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    Thread: Personal or Galactic Survival?

    1. #21
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      Chapter 9: Reinventing the Wheel


      Burk got a long, hard speech leading up to a list of parts and weapons that James and his crew sent back during the last Zirex war, and even Burk looked impressed by that.

      12,000 hardened armor plates, 24,000 units of medical supplies, 10,000 units of emergency food rations…the list went on, and when he was done the President made sure Burk knew that if the war went on too long, then these things would be needed again…in even bigger numbers.

      “ You attacked and killed an ally outpost…you’re lucky you aren’t in chains right now!” he got told, as he finally looked like he felt the full weight of what he had done. “You have a lot of damaged ships to repair and wounded soldiers to get medical attention for, get out there and do it!” he got told as he threw a quick salute and ran from the room.

      “Why isn’t he in chains by now?” Got asked by another officer that had sat in to record the proceedings.

      “The war is just getting started and we need every officer we can get…no matter how stupid they may be. If things go as poorly as I think they will for us then he wont survive it, as many others probably wont either, so costing us an ally when we needed it most will be his own downfall before its over. Maybe he’ll do some good before then though.” He hinted and looked sad he couldn’t let his anger roll on for a while yet, but that was just the way it was.

      But near the outer edge of that little system sat another small town, floating silently in space by a huge asteroid. James didn’t expect Burk to get attacked while there, but then that’s the breaks during a time of war. But he got his people off the planet before the town self destructed, and with all the best equipment now on this one they turned and jumped away, towards their next planet, this one radiated enough to keep normal Humans from ever looking here.

      Two weeks later and the new base was floating silently on an ocean of dark green. Surrounded by a green fog 90% of the time. The average radiation level was around 9 rads and while that wasn’t deadly to Humans, they sure as Hell didn’t like being in a place like this. Animals abound here, and with intermittent radiation storms the planet was a disaster waiting to happen….perfect for hiding out from normal Humanoid creatures. Even the Zirex wouldn’t want to come here, because nothing existed here but this one little town, well really a small city of just over 200 persons now. That rush to get this done and flying rushed James’s construction of new models a bit, but he wasn’t upset my it.

      Now they could settle down and watch the war, and wait…to see if anyone had the nerve to ask for their help again…and he knew if it got bad enough they would, like the helpless children they were.

      This new place was a dream for gatherers. Many of the plants that they gathered elsewhere were here…in big numbers…it seems the radiation doesn’t bother them or reside inside their plants or oils necessary to make drugs. The bottom of the ocean was dotted with Pentaxium crystals and even some larger Promethium rocks that had obviously been here for a very long time.

      If you brought them up as is, then you could mine them like any other rock, and with special modifications to their mining equipment they were soon mining them right on the bottom of the ocean itself.

      Soon their supplies were gaining quickly on them and one load got sold using an unmarked ship, and more money entered their overflowing coffers. But James knew you never have enough of anything, and in their case they might need to buy something huge someday, like a planet itself, to stay safe. But then he wasn’t too worried about it right now.

      They had the fastest, most efficient ships, the most detailed scanners, and the best weapons that could be manufactured, because after 100 years of Machine Learning daily, there was nothing they didn’t know…that is unless they just hadn’t discovered it themselves yet.

      And he sat back watching the war getting started and waiting…and that first call still hadn’t come.


    2. #22
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      Chapter 10: Hard times come for Humanity…Maybe for the Last Time


      The Zirex take things badly when they lose. Their fleet now was 3x the size it was before the first war. Their weapons up to twice as powerful, and their people more then ready to exact revenge for the beating they took last time.

      This was not a war to get revenge…it was a war to eradicate Humanity completely so that the Zirex would have free use of this entire area of space, and if they found some other civilization sometime later…then they would end them too… because no one had the right to own the galaxy but them, and they made sure everyone knew it.

      So completely was their war effort accepted that they taught their rightful place in schools to their young, and it became their Religion, sanctioned by the State of course, so nothing was left to chance and that’s the way it needed to be for a Galactic Conquering civilization.

      One quarter of their entire economy was making weapons, and another quarter making ships and training crews. After losing the first war they went into shock for a while…this had never happened before. They had attacked and overrun 3 small civilizations and made slaves…and food…out of them all. But THESE fools were different, they didn’t panic and run wild. They got tougher as time went on, and even after destroying more than half their total fleets, they fought on like they thought they had a chance to win…and then DID WIN… damn them to Hell for this blasphemy, because their time was rapidly approaching and now the Zirex would be their final enemy, even if it took forever to accomplish it.

