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The large central hall of The Lost Battlestar was bathed in the light of Omicron Delta flooding through the
heavily armoured skylight. Thirteen of the imposing high back chairs surrounding the large round table at
the far end were filled.
The fourteenth was empty.
Low murmurs of conversation slowed as the large doors slid open with a muted hiss, three soldiers dressed
in the traditional uniform of The Zoner Guard surrounded one other.
“Bring him in please sergeant.”
PRISONER DETAIL, QUICK MARCH.” Barked the sergeant at arms.

The four moved quickly across the hall in perfect formation.
“DETAIL HALT, Prisoner five paces forward march.”
“Thank you sergeant, guard at ease. Prisoner Admin Lieutenant Colonel Laowai you have been found guilty of the
following charges.”

One of the thirteen spoke quietly.
“One, that you did desert your post in what could only be described as a situation of pathetically low odds against
“Two, you did lose a valuable ship, complete with all of its highly prized loadout and shielding to these pirates.
Thank God nothing fell into their hands. Have you anything to say for yourself?”

Silence fell over the hall.
Well gentlemen, possibly my laptop overheated, or could have been those kids next door, leeching on my
“Admin Laowai we hear enough of those bloody excuses every day of our lives to write a damn book. Not
good enough I’m afraid.”

One of the chairs slid back, the occupant moved round the table, and faced the prisoner. The sound of
buttons and epaulettes being ripped from the uniform was heard, followed by a sword being removed from
its scabbard, and very unceremoniously, snapped in two.
“You are getting off lightly this time, just a demotion, a spell in Bastille, and the keys to a Starflier. Sergeant,
find the man a toothbrush, I believe the toilets are in need of a scrub. Move him out please.”

The group left the hall, the sound of the boots on the marble floor in perfect harmony. The doors slid closed
“Well gentlemen, we need to put this little episode behind us, if word spreads, who knows what anarchy will
descend on Sirius.”

Someone else spoke.
“It does rather cement his reputation as the worst pilot here, not even a tin can, more like a paper bag. Lord
knows we got off lightly this time. This cannot be allowed to happen ever again.”

Nods, coupled murmurs of agreement were seen and heard …
“This file will be locked and place deep in the vaults, let’s hope we never have to get it out in our lifetime.”
More nods from grave faces.
"Right gentlemen, I believe lunch is ready, shall we move to the mess?”
Silence descended once more on the great hall …
A sorry state of affairs. But none the less, one which had now been resolved. With the exception of vengeance.

Del wandered the opulent halls of the Lost Battlestar, pondering his next steps. Of course ensuring the safety of the sector, ensuring these folks could fly in space without plagues of ghosts, speed freaks and folks that could kill you before they could even see you, well with the exception of forcing folks to divide by zero.

But the monkeys were getting agitated. Bountying the very beings that made this sector what it was. Fools.

A message needed to be sent, clear and heard. If these idiots wanted to deal in death, then death was what they could have. A purge, a burning, nothing standing in the wake of such an undertaking. A.D.M.I.N ships darkening the skies of planets filled with remorseless fire.

Not a bad idea, he thought. He'd post it at the next A.D.M.I.N. convention
Admin Marburg lags behind the others on their way out of the Great Hall, lost in his thoughts & ironically, soon discovers himself to be just as lost as the Battlestar itself.

"Map!" he said, & his neural net activates at the speed of thought; showing his current location.

"Show me a path to the mess."

His personal sightline changes as his neural net calculates his position within the ship & shows him the way, appearing to him as a number of evenly spaced glowing arrows on the deckplates.

Getting back on track & following the trail, he returns to his thoughts:

Being a witness of, & party to the earlier humbling of Admin Laowai, it sent a shiver up his spine that is difficult to explain. It's one thing to hear the rumors myths & legends of the A.D.M.I.N.' hear them mentioned by some in furtive fearful whispers, revered as gods by others, & derailed as devils by the discontent.

It's another thing entirely to find yourself one day tapped by them, soon to awaken as one of their number & for the first time, truly feel the weight of the Universe on your shoulders.

How do you descibe something like that?

I can now imprison with reason. I can kill with a word. Hell, I'm charged by powers greater than myself to enforce all the laws of known reality...& yet I can still get lost on my way to lunch.

