Bastion of Evil
The second stage of the plan was now a go. Stealth probes would be sent after the enemy destroyers came out of hyperspace. These stealth probes were twenty foot long, five foot wide cylinders. What was essentially a battery was plugged into the probes to power them in order to keep space low. They were equipped with advanced sensor technology and would teleport over fifty thousand miles away from the coordinates they would receive so as to avoid detection.
After five minutes, they got a signal from one of the tagged ships. After about ten minutes they received signals from three of their ships. One minute later, signals from the other five ships they had tagged became available. The reason for the delay was because of when the ships had reached the jump point.
Checking the signal, he realized all 8 signals were coming from the same location. He waited thirty minutes in order to confirm that this was their final destination. It was a common security protocol to many species to have ships jump to multiple destinations in order to prevent their enemies from tracking them.
After the thirty minutes were up, 12 probes jumped into the system. Activating their sensor package, telescopes popped out. Being fifty thousand miles away from their target, they would see everything happening there two seconds later then it had.
Cameras on the outsides of the probes allowed them to see what was directly outside their stealthed surfaces. Lucas let Chu Shen, Aslo, and Chrissa see the video feeds.
What he could see stunned him beyond belief. Huge ships the size of a moon were all around him. Ships the size of fifty battleships constantly entered the huge ships. After four hundred, he had to stop counting the moon-sized ships. Lucas commanded one of the probes to teleport above the solar system in order to get a clearer view of the planet.
Once there, Lucas realized what was going on. Those huge ships were manufacturing plants. The only reason he realized this was because of the constant streams of fighters coming out of the open bays.
The huge ships Lucas saw going between the manufacturing plants would enter one of the manufacturing plants before going to one of the planets. There something would be unloaded onto the ship before it would take off for the manufacturing plants once again.
Lucas saw that the planet was literally falling apart. Holes had been drilled through the entire planet. Gouts of magma could be seen constantly spewing up from the the core of the planet. Multiple parts of the planet seemed to have caved in, supporting the assumption that the entire planet was riddled with holes.
This was something Lucas had experience with. It was called strip mining in his world. The entire planet would be mined, over and over and over again. It would eventually reach the point where there was no safe place to mine on the planet’s crust and the materials one needed to mine in the first place would be gone.
So one would then puncture holes from the crust to the planet’s mantle. Magma, rich in metals and minerals, would then flow up the holes creating more places to mine. This process would repeat until the entire planet collapsed into itself and had no more mining opportunities available.
It was a terrible thing.
Two corporations had decided to utilize this strip mining tactic in Lucas’ universe. A news reporter had gotten wind of the tragedy and filmed the process before going live. The outcry it generated was on the same scale as Hitler's attempted genocide of the Jews.
As a result, both corporations ended up losing all business deals and no other company would buy the materials they mined. Every school had it placed in their history books as a reminder of what could happen if greed got out of control. That was how Lucas was able to recognize what was going on here.
Finally working up the guts to count, Lucas started getting a tally of the number of the huge manufacturing plants. 819 plants. That was the final number he had reached through all 12 probes.
The issue was that Lucas could see that all of these were robots. Not a single living thing had been spotted yet. These were machines. Semi-intelligent machines as evidenced by their tactics but machines nonetheless. They couldn’t have built all this on their own, they had to have been instructed. But by who? And why? Just what was their purpose?
These horrific machines hadn’t even attempted to communicate with the Nugitraaiilians. They had immediately opened fire on everyone close to them. This meant that they weren’t going to be negotiating with them. They hadn’t even declared war on the Nugitraaiilians or sent a warning message. They just exterminated.
Lucas realized that they were going to have to do more then just attack the manufacturing plants. Instead they were going to have to locate the brain behind this operation. If they could find the operators of these robots then they could attack them and disable the robots, probably.
They were, eventually, going to have to attack this system. Keeping this in mind, Lucas started to survey the entire system for defense systems. Focusing on the location of the tagged destroyers, he saw what could only be a command center.
A huge cube-shaped battle station half the size of the enormous manufacturing plants was located at the exact coordinates of the destroyers. Large cannons of various sorts and miniature barrels poked out of the entire surface of the craft. Numerous hatches could be seen as well on the battle station. As he watched, one of the hatches slid open, allowing a cruiser to slide out of the internals of the battle station.
He realized that the destroyers he tagged must have gone inside the battle station. He saw the battleship start to head for the outskirts of the system, presumably to jump somewhere. Jolting upwards, Lucas realized that this was a golden opportunity!
These robots must be reporting the advanced technology of their foes to their masters! At least, that was the conclusion Lucas came up with. They could also be sending out a scouting party to another system, but the timing of it made Lucas suspicious. It hadn’t even been an hour since the tagged destroyers had arrived.
Tracking the battleship, Lucas decided he was going to do it. Activating his stealth ship, he jumped it into the enemy system. With his stealth systems activated, the enemy had no idea it was there. Getting closer to the enemy battleship, his ship locked the battleship into its targeting system.
Firing a tagging missile at the battleship, he marked it just like he had the destroyers. The ping came back, proving the nanites were active.
Lucas grinned as the battleship jumped out of the system.
It was finally time to discover just who was pulling the strings in this robo-pinocchio.