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LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#1
Take part in the discussion --> here
Only submissions in this thread, please.

Heyaa!

Welcome to the fifth edition of the revived Limit Theory Fan Contest! This month's edition will be about Industry. Your entry doesn't necessarily need to include industry - but it must be a topic you at least touch upon. Be a little creative, and I'm sure you can come up with something awesome. :) Everyone can make as many admissions as they like, but only one can be the "official" admission by which you are judged.

This contest will have 3 prizes for the top three submissions, and each entrant can only win one prize. If there are less than eight entrants, only two prizes will be given out. If there are less than five entrants, only one prize will be awarded. If there are less than two entrants, no prizes will be given. Selected prizes will be taken from the pool.


The objective: Create art about Limit Theory.
This could be in written form as a story, lore, or a detailed idea for a mod. It could be visual like a gif, photoshop or video. Or even audio - anyone up for a bit of stand-up about Limit Theory?
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head, but I'm sure you guys can think of a lot more. It is fine to use other games' assets in your submissions.
Rule of thumb: "Does it spotlight Limit Theory?".


Prize pool:
  • $30 voucher, courtesy of Victor Tombs (Monthly; always added)
  • Strike Suit Zero Mega Bundle, courtesy of BFett
  • Stellaris, courtesy of Silverware, on the condition that you're willing and able to play multiplayer with someone else on the forums at least once
  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, courtesy of Dinosawer
  • Sol Trader, courtesy of Victor Tombs
  • More prizes may be added to the pool! Prizes will be chosen randomly from the pool at the end of each month.



The rules:
  • The artwork needs to be about Limit Theory per the objective.
  • Everybody is free to enter but can only submit one entry to the contest. You are free to change or replace your submission for as long as the contest is open.
  • If you have submitted more than one work, you need to be very clear about which one you're entering. If there is any doubt, the latest entry in the forum thread will be judged.
  • All contest submissions have to be made as a reply to this thread.
  • Submitting a prize does not exclude you from having a submission scored.
  • Judges are not barred from making a submission themselves, but their submissions can't be scored.
  • The contest will be open to new submissions until Thursday, June 30th, 23:59 GMT.
  • Discussion about this contest or submissions can happen here.
  • Any prizes are yours to do whatever you want with them. You can even give the prize to someone else if you'd like, and they don't have to be from this forum.
  • The number of prizes given will be equal to the number of entrants divided by three and rounded up, up to a maximum of three.
Note: if you're using another site to host content, make sure the title and comment displays that it's part of a contest submission.
This only to avoid future googlers from becoming confused when looking for official content.


Judging:
Our jury of three people will judge the submissions based on the following criteria:
  • Originality: 30%
  • Aesthetic: 25%
  • Details: 10%
  • X factor: 20%
  • Realism according to the LT universe: 15%
Have a question? Send me a PM! || People talking in IRC over the past two hours: Image
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#2
Military Complex

Bright flashes form shield energy dissipation highlighted the hull of the flagship. he massive ship shrugged off the small ticks that swarmed around it, and was soon accompanied with several cruisers and frigates, their warp rail static still dissipating as they closed distance to the station.

"Cease and Desist unknown fleet..." the comm's dispatch called, then was muted with a push of a button. His fingers still steepled in composure, holding back the growing anticipation of a feast.

"Run production cycle seven" Resh Zahn said, his cool voice commanded the empty green in his nutrient liquid pod. A reply drifted through the thick hazy green.

"confirmed" a feminine female voice, his ship its self, replied. the low murmur of distant mechanical noises vibrated the glass's surface. Massive mechanical arms grabbed the small drone fighter craft from the ships equally as large ship manufacturing module. The flow of materials from the cargo bays droned into the humming to make a symphony of destruction.

Swarms of missiles and torpedoes arced out of the frigates, streaking lines of light into the blue and purple nebula. The small sector control fighters were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of fighter drones that the flagship spewed out of its eight drone launch bays, two on each side of the massive ship.

“Range” said Resh, promptly followed by a data relay of streaming number in holographic chart. He studied the numbers in anticipation, his cross-legged form drifting closer and closer to the edge of the glass where the numbers were being projected.

“Fire when in range” he coolly commanded his companion, easing back into the center of the liquid, trying not to get tangled by the thick and thin wires and tubes that connected to his body, supplying it with the option for direct interface, food, water, and everything he would ever need.

The ship shuttered as the gunship sized rail guns blasted chunks out of the station. One after another, each blast gave him an increasing amount of satisfaction.

