I just joined FileFixation today and I have downloaded all my favorite TV shows and a few software downloads! Csc B-Line v6.1 - 1 CD Csc B-Sect v6.06 - 1 CD Csc C-Sect v6.04 - 1 CD Csc Fastrak v14 - 1 CD Csc Orion v14 SP6 - 1 CD Csc P-Frame Pro v6.2 - 1 CD Csc S-Frame Enterprise v6.2 - 1 CD Csc S-Steel v6.15 - 1 CD Csc Structural Office v7.02 - 1 CD Csc Tedds v10 - 1 CD Csc W-Sect v6.02 - 1 CD Csi Sap2000 Advanced v12.0 - 1 CD Dnv Phast & Safeti v6.51.
The Last Precursor is an HFY-exclusive web-serial which focuses on the exploits of the last living human amidst a galaxy of unknown aliens. With his species all but extinct and now only known as the ancient Precursors, how will Admiral José Rodriguez survive in this hostile universe? Make sure to read the earlier chapters first if you missed them! Previous Part Part 001
Admiral Rodriguez, the last living Terran, strolls across the Bloodbearer's flight deck, a faint smile on his face. Little Lele rides on his shoulders, piggyback-style, and points excitedly at a ship that's just landed.
"It's grandpa and grandma!"
José sets the kitten down as the bullet-shaped vessel begins to lower its entry ramp. Half a minute later, dozens of Kessu begin exiting the craft, their movements somewhat hesitant. Only the two in front stride with purpose; Nyoor and Baaru.
Baaru helps Nyoor to the bottom, ensuring he doesn't slip and fall off the ramp. Once they arrive, she stoops down to hug her granddaughter. "Lele! It's good to see you again, darling! Were you on your best behavior? Did you remember to be polite? I hope you didn't bug the great Precursor again."
While Baaru and Lele chat with one another, José's eyes sweep across the huge number of Kessu the two elders have brought back.
"Umi. How many in total?"
"Crew-members Nyoor and Baaru have retrieved an additional seventy-four Kessu from Tarus II, Admiral. The number of Kessu aboard the Bloodbearer now exceeds 1,200.
José smiles. "That's a great deal more than I originally expected. Now that we've repaired all of your holo-emitters, you can handle the rough stuff. I'll put the Kessu in charge of cleaning every corner of the ship, as well as other miscellaneous chores. Keep an eye out for newcomers with especially high aptitudes in critical areas. Landing another technician was a stroke of fortune."
Glancing at Little Lele, José smiles inwardly. A stroke of good fortune, indeed.
"Orders received, Admiral,
" Umi beeps. "My next recommendation is to teach the Kessu to repair inaccessible support pylons and other crawlway-specific areas where the Bloodbearer's holographic crew cannot reach. Roughly thirty percent of the Bloodbearer's interior remains inaccessible to me. Therefore, I will require assistance with those departments.
"Now that the engines are online," José says, "we need to worry about getting several weapons repaired. Third Era synthminds are one thing, but I don't imagine your little takeover-trick will work on ships more advanced than the 15th, possibly even the 10th Era. If a small fleet of 15th Era vessels appears, we may not survive."
"I concur, Admiral. Unlike most technologies developed over time, synthmind advancements peaked around the 15th Era and only made incremental advancements over the following eras.
José's eye twitches. "Tch. You can thank Orion Corp
for that. Damned patent squatters and their armies of lawyers..."
"Orion Corp was not the sole entity responsible for the stagnation of synthmind development,
" Umi says, correcting José. "They only led the charge. It was the unified efforts of several organizations, including the Terran Trust, the Third Hand, and Ramma's Chosen that allowed them to create a stranglehold on synthmind improvement.
"Yeah, yeah..." José mutters. "As if I didn't know..."
The Admiral falls silent for a few moments as all of the newly arrived Kessu stand before him, the army of seventy-something cat-aliens staring with their big, wide kitty eyes.
"Wow! Nyoor was telling the truth!"
"The Precursor is so huge! He's like a mountain!"
"Prraw! Something about him makes my heart swell with anticipation!"
The newly arrived Kessu come in all shapes and sizes. The tallest among them stand about five feet tall, while the shortest who aren't kittens only stand about three feet tall. Most of them purr and meow as they gaze at the Precursor in awe, a being twice their size with a handsome, hairy face.
Admiral Rodriguez waves politely. "Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Bloodbearer, your new home. I hope you haven't suffered too greatly due to the Kraktol's sudden attack on your world."
