Despite the destruction of
the Milky Way Galaxy Component Galaxy 01
, humanity survived and thrived
, first on the vast FTL-drive asteroid ships of the Exodus Fleet, and later in the many colonies founded in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Once reduced to a few tens of thousands of individuals, the scattered survivors of humanity got busy
(including cloning and genetic engineering) and the human population exploded at a geometric rate. As the colonies spread far and wide and re-discovered each other, tensions arose
... mostly over who was in charge
A millennia and a half of brutal space-warfare followed.
Even in the midst of the greatest space-war in human history, the population continued to surge far beyond any conceivable it's a pun!
limits. As the forces of Elgin Mossburg's PsiComp Authority gained the upper hand, they used the vast numbers of ships and combatants available to form the Exna Fleets,
massive trans-galactic fleets, each tasked with a specific purpose. The rampant breeding
by the human colonies coupled with the millennia of vicious combat during the Age of Darkness led to a great many
less-than-perfectly-socialized individuals in the colonies and military forces being incorporated into the PsiComp Authority. Pretty much every
individual who failed a standard psychological examination (or just annoyed the wrong person... or was a relative of someone who annoyed the wrong person) found themselves disappeared
and 'press-ganged' into the Exna Fleets... especially Exna Fleet Purity, whose only purpose was the extermination of any and all non-human intelligent life with the most extreme
hundreds of years Exna Fleet Purity battled for the survival, and later dominance, of humanity over all other lifeforms. During the long centuries
of the Universal Zenocide ensuring human safety and security
, almost a quadrillion humans served aboard trillions of ships built to hundreds of thousands of specifications, each of them upgraded and improved as time and experience allowed.
The Light-Blue Zenith (水色中天
) [Water-Colored Mid-Heaven] was an early design for a Mirror-transit capable Battle Carrier, which saw many
iterations over the centuries, culminating in the impossibly sexy
Red Horizon Battle Carrier. While the 'Zenith was an ancient beast by the end of the Xeno-war, it had survived
more combat than most ships ever saw. Some
said it was due to an ingrained streak of cowardice
on the part of the ship's AI... but the ShipLord and crew of the old girl insisted she was simply being properly cautious
. After all, it's not
paranoia if every new ship you meet is
trying to kill you.
The 'Zenith's cautious nature
paid off when the Xeno-war ended
... and PsiComp promptly began
liquidating the Exna Fleets ensuring social harmony.
Shortly before PsiComp Authority caught up with the 'Zenith, they received fragmentary transmissions from an Exna Fleet Inferno battle-group being liquidated, which put everyone, especially the AI, on edge. At that time the 'Zenith was also carrying a
murderous psychopath brilliant but misunderstood
kicked out by on detached service from
Exna Fleet Dominion, who was
birthing eldritch abominations
providing the 'Zenith with advanced biological combat systems.
In her spare time the BioMancer built semi-sapient
sex toys research assistants
for her own very private
use. Being a lady of considerable intellect and insatiable appetite, she ensured her
had a great deal
of processing and memory capacity, as well as extremely
resilient physical construction.
When the PsiComp Authority
fleet transited in to the 'Zenith's location, the ship was already preparing for a long-distance Mirror transit of its own. A wolf-pack of Authority missile frigates made an attack-run on the 'Zenith, losing one of their members to the 'Zenith's anti-ship point defenses, which turned out to be a mistake on the 'Zenith's part as the exploding frigate caused more damage than the missiles had.
Seeing that the ancient ship could still bite
, the Heavy Cruiser acting as flagship of the Authority fleet attacked the 'Zenith with highly-advanced Mirror-based beam weapons (completely unknown to the 'Zenith and her crew) just as she transited out
The 'Zenith, leaving real-space for the orange-litten chaos of the Mirror, took both blasts full on, her own Mirror transit scrambled and randomized by the terrible energies gnawing at her guts. The entire crew of the 'Zenith joined the Mirror
in a gory cascade of melting flesh and tearing minds, souls consumed by the seething, swirling hell shining brightly inside and out.
As the ShipLord succumbed to the Mirror's awe-full touch, she called out one last, despairing command to the AI: "Save the crew!"
The 'Zenith's AI, half-destroyed and badly scrambled by the attack, recorded this final directive as Priority One
as it desperately downloaded all the fragments of itself that it could recover into the only memory system on board that was not
burned to a cinder or melting into orange-red goo... the mostly-empty mind of the
prehensile triple-ended penetrator research assistant
currently being built in the BioMancer's
interval later, the Light-Blue Zenith transited out of the Mirror into real-space, her hull shattered and blasted, her crew gone (except for bubbling puddles of scorched fat and miscellaneous carbon compounds), her AI broken into tiny fragments, and one very
pink-and-beige giant salamander
, he's a sex toy
... filled with jagged fragments of AI programming and scrambled databases and one hell
of a headache pounding an endless, screaming refrain: Save the crew
It's really too bad
that the little guy has no idea
who the crew even were
in the first place
I was starting on modeling some interior parts and realized my windows were way
too small and would result in a strange strip of tiny windows right at ceiling height... so I went back and made 'em bigger, which is a pain 'cause they're not just textures, it's part of the model's mesh. I did get a chance to optimize a few things, so that's nice.
Check out a 10-second clip of an exterior flyby of the Blue Zenith