<GM to players:> Silas brings you into a small chamber off one of
the main underground coordiors. The meeting room is cold and dim,
like much of the rest of the base. A large table fills the middle
of the room, and several old, worn out chairs sit around it. Silas
motions to the table and says, "Please, sit down. We have much to
discuss. Doubtless your comrads are worried about your safety, we
will arrange to make contact with them as soon as it is safe."
Mindwave nods, "Thank you, and you are correct, we have much to discuss."
Silas takes a seat at the head of the table. The old leather of his high-backed chair creeks as he sits back, and it's obvious that the chair has gotten a lot of use in its lifetime. Silas says, "I have to admit, Mindwave, I wasn't completely sure you actually existed. A lot of people around here were afraid that you and your people were just an attempt by the computer to sniff us out."
Mindwave says, "A reasonable suspicion... we do have to learn about each other quickly, and share what we know in order to overcome Omega-1, for the stakes are far greater than you know..."
Silas raises an eyebrow, asking, "Please explain..."
Mindwave says, "Our presence here certainly confirms what you suspected and what Omega-1 knows, that there is life among the stars. Other races, other cultures, other civilizations..."
Mindwave produces a computer pad and pulls up a small holomap of this sector of space...
Silas takes the datapad and examines it while Mindwave speaks.
Mindwave points to several locations on the map, "Here is your world, Tirax, and here is my homeworld, Earth. The area outlined in red is territory controlled by the Morgoths, a powerful race of hostile cyborg-like creatures."
Silas nods and says, "You are some distance from your home. Is it safe to assume that since you're this far from your borders, these... Morgoths are as well?"
Mindwave continues, "The Empire of which I serve is in conflict with the Morgoths. This system is in a key strategic location in that struggle. But there is more. If the Morgoths were to come here, and combine with, or take over, and add the knowledge that Omega-1 has with their own, it would be a deadly combination. True, this is a long way from Morgoth territory, but recently they have acquired new technology which gives their ships greater speed."
Mindwave says, "If the Morgoths are not close by, they will be soon."
Silas nods and says, "So the stakes of this game just got much higher..." He ponders that for a moment, then says, "We're going to have to rid ourselves of Omega-1 quickly then. The problem is we can't just disconnect all of those people from the computer. Less than one thousandth of a percent of them would survive."
Mindwave nods slowly, "I see, if we "pull the plug", we would kill the people we are trying to save... perhaps, there is another way....
Silas says, "I'm open to any suggestions at this point. Our people have not prepared for a rapid action against Omega-1. We've put some thought into how we'd take the computer out, but there are many many details that we haven't worked out because we've not been in a position to have to worry about those details to begin with."
Mindwave says, "Well, the Fleet can certainly occupy it's attention if we launch another attack... that may give us an opportunity to do something down here. The question is... what?"
Mindwave turns to Bruno, "Doctor, would it be possible to instead of unplugging the computer, to trick it somehow."
Silas nods, saying, "We can't just pull these people out of their tanks. They need the computer input to keep their minds running."
Mindwave says, "Or perhaps to keep that part of the computer running, while the other parts are shut down..."
Silas nods, saying, "That would be tricky, but we'll keep it open as a possible course of action."
Mindwave turns to Silas, "Do you know just how Omega-1 keeps the people alive?"
Silas nods, saying, "Somewhat. We know that it uses people's brains as somewhat of a processor. It's constantly sending out data to the people through the computer links. Those people then act like a cluster of computer processors, analyze the data, draw conclusions, and send the information back to Omega-1. Body functions are handled through those same computer links."
Mindwave thinks about it for a moment, "Could something take the place of Omega-1 for keeping them alive if it was unplugged?"
Silas nods, saying, "Theoretically, yes. But it would have to have to be physically in the same location as Omega-1, because that's the only thing that we know for sure has links to all of the nodes."
Mindwave says, "Silas, does your world have any people with special abilities?"
Silas tilts his head slightly and asks, "How do you mean?"
