This page is a story-text data dump, and needs some major cleanup.
You can help FenWiki by expanding this page.
|Width||600' (mean diameter)|
|Primary Manufacturer||The Jason|
|Flag of Record||Fenspace Convention|
|Primary Crew||The Jason (captain)|
|Other Crew||H. Sherlock (research, ship management)|
H. Li Kao (ship management, research)
H. Junior Badille (navigation, helm, research)
H. Bes (security, defensive weapons)
H. Sekhmet (security, offensive weapons)
H. Iris (hologram systems)
H. J. Burke (fenkinder education)
H. Agatha Heterodyne (engineering)
H. Barry (engineering)
H. Samwise (gardening)
H. Henry McCoy (medical research)
H. Leonard McCoy (medical)
H. Sam Carter (engineering, research)
H. Nikola Tesla (engineering, research)
many as-yet-unnamed Fenkinder
|Auxillary Vehicles||Fateful Lightning|
Number Ten Ox
Created by Feinan
Although Operation Great Justice and the fighting with the Boskonians, as well as several actions by various zwilnik 'recruiters' were the final trigger, the method of the Jason's arrival at Phobos in the summer of 2014 started several years before, back in 2010. He'd created a masterpiece of biomodification for people to use... and some were, yes. But... none of them were using his creations to their full potential. The clients were always asking him to suspend the growth phase before things had ever really gotten started. He'd left one growing all by itself, hidden away in a seldom-visited portion of the Belt... wanting to have something spectacular to show people. Then... when the troubles started, he decided it could serve a different purpose. Oh, he could - and would - enhance the Fateful Lightning's defenses. But, she'd been built in a time of peace. His new ship... she'd been designed to carry families... children. In a fashion that he'd deemed safe.
The Jason was up to something - that was nothing new. The Jason was always up to something. But for the last year or so, the rumors were flying fast and furious that he was involved in something major. Everybody was talking about it... mainly because he was calling in favors and making deals with everyone. There were large orders for Wire Geek and Hephaestus, items requested from the Professor that were just barely short of insane, a known order for a very large Interwave transmitter, talks with Buckaroo, with Fred... and Kohran Li. And many others. Whatever he was doing, it was obviously going to be big. So when Fate called ahead and requested an isolated parking orbit, well away from other traffic, the rumor mill at Port Phobos immediately went into overdrive.
Tom settled into his chair, putting his coffee on his desk as he looked over the monitors. Fairly normal morning, everybody actually keeping to their assigned orbits without problems... though that wouldn't last. It hardly ever did for long. He looked up as Kathy, one of the on-duty techs came up with a diagnostic scanner and started looking over the long-range scanner on the next desk over. "Problem?"
She shook her head. "Matt said he was getting some odd readings that didn't make sense. He wanted me to look it over." She finished a diagnostic cycle, then shook her head. "Everything's clear..." She started the machine back up, and then whistled softly. "Great Ghu! I see what he was talking about. That can't be right..."
Getting up, Tom went and glanced over the tech's shoulder. Incoming vessel, size... Tom's eyes widened. "What the hell?!" The pair glanced at each other, and then went to activate a visual scanner. Tom shook his head. "Whatever it is, it's on..." He called up scheduled orbits, and frowned. "... on the Jason's flight path. But that can't be the Lightning."
Kathy laughed, a little nervously. "Not unless he's found a way to make cars and trucks actually grow bigger. Though with him, who kno..."
She broke off as the monitor finally showed a picture of the incoming craft. Neither said a word... as the monitor displayed a majestic, giant tree drifting serenely on its way. A tree with a silvery trunk and green-black leaves... that was over a mile long. For several long moments, only the sounds of electronic equipment were heard in the room, until a voice came in over the communicator. "Ahoy, Port Phobos. This is the Jason aboard the Yggdrasil. I'm on my assigned path, and should be there shortly. Everything OK on your end?"
Tom reached out and hit the 'send' switch. "F-fine on this end, Jason. Uh... new ship?"
