Fly from cradle fighting hawk
Crack your shell and brave the pyre
Talon Corps has made you strong
Prove your might with deadly fire
OMEGA BRIEFING SUMMARY–
[author: Admiral Gillman, Nest Aerie]
[last rev: 15.18.2562-14:80]
Welcome to your own private hell, Warrior!
You are the product of the finest Technologists and teachings from the greatest and darkest days of the Malkari race.
Greatest, because they were days of innovation, elegance, and might.
Darkest, because they were shadowed by a doom from the depths of space.
The gravity flux and seismic disasters are growing steadily worse. We are going to seal the Vaults after the last downloads are finished. Our Technologists predict that there are only a few months remaining to the Worlds. We can prepare for the coming doom no more, except to tell you, or future progeny, this tale of the demise of your ancestors.
Old GOR Navy Days
Before the Technologists became aware of Diantos’ coming into the Malkari system (2378 Golden Calander), the Blue Talon Corps was known as the Naval arm of the Golden Order of Reason. It’s main function was to patrol the Malkari system, to provide protection against any would-be terrorists or pirates, and to insure the strict enforcement of GOR edicts. In those days, the GOR was a government of very long traditions and immense stability which was able to rally the Malkari people for almost two centuries, helping them to stand boldly in the face of the apocalypse and build the great colony Arks. The Navy was a pivotal force, leading the effort to build the Arks and maintaining a vigilant example of heroism and discipline for the civilian population to follow.
The Arks were filled with slices of traditional Malkari history and culture, the best genetic stock of the Ten Families, and the proven science of the time. While Diantos approached, they were launched by the hundreds towards the Chotheth Cluster in the hope that some of them would find habitable planets and the Malkari race would survive by colonizing a new Homeworld [[[Addendum: The GOR Technologist were never able to locate a habitable planet in the target systems during the launch passes.]]]
This era also saw an amazing amount of research and development in the materials and processes needed for space travel and extended habitation. Unfortunately, the last of the Arks were not able to fully incorporate all of the newest space travel technology, forcing the colonists to sometimes rely on older, slower engines and less stable life support systems. During the Age of Arks, the old GOR Navy became nearly self-sufficient as a space-operations entity and put each new step in research immediately into use.
As Diantos drew closer to the Malkari system, the effect of its gravity waves forced an end to the Age of Arks. It simply became impossible to continue building the massive Arks as the infrastructure of the Six Worlds deteriorated from disaster after disaster. The inertia and faith of a worn and stressed people eventually gave out during the unfolding chaos. Fortunately, the GOR Navy was spared much of the hardship faced daily by the planet-bound; we had moved most of its support operations to space platforms near the asteroid belt in expectation of seismic activity which would precede Diantos’ arrival. Unity and discipline among the Navy’s ranks only grew stronger in the face of adversity.
A new plan was put forth by Admiral Lorgeth of the GOR Navy, who had come up through the ranks with the Special Space Construction Division, famous for the development of the Deep Habitation Centers centuries before. Super-hardened, reinforced Vaults would be constructed in the hardest cores of asteroids and in the mantles of the Six Worlds. In those Vaults, all known information about material sciences and genetic engineering would be cached. The hope was that some of these Vaults, after the passing of Diantos, would survive to open and the Malkari people would be reborn anew. This plan also had the positive side effects of keeping the surviving population busy, bolstering civilian morale during such trying times, and encouraging continued research and investment into the future.
Admiral Lorgeth first had to sell the plan to the Navy itself, which proved to be a hard fight. Many of the Admirals in the High Command wanted to continue with a scaled-down, modified Ark program based on recently-advanced technology. They reasoned that smaller, high-tech ships could be built and launched to Chotheth containing most of the Naval personnel, who would then rebuild the Malkari civilizationà with certain improvements. Admiral Lorgeth reminded them of the Navy’s responsibility to the overall population and the GOR system of government. The debates raged for months, until finally the Vault advocates won the day. They Navy would spend it’s remaining time continuing to save all of Malkari.
For some passes, the plan for seeding Vaults throughout the Malkari system was embraced by the GOR with very little dissent. The remaining support structures from the Age of Arks were converted, using Naval Engineering expertise, for fabrication of the components for the Vaults. In very little time, hundreds were being dug out throughout the entire Malkari system. Like the Arks, the Vaults were designed by Navy Technologists using the most advanced shielding and computer technology available. They were meant to withstand the Armageddon. The effort which had gone into centuries of Ark launches had been successfully rerouted to the Vaults and progress was ahead of schedule. Naval leadership, especially from the Special Space Construction Division, was giving the Malkari system a second chance for survival.
