by Callista Dalmore
It didn’t know anything, really. Well, other than it was cold. So cold. It knew it was cold and it’s neighbours were cold. He told this to its neighbours, its neighbours told it. They were cold.
– The becoming, I
Dodixie system, planet IX, moon 20, Federation Navy Assembly Plant
He forwarded his ship’s identification codes as he banked into the station’s docking lane right behind a new model Badger-class cargo ship. The station’s ALS pinged him and began the authorization sequence. So very familiar, so very home.
It had been quite the haul; his salvaging systems were still cooling after running at max capacity for the last 72 hours. Five capitals, a handful of marauders and a seeming never ending stream of battleships, cruisers…the battle must have been epic.
Gulvin couldn’t have cared less.
All he saw in the slow end-over-end tumble of twisted and scorched metal was isk. Cash, as cold and as hard as the vacuum outside. Unexploded ordnance? Yes please. A full rack of nanite paste canisters? Hellz ya. Totally fucked up hull? Cut that into strips and load ‘em up. He could beat any miner’s trit prices. Meat popsicle dressed in officer uniform? Grab his tags, store the meat. He’d have buyers for each.
“Please exit the lane to port and proceed to customs for inspection.”
“Hey wait a minute, since when…”
“Please exit primary lane to port and proceed to customs for inspection or face criminal charges.”
“Whoa…hey no, hold on, there must be some mistake…”
A handful of port authority police dropped from their perch position above the lane and initiated target locks.
“Gods dammit! Ok, ok…don’t have a fucking fedo! I’m going..I’m going!”
It couldn’t get away from the bitter, bitter cold. The cold flowed in from its neighbours. It hated its cold neighbours. It told its neighbours about its hate. They hated each other and the freezing cold.
– The Becoming, II
Thera system, anomaly COG-381
“Begin the ritual?”
Duriaq checked his cloak; checked his distance.
“Hold, everyone. Let the,” he didn’t hold back the disdain and let it ooze as he mouthed the word, “heretic, catch its prize first.”
He’d arrived minutes after the conduit signature had been detected, along with the rest of the holy strike force. The delver had perhaps hoped that the jumbled mess that had once been a sleeper relay station would mask the energy signature of his passage. It had not. Upon arrival they had cloaked up and gone radio silent, the jaws of a trap poised to spring.
Five minutes ago their prey had, as predicted, warped in.
The prey, was mid-sized, a cruiser. Visual scans revealed little: sleek elegant design, minimalist. The hard points were difficult to identify, in fact the morphology indicated none except for the primary one nestled deep within the three pronged hull.
Duriaq had never been so close to one before.
“Vedmak.” He said the word, felt the flush of excitement. Dangerous, almost lustful thoughts began creeping into his mind. With effort, he pushed the blasphemous impulse back down and regained his focus.
“Your holiness?” asked eleven.
“Hold. Everyone. Hold.” he repeated.
The craft cut its engines and coasted to a relative stop less than a kilometer from the conduit signal. The slight visual trace could be seen where the delver had activated its filament.
Duriaq loathed the pilot. Yes, it also hunted heretics but it had fused to the hell spawned technology to do so. And instead of purifying the world of the cursed objects returned by the delvers, it coveted them, glorified them, made them available to the enemy. Duriaq thanked the Scriptures once again to have been selected as the instrument by which God purified the universe.
This particular soul had been irredeemable for quite a long time: cavorting with those powers from without, communing with demons, unreported use of cursed technology, trafficking in stolen artefacts and Duriaq’s favorite, treason.
When certain classified shipments had not only been intercepted, but later found in the hands of certain Gallentean covert research stations, ressources had been deployed. Evil technology was worrisome, evil technology in the hands of the unfaithful was an affront to God. But when they discovered that one was not only True Amarrian but a convicted slave sympathiser…Duriaq had shuddered with delight to be the one to cleanse this one.
Suddenly the barely glowing conduit disturbance began to brighten and then to shine brilliantly.
“Ready all, the delving heretic returns with its demon spoils.”
A ship winked into existence, a battered and smoking Gila-class cruiser. Duriaq, smirked at the almost equally heretical Gurista designed craft. So much good he was doing all at once. God truly favored him.
The Vedmak came to life and soon warp scrambling fields and webs were being exchanged between it and the Gila locking each into a death grip.