There was a mischievous chuckle over the speaker. "The Yggdrasil? Yeah, just a... little something I've been working on."
|Smaller Trees: The Juraian-class Treeship|
|The Yggdrasil-class treeship is a "big brother" to the Jason's Juraian-class treeships. Those are about 100-150 feet in length, and fairly stocky-looking to grant enough space to work with inside.|
The bark and outer layers of Yggdrasil are 20 feet thick, and between the metal and mineral content in the wood, the ship could really be described as living petrified wood. Handwaved petrified wood, so it's not exactly fragile. The ship is capable of docking the Fateful Lightning internally.
With its 20' outer walls and 30' diameter central core, and ignoring the fact that there are probably any number of smaller bracing veins/columns, a single layer/chamber of the tree in the central trunk comes out to around 3.75 acres. At a rough average of a hundred layers through the central trunk (plus some others in the smaller sections above that), and leaving room for various functions the tree would need... figure one hundred layers at 50' tall each, some smaller for rooms/houses/functional spaces, a few larger - 200' tall to allow a few groves of trees... that comes to roughly 375 acres. Though not all of it is immediately usable at the time of Yggy's appearance. A lot is being used for storage as the Jason works on getting set up. Still, quite a bit of room for play. The Jason plans to hire a horde of older fenkinder or maybe some ninja as farmhands, though.
The power rooms take up a chamber or two all of their own. There are various reasons for this including a lot of tech that will eventually need a lot of power. But the other is just the desire to have enough power to never run out. A lot of what the Jason got from Wire Geek and the Professor were involved here, and will grow over the next few years. Right now, it can only power New York. His eventual goal is to get enough power generators of various types online to power the East and West coasts, with enough left over to handle Las Vegas at full blast. Between shields, structural integrity fields, and a few other things the Jason got from the Trekkies, installed over a ship that's a mile long, well... power is a useful thing to have. And since the Jason is a lover of gadgets, he's sure the need for more power will only grow.
And there's one whole layer devoted solely to Blood Orange trees, an entire grove of them: The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Orchard.
|Ship's control, and ship's defence|
|I tapped a couple of keys on the keyboard in front of me, studied the results on the room's main screen, and nodded. "All right. I think that's got everything. Are we ready to do the first real system tests?"
Fate's chorus answered, "It looks that way, Kevin. All of the initial tests were positive, and the few minor glitches that we found have been fixed. What do you want to try first?"
Leaning back in the nice high-backed chair that I'd set up as the command chair for the bridge, I glanced around the room. Right now, it was fairly plain - a rather bare room carved into the heart of my treeship. There were several chairs grouped around my main seat, a desk in front of me with a keyboard, and a large plasma screen TV hung on the front wall as a combination viewscreen and computer monitor. Though with luck, in a few minutes that would only be the backup system. "Control room setup." I bit my lip, and drew a deep breath. "Open configuration." The walls seemed to shimmer... and suddenly I was hanging in deep space. I swallowed nervously, then let out a long sigh. Not the easiest setup for someone who was still a bit acrophobic, even after dealing with freefall for the past few years. Fortunately, this wasn't freefall, and the configuration included a platform under my chair and the others, with a nice sturdy-looking railing around it. "All right..." I settled back, trying to relax and convince myself I was not about to breathe vacuum regardless of what I was seeing. As my nerves eased, I started to look around in earnest, and began to smile. The view, once you got used to it, was amazing. "OK…this will take a while….but I can't wait to see what it's like when we're headed somewhere." I entered a couple more commands on my keyboard, the results of which were now being displayed on a screen hanging in the air over the desk. "This is definitely a keeper. Shall we try one of the others now?"
Fate chuckled. "Ask and ye shall receive. Do you have a preference?"
I hmmed, and then nodded. "The Victorian cockpit setup." Space shimmered around me…and my bridge became a nice, cozy Victorian den. The walls were dark polished wood, as was the floor, and the front half of the room was now huge sheets of glass set in gleaming brass vines and buttresses. My keyboard and monitor had shifted as well, to a glowing panel set in a wood case, and a brass and wood contraption that looked like an old typewriter keyboard. Various readouts were displayed in brass and glowing crystals around the room, and several glowing stained-glass windows showed famous fictional starships, including the original Jupiter Two, the TARDIS, and three different versions of the Enterprise. Off to one side, a fireplace had a cheerful fire crackling in it. Mounted over the mantel were the stuffed hindquarters of some sort of feline - maybe a mountain lion, from the size and color. A small plaque under it read 'Please do not touch.' I laughed. "Let's stick with this for now. Though I still want to see the open configuration when we're under way."
