888888888888 The Mindless 888888888888
Milky Way Galaxy
Antispiral Arm Space
Unknown Coordinate Location
The empty spaces between the arms of the Milky Way galaxy were almost akin to oceans dividing continents - there was nothing there, and the only purpose served was to separate one thing from another. Within these dark space, nothing and nobody ventured - there was nothing to be had but scarcity. Few stars, fewer planets, and even interstellar nebula were of lesser density in such places than elsewhere. Absolutely worthless, even strategically. The only reason anybody would ever stop in middle of such a void would be to hide. Even then, the wise knew better than to play dead within this particular patch of nowhere.
In the nothingness, where one could not find life, let alone sapient life, things moved.
Drifting through the void and freely if slowly spinning along two separate axis lay a massive Icosahedron, easily a kilometer in diameter. Each of its triangular faces was a polished, eerily smooth and featureless glass texture. Their color was darker than the emptiness the massive structure drifted in. All save for one face, where a panel was absent, revealing the structure's inner-working. Right below the surface of the single missing panel was an unbroken mass of interconnecting and crisscrossing filaments and fibers, all the color of shining sand and glistening. At regular intervals, metallic nodes and ports were set into the surface, each squirming with light and seething with constantly shifting colors.
The light cast upon the interior was cut off by the looming frame of the final panel as it was lowered into place - the massive construct descended, held in place by a curious cube-shaped vessel with a hull of the same texture as the Icosahedron below it, although its surface smoothly transitioned between utter pitch and a brilliant, glowing yellow. One of its six panels had split apart, and a number of prehensile cables extended from it to the panel, which the cube was lowering into place. The panel settled into place, fitting between its neighboring panels with mathematical perfection. A blinding border of light immediately erupted around the panel's seam, and once the light faded the whole structure had been made seamless. The cube's cables withdrew into its frame, which closed as the vessel withdrew to join the others.
The others being the dense grouping of polyhedron vessels drifting around the massive Icosahedron. They were Tetrahedrons, additional cubes, Octahedrons, and Dodecahedrons. Each with surfacing of the same texture as the Icosahedron, with coloration shifting smoothly between utter darkness and primary or additive colors, giving the assembly the look of a twinkling array of miniature stars, flaring and fading endlessly. They varied in size, some no larger than a simple passenger shuttle while others were the size of carriers.
The assembly was a Maintenance fleet, or more appropriately a Manifold Maintainer Region of the EOA, each vessel qualifying as an individual, as far identity amongst the entities went. Many of them foregoed the presence of crews, since such a feature was largely superfluous. Only highly specialized vessels such as repair Icosahedrons meant to service other ships even had interior space appropriate for crews to inhabit. One such vessel was a massive Dodecahedron that flared a solid white - it was a carrier vessel, one of the few amongst the EOA fleets which had sufficient room to house more than an absolute token minimum of individuals. Within its depths, there was a chamber wherein seven individuals held what passed for them as conversation.
The chamber itself was a perfect sphere devoid of any apparent features, being entirely unlit and having no atmosphere, artificial gravity nor even basic courtesy lighting. Such things were unnecessary. Within spun six shapes; one tetrahedron, one cube, one octahedron, three dodecahedrons, and one icosahedron. Each, like every other vessel and individual in the fleet, possessed paneling of the same eerie black base sheen that constantly flared in differing colors between each of them. They were the most influence individual states amongst the region the fleet composed, and all of the region's foremost policies stemmed from them. They were not particular important, as far as states within the EOA went, since all value within the EOA was derived wholly from an entity's constituent mass and energy - and they were all small relative to the behemoth they occupied. They were merely designated policy makers endorsed by the Redshift Anomaly Icosahedra Prime, and they could be easily and readily replaced. As the final panel of the massive Icoahedron was fitted in place, an exchange within the group occurred, each of the shapes projecting largely invisible and insubstantial tightbeam lasers between themselves and the others in order to communicate.
<Vacuum Maintenance Icosahedra 1,812 is now operational. Its state of being has been acknowledge and all relevant policies enacted.> The Icosahedron spoke, its frame shifting to glow a brilliant violet. <The Redshift Anomaly, Icosahedra Prime has been formally informed. Prime Policy 152,213,513 priority 10 has been presented by The Redshift Anomaly, Icosahedra Prime. This state motions for its enactment.> A series of confirmations followed from the remaining shapes.
