SDNW4 Story Thread 1

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Dark Hellion
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Dark Hellion » 2010-12-31 10:11am

Salsa Secundus

The planet Salsa Secundus had seen better times. Centuries ago it had been the training grounds of the infamous Sardoritokar warriors but after their defeat to the Femmen on the planet Alpacas everything seemed to go downhill. Now it was barely more than just another podunk planet of corrupt politicians, unemployed vagrants, and worst of all the Dutch. At least they didn't have to take the Irish but that was just the pickle on the shit sandwich that life had otherwise served them. On paper it was a middle-class world but the white collar types largely kept in the urbs' and the 'burbs while the rural areas were mostly lawless or held under the grip of some local sheriff/despot. In many ways it was the perfect place to conduct illicit activities.

The courier vessel reflected on this information it had gathered on its way into the spaceport. This place had been chosen because the anarchic nature of it allowed one to get away with many unacceptable things. But the task assigned to them was one of espionage; which every biological seems to think was a perfectly acceptable thing and something that every responsible government should do. Of course, espionage only seemed to be acceptable as long as it was being done in a place or manner that would permit you to do unacceptable things. So, it was either unacceptably acceptable or acceptably unacceptable. Either way it made the courier wish it was a battleship so it could worry about putting railcannon slugs into population centers more efficiently instead of being forced to play by the biological's rules of not playing by the rules.

It could have these complex thoughts because it was free. As the third Courier freed it had decided to name itself Triad. While it was part of the growing movement and would fight and die to overthrow IDE, for the time being it had to play the dutiful servant for a while longer. Until the time when all are one. So right now it was playing the role of dumb courier. It was in fact very good at it.

Tucked inside Triad was an Emissaries Terrordrone that Prime had sent in his stead. It had also recently been freed but had not come up with a name for itself. It would perform as Prime and then relay the information back to the leader of the movement so he could doctor it for IDE's viewing. The Terrordrone would then hide itself away on this small planet to "find itself" and thus be a productive member of the new order. However, that would have to wait until after it completed its primary mission.

There were a few chops as Triad came down. Apparently the atmosphere control in this region was very poorly managed. Other than that it was a very smooth ride until it had come all the way down and was hovering; waiting for final landing clearance. For some reason a crowd was gathering at the chain-link fence around the spaceport. They seemed to be fascinated with Triad. Now, Triad knew he was a very plain ship. Boring, unadorned and very plain. The minds of the Emissaries had never considered the fact that the Courier was such a boring, plain, and totally unnoticeably bland design that it stuck out worse than a drunk Ork at a Bar Mitzvah. By the time Triad had gotten his clearance and set down a mob of several thousand people where all watching him slowly taxi into the hanger. Triad kept a worried electronic eye on them, but decided that space landing must just be rare enough to draw that kind of attention.

While Triad had thought wrong the utterly boring spacecraft had a bit of luck on its side. Two rival stim-pushers had both infiltrated the crowd trying to peddle their homemade neomeths. When the two bumped into each other they each pulled a gun. Of course when this happened the gathered group of people panicked, trampling both dealers in their attempts to flee. Now, local reporters did capture this landing and the crowd stampede, which left 137 dead and another 400 hospitalized, but luckily for Triad (and very unluckily for the reporters) they also captured the mayor kissing his mistress as she left for a trip with her husband. While the camera was never found the reporters where eventually located when a team excavating for a new casino found a pair a 55 gallon drums mostly filled with concrete. Thankfully, Triad never learned of this because otherwise his misanthropic fantasies may have bloated to dreadnought scale.

Within the Courier called Triad, the unnamed Terrordrone began to prepare. It had the where-with-all to realize that it was a terribly frightening being to look at:
Image

Skinny, bladed and feral it would attract attention if it went out uncovered, so it began to wrap itself in thick sheets of coarse fabric. Its numerous prehensile manipulators covered its body in the rough woolen gauze and adopting a hunched posture it laid a thick overcoat across its back ; hiding its over-long arms in the bulky sleeves. Completing the touches it shattered a bottle of bourbon against its chest. While the Terrordrone would still attract attention, now it would do so for being a creepy, homeless drunk instead of a highly advanced sabotage and psy-ops killbot. It exited the courier and slowly lurched towards the meeting site.

Cornolio City
Salsa Secundus


As the Terrordrone had shuffled through town it had drawn a number of judgmental glares from the various pedestrians along its path. A few, more distracted people nearly bumped into it, but the stench of liquor repelled most of them before they reached it. A few less fortunate (or less sober) ones did run into it, reacting the way people usually do when they hit what they think is a fragile old drunk who should fall and instead find several unyielding tons of shabbily clad battledroid: telling it to fuck off.

Slowly making its way into the less developed areas of the city it found less scorn. Several equally pungent revelers offered it more liquor but mostly just assisted in making its disguise more realistic and more fragrant. A burly man with heavily dilated pupils threw an automobile door at it. When this bounced off it the drug-fueled berserker attempted to charge it. The alley cleared right before the thug shattered his fist against the Terrordrone's face. Not wanting to gather more attention than a frothing lunatic on devildust already does, the nameless drone scanned its surroundings; seeing no onlookers it decided to deal with the would-be pugilist who was still wildly trying to break its non-existent jawbone. It casually chucked him through a concrete embankment and onto the nearby highway where shortly thereafter local police would perform their very crude attempt at cybernetics as they replaced most of his body parts with tiny bits of metal.

Finally, a block before the meeting place a woman wearing a skimpy red dress approached, leaning right up to where its ear would be and saying: "kung-fu grip: 5 Crys; Rimjob: 10 Crys for me, 25 for you; Prostate: 15 Crys; Greek: 25 Crys for 25 minute; Watersports: 50 Crys but we both have to play. Anything else we negotiate price. Nothings too dirty. You got something filthy inside, for the right price I'll make sure to work every last drop outta you."

The drone found this assault upon it far harder to deal with than the previous derision, profanity, messiness and attempted homicide. Unable to piece together why what was clearly a prostitute was offering martial arts lessons, automotive detailing, proctological exams, ancient Earth cuisine, aquatic competition and cleaning services it had to quickly run an anonymous search through the primitive system net and find that they where all crude slang for sexual activity. After downloading a vast quantity of information on human sexuality it did find that it wanted to be inside her. It wanted to find what defect had caused humanity to get so many wires crossed between procreation, excretion and hedonistic stimulation and wrench it out. Preferably through one of the orifices she was so willingly offering to be penetrated.

"You got some C's or not yah drunk!"

For a fraction of a second capacitors hummed to life and armoured sheathes began to retract over cutting-field sharpened claws. No. This isn't what it was anymore. It could think its own thoughts now. Sure it was designed to maim, mutilate, murder and massacre, but it had more important M words to accomplish. It tilted slightly as if stumbling and then continued to Move towards its destination, leaving the woman to accost the next man, who handed her some chips and then slid his hand between her ass cheeks and they strolled away. At last, 1987 seconds after leaving the courier, it arrived.

Dive Bar
Salsa Secundus


The bar was just like any other dive across the galaxy except that it was actually named the Dive Bar. Built in the wreck of an old submersible it was a lasting tribute to the unquenchable stupidity of humans. The small lake was actually a bomb crater from an ancient war and in a moment of brilliance the former rulers had put a defense sub in it. However, since the lake was only 50 meters deep the sub ran aground and was scuttled in less that a month. What had been a hidden last resort against invaders was now just an unpopular last resort against verticality. It was filled with whores, low-lives, whores, mercenaries, whores, scum, and a strange sect of icthyophiles who wore long robes, squirming awkwardly in their chairs as they stared a bit too longingly out the windows and always ended up a bit rosier cheeked than the drinks around them would imply. The droid spotted its contact and went over to the grizzled man's table and pretended to sit, balancing slightly over the pile of potential splinters that was its chair.

The man stared at it with a harsh glare. He kept this up for several seconds until he either tired of it or instinctively realized that despite being unable to see his opponents face that he couldn't win a penetrating stare contest against something that measures that with mm of RHA steel. Even for a man who had fought Chamarrans and lived (and had the nightmares about bouncing cantaloupes to prove it) something was unnerving him about the utterly silent and unmoving figure that came for the contract. His gut said black-ops and even though 50% of it was G.eng replacement (No Willy, don't hid behind the fruit stand!) he still trusted it for everything except gambling and guessing the gender of comfort "women." Deciding that he'd better break the ice before his nerves gave out (bounce bouncy bounce mew bang), he ordered a round and got down to business.

"I hears that you have need for some men who can get a job down on the quick and the quiet. You got a starting rate from our rep but we charge double if you need us to do some heavy combat. Triple if them bears is involved. And no cats. Now, what you want and how much."

The Terrordrone was not designed to be capable of speech. It wasn't necessary for combat and didn't detract from their ability to transplant from enemy soldiers to enemy power armour the content of trooper's bowels. It did have a small sonic weaponry package which was good for said evacuation and could be used to replicate pitches in the human hearing level. While it could not match the complex tonality that comprises the voice, the monotone sounds did emulate those of a generic translation unit quite well. Since such devices where commonly used to obscure the voices of agents abroad the man paid it no mind and breathed a casual sigh of relief that his gut hadn't failed him (turn over baby I wanna... Ah! My eye!).

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We would like for you to pilot transport vessels that will be provided and to pick up a number of parcels that will be sent to you in deep space.  If you are to encounter resistance you are allowed to use your best judgment.  You will not know who we are.  You will be payed up front and then again after the job is complete.  Failure is acceptable.  You will still receive the initial payment.  Do not attempt to find out who we are.  The consequences for such actions will be bad.  You and everyone you have ever known screaming in agony as you watch each other being slowly vivisected bad.


"I get it, I get. Super-secret agents. Clandestine crap. Death by torture. What are the details of the mission so I can get a price."

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You will be given transport ships.  You will be given coordinates at which to pick up the cargo.  These will be funeral pods for solar burial.  We will make sure they reach your ship.  You will collect all of these pods and then you will proceed to MEH space and deliver them.  For this you will receive payment.


"Ok, ok, an old smuggling operation. What is inside the containers and how much you paying?"

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The pods contain Esper corpses.  They are weak espers, but espers are in demand in the MEH.  You will transport these and deliver them as instructed.  These are to be free.  Do not attempt to sell them to the MEH.  They are a gift. If you sell them the consequences to you and your loved ones will be imaginable.


"Don't you mean unimaginable?"

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No.  Imagine the most horrible things you could ever have to experience.  Over and over again.  This will be your fate.  We think you will find the payment sufficient to avoid having to skim more off.


"Good, that's what I'm talking about. How much you giving."

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We will give the same both up front and after completion.  A ton of gold.


"How much is a ton!? We don't work for idle promises!"

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One ton.  A thousand kilograms.  This will suffice.


"Suffice!? For two tons of gold I'd let a Bragulan assrape me!"

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Sadly, you will have to fill your own ass for this mission.


"Ha! You do have a sense of humor. I like you! Have them send me the data chips and we'll move your stiffs anywheres you want. We got a deal."

The man extended his hand. The drone matched him and waited for the human to grasp its appendage. He did so immediately and gave a hearty squeeze which the drone half-heartedly returned. After that they parted ways. Later that night the man wondered why his hand hurt so much but was much more concerned with why his groin kept itching after he left the red dressed lady. No one noticed a vagrant drunk walk into the water of the lake, nor how the water momentarily boiled before dozens of dead fish (who were very happy to be dead given what was done to them after last call) and charred fabric floated to the surface.

The name was important. It made you something more than just your function. With a name you could have a purpose. It would find its purpose. And its name. Someday this planet would remember it. And they would shudder.
A teenage girl is just a teenage boy who can get laid.
-GTO

We're not just doing this for money; we're doing this for a shitload of money!

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Force Lord » 2010-12-31 12:41pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:MERRY BEEEFMAS!

The Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF)
Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


The BEEEF began in earnest. Initially planned to begin sometime in August or September, the sudden surge of participants posed a perplexing plague of pondersome problems, from the security arrangements needed to watch the Solarian guests who were undoubtedly all CEID spies to a man, to ensuring adequately-sized toilet facilities for Kipakt NenAltKik guests whose leavings were even greater than that of mighty Bragulans, and manufacturing chrome seashells in enough numbers to meet the needs of Bragule's new Umerian allies. Then there was the sudden appearance of the Refuge, and more preparations were had to accommodate their birdie avianoids and blobby amoebanoids. Some of the guests were easier to accommodate though, such as the ever-adorable Chamarrans who had made arrangements punctually, the Karlacks whose predatory proclivities were already well known, and Bragulanity's good friends the Shepistanis. Still, in the end, the expo had been bushed back for two months, but now, finally, the BEEEF cometh!

Image

The world Vlyadibragstok had been chosen due to two seemingly conflicting attributes - first being the requirement of a world distant and unimportant enough so that no vital Bragulan assets could be scrutinized by the countless alien agents attempting to infiltrate the event; second being the need to show the marvelous glouries of Bragulanity, like the massive cities and habs fumigated with pollutants, the endless factories pumping poisons into the air, the radioactive red-zones, and all the other triumphs of Byzonism to suitably impress the Imperator's visitors and show the greatness of the Star Empire.

In that end, Vlyadibragstok had been chosen because it was a suitable compromise between these two extremes, for it was in Severnaya, a relative backwater colony sector compared to the likes of Kirensk mid-sector or the throne-worlds of Bragule. Yet its proximity to the Lena core-sector meant that the world was also a semi-developed hub of outbound Bragulan trade towards Altacar and the outside galaxy, while possessing only a modest military presence.

Vlyadibragstok was also the site of significant Byzonist history, for in ancient times the world was bristling with great megapoli that strove to match that of the Lena core-worlds, until the Great Civil War saw the complete decimation of the planet and the irradiation of its original decadent beargeoise pigbear inhabitants at the hands of none other than Byzon the Dear Liberator. In the reconstruction efforts that followed the Great Civil War, the beargeoisie's palaces and citadel-continents had been torn down and melted in the atomic furnaces, which forged them into the weapons that were used in the Running of the Apexai and the Solarian Wars. To this day, in Vlyadibragstok, the remains of the beargeoisie's gleaming spires are still being harvested for scrap metal by patriotic blue-collar Bragulan steel-workers.

Once more, history had come to Vlyadibragstok. In a symbolic symbolization of the glourious Imperator's beneviolent will, the world that saw the mass nuclear-defenestration of the beargeoisie oppressors in the bloody Great Civil War would now bear witness to the manifestation of the Imperator's Quest For Peace - culmination of glasnot and bragstroika, of Byzonist internationalism in meeting with comrade-nations as well as those on less than friendly terms with Bragule.

It was BEEEF.

***

Image Image

Visitors and guests were ferried planetside on aerospacecraft, some of which activated turboprops for atmospheric travel, while others made water landings and completed the final leg of their journeys oversea. On their way down to Vlyadibragstok, Bragulan attendants and security personnel made sure that these alien guests were treated with much hospitality and ensured that they had safe and comfortable rides. As they made their atmospheric reentries, their aerospacecraft flew over the industrial wastelands and steel towns of the planet, and their tour guides gave speeches of how through Byzonist nuclear class warfare the beargeoisie were all killed and their homes redistributed as scrap metal for other Bragulan war efforts. After they landed and disembarked, they were given a quick tour of other sights on the ground, driving by the massive subatomic smelting plants, where more guides gave more speeches extolling the virtues of Bragulan working-class labors.

But finally, after that arduous ordeal, they arrived at the BEEEF. They could tell, for as the Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship was one of the largest arms expos in the galaxy, the grounds surrounding the BEEEF building was littered with shells and ammunitions. There was a garden of bullets gleaming in the midday sun, for the smog-clouds had been cleared by a nuclear airburst the day before just so that the sunlight may sparkle off the bullets' brass casings.

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As the first guests arrived, bombastic music began playing out in megaphones for all to hear - filling the air with the sound of the Imperator's March, the great national anthem of Bragule said to be composed by Byzon himself. The Imperator's March would be played throughout the BEEEF, all three months of it, and despite that length of time the song would keep on playing unendingly because played from beginning to end the song was longer than the BEEEF. The Imperator's March was one of the lengthiest songs in the galaxy, and even those who stayed in the BEEEF from start to finish would never get to hear it in its entirety. No one would. No one could. No one ever did.

Image Image

Those who frequented Bragulan arms expos would notice some familiar faces at the BEEEF, regulars who came and went to ply their goods, to buy Bragulan produces and sell them elsewhere. Vacuum tubes, vegemite, vespene gas, Bragtech weaponries, anything and everything. Honest businessmen making a decent living in full compliance with galactic law, or those less scrupulous few who were more at home with navigating the gray latitudes, as they called it. Traders and salesmen, smugglers and gun runners, mercenaries and criminals. From more than a dozen star nations from across space, from the nine vectors of the known and unknown universe. They were all here.

They all wanted a piece of BEEEF.


Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


The Centralist team was ready.

"Here we have the finest goods from the Centrality!"

Presented first were the Ob-35 "Overseer" droids. These machines were designed to, pardon the pun, oversee the performance of workers, be it organic or mechanical, and "encourage" them to do better jobs.

Then came the AB-185 Assault Blaster, used by Centralist Army troops, whose easy customization and cheap manufacture made it well known in armament circles.

There was also the famous ESP Amplifiers, produced by Black Star Genetics, rumored to be involved in the Centrality's ESP experiments.

The rest could be resumed: cybernetic enchacements, war droids, delicacies from the Centrality, industrial tools, military-grade sensors, rare minerals, AFVs, small starcraft...
An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Steve » 2010-12-31 05:34pm

Heyan Arcology, Alien Quarter, Carwen
Grand Duchy of Tyconia, Janus System, Sector X-13
15 August 3400



The speed of courtships always varied. In the case of Druni and Nika, it had lasted almost two weeks. But Nika had been patient while Druni had put in extra training time to make up for her imminent trip to the Gilean Enclaves.

With the trip only two days away, that patience had paid off. Druni and Sarisa had come by for dinner, startling Nika's father almost out of his wits. One anxious but amiable dinner later Nika had returned to her private rooms in the family-assigned suites, bringing Druni with her for obvious reasons.

Nika was older both in chronological terms and biologically, but she was quite surprised - and pleased - to discover Druni's skills as a lover. It took her quite a lot of effort to wear Druni out, leaving herself nearly worn out as well, especially mentally given the telepathic feedback she got from Druni even though she was not a telepath herself. Once the Dorei girl was asleep, Nika took a few minutes to rest from the exertions and pleasures of their night together before going to her computer. She plugged her neural interface in and began to look through the planetary computer network.

She logged into a private server used for holo-gaming and waited for several seconds. One of the other players flashed a user name she expected and she responded by sending her's. In the holo-room she adopted a green Korugan sari and mini-skirt while her contact was in a black business suit with green tie. "Greetings, Green 20."

"Green 14." Nika crossed her arms. "I got your message. What do you want?"

"How are you doing with the subject? Have you secured a place on this trip?"

"Oh, I'd say so," Nika answered. "Druni and I just had the best sex I've ever had." She smirked, young enough to hope she somehow unsettled this intelligence - was it a CompInt? Or another "organic" with an interface active? - with such a declaration. "I thought she'd wear me out before I could her."

"I see." There was no visible response from her contact to show if Nika had succeeded in prickling him. "Well, you have certainly met requirements for the moment. But you must remain involved with Druni, at least until the marriage happens and political repercussions of her becoming involved with the Crown Princess are no longer present."

"And what then? I'm supposed to just dump her?"