One of the taller newcomers, a black leopard-looking fellow in his prime, smiles cordially. "No, no, not at all. We didn't even know the Kraktol had attacked! It seems they didn't make it to our side of the world before leaving!"
"Oh? That's fortunate," Admiral Rodriguez says. "Well, in any case, you came here, and I appreciate your presence. How many more Kessu are there on your world, do you know?"
"Not many," A different Calico-colored Kessu answers. "Our people live in small, tightly-knit villages. Only the capital city of Tarus II has a population greater than five hundred. I think there might be another seventy or eighty thousand across the whole planet, at most."
"Huh, only eighty thousand..." José grunts, an odd look in his eyes. "Is that so? Well, welcome aboard. I'm sure Nyoor told you, but we have two Kraktol officers here, and both of them are, for the most part, friendly. Please don't bully them. Soren will show you around after Baaru shows you around. For now, I need to talk to Nyoor. I'll hold a meeting with all of the Kessu aboard the Bloodbearer tomorrow, so I hope you'll all be there."
"Of course, great Precursor!"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world."
The newcomers nod along politely, making José smile. Wow, they're all so darn cute. If only I had more time in the day, I'd love to pet all their little furry heads!
After the new arrivals depart, José kneels down to Nyoor's level. The Patriarch rests a paw on his grand-daughter's shoulder, while she beams a smile at the Terran.
"Nyoor," José says. "The Bloodbearer's engines should be repaired and ready for departure within the next few minutes. You can take the next month off. There's no point trying to fly back for another group of Kessu, since the Bloodbearer will arrive before you."
Nyoor cocks his head. "Hmm? I do not understand. Didn't you once say it would take you a month to arrive at the planet once the Machine God started flying, great Precursor?"
"Ah, yes," José answers, awkwardly scratching his head. "But we'll arrive at Tarus II instantly. That is, the galactic transfer time will only require a split second for our arrival, while the time we perceive will be a bit over a month."
The Terran hesitates.
"It's... complicated. Just know that if you try to fly the Slipstream ahead of us, you'll show up eight hours late."
The elder Kessu appears greatly confused, but he tries to act like he understands. "Hm, yes, yes, of course. One second equals one month. Mhm."
Lele giggles. "It's just basic temporal mechanics, grandpa!"
"Naturally!" Nyoor says, his tail swishing back and forth anxiously. "I think I get the gist. Yes, so, in that case, I'll take some time to rest my aching knees. I could use a good sit-down, right about now."
While the elderly cat rubs his chest-fur to soothe his nerves, José frowns internally. I should take a day or two to examine our medical imaging technology. Old age isn't something unconquerable. Perhaps I can help bring back Nyoor's vitality. He's helped out not only me, but the rest of his people tremendously over the last month. It would be a damned shame if he continued to suffer easily preventable physical pain.
However, not wanting to get Nyoor's hopes up, José instead gently rubs the elder's head, instantly brightening his day. "That's right, mister kitty. You just go and rest your weary legs. You and your wife can take a well-earned vacation."
After saying his goodbyes, José allows Lele to lead her grandpa away, leaving the Terran alone.
"Alright, Umi," José says. "We've got this ship in tip-top shape. There's no reason to dawdle anymore. As soon as the engines are online, chart a course out of this plasma cloud and take us to Tarus II. Make sure to set the Dilation Matrix's size and length to the maximum to extend our repair times as much as possible."
"Orders acknowledged, Admiral,
" Umi beeps. "I assume that you will handle the weapon repairs yourself?
"Correct. Soren is probably smart enough to assist me, but I'd rather have her training and educating the new Kessu arrivals in between repairing your CPU Matrices. 50th Era weapons are extremely complex. I don't think she could repair them without my help."
Continuing, José adds, "Incidentally, which of our small craft are the most likely to be useful for external repairs?"
Umi beeps again. "While the Slipstream is capable of performing basic repairs, its primary function is to act as a stealth and observation craft. Unfortunately, all of the repair-type craft have fallen into extreme disrepair. My best recommendation is to spend three days restoring twenty-three broken components aboard the UTC Hornet, a 50th Era light interceptor with extreme maneuverability. You can use its small, light frame in conjunction with your void-resistant body to perform the repairs manually.
José frowns. "You want me to go out into the void and perform repairs with only my skin to protect me? That was fine before you ripped out my combat implants, but even with the newly-added prototype implants, my body is much weaker than before."