<Construction itinerary for Vacuum Maintenance Icosahedron 1,815 has been established.> The Octahedron transmitting the message flared a color far outside of the visible spectrum of most organics sensitive to light, and to them would have appeared to simply remain an eerie and glassy black. <Construction will take place within the apparent borders of the organic state region commonly referred to as the Citinian Imperial Republic. Our region has received an official recommendation to pursue regular policy formalities, as the organic states should have both sufficient forewarning of our arrival as well as knowledge of our intended actions due to proximity of their regional influence.>
<Construction of Vacuum Maintenance Icosahedra 1,821 is taking place near a star system near a bordering region of organic states identified as the Doctrinate of the Godhead.> One of the three dodecahedrons, which glowed a rapidly fading orange transmitted. <Due to the size and arrangement of the region's organic states, recommendations have been made to pursue aggressive harvesting and reclamation policies. Assuming the region's organic states have not spread significantly upon the arrival of Maintainer Region 98, this state advises that political collapse of the region will be imminent within 7 frames, which may cause a related increase in hostility from the region of organic states, the Citinian Imperial Republic.>
<Agreed. This state is forwarding a moderator policy for the address of formal policy pursuit and priority during the frames necessary for the construction of Vacuum Maintenance Icosahedra 1,815.> The second of the dodecahedron, which shifted between eerie black and a faintly brighter dull black. A series of confirmations followed.
<While advice on the matter has been taken into consideration, there is an expectation of minimal interference with maintenance operations by local organic states for the next 2 frames.> The crimson red Octahedron transmitted as it prepared a series of policies to forward. <This state reiterates that the region of organic states, the Citinian Imperial Republic, is irrelevant to current policy and...>
888888888888 The Mindless and the Simple-Minded 888888888888
Milky Way Galaxy
Outer Norma Arm
Lesser Apex Media Bubble
Kaffin Planet 2, previously Planet Suom
Governance Zone 1, previously the International Air and Space Port
The plant Suom had definitely seen better days. In the burst of their industrial revolution, the dominant indigenous population of quadrupedal lizards, the Domedets, had driven more than 29% of all terrestrial life on the planet to extinction, and less than 2% of the planet's surface was thought to be unaffected by the atmospheric tampering of their industries. Global cooling had been one of the foremost problems on the planet, which everyone seemed willing to ignore in favor of more immediately apparent political issues. After the closing finality of their sixth world war and their entrance into the Space Age, efforts had turned to restoring the planet and ecological conservation.
And then the EOA had arrived. First contact had been made at just less than four hundred million kilometers away from Suom, where the eerie geometric beings had been constructing a massive space-structure of some kind, which they had said was for 'Vacuum Maintenance.' Nobody ever did find out exactly what Vacuum Maintenance entailed, because as far as the most advanced sensors and scanners directed at the object could tell, it just sat there doing nothing, completely inert. Initial dialogue with the strangely shaped entities had been slow and difficult, they had been largely disinterested in communication or any kind of mutual exchange. Looking back, most people agreed that everything had gone bad the moment the EOA figured out that not every nation on the planet was united, four talks in when they had inquired as to why the Domedet delegation felt it necessary to send no less than 500 representatives to treat with their single envoy. That had been when they were informed of the Domedet peoples' lack of unity. The next thing the envoy had asked was how many planets the Domedets resided on, and immediately afterwards all dialogue had been terminated for two seasons. In hindsight, it was apparent that the EOA had either thought the Domedets presence to be greater than it actually had been, or that they might have been able to put up a unified front of resistance.
The envoy actually approached the Suom world assembly - when before, the assembly had needed to directly approach it - and had asked if, in the interest of pursuing 'cultural integration and exchange,' the governing bodies would permit an EOA vessel to make planetfall. Two seasons later, and the EOA had become nearly fully integrated with most of the governments throughout the world. Six season after that, they controlled more than 25% of every governing body. Three seasons later, they had effectively taken over the world through exploitation of the Domedets' political dialectics. Having assumed governance of the world, the EOA declared that a major revision of resource acquisition policy was required and announced that a number of industries, infrastructures, and objects would have to be repossessed and repurposed. They descended upon and repurposed every single scrap of shaped metal on the planet, tearing down entire cities and completely eliminating the presence of developed areas across each continent. The Air and Spaceport, gone. The two wonders of the world, gone. Every major historical center of governance, gone. Every factory, gone. Every business, gone. Every home, private, public or otherwise, gone. Not even the land was safe - massive vessels had 'repossessed' free-roaming pastures and the animals in them across tens of thousands of kilometers of space. When the EOA had gotten through with Suom, there was hardly any technology left on all of the planet with the exception of cybernetics - the one thing that the EOA couldn't find a way to claim ownership of.
