SDNW4 Story Thread 1

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Simon_Jester
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Battle of Zebes, Chapter Twenty-Four

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-17 03:23am

Theseus-class Cruiser CNS Loyalist
Flagship Task Force 23
Stranded in Deep Space
1855 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Commodore Gever Liggs looked over the status reports from the ships of Task Force 23. One of his light carriers' latest update projected... Four hours? That's absurd!

"Com-Scan, I need to speak to Borderer at once!"

There was almost no pause at all before his screen flashed, showing the face of the light carrier's captain. Liggs scowled.

"Commander Blanco, what's taking so long?"

"Ah... sir, we have a serious problem with our repair equipment- we'd been running an inventory of shipboard heavy machinery in the maintenance hanger, and..."

"Spit it out!"

"There's a primary power lead to the frame 50 hyperfield generators running under the hangar floor sir, when it blew it deadlined most of our cargo lifting equipment!" The commander's face was desperate, humiliated. "I'm sorry, sir, but we've done everything we know. Gravity's down to twenty percent, we've got the entire crew working like stevedores and the chief engineer tells me we still can't get the job done in under three and a half hours..."

"Ah." Not surprising; some of those parts were too heavy to move without the proper machinery, and even in low gravity it took large teams of men working very carefully to put them into place without damaging them.

Blanco quivered; he looked almost as if he expected a bullet in the gut- perhaps he did. But Liggs didn't think this was the time for that, and it wouldn't help Borderer shift cargo any faster. He nodded to the carrier officer. "I'll see what I can do to help you expedite matters. Liggs out." The commodore turned across the bridge to his flag captain.

"Captain Hokobaz, get on the line with your chief engineer and shake loose any heavy cargo-moving gear not critically needed for repairs on this ship, particularly the Mark 35 sporklift.* Tell him to substitute manpower for equipment as far as possible without pushing back our schedule; standard work safety protocols are waived."

"Yes, sir, I'll get back to you shortly." The captain switched channels. Liggs waited patiently for his answer, which was not long in coming.

"Commander Gough says he can spare sixteen sporklifts, two dozen agrav coils, and a portable counter-inertial englobulator... but he still doesn't have power to the shuttle bay doors; he can't get a boat off the ship."

Hmm. Tricky, but... That might work, yes. Appealingly direct, took advantage of those overheavy tractor fits the Bureau of Shipbuilding kept tacking on to the carriers for some stupid reason. He liked it.

"Tell him to shove the cargo into space through the port loading dock in fifteen minutes. I'll have Borderer ready to tractor it aboard."

"..."

"Those items are all vacuum-rated, yes?"

"Yes, sir. Good idea, sir."

"Thank you, captain."

*Author's note: The sporklift originated on Nova Terra, in the nation of Miratia, during the mid-21st century. Early models were highly temperamental and prone to spontaneously dismantle themselves without warning, but the design truly came into its own with the invention of smart memory alloys some centuries later. This compact, double-jointed piece of construction equipment can do the jobs of a backhoe, front-loader, and forklift with approximately equal ease, and has supplanted these devices in several major interstellar nations.

1912 Hours

Recommended Listening: Mars, Bringer of War

Liggs fumed as he watched the Heim-drive Zebesian ships streak past, practically ignoring the fleet's plasma fire and pelting the capital ships with those FTL missiles.

The bastards! They're warp strafing us!

An overly helpful tactical rating called over to him. "Sir, we have confirmed aether torpedo hits on Black Hole, Frod, Slavering Gaoogabeast, Tate's Folly..."

"Yes, yes, I see it!"

The repairs were going all right- Borderer hadn't panicked and dropped the equipment he'd tossed them, which was important. They were still taking it aboard as if nothing had happened.

He had to do something about those warp strafers. On a bone-deep level, he felt instinctively hostile to the idea, as if the very universe itself, the fabric underlying reality, rebelled against the idea of something so wrong. So... seemingly overpowering.

The mass drivers might as well not be used here. Even the plasma beams were slow enough to make them an extremely marginal choice for engaging such targets. His ships were designed to close with the enemy, matching him in position and velocity, and then destroy them with overwhelming force. Hitting one of those streaking FTL targets by anything more than blind luck would be... he couldn't think of a viable way to do it. It seemed like an impossible shot... Liggs' face crinkled in a thin, bemused smile; he knew perfectly well who to go to when he needed an impossible shot made.

"Com-Scan, put me through to Carpenter."



Schwartz-class Destroyer CNS Carpenter
1913 Hours


"Let me see what I can do, sir; I'll talk to my gunnery officer."

"Hurry; they'll be back any minute." The commodore cut the circuit, leaving Commander Jiors Leander to his own devices.

Leander tended to draw criticism, and he rather doubted his promotion prospects would go much farther. He didn't mind; quite the opposite. Nearly every large military organization in the known galaxy had its occasional parcel of rogues who survived by balancing success against deviation from doctrine, even the staid and disciplinarian Centralist starfleet. He'd found his home at the head of one such band of lunatics, and never looked back.

The fact that his record of trouble kept him from being raised out of a line destroyer command, as his success record kept him from being dropped from it, was better yet.

He spun the intercom channels round... there. Main Battery Control, chief gunner's circuit.

"You have been working on those Heim drive ships, no?"

Lieutenant Aiden Pelton's helmet was buttoned up, and his face was invisible but he raised his hands from the console and spread them for the camera. "Got it in one, sir."

"Good. And here I was afraid you'd changed." Most captains would have sent Pelton out for insubordination years ago. Then again, most captains didn't command a four time finalist in the Fleet gunnery exercises.

"Tricky shot, Captain."

And it would be, targets going about two orders of magnitude faster than bolts from the ship's guns. Acquisition a problem too... they'd cross the sensor envelope in less time than he wanted to think. Did Pelton have an answer for that?

"Anything in mind?"

"I'd need fifteen sensor platforms and about three dozen tubes to shoot from. Barring that, I'll give it my best shot."

"On what, a hundred meter target with a resolution of..."

"Fifty klicks. You know any particularly generous deities, sir?"

"I'll see what I can do. Get your code set up in case I pull it off- and if I don't, look up the Shroomanist Prayer Book and I'll see what I can do that way." Banned literature, that, but the theory that the gods were crazy and rewarded refuge in audacity made more sense than anything else he'd ever heard about the Dread Gribblies from Beyond the Ether. Might explain a few of his more improbable moments, even...

Aaand Com-Scan had the job done; the commodore reappeared. "So, can you do it?"

"My best gunner thinks he can make the shot if he can get enough networked sensor and guns. Can you pass control of the task force fire control and subspace detection networks to us, sir?"

He could hear Liggs frown. "Most unorthodox... I expect results, Commander."

"As always, sir."



Disruptor-class Battleship CNS Black Hole
Flagship Task Corps 8
1917 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Vice Admiral Prots Verio was a bit surprised by the call from one of his screen commanders.

"Commodore, I have other problems. What do you need?"

"Sir, I've been on the line with one of my destroyers, Carpenter. Her captain wants to run a fleet-level fire mission against the warp strafers, coordinating from his ship."

Verio's eyes narrowed. "From a destroyer?"

"Carpenter did win the fleet gunnery exercises in '98, sir."

"Do you believe his plan?"

"I've already ordered my command to slave main battery control to his ship, sir."

"Does he have the software, though?" Destroyers didn't carry flagship programming, and no matter how good their gunners were, it wouldn't matter if they couldn't process the data from the other ships. Was this a plan for striking back, or a boastful lie entrapping a fool? He had his doubts about Liggs...

"He seemed very confident, sir, and I've never known him to promise something he couldn't deliver..." Was that a waver in Liggs' voice?

Verio considered. From Navigation and Com-Scan's best guess, they still had some minutes before the Zebesian Heimships returned. "You may proceed with your plan, Commodore. I will think over giving your man control of other ships in the fleet, and answer you shortly." He cut the signal, but left the channel open.

What do I have to lose? Realism told him that none of his ships had much chance of hitting the warp strafers on their own. Subspace sensor resolution alone wasn't good enough for target acquisition when the enemy was far out, and by the time the Zebesian raiders got close enough for his ships to resolve, the guns only had seconds to lock and engage... when the time of flight for the plasma bolts would most likely be seconds even then. In theory a fleetwide fire control network might be able to do it. In theory. But his own flagship hadn't been able to piece together anything useful from the last attack run; what were the odds a destroyer could do better?

But then, what did he have to lose?

"Tactical section, get Screen Group 8.1 linked up to TF 23's fire control network, tell them to slave main battery fire control to their orders. Com-Scan, tell Liggs I'm supporting him with SG 8.1 and-" a half-second's pause for thought- "And Frod as well. He can run fire control for Frod." The yards had let the modified battleship keep most of her plasma beams when they installed the Type 74; they'd gutted her short range weapons but left the long range energy batteries in place. And who knew, maybe that would make a difference, assuming that Liggs' pet destroyermen weren't building castles in the air.

Modified Disruptor-class Battleship CNS Frod
Command Bridge
1919 Hours


"Sir! Message from the flagship. They have some kind of fleet fire mission planned for the Zebesians' next pass. We are to slave our subspace sensor relays and plasma gun fire control to... destroyer CNS Carpenter."

"Very well. Tactical department, give them full cooperation." Captain Stack didn't understand why the admiral was letting a destroyer call the shot, but it wasn't his place to question the order. Tactical confirmed, and Stack decided it was time to check in on the engine repairs. His last call had gone down to the chief engineer... maybe he'd better check with the head of the Marine detachment he'd sent down there. It was the work of a moment to find the relevant intercom channel.

"Major Strakanoff!"

The Marine braced to attention. "Yes, sir!"

"Report on the progress of the Cannon engineers."

"By all accounts, they're making excellent progress."

"Good. Have you conveyed my orders to them?"

"First thing we did on arrival, sir."

"Very good. I'll check back with you shortly."

"Yes, sir!"

CNS Frod
Engine Room Six
Ten Minutes Earlier


Ensign Paul Heaviside, Ion Cannon Specialization, Centrality Navy, looked nervously at the pair of fully armored assault troopers. They'd just marched into the compartment and braced against the bulkhead. Granted he was an officer and outranked them. But he couldn't read the mens' faces through their helmets, and there was something very intimidating about the autoblasters in their hands, and the way their fingers tightened on the stock and grip.

Addressing the one on the left, Paul asked the obvious question. "What are your orders, trooper?"

The Marine braced to partial attention, but his weapon stayed at the ready rather than in one of the proper drill positions.

"Sir, my orders are to remain on guard in the engineering spaces, with the rest of the company, during the repair process, until the hyperdrive is operational or until one of the fleet's other capital ships completes hyperdrive repairs. If one of the other ships completes repairs first, the company is to choose a Cannon technician at random every two minutes after the captain gives the orders. Then we are to shoot the technician and liquidate him."

Suddenly, Paul's vague fears became highly specific, but his mind caught on what was perhaps an irrelevant detail- possibly trying to avoid the thought that the random target might be him... "Ah, you said "shoot and then liquidate," trooper?" He wasn't sure he wanted to know what that meant, but he had to ask... damn his curiosity!

"Our orders are to shoot the target in the head, then dump the body the waste dissolver."

"So, when the captain says 'liquidate,' he actually means... turn into a liquid?"

"Yes, sir!"

Paul shivered. I don't want to be turned into a liquid... "I... see."

"If the technicians offer any resistance to the execution, we have different orders, sir." The trooper sounded disturbingly cheerful now. Paul couldn't help himself.

"...what will you do then?" Why am I saying this, I don't want to know I don't want to know...

"Well, then we won't shoot the target in the head before dropping him into the waste dissolver, naturally, sir." The silent Marine on the right nodded slightly.

"Okay..."

"Ah, is that all, sir?"

"Yes."

The ensign turned back to the team of Cannon technicians he'd been supervising as they labored to replace a blown hyper-energy switching unit. "You heard the man, work faster!"



CNS Carpenter
1921 Hours


"I get a battleship? Wait, Frod's the one with the ion cannon, right? Do I get to shoot the ion cannon?"

Deep breaths, deep breaths "No, you do not get to play with the ion cannon. Only the plasma batteries. Now, have you got the software together yet?"

"Yes, sir."

"Let me look at..." From the block diagram, he recognized six packages that had to have been illicitly copied from a squadron flagship in gross violation of regs, three more that he suspected the lieutenant had written himself... "Very Dangerous Array?"

"For integrating the subspace data from all the ships, sir. We do have a combined main battery of..."

"I get it, I get it." Not a bad twist on Very Large Array; I wonder where he got it from... Let's see, anything else dodgy in the charts... "Why is this directory labeled 'Crime Pays?'"

"Ah..."

"Tell me now."

The gunner sighed. "Because I got one of the Umerian tactical officers drunk, helped her back to her room, and stole it off her computer? Their information security is pretty bad, sir."

Why me? He normally enjoyed his work, but there were occasional moments when he truly wished he could throw it all away and become a martinet without going mad. Or, kriff, just not go mad, he'd settle for not going mad.

"Lieutenant Aiden Pelton, is this something the CSB should hear about?" Unauthorized contact with foreign officers... Why me?

"Sir, who do you think put me up to it?"

"You mean-"

"Can neither confirm nor deny, sir."

Please let him not be lying, I need him in approximately one piece... "Right. This will work?"

"Should work."

"There are two flag officers who know you're responsible for this, Lieutenant."

"Right."

Leander nodded, leaving Pelton to it.

About two minutes later, the main plot on command deck suddenly zoomed out, light codes getting visibly sharper as CIC showed the increase in resolution. It was... impressive. And there they were, indecently fast, two waves, one corvette and one cruiser tonnage, though a fair chunk of that bulk was probably the Heim drives themselves. First wave spotting for the second? Most likely, from the attack profile last time... no more than forty seconds to the first wave firing pass...

Across the squadron, plasma gun turrets started revolving, all synchronized to the command of a single gunner. Lieutenant Pelton picked his nanosecond, and his kilometer; guns had to be pointed on well in advance if this was going to work at all. FTL sensors made the strafers visible, but hitting them with an STL weapon was still going to be one hell of a trick.

Don't let me down, Pel...

The shot came as a surprise, fired when the enemy's lead ships were still over two million kilometers out and closing fast. Carpenter rippled as her fore and aft plasma turrets lobbed their bolts toward an innocuous point in space; other ships flickered as they fired their salvoes in turn, cruisers and a battleship dancing to his own little destroyer's tune. Time seemed to crawl as the plasma bolts and enemy ships screamed toward their rendevous... No way to tell if it would work by eye from the plot; they could miss by a hundred kilometers and he wouldn't even see it on this scale.

Officially, Leander was a solid example of the New Centralist Man- had to be, or he wouldn't be here commanding this ship, now would he? Officially, that made him an atheist, and he supposed he was. Even so, with the specter of two angry fleet officers and the CSB looming over his head, Jiors Leander quietly commended his soul to any god that could find it- hopefully, the Shroomanist gods...

As one of the enemy corvettes dissolved in a blazing trail of polychromatic vapor and decaying energy fields, like the tail of a comet stretching millions of kilometers across the sky.

The master gunner tried to line up another shot on one of the torpedo boats; he saw the bolts go out again... torpedoes slamming into the capital ships again... miss! Damn.

He called up gunnery. "One for two, Lieutenant?"

"Had him bracketed. I'll make it next time."

"Very good, carry on, and good kill!" That last spoken with a hint of carnivorous snarl, keep the man's confidence up there. Leander closed the circuit just in time to get a call from Loyalist; Liggs with the same idea he'd had, only one level up?

"Congratulations, Commander. Vice Admiral Verio is routing the full fleet fire control network to you next time. Can you handle it?"

Only one response to that. Gulp. "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." Now to hope Pelton could repeat a trick...



Recommended Listening

Kavoolite Missile Harrier Toranox
Forming Up For Third Attack Run
1927 Hours


The admiral steepled his fingers in a gesture a human would have recognized, and rightly. "We drop farther out this time. Concentrate on targets one, three, and six."

"We're going back in?"

His flag captain was right, and someone had to say it: if the hit on Intharan wasn't luck on the last pass, they were going to lose another ship. Maybe two- perhaps even more.

"I won't inform the Emperor that the cream of his expeditionary fleet turned for home after the loss of a single scout ship."

"Some worrying evanescents on that last pass, sir; I think we were bracketed by at least four plasma bolts within five hulg of the critical threshold."

Their gunnery can't be that good... Then again, who knew what the great powers were capable of? Against Urtraghans, Gron, or Sibellians he'd gamble on his harriers being able to dodge enemy fire until the magazines ran dry. Against the outside races, the humans, Idurans, and others beyond the shoals? Hard to say...

His decision was made. "We go in."

"Yes, sir."

CNS Black Hole
1931 Hours


Black Hole might be out of the loop as far as plasma battery fire control was concerned, but Verio still got the benefit of the coordinated sensor picture from Carpenter- clearer and farther reaching than even his battleship's massive detector grids had given him before.

How are they doing it?

He could see the Zebesians coming in again, at those incredible speeds. The faint rumble of the flagship's heavy plasma cannon pointing on, that clenching of the gut knowing that the torpedoes were going to come in fast and deadly...

It all happened too fast, those final seconds of an action at Heim drive speeds- even high relative sublight speeds- were invariably a gunnery computer's battle, more so than usual. Another one of the Zebesian scouts blew apart; the plasma cannon thumped out their next salvo seemingly simultaneous with the torpedo launch. Black Hole jumped slightly, and Verio just had time to spot the burning red of critical damage appear around the icon for the battle carrier Tate's Folly before bolts and strafers intercepted... and one of the torpedo craft vanished.

Missile Harrier Toranox
1933 Hours


W'bartan... no... The captain of the missile harrier Destrelax hadn't been just a comrade-in-arms; he'd been a friend.

Three hits on two passes was too many, far too many for the amount of damage they were doing. They'd obviously wounded that carrier, probably crippled it, but... not worth the price, not worth two scouts and a harrier. Their orders from the Emperor were clear: once they had done all the damage they could manage practically, it was time to withdraw.

The High Council had no doubt expected them to fire their magazines dry before that time came, but it was not to be. The doctrine of hit and fade, scream past the enemy under Hulartik Drive and deliver a spread of crippling torpedoes... potentially valid, he was sure. But not a tool for asymmetric warfare against such a large fleet, not with his own handful of ships.

"Withdraw into the shoals under magnetogravitic power; activate the cloaking devices. We must report this reverse to the Emperor... and rethink our war plans, lest we face these humans again."

CNS Black Hole
1934 Hours


"What happened?"

"Sir, Rear Admiral Fibors is wounded- we had a cascading power grid failure, there's spalling damage to the bridge."

"His condition?"

"...Too soon to say, sir; I haven't heard from sickbay yet. He managed to get out a few orders after the hit on primary bridge; I'm hoping it's minor."

"I hope so too, Commander. What's your status?"

"Bad, sir. We took two torpedoes, right after the other, and the second drilled the dorsal shields. The superstructure aft of Frame 600 is gone; we're down to half our launch capability and two thirds our fighter complement. Power system is a mess too- the surges blew away a lot of our repairs. I doubt we could manage more than three simultaneous launches, even if we have the tubes for them. Hyperdrive is... I don't think we'll be able to bring it back sir, not soon enough to matter. This is one for the dockyards."

"Understood. I'll detach ships to cover you when we clear this damned interdictor." Verio gave the junior officer a benevolent smile. "Carry on, son. You're doing well. Verio out!"

One battle carrier badly damaged, for two corvettes and a... hard to rate those strafers, they punch hard but die easy. This little skirmish was arguably a success... but he had to get the fleet to Zebes, somehow!

"Com-Scan, contact the Umerians; I need to know if they've nailed down a location yet!" Maybe the Eoghans could line up something; no one knew exactly how far their version of those damn torpedoes could reach... their minimum distance estimate wasn't promising though.

His thoughts were interrupted by that impertinent, disturbingly quick Umerian- who looked much too cheerful this time.

"Vice Admiral, we have a location, and some readouts. We'll get the data to you as soon as we can."

That's some progress at least...

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Fingolfin_Noldor
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Fingolfin_Noldor » 2011-01-17 08:56am

Imperial Chronicles

“So what makes an Astartes?” asked Heraclius IV, speaking to the Grey Knights sergeant who was cleaning his kit. The Igni Aquila made the jump into the Warp and was headed towards a destination preset by Heraclius. The destination was a bunch of rather desolate worlds just beyond the fringe of UN space.

“We are bred and modified to serve the God Emperor in the roles given to us,” he said evenly.

“Who contrived the system?”

“Emperor Sergius XI, bless be his name, initiated the Astartes project with the goal of bolstering the Imperium’s ground and naval forces. It was in his opinion that the Astartes would provide the necessary backbone to the military, and the Astartes would be flung at missions where their assistance was most required. After all, space battles are only one aspect of galactic warfare. Worlds must be taken intact if they are to be of any use to us. The God Emperor Heraclius XX took charge of the project personally, and he directed it from the very start.”

“The God Emperor himself? So he organized everything? Along with the 3 Space Marine Legions, the Scholae Palatinae and the Space Marines under the Inquisition?”

“That much so, m’lord. The Emperor placed the Space Marine Legions under the command of his sons, and each legion reflected the son’s personality, as well as the intended purpose of each Space Marine Legion.”

“And what purpose might that be?”