      30,000 ships waited the start of the new war, and the Humans had barely 7000. Yes they were tough and better armed… but honestly…they didn’t have a chance against such enormous numbers, and that was the story on all their news channels and military officers bragged daily to their new recruits that it would be a short war, and then they would own new worlds, and new slaves for eternity, and they cheered every time knowing it was true…and that they would one day own the Galaxy from one end to the other.

      This was the news that James got back from hidden drones every day. Large numbers, fast ships, and a Religion made to make sure everyone was on the same page, forever.

      It might well be the Last War…because Humans fight among themselves over everything and are far less organized than the Zirex. Their newest ships were nice and tough, but there would not be enough of them once the war got into full swing, and he sent messages to the people that needed to know…or the nearest androids that could easily get the word to them, the war would be a long one, for all the marbles, and hearing that even android leaders looked sad and went about getting everything ready they could in the time allotted.

      In 6 months automated shipyards turned out 12 new ships…mostly frigate class or smaller…but still a big improvement. The first major skirmishes were happening, and the few that complained about making new ships so soon were quickly silenced.

      They planned better this time…with some help…and soon they saw that their rush to get ready was selling them short on resources to make ships from, and some ships were coming in wounded and limping, and they ate up some too. So now the word went out to gather resources where ver they could get them, and prices went up, but still James got no calls, and he saw stubbornness and ego getting in their way, and a unmarked ship full of medical herbs went out and came back a month later, and more cash went into their coffers as the military got a little help from a friend.


    3. #23
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      Chapter 11: Year 1 of the Last War

      Even with the many warnings, Humanity was way behind at the beginning of the war. They pushed as hard as they could, and barely had 8000 ships to throw at the Zirex, and their’s were hard hitting and fast, while the Human ships were slower but more heavily armored.

      With nearly the same weapons specs that meant that numbers would make a huge difference, and the Zirex had that sewn up easily.

      They attacked without mercy, and in several major battles everyone paid heavy prices. But the Human factories and ship yards were fewer and slower, and it looked like the writing was on the wall.

      But they wouldn’t give up, and as many sat back watching it all, mines they owned and used were either taken or destroyed, and resources started dropping just when they needed them most.

      The factories making weapons were first to start to drop, and slowly even the ship yards got desperate for new materials, and a call went out galaxy wide for anything anyone could get to Federation factories, and a few brave souls went out and brought in some ores, and slowly a few more weapons and more armor got made, but it was a drop in a bucket compared to what they needed.

      But during all this James got no calls , and he started to think that they really did think them all destroyed. So instead he had a few unmarked ships run in and sell materials to factories and ship yards, and the few ‘brave young souls’ that did it got well known.

      A load of Sathium, an ore for making armor of high quality, was going for terrific prices, and iron itself was in short supply, so having a load of each show up the same week made a lot of people cheer for them.

      And since the ‘Helpful Androids’ that saved them before got destroyed early on, then new people like this were certainly needed, and people applauded them every time they appeared, and James saw that they were getting them some help while staying out of sight once more. And so that became the new rule…never mention the Triad… just run in, sell and return home. It might not be a full scale business, but then if it were that might be too hard to explain now that the war was in full swing.

      And in 6 months several loads got delivered, and many armor plates got made, and some weapons to replace those lost, and slowly the Navy kept going, and even made some small improvements, and James watched and listened and did what he could to help them from afar.


    4. #24
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      Chapter 12: Finally…Courage

      During this time one General watched as well. He personally saw to it that fool that attacked the Android base was not in Command anymore. And he whispered to a few that he thought them too intelligent to get killed off so easily, and one night late he too got a message in his dreams, and James stood there, all smiles, and asked what they needed most, and got a short list and was gone.

      General Hastings awoke the next day refreshed, he hadn't slept so well in years, and he knew…not guessed but knew…that he had been ‘visited’ during his sleep, and he left the people at the shipyards know help was coming…while a few others thought him mad.

      But in two weeks loads of Sathium, and Neodium and Iron all got dropped off, and the famous Triad icon on the ships was seen for the first time in years. There was some concern, but the President took this chance to applaud them, saying they came back to help them in their time of need…again…and a few nodded seriously, not sure they fully believed it. But then it went on, Medical supplies next, and food, and soon no one could argue that they were helping them win again…and during this time the Zirex started to notice too… and not in any good way.

      These Traders had been around since the beginning, but the Zirex ignored them as unimportant since they never fought. They just did what Traders do, make money, but now they were making a difference, as new weapons and ships came out too fast for their liking, and the order was made…destroy them on sight.