"All right, Kevin. We're clear for the other test, then? There are no ships within sensor range, so we are good to go."
I nodded. "Might as well. We've got a few drones out so we can get an exterior view, right?" I leaned back in my seat, and hmmed at her affirmative. "Display current status, two-foot scale." About eye-level above the desk, a solid-seeming image of a two-foot-long Yggdrasil appeared. Solid indeed, as I reached out and turned it from side to side, regarding it closely. "Display works like we'd hoped."
Fate's voice seemed smug, "Did you have doubts?"
I laughed. "With you and the other girls working on it? Not really. So... let's see what we can do to blend in with the Belt a bit more, shall we?" I grinned broadly. "Activate the chameleon circuit." Yggdrasil's image wavered for a second, and then in place of a silver-trunked tree there was now a rough-looking asteroid, one that would not have gathered a second glance in the Belt. "Cool! It does work, then..." I reached out and turned the rock around, viewing it from all angles. I didn't see any immediate discrepancies.
Fate spoke softly, "Yes, it does appear to be functioning the way we wanted, though the power drain is fairly strong. We'll need to keep expanding the power rooms if we want to be able to do this for long periods as well as all of the other functions." I nodded. "We'd already planned on that... I want us to be able to hide if we ever need to, and this will be perfect."
"True enough." Fate chuckled softly. "Do you want to try the other appearance that we discussed?"
I grinned. "The one that will scare the Warsies white? Not to mention a lot of other folks? Sure, go ahead." The rock shimmered again, but instead of revealing the tree, there was now a two-foot-long Imperial Star Destroyer hanging in the air above my desk, shining a pure white. One glaring difference between the ones from the movies and this one however was the voluptuous, bat-winged woman painted on the prow of the ship, a woman wielding a whip apparently made of fire. Emblazoned under her was the ship's name: TISIPHONE. My grin grew a bit wider. "If I didn't want to keep the chameleon circuit as a trump card, I'd be so tempted to show up at Phobos like this."
A snicker sounded from the speakers - Clotho apparently thought it would be fun as well. Then I heard a clicking tongue. "Da, that would be mean." Then Lachesis chuckled as well.
"Probably fun, I'll admit. But mean." I smiled. "True, true... all right. Turn the circuit off for now. No sense keeping it going full-time until we get more generators for the power rooms. But if you spot anybody coming, go ahead and turn the rock on. We might as well keep the ship a secret until we're ready to show her about." The SD shimmered and turned back into the Yggdrasil's true form.
The Jason's personal log entries on the awakening of the Yggdrasil AI team follow.
I played with the simulation I had running on my main control terminal, idly watching space through the glass panels in the front of the room. Fred had been by yesterday to help with the final installation and networking of the computers that we hoped would serve as the crew for the Yggdrasil. We tried to set things up to work as well as possible - histories of Fenspace and my own logbooks, as well as stuff from the girls. Detailed information on what we needed for crew, and as much relevant information as we could stuff into handwaved databanks on those subjects. While we'd set up some of the computers to handle different functions (the computer reserved for handling the holotech had VERY high-end graphics and sound cards, for instance), with the networking we hoped that whatever AIs developed could take over the jobs that they wanted and use the appropriate equipment. And if they didn't want to be crew...well, I'd left a note that we'd help them get set up wherever they wanted. That was yesterday. Today....Fate had told me that AIs had indeed developed and were going through all of the data, as well as everything she had in her Alexandria Archive. She was trying to archive as much of human - and fen - culture as she could. All of the books in my library had been entered, all of my movies and music...and I'm pretty sure she's been swiping vast amounts of stuff from other sources as well. I didn't ask - I didn't really want to know. I touched the screen, and made the projected receptor dish that was being displayed a little bigger. This simulation was actually part of the archive project. They'd said that signals sent off from Earth would degrade fairly rapidly so you wouldn't be able to go out and see old shows...but they hadn't figured on handwaved computers and tech. Or on this. Displayed on the screen, with the treeship as a huge spoke across the diameter of the dish, was a receptor dish over a mile wide. Blue dots represented a screen of drones equipped with holotech that was helping to create the full dish. It wasn't that solid - hard to do with our current power - but it didn't have to be too solid. Just enough to catch TV signals. We were going to see if we could go out and capture some of the lost episodes of Doctor Who. If that worked, we'd try other stuff as well. And if it didn't...well, in a few years, we could get together a five-mile-wide receptor. Eventually, we WOULD figure out a way to pull it off.
