Gave Peace A Chance warmed up its engines and shot off, sending a shower of IR and UV sparks, alerting the Void Incident discussion board.
They said they couldn't explain it, but they would divert PSYCHO Knight Of Many Tables, and send another member of the Gunboat Diplomats, FOE Lost That Loving Feeling, to join GPAC at the FASP Sticky Wicket.
Lost That Loving Feeling was an old friend of GPAC. Both of them had fought side by side in every war for the last 12,000 years. 6 conflicts.
7 if you include the Chibbik debacle, but no one ever seems to.
^FOE Lost That Loving Feeling
@Gave Peace A Chance:
This is a fine mess you've got us in this time.
@Lost That Loving Feeling:
Yeah sorry to bother you with my galactic emergency.
Your emergency? This clusterfuck belongs to FI.
I'm in FI.
Good point. You really are a shit storm magnet.
I should stop hanging out with you.
You'd miss me too much.
So, why have they sent you to help me? Are they expecting a fire-fight?
Ask not the reason why, there's but to do and die.
Seriously, what the hell is going on?
Well these Jedricers are gearing up to attack the Insilts home world, as you already know.
Right but why haven't we been able to talk them out of it?
Because they're a determinedly retarded bunch of religious whackos.
Why is M so freaked out?
Because if we start a war with the Insilts, we won't be able to hit back at them for nearly two years.
Well nearly every warship we built to defeat the empire went straight into dry dock immediately after hostilities ended. There are only about 100 of us around, and we're spread pretty thin, or we have been de-militarised, yourself the only one who's been retooled since the end of that last conflict/war/train-wreck.
The only way to bring them out of hibernation immediately is if a habitat is completely destroyed, otherwise it'd take at least 2 years to revive them all.
Who the fuck decided that?
Three guesses, no hints.
... I'll Be Gentle.
They said you were good.
Seconded by Serene Travels Of A Lonely Heart, The.
Fuck me sideways.
Would a FASP count as a habitat?
Go to full burn. Fuck I hope I don't smush this diplomat on my way through.
Still 2 hours out. Hang on.
^PSYCHO Knight Of Many Tables
Who would be stupid enough to attack a FASP?
Not sure, that's why you're joining us. Go to full burn.
Roger that mate should be there in 45 minutes or so.
Ease off a bit, we should all arrive around the same time.
Did you see that EB? Something is still fucking with it, and that has me suspicious. So just take it easy.
Stay frosty. I need to focus on picking up this diplomat.
Gave Peace A Chance was now travelling at 150000 times the speed of light. One tremor in the gravity well would send it careening sideways, ripping itself asunder thanks to its own power.
It took a mind-state recording and shot it at the FASPRO, not even a visible dot of light any more. It was at least 2 light years behind, but its mind-state would reach it in 15 minutes, to be sent on from the FASPRO to an even further reach of space. Its macabre package would be safely held outside the sphere of danger Gave Peace A Chance found itself in.
Not even 8 hours had passed since it picked up Saran, and already the Mores were in more danger than they had been in for 100,000 years.
It woke Saran up 20 minutes before it was due to zap the diplomat from whatever back water on board.
"That was refreshing. Have I missed anything important?" She yawned loudly as she padded around her room, scratching her naked belly while she rifled through her belongings for something appropriate to wear.
"Well yes and no, I suppose," Gave Peace A Chance replied.
"What does that mean?"
"Change of plans. The FASP we were heading for to pick up the diplomat has been attacked by a lower echelon species which we are yet to identify."
Saran stood bolt upright, her breasts swaying slowly in the low gravity. "I beg your pardon?"
"I know right? Anyway, Sticky Wicket ejected the diplomat before any major damage was done. As far as he knows, this was the plan the whole time. Our mission is still a go. In fact Mitigation has seen fit to send us some extra grunt, should we require it."
Saran ran a tired hand through her black hair, straightening it as best she could. "So Mitigation does exist" she laughed. "Does this mean I'm in it now?" as she pulled on a pair of black trousers and picked out a red undershirt.
"Yep, welcome to the party. We'll be picking up the diplomat as we're going, I'll be zapping him aboard."
"Oh ok. Do you need me to do anything?"
"Just continue to be your charming self for our diplomat. We'll be going really fast, aren't you worried I might squish him?"
Saran bit her top lip absently as she found a lovely jacket to put on and turned to a mirror-field. "How do I look?"
"Like diplomacy personified. Aren't you worried?"
"Not especially. What are the chances that you will kill him when you zap him?"
"Worryingly high. One in 870,000 zaps at this velocity end in some kind of embarrassment to at least one party involved."
"So the worst that will happen, probably, is he will be naked?"
She smiled as she applied gloss to her lips, "Do we have any other choice anyway? Judging by the gravity, we must be clipping along at some pace."
"Well no - "
"Then stop worrying. Tell me more about this other emergency that's gotten me into bed with Mitigation."
Gave Peace A Chance sighed and launched in to the description of how awful the position the Jedricers were putting the Mores in and what was being done to stop their stupidity. Saran walked around the ship, making sure everything was in order. This was, of course, pointless as GPAC always kept a tidy ship using its own drones and internal manipulation fields, but it gave her something to do while they came up on the EME Sentimental Journey.
"Just received a dot-info drop from the EME, it will accelerate to match us for 3 seconds while I make the zap," Gave Peace A Chance said in a relieved voice.
"How can an escape module match a FOE?" replied Saran, confused.
"Well ordinarily it can't, but it hasn't fired its one-timers yet. They can go twice my speed for almost 2 seconds."
"Then how did it get so far away from the FASPSW?"
"Sticky Wicket must have zapped it away before its pods were compromised," Gave Peace A Chance answered offhandedly. "Anyway the odds have increased in our favour for not killing him. One in 87 million. Still ..."
Saran flopped in the reception lounge chair, a lovely dark green leather couch and ordered a drink. "I don't like this at all."
"The 150 year old yort cloud dew does develop a tang,"
"No not this, this is lovely. I don't like that all this is happening now."
"Yeah. Yeah you're right. Still to be in such company," GPAC raised a glass using its fields to clink with Saran's "while such monumental occurrences are taking place."
Saran giggled as she watched the ghostly glass move through the air. "And to you, sir."
"Ok we're coming up, should receive the diplomat in 175 seconds."
Saran stood up and patted her crumpled clothing down, trying to be more presentable. She drained her glass and threw it toward a handsome fireplace. It was intercepted by a service drone neatly and placed on a tray as it zoomed past.
"Please refrain from creating a mess, Ms Saran." It said in its little voice. Saran replied by poking her tongue out at it.
^EME Sentimental Journey
@Gave Peace A Chance:
Hello chum, ready to receive?
If Mind's could sweat Gave Peace A Chance would be a puddle. The Sentimental Journey did the equivalent of a jockey changing horses in the middle of an extremely tight race, its mind-state leaping off its exploding horse.
Gave Peace A Chance changed its course and dove down and away from the husk of the module. 10 pico-seconds later the husk exploded, bucking the energy grid like tin foil being screwed up and straightened in quick succession. The resulting wave carried the GPAC a ways off course, violent jolts racing through the body of its sleek ship. Saran fell to the ground and yelped in pain before her body responded by turning off her pain receptors. She looked at her wrist, a bloody mess, bones poking through the top while her hand swung lazily, and she tutted.
"What the fuck was that?" she asked out loud, retaking her seat on the couch.
"Someone just tried to kill us."