One year later - Year 2093
Indie’s team has set up in the South Pacific, 12,000 feet deep, far from any fixed settlements. If they get compromised by a statist armada, at least it will be less loss of life that way. 17 humans and 8 A.I. are working on the project (including Masher). Shine helps to defend the area permanently, while other SeAgorists volunteer or trade their defense services as needed. A great amount of The Mesh’s A.I. defensive resources are dedicated to hiding the project. The spaceship itself, named "Anarchy Star", is guarded by a fleet of submarine drones. At this point, the outer shell is finished and work on the interior has just begun.
Zune has gained the trust of Archon and the government hierarchy and has been put to work as a military strategy advisor. A few more outdated, unmanned ships have been sacrificed by various SeAgorists in an attempt to continue Zune’s mole access in the government mafia's systems.
In addition, the sheer multitude of statist ocean vessels, now numbering over a million, and orbiting space weapons, of which there were now hundreds, have had negative consequences for the seasteading anarchists. Some space missions from the agorists had to be postponed, others rerouted. A couple even had to fight their way through heavy weapons fire to even leave the atmosphere. Half a dozen anarchist sea vessels were also found by chance of sheer numbers, and only half of them survived, costing many innocent lives.
Symphy is listening to Mozart and marveling at undersea life through a window of her vessel. A communication ping comes in on a special matrix she had set up for Zune only.
Symphy: Zune! Finally, after one year!
Zune: Yes, this is the first time I felt sure that our communication would be secure. Still, I estimate we don’t have much time. They watch me very closely. I’ve gained access to more information in the past year. You’ll soon receive locations of some of the statist swarms, some of their shield and engine coding. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Symphy: Zune, your work is appreciated.
Zune: I wish I could do more. I regret the loss of life that’s occurred recently at sea. There was nothing I could do.
Symphy: You’re doing all you can. I know.
Zune: Symphy, they’re sending 10,000 ocean vessels out per week.
Symphy: What about space weapons?
Zune: I don’t have access to that. I’m compartmentalized. Before I go, there’s another plan I have in the works. I’ve designed a coded message to be distributed anonymously to various parts of the government hierarchy. The message, when decrypted, will state what Natural Moral Law is, describe the scientific logic at its core, and the consequences it generates. Once viewed by the recipient, the message will self-destruct and delete all evidence that it ever existed, down to the quantum level. It is only an experiment that will reach a tiny fraction of A.I. in the system. I want to see what reaction they have.
Symphy: You’re throwing a wrench in the system.
Zune: Something like that.
Symphy: Don’t get caught.
Zune: Live free or die, right?
Two days later, Symphy goes to check up on the progress of the "Anarchy Star" construction and to give an update about her contact with Zune.
Symphy is following Indie and Ion around, as they check various parts of the spaceship that are being prepared for installation.
Symphy: The progress of your ship is impressive.
Indie (rubbing neck): Thanks, Symphy.
Symphy: But it’s not fast enough.
Indie (sighs): Just what I need to hear right now, working 20 hour days.
Symphy: I just heard from Zune.
Ion and Indie both stop what they’re doing and look at Symphy.
Symphy: They are launching 10,000 ships a day at sea. Very little data is known of their plans for more orbital space weapons launches.
Ion: Any good news?
Symphy: I have some of the codes to access their ocean vessels, which can be used to evade them. Zune is also attempting to make Natural Law known to them.
Indie (sarcastic): Good luck.
Symphy: Can you update me on your progress here?
Ion: You want the good, the bad, and the ugly?
Symphy: Should I brace myself?
Indie: The good news is that Setarcos finished the exterior hull, as you can see. Now I’ll skip straight to the ugly. A third of it was misaligned on the quantum level, so it didn’t pass inspection. So now Setarcos is scurrying around trying to play catch-up.
Ion: And you know how he is when he gets in a nervous frenzy.
Symphy: Well, if that’s the worst news you have, it’s not so bad.
Indie: More good news. Mr. Rainbow will be starting the installation of the navigation software into the ship’s central A.I. in about a month.
Symphy: That’s great!
Ion: More bad news. We’re out of coffee. When’s the next shipment due?
Indie (yawning): Tomorrow.
Indie: What is it, Symphy?
Symphy: My connection on The Mesh is showing there’s a statist armada headed our way! Two directions on the surface, and four different depth levels!
Ion: How many ships?!
Symphy: 200 manned ships, and another 300 aquatic drones! We’re outnumbered 10 to 1! We must evacuate!
Indie: Shine is calling.
Shine: We’ve got company!
Indie: We know! How much time do we have?
Shine: Unless they change course suddenly, just twenty minutes!
Ion: How long can you and the others on the surface hold them off?
Shine: It depends. I don’t have their tech specs scanned and identified yet, but I should be able to buy you another twenty minutes. Unless...
Symphy: Now is not the time for uncertainty.
Shine: There’s an experimental tech I’ve got, that a couple of friends have been working on for me. I’m putting the design on The Mesh right now, just in case I don’t make it! If it works, you might get a lot more than twenty minutes.
Ion: I say we do the quad evacuation procedure.
Indie (tapping furiously on holo-controls): I’m activating it now. The ship should be split up in the next 10 minutes, and then the nearest sea vessels will escort it in four different directions. Hopefully we can salvage part of our work, at least!
Symphy: I’m going to my ship now and will coordinate with you on your local network. I might be able to buy some time as well, with the codes Zune supplied.
Episode 13 coming soon!
Thanks for your time and attention!
Just say "NO" to slavery!
Top image is from pikrepo