      And James heard about it too, even before the first attack, and things got changed and even people adjusted, and when their first ship was destroyed they waited for over an hour…then went out and brought their man back in for minor repairs.

      “Finally you came!” he said while getting picked up,” I was bored to tears floating out here waiting.” He remarked as his sister laughed saying they should have left him out there a while longer then, as he gave her a dirty look, and this is as serious as attacks get on Triad ships…for now…because you cant take Death seriously when its nearly impossible to attain.

      The Zirex Commander took credit for the kill, and went on like it was a regular day. His report got sent and approved and one more kill added to their lists. But they still didn’t know that they gained nothing but that, and a second ship went out to trade, and then returned home after some serious zig zagging around to lose them.

      But even James knew sooner or later they’d attack them here, or wherever they could be found, and so a different ship design was planned, and the first combat ship made. Using technology from every source they ever found, and a new plan got started. They would never go, either because of Zirex attacks, or because of any war. They had as much a right to exist as anyone, and they were claiming it the day it first drifted away from the shipyards and get properly tested. Then into hiding, because they also didn’t want to antagonize anyone either, and a game of hide and seek started with the Galaxy as the prize.

      That last chapter was pretty short so heres another one for the weekend


    5. #25
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      Chapter 13: Immortal Warriors

      Now James made a new set of blueprints, and his first generation of warriors got built. They didn’t need the intelligence of the researchers but did need strong and sturdy bodies, so they were made 6 feet tall and with the strength of 10 humans each. Their survival rating was enormous, and even at point blank range most guns wouldn’t harm them.

      They got taught Martial Arts for their own protection, and they were made to work alongside the regular workers and traders, because James wanted them to see the galaxy and know why they were born.

      The first cruiser got a crew made of a few researchers and 2 dozen of the new warrior designs. They got trained in weapons, navigation, and fleet operations, even though their fleet was a single ship at this point.

      But the writing was on the wall, and soon a second ship was laid out and construction began, because James and his new civilization were not going to be wiped out by anyone, their job was too important to the future of the galaxy, and so as their numbers passed 500, three military ships were on patrol nearby, and the Triad insignia was boldly placed on their sides and James knew that in time they would be tested either by good or evil.

      They patrolled close by always, not looking for trouble but not running either. They stayed near the planet and not near the outer edge of the system. Stealth was their rule, but in an emergency they would act if their world was threatened.

      Each was the size of a normal cruiser, but with the firepower of a battleship. On their sides were round balls that turned and rolled to face any enemy and with 6 on a side they were not letting anything get passed them. Add 2 more on top, larger and more powerful, and with one forward and one at the tail end, they had what they needed to demolish any enemy in seconds and move right along.

      If James wanted he could become a real threat to anyone with these designs…but he didn’t want that…the only way to keep yourself safe was to make sure hurting you wasn’t worth the effort, and Humans knew of their strength, and gave them space, but the Zirex didn’t care about anything but power, and so they had some to show if it was ever needed.

      They would be tested for sure, by both friends and enemies, but James would forever be the optimist and try to negotiate them away if possible … if not then violence might be needed… but he hoped even the Zirex wanted to stay alive, and so would let them be.

      Not likely, but possible, he said during one meeting as even Claire shook her head and looked shocked that he hadnt learned yet that everyone they ever met wanted them dead for one reason or another, but he would never stop trying and his children saw that as his strength and not the weakness the Humans thought it might be.

      Chapter 14: Year 2 of the Last War

      In the first year of the Last War Humans lost 1000 ships. Far more than they had hoped. But Zirex didn’t do any better with 1200 lost, mostly small, fast attack crafts that could be replaced quickly. Their major capital ships stayed back and fired from distance, so only faster ships got close enough to do any damage, and their shielding was something to behold.

      But the Humans had speed on their side too, and smaller crafts made especially for that purpose did some major damage, but never really managed to destroy a ship completely.

      Something the size of a large sky scraper was nothing to sneeze at, and even heavy missiles and torpedoes didn’t take one down easily.

      But they did capture one and its crew, who then fought the boarding crews to the death, smiling all the way. Zirex fight to expand, and their religion demands it, so capturing these creatures in hand to hand combat was nearly impossible, because they rejoiced in seeing their own deaths, and rushed into battle looking for it.

      But die they did, and the Humans once again got a really good look at the technology they were fighting, and some very quick improvements came running out of factories because of it.

      Shields with more ‘dense properties’ that slowed projectiles to a crawl, and energy weapons got reflected away 50% of the time. Now these were being mass produced and soon would be on all friendly ships.

