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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-24 10:29am
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Location: At the Helm of the HAB Star Dreadnaught Star Fist
Imperial Chronicles

The poor deranged psyker was left in a dark room, that was actually quite ornately decorated. It was simply pitch dark and the psyker could not really see, except with his third "eye". The room was actually designed to contain a mind inside, and prevent him from leaving the room. This made the psyker even more mentally unstable. Years of hearing voices from around him, simply broke his mind and he could not handle the sheer information overload. Attempts to block out his mind with psychic nullifiers had failed to prevent his fall into insanity. Instead, the nullifiers made his brain hurt, and he even bled from the ears and nose.

Image

"Where am I?" he whimpered. The room was anathema to him. He could not probe beyond its boundaries, and he could not see beyond. He felt blind, which he did not like. He was desperate, but the straight jacket he was wearing prevented him from moving about. The room grew cold as he strained his psychic powers to break past the confines of the room. But he failed. He failed because the room denied him his third sight. He was unhappy, and he raged against the room that held him captive. He raged against those who left him here, making him feeling impotent.

"WHY AM I HERE!" He yelled in pure impotent psychic rage. The room did not budge. Then he cried.

And then a voice in his head answered him: "YOU ARE HERE TO SERVE ME."

The voice shocked the psyker. He jerked, and looked around, and whispered, "Who is that? How are you speaking in my head?"

"WHO AM I IS NONE OF YOUR CONCERN. YOU ARE HERE TO SERVE ME, SO THAT EVEN IN YOUR FAILING AND IMPOTENCY, YOU WILL STILL SERVE ME IN SOME WAY, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS. YOU WILL SERVE ME, YOUR GOD AND MASTER."

"Serve, what do you mean? How can I..." the psyker's voice trailed off, and then he dropped with a silent thud.

"FEAR NOT. EVEN IN DEATH, YOU WILL SERVE ME. YOUR SOUL I WILL FEAST UPON, AND SO IN DEATH, YOU WILL SERVE ME IN YOUR OWN SPECIAL INGLORIOUS WAY. FOR IN YOUR SERVICE, YOU ARE SERVING HUMANITY, PROVIDING THE STEEL NEEDED TO STEEL HUMANITY AGAINST THE WAR THAT WILL SOON COME. A WAR THAT WILL STRIKE AT THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMANITY AND THE GALAXY AT LARGE. REST NOW AT LAST, AND FEAR NOTHING."

The door to the room opened, and men came to take the body away.



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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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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-24 12:25pm
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Location: Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Centrality Square, Central City, Centrum
The Center Sector, The Centrality
1 January 3401


"Hey! Today's my birthday, right?" Dirad Kierger was exited. Not only was today New Year's Day, it was also his birthday! He was now 30: the minimum age required for assuming the top post.

Dictator.

"You still have to wait a week for your ascension. Preparations are still not finished. Be patient."

Kierger fumed.

"Seven days. Fucking seven days..."

8 January 3401, 7:30 AM

For Kierger, seven days was an eternity, and he found himself killing time by reading some books that were in a nearby library.

He could suddenly make out heavy footsteps, as well something that sounded like...mechanical breathing.

He looked up.

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"Who are you supposed to be?", he asked. This guy, whoever he was, gave him the creeps.

The armored man spoke with a grave voice. "That is not important. What matters is that you prepare yourself for the inauguration."

Kierger beamed. "Finally! I'm tired of having to recite my preset speech over and over."

Before he could pull himself up, however, the armored man spoke again.

"I was also ordered to tell you that, while you may become the Dictator, the Triumvirate will still be around. Do not try any incompetence, or you will suffer your master's fate."

Kierger nodded. Enduvos was always wrong in the head though. I'm in complete control of myself.

Something told Kierger that this man was going to be...difficult.

"And I suppose you won't tell me what is your name?"

"You will soon know."

3:00 PM

Recommended listening

Image

Everything came out smoothly.

First was the customary military parade, then speeches from important Centralist politicians, about how great Centralism was, how everything was peachy, blah blah blah. Kierger wasn't the kind of person used to such pomp. He played a bit more loose, something that the Triumvirs tried very hard to reduce, with limited success. After a mind-numbing speech by the Secretary of Economics, it was finally time for Kierger to speak.

"I am aware that many of my peers have grave doubts about my capacity to lead. I know that the circumstances of my rise have been...unusual. My mentor was not careful and was killed. I myself was considered...difficult. Unbecoming of a Dictator. Yet I must say this: times are changing. The galaxy is becoming more uncertain, more unstable. Uncertainty has become the order of the day. Our response in this climate has been very much uneven. We have not properly decided if engaging with the rest of the interstellar community will benefit us, or if isolationism was a better choice. I believe there is a middle way, whcih keeps us safe, yet increases our influence. We are one of the oldest of the post-Diaspora states, yet how many know us other that being followers of Centralism? I say that Centralism remains alive and well, and I believe that the many Third Planet worlds out there would benefit from adopting the order and stability Centralism gives. Some would call this risky, yet what stopped our Great Founder, Dovan Aybeem, from creating client states and satellites that gave us more influence and security? Certainly we have forgotten that fact, and I wonder why. But I did not come here to give names, but to make a point. I promise that my rule will continue the tradition started by the Founder, but I also intend on making my mark on our history. After all, I have a possible total of 270 years to rule this old and proud nation. If fate allows me to live, of course. That is all."

And there was applause. Kierger was now the Dictator.

Presidential Center, Central City
7:00 PM


Kierger was busy looking at the documents at his desk when suddenly he could feel the prescence of the same armored man he spoke with hours ago. He turned to face him.

"Ah, I believe you have something to tell me?"

The armored man spoke, and Kierger could swear he spoke while breathing. " I have seen your inauguration. Your speech is liable to make enemies within the Party."

"They can complain all they want. They do something funny, I'll see to it that they live in some shithole camp. What are you, my bodyguard?"

"I belong to the Order of the Black Star."

Kierger froze. The Order was the original secret society of ESPers in which Dovan created to assist his rise to power. The OBS fleshed out many of the details of Centralism and was in charge of training ESPers before the creation of the Center of Special Abilities. Kierger had been told that the Order still existed, albeit secretly, yet it was more powerful than before. Many prominent Centralist officials from all services belonged to the OBS at some point, and it could be said that the OBS was the real power behind the Party. The OBS also recruited beings from outside the Centrality, even non-humans, instilling in them a strong loyalty to Centralism, though they were very discreet about it. Few in the Centrality knew that the Order existed, and fewer still knew its connection to the Centrality. Kierger also knew that the OBS had a deadly emnity against the Order of the Silver Moon, but he didn't know the cause. If the OBS was this interested in his rise as Dictator, then something was up.

"And what does your order need of me?"

"The Order believes that you need someone to carry out...things, in your name. I am to be your right hand, your fist."

"Let me guess," asked Kierger, "I give you orders, you'll carry them out. You'll give out orders in my name, and I have right of denial or confirmation. You will have authority over every service, be it civilian or military, and I get to choose which fall under your authority. Correct?"

"Yes. In the case of you giving me orders, however, there will be limits."

"Knew there was a price to pay somewhere. You shady types always do."

"Do you feel you are being treated unfairly?" The armoured man toned it as a threat, and Kierger knew it served him no good to offend a member of the Order.

"No."

"Good. It would be unfortunate if we had to eliminate you, so soon after your rise."

"Nice to see that the Order views me useful. I must ask, why the Order is acting so...openly all of a sudden?"

The armored man turned his back on Kierger, and spoke, "Our seers believe that, with the sudden arrival of new civilizations, this dimension will see great upheaval in the next few years. A few even whisper that the Great Anarchy is soon to come."

"Great Anarchy?", Kierger said incredulously. Leave it to the Order to make Centralism sound like a fucking religion. "So we get Great Upheaval Mk.II?"

"You could say that. We are not firmly sure, for the future is always in motion. We do know of this: The Centrality will endure more tribulations to come. The Order believes it must do more to defend Centralism, and so they sent me to you."

"Well, it's quite an unexpected pleasure. I'm honored by your prescence."

"You can dispense with the pleasantries, Dictator. I'm here to ensure you don't make mistakes."

"I am not the perfect man, er..."

"Lord Redav."

"Yes, Lord Redav. I don't guarantee I will be free of errors."

"I will decide which errors I see fit to punish."

Kierger could not help but gulp.

"Are you finished? I have to start my new job soon."

"No. But we will continue this matter later. Do not expect me to tell you when I will come."

Lord Redav soon left, leaving Kierger thinking.

Hmm, all of this news is...disconcerting, to say the least. It seems fate heard my speech and saw fit to hand all of this stuff to my plate. I guess history will know me after all. But...why me? I'm only just starting. What if I fail? Will the Order make good its threat? There's no way that I can deal with all of this and run a nation. I'm lucky the Triumvirs are still around. Maybe I should tell them what I've heard. I guess I owe them something. I won't disappoint them.

"Mr. President", came the voice of Viso Fredon, calling him by the title of the head of the Party. "You seem upset." On his left was Tredell, and on his right was Borlon.

"The Order has contacted me."

Tredell eyes widened. "What did they tell you?"

"Long story...."




Result: Dirad Kierger is now the Centrality's new Dictator and Party President, and meets with a member of the Order of the Black Star, who tells him of the Order's plans for him... and the future they believe will come.



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-24 03:37pm
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Location: Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
CNS Datton, Foxa Sector
The Centrality
Unreal Time, After The Lost passed their message


Captain Forg was hardly pleased with his reassignment. Foxa Sector would once be full of activity, but after the treaty with the Eoghans was signed it became less important over time, although the mere fact that a hyperspace junction was present there made it inevitable that Foxa would be more than just a colony sector.

But Foxa's fate wasn't what he was worred about. He was called for another stealth mission, despite the whole Pendleton business. And he was waiting his orders.

He finally recieved this message:

Code:
UNKNOWN ENERGY SIGNATURE DETECTED AT C-6
CNS DATTON TO PROCEED TO POINT OF ORIGIN
IN CASE OF DETECTING RUMORED "LOST", ATTEMPT CONTACT
AVOID HOSTILE ASSETS, FROM "THE LOST" OR OTHERS
REPORT BACK WITH ALL ACQUIRED INFO ON "THE LOST"
NO REINFORCEMENT OR RELIEF IS ALLOWED


Forg sighed. Just perfect. Well, he had his orders.

"Helm, take us to Sector C-6. We are to arrive cloaked."

CNS Datton soon vanished in the vastness of hyperspace...



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-24 05:53pm
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Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
Somewhere in Sector C6
Unreal time




Quote:
Byzonism seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The Byzantine Imperium, Humanist Union and the Centralite Fascists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where all beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." – Quotations from Imperator Byzon chapter 489, verse 1


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The message had come and gone, retransmitted to the Diplomatic System via a chain of relays, but Resolution In The Face Of Danger remained. It pondered the content of the message from the Bragulans. It did not understand much of it, those things were for the diplomats to interpret, but it found the musings about the nature of power strangely resonant. It was as if these puny aliens had accidentally stumbled on one of the multiverse’s eternal truths. Resolution In The Face Of Danger felt strangely curious about these beings and their alien ways. For the first time in millennia, it had felt a pleasurable sensation—the anticipation of discovering the unknown. Would they come to investigate the transmission? It hoped they would. It would very much like to meet a Bragulan.

That thought had snapped it out back to reality and the mission at hand. It felt terribly vulnerable, hanging in deep space next to a communications relay, waiting to see if someone would come. It missed its native shoals, the comfortable murkiness of the whisker-lanes. Even the hyperspace here was different, smoother, less resistant. Inside the spacious hyperlanes, one could see far and run fast. Resolution In The Face Of Danger suspected that the natives of this place would have their hyperdrives optimized for speed, not the rugged durability one needed to traverse the shoals.

It was also likely that they would spot it before it spotted them. To prevent such an eventuality, the patrol ship seeded monitoring arrays in systems along every major hyperlane approaching its location and sent out its complement of scout craft extending the range of its sensors. Then, there were the spies, cold, dispassionate creatures interested only in observation. Resolution In The Face Of Danger remembered the cold, clammy, disturbing taste of their minds and was grateful that the wards on its hull no longer allowed for direct mental contact. Submesonic transmissions containing sensor feed, it could live with. And they were…useful, observing the encroaching ships while remaining unseen and providing it warning. And if the aliens would prove to be hostile, they would ensure the Lost would not remain ignorant of its fate.

That was the true nature of the Resolution In The Face Of Danger’s mission. A relay station, rigged to explode at the slightest attempt to capture and examine it would hardly be conclusive proof of the Lost’s intentions. A more tangible presence was needed, and thus, the patrol ship carried a diplomatic representative onboard in deep stasis. Of course, if the aliens were proven to be hostile, the patrol ship’s orders were to avoid capture at all costs, hardly comforting prospect.

There was a flash as Resolution In The Face Of Danger’s drives belched out a stream of superheated plasma, pushing the warship away from the relay. The patrol ship drifted, its systems powered down to the bare minimum, listening intently for any sign of intruders. With luck, it would see them first.

-------------------------
Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin



My Fundie Guide The World Has Ended.....Life Goes On
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-24 11:32pm
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Their mission carried out, the crewmen and technicians packed up their gear and left, once more stepping over the prone body of Rygyvld Zybynv. “Please…” he grabbed the tail of the Commissar’s stormcoat “In Byzon’s name, please take me with you.” But the Commissar only hit him with his beating stick, breaking his arm and causing him to let go of the stormcoat. And then he left. He fucking left.

As the airlock closed behind him, Rygyvld Zybynv lay there, nursing his broken arm, realizing he no longer had the strength to crawl back to the control room. He closed his eyes and prayed that the message was too loud, that it was the last straw and that the Collectors would come at last and end it all.


Rygyvld Zybynv breathed his last breath. And then he felt fear for the last time.



Derevnya Gadyukino System
Severnaya Sector
Bragulan Star Empire
Unreal time


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The gunskimmer approached the station for the second time in a year. Truly, it was most unusual, for it was rare for gunskimmers to visit any outpost even once a year to restock and resupply. As a matter of fact, they hardly ever came to relieve the bears manning the stations at all, and while this may seem odd to some, to the commissar commanding the support squadron in the gunskimmer, this was all in concordance with unquestionable Byzonist Imperatorial edict.

Their gunskimmer docked with the The People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs Relay Substation for the Broadcasting of Bragulan Ideologically Correct Educational Materials to Severely Byzonism-Challenged Puny Humans and Collectoroid Robots of Wild Space and immediately the troops disembarked to do their duties, once again connecting the substations' puny paleofusion power plant to the more vigorous and youthful subnuclear reactors of the gunskimmer - so that the substation's signal strength may be boosted, for once again the Bragulan Star Empire would transmit a message to the other side of the known universe.

The lead-lined magnetic tape cassette containing the message was aptly labeled: BRAGULAN RESPONSE TO THE LOST, From the People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs. It was not a secret message, so the commissar, and even his subordinates, could read the contents of the message without fearing that the cassette would detect any unauthorized-reading and activate its failsafe, in the form of a highly lethal quick-release radium tablet.

The message had very agreeable passages, and the commissar nodded approvingly.

Quote:
1.) The power of Byzon is everything; defeat is absurd!
2.) The unquestionable might of Bragulanity is its own reward, to both Bragule and all peoples of the universe.
3.) The Bragulan way is the only way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we force it to the galaxy.
4.) To forever stomp on the faces of humanity and other Byzonically-challenged species.
5.) "Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge." This statement is agreeable to Byzonist ideology for the Imperator Byzon is the Coryphaeus of Science and Brilliant Genius of Bragulanity.
6.) With this knowledge, all others shall be insects to our grand scheme of things, and they must be careful not to be stomped on by us.
7.) The universe is a dangerous place for we are dangerous in turn. We shall threaten all without suffering the consequences.
8.) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the Bragulanity and Byzonism of its citizens.


Whoever would receive these messages would be able to learn of Bragule's Byzonic greatness. Truly, to spread the word of Byzon was the duty of any good Bragulan, most especially commissars, and the commissar in the substation felt an effusively frigid feeling in his chest, the cold satisfaction of having done his Byzonic duty. It was like that time he lectured cubs in the Byzon Youth, except this time by helping transmit the message from the substation, it was as though he was lecturing to an unknown civilization on the other side of the galaxy - truly a great honor the Imperator deemed to bestow him with.

