December 25, 2012. Christmas. An annual Terra Firma holiday before the new year.
But this was not for celebration, religious contemplation, and gifts under a green, twinkling tree in someone’s house. Humans, however, were recovering from the Wave’s devastating, life-altering effects that could get worse by the minute.
Terrans appeared all over, demonized as living weapons and studied in hopes for a cure. The United States gathered the bodies of the enthralled and plan to refill government offices to retain national security. The European Union races to prevent widespread hysteria against magic. Remote towns and villages were cut off, vying to find meaning in this new world while most of the major cities were damaged by the crystals and their populous, unclear how to rebuild. All the world’s religions were questioned what is truth and what is not after the affirmation that magic and extraterrestrials were real.
Heavy uncertainty on all human and terran shoulders.
Outside the Sol system, a much greater discussion took place in secret.
Councilman Trygo “The Hammer” Denverbay of Creos discussed the planet’s condition with two undisclosed key council members. Almost all of the evidence was shared: pictures of the cities and the crystals, the terran transformation, the amounting Reaper evidence on a PCPA planet from Nova Company, and Jaruka’s crimes. Katie Walsh’s magic demonstrations and Scott Dunne’s accident that saved the rescue party sent resonating feeling through the council members that it led to one major conclusion.
A dangerous, primitive culture became an overpowered threat.
Everything spelled GMT. Genetic Magical Transformation. A practice ruthlessly outlawed and forbidden across the government that not only demolishes a species’s natural evolution, but weaponizes them. The Council never forgot the last GMT event, The Goomash Raid, and Denverbay refused to relive that tragedy, not with his first born child. A resolution was set without a second thought.
The next day, a giant gold satellite exited Slipspace above North America, locked into orbit beyond the planet’s geostationary and graveyard orbit. Several hours later it fired a laser to the surface near a government building for a full minute until it was discovered by professional and amateur telescopes.
Titan Spires are the ancient and effective space-bound weapon system of the Galactic Council, fabled to have existed since the Republic’s formation. They serve as the Council’s political leverage and last resort weapon if the Royal Navy, battle groups, empires, and armadas fail to stop a threat to the Republic, with the collective power to wipe out fleets and populations. Each spire is nay impossible to destroy, the checks and balances to even deploy and control the weapons comes with heavy responsibility, and furthermore, controversial to how much power the Council really has.
Each spire has a sleek, minimalist design. The inner structure is built with several strong metal alloys for strength and durability, while the outer shell is layered with dilomite, a rare-crystal-infused metal that is only used on Titan Spires. It’s able to reflect all damage from the sharpest and fastest projectiles, the strongest particle beams, the largest bombs, and the most powerful spells. Size wise, they are over 2km high, nearly 700m wide at the top, and the outside hull curves toward the long, 500m wide barrel.
The top blooms out to three sections containing Level 1 Dyson spheres powering communications, the main core, operations, ion thrusters, AG thrusters, Goru Slipspace Drive, and the defense energy shield for extra protection.
Above the cores is the crystal computer. Each spire is not an independent weapon from each other so to keep control over them, they are all linked to the mother A.I. hive mind at the Capitol. This A.I. only listens to the appointed council member’s commands along with the rest of the Council. Unfortunately, their names and homeworlds are kept secret. The A.I. then sends the commands to the spires through the SCN. It evolved over the centuries, but the A.I. carries the same values as the Council.
But it’s uniqueness comes from the hybrid tech transmutation core in the weapon’s center, highly protected from anybody from crying its construction. To fire, the core needs a lot of energy to generate the spell and laser. When a command is received, it takes minutes for the core to prime to full power, then it fires red and yellow lasers through the rune-lined barrel toward the target. The end can funnel the laser to a meter or 1km in diameter.
Third, the energy doesn’t incinerate, disintegrate, or vaporize matter to ashes or from existence, but accelerates decomposition.
Plant matter is rendered to nutrient-rich compost. An entire forest stripped for the next generation of plants, even farmland is stripped of food, eliminating an enemy’s agriculture.
Animal flesh is stripped of water, drying the muscles and bones. Blood turns to ash. Brain cells shrivel to sand. The body can either fall apart as mineral-rich dust, or fossilized.
Buildings and crafts rust and crumble to the ground, broken down to the base elements they are made from. If any comparison to a human skyscraper, it becomes dust containing copper, steel, composted wood, stone, and toxic contaminants.
This is directly correlating to the Galactic Council’s ultimate goal of protecting life, and in doing so with the Titan Spires, it creates protection and resources for life to flourish in the future. For Terra Firma, protection is all that matters.
By mid-February, the planet is surrounded by 1/68 of the Galactic Republic’s Titan Spires. Over a thousand of them orbiting the planet, aimed directly at the surface. Silent, and waiting. Rumors were spreading more were coming once lab tests on terran mana were released. The PCPA and Red Flagged status still in place, it’s forbidden to install a Slipspace Comm Tower for the A.I. to communicate with the spires. To help the remote and quarantine the situation, a space station was placed with the Royal Navy’s assistance. This installation runs a closed-loop Slipspace comm array that prevents all Terra Firma communications from entering the wormhole, while any Republic communications is filtered out. It has a child A.I., cloned from the main A.I. to control the spires, but the station still needs a manager to oversee control and the contingency plan. Below the station is a waygate for restrictive Slipspace travel; not even the waygate’s coordinates is shared. The station’s other purpose is an information relay station to help gather Terra Firma current events for analysis and send off.
Yet Terra Firma has no stake in calling this a hostile extinction attempt. This is for the protection of the Republic, but with Scott Dunne and Katie Walsh not being hostile to outside species, this produced a second chance opportunity Denverbay is using, starting with Jaruka Teal.
The Halcunac mercenary, charged with trespassing and obstructing First Contact rituals, wears a band around his ankle, directly linked to the space station and the A.I.. He can never remove it, not even with an energy sword or spell. This serves as part of the contingency plan against Terra Firma in hopes that they can tolerate other species, as long as these rules are followed.
Any non-military, non-government citizen can hurt Jaruka, as long as it’s not life-threatening.
Any military/government member, even militias, touches or arrests or shoots or stabs Jaruka, the spires prime to fire as the A.I. gathers everything about the attacker by hacking the world’s network and threat-fires what he/she loves. The more emotional hold, the better, and no human protection cannot withstand A.I. cyber attacks.
The first case it fired was the day after Christmas when United States CIA agents arrested Jaruka to contain the political situation and gather more intelligence on the Groom Lake attack. The spire composted a part of the forest northwest of CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA, rendering a quarter mile of land to growing medium as it crept closer to the building. The laser dissipated once Jaruka’s handcuffs were removed. A week later signs of new vegetation were growing.
Now if and so when Jaruka Teal is killed, by accident or on purpose, the bracelet linked to his heart rate activates the protection protocol.
Every Titan Spire is primed and fires on the planet. They first target communication centers, power generators, factories, shipyards, airports, train stations, and every nuclear weapon installation. After several minutes of silence, the spires come back to compost and/or fossilize two/thirds of the world’s population, starting with the super powers. The Council retracts the spires and space station home, then send EMP bombs to blanket the planet in EMP blasts to fry all electronic circuits, and drone gravity emitters to push every satellite back to the planet.
This process is in hopes for the human, or terran, species revert back to pre-Industrial Revolution days and restart the evolution cycle, with the Red Flagged status permanently etched in records, and the Sol system designated forbidden territory.
The contingency plan was shared with every world leader, and soon the general population. Soon enough, pop culture coined this phrase.
“Screw Jaruka, and the Spires screw back.”
Only time and patience would tell if humans and terrans follow the rules.