      This helped explain why it took so much firepower to destroy their ships…and adjustments to their weapons, and new weapons with different properties… were soon on their way.

      In one heavy battle the War changed and once again the Humans had a chance, and their friends rushed to gather materials to help them.

      New materials were found too, and tested, and ships fuel got more efficient and used less for more speed, and James and his people shared the technology, and the Council saw their mistake in selling Sentient Androids short.

      And on the 6th month of the Second Year James Harris walked into the Council Chambers for the first time…in person…and the room was in awe of him as he waved and smiled widely. They all knew this was an andriod body…but to see him like this…smiling and talking and even having a drink with the members…it was almost too much to believe.

      Compared to android bodies they used today, it was like night and day.

      It was a sort of Trial Period, but James was glad to be there and said so. The Chairman shook his hand personally and whispered that the Dream Communications were a step above anything even he had ever conceived of, and James thanked him for the compliment, and sat in on the first meeting any android…except for the Chairman himself of course…had ever seen.

      He knew immediately that they were holding back some more sensitive things while he was there, Hell he knew everything said here and even some distant plans. But he didn’t push it, and after talking in length about resource gathering and sales, he was cheered and thanked and then, released to go home.

      He smiled a lot and waved as he left, and Security escorted him to his ship and watched as he flew away. Meanwhile the Council was having a discussion about the meeting, and surely more than one thought leaving him go was a bad idea.

      “If they want to help so much why charge us for resouces? They are machines after all…no offense intended.” Got mentioned but were quickly told that while they knew they had android bodies, their very existence might well reshape what the term ‘Civilization’ meant…and a few had to think abut that one.

      “We know there were 3 originally, but that was over a hundred years ago. I was told personally they have researchers now that study every hour of every day, and have for years. Do you even remotely know what that means? It means years of research every month, and their minds are artificial only to the point they can be produced in very special factories. It might be possible that one person that just left has the computing power of our entire Fleet.” The Chairman said seriously as every person there stopped to consider.

      “And because he was Human once and cares for us he still helps us, maybe they actually buy materials they cant find fast enough, I don’t care! They are here when we need them, and no one else is, any more comments?” he asked as the room stayed quiet for a while. “ Then this meeting is adjourned, have a good trip home.” He said and walked out as a few gravitated towards some local bars and restaurants, and while they agreed James was indeed helping them, they felt sure if he was a prisoner or could be examined properly for a few days, that they would gain far more than standing by and watching him come and go, and a plan to do just that got started and even the Chairman was warned they would try, and he felt sad they had to be like this.


    6. #26
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      hmm got to watch this, not too far ahead now..

      Chapter 15: Treachery…towards Friends…and a Fatal Mistake

      James got invited a few more times and each time things got more cordial. The Chairman saw people trying to get along and it pleased him, and James slipped him a special software update for his troubles.

      While James was coming in and out their friends working with him tried even harder to keep up with orders. A few new ships got finished and engine upgrades got added to many more.

      But on one particular day as James walked towards the Council Chambers he felt a sharp electrical charge in his back and passed out for a minute or so, and when he came to he was on a table with many scientists and researchers all around in white cloths and masks watching on.

      He felt one arm come lose, and he screamed that they were making a terrible mistake, and got a second jolt into unconsciousness for his troubles. They had never seen such finely detailed work before, and they kept going…until the entire building shook… and the Council Chair jumped up and ran out to see what had happened.

      There was a massive hole in one wall, and dozens of dead and dying, and when he looked into the room his eyes fell into sadness, seeing bits of a friend all around and blood and gutts from what had been going on, on every wall.

      He ran back to the Chamber livid with anger and called an emergency meeting right that second and after some grumping and arguing he got everyone there.

      “Who ordered this atrocity done? Tell me now!” he screamed, pounding the desk with his fist and many immediately jumped up to say they had nothing to do with it, and a few others looked like they had been stabbed in the heart.

      “So it was you three again, causing trouble.” He said giving the trio of high ranking officers a dirty look, as one jumped up saying if he hadnt been so friendly with ‘them’ they could have had this done weeks ago, and gained a hundred years of new knowledge from it.

      “From what? Every researcher and doctor in the room is now dead…and I know you ordered only the best of everything didn’t you… you stupid fools! Now our entire Research Department is gone, all the best ,dead or dying…so what do you think you gained now?” he screamed and the same man argued that even some small parts would teach them a lot, but he didn’t get time to get it all said.

