Tsvìets' Rise from Ash (Ch.2)
The sudden breakthrough in technological knowledge and development was not easy for the Tsvìet swarm to comprehend for numerous weeks. It was staggering for many that so much existed even while they were already trying to get use to learning so much on their own. However, with SING's leadership and charisma, the rest of the population was quick to fall in line.
All of the BOolrk bodies in the ship were consumed and work began on repairing the facilities within the colony flagship. Much machinery was damaged in the crash and getting started was a daunting task but help came in a surprising way. To supplement their numbers in the case of overwhelming odds, the BOolrk were fond of creating drones in their image that would tirelessly march forth onto battlefields or become a precision-based labor force, meaning they all were as smart as you made them and had hands as steady as a surgeon's and tough as a miner's. SING made use of them quickly, bringing online hundreds within hours and her people watched and learned how the distasteful machines (after one curious Tsvìet tried eating one) operated the bigger machines.
Much to SING's approval, the factory could create drones as well so she began redesigning an army for her people with the help of the onboard computer 'spirits' while repairs began in earnest. Raw materials were needed and the mineral conversion plants were never starved as the substitutes found on the planet were more than plentiful and of much higher quality then the BOolrk are use to.
It would be twelve years with the help of tens of thousands of the levitating drones working around the clock that the former flagship of the destroyed colony fleet would finally be rebuilt. It wasn't easy though. Once much of the sides and top portion of the crashed ship were repaired, they had to build a great hole underneath the ship, mining out the valley underneath the wreckage while building support structures to hold the ship up so repairs could be made on the bottom.
Changes were made to it on SING's orders, emphasizing toughness and battle continuation. The ship originally looked like a dish plate with a bowl in the middle of it and a large tower sticking up on one point of the side. The tower was fortified and many large cannons were lined along the bottom and tops while support arms jutted from the thin sides, top and bottom in their thousands, working together to carry a massive armored shell welded together piece by piece and rigged with explosives enough to scrap it if necessary. Even then, along the area of this armored shell, more cannons were built and manned with the drones.
It was an uglier ship than before but the Tsvìets cared only about function and with food running dangerously short, SING initiated the final phase of her preparations. She'd need a much more massive war party that would do what she said yet be able to act on its own in regards to whatever the situation needed.
Knowing this and having worked with the computer spirits for years to develop, they had engineered a cranium device for SING and the first completed Tsvìet drone made in their likeness. Upon activation, SING was able to turn an android that required command inputs into an artificial intelligence by sharing her mind and dreams with it. What would normally take a machine like this more advanced software and comprehension capabilities was jump-started like a formerly dead body.
SING shared everything with it and it became a mechanical extension of her Will.
When the two awoke from the procedure, the new being, designated HUKE, was quick to infiltrate and take over the systems of the ship, performing a virtual Blading on the existing BOolrk computer spirits. Having been born inside their systems already, they were devoured from the inside-out, powerless to stop HUKE's hostile takeover.
Once the whole ship was now truly under SING and HUKE's joint authority, they began cranking out an army of drones, scuttling much of the insides of the ship's structure such as barracks, hangars, weapons, power suits, and surplus repair materials, as well as mining more of the rich resources within the volcanic pits that dotted the world.
A thousand drones were made in a week and were stored within the ship after the drones who'd operate the ship's posts were created first. They were designed to take much punishment, dish it back out with heavy energy lances, to take commands from any Drone of authority and Tsvìet, and to uphold the survival of any Tsvìet unit above their own well-being.
Within a year, 52,000 drones were stored and awaiting combat. The time to go was now. To preserve food supplies, all Tsvìets had been barred from having anymore kids since the ship had first crashed; an order to be receded when the food supply problems were fixed. It ticked some off but pretty much made them more than blood thirsty to get this war over with.
With all Tsvìets of the planet onboard, SING gave the order and the ship slowly rose from its berthing yard. A large view port had been made along several decks, hidden by several layers of armor, and it gave the Tsvìets their first true look into space itself. The experience was indescribable for many. Seeing their own sun for the first time, watching it and the stars through a polarized view port became a favored past-time for the Tsvìets while the ship made a beeline towards the nearest planet that had BOolrk communication traffic coming from it.
The journey would take a month at full realspace speeds and SING and her war party 'officers' spent much time going over the strategy for this planetary siege. Nine years ago, all they knew about war was storming tunnels, but now they're in a hijacked spaceship. Many arguments were made and SING revealed the secrets of the new design of the ship after she spent time pointing out many flaws within the original design scheme that led to the ship getting shot down so easily.