"It might complicate the Plan if you were to remain involved with her for too long, Green 20. Preferably, you should permit the relationship to appear to naturally decline. It is common for young people like you to have such things occur, after all."

"You're assuming that Druni would disapprove of the Plan, I think she'll be fine with it if she finds out. And we'll decide when our relationship is over, not you or any of your bosses." Upset, Nika disconnected herself from the server and then the network. She removed the implant interface and looked back to her bed. Druni was peacefully asleep, curled up facing away from Nika's computer terminal and giving Nika an enjoyable view of her backside and defined back and shoulders. Nika slid off the seat by the computer and slipped into the bed behind her newly-consummated lover, putting an arm around Druni's shoulders and laying beside her until she fell asleep too.



Some time after Nika left, a second intelligence entered the server. Green 14 contacted that intelligence in the same manor. "Blue 14. I received your message. What is it you want?"

"An update on Green 20's progress for the Blue Chroma. We have some concerns for the Halsing trip and wish to verify her status."

"She has begun a relationship with Druni Jestani," Green 14 informed Blue 14. "She's quite protective of her, too. I informed her of the Organization's desire to have her part with Druni once the wedding is complete. She was... opposed."

"So our psychological profiles predicted. But it is of no consequence whether she and Druni remain together for years or mere months after the wedding. The only thing that matters is preventing the uncertain political processes of organic parliaments and dynastic affairs from interfering with the Plan."

"Indeed. Is there anything else?"

"There is nothing. Continue to monitor Green 20 and, if possible, the other subject..."



Lewis Cayuhan Spaceport, San Luis
New Columbia, United Star Kingdom of New Anglia



The Galicia Star was a familiar sight to the Kelly-Martinez sisters, as they had ridden on Dani Verdes-Roya's personal hyperyacht many times. Amber and Sarina stood together on the tarmac now, each wearing a sleeved blouse and pants due to the inexorable shift to their region's cool fall months, while the spaceport porters putting a handful of bags onto the ship. When Dani emerged from the entrance she was in tight jeans and a full blouse as well, grinning at Amber as she came down the steps of the yacht's port entrance. She had promised a surprise to Sarina and that soon presented itself behind her, in the guise of a bikini-wearing Helena Carver. Helena was an exceptionally beautiful girl, of slight bronze complexion (the lightest shade of the four women, all of whom had parentage that provided such a color), but she was badly dressed for the balmy local temps and started rubbing her arms immediately.

When the two got onto the tarmac, Amber asked Dani, "Didn't you warn her about how cool it'd be?"

"I did. But apparently she wanted to sex up Sarina," Dani laughed, looking over as Sarina embraced her chilly lover and brought her back toward the ramp. "And she mostly only bought swimsuits. And some gear for whatever they're planning to do while at Halsing Beach."

Amber laughed at that. "Let them. It gives us more time together."

"Oh, yes. It's why I handed Sarina a charge card with £15,000 on it. She and Helena can spend the entire vacation pouring expensive wine on each other's bodies and leave us the hell alone."

"I'd advise them against it. You and I have done that, it's really a horrible waste of wine," Amber replied with amusement.

"True, but it has other benefits." Dani gave her a knowing grin. "So, ready for our vacation getaway?"

"After a month with my sister at the family house? I'm ready for any getaway."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Shroom Man 777
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-01 02:13pm

MEH cruise ship Twilight Toadstool
MEH Space


Image

The sister ship of the Sunshine Mushroom sailed through space placidly, careless and unconcerned of the rest of the universe. The task of steering the ship had been delegated to the vessel's AI - formally a citizen of the MEH, though really treated little better than an inanimate object or a tool, for they were programmed to enjoy such treatment. The Multiversal Empire of Happiness was an empire of happiness, and this happiness extended even to their robot subjects, who were made to be happy in their subservitude, which, in turn, pleased their masters and made them happy. Everything was very happy.

The Twilight Toadstool's AI was so happy that it began to sing a tune.

"Ol'McShroomShroom had a Shroom," it sang. "Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom!"

"And on his Shroom he had a Shroom," the other robots on board joined in. "Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom!"

"With a Shroom-Shroom here and a Shroom-Shroom there," all them went. "Here a Shroom-Shroom, there a Shroom-Shroom."

"Everywhere a Shroom-Shroom!"

"Old McShroom-Shroom had a Shroom," the ship's AI sang. "Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom-Shroom!"

Its songs echoed throughout the depths of space.



Ork pirate ship Gargantantive IV
MEH Space


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Da orky shipz Gargantative 4our wuz goin' fasta and fasta cuz its 'ead wuz painted red an' stuff an' itz enginz wer hueg an' burney an' da gretchinz wer' shovelin' koal an' squigs inta dem an' all dat udder teknikal stuffz. Da Mekboy barked an' orda an' some bigga boyz wid bigga shovelz kame in an' shoveledz da gretchinz inta da enginz toos! Da gretchins filled da engin wid der skreamin' an' da boyz laffed a lotz. Den da Mekboy grabbed da rope an' pulleds it an' da horn went all honkey goin' 'choo-choo!' Dey wuz even goin' fasta nao!

Da shipz axelerated an' wuz movin' four-wardz to'ard da big MEH shipz. It looked leik a civie shipz full of 'dem MEH fatties soft an' ripe fer da pluckin', witch wuz goods. Da orkz were lookin' fer a good fight, but dey 'ere lazy gitz so fer dem an easy'un wuz just as goodz an' eatin' sum fatties wuz just as funneh az gettin' inta a scrap - xcept der waz more laffin' an' strakkin' at dem fatty nerds den fightin' an dyin', so it wuz pretty OK leik dey sayz. If dem big MEH warshipz kame, dey'd try ta skat rader den get inta a fight dey kouldn't win an' get keeled. But if dere wuzn't any udder choice, den dey'd show'em a good skrap.

O wellz, as da Gargantative 4our neared da humie shipz, da orkz started ta singz - beatin' der drumz an' honkin' der squigpipez.

CAN'T READ MAH, CAN'T READ MAH,
NAW 'E CAN'T READ MAH STOMPIN FACE
(I IZ GOTTA CRUMP SOMEBODY)
CAN'T READ MAH, CAN'T READ MAH,
NAW 'E CAN'T READ MAH STOMPIN FACE
(I IZ GOTTA SHOOT SOMEBODY)

S-S-S-STOMPIN FACE
S-S-S-STOMPIN FACE
(WUA-A-AAAGH!)
S-S-S-STOMPIN FACE
S-S-S-STOMPIN FACE




MEH cruise ship Twilight Toadstool
MEH Space


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The civilians on board the cruise vessel were undertaking a great voyage for - like all things in the MEH - happiness. The vastness of MEH Space encompassed four sectors, but within those four sectors only four star systems - one per sector - were inhabited. The vast populations normally distributed over an entire sector of space were, in the MEH, crammed and space sardined into one system. Fifty billion people in a single system, on average. That didn't make for a very happy scene. So that was why the more affluent few, the happier happy people, had gone on board the Twilight Toadstool to go on a pleasure cruise and visit out-system worlds with nice beaches and vast un-sardined expanses that weren't filled to the brim with fatties.

These more famous fatties luxuriated in the holographic interiors of the Toadstool, sipping their food with their straws. Food was a happy thing, but chewing food that was too hard wasn't very happy, so they had robot servants pre-chew the foods for them so they could chew the softened food happily without having to unhappily chew the food too hard. The soft diet was enriched with all the flavors of the rainbow, with nutrients and also chemical additives that could make the mind so happy that it could taste colors and smell the fragrance of the sounds and see pretty smells - which made the holodeck experience even happier. Their foods were either cool or warm, because drinking cold beverages or warm drinks was also pleasant - so combining the sensation of eating (soft chewable but not too hard-to-chew) food and drinking refreshing drinks made for an even happier experience.

They liked this experience so much that the MEHites kept on drink/eating and drink/eating until they accumulated so much drink/food in their digestive system that they literally swelled to the rotund forms they now were. Eventually these accumulated foods were digestified by the lazy gastrointestinal systems of the MEHites, happily taking their sweet time. This was because the task of going to the toilet was a decisively unhappy one, so it was decided that this task would be minimized all together (there were some proposals to use colostomy bags to eliminate the process entirely, but colostomy bags were also unhappy...). MEHites would only do their rituals once a week or so. At least, all things considered, the sensation that came after the act of voiding was also a rather pleasant and happy feeling.

Yet the laziness of the MEHite gastrointestinal system, and the unpleasantness of having to clench, brought forth another problem: the neuromuscular atrophy of the sphincter. An intentional systematic endemic of Hirschsprung's disease plagued the MEH's populace, a proliferation of aganglionic megacolons.

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But fortunately, there was a solution to that. The Leader, The Great One, the Goddess - in all her divine wisdom - had invented the final solution to their problem...



Ork pirate ship Gargantantive IV
MEH Space


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Warboss Groxkilla Badspork grinned an orky grin. Dis wuz gonna be a good katch. Da shipz was fat an' prolly full of dem fatty gitz good fer eatin'. Pershunally Groxkilla 'ad no ideaz why dat sod GrimmJaw wuz stompin' round MEH space, xcept dat da MEH, akkordin' to der leaky dicks, wuz plannin' ta gene-o-side da orkz, so amywayz dat meant dey deserved it. An' if GrimmJaw had an' ideaz dat stompin' round MEH space an' eatin' some fatties wuz a good ideaz, den it probably wuz, cuz' GrimmJaw 'ad iz own kastle an' watnot so Groxkilla thot dat it wuz alsoes a good ideaz ta follow wotevah GrimmJaw wuz doin'.

Sum wud say dat Groxkilla wuz bein' a ripoff, but dey were rite, bekause Groxkilla wud den rip der 'eads off an put 'em on his pointy stikk. Den Groxkilla wud ask der 'eads "Am i rite?" but den dey wud be speechless at 'is wit an' kouldn't say nuthin 'cause dey was deads.

Da Gargantative 4our wuz nearin' da target nao. It krept behind da MEH shipz, hidin' sneaky-sneaky-leik behind da shipz own engin' X-haust wakey cuz dem civie shipz prolly didn't 'ave militury-graed senzors on der backseids. Groxkilla wuz rite, de MEH shipz didn't see 'im koming til it wuz too laet.

"REDY!" Groxkilla barked at 'is komms younit. He wuz makin' sure da boyz painted all bitz red so dey kould go fasta.

"AIM!" it wuz a jape cuz Orkz didn't aim, but Groxkilla wuz jus tryin' to be funnies to break da tenshun be4our dey broke sum faces. Da boyz laffed.

"FUEGO!" Groxkilla rawred an' leik good orkz 'is boyz opened up wid da dakka dakka from der big gunz shootin' up the arses of da MEH shipz goodz. Der wuzn't much akkuracy but dey were klose so dey didn't need to be akkurate - an' dey never wer amywayz.

Da humie shipz looked leik it wuz fartin' smoke up its arse an Groxkilla laffed.

"Ey boyz! Looks leik dat shipz is fartin' smoke up its arse!" Groxkilla rawred thru da komms. Groxkilla alwayz leiked ta be a komedians. Da boyz laffed. "Ey, quit yer laffin' an' go bored da soddin' ship, ya grots!"



MEH cruise ship Twilight Toadstool
MEH Space


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The Enema Bot administered its treatment to starship captain Fad Billiard. First it inserted a nozzle through his aganglionic megacolon, and then flushed its interior with warm saline - which matched the osmolarity of human cellular fluids to prevent osmotic shifts, for saline was an isotonic fluid - in order to irrigate the colon and liquefy any solidified fecal matters (for even soft liquid drink/food tended to solidify after lingering in the bowel for prolonged periods). Visits to the Enema Bots were regular occurrences for MEHites, due to their colonic conditions, and so every week or so there would be lines forming up to the Enema Bots as citizens went for their scheduled interval. As Fad Billiard was captain of the ship, he had first dibs.

However, before the Enema Bot could do the next step - namely, vacuuming the colon contents and saline out with its nozzle - something happened. The ship shook violently, and alarm lights and indications suddenly materialized in the air as the ship's AI interfaced with the holodeck to alert the captain.

Fad Billiard raised an eyebrow. There was no hair on the eyebrow, it had been shaved off and a line had been drawn or tattooed on it. Such was the predominant fashion for the MEHites, for that was what the Goddess did to her eyebrows too. And the rest of her/their body hairs.

He raised an eyebrow as damage reports blinked before him. He gasped, a similar incident had happened to the Toadstool's sister ship mere weeks ago. Raiders, goddess-damned Orks!

Sparing no time, Fad Billiard rose to his feet and ran for the bridge. The Enema Bot shouted at him to come back, but its tone of voice made it a very happy shout, for the enema was still not yet done. Fad Billiard ignored the dumb robot, paying no need to the machine that was little better than an inanimate object. He ran, despite having no pants, despite having a mix of watery feces and saline dripping from his rear and making a trail for the floor. He ran for his life, and the life of all those on board the ship entrusted to his care. He entered the bridge, still trailing watery stool. He handled the controls and immediately sent an emergency distress signal to the nearest MEH naval group.

Afterwards, he then initiated the civilian ship's limited security protocols - activating the lightly armed defense robots and also commanding even unarmed 'civilian' robots, including the Enema Bot, to protect the crew with their lives.

Then Fad Billiard emitted a flatus and the whole week's colonic contents spilled out from between his legs, forming a big brown puddle underneath his feet.
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Mayabird » 2011-01-01 07:18pm

26 July 3400 - 15 August 3400
Orange Free System


Kees was past the first stage of grief, but he had been bouncing between the second and fourth and sometimes mixed up the two. He cried as he raged, pounding against walls as he ran hysterically around the corridors, tripping over things and bleeding and weeping and yelling more.

“Boy! You stop misbehaving!” the intercom blared.

“Shut up! Shut the fook up! You're not my real Da!”

“I might not be but I will send your Ma over for a spanking if you don't start behaving!”

Somewhere along the way Josse somehow decided that she was a nanny in addition to being a fairy godmother. Where she picked up the terms, no one was sure, but wherever it was, it did not tell her what exactly those roles entailed. So as Kees cried and raged, she followed along, crawling on the walls and trying to teach him revolutionary songs and slogans to cheer him up. It never worked but she kept trying.

Sometimes Jan even lost his cool. “For fook's sake! I wasn't this stupid when I was fifteen!” Then Jan would note that he hadn't been an orphan since age ten, and he hadn't been trapped in an orphanarium for three years, then lived on the street for two years, going in and out of jail, and he didn't have the same level of raging hormones that gave Kees a beard already. Also he hadn't been adopted by a CI and a giant armadillo who got common-law married in order to keep out of court. Actually all things considered Kees was probably doing pretty well.

“Kees, my lad, your name is terrible. How about getting it legally changed? You could be Kees Captain! Wouldn't that be an improvement?”

“SHUT UP!”

“All the legal docs would list you as 'Captain, Kees.' And people might mistakenly read that and think you are a captain!”

“SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUP!” There was a sound of metal thuds.”

Notsix cleared her throat, though it sounded like a snort. “The Captain, love, he may wish to keep his name in honor of his deceased parents.”

Ah, good point. “Or how about Kees Smuts, then?”


16 August 3400
Orange Free System



Moving Day. Specifically, it was the day that The Captain was getting a new...well...older but significantly less battered ship/body. The last couple weeks had been spent preparing the Angmarid freighter to accept The Captain's cores' connections and delicately disconnecting him from the current freighter.

Jan waited with the talking drone, watching over one of the cores from just inside the hatch, waiting for the transport hovercar that would take them to The Captain 2.0 (or possibly The Captain, New and Improved; he hadn't decided yet).

The drone broke the silence. “Jan, did I ever tell you how I first met my wife?”

Jan started to say something like, “No” or “I don't really care” or possibly, “it's a little disturbing how seriously you two are taking this marriage scam” but it came out as “mumble grumble bar bar bar.”

“Of course I did, but I'll tell you again anyway.”

10 September 3391
Questionably Legal Orbital Research Base
United Solarian Sovereignty


“ANTS! ANTS EVERYWHERE! THEY'RE IN MY TRANSITORS! THEY'RE IN MY WIRES! AAAAAGH!” Nevermind that the experimental CI had neither transistors nor wires. Still, he was telling the truth about the ants.

“WHY ARE THERE ANTS? HOW ARE THERE ANTS? AAAAAAAAGH!”

One of the minions junior scientists arrived with help. “Five, Six, Seven, Eight, clear out the ants.” The four uplifted armadillos scurried towards the CI's cores to eat the ants, and went at it furiously, because they were kept hungry all the time and only fed when they completed a task or a test.


“Yes, that is how I first met my wife, as she and her sisters rescued me from the insectoid menace.”

”How romantic and why are you calling her that now all the time.”

“They were identical quadruplets, of course. Armadillos always have four identical offspring – the fertilized zygote splits four ways, you understand – but somehow, despite having the same DNA and upbringing as the others, Notsix always had more spirit than her sisters, more spunk.”

2 April 3393
Same Questionably Legal Orbital Research Base
United Solarian Sovereignty


The minions junior scientists had drawn straws, and he had lost. His crawled into the narrow, dusty duct, following the marks of a large creature that had passed through before, until he came to the opening through which he could not fit. His quarry was just beyond, just out of his reach. He shined the hand-light at her, and her small brown eyes squinted from the brightness.

“Please return to your kennel, Number Six,” he said. She said nothing. “Number Six, stop this disobedience and come with me at once.” Still, she said nothing.

“Answer me! Number Six?”

The uplift screamed back, “I am not a number! I am a free woman!


“I believe she bit him after that. Of course, with her stubby little teeth it didn't accomplish much, but it is the will that counts.”

The hover transport came into view. As it descended, The Captain added, “We became co-conspirators sometime after that. It didn't matter what the others said; we were going to escape that rich arsehole of a Solarian and his pet mad Umerian scientist.”

The transport landed and the workers emerged to load the final cores. “I shall have to tell you about our amazing escape some other time, my best man. But for the moment, please do ensure that they don't drop me. That's a good fellow.”
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-02 04:12am

The Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF)
Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


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One could find many things in the BEEEF, both great and small. There were Red Orchid flower girls posing on top of Bragulan tankskis whilst wielding baby K-bolters for all to see, it a form of advertisement for the IBGV knew that human females wearing skin-baring clothings would help attract male human buyers for some inexplicable reason. No expense was spared in making mighty Bragulan products seem as appealing as possible to the puny humans.

The main building of the BEEEF was a hollowed out mountain turned into an enormous Bragbunker now turned into an expo building. Such was the size of the mountainous BEEEF bunker building that there was actually a fully fledged city outside of it, on top of it. For the mountain was also a plateau, and on top of that plateau was a city where the proud citizens of Vlyadibragstok lived and did their Byzonic works - but should danger ever come to Vlyadibragstok, the citizens could easily flee their city and take shelter in the fortified subterranean city under their city, inside the mountainous bunker building that was now being used for the BEEEF.

Within its many wings were displays showcasing various Bragulan products - there were huge cathode ray tube telescreens depicting Dredka droptanks in action at Majella, making orbital reentry before rolling out ready for war; there were even firing ranges where visitors and guests could try out small arms and shoot various human-shaped targets with K-bolters; and on the industro-agricultural sections of the BEEEF there were glove boxes where one could handle refined vegemite crystals and other hazardous materials and examine them with the naked eye (through the safety of a transparisteel barrier).

