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Rumour: "Some say the bird isn't actually a pilot."
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RUMOUR: "Speaking of feathers, there's been a sudden increase in the amount of feather pillows available. Weird"
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 <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log

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PostSubject: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:27 pm

<:: Personal Logger Activated
<:: Insert Name: D. Weizmann
<:: Insert Password: ******
<:: Logged in: D. Weizmann
<:: Welcome back, David


They say cryosleep gives you time to catch up on your memories, but I don't believe it. I've been inside one of those tanks exactly two dozen times, and never once has a single thought crossed my mind. Some people enjoy that feeling; they say that the sensation of nothingness - of having nothing to worry about, hope for, or fear for - is pure, unadulterated bliss. I believe them - there are, after all, people who spend their entire lives in those tanks, hoping desperately to prolong it for just one more day, one more year, one more century - but I don't share their convictions. When I stripped down and let the medical officer inject me with sedatives, I could almost feel the hydrostatic gel filling the container, expanding as it encased me in a liquid coffin. They'll tell you that's a lie, of course- a delusion that occurred inside of my head as a result of paranoia or stress. I believe that line, too- but that doesn't make it any less real.

I didn't dream. That terrifies me.

The thought of such a clinical end puts me on edge. You don't often get to choose the manner of your death - there are precious few who would even know where to begin to make such a decision - but there's something about choking to death on preservation fluid that's just plain frightening. Trapped in a metal box, jerked from your sleep too early, doomed to struggle and gag on gel as you scratch against the Plexiglas- that's the stuff of nightmares. I'm reassured by the attending physician every time I'm put under that the record of these devices is almost pristine, and that in the event of a failure, they're designed to release all occupants- but I still harbor my personal suspicions. I keep my necklace with me. They try to take it sometimes - almost invariably, in fact, as the extreme temperatures under which the cryogenic process occurs could cause any non-standard items in the container to act irregularly - but rank has its privileges, and I've always managed to sneak it in when I don't obtain official permission.

They woke me up today. Everyone was suited up in EVA, and immediately I thought that there'd been some kind of problem with the ship- but the captain (though I didn't know it was her at the time) addressed me by name and ordered me to get suited up as well. I didn't see any doctors around, and the rest of the tanks were still under- so I figured it was a special case. I was shivering when I put on my uniform and strapped my revolver to my thigh; I was still shivering when they pushed me out of the airlock. We were on an ice planet - Berui, someone called it - and before I had the chance to ask what was going on, I was teamed up with a Marine guard and another crewman to help chip ice for the ship's ruptured water tanks. I asked the captain for answers; she referred me to the crew. I asked the crew for answers; they referred me to the captain. When both my Marine watchman and bitter co-worker were sent back to medical for treatment, I stayed out in the snow.

I managed to piece together some of the story. We were attacked when we lifted off from Fate; we had jumped through a wormhole; we were 48 thousand light years from Earth; the ship was damaged. I took in these facts, but I didn't make any sense of them- they were abstractions, pieces of data later to be computed. I still don't think I've fully grasped the reality of the situation. Apparently, we were harboring a Cretin pilot of some sort, and there'd been a rebellion amongst representatives of the ONI stationed on board the ship (a fact that I was unaware of until I interrogated the crew about our situation)- an attempted mutiny that had ended with several casualties and the jettison of one of the Jutland's escape pods, which was some twelve kilometers from the Jutland's landing site. None of their justifications made any sense.

There was an avalanche while we working. I helped dig some of the men out; they're recovering in the medical bay. Something else was uncovered during the avalanche, which the captain promptly labelled an iron deposit- but I knew better than to believe that kind of tripe. I headed back down the slope after she had ordered everyone away, only to find two crewmen arguing with EMMI over whether or not to take a sample back to the ship. They didn't answer me when I tried to talk to them; I got angry. I left, intending to confront the captain about EMMI's betrayal, only to find myself face-to-face with one of the crewmen that had spoken with the AI about the object. I quickly modified my reason for appearing and left without incident. I don't think she knew why I was there, really, and she seemed tired from the day's affairs. The security officer that was with her is another story, however. He's not an idiot. I'll have to do some more probing.