Fate appeared next to me, leaning on her staff. "It's time, Kevin. They've reached full sentience, and picked avatars for themselves. You're in for a bit of a shock, though. Some of the computers with multiple processor cores...well, with the honey we used on the memory portions, it apparently altered them enough to generate several AIs. So we've got a number of pairings."
I arched an eyebrow at that, and got to my feet. "All right. Um...so, who wants to introduce themselves first? I'm the Jason, captain of the Fateful Lightning and the Yggdrasil here."
A young man appeared next to Fate, and smiled rather dryly. When he spoke, it was with an English accent. "I suppose I can go first." He was...maybe late twenties or so, dark-haired and clean-shaven with a sharp beak of a nose. He was also dressed in a rather old-fashioned looking suit. He looked really familiar, but I couldn't place him immediately. "My...'twin' and I are the ones that want to handle ship's management and some of the research. I'll probably be doing more of the research side, to be honest." The corner of his mouth quirked a little. "There's already one famous computer listed in your archives that specialized in management and deductive reasoning. Since he could be termed my older brother, go ahead and call me Sherlock." THAT placed the face for me - Basil Rathbone.
I smiled slowly, and offered my hand. "Good to meet you. You mentioned your twin?"
Another figure appeared, this time a wizened little old Oriental man dressed in archaic clothing. And by old, I mean several years older than God...or even George Burns. His WRINKLES had wrinkles. The old man bowed politely, and I returned it. "That would be me. Allow me to offer my greetings with young Sherlock's. I'll be doing a little research, but handling more of the day-to-day ship's management." He also looked amused, and I had a feeling I might have my hands full with this pair. "My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character."
I nodded inwardly. Yep. Definitely going to have my hands full...just with Li. "Greetings and welcome, Master Li." Still - if there was anyone who could keep all of the thousands of handwaved systems - and their quirks - working together, it would be Master Li.
Glancing around, I waited to see who would be next. Another little old man appeared, maybe in his sixties with sandyish hair. He was dressed in a jumpsuit however, and was grinning outright. "I figured since these two were mentioning research, I should pop up. I've got your navigation and helm covered, and I'll be picking up whatever these two don't want to work on. Or maybe I'll just watch over their shoulders and kibitz."
I chuckled. "Hello, Junior. Glad to have you aboard." Junior Badille from the book Saturnalia - despite his appearance, he was probably only late teens, early twenties. He'd been born with a mutation that left his brain hardwired for efficiency rather than redundancy... and left him aging rapidly as well.
"Going for computer tech?"
He grins. "Probably. I'll have to see what catches my eye."
I nodded...and then blinked as another man appeared. He was a dwarf - human, not Tolkien, but he was nearly squat enough that you could maybe miss the difference. He had black skin and a scruffy beard, and was wearing a lion-skin cape, complete with the head as a hat. The bit of white cloth around his waist looked as though it could come from old Egyptian movies...and he was ugly. We're talking bulldog ugly. He chuckled. "I've got your back on the ship's defense, kid." For such a short man, his voice was deep and booming.
I nodded slowly, and then gave him a very polite bow. "Thank you, Lord Bes. You alone, or...?"