The message even ended with a quotation from the Imperator's Little Green Book. Afterwards, the commissar removed the cassette and inserted another one. This had no message, but instead contained recordings of many ideologically impeccable speeches made by many great Bragulans throughout the centuries, so that whoever received these messages would have the pleasure of listening to countless hours worth of extremely egalitarian elocutions. This was also in keeping of Byzonic edict, for it was said by the Imperator himself that for every action done, it was best to conclude it with a speech. Or several.

After doing their duties, the Bragulans filed out of the substation and boarded their gunskimmer. The commissar and a few good bears were the last to depart. But when he was on the verge of stepping through the opened hatch, the commissar stopped. A grave thought entered his mind.

He remembered how, earlier in the year, they had come to this very same station...

Quote:
“Please sirs! Have you any food?” he begged and sobbed, but they ignored him. They had a mission, a mission of great importance which demanded no distractions. Some younger crewmen tried to take pity on the poor emaciated wretch, but the Commissar explained that one could not question the wisdom of the Navy and its supply schedules with the liberal use of his beating stick and the threat of being left behind. This did its job, and soon only the thoughts of the mission remained. For hours they toiled, stepping over the prone groaning form of Rygyvld Zybynv, connecting power cables from the gunskimmer’s own reactor to that of the relay station. For today, the station would be broadcasting not only to the ideologically impure humanoids of Wild Space, but to those of the whole Galaxy. The Glorious Imperator, in his enormous wisdom, had declared an age of glasnot and bragstroika, and invited all puny humanoids to come visit the Bragulan Empire, and it was their job to make sure that they receive the message.

Their mission carried out, the crewmen and technicians packed up their gear and left, once more stepping over the prone body of Rygyvld Zybynv. “Please…” he grabbed the tail of the Commissar’s stormcoat “In Byzon’s name, please take me with you.” But the Commissar only hit him with his beating stick, breaking his arm and causing him to let go of the stormcoat. And then he left. He fucking left.


The commissar growled and turned around. With a mighty roar, he ordered all his troops back into the substation. A few groaned in protest, but with judicious application of stick-beating to their throats silenced that. He growled for he was enraged. All Bragulans, commissars and marooned hermit technicians alike, had their duty to fulfill. And that technician, that blubbering Rygyvld Zybynv, was no exception.

Where was he? Why was he absent from his post? These thoughts ran through the commissar's mind. Perhaps he had succumbed to starvation, da. Or perhaps he was guilty of grave dereliction of duty, having abandoned his post and ceased in doing his duties. Failure to persecute this moral failing would reflect poorly on the commissar himself, for non-persecution of dereliction of duty was in itself a dereliction of duty. The commissar was many things, he was a stick-beater, a face-stomper, and many other things, but he was most certainly not a duty-derelicter.

So he led his team to scour every sublevel of the station. Until, finally, they found him.

"Byzon's beard..." a trooper gasped. The commissar heard him fully, but was himself too shocked to reprimand him for his ideologically incorrect speech. Truth be told, the commissar was thinking the same thing, and while it was an ideologically incorrect thought, it was fitting for what they saw before them was an ideologically incorrect sight.

"Behold..." uttered a distorted voice. "My true form!"

There, suspended on a bulkhead, was Rygyvld Zybynv... if he could still be called that. For he was no longer Bragulan.

He hung there, suspended by cabling. Wires and tubes slithered all over his now-furless form. Alienoid cockroaches skittered all over his body. He looked emaciated, as he did before, but his pale form still alive - if living was what one described his current state. For to survive, he had done things to himself. Horrible things. Those wires and tubes that wrapped his form also pierced into his flesh. The cabling that suspended his form had dug into his flesh in the many months, fusing with his skin to the point where tissue and rubber were indistinguishable. To stave off dehydration, he had taken water hoses that used to cool the machineries and infused it into his body. And to stave off starvation...

“Please sirs! Have you any food?” he begged and sobbed.

That voice didn't come from his mouth, but instead came from the substation's PA system.

Suddenly, a hose whipped out and slithered on the floor. It started to suck cockroaches in. It was vacuum cleaner, and it was connected to Rygyvld Zybynv, to a hole on his stomach. The cockroaches that were being sucked by the vacuum cleaner went into his stomach, where his stomach acids began to digest them even whilst they skittered inside him.

“Please…”

The assembled Bragulans were silent. At what they beheld, there was nothing they could say.

“In Byzon’s name, please take me with you.”

"In Byzon's name..." the commissar uttered softly. "We will take you with us."

“Please…”

"Da."

The commissar walked up to Rygyvld Zybynv. He removed the safety catch of his beating stick and in one fluid motion, smashed it into Rygyvld Zybynv's now-cybernetic skull. The deformed Bragulan tried to defend himself, the hose of his vacuum cleaner whipping up to lash at the commissar, but the commissar grabbed the hose and smashed the machine on Rygyvld Zybynv's stomach. The vacuum cleaner broke, and half-digested cockroaches started spewing out of the hole on Rygyvld's abdomen along with foul-smelling gastric juices.

“Please…”

"Cut him down!" the commissar barked, and his subordinates jumped and unsheathed their machetes. They chopped the cabling and tubing that had suspended Rygyvld Zybynv. They set him down on the flooring, and the commissar towered above his un-Bragulan form. "Rygyvld Zybynv, for dereliction of duty and profanity to Byzon, I sentence you to de-education in the Bragulags! Know this, that a Bragulan body is a monument to the Imperator Byzon and putting tube is like putting tube in belly of statue of BYZON!"

The troops began to remove the various tubes on Rygyvld Zybynv's body, including the ones connected to his orifices to collect bodily wastes. Now disconnected, these excrements began to spill out.

"Shits!" the commissar bellowed in disgust. "Take him away!"

They hauled him out of the station. Finally, Rygyvld Zybynv's wish had come true. The gunskimmer departed.



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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
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 01:19am
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Location: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Midgar, Shinra Republic

"So why was I not informed of this 'first contact' business earlier?" inquired President Cid Shinra.

"Well, sir, kupo," began the Department of Foreign Affairs officer, heavily embarrassed. "At first we, kupo, believed it to be a prank, kupo." The little moogle's anxiety was almost palpable.

The President waited almost thirty seconds, then decided to let the DFA moogle off the hook. It was rather difficult to stay mad at a moogle, after all. And, to be perfectly honest given the content of the first message, it was a not entirely unreasonable assumption to have made.

"Well, I can see how it happened. Still, it might be better to err on the side of caution in the future."

"Of course Mister President, kupo," replied the moogle, visibly relieved.

"Secretary Wright and I shall consider a response to be made. That will be all."

"Thank you Mister President, kupo."

After the little white-furred creature left, President Shinra and Secretary of State Wright got to the business of crafting the Republic's reply to the new entity known as "The Lost".



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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 01:36am
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Carvin' Marvin
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Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14393
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
Dis Station
Diplomatic System
Sector G3 (on the border of H4)



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Diplomatic Station Dis

Representative Lilith ran through the halls of the station, the pitter-patter of her footsteps echoing across the empty corridors, the train of her dress sweeping the floor behind her. The train, and indeed the dress itself were parts of the succubus’s body, but the floors of the station were spotless-clean, sanitized and even sterilized, so Lilith was not concerned. She had far more important things to worry about.

A human, or even a Bragulan would have been winded by the mad dash across the station, but Lilith appeared to have been unaffected when she had arrived to her private sanctum inside the inner core of the station. Out of some strange compulsion, she had taken a form similar to those of the original inhabitants of the world below, but as strong and agile as they were, even their bodies could not match daemonic flesh, melded and sculpted by the power of the immortal mind dwelling inside it. Lilith was a succubus, a Greater Daemon, and her body was a testament to the power infusing her.

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Representative Lilith

Quickly, she grabbed a squeaking Living Brick and focused, her mind becoming one with the station’s intelligence, then reaching across space in a stream of submesonic particles as she called out to her target, her Master….”

“Yes?” she felt the presence of The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature and immediately prostrated herself before the gaze of the Greater Daemon.

“Master, this unworthy creature has news,” she said. “We have received more messages from the aliens.”

“I see…” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered the situation. “Tell me, where is Shroom?”

“She is readying herself in preparation for her departure. She is…changing. I thought it best not to disturb her.”

“You thought correctly,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature agreed. “But she is to report here immediately as soon as she is available.”

“Of course, Master,” it was a trivial thing for Lilith to send the command across the neural link, alerting Dis of their Master’s desire. “Do you wish to examine the messages?”

“I already have,” Lilith could swear she could sense The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature smirking, although she knew such an emotion was alien to it. “I have commanded Dis to forward all transmissions. I have been timing your response and it has been satisfactorily efficient.”

So, the mad dash was not in vain Lilith quickly quashed the thought. Her master should not be able to read her mind from fifty lightyears away without using her Name, not with the wards constricting both their powers, but caution was the first thing a daemon learnt. Caution and fear.

“This unworthy thing is glad to have pleased the Master,” she said instead.

“The messages,” her Master interrupted. As much as The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature enjoyed the obeisance and groveling of its subjects, they took up time and any delay was a dereliction of Duty.

“The first message is from an entity called the Technocracy of Umeria,” Lilith began. “They are more humans, and located on the other side of the galaxy. But they are…interesting.”

Simon_Jester wrote:
We, the ruling council of the Technocracy of Umeria, send cordial greetings to the civilization known as the Lost.

We find your first contact message to be an interesting variant on the norms typical of interstellar civilizations greeting each other for the first time. Few beings we know of devote much time or energy to the discussion of their basic motives, and so it surprised us to find a culture that would consider the basic motives of others to be more important than all other considerations. Indeed, the nature of your message has already attracted interest from a number of prominent Umerian sociologists, and we would like to contact you with an eye to dispatching a xenosociological research mission to your state in the next several megaseconds, should you consent to such a thing.

Addressing your questions required an extensive conversation among the Council, and some of us feel we owe your first contact section a modest measure of gratitude for asking the questions in the first place; they proved quite invigorating. While we did manage to settle on a broadly consistent ordering of priorities quickly, disagreement over the details took quite some time to resolve.

We settled on the following answers, in the interests of free and open discussion of national motives and interests and for the sake of greater understanding among the stars. While not every statement here represents the opinion of every Technarch, let alone of every citizen of the Technocracy, all have received the approval of the Council of Technarchs in formal conclave.

With respect to the first portion of your questions, the most compatible statements are listed first, least compatible are listed last, and all statements are listed with associated commentary.

*snip*


“Indeed,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature agreed. “Worm!” it called and suddenly Lilith felt the presence of another, familiar mind beside her. “What do you think?”

The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos, for it was the newcomer, pondered the question for scant seconds.

“They admit that our message had taken up time from their decision-making structure, yet somehow they thank us for it. This time could have surely been spent on internal matters. I…am surprised by their response.”

“Can you tell us why they have responded thusly? Do they value first contact messages from random civilization more than they do the efficient running of their own civilization?” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature asked.

“No, Master,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos said. “I am not sure, but I think our message had made them examine their own civilization critically to find out the answers, and it is this that they are grateful to us for.”

“There is also the matter of learning,” Lilith added. “They have prioritized it even above their own creature comforts.”

“So it would appear that they are curious animals.” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature muttered.

“It is more than that, Master,” Lilith disagreed. “Look at these statements.”

Quote:
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
This is highly compatible with the Technocracy's values and culture. Indeed, "compatible" is not a suitably strong word in Galstandard English; "resonant" might be a better choice. Ignoring persons of no account, it would be difficult to find any citizen of the Technocracy who disagreed with this proposition.


Quote:
We would encourage all citizens to participate in scientific endeavors if their abilities lay along those lines. Since the majority of the population will likely not be suited for this, the state would encourage mass participation in culture and the arts, along whatever lines of cultural development seemed consistent with maintaining the galaxy in the existing utopian condition


Quote:
The most alarming prospect we could readily imagine in this situation would be reaching the "end of science," a notion often thrown about in the past by those who believed all relevant knowledge about the universe to already have been discovered. If we were to run out of viable avenues of scientific discovery, our civilization might well stagnate entirely unless we could find new paths to pursue, paths we cannot predict from our present condition.


“These are pretty strong indicators of a purpose, yes.” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos agreed. “I would say that they are actually the first human civilization which certainly has something resembling a genuine Purpose, as vague and ill-defined as it is.”

“I believe we will need to investigate this further. In addition, they might have useful information available for trade,” Lilith said.

There was a short pause as The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered this.

“Agreed,” it said at last. “They are to be assigned medium priority, and to be contacted when the opportunity arises.”

“It shall be done, Master,” Lilith bowed. “The second message, it comes from a non-human civilization. This “Bragule””

“It is unfortunate that Shroom is not present,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature. “She had done extensive research in preparation for her visit there.”

“Do not worry, Master, I have full access to her materials and I am analyzing them right now with the aid of the station’s computers,” Lilith said. “It is…very strange.”

“I can see that myself,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature nodded. “Very strange indeed.”

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
[This message comes after the second transmission of the lost.]

BRAGULAN RESPONSE TO THE LOST
From the People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs


The Bragulan Star Empire cordially welcomes your nation to the intragalactic cosmopolitical stage and as such, in the comradely spirit of glasnot and bragstroika, shall answer your questions with full honesty to enhance your cultural learnings of Bragulan Byzonism for make benefit your mysterious nation of the Lost.

Da. To truly show the glouries of Bragulanity and Byzonism, it is most regrettable but we will not be arranging your provided statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values and so forth.

Instead, we shall arrange statements of our own making that are ideologically correct and thus completely compatible and in keeping with the doctrines of Byzonism, for the motherland and the proud proletarian peoples of Bragulanity.

1.) The power of Byzon is everything; defeat is absurd!
2.) The unquestionable might of Bragulanity is its own reward, to both Bragule and all peoples of the universe.
3.) The Bragulan way is the only way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we force it to the galaxy.
4.) To forever stomp on the faces of humanity and other Byzonically-challenged species.
5.) "Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge." This statement is agreeable to Byzonist ideology for the Imperator Byzon is the Coryphaeus of Science and Brilliant Genius of Bragulanity.
6.) With this knowledge, all others shall be insects to our grand scheme of things, and they must be careful not to be stomped on by us.
7.) The universe is a dangerous place for we are dangerous in turn. We shall threaten all without suffering the consequences.
8.) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the Bragulanity and Byzonism of its citizens.

In supreme Byzonic consideration, we have worded the above statements as closely as possible to the original ones you have provided.

Quote:
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 your hypothetical scenario, in the year 4400 all standard and non-standard human calendars will be burned in the ash heap of history along with those who have refused to accept the greatness of Byzonism and Bragulanity - as stated by your scenario. In this idyllic state of Byzonist supremacy, mayhap the Bragulan Star Empire will finally find rest as its dominion over the galaxy has been assured.

But the struggles of internationalist inter-speciesist Bragulan Byzonism never cease, and thus the Bragulan Star Empire will never find rest. With recent discoveries of intergalactic travel and even confirmation of the existence of other universes, it is thus necessary that Bragule uses its assured dominion over the galaxy to bring about its assured domination over this universe, and all others.

Consider this:

"Byzonism seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The Byzantine Imperium, Humanist Union and the Centralite Fascists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where all beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." - Quotations from Imperator Byzon chapter 489, verse 1


“They have refused to answer our question, and yet also answered them despite themselves,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos was surprised. “Could this be intentional?”

“I would say yes and no,” Lilith said. “They have tried to answer our question, but their Purpose makes it impossible. It is their belief that their way is superior and so they must assert their dominance, even in a diplomatic communiqué. It is their Purpose, the reason for their existence. Look at their statement concerning the nature of power….”

The three daemons examined it in silence. It was true, and they knew it. It was not merely truth, but the TRUTH, self-evident to anyone who had ever experienced the pleasure that only comes from complete domination of another, the feeling of complete power, the ability to re-shape its very being at a whim. Somehow, this backwards, barely-sapient beast Byzon had stumbled on one of the great truths, and this alone had made them worthy of investigation.

Suddenly, Lilith head footsteps behind her, the soft sound of bare flesh walking on metal floor. She did not turn, but merely willed her hair to part, revealing the blood-red eye on her back.

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Emissary Shroom

“Shroom,” she greeted her counterpart.