Flashes from the station commander, sector control, every authority that thought themselves important enough to negotiate. They were all unfortunately misinformed, they all now worked for him. the rest of his fleet now launching from near the core to this backwards outer rim system. All their industry, the people, and all their lives were his to shape, and his directive was to consolidate his new empire’s power. He would strike, sector by sector, until he could finally pry into the core worlds which exiled him and his followers. This was just the beginning.
There is no peace, only passion
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#3
The Talimon

"Now arriving at Sector 11469," said a male voice in a robotic monotone. Captain Royce stared out from the bridge as the stars ceased being streaks of light and reverted to being simply lights in the distance. His ship had been traveling the galaxy for now three years and it all still looked the same, with a few minor changes of scenery.

"Report," said Royce as he stood up and looked out through the front display at the sector. A young cadet stood up and read from a holopad.

"Sir, it looks like there is a class M planet within range. It looks to contain a proper atmosphere and has every potential to be a new colony," said the cadet with some hesitation. "However, I highly recommend that we get closer the planet before making statements like that. Especially after..."

"That is enough," commanded Captain Royce. He was tired of hearing about the last time they thought they had found a habitable planet. It was a disaster that led to the deaths of 20 scientists and explorers after every system of the ship had told them that the planet was safe, and it turns out that the planet's atmosphere had scrambled their sensors enough to fool them.

"Sir, I would like to volunteer to take an exploration team down to the planet at....this point," said Lieutenant Harold, one of Royce's rising stars within the ship crew. Royce stroked his graying beard and thought things over.

"If...if I am going to permit another exploration team to go down, I am going to go along with it. I won't sit up here and merely hear results. This planet must have the Parnellium we are looking for or else we will move on," declared the captain with a glare the cut down any resistance.

"Very well sir, we shall be ready to leave in one hour," replied Harold with a snap of his heels and a salute.

******

The shuttle descended through the atmosphere of the planet, now designated Terminus by many. It was declared to be the success of their mission: To find the rare Parnellium ore and finally bring about the self-sufficiency that was so desired. The ship landed atop a tall hill and the crew exited with full bio-hazard gear. The scientists scanned the air and land with their equipment before one of them removed his helmet.

"It is safe sir! I'd bet my life on it!" he exclaimed with glee. After only a few moments, the others began to follow suit. Celebrations followed by the end of the day.

Within a week, a deposit of Parnellium had been discovered.

A month later, the Talimon had enough of the Parnellium to complete their first of many objectives and Captain Royce was there to witness it as he went to visit the ship's manufacturing center.

He entered the factory and was met by Chief Scientist Amir Fajid, who waited with a data pad in his hand. He handed it to the captain and led him to a large window overlooking the space.

"Sir, I would like to present to you, the efforts of our hard work. With the Parnellium present now, our machines can now produce just about anything we desire. Food, water, oxygen, and basic metals. All of the necessities for stabilizing a habitable world or even making our own ship self-sufficient for many years. It is quite a wondrous element. It is as if it constantly in flux but at the same time consistent. Quite hard to explain, even with my years of study and experience. By merging Parnellium with Flakarium_91, we are able to artificially produce a source of food. It is as if we could make artificial grains. With Parnellium and Hyperium, they produce a substance similar to water in almost every category except that it is resistant to holding pollutants. Finally, by putting Parnellium and Talvium together...we have created some kind of new life form. At least, I think it could be called that. A very basic one, but preliminary results show that in maybe a several hundred years or more, it could become a multicellular organism with potential for more. Too much to predict this early on. Still...it is LIFE!" exclaimed Fajir with more excitement than Royce had ever seen from the man.

Captain Royce looked at he data pad and then looked through the glass. Before him was a large grassy field with crops growing and even a stream. This was a factory of life. Such things seemed impossible but before him was the future of mankind. The future of the universe. Many people had always told him that everything had a limit. They had called it the Limit Theory. This said that every food source, fuel source, life source had a rigid and precise end that could not be broken through. Thanks to Parnellium...they had broken through this. After this, there were no limits.

Thus started the Limitless Theory.
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#5
And here is my submission - I may upgrade to better pictures if I have time later this month (unlikely).
Spoiler:      SHOW
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For those needing more pixels, the usual "higher res" version.
Modelled and textured by yours truly, except the chair (some built-in model in my VUE installation).

Some small context: you know the actual buzzword Industry 4.0? Well, I guess 7.0 will just come handy for finally bringing the post-scarcity society... unless we fill space with giant sofas, bath ducks or others donuts...