I was interrupted as a woman appeared. Dusky-skinned, she was also wearing white cloth in an old Egyptian style. "Oh, no, young Lorrrrd Monkey. I will be handling the morrre...offense-rrrelated functions." Her voice was husky, sexy...and her 'R's were purred - probably because she had a cat's head. A lioness, not a housecat like Lady Bast. Ohhh shit.
I swallowed nervously, and bowed VERY deeply. "Of course, Lady Sekhmet. I have absolutely no doubt you'll handle it flawlessly." Whether she could handle it without going into a berserker rage...hopefully she didn't take completely after her chosen avatar. Bes rolled his eyes as Sekhmet purred, clearly amused at my reaction. I wondered if Bes knew how to make a digital version of red beer. Still....at least it wasn't Honor Harrington. I loved Honor, but if I'd had her on weapons, I'd have considered fleeing to a new ship. The woman simply could NOT keep a ship intact for the life of her.
I hmmed, glancing around. "Did we have anyone that decided to take over the holotech functions?"
At my question, a woman appeared to join the increasing throng. Blond and early twenties, she was dressed in a regal gown...complete with a rather fancy-looking gold crown. "We will be handling that. We're best suited for it."
I arched an eyebrow at her, trying to place her...I'm pretty sure that was a royal We. "Hello... Your Majesty?"
She smiled, and nodded. "Queen Iris of Xanth. Magician of Illusion." I smiled. She was right...if she could match even a fraction of the fictional Iris' abilities, she really was the best for the job.
"Thank you for agreeing to help, Your Majesty." She gave a gracious nod, and moved off to one side. "Um...let's see. We still need engineering, environmental and the gardens, medical, and the teaching specialist for any fenkinder that join."
An older gentleman popped up - fluffy grey-white hair, glasses, and a tweed jacket complete with patches on the sleeve. When he spoke, he had a wonderful accent. And I recognized him immediately. "I believe that I can handle the education functions for you. It will be interesting to develop a curriculum to include the history of the last few years."
I smiled wide. "Thank you, Mr. Burke. I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with."
As he fell silent, a young woman appeared, with long red-blond hair, wire-framed glasses, and Victorian-style clothing. She was carrying a wrench that was taller than I was...and the golden trilobite pin at her throat told me exactly who she was. I grinned. "AGATHA!"
She grinned back at me. "I thought there was an awful lot about this character in your files."
I nodded. "Good to have you. The Foglios will die to meet you as well. If you want to."
She shrugged. "Maybe after a bit. I want to get a handle on this fascinating equipment that you've got around here. Not quite what I'm used to, you understand."
I nodded....though I privately wondered what she could do with handwavium and steam and clockwork. Could be fun to watch. "You're my engineer, I take it?"
A boy, maybe ten or so, popped in next to her, dressed in a t-shirt and shorts. He had blond hair that was brushed up in a spiky mess, and looked more than a little bored. "Half of your engineering section, shit for brains. As you can see."
I frowned, looking at him. "Yes....?"
He rolled his eyes. "Come on, fuckwad....this came from YOUR stuff."
I stifled a groan, and pinched the bridge of my nose, hoping to stifle the headaches I knew would be coming in the days to come. "With that vocabulary...hello, Barry. I'd say it's good to see you, but I'm not quite sure, yet."
He snorted, and shrugged. "Whatever." Agatha was regarding Barry as if wondering whether she should be using her wrench or not. This should be... interesting. In the old Chinese sense.
"OK....we've got the gardens and medical left. Did we get everything covered?"
Fate nodded. "Actually, yes. Well-covered, with the doubled AIs."
I cocked my head to one side, and considered that. "One thing, at least. Gardens?"
A short man appeared in the group...and by short, I mean he made ME look tall. He also looked like a rather plump Sean Astin. "That would be me, master Jason, sir."
I felt myself relaxing and grinning wide. "Hello, Samwise. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have handling them more."
He shuffled his feet, looking a little uncomfortable at the praise, but nodded. "I'll make sure they're the best, sir."
I gave him a thumbs-up, then glanced around. "OK. That leaves medical. Who do we have for a doctor?"
Fate looked... mischievous. Oh dear. "Another set of twins, father. So we have a pair of them." I groaned softly at my daughter. Unfortunately, she loved puns as much as I did.