"Affirmative, Admiral. I will equip you with a Gold-Class void-suit. As per Ramma's partnership with Orion Corp, it was a suit capable of recycling oxygen indefinitely. So long as it has battery power or nearby solar energy, it can keep your body oxygenated forever.
"Alright. That will have to do," José replies. "Synthesize one of those suits for me. In the meantime, I'll start repairs on the UTC Hornet. Oh, and Umi?"
"I want the long-range transport matrix online before we arrive at Tarus II. We'll need teleportation at our fingertips if we hope to collect 80,000 Kessu in an expedient manner. Think you can manage that?"
"I have a 75% confidence rating of completing that task by the designated time, assuming you wish for me to complete the other tasks you've assigned as well. The faster that officers Soren and Megla repair my CPU cores, the higher my predictive threshold will rise.
"Great. Just what I want to hear."
Not long afterward, the Bloodbearer's frame begins to hum with energy. Across all of its inner decks, Umi's voice booms from overhead.
"Attention all crew. The UTC Bloodbearer will enter Inverted Space in T-minus fifteen seconds and counting. Fourteen. Thirteen. Twelve...
After arriving on the Bridge, José stands at attention, his eyes focused on a series of graphs, all of them indicating various levels of activity from the ship's subsystems. The Admiral quietly taps a few buttons when one of the systems starts showing irregular activity, and he brings its numbers back into line.
"...Three. Two. One. Initiating a Folded Space jump.
Suddenly, the entire Bloodbearer rattles hard enough to jar everyone's insides, making dozens of Kessu across its decks fall to their knees and dry-heave. Five seconds later, the ship stops shaking, and José breathes a sigh of relief.
"Initiation of Folded Space entry complete. The Bloodbearer's momentum compensators buckled for five seconds during the jump, but stabilized shortly afterward. Otherwise, I did not detect any issues with the ship's internal systems.
José clutches his stomach, feeling slightly nauseous. "Cripes. Ergh. Talk about a... a bumpy ride. Divine Emperor, guide me..."
The Admiral plops down in a chair and taps a button on a nearby console. "This is Admiral Rodriguez to all decks. Is anyone injured? Report to the nearest sickbay at once if you're experiencing hallucinations or... or anything weird."
Unsure what other symptoms people might experience, José ends the all-decks page with another press of a button. "Dios mío... I'm a soldier, not a doctor. Umi, take care of any complications, but let me know if anyone is severely injured."
Several weeks pass like the wind. José repairs the miniature ship, the Hornet, and gets to work repairing the outer hull. The first time he leaves, Soren and Megla freak out over his safety, but he assures them with a quick and simple explanation.
"Folded Space doesn't function the way Trifrancium drives do. The ship remains stationary while the bubble of space around us travels through the universe. As long as I stay within the 'bubble' enveloping the Bloodbearer, I can perform external repairs without any issues."
"...However, should I pass through the Folded Space's dilation bubble... my ship will evaporate into atoms."
"What?!" Megla cries. "That's horrifying!"
"It's fine!" José laughs. "Only a fresh recruit would do something that idiotic. The bubble's radius is actually quite obvious. The Hornet can detect it even with the most basic of sensors. I'll be fine."
And so, the Admiral carries out his plan. He repairs more than two dozen exterior weapons, aiming to fix at least one on every side of the ship, reducing the Bloodbearer's blind spots to near nothing.
"Hmm, that's good enough for now. Next, the holodeck."
Admiral Rodriguez repairs ten percent of the ship's weapons before calling it quits. Due to the Bloodbearer's heavy armaments, he deems it unlikely that any attack force in the modern era could sufficiently threaten him in combat power, at least for the moment. If I ever need to repair the ship, all I'd have to do is enter Inverted Space. I can travel across the galaxy and spend several years restoring the Bloodbearer to its maximum capacity before re-entering normal-space.
The Admiral turns his attention to the Holodeck, a giant holographic projection facility capable of simulating entire worlds. This place will be ideal for training the Kessu into competent warriors, along with Soren, Megla, and myself. I need time to adapt to my newly installed combat augments.
As the weeks pass, Umi gives José frequent updates.
"Admiral, my CPU Matrices are now 75% restored. I can now perform mid-level calculative tasks once provided with enough data.
"Admiral, my memory-banks storage capacity has returned to 100%. The next time we come into contact with another vessel, I will be able to download their entire database without issues.