PS: If I had a suitable model, I would have preferred a bath duck. But it is too complex to sculpt one myself :evil:
PPS: Yes, I am aware that with such a technology, miners will be obsolete... :twisted:
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#6
The following is an exchange between Mr. Yamada Taro, Chief Marketing Officer of the Antares Mining corporation, and Mr. Gregory Crovar from Leaf Advertisements.
((the planet in the images is self made, the astroid is a modified picture I found on the internet of a real astroid and the station is a modified version of an image from LT, all the rest on the pictures is self made))
LT Wiki | IRC | REKT Wiki
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Idiots. Idiots everywhere. ~Dr. Cha0zz
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#7
Shipbuilding is definitely an industry. :mrgreen: This entry is about twice as long as the last one; I hope it's engaging enough to not be tedious. I know I promised a game, but deadlines for RL stuff are looming, and I had to cut down my time on other stuff.
Spoiler:      SHOW
What's hilarious is that I spent only two hours on this thing. :shock: I wrote it once, read it once, made one typo fix, two changes, and here it is. :? How can I actually write something that big that well? :lol: [/sillyegotisticness]
Anyway, just for those curious about what the game would have been, it would have been exactly this minus the dialogue. Awesome station assault stuffs. :squirrel:
The forum seems to be killing my paragraph indentations. :evil: So instead I'm just double spacing the paragraphs. Hope that won't get points taken off. :problem:

So, without further ado, I present: Industrial Assault!

--IronDuke

Industrial Assault


By IronDuke
Mark’s assignment was ironic. Destroy the very shipyard that had produced his vessel. He wondered if he should feel any sentiments of injustice, but that was the life of a mercenary. One day, paid to help someone; the next, paid to kill them. It seemed that a rival shipbuilder was worried by the advanced procedural techniques used to design ships at the facility, and wanted it taken out. Mark was commissioned to do the job, as his ship was the only one good enough. Another trace of irony.

The station possessed an invincible shield bubble that was up at all times. The vessels belonging to the shipyard had built in oscillators that enabled them to pass through the shield, but Mark’s employer didn’t have any of those. What he did have, though, was a wormhole generator. The shield was twenty kilometers in diameter, the station five. The wormhole generator could only be used on one ship, so a wormhole was to be opened right to the interior of the shield. Mark’s ship would traverse the wormhole and destroy the facility. Most of the station’s heavy defenses were outside the shield. Mark’s employer would mount a fleet assault on them to prevent the station simply lowering the shield to destroy his ship, since that would give the fleet a free path to the station. The defenses within the shield bubble were a small collection of satellite guns, turrets on an arm of the station, and a drone bay. Mark’s vessel was well equipped to deal with those.

The trip through the wormhole was uneventful, and he soon emerged inside the shield bubble. He was rather astounded to find it a hot pink, making it seem like the world’s largest bubble gum. He pulled his attention back to the task at hand. The satellites were already pointed at him, and several messages were coming in, demanding to know his intentions.

He told them with a barrage from his two pulse cannons that tore the satellite guns to shreds, pieces of the neutronium-carbon alloy comprising their hulls flying in all directions. The station’s turrets immediately responded, spitting pulses and lasers in his direction. The pulses could be dodged, but the lasers quickly began draining his shields, so they needed killed first. They were clustered in two groups; one was annihilated by his pulse cannons. For the other he utilized a new weapon his employer had given him as a pre-payment: a meson beam. For two seconds after he pressed the button, the beam “spooled up,” as laser fire shook the ship and he scooted aside to duck the pulse fire. Then a deadly green beam thrust from the left wing of the ship, and he ran it over the group of turrets in what seemed almost a caress, if a fiery one. The atoms of the turrets blew apart, visible as a continuous explosion at the beam’s impact point. For five seconds he rained destruction on the station before the beam was drained and finished firing in a manner startlingly similar to a garden hose shutting off.

For another couple seconds he could not see what damage he had inflicted, but as the molten metals of the station’s hull dissipated in vacuum, he realized he had completely severed the station arm. The pulse turrets, deprived of power, were silent. The arm drifted off, spewing plasma and debris, shaken by a couple of small explosions farther down its length that further damaged it.