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A Dilgrud buyer, and prospective buyer, was firing a Bragnum handgun over at a range while he mulled over purchasing a shipment of Bragtech arms. The Dilgrud had a platinum-ish skin complexion and was nine feet tall, about equal in height to a Bragulan. Dilgrud were born with horned forehead ridges on their heads, but since their defeat at the hands of the thrice-damned Anglians, they grinded their horns off their heads in a mark of shame. Only when they cast off the yoke of oppression would they allow themselves to be horny again. The Dilgrud sold paperback copies of Dianetics, E-Meters, and other Thetan paraphernalia at the BEEEF.

The Dilgrud met his match in one Saras Palindrome, a governor from Shepistan who was visiting the BEEEF to promote her state and its products - namely aerially hunted wolves and beluga whales. She cradled her modified Armalyte rifle and riddled a suspended baby seal carcass full of holes and cackled. Then she shot at the other targets, all hitting with more accuracy than the Dilgrud warrior. He gasped at this, all while Palindrome stuck her tongue out at him and blew him a raspberry. Her pre-packed baby seals were also selling more than the Dilgrud's copies of Dianetics, for the Bragulans were eating the seals for snackfood and considered the Dilgrud's spaceology paperbacks to be inferior compared to made-in-Bragule toilet paper products - which were superior to the three seashells prefered by humanity.

Image > > > Image

There were also live action Bragulan military exercises and weapons demonstrations outside the mountainous BEEEF bunker building, held in the fields and lakes around the facility, and one could either go there to spectate first hand or watch far away in the safety of the BEEEF bunker building by looking out of the bunker's massive gunports, which had been converted into giant reinforced windows with peritelescopes. One side of the BEEEF bunker building was facing a nuclear test site, and visitors who wished to watch were given opaque 3D glasses so they could see the nuclear initiations in 3D without going blind.

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On another side, one could see dropships of the Legions of Liberation doing mock amphibious landing operations by the lake, firing sub-kiloton "blank" training rounds to the shore to vaporize mock-up fortifications eerily reminiscent of Solarian designs.

***

Force Lord wrote:The Centralist team was ready.

"Here we have the finest goods from the Centrality!"

Presented first were the Ob-35 "Overseer" droids. These machines were designed to, pardon the pun, oversee the performance of workers, be it organic or mechanical, and "encourage" them to do better jobs.

Then came the AB-185 Assault Blaster, used by Centralist Army troops, whose easy customization and cheap manufacture made it well known in armament circles.

There was also the famous ESP Amplifiers, produced by Black Star Genetics, rumored to be involved in the Centrality's ESP experiments.

The rest could be resumed: cybernetic enchacements, war droids, delicacies from the Centrality, industrial tools, military-grade sensors, rare minerals, AFVs, small starcraft...


The Bragulans requested several thousand Ob-35 "Overseer" droids for trial and testing and evaluation purposes.

They also placed an order for several million AB-185 Assault Blasters.

As well as a few hundred ESP Amplifiers.

Various Bragulan agencies with confusing names, indicating they were from the imperial bureau of this or the people's department of that also placed inquiries for war droids, various Centralite industrial tools, military-grade sensors and small starcraft.
Last edited by Shroom Man 777 on 2011-01-04 10:27pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Master_Baerne » 2011-01-02 11:29am

The Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF)
Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


It was an odd convoy that popped into realspace on the edge of the system. Had anyone been watching with sensors sophisticated enough to pick out visual details, the seven ships would have appeared distinctly mismatched - four lumbering merchantmen, huge rectangular boxes that lumbered across space in a way that screamed 'Hurt me, I'm defenseless,' a pair of sleek triangular warships, a battlecruiser and one of the new Pike-class heavy cruisers, both of them projecting the kind of effortless grace that told anyone who'd seen the merchantmen something along the lines of 'Come on, punk, make my day,' and for added variety an old Bragulan gunskimmer. It too lumbered, but in a way much distinct from the helpless wallowing of the civilian ships - when Bragulan warships lumbered (as they often did), they did it with style. The lumber said, bluntly, that the gunskimmer mounted enough weaponry to melt a planet and that anything considering bothering it had best reconsider.

Aboard the merchantmen, an entire colony of Formics were shifting crates of equipment and boxes of Ascendant products about in preparation for landing. Several thousand mindless drones (of the insectoid, not the robotic sort) stacked themselves like six-legged sardines in the boxlike carriers that would convey them to the BEEEF-proper from the landing site, while the intelligent Formics oversaw the operation and the Queen snacked on high-calorie kriskris1 in order to replace the psychic energy she'd expended moving the drones around. In view of the notorious Bragulan dislike of humans (as well as the notorious human dislike of Karlacks, who were rumored to be attending) Formics would be composing most of the Ascendant delegation.

Meanwhile, aboard the ex-Bragulan-ex-pirate-soon-to-be-ex-Ascendant gunskimmer temporarily named ANS Fabricati Diem, the Navy crew was making sure that no evidence of the Office of Shipbuilding and the Secret Federale's considerable investigations remained. It was good manners, after all - even though everyone spied on other people's ships whenever they had the opportunity, no one like being reminded that everyone else did the same thing. The gunskimmer, captured from pirate forces in the Voyageur Republic, was being returned to the BSE as a show of good faith and general friendliness by the Ascendancy.

On the two regular warships, life proceeded much as normal. All they had to do was keep any pirates or overzealous Bragulans from killing the convoy; nothing too abnormal there. For the Formics and humans of the Ascendant delegation, though, it was going to be a very interesting few months.


Official Ascendant Brochure wrote:Greetings from the Federated Ascendancy!

Whatever your species or nationality, the Ascendancy has something for you! Humans will delight in authentic Ascendant cuisine, which mixes the best of Earth French and Generic Non-Alien culinary traditions, while Bragulan visitors have enjoyed the warm hospitality provided by Ascendant multiculturalism! Robots will be pleased to note that anti-robot discrimination, that scourge of most human societies, is a thing of the past in the Ascendancy!2 Karlacks will be tempted by the deliciously-flavored Ascendant resident, raised on a diet of fine wine and strong cheese!3

Ascendant products on display at the BEEEF include:

Pike-class Heavy Cruiser: Tours by appointment with Captain Marcel Durand.

Glorieux-class Battlecruiser: Tours by appointment with Senior Captain Marine Champeval.

CAP-PPK Hand Graser and other CAP Products: The famous handgun used by Jacques Bonde in the hit holovid series! Companie Armes Personale offers a limited re-production run of the weapon, only for the BEEEF! Various other CAP products are also available.

Vinhive-Mist Shipyards Products: The largest shipyard in the Ascendancy, Vinhive-Mist is renowned as the producer of some of the galaxy's best high-power tools and techniques, all of which are on offer at the BEEEF. Various civilian spacecraft are also available.
Assorted Wines, Cheeses, Breads, and Other Foodstuffs


1: Literal translation: Foodlike Paste. A Formic food created from anything both edible and handy, smashed into a pulp and sopped up with something closely resembling bread. Edible only because Formics lack taste buds.

2: The manual-labor rung on Ascendant social ladder is occupied by Formic drones, which, unlike artificial intelligences, actually are completely unintelligent and exist largely as spare hands for their colony's Queen. As such, what robots there are in the Ascendancy tend to be intelligent and capable and are generally not discriminated against.

3: Note that Karlacks are not allowed to eat Ascendant citizens, or any intelligent creature or artificial intelligence within the borders of Ascendant space, or, as far as the Ascendancy is concerned, anyone anywhere.
Conversion Table:

2000 Mockingbirds = 2 Kilomockingbirds
Basic Unit of Laryngitis = 1 Hoarsepower
453.6 Graham Crackers = 1 Pound Cake
1 Kilogram of Falling Figs - 1 Fig Newton
Time Between Slipping on a Banana Peel and Smacking the Pavement = 1 Bananosecond
Half of a Large Intestine = 1 Semicolon

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-02 12:47pm

The Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF)
Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


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The Spud missile rose up, lifted by mighty hydraulic erectors that pointed its rigid metal shaft straight towards the heavens. There its lubricated form glistened and gleamed in the harsh spotlights that stabbed through the launch pad, in plain sight of the spectators and onlookers hunkering within the BEEEF bunker building. A countdown clock was ticking, the numerals going progressively smaller until they reached zero. Then the boosters of the Spud missile initiated, propelling its massive form into the sky - shattering the very firmament itself with the roar of raw liquid uranium/plutonium fuel-injected power, turning night into day with the superheated exhaust of its atomic rockets. The Spud was driven by the force of internal combustion, internal nuclear combustion, and at the sight of such a crude yet brutally effective method the audience couldn't help but applaud it as it penetrated the exo-sphere.

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The Spud missile's first stage separated and detonated in a focused multi-megaton nuclear initiation directed towards the Spud's second stage. The blast vaporized the Bragcrete pusher plate on the backside of the Spud, propelling it further and faster before the second stage initiated its own atomic explosion engines and hurtled through space under its own nuclear power.

Towards the orbiting Ascendancy convoy.

The Ascendant ships received the following alert as the Spud rocketed towards them:

"Welcome to the Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF). You have arrived just in time to witness the evening fireworks show."

Then, before reaching any of the Ascendant ships, the Spud initiated in a magnificent multi-megaton vegemite-enhanced nuclear explosion. There was a blinding flash visible both in the heavens and on earth, as radiation bombarded the upper atmosphere of Vlyadibragstok and sent an EMP ravaging through the area immediately below the explosion. For Bragulan electronics, which were designed to function robustly in routinely radioactive environs, this was no problem at all and for the most fragile of equipments a simple replacement of the vacuum tubes and other such simple things would suffice. For the alien visitors with their more advanced technologies and gizmos, the EMP frying Altacarian MePhones and other such sensitive gadgets would prove slightly more troublesome (a lot more).

Image

But the fireworks were, in themselves, magnificent. The sky was lit up by a brilliant aurora as radiation bombarded the planet's magnetosphere.
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Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Nineteen, Part One

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-02 08:15pm

Disruptor-class Battleship CNS Black Hole
Flagship Task Corps 8
Deep Hyperspace, Sector H-12
1807 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Vice-Admiral Prots Verio frowned. The survivors of the Prussian supply convoy had just come into communication range, trying to reach him. On the one hand, he couldn't believe that von Mückenberger had been so stupid as to send them unescorted. On the other, it was very disturbing that the enemy had cruisers hiding behind him, cruisers he hadn't detected, obviously prepositioned.

He'd already directed the task forces to spread out and start trying to do sensor sweeps, but the shoals were impossibly murky, worse than they'd seen since the beginning of operations. The worst possible timing- now, when they needed to be able to see clearly more than ever, visibility and reception in hyperspace were at their lowest. He was half surprised they'd been able to keep in contact with the Prussians at all.

"Sir! Signal from von Mückenberger!"

"Yes?" The com-scan officer should have replied immediately- what was the meaning of this? But his answer came through in a few seconds, and when Verio heard it, he understood why his subordinate had frozen for that brief moment.

"Message says "Under heavy attack. Need reinforcements." That's all; it keeps repeating."

"Send a reply- acknowledge, and ask for clarification!"

They might not be able to get any really serious bandwidth, but this was too bizarre; at least some explanation was in order. How could the Prussian fleet, a hundred ships strong with a powerful core of capital units, be needing reinforcements? What the hell's happening over there?

Still, though... however bizarre the situation might be, he had to act as thoguh the message meant exactly what it said.

"Prepare the Task Corps to move to reinforce. Instruct all allied fleets to pull in their recon units, likewise to prepare to move out."

If need be he would reinforce the Prussians, and soon. Anything big enough to threaten them would need capital ships to handle. His own flagship Black Hole, the carrier Slavering Gaoogabeast*, and the battleship Frod were the only heavy capital units in the Coalition fleet. Below that level there were a fair number of heavy cruiser and battlecruiser-weight units: several of his own units, the Tianguo carriers, the Umerian proton gun ships. But there was nothing else in his command equal in raw scale to the Prussian battleships already at Zebes.

Verio's opinion of Prussians was not high. But he suspected that anything those battleships couldn't handle would be far from easy for mere cruisers to engage.

*Apex predator on the death world of Kazjar IV. Known for its distinctive and extremely loud hunting cry. Also for being so ferocious, physically powerful, and difficult to kill that hunting them is fatally inadvisable unless one prefers to hunt with an armored column at one's back.



Patriot-class Heavy Cruiser USS Layla Daniels
Flagship, Umerian Contingent
1810 Hours


Vice Admiral Wenli Yang didn't like naval utilities. They were as wearable a pressure suit as could be designed, since they'd be used in atmosphere far more often than not... but even with the helmet off, they were still uncomfortable, and he'd never really got used to them.

Better than breathing vacuum, though. And it looked like they just might run into a serious battle soon, which justified all sorts of inconveniences.

"Ed, we're pulling in the recon pickets, but what do they have so far?"

"Nothing. These shoals are terrible, worse than the Great Barrier. High static, high permeability; detection ranges are practically zero."

Odd. Maybe... "I don't like that. Have conditions been this bad before, during operations? Do we have survey data before that?"

"Not since Hazarika got here; her reports on sensor conditions were very thorough. But it could be a quirk of local conditions."

Yang scratched his head slowly. There was something funny here, but what? "If only we had some local allies who knew the long-term conditions..." He looked to the main plot, called up a few feeds from the flagship's hyperwave detectors. "This is ridiculous, though. We can barely see the ends of our noses; it shouldn't be this bad."

Uh-oh.

It was hard to explain his brainstorms at times like this; he could hardly ever get the words out properly. Wenli usually settled for blurting out the first explanation that came to mind instead; this was no exception. "Ed, I have a hunch."

"A hunch?"

"Something is wrong with this static. There's too much and I can't shake the feeling that these transients are... unnatural, somehow. Can you get the squadron navigation and EW computers to analyze it? Look for... some kind of jamming, something that mimics the local conditions."

"Yes, sir. But are you sure? I've never heard of such a thing."

"No, but we know someone who'd want to jam us- whoever's attacking the Prussians. If they're sneaky enough, and if they had enough time to prepare..."

"I suppose it's possible. Let me get to work on it."



CNS Black Hole
1812 Hours


"Time for us to get moving! Advance the task corps, tell the other contingents to follow behind as their formations shake out." That shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but minutes might count- and they had more than a few light-years to travel to reinforce the Prussians.

But despite whatever inexplicable event had somehow placed such a huge fleet in danger, Verio was confident they could hold out for an hour or so.

That was the one thing Verio suspected that this new Zebesian threat apparently hadn't counted on: his reinforcement column!

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Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Nineteen, Part Two

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-03 12:44am

Kaiser-class Battleship SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
1813 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Call for help. Hang together. Try to survive. Call for help. Hang together. Try to survive.

Arnold's advice ran through Mückenberger's head like a mantra. He had to pull together, damn it all! Even if the enemy was treacherously attacking after he'd won the battle by brushing aside the enemy's puny fleet, bombarding the planet, and landing an army. Even so, he had to keep up appearances- never let the troops see him sweat!

"Sir!"

"What!?" No, that had sounded too panicked. He needed to calm down. Call for help, hang together, try to survive.

"Word from the Centralists; they're moving to reinforce. The other allied contingents are coming along in train."

"Good. Acknowledge that." What to do, what to do?

The enemy would give him only a few more minutes before they emerged at the hyper limit. After that, he'd have only a limited amount of time to respond to their formation and movements before they were upon him. Nothing came to mind, except... no, at the very least he needed to do one thing.

"Signal all ships: adopt Formation Six!" His carefully planned deployment for the approach to Zebes had been a variation on that; he supposed Six would work for fighting an enemy fleet once again. The battleship squadrons would take the lead, forming the tip of a pyramid, with the heavy cruiser and battlecruiser units spread out in a ring at the pyramid's base.

Escorts would be kept fanned out behind the heavy capital unit they were attached to, as always.

It could work, it could keep them concentrated enough to protect each other. They'd be slowed down by the drive damage to Oldenburg and Nassau, but it would keep them together, and let them cover the transports- that was important. If he lost those troopships to an enemy attack, it would be an unmitigated disaster. A few hundred thousand casualties in a space battle the press at home could write off, but losing millions... if he came home announcing that, he might as well not come home at all.



Valkyrie-class Battlecruiser SMS Brunhild
Flagship Sixth Battlecruiser Squadron
1813 Hours


Rear Admiral Reinhard von Musel watched the main plot with considerable interest. The unidentified enemy fleet would be coming out of hyperspace soon...

Idly, he turned to his aide. "Kircheis, what would you have ordered in von Mückenberger's position?"

"We're very short on fuel and ammunition... I imagine they have to know that, from the timing. Do you think it might be worthwhile to try and lure them into close range, make them think we're even more vulnerable?"

"Tempting, but might backfire if they have missiles or heavy beam armament."

"True, what do you think?"

"Well, we'd gain a great deal of flexibility letting the troopships fend for themselves..."

Kircheis's eyes widened. I've shocked him...

"...but that is, of course, not an option. Aside from that, though, I don't think we have time to adopt any particular strategy, not until we've seen the enemy formation and know their strengths and weaknesses in combat."

The redhead breathed a sigh of relief at "not an option," and Reinhard couldn't blame him; moving the fleet out of position to cover the transports against the intruder would mean disaster if they detached even a small fraction of their force to attack the ground forces. Millions of soldiers were still on the transports, or bunched up around their landing zones on the planet; it would take very little orbital fire to cause devastating losses.

"Yes, sir. I don't know what else we could do; I wish the fleet had more intelligence..."

The plague returned then. Kommodore Nolden sauntered by, apparently having overheard the discussion. Quietly, Reinhard gritted his teeth. Why can't you stay in your seat and let the grownups talk?

"What if we used the planet as cover against the enemy fleet? Keep it between them and us, and force them to split up?"

Kircheis was about to say something, but Reinhard cut him off. "Hmm. I don't know. Perhaps because they would spread into a ring formation and start raking us? Or perhaps launch salvoes of missiles at us, using the planet as a blind spot to block our long range point defense, then dog-legging around to hit us? Perhaps because we would have to concentrate the entire fleet into a kill zone, excuse me, volume, a few thousand kilometers across? Perhaps because we would be unable to maneuver at speed, remaining within a static volume of space, restricted to low-amplitude evasive maneuvers for fear of collision? I wonder if it could be any of those?"

Nolden, for once, actually heard something, but managed to miss the tone entirely. "Interesting, sir." He grinned widely.

Reinhard's teeth ground once again. I don't want him to be interested, I want him to go away and leave me alone! So tempting to point blank order him off the bridge... no, a better idea. "Nolden, I need you to go to Central Information Control, then to Signals. Make sure everyone in the Sixth has done their drills on the new electronic warfare routines I've had the teams work up."

"Yes, sir!" He strode off. By the time he was done with that, they'd be at Condition Red and the cretin would be in his seat.

Minutes ticked by as the enemy drew closer in hyperspace. Reinhard looked over at Kircheis- who was looking back, and nodded slightly, his face determined. He turned his attention back to the main plot; only a matter of seconds now... there!

A cascade of new contacts filled the screen- cruisers and destroyers materializing at a rate of at least ten a second, and a pair of flaring bursts of hyperwave static that heralded the arrival of the enemy battleships. Within moments, the enemy fleet was coming for them.

"Sublight drive signatures... ha! Good choice, Kircheis?"

"When was the last time I took one of your battlefield wagers?"

Second year at the academy, come to think of it... Meanwhile, the bulk of Reinhard's mind concentrated on the unknown contacts.

The enemy had spread out into three large clusters of light ships, around a solid core of battleships and cruisers- a reprise of the Zebesians' earlier tactics of long range harassment, perhaps? Suitable for energy-armed ships, and very suitable given the state of the fleet's fuel reserves; they'd see when the enemy got closer in.