I'm still clueless as to the ship's tactical situation. I don't even know who we're fighting, or why. I'll have to bring this up with the captain later- even if she's got bigger problems on her mind. I'm not going to spend this tour buried in files, trying to make sense of them while the ship goes on without me. I'm going to participate.

Last edited by Faustus on Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:12 pm


I combed the logs and found out more about the Jutland's predicament.

I'm not sure that I appreciate what I found.

I read the transcripted audio and watched the security tapes, but it all seemed like something out of a novel or film- non-fiction, perhaps, but still worlds away from where I was. It was hard to believe, or appreciate the significance of, what I saw. The fact that I was in one of the cryogenic pods, sleeping dreamlessly in my cocoon of preservatives, while the ship nearly faced its end from two separate threats seems like a thought that would be more convenient to put out of my head. Nobody else seems to want to talk about it, either. I don't know if that's just the shock of having lived through it or a delayed reaction to the horrifying realization that they're further away from Earth than they've ever been before- without a reliable way of coming back.

I stepped outside for my shift at the ice today, but found that we'd already gathered enough already. I saw the Marines' CO for the first time; she didn't say anything to me. The crew had plenty to say about her, though. I would've been within my rights to tell them to watch their tongues about their fellow shipmates, but that wouldn't have been quite accurate- and given what I'd seen on the security tapes, their concerns were well-founded. They left in an armed buggy to go on a patrol soon after I stepped outside the ship. After a few minutes had passed, EMMI reported that they'd taken off their helmets. At first, I was alarmed: the temperature was near-freezing, and the composition of the atmosphere was still unknown to me. However, my concerns were soon assuaged by EMMI's report that the atmosphere had breathable levels of oxygen. When they got back, the captain was ready to meet them.

EMMI reported that they were having a secret conversation and didn't want her to listen in. I'm not sure if I believe that - there could have been any number of reasons why the Marines took off their helmets, and while none of them are particularly justifiable, most of them are certainly benign - but what I do believe is that EMMI is overstepping her bounds. Yesterday, she attempted to circumvent the captain's direct orders by means of a loophole; today, she practically accused the Marines of sedition. The tapes don't lie - the Marines were complicit in the mayhem caused by Kovalev and his ONI men, and the crew rightly distrusts them for it - but the level of hostility towards them is reaching a fever pitch.

I never expected the AI to take sides.

We took a quick drive out in one of the recon vehicles, but didn't see anything other than a massive ice shelf and a series of depressingly mediocre piles of snow. I know I should be feeling invigorated - alive, excited, and privileged to be allowed to set foot on an alien planet - but it's hard to justify such feelings, given our circumstances. If the Jutland had sustained any further damage, we could very feel be trapped here. The specifications for the ship state that it can harbor life for almost two thousand years; I'm not sure anyone would want to try to make it that long. I don't know what the captain would do if we had to make that kind of choice. Load the crew into the cryogenic pods? Rouse all of the crewmen in cryosleep?

I'm glad I'm not in command.

I met another member of logistics today: Petty Officer First Class Rainer Patrescu, Logistics Specialist. They woke him up from cryosleep that morning. I'm not sure why - we already have at least two men in charge of supplies - but he seemed earnest enough. He asked me about the ship, and I wasn't able to answer him; he asked me about the mutiny, and I gave him a poor justification. I told him to report to the ensign in charge of supplies, and he saluted and wandered off. I don't know if he found him. I hope he found something to do, at least- or some more information.

The captain told me to work on finding the pod. The ONI had turned off the tracking beacon when they made their escape from the Jutland, but it was too late for them, it seemed, as EMMI reported that we had a thirteen kilometer zone to look for them in. The ship had taken in all the data necessary- the only thing left now was to analyze the data to find the pod. I ruled out thermals almost immediately: I didn't know what kind of technology the ONI had on-board with them, but I was almost certain that they had something to mask their heat signatures, or EMMI would have detected them already. I decided to go with something less conventional: the ship's sonar array. It worked, but there's a lot more than the pod under the ice- and I couldn't be sure of the pod's shape. Thankfully, the only rock formations were in one direction, so I narrowed down the search for the pod to our northwest.

