. You can teach a five year old to use a calculator.

B: If you trust calculators. But OK, for the sake of argument. Hold on. 26 times 5 is 130 according to my caluclator NOT 132.

A: Right there’s a remainder.

B: WAIT. So you’re trying to convince me that 132 divided by 26 is 5 but when I use MY OWN CALCULATOR It shows that is demonstrabvly NOT the case.

A: I was rounding. It’s actually 5.08

B: (PAUSES) NO! 132.08

A: Well yeah there’s a decimal but we usually round that off.

B: So your “SCIENCE” isn’t so precise after all. If you can just round things off why can’t I round things off. Why can’t I say 132 divided by 26 os 6. I’m just rounding off!

A: You do that.

B: See? You can’t win a fair logical argument can you? WHY CAN”T YOU HANDLE THE SIMPLE TRUTH? Stop trying to ruin this country!

November 19, 2014: 2:38 pm: Technology

I re-wrote the Apple WatchKit press release to take out unnecessary adjectives and anything not simply describing the functions and facts. I did this because the number of ‘incredibly easy’ and “most personal device ever” phrases was actually making it hard to read. So I wanted to see what would happen if I took out the puffery.

The original is here.

Apple® today announced the availability of WatchKit, software that gives developers a set of tools for Apple Watch™. Developers can begin developing WatchKit apps before Apple Watch becomes available. Developers can create WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing noted developers can, “work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine.”

Notifications allow users to take action from their wrist such as turning the lights off after they’ve left the house, accessing flight details at the airport, and rerouting their transit when a train or bus is late. Glances show users information such as the latest news and sports scores, alarm system status or the next step of a favorite recipe.

App features are subject to change and may not be available in all regions or all languages. Apple Watch requires iPhone 5 or later.

The iOS 8.2 SDK beta including WatchKit is available now for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com/watchkit. The WatchKit site includes programming guides, human interface guidelines, templates and more. Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.

“The ESPN app for Apple Watch gives us the ability to deliver live scores and information for their favorite teams,” said John Kosner, executive vice president of Digital and Print Media, ESPN. “Glances provide fans with a snapshot of live games, and if there is no game taking place, they’ll get valuable game-time information or the final box score. With actionable notifications… fans receive alerts on score changes, news and more.”

Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram said, “With actionable notifications you can see and instantly like a photo or react with an emoji. The Instagram news and watch list allows you to see your friends’ latest photos, follow new accounts and get a real-time view of your likes and comments.”

“The American Airlines app on Apple Watch reminds you when it’s time to head to the airport via pre-trip notifications, and provides updates for gate changes, connecting gate info upon arrival, and will notify you when boarding begins if you’re not at the gate yet,” said John Gustafson, American Airlines vice president of Digital. “Travelers can also ask ‘Where am I?’ in-flight and get real-time location information at 30,000 ft.”

September 20, 2014: 10:53 am: Pilot X

The blazing sky burned with millions of lights, all representing attempts at destruction. Pilot X thought about the destroyed children’s home he’d seen on Mersenne. He thought back on his conversation with Captain Alphaea there. How the career yeoman had been thrust into running a planet that could no longer be run due to the destruction raining down.

Mersenne wasn’t even a target. Just collateral damage in this three-way war. He thought about how he’d been tricked into helping cover the war’s existence.

He looked at the three-part device constructed in front of him. “The Instant.” It was ready. The Verity was plugged in providing coordinates. The Progon transmitter was humming. The Sensaurian material presumably awaiting his command.

He made himself think of the people who would never be if he activated The Instant. Of the lives irrevocably changed. They wouldn’t realize it of course. The Instant cut time at the base, causing the timeline to repair itself like a wound. Its inhabitants would assume as they did now that things had always been the way they were. Pilot X wondered how many times this had happened. A useless question “times” given the nature of this.