Heh! nobody's perfect!

I gotta get out of my quarters more.

...I wonder if they serve biscuts & gravy on this tub. I mean, whether or not I'm seen as a god or a monster by others, I do still get hungry after all.
Del walked into the chapel. Whilst some revered the Admins as Gods, it wasn't true. The Admins were merely custodians of reality, Worshippers of Order, Justice and other intangible oddities which the universe had no knowledge of. The chapel was where the more devout came to pray. To offer up supplicants for the personification of these unreal designs.

Del sat on a pew and conjured up his neuralnet. More powerful than the standard human version this allowed the Admin vessels to move about at will with a single thought. No awkard flying between systems, simply think and you were there. But movement wasn't Del's intention, destruction was his game. Here in the chapel he would rain a little fire on the ungrateful monkeys.

Selecting a system at random he searched for vessels, finding three he processed the command. .kill target. with three simple thoughts the pilots vessels disintegrated. No warning, no pleas for mercy, nothing except death. They would learn their place. Order, justice, duty. Reality was not a toy, not something to be left at the whims of these ignorant savages. It required a firm grasp, a knowledge of the inner workings. Even an Admin did not know everything, but learning was as powerful a tool as knowledge in the right hands.

Del walked out of the chapel to find one of the Tech Admins working on a panel. He didn't bother to register the identity, the grease monkeys were beneath the rest of the Admins, fodder only for games and taunts. Del kicked it as he walked by.

"Vending machine is out of choc chip cookies on level 4-1. Get it sorted."

The Techie looked at him a mixture of fear and contempt in his eyes.

"I'm working on the magnetic accelrator array for port turret 5-Alpha. It's a little more important than cookies, I think."

Del lashed out . "You are not required to think. I ask, you do. Now get to it or I will have you flayed."

The Techie scrambled away and Del smiled to himself. Life was good.
Del continued to stroll the corridors, passing by the gardens with their mishsapen tenders, pruning, uprooting, generally keeping the place tidy. Del stopped he liked the gardens, they made him more serene, more open to bad things.

He gently crossed to one of the gardeners.

"Could you have tow dozen of the rather delightful daffodils delivered to the chapel. The last batch is becoming somewhat tired. I need to do some arranging."

The gardener simply nodded and went back to his work, pruning a particularly recalcitrant rose bush.

Del left as gently as he had arrived pausing only to inhale the scent as he went for his lunch.

Inside the mess all was chaos as usual. The mess had one simple rule. No shop talk. Business was for elsewhere and the fine was severe. a full day serving the monkeys answering their inane questions, demanding the presence of you at their boredom inducing "games". It was too much to even think about crossing the line.

"How goes the chapel, Reverend?" asked one of the newer admins, JihadJoe.

"It would go better if more of you turned up for service." said Del, "I have noticed a significant decrease in numbers. Such rectitude in devotion will not go unpunished."

There was a low chuckle. Not everyone was as mind-bendingly devout as the Reverend. But then who would be? He had come in and shown more religious fervour than any Admin before him. Interpreting the words of the creator to a level as yet unseen. His sermons were more fire and brimstone, than live and let live, and this placed some among the team on edge. They were unsure if, or when, he was simply going to explode and take everything with him, or at least attempt to.

Del, as always, sat apart from the rest of them. Not for lack of popularity, but because he chose to. Unlike the others who had helped themselves to the plentiful bounty on offer from the cooks, Del had chosen his usual lunchtime repast. Two slices of lightly buttered bread and a glass of water. This was all he needed, he had assured the others, his energies were refulled by devotion and service to The Creator.

In the bows of the ship, Cannon wanders aimlessly in search of a vending machine...

"You would think that the magnetic accelerator is more important than cookies", he mutters to himself. "Still I know who really runs things around here."

Cannon pauses and considers whether to restart reality, the universe and everything. Not today he decides and he continues his search for the vending machine.
"Hmmph.. bloody gardeners, are we? Daffodils?"

The man straightened to relieve a kink in his middle-aged back.

"I've got your pruners right here, Reverend..."

Secretly, however, the man revelled in his ability to make the garden grow, to remove the weeds and pestilence which sometimes plagued it. It wasn't a bad life. It held some modicum of purpose and.. power.