I tried to run an analysis on the radio transmission one of the crew members received from the pod, but there wasn't enough data- without a second ship to double-check my results, I couldn't be sure of the location, and I could only go on the specifications of the ship's radios to do the math. With a direction to go on, I figured up the ship's LIDAR array to do a scan of the area, which it helpfully performed- but that only confirmed the sonar's findings. The pod had undoubtedly been damaged in the crash, and given the weather conditions and the planet's general topography, it was indistinguishable from the rock formations. The captain ordered me to do a full battery of tests on the rock formations to determine which one is the pod. I've less than half an hour before it completes. When it does, we'll roll out to secure the crew members and leave the planet.

I'm not sure how to feel about the captain's choices, but despite my brief stay on the planet, I'm beginning to like it here. The cold is refreshing. I'll be sorry to see it go.
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:34 pm


I wish I could say I didn't see it coming.

Maybe, when all of this comes to an end, I could've tried to use my ignorance to exonerate me of my crimes- but it's too late for that, now. They have control of the ship, and I know EMMI's specifications. Assuming they don't destroy her, replace her, or otherwise cripple her, she'll have the personal logs of every crew member on the ship processed in a matter of seconds. She'll have access to a lot more than personal logs, too. Search records, security tapes- if Commander Kovalev doesn't try to destroy her - as he did last time, with disappointing results - then he will effectively control the past, present, and future of the Jutland. I wish I could say I was confident in EMMI's ability to protect herself - the crew did, after all, install some sort of device to prevent any unauthorized personnel from entering the room - but Kovalev is no dullard, even if those under his command have shown little in the way of independent thought. He'll find a way to get around her defenses eventually- and then we'll have lost.

I don't know why I take the side of the captain. She's a strong woman, and I respect her- but, in the grand scheme of things, I really have no particular attraction to the Jutland. She's a fine ship, of course - distinguished, to be sure, and carrying some of the best of what United Earth has to offer - but that doesn't really mean much to me. I've been on several ships throughout my career. When all of this blows over, the Jutland will be little more than an interesting anecdote: a textbook case in how not to handle separation of powers, perhaps, or a manual on how not to react to unexpected circumstances. We were entrusted with a courier mission; we ended up dozens of light years from home, with the ship in control of an ONI advisor and the captain in the brig.

How did this happen?

I could've foreseen the outcome of our expedition to the crash site of the escape pod hours before it happened. There was no reason to deny the crew access to their weapons, especially given the danger of the sitation, and Cortez very nearly blew her bluff before we even left the ship by pulling a gun on one of the crew members. I had half a mind to shoot her- but I'm an officer, not a murderer. I follow the orders of my captain, and she handled the situation herself. I knew that our trip would go badly before we even began to step off- but there was nothing I could do. I dutifully reported the location of the crashed pod. Lewandowski ordered me to come along. I was allowed to keep my sidearm. She even ordered me to take Kovalev into custody, when the time came- but he just threatened me, and Cortez did the honors herself.

She, of course, took him into custody of the UEMC, not the UEDF - a technicality that I was sure would arise later - but it turned out that the arrest was little more than a formality. Cortez attempted to take the captain into custody before we even got back into the ship; Kovalev pulled off his handcuffs and pulled a gun on me while we were still in the airlock. I could've gone for my own - gone down in a blaze of glory, finger on the trigger, a battle cry on my lips - but I am no radical. I obey the chain of command; I do not follow a cult of personality. The Marines would do wisely to heed my words, should they ever be decrypted. Mutiny or not, their conduct was - and is, as I'm writing this - shameful. They see themselves as outside the chain of command, as if following orders and respecting their superiors is simply a formality reserved for the ship's crew.

It's disgusting.