      “As Chairman of the Council of War I am equal to the old Vice President.” He stated with certainty.” So I nearby remove all three of you from Fleet Command. Also…your fleets will be broken up and scattered across the rest of the Fleet, and you’ll be getting Dishonorable Discharges for this Treasonous attack on a visiting Ambassador.” He screamed as they all jumped up saying he didn’t have the power to make it stick, but just then the President herself walked in, and without a pause agreed with everything he had said.

      “I never would have guessed you would try something like this,” she said seriously,” and tell me old fools...where will your men and women get supplies now? Do you think for a second our ‘friends’ will help supply us after this? After killing one of their own by our hands?!!” She screamed, as one officer declared it was a suicide devise, and that androids had no honor to do such a thing, and for the first time in History the Chairman backhanded an Admiral across the council members table, and when someone screamed to complain about it, they too were escorted by Marines from the room.

      All the orders of that day stood, and after a long apology from the President herself, the Triad took a long break to mourn their own, and the Fleet felt the strain almost immediately, and three former Admirals ran from the Capital into the countryside to their country estates, hoping to hide from the thousands of soldiers and officers they knew would be blaming them for their troubles after this.


    7. #27
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      Chapter 16: A New Dimension… not well Understood by Humanity

      The second the explosion happened Clare looked up from her seat, getting ready to monitor the Council meeting, to see the self destruct devise had been activated.

      “We warned him it would happen.” She said almost like it wasn’t important. As Sean smiled and agreed that James was wrong this time.

      After weeks of deliberation James ahd decided to keep giving the Humans a chance and here was the result, total destruction of not only the android but everything within 50 feet in all directions, including 20 research scientists.

      “James 3 has been destroyed, activating piece destruction…” She said and even before the researchers or the medics were done digging through the debre the scattered parts of James dissolved into gas…and disappeared from the room entirely, guaranteeing that the Humans gained nothing.

      “No saying I told you so…” They heard as the original James walked in looking more than a little sad.” It cost us a new advanced member to find out, but he can be reconstructed later on.” He announced as Claire agreed but said if he had listened, this wouldn’t have needed to happen, as he shook his finger at her for saying something he asked her not to, and she smiled and looked away.

      When the big apology came even Claire was a little surprised. It had been the plan of three older officers who had no love of any androids, and so they took it upon themselves to try and do research on the most advanced android ever known…and it didn’t go well…for them or their researchers.

      Sean took that call and thanked them for it, saying he hoped they learned something about how to treat friends, and was quickly told those three would have no power…or fleets…now or ever again, and he smiled and thanked them for understanding, as the link went blank.

      “Will we continue to help them?” He asked, as James stepped up all smiles.

      “Sure we will…they are the only Humans we have found so far… so even as an endangered species they deserve that.” He said and then smiled “ In a few months…after all we need to mourn my death don’t we?” he said and laughed as Sean got a big grin. Even though he loved Humanity greatly, this time even he decided to let them stew in their own juices a bit.

      The first month after the explosion the Union President watched and waited, and the Council didn’t get any messages asking about shipments, and they understood. The Zirex too noticed the lack of supply runs, and they figured, like all bullies do, that the destruction of a ship or two had done the trick and the Triad was refusing the Humans help. Not quite true, but it made their Commanders look good for the moment at least.

      Month two, things started getting a little tighter, since they had planned ahead and had accumulations of food and fuel to last a while, but now additional supplies werent coming in, that was starting to drop as they scrambled to look for new sources to make it up.

      Month 3 and now they were nearly hand to mouth, the Fleet was barely able to continue their patrols, and the Chairman went off on the Council pointing to the loss of resources, saying this was why they needed help, and the remaining Council members agreed wholeheartedly. While the Union President personally sent a message asking when they might return, and got a simple reply...’soon’ ™ and he saw that even androids, if advanced enough, could hold a grudge, and they deserved it for sure, so he had no choice but sit back and pray they left this attack go after a while, or the war might be over a lot sooner than they hoped.


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      Chapter 17: The Return, and a Discovery Humans Didn’t Understand

      Month 6 and supplies started coming in again, and just in time too. The Triad asked if a Representative was still allowed there and the Council agreed, saying they would personally guarantee their safety from now on, and the deal was struck.

      A few days later as one supply ship docked a new Representative got off and as the Chairman reminded the Council that the Triad lost a Founder, and they needed to be more careful, the door opened and James walked in all smiles and thanked them for having him back…to some shocked faces.

      It took a minute even for the Chairman to figure out what he was seeing, but then he laughed, and everyone looked his way.

