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by The Red Tape Singularity of Yegla Islands. . 90 reads.

Sub-initiative SVETOVID/Gossamer




Notice from the Ministry of the Interior



Viewing of this document is restricted to personnel with clearance
corresponding to or surpassing the following levels:


DOMINUS
EPSILON/INFERIUS
SVETOVID/MEDIA
DELTA/MAGNUS
EXIL/MAGNUS


Unauthorized viewing will be logged, filed, and responded to using immediate
disciplinary action, irrespective of existing judicial systems or the Ministry Council.

















Hello?

Test.

Reception? Can anyone actually see this?

Oh. Good. Hello there - we're just setting things up right now, bear with me.

Bet you expected another mass of nested boxes and dry ole reports. Well, we're trying to do away with that right now - I think a few more complaints from Archiving are worth the improved reader engagement. Besides, this is flashy enough to warrant a change in scenery.

It's not quite done yet, but it'll probably do for now. Until we can dispense with this sort of antiquated architecture altogether, anyway.

Lofty expectations, I know.

...

You know, I didn't really have anything planned to entertain you while you wait.

Maybe I could forward you some infodumps? Although that would kind of circumvent the whole "new look" thing. Or-

Oh!

It's done. Apparently. For a given value of "done".

You're cleared for viewing, is what I'm trying to say here.

Feel free to poke around, I suppose. Treat it as a sort of early sneak peek.

No touching! Not that you could. I hope.


...


Well?


What are you waiting-














The Ministry of the Interior presents:



Project Svetovid
At the gates, we raise our banner






Sub-initiative Gossamer
Alt. Designation: Project GHOSLIGHT



A Comedy in Parts

Act I
A stage is set




They gave us an impossible task.

At least, that's how basically everyone involved would have described it at the time.

These days we try to treat words like "impossible" with the caution they deserve, because they tend to lead to some very unfortunate places.

We were a bit daft, back then.

But we were also the best and the brightest, or so they told us.

And they wanted us to build them a fleet.

Not bluewater - Void knows we have enough of those to fill a few dozen ocean worlds already.

No, the Bureaucracy needed a spacefleet. It was a logical next step, really - we knew others had them, we had the tech to make them.

To say "there was a catch" is about the grossest understatement possible.




Log Excerpt
Dated ●●/●●/●●●●
Department Prompt


Authorized: ۞|♠|🝙


For the creation of an independently-operable, extraatmospheric combative branch of sufficient scope to match general project criteria, as outlined in the Broad Mission Statement.


Required Parameters, Abridged:
  • To design, construct and facilitate mass-production of a sufficiently-comprehensive roster of combat-capable extraatmospheric units to satisfy immediate threat concerns as per the Broad Mission Statement

  • To do so at minimal, and preferably nonexistent, manpower or equipment cost to the existing formations and organs of the UYDF

  • To do so with minimal, and preferably nonexistent, public visibility and international impact

  • To do so with minimal, and preferably nonexistent, interference in existing Project operations and/or the ongoing modification of the Vedogon network






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So, them were the cards. And suffice to say, quite a few people thought Command was either pulling some sort of elaborate prank, or had gone insane.

Neither option was particularly reassuring, so we sucked it up and pretended we knew what we were meant to do.

Spoilers: we didnt.

We'd understood from the get-go that the solution would have to be unconventional.

This didn't really help, because nobody was quite sure what a conventional solution was anymore - after Wright took off properly, at any rate.

Pardon the pun.

The main issue was actually the second point presented - we had to magic up an entirely new branch of the military, effectively full-size, without cutting into the manpower reserves of the military as it stood already.

Mass recruitment was both intractable, and thrown out of the proverbial window entirely by the whole "minimal public visibility" clause.

AI seemed like a great idea, up until one looked into our history and current standing with that entire technological branch. Nobody wanted to walk the tightrope-line between "too stupid to work" and "too smart to work for us".

We needed, for lack of a better term, a human touch.

Kind of ironic, given what we eventually ended up going with.