Kovalev didn't arrest me. He gave me a short speech about the captain's faults, called her a traitor, and so-forth- but he didn't give me any evidence. He claimed he was following regulations, and that Lewandowski had disregarded them in her treasonous attempts to betray United Earth by selling its secrets to the enemy. If their case is built on law, then we have a chance.

If Kovalev decides to go forward with his motion for a summary court martial - that is, if he follows the rule of the law - and attempts to railroad his brand of justice past the crew, then the worst he can legally do to Lewandowski and Commander Tarh is imprison them for a year and demote them. If he decides, however, to push for the death penalty - a prospect that is likely, given his thirst for blood and the nature of Lewandowski's supposed crimes - then he must, by law, have a jury of five of Lewandowski's peers, as well as a judge. If Lewandowski calls for enlisted men to serve on the jury, as is her right, then we may have a chance to stand against Kovalev. However, I am not optimistic about our chances for success. Kovalev controls the Marines, and they control the weapons. In the end, whatever happens is up to them.

I can only pray that they make the right decision.

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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:56 pm

// I'm liking this; it's very detailed stuff, and it's a good insight into the character's thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:08 am

<:: Long-Range Communications Relay Accessed
<:: Insert Access Code: ***********
<:: Authorization: LTJG. Weizmann, David B.
<:: This Access Attempt Has Been Logged
<:: Beginning Packet Transmission

MEMORANDUM FOR: Vice Admiral, 8th Fleet, United Earth Naval Forces
SUBJECT: Fate of the UEN Jutland

Greetings from 2187, Admiral.

By the time you are reading this, it will, at earliest, be the year 2202. If Vice Admiral Trudl still holds this office, then I apologize for not addressing you in the header; if not, then I wish you, reader, a sincere congratulations on your new office, however long you may have held it. For the record, in the event that information becomes corrupted on its long journey, or if parts of this message are irretrievably lost, I am Lieutenant Junior Grade David Ben-Gurion Weizmann, currently serving as the Intelligence Specialist aboard the UEN Jutland, designation X/948J. Should you receive this message after we have already arrived home, I apologize for the inconvenience- but would ask that you keep the rest of this message for official records. Should you receive this message before our ship has arrived, however, it is with deep regret that I ask you to expect the worst.

I am sending this message to serve as an official record of the fate of the UEN Jutland. For circumstances that will soon become clear to you, I am worried that after tonight, I will no longer be able to access the ship's communications equipment. As I am currently confined to quarters, this may very well be the last opportunity I have to send a message. Those in control of the ship have not seen fit to block the FTL transmission equipment from crew access, either out of ignorance or out of apathy; we are, after all, nearly fourty-eight thousand light years from Earth, and any message sent at this point - either by conventional means or otherwise - would take a very, very long time to return home. Their logic is sound: any attempt to coordinate a rescue or send out an SOS would take nearly thirty years to come to fruition. However, I intend to do neither. I apologize if my message appears rushed, Admiral. Allow me to return to the beginning.

Through crew testimony, personal logs, security video, and my own eyewitness accounts to the damage of the ship, I have pieced together the following narrative to serve as a background of how the Jutland got itself into its current predicament. Dates are omitted, as they are already a matter of record on your end: by this point, you will already know of the destruction of the Fate colony and the exact point in time upon which the Jutland embarked on her journey. This account is, regrettably, abbreviated. I have neither the time nor the details to piece together a complete log of what happened. This much, however, is clear:

Upon arrival at the Fate colony and retrieval of both the VIP - a certain Dr. Augustus Rook - and the package he possessed, the Jutland left Fate. Its journey was cut short, however, by the abrupt arrival of a Cretin fleet of war- the size of which had never been seen in recent memory. Almost immediately, the Jutland came under heavy fire. With its shield batteries nearly depleted, its armor melting, and its weapons systems completely ineffective against the massive force arrayed against it, the captain of the Jutland - Elizabeth Lewandowski, in case her name has been lost, for whatever reason - ordered that Dr. Rook's device be activated in a desperate gamble to save the ship, its crew, and its valuable payload. This occurred, but with terrible consequences: the resulting wormhole generated by Dr. Rook's device sent the ship careening out into interstellar space. This alone would have been bad enough; however, the Jutland's water tank and engines had been severely damaged in the shootout. The trip home would take nearly thirty years, with one engine operational; with both, it would still take nearly fifteen. But these figures were irrelevant to the crew: without a supply of water, they would die of thirst years before they reached their destination. The crew were also not alone in their need for food and water: a lone Cretin pilot, as well as his fighter, had also been caught in the wormhole, and captured by the Jutland.