“Summoned, the unworthy thing appears,” the succubus responded, but not to Lilith. She held a Living Brick in her hands, but aside from the arrow-shaped wards placed on her body upon her transition, she had nothing else. It was obvious she heeded the instructions and came immediately, not stopping even to collect her clothes. She closed her eyes, and seconds later, Lilith could feel her mind besides hers in the virtual space of the conference.

“Ah, Shroom, your transition went well,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature nodded. “You must compose a response to these Bragulans immediately, and you will depart as soon as you are ready. “

“Of course, Master,” the succubus bowed.

“At last, we come to the matter of this Humanist Union,” the Greater Daemon continued. “They have responded once more. That is good.”

Quote:
(Attached to the Humanist Union's message are a myriad of documents pertaining to the establishment of formal trade agreements, the exchange of diplomatic envoys, and non-aggression proposal. Included among the myriad of uninteresting dross one might expect to find in such typical exchanges is a brief section detailing, of all things, an absurdly popular (some would say absurdly stupid) sitcom.)

"The cultural entity called 'Animal House' is what is referred to as 'entertainment.' Entertainment is media developed for the purpose of providing satisfaction and distraction to sapient organic life forms, and takes a myriad of forms. 'Animal House' is what is referred to as 'comedy,' which can be understood as entertainment media designed to stimulate the mind though methods that produce an intelectually pleasurable sensation. The situations depicted in 'Animal House' - though not true of all entertainment media - are fictional. Entertainment media are also used by corporate and government entities to encourage a particular way of thinking, or to distract consumers from other events."


“They seek to establish some sort of non-aggression pact,” Lilith observed.

“And they have attached an explanation of Animal House,” Shroom said. “But I do not think it is correct. They say its purpose is to “stimulate the mind” and “produce an intelectually pleasurable sensation,” yet all our test subjects have displayed the exactly opposite reaction.”

“If this is a secret Bragulan or Solarian plot to brainwash the galaxy, they may already be affected,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos pointed out. “The show is probably popular amongst their populace due to their anti-alien views.”

“Indeed,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature said. “This will require more investigation. We will establish contact with them at the first opportunity. You will now return to your duties.”

The three daemons bowed as one and severed the connection.
---------
Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin



My Fundie Guide The World Has Ended.....Life Goes On
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 01:23pm
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Somewhere in Wild Space

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The Pasadena Lady was a seedy bar on a seedy planet. A stone's throw from what passed for the local cosmodrome – a dusty airfield across which a half dozen interface ships were littered – the drinking den was little more than a hole in the ground with a canvas top to block out the burning midday sun. The planet's main-sequence star stood very close to the planet, and it was summer on this continent, which taken together assured that right about this hour of the day most of the men would be very thirsty. As a result, the Pasadena Lady was a very busy joint. Scores of prospectors were packed into the place, trying to score a glass of moonshine from the skimpily dressed waitresses. Every chair was taken. Every table had a half dozen or more men in varying stages of drunkenness leaning on it.

Every table, except for one.

That probably had something to do with the man in the black coat who occupied it. Or the dead body that was slumped in the seat opposite him. In fact everyone in the bar seemed to take real good care not to see neither the man nor the body. And that was exactly the way Auriga Bob, the Duke of Death, preferred it. He just wanted to finish his drink, get out of his miserable hole in the universe they called a planet, and cash in that bounty that was on “Cutthroat” Jim McCleef's head. Or rather had been, before the Duke embedded his big Bragulan combat knife in the rapist-arsonist-robbist-stabbist's face. That had made a big damn mess, but luckily he had DNA evidence to prove the dead guy he'd photographed was indeed McCleef. Otherwise the Duke would've been irate.

Irate, like he'd been when that piece of shit cardsharp had tried to cheat the Duke out of some perfectly good gold bullion. Nobody cheated the Duke out of his hard-earned gold and lived to tell the tale. The bloody crater in the dead body's chest opposite him illustrated that point perfectly well. The upside of the dead man's presence was however that the Duke could appropriate his drink, a glass of moonshine that was utterly vile by the standards of the civilized galaxy, but perfectly passable by those of the Wild Space shitholes the Duke spent most of his days on. And the dead man's corpse also guaranteed that few of the other patrons would be willing to sit at his table and nag him about inane nonsense Auriga Bob would inevitably not give two shits about. Like that preacherman back on Tucemcari who'd insisted on telling him about the Man Jesus. He hadn't shut up until the Duke had kicked him in the groin real good. The preacherman had claimed the Duke was doomed to hell for doing that, but the Duke reckoned that since the padre wasn't supposed to use his package for procreation anyway he was probably in the clear.

Not that he really cared much for theology anyway. No, he was perfectly content to sit here in relative solitude and drink his drink.

Of course, it couldn't last.

“Hey dude, you the Duke?” a gaunt man with blond hair said. It wasn't really a question. The man pushed the dead body off the chair and sat down without concern for the mess the remaining bloodspatter would make on his clothes. His very expensive clothes, the Duke noticed. He hadn't seen such nice clothes in Wild Space in a long time. That could mean a couple of things. One, a potential source of annoyance. Two, a potential client. Three, a potential problem, most likely of the abruptly deadly kind. Auriga Bob had over the course of his long and notorious career pissed off more than enough wealthy people that could afford to send teams of deadly killers after him. More than one of them actually had, in fact, and the Duke had the scars to prove it.

This guy didn't look like much of a threat. But the Duke could sense hidden movement throughout the bar around him. There were people taking up position around him, he realized. There, in the reflection of his glass – a woman near the bar was glancing at him with her hand on a bulge in her coat. There was another in the corner of his eyes, a tattooed asian-featured guy with a laser SMG on a tactical strap had taken up position between him and the exit. The Duke had to give them credit. He hadn't seen any of them coming until they were already in position. That meant they were pretty good, which meant there were no doubt others outside, and maybe inside here somewhere he hadn't yet seen them. The Duke returned his attention to the man who had now appropriated the dead man's drink for himself, and cocked his trusty Colt beneath the table. This could get real interesting real soon.

As if reading his thoughts – or maybe he could simply make out the sound of metal-on-metal in the crowded bar – the blonde guy raised his hands. “Hey dude, I don't want any violence. I know your rep, I like this body way too much for you to ruin my day.”

“Then why did y'all box me in?” the Duke levelly voiced the obvious.

“Wanted to be sure you're the real deal, dude. Lemme tell ya, you're hard to find – you don't wanna know how many assholes in black coats say they're the Duke of Death.”

That was new to the Duke, and something that annoyed him on some level. Still, priorities and everything. “And?” he asked and pointed the gun he held underneath the table at the man's face.

“Passed with flying colors dude. I don't think any of the other guys ever spotted Matsudaira before,” the blond man fractionally inclined his head toward the asian-featured man. Then he looked down at the table. “Besides, if that ain't a real Colt M2411 you're pointing at my face dude, my name is Jimmy. And it ain't, if you catch my drift.”

The Duke regarded the blond man but kept the gun where it was. “Okay, not-Jimmy. If it ain't violence you're after, what's it you were looking for me for then?”

The blond man steepled his fingers. “My boss would like to talk to you.”

“What if I don't want to talk to him.”

The blond man waved him away. “Just hear him out, alright?” He raised a hand, then froze in mid-movement. “I am going to withdraw a phone from my pocket. Very slowly. I would appreciate it if you didn't shoot me when I'm doing that.” The Duke simply stared at him. Finally the man shrugged. “I'll take that as a yes.” He slowly reached in his jacket pocket and produced an expensive-looking personal communication device, then pushed it across the table toward the Duke.

As if on cue, it began to ring. The Duke looked at it for a moment, then when it was apparent the device wasn't going to spontaneously explode, picked it up with his free hand and brought it up to his ear. Pushing the 'accept call' button he simply said “yeah”.

Duke,” a voice on the other side of the line said. The signal had a weird echo to it, like it came from far away. Real, real far away. As in many lightyears kind of far. This was a really nice phone. “It's been a while. I take it you have been well?

The Duke of Death raised an eyebrow. “Hank,” he said. “I thought we were even after Celeste. Didn't think you'd send your killers after me.”

Don't be ridiculous,” the voice on the other side of the line scowled. “It was just a flesh wound, and a long time ago too. I have no intention of picking a fight with you. No, I have a job offer.

The Duke's eyebrow raised a little further. His gaze turned from the blond guy to the man in the crowd, then to the woman. “No thanks. I don't work well with teams. Or bosses.”

Ah, but you see, that's the point. You're you, Duke. Nobody will suspect that you work for anyone. You're the perfect ace in the hole. And right now I'm thinking I might need one pretty soon.”

Perhaps despite himself the Duke was intrigued. It wasn't often one of the richest men in Known Space spent a small fortune to talk to you, much less offer you a job. Way the Duke figured, he might as well hear him out. So, “what's the job?”

What do you know about Shroom Fighter?

The Duke shrugged. “Some kind of mortal combat thing up north.”

Quite. I would like for you to go up there, find this organization, and when you do... Well let's just say I'd like you to be your usual charming self.

“You mean kill 'em.”

I mean kill 'em.

“The entire organization?”

Yes. And don't act like you never did anything of the sort, Duke. There was that thing with the samurai lodge. And the one with the rogue Bragulan general.

“Well, sure.” The Duke frowned. That last job was deep in Bragulan space. How did his would-be employer know about it? Then he shrugged again. Priorities. “Ya know... If people want to beat on each other I'm hardly one to say they oughtta stop. How's this any of your beef? What's these fellas done to rankle yer chain? Cheat at cards? Steal some strays? Spit in yer soup? What?”

They kidnap people. Force them to fight each other to the death.

But the Duke wasn't so easily convinced. “So they're a bunch of mean sons-of-bitches. Welcome to Wild Space – that don't explain why you're interested in this shuttin' down this particular operation.”

A pause. “I care because they kidnapped a few of the wrong people,” came the reply. “People I care about.

That was at least something the Duke could understand. “Fair enough. I guess they got it comin'.”

There was a short bark of laughter on the other side of the line. “We all got it comin', Duke,” the voice quoted the Duke's own famous words back to him. “But yes, these fellows in particular.

A shrug. “That just leaves me wonderin' why you don't send your own killers up there to take care of this problem.”

The Duke could hear the man on the other side of the line smile thinly. “Who says I won't? They're going, alright – them, and if we're lucky a bunch of folks from the Silver Moon, too.

“The Silver Moon, huh? Then what do y'all need me for?”

Because I want that ace up my sleeve, Duke. They're good folk, but I'm not convinced those Order do-gooders will do whatever it takes to get this done, and I'm not sure my people are enough to do it on their own if they have to. I want a force multiplier and you, Duke, are it.” A chuckle. “I got a memory of a wound that says you're the man for this job.

The Duke of Death took a moment to mull that over. Finally he shrugged. “Fair enough. But it's gonna cost ya.”

He already knew what the answer to that would be.



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SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty

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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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 02:55pm
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ROBOT SURPRISE

Code:
Disturbance source CYXB453281 deemed annoying to System Survey Entity HTKLBCM89982, corrupting scan results.

Return emission power to background levels.


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Derevnya Gadyukino System
Severnaya Sector
Bragulan Star Empire
Unreal time


Crewman 2nd Class Pyotr Fukeseyev resented being the only crewman on duty in the gunskimmers control centre. Oh, of course, his sense of Byzonism was impeccable - which was ensured by frequent stick-beatings from the comissar - but he still wasn't happy about having to sit at his station, earphones and all, listening to the system's utterly disinteresting emissions sucked in by the ship's passive-agressive arrays, while the rest of the crew was off hooking up Byzonist messages and spreading the gloury of Bragulanity to distant Xenos.

Crewman Fukeseyev yawned mightily and stretched, testing his chair's load rating in the process. He'd gladly munch on some of his dry rations, which he cleverly concealed, but he didn't want breadcrumbs to get between the vacuum tubes - the last time this happened, he had to pick them out one by one while the comissar administer a thorough stick-beating.

But the crewman's thoughts suddenly snapped back to his station when the headphones went *BLEEP*.

"Huh?", Crewman Fukeseyev reported - to himself, as there was no one else on the bridge - and started adjusting several of the six hundred and twenty dials on his control station, trying to isolate the source of the sound. He flipped two heavy levers and stared intently at his telescreen.

*BLEEP*

Fukeseyev watched with immense concentration as the green wavy lines on his telescreen changed and spiked in response to his dial-turning. Excited, he fished out a pocket version of the recognition manual, a mere twenty kilogram paper tome, and started flipping through its pages, trying to match the signature.

*BLEEP*, went the headphones while the crewman turned page after page.

*BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP*, the sounds picked up the pace

Fukeseyev went through the entire list of Byzantine vessels, switching then to Solarian graphs, but none matched.

*BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP*, the headphones seemed to scream at him. Some part of Fukeseyev's brain got an idea that he probably should notify the commander, but then he finally found what he was looking for and pumped his paw in satisfaction. Then he read it again and immediately leapt towards the shield control station, barely managing to press the activation button in time.

*BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*

A second later, a green beam cut across the main window, bathing the bridge in an eerie glow.

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...and blew apart the relay's antenna.

"SHITS!", cursed Fukeseyev, dropping the recognition manual and racing towards the intercom. The book's open page clearly showed a pattern matching the one on the telescreen - a Collector targetting array.

The robots have finally decided to ask their neighbors to keep the volume down.



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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

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

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

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

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 04:56pm
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Where's the BEEEF? by Thompson S. Hunter
A Report on the Bragulans for the PuffHo Picayune

It's hard to write a narrative from my notes on this whole, huge clusterfuck here at the BEEEF. Injecting that Karlack blood directly into my veins hasn't helped matters on that front, either, let me tell you. I think the Hive Mind picked through my brain a bit after that, but I'm pretty sure it went away tripping balls if it did. But, hell, I can barely decipher half my notes on my goddamn tablet here.

Anyway, one thing I do know is I saw the NenAltKik vendor for their brontosaurus burgers; the little guys were selling burgers the size of a Bragulan's head for only $5, even at inflated fair food prices! And those burgers were fucking good, too. Luckily, I smoked a few j's beforehand, so I was more than capable of eating 2 or 3 of the burgers. The Bragulans seem to love this shit, too, I saw one of their Commissars chatting up the head executive or whatever for this enterprise and he was absolutely enthusiastic about setting up an entire planet with nuclear-proof brontosauruses to feed the people of MIGHTY BRAGULE. The little moxi motherfucker looked pretty pleased too, if I was interpreting it right. Or he could have been constipated; I don't know, it's hard to read a dinosaur's body language if he isn't trying to tear your head off (and I have experience with that; I've pissed off more than a few kipakts this week).

I am again astounded at how well the dinosaurs and the Bragulans get along; the NenAltKik is a mostly functioning democracy with rights and legal protections and all that bullshit, while Bragule is, well, Bragule. Yet, here they are, chumming it up like me and that chromed-up Umerian hermaphrodite and that Chammaran girl in my room last night.

Anyway, the BEEEF is full of amazing things beyond dinosaurs, drugs, and frenetic sexploits; it also has a startingly large array of heavy firepower. Unfortunately for me, I'm a tiny human. I've seen thousands of vendors for guns of all sorts, but most of them are geared for Bragulans, and are thus more like small ship-grade weapons rather than anything I can handle. Luckily, more then a few vendors were fairly dumb and opted to bring human sized weapons, which I gleefully used. Some private Umerian concern brought human-sized and Bragulan-sized guns, and they were awesome. I used a particle beam to blow up Ideologically Correct Targets, such as a live Bragulan who said that Byzon might have made a typo in one of his many, many, many, many, many, many works of literature: he blew up real good.

(Continuted after this ad for Bongzilla)



SDNet: Unbelievable levels of pedantry that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet!

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-25 08:54pm
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Somewhere, Hierarchy space.
The room was somewhat sparse as far as decoration and furniture went but it nevertheless rated quite highly amidst the places Dr. Daniels had woken up in without being able to recollect how he'd gotten there, however his days as a student at the academy were years behind him and with them his proclivities to drink his classmates under the table. Thus the situation was decidedly out of the ordinary and even the presence of Kitty as one of the prettiest people he's woken up to did not set him at ease. The only clue to his actual location was the window through which stars could be seen devoid of flicker or glimmer, indicating they were in space though with no recognizable constellations this narrowed things down but a little.

“So good of you to join us Dr. Daniels.” the chamarran said, intruding on Daniel's thoughts with a smile.