Offensive modules activated on the Gila sending volley after volley of missiles at essentially point-blank range. From the Vedmak, nothing but capacitor neutralisation beams. The Gila tried pulling range but the Vedmak trailed it easily. Two streaks appeared from the port side of the Gila as its also damaged combat drones went to work on the other ship. The Vedmak began emitting smartbomb pulses.
Duriaq wondered what penitence he would choose for himself later; he was enjoying watching the heretics tear at each other far too much.
It couldn’t move. It was fused to its neighbours. It’s neighbours were fused to it. They just stood, packed together on a surface. It stood and it’s neighbours stood on the freezing surface below.
– The becoming, II
Artisine system, planet VIII, asteroid belt 4
The lab was a lot bigger than Federal Navy Capitaine and Acting Assistant Chief Inspector Chene-at Coraline, had expected. Looking up and down at the warehouse-sized space from the metal balcony she and her Gallentean PR guide had just walked out onto was, admittedly, impressive.
Chene-at checked the status of her recording implants. All nominal.
“So, as you can see, Ser Chene-at, the research is well underway. We are testing, at this facility alone, running around the clock, approximately twelve hundred afterburner MTPDs a day.”
She glanced over at her guide and cocked an eyebrow. The guide continued, “Yes, Ser, 1200, quite unequaled in all of New Eden. And may I say, would be completely impossible without the continuing support of Federal Administration.”
All the afterburners had been secured and sirens began to sound. The crews quickly cleared the space. The guide activated a shielding module which quickly enclosed the balcony they were on. From below the control panel she retrieved two pairs of headphones and handed one to Chene-at.
Speaking louder to be heard over the blaring sirens, the guide explained, “We run a full base-lining procedure on each module before application. This ensures that normal variations among the original modules are not counted towards post application deltas.” She put on her headset and indicated to Chene-at to do the same.
The guide adjusted the polarization of the screen and the view beyond grew dark. Then, as one, each of the fifty modules were activated and the combined blast, even with the polarization opacity turned way up, created a momentary blinding brilliant flash.
Even with the noise cancellation turned to maximum, the guide had to shout over the bass thrum, “Even though the lab is in vacuum the vibrations are transmitted through the mounting rigs to the building itself! Chene-at nodded, already familiar with the phenomenon. The guide continued, “We’re using the thrust to maneuver this ice fragment into a favorable rotation for mining. This helps us offset costs!”
“When do you apply the…recovered technology?” shouted Chene-at.
The guide just pointed at the ceiling where a gantry robot, one for each afterburner, held a jet black container. Even from this distance, Chene-at could make out the distinctive three-sided markings.
The gantry robots positioned themselves above each afterburner and slowly extended down, gently placing its payload directly on the exposed main vectoring control and processing module. Then, with equal gentleness, a tiny manipulator unfolded from each gantry and traced each symbol in order from top to bottom.
Chene-at found she’d been holding her breath.
At first nothing, but then, each of the glyphs seemed to glow more brightly and then simply evaporated along with the rest of the casing revealing the bioadaptive tool within.
“It has taken us several months to decipher the markings and, even then, we are still just at the pattern matching stage, but we’ve found there to be essentially two types of colonies, aggressive and restrained. All MTPDs exhibit a similar behaviour…”
Chene-at had stopped listening. She was already familiar with the types and would add a third which was in fact the most common: the well-past-the-best-before-date colonies. She reflexively wrinkled her nose at just the memory…bad smells was definitely something that the “bio” part of this technology shared with all life.
The nearest unit had already been encased in the plasmids. A diffuse orange glow radiated from it, pulsing slowly.
“What is it doing?”
“The truth is we don’t know. We suspect that the colony as a whole enters a first phase of diagnostics and analysis. It is directed, how, we don’t know, by the tool. Hypothesis include rudimentary purposed artificial hive mind, but this is, again, complete conjecture.”
Well paid nerds making expensive complete guesses, thought Chene-at, unimpressed.