But, despite the Navy’s best effort, the nearsighted GOR decreed that space limitations would force the Vaults to only contain what GOR Technologists labeled as “the most important and most traditional elements of pre-Diantos culture and technology.” To make the situation worse, the Vaults themselves would have to be built with the same traditional technology. Although previous centuries had shown a close working relationship between the GOR and its Naval arm, that loyalty began to seem folly because of these sweeping declarations. The Navy, being composed of independent-minded leaders, had its own vision of the future—one that involved growth, strength, and glory for the New Era.
The Navy demanded a paradigm shift for the Vaulting phase: it wanted to build the Vaults which it had designed, with superior Awakening training and seed technologies; ones they trusted to survive. Talks were held to find a compromise, but the GOR was resigned to keeping Malkari stagnate to the very end. Their stubbornness only increased with each day that Diantos drew nearer. Some young officers, known as the “Malcontents,” even threatened to break away and build separate Vaults. The GOR, though it had been very good for the original unification of the Malkari race and the much more recent Age of Arks, had now become an obstacle to the future.
Blue Talon Corps Days
For nearly two passes, the Ten Families of the GOR and the Naval Admiralty negotiated. Eventually, it became clear that the Council of Ten would not compromise nor listen to reason from those they perceived as marginal to the future of Malkari. To bring the conflict to a head, they even insisted that the top Naval Commanders resign their commissions. An emergency conference was called—the “Council of Arbitration”—at which time the decision was made to separate the Navy from the GOR. Fleet Admirals, with the unanimous support of their loyal ranks, removed the entire Malkari System Fleet from GOR command.
Honorably, they resolved to continue their previous patrol and defense responsibilities, but meanwhile they would construct and supply the Vaults under Navy control as they saw fit and would enforce GOR edicts only when in the common interest of all Malkarians. To reinforce their move to independent control, the Navy formally adopted the name “Blue Talon Corps,” taking as mascot the sleek, powerful avian life found on the Six Worlds. BTC Technologists were instructed to redesign fleet ships to match a raptor’s light but lethal form. In the year 2580 BD, the first of the new Hawk class vessels flew from spacedock. This ship represents both a psychological and atheistic break from the GOR-dominated Naval designs. The designer, Commander Hemis, would later redesign the entire fleet.
In the early passes, the Blue Talon Corps was faced with a severe lack of vital resources. The old GOR Navy leadership had not thought that its disputes with the Ten Families would actually lead to a major crisis like declaring independence. They had never planned for being completely without GOR support. Admiral Shrike, Commander of the Eight Aeries (formally, the Homeworld Fleet), was given the mission of opening a dialog with the GOR to negotiate for trade agreements benefiting both the BTC and the GOR. Unfortunately, the Families had been so infuriated by the move to independence of the Navy that they refused all negotiations and demanded the Admiralty return to the Home World for disciplinary action. This was, of course, unacceptable and caused a backlash of ill will from the Admiralty.
For the three passes which followed, the relationship between the BTC and the GOR remained volatile, bordering on open hostilities. Neither was able to proceed with plans for Vaulting until an agreement was reached, but negotiations could not commence. Tensions grew high and hotheads called for an open conflict to settle matters quickly. There were several minor incidents of violence, but none which sparked an outright solar war. Risk evaluations were compiled and tactical strike missions planned by Operations to achieve total victory with the least loss of valuable material or personnel. But then, on the eve of seemingly eminent war, some Families from the GOR contacted the Admiralty with proposals of their own for trade of vital materials. The four year impasse had been broken by Families with a vested interest in Vaulting technology and free commerce. The materials desperately needed by the Blue Talon Corps were surreptitiously transferred and BTC Vault construction in the asteroid belt resumed.
Not surprisingly, the dissenting Families’ secret trade deals with the BTC lead to the second move of independence from the GOR. The GOR, though ponderous, was also persistent; the Ten Families discovered that many of the Lesser Families and even two Council Families had not been faithful to their party line. The First Family issued an ultimatum that the “rebels” cease trading with the BTC or become criminals to the GOR Government. As was becoming typical, the GOR overestimated support for its stance and was shocked when the accused Families issued the “Declaration of Free Memory of 2582.” Basically, the Families involved in trade to the BTC chose to work on their own (with full support of the BTC, of course) rather than follow the GOR’s rule any longer. Shortly thereafter, the independent Families named themselves the “Diamond Cooperative.”