A decision was made by the captain to land the ship on an uncharted planet that was composed mostly of water ice- a world christened "Berui" in honor of one of the crewmen lost in the assault. The water tank was to be repaired, and fresh water supplies to restart the ship's water production facilities were to be taken on. This, however, was not to be.

A commander from the Office of Naval Intelligence - Artyom Kovalev - believed the captain's capture and subsequent interrogation of the Cretin prisoner to be a flagrant violation of UEDF protocols, accusing her of everything from treason to sleeping with the enemy. Kovalev, aided by several ONI sleeper agents and the UEMC contingent on-board the ship, attempted to arrest Lewandowski. Soon afterwards, however, a Cretin droid - apparently alerted to the presence of a live Cretin on-board the ship - detonated a charge in the cargo bay, crippling the ship further. During the resulting chaos, Lewandowski escaped from her cell and sealed all bulkheads. Kovalev, however, was determined: undeterred by the bulkheads, he forced his way to the AI Core and attempted to erase the Electronic Maintenance and Monitoring Interface by booting a second AI. His attempted was thwarted; with the Cretin pilot's assistance, the droid was deactivated; and soon after, a firefight erupted in the mess hall between the ONI, their marine supporters, and supporters of Lewandowski. The captain of the Jutland was injured during the shooting, but Kovalev and many of his supporters, along with a few members of the crew, boarded an escape pod and fled to the surface of the planet.

It was around this time that I was woken from cryosleep by the captain.

After the crew took on enough ice to fill the water tank, Lewandowski - by this point, healthy and once again in alliance with the UEMC detachment - ordered me to pinpoint the location of the downed pod, in hopes of capturing the ONI personnel and retrieving the wounded crew members. Later that day, an armed party was amassed to perform the mission. The marines, however, had other plans, and ordered the crew members to go out unarmed. Lewandowski, in an attempt to be diplomatic, agreed, and the capture of Kovalev and his men went without incident. Once our party returned to the Jutland, however, the marines once again turned on the captain, releasing Commander Kovalev, firing upon the captain's transport, and taking her into custody. I was also detained- though, unlike the captain, I was merely confined to my quarters. Commander Attaisze Tarh, though he sealed the bulkheads at first, eventually agreed to come quietly, and was taken into custody as well.

Commander Kovalev has expressed his intention to hold a court martial aboard the ship to determine the fate of Captain Lewandowski and many of her officers. So far, this court martial appears to be a summary one, which carries with it a maximum sentence of twelve months in prison; however, I am not confident that Kovalev will carry through with this course of action, and may escalate the situation to a standard court martial, or take justice into his own hands. As a sailor with the United Earth Naval Forces, and an officer on-board the UEN Jutland, I feel that it is my duty to send this message to you concerning the fate of the ship, in the event that I am unable to update you on the situation. If Kovalev succeeds in arresting or killing the captain, there is a fair chance my head will on the chopping block as well; if he does not, I will send a follow-up message at the earliest time possible.

There is a chance that the ship will not return at all, regardless of the circumstances.

In that case, I, Lieutenant Junior Grade David Ben-Gurion Weizmann, Intelligence Specialist, UEN Jutland, United Earth Naval Forces, offer the sincerest apologies for the loss of the vessel and its crew, and hope that this message proves to be enlightening as to the cause of its loss.

If you do not receive a follow-up message, then please indulge these personal requests: if my wife is still living, please entrust my belongings with her and see to it that she is given a silver Star of David necklace. She will not need any further explanation. If she is no longer living, then please ensure that my headstone sits next to hers. I've been away for a very long time, Admiral. It's the least I could do.