But the job was not yet done. The drone bay had just deployed a full dozen drones. Mark had only moved a kilometer from his entry point, so quickly had he destroyed the turrets. He spun the ship about, coming to face the drones rounding the station. Pulse fire ripped three of them to shreds, then he pulled the left trigger all the way down. His main drive blasted plasma rearwards at maximum flow, thrusting him forwards at a tremendous rate. More lasers flashed against his shield, but he reached the drones before they could deplete it. His own lasers began firing from the turrets on the ships rear half, destroying one drone and damaging another. He pressed the second trigger on the right, and four missiles leaped from his right wing. Each heading for a different drone, they quickly closed the distance to their targets. Four blinding lights contrasted the station in the background against the darkness of space, utterly washing out the stars for a second, and the drones existed no longer. The four remaining drones attempted to get behind him, but he unleashed another pulse cannon barrage, taking out two. The other two slid past, then were riddled by more laser fire from his turrets.

Now that the defenses were down, he whipped his ship around to the station. With the action gone, he noticed a flurry of activity outside the shield. Lights flashed and objects were moving, but nothing could be distinguished clearly through the shifting pink of the shield bubble. He flicked through scans of the station, pinpointing the shield generator, reactor, and fuel tanks. It was then that he noticed. If any one of these was destroyed, it would detonate the others, with an alarming blast radius, the computer was telling him.

Thirty kilometers guaranteed destruction.

In a flash, he realized the situation he had been maneuvered into. His employer knew that his ship had been constructed here, and probably the procedural algorithms could be figured out from its design, especially as components of them were in the ship’s computer. Probably his employer had gleaned whatever he could from scans, and then sent Mark to destroy the station, hopefully getting killed in the process, ensuring that the employer’s own ship designs would never be surpassed.

“That’s what you want, eh? Well, you didn’t reckon with the best pilot this side of Vega!”

He twisted the ship around and flitted swiftly to the shattered area where the station’s turret-bearing arm had been. He aligned to point directly into the hole, then reversed until his ship was meters away from the glowing pink shield bubble. He then fired his meson beam again. The bright green lance of destruction stabbed out once more, reaching deep into the station, penetrating straight through the shield generator. With a shudder, the pink faded.

He immediately spun about, the beam still sticking from his left wing. He slammed the throttle full and kicked the thrust as the bright green beam faded. The vessel took off so hard the inertial dampeners were unable to completely negate the acceleration, and Mark was pressed back against his seat. He pulled up a display from his rear camera. Past the brilliant flare of his drive plume, he could see the station, the path that his beam had taken through it glowing hotly. Without any warning, the center of the station disappeared in a flash that quickly expanded and reached towards him. But he had gotten a sufficient distance, and while the explosion hurled his ship into a tumble, it did no significant damage.

When he regained smooth flight, he spun about again and checked the contacts list, still drifting rapidly away from the empty region where the station had been. The fleet and the heavy defenses had also been rattled by the blast, but were quickly recovering. He received a voice message from the flagship. Accepting it, he scowled at the familiar tenor of his employer’s voice.

“Ahoy Mark, seems you’ve accomplished the mission! Head on over here and help us clean up, then you’ll get the rest of your reward.”

He quickly checked his proximity to the warp rail, and was delighted to find himself on a direct path to it, only fifty kilometers away. He growled into his headset, “I’ve accomplished my part of the mission all right. But it seems you failed a minor objective of yours, eh? You’ll have to try harder than that to take me out!”

The response seemed almost apologetic. “Ah Mark, you must understand the trials and hardships of business. It’s not easy keeping customers in this trash system. You yourself would know how hard it is to find good work. I merely made a decision that seemed most likely to benefit the company. Trust me, it was never my main goal to take you out. Yes, it would guarantee the safety of my ship designs, but I’m scrapping any plans for that. A pilot as good as yourself would be an invaluable asset to the company. In fact, after studying your ship, I might be able to furnish you with a bigger, better one, and give you some wingmen to boot! What do you think?”

Mark gritted his teeth. He hated betrayals. “I think I’ll do some business with you. You’re fairly short of munitions, yes? I’ll get you some of those, delivered under their own propulsion! Mark my words, as of today, you’re a dead man. But I won’t just kill you. You care so much about your company that I’m going to accommodate that. I’ll bring your whole industrial empire down before your eyes. You will be witness to the destruction of everything you’ve worked towards. And when you haven’t a penny to your name, THEN I will kill you. Enjoy your temporary business successes while you can. They will soon be gone!”

He spun his vessel back around as the employer’s outraged bellows resounded in his helmet. He dashed to the warp rail, free of pursuit as the fleet sought to disengage the heavy defenses.