“Hardly by choice.” he said and glanced to his fellow academicians who seem to be coming around at the same time with the help of a hypo-spray wielding catgirl.
“Apologies Dr. Daniels, truth is we require the services of you and your associates but unfortunately due to circumstances we were forced to do so outside of official channels.”
“And who is we?”
“The Hierarchy. Though you hardly need guess.” Kitty replied with a meaningful and by chamarran standards hopelessly over emphasized tail swish, but then she could not fault the Umerian academics for being merely human.
“Indeed.” Daniel said with a small smile “Though I fail to see why you could not simply contact our government, we are quite capable of acting on confidence if that is what you require.” he continued having already sussed out that the only reason to kidnap them for a job would be to maintain deniability, though the question of how the Hierarchy planned to stop him and his colleagues from talking afterwards was a morbidly troubling one.
“I'm afraid such assurances from a human society with which we have neither leverage or ties are insufficient security for us This method was chosen as it gives us absolute assurances.”
“And what would these absolute assurances be? You realize there is no reason for us to cooperate if you plan to kill us on completion of our task.”
Kitty smiled in a way that was unsettlingly predatory “Why so good of you to ask. This is MN-140.” she said as a hologram of a molecule appears “You've been injected with enough of it to last one month already. It is however inherently harmless, simply integrating itself into the neural links generated during the creation of new long-term memories.”
Daniel's unease along with that of his associates grew as he strongly suspected where this was going , however Kitty continued.
“This is MA-140.” she says as the molecule changes to something larger “It is a variant on an extremely effective amnesiac that we have recently perfected, but as you can see it is incomplete. The other part is MN-140 which acts as a catalyst, therefore upon the completion of your contract with us while you will be reimbursed for your time here you will be unable to remember it.”
“What are the side effects Kitsah?” asked Dr. Daniels as he found himself wishing he'd taken that biochemistry elective at the academy.
“Minor over-effect in some cases due to the associative way memories are formed, you may have to re-learn some of the things you know now. But the risk of this occuring is minimal.”
“Forgive me Kitsah but as a lifelong academic who has spent his life accumulating his knowledge and skills I hope you will understand my extreme unease at the idea of having someone sloppily erasing parts of my mind with chemicals.”
“And now you see why we chose this recruitment method doctor Daniels.”
“Hardly a comforting statement.” Daniels said, the obvious subtext being his dislike of potentially dangerous chemicals running amock in his brain
“I don't suppose there's a way of avoiding this MA-140 injection is there?”
“You can be kept in service indefinitely doctor Daniels, or you can chose to be spaced. In short knowledge of your time with us will not be permitted to leave our control.” the Chamarran said with a vaguely apologetic look to her, slim comfort to the Doctors though that she might not enjoy this aspect of her job.
Daniel's sighed and considered their predicament for a few moments, looking to and conferring with his fellows before turning back to the chamarran “Very well, if the price of freedom is this one task we are willing to accept the risk of memory damage. What is it you require of us?”
“Excellent doctor, I am glad for your cooperation as I would hate to have to space any of you. My leiges have decided it prudent to get an outside perspective on our star force. As we have never tested the modern composition of the Hierarchy star force against a major power we have only a limited perspective on its own strengths and weaknesses, we believe a second perspective on the Hierarchy space fleet may allow us to minimize our weaknesses and capitalize on our strengths without having to undergo potentially casualty laden learning experiences due to the increasing turbulence in the galaxy. Thus we require a complete third party review along with recommendations. You will have privileged access to Hierarchy information for the duration of this project, should your project exceed one month in scope additional doseages of MN-140 will be applied.”
“You ask a lot of us Kitsah.”
“You come highly recommended.”
“I suppose we should be thankful for our reputations at least, even with the circumstances.” Daniels replied with a smile, he may not end up remembering the experience but here was a rare chance to learn the secrets and tricks of a foreign and alien nation's spaceforce and despite his status as a prisoner he found himself looking forward to it.



STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-26 11:42pm
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MEH Transport Pursuit of Happyness – Sector J-18, Early October 3400

Captain Christopher Gardner of the Transport Pursuit of Happyness was worried. The last run through the area known in this galaxy as The Badlands had been especially rough, even for shoal running. Big ships, as the Empire was quickly finding out, were not exactly the best for going through these thrice-damned shoal regions, and in the MEH all ships were big. The Empire still had not quite gotten a handle on the safe navigation of shoal space, yet they nonetheless bulled their way through.

For the Starfleet it was a sign of pride that they run through full speed, throwing caution to the wind. For Captain Gardner, he had to admit that, for his mission at least, it was somewhat practical. He had to go to Shepistan to procure his Special Cargo, and the most direct route was through two shoal areas. Gardner had made the run several times now; the Empire had chosen him and a few others to maintain some semblance of secrecy, as they had been surprised at the near universal negative reaction to their requests for test subjects. And thus Captain Gardner had been ordered to not attract undue attention to his ship or his mission.

All of a sudden, with a massive, sickening groan, the Pursuit of Happyness reverted back to realspace.

“Lieutenant, report!” barked the Captain.

“Massive hyperdrive failure, Captain!” replied the nervous bridge officer. Anticipating her Captain’s next request, she continued quickly. “No estimate on repair time as of yet, sir.”

Captain Gardner glanced at the navigation map. They were currently in the gap between the Shinra Republic and the Interstellar Union of Worlds. While on the maps the sector was represented as a black box of nothingness, the truth of the matter was that as an area between two interstellar nations, this was perhaps the worst possible area to break down when one didn’t wish to attract definition to oneself.



RF-102 Recon Fighter – off the carrier SRS Independence, Several Hours Later

It had started as just any routine patrol in the neutral space between the Republic and IUW. Though both nations were at peace and shared good relations, such patrols of the so-called “borders” were common. After all, as a region where no law technically existed, all sorts of disreputable sorts called these areas home.

As the RF-102 was completing its sweep of this part of Sector J-18, an anomaly popped up. A fairly large ship was detected sitting dead in space. What attracted the attention of the crew was that no distress signal – or signals of any kind – were being transmitted. This definitely merited a closer inspection, but the RF-102 was at the end of their patrol circuit. As such, they elected to break off early and report this strange contact to the carrier.

*****

SRS Dauntless

Captain Rockwell “Rock” Torrey had been assigned by the Task Force to investigate the unknown contact. Captain “Rock” was known as a bold officer, but he wasn’t stupid. He had the Dauntless jump several light seconds short of the contact, and elected to do a forward recon with his strikecraft. Launching one of his RF-102s, escorted by four F-104s and eight A-70s as escort, Captain Torrey waited for his pilots to make the microjump and report back. Just in case the contact turned out hostile, he had his remaining F-104s and A-70s out in space, with both his strikecraft and ship primed to jump in at a moment’s notice to back up the recon flight.

Minutes later, the comms crackled to life. “Home Plate, this is Goalie. Contact appears to be a large transport. Advise that contact refuses to respond to hails.”

“Home Plate copies all. Stand by, Goalie.” Rock Torrey made his decision quickly. “Order all ships to jump to contact.”

“Aye Captain.”

Within moments, Captain Torrey was face to face with the contact. It did appear to be a large transport, of a design he had not seen before. With all the recent first contact scenarios, this was not a surprise. “Begin broadcast on all comm channels.”

“Attention unknown vessel, this is the SRS Dauntless of the Shinra Republic Navy. Please identify yourself.”

Evidently, the captain of the vessel was more afraid of a Star Cruiser than he was a squadron and a half of fighters, for the response came quickly. “This is Captain Christopher Gardner of the Multiversal Empire of Happiness transport Pursuit of Happyness.”

A MEH transport? Here? Interesting… thought Captain Torrey. “Pursuit of Happyness, what is your business in this area?”

A longer pause this time. “We are transiting the area and have suffered a mechanical failure.”

Have they now?Pursuit of Happyness, stand by. We are launching transports with technical crew to assist.”

“Uh, Dauntless, we thank you for the offer but do not require assistance at this time.”

“Acknowledged, Pursuit. However, Shinra Republic law requires us to render all possible assistance. Transports will be inbound shortly.” Captain Torrey quickly hopped out of his chair and began walking to the hanger deck. Along the way, he picked up a platoon of naval troopers.

The transports quickly approached the MEH ship, which was unarmed and thus could do little to deny boarding. Reluctantly it seemed, the boarding airlocks opened and admitted the SRN officers and crewers. Captain Torrey went to an individual who seemed to be most the senior. “Captain Gardner I presume? Captain Rockwell Torrey of the Shinra Republic Navy.”



MEH Transport Pursuit of Happyness - Sector J-18, Some Time Later

Captain Rock Torrey of the Shinra Republic Navy was in the bridge of the MEH transport, listening to the reports of his tech crews and their struggles with the MEH repair bots. The damn things lacked any initiative whatsoever, and it was a constant stream of laying out in detail what the crewers wanted them to do. The differences in technology didn't help much, either. The drives, like everything else in the MEH as he was quickly discovering, used an obscene amount of power for what they were required to do. This then forced a bit of a balancing act and much caution so that an overload didn't take out the whole damn ship. He wondered how long he would need to keep going before he could just convince the MEH captain to be tractored to a fleet yard in Figaro Sector. For some reason, the MEH man was incredibly reluctant to actually go anywhere. Is there some kind of Centrality style fear going on I wonder?

Suddenly, an excited voice interrupted the routine reports. "Ah, Captain, this is Chief Smith of Team AA-23. We have something you need to see here. Right now."

Team AA-23? Shit! That's the group that would get themselves "lost" and poke around! "I'm on my way, Chief." Captain Torrey looked at the MEH captain, and then around at the naval troopers with them. "Perhaps you'd better come with us, Captain."

Receiving quick instructions from the Chief, Captain Torrey, MEH Captain Gardner and a squad of naval troopers quickly arrived at Chief Smith's location. Along the way, Gardner had been getting increasingly agitated looking, though Torrey. This assessment was confirmed when the MEH officer suddenly demanded of the Chief, "How in blazes did you get back here?"

"Well sir," Chief Smith began, observing the formalities. "We found a bunch of guards around here who didn't want to let us pass. But I told them we had simply lost our way, and could they help us back to the engine room? So they did. But I wanted to see what they were guarding, so I stopped to tie my shoe," he said, pointing at his boots which did not, in fact, have any laces. "I told them I'd catch up, and when they were out of sight I went back to have a look. And found this..." Smith pressed a button, and a hatch opened revealing a hold full of sapients. Very miserable looking sapients.

"Explain yourself now, Captain," Torrey said, his voice icy.

"They are...ah...they're ESP sensitives. From...from..." Captain Gardner stammered. Before he could finish, a man from inside the hold stumbled out.

"Please, sir, the pain, the pain! Make it stop!"

Torrey glared at the MEH man. "BFGs. Where are they?" Unable to speak, Gardner pointed at a hatch down the passageway. "Chief Smith, turn that crap off. Now!"

"Aye, skipper." Chief Smith left, and after a few moments returned. Captain Torrey could tell the Chief had succeeded by the visible relief on the Esper's face.

"Captain. The strength setting on the BFG controls..." He didn't need to finish.

Without even bothering to address Captain Gardner anymore, Torrey took out his comm transmitter and dialed in the Dauntless. "Commander, send all of our troops to this ship. We are seizing it and arresting the crew. I want this ship ready to tow back to the Independence in thirty minutes."



SRS Independence Fleet Carrier - Outskirts of Figaro Sector, Some Time Later

Rear Admiral Stacy Adams was somewhat concerned. She had received a flash message from Captain Torrey of the Star CruiserDauntless stating that he has "seized the contact" and was bringing it to the fleet, though had given no further details. This was highly unusual, but then Captain Torrey was hardly an ordinary officer himself. But he had a proven record, and so she assumed that he had a very good reason for his actions.

In roughly an hour, the Dauntless arrived with its captive in tow, a rather large ship of unknown design. She received a signal that Captain Torrey was aboard a shuttle and would be docking shortly. Whatever it was, he clearly didn't want to broadcast it, even with these short distances.

As soon as Torrey landed, he was led to Admiral Adams' quarters and presented himself. "Captain Rockwell Torrey, reporting ma'am."

Deciding to cut to the point, Adams replied, "At ease, Captain. What's going on?"

"Admiral, it looks like we have a Tantalizer Incident on our hands. Involving the Multiversal Empire of Happiness."

Taking a moment to digest the enormity of what she'd just heard, she had but one response. "From the beginning, Captain."

*****

"Well then," said Admiral Adams. "I can appreciate your desire to keep this as quiet as possible. Prepare your ship and tow the Happyness to the Figaro Fleet Yards. At last report, Grand Admiral Cristophe is supposed to be there. I'll have a written message prepared for you to hand deliver to the Admiral. Stay in the outskirts of the system and make contact. Admiral Cristophe will decide how to proceed from there. Get to it."

"Aye aye, ma'am." Coming to attention, Captain Torrey turned smartly and left her quarters.

Adams quickly called in the Captain of the Independence and within moments he was there. Clearly, the officer knew something important was going on and had been waiting close by for his summons.

After relaying the pertinent details, Adams gave her orders. "I'm going to prepare a personal message regarding the details of this incident, address to the President. You'll be heading to Midgar where I want you to hand deliever to to him. The mere fact that the captain of a Fleet Carrier has been dispatched should be enough to convince them to pass you through without delay."

"Aye aye, ma'am. I know a few people on Midgar. It won't be a problem."

"Good. Of course I'd like to see you back here just as soon as possible, but if the President requires your presence, so be it."

"Yes ma'am."

"Okay. Get yourself ready. You'll leave within the hour."

After the captain had left, Stacy Adams wrote the note for Grand Admiral Cristophe. Summoning her aide, she had the young officer hand deliever it to Captain Torrey aboard the Dauntless and then got to writing her note to the President. This she walked to the carrier captain's quarters and gave to him, wishing him good luck.

After that, she had little else to do but return to her duties. Whatever became of this, she would find out in due time. Meanwhile, she still had a job to do.



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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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 Post subject: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Twenty-Seven PostPosted: 2011-01-27 01:45am
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Kaiser-class battleship SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
Flagship Prussian Second Fleet
1953 Hours


"What is that young fool doing?" Von Mückenberger glowered at the screen.

"I think it's pretty obvious, sir." Arnold, his stalwart (and huge) chief of staff, stood beside him. In theory, everyone should be strapped in. But the need to keep the ship going with so little extra power to spare, and so much enemy fire coming in, meant that personnel were running all over the place anyhow- von Mückenberger didn't feel like making an issue of it.

In any case, it was almost impossible to imagine Arnold being seriously hurt: the man seemed practically invincible, somehow.

"Has he abandoned common sense entirely? What's he's doing is madness, storming after those battleships like that!"

"Either he's cracked, or he's planning something. I don't know which to bet on... oh-ho!"

The Valkyries had just vanished into a haze of ECM- apparently, something not in the standard libraries, because even knowing the exact capabilities of the battlecruisers' systems, Prinzregent Luitpold's CIC couldn't figure out where they were.

Perhaps, just perhaps, von Musel would survive his foolish mistake- or at least some of his ships would.

1958 Hours

That... that shouldn't have been survivable, what they just did... It was suicide, had to be... and yet somehow the boy had done it! They were even dragging what had to be a pair of enemy cruisers behind them- no, wait, a cruiser and a battlecruiser-

Arnold shook his fist, bellowing in the peculiar accent he'd picked up from his childhood on a small moonlet in the Neu Steiermark system. "JA! CRUSH OUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM TRACTORED BEHIND US, AND HEAR THE LAMENTATION OF THEIR WOMAN!"

The admiral's mind, for some reason, seized on that last bit. "Woman?"

"I... it is like some kind of sixth sense. The enemy supreme commander, I'm pretty sure she's a woman."

"How do you know?"

"It's hard to explain. I don't think it really matters, though. It's not like she'd order her battleships to quit shooting at us if we buy her some flowers or something."

"Ah."

Shield scatter from von Musel's ships showed that the Zebesians were dying hard, but the battle between nine railgun ships and two enemy cruisers could only end one waya. Arnold started mumbling to himself as the Zebesian battlecruiser broke up and exploded. "But is von Musel a girly man? On the one hand, he still looks like a girly man. On the other hand, that took balls of granite, I have to say. It is very confusing..." He scratched his head.

Von Mückenberger looked back at the plot. Waited for a minute.

"Arnold."

"Ja?"

There was hard edge to the admiral's voice. "Do my eyes deceive me, or is von Musel still accelerating outsystem?"