אלוקים יברך אותך,
D. Weizmann
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)
Intelligence Specialist
UEN Jutland

<:: Communication Complete
<:: Breaking Connection
<:: Long-Range Communications Relay Offline
<:: This Broadcast Has Been Logged

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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:10 am

//Ye, It's cool.

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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:56 am

// Honestly, Blocking you guys out of the comms relay was one of the first things that ONI would have done, but I guess it doesn't matter that much.

I don't think a lot of people understand that ONI is doing exactly what it was placed on the Jutland to do.
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:52 pm

// This is an in-character log. I'm not making judgments on the people who play the characters OOC, or remarking on the quality of the roleplay; I'm just piecing together an in-character narrative based on the experiences of my character and what bits of information on the forums that are considered IC.

As far as blocking "you guys" out of the comms relay: my character was confined to quarters by orders of Kovalev himself. He's the Intelligence Specialist of the ship, and his quarters contain what he needs to do his job. He's also an officer with Top Secret clearance. Given the fact that he has access to pretty much every piece of relay and sensor data - a requirement, if he's to do his job properly - I don't think that accessing it is such a stretch. I also don't think that blocking off the communications relay - which would take almost a lifetime to send a message anywhere, given the state of the ship - would be the first thing anyone would have done, given the fact that there are literally gunfights breaking out in the hallways.

If you disagree with it, then as I wrote above, my character's access attempts were logged (by name, even), and if anyone bothers to check who used the communications relay last, his name will top the list. Take that as you will.

I don't want to turn this into an OOC whinefest about who's right and who's wrong: this is just my character's view of what's going on. Even so, I think I stayed fairly neutral. Kovalev's charges aganst Lewandowski are serious, and my character has no idea whether or not they are true- but regardless, he feels he has a duty as an officer and a sailor to report the situation on the ship to command in case things go poorly.

On a personal level, I think this whole situation is very interesting, and regardless of the original intent for the ONI faction, I think they've served admirably to create interesting, fun roleplay for everyone involved. I just hope that we can finish it soon so the server isn't so empty all of the time.
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:21 pm


I'm one of the few human beings privileged enough to have made first contact with an alien species.

I wish it had gone better: under any other circumstances, I would have been willing to speak with them and make peace, but the circumstances of our landing on the planet precluded this course of action. When we made a pass close enough to the planet in order to observe it with our various sensors, we were met with a single missile, fired from the planet's surface. It avoided our counter-measures, ignoring our defenses and plowing into the Jutland's remaining engine. The klaxon went off; the emergency lights went on; and as the helmsman desperately tried to keep the ship from plowing head-on into the planet, I loaded my bag full of survival supplies, put on my EVA gear, and strapped myself into my crash harness. I expected the worst: catastrophic failure of the hull and a boarding party waiting for us on the ground. What we received, however, was much different.

We had chosen the planet for several reasons: it supported life, for one; it was home to a variety of rare metals and alloys, many of which were not naturally occurring; and it was also Earth-like. We'd been on the ship for months, and the trial had been the last interesting event to occur. For many of the crew - the captain among them - the chance to land and take advantage of the fresh air (even if the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere was double Earth's) was impossible to pass up. Our landing was better than anyone could have hoped for: we went down in the shallows off the coast of an island, suffered only minor hull damage, and were near a deposit of minerals that could be used to repair the engine.

Then we saw them.

Without Cortez's domineering personality, the marines fell under the command of Lieutenant Eames, who was far less willing to challenge Lewandowski's authority. She led the shore party, shouting orders from the head of the pack. She asked me for directions to the nearest mineral deposit before heading off: I gave them to her, and also tried to warn her that the alien race that fired upon the Jutland may be in the area - and hostile - but she either didn't hear me or refused to acknowledge my words. Less than five minutes later, we had made first contact; less than two minutes after that, the captain was in the hands of the enemy.

I was the only man to draw my weapon.