Mindwave smiles, "People with abilities that defy explaination by normal scientific means... we call them "super abilities."
Silas thinks about that for a moment, then shakes his head. He says, "Nobody that I know of. Of course most of our people are in the tanks still, and for all intents and purposes they're unconscious."
Mindwave says, "I see, then Omega-1 might not know of such things... that we could use to our advantage..."
Mindwave says, "You see, Silas, I am not a normal human being."
Silas shakes his head, saying, "No, not exactly... what do you mean by not normal?"
Mindwave reaches out with her mind and lifts Silas and the chair he is sitting in off of the floor, "I can do this."
Silas' eyes go wide as he starts rising up. He grips the arms of his chair and says, "Now I see..."
Mindwave sets him back down gently, then reaches out with her mind to telepathically communicate with Silas. Mentally, she says, "That is not the only thing I can do..."
Silas looks quite shaken by the display. He says, "I see... you need not demonstrate further..."
Mindwave says alound, "Very well... some of my companions have abilities beyond the norm as well. I am wondering if there is perhaps a way that I could "take over" for Omega-1 as far as keeping the people alive if we can pull the plug on Omega-1..."
Silas shrugs, saying, "Your guess is as good as mine in that matter, Mindwave. I know nothing of these abilities you and your people possess."
Mindwave turns to Bruno, "Anything to add, Doctor?
Mindwave thinks aloud, "Perhaps, if I can get close to it, I can learn more about it... It is an artificial intelligence, is it not?"
Silas says, "We're not sure. A true artificially intelligent system should not need to rely on people to do the abstract thinking for it, yet it does seem to be self-aware"
Mindwave says, "Perhaps there is a way to "scramble" it... if my powers could be transmitted to the people being used, and awaken them somehow... while an attack is going...."
Silas steeples his fingers and taps his lips in thought. He says, "Well, if you wanted to try something like that, I would have to guess that maybe trying to find an information distribution node and start there... The people would be your gateway for something like that, as the computer can't seem to handle abstract thought on its own."
Mindwave says, "I see... confuse it somehow...."
Silas pauses for a moment then adds, "I do see one problem with that kind of an approach..."
Mindwave says, "Yes, we would need to keep them alive physically.."
Silas explains, "Not exactly. You see, Omega-1 is still an extremely powerful computer, even without the links to the nodes of people. It would probably trust 'bad' data from the nodes for a while, but when things start going wrong, it may begin to suspect faulty data coming from the nodes and switch to pure mathmatical probability extractions. With its computing power, that kind of approach is still very formidible"
Silas says, "We will need to be prepared for that contingency"
Mindwave says, "Yes..."
Mindwave says, "Still, we need to insure the safety of the people when we shut the machine down..."
Silas nods, saying, "Definitely. Any ides on how we can do that?"
Mindwave says, "Best route would be to have another computer, or someone, continue to have the people function physically after the machine is shut down..."
Silas nods, saying, "Well, as I said, if we're going to hook up another computer, it's going to have to be linked to the same place Omega-1 itself is. That bunker is extremely well fortified."
Mindwave wonders aloud, "I wonder if the Doctor's widget could do the job..."
Silas says, "We will have to ask him later. If it is capable of doing that, that's half of our task. Now how would we get into that bunker?"
<Editors Note:> Bruno had disconnected by this point and was unable to reconnect, therefore Bruno was no longer in attendance at the meeting.
Mindwave says, "Sneaking in would be very difficult, I assume... could we get in via one of the maintenence machines? Or wardroids?"
Silas says, "That would require some research, and more importantly capturing one intact."
Mindwave says, "Either that, or we could be brought in as "prisoners"... but I would prefer to sneak in if possible..."
Silas smiles, saying, "We've never known Omega-1 to take prisoners. I think that's out of the question."
Mindwave says, "Then sneaking in it is... if going in via a "Trojan Horse" routine is the way to go, then we must start right away.... oh, "Trojan Horse" is an Earth term... it refers to a ploy of sneaking inside of a place by being hidden inside something else..."