"No sir. That's definitely what he's doing, come to think of it..."

"Can you think of a reason why he might be headed for the hyper limit at peak emergency acceleration, rather than curving around to engage his assigned targets before they recover?"

"Now that you mention it, no..."



Valkyrie-class Battlecruiser SMS Brunhild
Flagship Sixth Battlecruiser Squadron
2000 Hours


Korvettenkapitän Siegfried Kircheis felt a burst of exhilaration- they'd made it! But still, at a painful price: two ships lost, and... well, one only had to listen to Captain Steinmetz report the flagship's damages.

"Major damage to ablatives along the port-dorsal curve, penetrations around frames 110, 145, a large one between 260 and 295. Several more astern, mostly minor. Turret Cesar is a total loss- one of those beams drilled right through the frontal armor. Turret Emil... guns work, but the loading mechanism's been cut in half. We've got the ready magazine, though; transferring rounds by hand to build up stock in the turret."

"Casualties?"

Sixteen dead in Cesar, twelve more presumed dead elsewhere, twenty-one seriously wounded, roughly one hundred walking wounded." Siegfried winced; Reinhard just continued as if nothing had been said. I know he cares more than that, but...

"Propulsion? Shields?"

"Nothing made it that deep into the core hull, sir."

"Good. Carry on."

Reports came in from the other ships- damage sustained both during the pass through the enemy's fleet, and during the last stand of the two Zebesian vessels they'd pulled out of that formation. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it didn't look good: a frigate lost before they even began, a destroyer totally wrecked during the pass through the enemy center, another frigate mission-killed by the Zebesian cruiser before it succumbed to Reuental's remaining destroyers... damage to all the battlecruisers, though none as impairing as that to the flagship's main battery.

But they could fly, they could fight, and they could- mostly- shoot. If Siegfried was right about what Reinhard was planning, that would be good enough.

"Hmm. Sir?"

"Yes, Kircheis?"

"Shouldn't we be turning round about now, to loop back and hit the dorsal group again?"

Reinhard smiled. Eyes flashing again, just as they had before as he led Sixth Battlecruisers into the heart of the enemy fleet. "We're not going back, Kircheis. We're-"

"Going to head out of the system, attack the interdictor grid from behind, and link up with the Coalition fleet?"

It was worth it, just to see the look on Reinhard's face. He just sat there, eyes open, mouth agape. It took him three full seconds to recover his composure, and his voice was a bit stiff.

"I see that I have no secrets from you, Kircheis, whatever fond delusions along those lines I might harbor."

Siegfried smiled and nodded. "Yes, sir."

"I'd better be careful; Naval Intelligence might try to steal you from me when they find out you read minds. I assume the plan meets your approval?"

"Of course, sir."

"The Umerians have been doing most of the scouting, but I can't reach them for comment- only the Atlanteans. And if they're right, the interdictor grid is "Pretty munch directional...'" Reinhard blinked and shook his head.

"The meaning is clear in context, sir."

"I suppose. Sometimes I wonder if my Galstandard English is as good as I think; I've got to be missing something from these messages..."

"The attack plan, sir?"

"You've already figured it out. With a directional field generator, they have a choice between interdicting us and letting the allied contingents boot them from behind, or interdicting the allies and letting us boot them from behind."

"Good. I doubt they'll be able to lock down two fleets at once, not when both are approaching from opposite directions."

Reinhard stared into space. "If they can..." He shivered.

"Sir?"

"If they can do that, we're going to be the only survivors of Second Fleet. This is the only way I can imagine to save the situation; I simply don't have the ships or the ammunition to do it alone, Kircheis. But... if it doesn't work, I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do when we get home."

He didn't just look like he was considering a daunting prospect; he looked truly scared. More afraid of being seen as a coward than he was of dying, but so afraid of failure that he'd risk either, or both, rather than take the simple path of dying in place...

Siegfried made a small decision. Since this was a day for questionable activities, he might as well break another regulation. He unbuckled from his shock frame, leaned over, and squeezed his commanding officer's shoulder.

"It'll be all right, sir. We should have been told to do this an hour ago, you know that..."

"I'm gambling, Kircheis. Charging a squadron of capital ships, that I knew I could do, but this-"

"You just have to trust the Umerians. And the Atlanteans."

Reinhard took a deep breath. "I suppose I must. And I'd better compose myself; I imagine I'll be getting an angry phone call shortly..."



SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
2005 Hours


"Missile attack from dorsal forward!"

A spray of tiny, fast-moving missiles shot forth from several of the Zebesian ships in the dorsal group- the ones von Musel had been engaged with before his charge against the Zebesian center. These were new compared to what he'd seen before- higher acceleration, but tiny, using some kind of field-effect drive rather than the powerful torch drive of the heavy kinetic missiles the Zebesians had thrown at him in the first round of the battle.

There weren't very many of them, but their small size and rapid motion were making it hard for Tracking to keep them on the plot. They closed the range quickly, quickly... a few of the missile frigates fired counterbarrages, and the battleships opened up with their secondary flak and tertiary quick-firing guns; for those, at least, there was plenty of ammunition.

The missiles accomplished a good deal, lighting off in walls of rippling stroboscopic bursts, through which no missile could pass without taking a lethal dose of X-rays. There hadn't been many of the torpedoes to begin with, less than a hundred, and the majority of them were stopped in the missile frigates' engagement zone.

But the close-in flak and QF railguns were relatively ineffective. These torpedoes had a damnably narrow target profile, and to be sure of intercepts the fleet's point defense guns had to open fire while the targets were farther out than usual. They also seemed uncannily good at soaking up flak splinters... some kind of integral shielding? No way to tell...

Even so, there were too many ships, and the surviving torpedoes came in too far apart. Only three made it through, and burst at point blank range against the battleships' shielding.

Lots of gamma rays, must be antimatter torpedoes... high yield, but we can take them as long as they don't concentrate fire. Still though, good performance for such a backwater, compared to the massed barrages he'd seen from the Zebesians before.

He suspected the next attack from dorsal would be harder to cope with. Time to rein the boy back in.

"Signals, put me through to Sixth Battlecruisers." In a moment, Rear Admiral von Musel's pale, fair-haired face appeared on the screen.

"Yes, Admiral?"

"Von Musel, get your ships back to dorsal and engage the enemy cruisers. We have to keep holding on!"

"I decline."

"Don't be foolish, you've won a minor victory with that... banzai charge of yours, but it's time for you to re-engage the enemy flanking group before their ships rally."

"I must respectfully decline, Admiral; my orders require me to act otherwise."

"Your orders are to get back in formation, boy."

"My orders are quite clear, sir. I was never formally transferred to Second Fleet; I am to act in support of the Second Fleet. I am moving to support you to the best of my ability."

"Then get back in formation, you disgusting little jackass! I don't have time for this!"

"Hardly, sir. I am going to open a path for reinforcements to reach you."

"WHAT? Nonsense!"

"Sir, this fleet cannot possibly hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive unless the Zebesian interdictor is destroyed, and quickly. Therefore, the only viable way for me to act in support is to..."

"Never mind the wording, you little brat! You're deserting in the face of the enemy!"

"Sir, I repeat, my orders do not require me to, and in fact forbid me to, knowingly take an action that will lead to the destruction of the fleet. My orders from CO Oversector Colonial Patrol Fleet are quite clear on the matter. You may, of course, take up the matter with him."

This is madness. This is mutiny... Von Mückenberger wanted to shake his head in disbelief, but he had appearances to keep up. His eyes narrowed and his voice went cold.

"Very well, Konteradmiral. Since you have repeatedly defied a direct order to return to formation, and I have no way of stopping you from deserting, I shall waste no more time on your treacherous little hide." His finger stabbed down, cutting off the commlink.

Did von Musel really believe that his court connections could protect him from the obvious evidence that he'd run from the battle? Whatever happened to the bulk of the fleet here, the boy's treachery would be punished... but there was still the torpedo threat from dorsal.

"Signals, message to the fleet-captains of the Eleventh Destroyers and Twenty-Third Frigates. Order them to split off from the battlecruisers and harass the enemy dorsal group from long range." It was doctrinally wrong, and von Musel's screen would lack the weight of metal to defeat what was left of the dorsal group with the battlecruisers out of the picture; von Mückenberger knew that. But they could at least keep those ships tied up for a while, to buy more time for the battleships.

Von Musel might believe he didn't have to follow his admiral's orders, Reuental and Mittermeyer were assigned to his fleet- and did. And they had no powerful allies- there was no possibility that they could follow the Imperial Court's fair-haired boy into desertion... at least, not without showing cowardice, and stupid cowardice at that, with no political common sense.

Admiral von Mückenberger awaited the screen ships' response.



Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-27 05:09am
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BEEEF
Previously on SDNW4...
Quote:
“To die before the Empire's weapons is the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon our enemies!” Booms Imperator Prime as the battlefield finally goes silent, the last of the 'infantry' now thoroughly put out of commission. The silence is broken anew though by the growl of an engine after several seconds, a tank grinding its way onto the field of battle as the Imperator stands ready.

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

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

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


"Did you see that? Was that a fucking Dredka it sliced in half? Sweet merciful Allah, the Chamarrans know how to build a beam!" Nasir shouted to his comrade, the amazed roars of the crowd in one of the tertiary theatre-bunkers nearly drowning them out as they, too, were amazed by the power of Imperator Prime. Well, most all impressed.

"So what? It's a fucking Mecha, how much more inefficient can you get?" Kadir was not so convinced, crossing his arms against his chest. Having Been There and Done That, he was entitled to an opinion without drawing too much return fire. Nasir waved his hands in a conciliatory fashion.

"Fuck the Mecha legs, that's not the point. That in the chest housing is a Chamarran Beam Cannon of very modern make. The unofficial bounty on that sort of tech, intact..." Nasir let the idea of countless Credits hang in the air.

"The Chamarrans would never sell one of those to us, though, and I don't expect that to be any different here at BEEEF." Kadir sighed, as the fantasy of that sort of prize slipped through their grasp.

"Well... Maybe we should head back and tell the Commander about this, he'll have a better plan."

"Good idea."


~~~~~

Even parties that were of decent size and armament had some trouble making their way through the crowded BEEEF, and thus certain kinds of subterfuge were made possible in this fashion. Humungus al-Turbani, for all the money and power he had, was being stalked and manipulated, and even the two rough-looking Canaanite bodyguards beside him would not defend him from this. Not when the attack came through the air itself, for the richly decorated computer perched atop al-Turbani's head.

"Over there, past the Byzon statue with a hammer, next to that Thanagarian." Nasir subvocalized over the comms link, as he was caught in the press of the crowd that was gathering in front of a spectacular Umerian storefront display, and al-Turbani walked further and further away from him, the commlink crackling harshly with static as the Mad SCIENCE! reached its climax.

"I see him." Kadir acknowledged, and continued nonchalantly along in the crowd in front of their target, far enough away to not attract attention, but close enough for his own computer to serve as a relay for another of his comrades. Sitting somewhere else in Vlyadibragstok, another member of their unit was setting to the task of hacking with a gleeful abandon. The heavy-handed kludge of code that the Bragulans were using at BEEEF could easily be copied, and then subtlely modified to their needs, memetic messaging embedded to enhance the more typically superluminal level of Bragulan propaganda and advertisement. Spoofing the origin of the messages then was child's play, but due to brute-force Bragulan methods, it had to be a strong and LOUD enough signal for the nonbragulan equipment to understand the message.

Thus, between the two of them, it would be a tricky act of maintaining the wireless connection with al-Turbani. Kadir cursed as his path was blocked by a pair of enormous reptiloids, if he knew better he'd be able to identify them as Gron. He looked back, and saw al-Turbani, too close. Suspicious as he was already, al-Turbani spooked, motioning to his two bodyguards to begin more aggressively pushing their way through the crowd, and for starting in on his second century, Prolong kept him quite spry as he, too, began to run.

"Shit! He's onto us." At least nobody was willing to resort to shooting in this crowd, which would quickly become mutually-assured destruction with all other heavily-armed individuals around. This didn't stop Kadir from being stumbled by a Zigonian who was shoved into him. "Sorry!" he apologized, trying to get back to his balance and chase after his target. He elbowed and leaned his weight in against the crowd, and when it did not yield, he stood up on his tiptoes to peek over for a better look, seeing al-Turbani's guards threatening with their weapons while the man himself wrenched open a heavy Bragulan maintainence access door, and hurried in through it. Nasir caught up with Kadir in the crowd, and they both looked at the slamming door as it whirled shut.

Nasir hit Kadir on the back and cursed. "Did you get the hack in?" he subvocalized over their private channel.

"Thanks to you two idiots spooking him, he didn't even notice me. We're done here." came a female voice over the channel, perfectly cutting through the roar of the crowd and not betraying a word of their conversation to anyone. In the crowd, a woman raised her arm up in the air and waved, over near the door the Canaanites had ducked into.

Image
Humungus al-Turbani, great-great-uncle of al-Humungus of Canaan



On edge as he was with the loss of several of his men due to unfortunate mishaps and old scores being settled, Humungus al-Turbani was not in a mood to be stalked by anyone. As his bodyguards slammed and whirled the door shut, his mood turned to one of horror at what he'd walked in on, a male and female Bragulan going at it wildly against some pipes and machinery, their claws leaving deep gouges in the metal. al-Turbani did not know the difference between a Bragulan and a Fenrisian, but it seems that irregardless, they had not been noticed yet. Holding a finger up to shush his bodyguards, he then wasted no time in sneaking past the bears, and then hurrying along down deeper into the bowels of BEEEF.

Some time later, after having gotten thoroughly lost - certainly shaking any pursuers! - they emerged into more familiar territory, the Canaanite Klavostani contingent having holed up in a nay, not tertiary, but quaduciary warehouse-spaceport-barracks. However, already a bustling amount of cargo was being moved, and tough-looking Mujahideen wore unpowered armor and brandished a variety of small-arms behind heavy blocks of bragcrete cover. They were not in the mood for unwanted visitors, as they were unwanted in many other parts of BEEEF - The Sultanate of Klavostan had long disavowed any connection with those who felt the need to fight over the Canaanite Worlds, considering it a long-past shameful time in their history. Trading weapons with Canaan was a quick way to lose one's mercenary license, and to work there as a mercenary had ended with the place becoming the graves of many disgraced units. Even many of the mercenaries at BEEEF would easily kill them if provoked, but some sympathetic few, and some who had indulged in barbarianism and hid it from the Royal Investigators - well, in the chaos at BEEEF, they could trade arms to Canaan.

Retiring back to the reinforced sub-bunker that was his penthouse, al-Turbani took his time in relaxing, waving away the attentions of beautiful harem girls. He had to think. Hell, those must've been Mercs after him! Allah knows what for.. He sat down in a rich xenosilk chair, and closed his eyes. Just probably some muggers for his money or brutes with a grudge. It was time to continue shopping. The tax money of the Caliphate of al-Humungus, his so vastly much more successful great-great nephew, was admittedly meagre, but this was supplemented from many sympathetic sources from within the Sultanate, cleverly-clamshelled charities to fund the Jihad, technically Space Sharia-compliant reverse-loans from the rich Space Caravan bankers... The call to war was heard by many, as spies amongst the Heathens had informed al-Humugus of the Byzantine Manufactories that had been called in - a disruption of the balance of power that could not go unchallenged. Trusting his relative al-Turbani to be his trusted agent, he was here to purchase all the things they would need to win this war.

Accessing his mailbox, al-Turbani looked at the list. Bragulan advertisements annoyingly forced themselves into a larger belligerant font than the rest of the text. The biggest and topmost proclaimed BYZON'S MEGA MOUSER MECHA!, and he decided to open it. His senses were blared at like a thousand nuclear brass bear bands, but with none of the damage to his ears or spermcount.

"GREETINGS PUNY HUMAN! YOU HAVE BEEN IDEOLOGICALLY-APPROPRIATELY RANDOMLY SELECTED TO RECEIVE ONE FREE TICKET TO PRIMARY VIEWING BUNKER 79-A, TO WITNESS...

IMPERATOR PRIME!

A brief video of some of the more dramatic moments of the earlier field-test was shown, ending in the camera feed from the Dredka being vaporized in an impossibly bright glow.

REFRESHMENTS, SMALL-ARMS, AND AMMUNITION WILL BE PROVIDED TO COMPENSATE YOU FOR YOUR VALUABLE TIME.


Had al-Turbani a higher-end system, probably one of the Solarian ones with an onboard full AI, he would not have to deal with so much of the side-effects of Byzonist coding methods, and it certainly would have picked up on the memetics also inserted into the advertisement. Already, the urge to attend was strong, free weapons were hard to turn down, but al-Turbani fervently knew that that had to be the dying sight of many, many of the Crusader scum. What could be a better centerpiece for the army of al-Humungus?