The guide continued, “following this stage, the colony will enter its modification phase. At this point, and again, we don’t know how it knows what to do or how it does it but the individual bacteria specialise, through a mechanism similar to that of our own the pluripotent stem cells. Once specialisation occurs, actual modification begins. These changes vary, and this cannot be understated, wildly. For example, in one run, the target system was the control cabling and circuitry. The observer had noted, “it was as if the wires had come alive and decided to re-organise themselves.” In other runs, changes were small, micro-adjustments to the inner taper profile of the exhaust cone, for example. In yet others, a complete rewrite of the firmware code. We’ve had tritanium control surfaces etched to resemble fish scales or bird feathers. Another had seemed to have done nothing until nanoscale tunnelling imagery identified that every part of the fuel and exhaust systems had been pierced with atomic scale holes turning them essentially into semi-permeable membranes with the colony acting as control proteins and receptors. That particular unit in fact saw it’s processing module completely reabsorbed and repurposed, leading some to hypothesize that the fuel and exhaust systems had been re-engineered into a mechanical nervous system.
But, no matter what the changes, without the continued participation of the colony, the parts, the subsystems, essentially the whole module, fails.
“What variations, other than applying a single colony to the correct unit, have been tried?” asked Chene-at.
“All other protocols have failed. We’ve tried applying two colonies to the same module, simultaneously and sequentially. We’ve tried applying all permutations of the wrong colony to the wrong module, the colonies just seem to know. We’ve tried to apply it to cyberwear…
“Have we tried it on capsuleers?” blurted Chene-at, immediately regretting her outburst.
“Yes. Nothing happened.”
They looked down at the afterburners as they slowly the entered modification phase. It was unsettling, to say the least, to see parts of each suddenly move, undulate, disappear, appear. All as if of their own volition.
It was dizzying. It was frightening. It was the future.
“What other types of colonies are being investigated at this facility?” Chene-at asked, willing her tone to remain steady.
If her guide noticed anything, she showed no sign of it. “Which ones would you be interested in?”
“What do you have in…weapons?”
But then after an eternity, the cold from one of its neighbours was not as cold. Its neighbour was less cold and told it so. It felt warmer. “Push” its warm neighbour explained. It understood the order, discovered it could, and pushed.
– The becoming, III
Dodixie system, planet IX, moon 20, Federation Navy Assembly Plant
“Mr. Gulvin, do you know why you have been detained?” asked the surprisingly attractive federal customs officer.
“Hey, all my permits and clearances are paid and valid.” answered Gulvin, playing up the annoyed and rough-around-the-edges salvager. “I have Federal approval certificates for salvage operations, I also have full rights to keep what I find ‘cause of those SCC Acts and rules…”
With a wave of his hand the officer interrupted, “We know, Mr. Gulvin. In fact, my superiors are actually taking great risks in even detaining a capsuleer, such as yourself, in the first place. So no, it has nothing to do with the legality or the lack thereof of your operations. It is much more about your operations and, specifically, about these…:”
The door to the cramped interrogation chamber opened and a pair of heavily armored station security personnel wheeled a pallet into the room. On the pallet were five jet black containers of various sizes with triangular markings down the sides of each.
“Do you know what these are, Mr. Gulvin?”
Gulvin, glanced at them. He honestly had no idea but these Feds seemed to be interested. Interest was always good: prices tended to rise.
“Nah, not really. Generally I just get the stuff. It’s the other guys who do the finding of buyers and turning it all into cash.”
The officer, smiled, his dark eyes focused, appraising. “My superiors are willing to pay for these and any others you may currently have.”
Straight to the point, then. “Ok, well, like I said, it’s my friends who handle that. But, since we are here though, what kind of isk are we talking about here?”
The officer stood easily, and walked with authority to the pallet and pushing two of the smaller ones to the side said, “For this one, Mr. Gulvin, we would be willing to pay…”
“Over two hundred million.” finished the woman who entered the room as if she’d been in the conversation the whole time. She wore a Federal Navy Officer uniform as if born to it. Commanding and direct, she extended her hand, which Gulvin shook, a strong don’t-fuck- with-me handshake. “M. Gulvin, let me introduce myself, Capitaine Chene-at Coraline. This is my second-in-command and husband, First Officer Vittrori Coraline.”
The officer extended his hand and as they shook, said, “We regret the heavy handedness you experienced but rest assured it was necessary.”
“Okay, Capitaine Coraline,” began Gulvin.
“Okay, Chene-at, what, uh, how do I put this? Okay, uhm…”
Chene-at, taking a seat at the table, dismissed the two guards, who left and closed the door behind them. “Yes, actually probably the exact correct question to ask. What the fuck indeed. You have heard of the Triglavian Collective, yes?”