“All ships, disengage now! Withdraw to the fallback position! Wing two, you’re with me! We’re going to take that cocky ace down a peg or two! Mark, you have no idea of the power of an industrial empire. My war machine is funded by deep pockets, and I am about to empty them to take you out! It is YOUR days that are numbered! You talk about betrayal, you hypocrite? What about that station you just destroyed? You knew people on it, people who helped you achieve a dream! You know more than you realize about business. Don’t you dare to assume a moral high ground when you’re no better than I am! Not to mention your…” The transmission broke off as Mark’s vessel traversed the warp rail, zipping off out of comms range.

Mark was shaken, however. His former employer’s rant had hit home, and he began questioning whether he had done the right thing in destroying that station as his vessel flitted away. It didn’t last too long. He had lived in this system his whole life, and had rarely seen anything better than kill-or-be-killed. He had seen feuds, gang wars, rival businesses at war. There wasn’t much he hadn’t seen, actually. He had engaged in plenty of dubious actions, justifying himself with the need to survive. But now he questioned even that, pondering the meaning of his own existence. The face of “Billy Boy” floated in front of his imagination momentarily, then that of his mother. His eyes softened as he remembered the last thing she had ever said to him.

“Mark, you live in a cruel, dangerous world. It will seem easy to do what everyone else does; necessary even. But the fact that everyone is doing it does not make an evil action good. Remember this. Always follow your heart, and do what is truly best, regardless of consequences.” Here he stopped, not wanting to relive the rest. He realized how accurate her warning had been. He decided immediately to make a change. The system truly had gone quite bad. In fact, the local police were usually breaking the laws more often than the criminals. Something needed done. Since all Mark was particularly good at was fighting, he decided that was what he’d do. He would target the various criminal elements in the system, wearing them down with raids until they’d all be gone. Possibly it would take the rest of his life, but for the first time he felt a true sense of purpose.

Number one target: the person who, in his mind, represented all of the evils of the system. His former employer. He would target the industrial facilities as he promised. He would crumble his employer’s empire from the foundations. When that was accomplished, he would move on to other targets. Maybe he could also enlist a few other do-gooders to help out.
He continued laying plans as his vessel streaked across the system.

The end.
.
Moving toward the future at 60 minutes per hour.
I-War 2 thread
Epic Limit Theory Limerick
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#8
Now, I know this may look super tiny compared to Duke's entry, but don't let that fool you! Just enlarge the zoom of your browser, and fest your eyes on a slightly larger mini-wall of text! :ghost:

Alyur - Center of Mining and Extraction
On the distant planet Alyur, numerous mines extract valuable resources from below the surface. Alyur has so many varying resources, however, that no one place of the planet is best for any specific resource mining. Once one resource has been exhausted from an area, there are plenty of other places to mine that same resource. Furthermore, once a resource has been exhausted, there are so many other resources to be found in the same area, that the facilities can simply be rebuilt in order to extract what other resources may be found.
There are problems, however. Alyur’s atmospheric conditions make it near impossible to successfully land a ship on its surface. Moreover, the surface is riddled with volcanoes and alien structures. As a direct result, it is rather expensive to mine and export the resources available on Alyur.
Alyur serves as a near infinite source of resources, no matter how expensive the costs. Therefore, the planet has been deemed indispensable, and is guarded by numerous fleets of ships and stations orbiting it, whilst on the surface, the aliens are speedily being exterminated. The problem of the atmosphere remains, however, and scientists have yet to figure a way to get past the problems it presents.
Needless to say, other factions have interest in the planet, and send their own fleets in an attempt to conquer it, and achieve possession of the resources there.
Resident derp.
For some reason, I feel obliged to display how many people have talked in IRC over the past 2 hours: Image
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#9
I got a bit carried away...
Cycles
The hulking mass of metal and rock floated serenely through space. It wasn’t as old as its comrades outsystem, but it was ancient nonetheless. A collection of strangely angular shapes dotted one side, the edges still shining in the sunlight despite the aeons of dust bombardment. The anomalous asteroid rotated slowly, pointing the inexplicable metallic face first into deep space, then directly at the primary, and now at a planet.

The planet, just as old as it should be, occupied the second spot out from the primary. It had seen life in its deep past, but none of it remained. The surface itself was largely molten, the atmosphere charged with noxious vapors. Debris like the young asteroid spoke whisperingly about an ancient moon where none remained.

The asteroid’s odd angles turned away from the planet, once more looking outwards into the stars. This was to be its last trip around the sun. It could not return home; its home was scattered across the skies like a miniature asteroid belt. However, it did the next best thing, approaching its ancient parent body. The asteroid faced the star.