      “We were sad that because of our lack of security that you lost a Founder.” He offered as James just smiled wider, “ But now I understand, you didn’t die because…you can NEVER die…isn’t that right James?” he asked as mouths dropped around the room.

      “You Humans have been looking for Immortality for centuries…you’re one such person right?” James asked as the Chairman agreed, since he took on the body of an android over 50 years ago. “Now imagine setting up research into better androids and never looking back, a full research staff, with Machine Learning, working around the clock for years after. That’s the difference between me and you Chairman.” He offered as the man agreed, knowing full well James’s body was generations, maybe centuries ahead of his own.

      “ But…your personality…your memories…weren’t they lost with the other body?” One researcher asked, as James smiled and said his True Essence…that which is what he truly is…is on file, and can be used or copied as many times as needed, and they all knew what that meant…true Immortality…not just this substitute they used now, and the researcher set back taking notes and trying to keep up with the conversation.

      “Well we’re glad you came back, we could use your Wisdom, as well as your supplies.” Got mentioned, and James saw that maybe they had learned something after all.

      “Better…” Claire added softly, sitting back and listening in, and Sean agreed. In the long run it might have been worth losing a child to ferret out the enemies within, and they were pretty happy listening in today…even as James 3 walked off the assembly line again, and took his rightful place as Father’s number 3 security man once again.

      The meeting lasted a while, and even Clare noticed they werent holding back anything now. That one big loss…and the 6 months following it…made a big change, and James mentioned that some of their ships could be better, and they said they’d take any help they could get, and a new deal was struck.

      While the basic engine design was the same…or similar…the Triad had engines 4x more efficient and with better speed. Generations better than the Navy was using now. So he dropped a few hints, and turned their research people that way, and then packed up and went back home, while a full research team jumped on it and ran to see how far they could take this new info.

      “If there was ever a doubt.” The Chairman said softly,” James helping us with better engines and hints of other improvements dispelled it. He’s still Human in there, like me, but maybe better. I cant wait to see what he offers us next.”

      And the next thing that got offered was a software update, while the Chairman slept, and in a few days people were shocked at his attitude as he laughed opening, and growled when people messed up. Sure, he had emotions before…barely…but now was like night and day and when his software got checked they found it…and after a little time checking it over, it got sent to every android body in use.

      “They used it, just like you said.” Claire mentioned as James smiled wider than in a long time.

      “It’s a tiny bit of our codes, but in an emergency, it will save all those that ask for it, and we gain maybe another hundred new members, no matter what the Zirex do.” He hinted and walked out smiling like there was no tomorrow.

      “Creating an Android Nation…one android at a time.” Sean said and laughed, as Claire gave him a dirty look for joking about something so serious.


      Chapter 18: Year 3 of the Last War gets started, with Important Decisions Made

      The third year found the Humans getting some serious help to keep up. One shipyard was making nothing but the improved ships, and James hinted that seeding other worlds might help them stay ahead of the Zirex, and he dropped info on two habitable worlds that the Triad had seen.

      It took a lot of talking but they finally agreed, and a ship loaded with colonists left when no one was watching, and after several months travel time they arrived on a nice green world, and set up homes and buildings for food storage and habitation.

      It was the first colonization effort since they colonized the original system. But their ships and the new speed of the improved engines made it possible, and other worlds got looked at and new ideas kept coming in, while the Zirex kept the pressure on them from outside, but the internal organization was never stronger than now.

      “World 2 established…” Claire remarked, watching the hundreds of colonists setting up communications and other necessities.

      “Now Humanity has a better chance” James mentioned as she agreed. They were no longer putting ‘all their eggs in one basket’ but had a second world …far away from the first…and with a fledgling civilization on it , it would take a century or more to get noticed by the outer galaxy.

      “The latest software updates are having an effect too.” Sean added pointing to the better communication skills and more readily available emotions it provided. “Now more people are considering Cyborgization as an alternative to an early death.” He mentioned as James nodded and agreed.

      Now if his calculations were correct… then if this world fell to the Zirex …or any other cause for extinction…Humanity would live on, and he felt like he had done his best to help them, and supplies kept coming in…this time as covertly as possible…since the Zirex thought they stopped helping, they left them alone…a good thing for all concerned.

      And when no one noticed, not even James, a second vessel launched and disappeared into space headed for a world even further away, and James did see or hear about it later on, and it pleased him even more, because this time even he didn’t know the exact coordinates of the new world, and that was even better for the new Humans living there. If his vessels got boarded and their computers drained of all information, then this new world would never be found, and so James struck any mention of it from the Triad ships, so nothing could ever be learned about it.