Once the plan and several backup ones were agreed and explained upon, they set course for the signal of the rival hive mind. They would have to attack it head-on and take it out as quick as possible since they're expecting the BOolrk to outnumber them a thousand to one.
Over the month, the factories had been working nonstop to provide a set of armored pads and energy melee weapons for the Tsvìets. Seeing the effectiveness of their own bodies against the small arms of the BOolrk, time and resources were efficiently managed by making just armor units for body parts instead of whole suits. These comprised torso and chest plates, leg guards for the thighs, shins, and calves, a metal shell to go over the top of their tendrils, and a helmet resembling those of ancient Sparta without the plumes. For weapons, they were armed with energy lances that resembled a spear with the plasma tip curving down a portion of the shaft to give them a thrusting and slashing weapon.
When the day finally came with the other BOolrk hive mind's blooming colony in sight, along with its orbiting fleet of thirty ships, the combined army of 52,000 drones and 39,000 Tsvìets were prepped and ready.
Unlike with many stories of bravery and going against impossible odds, SING did not give a speech. Such a practice (cliche or not) was unfamiliar to her but she did understand the need to be motivated despite a clear-headed Tsvìet warrior being deadlier than a berserk one in the right circumstances. With her hive mind authority, she merely implanted the burning passion she has for giving her people a chance to prosper beyond their destitute, failing world into each and every heart aboard the ship. Due to the synthetic nature of HUKE, her A.I. counterpart was able to interpret it as well as pass the coded feeling along to the drones.
When the BOolrk tried to hail the Tsvìets on the comms, it failed as SING saw no reason to spare words with the invaders.
It was with a THUMP sound that all knew the battle for their survival had begun as the first barrage of enemy laser fire splattered across the armored shell of the retrofitted flagship. The heavily fortified seven mile long ship weathered the fire of a dozen ships while the batteries dotting along its surface returned fire, splattering heavy lasers against the quickly falling energy shields of the defenders.
As one ship after another was destroyed or had to fall back and much of the shell of the flagship boiling away, SING waited until the right moment to spring her trap. The Tsvìet flagship was surrounded on five sides from the front to the top and bottom. A massive, single barrage from the twenty remaining ships slammed into the shell right when SING activated the charges on the support arms beneath the shell.
Heated to boiling red, the shell broke apart outwards as the explosive charges detonated at once. The enemy thought the ship was destroyed due to the bombardment causing eruptions throughout the ship but they were wrong. The supports were improvised rockets that launched off when they were separated from the ship. The BOolrk found themselves being shot at by giant pieces of molten metal and were quick to fire upon the improvised battering rams.
With their guns unfocused, SING began the next phase. When the shell had broken away, HUKE had locked onto the main guns of the ships that had drifted into knife fighting ranges. When the shell fragments were destroyed, the recharging ships found themselves facing a patched work BOolrk colony flagship with way too many laser batteries to be normal pointing at them. Having fired two large barrages so quickly, there was little power left in their shields and the incoming barrages from the hijacked flagship pelted them like a rain of lasers.
Shields fell in seconds before lasers began impacting the laser batteries and bridges of the BOolrk ships with impunity. Since it didn't have any shields, HUKE was diverting all power into the guns and their coolant systems.
After non-stop firing for a full minute, the laser batteries of the flagship were almost melted in their mounts but not a single enemy ship was capable of fighting back. In one minute, ten ships had been utterly annihilated due to secondary explosions while the other ten were mostly weaponless and leaderless, thus listless as well.
Ten tubes of the available thirty on the flagship were launched at the ten crippled vessels. These tubes were like torpedoes without explosives yet their payloads were boarding war parties of forty each with sixty drones. With their weapon systems and bridge destroyed and blind, there was nothing the BOolrk ships could do to stop the tubes from slamming through their superstructures, sticking out like a needle from their bodies.
Concealed explosive charges around the doors detonated, blasting away debris and any BOolrk defenders before the Tsvìets and drones rushed from the hole, tanking laser fire and using their lances with skill quickly learned and taught during the month long trip.
SING was relieved at the success of such a daring plan but had to adjust her next plan. Onboard 'eyes' (cameras) that had been repaired showed that the spot the hive mind was mostly likely inhabiting was a growing city of metal buildings across twenty miles across and it was swarming with warriors, power suits, and other large units she could identify as some kind of heavy, mobile weapons platform (basically large tanks but neither the BOolrk or Tsvìets have such a word).