“As you might have noticed, the Strategos Primus Belisarius Komnenos is effectively the next in line to the throne, and he and his legion, the Ultramarines, are known for their nobility and honor. This pretty much reflects the Strategos Primus’ own personality and character, making him the suitable heir to the throne. He is also an excellent diplomat, and has been the Imperium’s roving ambassador and when high ranking foreign dignitaries arrive, he and the Sigillite would be the ones who would meet them and discuss matters of state. He is the Emperor’s regent in the Emperor’s absence. Not least, he is the Imperium’s Warmaster and all obey his command as if it were the Emperor’s. The Ultramatrines are nevertheless excellent and disciplined warfighters, and their combat efficiency are among the best. When it comes to field maneuver and blitzkrieg tactics, there are few who can meet their match.

The Strategos Primus Aurelian Komnenos and his legion, the Anatolian Guard, are known to be siege breakers. They lay siege to cities, worlds and break their walls, shields and making them availing to our assaults. What is less known about them is that they are also excellent infiltrators as well. If a shield is too hard to break, infiltration tactics are thus required. They are extremely good at it, and many a Tau city or world was torn open through infiltration and subterfuge.

Strategos Primus Rus Komnenos and his legion, the Varangian Rus, are however a different proposition.”

“In what way?” Heraclius’ eyebrows arched. “Unless you are saying they are named after the Varangian Guards of old. Even my own guard was chosen because they were fanatical fighters.”

“Correct. They are fanatical and ruthless fighters and they are bloody merciless. Among all the legions, the Emperor would send them against the toughest opposition, simply because they are almost incapable of mercy. They would shoot an infant to kill the enemy for example. When the Emperor desired to exterminate some Bragulans who fought on the Tau’s side, he sent the Varangian Rus. The Bragulans, augmented with Tau technology, were ferocious fighters, and in some ways more ferocious than the Bragulans under Byzon. Their ferocity was only matched by the Varangian Rus who simply slaughtered their way through the opposition and they put the world to the torch after they were done.”

“That bad eh. The name itself is quite apt. The Slavic Rus of old were known to pillage and burn.”

“Yes, indeed.”

“How about the others?”

“The Scholae Palatinae, as their name suggests, are the Emperor’s personal bodyguards. They are all psykers and are among the best trained troops in the galaxy. They are also equipped with the finest weapons the Imperium can offer. The Space Marines under the Inquisition’s control are subdivided into 3 groups. One group is the Grey Knights and they are trained and equipped to hunt down and kill psykers. Another is the Death Watch. They specialise in killing peculiar kinds of xenos. They are essentially special forces dedicated to suppressing xenos and determining their weaknesses. The final group is the Adeptus Sororitas and they are essentially the enforcers of the Inquisition’s will. Composed entirely of females, they are soldier fanatics of the God Emperor, incredibly religious, and also very loyal to the Emperor. They are considered a match for any Adeptus Astartes, since they were also accorded the similar genetic enhancements. Typically, they are used to enforce the will of the Inquisition, especially when dealing with traitors, and rogue Inquisitors.”

“Ah.. figured. Anything else?”

The sergeant shifted uncomfortably. “Well, there was the issue of the Shroomanian marines...”

Heraclius rubbed his temples. “I see where this is going.”

“Yes, m’lord. Space Marines descended from people from that island proved rather unstable and caused problems.”

“Do I really want to know?” Heraclius sighed.

“Well, if you want to...”

“Alright. Let’s make this quick and painless.”

“Well, m’lord, not to say that the marines were incapable of shooting the enemy, it was just that they displayed a level of gaiety that irked a considerable portion of the Space Marines and I think things got really uncomfortable when quite a few bottoms were smacked.”

Image

Heraclius was rolling his eyes. “Somehow, men and women from that island have their way with people.”

“Oh the women! I almost forgot, the ones in the Adeptus Sororitas were so zealous about defending their faith that... I think a number of them were sanctioned for torturing their prisoners to the death before anything could be extracted from them.”

“Please don’t tell me they tried bondage and kept whipping them in very sensitive areas.”

“How did you figure that?”

“I had a hunch.”

Shuddering, “Anyway, the whole of them were grouped together and placed under direct control of the Inquisition. No more marines from Shroomania were ever made, and they were closely monitored, for fear they were cause more trouble in the future...”
Image
STGOD: Byzantine Empire
Your spirit, diseased as it is, refuses to allow you to give up, no matter what threats you face... and whatever wreckage you leave behind you.
Kreia

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Master_Baerne » 2011-01-17 05:00pm

FROM: James Chassenyac, Vice-President for Research and Development, Vinhive Fleet Yards
TO: Dr. Gordon Frohman (DSTHF*), Director, Office of Shipbuilding
SUBJECT: Project 1180 ‘Drake-class Battlecruiser’


Image
Stock image of Project 1180; computer model

Monsieur le Directeur,
As simulation trials of Project 1180 have been competed ahead of schedule, I thought it appropriate to share my impressions and those of the design team now, instead of waiting for our meeting next Friday. As you know, Project 1180 was conceived as a long-range missile platform to supplement the Starfleet’s short-range graser-armed combatants, and as such mounts no energy weapons above a standard point-defense network. A fairly substantial hangar was added to the original design in order to provide additional ranged striking power, and contains two and a half squadrons (2.5 squadrons; 25 individual units) of HIT gunboats – current ‘standard’ loadout is five (5) EWAR gunboats and twenty (20) combat models. Other changes to the original design include slightly weaker engines, speed having been deemed not especially necessary to a long-ranged bombardment ship, and a directly-proportional increase in shield emitter strength. An Interstellar Standard Value of 150 points is predicted.
Attached are the official recording of the simulation and my own thoughts on it.

Project 1180 Simulated-Fire Test No. 1 wrote:Planetary Exercise Area, Ascendant Datanet
The PEA, as it was known, was a simulated portion of inner-system space centered on a nondescript rocky planet. It served as the simulated testing ground for all of the Ascendancy’s wall-of-battle ships; carriers (now that the Starfleet had ordered some) used the much larger Standard Exercise Area, or SEA, which was also where fleet simulations took place. A flash of blue light marked the entry of Project 1180’s computerized representation – it was being called Drake by the Starfleet officers controlling it from a simulator – and several more signaled the appearance of several enemy ships. The first test would be a situation deemed ideal for Project 1180: A long-range engagement against multiple smaller ships. The AI running the exercise considered the list of available opponents (mostly Ascendant ships, because complete schematics were useful for designing simulations) and decided on a trio of Morghann-class light cruisers led by a single Pike-class heavy.

This would be an interesting engagement. Taken together, the enemy ships had an ISV double that of Drake, but that value was spread out among weak, easily-killed ships not optimized for the extreme-range missile duels Project 1180 specialized in. It would be largely a battle of maneuver: If Drake stayed out of graser range, she likely wouldn’t have any problems with the light missile fire the other ships could put out, but even her reinforced shield banks wouldn’t hold out for long against concentrated energy fire. From the cruisers’ perspective, point-defence would have to be balanced against tactical flexibility: If they remained together, a much smaller proportion of Drake’s missiles would survive to attack range, but the four ships (imaginatively tagged ‘Aggressor Squadron’ by their controlling AI) would find it much more difficult to bring their target into energy range. Also, the gunboat squadrons could pose a serious problem to the light cruisers if they left the protective envelope of the Pike’s fighters.

The battle started conventionally enough, with Aggressor Squadron forming a tight diamond face-on towards Drake and accelerating with 90% engine power, the maximum safe sustained output. Their simulated graser cannon turned hungrily in their turrets, fixing their target battlecruiser with a baleful electronic gaze. Drake, meanwhile, sat motionless, letting the range tick down while she launched her gunboats. The enemy Pike was keeping her fighters docked but ready for a quick launch – no sense watching them shredded by off-target missile fire.
120 thousand kilometers, 110 thousand kilometers, 100 thousand kilometers… A soft tone in the simulator room marked Aggressor Squadron’s entry into Drake’s missile range, and the Ascendant officer at the weapons station stabbed his finger down onto the launch key. The seven ten-tube trainable launchers on the ship’s ventral side, carrying the digital representations of the newest antiship missiles in the Ascendant arsenal, fired all at once and did so again and again and again every eight seconds until the first launch entered the Aggressor point-defence envelope some seven thousand kilometers out from the ships. The first seventy missiles took heavy losses from the storm of countermissiles that dashed out to meet them, the fratricidal little missiles – glorified rockets, really – detonating themselves in a burst of nuclear radiation designed to destroy most things in its area and to shred the target locks of everything else. The fifteen heavy missiles that survived were swatted contemptuously by the little autograsers serving as point-defence cannon, as were the next seventy, still reeling from the countermissile’s radioactive swansong. The flight after that, however, had been far enough away to keep sight of their targets but still close enough to be inside the countermissile’s launch cycle, and the autograsers only managed fourty-three kills before impact: Of the twenty-seven successful hits, fifteen spent themselves on the heavy cruiser’s thick shields and the other twelve spread themselves too thinly among the lights to achieve anything. Still, considering that Drake could fire almost four times as fast if it needed to or didn’t mind burning through expensive missiles, quite a respectable tally. The battlecruiser turned ponderously onto a vector 45 degrees ‘up’ from Aggressor Squadron’s, hoping to make the enemy lose a bit of acceleration time in course changes, and went to 90% acceleration. Meanwhile, the other three missile launches resolved themselves more-or-less identically to the first three: The first killed by countermissiles, the second killed by autograsers, the third too scattered to burn through into enemy hulls. Either rapid fire or a closer engagement range would be required, it seemed.

Well, that could certainly be arranged. Drake reduced acceleration, dropping back to something closer to civilian power levels than military. The Aggressor ships ticked closer on the simulator’s plot while every eight seconds a flight of missiles from the ventral tubes leapt towards them, causing no serious damage but bleeding the enemy shields closer to dry with every hit. Then, as the invisible line marking a distance of fifty thousand kilometers was crossed, the lone battlecruiser turned broadside-on to the enemy ships and pushed her attitude thrusters to their inertial compensator-imposed limits, sending the ship into a rapid spin at the same time as both the ventral and dorsal missile tubes went to maximum fire: Now, four seconds was the space between each volley, and with both batteries firing there was only a two-second delay. Drake could only keep this up for a little over three minutes, but in that time, 6,300 heavy missiles would be sent on their way.

The constant, withering storm of explosions from antimatter bombs interspersed with the stabbing green fingers of the graser warheads accomplished what had so far been impossible, and two of the light cruisers fell out of formation, a pair of shattered wrecks that looked as if they’d be more at home in a ship graveyard than a battlefield. The third exploded violently as a trio of well-aimed antimatter missiles broke its keel and set off the graser gas canisters and missile warheads buried there. The Pike-class heavy cruiser, the last remaining ship of Aggressor Squadron, twisted and writhed under the sheer amount of energy being poured into it… and then, abruptly, there was no more. The battlecruiser had run out of missiles.

The AI running the simulation smirked for the benefit of the Starfleet personnel observing, and sent its remaining ship screaming forwards at maximum military power, all safety interlocks disabled in favor of closing the range as quickly as possible. Fourty thousand kilometers from Drake, the cruiser opened fire with its own missile tubes, all of them clustered towards the bow, and launched its parasite craft – a squadron each of HIT fighters and bombers, and five gunboats configured for electronic warfare. The battlecruiser hunkered down, feeding all available power into shield banks and point-defense, and the two gunboat squadrons based off of her angled towards the Pike, hoping to kill the cruiser before it reached energy range.

The last part of the simulated engagement, then, was between roughly-equivalent fighter strike forces. Both sides benefited from five EWAR gunboats, who quickly busied themselves with distracting the antifighter missiles already streaming from all the craft in the engagement, and with attempting to distract the gigantic quad graser cannon common to the gunboats and the HIT fighters. Very little was accomplished before the fighter forces were almost close enough for the Mark I Eyeball to be a valid spotting tool, but then Drake’s gunboats decided to hurry things up: Of the four heavy antiship rockets attached to their wingtips, each gunboat launched one set for proximity detonation in the general direction of the enemy fighters. Few were destroyed outright, but the evasive maneuvering necessary to keep them so in the face of such powerful explosions kept them well out of position for the grand finale: Losing three gunboats to contermissiles and two to autograser fire, the remaining craft spiraled onto their final attack runs. A moment’s steady flight saw another two gunboats blown apart, but then the thirty-nine remaining rockets were away and much too close for interception. They impacted in the three waves, the first smashing aside the heavy cruiser’s remaining shields, the second shattering her thick armor, and the third burning deep, deep into the hull to set off her reactant stores and finish the battle in a final, eye-wateringly-bright explosion.


As you will note, Docteur Frohman, Project 1180 is not a line combatant. What she is, simply put, is the ideal patrol craft to free up our heavy cruisers and graser-armed battlecruisers for fleet duty; it is the view of Vinhive Fleet Yards that this ship may well serve to finally eliminate piracy from our outer sectors. Project 1180’s superior shield strength and vastly superior range will enable a comparatively small number of ships to take over patrol duties, and are predicted to increase pirate casualties considerably – small, fast ships such as the typical raider are difficult targets for large grasers but lack the point-defence to do much against the sheer volume of missile fire these fine ships can put out.

Sincerely,
James Chasseynac


*Doctorat en sciences, tres honorable avec felicitations; Ascendant equivalent of galactic-standard PhD in engineering, awarded with the special congratulations of the examining board.



RESULTS: I started playing EVE Online the other day, and felt inspired to right this. In other news, the Ascendancy is continuing its march to modernity with another nontraditional ship design.
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 fgalkin » 2011-01-17 11:20pm

Dis Station
Diplomatic System
Sector G3 (on the border of H4)
August 16, 3400


Image
Diplomatic Station Dis

Tremendous, Unimaginable Restraint In The Face Of Incredible Temptation floated along the halls of the newly-completed diplomatic station. For the first time in millennia, it felt…complete. Gone were the ward-rings limiting its powers. Gone was the constant hunger. And while it still felt the pressure of the orichalcum wards inscribed on the station’s hull against itself and still needed a body of twisted flesh, soon, that need would be gone as well. Soon, it would be as it was meant to be, inhabiting a piece of reality itself.

It could sense the envy in the others, the ones doomed to remain in hiding as they were, to stay shackled forever, and it felt tremendous pride. Of all the myriads of daemons hidden in the Expanse, it alone was chosen for this mission. For it was decided that each state to be contacted shall receive an Emissary that would be most appropriate to its culture and civilization, and for the puny Owens it meant no hiding was necessary at all.

A sound emanated throughout the station, resonating across the nearly empty hallways, a low bellow. The Emissary paused in its journey and moved towards one of the numerous observation domes accessible from the outer hallways. Such things were unthinkable on the Homeships, but the diplomatic station was constructed for aliens and had to accommodate their desires and sensibilities, as inefficient as they were. Still, Tremendous, Unimaginable Restraint In The Face Of Incredible Temptation admitted to itself, the observation domes were not entirely useless, for they have afforded it a majestic view of the space outside the station.

While the eyes of a puny alien would have seen nothing, the daemon saw the massive bulk of The Darkness That Comes Before hanging in space hundreds of thousands of kilometers away. It saw the massive maw open, revealing the activated warp gate.

Image

And then, it saw the tiny ships carrying the pieces of the nearly-assembled warp gate which would connect the Diplomatic System with the galaxy at large. A properly mobile warp gate would take years to construct, and in the meantime, the system would have a hastily-constructed bare-bones version, little more than a warpgate generator connected to a powerplant.

Image
Diplomatic System Warpgate, fully assembled form

Tremendous, Unimaginable Restraint In The Face Of Incredible Temptation could see something else among the swarm of ships carrying pieces of the warp gate. It saw a Diplomatic Ship, the first to be completed, and customized according to its own specifications. Tremendous, Unimaginable Restraint In The Face Of Incredible Temptation looked at the ship that would be its home for the foreseeable future and wondered if it was truly up to the challenge.


---------------------------------------
Somewhere in Sector C6
September 1, 3400


The Patrol Ship Resolution in the Face of Danger hung silently in the blackness of space, away from prying eyes of the galactic powers. Beside it was a communications relay.

There was a signal, a single word: "yes."

The moment of truth was upon them. Silently, Resolution in the Face of Danger transmitted a message to the relay, which re-broadcast it as a widebeam hyperwave transmission

The Lost wrote:Greetings, fellow sapients of the galaxy. In light of recent galactic events, we have decided to reconsider our long-standing policy of isolation, and are now seeking diplomatic contact with your civilizations.

Below you will find a set of first contact questions that would greatly assist us in establishing diplomatic relations with your people.

I. Please arrange the following statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values, starting with the most compatible and ending with the least compatible.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
2) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
3) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
5) Power is its own reward.
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.

II. Hypothetical Scenario: It is the year 4400 according to Standard Human Calendar. Your civilization has achieved complete dominance in the Galaxy. Every one of your rivals is either destroyed or has been converted into an ally. Your citizens are free from want and need. Your civilization is free to undertake any project it chooses at its leisure, with the resources of the entire galaxy at its disposal. Please indicate the primary focus of your civilization’s energies and attention in this hypothetical situation.

Please send your responses, as well as any inquiries of your own to our communication relay station in Sector C-6.

Many thanks for your cooperation


Now, the only thing left to do was wait.....

--------------------------------
OOC: Contact!

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
Last edited by fgalkin on 2011-01-19 12:47pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Siege » 2011-01-18 04:54am

Sovereign Spire
Solaris Major, USS Core Territories


Image

The Sovereign Spire was, when you thought about it, a quite frankly ridiculous construct. A starscraper so tall it doubled as a space elevator, the Spire was designed to be the heart of the Solarian government: quite apart from the statement it made about the prowess of the Sovereignty one required, in order to house the Senate as well as the majority of the federal bureaucracy, an utterly massive building. Or so its early 39th century architects had thought, utterly failing to foresee the leaps and bounds CI technology was yet to make.

Today, the Senate and its staff consisted of a few hundred people and the entire bureaucratic apparatus had been replaced with a single CI: Olympic, the Advisory to the President and the Senate. And thus the Spire, a building designed as a self-contained arcology capable of housing hundreds of thousands of people, was home to only a measly ten thousand at the very best of times.

Well. At least that meant the offices were spacious. In fact the President's office near the very top of the Spire covered an entire floor -- enough space to hold a small colony. For an overpopulated moon like Solaris it was an absurd luxury, but then if you were its President you were expected to keep up appearances. Even if that wasn't so it was doubtful that Victoria Sinclair would've cared much for the opinion the average person on the street might hold about her office -- and anyway, right now she was too busy considering the bizarre message Olympic had relayed to her this morning.

The Lost wrote:Greetings, fellow sapients of the galaxy. In light of recent galactic events, we have decided to reconsider our long-standing policy of isolation, and are now seeking diplomatic contact with your civilizations.

Below you will find a set of first contact questions that would greatly assist us in establishing diplomatic relations with your people.

I. Please arrange the following statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values, starting with the most compatible and ending with the least compatible.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
2) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
3) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
5) Power is its own reward.
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.

II. Hypothetical Scenario: It is the year 4400 according to Standard Human Calendar. Your civilization has achieved complete dominance in the Galaxy. Every one of your rivals is either destroyed or has been converted into an ally. Your citizens are free from want and need. Your civilization is free to undertake any project it chooses at its leisure, with the resources of the entire galaxy at its disposal. Please indicate the primary focus of your civilization’s energies and attention in this hypothetical situation.

Please send your responses, as well as any inquiries of your own to our communication relay station in Sector C-6.

Many thanks for your cooperation


The President read the message for the tenth time, and just like the first time she'd laid eyes on it was tempted to ask Olympic if this was some kind of practical joke. But the CI didn't joke around, or if it did its humour was beyond her, and either way this wasn't very funny. In fact it was making her cranky.

"What the hell kinds of questions are these?" she wondered aloud. "And more importantly, who would attempt to initiate contact with such a bizarre questionnaire? This isn't a diplomatic message, it's a videophonic survey!"

The hologrammatic avatar of Olympic shrugged. "The message reveals several things about its transmitters. Most importantly they, one, do not consider themselves part of galactic civilization. Two: they are either profoundly unfamiliar with the galaxy at large or they are collating additional psychological intelligence on the residents of known space. The former may indicate long-term isolation, relatively recent discovery of hyperwave communication or new arrival in this galaxy. Concerning the latter I'd like to point out that simply answering these questions, without knowing anything about the transmitter, speaks volumes about a nation -- and, assuming for a moment that the transmitter is aware of the galactopolitical make-up of known space, so does not answering."

Sinclair rubbed her chin. "So whether we answer or not we're revealing something about ourselves."

"If we assume the transmitter is aware of our existence, then yes. If we remain silent, we would make it clear that we don't like answering questions, which could be used to infer any number of things."

"The transmitter is on the other side of the galaxy from us. At this stage I don't really care what they infer, whoever the hell they may be."

"Then may I suggest a course of action?"

"Go ahead."

---

[swept-to-tightbeam, hypercast on diplomatic frequency]
(Signal sequence #511-C6/2874, relay:)

And who might you be?
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
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 PeZook » 2011-01-18 11:03am

Image

Villa Straylight
Solaris system

Visitors were not a common sight at the Villa Straylight, and that was exactly how the owner of the massive space station wanted it. Not only did this fact make Sidney Hank's self-imposed isolation possible, it also provided protection and early warning to his amalgam personality, allowing the villa's formidable defences ample time to react to any attempted attack.