Log Excerpt
Dated ●●/●●/●●●●
Svetovid/Gossamer Personnel Procurement Inquiry


Proposal #3

Identifier: "HUSK"

Author: Dr. █████ ████████, HR



Proposal Body:
Proposal #3 hereby stipulates the alteration of induction contracts for newly-conscripted and/or volunteering servicemen to incorporate a thaumically-effected, metanarrative geas, prefaced by a mandated questionnaire (or equivalent thereof) regarding the signee's spiritual beliefs and moral values with regards to the afterlife, euthanasia, and various other related matters, designed to indirectly gauge consent for the signing of the geas. Upon subject expiry, trigger-parameters within the geas will effect the binding of the signee's consciousness, thaumic field and de-facto "soul" to a GHOSTLIGHT-integrated controlling body, from whence the exact regulatory actions required to operate the project's combat systems would be made possible. Training could be provided either in realtime, or as a form of direct-data thoughtform broadcast. Advantages of this proposal include nigh-total inscrutability on the part of the uninitiated, a marked increase in versatility with regards to the target vessel design, and the creation of personnel lacking standard "upkeep" (nutrition, conventional habitation, e.t.c.) requirements.

Status: Provisionally accepted, pending further elaboration.


Addendum:
█████, I refuse to believe that this is something you came up with on the spot. You may have been granted provisional acceptance, but rest assured that any links between yourself and ███████ ████████ will be thoroughly investigated. If you're bringing in what I think you're bringing in, I want no part of it.




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As you may or may not be able to tell, the decision wasn't unanimous.

But it was the only avenue we'd explored that actually seemed capable of giving us the results we needed without something going catastrophically wrong.

Not that things couldn't go catastrophically wrong. They always can, and almost always do.

The trick is in rolling with the metaphysical punches.

In fairness, initial trials were already promising.

Though we had no actual hardware to give them, our first few subjects got acclimatized to their cryptodigital afterlives with surprising ease.

And this brought us neatly to the question of the hardware itself.

We had our ghosts, but what exactly would they be crewing? What horrifying Flying Dutchman would we have to slap together in compliance with our unbelievably lofty mission parameters?

As it turns out, this was by far the simpler question to answer.




Gossamer Frame-Base Render
Pattern: GenProt, ATK3




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Triangles!

Well, tetrahedrons.

Tetrahedra, even. Because some people won't stop being smug about knowing the Latin.

We'd messed around with tetrahedral structures before, and had done so extensively.

Practically every slab of nanopolymer cranked out by any Yeglan factory in the past few decades has followed some pattern of tetrahedral arrangement on some macromolecular level, because it's efficient. Sturdy.

Modular, surprisingly enough.

The idea here is to create a sort of reverse-fractal design.

Everything, down to a reasonable level, is built out of smaller copies of itself, which lock together in varying ways to form the structures above them.

Obviously there'll be upper and lower bounds to all this, since at a certain level we need to both ensure that the whole thing is atomically stable, and that the end product isn't just a giant slab of nonfuctional triangles.

But beyond that, the tetrahedron rules supreme.

And the true beauty in this stems from just that - modularity.

Every armored vehicle in use by the UYDF, bar a handful, is built off one of two modular platforms.

The same goes for most of our small arms.

Explosives, even. We all remember Longinus.

But despite our doctrinal bent, nothing has ever come remotely close to what we have here.

There is no single, standardized frame that we modify. There are no distinct "classes", as one would expect from a navy.

Every ship is, in effect, a swarm of teeny tiny modules, locked together into bigger modules.

Which in themselves lock into even bigger modules, and so on and so forth, until the desired size is reached.

Everything from a fighter-analogue to a galaxy-cracking pseudo-artillery platform is a mass of the same repeating units, simply rotated around and varied in number.

We have a system on which we can base anything, and so we'll just go ahead and use it to build everything.

And for those paratech snobs among you, whose minds are already turning to questions like "ah, but can it go non-Euclidean? Can it extend beyond our pitiful little realspace pocket?"

Yes. We aren't just slapping together plastic bricks.

If you want to twist a tetrahedron, or mass thereof, into something that would make Escher want to curl up and cry, you can.

If you want to build a functioning transdimensional lifeform to push into some perverse approximation of service, and have it shield the vessel it inhabits with horrifying extraspatial dimensions of un-meat, you can.

You can make things can bend, and live, and die, and bleed, in any permutation you deem suitable.

We're giving you a canvas of proportions you've never even dreamed of.

Now shut your Void-damned mouth about it already.

Ahem.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is it.

One size fits all, all sizes built off one.

Without further ado, I give you-




'Tween the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea



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