Only he would remember. He and The Verity sheltered within the bubble of the Instant’s operating field. He alone would carry the memories of a broken universe. He alone would carry the responsibility of wiping out everyone and replacing them. This did not make him a god, he though. It did not make him a devil either. It only made him responsible.

And he feared that. He shied from it. He desperately thought of a way around it. A way to bring the three parties to peace. But he had seen all of this war now. He knew how it ended. With nobody. No system left unscathed. No one left to carry the lesson. That was the biggest crime. The Allendans knew this would not end with a better universe and yet they persisted. His people were the most guilty.

He thought about the destruction of countless systems he had repaired. He thought about the Allendan Council’s arrogance and laughter at how they had manipulated him. He thought about the dead. HE realized the Allendans didn’t care.

He flipped the switch.

The lights disappeared in an instant. Like turning off a lightswitch. For a moment he thought he might have destroyed everything in the universe but himself. But the dim glow from The Verity showed he still had rocks beneath his feet. As his eyes adjusted e could make out stars and even the faint glow Mersenne in the distance.

It had happened so instantaneously. He felt as if he could flick the switch the other way and it would all come back. But of course it wouldn’t. That’s not how it worked. He flicked the switch anyway and nothing happened.

He had done it. He had irrevocably destroyed his own timeline. What had replaced it? Was it something better?

That was his purpose now. To explore this new timeline. To see what had changed. To do his best to make those changes positive.

He would start with Mersenne.

July 29, 2014: 11:14 am: Pilot X, writing

“Greetings Ambassador X,” the guard said. “What can I do for you?”

“Just Pilot, Guard– a–”

“Henta. Guard Henta.”

“Henta. Just came to get my things out of Verity,” said Pilot X non-chalantly.

“Oh,” the Guard looked pained. She obviously respected Pilot X and didn’t want to deny him anything. “The Verity is on lockdown right now. Strict orders from the council. Nobody allowed in or out.”

“Understandable,” Pilot X said with an easy smile. “And I won’t touch her controls. Just need to get my stuff out.”

“I’m sorry,” Guard Henta said slowly. “I’m not allowed to make exceptions.”

Pilot X frowned. It was a friendly frown. The frown you have for a friend who’s in a hard position. “You’re not allowed to break regulations either.”

“Exactly,” Guard Henta said relaxing.

“And one regulation says you’re not allowed to store things for unassigned personnel in unassigned capsules, right?”

Guard Henta unrelaxed. “Yes, that’s true.”

“So if you don’t let me get my things, you’re essentially letting me store them in the Verity.”

“I see what you’re saying, but–”

“I know,” Pilot X shook his head. “It’s unfair that they put people in these situations.”

Guard Henta seemed frozen.

“Just between you and me what are the actual orders restricting Verity?” Pilot X asked.

“Well. No one is allowed to enter, activate, or modify the Verity until further notice. No exceptions.”

“Ah. I don’t have any reason to activate or modify her if I just want to get my things. So I’d only be violating the entry provision. However if I leave my things in there, then I’m violating the entire regulation.”

“I guess so.”

“When did the restriction on Verity come down?”

“Right after I started my rotation.”

“Do you constantly check orders while on duty?”

Guard Henta puffed up a bit. “I make it a point of pride to check in regularly.”

Pilot X inwardly groaned at her pride in obedience. “BUt it’s possoble that orders come in that you don’t see right away.”

She deflated a bit. “I guess so.”

“Could happen to anybody!” he reassured. “You just let me get my stuff, I’ll be gone and you say you saw the orders after I left. Right?”

Guard Henta looked unsure. “I don’t want to lie–”

“And you don’t have to. Just don’t volunteer that you saw the orders before I came. Honestly if I just leave with my stuff and the Verity is locked up tight no one will care.”

“What if something goes wrong?”

“You blame me!” Pilot X said cheerily.

“Oh I wouldn’t want to do that,” Guard Henta looked shocked.

“It’s OK. I can take it. Deal?”