"The Chapel, eh? Prayers to the Creator? If only these poor cabbages knew Who really held the upper hand."

The man whistled a a discordant tune as he gently pruned 23 daffodils, and proceeded towards the Chapel on the topmost deck.
As he crouched deep in the underbelly of the lost battlestar huddled over a particularly stubborn stain that the toothbrush just couldn't seem to shift ADMIN Laowai pondered his fate.

How had this happened? how had it come to this? It was all a blur, one minute sitting comfortably in orbit over Malta, the next, destroyed in a blink, and he hadnt even seen it!
He knew THE computer was to blame, the machine that he interfaces with and that allowed him control over the powers of ADMIN; it had inexplicably failed leaving his ship vulnerable and unable to function.
But the ADMIN tribunal would hear none of it, and here he was.....

He felt angered, betrayed, humiliated, things had not meant to happen this way! Those Outcast vessels should have been put in their rightful place, and yet he had been destroyed and ADMIN-JihadJoe had had to clean up the mess! It was unthinkable.
He had been handed back the keys to his vessel, but he could not bear to look at it and had had it changed immediatly, but now serving out the remainder of his cleaning sentence, his thoughts drifted from extreme to extreme.

"It was just a simple error, and the Outcast got lucky, its no matter, just head out there and take care of them all, like you always do". A little voice on his left hand shoulder said, glancing aside, he saw an image of himself; clad in white, with small wings and a Golden harp, above its head, a halo hovererd. "Ah... its you, good Laowai" he said
Though anyone looking into the room would have seen him talking to himself.

"Yes Laowai" the little figure said "It is I, good Laowai" he strummed a note on his harp "Nevermind these things that happen to vex you in Life, even mighty ADMINS have to overcome trouble. Just remember that yours is to seek and to aid, to render assistance to those who cannot help themselves, the weak, the needy, the oorp-namers, the stuck-in-bases, the bickering who need your gentle hand..."

"BOLLOCKS!!" another voice growled on his other shoulder. ADMIN Laowai turned insurprise to find a small, red image of himself, black horns jutting from its head and a sharp, forked pointed tail pointing threateningly at the figure of good Laowai. "That outcast so-and so- needs to be put in his place, look at where its landed you! down hear cleaning the pipes! Is that where you want to be! He's out there having his triumph over a trick of fate and you're doing this! Well enjoy pipe boy!" he huffed, little puffs of smoke coming from his nose "You COULD go out there and let 'em know who's boss you know, put 'em in their place, a little .kill there, an accidental .beam to Xerna... "

"No!" the voice of good Laowai chimed in! "That would be a gross violation of his sacred duty of protection! of stewardship! These outcasts do not know what they did, they are but simple inhabitants of this universe and unaware of the nature of the power of ADMIN, to abuse it in such a manner would be....."

"Fun?" Evil Laowai chuckled.... "Think of it, they undock and BOOM! no explanation, no nothing, you dont even have to do it from your ship! you could do it from out here... in your mind... or wait! Better! just go up there, kill a bunch of them! haha! make 'em run cryin' for their momma's!"

"Phillistine!" Good Laowai interupted again, "And what of the weak, the young baby Nubs who do'nt know better, they need your guidance and wisdom, and unfortunate who are ganked by the pvpwhores who need your protection, remember your sacred duty is one of trust and..."

"BORING!!" Evil Laowai moaned "Come on! what are you ADMIN or mouse? You're cleaning pipes for godsake man!!! Look, you've got bastille jujst sitting there"

"No, there is no justification for that!" Good Laowai huffed at him, "under what pretext could you even suggest that course of action"

"Under the justification of "Cos' i can?" Said Evil Laowai, "Or why not remove some money, better still, YOU take all the money, buy a big ship! gank EVERYONE!! hahahahahahha"

"Right, thats it!" Good Laowai leaped off his shoulder and attacked Evil Laowai who reacted quickly and a scuffle ensued and suddenly, the two of them vanished in a puff of black and white smoke.. leaving ADMIN Laowai to consider what he would do....