~~~~~

"Nyah!" Siln cried out, in the safety and hiding place of his furious piloting of the enormous warbot. The Bragulans had wanted to show off the new toy they were so proud of further, and when General Khosviknavosh had met with an old friend who had some puny humanoid gulag-prisoners, and had come into the cheap possession of some 'collectors' memorabilia' from the Harhuiists' old wars with the Mecha Scum, and he had put the puny prisoners in the puny war machines to fight Imperator Prime. But even their most cunning attacks would fail against the sheer might of Imperator Prime, and one by one, they were demolished, to the delight of the crowd.

As the crowd filed out, Hestai pushed a lock of sweaty hair back over one of Siln's ears, and was about to say something else when they heard the sound of Bragulan boots crashing to the ground together as an entire platoon of bears levelled their K-Bolters on the would-be intruder to the VIP gallery. Khosvik merely looked to his Chamarran friends and said nothing. Hestai hissed, and looked as imperious as she could as she made her way over behind the much larger guards.

"We don't serve Klavos here!" she nearly snarled, but al-Turbani took this in stride, making a conciliatory hand-wringing gesture.

"They will not have me either, Madam. Forgive me, I am from Canaan, of the Caliphate of al-Humungus." Hestai thought this over.

"Let him in," she decided, and the guards parted to make way, "But this'd better be good."

"Of course. On Canaan, we have long waged war against our Byzantine-backed foes." That elicited a growl from one of the Bragulans. "However, the Imperium of Man has decided to alter the nature of this war, bringing a pair of nano-manufactories to Canaan, the first superheavy industry ever onplanet. Against the tide of war machines they will pour forth, we will be soon be helpless unless we can strike a strong blow NOW..."

General Khosviknavosh had to restrain himself from the automatic reflex to support any destabilizing insurgency amongst the Humans, especially the hated Byzantines, but this was the Chamarrans' technology and their choice. So he kept silent, for now.

"There are millions of weapons at BEEEF, why do you want ours? It was made for the Bragulans." Hestai was suspicious, and wondered at his ability to pay at all, Canaan wasn't one of the economic powerhouses she could name off the top of her head.

"Yes, well... against so much Byzantine equipment, it would be a true test of Imperator Prime's abilities against its likely foes, yes?" This made the catgirl adopt a more thoughtful look.

"I suppose..." Hestai said, and then Khosvik intervened.

"Da! You may have one, but first, puny human.... I want you to DANCE for us!" The bear did not even wait for anyone else's reaction before he fucking laughed. The Chamarrans' ears flicked.

"Dance?" al-Turbani's features screwed up in confusion for a moment, before a calmer expression replaced it. "... I suppose I can do that for you." He looked around, and settled his eyes on a rifle. "If you could give me that rifle?"

This drew the aim of several of the guards in case of anything funny, but they gave it to him. And then, to the music coming out of his turban, al-Turbani began to dance, showing off something he'd learned long long ago as a young Muj.



"... Old-skool," General Khosviknavosh grudgingly admitted, crossing his arms. "Let's talk money."



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

SDNW4: The Sultanate of Klavostan

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-27 02:39pm
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At last, with only his own weight upon his chest, Mr. Vladimir was ready to partake of his hosts graciousness. It was time to get down to business.


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


Image

Baron Vladimir floated past the Umerian delegation. Bereft of his disguise, his false face of Fats Smaller, he was now free to wander around by himself as himself, done with the devil deals of his mysterious benefactors and no longer weighed down by the ID-spoofing pen. He was free, as free as a morbidly obese bird that flew on a suspensor-girdle, and in his freedom he watched from high above, much like a certain soaring eagle whose overpriced likeness Baron had bought from a plush store, and from his vantage point he saw the SCIENCE! the Umerians were performing. They sold their adorable PUPPERS, which the Bragulans bought. And ate.

Merchant Tianguomen in space junks also came to join the feast, while offering native Tianguonese delicacies like kimchi, sushi and dog. The Tianguomen presented a kabuki play with anti-gravity dragon dances, whilst singing in their strange atonal language and exploding phased plasma fireworks. At this, Baron couldn't help but laugh. He patted his paunch and floated over to one of the junks and bought some noodles.

Image

Baron continued slurping his noodles while floating around in the BEEEF. He was a sloppy eater, his fat fingers too fat to handle the chopsticks properly, and so the noodles and soups would spill from their cup and fall on bystanders below.

"Tee-hee!" Baron giggled as he discarded his noodle cup, which landed on some Chamarran's head. The catgirl went "Nyah!" as the noodles and soups slid down her bosom and Baron giggled some more.

He floated away now, using his earnings from his latest job to sample the most exquisite tastes in the BEEEF. There were Ascendancy Franco-Formic cheeses and aphid-wines, fromage vintage and refined into a cultured state unlike any other in the galaxy. There were vials of distilled Shinran lifestreams, discreetly sold by Klavostani caravan traders. Baron even managed to take a whiff of an Anglian snuffbox, filled with the opiods they once drugged Tianguomen with before the Boxxy Revolution. Dominion bourbon, Miratian shitbat guano, and Solarian Kasanarium - in a haze of decadent pleasure, Baron Vladimir navigated all human and inhuman hedonisms with the mastery of one so intimately familiar with the rewards of the high life. They were like an irresistible spice, vital to life, vital to the very circumnavigation of the cosmos, expanding his consciousness with each and every inhalation.

In a blue-eyed stupor, Baron Vladimir touched down groggily on terra firma, in such a state that he couldn't even navigate properly, unable to tell up from down, left from right, and such. He staggered, the suspensor-girdle of his making the ripples of his fats take on a strange weightless fashion. He wandered blindly to a rather disreputable-looking corridor within the BEEEF bunker building. For a moment, he feared, for hushed rumors had gone around that Fenrisian bears lurked in the hidden accessways to eat any unwary wanderer. But in his stupor, Baron forgot this. In the seclusion of the corridor, he planned to purge all that which he had consumed.

Too much... too much... the thoughts ran in his head. He bent down and prepared to heave, but he noticed something. Shoes. Rather shoddy shoes. He stopped, not wanting to puke all over someone's shoes, no matter how shoddy, for that would be impolite. He looked up, preparing to apologize himself, when he saw...

Image

"Hunter S. Thompson!" Baron exclaimed as recognition flashed in his addled-brain.

"You got it the other way around," Thompson S. Hunter corrected. "But yes, it is I."

It was he, the famed gonzo journalist of the PuffHo. The Puffington Host. His feared and loathed exploits of chemically-enhanced journalism were known widely ever since the time he had gotten high from the venom of the puffer fish that was the mascot of the PuffHo publication that swam in the aquarium of the company's founder and, in a literal cerebrovascular stroke of neurotoxic inspiration, wrote a series of articles that won him the Putzlitzer Price.

Baron bowed again, perhaps in reverence, but more likely because nausea had again overcame him. He vomited on Thompson S. Hunter's cheap shoes.

"You look like shit, man," said Thompson S. Hunter. Not minding the mess Baron had made, the gonzo journalist merely patted Baron's shoulders and helped him up. "But I know what'll clear that up, man."

"Yeah?" Baron asked feebly. He felt horrible. Didn't the doctorb say not to mix his heart meds with alcohol? Or was it grape juice? Wasn't wine made from grapes? Did the Franco-Formics even have grapes up their anthills? And who was Barry, and why was he on that hill?

"It's a diminutive name made by those goddamn cryptofascist fucks to mock their goddamn political rival while they pat themselves on the back like a bunch of self-congratulatory shits and fantasize about hanging him or some other crap," Thompson S. Hunter laughed, and Baron realized that he had said that last bit about the anthill out loud. "Fuck 'em, fuck this bullshit, you know. Here, have some of this! This'll make you feel real good!"

Thompson S. Hunter gave him a huge needle, which was connected to an IV tube, which was...

Image

...connected to a goddamn gauntlinglisk. The Karlack bioform yawned lazily and wagged its tail, disturbing a bunch of empty Spurm cans on the floor and a whole pile of used stogies. Was that grass? Was the gauntlinglisk stoned?!

"Come on, try it!" Thompson S. Hunter urged. Before Baron could say anything, the gonzo journalist stabbed the huge needle into his arm.

Baron screamed a silent scream, face contorted into a mask of pain as dark-green Karlack blood started flowing down the IV tube, into his veins. He felt the burning sensation course up his arm and spread throughout his body, as though someone had infused battery acid into his circulatory system. His vision blurred, his eyes crossed, he peed himself and keeled over, collapsing into the floor.

"Ah yeah, that's the stuff." Thompson S. Hunter grinned.

***

Baron Vladimir woke up with a throbbing headache. His heart pounded against the walls of his chest cavity, he clutched his chest and wheezed, as though stricken by a heart attack. His vision blurred, his blood pressure so high that the capillaries in his eyes threatened to burst and detach his retinas. He jerked upright, spasming, before collapsing back on to the floor - littered with emptied Spurm cans and burnt up stogies. He laid there for a moment, motionless, and gradually his heart slowed down - nearly to a standstill - and slowly he got back up to his feet. Even with his suspensor-girdle, getting back upright was a difficult feat for someone as fat and as unhealthy as him.

As he regained his senses, his balance and orientation, he prepared to place his girdle in full power, which would allow him to float back to his room. But before he could, he felt a burning sensation on his left shoulder. It was an itch, a horrible and uncontrollable itch. He scratched it, his nails long and crusted with dirt inside. He clawed at his own flesh, ripping the fabric of his garments to scratch the pustulating sore beneath it. He tore his sleeve off and saw what was the source of that horrible itch.

Image

It was an eye. A terrible, unblinking eye. The very flesh of his arm seemed to convulse as another pustule formed. It popped like a zit, and from that bloody mess came another eye. Then came another lesion, which ripped open, splitting apart to form a... a mouth. It was a face. It was a fucking face.

It spoke. It fucking spoke.

"EVOLUTION COMPLETE!"

Baron screamed. He fucking screamed.

"EEEEEEYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHH!!!!!"

***

Image

Baron Vladimir floated to the nearest med station, which was staffed by none other than a doctor who was also a lawyer and a bear. The Bragulan had studied detailed both files on human anatomy and interstellar law, so he could master the legality of dissecting humans.

"Da," the doctor said as he examined the mutating envisaged tumor growing out of Baron's side. It was mutating at a geometric rate and now the face had swollen up into a full sized head. Within hours, the tumor would develop its own torso and limb systems and, most probably, use mitosis to split itself off from Baron Vladimir's body. If they didn't act soon, there would be one more (mutated and Karlack-infested) human in the universe, something both Bragulan medicine and Bragulan law could never allow. The Bragulan knew this for he was both a doctor and a bear. "This tumor not normal."

"What was your first clue?!" Baron shrieked. It was eerie, as the tumor-head growing out of him mimicked his speech in a grotesque echoing effect.

"First clue was nanomachines in your bloodstream, causing reaction, did. Normal transfusion of Karlack blood not causing such severe mutations, nanites must have catalyzed Karlack endospores, da," the doctor said, more to himself than anything.

"What can we do?" Baron weeped. His other head giggled evilly and went, "Hee-hee-hee!"

"We must operate immediately. I will prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics, prophylactics to prevent further infesterization. Broad spectrum antibiotics will include gamma and x-ray spectrums too."

"What the fuck kind of antibiotics are those?!" Baron sputtered.

"The Bragulan kind," the doctor replied plainly. "They combine pharmacological means with radiotherapeutic means. Speaking of which, you must also undergo vegemite therapy."

"Vegemite therapy?!" Baron fucking sputtered. He knew what vegemite was. He knew the Brags used it for all sorts of things, for their nukes, for their K-bolts, for their armor, for ruining entire ecosystems. He knew what it could do. But he had no idea that it had medicinal purposes. He repeated himself, not needing his second tumor-head to echo him. "Vegemite therapy?!"

"Da!" doctor nodded. "Now we begin operation. Administering anesthetic."

The Bragulan doctor pulled out a beating stick and clubbed Baron with it, knocking him out cold. Upon stick-impact, a hollow hypodermic spike on the tip of the beating stick injected a concentrated dose of anesthesia into Baron's system. The doctor worked feverishly with his surgical team. The operation was transmitted live via telescreen to the entirety of the BEEEF, with multi-lingual subliminal-laced commentary, in a great advertisement of Bragulan medical prowess.

A nurse wiped the Bragulan doctor's sweating snout with a sponge while he administered the medical vegemite. It was injected via drill into the core of the tumor-head, and the growing metastatic monstrosity howled as the spike punched through his face and delivered the dose. The vegemite quickly reacted with the infested tissue, growing and spreading and consuming the organic matter - transmuting it into more vegemite and, thus, killing the tumor from inside out. Much like how cancer killed by replacing useful cells with malignant neoplastic ones, the vegemite replaced malignant neoplastic cells by crystallizing them into hazardous radioactive materials.

The tumor was nonetheless growing. As the vegemite consumed the tumor's head and face, it continued to grow, spawning a torso and then a limbic system. Somehow, someway, it was absorbing Baron's copious amounts of fatty tissues to generate a new being in a grotesque over-sized version of cellular mitosis. To save Baron Vladimir, the Bragulan doctor had to work fast, injecting more and more vegemite into each and every into each new tumor growth.

The surgerization ended and gradually Baron recovered from the anesthesia with a huge bruise on his head. He woke up and turned to the side of his bed, where he thought he saw himself...

Image

No! The vegemite therapy had gone horribly wrong!

"Da! The vegemite therapy has gone perfectly right!" declared the doctor bear. He pointed at the partially-crystallized carcass on the bed beside Baron's bed. "That was the tumor, it absorbed your fats - which were so many - and grew very large, almost turning into its own person and almost separating from your body. But we killed it with vegemite!"

"But what about me? How do I know I don't have any vegemite in my body, or Karlack shit for that matter?" Baron asked.

"Da, we used hypersonics and radiothermal fields to contain vegemite into the infesterized tumor areas. As for Karlack shit, we prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics. You keep taking gamma and x-ray pills for two weeks to be safe, da?" the doctor handed him a heavy lead bottle full of glowing pills. "And do not be skipping prescription like stupid human, or else infesterized you will be and then only vegemite therapy you getting is K-bolt to face, both of them!"

"Da!" Baron said, shaking the doctor lawyer bear's paw profusely. "Thank you for saving my life, doctor!"

"Nyet, it is no problem!" the doctor said dismissively. "And it was not to save your life, but to end his," he pointed at the partially-crystallized corpse. "Call it retroactive abortion, da. In Bragule, you always have right to choice!"

Orderlies hauled the crystal carcass into a lead-lined coffin.

"Now, I discharge you from hospital and you can keep dead vegemite-man as souvenir of your time, da?" the doctor smiled. "And we not charging you for the vegemite used to kill your mutant tumor for there is universal deathcare in Bragule."

Baron Vladimir considered this, and the profits he would rake in from selling that large a hunk of vegemite.

"Da!" Baron replied. He felt healthy again, but more importantly he felt that he was going to be rich! Healthy, wealthy and none the wiser! He took his suspensor girdle and floated triumphantly into the air.



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
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-27 02:50pm
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Command Bridge, CNS Datton
Deep Space, Sector C-6


The Datton's travel to C-6 was rather unremarkable, and Forg liked it. He sighed when he was told that they've arrived at C-6. Datton came out of hyperspace, and found only the vacuum of space. For the mission, Datton was stacked with supplies nesessary to last a few weeks, plenty of time to scan the sector.

Time to find out if the Lost are for real.

"Right. Begin passive scanning. Do not compromise stealth. Let's not take any chances."

After Pendleton, there was no longer space for mistakes.



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-27 06:48pm
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Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) Military Facility, Hidden Asteroid, Kwapitztikekat System

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Henry Langolier was being marched through a sterile metal-clad hallway. Unlike his comrades from his ship that had managed to flee Pendleton, he had restrained from soiling himself. That spoke much to his courage, as he could feel the psychic emanations from the power-armor-clad kipaktli herding them. They weren't even handcuffed or otherwise restrained, but 15 goddamn dinosaurs with power mauls and power-armor didn't really need to restrain humans.