      In a few months one older member of the Council got a new body to replace the sickly one he inhabited for the last few years, and now a second android sat on the Council and others applauded him for his bravery, and the first interview he had after the change he declared that he was as Human as anyone, and his laughter and big smile made it seem like a sure thing.

      Others around the world got the new software too and smiled and laughed and screamed in anger from time to time. Now their best friends saw them returning like their bodies had never changed and said so and even couples that had not thought of themselves as one got involved again to the surprise of everyone that knew them.

      It was a revolution in cybernetics, one scientist declared and new models came out better and more Humanlike than before, and Claire saw Phase 2 of James’s plan coming into play, and dozens more became ‘Improved Humans’ and the world quickly accepted them as just another branch of Humanity.
      “If their worlds end comes it will be hard on them to see it.” Claire added sadly as James agreed. Unless they took a direct hit from some powerful weapon they would survive, and find themselves walking through their destroyed world looking at burned and rotting copses that had been their friends and families that didn’t have their protection.

      “If we cant help avoid it, then we will save them.” James said seriously and everyone agreed, and their little floating town got bigger, and a center structure towered above the rest and the Main Hub was rebuilt to see over everything and have more than enough room for thousands inside to work daily. Around that a dozen or more buildings each with a capacity of hundreds to thousands, and Sean laughed asking if James wasn’t getting ahead of himself, and he smiled and agreed maybe he was, as new models of them came off the assembly line daily, and their numbers hadn't passed 1000 yet, but was getting pretty close.


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      almost to the end, not going into things with the two colonies, so a few chapters more.


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      Chapter 19: Strife Continues and the Plan Advances

      “The Navy has lost nearly half its ships…” Sean mentioned one day as James nodded looking sad. “If this continues they’ll be lucky to avoid the Zirex entering the core systems within 2 years.” He added as James looked more thoughtful then lately.

      “Then its time for Phase 3 of the ship improvements plan.” He added and when he went for the next meeting he dropped a set of plans on the Council that improved Metallurgy by decades and made new armor that was all but weapon proof a reality.

      “Thank you my friend, this will go into production immediately.” The Chairman told him as they shook on it and the rest of the Council cheered for their best friend, and the Zirex saw that Humanity wasn’t going to go down without a serious fight, even after throwing tens of thousands of ships at them from Day One.

      But the Zirex involved their entire civilization in the war and had twice the shipyards that Humanity had, and while Humanity was building new ones they weren't ready yet, and they kept losing ships to sheer numbers if nothing else, and this was going to help that problem very quickly, as the newest and best ships got a new covering of armor, stronger and lighter than any before, and they started backing away from battle far less often and doing more damage before hand.

      Now the Zirex were losing ships faster than before, and not destroying as many to do it…and even their War Council saw that maybe their old foe had been researching faster than them… and started new research into better weapons, or improvements of their existing ones.

      “Military Secrets are the most fleeting.” Claire said pointing to new ideas and improvements that the Zirex were planning, but she slipped a tiny change into their research showing a vast improvement in power for one main weapon that really didn’t exist, and this got rushed to get manufactured, and one research team got big applause for their help, until it proved to be a false positive when tested in real battle, and their entire team disappeared the next day.

      “Well done…” James mentioned and laid a gentle hand on Claire’s shoulder while she nodded and looked upset. Doing little things like this had helped them all for a while now, but even creatures as militant and cruel as the Zirex were still a sentient civilization, and sabotaging them this way made her angry that it had to be done.

      “We tried everything, and they wouldn’t deal.” James whispered as she agreed they had,” so this is the only way.” He added and walked away as she went on watching and ‘helping’ and after many glitches and failures the Zirex Parliament started to think they were cursed…an old Zirex Legend about ‘God punishing them through failures’… and thinking that now it just seemed right somehow, and while this was happening ‘God’ went on helping one side and controlling another, hoping their spies weren’t found and that their intelligence gathering stayed this perfect.

      Creating Zirex spies was no easy task, but with ships getting damaged and Zirex killed daily, having a few ‘survivors’ appear on some conquered world was more of a blessing, and so no Commander refused them, or looked too close at their stories, and lets face it androids can be made in any shape and speaking any language, and so the Triad had more than a dozen soldiers walking the halls of power on Zirex worlds, doing whatever it took to make changes to help the Human side, and James knew eventually they would be found, but they had been promised that the next time they were activated their job would be much nicer and easier to handle, and he got volunteers to go, and this helped them incredibly.


      Chapter 20: The Decision

      The Zirex Admirals werent going to go down without a fight…a REAL fight…and now that even their Religion was getting questioned they got angry, and gathered a massive fleet together and made a run at several Human colonies and stations.