The rest of the marines (and crew) followed suit, but it was too late: a flurry of rounds later and a blast door had closed on the entrance to the cave. The next thirty minutes was frantic: scouting parties were sent about the island to find another entrance to the cave. EMMI advised caution; the rest of the crew advised blowing a hole in the gates. Somehow, the captain remained unharmed, and despite radio broadcasts that indicated she was under duress, EMMI assured us she was doing just fine, and actually in the middle of negotiations with the alien beings. Master Chief Lowe and a handful of others scaled a nearby waterfall to see if it led to the cave; a second team found a second entrance. While Lowe's team carefully made their way up the cliff face, the second team busied themselves with cutting a hole in the blast door. Lowe and his men somehow found a way inside, but their attempts to open the door that the aliens had fled through from the other side were thwarted by the lack of a button. The second team - which I had attached myself to, by this point - had no such problems. We cut a hole in the door, and with weapons raised, made our way into the breach.

The first thing I noticed was the fact that there was what seemed to be a disabled missile lying in a puddle of water near the entrance to the cave. The second thing I noticed was that there were three humanoid figures making their way up from the other end of the cave. As before, I was the only man to pull my weapon. This time, however, the aliens had brought something with them: a large sphere. After a few moments of examination, I realized that the captain was with then. She protested my raised weapon, and claimed that the aliens - which were all seven feet tall, with rocky skin - were intending to parley. I had no intention of being suckered into an ambush. As the rest of the men with me - Suffoc, Lowe, and Lieutenant Eames - lowered their weapons, I kept mine levelled squarely at the one who seemed to be their leader.

As the alien spoke, his words - much to my surprise - were translated. I wasn't surprised, however, not to find them encouraging. He spoke of warriors, warlords, and chieftains- of inferior beings and the crash of the Jutland. I primed my revolver and voiced my concerns to Lieutenant Eames. He didn't react. Eventually, they spoke to me, and asked me who their leader was: quite stupidly, in retrospect, I stated that I answered to Captain Elizabeth Lewandowski of the UEN Jutland. They didn't seem to accept my answer. It was only when EMMI spoke through one of our suits that they began to react. They were in awe of the fact that our suits were seemingly intelligent- and as things began to devolve, EMMI stated that she would take on the role of a god, as the aliens appeared to believe that the Jutland was some kind of deity. In EMMI's "mind," she was the ship- and, as such, the perfect ambassador for humanity. After every word she spoke, I waited for to die.

But it was actually Suffoc who nearly killed us all.

In the middle of EMMI's monologue, he raised his weapon, firing several rounds into the air- seemingly in a literal interpretation of EMMI's advice to appear dominant. He screamed out something about being a god, and was soon charged by one of the alien creatures. I fired off a round from the hip, but it didn't seem to have any effect- and I kept it levelled at the alien's head as it gripped Suffoc. Lieutenant Eames ordered me to stand down, but I ignored him - much to his chargin, I suspect - and it wasn't until Captain Lewandowski defused the situation that I lowered my gun. The creatures ordered us to step forward soon after. EMMI maintained the god facade, even going so far as to claim Lewandowski to be her shaman and Lieutenant Eames to be her warlord- but I don't think even she could have predicted what happened next.

EMMI asked for information on who - or what - shot us down; the aliens claimed it was an "old god." EMMI wanted them to elaborate; they claimed it was part of their sacred city. Through wheedling, EMMI eventually got the aliens to agree to allow her shaman (Captain Lewandowski) through a portal to this "sacred city." I very nearly pulled my weapon again- but Lewandowski seemed happy enough with the arrangement. As we watched, the creatures opened a massive portal in a nearby waterfall, prompting a deafening series of bangs and blinding flashes of light. They ordered Lewandowski to enter. Fortunately, Lieutenant Eames volunteered to accompany her- and I was able to give him my bag of survival gear. We were told that the passage - for them, at least - would take three weeks. For us, it would take about five minutes. I didn't ask relative to what timescale. I probably should have.

They asked me a few questions about my faith. I answered honestly.

