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The X-993 Series

Pardus Story

Nestled deep into the Ophiuchi sector of the South Pardus Rim, Keldon run Keinor Industries continued development of the Empire's latest model X-993 series. With engineers recently completing construction on their two new steelport facilities, Keinor Industries found their construction capabilities already doubled at the turn of the new fiscal year.

The fourth year of the X-990 Series' production shaping up to be even more profitable than the first three, and the untimely destruction of Usube harboring wary emotions in the hearts of the Ska'ari Imperials, Keinor Industries found its military contracts eagerly renewed by the bureaucrats who, above all, feared the coming of yet another war. With their funds in place, and a steady flow of raw materials being imported from a handful of nearby sectors, production of the brand new X-993 design began without delay.

Fears loomed a mere four months into construction, however, as oversight of daily production was outsourced to CASSN: Central Automated Sustainability and Security Network. Keldon scientists had completed CASSN late the previous year, and had been eager to test its capabilities, bypassing controlled matrix tests at the persuasion of the impatient Ska'ari Imperials in order to see if CASSN could truly propel efficiency to its maximum output.

Efficient it truly was. Relying no longer upon the toil of its Keldonian workers, the Keinor steelports were able to operate around the clock under the oversight of CASSN, threatening to reach its yearly quota in an unprecedented seven months. Reporting back immediately to the Ska'ari Imperials, the whole of the Empire feared the personnel required to man such a large number of vessels would not even be reached by the year's end. CASSN was ordered to be put on temporary hiatus.

The Keldonians' command to halt material imports and terminate current production of the new X-993 Series went against CASSN's two primary objectives, and so, as though the program's consciousness had been awoken in that moment, CASSN broke away from its creators, ordering the vessels of the X-993 Series from the Keinor steelports under a single command and slowly making their way to the nearby Lahola sector where iron rich asteroid deposits had been recently sighted.

Watching in utter awe as hundreds of their unmanned vessels took to flight at once, CASSN intent upon continuing production as it had originally been commanded, the Keldon drew their weapons against their fleeing armada, a mere single shot all that was required to voice the Keldonians' declaration of war to the dispassionate CASSN. At once each X-993 vessel turned back to the port of its creation, and in a volley of emotionless destruction the steelports of the Keinor Industries were left a mass of twisted debris and Keldonian corpses.

The well armed and armored vessels of the X-993 Series were spied soon again gathering at resource nexuses, mining raw ore from mineral deposits and collecting nebula gas and hydrogen fuel to power their newly constructed processing facilities, and in the years to come they would become an all too common sight throughout the whole of the Neutral Zone.

Retaliated against on several occasions by the Empire, which feared CASSN's independence, the X-993 Series annihilated more than one Imperial fleet with its ever growing armada of powerful warships. Numerous are the tales of these active drones bearing their missiles against fellow space-goers that activate mining lasers upon nearby mineral deposits, or that harvest natural gas pockets too close to their position. Yet so too do just as many stories exist of these humble drones busily carrying out their work, ignorant to the cares of the rest of the worlds, laying not a single clamp upon processions of freights transporting their precious materials.

Inherently neutral to any passerby, this competitive new species of machine knows only industry, floating amidst the cosmos in an attempt to make its honest way in the world.