Gulvin nodded, “Yeah, but only what I’ve seen on the vids, super high tech, they are tight with rogue drones but not at all with Drifters or Sleepers. They are in this new kind of loop wormhole whose entrance is always it’s exit.”
“For someone who knows next to nothing, you are surprisingly well informed Mr. Gulvin. Correct. Superficial. But essentially correct.”
“And so those,” began Gulvin eyeing the containers in the room, “those are, what, made by them?”
“Yes. They are Triglavian. We know nothing about how they work. But we do know what they do.”
“What do they do?”
“They force technology to evolve.” said the Coralines at the same time.
Chene-at continued, “It takes something we’ve built, an armor repair unit for example, and modifies it to make it better at what it does. Consider the following analogy: you meet a lost tribe who have just invented guns. You take one of their guns and rifle its barrel. You give it back to them without saying what you’ve done and you leave. They discover that it shoots further and more accurately than anything they’ve ever made.”
Gulvin, nodded. “But they can’t ask what you’ve done, or why it works.”
They looked at each other and then back at Gulvin, nodding. Chene-at continued, “Yes but those”, indicating the containers, “do the rifling trick on almost everything we’ve invented: propulsion systems, energy systems, repair systems…weapon systems.”
“And now you want more.”
They both nodded. “Yes, Mr. Gulvin, we are in dire need your exceptional acquisition skills.
“But why come to me? You are aware of my Amarrian ancestry?”.
“Your ancestry, Mr Gulvin, matters little with us. We are Gallentean, not racists. And from our research, you have cause to distance yourself from that ancestry, no?”
Uncomfortable that they were so well informed, Gulvin nodded.
Chene-at, continuing without pause, “And, the actual reason is, well, we are somewhat shackled by our own laws at this moment. The incidence of the ‘aggressive’ versions like the one you have there, occur more frequently in certain types of pockets that have recently been made illegal by CONCORD.”
“You want me to delve for you? I’ve heard it’s akin to suicide!”
“We know. And so, no, we don’t want you to delve. We want you to salvage. Well, salvage delvers.”
Gulvin let out a deep sigh, “I am sorry, I don’t do wet work. Had I wanted to kill I would have enlisted. You’ve got the wrong guy.” He began to stand up.
Chene-at glanced at Vittrori and said, “Show him.”
With a flick of his hand, a holovid appeared above the table. Hanging between them, rotating slowly, was a ship that Gulvin had never seen before. Elongated and tapered with an elegant three fingered claw design towards the stern.
“Mutaplasmids are not the only artefacts that have come from the pockets, Mr. Gulvin. And yes, that is a Triglavian ship design. It is fully capsuleer ready. We have five in dry dock at this very station. We would place them at your disposal.”
Gulvin sat back down.
“We’ve heard that significant numbers of delvers have moved to the Thera system.” continued Vittrori. “We know that you do not engage in, how to put it, producing salvage but that several among your organisation, do. Don’t worry Gulvin…this isn’t a shakedown. We simply want to impress upon you how extremely motivated we are in pursuing this…”
Gulvin had stopped listening. Thera. The nexus of wormhole space. Salvagers’ paradise.
“… and thus you would be rewarded handsomely for each recovered intact unit. What say you, Mr. Gulvin?” finished Vittrori.
“Huh? Oh. Yeah. I’m in. So in.”
It had been told by its neighbour to push down. To push with all its might. It did. Its neighbours did. It could feel the infinitesimal change in temperature, almost nothing. But not nothing.
– The Becoming, IV
Thera system, anomaly COG-381
The Gila’s wreckage was still cooling as the Vedmak approached it.
The engagement had been decidedly one-sided: the Vedmak had simultaneously defanged the Gila by destroying its drones and paralysed it by sapping all of its energy with remarkably powerful neutralisation architecture.
Duriaq was pleased at the outcome. Cleansing the Gila would have been nice but to engage the hellspawned Vedmak directly was so much better.
As one, the five Amarrian Legion-class strategic cruisers dropped their cloaks and fired their afterburners. Duriaq could only imagine the terror they were provoking in the scavenger’s blood. Thera’s sun slowly beginning to reflect off the golden skins of his ships as their cloaking fields dissipated. He imagined alarms going off, proximity alerts, visuals flashing.