      It became known as the Zirex Incursion…and it took everything the Humans could muster to throw them back out of their systems. But the damage was done, and now only 1/3 of their entire fleet was battle worthy, and even James and his Team started seeing things were going too far off course from their calculations.

      The odds of them throwing such a huge fleet together and rushing into battle was astronomical…but they did it…and James had to reconsider their ‘rational attitudes’ and think more along the lines of pure Hate and Revenge.

      The Zirex lost big too, over a thousand ships and crews, but they had them to lose, and now they were getting chewed out by their Masters for losing so many so fast. But they got told that it was worth it, they had information that the Human Fleet was cracking, ready to fall apart, and James saw that maybe they had spies in place too…and wondered how they could pull that off… and started scanning people all over the Capital in secret, and after months they found something odd…a soldier that had died in battle at the first part of the war, walking along in a high ranking uniform and talking to a lot of people.

      They thought nothing of having a drink with a Major, or telling him about the next patrol schedule, or how badly the Fleet was hurt last time. But James wasn’t about to let it go, and so he sent a message telling people of importance that a spy was among them, and the ‘Major’ got dragged in for questioning…and was never seen again.

      It appeared that the Zirex take prisoners too…something never considered before…and then take the time to convert them into allies. But this isn’t going to happen again, or for a very long time, as new scanners got placed in all important places and soon not even friendlies got through without a proper ID.

      But 1/3 of the Fleet wasn’t going to cut it, and every Admiral and General said so. Even with the big improvements to armor and better engines now, they just werent enough of them to go around.

      “One more big push and its over for us…” Many said, right out in the open now, and James heard it on his hidden microphones and cameras. They might be right, but then he knew for a fact that the Humans had at least 2 new colonies out there, and they were small and silent…for now.

      If this colony fell then they would survive, and James and his Family would be there to help them, and on December the 20th in the 5th year of the war, the Zirex broke through their lines and bombed the core sectors, and thousands of civilians that the military had told were perfectly safe died, and their credibility went to near zero.

      The Fleet was now barely a thousand ships…scattered all across the system. The Zirex went into clean up patrols, hunting them down and finishing them off. James never looked sadder than those days, when he sat back and watched, and could do nothing short of rushing to attack the Zirex himself, to stop them. But that wasn’t their job, they were support people, and always had been, and even if they fought to protect themselves, they werent a full sized Navy or Army, just a few thousand androids that wanted to help.

      Their supply drops started leaning towards food and medical supplies, and the last few stations and colonys were never more grateful. But they all knew that if they didn’t run for it soon they never would, and James saw stubbornness that he had never believed existed in a few in power, and they and their underlings stayed until the very end.

      Station after station, colony after colony, all went into Zirex control, and when the Capital was bombed into extinction, James and his people evacuated all those they could, and closed intelligence there since it would be centuries before it would be livable again.

      Chapter 21: Humanities End…or a New Beginning?

      James and his people knew they werent really Human anymore…but the Zirex would only see them as enemies no matter what. Now that the core sectors were gone they wouldn’t wait long to eliminate them as well, and after a long talk they decided that war with the Zirex wasn’t worth it, and what was once a small floating town was now a massive glass and steel city on the water, and when it lifted off for the last time their cruisers escorted it and they disappeared into space once more.

      James knew right where the Humans had escaped to by now, and he helped even them. One left a wide and powerful wake behind from the main engines of their Fleet, and James had a pair of scout ships fly back and forth through it until it was destroyed, and was never going to be followed again.

      Now they all turned towards Deep Space, and their own new world. Many weeks and months of travel later they lowered their city onto a new world, floating as always, this time on a large flat sea of deep green.

      The world was a good bit too cool for Humans, but for James and his children it was perfect. Lots of land to use, water enough to last forever, and no real animals to speak of...maybe some large insects.

      But now when the time came again they would be here…and Sean and Claire sighed heavily knowing that they would be watching over Humanity forever, or until James finally gave up. But now their tiny town held several thousand inhabitants, and by the time the Humans got organized again, maybe millions, and James couldn’t help but sit back thinking that someday these might be the only ‘shadows of Humanity’ that existed…but if that was true he wouldn’t mind. He was never more happy than now, and his Family knew it. Here they would stay...perhaps forever… if not there were other worlds just as easy to get to out there, and their shapes and smiles would be proof that Humanity had existed in the past, and would show it and tell their stories of stubbornness and bravery long into the Future.

      Finito..lol


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