Sing had faith in her warriors' skills but they'd be outnumbered a few hundred to one, and the enemy would have the home territory advantage. She had to think of an even crazier plan and luckily, HUKE's factories provided her one. There were seven hundred shuttles on board, each one capable of carrying about one-hundred Tsvìets and Drones. That's a capacity of 140,000, so there was room to spare for weapons and what-not.
She loaded up all of her troops and HUKE's last command to the ship before 'she' boarded the shuttle with SING forced the ship to accelerate towards the center of the city, to land right on top of where that hive mind was sitting while all of the shuttles took off out of the ship and followed it from behind.
The different sorts of Anti-Aircraft artillery and lasers that fired up at the ship were insignificant as its flaming super body plowed into the city. The minerals, fuel, weapon batteries, and ship generators went critical the moment the hull began rapidly collapsing from the impact.
A massive wave of earth and metals exploded outwards as the ship detonated like a massive plasma torpedo. The impact itself had crushed the hive mind hiding in its palace completely along with a hundred city blocks equivalent. The shockwave would have flatten the entire city as well but the explosion merely added fuel to the fire as the shockwave destroyed the skyscrapers and defenses block by block like an unstoppable surge upon a beach of sand castles.
Having just reached lower orbit, SING and her people watched the explosion and following devastation with awe and excitement when looking over the beautiful, strange and exotic world that was covered in pastures and blue waters. Soon, their vision was clouded as the shuttles flew through the massive dust cloud that had risen up to meet them. Many were worried about the ships crashing but once the first layer was passed, the air within was like a less dusty version of their own home's atmosphere. It'd be several hours before the dust would settle.
In their hundreds, the shuttles landed about a mile outside the far reaching crater. As the warrior parties unloaded, they all couldn't help but stop and take a few moments to appreciate the devastation a crazy plan involving turning a seven mile circular ship filled with fuel and plasma batteries into an impromptu missile strike could cause.
With SING commanding presence, they went about securing the city and eliminating the near brain dead BOolrk in the city remnants while other shuttles ferried troops to the other settlements.
It'd be several weeks later when the last of the BOolrk on the planet and in orbit are confirmed slain. The amounted bodies would feed the Tsvìets good for many, many years. With the new planet taken over, SING used the drones to scour the ships to try and repair them. They were useful until she'd have them replaced with something more like the Tsvìets.
There were several factories on the planet as well and she and HUKE began putting them to use, creating parts for the ships and creating more drones for a labor force to help the Tsvìets build a new city, starting with an expansive catacomb of tunnels where the flagship crater was. Some habits just don't die.
When the first ships were repaired a few months later, she used them to monitor any activity in the solar system. Thankfully, this was the only hive mind in the system and there was no comm traffic at the two other planets they were detected at, meaning they were probably as brain dead as the ones on the first colony world had been; that, or they reverted to being feral.
Ships were sent out and as she suspected, the other colonies' populations were mindless. Their deaths meant more food for the Tsvìets as well as twenty fully functional ships and one colony flagship. One of the worlds was like the one they had invaded, full of farm sustaining climates and wildlife while the other had only a tiny colony due to the sheer density and variety of vegetation and climate respectively. It was also filled to the brim with creatures and 'insects' that the Tsvìets never imagined.
With BOolrk technology, they also detected an ice planet further out from everywhere else with several heat signatures deep underground. It'd be worth investigating much later. For the foreseeable future, she'd have her hands full with these three new planets filled with promises of a new chapter for her people.
It'd be a year later before the Tsvìets can confirm that the last of the BOolrk have been accounted for, either dead or lost in battle. Over five million bodies of the gelatinous beings were recovered along with working samples of all types of equipment, machinery, and military applicable resources such as weapons, power armors and aerial vehicles. While Blading the hive mind would have been much more preferable then the alternative, Blading enough of the 'spawns' would provide enough information but not much more different then what SING and HUKE already learned.
With BOolrk factories on each colony re-purposed for Tsvìet needs, ships were in the process of being built and crewed by the Drones and some Drone 'war chiefs' that obeyed HUKE but led the other warriors, small cities were being dug out from mountains to the Tsvìets' preferences, and with new foods being 'grown' with 'agriculture', Tsvìets were allowed to mate again to expand numbers as these circumstances allowed for the need of it outside of the urges that had only been prevalent during mating season every decade.
The Tsvìets' rising prosperity would only continue to escalate for the next several thousand years as they learn to farm, to hunt the numerous and even more dangerous beasts on the 'hunt world'- further adopting more incredible abilities such as natural camouflaging, venom creation/secretion, redundant vital organs as they never had what humans would call as non-vital organs and digestive tracts, extreme flexibility, etc.- to slowly develop their homeworld into a planet slightly easier to live in as they felt a constant, distant 'calling' to never abandon it, and to experiment with all sorts of new ideas inspired by projects of the BOolrk, and use BOolrk technology to jump-start the actualization of the Tsvìets' own unique brand of military tactics and weaponry for conflicts in future expansion efforts.