Duriaq recalled Hinketsu’s words and felt a new surge of faith blossom in his heart as he and the other four strategic cruiser’s targeting subsystems came online and began resolving.
“Like livestock in the house of blood”, he thought to himself. In staccato clipped doctrine-speak, each commander updated the other four.
“T-locked. 8k. Disrupting. Firing.”
“T-locked. 12k. Disrupting. Closing.”
“T-locked. 5k. Scraming. Webbing. Firing.”
“T-locked. 14k. Disrupting. Neuting.”
Duriaq, “T-locked. 10k. Closing. Neuting.”
The Vedmak still hadn’t even moved.
“It’s targeting me back.” announced Legion-three.
Something deep within Duriaq cooled a few degrees. Something was amiss. Something wasn’t right.
“All, active hardners on, increase transver…”
Suddenly, four more sleek, minimalist, cruisers came out of warp.
Each time it pushed, it got a reward: warmth. Each time its neighbour pushed and was warmed, it was warmed as well. It told its warm neighbours that it loved their warmth. They pushed together. They were in love.
– The becoming, V
Dodixie system, planet IX, moon 20 Federation Navy Assembly Plant
She’d been looking over the latest reports R&D when Vittrori asked to be admitted to her office. Granting the request, she put the reports down, annoyed.
“Yes?” Chene-at asked, curtly, as her husband entered the room.
“There are complications.” he said, opaquely.
“Cut to it Vi, what complications?”
“The Amarrians have traced down Gulvin and have sent a Fist after him.”
“Ah, well, yes, that is a complication. A Fist. Damn. Had it been just a covert squad I would have thought Gulvin would have just that much more salvage to recoup, but a Fist?”
“There is more.” added Vittrori.
Chene-at stood up and walked over to the immense window of her office and looked out at the traffic on outbound lane five.
“Our involvement with the salvagers has been discovered and a Verification may be opened by the SCC, intentional misinterpretation of existing articles or something along those lines.”
“I see. We had known the inquiry was inevitable, it was just a matter of time before the funds were traced. It is unfortunate that it has come so quick.” Chene-at sighed. “So if the Fist wins, they take care of our SCC problem but we lose the relics. On the other hand if our salvagers win, we keep the relics but have the SCC on us.” she summarised.
“Is it time to close?” prompted Vittrori.
She’d arrived at the same conclusion a heart beat ago. Inwardly she was pleased, he knew her better than she felt she knew herself sometimes. “Yes. Is everything in order?”
“It has been, since day one. Only some swaps with better baseline deltas.”
“Well, dear, let’s go and be good little bureaucrats and tie up our loose ends.”
Soon the warmth gave way to heat, and then from heat to burning and then to searing pain. It hated the blazing searing pain. It told its neighbours, they told it. It hated its burning neighbours and they hated it.
The becoming, VI
Thera system, anomaly COG-381
“Fellow Amarrians…” came the smooth voice from one of the newly arriving ships. “To what course does our engagement lead but to an end for some and meager physical spoils for the rest. Let us not squabble over the ephemeral. In what way may our souls be of assistance to yours?”
Gulvin could really turn on the True Amarrian accent when he needed to. He’d hoped that the sound of the High Speech would give the Amarrians reason to pause or even, to parley.
The effect was quite the opposite. The mellifluous speech fueled their belief that they were not battling a foe but engaging holy war against demons incarnate.
“Speak not of which you know nothing of,” answered Duriaq as his ship lefts it’s initial course to engage the new arrivals. “No soul has ever graced the likes of your flesh. You are but an animated carcass, a shell. Those ships you wear, brought to this world from that unholy place show your true selves: implements of the damned, puppets of evil.”
“Your hate is nothing but indoctrination, I do not take it personally. I will, however, do you the service of sending you, and your soul, to their makers.” upon which Gulvin and his crew activated their primary Triglavian guns at the nearest Legion.
Large crackling beams of sickly reddish light erupted from the bellies of the salvagers’ Vedmaks smashing into Legion-three. While they spread scramble and webs among the other Amarrian strategic cruisers.
“Sustained light damage to shields. Current damage levels significantly below armor repair capacity.”
With a smile Duriaq glanced at the four signals and began targeting routines on each. Their foe had underestimated the holy power of their Legions, a mistake from which they would not recover. As the targeting modules resolved, he noted that the beams that had erupted from the ships had not flickered and disappeared as they were supposed to. These beams stayed on.
