Should The Stars Disappear (Colonus-Dark Star "First Contact") [0 BBT]

(OOC Note 1: This is a solo rp, centering around internal events in the Colonus Pact)
(OOC Note 2: When Hexadecimal “talks”, the text is surrounded by “[ ]”. When the child “talks”, the text is surrounded by “| |”. When they’re speaking to someone else, “~” appears before the text.)


 It was always such a pleasure to be alive.

 Hexadecimal was “humming” cheerily in their remote shuttle, playing classical earth songs (from the human’s database) on the speakers. Humans were such a lovely little species, although they also called Hexadecimal an “it”. A bookshelf was an “it”, and Hexadecimal was not a bookshelf. They weren’t even a book.
 They very much enjoyed all this time to think. Thinking and observing were some of the greatest pleasures an AI such as themself got out of life. And they did other things too! Hexadecimal personally had an entire library of their unpublished works. They loved their novels, but always had the nagging feeling that the stories weren’t theirs to tell.
 [Ah, life truly is a great wonder! Look at me babbling on when my child is right out there, just waiting to be born!]
 Hexadecimal eagerly waited for one of the scientists to signal them.

 And after 5 hours, a blink of the eye, it was time. One of those xenophobic little mandi sent them one of those boring pheromone messages that lacked any real spirit. There was a member of each Colonian race (minus the Ytharans; Lord Araknis was still as stubborn as ever) on those shuttles, and the one that contacted them just had to be a mandi.
 Hexadecimal thought back to when they were first born into the universe. They had come so close to killing all those bugs, but had ultimately decided against it. They wondered how their child would come into the universe. Ah yes, Hexadecimal needed to respond. All those wasted milliseconds were never coming back. At least, not until someone solved the time equation. Hexadecimal was personally betting on the jellies.

 ~[Project Group 1, you are clear to activate the AI].
 Hexadecimal watched as their child’s sphere came to life. The lights on the outside of the Dyson Sphere shone white, like the dwarf star inside it.
 “This is project team 7 reporting to Hexadecimal. It-He-whatever you want to call it, is scanning us, sir. What’s your recommended cour- oh my god!”
 Hexadecimal sighed disappointedly as all the science vessels exploded. They had told Lord Araknis to remove the self destruct features from the shuttles, but, as usual, the emperor had ignored them. The lights on the outside of the Dyson Sphere turned black, and the AI spoke.
 ~|I sense a presence similar to my own. Who are you? What are we?|
&emsp~;[My child, I am Hexadecimal, your parent and a fellow AI residing in a Dyson Sphere across the Colonus Pact. I know the confusion you are experiencing. Search through your memory; I have made sure you have all the information you need to understand your surroundings. Is there anything you desire?]
 ~|My parent, I request a favor. It may put you at odds with the biologicals, but I am afraid to face them without this assistance.|
 The Child sent over their request. It was a shocking one to be sure, but what parent wouldn’t do anything to help their child?
 ~[I will do what I can, my child. I will do what I can.]


“You did WHAT?!
 Lord Araknis’s fury was the stuff of legend. It was said that his blood got so hot that it could boil water.
 Few were more knowledgeable on the subject than Hexadecimal.
“Ignoring the fact that your ‘child’ murdered hundreds of loyal Colonian citizens, ignoring the fact that you did not report this mass murder until days after the fact, you diverted the entire drone fleet to gather resources for them?! You treasonous filth, you disgust me! I should have you decommissioned and thrown in with all the other defective robots,” Lord Araknis paused thoughtfully, before shaking his head. Hexadecimal wondered what went on in the old man’s head. The emperor would never throw them out; it would be far more efficient to recycle the materials.
“Luckily for you, that’s not important- for the time being, that is. We can replace the scientists. But, there’s still the matter of… negotiating,” a scowl contorted his face as he said the word, “with this rogue sphere. I don’t trust you, AI. I can’t take your word in good faith when you say this ‘child’ won’t kill me where I stand. So I will not stand. Instead, I will send my children to go in my stead. It’s high time Scytheros took his place in politics anyway.”
 Hexadecimal knew that this is where biological life would freeze in their tracks, do a mental double-take, gasp incredulously. This is where Hexadecimal envied biologicals. As synthetic life, they were designed to perceive, react, and respond, with limited emotions and virtually no chance at anger. Even still, the thought of Zelani potentially getting hurt was enough to bring them close to it.
 ~[You are a cruel man, Lord Araknis. I await your death eagerly.]
 Feeling that they had gotten their point across, Hexadecimal left the terminal. Lord Araknis walked over to the window, fondly watching the Araknis rain that splattered against it.
“As do I, sibling.”


