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RP: Freespacers [Freespacer/Mishhu] Anarchists Bearing Gifts

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Inactive Member
Somewhere on the northern edge of the bard cluster...

With ceremony, or even grace, a Divine Comedy-class cruiser slipped out of hyperspace just beyond the Mishhu patrol zones. Within a matter of seconds a computerized voice began broadcasting:

"I am a stranger from a strange part of space,
Here to, if I may, rendezvous with Your Grace.
I can surely ensure you that we mean no harm,
So please don't attack; there's no cause for alarm."
A couple of Mishhuvurthyar gunships eventually dropped to normal space a light-minute away. From one of them undocked one of the much smaller phasing scoutships which closed range to one light-second and then opened FTL direct communication.

The volumetric video/audio feed revealed a Melisson sitting one a chair much larger than her petite frame. She was still dressed with one of the filmy nightgowns she seemed to favor.

"You are polite and you even rhyme," the pink-skinned woman smiled in amusement and then splayed her fingers together. "When you address 'your Grace', I take it you mean me. What do you want?"
"Good greets, distant friend."

An Automaton began broadcasting its own volumetric projection back. This particular machine had a thin and wiry frame, and its worn paint job appeared to originally have been black with bright red and orange flames licking away at the edges. Its electronic voice seemed equally worn; occasionally sputtering white noise analogous to a hacking cough.

"I am Datajack Hex, here as a proxy on behalf of my Nodemates of the Free State. We have long been watching, always watching, oh yeah. It seems things are coming to ahead in this galactic powerplay if our network taps are to be believed, so now is the best time to take action. Ergo we wished to he-- he--" Hex seemed to reach up behind its faceplate and began fiddling with one of its components. "--HELP. Ahem. Help you, oh yeah. A mutually beneficial agreement. The enemy of the enemy is my friend, if the axiom is to be believed. "
Melisson leaned her head to her right, considering the drone's words. Her brows furrowed. "How very odd." She paused and nodded. "You have my attention."
"My nodemates and I are a humble people, yet we are richened by that which is not material: Love. Friendship. Data. We offer all three," Hex gestured by spreading his hands, "though I imagine the latter might be of the most interest to you."

"It seems you foreign peoples seem so accustomed to force of arms that you seem to ... neglect alternatives. Hackers, electronic warfare, information warfare, for example. Empires are built upon the control of information. Control information and you control the masses." Hex's monoeye seemed to glimmer for a moment as he shifted his stance. "The right secrets leaked at the right time can send the people into an uproar, topple dictatorships, or turn the tides of battle in an instant. My far flung kin and I, the Hacker Cult as we call ourselves, can be a means to such an end."
"Why would we need it?" Melisson returned. "I pretty much dropped a big bomb already. As long as the Yamataian Star Empire refrains from making further stupid attacks after Emperor Uesu's departure - I swear, that man could've use more hugs from his mother - I see no reason not to give the new Empress a chance to adapt to the events as long as she does not follow up with previous attrocities. I offered them a way to resolve it peacefully with the Nepleslians acting as my diplomatic proxies. For now, it is my intention to give the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia a chance to settle things."
"Though we do not seek further bloodshed, it is our responsibility as a Free State to shoulder the responsibilities inherent in being free: to allow other races the same opportunities we have. Should Yamatai show beyond a doubt cease their imperialism, then we have no quarrel with them. But should they continue their trend as they have in years past ... with both a heavy heart and great pride, we shall do what we must to protect our far flung kin. To protect their liberty and equality."

Hex seemed to hesitate for a moment as if gather its thoughts. "And to this end, the slaying of this great beast, we offer you a pact of camaraderie and trade if you should be willing."
Running with minimal power and minimal thermal readings, the YSS Asuka, the YSS Chinmoku, and their escorts of 6 Yuuko Gunboats used their FTL systems to carefully near the target point, to a 9.5 LY threshold. Using ever slower FTL so as to minimize their energy output until in position, they began to deploy PANTHEON's EYE Units once in STL, which began to scan space within their 10 LY range for any signals to scan.

Detecting their target, they began to move toward their positions indirectly, and at a relatively slowly at a rate of 370c. The 2m asteroid-camouflaged masses only had small nuclear fusion reactors and collectors to meet their power needs, but a sacrifice of power for stealth had been made...it would take a little under ten days for them to reach the foe, but fortunately they already had a sensor range of 10 LY.

The final position would be a partial sensor net, through which triangulation, signal comparison and boosting was possible. The entire system was point-to-point, so the intercommunication between the drones and the ships should not be detected.

The interim CO of the Asuka, a sprite, glanced around the scouts' bridge as she patiently waited for sensor and communication data to come through on the vessels. The red lighting of the bridge added a sense of urgency and danger to the mission...though Saesei was to back them up, it might not be able to arrive in time should something happen...
"It is generous of you to offer something like this, but your very presence here jeopardizes your species," Melisson replied. "The Yamataians are already taking heavy handed measures to cow Nepleslia into submission simply because I lifted the carpet and showed the dirt beneath it."