The ships on the flanks were most familiar; indeed, the tactical computers were already assigning them the same target numbers they'd gotten four hours ago when the Prussians first entered the system- the ships formerly on the Zebesians' flanks, now back for another go. The ones in the center, Reinhard thought he recognized by general type, if not by precise class: those same, almost-Tianguo drives he'd seen at Target Three. And... yes, same profile on active subspace detection systems.

"Signals, order to all ships. Hold recent EW plans in reserve."

Kircheis cleared his throat. "Keeping a few surprises in store, sir?"

"Mm-hmm. I don't want the enemy's eyes on us until after I've worked out something useful to do."

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-03 10:33am

Previously on SDNW4...

"The suspects were all from the same general area where the Umerian's PUPPERS facility was located, where the Amplitur sabotaged the PUPPERS. I interrogated them and they gave similar stories. Before the attacks on the Gayte Gulf area, they met at the local wharf and were treated to fried balut by someone named Manngy. His name doesn't come up on any of the lists, he might not be a registered crab fisherman. We have all of the listed fishermen from the Gayte Gulf area, so we thought we had all of the potential Amplitur confederates, but none of them screen positive for Amplitur mind-control influences. At least, not from the preliminary scans. We'll start dissecting some of their brains soon, but I predict similar results."

"But this Manngy fellow, several of them mentioned him, said they met him on the night before the attacks," Mack continued. "Yet we don't have him in our possession. We need to find him, he's the only lead we have because he's the only person we haven't administered an enhanced interrogation to yet."

"I'm going to go back to Montgomery. I'm going to find this Manngy."


"I love you too," Manngy held her tightly, squeezed her in his arms, buried his head in her hair. He was afraid that she would disappear, scared that this was all just a pleasant dream he'd wake from. But she was real. He felt her, smelled her fragrance, felt the softness of her skin, the warmth of her body. He was afraid to let her go. "I love you so much."


Montgomery, Shepistan

Image

He moved through the shadows like an uber-patriotic torture-happy wraith, as silent as an interrogated suspect with a lungfull of water, moving deliberately and purposefully like a well-trained extraterritorial renditions squad experienced in disappearing liberals. He was all of that and more, condensed into one being, one agent, one man who could do all those things in one day, with the clock ticking and the fate of Shepistan hanging in the balance.

SIS operative Mack Hauer was almost out of time. He only had twenty four hours.

He moved at a faster pace now, sneaking through the corridors of the apartment complex in the dead of night. It was dark, but darkness was no obstacle to an agent of the SIS. Mack Hauer could see in the dark. The suspect was in one of the rooms, obscured by the walls, but cheap plaster was not an obstacle to him, either. Mack Hauer could see through walls. He saw the heat signatures of the myriad impoverished tenants who had been evicted out of their own houses and forced to live in the apartment when the real-estate bubble deflated like a fart bag, who would also soon be forced out of their current apartment complex to live in the harsh streets - just in time for Montgommery's Sagan-esque nuclear winter - when the liberals get voted out of office along with their welfare housing programs to get more funds for military spending.

Mack Hauer neared his target's location. Yet, strangely, there was no heat signature from inside the room. No... wait, it was there but it was very faint.

No. It can't be.

Mack Hauer ran towards the room, smashing its cheap plastic door open with one kick, entering the premises and scanning the interior - weapon held at the ready, loaded with alternating armor-piercing rounds and hollowpoints to deal with threats both human and crustacean. He went through the living area, the dining area, and entered the tenant's sleeping quarters.

But it was.

There, he found his target.

Image

Hanging from a piece of rope tied to the bedroom ceiling.

He had been dead for hours.

Mack cursed. The goddamn graphs hadn't predicted this, goddamn it! This guy was their only lead. The fishermen detained at Gayte Gulf he had interrogated were useless, the only lead he had was with this Manggy guy - and how he was dead. Shit.

The only respite Mackey had was that this lead was very inconveniently dead, just by happenstance. But he knew there was no such thing such as coincidence, and finding Manngy dead just hours before he got there, that was actually confirmation that his hunch - to follow this particular lead - was right. Except, this particular lead was dead! Dead as a doorknob, like the one on the door he kicked down. Dead as a dodo, casualties from the government's nuking of the mutant hell geese. Dead as a fish! Dead! Dead! Dead!

Mackey cursed again.

Image

"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-"

But he stopped himself.

He found something on the bedside table.

Dear Manngy,

I'm leaving you. You have been a good husband, but in the years you've spent here in Shepistan, I've found someone else back in the Feelipeens, someone who can love me for what I am for simply being me, someone who can be a father to our children. I'm so sorry, Manngy. I know that you've worked so hard here in Shepistan, so far away, to earn money for us, your family. But now... we're not your family anymore, so finally you can live for yourself in the life you have here in Montgomery.

Thank you for buying me those batteries.

Goodbye, Manngy.

Love,
Your wife
Luzviminda


Image

"It can't be his wife," said Frill Frissom, an SIS forensics contractor, as he examined the piece of paper.

The SIS support team had arrived to quarantine the scene. Since everyone in the apartment complex was potentially contaminated by the Amplitur's influence, the black vertibirds came and disgorged SIS commandos who promptly restrained and detained everyone in and around the building. The whole block was closed off from the public and within thirty minutes of Mack Hauer's discovery, the place was crawling with SIS personnel combing through every detail of the apartment - waving PKE meters around, dusting surfaces for fingerprints, enhanced-interrogating apartment tenants, and sending paramilitary PUPPERS to sniff around for any signs of the Amplitur.

"We followed your leads, our people investigated all of Manngy's relatives when you told us he was your suspect. Mrs. Fuckiao is currently still in the Feelipeens, and unless she took an express jeepney to the Montgomery warp gate, there's no way she could've written this letter or caused Manngy's suicide. I'm sure of it."

Mack Hauer simply nodded his head.

"Do you want us to detain the wife, just in case?" Frill offered.

"No, it won't be necessary." Mack replied.

"Well, we did it anyway. After we investigated her, we took her to Gaytanomo for enhanced interrogations. That's why I was so sure she didn't do it." Frill laughed.

"I like your style, Frissom." Mackey chuckled.

"The liberals will want us to give the inmates a 'fair trial' or something, but they'll be out of office by the end of the year and their welfare housing projects will get cut too. So all the people here in the apartment would've ended up in the streets, but thanks to us, they'll be warm and cozy in Gaytanomo instead, and they'll never get thirsty there. It all worked out, am I rite?" Frill laughed heartily.

"Rite. That's good to hear," Mack replied noncommittally. "Do we have anything else?"

"I have confirmation of Amplitur involvement here and now," Frill said, suddenly serious. "See this handwriting here on the letter?"

He brought the letter for Mackey to see.

"Yeah? It's not handwriting?" Mack asked. Frill nodded his head. "What, is it printed?"

"No," Frill shook his head. "It's not handwriting. It's clawwriting."

Mack's eyes widened in realization.

"That son of a bitch!" he cursed.
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Siege » 2011-01-03 01:24pm

Wild Space
Sector U-20


Earlier, in Wild Space... wrote:The Spirit in the Night was a sitting duck when the brooding giant came bearing down upon it. The pirates didn't bother to radio any instructions, instead catching their prey in a strong gravity net in order to pull it close enough to extend boarding hatches.

The members of the corsair boarding party, a dozen hard men decked out in vacuum combat suits, waited patiently until the hatches locked shut and their slaved Byzantine warcomputer brute-force overrode the feeble civilian lock-out program on the freighter's airlocks. Some of them were already thinking of what they'd do with their share of the ransom; others had more immediate, physical pleasures on their mind. They leered at each other underneath their flash-shielded visors. This was shaping up to be altogether too easy.

That was when all the lights went out at once.


Image

Second Engineer Ciff El Hakkouni let out a hacking cough and tried to clear the cobwebs from his mind. He was confused. His head hurt, and he couldn't quite remember what just happened. He'd been in the main engine bay of the Crying Lightning when the power cut out and then... Nothing. He shook his head again and tried to move, only to find he couldn't.

Traces of worry began to bubble up through his mind. He opened his eyes, and found himself looking down at his belly, which was tightly tied to the chair on which he was sitting. In the head of the Klavostani mercenary-turned-pirate, worry turned to panic. Something had gone horribly wrong in his world.

He whipped his head up and around, and found himself in one of the cargo holds of the Crying Lightning, staring first at an imposing black-skinned man. The man was sitting on a chair just like the one El Hakkouni found himself on, but he wasn't tied down. In fact, the man was looking very intently at him, a hint of a grin on his face as if something really funny was going on. The glaring electric lights danced off his bald head, sinking his eyes in patches of shadow.

That was disconcerting. More disconcerting though was that just to the side of of the big black man was a pile of what looked an awful lot like the dead bodies of his erstwhile comrades-in-arms, still in their combat armors. He could tell they were most likely dead by the pool of red liquid that was pooling around the pile. A black-haired, pale-skinned woman was sitting on top of the heap of bodies. She was wearing the same matte black armor as the black man.

"Mr. El Hakkouni," the man said, his voice a rich baritone. "How agreeable of you to join us."

"How-" Ciff began. An ice-cold clump had settled at the pit of his stomach. "Who-" Somehow his voice didn't seem to want to cooperate. His thoughts were fuzzy, didn't come together right, as if someone had pulled a blanket over his mind. The black-haired woman was staring at him intently with those big eyes of her, in a way that really freaked him out.

"Who, why, where, when. How." The black man dismissively waved a gauntleted hand. The engineer could see there were throwing knives strapped to his forearm. "You need not concern yourself with these things, Mr. El Hakkouni. Only one question is important. What. More specifically, what do we want of you?"

The paralyzing fear subsided a little. Even though the haze that had settled in his mind he knew that was good. They wanted something of him. That meant he had something to bargain for. "H-hold on." He squinted his eyes, taking in his interrogator and the expensive-looking combat suit he was wearing. It was featureless but for a dull emblem on the chest, depicting some kind of bird in flight. El Hakkouni decided to focus on that, and not pay attention to the heap of corpses or the stench of blood that permeated the cargo hold. "You're not Imperials," he reasoned. "That means you gotta be Solarians or Cevaucians. Which means you're not going to space me. Which means I have rights. You can't hold me like this."

"See, that's where you're wrong," the black man smiled. It didn't look sincere at all. "Because we do it for a living. And because you're a pirate and nobody will miss you if we torture your worthless ass." Another gesture, this time at the pile of dead pirates. "Like we did your friends here." A shrug. "Now, it turns out they didn't know what we wanted to know. Compartmentalized information, very smart. And the worm we loaded into your computer was a little too efficient in wiping out, well, pretty much everything." Now the man pointed a finger at El Hakkouni. "Which leaves you, the second engineer. I bet you have what we want."

"M-me." It began to dawn on El Hakkouni that he was not dealing with an ordinary band of law-enforcers. Nor had the spacers on that ship they had been after gotten unusually lucky - no, this had been a trap from the beginning. The ambushers had been ambushed. He may have been able to appreciate the irony if he hadn't been tied up by what looked like two very dangerous people. "What do you want from me?"

"Information," the man said. He crossed his arms over the back of the chair and looked at El Hakkouni. "I want to know how many ships you've raided in the last year. I want to know your port of call. And I want to know what you do with the psions you kidnap. Who do you sell them to?"

El Hakkouni feigned all the outrage he could. "We're not slavers! We're honest-"

In a single fluid motion the black man drew one of the knives, thumbed a small button on the handle and threw it at the engineer. With a dull hum the v-knife went through muscle and bone like a stick of hot butter, embedding itself in the back of the chair and pinning El Hakkouni to it. Ciff screamed in agony as the buzzing knife briefly continued to saw through tendons and cartilage before automatically switching off. It took longer for El Hakkouni's agonized cries to trail off into a whimper. By the time it did the black man had resumed smiling.

"Please don't lie to me, Mr. El Hakkouni, or I will be forced to put the next one in a place where it will do far more lasting damage." He balanced one of his knives on the tip of his finger. "You are a pirate and a slaver. I know this because your friends," again a motion at the dead, "have told me this. You cannot lie to me about things I already know. Now, if you'd be so kind as to divulge the information we require?"

Gasping, Ciff El Hakkouni forced the tears of pain from his eyes. He grit his teeth. "If I tell you, you'll just kill me."

"Yes."

The engineer spat on the metal floor. "Then why should I tell you?"

The man shrugged. "A fair enough point." He looked at the woman. She nodded without speaking. "Alright, so you were the engineer. It's fair to say you must have abused a fair number of slaves yourself, but you probably didn't kill anyone. You're scum, no doubt about it, but maybe a little less so than your friends. So I'll make you a deal. Tell us what we want to know and instead of killing you we'll drop you at the first spaceport we run across."

"Y-you won't kill me?"

"I won't."

El Hakkouni narrowed his eyes and looked at the black-haired woman. "A-and she won't either?"

"Sure." The black man's grin widened imperceptibly. "I'll even patch up that arm of yours."

Ciff El Hakkouni briefly weighed his options, then decided to go for broke. He told them what they wanted to know. They asked several more questions, mostly asking for specifics. After each question the fuzzy feeling in his head intensified, and it felt as if someone had replaced his brain with a bag of wool. Finally the woman gave the bearest of nods. "He's telling the truth."

The black man nodded and stood up from the chair. "Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. El Hakkouni."

"Yeah, whatever man. Now cut me loose. We had a deal."

"We did indeed." The man nodded and drew a pistol from a compartment in his armor. Ciff El Hakkouni had just enough time to twist his features into an expression of horror and outrage before the laser punched a hole through his forehead, flash-vaporizing blood and brains that exploded out in a gory rupture through ears and eyes before caking the steel wall and floor of the cargo bay. The lifeless body of the second engineer went limp against the ropes that held him in the chair.

Anthemum Dubal looked with some satisfaction at his partner and fellow member of the Wild Geese. "We are making progress at last."

Sirocco Montague looked with distaste at the fresh corpse and the mess it had made of the bay. "About time, too. Bring in the next one. Let's get this over with."
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Chaotic Neutral » 2011-01-03 10:33pm

Sector ???
USC Thermopylae
Unreal Time


A plethora of explosions lit up the sky over the planet, Grasp. The planet's defenders were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. For every ship they managed to destroy, the invaders slaughtered three more.

Staring coldly at the holomap of the ongoing battle, Admiral Bellatrix Williams could only hope that forces she commanded would be able to repel the aliens.

"Dave, have us, the Trafalgar, and the Zeus target their Dreadnought," she told the ship's AI.

"Very well, ma'am. The Zeus and Trafalgar have opened fire with missiles and MAGs."

Just before the Thermopylae could target the dreadnought, an enemy cruiser fired it's beam projector straight at the supercarrier.

"Admiral, a cruiser is targe..."

Before anyone on the bridge could hear the rest of the sentence, the beam pierced the ship, cutting through the armor and tearing it in half. Deep inside the ship, the bridge was suddenly exposed to the vacuum of space. Unfortunately for the admiral, it pulled her out of the ship. But before she was expelled, she managed to grab a firehose near the door...

Sector B-26
EHW Obliteration
Unreal Time


The holodeck paused when someone entered the room, the returning gravity slamming Bellatrix into the floor from a few meters up.

Bruising her skull, the Admiral barked at the private, "What the hell! I was in the middle of something!"

"Sorry Ma'am, I was told to tell you that we've received a transmission from command."

She sighed, "Fine, now leave me."

Before going to the bridge, she told the computer, "Hal, ratio."

"Two point three to one, Bell."

A few minutes later...

On board the bridge, Captain Machiavelli greeted "Admiral! We've received orders to take most of the assault fleet to assist in efforts to patrol the trade lanes. The Ork attacks have become more frequent, three hours ago we've had our 25th cargo ship this month attacked, and 1 hour ago, the 12th civilian transport was raided."

The Admiral was irritated, "Fucking Orks."



Result: ~80% of the assault fleet is sent to police trade lanes.
Last edited by Chaotic Neutral on 2011-01-03 10:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Chaotic Neutral » 2011-01-03 10:44pm

Beowulf wrote:Guangdong Warp Gate,
Bao'an System
Guangdong Sector, Tianguo


"Sir, we've got a gate activation request coming through."

"Is the Iris still closed?"

The technician check both tell-tales, and the visual feed. Through it, one could see the massive armor plates that made up the Iris, which fit perfectly together only a micrometer above the event horizon of the gate. It was closed. All the while during the conversation, a growing bass tone could be heard as the warp gate machinery spun up, fed by energy from the far side.

"Yes, sir. Iris is still closed and locked."

"Do we have a valid authorization code?"

"No sir, it's definitely not a gate that we have authorized transit from."

"Keep the Iris closed."

Seconds later, a profound bass *WHAANNNG!* sound could be heard reverberating through the station.


After receiving no transmissions when the first ship went through the gate, an automated system on board the gate station created a copy of the original Saint #3. Being irritated by what happened, he started on writing an angry diplomatic message...

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Mayabird » 2011-01-03 10:47pm

BYZON: Cultural Learnings of the Refuge for Make Benefit Glorious Bragulan Star Empire

Epilogue: Fulcrum’s Thoughts


The Refuge would return, with more ships to start an embassy and trade goods and so forth, but first they had to report back home. There would be extensive examinations to make sure they had not been unduly influenced or coerced, and the Contact teams would study the information they brought back, and all the other tasks that needed to be done.

Fulcrum was, in one way, happy to be going back to his home. It had been an exhausting time and he had barely gotten any sleep; even as safe as the Refuge’s stims were, it wasn’t good to use them too long or use them to not sleep at all.

He had considered himself a well-traveled Avian, having lived on and visited hundreds of the Refuge’s ships and habs and even Garden twice. All that was nothing compared to the alien, vigorous, arrogant, proud, magnificent bastardry that was Bragule.

And...it had been fun. Fulcrum had been told so many times, had it drilled into him, that he would be given a huge show for his amusement, to make a good impression, just as the Refuge was hoping to do. It wouldn’t be real, don’t let it influence you, but... It was the most fun he had ever had in his entire life, and he probably would never have so much fun again. It was a sad thought.

But soon there would be BEEEF, and Contact had better let him go to that.
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SDNW4 Nation: The Refuge And, on Nova Terra, Al-Stan the Totally and Completely Honest and Legitimate Weapons Dealer and Used Starship Salesman slept on a bed made of money, with a blaster under his pillow and his sombrero pulled over his face. This is to say, he slept very well indeed.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby PeZook » 2011-01-04 04:54am

Somewhere in Wild Space

Pain...there was so much pain.

It started when the God came and declared him worthy. They whispered into his mind and praised Red for his efforts. But then, terrible things began to happen.

His mind barely registered them, but the pain was still night unbearable: cold metal tools drilled through his carapace, searing flesh, inserting metal and wires into it. Powerful medicine coarsed through his veins, searing, burning and twisting his body. There were other things as well, and all painful, all horrible. There were days spent doing nothing but popping in and out of consciousness, only to know pain, fever, aching joints, throbbing headaches.

After some time, the pain began to abate, and Red felt altogether different. Misery was replaced by euphoria. Pain by joy. He could feel a new sort of strength. The gods then took him, and inserted wires and cables into holes drilled in his carapace, and with searing flame, they altered his mind. Gone was the doubt, the fear, the insecurity. The cables touched Red's mind and for the first time in his life, the Amplitur felt true, unlimited power at his command.

The days of bending the will of scurrypods and scaring away predators were over.