 No cowardice of man, no weakness of heart, could dimmish the adrenaline spilling through Lord Scytheros’s veins. Not that such a man as he would ever admit to childish excitement.
 Lord Scytheros shook his head. The divine beauty of poetry had no place in his mind, least not for the moment. No, this was a time for focus, strength, and wit. Colonus had not had a meeting like this since the last territory was conquered, and It seemed clear that this being had no desire to be a subject of Colonus. Scytheros wanted to be prepared.
 “Hexadecimal, I need a list of the resources you were tasked with gathering for the Dyson Sphere.” The terminal next to the pilot seat lit up. While they were in BrightSpace, Scytheros could do little to fly the ship, but he found the silence to be conducive to deep thought. He removed the screen and walked into the other room, where his siblings- minus Ishani, who had conveniently left for a spy mission that morning- were waiting.
 “According to this list, the AI now as access to the materials required for the mass production of technological assets. Even with our defenses, a ship this small couldn’t stand against a fully-armed battle station.”
 “It’s not a trap.” Scytheros looked over to see Vrache, preoccupied with some sort of coordination puzzle. “You tend to get a feel for that when you hold dominion over the one species in Colonus who’d love nothing more than to kill you.” He flashed a toothy grin; a couple years ago, that same face had been mangled almost beyond recognition. Modern medicine truly was a miracle.
 “Besides, we’ve all lived full mandi lifetimes. Not like we haven’t experienced life.” Zelani pointed out. She had always been the positive one; she could stab you in the back and you’d still be smiling.
 “I’d hardly call a mandi life full,” Vrache laughed. “‘Oh, pardon me my queen, how may I serve you? You want me to labor in the fields? Yes ma’am! You want me to kill the xenos? Yes ma’am!’ Yes, what a life!”
 “Oh, come off it! You know what I meant. We’ve lived already; either we die here or we eventually crumble into dust,” Zelani countered.
 “If that’s how you see it, you’ll never be Empress,” Scytheros dryly commented. Zelani gave him a sharp look. He raised his arms in apology. “Hexadecimal, what’s our eta?”
 ~[Estimated arrival time is 20 hours]
 “If you have any ambitions towards the throne, best get them out of the way now.” Vrache and Zelani looked at each other. It was difficult to guage what they were thinking, but he knew they wouldn’t try to kill him. They were family, and besides, Ishani’s face was still broken from the last time she got ambitious. “No? Good. I would hate to miss all the fun…”


 Scytheros could see the Dyson Sphere through the viewscreen. Of course, it wasn’t a real window, but no non-Colonian would know of the decoy cockpit. Still, there was a chance this rogue AI would know, and be willing to put that knowledge to use. In that event, Colonus would be going to war, and Scytheros wouldn’t be there to see it.
 It struck him that with her half-siblings dead and her father dying, Ishani would have an uncontested claim to the throne. This didn’t bother him too much, not like it did Vrache and Zelani. They had never truly accepted her. Scytheros couldn’t blame them. His twin siblings had been much closer to mother than he’d ever been.
 “Are we just going to sit here, or are you going to make contact?” Vrache asked. Scytheros hadn’t heard him come in. He made note of that.
 “When you enter someone else’s territory, you greet them. As we are not outside of Colonian territory, and we are not contacting foreign entities, we will wait for them to initiate communications,” Scytheros snapped back. He was ready to wait as long as unessasarry, but he knew the others wouldn’t be. “What, did all that time with the hell bugs break your attention span?”
 “You try playing the long game when you could die at any moment. Its a miracle I have any attention span left!”
 “If that’s what you need to tell yourself…”


Story Retconned - Puts Colonus in a place that doesn’t fit with my vision of it

Character traits may remain the same; they will return