Guard Henta came to a decision and nodded. Pilot X motioned and Alexandra came over to his side.

“Who’s that?” Guard Henta objected.

“I need help carrying things,” Pilot X explained easily.

“Oh right. OK. Make it quick.”

“We will,” Pilot X reassured. They hurried towards Verity. Pilot X felt bad about Guard Henta. She was so sincere. And she would never forgive him.

July 24, 2014: 4:45 pm: Pilot X, writing

He saw her coming but he didn’t run. He wanted this confrontation. He wanted to tell her just how angry he was. How much she had cost him.

“Pilot X, I’m glad I foudn you-”

He interrupted her sharply “I am too. I’m glad I could help you and the Core to further the ends of the war and tie it up tightly for you.”

“What do you mean?” her look of suprise was exquisitely genuine.

“Oh that’s beautiful. Maybe they didn’t even tell you? I think not though. You all knew. Your list of time locations and instructions not to arrive during the conflicts was perfect. I tied each battle up neatly. I thought I was preserving the rest of the universe. Turned out I was keeping the rest of time from ever finding out about the extent of the war that rages behind my shields.”

“No, I suppose it might seem that way.”

“It might seem that way I suppose,” he cut her off savagely again, “If a representative of the council hadn’t met me in the time of the final battle. Which by the way wasn’t the final battle at all but only a convenient place to tell me my work was done. Clever. You should have told them not to spill the beans. I would have come back here anyway to find out what was wrong.”

“The final battle was not a battle?”

“No it wasn’t. But every other one was. And I cleaned them up so well. ONe had several destroyed planets. I cleaned that one up into a rather implausible Moon and an asteroid belt. You’d never know it even happened. Scientists there in later eras are probably puzzled by the Moon’s existence, but you know scientists. They always think of something to explain away the odd.”

“The last battle should have been the apocalypse. That was where you were–” This time she was cut off by another member of the Corewho had just arrived.

“My apologies Alexandra we couldn’t tell you. The last battle was a decoy. We knew they would track you. We knew they would think you were doing them a favor. Now they are no longer suspicious of you. Now you can act.”

“Oh no” Pilot X yelled backing away. “Once burned twice turned. I amo not falling for that one again.”

“Pilot X. We couldn’t tell you either for fear of gicing it away–”

“So you send me someone who doesn’t know about it either to explain? Ha!”

“She was not meant to approach you,” he gave Alexandra a severe look.”

“Well I couldn’t help you even if I was stupid enough. They have Verity.”

“And you’ve removed all your posessions?”

“What?”

“YOu can’t store them there. It’s against regulations.”

“Why do you care?”

“Because its your excuse to get back in. And Your excuse to steal it.”

“Steal what?”

The man looked suprised. “Well, Verity.”

“Oh.” Pilot X thought about it. “Oh no… well maybe. But not for you.”

“Let me explain our plan.”

Pilot X looked skeptical but said nothing.

“You have in your posession a gift from the Progons, no?”

Pilot X nodded without changing his expression.

“And an item retrieved from the Sensaurians during your jump.”

How had he known about that? It was something that stuck to the side of Verity. He hadn’t told anyone or even figured out what it was. He nodded slowly.

“The Progon gift is a communicator, the Sensaurian remains contain telepath generators., as do all their cells. If you combine those with an Inverter-Chrono-integrator, you can change all time with almost no side effects.”

“No you can’t… well… maybe yo could. Sad thing is, I don’t have an Inverter-Chrono-Integrator.”

“We know where you can get one. We’ll help you steal it.”

Pilot X thought about it. He did want Verity back and he might need them to carry out a plan to steal her.

“No, you can steal it.”

“we cannot. If we were to be caught-”

“It would be better if I were caught?” Pilot X laughed. “Oh no no no. Not after the trick you pulled. I’ll take Verity back as you suggest. But you have to bring me the Inverter if you expect me to ever possibly consider your plan. Thjat’s the deal.”