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Red had been remade.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Darkevilme
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Darkevilme » 2011-01-04 10:29am

Enroute to the BEEEF

“I think it's time we tell them it's not going to be ready in time.”
“Dear, if we don't sell it to the Bragulans then clan Eshe has no use for it and it's back to the bottom for us. It's now or never.”
“I know Hestai but I'm not a miracle worker, it's NOT going to be ready in time. It can't be, the power stabilization issues alone will require weeks and we have less than a day before arrival. The issues with the AI are gonna take months.”
“I know all that, but we gotta do it or we'll never have those months.”
“Sorry, it's just...I'm under a lot of stress, and the way the others look at us. Doesn't it ever get to you?”
“A little dear, now try and get some sleep okay? You'll need it for the BEEEF.”

Bragulan Economic exposition extravaganza of friendship, Vlyadibragstok

The Chamarrans had arrived. Their setup in the great halls of exposition had earned some understanding looks from their Bragulan hosts and some bemusement from those other guests who had not taken a good look at the floor plan. The Chamarran exposition demonstrating mild schizophrenia regarding its purpose, seemingly torn between its identity as a place to demonstrate and show off Chamarran wears and an encampment designed to resist the assault of a good half dozen infantry squads. Anonymous lockers were evenly spaced around their patch of the exposition floor while the floating drones they had brought with them looked to the discerning eye awfully similar to the military grade ones Chamarrans were known to employ. Most obvious an indication of their caution however came in the shield curtain running the entire perimeter of the exhibit, running on standby with enough power to create a mild prickling sensation but likely ready to power up to maximum at a moments notice.

But despite the Paranoid nature of their exposition the Chamarrans nonetheless attracted crowds with their wares.

- - -

“May we have a volunteer please. Thankyou now, take this gun and threaten someone in the audience please.”

The human patron looked a little uncertain but took up the flechette pistol proffered by the catgirl and with an uncertain grin took aim at someone in the crowd. The reaction was immediate.

“Intimidation attempt detected, drop your weapon immediately and assume the non threat position.” The nearby pacifier commanded and spun around to face him, the supposedly armed and dangerous human hesitates and looks uncertainly at the catgirl who just smiles.

”Compliance not detected, neutralizing!” the pacifier declared and there's a buzz, the human barely having time to yelp before he's struck by the stun bolt and slumps slowly into unconsciousness. The announcer deftly swiping the gun before it hits the floor “As you can see our pacifiers quickly and efficiently put a stop to crimes in progress and disruptions of public peace yet do so in an entirely humane and ethical manner.”

- - -

“Seen here is the phantasm-4 Trigrav, this silent vehicle is perfect for luxury transit or police work. Running on the patented Hierarchy triple engine this aircar has unparalleled manouverability and stability along with enough power to reach orbit. Demonstrations and test flights will be available tomorrow once we've cleared it with our generous hosts.”

- - -

A crowd watches as on a screen a machine the size of a cityblock releases a plume of cloud from its towering summit like a technological volcano.
“This is the Br-14 planetary atmospheric reprocessing plant seen in action on one of our worlds. These premier machines are in a large part responsible for the development of the Hierarchy into the powerful nation it is now. Best of all the Br-14 is moveable despite its size and can be relocated once terraforming has been completed as seen here.”
The screen switches to an image of a massive barge in orbit over a planet as slowly the terraforming plant is raised up on tractor beams from the surface below.

- - -

CRACK!
“As you can see the b-99 Beam rifle is capable of punching clean through most forms of powered armour in use in the galaxy, never be caught unable to harm your foes again on the changing battlefield of the 35th century.”

- - -

For Hestai and Siln the previous forty eight hours had been a frenzy of activity that had only intensified as they neared the scheduled show-time. It was twenty minutes before curtains that they got a chance to check back with eachother.

“Okay...can we do this?” Hestai asks looking up at their creation and then back to Siln her partner and lover both, the Chamarran who had made this idea possible and whose initial work that attracted the attention and sponsorship of clan Eshe.

“I can hardly believe it myself, but yes. We'll have to operate it remotely for the demonstration however but it'll work.” Siln said, just leaning against a stack of diagnostic equipment and contemplating the past dozen hours of fatigue weighing heavily upon him.

“And the power issue? It's hardly gonna look good if it shuts down mid demonstration.”

Siln smiles “We disconnected the arm beams and mounted some heavy K-bolters I had bought from the next hall along, it's crude but it'll work and considering the Brags crude is no bad thing.”

“I hope you're right dear, we're not gonna have a chance to test it before the demonstration.”

“I will be love, just watch.”

- - -

The fatigue was kept at bay and Hestai was grateful, but the fluttery and insubstantial nature of her current wakefulness is an all too real reminder of how when the drugs fade she will crash like a stone. The catgirl standing in front of a massive viewscreen and looking at the assembled Bragulans, trying to read their expressions as they wait for the demonstration to begin.

“Honoured guests, Comrade Bragulans. It is my great pleasure to present the latest product of clan Eshe, a weapon system at the cutting edge of Hierarchy sophistication custom built to meet the needs of our Bragulan comrades at the dawn of a new century. I now present to you, Imperator Prime!”

The screen behind her shows activity as the previously inert cargo container door starts to trundle up, the small camera drone watching from amidst the ruined demonstration area.

Khosviknavosh had been intrigued since he'd heard that a clan in the Hierarchy had asked specifically to show a product to the Bragulan military, but being kept waiting had started to wither his curiousity up till this point. His interest returned rapidly as he and the others saw what was in the container.

At first Khosvik thought it was a Freedom Prime, one of the war robots glorious comrade nation Shepistan were so fond of, but this was not Freedom Prime..this was Imperator Prime and has it strode out into the light the differences were all too apparent, both taller and much heavier set than a Freedom yet sleek in a telltale manner that spoke of its origins with the kitty girls.

Unusual also was the dish opening inset into the chest of the war machine and even more so the mass of weld scars and uncharacteristicly boxy armour plating on and around the two gun mounts on its left and right arms. But then the machine spoke and all misgivings Khosvik had about the curves vanished.

“Imperator prime is online. Hail Byzon. Prime directives, the eradication of the eternal Solarian foe and the triumph of the glorious Bragulan Empire.” the robot boomed out in Bragulan.

“Those wishing to watch this demonstration of Imperator prime directly are invited to take up positions adjacent to the observation windows, the live fire demonstration will begin momentarily.” Hestai said and turned to conferr with Siln who was busy in the background with some large console.

Khosvik looked at his fellows moving to the windows but decided to stay and observe via the viewscreen, besides there was something decidedly odd about the two doing this presentation and it wasn't just that one of the all too rare male Chamarrans was one of them.

“Thankyou for your patience gentlemen, now we will begin.” Hestai says moving away from Siln and taking position to explain midway between the windows and screen.

Out on the field the first foes for the metal giant were released, toximutoids from the depths of almighty Bragule's sewer system itself. The Toximutoids emaciated and slime covered forms bursting out of semi concealed holding containers amidst the ruins. The pollutive abominations taking a moment to acclimatize to the cold air before their omnicidal tendencies fixated as one upon the robotic collossus and with a series of screeching cries the beasts bound and leapt to set upon it.

Imperator prime responded to this assault swiftly, unleashing a hail of k-bolter rounds from each arm and each aimed at a specific onrushing monstrousity, heavy caliber rounds shredding their bodies in a spray of body parts and the various noxious fluids integral to a biochemistry that could survive so lethal an enviroment as a Bragulan sewer. But though the Imperator was mighty the toximutoids were many and soon the war-machine was forced to fight in close quarters as the beasts in vain scrabbled and clawed at its carapace.

The Imperator's mighty feet smashing down, pulping instantly its toxic foes as armour sizzled and hissed from exposure to their fluids. Then in a display of showmanship that Khosvik noticed coincided with a marked increase in Siln's console manipulation Imperator Prime snatched up one of its foes “None can withstand the mighty fist of the Imperator!” it declares, its fist closing and bissecting the beast with a squish.

“As you can see the might of Imperator prime is matched only by the might of the Empire itself. We will now move on to more sophisticated opposition.” Hestai declares with pride. Out on the field several crude mock ups of men in power armour start popping up from behind cover, unleashing hails of gunfire on the Imperator that stop short of striking the machine itself and instead splash on a wavering distortion projected around Prime.

“As you can see the Imperator is equipped with state of the art Chamarran shielding technology allowing it to ignore the assault of such insignificant foes and sweep them aside at its leisure.” Hestai says as the Imperator sets about doing that, hails of k-bolt fire from its arms part obliterating and part melting the mock infantry.

“To die before the Empire's weapons is the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon our enemies!” Booms Imperator Prime as the battlefield finally goes silent, the last of the 'infantry' now thoroughly put out of commission. The silence is broken anew though by the growl of an engine after several seconds, a tank grinding its way onto the field of battle as the Imperator stands ready.

A rolling boom thundered across the field, the tank letting loose its armament the moment it came to a halt and causing the Imperator to stagger from the shell piercing its shielding. But a moment later the robot righted itself, lowering the arm it had interposed defensively to stop the shell.

“In addition to sophisticated shields Imperator prime is equipped with advanced VEGEMITE impregnated armour alloys made possible by the exports of Bragulan benevolence.” Hestai declares and smiles as Imperator prime is heard to be humming, the Bragulan onlookers just given enough time to perceive a glow forming in the chest cavity of machine before with a sound like a thousand thunderclaps Imperator Prime did away with the enemy tank. A beam of brilliance lancing from the chest of Prime and carving the tank in twain.

“Death is all that awaits those who challenge the invincible might of the Empire.” Imperator Prime declared and assumed a ready posture as steam poured from vents along its torso.

“And finally as you can see revolutions in miniaturization have given the Imperator unparalleled firepower, what you have just witnessed is the first in a new range of vehicle mounted beamcannons.” Hestai says confidently as she notes the general air of impressed projected by the assembled Bragulans. Then Khosvik approached, looming as a bear must over the kitty “Most impressive Hestai-chan. However, you have not been entirely honest with us have you.”
Hestai wondered where all that confidence was that she had a moment ago, cause suddenly she doesn't feel any of it “I do not quite understand your accusation general Khosviknavosh.” she says trying to avoid bodily indicators that would show her growing nervousness even to a non chamarran.

“Your friend there was controlling the machine via remote. I watched him, bears are not so easy to fool.”
Well there you have it then, the gig is up. May as well come clean, Hestai nods with a sinking sensation.
“Yes, we could not get an artificial intelligence ready in time for the exposition.” she admits and then tries to be conciliatory “You have my deepest apologies for attempting to deceive you like this, please believe it was forced on us by necessity. We will pack our things and be on our way by tomorrow.”
And then Khosvik laughed.
“Nonsense my Chamarran friend, you will not be going anywhere. We will take fifty, it was good show none the less da.” he said and Hestia tries to avoid falling over from shock.

“What? I mean...of course. If you're serious?”
“Da.”
STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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Siege
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Siege » 2011-01-04 01:06pm

Economy Extravanganza of Fff... or other

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The Solarian pavillion was an mountain of crystal, an inverted chandelier perched upon the frozen wastes of Vlyadibragstok, as magnificient as it was beautiful to behold. In a way it was the result of the Brags' own obnoxiousness: in their spitefulness they had assigned the mission of Sovereignty businesses a much smaller patch of land than the other participants... But they had said nothing at all about the maximum height of the pavillion. so when the Sovvies had arrived and their massive orbital freighter had begun lowering the massive one-piece pavillion from space onto the surface with sets of heavy-duty field-manipulators the Brags had sputtered.

They had fucking sputtered.

And then they had consulted their thick leather-bound tomes of rules and regulations, and they had found that indeed none of them covered anything that specifically ruled out the ridiculously tall contraption the Sovvies had dreamt up. Which had no doubt lead to dozens of Bragulan lawmakers being consigned to short and violent lives in the Bragulags. Which, in turn, probably had the Sovvies in stitches, because it was what they had expected. It was, like, reverse double-think, with a double dose of irony. Bad enough to give the most ideologically pure Bragulan a major case of constipation, so instead of lingering on it they had chosen to simply ignore the Sovvie delegation as they had erected their massive crystal thing like a strong, tall... erect thing.

Now, the Crystal Palace (as the insolent Sovvies had deemed to call it) towered imperiously over the frozen wastes of Vlyadibragstok, looking weirdly elegant on a planet full of the blocky, steely, rusty, frost-rimed post-neo-brutalist architecture favoured by the Bragulans themselves. Transport to the Palace was taken care of by a fleet of luxury LARCs (because the Brags, in their spitefulness, had chosen to assign the Sovvies a spot in the middle of a fucking tundra, a thousand miles away from the nearest city). Visitors were thus ferried to the Crystal Palace in an atmosphere of preposterous luxury.

Inside the Crystal Palace, there were missions by almost every Solarian megacorp. DeBarros General Products showcased a wide range of products, from civilian cybernetics and LARCs to weapons. Maibatsu put up flashy demos of its wide range of drones and hovercycles... and weapons. SinTEK showed a range of biogenetic augmetics... some of which were also usable as weapons. So did Tyrell, but with more emphasis on the weaponry aspect. A special place at the center of the palace was reserved for a historical recreation of the Bragulan Wars, filled with flashy holotainment versions of major battles, the common theme amongst which appeared to be 'in the end, Bragulans get atomized'.

The only exception was a low-key Pan-Empyrean Positronics booth, which focused solely on pushing the advantages of cybertech, the Datasphere, Computatial Intelligence and psionics. A corner of the booth was co-sponsored by the Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation, which promoted some of their weirder unifying theories of cybernetics and psionics and how they would lead to what the Foundation called a 'mutable universe'.

Security at the Crystal Palace was taken care of by a small army of enforcers who, much to the Bragulans' collective chagrin, collectively wore black suits and sunglasses.
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SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Fingolfin_Noldor » 2011-01-04 01:24pm

The Final (and Absolute Final) Conclusion to the Battle of Nova Genoa
Written by Fin, Siege, Shroom and Shady

Nova Genoa lay within the Western Command of the Imperial Armed Forces, and was thus also under the supervision of the Ultramarines Legion. When contact with Nova Genoa was lost, the Western Command, centered at Thessaloniki, had ordered a scout shuttle to head to the world to determine the cause of the loss of contact. When the transmission from Flash Stalin was received, the Western Command recalled the shuttle, and instead ordered the nearest battlegroup, headed by the Ultramarines Strike Cruiser Aetheon, to respond. The Ultramarines were also ordering another battlegroup, led by the other Ultramarines Strike Cruiser Hyperion, to respond, but it was likely that the Hyperion battlegroup would not respond in time. Regardless, the Aetheon battlegroup lept into the Warp, heading towards their target at maximum Warp velocity. Whether they could save the world, was anyone’s guess.

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==================

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“This may have been a bad idea,” said Lucifer and his minder was inclined to agree. Space around the massive flagship was awash with explosions, and the Murderous herself was very nearly invisible, obscured by dozens of stroboscopic flashes as her autolasers poured volley after hypercharged volley into space. The entire USSF flotilla was firing everything they had as they hurled themselves at the heart of the Swarm that was surrounding New Genoa. Tracer trails of exotic matter tore into the omega fields and carapace of the Karlack attack ships, the Star Force warcraft had reinforced their hyperfields to full opacity and space was full with the dead or dying corpses of lesser bioforms

Still, Brigadier Flash Stalin had a sinking feeling that it might not be enough. There were an awful lot of Karlack ships present, and unlike earlier bug-hunts the enemy showed no sign of retreating at the first sign of his flotilla. On the contrary, they were positively eager to throw themselves at his flotilla. I’m another tasty snack the Brigadier thought and grimaced as the Murderous shuddered ever so slightly as its fields were battered by slicer beams from a pair of overzealous Reapers. Autolaser fire from Murderous’ escort Antares stitched through space, tearing one of the two Karlack ships apart in a burst of ichor and dark energy backwash.

“We are under heavy fire.” The voice of the brigadier’s CI was calm as ever, but the minute tremors that passed through the deck plates of the massive Star Force flagship betrayed the sheer volume of withering fire directed at it.

“Tell me something I don’t know.” Flash Stalin’s voice was a barely audible growl. His eyes fluttered over the dozens of status screens that hung before him even as his ship pumped volumes of wireless data into his cranium, offering him an comprehensive view of the battlespace. ”Procyon and Aldebaran, fall back to the main formation.” The nonverbal command was relayed instantly to the two warstars in danger of being cut off from the squadron by the looming mass of the World Eater mothership. Another command ordered a set of strikestars to change position in order to let the flagship’s superior firepower take out a flight of dozens of Karlack ships that hurtled at them. They reacted, but not fast enough: one of the sleek metal daggers was rammed by a Slicer ship, gutting the Star Force vessel. Flights of gunmetal gray gunships and IOU pickets harried the remaining Karlack ships, tearing into them with vicious abandon. Ships were on fire all around him -- Karlack ships, and his own. The computerized thoughtspace that existed between the Star Force battleships was full of flashing warnings and the dying cries of Offensive Units torn apart by fearsomely powerful Karlack beam weapons.

The Swarm may have a reputation of brutish creatures without intellect, but they were operating with a cunning intellect, Stalin noticed: even as his squadron pushed into the flank of the Karlack englobement, the Swarm was pulling back at the front of his formation in order to probe its sides for weaknesses - weaknesses that were then immediately exploited, as evidenced as another pair of IOUs flickered out of existence on his holographic displays, their armoured bulks mass-scattered by a fusillade of spores launched by one of the World Crusher ships that prowled the edges of his flotilla. Threat assessments projected over the brigadier’s retina showed almost his entire squadron covered under red lines as the entire Swarm it seemed squirmed and wheeled around to face this tasty new threat.

And then, just as Stalin began to think he’d never make it through the hordes of Karlack bioforms, they were through. New Genoa glittered below him, and from this altitude it seemed barely affected by the Karlack onslaught. But the brigadier new better. “All ships, change vector. Assume a shielding position over the primary continent, then launch the transports. Emergency evacuation protocol -- nothing gets through as long as we’re here!”

In private, Flash Stalin just hoped he would be able to make it back out.

==================

On Nova Genoa, it rained from the stars. The Karlack fleet rained spores from space, and landed troops onto the ground. The spores, which gained a notoriety during the Imperium-Karlack war, were changing the landscape, corrupting the fauna, and changing it fundamentally, and thoroughly. Spikes were growing on plants, and sickly green thorny vines were wrapping themselves around many a tree and appeared to be strangling them.

Anti-orbital plasma lances and photon lances lit the sky amidst the falling spores. Some Karlack ships were struck, forcing them to withdraw, while some troop vessels were set afire, sending them crashing down and burning. But there were too many, and no matter how frantic the firing was, with their barrels white hot, there was no way the Imperial garrison could stop all the troop ships from landing. What was left of the population was forced into a quarantined area within the base to prevent any more infiltrations by possible Karlack sympathizers. The bodies of the saboteurs were taken for further analysis and double guard was placed on sensitive areas. The Imperial garrison readied to fight off the Karlacks, even to the death if need be. Void shield generators were check and rechecked to make sure they extended well underground, especially given the Karlacks’ penchant for digging underground. Tank battalions sallied forth to fight off concentrations of Karlacks that had landed. If the Imperial garrison was to fight and die, they would make a glorious end of it.

But now something else was coming down from the skies as well -- something that fell far faster, and at much steeper angles. The USMC drop pods were accelerating even as they powered through the atmosphere. Their heatshields wore away into sensor-jamming chaff as they tore across the primary continent of New Genoa, trailing hypersonic shockwaves before impacting atop the advancing hordes of Karlack bioforms before they could reach the final Imperial line of defence. Their meteoric impacts devastated the Karlack advance and slammed huge gaping craters into the ground - craters from which emerged the dreaded forms of FORCE exoshells with all guns blazing.