Asleep on his ship's cockpit was a man. Far away from civilization, awaiting for the ship's computer to give him the results of the last analysis of the rare out-of-place object he had come to investigate.
He was on the small, untidy cockpit of the small fighter. A fighter like no other, for it was outfitted with scientific equipment instead of guns, a powerful computer in the place where the torpedo magazines would normally had been, and an improved life support system, designed for truly long-duration missions. And this mission, would be a long one in fact...

The ship was operating from a Cruiser, which was orbiting twenty A.U away, unable to approach the site because of the huge gravity field that was being caused by the small, yet incredibly heavy neutron star so dense, that made the Omega-41 Neutron star look like a small moon with no gravity in comparison. A rarity in fact, as such a dense object should have became a black hole instead. It was too massive for the electron degeneracy pressure to keep it from crumbling under its own gravity.
The cruiser would have been disintegrated by the huge tidal forces that thing was responsible for. Being too big to fit inside the small spot of gravity-corrected space where the raven's claw was sitting right now.

For the moment, the Fighter was safe on the centre of the gravitationally stable region made possible by the 6 asteroids that were in orbit around it. Those buggers, made of super heavy Magnetic Monopoles, whose combined tidal forces compensated those of the star, made possible to orbit it at only 3.600 kilometres from its surface on a very fast orbit.
Despite all the measures taken to protect the ship, the gravity inside the Raven's Claw cockpit was quite weird. It wasn't constant, but varied as the distance from the centre of the orbiting masses increased. He was feeling a pull of two gravities on his feet, zero Gee on his belly, and around one Gee on his head, pulling him on the opposite direction. Fortunately, his stomach was empty, for he would have vomited otherwise. Only eighteen hours more, and the de-orbiter mass would reach him, taking his ship and guardian asteroids far away from the star and into safety. But first, he had to complete the analysis of the thing. The very reason why he was here, taking all those risks.

A soft sound began to ring inside the cabin, bringing him back to full awareness, and also scaring him to death. The life support alarms! he thought. No, it was the computer calling his attention, as his Head Up Display had drifted from his head and was now resting on the top of the cockpit quartz cabin. He reached for the HUD device, put it back on his head, and the true cockpit appeared in front of him, as the cockpit of the ship was a hologram created by the main computer and projected by his HUD device onto his eyes, all virtual.
He made some gestures with his hands, and the reason for that scary sound was made evident. A message. But not from his ship, but from the Sirius sector instead. He instructed the computer to stop correcting the ship's spin and to align it so its receiver always faced towards the direction of the message instead. The gravity differential would no longer be constant inside the ship, but he could receive the message now. It's a good thing that it was completely dark outside, as the star was no longer on a fixed position now, but seemed to orbit around him instead at a very fast pace. A vertiginous sight it would have been, specially with the gravity varying wildly now.

As the message slowly arrived, Korrd was wondering what it would be about. Something quite important he thought, for it was quite expensive to send a message this far from the Sirius sector, even for an ADMIN. To the very void between the galaxies, where eternal darkness reigned as there were no stars in a million light years radii.
The message came in slowly. At a few bytes per second speed. It was just a plain text message. No holographic, no audio, nothing more than some characters spoken on the common Sirius trade tongue, encrypted with the usual ADMIN security algorithms.
The signal was so weak that it took him three times to get it right. Mostly because it was a broad beam signal, not the standard narrow-beam one, which could be made far stronger. They did not know my exact position, so they sent it on a general direction instead.
Fortunately for him, the thing was transmitted 6 times instead of one, to give him time to get his ship properly aligned first.

At last, the message arrived. It got decoded. And the full text of it now floated in front of him.


From: The Admin Battlestar, Omicron Delta.
To: Admin Korrd.

--- Message ---

Population uprising within the sector resulting in the destruction of Admin Laowai's craft...your assistance is requested to help us quell the rebellion... please come home

--- End message ---

Korrd read the message again. And then again just to be sure. How can an Admin ship be destroyed? How can a non-A.D.M.I.N crack one of our ships, so far superior compared to the rest that even no fleet on Sirius can dent it's shield? This must be a mistake, or a hardware failure.
He still could not believe it. It was no joke, he was sure of that. The sheer power needed to send an ultrawave transmission THAT far away must have been enormous. A drain even on the A.D.M.I.N resources. Slight, but significant non the less. AMd most likely, the Battlestar's magnetic accelerators might have been fried by it. The need to gather all Admin forces must be dire.
Despite that, he could not do anything until the de-orbiter mass arrived to take him and his "mass system" off the neutron star's close orbit and back into the safety of his cruiser. . .