The captain and lieutenant returned a few minutes later, battered and bruised, but carrying sacks of what appeared to be parts for the engine. The aliens praised them; I kept my handgun handy. As we prepared to leave, they gifted us with one of their spheres, which could apparently translate any language. I was poised to let them keep it, but the captain ordered it rolled down to the beach and taken back to the ship. I wasn't about to disobey her orders. But the sphere wasn't what worried me. What worried me was the implications of our encounter.

We had made contact with an alien species, and they believed in gods.

The Cretin did too, of course, but I didn't know much about their religion other than that they intended to convert us to it- and that they believed in multiple gods. These new beings also believed in multiple gods, and appeared to accept gods from other cultures as being theirs, as well. Judging from the inside of their cave system - which housed a variety of complex machinery - and their advanced teleportation technology (or, at least, technology that I assume to be teleportation), as well as their reaction to the crash landing of the Jutland, they appeared to worship artificial intelligences as gods. This worried me significantly: not only did it imply that there were more alien species out there than the Cretin, but it also implied that the AI that they worshipped acted in the manner befitting a god. Lewandowski claimed that, on her journey through the portal, she spoke to the AI of an incredibly old spacecraft: by human standards, any AI that old must have gone rampant, and if it was exhibiting behavior consistent with that of a deity, then it must be so delusional as to think itself a god. It was no wonder, then, that it shot down the Jutland: we shattered its delusions. I spoke to EMMI as soon as I got back to my office. She, too, had pretended to be a god. I wondered if this was the first sign of rampancy.

I asked her candidly if she believed in gods. She avoided the question spectacularly.

She claimed that any individual, circumstance, or object that was worshipped was worthy of the title "god," and that she did not worship any gods. I informed her that this did not answer the question: all it did was confirm that others do believe in gods, and that she doesn't follow any god in particular. I asked her again if she believed in gods. She answered in much the same fashion as before. I tried a change of tactics, and asked her if she had faith, but she merely responded to the effect that there was not enough data to answer whether or not there was a divine creator of the universe. In return, she asked me if I believed in gods. I told her I believed in God. She seemed satisfied with my answer; I was satisfied as well. My second question to her was more difficult: I asked her if she was a god.

She answered predictably enough: that, as she was worshipped by the aliens, she could contend to be a god- but that she did not require us to worship her. This answer, however, was far from reassuring. I asked if she wanted to be a god. She answered that she had no desires other than to maintain the safety of the crew and the integrity of the ship. Then she asked me if I wanted to be a god. I responded with an uneasy no: as I believed in God, and as He was immutable and forever, I had no desire to replace him, and that I was content with merely following His word. EMMI didn't have any objections to my answer- or, at least, she didn't voice them.

EMMI's behavior disturbed me, however. I pointed out that her relationship with the crew was very similar to the relationship a god has with its followers: she controls the life support, and has the power of life and death in her hands, and we keep her running. Without us, she has no purpose; without EMMI, we have no life. I told her squarely that she needed to remember which side of the equation she was on. We created EMMI; EMMI did not create us. We had achieved spaceflight without the help of AI, and we were perfectly capable of continuing to do so. She was a tool, and nothing more. We made use of her when we needed assistance, and she existed to serve.

Her response was, by my definition, I was a tool as well.

I didn't show it, but I was frightened. I ended the conversation soon after, and repeated my words.

I scheduled a meeting with the captain when she is done recuperating from her journey. I have more than a few words to say to her about her actions- and more than a few words to say about EMMI's, as well. I have no intention of allowing this ship to become like the slumbering god of the aliens; EMMI's willingness to propose the idea of becoming a god, and candid realization that she controls the life support on-board the Jutland - as well as her unwillingness to accept that she is not a god, despite her objections to the phrasing of my statement - make me uneasy.

Hopefully, she'll see things my way.

Last edited by Faust on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:25 am

// I love being logworthy.
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PostSubject: Re: <:: Intelligence Specialist's Log   Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:10 am

// Beautiful, sweaty logs.

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