The small automated transport that strayed off course was not an unusual occurence: such things happened from time to time due to equipment failures. It was queried and warned by the station's traffic control subsystems, and began to return to its scheduled route. That exchange also required that the villa and the ship's AI exchange comms protocols and common interface ports to facilitate communications, which - unbeknowst to the myriad actors watching the villa closely - were relayed via secure submesonic transmission to a location far away, within Wild Space. From there, another burst of submesonic particles deposited a message directly in Dyionisus' core, where it was translated into electronic format, sanitized and finally decoded.

Just the code itself raised red flags. It was a simple one, provided to Sidney Hank by the Collector ambassador during their meeting in Shinn-Hokkaido. With double care, the Villa's CI opened the data packet, surrounding it with hundreds of security programs before carefully extracting the contents, sanitizing them for any subersive code.

Code: Select all

///CONCERNING A MATTER OF MUTUAL INTEREST\\\

WE HAVE COMPLETED THE TRACE OF THE HISTORICAL MESSAGES YOU HAVE RELAYED TO US
RESULTS ARE MOST PUZZLING

THE SOURCE IS LOCATED ON EDEN

IT WANTS TO MEET YOU
SHOULD YOU STILL BE INTERESTED, COME TO PERSEUS ZETA

 - 5
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 Force Lord » 2011-01-19 03:17pm

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


Every sales team needs security, even in a place as security-obsessive as the Bragulan Star Empire, and so it came to be that a CSB detail was assigned to guard the Centralist salesmen. It was composed of several dozen men and women, who were usually close to the sale stands that the Centralite "merchants" used to promote their goods. Said CSB teams also found themselves being used to show off such products, such as test-firing Assault Blasters, or CSB ESPers showing the difference between unamplified abilities and amplified ones, courtesy of ESP Amplifiers. The agents, although not used to such activites, were secretly thrilled that they could do something other than stand guard and nothing more.

Of course, they could not let their guard down. An activity as grand as the BEEEF attracted every kind of people, including the unpleasant ones, which meant that the IBGV would be busy. Very busy.

Junior Agent Domo Vackoff was eyeing the crowd, looking for anyone that seemed remotely suspicious. He imagined that IBGV undercover agents were doing the same thing, and perhaps stealing a few looks at him. He was rather chagrined about having to use his standard CSB-issue clothing, but the CSB heads said that they wanted everyone to look presentable for the BEEEF.

Yeah, presentable targets, he mused.

He was snapped out of his reverie when he saw his boss, unmistakable in his sunglasses, moving in between the crowds.

It was Senior Agent Girder. Vackoff didn't know his first name, and didn't care. He did care that his boss was walking towards him.

"Sire, nothing exceptional here. What gives?"

Girder betrayed no hint of emotion in his face. "I spoke with Ardolt Xin, head of the whole operation. Apparently some IBGV spooks are going to pay a visit."

Vackoff raised an eyebrow. "What for?"

"To talk," responded Girder.

"Talk? Talk about what?"

Girder put on a pair of sunglasses.

"Dunno. Xin claimed that he was given a brief message. Very brief message. I don't like it."

"Me neither, boss."

Girder soon put on another pair of sunglasses, to add on the sunglasses he had already on.

"As an aside, I'm quite impressed with the diversity of sunglasses displayed here. Makes me want to buy them all off."

"Good for you sir." Stakoff didn't understand his boss's fetish for sunglasses, but wasn't really interested to know. He had a feeling that he wouldn't like the answer.

"So, when the IBGV's comin'?", he asked.

"That's the thing. No time or place was specified. They didn't even say how many of our people were going to be...interviewed. It's gonna be random."

"I don't like surprises, boss."

"Me neither. I suggest you and the others stay alert at all times. Who knows, those bears may be playing Bragulan Roulette right now, so they can pick out their targets..."
An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Dark Hellion » 2011-01-19 11:57pm

UN Science ship Adonis
Elysium Space
Unreal Time


A UN science vessel was not a very happy place. Every day was the same, sitting cloaked outside some planet running ultra-low intensity sensor scans every 2 hours and recording the data. Worse it was small, hot and crewed by 11 men and only 4 women. And they had to do this for six months before they were relieved. In short, it sucked.

It was the middle of month three and everyone was getting a bit on edge. Luckily the scan was going well and it looked like they would get done early today. The sensor operator floated in an evacuated a-grav tube, a breather mask on her face and datalinks jacked into the back of her skull. Right now she was experiencing an odd synesthesia as sensor readings became her senses. The men on the bridge were experiencing a much more mundane lust at seeing her in the skin-tight plugsuit. Every man had tried to make a move on her, if not for a relationship at least for a companion for the night. No one had even got close. But it gave them something to do and the captain had made it very clear what would happen if someone tried to force the issue. It still made them wince when they looked at a protractor.

Suddenly she gave a small jerk and her bands balled into fists. "What the fuck was that?" asked the supervisor. "We found some kind of anomaly sir," replied the assistant sensor operator. "Well, what are you waiting for? Check it out!" barked the supervisor who received a quick "Yes sir!" There was a small hum as the sensors narrowed onto the target. The Sensor Operator jerked again, her hands squeezing tighter and back arching awkwardly. "Mrrghah grrrrr mmmnnnnn" came her muffled cry. Another spasm hit her and she let out a gagged scream. "Shut the godsdamn thing down man! You wanna kill her?" The assistant fumbled quickly with the controls upon the order and with a small whine the sensor grid shut down.

The men looked at each other in confusion for a second. Then the supervisor spoke up. "Anyone wanna tell me what the hell that was?" Three science officers began pouring over the various outputs before one let out a gasp of bewilderment. "Huh?! That can't be!" The supervisor was getting annoyed, "What the hell is it?" The science officers all crowded around the screen for a second and talked frantically amongst themselves. He caught bits a pieces of it. "The reading is over 500 petatestes!" "The hell you say, thats over a gigarambo." "Guys this can't be real, its way beyond the Schwarzenegger radius!" "Let me work on this a bit."

The supervisor finally lost his cool. "Would one of you nerds explain what the fuck is going on!" The three men looked sheepishly at each other. Finally, one spoke up. "Sir, we believe we have encountered something that possesses complex masculinity!" The super was in no mood to put up with their technobabble, "in Galstand you geek." The three looked at each other and a different one stepped forward. "Well sir, you know that masculinity is generally imaginary, right?" The super nodded and so the scientist continued, "well, in order to get readings like this you would need to have something with complex masculinity consisting of both a real and imaginary part." With this the super caught on and as his brain tried to process it he stammered, "So, you mean..." "Yes sir, there is something down there that is real manly."

With a swish the Sensor Operator's tube opened and she stepped out. Her face was flushed and sweaty and her hair had become a tangled mess. In an extremely calm and happy voice she asked, "Do any of you boys got a smoke?"

The men looked at each other and for a moment they connected to some gestalt beta male consciousness, "Fucking bastard!"

********************************************
Elysium

Attilicus Finch was a lawyer, a father, but most of all he was a man. Even on a planet of macho men he stood out as a macho, macho, macho man. Village people wanted to be him. Usually he would be working outside crushing rocks within his hands and twisting rebar to the shape he desired. To toil in the soil was a man's duty; to tend and protect the land that raised you. For if a man did not protect that less manly than himself he would lose all integrity. And without integrity he would be but fragments of the rigid monolith of manliness. Today Attilicus would polish that monolith and spill his gushing integrity on the people.

Today was a day for him to be professional. He strode with dignity to the front steps of the Justinasium where he would defend his client. Not from the usual bears and lions, for it was a case for a truly heinous crime and the opponents must be as heinous to match. He would be defending his client from other lawyers.

He saw his client, Rom Tomisonius, being drug in chains up the court steps and jogged to catch up. It was true that all men of Elysia were free, but some were more free than others and Rom had been dealt both a gimp hand and a losing one. Attilicus attempted to comfort the shaking man who according to custom was nude. "Now don't worry Rom. All you need to do is man up and tell the truth. If you do the jury will see you aren't a man who could do these things." Rom could only nod meekly.

As the two men entered the Justinasium women in the audience began to swoon. This was not because of the naked Rom, for he was frightened and his manhood reflected his pitiful state. This was because of Attilicus. His briefcase, with 50kg of court papers, spoke of his intellect. His glasses, thick black rimmed, spoke of his wisdom. His tie, fine striped silk, gave praise to his dignity. His chest, bronzed and glistening, proclaimed him as comforting. And his loincloth strained mightily to hold in his virility. The womenfolk were removed from the courtroom for they were weak and could not safely behold man's justice. With everyone seated the proceedings began.

The judge sat upon his high throne, the magnificent wig upon his head matched only in splendor by the one slightly below his waist. He stood and with a single mighty blow slew the bull that would serve as his podium. Grabbing a wooden hammer from beside his throne he smashed it upon his chest and bellowed "court is in session!" As was written long ago by their manly forefathers the prosecution would start. The opening attack was quick but the mans spear was was too short and Attilicus had left no opening vulnerable to penetration. His spear now limp and overpowered the prosecutor began opening arguments.

"We, the representative of men, will show that the accused Rom Tomisonius has committed the horrible crime of 17th degree rape! We will show that the accused entered the victim, miss Yule's, home under false and womanly pretenses. After this he forced himself upon her with many tender kisses of passion. He sang to her and gave her many praised and compliments. After this he undressed her slowly and with great care as the clothes in evidence will show. He set upon her gently with soft caresses and then bedded her intimately. Afterward this heinous criminal even had the audacity to cuddle! Men of the jury, you can see how important the handling of this trial is to the community. To believe that a man would use the words and tactics of a weak foreigner upon our woman instead of using the gods given might he should as a man possess! That he would use sex to leave a woman happy and feeling affection as opposed to the manly course of leaving her impregnated and cowed by our power! We must strike hard against these unforgivable crimes lest our children be influenced into repeating them. The defense may now present."

The prosecutor did not yield the floor, for only a woman would yield. Attilicus stood and and walked slowly towards the jury. "Now everyone here knows me. And if they know one thing about me it is this," with a roaring yell he punched the prosecutor in the gut and cried "I am a man!" The judge smashed another gavel and yelled, "Order! Defense may present after which will be a short recess to the bath while we replace the prosecution." For such was the power of Attilicus' opening that the state of his opponent's body was now the same as his manhood's; infirm. Attilicus began his argument:

"Fellow men of the court, I intend to show that the actions of Rom Tomisonius can be considered nothing worse than at least 4th degree rape and that as such he should be released without penalty. I will show that by examining the context and circumstances of the crime that his actions were utilization of man's innate cunning intended to let him get some of miss Yule's sweet ass. I will show that he used this cunning to convince miss Yule to do things even an hour of beating with a rod cannot normally attain. I will show how miss Yule's feeble womanly mind confused Rom's actions for affection and mistook other events for happenings of that night. I will also show how this path of cunning was necessary because of Rom's sad and unfortunate lack of manliness and I will prove that this lack of manliness would prevent my client from having the balls to willingly commit a crime. I will show that my client is a pitiable man who deserves to be back in the community were he can observe real men. I hope that you will all be man enough to see this."

Attilicus returned to his client. With a stammering voice Rom asked, "is it alright to tell them that, Mr. Finch?" Attilicus offered his manly reassurance, "Of course Rom. We just have to work within the system. A man has a right to brag in this land Rom, even you. We just have to convince them that even if your actions were not manly that they were made with intent matching the spirit of manliness. Don't worry, they are all reasonable men and will not hold it against you that you were the first to plunder miss Yule's virgin lands." With that Rom was drug away and the rest of the court recessed to the baths.

In the private bath for true men Attilicus, the judge and the new prosecutor washed and chatted. Above them was the statue of Justice. It was a statue of male power and knowledge. His eyes gazed with vigilance. In one had was the book of law which told how men should act, in the other was the sword of vengeance which punished those who where unmanly. Finally, upon his rigid pillar of justice was the scale by which all men were measured. The other two men thought Attilicus was measuring up pretty well. Laughing the judge said, "That little miss Yule sure in a wild one. Did you read what she did with him on the floor. I got my wife to do that once but I had to visit her mother for a week afterward to get that. The whole time we were there she complained she was sore. Its not supposed to be a pain in my ass you know!" The two men nodded knowingly.

The judge's brow gave a small furrow of realization and he said apologetically, "Sorry Attilicus. I know your wife waits for you on the other side, honey ever upon her lips and wine upon her kisses." Attilicus gave a small smile. "Don't worry. A man finds the woman that he completes only once. It is his task to bear her death like the mighty Charalsatlos bears the world." The men gave another knowing nod. The prosecutor, who until then had been reviewing the notes and stashing several of the evidence photos for later pleasures, spoke, "Well Attilicus, should we get back at it?"

The trial was, in Attilicus' opinion, going smoothly. The other witnesses had proven to be lacking manhood as evident by their loose morals and loose loincloths. The boy-servant who read miss Yule's testimony (for women were not allowed to shame the proceedings with their presence) bumbled words and showed his boyishness by being embarrassed at the descriptions of her ravishing. Finally it was Rom's turn upon the stand. The case hinged on this. The prosecutor tried to start but Attilicus was quick on the draw. A pen to the calf dropped the man and a steel-bound case brief knocked him to a world were a very different examination of miss Yule's evidence was taking place. Attilicus stood and began. "If the prosecution has nothing I will proceed. Mr. Tomisonius can you describe what happened on the night in question?"

Rom spoke with his usual stammer. "Yes sir. On that day I was coming home from the farm. That's were I work. It was late and getting dark. As I walked by miss Yule came to her window in her dressing toga. She had an empty bottle of wine and was leaning funny. She called to me and asked me if I could give her a hand. I was tired so I tried to make a joke and said 'I only got one hand and I need it'. She laughed at that but she said she only needed to borrow me for a while and she would make it worth my time. Now I got a family to support so I could use the extra money cuz a mans gotta support his family. Plus a man should help a drunk girl. So I said I would help and asked her what she needed. She said she needed me to move her chaemerifferobe."

Attilicus interrupted here. "Moving furniture. Isn't that woman's work? As you men can see my client was willing to stoop to doing woman's work to do his manly duty to his family and community. You can go on now Rom."

Rom took a few seconds to remember were he was in his story and then went on, "She told me she needed me to move her chaemerifferobe. So I asked were it was and she said it was in the bedroom. So I went in there and she followed me. She locked the door and was upon me in an instance. She was like a wild woman. She said she was going to ride me like a black stallion. And she asked me if what they said about my people was true."

One of the audience members shouted, "Well, is it true?" The judge smashed a gavel and ordered Rom to continue.

"Well, she said it was true. Now, I got a wife at home and she never done any of the things that crazy white girl did. I didn't know what to do so I tried to follow my pa's advice to man up and always leave a lady satisfied."

Again Attilicus interrupted, "He was just trying to follow the advice of the men who had come before him. Can we blame him for being tempted by a conniving woman? I say..." The judge punched a large chunk out of his throne. "Mr. Finch, this is not your place to tell the men of this court what to think. This is a place of law!" Attilicus stomped upon the ground, shattering tile and with a mighty roar cried, "I am the law!" Impressed by the display of machismo the judge replied, "Good. You may continue."

Attlicus continued, "So Rom, did you leave miss Yule satisfied?" Rom hung his head in shame, his manliness drooping as well, "No Mr. Finch. I could not. She wanted more and more and I am a clean gods-fearing man. I ain't from Habana. When she went to use the wash room I ran. I am ashamed of my lack of manliness. I ran away like a bitch." Rom's face was a scowl of self-disappointment.

Attilicus took over, "As you can see my client is a poor man who was taken in by a drunk temptress who further belittled his lack of manly qualities. This event could only happen because of his dejected state. We should not blame Rom who tried to act as a man, even though as we can all see he lacks the manhood to do so. Find him innocent"

The jurors left the room. They would be gone a long time. There were a great many photos of miss Yule's lascivious deeds that would need to be studied at length in private. Several hours passed before the returned. The foreman of the jury stood and gave the verdict.

"Yah godsdamn guilty bastard. I worked that night too. It coulda been me."

Attilicus tried to console the heartbroken man. "We knew we would lose this one. But we have a much better chance with the next one."

time passes

Attilicus sat distraught. He had just gotten the news. Rom Tomisonius had been killed trying to escape. It was such a waste. "I was going to bring my sword to the appeal. We had such a good chance at the appeal." But his quiet mutterings couldn't lift his spirit. He looked out over his garden. A small twisting path of crushed, salmon-colored pumice. Bent rebar trellises for flowering vines. He had manly pride in the state of his home; his castle. Still, he felt like he had failed Rom and a man would never live with failure. He heard footsteps at the door. Was it that time already? He ran and opened the door.

"Daddy!" It was his children, Scoutia and Jeminius. With the business of the trial he had barely seen them. He hadn't realized how much he missed seeing the two greatest reminders of his manliness. Scoutia had wrapped her arms around his waist hugging against the comforting proof of his fatherliness. Jeminius was more formal, asking only, "How are you today, sir?"

Attilicus was lost for words for a second but he recovered quickly. "Doing fine. Now you and your sister go wash up and get ready for dinner." The children ran off and Attilicus went into the kitchen. The servant was out so he grabbed something to cover his chest and gave the stew a stir and a taste. A single tear of joy fell upon his pink apron. He was allowed one tear. Because he was a man.
A teenage girl is just a teenage boy who can get laid.
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Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Twenty-Five

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-20 02:31am

Valkyrie-class Battlecruiser SMS Brunhild
1920 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Rear Admiral Reinhard von Musel frowned at the plot of hit rates. Not good. "All ships, back to individual ship salvoes to test fire predictor assumptions, return to fire by squadrons after ten vollies." That was one problem with squadron fire; no way to tell who was hitting what. The enemy ships weren't all that impressive technically, but they were learning fast.

And who were these people, anyway? Five of the familiar spinal plasma designs, but the rest were some third party, a mix of laser-armed frigates, heavy destroyers and three quite respectable cruisers. The destroyers and cruisers were fighting with yet another type of exotic beam weapon he couldn't place- looked like a very weak resonance effect heterodyned on something more conventional. From the way their pulse repetition rates kept strobing up and down, they were looking for his shield frequencies.

He chuckled at the thought; no first rate power had built monocyclic shielding into a warship since a joint program between the Atlantean Commonwealth and the Interstellar Union of Worlds trotted out the cadence lance a century ago. They'd hailed it as the ultimate naval weapon, the culmination of decades of careful research. Which, to be fair, it had been... for about a year, by which point everyone else was done with their crash refit programs.

This second new enemy's frigates, at least, were familiar: nothing fancy, no gimmicks, just a type the Kaiserliche Marine was already familiar with. From the radar reflection and the volume of fire they were putting out, those were dedicated phased-array laser ships, with hulls designed to maximize surface area and therefore firepower. They'd be a nasty problem for a missile barrage... time to punch out another one, he decided. "First target for squadron fire, enemy fleet defense laser platform, target 67."

The situation was more or less in hand aside from the need to make preparations for his new plan. He still wasn't sure he could pull it off, but tactically the action had settled into a long term fight- one that Second Fleet couldn't win, but could at least prolong for quite some time. He had a few moments to think. Hmm. Fifteen minutes should be long enough for...

"Kircheis, you've double-checked our deployment orders? Cross-indexed to regulations?"

"Yes, sir." Kircheis smiled and nodded. "I was right."

"Good." "Act in support of Second Fleet" indeed... Reinhard intended to prove himself a good Prussian today, and a good Prussian most follow his orders, no?

Kircheis glanced at the tactical display, making a quick assessment. "Sir? Why the concern with the details of our allies' situation? I must be missing something."

"I can't explain yet, Kircheis, but... I want you to look at these dispatches for me."

"What's the matter, sir?"

"The Centralists stopped replying to my requests for information, and we don't have a good fix on the other three contingents, so I decided to ask the Atlanteans. They sent us quite a lot, here." A stream of data appeared on Siegfried's console; it was a lot, more than Reinhard would have expected given how much intervening clutter the Atlanteans must have punched through.

"They must have very good comm equipment."

"True, true- some of their static hyperwave 'casters border on short range dredging apparatus, powerful enough to blow up the shoals, I'm told, though I'm not clear on what that means. But what's this? "Centralists under attack by wark strafers. Umerians looing for interdictor." I don't understand- 'wark, looing-' what's going on here?"

"I think the message is clear in context, sir."

"I suppose. But I worry that someone's interfering with our communications."



Undisclosed Location, Sector H-12
Boskonian Sector Command Dome
1935 Hours


Still immersed in the simulator tank, Zokolova was well satisfied with the situation at Zebes.

The Boskonian high admiral had had her doubts about the moogle flag officer at first. He seemed so small, so inoffensive, so... cute. Could a being that looked like an animatronic teddy bear really be a competent military officer? But she knew Helmuth was not in the habit of assigning capital ship commands to weaklings, and her doubts were dispelled now, seeing Cosmog in action. The deceptively innocuous little creature had shifted priority from offense to defense masterfully, keeping the battleships of the Prussian center hopelessly tied up in combat despite being at a tonnage disadvantage of nearly four to three.

Meanwhile the lighter asset fleets, under her direct control, kept the Enemy's flanking cruiser squadrons from interfering. One on one, each of her three groups was roughly a match for a single Prussian cruiser squadron and its escorts. The battle would have gone badly, though, had the Prussians not exhausted their heavy missile cruisers' magazines in the attack on Frugus's center five hours earlier. Five flanking formations against three would have been losing odds, especially when so many of her ships were light destroyer-weight units with little ability to withstand damage from capital-grade weapons.