"A pair o'docs, huh? We should be used to that here in Fenspace."
She chuckled, "True enough."
The first of the doctors to appear...well, he looked as though he'd fit right in here in Fenspace. He was big, with dark blue fur and a rather leonine-appearance...or maybe part bear?...to his face. However, he didn't look threatening at all - the white lab coat and the wire-rimmed glasses perched rather primly on his nose took care of that. Other than those, the only other clothing he wore was a pair of shorts. "I looked over your requirements for your doctor, old chap. Given my own... nature... I think I'll concentrate on the biomod studies you wanted to undertake. Dr. Henry McCoy... a pleasure to meet you."
I shook his hand. "And you."
Then the other doctor appeared...and I froze for a moment, feeling my jaw drop a little. I hadn't expected him. He was an older man, in his forties, with dark hair going slightly grey. He was dressed in black slacks and a bright blue shirt, and when he spoke, it was with a thick Southern drawl. "And I'll be studying the medical and surgery side of it, son. Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, at your service."
I leaned back in my chair, the screen that was hovering in front of me moving to stay in a comfortable reading position in front of my eyes. Agatha's notes on the current state of the power room showed we were doing well so far - keeping ahead of our power needs at any rate, even with opening another two levels up for farming and habitation. Still... we were getting more Fenkinder aboard, and some families, and the need for more power kept growing. Agatha was being more and more distracted by vehicle design as well; the Mallard was coming along pretty well, but it was absorbing a lot of her time, along with a few of her other projects. Barry was picking up the slack in ship maintenance, but we could really use another engineer just in charge of the power level.
I breathed a sigh, and rubbed at my eyes. Well... hopefully that would be taken care of shortly. I'd gotten Fred's help in putting together another computer, and it had been 'waved. We'd put just about everything Fate could find on power, reactors, generators and electricity into the hard drives, too, along with the basic 'intro to Fenspace and the Yggdrasil' notes that we'd used in making the original crew. Fate had been monitoring it, and we were just waiting to see if an AI formed, one that wanted to stay with us. At that moment, a soft chime interrupted my thoughts, and I saved and dismissed the screen. That was the signal Fate had told me would mean there was an AI, and that it was now fully alert and able to communicate. Getting to my feet, I cleared my throat. "Um...hello. I'm the Jason. Welcome to the Yggdrasil." A moment later, the air shimmered in front of me, revealing a woman.
She was beautiful - even I noticed...I'm gay, not blind - in her thirties, I'd guess, with short blond hair and blue eyes. She was also dressed in black BDUs...and peering closely at her collar, I noticed an eagle in dark blue. I gave her a grin, and nodded. "Welcome aboard, Colonel."
The grin was returned with a smile. "Colonel Samantha Carter...reporting for duty, I suppose. Nice setup you have here." The smile turned into a grin. "It's not naquadah, but this handwavium substance looks fairly interesting, I must admit."
I laughed. "You could say that. You're willing to be part of the crew, then?"
She nodded, "As long as you don't mind me experimenting...?"
I shook my head, grinning. "With Barry, Agatha, and Junior on the crew? Welcome to Mad Scientist Central." That got another grin. I hrmed softly. "We used the same sort of setup that formed most of the original crew. Are you alone, or..."I broke off as someone else appeared. This was a man, maybe in his late twenties, early thirties. He was wearing an old-fashioned suit, and had dark hair parted in the middle and a neatly-trimmed mustache. He also looked damned familiar, but I couldn't place him immediately. "I guess not. Hello, sir."
The man nodded to me, but didn't offer to shake hands. "The notes you left us said we could conduct our own experiments, yes? If so, I am willing to aid you. At least you use a proper form of electricity." That started bells ringing in my mind...even as a box appeared in front of the man. He pulled out a crackling blue-white globe of what appeared to be ball lightning, and started to juggle it from hand to hand. "Unlike that fool Edison." He gave me a dry smile. "Nikola Tesla. You wanted someone familiar with electricity, yes?"
- City, unfortunately, not the state.