Chapter 20: Third Wave
Copyright© 2018 by Duncan7
Ship gracefully took us over to the recently destroyed vessels. Because we were not cloaked, we travelled faster than before. When we arrived, Ship deployed two more probes and we hooked up a tow cable to the first of the three vessels. Soon we were dragging it around Baglogi-4 and launching it toward the far side of the system. I later expected the manufacturing facility out there to use it for raw materials and salvaged parts.
We were all sitting in the main bridge, watching the action on the tactical display. Ship was now travelling back to fetch a second vessel.
“Ship, how are the probes with the nano-bots?” I asked.
“Probes are deployed and cloaked as ordered. Chances of successful interception increased. Two probes are equipped with signal-jamming capability as requested,” said Ship.
“Great! Now I’d like to see if we can automate them. Please define a new protocol. Call it trap-1. Details are as follows: Stage one identify new arrivals, classify as friendly or foe. Alert all friendly vessels in the system via the system network. Stage two deploy nano-bots in the path of foe vessels. Be ready to jam outgoing signals. If needed, signal the probe working on the derelict vessels and have it distract the incoming foe vessels. The goal is to lure them toward the clouds of nano-bots. Stage three deactivate nano-bots after explosive decompression and termination of life signs. Keep all friendly vessels in the system updated where the clouds of nano-bots are located, so they can avoid the area. And if any foe vessel can avoid the nano-bots, alert all friendly vessels in the system. You got all that?” I asked.
“Confirmed. New protocol complete. Transmitting protocol to probes ... Complete,” said Ship.
“We are the only friendly vessel in this system,” said Koluna.
“Correct, but that may not always be the case. For example, Baglogi has an alliance with the Ori Confederation. If there were Ori vessels in the system, providing assistance per the terms of the treaty, that protocol would keep them informed,” I responded.
“But we have not asked for their help, and they are at least 20 days away,” said Koluna. I shrugged.
Ship interrupted us then, “Attention, arriving at the second derelict vessel. Attaching tow cable...”
We were off again, towing the hulking carcass of a foe vessel behind us.
Ship completed towing the three vessels out of sight. We then moved behind Baglogi-4, ready for another wave. The probe had arrived at the planetoid on the other side of the system. The new manufacturing facility was taking shape.
“Ship, how is it going with the derelict vessels?” I asked.
“The probe has extracted and examined various weapons and defensive capabilities, also power relays and other components that could be useful,” Ship replied.
“Good. Please document schematics for the improvements. Then send the schematics to the manufacturing facility for incorporating into production,” I said.
“Confirmed. Relevant improvements will be incorporated into future manufactured probes and system defence vessels.
“Outstanding!” said Jem. “Thank you Ship.”
“Ship, how goes it with deciphering the computer cores?” I asked.
“Understanding the computer cores depends on understanding the foe language. Without activating a foe computer, the process is slow. Activating a foe computer would be highly dangerous, and violates safety protocols,” Ship replied.
“Well, how about the navigation computers? Do you have access to their cores?”
“Ship, understanding the entire foe language is a big undertaking, even for you. I suggest the navigation data should be a smaller target. Stellar cartography and astro-navigation is a lot of math. There should be a lot in common. Use your own data about this system for reference. You need to figure out the foe number system, their coordinate system and then search for matches in the navigation computer cores.” I said.
Both Koluna and Jem looked at me with hopeful expressions on their faces. I had something in mind if Ship could crack this.
A few minutes passed then, “I have deciphered the foe navigation data. I have access to their cartography, and navigation data. I can now confirm the origin of these vessels as the same system we sent a probe to,” said Ship.
“Woohoo!” I exclaimed. I was tempted to do a happy dance.
“Ship, I presume you now understand foe number system, coordinate system, math and designations for astral bodies,” I asked.
“Confirmed. This will be helpful in further deciphering the main computer cores,” said Ship.
“You’re welcome. But do you understand their communications systems and protocols yet?” I asked. I needed this for the next part of the plan.
“Communications protocols and frequencies are similar to Baglogi. This may explain their capacity to trigger a remote override protocol previously,” Ship replied.
I turned to Jem and Koluna to share my plan; “I think we have most of what we need to send a text communication to the foe vessels. Last time we used the probe to distract them, but it might be even better if we could tell them to go to Baglogi-4.”
“I like it,” said Jem.
“You’re still going to lure them into a trap?” asked Koluna, her arms crossed in a way that told me she was unhappy.
“If you can offer an alternative, I am open to hear it. I don’t think they came here to make friendly contact. They did not hail us, but tried to override Ship. I am working with Ship to ensure our survival - unless Jem were to give up and retreat from this system?” I replied/asked.
“No commander. We are not retreating. This is Baglogi, not theirs,” said Jem emphatically.