Surveying the list of damages, Zokolova realized she'd had a stroke of luck. Well it was that she'd assigned the heaviest of her asset fleets, a Kavoolite formation with support from a few Gron auxiliary ships, to the dorsal position; those battlecruisers had to be von Musel's. It was obvious from her information on the first phase of the battle that his squadron hadn't been so free with their fuel and ammunition, and Sixth Battlecruisers was using it to good effect. The Kavoolites at least had ships of broadly comparable tonnage to the Prussians they faced; they'd already lost two of their fleet defense phaser-strikers, with a third taking heavy fire. One of their light cruisers and one of the heavier 'light warbirds' had been mauled, as well... but they'd done damage in return, and they were keeping von Musel pinned.

That was definitely good. After the raid on Mining Facility Two, Zokolova had concluded that the Sixth was not a force she wanted bouncing around her battle plan freely. Not when she had no reserves left to commit.

Though... there was the matter of the other Kavoolite detachment, the missile harrier squadron. That was not directly under her eye, and it had been some minutes since the last report...

"Liaison to Kavool, report Group Two status!" The switchboard computers routed the message automatically.

"Admiral Hvaid withdraws; one torpedocraft and two scouts destroyed; heavy damage to one light-capital carrier."

"Noted."

"Your orders?"

"Take no action regarding them at this time."

Very well. She'd had no great hopes for their attack, for obvious reasons. The Kavoolites hadn't sent nearly enough missile harriers in their expeditionary force to make destruction of the Centralist contingent practical, and it was inevitable that such a badly outnumbered formation would break away sooner or later. Perhaps disappointing that they'd broken off so soon, with torpedoes unfired, but largely irrelevant; they were firing at immobilized ships in any case. She didn't really need the Centralist capital ships destroyed, though it would make a nice extra.

It would have greatly simplified her position if she'd been in a position to make the assets commit their full fleet- then she'd have had enough ships to allow her more margin for error, and more superiority over the Prussian Second Fleet. Her control over the Kavoolites was depressingly minimal, really. To enlist even this limited expeditionary force she'd had to make humiliating concessions. She had plans underway to improve her control over them, though; their time would come.



SMS Brunhild
1940 Hours


"Yes... I see. Directional-broadcast field effect, good..."

Von Musel's fingertip flickered over his display, holograms blurring and shifting in response. Half an hour... Looking at the supply tables, yes, he could still do it, and more to the point it he could do it soon enough probably still matter. He wouldn't have believed at first that von Mückenberger could hold a fleet together for three hours against any credible opposition, let alone under the circumstances, but... I've gotten so bitter I can actually underestimate that man. A frightening thought.

Kircheis looked curious. "It sounds like you have something ambitious in mind, sir."

"Yes. I can't explain now, though."

It didn't feel right keeping this from his aide, but there were times when one had to keep plans secret or risk their failure. Kircheis might well try to talk him out of it, and... well, if anyone could succeed it would be him.

What was it... "If I thought my coat knew my plans, I would take it off and burn it." Stern, but prudent of the ancient king.

In any case, it was time to begin in earnest.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby fgalkin » 2011-01-20 05:22pm

Gastly-class Heavy Frigate Morcant
Sector I5
September 1, 3400


Archivist Conchúr was worried. He had been uneasy ever since the fleet had gotten word of the Roubvogel’s encounter with the pirate ship. Pirates were the scum of the galaxy, but they were weak. It was simple economics, really—a small ship was just as effective against an unarmed freighter as a large one, but with less crew to pay, and much cheaper to maintain. In turn, that left them vulnerable to the navies of the galaxy, and that suited Conchúr just fine. That was the natural order of things, at least outside the K-Zone which lived according to its own rules.

Thus, the attack on the Roubvogel worried him greatly. The fact that the pirates ambushed a War Cruiser of the Navy and sent it running for their lives was...unheard of. Preposterous. Yet there it was, and so Federal Fleet had no choice but to accept the cold hard face of the new reality.

The Eoghan Federal Fleet reacted to the attack on one of its own as any navy would. They had immediately diverted additional forces to sweep the sector, hoping to track down and destroy the pirate that bloodied them so. Alas, their success had been limited and the enemy slipped out from their grasp before they could tighten their net.

The fact that his Morcant was nothing more than a heavy frigate, sent out to hunt pirates while something deadly possibly lurked nearby was unnerving in the extreme. In this situation, it paid to have all the help they could get. Thus, the archivist spent long hours in his quarters, meditating and listening to the ever-present voices of the eldritch things that lived in the cracks of reality, whispering warnings or advice. They were treacherous things and not to be trusted fully, but still, their warning was better than no warning at all.

As hours went on, Conchúr’s worry only increased. There was a disturbance in the Aether, a subtle sense of wrongness that all his skills and experience as a Listener could not identify. Then, the eldritch voices began to fall silent, one by one. Soon, only one voice remained, whispering, calling, demanding. It was different from the other outsiders somehow. More tangible. More…real. Conchúr listened on, his curiosity piqued, and eventually, it could almost make out its meaning….

Conchúr felt a sudden stab of nausea as the Eoghan heavy frigate abruptly translated into realspace. It was nothing. They had arrived to yet another system on their long patrol.

Then alarms began to blare all over the ship.

***

“Sir, eight contacts, closing fast!” the bridge officer’s voice had a tinge of panic. “We’re being targeted by active sensors”

Captain Bréanainn could hardly blame him. They all knew what had happened to the Roubvogel.

“Strength and configuration?” he asked. Please don’t let it be them…

“Unknown configuration. Power readings…..that can’t be right…”

From his console, Bréanainn could see everything the officer was seeing. He was right. Those readings were….nothing of that strength could possibly in this part of space!

“Can we escape back into hyper?” they couldn’t possibly fight that.

“Negative, sir. Drive is still spooling”

Bréanainn was about to order a transmission back to fleet HQ, warning them of the danger. He suspected it would be the last thing he would ever do.

“Do not fear, little thing, for we mean you no harm.”

The voice hit him like a sledgehammer in the head. It did not come over the comms, but rather was projected directly into the Captain’s head. From the reaction of the other bridge crew, they heard the same thing, too.

Image
The bridge crew of the Morcant

“What…what do you want?” he whimpered, not knowing whether he would be heard.

“We will approach. You and your Listener will come aboard. We will talk. Then we will let you go.” came the response.

“Sir…you shouldn’t…”

“Send a transmission to Fleet Command. Tell them what we have seen,” Bréanainn said. “And call for Conchúr.”

As the ships approached with only minimal jamming, he could examine them in detail. And the first thing he noticed about them was how small they were. Even the largest ships were a mere 500 meters long, barely the size of the Morcant itself. But those power readings…. No known power in the universe could pack so much power into something that small. And that meant only one thing…they have Black Box technology, he realized suddenly. Could it be…

Image
First Contact Fleet: three Attack Ships, two Light Carriers, two Missile Escorts. Diplomatic Ship not shown

At that moment, Captain Bréanainn knew one thing. Whoever these people were, they were the find of a lifetime, and he would be damned if he’d miss this opportunity.

***

The shuttle carrying the captain and the archivist was headed towards one of the ships of the small flotilla. The ship they were directed to dock with was a large one, but it’s power output was the weakest by far. A civilian vessel? the captain wondered as they approached the indicated hangar. Then, the sense of wrongness that accosted them ever since they have began their approach increased and the captain forgot all about it.

“Be prepared, little things. I shall steel your minds against what is to come.” the voice in their head spoke again. In a moment, the two Eoghans realized what it had meant.

The inside of the hangar was a twisting, churning multicolored kaleidoscope of shapes and dimensions swimming in the ghastly torrents of eldritch energies that permeated all around. The Archivist gasped in shock, for he knew that the heavy spacesuits they were wearing, and indeed the hull of the shuttle would offer them scant protection against the extra-dimensional horrors that dwelled within. Yet, amazingly, they were still alive.

Then, the walls of the shuttle, which had been protecting them disappeared and they found themselves floating in the multicolored hellscape. And suddenly, they saw it

Image

“Greetings, little things,” the voice said again. “You may call me Cxaxukluth. Take me to your leaders.”

------------------------
OOC: CONTACT!

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Darkevilme » 2011-01-21 07:52pm

OOC: Bit of minor note making and some sillyness to get back in the mood for STGODing.

This is CNN

Image

“Greetings peoples of the Hierarchy. Today we can announce that 2nd , 3rd and 4th battlegroups along with the Pride of Chamarra have now joined our bragulan comrades in sector E-24 in order to conduct joint fleet exercises. As a result this sector is off limits to all vessels not directly involved in the exercise. Any vessel found entering sector E-24 will be intercepted and may be fired upon.”

???
“We're receiving heavy fire commander, the fleet will be destroyed if we do not withdraw!” the ensign cried out, punctuated by a ship rumbling impact as yet another volley smashed into the flagship's shields. Despite these twin causes for concern however commander John Stone remained impassively unconcerned but for a steeling of his powerful jaw, striking a match off his stubble and lighting a cigar before responding “We shall hold the line. It is better to spill our last drop of blood here than live with the shame of letting those filthy bears set even a single paw upon Solaris.”

“But sir, they are too many, we cannot hold!” the ensign stated, distressingly unaffected by John's inspirational proclamations and once again underscored by events as another of their cruisers erupts into a cataclysmic explosion.

“And that is why we are going to use the Starstorm cannon ensign. It better work this time Kaneda.” John replied with a glance to the Apexai on the bridge, who only gestured dismissively “There has never been a fault in the cannon commander, the deficiencies lie with your inferior human technologies it is forced to interface with. I am confident with the X-form module integrated however that superior Apexai engineering will overcome these limitations.” he explained dismissively.

John held up a hand to silence him “Save it Kaneda, our furry friends wish to talk to us.” he said and got up out of his chair as a giant hologram appeared looming over the bridge of the flagship Defiance, the Bragulan glaring down upon the crew with one eye of hateful flesh and blood and another of cold and despising metal.

“Surrender commander, you have been a worthy foe but it ends here. Give up and we will kill you before we devour your women and children.” the Bragulan gloated.
John looked up at the image of ferocity towering over him and spoke “Mograsik, even uglier than last time I see.”

“Ha, funny human. You gave me this wound. And I will enjoy returning the favour.” the bragulan fucking laughed, touching the cybernetics covering the side of his face.
“I don't think so Mograsik.” John replied.
“You cannot possibly think you can win human, we will end you and your fleets.” declared the bragulan as another Solarian cruiser was pierced and split apart by Bragulan gunfire.
“No, Mograsik. Your evil is what will end today. For while the true heart of freedom beats within my chest the forces of furred tyranny can never prevail. Prepare the Starstorm cannon.” John said, turning to the ensign who gave him a look of uncertainty “That was an order!”
The Bragulan smirked over the entire bridge at hearing those words “So eager to humiliate yourself I see, your Apexai toys have not availed you before. They cannot avail you against the might of the bragulan star empire.”
“I think you will be surprised, goodbye Mograsik.” John replies and closes the channel. To his left Kaneda declares with a blaze in his eyes“X-form module indicates start up program ready. Show that uncouth mass of fur the power of Apexai technology commander.”
A humming thrum spreads through the flagship, vibrating the deck and then intensifying as the vessel begins to open out and tilt upwards. The ship's primary batteries folding outwards into arms as the engine section splits in twain, the flagship was turning into a giant robot.

Aboard the Bragulan flagship Mograsik considers John's words carefully, he did not sound like a person who was desperately betting on an uncertain new weapon system to get out of a bind “Concentrate all fire on Commander John Stone's flagship.”
“Da warlord!” the crew declared, and soon the Bragulan fleet focused their attention directly on the transforming battleship in the center of the Solarian formation.

“Shields dropping rapidly commander, down to 60% and falling. Estimate shield collapse in one minute.” the ensign aboard the Solarian flagship declared, rapidly trying to keep track of events on his control console.

“Kaneda, how long until X-form transformation concludes?” John asked as the control system for the Starstorm cannon rose on a pedestal out of the floor in front of him, the Rickenbacher guitar glinting in the cold lighting of the bridge.

“three minutes commander.” he replied, trying to coax the x-form module rescued from the ruins of his homeworld to accelerate its program “We may not make it.”

“Sir, hyperspace signature! It's the Khadesh!” the ensign called out as a massive saucer erupted into realspace between the Defiance and the Bragulan barrage.

“Hail them! Kaneda, keep working!” John yelled out in rapid reaction to circumstances, taking up the guitar and slowly placing the shoulder strap upon himself. A moment later an Apexai face appeared floating over the starstorm control dais “John, I have come to help.” he declared calmly, as a few rents appeared in the giant saucer. The massive Apexai vessel withering under the hail of fire.

“And it could not be needed more than now. But we both know what this means.” John said, his gratitude tinged with solemnity at the obvious implications.

“Indeed, but I die so that my people may have a home. Look after them for me. And look after my son...Goodbye John.” the Apexai said.

“FATHER!” Kaneda's composure broke and he yelled out in anguish just as the saucer disentegrated entirely, erupting into a massive explosion as the hologram over the bridge dissolved into static.

Kaneda slumping over his console, tears staining the screens as he tries to recontain his grief under the stoic layer of Apexai composure his kind are known for. John giving the alien a minute to do so even as the shields begin to rapidly deplete from Bragulan fire. Eventually Kaneda rises up again, wiping his eyes “X-form transformation complete Commander, now kill them. Kill them all!” he said, his grief now hidden but only because it had turned into the composure of cold fury.

John stepped up fully onto the control dais “For every man and woman you have slain Mograsik. For every world you have trampled beneath your paws, for the death of my friend. Your evil ends here!” he said, ending in a yell as he struck a power cord upon the guitar. The cord resonating through him, through the dais and deep into the bowels of the ship before erupting back out again as a blaze of energy towards the Bragulan fleet. With the light of a thousand suns the starstorm cannot struck the invaders and ground them down, Mograsik having precious moments to realize his defeat before his flagship is also obliterated in the onslaught. And when the blast subsided not a ship remained of the Bragulan armada.
Excerpt from 'Tales of the Solar War' Episode 13, produced by Haru Haru international media productions in the Holy Empire. Series was syndicated to Chamarran territories but was cancelled before final episode could air due to political considerations.
STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-22 02:39am

Yesterday, Before The War Began
Pictures from Shepistan before, during and after the Amplitur War

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PIGS DRESSED AS CRABS
On some worlds, men and crab once lived in peace before the Amplitur War. But some suspected the true nature of the craboids, and in time they were proven right...




WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2011-01-22 10:46am

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


The frostbitten wind howled over the vast empty expanses of Vlyadibragstok's desolate tundra. There was no life here, so far away from the steel towns that subsisted on the scrap metal of the world's megapoli. There was only ice and wind. The solace of a snowy subzero solitude. Silent, save for the sound of wind rustling the branches of crystallized conifers that had survived the nuclear winter somehow, someway.

But it couldn't be.

The conifers that had survived the nuclear winter had evolved to survive the nuclear winter. Their trunks were rigid and hard, so much so that even the overpressure blast waves of initiating A-bombs couldn't break them, whilst their roots were so thick that only groundbursts could uproot them. It was for this reason that the lumber of Vlyadibragstok was carefully conserved, and the only ones who could log them were rugged lumbearjacks with special permits to chop wood for the hardened dachas of high-ranking Bragulan bureaucrats. Thus, no mere gale-force wind could rustle the resilient barks of these trees. The only way for them to rustle was for something to force its way between them. Not wind, but something solid, like a spherical mass of iron...

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...or a pair of freakishly huge Fenrisian bears stalking through the wastelands after sneaking out of the BEEEF bunker building. They had narrowly escaped a fiery death when the Brags irrigated the sublevel catacombs with incendiary isotopes and were now cooling off in the frigid tundra, far away from their bumbling pursuers. The Fenrisians saw the Bragulans' botched attempts at capturing them, and at their incompetence the Fenrisians laughed. They fucking laughed.

Their fucking laughter echoed through the emptiness of the permafrosted plains as they trekked towards their destination. Just as they had memorized the floor plans of the BEEEF bunker building, so too did they commit the world map of Vlyadibragstok to their eidetic memories. Their escape plan was to trek through the tundra and rendezvous with their confederates at the Solarians' Crystal Palace, where they would flash their Inquisitorial rosettes to verify their identities and lie low there courtesy of the hospitality of their friends at CEID.

It seemed like a good plan. The Fenrisians had Astartes-grade cybernetic brainware and their medulla oblongatas were able to listen to Bragulan comms-traffic. The Brags were directing their search towards the opposite direction, in response to another animal crisis, leaving the Fenrisians' immediate area devoid of any threats.

"Stupid bears," one of the Fenrisians chuckled, amused at this. "They do not know that, to us, it is they who are the animals."

"At least in their stupidity, they have given us a clear path towards our destination," the other Fenrisian replied. "We must be thankful for the simplicity of dumb animals."

"Indeed," the first Fenrisian agreed. They continued on, for they had many miles before arriving at their rendezvous point.

Nevertheless, despite their post-bear physiologies, the sheer length of their journey and the harshness of the climes gradually took its toll on them. Before setting out, the Fenrisians had gorged themselves on an unwitting squad of Bragulans who were hunting them, not knowing that they themselves were the ones being hunted. But that last meal had been some time ago, and maintaining their post-bear post-metabolisms meant that their post-bodies had to consume more post-calories.

It was fortunate, perhaps by chance or luck, that the Fenrisians caught whiff of an aromatic smell that made their post-mouths drool with post-saliva, which quickly froze in the windchill and turned into icicles protruding from their jaws. It was the smell of dead meat, deliciously-dead dead meat!

"By the Emperor, He has answered our prayers!" the Fenrisians praised their lord for this most auspicious of blessings. Together they bounded towards the origin of the delicious smells.





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"Yub nub," an Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad commando whispered to his throat-mike. He removed his peritelescope and signaled to his comrades with obscene military hand gestures. He handed the scopes to his superior, who took a look with them before agreeing with him.

"Yub nub," his superior nodded. With another series of gestures, the commandos of the Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad deployed.

They moved out silently in the snow, like furry little phantoms in the whiteout. They cradled their weapons, kept in specialized wrappings to protect them from the environment and to muffle their sounds. They crouched and kept low, to make their already tiny forms even more difficult to see. They ate snow, wetting their mouths so that their exhalations would not vaporize in the cold temperature, to avoid giving away their position.

They were downwind, so their prey couldn't smell them out. Even if their prey could, the Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad commandos had spent the entire week eating conifer cones, to make their smells indistinguishable from that of the surrounding wood-trees.

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Their point bear, a scout sniper, was one of the few who brought modern firearms. The rest of them made do with more primitive weaponries, so they could kill silently. The scout sniper shouldered his weapon and looked into his scope, confirming the position of their prey.

The Fenrisians had reached the bait. Several tons of rancid meat were placed on a huge heap, located upwind so their scents would be blown towards the Fenrisian beasts, with the explicit purpose of luring them. It was a trap. For within the pile of meat were micro-nuclear warheads set to detonate in the gullets of the gargantuan atrocities against Bragulanity.

The bears began to feed on the felled meat, scarfing it down by the massive mouthfuls, as ravenous as any Karlack bioform and twice as gluttonous. But then, the Fenrisians stopped abruptly, in between the mastications of their mouths. Their bodies stiffened, their ears perked, their teeth gaped and the meats inside them fell off and landed on the snow. They sensed something wrong.

Perhaps they had discovered the nature of the trap?

The commandos of the Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad tensed and readied their arms, but their commander told them to stand fast.

"Yub nub, eee chop yub nub," whispered their commander.

No, it wasn't them nor the micro-nukes that ticked inside the meats. The Fenrisians had been disturbed by something else.

Something worse.





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The King beheld what was before it. There, underneath the gaze of that great ape, were two tiny furry creatures barely beneath its notice. But there was more. For those two smaller animals had been feasting on meats, delicious meats. Perhaps these were the "beeefs" its cruel captors had spoken of, the King pondered with its simian mind. But no matter, for the scent of these meats had drawn it here after it had made its escape. Its exploits had given it an appetite worthy of a magnificent creature of its size and it was rightly so that the two furry creatures had prepared a meal suitable for the King.

The King grinned. A goddamn gorillian grin.

It spread its mighty arms, to part the two creatures that had been previously feeding on the meats, to make way for the King's entrance, so that it could eat without being disturbed by its subjects. But then, one of the lesser creatures barked in protest.

"Fool!" roared the Fenrisian bear. "This is our prize! Begone and leave us in peace, you dumb monkey!"

Such defiance was unheard of! How dare it! In its inconsolable rage, the King howled and began beating its chest and stamping its feet. It smashed its mighty fists on the ground, throwing snow up into the air and shaking the earth itself.

"Such arrogance from an unwashed creature!" scoffed the other Fenrisian. "Mayhap we shall teach you a lesson in humility?"

In response to this, the King scooped up a pile of its filth and hurled it at the Fenrisian's face - sullying its visage, for such was the price of all those who defied the great ape.

"You did not just do that!" roared the Fenrisian. With its paw it wiped the grime off its snout and glared at the gorillia with murderous intent. "It's on now!"

The Fenrisian reared up and bit the gorillia's hand.

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The King screamed in anguish, feeling an unknowable pain as the Fenrisian's teeth sank into its fingers. With its other hand, it began to punch the Fenrisian in the face. Then, it also clenched its feet and began to punch the giant bear with its foot as well. Such was the might of the great ape that even a bear of mighty Mount Fenris was subdued and knocked unconscious by the King's blows. The Fenrisian collapsed to the floor, cold-cocked.