The passes which followed the second breakaway from the GOR were fairly quiet and cooperative at first, but as Diantos loomed closer and closer, the Malkari race completely lost whatever unity was left to its people. It fractured into many smaller organizations who fought amongst themselves for what scraps remained of the Malkari civilization. Fortunately, during the majority of these Last Years, the BTC was able to achieve completion of nearly all of its Vaults with little hindrance or assistance from outside the fleet. In The End, the Corps’ independance saved us from the decay of the Malkari civilization. Or, for the most part, it did.
Your Greatest Enemy
One new group to come out of the Madness of these Last Days calls itself “The Crimson Dawn.” A self-proclaimed prophet and Psi named Jebediah Arktron has mysteriously organized most of the psionic talent in the Malkari system here at the eleventh hour of The End. He summoned them and they are answering almost unanimously, betraying their original Families or Guilds to Arktron’s revolutionary banner. Even now, reports come into Central Command of Vaults that have dropped off of BTC COSMNet. These betrayals are especially disappointing to us eldest of the BTC, since Psies have had a long history of reverence and utility in fleet service. This hasty departure and break of discipline is the greatest crime that Naval personnel can commit, but we can not persuade them to ignore the villainous Arktron.
When it first began, the ships of the fleet were nearly blind until new sensor arrays could be developed by Naval Technologist to replace the Psies. Worst of all, top secret technology is considered compromised to the Crimson Dawn. These traitors are no better than jackals that nip at the heels of a staggering victem, to have betrayed their entire race in its frailest hour.
Some Officers, without official support, have attempted to infiltrate the cult or recover the Psies through force of arms—most notable of these efforts was the recent “Daison Incident.” Unfortunately, these attempts are all proving to be complete failures and very little of use is being learned from them. The betrayers surface and disappear like ghosts; even now we have no idea if others are within our midst. Central Command, although unhappy with the situation, has decided that a solution will have to wait until after The End.
If the Psies survive, they should be re-subjugated with extreme prejudice.
I. Establish control of the Malkari system.
[BTC COSMs predict an initial 30% control of surviving Vaults, based upon distribution of sites and current gravity analysis.]
[[[Addendum: Vaults lost to the Crimson Dawn have forced revision of initial control estimates to 27%.]]]
II. Locate and assimilate Vaults.
[Anticipate .0125% Vault survival—250 Vaults, by current reports of the number of Vaults under production by all Guilds and groups. Of them, COSM predictions indicate that 20% will successfully cycle for Awakening—50 Vaults, 14 of them Aerie-controlled.]
[[[Addendum: Warrior! You are graced with the luck of a victor, to even be reading this now. Do not fail Fate!]]]
III. Locate the materials to construct an advanced Ark using best available designs.
[COSM analysis predicts that rare minerals will be easily accessible in the post-Diantos Malkari system, so there will be an edge for the new Ark over our ancestors who left in the first Arks. When complete, the Ark will evaluate target locations in flight and overtake Arks previously launched by the GOR, insuring that the BTC establishes the controlling government on the new Malkari home world.]
[The mission goals must be achieved through any means necessary, including the use of lethal force to neutralize any surviving Guilds or independent Vaults who might oppose you.]
[[[ADDENDUM: SPECIAL ORDERS
If any Crimson Dawn Vaults survived, they should be considered an exceptional threat to primary mission goals and neutralized or subjugated with extreme prejudice. When possible, Psies should be assimilated, but do not hesitate to destroy those who will not cooperate.
Prepare yourself, Warrior!]]]
Command Aerie, Diplomatic Aerie, Transport Aerie, Talon Aerie, Close Wing Aerie, Wide Wing Aerie, Mother Aerie, and Nest Aerie.
HIGHLY militaristic benevolent dictatorship
Assault: Hawk, Talon, Eagle
Battle Station: Cockerel, Ibis, Gander
Battleship: Falcon, Merlin, Shrike
Cheap Attacker: Wren, Robin, Sparrow
Construction Station: Roost, Aviary, Nidus
Constructor: Goose, Nester, Canopy
Cruiser: Kite, Kestrel, Peregrine
Defender: XXX, XXX, XXX
Destroyer: XXX, XXX, XXX
Explorer: Rook, Crow, Raven
Outpost: Ostrich, Rhea, Emu
Scout: Squab, Macaw, Swift
Supply/Repair: Pelican, Marabou, Tern
Transport: Budgie, Osprey, Harrier
Ultimate Station: Roc, Phoenix, Griffin