With the rise in population yet the sheer ratio disparity between the number of males and females, Males have evolved to be capable of producing much sperm and SING has the scientist collect every month to store it for the next mating cycle. Science has yet to figure out a way to increase their number, though something that has occurred is that they've evolved to be larger and stronger than before, usually dwarfing the females by three heads.
Another phenomenon that occurred was a large scale mutation among the Tsvìets into three categories. Majority of them stayed the same but for around 5,000 of them, their skin turned a copper tan and their eyes and bulbs turned to a bright, glowing orange, separating themselves from the original tones and SING herself. They proved to be much more incredible in their physical and mental capabilities, the weakest 'PRM' (Prime) warrior being much more powerful than the strongest 'MNR' (Minor) warrior, not including genders. These
several thousands happened to be descendants the warriors she forged from the first community that she had started her global conquest with. With their increased capabilities also came increased lifespan by a couple thousand years and the habit of birthing twins rather than singles.
It was discovered that the cause of this mutation was from the MNRs having had a head-start in Blading. It seemed that once you Bladed a certain amount within a generation, you'd evolve. The 'points' were even inheritable though PRMs wouldn't give birth to PRMs and the requirement for those children to evolve were even tougher than the MNRs who'd not been born from a PRM.
Rather than create jealousy and anger with their weaker counter-parts, it merely reasserted the drive to evolve and improve as in the end, even the PRMs and MNRs still wanted to be like their Queen who had only grown smarter and stronger over the millennia.
Alongside their biological siblings, the A.I.s, renamed C.T.s (Cold-borne Tsvìets as their are considered part of the people but not born from a warm womb) become the equivalent of PRMs and number in the thousands while their un-evolved subordinates (equivalent to basic Virtual Intelligence) grow into the hundreds of millions, constantly in a concerted effort to turn a dead world into a fortress planet, starting from making caverns and support structure miles underground and slowly working their way up. They intend to make it a home comfortable for them where repairs are never far away.
SING expressed concerns over any insecurities they might have but HUKE presented none and instead felt the need to have a planet dedicated to raising a constantly alert and readied army and fleet in case any more invasive species arrive and make conflict with either of them.
Speaking of invasive species, SING by now has felt the desire to explore portions of the star systems surrounding them and wants to build a grand fleet to carry the explorers and warriors. HUKE gives plans to increase drone labor production and logistical ships in preparation to build a massive shipyard that would work much like the conveyor belt systems the drone factories use. It'd be massively more complicated but with HUKE's advanced intelligence and the precise nature of the machines' work ethics, it should be possible in several hundred years so SING gives her encouragement.
Date: 12,024 AQA (After Queen's Arrival), 3,928,343 BCT (Before Current Time)
Tsvìets' population: 135,122 females-35 males
Reproduction cycle: 5 years after every 100 years
Average lifespan: MNR female- 1,130 years; MNR male-1,700 years; PRM female- 3,020 years; PRM male- 3,800 years; GRN RYL (Grand Royal) female- Undetermined
Logistical ships: Supply-50, Construction-500
Combat: (Lengths range from 2-8 miles, not FTL capable)-2,032
C.T.s: 8,203 (+50 yearly); V.I.s: 23,083,929 Combat (+500,000 yearly), 321,399,292 Labor (+1,000,000 yearly)
Cradle of Life - homeworld
Description/Resources: Minerals, metals, crystals, birthing/nursing caverns
Path of Knowledge - First planet conquered after killing hive mind of BOolrk
Description/Resources: Metals, medical, military and scientific research facilities and schools. Weapons, scientific breakthroughs, medicinal formulas
Path of Nursery - Second planet colonized
Description/Resources: Abundant farmlands and fisheries, vacation homes, fresh water (luxury as its not vital but damn good)
Path of Beasts - Third planet colonized
Description/Resources: dozens of different climates and bio spheres ranging from jungles to floating forest islands due to gravitational anomalies. Rich is natural resources from fossil fuels, fruits and plentiful variety of creatures to hunt=variety of traits to Blade.
Path of War - Fourth planet
Description/Resources: Dead world with few facilities on top as the Drones are transforming it from the bottom of the surface layer up into a bunker fortress world to raise and train armies. Armies, ships, vehicles