The man looked perplexed. Alexandra spoke up. “We will do it. My apologies for the deceptions carried out upon you. It will be done.”

“alexandra! You cannot-”

“It. Will. Be. Done.”

June 8, 2014: 2:47 pm: Pilot X, writing

The Verity shook like a baby’s rattle as it sliced diaginally through spacetime. Well, it wasn’t exactly diagonal. When you have many more than two dimensions, some of which are rolled up smaller than atoms and others popping into and out of relevancy, diagonal is not the technical term. But the process of bisecting all dimensions at once was difficult to name especially with the changing number of dimensions at play, so diagonal became a catch-all term for what Pilot X was doing.

“Prohibited” and “dangerous’ were other words used to apply to what he was doing. All space-time travel was governed by the Alendans and meant to be very direct. While threads of timelines were known to exist and the principle even exploited, it was not permissible or even a good idea to cut across them. Even worse was the idea of traveling diagonally across all of them.

Fixed points in spacetime made this very dangerous. If a diagonal trajectory was not plotted exactly right, the traveler would bounce off a fixed point like a rubber bullet off a steel wall, damaging space-time in the process.

Pilot X felt OK risking all this because of what the society had told him. The society of the Allendan Core refused travel through time. Because of this it gave them a unique perspective on events that happened up until the point you talked with them. They never knew the future with certainty but they had a much more thorough and complete knowledge of the past, because they lived through every moment of it without skipping around. They’r projections of the future from their perspective were fairly accurate as well.

So when the Core had asserted a secret Time War was raging and gave him a display generator with documentation and projections, he didn’t believe them but he took them seriously. As good as they were, the idea that his own people, the Allendans, along with the Progons and the Sensaurians could hide a raging war across time and space by manipulating the threads of time, was rather hard to swallow.

Well, it was hard to swallow until he took the spoonful of sugar that was the display generator they gave him filled with documentation, graphs and projections clearly laying out a time war that was in existence in the past and would be again. The Core had lived through it.

The generator they gave him also served as a guidance system for diagonal space-time trajectories. It was the only way to travel into the war zones without being stopped by the Allendans or destroyed by the Progons and Sensaurians.

Pilot X had placed a lot of trust in that generator. If it failed him and the Verity— well he’d hardly know as his essensce would be scattered across many millenia and alternate threads of time. In intriguing legacy but not one he really wanted to leave.

The rattling subsided into a shuddering adn the Verity reported she would be dropping into fixed flow space-time shortly. Pilot X relaxed a bit and prepared to get a first view of the first alleged war zone. The society suggested this one as the first to visit, since it was the least active point int he calmest of the zones. It would give him a chance to observe with minimal risk.

As The Verity dropped out of time travel, he saw why. Wreckage filled his view from a gargantuan battle. Only salvage operations moved through space. A planet was destroyed and littering itself into a belt of debris while another one hung spit in half coalescing into two versions of itself.

Proximity alrams came on but they were all from salvage operations alerting him of their prior claims. He was assumed to be salvage himself, thus making it safe for him to poke about.

He recognized Allendan ships of all ages and classes along with Progon warrior bodies and sensaurian hives.

“Did that world contain life?” Pilot X asked The Verity.

“That is the third planet in the system. Some pre-sentient on the third wiped out,”she replied. “Most water vaporized. Chance for recovery minimal.”

“What about the other worlds?”

“1st world non-life supporting. 2nd-world pre-sentient dying with runaway volcanic reactions leading to greenhouse ruin. Third world pre-sentient life destroyed with water vaporized. Fourth planet sentient life destroyed with atmosphere stripped. Fifth planet sentient colonization destroyed. Planet destroyed. Outer gas planets minimally affected.”

“What can we do?”

“Projections show second and fifth planets unsalvagable with current means. third and fourth planets minimally salvagable with water addition.”

“Then we do it. Let’s get some ice rocks from that outer cloud and seed those two and hope for the best. After that, we stop this war.”

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