But its brother would avenge it! The second Fenrisian would not allow the pride of their species, as well as Byzantium and the God-Emperor, to be tarnished by some overgrown sub-homonid ape. It bellowed a challenge at the gorillian and charged it, teeth bared and claws ready to rip and shred.

"For the Emperor!" the Fenrisian roared. "For Byzant-"

The King kicked it square in the jaw, and since gorillian feet were also hands, its kick was also an uppercut. The gorillian dropkick sent the Fenrisian reeling, but it would not give up. It responded by clawing with its paws, but the gorillian - gifted with opposable thumbs - merely grabbed the Fenrisian's limbs.

Then the great ape began to spin while holding on to the Fenrisian, spinning faster and faster as it built up centrifugal force. Spinning on its feet, while lifting the Fenrisian into the air.

"Get your hands off me, you damned dirty ape!" the Fenrisian bellowed, its voice distorted as it revolved around the rotating gorillian like a bear-shaped moon around an ape-shaped planet.

Like any good King, the great ape followed the wishes of its subject and released the Fenrisian, hammer throwing it into the skies - sending it flying above and beyond the horizon.

"AAAAAPE!" the Fenrisian screamed as it winked out of sight. Its voice echoed in the wind. "IT'S NOT OVER YET!"

But it was. For now.





The great ape finished its meal. It ate all of the meats, for meat was the favorite food of gorillias. It was a meal fit for a king. Carrion, entrails, micro-nuclear explosive and all. None was spared from the ravishing appetite of the great ape. Its stomach bloated and its appetite satiated, it wandered off into the snow contentedly, staggering slightly for the great banquet had made it drowsy.

Left behind was the limp form of the cold-cocked Fenrisian. The little bear commandos of the Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad looked at each other worriedly, wondering what to do. The plan had gone awry. But their leader shrugged and brushed off their concerns. He picked up a radio, winded it up, and reported to his superior.

"Yub-nub!" he said crisply before placing the headset down. They had new orders.

Cautiously, they approached the unconscious Fenrisian. It was still breathing, and at any moment it could wake up. The Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad commandos moved silently, not wishing to disturb its slumber.

snap!

One of them had stepped on a branch. It didn't matter who, what mattered was that now the slumbering Fenrisian was stirring. Waking. Its Catalepsean Node returning it into consciousness. With a guttural growl, the massive beast rose up and shook itself into wakefulness, groggily inspecting its surroundings. Its eyes widened, and then narrowed, upon seeing the tiny Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad commandos in front of it.

"Puny furballs, even more insignificant than your Bragulan kin!" the Fenrisian growled. In its rage, it swiped a massive paw at the little bears, but the commandos scattered just in time. The Fenrisian's claws struck nothing but snow. "Prepare to join your pathetic Imperator in oblivion!"

"Yub!" the lead commando barked. In response, the scattered commandos drew their weapons.

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Bragsteel compound bows, special-tipped arrows, and combat knives.

"Nub!" the commando barked again, and the little bear commandos shot their arrows at the Fenrisian. A dozen arrows nailed themselves on the big bear's thick hide, but seemingly doing no damage.

"What is this? A joke?!" the Fenrisian laughed. It fucking laughed. "Is this the best you can do? I thought the Emerald Guard could do better! Pathetic!"

It swung its paws at the nearest commando, who was the group's leader, but the Fenrisian floundered and fell face first on the snow.

"What treachery is this?!" the Fenrisian sputtered. It fucking sputtered. It tried to get back up, but once more it felt grogginess and dizziness. Poison, deadly neurotoxin, was beginning to circulate throughout its body. A minute amount of neurotoxin from the Bragulan arrows was designed to shut down the post-organ system of the most advanced Solarian post-human, but the Fenrisian's Oolitic Kidney and Preomnor organs - Astartes-grade modifications - were filtering out the poisons.

The Fenrisian rose up and charged the leader of the Extreme Warfare Operation Kill Squad. The little bear leaped out of the way, causing the Fenrisian to plow into a heap of snow. The massive bear got up again and bellowed.

"You are in hell, little bear!" it roared as it lunged at the smaller bear with unbelievable speed. "And I am the devil!"

It swung a paw at the little bear, but rather than jump away, the smaller bear jumped towards the paw. Somehow, it avoided the claws and latched on to the Fenrisian's forearm instead, and began to crawl up its limb. The Fenrisian struggled to throw the little teddy bear off, but to no avail. The little bear jumped off the Fenrisian's arm, drew a Bragsteel knife, and stabbed it in the throat - right in the jugular. Crimson blood began fountaining out of the Fenrisian's severed artery, looking more like a busted fire hydrant spewing out red-dyed water than an actual bleeding throat.

The Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad commando jumped off the Fenrisian and landed on the snow. Shortly afterwards, the Fenrisian joined him and fell on the snow as well, staining the frozen ground with its blood. The Fenrisian groaned and placed its paw on its neck, attempting to stop the bleeding, to no avail.

The Extreme Warfare Operations Kill Squad regarded the felled beast.

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"You're not the devil," said their leader, wiping Fenrisian blood off his chin. "You're practice."
Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Lonestar » 2011-01-22 08:01pm

Meinhof, Sector BB-1

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The Facility had had a hyperspace sled attached to it at NORSHIPCO naval yards and traveled at a leisurely pace to Meinhof, the new primary naval anchorage for the GDN in BB-1. The station had the facilities to conduct major work on Star Dreadnoughts, commercial facilities for Ultra-Large vessels, and most importantly, a sensor suite that could give early warning if a vessel using a Step-Through was entering the system.

And one other thing.


"This is outrageous!" President Terwilliger of the Meinhof Republic said. "You can't just deed our planet to someone!"

Admiral Grierson leaned over his desk.

"Anton, your planet has not been 'deeded', as you put it. Baroness Meinhof is simply the title of the new Governor General."

"It's 'Mr. President', if you will."

"Not anymore."

Terwilliger reared back as if he was shocked. "What?"

Grierson pushed a PADD over to Terwilliger. "The Republic of Meinhof has decided to become an integral part of the Grand Dominion, under Type 3 Colonial Status. Baroness Meinhof is the DCMA-appointed administrator. You'll need to sign this treaty and put your thumbprint on it."

"No!"

Grierson raised his eyebrows, mildly surprised at this sudden show of courage. He pushed a button on his intercom. "Gunny, Mr. Terwilliger is having difficulty making a decision."

The door to the office opened up and one of the guards came in. He forced Terwilliger over the desk and placed a PPG at his head.

"SIGN THE TREATY! SIGN IT!"

"If you find yourself unable to sign the treaty do to being incapacitated," Grierson said in a reasonable tone. "We'll just have to get your VP to sign it, and move on down the list if she has similar difficulty making the best decision for her people."

Terwilliger whimpered and signed the PADD, and placed his thumbprint on it. The Marine holstered the PPG. Grierson handed the PADD to his aide.

"Commander, make sure that this gets to Baroness Meinhof immediately."

"Aye aye sir." The aide disappeared, leaving just the Marine, Terwilliger, and Grierson in the room. Grierson smiled.

"So! The private sector! Do you have a place to put your things? The Baroness will be moving into the Executive Mansion by the end of the week."
"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Lonestar » 2011-01-22 08:01pm

DP


so to speak
"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Shinn Langley Soryu » 2011-01-23 03:25am

Amidst the Ashes
Planet Qabristan, Cananaan
1 September 3400


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Qabristan was an old Arabic term meaning "graveyard," which proved to be a fitting name for this particular colony world. In centuries past, long before it had acquired its current name, it had been one of the many shining jewels of the entire Cananaan system; however, the sectarian violence endemic to the system had hit it especially hard, reducing it to yet another miserable wasteland like the rest of the Cananaanite colony worlds. When large-scale fighting had finally ceased, the Byzantines, Klavostanis, and Cananaanites had simply chosen to bury their dead and leave their broken and unserviceable war machines where they lay before finally abandoning the now-barren world for greener (or at least slightly less barren) pastures, leaving it as an eternal testament to their wars. And so Qabristan in its present form came into being, an entire world of graveyards for both men and machines.

However, this being Cananaan, it was not long before the Byzantines, the Klavostanis, and the Cananaanites came back to violate the sanctity of the very same graveyards they had previously consecrated. Qabristan was soon repurposed into the dumping ground for the refuse of the Cananaan system, both human and non-human. The undesirables of the Byzantine, Klavostani, and Cananaanite enclaves who could not be killed for whatever reason were all exiled to Qabristan, where they were forced to eke out pathetic existences foraging for scraps amidst the decaying monuments and ever-growing junk piles. For the majority of exiles, once they were exiled to Qabristan, they would surely remain there for the rest of their short, miserable lives.

Among those banished to Qabristan were the members of the One Church of Asuka and Lelouch. An otherwise harmless offshoot of the Ashford/Langley Orthodox Church (itself a branch of the original Byzantine Orthodox Church), it revered Duchess Asuka and Duke Lelouch of the former Duchy of Langley as deities in much the same way as the modern Byzantine Orthodox Church revered Heraclius XX Kommenos. However, centuries of cultural drift, exacerbated by the influences of deranged otaku from Old Earth, had corrupted the One Church, leading its members to be branded as heretics and banished to Qabristan. The Asuka/Lelouch cultists took their exile more or less in stride, carving out a domain of their own amidst the scrap heaps and sand dunes of their new home; they were content to be ignored by the rest of Cananaan, though with King Guynald's crusade now in full swing, it was only a matter of time before they would be caught in the flames of all-out war once more...

As it was on any other place in Cananaan, low-intensity conflict was the standard rule of the day on Qabristan. Skirmishes on Qabristan were particularly vicious; edible food, drinkable water, usable equipment, and spare parts were all highly valued commodities, and the exiles were willing to go to any length to secure them for their own use. Given that Qabristan was essentially Cananaan's garbage heap, virtually none of the warfighting equipment available to the exiles was anywhere near the galactic standard; to make up for their lack of technological sophistication, they had to improvise other weapons of their own, and out of all the exile factions, the Asuka/Lelouch cultists proved to be the most ingenious by far.

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One such testament to the ingenuity of the Asuka/Lelouch cultists was a curious machine modeled rather loosely after the Dreadnoughts used by the Adeptus Astartes and the warsuits used by the Union Planetary Forces' Dragoons, a humanoid-shaped hulk approximately 4-5 meters in height occupied by a single pilot and armed with a variety of heavy weapons. The first of these machines were cobbled together from broken-down industrial power loaders, discarded suits of powered armor, and other assorted pieces of scrap, with all sorts of variation from one individual machine to the next depending on what was used to make it; the Asuka/Lelouch cultists were eventually able to scrape together just enough industrial capacity to fabricate their own parts and construct additional machines according to actual standardized designs. These "Knightmare Frames," as they were dubbed by their creators, proved quite invaluable, but their light design left them far more vulnerable to anti-armor weaponry than the Dreadnoughts and Dragoon warsuits they were inspired by; however, pilot survivability was surprisingly good for such a haphazardly designed machine, and a mission-killed Knightmare Frame was relatively easy to repair.

Several of these Knightmare Frames, a group of four "Glasgow" types, were busy carrying out a patrol of the junk-strewn wastelands that made up the Qabristan landscape. Desert patrol was by and large boring and uneventful; the other exile factions had learned to keep their distance from the Asuka/Lelouch cultists, though there were still skirmishes every now and then. The Glasgow pilots were pretty desperate for something to happen during their patrol, and today, it seemed that they would get their wish...

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One Glasgow spotted a lone figure staggering through the junk piles. "We got somebody out in the scrap!" the Glasgow's pilot called out over the radio as he deployed his Knightmare's head-mounted IR/visual camera in order to get a more detailed look. "Not very often we find people wandering by themselves out here. I'll patch in my camera feed once I get a closer look."

The Glasgow's camera, while certainly nowhere near as sophisticated as modern sensor systems, was still powerful enough to detect and identify targets at considerable range. The pilot managed to get a very detailed look at the junkyard wanderer: A male in his late teens to early twenties with messy black hair, wearing a large bandage on his head and a disheveled black uniform of some sort. "Cam feed patched in," the Glasgow pilot said. "He can't be a Byzantine, Klavostani, or Cananaanite. I don't recognize the uniform. Looks wounded. I'll try calling out to him."

The Glasgow's loudspeaker system crackled to life. "You there! Identify yourself!"

The wanderer was only able to mouth a few words before he collapsed to the ground. "We can't just leave him here," the Glasgow squad leader said over the radio. "Take him back to base ASAP. We'll talk to him there. I'll radio ahead."

"Already on it, boss," another Glasgow pilot said as he went in to scoop up the wanderer's body.



Asuka/Lelouch cultist stronghold
Planet Qabristan, Cananaan
3 September 3400


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The wanderer's unconscious form had been brought to the cultists' stronghold with great haste. While their medical facilities were not particularly well-equipped, the doctors were able to make do with what little they had. They were able to successfully treat the wanderer; at this point in time, all they had to do now was wait for him to finally awaken.

In the meantime, in his state of unconsciousness, all the wanderer could do was dream...

"...This is an unstable world, and we need to be able to defend ourselves from any and all threats we come across," an older gentleman in an ornate military uniform declared...

"...I'll admit, leadership of an entire nation is a very heavy burden, but I don't regret taking it on. My older siblings have been invaluable in advising me; if I didn't have them to guide me, I probably would have run this country into the ground within months."
"Well, things obviously haven't fallen apart in your presence," a brown-haired man replied. "The economy's on the upswing, the military's expanding, the common people are happy..."

"...And this is why you usually don't go out to official diplomatic events like this," a fancily-dressed blond man remarked. "You always tend to say the worst possible things at the worst possible times to the worst possible people..."

"...You can't really blame him," a green-haired woman said. "Politics can be quite tiring at times."
"You said it," a redheaded woman exclaimed. "Having to arrange his schedules, deciding who he can and can't see. I swear, there are times I feel like I'm just a glorified babysitter, having to pick up his toys and clean up his messes. He really can be such a big baby sometimes."
"He's our baby, and we have to take care of him like any other," the green-haired woman quipped. "He's giving it all he's got, trying to do his very best for the sake of the nation. He needs all the help and support he can get..."

"...While that all depends on what exactly you have to offer, Your Highness, there is one thing in particular that I need..."

"...What can I say that hasn't been said? What can I do that hasn't been done? Why do I even bother?"

After two days, the wanderer finally awoke. He had absolutely no idea of where he was or what was currently happening to him, and he had only a vague recollection of the events prior to his discovery in the wastes. The only thing he knew for sure at this point in time was that those dreams of his felt far more real than they should have. As his eyesight came back, he found that he was confined to a hospital bed and hooked up to several devices, some familiar, some decidedly alien. As he attempted to take in his new surroundings, his mind kept going back to process his dreams; there was a rather vague notion that he had done something similar in the past, though he initially dismissed it as just another sign of his malaise.

Of course, the wanderer's already fragile perception of this new world around him came crumbling down when he saw a glowing figure in silvery vestments standing at the foot of his bed. Once he got a good look at the figure's face, everything immediately fell into place. "...Oh, God," the wanderer groaned wearily.

"'Q' will suffice, my friend," the figure replied.

"Since when were we friends?" the wanderer shot back.

"You know, that hurts, it really does," Q deadpanned as he walked up beside the wanderer. "You're certainly not the first one to respond to me that way. Maybe giving you a new life really was a mistake after all. Oh, well."

"Some life you've given me, forced into yet another one of your foolish games," the wanderer deadpanned back. "So, what is it you want from me this time?"

"Actually, it's not what I want, it's what you want, my good Duke," Q said. "Well, not quite a Duke anymore, are you?"

"Obviously not," the wanderer shot back. "Anyway, what makes you think you would know anything about what I want?"

"You grossly underestimate me," Q said, pausing briefly before continuing. "You know, you actually remind me of a certain other someone who's played the game before. Deep down, you've always wanted to help the innocent, the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed. You were actually able to free your own countrymen from decades of misrule and corruption, but what of those outside your own borders? On the grand stage of international politics, you were but an insignificant gnat, ignored by just about everyone else. The best you were able to do was just play second fiddle to the greater powers, making only token contributions to their efforts while they took all the glory. It hurt deeply, didn't it? You knew that in the end, there was absolutely nothing you could do to change the world for the better. You even said it yourself: 'Why do I even bother?'"

The wanderer recalled those exact words from one of his dreams. "What makes you think things will be any different now? What do you expect me to accomplish if I'm marooned on this giant scrap heap?"

At that, Q grinned. He fucking grinned. "You grossly underestimate yourself as well. Think back to when you liberated your own country from the junta that had been running it into the ground. You've always had a talent for accomplishing a lot with very little at your disposal. With the resources now available to you, just think of what you can do."

"Okay, but I'm still not following you. Again, what is it you expect me to do?"

"My, you're dense. It's simple. You've always wanted to be a hero to the oppressed, so here's your big chance to finally make a difference. You've always wanted to be heard, so I've given you the power to make yourself heard. Do be careful what you wish for, though. You may just get it, and you might just wind up like him. Everyone has lessons that need to be taught. He has his lesson, and you have yours."

"Like him?"

"Remember when I said that you remind me of someone else who's played the game before? If you ever get to meet him again, tell him I said hi. You may be running into a few other familiar faces as well, so be on the lookout. Oh, and while I'm at it, if you ever get to meet the Bitch Empress, tell her I said hi too. She certainly seems to have made the most of her situation, and I have a feeling she'd like you. Anyway, you have a rebellion to lead. Let's get to it, shall we?"

With that, Q vanished in a flash of light, leaving the wanderer to his own thoughts. Someone else who's played the game? The Bitch Empress? A rebellion? I barely even know where I am or what I've been doing, and I have all this shit dumped into my lap. Oh, well. Once more unto the breach, I suppose.



RESULTS:

Another old player makes a not-so-triumphant return. Stay tuned to see his reaction to the cultists.
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

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Phantasee: Don't be a dick.
Stofsk: What are you, his mother?
The Yosemite Bear: Obviously, which means that he's grounded, and that she needs to go back to sucking Mr. Coffee's cock.

"d-did... did this thread just turn into Thanas/PeZook slash fiction?" - Ilya Muromets

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28492
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Twenty-Six

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-23 03:57am

Recommended Listening: The March Unto Death

Valkyrie-class Battlecruiser SMS Brunhild
Flagship Sixth Battlecruiser Squadron
1940 Hours


He can't tell me what the plan is? It must be something Reinhard doesn't want me to know. What would he want to do at this point that he wouldn't want me to know about before it's too late to change his mind? Siegfried started racking his brain for an answer... ah, that had to be it.

Very well. He knew it would look bad at first, and he suspected Reinhard was trying to keep him from arguing. As if I would... doesn't he know me better than that after all these years?

He looked over at Reinhard. Siegfried could tell just from his admiral's posture that he was fully engaged now- before, most of his efforts had been devoted to planning, not actually directing the operations of his fleet. He'd obviously decided to enact his plan now, which meant this was going to be a very interesting half hour. Enough to make Siegfried a little apprehensive- there were a lot of heavy ships out there, and no doubt Reinhard would be crossing swords with quite a few.

When Reinhard decided to act, he didn't wait long. Snapping his orders to communications section, he put his so-secret, so-transparent plans into action.

"Railgun ships, fire by single ship, battery salvoes, as you acquire, ammunition constraints removed. To the Twenty-Third, alpha strike on enemy target list Green, and..." He paused for a beat. "Personal message to Fleet-Captain Mittermeyer: "Unload half your Acherons, too. Knock them back hard; they're too good to be allowed to interfere with what comes next.""

Reinhard turned to Siegfried as the first independent volley of rounds leapt from Brunhild's railguns, and one of the enemy light cruisers flared and sprayed a thin mist of atmosphere under impacts from Reuental's destroyers. There was a wide smile on his lips and a spark dancing in his eyes; he looked more alive now than he had in... months, years even. "I don't really expect to need countermissiles where we're going, Kircheis."



F-2515 Series Missile Frigate F-2522
Flagship 23rd Missile Squadron
1941 Hours


Fleet-Captain Wolfgang Mittermeyer was an excitable man when he spotted a decisive moment. "You heard the man, line it up! All ships, concentrate your fire on those heavy cruisers!"

Something important to do twice in a week; I like this admiral. He's weird. Normal tactics would have been for von Musel to concentrate on the gunnery duel against the enemy cruisers, leaving the enemy's laser ships alone... and then conclude that his frigates' offensive missiles were useless because the enemy's point defense was too thick for their limited stock of heavy antiship Hellfires to cause serious harm to the enemy cruisers.

Instead, he'd killed the enemy laser platforms first: three destroyed, and two more damaged, even at the expense of accepting steady fire from their cruisers into his own heavies. He'd paid for that- serious damage to two of his battlecruisers, and one of Reuental's destroyers had taken a beam that opened the core hull along a good quarter of her length; she was keeping up with the formation, but there was no power left for much of anything but the drive- mission-killed, probably would be killed outright as soon as the enemy devoted any serious effort to destroying her.

And now, only now, was von Musel calling on Wolfgang to deliver a decisive punch. He hoped they could deliver- his gut said yes, but years of training and institutional memory made him worry...

Hours ago, he'd fired off a fair percentage of his ships' ammunition, all too quickly, trying to break up the wave of launches from the first Zebesian fleet's dorsal group. He'd claimed more than his share at the time, though, and since then the fleet hadn't come under heavy missile attack. That left him with most of his Hellfires and a good fraction of the lighter Acherons even now, waiting for the opportunity.