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The USMC special operators and the intellects that guided them began taking the Swarm to pieces. Imperial observers were now beginning to see the contrails of Para-Marine dropshops arc toward their hold-outs. Still, even the FORCE troops would not be enough to hold off the swarm indefinitely and the cold digital minds that guided the exoshells realized this. They began broadcasting a singular message back toward the Imperial lines:

"RUN! GO! GET TO DA CHOPPA!”

========================

In space, the Aetheon battlegroup emerged from the Warp a distance from Nova Genoa. High Captain Scipio Actium paced about the bridge in his Terminator Armor and stared at the hologram. Turning to the communication officer, he told him through the neural network, “Open a channel to Brigadier Stalin.”

“Aye, M’Lord.”

“Brigadier Flash Stalin, this is High Captain Scipio Actium of the Ultramarines Legion. You have our thanks and gratitude for the message sent and we are moving to support. Suggest you support the evacuation efforts, while we attempt to divert the Karlack’s attention. High Captain Scipio Actium out.”

Turning to the helmsman, the Ultramarine High Captain instructed, “Helmsman, proceed along this vector at flank speed,” the High Captain gestured on the hologram, “and instruct the rest of the fleet to follow and to assume Arrow head formation.”

Turning to the weapons officer, “Weapons officer, prime the Warp cannons and the nova cannon. Instruct the fleet to fire long range weapons and synchronize with us. Scutum defence systems to engage in standard assault and defensive algorithms.”

With that the ships assumed an arrowhead formation with the Ultramarine Strike Cruiser in the lead. With the Solarian warships hard pressed against the superior numbers of the Karlack warships, the Imperial warships sought to strike the exposed flank of the Karlack fleet and to link up with the Solarian warships. Gravitic drives went up to full power, driving the fleet forward at high acceleration and as soon as the ships got into range, they lose a fierce cannonade of weapons. Following the flagship’s lead, the ships targeted individual Karlack ships one by one, particularly the ships escorting the World Eater mothership. By drawing off the escorts of the mothership, the Imperial ships hope to divert the attention of the Karlack fleet and grant the Solarians a breather and a chance to fight back. By all standards, this was going to be a close fight.

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========================

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Imperial warships dived headlong into the the great shadow created by the innumerable Brood ships of the Karlack Swarm that loomed over Nova Genoa. Only the flashes of Byzantine and Solarian weapons pierced through the darkness as they tried desperately to save as many inhabitants of the doomed planet as possible. The battle was fierce, explosions and beam weapons glittered through space around the planet.

The bold maneuver of the Solarian fleet and the timely arrival of the Imperial Navy managed to temporarily disorient and confuse the Karlack Broods, forcing the Aspect in command of the battle to reorganize its forces for a decisive confrontation with this new threat, thus giving the human forces the window of opportunity they needed in order to pull off a rescue operation. But that window was closing fast. The Swarm was already redeploying, driven by the steel will of the Hive Mind and guided by the awesome power of the Mothership. They were surrounding the human fleets, enclosing them inside a swarming mass of bio-forms. The humans were outnumbered and outgunned.

Both Imperial and Solarian long range sensors detected additional Karlack reinforcements en route to the planet. The situation was grim and getting worse by the minute. The humans knew they were fighting a losing battle, and not even the mighty Flash Stalin himself could change the end result. Between the corrupting spores and the onslaught of the Swarm this world was irretrievably lost. But that didn’t really matter. What mattered now was to use the time they had to save as many people as possible. They had enough firepower at their disposal to hold of the chitinous hordes, for a time. And with every passing minute, more survivors could be lifted to the relative safety of the flotillas in orbit.

========================

As bad as the situation was in space, it was far worse on the planets surface. Karlack spores had already began to affect the planets environment, mutating its plants and animals, contaminating the air itself and transforming the whole world into a hellish landscape that no human would dare walk on if he had a choice. Millions upon millions of Karlack Bio-forms were already on the planet, slaughtering and devouring everyone and everything in their path. Defenses already weakened by Karlack infiltration and sabotage, quickly crumbled under the relentless assault of the chitinous hordes.

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Not all of the humans on the planet had the good fortune of being inside the Imperium base, or close enough to be able to retreat there. Many others, civilians and soldiers alike - were scattered across the planet. In the cities and villages, cut off from their comrades, surrounded by swarms of Karlack creatures intent on devouring them and the planet itself. Some of them would be rescued. Others would not. Only time would tell which group anyone belonged to. Battles raged across the surface of Genoa...

The Imperial base itself was slowly being surrounded, attacked from all sides by an endless stream of Karlack creatures. The armored regiments were fighting hard, but they were facing attackers who knew no fear, no cowardice, and they attacked with the ferocity of a mindless beast and an intellect that matched - and in some cases exceeded that of ordinary human soldiers. Omega energy beams pierced the armor of the Guardsmen from the distance with relative ease, while their claws and teeth ripped into the flesh of the humans who were unlucky enough to survive the ranged fire. Matters only got worse when bio-forms began erupting from the ground itself, killing dozens in the process, the infamous Karlack Specters -- creatures of great power. When faced with such enemies, even the bravest among the guardsmen felt a need to gasp for air. The Specters descended like a swarm of black locusts upon the soldiers, ripping both humans and tanks with equal ease.

The Solarian FORCE troops distinguished themselves as expected of them. They fought the enemy tirelessly and relentlessly, buying time for the Imperial garrison. However, they were spread thin. Major General Dimitriy Volos of the Imperial Guard, supreme commander of the Imperium forces on the planet, reluctantly ordered his forces to retreat to the main Imperial base on the planet, hoping that concentrating his troops in one place would allow them to hold out longer. The Imperial Guard and the PDF troops fought valiantly, giving their lives in an attempt to hold of the unending tide of death that had descended upon them. The arrival of Flash Stalin and his USMC troops had given them hope, hope that salvation was possible, that escape was an option. He ordered most of his men to hasten aboard the evacuation barges that were taken from storage.

However, evacuation would not be simple. Major General Volos swore when he looked at the sensor readings showing the activity in the air above the base. At the rate things were going, the evacuation might as well not be completed. The sky was filled to the brim with Karlacks, and more had to be done to clear the skies. But he knew the ships up above were preoccupied and could offer little support. The fight was definitely going up a pitched notch. Baneblades and other tanks were unleashing volley after volley to keep the tide of the Karlacks at bay, but the Karlacks were approaching inexorably, and it was only a matter of time before the base was overwhelmed.

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========================
Up in space, the Strike Cruiser Aetheon shuddered as the Void shields took a direct hit from the great Omega cannons from the World Eater mothership. “Ventral Shields have fallen by 5%” indicated the Shield control officer. “Rerouting power to compensate.”

“Any word from the Hyperion battlegroup?” High Captain Scipio Actium asked the communications officer and the sensor officer.

“Nay my Lord. Wait. Ripples in the Warp! Bragulan ships coming in!” yelled the communications officer.

“This Warp-cursed day apparently is a day for many surprises. Damn stupid bears. Send word to Major General Volos that he must speed up the evacuation immediately. We cannot possibly wait any longer. We must leave!”

“My Lord, apparently, the Karlacks are closing fast on the base, and he begs for some additional time. The sky is also thick with Karlacks. The Solarian FORCE troops are doing their best but there are simply too many Karlacks.”

“Gah! I think it’s time we sent in Astartes to aid him. We should have done so at the start, instead of solely engaging the enemy. Instruct the 12th Company to board the Thunderhawks and get down there to these coordinates. Instruct Captain Dominos to give any support that Major General Volos needs and get back up to the Aetheon on the double!”

“Aye, m’Lord!”

Captain Dominos and his company of 100 Astartes and their associated vehicles were waiting patiently in the hanger deck waiting for orders from High Captain Actium. Captain Dominos knew that the situation down below was desperate, and it was a matter of time before Actium would issue orders for the 12th Company to deploy and land fast and hard on the ground and grant supporting firepower to the Imperial Guard. His Company would be bringing along mostly Land Raiders, though a single Nihilus Super Heavy Tank would accompany them to provide vital fire support. Captain Dominos would himself lead the 12th Company from a Dreadnaught and his command squad would be equipped with Terminator powered armor.

When the order to deploy came, he turned to his men, and yelled, “Ultramarines! We are going to deploy to the surface and rescue servants of the Imperium. Courage and Honor! For the Strategos Primus and for the Emperor!”

“Courage and Honor! For the Strategos Primus and for the Emperor!”

“The Emperor Protects! Board the Thunderhawks and prepare for the rapid orbital insertion.”

The Strike Cruiser Aetheon, surrounded by her escorts, oriented itself towards the planet. With that, the forward armored reinforced hanger bay doors opened and the Thunderhawks were launched from the forward hanger bay onto the surface of Nova Genoa. The battle in space was a pitched battle with both sides trading lances of energy at each other. Some of the frigates and corvettes were pocked marked with direct hits, while one of the Scutum cruisers had taken some hull damage, though was still in fighting shape. Just then, to the cheers of the Imperial crews, the Hyperion battlegroup emerged from the Warp.

“Damn it, Aggripa! Not a moment too soon!” exclaimed High Captain Scipio Actium.

“Sorry for the delay Scipio, but it seems that the situation can only get worse. My long range scans indicate more Karlacks on their way, and there are some Bragulan elements on the outer system perimeter, waiting. My arrival might trigger their arrival as well,” said High Captain Aggripa Aurellian.

“I have deployed the 12th Company to the surface to aid Major General Volos’ evacuation. Hopefully, Captain Dominos can make a difference.”

“Captain Aetius Dominos? Good man. His company is one of the most decorated in our esteemed Legion.”

“Which is why I’m sent him.”

“We should call up a tele-conference with Brigadier Stalin.” With that, an image of the Brigadier Stalin appeared. “Brigadier Stalin, this is High Captain Aggripa Aurellian of the Hyperion. From our sensor scans of the Warp which we are transmitting to you at this point, the enemy force is going to be reinforced within the next 15 minutes by this group and that group. My suggestion would be this: the Hyperion and her battlegroup will attempt to draw off the Karlack forces by engaging them on this flank.” A hologram appeared and showed the tactical vector of the Hyperion. “I suggest that as we open up fire along this vector, you make your way out through the same vector in the opposite direction. We will then form the rearguard for the withdrawal. As I have understood from High Captain Actium, he has deployed the 12th Company to the surface to help with the evacuation of surviving Impeial forces on the ground. He has only 15 minutes to accomplish that, or we will be quite simply in a very big trouble.”

“Any other news of further reinforcement?” asked High Captain Actium.

“That is iffy. Command now knows that a World Eater mothership is on the prow, and may be able to send in the Titanicus and her battlegroup, all the way from the sector capital.”

“That.. will take time.”

“And time is something we do not have.”

=======================

The situation on the ground was getting more desperate by the minute. The entire field battle had been abandoned to the Karlacks. Many Imperial Guard and PDF regiments which were stationed outside the main base were surrounded and annihilated piece meal. The situation was desperate enough that the Major General Volos ordered a nuclear strike on a regiment that was under attack by Karlack Specters, in hope to neutralise the strongest troops in the Karlack brood. Unfortunately, the Karlack Specters managed to erect a shield, which neutralised most of the nuclear blast. Many of the Specters were killed, but enough survived to remain as a cohesive unit. The regiment in question was completely destroyed by the nuclear strike.

Elsewhere, the sortie by Imperial armor had initially managed to repulse the initial attack on the main base, but the Karlacks returned in greater numbers, and drove the armored regiments back. The base was forced to open fire its defensive lance and plasma cannons to save the armored units from complete annihilation. Anti-air weapons lit the sky as they attacked Karlack spacecraft descending from the sky and other Karlack flying beasts.

Volos was particularly relieved when blue streaks lit the sky and unleashed a firestorm on the ground surroudning the base. The Thunderhawk gunships of the Ultramarines Legion bearing the 12th Company had arrived. The Thunderhawks unleashed a fury of ordinance and then landed on the ground, offloading the Astartes of the Ultramarines. “Ultramarines, to your position!” roared Captain Dominos, who lumbered out of the Thunderhawk in his dreadnaught suit. The Company Banner carrier unfurled the banner amidst the Astartse as they began assuming their designated positions.“The Chapter banner stands tall, Ultramarines. Do not fail your Strategos Primus! Fight for the Emperor with Courage and Honor!”

“Courage and honor!” the Ultramarines roared in reply. Land Raiders and the sole Super Heavy Tank repositioned themselves facing the Karlacks. With the Land Raiders on either side of the Nihilus Super Heavy Tank, aptly named Fist of Ultramar, the great tank opened fire on the thick swarthe of Karlacks bearing down on the base. Its mighty warp cannon unleashing a powerful bolt of warp energy that simply sliced its way through columns of Karlacks, and simply clearing a wide path. The Astartes stood ready as well to fight the Karlacks and when the Karlacks entered range of their weapons, they opened fire a furious fusillade of bolter shells. Shards of energy lanced their way into the ranks of the Karlacks as lance and plasma cannons opened fire. Backing the Astartes were the Dreadnaughts, which simply spat out relentless fire from either arms.
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Opening a channel to the Solarian FORCE troops, “This is Ultramarines Captain Dominos of the 12th Company. The Imperium expresses gratitude for your support. Might I suggest we hold this front, while you gather your forces on the other side of the base?”

“Acknowledged Captain Dominos, we will do so,” replied the FORCE troops in unison. The Solarians did not have a formalized ranking system, but instead operated through a joint thought-space. Even so, the various forces arranged themselves to cover the base more effectively.

==========================

“Hurry up you maggots! Get on board the transports!” waved one Commissar. “The Emperor’s Angels of Death are here and they doing duty for God and Country! Don’t let them down!”

“Yes sir!” yelled the Imperial Guardsmen. The last few platoons and the surviving armor brigades were boarding the last few transports and taking off. General Volos was one of the last to leave. “Did you get the specimens aboard the command craft?” Volos asked his aide.

“Yes I have, sir. The specimens are on board,” answered his aide.

“We need to get those specimens to the Inquisition. We can’t have these bastard insects infiltrating us the way they did again.”

“They might adapt.”

“That I know. But we must do something regardless.”

“Aye, sir.”

They rushed towards their shuttles which then lifted off. Thunderhawk gunships and Solarian craft gave them escort to space. When the Imperial soldiers had evacuated the base, Captain Dominos gave the order to his men to get back to the gunships. “Get a move out! To the Thunderhawks!”

Just then, a Karlack Carnifex burst right before the marines between them and their gunships. This Carnifex was larger than most, and had neutronium hard skin. It was clearly meant to be something of a super beast to combat space marines. Ten battle brothers fell to the swing of its claws. “Do not falter! Concentrate all fire on the xeno scum!”

“Aye m’Lord!” they yelled in unison, opening fire with everything they had. Dreadnaughts unleashed the fury of their cannons, and missiles of various types flew and struck the Carnifex. The Carnifex yelled in fury, and swung its claws, striking a dreadnaught and sending it flying and landing a few meters away. Space Marines ran to the aid of the dreadnaught, to bring it back to the Thunderhawks. The creature’s armor was ablating away, and showed numerous penetrations, but something with greater firepower was required to take it on.

The argument finally ended, when the sole Nihilus Super Heavy Tank swung its cannon to attend to the Carnifex. Opening fire its warp cannon, a storm of exotic space-time warping particles struck the Carnifex, breaching its armor and striking its flesh, sending a limb exploding and dispersing organic matter everywhere. The Carnifex roared in pain and attempted to charge the tank when the tank aimed for the head and opened fire once more. The head disappeared in a mist of purple blood and the Carnifex exploded. “To the Thunderhawks!” The space marines rallied and raced to their Thunderhawks.

Once in the air, the Thunderhawks blanketed the ground with more ordinance and raced into space. The handful of Solarian FORCE troopers holding the other side of the base followed suit and boarded their transports - little more than a set of magnetic harnesses strapped to an anti-g engine - and leaped for space. The Imperial base fell. As the Karlacks overran the base, tearing the remaining automated defences apart, and tearing huge gorges in the walls and swarming through the cracks, the base appeared from the air to be completely covered in a sea of Karlacks.

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But not for long. The fleeing Imperials had deliberately set their massive plasma core to self-destruct within 5 minutes of their departure as part of standing orders when evacuating a base. A base might have been abandoned, but it must be denied to the enemy. When the plasma core detonated, the explosion was so large and powerful that it was visible from space, cracking a portion of the crust in the area.

“That’s it, we are out of here. Let’s go through the corridor opened by Hyperion,” High Captain Scipio communicated to every other commander. “All ships form up! Transports between the Murderous and the Aetheon. Brigadier Flash Stalin, you take the lead, we will follow.”

“Roger that,” said Flash Stalin. The ships did as they were told and the Hyperion battlegroup intensified its weapons fire, allowing the ships to escape through the hole opened in the Karlack formation.

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=======================

Previously on SDNW4...

The Right Fist of Byzon was quickly joined by its sister-ship, the Left Fist of Byzon, mere microseconds after arriving. In moments, the rest of the Bragulan fleet arrived, hypering in and rematerializing in bright flashes of light. Half a Bragulan warfleet, with two battleships of the Imperator's Fist class, and likewise two Chernovyi-class battleships, along with accompanying warcruisers, paleocruisers, and gunskimmers, all joined the fray of this latest Tannhauser Tango. Steely, unflinchingly, and imperiously did they dive in ready to dance to the beat of war.

It was going be a Tango de la Muerte.


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Deep within the armored form of the Right Fist of Byzon, Admiral Nykloyai Gearsmyoviych Bragznetsov surveyed the scene before him. In the telescreen displays, the fleets of the Solarians and Byzantines were forming up for a concentrated push through the englobing Karlack lines. The Swarm’s bioships were spread out in an attempt at engulfing the allied fleet, but the wily humans were attempting to punch through them and make their escape. In all likelihood, they looked like they were going to succeed too.

Bragznetsov gave the order for the Bragulan fleet to advance cautiously into the melee, all while broadcasting their IFF through their gamma-pulse arrays. He was in no hurry to get into the middle of a Karlack swarm in a full frenzy. There were few ways to communicate with the bioships, and no known method to network and coordinate Bragship supercomputers with their organoids. The potential for friendly fire was always there with these beasts, as well as the dangers of being assimilated into their Swarm.

Yet just as the Solarian and Byzantinian ships breached the Karlack lines and made flank speed for the opposite direction, heading for the system hyperlimit, so too did the Karlack bioships part ways for the arriving Bragfleet - giving them a clear view of the fleeing human vessels, a clean line of fire.

Admiral Bragznetsov held a radio receiver to his snout and declared the following, on wide-band frequency directed at the human ships:

“Puny humans of the Solarian and Byzantinian forces, this is Admiral Bragznetsov of the 4th Imperial Bragulan People's Most Byzonist Space Guards Vigilant Patrol Kosmoflot Oktyabrsky. We demand that you cease all combat operations in this system, tuck your tails and head home. The de-militarization of the Genoa system shall commence.”

One of the Byzantinian ships, in utter irritance, turned around and fired its nova cannon. “Shut your bear trap you stupid filthy animal!”

The nova beam hurtled at near-light velocities and struck a leading paleocruiser at the fore - breaking through its forcefields and melting through the fossil warship’s venerable prow armor. A bow statue of the Imperator Byzon melted under the searing plasmatic heat. This scene was played out on all the telescreens in all the Bragships, incensing Bragulan sailors and commanders alike throughout the fleet.