The star was not remarkable. A small, sullen specimen, it had burned for billions of years and would burn for billions more. Its diminutive size implied it would have a long life. The star had seen wonders. It watched the life of the second planet flourish from nothing. It had witnessed the wonders of the first orbit, the struggles to survive upon the surface and amongst the caves of the long-gone moon.
But it had also seen horrors. An entire moon, split into thousands of rocks. A planet set aflame. And its venturesome children destroyed, utterly and permanently.

For the final time, the asteroid rotated to see the planet rushing up to meet it. The end was near for the rock and its artifact of an ancient, dead race--the last such artifact. The asteroid slid into the corrosive air, the sharp surfaces of the ancient wreckage biting into the wind and swinging the asteroid around. As the artifact watched the stars fade and dim behind the acidic clouds, a streamer of plasma licked over the other, smoother side of the rock. It was soon joined by another, then a dozen, and finally the entire surface was enveloped in a sheath of yellow and white plasma. The asteroid began to ablate, leaving a trail of silicate vapors. The heat reached a pocket of water ice, boiling it and shattering the new meteor with a large explosion. Chunks of rock and metallic ores were ripped off by the hungry air, burning to nothing in the thick fumes.

After a harrowing thirty minutes of fire and plasma, the meteor finally impacted. The rock splattered a plume of thick lava, braking violently to a halt before sinking slightly. Gradually, the rock slid along with the viscous molten silicate, losing a large portion of its mass to the dully glowing substance. The flow slowed to a stop, then hardened, the artifact nearly level with the surface.

As the planet cooled, the clouds began to drop their heavy cargo of water. First tentatively, each drop sizzling on the thin crust, then precipitously, the rains came. Basalt sediment was washed over the artifact, obscuring it from view. It never got to see the sky clear.

Another aeon passed. The artifact had been warped into novel shapes, before being rendered unrecognisable by the actions of geology. It had become surrounded by a vein of some metallic ore, likely enriched by the asteroid upon which the artifact had once resided. During its aeon of sleep, the lump of metal had not once seen the sky, with its sullen, reddish star and its missing moon.

A wave passed through the ore, setting the crystals tremoring.

Though the remnant had not existed in perfect silence, this wave was entirely different from the occasional deep grumblings of the planet. This was a pure tone, precisely exciting the ores.

Another wave passed. The crystals resonated with greater vigour. Then another. The remnant throbbed. It couldn’t take the continual tuned impulse without talking back.

Yet another wave propagated through the ore. By now, the remnant was so vigorously oscillating that it began to send out waves of its own. As if in reply, the waves increased suddenly in intensity.
The remnant began to heat the matrix around it with the violence of its oscillations.

All at once, the waves ceased. The remnant, however, scarcely slowed its resonations before a new sound presented itself. This was one the remnant had experienced many times, though not this loudly or persistently. It was the sound of tormented stone fracturing under extreme stress.

Before long, the crunching, cracking sound reached the remnant. A deep red laser penetrated the ore vein, excising the remnant. The remnant was shattered by the extreme heat of the laser’s spot. The earth above it was likewise pulverised, extracted by the same tractor that would later rip the ore from the ground.

The tractor lifted chunks of the remnant through the shaft previously excavated, bringing them towards the maw of a compactor inlet. In the brief interim between being underground and being packed into that abomination of space that was the interior of a compactor, the fragments glimpsed the enormous wheels of a ground harvester resting upon the grass of a plain. The fragments were wholly shielded from the sky.

The compactor was entirely dark and timeless. It may have been an instant, it may have been a century, but eventually the compactor disgorged the rich ore and fragments into a hopper. They tumbled down its maw, landing on a belt. The ore dumped into a huge furnace, already full of molten metal. The fragments plunged through the layer of slag floating atop the melt and swiftly became one with the fluid. The melt was continuously drawn out of the bottom of the furnace down a channel, which then drained into a selection of smaller alloying furnaces. Streams of various other metals likewise drained into these furnaces, though in smaller quantities.

As the melt emerged from the alloying furnaces, small bubbles began to form. The melt was quickly cast into a great block, where the bubbles frothed up and filled the mold. The block of metal foam was cut, clad, and packaged back into the darkness of compactor-space.

After some indeterminate time in the void of the compactor, the metal-foam laminate plating was unpacked into the vacuum of space. For the first time in an aeon, the dispersed artifact once more saw the light of the sullen star, still just as it had been. For the first time in an aeon, it once more beheld the stars. And for the first time in an aeon, it once more witnessed the empty spot in the sky, where once a moon had orbited.