The first launches were undetectable from the bridge, but F-2522's deckplates thrummed slightly as fresh missiles rolled into the tubes from the magazines, precision machinery slotting them into place for the next salvo... and the third, and the fourth. Wolfgang leaned forward against his command chair's shock restraints, watching. Would it really work? Could his frigates really damage something that heavy? The numbers said so, unless those enemy cruisers pulled out a miracle of unexpected point defense... or something else.

BOOM!

One of their heavy cruisers had picked out his flagship, obviously trying to knock out the missile frigate before the bulk of its Hellfires could leave the tubes. F-2522's shields wavered and sparked as searing lines of green split the darkness, but the generators held and she kept up fire.

Her sister, F-2530, wasn't so lucky; a combined assault from two of the enemy light cruisers carved into her from above and below, burning through the ship's single armor belt and taking down her drives. Followup shots stabbed through the stricken frigate amidships a few seconds later and her active systems went dead. The last signs of activity from the ship were a spray of Acherons that must have been loaded already when the first beams hit... three more Hellfires and- somehow!- reloads from two of the Acheron tubes... then nothing.

Kuhler... Damn them!

Von Musel's Valkyries had already started to shift the focus of their electronic warfare suites, taking his frigates more thoroughly under the cloak of their heavy jammers. More of the enemy's howling bolts creased the vacuum, but there were no more penetrating hits, and the birds were on their way.



Recommended listening: Ride of the Valkyries...

SMS Brunhild
1947 Hours


Watching thermonuclear blasts flicker like strobes around the enemy cruisers, Konteradmiral Reinhard von Musel considered the implications for Prussian fleet doctrine. We, too, rely heavily on specialized light ships for fleet antimissile defense, with many of our ships lacking a suitable backup point defense capability of their own. If he ever found himself in a position to dictate terms to the design boards, he'd have to do something about that. He was exploiting these aliens' reliance on light antimissile platforms as a weakness; it would hardly do to allow himself to show others the same weakness as the Zebesians.

Misleading name, that... might as well use it, though.

The enemy shot down some of the Twenty-Third's missiles, but not nearly enough to save them from a beating. Even the light general-purpose Acherons carried a warhead powerful enough to leave a mark on almost anything below capital-class if it could get within a few kilometers. The heavy antiship Hellfires' boosted compressed-hydrogen bombs were almost Shepistani in potency. The phaser batteries on the Zebesian cruisers themselves picked off most of the frigates' first few launches even without the support of their lighter fleet defense platforms. But they'd had little time to engage the fourth and subsequent barrages, and those missiles had dived in to bracket their targets with repeated strikes, hammering them from all directions..

Getting reads on the state of this enemy's shielding was tricky, but the plumes of metallic vapor drifting away from their three heavy cruisers only mean one thing. The ships' power signatures were still largely unaffected, though- Mittermeyer's attack had damaged those ships badly, but not destroyed them.

Meanwhile, the Sixth and Eleventh squadrons concentrated on the enemy light cruisers and plasma destroyers, trying not so much for destruction of targets as disruption- penetrating hits that would temporarily reduce the ships' ability to fight and distract their captains from the task of keeping an eye on the overall battle. With the missile attack done, Reinhard felt confident enough to gamble on his success and make the next move.

"All ships, war emergency main drive burn, vector minus seventeen by minus forty; maximum evasion. Go to pre-recorded electronic warfare settings starting in ninety seconds."

He looked over at Kircheis, the unspoken worry in the redhead's eyes obvious.

"Yes, I know, that takes us right through their capital ships. Trust me, Kircheis."

"Always, sir. But..."

"Yes, this is going to hurt. Don't worry. We'll come through all right."

"You're confident of the EW scheme?"

"It'll fool them for a little while, I think. It should; we sunk three days into it after the raid. And there's a tactic I want to try against these people, something I thought of with an eye to the Taikongjun, but it should work even better here. Also... other considerations. Will tell you later."

Kircheis's expression was strange, but he nodded in assent.

And we need to get out of the system; they're sitting directly on our path to the hyper limit. Besides, this will help my case later... One did have to plan for what would happen after the battle, not just during. Failure to do that... that way, von Mückenberger lies.



Type 22 Core Ship, Serial Number 12E886C8
Flagship Boskonian Core Subfleet
1949 Hours


The sight of a Prussian cruiser squadron breaking ranks and accelerating towards the heart of his fleet startled Cosmog of Narshe enough to put a crack in his self-discipline. A racial tic shone through for a moment.

"Kupo?"

Curses! Who heard that? Cosmog looked furtively around the bridge. No one, apparently- or if they had, they didn't dare to show it. Which was good enough.

Zokolova had warned him to expect some surprises from Sixth Battlecruisers, and the way they'd just knocked the Kavoolites reeling supported that. So the obvious question was how von Musel expected to not die while charging straight at a formation with several times his firepower?

Cosmog poked at a few keys on his tactical board. The holographic image of one of his subfleet commanders appeared, and she greeted him in the Boskonian constructed language, one invented specifically to allow almost any kind of intelligent life imaginable to communicate with cold, terse efficiency.

His subordinate, Junior Admiral Cayenne, made the appropriate gesture of mild abasement. "Yes, milord?"

"Junior Admiral, take your flagship and battlecruisers five through seven, with attached screens. Fire on Enemy Sixth Battlecruisers."

She frowned. "Yes, milord. Enemy decoys present difficulty; any direction from flagship would be appreciated."

Decoys? Curses! Cosmog looked back to his own plot... Where once there had been five battlecruisers, five destroyers, and four frigates charging at him, now there were at least a dozen of each on the display.

"Understood. K-" I won't say it! "-dismissed!" By sheer force of will, Cosmog suppressed the impulsive response. His subordinate, her face utterly still, faded from the viewscreen.

The moogle considered his plot. No decoy was perfect; the computers were bound to find a flaw and disregard the jamming sooner or later. But they hadn't done it right away, and that was a bad sign- it might take minutes. And until then, his ships' macrobeams would have to be divided among many targets...

Aaaargh! Just to put the icing on the cake, the light codes indicating the enemy ships started to elongate- then blur, twist, and contort into improbable cats' cradle shapes, which then vanished in a puff of fog only to reappear hundreds of kilometers away. The electronic warfare suites of these Valkyries were proving much more of a nuisance than he'd expected. He still had confidence that his crews and computers would sort it out, but he had a bad feeling that von Musel was going to get away with his charge.

And if they kept using their reserve ammunition as freely as they had before, they'd be firing a lot of rounds, from close range, unless he wanted to give up the current action against the Prussian center entirely and pull away. Which wasn't palatable- yes, they'd taken down a few of his screening ships, but he'd taken a few of theirs as well, and surely the battleships' ablative armor couldn't last forever. Pulling back would give von Mückenberger and von Bödicker's battle squadrons a respite, to run damage control and recharge their shields, and that might undo his earlier gains.

And yet for those upcoming minutes, simple arithmetic would give him more cause to fear the guns of von Musel's destroyers and cruisers than the half-ton slugs from von Mückenberger's battleships- they'd be putting more kilotons on target, if nothing else.

So, keep his general position while minimizing the threat of the enemy's charge- "All ships, evasion change: level ten, priority on fire from Enemy Group von Musel!"

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Admiral Cosmog of Narshe, giving orders from his flagship




Z-1240 Series Destroyer Z-1261
Flagship Eleventh Destroyer Squadron
1951 Hours


Flottenkäpitan Oskar von Reuental regarded the plot with mismatched eyes. They'd left the abused ships of the enemy dorsal group in their wake. With the loss of their laser platforms and the hammering the Twenty-Third's missile batteries had dealt to their heavy cruisers, the aliens seemed to have pulled in their horns. Their fire was uncoordinated and often inaccurate, signals analysis suggested confusion in their ranks. He doubted it would last- it was obvious they were professionals, wherever the came from- but for now they were no real factor in the assault von Musel had ordered against the Zebesian center.

Their ships were burning for the loosely defined Zebesian 'wall'- more like a cloud, really. The ships flickered and danced like fireflies, occasionally flaring in rainbow bursts of light when someone managed to score hits on their shields. That wasn't happening often; they were firing from too far out, their footwork too fast, for the battleships in the center to score heavily on them or often. Though once in a while... the corner of Reuental's mouth quirked up a fraction of a millimeter as one of the enemy battlecruisers reeled backwards, faster even than its own impossible evasion burns. When a salvo of kinetics hit those things, they recoiled like mad; it had to be a side-effect of their inertialess drive, and one von Musel was planning on, for this next stunt.

It was going to be interesting, and possibly short. There was time to check in with his friend once more, before they got close enough to demand full attention. Reuental had served with Mittermeyer so many times, it felt almost like they were brothers. More than that, in some respects- more like the frigate officer was the other half of his own brain. And so he had a habit of leaving a sideband open to speak to his friend, even during combat.

"Having fun yet?"

"How often do I get tasked to fire on something bigger than me?"

"Not enough." Mittermeyer had often complained about it over the years- doctrine tying him to the apron-strings of the capital ships, forcing him to hold back. Reuental felt it too; in his opinion, every light-ship officer in the fleet who was worth a damn did.

He paused for a moment. His mismatched eyes narrowed at the main tactical plot. "Their gunnery's improving, Wolfgang; they just blew away two of the decoys."

"Looks like luck, that battleship must have gotten a look through Kaleidoscope for a few seconds."

"Perhaps." Well, no one promised me I'd be coming back... "...Heh."

"Oskar?"

"I find von Musel's plan on closest approach amusing. We'd better get ready."

"Your show more than mine."

"You got your chance."

"Ja. Knock 'em dead for me, Oskar; all I've got to work with are these one-kilo popguns." That was true; the frigates' railgun mounts were very much afterthoughts, and better suited to point defense than antiship work.

Reuental inclined his head. "Of course. Over and out." He then took a few minutes, last checks with the other captains, with his own weapons officers; they were ready.

Those minutes carried them close, very close indeed. The Boskonians opened fire- their beams were visible on subspace, and Reuental could see all too clearly the crisscrossing fire from four capital ships and at least a dozen smaller craft hammering towards the Prussian squadrons.

Into the valley of death...

The decoys died fast- the range had already closed so far that there was no possibility of evading lightspeed weapons for long. Jamming became increasingly pointless as the Prussians became more clearly visible to simple, foolproof sensors like lidar and passive infrared. Deception had covered their approach, but burned away all too quickly now as they charged straight into the enemy's teeth.

But like all Prussian ships, the Valkyries and their consorts were built tough. Their evasive burns still darted them out from under the Boskonian guns for precious split seconds, the blinding afterimages of their ECM still danced in the Boskonian gunnery systems' cybernetic eyes and brains. That hellish storm of ultrawaves would surely have torn von Musel's command into its constituent atoms in time, but 'time' was measured in minutes- many of them. For the seconds of closest proximity, they could walk through this fire.

Reuental's flagship shuddered, the hull groaning under the onslaught as continuous blasts from the Boskonian macrobeams warped and twisted Z-1261's defensive screens. The destroyer Z-1278, already critically damaged and with barely enough power to keep pace with the squadron while driving her shields, was chopped into fragments by slicing fire from three enemy ships.

He saw a plume of organic vapor erupt from Brunhild, but the computers identified it immediately as cosmetic damage. The Valkyries' distinctive antiflash white color scheme came from the layer of hyper-refractory ablatives covering their outer armor belt; the enemy could blast that away in the scores of tons without causing any real harm to the flagship.

The organic vapor was followed by metal- more worrisome, but Brunhild kept going, and the datastreams from her computers were interrupted only briefly. Reuental had neither the time nor the inclination to worry, though; he was preoccupied with the offensive side of the admiral's plans.

Throughout the years the violence, intensity, and sheer brute power of offensive weapons had increased steadily. Defensive systems had kept step. One fundamental fact, however, had not changed throughout the ages and has not changed yet. Three or more units of given power have always been able to conquer one unit of the same power, if engagement could be forced and no assistance could be given; and two units could practically always do so, in time. Fundamentally, therefore, strategy always has been and still is the development of new artifices and techniques by virtue of which two or more of our units may attack one of theirs; the while affording the minimum of opportunity for them to retaliate in kind.

Von Musel, observing the tendency of Boskonian ships to skitter across the void like a hog on ice when struck by high-momentum impacts, had come up with another such artifice. His ships, pushing straight through the heart of the dancing cloud of vessels at the enemy's center, might not be able to aim for specific enemy ships... but they'd get close to at least a few of them, by chance if nothing else.

This was the price Cosmog paid for failing to retreat in the face of von Musel's charge. In pressing the attack against von Mückenberger's battleships, he guaranteed that at least some of his ships would come within close reach of Sixth Battlecruisers and its escorts.

The Prussian ships fired no gun, but simply drove straight into the thick of the Boskonian formation, taking the heavy fire from their capital ships and the shoals of lighter destroyers and cruisers as it came. Their sole aggressive move was a simple one. Von Musel had divided his force into two groups; at the moment of closest approach, each group was to reach out with its ships' short-range tractor beams and grapple a single opponent.

In the event, they netted a cruiser and a battlecruiser. Now the Boskonians' inertia-defying Bergenholm drive played against them. Confronted with the raw mass and momentum of the hurtling Prussian ships, with the intense forces exerted by the tractors, they found themselves at a grave disadvantage.

They were seized bodily, anchored irresistibly, dragged helplessly, by the overwhelmingly greater inertia of their captors. Their low-impulse driving projectors, adequate to achieve great speed in free flight, achieved nothing now. The enemy ships' drives howled in helpless fury as, pulled by the competing pull of six ships' tractors each, they were hauled towards the very barycenter of the Prussian formation.

One on one, either ship might have cut free, devoting its own gravitic projectors to neutralize those of the foe. But faced with half a dozen ships, several of comparable power to their own, the Boskonians' ability to cut tractor beams did them no good whatsoever. They might defeat one ship's pull, only to be slung sideways towards the others.

And while the two trapped ships struggled against the invisible bands of force immobilizing them, the Prussian squadrons increased the distance from the Boskonian main body by ever-growing increments with each passing moment. Soon, von Musel and Reuental's ships no longer needed to devote every available erg to defensive maneuver and shielding, as the enemy fleet's fire attenuated and their targeting grew less absolutely precise. And as the need to devote power to the harsh demands of survival faded, it was once again time to use that power for attack!

Now the Boskonians found themselves under attack from every direction, battered by the twenty-kilo ferrous slugs of the Prussian battlecruiser and destroyer railguns, at ranges where those rounds could not miss, against targets that could not evade. This was not the distant, dancing, swirling fight they were made for; it was a point-blank slugging match, a contest of durability and firepower that could only end one way with the tonnage so mismatched.

The trapped ships died hard, as was Boskonia's wont. The Boskonian heavy, in particular, directed a cunning assault against Brunhild, perhaps detecting that the battlecruiser was still weakened from the heavy fire she'd taken a minute earlier. Macrobeams snarled forth from her glowing projectors, torrents of energy blasting the flagship's shields and scattering away in polychromatic auroras that filled space for kilometers around.

The blazing intensity commonly associated with nuclear fireballs- but these fireballs lasted far longer than those from a nuclear device. They clung to their target, and Brunhild's outer, intangible defenses wavered under the onslaught. Here and there, for fractional-second flashes, the beams found gaps in Brunhild's walls of force, battering through individual shield panels or flaring past the joints between them. Bursts of ultrawaves boiled away still more of her gleaming white armor, gnawing into the main hull underneath with fangs of raw, elemental flame.

But if Brunhild was hard pressed, the Boskonians suffered far more, and far quicker. Their battlecruiser was the target of the combined main batteries of the entire Sixth Battlecruiser division; their cruiser came under fire from von Reuental's four surviving destroyers, ships that had been designed to engage in long range beam duels with practically any ship of their tonnage in known space and win.

As always, the Boskonians' outer shields failed almost immediately in the face of serious attack; they were more tripwire than barrier. Thus alerted, the underlying courses would divert power to the sectors under attack- but englobed and bombarded from all directions, at ranges so short the enemy could even pick which part of the ship to target, there was no place to divert it from. The second and third tiers of screen failed more slowly, thinning and shedding radiation as they rose through the rainbow from red through ultraviolet- but fail they did, and in only seconds.

The wall shields, hard-driven and carefully designed for endurance and resilience, were a more formidable line of defense. Here, even the combined fire of von Musel's command was stopped for a time. It was the wall shields that bought time to flay at Brunhild's thick ablative skin, time for the Boskonian cruiser to lay its beams into the frigate F-2544 and tear terrible gashes in her core hull, time for that same cruiser to even switch fire to Eleventh Destroyers' Z-1253 and manage superficial damage there, before dying.

But gradually, this last line of defense began to falter too, swirls of black appearing like sunspots in the blazing violet-white. Clever gunners directed their shells at the weaknesses thus revealed, finally punching their rounds into and through the mighty barrier of force. Railgun slugs tore into their target, and the Prussians found that the clean-lined, graceful ellipsoidal hulls were lightly armored indeed. Key systems were found and pierced, and the targets' shields failed entirely.

Unbeknownst to the Prussians, this was the signal that primed the Boskonian ships' standard-issue scuttling charges. The charges lay in wait, but had only a few more seconds of sustained fire to sit through before railgun slugs started battering into the center of their hulls, slicing through main structural members and splitting the ships apart. Cascading hull failures caused the Boskonians' hull plates to rip at the seams, and that set the demolition bombs into final countdown. The two ships were pulled irresistably apart by the tractor beams locked onto them, torn into large fragments, which then exploded.



Missile Frigate Gacknik*
Engaging Prussian Third Battlecruiser Squadron
1948 Hours


*[Translates as "Belligerent, Strongly Inclined Towards Slashing" or "This Close to Going Axe Crazy," depending on the translator.]


"Dear Zarquon, look what they did to those warbirds! I want some of those missiles! What the hells did they load 'em with, anyway?"

Nugak shook his head. "Dunno, but did they ever take a beating. Glad we're not fighting those guys!"

The chief missileer made a crackling noise with his fingertips and grunted. "Don't worry, boy. Those ships are Imperial Navy. The Kavoolites may be a bunch of crazy neofeudal scumchewers, but damned if they aren't the toughest scumchewers you'll ever find. They'll get their act together again. Most of their ships are still OK, once they get the chain of command shaken out."

"Huh?"

"The apes just nuked the crap outta the warbirds, right? Well, their admiral's probably on one of those ships; he's probably still trying to get a radio hooked up so he can talk to his people or something. Don't worry, Nugak, they'll be back in shape pretty soon."

"Gotcha, chief."

"And get an update on those fire control solutions. I want to be able to put a sheaf through any of those ships in front of us, not just the slow ones."

That kept Nugak's head down for a while. It popped back up when the rest of the crew crowded around the fire mission monitoring plot- sounded pretty intense.

"Shriekbatshit! They're headed straight for the battlewagons!"

"Must've gone crazy, they're never gonna make it..."

"Those poor, brave little monkeys."

The chief grunted. "No, wait, there's gotta be... yep." He nodded to himself.

"Huh? Hey, do we need a repair tech down here? Look at that long range plot!"

"Nah, I think it's just the dorsal group doing something wacky. See? Nothing wrong with our targets."

"Hmm. Reminds me of some of that stuff the humans pulled on us back at the mining facility... you think it's the same ships?"

"...Could be. That'd explain how they just knocked the Kavoolites over so hard."

"I'm really glad we're not fighting those guys, then. Once was enough."


1958 Hours

"Okay, now I'm scared."

"That's... unnatural what they're doing to that battlecruiser."

"Yeah. Oh, man, there goes the cruiser. Boy, when those weirdships go down, they go out with style... Gotta be nervous flying those things."

"Victory or death, huh?"

"Looks like..."

"Hey, wait a minute. Look at their acceleration vector. They're not slowing down..."

"Weird. What, they aren't going to try that again? But it worked so well!"

Hmm. Nugak had an idea, maybe... "Maybe they're worried they'd get chewed up. They might've took some damage."

"But they're just running away! They were kicking cloaca a minute ago! Couldn't they just go back after the Kavoolites or something?" Jobblod's voice seemed almost indignant- Nugak guessed the other fellow would call it 'respect' for them. But really, it didn't make a lot of sense to him; did Jobblod want to keep watching these guys make the sector's navies look like a bunch of chumps?

Nugak shook his head. "I dunno, buddy. I just hope they don't come back after us again."

Jobblod's teeth clattered. "Hells yeah. Me neither."

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Chaotic Neutral
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Location: California

Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Chaotic Neutral » 2011-01-23 04:54am

Previously

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Ork pirate ship Gargantantive IV
Sector B-23

"Alrite ya grotz! Set kourse fer de MEH spacez! Dis'll be a good fight, alrite! Dem MEH shipz're big an' tuff, but dem MEH shipz're also few an kan't be every'ere at once so if we'z smart leik Gork we kan go 'round deir systems an' go ploinking der softie civie ships an' dere ain't nuthin' dey kan do 'bout it kuz deir hueg ships'll be slow leik a fat squig! Haha!" Badspork laughed. He fucking laughed. "Oy, an' go tell da other boyz dat we'z got a party 'ere with da MEH an' dey iz all invited! Dem MEH boyz wuz wantin' ta go 'round an' destroy uz? We'll show 'im wot orkz is made of! Waaaaaaaagh!"