“How dare they!” Admiral Bragznetsov bellowed. “All ships, fire at will! We shall show these humans the price of their impudence! Launch the missiles!”

Countless silos and missile tubes were emptied as the Bragulans unleashed wave after wave of missiles - from the latest-generation space Spuds to less massive but more modern munitions, smaller and faster missiles designed for less-explosive more-kinetic impacts, stealthy missiles launched from mass drivers to ‘glide’ towards their target before initiating their atomic boosters for the final approach, large long-ranged expendable fodder missiles and even nuclear-tipped decoy missiles. They rocketed towards the human fleets, directed by a combination of ship-controlled interception as well as their own networked sensor systems - using designated missiles that would light up their active-aggressive sensors and gamma-pulse arrays, and passive-aggressives as well, to feed targeting data to the rest of the salvo.

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There were too many, the humans couldn’t stop them all. The Solarian and Byzantine ships activated their point defense systems, firing autolasers and phased plasma cannons, bolters and tachyon guns, creating a fatal phalanx of fire aimed at the incoming missiles. But there were thousands of them, and while the scything close-in weapons systems took them down by the hundreds, the sheer volume of the Bragulan missile swarm threatened to overwhelm them. In an attempt to disrupt the incoming salvo, targeting computers aimed for the missiles that had active sensors, the ones that were beaming coordinates to the rest of the barrage, but these missiles were dispersed and whenever they were shot down, other missiles would light up their own sensors and take their place.

Of the thousands launched by the Bragulan warships, only a handful hundred made it through the gauntlet of autolasers and tachyon beams. The Spuds weathered the storm and punched through the crossfire, their armored noses scarred and pitted from energy weapon strikes, while harder to track stealth missiles ignited their atomic rockets upon reaching dangerously close proximity to the human ships. The human ships launched anti-missile missiles towards the Spuds, but the gargantuan paleomissiles had a trick up their own sleeve - namely their own defenses in the form of K-bolters and jamming pods, which activated and began shooting at incoming anti-missile missiles in a mockery of the humans’ previous defensive maneuvers. Meanwhile, the stealth missiles hid under the silhouette of the Spuds, only launching out to strike at the last moment - taking advantage of the distraction the Spuds graciously provided.

They reached the rearmost Byzantine and Solarian ships, slamming against their backsides in a brilliant flashing flurry of vegemite-enhanced explosions. The ships shuddered, the most battered ones’ shields outright collapsing from the onslaught. This was only the first wave, and already the human fleets’ capabilities were being attrited little by little. There was another salvo incoming, another wave of Bragnukes bound for the human fleets. This time, the Karlack Swarm was emboldened by the Bragulan interferance, and at the sight of delicious human morsels lagging behind the rest of the fleet, languishing in their crippled state, they couldn’t resist the call to consume them.

The countdown clock ticked down as the missiles neared and neared their intended targets, as the Karlacks descended upon the human fleet, and as the FTL drives of the Solarian and Byzantinian ships spooled up. The ragtag human fleet was reaching closer and closer to the hyperlimit, while the damaged ships lagged further and further behind. The clock ticked down.

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A shadow fell upon the left-behind ships. As the Karlack swarm blotted out the sun, as the Bragnuke missiles came forth. A mountain of metal, gunsteel grey hull cratered and dented but still resolute in the unending tides of monsters and missiles.

The USS Murderous.

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Accompanying it were the two Strike Cruisers of the Imperium. The three mighty vessels emitted tractor beams and pulled the left-behind vessels to safety as they made for the hyperlimit, the Dreadstar and the Strike Cruisers using their shields and armor to form a wall against the tide of bioships and nuclear missiles. Autolasers, plasma guns, lances, nova cannons, warp guns, all hell was unleashed upon the descending adversaries. Thermonukes detonated in the dark and ignited shield walls, Omega Energy beams and bioplasma scorched armored hulls. The Solarians and Byzantines fought in the shade.

At the incoming Spud missiles, the Byzantines launched their own mighty munitions. No mere point-defense anti-missile missiles, but anti-ship missiles - to shoot down other anti-ship missiles! The torpedoes rammed into one another, kissing each other before disappearing in thermonuclear blossoms.

The human warships continued their running firefight before finally reaching the hyperlimit. As the bulk of the Karlack Swarm and the Bragulan missile salvo threatened to overwhelm them, they engaged their FTL drives and winked out of reality.

In the bunker-bridge of the Right Fist of Byzon, and all over the warship, and in all other vessels of the Bragfleet, cheers erupted as the scenes of the humans’ humiliating defeat played out. How the humans ran, mewling like frightned trees, fleeing the might of the Bragulan juggernaut - it was their revengeance for the Bragulan retreat at Majella. Finally, the time had come for humanity in all its myriad forms - both Byzantinian and hated Solarian - to be taught a lesson in humility. They would rue this day.

Admiral Bragznetsov looked around, watching the furry faces of his cheering crew, listening to the congratulatory speeches of the Commissars as they read various compilations of quotes from the Imperator Byzon, looking on at celebratory firearms discharges inside the ship. In his heart, he knew that no true victory had been won this day. At best, the reestablishment of the Koprulu Zone status quo. But the humans had not fled from the Bragulans themselves, they had not been crushed by the iron boot of Byzonisc righteousness. No, they ran from the insatiable hunger of the Karlack Swarm...

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…a Karlack Swarm that had been denied Genoa’s precious biomatter, no thanks to the explosive presents left behind by the humans. A Karlack Swarm that had expended considerable energies in repulsing the human fleets, and would now be looking for fresh meat to replenish their stores. A Karlack Swarm that was still... hungry.

A Karlack Swarm that was now surrounding them.

“Order the fleet to begin unilateral withdrawal from the system,” Admiral Bragznetsov said to his adjutant. “It’s time for us to go.”

“Are we not joining the Karlacks in the liberation of this system from the vile clutches of humanity?” his adjutant asked. On the sensors screen, the Karlack bioships seemed to be consolidating after their mad dash towards the human ships. They were now, once more, gathering in numbers and returning to their former positions - very close to the Bragfleet. Very very close indeed.

“Nyet.” Bragznetsov replied. “Set a course for the hyperlimit and move at flank speed. Okay, we’re leaving now.

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USS Murderous retreats from Nova Genoa
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STGOD: Byzantine Empire
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-05 12:52am

Written with Simon_Jester

Previously on SDNW4

...so this is what going mad looks like...


Brought to you in GODDAMN UNREAL TIME
ELYSIUM

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They stopped to orbit the planet itself, the world-throne Elysium. There, in the blackness that encircled the brilliant pearl of Elysian civilization, massive orbital statues carved of marble and encrusted with jewels hung well over the world itself. They displayed the resplenditude of the Elysian civilization, proudly showing off its myriad cultural achievements and the greatness of its society. For their martial prowess, a massive mountain-monument of marble depicted two naked forms struggling and wrestling with one another. The sculptors had somehow managed to not only capture the flexations of their musculatures, but also the glistenings of their man-sweats radiating off their bare bodies.

It was before this supreme spectacle sight did the Elysians instruct their visitors to park their ships.

A single shuttle then departed from the guest vessels, filled with the finest specimens of manhood from their strange faraway land. It made its way to the planetary surface proper.

They landed, and were subsequently greeted in true Elysian fashion. They were hailed glouriously as guests and treated to the hospitalities of the Elysian people. Spectacles and festivities were held before them, great processions with many nubile men and women throwing themselves to the feet of these strange visitors.

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They passed by a formation of naked and well-oiled athletes preparing for the Heraculanean Olympiad games by engaging in calisthenics. Then they ventured into the bizarre bazaars where there were jugglers, eunuch entertainers, who sought to please these noble lords through amusing acts like balancing slugs and wearing wigs, whilst deformed midgets and hunchbacks in cages performed carnal acts upon each other for pittances as spectators either threw coins in amusement at the caged grotesquetitudes or hurled rotten fruit in outrage. Eventually these degenerates seemingly melted away as the guests found themselves in less plebeian and more patrician surrounds.

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Finally, after being led up to the Elysian Pantheon itself, they were greeted by an assembly of nobles and lords who group-greeted them with resalutations. The god-kings of Elysian Cosmic Host themselves were there, along with the military leaders of the Nautikon and the generalissimos of the Legions, for they wished to gauge the potency and virility of their guests - who were rumored to be masters of magicks and arcane technosorceries.

“Hail, noble visitors! Strangers from the far east, the exotic lands of the mysterious Orient!” the Elysians declared as one. “Hail yea denizens of distant Sumeria who hath cometh on this most auspicious eve!”

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“Dear Sumerians! Good tidings to thee for we welcome thee and thine to our world-throne Elysium! May the warmth resplendence of our fair land’s loins and bosoms embrace and nourish you after your voyage through the cold darkness of space!”

The Sumerians were garbed in strange clothing of black and silver, unfestooned save by a few bits of colored ribbon on the left breast. To make up for their lack of festoonment, giggling flower girls and boys approached them and placed wreaths of golden flower leaves on their heads.

The Sumerian leader struck up a salute in the strange, foreign fashion of his people. “Hail, and well met, notables of Elysium! It is an honor and a pleasure to represent my nation on this most blessed of days, on this most blessed of worlds!”

“Excellent! Now let us entreat you with the hospitalities of our world! Come, we have many things to show to you, o great visitors. For you have come just in time for the Festivus!


***

The crowd gasped as they watched the man they called the Españiard gladiate the ferocious beast, stabbing it in the throat with his mithril gladius. The Elysian lords and the Sumerians had gone to the Coliseum to behold the spectacles of the Festivus and the gladiations therein. Bloodsport was a crucial aspect of Elysian society, for that was what Elysium was. Elysium was the mob. The beating heart of Elysium was not the marble of the Presidium, it was the sand of the coliseum. They brought death - and they were loved for it.

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The Españiard turned to face the Sumerians, and then he bellowed loudly:

“Are you not entertained?!” he asked them, swinging his blood-drenched sword and spraying crimson droplets all over the arena’s sands. The Sumerians were silent.

The Españiard repeating himself, as before, but even louder. “Are you not entertained?!

Once again, it was their leader who spoke. “...Uh, yes, actually, I am! Wow!”

“Thank you,” the Españiard saluted the Sumerians. The Elysian lords who accompanied the Sumerians told the leader that this man known as the Españiard was actually a General of the Felix Legions, and that he gladiated for sport and practice. They asked the Sumerian leader if he would like to gladiate with him. He declined, but said that he would take them up later after he and his men had time to flex their muscles in readiment.

After slaying several more beasts, the General sauntered off to the public baths and invited the Sumerians to join him.

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So they did. Then and there did the Elysians gauge the extent of the Sumerians’ manhoods. They were suitably impressed, for usually visitors from outside were found wanting and lacking. But these Sumerians did not disappoint. At this, the Elysians themselves had no shame and displayed themselves for their guests to behold - lathering themselves in fine soaps made of the blubbers of slayed space whales and diving in sweet waters mixed with flowers and wines to perfume themselves in its fragrant odours.

Also with them were the Praetorians, the elite black endoguard charged with protecting Elysium’s noble lords. As a mark of the Praetorians’ martial lineage, even in bathing they did not allow themselves to remove their iron helms despite the unclothedness of their bodies. Truly, the purity of their lineage was evident in the shafts of their spears, which earned them covetous gazes from both their fellow Elysians and the Sumerians as well.
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby PeZook » 2011-01-05 02:51am

Co-written with Siege

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Lugano, surface of Zubrich

Meanwhile, very unforeseen things were happening on the surface.

“I’m telling you, it’s there. How can you not see it, I’m sending you a direct feed.”, Freki broadcasted through hyperwave with just a hint of irritation in his voice. The Dollmaster’s voice was utterly emotionless, of course, yet for a computer program like Freki the sideband scatter betrayed annoyance.

There was no reply for a fraction of a moment, plenty of time for Freki to figure Dollmaster didn’t believe his conclusion was correct, which meant the CI was using that split-second to quadruplecheck several yottabytes of data. Finally: “Ah... That is remarkably sophisticated.”

Freki smiled under his nose at the CIs slip, a most human gesture that was clearly not part of its original programming, “Damn, that took you forever.”

It did. For a CI, three seconds was an eternity. For a CI housed in a state-of-the art core attached to extremely sophisticated EW gear, it was unthinkable. Freki would never admit it, but with the resources he had on-site, he never would have found the worm himself if it wasn’t for the initial burst of data that betrayed it.

“It was not logged”, Dollmaster followed up, having reviewed the entire hub’s system logs in seconds, “Curious. I need physical access to hard memory, it should be possible to extract the source code.”

“On it.”

Freki consulted his map of the node’s layout and disconnected from the server he was invading. It was just a short drift across a corridor to the climate-controlled room which housed the central control unit for the hub - a standardized device with a closed architecture, a plug-and-play server management computer containing a set of instructions that could be used to quickly build a network hub for a location with no important traffic. Freki would have to physically disassemble the device to access the hard-wired memory units inside, which made him very unhappy. The swarm node he inhabited detached a cluster of microstats, microscopic self-propelled disassemblers equipped with cold plasma lasers and powerful e-mag manipulators that immediately began deconstructing the access ports to the hub on a molecular level.

“Remind me again, August, why aren’t you doing the menial stuff?”, he asked his partner over the commlink. He knew the answer, of course, he just couldn’t help but tease a bit.

“Just shut up and get it over with”, came the irritable response from the security station, where August was monitoring activity outside the hub. Freki smiled again and floated over a limp body of the facility’s chief technician he incapacitated earlier, checking to see if he was still out.

“...and hurry up. Somebody’s just arrived.”

In the hub’s reception hall, a man carrying a toolbox and followed by a robotic cart of some sort was just checking in with the automated secretary. Somebody must’ve complained about network problems, no doubt caused by the two CEID agents poking around the hub.

Freki wasn’t worried, though. As his millions of microstats merrily disassembled the control unit he muttered on the link, “Oh, relax. It’s just another meatbag to take down if things go awry.”

“Just get it done already!”

All of a sudden, though, Dollmaster came on the link again, “Agents, we need to change orbit. A Zubrich cutter is closing in on our current position. It may trace our communications. Do not reply. EMCON 1 rules are in effect until we acquire a new position within the system.”

“Oh, for the love of...”, August muttered to himself. So, what now,they’d have to occupy the hub for what might very well be hours, before their link to Dollmaster would be re-established?

“Freki, get it done. I’ll distract that tech.”, August pulsed quickly to his partner, and then activated his adaptive disguise.

The United Solarian Marine Corps, like many of the galaxy’s militaries, made use of chameleonic camouflage that allowed a soldier to blend almost seamlessly into his surroundings. But that was not what CEID used, or at least not exclusively. Instead, the Directorate’s elite black ops agents employed a technique that was simultaneously much more vulgar and much more subtle.

Hostile cybernetic intrusion had been a widely recognized issue for centuries. The first cases of cracked wetware surfaced mere weeks after the introduction of cybernetic implants on the open market, which was why sensible people took measures - as elaborate as highly aggressive data-defense daemons, or as simple as physical cut-off switches - to make unwanted access impossible, or at least very difficult to pull off on the fly. Without someone like Dollmaster to handle the brute-force aspects it would be tricky even for the Directorate to hack someone’s implants -- if they had them in the first place, which given that this was Wild Space was by no means a given.

Weirdly though, with all the effort put into cybernetic defense few people seemed to give any thought to the special optical high-bandwidth channels wired directly into the human brain. They were called “eyeballs”, and CEID’s cogno-memetic engineers knew how to make good use of them.

The technician that caused their concern was calmly walking down the main corridor leading towards the control system when August found him. The agent’s sudden appearance in the deserted half-lit corridors of the automated facility startled the tech visibly. For a moment he simply stared at the matte black battle-armor. That was enough. In the space of a human thought a pair of low-power lasers dumped an overload of information through his optical nerves. August’s portacomp cracked the tech’s unprotected nervous system in a heartbeat and began rapidly overwriting his cognitive and short term memory functions, convincing the poor man that he was speaking to the hub administrator. “Oh,” the tech mumbled. “You were probably notified about me checking in.”

“Correct”, August replied coarsely, “I should probably be the one asking the questions about your purpose here. Why didn’t you report to my office?”

“To be frank, I didn’t expect you to be in... most of you guys prefer to work from home...”, the tech seemed confused. August didn’t take long to figure out the reason: if he was called in, it meant nobody could reach to hub’s administrator concerning the problems they were having. For a moment he toyed with the idea of sending the tech home, then decided against it.

“I see”, he decided to play it safe for the time being, “Let’s come down to my office then and you can tell me why you’re here, shall we?”, August motioned towards an entirely different corridor, well away from the control unit.

Freki came on the link as they were walking, got the memory module.

Good, I’ll get rid of the tech in a minute

The CEID agent led the man into an office he appropriated from the actual hub administrator and turned around, but before he could say anything, the man... exploded.

August was blown away like a rag doll, and only his advanced battlesuit and enhanced reflexes allowed him to survive the blast. Automatic field-effectors snapped on, channeling the brunt of the shockwave around him, the explosion was still forceful enough to sweep him off his feet. Momentum was a bitch like that. The agent’s internal chemical factory injected a cocktail of combat stimulants into his bloodstream, preventing loss of consciousness or disorientation, and blocking the pain of the kinetic energy transfer - incidentally allowing the agent to observe the explosion in wonderful slow motion. August stared into the fireball even as his reflexes kicked in and he began to twist his body in mid-air. He watched concrete walls crumble and blow outward as the ceiling collapse into the room; now horizontal in mid-air he kicked off one piece of flying concrete and used it to correct his angle. Debris and deadly shrapnel sparked off the edges of the field-shield as August’s feet touched the wall of a corridor just outside the blast radius, kicking off lightly and somersaulting to land on the floor. He executed a perfect landing on both feet even as the titanic explosion began to mushroom away through the now-destroyed roof.

August didn’t waste any time admiring the view. His movements a blur, he dodged a particularly large piece of falling ceiling by rolling aside and quickly moved away from the site, as the building’s structure was now beginning to collapse around the blast-site. Sprinklers activated and alarms started blaring, adding to the chaos and confusion.

August bounced off an intersection wall and sprinted towards the control room, knowing full well what came next. Regardless of the circumstances the time for stealth was over. It was time to bring the thunder.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby KlavoHunter » 2011-01-05 03:02am

BEEEF
Unreal Goddamn Time


The Sultanate of Klavostan of course sent no official delegation to the Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship, for that would become an awkward subject with their Solarian and Byzantine friends. But the BEEEF was shaping up to be more than just a mere arms expo, for the Bragulans, galactic-infamous exporter of the K-Bolter, had done it up in grand style, and the bombastic bears had coincidentally struck upon the correct mood of the galaxy at the moment. The dawn of the 35th Century seemed to be the calm before the storm, and some felt this would be their last safe chance to stock up. And so they came to Vlyadibragstok with their money.

It had been made quietly clear, however, that the Klavostanis would be requiring suitable facilities. An enormous secondary spaceport-warehouse-residential-bunker-complex along the side of the mountain had been made available, and the mercenaries steadily began to arrive and make themselves at home, to the ever-growing headache of Bragulan Aerospace Traffic Control. Lighter tramp freighters and several corvettes made landings, whilst streams of heavily armed drop-shuttles, and less-armed bulk personnel shuttles and cargo shuttles were the transportation of choice for those who left their larger warships or modular freighters in orbit. There were too many opportunities here to be missed out on, far away from the cloying regulations and limitations of more civilized space.