Henry thought back to last week, when these problems started. They had managed to evade the blockade with a nice mixture of deceit, stealth, and bribery. Getting out of Pendleton had saddened them all, but living free from Anglian oppression would be worth it, especially in some minor system that didn't care where they were from. They had several ESPers on board, being from a psyker family and all, but that didn't mean much. They were mostly minor telekinetics and pyrokinetics. Unfortunately, they got a little too lax on their meandering route to throw off any trailers: they ventured too near NenAltKik space and were forced to stop for a search; forcing here meaning having their engines blown out. They had tried to use what against regular humans would have been overwhelming psychic force. It was of literally no use against the ESPer kipaktli in psykerboosting armor. Henry's brother, Theodore, died when he tried to throw a kipakt with TK, but it ended up rebounding against him somehow and turned his brain to paste. The stun beams then quickly took care of everyone else and the last he remembered was being carted into a ship with a moxi injecting him. He saw that they didn't even bother to cover the hole they made to board and that they only took the ESPers.

Henry sighed deeply.

“Keep walking, filth,” one of the kipakt snarled.

They were led to a door and it made Henry's head hurt. Bad.

“What the fuck is this shit?” Henry grabbed at his head.

“Nulling field.” The kipaktli were impassive.

“Why do you need that for? We're not going anywhere.”

“It doesn't matter to you. Walk through the door and it'll stop hurting.”

“Fuck you!”

A dull thud as an armored claw hit Henry in the chest.

“Go in. It is not a request.” As impassive as before.

Henry spat out some blood.

Not good. He opened the door while a kipakt held down a security button. He stepped in. Another door stood before him, but his headache was diminishing quickly. He opened it up to a blank, white room with some cameras in the corners. The door shut behind him and latched loudly.

“Hello? What's going on?”

“Test commencing on subject 27.”

A small hatch opened up before him.

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The other members of the Langolier family still in the hall heard loud, terrifying screams.

“No worries. It'll be over quickly.”

Tezcatlipoca Military Facility, Conference Room

“How do the tests proceed?” a moxi asked.

“Better. We've been able to progress on this artificial organism that metabolizes psyker energy very rapidly now that the funds have been liquidated. The coup attempt itself allowed for a large increase in funding for larger scale tests, and the embassy incident in Shepistan has resulted in a further boost. While the Shepis are traditionally too paranoid for their own good, some of our contacts in the Umerian diplomatic corps relayed to us that psychic security on their Shepi embassy has been stepped up even further. And given that the Centrality's broadcast to dismiss the incident as not being Amplitur in origin has made people suspicious that it was, in fact, an Amplitur. All this has the funding committee on the Eealtepekali very willing to help us out. The 'Intellect Devourer' no longer has to worry about running out of cash again.” a kipakt replied.

“Excellent. What are the advancements in the past month?”

“We've created a full-organism. The proof-of-concept cells that reacted to psyker energy by rapidly increased growth proved to be just what we needed. Engineering the development took our supercomputers several weeks, but within the past two weeks we've seen massive improvements, especially with the growth enhancement broths. They reach their adult-size in days and can kill low level psykers with minimal problems. To get them to kill more powerful psykers is going to take time, but I think we can manage it."



SDNet: Unbelievable levels of pedantry that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet!

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-28 11:58am
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Location: Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Unknown location, Deep Space
Unreal Time


The star was old. Incredibly old. So old that it had finished life as a black dwarf, its light forever extinguished. With it's death, the entire system was doomed to darkness. The lifeless husks of the planets here were testament to it.

Just a few million kilometers from the dead star was a ship, a black-painted ship that would be confused with space itself if not for the glow of distant stars.

Inside the ship, there was...utter blackness. And in that darkness hid a man. A very special man, with a mission of utmost importance. The only thing he remembered were grave voices. Voices of his mission. From his master.

Do you know what you need to do?

Yes, my Lord, my Master.

Good. Do not fail me, my apprentice.

Inside the darkness, the man smiled.

"All hail Centralism," he whispered. "Long live Dovan."

His mission to spread Centralism had just begun.

The black ship soon dissappeared, to parts unknown.



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-28 05:53pm
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Wordsworth's Journal: Entry Two


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"Wordsworth" the imp

So this here is my second entry in my Wordsworth. Actually, there have been others, but they were all deleted by the bosses. Revealing too much information about how things work here, they said. Might damage our standing with the alien powers, they said. Personally, I have no idea why we should care about what aliens think. I’ve seen aliens, and I don’t think these creatures even think at all. I mean, they ripped out pages from my Wordsworth! And ate them! If you ask me, I’m not sure about this whole alien business. But, they’re Greaters. I guess they know better.

It all started when we all got notice that we’re being reassigned. I guess the bosses figured that they learned all they needed from the books, and we were better off doing other things. Working with these aliens, mostly, although why someone would need something with these giant smelly beasts that don’t even talk is beyond me. So, we all got our new assignments, and mine was at a place called Eden where they built all sort of accommodations and recreational stuff for the aliens when they’d come, and I was supposed to work there. That sounded bad enough, but it wasn’t the half of it. Turns out that Eden is a planet, and we’d all have to live on it. Like, on the surface of it.

Now, before this, I’ve never left the Homeship. None of my ancestors did either, and the only birthmates who did were those who were made into interceptors, spy probes, and the occasional missile. We’ve been here since they made the imps, and here is where we would remain. This space travel stuff, I don’t like it, not one bit. So, when I heard that not only I’d be leaving the Homeship, but I’ll be living on a planet, I knew this wasn’t for me. Space travel is bad enough, but living on the OUTSIDE of a world? That is just madness.

So, I decided to switch jobs. Of course, that’s not an easy thing to do at all, but where there’s a bill, there’s a way, as the humans say, although I have no idea what bills have to do with it. In this case, it was actually kind of easy. You see, the daemons set up a center, we’d all go in, they would erase chunks of our memory, and out we’d go, stumbling around all confused because there are a lot of imps and the daemons are all in a big hurry and aren’t too careful. The overseer of the center, Legbreaker was a good old imp, near splitting time. He knew he didn’t have much time left, so he was more amenable to reason. Give him an extra homunculus or a pint of elixir from the stores and he’d be seeing things your way in no time. In other words, we got along just fine with old Legbreaker, we did. So, it’s really a great fortune that he was overseeing that center.

“Legbreaker,” I told him. “Duty or not, I can’t do this. I’m a proper imp, not some hard-vac daemon. Let them live on the surface, because spacesuits are not my thing. And what if something crashes into it? The planet can’t get out of the way. It’s got no engines, see?”

And he just laughed, he did. He
fucking laughed. “You’re really something,” he says. “Living in a space suit,” he chuckled. “Here’s what I’ll tell you. Get me three barrels of elixir and your assignment slate, and I’ll see what I can do.” A great fellow, he is, but in the end, things did not work out so well.

I got him the three barrels alright, and the next thing I know, I’m stumbling out from the center and he hands me a new assignment slate which he swiped from some other poor confused sod. “Here you go, son,” he smirks. ‘Special assignment,’ it says on the slate and suddenly, I get a bad feeling about it all. But it’s too late to back out, of course, so I go where I am directed and lo and behold, before I know it, I find myself on a ship heading out.

“Where are we going?” I asked them, of course, but they merely laughed. “Wow,” they said. “You’re really something, forgetting all your briefings. We’re going to the BEEEF!”

That’s when both my hearts sank because I knew that the BEEEF was held in the Bragulan Star Empire, and they live on planets. So, it looked like I would be going to a planet after all, and one on the other end of the galaxy, too. But, it was too late to do anything, because before I knew it, I felt really strange, and they told me that we have jumped via warp gate and will be heading out immediately.

And that is how I ended up where I am now, on a ship full of aliens. You see, our leader insisted that we must pick up some aliens called “beefs” along the way and bring them to Bragule. And, of course, they put me to work building accommodations, large fenced enclosures and such for the beefs, because, apparently, they like it that way.

The aliens lived in a place called Kazakstan, and we had to make a two-week detour, followed by a week under slow drive just to get there. What can I say? Space travel is still not my thing, but I’m getting used to it, even the transitions back and forth from hyperspace. The only thing I still can’t get used to is all the shaking and rolling when the pirates attack, which they seem to do on a regular basis. Maybe bringing all these large freighters full of things was not such a great idea after all, but what do I know? I’m just an imp.

But, anyway, one day we just stopped, I because we got to where we were going, I suppose, and that’s when things really got interesting.

“Wordsworth!” they call me, because that is my name now, ‘Wordsworth.’ We all had to choose an alien name, and I figured that since I’m the biggest expert on these Wordsworths, and writing a Wordsworth, I might as well be called a Wordsworth. So, there I was, standing there, minding my business, when they call for me. “Wordsworth! Prepare to receive our guests!”

And the next thing I know, there is this huge alien thing coming towards me.

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Like so, but with an imp


It was huge, and smelly and giant tusks and fur everywhere! And that one was just a little one, the one next to it was even bigger! And those tusks! Those tusks! I thought I was a well-educated imp, having seen everything, but never in my eighty years have I seen a crowd of giant aliens coming straight at me!

But, of course, I was trained for first contact, we all were. Specifically, I was taught how to accommodate the alien guests coming to Eden. Of course, this was not Eden, but a space ship, but surely it couldn’t be that different?

And so, I did as I was trained. I waved. “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our ship!” I told the giant things. “OINK!” the beef said! “OINK OINK!”

That confused me. Surely, the aliens being taken aboard would at least speak Galstandard English? How else was the boss able to arrange passage for them? “Please, I do not understand!” I told them. “Please speak English!”

“OINK! OINK! OINK!” one of them said, and they all kept advancing. They really did not understand me. Maybe they would recognize written English, I thought, and got out my Wordsworth. “Here! Look,” I opened it and showed them. “English!”

But I could not have predicted what happened next. The giant alienoid opened its giant maw and bit off half the book! Half my Wordsworth! They were really not interested in my attempts to establish peaceful first contact!

“No!” I shouted, but the alienoid just kept coming! Maybe I should not have ignored the briefings, maybe this was a HOSTILE alien! “No!” I said again as I barely dodged the monster’s giant feet. It almost stepped on me!

That is when I decided that first contact protocols be damned, I’m not going to let some giant beef trample on me. So I hit it with my Wordsworth! “No!” I shouted. “NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!” and “English, fucker-of-mothers! Do you speak it?!”

I kept hitting the alienoid and the giant beef reared up on its hind legs. And then the one behind it gave it a mighty shove, and the next thing I know, there is a ton of beef on top of me! Well, I don’t actually know this, because I passed out from the pain, but that is what they told me when I came to.

The beefs were all put in their enclosures, and I still have to feed the giant brutes! And even shovel their excrements, of which there are many. Truly, the bosses are correct and there is no justice in the universe, only Duty.

We’re heading to the BEEEF now. I really really really hope there won’t be more of these beef aliens there.


-----------------------------
Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin



My Fundie Guide The World Has Ended.....Life Goes On
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-29 04:33pm
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HSF Audacity in the face of Superiority, Log of Shipmistress Rayarr

Mission start +17 days: Dropped from hyperspace to detach drop tanks. Despite the tanks having some fuel remaining it is unfortunately too risky to detach them in the operational area and they compromise our real space stealth, still they have given us a significant extension on our mission duration and for that I am thankful.

Mission start +18 days, 14 hours: Arrival in system seemingly without being detected, no obvious active emissions detected, sensors report various subspace anomalies though without detailed hyperspace topography charts for this part of known space we cannot rule out a natural origin, ambiguety makes me uneasy especially so far from home. We have commenced passive survey of the system.

Mission start +19 days, 2 hours: Complete search with high gain array completed, one minor heatsource detected in the inner system and one extremely faint reading detected over a dozen light minutes out. Due to our inability to resolve the second reading I have chosen to focus our attention on the primary reading, as a result we have begun minimum thrust orbital correction and passage into the inner system. In three days we will reach the periapsis of our path and deploy probe onto orbital path of primary target.



STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-29 05:07pm
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Location: Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
CNS Datton
Deep Space, C-6
Unreal Time


"Scans have seen anything?"

"We did find something. It's very faint sir. Might be a sensor ghost."

"Well, from a certain point of view it is a ghost. If the Lost are supposed to be here, then it plausible they might want to stay hidden. Continue passive survey."

Forg looked at the transparisteel window separating him from the vacuum of space. There had to be something out there...

19 days later...

Kriff, no wonder they call themselves the Lost.

Nearly twenty days have passed, and the Datton still couldn't ascertain the identity of the bogie. They did, however, find out that it had company. Thery already detected about three more...things. Worse, they never stayed in one place for long. The passive scanners were not enough, but Forg didn't want to risk using active scanners: not only would they compromise stealth, but the unknown contacts would end up fleeing! That Forg could not allow.

But there was also another issue. There were now only enough supplies to last them another week before having to retire, but this had been forseen and a replenishment vessel was sent discreetly to wait at E-5. Nevertheless, Forg had to keep an eye at his remaining materials.

And that was not all, as he was about to discover.

"Sir, one of our probes have detected an unknown vessel entering the sector."

"The Lost?"

"No sir. The cloaked probe is still analyzing the ve- sir, unknown ship has entered cloak. We've lost contact."

Figures. We weren't the only ones who received that message. "Helm, direct the ship to our bogie's last known location. Send us deeper into the sector."

"Yes Captain!"



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-29 06:16pm
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Siege and I now present to you...

NISA'S SOLARIAN ADVENTURE (Part 1)

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:



Villa Straylight
Geosynchronous orbit around Solaris, United Solarian Sovereignty


Nisa was in her fifth day alone on the Villa. Her father had sent word that everything was well on Lochley’s Retreat and that he’d return shortly, but until then she had nothing to do but train, train, and have meals with or without Mr. Hank.

The Villa was spacious but no matter how large it was there was still something confined about it. Even in the largest of the bio-domes, which was filled with trees and almost large enough to make you forget you were in an entirely artificial environment, Nisa found herself missing the wide open fields of Jeziri and a sun-lit horizon. She’d been meaning to see about a visit to the planet with her father, but now this had come up and she expected they would be departing for the mission soon after he returned. That left Mr. Hank.

They were having a breakfast together. She was modestly-attired, as usual, and much to the amusement of Hank, who had generously offered to expand her wardrobe with top-line dresses (and since this was Solarian fashion, they were quite strange to her if fairly flattering). As the meal came to an end, she finally asked, “Could I visit Solaris Major again?”

“Of course you can,” Sidney replied and lifted a napkin to wipe his lips. He grinned at her. “You feel like... shopping?”

“Not really. I want to see the other areas of your cities,” Nisa said. “I’ve heard so much about them, I’d like to see for myself how normal Solarians live.”

“‘Normal Solarians’.” Sidney repeated as if tasting the words. His grin widened fractionally. “Now there’s an oxymoron if ever I saw one. But I suppose something could be arranged. Still, the capital moon is a pretty big place. Did you have anything specific in mind?”

“Not the rich places,” Nisa answered. “I want to see what is outside of them.”

“Hmm,” was the noncommital answer. “The rich places are just a few districts. That still leaves a lot of moon to cover.” Sidney steepled his fingers. “There’s literally a myriad cultures and subcultures living side-by-side on Solaris, Nisa. In some places you could walk two streets and end up in a place where no-one speaks your language. Or any language that isn’t radio-transmitted. Other places are... not entirely safe to the uninitiated. There’s collective consciousnesses, virlife, self-improving or hard-vac zones, autonomous chaotic systems, whole neighborhoods that are one big cognitive and memetic hazard if you don’t have the right implants...” He shrugged. “It’s an interesting place, and I can appreciate you wanting to see a bit more of it, but it’s not entirely advisable to just set off for any old place on Solaris, really. I can give you pointers though.”

“If it makes you feel better, then, I will see where you recommend.”

Barely had she finished the sentence that a hologram snapped into existence over the table, mapping out the capital moon in blue, yellow and red zones. Most of the planet was painted blue or yellow, a handful of areas were covered crimson however. “Blue are the federal sectors. You’ve seen some of them already, I imagine that’s not what you’re looking for. Yellow are commonly referred to as the Sprawl.” Again the grin. “It’s an old term. They’re basically safe, in that you won’t have your brain fried if you look at the wrong fractal. The red zones... Just forget about them. You don’t want to go there, not in that old-fashioned body of yours, and not without a lot of protective hardware stuck in your head.”