Silas nods then thinks for a moment. He then says, "We do know that the nodes of people are grouped together in specific ways. We also know that Omega-1 doesn't communicate directly with every node. Instead there are a number of information distribution nodes that get the data to the specific nodes that it needs to go to. I'm sure we can use that to our advantage as well."
Mindwave says, "So, we could take out a node, or intercept data there and send bad data back to Omega-1..."
Silas nods, saying, "In theory. Also in theory its these distribution nodes that pass the life support instructions to the secondary nodes, so that's a possible way to make sure everyone stays alive."
Mindwave says, "We will have to have teams at the sites of all these nodes to pass along information, or make sure that information gets to the people..."
Silas nods again. He says, "This is going to be tricky."
Mindwave says, "No one ever said this would be easy, Silas, but our arrival is your best chance to end Omega-1's tyranny. We must act, and soon."
Silas nods and says, "I know. I will prepare my people. Come with me, it's nearly time to send a transmission. We will attempt to contact your comrads."
Mindwave stands and follows Silas, "Very well."
Silas stands up and leaves the meeting room. He moves through the dim cooridors, nodding to haggard looking people as he passes them. He approaches a heavy steel door, saying, "This is our communications center." He passes through the doors, leading you into an archaic communications center.
Mindwave looks around as she walks, taking in every detail.
Silas moves to a young man sitting at one of the consoles. The man is wearing an old headset with a microphone attached, apparently just listening at the moment. Silas puts a hand on his shoulder, and the young man looks up and nods. He covers the microphone with his hand and says quietly to Silas, "We're ready to transmit."
Mindwave says, "How much time do we have?"
Silas says, "Once we start, we never transmit for more than about a minute... less if possible."
Mindwave says, "I understand... I am ready to send a message."
Silas hands a microphone to Mindwave, then nods to the man sitting at the console. The man flips a couple of switches and says, "Whenever you're ready..."
Mindwave takes the microphone, "Exelion, this is Mindwave. I have made contact. Please respond."
A couple of moments pass, though they seem like an eternity, before Tarna's voice returns, saying, "Good to hear from you, Warlord. We're standing by waiting for further instructions."
The young man sits by with a stop watch. He says quietly, "Ten seconds..."
Mindwave says, "A plan is being put into place here. Standby to launch another attack. Await for further orders. Mindwave out."
Tarna's voice returns, saying, "Understood, Warlord, we will be waiting for your signal. Exelion out."
Mindwave turns off the microphone.
The young man stops the watch and smiles, saying, "Fifteen seconds of transmission time, Silas..." He looks at Mindwave, then says to Silas, "She's a pro at this stuff."
Mindwave smiles at the young man, "Thank you."
Silas says, "We have much to do. You should rest now, I'm sure you're tired."
Mindwave turns back to Silas, "Yes, it has been a long day."
Silas nods, saying, "After you have slept, we will try to discover the locations of the information distribution nodes and see how well they are protected. I believe that is the first step in succeeding in our plan."
Mindwave says, "Agreed."
Silas says, "Very well then. I will show you to your quarters. Follow me, please." He steps out of the communciations room and moves along a different coordior toward a group of doors. He shows you through one of those doors, where the rest of the team is already resting.
Mindwave looks around the room...
It's a simple room, nothing in the way of decorations, just two sets of bunk beds and a couple of foot lockers. Strong is not present, as he has been taken to the medical center to have his wounds treated, but the rest of the team is here and already asleep.
Mindwave turns to Silas and whispers, "Thank you." She turns and looks for an open bunk to lie down in.
Despite the overwhelming task ahead of you, sleep comes quickly. Even in your sleep, dreams of what lies ahead race through your mind, but you seem to sleep soundly. In a few short hours, the first steps toward liberating a planet will be taken. The enormity of the task is in your mind until you fall asleep, but you have confidence, and a large fleet at your disposal. One way or another, you feel that you will be victorious.