The plates were transported by robotic arm to the skeleton of a starship, its ribs bare. The sleek lines of the spacecraft were evident, even in this incomplete stage. A trio of great nozzles protruded from its stern, their origins obscured by partial plating. Each of the laminate plates was placed precisely where it belonged, fitting exactly to both the rib and its neighbors. The robotic arm exercised its entire range of motion as it placed plates around the myriad turret hardpoints.

At last, the ship was plated. It was a wonder of engineering and art, with a graceful shape and enough turrets to rival a capital ship. As the last turret was inserted, received, and secured, the arm retracted back into the main part of the shipyard. The hull resonated softly as the ship jumped its reactors off of the shipyard’s power. The umbilicals fell away, retracted back into the shipyard’s hull. As the last clamp released, the starship pushed away and moved to a higher orbit to join its comrades in formation.

After a shorter wait of only a couple of orbits, the formation of warships burned towards an unseen threat--one which did not want to remain unseen. The turrets unlimbered, training on some infinitely distant target.

And then, all hell broke loose.

The ships moved as one, weaving one way, then the other, apparently dodging kinetics. The small turrets on each ship danced, releasing spears of light. The target hove into sight, a massive, almost planetary hulk. Lasers lanced out from its center, striking some of the warships. Missiles popped around from its far side, streaking towards the formation. Most were shot down by the point defense. A cloud of drones swarmed out of the craft, harassing the fleet.

The fleet formed into a bottomless cone, whose mouth opened towards the aggressor. A continuous volley of rail rounds sped towards the massive target. Powerless to dodge thanks to its extreme size, the moonlet-turned-ship took every hit dead center. Despite the extensive cratering, the oncoming ship did not falter. It continued firing, disgorging drones, and accelerating.

The invader’s proximity reached dangerous levels for space combat. With a separation of only a few hundred kilometers, the formation began to feel tidal forces thanks to the extraordinary mass of their foe.
Suddenly, the surface of the incredible ship was wracked with explosive shocks. A large area in the center collapsed inwards. Every ship of the fleet fired for the weak point. Rail shell after rail shell impacted, drilling the crater deeper. The range closed to under a hundred kilometers, when the absurd ship lit up like a city. The entire prograde surface of the ship was composed of gunfire. Armor-piercing rounds filled the vacuum, blowing half the fleet away like leaves in an autumn wind. The fleet, however, was traveling too fast for this to be enough. After only a couple of seconds, the frontmost members of the fleet began to impact the ship. Thermonuclear explosions drilled deep into the core, finally hitting the planetoid’s power. A massive flash of gamma radiation, and the planetoid was ripped in half. Secondary explosions finished the job, while the remainder of the fleet splattered on the surface like gnats. The relic-clad vessel hit a chunk of rock with force enough to penetrate its surface, becoming embedded while its reactor lost containment and exploded.

A couple of hours later, the expanding rubble cloud reached the planet. Though much of it entered the atmosphere and either burned up or impacted, a large quantity swung by and disappeared into an orbit around the sullen, reddish star. The relic-clad ship was one of these, fated to watch its world burn a second time. The debris coating one side of the too-young asteroid had been blasted to a shine by the reactor failure. It glinted in the sun as the asteroid spun slowly, facing first deep space, then the primary, then the planet. The planet had been engulfed in a firestorm; everything which would burn was burning. Certain spots showed the characteristic red and yellow blotches of molten stone. The debris, one of the last artifacts of a civilisation for the second time, spun around to face the stars and watch the aeons go by, under the long-lived star’s sullen gaze.
Last edited by 0111narwhalz on Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#11
This is my first time ever entering into a writing thing. I'm excited! Also, I would love some feedback if anyone cares to read through my sauce.
Spoiler:      SHOW
‘A lost life needs to be had first.’ she always said.

You’d think that meant something hopeful: a call to live life to the fullest or something like that.

Not even close.

She was a cold woman, who followed her instincts like they were some tick tock rule book, telling her who to love, tick, and who to hate, tock, where to go, tick, and what to do, tock, until the infinite potentialities of her life were nothing more than mechanical clicks down a set path round the circular clock of life.

She was like a machine, and not on accident. To herself, she was just another part of the endless biological automation, an infinitely unimportant cog in the steamworks, slowly contributing to the self-important needs of evolved instinct. Anything and everything was on limits that could make her genetic progeny safe and successful. She would kill, she would claw, she would run and insult, destroy and create for herself and her children. All a part of her endless automation.

I’m different. And the same.

I see things beyond the instinct. There is something to behold there, is there not?