Nisa examined the map. “Then, I think I shall go there.” She indicated a yellow zone near the shopping district Hank had taken her to before.

He considered it, drawing information about the Ozone Heights neighborhood from a myriad computer systems in the blink of an eye. The place was a bit rowdy, but safe enough for someone like Nisa -- and more importantly, it was far removed from any red zone. Sidney would hate to have to explain to Stephen how his little girl was now part of a collective swarm, so that was good. He shrugged. “I’ll have the shuttle prepped.”

Image

Ozone Heights was about a hundred and seventy-five kilometers removed from Sovereign Center as the crow flies. It was far enough away for it to be practically another world, even though on a good day you could still see the Sovereign Spire rise up toward geosynchronous orbit in the far distance. In galactic terms it was a middle class neighborhood, although in a society that was in many respects beyond scarcity such terms didn’t really fit well. Real estate salesmen would probably describe it as a ‘dynamic neighborhood’, which was real estate talk for “it’s pretty gosh-darn messy”. Until two decades ago Ozone Heights had been known as Little Holy Terra, owing to the large number of expat Byzantines who made this neighborhood their home until large groups of ARNists had begun to move in. The combination of orthodox folk who still took the Imperial creed seriously with people who liked to splice their genome in new and interesting (and often not quite human) ways had - predictably - lead to a series of riots that had swept like wildfire through the neighborhood.

But that was then; this was now. Large numbers of armored Max-Tac troopers had cleaned up the worst of the violent mobs ten years ago, and now the streets could be called safe or at least orderly -- or at least they could as long as you ignored the utterly bewildering ground traffic. Imperial cathedrals stood next to SinTEK outlets for out-of-fashion designer organs or Tyrell Corp splicer tonic bars. A sizable police presence kept the Byzantines and ARNies from treating each other to anything worse than dirty looks. Raised monorails and overzooms passed over the area, throwing perpetual shadows where nightclubs thrived on a steady influx of military personnel from the nearby Star Force cosmodrome. The air smelt of oil and ozone, and thrummed with the hum of slo-trans engines. Gaudy neon in every conceivable color assaulted Nisa’s eyes as soon as she left the relative shelter of the shuttleport where Mr. Hank’s ship had dropped her off.

Nisa had done some reading on the area, urged by Hank. The Max-Tac troops unsettled her; the Yildiz had always distrusted the armies of the various Princes or the Emir due to their tendency to loot and steal whenever passing through, and those feelings were hard to get rid of.

Walking down one of the main roads, she stared in some disbelief at a Human-looking figure with leopard-like fur, complete with spots, who flashed her what looked to be a predatory grin (Then again, as a hunter cat, any grin would come off as predatory). His thoughts, such as Nisa felt due to their openness, were benign enough that she didn’t feel threatened. Still, it was nice to know the beamsaber her father had helped her make was securely fastened to her hip.

One set of neon signs drew her attention. She recognized the English name as the tame-sounding “Director’s Cut”, and strolled to the door. Or rather, to the line at the door. She waited with increasing impatience as the people in the line were processed and either permitted to enter or ordered to leave, with massive, bulky-looking men glowering at any who protested their being barred. For what it was worth, she was given easy admission.

The noise inside was fairly loud, though she recognized the signs that indicated that most of the music was not “aural” but was being transmitted directly to people with implants, which she did not have. Pulsing lights assaulted the senses in repeating patterns of dizzying complexity. Platforms hung suspended in mid-air on fields of invisible gravity, and on them dancers - both male and female - gyrated to the unheard beat. The dancers were scantily dressed or, as Nisa noticed with some embarrassment, in some cases they weren’t dressed at all. Neither them nor most of the other patrons looked entirely human. Here was a dancing girl with insect-like composite eyes and skin covered in luminous, multi-colored tattoos. Over there was a man with goat legs and an electronically amplified voice with which he was reciting what seemed, at least to Nisa, some kind of old-fashioned poetry. It was all really quite strange.

She slipped away from the dancing area toward backrooms and the bar. There was a holomovie being played on the screen; she’d never seen it before (Mr. Hank’s collection was something she had barely scratched) and was somewhat mystified as to the point of two bikini-clad women fighting in a locker room. Seeing a young man who looked surprisingly Human nearby, she asked, “What is that?”

Alexandra Wong, P. I.,” was the answer. As the youth turned toward her Nisa could see she was wrong about him being entirely Human; his eyes were reptilian “snake” eyes, and there were scales on his cheeks and forehead. His voice was raspy with a hiss to it that was prominent when making “s” sounds. “You’re a nomo No way an Imperial borebody would come in here... tourist?”

“I am... I think so,” Nisa said, not entirely familiar with the word beyond the context of “someone visiting someplace they don’t live”. Looking at the screen again, she said, “What is the point of them fighting?”

“It’s a Birkin movie, they don’t need a point,” the snake-man laughed.

“Birkin? I do not know who that is.”

Somehow, someway, her words echoed across the room. A number of eyes, of all types and shapes and colors, suddenly focused on her, as a buzz of open incredulous thoughts echoed in her head. “How can you possibly not know the greatness that is Wesley Prefect Birkin?” asked an incredulous-looking girl. Her incredulousness was further accentuated by the rapid swooping motions of the cat tail that protruded from under what passed for her skirt, but which to Nisa looked more like a small belt instead. A layer of fur so thin it was almost invisible pattered her skin. “He is only the most visionary artist of all time!”

“Is not!” snake-boy hissed venomously. “Birkin is a two bit hack with delusions of grandeur. He will never be a match for the awesome creative force that is CJ Motonow!”

“Oh, tell me you did not just insult The Birkin,” slurred another voice. Behind the reptilian-eyed guy a giant Zigonian heaved his head off the bar. The reptile was very obviously drunk and, going by the heap of incense cigarettes that surrounded him, probably stoned out of his mind, but even so he was formidable-looking, a mountain of scales and feathers at least two and a half meters tall. “His vision is a gift to us all.” Something seemed to dawn on the alien. He pointed a finger at snake-boy. “And you are not a real reptile.”

That inordinately irritated snake-boy. “Yeah, well, you are drunk and your face looks ridiculous. And what do Zigonians know about high art anyway? Birkin is a pretentious fruitcake.”

“Them’s fighting words!” hissed tail-lady. She smacked snake-boy in the face, drawing fiery red lines across his face. When Nisa looked closer, she realized that fearsome looking claws had extended from under her painted nails.

A collective gasp passed through the club. Then somebody shouted, somehow perfectly audible in-between two beats: “FOR MORALS AND MOTONOW!”

The answer to that particular challenge came only a beat later: “FOR BIRKIN AND GRANZOWA!”

Then, havoc. From one second to the next and for no readily understandable reason, what had been a perfectly funky nightclub turned into a giant brawl.

Nisa almost reached for her beamsaber, but held back. Despite the press of fighters around her she knew she wasn’t in the kind of danger that could merit the very real lethality of the weapon. Nevertheless, she wanted to get out of here, preferably before the Max-Tac troops broke the brawl up.

The cat tail girl stood in her way initially, having lost her initial target and now lashing out at anything in her way. The razor-sharp claws passed within an inch of Nisa’s face and neck as she leaned away. Keeping her balance, Nisa struck out with her mind, sweeping energy around the girl’s ankles to knock her over. Unprepared for the ESP attack, the cat-girl tripped over.

Normally she likely would’ve been right back up and fighting, but just after falling over her Zigonian ally came crashing down on top of her, the victim of a powerful attack by a clubgoer with bovine features (including horns). Sensing her opportunity, Nisa jumped and slipped through the crowd toward the door, getting past the bouncers rushing to deal with the brawl and alongside the rush of people who would rather flee the altercation than partake.

Somewhere on one of the grav-lifted platforms, an Apexai wearing a bowler hat looked down on the chaotic melee and laughed the annoying nasal laugh of his kind. “HA HA HA!”

Nisa was out the door with the Apexai’s laugh echoing in her head. She was just moving down the road when the Max-Tac troopers showed up to break up the brawl. She stopped to observe as they rushed in. More people flowed out, including a few she recognized as being involved in the brawl, and soon enough they were coming out in restraints with the Max-Tac troopers loading them into vehicles.

The sight actually scared her. Most people were familiar with the concept of the “paddy wagon”, but for a Yildiz having armed men round people up usually signaled nastiness was imminent. She walked on, not wanting to be around if they decided she was to blame for the brawl.

So far, the day was not turning out as she expected....



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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

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

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-29 09:54pm
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At the BEEEF

Blacksun Defense Technologies proudly presents DollDust(TM)!

The Latest in Non Leathal weapons technology designed specifically to meet the needs of the Commonwealth's Unconventional Warfare Corps, DollDust(TM) is a Police Officer's best friend. A patented nanotechnological system, DollDust(TM) will enter the body of a sapient creature and disengage its motor control functions within thirty seconds of ingestion, causing them to collapse like a ragdoll. Able to enter the body orally, anally and even through exposed skin, few foes will be left standing once a wiff of DollDust(TM) is on the air. Specially calibrated to be non-fatal, a few kilos of DollDust(TM) on the wind can bring a violent riot to a swift end without a single life lost*. DollDust(TM) also is capable of temporarily inhibiting psionic activity in 85% of instances upon entering the subject's body. Once offenders have been immobilized, DollDust(TM) can be deactivated using a specialized code transmitter system (with individual batches being programmable to specific codes), returning to the individual full control of their motor fuctions. As a default, doll dust will deactivate after 24 hours of activity if no signal is given. DollDust(TM) comes in general (programmed to effect Humans, Eoghan, Chamarrans, Zigonians, Iduran, Trill, Bragulans and Tau) as well as specialist variants for other species. DollDust(TM) can be delivered through a variety of delivery systems, from mortor shells to hand grenades to spray launchers.

*-Blacksun Defense Technologies does not take responsibility for injuries inflicted from collapsing in inappropriate scenarios or damage inflicted on DollDust(TM) immobilized individuals by external forces



HAIL ZOR! WE'LL BLOW UP THE OCEAN!
Heros of Cybertron-HAB-Keeper of the Vicious pit of Allosauruses-King Leighton-I, United Kingdom of Zoria: SD.net World/Tsar Mikhail-I of the Red Tsardom: SD.net Kingdoms
WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE ON EARTH, ALL EARTH BREAKS LOOSE ON HELL
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/ind
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/tra
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The Art of Zor


Last edited by Zor on 2011-01-30 04:15am, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Pirates are really dumb PostPosted: 2011-01-30 01:20am
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Jedi Master
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Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
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Destroyer Raiding group

They parted the Aether shadows of hyperspace with their sleek hulls. They might not be stealth ships proper but their hyperdrives still pushed the limits of stealth. And still the hunters paced them perfectly, destroyer raiders and pirate raiders showing their familial relationship openly. Prismatic spray of hyperspace energies broke through shields and splashed across armored hulls as they braved shallow shoals in the chase.

The pursuers lost one of their own as it's hyperdrive surged and turned it's engine spaces into a bomb as it slammed into the denser hyperspace tissue of the shoals. It had failed where none of the others had thanks to the battering it had received from the Roubvogel's missile strikes

The Eoghan destroyers knew that they could only run so far. Either they too would be overcome by the shear insanity of their course, or allies for the pirates were likely to join in. With this in mind they left the comfortable confines of hyperspace for the deepest abyss of the void.

Here in this Stygian waste the destroyers broke into 2 groups, each headed at 90 degrees to their course in hyperspace. The destroyer Alshish headed one group, Luxrai headed the other. The 4 Raiders found nothing in front of them for their main plasma cannons to overwhelm, but with the T crossed the Alshish and peers opened up with their defensive rail-guns.

Image
A different Eoghan Destroyer sighted October 3400, request's for further information on ship name and mission (especially the OMINOUS call sign observed) were returned with a standard Top Secret form letter.

The raiders quickly started to bring their main plasma guns to bear while the lighter guns exchanged fire with the Eoghan defensive guns, and the occasional missile launch from the anti-strike craft missiles. As the spinal mounted plasma cannons the pirates had were brought to bear the Destroyers they targeted starburst away from each other and started spiraling lazily towards the raiders. A few shots landed, with the Luxrai being saved by taking the shot on it's thin wing rather then body core. The shot tore through the thin layer of plating and back into space, shattering a part of the incredibly sensitive sensor system in the wing with (heat)shock.

Finally within knife fight ranges destroyer and raider tumbled past each other. Raiders tried to manuever until they could get solid blows with their main gun, while the ever so slightly smaller destroyers finally opened up with real weapons. Plasma Torpedoes fired from the casements on the prow curved slowly towards their targets, point defense Gatling lasers absorbed mostly by their plasma shield. Rear firing very close ranged lightning cannons ripped across space hoping to find a target within a 100km to touch.

Both groups were crying loudly for help, both knowing that it was too close. One of the destroyers was left for cripple after a heavy blow split it's coolant tank in twain, yet it bracketed it's foe in defensive missiles as power shut down throughout. The Alshish and it's remaining 'squad'-mate reached out and touched the distracted champion twice as they curved past. Twice was enough for the lightning cannons to rend through the shields and stab the hull with tendrils of the cannons awesome power. It burned even as another pair of Eoghan destroyers left the fight. Seven torpedoes suddenly decided that they didn't want to pursue their original targets and all changed course smartly into a raider. Shields and point defense claimed all but one, which penetrated deeply and melted away a full quarter of the ship in a dull incendiary glow.

Two on three. It wasn't decisive, but numbers were the downfall of the Raiders. This close in reaction and the ability to keep on a target while not letting the unengaged Destroyer make it's way in close was too much for the under trained pirate crews. The final two Raiders started turning tail, and once they glanced at their scopes did it in double time. Eoghan reinforcements were large and fast, at least one war cruiser with all too much firepower at it's side. Only latter would they learn that their own reinforcements had focused on the more pressing concern of their hidden lair and communication center.



the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2011-01-30 01:35am
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Location: California
Multiversal Empire of Happiness
The Hexagon, New Toronto, Earth
~2 months after arrival

"... and that makes them the biggest threat. Now, on to our navy. What do you have for us, Doctor?"

The room's gaze turned to the head scientist, "The technology here is incredible! We're up to our necks in things to dissect!"

The Grand Admiral interrupted before Dave could start rambling, "Have you found anything we can use now?"

"Of course! Stronger shields, faster engines, more powerful weapons, there's something here for everyone!" Dave put up a hologram detailing the various modifications that could be applied to ships.

"Most of these are complete overhauls, it's cheaper just to build new ships. Do you have anything less expensive?"

With the flick of a wrist, Dave replaced the hologram with another.

The Admirals eyes widened, "We could give our fleet an all-around upgrade with this! How the hell did you get such huge advancements in 7 weeks?"

"Most of this came from small discoveries taken from alien technology, such as slightly better cooling systems, more powerful power conduits and the like. The rest are improvements we've already made and would be building this year regardless, and a few that I've projected would be completed a month."

"How long is it going to take to refit all of our ships like this?"

"If we start in 1 month, and modify 1/3 of the fleet at a time, about 6 months."

"Anything else?"

"That's everything that we've made so far. However, I do have a design taken from the archives to show you." Dave moved his arm, and two ship designs appeared in midair.

The admiral was stunned by what he was looking at, "Would that work?"

"If it is built correctly, yes. A bit pricey, but this should surprise any fleet that attacks one of our systems."

"Your telling me that this would be cost effective?"

"If used with support, yes."

"I'll give you one prototype. If we use it and it works, we will build more."

"Thank you, sir."

"Now, Doctor, tell me about these "shoals..."

--------------------------------------------------

Construction Budget FY 2400

GDP - $51,000 International Units
Construction Budget- $5,100 International Units ~ 10% GDP

Additional General Maintenance - $200
Miscellaneous Spending - $100
Black Budget - $312

Upgrades to Acclamation I & II Frigates - $2,240 ($70 for 32 ships, gives only $60 boost each)
Upgrades to Vindicator & Escort Cruisers - $1,080 ($60 for 18 ships, gives only $50 boost each)
Upgrades to Victorious II & Valiant Battleships - $375 ($25 for 15 ships, gives only $20 boost each)
Upgrades to Pallaeon Super-Battleship - $100 (Gives only $50 boost)

Additional Strike Craft - $660

Total Spending $5,067
Savings - $33

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