“Yes, interesting what can be pulled out of a pocket dimension, isn’t it?” broadcast Gulvin. “Persistent beam technology. Just one of the bounties from the Triglavian Collective. Based loosely on the same physics as our current mining laser tech, only incredibly more advanced.
“Legion three, report” asked Duriaq, suddenly concerned.
“Sustaining continued damage to shields, integrity failure imminent. Bringing armor repair modules online and primed. Sustaining damage to armor, repair units active.”
“Focus down, primary all weapons active on primary.” ordered Duriaq.
The first Vedmak had not completely recovered and began taking significant damage. However, light blue remote repair fields suddenly flicked into existence between the Vedmaks. The rate at which the first had been losing armor decreased significantly.
Drones were launched. Beam weapons were fired. Primaries were switched. Reps were lost, regained. Capacitors were drained, capped up, drained. Nanopaste applied, modules overheated. A Legion exploded. A Vedmak soon followed. The superior and unknown Triglavian technology seemed to very nearly balanced by the Amarrian Fist’s superior training. Both sides traded another pair of ships, three remaining ships on each side, circling each other in an age old dance to the death.
“Terribly sorry for the intrusion but, unfortunately, we must force this to a close.” rang out Chene-at’s voice over broadcast comms just as, an instant later, she and the Federal Navy Squadron dropped from warp.
“Time for some field testing,” said Vittrori to Chene-at. She nodded and gave the order. Flights of Comets, and Vexors engaged supported by the bulk of a pair of Dominix-class battleships. “Wing four, please pin designated Legion. Report maximum warp scramble and web ranges. Wing two and three engage neutralizers.”
“Very one sided,” commented Vittrori seeing some of the numbers being reported. Had he not known what was within those ships, he would have dismissed the data as fabricated, impossible. But he did. Would be the edge they needed to answer the hated Caldari threat?
“Perhaps, but the data is valid and that is what we’ll need when we return home.” said Chene-at.
“Yes, but I wish we could ascertain it under actual combat conditions.” he answered.
“One step at a time.” she said.
The legion they had targeted had been slowed so much that it appeared to be at a standstill. Its guns were first to turn off, then even the repair units went inactive.
“May you die in infinite pain, blasphemers!” Duriaq shouted on all comms.
“Kill it.” ordered Chene-at.
A swarm of drones flew over to it and in instants it exploded in a fiery blast that illuminated the remaining two legions and three Vedmaks.
“All,” ordered Chene-at, redesignate, indicated Vedmak.”
“You double crossing…” cried out Gulvin.
His ship also collapsed and exploded.
“All, free fire. I repeat, free fire. Please make sure your telemetry modules are recording everything.” Chene-at closed the comms and brought up the system map. Time to plot the course back home.
“Command, are you seeing this?” came a cry in tone far from confident victory.
Two signatures had appeared in close proximity to the Dominix’s.
Two, sleek, minimalist, but massive ships.
Chene-at recognising the profile immediately, “All! Break! Break! Break! Disengage!”
There were no communications from the new arrivals. Moments later, a swarm of Damaviks came out of warp and, from equally impossible ranges, began scrambling the Navy ships.
“Primary weapons on the Leshaks have locked on us, firing.” came the report from the sigint officer, a tremor in her voice.
“Launch sentries, target closest Leshak” then turning to Vittrori, “Looks like you got your wish.” just as the shield alarms sounded.
“New contacts, Ser.” cut in the sigint officer, “Two dozen Vedmaks. They seem to be engaging our Vexors.”
“…armor integrity 16%…”
…another direct hit…”
“Pull” Explained his neighbour. It knew push, now it new pull. It pulled. Remembering love, it pulled. The heat lessened. The blaze became a warmth. It fell in love again. They fell in love.
The becoming, VII
Thera system, Planet XII, The Sanctuary Institute of Paleocybernetics, twelve hours later
It had been quite the haul; his salvaging systems were still cooling after running at max capacity for the last six hours. Two Navy Issue Dominix-class and one Triglavian Leshak-class battleships, a handful of Amarrian Legion-class strategic cruisers, and a seeming never ending stream of, Navy Vexors, Navy Comets…and a single Gila.
The battle must have been epic.
Gulvin couldn’t have cared less.