Az da kaptain Groxkilla Badspork ranted on an' on, 'iz ship da Gargantantive IV jumped into da hypershinyspace an' made itz way 'wards da Mutieversul Empruh of Apinez.

Image


Now

Ork pirate ship Gargantantive IV
Sector B-25

Kaptain Badspork 'an 'is krew 'ere plunderin' ships since dey started their trip to da MEH. After gettin' as many fatties as dey could eat, and bitz from 4 different ships, dey ran out of room for more, and headed back to sell 'em to da meks.

"Kapn'! Ders' a ship 'wit damaged 'eyperdrives yell'in fer 'elp, 'an der right in da middle of our paff."

"Dees MEH are a bunch a stupid gits! Tell da boyz ta eat da rest of da hummies, 'an throw was left outa da airlokk so we 'ave room fer da new bitz!"

""What if der ain't enuf room?"

"Den we throw some of da grots out wif 'em!"

Wif dat, da Gargantantive IV set kourse for da distress signal.

...

Distress Signal, Unnamed Area

The Illuminated Path sat on the edge of the nebula, near what could most accurately be called "a bump in the road". Hyperspace lanes are the most easily traversed of all types, but occasionally a ship may encounter a small pocket of resistance. While most ships could ignore such a small problem, for a smaller ship with poor maintenance, it might the straw that makes the hyperdrive suffer a critical failure and blow up.

After activating their signal, they waited for someone to respond. They didn't need to wait long.

In just a few hours, the Gargantantive IV broke out of hyperspace, almost on top of the ship. The Illuminated Path immediately slammed on its engines to try to get away.

"Der runnin' kapn'!"

"Den shoot der engines ya git!"

Before the kannons impacted, the Illuminated Path emptied its cargo hold, splattering the contents onto the Gargantantive IV. Maybe it was to distract the Orks, maybe it was to lower its mass. Either way, it looked like the ship had shit itself in fear.

It was a smartboy that first made the connection.

"Oy! Dey couldn't 'old der bowls!"

Da boyz on da ship laffed. Dey fukin' laffed.

"We got 'em kapn'! Sendin' in da boyz!"

Dozens of Ork boarding pods broke through the hull of the Illuminated Path. The few that passed through their target and into deep space were ignored.

Still recovering from their laughter, it wasn't until the engines stopped working and the gunz got stuck that the Orks noticed something was amiss.

Image

"Ey! Da engines stopped! Some 'o da gunz won't move eitha'!"

"Dey musta' put somethin' in deir trash! Send the boyz to get it off!"

"We kan't, dey all went to the hummie ship!"

...

Onboard the Illuminated Path

Ork boarders breached the hull of the ship in many places. But instead of the usual confusion they got when they attacked ships, they were greeted by a wall of enormous black figures pointing large weapons at them. This confused many of the Orks, so they just decided to shoot at the problem.

A group of 3 shoota boyz found themselves instantly disintegrated, while a Nob who tried to swipe at them with a power claw was met with a fist that caused his entire arm to implode.

The confrontations were short lived, as the Illuminated Path soon disabled its disguise, allowing enough power for the holo-cages to activate, and the hull breaches to seal properly.

With the need for disguises gone, and the Ork ship disabled, the Illuminated Path was free to blow the Ork ship into tiny pieces, but had different orders. Right now it's mission was to wait for reinforcements.

To be continued...

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Darkevilme
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Darkevilme » 2011-01-23 12:35pm

The Black cats cometh.
Planet Ozakarr, Klavostani Sultanate


“We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to an unexpected equipment failure it will be 24 hours until our flight can resume. In the meantime please enjoy the complimentary hotel accomodations at the Stairway to heaven.”

With those words spoken over an intercom a half dozen Academics from far off and intensely Academic Umeria found themselves delayed on their journey to consult with their Klavostani colleagues. Still the hotel was decidedly nice and gave a good view of the space elevator and of the surrounding city. What they didn't know was that their ship's equipment failure was more due to matters of money than of metal, but then their speciality was naval warfare not paranoia and deficiencies were understandable.

Thus our band of complacent academics were left with naught to do but admire the view, Doctor Daniels and an associate occupying the hotel balcony and enjoying vividly siren red drinks with hard to recollect names as they admired the view. In the distance the elevator rose to cut the sky in two with its narrow profile. Every few minutes they'd see a tiny speck of light either make its way up the elevator, slowly at first then with increasing speed until it vanished into the heavens, or descend the elevator from above at incredible speeds before decelerating hard before dipping down out of view.

Combined with the elevator the massive architectural projects of the Klavostani city were almost enough to completely distract the visitors from an occurrence rather closer to home.

“Looks like someone important has just arrived Daniels.” Javin said nudging his fellow academician and pointing down to where a large black hover car had just pulled up outside the hotel, the car's uncompromising lines and hard sheen speaking loudly of privilege and power.

“So it would seem Javin.” Daniel replied while turning his gaze for the time being to the street below as a well dressed man and an equally well dressed chamarran emerged from the black car and headed for the entrance of the hotel, though well dressed as they were they did not have the look of being VIPs which left Daniel puzzled as the car closed up once more without anyone further disembarking. The car also remained idling pride of place in front of the hotel in the time being.
With no further activity Daniel's gaze began to drift to the skyline though every now and then he glanced at the car inquisitively in case further occurences would surround its enigmatic black shape.

Then there came a buzzing at the door, one of the academicians opening it to find the previously glimpsed Chamarran standing there “Hi. Management told me this is where a group of important academics from Umeria are staying.” she says with a winning smile, pausing but a moment to get a nod or two of confirmation “Then on behalf of the Ozakarr department of foreign relations allow me to offer you a guided tour of our fair city and surrounding environs during your unscheduled visit here. Our car is waiting.”

Daniel's warmed quickly to the idea, both of seeing more of the city and of being able to ride in such an affluent seeming vehicle, though one thing about this niggled and thus he gave voice to a query
“Ma'am if you will indulge me, I am curious as to why the Ozakarr foreign relations departments would send a Chamarran to act as our tour guide.”
“It's Kitsah please, Kitty to my friends.” the catgirl replied with a grin “And you'd be surprised how many of us find our ways into jobs where they value a pretty face sir. And how many of us live outside the Hierarchy, I understand your misconception though. I understand chamarrans are extremely thin on the ground in Umeria. That clear things up sir?” she asks with a smile and Daniel found himself smiling back “That it does, Kitty.” he said and with that the catgirl stepped aside and motioned gracefully to usher them out into the corridor “Then shall we proceed with the tour?” she asked rhetorically and soon the academicians were ensconced in the leather lined and smartly contoured luxury of the black hover car with the latter in motion.

“Right then, now that refreshments are taken care of if you would care to turn your gaze to the right you will see the Sarradin school and museum of the arts, built in the year 2987 to designs drawn up by Sarradin in the years immediately preceeding. Sadly he died before seeing it completed but his stylistic mark will remain forever a part of the city.” Kitty spoke, the tour proceeding as tours typically did but for the trouble some of the Academicians had with focusing on the sights and sites instead of their exotic and lovely tour guide. Daniel's tried in vain to suppress a yawn and keep focus on what was being said, the yawn echoed by his other academicians as he wonders how this must seem to Kitty with entire group seemingly bored by her tour. For her sake Daniel's tried to remain attentive with his gaze turning to the right as instructed to admire the multicoloured blurr swimming outside the window, it was so pretty but he didn't remember anything about the Klavostani's having giant flying multicoloured fish on their worlds. He turned back to Kitty in order to ask about that but for some reason she'd gone all blurry as well and his tongue kept tripping up over itself, the academician managing to mumble out a few garbled syllables and then simply slumping against his fellows as his eyelids slide closed. The last thing he saw was Kitty making some form of gesture to the driver, then darkness claimed him.

Car 12-72, planet Ozakarr, Klavostani Sultanate

There is in any organization a lowest rung, this is especially true for a police force. Ammul was not on that lowest rung but only cause they still employed at least one actual person to do the cleaning at the precinct station, apart from that he was pretty darned close and this explained why this was his beat. A quiet district of failed dreams devoid of promotional prospects and equally devoid of crimes though not of criminals, but he could hardly arrest them for loitering with intent. His hover car idling next to the pedestrian walkways as he enjoyed the meager comforts of hot coffee and had a large black hover car not glided past him he'd of continued his patrol in due time without incident.

In five years Ammul had never seen a car so expensive looking on the streets of this district and so naturally enough he followed along the deserted streets if only to break the monotony. Two thoughts prominent in the officer's mind as he did so, one being the understandable perplexity as to what someone able to afford so stylish a car would want in a district this crummy and the two being that such a car was liable to attract attention with the rims of its repulsers alone worth enough in resale to then buy any other car in the district. Even so Ammul had to admit that unless the criminals on these streets were heavily armed the black hover car was safe without his discreet escort, it looked like it could shrug off your average alley guns without more than dinged paint.

The black car turned the corner and Ammul followed rounding it tens of seconds later and seeing a black hover car continueing on up the street...

Kitty stepped out of the black car into the interior of the shuttle as the port and starboard hatches sealed up, waving her hand to make sure the air in front of her is clear of the knock out gas and then doubling over as she with difficulty horks up the gooey gas filter into her hand.

“No problems?” she asks once she's recovered her composure.

“Not a one, with the decoy out it should convince anyone looking that the Umerians never left the planet.” one of her associates replied as the hover car settled fully onto the shuttle cargo bay.

“Actually sisters we may...oh tailyank!” the pilot said, starting off mildly concerned and then escalating into expletive as she spotted a police hover car round the corner to starboard and heading right at them. She did her best to get the shuttle out of the way but with the extra weight of the hover car her ship was no longer the most agile of beasts, the sensation of motion experienced by Kitty ending in a crunching sound and violent lurch that sends her human associates sprawling or forces them to grab desperately ahold of their surroundings for support.

Kitty for her part of course rode the impact out almost unconcernedly until it was over and she can ask the important question “Misha, what in the name of the mysteries just happened?!”
“A police car just collided with us, I thought you were supposed to lose anyone who was following you before coming to the rendesvous.” the pilot replied accusingly.
“We did.” says Kitty and turned to her driver, who nodded affirmative “We especially made sure there were no cop cars following us.” she said turning back to the pilot's position above them.
“Well, someone screwed up. Anyway I'm taking us up, we'll figure this out later. Lets hope there's no more surprises.”

Had the collision occurred bumper first Ammul would of survived, it didn't. Ammul's car drifted about the street aimlessly as blood permeated the upholstery within, the edge of the shuttle had intersected above the engine block and as a result demolished the windscreen and canopy. The top of the car halfway sheered off by the impact with fatal results.

Above the ruined car a patch of empty air flickered and blurred a moment, then returned to normal as it ascended towards the sky. The shuttle had a freighter to catch out of the system and given the circumstances their ticket home could hardly wait around if they were running late.
STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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fgalkin
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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby fgalkin » 2011-01-23 02:25pm

The Pandaemonium
Lost Space
September 6, 3400


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The Pandaemonium was a tradition that was ingrained into the daemons’ very being, one of the few reminders of their forbidden heritage as a telepathic race. Once carried out by a direct meeting of minds, the Pandaemonium now required billions of neural interfaces, submesonic communicators capable of transmitting the mind-states of countless daemons, and vast oceans of energy. Such expenditure was not to be undertaken lightly, and the Pandaemonium, once as common as feeding, was now reserved for the most momentous of occasions.

The Contact was surely a momentous occasion, but even it had not warranted a Greater Pandaemonium, the gathering of all of the Lost, scattered across many parsecs as they were. Instead, when the meeting was called by It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small, it was limited only to those involved directly in the Contact, a scant several hundred thousand, and only the greatest of these were allowed to speak.

The Daemon Lord was a being of traditional tastes, and so the mass-illusion of the Pandaemonium was that of the place which every daemon had remembered, but shall never see again, a place where torrents of energy crashed and swirled against each other, creating a cacophony of perfect Chaos. It was Home, and every being present felt an acute painful sense of longing.

“Greetings, Master,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature performed the proper abasements. “This unworthy thing and its puppets offer thanks for the honor of being summoned.” The Daemon Lord acknowledged the greeting wordlessly. The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature strongly suspected that its superior’s attentions were directed elsewhere, on its proper duties perhaps. It was, after all, the one chosen by the Demogorgon to carry out the Contact, and any decisions that it would carry out this day would have to be its own.

“Report,” as much as it pained it, The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature was mindful of the enormous amounts of energy needed to power the mass-illusion and decided not to spend any more time than necessary within the Pandaemonium.

“Since the time we have broadcast the transmission, we have received six responses, and two non-responses,” said Representative Lilith, the succubus in charge of the Diplomatic System. It was her responsibility to represent the Lost in diplomatic communications, as well as to any visiting dignitaries.

“Refusals?” Emissary Shroom asked

“A refusal and a request for information,” Lilith clarified. “From the United Solarian Sovereignity and the Byzantine Imperium.”

“What do we know of them?” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature asked.

“The Sovereignty are the source of the Animal House transmissions,” Shroom explained. “There is a lot more, but we are still in the process of analyzing all of it. They had almost gone to war with the “Collector” people, and our analysts are still trying to piece together what is going on there. The Byzantines are their allies. They are dominated by some kind of bizarre anti-alien cult. We know one thing, however—they are great enemies of the Bragulans.”

“Hmm…” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered this. “Show me the messages.”

[swept-to-tightbeam, hypercast on diplomatic frequency]
(Signal sequence #511-C6/2874, relay:)

And who might you be?


Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:

Dear Xeno,

Not to sound utterly prudish, but the Byzantine Imperium's official and unofficial intentions are well known. The bigger question that needs answering is what are your intentions.

Signed,
Lord Inquisitor Dominus Farad'n
Ordos Diplomatica
The Imperial Inquisition


“It would stand to reason that human powers engaged in a war with aliens would be suspicious of aliens in a first contact situation,” Lilith said.

“Yes. But they are far away, and not really relevant to our plans. They will find out when we send the informational broadcast” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature was unconcerned. “What of the actual responses?”

MEH wrote: . Questionnaire:

1) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
2) Power is its own reward. (It should be noted that power can be used to create knowledge.)
3) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
4) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
5) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
6) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.

II. Hypothetical Scenario: The primary of our civilization is Science. With improved technologies, we can do more with fewer resources, and invent new ways to keep citizens entertained and healthy. Our surplus resources would go to yet more science, and, when we are capable, we will travel to other galaxies/clusters/superclusters/universes to uplift the inhabitants of every civilization.

Our goal is never accomplished, there is always another technology to invent, more ways to improve, more people to save. The quest is eternal.


“That is….very self contradictory,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature observed. “They have put the hegemonic option sixth, yet their goal is to “uplift” other civilizations, whatever that means.”

“Could they be lying? There is no way we can confirm if they’re telling the truth,” Lilith said.

“True, but I do not think so,” said The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos. The senior analyst’s mind-voice was a tiny patch of stability in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of thoughts that comprised the rest of the mindscape. “I do not think they lied, because lying requires thought, and thought is the one thing that is lacking from this message.

“Elaborate,” suddenly, It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small decided to join the conversation once more. The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature felt the Daemon Lord’s all-penetrating burning gaze upon its very soul, and felt the layers of its defenses burning away one by one.

“They were the first to respond,” said The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos, gallantly drawing the Lord’s attention away from its superior. “But consider what they have said. “Power is its own reward. (It should be noted that power can be used to create knowledge.)” If power is used for knowledge, it is not its own reward, is it?”

“The message is signed by someone named Janet Thorpe, Temporary Replacement Diplomat to Saint 472 (Gone Orbital Diving),” Emissary Shroom noted, shrinking as the Daemon Lord’s gaze focused on her.“I have no idea what “Orbital Diving” is, but I think that means that this person who wrote this message is just a subordinate.”

They delegated a first contact communiqué detailing the principal positions of their government to an an underling?” The part of the mindscape that was The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature was the very personification of surprise. It was so amazed it ignored even the dangers of the Lord’s attention.

“It would appear so, Master,” Shroom confirmed.

“It is very likely that the responses to our message are not, in fact, of the MEH decision-making structure, but rather, of this Janet Thorpe, Temporary Replacement Diplomat to Saint 472 (Gone Orbital Diving),” Lilith observed. “We must contact them to know for sure.”

“Agreed,” said The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature. “I am worried about this Multiversal Empire of Happiness. They say they wish to be like gods, but they are…careless.”

For a moment, everyone present saw what a godlike being with the MEH’s attitude would be like. It was a terrifying image.

No one said anything for a long time,

“What of their name?” It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small asked at least.

“Ah, yes,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos was quick to pick up on the Daemon Lord’s line of thought. “We must determine if they have multiversal-travel technology.”

“Indeed,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature agreed. “As of right now, contacting them will take first priority. Lilith and Shroom, you will draft the response to them.”

“As you command, master,” the two succubi said in unison.

“Master, what of their own question?” Lilith asked. “They wish to know of our own responses to the questionnaire.”

“I do not believe this MEH is particularly well-liked on the galactic stage,” Shroom mused. “We can lie to them, and they would not be able to find out the truth for some time.”

“And what will happen when they do?” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos asked.

“We will be able to explain it away,” Lilith mused.

“With the way things are, we may well be their only allies,” Shroom said. “They will have no choice.”

For a few moments, there was silence as The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered the problem. It had glanced questioningly at It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small, but the Daemon Lord remained silent. The decision, and the responsibility was its alone.

“Very well,” it said at last. “We shall do this.”

The next message on the agenda was from an entity called the Nova Atlantean Commonwealth.

Zor wrote:From: The Hon. Stepan Xiaowen, Commonwealth Ministry of Foreign Affairs
To: The Lost


On behalf of the Nova Atlantean Commonwealth of Worlds, I welcome your society in a spirit of friendship. In responce to your first question, i must state that these are only general principles. Their is some disagreement among some of the citizenry for our society is democratic.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
2) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
3) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
5) Power is its own reward.
6 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.
7) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
8 ) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.

II:If such a state of affairs, we would focus on accelerating the Evolution of all species along technological lines. We would seek to expand our minds and improve the capacities of our bodies. We would cast off the weaknesses and shortcommings of biological evolution, while retaining and refining what elements of which are worth retaining. An ascendant civilization, were weakness has been removed, not by the destruction of the weak but by refinement and upgrading. Perfection is unobtainable, but we shall strive for it none the less. We will also refine our knowledge of the universe and seek new frontiers to explore.

And on behalf of the commonwealth several inquiries...

1-What are your commerical policies and are you willing to trade?
2-What is your civilization's moral framework?
3-Does your society favor the Individual, the internal faction or the Collective?
4-How open is your society to new ideas, concepts and ideologies?


“There appear to be errors in the message,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature observed. “Was the transmission garbled?”

“No, master,” Dis, the daemon controlling the diplomatic station (actually the senior of three intelligences controlling its different subsystems) had entered the conversation for the first time. “Resolution In The Face Of Danger had assured me that there had been no problems with any of the transmissions.”

“Then what is the explanation for these errors?”

“We…we do not know, master,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos spoke at last. It was taking a terrible risk by admitting its failure, but making up a false explanation would have been a dereliction of Duty, and thus, unthinkable. “Perhaps….perhaps they are using a different dialect of galstandard English?”

“Master, I am accessing the database of transmissions from this Nova Atlantean Commonwealth, and all of them appear to be riddled with errors,” Lilith said. “This would appear to support The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos’s theory.”

“They claim to be post-human,” Shroom said. “Perhaps they are also post-spelling?”

“Why was I not informed of this earlier?”

“Well…there wasn’t a lot of transmissions,” Lilith explained. “They mostly keep to themselves. They were thus assigned a lower priority.”

“The message,” It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small said suddenly.

“Ah, yes.” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature quickly returned the conversation back on track. “They appear to be completely set on becoming these “post-humans” and transforming themselves into mechanical beings. This is a long-term process and, I would order us to ignore them entirely for the time being, had they not been located uncomfortably close to our own borders. That, and their alliance with the Owens would make contact with them an unfortunate priority.”

Quickly, it brought up the next message.

Master_Baerne wrote:
FROM: Gloriana Proeliam, Countess Yvette, Her Ascendant Ladyship's Minister for Foreign Affairs
TO: The Lost

Firstly, allow me to extend the greetings of the Ascendancy and Her Ascendant Ladyship. We welcome you to the galactic stage, and hope to enjoy friendly relations with your nation. As requested, I have (in consultation with various others, in order to obtain as general a response as possible) arranged the statements provided in the requested order.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
2) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
3) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
5) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
6) Power is its own reward.
7) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.

The second question, I must admit, proved rather more difficult for myself and my advisors to answer. A situation so far outside the realm of probability as this one has usually not been studied or prepared for in any serious way, and the question proved particularly difficult because our nation's three primary goals, namely safety, prosperity, and comfort have all been taken care of. It is probable that in a situation such as the one described, the Ascendancy would focus on improving understanding of various mysteries, such as the appearance of the Central Alliance and various other powers in formerly-unoccupied space, the origin of the Chamarran species, and the specific nature of the Collector AI race.

The Ascendancy would be very interested in hearing you nation's own response to your questions, and would like to add a simple inquiry into why, exactly, you refer to yourselves as the Lost.

With the hope of future friendship,
Gloriana, Countess Yvette


“Animals,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature’s mind-voice was dripping with contempt. “Ignorant animals. All they care about is growing fat without the least thought about greater things. How can a sapient species not have a Purpose? What are they living for?”

“A lot of the nations of the galaxy put a high emphasis on the comfort and wellbeing of their people,” Shroom pointed out.