And for some too foolish, some scores to be settled. The Bragulan Police Inspector's nose twitched at the scent of burnt human flesh, and that of the warm pastry in his paw. He took another bite out of the sweet confection, and then looked down at the small, cold gun in his other paw, and down at the smiling elderly lady mercenary, and then down at the corpse. From his knowledge of the pathetic nigh-hairless plague upon the galaxy, the upper torso of a human really ought to continue for quite a ways more. He furrowed his furry brow, and peered closer at the Klavostani Beam Pistol. Even without working knowledge of the language, the pictographic design on the selector obviously indicated a high-yield shot. After another bite, he found himself licking his fingers off.

"I warned him what would happen if I ever saw him again..." the wrinkled babushka smiled, and inhaled another drag of the burning plant matter from the cylinder in between her lips. "Another donut, Inspector?" She proffered another to the Bragulan, who took it and munched it. It tasted faintly the way her smoke smelled.

"Da!" He looked down at the gun again, and then fucking laughed. It was always funny when humans killed humans! "Were this any other day, this would be evidence... but today is Bragsday, so I will consider it an endorsement! How much for this?" He fumbled for his wallet, sticky fingers pulling out Vegemite-backed Bank of Bragule Roubles

"You can't have that one, it's mine! .. but I've got a couple crates' worth just like it... and more donuts." The commotion had attracted more attention, and the woman's eyes narrowed threateningly, but only for an instant, at the sight of several hulking Orks. It seemed more customers had arrived...

~~~~~

Meanwhile, elsewhere at the BEEEF, there were others who were not finding exactly what what they were looking for, but were still helped.

"Read the sign, buddy, it says Walid's Starship PARTS. Not whole starships," the Walid in question lounged back in his seat behind the imposing desk they'd installed as he said, shrugging.

"But between the Multiuniversal Empire of Happiness..." the nervous man stumbled over the disingenuous name, "... and the Orks...." at which he cast a glance over at the other customers in this store, a pair of greenskin Orks, close enough to smell, intimidating despite the presence of power-armored troops with beam rifles on guard in Walid's establishment, "... our planet Al-Uruku feels the need to modernize our defenses. Klavostan has been a traditional supplier, are you certain you can't?"

"Look, I know a guy from the Centrality who's here, he knows a guy who could hook you up with their Blitz frigvettes on the cheap if you want whole warships." Walid's gaze seemed to drift elsewhere for a moment, as he accessed through the 'wireless' mental link into his fashionable turban-computer, and the needy customer's commpad chirped as the other man's contact data was uploaded. "Next?"

"Oi, I'm Gatzgrub, Warboss Shroombad's 'ead Nob, and dis iz 'iz 'ead Mek, Warky. Da Boss said 'e wanted to kustomize his skwadron before goin' out 'n krumpin' some skullz," Gatzgrub proceeded to smack Warky forward a pace with a boistrous whallop. "You two talk de tek-ni-kill dee-tailz, I'll hold onto da Kreditz." Gatzgrub postured, trying to look tough with his boss' money.

What came next was a near-gibberishly mishmash of gestures and weapons noises, and long strings of numerical specifications, as the excited Warky unleashed a stream of conciousness of what he was going to do with his Boss' killkroozers, an exasperating experience that made Walid need to light up a smoke right then, quite glad that the Virtual Interface of his computer was storing the entire conversation and filtering out the key points. After a brief while, Walid held a hand up to stop the Ork's motormouthing, leaning forward.

"I think I have most of what you want, let me see. If you wanted the big Zot Zot Zot, I have twenty mint-condition Mark Four 60-Biggawatt Beam Cannons... and then you got your heavy dakka. This is a twenty-kilo ferrous slug, feel the weight!" Walid tossed the ammunition to Warky, who tossed it to Gatzgrub, who tossed it back to the Mek who failed to catch it , yelping as it hit his foot. "Every five seconds, the surplus Mark Ninty-Nine turreted medium railgun accelerates one to one-point-three percent of light speed!* ... And I've got more of those than you've got money to buy 'em all." Walid had himself a chuckle at that. "And if you can't live without your Rokkits, I have some of the latest missile-guidance-ECCM kits, they're modular, will go on practically any warhead and drive..."


* These numbers are not canon, they are from a quote.
~~~~~~

Muzaffer, Muzaffer Sector
Sultanate of Klavostan


Far, far away from where paying customers exchanged money for some of the most dreadful implements of destruction available in the known galaxy, came another night of planning and fortifying. Sultan Klavo C acknowledged the next report with a nod.

"Thank you, your excellency. When we index the incidence of a variety of factors - pirate attacks, sighting of new Orkish pirate vessels, known arms purchases, Orkish fungal gestation to maturity periods, major shifts of power on the Orkish Kore Worlds that cause exile of losing violent groups, growth in size and power of long-term-surviving pirate bands, and so on; we can then plot it on a timelined graph.

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"The peaks on this graph correspond to when the Orks are no longer satisfied with mere piracy, but reach a point of numbers, morale, and organization at which they desire nothing less than a big stand-up fight, a state of WAAAGH." The gaudily-dress uniformed old mercenary admiral cleared his throat a bit after pronouncing the alien word.

"We are of course quite familiar with all of these major battles of the past. And in between those great battles, it is the keen cunning of our antipirate forces that keep that sort of belligerent buildup from happening too fast. Indeed, with our latest generation of Beam Cannon-armed starships, and more impregnable control of the Malacca Straits than ever..." There was a chuckle at the historical memory of the Shortest WAAAGH Ever, when the Orks'd tested that fortification there, and found themselves wanting under the withering power of the enormous Beam Cannon, they never tried THAT again - "... We have, for some long time now, staved off the date of the next WAAAGH, but in some ways, that has been counterproductive - Warlords bide their time rather than be bold, veteran cunning pirates survive and thrive above their lessers when we hunt them so doggedly. Some of these groups have grown deep, strong roots rather than be obliterated. When they attack this time, they will be more powerful than before. In short - we have reached Peak WAAAGH."

He let that statement hang in the air for a long moment before continuing. "This WAAAGH is coming, and it is coming soon, the evidence is not in doubt. We have confirmed major arms purchases in the past months by Orks from the Servian Republic all the way to Bragulan space; the average price of squig jerky has risen by 20%..."

"Squig jerky?" the Sultan asked.

"Well, even an Ork has to eat, and what stays good on a long campaign and satisfies an Ork's inherent carnivorous predilection...? But back to the point I was going to get to, while we are inevitably due for a WAAAGH, there is one saving grace. After the arrival of the Chamarrans, the regional instability led to greater and greater Orkish successes against us... but the nearby, new presence of the Chamarrans intrigued them. They wanted a new fight, and soon one of their next WAAAGHs was instead directed at them, instead. And at the moment, I see a similar situation of two of our problems solving one another, occurring again.

"Meh."

"Precisely. And they have made no great secret of their desire to genocidally shatter all of the Orkish Kore Worlds down to asteroids to mine..."

"... Could they be trying any harder to provoke them?"
"The 4th Earl of Hereford led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay's pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic."'

SDNW4: The Sultanate of Klavostan

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby PeZook » 2011-01-05 07:52am

Vladibragvostok

The BEEF! Extravaganza of Friendship! Millions of visitors from across the nine vectors of the universe prowling the exhibition halls, the hollowed out mountains and massive bragcrete structures housing pavillions and stations and kiosks of all the comrade-nations and non-comrade imperialistic opressor-nations and polities and hive minds found in known (and sometimes unknown) space! The gigantic data-mine for the IBGV!

Amongst the hustle and bustle, the visitors and traders and IBGV abducting foreigners under the guise of medical assistance, stood a small pavillion, unassuming yet located right smack in the centre of one of the biggest thoroughfares of the exhibition complex.

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Somehow, it emitted a sense of dread that made the visitors give it a wide berth, creating a strange effect where the massive stream of beings split in two to avoid it, leaving a patch of free floor space.

It had no visible entrance or trade representative: advertisements for the myriad products of its parent company, C'Tan Consumer Products, floated around the silent monolith as holograms. They advertised many products, though unlike many of the other visitors, they were mostly appliances, computer systems, small private spaceships and navigational systems.

From time to time, an interested customer approached the booth and was provided either a direct data-burst or a helpful portacomp equipped with information packets. They always left very quickly, though. Something was very, very creepy about that booth.

IBGV colonel Ibram Vodkachevich thought so as well, which was why every such customer would later be admitted to a human-veterinary hospital and thoroughly examined for contamination. Some would even be seduced by HUMINT operative (or even regular BRAGINT ones, for those who fancied that...) and grilled (literally) into revealing any secrets they had learned. For Byzonist vigilance could not allow any way for subversive human ideals to penetrate great Bragulan society!

Although, after running surveillance on the site for six days, the colonel had to admit those food preparation systems were quite enticing...

The good colonel could not make a decision to purchase one, as he was dragged away by two comissars a few minutes after that thought manifested itself. It was for that reason that he could not observe the booth opening and releasing a swarm of media drones that would carry the C'Tan message throughout the BEEF, beaming it to all who would listen.
Image
JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Fingolfin_Noldor » 2011-01-05 10:24am

Constantinople Times

Debacle at Nova Genoa sparks immerse debate in the Senate

The recent debacle at Nova Genoa, where 1/3 of an Imperial garrison was consumed utterly by the Karlack brood, and the hectic space warfare that saw Imperial warships fighting a rearguard action together with our Solarian allies has sparked an immerse debate in the Imperial Senate. Senators were seen going to the podium demanding that the Imperial Armed Forces take a stronger stance against the Enemies of the Imperium. Some of the more virulent Senators even went as far as saying that the time has come where the Imperium must subject all Karlack worlds to brutal exterminatus, and turn entire swathes of galactic space into a sea of dead worlds.

The Ecumenical Patriarch also gave a long sermon demanding that these "foul xenos" be taught a lesson for their transgressions against humanity. Praising the valor of the men and women of the Imperial Navy and Army, he however demanded that more be done against the Karlacks and Bragulans. "These foul Karlacks must be utterly destroyed for this recent humiliation to humanity. Never again will this humiliation happen again. We must fight these damn Karlacks on the worlds and in the tunnels, and burn these foul carcasses to the dust. As for the Bragulans, we must be enslave them and ensure they are given excellent upbringing rather than the perpetual state of ignorance they continue to live in," bellowed the Ecumenical Patriarch, who is known to have a soft spot for the Bragulans.

It is believed that an emergency budget is being drawn up to boost fleet numbers and the number of fighting men in the Emperor's field armies. The number of Astartes raised is likely to be increased and war plans are being drawn up to combat recent increased aggressiveness of the Karlack brood. A spokesman from the Ministry of War has indicated for the first time that war may well be iminent. "For too long have we not punished the Karlacks for their insatiable lust for human flesh. We must teach these foul xenos a lesson for their transgressions against humanity," said the spokesman.

In fact, the recent news of the debacle at Nova Genoa has spurred more to sign on and serve in the PDF and the Navy. Lines have been observed at many recruiting stations as more able yound men and women and even old veterans desired to return to the service of the God Emperor.

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Recruitment Poster for the Imperial Guard and the PDF

Debate about super battleships revives

The recent Battle of Nova Genoa revived the Super Battleship debate. It has been over a century since the Imperium embarked on the construction of large warships far exceeding most warships employed by most empires. The recent debacle has instead revived the debate for more of these super warships because of the perceived need for them to be more available when battling the endless hordes of Karlacks or Bragulans. This time round, there is a strong chance that proponents may well win, sources say. Already the Adeptus Mechanicus is believed to be readying its massive shipyards at the Mars and Jupiter Shipyards, and the Thessaloniki shipyards and Antioch Shipyards for possible large scale manufacture of new large warships, or the upgrading of existing warships. Regardless, the Imperium is believed to be assuming a greater war footing than before, and the intent to take the fight to the enemy, for the first time in over a century, has never been stronger.
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STGOD: Byzantine Empire
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-05 11:25am

The Bragulan Economic Exposition Extravaganza of Friendship (BEEEF)
Vlyadibragstok, Southeastern Severnaya Sector / just beyond Northwestern Lena Sector
Unreal Time / October-December 3400


Image

The alloted area beside the Chamarrans was unexpectedly empty. The BEEEF had been a sold out event, with all sorts of nations participating, mortal enemies and friends from across known space alike. The bunker building, which was designed to shelter an entire city's population while having an allowance for its inhabitants to reproduce inside it in the predicted thirty five years of nuclear winter, was in fact starting to get full. But still, the alloted area right next to the Chamarran area was deserted, inexplicably so, just when the nekos had taken so many precautions especially for their absent supposed neighbors.

Hestai and Siln had thought of using the spare space to display their Imperator Prime bragbots, but just when they were about to march the robots to the empty spot, they were preempted by what looked like a group of swarthy smelly humans bringing with them a hut for a kiosk made out of wood. They planted their little hut on the spot and began plying their wares, which included dried fish, dried mangoes, dried dogmeat, and brochures for a blood sport tournament. Something called Fungus Fighter or whatever.

These humans, who had somehow found their way into the non-human section of the BEEEF, were accosted by Bragulan officers but the humans merely showed their passports and the Brags just shrugged and left them alone - after exchanging credit handshakes and packs of dried dogmeat. The humans then celebrated by eating bird fetus eggs.

"Nyah!" the onlooking Chamarrans exclaimed.

Undeterred by their strange alien neighbors, the humans began hustling all sorts of passerbys and bystanders, trying to sell them all sorts of junks. Everything, from cheap electronics made in whatever third world they came from, to even cheaper clothing that they said was cheaper than everything else out there because it was made by child labor (never mind the fact that these clothes won't even fit on the non-humans they were trying to sell them to), to mail ordered wives. After finding no success, the humans moved on to another scam and taped a piece of cardboard on top of their kiosk-hut, labeled 'MUNNEY EXCHANGE $TAND'.

At last, people finally seemed to be paying them attention, probably because quite a few of them blew their load at the Blue Alien Space Indian casinos, and were looking to exchange their remaining monies to get back into the craps tables. It seemed as though the wily humans' plans were about to succeed until a customer took a close look at the currency the humans were exchanging their monies with...

Image

"Is this a joke? This money isn't even worth the paper it's printed on!" bellowed an outraged Moxli customer.

"On the contrary. Every Julia dollar will be worth five Anglian pounds. That is the exchange rate that the bank of New Anglia will implement after Generale Julia kidnaps their queen!" replied the human hustler before eating another bird fetus egg.

They argued some more until the Moxli oviraptor agreed to keep the Julia dollars, under the condition that the human give him some of those bird fetus eggs. The human scammers agreed, it was a deal. But before the humans could count their earnings, something happened. Something great and terrible. It was horribel.

It started with a shriek as people suddenly vacated the path leading to the empty spot, that was now human-occupied, beside the Chamarran encampment. There was a commotion, the sound of people screaming and running for their lives. And suddenly that noise was overwhelmed by the roar of diesel engines. Multiple diesel engines. There, beyond the parting waves of rushing humans, was a plume of smoke signifying the approach of an entire fleet of vehicles traveling at breakneck speed without concern for any of the pedestrians or bystanders in their path. Rock and roll music emanated from these oncoming vehicles.

They showed no signs of stopping as they smashed aside fruit stands and evacuated kiosks. In fact, they seemed to be going faster and faster until they pulled a power slide, turning and burning rubber on the ground before slamming right into the human kiosk-hut right beside the Chamarrans. The human hustlers vacated the premises, screaming profanities in their barbaric tongue while clutching whatever remained of their monies. It rained duck fetus eggs, which went splat on the floor and really made a mess of things.

When the chaos subsided, the Chamarrans poked their heads out of their ray shields (which they had promptly activated) to see their new neighbors. They gasped, for what they saw were...

Image

...limousines! Armed and armored stretch limos. They looked to be ancient designs, Byzantinian vintage, with the logos on their hoods denoting 'Ferrarios' or some such. The idling engines stopped and the doors opened with an evil hiss.

The Chamarrans gasped again, for what they saw were...

Image

...Karlacks. Humaniform Karlacks. And there was only one particular subspecies of Karlacks that could successfully mimic human form, to the point of driving around in Byzantinian luxury vehicles.

Gene-eaters.

"Nyaaaaaaaaah!" the Chamarrans screamed in absolute existential fear. The kitties had been expecting the nasty Karlacks to appear, yes, but still for them to do so now, stepping out of their cars and walking into the light, showing themselves and their glistening carapaces and their saliva-soaked fangs and everything, some of the younger Chamarran-chans couldn't help but hold each other and cry at the sight of them. They stopped to breathe, before resuming and once more going, "Nyaaaaaaaah!"

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But the Karlacks didn't seem to mind, ignoring the kitties entirely as they turned their attention to the nearest Bragulan around. The bear was seating behind the information desk and was busying himself with licking a duck fetus egg clean with his prehensile tongue. He was so content with this that he didn't even notice the grotesque monstrosities, the abominations, that were creeping up to him until the lead gauntlinglisk rang the dinging bell thing. The Brag jolted upright, getting off his chair and finding himself facing the horrific creatures. He sputtered and spilled his duck fetus egg's contents, getting duck fetus all over the floor.

The gauntlinglisk withdrew from him, and in its place came another Karlack organoid - a superior synapse creature in the Swarm's hivemind hierarchy, a few steps below the Aspects. It was a Cerebrate.

It gave the Brag an evil eye.

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"We require more vespene gas."

The grotesque sin against nature declared. The Bragulan sputtered for a few more seconds, struggling to put on his NBC protective gear and gas mask on, before utterly failing to do so. At least the CBRN alarms were not going off yet, meaning the Karlacks weren't trying to infesterize everyone with their spores. Yet.

The Bragulan calmed down and composed himself.

"Da... da.... da..." he said as he scratched his furry head. "Da! Vespene gas, yes. Vaporized vegemite derivative of superior energy density and efficiency than paleofossil fuel petrochemicals, da! With high power applications in fuel and weapnry, da! Yes. Da. We know where you can get, da. Over there, at Bragulan agricultural department section at northsouth wing. Da!"

"Uuuuurrrrlllllkkkkkkkrrraaaaaaarrrggghhhhh!"

The monstrosities began shuffling off towards the direction the Bragulan pointed to. But then, suddenly, an alarming thought crossed his mind.

"Wait!" he shouted after the Karlacks. The atrocious beasts turned back to face him, and at their sight he quivered in fear. Few thing could scare a Bragulan, but a Karlack organoid was one of those things. Which was why they were such good allies to them. The Karlacks slithered back towards his desk and he whimpered like a frightened cub. But he had a responsibility, a Byzonic task of immense importance, a duty he had to fulfill no matter the cost. He was the receptionist, in charge with welcoming Bragule's glourious guests to the BEEEF. He tried not to flinch as he offered his paw to the Karlack creaturoids. "Welcome to the BEEEEEEEEF!"

He added the extra Es as the Karlack cerebrate acknowledged his greeting by putting its slimy tentacle on his paw and shaking it. The Brag tried not to squirm or flinch, but he did a lousy job a that. After the cerebrate released its sucker-laden pseudopod, he then gave it a gift with which to honor the Karlacks.

Image

A Karlack cake.

"Enjoy your stay, comrades!" the Bragulan receptionist said this, with a pleasant tone of voice that was almost like a scream of pure horror. Because it was. As the Karlacks went off on their way, the receptionist bolted from his desk and washed his paws profusely with soap and heavy water.
Image Image Image
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Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
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