The pink-skinned woman shook her head, stirring her wavy crimson hair. "You ought to return home and assist the Nepleslians. They need the help far more than we do."
"Yes, I am receiving a sitrep on the development. Interesting. Our sociopolitical projections indicated there was a chance of such a desperate move, but not so soon. We must revise our analysis protocols more carefully..."

Hex paused for a moment, looking at something off to his side.

"Our offer still persists however. We hold great respect for you, a species who is fighting to free themselves from the tyranny of their oppressive masters. Thus we salute you, friends. But before we go I still have a request: a right of passage agreement."

A subtle hint of worry could be heard creeping into the machine's tone as it shifted its stance. "Should things...turn for the worse we may need to evacuate our Motherships and cityships into secure territory, as well as make a refuge for raiders. Likewise we will leave your vessels unobstructed in our territory. Is this an acceptable?"
"Over my holdings - most of the Mishhu-held systems to what the Nepleslians consider south-west on their star charts - I can hold to having Mishhuvurthyar ships refrain from engaging. This will require Freespacers approaching the warships garrisoning a star system and transmitting both IFF codes and their intent when they show up," Melisson nodded in agreement.

The pink-skinned alien frowned. "You could consider making first contact with the Abwehrans. I've kept away from them so far - they stank of fear - but they are a race which is just starting to make its way into space. They might welcome overtures from a species such as yours."
"I think I know of whom you speak; we know about their kind from our deep space scans. A rather crude race, from what I'm told, always overengineering everything they make. Talk about inefficiency!" Hex's let out what could only be described as a hollow laugh, or as close to one as his voice unit could reproduce. "But yes, all in good time, all in good time."

"Oh, and one other thing before I depart. My nodemates and I are, shall we say, quite curious as to your phasing technologies. The best defense are those that cannot be hit, after all! Hehe. Haha. Hoho." The Automaton attemptedd to mimic laugher with its electronic voice, though it failed miserably. "Ahem. So, my query: Would you perhaps be willing to give, or trade us this some samples a sign of good will, or shall we attempt to pry the secrets from the corpses of starships floating about? I pardon my lack of tact about the question, but you must understand we are Hacker Cultists, and like any respectable hacker it is in our very nature to delve secrets."
"Your efforts to reverse-engineer it would likely be in vain," Melisson shook her head. "The scoutships we used were designed cheaply to to grant us a temporary advantage over the Star Army of Yamatai. Now that the Yamataians have adapted their weaponry and systems to countering them, they are no longer viable combat units. They were good while they lasted, but all good things must come to an end."
"You assume we want to militarize and mimic!" Hex threw its hands into the air in exasperation. "Pah, perhaps my farflung kin may, but what I myself really seek is the information itself. My nodemates and I copy it, steal it, exchange it, disseminate it; data is the catalyst by which nations are risen and razed, by which we harness the forces of the universe, and shape it to our will.

"Data, my good friend, is a priceless currency unto itself in the Free State from whence I came. If it is worthless to you then you lose nothing by giving it freely, am I correct?" Hex shifted its stance as he awaited a reply, causing the light to strike its optical sensors in such a way the lens seemed to glimmer for a moment.
"I need to get going," Melisson interjected after giving something in her room an abrupt glance. "But if you want to get the information and wish in turn to prove your worth... Yamatai's SAINT already has information of salvaged phasing drive systems. You can filch it from them. If you actually find out and bring back that data to me, I'll be very impressed."

Melisson bubbled in brief spontaneous laughter. "Be well!" The communication came to a close.

The small scoutship retreated and quickly phase cloaked out of sight. The two other gunships still had their nose warily pointed at the Divine Comedy.
"Ahh! What a character this Melisson fleshling is. She is punctual and prompt, not like all those other nations who prefer to slog through bureaucratic muck to get things done." Hex let out an electronic sigh as it mused to itself. "It's a shame she won't share her data on phasing, for it is not often we find other races who, like us, embraces subtlety over brute force in their technologies."

The Divine Comedy slowly turned about and accelerated away from the gunships. "Now, if I can only figure out what to put in my situation report..."
The YSS Asuka's group, which had been monitoring communications, retracted the PANTHEON's Eye drones. It opened a communication directly to both Katsuko, Yui, and Misato about the events they'd witnessed...

TO: Empress Motoyoshi Katsuko,
CC: Mistress Taisho Ketsurui Yui
Taisho Motoyoshi Saito

The Ayame-class Cruiser is being controlled by a group calling themselves Freespacers, and has met with Melisson. They've agreed on free passage through each others' space, and the Freespacers asked for Mishhu phasing technology...to which Melisson replied to take it from the Star Army by way of hacking, as away to prove themselves to her.

TF-54 Asuka Special Operations Force,
Fifth Expeditionary Fleet
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