Well, time to call to the cruiser so it can begin the jump engines startup sequence now.

It would be eighteen hours until the de-orbiter mass arrived, and three more days until the mass took him to the cruiser's orbit, and some twelve hours more until he could put enough delta-V to get in sync with the cruiser so he could dock with it. Too bad that I'm too far away from Sirius for the ADMIN powers to work here he thought.
The comm signal reached the cruiser, and the automated systems began to calculate a new orbit that would take the ship far enough from the star to open a stable jump point towards the Milky Way. It would be a week before he reached the far end of the galaxy, and the place where he had left a resupply vessel that could refuel his ship so it could reach the Sirius outer fringe, from where he could power up his admin drive, and jump directly to the battlestar. For the drive was fast, but it used a hell or a lot of power, and was short ranged. But, after all, the Sirius sector was a small place...
He seemed to froze inside his cockpit, but he was in a deep trance looking at the info from the last analysis as it poured out of his HUD, and interacting with the ship's computer. Getting busy was the best way to make time past quickly. And there was nothing he could do until he reached the cruiser...
After 2 weeks of travelling through the void, The Wanderer arrived at the outskirts of the Sirius sector. After all this time travelling between the galaxies, Korrd could not wait until the main A.D.M.I.N base was in range of the still-charging up Admin engine. Only a little bit more, he thought.

He went back into trance and resumed his study of the Sirius sector. After having been away for such a long time, he needed to get back up to speed as soon as possible.

Looking through the outer Bretonian systems, he found some uncommon ships on bretonian space. Gallians. So they finally broke their isolation...

On Hudson, he saw some Liberty and Rheinland ships fighting each other. Liberty and Rheinland at war? It was expected.

On Alpha, he found an Outcast shipyard in orbit of Malta. The Outcasts were increasing their shipbuilding efforts. He wondered why.

A new kind of Corsair ship was in orbit around Crete. Strange energy readings coming from it. Weapons. New ones, and powerful. Maybe even rivalling the power output of an Admin cannon. I better take a closer look at that thing.
He took a Thor Mk.II from the hangar, and set course for Crete. As he entered sensor range of Crete, a group of Corsairs came to meet him. They all had ship he had never seen before. Two of them were firing at each other. The energy discharges of their guns were amazingly powerful. Some even more powerful than Admin cannons.
He was querying his ship automation when it all begun. His ship was stuck by powerful energy discharges from the two battleships that were in orbit, and his shields went down to 25%. As he hurried to get back manual control of the ship in order to defend himself, a 4th shot disabled his shields.
He was now vulnerable to normal weapons. The next shot could take him down, and he had no time to get the ship all the way to manual control... next thing he knew was that he was back at the Cruiser's bridge.

-- Wanderer? What happened?
-- Your ship was destroyed. I took the liberty of beaming you back here.
-- Thanks. Was the Thor completely destroyed?
-- No. Some stuff survived and got tractored by one of the battleships. I'm scanning their holds right now.
-- Good.
-- The OPG flagship has two Admin cannons and a pair of SOLARIS onboard. Those came from the Thor.
-- Beam them back here please. Beam the ship to the star if you can't recover them. We can't let those to fall into their hands. They are still far more energy efficient than their crude mortars.
-- Done. The guns are now back onboard.
-- Thanks Wanderer. As soon as we can, /beam us back home. We need to talk to the other Admins.
-- Sure thing.

Automation was such a wonderful thing...
The Wanderer was quite an advanced ship. It could be run by a crew of only one, being its automation sentient enough to handle the ship all by itself without living intervention.

As the ship jumped back into admin space, Korrd asked for manual control of the navigational systems. Despite all the automation, he still liked to pilot it by himself from time to time.

-- Admin control, this is the Wanderer requesting a place to moor.
-- This is Admin control. Proceed to moor 4.

He docked the ship, shut the engines down, asked it to perform the standard docking procedure, and went towards the Airlock. As the Airlock opened, he found that the ship was in ruins...
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