And then, just like that, most of them had left, taking the resources of a dying world with them. Without the terraforming industries that had been working to restore the planet's environment, its decay accelerated - while the industries that had caused the problem were gone, the meteorological and ecological cycle had already shifted gears. Now, the problem was self-perpetuating, and looking to get worse as the entire atmosphere began to change. More than a million of the Suom people had died during the repossession efforts of the EOA, but it was going to be the planet's climate that killed the rest of them. If they didn't kill themselves first in the resulting chaos. And little did they know, they had been nothing more than merely the sixth 'region of organic states' that had been unceremoniously upturned. Fighting wouldn't have landed them in a better position - the EOA had been clearly and vastly more technologically advanced than the Suom could dream of being within the next thousand years, and in any case that would have simply made the twelfth unisystem faction the EOA would have completely obliterated (or 'Sterilized,' in their odd terminology) through warfare.
Many had decided to try and escape the planet. The EOA had repossessed most spacecraft, and now that they 'governed' the planet, they seemed keen to ensure nobody left it. There were always stories being passed around about somebody who had attempted to piece together a spacecraft, only for the EOA to arrive and 'harvest' both the craft and its maker using dozens of small drones that ripped chunks out of flesh and metal alike effortlessly, until there was nothing left. That seemed to be the only time the EOA ever bothered to 'govern' the people at all, other than the times when they dealt with rebellious groups that attacked the harvester ships - massive Octahedrons that had made planetfall and burrowed partway into the soil. Most people made a point of avoiding the large vessels - the EOA wouldn't go out of their way to harvest organic resources, but if you happened to be within range of their Icosahedron drones...
Eephus knew what this range was though - approximately 12 meters, or around 6 Domodets lined up heads to tails. He also knew what the survey schedule was for when Tetrahedrons would scour over the area, and the exact routes and search patterns they took. He knew, of course, that they were very much aware of his presence in the area. Their flybys weren't patrols, they were just sightseers. When they found things of interest, they didn't stop or call for reinforcements - their small Icosahedron drones, though, those would take a chunk out of anybody who let the things catch them. Everybody avoided the harvester ships, meaning that Eephus had the entire area around the vessel to himself - along with all the animals there. Domodets were technically omnivorous, but had a preferentially carnivorous diet - and meat was hard to find these days, with the absence of cattle, the scarcity of terrestrial prey, and the surplus of competition and extra mouths to feed. But all alone around the harvester, Eephus found that he had no trouble finding smaller, scurrying things to eat.
Having just finished eating a small, furry thing whole, Eephus was relaxing his strained jaw and watching the two suns set over the apex of the harvester ship, its pitch-black, polished glass sheen failing to shine at all in the twilight, each of the large faces absorbing nearly all of the light that fell upon them. It was moments like this when Eephus' thoughts began to drift, and he would wonder whether there were other beings in the galaxy besides the Domodets and the EOA. Somebody, or something, that might come along some day and see what had happened here, that might try to help. He didn't think they would, even if anybody else was out there in the universe. Even if aliens came to Suom, it wasn't like they would just start picking up every Domodet they saw - there were too many of them to help. A planetfull of them, to be exact. Even showing themselves would be a cruelty, an illusion of hope.
And that was why, when Eephus saw a ship that WASN'T a perfectly symmetrical and regular geometric shape flying through the air, he knew he had to be seeing things. If somebody had built it, the Harvester would have already blasted it to pieces, after all. He watched the vessel curve over the horizon without stopping, and flitted his tongue through the air in disinterest. It wasn't until later the next day, when he had woken up and remember seeing the ship, when he began to believe it had really been there.
888888888888 The Mindless and the Faithful 888888888888
Milky Way Galaxy
Outer Media Fringe
Approximately six hundred million kilometers out from the planet Relternect where Doctrinate drones were busily beginning their work at landing site alpha, the empty void of space began to blur and bend in an odd way. Then, the entire area became riddled with patches of spacetime that began to balloon as though some force were causing even light to bend away, and without any further warning the fleet of EOA vessels that composed Maintainer Region 98 appeared as dim outlines that gradually became more and more solid, until they were unquestionably present. The fleet of geometric shapes immediately set to work enacting Prime Policy 152,209,017, with a number of specialized constructor ships immediately converging and pulling back paneling in order to start fabricating the core for Vacuum Maintenance Icosahedra 1,821. The majority of the vessels present simply spun where they were in place, their functions unnecessary until later in the construction process, but a number of the glowing vessels fanned out and began to scan the contents of the system.
The Maintainer Region had brought just enough resources to start construction immediately - but only just, and they couldn't make something from nothing. Sooner or later, they were going to need to start harvesting operations to keep construction going.