"Admiral, the Bloodbearer's biomatter storage now rests at 1.6 metric tons. I estimate another month of storage if current consumption needs remain steady. If you repair the biomatter recirculation systems, I will be able to provide sustenance for the crew indefinitely, albeit at a lower level of quality.
The last one piques the Admiral's interest. "Recycling feces and piss. Yeah, I suppose we have to consider that. Once we reach Tarus II, assuming we fill the Bloodbearer to capacity with Kessu and biomatter, how much time will our fully restocked reserves last?"
"I am unable to give an exact time-frame due to different Kessu subspecies potentially having different dietary requirements. However, based upon the current consumption speed and the fact that the Bloodbearer's maximum biomatter storage is 32,651 tonnes, I estimate we will be able to feed 90,000 crew-members for as long as three years.
"Without any biomatter circulation?" José asks.
"I'll add that to the to-do list, then."
The Admiral shakes his head and laughs wryly. There's always something left to fix. What a headache.
Slowly, the Terran begins to wander away from the Bridge. Having spent the past three months working nonstop on repairs, his arrival time to Tarus II has drawn nearer than ever. We'll make planetfall in the next few days. I've repaired enough of our weapons and improved Umi's CPU power to the point where she can self-repair without my assistance for a while. The Kessu can be trained with Umi's automated teaching subsystems, too. I think my next priority should be to adapt to my new biomods and their combat potential.
The Admiral flexes his arms. He frowns as he feels the somewhat mediocre power flowing through his muscles. Hm. I don't have Dermal Armor anymore. My muscle enhancing biomods will take another year or so to get me back to my previous strength, though once they do I may end up stronger than before. Perhaps I should run a routine 'ComSAT' on Megla and Soren to confirm their combat potential. Afterward, I can look into adapting biomods to improve their bodies. As my two strongest allies, I'll want them to be able to fully support me.
José steps through the Bridge's entryway, only to pause midstride and stare forward blankly at the wall. Soren. Megla. Can I trust them? They've complied with all of my orders, and they've given me plenty of reason to trust them... but I always wonder if there isn't some ploy underfoot. Soren seems like she might genuinely enjoy following my orders, but what about Megla? She only came along at her sister's behest. If I implant biomods inside of her, she'll become more of a threat to me. ...I don't think that's right, though,
José continues thinking, his eyes vacantly fixed on the wall ahead. Both of them had the perfect opportunity to kill me when my defenses were down. I was at my weakest during and after the Level 4 surgery, and they didn't touch me. Yes. I'm overthinking things. If the Kraktol were planning to kill or capture me, they would have done so by now. Perhaps the others of their species still would happily harm me, but I don't think Soren and Megla would.
With a quiet nod to himself, José resumes course for the holodeck. I need to be less suspicious at times like this. If I enhance Soren and Megla, I can turn them into powerhouses. Who knows? Given time, if they should return to their homeworld, perhaps they would have the strength to make a change. Maybe they could overthrow the Thülvik and rid their species of its hatred of the Kessu. Wouldn't that be a nice ending to the Kraktol's story?
Admiral Rodriguez smiles. Forgiveness. The most human trait. If I can bring only one concept to the galaxy, I hope it will be to forgive one's enemies. Hatred only consumes the one who dwells upon it daily.
José clears his throat. "Umi. Contact officers Soren and Megla. Tell them to meet me at the holodeck. Oh, but also tell them to take a sonic shower, first. We're going to be there a while."
"Acknowledged, Admiral. I will inform the Kraktol at once. Are you planning to engage in simulated holographic combat?
"Yes. Do you have any files left regarding cadet training?"
"Negative, Admiral. All of my holo-file records have degraded into garbage data. Since you still have functional memories from your days training aboard the Bloodbearer, I could attempt a memory extraction to reconstruct their parameters.
"Sure, that will work. Let me know when you finish, Umi."
The synthmind's voice shifts slightly, giving her tone a hint of pride. "Affirmative, Admiral. Thanks to my newly improved processing matrices, I will not require more than an hour to reconstruct all of the different tiers of training material.
"That's the sort of positivity I like to hear," José chuckles. "I'll grab some grub first, then head to the holodeck."
" Next Part
....................................... Author Note: Do you like the story? Subscribe to HFY bot and get notified when I post new parts! If you enjoy what you've just read, please consider subscribing to my Patreon! I am very poor and presently jobless due to Coronavirus, so every dollar helps. You get access to Cryopod artwork, and plenty of other exclusive posts, with more to come soon. Thank you!