“Yes, and one day they will suffer the consequences of their perversion. In a sapient species, an individual exists to serve the civilization, not the other way around.”

“Master, what should be done about these humans?” Lilith asked.

“We have no time for animals when the fate of the universe is at stake. Ignore them.”

Force Lord wrote:
From: Tagdef Borlon, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Centrality and Ravin Nostrum, Foreign Secretary of the Centrality
To: The Lost

I. We believe that the seventh statement fits our nation's character best. For more than a thousand years, the Centrality has become a byword for order and stability. Some would call this opression, but send those naysayers to an anarchic world, and they will understand why people need direction in their lives.

As for the statement incompatible with our conduct, we have difficulty finding one from the statements you have given us. It may be because some of the other statements are either our goals, or simply do not have anything to do with us. Our opinion is that there could be more statements, but it is your choice.

II. This is hard to answer. To have an entire Galaxy at your command is, quite simply, almost too good to be true. You can do so many, many things, that it can be difficult to choose what you desire most! If we must confine ourselves to a single project, it would be to design and build vessels capable of extending our reach to other galaxies, until finally this Universe salutes under the Black Star: an orderly, stable universe.

As for our standard procedure when encountering new civilizations:

1) We would like to establish diplomatic relations, perhaps establish an embassy in your capital...if you have one or something similar. Of course, you are free to establish your own embassy in our capital.

2) After the establishment of diplomatic relations, we could reach for some sort of trade arrangement. Details could be discussed while discussions regarding diplomatic relations are being made.

3) We would ask you how your civilization works: your political system, society, values, morality, openess, culture, etc.

That is all, for now.


“Amazing,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature muttered. “They’re engaging in apologetics in a first contact message. Are they so insecure in their own position that they feel that they must defend it, even when not challenged?”

“It would appear so, Master,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos agreed. “This might explain why they failed to follow our instructions. They may not wish us to know their society’s motivations, perhaps because they thought it would create an unfavorable impression of their civilization.”

“If they are so ashamed of their society, why do they not change it?” It That Wishes It Saw Everything, No Matter How Great Or Small asked.

“Humans are a very irrational species, and are subject to all sorts of bizarre and irrational prejudices,” explained The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature. “They are sometimes unwilling of correcting even the most glaring inefficiencies.”

“What shall be your course of action, then?” the Daemon Lord inquired.

“The same as the Ascendancy humans. We have no time for these barely-sapient creatures.”

“Master, if I may?” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos spoke. “They are very close by, and their insecurities leave them wide open for manipulation. They could become a useful ally, especially if the relations with the Owens and their Atlantean allies take a turn for the worse.”

“Master, it raises a very good point,” Lilith spoke. “I am in agreement.”

The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature scrutinized their mind-states closely, then, finally acceded. “Very well, that is what we shall do, then.”

It turned to examine the next message.

Karmic Knight wrote:Response to Relay Station in Sector C-6

Greetings unknown people, in accordance with a policy of galactic interconnectedness, we respond to your query openly and honestly.

I: Our arrangement is based on a most important to least important scale, the numbers assigned by your communication are kept for easy viewing access.


1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
3) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
5) Power is its own reward.
8) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
2) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.

II: In the hypothetical scenario, the government of the Unified Kingdom would plan its pursuits to seek ways to distant galaxies and other stars to make contact with other species and governments.

III: To better understand the ideals behind this communication's species, we would like to understand, in detail, what is widely considered the greatest achievement in realms of philosophy, technology and government.

- Jushin Gabriel, Foreign Affairs Clerk
Unified Kingdom of the Knights of Order


“What do we know about these Knights of Order?” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature asked.

“Almost nothing, Master,” Shroom said. “There are almost no transmissions coming from that sector of space that our probes could pick up.”

“So, we will have to rely on their response to form an opinion of them?”

“That is correct, Master. And their response is…very interesting.”

“Elaborate.”

“On the surface,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos explained, “they appear to be more mindless humans. But, look closer at their actual response to the second question.”

“It is….unusually concise,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature admitted. “You believe this to be a good sign?”

“Yes, Master. Instead of general ramblings about how they have never thought about this scenario, they lay out a plan, concisely. They also give no hint of their motivation for pursuing their plan.”

“Which suggests that they may actually have a Purpose?” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature was actually surprised.

“I have no way of knowing, Master, but given their proximity, I would recommend that we find out as soon as we can.”

“I agree,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature said.


Tanasinn wrote:Office of Foreign Relations
Elysion City, Elysion
Sector Zero




Code: Select all

I. Please arrange the following statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values, starting with the most compatible and ending with the least compatible.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
3) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
2) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods. 
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.
5) Power is its own reward.


Code: Select all

II. Hypothetical Scenario: It is the year 4400 according to Standard Human Calendar. Your civilization has achieved complete dominance in the Galaxy. Every one of your rivals is either destroyed or has been converted into an ally. Your citizens are free from want and need. Your civilization is free to undertake any project it chooses at its leisure, with the resources of the entire galaxy at its disposal. Please indicate the primary focus of your civilization’s energies and attention in this hypothetical situation.

"In the event of total galactic dominance, the Humanist Union's long-term plans include expansion beyond the galaxy.  The continued development of the human form and mind is of paramount importance.  Guaranteeing the security and prosperity of the human race is a duty that extends beyond galaxtic control.  The ultimate goal of the Humanist Union is the development of the human species to the point where the state becomes a vestigal organ, at which point it will be disassembled."



Also included in the message, unbidden, were several data files, labelled under "for your further consideration." Included are a brief history of the Humanist Union and generic data on its current state, V. Kuznetsov's The New Humanist Ideology, and assorted works by several prominent Union intellectuals, among them, Coordinator Roland Stein.


“This one is…interesting.” Lilith observed. “They make no secret of their desire to dominate the universe.”

“And they are on our very doorstep,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos pointed out. “They could be a threat.”

“They are animals,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature cut off. “Aggressive animals. We must keep them away, if possible. Establish contact, find out what they want.

“Yes, master.”

“Are there any more messages?”

“No, master.”

“Very well, then. Send the informational general broadcast, and begin preparations for commencing diplomatic relations.”


-------------------------------------------------
OOC Note: The opinions expressed in the post are those of the beings expressing them and may not necessarily reflect the views of the author. :P

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

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Re: Reply to the Lost

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-01-23 04:37pm

fgalkin wrote:[Widebeam hyperwave transmission from sector C-6 detected]

Greetings, fellow sapients of the galaxy. In light of recent galactic events, we have decided to reconsider our long-standing policy of isolation, and are now seeking diplomatic contact with your civilizations.

Below you will find a set of first contact questions that would greatly assist us in establishing diplomatic relations with your people...

I. Please arrange the following statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values, starting with the most compatible and ending with the least compatible.

1) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the comfort and prosperity of its citizens.
2) Nature exists only to be conquered; one day we shall be as gods.
3) The universe is a dangerous place and we must be dangerous in return. None shall threaten us without suffering the consequences.
4) Our way is the correct way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we share it with the galaxy.
5) Power is its own reward.
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
7) Order and Stability are vital to the survival of any civilization, and must be pursued even at the expense of growth and innovation.
8 ) We are but insects in the grand scheme of things, and must be careful not be stepped on.



Central Administration Complex
Prime City, Reisenburg


"You want to put security after stability? Are you crazy, Rafe?" The Second for Security gaped across the table at the Second for Finance.

"Cal, what's the point of having enough firepower to punch holes in a large moon if the economy collapses behind it?"

Dr. Borrego, Second for Production, chose this point to chime in. "Yeah, good luck getting those platinum-plated beamline components of yours if the industrial sector dies of regulatory capture!"

"Good luck running the industrial sector with the Sheppoes dumping tylium bombs all over it!"

"Look at what we could have done with the money we've sunk into bombardment shelters over the years- literally poured into a hole in the ground. We'd be so big, the Sheppoes would be just a nuisance by now..."

"No, we'd be a crater field. They respect force, they respect toughness, they respect our desire to fight a clean fight- as long as we can enforce that desire."

Dr. Fidanzo shook his head. "This is just paranoia, Cal."

"Paranoid? This is Shepistan we're talking about here, there's no such thing as too pa-"

"Gentlemen!" Dr. Michael O'Connell, First Technarch, sat leaned back in his chair with his arms folded, posture casual as if all was well with the world. The argument stopped anyway. "We'll come back to this. Let's look at the incompatible statements."

Dr. Rashid Ansary, Second for Simulations, saw his cue. "I think we can all agree on the ordering of the incompatible statements: two, eight, four, five." There was a faint, high-pitched growl from the far end of the table.

"GRRR..."

The Second for Research looked over towards Dr. Susan Warren-Marshall, Second for Ecology and hooted disapprovingly.

"Ahem. Susie, you're doing the glowy eyes thing again."

"Oh. Sorry." The faint blue-green flickers before her face disappeared. "Anyway. You want to put 'Nature exists only to be conquered' at number five on the list, right after stuff like 'self-defense' and 'not having everything fall apart? I am not signing off on that. That's Stupid, like blowing up the ocean to get at one crab or something." A chuckle went around the table at the Shepistanis' crab-battle tactics, still in recent memory.

"I suppose, but when you talk to some of the more... radical elements of the research community..."

Dr. Takuulda hooted again, more gently. "He has a point, friend. Have you ever met Alex Martin at LEXCOMP?"

The Second for Ecology gritted her teeth. "Yes. Yes, I have..."

"Or Dr. Sivana?"

"Yes- by the way, what did you do with him after the attack noodle outbreak?"

"He's currently assigned as the SCIENCE! officer at the Umerian embassy on Montgomery."

"Oooh. Good. But still. Those guys may believe that, but we try to keep them out of the government, right?"

The Third for Research coughed. "Uh, most of the time."

"Well, we do."

"...I guess?"

"So. I'm not against a little maniacal laughter in the pursuit of knowledge here; you all know how I get about the piranhahawk project. But seriously, 'Nature exists to be conquered?' "

O'Connell, at the head of the table, twitched his chin. "So, any objections to reordering the incompatible statements to eight, two, four, five, pending further discussion?" There was a general mumbling.

"All opposed, say 'nay.' Anyone? Anyone? Come on now, someone must have an objection..."



Privileged Frame of Reference
UNREAL TIME


After an exhausting twelve-hour debate, the Council of Technarchs agreed on a response document to the first communique from the Lost. It was during this time that the general contact broadcast arrived. Therefore, the second communique had little effect on the wording of the Technocracy's reply.

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Mayabird » 2011-01-23 09:29pm

Prime Refuge
Contact Hyperspace Communications Array



When the message was half a shift late, Chorus to All Stars, the notoriously impatient high director of Communications, had an aide start sending queries. Her bodies extended and stiffened, watching the Avian send requests by text, speech, and image. No responses. The Avian tried again, and Chorus noted approvingly how efficiently he worked. One of her bodies extended pseudopods to manipulate the controls of her mobile open platform and write a reminder for future commendations. At least something good might come out of the delay.

Chorus had the Avian resend the queries every eighth of a shift for a full shift. Nothing. Not even a comment about technical difficulties or to tell them to shut up. A shift and a half of nothing. Another aide was sent out to physically request a response, scurrying off as Chorus's bodies started gaining an ultraviolet tinge. That meant she was getting angry. The platform started pacing, back and forth, its six legs stomping stiffly on the dull metallic floor plates.

When the third shift started with no response and not even a returning aide, even Rouge Edged with Gold Hyperspace Speaker, the Modular who ran the array, was getting worried. Modulars could be infinitely patient, running the same machinery or watching the same spot indefinitely, but Rouge knew as well as the others that such a delay was unheard of. Its intermediary module, which communicated between the Aggregates and Avians on the deck and the rest of Rouge wriggling through the equipment, flashed a message to Chorus, a brief blip of swirling colors.

Query: a problem?

Chorus said, in color, Unknown, but I hold suspicions.

Rouge thought on that for a short time before replying, Query: Suspicions based on evidence, or idle speculations?

For a Modular, Rouge was very good at understanding its more individualistic comrades. Yes, idle speculations only, Chorus replied.

Idleness is bad, said Rouge.

Idleness is very bad, agreed Chorus.

They had been on hold for two whole shifts, going on two and a half, letting important outward communiques sit in an ever increasing queue, waiting for the final wording of the response to the Lost. Just hearing the name had made Chorus tremble at first. Names were important, for they held meanings, symbolism, and connotations. “The Refuge,” a place of safety, implying places of danger. Their name held a subtle warning to all others. “Lost” could be translated in several ways in the Refuge's languages, with one meaning being “those who are held by the gods.”

But then again, Chorus had thought, they must have seemed quite creepy themselves, making that sudden announcement, pouncing on territories, asking to send warships (even as escorts) to the capitals of other nations. Perhaps these “Lost” were simply following their example. She had brought others around to her thinking, and then they had started on a response.

One of the Aggregate aides, obviously incredibly bored, was letting his thoughts slip through to his skin. They could've told us that it'd take a while so at least we could get some work done. Chorus wanted to chide him for his lack of control, but noted that her own bodies were getting a bit saggy themselves. It was this lack of activity, lack of something to do.

A body plugged into her vocal speaker. “It's too quiet in here, everyone,” she said. “Who knows The Ballad of the Eight Plasma Skimmers? I mean the long version.”

The third shift began and another fourth passed before the aide finally returned, exhausted and bedraggled, feathers pointed everywhere. The fourteenth verse of the ballad died away.

“What is the final decision? What will we say?” Chorus asked.

“The...decision...” The Avian was gasping for breath; the poor aide had flown at full speed all the way. “...The...decision is...that we're...not.”

There was a brief murmuring and flash of color around the deck, disbelief and shock which quickly cut itself off. “What do you mean, 'not'?” said Chorus, as her platform ran to the aide's side. “And catch your breath before continuing.” That gave Chorus also a moment to compose herself.

“He said...we're not going to contact the Lost. Not now, maybe not ever.”

“Who said? And why?” she asked in sound and color.

“And he also said...Contact has lost touch with the Refuge.”

“Lost touch? We're Refugees just as much as everyone else.”

“And he also said to say that we, that means Contact, have become selfish, greedy, and short-sighted.”

“But who said it?

But when the Avian had said the words, the official responses came through the channels.

The Consortium of Minds wrote:The Lost are not to be contacted at this time. No further explanation will be given until needed. The ambassadors Outside are to be instructed to not engage the Lost in any official diplomatic capacity unless absolutely necessary for their duties.

Continue with your normal duties.

-The Consortium of Minds, Complete


Chorus used her greater security rating to try to access more information. Maybe something was left out for the rest, and she had special instructions.

Addendum for Higher Echelon wrote:This decision may be changed at a later time, but until instructed, assume that this decision is permanent.


There was also a note that the message had come directly from Central Complex, something she had assumed anyway since the full consortium had made the final decision, but that was it.

Questions welled up. She would have to grill the aide later. Who said it? Why? The Lost were so far away. Did they know something? Won't this rudeness cause problems later on? And more and more, but she squashed them down. There would be time for that later. In the here and now, they had a backlog.

“You saw the message. We have hundreds of transmissions to send. Don't worry about the instructions to the ambassadors; get started on the oldest communiques sitting in the queue until the relief crew arrives. Lliloo, make sure the relief crew is coming in; they've probably been idling all this time too, the slackers. Tweesisi-luci, check that Sapphire was moved up in the priority list and Cordial's at the bottom. Vermillion Glimmer...”


Result: The Refuge will not be responding to the Lost's communication.
DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

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 Mayabird » 2011-01-23 11:39pm

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


While Dash recovered from his injuries, Fulcrum made his rounds with only the bodyguard. It was a sad thing, not having the little hyper guy around, as he had grown quite fond of him, but Dash was healing quickly so he would soon be back.

There were meetings, both scheduled and impromptu, inspecting items that might be of interest back at the Refuge, compiling lists of contacts, waving at crowds - what in the piles of bloody shit is that?

Image


He stared at it harder than he had stared at racks of bolters. “It's a little me,” he said.

“May I help...ah,” the human boothkeeper began, before seeing a very large, dangerous, and angry-looking bird beside his plushie equivalent.

“What is this?” Fulcrum demanded.

“This, we're selling toys,” he said, his round and sweaty face getting bright red.

“Toys?” he nearly screamed, and with a squawk at the end too.

“Toys! Yes!” The boothkeeper started backing away, but a wall of his own merchandise was in the way and blocked him. “Stuffies. Soft dolls. Children love them!” He reached behind him and pulled off one at random. “See? We have all kinds! Like this Kipaktli here!” The human held out the Stegosaurus at arm's length, as if putting the soft, small, round, cute toy between himself and the sharp talons and beak of the eagle would protect him. Fulcrum then noted that there were indeed a wide variety of the plushies on display, with varying levels of incorrectness all around. If anything his likeness was one of the better ones.

Fulcrum decided to fly on top of the booth so he could glare down at the human, so he did. “So these are all for children?” He swept out one wing to encompass the whole scene.

“Yes! Parents come and buy them for the kids...well, not the catg-Chamarrans, those are mostly bought by creepy weird guys, but yes! Souvenirs! Great gifts!” He glanced at the talons, thinking about how very, very knife-edged they looked. “Bragulan cubs, they love the humans – they play war against them and stomp their faces!”

Fulcrum hopped down to the top of a display rack, not quite as high as before, but with his eyes and razor beak still above the human's level. His two cold eyes drilled into the boothkeeper's very soul and made him whimper and cower. “I notice something,” the eagle began. “I notice that the other dolls seem rather, shall I say, generic?” He let that sink in a moment before continuing. “A human, a Zigonian, a Bragulan...but not an Avian. Me.”

“Gimme some slack! You guys are new! We don't know what you look-”

“I did not give you permission to use my likeness!” He had a squawk on the end, which added some emphasis.

“SorrysorrysorrysorryImsosorry...”

“You will give eighty percent of all profits on that toy, up to this point and for the rest of its sale, to the coffers of the Refuge.”

Eighty!

“Oh, make that sixty then. I am feeling merciful at the moment. Also, you will make a second Avian doll, one of my very good and courageous friend Dash. I can provide some good pictures of him.”

The boothkeeper nodded, over and over, rapidly. “Sure! Anything!” he agreed a little too quickly.

“And sixty percent of the profits on the Dash plushies as well. We will want to see your books, of course.”

“Of course!” It came out as a squeak.

“We will also provide some images of the Aggregates, another of our races. Some plushes of them would be in order as well.”

“Sixty percent! I'll do it!”

“Also I want the eyes on my dolls fixed. They are gold with black pupils, not brown buttons.”

“Please don't hurt me!” Tears were dripping down his face.


Fulcrum gave the boothkeeper instructions on how to deposit the funds to the Refuge's temporary BEEEF account, and then watched to make sure the first one was made. He was reasonably sure that the payments would come in daily, at least for a while, but once in a while he'd make sure to stop by, just to look at the place, and remind that boothkeeper about that little thing called utter terror. All in a day's work. Advertising and foreign currency, even if just a tiny trickle. He hoped his plushies would sell very well.

As he left, he briefly considered turning back around and asking for a complimentary Fulcrum doll too - for his nephews, of course - but then he decided that it would be a little too self-indulgent and continued on.
DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

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 Beowulf » 2011-01-24 01:54am

Forbidden Palace
New Hong Kong
Bao'an System
Guangdong Sector
Tian Guo


"A new power, once again to widdershins," commented Gwen.

"We'll have to figure out a reply to their message," said Kien, before his comm chimed. "A new message from the newcomers. Maybe we shouldn't reply."

"Oh?"

"They call themselves the Lost, and they are Xenos. A rather strange race from the description included."

"So were the Refugees."

"Ah, but the Refugees claim dominion over part of Man. These don't."

"Well, we can defer a reply for a bit, until we learn more about them."
"preemptive killing of cops might not be such a bad idea from a personal saftey[sic] standpoint..." --Keevan Colton
"There's a word for bias you can't see: Yours." -- William Saletan

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Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1

Postby Darkevilme » 2011-01-24 09:02am

HSF Audacity in the face of Superiority, Blade class.

“Shipmistress. You are required on the command deck.”
Rayarr perked up at the words that could possibly mean an end to the monotony of their current mission, true boring meant safe but by this time Rayarr would gladly start goosing MEHN vessels just to make life more exciting.
“On my way.” She said uncurling from her sleeping posture and making her way to the command deck “What's the situation Yema?” she asked as she made her way to her dais.

“Orders from HQ shipmistress.” Yema replied, ears and tail lowering momentarily to Rayarr before she transferred the file to the shipmistress's dais.

Code: Select all

 Audacity in the Face of Superiority reassigned to solo mission Ceiling-cat.
Mission Ceiling-cat briefing:
Proceed at best speed while maintaining discretion to sector C-6.
Investigate communications relay in sector at attached coordinates.
Determine origin point for transmissions claiming to be from group identifying themselves as 'The Lost'
Report back with all possible information on 'The Lost'.
You are to avoid detection by any assets believed to belong to 'The Lost' for the duration of the mission.


“Hmm, bit of a long flight. Quartermaster, requisition us drop tanks for a return trip to sector C-6.” Rayarr said and then activated the intercom from her dais “Crew this is your shipmistress speaking, we have been given a mission to investigate the purported first contact messages sent by the group identifying themselves as the Lost, it is our job to determine whether they're genuine or not. We will depart for sector C-6 in half a cycle, all preparations for a long voyage are to be completed by then.”
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