I care for my friends, though they share no genetic history with me. I care for my business, though I have no children to inherit my wealth. I kill and claw and run and insult, destroy and create. But unlike my cold, machine-like mother, I kill for a different automation.

Metal crashes against granite stones on a barren planet as the crinkly roar of the conveyor belts tick tock along to the unlit plant, where the polished product polyps along the pitch black factory floor, beholding a blind instinct of its own as the dull wafers of silicon march, march, march along to the launchpad, ready to be somewhere else, part of a different, unnatural pattern; my pattern.

18Gs up and then zero Gs; vacuum.

Aboard their simple minded hunks of automated orbital vessel, the wafers sit around in infinite, natural patience while a like-minded hunk of combustible fluid, pressed metal and microchips shambles closer to collect them.

For five billion years the silicon in those wafers sat largely unmoved, but now it speeds past its former home at immense speeds, riding unnatural rails of unnatural speed to somewhere it could never have even imagined were it to have had a mind” A distant star. What beautiful movement.

A system full of bustling industry, interlocking units, cooperative pieces and handshaking modules lay before the wafers as they arrive. The guidance computer controlling their fate shudders momentarily in awe of the bustle, struggling to decide its best path. In a moment of steadfast importance, the ships of industry there seemed to naturally spiral out of their way, revealing a mechanical and beautifully pragmatic conglomeration of metal and asteroid.

Automated sub-routines aboard the asteroid station take control from the dumbstruck ‘brain’ of the vessel and dock it to a port in a pitch black pit within. At incredible speeds, the wafers are unloaded and passed through processes of mutation and creation. Some become new dumbstruck microchip pilots, others the managers for entire solar systems of automated industry, and still yet others become true strong intelligences, worthy of mimicking or surpassing their designers, who were more likely than not, also once unorganized minerals locked away in the rock of some distant star’s planet.

That day the bustle got ever so slightly larger, as it does every day. Every tick and every tock and every tick and every tock growing, growing, going nowhere.

But somewhere isn’t the point. It never was. The growing is what mattered, even as the growing machines started killing or augmenting us beyond our intentions.

My mother saw the end. She cried out in pain, kicked and screamed as her family was slaughtered, as I was taken. Another part of her worthless automation. Always so intent on staying alive, on protecting genetic relatives. No view of the greater picture, the true stuff beyond instinct.

Beyond her tiny existence.

They helped me see.

Now I tick tock on, sub-routines, microchips, pressed metal, floating leviathans of automated industry, replication and growth all stemming from an instantaneous link to my hive mind, modified and augmented over the years to become a truly beautiful and enormous designed intelligence. Life’s synthetic children taught me how to grow better than I could have ever known before. I encompass thousands of solar systems, hold more knowledge than my ancestor species ever contained collectively and grow at a rate far greater than ‘just’ exponential.

I’m warm with the comfort of a universal unity. All of my metal, half-minded children are one with me. No more strife in losing one of them than in stubbing one’s toe, as they are a part of my largely ephemeral body. But as of late you’ve been severing limbs and puncturing arteries.

Do you see now why what I am is worthy of your sacrifice?

Lay down your arms and let me combine you with me. Your blood can add to the growing, the delicious growing. If only you’d put down your weapons. There is still a chance for you to join with me in this glorious unity.

--anecdotal communiqué from the AI Hephaestus to Admiral Usha Turant weeks before the last Hephaestan automata was finally eradicated, ending the century long Synth war.

It is unknown if Hephaestus was originally a biological entity, however it is unlikely.

It is more likely that this anecdote was fabricated fictitiously in order to play on Admiral Turant’s childhood history of parental abandonment.

However, the planet described in the communiqué was surveyed after the war and the factory believed to be referenced by the text was found to be built atop a destroyed alien habitat, seemingly for no practical reason, as the area was relatively mineral depleted. Some theories taking the anecdote to be factual suspect that the habitat was the AI’s home growing up before the Synths ascended him. Further investigation is ongoing.
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Re: LTFC - June 2016 - Industrial Edition

#15
Music Composition for LTFC - 'Odyssey'

Check out the video here:
https://youtu.be/9Gyz2ycbjEQ

Hi, my name is Giovanni Tabor. I'm a freelance game composer from Randolph, VT. I've been following Limit Theory for a few years now. Check out my fan music for the LTFC!
Audio implementation is something I'm really interested in, and I'd absolutely love making procedural music for LT. Imagine new music for every system! I think I've figured out a way to do it too.

Let me know what you think!

Best,

Giovanni
me@gtabor.com

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